I enjoy cool Southern California nights with the windows open to the canyon and the sounds of coyotes barking as they defend their den or a kill.

I drink whiskey with strangers in hotel lounges, in places I have long forgotten, or at the very least have tried to forget.

I hate travel.  I am home in only one place… my home.  All other territories and frontiers are places to visit or from which to get out.  Crowds scare me, so do armadillos… but that is not particularly relevant.

When I was first married, I travelled to Houston, Texas quite frequently.  This was before Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans and shifted the population of that state westward.  Back then, Houston was a deep shade of red… now it has become… well… different.

Each trip was a countdown timer.  Each second that ticked by meant I was that much closer to home, closer to my couch, my fireplace, my library, and the sweet smell of jasmine that lingers outside my window.

Home was known.

It was a place of establishment, of knowable realities, and predictive behaviors.  I can relax at home because each atom exists in an orderly, established reality within my castle.

Yet, each time I would come through the door, I was hit with the same damn thing:  Sandy had used my absence to redecorate.

Sometimes these reorderings of Matériel were negligible:

“Sandy!  What the hell happened to my bathrobe?!?”

“Oh… yeah… it was falling apart, I got rid of it.”


Other times it was far more cataclysmic:

“Sandy!  Where the hell is the dinning room table!?!”

“Oh yeah… i moved it upstairs into the loft.  I want to try it out there.”


My reality was constantly changing… and I don’t like change!  What Sandy was really giving me was a gift.  She was forcing me to deal with an ever-changing reality and to keep seeking improvement… that, and also a never-ending hunt to figure out what happened to my sock drawer.

(If you have arrived here from our newsletter, continue reading here…)

Sandy, as well as her evil minion Kavon, have also done the same thing at Artemis.  Fearing the stagnation that breeds from established order, they have taken it upon themselves to redecorate and do a little construction at the Artemis Defense Institute. 

Those of you who are on Facebook have probably seen some of the “in-progress” pictures which have been posted.  Basically, we have built a full-scale “home” around our five-screen system and added in a couple more offices.

The major change though, and one that I am actually grateful for, is that we finally have a working, functional air-conditioning system for the classroom.

If you have sweltered through one of my lectures with fans blowing… I don’t have any sympathy for you… imagine how I felt standing up there lecturing and feeling the pounds literally melt off my body! 

The lab does look different now. 

The instructors have dubbed the new simulator home the “Cry Closet”. 

That moniker is apt I suppose.  A benefit of the Cry Closet is that it retains a huge chunk of the sound that used to bleed out on the marksmanship simulator, which had forced the instructors to scream over the screams of people being shot, or clients getting zapped.

Now the sounds of war are more muffled behind the insulated walls.

I have known throughout my marriage that change, more specifically “improvement,” is a good thing, but one to which I have a natural resistance.  When we change, when we evolve or improve, we inevitably sacrifice something in the process.  Sometimes we sacrifice ineptitude, other times it is simply ignorance or inefficiencies that are laid upon the altar of change. 

To fail to acknowledge that sometimes progress leads to nostalgic pain is an exercise in folly.  Yes… change can be painful… but in the long run we are better for it.

So, I challenge you.  (Well, actually all of us at Artemis Challenges you….it’s what we do).  Take an inventory.  Not just your weapons, weapons training, or defensive tactics, but go far beyond that.  Why do you believe what you believe?  Why do you hold on to certain assumptions that have become ingrained as doctrine?  Test these things.  Experiment in change, and adopt the improvements, abandon the failures.  Change is not easy, but that which remains is always stronger for having been tested.

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Comments (10)

  • Gary Burger Reply

    Change can be good. No argument. But change for the sake of change is not good. There must be a reason for change. And those who have invested in the status quo need to have a say – a big say. This country is changing but not for the right reasons and not in a direction that has a high probability of improving. Doctrine is good. It provides a foundation and a framework.

    07/17/2019 at 07:42
  • tom ford Reply

    Great philosophical piece Steve!

    Tom Ford

    07/17/2019 at 07:42
  • James Reed Reply

    Mr. Lieberman,
    I have a question, not a comment I hope this is ok, anyway….my question is on the ammo situation here in California going to continue without interruption or is the NRA or CRPA fighting to get it stopped??

    07/17/2019 at 08:32
    • Artemis020113 Reply

      Sorry for the delay. Good news… the CRPA just filed an injunction today.

      07/23/2019 at 23:01
  • Frank McDermott Reply

    Love this commentary Steven and Sandy!
    Thank you .

    07/17/2019 at 08:39
  • Glenn Okamoto Reply

    Home is where the Heart ❤️ is

    Opposites attract and are needed. At times we ”sign” but glad there another person who will push our envelop!

    07/17/2019 at 09:15
  • Mike Crume Reply

    good article.

    I need to renew my CCW, and to do that I’ll need to sign up for the training class. Could you send me a quick link?

    07/17/2019 at 10:31
  • Vanessa Reply

    Very Good!
    I don’t read all your blogs for lack of time in my day, However I am super glad I took a few minutes (I’m a slow reader) to read your email and then complete the blog. It was not only educational but also entertaining as well as candid!

    Keep up the good work! Thank you for the challenge! Accepted!

    07/17/2019 at 16:02
  • Jim Riggs Reply

    “Comfort is an illusion fostered by the familiar. It narrows the mind, weakens the body and robs the soul of spirit and determination. It creates a false sense of security. Comfort should never be sought after or tolerated.”
    SSGT John Lesser USMC – 1957
    Boy, I’m glad that’s over!

    07/17/2019 at 18:48

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