Monday, February 26, 2018


I’m thinking about the first gun dad gave me. It weighed almost as much as I did. It was a 1938 model Stevens single shot 12 gauge. Dad said Military Police used it during World War Two, but maybe he was pulling my leg about that. Dad had to cut off a little bit of the stock in order for it to fit where I could pull the trigger.

This old shotgun kicked like a mule. The first time I fired it I think it knocked me back 3 cotton rows. So every time I went to pull the trigger, it was a very conscious decision. I had to have all my feathers on, brace myself, and take a deep breath. After a while I didn’t even close my eyes when I pulled the trigger. Then it was time to reload. A switch released the barrel from the stock, a little mechanism in the barrel would eject the shell. I could pop another shell in, and snap the barrel back into place. But like I said, this gun weighed about the same as I did, and with a 30” barrel came up to my chin if I stood straight up. I reckon I looked like a monkey wrasslin’ a broomstick out there sometimes.

After I got another shell chambered, the real fun would begin. It was time to pull the hammer back. The hammer is what strikes the firing pin when you pull the trigger. Operated by a spring, it took everything I had to pull that hammer back. Some people call these guns with the hammer ‘Thumb-busters” and this SOB was a real thumb-buster for me. I was always afraid when we were out hunting that I would be trying to pull the hammer back and before I could get it all the way back into a locked position, it would slip, the hammer would hit the firing pin, the gun would discharge, and blow my head off. Very embarrassing. That never happened, but for the longest time I was about scared to death to fire it.
That is to say, it had my respect.

Over time I got to be pretty good with that single shot. If a dove was flying towards me, I could get a shot off, break open the barrel, reload and pull the hammer back, and get a second shot off as the dove was going away. Dove were usually pretty safe around me.

Somewhere back about 30 years ago that gun came up missing. Either it was stolen, or maybe I left it behind somewhere when I moved.
I really wish I still had that gun.

Thursday, February 01, 2018


“The truth suffers from analysis” and that’s why I like to go to the Bureau of Labor Statistics to look at the data without all the commentary of Piers Morgan, Sean Hannity, Chris Cuomo, Donald Trump or Nancy “Whats wrong with my mouth?” Pelosi.
When you hear someone say ‘Donald Trump created 2.4 million jobs since he was elected”, its at the BLS that they got that data. When they say “President Obama lowered the unemployment rate from 10% to 4.8 %”, or that “Trump lowered unemployment to a 17 year low”, they got that data from the BLS.

Lucky for you that I saved* some of the data from the BLS site, which included ways to import data from charts to Excel tables. For semi-nerds like me, thats a wonderful thing, and I put together this chart for you of jobs created since 2012.
I offer it without analysis, because ““The truth suffers from analysis” and tomorrow we can look at a chart of manufacturing jobs lost and gained since 1981. 

*I went to the BLS today, because they always come out with new data the first Thursday of the month. I'm sad to say they have revamped their tables and charts, and it may take me a while to figure the website out. Dont you hate it when they do that? My bank does that and it really pisses me off. Just stop.