There will be even more exhibits, performances, art, lectures, at the “Build Your Own World” Biennial from September 16-19 in San Jose. From what I have seen online, it looks pretty amazing. I have also seen one preview on the news. It was an art installation by Luke Jerram of pianos in the street called “Play Me I’m Yours”. I love anything, but especially art, that engages the public to interact and participate in the community. This Biennial does just that. Here is what the Steve Dietz, Artistic Director, and Jaime Austin, Assistant Curator have to say:
For schedules of events and links to all of the exhibits, etc, check out Zero1. Even if you can not attend this weekends events, there is so much information and inspiration on the website.
Well, where to begin? I know not everyone likes guns. I do. I think they are a very useful tool, and something that (to me) embodies and symbolizes being an American. I have the right, given to me by the Second Amendment, to use a gun to defend my person and property. This right is not present in other countries, and with budgeting constraints on law enforcement, I am not comfortable giving up that right for the chance that they will have someone available to take care of a threat and respond in a timely manner if and when the time comes. I am willing to take that responsibility onto myself. But as a result I am committing myself to handling a gun responsibly and safely, as all gun owners should. For the record, I have defended my property using one of my shotguns in 2003.
A gun is a tool that deserves respect and requires proper handling in its usage. Guns have a very specific purpose. They are used to cause mortal trauma to something at a distance. Simply put, guns are tools that kills things. Thus they require that level of respect and correct handling due a tool that can take life away. I am trying to not get into the politics of gun ownership with this blog, so I apologize in advance if I cross over a little.
Hunting is different than gun ownership in that Hunting is a privilege and gun ownership is a right. Hunting can be infringed on with federal, state, and local restrictions. In my view, gun ownership cannot be infringed on (even though it currently is). So, it is every hunter’s responsibility to act respectfully and ethically so that hunting can continue. But I digress, Hunting is a whole other subject I will cover in another post!
If you are interested in learning more about gun safety in a practical setting, I would highly recommend taking a Hunter Safety Course. Not only do you learn about hunting, the course covers gun handing and safety. I taught CA Hunter Safety, or “Hunter Education” for 2 years before I moved to Oregon, and the course material is much better now that it was when I took it in 1990.
Guns are also called firearms. A firearm is a mechanical device that uses pressure from a burning powder to force a projectile through and out of a metal tube. Contrast this with airguns, that use compressed air, CO2, or springs. All guns have 3 parts: an action, a stock, and a barrel.
Flash video of how a gun works
An action loads, fires, and ejects the ammunition. There are several different types of actions.
A stock is the handle for the action.
A barrel is the tube that the projectile travels down and out of on its way to the target.
All firearms use ammunition (ammo for short). Ammunition is made up of the case, powder, primer, and projectile (which varies depending on what kind of firearm you are using).
There are 3 different kinds of guns. Shotguns, rifles, and handguns. Both shotguns and rifles are used for hunting. Handguns can be used for hunting, however they are not as prevalent as the first two. The reason being is because the range and accuracy of handguns is limited by its size. Handguns are much smaller and therefore do not offer the advantages of increased range and accuracy that shotguns and rifles do. I do not own a handgun, but I am in the market. For me, a handgun is for personal protection. I am going to buy one because I want to have the ability to defend myself in the field from 2-legged creatures (read other people) in addition to 4-legged creatures like cougars or bears when I am hunting or fishing, or camping etc.
Rifles: Rifles are used to hit a far-off point (max effective range is under a mile, depending on ammo). They use a large amount of powder to fire a single, small projectile (the bullet). Rifle sizes are measured in caliber, that is the diameter of the barrel in tenths of an inch or in millimeters. This is also the measurement used for handguns. Rifles are mainly used in the taking of larger game, such as deer, elk, and bear, however smaller caliber rifles are used by more skilled people to take smaller game such as squirrels, rabbits, and birds. There are 5 main actions for rifles (bolt, pump, lever, semi-auto, and break or hinge). The most common rifle used for hunting is the 30-06 bold action.
Interactive rifle with parts labeled
Shotguns: Are used to hit an area not too far away (max effective range is 40-60 yards). They use a smaller amount of powder to fire a bunch of little metal balls called ‘shot’ or ‘pellets’ that spread out as they travel through the air and cover an area about 1/2 yard square. Shotgun sizes are measured in gauge, which is an old method of dividing a pound of lead into equally-sized balls and the balls would be the same diameter as the barrel. Funny yeah? So a 12-gauge shotgun would have 12 equally-sized lead balls and each ball would be the diameter of the barrel. There is one shotgun size that is measured in tenths of an inch, and that is the .410, which is a very small gauge and used by people that shoot A LOT. Shotguns are used to take smaller game, most commonly birds, both waterfowl and upland birds, but also smaller game such as squirrels and rabbits. Shotguns can be used for deer, but they use a much larger sized shot or a slug. Not all shotguns can use this different ammo though. Shotguns have 6 common actions (pump, break or hinge with single, side-by-side barrels or over & under barrels, semi-auto, and bolt-action repeater). The most common shotgun is the 12-gauge pump action.
Interactive pump-action shotgun with labels
Handguns: Handguns are used to shoot a point not too far away. Handgun ammo is a smaller version of rifle ammo. Again, handguns can be used for hunting but general are not. They are used for personal defense and as a quick ‘backup’ gun in the case of larger game like bear where one shot may not instantly kill an animal. There are four actions for handguns, revolver, double cocking revolver, break or hinge, and semi-automatic.
The key to using guns is to use them safely. I like to follow the 10 Commandments of Gun Safety, however I have one concrete rule of my own that I will share with you. I never, ever ever point a gun, loaded or unloaded, at something I don’t intend to shoot. Period. I also never put my finger on the trigger until I am just about to shoot the gun. Guns are not toys, they are a function-specific tool. My cousin forgot this rule and shot himself in the head, and he grew up with guns. The only time I point a gun at something I don’t intend to shoot is when I’m having a gun fitted for me, which requires you to point the gun at the gunsmith while he looks down the barrel at you. Needless to say I don’t like it, but as long as you practice proper gun safety there are no problems.
The 10 Commandments of Gun Safety Link to list with pictures
The first four are the Cardinal Rules of Gun Safety.
1. Watch that muzzle. Keep it pointed in a safe direction.
2. Treat every firearm the respect due a loaded gun.
3. Be sure of the target and what is in front of and beyond it.
4. Keep your finger outside of the trigger guard until ready to shoot.
5. Check your barrel and ammunition.
6. Unload firearms when not in use.
7. Point a firearm only at something you intend to shoot.
8. Don’t run jump or climb with a loaded firearm.
9. Store firearms and ammunition separately and safely.
10. Avoid alcoholic beverages before and during shooting.
The question came up this weekend. A friend of mine swears she’s heard from old-timers, friends, her mom who worked at our local nursery for a number of years, that we are Zone 1 (see the smack-dab middle of Oregon). If that is true, it’s a big bummer. But isn’t like, ALASKA Zone 1?? This isn’t Alaska… Both my friend and I have heard the local adage “You don’t plant your seeds in the ground until all the snow is gone from Black Butte”. As in Black Butte Porter a la Deschutes Brewery. Well, that is fine and dandy because I don’t plan on doing that until… May?!? Oh how I miss coastal weather sometimes. But the problem is when I looked up the USDA zones, we are in Zone 6. I am aware that if I want to start anything I need a greenhouse. Costco carport frame, CHECK! I’m also a firm believer that if you mulch it, it will grow. And, as my new best friend the Winter Harvest Handbook tells me, cold frames and row covers in greenhouses can allow me to grow year-round in harsher climates, like Maine.
< ----------------LOOK! Not pink, it's light blue!!
But the question arose as I was trying, ever so hard, to finish the joint seed order I’m doing with my friend. I know, March and I don’t have the seeds ordered, what is wrong with me? Well for one, when you have a big space, and you are going to try to preserve some of your harvest, you want to plant EVERYTHING! It is very hard to resist ordering fruit trees. And more berries. Yes, I am going to try berries out here. But not blackberries, marionberries, huckleberries, or elderberries, those are going to be gathered. So, when selecting seeds, one of my key phrases has been “does well in cool climates”. That’s all well and good as long as I’m not ordering vegetables that are for Zone 6, not Zone 1. I am trying to not be intimidated by the fact that we had frost last year in July! And I’ve heard stories of it SNOWING on Fourth of July. What madness have I gotten myself into? I am used to growing peas and greens year round. Granted, I am excited about not having to coddle my tomatoes, and peppers are a reality not just a dream anymore! And I’m going to try eggplant. But still… should I plant asparagus? What about artichokes? Rhubarb? My mantra is becoming “if it’s mulched, it will be fine”. Well, only time will tell right?
On Sunday I went pheasant hunting with my new boss to see how our two brittanys would get along. Tango is 8 months and an alpha female. Gunny is 4 years old and way more mellow. Since it was our first time out together it was more about training the dogs than actually getting birds, however we ended up with a total of 7. The country was beautiful, up by Bear Creek. That’s all I know, since I am still getting to know the area. But just beautiful high desert juniper and sagebrush hills punctuated by lava rimrock. And it was a warm day too! Pheasant are my all-time favorite game bird to hunt. They are the perfect species for beginner hunters. Unlike waterfowl hunting that requires a huge amount of gear, pheasant hunting just requires a gun, a good pair of boots, and a dog. No special calls, no back-breaking load of decoys, it is the quintessential connection between man and dog. When I go out with Gunny, WE are hunting, not just me. He finds the birds for me, and I bring them down. It’s a partnership in every sense of the word, and the fact that he knows it makes it just that much more special. I love my dog, as my companion, my buddy, but in normal situations we are not equals. When we hunt together, we are.
Total eggs: 971
Total honey (lbs): 48
Total Milk produced (gallons): 64.16
Total Meat (lbs): 167.06 lbs
Harvested Produce (lbs): 821.88 lbs
Total Savings : $3,885.95