11-30-23: Last deer hunt of 2023? If so it was fun.
Out of those seven hunts I had 5 at "Lot 88" and two at "Lot 44." The first two of the season, a Wed PM and Thurs AM the same week, didn't yield any results. What a bunch of crap! However, Lot 88 led me to deer encounters on 4 of my 5 hunts. I passed up a doe and a skipper earlier this month, and I'm glad I did. Today's hunt was my first one in muzzle-loader season in a couple years, and I went with Dad. I hunted the west side of lot 88, and it was quiet for the first 1.5 hours. Then, at 1618, I heard movement behind my and knew almost with certainty before I even looked it was a deer. It sucks when they show up behind you, but it's fortuitous when they at least make noise so you know they're coming.
Thankfully I had the wind in my favor, but man that deer was close. Antlers! Oh great, a mid-sized spikehorn who might have weighed 110-120. A perfect deer for me to harvest with only 10 minutes left in legal hunting time on what was likely my final hunt of the year. He kept coming with his head down, and before I knew it he was only about 7 yards away from me. OMG THAT'S CLOSE! When they get that close it's almost impossible to not get noticed. I sat 100% still, but deer just know things. He seemed a tad spooked and wanted to run, but then he stuck around and lingered only about 15 yards from me near where I had sprayed half a can of "buck bomb." I do think that buck bomb scent helped hide my loser-ass, and he presented a fantastic shot opportunity. Neck shot, slightly quartering, he was probably going to die quickly and provide a bunch of delicious meat. I had him in the scope, the shot felt great, and then when I pulled the trigger I got this:
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! OMG THE PRIMER DIDN'T FIRE SO I WAS PWNED. THERE IS NO WORKING THE BOLT QUICKLY WHEN YOU HUNT WITH A MUZZLE-LOADER. WHAT A BUNCH OF CRAP!
Needless to say he was out of there ASAP, blowing (making loud deer-warning signals that holy shit something is wrong gtfo other deer) and my hunt was over for the day. EPIC FAILER. Here is the primer:
^All I wanna know is why? Why didn't the thing fire off and send the black powder into overdrive like it was supposed to do? The dent clearly indicated the primer was struck. I could tell Dad was wanting to blame himself for letting me down since it's his equipment, but fuck that hunting with my Vietman-vet disabled father these days is a gift from the gods who don't exist. I don't need to shoot a deer to enjoy my time in the woods with him. No way that was his fault because he's the most adept gear-guy I've ever known. He's a retired firearms instructor for a reason...
Oh well, I'm not going to let a mechanical malfunction ruin what was a nice trip and a good hunt with Dad. A large part of me is actually relieved because when you shoot a deer it becomes work. You gotta gut it out and get it out of the woods, and if you shoot one that runs it can take hours searching for the body. Hell, I've spent hours searching for deer I've shot and never recovered a few of them, ever. I like to think every one of them lived on because sometimes a grazing-shot is not fatal, but I doubt that is really true.
Then when you get a deer out of the woods you gotta tag it and either get it to a butcher or cut it up yourself. I haven't butchered a deer in years, but it's not exactly rocket science. I could do it, but bye bye 8 hours of precious... precious time that I need working at the restaurant.
I really enjoyed the past five weekly trips down to the ol' homestead to hunt with Dad and to have a nice dinner with Mom and Dad together. It's bittersweet because, as they age, I know time with them is limited. Especially time at the same house they've called home for over 40 years. The same house I lived in since 1983 when I was still only 7 years old. Neither one of them are in great health, but they're getting by okay for now. Thankfully Jason lives close and can help them when and if they get in a pickle.
Speaking of age, I had a dog-shit birthday Tuesday. What a bunch of crap! I was actually planning to go deer hunting on my birthday, but I was sick. Both my awesome wife and I were sick so that sucks. A lot. I wasn't so sick I couldn't function, but forget using the gym. It was more of a nusiance than anything. I noticed it on Monday, I was worse Tuesday, and I started feeling a little better yesterday and I did work an 8-hour shift. Today I was even more improved, but I'm stuffy. I almost sneezed and coughed on my hunt, but I kept that shit in check and good thing I did because I had a fantastic encounter with a deer.
I don't really care about my birthday, but I care that I was a tad under the weather for about three days. What a bunch of crap that is! Oh well, a little break from the gym can't hurt and is probably needed now that I'm getting old. I'm not 100% yet, but I'm good enough to have a couple drinks before I bivouac in an hour or two. I'm gonna go down to the bar for a beer now before I come home and rack out. Goonies never say die!
Saturday, 11-25-23: Time to start tax training.
Loki season 1 was really good, better than I expected it to be, but season 2 wasn't as good. At times it was great, but overall I found it to be a bit too confusing and drawn out in parts. It's a side-bar type show spun off from the Marvel comic book movies. Disney has a lot of that stuff on their streaming service, but we don't watch too much of it. We watched The Mandolorian, a Star Wars spinoff show, and a couple of the other Star Wars ones as well.
Netflix is loaded full of interesting stuff, and sometimes it feels overwhelming trying to find something among the 1000 choices. Bodies was another show where time travel is a factor, but unlike Loki I think they did it better with Bodies. It wasn't the greatest show of all-time, but it was a good ride for the 8 episodes over the course of a few hours since earlier this week. I like it well enough where I'd definitely want to watch a season 2, if there is one.
The best show ever to be seen on Netflix is Stranger Things. That's probably the best show of all-time. There was a writer strike and of course Covid that has hurt the timeline of Stranger Things (as well as many other shows) so hopefully at some point soon the final Stranger Things season will be available. Probably not for a long time, though. Well into 2024 if not even 2025 at this rate. The last season of Stranger Things was a masterpiece and if you disagree with me then I hate you. I probably hate you anyway, but I'll hate you a little more.
We have some streaming services yet we also have cable TV still. The streaming platforms seem to do a better job than cable of putting out quality content these days so we should reduce our cable plan. Do we really need HBO and Showtime anymore? I do like channels like NESN, ESPN, The Weather Channel, and some news channels. Pretty soon I'll be working a lot so I won't even have precious... precious time for much of that stuff anyway.
We don't sit around like vegetables and watch TV all the time so it's nice to have a chunk of time to just do nothing but soak up a show, a movie, whatever. A lot of weekends it's all about work so this one, at least so far, has seemed easy. I "only" worked 11 hours yesterday and it looks like I'll "only" work 9 today. I'm not on the schedule tomorrow, but I'll go in and do something because that's how I roll.
For a while earlier this year I wasn't sure if I'd keep the tax business, but we have to for at least one more year for the precious... precious money it brings in. My ultimate goal is for the restaurant to make us enough money to be comfortable, but that's still a log way off (if ever.) Sales seem terrible so far today, but they are actually up $186 as compared to the Saturday after Thanksgiving last year. Oh Jesus, hell ya! Most days year-over-year sales are up so that's incredibly encouraging. Too bad expenses are up as well...
Since I'm keeping the tax business I need to start doing some training for the upcoming season. If I get 16 CPE credits by Dec 31st I get listed on the IRS website as having completed training stuff that levels me up. I'm NOT looking for new customers so who cares, right? I still care because I need to be up to date for my existing 150 or so customers and brushed up on everything after not spending much time at all immersed in the personal income tax world over the past 7+ months.
Friday, 11-24-23: Black Friday and Christmas.
^From the archives back when I hated Best Buy HAHAHAHAHAHA! Now I don't hate them because I don't even care... whether or not I care.
These days more and more people shop online, myself included, and I'm not even sure if the box stores open at 0500 anymore. I haven't bought any Christmas gifts yet so I should soon. I wish more people would come to our restaurant today; it's early PM and so far business hasn't been that great. I'm guessing tonight will pop for a bit, but we did lose an event so that hurts some. We had the event room booked for a comedy show, but the guy called me a couple hours ago to cancel. What a bunch of crap! He didn't sell any ticket so epic failer to him. Now watch 50 people will come later wanting to attend the comedy show. The promoter isn't funny, but he managed to book some half-decent acts in the past. A couple of his shows had a good turnout earlier this year, he tried one in the summer that brought in only 10 people, and now this failure. NO MORE COMEDY SHOWS FOR YOU!
I didn't have the best Thanksgiving yesterday. I was still salty from getting called into work Wednesday night when I wasn't needed, and a few other things got on my nerves. Kat was at the restaurant all morning cooking a huge meal for us, some staff, and a few friends. I stayed home to watch an episode of GOLD RUSH (I'm two months behind what a bunch of crap!), to do some cleaning, to do yoga, and to jog a mile. It was my first jog all month because I SUCK. It has been cold so I should just use the treadmill. I did jog outside because it was 44 degrees. Too bad tomorrow will only be 30 at best. No snow yet, though. A slushy inch fell first thing Wednesday morning before it turned to rain and was gone.
Even though my cardio hasn't been good lately I have been good about lifting weights, playing racquetball once a week, and doing yoga. I actually feel like I'm in pretty good shape other than needing more jogging for cardio. Racquetball can be great cardio, but on smaller bursts and on long volleys these days one of us just gives up because we're all pushing 50. Mike has a hurt back so Gavin and I have played 1v1 each of the past two Sundays. I beat him earlier this month, and he beat me last Sunday. He's a better player and always has been.
Wednesday, 11-22-23: Nice floor! Oh, a "bonus"
day being closed.
Most of last fall was an epic failer for our business. So far this fall has been good, but we're not making money yet so that is a problem. Sales are up a lot year-over-year, but so are labor costs so we'll be reigning that in soon or else we won't have a restaurant anymore because we'll run out of precious... precious money. We're still working to improve the place, and we've done a lot this year. New kitchen equipment, new heat pump for the event room, and now this beautiful event room floor:
^Oh Jesus, hell ya!
It won't look that good for long, but we have A LOT of December events leading into Christmas so we want it to impress. I did it last October, but I did it better this time around so I'm thinking it will last longer. Maybe? Hopefully! It's a commercial-grade floor epoxy. The chairs beat it up a lot, and we have to rearrange the chairs and stack them frequently. I did put feet on most of the chairs that we use, but they wear out and fall off. It's a work in progress.
Roxette, The Look. Great song and if you disagree with me then I hate you. I probably hate you anyway, but I'll hate you a little more. I have it on channel 1928, 1980s, and soon I'll flip back to the Celtics-Bucks game on ESPN (halftime now.) The Celtics are 11-3 and winning tonight. Oh Jesus, hell ya! The Patriots are 2-8 and shit on toast hahahaha. The Red Sox? Forget it I didn't even bother to post the standings because they finished in last place. What a bunch of crap! The Texas Rangers won the World Series a few weeks ago, and most people including myself didn't even care... whether or not they cared.
The restaurant is staying open a bit later than usual tonight because it's the Wednesday before Thanksgiving so we thought it might be busier. My awesome wife is hosting karaoke until 2300, and I'll head down in a bit. So far sales are decent. Not spectacular, but good enough. Trivia on Wednesdays draw a good crowd oh crap I just got called in guess that's the end of this bootleg update that only two people will ever read. What a bunch of crap!
Saturday, 11-18-23: Four events this weekend.
I guess a baby shower is a party for an expecting Mom? A chance to celebrate a soon-to-be new life and a chance to get free stuff if you're the expecting parents? I think there are gifts, but I really dunno for sure because, well, this sums it up:
^DO NOT CARE... WHETHER OR NOT I CARE.
After all the events this weekend I'll repaint the event room floor with the usual epoxy that we've used in the past. I'd say that room will need to be redone once a year, but maybe we can stretch it more with the chair feet I installed last month:
^The feet are good, but we've lost a bunch of them already because we have to stack the chairs for cleaning, and that pulls some of them off. What a bunch of crap!
Doing the floor will take probably 4 hours Monday and then a couple hours Tuesday. If things go as planned I can deer hunt Tuesday PM down in Warren then come home for work Wednesday before Thanksgiving Thursday. This Thanksgiving we're going to be closed. Two years ago we opened at 1700 Thanksgiving day and did great business with karaoke that night. Last year we opened at 1700, but business was TERRIBLE. We lost a lot of money on that one so this year = just stay closed. It will be nice to have the afternoon/evening free to hang out with my awesome wife after we do our early PM meal with family and some staff down at the restaurant. Using the restaurant is great because of the commercial kitchen and dishwash area.
My phone did something new that I think I hate. All of the sudden this message popped up saying my text messages are RCS. WTF is that?! Now the texts I send look blue, and when I was in Warren three days ago I couldn't even send a text to Kat because of... reasons. Then it asked me if I wanted to use regular text instead and of course I do. FUCK YOU RCS! I would have to Google what RCS is because I dunno. My phone is back to RCS right now. What a bunch of crap! Guy looks it up on the Interweb now...
When most people think of a typical text message, they're likely referring to Short Message Service, or SMS, a suite of protocols that has been a component of cellular networks for decades. With SMS, messages of up to 160 characters can be sent and received between devices residing on or across mobile communications networks.
In the last few years, however, a newer messaging format has emerged: Rich Communication Services (RCS). RCS is a revamped form of messaging that comes with a host of functionality and security features that SMS simply cannot provide. Let's examine RCS vs. SMS and discuss how they work and the technical requirements for each.
From there it goes into technical explanations that are way above my pay-grade. What a bunch of crap! I WANT SMS BACK GODS DAMN IT. I don't want my text messages to be rich because I'm not rich. I'll take basic please. No condiments, no hot sauce. Oh, ketchup would be nice...
I can't believe Thanksgiving is only a few days away. Then before we know it time for Christmas, and I suck at that. A lot. Thankfully I have some ideas for my awesome wife, but sadly I got no ideas for anyone else. Mom and Dad have entered this weird stage in their life where they pretty much have everything they need, and they do oddball senior-citizen things like this:
^AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! All I wanna know is why? Why do the plants have to live in what was once Grammy's shower? I sleep in that area of the house when I stay overnight, but I haven't needed to use the shower yet because I'm only there less than 24 total hours.
So do I get them more plants for Christmas?! Hehehehehe.
Thursday, 11-16-23: Enjoyment and guilt.
Yesterday evening Dad and Jason also hunted with me at Jason's "Lot 88." They have already both shot nice bucks at Jason's place (836), but they each have a doe tag and can shoot another one if they want. I was on the east side of the property, same as last week, and I did see a deer scoot by higher up a little before sunset. Looked like a small deer, no antlers, and I didn't have a good shot anyway. I thought for sure that deer would end up right at Dad's ground blind, but it didn't. Jason saw a small 4-pointer at the end of legal time, but he can only shoot a doe so that was a pass for him. It was a beautiful evening for a hunt, although a tad chilly. All 5 hunts I've done so far this month have been chilly and/or cold. What a bunch of crap! Most of the country has had above-average temps for this month, but not us. We've had a lot of cold days so far in November. Thankfully no snow other than a small dusting last week that quickly disappeared.
This morning I hunted lot 88 again by myself since Jason had work and Dad wanted to duck hunt. I did have a nice deer encounter with a small skipper that might have weighed 70 pounds. 15 years ago I would not have hesitated, but now I just don't want to shoot some tiny little "Bambi" deer. I don't really have precious... precious time to butcher a deer myself so I don't want to pay $100 or whatever to have some little deer cut up. I'd rather pay for a bigger one; it would cost more than $100, but I'd get more than 25 pounds of meat as well.
There are more deer than ever in the midcoast so that's great. When I was a kid just seeing a deer, any deer, was a huge win. Now it's expected to see one half the time. Plus if I shoot a tiny little deer early in the hunt the hunt is over. No big buck for me, and there are some nice ones living in the piece of woods. I don't need to shoot some trophy buck, but harvesting a really big mature buck would be awesome. Plus it would be a lot of meat!
It's nice to stay with Mom and Dad for an overnight, but every time I do I feel guilty because I feel like I should be at home with my awesome wife. Even worse, last night the restaurant POS crashed hard for almost the entire time we were open. What a bunch of crap! I couldn't have fixed it if I were home, but I could have helped deal with the aftermath and get the servers squared away. A checkout report needs to be manually calcualted when the system goes down, and it sucks. A lot. I'm pretty good at it and I could have made things a lot easier for everyone.
So I enjoy going down the town I grew up in and staying at the house I grew up in, but I feel guilty because I feel like I'm also needed up here. When I get back, even if I'm not even gone for 24 hours, I feel like I have a lot to do. What a bunch of crap! My going down there means a lot to Mom and Dad, though.
Oh, I totally SUCK. Get this, yesterday was Mom and Dad's 49th wedding anniversary and I DIDN'T EVEN REMEMBER IT OMG I FAIL! I was so focused on deer hunting that I totally blew it, and I saw a card on the window by the table where we eat and that is what reminded me. Thankfully both Doug and Jason also forgot hehehe. We need to do something NICE for them for next year #50. I really hope both of them are alive for that one, and I feel like a turd even writing that last part but it's true. Neither Mom nor Dad are the picture of perfect health these days.
I don't even really know what to get for them as gifts these days since they have almost everything they need. They're not rich, far from it, but I think comfortable is the right fit. I did get them a new dehumidifier for their basement in the spring, and that was a great gift since it's worked so well for them as compared to the ancient one they had been using. It's the same one they had when I was a kid decades ago hahahahaha!
I should have remembered their anniversary and done something nice for them. A card, a little cake, whatever. Totally forgetting about it and then coming down to deer hunt the same day = what a bunch of crap! I know they were glad I came down, but I do harbor some guilt from it.
Thursday, 11-09-23: Back to deer hunting.
Last week I didn't see jack shit during my Wednesday evening and Thursday morning hunts at Jason's "lot 44" land, but yesterday was a lot of fun. I hunted "lot 88" at the end of the Patterson Mill Rd, and I had deer action only 15 minutes after I started my hunt. I had a doe and a skipper work their way towards me, and I had a chance to watch them for half my hunt. I had plenty of chances to shoot either deer, but I passed them up for two reasons. First, I'm not hurting for the meat. I still have deer meat in the freezer from two years ago. Second, I was hoping to see a buck in what is prime land that hasn't gotten much, if any, hunting pressure. Jason tagged out on his own land when he shot a really big buck well over a month ago, and Dad shot a nice buck, also on Jason's land, last Saturday. That means these bucks are mine if I can pull it off:
^OMG THEY WERE IN THERE ONLY 1.5 HOURS AFTER I LEFT WHAT A BUNCH OF CRAP!
I'll go again next Wednesday, and hopefully I can spend the night and also hunt Thursday morning. It's hard to spend too much time in the woods this year when I'm trying to get the restaurant squared away.