Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Science and Biology of Bullfighting

© 2010 Albert A Rasch and
The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles
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"Bullfighting is the only art in which the artist is in danger of death and in which the degree of brilliance in the performance is left to the fighter's honour."
Ernest Hemingway

I can't think of anything more contentious than the noble art of bullfighting as practiced in Spain, Portugal, and Mexico.

My mother happens to love it, while my wife hates it with a passion she usually reserves for lawyers and her ex-husband. My father could care less, while I think it's so freaking awesome that I would like to try it with my Wranglers and a white, Egyptian cotton dress shirt on!

All the animal rights talk I bump into somehow got me thinking about why we do some of the things we do. I mean, if you think about it, we as a species and men in particular, do some pretty wacky things. Take bungie jumping for instance. Who in their right mind wants to swan dive off of anything with giant rubber bands wrapped around their ankles? Obviously a whole bunch of people do, including those guys in Papua New Guinea who do it with vines. Why do people get tattoos? Or for that matter, piercings? Why do I use a 458WM when a 308 is readily available? Why is there Spring Break?

Face it, it's the girls!

I don't care who it is, where he lives, what he preaches or practices, in the end it usually all boils down to getting the girl.

Give that some contemplation for a moment if you please.  There is not one of you that can not bring to mind something so totally stupid, that either you did or you witnessed, on account of a girl! (Depending on where you were standing, you might have been the recipient and or unwitting participant of such a demonstration...)

And girls dig the guy that best fits in with her vision of good genetics or studliness. And guys, in their imminent wisdom, are perpetually screwing things up, getting hurt, botching things, or otherwise making complete and total fools of themselves on a regular basis. It doesn't help that we are also as transparent as fresh cleaned plate glass, and denser too.

But we have an innate instinctual desire to procreate. There might be the exception here and there, but usually we want to procreate and procreate often! So as the levels of testosterone rise in a linear fashion, mental capacity diminishes exponentially. For you mathematicians you will recognize that it is an inverse equation. This is frequently exacerbated by short skirts, high heels, and alcohol. Sometimes cut off jean shorts, hiking boots, a flannel shirt, and a 1911 will elicit the same reaction, as will everyday work clothes on occasion. The point is that men's simple minds really don't care very much sometimes...

Now what does this have to do with Bullfighting, you ask.

Photo Credit: Chema Consellon
Think about it. Who in their right mind would stand in front of a pretty pissed off bull, dressed in sequins and tights, waving a cape around?

Bullfighters do. And 99% of all bullfighters are what?

Male. See what I mean?

But we got reasons for it. You take for instance, Fran Rivera who was married for a few years to Eugenia Martinez de Irujo, the Duchess of Alba’s daughter. From the male perspective, she was pretty damn hot. To say nothing of her wealth and the prestige that comes with title and lots of ducats in the bank. So if Fran's bull fighting prowess had been less than exemplary, it's doubtful that the Duchess' daughter would have even noticed him. You gotta be a bad-ass in your own area of operations!

Guys pay big money to look good. Notice the uniforms of the Matador. No Bird of Paradise looks as resplendent!  Oh and by the way, Fran's matador outfit was designed by Armani!

It helps to have courage; I dare anyone to stand in a ring with a wild bull. And wild they are; they are bred and raised on huge preserves. Left to fend for themselves, they are a line of bulls well known for their tenacity and courage. (Actually there are four lines.) Their origins may be from the wild bulls from the Iberian Peninsula. Others state that they may have come from the Arab bulls of the Moorish conquest. It is also said that many went to the Roman Empire for the Colosseum games. So when you're fighting 1200 pounds of ferocity, you have 'em big and bad, and brother, girls dig it!

What I see when I view a bullfight is a man standing in for all men, showing what skill, fortitude, and courage can accomplish.

 Oops!!! That's gonna leave a mark!

Or, then again,  maybe he's just showing off so they can get the babes...

Albert A Rasch
Member: Bagram Tent Club
Member: Hunting Sportsmen of the United States HSUS (Let 'em sue me.)
The Hunt Continues...

The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Don't Forget!

© 2010 Albert A Rasch and
The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles
$g&m f9bd 45kd q!?5.

Howdy friends!

Just want to remind y'all that if you have a post that you would like me to add to the Saturday Blog Rodeo, just let me know! I've already got a few, but a couple of recomendations from you, and I will link back to you of course, will always be welcome!

Albert A Rasch
Member: Bagram Tent Club
Member: Hunting Sportsmen of the United States HSUS (Let 'em sue me.)
The Hunt Continues...
The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Tanning a Hide: Assets on the Net!

© 2010 Albert A Rasch and
The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles
$g&m f9bd 45kd q!?5.
Image Credit: Joezaremba
Here is another worthwhile project for the outdoorsman.

Maybe you saved a deer hide in the freezer thinking that you might get around to doing something with it. Well, here is your opportunity!

Brain tanning is probably the simplest method, and one that really works! I brain tanned a deer hide that I got from my neighbors that hunted, when I was maybe 13 or so.

I remember working on it for well over a week. I would watch the clock on the classroom wall, counting down the minutes before I would be liberated and could get back to my basement and continue fleshing and then tanning that hide!

There are a ton of links out there for brain tanning hides. All it takes is some brains.

Obviously, you have to save the deer brains for this operation not your own. I mean you have to have some brains to follow the directions... But the process itself is reasonably easy, but there is a bit of (relatively physical) work involved. The nice thing is that there are no harsh chemicals used, no poisons, and it is about as "Green" as you can get!

A good resource is Brain Tan. If my memory is correct, it started as a "this is how you do it" site and evolved into a supplier of gear and equipment for do-it-yourself tanning. Regardless they have many tutorials on skinning, preparing, and tanning hides. Their tutorial page is here at their Articles and Tutorials page.

To begin with you need to treat the hide with care. Skinning for pelts requires a slightly more refined method, and a bit of care in the process. Jim Miller has an excellent set of instructions at BrainTan called Tan Your Pelts with Nature’s Tools. He covers everything from skinning to smoking the hide.

(Precautionary Note: I want to caveat his instruction by saying that the use of raccoon brains can be dangerous. If you have taken the animal yourself, are fairly certain that it is not rabid, and are going to take reasonable precautions like wearing gloves, then go ahead. This warning only applies to animals that commonly carry rabies.)

As I mentioned, the process requires a bit of elbow grease, but you can practically stop at any point and come back to it later.

I also found this PDF from the New Mexico State University Tanning Deer Hides
and Small Fur Skins.
It covers several methods including the chemical ones.

Native Tech
also offers an alternative method of brain tanning. The link Updated Version of Brain Tanning will take you to that version. It is basically the same as Jim's but it throws a couple of twists into it; well worth the read.

Now that you have read a few different versions, remember that when I did it 35 years ago (Holy Smokes...) I used a kitchen knife that looked like an over long buffalo skinner, an old porous brick, a two by four that I rounded for a fleshing beam, a pickle bucket, and my mother's blender, (She still has no clue I used it!) And I didn't smoke it either. With those simple tools I made a hair on hide throw that she kept for at least 20 years.

Go look at the resources available that I pointed out to you and give it a try! I think you'll be pleasantly surprised by the results!

Best Regards and Happy Hunting!
Albert A Rasch
The Hunt Continues...

The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles

Monday, April 5, 2010

A Warning to all Young Men...

Real busy, going to be light on the posts this week! Found this on one of the kids Facebook accounts!

Sorry for the fuzzy quality...


Sunday, April 4, 2010

Weekend Recap 4/4/10

© 2010 Albert A Rasch and
The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles
$g&m f9bd 45kd q!?5.

I bumped into this over the weekend and did a little digging. As it turns out, it's legitimate. Mr. Harold Estes is a 95 year old Navy Veteran who wrote a letter to the Commander in Chief, pretty much telling him to cut the crap, and start leading the country!

Dear President Obama,

My name is Harold Estes, approaching 95 on December 13 of this year. People meeting me for the first time don't believe my age because I remain wrinkle free and pretty much mentally alert. I enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1934 and served proudly before, during and after WW II retiring as a Master Chief Bos'n Mate. Now I live in a "rest home" located on the western end of Pearl Harbor, allowing me to keep alive the memories of 23 years of service to my country.

One of the benefits of my age, perhaps the only one, is to speak my mind, blunt and direct even to the head man. So here goes:

I am amazed, angry and determined not to see my country die before I do, but you seem hell bent not to grant me that wish.

I can't figure out what country you are the president of. You fly around the world telling our friends and enemies despicable lies like:

"We're no longer a Christian nation"

" America is arrogant" - (Your wife even announced to the world, "America is mean-spirited." Please tell her to try preaching that nonsense to 23 generations of our war dead buried all over the globe who died for no other reason than to free a whole lot of strangers from tyranny and hopelessness.)

I'd say shame on the both of you, but I don't think you like America, nor do I see an ounce of gratefulness in anything you do, for the obvious gifts this country has given you. To be without shame or gratefulness is a dangerous thing for a man sitting in the White House.

After 9/11 you said, "America hasn't lived up to her ideals."

Which ones did you mean? Was it the notion of personal liberty that 11,000 farmers and shopkeepers died for to win independence from the British? Or maybe the ideal that no man should be a slave to another man, that 500,000 men died for in the Civil War? I hope you didn't mean the ideal 470,000 fathers, brothers, husbands, and a lot of fellas I knew personally died for in WWII, because we felt real strongly about not letting any nation push us around, because we stand for freedom.

I don't think you mean the ideal that says equality is better than discrimination. You know the one that a whole lot of white people understood when they helped to get you elected.

Take a little advice from a very old geezer, young man.

Shape up and start acting like an American! If you don't, I'll do what I can to see you get shipped out of that fancy rental on Pennsylvania Avenue .. You were elected to lead not to bow, apologize and kiss the hands of murderers and corrupt leaders who still treat their people like slaves.

And just who do you think you are telling the American people not to jump to conclusions and condemn that Muslim major who killed 13 of his fellow soldiers and wounded dozens more. You mean you don't want us to do what you did when that white cop used force to subdue that black college professor in Massachusetts , who was putting up a fight? You don't mind offending the police calling them stupid but you don't want us to offend Muslim fanatics by calling them what they are, terrorists.

One more thing. I realize you never served in the military and never had to defend your country with your life, but you're the Commander-in-Chief now, son. Do your job. When your battle-hardened field General asks you for 40,000 more troops to complete the mission, give them to him. But if you're not in this fight to win, then get out. The life of one American soldier is not worth the best political strategy you're thinking of.

You could be our greatest president because you face the greatest challenge ever presented to any president.

You're not going to restore American greatness by bringing back our bloated economy. That's not our greatest threat. Losing the heart and soul of who we are as Americans is our big fight now. And I sure as hell don't want to think my president is the enemy in this final battle.

Harold B. Estes
(Photo Credit:Unable to attribute)

'Nuff Said!

Albert A Rasch
Member: Bagram Tent Club
Member: Hunting Sportsmen of the United States HSUS (Let 'em sue me.)
The Hunt Continues...
The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles