Regular readers of this blog are familiar with my dislike of this holiday. NOT with the sentiment! :-)
Make certain you hold each other close, honor each other, show each other you care and respect each other at todays gatherings.
And tell them you love them.
It’s not such a bad idea other days of the year, as well.
Because you never know…
And, it’s a good idea to make a list, even if it’s just in your head, of those things and people for which you are grateful.
I’ve a roof over my head, food in my belly, and a car – albeit a beater car. But she runs (kinda)!
Many people don’t have such things.
And today’s feast is traditional with me:
Salad, garlic toast, and mostaccioli!
and Happy Thanksgiving to all my friends, family and blogfriends™!
I’ve posted before about my childhood foray in legerdemain. Magic. Sleight-of-hand. Conjuring.
While I enjoyed a certain status in my childhood neighborhood – performing at kid’s birthday parties, and all – it was a lonely proposition. There were no other kids nearby who loved magic as I did. Of course, this was pre-Internet. And I was too young to drive and go into Phoenix to the Rabbits In Our Hats Club.
The Summer between junior high and high school my leg disability developed. Crutches and a leg brace for a year. And I missed my first semester of high school as a result. I was hanging around the neighborhood a lot, including my friends – most of whom were younger than I.
And something magical happened. We formed a magic club!
Looking back, it might have been because I was the oldest and that was my thing, but who knows?
THE MYSTIC CRYSTAL—– The guy in the tux is Guffaw!
We named it THE MYSTIC CRYSTAL. The name gleaned from the song Aquarius lyrics ♫Mystic Crystal revelations…♫.
Jim, his younger brother John, John’s best friend Steve, and, later, David M and Ken.
There was a constitution, officers, dues, meetings, a newsletter and food!
Our officer’s titles all were prefaced with the beginning The Great Almighty (in an effort to resemble a men’s lodge or secret society). I.E. the treasurer was The Great Almighty Keeper of the Dough! :-)
We met monthly, rotating through the respective member’s homes.
Practicing magic, hanging-out, BS-ing, eating food, talking about girls. Sometimes (if a piano was present) David M. would play for our amusement. We made a club sign, silk-screened t-shirts (which we erroneously called bowling shirts) and spent much time goofing-off.
And we attended the annual International Brotherhood of Magicians chapter banquet.
And we would discuss and plan our first magic show, at length.
But we never performed, as a club!
Some of us did some charity shows; some made a few bucks semi-pro.
But we just never got around to performing as a group. Certainly family and school activities took precedent.
Upon reflection, I, for one, continue to be astounded that all of our parents allowed us to get together, monthly, often on a school-night, to eat snacks and goof around as only boys in junior high and high school can!
I guess they saw it as harmless fun, versus popping our collars, wearing leather jackets and smoking cigarettes on the corner until all hours of the morning.
The club lasted from 1966 to 1971. And we all eventually went our separate ways. College, marriage, children, divorce. Life.
Afterward, Ken did perform for a few years professionally as a clown! At least one of us made the cut…
As I’ve aged, I’ve developed more of an appreciation for our military veterans.
I don’t know why, exactly?
Maybe it’s because, with my childhood Life plans having failed, due to my leg disability, I was unable to join the largest, least-exclusive club in the World (Service Veterans). And I’ve been able to observe, albeit from a distance, the brotherhood, camaraderie and sacrifice imbued in those men and women.
And with the addition of the instant news cycle, see some of the physical damage caused to them.
On previous Veterans Days (when I was employed) I made it a point to walk around on break and shake hands of those I knew had served and say “Thank You!” I know it’s not much, especially for persons my age who returned from Vietnam and were denounced as war criminals and spat-upon. And the Korean War Vets who were (and are) pretty much largely ignored by the media.
I was accompanying my roommate to another of her doctor’s appointments on November 11 this year, and there was an older guy (my age?) with the jacket and cap, embroidered with his service particulars. I didn’t see what they were. I made a point to walk over to him and shake his hand. It was the very least I could do.
After her appointment, J. wanted to get a bite-to-eat, so we stopped at a restaurant we sometimes frequent. And before our meal arrived, in walked another veteran. Also with an embroidered cap and patched jacket. Significantly older. A larger man, with silver hair. With his wife.
After they were seated and had placed their orders, I got up and walked over to them. I excused myself, apologized for interrupting, and explained I just wanted to thank him for his service. He smiled, shook my hand vigorously, and his wife beamed.
Then I saw the identifying patch on his sleeve.
I left hurriedly back to our table, so he wouldn’t see me cry.
Today is Veteran’s Day.
A day set aside to remember those who fought in service to this country. many of whom still remain with us, many still fighting demons, bureaucracies and political enemies. And those who are not.
The Living Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Seamen and Marines. Some remaining in service; some who left it, but all who have not forsworn their oaths.
As we take time to remember those who have passed in service on Memorial Day, please take a moment today to remember The Living.
Call, visit, and if possible shake the hands of those with us, and say, “Thank you for your service!”
Rob, Lonnie, Glenn, Glenn, Mark, John, Stan, Jim, Jodie, Ardith, John, and Gloria.
“People sleep peacefully in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.” – George Orwell
♫…nowhere to hide…♫
Wirecutter linked me to RT Question More.
Who posed (in part) this idea…
To me, the US – and most of the supposedly free West – increasingly looks like a truck being systematically filled with Semtex.
But it’s easy to counter cries of alarm with the fact that the truck is stable – because it’s true: you can hurl more boxes into the back without any real danger. Absent the right detonator, it is no more dangerous than a truckload of mayonnaise.
But add the right detonator and you’re just one click away from complete devastation.
We can see how fragile the U.S. is now by considering just four tendencies.
The Four Tendencies
1. Destruction of farms and reliable food source
2. Weak economic system
3. Americans increasingly on mind-altering drugs
4. Morals in decline
There used to be a time (in my mind, anyway) that this constitutional republic strove to be the best. The best physically, academically, militarily. The best as a shining example to the rest of the World of individual liberty, rights and responsibilities.
A truly Norman Rockwell Nation.
We fed the rest of the World. EVERYONE relied on AND TRUSTED, the Dollar! People didn’t ‘just take a pill’ for every perceived ailment. And, while differing dogmatically, we strove to treat others as we ourselves wished to be treated.
The times, they are a changin’.
Neither J nor I cook very much.
It’s not that we are lazy. J. is asthmatic and has back issues (being a stylist for 35 years undoubtedly has something to do with it! All that standing and chemicals.) I have my own disabilities. Standing is not something I do well, certainly, it is never pain free.
But, sometimes we are able to cobble something together.
I had just returned from buying groceries. After putting them away, I decided to fry up all the thick-sliced, hickory-smoked bacon. Why? BACON!
Judy came downstairs and asked I vacate the kitchen so she could work. She had me buy a large round loaf of Hawaiian bread at the store. We had eggs. Bacon. Butter. Half-and-half.
It was time for FRENCH TOAST!!
Here is my plate, shortly before I devoured it. Real maple syrup, and all…
Take THAT, Brigid! :-)
Most of us on the gunnie blogosphere are familiar with Frank James.
Excerpted from his obituary:
Frank published thousands of articles over seven countries during his career as a writer. He published five books and was awarded the Anschutz Outstanding Writer of The Year Award in 1994. He was an expert outdoorsman with a passion for adventure and travel. He also owned and operated farms in the White County area for over 45 years. Frank created the White County Shooting Sports 4H Program and hosted Davidson’s Gallery of Guns on the Sportsman Channel as well as appearing on Gun Stories that airs on The Outdoor Channel.
He was an active shooting competitor, having shot in The Masters International Tournaments and USPSA (IPSC) competitions. He and his wife were longtime members of Palestine Christian Church and he also served on the Wolcott Library Board for several years.
But, most of all, Frank wanted to be remembered as a farmer.
Because he helped feed people.
R.I.P. Frank. Most of us in the gunblogging world aspire to be like you, personally and professionally.
You will be missed.
h/t Tamara, (I’m sorry for your loss.)
JDZ (Never Yet Melted) waxed on (and off) regarding (H)oward (P)hillips Lovecraft, dark science fiction/fantasy author, bigot extraordinaire and photophobe. Below:
H.P. Lovecraft: Too Popular to be Ignored, Too Un-PC to be Acceptible
H.P. Lovecraft by Lee Moyer.
Philip Eil, in the Atlantic, contemplates with unease the posthumous rise to fame and pop culture ascendancy of the visionary horror pulp writer H.P. Lovecraft.
Lovecraft, you see, was not just a pulp writer. He was a passionate, nearly hydrophobic racist and anti-Semite, whose letters are absolutely filled with expressions of distaste for the presence, appearance, physiognomy, and even the odor, of Jews, Negroes, Asians, and persons of Southern European origin. The sight (and the smell), when encountered on city streets, of the result of 1900-era mass immigration could make the Mayflower-descended Lovecraft literally physically ill.
Hence, the dilemma troubling Mr. Eil: today’s American establishment culture faithfully worships at the altar of fame and success, but it simultaneously wants to cast out and obliterate anyone or anything incompatible with its own fanatically egalitarian ideology. Some pretty serious chin-stroking is in order here.
[N]o tale of posthumous success is quite as spectacular as that of Howard Phillips Lovecraft, the “cosmic horror” writer who died in Providence, Rhode Island, in 1937 at the age of 46. The circumstances of Lovecraft’s final years were as bleak as anyone’s. He ate expired canned food and wrote to a friend, “I was never closer to the bread-line.” He never saw his stories collectively published in book form, and, before succumbing to intestinal cancer, he wrote, “I have no illusions concerning the precarious status of my tales, and do not expect to become a serious competitor of my favorite weird authors.” Among the last words the author uttered were, “Sometimes the pain is unbearable.” His obituary in the Providence Evening Bulletin was “full of errors large and small,” according to his biographer.
Nowadays, it’s hard to imagine Lovecraft faced such poverty and obscurity, when regions of Pluto are named for Lovecraftian monsters, the World Fantasy Award trophy bears his likeness, his work appears in the Library of America, the New York Review of Books calls him “The King of Weird,” and his face is printed on everything from beer cans to baby booksto thong underwear. The author hasn’t just escaped anonymity; he’s reached the highest levels of critical and cultural success. His is perhaps the craziest literary afterlife this country has ever seen. …
My feelings on Lovecraft—as a bibliophile, a lover of Providence history, a Jew, a fan of his writing, a teacher who assigns his stories—are complicated. At their best, his tales achieve a visceral eeriness, or fling the reader’s imagination to the furthest depths of outer space. Once you develop a taste for his maximalist style, these stories become addictive. But my admiration is always coupled with the knowledge that Lovecraft would have found my Jewish heritage repugnant, and that he saw our shared hometown as a haven from the waves of immigrants he saw as infecting other cities. (“America has lost New York to the mongrels, but the sun shines just as brightly over Providence,” he wrote to a friend in 1926.)
I haven’t made peace with this tension, and I’m not sure I ever will. But I have decided that perhaps he’s the literary icon our country deserves. The stories he conjured, in many ways, say as much about his bigotry as they do his genius. Or, as Moore writes, “Coded in an alphabet of monsters, Lovecraft’s writings offer a potential key to understanding our current dilemma.”
Eventually also, we shall dissect Charles Beaumont, assuming I can get my soul essence back above ground, from whence Mr. Lovecraft’s character’s liked to dwell.
All hail Cthulu!
Personally, I like dark. I like intense. I like Poe. The works of Charles Fort. I don’t read as much as I should. And currently, I’ve been sticking to history and politics.
Now I will leave you, with homage to H.P. here in this Phoenician Sun, I remember the cool air…
Being diabetic, alcohol is probably something I shouldn’t consume in quantity. Besides, I made up for it during my college years! :-P
And somewhat after…
Regardless, occasionally I still enjoy a good beer. By choice, I significantly cut back on the quantity I was imbibing as of 1 January, and have lost a significant amount of weight.
I’m not a fan of IPAs. India Pale Ales. They are just too hoppy for me. In my youth, I was a Budweiser man, escalating to Michelob for special occasions. And light beer never appealed to me. And heavy porters and such just aren’t for me. Not Guiness, either (sorry Brigid!) With the advent of micro-breweries, there have developed many more choices, however.
Lately, I’ve been enjoying Blue Moon, which is a Belgian Wheat Ale with orange undertone. Good restaurants serve it with an orange slice. Quite refreshing in the hot Summer months. I used to enjoy Lumberyard Raspberry Ale – but sadly the microbrewery in Flagstaff stopped production of this nectar. A couple of dear friends have gifted me with Lindeman’s Framboise Lambic, a low alcohol content from Belgium which can only be described as tasting like raspberry champagne! And, it’s corked! They have also given us Sonora White Chocolate Ale, which is yummy in combination with the Lambic, or all by itself. Sadly, I don’t drink these as often, because I view them as for special occasions. And I only have so many. :-)
Once of my loyal blog readers is Dave, of Musings Over A Pint. If you like thoughtful discourse, and discussion regarding beer, and firearms (separately, of course!) Dave’s your guy.
Give him a visit!
“Beer is proof that God loves us, and wants us to be happy.” – Benjamin Franklin
(Sadly, this is a misquote. What Dr. Franklin actually said was, “Behold the rain which descends from heaven upon our vineyards, there it enters the roots of the vines, to be changed into wine, a constant proof that God loves us, and loves to see us happy.”)
But wine is for another post.
Cheers! Or as Gramp always said, “Prosit” – loosely translated “May this beverage bring you health!”
(from Woman’s Outdoor News)
Scottsdale, AZ – August 20, 2015 – Finally, a women’s only online gun forum, sponsored by The Well Armed Woman (TWAW). With the numbers of women entering gun ownership soaring, there hasn’t yet been a comprehensive online community and gun forum created for women, a place where they can share and discuss all things gun – until now.
The Women’s Gun Zone offers extensive forums covering every possible topic important to women shooters of all ages. Women can ask questions and glean from other women shooters. News feeds, videos, photos, private groups where women can “gather” based on things they have in common, as well as places to share their own photos and videos are available. Popular forum topics include the following: Purchasing the Right Gun, Concealed Carry Holsters, Owning Guns with Children, Gun Laws, Pregnancy and Shooting, Defensive Shooting, Competitive Shooting, Senior Citizens, just to name a few. New topics will be regularly and can be added by users, so no question goes unanswered.
Visit The Women’s Gun Zone here: www.thewomensgunzone.com
Great stuff, what?!