Bourjaily: Blue Book on Your Phone

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Revised every year - this is the 30th edition -- S.P. Fjestad's "Blue Book of Gun Values" is the standard guide to firearms value. It is also a doorstopper: the 30th edition tips the scales 3 pounds, 11 ounces. It is 9"x6" by 2 7/8 inches thick and runs for 2272 pages. Stephen King wishes he could write books this big. So, invaluable as the Blue Book may be as a reference, it has never been very portable. Until now.

Blue Book Publications just announced a new website that delivers the information in the Blue Book in a format designed for mobile phone screens. Subscribe to the service and you can leave your bulky Blue Book at home and check on the prices of guns at gun shows and auctions just by discreetly peeking at your phone. This is progress. www.bluebookinc.com

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Speaking of mobile phones, I hate hunting with people who are constantly yakking on their phones in the duck blind. I am also trying to break the habit of reflexively answering my own phone when I'm alone in the field. I learned my lesson - I hope - last turkey season when I had the following short conversation with my friend MD:

Me (whispered): Hello.

MD: What are you doin'?

Me: (urgent whisper) I'm trying to kill a turkey. He's 70 yards away.

MD: Then why did you answer the phone you fool? Call me back when you get him.

Unfortunately, a short time later a hen attracted by all the yelping and gobbling came and took my turkey from me. This year the phone stays in my pocket - unless, of course, I'm really bored and texting, a relatively harmless bad habit I enjoy too way too much to quit.