After all these years, my ol' innertube, forum and blogging pal finally met each other. That would be Chris Byrne, the Anarchangel and one of four forum moderators at The Gun Counter.
We first met when Kim DuToit started his first forum. Chris was the fourth person to sign up - I didn't get signed up until the next day. But, we were there at the start of it all, before either of us started blogging. Kim was an inspiration to both of us. If you remember, he wrote such controversial essays about the pussification of the American male and held some feces stirring views which he and his wife Connie famously defended tooth and nail. Chris and I used to have some very long and involved phone and IM conversations where we really got to know each other. I gotta say, if you don't know it, Chris is pretty much a genius. I had to give him some crap today when he started providing a little extra knowledge into the conversation - I asked his lovely wife Melody (Mel) what it was like being married to her own edition of Wikipedia. I had always thought there was no difference between a KC strip and a NY strip steak. I was wrong.
I'm laughing thinking about it now.
At any rate, Chris, Mel and their progeny Chris V were headed across I70 - they were going to Colorado Springs this afternoon on their way back out to the Phoenix area. Man, I'd never had Chris so close to home before - when they lived in northern Idaho, I was in the southern part - still way too far. But now? A two hour drive to Hays? To meet at a nice restaurant? You betcha.
We met at a small chain grill called Whiskey Creek Wood Fire Grill in Hays, where the steaks are marinated and grilled and delicious.
And by the way, Chris is a big guy. He gets his clothes from Omar the Tentmaker just like I do.
Melody with the sprout - rather I should say sapling. I've forgotten how long they've been together, but it has to be well over five years. And I finally got to meet the better half! She was kinda busy.....
The star of the show - I give you "Happy Boy." That is what the family calls him because he just plain smiles all the time. He's always happy. It's easy to get him to smile and laugh. He has no fear, and liked me right off. This is different than I'm used to - I'm far more used to fussy babies that are freaked out about how big I am - particularly if they first see me standing. Not this little turd - only he ain't so little. He's a statistical outlier, which is what Melody thinks is a better name for him. He's eating solid foods, refuses pureed baby food - he just turns his head and the trap is closed when he doesn't like something. No drama, just outright refusal. He's manipulative - of course he had me wrapped around his little finger instantly.
It had been a while for sure. Chris was fascinated by two babies sitting at the end of the table next to us, and they were just as intent as him giving him the once over. None of them had anything to "say," but it was pretty comical. He was a head bigger than either one of them, and the same age. He also liked my beard and immediately tried to remove it from my face. Never got a grip on it, but I understand that he does - and does the same thing with hair. And he's got a grip for such a tyke.
At any rate, we didn't have much time - it was snowing when I rolled into Hays, and it wasn't getting any better while we were there. So we both knew the longer we stayed, the more bad weather we'd be fighting. Sure enough, I had to drive all the way to Dodge to finally run out of the snow. Chris ran out of it around Wakeeney, but they ran into weather in Colorado.
At any rate, even thought it was a pain in the arse to fight slick snowy roads, the whole thing was completely worth all of that. I'd do it again in a heartbeat.