Friday, July 31, 2015




I confess that I am a trophy hunter. No, I haven't killed any lions with British names lately. But deer season is quickly approaching and I know of at least two good bucks (I haven't named) I will be trying my damnedest to put on the ground. I didn't used to be a trophy hunter. When I first re-started my hunting "practice" I was more than happy to take any legal animal. If I had a doe permit I shot a doe. If it was spring I took a jake turkey. I didn't worry much about big racks or long beards. All I cared about was putting meat in the freezer. But that was 20 years ago.
    Years went by. I got better at reading sign, hunting the wind, keeping my scent down. Unlike my ability to get a show of my art, the art I was doing with gun and bow was getting easier. There is nothing so boring as an easy activity. This is what pushed me to the pursuit of the mature buck and turkey. This was a challenge. There was nothing easy about it. What drew me back to the hunt in general was the difficulty level of actually bagging a legal animal, as well as contextualizing this activity in my overall art work. You think the internet is against guns and hunting? Try convincing the ultra-PC art world that killing one of God's beautiful creatures is a valid action. That difficulty remains.
   And now we are in the age of "internet shaming". If Bambi was released today deer hunters would be as scarce as that big buck. So my confession to chasing the trophy must be further defined. I DO NOT hunt for trophies only. I hunt mature animals and ALWAYS butcher and eat them.The taking of Africa's big cats has always seemed wrong to me. There is no sharing of meat with community and the fees mostly remain with the PHs and outfitters that are throw backs to the colonial days, catering to the ultra-rich. So when a rich mid-western dentist books a lion hunt he depends on his hosts to do it legally. I can't believe that this dentist wanted to target an iconic, easily identified, black maned male lion with a GPS collar. But I may be wrong. Maybe he's that stupid and evil. What I do know is CNN, BBC, and every other news outlet, big or small, is calling for blood, without due process. We all know who Cecil was now. He joins Bambi's mom in the anthropomorphic heaven. We also know Dr. Palmer's name, who remains in hiding. Good move doc. Your head may be on some crackpot's wall very soon.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015



The house lights dim as the small framed young woman totters on her high heels, straightening her tiara, barely able to keep the large bouquet of flowers in her arms. "I want to.....(sniffle) thank....(sob)....just everyone....." She smiles shyly. "It's been quite a journey." Daintily she dabs her eyes with a lace hanky. "Everyone has been so kind. I never in my wildest dreams thought I would be standing on this stage tonight. But there's one person in particular I'd like to especially thank......" The young woman struggles with something hidden in her bouquet of roses. It looks to that a gun barrel?

One year before the Miss Universe contest.

In a brazen, well planned escape, El Chapo Guzman leaves his Mexican prison cell in order to retain control of his drug empire and return to his 25 year old beauty queen wife. The surveillance video shows a short stocky, mustachioed man pacing back and forth, then disappearing into the floor. The rabbit hole he jumps down is a mile long engineering marvel, complete with lighting, ventilation and a crude motorcycle trolley. Judging by the scope of the project construction must have begun the day he was locked up.
   None of this is surprising for a Mexican drug lord of El Chapo's stature. But what caught my attention in this tabloid fueled saga is the pictures of EC when he was captured. In all the tussling to get him in the car I saw his mustache move. That caterpillar  was fake. And look at those man boobs! Damned if Chappy wasn't in it for the long game. He must've started his regime of hormones as soon as he was locked up, knowing full well that once he flew the coop everybody would be looking for a 60 year old man, not a sexy young woman.
   Enter "The Donald". Say what you will about Mexican Narco traffickers, to a man they are extremely patriotic. Once Trump started shooting his mouth off about all Mexicans being "rapists" and "killers" El Chapo knew it was time to get back into society and have a positive impact on global politics. As we speak a team of experts are whipping that flabby "girl" into shape. Plastic surgeons are slicing away the years. Mrs. Chapo is giving her husband all the tricks of the trade. "Wet your lips. Smile. It won't kill you. Shoulders back. Stick 'em out there. You got a great pair." La Chapita is forming. She knows she can win. That Uzi will fit nicely in the winner's bouquet. That will be the end of of The Donald. You go girl. We're all rooting for you.

Friday, July 10, 2015



   I've been holed up in the sticks for years now. But no matter how hard I try, I just can't get off the commute. At first it was west in the morning from Glen Wild to White Sulphur Springs, then back east at night. I did WSSP for Shewho and WSSP II for Chuck and Tess. Then for a minute my commute shortened to about a mile, down to the shul and back. Those were the days. But last winter's ass kicking sent me out to WSSP for the duration, commuting east in the morning, to the studio, then back west at night. When the freeze eased up in April, I attempted to hook the water back up, only to find so many leaks that I gave up, demolishing the whole kitchen and adding on a mud and laundry room. This is what faces me every morning- an ever expanding construction zone. I mumble to myself "I'm such an asshole".
    So it was earlier in the week, that I put the cat in his sack, started up the truck and headed for "home". I know plenty of people who bring their dogs to work. As far as I know I'm the only one that commutes with his cat. Cheeky loves the freedom. He vaults from his bag, ready to kill any bird, snake, bug or frog that crosses his path. Sometimes he shows up to return to the comforts of WSSP at the end of the day. Sometimes he doesn't. I worry. But the next day he always shows up, putting my mind at ease. On this particular morning I headed down the hill towards Denniston Ford, when I noticed something unusual off to my right, bedded down just off the road. At first I thought it was a whitetail fawn. But something wasn't quite right. No spots. It had small ears and kind of a short snout. I pulled the truck over. Cheeky meowed. Whatthefuck was this?
    I spend a lot of time in the woods. I know every critter out there. But this thing had me stumped. I walked up to it. It didn't move. I didn't want to get too close. Goddamn thing could be rabid or poisonous. It looked up at me and batted it's big eyes. Sure didn't look dangerous. Cheeky meowed again. So I got back in the truck and crossed the river. A friend's mom had called about parking at the church, showing up later in the day. I told her about the mystery beast, and she knew all about it. It seems that one of these rat deer had gotten into South Fallsburg and word spread fast through the ranks of Hasidim. Was it an extinct animal? A sign? It wasn't a red calf, but a kangaroo/rabbit/deer/rat sure got the tribe talking. God MUST have sent it.
    Turns out that the mystery critter was a Patagonian cavy, half of a pair that had found a home in the Catskills, after being busted in NYC by the cops. The Fallsburg cops picked up the cavy, giving it VIP treatment, in the back of the squad car, returning it to the river banks of the Neversink. According to the DEC they are completely legal. I love it. In 10 or 20 years these damn things could be all over the place. I hear they are good eating. Just when you think you got it all figured out, something like this greets you on the commute. My neck is on a swivel these days. I swear we just passed a walking fish with his thumb out. Cheeky meowed again. "No room in the front."