‘Bravely’ by Maggie Stiefvater: A Review

In “Bravely,” Merida’s family and, by extension, the Kingdom of DunBroch, are stagnating. The castle is falling apart. Family members are repeating behavior patterns that no longer serve them or the kingdom, and the gods have noticed. That’s not a good thing. Feradach, the god of destruction, is charged with keeping the balance. When places or people are no longer able to grow and become better, he’s in charge of destroying them, so creativity and people can grow anew.

Merida catches Feradach outside the DunBroch castle, chases him through the forest and finally catches him. Cailleach, however, holds a soft spot in her heart for DunBroch and Merida’s family. She strikes a bargain. If Merida can get her family to change within the course of a year, they will be spared. If not, Feradach will bring the kingdom down.

Traditional Archery

Merida’s use of archery to calm her mind and her shooting technique are closely related to the principles of traditional archery as I learned and taught them. The repetition of the act, the focus, the calmness that are required to shoot well help create a place for the spirit to rest and the mind to soar. On pages 41 and 42, her archery is clearly written in a couple of paragraphs, and it is glorious.

Overall Review

Laced with subtle humor and quick turns of phrases, “Bravely” evokes the spirit of “Brave.” For those who want more of Pixar’s PG-13 animated film, “Bravely” delivers a distinct adventure, which may have you asking, “How much do I need to change and how much do my patterns of behavior still serve me?” (This article uses affiliate links. If a link takes you to Amazon and you buy something, our blog gets a small finder’s fee. It doesn’t cost you anything additional, and it helps keep us caffeinated.)


‘Blood and Gourd,’ Zombie Targets Get Ready for Halloween

It’s that time of year. A couple of weeks before September people already start thinking about Halloween. No matter how hard they try to mask their true feelings, there are many who look forward to the tricks and treats of the candy season. If you’re looking to get into the Halloween spirit, “Blood and Gourd” is just the comic book series for you.

‘Blood and Gourd’

Taking a page out of the Killer Tomatoes playbook, the pumpkins arise in a (probably not very) sincere pumpkin patch. They attack those gathered to pick their pumpkins, have some cider, enjoy a hayride, and everything else that comes with a trip to the pumpkin farm. Set in Olympia, Washington, this series celebrates the Pacific Northwest and Halloween.

There’s plenty of ‘Blood and Gourd’ for your Halloween, get these comics before they get you. They are available from the creators themselves at webleedhalloween.com along with a cool t-shirt. As part of Lincoln City Archery’s inventory, we have a very few remaining that we will be happy to ship to you for $25 (three comics and shipping included).

If you want to indulge your inner need for Halloween goodies, these comic books are filled with beautiful artwork featuring dazzling colors and a crazy story. Don’t miss out on one of the best things to hit Halloween since the Great Pumpkin. Of course, these pumpkins aren’t bringing gifts.

Zombie Targets

Zombie Apocalypse Arcade Game Cabinet
Zombie Apocalypse Arcade Game Cabinet

While “Blood and Gourd” should be enough to get you into the Halloween spirit, getting a couple of zombie target posters will improve your atmosphere. These targets are made from blueprint paper and feature artwork from Zach Lehner – the guy who did the art for “Junior Braves of the Apocalypse.” They come in two styles – one with a victim and one without. They are great for use with archery, bb guns, and other projectiles. At $5 each, you can even color them and hang them in your room. Shipping is an additional $10, but you can pick them up if you’re in Lincoln City, Oregon.

Check out the video on How to Play Zombie Apocalypse Live Action Arcade.

Read the rules to the game here.

This article uses an affiliate link. When you use this link to purchase a book from Amazon, it costs you and the creators nothing, and we get a small amount to support continuing our writing activities.

What Happened to Lincoln City Archery: The Short Version

If you’ve been following us on social media or at this blog, you know that we opened up an archery range and shop in Lincoln City, Oregon. You probably also know by now that we have since closed the shop. But why did we close?

We had numerous people tell us Lincoln City needed something for the kids to do and for tourists to do when the weather didn’t cooperate with beach plans. Many people told us the idea was cool and unique (even though I took it from Malta Archery and Armin Hirmer). Anyone who used our range was happy with the instruction and learning how to shoot traditionally. People walked in the door, looked around, and wished us well in our pursuit. They hoped we would make it. I’m pretty sure their thoughts and prayers were with us if they had any to give. And we still had to close.

Nothing ever happens for one reason. There are a lot of moving parts to any decision, and so it went with Lincoln City Archery. Sure, the economy tanked as gas prices rose. We lost a store that was good at bringing people to our side of the mall, and I may have made a few mistakes in forecasting and calculating.

One major reason we closed was time. We live on the Oregon Coast, but for all the time I spent in the shop, I would never know it. Working from 10 to 7 everyday, and being excited because Sunday was 10 to 6, is too much for anyone. And after hearing my grandma talk about why she worked overtime and what that did for us as grandchildren, I realized that I wasn’t getting any benefit from working 70 hours a week or more.

Work shouldn’t be the focus of anyone’s life. Automation and time-saving devices were supposed to give us time to become fully human. Instead, we’ve become smaller cogs in a machine that will grind us up and wear us out if we let it. Any great small business owner will realize that they own the small business and it shouldn’t be the other way around.

If you’re interested in the full breakdown of how things broke down, join our Patreon and check out my post there. If you have a small business, it may help you avoid some of the pitfalls we found.

‘Aim Small, Miss Small’: Archery Philosophy Leads to a Better Day

In archery and other shooting practices, there is the concept of “Aim small, miss small.” The idea is that focusing on the smallest spot you can see within the area you want to hit will get you closer to hitting that area. For example, if you look at a 22-inch square target, and you miss just to the outside, you’ll be 11 inches or more from the center of that target. Look at a three-inch bull’s eye, and you’re likely to end up within the 22-inch square target. Look at the nail holding the bull’s eye in place, and you’ll come close to hitting the bull’s eye if not dead on.

Focusing on the small spot allows you to shoot better.

Recently, I’ve had a string of bad days. Even days that should’ve been good end up being bad. Part of the problem is that I am aware of everything else beyond the day. I know how much money we owe and have to pay back. I know what our monthly income needs to be (and we haven’t been close). I lost someone close to me. I am under so much financial pressure and am working so many hours a day that I have no time to deal with the stress or to decompress. I have to hold in emotions that would be better expressed. I have to deal with worries of another day because I know that another day will arrive before I am prepared. Unfortunately, I am not the type of person to let it go.

When no day is a good day, you need to find those moments within that are good. You need to focus on the moments in the day that are good.

In the service industry, you meet a lot of people, and a small percentage of those people are a-holes. Most people are neutral; some are great. As a society, we tend to focus on the problem people. Karens and Kens take up a majority of our energy and our time. They’ve become particularly unpleasant cultural phenomena. It’s hard to remember the good people you’ve dealt with throughout the day when a rude, obnoxious, entitled, adult brat decides they are due something they have no right to. As the employee or owner of a business, you have to figure out how to be civil and placate the person while protecting your business and staff.

However, what you really need to do is remember that these people are not your focus. You are here to serve your other guests. Focus on the good interactions that you have every day. The people that enjoy your shop, have fun coming, and want you to succeed are your focus. Cultivate them and make a point to remember the enjoyment you got from interacting with them.

Remember three good things that happened during the day.

At the end of the day, Jenya and I have gotten into the habit of telling each other three good things about the day. Sometimes, it’s been the corn on the cob that we got from the Salvation Army (It was so sweet). These three good things don’t have to be earth-shattering. They can be the normal things you see every day; you just have to notice them. A bee going from flower to flower, the smell of the ocean air, the feel of the sun on the walk home from work, an achievement in a favorite video game… There are millions of good things out there, you have several good moments in the day. Aim small for the good things, and you likely miss small, making the bad days seem a little better.

My friend Darren Lamb is working on something called “The Happiness Program.” Check out his website or get his book from Amazon (affiliate link).

Your Staycation begins at Lincoln City Archery

With gas prices soaring into the stratosphere, you may want to stay a little closer to home and still have fun. The Oregon Coast is a great destination, but it can be a little rainy. That’s why your staycation begins in Lincoln City and you’ll have more than enough to do when the liquid sunshine falls from the sky. It all starts with us at Lincoln City Archery located at the Lincoln City Outlets. (Of course, if you happen to be from farther out, we’re happy to see you, too.)

Just a Little Archery

Our shortest sessions are 15 minutes and run $15 (as of May 2022). They include equipment and instruction. These 15-minute sessions are designed to give you the basics in body position that will allow you to hit the target by the end of the session. For many people, this is the perfect session. Archery is a physical activity involving the repeated pulling of 22# and walking between 20 and 28 yards every three arrows. You can go a little longer with 30-minute at $25, 45-minute at $35, and one-hour sessions at $45.

More In-Depth Archery

If you’ve always wanted to learn archery and want to gain more in-depth knowledge, we offer the pay-as-you go classes. The first class will teach you the basics of getting ready for archery as well as body position. Once you’ve taken the first class, you can add other classes as you like. If you’re close enough to make archery an hour a week or more, you can sign up for six classes at once and get a discount on the course cost. Courses run $300 for six or $65 per class. If you book this type of class, it is likely you will be the only one on the range unless a friend or family member joins you. There is a slight possibility that more people will join, but our classes are limited to four people at a time.

Live-Action Zombie Apocalypse and Other Games

Want to test your archery skills against zombies, Baseball Duck, or a friend? We offer archery games by reservation. Live-Action Zombie Apocalypse is our most popular arcade style game. You and your friends face off against a horde of zombies. Nick! Nock! NO! is our version of archery Tic Tac Toe. Baseball Duck and his crew are waiting to take you on in our version of archery baseball. These games are not for new archers, but many people find them fun after 15-minutes of instruction.

When Your Archery Session Is Over

Lincoln City Outlets offers other activities to help your staycation be more fun. Scout has axe, hatchet, and knife throwing, as well as a selection of Oregon and Pacific Northwest inspired items, like coffee and candles. Galaxy Arcade offers a selection of video games and a comfy pair of couches for those interested in high-definition, large screen fun. The Pepper Palace allows tasting of their barbecue and hot sauces. The Local Faire offers you the opportunity to support other local artists and creators. You are sure to enjoy your staycation in Lincoln City.

Lincoln City Archery is locally owned and family operated. We are open the same hours as the mall. Summer of 2022, those hours are 10 to 7, Monday through Saturday, and 10 to 6 on Sunday. Our lightest bows are for eight years and over. We have four lanes available for traditional archery shooting.

To reserve and ensure your spot book online or call 503-409-8371. We are happy to do parties.

Archers in Sri Lanka Hunted Monkeys 48,000 Years Ago

In a paper published June 12, 2020, scientists argued they found the oldest known use of bow and arrows outside of Africa at the Sri Lankan site of Fa-Hien Lena. While bows are less likely to survive the ravages of time, arrowheads are generally made of more durable materials. However, not all points are for use with a bow and arrow. So, what evidence is there for archers in Sri Lanka 48,000 years ago?

The scientists involved in the study cite the location, size and weight of the tips as evidence of their use with a bow. The cave is located in a rainforest, where typical arboreal mammal hunting (before firearms) was done with either a bow and arrow or a blowgun. The tips are too large to be from a blowgun.

“The size, form, and damage found on many of the bone points were best explained by their having been used as arrow tips to hunt difficult-to-catch rainforest prey, rather than spears,” Lead Author Dr. Michelle Langley of Griffith University told Sci-News. “The fractures on the points indicated damage through high-powered impact — something usually seen in bow-and-arrow hunting of animals.”

Unlike the archers in Sri Lanka, we won’t be hunting any monkeys on our range in Lincoln City. However, you can stop them from stealing coconuts for a limited time.

At Lincoln City Archery, we focus on traditional archery at our indoor range. Our recurve bows are light enough to accommodate most healthy adults and children ages eight and up (though we have had younger archers able to pull our 15# bow). Our quiet shooting area allows you to focus on your form, your inner self, and your own power. While archery still provides some people with the ability to put dinner on the table, it has evolved to allow others a good form of recreation, exercise, and self-empowerment. Learn archery to help you get more in touch with your body and mind. Book your space today.

Indoor Traditional Archery in Lincoln City

It rains. I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know about the Oregon Coast. It doesn’t matter what time of year it is; the weather can turn on a dime, rolling in from the ocean like a gray wave. Real Oregonians don’t let the rain stop them from doing their outdoor activities, generally speaking. However, there are some good reasons to avoid the outdoors and inclement weather, especially when there’s a place inside that will allow you to do what you want.

If you’re looking to shoot some arrows downrange, Lincoln City Archery can help. We have four lanes for traditional archery shooting of bows less than 40#. Fifteen minutes is $15, including equipment and instruction. If you’ve never shot a recurve bow, this is a good place to learn. You can even bring family, who find your compound bow to heavy to draw. We have 15# bows for children 8 and up.

Traditional archery is a way for me to regain control and focus. It allows me to calm my thoughts and be in the moment as I send arrows toward the target. We do a lot of things that take away our personal power; traditional archery helps me regain some of that. Whether I miss or hit the target, the responsibility and the ability lie within me. And I like to shoot zombies.

At Lincoln City Archery, we provide a safe place for people to shoot bows and arrows. We have classes that introduce people to the basics of traditional archery, including learning to shoot both hands, using different stances, dealing with arrows. Later classes allow archers to sample moving targets, walking while shooting and walking while shooting moving targets.

Shad and Jenya Engkilterra own Lincoln City Archery. The indoor traditional archery range is located at the Lincoln City Outlets across from Tools and More and next to Maurice’s. Book online to ensure your lane. Shad learned archery from Armin Hirmer in Malta, where Armin allowed him to run Malta Archery’s indoor range for a year. From May 5, 2021 to May 15, 2022, Shad and Jenya taught over 3,000 people the basics of traditional archery. Shad has published “How to Shoot a Bow and Arrow” with photos by Jenya to help people remember the steps they learned while at Lincoln City Archery. The indoor range opened on May 15, 2021. We stock a small amount of traditional archery supplies including bows. Those who need compound archery equipment may order it from us.

Monkeys Got Our Coconuts at Lincoln City Archery!

We had a lovely bunch of coconuts,
All ready for their time in the tropic sunshine.
Then these monkeys showed up
To perpetrate their crime.

Come save our coconuts
From the monkey in the tree.
Shoot the coconuts from the sky
And count how many you seize.

At Lincoln City Archery, we offer four lanes for traditional archery practice and teaching. Our lane fees include equipment and instruction. Traditional bows under 40# draw weight are allowed. Book online to ensure you have your spot.

1965’s “The Monkey’s Uncle” was the last Disney film to star Annette Funicello and Tommy Kirk together. The song was written by the Sherman Brothers and sung by the Beach Boys with Funicello on lead vocals. Chimpanzees are members of the ape family, but the song (and movie) mixes apes with monkeys liberally.

1944’s “I’ve Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts” uses the “coconut shy” funfair game for its inspiration. The coconut shy features coconuts that the player must knock off a table (or from a post) with a ball. Merv Griffin and Danny Kaye both had hits with the song. (We’re not shooting coconuts of a table, yet; they are placed on our targets, but we can modify the game some.) The game is referenced in H.G. Wells “The Invisible Man.”

In 1957, RCA Victor released Harry Belafonte’s album “Belafonte Sings of the Caribbean,” which featured among the songs “Cocoanut Woman.” The song extolls the virtues of coconuts for health and relationships. (I heard it often when I was working at Old Key West in Walt Disney World.)

Harry Nilsson’s 1971 album “Nilsson Schmilsson” contained “Coconut,” a song about a woman who mixed coconut milk with lime and got a stomach ache. (The movie I most remember this from is “Practical Magic” starring Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman.)

In 1983, Mickey Mouse and friends decide to get wet with “Splashdance,” an obvious play on the movie title “Flashdance” starring Jennifer Beals. Chip and Dale go on vacation, where Dale mistakes coconuts for acorns. Hilarity ensues in the less then two second sound bite.

What other songs have coconuts or monkeys in them? Is there a song that has both? Of course, there is…

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Survive an Apocalypse: First Mission, Find Water

I’ve had quite few people come into Lincoln City Archery and talk about using a bow and arrow as a way to survive an apocalypse. Some of those people have been serious and have listed out the reasons for using bows and arrows as opposed to firearms. While archery may help you survive the apocalypse by providing protection and a way to kill animals to eat more successfully, it won’t help you much with the first thing that every human needs: water.

Water for Survival

The most crucial element to any survival plan is water. Without water, people can live between three days and a week depending on other factors. People can survive longer without food, and under the right circumstances, don’t need permanent shelter, though they may need protection from the elements to avoid death due to exposure. If the world’s water systems stopped working, how would you get water?

Salt Water

Any salt water sources, like oceans, are out unless you can desalinate the water. If you have plastic during the apocalypse and wood to burn, you can create a distillation process that will generate potable water. If you don’t have wood to burn or you don’t know how to start a fire, but you have a bowl, a cup, and it’s sunny, you can let the sun do the work. However, this will entail staying in one place. If you don’t have plastic or the ability to distill the water, you’ll need to find another source.

Rivers or Lakes

Rivers or lakes may contain fresh water, but those bodies of water have other problems. You could be confronted with waterborne illnesses that cause diarrhea and other gastro-intestinal issues. You could face pollution from industries upstream, especially since there will be no government regulations, and there’s a good chance that industry safety measures failed during the apocalyptic events. This means that you’ll want to go as far upstream as possible to find out if there is anyone or anything dumping waste into the water source. If you’re fairly certain that there’s no pollution, you’ll still have to deal with microbes.

If you have a water filter, you can filter out a lot of the microbes. However, most filters only last for a certain number of gallons of water before they fail. Boiling your water for a minute will kill most microbes, but it won’t get rid of any toxins. You’ll also need to know how to start a fire and have a steady supply of firewood or other burnables.

Chemical treatments like bleach and iodine are only good if you have the chemicals. Two drops of bleach for a quart of water should do the trick. Double the amount of bleach if the water has debris. Twelve drops of a two-percent iodine tincture for a gallon of water will also render the water safer to drink. However, using iodine as a permanent solution could cause health problems, too.

A plastic bottle filled with clear water and left on a dark surface in the sun for eight hours can kill microbes. The heat and the UV light are what do the trick. If you have a plastic bottle, you should be fine, but it also means staying in one place.

Rain Water

If you’re preparing for the apocalypse, you may want to gather rain water. This is especially good in wet climates, and one would hope that the possibility of acid rain would be nil after an apocalyptic event. However, it’s important to note that some cities and states have laws that prohibit collecting rainwater, even on your home property. Once the government is gone, you’ll be able to use all the rain barrels you want, but until that happens, you’ll want to practice with the number of barrels you’re allowed.

Drill or Dig a Well

Well digging takes specialized knowledge that most of us don’t have. You want to start learning about it now and then work on using a shovel or pick in an area that doesn’t have plumbing, other pipes, or underground wires. Digging is hard work when you don’t have a machine to do it. You’ll need to be in shape to make this work, you’ll need the right tools, and you’ll need to stay in one place. Mechanical drilling will not be possible in a future apocalypse if there are no sources of energy.

Find Bottled Water

Bottled water is labeled to last as long as two years. However, as long as the bottle is kept sealed and there were no contaminates, it should be okay to drink. It may not taste good, but it shouldn’t compromise your health. The problem you’ll be faced with is how many other people have already scavenged in the area. In year five after the apocalypse, how much water are you really going to find in the bottled form? Maybe more than the amount of alcohol you’ll find, but that’s not saying much.

Your Regular Diet

Currently, most people get about 20 percent of the water they need from their diet. Berries, apples, and other fruits have high water content. If you can grow or scavenge these, you’ll be ahead of the game. Of course, growing your own food takes a different set of skills, and for a family of four it takes about two acres of land. Knowing which berries are safe to eat requires skill as well. Humans cannot always safely ingest the same berries that birds can.

Finding water is going to be your first mission in an apocalypse. If you cannot find or make safe drinking water, you won’t survive for long. As we have seen, it’s not as easy as it sounds. You may need to know how to start a fire or have the equipment with you through scavenging or before the apocalypse happens. Even this small list isn’t the best way to start because what works in theory may become problematic in practice. If you really want to be prepared, you need to learn how to do these things before the apocalypse strikes.

(This story was originally published at my Medium page. However, with their new monetization rules, I have decided to start moving over some stories to my website. I will continue to publish new articles at Medium with the hope that I will be able to reach the 100-subscriber threshold. I was at 74 subscribers when I removed this article and adapted it for my blog. You can subscribe to my Medium page here; it’s free to read a couple articles a month. If you need a traditional bow and arrow, come down to Lincoln City Archery where you can learn to shoot instinctually and pick up a bow for practice.)

Lincoln City Archers League Challenge: Different Differences

In the first book of the Ranger’s Apprentice series, “Ruins of Gorlan,” (affiliate link) the titular character is practicing his archery skills by shooting arrows at targets placed at different distances. His mentor explained that this will allow him to hone his instinct. If he were to shoot at the same target with each arrow, he would always use his first arrow as a sighting shot. On March 1, 2022, Archers League members and those who show up for league night will have the opportunity to try this activity.

Ordinarily, our range is set up so archers shoot at one target on their lane. This is to limit the number of arrows that may be broken. Arrows fired on a diagonal present a larger, more brittle surface area that can be hit (accidentally or on purpose), and unlike hitting a nock at the back of an arrow, the damage to the shaft is irreparable. On this night, we will try a new target set up that should allow archers to hone their instinct. The achievement goal will be to hit the bull’s-eyes on two or three targets in the same round.

About the League

Lincoln City Archers League starts on Feb. 15 with the Cupid Apprentice Challenge. You can see the full proposed calendar here. Events are subject to change. League nights are $50 per person and start at 5:30pm.

Lincoln City Archers League is for traditional archers. Our range can accommodate bows less than 40# in draw weight. League members may also use our equipment. League nights do not feature instruction, so those wishing to become members are encouraged to learn the basics of traditional archery before league starts. Members get 40% off range fees from the time their dues are paid in full or for the week after they have participated in a league night.

We expect league members to lift each other up. Click here for the rules of engagement.

About Our Archery Books

At Lincoln City Archery, we have a wide variety of books on archery, including my own. These are books that you generally wont’ find in larger bookstores that rely on publishing house distributors. Many of our books are reprints of historical archery texts and biographies of well-known archers. We also have “How to” books and fiction works that explore archery. (Read our review of “Ranger’s Apprentice.”)

At Lincoln City Archery, we provide archers the opportunity to increase their knowledge of traditional archery and practice their skills at our indoor archery range in Lincoln City, Oregon. Like traditional archery, reading books takes focus and concentration. Turning off your electronics and reading a book for an hour will improve your focus and concentration. If the story is good enough, it won’t even seem like practicing. Plus, it’s a great way to pass the time when you can’t make it to the range. Happy shooting, happy reading, and let’s get on target.

Affiliate links used in this article allow us to earn a small commission on your book purchase while costing you nothing. Thank you. If you would prefer to order your books directly from us, we will be happy to ship them directly to your home for $3 plus shipping if the books are available.