NEW YEAR!! — 48 Comments

  1. As long as you can “grow old gracefully” Mas, bring it on. We’ve both had a few years to experience the truth of the saying;
    “When you’re 20, you worry what people think of you; when you’re 40, you don’t care what they think of you, and when you’re 60, you find out they weren’t thinking of you in the first place”!

    • Amen, bro. Ain’t sure about the “gracefully” on this end, but I am down with the “growing old” part.

  2. First, Happy New Year to you, Mas & Gail. You two epitomize the concept of giving back – thanks for everything you’ve done and will do.

    All the posts here have significant merit, but, as usual, Dennis’ words ring so very true to me. Dennis, the fear you stated has been a recurring thought of mine for too many years. Is it our ego that makes us think like this? I’m beginning to believe that somehow, we’ve got to let this….thing – go. How do we do this? What has been working for me is that while praying, I focus on the awesome immensity of our universe and, at least in MY faith, the awesome God who created all of it – similar thoughts as the astronauts had. I guess what I’m saying is that we’re ALL important – no one person more than another. Does any of this make sense?

    • Don-Pa, I really don’t know the answer. In our early life our world is small. Family, friends, schoolmates, teachers, etc. We attempt to fit in. Some of those we knew had more money, seemingly more important jobs, or if still in school, made better grades, wore the latest styles in clothing, were more popular, etc. Some are not noticed so much. You know them, see them daily, they don’t stand out from the crowd, they’re just nice folks who never hurt anyone, never gossip or attempt to belittle those around them, are always ready to help those around them, and never seek credit or to be in the spotlight. These are the the ones I now look back on and realize how much they influenced my life, how much they contributed.

      At one time, “settled science” said the earth was flat and all the heavenly bodies revolved around our world. That’s because with our limited abilities, that was all we could see with our eyes. As science advanced, discoveries were made that extended our awareness and changed how we saw our world fitting into a bigger picture. You speak of the vastness of our universe (which is just one of an unknown number). As vast as it is, each planet, moon, solar system, asteroid, comet, and meteor is an integral part of it all. If any one was not there, it would change it all and how everything now exists, therefore each is important.

      So back to your premise, yes, we are all important, even if we might see ourselves as being insignificant (or, on he flip side, more significant than we will ever realize) when we come to realize how big the picture really is.

      Funny, one of the things that was always a stumbling block for some folks accepting the concept of God was the all seeing, all knowing, aspect. I have to wonder if that will change with the reality of the NSA facility in Utah we all now accept has pretty much proven that concept is possible, if not already here.

      Oh, well, my old age rambling is showing itself again.

      • Dennis, please don’t stop rambling. I have learned one thing as I age and that is to practice the concept of “2 ears, 1 mouth.” It’s no longer matters that I am the funniest person, or the one who gets in the last word. This concept has dovetailed very nicely with my entry into the world of concealed carry. Reading the words of Massad Ayoob, who made me realize how much I was missing by not being in Condition Yellow. Even with all the aberrations in today’s world, it’s still a beautiful place. Heads on swivels, everyone – as I tell my brother every day – you should never be surprised by someone getting too close.

  3. UNCLE MAS, YOU ARE THE BEST. WE LOVE YOU! WE LOVE YOU! WE LOVE YOU! I can only reflect with gratitude how much brighter 2018 and the world are because people like you stay with it in spite of its difficulties & challenges,and continue “the good fight.” Greetings, salutations, and cheers to your team too. Happy New Year Blessings to you all.

  4. Wow this hits home. I’ve been older than my doctor(s) for years now. 2018 – Basically just hoping I see more advances on the RKBA front.

    I will say that I got a look at the front cover of the latest issue of America’s First Freedom, Steve Willeford is on the front cover. It’s the most striking cover I have ever seen on that or any of the other NRA magazines. I think I will keep this issue.

    The other thing I note about 2017 is this, I now realize that there was no reason for me to hold my nose when I voted for President Trump. That man, while I may disagree with some of the wrapping, has turned out to be something of a promise keeper and that has been a shocking revelation to me. But then again, he does have a background in business and not politics so maybe I should have realized it sooner. Anyway, in 2020, I won’t be holding my nose.

    Happy New Year to all and stay safe in the up-coming storm if you live on the east coast.

    • @ Rich Zore – I am with you on President Trump. Like you, he was not my first choice. I mainly voted for him because he was “Not Hillary”.

      However, when I see what he has accomplished during his first year in office and when I realize that he did it all despite the most constant and viscous attacks ever made against a sitting President, I have changed my attitude. I have went from a reluctant supporter to a dedicated fan.

      In fact, the more the Leftist Lap-dog media howl at him, then the better I like him. I figure that anyone that the media elites hate so much MUST be a GREAT MAN and a FANTASTIC LEADER!

  5. Mom was asked what she was going to do now that she was an octogenarian. Her response:

    Any damn thing I want to do.

    Only 10 more years to go Ma’s. Dad became a U.F.O. at eighty. (A member of the United Flying Octogenarians).

    What ever you do, keep having fun! And writing. We love it; And you.

    • Dang auto correct. And I thought I read it as I typed it.

      Should read:

      Only 10 more years to go Mas.

    • You’re only in trouble when you have the world’s supply of hearing aid batteries SOMEWHERE and can’t find even one of the little devils.

  6. I’ve “come around the corner” and am looking at 75 in May. The scariest part is that so many folks my age 9nad younger) that I know have departed this life. I’m beat-up (motorcycle accident with literally more broken bones than Evel Knievel) and move slow (bad knees) but I’m still moving and I guess that’s what counts. I have to work 6 more years for everything to be paid off (mortgage and 2 cars) but then I’ll be retiring (= finally the time to do the things I want but not enough money to actually do them. Cruel). Work is easy (computer tech support from home) but I’m gonna miss the good money when that stops. Just need to buy all the guns and ammo that I will ever need first..

  7. Funny stuff, Mas! I don’t know what he new year will bring, but starting with humor seems a good strategy. My official laugh for the day! Best…

  8. Best decision I ever made was asking my wife to marry me, back in 1969. Even though I had to jump-start her red GMC Canyon this morning.
    Trusting medics that are younger than I am wasn’t difficult. It’s trusting the ones that aren’t old enough to be my children that’s hard. But, I figure they know all the new stuff, of which there’s a lot.
    I’m also 70, still teaching and writing, so that’s good. In fact, now I enjoy teaching more than I enjoy shooting, so that’s even better.
    I only want one more gun, a carry piece. It should be small and light enough to carry in a pocket, hold fifteen+1 .45 ACP cartridges, and shoot 100 yards accurately with no recoil.
    Happy New Year!

  9. This is not an advertisement as I get no remuneration for it. It is a non medical prescription.

    I have been teaching Yoga for over forty years. Yoga is not my prescription.

    I am 72 years old, somewhat arthritic and have my share of aches and pains.

    I have discovered a product, produced by Lu-Za in Colorado. It is now called “Pain Cream” and contains 125mg/ounce of CBD oil. CBD oil is a marijuana extract, less any hallucinogenic properties, is legal in a great many states (I know it is legal in my state) and is ~1/40 the cost of Massad’s prescription medicine, and I bet it is safer and works better too.

    A very little goes a long way and the pain relief is miraculous. If you are getting older, and feeling it throughout your body, I heartily recommend you contact these people (LuZa products) and give it a try.

  10. “You know you’re a grownup when the cops are younger than you, and you know you’re old when your doctors are younger than you.”

    Mas, that nails it. I spent the Christmas break with a bout of bronchitis after trying to beat back a cold, and had to visit the walk-in clinic in my town. I swear I thought I walked into a second grade school play. All these kids walking around acting like (and to my shock, actually being) physicians assistants and doctors! The girl who took my vitals couldn’t be more than 12! And the doctor looked all of 18!! I felt really old.

    “But, I always look on the bright side. “It’s not that I’m getting older, it’s that every day there are more younger women.” Ya gotta think positive.””

    I’m with you there my brother. Stay safe.

  11. I am so old that I remember buying “In the Gravest Extreme” when it was new and thinking that it was the smartest thing I had ever read about self-defense. As far as I know, you were the first to focus on those sorts of issues. Now, your ideas dominate the field and you have produced more great writing and inspired others to do the same. My New Year’s wish is that you keep up the great work.

  12. Happy New Year to everybody. I’m a little older than you, Mas.
    WISH? That my eyes were not making me choose scopes, red dots, and lasers over iron.
    REGRET? That I didn’t start buying guns 50 years sooner.
    AGE? What I can’t do anything about, I don’t sweat. Pass the aspirin please.

  13. So I got 6 years on you but have the handicap of racing Flat Track motorcycles for 16 years. 15 broken bones. So some mornings I feel as if I’m crawling out of a train wreck. By 10 I feel ok. The love of my life has 10 years on me and works her law practice every day that I don’t drag her to the rifle range where she out shoots me (600 yard benchrest), some times by a little sometimes b a lot.After hanging out together for 44 years she decided we should be married. Best day of my life.All in all we are doing good/maybe great. The pain proves we are among the living. I tell her we are going to show ’em a hunndred done right. I look forward to what you write when you’re a hundred too!

  14. This may seem off-topic but, really, it is not. What are the primary drivers of human behavior?

    Sigmund Freud advanced the theory that sexuality was the primary driver.

    Bertrand Russell, in his 1950 Nobel Prize acceptance speech, stated that there were four (4) drivers of human behavior:

    1. Desire for material goods (wealth)
    2. Desire for Attention (vanity)
    3. Desire for Power (political, power over others)
    4. Desire for excitement (to escape boredom)

    Both Freud and Russell were DEAD WRONG! There is one and only one driver of human behavior. It is fear of death (mortality). It underpins all of the motivations listed above which renders them as secondary effects.

    Sex (whether for reproduction or fun) is driven by the fear of death. We reproduce (have children) as a means to cheat death and continue our line. We have sex for fun as a way to enjoy life while we still have it. In other words, before death takes it away from us.

    Likewise, all of the motivations listed by Russell are also underpinned by the fear of death. The desire for goods is driven by the desire to have the means for life (avoid death by starvation, poverty). The desire for power is similar. The desires for attention and excitement are both driven (again) by the need to enjoy life while we have it.

    Indeed, I would argue that sapience, itself, is defined by death. Human are felt to be different from animals because we are sapient. The scientific name for our species is Homo Sapiens Sapiens. Yet, a newborn child cannot be considered sapient. When it grows to normal adulthood, however, it is considered sapient. That means that, at some point during childhood, the child’s intelligence increases to the point where it becomes sapient. What is that critical point? I would argue that the child becomes sapient at the point in time when it understands the concept of death. When it truly understands what it means to die.

    The knowledge of our own mortality has dealt the human race a psychological blow from which it has not yet recovered. Our political struggles, our conflicts, our wars upon each other are all a result of humanity not yet dealing with the consequences of death. The human ego is still too fragile to stand up to the concept. We are still too immature of a species to effective deal with it.

    We still obsess about death as Mas’ commentary above (and the resulting reader comments) all illustrate.

    • TN_MAN,

      Good post. To me, it has the ring of truth.

      I believe at death my body will go into the ground, but my spirit will go to Heaven, so that gives me hope. I still don’t like the pain which can be associated with death. In fact, I don’t like pain at all.

      I will admit that life in this fallen world can be very good if I have three things;

      1. If I live in the USA, or some place very similar to the USA.

      2. If I am healthy, and,

      3. If I have more money than I need to live on.

      Your number four above, “4. Desire for excitement (to escape boredom)” resonates with me. I would like to experience combat, BUT NOT GET HURT. So I probably won’t bother with it. I’m sure I would hate the noise and confusion even if I didn’t get hurt. I’m too old for the Reserves, but the Kurds would probably let me fight along with them. They could just feed me, not pay me. If they turned me down, I could buy a sniper rifle, and harass the terrorists until they kill me. I figure dying in battle would be a better way to go than fighting cancer for two years. A fast death beats a slow death, right?

      Also, I notice that when people talk about improving the world, they seem to think of teaching, preaching or feeding the hungry. I think another way to improve the world would be to kill the worst people in the world, the 1st-degree murderers, rapists, child molesters and terrorists.

      Oh well, what I have written above is just part of my fantasy life. I will probably just go on enjoying my comfortable life in America for as long as I can. Maybe “boredom” is just a negative term for “peaceful.”

    • TN_MAN,

      What you wrote has logic, but for the sake of argument, I submit that it’s not the fear of death that drives mankind, rather the fear of living a life that did not matter. Someone said “I think, therefore I am”. With cognizant thought comes the desire to know why you exist, why you were entrusted with this gift of life and consciousness. If the fear of death drives all other facets of life, how do you explain the overwhelming impulse of a parent to sacrifice their own life to save that of their child? Or that of a neighbor to place their own life in harms way for friends like happened at the church massacre in Texas recently. Or the police officers who daily, willingly place themselves between those who would do harm and those who are preyed upon, running to the threat, not away? Because of the paycheck? Not if fear of death is the driving emotion.

      Like most folks, I never thought that much about dying…….when I was younger. As I draw closer to the inevitable, I don’t look at my eventual death with fear (I share Roger Willco’s belief), rather, I dwell on how I will be remembered by those who knew me as I lived this gift of life. Was it wasted on me, or were those who came in contact with me during the trip better off because I lived? This what I worry with, was I worthy? Is that the driving force of all? No, but I believe the 80-20% rule does apply.

      • I’ll translate that into, When the “Pain of Living” becomes great enough, then you are ready to “Die”!


      • @ Dennis – “for the sake of argument, I submit that it’s not the fear of death that drives mankind, rather the fear of living a life that did not matter”

        Fear of living an insignificant life and fear of death itself are just two sides of the same coin. I did not mean to imply that avoiding death, at all costs, is the ONLY motivator. As you point out, people risk their lives all the time. Sometimes it is for reasons that are thought to be morally worthy such as saving the lives of others. Sometimes, it is for morally questionable reasons such as participation in extreme sports (in search of excitement).

        My point was that death (or the inevitable coming of death) provides the motivation for our actions. Even when the resulting actions hasten death.

        As you note, the human ego fears that one’s life will be insignificant. This drives people to try to “do something with their life”. This is often thought to be a “good thing” but it is not necessarily so. Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot certainly led lives of “significance”. They “changed the World” before death came to claim them. Their actions were motivated by this same ego-driven need to “live a life of significance” and to be “remembered”. Sadly, they were successful and they are remembered.

        Nothing performed by man is an unmitigated good or evil. A life of significance lived by a Saint can be a blessing for mankind. The “significant” life of a tyrant and dictator can be a curse.

        Nevertheless, the point I made above is still valid. Whether one is driven directly by the fear of death or indirectly by the fear of living a life of insignificance, the prime motivator of all human behavior is a reaction to the knowledge of our own mortality. It drives our actions and motivates the grand causes for which we battle. It fuels our political divisions that lead to conflict and war.

        It is rather ironic when you think about it. The motivations and fears surrounding death actually create the conflict and wars that feed death. To quote Ester from the movie Ben Hur: “I know there is a law in life. That blood begets more blood as dog begets dog. Death generates death as the vulture breeds the vulture.”

  15. Happy New Year Mas!

    I’m 62, and still kickin’, but only with my still good right knee. My wife and I both still work full time, and we look forward to watching another year of Live PD, on A&E. We wish Live PD would come to Minneapolis/Saint Paul, MN, but that would mean the truth would come out about the cultural and racial identity of many of the violent criminals in the Twin Cities. As a result, many of our local politicians, such as Keith Ellison and Amy Klobuchar, would quickly be crapping in their pants, or their pantsuits, making it attractive to buy stock in adult diapers.

    If I am wrong about the cultural and racial identity of many of the violent criminals in the Twin Cities, then the powers that be can prove it by inviting Live PD to Minneapolis/Saint Paul. I won’t hold my breath.

  16. Sorry to hear of your arthritis issues. I have the same thing going on. i need cortisone injections in the knuckles of both hands to be able to shoot, they can only give them every three months and they last about two and a half. But any day above ground is a good one!
    Hope we see you in Saratoga N.Y.AGAIN
    Did I ever tell ya I’d give my right arm to be ambidextrous!

  17. I reached 77 on December 15th and think this is good advice.
    Something remains for us to do or dare;
    even the oldest tree some fruit may bear…
    For age is opportunity no less than youth itself,
    though in another dress,
    and as the evening twilight fades away,
    the sky is filled with stars, invisible by day!
    Henry Wadsworth Longfellow ( 1807-1882)

  18. Dave Workmans article was insightful.

    As for your personal strife and mine coming up [10 years your junior], and my ambitions for the New Year.

    arthritis in hands (body), check. going blind in one eye, check. getting old physically, check. Since I believe I am living on “borrowed time”, I’m happy. as for the 20+ incidents per day, if i approached my now, post menopausal petite princess in such an elevated state, she’d be on amazon buying me a robot or two. nuff sed.

    for the New Year ambitions: complete the Deadly Force Instructor Certification, continue teaching handgun safety and use. continue with IDPA and make EXPERT level in many divisions. strive to help people help themselves when asked. advance my education at every opportunity.

    wishing you ALL a Happy New Year with prosperity, safety and happiness.

  19. You know you’re getting old when people younger than you regularly die of natural causes.

    Bumper sticker: “You’re never too old to have a happy childhood.”

  20. Last year of 40 years as a cop (28 State Trooper and 12 as an elected Sheriff). I too will turn 70 this year. I plan on a lot more reloading, shooting, fishing, hiking, reading, travel, cigars and bloody marys. Keep it groovy Mas!

  21. Another pediatrician/shooter here – except I’m female. I had the greatest respect for the PICU nurses I trained under, so your “caregiver” and I would probably get along great!
    Best of luck with the looming 70. I’m intimidated enough by the 55 that’ll be coming up this year. Just remember – Growing older is mandatory, growing UP is optional 😉
    Happy New Year!

  22. Happy New Year Mas!
    I’m only 60 now, but since I’m retired I don’t really care about my age at this point in time. I know like everyone else, it will catch up. I’m feeling it, don’t get me wrong. Back pains, a cataract, and some arthritis too, but not having to go to work makes every day a Saturday.

    All the best to you, your family and everyone reading your blog.

  23. Mas, I love you, bro. I’m only two years behind you, and I’m looking forward to second adolescence even more now. God bless you and keep you healthy, happy and active for decades to come.

  24. You can’t call yourself old till the age of 88.
    God gave you 2 hands for just this situation.
    Time to shop for a Left Handed holster.
    You’re only old when you can’t return fire.
    Great writing Mas….

  25. Mas, I’m afraid our second adolescence will not resemble the first. However, assuming you’ve led a frugal and prudent life, one nice thing about it is now you don’t feel so guilty about buying a new firearm that you have been wanting all your life. For me that is indeed quite a few. You figure the money you spend on the firearm that was being saved for a rainy day can be spent without guilt because there are not many days left (rainy or otherwise).

    My arthritic knees restrict my mobility quite a bit these days where it is difficult to get to the gun range, not to mention going hunting. So my daughter asks me why I need a particular over-under shotgun that I have lusting after all my life, and I can say that I can at least sit here and admire it – and it’s mine – finally. And will soon be hers.

    When she asks what she is supposed to do with my collection after I’m gone, I tell her this – turn your husband and my two nephews loose on it, and they will figure it out. 🙂

    Unlike us, our firearms will go through several owners and have a much longer span life than us. I don’t begrudge them that. It is those same firearms that make our freedom and liberty possible. May it always be so.

    Happy New Year, Mas.

  26. Mas: I’m 3 behind you, brother…… “the size of the diapers” is priceless! Happy New Year to you and your “Kidnap victim”.

  27. It is certainly a cruel joke that as we age in body, our self-image is still that of a 25 year old! I just can’t understand why my body isn’t allowing me to do those same things – running, jumping, being very flexible in martial arts classes, being attractive to the opposite sex (or at least noting a few approving glances every once in a while!), sleeping thru the night for 10 hours or so, and, as you mention, eating as much of anything I want without ill effects or weight gain.

    My wife’s a doctor, as is my son, so I get LOTS of advice on what I should and shouldn’t be doing. One bit of advice I’ll pass along from personal experience – flexibility exercises and stretching are more important now than when younger, and also, consider finding a good, high intensity massage therapist who can get into the muscles and connective tissue and break up some of the adhesions that form as we age. Don’t laugh and say that’s not a treatment suitable for us manly men. It’s not a pleasant, relaxing massage, but it will help if you stay with it. I found that out after two knee surgeries, where the deep tissue massage was key to recovering quickly and as fully as possible.

    Anyway, Happy New year to all!

  28. Well, at 82 +, I know whoever came up with “Golden Years” Scam, was lying through their teeth to US all!

    As Far as the “being able to eat like a pig and not gain weight and never need to sleep and have twenty erections a day” goes, I had that hope as well, so I’ll refer to it as “Optimistic Dementia”, and add that If you’re not into Oral Sex, you are, or will be, flat out of Luck in that area eventually!

    So, guess I’ll just have to struggle along with “Life”, until I finally “Croak”, leaving Claw Marks all the way down the wall, like Sylvester Pussy Cat!

  29. I believe that what Jack Finch is warning you about is the sad fact that most of us on the wrong side of 70 would be happy if we could get 1 or 2 erections per day (some even per week). However, due to modern medicine most of us will be able to see our 80’s and enjoy a good life. Personal opinion: You can look back on your life and see the good you have done and they can put on your grave stone”He was a good man.” Happy new year!

  30. Happy New Year Mas,! I just turned 76 in September and can identify with everything of which you just wrote. One thing about it, your blog this morning gave me some humor that I sorely needed after hearing about the Sheriff’s Deputies in Colorado on that Domestic Call. May things get a bit better for law enforcement in 2018 but I wouldn’t bet the ranch on it. Have a great day. Jon and Kathy Hirz Post Falls, Idaho

  31. Mass, Excellent commentary!! Very funny. I myself am into the early 60’s so guess i am also getting into that blank spot. Agree there must/should be a second adolescence.

  32. Happy New Year, Mas! I like to think of time ( aging) in this way: The measurement is only as accurate as the measuring tool. Growing older simply equates to a more seasoned and accurate ruler with which we measure the world around us. I will deliberately leave out the part where the ruler gets harder to see and hold on to….

  33. Happy New Year Mas. I have no doubt you’ll be around to celebrate your 100th birthday. Your too damn ornery not to.
    Happiness, Good Health and Prosperity in 2018 !!

  34. Your life parallels mine,even the Nurse/caregiver,,,I wish you many more Happy New Years and maybe some day we will even meet. God Bless you and your family, and God Bless these United States.

  35. I have heard that cryo therapy is helpful for arthritis. As well as anti inflammatory supplements like turmeric. And stretching exercises.

    • Oregano, and especially the oil, is a strong anti-inflamatory. Be careful and do some studying up before using it though… it is STRONG and must be diluted (as in thinned down, not deluded as in addle-brained) to safely use.

      If you stay active you’ll live a whole lot longer, but I think you already know that. I’ve known quite a few guys, 20 or 30 years younger then me, scramble to get to “retirment” get ready to sit back and live off their pension, sit about and do not much physica, get careless in eathing habits, drink too much, and were dead in two years of “old age”. Having seen THAT scenario played out a few times, I determined to retire into a pine box and let someone else put me where I belong

  36. Hmm… “And I’ll be able to eat like a pig and not gain weight and never need to sleep and have twenty erections a day”

    As a retired spook, and retired forensic psychiatry RN, methinks such statements might be construed as “dementia”…:-)

    HIPPA laws preclude Gail revealing your last testosterone level etc, but friend, even if meant as HUMOR, you are likely in for a surprise soon, and not like Santa brings…

    Good luck as you enter your seventh decade and may you follow Gail’s sage advice so you reach your eighties in good shape.

    Like with me… we shall see, although old combat related injuries are starting to catch up with me.

    Some good news. LabCorp just phoned this week and test results show despite eating raw fish etc. with my Montangnard Rhade blood brothers back during the “Late Southeast Asian Unpleasantness” they found no signs of those nasty parasitic flukes that reportedly have been responsible decades later for the cancer deaths of some Vietnam War vets. Having turned 70 back in May, perhaps my odds of reaching 80 have improved. Hang in there old fart… This old fart salutes you…:-)