December 28, 2005

Christmas Book

How to get out of the rat race and live on $10 a month
The very first time I saw the title of this book, advertised in the big Herter's catalogs, my entire outlook on life was changed. My struggle with the state had taken a serious turn, and I had moved into a rustic (read: abandoned) farmstead that rented for $10 a month. My new life required the sort of equipment Herter's catalogs used to offer. That was a long time ago. The old catalogs are now collectors items. George Leonard Herter's colorful catalog writing was what made them so cool. Today you can order the few products offered under ther Herter's brand from Cabela's. But It isn't the same.

Herter wrote quite a number of, well, interesting books. He self-published and sold the books mostly through his Herter's catalogs, where I was first exposed to them. His Bull Cook became fairly well-known among hunters. As for the others, here is a partial list I got from Amazon, (I don't know how Rilke got on this list, but that is another story). At any event, I lost my copy of How to get out of the rat race and live on $10 a month long ago, so I got myself one for Christmas.

Besides being a pretty good basic guide for wild-men, hermits, trappers, prospectors, would-be survivalists, poseurs and other outdoorsy folks, the book provides a wealth of little known facts and humorous anecdotes. The reader is treated to such lagniappes as: "Watching a bobber on the water of a hole through the ice is a lot better for the soul than staring at city walls waiting for a hydrogen bomb to turn you into fertilizer." (p.294) and "How to kill a wild boar with a shirt" and an axe (p. 350).

I still haven't shaken my cold, but reading about winter survival the Herter way is keeping me warm. At least it is keeping me thinking I'm warm. Relatively warm.
Mr. Herter also offers some very curious tips for catching mountain lions in How to get out of the rat race and live on $10 a month. I'll share these after the first of the year, at which time I plan to publish and analyze the results of the Plains Feeder Mountain Lion Poll. There is still time to stuff the phoney-baloney ballot box!

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