Archive for the ‘books’ Category

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Oh Happy Day, Oh Happy Day!


2010
09.04

Finally, I am going to have a day or two off! Due to us being way short-handed, I’ve been working a lot. Cwazy! :-o Anyway, I look forward to the time and next week’s (12-20 Sept) vacation!!!! Woohoo! Tomorrow, I am going to John Flannery’s Beer Club BBQ/Party! Yaaaay, I’ve been looking forward to this all summer–the ONE party I get to go to. Beer, roast pig, peoples (not co-workers or reenactors)… alas, not my wife who isn’t into this. C’est La Vie!

Something I’m Reading

I am reading The Cowboy Way: Seasons of a Montana Ranch by David McCumber and wanted to share it…

Look, I’ve read this book before. Hell they say it’s out of print, but you can easily get it off of amazon.com and by following the link of this blog.

My copy is kinda tattered… partly because I found it in a stack at our dump in Cali… (“Ooooh, icky, he picked it up at the DUMP… yeah, idiot, I did. That dump was cool in that people put decent stuff off to the side, kind of like recycling. I got some cool shit at the Foresthill Divide dump). Anyway, it’s also raggedy (and mostly) because I’ve read it 3-4 times now. This book is REALLY, REALLY good. What can I say, I’m usually not into this kind of thing, but it is just a damned good read. Here is what Publishers Weekly has to say about it (you didn’t expect ME to write a frigging book report did you??):

Newly divorced, having left his job as assistant managing editor of the San Francisco Examiner, David McCumber (Playing Off the Rail) set out to see what life as a cowboy was like. The guest was part of what he calls “a rather thoroughgoing midlife metamorphosis.” It is telling that he chooses the word “metamorphosis” rather than “crisis,” for McCumber eagerly embraces his new life and spends hardly any energy mourning his old one. He soon found out that the cowboys of a real working ranch are not the stuff of popular culture. For starters, they rarely use horses (they often use what McCumber calls “Japanese quarter horses,” a nickname for four-wheel all-terrain vehicles). Death is a constant threat to the herd and to the area’s wild animals. Because of that, perhaps, McCumber and the other men of the ranch have a genuine respect for animals. But it’s a tough respect, one that inspires McCumber to slit the throat of a doe who has cut an artery on a barbed-wire fence. What McCumber reveals of himself, he does so indirectly, through his descriptions of life on the Birch Creek Ranch, where the seasons are marked by the extremes of weather and the stages of cattle ranching?calving, branding, fencing, etc. Even his brief journal entries, interspersed throughout the book, look outward rather than inward. McCumber can be salty in one sentence, lyrical in the next, whimsical, stoic and, only occasionally, wistful. His book will creep up on readers, who will come away with admiration for McCumber and a strong, vibrant sense of the ranching life he has come to love.

Anyway, I liked it enough to re-read it multiple times–stuff that sucks doesn’t get re-read.