Thursday, December 18, 2014

I have no idea if this is even going to work...

Привіт, українські читачі. Я поняття не мав , це веб -сторінка буде розглядатися в багатьох країнах так багато різних людей . На жаль, як американець , який ніколи не був " через ставок " , я не маю ні найменшого уявлення, що найбільш важливо для вас види історій , мої далекі читачів. Так що, якщо у вас є конкретні теми, які становлять для вас інтерес , прокоментувати тут на сторінці - відповісти на цей пост. Я буду бачити, якщо у мене є можливість щось писати конкретно для вас інтерес і задовольнити тих з вас , хто , здається , найбільше цікавить на сайті.

Вибачте грубий переклад . Я знаю , Google не є досконалим , але я хотів би зробити зусилля, щоб визнати ваших читачів. Сподіваюся, що це має сенс.

Спасибі за читання !

Pryvit, ukrayinsʹki chytachi. YA ponyattya ne mav , tse veb -storinka bude roz·hlyadatysya v bahatʹokh krayinakh tak bahato riznykh lyudey . Na zhalʹ, yak amerykanetsʹ , yakyy nikoly ne buv " cherez stavok " , ya ne mayu ni naymenshoho uyavlennya, shcho naybilʹsh vazhlyvo dlya vas vydy istoriy , moyi daleki chytachiv. Tak shcho, yakshcho u vas ye konkretni temy, yaki stanovlyatʹ dlya vas interes , prokomentuvaty tut na storintsi - vidpovisty na tsey post. YA budu bachyty, yakshcho u mene ye mozhlyvistʹ shchosʹ pysaty konkretno dlya vas interes i zadovolʹnyty tykh z vas , khto , zdayetʹsya , naybilʹshe tsikavytʹ na sayti.

Vybachte hrubyy pereklad . YA znayu , Google ne ye doskonalym , ale ya khotiv by zrobyty zusyllya, shchob vyznaty vashykh chytachiv. Spodivayusya, shcho tse maye sens.

Spasybi za chytannya !

6 Years and Counting...

This site has now been active for over six years. Over the years I've spent thousands on weapons and upgrades, several hundred dollars on ammunition and range fees, countless thousands on fuel to get to and from the range, over a thousand on an internet connection, and nearly a hundred dollars on hosting fees. While only a fraction of that is to maintain and update the site, I've never viewed this as a tax on my enjoyment of keeping the page alive and functioning. I do it for you, as the readers. A service, if you will, to inspire you to shoot and bring others into shooting sports.

I've tried not to beg, or ask for contributions. However, with life changing rapidly in the CouchSniper's hide, the time as come that I ask for you to help out a little bit. You may have noticed advertisements appearing on the page. If you're anything like me, you are likely annoyed by the clutter on the page and wish that we weren't marketed to every place we go. The truth is, that these ads are the only hope for generating revenue for the page. So do me a favor, click on them. I don't care if you read the ad. I don't care if the ad doesn't even pertain to what you enjoy or need in your life. Clicking on the ad registers as a click and it generates the tiniest, most miniscule amount of income for the page.

In six years, we're up to a grand total of $15.67. In the last month, ads have been clicked on a total of 6 times. At that rate, I will have to maintain the site for another 100 years to recover a fraction of the effort put into the page. So, I have a favor to ask, if you enjoy the page and like being able to read a new post every now and then, do me a solid and click on the ads. You can close them immediately, it will take you about a half second to double-click to open the ad, and double-click to close it and in an instant you will have contributed to the CouchSniper community we've worked so hard to build.

I know ya'all like the site, because you keep reading it. So do me a favor and help it make a tiny bit of income so I can afford to keep it going. If you start clicking, and it starts making money, maybe I can get some new firearms to try out, or at least buy a box of ammo. I know it is a lot to ask, but I'd greatly appreciate your help. Also, remember you can share this page with your shooting friends. Spread the love. I've kept my promise in keeping this page political diatribe free. It is appropriate for men and women, right-wing or left-wing, and the whole goal is sharing information about shooting and marksmanship. So throw it out there and let's see if we can make this thing worth doing. I'd appreciate it. Thank you for your continued interest and Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Tradition

What seems like a lifetime ago, I was a young kid hoping for an adult to take interest in me. At 14, I was firmly in the grasp of adolescence. A confusing time of hormonal awkwardness. I had begun a growth spurt and was quickly getting taller, but my weight was not keeping up with the height and at 6'2" I was a mere 97 lbs. This just added to the feeling that I was too awkward for anyone to actually care.

My Mom had just married a guy who was a good bit younger than she was. He was in between the two of us in age, and I was a bit enamored with the guy. To me, he represented everything that was "cool." He hunted, he built demolition derby cars, he had a sick and twisted sense of humor always making the most inappropriate jokes at the most inappropriate time. He was about the coolest guy I had ever met.

Our first thanksgiving, after moving in with him, he woke me up at 4:30 in the morning. He had crept in quietly, carefully trying not to disturb my younger brother who was asleep in the adjacent room. He shook my foot and asked in a whisper, "how do you want your coffee?"

"Huh," I responded sleepily, wiping the crusts of sleep from my eyes.

"Dress warm," he said in a hushed tone, "and hurry up."

I crawled out of bed and put on a pair of long underwear, threw on my favorite pair of well-broken in jeans and grabbed my favorite flannel from the closet. I crept upstairs curious as to what we were possibly doing at such an ungodly hour on Thanksgiving morning. When I got to the top of the stair case, he was putting the lid on a 32 oz. coffee cup. He gestured to the gun cases behind him, resting against the wall, and said, "grab those, let's go."

We drove to a field he hunted to the north of town. It was a crisp November morning in Colorado. As the sun broke the horizon, we zipped our hunting jackets and pulled the gun cases from behind the seat in his tiny white Ford Ranger. The morning dew was turning to a steamy vapor that rose slowly off the field. He opened a box of duck loads and handed me half of them. "You probably won't need em' all," he said, "but let's go see if we can get a bird for dinner."

He pulled his old Remington 870 out of one of the cases and rested it against the truck as he pulled an 1100 from another case. "Which one," he asked, pointing at the shotguns resting against the truck.

"Your 870," I said with a smile, like I was about to get by with something.

"I was hoping you'd say that," he said with a grin.

We spent the entirety of that morning walking the field. We traipsed through tall grasses trying to scare up pheasant. We walked the slough in search of ducks. It felt like we covered miles that morning and it didn't matter a bit to me how far we walked. Here I was, finally having an authentic "father/son" experience like the ones I had heard about my whole life from the stories of my peers and my extended family members. It was finally happening. Had something jumped, I probably wouldn't have even tried to shoot at it. I was just content to be there. I felt like I was taking part in a right of passage.

We walked another field after that one failed to turn up any fowl. When things seemed hopeless, he scared up a pheasant and downed it on the first shot. We gave each other an approving high five and carried our quarry to the truck, smiling from ear to ear. When we got home, we picked the burs from our clothes and he showed me how to clean a pheasant. He had me stick my thumb through the skin and pull it back to expose the meat. It was almost more than I could bare and I could feel something rising in my throat. He must have seen me turn a bit green and took the bird from me, finishing it like a professional in a matter of seconds.

He showed me how to identify where the shot had entered the meat and we picked out as many of the bb's as we could find. He prepped the bird, stuck it in the oven and it joined the turkey that mom had spend the last several days preparing for thanksgiving dinner. So began what would be our thanksgiving tradition. From that point on, any time we could sneak away, Bob would load me up, grab the guns and we'd spend hours walking a field, chasing up whatever we could. Sometimes we went for dove, sometimes we'd score a rabbit. Sometimes we'd come home empty handed and yet somehow content.

I learned pretty quickly that "the hunt" wasn't about what you come home with. It was about the chance to get away from the chaos of the world. It was an attempt to find a bit of solace. To walk quietly with nature as the apex predator in the environment. We didn't have to shoot. Walking through the field was usually the point of it all.

He always seemed to have a new hunting story to share on our trips. Sometimes it was serious, a lesson or moral to be noted from his past experience. Sometimes it was just something funny, a "no-matter-what-don't-do-this," kind of tale from a mistake he had once made, like being so excited that the bird was scared out of the brush that you forget to think past the target and end up shooting your own truck. He was great about taking advantage of "teaching moments" and I learned a lot about hunting, shooting, and stalking prey from those cold winter mornings in the field.

Most of all, thanksgiving took on a whole new meaning. Thanksgiving was my morning. The one morning a year that Bob would creep into my bedroom before the sun and wake me gently to say, "hey, what do you want in your coffee." I don't think anything since has made me feel more special. In the end, their relationship didn't last, and several years ago, after a career in welding had destroyed Bob's veins and lungs, he chose to end his own life. The tragedy of it all aside, I'll never forget Bob or our thanksgiving "tradition." Maybe one day, I'll start a similar tradition with a young awkward kid and it will become something he looks forward to each year. That one ritual that makes the awkwardness of adolescence half-ass bearable.