Monday, December 26, 2011

Gun Blogger Rendezvous 2012 Dates Announced

The contract is now signed for the 2012 Gun Blogger Rendezvous. The dates will be September 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th of September. This is the second week in September, as usual. It is also the same weekend as the Reno Balloon Races.

The Rendezvous will be at the Silver Legacy Resort and Casino in Reno, where it's been for the last few years. We will be moving a few doors over to a larger Hospitality Room, but only a few doors away from where we were last year. The new location has the possibility of opening up into a larger size, which allows us some growth area for the future. Plans are to follow the basic schedule of last year's Rendezvous, but there will also be a few changes, and possibly some new things too, but it's still; way too early in the planning stages to make any announcements about that.

Every year I get a few emails asking why the Rendezvous can't be held on a different weekend, as that weekend conflicts with (fill in the blank). Reno has some sort of major event going on almost every weekend, and hotel prices vary widely depending on the demand for rooms. The week after the Rendezvous is the Reno Air Races, for example, and it's tough to get a room at all, let alone a group of rooms at a discount. Later in the month the weather starts getting colder, and it starts getting miserable at the ranges when we go shooting. Earlier in the year it seems that just about everyone is busy just about every weekend. In short, we are on the dates we're on because it's the best compromise, taking all the different factors in to account. If the dates happen to conflict with something for you, we're sorry about that, but there isn't a single day in the year that doesn't conflict with something for somebody, so we try to pick the best possible dates we can get.

Someone always asks "Why not put the Rendezvous in (his home town)? ", or "Why not move it around to a different city every year, like the NRA Convention?" The short answer is that it's an amazing amount of work to put on an event like the Rendezvous, and where the NRA has a good sized staff on the payroll to organize the convention, the GBR has only an unpaid staff of KeeWee and I, along with the much appreciated help of a few blogger volunteers. To move to a different city  means re-inventing just about every detail, and moving it every year means starting almost from scratch every year, and that's way more work than I can handle.

We all hope that the Gun Blogger Rendezvous dates will work into your schedule and that we'll see you in Reno in September. If you've never been to the GBR, perhaps this is the year to give it a try! We always have a grand time, and for spouses not so interested in the gunny side of the Rendezvous, there's also lots of other things in Reno to see and do, so come to Reno in September, and have a ball!


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Black Bunny Report

"Black Bunny"
Wow, where to begin! There's been so much going on lately I hardly know where to start. I guess I'll start with the Black Bunny story, at least the background and where we are now.

As those of you who have ever been to Castle Completely have found out, we have several wild but very tame and friendly rabbits living around the place. They will eat out of your hand, and even follow you around to see what you are doing. I had no idea rabbits were so curious! The rabbits around here are a mix of wild cottontail and escaped/released domestic rabbit genetics. Our house rabbit "Bun", who we have raised from a severely injured little ball of fur, is now a big healthy girl, and brings a lot of joy to our household. Bun looks like a really big cottontail with longer ears.

Anyhow, to get back to the story, a couple of years ago a nearly solid black rabbit showed up. With the exception of a few white hairs on his forehead, he's solid jet black. It didn't take long before he had become the friendliest of all the outside bunnies by far. He would come in the front door to see what you were doing, jump into your car if you left the door open, and even follow me around n the shop and barn. We would feed him oats, which he would devour as fast as he could! He also loved to have his forehead petted, and he would stand there for as long as you kept petting him. After the second year, he had worked his way up to being an Alpha Rabbit, and had established his family's own territory or turf, so to speak. We named him "Black Bunny".

Unfortunately, our neighborhood also has some very unpleasant people living nearby. A couple of their kids drive up and down our narrow one lane road at fifty miles per hour, or even faster. Along our little road there are rabbits, quail, pheasants, deer, and other small creatures. Most of us drive slowly and watch for them, but not the neighbor kids. A little over a week ago Kelly, the sheet rock guy, was just getting out of his truck when he saw the neighbor's daughter roar by. As soon as she had passed, Kelly heard an animal screaming in pain. He walked out to the road and looked, but the screaming had stopped, and he couldn't find anything. Kelly told me about it, and I went looking too, but couldn't find anything. I went back to work in the new machine shop, and about an hour later I was walking back to the house when I spotter Black Bunny in the driveway. His hind quarters were dragging behind him, and he was pulling himself towards the front porch with his fore legs. He was trying to get to me for some help.

I picked him up and took him into the house to see how badly injured he was. There was no blood or obvious wounds, but he was definitely in shock. I bundled him up in a warm towel and put him in a big box so he was at least as comfortable as possible, in spite of what must have be terrible pain. It looked like it was either a broken lower spine, hip, pelvis, or some combination of all. It didn't look like he'd make it through the night, but I figured all I could do was try to give him a chance, even if it was slim, or even if he ended up having to be put down later.

I was up just about every hour all night checking on him, and it was obvious to me that he knew he was badly hurt, he recognized me, and he appreciated my efforts to comfort him, even if the odds were not good. By the next morning he was pretty much out of shock, and he was even starting to eat and drink a bit. Every so often he would move the wrong way and the pain would be intense, and he would panic. I would calm him down and he would relax again. Over the next few days he learned what positions hurt, and he learned to avoid them. He was also getting better at getting around, and his right rear leg looked like it might be starting to function a bit. That was a good sign, as it could mean that the spinal cord was intact.

By Saturday he was eating and drinking well, and his vital signs looked good. On Monday we made an appointment to go see Dr. Bishop, the vet. Black Bunny was again a little trooper, riding on my lap wrapped in a large towel. He was alert, ears up, and looking out the windows watching everything go by, just like a dog or a cat! When we got to the vet's, the power had gone out, so they couldn't take an x-ray. We went back home again, and they said they'd give me a call when the power came back on. A few hours later they telephoned, and we headed back over to the vet's office. Again the little rabbit impressed me with just how tough he was. The x-ray showed that he was in better condition than I had feared, but still pretty badly injured. His back and spinal cord looked fine. A small spur on one side of a lower back vertebra was broken, but other than being painful, that would not be a problem and would heal by itself. The big injury turned out to be a badly dis-located hip joint. That explains why he's dragging one rear leg.

We've decided to wait another week and let some natural healing to occur, and for some of the swelling and inflammation to go down before making any further decisions. Sometimes dis-located hips can be put back together. We'll probably have a much better idea next week. We'll just have to cross the bridges as we come to them, but for now I'm keeping my fingers crossed......

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Finally, Some Good News!

Yesterday afternoon I had an appointment with the doctor to get the results of the prostate biopsy. Everything pointed heavily to it being cancer, and even the doc was pretty well convinced that was the case. Nothing else quite fit the results of the various tests. However, the only real test for prostate cancer is a biopsy, and then you know for sure. To my amazement, and the amazement of the doctor, no cancer was found at all! All they could come up with was some prostate inflammation, but no indication of any sort of bacterial infection. With a bacterial infection your white blood cell count goes high, but my white cell count was perfectly normal. The doctor's final diagnosis was that the only thing that fit was some sort of extremely rare viral prostate infection. Viral prostate infections are so rare the doc couldn't remember the last case of it he saw! Anyhow, it now looks like this whole mess was some sort of virus, and it seems to have now run it's course, and now all I have to do is get recovered from it. The really really good news, though, is no sign of cancer, and if it had been there, the biopsy (12 samples taken) would have found it!

Thanks to all of you who have been praying for a good result, and all of those of you who have left comments and sent emails of support and encouragement. Hearing from you definitely helped to make it a bit easier to get through the worst parts of it all.

Thanks Again!

 - - - -  Mr. C.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011


The doctor's have been stumped, but now they have possibly figured out the details of my recent illness! Brocolitis! Yup, Brocolitis! Brocolitis is a fairly common viral infection caused by the virus know as Broc-coli. It can be difficult to diagnose, as not all symptoms are always present, and it seems to be more common with men. Many women seem to have a natural immunity to the disease. Some of the more common symptoms in men include wearing Birkenstocks, an obsession with granola, an unusual development of their sensitive side, and driving an older Volvo station wagon, often with one front fender a different color.

It seems that a few weeks ago I was at the grocery store with KeeWee, and I spent a few minutes standing in the produce section as she was picking up some kale for our rabbit, "Bun". When leaving the store I must have forgotten to use the hand sanitizer lotion, and some of the Broc-coli must have followed me home.

Fortunately, the broc-coli virus is pretty weak, and once diagnosed, is easily defeated with common and readily available treatments. One of the best medicines of all in "Pop-Tarticillin", and it's available over the counter in most grocery stores. It comes in several tasty flavors, and regular doses will also prevent the infection in the first place. During shooting season I carry a supply of Pop-Tarticillin in my range box, but as the shooting season is pretty much over, I had been lax in taking my preventative doses on a regular basis. I'm sure this had something to do with the sudden illness.

I will make a point to be much more conscientious about it in the future.......

Actually, I will hear the results of my prostate biopsy late this afternoon to find out if it's cancer or not. The Doctor figures it's highly likely that it is, but without the biopsy it's only speculation.

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