Tuesday, August 23, 2016

We are never as prepared for adversity as we thought....

  I love to ask young folks if they have a pen knife, for few use a pen knife to sharpen and shape quill pens any longer, but I would bet Thomas Jefferson and George Washington had one.  But I remember playing with Case and Barlow folding knives when I was on recess at grade school. And I wasn't the only boy and there were common sense rules of conduct around the knives. My major problem with folding knives came with a bad reputation for acting tough and fighting - so naturally it was assumed that if I had an opportunity to draw a blade and cut someone I would.  But I was never that afraid nor stupid. That didn't keep me out of trouble for the ease of making me look cruel, stupid and totally dangerous.  The answer from most modern children not on a farm is that they don't have one, aren't allowed to have one or that they don't need one... for various reasons, it all depends on the family.

  Well, I was up early and had a couple of shipping boxes from Cabela's to recycle and the taping was resisting this feeble old fellow, so I went for my knife, one of three I normally carry around. Sorry, you are in the wrong pants, no knives in your pockets... what to do? Could go all the way back into the house and get one of several within reach of this computer terminal, or to the car, or to... they are everywhere except on me beside the trash and recycle containers. The closest stash is the tool shed, but all the good knives are behind all the tools and stuff that we use daily.  Looking inside the closest blade is the two handed machete - okay, I can cut tape with that bad boy. I did and then folded the cardboard so I wasn't packing too much air in the container.  Put the big ugly but sharp tool in the sheath and return to hang in the tool shed. Go get coffee and breakfast and put a knife in your pocket as you continue to prepare to face the world outside this little quiet place.

  Yesterday I had haunted the Exchange looking for shampoo and shoes and a man stopped me and asked if he looked familiar? And did I live on 152nd Street? I told him, 'No, I live on 159th Street Ct E.' and he says he was my neighbor back then when we bought our new homes in 1995. So I spent a pleasant hour talking with him about all the things that have happened to us in the years since.  Very enjoyable time. I really ought to pay more attention to other folks, they moved to a bigger home when the second son was born. But then I would have to ruffle some feathers, and I don't want to bother anyone.  When I was low on one of my medications I called the doctor for a new prescription, but I was told I had to check with my pharmacy since the doctor had given me one in June that had refills. I checked and the pharmacy doesn't have that so I won't get any, one less daily pill.

  I stopped to get a report on all my checking account transactions for this month, I was about two hundred to four hundred dollars different from what the ATM said, which could be a problem if I weren't aware. The clerk printed out the two page report and I balanced my Quicken program and found my errors, which makes me very happy - love pretending I know what I am doing.  Off to visit the YMCA, still can't do more than walk, but I have hope for after the doctor's visit Friday. Spent some time walking, lots of time talking and listening and saying hello. Then back home to wife and lunch and more resting, saw two programs and then went to the Blues don't need to think for music. I am not performing.  The day has gone well, guess I can take my gun off and shower and prepare for sleep.

   There is some feeling that the internet is really bad when users bully and pick on the other users... but that only works when one pays attention to fools. People offend me constantly when they use vulgar and profane language... but I am old and stable enough to ignore their problem, they never notice I don't use it and never wonder why I don't cyber visit their comments more often. But then I am not important in their lives, just a shadow of whom I was once upon a time.  Do good stuff and make me smile for happy. Night!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

I wish you all well, really, take care out there.....

  A woman calls me awake from my dreams, a commanding attention voice - she knows me enough to make it work. I lay in the darkness thinking about the coming day. Dividing it into pre-op, surgery where I won't know anything, and post-op.  Works for me as long as I get to post-op well... nothing to worry about, although I never did see the certification of the medical team involved.

  Still in darkness and awaiting and thinking, not going back to sleep. I get three of my medicines and a swallow of water to help them down... says so right here on my instructions. Aren't I happy I can read? Why, yes I am.

   What I am even happier about that I don't have any enemies. And immediately think of the Magnificent Seven and Conan, although there were a few periods in my life I was actually trying to end other's lives and they mine - we didn't even know our names. It was only business, Sonny.

   No drama, now, I get to sit on the porch in the rocker and watch the world pass me by.  There are those that have little real ideas that might hate me because I am an NRA member, or fear me because my parents didn't raise me right like their parents did, there are those that do keep calling my home to ask for my attention and money because someone has put me on a list of folks to contact.  I quit answering a while ago. Me and Alexander Graham Bell will have a few things to discuss...

  Ah, the light has arrived. I may continue on my preparations... hope to see you on the otherside.  Be well, and do good with lots of love... the LORD needs more and more.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Ah, the Olympics in Rio... much better than watching the election cam'pain' in America...

   I don't think much of tribalism, it is necessary as a survival tactic in the wilds, but I do love best efforts... so I like to watch the Olympics, even the sports I don't understand are interesting.  What I have done mostly is mute the talking heads, good music in the background and a book to get back to on the commercial interruptions. I don't care how many gold medals anyone wins, how many Olympics competed in, this one and this effort that is a moment I can share and smile about.

  The professional lawn crew attacked the yards and they look so good, I may never push a mower again (if I won the Lottery). The panic of the modern males of this Century, over not having the hand strength of their grandfathers being blamed on many things. The truth is the ladies don't either -- my mother sifted flour, kneaded bread dough and hand washed the dishes until her children got big enough to share. What makes any modern person think we get fat from only calories eaten and not in the lack of calories burned doing 'stuff'? Once walked around, now we drive, walked to school in first through sixth grades, walked to the Little League practice.  All the tools my dad used were hand tools, no batteries and seldom power cords.

  Our lives changed with power and light, in many ways for the better and others not so much. We need to rely on our abilities to survive, and live well.  Find your place and work it well.

Monday, August 15, 2016

I don't always get what I want, but then I do get everything I need...

  I was supposed to be motorcycling across the country with Ligonier, Pennsylvania as my final destination for my 50th High School Class Reunion.  But since the only one I have ever attended was the 40th, that may be the only one.  Ligonier is a wonderful place to grow up, for History and amusement and security of the mountains encircling you. Thinking I could ride my three speed bicycle off to Florida to join Castro - just wasn't going to happen, although I did have a really great ride in the darkness going downhill Fast! when I had given up the struggle.

  Since I wasn't on the Trusty Triumph and an Appleseed event was going to be held in Port Townsend, that was where I went to help out. Great group of folks, and I learned something about and from each of them.  You know the instructor crew had lots to share with them... and gentle constant reminders of what they should be working on with every shot. So near the end of the second day I am watching one shooter have no respiratory pause, none. But he was hoping to catch the trigger as the front sight hit the target... hmm, that doesn't work.

  Still everyone had a good time, shot safely, and got better at all they understood and were practicing.  Hot weather baked us a bunch, but the breeze didn't die and there was lots of water. If I were a believer in the rifle making all the difference between shooters, I would say if it didn't have an ancestry from Czech Republic, the two new riflemen shooting their bolt action rifles would look convincing. Especially since these aren't the first Riflemen I have seen shoot that well with those rifles.  Seriously, it has to do with the shooter, six steps of the shot, and relaxing into sling and position and trusting Natural Point of Aim. Throw in Riflemen's cadence to keep from fussing the shot and anyone can do it; if the rifle doesn't jam, the ammunition all goes off, and hot brass isn't bouncing behind your safety glasses or on your arm.

   We did encourage all the shooters to practice dry fire with totally unloaded rifles in their safe zone, to join a local range and to come back to another Appleseed when their have it all in their muscle memory...  I found a note on my Facebook, my niece is guiding some middle school young ladies during their difficult years, that will be great - she has a wealth of women's wisdom to share and she is approachable. For sure what is on the screen isn't how reality works and trying to model yourself on fool behavior just doesn't work. In the history presentation of April 19, 1775 in the powder raid from Boston when the colonials had had enough, they at least weren't distracted by entertainment and too much media misinformation.

   Our two Riflemen, were also the two that cleared the final Redcoat, there is always hope for America's future, hope to see y'all on the range one day. I can tell you about Inches, Minutes and clicks... and get your sights on target.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Time to replace the old RWVA cap...

   I had so much fun with the crew instructing the Civil Air Patrol cadets, all 21 of them, although I only really worked with eleven of them on the right bay.  They looked mature and professional in the woodland camouflage uniforms I had stopped wearing in 1995, with shiny cadet ranks insignia on their collars. Well spoken and polite I could almost forget they were only youth, and since there was no obvious horse play and they were paying attention.

   Only one AQT (Appleseed Qualification Test) on the first day, and one on the second day, the last half of the second day was spent shooting for their NRA score on their discipline. They can wear what they earn on their CAP uniforms. As one young cadet told me, this was only her third day of shooting a firearm, glad she was training with us, a very good start. A few had been shooting longer and more often, but this was a good opportunity to advance the marksmanship and firearms safety.

  Since all instruction except the KD (known distance) was given and practiced they have a fine start and will come along nicely in the future if they have their own rifle and ammunition and attend an Appleseed. I am looking forward to it.  We told the three strikes of the match, and the dangerous old men stories.I decided to upgrade my Red Hat, we should use my old ones to help illustrate the difference in the officer's redcoat and the enlisted men's.

   The preparation for the Port Townsend Appleseed began as soon as I returned home, all the clothes are washed and ironed. Two copies of the COI (Course of Instruction) are printed out with the Checkin Sheet.  After I get back from there I will be preparing for my surgery and recovery, time does fly when having fun.

Friday, August 5, 2016

I seem to have become freer... the election just won't matter until November and I may ignore the noise...

   I had my yard professionally mowed and edged, will every two weeks for three total times in August. My wife wants the couch moved but not enough to bother me about it until I am healed up. And I will have to write a letter to the LVHS Reunion folks to say thank y'all but I am not going to be able to make it, sorry.  It is official my surgery is on the 18th, be home by evening.

   Neither major political party Presidential candidate impresses me, the media covering the election even less. I am holding out for Ron Paul, but he should have run as a Libertarian in 2012, and Rand Paul should have looked at doing it in 2016. What I think is going to happen is the country is going to really suffer from stupidity by government and maybe survive to the next election cycle, but maybe not. I don't think I will be written in enough to secure the Electoral College votes so I am not going to be the President and you won't be able to blame me for whatever happens, it won't be my fault.

    I have an marksmanship clinic for the Civil Air Patrol this weekend in Olympia, and next weekend is Port Townsend with fifty (???) registered.  Don't know about those numbers, it would be different.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Noticing what I see when no one is looking...

  I slept outside the range waiting until I could bother them with my presence, driving when the commute isn't on is wonderful. So as I woke and watched periodically I noticed the concealed and the open carry and those that carried bags with stuff into the range. Lovely, the CC folks didn't imprint badly, but if you were looking it was different on the back right hip from the left. The open carry didn't care but carried in exactly in the same place - not where I carry but then I am of the don't worry about that old fat man group.
    You know, the old men that gather in the mid-morning for coffee and conversation in every fast food joint that isn't going to run them off after giving them a hot cup of coffee and maybe a pastry.  Groups of five to six, every morning like clockwork, the ones resisting the joining showing up at least twice a week, but not more. They also show up to pretend to work out at the YMCA, the local range to bust caps or talk about wonders and tech at the local range they built when shooting was a hobby.  Old men everywhere that have certainly outlived their utility, the nation no longer needs nor cares about them... they get their checks and go over in that corner and don't disturb us with the reminder that life becomes aged as it marches on relentlessly. And they all know things that everyone should, but don't want to cause a ruckus when talking about buying gasoline at twenty-five cents a gallon and earning a healthy two dollars and fifty cents an hour in the days of eighty-five cents an hour minimum wage... but then you would have to listen to them tell you that the bankers like inflation for their own reasons.

  Old men, put them off in their corner and don't see them, they aren't manly, sexy, nor do they ever look prosperous.  But they might not be what you see on the media that feeds your vision of what has worth: because there is little morality, honor, dignity of labor nor appreciation for real 'love' of others that will bring anyone to the theaters or cable to view for commercial exploitation among them. The media has only false visions of fantasy to feed the feeble minded, and the feeble minded buy it wholesale. The difference between Roy Rogers with two pistols and a wife, good buddy and a dog and a horse, and Clint Eastwood with one pistol, and Jason Bourne with no idea why he does so much bad with so little reason is too great a jump for y'all cause y'all are young... the Hollywood tech on all the gun play is still very poor.  John Wesley Hardin would have killed them all, easily.  But John wasn't a fine man even in his day.

   My point about what you don't see in those old men, is the years of work and sacrifice that made their families fond of them and their example years after their best was gone or going quickly.They loved hard, deep and well.  You may not know it, but they shot firearms in the most dangerous times for the victory they had to win.  Most of it won't make it into History, nor books nor movies and they don't brag nor talk much about it, because you that haven't, really don't understand.  You reach out to shake their old hands and say thank you for your service and they almost cringe because you don't get their nightmares and shakes and have so little idea.  But they smile gently and say thank you, because they are shaking your hand and accepting your thanks for those that they never forgot that died right beside them in some unknown place for some forgotten politicians' vision of victory. 

   Living in the fantasy of experts that will make it all better - just give them more money, help them win the war, the election or the White House! Nah, go out and make your corner of God's great creation as beautiful as He wants it to become, and don't ask for honors nor accolades, just forgiveness for the times you were a weaker vessel, and get back to making it all better. Or, just sit with the other old guys over coffee and talk about when you were stronger and sexy and mattered.