Thursday, February 25, 2010

"I'd Rather Get Blisters" Coming Soon

     Well, I'm at it again.  I've gotten together with my illustrator Dave Harshberger (see his blog at and we're busy working on a second collection of my outdoor humor stories originally published as Parting Line columns in Game & Fish magazines.  This book is tentatively titled, "I'd Rather Get Blisters" and should be available through my website, sometime late this summer or early this fall.  This book will be about the same size as my first book, "My Brushes With Death and Other Outdoor Blunders," but this one will most likely be in a more economical softcover form.   

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Guns, Knives and Incendiary Devices

Yes, I have a profound interest in guns, knives and incendiary devices. But before you proclaim my mental state to be beyond the accepted normal parameters of polite, civilized society, let me explain.
Anyone with any experience in pursuing outdoor adventure will tell you that it's much more enjoyable, much more attainable when you approach it with a certain boldness. By boldness, I don't mean recklessness, but more of an assuredness, a confidence that comes from being prepared with the knowledge and means of procuring the basics.
The basic needs for survival include food, water, shelter and warmth. To these let me add two more essentials: protection -- the ability to defend yourself – and health maintenance. Once you have attained the essentials, anything else can be filed under the heading of “minor details.” Once you have the essentials secured, you can venture forth with that boldness, that confidence. Anything else you face by comparison will require only minor adjustments.
With a gun, I have a way to procure food and to defend my life against all types of aggressors intent on doing me harm.
Knives and other edged tools allow me to improvise or fabricate other things I need that will in turn help me to acquire other survival basics. They can also be a secondary means of defense.
The ability to make fire gives me a way to stay warm, to cook my food and to purify my water. Fire lights my way. With fire, I can burn things too large to cut, chop or saw. With fire I can establish a feeling of security in knowing that long after dark, it can help me to fend off evil both real and imagined.
So it is that at almost any moment you will find me with at least a pocket knife and a way to make fire. Most of the time I am armed. Sometimes when I shower, I admit that the nearest firearm is a few steps away. That is only because of concerns about shampoo build-up in the firing mechanism. I don't ever want to wear the label of victim.
I'll admit too that carrying a pocket knife and a Zippo lighter or magnesium stick sometimes is more symbolic than anything else. After all, when I step outside, it's not always into a wilderness area or other hostile environment where I'll have to fight for my survival. And if I needed to, it would be difficult to kill a deer, build a cabin and whittle a dinette set with just my pocket knife, especially if I couldn't touch up the blade once or twice.
No, the knife and the lighter I carry every day sometimes serve only as talismans against the stressors of modern life. They are reminders that no matter how bad my day is going, I'm still taking care of the basics. The rest requires just minor adjustments.