Thursday, October 1, 2015

This & That

Fall is definitely rolling into South Georgia this weekend following some beneficial rainfall for the past couple of days. My peanut farmer neighbors who are trying to pick their peanuts probably are not as happy with the rain as we are, but these rains have fallen on Riverview at a very opportune  time. We just planted our winter rye down the sides of the lodge road, and are in the process of planting our winter grass around all of the cottages.

This week we also began working all of our hunting dogs into playing shape. Each guide is taking his string of dogs out for two and a half hours in the morning , and is supposed to be shooting a few quail over them. I used the word "supposed" since unconfirmed reports have some of our guides shooting "AT" birds. However, it seems that a number of birds are failing to cooperate by falling dead, and our retrievers are grinning and relaxing. Next week we will move up to running the dogs for an entire morning. Dogs, like any other athletes, have to play themselves into shape.

The kitchen and housekeeping staff began work last week going through all of the cottages with a fine tooth comb. It always amazes me how everything is working when we shut down in late March. Somehow during the summer months, the gremlins perform their magic in almost every cottage. Our plumbers, electricians, and heating and cooling folks are having a field day fixing items that were working great six months ago.

Oh well, it could be a lot worse. I could be President Obama, and not have a clue how to deal with Mr. Putin. I'm fairly conflicted about what we should do in Syria. President Obama drew his famous red line in the sand for Assad which he crossed with impunity while we did nothing. Now geo-politics is not my strong suit, but I think that Assad is now fighting ISIS. ISIS is nothing more than a bunch of barbarians while Assad is a butcher of his own people. Whose side should we be on ? Why isn't the best policy just to vacate the region, and let them all kill each other. I can almost guarantee you that they will turn on their Russian allies when they have no one else to fight. I would not want to send my son or daughter over there for a bunch of folks who hate us.

I have about decided that the line to the old country music song summed it up best when it said, "God is great, beer is good, and people are crazy". This is a crazy world that we are living in these days. If you want to escape it for a while and see some of the most beautiful woods and best quail hunting in the world, come see us !!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Fall season

Well, the fall season is just about officially ready to begin, and south Georgia is beginning to feel the affects of it also. Martha and I spent last week in Highlands, N.C. where, thanks to elevation, it felt more like winter than fall if you are a native South Georgian. When we arrived last Monday morning, the external thermometer on my car was reading 38 degrees---BRRR ! We spent the week doing our normal thing there---I read books on my Kindle while Martha tried to help the local economy by shopping every day.

This morning got off to less than a stellar beginning for me. I missed a trophy armadillo in my yard at 5:30 am. As I was explaining to Cader IV that the flashlight slipped in my hand about the time I was squeezing the trigger, he responded, " Dad, you sound a lot like most of our guests describing how they missed a quail. It is always every reason except the fact that they just missed the bird". He may be correct, but he had better not make a mistake this week or I plan to pounce on him like "white on rice".

Speaking of quail, this week we will begin the integration of our pointing and flushing dogs working together. Dogs are like people, and have distinct personalities. It's Moss's job to find the dogs that get along and work well together. This is also the time of the year that our vet bills climb due to dog fights until the alpha males rise to the top, and we make certain that we are not pairing two alpha males together.

Jerry has also begun official guide training for our three young guides that we have hired for the season. This process will include three weeks of formal class room training and woods orientation, followed by three weeks of field work as apprentices to our senior guides. We have three fine young men joining us this year.

As a closing note, just in case any of you have tried to call us in the past day or so and received no answer, we are still in business. However, we have no telephone service. It seems as though we may have sliced our main ATT phone cable while preparing to plant our winter rye grass on the borders of the Lodge road leading into the main lodge. Since our harrow only goes about six inches in the ground, I find this hard to believe, but our ATT guy swears that it's the case. We have a dig crew coming this morning to locate and splice the cut.

The lodge grounds and woods look great, and we are looking forward to a great 2015-2016 season. Give us a call, and come see what all we have done since your last visit.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

A confused US citizen

Because I understand that a good many folks believe Fox News to be biased, I did a good bit of Google research before writing this brief tirade which has not one thing to do with Riverview or quail hunting. It seems that only 21% of the American people are in favor of this treaty with Iran, yet it looks like a slam dunk to pass.

In doing a little constitutional research , I found this: The president " shall have Power,by and with the advice and consent of the Senate to make treaties, provided two-thirds of the senators present concur".(article II,section 2). So, how did we get from that to a point that it takes two-thirds of the senate to over ride a veto by the president which actually means only one-third of the senate needs to approve the deal.

Two thoughts come to my mind: First, maybe the language has been carefully crafted to where this agreement is not actually a treaty. Maybe it's just a gentleman's agreement between two friends, one of whom chants" Death to America". That would be going down the old Bill Clinton road of what the definition of "is" is. My next thought is why do we even have a house and a senate. Why do we waste time and money electing these folks when basically the will of the American people is being trampled upon.

These bozos in the house and senate could not even agree to a rule as to how to oppose this agreement. We now have Republicans McConnell and Boehner as heads of their respective houses. However, for all of the difference that has made, we might as well still have Reid and Pelosi. Our country is basically being governed by the executive branch and a very small cadre of advisers. Somehow, I do not think that this is what our founding fathers intended.

When almost 80% of the citizens of this country oppose a deal and yet our elected officials are either unable or unwilling to listen, we no longer live in a democracy. This is a scary proposition to me.I believe in our great nation, and I believe that we will not tolerate this type of government forever because we are not a nation of sheep, Come on America. Let's wake up and be heard for the sake of our children and grandchildren !

The last time I wrote something like this to my US Representative, I never received the courtesy of a reply. I was, however, selected for a " random thorough review" of my tax return. Maybe the IRS had finally finished looking at Al Sharpton and had time to concentrate on the real problems like me. It took them five months, but they found absolutely nothing, and had to send me my refund plus interest.

God bless America !!

Friday, September 4, 2015

Labor Day

At a time when 8.5 million Americans still don't have jobs, some 40% have given up even looking. Those statistics come from a survey issued this past Wednesday which begs the question, " Do folks without jobs celebrate Labor Day"? Way back in my much younger years, I found it was much easier to get a girlfriend if you already had a girlfriend. I think that the same thought process applies to jobs.

One of the reasons that I've been hesitant to really embrace full retirement is that I wonder how I would get excited about the weekend coming or taking off and going on a vacation. If every day is a holiday, what does one look forward to ? I think that I'm going to keep on working with the same mission my Dad had--to second guess and criticize the current management and my son. The view from the cheap seats is pretty good if you want to know the truth.

Gas prices are declining, and everyone except the oil companies and Riverview is celebrating cheaper prices at the pump. The reason we are not excited about it here is that the oil patch likes to hunt. As their profit margins erode, so does their discretionary spending. I would just as soon pay a little bit more at the pump, and keep seeing all of my oil buddies hunting here.

If you are going to be traveling this weekend, be careful. There are a lot of crazy drivers on the road. Martha and I will be baby sitting grandchildren this weekend and watching the UGA football game from the best seat in the stadium--my reclining chair!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015


Wow, I can hardly believe it, but my calendar says that today is the first day of September! For all practical purposes, there is no difference in temperatures in south Georgia in the first two weeks of September and the temperatures we experience in the month of August. However, just the name of the month hints the promise of changes to come, and we do see our temperatures begin a decline by the middle of the month. Football season begins in September as well as some of our hunting seasons in Georgia.

I read a quote by someone named Robyn Davidson who said, " The good Lord in his infinite wisdom gave us three things to make life bearable--hope, jokes, and dogs". As always, I'm hoping that my Georgia Bulldogs will live up to expectations although they have a long history of failing to show up for at least a game or two.

As to jokes, we have plenty of them. They are either in Washington, or they are running for office to get there ! And I am still missing my beloved dog. I see her in my mind and heart every single day, and I even dream about my Sugar at least once a week. Without my dog, I'm going to have to get by for a while longer on just hope and jokes.

Speaking of jokes, I have,regretfully concluded, that I will never become a good pistol shot. I plan to go back to the gun store today and purchase many more rounds of 380 ammo. I'm determined to get good enough to place six shots in a pie plate from 15 paces. Until I achieve that goal, my best bet is to be attacked at close range by a very fat person.. The fact that I suffer from an inherited condition which makes my hands shake slightly all of the time does not help in the least as my sight wobbles around the pie plate like a leaf in the wind.

Oh well, I've always said that if the going gets easy, you may be headed downhill, and I'm not ready to start down that slope yet. On the bright side, I can still shoot a shotgun pretty darn good. While the bad guys may laugh at me, the birds had better not get too comfortable because it IS September!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Another senseless shooting

As did much of the nation, I was horrified and saddened to see two young lives taken by a deranged gunman yesterday. The young reporter and camera man had their entire lives in front of them. Now they will never know the joys of marriage,parenthood, and so many other wondrous opportunities that have been snatched from them.

My next thought was that I wonder when the idiots running our country will begin to bang the drum blaming guns for this killing. That makes about as much sense as blaming spoons for fat people. My first weapon was my thumb and index finger. From there I graduated to a BB gun, and then on to real weapons that could kill. However, before I ever got to the real weapons, I had a father who drilled gun safety into me incessantly.

I grew up in a very politically incorrect generation. We played Cowboys & Indians every day at recess. I also watched Roy Rogers and Gene Autry fire at least 60 shots from a six shooter pistol almost every Saturday at what we called " The Picture Show". However, I never had any difficulty distinguishing between the real and the make believe. When my Dad placed that shotgun in my hands, I knew that it was the real deal, and I had a very real responsibility to handle it with respect and never point it at anything that I did not wish to shoot.

When I look at the many cases in our country of senseless violence and mass shootings, I really don't see guns as the root cause. I see a society where we have a breakdown of the nuclear family. Values that were drilled into me are no longer being taught. Secondly, I see a lot of mental illness that is slipping through the cracks and going untreated. We have plenty of laws on the books, but we have a bloated federal government who can't even enforce the laws that they pass.

The deranged gunman who killed all of the folks in Charleston should never have passed the NICS background search for purchasing a pistol, but he did. The illegal immigrant who had been deported six times yet still killed an innocent young lady in California should never have been in our country. But he was!

I'm old school, and I wish that we could see some old school justice return to our nation. I can assure you that the US citizens of my grandfather's day would not have tolerated what we see on television every day. Justice would have been swift and certain, and some limbs from a bunch of big oak trees would be getting a workout. I guarantee you that we would not have seen as many murderers,rapists, and pedophiles running around in those days.

Have we become a nation of sheep ?I pray that is not the case. As for me, I'm about to do something that I never thought that I would need to do. I've had a concealed carry weapon permit for a long time, but now I'm about to utilize it. I believe that our justice system is a joke, and the bad guys know that even better than I do.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

This & That

Well, like many of you I watched the stock market gyrations yesterday with more than passing interest. I feel kind of like the old cattleman who said, " I left the gate open, and all of my stock got out". I got up early this morning to watch all of the expert predictions as to what was going to happen today with the markets. Those predictions range from a minor correction to a Dow of 6000. They know about as much as I do, which is zilch.

What I do know is a feeling expressed by an old timer down here who once said, " Lord, please don't give it to me if you are going to take it away". If I never had it, I would not miss it. I can think of a lot of things that I was perfectly content to live without until they became a necessity in my life once they were invented. The cell phone is a prime example. However, I have always been kind of partial to eating well, and paying my bills.

This market correction, if that is indeed what id going on, is something that I predicted and anticipated. My only problem is that I was a good 18 months premature on my prediction as I went mostly to cash that long ago. I watched the market continue to soar while I have earned a magnificent one-tenth of one percent return on cash. Oh well, the sun doesn't shine up the same dog's fanny all of the time.

I'm still not ready to jump back into this market as I have always believed that pigs get fed while hogs get slaughtered. I've been patient this long; so I am comfortable to stay on the sidelines a while longer while the elephants trample one another. I wish that I had some confidence in the Fed or our elected officials, but I have absolutely no faith in them.

I have reached the sad stage in my life where I fear my own government more than I do ISIS. It seems that every day, they are eroding or taking another basic right of our democracy away. I feel a bit like a sheep, and I don't like feeling like a sheep. I firmly believe that it is time for us to fight for the future of our children and grandchildren. I have no idea as to who the best candidate for president of the US would be at the moment, but I have some strong feelings as to who would not be good candidates.

In the meantime, our garden is still feeding us, the pine trees are growing, and the quail are multiplying like crazy in the woods. Fall is just around the corner, and our weatherman is predicting that we will get a taste of fall tomorrow. Let's hope that he predicts the weather better than I do the stock market !