Friday, January 31, 2014


For the last twenty hours or so I've been stationed, on and off, in the head. As a result I've had little sleep. I keep a bottle of Kaopectate tucked under my arm from which I gulp ever so often...water is my friend.

Lost a day at the shop.

Stupid donuts.


Thursday, January 30, 2014

Settled In

We've settled in for the evening. The fire, on this cold bitter evening, burns bright and she has her back to its warmth. Dinner was fine. My headache has vanished.

Here's a picture I just snapped of her and the prerequisite fire.

Even the cat slumbers.

Have a nice evening.


Let's Chat, Shall We

My father and my grandfather before him taught me a man's word should never be broken, and when a man shakes your hand on a deal, he's just given his word of honor and the deal is sealed.

A couple of hundred years ago a deal was sealed by both parties with spit in hand and a firm manly shake, and then as, Al Swearengen said in the movie, Deadwood, "I spit in my hand, will this give you the vapors...." it's too friggin late to back out and maintain your dignity. 

A few days back a fella came into the shop and asked if I'd like to purchase four firearms. Said he had problems and needed to raise a bit of quick cash. I took two, told him to take one home as it wasn't priced in my range, and the fourth I requested he leave overnight as I might know of a buyer. He agreed.

The fourth firearm was a Ruger Super Redhawk chambered in .454 Casull/.45 Colt. Nice handgun but not to my liking and his asking price was far out of my range - read, little margin for profit. I cannot afford to have cash tied to a piece that I know will sit and gather dust for months. So, I zipped out a text to Duke. 

This handgun, and trust me, its a fist full of manly boom-boom, isn't your everyday target pistol. Its primary purpose is hunting. Alaskans holster them for Grizzly protection. It isn't designed for normal tuck 'em under the shirt self-defense. When this baby is filled with the .454 Casull, her recoil will hurt the novice and make liberals in surrounding counties faint. She's a California democrat's worst nightmare. Now ease a few .45 Colt's down her gullet and she'll purr like a kitten. (The recoil is greatly reduced. Or, as a Fudd would say, "It don't kick so hard.")

Which lead me to believe Duke might like to ask her out for a dance.

Duke returned my call and said he'd love to hold her. He arrives and takes the nice little Redhawk and gives her stocks a squeeze. He shed a tear. They then whisper sweet nothings each to the other and he said if the seller lowers his asking price he'd take her home...but only because he hand rolls his own .45 Colt ammunition. I jump on the phone to the seller.

 As Duke sits and waits the seller and I chat about his price. He wants six hundred. Duke offers four. The seller balks. I'm the broker, the go, "Duke wants to know if you have ammo." The seller said yes he did but mostly .45 Colt with a partial box of .454 Casull. I explain his asking price is too high. Said if one were to add a hundred or so to the price a new in the box current model was but an order away.

Finally the seller counters with, "I'll take four-fifty, not a penny less." Duke replied, "Ask if he'll throw in the ammo, all the ammo. If so, we have a deal."

Over the phone I give the seller Duke's offer. The man said, "Yes." I tell Duke, "Yes." Verbal handshake. Done deal.

All parties agreed to meet here the next morning. I held and secured the weapon overnight. Duke went home with a smile on his face.

The next morning I placed the Super Redhawk on my desk and within an hour after I'd unlocked my front door Duke arrived. We waited. Waited some more. The seller finally called and said he'd be here within the hour. Still we waited. Soon the guy is an hour overdue. Overwhelmed with impatience,  Duke drives home. I held his funds.

Like a skunk from its winter den the seller calls, all sly like, "I'll be there soon." Nothing else. I quickly ring Duke and tell him to return. They arrive together and walk back to my office. When this man, the seller, by the name of Keith Nobody, walks into my office I instantly knew something was off, wrong, not good. He begins with, "I'm so sorry guys but I just can't do it. I can't sell at this price. The deal is off."

Without emotion Duke bends and takes his cash from me and places it into his pocket. The skunk takes the handgun and wisely retreats. I look at my friend and say how sorry I am about his man's lack of class. Duke smiled, ever the gentleman, and said it wasn't my fault.

Still. And, here I give my word to my friend. I'll never again purchase a firearm from this man. I don't care if the butthole starves to death.

I hope Duke remembered to wash his hands.



I'm Ninja

Here it is zero dark thirty and I'm at the shop. We have a cold rain and the temp set just a tenth above freeze your butt off. Don't you just hate it when a severe headache jerks you from deep sleep....yep, me too.

As a result she just phoned. "Where are you and by the way you've forgotten your gun." Explained I was fine and the black handgun on my bed table wasn't my carry piece. "Oh, why are you at work?"

Explained that too.

You see, I have the ability to slid from bed, shower, dress, and drive away without ruffling a single hair on her head. It's a unique gift.

I'm ninja that way.

We'll chat later.


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Out of It

Not feeling very well this evening so I'll write a long piece tomorrow. Tonight I need to rest.

In the morning I'll have a shot of coffee, perhaps a few hot donuts if my friend doesn't forget them, and then I'll write one of my very rare rants...I've a bone to pick with a fella.

And, thanks Mississippi. Didn't think I'd noticed, did you. 

Until then,

Stay warm and God bless.


Just to Brighten Pioneer Preppy's Day

We are all aware how our good friend from Missouri hasn't had a full nights sleep of late, what with all this Global Warming and its icy aftereffects. His nights have been occupied with stoking the furnace at two hour intervals followed by high doses of hot coffee. Which leads me to think perhaps he needs a bit of added energy.

What better than the rare and tasty elixir of the honey bee. To be more specific, Tupelo honey harvested fresh from the panhandle region of my home state of Florida. This rare bee produced sweetness has been proven to be the only honey to never, ever, crystallize.   

Please excuse my awful attempts at photography - I was in a rush.

A small teaspoon stirred into a cup of hot tea with a dash of cream, as they say, is good for what ails you.

Sip, ah, here's to you my friend, Pioneer Preppy, enjoy.


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

It's a Wrap

It's been a long tiring day. I walked into the house tonight to the smell of a nice dinner and a hug from my lovely wife.

Spent most of the morning on a nice multiple firearms deal. Problem was I had my friend, Duke underfoot sniffing around my business in a vain attempt to pick off the choice pieces. Maybe I'll feed him a bone tomorrow morning. Got a beautiful Ruger Red Hawk .454/.45 Colt late this afternoon. He'll bite.

 Picked up a nice little Rock River AR-15 today. Held it twenty minutes and resold it. Ah, well. Easy come....
It was a great deal.

Now, if you'll please excuse me it's time to read my newspaper and ease this slight headache. Have a great evening.


Rain, with a Sprinkle of Cash Investments

The garage door opened this morning to reveal rain. The current temperature of fifty-four is supposedly the high for today. I can live with this forecast.

Had a call yesterday from a fella said he's fallen on hard times. He's the self employed type, like me and needs quick cash. Asked if I could help. Said sure and he's agreed to drop off his small collection of firearms today.

Only reason I'm telling 'ya is he said one of the items is an old Ruger Mark I....

If it meets conditional requirements I will purchase the baby for my personal collection. I'll probably change my mind in a few weeks and sell it but for now she'll be mine. The other firearms in his collection will step out the door sometime this week. I've orders for all, based on condition. The owners prices are just too good. Investments, don't 'ya know, instant cash - firearms.

And, don't you forget it.


Monday, January 27, 2014

Don't Tinkle

Please don't tinkle in your panties if you notice my profile picture has changed. It has been suggested my old picture of the Gadsden Flag turns certain people off. Said those with weak constitutions might even fear me. Just goes to show most Americans have very little knowledge of their history.

So, if you check out your follower list and find my old Gadsden Flag missing do not cry...see the tiny picture of a man's back...that's me. I'm 'pulling a Brigid....'

('Pulling a Brigid' is now copyrighted.)

Wish I'd fixed my shirt before she took this picture.

Anyway, there you have it.


Chicken Fried Rice

I think this will be tomorrows dinner.

Recipe, here. Wouldn't mind adding that Le Creuset pan to my collection too.


Monday, and a Tale of a Critter

I hate Monday....I mean truly hate it. Today, Monday, is my day off yet here I am at work. Even the weather sucks. Its sunny and hot, close to fifty-seven degrees.

I've had one customer, so I'm bored. My current read can't hold my interest, so I've taken out my carry piece and have it field stripped for a good clean and scrub. This morning I switched my carry from the Para .45 to a Glock 27 in .40 with its small of the back Galco. I'm weird this way...but I believe it a good practice to switch out your carry pieces now and again if for nothing else to familiarize yourself with all your safe-queens.

My hands smell of Break Free. Keyboard is sticky. Rambling, aren't I.

Just finished a long conversation with an old friend of mine. He's a retired Birmingham homicide detective. Nice fella, older at seventy-six with a head of pure white hair. Not in bad shape for a senior citizen and makes for a fine back-up in sticky situations. I've proof of his grit.

Last September he was here in the shop along with another friend of mine, Pirate Jim, when a critter (democrat) stuck his head in my door demanding cash. Long story short, within seconds the critter had three handguns pointed at his nose, and I, in a very loud voice, suggested he (the critter) should leave my property if he wanted to live. (I make light of the situation now, but trust me, at the time it was kinda intense.) Now, here's the funny part. After we drew our weapons, all in condition one, and had clear fire on said critter, the critter looked me straight in the face and said, "Well, ya'll be gots guns, huh. Well, mothafuck*rs, so do I."

The critter then proceeds to lift his shirt tail and takes a black semi-auto democritter brand piece from his pants. The handgun had been wrapped with black electrical tape. Extended magazine stuck out of the grip. I, as calm as possible, suggested if he lifted or moved the firearm, I'd kill him dead right there....I meant it.

Then, and I swear to our Lord, the idiot said, "Hey, motherfuck*r, mine be loaded."

Really, he said that....

The critter's eyes were jittery, so I suppose he was as high as a kite. Anyway, here this dumbass was with three handguns pointed at him; my old friend the retired cop with a fine vintage .38 wheel gun, and Pirate Jim with his little carry piece and me with a Beretta 92FS, and he still insisted I give him cash.

I had locked my vision on his hands and had my trigger finger firmly snug. In as loud of a voice as I could possibly generate told him in no uncertain terms if he moved his hands I'd shoot. The old cop gently waggled his piece, Pirate Jim the same....we were seconds from gunfire when I yelled, "Look around you, dumbass. (Paraphrasing here.) If you move you are dead."

The critter did take a moment to look around. He cut his eyes right and left then ever so slowly returned his gang piece back into his pants and stepped back. He reached to open the door. Just as his hand closed on the doorknob he decided he had to 'get back his respect,' and said, "Hey, motherfuck*r, you gots to be closed sometime tonight." I don't really remember what I replied but the old cop said I told him I'd be right here if he wanted to return. Whew....

Now I'm gonna be honest with you, my friends. I did not want to shoot the critter. As a matter of fact, like I've mentioned, I must have thanked the good Lord Jesus a hundred times on the drive home. I'm aware many of you would have fired. I understand. I had every legal right to put this man down but held fire. (I was later told by two U. S. marshals, friends and longtime customers of mine, I should have done them a favor and shot the sucker, but they understood why I held back. They also said if I'd of called the local police it would have been a waste of my time. I agreed on that point.)  They asked me for a description of the critter and I gave it over. Asked why and they said they'd find the sucker if it took 'em a year. I believe them. Dwayne and Mike are my kinda people. track. Anyway.

Try if possible to imagine the rest of my evening if I had indeed put the critter on the ground. My group was due any moment for our monthly meeting - can you picture a load of cops as they stroll into my business and find several armed men and a dead body taking space on my shop floor...yeah, neither can I.

If I'd indeed killed the critter, the police would have found a dead body covered in blood on my nice carpet, which instantly requires them confiscate my carry piece. Then we'd have television coverage (Oh, that would have been wonderful for business.) then, me, taken into custody for a question and answer session with a night in a holding cell. Yeah, right. Think Zimmerman.

I'd like to believe it was my age, compassion, and maturity (chuckle) that saved this young man's life. He was lucky. If he had moved his hand I would have fired. This morning my old cop friend said he was surprised I didn't drop the man. Then, he said, "But Stephen, you did the right thing."

So please remember the unintended consequences the next time you find yourself about to pull the trigger on your firearm. Sure, I would have walked, after all we have Stand Your Ground here in Florida, but my actions would have haunted me for the rest of my life. Do protect yourself. Do take the shot if you feel your life is in danger....but take a moment (Trust me, a zillion thoughts will cross your mind as you pull your weapon.) and think about what happens one second after.

By the grace of God I've escaped three such encounters over the last few years. I'd like to think an angel rides my shoulder.

Take care.


Sunday, January 26, 2014

Ramblings on Food

Our old cat is sound asleep in the wife's chair. She's old, I'd guess her age, since we really don't know for sure, at about twelve. Her name is Patches, named thus by the wife for the white spots on her front legs.

We both love our old cat. She has made a fine lap warmer over the years, but here's the thing - the wife believes I accepted this bundle of fur into our home as a pet - nope. An explanation, and confession is required.

As a survivalist I look upon her as a potential meal, if a tough chew, when and if necessary. Otherwise why keep critters about the house. They're expensive. Our old cat only eats certain canned food and the stuff isn't cheap. I'm sure my good friend, Harry understands. He has all those ferrets, cats and dogs underfoot for a reason don't 'ya know. He may balk and give long explanations about companionship and protection, but I know he has long range plans for his oven and griddle when desperate times arrive.

Dog makes for a fine meal. Bit greasy, but tasty none the less. Just an FYI.

Like I said, our cat is old. I've tried to keep her weight stabilized at around ten or so pounds which should yield a dressed out parcel of six or so pounds of fresh meat when the poop hits the fan and my grill is hot and oiled for the feline bar-b-que. So, here's my quandary...should I expedite the field dressing, grill, then search for a fresher cut of cat. You decide.

Kittens are cheaper by the dozen...


Pray tell what do you folks do with beet tops, greens? Yesterday I did a wee bit of shopping and came home with a two bundles of beets. My friend Duke's mother was nice enough to share her beet recipe with me and I'd like to give it a try today. Thing is those beet tops look awful tasty. Never in my life have I utilized beet greens. Oh, and a lamb roast....give those over too.

So, help me out here and I'll reciprocate with my house cat recipe.


My mind is locked firmly on food this morning...perhaps I should shut this computer down and eat breakfast. I just spotted the neighbors poodle, and poodle, I understand, makes for a fine quiche.

Although I recommend a good twenty-four hour salt water soak prior to preparation.

Trust me on this.


Saturday, January 25, 2014

Friday, January 24, 2014

Pinto Beans and Sausage

This cold weather is perfect for a huge mess of pinto beans and sausage. Cornbread with same is a given, I mean, duh.

I'm sure we all have our own recipe for this simple dish, but you haven't try,

This one.

And for goodness sake, try and find a good sausage.



Thursday, January 23, 2014

Just for Little Bit

It is with considerable difficulty I write this piece. Yet, it's time. Bare with me.

Allow me please to step back in time. Years ago I decided to carry a piece of silver in my pocket. Silver, in whatever form, has been my luck, always.

A few months back, early of a morning, as I went about the routine of pants rotation, as is a man's way, I removed all the bits and pieces from my trouser pockets. Off came the belt, out came the Benchmade, the Surefire, all the loose change, wallet, and well you get the picture. Among these items was my 1880 Morgan silver dollar. (Remember I recently mentioned it.)

For some odd reason I placed it on my bedside table where it was forgotten. I had set aside my luck. Sadly, too, my luck forgot about me. Perhaps my subconscious substituted my silly dependance upon luck to the vintage silver bracelet and Navajo ring I wear daily. Anyway my luck didn't hold. Shortly afterwards my heart was taken from our lives.

Late last year, a few days prior to Christmas, I was piddling in the bedroom in search for something or the other when I brushed aside a loose piece of paper and found my Morgan. I gave it a flip and absently returned the old coin to my pocket. My luck came home.

To those long time followers of this blog you well know my dear wife hasn't seen, nor heard, and certainly hasn't held our grandchildren in almost two years. I'll not repeat the details of how they were ripped from our lives. If you have half a heart you truly understand the sorrow and pain.

She's prayed. Hard. I'm certain her pattela has formed a deep hard callus.

I'll always give credit where due. Certainly our dear Lord heard her prayers but I'd like to believe my old shiny and worn coin, the token of my superstitious luck, played a small part of what I'm about to relate to you.

My lovely wife spent hours in the selection of Christmas gifts for grandchildren she was certain she'd never again visit or allowed her love's expression. Even denied the pleasure of personal delivery of these Christmas gifts she spent hours at our kitchen table and wrapped the boxes with love and care. Out of her sight I'd stand silent and watch as she carefully dressed each gift. Sadly her labor fueled my quiet anger.

As deeply as she felt personal hurt and pain I was the same but with anger.Time developed within me a cold heart of stone. Prayer seldom if ever escaped my lips. I was yin to my wife's yang. I wished to hurt. They, had taken my love, my Little Bit. They, had refused to allow us to know and love our grandson. Many an hour I had sat and caressed my chosen tool of punishment. Wisdom held. Patience is a virtue.

(I guess by now you understand why this is difficult for me, this glance into my soul.)

Then came the eve of Christmas.

She asked if I'd attend the candle light service at her church. Her request came tender with big sad eyes. She knows me well. I am not of her faith but I do respect and believe in Him.

Allow me please another step back. Without the grandchildren in our lives we had settled into a comfortable routine, our daily lives became fairly normal in their absence. As husband and wife our love and respect for each the other grew. When the calendar flipped to December we agreed, silently, to place a hold on Christmas festivities. For the first time since I'd left the service of my country I did not purchase nor decorate a Christmas tree. Outside lights were banned. It was business as normal. After all, other than the birth of our Lord, we had nothing to celebrate. They were absent.

The holidays were, for us, dark and filled with depression. Any hope of a surprise visit from grandchildren was completely out of the question. With this in mind and with my knowledge of her depression I agreed to attend the candle light service. The peace of it was welcomed, and I do tend towards periods of moodiness and to see her smile and laugh would surely dispel my dulled anger.

Along towards sunset on Christmas Eve we loaded the children's gifts. As I drove towards church she said we should wait until after the service to deliver the presents. I absently reached into my pocket and touched the old silver coin, and said, "Let's do it before the service." She agreed. Just like that....

Luck and prayer took hold.

If we'd arrived a minute later we'd have missed them. My son had just, seconds prior to our arrival, returned home from work. He stood in the middle of his driveway and his wife was bent at the back door of her car securing our grandson into his car seat. Our son put on a face not unfamiliar to a deer caught in the hunter's headlight. Sweet Wife asked, "Now what?"  

"Be still and wait," I said.

I stepped from our car and opened the rear and took a armload of gifts and turned towards him and said, "Merry Christmas." He stood gap-mouthed. Then, I glanced over and there sat my Little Bit. She was in the back seat of her step-mother's car. She'd twisted around with only her big brown eyes visible and waved frantically. I waved back.

Sweet Wife appeared at my side and to our surprise and shock our daughter-in-law (She, the one person responsible for all this turmoil.) approached and threw a hug on Sweet Wife. Tears streamed down her face. Then Sweet Wife's dam of sorrow broke and there stood two women in a hard hug and then I felt my heart wrap her arms around my waist. So long, it had been so very long.

Little Bit released me and went to her Nana and gave her grandmother the first hug and kiss either had had in almost two years. My son still had not said a word. He had not moved. Our daughter-in-law then gave permission for us to visit our grand-son, Sport Model. She reached and took us both in her arms, an embrace that so shocked me I didn't know how to react. Then she said, "It isn't right for a family to go so long without speaking to each other."

As Little Bit held my hand we walked to their car and bent to visit our grandson. The little fella looked at me and pointed towards my face. Sweet Wife gave him a kiss and hug and then he pointed at his shoes, turned to her, and spoke the very first word ever uttered in her presence....he said, "Spiderman."

Every second or two I'd bend and give Little Bit kisses. I whispered over and over how much we loved and missed her. She's grown tall and thin. She seemed to me a frail and tiny bundle yet her pretty brown eyes flickered with joy. My last words to her, "You are the light of my life," I pray she remembers.  

Then it was over. They too were to attend a candle light service at their church. Then came another shock. Just before we departed my son shook my hand, hugged me and said, "I'm sorry about all this, Dad."  I replied, "Me too."

I extended a welcome for a visit. Told him we'd be home all of Christmas day. They were invited anytime even if for just a few minutes. He smiled and said, "Maybe."

On our drive to the candle light service Sweet Wife repeated, over and over, "Thank you, Jesus, oh thank you." Her face was a study in tears and joy.

Later, the lights dimmed and hundreds of candles flickered, held high, and I smiled. It was beautiful.

They say God works in mysterious ways. I'm but a mere mortal man so my thoughts on the subject of His actions are not important and still a mystery to me. Perhaps it was my new found coin of luck, or the Good Lord himself, or a combination of both, either way a crack has appeared in the dam, and my wish is for this flaw to deepen and grow and allow our family once again unity, and love.

Until that day we wait. Since the eve of Christmas we haven't a word.

(I post this piece without the effort of edit. Please forgive me any mistakes.)



Thanks, and Welcome Aboard

Two new followers have joined the cast and crew of my humble blog. Here's a big thanks and welcome to Angela Lee and The Daily Smug. I'm sure many of you read The Daily Smug if not its linked on my sidebar.

Angela I promise to reply to all the best of my ability.

Again, thank you and welcome. Pull out a chair and let's have a cup. You are now among friends.


Wednesday, January 22, 2014


Tommy walks. He strolls from one end of this city to the other and back again, and this city is large. He's tireless. Tommy is short, stocky, and was put on this earth about sixty years ago. Today his dress is of vintage Levi jeans, with well worn jacket and a wool watch cap. From the moment he walks thru the shop door he talks a mile a minute.

"Stephen what 'ya got for sale I want a twenty-two rifle and a pistol and ammo too if 'ya got it where's your list of stuff for sale 'cause I want a gun and I really want a rifle for hog hunting and I need that pistol the last one you sold me my son took it home and didn't even ask me for permission....." Like that.

Tommy has lung power.

This morning, "Stephen I really need a twenty-two." I reach into the cabinet and grab a Marlin model 60 dressed with a cheap Tasco and hand it to him. It barely touches his hand when he said, "I'll take it."

Me, "Want to know the price?"

"How much?" I smiled at him. He's a figure in fidgety. Dances from one foot to the other. Reaches for a coffee cup and pours six sacks of sweetener into the brew, bounces towards the head and closes the door but continues his conversation over the sound of his tinkle, "I don't care the price but you know me I've always felt you're fair and I like you and you know me too. So how much is it?"

"For you, Tommy, one hundred dollars." It's a pretty little rifle, darn near new.

He shakes, washes his hands and steps back into my office. His brown line etched face a study in thought. Tommy scratches his butt and leans forward and taps me on the shoulder with, "Stephen I just gotta have another pistol, I mean I really need me a good pistol and a holster too if'en you gots one. You gots one, Stephen, a pistol?"

What he means is - have I one in stock cheap enough. Tommy doesn't work. He rides the government handicap system. Don't ask.

"Sure, Tommy," I reach for the pistol. "How's about this one." The handgun is a revolver, vintage, probably built back in the thirties. She's a .32-20. Nice old firearm. I give it over and Tommy snatches the pistol like a long lost lover and immediately tucks it into his jeans. Then, "Yes sir're this'n is fine and it feels good tucked under my sweater. I'll take it."

He sips a bit of coffee. I wait. He waits.

The phone rings. While I'm tied to it Tommy plays with the pistol. He twirls it, slips into a back pocket, swings out the cylinder and glances inside, snaps it back into place and aims out the back window. I replace the phone and said, "Want to know the price?"

"Sure. But, it don't matter 'cause I wants it." Really, this is Tommy speech.

I gave him a price. Even at Tommy's deep discount I'd normally stand to make a fine profit. I'm always careful with my 'Tommy prices.' He's special and if I give him any price above a hundred dollars he reacts as if bitten by a snake. Then, "You serious. That all. Hell yeah, I'll take it. Sold." He dances a bit and fist pumps. His little display of joy made my morning.

"Tommy, what are your plans for the handgun?"

"Hogs. I'm gonna shot me a hog. My friend Elmer and me is gonna have a hog roast up there in Callahan and we're gonna eat like pigs." I laughed and told him a story of a fella I knew that stood guard over a fire and pig for most of a long night. The next day when it came time to carve the pig the center was raw. Tommy near peed himself with laughter. "Well, when we roast a hog that sucker stays roasted. I bet that feller was a city boy."

He was.

I set a box of ammunition for the handgun on my desk and we agreed on its price too. You don't just run to the local Wal-Mart for .32-20. He again dances for joy. Then, "Hey, Stephen, listen here. Can you hold these for me until the third of next month when my government check goes into my bank? Ugh, can you? You know me, Stephen. I'm good for it. I really am. You know me, now don't 'ya.?"

Yes. I know Tommy. We've had this song and dance hundreds of times. I'll take the time to write out a slip for him with a total and the date of purchase and promise to hold the firearms just for him. Then, I'll shake his hand and place the items back into the cabinet and walk him towards the door. He'll hand me his empty coffee cup and then Tommy will always reach and give me a big hug. He's a sweet man that way.

The third of next month will come and depart and Tommy and his money will never arrive. Which is fine.

Tommy will be happy as he strolls the streets of this city with visions and dreams of his new firearms. His thoughts will be filled with a far away hog hunt with his imaginary friend. I sincerely hope he walks with a smile.


Nah, Tell Me It Isn't So

The Great Recession is over, or so they tell us.

Don't believe the happy talk coming out of the White House, Federal Reserve and Treasury Department when it comes to the real unemployment rate and the true “Misery Index.” Because, according to an influential Wall Street advisor, the figures are a fraud.


Save your pennies, folks. The road ahead isn't smoothly paved with gold.


Cold Morning Coffee

Sorry I didn't write yesterday. Between yard work and my business and this and that my life is, at the moment, hectic. As it stands today seems like a repeat. I feel like an old dog in the endless chase of its tail.

Our weather has turned cold. My old floppy and worn thermometer reads thirty degrees. Wind chill is down there a ways....

Please forgive me if I've failed to leave a comment at your blogs. Trust me, I read. I just haven't the time, of yet, to finish my rounds. So many good blogs and me with only twenty four hours in a day.

Today I poured my first morning cup of coffee just after I unlocked the shops door. Placed it on my desk and when I returned the cup and liquid inside were slap-assed cold. Tried again. Distraction took place. Customers like to talk. Went in search of my second cup. Cold. I sat and drank the third. I'm mean without caffeine.


Had a silver expert come into the shop yesterday. I know he was a silver expert because he told me. Said he was now to be considered the guru of all things shiny and silver and the 'go to' guy for advice on investments in the slick and wonderful metal. I asked how he gained such a formidable education as I knew him as a real estate salesman.

He puffed his chest and said he'd taken a three week crash course on silver and silver investments and did I have any questions as he was standing by to give his wondrous advice. I replied, "No, I've piddled with silver for over thirty years, kinda hit and miss, but thanks."

"Well," He said, "I'm an expert."

I reached into my pocket, easy and casual like, and took out a coin, placed it in his hand, and asked, "Think this is worth collecting?"

With barely a second glance he said, "Nah, these old silver rounds aren't worth much."  I smiled, took back my 1880 Morgan dollar and told him to have a great day.

It wasn't worth it....



Monday, January 20, 2014

Turf Fire

Our Irish peat briquettes arrived today. We have six in the fireplace and they burn nicely with a sweet scent. Brings back nice memories. I lit the fire with a few sticks of Southern fatwood. You need a good solid base of coals on which you pyramid four to six blocks of turf.

Ireland Earth ships the turf in twenty-five pounds boxes.



Sunday, January 19, 2014

Bits & Pieces

I recently mentioned to Sweet Wife I needed a haircut. It was either slice it off or find a ponytail holder. I checked and my last cut was just prior to Independence Day. She agreed.

Today it took place.

After the hair trim we drove over to a new place, Freshfield Farms. They trade in fresh locally grown  produce and meats. Most organic, or so they claim. The place was cold, meat locker cold. We'd barely stepped inside the store when Sweet Wife said, "Let's go."

I quickly grabbed a nice slab of pork short ribs, a few bell peppers, and a bunch of tiny sweet bananas before she ran for the parking lot. The girl hates cold.

Back at the house, after we stepped inside, she snapped the above picture of my new hairline. She's proud of the fact my neck is again visible. She cut my hair. The lady has talent.


The gumbo simmers. Took me an hour to build the sucker. Butchered the squirrels and browned 'em in bacon drippings. She slipped alongside as I stirred the rue and said she was pretty sure she'd found a piece of squirrel hair on one of the finished pieces. Told her not to worry, squirrel hair tasted fine fried. Gives flavor to the finished product.

Prior to our marriage the poor girl had never eaten wild game. Her family hunts at Publix and Winn-Dixie.


Early tomorrow morning I need to climb on the roof and give it a good cleaning. The winds have made a mess of the house and yard. Then I'll give the yard a quick cut, blow clean the walkway and drive ....should only take most of the morning if I get started prior to sunrise. If the day leaves me free a few hours I'll drive to work and open the shop. After all, I've democrats to support through my continued payments into the friggin tax system. Six day work weeks are the norm around here.

If you believe this governments line of bullcrap about an improvement in the economy you've got your head stuck in a ditch. Sure, maybe in scattered patches of New England or Bumtussel, Alabama - but not here. On my five mile drive to work I'm able to count several hundred closed businesses, more 'for rent' or 'for sale' or 'lease to own' signs than angels in Heaven.

Here in my neighborhood there is a house but one from mine. Its on a nice piece of riverfront with a boat dock and small guest house. Its been on the market for three years. The price for this nice home has dropped from one point two million to a take it away price of (if my memory serves) four hundred thousand. God bless America.

Strange, but I've yet to meet anyone willing to admit they voted for Obama. Or, at least now....


Nothing About Nothing

She's at church and I'm sitting here twiddling my toes with the Sunday morning paper read and tossed aside. I need to climb in the shower and dress as we've plans to hit a new local fresh market. I want a mess of beets, just because, and other ingredients for a gumbo I plan to build this afternoon, maybe a few cuts of meat too. 

Sometime today I need to address the issue of accounts which should be loads of fun. I place the payment of bills on par with a toothache.

But, you know, for now I think I'll just pour another cup and read blogs for a while....I warned you, this post is nothing about nothing.

The cat wants out.



Saturday, January 18, 2014

Pitter Patter

One cold windy Saturday afternoon the two of us were settled snugly with books and soft music, quiet, other than an occasional snap and crackle from the fireplace. I was deep in a biography of Hetty Green and Sweet Wife her Sunday school lesson.

I was content. Well as content as could be with the constant pitter patter of friggin squirrels at a dead gallop back and forth over our roof in their ceaseless fight over mates - breeding season, don't 'ya know....

Bounce, bang, flutter. Smack, another acorn. I'd listen as the nut gathered speed and rolled into the gutter with a tinny ping. Back to book. Repeat.

Me, "I've about had it with the darn squirrels."

"Oh, I think they're beautiful. It's just their play time." Typical, from her.

I tried, I really did try to ignore them. Pretended the squirrel antics nothing more than a minor distraction from my book. Ever so often she'd glance in my direction, with the look - as if to say, mind yourself, boy.

Bam, scamper, squeak, flutter....over and over and over. I threw the book aside and rose and walked straight into our office and grabbed my little pump Rossi. Back in the family room I went for the French doors that give to the deck...."Stephen." Like that. Just, "Stephen." All stern like, voice of authority. A rebuke.



"No, what?"

My Sweet Wife said, "You - Will - Not - Harm - Those - Wonderful - Creatures - of - God."

I stepped outside and shot five within thirty seconds.....hand on Bible. The tree was loaded with furry fat little pieces of tasty meat. Five shots, five down. Flipped out my pocket knife and field dressed those tasty little suckers quicker than you can wink.

She didn't speak to me for an hour.

I had a nice quiet evening, with Hetty.


Friday, January 17, 2014

Meat On A Stick

I have a hankering for a tasty well done chuck of meat on a stick. This meat must be self-cooked over an open campfire and I want this chunk of flesh to taste of oak with undertones of winter cold and just a hint of cold river kissed wind.

If the flavor lingers well into the night I'd be well satisfied. An evening of laughter, jokes, friendly back slaps, and if I'm lucky, gunfire by flashlight. Then, coffee and pastry accompanied by the haunting yelps of coyotes.

Has anyone a match...


Fix It

Glance towards the top of this page - do you see the Navbar? Neither do I. So, how in the name of all that's Holy do I replace it? I like the ability and ease of just reaching and clicking on the New Post button. Instead I'm forced to open a new window in Dashboard.

It's a pain. So, all you geeks out there, take a sip of your morning coffee and please forward your vast knowledge and help me correct this oversight of Blogger.


Refreshments and targets await....


Thursday, January 16, 2014

For the Scent of It

A few nights past I built our evening fire of oak and hickory. The wife and cat took their usual places on the hearth and fried their backsides close to well done.

I mentioned I enjoyed the warm brambly smell of the wood but preferred the scent of real Irish peat, or as they say in Ireland, turf. My lovely wife said, "I've never had the pleasure." I sipped my tea and gave it some thought. Were does one find real cut from the earth Irish peat....

Amazon, of course. It is possible to order directly from Irish suppliers, but at a very high cost. I've taken the frugal path.

My order should arrive in a few days. It's been forty years since I've had the sweet scent of Ireland surround me, and that was in Scotland.

I hope she enjoys the experience.


Bits & Pieces

There is a nice chill in the air and the sun is bright and the live oaks dance with the mornings breeze. I love it.

On last evenings forecast the weather critter made a comment of possible snow flurries in the early hours of today. Sweet Wife turns to me and in a voice filled with little girl wonderment said, "Oh, I'd love to see snow." She's girly that way...

I smiled, replied, "It'll never happen. Besides, you'd need to wake awful early."

"Then wake me."

So this morning after my shower I sneaked a peek outside. Noted the temp. It was kinda dark so any trace of tiny ice particles were impossible to find. I turned back towards the bed and gently traced a finger down the side of her face. I gently bent and placed a soft kiss to my lovely wife's forehead and said, "Honey, come on or you'll miss the snow." 

She moaned, shifted slightly and softly said, "Leave me alone or I'll smash your face with the stupid alarm clock."


Had all the guys over to the shop last night. Well, almost all of them. Couple of our friends wussied out and stayed home under their wives protection. Senior arrived with a new AR build, a pistol version of high quality. Pirate Jim flipped out his new movie carry piece, a five shot .38 by Ruger. The little sucker was as light as a feather. (BTW, when ever you attend a theater pack heat, shut down your cell phone, and for goodness sake mind your manners. Here in the deep South rules are important, otherwise you're likely to find yourself with a pistol stuck in your nose. If you don't believe me just read the Tampa newspaper.)

Now, where did I leave off....oh, Duke arrived early and we sat and chatted about all things food related. I like to cook and he loves to eat. I still need his mother's fresh beet recipe.We spent a pleasant hour in quiet conversation. All of us had hoped we'd have another drive-by. I noticed the guys frequently checked their handgun loads. Senior smacked home a full magazine, Pirate Jim, ever so often, would spin the cylinder on his little Ruger and I made sure my Para was close to hand. Duke pulled and laid several handguns within easy reach.

The boogers failed us. Maybe next month.


Guess who I was able to hug for just a few minutes early Christmas Eve?

I'll tell you all about it...



Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Baby Steps

I shall ease back into this blog with baby steps.

Kymber, yes, it arrived and thank you very much.

Isn't the passage of kidney stones one of life's defining moments.

Think, floor in a fetal position begging for death. Sadly today I feel the second on its way, asking for birth.


Two days ago a carload of democritters did a 'drive-by.' Eight shots. Three down. I have one of their spent nine mils in my pocket. I retrieved it from the side of my shop. No, they were too fast for me to get off a shot. Trust me, I tried.

One of these days....


I've missed you guys.