Hi friends - hello
to some of the friends who have just discovered this side of the
As you know, starting
last Friday - we've been through one of those family duties we
all dread. I won't try to paint a big smiley face on it. It was
horrible. There were some brief moments of sunlight - a few smiles.
Mostly, it was gut wrenching. This event required the working
together of a few extended families. Things multiply really fast
that way. The man who presided over the funeral said this was
the largest funeral he'd ever witnessed.
There's always reasons
why families split. Of those people that can't get along in good
times, some will pull together in bad times - the rest will get
worse. That's the was this went too. Apparently, everyone did
their best under the circumstances.
May God rest Nelson's
soul ... and we have completed discussing the matter.
I worked a few hours
here and there this week with a view toward maintaining sanity.
I think I worked just enough to meet the minimum requirements.
Some new folks asked
for the url this morning. I'll delete some of these posts tomorrow.
No need to preserve it. I sincerely look forward to this week's
work. Right now ... we're going over to our Son's home for a roasted
Thanks for your friendship,
I have a couple of
days to work here and that feels good.
We had a big memorial
service until late last night. Viewing Friday - Funeral Sat. There's
been alot of good done along with the tragedy. Thanks for your
notes, thoughts, and prayers. They have all been appreciated greatly.
I know you come to
the site here for entertainment. I make note of the circumstances
here in order for the friends, who follow regularly, to keep the
big picture. It's obvious (but we may not always stop to think)
that rather than just an airgun making machine; I'm also a husband,
father and grandfather. I deal with everything that comes up as
best I can. Being human, I get worn down too, but try to bounce
back as quickly as possible.
When a website and
business has been structured to be as inclusive and transparent
as mine has, it's necessary to explain. I wish interruptions in
the production flow didn't stack into a cascade effect, but that's
often what the weeks bring.
After SS4 with it's
prep - travel - and clean-up, our brief vacation, family duties,
unavoidable shop maintenance, a wedding - it's set-up and aftermath,
and this family tragedy, it's clear that we've been through another
of these long cascade effects. I apologize for all those waiting.
I'm off to the shop.
We'll make some steel chips.
And, the sun is finally
shining after weeks of dreary cold, rainy, foggy weather. It's
great to see the sun.
Wednesday morning 10-27-04
Our daughter and her
family landed from Idaho about midnight. We're in the midst of
that "who's where now?" ... "who's phone is that
ringing?" ... babies getting bathed in the kitchen sink ...
don't turn around quickly 'cause there's probably a toddler behind
you ... somebody take the dog out ... the van is gone ... Oh,
I loaned it to ....
Thanks for your continued
e-mails. I do very much appreciate them. I've been around two
groups of people in the last couple of days. At the wedding and
at the hospital. As always, 10-20% of them were coughing and sneezing.
And, as always, I developed the obligatory head and chest cold
It's nice to feel the
readers here are friends. I hear SS4 is still being held up on
the forums as the ultimate example of greed and corruption in
the world today. It evidently made the UN "Oil for Food"
program look like a Scout bake sale by comparison. Golly, some
day I'll need to count those bales of hundred dollar bills from
SS. I just fork lifted them out of the trailer and pushed them
up against the shop wall ... ;?)
I've once again marveled
at the difference between how we speak of life and how we live
life. We speak of "Good Day ... Bad Day". My reality
has always been that they occupy the same space and time. The
events which make up both, are happening around us simultaneously.
With e-mail and cell phones, you can't even separate out the difference
between your current location and what you are currently aware
of. It's all there, all the time. Even an event like SS4, which
could have been such a great time, was pure enjoyment and pure
stress at exactly the same moment - due to just a few hecklers.
The wedding and reception was badly marred by one accident. Enjoyable
memories seem much like simple good folk ... you don't hear much
from them - they appear, do their duty, and fade back into the
landscape. It's the lousy memories that continue to throw stones
at you even after you've driven away.
So, a fella must find
a solution. As I've written above, for me, it doesn't seem to
have much to do with "place", "time", or "event".
I'm a bit too aware of my circumstance. I believe it may be within
simple multi-task rituals that some renewal can be found. That's
if you can shut out as much input as possible and boil the water,
find the tea bags, choose a mug, spoon the sugar ... etc. ;?)
Hey - maybe that includes; size some slugs, gather a few shooting
bags, top off an air tank ... ;?)
Good morning and thank
you for your many e-mails of support, prayers, and thoughts. It's
very kind of you. Our children have been hit the worse here. Just
to clarify, this young man was our children's step brother. Kelly
brought three children to our marriage. I also had two daughters.
This young man lived in the home of Kelly's children's natural
father. Our children shared growing up with this young man. As
with many families today, there was the scheduling of our kids
between their parent's homes. With their Mother on Friday and
their Father Saturday, etc. The kids, thus; end up with multiple
homes and the family of children, brothers, and sisters, are not
clearly defined simply by the days of the week.
With all our efforts,
the kids had the opportunity and grew extremely close. Our children
are between 24-30 now. This 19 year old young man was their baby
brother. It's hit them pretty hard, but they have made me proud
with their maturity and outlook.
This morning, there
are quite a few people sharing the gifts of organs donated by
this young man. That answers the prayers of those who love those
who have received. We'll have a funeral this week. And we go on.
The business has continued
as well. For part of the day yesterday, I worked on one of the
100 fpe Ranger Delta 32's on order. This will be a nice pc. Shrouded,
it will be very quiet. Even more so than the 200 fpe shrouded
magnum version. We shot one of those quite a bit at SS4 and everyone
remarked upon how quiet it was for a magnum - this one should
be almost silent. It carries the larger air reservoir as well,
so there will be many shots available.
The pump 45 will be
coming along. As will the Bison and Tundra. As you can see, we
never know just what's lies within the next page of the calendar.
The country's been attacked, we've gone to two wars, we've had
personal tragedy and we've dealt with quite a few things that
I have not shared on these pages. The shop is open and the business
is healthy. Sorry many of you could not attend SS4 - it was quite
an uplift for those customers who attended. To a man and woman,
they all told me that seeing the work and shooting it was several
levels above what they've enjoyed here on the site.
Thank you once again.
Thank you for your
prayers and thoughts. Kelly alternated watching one, then two,
then switched off to a third of our grandchildren all day. I never
went to breakfast with them - just drove down to Baltimore to
Shock Trauma. Somehow, I got both into and out of the city. I
just got home about 7:30 pm or so.
Our young man will
be forever 19 years of age. His family are making arrangements
to bless others in need whom the young man can help as an organ
donor. Vast numbers of people were in and out all day. They lined
the hallways ... waiting. Tests were run around noon. We waited
all day for results which were finally just understood - rather
than spoken. They were searching for brain activity and blood
flow there. In a situation like this, there becomes a razor edge
between what is considered to be technically "life",
and what defines crossing into that area where life has ceased.
It was almost surreal
being in that place today. As we'd wait and share in the hallway,
occasionally a cubical robot unit would exit an elevator, make
it's way around the halls, past the people, navigate obstacles,
open doors, and proceed on with it's duties. It would return later,
call for the elevator, and leave for awhile. The children were
wild about it.
once, we stood in an approx. 10 story atrium, looked up through
the glass roof and watched the jet turbine Medavac helicopter
take off and pull away. Every person you saw had a cell phone
in usage. Looking down a vast hallway, I saw a unit briskly approaching.
The single occupant was an entirely shapeless person encased in
and controlling this personal conveyance. They smiled and passed.
I felt like I was on the set of a sci-fi movie until we came back
to the area where the best mankind had to give was trying to decide
the exact line between life and death.
Please continue to
remember the family. Our daughter (the one expecting triplets)
is making arrangements to fly in from Idaho to Maryland. There
will be duties and the desire to comfort the family.
Life will go on. Today,
the children chased the robot laughing. Other children played
basketball in a small gym at the end of one hallway. Old folks
waited patiently, and scores upon scores of late teen and early
twenty somethings grew up very quickly today. Folks praying for
viable organs for their loved one's needs will have their prayers
answered. From the passing of life, life will be sustained. A
Honeymoon has begun. I can hear my grandson giggling in the family
I'm going to make a
cup of coffee. Thank you for your friendship.
I generally share with
you the enjoyable parts of the trade. I appreciate you reading
the site and hope it's mostly entertaining to you. I lace in our
personal news as I don't produce my work in a vacuum and events,
good or bad, effect my output.
My daughter was married
yesterday. We served the rehearsal dinner here at our home Fri.
evening. Taking the dinner and the wedding strictly by themselves,
it all went well and was a beautiful and joyous occasion. Even
the weather co-operated with a beautiful day for the evening outdoor
wedding. However; in reality, the events were intertwined with
a tragic event which overshadowed everything.
My wife and I raised
our combined families of five children. She brought her own three
children to the marriage. This means, like many families today
... we have an extended family with whom all occasions are shared.
My two step-sons and one step-daughter have their own step brother.
This brother was critically injured Fri. evening and has been
in Baltimore, Md. at the "shock-trauma" care unit since.
You'll recall that
all of our children are grown. Three of them serve in the USAF.
These three are married and all have children of their own. They
are stationed here and there as per their USAF duties. Because
of this, those attending the wedding had to come home to do so.
As the rehearsal dinner
began Friday evening, the door opened to our very distraught Son
and his family. We learned of the tragic accident of his step-brother.
Since that time, life has been a blur of phone calls, updates,
duties, wedding preparation, prayer, nerves, the dread of the
sound of cell phones, the joy of happy beginnings, and the reality
of progressively worsening updates.
The finest care, the
most dramatic procedures, and emergency surgeries have been unable
to reverse the decline of this young 19 year old man's condition.
He has been given less than a 1% chance of surviving.
Please join us in praying
for this young man and all who care for him.
We're all fairly numb
around here. Our kids attended their sister's wedding and left
early to go to the hospital. We've tried to think of something
to say where there is nothing. We've tried to comfort children
without actually filling their head with lies.
Jennifer and Tony (aware
of only earlier guarded projections) have flown off on their Honeymoon.
We were sitting at home looking at wedding pictures on the computer
last night when the phone rang with the worst of projections and
We're watching one
of our grand-daughters. We're going to take her out for some breakfast.
Read the Gulf Visit page first - this
is the answer to a quiz posted in there - don't cha peek now!
OK ... you want to know what I found
so funny that I just had to take a pic of that Ice Cream shop
on the Gulf Visit page.
There stands a 20 foot tall Ice Cream
Cone - right beside the road. You can see, it even has a big ole
spotlight on it at night. Then ... right in front of it ... there's
this little, hard to read sign, that tells you it's an Ice Cream
shop. Whoooohhhh!!!!! So THAT'S what it is? Good graceous ...
I might have brought my horse in for shoeing!!!