In case any of you are keeping track, this is the 40th weekly blog that I have written. 40 week is long enough to gestate a human being for God’s sake. 40 times I have thought all week about what I wanted to share with you, then spent what few hours I have on the weekend alone (useually in the wee morning hours from about 4-6 AM, sometimes late at night) typing away at these keys in hopes that it means something to someone. (Remember that show Doogie Howser, and how at the end of the show he was always typing into his computer… It looks just like that, except I’m not a 14 year old surgeon, and a lot of times I have a cocktail by my side for encouragement) We have spoken of everything from mall ninjas, to political theories. From forging your own knives to foraging for mushrooms. Every diamond has many facets I guess…But our conversations have become monologues, with myself giving long-winded speeches about how “MPBR” can be the best friend or your worse enemy of the average hunter depending on practical application, or about ways to not look like an idiot at the gun counter. Maybe im preaching to the choir, or maybe im just preaching to myself. I guess there is no way to know for sure…
“I ain’t never seen a hearse with a luggage rack”-George Strait. Kind of a weird thought huh? The new, cool, skinny jean, no socks with summer shoes in the winter, ride a bike with tires made of hemp (because its greener man), grow the front of your hair real long and cut the back short (then wear a beanie on the back of your head for some dumb reason, even in the summer) wear horn rim glasses with no lenses, use a beard as a fashion statement hipster revolution has bought into quite a few things (even though they will tell you that they invented them all). 2 of the biggest being “YOLO”, and “bucket lists”. YOLO (standing for: You Only Live Once) is pretty much their excuse for making stupid decisions. “Hey yo Bruh, why did you get that tattoo of my little pony burning an upside down cross on your face?” “YOLO Bruh.” That’s considered an acceptable answer! Never in my life have I ever wanted to strangle a man with his own purse, or choke someone out with their own man bun so badly. The “bucket List” is even funnier. People will see someone else doing something “Epic” (another word that drives me nuts) or “LEGIT” (maybe im just getting old, Matlock and porch-swings here I come) and start saying things like #BUCKETLIST. In other words stating that what ever said action was, they want to complete it before they die (kick the bucket). Maybe “YOLO” really does stand for “You Obviously Lack originality”, or maybe Jack Black was right when he stated that “I’m fairly certain that YOLO is just Carpe Diem for stupid people”. People get so caught up in what they can take from the world, they never give a thought to what they can give back. They want memories of experiences, that they can say changed their life. As a matter of fact, we all do, but in different ways. To validate ones life, some resort to jumping out of a plane, or scaling Mt. Everest (by the way, I Google mapped it, and it looks like a HORRIBLE place to hunt, you may want to search a little longer for a better place to hang your deer stand for next season. I mean who is going to hike that far without even the chance of shooting a monster?) Some even say that they “Live” for it. Well if that’s what it takes, so be it. But what is experience, and memory without companionship and the ability to share it with someone else? I personally have been privileged enough to experience a lot of different things in my life. Given I have not summited K2, but I have been to a lot of beautiful places, from remote glacial lakes to mountain peaks, I have had the ability to explore the world around me. Now being a father,a husband and a friend, I am blessed to have the opportunity to share these experiences with those that I care about.
I think of my bucketlist differently… My bucket is one that is full of hard-earned knowledge that I need to give away. What kind of legacy do I leave if my son does not walk out into this world with everything that I know already up his sleeve? Why do you always swing a baseball bat (or a golf club, fly rod, ax, or a sword ) with fast hands? Because the hands lead the weapon, the same way the brain leads the hands. Be it a solid base hit, a perfect cast, or a fell tree, it is all the same knowledge that one only gets once he understands it completely. Why should a 5-year-old understand how to make a debris shelter, how to trick a shy brook trout into collapsing on a fly, how to find a good crop of mushrooms, or the correct way to breast a grouse? Because it provides character, it allows him to be able to sustain himself if he decides to pursue the life style that I have, and because it keeps him close to his roots. It humbles you. Why does my son almost always shoot his Nerf gun from a prone position (feet flat as to not move back and forth and give away location), why does he (try at least, he still has little hands after all) hold his toy pistols with a thumbs forward IPSC grip? Well, that’s what Daddy does. Why do I do it that way? Because it cost me thousands of rounds of ammo, and countless hours at the range to find out that there is a reason why all the best shooters do it that way. Because it works, and it takes away a lot of the variables. By no way am I saying the my way is the only way, but it is a better starting point then ground zero. I guess thats what I have tried to do with these blogs. I feel that I have information that someone would like to have, I feel that the hours that I spend honing my craft can be put to good use. Maybe give someone a good nudge in the right direction, The problem is, I don’t know what you want to learn. If you want product reviews, I will start doing that. If you want more informative blogs explaining single subject matter (guns, knives, etc.) we can do that too. Or have you just grown tired of my writing, and want something different all together? Anything I have, and everything I know is available to you. If I don’t know the answer off-hand, I will do the research and give you whatever I can find, that knowledge is important to me too. But I want this to be a conversation and not a monologue. With out you, there is no reason for me to do this. Teach me something, pique my interest, we all have our comfort zones, and areas of expertise. Now its time to share them, after all you can’t take them with you when you go.
-Grant Willoughby 03/05/2017-