American Mercenary recent wrote regarding the loss of a formerly close Internet friend, or two.
As I’ve been musing about the subject of ‘friends’ he got my attention.
It seems I thought for some time that if one has a friend, one has that friend for life. The concept of ‘unfriending’ someone with whom you have a disagreement seemed a foreign concept. I held my friends close.
In my mind.
But, I was wrong in my belief. I needed to hold my friends, not in my mind, but in my heart.
Over the years, I’ve lost many friends, usually through attrition. Someone moves into a different social circle, or geographic region. Or changes jobs. And the contacts are broken. Stuff happens.
But it’s only been in recent years that I’ve begun to recognize my actions have taken their toll. Taking advantage, contacting them only when it was advantageous to me. Not holding up my half of the friendship. Not being a friend.
Essentially, being an a$$40le!
And this has cost me, dearly. At least three close friends in the past 15 years. And, this doesn’t even include the other losses. Like Mark Bell, who passed away suddenly. Or special friends – lovers.
I’ve atoned for my sins, but that’s not enough. I need to continue to be a friend to my friends. Lest I lose any more.
If you read this blog, you know I always ask you to tell your children and loved ones how you feel. Include your friends. Because you never know.
Learn from my errors – cherish your friends, now.
Most of you know, I try to keep up with many blogs and independent news sources during the day, as my pain issues allow. Some days are better than others.
And, I operate generally on the premise that we ALL want less government intrusion, power and denial of individual liberties, regardless of the specifics. In essence, we are ALL ON THE SAME PAGE!
But, then I see stuff like ‘battles’ among these three guys!
“A house divided against itself cannot stand.” - Abraham Lincoln
Seriously – if we quibble over personality issues and minor talking points, we WILL lose this war.
Principles before personalities, people.
This just in…
The gunblogger Tin Can Assassin of Nine Pound Sledgehammer has been hospitalized!
TCA had a heart attack last year, and has been doing well since. He has a lovely wife and family and was just re-hospitalized with more heart problems!
Please keep a good thought and pray (if that’s what you do).
He’s a good guy, a veteran and great supporter of Guffaw in Az since it’s inception.
Update from TCA’s wife on FB - Being discharged. Not a heart attack. PTL. Ty for all your prayers.
So GREAT to hear!
I like women. I like guns. I’m funny that way.
I especially like it when women and guns get together. Not much is better for me than to see a woman take control of her own personal security by owning a firearm, training with it, and carrying it!
Ah, there’s the rub. Literally.
Most of my female shooting students have had difficulty over the years with the whole male-dominated gun culture. And as a result, they either don’t carry or cannot find a comfortable way to carry which meets their needs.
Fortunately, just like firearms themselves evolving, the carry equipment industry has evolved, too.
My roommate has a number of .45s, mostly 1911s and mostly compact (for carry). But what to do? Like most women, she is structured differently. And, she rarely wears pant belts, and it’s usually too hot here for a shoulder rig.
Then she ran across The Well-Armed Woman based on advice from you blog readers. And what a find!
Numerous products for female carry. Below the chest area, waistband (with and without belt), belly bands, and many other choices. As they are HQ in North Scottsdale, we had to take a road trip. And she spent money. Got three concealment holsters of different varieties, and another (sigh) handbag – this one by Gun Tote’n Mamas!
There may be a little banging of the feminist drum, in that these businesses are for women, by women. But I don’t care if the holsters and handbags are designed by Martians, as long as they do the job!
This far, my roomie loves her new stuff. I sense another road trip in our future.
(I suppose for poetic sake it should have been seven lessons…?)
Now, I’m not going to enumerate them all for you here, as you should be reading and/or listening to Kenn (on his podcast) anyway, but, I will give you a snippet:
~In this classic Western from 1960′s there are some messages and things I want to see if you caught when you saw it. It’s the story of an oppressed Mexican peasant village that recruits seven gunfighters to help defend their homes. The concept originated from a Japanese film the Seven Samurai (Shichinin no Samurai) and its been used ever since. I think, the A-Team and The Expendables today have borrowed from it.
Unknowingly, many pro-gun rights guys have fallen into the trap of allowing themselves to be promoted to the low ranks of a murderer. You have let the macho take over and have confused the facts. You carry a gun or choose to because you can, and have decided to for various reasons but you are not a killer. Gun ownership has moved into the realms of being a smoker. Less desirable. I am trying to bring you back.~
Please visit the link above, and read the whole piece.
Rev. Kenn Blanchard, aka the Black Man With A Gun™ is an internationally known figure in the gun rights community since 1991. He is a former US Marine, federal police officer, intelligence officer and trainer. He produces the Urban Shooter Podcast, voice overs, motivates, inspires and writes for the Blanchard Media Group. http://twitter.com/kennblanchard, firstname.lastname@example.org
We all remember THIS guy. He gave friendly advice, not just for children, but for all of us.
How well do you know your neighbors? Or do you even know them?
I currently rent a room in a townhouse. The neighbors to the immediate South (sharing the common wall) have a practice of going into their backyard (just over a fence) and SCREAMING with each other about family matters. I think it’s a mother and daughter, and some male hangers-on of some sort. This sometimes happens well into the night. Then, someone ‘over there’ is up early, like 0545, and makes a practice of throwing a bowling ball down the stairs, bouncing it off the wall in the process (again, common wall) REPEATEDLY.
(At least, that’s what it sounds like!)
This is in direct opposition to the North neighbors, again a mother/daughter team. We rarely hear anything from them through the common wall, and they never seem to be in their adjacent back yard. The word on the street is, however, mind your Ps and Qs, if mom spots someone parking crooked, or spilling trash, or some other small infraction, she will SCREAM. To the Homeowners Association, at least. And THEY will contact you.
I know these all folks on sight, and wave, all friendly-like, and sometimes even say “Hello”. The neighbors North of the North women seem to be a nice couple. He even helped J. corral one of her dogs when she ran loose (a favorite game – ESCAPE! Wheee, I’m FREEE!), when J was unable to catch her.
I think I know the first name of the North neighbor mom. That’s it.
In my former neighborhood, I made it a point of knowing my next-door neighbors, the one across the street and across the alley behind me. Just in case.
The Art of Manliness again addresses this issue. In short, it says knowing your neighbor is lubrication for civilization. Much as being polite can defuse friction.
I remember my childhood neighborhoods. All the kids on the block knew each other, and so did all the parents. If you did something wrong, not only did the neighbor yell at you, but, by the time your returned home, your parents had received a telephone call from said neighbor. So you got it, again. And, you could run to any neighbor’s home for help or safety.
Wouldn’t it be nice to have neighborhoods, again?
(redacted specifics re: the crap in my life and the lives of everyone I know)
I decided rather than wallow, to take a page from my dear friend Rev. Paul and lighten up. All is not lost. I still have friends and family who love me. The Nation, while thought to be circling the drain in some circles, is still here. As is her Constitution.
I know and believe this as fact: All you can do is what you can do. Fretting about the past or the future is pointless - be in the now. And hold those you love close and tell them you love them, because you never know! Do it now!
How can you look into that face above and not smile?
(I’ve chosen to make commentary unavailable on this post – go and hold your loved ones, instead!)
My roommate made a recent observation which seems to be borne out in fact:
More people with whom we are acquainted or have knowledge of seem to be going through more health-related stuff in their lives than ever before.
(I think she was more graphic in her statement.)
The point being, seems as if folks are more ill, are having more accidents, have relatives with horrible health conditions and stuff in their lives. I suppose part of the observation could be accounted for by the instantaneous nature of Internet communication, worldwide, but certainly not all.
And yes, we are older, but not all persons involved are older than us. Some, are in fact much younger. And it’s not all based on living in a specific geographic or geopolitical environment.
As I write this, I’m thinking about Brigid’s brother, my roomie’s stepmother, my stepbrother-in-law, and a close friend’s father, among many others.
Is this something superstitious, or Biblical in nature? Or are the facts being compounded based on emotional content, skewing the conclusion?
Keep a good thought, take care of yourselves, and tell those near and dear you love them. And hold them close.
Because, you never know…
Rev. Paul, of Way Up North reportedly had a cardiac event and rolled his pickup truck yesterday. He’s doing okay, after a stent was put in, but the truck not so much.
Please keep good thoughts for him, and pray, if that’s your thing. Paul is one of my first Internet blogfriends and has been an ardent supporter of both me and this blog.
Hang in there, Rev. Paul!
I have a love/hate relationship with cops.
On the one hand, I
hate extremely dislike the ever-encroaching laws permitting law enforcement to run roughshod over our rights. I’m not speaking of doing a Terry frisk (for weapons) and finding a baggie and making an arrest (although that does bug me), I’m speaking of those things many of us have written about: NSA wiretapping, Internet monitoring, no-knock warrants, warrantless GPS, cameras everywhere, checkpoints etc.
On the other hand, I still contend that while most local police do their job – and some use it for abuse, others go above and beyond.
Hayden Carlo of Wylie was pulled over recently for an expired registration
Asked why he hadn’t renewed, the married father of two told the officer that he had no excuse, other than times have been tough.
“It was either feed my kids or get this registration done,” he told Channel 11.
The officer wrote him a citation and tucked a little something extra into the envelope: a $100 bill. The gift brought Carlo to tears.
I’ll call this a late Birthday gift for me.
We, as humans, have amazing compassion. Helping our fellow man doesn’t require the force of the state to make us do what is required or what is right.
God bless this officer.
Speaking as someone who lived on the edge of poverty for years, and was ticketed many times for Not Current Registration, I can relate. Part of my problem was (and is) I just hate giving the government money! But I just know this officer is a good person. Perhaps, it was the Christmas spirit?
h/t Tango, Robb Allen