Monday, August 29, 2011

Gold! Crystals?

Gold Crystal
Hmmm... What's wrong with this picture?

I've never really thought of Gold as being crystalline, but if it is vaporized and allowed to re-coalesce, it forms as a crystal. In a process, that I won’t even pretend to understand, heat, vacuum, and other chemicals leaches gold from other substances, then allows it form back into 99.99% pure gold. The picture is what the gold looks like when it joins back together. The process is called “The Van Arkle de Boer process”.

The following photo is Platinum formed with a similar process. Iron crystals called "hematite" form at the mouths of volcanoes from a natural occuring chemical/heat process.
Platinum Crystal

Iron Hematite

Touchstone for determining gold purity.
 I actually found all this information while I was looking for the word "Touchstone". I knew that a "touchstone" was used as a test for quality, but I didn't know why until I looked it up.

By using a two pieces of gold, of a known quality, to make marks on a touchstone. Then one gold mark of an unknown quality, the grade of the unknown gold can be determined by using mixtures of nitric acid and watching to see which mark disoves first. The term "Acid Test" also comes from determining the quality of Gold. Not being from gold county, I probably seem a little niave to the Mother Lode people.

This blog used to have a commenter by the name of "Gemboy" that knew all of this stuff. I havent heard from him since the post that I did on the Island Mountain Copper mine.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Washington D.C. Earthquake.

Back in 1981, I was waiting for a building permit for our house to be approved by Humboldt County that dragged on for months, but that’s a whole different story. While I was waiting for the permit, my wife and I decided to visit Washington D.C. We stayed with my wife’s brother, who was a lawyer with the Federal Trade Commission, back when there was “Trade”, but that’s a whole different story.

Anyway, we visited as many museums and monuments as we could. We were at the doors in the morning when they opened, and they had to kick us out at night. Most all the houses back there were very old brick houses, that go back to the 1800’s. I always felt uncomfortable around them. I asked many times, “What holds these houses together? They don’t have bolts or any kind of steel reinforcement.” I remember almost universally being laughed at. People seemed to know instantly that I was from California. They patiently explained that they had no need for reinforcement, because they “don’t have Earthquakes“. Many went on to state that they would never live in California because they were afraid of all the Earthquakes, and they felt that someday the whole west coast of California was going to shake-rattle-and-roll and slip into the Pacific Ocean. Then, it was my turn to laugh at them. I explained that most of our buildings stood-up real well in an earthquake, and most of the quakes that we have are nothing more than a fun ride.

I drew the line at the Washington Monument. My wife wanted to take the elevator to the top. I explained that it was too big of a risk to take an elevator ride to the top of a stack of rocks that was not designed to handle an earthquake. She chided me, and reminded me that one of my mottos is that “You only die once” and dirty-double-dog-dared me to take the elevator ride. So, foolishly, I agreed. A man just can’t allow his wife to think that he is a sissy, no matter what the risk!

When we arrived at the monument, there was some kind of a problem with the elevator and the rides were closed for the day. I was secretly overjoyed, the stack of rocks looks even more unstable standing on the ground looking up at it. As the clouds blow by, it looks just like it’s falling over. I was ready to grab my wife and run just looking at it.

Well, you know where I’m headed with this. Washington D.C. just had a 5.8 Earthquake, a crack opened up in the Washington Monument, and it is closed for safety reasons. Now, one of my other mottos is, “Ha, ha, ha, I told you so!!!”
Link to Wikipedia Washington Monument


Sunday, August 14, 2011

This establishment is an excellent place to teach your child manners.

Robin started this, because she mentioned that the newspaper that she used to work for wrote a piece about “No room at the Inn”. A pun on the fact that the Benbow Inn didn’t allow children under twelve in the dinning room back in the 70's. This is not criticism of the Benbow Inn, but a reminder about manners, and why they are important.
I intend to start on a high note, then descend into the abyss. It isn’t me, because I actually love children. So, what is it about so many children today that can be so darned annoying? Again, I know that it is not me. My child was a perfect child, always was, still is. She is… wow, I was going to tell you her age, I guess not even a father can get away with that. I’ll just say that she is past 30... I’m hoping that her perfection is not just the vision through a father’s eyes. Also, I would like to think that I had a little to do with the fact that she was delightful to be around when she was growing up, but I know full well that she was a good kid because it was her intent to be that way. She always seemed to want to be “good”. So, I know that I was not the great stern father that some like to be, but the father that allowed a naturally good kid to grow up to be the polite well liked person that she is. I only helped her to find the way.
We never tried to eat out when my daughter was an infant. It was just to uncomfortable for us, to know that a child that young can’t be well behaved. When she was about 2 ½ we started taking her out to dinner with us. When my wife and I went out to dinner and took her with us, she tried to be a brat. After just one annoying incident, my wife or I would head to the car with her and we would take turns baby sitting while the other gulped their dinner. She got one firm warning way up front, then, no second chances. After one obnoxious behavior, it was out to the car. After several times of this, she discovered that it was much more fun to be good. If you are wondering what obnoxious behavior is, stop reading now, a parent just knows. It doesn’t even have to extend beyond the table that you are seated. Even if your child’s bad behavior stays within the confines of your table, it ruins the thought of a nice evening out. We always included our daughter in our conversations and made her feel that she was a part of the festive occasion of an evening out. Of course you know that it wasn’t perfect, but it soon became a nice occasion for all of us.

One time we had a family reunion dinner at the Benbow Inn, when the Benbow Inn was owned by Chuck and Patsy Watts, they had a firm rule of “no children under the age of 12 allowed in the dining room”. We had the choice of not going, or taking our daughter with us. She was 8 years old at the time. I went down and talked Chuck about his concerns and told him that we were probably even more concerned about bad dining room manners than he was. He tentatively consented to allow her in the dining room. That evening she was part of the conversation and she was a delightful part of the evening, she kept her voice down she was polite, did not interrupt and she was as good as she always wanted to be, she achieved her own goals. After dinner Chuck wheeled out the desert cart and treated my daughter to anything that she wanted. He said that she was perfectly delightful, and was welcome at the Benbow Inn anytime that she liked. She probably doesn't even remember it, but it was a very proud moment for me to be the father of an eight year old that was allowed in the Benbow Inn.
Just so you don’t think that she was always “perfect”, her teen-age years erased many brownie points.

The Benbow Inn, under the current owners, had a “Lady” that decided to nurse her baby in the dining room. I was not a witness, nor do I even have much knowledge of what happened, but I think that it was politely suggested to her that she should use a blanket or a towel to cover her breast. The lady took great offense, and decided to make a great scene and took issue of the fact that she had a right, by law, to nurse her child anywhere, anytime, and in any manner. She told her friends how insulted that she was. She and her friends staged a “nurse in” where they all nursed their babies in the dinning room. Like I say, I’m not sure what really happened, I always miss the good stuff.

I don’t know about other men, but the sight of a female breast stops my heart for a few beats, then I put it all together that it is just a woman nursing her baby, and I can live through it. It’s cool with me, but I kinda’ prefer that they cover up. It doesn’t take much to be discrete. Then I don’t have to rearrange my mind and put it back into polite conversation mode
Whenever I go out to dinner I am cursed with, almost invariably, being seated next to a child. My wife laughs at me, that it just seems to be my luck. Almost always, right after we order, a family will come in at sit next to us. Sometimes it is nice, when the parents have the children under control. Well behaved children are a delight to be around, and they seem to sense that. But, other parents don’t have a clue. The kid will start off with a loud scream, and the parents just ignore it. Then it only gets worse from there. I usually just ask the waiter to doggie box my meal and leave. My sister in law has a theory that some people Inflict their children on you in hopes that you will feel sorry for them, because they have to put up with the bad behavior all the time.

I was on an airplane coming back from Dallas Texas a few years ago, and was I seated right across the isle from a three year old child. A child that got to ride free, because she was seated on her mothers lap. The child started with the loud screams, then she would look around and laugh at all the people staring at her. Then she would scream again. The female flight attendant told the mother, in no uncertain terms, to comfort the child and stop her screaming. She told the mother several more times. The woman explained to the attendant that she could do nothing about it. That that is just the way the child was, and she always did that on airplanes. To my delight the attendant told her that it was very unfortunate that she could do nothing about the child, because she was going to have the pilot land the plane in Denver, and remove them from the plane, and she would never be allowed to fly on Delta again. The woman seemed to understand, the child stopped screaming immediately and only whimpered for a few moments after that. Most of the passengers near me thanked the attendant. It was apparent that the attendant knew more about dealing with bad behavior than the passenger.

I saw a near riot in a Garberville café when a child started screaming and a few diners told the mother to control her kid. It turned into a turf battle, of who had the most rights to be there. The mother lost, but wrote mean letters to the editor for awhile.

I think my favorite place to dine out was the Benbow Barbeque House. They had a very neatly printed sign, in the finest calligraphy. It said: “This establishment is an excellent place to teach your child manners”, then they insisted upon it. Most of the kids that ate there were well behaved.

Friday, August 12, 2011

A good decision on Bear Lady!

A good decision on Bear Lady!

When I was growing up, I had a lot of pet wild animals. I had ground squirrels, grey squirrels, flying squirrels, I had a few snakes for a day or two, and let them go. I just couldn’t warm up to the idea of having a snake as a pet. Frogs were much cooler. Somehow I liked the idea of raising frogs. We would gather tadpoles and put them in the stock trough. The mosquitoes, that were already in the trough, provided plenty of food. They would grow legs and become frogs. As soon as they were big enough to make it on there own we would take them down to Ten Mile Creek, that drains the south end of Laytonville, and turn them loose like proud parents pushing their children out into the great big world.

My sister and I would gather milkweed and Monarch Butterfly caterpillars. We would raise them in a shoe box. Soon they would hang from a leaf, shed their skin and become a chrysalis. The chrysalis would shed it’s akin after a while and become a Monarch Butterfly, a most beautiful creature, and still my favorite bug.

One time I brought home a baby coon, it was the cutest thing that you ever saw. I imagined the he was going to become my closest friend. My dad, who was much smarter than me, told me to put it back where I found it, instantly. He said that coons would always become mean. That they are too smart and can never really be trained. They almost always become biters and they can never be trusted. The best pet is a neutered male. But, the females always get mean. That was back before I understood all the wild animal mating rituals. Now, I understand that Mommas, as a rule, don’t put up with much of anything, but getting their own way.

Most of my family had wild animal pets through the years. All of my uncles had pet deer at one time. The deer were released and allowed to be on the ranch, but it was well understood that they were not to be trusted in any way. Just the other day I read that somebody had been killed by his own pet deer. Two bucks got in a fight and gored him to death.

It’s alright to love wild animals, but they don’t make good pets. There are exceptions, that I won’t tell you about, because I don’t want you out gathering up my wild friends just to make yourself happy. Most of the pets that my family and I had were orphans of some kind. So, it was a choice to raise them and turn them loose or let them die. One of the cutest, but least likely to be a good pet, is a river otter. I’ve handled one as a baby, but never raised one. My cousin Oregon even had a pet 'Possum. It's teeth looked like little needles and it had two or three different sets of canine teeth on the way to the back of it's mouth. You didn't want to hurt its feelings, or it would play dead. All those teeth and it's defence mechinism is to "Play Possum".

So, I guess what I trying to say is that I understand The Laytonville Bear Lady. But alas, I also understand that a person really can’t tame a bunch of wild bears. The have a tendency to become overBEARing.

The Following is from the A.P.
UKIAH, Calif. — A woman who turned her rural Northern California home into a spa for wild bears won't go to jail after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor charge of feeding big game.

After Lynne Gravier entered her plea in Mendocino County Superior Court on Monday, Judge Richard Henderson set her sentencing date for three years from now, on Aug. 8, 2014, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. If Gravier stays out of trouble and stops feeding bears, prosecutors agreed to drop the charge then.

Gravier, 77, known as the "Bear Woman," set up a plush hangout for her furry friends at her 40-acre Laytonville property, complete with a kiddie pool and a buffet of cornmeal and peanut butter sandwiches, sometimes laced with glucosamine to ease the arthritis pain in older bears.

Authorities who raided the property in response to neighbor complaints last August found a total of 15 black bears who regularly relaxed inside Gravier's house and on her deck. She also fed 18 cats, three dogs, 40 peacocks and other wildlife out of her home, which was covered in filth.

California Department of Fish and Game wardens called it the worst example of bear feeding they had ever encountered.
Gravier's supporters protested her prosecution, defending her as an animal lover. But neighbors complained that she drew in bears that terrorized the community by breaking into homes, ransacking feed sheds and chasing livestock.

"This lady may have thought she was doing a good thing," Mendocino County District Attorney David Eyster told the Chronicle. "We don't want to bash her, but we have to get her attention and get her to recognize that her feeding the bears was causing a problem for the neighbors and, frankly, is dangerous."

Under the terms set by prosecutors, Gravier may not return to her Laytonville property. The house was condemned last year.

"The end result to me was very positive," Gravier said. "I'm glad that it is over and I can go on."


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Petite-Three Ernie Sandwiches and Beer.

Well.... Recipe to go with beer :

Sandwich depicted NOT Ernie sandwich.

When eating Ernie sandwiches with beer, it’s best to try to appear like it is elegant…

Sprinkle a little powdered chicken stock on the sliced ham and let it marinate in the refrig overnight, or longer, no biggie. Or you can do like I do. I usually don't think about it in time to marinate, so I rub the dry chicken stock into the ham vigorously. Then pretend that it has been elegantly marinated. I know, I should be calling it maranaDe, because it's more elegant.

Fry the ham in hot oil to seal in the juices. Caramelize the surface slightly.

Use Raisin Bread. Toast the raisin bread slightly. To what I call soft wiggle.

Spread one piece of toast with Nuefachatel cheese. You can use regular old cream cheese, but lie and say that it is Nuefachatel, because that is more elegant.

Then spread some very thinly sliced Walla Walla onions on top the cream cheese. Regular onions are okay as long as they are mild enough to pretend that they are the very elegant Walla Wallas.

Then, fit a slice of the chicken stock ham over the top of the onions.

Spread the other piece of toast with peanut butter, then spread the jelly on that. The kind of jelly is optional. Apple is always a good choice. Quince is best, and also most elegant. Grape gives a good flavor, but if you want to try something wildly different use Jalapeño jelly, or mint.

Place the jelly side down on top of the slice of ham, I know that you would have done that anyway, but it's an important step. Some people might have made it jelly side out and been disappointed.... Push toothpicks through the sandwich, cut the edges off and set aside to be used later.Then cut the sandwich into 1 inch square pieces. You can be creative and cut them into small triangles and call the “petite-threes” it’s a real conversation starter.

Now place a very large stack of these on a serving tray and place them on a table. Then tell everybody not to touch them that it’s for the PTA fair. (I learned that from my wife)

Grab a frosty mug out of the freezer, and pour a mug of Guiness Beer from the tapper. Hold the Mug by the handle with your little finger extended to the side. That’s the most elegant way to hold it.

The smart people in the crowd will already be stealing the Petite-Three Ernie sandwiches. Then just join the rest of the people eating them. It’s fun to see how long it takes for the dumb people to figure out that they are not going to make it to the PTA fair.

When all of the Petite-threes are gone, put the bowl of edge cuttings on the table because after a few Guiness', any semblance of elegance is gone and people will be glad to have them.

I dirty double dog dare you to try them!

The Humbodt County Fair

My favorite part of the fair is the ladies that are proud of their jams and jellies and pies, and peanut butter tuna casseroles.

Also, the kids with their lips quivering, because they are just about to sell their animal that they have raised from a baby, and the animal that has become their very best friend in the whole world, who has patiently listened to all their problems.

And, the dads that are proud of their kids, because the have raised them to be tough and face the reality of the world that we live in, the good, the bad, and the ugly, and go forward with their chins up.

I just love people… even the ones that sometimes make me mad. What better place than the Fair to soak in the real world.
Humboldt County Fair Home Page

Monday, August 8, 2011

What time in history would you want to live?

As many of you know, I spend a lot of time thinking about the good old days, but would I choose to live back then? Think of any time in history that would you go back to, and live there, if you were stuck there and could never return. This is a difficult question for me, because without modern medicine I probably would have been dead about three times now. Once when I was eight years old I was hospitalized with pneumonia, modern medicine saved my life. Actually I might have lived, but it was a lot more fun to just get well. I had pneumonia another time about 15 years ago. When I get sick, I'm too stupid to slow down and take care of myself, so I end up turning a simple cold into something much more serious like pneumonia. Chances are real good that I might have lived both times.

Eight years ago, I had prostate Cancer. The Big "C". I had brachytherapy, that's where they fill your prostate with radioactive "seeds". I have about 120 of them. It felt like I was shot in the rear end with a shotgun. Which, I guess that, literally.. I was. I didn't miss a days work. Something is just wrong about having the big "C" one day, and be cured the next. I spend a lot of time feeling guilty that it was such a small thing for me. I spend a lot of time thinking about what the Indian people would have done with prostate cancer. A lot of their "cures" was done with tobacco smoke.

I have heard stories that the American Indian had a cure for all of the diseases that they got, up until the white man showed up. The diseases that the white man had killed them readily, with no defense.

The Indians had a dance called "The Ghost Dance" which was really a prayer dance for the white man to go away, and they could return to better times. I've often wondered, how many Indians would return to the times before white man today? My good friend, relative, and Humboldt county supervisor, Harry Pritchard said that when the Indians were given hunting and fishing rights, they were standing naked in the riffles netting and stabbing fish with pointy sticks. A far cry from today, where that they have every technology known to man. But, I read in The Two River tribune that they Indian People on the Klameth have a better chance of saving the salmon than the rest of America, and they have a few good ideas as to how to achieve that goal. I would like to see a few of their pratices brought to the South Fork Of the Eel. Like the deep water holes that they are digging in the river gravel to provide real fish habitat.

But, I digress, but you knew that. I was talking to a fellow today about what time in history that he would chose to live, or would he stay right here, today, with all of our problems. He said that he wanted a big-screen TV the size of his whole living room wall, A leather Lazy-Boy and a remote control that would take him to look at anytime in history, any place in the world. He could go view the Han Dynasty in China and watch Gengus Khan awhile, then he could watch Atilla The Hun, on to Julius Ceasar. Then maybe watch King Henry the Eighth, maybe skip back to watch the Crusades. Or, the "taming" of Amerca. All from his overstuffed Lazy-Boy recliner. He could even go to Disneyland.

Sadly, I think that I would chose "here and now". One, it's better than dead, which I would be by now any other time in history. If I could visit anywhere or time, then come back. I would probably choose The British Isles. Go to a real Elizibetian theater. Go to Ireland and have an original Guiness beer. Or follow my great grandfather Cull on his trip across the great plains, to find out what really happened to him. Was he killed by Indians as we have all been told, or was he bushwacked by white scoundrels?

Where would you go, and would you chose to stay if you could never come home again?

OMG!!! The reel Suzy Blah Blah dropds a nodte!!

A while back, missing what I thought was the real Suzy Blah Blah, while dealing with what I perceived to be an interloper Suzy, I did a blog post about “The Legend of Suzy Blah Blah”.

Being a person that only deals with tangibles, and reality, I picked up that the recent commenter claiming to be Suzy couldn’t possibly be the real Suzy Blah Blah. She just couldn’t pass the hammer test.  The interloper Suzy is also very intelligent and witty, and her comments are welcomed by us all… But she just ain’t  “the real Suzy”.

So, at a time in my life, when I seriously need some reality, like only the real Suzy Blah Blah can bring me. She shows up like an answer to my thoughts in the wind. It was like she knew that I needed a little of those two “same things,” Love and Understanding. It’s enough to make a person believe in that spirit stuff.

Now, and I hope that the real Suzy is still reading, because Most of us on this blog find that our concerns are with you. Please tell us that you are okay and doing well. My heart wrenched and I felt the lonely anguish of a Humboldt Co. country girl hitchhiking in the L.A. rain. We all hope that you and your child are happy and well.

Reading the “Real Suzy Blah Blah” is like ready poetry. You have to look past the words on the page, to the feelings and “spirit” within them.

I moved her comments to the front page here, for the few of us who love the real Suzy.

suzy blah blah has left a new comment on your post "The legend of Suzy Blah Blah":

really?!! omgosh, that's embarrassing, LOL! but i love you fro making time to read it all. whew, i don't even have time to shit these days, not to mention burning sage, theres so little time, I put my kid to bed and i'm exhausted. but i relax somethimes typing and it looks like i have a few minutes to thank youuu Charlie, that's so sweet to hear. Theres been a lot of raven activity around here, very noisy. Maybe its your prayers coming through. I havto listen harder, or maybe not try to listen, . . . CAW! CAW!

thats so cewl that you made your fortune the white mans stock market LOL. it makes me smile. And i'm praying for your continuing health and that there are no relapses. Smoke that medicine. It must be awesome where you are in neveada. I love the desert, sooooo quiet and with a such a big night amazing sky. And cowboyss wearing guns to Wallmart LOL. It sounds good.

You know, I had my friend write the Suzy comments fair a spell, so it looks like everyone seems to think it wasn't me, suzy, but they don't get it. this one and the other one are both Suzy ie Suzy is one ,, LOL That's the REAL legend. Peolpe get legend confused with history. but in legend there is no linear time * line ... one doesn't come before or after the other because the other isn't in linear time ... another words you could read the old suzy comments in any order you want, you could ever read them upside down and you'd still get the same "message?", or maybe i should say "mess". LOL///

-And so that's it.
When i fierst met Ernie i parked in a position which he called "behind his truck" (but what's behind to some is in front of to another) and to his way of thinking, i blocked him in, theat was a red flag. I thought he was one of his employees when he asked me to move out of the way, and then later he said on the bolg all apalogetic, that it was him, doing business LOL@ ... I was totally surprized. I'd pictured him really really differantly. That's how visionary i am LOL

so maybe you read about hhat in the archives, i think he tried to give me a special free downtown parking spot ..LOL@ you know parking is a major problem, specially when ppl park behind you hmph. but if it's suzy that's differant cuz i'm a "legend" and everybody love Suzy (in that chapter), well, I wrot e to Ernie, " use your imagination" LOL. I wasn't really surprixed hwen he didn't get it. He always presents himself real nice though, in his misinterpretings of hte legend. Thing is, if Thay aren't "behind" you, and if theyre not next to you, they must be in front of you. right? LOL Thats what a history minded person will never understand. Because they can only understand things in order. I knew a watch repairman once who was an example of some one like that, everything needed to be in a strict order for him to have understanding of it. And it was him i was thinking of when i said, " And sometime i think love and understanding are close to hte same thing" LOL!!!!!!!
and Ernie loved that line enough to hang it on his wall LOL, thats what is cwel about misunderstanding legends. Its a whole different understanding when it comes to bullshitstory. Ha, Love and understanding? Is that from the old temstament? or was it otis redding? Whatever. 

But a historian trying to historify a legend by misunderstanding the basic mystery of communication from the heart, er i mean from the start, ie REAL communication, because there IS no start, or end, to a legend except in peoples minds ... and chief seattle said the longest journey youll ever take is from the mind to the heart. But he never had to hitchhike through LA in the rain, LOL, but anyway, Charlie, thats what i mean by suzy being one. The changeless one.

but it laate now and i haveto say a bloggy goodnight to yuo. bye bye from ms american pie.
love yu charlie two crows' straight from my heart to your heart from the true, froom the legendary,\
from the one and only,
suzy blah blah


In My "Real World" watch makers don't know diddley, you have to know how to build refrigerators to be "really" wise. In My real world Ottis Redding is the old testament.
Wishing you well,
Ernie and the rest of us

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Guns, Or more acurately, Firearms.

Since I was a small child, guns were a part of my life. Guns were a very normall part of my life, and I grew up with no fear of guns, but a great respect for them. I know that I feel quite differently about guns than some people. There is such a wide variety of opinions when it comes to guns. So, I want to warn people not to make comments on this blog that might create problems for you, for instance, do not brag that you might have the first 44 Colt that was ever made, and it is still in the original carton, and it has never been fired, and it is worth four million dollars. Somebody might decide that they want it more than you, and you might have to shoot the guy with the first bullet out of your 44 Colt and ruin it's value.

Try to talk about guns in generic terms, and not brag about your 1000 firearm collection. Unless of course that you want to. I will say that I'm a gun owner, I won't say where, or what state of readiness that I keep them. Well okay, one of the lever action guns that I own, won't action smoothly because I haven't cleaned it in thirty years, but it's a gun to fondle, hold, and talk about anyway. But, I might have a sweet little, well oiled and polished,  pearl handled, nickle, 32 cal auto. I'd have to show it to you before you could see it. So, think about what you say and whether you really want my millions of readers to know about your guns.

When a person is raised with guns on a ranch, or farm, like I was, there is always talk about gun safety. I remember one phrase, "gunpowder and alcohol don't mix". I would imagine My dad hand loading ammunition and try to mix some alcohol in the gunpowder. Finally I just had to say, "that doesn't make any sense, why would anybody say that, I don't understand." My grandmother told me "when you get old enough to drink, you will understand". Sure enough she was right, I now understand that drinking and mixing firearms are not a good idea.

When I was a kid my dad had a Winchester bolt action 22 cal. rifle with a five shot clip that I thought of as mine. It had a four power scope that I had sighted in at 100 feet, which is where I did most of my shooting. the gun was completely accurate. I remember that I would take it most places that I went. I took it to my dads logging show when I was about ten years old. The Guys on the landing were taking turns shooting it. We  had set up a "Lucky Lager" beer carton about 80 feet away. They make a perfect target. I was lucky enough to find a Lucky Lager beer can on the net to show you why they made such great targets. The "T" in "dated" was the target sweet spot. I was 16 years old before I saw a round target with the "X" ring in the middle. Anyway, when it was my turn, I took the "T" out and put four more bullets in the same whole. I was so proud of myself that I almost smiled.....  but, nobody on the crew would believe that I did put all five bullets in the "T". But... But... Reallllllyyyyy! I was crestfallen that nobody believed that I had done that. My dad told me later that they were just being asshole loggers. I still don't know if he was just being nice, or if they really knew that I had "Teed" the target.

When Kids grew up in the South Fork Eel Canyon, they got to start shooting when they were about 8 years old. I remember killing squirrels and jack rabbits, with my dads supervision, at about eight years old. Kids usually got their first 22 caliber rifle at about twelve years old. They got their first "Real gun" when they were about 16. Most of the people that I know that got their very first "real gun" at sixteen, treasured the rifle the rest of their life, and they would not part with it for love nor money. Literally! Most of you that got their first real gun will bear me out. It is their one priceless treasure.

My dad when he was about sixteen went to a turkey shoot in Laytonville with his dad Grampa Roy. There was a guy at the turkey shoot that had a gun like dad wanted. It was a 250-3000 Savage lever action. They had just produced the gun, and one of it's big features was that it would shoot a bullet over 3000 feet per second. He thought that was about the finest gun he had ever seen. The man with the gun could not hit the target. My grandfather said "why don't you let my kid sight it in for you?" "No", the man said that, "it wouldn't do no damn good to sight it in". He went on to cuss the gun some more, and he made the statement: "if the kid can even hit the target with it, I'll give the God-damn thing to him."

So, there were two rites of passage for a Eel canyon kid, his first 22 cal and his first real gun. My dad went on to win many turkey shoots with the 250. All of my family were very good shots. My Dad Everett, my uncle Ben, and my uncle Edwin were a good shots. back in the '50s there was a turkey shoot somewhere just about every weekend. So, when my dad and uncles could squeeze in a turkey shoot, they would. It got real humorous, because when my dad and uncles would show up, nobody would shoot against them. The turkey shoot directors would offer them a turkey to leave. They did that for a while, but they decided that was no fun, so they started a "Branscomb shoot". Where the Branscomb were not allowed into the regular shoot, but they made them shoot against each other.  People would come for miles around to watch them shoot. So the turkey shoots got popular again. I would be remiss if I didn't add that a fellow by the name of Shine Sherburn was a famous gun affectionado that did quite well with the turkeys himself. It seems like some of us were raised on deer meat, salmon, and turkeys.

Never draw down on somebody unless you intend to shoot them.
Never fire a warning shot
Every gun is loaded
Never point a gun, not even a toy gun at anybody.