Tuesday, February 18, 2014



It seems that most of us want to have a "voice." We want to be heard.

Enter the world of OFS. This particular acronym stands for Old Fart Syndrome. When initially observed this syndrome is not easily distinguishable. It is characterized by maturing years or as others might say "old age" coupled with a desire to be heard and even valued. Perhaps the "fart" is for being heard. Valued?

The aged with OFS when given an audience will verbally ramble, talking incessantly. They tell about their experiences that gave and it gives them personal insights into the world surrounding them. Those insights include such things as an understanding of youth, young adulthood, adulthood, and they think even their peer group.

The nature of my father in raising me was to have expectations without dialogue. It was not uncommon to be engaged in a project with him where I was expected to grab the "right" tool or to do the "right" thing without direction from him. Of course this was a formula for disaster for me. Whether he was cussing at me calling me a "dumb son-of-a-bitch" or throwing some object at me such as a steel wrench, hammer, or perhaps a rock, I knew I had failed meeting his expectation.

With that part of my life assumptively behind me, having returned from my military experience as a Cold War spy, I was working on one of the company trucks in the shop with my father. It was a blustery late spring afternoon, the outside temperature in the low 70s. He was under the truck fiddling with something when he asked me for some kind of widget.

What the hell is a widget? I knew better than to ask because if I did I would again be told how dumb I am, and probably how worthless too. I looked for the widget or whatever it was in the toolbox, in the scattering of items on the floor close to his hips, and on the seat of the truck.

"Are you going to get me the damn thing, or just stand there and do nothing with your thumb up your ass?" His hand had emerged from under the truck and it was opening and closing it as if trying to grab something I was to place in it while he asked that question.

I've been in the military and learn to talk militaryeze. Short words with simple meanings. I'd operated equipment with millions of dollars. I had filled a vital role at a critical time in the then ever present arms race between Russia and the United States. Coming forward to this point in time, I may have been a young man but I was a man. I kicked the offending hand. Almost to a point of yelling I told him to "go to hell!" With that I walked out of the shop heading for my old grey beat up '48 Willies Jeep pickup.

For what turned out to be such a meaningful event in my life I am embarrassed to say that I do not now remember what a widget is, or was at that time. As I walked away I could hear my father scrambling to get out from underneath the truck. I could picture the look on his face, red and infused with anger. In the back of my mind I could imagine him with a wrench or hunk of pipe with which to bean me.


The sound of his voice was different than any others I could remember. When I turned I saw him standing there with his hands on his hips at the overhead door opening. A puzzled look on his face with his bushy eyebrows furrowed as if in deep thought.

At this late date the dialogue does not matter but what did matter was that I had my first meaningful and real conversation with my father as an adult. I gave my complaints while expressing some understandings that I had as a part of our relationship. I expressed the constant turmoil I lived in when around him. As he responded I tried to listen, to understand what he was saying.

I knew he went to work in a sawmills at the age of 14; to support the family of his drunken father. In supporting his brothers and sisters (8) he missed out on the childhood I had had the advantage of living. He had worked so hard to make our life as his children better than his. I understood his military service during World War II as the patriotic thing he meant it to be. I knew the stories of his life that brought us to this moment in time.

We did not talk about those things. What we did talk about was respect man-to-man and how that had to be shared. Time has a way of marching on regardless of our perceptions. It seemed as if it had only been moments but the automatic lights in the shop had turned on as dusk was settling into night.

The conversation ended with my father telling me, "I know that I'm a little rough around the edges but all I have ever wanted and all I want is for you kids to have a better life than I have had."

"But dad, it has been and it is better because of you. There are many things that could be changed but they are what they are and it is all better than what could've been."

Dad stood there slowly shaking his head from side to side with the back light shadowing his face. The flash of thought was that he is like one of those old grizzly bears we have watched on TV and in the movies. "Don (?), I just don't understand. I just don't know. Why can't my sons listen to me?" It was with pleading in his eyes he asked these questions. I was totally caught off guard because this was simply not how my father talk to me. I had no experience with this type of conversation.

"I don't want you guys to make the same mistakes I have made. I don't understand how come you just listen to me and learn. I've lived so long. I am older and wiser. I thought that I had raised you to be smarter." He ended those comments with his palms turned outwards towards me as if his whole body were asking the question.

I could see in his eyes he was open to an answer. "Dad. This is our time to make mistakes, to learn and to grow, and we need to be able to do that. I know that in time I will want to be heard and understood just like you do. I will probably stand in front of my sons (my daughter wasn't born yet) and want to say the same thing you just said to me. I hope and pray I can remember this conversation; that I can have the strength and understanding to give the their own space and room to grow in."

My father was raised in another generation, in a different time and a different place. It was a man's world with certain societal and cultural expectations to be met before a man could call himself or expect others to call him "a man." Being of that generation in this particular conversation he was lost and confused.

"But Donnie, I have learned so much, I have so much wisdom, I want to share. I don't want to see you make the mistakes I have made." It was not the words he used but the pleading in his eyes that tore at me.

"But dad, before you can be heard you have to have an audience that is willing to listen. The only thing age guarantees, if you live long enough, is senile psychosis."

Each age has the modern miracles of its time. Today is the digital age with one of the overlays of social media. My father with his OFS could have thrived in this environment. He could have created a "following" with "likes" and "shares." There is a possibility he could of been heard and understood. But even if he was not, he could have lived with the delusion built into OFS that sometimes there is an audience and sometimes the audience is listening, it hears and understands. 


When my military brothers (no sisters from our era) and I sit around we have the commonality and comradery of the shared experiences of basic training, advanced training and the military mind. Many of us went overseas, Turkey, Germany, Vietnam, Japan, etc. At times the life was difficult. We were called on to do things that did not make sense then and still don't almost 40 years later. 

None of us want to try to explain what salt tastes like to someone who has not already tasted salt. And when a person who has not tasted that salt tries to explain it to us, not only do we not want to hear it, it sometimes makes us angry. 

To look inward from my own experiences, I and most vets don't talk about the hard times unless it is to someone who enjoyed the brotherhood of the shared experiences. We want to talk to someone who understands and who will understand us. We want real communication. 

From the fires of the crucibles of these common experiences the bonds of brotherhood are intertwined linking one to another in a fellowship not often shared with outsiders.

The empathy we hold one for another creates a bond sometimes even greater than the friendships shared with our classmates from yesteryear and our loves of today. Again, we do not need to or want to talk about it. When a fallen hero is brought home underneath a draped American flag, we do not cry. We stand at attention, head bowed.  

Because we are men we curse the damned bees that sting us in the eyes. It is not with shame that we do want other people to see us bleed tears. It is because they cannot know or understand the value we put on the shared service of our brothers, and today our sisters who give up their lives for Liberty and through Liberty, for Freedom.

 I turn to the media selling news at the expense of the loved ones, and all of the rest of us who have served, "how do you feel." The microphone is shoved in closer to the hapless face, "how do you feel." When I see that my gut politically incorrect  response is, "get screwed! Serve and find out for yourself." 

I turn to the almost unbelievably attractive women who shove the microphones into the faces of the winners and losers of the Super Bowl today. I know they are not qualified for that conversation. I did not see even 1 woman dressed in the white or orange of the combatants on that field. Because it is just a game the feelings are not nearly as strong, but the are the same. 

Monday, February 17, 2014



I attend a Tuesday morning writers group that is substantially different than any of the other writers' groups in my past. We sort of start at around 9 o'clock and kind of end at 10 o'clock or maybe 10:30. The attendance has an ebb and flow, sometimes ten or twelve people present, sometimes fifteen or more. Most are writers, that is they are ones who write, but some are wannabes, those who want to be writers but don't really write.

One mature person has been “writing” for “about 16 years.” Yet that person comes to “group” asking questions like, “how do I start?” “Should I outline?” “What is the best way to organize?” Sincere in the questions but far beyond the basics that person projects a writer's insecurities. With that I empathize. I took 6 years for my first novel. My last, a memoir, took 5 days. To answer the unasked question; I did learn the secret! 

Another writer not knowing what the traditional “limits” historically are has not only written her first book in this last twelve months, but it is now independently published. “Independently published” in the changing world of manuscript offerings means that she has ignored the stigma of “self-publishing” or “vantage press publishing” embracing the new world order brought about by the changing digital landscape. More on that in another blog.

We have in this Tuesday morning group poetry, short novels, memoirs, magazine articles, a visual artist who desires to write for his work, nonfiction writers, and several other identifiable genres. The group is about as varied as the number of people who attend. Into the skeletal matrix outlining this group and helping to define it are facilitators who sometimes bring in outside guests to talk about some aspect of writing.

The above is foundational to a recent guest comment made about "writer's block." The assumption was that because most of us are writers most of us know and understand what writers block is. At its core in the initial presentation was a given fact that all writers at different times and for different reasons have writers block.

Having never suffered writers block myself these statements have caused introspection. In reflection I believe I have never had writer's block because I've never cared what others might think of my writing. I have not tried to write a perfect novel. Nor have I tried to write the perfect story. I have been free from the angst common to many other writers wanting to be accepted into some form of a superior writers guild.

I enjoy a free style of writing where I get to see the story unfold before me. My imagination is my vehicle, whether writing upon the wings of a Dragon, in a spaceship, in a car, or on the back of a steed. Each story is virginal where I get to be the first to experience it. It is not uncommon to find myself in the story with no knowledge or understanding of the directions it might take. The experience is uniquely exciting.  

The other side of this particular coin is in a memoir. I know where it is going. I have already lived the experience and get to as a storyteller share that experience with others - someday. It follows the memoir has its own existing structure and existing timeline as a workable outline. 


Write. Write! Write! Don't stop. Other than memoirs I do find natural "slowing" points where the story seems to come together and from there can go in many different directions. I do have tools to help me find the path the story is going to take. What I don't do is actually stop. I ask myself questions consistent with were the story is located in time, place, and direction, such as but not limited to:

What does the protagonist think about this?
Where is the protagonist at?
What is the protagonist doing?
Why is the protagonist doing what he or she may be engaged in?
Is the antagonist anywhere around?
What does the antagonist think of what the protagonist is doing?
What does the protagonist think of what the antagonist is doing?
How is the scene set up?
Are there other characters, observing or interacting in the scene?
What does the scene smell like?
Are there physical or emotional feelings being displayed?
What is at stake for the protagonists and/or the antagonist?
Is this scene necessary?
Is anyone being observed in the scene?
And I write, and write, and write!

This is the barest outline of questions that can help me understand the role and action of the players in a particular scene and/or the impacts they can have on players in other scenes.

I have written two nonfiction books, two science fiction books, three contemporary books with a fourth pending, three different memoirs from different periods in my life, and a number of short stories. Of this body of work I have had one book independently published, Oregon Concealed. I have written numerous articles for magazines and newspapers with financial successes in a small way for some of those works.

Starting out; when I exposed my writing to the public, it was all volunteer offerings. Sometimes the articles were political, sometimes factual. The first time I crossed the threshold of a professional was with an article called "Stranglehold" submitted to the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Journal. I did not know I was going to get paid for it.

If "professional" means one gets paid for what they enjoy doing, I became a professional. My last outside writing assignment of about 100 pages netted me $25,000.

As I now prepare to expose myself to a higher level of scrutiny I wonder whether "others" will have an impact on my creativity. I also wonder if my writing will be stifled, limiting the subject matter.

As I think about these musings I realize I have no directed answer for those who wrestle with beast of writers block. The artistic side of writing can in its simplest terms be reduced to the sum and substance of a "craft." For those who want to be craft writers I suggest a basic endeavor where they read, study, and learn the craft from those who have mastered it. Regardless of the mercenary interests of the masters many have chosen to share their understandings and perspectives on the craft which can be instructive. For the rest of us, LET'S JUST WRITE! I suggest a path of Thinking Write. LOL

Let me know how you do or any comments you may have about writers' block.

Legislators as Caricatures

I was recently asked the question of why I engage in the political attack on Prozanski, Burdick, Courtney, and others. In the realm of the enumerated and protected rights set forth in Oregon's Bill of Rights it is a matter of defending them or in the alternative losing them.

These legislators engage regularly in the assault on my protected gun rights under the Oregon Constitution. To give in the arena of political force to the powers that would take those rights away from us is to subject ourselves to the tyranny of government.

We often hear of the right to free speech with political speech having the greatest protection. I make the caricatures as a matter of my political free speech to drive home the nature of evil aligned against my and your constitutionally protected rights.

These legislators know that to be effective in their raising of laws designed to bend us to the yoke of their tyranny one of two things has to happen. One of those is that we for whatever reason fail to step up to the metaphoric plate of responsibility and protect our rights.

The other of the two things that could happen as a rubber stamp upon the efforts they put forth, in violation of our constitutional rights, is for us to lay back and do nothing.

A person in making a private comment to me noted with respect to Senate Bill 1551 he would like better background checks, that they be more complete and more thorough. He said that would give him a degree of comfort in feelings of safety he otherwise did not have. What I did not point out to him at that time is that there are no easy solutions and answers.

With the statistics show (if one can accept such things) is it is not the lawful person who is the criminal. A more complete background check forced upon private individuals does nothing to reduce or eliminate firearms going into the hands of criminals nor does it in any way effectively curb the activities of the criminal element.

There already are substantial laws on the books to curb this kind of unlawful activity. A different tact for the legislators here in Oregon would be to put more teeth in the existing laws and more enforcement dollars to curb the acts of the unlawful. What a novel idea!

Senate Bill 1551 is nothing more than a gun-control endeavor that would be foisted as another administrative level of tyranny upon the otherwise lawful citizenry of Oregon in order to push the envelope of gun-control ever outward.

None of those who would engage in this gun-control effort would in any meaningful way be making such laws that would actually protect anyone, nor do they argue that such laws would in any meaningful way keep firearms out of the hands of the lawless.

So in direct response to those who question, picture is worth 1000 words. These legislators who are oath breakers and worked to circumvent the very Constitution upon their sacred word they said they would uphold are no better than the thugs criminals and villains they should be protecting us from.

Son of Satan Pushes Gun Control

SON OF SATAN:  This is NOT about SB 1551 in the year of our Lord 2014, at least not directly. It is about core American values of Liberty in support of Freedom. It is about our Bill of Rights set forth in the Oregon Constitution. These rights were designed to protect us from the tyranny of our own government and to guarantee we as an armed citizenry would have the means to physically protect ourselves from the minions of government. 

Legislators Prozanski, Burdick, and Courtney to name a few would sell Oregon citizens into slavery, to be victims to the thugs and lawlessness of the criminal element. They absolutely do not care whether we as citizens in our every day endeavors or our children in the schools are at risk. They would make us defenseless against the criminal element, whether that element is made up of the thugs on our streets or in our government. 

They forget we can all read Article I, Section 27 of the Oregon Constitution wherein it provides the unrestricted right to keep and bear arms. They first need to change our organic documents but they do not even attempt to do so. We can know them by their actions.

Whatever the hidden agenda of Prozanski and the political whores and special interests of his ilk, he is an enemy of Oregon citizens. He is an oath breaker, and a traitor. Regardless of party affiliation those who support him in anyway in these endeavors are cut from the same metaphoric cloth.

It is to my embarrassment and shame of those who voted for him that he is a representative of the district I live in. 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Senator Prozanski Assaults Oregonians

     Why pass a law that only harms the lawful?

Sitting as an observer in a handgun safety class today I was impressed by the instructor. He knew his material and his presentation was excellent. Having presented to thousands over the years I felt somewhat dated, in part due to the passage of time. 

My thoughts turned to SB 1551 for this 2014 Oregon Legislature. Most simply stated this bill would require background checks on the sale of all firearms by private persons. There are a few exclusions for family. 

Anti-gun legislators such as traitor Prozanski in violation of their oaths of office are attempting to circumvent the Oregon Constitution at Article I, Section 27 by making the implementation of this bill a reality. 

What is really happening is that instead of dealing with the actual criminal element, they are trying control guns and gun issues by controlling honest people who provide no threat to anyone. What they are not doing is giving the existing laws enough teeth for enforcement to be effective in curbing illicit activity.

At the recent Senate hearing Kelly who's wife was a victim of a shooter testified. That shooter had passed a background check. Kelly suggested the checks need to be enhanced. At the core of his testimony is the frightening thread a "good back ground check" would have found the shooter might have had mental issues. Kelly and the Prozanski traitors would lever the informational door for the feds and the state to gather complete medical data. Have you seen a Cover Oregon application?

Probably the peak of the testimony insanity came from a woman from Portland advocating for more background checks. She used as her example guns being sold out of the trunks of cars in Portland. How would a background check requirement impact this type of handgun sale? Other than the lady who testified is there anyone who would believe a background check requirement would curb this type of sale? 

Only the dumb, stupid, and lawless could possibly believe SB 1551 reduce the number of handguns finding their way into the hands of the lawless. They and the gun control advocates. 

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Radically Invasive Projectile (R.I.P.)

Most states have some form of self defense law allowing the use of deadly force by a handgun whether an open carry or by use of a lawfully concealed handgun. I have taught thousands safety dynamics surrounding the use of a handgun. This has included both firearms safety and enforcement safety for the benefit of the police as well as the defender.

The NRA recommended ballistic ball for personal defense is a fluted copper jacketed hollow point ball such as this one:

The concept is the ball in the process of stopping the bad guy will expand so that most if not all of the energy in the ball will be absorbed by the bad guy making it more likely he or she will stop their unlawful act or acts causing the defender to fear for his or her life or the life of another in their presence

When the ball expands it has a much larger surface area causing the absorption of the energy referred above. I teach and have written in my book OREGON CONCEALED  A practical guide for everyone. the mantra Practice, Practice, Practice. These are the 3 Ps of success in defensive shooting. A defensive shooter is in total control until the trigger is pulled and report of the discharge has been heard. Part of the purpose of the practice concept is that once the bullet has left the barrel of the handgun, it knows not who the bad guy is. A defensive person does not want to shoot an innocent in the defense of self or others.  

Into this mix the new "Radically Invasive Projectile or R.I.P." has been introduced. It has been reviewed by many companies and independents including usacarry.com

While minions of legislative whores and prostitutes at the federal and state level work to enslave the lawful, to reduce the ability of the lawful to protect themselves and their loved ones, to destroy Liberty and Freedom, industry has stepped up to fill a void as it often will in the American system. They have recognized the need for those of us who actually want home defense in a timely manner. Thus, R.I.P.  as another tool to assist the bad guy in understanding he made an invasive mistake entering a home protected by modern technology.