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.
I’ve a good, long-time friend named Jim. We met in 1960!
Jim is a former Marine, and has worked for the federal government for years. He is a good man, even though we differ politically and philosophically on many levels.
Jim LOVES trains. Especially train history and actually traveling in them. My father, who had worked on the railroad for a time (like his father before him) left me a gold-filled pocket watch, with a fob and locker key. The key was to his locker in Grand Central Station, NY!
Jim loves trains so much that for his 50th birthday, I gave him my father’s watch, fob and key. I knew he would appreciate it much more than me.
When we were in high school, Jim joined the National Association of Railroad Passengers. Got me to join, too. And Jim, his younger brother John and I took an overnight train trip from Flagstaff to L.A., and back (after spending a day @ Disneyland.)
Amtrak’s Auto Train from Virginia to Florida offers passengers complimentary wine and cheese, and three long-distance routes provide complimentary wine and champagne to sleeper-car passengers, Alves said, costing Amtrak $428,000 in 2012.…
“The Amtrak Inspector General has confirmed that Amtrak cooked the books to cover up food service losses that now approach $1 billion,” [John] Mica [R-Florida, chairman of the House Government Operations Subcommittee - DB] said.
The government running goods and services just isn’t healthy for the economy! (BTW – my ‘membership’ in the NARP only lasted one year. My heart wasn’t in it.)
Sorry Jim! And that government-run postal service for whom you work isn’t a bastion of efficiency and profit, either! Maybe they should increase the cost of their ad deliveries and get into the 21st Century offering Email and computer message services?
Just a suggestion.
The DOG Wrangler!
J (my roomie and landlady) left Friday afternoon for TUC son (correct pronounciation too SAHN’) to spend Labor Day weekend with her daughter.
I was left behind with the menagerie – three chihuahuas and one cat. Therefore, I’m The Dog Wrangler!
One neurotic female shorthair – who loves attention, one male kinda-longhair – who’s fat, dumb and happy (aka the hairy meat tube) and the old lady dog. She’s 19 1/2 and still kicking! And very sweet. Even without teeth or much hearing and eyesight!
AND, the cat. A Maine Coon offshoot with psychotic tendencies…
Seriously, they are fun, quirky and downright hysterical! Fortunately we all get along, although they do miss their (DOG) Mom!
It’s been a fun weekend!
…of outrageous fortune!
Well, the last two, at least, I’ve been suffering.
desk drafting chair, from which I write/steal this daily drivel, broke a few months ago. Because of my leg disability, I need to sit taller. Most available standard desk chairs go as tall as 28 inches; some 30! and lower down to 16 or 18. Not exactly what I require. If I sit on the floor I might not be able to get up.
SO. I’ve been perching on a low bent wood chair of my roommate’s. Nice furniture, but not designed with a crippled, fat person in mind. Did I say it is LOW? And hard, even with a pillow.
I mentioned my predicament to a good friend only over the Internet. They promptly sent me PayPal funds specifically earmarked for a new chair! Without my asking. I’m blessed.
Then came the nightmare that is Amazon Prime and UPS, in concert to make me wait, then miss the delivery. I commented to another friend, “Technology is great! But, then we expect it, and when it fails, we whine,” Well, I do, anyway.
But, no longer, I’ve a new, taller chair (thanks to my benefactor) and can return the old one to my roommate. Relatively undamaged.
All’s right with the World. At least my butt thinks so.
My stepsister’s husband, a retired Army LTC, ‘Larry’,mentioned before in these pages, has finally returned to Fairbanks, AK.(their home) after six months of care at Seatac for kidney and heart ailments!
He will be in rehab there at another facility for probably six weeks, minimum. He’s lost much muscle mass, and is currently using a wheelchair. He is mentally alert, giving orders to his adult son about prepping his home for the oncoming Alaska Winter. Hopefully, he will walk, yet again.
He did multiple tours in Vietnam in his youth and deserves our very best. In his retirement, he has been working for the American Red Cross. Definitely not one to rest on his laurels!
PS – THANK YOU Jason, for checking in on him! You’re the BEST.
“Here, have a tablet.” (apologies to the Firesign Theatre)
My roommate gifted me her old smartphone in April. I love it. Despite it’s limitations, it works wonderfully as an ersatz computer, a passable camera, movie camera, and even a telephone!
She recently was able to acquire a new tablet. A Samsung Galaxy, I believe. Quite the little machine, and light. Many more features than the comparable IPad. And less expensive!
And she asks me, “Would you like my old tablet?” Saying “Duh” would have been rude.
I am now the proud owner of a two-year old Acer Iconia Tab A500. Similar in operation and programming to my cell phone (both Android-based), it’s GREAT!
My ONLY concern/complaint thus far is it’s weight. It’s like holding a car battery shaped like a notebook. But we don’t inspect free equines’ teeth here.
When the EMP bomb hits, we’re gonna be screwed!
TODAY is my good friend Bernard ‘Biff’ Jannuzzi’s Birthday!
Radio Personality, published author, standup comic, libertarian and bon vivant!
He’s interviewed hundreds of people, including Col. Paul Tibbetts, Robert Conrad, Buzz Aldrin and Gavrilo Princip.
Okay, that last one is not true – they just share the same birthday! I always tell him, “Happy Gavrilo Princip Day. Take a shot at having a good one!”
(I know – I’m a sick puppy)
(If I could ONLY convince him to own a firearm and write a blog. He’s written a book about his exploits in radio, a blog should be easy (?) And a gun is a libertarian tool…
(attn FTC – Mr. Jannuzzi gives me nothing save friendship. Look elsewhere.)
I’ve written about this model N frame Smith before. But, yet another tale bubbled up from the slime that is my subconcious.
It seems much of my ‘adult’ youth was spent in pursuit of both girls and guns. I was luckier with guns. And, frankly, not all that lucky with them.
John C. was a friend from my college law-enforcement classes. He was a former Marine wanting to become a deputy in the county where he grew up. He became my boss doing security at the closed Legend City amusement park. He was married to a strikingly beautiful young woman, who was a secretary at the local FBI office. This made sense in the scheme of things, as he was ruggedly handsome. Pale blue eyes, chiseled jaw and permanent five-o’clock shadow.
I’m certain had he known them, my friend Steve would have christened them Lance Goodlooking and Stella Stunning.
And there was something I desired of John’s – his Smith & Wesson Model 28 Highway Patrolman, with the Herrett Shooting Star stocks! (I kinda liked his wife, too, but, hey, they were married! – and I don’t DO that! As if she’d look at me even once…)
ANYWAY, having expressed my admiration for John’s Smith, one day he found himself short of cash, and offered to sell her to me. (the gun, not the wife). And I really, really wanted her. (the gun, seriously)
And we negotiated an arrangement. And I agreed to make payments. You see, I was making something like $90 a week, and had rent, etc. And I think he was asking $75. I could scare up $60, maybe. (this was 1976?)
Well, we met to finalize the deal, and John backed out! It seemed that the Highway Patrolman was his wife’s gun, and there was no way she was parting with her!
Geez! Turned down by the wife! (about the revolver). I can understand her not wanting to part with her though.
I heard some years later that John and his wife had a child, then divorced. I wonder if she still has the Model 28? Or is seeing anyone?
I’m kidding. I cannot afford either.
My roomie’s stepmom passed away a while back. She was elderly and ill, and while it was expected, it was still sad. Her father passed about eight years ago.
As my roomie is the only family member nearby, it’s fallen to her to coordinate all the moving and distribution of furniture, clothing and personal items. Much of it is earmarked for specific relatives, and charities. You see, the house has been sold and must be cleared out by 1 July. And, I’ve been trying to help, as best I can. The realty agent, who is a friend of my roomie’s, has been incredibly helpful in helping her disseminate stuff and trash. Especially much of the physical stuff my roomie and I are too infirmed to accomplish. Thanks, Brian!
And all three of us were at the house yesterday packing up stuff, and dividing it into respective destinations. And the realty guy and I happened upon a box labelled containing an eight transistor radio (from the 60s?). We removed the lid and found this:
We hurriedly removed this second lid and found this:
A Remington Model 51, .32 ACP in almost pristine external condition! These were built between 1917 and 1928, and while they are in a smaller cartridge, are known to be extremely accurate and eminently pointable. She came with one magazine and a full complement of led ball ammo, and was in sore need of internal cleaning and lubrication. We think she was built in the early 20s!
A little research determined the 51 was designed by John Pedersen, NOT John Moses Browning! I was shocked. After all, JMB is the preeminent designer of most firearms in the late 19th and into the 20th Century.
John Browning told Maj. Gen. Julian S. Hatcher of U.S. Army Ordnance that Pedersen “was the greatest gun designer in the world”.
High praise, indeed.
As my roomie is the only ‘gunnie’ member of her family, she’s a sweet addition to her collection. Congrats!
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?