The Birds

We (my wife and I) watched The Birds the other night all the way through – a first for both of us, and all I could keep thinking the entire time was “Good Lord! Don’t any of these people own a shotgun?”

It just seemed like a mess that didn’t have to happen. I know, I realize that the story took place somewhere on the California coast, apparently not far from San Francisco, but I guess I just didn’t believe all the things I heard about people there, but maybe it’s true. I just have a hard time believing that not one house had a gun tucked away somewhere. What about Grandpa’s old war rifle? What about daddy’s 12-gauge that was given to him by his uncle? What about that old Marlin .22 that you shot your first squirrel with, or that pistol that Grandma kept beside the bed after Grandpa passed on? Given their situation, you’d think these poor people didn’t have a pot to piss in but they had nice houses, nice clothes, and we know that one guy was a lawyer (you know he’s going to need a gun at some point). But nope, they were like sitting June bugs on a chicken coop floor. I guess everyone’s a little different.

Now, I would suggest that, instead of a tragedy, what they had here was an opportunity. Look, you got a bunch of crows, blackbirds, seagulls, starlings, whatever, that need thinning and you just happen to have a scatter-gun and some bird-shot, then make the best of it!

1. Let’s say bird season (doesn’t matter which one) is coming up and you need to hone your shooting skills. Blast away!

2. You just got a new bird dog pup and she’s full of energy and eager to learn. This would be like sending your dog to MIT, or maybe West Point is a better analogy – let’s just call it immersion training.

3. It’s been a hard year, jobs are scarce, and the freezer is near empty. Hey, a bird’s a bird – time to get creative. Ever hear of nutria? Yeah, we eat those down here. Look it up.

4. Your the sheriff of a small, slow, boring, but nice coastal community in California but your deputies are spending too much time at the local diner and it’s beginning to show around their waist and at the gun range. Get them boys out there to shoot! Two birds – you know what I mean?

5. You’re a father and you’ve somehow managed to raise one of these pasty-skinned, 20-30 year old boys that still lives at home playing video games while waiting for that job that’s just right for him. Now’s the time to tell him that you’re very ill and must stay in bed per the doctor’s orders or face a certain death. It’s up to him now to step up and guard the family and property. You’ll be in your bed should he need instructions.

So, I enjoyed the movie and I’m glad I finally got around to watching it, but it was hard to swallow. Yeah, I know, it’s fictional, but it would be even more fictional if it took place in the south, that’s all I’m saying.

A couple of nights before, Casablanca was on and I watched it again for the umpteenth time. Now, there’s a movie!

Winter tip: Propane tank refill adaptor

We had a wood stove in our last house and I I’m going to put one in our new place as soon as money permits. I was raised with them and I love them. Partly because I’m a man so I love to burn things and use a chainsaw, and partly because it’s a solid back-up (or full-time) heat source when the power goes out. But, until that time I have to prepare for winter outages with what I can afford.

Last year, I bought one of those “indoor”/outdoor propane heaters that use the small propane canisters (notice that I put quotation marks around the word “indoor.” That means, BE CAREFUL and ventilate and don’t use while your sleeping!). Anyway, if you have one of these for emergencies too, then you might not know that there’s a cheap little conversion adapter for refilling those small 16.4 0z. cylinders using a 20 lb tank – like you have for your gas grill. Here’s the one I bought from amazon last year. And here’s a video explaining how to use it.

Yes, you could just buy the hose and hook the 20 lb tank directly into the heater, but that’s only if you feel comfortable having a 20 lb propane tank in your living room. I don’t! So, I’m just throwing this out there as an option.

Be careful and use your head.