(as an unintended follow up to my previous post)
I’ve recounted from time-to-time in these pages about having slowly developed a small collection of firearms, only to have the 800 pound safe and her contents of the same removed in my absence.
Fifty-one guns? An ‘arsenal’ to some.
Then Life events significantly decreased my income, making it impossible for me to rebuilt my collection. Sad to be sure.
Thursday last, Thanksgiving, was coincidental with my birthday. And, with the exception of one greeting card (from my insurance agent) no other cards or gifts were received. Even though three folks did gift me with musical versions of one birthday song or another – which were nice gestures.
It would have been nice to receive a gift of some kind, though…(I’m NOT asking!)
Moving into Friday, my lovely sister took me to lunch at my favorite pizza place, and gifted me with a card and CASH! Not enough for new (or used) ordinance, but very surprising and special nevertheless.
Upon returning home, my roommate was sitting on the couch, watching TV, and playing with her firearms. She has a small collection, including a couple I gifted her with when we were dating.
She hands me her Sig Sauer P245 (one of the aforementioned gifts – after clearing it, of course) and states, “Happy Birthday! And Merry Christmas!”
After wrestling a few moments with the moral implications of her giving me my gift back as a gift, I said, “Thank you!”
I now have my trusted 1911 (the Bob Hall Signature Model), the S&W 442 electroless nickel, a single-shot pellet pistol sent me by an Internet friend a couple years ago, and the Sig Sauer P245.
My collection is being rebuilt – slowly!
Good things come to those who wait – sometimes even if they are impatient and brooding.
When I was a young man, my thoughts often drifted to, well, women. And my lack of success with them.
I wrote in this venue some time ago about a friend, Chip. A sleazy character, to be sure, but I was lacking in friends at the time. And needy. One of the reasons I became his friend was his success with women. The polite version was he was simply brazen.
And I wasn’t either.
He liked to portray himself as successful elsewhere, as well. Nice cars, clothes. The appearance of money. Even if he didn’t have any. Toward that end, he joined The Playboy Club.
Something I could never afford. I could barely afford the magazine – not that I ever bought any…
But, The Playboy Club was a pretty neat place. Women in sexy Bunny costumes serving you drinks and food. Pretty good food, as I recall. And live entertainment. Not generally sleazy, but burlesque.
And we always dressed as if we belonged there. As businessmen. (The membership allowed guests!) And we got to know a couple of the Bunnies. (“D.J. – where are you?”, he said longingly.)
I remember one time when Chip invited 10 or 12 of his co-workers there to celebrate a mutual friend’s birthday at the club. Then left the bill with the birthday boy! Come to think of it, that may have been the last time we darkened their door…
But, it was a different time, at the height of the sexual revolution (the late 70s), with most women not yet feminists. Now, the clubs have closed, and Hefner just sold his mansion. Even the magazine stopped publishing nudes last December!
Guess the Internet changed many things.
(D.J., seriously. Call me…)
Even ONE of these heroes making this choice is unacceptable! (Day #7 of 22)
It’s a cereal; it’s a board game. A defunct television series.
It also is what it is.
My favorite line from the James Bond books, is ‘M’ (the head of MI-6, Admiral Sir Miles Meservy) telling Bond when he complains about receiving an assignment change, “Things change, 007.”
And that might be one definition of Life. Things changing.
Of course, the best part are the good changes – grand nieces ascending from 6th Grade, and another graduating High School. Others having birthdays. A dear friend’s birthdays and their elder daughter getting her doctorate!
That dear friend (Bob Hall) being unable to be present for his daughter’s doctoral degree.
Daily dealing with issues regarding aging, illness and finances – both my roommate and I.
Friends, relatives and acquaintances becoming severely ill. Some almost certainly in their way out, others hanging-in-there, but…?
And some already gone. More than I ever expected.
Even some leaving voluntarily, but still present. Apparently, friends no longer. :-(
“Things change, Guffaw.”
I haven’t needed a fictional intelligence department head to tell me.
I already know.
Things are as they are.
This just in. Ray Carter passed this morning.
Puts my whining in perspective.
Today would have been our daughter Molly’s 33rd birthday.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOLLY!
Of course, I love her and miss her. Daily.
I heard via the almighty Internet (on FB) that her best childhood friend is pregnant!
With a boy.
While I wish she and her husband well, part of me always wanted to be a grandfather. And, of course, that never happened.
And I’m a little jealous.
I’m certain Molly is happy for them.
Most of you ‘regular’ readers know I have morning routines, in part involving the reading of Ref Desk’s Historic Events and Birthdates.
It’s just something I do. Sometimes, I’m elated by a reminder of a positive event or invention or birth; other times saddened by a reminder of the passing of great or interesting people.
And some days just seem to have more history than others!
Today, for example:
1737 Thomas Paine political essayist (Common Sense, Age of Reason)
1860 Anton Pavlovich Chekhov Tagarov Russia, playwright (Cherry Orchard)
1880 W C Fields [William Claude Dukenfield] Philadelphia PA, “on the whole, he’d rather be in Philadelphia”/actor (My Little Chickadee, Bank Dick)
1911 Bernard Herrmann New York City NY, composes film music
1918 John Forsythe New Jersey, actor (Bachelor Father, Charlie’s Angels, Dynasty)
1929 William McMillan US, rapid pistol (Olympics-gold-1960)
1945 Tom Selleck Detroit MI, actor (Lance-Rockford Files, Magnum PI)
1977 Freddie Prinze comedian/actor (Chico & the Man), shoots himself at 22
1980 Jimmy Durante New York City NY, singer/comedian (Ink-a-dink-a-doo, Palooka, The Jimmy Durante Show), dies at 86
1863 Battle at Bear River WA US Army vs Indians
1886 1st successful gasoline-driven car patented, Karl Benz, Karlsruhe
1919 Secretary of state proclaims the 18th amendment (prohibition)
1958 Murderer, Charles Starkweather, captured by police in Wyoming
1969 Jimi Hendrix & Peter Townshend wage a battle of guitars
Of course, there are many more entries…
They tell me cat videos are ubiquitous on the Internet…
Yep. Ol’ Guffaw is sixty-frickin’-three today!
It’s been said I don’t look a year over 68…🙂
Seriously, I’ve many gifts for which to be thankful…
A roof over my head
Family and friends
If I knew I would be living this long, I’d have taken better care of myself.
Now, I figure a good burger or pizza, with an occasional beer is better than a skinless chicken breast or tofu with green tea.
I know I probably won’t live as long, but I will enjoy it more.
Yesterday, November 16, would have been my Father’s 100th birthday. Instead, he passed at age 61.
There were so many life lessons he was unable to impart to me.
Calm reflection (he was an angry rage kind of guy); Moderation (he was an alcoholic and a compulsive overeater); Mechanical ability (I once saw him attempt to repair a leaky radiator hose with Scotch tape(!) I was a kid, and even I knew that wouldn’t work).
But I knew he loved me.
After all, when I was born prematurely (and my twin brother didn’t make it) he hurriedly ran to the nearest church to pray for my survival.
He tried to make me an athlete, as he had been. Alas, my developing a physical disability @ age 12 stopped those attempts in it’s tracks. And from that point forward, he was unclear how to relate to me.
I only saw him cry once. When he told me how proud he was of my graduating the Eighth Grade, and that I never asked him for money. To be fair, I didn’t know I was allowed to! When my Mother passed, he kept his grief private.
I’m certain his childhood was horrific. A stern father who had been a Marine and railroad policeman, and his having grown up poor during the Depression.
He had not been raised to be a hugger. I don’t remember him ever hugging me. A firm handshake was the order-of-the-day.
But, he did teach me a few important things. Loyalty (be true to your friends – he was to his); Honesty (your word IS your bond); and yes, Love.
He loved his wife (my mother) with all his heart. Watching her die @ age 41 of emphysema must have been horrible. (I was in the Second Grade, what did I know?) And in spite of the fact they were estranged, my (half)sister was his jewel. He was very protective of her, which probably in-part caused the estrangement. But she was another connection to his wife, which I don’t think she ever saw.
And he kept his heart disease hidden from me until it was too late.
He was flawed – he was human.
I love you and miss you, Dad. Happy Birthday!
My roomie’s birthday was recently. Last year, I had no funds, so we went out to dinner, and I grew a beard (she’s a hairdresser). (NOT in the same night!)
I didn’t know what I was going to do this year – then I saw THIS on Gearhog!
It’s a Mantis Cyclops knife. Worn on a neck chain, it’s deployed by putting a finger through the center and pulling. The separates the knife from the chain, and opens the hawk-shaped blade!
The circular sheath is aircraft-grade aluminum; the ‘key’ (attaching the knife to the chain) is titanium! It is quite strong, and very light.
FORTUNATELY, my roomie collects knives – she always has two or three in her purse (along with the tac flashlight and Nighthawk, of course!)
This could add another option. (I got one for myself, as well!)
AND, it’s made in Taiwan, not the PRC! :-)
(FTC – look elsewhere. I paid for them both. Gearhog and Mantis have given me bupkis.)
(or perhaps not.)
As some of you know, my roommate is a renowned hairdresser. As such, she is an artiste’, or at least artistic. She is also (by her own admission)
an old hippie was a hippie in her youth.
As such, she tends to lean toward pushing the envelope stylistically.
Last Summer, around the time of her birthday, it occurred to me that I had no funds with which to acquire a birthday present for her. Nada, zip, zilch. And, as she is a good friend (among other things, she provides me with a room to rent!)
I had to do something.
I decided to grow a beard. She likes beards. Until her next birthday, which is in July. You have seen it’s progress here. (Tonsorial Splendor)
And she recently decided to tweak it!
Here is the result:
The good news is she also cut my hair shorter. I can probably live with this until July – Hey! it shows I’ve lost weight, too! 🙂
From the time we are very small, we believe Life is about acquiring things. Food, warmth, love…stuff. It’s when we are a little older we realize that Life, too, is about loss.
And, most of us don’t understand or like that. In fact, most of us hate it!
And, it becomes a matter of degree. That toy that broke (with which we didn’t play, anyway), gives way to the lost book. The dog that died. The high school girlfriend who moved away.
And we choose to suffer for our loss.
But, there is a larger picture, if we choose to see it.
If we didn’t lose ‘it’, we wouldn’t really appreciate it.
My dear friend Bob (of the many Bobs I know) texted me yesterday, to advise me that on Friday he had his left foot and about six inches of his left leg amputated. He’s been diabetic for many years, and had already lost a toe. Even though I lost the use of my right hip when I was 12, I still grieved for him. I’m certain he has a long and arduous road ahead involving prosetheses, crutches, and much pain.
And grief over the loss of his foot.
Most of us don’t even think of our feet or legs, unless they are giving us difficulty. A blister, a bunion, a corn. Calluses. For me, calluses are difficult, because grinding them off is problematic with a fused hip. And, I too, am diabetic.
I still am fortunate enough to still have all my extremities, though. You can bet my nightly cursory examination of said feet was more than cursory last night, though!
I was wrong. And I survive here to do the suffering.
I love you and miss you, Molly. And sometimes grieve over you.
But, I also appreciate the time I had to know and love you. I believe so much more than if we had continued in our parallel life paths. Because of the yin and yang.
And I’ve my memories to keep.
Go and hug and kiss those you love, and tell them. Because you never know.
And, if you are diabetic, check your feet often.