Sunday, August 31, 2014

I've been down there too much lately

The shithole state of Maryland, that is. But hey, some of my favorite things are there. Gotta bite the bullet every once in a while.
Little Ritchie with the big 'un of the day.
She's ready. And dead sexy.
The evenin's bounty.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Body Count '14 - #9

After a non-recovered kill and a miss from the hogs under the shed last week, I hadn't seen a hog out there until today. I finally remembered to calm down and take my time, and anchored this fat male with a perfect head shot. Definitely my biggest whistlepig of the year at 11 pounds.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Pickin' 'n grinnin'

As much as I hate the state of Maryland, occasionally one must head on down and assimilate to the local customs.

I've often said, if it wasn't for Old Bay seasonin', the Chesapeake Bay fishin', the Eastern Shore huntin', and Orioles baseball, I'd be perfectly okay with never comin' down to this shithole state. Any place with helmet laws and gun restrictions is not a place for me.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Magically delicious

Orange Creamsicle milk from Apple Valley Creamery + Lucky Charms. Sweet Jesus, what a beautiful combination.

If you're as fortunate as I am to have a local dairy that sells such a thing, I highly suggest you give it a try. You won't be disappointed.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

A less efficient fly swatter

I'd mentioned a few weeks back that I'd thrown a new scope on the ol' Marlin .22, but I'd been draggin' ass on gettin' her dialed back in. I finally took a few minutes to tend to that after the mornin' milkin' the other day.

I'd just gotten my zero at 25 yards when an ol' fly decided it was a good time to hang out on the target.

I won't lie... I let myself feel a little smug after that one.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Float trip

This past Sunday, the girl and I decided to snag the kayaks from the parent's house and head to nearby Conewago Creek for a little adventure.

We sure as shit didn't set any speed records, but our journey took us about seven and a quarter miles in just under five hours. We'd selected a reasonably rural route, and we were rewarded with a few deer sightings, a couple herons, some curious ducks that let us get reasonably close and more than a few acrobatic squirrels. Along the more populated parts of the route, we saw plenty of folks out enjoyin' a lazy Sunday with their families along the water.

Aside from a few shallow areas and two dams that required me to hike my fat ass outta the boat and walk for a bit, it was a rather relaxin' Sunday afternoon spent with my lady, which is somethin' that I don't make time to do enough.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Mayhem, indeed

As much as I hated to do it, I decided that I needed to engage in some employment last Saturday night, which cut my vacation at Deep Creek Lake a day short. So, when a former coworker and friend of mine gave me a buzz about headin' down to the Mayhem Festival the next day with him and his 14-year-old nephew, I figgered that'd be a good consolation prize for leavin' vacation early. My friend was scheduled to do interviews with several of the bands throughout the day, and he needed someone to kinda keep an eye on his nephew while he worked.

I gotta say, that kid has the metal bug bad, and I'm glad I got to hang with him all day. They had three smaller stages set up for the non-headlinin' bands, which is where we spent the bulk of our time. I usually wouldn't have gotten anywhere close to the stages and the pit areas, but that's where he wanted to be, so that's where we went. Turns out it was a blast up there... nothin' but crazy, fun people; the bodies are just packed all together, and everyone's just rockin' out with reckless abandon. Bein' as big as I am, I naturally caught the attention of most of the crowd surfers. I spent a helluva lotta time passin' off bodies from above, to the point that my arms and torso were purty damn sore the next day. I did steer clear of the mosh pits, as my self-preservation synapses seem to fire off a little stronger as I've gotten older. The only thing that kinda sucked about bein' up close to everythin' was that I was a little less inclined to yank the phone out to grab some pictures. Well, that and the fact that it took my right ear almost two full days to hear right after bein' that close to the speakers. Some dummy forgot his earplugs....
The kid got to meet the fellas from Suicide Silence, his favorite band.
The bands were all purty damn good, and you could tell that most of 'em couldn't have cared less about bein' on the small stages. They were havin' just as good of a time as the fans were. I particularly enjoyed the sets from Miss May I, Wretched*, and Texas Hippie Coalition**.

(*Small, but notable side note about Wretched... the lead singer has a phenomenal beard, of which I am jealous of.)

(**Side note about THC... my friend not only interviewed them, but he and the photographer were invited onto the bus to hang out for little bit. Turns out that they have one of Pantera's old tour buses. I was really damn jealous of him that he got to see that.)

It was hotter than the hinges of Hell, so after the small stages wrapped up, we headed off in search of water and shade. We eventually made our way to the pavilion for the headliners. We more or less missed the first two, which didn't bother us at all, but luckly we got there in time to see Korn perform. I've always like their music, but I like them a whole lot more now that I've seen 'em live. They're one of those bands that know how to get the best outta their audience, so the amount of energy from the crowd durin' their set was just absurd.
Panoramic of the Jiffy Lube Live Pavilion.
Spotlights durin' the Korn set.
Avenged Sevenfold played the final set, but they were almost disappointin' after the show that Korn put on. We wound up leavin' about halfway through their set, after we came to the mutual conclusion that nothin' else they played was worth sittin' in hours of traffic for.

I'm not a huge concert guy, but I'd glad that I tug along to check it out. I got to hear some great metal all day long, and the people-watchin' was first class. Definitely not a bad way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Deep Creek family vacation

It's been many years since we've taken a family vacation together, and the combined clusterfuckery of all our schedules makes it almost impossible to make it happen. However, Mom and the ol' man are comin' up on the 35th anniversary of their hitchin', and Mom decided that a family vacation to celebrate was in order. It took almost a year of plannin' and finaglin' our schedules around, but we managed to make it happen. 

When it came time to figure out where to go, the folks settled on Deep Creek Lake, situated in the somewhat-normal western part of the Communist State of Maryland. This is apparently where all the rich fucks from DC come to spend their weekends. The number of high-dollar cars, boats and houses in the area seem to confirm this.

That aside, it's been a purty relaxin' week. I've been convicted multiple times of bein' a party pooper, as I've been perfectly content to sit around and catch up on several month's worth of magazines instead of tryin' to find somethin' around the lake to do every second of the entire week. I've still managed to get in some quality time with the family and the girl along the way. With the crazy amount of water traffic, I've only felt compelled to hit the kayak once, although I did rip off about nine miles on that little jaunt. I left the leash phone at the house a lot, so I don't have a tremendous amount of pictures, but I'll share with ya what I did manage to take along the way.

Thursday, we checked out Swallow Falls State Park, only a few miles up the road from the lake. It was just a small mile loop through the woods, but there was plenty of neat stuff to gawk at. Muddy Creek Falls was definitely the centerpiece of the park. With a little proddin' from Jesse, us boys wound up crawlin' back behind the falls. Jesse's son Alex, who's nearin' the ripe ol' age of six, took a little convincin' to do it with us, but he was all grins once he got in under there with us. The soakin' we got in the process was definitely worth it, although I was bummed that we didn't have any kinda waterproof camera under there with us.
The top of Muddy Creek Falls. For some reason, nobody
else wanted to venture that close with me.

From the edge of Swallow Falls. Solo, again.

Muddy Creek Falls from the bottom.

The ol' man strikes his infamous pose.

Me and that purty gal of mine.

Momma takin' pictures of Swallow Falls.

Lookin' downstream from the top of Swallow Falls.

Joe and I took Alex out to the top
of Tolliver Falls, which was more
his size.

Friday, we surprised Alex with a trip on the the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad. He's always been into trains, and although it was an hour away from Deep Creek, we all tagged along to see his excitement. I'm told that I used to be big into trains too, so it was fun to see how excited he was. It was a nice little jaunt from Cumberland to Frostburg for lunch, then another fun ride back. I spent a bit of time in the vestibule, so I could lean out and enjoy the open air a good bit.
Nose to the glass.

Pourin' on the coal

The view from Depot Street in Frostburg.

Jesse and Uncle Joe, bein' careful to not wake the baby!

The back of the coal car.

Alex, hammin' it up for Uncle Bear's camera.

Never a bad time for "ba".

The rest of the week has purty much been a smatterin' of mealtime, naps and campfires. I'll be back to work on Tuesday, and I'll have to run waddle back to the mailroom and jump on the scale to see how much damage I did. Not lookin' forward to that.
Tools of the trade....

Campfire close-up (but not too close).

Bacon pancakes. Why, you ask? Why not?