...can actually have a rejuvenating effect, even while being both physically and metaphysically exhausting.
We got back home today, with selves and stuff intact. (Not a given in the age of Teh Stoopid, so I'm calling it a win.) We started with a week in Montana visiting my folks, then two in Minnesota visiting the outlaws and getting a sister-in-law married off, and finished with two in Colorado visiting friends and running various errands of impressively variable magnitude.
I don't miss commercial air travel; not one bit. An entire industry hijacked by people so scared of their own shadows that the very concept of usefulness is seen as a threat to the universe only they have convinced themselves that we all live in. Jeez, those people are aggravating, and of course far more dangerous than anything they claim to be protecting us from. (By complete contrast, air travel within Alaska is very nearly civilized, but that is a topic for another time.)
But of course most of that nonsense can be willfully ignored when necessary, and the trip was mostly high points. Excellent visits with friends and family, a few important administrative matters, musicking with D. (truly the single thing I miss most about life in Colorado), and even some useful gunnie things.
On this trip I picked up the deer rifle that my wife's grandfather told me he wanted me to have before he passed away a couple of years ago. Based on just a couple of never-detailed conversations with him, I'd figured this would turn out to be a Winchester 94, but to my complete surprise, instead it is a Remington 760 in .300 Savage! Now it has truly been a long time since I've seen a slide-action rifle, and entirely aside from the honor of his specifying me as its caretaker, I get more tickled by the day that this is now in my stable. Once I get some range time I'll be sure to post further here.
I was also able to pick up a couple of completed projects from Gunsmoke in Denver. (Unfortunately, the '03 Springfield Scout is not yet done, nor is the slimline 4" LW 1911, but in talking directly to Rich Wyatt this time, we'll see if we can't get those "expedited" and complete by the time I need to speak at a conference in July. Fingers crossed!) One of these is my own grandfather's old shotgun, which I had done up as a defensive/general purpose piece. It's an old Ithaca M37 in--get this--16 gauge. The work, as I've come to expect from Gunsmoke, is beautiful, and ammo availability aside (not a trivial consideration), I'll be happy to use this as my primary "serious" scattergun.
The other completed project was the Browning Hi-Power, functionally dolled up with a ducktail tang, improved sights and safety, and a most amusingly blue (not blued...blue) finish, which will make for good photos when range day comes. I don't lean on 9mm much any more, but if you do this is a great piece to have. Invariably, people that I work with love this gun when they see it in action.
Anyway, more details to come...when they come. In the meantime, I'm back and actually quite full of ideas. We'll see how that manifests itself here. Posting had been really light for a while anyway, what with trying to lay low and take a break from all the stoopid for a time, and I'm going to try and continue that practice as much as possible.
Good to be home.