My Work

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Gun Control or Mind Control?

Gun control or mind control?

It looks like the real colors have been hoisted in the gun control debate currently raging in Washington.  It is not about background checks, it is not about whether or not someone with a slight, severe, or suggested mental deficiency should have the right to own a weapon, it is, simply, this administration has a strong desire to obliterate the Bill of Rights one amendment at a time, starting with the second.
They have plans in the works to take out the first, and the fourth is already shredded by way of detention without representation, and killing of citizens without benefit of even being charged with a crime.
Who is behind all of this?  Some, like the extreme left and the anarchists like to blame the international corporations and their lobbies, and the international banking interests and their lobbies, but I have another thought on that matter.  The hard core left that believe more and bigger government is the answer to all questions also have little regard for the concept of individualism, and if you read the Bill of Rights, it has individualism written in almost every line of thought, not a big strong federal government.
Men and women like Holder, Obama, Pelosi, and Boxer detest the concept of an individual actually being able to be responsible for herself of himself, not being a sheep willing to run with the flock, or go over the cliff with their fellow lemmings.  The fear in their hearts runs deep for right now, the majority of voters in this country is probably a mix of independents and libertarians, and to be one or the other, one must think from a critical angle.  That is how you spell individualism.  That is what created the Bill of Rights in the first place.  And that puts blazing fear in the hearts of those that can only believe something is good when it’s done by government.
It was a strong central government with strong controls and demands that led to the 1776 revolution in the first place, it was strong leadership from many with individualism in their hearts that led to our Constitution and the Bill of Rights attached to it.  An individual’s rights have no place in socialism, and right now, the federalists running the current administration are working overtime to destroy the last remnants of the Bill or Rights, one amendment at a time.
The power base of the current administration comes from those that rarely think past their next government offering.  This beat up old libertarian is of the opinion that come the 2014 elections, many of us are going to have to demand some critical thinking from those seeking office if they want our vote.  There should be nothing more important than individual freedoms as offered by our Constitution and Bill of Rights, and it’s going to take a strong effort to protect what we are slowly losing.
Has it been awhile since you’ve read the Bill of Rights?  Click on this site and you’ll also have a chance to read the Constitution:
As always, read good books and stay regular.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Ah, Spring

Ah, Spring

            I’ve always found it difficult to take the garden apart in the fall, remembering all the wonderful things that happened during the spring and summer, still tasting the fresh tomatoes, still agonizing over whether or not the cauliflower was really going to take, and enjoying the fruits and vegetables that are now stored on the shelves and in the freezer.  It’s a difficult time at best, to take apart such a magnificent place.

            On the other hand, late winter and early spring are filled with anticipation as my wife and I champ at the bit, knowing full well it’s almost too early to plant, not too early to start the little darlings inside or in the hot house.  So, while the last stages of winter fall gently on unbroken ground, piling up in white drifts that will last at least another month, we plan and plan and plan.

            “No, Johnny, I want the corn there,” as we plot out the garden for spring 2013.  “That way it will help shade the tomatoes.  Remember?”  Of course I do, I whisper, she knowing full well I don’t.  But, she’s right, one must have a plan before planting.  The plan should indicate where old Sol’s arc will be across the sky, keeping veggies that need sun in the sun and those that don’t in the shade.  And, a plan will make your watering and irrigation that much easier as well, along with harvest time.  Maybe, this year you won’t have to fight off the cucumbers to get at the beans.

            This period of time when it’s too early to plant, but planting time can almost be felt in the air, is the right time to make sure all the garden implements and “stuff” are ready.  Shovels and hoes need to be cleaned and sharpened; tool handles need to be checked for burrs, splinters, and cracks; pots and vases need to be cleaned and filled with fresh soil; and let’s not forget getting that hot house ready for another season.  Even with snow on the ground, if there’s plenty of sunshine during daylight hours, and a means of gentle heating at night, early planting is possible.

            Spring, that glorious time of the year when rebirth is in the air, when snow drifts can be seen to retreat hourly, when visions of corn stalks dancing in the breeze and fresh tomatoes with basil and goat cheese are on the lunch menu, is just around the corner.  I’m almost ready, just a few more things to do, like clean the bar-b-que and get the beer well iced.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013


An Introspective Glance At Being A Nevadan
By Johnny Gunn

As we near a milestone in Nevada’s rich and sometimes lusty history, it’s an opportunity for me to offer some introspection and maybe just a bit of circumspection, in case I let my mind wander off target.  I’m well aware that I’m getting way ahead of the calendar, but that’s life.  On October 31, 2014, Nevada will celebrate its being a state for 150 years   The governor has named a commission that is supposed to help us celebrate this auspicious date, but I wonder just how many have taken the time to actually celebrate what we have, this grand Silver State, filled with so many twists and turns.

For instance on May 25, 2014. I will celebrate being a citizen of Nevada for fifty years, while at the same time celebrate being one half as old as the state.  The old saying comes to mind here, if I knew I was going to live this long, I sure as hell would have taken better care of myself.  During these fifty years Nevada has grown and grown and grown.  Our rural lifestyle has been taken from many of us, replaced with a mini-California.

In 1964, it was loudly proclaimed that Nevada had more head of cattle than people, and the members of Nevada’s legislature wore more western hats than Homburgs, more western boots than shoes, and bolo ties were rich in silver and turquoise.  It was also the year we lost the silver dollar, the cartwheel.  Gold sold for $37 a troy ounce.

Nevada has grown in population but is not more prosperous now than it was fifty years ago.  The cities affected by Interstate projects have suffered, some dramatically, and it’s still a long drive on a two lane road from Reno to Las Vegas, but with fewer stops along the way to chat with friends and knock the dust out of your teeth (Think cold beer).  In 1964 distance was often measured in six-packs, every pick up had a rifle rack, and it only took a couple of road trips to make life long friends along the highways and byways.

Politics were just as rough and tumble but without the personalization that has come about recently.  It was issues and ideas that dominated political debate and discussion, not the hate and vitriol that we see today.  Reno had two daily newspapers, blazingly active gambling casinos, with hotels popping up like asparagus in the spring, and you didn’t vie for a buck tag, you simply picked one up.

Paydays on the ranches brought the buckaroos to town, and gamblers from California found themselves standing next to a real cowboy, not one dreamed up by Hollywood.  Horses often were moved in the back of pick up, which is a sight I haven’t seen in too many years.  Horses often weren’t trailer broke, they were trained to jump in the back of a pick up and hold on tight.  Same way we taught our kids.

I’ve been one lucky young son, being able to live in some pretty exotic places over my three quarters of a century.  I was born in Santa Cruz, went to high school on Guam, served my country for a time in Puerto Rico, and have spent half a century as a citizen of the Silver State.  In Nevada, I’ve had homes in Virginia City, Gold Hill, Jacks Valley, Carson City, Middlegate, Manhattan, Silver Peak and Reno.  It just isn’t time to settle down, quite yet.

I’ve done mustanging, won races on top of crazy camels, worked underground in more than half a dozen mines, worked on the air for some of the finest broadcasting companies in the state, published my own weekly newspaper, and milked goats that have given me some of the sweetest milk, cheese, butter, and ice cream available.  Nevada has been kind to this young son.

When I met my lovely bride, Patty, she had just moved to Reno from Orange County.  Talk about change of scenery.  She loves road trips just as much as I, and we have been on so many over the years, but on some of our first excursions together, she commented, “Do you know everybody in this state?”  It seems that way sometimes, but on reflection, it was simply a case of arriving in a town and looking for a cold beer, and of course, knowing the bartender or owner.  You apparently don’t do it that way in Orange County.

One of Patty’s favorite places is Bruno’s in Gerlach.  On our first time there, we had left our little rancho in Cold Springs, driven north to Alturas, then over the pass to Cedarville, and south to Gerlach.  We went into the bar, got that first beer, and told the bartender we wanted to rent a room.

He said, “Sure, take such and such number,” and handed me the key.  A guy behind me said, “Hey, that’s my room.”  Seems the maid thought he had left, cleaned the room and made it available to rent.  Bartender, not flinching, said, “OK, fine, then take such and such room,” and handed me another key.

We got our stuff out of the truck and walked into the new room only to find it too was an occupied room.  The bartender never once got flustered as he handed me a third room key.  This one turned out to be empty, and Patty wedged a chair against the door when we finally hit the bed that night.  “Just in case,” she said.

We can’t go east without a stop at the Wig Wam in Fernley, Highway 50 means stops at Middlegate and Eureka.  Right next to the Eureka Opera House is a little saloon, yes, Virginia, it’s a Clamper Bar, and one New Year’s Eve we got involved in a karaoke party, and it only takes a couple to get me up singing (squalling) through numbers no one remembers.

Road trips today usually mean too much time on an Interstate, going too fast to enjoy the broad and fascinating land called Nevada.  The old two lane roads, 50, 95, 93, 6, 241, are far more interesting, and lead to wonderful places.  We spent two nights in Pioche a couple of years ago and I had told Patty about the colorful history of the town, with gangsters and robberies and murders on an almost daily menu.  When we arrived, we found the local casino closed.  It had been robbed of some $20,000 the day before.

The cafĂ© there is one of the best in Nevada.  We had rib eye steaks that you could cut with a fork and dripped in flavor.  They came from a local ranch and were USDA Prime.  You can’t get that anywhere anymore.  We ate breakfast, lunch, and dinner there for two days.  The hotel rooms sit just above the saloon with a rickety old staircase leading to the upped floor.  Just like in the movies, only as real as real can be.

Well, it seems, I did get off target a bit here.  There is a tendency today to shunt aside what is so special about Nevada in favor of what you would find just about anywhere else in the country.  Chain this and chain that.  No more Liberty Belle Saloon.  No more Kiah’s Squeeze In.  No more Harold’s Club.  And the characters.  No more Gordon Lane.  No more Tiny Carlson.  No more Grant Sawyer.  No more Bill Raggio.  And, one of my favorite politicians of all time, Jim Slattery simply can’t be replaced in the 21st Century.

I’m afraid this Silver Lady has grown up, and I’m not sure she will dance and sing as she has for 150 years, but I am sure that I’m proud to have become a Nevadan.  I’m a year early, and I don’t give a damn.  Happy birthday, old girl.