New Counter Cultured: Crayle Vanest Is Great Campus Carry Advocate

I interviewed Crayle Vanest of Students for Concealed Carry about gun rights on campus. Check it out!

Here at Counter Cultured, we are inclined to give our fellow right-minded Millennials the spotlight if they are doing big things. Our movement grows when we have more passionate voices–not fewer voices. One Millennial worth profiling is Crayle Vanest, a 22-year-old Indiana University senior passionate about the Second Amendment.  Crayle currently serves as the Midwest Regional Director of Students for Concealed Carry on Campus.

GH: Why and when did you become a passionate advocate for concealed carry on campus?

CV: I have been passionate about all forms of self-defense since I was 14 years old, and began advocating for campus carry when I was 18. I’ve always enjoyed my independence from a young age, even it was just walking to a friend’s house a few miles away, but even with hand-to-hand self-defense knowledge, I was always aware that some people out there were just faster and stronger than me.

Continue reading at Counter Cultured.

Success: Billy Currington Pulls Out of Anti-Gun Event!

In wake of backlash for participating in an event that condones gun control, country singer Billy Currington announced late this evening he’s backing out of the July 17th concert called “A Concert For Sandy Hook Promise.”

Here’s a full statement on his personal Facebook page:

I’ve never been one to take on controversial issues – I’m a singer. I do feel strongly about honoring and supporting the Sandy Hook community and will be making a donation to a local organization. I appreciate people’s freedom and passion for whatever cause they want to support, however, I am choosing to step aside from this fundraiser and will focus instead on the rest of the tour dates as I look forward to being on the road with Tim and Chase and having a blast with all of the fans.

On Tuesday it was revealed country singers Tim McGraw, Billy Currington, and Chase Bryant would headline an event in conjunction with Sandy Hook Promise, an anti-gun group that has sought to disarm legal gun owners and push universal background checks.

Glad Mr. Currington has pulled out. He has great music and clearly knows his base–gun-toting, freedom-loving people! Hope Chase Bryant heeds the same. However, don’t count on Tim McGraw to do so. He’s an avowed Democrat who has given this group a ringing endorsement:

“Out of this tragedy a group was formed that made a promise to honor the lives lost and turn it into a moment of transformation,” McGraw in a statement. “Sandy Hook Promise teaches that we can do something to protect our children from gun violence. I want to be a part of that promise – as a father and as a friend.”

Instead of promoting questionable groups that solely exist to disarm people, support credible groups that actually promote safety. One group everyone should support is Project ChildSafe:

Project ChildSafe is also a program committed to promoting firearms safety among all firearms owners through the distribution of safety education messages and free firearm Safety Kits. The kits include a cable-style gun-locking device and a brochure (also available in Spanish) that discusses safe handling and storage to help deter access by unauthorized individuals, including at-risk persons.

Project ChildSafe is a real solution to making our communities safer. Through vital partnerships with law enforcement, elected officials, community leaders, state agencies, businesses, the firearms industry and other stakeholders, Project ChildSafe has distributed more than 36 million firearms safety kits to gun owners in all 50 states and five U.S. territories, and has helped raise awareness about the safe and responsible ownership of firearms and the importance of securely storing firearms to reduce access by unauthorized individuals.

Sounds good, don’t it? Enjoy Mr. Currington’s latest single “Don’t It” in honor of him coming to his senses.

New Counter Cultured Article: Go See ‘The Longest Ride’

I wrote a new article at Counter Cultured yesterday. Below is an excerpt:

Last Friday, several friends and I went to our local movie theater to watch the latest Nicholas Sparks book-to-film adaptation The Longest Ride. Despite Sparks’ recent shortcomings – he and his wife of 25 years recently announced their divorce – he is a masterful storyteller. The Longest Ride stars Scott Eastwood (son of Clint Eastwood), Britt Robertson, Alan Alda, Oona Chaplin (granddaughter of Charlie Chaplin), Jack Huston (grandson of John Huston), and other talented actors.

Eastwood plays Luke Collins, a stubborn bull-rider who falls in love with Sophia Danko (Britt Roberson), a child of Polish immigrants who studies at Wake Forest University. Sophia is hesitant to go out with Luke since she’ll be leaving for New York City to pursue an internship at a well-known art gallery. After initial hesitation, she goes out with Luke. They go on a remarkable first date and hit it off despite coming from different worlds. While driving Sophia home, they stumble upon a burning car that has trapped Ira Levinson (Alan Alda). Luke rescues Ira from the burning car, and Sophia grabs his box of love letters he wrote to his wife. Sophia stays with Ira and slowly develops a bond with him. Ira’s story of complicated love soon intertwines with her’s and Luke’s.

Continue reading at Counter Cultured.

Successfully Conquered Old Rag Mountain!


Top of Old Rag

Last Saturday, several friends and I drove down to Shenandoah National Park in the heart of our beautiful Commonwealth of Virginia. (Any chance to escape the Beltway is necessary, especially for my fellow D.C. area denizens!) We decided to hike up Old Rag Mountain, one of the tallest (and allegedly most dangerous) mountains to climb here in Virginia. It stands 3, 284 feet tall. This was the first visit to Old Rag for Anna Maria (my sister) and I, so we plan to come again!

Prior to hiking up Old Rag, we played with a farmer’s ponies.


Aren’t they adorable?

I’ve never been one for indulging in extreme sports or high-intensity activities-I prefer water sports and tennis- but felt reassured after climbing/hiking Old Rag. The full hike spans 8 miles. The first half of the trip comprises rock scrambles, which is quite intensive. Since I’m in pretty good shape, I didn’t find this part of the hike to be difficult. It was challenging, but not impossible. After we reached the summit and enjoyed some spectacular views, we made the descent down to base–which is arguably easier than the rock scramble.

Overall, we hiked Old Rag Mountain in just under 5 hours. It was quite a feat!

gab old rag

This is a picture of me atop Old Rag Mountain.


The hike concluded with this beautiful river stream in Shenandoah National Park.


River stream in Shenandoah National Park

Prior to living here in the Commonwealth, I underestimated this state’s beauty and countless opportunities to go outdoors. (Check out Virginia’s tourism bureau to scout out some awesome places!) If you live in Virginia, love adventure, and want to immerse yourself in our state’s wonders, I recommend hiking up Old Rag Mountain.

Go here to learn more about Old Rag Mountain and Shenandoah National Park.

Who has hiked up Old Rag Mountain? Weigh in below!

Eat Farm-to-Table in Georgetown: Farmers Fishers Bakers

Gabriella Hoffman:

Check out my review of Farmers Fishers Bakers up at A Taste of Patriarchy today!

Originally posted on A Taste of Patriarchy:

Living in and around the nation’s capital has many perks–including a plethora of world-class dining establishments. Many restaurants here are heralded for their unique menus, specialty drinks, and quality service. (Check out Washingtonian’s 100 very best restaurants of 2015.)  One trend that’s become increasing popular here in the D.C. metro area is the farm-to-table movement, which emphasizes freshly grown or harvested products straight from local farms to restaurant tables (conservatives love fresh produce, too!). This can be especially seen at Farmers Fishers and Bakers in Georgetown.

Farmers Fishers and Bakers is a casual upscale restaurant that offers “an in-house bakery, sushi counter, full bar with 24 beer taps, and year-round patio with water views.” It’s also the sister restaurant of Founding Farmers, which boasts three locations in Washington, D.C., Tysons Corner, and Potomac/Rockville in Maryland. While Founding Farmers’ menu is largely influenced by land, Farmers Fishers and Bakers’…

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Angling Right: Getting Jiggy With Lures

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These past two weekends, my father and I had the chance to go out to some local fishing holes here in Northern Virginia. While we weren’t fruitful in our catches – bites were minimal, temperatures were chilly, and wind conditions were less than satisfactory- we were able to test out some lures.

Now that I’ve been actively fishing for half my life – I turned 24 a few weeks ago – I have learned how to modify my technique and adapt in order to become more adept at angling.

What is a lure? It’s artificial bait and comes in the form of poppers, spinners, jigs, blades, plugs and spoons. (Learn more about freshwater and saltwater lures here.)

Normally, my fishing rod is retrofitted with a weight and live bait (preferably night crawler worms in freshwater or shrimp/squid for saltwater) but I haven’t really used lures before. To most people, lures are used for added effect and to entice game fish such as the elusive largemouth bass. Using lures is a matter of preference, but can go a long way in maximizing one’s reach and catch rate. Here’s more about the use of lures from Learning How to Fish:

When building a tackle selection one must consider the species of fish you’re targeting along with the season you’re fishing in. Expert fishermen understand seasonal locations of fish and the proper presentation, meaning the choice of lure and how to retrieve it. This builds confidence knowing how to fish the proper lure at the proper depth to maximize your catch rate, and catching fish is the quickest way to gain confidence.

I plan to incorporate lures into my fishing repertoire to improve my chances of catching larger fish. As weather conditions begin to warm up, look out for some fishing posts from yours truly!

Have you used lures? What types of lures do you recommend? Let me know below!


Ted’s BULLETIN: Good Food Mixed with Family Values

Gabriella Hoffman:

Check out my sister’s review of Ted’s Bulletin in DC!

Originally posted on A Taste of Patriarchy:

Recently, Gabriella and I went to Ted’s BULLETIN with one of our friends. Located in Eastern Market in Washington, D.C., Ted’s BULLETIN is a 1950s-style diner that is a true American classic. We heard wonderful things about their homemade pop tarts and good cuisine, and we’re grateful we got to dine there.

Ted’s Bulletin was founded by the sons of Ted Neal, who was known for inviting folks from his neighborhood over to his house for home-cooked meals. His meals featured homegrown produce from his garden and were opportunities for him and his neighbors to connect with others. Ted and his sons lived in West Virginia, but his sons wanted to bring Ted’s homemade goodness to D.C. What a wonderful family business story indeed.

One of the restaurant’s signature dishes is Ted’s Famous Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup, which is absolutely scrumptious. I found the soup to be really refreshing.

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