♫ “When I’m Sixty Four”♫
Every summer we can rent a cottage in the Isle of Wight
If it’s not too dear
We shall scrimp and save
Grandchildren on your knee
Vera, Chuck & Dave
Send me a postcard, drop me a line
Stating point of view
Indicate precisely what you mean to say
Yours sincerely, wasting away
Give me your answer, fill in a form
Mine for evermore
Will you still need me, will you still feed me
When I’m sixty-four?
(apologies to Paul McCartney)
My dear friend Bob Hall passed away February last. He had suffered complications from diabetes (first losing a big toe, then the lower half of a leg), then ultimately acid reflux lead to GERD, and then esophageal cancer. The last few months of his life, he was eating through a feeding tube. Lost half his weight, and was fighting pneumonia which finally took him.
I had known Bob, first as my investigation boss at Tom Ezell & Associates; later as my boss at Legendary Guns of the West (where I worked part-time), since 1981. More than being a boss, he was a dear friend. We saw each other through the stuff of life. I’ve a stepbrother – Bob and I are much closer.
He was always honest and true to me. His trademark was nothing is so serious that a joke cannot be made about it. Irreverent humor – Firesign Theatre and Monty Python quotes were often exchanged between us.
He was a crack shot and loved to go ‘to the desert’ to go shooting. Even in his final days, using a walker. And he passed his love of guns and The Second Amendment to his wife and daughters.
He didn’t want a somber funeral.
I heard from one of his daughters that this Saturday (yesterday) was to be his memorial celebration. A caravan of his friends and family went to the desert to one of his favorite shooting spots, did some eating, shooting, then spread his ashes.
Bob’s favorite things, family, shooting and grilling – combined!
I was honored to have been invited, and was honored to bring and shoot my 1911 – a National Match slide on a Vega frame, with lowered Bomar sights, a Micro bushing, and Swenson ambidextrous safety, hand-fitted by gunsmith Burke Hill. Which Bob sold to me in 1983.
I dubbed her The Bob Hall Signature Model. My roommate calls her Bobbie.
It’s been probably 20K rounds, and except for occasional cleaning, lube and replacing the recoil spring @ 3000 rounds, not much has changed. She remains a tack driver.
Essentially a race gun (c) 1977.
And she is my companion when the Phoenix weather permits.
Bob sold her to me for a pittance. He never profited from guns he sold to friends. And I had to make payments to him, I was so poor! (having been a new father at the time.)
It’s only fitting I take her to what Bob called Burro Town to shoot her one more time.
So, about eighteen of us gathered yesterday. Did some shooting – ate BBQ chicken with all the fixings. (including cherry cheesecake – Bob’s favorite!)
Then, we stood in a circle and shared memories of Bob. There was tears and laughter. Then Anita (Bob’s wife) asked those who wish to to take some of Bob’s ashes and place them about Burro Town*.
Then, we shot a simultaneous volley in his name. All of us using guns once owned by him!
This is the photo the family chose to place on the food table. Bob hated having his picture taken.
(*It was named Burro Town by Bob, due to the wild burros that wander the region. Usually, we see a few. Yesterday, they were absent.)
But we who loved him were there.
For some reason, my elders saw fit to pass trinkets from their lives onto me. Some, I understand, like my Dad passing his Dad’s NY, NH & H railroad police badge to me. 🙂
And my Dad, his railroad pocket watch (complete with fob and Grand Central Station locker key)!
But others aren’t so straight forward.
My maternal grandfather (Gramp), took me aside one day and gave me a compass. He didn’t explain where he acquired it, or who it was from. Gramp passed in 1977 with this information.
I still have the police badge. I gifted the pocket watch to my long-time friend Jim, as he has always been obsessed with trains, on his 50th birthday. (He and my Father talked about trains for hours, when I wasn’t all that interested.)
I still have the compass. Compasses of the same manufacture can be found on Ebay for $55.00. Of course, they don’t have the personalization on the inside of the cover!
The inscriptions read as though they might be of military origin, including a 1917 date. The Great War? I’ve no way of knowing. Internet searches of the initials and dates haven’t provided any further information.
As it is with so many things originating with my family, like what happened to my twin brother, I guess the answers are lost forever.
I lived in my parent’s house after high school, and into college. The University was about a mile-and-a-half North, and an easy walk. Things became ‘complicated’ when I dropped-out after a year, and was on academic probation. (long-time readers will remember Joe Cool?). My parents then required rent and employment (I had been working the entire time), and two years later (age 20) I moved out simultaneously with starting at a community college.
I thought I was a failure.
Ultimately, I completed community college (3.615 GPA,with high distinction, don’t ya know!), got my Associates Degree (Administration of Justice), and entered life. It’s amazing how the realities of financial obligation and low paying jobs motivate! During the recession (1975). No decent jobs.
BUT, somehow I survived. I paid my own way through college (no loans, no parent money), worked then entire time (mostly in private security) and paid rent – sometimes even on time! 😛
The idea of moving back into my parent’s home was anathema to me. My father’s passing in 1977 further reinforced the concept (I didn’t have a good relationship with my stepmother).
For the first time in modern history the most common living arrangement for young adults is living in their parents’ homes. (18 to 34)
I wonder how this happened? Poor employment opportunities? Low pay? Bad economy? I suspect the liberals will blame it on the debt based on Bush’s wars. And the banks.
And the conservatives will blame the race-baiting, anti-colonialist communist administration currently in residence in the White House.
But I blame government. ALL of it. Between inflation, costly inefficient government programs and the cost of education requiring student loans. And Fabian socialists forging dishistory and uneducated youth since the early 1900’s. They work glacially.
It’s who I am.
h/t Theo Spark
New York Times Stumbles onto the Truth About BaltimoreJared Taylor, American Renaissance, April 29, 2015Discovers why blacks riot.An article from yesterday’s New York Times about the relative calm in Baltimore stumbled by accident onto something like the real reason why blacks were rioting. Near the famous burned-out CVS–the city had begged the company to “invest” in a dodgy neighborhood–the Times reporter found someone it identified as “Robert Wilson, a college student who went to high school in Baltimore.” The article concludes with Mr. Wilson’s explanation of why blacks rioted. He said nothing about Freddie Gray or police brutality. Instead, he said this:We’re just angry at the surroundings–like this is all that is given to us?–and we’re tired of this, like nobody wants to wake up and see broken-down buildings. They take away the community centers, they take away our fathers, and now we have traffic lights that don’t work, we have houses that are crumbling, falling down.This quote almost perfectly captures the black mentality that leads to rioting. Blacks live in neighborhoods that they, themselves, have wrecked, and then ask, “This is all that is given to us?”Hard-working white people built the “broken-down” buildings Mr. Wilson is complaining about. Many had parquet floors, high ceilings, and fine moldings found today only in the most expensive new construction.After the riots in Baltimore in 1968, whites panicked and sold their property at desperation prices. Now, these houses are “broken down” because blacks didn’t maintain them. This pattern of white flight and “broken down” houses was repeated in Detroit, Philadelphia, Chicago, New York, Washington, St. Louis, Memphis, Atlanta, Birmingham, Jacksonville, and countless other American cities. Some of the best city housing in the world was handed over to blacks who wrecked it. Neighborhoods filled with irreplaceable architecture are now wastelands.Mr. Wilson complains that “we have houses that are crumbling, falling down.” The remedy for crumbling houses is for the people who live in them to fix them, but instead, Mr. Wilson asks, “Is this all that is given to us?”Like so many blacks, Mr. Wilson doesn’t realize how perverse it is even to think in terms of pleasant houses and neighborhoods being “given” to anyone. Does he imagine the white authorities “giving” nice neighborhoods to whites and cruelly handing out slums to blacks? They didn’t start out as slums. Whites saved and worked hard to build those neighborhoods. They maintained them, repaired them, and loved them.But in today’s world of welfare, food stamps, government housing, and white guilt, Mr. Wilson doesn’t know any better than to ask for handouts. Jesse Jackson is just as self-absorbed. At the funeral for Freddie Gray he wanted to know, “Why can’t the [black] West Side get the same things downtown gets?” Jesse Jackson is asking the same question: “Is this all that is given to us?”And who, exactly, is not giving enough? Baltimore elected its first black mayor in 1987. Today, the mayor, the police chief, the fire chief, and half the police force are black. Two thirds of the population and most of the city council are black. But when Mr. Wilson and Jesse Jackson complain about stinginess, they are not blaming Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake; they are blaming white people.Mr. Wilson says Baltimore’s blacks rioted because they are “angry at the surroundings.” Blacks make their surroundings ugly and miserable, and then make them even more ugly and miserable by burning them down. And then they ask, “Is this all that is given us?And fathers? In 1983, Baltimore had the highest black illegitimacy rate in the country: 76 percent , at a time when the national rate for blacks was about 55 percent. Now that the national black rate is 72 percent , what is the figure likely to be for Baltimore? Ninety percent? Ninety-five percent? Whoever “they” are didn’t have to work very hard to “take away our fathers.” Black fathers were never there to begin with.It’s no surprise that Mr. Wilson thinks blacks haven’t been “given” what they deserve, and that “they” took away his father. He’s a college student–probably on scholarship–and that’s what blacks are taught from grade school.The New York Times invariably blames “racism” and white privilege for the plight of blacks. It assumes that if only whites could curb their bigotry, blacks would bloom and flourish. It is remarkable that it concluded this article with a quotation that so brutally undercuts its own assumptions. People who think “they” have taken away their fathers, who blame others for their “broken down buildings,” who look at misery of their own making and ask “Is this all that is given to us?”–such people will not bloom and flourish no matter what white people do. Nor do they deserve to.Best Regards,
If you’ve shot anything more than a revolver or a single-shot firearm, you are probably aware of the safety problems inherent in ejected brass.
It’s dirty. It’s fast. It’s HOT!
Most folks learn rather quickly why experienced shooters wear safety gear. Not only hearing and eye protection, but proper clothing.
Burned fingers, hands, arms. I’ve known two guys who had ejected brass wedge between their shooting glasses and faces! Not pretty. And most of us have been beaned in the head a few times.
A brimmed hat or cap, and an ‘appropriate’ shirt. Female shooters especially can be in danger from hot brass, if they wear a low neckline. I used to know a woman who was president of a group of female shooters called The Annie Oakleys. She would often joke their unofficial salute was to bend forward at the waist and shake rapidly! :-) (to divest themselves of ejected, hot brass)
But this is not just about minor discomfort or humor.
(from The Firearm Blog, in part)
Just this past weekend, a father took his 14 year old son out to an indoor range in Sarasota Florida to celebrate Independence Day early. You can read about it here. They were using the far right hand lane. The father was shooting a handgun when the brass ejected and hit the wall. It bounced off and went inside his shirt. Nothing out of the ordinary there. What happens next is the problem. The father reaches back with his right hand to pull his shirt so he can get the hot brass out. The handgun was still in his right hand. He had a negligent discharge and his son was shot. I am sad to say that son died due to his injuries.
We can bleat about The Four Rules all we want, but unless we take them to heart and use them religiously, even during a perceived emergency, there isn’t much point.
My heart goes out to the father and family in this story.
Well, here we are.
Another @&%$)_+%$^ holiday anniversary date!
My roommate wanted to ‘celebrate’, as she believes I was a good, loving father, and my daughter is unfortunately not capable of celebrating me.
My roommate is a good person.
Molly would have been 33 this Father’s Day. My imagination leads to thoughts of an alternative future, wherein she married, had children, and a career. And I had grandchildren.
It was not to be.
She loved animals (during her time here we had two dogs, three cats, a hamster and two goldfish). She wanted to become a veterinarian.
I also imagine a house filled with numerous animals and kids, running willy-nilly, screaming and playing.
Sometimes, a good imagination is not a good thing.
To all the good Dads out there, Happy Father’s Day.
Remember to hug them and kiss them and tell them you love them. Daily.
Because, you never know.
Even ONE of these heroes making this choice is unacceptable! (Day #17 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.
When I ran across this article on Facebook, I truly thought it must be either dizinformazia, or an article culled from The Onion.
After a little side research, I determined this to be the genuine article. By a genuine LGBT activist. Who is quite obviously NOT a libertarian!
Famous LGBT Activist Reveals The Scary, Real Goal Of The Bathroom Battle (And It’s Not Bathrooms…It’s Way Worse)
What you may have been suspecting has been confirmed. LGBT activists’ end goal is not ruling over the bathroom. It’s obliterating the family. Riki Wilchins, a famous transsexual who recently wrote a piece in the gay publication The Advocate, revealed that many conservatives and even LGBT activists are missing the forest for the trees.
Titled,“We’ll Win the Bathroom Battle When the Binary Burns,” Wilchins says the real goal is to kill the notion of male and female altogether. The “binary” refers to gender distinction, and getting rid of the “heterobinary structure” is the goal. Wilchins writes that the fact that we are arguing over male and female facilities is proof that we still have far to go–that there should be no gender distinctions in general.
In fact, Wilchins points to an emerging group of people who don’t want to affiliate as any gender. Life Site News explains, “’Non-binary’ people don’t identify as male or female and they often want to be referred to as ‘they’ or ‘hir’ or ‘zer.’ So the fact that there are even intimate facilities that reflect the “binary” truth about gender should change, Wilchins wrote.”
If you are confused, you are not alone. But beneath all of the titles and non-titles, the insidious plan is the destruction of the family, reveals Stella Morabito, senior contributor to The Federalist.
“What we are really talking about is the abolition of sex. And it is sex that the trans project is serving to abolish legally, under the guise of something called ‘the gender binary.’ Its endgame is a society in which everyone is legally de-sexed. No longer legally male or female. And once you basically redefine humanity as sexless you end up with a de-humanized society in which there can be no legal ‘mother’ or ‘father’ or ‘son’ or ‘daughter’ or ‘husband’ or ‘wife’ without permission from the State. Government documents are already erasing the terms. In such a society, the most intimate human relationships take a hit. The family ends up abolished.”
Morabito hits home the point: “Sex distinctions are the germ of all human relationships. Abolishing them legally basically abolishes family autonomy. And this is an act of violence against children because it would serve at some point to separate them from their origins. Every child’s first transcendental question is ‘Where did I come from?’ If the law will not allow the child to see his own origins and wholeness in the faces of a mother and a father, it destabilizes the child’s sense of self. It creates personal dysfunction in children and basically ends up spreading more dysfunction and even dystopia in society.”
This is scary. If Morabito and other cultural watch-dogs are right, the bathroom battle is far more serious than many think. We need to really pray and ask God for help–before it’s too late and our future generations end up really damaged. Do you agree? (Faith Family America)
SO. Either Ms. Wilchins is a dystopian uber-Statist of the first order, or is a deepest cover agent promoting such nonsense reductio ad absurdum*!
I truly hope it is the second choice offered.
If this is indeed the true ultimate agenda, it goes way beyond men ‘self-identifying’ as female to visit women’s rooms and/or taking surreptitious photos of women and girls, or worse!
But, as The President is taking a hard line on this issue, ‘blackmailing’ the States to conform to this agenda in their schools, or lose federal funding(!), and many believe him to be a variety of Marxist…
Reductio ad absurdum, also known as argumentum ad absurdum, is a common form of argument which seeks to demonstrate that a statement is true by showing that a false, untenable, or absurd result follows from its denial, or in turn to demonstrate that a statement is false by showing that a false, untenable, or absurd result follows from its acceptance. (Wikipedia)
No, not the birds and bees with your children, or the inane TV show.
(from the USCCA and Kevin Michalowski)
Sooner or later you will have to talk to your non-gun-owning friends about why you carry. You might be asked not to carry at someone’s house. Or you might be grilled on gun safety at your house when people come to visit. I can’t give you the exact words; they are your friends, not mine. But understand that…
SO…it’s NOT just about Safety.
It’s about rights, and protection, and so much more.
There have been a few places I’ve chosen to not carry, and not by government edict, either. It’s been about respect, perceived security, and sometimes plain ol’ convenience.
But sometimes having a civil Talk is just what seems appropriate.