We had the party down in Rolla. Always good to get together with that group. The kids are getting to the age where, except for meal and bed time, they're pretty self-sufficient and they can fight for attention among themselves instead of for our attention for the most part. Vanilla martinis, whiskey, potato soup, lemon cake, egg cassarole, and snoopy waffles. Movies, a little creek walk with the kids. Some guitars & mandos, and lots of talking.
Got the Christmas stuff all down and put away. Always a bit of a chore, and a little sad. But this year the tree had dried out fast and it looked tired.
Vicki went to a girls night ... "in" ... party Friday. Movies, bon-bons, and the ever-popular vanilla martinis. I think she's about had it with the vanilla martinis. They're a little too easy to drink. She said she had fun though.
I bought a .22 rifle at a pawn shop last week. About time Mr. 2nd Amendment here owned a gun. You know, put your money where your mouth is and all. It's the ever-popular Marlin Model 60. Ryan and I went out and sighted it in yesterday. It needs a better cleaning. Sometimes the spent shell doesn't get ejected quite in time for the bolt to close, and every now and then one'll get caught in the bolt and you have to open it and let it fall out before you can fire again. I was hitting pretty consistently in the lower left 1" square @ 25 yards on the sighting target by the time we were done. Any adjustment the other way would put it right back where it was when I took the scope out of the package, so I guess maybe that's just the way it shoots. Although part of it could be I only had the mounting bracket screws on thumb tight at first, and I tightened them with a screwdriver before the end. Maybe I'll do a little more careful adjusting next weekend.
Ryan and I are starting a series of "hikes" where we practice one survival skill. This time out it was "start a fire without matches or a lighter or any artificial fuel". We used cedar bark for tinder. It was a damp day, but not raining. Nothing was dry, but things weren't soaking wet, either. We stripped the bark into strings by using the saw attachment on the Leatherman tool sideways. It stripped in to very thin, stringy, curly "stuff". Perfect. That being said I think we're going to have to try this several times with different tinders, though, as a cedar grove might not always be available. However, if you can find one, just for the record, they're handy.
We cooked the traditional "dogs" over our hard-earned fire, put it out, and hiked out. Of course, taking a couple of pictures on the way out.