Sometimes the blows come at the worst possible time

A friend’s wife, Valerie Richardson, has just been through a harrowing experience – and at the worst possible time, with the coronavirus pandemic already disrupting lives, work and income. A couple of weeks ago, Valerie was feeling ill and went to bed with what she and her husband thought was the flu. A few days later he took her to the emergency room to find out she had pneumonia. She was transferred first to Via Christi Hospital in Pittsburg, Kansas, and then to the KU Medical Center in Kansas City, Kansas. She has since undergone thoracic surgery to help her breathe better.

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Bowie knives – what’s the best low-cost, high-value version?

I’ve had an interesting e-mail exchange with a friend over the past few days.  He wants to buy a Bowie-style knife, but he’s budget-limited, and furthermore isn’t a knife expert or aficionado in any way.  He wanted advice;  but I’m not an expert in the field, so I was limited in what I could suggest. We tossed ideas back and forth for a while, and came up with two sets of criteria.  The first is for the best budget Bowie knife;  low-cost, but high value-for-money in terms of quality, functionality, etc.  We set an arbitrary limit of fifty dollars as a maximum price. 

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Stocking stuffers from friends

Several friends have published new books in recent weeks.  Here they are, in no particular order. First, J. L. Curtis (more widely known as blogger Old NFO, among other things) has published the fifth and last volume about his protagonist, John Cronin, in the “Grey Man” series.  (It was originally planned as a trilogy, until he got carried away!)  This one’s titled “The Grey Man – Twilight“. The blurb reads: Never count an old man out, even when he’s hanging up his hat! Deputy Sheriff John Cronin is looking forward to a quiet retirement, working on the ranch, and handing it off

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Heh

Received from friend, fellow author and blogger Cedar Sanderson via e-mail: BTW, the beaver really was regarded as fish under Canon Law for a very long time, because it swam like one and had a broad tail. Also, it might be the only food available during Lent. Pragmatism triumphs again! (Oh, yes – and I endorse the sentiment in the last entry. If you can take down a hippo, as far as I’m concerned, you can eat the damned thing whenever and wherever you like!) Peter

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The Albanian Mafia – it’s a real thing

A couple of years ago, my wife and I went down to Dallas-Fort Worth to buy some replacement chairs for our dining room table.  We were given the address of an “interesting” restaurant furniture shop, which seemed to be stocked largely with things that had fallen off the back of various and sundry trucks.  The proprietor, “Eddie”, was a very interesting person too:  an Albanian immigrant, who’d been in the USA for a couple of decades, but hadn’t lost anything of his Mediterranean background or his Albanian customs.  Miss D. was highly amused by the almost courtly way he treated her as

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Meeting an old friend for the first time

Last Saturday, Miss D. and I drove down to the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex to meet someone with whom I’ve had contact online for something like twenty years, but never actually met. Kim du Toit is well known in the blogosphere and shooting fraternity, and is also a writer.  He used to blog at The Other Side of Kim, but that went away some years ago.  To my great pleasure, he started blogging again a couple of years ago at his new online home, Splendid Isolation.  He’s recently remarried, after the death of his first wife, and his lady (also from South Africa) is settling down and

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Blogorado 2019, Day 5

Yesterday (Monday) saw the end of our gathering for this year.  Some folks had to leave on Sunday, due to work commitments, but the rest of us gathered for a final breakfast at the Obligatory Cow Reference before heading out in all directions.  I tackled their Western Omelet, which was as delicious as everything else on their menu.  Their breakfasts are a highlight of our get-togethers, and I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone complain about their quantity or quality. Miss D. and I headed south to Amarillo, where we met up with Alma Boykin and Old NFO for lunch.  As always, it was a

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Blogorado 2019, Day 4

Another fine, sunny day, with temperatures in the 70’s, much nicer than when we arrived!  We gathered for our usual breakfast at the Obligatory Cow Reference.  (To explain its name:  the restaurant isn’t actually called that, of course, but has a cow-related name.  Early in our Blogorado history, someone remarked that it was like an obligatory cow reference in a town that was, after all, founded towards the end of the great cattle drive period of Old West history.  The name stuck.)  I treated myself to their breakfast tacos and a short stack of flapjacks, which I couldn’t finish – they

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Blogorado 2019, Day 3

We kicked off Saturday, as usual, with breakfast at the Obligatory Cow Reference.  I renewed my acquaintance with their chicken-fried steak, topped with a generous helping of their spicy chili verde.  Accompanied by cottage fries and a couple of eggs, it was delicious. We headed out to the farm, where a couple of hours was spent preparing for the wedding celebration that afternoon.  Two of our long-term associates have decided to tie the knot, using another of our members to officiate.  FarmDad has welded together an entrance arch for the bride out of wheels from antique farm implements (which are apparently

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