Sunday, August 08, 2010

The first full day with The Spud

Saturday was another shooting day. A couple of months ago I'd volunteered to take a group of novice shooters out to the local range. This bunch was from a local Tea Party chapter and none had much shooting experience but they wanted to get together and try it so one of the organizers, a former student of mine, called me up and asked me to take them. For the record, I'm not a Tea Party member myself, but as any reader of this blog well knows, we share the same views on most things. I'm just not a joiner. As luck would have it, the selected day fell on Spud's first full day here, so I took him along.

Here's the Spud, posing with the Ruger 10-22 that I entrusted him with. He did a great job of aiming every shot and demonstrating good muzzle awareness. The boy's learning to be a good shooter and we'll make a rifleman of him yet.

After we shot, a couple of the shooters offered to treat Spud and I to lunch. So we stopped at the Golden Corral, an excellent buffet-style restaurant. It was here that I learned a lesson about letting kids--or at least The Spud--work a buffet line without supervision.
On his first foray, he bypassed all of the quality meats and vegetables and returned with a plate just heaping with macaroni and cheese, pasta in tomato sauce, and that crappy all-dough pizza that places like this put out. I just sighed, because I'd told him up front that he was going to east healthy here and that we were going to try to get him off of his regular all-carb diet that his mom and grandmother seem to keep him on. So after he'd finished that mess, I accompanied him back up for the second round. After stopping him from heaping his plate with a massive scoop of mashed potatoes, I "suggested" a few healthy alternatives--broccoli, roast, shrimp and some catfish. (This place had some excellent lightly-breaded catfish.) He kind of screwed up his face a bit because he'd never had catfish (yes...he's a yankee boy all the way) but as soon as he sat down and tried a piece, he announced that he LOVES catfish.'s a start.

So after eating that balanced, sensibly-portioned plate, he said that he wanted some more catfish. So I goofed again and let him return to the buffet counter for plate #3, figuring that just he'd get a couple more pieces and call it a day.

He returned with about 15 fillets on his plate...and more pasta. Cue the face-palm.

The rest of the day was spent swimming--I took him and Lagniappe down to the river--reading (I've started him on my old Hardy Boys books and he's loving the first one) and watching a movie. Do you believe that he's never seen Smokey and the Bandit and had no idea who Burt Reynolds, Jackie Gleason and Jerry Reed were? I will give this boy a sense of culture yet.

He loved it. Now I gotta find another movie that instills positive "guy values" for tonight. Anyone think that eleven is too young for Full Metal Jacket? Any other recommendations?

Oh, and just as an aside, to anyone with they all have this programming that makes them turn on every light in a house--even lights in rooms that they are just passing through in broad daylight--and then leaving them on? I mean, WTF?


  1. Movie suggestions? Easy enough: The Great Escape, The Magnificent Seven, True Grit, The Shootist, Jeremiah Johnson. That'll get him him off to a good start.

  2. Q: What's the difference between a lawyer and a catfish?

    A: One is a bottom-feeding, scum-sucking low-life, and the other is a fish.

  3. It seems that supervision, direction, instruction and role-modeling have been in short supply for the young man. Hang in there!

  4. Re: leaving the lights on

    Short answer -- yes.

    Sounds like you're having fun!

  5. Don't forget ANYTHING with the Duke is appropriate for youngsters. The Searchers is my particular favorite.
    The Dirty Dozen is another fav. Oh and don't forget Sgt. York. Shooting and standing up for your country-that's a perfect message for youngsters. It's even recommended for homeschooling.
    And the light thing-I have no idea why but it's true! "Turn that light off" is one of the most repeated phrases at my house.

  6. Full Metal Jacket might be a tad beyond where I would feel comfortable for an 11 year old to see. Especially without the context of knowing Vietnam War history. If you want a "Vietnam" movie, "Uncommon Valor" with Gene Hackman is not a bad choice for instilling guy values: never give up, team work, always go back for your buddies, make due with what you've got, etc. For westerns, you could go with "Pale Rider", "Silverado", "Tombstone", "3:10 to Yuma" or any of Clint Eastwood's spaghetti westerns although "High Plains Drifter" is a personal fav.

  7. The light thing is par for the course. Here is another sample conversation from my house:

    Me: Is your room picked up?

    Daughter: Yes.

    Me: OK, let's check.

    Me (looking at room): Whose pile of clothes are those? Why are there pencils all over the floor? Where do those books belong? Where do those shoes go?

    You get the idea.

    Also - suggest an Appleseed shoot for the boy. A weekend of marksmanship and actual US History, not the revisionist stuff he's getting at school.

  8. Anonymous12:32 PM

    Good to see you teaching the kid to be a riflemen, passing that on is great.

    The eating habits, yeah typical for any kid - even I ate like that.

    Yes, FMJ is not for 11-year olds- but perhaps 13-year olds.

    As to the lights, I don't have kids, but my wife does it all the time and it erks to no end. I just turn them off behind her. Guess her being grown and telling her to turn them off is a lost cause. So get them while they are young.

  9. OK, we didn't do Full Metal jacket, but we're working our way through Rio Bravo with John Wayne and Dean Martin. He's actually getting into it, except for the Angie Dickinson kissing parts.

  10. "OK, we didn't do Full Metal jacket, but we're working our way through Rio Bravo with John Wayne and Dean Martin. He's actually getting into it, except for the Angie Dickinson kissing parts."

    There's somethin' wrong with that boy! Angie Dickinson - whew!

  11. Any Sean Connery James Bond movie will do quite nicely. The Longest Day, Battle of Britain, A Bridge Too Far, offer some history. Magnificent Seven has great cowboys.

  12. The Sand Pebbles. Damn, how'd I forget that one? See if you can pick up the Wanted: Dead or Alive cd's with Steve McQueen.

  13. Hey I just found this while looking for some reading suggestions for my son. She's got some great suggestions!

  14. Good for you for introducing him to The Hardy Boys. As a young kid, I had some of my Dad's books about Frank and Joe, a couple of years later I acquired some newer titles of my own.

    Sounds like the young man is getting a great summer education.