Thursday, May 21, 2009

American Civil War Encampment
Last weekend's American Civil War 'encampment' was considered a very successful "first time event" by organizers. This small group of reenactors represents characters from both sides of the historical battle lines, as symbolized by the two flags shown flying above.

Friday was "school day" in the camp, and over 400 elementary school students came out to the site to learn a little bit about the days when brother fought brother. The kids seemed to be well prepared for their field trip and their questions were generally pretty well conceived and indicated a strong interest in the "human stories" of the war.

The group even had their own small group of camp followers, who probably worked even harder than the 'soldiers'.

The ACW group in the Fairbanks area was formed only recently, but they are expecting their numbers to grow dramatically as more local people learn about their organization. I suspect they are probably correct. In many regions civil war reenactors outnumber those specializing in other time periods by a significant margin. Even though most of those folks have only started putting their historical kits together, they don't look half bad.

BATF Inspection

As a licensed black powder dealer, I am subject to periodic inspections by Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents on a regular basis. Usually these inspections occur just prior to time for me to renew my license. Monday was BATF day here at the house. As always, the inspecting agent was polite and friendly. We found some minor problems in my record keeping system that have been resolved. It seems like every time I get inspected the agent wants me to keep my paperwork in a different way. Apparently everything is good for now, and I've gathered up the paperwork I need to file when I apply for my renewed license next R&R.

Working Around the Kennel and House

I've also been doing quite a few chores around the house and kennel. The trees are leafing out nicely and the temperatures have been downright balmy the past week. I have the large water tubs distributed out in the yard so the dogs all have access to fresh, clear water 24/7. My long water hose has been stretched out to the dog yard so it's easy to keep them clean and full.

All of the dog houses have been cleaned for the season, though the dogs spend more time on them than in them. We've also been doing quite a bit of behavior training, giving the dogs a chance to exercise their brains and earn some nice treats in the process. It's been way to warm to run them except for the occaissional free-run in the yard, so behavior training helps keep them stimulated and engaged.

Yesterday I put new blades on the mower deck, mounted the deck onto the tractor and removed the snow blade from the machine. It's ready for the season and none too soon. It's looking like I'll probably want to mow grass before heading back to my place of employment.

Today's plan is to get all of my gear prepared, organized and loaded into the truck and trailer for a road-trip to Talkeetna for this year's annual Memorial Day Weekend Rendezvous, which is going to be held down at Ed Wick's "Fort Wick" site. It's about a 5 hour drive from the house, but it's always a fun event and a chance to catch up with really good people I've not seen since last summer. I'm looking forward to it.

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