Monday, January 3, 2011

A View to a Kill

Here we's Duran Duran week!

I may have to take a break for my 100th...yes, 100th blog! This is number 94, by the way...

If you have read all of them...well, you surely have better things to do, but if you have, I truly love you for it.

So a view to a kill...get ready, this is a "past memories/stories" blog.

Because today I didn't do much in the way of killing MYSELF except my early walk (still doing the "before breakfast" the way, it was C-O-L-D) and an hour on the arc trainer. Dimples and spin are on board tomorrow.

Weight...not budged...

I'm about to kill the scale.

Dimples will have his hands full tomorrow...but being my positive optimist, he will remind me to be happy that I didn't GAIN any weight during the holidays either.

No, I will not kill Dimples...just the scale...this isn't his fault. My body is rebelling. He has plans to "knock me off center" and get the weight sliding down again...I'm afraid to ask so I have told him to give it to me in small doses.

I'm mostly afraid he is going to kill the wine!

My favorite cousin, Awesome Mike, posted a photo the other day from his hunt at the ranch. He mentioned tamales on the brought back some memories.

My dad loved to hunt and was an expert marksman. My mother wasn't bad with a gun either. Most of us inherited their talents with a gun. I've mentioned my sisters and I blowing out the competition for riflery at camp, and my brother was as good or better.

My dad loved to hunt. He shot quail, turkeys, dove, deer, exotic game and once, on a trip to Africa, he shot an elephant. The elephant was at the request of the game was old and very sick and charging the camp so they gave my father the honor of putting him (the elephant) out of his misery. My father said it was a very solemn and spiritual kill...and devestating all the same. As much as he loved to hunt, putting down something as mighty as a big bull elephant was not trivial...and it affected him to do it.

But most of my dad's hunting was at the ranch and mostly it was South Texas white-tailed deer.

He made us go hunting. And he made us all kill a buck. I cried my eyes out after I shot mine and begged God to make it get up. I only shot one other deer after that and that was enough. I have no problem with hunting...I just don't enjoy it. At least not deer. I have no problem with killing pigs or javelinas---javalinas killed my beloved dog Lambchop so I don't much care for the smelly things. Only shot was enough...that was payback.

Hunting on the ranch was always an experience. My father would bribe us with thermoses full of hot chocolate and tamales. He would heat up the tamales on the manifold of the suburban. We would stop after a while and have a picnic in the car...that was always the highlight of the day.

My dad had a hunting was an old Tornado that he tricked out to hunt out of. He had the roof and doors removed and had big gun scabbards mounted on the side. We loved to ride in that car. Once he had it painted (temporarily) as the Bat Mobile and picked me and my sister up from high school. She was mortified, I thought it was awesome...and yes, he was dressed as Batman when he did it.

When we got a Suburban, my father had the King Ranch Saddle Shop custom make him a bed liner for the back of the suburban so he could toss the deer back there. He removed the third seat and would buckle in the liner and off we would go. Some people have special areas at the front of the truck to haul deer with but on the King Ranch, with all of the bump gates, it was best to just toss them in the back.

Bump gate = gate that you gently "bump" with the front of your car and it swings open...and you have to drive carefully so that it doesn't spin around and hit the back of your vehicle.

My dad would kill something and toss it in the back. The hooves of the animal would hit us on the head as we drove home.

Not a cool feeling...

Neither were the ticks we would usually pick up while hunting...

I told my cousin that it is a wonder we weren't scarred for life from it all...

I was always afraid the deer was not going to really be dead and was going to stand up and charge about in the car, but my father assured me that would never happen as he had removed the entrails from the animal before he tossed it in the back...I guess you don't get up if you don't have a heart...

One of my dad's friends, Dick, always had to kill the biggest buck on their annual hunting trips. Dick would drive everyone crazy with his need for the "big one".

So one year, my dad decided to fix him.

He found some deer that died or was dying from natural causes. So he and his partner in crime took the animal to the taxidermist and had him stuff it so that the front of the animal was stiff...and he had him leave a hole in it.

Into that hole he stuffed...dynamite.

So he has his friend Peyton go and put the fake deer (well, it was a REAL deer but no longer alive) into some brush so it looked like a big buck emerging from the brush.

Daddy took his time driving Dick around and finally arrived at the spot where they could "find" the big buck. Daddy points it out to Dick and tells him to take a shot.

Dick shoots...

The deer blew up...or rather, the dynamite made the deer blow up.

According to Peyton, that deer went sky high.

Dick freaked out...Daddy started yelling at him telling him that he must have shot the Exxon gasline on the ranch.

Dick freaked out...

And then Daddy died laughing. He said he laughed for a full 10 minutes before he admitted it all to Dick.

Dick got a new nickname...

Dynamite Dick...

Years later when my father had his own ranch he hired one of my favorite men on the planet to be his wildlife manager and Vice President and Director or Ranch Operations. This man, and I will use his real name because he is sooooo awesome, is named Bob Cook. You will find his name on monuments and things around the state because after my father lost his ranch Bob went on to become the Director of Texas Parks and Wildlife.

Bob and my father were also notorious partners-in-crime. They spent hours and hours creating perfect hunting in Hunt and Montana. My dad didn't just like to hunt, he cared about the wildlife on his properties...and cared enough to hire someone who knew what the hell he was doing with that wildlife.

Bob has stories...I don't know all of them...and I'm a little afraid to!

One thing my father did exceptionally well...he found GOOD people to surround himself with...and Bob is/was no exception.

Even if he (Bob) once took me into a cave full of bats...

I wanted to kill him for that.

I'm off to bed...I have a couple of workouts that will kill me tomorrow so I plan to rest up and get ready.

The scale might move...or it might not...but I won't let it keep me from doing everything I should to have a healthy, good day...and the only thing I plan on killing is calories!

Inspiration Song: "A View to a Kill" by Duran Duran...we'll just have to see what tomorrow brings...but it will be Duran Duran...

Bye Darlings...and don't be killing anything but your own calories!

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