Monday, November 30, 2009

"...use a golf club. More force to a smaller part of the body."

I'm paraphrasing Gabrielle Anwar's character Fiona in the TV series Burn Notice. She's giving advice to a young man on how to best protect his sister from someone. He had previously used a baseball bat.

I bring this up because I can't get the image of another very attractive woman going after a certain golfer in righteous rage using one his own clubs. Kind of ironic, that.

That's the way I like to start the week.

It's cold and raining. Can you think of a better way to start the week?

I've said it before and I'll say it again: I hate Mondays!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

A fun night, early morning!

I went out tonight with a group of friends. It was a lot of fun.

First we went and saw the movie Blind Side. It is a great movie! It's based on a true story, which makes it even better. For anyone who likes sports/sports movies (specifically football) this is a great one!

After the movie we went to a 'local' bar called Gabriel's and had some drinks, made fun of the trailer trash, and had an all around good time. It's definitely something I need to do more often.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope everyone has had a good one!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

But of course...

This being my last work day of the week Murphy is in fine form wrecking all well made plans. Our goal was to work half a day, but half a day was three hours ago. It looks like we may make it back to the shop without further incident...if we're lucky.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

What is wrong with this picture?



Having weapons pointed at your buddies is not a good idea. Just sayin'.

I want one!

So The Firearms Blog has a post up that indicates that the Remington ACR may be available in the next couple of months.

I'll believe it when I see it.

Join the NRA!

Yeah, been meaning to do that. Had a membershipt a while back, but...

No excuses.

Today I signed up again, and opted for the EPL payment plan. I will one day (once all 40 quarterly payments of $25 are made) be a Life Member of the NRA!

Pissy.

I was very annoyed to find out that both my state representative and senator's names were missing from the Amicus brief in support of the petitioner McDonald in McDonald v. Chicago. Both Representative Pat Moore and Senator Scott Beason are Republicans, yet they thought it would be okay to fail to show their support in an amicus brief signed by state legislators.

I did my civic duty and wrote to both questioning their lack of action. I want to know what the hell is going on.

So it was't anti-government radicals?

On behalf of all 'rightwing extremists,' 'anti-government radicals,' and 'people clinging to religion and guns' I demand an apology.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Blah.

Today is a cloudy, overcast, 50 degree kind of day. Oh, and it's a bit windy. Perfect day to be working on a roof, huh?

I just want to go home. Get some Chinese on the way, maybe.

Mmmm. Sweet and Sour Chicken.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

I say nay nay.

Last night I went to the Star Dome Comedy Club in Birmingham with a couple of friends of mine to see John Pinette. That is one hilarious man. It was a very good show if you ignored everyone that came before him. If you ever get a chance to see John Pinette live don't pass it up.

I should mention I had completely forgotten about going to this show until my friend called me and asked when I was meeting him. After asking what the hell I was supposed to meet him for he reminded me what we were doing. Oops. I took a quick shower, dressed, and headed out completely unprepared for a late night as I was TIRED. It was worth it though, and I'm about to sack out early to make up for it.

I hope to return to the Star Dome December 26 to see Jeff Dunham. We'll see if Murphy will let that happen.

Tomorrow is Monday.

But Wednesday is Friday. And I will be attending a just for friends Thanksgiving Dinner Wednesday as well. It will probably be my only Thanksgiving, though I am not complaining.

I don't know what I'll be doing with my four day weekend, but if the weather cooperates I may do some serious shooting.

On The Range #3: NRA Basic Pistol First Steps

Yesterday I took my first shooting class, NRA Basic Pistol First Steps. The class was put on by Alabama Training Services, LLC. My goal in taking the class was mainly to get the required prerequisites for further training and to learn any little tidbits I could.

I went into the course kind of expecting it to be a little silly, and I figured it would offer very little to me in the way of knowledge or new skills to practice/hone. Now I feel like a complete ass for that.

I arrived at the Heritage Rifle and Pistol Club where the class took place about thirty minutes early. The instructor arrived shortly after me and I introduced myself and offered to help set up. He accepted and I went about carrying chairs, tables, and large cardboard displays.

After the other two people taking the class arrived we filled out the required forms and then got down to it. The first two hours of the course were 'class room instruction.'

First things first, safety was covered extensively. Safe gun practices and safe gun handling were demonstrated by the instructor, Mark Cubine. He did a really good job of not preaching safety, but of actually explaining why it was so important by giving examples from his own life and relatively current events in the area.

After this we moved on to gun handling. Since all of the students were using automatics we concentrated on that, though the instructor offered to cover revolvers as well if we wished. We were showed proper grip and stance (this particular instructor taught 'modern-ISO' of which I am a fan), and we covered the fundamentals of making a good shoot, including sight picture, trigger control, and follow through. After this we went over to the range.

On the firing line we were given a crash course in range etiquette and rules, and then moved on to dry fire practice from a bench. As we dry fired the instructor went to each of us in turn and corrected our grip until we had that which was best for our particular firearm and individual stature.

I think the most important thing I took away from the shooting portion of the course was learning what to do with my thumbs. It's always been an issue for me and the instructor gave me some tips that helped a lot.

We progressed quickly to live fire practice from a bench rest. We started off loading and firing one round at a time in order to focus on making each shot a good shot. Before long were doing five shot strings and everyone was shooting consistently.

Moving on to standing shooting we reverted back to dry fire with the instructor going from student to student correcting stance and grip. When he was satisfied that we had it we again moved on to live fire practice.

I think all of us progressed to the point that we were able to diagnose our bad shots, which was one of the instructors main goals in that particular class. All of the shooting was done at pretty short ranges as this was mainly to encourage good habits.

I would say that we all did well, two of us shooting far beyond the abilities of the third who obviously had no prior experience with firearms. I would say it was a toss up as to who was better between me and the other experienced shooter. His groups were a bit tighter, but his pistol also had a barrel two inches longer than mine.

Since we had plenty of time the instructor broke out the range's Texas Star. If you have never seen one of the these contraptions I suggest you look at a YouTube video of one being shot. It's a windmill type device with five metal plates on the end of the 'arms.' As each plate is shot and knocked off the arms begin to swing back and forth. Shooting in the wrong sequence can result in a bad spin.

The instructor took on the Texas Star first and showed us how it was done. All shooting at this target was done at 15 yards. He knocked all the plates off, but had a fair number of misses. The first student to shoot was the other experienced shooter. With a fully loaded full-size HK USP he impressed me by also knocking off all the plates. The weakest shooter went next and managed to get two plates off. In my opinion he did well considering his experience.

I went last with 8 rounds in my little compact 1911 with it's three inch barrel. I managed to knock off the first two plates fairly easily, but I struggled with the third. I expended my last couple of rounds attempting a fourth, which I failed to knock off.

I will say this for the Texas Star: it's a bitch, but it's fun! I'd love to have one to shoot at home.

After we put up the Texas Star we went back for a little more classroom instruction. This focused mainly on disassembley and cleaning of our pistols. We covered field stripping, the parts most important to clean, and then moved on the lubrication.

The instructor showed us a variety of lubricants, being partial to white grease (I think I'm a convert to this). He also told us that synthetic motor oil is perfectly acceptable, and at about half the cost of most brands of gun oil. "Do you really think you are putting more stress on your pistol than you are on a car engine?"

I learned a lot. This class did exactly what it is supposed to do. It filled a lot of holes in my firearms knowledge and corrected some of the mistakes I had been making while practicing on my own. I was very impressed with what I got for my $65 fee.

Awash in bittersweet memories.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

It was great!

My first firearms class was great! I will have details later.

Tragedy, indeed.

The Bayou Renaissance Man has a post up about a father who executed his 15 year old son after the son admitted to sexually molesting his 3 year old sister.

Peter says that this is a tragedy. It is. He also says, "I can understand the father's anger, but even so, that's adding evil to evil." I have to disagree with that, and you can see what I said in the comments there.

In a nutshell I don't thing the legal system can contribute anything to this situation. It certainly won't be bringing about any justice. The father did that by killing an evil person, his own son or not. The only justice I could see coming from the legal process at this point would be jury nullification in the father's criminal trial.

Friday, November 20, 2009

NRA First Steps Pistol class tomorrow.

Tomorrow at 10:00AM I will be starting my first formal firearms training with an NRA First Steps class. I'm not particularly excited about it, but I'm going into it with an open mind. I want to take more firearms classes but they all require this one first so I'm going to get it out of the way. I'll be sure to do an "On The Range" post about it tomorrow.

Wow. Talk about delay.

About 19 months ago I was living with an ex-girlfriend. When our lease was up we moved to seperate places shortly before breaking up. When we moved in together we had borrowed her mother's grill (since her mom didn't have any place to keep it anyway). For about three years I've had that grill.

I haven't used the thing in over a year, when she first asked me about coming to get it and I told her, "Anytime." I don't even think I have a tank for it anymore.

She also wants some electronic equipment that I had, some of which I have and some of which I already gave back to her.

I really hope this doesn't turn into drama.

Shooting to Stop Vs. Shooting to Kill

This particular debate is going on here.

I have not contributed to the debate on The Firing Line, mainly because just about everything I would say has been said. But I will say it here.

In my opinion this debate is pointless.

Shooting someone is using deadly force. Deadly force kills, hence 'deadly' (not always, but often enough that it is assumed that it probably will...that's why they use the word 'deadly').

If I'm using deadly force it will be in self-defense (according to the Alabama State Code, or the legal code where I am at the time it happens). If I am forced to that I won't care whether or not the person I am using deadly force against dies. I won't care if I kill them. It won't bother me a damned bit*. I'll sleep fine**.

If you shoot a person you're probably going to kill them. It doesn't matter if you don't want to kill them. They're probably going to die, and if they do that means you have killed. If you can't deal with the fact that shooting usually equals killing then you should not be carrying a gun for self defense.




*Unless, of course, the legal authorities decide that I didn't act in self-defense. That is a bridge I'll have to cross IF that ever happens, but I can say now that if it does the legal authorities will be wrong otherwise I would never have claimed it was self-defense in the first place.
**See '*' above.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Yum.

I made a pot of chili tonight, and it made a wonderful dinner. There is nothing better to eat in cold weather than a steaming bowl of spicy chili with a side of grilled cheese sandwhiches! Oh, and icy cold
Full Moon beer to wash it down.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The cold is upon me.

Or cold for Alabama. I'm looking forward to it though. I sat outside next to a fire for a little while, but had too much to do so I came in. I'll be making use of the mounds of wood I've got lying around here on some winter weekends for a little outdoors enjoyment soon though. Hopefully with company.

Hilarious!

This is awesome.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

There are times I love living in a Alabama.

And there are times when I just have to shake my head at the dumbassery that goes on around here.

You know, there are really better thing for LEOs to be doing than worrying about how much skin is being shown in a place you go to see skin. I realize 'they're just doing their jobs,' but that's never really been a valid excuse for doing something stupid.

Please, please, give me a good libertarian candidate to vote for the next time I get to participate in an election.

Tired.

Work wasn't too bad today. In fact, it was actually easy except for having to re-do something because of another person's laziness and stupidity. I don't mind manual labor, but I despise doing the same manual labor twice because someone else screwed up.

After work I shipped an item I'd sold on eBay, then came home to a hot shower before zipping off to a frieds to eat Chinese food and watch the new Star Trek. I feel the same way about the movie as I did when I saw it in theaters: Good movie, but not a good "Star Trek" movie. Just my humble opinion. I probably won't be buying it.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Made my first ebay sale.

I made my first eBay sale today. I had to get rid of a brand new single point sling I'd bought because it would not fit the sling mount on my rifle. It was a major disappointment. I actually lost a little bit on the sale, but it's better than nothing.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Maker of the AK-47 not going bankrupt afterall.

I linked a story here a while back that reported that the company that manufactures the AK-47 was going bankrupt.

Doing a little reading on The Firearms Blog today I saw that the report was wrong.

What does an anti-gun Senator do when two men break into his home?

Why, he grabs a gun, of course!

TABOR CITY, N.C. — A sheriff says a North Carolina state senator shot one of two intruders at his home and hospital officials say the man is in fair condition.

Multiple media outlets reported that Columbus County Sheriff Chris Batten said that 74-year-old Sen. R.C. Soles of Tabor City shot Kyle Blackburn late Sunday afternoon.

A spokeswoman at Loris Community Hospital in South Carolina said Monday that Blackburn was in fair condition.

Batten says the shooting occurred when two men went to the senator’s house and tried to kick in his front door. No charges have been filed.

The sheriff’s office said the State Bureau of Investigation was handling the case. A call to an agency spokeswoman was not immediately returned. There was no answer at a number listed for Soles’ home.

The Democrat has been in the Senate 32 years.


This is old news, but I'm just now hearing about it. And I bet it didn't make national headlines (since I tend to pay attention to those, especially the ones related to guns). I really hate hypocrites.

On The Range #2: Testing Pow'R Ball

As I said in an earlier post I did a little shooting today. The result of that will be two On The Range entries. This is the first.

I've been slowly but surely working my way through most of the defensive ammunition out there for .45 Auto. So far the best has been Hornady TAP. I'm in love with that stuff, but I'm also not above finding something better if it's available.

Soo, a couple of weeks ago I picked up a box of Pow'R Ball 165gr. +P ammunition from Hoover Tactical Firearms. I've been interested in this stuff for a while. It's got a hollow point bullet with a polymer ball inside that is supposed to help feeding and penetration through heavy clothing and glass.

I did all of my shooting at 10 yards with my Kimber Ultra Raptor II, and shot six groups of three at center mass and then finished off the final two rounds by doing a couple of head shots.

My best groups averaged out at around 2.5 inches. My best group was 1.5 inches. I had some really bad groups, but those were more the result of bad trigger control than anything else. Trigger control is something that I'm working on, but I'm getting better at it. Anyway.

I had one Failure To Feed after shooting 12 rounds. Now, this is NOT good. A failure is never good. But I also have to say that I've never NOT had one with a defensive ammunition in a 1911 pistol. They're rare, but they do happen. I've even had them happen with hardball target ammo. I've had them happen with good magazines (factory and Wilson Combat) and I've had them happen no matter how I'm holding the pistol.

Lastly, I did two head shots. The first was about 2 inches low, and the other went in the head of the target about the place where a chin would be. I could do better.

All in all, I like this round, and I may start carrying it in my pistol.

My head hurts, but...

I had a pretty good day. I slept in a late, and then had an awesome home cooked breakfast. Yes, cooked by me, because I am awesome like that.

I also did a little shooting this afternoon. It was nice to pop off a few rounds after the major bummer at the IDPA match yesterday. I'll be riding more about it in two On The Range articles.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

My first time shooting IDPA = FAIL

I woke up bright and early. My stomach was doing loops with nerves, but I was also excited. I was going to shoot in my first IDPA match this morning.

Or so I thought.

I arrived at the range and had some trouble finding my way around. Next time at least I'll know where to go. A few more signs directing traffic would be a good idea, but I digress.

Anyway, I went to the sign up table and told the man there I wanted to sign up for the match. He handed me a packet and told me to fill out the form inside and then give it to him with my $80 entrance fee.

"$80?" I asked. "I thought it was $10."

He then informs me that this isn't the monthly 'open to the public' match, but an official IDPA sanctioned match. Of course, there is nothing about this on the match schedule on the website. I won't deny that there is a banner on the main page talking about the "Masters" match going on today, but I assumed it would be noted on the match schedule if something had changed about the the regular match. After all, THERE IS A FUCKING PLACE FOR MAKING SUCH NOTATIONS!

Anyway, I was invited to stay and watch but I declined. That would just be even more depressing. I feel like I just got stood up on a date I was really looking forward to going on.

I'm trying not to let this ruin my whole weekend, but this was my weekend. Now I just feel bummed.

Must see movie!

Law Abiding Citizen managed to be a great movie despite a Hollywood ending that made no sense. I recommend it.

Friday, November 13, 2009

I want to live on the moon.

NASA has confirmed that a significant amount of water has been found on the Moon.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Interesting article on anti-Taliban Militias in Afghanistan

Spiegel has an article on what the German military is calling a 'troublesome' developement. As European and the US government fail to protect Afghan civilians they are picking up their AKs and doing it for themselves.

Troubling. How dare these third world savages defend themselves from atrocities? How DARE THEY?

Good-bye Ruger Mini-14.

I sold my Ruger Mini-14 today. It was a bittersweet parting. I had a lot of fun with that gun, but I'd moved up to better things. Still, I did like it, and it was always willing to give a good time.

I only sold it because I was having some financial difficulties and I needed cash quick. While it didn't bring as much as I would like it brought enough.


This was the first time I shot it at 100 yards. I managed to put 14 out of 20 rounds on paper with iron sights.






My friend Logan holding it the first time we shot together.



Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Time to go.

Lou Dobbs, a newsman I have admired for a long time, is leaving CNN. I guess he finally decided it was time to GTFO. Good for him.

Damn it.

So I had to put over six hundred dollars worth of work into my car today. I didn't want to, but who ever does? My rear breaks crapped out a while back and I took too long to have them replaced. The result was I had to get new breaks, new roters, and new calipers.

I guess I deserve it for neglecting a necessary repair.

Still. Six hundred bucks. That's three months savings. That's a new gun. And that's one class I won't be able to pay for come January. Damn it.

Here's one to those who fight and faught!

Trolls are bowling in my dead

Ouch.

Trolls are bowling in my head.

Monday, November 9, 2009

U.L.U

I recieved my U.L.U. (Universal Locking Utility) knife this past weekend from Eagle River Knife Company. Sadly, it arrived after I had left for my camping trip so it has not been used in the field yet. However, I only purchased it because a man who I know would never buy a useless tool had one (and was using it as a putty knife!). If a knife can survive that man I'm sure it can handle me.

Here are a few pictures of this fine piece of craftsmanship.

In the traditional folding knife position:


Half open:


In the ULU position:

Reading habits.

A year or two ago I got into the habit of reading many books at once. The only thing it's accomplished to to slow down the pace of my reading. At least it seems that way to me.

I'm going back to reading one book at a time. At the moment I am 'reading' at least six books. I'm going to focus on finishing them up one at a time and moving on with my life.

The first I'll finish is The Fate of Africa.

Murphy hates me.

And because Murphy hates me he decided to break my brakes, and he had to do it after I spent a large amount of cash on new camping gear, fun stuff, etc. I have a reserve (only a fool doesn't!) but I don't like to use it.
This gets a woman a check on the 'Pro' side of the Pro/Con list in my book any day of the week.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Taking it to the next level.

I've been shooting since I was old enough to hold a gun. My only 'formal' training comes from a weekend shooting session when I was in the Boy Scouts eleven years ago. It's only in the last four or five years that I've become heavily interested in firearms and shooting, the result of reading John Ross's Unintended Consequences (a book that sat on my shelf for years before I finally cracked the cover).

Since reading that book I've been buying guns and shooting at every opportunity. However, until now I have never taken part in any formal shooting competitions or had any formal firearms training.

Next weekend that will be remedied.

Saturday November 14, I will compete in my first IDPA match at Brock's Gap Training Center, Inc.. I've been planning to do this for a while, and have written about it here before. Circumstances have prevented me from being able to do so until now. I am both nervous and excited. Reminds me of another 'first.' I hope I don't shake with as much nervousness Saturday as I did then!

Also, I am attempting to register for an NRA Basic Pistol First Steps course Saturday, November 21, with Alabama Firearms Training Services, L.L.C. I don't know if that will work out, but if it does it will be my first experience with formal firearms training. I'm a little skeptical about whether I need to start right at the newbie beginning, but I don't really have much choice (all the more advanced classes usually require that you've had First Steps) and I'm not going to skip ahead just because of what I think I already know.

I hope I can get into the class, but it is a little late notice. Then again, I don't know what the demand on their services is. If I can't get into this one my next chance will be a class in January. I'll go ahead and register for that class if can't get in the one coming up this weekend.

I plan to do an 'On The Range' devoted to the IDPA match. If I can get in the First Steps class I will also do one on that.

Looks like I may be in for a hell of a weekend. And hopefully a fun one, too.

Camping!

I went camping for the first time in a good long time this weekend. I camped on the Borden Creek Trail in the Sipsey Wilderness.

Here is my camp shortly after setting it up:




The view of the creek:


My camp at night:


After dining on filet mignon and wild rice I enjoyed a Oliva Serie V and a couple of Jack and Cokes:


Me enjoying a cup of hot chocolate this morning:


The camp after breakfast shortly before I packed up and headed home:


It was a really fun trip, and I will have to do it again as soon as possible if the weather allows. The only thing that could have made it better would have been some female companionship. Maybe next time.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Murphy, how I hate thee!

Murphy's Law is in full swing at work today. Usually Friday is our day to have a good lunch out, but stupidity keeps piling up and McDonald's is looking more and more likely.

"Only the police and the military should have firearms" Epic Fail

Tam said it better than I could have at VFTP.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

My tent arrived...

But I still don't have it. My brother's girlfriend was nice enough to meet the UPS delivery driver and get it for me. And instead of leaving it on my back porch where I would find it when I got home she took it next door with her and promptly forgot about it. Since I paid for two day shipping I tracked it since I was expecting it today. I saw that it was delivered to an adult female and put two and two together to get four.

Now I won't be able to get it until tomorrow (they don't live next door yet, they're just getting the place cleaned up and I don't have a key). I pretty annoyed about that, but they know that from now on they are to leave things like that on my back porch.

Some people should be retroactively aborted.

This is what happens when you don't deal with a rapist properly.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Interesing, and troublesome.

I ran across an add in S.W.A.T magazine that said, "We will NOT obey any order to disarm the American people."

Below that statement was this web address: www.oathkeepers.org

I find it interesting that such a group exists and that they are making a point to say that they will not obey orders that are unconstitutional, and that they are taking the further step of making it clear the kinds of orders they mean. It makes me hopeful that people are aware of the dangers that are all around us if we let down our guard.

I find it troublesome that such a group exists even though I think it is a good thing. I also worry how attaching oneself to this organization could hurt one's career as I'm sure it is viewed by most as a dangerous 'radical' group looking for an excuse, any excuse, to rid themselves of the restraint of civilization or 'necessary' infrigements of freedom that 'the common welfare' requires.

Most will shrug off this group's concerns: of course no one will obey an unconstitutional order! And after all, if the executive gives it, the legislative permits it, and the judicial says it's 'ok,' then it's constitutional, right?

Push comes to shove, most people will use whatever rational they can to avoid a fight no matter how right or just the fight may be. That's because they fear losing the fight, or more exactly they fear the consequences of losing the fight. To most people slavery is better than the risk of prison with real criminals and death.

Life is good.

I've been thinking a lot lately. I'm always thinking a lot. Sometimes I think maybe I do too much thinking. Anyway, I've come to the conclusion that life is good.

However, there is a but.

But things are missing. I need to find those things.

Sling Mount

I recieved my sling mount from Urban-E.R.T. Slings today. It went right on and seems to hold well. The real test will come when my sling comes in but so far I am pleased with it.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

As promised, Halloween pictures!


Me in my costume as #47 from "Hitman."


My friend John as John McClane, his wife Jennifer as a Warrior Princess, Me as #47 from "Hitman," and our friend Doyle as a Kentucky Fried Zombie.


A group picture. We always seem to end up in the kitchen.


Me and my friend Adrian


Me and my friend Doyle


Me and my best friend's wife, Jennifer.

Last night went well...


The proof is in the dizzy feeling that I get when I stand up. I made it home a little after four this morning when most of the effects of large bottle of Gentleman Jack I helped a friend dispose of wore off.

No real hangover, I never really have one of those. Just tired from lack of sleep and a little wozy from the Jack still in my system. Actually kind of hungry, but the last thing I want to do is cook. Besides, I have no breakfast meat.

My costume went over really well. Almost everybody 'got' it. It seemed to be the general consensus that it was one of the best of the night. Hopefully I'll have more than the terrible quality iPhone picture you see above soon. I didn't have my camera so I have to wait on my friend's wife to put the pictures up online or email them to me.