Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Monthly Match

Sunday brought sunny skies, nice temperatures and the monthly Amarillo Rifle and Pistol Club monthly IPSC match. Four Stages, 120 rounds. My STI is still out for repair, so I pulled out the production rig and dusted off the Sig.

After the debacle last month at Double Tap I have decided to slow down for a bit and focus on the fundamentals. I ran the first three stages about two seconds slower than I should have and focused on the front sight, and shooting all alphas. First three stages? 42 targets, 88 rounds, 85 alphas, 3 charlies. There was a federal LE officer assigned to a local tactical team. We were talking thru the match, having a good time when he asked how I shot so well (major ego boost). My reply? "I'm running slow today, focusing on fundamentals." What did my ego say right after that? "Tell you what, I'll flip the switch and show you how I normally shoot." After I open my mouth like that, what happens? Believe it or not, I didn't blow it. I ran the stage smooth and fast, 28 rounds, two reloads, twenty yards of running, nine seconds, 24 alphas, 4 charlies. Reply from the SWAT cop? "Man, I heard it when you turned that switch on!"

My ego really didnt need that. Lesson? Sometimes you just have to slow down and look at the sights.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Worth a look

I found this article today and it gave me a moment of pause.

Victor Hansen writes:
We are in a weird age.

Do the smart thing, we were told, and invest in a 401(k) retirement account. Buy into the American dream and own your own home. But lately it seems that those who put their money in low-earning passbook savings accounts or rented rather than buying may have been better off.

How true this is. What does it mean to be an American anymore?

In our Orwellian world, borrowing to spend what we don’t have has been renamed “stimulus.” Those who pay no federal income taxes — almost half of Americans — can somehow be promised an income tax “cut.” In the new borrowing of trillions of dollars here and trillions there, billions of dollars now sounds like pocket change.

And yet the bank wont loan me money that I can't pay back?

When Americans turn to their political parties for answers, they are even more confused. Populist Democrats such as Sen. Chris Dodd and Pres. Barack Obama took more AIG campaign cash than did pro-business Republicans.

Wait....They took what? Sounds like a bribe to me.

Yet conservative Republicans during the Bush administration ran up the debt and increased federal spending far more than did liberals under Bill Clinton. A Republican president has not balanced a budget since Dwight Eisenhower did it over a half-century ago.

Where are all the good answers?

When our president references the 19th and 20th centuries, he apologizes for American sins but stays silent about the United States’s defeat of the Nazis, fascists, Japanese militarists, and Soviet Communists. The world hears contrition about Americans dropping the bomb to end World War II but never remorse from those responsible for Darfur, Grozny, or Tibet.

What happened to focus on the good, not the bad?

Here comes the hook:

There have been a few crazy years like 2009 in American history — 1860, 1929, 1941, and 1968. And given what followed all of them, it might be wise to prepare for even crazier times for us ahead.

Read the whole thing, it is contemplative, stirring and moving at the same time.

h/t to Stormbringer

Thursday, April 23, 2009

'Nother Quiz

What military aircraft are you?

F/A-22 Raptor

You are an F/A-22. You are technologically inclined, and though you've never been tested in combat, your very name is feared. You like noise, but prefer not to pollute any more than you have to. And you can move with the best.

Personality Test Results

Click Here to Take This Quiz
Brought to you by YouThink.com quizzes and personality tests.

Hat tip to The Sniper who didnt get credit on another post and should have, even if it was only because of my ignorance.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Amarillo Tea Party

Why Tea Party? This is a important question. I struggled with it for many days before deciding that I was going to go. My motivation? I am not a fan of large government. I believe that the federal government should not be overly intrusive. I believe that if the government spends money that it does not have, they should face financial ruin. Just like I would if I did it myself.

Onto the important stuff. Twelve o'clock tea party in downtown Amarillo, outside the Potter county courthouse. I would say, conservatively, that there was 500 people there. People from all walks of life, bankers and bikers, judges and janitors. The police presence was light and the crowds mood was almost jovial.
The media was extremely well represented, every network and newspaper was showing in force. A few media members were obviously not supportive. I did not see any members of the media being unprofessional. I did not have the opportunity to hear much of the speakers, the sound was horrid and did not carry very well. I'm sure that the forty mph winds thru downtown did not help matters. I personally refused three television interviews, I did grant one to the local newspaper. Perhaps I missed my opportunity to speak my mind, or more likely, I avoided have the MSM twist my worlds into something else entirely.

Final thoughts, today I exercised my rights as an American citizen. I have never before peacefully protested. I am glad that I did. My voice alone may not have been heard, but I was part of a larger group, a group who stood tall and proud. A group who stood together and let their voice be heard. We are Americans, and we love the country that our fore-fathers fought and died for. A country created by the people, for the people. No matter what may divide us, we are all Americans, and we wouldn't have it any other way.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Trampling the Alter of Roddenberry

Alot of scifi geekery surrounds the line from Stargate that talks about 'worshiping at the alter of Roddenberry.' Am I the only person that finds that statement scary? Clearly, Roddenberry would be happy with it, but his imaginary world has more holes than a collander.

The idealistic utopia that Roddenberry has created is far from reality. Granted, we call it fiction for a reason. Personally, I don't believe that it is even a plausible reality. Let us begin with the fact that a true Utopian society would not be able to produce a fleet as large and powerful as the ships portrayed in the Star Trek universe. Good cannot exist without evil and an evil force that is not a direct threat is not always strong enough to hold a society together.

What about the people? How does a peaceful Utopian society produce men like James T. Kirk and William Riker? They would be shunned by society for their dominant 'Type A' personalities. Their questionable sexual dalliances could be excused but their liberal use of violence could not. His basic premise is that the human race is driven by the desire of knowledge and the exploration of the known universe. I do not think that this idealistic society could produce such strong characters. I do not believe that the needed stimuli would be available to mold such strong leaders.

This is not to say that all sci fi shows are stuck with a Utopian model. Firefly only ran half a season and their characters were incredibly fleshed out and believable. All of the characters from 'that whore' to 'the captain' seemed real. That world was one of oppression and strife, a world where nothing was given to you. Even Jayne had his bad side, but you understood him, you accepted the fact that he may stab you in the back, but he would never let you down in a firefight.. the fact that Captain Reynolds was going to look after his crew, no matter what and you understood why. Zoe developed her loyalty towards Malcom after years of war and hardship.

Which world produces the most believable characters? Which society is willing to cause violence to survive? Which universe accepts the fact that there is good and evil in all of us? One final twist, how does the firefly universe look from the Alliance perspective? Are they doing what they must to maintain a Utopian society? Or is it the appearance of a Utopian society? How close is that Alliance world to the one that Roddenberry created? Maybe we have approached this all wrong. Maybe, just maybe, they are all superficial Utopian societies that have alot of underlying strife. A perfect world may be unobtainable, but to some, the appearance of one is good enough.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Role model of the week: Part XI

Short and sweet today. My work load is outrageous.

Pirates capture American ship off the coast of Somalia. Crew retakes ship and captain is being held hostage.........why? The Captain created a distraction and allowed himself to be captured so that his men could get the ship back safely.

Morale of the story? True ships captains still exist. This man was, and is, willing to risk his own life to safeguard his crew. Not only that his crew was willing to fight to take back their vessel!

We will see how the rest of this plays out. But for now, good job to all involved, and let's keep the captain in our thoughts and prayers.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

What's in your range bag?

Which one? I have three!
I will do the range bag that gets the most use, my competition pistol range bag.
1. The pistol.
2. The magazines, for the pistol.
3. Ammo, 300-600 rounds depending on match requirements.
4. Inner and outer belt.
5. Pistol cleaning kit, in a sealed plastic box.
6. Magazine cleaning brush.
7. Tool kit, allen wrenches, screw drivers and picks.
8. Rule book, in case anybody actually cares about the rules.
9. Brass bag.
10. Sunscreen
11. Safety glasses, clear, grey, smoke, and blue.
12. Ear Protection, hard and soft.
13. Pen, pencil and sharpie.
14. Kneepads, 'cause I'm a sissy.
15. Multi-tool.
16. Fiber optic inserts for my sights, I really don't know why I'm so hard on them.
17. A lighter and scissors, for #16.
18. Small flashlight.

H/T to Sebastian and Ahab, and anybody else that I may have missed.
edit, I missed some.
19. Glass cleaner wipes
20. Bug Spray
21. Canned air
22. Water and snacks

Monday, April 6, 2009

Double Tap AAR, part 2

Again, I can not stress the great time that I had at the match. Even with all the gun and logistics problems it was a great time. I plan on getting my entry fee in on Jan 1st for next year. I also won a new range bag as a door prize! One of the big Midway ones! Mrs. Sigboy refers to it as my $500 range bag. I tried explaining to her that it was a door prize, therefore free. She still doesn't get it. Here is my favorite stage of the match, 24 rds, 11 targets at three yards(or so), all while tethered to a rope, and whatever you do, don't knock over the tennis balls. As for the STI, the bill for a new barrel and new extractor is $530, thats US dollars, not pesos. Granted, I splurged and ordered a high dollar barrel with gain twist rifling.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Rolemodel of the Week: Part X

Spider man saves boy from window ledge

No, that is not a typo, an eight year old boy was on a window ledge, at school.
A Bangkok fireman rescued the autistic boy by dressing up as spiderman and coaxing him off of the ledge with juice.

Read the article, it is here. It is short and to the point.

On it's face this is a fun story about a man saving a boy. Who knows why the childs teachers did nothing, or were distracetd. It is a shameful act that I am sure they regret. But a boy was saved that day, not by Spiderman, but by a quick thinking firefighter who realized that the situation called for a delicate touch, a touch as delicate as a spiders web.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

After Action Report: 2009 Double Tap Championship

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Friday found it cold, wet, windy and muddy. Not your usual mud mind you, but red clay slippery mud. Watching the super squad shoot was like watching Charlie Chaplin perform slapstick comedy. Mud was flying as shooters went slipping and sliding their way thru the stage. Dropped magazines were all but swallowed by the West Texas caliche. Luckily I was not to shoot that day.

Saturday morning brought 34 degree temperatures with 30 mph winds. The sky was overcast with low hanging grey clouds. Nasty would be a good descriptor. We were scheduled to shoot 9 stages on Saturday and 5 on Sunday. However, we were the squad shooting behind the super squad. While under most circumstances that would be a very cool thing. This time it was not, and I will not willingly put myself behind the super squad ever again.

The stages were awesome. The match had an Indiana Jones theme and the stages all followed suit. One stage, 'chilled monkey brains' had you starting with your gun on the table and the magazines in a fake skull. The next stage was 'temple of boom' and was a dark house shoot. The range was lit by black light and the targets were fluorescent. VERY COOL!

Sunday morning brought good weather and gun trouble. Another case head separation. I took my gun over to the STI vendor table. The vendors exact words were "Oh crap, look at that! Your done." Turns out that my chamber was improperly polished, long before I got the gun. Now it has worn to the point where it became unsafe. I wanted a new barrel anyways, now I have an excuse.
more info to follow later....
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