Tuesday, December 27, 2005

I Thought . . .

¶ . . . this was pretty funny:

. . . Courtesy of Stop The ACLU.

Squad - In - A - Box . . .

¶ . . . Two of them!
   Ist MarDiv, with heavy weapons . . .

    . . . and the German 716th Infantry Division . . .

. . . Along with the aircraft, a Corsair and a Stuka, Christmas presents from my sister!

Monday, December 26, 2005

Check Out The Camp Katrina Blog . . .

¶ . . . I got an e-Mail from Spc. Phil Van Treuren, Ohio National Guard, JAG Corps, giving me a thumbs up on my blog! He was mobilized in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and he and some of his chums have started an eponymous blog, Camp Katrina. It highlights many of the U.S. Military's humanitarian efforts worldwide as well as some other fine, interesting, and humorous entries. It is quite well done! Sure to be of interest to those of our ilk! I see that our friend Cowboy Blob has already blogrolled it and C.B. is on the Katrina blogroll . . . !
. . . Spc. Phil, consider yourself blogrolled here . . . !

Saturday, December 17, 2005

My Seven By Seven . . .

¶ . . . Seven . . .
   Things To Do Before I Die . . .
      · Summit the Sierra Crest at the Palisades
      · Get out of L.A.
      · Learn to play my Stratocaster
      · Learn to ride a horse
      · Build and live in a log home
      · Trace the route of the Corps of Discovery
      · Shoot in the National Matches at Camp Perry, Ohio
   Things I Cannot Do (Presently, anyway!) . . .
      · Remember Numbers
      · Go to the head without something to read
      · Shoot with both eyes open (and I’m opposite side dominant, to          boot!)
      · Own a home in Southern Kalifornia (nor do I want to!!)
      · Visit enough ghost towns
      · Ride a horse
      · Shoot steel plates skillfully
   Things That Attract Me To . . . (The Sierra Nevada and Environs)
      · The whole Comstock Lode thing just enthralls me
      · Lake Tahoe
      · I gauge contentment with an altimeter
      · If I fish and get skunked, so what?
      · Mining!
      · It’s a spiritual thing!
      · Alpenglow
   Things I Say Most Often . . .
      · Dude . . . !
      · That’s weak . . . !
      · What a d**k!
      · There’s nothing to it!
      · Astonishing!
      · That kinda shit doesn’t happen to me!
      · What’s up with that?
   Books Or Series I Love . . .
      · Mail Call (History Channel)
      · Wild West Tech (History Channel)
      · The Martian Chronicles, Ray Bradbury
      · Bonanza
      · Lonesome Dove: The Outlaw Years
      · Citizen Soldiers, Stephen E. Ambrose
      · The Dirt: Confessions Of The World’s Most Notorious Rock          Band, Motley Crue
         (Yes! Something trashy in my bibliography!)
   Movies I Watch Over and Over (More than once, anyway) . . .
      · Band Of Brothers
      · Lonesome Dove (Original series)
      · The Decline Of Western Civilization: The Metal Years
      · The Outlaw Josey Wales
      · Saving Private Ryan
      · Hang ‘Em High
      · The Wild Bunch
   Suckers I Want To Infect . . .
      · Brother-blog Journal Yellow
      · The rest of my regular Gunbloggers have been infected already!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Can't Live Without It . . .

¶ . . . I broke the one that my buddy gave me, at a match, and soon found I was just too weak to fill my mags all the way! Where I normally load (.45) 17 rounds (and a couple mags I can get 18), I found I could only get 15 into the magazine. Not a whole lot better than shooting Limited 10. Fortunately at the match the week following another chum had one for me to borrow.
Making the Brownells order now . . .

Monday, December 12, 2005

Cheap Or Frugal . . . ?

¶ . . . There's a razor's edge between them. As I enter my fourth year of IPSC/USPSA competition and of course "rolling my own," I have not bought one piece of brass. Until now. Normally I just police (read: scrounge!) the range during the match and just use/re-use what I find. Shooting a .45, the brass appears to hold up well for multiple loads. Recently, however, I've been lazy, so I ran out after loading for last month's outing at Prado. Noticing a few five-gallon buckets of mixed brass that had been raked up off the range that week, I asked the range master if any of it was for sale.
  "Twenty bucks and return the bucket."
  Not really knowing how much of it was .45 but being a gambling man, I went for it, one filthy bucket o' brass. Well, it paid off: their was lots of .45 and almost all of it looked to be once fired, at least 1500 pieces! It wasn't really too bad separating it out, maybe an hour and a half. Still, next time I might go to The BrassMan; it costs more but no filth to sift through and it's already cleaned. For those of you shooting .40 S&W, there really is no need for the filth; The BrassMan's .40 is really dirt cheap!
  GET SOME . . . !

The Stoopid (5 Weird Things) Meme . . .

¶ . . . has been visited upon me, courtesy of Jerry the Geek, so give me some time and I'll punch it out in the next day or so. At first I thought I was getting the 7 x 7, and I started to work that one up, so I'll throw that one in, too . . . !

Sunday, December 11, 2005

A Range Report . . .

¶ . . . as requested by my bud Marc at Lay Lines is, alas, none too interesting; without photos, though a fine match,indeed, it's kind of a "you had to be there" type deal. With scoring, taping, magazine loading and maintenance, I'm finding it difficult to "multi-task" with camera and pistol, a la Jerry The Geek. Being my home club, I also am involved in the setup. Plus I need a better zoom . . . I do hope, however, to change this sorry tune as I figure that as I enjoy seeing pics from your guys' matches, you might enjoy some of mine . . .
¶ . . . Here's one bit of positive news: Chances are somewhat good I'll be ejecting from Kalifornia with a transfer to The Battle-Born State real soon . . . Stay tuned!!

Friday, December 09, 2005

The Busy Christmas Season . . .

¶ . . . affords ample opportunity for overtime at my "outfit," so I've not had a lot of computer/weblog time; I still, however, try to read a little from those of you who have become my favorites and have been kind enough to comment on my stuff and send me e-mails . . .
. . . Most recently: I took my son out again for another fine round of IPSC shooting. He did quite a bit better, in my opinion, and I believe that we have yet another participant in our sport. We'll know for sure when he turns 21 and we start to see handgun and gear purchases!! As for now, he has expressed interest in getting a long gun, as at 18 years of age it's permitted. Get Some . . . !
. . . For the time being, he's at the USMC's School Of Infantry, located at scenic Camp Pendleton, California. OORAH!!

Thursday, November 24, 2005

First - Time Shooter . . . !

¶ . . . I went once again, my second visit, to shoot the match with the Prado IPSC group, and what a disgusting performance! More on that to follow . . .
. . . The outing was a success, however, as I rigged up my son to shoot his first match! His basics, stance, grip, observance of safety protocols, focus, and overall attitude were very good. Good job! In fact, I detected no real first time jitters, at least not as much as I perceived my own my first time out. He'll get one more go at it at my home club's monthly match this Sunday before he reports to Camp Pendleton on Tuesday . . .

¶ . . . Some thoughts on my rancid performance;they may or may not be reasons, but they're definitely not excuses:
  • I was a little preoccupied with my son being comfortable for his first match

  • Shooting in a small squad of four, didn't have much "prep" time between stages

  • Finally got classified in Limited ("C" !!) two days prior and wasn't too concerned with doing well on Tight Squeeze, which I always nertz anyway (!)

  • I don't practice (Weak!)

   All in all, a big crock, but no excuse. This week I'll shoot my game and make a good effort. I'd like to get a "B" classification this coming year and with a little more awareness and diligence on my part, there's no reason I can't realize it. I am also going to submit the request for my 2006 vacation periods to coincide with some of the major matches, those above the club level. Area 2, Dundee Practical Shooters' (Oregon) "Croc Match," and "The Silver Buckle Challenge" (Sage Pistol League, Ridgecrest, CA) come to mind. There are challenges there and more fun and adventure to boot . . . !

Friday, November 11, 2005

I'm A Proud Father Of . . . A United States Marine!!

¶ . . . Indulge me, but I'm beaming!! What more can I say? My wife, daughter, and I returned today with our son from the two-day graduating ceremonies at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego and I really can't express how exciting it all was! Thursday was "Family Day." The day started with an opportunity for one to see their Marines begin their "Moto Run," or Motivational Run, their final run together as a company. It's also the first time you have seen your Marine in 13 weeks, and I'm not ashamed to say I shed a couple tears of pride as I saw my son. This is also the day of the Emblem Ceremony, where the men are awarded the Eagle, Globe, and Anchor and are officially bestowed the title of United States Marine. Again, a couple more unubashed tears.

Five hours of Base Liberty afterward gave ample time for an unforgettable visit (Of course, this father's questions tended to drift frequently to what "trigger time" was like!!). What I thought was real neat, and by my son's account the sentiments of the Drill Insructors, also, was that they received their Emblems on the occasion of The Marine Corps Birthday . . .

. . . Today, Friday, was the Graduation Ceremony, an impressive display of pageantry, indeed. And a packed house it was! Both days we were blessed with good weather, as the rain let up in the daytime hours. A good son by any account previously, still the change is remarkable. The aura of personal responsibility and deportment , in all the men, is overwhelming. By noontime, however, it was all over, and the weeks of anticipation, the wondering, the writing and receiving of letters, all seemed to have gone by so fast. One could not help wishing that the moment could last a little longer . . .
. . . I must add, the base has a fine "Command Museum." If you get a chance, check it out. It's open to the public and is free of charge. Obviously there are weapons but one display I really was impressed by was "The California Room"; I really liked the paintings of The Marines in The Mexican War, by Colonel Charles Waterhouse. They look to me to be in the style of frontier artists Russell and Remington, artwork I hold a real passion for. Also, I haven't been yet, but my mother and father, who also attended and spent some more time in town, went to and recommend a visit to the carrier USS Midway. Apparently it is presently San Diego's number one attraction . . .
   Get Some!!

Monday, October 31, 2005

Weigh In On This, Please . . .

¶ . . . I like Lever Guns. I always have, but I've never owned one. Though I am first and foremost an IPSC/USPSA shooter, the game of Cowboy Lever Action Silhouette has caught my interest and I believe I'm going to give it a try. Even if I don't take to that discipline, I still get a cool rifle out of it! My question: .44-40 or .45 Colt . . . ?
. . . If it seems like I know a little of what I'm talking about here, don't be fooled: I am leaning toward the .44-40 for some probably misguided historical reasons but also from what little I have researched so far it looks like I might be able to load a faster, flatter round than the .45 Colt. Are there issues reloading the .44, as it is "necked" a little? The only reloading I've done up to this point is for .45ACP . . .
. . . How about some rifle recommendations? I went and looked at a couple today for the first time, and I kind of liked the EMF Hartford Model 1892; the two I handled seemed to have "tighter" actions than the two Winchester '94's I looked at. The Marlins looked kind of nice, though a bit pricier. Let's hear it!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Annual Pig Roast & Match, 2005 . . .

(Postscript: For photos and videos the way they should be done, check out Cowboy Blob and Jerry the Geek, respectively!)

¶ . . . This past Sunday the club held its Annual Pig Roast & Match and it was quite a fun time. I liked the stages, some Run 'n' Gun, some "Speed Steel," and what has become one of my favorites, The Jungle Run!

. . . An inauspicious showing, again, by yours truly (51st of 71 shooters, Ugh!), but a great time. I wanted to take a boatload of pictures, but I only took a few of the Jungle Run; got caught up in scoring and R.O.'ing . . .

. . . Again, I do OK in the Run 'n' Gun's, "C-class" caliber, I guess, if I may be so bold (I'm "C" in L-10, not classified in Limited as yet), but steel speed shoots, especially plates, seem to be my nemesis (Shoot More!). You can see the Stage Diagrams here (PDF Format). I don't know how long they'll be available, though . . .

. . . Slowly I went through the jungle, methodically even, and I still went past a target, a costly "Failure To Engage" procedural on top of another mike up the trail. This stage is set up in a draw with fairly steep sloping sides so it is possible for one to pass a target by (though nobody else in my squad did!). I did see one guy run out of ammo, however, by reloading too many times . . . !!

. . . Like I had seen on Geek's Jungle Runs, we had some steel for the first time!! Plates!! Up ahead, through the window!

. . . Here I experienced what was to me a new phenomenon. Four plates, directly in line behind each other, only one plate visible at a time . . .

. . . I had to do a "double-take" on the first two for though I could hear them ring from the hits, they didn't look to be falling! Lack of stereo vision, I guess, as the plate behind looked to be the plate I knocked down (I'm still a "one-eyed" shooter, opposite-eye dominant to boot). Don't know how much time it cost lifting my head until I figured it out . . .

. . . My regrets I didn't take photos of the other stages; Jerry the Geek has become a hard act to follow now with his hot match videos (Well done!). For some good stills of some 3-Gun Action, check out Cowboy Blob, they're well done, too, with stage descriptions . . .

Monday, October 24, 2005

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Range Report: Prado IPSC . . .

¶ . . . Shoot More! The one match a month I've been doing at my local club ain't gettin' it, so this week I went out to the Prado Olympic Shooting Park, expanding the horizon as it were. "All the way to Prado [65 miles] to shoot a match?" someone remarked. Simple: Shoot or don't shoot, the choice is obvious . . .
. . . Well, it was a choice well made. It's only a little more than an hour's drive, not much more than the twice monthly drives when SWPL shot out at Piru. I have known for a while about this match, but this was my first trip. I know a few guys that shoot out there, so as usual I was in good company. And a fine range it is, too. All the bays are side by side, plenty of shade for summertime shooting (and cover for when it rains, as it did a little on this occasion!), and water coolers, even! The match is a "6+1", six courses of fire and one classifier . . .
. . . This was the last classifier I needed to get my Limited classification; too bad I didn't do too well. You'd think that all the times I've done "El Prez" it would have been a gimme, but I had one mike. However, I do think I did better in planning out my courses, no changing my mind after watching someone else, so though I didn't shoot the match "clean," (meaning no mikes) I suffered no brain pharts, which madden me more than mikes . . .
. . . Shoot more often (and dry-fire and reload practice)!!

Sunday, October 16, 2005

The Gunslinger Fraternity . . .

¶ . . . displays true brotherhood once more, as this past Friday I hooked-up with Marc of Lay Lines fame. A fine visit with great conversation on guns,USPSA/IPSC, being an American, growing up in California, getting OUT of Kalifornia, and sundry other neat topics.

  • Fortunately: For Marc, he's beating a hasty advance out of here!

  • Unfortunately: I'm still here, dreaming of the day I punch-out for Northern Nevada!

  • Fortunately: I think I've made a great new acquaintance/friendship!

  • Unfortunately: It'll be long distance!

  • Fortunately: The Age Of E-mail allows expedient correspondence!

  • Unfortunately: Distance precludes spontaneous "trigger time"!

  • Fortunately: Now I've got a reason to visit Tennessee!

  • Unfortunately: Road trips, I never get enough of them!

  • Fortunately: It's all good anyway and I'm grateful!

  • Un . . . 'Nuff said!!

    That being said, I'm the first to slap anyone on the back for bailing out of here. Today I got an added bonus with another visit to his soon-to-be ex-shop to meet one of his chums, more great gun talk, and to see a firearm that is truly a masterwork! Think, "Reach out and touch someone!"

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Must Be The Scottish In Me . . .

¶ . . . Another hat tip to Cowboy Blob and hope he doesn't mind me copying him again as I also took "The General" test:
William Wallace
You scored 61 Wisdom, 73 Tactics, 62 Guts, and 43 Ruthlessness!

   Like William Wallace, chances are you have no problem charging a larger, better trained, better equipped, better armed and armored English army with a band of naked drunken Scotsmen. I'm not contesting that you have balls. It's your brain function I'm worried about.
   Scottish soldier and national hero. The first historical record of Wallace's activities concerns the burning of Lanark by Wallace and 30 men in May, 1297, and the slaying of the English sheriff, one of those whom Edward I of England had installed in his attempt to make good his claim to overlordship of Scotland. After the burning of Lanark many joined Wallace's forces, and under his leadership a disciplined army was evolved. Wallace marched on Scone and met an English force of more than 50,000 before Stirling Castle in Sept., 1297. The English, trying to cross a narrow bridge over the Forth River, were killed as they crossed, and their army was routed. Wallace crossed the border and laid waste several counties in the North of England. In December he returned to Scotland and for a short time acted as guardian of the realm for the imprisoned king, John de Baliol . In July, 1298, Edward defeated Wallace and his army at Falkirk, and forced him to retreat northward. His prestige lost, Wallace went to France in 1299 to seek the aid of King Philip IV, and he possibly went on to Rome. He is heard of again fighting in Scotland in 1304, but there was a price on his head, and in 1305 he was captured by Sir John de Menteith. He was taken to London in
Aug., 1305, declared guilty of treason, and executed. The best-known source for the life of Wallace is a long romantic poem attributed to Blind Harry, written in the 15th century.

My test tracked 4 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 14% on Unorthodox
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 29% on Tactics
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 85% on Guts
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 10% on Ruthlessness
Link: The Which Historic General Are You Test written by dasnyds on Ok Cupid, home of the 32-Type Dating Test

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Remiss On Posting . . .

¶ . . . so I guess I'll put up what I used when it all started for me:

This is my Colt Combat Commander. When I bought it, I knew nothing of IPSC shooting. This gun was bone-stock. My good friend Man Mountain did the enhancements for me:

  • Ed Brown Beavertail Grip Safety (Nice!)

  • S & A Magazine Well

  • Chip McCormick Low Mount Rear Sight

  • Wilson Combat Trigger (about a pound & three quarters; Sweet!)

  • An "I-Forget-What-Brand" Extended Thumb Safety (Sloppy-seconds off of a prize table, along with a Schuemann Hybri-Comp Barrel I sold for $125!!)

  • Wilson Combat Extended Mag Release

  • Wilson Combat Bulletproof Extractor

  • SV Firing Pin & Sear

. . . We jettisoned the Series 80 firing pin block and pinned the grip safety, but if I ever use it for a carry gun I'll probably put back the block and reactivate the grip safety. Since I've been shooting Limited of late, I don't compete with it now, but maybe I'll shoot in the new "Single Stack" class at times. I do take it with me to the matches as a back up so I can at least finish the match if the Para gets fung-hoed. . .

. . . Here's the rig:

  • Tac-Pro Kydex Holster

  • Safariland 4350 Outer Belt, 029 Inner Belt

  • Safariland 771 Mag Pouches

  • Chip McCormick 10-Round Power Mags

. . . Forgive the dearth in my bloggage!!

Saturday, October 01, 2005

A Note On My "Current Read" . . .

¶ . . . I thought I would share on my sidebar my current text. The last thing I do before passing out at night, every night, is to read a little. Whether I'm on vacation, away for training, on a road trip, camping, doing time in the state prison, wherever, I just have to read something or my day is not complete! This has been my M.O.going back to childhood, for as long as I can remember. . .
. . . So if a book is on the sidebar for awhile, it's not that I'm reading at a "Look       Dick,      see      Spot      run."-type pace, it's just that I'll nod-off after a couple of pages oft times!!

Friday, September 30, 2005

I Thought I Was A Member . . .

¶ . . . Of the "Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy"! What a letdown!!!

You are a

Social Liberal
(70% permissive)

and an...

Economic Conservative
(70% permissive)

You are best described as a:


Link: The Politics Test on Ok Cupid
Also: The OkCupid Dating Persona Test

Monday, September 26, 2005

Match Day Yesterday . . .

¶ . . . Sunday, 25 September: This was my first match in two months, due to last month's trip to Oklahoma. I'd like to believe that was the reason for another poor performance, but the truth is I don't practice enough (no real excuse for that if one "rolls their own," as I do!) and I keep commiting "brain pharts" and other assorted bits of confusion that were not what I envisioned in my “plan.” I mentioned this to one of my chums as we were breaking down the match and he posited what to me makes sense (Maybe even a life lesson here somewhere!):
   “Walk the stage and formulate your plan. Go over and program it into your mind three times or so and go with it.”
   I commented, “OK, I see what your getting at. Oft times I’ll have a plan, then I’ll watch another gent shoot the stage and I’ll think,’Maybe I oughta try it that way.’ Pretty soon it’s my turn and I’ve changed my plan so many times, I shoot the stage neither in the manner I planned it or the way anybody else did!”
   “That’s pretty much it,” he replied. Make YOUR plan; that’s what it is, YOURS. It’s quite likely it will work for your ability, for that’s probably how it was thought out, and if not, you’ll learn better from YOUR mistakes and learn to program the stage better. I would suggest this course for now and for the next year.”
. . . Makes sense to me. I know when I have in the past downshifted a bit and was more pensive in my attack, I could see some positives in my performance and see a bit more clearly the negatives. I’ve got my gun and mags working real well, so it’s all on me . . .
. . . Here it is, Para-Ordnance P14.45:

   This unit has a tungsten guide rod which I perceive to make the recoil feel "soft," a Dlask titanium trigger, a King's extended slide stop, and a King's magazine Speed Well. The magazines are Para Ordnance tubes with Dawson Precision or Grams Engineering basepads, Wolff springs, and Arredondo followers.
. . . And here's the rig:

. . . Since I'm seemingly getting carried away here, I might as well list the loads that (so far) have worked best for me. The stock disclaimer here: These worked FOR ME! Any use of this information is at your own risk!!. Follow the manufacturers' instructions/data!! (all .45 ACP):

  • 230 gr. LRN, CCI Large Pistol Primers, 4.5 gr. Vihta Vuori N310

  • 230 gr. LRN, Winchester Large Pistol Primers, 4.5 gr. Winchester Super Target

  • 200 gr. JRN, Winchester Large Pistol Primers, 5.3 gr. Winchester Super Target

The 230 gr. loads got a strong 190 Power Factor while the 200 gr. just barely makes major. All had a Standard Deviation in the teens.
. . . Riddle me this: What's up with Vihta Vuori loading data? I know they're testing out of a 6" barrel, but their max load looks closer to the starting load as I've found when chronographing different "recipes."

. . . By the way, I did do OK on my classifier. It was the fourth one with this Limited rig, so I should get a Limited classification soon. Up until now, I’m only classified in Limited-10.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Fantastic . . . !

¶ . . . A tense situation with a happy ending; I hope you saw the Jet Blue emergency landing, front landing strut askew at 90 degrees, today at LAX . . . Cheers to the Pilot, who exited the craft and shook the firemen's hands like it was just another day at the office!!

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Don't Anybody Move . . .!

¶ . . . Not wanting to give up so easily, I found another source! Try it from this link right here!!

¶ . . .I still want a digi-cam and have the wherewithal to post my own video . . .!

That Was A Failure . . .!

¶ . . . Big thanks to Marc and Cowboy Blob for the heads-up on my failed attempt at video posting! Guess I'll have to find a server/host if I want to post video. The one I really wanted to share was "The 2003 Dry Creek Northern Arizona Machine-Gun Shoot." A real knee-slapper, indeed! I'm sure there are some who haven't seen it. I think I'll submit it to Gullyborg for Carnival Of Cordite consideration, if he hasn't used it already, deems it worthy of inclusion, and it's OK to post it.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Let's Try This Video . . .

¶ . . . This is for/inspired by Jerry the Geek, as he is interested in seeing if he can get some of his video up on his site. I have been using SBC DSL as my ISP for the past year and a half and I'm quite satisfied with them. I've used the online storage for fotos, which they say is unlimited, but haven't used the document storage, 260 MB, which they call Briefcase.
Let's try it with a Bill Drill.(Linkage omitted!

. . . (A little later) All right, dudes, that worked, albeit a tad slow to load and in Quicktime (I'd prefer Windows Media!), so see if you can get your rocks off on  these bad boys and girls!! (Linkage omitted!)

. . . (Later still!) That one worked, too! It had to download for a minute, but it played in Windows Media. Check it out! You'll be glad you did!

¶ . . . This probably ain't a big whoop to some of you (video posting), but it's new to me and I get a real hoot out of being able to share some things that rock me . . .!!

Postscript: Let me know if these don't work. I seem to be having trouble getting them with Internet Explorer or when I try to view them on my computer from the kids' log-on identities.

Postscript (Again), Saturday 17 September: This was a failure! I'm omitting the video links!

Monday, September 12, 2005

A Much More Incisive . . .

¶ . . . response from the NRA-ILA regarding the govrnment-sanctioned gun-grabbing in New Orleans:

Disaster Can't Destroy Gun Rights

(Fairfax, VA) -- National Rifle Association leader Wayne LaPierre slammed New Orleans authorities Monday for seizing legal firearms from lawful residents.

"What we've seen in Louisiana - the breakdown of law and order in the aftermath of disaster - is exactly the kind of situation where the Second Amendment was intended to allow citizens to protect themselves, " LaPierre said.

"When law enforcement isn't available, Americans turn to the one right that protects all the others - the right to keep and bear arms," LaPierre said. "This attempt to repeal the Second Amendment should be condemned."

The New York Times reported last Thursday that no civilians in New Orleans will be allowed to have guns, quoting the superintendent of police that "only law enforcement are allowed to have weapons."

A Louisiana state statute allows the chief law enforcement officer to "regulate possession" of firearms during declared emergencies. "But regulate doesn't mean confiscate," said Chris W. Cox, the NRA's chief lobbyist.

"Authorities are using that statute to do what the looters and criminals could not: disarm the law-abiding citizens of New Orleans trying to protect their homes and families," Cox said.

"The NRA will not stand idly by while guns are confiscated from law-abiding people who're trying to defend themselves," he said.

"We're exploring every legal option available to protect the rights of lawful people in New Orleans," Cox said, "and we're taking steps to overturn such laws in every state where they exist."

"Local authorities in New Orleans are turning nature's assault on human life into man's assault on human rights," LaPierre said. "Four million NRA members intend to stop this unconstitutional power grab."

. . . Let's see how this unfolds . . .

Sunday, September 11, 2005

“A Million Acres,” Another Kalifornia Lament ...

¶ . . . regarding what I have always loved and regarded as an Eden. You might have seen it posted here before: The Eastern Sierra Nevada. Kalifornia, if one can look beyond (a difficult task, at best!) the out-of-control officials at the helm, is a wonderful place for the outdoors type. In fact, when I’m spending time on the East Scarp, the “state of the State” is mostly out of mind. An Eden, indeed. I encourage all to do what I call “The 395 Ride;” it’s 375 miles, Mojave, California to Reno, Nevada along U.S. 395, of wonderment that many Californians, even, have not experienced. Here’s a fairly good link to maybe start on a trip plan.
   That being said, it has long been my goal to bail out of L.A. Though a great place to grow up (Venice, CA), it is now overcrowded, overpriced, balkanized, and an increasingly more hazardous place to live, and I don’t mean earthquakes. I’ll never live more than a day’s drive from the Sierras (at least never east of the 100th meridian!). Northern Nevada is my choice, so much more distinctly glorious than Clark County. High country, sagebrush desert, the Comstock Lode, it’s enamoring. However, it’s urged that you read  this newspiece, from the  Reno Gazette-Journal .

Here are some of the salient points:

  • One federal LEO (Forest Service) for nearly 1.3 million acres of National Forest, from Reno to Mono Lake, CA.

  • Increasingly urban problems, including drug-fueled youth parties, illegal dumping, vandalism, assaults and even murder.

  • A wide range of crimes are occurring in the forest, often involving “urban spillover” activities, including gangs and drive-by shootings, rapes and assaults. They expected marijuana cultivation to be an issue and weren’t disappointed. But they were surprised at the scope of methamphetamine manufacturing occurring on national forest land.

  • Evidence of satanic cult activity

  • Gang activity; One officer: “I’ve dealt with the Mexican Mafia in the forest. They want to recreate, too.”

  • “. . .a place near Mammoth Lakes . . . with aggressive panhandlers . . .”

   Alarming, to be sure,in all of the numerous trips I’ve taken and the multitude good times and memories I cherish, I have encountered nothing but great folks.Still, I mourn for the changing face and times of the West . . .
   I’ve often thought, “They ought to make this whole place a National Park": NOT! That totally limits, er, eliminates your “readiness” capabilities.
   Make the trip; idealistically, the more of a presence of the "good folks," I believe, discourages the negative. Let's not get in the position of "having to take it back." All too often, by then it is too late . . .

Saturday, September 10, 2005

This Would Be Handy . . .

¶ . . . but would surely be frowned upon by those "restoring order":

   Read about it  here !

"Restoration Of Order" and The NRA-ILA . . .

¶ . . . I was horrified AND terrified when I arrived home yesterday and read this post by The AnarchAngel. It got even worse when I saw a video from ABC News, which you can find by linking here, courtesy of Geek With A .45. I really can't say what I would do if I were thrust into a confrontation with heavily-armed Guardsmen trying to confiscate (read: Violate my RKBA) my weapons (Alone, I guess I would take the advice given here from PawPaw.). I would guess I would lose. Then what? Resolve it in a court? That might be too late. Seems to me that having some kind of "assembly plan" proactively could prempt this, or would that right be abrogated, also? This whole thing sickens me! Here's the NRA-ILA's response, from one of their e-mail alerts:

NRA-ILA Grassroots Alert Vol. 12, No. 36 9/09/05


Numerous media sources are reporting on a campaign by New Orleans city authorities to confiscate lawfully-owned firearms from people in the city. Louisiana statute does grant the government, during a state of emergency, broad powers in regulating and controlling firearms.

However, we have seen not just with Hurricane Katrina, but other similar situations, that when police are unable to control the criminal element, people turn to the one freedom that protects all others--the Second Amendment.

While one can certainly understand the dire predicaments of all those affected by Hurricane Katrina, as we have learned throughout history, campaigns to disarm the lawful do nothing to disarm the criminal. And in truth, these restrictions make citizens less safe. Despite the valiant efforts of many law enforcement officers and rescue workers, too many of those left in the wake of Katrina are ultimately responsible for their own security and safety and that of their families and loved ones. This is especially true when communication is virtually non-existent and police can't be quickly summoned to respond to calls for help. At these times, lawful gun ownership is paramount to personal safety.

Of course, the entire situation in New Orleans is constantly in flux. But rest assured NRA is monitoring this situation very closely and will address any activity by the government that unduly infringes upon the rights of lawful gun owners at the appropriate time. As we learn more, we will report to our members accordingly. In the interim, however, we join with all Americans in offering our thoughts, prayers, and assistance to the victims and survivors of this terrible natural disaster.

¶ . . . Call me worried and fearful . . . Damn right!!

Thursday, September 08, 2005

This Is A Good One . . .

¶ . . . from BLACKFIVE: Check it out here !! And the original from Citizen Smash !!

This Peeve Of Mine . . .

¶ . . . really bugs me! Having school age children, every year L.A. Unified sends home the form for the Free Lunch Program. What do I have to fill it out for? I don't want it anyway. If I did, I'm in the "too much income for this and too little for that" category. I can't afford to buy a house here in L.A., but I don't qualify for the freebie lunch. Some of the freeloaders I see are driving around in Expeditions and such! I guess they need the lunch so they can make the car note. When I tell my daughter, "I'll do it later," or, "Not that thing again!" she pleads with me as though the teachers are making her out to be a lawbreaker! But even if the kids could get the lunch, they wouldn't eat it; the lunch money I give them they either hoard it and wait 'til they get home to eat or they end up at McDonald's or something! Good thing Ma makes 'em eat their fruits and vegetables . . .!

¶ . . . To be fair and since the "Blame Game" is in vogue this month, I have no one to fault but myself for still being a renter. I should have bought property when I was in my twenties (I'm 45 now) instead of f***ing around . . . !

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Mr. Completely's e-Postal Match #2 . . .

¶ . . . and here are my entries! Pretty sorry, I must say! The two targets on top are shot with a Para-Ordnance P-14.45 (my USPSA Limited hardware), and the bottom two with my Combat Commander.
    An interesting contest, if I learned anything it was to take my time and work more on my trigger pull (I tend to be a "pusher.").
Looking forward to the next one, it's a great motivator to go out and get some trigger time!

A Sensible Action Plan . . .

¶ . . . posited in this editorial, courtesy of the Reno Gazette-Journal, though I believe a proactive readiness alert of some sort prior to landfall of these cyclones would be the logical S.O.P.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

The Lesson Worth (Re-)Learning . . .

¶ . . . in light of the recent thuggery in New Orleans: Other than keeping an emergency supply of water, canned goods, etc., is the fact that one must be prepared to defend their family and aid in maintaining order in their district. Here's a righteous summation on choosing "Disaster Guns," courtesy of the Confederate Yankee . . .

¶ . . . Though I've never experienced a cataclysm in the magnitude of Katrina, the Riots of '92 and the Northridge Earthquake of '94 have given me a taste of civil disorder in Los Angeles. The fine police force that it is, the LAPD's low officer to citizen ratio , coupled with a staggering amount of real estate to police, makes a swift response to an exigent threat unrealistic (As of 2002, that ratio was 2.47 officers per 1,000 citizens [LAPD Plan Of Action, Book II, 2005]. I was surprised to see San Diego, Phoenix, Dallas, Las Vegas, and San Antonio even lower, with Houston but a shade higher.).

Be Prepared!!

Postscript 10:07 PM: I see (from reading other weblogs) that proper blog etiquette calls for the "hat tip," so here it is:
  Hat Tip to Cowboy Blob for the heads up on Disaster Guns!

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Another Trip To Oklahoma . . .

¶ . . . and I'd be remiss in not posting from the road. I really enjoy my visits to Norman that my occupation affords me for technical training. The facility here really is first cabin, with its own hotel, too, and I always enjoy the professionalism here. What I'm not fond of, however, is having to fly here: it's never a non-stop and just hassling with the airport turns me off. This time I was scheduled on an afternoon flight. Not good! Thunderstorms are basically an afternoon phenomenon and, yep, I got it upon arrival at OKC. One hellacious lightning show, absolutely stunning from altitude, but I'd rather not do it again. As soon as I got out of the terminal at Will Rogers Airport, the lights went out! So, if you've gotta fly in the summertime, leave early!

¶ . . . One distressing thing I noticed as I got airborne on the connector out of Salt Lake City: as we crossed the Wasatch Mountains and I looked north, the what appeared to be smog present was hideous! I mean, It was like a blanket of it! That was looking out toward Wyoming-way in the distance. Could it really be smog? It looked like I was flying into Los Angeles. Being late afternoon, I do hope it was just the way the setting sun was playing off of what in reality may just have been hazy skies.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Man, I Thought This Was Cool . . .

¶ . . . A tip of the hat to Jerry The Geek for the 411 on putting up the USPSA Classification Check. When I saw that on his site, I knew I was in the right spot . . . ! Yeah!

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Vile Bill Explained . . .

¶ . . . Seems as some wonder what's up with the the "Vile" in my moniker! Six years ago after I built a computer and was making the real "move" into the Internet world, I chose this handle. I was in one of my Wild West frames of mind, apparently. Well, "Wild Bill" was taken, obviously, and "Bloody Bill (Anderson)" was a ruthless cutthroat. I don't mind saying, I think it makes for a rather interesting nom de guerre/plume, if you will. If I ever decide to take up Cowboy Action Shooting, I've got a ready-made alias! As far as I have been able to check, nobody has claimed it yet. As a matter of fact, Marc at Lay Lines suggests I oughta just register it anyway: A SASS membership costs only 45 bucks the first year ($35 thereafter), plus they have a cool Monthly Journal.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

This Is An Outrage . . . !!

¶ . . . Thanks to Bastion-of-Patriotism-Blog COUNTERCOLUMN, I got the heads-up on one of the most outrageous thumbs-in-the-eye to American Vets, past and present, and the United States as a whole, that I have EVER had the sickening displeasure to witness: the refusal of San Francisco, by an 8-3 City Council vote, to forbid mooring of the famed dreadnought USS Iowa in the Bay, ". . .citing local opposition to the Iraq war and the military’s stance on gays, among other things." What other things? Like the expense for the ideal of a strong national defense would be better spent on supporting freeloading, welfare sponging, "money for nothin' and your checks for free" bums? Even Arch Gun-Grabber Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) appeared to be somewhat piqued by the snub, calling it a "very petty decision." I don't believe that even down here in L.A. such a slam could ever occur!!

. . . Kudos to the City of Stockton, CA, for stepping up to the plate and offering her a home . . .

. . . Read the story here.

Gratitude . . .

¶ . . . I gotta address a couple of the fine folks that have recognized my still fledgling (though I started it a year and a half ago!) blog. To Jerry at Cogito Ergo Geek and Marc at Lay Lines, big time thanks for the encouragement. More proof that IPSC/USPSA Gunslingers are some of the finest folks I’ve ever met. Correspondence over the past week has given me the prod to be more diligent in writing. For all the great stuff I get from the Gunblogs (Milblogs, too!) I owe them some reading. Thanks to the whole of the community for the blogroll feature; it really made a lot of great sites easy to discover . . .
. . . Anyway, I’ll try and give a perspective from a new guy’s point of view. Club presidents and everyone alike, check out (shameless plug here!) my previous post on how my discovery of USPSA and a lightning-fast response from a Section Coordinator hooked me up with the Southwest Pistol League and rocked my world!! Jerry the Geek’s 08/18 post has a great “sermon” on attracting new shooters.
. . . Get Some!!

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Strength In Time Of Doubt . . .

¶ . . . My post of 31 July was one possibly out of despair (the worst plague of mankind) and assuredly one of doubt. However,the passage "The Real Target" in this post,"Thirty-Seven Marines" has bolstered my civilian resolve. God bless the 25th Marines and all Coalition Forces. And thank you Blackfive for a small prayer answered in a large way.

Monday, August 01, 2005

H. Salt, Esq., A Rare SoKal Pleasure . . .

¶ . . . One of the few pleasures I enjoy by being an unfortunate resident of Southern Kalifornia is the presence of H. Salt, Esq. Fish & Chips. It has largely remained the same as I remember as a youth. Back then there was a local franchise on Lincoln in Venice. My dear ol' Ma and Pa, recently relocated to Nevada, are unable to any longer savor the fine fare, as it is a SoKal phenomenon only. . .
. . . There was one exception, however, in the West Valley. One of the fine delights of H. Salt is their excellent Tartar sauce. Not with this curmudgeonly dude. He had packets, surely bought in bulk, and dispensed with grudging paucity. Another of his fine attributes was his penchant for serving one customer at a time, and I do mean one. The next order would not be taken until the previous one was cooked, wrapped and served. One might imagine how this might be problematic on Ash Wednesday, when there was an especially big run on fish dinners. As one would expect, this continued for the duration of the Lenten period. Good news: that cat's no longer there. Bad news: neither is the store! Fortunately, albeit a long trek to NoHo, there are some fine folks there who run a clean and efficient franchise.

Sunday, July 31, 2005

A Thought On Iraq . . .

¶ . . . My purpose is generally to post up my shooting activities and excursions, but I feel the need to weigh in on Iraq. Let me preface this by saying that I always feel uneasy discussing views on military actions as I have never seen combat nor, regrettably, have I even served in the Armed Forces. This may well be the cause of my great admiration for the men and women in uniform . . .
   . . . Hearing about a “delay” in the drafting of the Iraqi Constitution yesterday caused me further consternation in the ongoing actions there. I can’t say as I am well versed on all the occurrences since the March/April 2003 ouster of Saddam Hussein; my information comes mainly from news radio and what I read at times on the Internet. Republican and conservative by nature, I nevertheless tend to eschew the talk radio circuit. That being said, I fully supported the Bush Administration’s giving the boot to Saddam, but now I have my concerns about any kind of democracy taking root in what appears to me to be rocky soil at best.
   . . . I'm dismayed at reports of Sunnis not wanting federalism or this or that terrain, Kurds wanting Kirkuk or whatever, Shi’ites an Iranian-style theocracy; the country is already Balkanized, and I hesitate to even call it a country yet. Indeed, rocky at best.
   . . . I fear that some would not really regard mine as an objective opinion, as I now have someone near and dear to me recently enlisted in military service. I also feel deeply for those that have paid the ultimate price: the losses of loved ones in the just defense of liberty. But should we continue to build a nation that seems unable and unwilling to live as free men? As we near the 2,000 count of KIA’s should we sacrifice more? I tend to think not. Would we be branded as "quitters” or “losers” if we come home? I think not nor do I give a rat’s ass one way or another! In the meantime, let's allow the officers to prosecute this action and let our warriors take the gloves off! Every time I hear or read the dreaded acronym "ROE," for "Rules of Engagement," I cringe!
   . . . God Bless all who have served.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Out Of The Frying Pan . . . Literally!!

¶ . . . But not into the fire!! Week Two of my vacation had me heading out to Vegas to rescue my Ma from the searing heat, 120 degrees in Henderson. I walked out of a casino last Monday at 10:30 PM and it was still 102 degrees!! Next morning it was off to Tahoe!! 82 high temp, 42 low, you do the math! I felt like a hero to my dear ol' Ma. We drove up via NV 266/CA 168, cutting the White Mountains, adding a couple more Nevada Historical Markers to my list,the Palmetto site pictured here. Gave my Ma a whirlwind tour of US 395, Mammoth Lakes, Tahoe, Reno, Carson City, and Virginia City/Gold Canyon. I even turned a profit in the Horizon casino in Stateline, NV!! As always, a great time.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Advertising Apropos . . .

¶ . . . I'll be back soon, but I just had to put in a mini-post about how ecstatic I am to finally see my Google Ads finally feature items that might be of interest to my fellow gunslingers and outdoor enthusiasts alike . . .

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Closure With Jiffy Lube . . .

¶ . . . Oh yeah, Jiffy Lube. As to my Yuletide dealings with these losers, I'm happy to report that they did come through with the proper recompense for the malpractice upon my vehicle, though it took a week to get my car and another two months for the reimbursement on the car rental. They did pay the full amount, not the "$20.00 a day" they told me was policy. It came out to more like $35.00. But, they did pay. Still, needless to say, I'll never take my vehicles to them or any other of their ilk. I now just drive out to Simi Valley to avail myself of the cheap Wal-Mart service there: no hard-sell, no offering to "fix" things "at a cut-rate," no other offers to use my car as an educational medium for nascent hammer mechanics.
    . . . My appreciation for righting an incompetence, but you'll not see me again!!

The Eastern Sierra . . .

¶ . . . I returned Friday morning from a quick yet wide-ranging excursion on the Sierran eastside, Tom's Place to Bridgeport/Twin Lakes. Prior to my arrival to Mammoth Lakes I journeyed up the well maintained Rock Creek road, a fine asphalt elevator to 10,000-plus feet elevation and the Little Lakes Valley Trailhead. This bears a return trip as a conversation with the ranger revealed it is a very easy day-hike to the backcountry, with evidence I had read about before of . . .mining activity! In fact, apparently, as i discovered later, Union Carbide still has a tungsten operation in the area.
    . . . The "Volcanic Auto Tour" served as the outline for Thursday's expedition. The tour guide, a small but informative pamphlet, is available at the Mammoth Lakes Visitor Center on State Highway 203.
    . . . The first stop, at the 203/US 395 junction, is the marker for Casa Diablo and is near the geothermal powerplant; it's said it supplies a third of the electrical requirement to the town of Mammoth Lakes. Continuing north, you encounter some interesting sites: Lookout Mountain (my favorite), Obsidian Dome, the Mono Craters, Panum Crater, and others. Some lightweight off-roading was required, the toughest being Lookout Mountain, but my '99 Saturn SL served well! I began early in the AM, so everywhere I went, excepting Panum Crater (a few hikers), I was alone.
    . . . "Good, by God, I'm going to Bodie!" (my preferred rendition of the famous quote!) I thought as I headed off east on the CA 270/ Bodie Rd. turn-off. It was actually quite pleasant for the middle of July, low 80's/ high 90's. I arrived at the perfect time to take in the tour of the Standard Stamp Mill, a twenty-stamper, and of course, I ate it all up. I even "got a job" as an electrician in the mill at $5.00 a day (miners got $4.00). VileBill highly recommends this side trip, whether you're a ghost town/mining buff or not. Bring water and a lunch and get the excellent self guided tour brochure at the ranger kiosk. The thirteen mile road to the townsite is paved but for the last three miles, but the "washboard attributes" have been smoothed-out since I was last there in '97. I seem to remember on a visit as a youngster the whole stretch was a washboard. Even people with trailers were up there this time. There had to be about two hundred people at the site on this visit.
    . . . Next, up to Twin Lakes, thirteen miles southwest out of Bridgeport. These are two quite large Sierran lakes, tarns I think, and are true jewels in the crown. At the upper lake you can even park next to the shore and fish from right next to your car. Another VileBill recommendation!
    . . . Though the Saturn has served me well and, continues to do so, it is a real dog on steep grades, again experienced on the next stop: Saddlebag Lake via CA 120/ Tioga Pass. Word was that the lake, at 10,000 feet plus, was still iced over; not so, but it sure was complete mosquito-ville here and at Lee Vining Creek, site of Bennettville, an old mining town. I should have hiked up to it; Ghost Towns.com shows structures there, but after reading the marker I got the impression it was wiped out. Next time!!
    . . . In only a two-night stay I completed a one-day, two hundred mile-plus tour of this East Sierra area, backroads, too, and came away with some good memories and only a few mosquito bites. What John Muir called the "Range of Light" is truly God-blessed and I'm grateful for it. There's nothing like it elsewhere on this Earth. Don't miss it!!

Monday, May 23, 2005

Shooting Las Vegas . . .

¶ . . . I finally planned one of my visits to the parents in Vegas to coincide with a match out there. I brought out my Commander for this one. The previous day I went to the gun show at Cashman Field (The Costa Mesa one is bigger, but this one has more of the evil weapons and their accessories for sale.) and purchased the complement of CMC Power Mags. Boy, what a difference from the Wilson Combat issue! The gun ran absolutely perfect (the fact that it doglegs left notwithstanding!), no FTF's, jams, extraction failures, etc. I was very pleased. My poor showing was not helped by my situation with my sights. Except for the confusing "house" at Stage #1, I think I could have done much better.Sin City Shooters, the local USPSA/IPSC club there puts on a good match up at the Desert Sportsmen's club site adjacent to Red Rock Canyon. Neat range, but no shade! Don't know if I'll shoot this in the summer months, it was pretty hot this (May) go-round. All in all, a great Vegas run this time.

Monday, May 02, 2005

There's A First (Last) For Everything . . .

¶ . . . and I finally did it!! I finished last place in April's club match! And with my newly acquired pistol to boot!! April Match Results are here if you want to see the sorry details!!

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Match Day, April 2005

¶ . . . Today I brought out my recently acquired Para Ordnance .45 to give it a real - time run at this month's club match. Man, what a difference from my tiny Commander!! This gun shoots real light with its tungsten guide rod and with some not - so - especially - light loads!! I did have some magazine issues, however, but I believe I loaded them up too much to their liking. The mags are a little old, too, so I think I'll tune them up forthwith by getting some new bases, springs, and followers. Again, the pistol itself ran great and my ammo functioned well (although it was recommended I might try shortening them a bit. I'll go to 1.235"). It's larger size sure fills out my hand well, too.
. . . The fact that I have a new pistol DID NOT, however, bring about any miraculous performances!! I'm still getting "lost" on stages ("Pay attention & plan them out!!") and I still don't have a steady hand for the "aimed" shots, i.e. plates, distance, Mozambiques. When I do get a good run it's marred by mikes or no - shoot penalties.
. . .Match Results as soon as they are posted.

Monday, April 18, 2005

V.B.'s Combat Shooting Genesis . . .

(Thought I'd put in this previously unpublished piece from 19 January 2005 about my competition origins. Hopefully it will inspire some that would like to learn to actively use their weapons competitively AND how to keep them running!!)

19 January 2005

¶ - The genesis of my Competitive Shooting career came about when I realized that my ownership of a firearm was, well, pretty dull without regular usage. I wanted to shoot frequently, but the only outlets I was familiar with were the desert or National Forest lands or indoor shooting ranges. The former are fast disappearing due to rapid population influx and the latter are just plain dull! One requires an environment where it is possible to have "free form" workouts. Here is where it all began for me, the great group of men I have been privileged to associate with, and how you, too, can get involved in this great and extremely rewarding pursuit.

About three years past I took the cash I had earned as an umpire and bought a Colt M1911 (Combat Commander,Stainless) pistol. I took it once to an indoor range and another time out to the range in San Francisquito Canyon. What a dud! Standing there slowly, plink...plink...plink..." The places I had known in earlier years were no more; there had to be something better. Sure, I knew about the U.S. Olympic team and Camp Perry, but was there some kind of "combat pistol" competition (a la the combat course in the picture "Magnum Force")?

My best recollection is that an Internet search provided me with the International Defensive Pistol Association and the United States Practical Shooting Association/ International Practical Shooting Confederation.

The IDPA site, while the premise itself was attractive,and has from what I later learned some large names in the sport, appeared to be somewhat of an "upstart" league. Its disgruntled allusion to the USPSA, well, naturally, occasioned my gravitation to the USPSA. The USPSA looked to be THE major entity in the kind of gunplay I was looking for and were the U.S. governing body of the International Practical Shooting Confederation(the "practical" shooting aspect derives from a more "P.C" manner to present the game to the international community.). This looked like a happening scene.

So, after finding a local club with the "club finder," I fire off an e-mail to the director of the Southwest Pistol League and the next day . . .the next day I get a response! I was impressed. The gent instucts me to go up to Piru and check it out. What luck! As I'm standing around with my best lost-and-a-newbie look, the first guy I happen to run into happens to be a champion USPSA shooter and lets me tag along. I observe for one more match after this, this same guy outfits me with my rig, and it's on!!The rest is history in the making! I've been at it ever since! This has become the passion in my spare time, my avocation, as it were. I now am a member of a pretty good club, with "my own" place to practice and practice the way I like, as it pertains to the game.What a hoot!

Oklahoma 2005, Part II

(Read the preceding entry first for chronology's sake!!)
¶ . . . Sunday was to turn out to be a much better outing. I stopped first at Stockyard City in downtown OKC. It was kind of neat for the clothing stores there. Then I went over to the Oklahoma City Memorial.
The Memorial here is very touching and very well done. What struck me most deeply was at the west side adjacent to the Catholic Church was a large statue of Jesus Christ, facing away from the building site with his face in his hands, as if to be crying in shame and despair. I failed to get a picture of this, but I will next time.

Next I visited Bricktown, also downtown; pretty much just a cental watering hole area. Didn't stay here to long.
Next was the real highlight of the whole weekend. Over to the 45th Infantry Division Museum. I spent about three hours here. It is free to go in, they ask only for a donation, but it isn't pushed. Give 'em a couple of bucks: it's definitely worth it. Lots of vehicles on the surrounding grounds, World War II to post-Viet Nam, including trucks, artillery, armor, and aircraft. The small appearance of size of the building from the outside belies the amount of treasures within!! Mostly militaria from World War I through Gulf War I. There is a great tribute to Bill Mauldin, caricaturist of the WWII Dogfaces and a display of a few hundred of his cartoons. Very well done.
The real highlight here however is the museum's weapon collection. Donated by a private citizen it is one of the best I have ever seen. Though relatively small in size, I believe it rivals that of the extremely large collections of the J.M. Davis Arms & Historical Museum, Claremore, OK, and the Buffalo Bill Historical Center, Cody, WY. Weapons include pieces from the Colonial Period through Gulf War I, with a good array of WWII and Korea-era battlefield weapons, mortars, recoilless rifles, etc. Any history buff traveling through Oklahoma City should make it a point to reserve time to visit this property, absolutely a true gem!!

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Oklahoma 2005, Part I

¶ . . . As promised, some on my trip to Indian Territory . . .
The one weekend I was there I took to the road, as usual. Dodge City, Kansas it was this time, as any real Wild West aficionado, I thought, should make a pilgrimage. This has to be one of the biggest all-time duds I have ever experienced!! What a total letdown!! So-called "Front Street," actually really a front pushed back from U.S. 50, wouldn't have made even a good movie set!! The cowboy town for the S.A.S.S. guys at 5-Dogs in Bakersfield looked more realistic!! And for an added touch of realism, there was an Applebee's restaurant on the corner of it!! Even though it was a Saturday, the Visitor Center was closed; only the kitschy gift shop was open. This didn't even warrant a purchase of the customary 'fridge magnet!! After not even an hour, I was able to call my parents and say for real:
"I'm gettin' out of Dodge!!"
Though this would eventually turn out to be a 700 mile day, I decided I would just head back to Norman (which was a good thing; Sunday's outing was superb. Next post will have that!).
¶ . . . In summary, you can pretty much scratch Kansas off of any list of places I would want to live!! Although my Pop says the run along I-70 to the north is pretty nice, I'm not buyin'!!

Friday, March 18, 2005

Back From Indian Territory . . .

¶ . . . I'm a little tardy in posting, seeing as how I've been back from Indian Territory for a week now. . .
. . . I did make it out to Norco before I flew out and shot with the Running Gun guys and had a real swell time! I saw a Texas Star (though not this fancy) for the first time and boy was it tough!! Wasn't able to clean it off. Shot at my usual ability, could do better if I could work out my gun malfs. I did feel I was hitting my reloads well, however, so there's much improvement there. Six stages, including a classifier, "El Strong and Weak Pres." You can get Match Results here.
Out to Lopez Canyon the next day to complete two days of shoot-'em-up before my trip, the usual malfs/jams/screw-ups, but it's great to get in this much gunslinging. Sure need those weekends off!! Match Results here.
. . .Oklahoma, Kansas, and the 45th Infantry Division Museum in OKC in forthcoming post . . .

Thursday, February 24, 2005

I'm Going To OKC . . .

¶ . . . It's off to the Great State of Oklahoma (OK!!) come this Monday, but not before I head out with my blaster for some back - to - back pistolero action, IPSC - style, with the boys at Norco Running Gun and then my esteemed fellow gunslingers at Lopez Canyon.
I really like my Postal training excursions to the Sooner State. Hopefully the Owlhoot Trail will take me up to Dodge City, Kansas this go 'round. Yee-Haw!!

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Area 2 3 - Gun Championships . . .

¶. . . Went out last weekend to the Area 2 3-Gun Championships at the 5 Dogs Rifle & Pistol Range. It's a little northeast of Bakersfield, east of the Oildale area, and it's quite a range. To me, it seemed gigantic, a neat looking Cowboy town for the Cowboy Action shooters, plenty of action pistol bays, and expansive rifle ranges. I tagged along for five stages with Darin and Rob and got a good look at the action. I even got to talk a few minutes with Matt Burkett!(No, Darin, I'm not asking for his autograph!)
This is another shooting discipline that's definitely for me, but as long as I reside here in Kalifornia, it's gonna be tough. I cannot purchase the proper weapons here. Shooting Heavy Metal is possible, but no optics, and the outlook for tricking-out a Ruger Mini-14 is not very encouraging.
The Battle Born State continues to look more and more attractive, its siren call beckoning!!

Saturday, February 05, 2005

A Note On On - Line Poker . . .

¶. . . Just nickel and dime, I know, but I've gone from twelve bucks to fifty-eight dollars this past week playing Texas Hold'em a few minutes a pop a couple of nights.
. . . Would be kind of cool to say, "I bought this shotgun with my poker take!"

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Target Practice Notes . . .

¶. . . a brief session out at the range to try what I learned from the Matt Burkett conversation with Brian Enos: starting the fundamentals by shooting from the bench, learning to "call the shot," and learning to keep from blinking. As pertains to the bench work, I took to task the sight alignment on the target and not "waiting for the perfect alignment." As was stated, my gun is already aimed, it's the "mischievous friend" out there moving the target about. What can be done about that? Nothing! Shift more consciousness to the hands and pulling off the shot and . . . my groups moved into the center (from the left) and though not so tight yet, were considerably closer, within six inches. This at twenty five yards. Great! Can' say as I've made any progress toward not blinking or calling the shot, however. I'll keep up the practice, I can do quite a bit with a brief run up there.
Worked a few "Bill Drills," the 50-yard plate a little, too. Some slower, more patient execution seems to be the order for now, let's remember this next match!!

Sunday, January 30, 2005

An Intoduction To Trap Shooting . . .

¶ Well, today was kind of neat . . . I went up to the range to help on the work party scheduled for today and I'm quite glad I did! I helped a couple of the guys install a pedestrian gate at the entry (which came out looking pretty good!) and afterwards I got an intro to trap shooting from Maurice P., a fellow club member: singles and doubles. It was really quite fun! I guess I got a chance to shoot at least fifty birds, so it was a pretty good introduction and more of a workout than I had thought. I shot the singles with a . . . single barrel, and the doubles with a . . . double (over and under)! I actually hit the very first few that I attempted!! Can't say that for the doubles . . . they're pretty tough. I inquired about the club's involvement in the "Round Robin," so maybe I'll look into getting a trap gun and pursue this. Sporting Clays look rather intriguing, also. Oh, to have the time . . .

Monday, January 24, 2005

24 January 2005

¶  Up to the range yesterday, Sunday, with great intentions, recently acquired knowledge, and my new Limcat Stealth holster. And another disaster it was, too!! In the box for Stage 5, I reached over to pick up a mag up off of the ground and the gun fell out of my holster! I didn't lock it, something I hadn't accustomed myself to yet (reason, not excuse!). Concept grasped: Do NOTHING other than start the stage after the gun is loaded and made ready! Other items shown to need work:
  • Practice my draws

  • Acquiring the grip

  • Presentation

  • Off the table


  • Sight align/picture

  • Patience, and

  • The long shot!!

  Not an auspiscious start for 2005, so let's get out to the range for those workouts and do the home drills!

Monday, January 17, 2005

17 January 2005

¶ . . .I just started one of the free website hosting services to see if it's worth the effort to actually get my very own. The one at Tripod looked to be OK as I have a choice of using the "auto" or HTML forms of editing, so I gave it a shot. As soon as it's presentable, I'll link from here to it. What little I've done so far with this weblog and trying to learn a little of writing code from scratch has demonstrated that it all can be quite time consuming, so I'll try to stay motivated and do a little at a time.

¶ . . .Wasn't able to go up to the range for some practice today do to the damage from the weather inclement of late, so I did some reloading and readied-up my pistol for the coming weekend match. I was up there yesterday and the road was barely passable for a sedan like mine. I sure wanted to work on my draw and presentation.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

12 January 2005

¶  Trying this with my editor:  Getting ready to start a new pistol season, so lets see if I can put together some of the things I've learned the past two years.I had been practicing some more toward the end of the last year,applying some of the principles I've learned from the videos I "won" in November. The heavy rains of the past three weeks has put a damper on that; however, I should be able to head up to the club Monday for another workout before next week's match. I should also have my new holster by then!

Thursday, January 06, 2005

06 January 2005 Redux

Here it is again, colors, tags and spacing edited:
¶ I've been trying to learn how HTML code works and I've had some small victories. I at first only wanted to know how to create hyperlinks without using the whole URL script, but it has now turned into a major educational endeavor!
  My brother told me about this free HTML editor (I'm composing this on it now.) so I downloaded a copy and then looked for and found this tutorial. I'm not sure about the tags for the link colors (it looks like it might alter the background), but let's see if it works!!

06 January 2005

¶ I've been trying to learn how HTML code works and I've had some small victories. I at first only
wanted to know how to create hyperlinks without using the whole URL script, but it has now turned into
a major educational endeavor!

My brother told me about this free HTML editor (I'm composing this on it now.) so I downloaded
a copy
and then looked for and found this tutorial.
I'm not sure about the tags for the link colors (it looks like it might alter
the background), but let's see if it works!!
  (Postscript, 01/07: I had to remove the tags and do the link color from the "compose" window; the tags I used torqued the Nav Bar at the top of the page!)

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

05 January 2005

¶ ...Ten Days After!! I finally get my car Monday, the day before yesterday. So far after two round trips to work it seems to be OK. I also had to fork out the cash up front for the rental ($352.00!!). Supposedly I'll be receiving a "letter," whatever that means. They sure didn't jump up to pay outright for the rental car, so I'm sure I'm not done with these people yet.
  As alluded to in a previous entry, I guess it was about time for some "s***" to happen to me, but I'll handle it and learn from it(!).

Sunday, January 02, 2005

01 January 2005

¶ Well, I made it to Vegas and even up to Santa Ynez, but still using the rental car so graciously "provided" by my friends at Jiffy Lube (appears that I'll have to pay for the rental first. More trouble ahead!). As of this past Thursday they still hadn't "found the part" but they subsequently informed me it would be ready Monday the 3rd. I'll bet.
   An oil change that has taken over a week. Check out Ripoff Report for more horror.