Across Continents

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Steady hand

January 9th, 2012

Two signs caught my eye. "Gun control is a steady hand". And "Never trust a Skinny Cook". And he believed in loyalty. Committed to the hamburger, the single substantive option on the menu. Choice of extras – likes of processed cheese, mayo or mustard – the only permitted variations.

I’d stopped at a cafe at the junction of the 153 and the 77. Supposedly nothing there, according to my map at least. Welcome surprise. Earlier Winchester but the grocery store was closed. Just a Steakhouse with lots of utility workers trucks parked up outside. I’d paused briefly then carried on.

The day hadn’t started well. Adhering to the route shown on the cycling map, I’d sought to enter Bastrop State Park. Four bucks but told the road ahead was closed. "How closed?" I’d asked. "Closed" I’d been firmly told. Was certain I’d be able to get through, but could hardly fein ignorance now if caught. And I knew all about State Parks Police.

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Politics, religion and guns

September 24th, 2011

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TV in the background. Seven or eight channels. Fox News. Political pundits debating events in Aimes, Iowa. Texan Governor Perry, it seemed, had thrown his hat – a Stetson presumably – into the ring for the Presidential race. Talk of Straw Polls, GOP, Tea Parties, Republicans and the Caucasus. I’d little concept of what they were debating.

The alternatives were less confusing. A few religious channels. Baptist services. A couple of solo preachers. Assertive rather than fire and brimstone. And then guns. Hunting skills. A programme dedicated to some serious weapons. Twin mounted water-cooled M16 carbines. Suppressed – silenced – belt fed grenade launcher. Either of which would work well on bears.

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