Friday, September 28, 2007

The Phone Rings

And the caller ID shows that it is the Sergeant Major. My heart drops. I leave the room and figure on letting it go straight to voice mail for me to deal with later. I'm just not up to hearing about another young Arizonan getting cut down this morning. I have stuff to do in the barn, corn to hoe, stuff.

I putter around and avoid shit for a while, then when I'm back in the kitchen I notice that there are three messages in voice mail. I figure two of them might be money calls that I should take and so I cowboy up and check the messages.

The first is the Sgt. Major. He says "Nobody's dead, Minstrel, not today anyway. I'm making this call as Larry, I need to talk to you about a favor."

I whip through the next two messages and they are things that can wait. I make the call and get right through.

I say "What's the favor you need Larry?"

He says that he's heard that I have horses and am pretty good with it. I say "I have horses, and I ride better than I walk."

He says that there is a ceremonial unit that does parades and stuff around the state. They dress in the uniforms of the Buffalo Soldiers who used to be stationed at Forts Apache, McDowell, Hauchuca. They have asked him to join them. Then he tells me that he's never been on a horse in his life and he doesn't want to show up to his first gathering wearing Sgt. Major stripes and not knowing shit.

I ask if he wants to come out tomorrow morning early. In the indian way horseback riding starts with cleaning out the horse poop and doing all the other maintainence chores. He laughs and says that it sounds like fun. I tell him that I like it and ask if he's got any kids.

He has two little girls and I tell him to bring the whole family out. We'll make a day of it.

I also tell him that I refuse to take any responsibility if his little girls leave the place with a bad case of "horse crazy."

Sounds a lot better than another funeral doesn't it?


Friday Random Ten

Well, here it is Friday. Let's just look and see what bubbles up. . .

John The Revelator - - - Son House
Big House Bound - - - Blind Boy Fuller
Rock Island Blues - - - Furry Lewis
You Got To Die - - - Blind Willie McTell
Casey Jones - - - Bill Monroe (with Vassar Clemens)
Barbara Allen - - - Emmylou Harris
Borned About 10,000 Years Ago - - - Cisco Houston
Casket Vignette - - - Bobbie Gentry
Soulful Shade of Blue - - - Buffie Sainte-Marie
Strange Fruit - - - Billie Holliday

Bonus Track (hit random twice take the top)

Voodoo Chile (slight return) - - - Jimi Hendrix

I love life in the random mode.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Warren Jeffs Convicted

In a case of pure and perfect irony (something sadly lacking most of the time) he's being held in Purgatory Correctional Facility while awaiting sentencing.

There were two counts of conviction which the jury reached after a long and often contentious deliberation.

Here's the full article from the Salt Lake Tribune

There are many levels and cultural/social questions in this case. Utah is, by any practical assesment, a place with an established and entrenched state religion. The LDS church and the state government when the prophet had his revealation about discontinuing the practice of plural marriage all took the prophet's words as the revealed word of god. For those of you who are not familiar with the LDS church I will ask you to please understand that sects like the one here are aberrations. The bulk of my Mormon neighbors and friends are simply people who follow a different faith sincerely. They are some of the finest people you can know. I am not a big fan of organized religion, I have no pure or strong faith of my own. Folks like this have no relationship to the real and recognised faith as practiced in Utah, Arizona, Idaho, and many other places in the west. No matter what else I might think about the Mormons, they found a family for me to live with so that I could attend a decent school in High School. They did that to help promote their faith and their viewpoint, but they also did it out of the goodness of their hearts. Most of the time when I'm looking into a Mormon heart I see a good one.

Simple historical facts say that the Mormons as a society were already experiencing many of these same results from the practice that we've seen with the "Fundamental" offshoots.

It still took a lot of gumption and dedication to duty on the part of the jurors to convict their neighbors. That's something we try to stay away from out here in the west. I figure my business with my neighbors pretty much stops at their side of the fence. They treat me with the same deference. If somebody's barn catches fire, I'm there to help and I can rely on the same help from them in my times of trouble.

There are eight charges against Jeffs still pending in Arizona.

For some true in depth reporting of this case check out this page of links from the Deseret News.

Personally, I'm glad to see that pinch faced beady eyed son of a bitch go down. I hope he gets more of the same from my own state.


Monday, September 24, 2007

Big Dog Blogging

Tart mentioned how cool it is to be around Golden Retrievers.

I remembered promising updates on my two pups.

This is Katie,

just over a year old. She doesn't have any instinct or desire to go bird hunting. She does love to swim, and she is a total sweetheart. She wants to have physical contact with a human being every minute of every day. If she can't have that she wants to at least have us in sight.

And then, there's Gus. . .my niece calls him "Gus-Gus" after the mouse in Disney's "Cinderella." He is a hoot and a half. He's already gone through basic field training with a professional. I didn't do any dove hunting this year, I just went out with Gus and we worked on having him pay attention to me in the middle of all that noise and confusion. He did great.

His favorite thing in the world is to launch off the diving board into the pool to chase a toy. He's fearless.

No matter what else though, they have that Golden Retriever temperment. Sweet, affectionate and very polite.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Big, Mad, Props to Seventh Sister!

Over at her blog, Shimoda's Dream, she has a day by day account of making the Crystallized Ginger that I posted a while back.

She lists the steps of making it, starting with day one

all the way

All the way to realizing that the four day process I described was really five days.

She also said the time invested was worth it.


Marcel Marceau 1923 - 2007

Marceau as "Bip."

Le silence est d'or mon vieil ami.