Friday, June 29, 2012

Quote of the Day: Captain Capitalism

The Cap had me nodding my head in agreement, as usual:

The reason women (married or not, working or not) do the majority of the housework is because of one simple thing - women's standards for tidiness are multiple times higher than men's.  We are OK with an upturned shoe in the middle of the hall.  You decree it a "filthy mess" and declare war on it.  We men will clean the house to the point it is sanitary.  You can clean it to the point of perfection if you want.  We guys have more important stuff to do in life.

Bingo.  

On The Range #70: Thursday Night IDPA

Yesterday was the monthly low light IDPA match at Brock's Gap Training Center.  'Low light' depends on the time of the year, and typically in the summer it's over before dark so no flashlights are necessary, however it is a flashlight match if it gets dark enough.  I've shot two of these matches and so far we've finished before dark.

I had not shot my pistol since the last Thursday night match so I decided to run 50 rounds through the Glock yesterday morning doing Dot Torture:

49/50 @ 3 yards

The match started at 6 PM and last until just after 8PM.  Today also was pushing 100*F.  I figured not too many people would show up because of the heat.  I guess everyone else had the same thought as me because there were 36 shooters, 6 more than at the last Thursday match.  

The match consisted of four stages.  Two were very simple and two where very elaborate.  I enjoyed myself, especially after the sun went down.  Since these are just club matches we shot this one without cover because of the heat.  

I shot 5th of 15 in unclassified Stock Service Pistol.  The top guy in UC/SSP will classify Expert at worst judging by his time.  I should be Marksman.  I finished 16th of 36 overall.  I outshot 10 in my class/division, and 20 overall.  I'm pretty happy with that and I'm looking forward to shooting a classifier which I think I'll get the chance to do in July.  

Also I should be shooting two matches in July, a Saturday match which is the main club match and also the Thursday night match.  I'm looking forward to both, but most of all looking forward to shooting in the fall/winter in a few months!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

The government can make you buy anything.

That's what the Supreme Court says.  Chief Justice John Roberts says doing so is taxation.

Vote for Romney because we can't afford what will happen to the SCOTUS under another four years of Obama.  Right.  Sure.  That'll fix everything.

It's really just one more instance proving that government power to do whatever the fuck it wants will not be denied.  I wonder what the Republican's will make us buy (or fine us for not buying, I'm sure that's how it is rationalized as a tax).

Sure, I've got my guns (though not the one's I've a legal right to, let's not forget that), but I ask you what good they're worth if my government can take my land and give it to a real estate developer to turn into a strip mall?  What good are they if the government can pull me and thirty other people out of our cars at an intersection, arrest us without cause, and search us and our vehicles without cause or warrant because a bank robber might be among us and they don't know what he looks like or what he is driving? 

The only way to turn the tide is with violence.  That is not an order, suggestion, or declaration of intent.  It is simply the facts as they stand.  Violence is the only option left and taking that option would probably make the situation worse (absolutely would in the short term), but it's also the only chance left.  In the end it will come down to violence no matter what other actions are taken.

Fuck it.  I'm going to punch holes in paper because it's fun, enjoy my bourbon while I can, enjoy my cigars while I can, enjoy red meat for as long as I can,  fuck as much as I can, and do my damnedest to laugh at the absurdity of it all.  I have no doubt that before I'm dead everything enjoyable will be taken away from us in the name of health.

Our situation makes me think very much of a person with cancer and multiple personality disorder.  One personality wants to risk the body's health to kill the cancer which is the only option that could work (not will work by any means).  Another is a non-interventionist religious nut job who wants to leave it up to the will of God.  Another thinks only holistic 'medicine' should be tried.  Another thinks that cancer doesn't really exists but that it's just a way for doctors to slowly kill you while stealing all your money.  Guess who wins in that scenario?

If you didn't guess cancer you're an idiot.  

Monday, June 25, 2012

Quick thoughts.

Oleg Volk links to a post about rape prevention.  It's worth reading, and I think offers some very good tips both for men and women.

ENDO posts a FateOfDestinee video that sounds a like what I hear from women who go to bars.  In a nutshell, "Guys pay attention to me!  Why do they do that?  Why are they interjecting themselves into my attempt to enjoy myself?"  Guys pay attention because you're hot and you're doing something most of their wives/girlfriends/daughters want nothing to do with and that makes you just fascinating.  Almost everything that bothered her I've seen happen near a dart board or a pool table.  If you want to be left alone, just say, "This ain't my first rodeo" or simply "Leave me alone."  If someone persists at this point complain to the range staff.

AGirlAndHerGun links to this blog post about women in the gun industry by Shelly Rae.  It made for interesting reading.  I can understand not wanting to be successful in an industry just because you're a woman, but at this point I think that's going to come with the territory.  What the gun industry wants is to sell guns and expand its market and having women to point to who are shooters/gun writers/etc. as proof that guns are not just for the boys is a big part of what makes women important to the industry.  Like it or not being a woman is an added value.  I think that will change as more and more women become gun owners and become a part of the industry, but I don't think the numbers are there yet.  Frankly, I'd like to meet more women who aren't completely ignorant when it comes to one of my passions.  

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Bill Whittle on F&F.

Gun smuggling operation busted in Alabama.

Seems some Alabama residents decided to follow in the footsteps of Eric Holder:
BIRMINGHAM, Alabama -- The Mexican Army on May 3, 2011, stopped a drug suspect in a vehicle after a chase in the city of Florencia de Benito, Juarez, in the central part of that country and found a cache of guns, a grenade launcher, explosives and marijuana.

Among the eight weapons was a Barrett Model 99 .50 caliber BMG rifle purchased six weeks earlier at a Huntsville gun shop, according to U.S. court documents.

In the seven months after that first discovery, the Mexican military uncovered three other stashes of large-caliber guns that included ones bought at Huntsville and Decatur-area gun shops. One stash belonged to the drug cartel Los Zetas, according to court documents.
Okay.  They found a .50 that was bought in Huntsville.  Where did the fucking GRENADE LAUNCHER AND EXPLOSIVES come from?  I mean, who gives a fuck if you have a single shot Barrett (a weapon any decent machine shop can whip up...just ask Ronnie Barrett) when you've got a fucking grenade launcher? 
In Alabama, federal agents tracked the guns to a group of seven people who bought them as "straw buyers" for one man, Gary Lee Madison, according to federal court documents. All eight last month pleaded guilty to making false statements in order to buy firearms. They also have all entered plea agreements with federal prosecutors in north Alabama.
 Funny how well a little detective work pays off, isn't it?  Of course, I'm assuming that the first the BATFE knew of the Alabama guns was when they got the trace request from Mexico.  If they knew people were straw buying for Madison before the guns were found in Mexico then this is just one more case of the BATmen contributing to the Mexican death toll.  I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt in this case.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Too bad for one man that Arizona doesn't have a safe storage law.

It might have saved him from getting shot by a 14 year old boy:

A 14-year-old Phoenix boy shot an intruder who broke into his home while brandishing a gun as the teenager watched his three younger siblings, police said.
The teen and his brothers and sisters were at home alone at their residence at 55th Avenue and Baseline when a woman rang the doorbell Friday. The teen didn't open the door because he didn't recognize her, Police Officer James Holmes said Saturday.
Soon after, the teen heard a bang on the door, rushed his siblings upstairs and got a handgun from his parent's bedroom. When he got to the top of the stairs, he saw a man breaking through the front door and point a gun at him.

The Anti's would prefer that children face armed home invaders unarmed.  

Hopefully this kid is feeling no guilt, because he shouldn't.  And hopefully no moron tries to convince him that he should feel guilty for protecting his family because of some asinine ideal about the sanctity of life.  The cold, hard truth is that life is cheap.  Humans rape and murder other humans (to include children) every damned day.  There is nothing special about our lives in the grand scheme unless we do something to make them so.  This boy, nay, this man has done so  His actions were decisive, brave, and most of all absolutely correct. 

Friday, June 22, 2012

Review: DSG Alpha Holster and Magazine Carrier

I've wanted to write this review for a while, and I've struggled with it.  The problem is that I'm worried that I won't say enough to meet some other person's definition of 'review.'  However, I decided since I paid for this holster, since this is my blog, and since I have open comments so anyone can ask questions that I could say as little or as much as I want. 

 Front

Not long after I bought my Glock 17 I knew I wanted a kydex holster.  I also wanted a double magazine carrier.  I've seen a lot of adverts for DSG kydex holsters in the gun rags over the last few months so I took a look at their website.  They've got a nice selection of holsters at a decent price and they keep a decent inventory on hand.  Raven Concealment has never had my business because of this particular lack of inventory problem in the past. 

 Back

I settled on the Alpha Series Holster and magazine carrier.  The prices were right and they were available for immediate shipping.  I placed my order and had the brown box in hands in under a week. 

Initial impressions where that I'd paid around $100 for two pieces of plastic.  In essence I was correct, but the devil is in the details.  My Glock 17 and magazines fit into the holster and mag carrier quite well, though the magazine carrier is a little on the tight side and you must have a good grip on your magazines and give a straight upward pull to get them out quickly. 

The holster has all the retention a concealable holster needs while at the same time allowing for a smooth and fast draw.  I believe I am faster out of this holster than any of the other two I own. 

I've worn the holster and mag carrier a lot since I purchased it.  It is completely comfortable to wear around all day.  I've driven, shopped, mowed the lawn, and sat in my favorite chair while wearing this holster with a full size pistol in it.  The most uncomfortable I've been was while driving and that was minor at worst.

I used this holster and mag carrier combination to take my recent IDPA 101 course and to shoot in my first IDPA match.  Aside from the retention issue I mentioned above concerning the magazine carrier I've had zero issues in any shooting I've done using the DSG equipment. 

The holster is marketed as a concealed carry holster and it works perfectly in that arena as long as you use a little common sense in your clothing choices.  It's not going to disappear under a light t-shirt when carrying a full size pistol like my Glock 17, but then it doesn't take much more either.


 

The belt loops on the holster are detachable so that it can be converted to an IWB holster.  I have not tried this, nor do I anticipate doing so in the future.  I can not imagine that a pure kydex holster will be in the least bit comfortable worn inside the waistband. 

If you're looking for a kydex holster I definitely suggest you take a look at what DSG has to offer.  For those of you with Crimson Trace grips or lights on your guns they make holsters that will work for you too. 


This will be my go to holster for IDPA and I'm sure it will see a lot of wear when I'm doing any kind of outdoor activity.  I'm very happy with the purchase and I'll be looking at some of DSG's other offerings in the future. 

On The Range #69: Quality AR Time

It'd been too long since I'd done any shooting at all so I decided to put a few rounds through the AR yesterday. 

I shot a magazine at 25 yards and then another at 50.  First few rounds were shot prone, with the majority being shot from a modified sitting position (I can't shoot the AR from the classic sitting position).  All shooting was done with iron sights at a 1'X1' square pistol bull's eye target.  Results were as follows:

25 yards

Pretty much ate the heart of the the bull's eye pistol target I was using at 25 yards.  There is a little creep high left that I think had to do with the position I was shooting from.  I need to get some sandbags to do some more experimenting to confirm if it's technique or the position I was in. 

50 yards

All the shots stayed on paper at 50 yards but there doesn't seem to be any real precision.  I was aligning the top of the front sight blade with with the top of the black of the target (basically covering the black with the front sight).  Again there is noticeable creep high and left.

I'd have like to shoot another target at 100 yards but that is hard to set up on my property.  I'm working on it, but it'll involve some significant land clearing (about 50 yards by 5 yards worth) that I may have to do by hand.  

I think I'm going to repeat this, with less rounds, from the standing position when I have a moment or two. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Robert's Picks

Books:

A Rising Thunder by David Weber (good)

Rogue by Michael Z Williamson (good)

Movies:

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (very good)

Mission Impossible:  Ghost Protocol (good)

Dead Snow (good)

John Carter (good)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Time.

I seem to have less and less.  As a friend of mine remarked recently, being a grown up sucks.  What time I'm not working I'm trying to read, catch up on my DVR, or keeping the yard from turning into a jungle.

I have some things coming for the blog, including a holster review and a new Robert's Picks.  Stay tuned.

Friday, June 15, 2012

"I'm the only one professional enough to burn down this building." Part II

The IMPD may have a slew of drunk drivers, but I think the Birmingham PD has them beat.  A second Birmingham Police Officer has been arrested for arson in connection with the burning of at least 14 buildings:

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama -- A second Birmingham police officer has been jailed in connection with a spate of arsons that struck west Birmingham in May.

The West Precinct officer is being held in the city jail on a 48-hour extension. His name hasn't been released pending formal charges. He was taken into custody early today during his 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. shift, said police spokesman Sgt. Johnny Williams Jr.

Jail officials declined to release any information about the officer's jail booking.

The officer is 35 years old, and joined the force in August 2009.

Already charged is Officer Curtis Jeffrey Thornton, 27. He is charged with second-degree arson in connection with a May 21 house fire in the 1700 block of 29th Street Ensley.
So, was there a team of serial arsonists at work in Birmingham using a badge as a (not very effective) shield?  Where these guys moon lighting for someone looking to collect insurance money?  Or (tin foil hat time) are these guys just doing what the mayor and city council have been wanting to do but couldn't, that is, get rid of abandoned structures so they could collect some of that sweet urban renewal cash?

Tin foil hattery aside you've got to give it to the BPD for the investigation and results.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Thoughts on training.

Since it seems to be a popular subject.

Guns are pretty damned easy to use compared to a lot of other tools.  I'd been shooting for years with just minor parental instruction and I managed not to unintentionally harm anyone or anything.  Still, I wasn't very good at it.  Sure, I could reasonable be expected to hit another person with a bullet from contact distance and that's probably all I'm likely to need in a self defense situation, but I still wasn't a very good shot and I wanted to be.

I practiced.  I got better, but not very.  I took a class.  I learned a whole lot.  I had fun.  I got a lot better at this shooting thing, and the reason I got better is because I practiced what I was trained to do.  And damn if it didn't work. 

I got an opportunity to take another class.  I enjoyed.  I learned some new things.  I practiced what I was trained to do...and I got better. 

I'll take more training courses in the future as time and finances permit.  I'll practice what I'm trained to do.  I'll probably get even better than I am right now.  Maybe not, but probably. 

So what do I get out of training?  Well, it makes me a better shooter.  Does that mean I'm better than someone who doesn't train in shooting?  In general, it probably does as far as shooting goes.  I'm probably a better shot than someone who doesn't practice shooting regularly (or at all).  That doesn't make a me a better person.  It also doesn't make me a gunfighter or a warrior. 

I want to be a good shot.  I don't think there is anything wrong with that.  I want to know how to handle weapons correctly.  I don't think there is anything wrong with that.  I'm proud of the skill I've developed, and I don't think there is anything wrong with that. 

I think training is a good thing.  I think good training will make you a better shooter.  I also think being a good shot won't do you any good if you can't pull the trigger on another person. 

I think comparing civilian firearms training to military firearms training is a bit disingenuous.  If I had smart bombs, artillery, stealth jets, tanks, predator and reaper drones I'd probably spend most of my training budget there too. Then there is the fact that most wars have been fought by conscript armies by the method of putting a gun in someone's hands, pointing him in the general direction of the enemy, rinse and repeat until one side gives up or runs out of bodies.  Wars are won by the side that can soak up the most casualties and still remain cohesive.  Military strategists have tried to change that but the end result, in my opinion, seems to be a lot of stalemates and wasted efforts.

Anyway, kind of trailed off there. 

So, training.  I don't really give a fuck if you train or not.  I'm going to.

Pain. Lots of pain.

Work really sucks right now.  I'm completely exhausted and frustrated.  I can handle overtime in a five day week, but I need my two days off or I start to lose my sanity.  Part of it is that I've got to be a completely different person than who I really am for most of the day when I'm dealing with customers.  I can't let my frustration, aggravation, annoyance, or any other negative emotion show.  I've got to keep it bottled up.  At least one of my supervisors thinks that's no excuse for being angry when I'm thrust into a no win situation created by someone else.

I'm sure I'll be hearing about it tomorrow after I get, if I'm lucky, six hours of sleep.  I've just got to remind myself that management has thinner skin than prickly customers, that speaking loudly is now yelling, that being angry is a sign of disrespect, and that balking when someone tells me to do something that will make a bad situation worse means that I'm treating them like they're a piece of shit.

Honestly, I'm just confused.    

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Red room of pain..

I've been reading Fifty Shades of Grey.  Spoilers will follow.  Any book that sparks controversy gets my attention.  This one also happens to focus on a subject I have more than a passing interest in.

 This is where I sleep.

  Imagine my reaction when I got to the part where Grey unveils his 'dark' secret to Steele and shows here what she dubs the 'Red Room of Pain.'  I admit I LOL'd.

Not the worst day I've had.

But it's up there.

I worked today because we are on a mandatory 6-1 schedule at work.  I'm not a fan, but whatever.  Got up bright and early and drove for over an hour to get to my first job.  Finished 15 minutes from home at 8:30PM.  Had to come home and pick up my own tv so I could do my last install because the customer had only one tv that was missing the power cord and the bosses want to give you absolute shit if a customer legitimately needs to reschedule or cancel.

Finished up and headed home thinking the worst was past.  No such luck.  I'm about halfway home when I feel a nasty sting burning into my back.  A wasp or hornet got me good.  Don't know where the fucker came from or where he went but it hurt like a son of a bitch and I'll have some nice swelling over the next couple of days.

Oh, and being stuck in a mobile home with no A/C (hadn't been installed yet) and two large cats has led me to the conclusion that I'm at least mildly allergic to the damned things.  Cats, that is.  Joy. 

Monday, June 4, 2012

Running.

I hate running.  I mean, I really, really hate it.  However, I realize it's a good healthy activity and probably one of the best ways to build stamina.  I'm not particularly fit, but I'm not completely out of shape either.  I have a fitness nut friend who has told me more than once that running would probably do me a lot of good in the health and fitness department. 

Still, I hate running.  Then I read this post by MattG.  Another person who hates running, but is giving it a go.  I decided to try the same regime as him and see if I can stick with it.  The only thing I'm doing differently is I'm planning on running six days a week instead of three spaced out.  I may have to drop that when i get into later weeks but for the first week it's not an issue.  There's some tenderness in my legs but nothing that I think will be an issue.

I'm tracking myself by time since I don't really have a way to do distance, and since distance is more intimidating than time.  I may hit a local track on my next day off just to get an idea of what I'm capable of but for now it's not really important to me.

We'll see how it goes. 

Sunday, June 3, 2012

FML.

Didn't work today.  Won't work tomorrow. 

On my way to my first customer this morning I noticed some pretty severe irritation in my right eye.  I though maybe my contact was out of whack so when I pulled over to get gas I checked it out in the mirror.  The lower half of the surface of my eye was red and extremely swollen.  I removed my contact lens and called my supervisor to tell him I had to get it checked out before doing anything else. 

Finally managed to find a doc that was working around 9AM (about an hour and half later) and was diagnosed with conjunctivitis (more commonly known as pink eye).  It's a first for me.  The doc gave me a prescription for eye drops (expensive shit, I might add) and sent me home for two days.

I'm out some cash I'd have preferred not to use and a brand new pair of contacts which just happened to be a trial pair.  Maybe the eye doc will get me another set. 

Work was not happy.  It seems I was the third man down for the day, and it was going to be hell before I called out.  I didn't like doing it, but I was very worried about my eye.  My eyes and dick are the two things I'll run to the doctor about if I'm having an issue, otherwise I avoid them like the plague. 

I guess I'll be burning off two more vacation days.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Going for a beer.

Or more.

Tonight I'll be attending the Magic City Brewfest put on by Free The Hops, the organization responsible for the Gourmet Beer Act passed a couple of years ago so that high gravity beer could be brewed and sold in Alabama.  I'm a big fan of the law since it has improved the quality of beer in Alabama immensely.  This year they were responsible for the legislature passing and the governor signing the Gourmet Bottle Bill which allows the production and sale of your larger size containers of beer.  It goes into effect August 1st.  Prior to this law going into effect only 16 oz. containers or smaller were allowed.  Still can't get foh-tays, but hopefully we'll see that change in the future. 

Anyway, this weekends event will feature over 200 brewers with samples (all samples have to be purchased for a penny to comply with other silly ass laws).  Eight Alabama Brewers will be featured.  I've had beers by two of them.  One I don't care for.  I've tried a number of their beers and they all taste exactly the same.  One is ok.  Hopefully a few of the others will tip over the 'good'  side of the meter. 

At the least I'll get to try a lot of different beers and hopefully find some new stuff I'll enjoy.  I hate that IPAs are so popular now because IPAs, well, I'm not a fan.  Should be plenty of stouts out there for me though.