2018 Adventure in Bad Deer Hunting

I have posted in the past about how bad of a deer hunter I am (here and here for example) and I have posted about my desire in deer hunting, to harvest the weak and stupid.  Weak, young, and stupid deer fear me, the strong and healthy just laugh at me and I’m just fine with that. After all, I know I’m a lousy deer hunter.

This week was gun deer season and as typical I was very excited about it because I like to read in the woods as I try to shrink the Wisconsin “rats with antlers” (i.e. deer) herd. In the previous weeks I had spent a fair amount of time in Eric & Natalie G’s woods bow hunting. I saw deer while bow hunting but none were within my 30 yard comfortable range for bow hunting. So I was ready to hunt and read on their property during gun season. Opening day came last Saturday and early in the morning I was ready in the tree stand with coffee, snacks, and reading material.

The sun rose and instead of reading I looked up to see two deer walking toward me, I watched them slowly walk closer and closer for about 40 minutes. I then determined that I wanted to take the larger of the two and watched until he was 70 yards away and in the clear. Then I took my shot. The deer jumped straight up, like they often do when the are hit, and darted 5 feet ahead into some brush. I assumed the other deer, which had been ahead of the one I was shooting, had run off into the woods. I sat and waited to make sure the the deer I hit was dead or if I had not hit it as well as I thought and it would ultimately poke its head up or dart off somewhere else. After a minute of watching for him I saw a white tail jump up and run into the clear as it was running away from me. I took another shot and saw it fall down. This time I could see that the deer was dead. So I climbed down and started to walk over to it.

In this photo from earlier in the year you can see the clearing where I shot both the deer (marked by the star) and the brush that is around it.

When I walked past the brush I noticed a deer and instantly realized what had happened. Actually I instantly thought to myself “Crud, this is going to be twice as much work.”  I had placed a good kill shot on the first deer, which ran to the brush and fell down dead. The other deer, which I had ignored, had run for cover in the small brush instead of going to the woods like I assumed it had. When it jumped into the clear, from the same brush as my first deer, and started to run away I had assumed it was my first deer and hit it too with a clean clean shot. I had the tags for both deer so it was legal that I had killed two, and didn’t therefore didn’t really matter other than double the work for me for that day and no no longer having a desire to go back out into the woods for the rest of the week.

So my reading took place at home instead. This week I only finished 3 books which is especially light for gun deer/reading season since two of those books were start before gun deer/reading season. Here’s what I read:

Anyhow I have maintained my average of  killing a deer every other year of deer hunting, though I guess I need to phrase it to killing at least one deer every other year.

SIDE NOTE – There was a bald eagle flying low over me as I was field dressing both deer. She was just waiting to get at those gut piles. Thanks to being convicted a few years ago to use lead-free ammo for deer hunting, because of the rampant lead poisoning in eagles from lead based ammo fragments in guts piles, that eagle got a good meal with no harm. If you aren’t using lead-free ammo for deer hunting please consider swapping to it. Lead-free ammo doesn’t cost much more and it won’t poison our national bird.

Quotes from the Image – Blurred Edges of Reality

Thanks to Lindsey I started reading The Image: A Guide to Pseudo-Events in America by historian Daniel J. Boorstin. It has been excellent and I have saved a few quotes from it to randomly post on the blog. It is amazing how predictive Boorstin was (the book was first published in 1962) and how much it has to say about the time we are currently living within.

Here’s one portion that struck me.

UNTIL RECENTLY we have been justified in believing Abraham Lincoln’s familiar maxim: “You may fool all the people some of the time; you can even fool some of the people all the time; but you can’t fool all of the people all the time.” This has been the foundation‑belief of American democracy. Lincoln’s appealing slogan rests on two elementary assumptions. First, that there is a clear and visible distinction between sham and reality, between the lies a demagogue would have us believe and the truths which are there all the time. Second, that the people tend to prefer reality to sham, that if offered a choice between a simple truth and a contrived image, they will prefer the truth.

Neither of these any longer fits the facts. Not because people are less intelligent or more dishonest. Rather because great unforeseen changes — the great forward strides of American civilization — have blurred the edges of reality. The pseudo‑events which flood our consciousness are neither true nor false in the old familiar senses. The very same advances which have made them possible have also made the images — ‑however planned, contrived, or distorted — more vivid, more attractive, more, impressive, and more persuasive than reality itself.

Boorstin’s thought here reminds me of some of Jean Baudrillard‘s thought in his work Simulacra and Simulation. So much of what we consider “real” events and news aren’t real at all but merely simulations of real events and news, and the saddest thing of all is that we prefer the simulation to reality.

The Word for the Week is Narrative

There are things I read and podcasts and lectures that I listen to concerning various subjects that often become a part of any chaplaincy or pastoral conversation I have. This week the word that is continually fitting into my conversations is “narrative”. Specifically I have been talking about the stories that we tell ourselves and others of the events we experience and live through. Those stories determined so much of how we interpret what happens around and to us.

Are we a victim or a survivor? Am I a hero or a villain? How I perceive myself effects how I interpret my experience.

I’ll probably write more about this after I have thought about it for awhile. Basically we are very much the product of the stories we tell about ourselves and the events we are a part of.

One of the reasons for this is a segment from the wonderful podcast To the Best of Our Knowledge. The segment is “The Positive Side of Pain“.

SIDE NOTE – An unrelated and equally awesome podcast is Hidden Brain.  I listened to their episode concerning poverty and “mental bandwidth” this week and it was wonderful. Here it is – “Tunnel Vision“.

SIDE NOTE – I regularly see wild turkeys in our neighborhood while walking Clive but today there were three toms blown up and strutting in the road. Unfortunately you can barely see them in this video. You can see the turkeys, just not when they were strutting.  The annoying mic noise comes from the fact that I had my earphones in and the earphone mic was rubbing against my jacket.

The Enemy of Knowledge

The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.

During a report on his death I heard this quote  attributed to Stephen Hawking.  I can’t find an attribution for Hawking, though I did find a Quote Investigator article discussing the quote’s origin, attributing it to historian Daniel Boorstin with earlier influences saying basically the same thing. No matter who wrote/said it I really like the point that is being made.

Eric Weiner Quote – Self-Help Industrial Complex

I am reading “Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World” by Jane McGonigal right now. It’s pretty good though I think the show Black Mirror serves as a counter-argument to most of what she is suggesting concerning games “fixing” reality. In the chapter I just finished she shared this quote from Eric Weiner (from his work “The Geography of Bliss“:

The self-help industrial complex hasn’t helped. By telling us that happiness lives inside us, it’s turned us inward just when we should be looking outward. Not to money but to other people, to community and to the kind of human bonds that so clearly are the sources of our happiness.

In my opinion there is a lot of truth in that quote.

SIDE NOTE – the photo associated with this post is from one of Tapestry’s breakfasts at various local restaurants.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech

I’ve been busy most of the day, but was able to come home earlier than planned because of a curling schedule mix up. So while sitting with Pam and Noah on our coach watching the Warriors and Cavaliers play I thought it would be a good moment to read something from Dr. King. I decide on his Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech which I haven’t read in years.

You can read the transcript of it here or watch the video on it above. I’ll quote one section of his speech:

I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right temporarily defeated is stronger than evil triumphant. I believe that even amid today’s mortar bursts and whining bullets, there is still hope for a brighter tomorrow. I believe that wounded justice, lying prostrate on the blood-flowing streets of our nations, can be lifted from this dust of shame to reign supreme among the children of men. I have the audacity to believe that peoples everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture for their minds, and dignity, equality and freedom for their spirits. I believe that what self-centered men have torn down men other-centered can build up. I still believe that one day mankind will bow before the altars of God and be crowned triumphant over war and bloodshed, and nonviolent redemptive good will proclaim the rule of the land. “And the lion and the lamb shall lie down together and every man shall sit under his own vine and fig tree and none shall be afraid.” I still believe that We Shall overcome!

Bonhoeffer Quote – Celebrate Christmas Correctly

Who among us will celebrate Christmas correctly? Whoever finally lays down all power, all honor, all reputation, all vanity, all arrogance, all individualism beside the manger; whoever remains lowly and lets God alone be high; whoever looks at the child in the manger and sees the glory of God precisely in his lowliness.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, God in the Manger, p. 26

Quote from Charlatan – But in a Sense, I Think, They are Tragic.

This quote was in “Charlatan: America’s Most Dangerous Huckster, the Man Who Pursued Him, and the Age of Flimflam” which I finished today. The quote is talking about “the goat gland doctor” J.R. Brinkley but it reminded me of our present time.

It must be a terrible thing to have keep telling the world how great you are and to want so badly to achieve what is really impossible. We have much to fear from these people, but in a sense, I think, they are tragic.

The book was a pretty fascinating read on a quack doctor who is probably responsible for country music and whose influenced helped rock music spread (his border blaster radio station definitely nationalized the then regional country music, we have the Carter Family thanks to him, and was eventually replaced by the likes of Wolfman Jack and other border blaster rocks stations). He was definitely a crock but the creativity of his con jobs was quite impressive.

“Sabbath As Resistance” Quote

We are left, I suggest, with the question of how to break the lethal cycle of acquisitiveness. And so, in the context of our more general discussion, I wish to situate the tenth commandment in the context of the fourth commandment on Sabbath. Sabbath is the practical ground for breaking the power of acquisitiveness and for creating a public will for an accent on restraint. Sabbath is the cessation of widely shared practices of acquisitiveness. It provides time, space, energy, and imagination for coming to the ultimate recognition that more commodities, which may be acquired in the rough and ready of daily economics, finally do not satisfy. Sabbath is variously restraint, withdrawal, or divestment from the concrete practices of society that specialize in anxiety. Sabbath is an antidote to anxiety that both derives from our craving and in turn feeds those cravings for more. Sabbath is an arena in which to recognize that we live by gift and not by possession, that we are satisfied by relationships of attentive fidelity and not by amassing commodities. We know in the gospel tradition that we may indeed “gain the whole world” and lose our souls (Mark 8:34–37). Thus Sabbath is soul-receiving when we are in a posture of receptivity before our Father who knows we need them (Luke 12:30).

Sabbath as Resistance: Saying No to the Culture of Now” by Walter Brueggemann