Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Jan 12 - Finally back to the Woods


I got out on Sunday for as long as I could stand it and it was satisfying.  I had the 980 with me.  It performed as always and made me happy, again, that I rescued it from the used rack in the awful chain store.  This time of year the shots seem to get longer though and it's now clear to me that late season requires a scope and maybe a rimfire magnum... scope for sure.  I can see them further off and once they get shot at, they see me too.

The wind was cold even with the sun.  There was ice in it.  I loved it just the same though.  You couldn't have pried me out early.  I covered about a mile or so in the big trees, came across a couple of greys playing on the ground, missed both shots, made coffee...


I had questioned the value of doing this but it turns out a hot brew and a quick snack can make a lot of cold bearable.  All that crap I carry did some good...  I am especially enjoying my new stove.  Takes down to the size of an index card and handles the alcohol burner like a champ.


Even with the sun out it was a gray day though I am not complaining.  I like to hunt in the winter because it is stark and cold and the weaker among us don't do it.  The quiet is tomb-like and the wind is hypnotic in the absence of chattery leaves; flight of birds becomes and event in this silence.  It is the polar opposite of the very alive and humming character of the wood I know in September.  I love them both which is handy.



And of course, I renew my love of evergreens this time of year.  They are the life in the silence, watching silently and growing on. 


I know that in January, when I have spent a day out shielding from the wind and waiting
for the shots of the day,  the car is more welcome and the heater to be a longer than I like lost friend.  The drive home through the early sundown is filled with anticipation of a hot shower and a little foggy on the details I was getting away from for a while and somewhere in my head I pray for hot soup.  After I am warm and clean and changed and the sun has gone down, I hold hands with my wife a while and head of to bed because the cold always drains me down a bit more.  When I close my eyes if I am lucky I dream of wind and trees and things that live there, among the birds and cedars and those dreams are always good.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Project #1 - The Marlin 60 Rebuild

A few years back I picked up a Model 60 on gunbroker.com in pretty bad shape.  I suspected, based on appearances, the rifle was just neglected and a little abused.  I got it for a song.  I disassembled and cleaned the parts (lost of compressed air and really strong parts cleaner) and put the whole mess in a box to keep track of it all.  Along the way I also, apparently, ordered sights and a new trigger and trigger guard assembly from these good folks

Anyhow, about the time I was spinning this up, my son came along and so things stayed in box under my bench until I dug them out last night.  Admittedly, at one point I was far more in to revamping stock rifles than buying new ones and that's saying something.  I distinctly remember thinking I never reworked on of these and a $50 puzzle would be a lot of fun especially if I could get it to work.  So here we are in 2014, thinking this might be fun to do. 

I need to take some inventory of the parts and make sure everything is there and then some planning around finishes and stock options and so on.  I'll keep it posted up as best I can.  I think I'll target August 1 for a complete date on this.  With odds way up I will duracoat the action, I would imagine I'll have it working and tested by April 1 to allow time for the finish to fully set, etc.  Stay tuned.... more to come.  :)

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Well, it's 2014...

It would be fair to say that sometime in late October I did that thing I do where I get my thoughts exactly backwards and, as a result, gave myself a first-class Rogerring.  :)  I made foolish professional decisions like someone who had nothing to lose in the last half of the hunting season and missed all of November and all of December's hunting time.  If only that was the end...  ultimately I wound up pretty well where I started and missed out on the bonus cycles and raises too.  I am not sure what I was thinkin...  Ah well.  While we live, we learn.  If we're too old to learn, I think we won't be around much longer.

So what do we do with the new year?  I have been thinking on this.  I think maybe there are some hard realities to face and some opportunities to exploit. 
  • First, no more discussion of fitness and weight loss.  It simple must happen.  I can't seem to plan it so I must just do it. 
  • I have a few firearms projects that have been in boxes of three or four years.  I think I will finish them this year.
  • My shooting is pretty rusty.  I need to make an effort to start having rifle range Wednesday this year.  I'm not sure how it will work out but hey, we gotta try.
  • Family time...  I need more of it.
  • Vacations...  I need one far, far away with no trees and no banks and lots of sand and frozen drinks.
  • Professional Skill Development...  The opportunity has presented itself and it may be time to get deep and dark in something specific rather than my current flavor of tech skill.
  • Church...  I can't say enough about how much I hope everyone finds something to believe in and then brings it into their lives.  I think I have and it's time to be more than the guy who watches the kids while the wife listens.
  • Writing...  I need to write more.  It cleanses the mind like sleep and exercise.  I own the domain for the next 20 years... might as well use it.  :)
Anyhow, we'll see where we get.  I probably won't write about all of this but part of it will find its way here for sure.  I have a Marlin Model 60 in pieces in the basement that has pushed its way to the front in my head...  Maybe I'll start there. 

Take are,

-JP