Wednesday, October 18, 2006
When I got to my friend Don's house out in WY last week, I was quickly ushered to my room so I could unpack and freshen up. While I was looking around the room two things immediately caught my eye, well three really. The first was the balcony, off of which I remembered hearing Don tell me he liked to shoot; the next were a rifle and a shotgun leaning on the wall. One of these was a Marlin semi-auto rifle in .22LR. The other was a NEF 12 gauge single shot shotgun. I knew that somewhere along the way I would be shooting both. Of course I was right that I would shoot them both, but had I given it any thought, I would have figured on shooting the 12 gauge a bit more. One evening, while I was feeling bored to tears, or antsy, or just whatever, I told Don "excuse me, I have to do something" then I walked over too the sliding doors, opened the balcony doors, grabbed the shotgun. aimed in at the dirt below, and let off a blast. I needed that. What I did not need was having forgotten to put on a head set. Ouch, oh well - Don and I have heard our ears ring before - LOL. I did not bother with that toy again, if only because I did not readily see any rounds for it.
A few other times, I went to the balcony and fired off a number of .22LR from the Marlin. The rifle was scoped, as you can see, but it had not been sighted in for me. So, when I was shooting at some exploding targets I had picked up at a gun/pawn shop one day, I was missing badly. Well not badly, but certainly not making them go boom. When I finally got one, I came downstairs one afternoon to ask Don if he had heard it. He was on the phone and I think whomever he was speaking with had heard it too - whoops.
I guess by the third day I was there, Don and I went to Cabelas in Nebraska; the original store I think. A nice place but not as impressive as the one in Pennsylvania; still a good place to be for a couple of gun enthusiast buddies, even if we were there for about 4 hours. While I looked here and there at this and that, Don waited patiently for a friend who worked there to get some time for him. The friend had called Don about something’s Cabela's had gotten in stock that Don might like. So Don checked over a few revolvers, and it did not seem like he was interested enough to buy one. Then he checked out a Kimber in .45 Auto. I think Don began to salivate! I mean you tell me. is that nice or what. I thought it was pretty decent to great looking, and that coming from a Beretta fan. I could tell Don liked it a whole heck of a lot more than I did, even though I was liking it more and more as each minute went by. He wound up buying it for about $850 used. It had nary a mark on it, almost looked brand new. A good buy indeed, which I was soon to learn was about to get better.
You see Don had also had his eye on a Colt official Police revolver. As it wound up, Cabela's gives points for what you buy with their store Visa card. Don already had a good number of points built up from past purchases. He earned enough points for $85.00 worth of them by buying the Kimber. He had a certificate for $100 off. He then asked the guy who worked there a magic question: "Are you having a grand opening sale?" (you had to buy at least $500 in merchandise I think on your Cabela's visa card for this to be a magic question); and the next thing you know he was handed a certificate good as $150 in cash on his next purchase. With his points that would be credited by his next billing cycle, with the $100 certificate he already had, with the newly acquired certificate for $150, well he just put that Colt Official Police on lay-a-way. That way, when the next billing cycle on his Cabela’s Visa card rolled into town, he would be getting a free Colt Official Police. Not a bad deal.
I had brought Don some .45 ACP rounds, 100 of them, as a gift. Then after he bought that Kimber, we went across the road, where I bought him a box of 100 more rounds of .45 ACP, these were Remington .45 ACP 230 grain JHP. I got them at Wal-mart and they were about 6 or 7 dollars less expensive than at Cabela's for the exact same thing. When you shop you need to know prices. I had bought some ammo in .35 Remington that I knew was about $5 cheaper by the box at Cabela's than at Wally World. I also bought a pumpkin, a fairly good sized one, that I figured would make a nice jack-O-Lantern, after all it was October.
As you guessed by now, sooner or later we shot the Kimber. Don shot up some round to make sure it worked and I decided to wait. A few nights later, Don went out in the wee hours of the AM, him not being able to sleep, and he fired off a bunch of them. Some he fired right from his front porch and did not even wake me up!
The next day, I carved that pumpkin face. later on I told Don, "let's go shoot from the balcony", and he loaded up some Kimber mags. We had gone to JAX's Sporting Goods Fort Collins somewhere in the in-between, and Don had picked up some extra mags for it, though I supposed he already had enough .45 ACP mags around, he wanted new ones for this baby. Don fired off a mag full at the great Pumpkin, and I think hit it all 9 times. Yes he had bought Wilson Combat mags, 8 rounders, and also bought some sort of extension kit for his original Kimber mag. Then he let me fire it and I slammed it too, maybe missing once. It was about 30 or 35 yards away. As Don loaded up more mags, I checked to see he had his ears on, and I pulled out my Glock 19. I pretty much tore up Mr. Pumpkin Head, it seemed the 9mm rounds were doing more damage than the .45ACP. Then Don took more shots with the .45, and if I remember right we soon had it finished off between us into a pile of Pumpkin Pie ingredients 9just a figure of speech because I sure would not eat it, and I think neither would Don or his Kats).
Surprisingly enough, those 4 guns mentioned above are the only 4 I fired in the whole week out there. I never did light up the night sky, as I had planned, with a Mosan Nagant in 7.62x59R. Next time I guess.
All the best,
Lasting friends are ones who create a bond of friendship with you that overcomes many obstacles to friendship. Such friends are the ones who despite their own personal feeling about things, despite how their feelings disagree with your own, despite how both of you disagree on issues such as politics, religion, the weather, gun control, sports, hobbies, how to raise a child, whether or not to have children, abortion, crime and punishment, abortion, who will win the girl, how to spend time together as friends, how to bake a cake, how to climb a mountain, how to kill some time, what type of booze to drink, always wind up there to accept you as their friend.
I certainly am not the best at making friends, so when I make one I have tried to be a friend like that to my friends. While I never give it any conscious thought in developing a friendship, I guess I always have always thought, in the back of my mind, that anyone to whom I give my friendship in that way would do likewise to me. So it is always a pretty hard blow to bear when one, or more than one, wind up breaking that friendship over something truly inconsequential in the greater scheme of things. It hurts a lot.
At times when you lose a friend, either because of some disagreement through which you can not bear your friendship any longer, or because of separation due to moving away, or possibly due to death, well at those times you hurt. You have lost a part of yourself when you lose a friend. Recently I lost a couple of friends. When I look at it now, I am pretty certain they never shared the feeling of friendship I had toward them with like feelings of friendship toward me; maybe they did, but now I doubt it. Nonetheless I had considered them my friends if only through ignorance that they did not return the amenity to me, no that is not right - even had they been simply neutral on the subject I still would have held them as friends. I guess it did not matter much to me at the time if I considered them my friends and they considered me likewise. I sort of thought they might not, but nonetheless I offered my friendship to them; I certainly never thought they despised me. Now that they have cut me off, over one of those truly silly inconsequential things, maybe it is for the best; time will tell, though right now it does hurt.
With that loss, I thought about other friends of mine. I guess I was trying to seek solace of a sort in thoughts of others who have befriended me, or whom I have befriended, over the years. Some of them, I have not seen in years; yet I know they are still my friends. One called me a few months ago, one who I have not seen in probably over 15 years. He called to tell me he had retired and moved to Florida, and that I should get my ass down to his place for a fun stay. I have not yet taken him up on it, but you can bet I will. You may wonder why I have not seen in him in such a long time. Well I guess it was because he cut himself off from contact with me. No it was not over anything silly or inconsequential, nor was it over any serious consequential disagreement between us. He had cut himself off, even before I had last seen him, mainly because he had a problem with which he needed to cope. He was advised that his problem could best be coped with by changing his lifestyle drastically, so he did just that and he saw very little of his old friends over the many years to follow. He succeeded in changing his lifestyle. He settled down, and he has a wonderful family. Heck he even made it to retirement. He did all this while having to break away from dear friends. I understand completely, and I was never sore at him about it. Had he ever come to me I would have been there for him, and I would hope he would have been there for me. I am sure he would have as evidenced by his recent offer to me. Our friendship never died, I cannot believe it ever will.
I have other friend like that; ones who for some reason or another got separated from me, or I from them, but we remain friends. I see them somewhat more often than the one I mentioned above. It is nice to see the welcoming look in there eyes when they greet me. I recently visited one of those friends, he lives in Wyoming.
Don, that is his name of choice, is one of those friends that you rarely make in a lifetime. I don't mean that you rarely make good friends in a lifetime, I think some folks have few and some have many, but just about anyone can make several. What I mean about Don being a rare friend is that while Don and I do often see eye to eye, we also often rub each other the wrong way. Rubbing each other the wrong way is usually more likely to cause friction, and maybe even a nasty fiery relationship between folks than it is to wind up being a longtime bond of good, or really good, friendship. On top of Don being a friend, despite our the friction that sometimes come up between us, Don is not just a friend, he is one of my best friends. Our friendship is truly a treasure that I hold dearly.
I had seen Don, only once, in many years, since he was transferred to El Paso, TX. We had both worked the same job, he was my supervisor; and somewhere along the way we developed a friendship. I guess I should note it was pretty soon after meeting one another. Despite the fact that I often did not see eye to eye with my supervisors, including Don at times, we got along well. I do not often make friends at work, but when I do they are usually good ones. Don wound up among the best of friends. I don't know exactly why it is that we are such good friends. Sure we have some of the same likes and dislikes, but we are still very different about many things. I guess one of the major reasons we get along as well as we do is because of acceptance, and note I did not say tolerance. We are sometimes quite intolerant of each other, that is in both of our natures; yet no matter how intolerant we are of one another, no matter how much we can disagree on something, no matter how much we rub each other the wrong way, no matter how really angry we can get with one another, we always wind up remaining good friends with one another.
In fact, we are such good friends, that when I recently thought of visiting Don for the Christmas Holidays, he was right up for it. Within a day though it seemed my plans were to fail. I had second thoughts thinking about leaving my family for the holidays, even though I was pretty sure my wife would say okay, and my kids would live with it. Then I started to check air fares anyhow. It wound up that if I was to travel within a week, I would save over $250, or there about, in air fare. I contacted Don again, and he said he would be pleased to have me see him within a week. I knew that was short notice but if okay by him, I would go for it. I spoke to my wife and she put the Kibosh on it. Then hours later she recanted and told me to go for it saying: "You only live once". Within about 8 days, I was on a plane to Denver to visit Don. I flew to Denver, CO where he picked me up, then drove me to his place in WY.
Don's closest neighbors are several miles away, and in different directions from him. He virtually lives in the middle of the high plains or foothills of the Rockies. He lives with two cats. Don is not the greatest people person I know, though he gets along with some and grandly at that. I know he also winds up in fiery disputes with others who he has called friend. After some of those explosions, I guess he loses some of those whom he had thought were his friends. We have had a few of those encounters ourselves; it isn't as easy to shake me off, and Don knows it. We know we are one another’s' good friend. I spent a nice week with him at his place, and visiting the better gun shops within about 125 miles of his place. We shared some good German Beer, and quite a few others he had in his coffers, as well as sharing some really decent Scotch Whiskey. We also shared some good bull shit sessions about nothing to something. When Don dropped me off at the airport back in Denver at the end of my stay, he said he hoped I had enjoyed myself. I think there was some doubt in his mind that I had done so.
Heck the only thing I could have thought of to have had a better time would have been to have hiked out to the nearest big hill from his house for a day. That was not done because of some guy driving around out on the hills near his place. Maybe a hunter, maybe a whacko, so we stayed at his place and enjoyed some beers and a movie, and maybe some Scotch. He really liked the movies I picked up for him: The Fifth Element, From Dusk Till Dawn, Pulp Fiction. So I missed a hike, that is okay by me, more of an excuse to visit Don again, I will do it next time.
But I digress, so let me get back to the point, Don is one of my best friends. It is a true treasure to have friends like him, and it hurts like hell when you lose a friend like the other ones I recently lost. If you ever lose a friend, or worse yet, if you ever are rudely awakened to find out that those to whom you freely gave your friendship really only believed you to be no more than a rude bastard, whom they would tolerate so long as it was to their benefit, then just remember the good friends you have. You can always find sojourn and solace in them, even without them being there in person. Even if there is only one, that friend is enough to get you through hard times.
I thank all of those good friends of mine whom I have thought of over the past day, who have made my loss a thing easier to live with.
Keep hold of your good friends as you can, they are a treasure indeed, a treasure beyond compare.
All the best,
...is, in my opinion, even more dangerous than one in charge of another country. Yesterday I wrote about a person, whom I believe to be a true madman, in charge of nuclear weapons, Kim Jong Il of North Korea. My thoughts about him come down to one thing, he needs to be removed from power because he is extremely dangerous regarding the rest of the world and life as we know it.
Today though, I have another crazy person in my sights, well I think he is quite irrational anyhow, maybe even enough to be seen as crazy. This one is not an enemy afar, this one is, I believe, an enemy within; and he is, in my opinion, so crazy as to be blinded by his own good intentions (oh those twisted intentions of the mentally ill) not to realize he is an enemy of the USA. I am speaking of the man who was once our president, probably the least qualified to be president in my 51 years of life - Jimmy Carter. According to FoxNews.com, Carter has been blasting the Bush administration over the whole nuclear thing with North Korea, trying to say that the North Koreans having nuclear capabilities is all because of Bush's attitude toward North Korea. Where does this guy get off of his rocking horse, please let me know, because I want to be there when they put the white coat on him, the one with the wrap around sleeves. Yes I believe he has gone off of the deep end with those remarks, whether or not he is our former president. I might have a little more respect for his interpretation of things if I believed it was rational, which I do not.
Here is why I think the way I do. Here is a blurb from FoxNews.com @ http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,221918,00.html
"Former President Jimmy Carter said that an agreement he brokered 12 years ago for North Korea to halt nuclear weapons development is "in the wastebasket" since the Bush administration turned its back on the deal and labeled the isolated nation part of an "axis of evil.""
Furthermore FoxNews.co attributes this to Carter: (from the same linked article)
"He said that after President George W. Bush took office, "there was a rapid change in the attitude toward North Korea."
"Within a year, the entire framework was destroyed, and North Korea was branded a member of the axis of evil," he said."
Okay, so let's look at what Carter said, and let's see if this whole situation is blamable on George W. Bush and his policies, or if there could possibly be another culprit; let's see if carter is just Bush bashing at every opportunity because of the upcoming elections. And folks, try to remember I am no great fan of George W. Bush, I think him very lacking as our president, but do support some of his policies.
Carter says that his brokering of a peace agreement in 1994 led to relatively stable and peaceful times between us and North Korea. In actuality what that 1994 peace deal brokered was little more than appeasement of North Korea by the Clinton Administration, which was in the Whitehouse then. Since the end of the Korean conflict back in the 1950s, North Korea has been an avowed enemy of the USA and that is self avowed. They have had a state policy of hating us and our allies. They are a communist regime. Like most other communist regimes they are an abject failure. About the only fairly successful communist regime is Red China (yes I still call them Red China because they are commies). North Korea, on the other hand, is a failure manufacturing wise, a failure agriculturally (their people are just about starving), a failure in the international trade market, a failure in the political market (they are one of the most brutal dictatorships to come along in years). North Korea constantly pours a great majority of their wealth into its armed forces, now to include nuclear capability. Ex-president Jimmy carter would blame this all on George W. Bush because Bush called the North Koreans part of the axis of evil. Ooooh, that gets me so pissed off I want to build nukes too.
Jimmy is missing something. Jimmy is missing the history of North Korea being our avowed enemy. he was blinded by his desire to go down in history as the Peacemaker President. Doubt that then just look at his record. Because of his attempts at pandering Islamist extremists, much of this stuff started in the first place. Try to bear in mind that he was in charge during the first Islamist terrorist attacks against us. He set the pace so to speak. Yet, he would prefer to throw a blind eye in that direction. Okay, let's go with him on that and just stick to North Korea, another screw-up by him.
Here is another blurb from the same article that is an attempt to support Carter's claim:
"Between October 1994 and December 2002, no plutonium was produced in North Korea, said Marion Creekmore, author of the new book "A Moment of Crisis," about his 1994 trip with Carter and his wife, Rosalynn to Pyongyang."
Well we are rolling right along now with support for Jimmy's stance. I agree, there probably was no plutonium produced by North Korea in those years; but ask yourself: WHY NOT? Well part of the answer is they did not have the technology to do so, at least not until around that time of the 1994 agreement brokered by Carter. In fact, the North Koreans did not have nuclear capabilities of any sort until that 1994 agreement. They wanted to go to nuclear capability, and they used their lack of it as a bargaining chip. We were as close to war with North Korea in 1994 as we have been since the original Korean conflict ended in the 1950s. Even Carter agrees to that. So in order to appease North Korea, in order to make sure North Korea did not attack our allies in South Korea or in Japan, what did Jimmy Carter the peace broker, and the Clinton administration do? They agreed to give North Korea nuclear technology. Yes folks, they gave the North Koreans, our self avowed enemies, the ability to create nuclear power.
So guess what it was that the North Koreans set out to accomplish once they had this technology. If you guessed that they set out to create nuclear weapons, you win a prize, one that Carter was unable to win because he got the wrong answer. Now for anyone to say, hey North Korea did not have nuclear weapons grade plutonium (a product needed to make the bomb) is all factual; but they are leaving something out of the equation. What they are leaving out, is that once North Korea had nuclear technology, it took time for them to implement it to build nuclear power plants. Once they had those power plants they were a step closer, but they had to build them and it took time to build ones in which plutonium could be made. Then they had to figure out how to gear those plants to make plutonium, I wonder where they got the know how to do that. If it took time, maybe it was because they figured it out themselves over several years. Then they had to make weapons grade plutonium, not an easy task. It took them years to make a bunch of it, that is if we have guessed right as to how much they have. My estimate would be very conservative if only because the bomb they tested was very small; showing they do not want to waste what they have on hand.
What Jimmy Carter is saying though, is that it was only Bush calling them an axis of evil and changing US policy toward them that had them try to create nukes. This is preposterous. I contend that they were probably at it all along. Sure they made a big stink about starting up nuclear power plants a few years back, but my bet is they had never stopped their research into plutonium creation. Once they had it they used whatever excuse to start up the production of it. The key to the whole thing is that they never would have had this technology unless we had given them most of it; and now Carter wants to blame Bush! Amazing.
The truth is that before Bush called them an axis of evil, they were already starting up their war propaganda, and anti USA propaganda again. They had never backed down as a threat to Japan or South Korea, for example several missile tests over the sea of Japan and over South Korea, those long before the most recent ones, long before Bush. In fact it has been documented that they regularly supply missile technology to Syria, and Syria to terrorists. They also supply Iran with much of the same. So even if Bush called them part of an Axis of evil, he was not off the mark.
The thing is we need to wake up folks like those who admire Carter to see the light. They need to realize that North Korea is a threat to us no matter who is in power over here (unless maybe Kim Jong Il figures out how to be elected our president). They also need to realize that we need to act fast on this one, and decisively too. If you don't know what I mean, and you want to, read my rant from yesterday.
Guys like former president Jimmy Carter will never see it, his head is buried to far down in the sand counting peanuts. He means well, but so too did they who ignored Nazi and Japanese aggression prior to WWII. Let’s not get caught sleeping again. This time the giant may just get hit hard enough that he does not wake up.