Over two weeks. That's a new record.
Lots to recap.
Upstate NY. Good time. The groups were small, and that was cool because it gave me more freedom to play and improvise. The format was new. Randy and Dave wanted four-hour chunks. It flowed well, except I sometimes caught myself referring to an earlier block of training that some of the people hadn't attended. And I've been teaching this a lot, with what seems like few breaks... so I would occasionally want to gloss over things. Constant reminder to all instructors: Just because you've said something a thousand times doesn't mean your students have heard it a thousand times.
Randy was a kick. Genuine, warm, really clever and bitingly sarcastic. Perfect companion for people watching, especially when you feel a little mean about people. He is also a delicate flower and I had to take his man card away when he asked for a decaf pumpkin spice coffee.
Dave is solid. Former cop, gun guy, and a thinker. We had a long drive to talk and listen. Good man. The students at the Rochester event were a mix. Some had got into firearms because of age and fragility. That's a viable option. And think it through, for those of you who teach the hands on stuff. At what point is it no longer safe to even practice some of what we do? The handgun is the big equalizer. But it takes practice and a good teacher. It's a tool, not an answer and it shouldn't be an amulet.
I also got to spend some time (not enough) with Scott C. An old friend (old friend kicks in at about four years, right?) and one of the best men I know. And like a lot of the best of the best, he can't see it in himself.
Finally met Tim B in person as well. Another excessively self-effacing good guy. Turns out we both like the blues...
Home is good. I've been being a hermit to the best of my ability. Petting dogs, fixing the goat fence and working on a second edition of "Violence: A Writer's Guide." Should kick ass.
Scheduling for next year. Which, BTW is now officially open. If you didn't get the announcement e-mail and you wanted it, sorry. If you're interested in hosting, e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org. january has stuff in Washington DC and Granada Hills CA already. Return to the UK in February.
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