The School Shooting That Didn’t Happen Today

This morning, there was a bit of a scare at Oklahoma University in Norman, OK. Someone called the police to report shots being fired. The campus cops responded. Norman Police responded. The SWAT team came out. They couldn’t find any victims of the shooting. There was no suspect. Indeed, there was no evidence that a shooting had occurred. Last I heard, they are calling the whole thing a false alarm. OU President David Boren commented about guns on campus after the fact.

In his political blood dancing where no blood had even been spilled, he expressed his “only ones” opinion. Lovely. It shouldn’t be a shock that an education administrator holds such a stance. It only surprises me because he’s an Oklahoma edu admin. The typical radically left-leaning Oklahoma native is usually disgustingly conservative and pro-gun by coastal standards. Despite the overwhelming evidence of us commoners, with a full range of training and life experience successfully using guns for self defense, and despite the fact that accidental shootings are exponentially more likely to be perpetrated by uniformed police officers, the antis keep on rolling out the tired old talking points about the “only ones” with the training to be sufficiently competent with deadly weapons.

I have deep, personal respect for law enforcement officers. I have personal friends who are and who have been police officers. Those men and women are paid to do a tough job that most of the rest of us would never do. Even though I will not likely ever go full time, I’ve often thought of signing up as a reservist in a local department. Truly the police are to be respected, but to set them aside as some elite class is factually and morally wrong. It goes against the grain of liberty as well. And, to tell us that the police have more magical powers to (or perhaps that we mere mortals are too stupid to) apply the four rules is nothing short of insulting.

*spit*

Your attitude disgusts me, Mr. Boren.

Economic Personal Armory

I mused a bit of a thought experiment with Jennifer over the weekend. When we purchased the vast majority of our guns, we were cumulatively making fairly decent money. We weren’t at all wealthy, but we had the bills paid off and there was enough left over to play. As such, each of our first guns were revolvers out of Smith & Wesson’s custom shop. Indeed, we invested in some very nice defensive and sporting pieces. It’s no secret that things have been significantly tighter over the last few years. I posited that if we started now instead of then, our accumulation of arms would look significantly different. I thought that this was interesting enough to write up here. The three major defensive/utility gun configurations are commonly accepted as the handgun, either semi-automatic or revolver; a repeating rifle, usually in a carbine length, and a repeating shotgun, usually with a barrel length between 18 and 22 inches. In a life or death fight, we use our handguns to get to our long guns. If the fight is a close-range one, use the shotgun. If there’s some distance in the fight, use your rifle. Rule one in a gun fight is have a gun. A hand gun is the gun you have on you, and is therefore the beginning of the conversation.

When I made the decision to carry concealed, I decided that my 6.5-inch .44 Mag with factory hand engraving was ill-suited to the task. So, I picked out a S&W 586L-Comp as my carry piece. Since I tend to be an ambidextrous shooter, I bought a second 586L-Comp to carry as a backup, in a mirrored holster. Were I to arm up today, there is no way that I’d purchase a matched pair of Performance Center revolvers for concealed carry. That much money can be spread over entirely too many bills and debts for that. I did wind up with a M&P45c for daily carry, but I’d likely go with something more economical than that even. I’d more than likely pick up a used Glock 22 or 23. Jennifer asked me, “why .40?” This is an excellent question, as we don’t have anything in the house chambered in .40S&W. The primary reason we don’t, is that we have 9mms and .45ACPs. No matter how careless you (or your guests) are, you will never get a 9mm cartridge chambered in a .45. There are things one caliber is good at that the other isn’t, but there’s not a whole lot you can do with .40 that you can’t with either 9mm or .45ACP. However, if you could only have one gun, .40S&W is a longer-range cartridge, is far more compact gun frame than .45ACP, and is deer-legal in Oklahoma from at least a four-inch barrel. Glock models in .40 have been so ubiqutous that used varieties can easily be found for less than the $500-mark with a lot of life left in them. They’re cheap and easy to get accessories for, and their magazines are interchangeable with some non-Glock models.

This leads us to defensive carbines. Jennifer and I each have name-brand AR-pattern carbines in 5.56 NATO. Even though we love our little M4geries, I would not purchase one on the budget that I have today. Frankly, they are overpriced. Sure, a basic model doesn’t command $3,000 as it did for a weird four months or so of the Obamascare, but even what is commonly sold as a $800-$1,200 rifle is often an assortment of parts that should cost more like $500-$600 in a fair and unbiased market. This goes for AK clones as well. If a decent gun could be had for $300-$500, then everyone should have one. With the prices they command, I believe I’ll still pass. If I were purchasing my defensive carbine in today’s market, I’d be looking at Kel Tec’s Sub2000 in .40S&W, or perhaps a Hi-Point carbine also in .40S&W. Either one will happily share magazines and ammunition with the aforementioned Glock models. *01/22/2014 – EDITED FOR CORRECTION – Cyberludite points out in the comments that Hi-Point carbines do NOT in fact use Glock magazines. I’m not sure why I was thinking that they did, but I was indeed guilty of being a guy saying something wrong on the internets. Thank you Cyberludite and I’m sorry world.* I would most likely stock up on a few of the 22 or 29-round magazines, as well as shave the grips down on both guns so they would be short enough to accept Glock 27 magazines too. Although .40S&W isn’t the long range shooter that 5.56 or 2.23Rem, out of a 16-inch barrel (or 17.5, in the case of the Hi-Point), it’s producing more energy than 9mm, and it can reach out further than .45ACP. Again, this rifle configuration would be legal and effective against Oklahoma white tail.

Jennifer and I love our Winchester pump actions. This is like being a Studebaker fan. Most sane folks justifiably choose a current offering from Remington or Mossberg, or perhaps one of the high quality semi-automatics. I wanted an old Defender, and when I couldn’t find one, I basically built one out of a 120 Ranger, which is a variation of the Winchester 1300 platform. I left the vent-ribbed barrel at 22-inches and added a magazine extention. After the fact, we managed to find a lightly used Defender for Jennifer. These things tend to be relatively inexpensive, and also tend to be pretty solid guns. Expect to see workable examples in pawn shops for $200, give or take $50. If I didn’t have my Winchester, and was looking to score a house gun, I’d probably get the cheapest used Mossberg pump I could find that was still serviceable, chambered in 12-gauge. Jennifer suggested a police retired Remington 870 as an option. Remington’s 870 is a fine gun in my opinion, at least as good as the old Winchester 1912, 1200, or 1300 pump actions, but even used and beat up, they tend to command a price that would buy two or three similarly worn Mossburgs. Indeed, I’ve seen Mossies in pawn shops priced close to $100 if not less. If it has a long barrel on it, chop it down within the legal minimum limit of 18-inches. I like my shotguns at around 20 to 22-inches, because this seems to be a pretty good compromise between payload velocity and keeping the gun maneuverable. Whether it has plastic or wood furniture, it will still put lead downrange. Whether it has a super long eight-round tube magazine, or a four-rounder with a plug limiting it to two rounds, training and practice will make it work just fine. When you practice and get good at feeding rounds in through the ejection port, you’ll find that the missing two or three rounds of magazine capacity will not be your bottleneck on shooting speed over the course of 25 to 50 rounds of ammunition.

In such a hypothetical situation, I probably wouldn’t worry so much about a backup handgun, but would focus my attention on making sure that my primary was in excellent working order at any given time. However, if I were to add one as a fourth gun, I’d probably be just as likely to choose either the cheapest, serviceable, used Glock 27 (for magazine and ammo compatability), or a .38Spl snubby in whatever brand was available. Although I do love my S&W revolvers, they tend to be expensive, pulling in close to $500 for even the cheapest of the J-frames. Conversely, I’d be looking at whatever used examples I could find from Taurus, Rossi, Charter Arms, and probably a few others, just as long as the timing was right, and the cylinder locked up satisfactorily. But even then, this would be way low on my list of must haves, as I feel that the expense would be better spent on practice ammunition and training.

Previously, I would have said that a .22lr, either rifle or a high-quality pistol would be a must-have in such a setup, for practice, training, and for small game hunting. But recently, it’s been so hard to come by .22lr ammunition, that I’m not convinced it would be well-advised. For the going rate of .22lr when you can manage to find it, you can hand load any common centerfire handgun cartridge for less money, so there’s not a significant cost savings if you have access to reloading equipment. Small game that can be taken with a .22 can also be taken with lighter 12-gauge loads, or even some centerfire handgun loads.

If you’ve found yourself in a similar situation but you started out with a revolver instead of a semi-auto, you might consider a lever-action carbine in the same chambering as your wheel gun. There’s something about ammunition commonality that is quite charming and useful. Frankly, it’s kind of weird that Jennifer and I have not wound up with any lever actions in .357 or .44 Magnum yet. Just as the pump action shotgun, with practice, these can run really fast and accurately. A .357 Magnum load out of a carbine-length barrel can get close to actual, rifle cartridge velocities, which puts it at an advantage over the .40S&W as discussed above. Plus, your .357Mag lever gun will shoot mouse-fart .38Spl wadcutters just as happily as your revolver, making it equally effective for small game hunting or paper killing.

At any rate, we do live in interesting times. It is my hope (and frequent prayer) that we’ll see real improvement in the economy. For those of you who may be trying to cobble together a defensive system under a serious budget duress, I hope this proves useful to you. Feel free to ask questions, and I’ll do my best to round up the answers. If any of my readers have anything to add, I’d love to hear that too!

Hawk Ammo – First Impressions

I’d like to take a moment to introduce Hawk Ammo.

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This is a brand new ammunition company that was started earlier this year by Jeffery Havard, an old friend of mine. His goal is to produce match-grade ammunition at big box prices. He dropped off a box of 20-rounds of .45 ACP for me to review several weeks back, and I have not had a chance to go shooting since. This is a shame, and I wanted to at least give a preliminary look at what he’s doing and what he provided as an example. His boxes may not have the foil-embossed, multi-color print that Federal and Hornady employ, but don’t let the humble monochrome packaging fool you.

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He’s started with brand new Starline brass,

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and stuffed it with 185-grain Gold Dot hollow points.

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He lists a box of 20 .45 ACP hollow points loaded for self defense at $18, which puts it toward the cheap end, if the quality is what it appears to be, which I fully expect.

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It may have to wait until after the first of the year, but I will carve out a little time to run this stuff into targets and across the chrony, and I’ll have more to say about it then.

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Personally knowing Jeff’s attention to detail, I expect no surprises here. I predict that these will be consistent and accurate. But, that proof will have to wait for another day. You can check out his website, or shoot him an email if you have additional questions.

KTKC 2013 – The Day After

From September 1 through yesterday, September 30, whenever I was wearing clothing, I was wearing a kilt. I very literally spent September 2013 without wearing pants even once. Today, I wear jeans. Some of you stepped up to the challenge and helped me raise $705.00 for the Prostate Cancer Foundation. Thank you. Thanks to all of you for your generosity. The cumulative goal for this year’s drive was lofty, but my personal goal was admittedly unreasonably optimistic. And, I’d like to take a moment to talk about that.

I could point out the fact that this total is about a third of what came through my KTKC profile last year, but I’d rather point out that it is TEN TIMES what I raised in 2011. I’d like to pass out some virtual high-fives for that. I’ve had to carefully consider whether I will participate in KTKC 2014, but I keep coming back to an echoing yes in the hollow recesses of my brain. This year has been tough for a lot of folks, and I’m so proud that you all helped me out with your resources.

I’ve pretty well determined who is getting a holster named after them, but I have not yet contacted for details. You likely know who you are already and should expect an email from me shortly to sort out the details of the naming of the holster. I’m sorry I didn’t have more to offer in the way of prizes this year. We’ll try to step up our game for next year. To all of you who donated, I’m about to draw for the pauldrons. If you do NOT wish to receive them, please drop me an email and let me know to hold your name out of the drawing. Otherwise, you stand about a one in sixty chance of getting some delightfully random plate mail.

I’d like to take a moment to send congratulations to the top participants in this year’s drive. No, scratch that. I want to give a big congratulations to all involved, but especially the top participants. I hear rumors that in the cumulative three months of doing this, we’ve raised over $50,000 to benefit male-specific cancer. That’s not bad for a group of misfits and miscreants such as ourselves. In fact, that’s worth being proud of. Thanks again. Now, I’ve got to go prepare. We only have eleven months until KTKC, and I have some holsters to build!

KTKC 2013 Day 30

Unless you have been living under a rock, or you got here on a Google search for hot Japanese squid porn, because I just incorporated that phrase, you know that this month I have been Kilted to Kick Cancer. Again, I want to give huge thanks to all of you who have made donations to the cause. Here’s a picture of me playing a Native American flute.

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As I said in some previous post that I’m not going to link back to right now, in years prior, I have succumbed to the temptation to find an excuse not to wear the kilt during this magical time. Not so this year! Although I have worn leggings under my kilt for parasite protection in the field on two occasions, I have not worn a pair of pants. Unless you count this picture where I show how much weight you too can lose by simply wearing a kilt:

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But, I didn’t so much wear them as crawled into them and peek out the top. And in all fairness, I was wearing my kilt under the jeans when the photo was taken. But, my point is that I have been wearing a kilt. All. Month. Long. Ask the other participants if they have completely abstained from pants this month. I severely doubt it. Last I looked, I’m pretty sure I was in seventh place. I wonder if any of the six guys ahead of me has worn a kilt at the absolute exclusion of pants since the month of August. This is why you should be sending your money through my account. Well, that and this hunter safety orange head tube that I arranged on Teen Bot like a balaclava:

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As of this writing, we have nine hours until the close of KTKC. In previous years, it has really come down to the last minute on who took the most for the cause. I know that budgets have been tight this year. I also know that a lot of people get paid on Monday. So help a brother out! To entice you, here’s a pic of me doing my best Captain Morgan impression:

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Your guess is as good as mine as to whether I’d had more to drink than the photographer. I think we can agree that there have been some pretty good pictures this year. Truth be told, I’m looking forward to getting back into my pants. Tomorrow, I plan on wearing a pair of Wranglers. On Sunday, I’ll wear an Armani suit. But, until I shed my clothing to crawl into bed and go to sleep tonight, I will be wearing my 5.11 TDK. Please keep that in mind this afternoon and this evening. I will be kilted for the remainder of the month, as I have been for the entire month thus far. When you think of this, think of male cancers. It’s not to late to contribute. Please consider throwing some bucks at the cause for me. Thanks again.

KTKC 2013 Day 27, Recap from Yesterday

As you all know by now, the least sane of us have been kilted this month to raise awareness about male specific cancers, and to seek sponsorship in the endeavor to benefit related charities. Please feel free to throw some bucks at my Prostate Cancer Foundation page.

Sometime last week, we ran out of paycheck at the end of the bills. This happens more often in September than any other time of the year. Especially when we just upgraded phones. And, accidentally lost $500 to an embarrassing clerical error. Oops. On Wednesday, we ran out of coffee. Yesterday, I decided to use Coca Cola as my caffeine delivery system, but my body wasn’t having any of that nonsense.

For a while, my uncle was brewing green coffee, as he had read that it was the new, popular ‘superfood’ that would cure all that ails you. He got tired of drinking green coffee and gave me half a bag of green Brazilian santos that he no longer had any use for. Last summer was entirely too hot to roast coffee, as is produces entirely too much smoke to roast indoors, and consequently I still have quite a bit of this hanging around. So, yesterday, I dug out the roaster that I made out of a popcorn popper and a grill thermometer, and threw a pound of green santos in it on the grill’s side burner.

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Once the beans achieved the proper color, aroma, and sound, they went into the colander to remove the chaff.

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Update – sorry. I got twitchy on my publish button, apparently.

While the coffee beans were cooling, Jennifer and I put together a couple of smoked tri tip roast quiches with home grown parsnips, onions, and basil, topped with white cheddar. We baked one for dinner and threw the other in the freezer for next time. Over dinner we watched classic Doctor Who with Teen Bot. After Teen Bot went to bed, we pickled up jalapeƱo hybrids* and pear tomatoes from our garden with some garlic chunks. Although I’m a little disappointed at the anemic production of our garden over the last few years, yesterday reminds me that we really are producing quite a bit of our own stuff. As we sat and relaxed before bed, I commented that I wish my shoulder wasn’t bothering me so much because I’d like to get that couch cushion stitched shut finally.

Again, please do consider sponsoring me in this year’s KTKC drive. You can donate here. We only have three more days to go!

*Having planted our peppers too close together this year, they apparently cross-pollinated. Our best guess is that our jalapeƱos crossed with our habaneros, or possibly some kind of demon. They are bright red and wicked hot.

KTKC 2013 – Day 16 – Hunting and Scouting

Click here to donate to my KTKC fund.

Photos By Trail Camera

Deer Archery season starts on October 1, along with Fall Turkey and Rabbit season. Squirrels are in season currently. Jennifer and I decided to do some pre-season scouting on Saturday. We stopped at Tractor Supply to buy some salt licks for the deer. It’s a little late in the season for this, and the bucks have long since eaten the last mineral lick as their antlers have grown in this spring and summer. A four-pound mineral lick, about the size of a brick, costs around $5 at the local sporting goods store. By comparison, a fifty-pound block is about the same price at Tractor Supply. They had a few variations, so I got a plain white block, a sulfur block, and a trace mineral block. We shall see what the deer like the most.

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I put small game heads on my arrows, in case we crossed paths with any squirrels, and finally got to try my bow sling that Tanner Hann from Slogan Outdoors hooked me up with.* I may have to write a fuller review of this excellent product, but I thought I would mention it here.

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From the pictures we collected on the game camera, it looks like the deer herd is at least twice as big as it was last year, with several bucks, quite a few does, and a couple of fawns and yearlings.

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If I understand correctly, we’re going to want to cull out a buck or two to keep the male to female proportion properly balanced. Here’s the young one that looks like good stock to leave for next year:

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It’s so funny how they sometimes seem to pose for the camera.

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Of course, there are babies.

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Daaawwwww! Almost too cute to eat!

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And, one gregarious turkey.

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Last year and the year before, I may have fudged the kilt thing once or twice. This year, I’ve made a hard and fast commitment to not wear pants for the month.

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In the spring, the ticks and poison ivy were so bad that there was no way I was going out with uncovered skin. So, I donned my black leggings under my 5.11 TDK and combat boots. This had mixed results. My cousins had mowed and baled in the west field, but it’s been so rainy that the grass has grown up tall and thick again.

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Much of the grass is actually taller than the round bales at this point. And, the stickers are terrible this year.

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Jennifer and I picked no fewer than a jillion stickers out of our clothing. Incidentally, they stick really well to leggings under a kilt.

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The golden orb weavers have been prolific this year, guarding their distinctive webs with the Jacob’s Ladder zig-zag up the center.

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We’re also seeing a whole lot more thistles than in previous years. They were in full bloom this weekend.

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We spotted this on the ground. Does that look like a pheasant feather to you?

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I hadn’t ever seen pheasants on the property, but I wouldn’t rule it out completely. Overall, I’d say it was a good trip, and I’m feeling quite optimistic for deer season here in a couple of weeks.

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The Slogan Outdoor sling performed exactly as I have wished for a bow sling. It was comfortable and secure for all of our hiking. The stabilizer fell off my bow at some point in time. I knew that the chances of finding it in the grass were slim to none, so I ordered a replacement on Amazon.

Again, please do support me on the Kilted To Kick Cancer drive to fight male-specific cancers. Click here to donate. And, huge thanks to those of you who have already so generously donated!

*Tanner at Slogan provided the sling at no cost, for the purpose of review.

Answers When Someone Asks What’s Under The Kilt…

We’re in Day 5 of KTKC, and I was going to upload some pics for you. But, the internet connection speed sucks around here today. So, no pics. I’ll try to make it up to you later. Please do donate to the cause, and here is a list of fun things to say to those who have the gall to ask about the underwear situation with a kilt.

Nothing is worn, everything is in perfect working order.
No underwear. Thought it was such a nice day I’d take the boys our for a walk
My back-up claymore.
A second, even smaller kilt.
Just my friend, and his buddies who are a couple of nuts!
A few English peasant girls.
At the moment, grass. Soon there will be pavement.
The “usual.”
All the nasty stories you can only read about on the internet.
String. I kind of had to tie it up so it didn’t hang below the kilt.
Good thing I got a clean shave. Want to see?
It’s the smallest airport in the world…..2 hangars and a night fighter.
Good girls don’t ask and bad girls just check for themselves.
Latex. (keep them guessing)
FREEDOM!
Haggis.
A katana. Didn’t you see “The Highlander?”
Nothing but lipstick.
The emperor’s new underwear.
The loch ness monster.
Why, Did something fall off?
If you don’t know by now, what’s the use of me telling you?
A lacy, pink thong with cute little bows.
Same as you’ve got under your hat.
A lady doesn’t ask and a gentleman doesn’t tell!
Socks and boots.
The future of Scotland.
My feet.
If you were man enough to wear a kilt, what would you wear under it?
Can you keep a secret? Yeah, so can I.
Why would you ask anyone about their underwear?
Got warm hands?
Answers are free, demonstrations are gonna cost you.
Depends… not the adult diapers, but on the situation.
I killed the last man who asked me that question.
Just what God graced me with.
What’s under your pants/dress/skirt?
Usually it’s the ladies who ask that question.. you know I’m straight, right buddy?
How badly do you want to know?
You guess!
A blue ribbon.

I hope you found these amusing. Of course, nobody is laughing at prostate or testicular cancer. Again, I would greatly appreciate it if you could spare a little for KTKC. Thanks!

p.s. – My connection is so bad right now that I can’t even preview any of this. So, if something is broken, I apologize in advance.

KTKC 2013, Day 3

Please go here and donate to the cause. You probably all know that this month I will be wearing a kilt to help raise funding and awareness for male-specific cancers. In 2011, the first year for KTKC, my efforts raised $60 toward the cause. Last year, my total came in at $2,263. That is nearly thirty-eight times the previous year’s performance! If we could realize another gain proportional to that, it would put the donations at $85,352.82 this year. Even as awesome as you people are, I’m just not holding my breath on that.

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Honestly, if we can expect anything remotely resembling the same increase from last year to this year, there’s no reason that we can’t hit that $50,000 group goal. Therefore, I’ve set my personal goal at $50,000. Frankly, if we can do half of that, I’m going to be really proud of you all. If you help me make that $50,000 goal and I still don’t finish in the top three, even better yet. Again, please make your donations here. Thanks in advance!

Erin’s Big Day

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Many of you have probably by now learned Erin’s long-standing secret. If not, I would rather you read it in her words than to give it away here. I’ve known about Erin’s situation for a bit now. We had started to chat online and had gotten to be friends. One day, she said that she had something that she wanted to talk to me about that she was nervous about. When she did her big reveal, I remember asking what else she had for me. But that was it. I was a little surprised that she’d gotten so worked up about telling me. I told her that I didn’t think that her differences were such a big deal. Really, I felt bad for her that she thought I might reject her for it.

I don’t think of myself as politically correct in the least nor particularly tolerant, but I just didn’t see Erin’s big secret as… …well… …all that big a secret. And, it isn’t. There have been several occasions that I thought she was going to blow her secret and regret it after the fact. I remember one evening in IRC in particular when she kept dropping hints in the room. I just knew she was going to do it. I felt like I was running both sides, hitting up Erin in a back channel to say, “don’t do anything you’ll regret tomorrow!” and hitting the main room to announce something along the lines of, “Erin is my friend and I’m standing with her.” So, although I do feel for Erin’s inevitable and obvious discomfort for her current situation, I’m actually a little relieved that it’s all out in the open now. I hope and I do believe that this will prove to be positive for Erin. And, as I said before, I’ll stand with my friend Erin. She’s still the little sis that we have known.

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