Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Matrix Re-Evaluation

I was recently asked to help one of my mom's besties, my "Other Mother," find a gun suitable to her for self defense. She has little to no experience with guns, and except for me taking her out to shoot whatever I find for her, she's probably never going to shoot it again, unless, Gods forbid, she has to defend herself with it. It may get carried in the car- occasionally, but mostly it will probably be for home defense.

 I'm looking to get her into a budget .38. Scouring the used market so we can afford some lasergrips to go with it. I feel this should meet her needs, given she has no history of shooting, and is not going to invest herself in the lifestyle or hobby of training, rather nicely.

I keep finding people who lament putting new shooters into revolvers. They cry about this being some thoughtless, antiquated technique with old technology. The tone I hear from some of these people, certain "instructors" in particular, is rather troublesome. The idea that anyone who doesn't have an interest in making training a part of their life doesn't deserve their life, I find distasteful, to say the least. I suspect their own financial remuneration, vindication, and insane narcissism are the real culprits here.

By far and away the biggest malfunction issue I saw was limp-wristing. With untrained women shooters, this x infinity. I'm exponentially more worried about bad things happening because the gun jams than I am her running out of ammo and needing to speed reload.I keep hearing people complain about revolvers and how semi-autos are always superior. I think an awful lot of motherfuckers need to re-evaluate their threat assessment, mission statement, and equipment matrix.

What are the most likely threats to this person?
What are their needs and capabilities?

We're not storming fucking Fallujah.
Training does not automatically equate mindset. It also doesn't even always equate skill. I can think of a couple of well known trainers and in some cases their acolytes, or franchisees, who I want abso-fucking-lutely nothing to do with.
On personal, moral, and tactical bases.
I'm not going to name names, engage in that sort of thing, but I hate these people and everyone like them.
Deep down in the bone, soul saturating hate.
You can starch your 5.11's, and bluster and condescend to everyone less ninja than you, but none of these things actually mean you have skill, common sense, or balls.

I would rather spend my time teaching old widows and single mothers how to use tools they can actually manipulate than I would get rich stroking the egos of tiny dicked, macho douchefucks who wear stupid clothes.
Fuck you.
I hate you.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Dear Tactical Ninja Douchefuck,

If you're going to put yourself out there as a weapons expert, quantifiable expertise in weapons is an important consideration. If you're going to put yourself out there as a expert in combat, quantifiable expertise in combat, might also be important.

You don't have to be a veteran to teach or share opinions on the mechanics of running a gun. That shouldn't have to be said.
But if you're going to talk specifically about violence and combat, then candor, decency, and knowing when not to run your brash, illiterate cumguzzler are all things a decent human being would take into consideration. If you're going to use the tool box analogy, it helps to have a solid working knowledge of the tools themselves, and what each one is for.
If you ridicule people for the pocket gun they will EDC, instead of the Tactical Ninja Douchefuck 9000 back home in the safe, instead of making sure they know how to use the gun they'll actually have with them when they need it, you are wrong.
No, don't say it.
Shut up.
Stop it.
You are wrong.
We're not assaulting fucking Fallujah.
I don't have belt feds, air support, and a radio.
 I'm as upset about this as anyone, but that's just the way it is.
You don't like my pearl grips on my nickeled snubbie?
I don't give a fuck.
 If you haven't at least been where I've been, seen and done and lived through the things I have, then your opinion on the gun I choose for self defense is literally not worth knowing.
If I catch you ridiculing people who want to learn, instead of imparting sound knowledge that is useful to them, I will call you out on it. If you force my hand, I will be rude about it.
I hate bullies.
More than anything on this planet.
To put oneself in a position of mentor and authority and to abuse that is unthinkable and unforgivable.
I don't care if you're trying to make money.
I don't care if you're trying to set a certain tone or make a certain brand.
I give not a single solitary fuck.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Almost Middle Aged

Yesterday I turned 34.
I fucking hate it.
Not the raw number, so much. I long ago stopped giving a fuck about that. At least I tell myself that.
But the fact that, in my eyes, I don't have a whole lot to show for it.
I have a couple of books not very many people have read, obesity, a fucked up back, knees, and ankles, and intermittent alcoholism.
I take care of my grandmother, but really, I don't do much. I make sure she gets her meds, feed her, and try to keep her company.
Her dementia is getting worse and worse.
Most of the time, I'm not sure she knows exactly who I am, she's running on instinct and the fact that I'm always here.
I ask her who I am, and she'll tell me her nephew. Or her neighbor. Or whoever.
She may or may not remember my name.
At her worst, she's borderline violent. She has slapped me, and hit me with her cane. She had a grand time one afternoon stomping on my feet.
Usually I know this is coming, because it's after long hours of verbal abuse, argument, and crying.

Why am I doing this to her?
Why won't I let her go home?
Who the hell do I think I am?

And when she's lucid, it's worse, because we both know just how far she's gone.
And then we're crying, and she's apologizing, and insistent that I shouldn't be the one carrying this weight.
And what do you say to that?

While my family is not as close as we once were, things could be a lot worse.
Everyone is just busy with their lives, with their work.
And I volunteered for this.
So I can't cry about it.
But I'm going slightly nuts.
I had a daydream, not long ago, where I had a nervous breakdown.
I dreamed I snapped, went outside, and fell to my knees in the front yard wailing away.
Full on Russell Crowe, spittle flying, Gladiator breakdown mode.
When I woke up in my recliner, it took a few seconds for me to remember where I was.
My grandmother was sitting in her chair, crying, asking me over and over again to open the door so she could go home.

Honestly, I'm about as far gone as I can remember being since I came out of the worst of my depression.
I'm not suicidal.
I'd really like to think I'll never get as close to that edge as I once did, ever again.

But, I'm going slightly nuts.
Just fucking batshit.

The truth is, the inside of my head is already a macabre tapestry of self loathing and hatred.
In my head, no one actually respects me. In my head, the concept of that is insane. In my head, the best I can think of myself is that people either feel sorry for me, or see an opportunity to use me for something.
Whether or not this is true, it's what I fight. Everyday.
On one hand, I'm trying so hard to get my shit together.
Trying to start a business teaching gun stuff, trying to get book two finished, and fully realized, hoping I can get some traction with it. Trying to figure out a plan of action for the websites and blogs, and the blog/ e-zine I'm going to try to do with some friends. The youtube channel to go with it.
And so much of it right now is just spinning my wheels.
Because I have to rely on other people. Proofers and editors, bureaucrats, family members, possible writing and business partners.
Because the only income I have coming in is disability from the VA, I've got to be careful. I wanted to have hung my shingle by now, so income from teaching CHL and basic marksmanship could be put back in the business. I could use it to take more classes, which would go in the blog/ ezine/ youtube/ whatever, while learning more and further developing martial skills.
But right now it's just one more thing that should be that isn't.
And what I want more than anything, what I need to do before I can fully realize that, is reclaim some sort of physical fitness.
At the very least, I need to get much further toward that goal than I am now.
If for no other reason than my mental health.
I'm 34, and still fat.
Every time I've started to make some real headway, I've found some excuse to let the doubt and self loathing take over.
The Army shit still creeps up sometimes.
Not war stuff, but Germany shit. Fucked up spine and people thinking I was faking shit.
Father shit, holy fuck, do I have some daddy issues. I don't really know why. We had our differences, we had our issues, we nearly came to blows a couple of times, but it was never really movie of the week shit. We were always close.
And fuck, broken heart shit still comes back.
Why I should give thoughts of a woman who doesn't love me, and for all I know never really did any of my time is absolutely beyond me.
I go months without thinking about her and what we had, at least what I thought we had, not giving two fucks, and then bam. I'm a wretched mess.
I don't know why I carry this bullshit with me, but I do.
All my faults and failures.
And I don't know if writing about it helps.
I thought I did at one time.
Now, now I'm not so sure.
No doubt there will be people who read this and send me messages of support.
Which I will answer politefully.
But this isn't a cry for help.
I don't want an intervention.
I'm thinking very seriously about my online presence.
What I put out there, and how much.
If it helps or hurts.
Both professionally and personally.
We become who we train ourselves to be.
I need to unfuck myself.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

What Is Love, Baby Don't Hurt Me/ My Happy Fat Caveat

Being fat is a miserable existence marked largely by self loathing, depression, and binging. As much as I despise the blustering bullshit of the tough love types, I dislike the sugary feel good coos of the love yourself anyway crowd. Despite whatever shallow pretense they may offer of accountability, that never really feels sincere to me.
Maybe they're just more worried about the mental health aspect, which, believe me, I'm sensitive to. I just see them both as one more example of the childish, bipolar nature of modern America.
The entire matrix of the dynamic is all fucked up, insane, and psychotic. On one hand, you have people who don't believe you can be honest without being a giant, raging dick, and on the other, you have people using what they think of as positive reinforcement for negative reinforcement, by making it easier for people to not hold themselves accountable.
Love yourself.
You deserve to love yourself.
 Respect yourself.
You deserve to respect yourself.
Well, fucking why?
 That shit is earned. If you don't respect yourself, start earning it.
As far as loving yourself, color me an asshole, but I've never understood what the fuck that means.
I'm positive my perspective is horribly skewed due to the years of heavy depression and self loathing, but this is still a serious question.
What does loving yourself mean?
What if you don't deserve to love yourself?
Why wouldn't someone deserve to love themselves?
Fuck if I know, that's not for me to decide.
Maybe, like respect, love has to be earned as well.
And if you're going to attempt to help someone, stop and ask yourself if what you're really doing is stroking your ego. In fact, I'd go even further and say that both tacts are mostly the stroking of ego. Either you're beating your dick at the thought of how awesome, tough, and Alpha you were putting that fattie in their place, or you're stroking your dick over how awesome, sensitive, and Beta/ Alpha (yes, because real men are sensitive and don't feel the need to be retro and dominant) funny how men can never escape their inner ubermensch, ain't it?
Furthermore, I'll say it perpetuates some bullshit myths people should probably get over. Some simple economics might be involved, so I'll probably get burned at the stake for mentioning them.

Without a doubt, physical attraction is hugely important.
I'm not saying big girls can't be beautiful and sexy, because they can. But they're going to have to bring something to the table if they're lacking in the physical beauty department. Intelligence, charm, humor, a giant trust fund, epic tits, these are all things other than physical beauty that can make one beautiful. All these things are net pluses, and they all work for men as well as women (save maybe the epic tits).

What I'm saying is, we've all seen physically stunning people with mates who should, by all accounts, be nowhere near their league. And they're there because whatever deficit they had in the looks department, they made up for elsewhere.

Which brings us to confidence.
Confidence is important. Everyone knows this. We're told it constantly. We're told how important an ingredient it is in attraction.
How does one gain confidence?
Does one gain confidence through self respect, or through the shallow nurturing of false self esteem?
How does one get to fuck the homecoming queen?
By working hard and busting ass and knocking player's dicks in the dirt and winning the big game?
Or by hoisting the trophy he got for simply participating?

I know, by now you assume I'm just some angry, fat, rambling asshole. And you're probably right.


Embrace love. Zen up. Carry a gun.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Dreamscape, Leaving Dallas With My Brother

Insane, trippy, drunken, redneck gun nut dream - I dream I'm in the bedroom in the house I grew up in. My father is there, sitting in his underwear, like usual, at my desk. The room is filled with smoke. We're talking about something. My mom comes in with her book club, and they sit around the coffee table, either in chairs that materialize or on the big, blue comfy couch we had growing up, of dark blue number in Cape Cod plaid. They start giving me a hard time about when the next book is going to be out. My mom starts bitching at my dad about smoking. He starts bitching at me about my weight. I start bitching back about that time he bitched at me for losing weight, because high school football was so important. Shit gets real. My mom and her friends fade away. My dad comes back in the room, and tells me a secret to getting away with smoking in the house without catching a bitch for it. He stands beside my bed, and reaches to adjust the vent on the wall. I remember this guy has been dead for years. I reach out to touch him. He scowls and fades away.

Flash to my pickup. My brother and I are driving on east Loop 12 Ledbetter Dr. I think we're headed to back to East Texas from grandma's house, as that's the only thing I can think of. It's one of the routes we used to take when we lived with her and worked in the city, but would go home on weekends.

Only it's real time, not the summer of '99, and we're talking real shit. We're talking about his marriage and my move back to Athens and how I hope my fatass finally gets my shit together. Like I said, real talk.

We come to a roadblock, warning signs and flashing lights. There's a sign that says "VIOLENCE", only it's misspelled. We laugh, joking about only in Dallas would they cordon an area off and let the gangsters inside finish each other off. We follow the detour around. At some point, a car starts following us. It is a 70 Camaro, in Bondo gray, with  blue ground effects and interior light. There is carpet on the dash, and a Crown air freshener, and beads hanging off the rearview mirror. It looks like a taxi in the Middle East.

My brother points to a dirt road into some woods. We take it, thinking we'll leave the Camaro in the dust. We have fun, driving through the woods like we did when we were kids. Bouncing  around, crashing through the brush. The Camaro catches up. I have a Kahr K9 on my belt, and a spare mag in my pocket next to my .380. I pull the .30-.30 Marlin from behind the seat, and pistol bag with the Glock and the spare ammo.

The dirt road takes us to some nice homes, hidden alongside a river or elongated lake/ pond. I'm pushing the truck too hard, and I have to hit the brakes and make a hard turn as we come to a small cul-de-sac at the end. We laugh like maniacs. The Camaro is nowhere to be scene. We drive back down the dirt road celebrating our victory.

Our victory is short lived.
The truck runs out of gas.
We debate what to do.

The Bondo gray '79 Camaro pulls to a stop up the hill, revving its engine.

My brother jumps out of the truck with the .30-.30, and I grab the Glock, with it's extended mag, and the ammo bag, and take position behind the engine. My brother is out front, ready to meet them. Strong and brave and ignorant of combat. I yell at him to get behind the engine block with me, but he doesn't hear me. I "Martin Riggs" the Glock on the hood of the truck, and make eye contact with the driver of the Camaro. He makes the wrong move, I'm filling his face full of 147 grain hollow pointed BBs.

 Straight up.
No fucking about.
The Camaro backs away.

We can still hear it though, rumbling through the trees.
My brother takes off, into the woods.
I follow, moving slowly. Hindered by disability and obesity.
Out of nowhere, Murphy shows up.
There's gunfire, and then my brother comes back through the woods, the rifle smoking in his hands.
We don't say anything.
There's a some gas in a can in the back of the truck, left over from mowing the yard, and I put what's left in the tank.

The next thing I know, we're at gas station, on the edge of the city.
Still headed home.
I set the pump, and look in the can at the Murph Monster cuddled up with my brother, who still isn't speaking. His eyes are watery, but he's stoic.

A kid, about 13, walks up. Baggy clothes, gang colors, etc. Wants some money. I don't have any money.
We do the MUC (Managing Unknown Contacts) dance.

He pulls a gun, a cheap High Point, and sticks it in my face. Gunfire erupts from a nearby nightclub, and I bash him with a coin sap.

There are different versions of what happens next. I was already replaying the scenes and doing AARs of them before I realized I was dreaming.

Version One, we haul ass out of there. The cops get my fingerprint off a .30-.30 shell, and I take the fall for my brother.

Version Two, the Camaro shows back up as I replace the pump and start to get back behind the wheel. People file out of it, with guns. We open up on them from the truck, just hose them down, and haul ass the fuck out of town.

Version Three, I replace the pump, and when I go to climb in the truck, my brother is dead. A hole in the head from the gunfire from the nearby club. A victim of random violence.

Sometimes our dreams tell us things. Sometimes they don't mean shit. I don't know which category this falls into. All I know, is I have a wicked, pneumonitic cough, despite the fact that I haven't smoked in over 2.5 years, and am going to unload all of my guns and wipe each bullet free of fingerprints. Just in case. No shit.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Needing Meditation

Another sleepless night.
I'd go to the gym if I wasn't afraid of something happening while I was gone.
Sometimes I think I'm going nuts.
It's good though. Mostly.

I'm still waiting on the NRA to get my instructor certs to me, so I can send Austin, so I can take the CHL instructor class. Everything always moves so slowly.

 I had to fork over a few hundred bucks for a piece of paper to send people so I can get another piece of paper so I can teach something I already know. Well, that's not entirely true. I'm sure I'll learn a lot of things I don't know at the class. Once I finally take the fucking thing.

I'm trying to so hard to be smart, to set up everything I do to work for me.
And everything is moving so, painfully fucking slow.

I don't know how much time I have left. I doubt it will be long. I'm afraid she already needs care that is beyond my capacity. We had a real rough couple of weeks, capped by an exceptionally rough weekend, and this week has been surprisingly not bad at all.

And I'm trying to look forward. To what's next, to where I want to be.
I'd be lying if I said that wasn't particularly hard at the moment.

Right now, it feels just like one more thing I failed at.
And it's not so much that I've failed at everything, it just feels that way.
And you just feel doomed. Destined to fail.

And I know I'm not.
The only destiny we have is what we make for ourselves.
But, sometimes it's harder than normal to not revel in the Great Mind Fuck.

I need to meditate.
Clear my head, focus on what I can affect and effect right now.

I'm looking forward to what's ahead.
A small apartment in my hometown.
Focusing on fitness and writing. Shooting, and teaching.
Getting back to the woods.
I miss the woods something fierce, holy fuck.

So, anyway.

Guess I'll go meditate now.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Promoting Scorn and Martiality.

We need to fight fight with fire.
We need to stop being nice to prententious, antigun, twatwaffling douchefucks.
We waste time arguing about how to stop anomalies like Adam Lanza. Anomalies exist because they can't be predicted. At best we can predict who will turn into an anomaly.
The best thing we can do, is start nurturing a culture of adulthood. For people to be mature, grown up adults, and realize that bad people do bad things to good people for no reason, and prepared for that possibility. Nurture and encourage individual martiality.
 If the antigunners are going to treat us with scorn and ridicule, do the same to them. Any man who chooses fear instead of preparation, who turns his nose up, believing, somehow, he is more of a man because he lacks the tools and ability to defend himself, is not a man, and should not be treated as such.
He deserves no less than to be looked down upon.
 To be scoffed at.
To be ridiculed.
To be shamed.
 Some reading these words will recoil in horror, their minds filling with images of would be Alpha males strutting around with big irons on their hips, intimidating passerby.
 Yet they fail to understand, that's the world they already live in. They simply can't perceive the truth. They live in self-assured bubbles purpose built to confirm their bias.
 A hundred years ago, in even the largest, most progressive, libertine, dandy filled cities in America, a gentleman was expected to have a small gun about his person to protect himself and his date.
It was expected.
It should be again.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Quick Thoughts on Choosing A Firearms Trainer

There's also a lot of talk about how to choose firearms instructors. Most will go through the gunnie version of the old martial arts school lineage. I'm gonna go slightly against the grain. While this is wonderful knowledge, it doesn't take into account certain factors. How much do you know? Do they know more than you? So what if they come from X school, did they fully absorb the material and are they capable of transferring that knowledge? Are they fucking idiots? Is X school full of fucking idiots, and morons, well known for douchebaggery, and possibly dangerous? Does it resemble, at a deep, instinctive level, a personality cult instead of an endeavor focused on giving you the tools you need to survive a hostile encounter? How much do they charge? Are they teaching skills you need, at your current level, applicable to your life? Do they use science, or myth, lore, and false oral history to back up their points?

Avoid anyone who says the following-
"That's all you need!"
"All you gotta do is rack that dang ol thang, and they'll shit their pants and run away!"
"Hip shootin' is all you got time for!"
"A woman cain't handle no more 'n that!"
"If you don't chew Big Red, then fuck you."

Be wary of personality cults and egomaniacal douchebags. Sometimes I think the industry is saturated with them. There is not one way, but many. Anyone that tells you their way is the best, instead of the best for them, might be someone to avoid. Or not necessarily. You might be able to learn a lot from them, but as you progress and build upon your foundations, your eyes will open wider. I can learn from anyone. I might not want to promote everyone's business model. Keep in mind, a lot of this stuff is just different flavors of the same. Some teachers, personalities, teaching styles, click more for some students than others.

Thursday, January 24, 2013


This was a long work in progress. It started before my first book, And The Rain Came Down, was even published. It's been said that every book is a labor of love. I'm finding that to be true. I owe the following people immeasurable gratitude.
My dear friend and editor Noel Daley, for sticking it out despite my madness, and the long slow march. I can't say enough good things, or thank you enough. If people knew how hard your job is, no one would mistake me for a writer. I hope one day I'll be able to pay you what you're worth. The next one won't take so long, promise. 
Ryan Lavoie, good friend, scholar, Peace Corps vet, card shark, martial artist, and brother from another mother. One of the things I truly cherish most in this life is our long going (decade plus some now) conversation on politics, philosophy, and life.
Lucas Bailey, for inspiration, and being the good brother. Someone had to.
Rocky Clapp, for picking up his slack.
Curtis Watson, for rounding us out, and always managing to anchor us firmly in reality. I couldn't ask for better brothers than you four. Thanks for the inspiration, motivation, and support.
Marcus Wynne, warrior poet and Jedi knight, for early insight, motivation, friendship and support. Because of him, I met a great many people I now call friend, and am most grateful. Thanks.
Rob Krott, warrior poet of some renown. An old school war dog, adventurer, and writer like no other. He went above and beyond the call, of his own accord. There is no telling how much red ink he used on my rough draft. His notes were not only helpful, but hilarious.
Dan Kemp, another warrior-scholar of the first order. A Screaming Eagle with a mind like a steel trap, he may know more about military history and weaponry than anyone I know. That is a tall, tall order. Like Rob, he went above and beyond, of his own accord, and the two of them managed to help unfuck the manuscript in places where my addled mind just wasn't firing on all cylinders.
Lori Pudliner, for also going out of her way, and providing me with an extra set of eyes and some late process proofing, as well as insight on the perceptions someone not from here might have certain local colloquialisms. I hope there's not so much local flavor people can't keep up.
To Laurie Zieber, of She Speaks to Inspire radio show, and for friendship, and encouragement. It is much appreciated.
Dellani Oakes, writer and radio show host, for the same. I feel like I've learned a lot about the craft, industry, and promotion of writing the past couple of years, and much of it came from here. I can't thank you enough.
I have to thank my good friend Caleb Causey, EMT and combat medic par excellent, whose company Lone Star Medics provides first class emergency, tactical, and basic medical training. I can assure you, any and all mistakes are my own.
Jack Clemons, the “Dubstep Viking” his own damn self. Got some real good advice on a couple of points I wasn't sure about. It's nice having friends who keep the same vampire hours I do. It is much appreciated.
Greg Ellifritz, “Beefcake,” police officer, tactical trainer, and voracious reader. For encouragement, and checking my six. I was afraid I was stepping way out of my tactical depth, and it was comforting knowing the things I was worried about didn't set off any bells and whistles from someone more knowledgeable than myself.
Jerry Hossom, master knife maker, for support, and honesty. I appreciate that.
Christian D. Orr, for friendship, and unparallelled support. I can't thank you enough.
Montie Guthrie, for friendship, support, and saving my bacon on some of the finer points of the law and police work. Your nitpicking helped add depth I wouldn't have been able to achieve. I hope I put it to good use.
Sherman House, Morgan Atwood, Taylor Mock, Chris Sanchez, and Aaron Little, for, each in their way, inspiration, support, and motivation. Super special thanks to Aaron, for a term coined, and stolen; and to Chris for hard advice and honesty on something, and not being afraid to go against the grain. I appreciate that to no end.
Eric Cashion of Confederate Forge, for the same. And for forging the fine rebel steel, and being his own damn self. Too few live unreconstructed.
Mike Blackgrave, SEAMOK founder and master, for wielding it, and passing on the knowledge.
Ed Lawrence, for being himself.
Brian Tindle, good friend, boon docking companion on countless nights, and walking encyclopedia of DFW, trains, Texas Country music, and terminal ballistics. My most reliable sounding board, and occasional thorn in my side. Thank you so much, for everything.
Ellen Fagala, for friendship, motivation, and maybe a little insight. I hope you know it's appreciated.
The late, great Paul Gomez. Friend and mentor, the nicest compliment I ever got was a look that said I should know better. There is a Bowie fight in this book that plagued me for years. Rewrite, after rewrite after rewrite. “Uncle Paul” fixed that.
Uncle Paul fixed a lot of things. It's what he did. I know of no person more dedicated to advancing the art and science of self defense, in a responsible, methodical, well thought out manner, than Paul Gomez. I met nothing but quality people through him, most of whom I now consider to be good friends. The world is a far lesser place without his presence, and he is missed dearly.