After taking a few family days for some much-needed R&R on the South Carolina coast doing the things I'm normally only writing about, I remember why I love the outdoors so much. Sounds nuts, but working on the wires means precious little time to enjoy the outdoors.
Wanted to take the opportunity to thank our editors for covering for me so I could fish, crab, boat, bird and generally recharge some aging batteries. Now, if I can just get back into the work mode mentally, I'd be fine. When I do, I've been doing some real-world testing on lots of new gear and I'll be telling you about that testing. But writing about that right now is just a bit too-soon. Writing on the beach, well, that just wasn't happening.
A quick reminder that initial edition of The Archery Wire will hit several thousand subscribers' email boxes this morning. If you are involved in archery from the consumer or retail side and haven't already signed up, you can go to this link to sign up to become an exclusive recipient
Original photography is only a part of the material we'll be rolling out for birding enthusiasts. Jim Shepherd/OWDN photo.
Another quick note for all of you who have been asking me "what about The Birding Wire?" It's the next project in our launch schedule. I spent a good bit of time in two great bird sanctuaries shooting images for the service and I think it's going to be something the birding community is really going to like.
And a final note on Team USA's performances in shooting sports...Bravo to all our athletes, coaches and support teams. A few shooters didn't meet their own expectations, but we can point to the record-setting performances of Kim Rhode, Jamie Gray and Vince Hancock and know USA Shooting has nothing but better days ahead.
Ditto USA Archery- the Men's Team brought home a medal even though our highly-ranked archers had some tough outings in the individual competition. These archers are have many more Olympics ahead of them - and sometimes you have to fail in order to be fully prepared to succeed.
I'm glad that the shooting sports have longevity - to be a 16-year old gymnast who took a tumble only to be told their Olympic career is over would be tough thing to deal with.
Now a little vinegar with a whole lot of sugar. It's in the form of a very short message to all the people who have been slamming Olympic shooting sports in general and USA Shooting's Cory Cogdell in specific.
That message: Enough, already. Please just shut the heck up.
You have accused shooters (and hunters) of being unappreciative of life. You've called them - and by extension all shooters or hunters - mean-spirited. You've done that as the launch pad for some very personal assaults on shooters' intelligence and ancestry. Some of you have made it abundantly clear that - if you had the power to do it (anonymously, of course) - you'd remove all of us from planet Earth.
You've written hateful notes and Facebook posts about Olympic athletes in the shooting sports without taking a deep breath and realizing that these "killers" are not only fellow human beings- they represent your country - and you. Whether you like it or not.
Seems to me they've done a considerably better job representing what's right with our country more than your caterwauling.
They have done nothing to deserve the benefits of your idiocy, nor have the families you've threatened, or the sports you've declared as "no longer reflective of the Olympic ideals". I don't think making death threats - even anonymous, gutless ones- are reflective of the Olympic ideals, either.
It's shameful that an Olympic athlete felt it necessary - from the Games - to take time to write notes apologizing to their friends, family and fans for your shrill and anonymous rants, threats and boorishness.
Were you required to post your name and/or personal information, rather than pseudonyms, I'm betting you'd not be nearly so bold - or rude.
The digital world is the perfect setting for hate-mongering: it's unknown, anonymous and venom can be liberally directed toward anyone foolish enough to extend you the courtesy of listening. You repay that courtesy with invectives and comments that prove your variety of "tolerance" isn't one we can use as a yardstick for civility.
So please, just shut up. If for no other reason than for your own sake.