Balloon Flies Away During Gender Reveal Ceremony [VIDEO]   

Watch as a guy attempts to bust a ballon during a gender reveal ceremony, but fails to do so. And that's not it. Continue reading…

In The Bag—Getting Messy at Hook & Reel   

Crawfish BoilFor many years, my late, generous friend Gus Magann and his brother Tony would host a Louisiana-style crawfish boil when the weather turned warm. It was a raucous, messy affair with crawfish, potatoes, boudin, artichokes, and corn cooking away in multiple giant-size pots, to be poured out onto newspaper-clad tables and attacked by hand. Meaning: with food like this you get messy. I really miss Gus and I miss his crawfish boils. And while a guy like Gus can never be replaced, I have found a funky spot to enjoy boiled seafood and to get messy: Hook & Reel Cajun Seafood & Bar in Layton.

Caught rimming a guy’s ass in broad daylight   

thumbSometimes you just need to rim, suck and fuck a guy no matter where you are! That ass was just begging for some rimming, the best way is just assault it right away, to heat things up.


Code Vein Review   


Methodical outplays. An ever-challenging world. Head-splitting, rage-inducing boss encounters. It’s the very essence of what makes Dark Souls… actual freakin’ Dark Souls. It’s a game that delivers its gamers to their graves faster than a pizza guy can knock at your door. And Code Vein is no different. It kicks off with the challenging encounters…

The post Code Vein Review appeared first on Invision Game Community.


Simon and Jackie Go Crazy   


So, I visited Montreal Simon to read his latest post, which was a condemnation of the Scheer Conservatives and their fans who are bringing USA-Repugnican style hatred and violent rhetoric up here. It started off well with a picture of some sub-literate right-wing moron holding up this ridiculous (and frightening) hand-made sign:

I've said on numerous occasions that stupid people must have the same right to vote as non-stupid people. But there needs to be gatekeepers to prevent the rise of stupid ideas and rage-fueled political movements from having any prominence greater than the level of three city blocks. Alas, for reasons of selfish cynicism our media and corporate elites see fit to pander to these cretins and stir them up. As well (whose kidding who?) from their own behaviour and the words that flow from their mouths, pens, pencils, keyboards, many among our elites aren't all that intelligent either.

Montreal Simon goes from trashing right-wing assholes calling for Trudeau to be "hung" (or run over by a truck) for taxing them, for verbally acknowledging global warming, for admitting Syrian refugees, for marching in PRIDE parades, and etc., ... where was I? .... Oh yeah, ... Simon goes from condemning those assholes to conflating them with progressives who yell at him for buying the TMX pipeline (so as to bail-out the Bay Street parasites who invested in that bitumen project) and praises Trudeau for asking his supporters (booing the guy) for tolerance as he lets his security drag the man away.

Immediately afterwards Simon mentions a guy who threw an egg at Trudeau during a climate march in Montreal, but it's unclear from the Global News video what that guy's agenda was. Personally, I've never gotten too incensed about ordinary people throwing pies (or, now, eggs) in the faces of politicians.

"What if that pie/egg had been a gun or a bomb or a knife?!?"

Yeah. But you're missing the important point that it wasn't a gun or a bomb or a knife. It was a cream-pie/egg. You could just as well shriek that the hand of someone extended for a handshake could have been a gun. But it wasn't. The person sticking their hand out to a passing politician just wants a handshake. Just as the person with the pie wants to make a statement and not kill anybody.

Simon then starts his spiel about how Justin Trudeau is the most activist politician fighting climate change EVAH!!!! because of his carbon tax and his investments in renewable energy industries. But, if Simon were honest (or not honestly ignorant) he would know that this is mere tinkering and that it is all cancelled-out by his continuing to develop the Tar Sands. Which is par for the course for a liberal politician. They're the masters n' mistresses of using empty words to gull their deluded followers. They "feel your pain." They "want to see all people rise to their full potential." They "don't want to see anyone left behind." They say the things we want to hear in order to get elected and continue to say those things as they enact policies that contradict their flowery words.

The end result of political cowardice and deliberate deceit by politicians like Justin Trudeau is going to be the extinction of most of the earth's life-forms. It will AT LEAST mean the deaths of tens of millions of people. Given this, it was justified for that protester to yell at Trudeau for his sickening devotion to the TMX pipeline. And it is the height of stupidity to conflate environmentalists with legitimate grievances with Islamophobic, racist, right-wing homophobic shit-heads threatening all their adversaries with murder. (Notice how that protester at the Liberal rally stayed right where he was and didn't make a step towards Trudeau.)

And, of course, the first "commentor" was Simon's in-all-but-name co-blogger "Jackie Blue." I haven't (and won't) read her entire densely-packed, extended comment. But she basically says that leftist "shit-disturbers" are as big a threat (to "rational centrists") as right-wingers. Now, given the evidence from Simon's own post, anyone not an idiot can see that isn't true. She then goes on to whine about the progressives who didn't vote for mass-murderess, corrupt scumbag Hillary Clinton. Because "Jackie Blue" continues with the bullshit story that she's a US-American and she continues with the bullshit belief that Hillary Clinton wasn't a murdering scumbag.

Hillary Clinton voted for the Iraq War you stupid fuck! She voted for a war based on obvious stupid lies. The war she voted for has KILLED ONE MILLION IRAQIS and maimed and traumatized millions more. And that's only one of her colossal "mistakes" that she made while servicing the oligarchy and becoming a multi-millionaire herself. And it was Hillary's own sense of entitlement that led her to rig the Democratic primary to defeat Bernie Sanders and thereby bring on the presidency of Donald Trump. Hillary gave us Trump you imbecile!

As a species, we have to do the hard work of overthrowing his rotten, inhuman, ecocidal system. And the longer that (mostly decent-minded) people like Montreal Simon pledge hysterical allegiance to hucksters like Liberals, the longer (and perhaps TOO LATE) will it take to start that job in earnest.

(I'll end by saying that I probably won't be voting. My riding is a contest between the Libs and the Cons. And, from reading this article, I'm pretty much deflated about my choices anyway.)


The off-duty cop who murdered an unarmed black man in his own apartment gets 10 years in prison   


Former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger was sentenced to ten years in prison on Wednesday for the murder of Botham Jean. The sentence comes a day after she was convicted of murder and faced five to 99 years or life in prison.

Guyger has the opportunity to appeal the conviction.

The sentence came down after emotional testimony from the Jean family and the revelation that Guyger shared racist text messages.

In the texts she said black officers have a "different way of working" and joked about the death of Martin Luther King, Jr. Two days before she murdered Jean, a friend texted saying they adopted a German Shepard that "might be racist," to which Guyger replied, "It's okay ... I'm the same."

Last year, Guyger entered Jean's apartment and shot him as he sat in a chair watching television. In a 911 call at the scene of the crime, Guyger repeatedly admits she thought she was in her apartment, which was a floor below in the same complex.

The conviction is much more than a victory for the Jean family. Many see it as justice for people of color across America who've been killed by law enforcement and never received justice.

Research from NBC News shows that 900 to 1,000 people are killed by the police each year, but only 35 have been convicted of a crime related to an on-duty fatal shooting since 2005.

"This verdict is for Trayvon Martin," Ben Crump, an attorney for the Jean family, said Tuesday after the verdict. "It's for Michael Brown, it's for Sandra Bland, it's for Tamir Rice, it's for Eric Garner, it's for Antwon Rose, it's for Jemel Roberson, for EJ Bradford, for Stephon Clark, for Jeffrey Dennis, Genevieve Dawes, for Pamela Turner."

"For so many black and brown unarmed human beings all across America, this verdict today is for them," Crump continued. "Everybody can raise their hands — this verdict is for them. This verdict is for them."

On Sept. 6, 2018, just before 10 p.m., Guyger drove home after working a 13.5-hour shift. Upon arriving at what she thought was her front door, she failed to notice that, unlike her apartment, this one had a red door mat.

She put her key fob to the door but realized the door wasn't locked and pushed it open.

When Guyger arrived in the apartment she saw a shadowy figure she assumed was a burglar. According to testimony, she pulled out her gun and ordered the man to show his hands. She then discharged two rounds from her firearm.

That figure was an unarmed 26-year-old accountant named Botham Jean and it was his apartment.

Jean was watching television and eating a bowl of ice cream when Guyger entered the apartment.

Guyger had accidentally parked in the garage a floor above hers. She then walked past over a dozen apartments without realizing her mistake before arriving at Jean's apartment, directly above hers.

On a 911 call from the incident, Guyger can be heard saying, "I thought it was my apartment," 19 times.

"I'm an off-duty officer," Guyger told the 911 dispatcher. "I thought I was in my apartment. And I shot a guy thinking that he was... Thinking it was my apartment. ... I'm fucked."

Throughout the call she tries to roust Jean saying, "Hey bud. Hey bud. Stay with me, bud." She also apologizes to the dying man saying, "I'm sorry."

Jean was taken to a nearby hospital where he died.

Three days after the shooting, Guyger was charged with manslaughter. By the end of the month, she was fired by Dallas PD. A grand jury would later ratchet up her charge to murder, for which Guyger stands to spend life in prison.

Jean's death sparked many protests and demonstrations in the weeks after the shooting. A few days after the shooting, dozens of protesters gathered outside Dallas Police headquarters and officers fired pepper balls into the crowd.

On September 12, a Dallas City Hall meeting was brought to a halt after protesters chanted, "No justice, no peace."

After the verdict, Crump said Jean was a "near perfect" person.

"This jury had to make history in America today, because Botham was the best that we had to offer," Crump said. "Twenty-six year old, college-educated black man, certified public accountant, working for one of the big three accounting firms in the world, PricewaterhouseCoopers."

"But it shouldn't take all of that for unarmed black and brown people in America to get justice," Crump said.


A guy accidentally started a group chat with all the women he was texting and they really made the most of it   


Spare a thought – sort of – for this chap called Kyle who was by all accounts trying to text a whole load of different women at the same time. In an ideal world – for Kyle – none of these women would know he was messaging any other women. Unfortunately for him he accidentally […]

The post A guy accidentally started a group chat with all the women he was texting and they really made the most of it appeared first on The Poke.


Jason Statham ritrova Guy Ritchie, arriva un action Miramax   

Jason Statham deve tutto o quasi a Guy Ritchie, che lo lanciò nel lontano 1999 con Lock & Stock - Pazzi scatenati, per poi ritrovarlo nel 2001 Snatch - Lo strappo e nel 2005 con Revolver. Ebbene...

Scherzer, Zimmerman lead Nats past LA 6-1 to force Game 5   

WASHINGTON (AP) " Max Scherzer is 35. So is Ryan Zimmerman.The Washington Nationals would not be headed to a win-or-go-home Game 5 in their NL Division Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers without them."We're a bunch of viejos. We're old guys," Scherzer joked. "Old guys can still do it."Sure can. And for a guy whose teams used to lose repeatedly in the postseason, Scherzer sure is delivering now.Every time he's pitched this October, the Nationals have won. His [...]

Scherzer, Zimmerman lead Nationals past Dodgers 6-1 to force Game 5   

For a guy whose teams kept losing in the postseason, Max Scherzer sure is delivering now. Every time he's pitched this October, the Washington Nationals have won.

Agenda for October 2019 Regular Meeting of the Franklin Town Council Released   


The Franklin Town Council will be holding its regular meeting for October 2019 on Monday night in the lower level of the town hall. The meeting begins at 6pm and is open to the public. Macon Media intends to be there to stream live video of the meeting and to record it for later uploading to the internet.

Copies of the public agenda and agenda packet are posted below. Several readers have said they cannot access documents in a PDF format, so I (Bobby) have attempted to transcribe portions of the agenda packet so they can be read.

Franklin Town Council
October 7, 2019

1. Call to Order - Mayor Bob Scott

2. Pledge of Allegiance - Vice Mayor Barbara McRae

3. Adoption of the October 7, 2019 Town Council Agenda

4. Approval of Consent Agenda for October 7, 2019

A.) Approval of the September 3, 2019, Town Counmtil Minutes
B.) Budget Amendments
C.) Street Closing Request for Jeepers Creepers
D.) Tax Releases
E.) Forward Re-Zoning Petition to the Town Planning Board
F.) Set Public Hearing for Plat Stamp Amendment to the Unified Development Ordinance

5. Public Session (Public Comments)

6. New Business:

A.) Presentation on Growing Outdoor Communities - Cory McCall
B.) Discussion on Love Street Property - Joyce Handley
C.) Discussion on Waiving Tap Fees for Macon County's New Dog Park - Town Manager Summer Woodard
D.) Discussion on W-R Contract for Phase II of the Water Treatment Plant - Town Manager Summer Woodard
E.) Update on Leash Law- Town Manager Summer Woodard and Town Attorney John Henning Jr
F.) Update on Opportunity Zones - Vice Mayor Barbara McRae

7. Legal:

A.) Discussion on Town of Franklin Guardrail Policy - Town Attorney John Henning Jr.
B.) Update on NCDOT SidewalkAgreement along US-441 South to Prentiss Bridge - Town Attorney John Henning Jr.

8. Announcements

A.) Town Hall Movie Night will be Friday, October 8, 2019
B.) Pumpkinfest will be Saturday, October 19, 2019, from 9am to 4pm
C.) Second Annual Town of Franklin Leaf Pickup is available

9. Adjourn

Copy of Agenda Packet sent to media outlets

Expanded Public Agenda

Franklin Town Council
October 7, 2019

1. Call to Order - Mayor Bob Scott

2. Pledge of Allegiance - Vice Mayor Barbara McRae

3. Adoption of the October 7, 2019, Town Council Agenda

4. Approval of Consent Agenda for October 7, 2019

A.) Approval of the September 3, 2019, Town Council Minutes
B.) Budget Amendments
C.) Street Closing Request for Jeepers Creepers
D.) Tax Releases
E.) Forward Re-Zoning Petition to the Town Planning Board

The family of the Lillian Fouts Estate would like to have this parcel rezoned from R-1 to C-3. The parcel is in the ETJ and not in the city limits. It adjoins R-1 to the north and west, C-3 off of US-441 N 9Georgia Road) & Belden Circle to the north, east and south. Currently the only road access is off of Dryman Road. The site is served with city 6" water line, the nearest sewer line is down on the Georgia Road. The only major consideration to review is the traffic on Dryman Road for a commercial development.

F.) Set Public Hearing for Plat Stamp Amendment to the Unified Development Ordinance

The town manager suggests (if approved) set a public hearing for plat stamp amendment to the Unified Development Ordinance for Monday, November 4, 2019 at 6:05pm.

Copy of the proposed change and resolution:

Ordinance No. 2019-008

WHEREAS, there was adopted a unified development ordinance for the Town of Franklin, by a unanimous vote of the Board of Aldermen, at its regular meeting held on the 1st day of October, 2007; and

WHEREAS, the Acts of the State Legislature of the State fo North Carolina empower and authorize the Legislative Body of this Town to adopt ordinances, and to revise, amend, augment, and restate ordinances adopted pursuant to that authority; and

WHEREAS, as the Legislative Body of the Town of Franklin, the Town Council deems it necessary and expediant to adopt certain amendments to the unified development ordinance for the Town of Franklin, and has considered adoption of the same after due advertisement and public hearing;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ORDAINED by the Town Council of the Town of Franklin that:

Section 1. §152.052(E)(4)(i) of the Unified Development Ordinance is hereby amended as follows:

"(i) All the following certifications shall appear on the final plat, including the Zoning Certificate of Approved Nonconformity, if applicable:


5. Zoning Certificate of Approved Nonconformity. The proposed [boundary line adjustment, subdivision] depicted herein is not in conformance with the requirements of the Unified Development Ordinance of the Town of Franklin. This recording is now listed as a legal nonconforming use and is hereby approved for recording in the Office of the Register of Deeds of Macon County.

5. 6. Review Officer Certification. State of North Carolina, County of Macon, I, ____, Review Officer of Macon County, certify that the map or plat to which this certification is affixed meets all the statutory requirements for recording.
(Date) (Review Officer)

Section 2. Except as amended hereby, the affected sections of the Unified Development Ordinances shall remain in full force and effect as enacted.

Planning Board Recommendations
Town of Franklin
September 16, 2019


• Applicant - Town of Franklin
• Original apllication was submitted on August 27, 2019
• This addition to the UDO would give the Land Use Administrator another stamp he/she could use to properly apprive of plats for zoning approval to be recorded.
• The only stamp currently allowed has potential to stamp a plat that is non-conforming and say that it conforms to the UDO.

Recommendation Consideration:


1. The proposal will place all property similarly situated in the area in the same, category, or in appropriate complementary categories. Yes

2. There is convincing demonstration that all uses permitted under the proposed classification would be in the general public interest and not merely in the interest of an individual or small group. Yes, so property owners would be made aware of the non-conforming use at the time of recordation.

3. There is convincing demonstration that all uses permitted uder the proposed districty classification would be appropriate in the area included in the proposed change. Yes

4. There is convincing demonstration that the character of any neighborhood will not be materially and adversely affected by any use permitted in the proposed change. Yes, it will just simple be making everyone aware of the non-conforming use.

5. The proposed change is in accord with the principles of growth, sound planning principles and any applicable small area plan. Yes

Recommendation: Planning Board recommends this UDO amendment change.

5. Public Session (Public Comments)

6. New Business:

A.) Presentation on Growing Outdoor Communities - Cory McCall

Macon County Economic Development Commission
July 11, 2019 Meeting
SCC - Macon - Franklin, North Carolina


Present: David Hubbs, Vice-Chair; Barbara McRae, Secretary; Tommy Jenkins, Executive Director; Ken Murphy; Bill Futral, Mark West, Roger Plemons, Cory McCall. Guests: Robin Jenkins, Luke Barber (reporter/Franklin Press)

Absent: Johnny Mira-Knippel, Chair; Brain Stiehler, Jim Breedlove, Brett Murphy, Karl Gillespie, Ronnie Beale, Derek Roland

In the absence of Chairman Johnny Mire-Knippel, Vide-Chair David Hubbs conducted the meeting.

Mark West: Motion to approve minutes of May 9, 2019 meeting.
Bill Futral: Second.
Passed unanimously.

Mr Hubbs introduced Noah Wilson, Director of Growing Outdoor Partnerships, who gave a presentation on this regional effort.

Growing Outdoor Partnerships

Economic development and outdoor recreation are coming together in the region, Mr Wilson said. Last year, partners created 200 outdoor industry jobs in the 25 Western North Carolina Counties his project covers.

Growing Outdoor Partnerships is funded by ARC [editors note: Appalachian Regional Commission URL] and is considered a pilot for other Appalachian communities that are moving toward a goal of healthy people, healthy places. The effort is part of an ARC commitment to replace the economic importance of coal in the region. In Macon County, the loss of the Caterpillar plant was part of a cascade of economic impacts related to the decline of coal mining.
The question ARC considered is: How can we help these rural counties use recreation as a driver?

Noting "You can't outsource the mountains," Mr Wilson explained that, despite the popularity of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Blue Ridge Parkway, and other outdoor attractions, the Appalachians have not been as successfully branded as the Rockies.

The project includes six basic areas of focus:

1. Workforce development. The goal: anyone who wnats a job in the outdoor space can get a job and anyone who needs workers can find an employee.

Efforts to build workforce include creation of five or six certificate programs at WCU [editors note: Western Carolina University URL], such as Masters in Recreation. The degrees are given through established departments of the school.

Another aspect of workforce creation is participation by Growing Outdoor Partnerships in a large outdoor-retailers show. EDC member Cory McCall serves on the GOP advisory board and attended the show this year.

Mr Wilson also mentioned the partnership's recruiting efforts and a new textile programs to promote a resurgence of sewing work in WNC 9Tents, outdoor gear and kayaks, for example). This requires specialized sewing skills but build on skills many in thie regional already posses.

2. Expanding entrepreneurship & capital access. Mountain BizWorks is the primary manager & fiscal agent of the customized training portion of this effort. Capital access is through Capital Investment Fund, SW Commission loan fund; and NCI for larger projects.

3. Regional Branding & Marketing. The Most-Visited Places (GSMNP and BR Parkay) are in our backyard, but "all the imagery is Rocky Mountains." How do we fill that brand out? We can leverage it through all partnerships, including regional TDAs and TDCs.

\4. Connecting supply chains. Downloadable data is available through Manufactured NC, supply chain working group. We need to figure out what we can make in NC, and market it well, Mr Wilson said. Who has those capacities? He noted that people want US manufactured items. "There is opportunity, catcvh that wave!"

5. Weaving together regional outdoor community. Organize all segments around supply chains. Identify the parties: Marketing and branding. Infrastructure. Local government. Summer camps. Permitting agencies. Lawyers and accountants who understand seasonal cycles, how pieces fit together.

An annual regional conference bringning all partners together has been held at WCU, but has outgrown it and moved to Asheville:

Outdoor Economy Conference: October 10, Crown Plaza, Asheville.

6. Driving Economic Development. It is important for developers to understand the culture of the outdoors, what makes someone in that industry take notice of you, how you dress. "Make plans to build an industry."

Discussion on an Outdoor Economy

Noah Wilson's presentation stimulated a lengthy discussion on how Macon County can develop its own outdoor economy. Following are some of the questions and thoughts members expressed.

Bill Futral: How do you get the word out?

Noah Wilson: Networking

Ken Murphy: Is Franklin Chamber equipped to get the word out? He suggested mini-courses for merchants and others, so they know how to answer visitors' questions, re "What is there to do here?"

Cory McCall & Ken Murphy: Something like "Heart of Brevard" - map of county with locations of waterfalls, overlays that show mountain bike trails, etc. Perhaps on Outdoor 76 building.

Noah Wilson: Existing businesses are a catalyst for the industry, as anyone who wants to put a business in the county tends to be someone who wants to be outdoors.

Cory McCall: The outdoor industry includes more than just "earthy" pursuits like hiking. ATVs, fishing, and much more are part of it.

Ken Murphy: What activities are going on that we could participate in that include outreach to municipal areas?

Noah Wilson: How do you ensure that we're marketing to right people, being smart with our dollar?

Cory McCall: We need to coordinate branding - run with a strong, consistent brand.

Tommy Jenkins: The thought The thought in the past was that Asheville was the center of this, but you (GOP) are doing a good job of spreading it out.

Noah Wilson: There are 19 projects in this program; every one has a rural focus.

Tommy Jenkins: We have as a community a lack of focus on planning for outdoor recreation. This would be a convenient time to look at how to develop a strategic plan from a community perspective on how to develop our outdoor economy. Cory serves on Growing Outdoors Partnerships' advisory board. I have asked him to develop a working group to do a strategic plan for the county.

Cory McCall: I've been impressed with individuals on the advisory board. There is great potential in our community... I've been shocked at how many people commented on the outdoor recreation economy, asked about interviews, wanted quotes. This is prime time to step up and ride this wave. We need to maximize how we capitalize on this and develop a feasible plan.

Tommy Jenkins: It is important to reach out to others in this sector, include them and get their input. I will get together with Cory next week, develop a timeline, see who we can pull in from the community. We'll depend on Bill Futral for Highlands input.

Ken Murphy: Part of this should be working with other counties in the region.

Cory McCall: Everyone understands that we're all in the same boat. We're more connected than ever. We have no option - we have to work together. The emphasis is on rural.

Tommy Jenkins referred to a handout showing $1.64 billion per year spent on outdoor recreation in 11th Congressional District. [editor's note: the handout was not included in the agenda packet]

Cory McCall: It is exciting to see our region taking a lead on this.

Noah Wilson: We have been building organically. We need to do this as a region, build out brand and run with it.

Motion on Strategic Plan

Barbara McRae moved and Cory McCall seconded that we proceed with deveoping a strategic plan for the county on the outdoor recreation economy. The motion passed unanimously. (As noted above, Mr Jenkins has asked Cory MCCall to lead this effort. He asked Bill Futral to represent Highlands in the working group.)

Director's Report

Mr Jenkins did not have a written report but gave a brief oral report. Highlights include:

• We continue to work on some projects involving new retail on 441 bypass.
• EDC is working on a company expansion that would add quite a few jobs. We are doing a grant application for that project.
• Braodband continues to be a matter of importance. Otto community's Little Tennessee Broadband iniative is going forward. There is movement on their work with Haywood EMC, and that could impact Scaly Mountain as well.

(Aside. David Hubbs: Starlink, Elon Musk's initiative, launched 60 satellites in May. These are the first 60 of about 12,000 he will eventually put in orbit. His intention is to provide internet access from low earth orbit to the entire planet. With an antennaae [editor's note: correct spelling is antenna] the size of a pizza box, that would give you 40 mg. [editor's note: it is unknown what HUbbs was trying to say. The goal is to provide Gigabit service to rural and underserved customers. See x for more information on the project.] Initial launch is expected in May. A few days after launch, a guy in the Netherlands got a video of train of satellites going across. No word on how much the service will cost. Probably by 2024-2025 Starlink will start providing service.)

• Workforce development: EDC is working with NC Career Center, staying on top of demand for employees.


Barbara McRae provided information on several projects:

• Upcoming charette for Franklin Comprehensice Plan (June 17-19).
• Status of work and funding for onumental staue planned for Little Tennessee River and Nikwasi Mound area.
• Recent expansion of Women's History Trail to 14 sites.
• Decision of Cerokee Tribal Council to place $150,000 recurring line item in their budget to fund Nikwasi Initiative. This will allow NI to hire staff and fund other expenses.

Having no additional business, the meeting adjourned.

Respectfully submitted,

Barbara McRae, Secretary

B.) Discussion on Love Street Property - Joyce Handley

C.) Discussion on Waiving Tap Fees for Macon County's New Dog Park - Town Manager Summer Woodard

Macon County has requested that the Town of Franklin waive all tap fees associated with the dog park the county is building on Phillips Street. A transcribed copy is posted below:

Ms Woodard, Mayor Scott and Honorable Councilmembers,

I hope this letter finds each of you well. As you are aware, construction of a new dog park facility is currently underway, on the 7.35 acre tract of land owned by Macon County, located inside the Town of Franklin. The property, which is bordered by Phillips Street to the East, is more particularly describes PIN# 659418589 in records furnished by the Macon County Tax Office. [editor's note: Link to property description on the county website ]

Upon completion, the fenced-in dog park will contain public restrooms, a walking trail and additional parking. We feel strongly, that this $120,000 investment will benefit residents and visitors to both Macon County and the Town of Franklin. In light of the mutual benefits this facility will provide, we would respectfully request that the Town Council consider waiving all tap fees associated with the proposed new dog park facility.

Kindest Regards,

Derek C Roland
Macon County, Manager

D.) Discussion on W-R Contract for Phase II of the Water Treatment Plant - Town Manager Summer Woodard

A copy of the proposed Agreement for Engineering Services to the Town of Franklin for Phase II of the Water Treatment Plant expansion has been extracted from the agenda sent to media outlewts and is embedded below for transparency purposes.

E.) Update on Leash Law- Town manager Summer Wooard and Town Attorney John Henning Jr
F.) Update on Opportunity Zones - Vice Mayor Barbara McRae

7. Legal:

A.) Discussion on Town of Franklin Guardrail Policy - Town Attorney John Henning Jr.

A transcribed copy of the proposed Town of Franklin Streets and Sidewalks policies is included below.

Town of Franklin
Streets and Sidewalks Policies

I. Town Policy

It is the Town's policy to provide for the common good of its citizens by maintaining streets and sidewalks that are the most efficient, useful, and safe condition that can be provided within the Town's resources.

II. Regulations

Where federal and state laws and regulations supercede these policies, they shall be interpreted and enacted to conform to such laws and regulations. Where the Town has previously enacted an ordinance that conflicts with this policy, the ordinance shall prevail. The Town Manager is authorized to adopt changes to this policy that are mandated by applicable law. In situations that are not addressed by law or ordinance, the Town Manager is authorized to act on behalf and in the best interests of the Town.

III. Traffic Safety Devices

A. INSTALLATION OF GUARDRAILS AND OTHER SAFETY DEVICES. Guardrails and other safety devices shall be installed upon the recommendation of the Public Works Director, within funds budgeted by the Town Council. The Public Works Director shall base the recommendation upon current and applicable regulations of the North Carolina Department of Transportation.

B.) Update on NCDOT SidewalkAgreement along US-441 South to Prentiss Bridge - Town Attorney John Henning Jr.

A copy of the proposed agreement between the town and the NCDOT has been extracted from the agenda packet and embedded below.

8. Announcments

A.) Town Hall Movie Night will be Friday, October 8, 2019
B.) Pumpkinfest will be Saturday, October 19, 2019 from 9am to 4pm
C.) Second Annual Town of Franklin Leaf Pickup is available

9. Adjourn


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Published at 4:44pm on Monday, October 6 2019


Mystery & romance: Oil and water? Maybe not...    

HALLIE EPHRON: Mystery and romance. They occupy two very different niches, though we know some of our favorite authors :-) write both. 

Today I'm happy to welcome Katlyn Duncan to Jungle Red. The author of romance and young adult novels, she calls herself an author, a dreamer, a storyteller, and a ghostwriter. Today we're thrilled to host her as she talks about her twelfth novel, Wrapped Up For Christmas, and about the elements of mystery that are just as at home in a romance.

KATLYN DUNCAN: Thank you so much to the Jungle Red Writers for hosting me today! Wrapped Up for Christmas, my twelfth published novel released this Tuesday, and I’m thrilled for it to be out in the world.

As this blog is made up of some fantastic mystery writers, I wanted to delve into how mystery can fuel a romance novel. Most of the time, when we meet someone new, there is a lot of mystery surrounding that person. We want to know what this person’s passion is, or what makes them tick.

We’re drawn to it.

We’re captivated by it.

We create this image in our minds of this person and who we want them to be. Usually, they disappoint us; shattering the impression we had of them.

I love this moment in a book.
No matter if you’re writing a mystery novel where the detective or sleuth has underestimated a suspect, or in a romance novel where the heroine reveals a big secret about her past, there is always that shock value when the truth finally reveals itself. It’s a big moment of conflict. The will-they/won’t-they catch the killer/be together for the rest of their lives.

That conflict is delicious and sweet, and it makes us grip the pages (or our eReader) in anticipation of how the story is going to turn out. Romance as a genre usually leans toward the happily ever after side of things, but that doesn’t mean we can’t make our characters work for it. That’s the thing about mystery. We’re drawn to the unknown while creating our version of the truth.

The mystery and the unknown was how I wanted to challenge my two leads in Wrapped Up for Christmas. My heroine, Angie, just got out of a terrible relationship where her boyfriend lied to her, then she lost her job (he was her boss, yikes!), and had to move back home. While that was the lowest of the low for her, she then met a guy who seemed to be the perfect pick-me-up. But he was hiding a significant part of his life from her. He encompassed the one thing she never wanted to trust again.

When adding the mystery element into my women’s fiction/romance novels, my number one tip would be not to reveal all too soon. Leaving those little breadcrumbs (as you do with a mystery novel as well) ramps up the tension. If the reveal comes too fast, there’s not enough stake in the relationship to have a payoff. If the reveal comes too late, then the reader may put the book down with frustration without waiting for the payoff. Or worse, it doesn’t leave enough time for a satisfying ending.

The mystery can be a part of the attraction and the fun, but it can also threaten to tear everything apart. And once that mystery reveals itself, we beg the question…Can they make it work?

I would love to know what you think about mystery and romance working together in books!

HALLIE: It's a great question. I'd say romance is front and center in a many of our books. Lucy's Haley Snow has a main squeeze, Detective Nathan Bransford, and will they/won't they is a major subplot. We love to watch the dynamics of Hank's Jane/Jake and Deb's Duncan/Gemma and the drama of Lady Georgie and her Darcy (guess what: Rhys wrote a series of YA novels called The Boyfriend Club... romance, anyone?); and Julia kept us panting as Claire and Russ overcame the obstacles between them; and Jenn writes brilliant romance and romantic comedy as well as mystery novels with a juicy romance tucked in.

My books tend to be more about women who aren't sure if they can trust the man in their life, so I'm an outlier. But my take on it: as mystery writers we need to know our audience and adjust the heat accordingly.

What do you think? Romance and mystery: oil and water or pepper and salt?

Katlyn is doing a book giveaway THIS WEEK! Best of luck! 

ABOUT KATLYN DUNCAN: Coming from a small town in Western Massachusetts, Katlyn Duncan always had her head in the clouds. Working as a scientist for most of her adult life, she enjoyed breaking down the hows and whys of life. This translated into her love of stories and getting into the minds of her characters. When she’s not writing, she’s obsessing over many (many) television series’. She currently resides in Connecticut with her family. SCBWI & RWA Member.

ABOUT Wrapped Up For Christmas 
 It’s the most wonderful time of the year… but not for Angie Martinelli…
Having lost her boyfriend, job, and apartment all in the space of a week, Angie has no choice but to leave California and return to her family in New England.
Determined not to let life weigh her down, Angie finds work at the local mall where she worked as a teenager. After an embarrassing run-in with a handsome stranger, Nick, she’s convinced her luck is about to change.
But Nick has secrets of his own… and as the first flakes of snow begin to fall, Angie can’t help but wonder if she’ll ever find love.


Fuck It Friday   


Happy first week of October ya’ll. So I saw a meme this week that summed up a lot of what’s been going on for me this week and it said, “Ghosted in October? How festive.” So a guy I had been off and on seeing for oh about four years now (who lives an hour and a half away) basically ghosted me. We were also very close…



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Ultramarathon Daily News | Tues, Oct 8   


Trailrunner/Roche: Great piece by David Roche about Imposter Syndrome. Whether it’s an elite feeling that they just got lucky in a race or a media guy feeling like a poseur because he’s only finished one damn ultra this year (argh!) and has no right to write about the sport, this …

The post Ultramarathon Daily News | Tues, Oct 8 appeared first on


The Flinstones: The Stone Age Family That Changed Cartoons Forever   


On this day: Yabba-dabba-doo! The world met Fred Flintstone

From New Daily

From the town of Bedrock, they were a page right out of history.

On this day in 1960, September 30, the Flintstones made their debut on TV screens across the US and later became a worldwide hit.

The Stone Age-meets-suburban-America family story centred on Fred and Wilma Flintstone, their slobbery pet dinosaur Dino, and friends Barney and Betty Rubble.

By season three, the Flintstones had welcomed baby daughter Pebbles to their Bedrock abode.

Completing the Rubble family was adopted son Bamm-Bamm, who became Pebbles’ best friend.

Actress Jean Vander Pyl was the voice of Wilma Flintstone. Photo: Getty
While a cartoon, the show wasn’t really considered family friendly at the beginning: It ran later in the evening and was originally sponsored by a cigarette brand, with the writers initially hoping to target adult audiences.


Things only adults notice in The Flintstones

From Looper

As the famous theme song goes, the Flintstones are the modern Stone Age family from the town of Bedrock. The continuing adventures of Fred and Wilma Flintstone, Barney and Betty Rubble, their kids and their prehistoric animals was a pop culture sensation upon its debut in 1960, as it was one of the first animated series to air in primetime television. The characters were so charming and their situations so relatable (even though they took place thousands of years ago and happened to people who pedaled their cars and kept dinosaurs for pets) that it never faded away. Multiple spinoffs, merchandise, big-screen adaptations, and endless reruns of the show's six seasons of episodes ensured a place in history for The Flintstones.

Each new generation of kids can't help but come across a few old installments of The Flintstones, and they'll get plenty of cartoon antics to enjoy. But viewing the show through adult eyes reveals a complex world with a lot of dark or problematic moments. You wouldn't notice them if you're a kid, but if you're a grown up… you yabba-dabba-do. These are the things only adults notice in The Flintstones.

Name a TV character — not Fred Flintstone — who's heavyset, loud, boorish, underemployed, and set in his ways. TV viewers under the age of 40 would probably answer "Homer Simpson." Older people might say "Ralph Kramden," the blustery bus driver played by Jackie Gleason in a series of comedy sketches in the 1950s and then the standalone series The Honeymooners. The Flintstones is clearly based on The Honeymooners, a show that is similarly tame enough for primetime broadcast television in buttoned-up mid-century America, but squarely aimed at an adult audience. Kids watching The Flintstones today would not pick up on the show's implicit and explicit references to its TV predecessor, but grown-ups both now and during its original run definitely would. There are lots of similarities. For example, Ralph is a blue-collar guy who ekes out a living driving a bus (while Fred works down at the rock quarry driving a dinosaur). He comes home each night to his grimy apartment where he lives — and constantly butts heads with — his long-suffering wife, Alice (just like Fred and Wilma argue all the time). His neighbor and best friend is a guy named Ed Norton, portrayed by Art Carney… who sounds exactly like Barney Rubble.


Vintage Hanna-Barbara Barney Rubble Coin Bank

What a fun piece of retro cartoon history! The Flintstones: Barney Rubble coin bank (H-BPI/1994). This is a 6" hard plastic coin bank of Barney Rubble from The Flintstones. It was produced in 1994 by Hanna-Barbera Productions, Inc. ( H-BPI). It is in VF/NM condition. The colors are bright, and there is no chipping or scarring. He is missing the rubber plug, though. What a super piece for your retro cartoon collection!

$9.99 - Shop Now

The Flintstones show us how to roll with life’s ups and downs

The San Francisco Chronicle

Zane is a big fan of “The Simpsons,” but long before Homer and Bart there were “The Flintstones.” These adventures of Fred and Barney first aired on Sept. 30, 1960, and it was in essence the story of what would happen if the Honeymooners moved to the Paleolithic Era. (What’s not to like in a TV show whose theme song ends with “have a gay old time”?)

Back in Ozone Park, I had the Bedrock play set, and the day that Brother X threw Dino out of the red Chevrolet station wagon and onto Belt Parkway, I vowed that I would one day mention it in a newspaper column.

You might think of me as Fred, but really I’m the short Barney type, and Brian always has Fred’s 5 o’clock shadow.

Whereas Fred always had a get-rich-quick scheme, Barney (as voiced by Mel Blanc) accepted life as it was. When the Rubbles found out they couldn’t conceive children, they adopted a boy named Bamm-Bamm, with great strength but little restraint, who had been previously raised by mastodons, making this truly a cross-species family. Then they took in a rescue Hopparoo named Hoppy who, unlike Baby Puss, never once locked them out of the house for the night.


20 Things That Make No Sense About Wilma

From Screen Rant

Animation had been a major medium for decades before the advent of television but it took several years of televisions being widely available before there was a hit animated TV show. Enter The Flintstones, a series about the modern Stone Age family. While the idea of a sitcom centered on cavemen and rock puns sounds ridiculous, The Flintstones become a massive success and found its way into the pop culture landscape.

When the show premiered in 1966, it became the first animated show ever to air during a prime time slot, paving the way for future cartoons like The Simpsons, South Park, and Bob's Burgers. In the 50 years since it was canceled, The Flintstones has inspired everything from a blockbuster feature film to theme parks rides to a hit Lil Wayne song. While The Flintstones may be most-remembered for its creative anachronisms and colorful designs, the most influential aspect of the show is probably the relationship between Fred and Wilma Flintstone.

The show's portrayal of a flawed but well-meaning family man and his far more reasonable wife served as the template for everything from Home Improvement to Family Guy to The George Lopez Show, making Wilma Flintstone one of the quintessential TV moms. That's not to say that nothing's rotten in the town of Bedrock. Old school cartoons weren't particularly interested in continuity, meaning that Wilma Flintstone's portrayal across thirteen animated series, three theatrical films, and numerous television specials has varied widely. We are counting down 20 Things That Make No Sense About Wilma Flintstone.


Learn How ‘The Flintstones’ Met ‘Star Trek’ In The Classic Webseries ‘Stone Trek’

From Closer Weekly

Back in the ancient early days of the Internet, before the studios realized that there was gold in them thar hills, a number of people went out and created their own webseries — usually presented in the form of short webisodes — and one of them was animator/writer/director Brian Matthews. His inspiration was the Classic TV shows The Flintstones and the original Star Trek, and the result was the animated webseries Stone TrekOpens a New Window..

The concept had come to him from one basic thought: “To me,” says Brian, “the combination of The Flintstones and Star Trek was kind of an obvious one, because I figured we knew the Flintstones watched TV shows, right? Well, Stone Trek might’ve been something they would have watched on TV. Every time you did see them watching something, it was these fights where two brutes were clobbering each other over the head with clubs. Well, I figured there had to be more shows than that to watch, and this was the result of that thought. With the help of a couple of friends, we pulled it off and, I guess, I was semi-famous for a little while back then.”


More Prehistoric Fun:

The Flintstones Are Returning To Primetime On MeTV

Yabba Dabba Doo! New ‘Flintstones’ Series in the Works From Warner Bros. Animation

THE FLINTSTONES!...a couple just like the folks you know - except they live in the Stone Age!

Retro Saturday Morning: The Pebbles and Bamm Bamm Show (1971-72)


Comment on Can My Philippine Friend Visit Me in the USA? by Dave Starr    

<strong>@ Tristan Nelson</strong> Thanks for sharing. You asked. so I am going to tell you my honest opinion. You will not like it, but all I can do is speak the truth as I know it. I am not a lawyer nor do I have any connection with the State Department, I'm just a guy on the internet who has been watching and doing whatever limited things he can do to help for people in your situation. So perhaps what I say will have no bearing on your case ... but then again I have probably received hundreds of very similar messages over the years ... all saying just about the same thing. It is almost as if you didn't read the article, or else you read it and said, "That's nice, but my case is different". actually, in the view of the State Department, it is not different at all. To anyone on the outside, looking in, her proposed trip looks like nothing more than an attempt to circumvent the CR-1 Spousal Visa or K1 Fiancee' visa process. Your word doesn't even enter into the picture, you will not be interviewed and once a visitor is allowed entry to the USA, you or your parents have no control over her and her actions. Having a job in the Philippines is really not much of a tie, most Philippine jobs don't even pay US minimum wage. Having dependent children in the Philippines is not much of a tie because the Philippines is full of children foisted off on relatives and friends while their mother works overseas. So it is her right to pay the non-refundable $160 US dollar application fee and file an application for a tourist visa. Personally I think her chances are slim to none but don't take my word for it. Here's a tool which might help with the decision process: Godspeed.

The Plural Apostrophe   

I ended the last post with my observation that  all changes to language are fine and acceptable – except for the ones I don’t like. This provides a useful introduction to discuss some of my own pet language peeves. 

I'll start with my favorite "love to hate" punctuation error, the  "plural apostrophe". In England it is sometimes called the "greengrocer's apostrophe" from the habit of grocery store managers (or at least their sign-writers) who write signs like "Cucumber's $1.00" and "Banana's $1.50/lb".

The rule is so simple ("apostrophe-s" is used to show possessive) that I simply can't understand how so many people get the idea that all plurals ending in "s" need an apostrophe. Richard Lederer and John Shore in the apostrophe chapter of Comma Sense discuss the misuse of apostrophes in house signs and mailboxes. Mailboxes commonly have people's names like "The Smith's" and "William's". The second example is doubly in error because, since the mailbox presumably belongs to a family with surname Williams, the apostrophe, which shouldn't be there to start with, is in the wrong place. But at least Williams looks like a plural word. Some go beyond the plural apostrophe and feel that no word ending in "s" should be allowed to go apostrophe-less. To continue the mailbox example, we sometimes even get "Jone's". Aaaarrrrgggghhh!!!

Now here's an interesting example of my own: 
a) I am going to Smiths.
b) I am going to Smiths'.
c) I am going to Smith's.

This sentence leaves out some words that are implied or meant to be understood. Each of these sentences could be correct, depending on the words left out. Here are the full sentences with explanations:
a) I am going to visit the Smiths. (a family with surname Smith)
b) I am going to the Smiths' house. (the house belongs to a family named Smith)
c) I am going to Smith's house. (the house belongs to a guy named or nicknamed Smith)

To give the plural apostrophe writers a bit of a break, there are examples when an apostrophe-s  is used to show plural. However, these situations are extremely rare and can't have spawned the ubiquitous plural apostrophes (can they?). Anyway, here they are:
- the plural of letters and numbers: "Mind your p's and q's" and "How many 3's are in your phone number?" Apostrophes, however, are not needed for the plural of dates or acronyms e.g. 1900s and DVDs.
- the plural of some short words like do. Dos, I suppose, could be confused with DOS (and I'm old enough to remember using it before Windows) so do's it is.

There is another excuse we could give for plural apostrophe writers. According to Lynne Truss, prior to the 19th century apostrophes were used, quite correctly, to show the plural of foreign words ending in a vowel. She gives the examples of words like folio's, pasta's and - yes - banana's. However I doubt that the average grocery store owner knows this fact. Hey, I own a health food store and I didn't know this before.

The confusion between the words its and it's is such a common problem that it's only right to give this error its own paragraph. Here the apostrophe is used only for the contraction of "it is". The possessive pronoun its does not need an apostrophe any more than the other possessive personal pronouns like his, hers, ours, yours and theirs. Simple, right? Now to confuse you again, the possessive of indefinite pronouns like anyone and everybody do require an apostrophe: "It's anyone's guess why everybody's use of the apostrophe is so mixed up".

I invite you to share in the comments some humorous examples of the misuse of apostrophes that you have observed.


721: Make every minute count - Habits with Tom Ziglar   

We all know having a plan is the most secure way to ensure something happens. When was the last time you set out for a long road trip without directions to follow? Probably never. In this show we hear the daily routine of Tom Ziglar. This is a guy who has never known anything but planning for a positive, successful day. It doesn’t mean he’s perfect, but just like his father Zig, he has a tremendously solid plan for his day. This is our habits show and we walk through the seven spokes on the Ziglar Wheel of Life with Tom, I think you’ll appreciate hearing what the master himself does to procure his personal success! And if you haven’t already, go check out Tom’s new book, “Choose To Win”, wherever you buy your books. 

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Episode 378 – Suing the Devil   

It is once again time for our annual Christian Movie night! Ronn Bauman, Byron Miller, and Tony Miller join us to watch “Suing the Devil,” a fundamentalist movie about a guy who may or may not be Australian suing the devil, played by Malcom McDowell. With McDowell, we had hoped this would involve some delightful […]

Following Suit   


Business Suit.
Business Suit. by MIKI Yoshihito. (#mikiyoshihito) (cc by)

As a guy who bought a few hundred thousand suits in a former life...I have thoughts: allkindsoftime weaves a winning yarn about the weft and warp of working inside the garment industry in COD's post about the decline of the power suit.


How To Start Shooting In The UK   

Tika Tac A1 in 6.5mm creedmoor at Bisley

So you fancy shooting? As I guess is obvious from this blog I started shooting to have a more personal relationship with my dinner, but these days I shoot paper targets much more than I shoot Rabbits, Squirrel and Deer.

I've read lots of 'how to get started' articles, most of them written by people who have got newbies of the ground and to be fair they were clear as mud, so I thought I'd have a go.

Here in old Blighty we have fairly strict firearms laws which utterly defy common sense, but for the most part the system works well and people who hold firearms are rarely involved in crime of any kind. I say defy common sense because they are a vast expense to administer and pointlessly inconvenient to comply with. Using the driving licence as a model the whole thing could be massively simplified. From banger to bugatti one licence to drive them all, with rifles its an application for every rifle.

You must have Good Reason:
There are two kinds of good reason to have a firearm, you have Land [or access to land], or you are a member of a Gun Club.  "I wish to bring justice to the unworthy" isn't considered acceptable. There are some exceptions but unless you're a veterinarian, farmer, or live in Northern Ireland they're not really important.

A Ruger 1022 in 22LR accurate AF at 25 yards. 

Club membership:
You cant just book a session and turn up to shoot to see if you like it. You must apply, be vetted by the cops, then you can shoot under supervision, then you can become a full member. It takes about three to six months.

Some specialist target rifles in .308, used in the competition known as Fullbore in the UK.

The NRA and Bisley:
Not all clubs are affiliated to the NRA, in fact its less than would be helpful, but there are some advantages. The NRA controls the national shooting ground which is in Surrey just outside london and has ranges from 25 to 1200 yards you can rent fairly cheaply. On the upside its super safe, on the downside its not very good if you want to practice shooting at various ranges within the same string of ten shots. The NRA is staffed by well meaning people, bogged down by tradition and endless complex rule structures, which are usually described in a verbal shorthand largely incomprehensible to the outsider or new comer.
You need to be a member and have a range competency card. There are two ways to get one.
The NRA run courses - not cheap.
Your club [if affiliated] will run days at Bisley and once they're comfortable that you are safe they'll issue you with one. The competency card has individual sections for each kind of shooting, so it can take a while to evidence all the kinds you need.

Apart from the hundreds of pounds you'll save on training there are other reasons to be a member of a club. The pool of knowledge that will help you get better, and buy better. There are people who have learned to shoot and clean their guns almost solely off the internet, I find it easier to be shown one-on-one. I walked away from an auction at £500 for a rifle that later sold for £1600, a friend of mine bought one almost the same, but with a nicer scope, for £450 from a guy who was retiring from the club.

A very Sticky club Savage in 22LR

Getting your own guns:
Club rifles have hundreds, if not thousands, of rounds put through them a week, and it shows. They are also 'one size fits no one' Every club has an example of someone who shot a perfect score with a club gun that hadn't been cleaned in weeks. You never know, it could be you, even if it is the chances of repeating the feat are even slimmer.

Back to 'good reason':
Every firearm you own has conditions attached to your ownership. They fall into two main categories Target Shooting and Pest Control. All rifles can be shot at targets, but only some rifles can be shot at animals.  Each rifle you own will have conditions attached to your owning it.

Storage Restrictions.
To have a Fire Arms Certificate you need to have storage at home, you could have club storage, but that would only let you shoot at that premises, so you wouldn't be able to take your rifle anywhere else for stalking or competition. I know a couple of people who have membership of two clubs so they can store rifles at each. I've heard of people who have an additional stalking rifle kept at a gun shop in Scotland. Its all far from convenient. You're going to need a gun safe.
Listen carefully. There are loads of secondhand safes on offer, for a reason. If its listed as a ten gun safe, it will hold four. Never mind the width, be mindful of the depth.  Only buy a safe that can take scoped rifles. Do as I say not as I have done. I'm looking for my third safe, this time I will get it right.

You need to have the safe on the wall, and ideally obscured from casual view, before you have your Fire Arms Enquiry Officer visit.
The internet is full of new shooters getting their knickers in a twist about the visit, pointlessly.
The person who comes to interview you is a civilian who works for the cops, they are trained to ask you questions, they're not an expert on guns and ammo, they might never have fired a gun in their life.
Once again the internet is full of anecdotes about their misunderstandings of calibre and legislation.
I spent a pleasant two hours chatting with he chap who came to see me, a pensive two weeks waiting for him to hand deliver my certificate, then another week waiting for corrections to it, before it finally arrived in the post and I could make that first over enthusiastic purchase.

Probably the silliest thing about our licensing system is the way its 'licence the gun', not 'licence the person'. So you're in the ridiculous position of having to choose something that may or may not suit your needs before you can buy it. As you want to practice a lot, you'll need that 22LR for club shooting, but as there are dozens of different types of target shooting there's no one rifle that does them all. Then you're going to want to shoot at ranges beyond 25 yards and your shooting career could go in literally any direction, all of which require slightly different equipment.
There are myriad choices and combinations on offer, every one of them wonderful in some way.
Here's a sample battery working on the assumption that you're going to be shooting both with your club, then at Bisley [or wherever] with your new friends from your club.

A super rare full custom all steel clone of a Ruger 1022, made by AMT & Theoben

22LR your rimfire rifle
The indoor rifle, £5 buys you 50 shots, will slay Rabbits out to 50 yards, loads of competitions, and a brilliant way to practice. They cost anything from £20 to £2,000 - and more for the super specialist examples for world class competition. Barrel life is almost endless.

.223 your small deer / short range centre fire rifle
Cheap to keep and can be shot at nearly every rifle range. There are plenty of 22 CF's but some of them are too wonderful [fast] to be shot at some ranges, and the faster the bullet goes the shorter the life of the barrel. With 223 there's plenty of cheap ammo, long barrel life and a hooj choice second hand making the .223 the ideal club/plinking calibre. They all shoot out to 300 yards and some, with a faster twist rate barrel, will shoot a lot further.
Legal for Muntjac and Chinese Water Deer in the south and for Roe in Scotland.

A very nice CZ in .308, bit heavy for staking but proven to be very accurate. 

.308 or better yet 6.5 Creedmoor your all deer / longer range centre fire rifle
Since the 1950's the 308 has been the default target round, and its the do everything hunting round. From Alaska to Zimbabwe there's nowhere you cant buy ammunition for them. Barrel life is long, 800 yards + in a short barrelled gun - longer in a specialist target rifle, and there are more of them on sale at any time than any other calibre. Ammunition runs from cheapo NATO surplus to super performance, from lightweight to personal artillery.  .308 The default setting.

BUT, hold on just a minute.

In the last 10-11 years the 6.5mm has come into its own. Scandiwegens have been shooting the 6.5mm bullets at targets and massive moose for a hundred years with great affect. Recently the 6.5mm has appeared in a new cartridge that grows in popularity every year. Fads come and fads go, but the Creedmoor is now established. A 1200m cartridge that's gentle on your shoulder and cheaper to feed than most, its also available in bullet weights and designs suitable for everything from  Foxes to Moose, and low drag target rounds that have hit steel out at 3000m.
If you do shoot at Bisley the NRA are supporting CM by selling them at £17 for 20 which represents something of a bargain these days.

A Lee Enfield Mk4 with Vernier Sights calibrated to 1200 yards 

303 Lee Enfield.
Everyone should have a .303. The historic rifle. It's a bit galling having to listen to the old boys at the club tell you about the Enfield they bought for a tenner back in the day, but inflation is what it is.

And on to your stalking rifle(s)
You could have a 223 and a 6.5mm that would slay every kind of deer in the UK no problem, but in order to be a really efficient target shooting rifles they need to be too heavy to be really handy stalking rifles.
For years the default setting for an english stalking rifle has been .243 (6mm) but unless you have one made or re-barrelled  they often don't have the twist rate for the heavier bullets needed for the bigger deer.
Then there's pigs, the UK has a growing number of excellent Wild Boar shooting opportunities and the guidance is 7mm and up, that 308 (7.69mm) would have been perfect. Your second Creedmoor would do it fine if you made some heavier rounds for it, but not all guides will let you use less than 7mm.

Did I mention Gallery Rifle? A sport your club probably shoots...... TBC

more soon
your pal


A Summer Sublet   

Illustration by Paige Davis

I grew a beard because there was no light in the bathroom. Well, there was a light, but it was very dim, and the mirror was far below eye level and grimy and difficult to see myself in. There was another mirror that was eye-level, but it wasn’t over the sink and if I tried to shave there I’d get hair all over the floor. So, I grew a beard instead.

For the month of June, I was subletting a room in an apartment with a guy I’d never met before, Geoff. He was a grad student from Germany; I was an undergrad who had never fed himself before; together we lived in a spacious New Haven apartment that lacked many things.

We had no ice cube trays or measuring cups, so I bought them. They were cheap at Walgreens and were the sort of thing I could use everyday. With the cups, I spooned rice and water into a beat-up but surprisingly effective rice cooker, and the trays kept my insides cool as I suffocated through sticky afternoons on the third story of a house with no air conditioning.

We also didn’t have a whisk, but I didn’t buy one (too expensive, not useful). Presumptuously, I thought I could emulsify a homemade Alfredo sauce without it. I used a slotted spoon instead. My forehead throbbed as I scrambled my broken emulsion, unable to melt the crumbles of parmesan into water. A viscous cheesy goop clung to my spoon and the bottom of the saucepan. Resigned, I sat and picked at clumps of congealed pasta with my fingers, hoping Geoff wouldn’t come home and see the starchy puddle that was once a kitchen.

Geoff and I weren’t friends, just roommates. For a month, we lived together, during which I coughed up forced hellos, goodbyes, and goodnights; smiled dumbly anytime he passed; sent verbosely apologetic text messages warning him I was having friends over; stole secret squeezes of his toothpaste; met his girlfriend at breakfast after curiously half-ignoring the moaning and creaking that leaked from their bedroom the night before. We never got close.

But we had our moments: the time we watched Mid90s together, and I asked him about life in Germany as the credits rolled. The times we languished, shirtless and sweaty, united by discomfort in our stuffy summer prison. Or when he stumbled into the house, drenched after biking home in a thunderstorm and I, nestled dry and cozy on the couch, half-asked-half-declared, “Wet out there, huh?” And I grinned and he chuckled.

After a month of living in the absence of many things, I’d grown. I learned exactly how much rice to make for a party of one. I learned how to destroy a kitchen, then clean it up. I learned how to grow and maintain facial hair. And although I’ll probably never see Geoff again, I’m fond of our stint as roommates. He wasn’t a friend from my suite, not a care-taker like Mom or Dad, just someone I saw daily and sometimes avoided. All we shared was a poorly stocked kitchen and a dimly lit bathroom. And a little bit of small-talk. I guess that was all I needed.

A Summer Sublet was originally published in The Yale Herald on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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