Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween to everyone! This is one of my favorite holidays, and I always go to a costume party hosted by a good friend that has been a lot of fun in years past. I have no doubt that it will be just as fun this year. I'm going as #47 from the movies/games Hitman. Hopefully there will be pictures soon.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Gearing Up

Since I sold my car I decided to use a bit of the money to shorten my 'Wants List.'

I bought a little over 300 rounds of .45 ACP and 150 rounds of .223. I picked up another PMAG (bringing my total to five) for my M&P15, and a cheap holster to keep my .357 in. Also for the M&P I bought a offset flashlight mount made by Daniel Defense, an ambi sling mount that requires no tools to put on, and a Magpul sling.

I also dropped some bucks on new camping gear. The first thing I replaced was my heavy Coleman tent with a Eureka Solo Backcountry. I picked up a Therm-A-Rest sleeping mat. I'm told they are a gift from the gods for camping, and after laying on one that was itself on top of gravel, I believe it. I also bought an MSR Pocket Rocket camp stove. I've never used one of these thing before, but I'm told they're great too.

Next on my list are a couple of items made by Snow Peak: a 3-piece Titanium Cook Set and a Titanium Fork and Spoon Set. I'll probably order these when I get my next pay check so I won't be taking them on my camping trip next weekend (assuming weather cooperates).

I also ordered this, with a black handle:



One of the contractors my company does work for is a big outdoorsman. He spends a lot of his free time mining gold in Alaska. On his last trip up there he picked up one of these knives, called the ULU (universal locking utility folder) from Eagle River Knife Company. He'd had it for a while and it seemed to be holding up well (he's hell on tools...at the time he was showing it to me he was using it as a putty knife!). I figured if it survived John Trott, it would survive anything.

Next week should be a happy one for me with all the cool shit that should be coming my way in the mail.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Feeling a little heart broken...


I just sold my 1965 Ford Mustang. I had wanted so badly to put the time and money it needed into it, but I just couldn't. I'm sad to see it go, but I like the guy I sold it too. I think he'll give it the TLC it needs, and because of that I cut him a pretty good deal.

Still, I'm going to miss it. It was the car I first drove to high school. I really loved it, and spent a lot of time looking at it while seeing myself cruise down the road in it.

Maybe one I'll be able to live my dream in another of those beautiful cars.

Monday, October 26, 2009

I don't hate cleaning guns...

But it's not my favorite chore, either. The worst is when I don't clean one right after I shoot it. If it's a gun I don't use often, I may not clean it for a good long while. Which means, of course, that when I do finally sit down to it I spend a hell of a lot longer doing the cleaning.

Today I'm going to cleaning my Raptor which I shot yesterday, my Mini-14 which I last shot sometime before I bought my M&P15, and my Rossi .357 which I shot...mmm...yeah.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

On The Range #1: The Mozambique Drill

Today my shooting was restricted primarily to the Mozambique Drill (also called the Failure Drill). For those unfamiliar with it, this drill involves a double tap to center mass after which you assess your target, and if you find the double tap inadequate you follow up with a well aimed shot to the head. The gun I shot was my Kimber Ultra Raptor II pistol.

I was limited to under a hundred rounds so I figured this would be a good drill to help me practice double taps and head shots. My first fifty rounds were Federal FMJ target rounds.

It quickly became apparent that I am not that good at this drill. My double taps, while not great, were mostly center mass. They could improve, and I will practice to do so, but I consider them acceptable.

My head shots were atrocious. They were all on target, but mostly in the chest and occasionally in the shoulder area. My shots were going low.

I've noticed this every time I shoot. All of my shots tend to go low, and it is worse when I shoot +P ammunition. The only solution I have is to compensate by aiming high.

I fired a few magazines in order to get an idea of how low I was shooting. The ball park figure is six to eight inches low with FMJ target rounds, and ten to twelve inches low with JHP +P rounds.

After I determined where I needed to aim I did a test run of strictly head shots. I determined that I am capable of making well aimed head shots as the Mozambique Drill requires (I hit 7 out of 8).

I switched back to the Mozambique Drill and found that all shots improved, but my head hits were still minimal. I was almost there, but not quite.

I continued to practice, and shot from various angles: straight on, far right, far left. When I was out of FMJ target rounds I switched to JHP +P rounds.

First I shot with Speer Gold Dot. It's not the greatest round for me, which is why I had extra. I did the drill from various angles again with the same results. Most of my shots were low. Very few head hits (though the misses usually ended up in the high chest area).

When I was out of Gold Dot I switched to my favorite .45 ACP round, Hornady TAP. The results improved slightly (tighter groups), but were again low (even though I was trying to compensate).

I am of the opinion that this particular drill is tough. I shoot low (whether it's me, the gun, or something else I don't know). When I compensate for that I can make good head shots. I just can't seem to do it all that often after making a center mass double tap.

I want to practice this drill more. It really challenges me, and that is what I need to do to improve my shooting skills.

New: On The Range

Anyone who actually reads my blog knows that I do a little segment called "Robert's Picks." This is post that includes books I'm reading or recently read, DVDs I've watched, movies I've seen, and music I'm listening too. I do a new one as regularly as my reading allows.

I've decided to start a new semi-regular segment called "On The Range." It will be an examination of my range practice. I'm hoping that by doing this I'll be able to really see where I need to improve and focus on that. It will also allow others to see how I go about develping myself as a shooter and hopefully it will be of some help to them in the development of their own skills.

The first "On The Range" will focus on the my first experience with the Mozambique Drill.

Making targets...

SUCKS!

But it's better than buying them, especially when you'd rather spend your money on other goodies.

I think I'm going to do some Mozambique drills today. I really don't have a lot of ammo and it's something I don't do often. It'll help me practice my double taps AND headshots all in one.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

An excellent documentary on mercenaries...

I just finished watching Shadow Company. I think is an excellent examination of the mercenary/soldier of fortune/private security contractor in the modern age (specifically in Iraq, but Africa is mentioned more than once).

It was suprisingly one of the most balanced documentaries I've seen. Both sides of the issue were covered and discussed. It left the viewer to answer whether mercenary companies are a good thing or a bad thing.

I really liked it, and I recommend it to anyone who is interested in the subject.

I hiked!

I actually got off my ass and did it. I hiked the Borden Creek Trail in the Sipsey Wilderness today. Went there and back on the trail in under three hours. Spotted a couple of places where I'd love to camp. Hopefully I'll be doing that sometime in the near future, along with hiking more trails.

I took some pictures during my hike. Hope you enjoy!

















Friday, October 23, 2009

You can't carry a gun on our trains...

because we don't have the ability to check and see if you're carrying a gun on our trains.

Bright and early...

I'll be heading to the Sipsey Wilderness to do some hiking. My plan is to get up early, have a good breakfast, visit with a friend for a little bit at her job, and then head up north. I'm going to hike the Borden Creek Trail.

I've set a goal of hiking all of the trails at Sipsey before next summer. I don't think it will be a hard one to reach.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Playing in insulation is so fun...

Not!! I spent most of the day getting covered in insulation while changing light fixtures in this outdoors distributer. Since I didn't get much sleep I was in a piss poor mood all day. I still don't feel great.

I'm going to bed early tonight. I've got to be at work by six. We're going to start early. Hopefully tomorrow won't be so bad. At least it's Friday.

It's 3:45AM and someone is pounding on your back door...

What do you do?

I stalked down the hall with a Smith M&P15 and flashlight in my birthday suit until I noticed a car with emergency flashers on across the road. Assertaining that this might be a legit knock I put on clothes and retrived my 1911 (holstered), my pepper spray, and light and took a gander out the back door (you have to knock there because of an electrified fence surrounding the front, not to mention the new dogs). Nothing.

Went out front where the animals were going a little nutty from someone walking around in the dark and flashlighted some dude outside my fence. Idiot was out of gas and had a dead cellphone battery. He was on his way home from work.

I let him use my phone to call his wife. No dice. She's one of those idiots who get random calls all hours of the night and so turns the phone off so she can't respond to emergencies. Dumb ass.

I told him a phone call was the best I could do that early in the morning. I was not giving this person a ride, even if it was ONLY ten miles away. He decided to try his grandparents and got an answer (normal people who know emergencies happen). Now grandaddy is on his way, I'm wide awake and short on sleep, and this chump is stuck sitting in his truck.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Awesomeness.

I recieved my Oakley Tacti-cool Gloves yesterday from Tactical Tailor. I really like them. This weekend I'll see if I can handle shooting my while wearing them. Did some dry fire practice with them yesterday and I think it'll be smooth sailing.

I also recieved a free hat from Kimber. I recently wrote them a letter telling them how much I like the my Ultra Raptor II. I'll wear the had proudly.

I'm thinking of going hiking in the Sipsey Wilderness this weekend. We'll see how that goes. Bills and all.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Writing.

I've wanted to get back into writing for a while now, and I took my first steps into that today. I had this really good idea a while back, and wrote a pretty detailed partial outline and about three chapters. I just finished getting those and the beginnings of the fourth typed up and printed out. I'm going to do a little editing and just get myself back into the groove of this story and see what happens.

Wish me luck.

Writing.

I've wanted to get back into writing for a while now, and I took my first steps into that today. I had this really good idea a while back, and wrote a pretty detailed partial outline and about three chapters. I just finished getting those and the beginnings of the fourth typed up and printed out. I'm going to do a little editing and just get myself back into the groove of this story and see what happens.

Wish me luck.

The high today is 57 degrees.

I love it! I enjoy cold weather. It's perfect for camping with a big fire (and no bugs!). I get to wear all of my favorite clothes, like my kick ass leather jacket.

I'm looking forward to this winter...except I need a good heater for my trailer.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Meet Sam.



Sam is my new puppy. She's a five month old German Shepherd. Her previous owners couldn't keep her any more. They didn't feel they had the time to give her the right amount of attention so they gave her to me for free, with papers.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

New Stuff

I recieved my knee pads from BLACKHAWK! today. I picked them up for ten bucks on sale, so I wasn't expecting anything spectacular, and they don't appear to be. I tried them on, and I'm not sure they're even wearable. A few movements left me doubtful of their usability. I'll try them out this weekend and see what's what.

I also ordered these today:



They're Oakley SI Assault Gloves. They cost more than five times as much as the knee pads, and they had damned well better live up to the price as I've been unimpressed with the durability of my Oakley sunglasses (the paint has been peeling off the frames). My intention is to use them when shooting. I've seen them around, most recently in this picture (from this article):



The gun in the picture is the Remington ACR, which I have recently fallen madly in love with. Unfortunately, it is only available to the military at the moment. However, there is hope that it will soon be available in a civilian model. I might be able to afford it one day if that is the case.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Robert's Picks

I am reading, have read:



Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea by Jules Verne

When The Lion Feeds by Wilbur Smith (good)

Glory Road by Robert A. Heinlein (good)

For Us, The Living: A Comedy of Customs by Robert A. Heinlein

Command Decision by Elizabeth Moon (excellent)

Starship Troopers by Robert A. Heinlein (excellent)

I'm watching:

Band of Brothers (excellent)

Deadwood: Season 2 (very good)

Dexter: Season 1 (good)

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Big day ahead.

Tomorrow I've got a big day ahead of me. There is a lot to do.

First, I'm going to upgrade my fuse box into a modern circuit break panel. It's not really a complicated process, but it will be the first time I've done it on my own. Luckily it's a small job compared to the others I've worked on.

After that I plan on doing some shooting. Not much, as I don't have all that much ammo. I'm going to try speed shooting some ballons just for the fun of it.

Next, I'm going on a hike back behind where I live. I want to scout out a location to place a tree stand and also some places for camping. And it wouldn't hurt me to get a little of the led out. I've been talking about losing some weight. It's time I got some good exercise.

Feeling a little nostalgic.

You know, I sometimes can't help but think of the good times from the past. I wish I could relive them sometimes. But I know I have to work to have more good times in the future, rather than focus on what is long gone.

Still, they're pleasant thoughts.

The price of ammo is killing me.

For the first time in months I was able to find a couple of boxes of Hornady TAP .45 ACP +P ammo, so of course I had to buy it. It's what works best in my gun, and what I've been carrying lately (while good) isn't good enough. My life might depend on this stuff, after all. Still, damn near sixty bucks for forty rounds is not my idea of a small expense. Worth it though.

I also ordered some knee pads that I've wanted for a while. They were on sale. Hopefully I'll be adding elbow pads soon. It should make more active shooting practice easier.

Monday, October 5, 2009

My next tattoo.



This is inspired by two others I just saw tonight. I already have ideas for a number of tattoos, but this hit me as something I would definitely like to have. For one, it will add balance for what I want to do later. It also is a perfect representation of my beliefs.

I'd like to get it on my right upper arm in the same position as the tattoo I have on my left upper arm. Below these I want red arrows, pointing forward (to remind me to always keep moving forward, inspired by tattoos on the character Joe Pike in Robert Crais' Elvis Cole novels.

I'm slow to decide on a tattoo idea. After all, they ARE forever for the most part. It took me over a year to get my first, and I've been kicking around the arrows for a couple of years now. Most of my hesitation has been the lack of balance. Now I have the perfect balance.

I don't know when, but these I will be getting.

These were inspired by the two tattoos I saw here and here.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Don't you want to be an informant?

WASHINGTON — The nation's big city police chiefs are backing an anti-terrorism community watch program to educate people about what behavior is truly suspicious and ought to be reported to police.

Police Chief William Bratton of Los Angeles, whose department developed the iWATCH program, calls it the 21st century version of Neighborhood Watch.

Using brochures, public service announcements and meetings with community groups, iWATCH is designed to deliver concrete advice on how the public can follow the oft-repeated post-9/11 recommendation: "If you see something, say something." Program materials list nine types of suspicious behavior that should prompt people to call police and 12 kinds of places to look for it.


I believe that if you see something that looks wrong to you, you should report it to the appropriate organization that handles that particular kind of 'wrong-ness'. However, that is the sum total that needs to be said about the issue. Rather than do their jobs and investigate, pursue, and apprehend, the largest, most well funded police departments in the country want to turn the average citizen into an informant who will report anything about anyone whether is any other person's business at all.

I just can't help but shudder at the nightmare in bureaucracy this is going to create. And wasn't that what kept the FBI and CIA from putting all the pieces together before the September 11, 2001, attacks took place? Rather than streamline your intelligence gathering you are going to gather even more from even less reliable sources that must be analyzed by even more people who will be even less reliable because the best all ready work for first, the highest paying companies in the private sector, and second, the federal government.

Privacy, anyone?

Friday, October 2, 2009

Some more goodies!


The second order that I made Monday arrived today.

I'ved needed a new canister of pepper spray for a while now, and instead of just picking up whatever nameless brand I could find I decided to do a little research and get the best I could. That turned out to be the stuff put out by Fox Labs. It will probably spend most of it's time riding in my bug out or my shoot me vest, but I plan to get in the habit of carrying it with me on the job since I can't carry a gun.

My kind of 5 year old!

Texas-born Simon Hughes, 5, doesn’t look intimidating. But put a gun in his hands and pit him against an 800-pound alligator and it’s a different story.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

New stuff for the 1911



Monday I ordered two Wilson Combat Pistol Magazines. I recieved them today. I got black, to match my Ultra Raptor's finish, and I also made sure they were eight rounders so that I could have that extra capacity. The extra length means that unless I'm wearing my 'shoot me' vest that I'll be carring my Kimber factory mag loaded in the pistol and have the Wilson Combats in my double mag holder.

I also managed to get my hands on 100 rounds of Winchester .45 Auto FMJ so that I can do a little target practice this weekend. I've got almost two hundred rounds of target ammo so I'm going to put these magazines to the test as much as I can to see if they live up to the hype.

Beautiful women.

I've been thinking a lot about the idea of physical beauty. I've found women of all shapes and sizes beautiful. Skinny women, thick women, it's never mattered to me. Beauty is there in the beautiful ones, and it has nothing to do with their weight. Not for me.

Then I started thinking about the women I've been with, and the ones I've had the most fun with. I'll be honest, I had more fun with the thick girls than the skinny girls. Maybe it's cause I'm a pretty big guy myself, I don't know. I've always said I like to have something to hold on to :-D.

Anyway, I saw this article recently with a lot of pictures and I thought I'd post them here. These are the kind of women that get me going, and I don't think there is a damned thing wrong with that.