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Ramble with Storm: Doves, Lance Armstrong, morality, ethics, squirrels

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stormtight.jpg Mulling things on my morning ramble

with Storm, the family's mixed Lab.

As the meathead and I finished up this morning, squirrels hopped off in all directions from our porch and doves made that half-flying hop into the air from the gravel of our drive.

And I couldn't help thinking of the divisions that a hunter like I am makes in my life.

I hang a feeder that the doves love, and I love watching them. Yet I love to hunt doves, love the actual hunt itself of trying to hit a flying target that may flip and dive if they are suspicious.

And I especially love eating them: grilled, stuffed with cheese and wrapped in bacon around jalapeno slices.

As humans, we become pretty good at compartmentalizing as we mature.

I am quite capable of compartmentalizing the doves in town as being somehow different to me than the doves I am shooting at in the field.

It was cold enough this morning that I pulled on my Sports Illustrated Chicago Bears windbreaker. It was what I would call the first true fall morning: crisp, a sky so blue it looked like it was Photoshopped and the windbreaker was necessary.

Late Friday afternoon, as I was preparing to go watch our second boy's rock duo perform at a contest, I get a note from the sports editor about Lance Armstrong being prevented from running in the Chicago Marathon.

Those are not fun stories to track down, because officials do not want to talk.

But eventually, I pulled together 350 words that I thought captured both the facts of why Armstrong would not be allowed to run if he wanted to and also some of the nuances of the bigger question of how we define amateur and pro in the context of 21st Century marathons or even 21st Century sports.

And I had time to make to the festival to see our son perform. All that noise--that banging on the drums daily--coming out of the basement the last year or so is paying off.

But Armstrong just bothers the piss out of me. I have no delusions about his innocence. You don't win seven times in one of the dirtiest sports without treading over lines.

Yet, he in a big sense captures the whole split in all of us as humans. We have good and evil in us. Sometimes the evil helps pull along the good; and sometimes the good lugs evil beside it like an overstuffed suitcase.

Questions like that bouncing around my head are one of the main reasons I set out each morning on a ramble with the meathead.

For the first time in months, the ditch off the east side of the town pond had actual flows of water in it. We had two deluges yesterday, one in the morning about school time and another last evening just before the music contest was set to begin outside.

On the east side of the town pond, I could see tracks of the excess water from yesterday, mud lines in the grass.

townpond_adjusted (1).JPG

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I've always made a very clear distinction. Around the house, they are pets. Critters to be watched, learned from, some times tamed a bit and enjoyed.

Out in the woods, they're a potential meal. Since I didn't start hunting till I was about 45, it seemed to be a very easy distinction to make.

And yet, the first squirrel of the season I see out in the woods I hunt, track, chase and even get in my sites, but don't pull the trigger. Started doing this a few years ago, not sure why.

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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on September 8, 2012 7:50 AM.

Ramble with Storm: Spam, death, peanut butter, obits, powerlines was the previous entry in this blog.

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