No one ever buys a dog

…nor do you get one as a gift. Dogs aren’t slaves or property. You earn dogs, the way you earn children: by cleaning up their poo; by never giving up on them; by firm corrections; by loving forgiveness when you know damn well they knew better; by playing with them anyway when you’re just too … [more]

Nut ‘n’ Honey

“Wanna walk up to the post office with me?” “No. I hate walking to get mail. It takes like forty minutes, and nothing gets done,” Pretty Wife said. “It makes me crazy.” “OK.” Couldn’t blame the lass. I tore a little cartilage in my right knee about a month ago, playing at Aikido with people … [more]

Eight tickets to Hell in a handbasket

Just to rub a clear spot in the nacre, let me put it out there: I loathe public transportation in all its forms (except the ferry, and even then I go stand out in the wind, alone). Strangers are untrustworthy, but I can relate to them on a few-at-a-time basis. Crowds, on the other hand, … [more]

Corporate Benfeasance

Some years before I met Pretty Wife, she was gifted with a mighty fine spade by her excellent mother, who is a gardening dynamo of distinguished taste. Even several years later, it remains a lovely thing with the kind of gleam to its ever-honed stainless steel blade that exemplifies a friend’s description of my snappy … [more]

Open Email to the Christian Coalition of America

ON 17April13, I received the following communication from the Christian Coalition of America: Dear Friend, Believe it or not, materials in an official US Army Reserve training program listed evangelical Christians as “extremists”. It even lumped us into the same category as the KKK, Hamas and Al Qaeda. Yes, really. After receiving numerous complaints from … [more]

Breed Bans

When they came for the scary black pit bulls, I didn’t speak up. My only pet is a gentle, crippled Great Dane. When they came for the scary black rifles, I didn’t speak up. My deer gun is an old, bolt action Winchester. When they came for the scary black hoodies, I didn’t speak up. … [more]

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]

Cheating the Taxman

It was sad when the big cherry fell, but not scary. What was scary was how it fell: straight through Jaminaz’s garage roof, cleaving it like an axe all the way down to about three feet above the floor at the spot where he’d been standing, working on a cylinder head, forty minutes before the … [more]