EDIT: Thanks. I'm sending a check for $1600 and change as soon as the paypal funds hit my bank.  Any donations still inbound are going to a friend who's beyond destitute. I'll take that up later.  If you haven't sent money on this, please hold off or give it to someone else in need.

EDIT: The gentleman was overwhelmed.  I'm glad we could turn his horrible weekend around the next weekend. Thanks to all.

~~~

I try to avoid publicizing my own charity, because I feel it cheapens the act to boast of it.  Well, I'm not boasting here. I'm asking for a little assistance.

 

Here's the person and the event:

Last week, my family and I were in Florida for research, including a SpaceX launch (SF writer here. Of course that's research).

Between the site tour and the launch, we had a couple of hours, but not enough to go back to the hotel. We (two families) took all the kids to a McDonald's Playplace to burn off steam.

While we're seated, a man and his son came in. The gentlemen displayed symptoms of frustration, possibly of Tourette's, and struggled with the order kiosk, with some repeat gestures and tics.  His son tried to help him order, and eventually an employee came over. It seems it was frustration in not finding his favorite meal, which had been discontinued.  Note that he was quiet and non-aggressive, just internally frustrated.

They get food, they sit across from us, and a few minutes later, a police officer shows up. Someone had called about "Signs of distress."  The officer was very professional, checked his ID, and the man was entirely lucid and clear during the process.  That done, officer leaves.  Well and good.

Obviously, having your stressful evening aggravated by a police call is even more stressful.  He had a family member show up, I presume his brother, and they took turns going outside to smoke, and spending time with the boy, about 10, who didn't seem at all troubled by his adults, but bothered by the attention they were getting.

For a couple of minutes, the boy was alone while the adults were smoking and taking a bathroom break, and that's when this humorless, middle-aged busybody, the kind who likes intruding in people's lives, comes over with staff to point out the "abandoned boy" and how they should "Call child services."

We made sure the staff were aware the adults were on the premises, and they encouraged her back to her seat and to mind her own damned business. How dare anyone who doesn't fit the middle class stereotype be in her presence!

I should note there was a pile of food on the table with the young man, though he didn't have much of an appetite by this point.

So here's the kicker: Jess had taken Alex out to the car to nurse, and calls to ask if I still have my cash, because some teens outside were bragging about "finding" $200 in the bathroom.

Yup, I have my cash, but guess who'd just been in the bathroom? That's right. The gentleman everyone was obsessing over, who'd just left, picking up his son for a big cuddle on the way out. Adding insult to injury, he dropped the boy's ice cream cone from a physical tremor.

I go to the bathroom and strategically placed on the trash can is his wallet, containing his ID and a bunch of pictures of the boy. And no cash. I guess the punks "found" the $200 in his wallet.

I handed the wallet to the manager as we left. 

So after the fact, I contacted the local police and they helped me get contact info with the man's family. Yes, he was a local handyman, and had just finished some work and been paid cash.

Well, I'm about to send $250 to this guy the universe decided to take a dump on last Friday. If anyone reading this today would like to chip in, I'll send that, too.

 

I loaded up the trailer and rolled to the fairgrounds for the Indy 1500 Gun and Knife Show.  My friend Jack, there to help, runs over and warns me not to unload.

It seems they were waiting for word on whether or not the show would go on. They'd been calling the fairgrounds all week, and told things were fine. Then, suddenly, there's debate. After we all arrive, but not after we start setup at least. And I'm local (well, under 50 miles), so there's that.

We hang around waiting, along with the Flower and Patio Show people, and I understand why the governor had pause. Who wants 10,000 Angry Karens calling your office to complain?

Ultimately, he even stayed late to ponder this matter, because the notification of closure came down at 1626.

Show is cancelled.  At least it's early spring, not the Comic Con, the race, or GenCon.

Since I'm not a morally bankrupt, mentally retarded, intellectually corrupt, pathetic pussy, I'm not blaming the President for this.

There's a good chance in a month it will all be a bunch of nothing. If so, it's because action like this mitigated the threat, not because the threat didn't exist.

Meantime, I have lots of stuff to sell online. I have wares if you have coin.

I only knew Butch by his first time.  He was a regular dealer here at the Indy 1500 Gun and Knife show. He looked 65 when I met him in 1995. He looked 65 in June of this year. He was in hospice for the August show, and the cancer reached his brain and killed him in September.

Butch sold gun parts, and knew every part of every gun ever made. You'd hold up a gun.  "I need this."

He'd say, "Middle screw for the sideplate of a Smith Model 57." Turn around, open an old wooden drawer on his rack, and pull one out.  

You'd hold up a piece you found and ask, "What is this?"

"That's the fore end latch spring for a Stevens Model 94. From the bend, I'm guessing it was 20 gauge."

There's at least a dozen guns here that work because he had parts I needed, and a half dozen shotguns I put together from stripped receivers and parts from his tables.

RIP, Butch. You can never be replaced.

His daughter has taken over the business. I hope she's as successful as he was.

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Pythagoras
July 9, 2019
This turned out to be just a collection of short stories & rants. I briefly scanned the story titles and the first one I read dealt with the M1 Garand rifle, which Williamson considers junk -- he loves AR's, which I consider junk. So far just a difference of opinion BUT: My bullshit meter hit max when MZ claimed that the sights on an M1 only go out to 460 yards. Now that's just a lie, he knows better. As a Marine officer I shot quite a bit of military rifle competition back in the early 1970's, with both the M1 Garand in 30.06 and the M-14 in 7.62, using the mil-spec standard iron sights. The course used was a national match course fired at 200, 300, and 600 METERS. That's 660 yards for the math-challenged Williamson. Both match-conditioned rifles shot quite accurately at that range and I would not have hesitated to fire the M1 on the 1000-yard range. Silly rants are OK but don't lie to support a questionable case.

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Michael Z. Williamson 1 second ago
First, there is a difference between a "lie" and an "Error."

Second, per FM 23-5, the stated maximum effective range is given as 500 yards. Now, what I saw was 460 METERS, but in publications using both Imperial and Metric. I transposed. BFD. AND, the newer M16s exceed that range.

Also, just because a weapon is mechanically limited to a given range, does not mean it's impossible to shoot further. It's entirely possible. It's just that accuracy lacks.

The M1 was accepted for service at 3 MOA accuracy. That's 18" at 600 yards plus wind drift, plus rotation of the earth (And yes, that is a factor). Then, flight time is approximately 1 second, so sure, hitting paper at that range is doable, but inaccurate, and hitting a moving enemy...only by sheer luck.

Also, I own and shoot an original, complete, M1-D.

So it's your math that's challenged, as well as your reading comprehension. And if you're such an over-sensitive snowflake that a single questionable error removes 4 stars from the book and causes a meltdown of "LIAR LIAR PANTS ON FIRE!" it doesn't speak well for Marine officers. Luckily, I'm aware you're not typical.

Also, the AR platforms have been demolishing the archaic platforms at National Match for about 30 years now. 1970 was a long time ago. About the time I was 5. Technology has advanced in a half century. Witness this computer we're using.

You should probably look up an article entitled, "The M14, Not Much For Fighting ( A Case Against The M14 Legend)"

If you're that upset about my comments on the Garand, this one will cause apoplexy. But facts remain facts.


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