...here at the Secret Hidden Bunker in the Rocky Mountains. After the last two winters, not complaining, mind you. The parrots are eating it up, as long as we occasionally spritz them down in their outdoor aviary.
I don't know if I mentioned it, but the Sweetie and I recently closed on the 35 acres west of Loveland. It's a pretty spectacular piece of property, views all the way down the Front Range and a little less nose-bleed altitude than the current Bunker. Our plan is to build an off-grid house sometime in the next couple of years...it's probably the best area in the country for solar and wind power.
I've been reading — with envy — Armed and Dangerous' saga of his summer at Sword Camp, a combination of science fiction, martial arts, guns, long sharp things and zombies. Damn...that rocks! Maybe next summer DRTV and SHOOTING GALLERY should sponsor something similar, give away free slots.
BTW, I've finished "recasting" SHOOTING GALLERY to reflect THE BEST DEFENSE...obviously, since I pulled some of my most popular instructors out of SG, I needed to rethink my flagship series a little. I think I have all the right pieces in place — I want to take you to new places other people are afraid to go! I'll post my final 2009 shows in a week or so.
And pause a moment for the late, great James Butler "Wild Bill" Hickok, who on this date in 1876 was shot dead by the cowardly Jack McCall as the famous gunfighter played poker at Nutal & Mann's saloon in Deadwood, Dakota Territory. Hickok, uncharacteristically sitting with his back to the door, was shot from behind; he was, of course, holding two pair, black aces and eights, known forever after as the "Dead Man's Hand."
My favorite book on Wild Bill is probably the least "historical document" of them all, Randy Lee Eickhoff's And Not To Yield: A Novel of the Life and Times of Wild Bill Hickok, which I think does an excellent job of capturing the zen of the gunfighter. Probably the best portrayal of Bill on film was on the first season of the series Deadwood, which captured his doomed grandeur. And even after years of revisionist history, I still think Wild Bill stands as the great tragic figure of the Old West, the best and the worst of gunfighter logic.