Monday, October 31, 2011

Depression in a Conex Container

He claimed he just wanted to stop by and say hello and that he hadn't forgotten me. He had been a long time customer and I'd almost allowed the memory of him to fade. We sat and chatted. I asked about his family and he replied, "Well, Bubba, we're okay but life isn't good for us now."

"What's wrong," I asked.

"We're living in a Conex box behind my brother-in-law's house." His BIL lived several miles away in the country and the Conex container had been his BIL's catch all - a tool and storage shed.

I'll call him Bill which isn't his real name, for obvious reasons. He's married and has two young sons and a daughter. He went on, "Lost my job, which I believe you knew," I nodded yes, "then my wife lost hers and we tried, Stephen, we really did but we just could not find work."

It was a long story and I'm sure you've heard the details many times yourselves. The bills piled high, and they cut expenses where they could; first the cable, completely cut dining out, froze the credit card, sold their second vehicle, like that. Of course my service too. Hence the reason I hadn't seen him in almost a year.

He continued, "We tried to save the house. Went months without making our mortgage payments. Made all the attempts to work with the bank. Afterwards we (and here he stood and walked towards the window and stood there silent for a moment, shame) just walked away."

What does one say in a moment of pure sadness....I remained quiet.

It's times like this when I hate my profession. I've dealt with situations like this for years. My business is open to the public and has been for thirty years. I've made thousands of friends and acquaintances. I must simply deal with it, like this day a week ago. I've heard stories that would make your hair turn gray. So sad.

I knew what he wanted. I've had it happen so many times. I've never turned anyone away. So, I asked.

"Do you need contact numbers." My Rolodex is filled. I deal with professionals from all walks of life.

He turned, held his head down, and said, "If it isn't too much trouble."

"Not at all, Bill. Give me a minute."

I came back into my office and flipped through my numbers. Choose a couple I felt might be of help and wrote their numbers down. Sadly, and I hate to write this, I knew it was a lost cause. The thing is I wanted to hand a bit of hope, a moment of happiness to this poor man.

He'd held his composure well. So I ventured a couple more questions. How was living in a Conex compared to an apartment? How did his children cope with the living conditions?

He explained how his BIL had cut a hole and fit a window air conditioner in its side. They had power and a few cots. His brother-in-laws' home was small as they'd also taken in his mother-in-law. Many nights the little girl slept in the house. Meals were inside the main house too. They had a portable toilet. It was awful, he said. He faked a smile and said, "But, it's only until...."

I faked a smile back.

We talked for a few more minutes and I promised (and I did) I'd phone ahead and 'put in a good word.' He left in a far better frame of mind than when he walked in my shop.

I did say a quick prayer for him and his family. They're good people. Yes, I do feel they created many of their problems by living far above their income. Many do and I shall not pass judgment upon these poor people. I mean, after all, there but for the grace of our good Lord go I.


Sunday, October 30, 2011

Happy Holloween

Stay safe out there my friends and I'll see you tomorrow, God willing.


Saturday, October 29, 2011

Friday, October 28, 2011

Something Different for kymber

Here's a bit of filler until I find the time, and will, to write. Kymber (spelled with a capital K) as you and yours live so far out in the boonies and are known to knock deer dead with rocks, I thought this might help with the leftovers.

Big grin here....

Hey, you never know.



Tam, my good friend needs you, he has a couple of handguns lost to history...and I think it'll be fun.

Prove me right, I told him you 'had the smarts.'


Thursday, October 27, 2011


I've just now sat for the first time in many hours...too darn tired to think. I just might eat dinner, not sure as yet.

See you good folks tomorrow.

Later, before I sleep I plan to begin the above book.....



Sorry it's taken me so long to respond to comments left yesterday and over night. Just to busy here at work, which is a good thing. This morning I'm again in an up and down mood....can't think either.

Sad part is I'm only on my second cup of coffee....not good. Need coffee, I do.


Little Bit jumped into my truck this morning and just had to show me how she now writes her 4's...begged me for a piece of paper and my pen. On the drive to school she filled a lined yellow sheet with her newly discovered form of  four's. Joy is in the details.

The firearms business is slow. Few wish to sell, fewer still have them to sell. Bummer.This depression (admit it, it is) has touched every area of trade.

I await a spool of wire from my friend in Texas, MDR, so my friends in the group and I can proceed to run power to our clubhouse we affectionately call 'The Boar's Nest.' Picture me, like a little boy, jumping in place in anticipation. Thanks, Bubba. Our group member, ShooterSteve, has the generator standing by...I understand he recruited a pride of hamsters to supply the power to the generator. ShooterSteve is a fine electrician.

I suppose I should put it in gear and think of a Thanksgiving menu. I play chef for the family. Ham or Turkey. Both....we'll see.

Hey, gotta run.



Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Just An Old Magazine

I rounded the corner of the hallway into the kitchen to find my Sweet Wife just about to dump some colorful items into the trash. I asked what she was about to throw away, she replied, "Just this old magazine and other junk."

I recognized the old market bag. It had keep me company for many years; packed full of heirlooms, vintage outdoor sporting magazines I'd purchased here and there over a lifetime. It was once a hobby. I enjoyed the memories they evoked, they gave back to me my lost youth. Sadly over the years I'd sold many as the price per copy, as determined by date of publication, proved to profitable to turn down when offered.

The practical side of me said keep a few, and I did so and even regretted those lost to the call of the dollar. I had a habit, on a rare winters day, of taking a few to sit before a nice fire with a cup of coffee and relive my youth.

Those long forgotten moments of my childhood would come flooding back over some simple advertisement like a soft fishing plug ad by Heddon Fishing Lures or perhaps Alladdin's Stanley thermos ads with its, 'Don't Worry, You Can't Break It,' slogan.

I took the copy destined for the trash and held it, smoothed its edges. It was published in May of 1966. When it first appeared in some far away mail box I was a teenager...forty five long years ago. A young man full of, as my grandfather said, piss and vinegar. A tall lanky six foot one inch wild kid with a bad reading and gun habit not opposed to walking a mile to fish a creek with an old cane pole rigged with a simple hook, sinker and cork. My can of worms carefully dampened and forgotten as I sat back in the shade and read Hemingway.  

I enjoyed holding this old magazine again with its beautiful cover. This was back when most of the magazines still used illustrators and insisted they hand paint original cover art suitable to the season of the year. Spring and Summer you'd find boats and boys and men with fishing gear, raging and dramatic scenes of fighting the big one. Fall and Winter it was wildlife; deer and bear and of course, the mighty Whitetail Deer with Nimrod Jones and his Winchester. I loved best the bird scenes though, flushed coveys of Bobwhites or Grouse with Shotgun Bob ready for his double.

I remember when Robert Ruark's serialized, The Old Man and The Boy,' ran monthly in (I think) Field & Stream. I still break out my first edition of the story in hardback, ever so often, and read and remember when life was simple. Robert's rest came in Spain.

Another writer of the day was Ted Trueblood. Ted's articles. in Sports Afield, spanned years. Each month he'd take me camping or fishing or packing the wild wilderness of the west on hunts for elk and moose.

There were many others, far too many for my now tepid mind to remember. But I still have a few of these old magazines, my memories in sweet scented aged paper, to remind me.

Think I'll keep my last few remaining copies. They are not just old magazines.


From The Beginning

I guessed her age at about nine, maybe ten, khaki pants with a white shirt, short hair slightly windblown. The bus had just pulled away.

My shop is located on a very busy street across from a large city park. Her school bus stops on the corner.

My last customer had just walked out the door when I saw her walk to the corner and slump against the chain link fence.

Thirty minutes later she was still there. I know why it bugged me. She isn't much older than my granddaughter, and my little one is my heart.

So, I stood guard, walked outside. I conceal carry. She was safe.

Every few minutes she would stand and walk to the edge of the street and glance first one way then the other. Hoping, waiting. She, at least to me, appeared worried.

I have a bench in front of my shop. I tried to appear like an older man just taking a nap, when all I really wanted to do was walk over and give her a hug and tell her it was fine and I was sure mom or dad would be there soon,  but you and I both know I couldn't do that.

Forty two minutes later she was crying when the dusty gray car turned in and she climbed in the back.

At least for a while she had been under my personal protection.

Some parents are just assholes.

(Note: re-posted as requested)


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Random Books

I mentioned in a post I've cleaned my office in an attempt to remove clutter. In the process I unearthed a pile of books. A few minutes ago I said to myself, "Boy, you need to remove this pile to a better location." Yeah, right.

Here are a few of the titles that sit around my desk, just the ones I can reach...I know, eclectic doesn't begin to describe my taste.

A Random Walk Down Wallstreet, Burton G. Malkiel - bet the loonies up there would love this one.

Freakonomics, Levitt and Dubner - ditto.

Galatoire's, Biography of a Bistro, Marda Burton and Kenneth Holditch - so sue me.

Libertarianism in One Lesson, David Bergland - a gift.

Jesus Out to Sea, James Lee Burke - read it, it's good.

(I will not list the gunny books, if I did this would be a six page post)

Trophy Hunt, C. J. Box - Okay read...but light.

The Forgotten Soldier, Sajer - darn fine read but depressing as hell.

John Adams, David McCullough - big hit a few years back and a good read.

Slouching Toward Nirvana, new poems, Charles Bukowski - again, sue me, I've always been a fan of Bukowski. He was real. If you haven't read him, well, it's an acquired taste.

Saving Freedom, Jim Demint - a gift and as of now unread. Give me time.

Dead Six, Larry Correia and Mike Kupari - new and my next read.

Age of Darkness, edited by Christian Dunn - go figure.

A Feast of Crows, George R. R. Martin - it's been here a while.

Out of the Ashes, William W. Johnstone - The first of his 'Ashes' series. If you read this series, and its not bad, limit it to the first three or four and forget about it.

Fire In the Ashes, see above.

Holy Bible - do I really need to explain this one. If so, get a life.

A Land Remembered, Patrick D. Smith - Florida stuff.

A Storm of Swords, George R. R. Martin - not a big fan, but his writing is excellent.

The Ultimate Hitchhiikers Guide to The Galaxy, Douglas Adams - I understand this book has a few fans.

Modern World Gold Coins, standard catalog of - One can never be too careful.

Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand - my copy is a first printing dated 1957 and is about worn out. If you haven't at least tried to read this book - well my friend, I'm sorry, but when you awaken in the morning please check outside and see how many moons you're able to count...

Foreign Enemies and traitors, Matthew Bracken - a very good book written by a very nice man. He lives just a few miles south of me...give it a try.

Appetite For Life, Noel Riley Fitch, The biography of Julia Child - Hey, I like to cook and she was the master.

Enough, like I said these are but a few that clutter my desk.

What have you in your private little room?


Bits & Pieces

Chester Raccoon has ridden with us these last few mornings. Chester is Little Bit's new friend. A few weeks back I'd ordered her the series of books in which Chester and his mother serve as the main characters. She reads me one every day on our ride to school. Chester's a cool dude.

Anyway, when we reached the half-way mark of our ride, along the marshes of the river, Little Bit looks up from her book just in time to see a flock of Canada geese wing south as an even larger flock of seven or eight Herons fly north. It was beautiful, the contrast....she said, "Oh, Papa, look, an illustration from my books."

Never underestimate the intelligence of a child.

If you get a moment and have the time, click here: Penn Jillette gets it. - Imgur. This link was sent to me by my beautiful niece, Hannah. She's a bright and extremely conservative young woman. And, as you can tell she takes after me....thanks, Hannah, and now it's blush time...are your ready....I love you.

I'm sorry for the light posts of late, aside from the fact I've been preoccupied with other matters in my life, my computers mouse is giving me fits....about ready to sling it against the wall. Rusty, my computer geek, said I need to purchase a new one. I reminded him its almost brand new...said, "They don't last forever."

It's less than six months old. Guess they just don't make them like they used to, you know, back a year or so ago.

My office is all nice and clean again. Makes me feel like a new man....I can turn and not get whacked in the knee, twist an ankle, stumble over a box. Anyone want a batch of used brass....I found four sacks and a one pound coffee can full. I have brass up to my ears.

Hey, gotta awaits, and I need to jerk another cup of coffee. Take care.


Monday, October 24, 2011

Monday Morning

Quiet here at the office, just put a pot of coffee to brew. My plans today are simple; keep the shop closed and clean and re-organize my office. I have boxes to crush, the carpet needs to kiss and make up with the vacuum cleaner. Drop a bomb of Pine-Sol into the toilet and then dust my desk.

Exciting, isn't it.

Perhaps, if the God's decree, I'll open the front door and flip the sign to, 'open.'  Not sure. We'll see. Yes, I sure could use the extra funds but when most of my regular customers know I'm closed Mondays it's probably a waste of my time and overhead....still....

Phone just rang....and I made the mistake of answering the silly thing...guess what.

Now you know I'd never do that....

See 'ya later, maybe.


Sunday, October 23, 2011

Thanks & Welcome

To Mamma Bear for hitting my follow button overnight. As always I promise to reply to all your comments as soon as possible. To my other friends if you haven't as yet read Mamma Bear's blog please run over and say hello from yours truly.

I know she's good people because she lives in North Florida....


A Day With Little Bit

(Note: written as directed by Little Bit)

Nana went to the hair lady and so I asked if I could stay with my Papa...she pauses...Nana said yes and I had fun at Papa's place. I like to stay with Papa 'cause he lets me do what I want.

Papa let me play games on his computer

Papa is a good leg rest.

Tell them I won, Papa. She won.

I don't want to smile because I lost my two front upper teeth.

At the pumpkin patch. I just can't pick the perfect pumpkin.

Tell them I love my Nana, Papa...she love's her Nana. See, I do follow orders.

We had a nice day. Then I gots to spend the night, again, with Papa and Nana.

(I'm back. I know to some this is silly but like I've said so many times, this is for her. Sometimes I forget that little fact and she'll remind me.)

Have a peaceful and quiet Sunday.


Calvin and Hobbes

I miss them...


Saturday, October 22, 2011

Radio's for Survivors

When the weather turns cold and clear I get an itch to listen to my short wave. It's addictive. I have this thing for radios, short wave sets really turn me on. I can sit for hours and listen to the chatter of the world.

I own a new (to me) rebuilt Grundig Satellite 800 from which I can finesse signals from around the earth when the atmospheric conditions allow. If help is needed I'll attach one of my 'slinky' antennas.

If I feel nostalgic I carefully carry my old Zenith over to the table and extend its antenna. She's a beautiful Trans-Oceanic M500, carefully restored by an old friend. She has tubes (remember them) which glow a sleepy orange and carry voices of Europe and Asia to my little part of the world, news from their point of view without the slant of our current media's biased lies.

I also keep around a few portables, some rest in my travel trailer, others in our get home bags. Mostly little Grundigs. They come in awful handy for camping trips. If and when that 'day' ever arrives you should have one or two. A hand crank model too for when the batteries run dry.

News, information, is important when your life is on the line. If you don't believe me just ask the poor Jews of the Warsaw ghettos.

I understand Grundig, a German company, was recently purchased by a firm out of Japan...can't for the life of me remember it's name. Doesn't matter, the quality should be as good, though I doubt better. Seek out an older model, they're out there.

Above, a file photo of a Zenith Trans-Oceanic model 500. Notice the lid houses its removable antenna. You take clips and attach to the rear of the radio and extend the antenna or by using suction cups provided, stick the little sucker to a window in your plush rail car and listen to the world.

Just for slaps and tickles run over to Ebay and do a simple search for Grundig (or other brand name) radios. Many are listed in new and rebuilt condition. I feel everyone should own at least my humble opinion.

Do yourself a favor and turn off the television and broaden your horizons. Who knows, you might enjoy it.


It's Quiet and Cool

Good morning, my's early, the sun isn't even awake, my coffee is brewing and it's 48 degrees outside....I want to return to my warm bed.

This mini-depression requires otherwise.



Friday, October 21, 2011


Yesterday I posted a thank you and welcome to Bluesun but didn't have a link for his you can see I've corrected that oversight.

Please, give him a shout.

He's nice people.

Ed McGivern

I completely forgot Ed's birthday yesterday. Guess my head was in the clouds. Ed was born in 1874 and passed in December 1957. It was Ed McGivern (and my father) that put the bug in my heart for handguns and fast draw. He was the best hand gunner that ever lived. Many of his records still stand, although Jerry Miculek has since broken a few of his single-action records, Ed still holds many I doubt will ever be broken.

My father took to me to one of Ed's last handgun expeditions just prior to his death. I'll never forget it. For more information, Google....he was one hell of a man.

Ed, above, on the left.

Above, this is one of Ed's Sam Myres Buscadero two-gun rigs.

Ed and Elmer Keith were good friends. I'm proud to say so was I. Elmer and Me struck up a friendship back in the early 1970's when I had mailed and asked if he'd be willing to sign my copies of his books. By return mail he agreed and before I knew it I was receiving a letter once or twice a week from Elmer. I still have them, and of course, all his signed first editions.

These two men, if you are a member of the gun culture, should hold a special place in your lives. They set the standard. They shaped the handgun world.


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Thanks & Welcome

To my friend  Kris for taking a moment to reach over and hit my follower button. You've made my day. I always welcome new followers with the old line (old to me at least) when you comment here I shall always reply as soon as might take me a few hours, or days on rare occasions, but trust me I will respond. My promise to you.

I ask the rest of my good friends to please click and visit Kris at her nice blog. It's well worth your time.

Again, Kris, thanks and welcome. You're now among friends.


It's The Little Things

We cruised along this morning and shared our enjoyment with the cool weather, and laughed and played our silly little games when I remembered the book.

"Hey, Little Bit, guess what..."

"What, Papa."

"After we get to school I have a gift for you."

Her, all excited, doing the little girl squeal, "What is it, Papa?"

I reach around and get the gift from my bag and tuck it under my left arm, teased her with my evil chuckle, then.

"Wait, Honey, I'll give it to you later." Now she's about to rocket from her seat, she claps her hands and begins to sing one of her 'made up on the spot' songs, "Papa has a surprise for me...repeat...Papa has a surprise for me."

She reads to me every morning, her voice soft, lyrical, tender. Recently her subject matter has been stories of Barbie. Barbie and her little sister solving mysteries or sharing high adventures. Little Bit had expressed her love of the book one morning when she'd been arrested and shut into her bedroom. The book was and is her escape from the realities of her little world.

One morning, as we waited in the car line, she had expressed sadness over the book.

"Why?" I'd asked.

"Cause, Papa, I have to take my book back to the library and I'll miss it."

"It's fine, Sweetheart, you can check it out again."

"We have to wait, Papa, 'cause they said other people may want it too."

I'm a sneaky booger when necessary. I took a quick glance at the book. 'Barbie's Collected Stories,' who knew....
Later, when I made it back to my office I hit and ordered her a copy. They had three copies available....again, is this a rare collected piece of literature... doesn't matter. My small gift of God deserves her own copy.

Within a few days it arrives. I stash it away in my bag and this morning as we're sitting in the car line I dig it out and hand it over.

I cannot remember her words verbatim but it ranged from a very high squeal to just under a glass shattered yell.

"Oh, Papa, really, it's mine."

"Yes, Honey, all yours."


as she's jumping up and down in the truck seat....

"Papa, you mean I can keep it all my life?"

"Yes, Sweetheart, you may keep it for the rest of your life."

She then reached over and took my pen and turned to the inside page and wrote, 'I love Papa.'

I'm here to tell you, it took a great amount of self-control to not....well, you know.


Thanks & Welcome

To Bluesun. My friend I always reply to comments as soon as possible. I would have linked back to your blog but for some unknown reason your avatar doesn't have a link. So, do me a favor and leave the information, please, in a comment and I'll be more than happy to give you a shout out.

You are now among friends.

Again, thank you and welcome.


Wednesday, October 19, 2011


My friend Duke has part two of TEOTWAWKI posted over at his place...please, give it a read. Take notes while you're at it.


A Lesson Learned, the Hard Way

A gentleman came into the shop this morning; hang dog face and all. Asked what had happened. Said his truck and wife's car had been burglarized overnight. Bad enough that, but he'd had a habit of storing his personal carry piece and several other weapons inside said truck.

Guess what went missing.

Boys in blue arrive and smug the surfaces in a vain attempt to find prints. Of course they fail yet get a tip from neighbor lady and within hours find the two punks responsible for the damage and retrive the guns.

My customer is all happy and stuff. He smiles at the cops and ask when he may have his carry piece back...they laughed and said, "Soon."

"How soon," he asked. Their answer was after the trial. Months, perhaps.

Lock you trucks and cars after you remove your weapons. I should know. Several years ago I attended a rifle shoot. Arrived home very late at night. I was tired and in my stupid half-sleep stupor failed to remove my guns from my truck. Went to bed with all intentions of doing so the next morning. I used very poor judgment, thought, well hell I live in a nice neighborhood, well off the main roads, my precious cargo will be fine over night. See it coming, don't you.

I lost a Colt HBAR AR-15, a $1,500.00 rifle. I also lost a Springfield XD-45, another $600.00. Cops arrived, looked over the scene and told me whomever took my items knew me. They said it had to be someone of close personal acquaintance. Damn sure didn't make me feel any better, in fact my blood lust hit an all time high. I wanted to kill, something. All because I used poor personal judgement. At least my truck was locked and I was able to give the police serial numbers.

I asked why they thought the thief was a personal friend. Their reply was cannot see your truck from the road. They didn't steal magazines (loaded worth thirty five dollars each) or any of the other gear such as binoculars, spotting scope, armorer tools, filled ammo cans and other small items. Just the guns. Cops said one day they'd screw the pooch and try and sell or pawn the items. Sooner or later I hope to have my weapons returned. Until then, I'm watching you....waiting....make peace with your God while you have time, because if I find you with my rifle...may God bless your soul.

Lock your trucks....after you remove your guns.