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Do young Americans have what it takes to keep America?

Observing young Americans in all the various activities we all engage in, including work places, one has to wonder if they are capable of holding on to America.

They take so much for granted, and also seem unaware of what it took to both build America and hold on to it.

If a young person has a smart phone, a five dollar coffee, and the correct cool hat, nothing flusters them. The world turns, no matter what the problem.

Problem? “What me worry” is the universal young person response.

Will a young person put on an American military uniform? Or do the Millennials think the totalitarian Chinese are our friends? The Chinese will put a bullet in the head of every openly gay, religious, and freedom & liberty-loving person who stands in their way of complete domination. Millennials don’t seem to understand this.

And the workplace environments and cultures they have created are the opposite of what is needed to be creative and experimental. Everything you say or do is booby-trapped, every office is a mine field of potential socially awkward or professionally self-immolating speech or thought crimes.

To them, Socialism is great and capitalism is just terrible and so so unfair. Never mind that the coffee, clothes, and iPhone smart phone thingy are products of capitalism that undergirds everything these young people enjoy.

If this sounds like the proverbial “kids these days” old man gripe, then it is. That gripe gained popularity after World War II, when material and physical comforts were becoming ubiquitous and American youth generally had much less work to do to achieve basic necessities. Like Aldo Leopold wrote, Americans got soft as soon as soon as they could get heat from a switch and a furnace, and they no longer had to cut firewood.

Material success has its benefits, for sure, but the accompanying materialism and soft, superficial culture resulting from it is just as deadly as a nuclear bomb or a secret poison. It just takes longer for the materialism toxin to work.

I don’t know. I’m not real optimistic about the Millennial generation. They’ve been shooting each other in schools at record levels, and simultaneously hostile toward responsible gun ownership and the Constitution that preserves that and all our other individual rights. They like everything given to them, especially by government, and really don’t want to have to pay for it. They think a country can just be a big happy coffee shop.

Kids, there’s no free lunch, not even a cup of free coffee.

Still the chief of Celtic music: The Chieftains at 57

Local York Scots Bagpipers Brigade joined local York Chorale members and then audience members with The Chieftains and the Piltazke Brothers in a long snake dance that ended the performance

The local York, PA, bagpipers all dressed up in their Scottish tartans, participating with The Chieftains in a typical sharing of Celtic culture and music, to the audience’s delight

Last night the Princess of Patience and I ventured not too far down the road to the Appell-Strand Theater in York, Pennsylvania. It is a venue we have visited over the years for a variety of music types for the adults, and high-end children’s entertainment for the kids. It is a clean, pretty, historic place right in historic downtown York, easy to access, lots of free parking, and when you are done, it is easy to leave. Fellow patrons are easy, chatty, friendly, happy, and the lady I sat next to, a Lori Sims of Hanover, PA, cheerily shared gardening tips with me and disclosed her yearning for Spring to finally arrive so her garden could get under way. Then again, no wonder: she has a TWO-ACRE GARDEN.

What we witnessed last night is one of those rare moments where, if you have been lacking in faith in humanity for whatever reason, it would be restored immediately. We watched The Chieftains do what they do best: Play sweet Celtic music combined with amazing Irish dance, and incorporating local talent in a pub-like atmosphere of fellow music chums just kind of jamming along with each other in the spirit of the moment. It would be the best of what you would find at the Temple Bar today.

So here is Chieftains founding father, Paddy Moloney, who must easily be in his 80s, alternately playing both the chipper and then humorously gruff oldster commenter, as well as his own penny whistle and Irish pipes: “Oh sure, ya show-offs,” as the Pilatzke Brothers perform amazing amazing amazing Irish tap dance routines that leave the audience exhausted from the intensity and skill. Serious world-class talent.

Now in 2019, The Chieftains are celebrating their 57th anniversary. Think about that. Fifty-seven years as inspiring performers of not just music, per se, but keepers of traditional culture, Gaelic language, ancient musical instruments, and the music and the rural, undeveloped, natural Irish landscape that binds all that together. It is quite a gift to all of us that they provide. At 57 years of live musical-cultural performances, The Chieftains are an institution, a world heritage institution.

Despite having a stack of Chieftains CDs, I can never really get enough of them, and last night my mind drifted back to one evening in the summer of 1992, during the Celtic Festival at Wolf Trap, in Virginia. The Princess of Patience and I were about to be engaged to be married, and our long-time friend Lori encouraged us to join her at Wolf Trap for that evening. The weather was perfect, the music was perfect, the musicians and performers were perfect, our snacks and wine were perfect, the audience was rapt and enthusiastic. It was all quite perfect. And there they were, now 27 years ago, The Chieftains up on stage, looking a hell of a lot younger than now, and probably having a few more teeth then than now. But still flawlessly performing the same beautiful, inspiring music.

That was the same evening I heard the best-ever joke about the bagpipes, and it is a surprisingly unknown quip, because whenever I pass it along, people respond with great mirth, as if they have never heard it before. I will disclose it here, because I know the three people who read this blog have zero interest in Celtic anything and they will immediately forget this secret to being the star at any dinner party attended by Irish or Scots.

This joke arose as an Irish pipes player dueled with a bagpipes player on stage that evening at Wolf Trap. When played correctly, the Irish pipes are of course the most heart-tugging sound the human ear will encounter. Squared off against the blaring, loud, military-oriented bagpipes, the Irish pipes are like a gentle, sweet whisper versus an aggressive, loud shout.

So after their duel on stage, during which he had played the most mournful, beautiful, inspiring sounds, the Irish pipes player said to his Scotsman counterpart: “You do know, the Irish gave the bagpipes to the Scots. And the Scots never got the joke.”

Cue uproarious audience response and a big grin from the Scotsman. Audience participation in Celtic music is expected, and it is given, as is good-natured banter among the performers.

So, on that same beautiful summer eve 27 years ago, into this good-natured banter with Celtic music and culture stepped The Chieftains, playing with humble passion on the stage at Wolf Trap. And literally over twice as many years later, The Chieftains are still chief, tops among Celtic bands. Thank you for a wonderful night of happy moment after happy moment, guys. Cheers to you, Paddy Moloney, may you see a hundred years, ’cause God knows, why not, you about look it already.

 

Jusse Smollett hoax an inevitable result of 24/7 Fake News industry & why ‘racist’ now a dead term

Jusse Smollett is an aspiring actor who falsely accused some MAGA-hat-wearing “white men” of attempting to lynch him with a rope, because he is black and, therefore, automatically a victim and automatically given credence by a mainstream media eager to promote such stories because such stories advance a political narrative that suits the liberals running the mainstream media.

Problem was, Smollett’s false accusation turned out to be a hugely, ridiculously contrived, utterly false hoax.

So unbelievable, so incredibly disbelievable was it that on a 10-degree-Fahrenheit night in one of downtown Chicago’s best neighborhoods that a couple of mean old white privilege racist MAGA hat wearing men would be prowling, just looking for someone to victimize, that the police were already kind of suspicious of his story.

And the rest is recent and public history: Smollett is a liar, guilty of not only creating the false police report to build up his own public standing, because he is a bit-actor desperately wanting to be a celebrity actor, but of also racistly slandering/maligning an entire group of Americans because of their skin color (white men).

The question is, why did this even happen?

Another question is, why did the national media report his accusation before waiting for the facts to emerge?

The answer to both is painfully simple: Jusse Smollett’s fake accusation racial hoax is a natural byproduct of the 24/7 Fake News mainstream media industry that promotes and protects false accusations and victimhood by favored groups and individuals, while simultaneously protecting racist and sexist liberals and Democrats from being publicly outed for their very real racism and sexism.

Think Judge Kavanaugh being falsely accused by mainstream media darling but obviously disbelievable Blasey Ford.

Think the Rolling Stone story falsely accusing an entire men’s sport team of gang raping a black woman and using racist epithets during the non-deed.

Think of the mattress-carrying college student who destroyed a young man’s life with a false accusation of rape, because he would not date her.

Think of the violent criminal thug Trayvon Martin physically attacking an innocent bystander, receiving a huge dose of justified physical response that left him dead, and yet nonetheless becoming a poster child hero for (totally fake) racism.

Think of the serial rapist and sexual harasser Bill Clinton.

Think of the serial rape and sexual harassment enabler Hilary Clinton.

Both Bill and Hill get total and complete passes from their media chums for their known evil deeds, because they are in the “right” political party.

And think of the recent atomic explosion of Democrat Party malfeasance in Virginia, where nearly every senior Democrat  Party leader there is now proven to be a racist or is seriously alleged to have been a rapist and/or sexist…and yet, the Washington Post and other mainstream media arms of the Democrat Party are doing everything they can to cover for these Democrats, to protect them, to shield them from public scrutiny by explaining away facts or declining to report the facts at all.

A week ago an imbecile congressman named Green actually took to the floor of the US House of Representatives to claim that even the over-the-top Democrat Party racism, rapism, and sexism in Virginia was excusable “because of President Trump.”

For real.

And of course the mainstream establishment legacy media let Mr. Green off the hook by allowing his ridiculous statement to stand unchallenged.

In other words, if you are a Democrat, liberal, or Hollywood celebrity, you get a complete pass from the mainstream media, from Hollywood, and academia: You can be the biggest racist, rapist, sexist, or anti-gay person in your state, you can say and do just about anything, and no matter what, they will all protect you by failing to report the actual facts.

On the other hand, regular Americans just need to have the letter (R) listed after their names, or white skin, and the same mainstream media falsely accuses them of being automatically racist, sexist, anti-gay etc. Even and often especially when the person is none of those things! And even if you are a MAGA hat-wearing teenager minding your own business saying nothing to anyone!

It is a complete and totally contrived double standard, all created by a totally racist and misogynistic Democrat Party and supported by its 24/7 Fake News mainstream media arm.

So into this double-standard environment steps Jusse Smollett, who figures all he has to do is make up a story and the media will run with it, make him a victim, make him a star. And it turns out, Smollett is probably smarter than he appears, because he was right, the media did run the story, with some outlets tossing in an “alleged” or “reported” here and there, but all of them reporting it long before any actual facts were known. They wanted him to be believed.

Smollett’s fake accusation against “MAGA hat wearing white men” is a natural outcome of the totally phony mainstream media’s openly partisan propaganda activism and endless double standards. Smollett’s fake accusation fits right in with all of the fake fake fake accusations and news that have gone on, including the most very racist notion of “white privilege.” Apparently, this is the price Americans must pay from Fake News 24/7.

And the other takeaway from all of these recent events in Virginia, in Hollywood, and in Chicago, is that the white liberals behind the modern Democrat Party have pretty much destroyed the term “racist” by using it for partisan purposes, by repeatedly crying “wolf!” with it.  You cannot use that term again and be believed, and what a shame that is.

It is a shame because there is an entire American political party built on racism and devoted to promoting racism, and it needs to be corrected: That is the Democrat Party.

And that is probably why the Democrat Party has destroyed the believability of racism, to cover the party’s own ongoing racist mis-deeds.

Actor Jusse Smollett: Liar, fake victim, racist. A natural byproduct of the mainstream media’s 24/7 Fake News assault on America.

Speaking of cold weather, here is a wood stove review

Eleven years ago we purchased a new wood burning insert for the big fireplace in the living room. It replaced a small wood burning stove with a blower I had temporarily put there to finally project some real heat into the big space around it. Here is the review of the replacement wood burning insert.

This is an old stone house with beautiful fireplaces upstairs and down, begging to be put to use. Because the 16-inch-thick stone walls have zero insulation, wintertime becomes a simple question of how much energy can you dump into the first floor. The more you dump in, the only marginally more comfortable a person feels. The attic is fully insulated, and there are 1960s storm windows, but these are only part of the efficiency challenge. Basically the place is a big sieve, leaking energy out of every seam, nook, crevice, and old window, so it’s a battle we just won’t win. But with certain types of energy, like wood and coal, we can really keep shoveling it in and enjoy the relatively cheap rewards of abundant heat in one location.

Think of it as a family campfire in the living room.

As I grew up in a rough-sided home that heated only with wood (and where I would see my own breath vapor on winter mornings in my bedroom, because it was the farthest from a heat source), and I grew up splitting tons of wood all summer and fall as one of my chores, running a wood burning stove today is first nature to me. And I like it. Pictures over the years of the entire family snuggled together, asleep on top of and under wild game skins, in front of the fire, makes a dad’s heart grow fond for those early years, before the kids grew up and had their hands out all the time.

Somewhere in the 1970s a gas-burning log insert had been put in this living room fireplace, and we removed it in 2007. It was gaudy, silly looking, and highly vented, which meant it was a show horse and not a work horse. Its heat all went right up the chimney! Ambience? Barely. Heat? Zero.

Though I had my eye set on a QuadraFire 5100 insert, I was sweet talked out of that choice by a stove salesman in Mechanicsburg. He had worked with and for my dad for many years, many years ago, and because of that long relationship I figured he would not lead me astray. Well, that transaction ended up another lesson in “assume nothing,” because the Pacific Energy Summit insert we bought from him just absolutely sucks crap all damned day long. It is nearly trash, and at $5,000 installed, you don’t want or expect trash. It is nowhere near the performance of the QuadraFire, hell it is probably not even the performance of an open campfire.

The primary deficiency with the Pacific Energy Summit is it has a single rudimentary air intake, up front and center. Theoretically this location draws in fresh air across the fire and out the back as the gases are vented around the baffle and up the chimney, theoretically resulting in an even burn that consumes all the wood and produces a lot of heat.

Well, the Summit is a lesson in failed theory, because this one single source of air results in an oxygen-starved fire where 3/4 to 2/3 of the fire box is a mass of half-live half-dead coals and baked wood mixed with heavy ash, and the actual fire and source of heat is just up front by the door. It produces very little heat for all the massive amount of wood that is put in it. And do we ever shovel in the wood here, because the Summit just chews through it. Apparently the baffle is poorly designed, too, because you’d think the steel jacket surrounding the fire box would get hot, but it doesn’t. Most of whatever heat is produced just goes up the chimney, which is a waste of energy.

Our hunting cabin has a small QuadraFire wood stove, and it requires very little wood to turn the house into a hot sauna, even in the dead of  frigid winter. Like our wood stove at the cabin, the QuadraFire 5100 insert I was talked out of also has four points of air entry into the fire box. Air entering from all these angles, front and back, results in an even burn that pulls maximum heat from the wood consumed in the fire box, and it also allows for a fine tuning of each fire. The ash from the QuadraFire is very light, very thin, which means all of the wood is being burned up and converted into fire.

Conversely, the wood ash from the Summit is heavy, meaning a lot of biotic material remains in it, which means it has not completely burned. It is no surprise, because the insert’s design is so bad. Had I not been sold a bill of goods by the Pacific Energy salesman, and had my natural skepticism that guides me so well in all other matters overcome my sense of loyalty to an old acquaintance, I would have purchased the QuadraFire 5100 and I would have been a much happier person for it.

A once-young logger I have worked with for the past twenty years has a QuadraFire 5100 insert at his cabin, and he really likes it. He told me it is “one of my few possessions that actually works correctly and which I would not sell, ever.”

On the other hand, I am about to give away this junky Pacific Energy Summit insert, which has eaten up so much of my hard-won firewood over the years. I would never buy another one.

Lame morning wood in the Pacific Energy Summit. A big bank of hot and cold coals raked forward to the front, the single source of air. This is its usual incomplete burn.

Pacific Energy Summit after a full burn and coals raked forward. An efficient wood stove will burn wood down into ash quickly. The Summit is so grossly inefficient that wood turns to a thick bed of coals that smothers the one single air intake and produces very little heat.

A poker end buried in a heap of coals. Even with the air flue all the way open, the Summit still doesn’t burn efficiently. It wastes firewood.

MLK’s white privilege?

What would Martin Luther King, Jr say and do about the current racist accusation of “white privilege” against all Caucasians, especially against Caucasian men?

It is the most racist thing I have ever heard in my life, this worthless, evil allegation that skin color makes and determines if a person is inherently bad, immoral, wrong, evil, etc. Weren’t we told by generations before us, including by MLK himself, that skin color does not determine a person’s character or value?

Does this same accusation of unfair “privilege” also apply to the majority black men on the African continent, where whites are the vastly outnumbered minority? I mean, the population dynamics behind this accusation hold equally for everyone everywhere, right?

Or are “white people” (whoever that is) really, truly said and believed to be lesser humans due to their skin color?! If this is truly the belief, then those “white” people had better wake up, because they are being openly marked for genocide. Just like Adolph Hitler openly stated his goal of eliminating Jews, Gypsies, Christians, gays and others, and then followed through, when you are openly targeted for destruction, you should take the threat seriously and take concrete steps to protect yourself.

So back to MLK, as today is an American holiday dedicated to remembering him.

Would MLK today be condemned for his “white privilege”?

MLK benefited from “white privilege” more than anyone else in the civil rights movement, because he was propelled forward by whites. White money, white religion, white culture, white capitalism, and so on. He benefited personally and professionally, and he succeeded because of the participation of so many “white” leaders and institutions in his wonderful effort to eliminate racism.

So what would MLK say about this racism from the black community aimed at all white people? What would he do? I think, no, I know he would denounce this destructive movement, not only because it is immoral and wrong, but because it carries the risk of boomeranging back. Falsely accusing good people eventually alienates them, and causes them to leave those whom they once trusted.

As hard as MLK worked, along with so many white people arm-in-arm with him, he would be disgusted at how easily all his achievements could be so easily reversed by those who benefited most from him, and who evidently forgot how much effort it required to set all American people on the same plane of opportunity.

Watch here for what MLK had to say about the evil of racism. All racism. His words mean something to me, and apparently mostly to other white people, who were and who remain struck by the simple fairness of MLK’s just color-blind demand.

Does your kid have autism, ADD, ADHD? Nope. Modern society is what’s off, not your kid

For about 70,000 years (or 5,780 years for literal Bible believers) our species Homo Sapiens Sapiens has been on Planet Earth. In that time we have proven ourselves to be not only the dominant life form capable of killing everything else, but so good at killing that we are capable of killing ourselves, as well.

Over this long period of time, humans evolved as hunter-gatherers. We spent all our time hunting and gathering food, and we spent most of our time sitting around a camp fire eating meat we had hunted and fruits and herbs we had gathered. It is a lifestyle perfected by the American Indians and known to us today because we largely ended it through mass migration into their pristine Eden.

During the European conquering of America, very few Indians became European, most resisted to the death. The few who willingly adopted European clothing and religion can almost be counted on two hands. Indian schools like the one in Carlisle were renowned for runaways and coercive methods to convince little Indian children to adopt European ways.

On the other hand, many, many, really countless numbers of European Americans “went native.” They willingly sought out and joined with Indian tribes across the continent, wore their tribes’ clothing, spoke their language, adopted their habits and customs. This happened because something innately natural about the hunter-gatherer lifestyle powerfully speaks to the hunter-gatherer that is inside every human.

Even when it is covered by the thin veneer of “civilization” like today.

This is why people today still hunt, camp, hike, fish, seek wilderness etc. Our species evolved in these natural environments doing these exact activities, and these are the activities that are most natural to us humans today.

Look at it mathematically: For 65,000 of our 70,000 years on Planet Earth we humans were only hunters and gatherers; subsequently for 4,500 years we learned to farm and grow our food; then for 150 years following we became industrialized; for 125 years after that we have been eating out of a tin can and driving motorized vehicles; then for 100 years we have lived in the Information Age. Only in the past few decades have we lived as we currently do, in a massive consumer society driven by high sedentary living and complete materialism.

So 30 years divided by 70,000 years equals only 0.00042857% of human time on Planet Earth spent as we live today. This is to point out that our technology-heavy western lifestyle today, which we take for granted, is in fact not even a blip on the radar screen of human existence on the planet.

Which is to say, the hunter-gatherer lifestyle is most natural to us, it is hard-wired into us, and the iPhone-heavy digital lifestyle is totally new to our species. Our current lifestyle has a lot of costs that we do not yet understand, and yet we have embraced it in a death grip.

So when your beautiful child is “diagnosed” with autism, ADD, ADHD, etc., be skeptical. It is unlikely that there is anything actually wrong with your kid. What has happened is that our modern industrial, sedentary, virtual, digitized society has developed new standards for living and behavior, and for measuring success, that are completely at odds with how we evolved, how we are hard-wired, how we have lived most of our time on this globe, and how we need to be in order to be our most natural, most happy, most successful.

In a hunter-gatherer society, those young people who notice movement the quickest are not easily distracted. Rather, they are going to be the most successful hunters and warriors on a landscape where movement equals either food or danger, and those who see movement the fastest either live the longest or eat the most food. In that hunter gatherer environment, what we today call ADD is actually an important adaptive skill needed to survive.

So an “autistic” kid today who is obviously bright and technically gifted but socially quirky, was, five thousand years ago, probably the best flint knapping spear head maker in the tribe.

It is today’s Western society that is living at odds with our most human traits, long adapted and refined over tens of thousands of years, and only now considered to be liabilities in a physically weak, feminized, pacific, diabetes-riven technologically-based culture where food is served up by the unhealthy bucket-full with no effort required by the eater.

Got an autistic kid? Put him or her into a more natural setting, away from dominant society where they are mis-judged by unhealthy, unnatural material and behavioral standards, and watch them flourish. Even better, withdraw from it yourself!

My 2019 resolution: Not going pee with the ladies

Last night we were celebrating the incoming New Year with friends at a hotel in New York City.  Lot of fun, beautiful time of year and place, great, friendly people and beloved old friends.

…and then I had to pee…

Discharging excess fluid is how a healthy mammal’s body works any day, and especially after copious intake. So, I feel the urge, stand up from the table, ask a friendly staff person about the location of the toilet, and receive clear directions. So far so good.

One of Western Civilization’s chief accomplishments is ubiquitous flush toilets. They even come with sinks and hand towels. They are generally clean, tidy, and hygienic, certainly compared to a hole in the floor like you will find the world over.  This particular hotel is quite nice, and had all kinds of nice little “extras” about for guests, and it stood to reason that my bathroom experience would be top quality.

Nope.

This is in NYC, a major locus of PC crazy, and it turns out that simply going pee in the homeland of PC crazy results in a crazy pee experience.

I approached the bathroom door and noticed beautiful and often scantily clad women coming and going through that door. Then a well dressed young man entered. The see-through door is labeled “EVERY BODY.”

My inner dinosaur screamed “No f*ing way!” as my feet reflexively stumbled backwards. I may have suffered a brief infarct. Maybe a meteor hit Earth or my head at that moment, too. Reality wheeled around me, and I had an out-of-body feeling.

The kindly young bathroom concierge standing nearby smiled knowingly and said, “there’s a men’s room downstairs, here let me show you,” and he accompanied me downstairs to a glittering bathroom that said “MEN” on the opaque glass and brass door.

This was what I had hoped for: Urinals for guys to stand over, breath mints and mouth wash on the spotless counter, stalls with doors giving enough privacy for guys going #2 or even amorous couples to do their business without interference or observation. A typical nice Men’s room. Natural boundaries. Privacy for men, to be men.

After emptying my body’s excess water tank, I washed up, went back upstairs, and walked past the Chaos & Bizarro anti-civilization bathroom, shown in these photos. Young men and women were still entering and exiting simultaneously, and as a result I made my first and likely only 2019 New Year’s resolution: I will not use a Chaos & Bizarro dual-sex bathroom.

Nope.

I like my high civilization and I intend to keep it. One pee at a time.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, folks*

In case you are one of the three people who regularly read this web site, then you have noticed that a good long while has passed since anything overtly political was posted. There is a good reason for this, and it is because weeks ago we entered the really best, nicest time of the year.

We are in Christmastime, the weeks preceding and the weeks following Christmas, a time of peace and reflection, neighborliness, good cheer and charity.

Yes, there have been a lot of politics worth writing about, but you know what? I just did not feel like writing about frustrating, conflict-filled current events. More than anything I am enjoying basking in the glow of what should be, what must be, a time of togetherness and common good purpose.

If you are a religious Christian, then you may object to all this namby pamby touchy-feely do-gooder happy time stuff. You know what I am talking about, the kind of Miracle on 34th Street feeling.

I am sorry if you feel this way, but I have yet to encounter any religion or religious sensibility that evokes the kind of generous togetherness that that particular product of Hollywood disseminated, or that the basic Christmastime in America has uniquely produced.

And so yes, I am a cheerful proponent of the old fashioned commercialized Christmas, because I am a proponent of simple happiness and brotherhood, old fashioned American identity.

Merry Christmas, friends, and may 2019 be a year of happy prosperity for you and all those whom you love. See you then, in 2019!

UPDATE: Bob Durgin died today, at noon, on Christmas Eve. Durgin was the very long time growly voiced challenger to all things Politically Correct and Big Government at WHP580 radio station here in Harrisburg. Bob was perpetually frustrated and then verbally evocative by examples of how bad government touched people’s lives in the Central Pennsylvania region. He was the last of a line of gruff and rough and tough-talking radio talk show hosts who really said what he meant and he said it in a way that left no doubt in the listener’s mind. Bob frequently invited government officials on his show to speak about their actions, and he spared no one from a serious grilling. He was often the next-day public response to the local establishment media “newspaper” Patriot News propaganda and leftwing political activism masquerading as news or real information. I was a guest on Bob’s show a number of times, for different reasons. The one time I recall best was when he got on me about being an “environmentalist,” to which I responded that I am a hunter, conservationist, and a life member of the NRA. He was openly puzzled by this, and you could feel the wheels turning in his head as he was trying to find the right words live on the air to either hit me over the head or hug me. I jumped in and said something like “Bob, I am like Teddy Roosevelt, a hunter conservationist,” which provided immediate relief and approval and the ability to keep the interview moving along without a hitch. Good gosh will I miss Bob Durgin. Rest in peace, cowboy.

Historic Harrisburg Home Tour another great success

Thank you to Historic Harrisburg.

Their annual home tour was once again a lot of fun. We get to walk around in the winter time’s crisp air, with a lot of interesting and friendly people. All of us care about our community, which is important. The homes are always interesting, and many are spectacular. The hosts are always gracious, sometimes with the aid of a glass of wine, or sometimes a bottle or two.

One thing that bears repeating from past posts about these tours is kudos to Alex Hartzler, who has invested in Harrisburg’s re-development for umpteen years. His effort has been as an investor expecting a return, yes, but let’s face it, his WCI Partners faces an uphill task. There is a lot of risk, and the possibility of very little ROI, if any. And yet they go house by house, block by obliterated, abandoned block, and breathe life into Pennsylvania’s capital city.

Another fact worth repeating from previous blog posts here is the important role of gay people, mostly gay men, in gentrification and the slow reclamation of abandoned neighborhoods everywhere, not the least of which are here in Harrisburg.

You have issues with gay people? OK, you are entitled to those feelings, as sexuality really is a private matter. And if your views are Biblical, as are mine, then again, you and I are entitled to our Biblical views on human activity. That said, in my practical observation gay men are an incredible force for economic development and neighborhood renewal, which are good things in my experience and in my view. And they make fantastic, fabulous neighbors. They tend to be neat, kind, friendly, law abiding, all of which are desirable qualities in a neighbor.

In fact, let’s face it, I am downright envious of gay men: They get to spend all their money and time on themselves.

And in that spending process they are helping rebuild Harrisburg into a prosperous and safe community. So I say Thank you, neighbors; I really do not care about your private lifestyle, and I really do appreciate your investment in my neighborhood and community. Everyone have a wonderful holiday season and a successful 2019.

Here are some photos from our tour.

A reclaimed row home in Mid-Town. 100 years ago, these homes were built of strong and attractive materials, with neat designs. These attributes are being re-discovered and appreciated by many Americans seeking close and walking communities.

My “Princess of Patience” in the Levine home in Uptown. What a woman. Until I returned from the mountains, she had been a hunting widow for many weeks.

This is why I will never have my home on the Historic Harrisburg tour: I would have to meticulously clean my lawn. Thank you to Ray Davis for making his home open.

Hunters Sharing the Harvest sets the Holiday Season tone

Pennsylvania is a long time big time hunting state, with such a great and famously known outdoors sports tradition that the iconic red and black “buffalo check plaid” wool coat made by Woolrich, Filson, and other long established wool clothing manufacturers was dubbed the “Pennsylvania Tuxedo” back in the 1920s.

Today our clothing may have improved since then, or may not have improved, depending upon whether you like your hunting pants to be flammable, or not, and I do not (which means I prefer wool in all outdoor clothing), but one thing remains steady: Pennsylvanians rightly love to hunt.

And just as much as we love to hunt, we are also generous with the fruits of our time afield. We have a long tradition of sharing the fruits of our hunting labors.

Well do I recall as a kid waking up in late November or early December to find some fresh venison left on our doorstep by one or two of our neighbors, all of whom had big farms and all of whom were big time hunters.

Back then in that area, kids brought fresh venison jerky to school to share and trade with other kids during and right after deer season; everyone had their own proprietary jerky recipe that they liked and were proud of. Sharing venison is a real longstanding Pennsylvania tradition.

Back in 1991, local hunter John Plowman had a vision to harness that generous spirit among Pennsylvania hunters and use it to provide for the needy. He started Hunters Sharing the Harvest, which today annually supplies well over a hundred thousand of pounds of fresh, free range, wholesome, lean, natural, organic meat to Pennsylvanians in need. That translates into about 667,000 annual “meals” for individuals and families in need.

Yesterday my son “harvested” his first Pennsylvania deer (see photo below), a young spike buck that junior hunters are allowed to take, as the rest of us are limited to bucks with at least three points to a side of the antler rack. As we had incredible good fortune yesterday, and took other deer, my son decided to donate his deer to Hunters Sharing the Harvest. My boy is enjoying the act of charity and contributing towards the basic welfare of his community.

Both Deimler (Cumberland County) and Sensenig (Dauphin County) are deer processors close by our home, so either one would be the logical place to drop off the young buck.  But Deimler has the advantage of being right down the road from Johnson’s Furs, where we have our furs tanned and where we buy our trapping supplies, so that is where the critter has been dropped off.  Mutli-tasking, ya know?

And that is the neatest thing about this Hunters Sharing the Harvest option: We get to share our cake, and eat it, too, in the charitable spirit of the Holiday Season.