This tag is associated with 4 posts


It was two years ago today…

Time flies (and all that)

I miss you, brother.


Mark Bell – click to remember

Take time today to hold those you love close, and tell them you love them!  Because you never know…

Ground Hog Eve – AKA February 1

One year ago I was anticipating tomorrow being Ground Hog Day – that silly ‘holiday’ alleged to determine if Winter is on her way out, or lasting six more weeks.  Based on the prognostication of a marmot; a woodchuck.

It was a Wednesday – the immediate previous Sunday, Mark Bell and I had attended the Central Arizona Blogshoot in Casa Grande!  My car is kinda old and infirmed (as is her owner) so he offered to drive us.

We arrived late, but Kevin Baker and company showed us a great time!  We met some other gun bloggers and some other shooters – great fun.  Then Mark drove me back to Phoenix, and we had a late lunch at Original Hamburger Works.  I was unable to attend the shoot this year.

Part of the reason for missing it is my ride is gone.  On Wednesday, February 1, 2012, three days after the shoot,  Mark Bell passed away, suddenly.  His wife called me Thursday, Ground Hog Day, to give me the bad news.  It’s a year later and it seems as yesterday.

I tend to get overly emotional, to react rather than act.  I am getting better.  Mark was my teacher.  I never saw him lose his cool or express strong anger or rage.  He was always rational and soft spoken, even in disagreement.  A man of fine character and deportment.

A few years back, I was in the middle of trying to refinance my house (the one I lost last June) and the appraiser asked that I paint the trim.  Now, I’m no painter, and being disabled would make this an arduous task.  Mark volunteered, and I insisted on paying him, because, after all, it WAS work.  He agreed, and said he would take it out of my extra re-fi funds.  He accomplished the task in a couple weekends, and I got the financing.  And I cut him a check.  This was in late November.

Christmas afternoon I was between family Christmas get-togethers, and there was a knock at my front door.  It was Mark, with a present!  He again thanked ME for letting him paint (!) said he used the money for presents for his family.  There was room for an additional present.  Mine.

I was dumbfounded.  It was the complete Capitol Record selections of Frank Sinatra on DVD!  Wonderful!

Of course, every time I listen to Sinatra, I think of Mark.  And other times, too.

I love you and miss you, my friend.

Remember – hug those you love and tell them you love them.  Because you never know.  Groundhog Day Eve will never be the same.

Costas and the Widow

Much hullabaloo has been made since Bob Costas made an ill-advised political statement during Sunday Night Football.  I’d not seen it; I’m not a football fan.

As I understand it he said both the NFL football player who killed his girlfriend, and she would still be with us, if it weren’t for the tool used – a gun.

Tell that to Nicole Brown Simpson.

A good friend of mine passed suddenly, almost a year ago.  While his wife and I were never close, I check in with her from time-to-time, to make certain she’s ‘okay’.  At least, doing as best as she can.  Holidays are always tough for such folks.  I know.

Mark loved guns, and loved shooting.  I was proud to have him for a student and a friend.  But his wife just never understood the appeal of firearms.  They frightened her, and she had no desire to educate herself to work through her fear.  After his passing, she gave Mark’s guns and gun stuff to her gunnie son-in-law.  A good choice, except, of course, now she has none.

Both Mr. Costas and Mark’s wife have the right to their opinions, as we do to ours.  The ability to have differing opinions is one of the things which makes our Nation great.  It’s too bad neither person took the opportunity to educate themselves past their fears.

I fear for Mark’s wife, living alone in a large house, with no protection at all.  Their ridgeback died a couple years ago.  I’ve no such fears for Mr. Costas – the network probably provides him with armed security, so he’ll be alright.

Are firearm murders a significant statistic?

Sharp As A Marble links to an article by an economist-type, analyzing statistics involving firearms, shooting, homicide, accidents and similar light subjects.

From the article linked…

As someone recently said, we don’t need gun control, we need idiot control.  Not sure how we control the idiots, but I’m sympathetic to the idea.  Statistically though, the number of firearm murders per year simply doesn’t justify any renewed call for banning or restricting the sale or possession of firearms.

Summed up by Robb Allen…

We have facts, history, and reality on our side. They have emotionally driven hysteria, misunderstanding, and dick jokes.

That’s part of why we win.

Please visit the link above for the particulars.

Wishing my friend Mark Bell were here to do that.  He loved The Economist.

h/t Robb Allen, Bruce McQuain

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…