For Edichka, who asked

What is it that I like about guns? Nothing specific. Good gear is good gear. It’s no more about the guns than dancing is about shoes, or dutiful service is about collecting ribbons on your blouse. My dad inherited three rifles and four shotguns from his father. Grandpa was a longtime hunter and fisherman in … [more]

Band Aid

If you’re new around here, you may want to read this first: Context is where you find it, but sometimes a guide is useful.     Twenty-two years ago, I bought a black armband. It was a ridiculous frilly thing, a garter actually. Every 17th of January, I wore it above my left elbow. People … [more]

Stop shooting at my flag

Y’know, it’s just not that damned complicated. If someone wants to smoke pot — or nutmeg, or botanical orchid paste, or Cuban cigars — go ahead and let them, because that grass? Not your lawn. If someone wants to rub their bits on someone of whom you don’t approve, so what? They’re not your bits, … [more]

One for the twins

It’s just a little thing, passed around and loaned down the years. Once upon a time, it belonged to a boy. His dad was Chuck and his mom was Susan. Chuck is a Vietnam vet and Susan has been his sweetheart since seventh grade. In their garage sleeps an R60 BMW. Chuck inherited it from … [more]

When borrowing a man’s truck…

…or a woman’s, since ours more than ceremonially belongs to Pretty Wife, here are a few things to keep in mind: When you swing by to pick it up for your apartment move or latest oversized Craigslist acquisition, you won’t find much gas in the tank. If you know something about non-current models, you might … [more]

Greatest Grand

Born in 1893, she was the eldest. Eldest sons assumed their family’s fortunes — however plush or mean they may be — but an eldest daughter assumed only responsibility, even if she grew up in a town bearing her surname on its sign. She left school after the eighth grade, discarding academic promise in favor … [more]

Things men should know

For my stepson, on the imminent occasion of his moving out into the world: Here are a few things that men told me when I was young (and which I ignored), beside a few that I had to learn on my own (several times, in most cases). No matter who you are, or what you … [more]

Dialing 9-1-1

Some of us are tired of rehashing September 11, 2001.  “It’s been more than a decade,” some say, “why can’t you just let it go?” There are, after all, so many things to be concerned about.  People die every day, and in a country of nearly 300 million souls, even the death of 3,000 at … [more]