Monday, September 7, 2009

Taming the Wild Intergalactic Cowboy

Taming the Wild Intergalactic Cowboy. Or not. . .The TV is on very little in my house, other than tapes of Firefly and other good SciFi and Westerns. I'd as soon take a bullet as watch reality TV, though I like Discovery and History Channel, shows such as Lock N' Load with R. Lee Ermey Mythbusters and I think Red Green is 100 times better than about anything. Why? Because the alternatives on TV are a bunch of shows of guys with spiked multi-colored hair improving someone's wardrobe, content off in the Kingdom of Starbucks low fat biscotti or the wimpy hen-pecked man of the average sitcom. If you watched TV you would think that all men have been domesticated to within an inch of their lives.

There's a lot of talk out there about gender stereotypes with regards to women and weapons. But I'm sure men hate seeing themselves depicted on TV shows as incompetent, whiny dolts ordered around by their wives as much as women hate being treated like idiots whenever we get around tools (and the guns around here are just some of my tools).

I admire anyone with artistic talents, be it interior design or gourmet cooking, male or female. But I want a man that isn't afraid to be a man, an old fashioned, non trendy current fashion, kind of guy. Some will call me out-dated, but in this dangerous world we live in, it's nice to know there are some men out there that aren't spending their free time time getting their colors done or having highlights put in their hair. Not to pay my way, or fight my battles for me, but to simply be there, loving me unconditionally while I reload.

My Dad was such a man. Did it mean he didn't cry when the dog had to be put down, or he and my Mom buried their firstborn? No. He wept and he dreamed and he treated my Mom as an equal intellectually and valued her contribution to the home l (he better have, she had her own 9mm). But I never saw him color his hair or use an "AbMaster". If he chopped a tree down in the yard and it fell on the shed, that's because that's where he wanted it to go. He was a Home on the Range Man, and though they may be hiding in full sight in thicket and woods, or the local range, they are far from extinct.

Photo by Oleg Volk of my squirrel back up M.
So here is my little salute to the Home on the Range Man. He may be your coworker, a friend, your husband, your father, a brother, a lover. He may bear many of the same traits, goals and dreams as we strong females, but he is, and always will be, his own man.

Who is the Home on the Range Man.

1. He stands for a pregnant or elderly woman on a bus, subway or train. He does this not because he's expected to, but because it was the way he was raised. Like honoring our veterans, it's not sexist, it's a tradition of respect and caring.

2. He doesn't let some guy with pink hair redecorate his hair or his house on National TV. A Range Man's idea of "Grand Design" is a four foot stack of boxes of .45 and .223 he got last month, piled up between the tools and the lumber.

3. He eats red meat. Sometimes he kills it and field dresses it himself.

4. He just deals with it. Be it his bank account, his vehicle, or a bear in the backyard. He just takes care of it without talking over it for hours with his friends, or consulting a horoscope, or worrying about feng shui

5. He owns several outfits that will hide him from the enemy, or prey.

6. He knows the answer to any question involving steak, beer or blackpowder is Yes.

7. He doesn't know the difference between Puce and Plum and doesn't lose sleep over it.

8. He does NOT own more hair care appliances than the Home on the Range woman. If he owns a shower cap, the bus leaves at 10.

9. He knows how to properly kill stuff, be it spiders, ants, wild animals or bad guys.

10. He respects our Constitution and knows how to say the Pledge of Allegiance. He does so with his hand over his heart, or with the proud mil-spec hand salute of a Veteran, not standing like a piece of cord wood wondering who's looking at him.

11. He has at least one really good scar he can show you.

12. He man knows the difference between a:
....a reloading press and a drill press
....a chain saw and sawsall
....a fillet knife and a Caping knife.
....a vice and a vise, and when to use each.

13. He is a survivor, be it a National Disaster, Combat or Grade School, he doesn't go running to his Mommy at the first sign of trouble. (See #4)

14. He doesn't live on sprouts and carrot juice so he can live to be 90. He's strong and he can see his toes, but if he's eating a steak at 95 I personally will salute him.

15. He will seek professional help in case of forest fire, freak woodchipper accidents or lemming infestation. Otherwise he will go to Lowe's like the rest of us and tackle it himself.

16. He knows a "gut hook" is not some fancy move by a boxer.

17. He owns a gun. More than one. Like the Home on the Range Woman. It's one of the many, many tools that he owns and knows how to use.

18.He knows that love is not a pie, that sex can be much more than a casual sport, that faith, in your God, in your friends, in your family, is a little like a full-time job.

19. He regularly sharpens his tools, and his mind, taking the collective value of what he learns and passing that on to his son, or his daughters.

20. A Home on the Range Man is a keeper. Be he father, or brother, spouse or lover or simply a shooty friend you are lucky to have him in your life.


  1. I like that.

    Stay safe, keep flyin'

    Mr Fixit

  2. This is got to be one of my favorite posts Brigid. With the crushing pressure to give in and "go metro" that's put on most of the young men in my generation it's nice to know that there're still women out there who appreciate a type of man like you've described.

  3. I just found your blog this morning. I am lovin' it!! Btw, I knew you had to be a redhead!! lol

  4. I officially have more camo than conventional clothes.

  5. My favorite Jayneism:

    "Hell, I'll kill a man in a fair fight... or if I think he's gonna start a fair fight." :)

  6. He just deals with it.

    My kids are gonna be sick of hearing me say that.....

  7. I flunked out on #12, never having heard of a Caping knife. I do know what a fillet knife is, so can I get partial credit?
    My favorite scene of the whole series was when Mal was trying to make peace with Niska's chief thug. The bad guy responds with bloodthirsty threats, so Mal kicks him into the engine intakes and moves to the second in command.
    Enjoy your day off.

  8. Amen, and pass the ammo. Never mind I'll reload my own.

    See Ya

  9. Ooh-rah! I think fashion was invented by people who don't have real lives. We had a big discussion recently about just this sort of thing on one of the homeschool sites I visit.

  10. I like your re-runs. I guess I fail the test since I have trouble seeing my toes now. As for TV, Mrs Crucis and I have gotten hooked on "Bones" AKA Temperance Brennan. Yes, it has a batch of liberals, but you just have to like a woman who's a martial arts expert, and, at least in one episode, carries a S&W .500 concealed in her Wonder Woman costume!

    Favorite quote by Bones Brennan in the show... "Can I shoot him now?"

  11. Hey I pass the test.... :D

    Got to admit I like both of Ermeys shows, Loack and Load and Mail Call
    both are part of my before sleep Tivo Fare.

  12. Mycroft that scene was the one the gaurenteed that I would buy the whole series on DVD.

  13. I think you've got it covered here re: the Home on the Range men. Here's to 'em!

    I know I love mine.

  14. In the style of Jayne... I've got a sweet 30-30 I'd trade for you.

    Ah shucks, the Mrs. won't let me. Thanks for the laughs.

  15. Hey, Doctor, enjoy the break. A guy's magazine selection is one of those indicators you've got to watch. GQ, Mother Jones, Atlantic Monthly, Esquire, or Men's Vogue found resting on the back of the toilet--escape out the bathroom window or nearest exit and run like hell.

  16. I am so glad I am so old and so very married to a fine lady that will miss me when I am gone. Your words rock.

  17. I love Jayne, but I'm a Mal girl. Mmmm, Mal. I'll be in my bunk...

  18. uh, I own a woman's shower cap that I use to keep the seat of my bicycle dry on those (becoming more rare) days I ride it to work and leave it locked up in the employee parking lot.

    Does this irretrievably consign me to a receeding view of the #10?

  19. Trooper and I were looking at Mausers the other day and I smiled, thinking of you.

    Thanks for this reminder - sometimes those of us graced with HOTRMen (Hotter Men?) forget just how good we have it...

  20. Firefly was my all-time favorite TV show. Why is it that the networks always kill the best shows?

    It was the one show I personally identified with. Perhaps it was the independence that the show embodied. The disdain for Government interference.

    The show lives on, only on my TV screen and in the spirit of independence that it reinforced in me.

    I aim to misbehave.

  21. Bridgid - only been following for a very short time, but this is nuts on the best post I've read!

    Thank you for making my weekend!!

  22. Firefly is one of the alltime favorite shows around my house.

    I had to laugh at 'has at least one good scar to show you'....or several.

    I've been teaching my 19 y/old daughter how to split wood with a maul. She's catching on to the basics and one day, with no one else around, went to work on the woodpile. My dear wifey about came unglued because there was no one around and what if something happened?

    I told her scars are evidence of an interesting life well lived. (I really think she was worried because she knows how I got so many of my scars!).

    Anyway, daughter had fun in the woodpile and no scars that day.

    Thanks for your post, Brigid. Your writing has brigtened many a day for me. I'm glad to know there are other women that think like the three ladies that live with me!

  23. Selous,

    Serenity points out a fact that another show I enjoy has stated:

    Faith Manages.

  24. Brigid...Jayne is my favorite too! My 1187 is named Vera after his shotgun :-)

  25. What a great post! I have dropped a tree on a shed, all other options cost a lot more to fix up than the shed. Besides, I built the shed, I can drop a tree on it if I want to!

    I have owned a shower cap, it used to line my kevlar helmet so I could shave and wash.

  26. Seems like this would make a great e-Harmony ad.

  27. Us supposed real men know who we are. It's the real women who are the rare birds....

    Fortunately I know one or two.
    by their blogs at least...

  28. Give me a few more months and I’ll let you have first read on a transcript draft I’m working up. You’ll like the protagonists, cut from your wish list indeed, may never go any further, but I’m having a lot of fun with it…

  29. Thanks Brigid,

    I been feeling kinda lonely.

    Thank God for "Home on the Range" women too!


  30. Sorry, I can't qualify on every point. But pretty close!

    Does the fact that I've never owned a pair of sandals count for anything?

  31. [...] If you don't pass, you'd better try harder [...]

  32. I qualify on all points - but the gun one needs to be more specific. I own a bunch of guns...soldering guns, hot glue guns, rivet guns, several grease guns, a FLOCK of impact guns...oh, and a rubber band gun.

    If they're acceptable, I'm in. :)

  33. mead chick - I read your comment, and I have no idea where it went. If I clicked the wrong button, sorry, very little sleep last night. I think I may have deleted a couple of these.

    Glad you enjoyed it though, and hope you are doing well. :-)

  34. I think I barely fit the criteria, although I've got a friend that's a >lot< better at all the fixit stuff than me that I like to bounce ideas off of before committing myself to some ill-considered project, just to see if there's some angle or factor I'm missing. Don't know if that disqualifies me on the basis of "just deal with it", but I sure felt good the last time I stopped by his place; I was shown the cracked minibike frame he was about to work on and after hearing his plans, saw a better way to do it right off~

    Anyhow, the Mrs. thinks I'm worth keeping and I guess that's the main criteria I give a rip about...

    WV: "bacul" Mmmmm, filled with the food of the Gods

  35. The Oracle, aka my husband, fits your description perfectly. He is a real man who just happens to dress really well (which has as much to do with my own vanity as his). :-) One of his fave TV shows is "Burn Notice". Chiefly because the female lead can handle an amazing array of weaponry and uses phrases like "Should we shoot them?".

    I like real men.

  36. Okay. I know there is a difference between a fillet knife and a caping knife, but I've never had occasion to use either for my game.

    Otherwise, pretty much got it nailed. Good list Brigid, and a good reminder to all of us of what truly matters.

  37. "men hate seeing themselves depicted on TV shows as incompetent, whiny dolts ordered around by their wives "

    Preach it, sister.

  38. Lemmings? Hah! Bring it. Every meat goes tender in a crock pot.

  39. Ah, yes, I love this essay. I'm just now catching up on my blogroll after hosting houseguests for a couple of weeks.

    MY "home on the range guy" is my son. USMC, Iraq vet, hunter, fixer of things and all around good guy. Man of the house starting at age 16 when his dad got sick. Stood beside me at his dad's death bed and wept with me.

    I have to share him with the dear DIL, but she shoots, too (AND she is also a Marine - which makes it even better LOL).

    Gentlest hard hands in the world - watching him hold his newborn son is seeing everything that is right in the world.

    I just wish they were stationed closer to home. I'm already missing them all and they just headed back to post from leave on Tuesday.

  40. Brigid,

    I am thinking that perhaps you set the bar way too high with some of the characteristics of your 'home on the range man.' But then, that is your choice and you have every right to it.

    For some of us, however, circumstances beyond our control have prevented us from fulfilling some of these criteria...extenuating circumstances such as health and physical limitation.

    I am not sure why I am even writing this, other than to say that the words here invoke a rather melancholy mood within in--probably due more to the realities of aging and past losses than anything else.

    Your writing, excellent as always, provokes a wide range of emotion...

    The Liberty Sphere

  41. I just read this post and it brings a certain Brad Paisley song to mind.

    "Thank God, I'm still a guy!"

    Great Post.


  42. I believe I've seen this home on the range man you speak my mirror.

  43. Thank you for the warm welcome Ms Brigid.......for I am the one that feels privileged. Since I happened across your blog I've been mesmerized by your writing which flows passionately, forceful, and so eloquently across these pages.
    Your recipes are delightfully inspiring as well!
    I like your taste in shootin irons also...have the old model Ruger Vaquero in .45 Colt, polished stainless with Ivory grips, just like yours.

    I didn't think there were any women like you left in the's refreshing.

    Enjoy your evening Ms Brigid.

  44. Dittos to what frogman said. Matt

  45. Dear Brigid,
    (this is not much of a comment, more like just personal thankyou note, but i didn`t find better place for it)

    You and Sheldon`s hate of Rupert Murdoch are responsible for my fall for Firefly/Serenity! Watching it over and over, it carved few famous quotes in my heart - Captains: "May have been a loosing side, still not sure if it was a right one" or "Lady, you`re my kind of stupid!" and most importantly Jayne`s simple "If you can`t do something smart, do something right."
    These helped me greatly recently in decising if i should do something smart or right, i went for right and it really does pay off :) Now I`m in Cooper`s orange mode way more often than before, but smiling inwardly almost constantly.


  46. 1. I could not sleep at night if I sat while an elderly or pregnant lady stood.

    2. My current redecorating consists of finding a space in my living room for a reloading bench.

    3. Every day, and I do not apologize to my vegetarian friends.

    4. The best compliment I ever got was when a friend of my Dad's asked if I ever spoke. Dad said, "only when he's got something to say."

    5. One closet is dedicated to such a wardrobe.

    6. Yes.

    7. I see in fewer colors than Windows 3.1

    8. I have a comb.

    9. All of the above, and then some. Don't mind doing it, either.

    10. I know who's looking at me: my young nieces, who need a proper example set for them.

    11. I'll have to get to know you better before I can show you that scar.

    12. I have most of those.

    13. My mommy really didn't want me to go to Airborne School but I did it anyway. (And God love her, she came to watch my graduation jump.)

    14. Sprouts? Please. Carrot juice? Only if it's fermented.

    15. I actually worked for the Forest Service in college fighting forest fires, so I got that covered, too.

    16. Good boxers don't have fancy moves anyway.

    17. There is a room in my house which does little else but store them.

    18. It is a full-time job. The stuff I do for money to live on is just that.

    19. My current sharpening project is my two nieces, 11 and 13. They are learning to shoot, and properly. They like it.

    20. I am a keeper. As the saying goes, "no better friend, now worse enemy." I am easy to love and hard to love at the same time. I hope we get to meet someday.

  47. Every time I read here, I think of you as Louis L'Amour's Mrs. Teale; writing your heart-thoughts and tying them to tumbleweeds, and half the cowboys in the country get heartsick wondering who you are and how they can find you.


  48. I must wonder if this man you speak of even reality, that is.

  49. Hi from the other side of the pond,(UK) great blog btw, been following it for sometime now. I think I can tick all of those boxes, I also teach all the "bad" things to my kids & to my scout troop too! sharpening knifes & axes, shooting, (yes, with real guns) starting & cooking on a real fire, how to prep firewood, using & maintaining sharp tools, sleeping under the stars, & butt load more of stuff I think is essential to life. I also insist on chores for my kids (10 & 12) from taking out the trash to chopping kindling & firewood, filling up the coal buckets, sweeping the yard, cleaning the cars. I'm an old fashioned kind of Dad. Most folk over here don't get their kids to do anything! wtf? storing up trouble that it. anyway, keep up the good work,


    voluntaryist only

  50. Thanks Brigit for your kind comment, I am the lucky one to have such great kids! this morning my eldest lad is off school & his friend is coming round, my lad says" he'll be in for a shock if he has to help me with my chores"! LMAO! :-0 I know this may sound like a tired cliché but "teach your children well, let them know the way" has a;ways been true & always will be. If I can't teach my own kids, how am I supposed to teach anybody else?



  51. as to the young fluffy boy two posts ago.
    How did you know his sister was named..... Jayne!

  52. Kinda late chiming in, but I'd like to say that while I fit a goodly amount of those traits (carnivore, yes, but prefer fish/chicken to red meat. Wouldn't turn a steak down, don't get me wrong! And I own two types of knives...."pocket" and "hunting/Kbar"), I fall flat on some, but like to think that I pick myself up and keep tryin.

    Heh. I also don't own a hairnet...I think I have a comb somewhere, but don't even use that anymore. Its a lot cooler (temp-wise) to just get the noggin sheared close during the nice Texas summers. I will, however, have to print this list out and post in a prominent place in the daughter's bedroom. She's 2.5 now...that should give her plenty of time to absorb the wisdom before dating age (is 30 too young for her to start dating?).

  53. Thanks for this list. It's what I've been teaching Robert. I remember when we were riding the Metra Commuter train and it was packed. I had him (and I) give up our seats when some ladies got on at a stop. He asked why. To which I explained that it is what gentlemen do. Again, he asked why? "Because we are an not barbarians." was my response. "We just do."

    This got me couple of raised eyebrows and shamed some other men to give up their seats to ladies that were standing.

    I call that a win.


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