Thursday, May 28, 2009

This Explains Everything

Did you know that Texas has it's own pledge?
"Honor the Texas flag; I pledge allegiance to thee, Texas, one state under God, one and indivisible."

The original pledge started "Honor the Texas flag of 1836", which was amended in 1965. I only find this ironic because of the Texas mentality. I am a recent transplant (got here as quick as I could.), believe me when I say that Texans out of Texas are actually less prideful than Texans in Texas. I am also swiftly becoming one of these. I don't think a Texas pledge is a bad thing. A trifle over the top perhaps, but isn't that Texas?

I don't recall saying a California pledge growing up. If they had one it probably went like this, "I pledge my money to the peoples republic of Kalifonia, and whosoever lives under government rule, shall be entitled to poverty for their days. And if I desire to seek freedom elsewhere, I shall give up to 40% of my household value when I leave."

God Bless Texas.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Range Report

Last week I took two of the rifles up to the rifle range. I had started working up some new loads for the 338/06. I still don't have a decent load with the Barnes bullets, maybe next time. My father has seen fit to send me his Winchester Model 70 in 25/06 on an extended loan program. Translation, it sleeps at my house until he decides that he needs it again. I finally finished breaking in the barrel and am happy to report sub1/2" groups off the bench with sandbags and Hornaday factory ammo.

You would think my load development would be done, nope. Both these rifles are going to California on a pig hunt in the fall. I need to have a lead free load for both of them. I'm planning on keeping the 338 load for all my other hunting, and only use the Barnes for areas that are under a lead ban.

Any ideas for making Barnes bullets shoot?

Friday, May 22, 2009

Role Model of the Week: XIV

Alt title: Soldier Performs Mission in Pink Boxer Shorts
After All, It's Memorial Day Weekend

Did I mention he's a Texan?
Specialist Zachary Boyd was sleeping in his hooch when the sounds of battle roused him. He grabbed his battle rattle and rushed out to join the fight. A news photographer was on hand to record the image of Boyd standing at a makeshift rampart in helmet, body armor, red T-shirt and boxers emblazoned with the message: "I love NY." This is what are soldiers are trained for, fighting in pink underwear fighting to protect our way of life, no matter what obstacle may be in their way, continuing the mission, even without pants fighting side by side with their buddies, no matter the cost.

I joke about this story, but I would love to shake this kids hand and thank him for his service. He probably wasn't thinking about what he looked like when he ran into battle. He was thinking that he HAD to get into battle. Even if he looked like a prime sniper target. That, my friends, is dedication.

On this memorial day weekend, remember this story, and think of all our soldiers on foreign battlefields. Soldiers fighting so that we may grill steaks this weekend, while they eat cold MRE's.

Spec. Boyd, you have my respect. Thank you for serving our Country. Fight the good fight. Be safe, come home in one piece. I salute you.

Report and pics can be found at Fox News

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Presented without Comment

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress has voted to allow people to carry loaded guns in national parks and wildlife refuges.

The House approved the measure, 279-147, on Wednesday, one day after the Senate acted.

Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., sponsored the measure, which would restore a Bush administration policy allowing loaded guns in national parks. A federal judge blocked the policy in March, and the Obama administration did not file an appeal.

The gun amendment was attached to a bill imposing restrictions on credit card companies. The measure now goes to President Barack Obama, who is expected to sign it.

Okay, I lied. Hip, hip HOORAH!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

'09 Indian Territory Practical Shooters Annual Night Shoot

First off let me say that the match was absolutely horrible, the stages were difficult, it was pitch black, you couldn't even see your gun. I absolutely sucked. I also had a great time. Fifth place for the no sights division. Not too shabby. The match was definitely skewed towards the guys with red dot sights.

This was the brightest stage:

That stage was alot of fun, the red lights made it difficult to discern the no shoot targets, but I didn't hit any! I took fourth overall on this stage.

I took first place overall on the first stage. You had a red headlamp on your head for illumination. The stage required you to shoot six steel plates thru a hole 8" in diameter. Than you had to sit in a cart and push yourself backwards while shooting paper targets, off to the side, at about five yards.

Of course, what good is a night shoot without a range malfunction, BBQ style!

There were five stages total, most of them poorly illuminated. They also put the lights ahead of your gun and in front of the targets. You could not see your gun on three stages! One stage called for 30 pieces of steel in 35 seconds. I fired 45 rounds and knocked down 7! I felt truly humbled, and not in the good way.

There wasn't enough light for any of the other stages. I do have video that I will post tomorrow.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Biden Has a Gaff, Sigboy Remembers a Memory

Jay G, the dememted Massachusets master of gunny madness, had a post about Biden's lack of situational awareness.
From Fox News:
Biden told his dinnermates about the existence of a secret bunker under the old U.S. Naval Observatory, which is now the home of the vice president.
The bunker is believed to be the secure, undisclosed location former Vice President Dick Cheney remained under protection in secret after the 9/11 attacks.

This seems to be the new standard for Biden. I'm not horribly concerned about his future in politics.

The Naval Observatory:

This did bring back a memory. When I was in the Army, I was assigned to the 3d US Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard), in Ft. Myer, Va. It was my companies rotation to be on call. About 5 am one morning we were called out. We weren't told very much, draw weapons, don our battle rattle, and meet in the company common area. When we were all there, they issued ammo, and we loaded our magazines. Brief aside, I was only issued ammo twice while in the Army. This was a big deal. To those of you that think that you sleep with your rifle and a full issue of ammo, nope, that stuff is locked up tight. There we are, 120 young, highly trained, killing machines. We had rifles and machine guns, and ammo for all of them. What are our orders? March to the airfield, wait for the helicopters, we're heading to the Naval Observatory.

With the Army instilled brain washing, I questioned nothing, at least, very little. We marched, the helicopters never showed. What happened? I know not, I only knew what they told me, and that I missed breakfast. I was more worked up over my stomach than anything. Now I know why that morning our orders were to go to the Naval Observatory, that is where the V.P. lives and hides. What happened that early morning in the beltway of DC? Maybe nothing, maybe a threat to the VP, maybe just a drill. And I was more worried about breakfast, at least some things don't change.

Sci-Fi Hyperbole: SG-1 Style

My newest cousin (will that ever get old?) and I have been discussing the relationship between Jack O'Neil and Samantha Carter(characters on the now discontinued series, Stargate SG-1). For those of you unfamiliar with the series, Jack and Sam always had a healthy attraction for one other, however he was her boss, and they never could get together. My opinion is that they settled into a comfortable, perhaps monogamous, relationship that allowed them to work around the difficulties of the chain of command. Her opinion is that they never consummated their relationship, and as such, their love was buried. So we were left with their relationship 'unsettled'.

My theory is based upon the Season 8 episode 'threads'. At the end of the episode Sam loses her father to cancer. Her and Jack are sitting in the observation room when he passes. It is a sad moment, but the acceptance is there, and life will continue. This is not important, what is important is what happens next. She places her head upon his shoulder. It was a small gesture, completely un military like, but it was loving. You could see all the pent up emotion of every season get released. Of course, you have the other problems, Jacks CIA girlfriend(who I thought was HOT!), Sam's cop fiance. But none of that mattered, they loved each other, and accepted that fact.

Research showed me that there was alot more to it that never made the show:
Taken from Wikipedia:
Over the course of the two series, a number of men are in love with, infatuated with, or attracted to, Carter. This includes Jack O'Neill, the Tok'ra Martouf, Dr. Rodney McKay, Fifth, Orlin, Agent Malcolm Barrett, Narim, Pete Shanahan, Dr. Jay Felger, her former fiancé Jonas Hanson, and her husband of a possible future Joseph Faxon. (Surprisingly, never Daniel Jackson, despite their obvious compatibility.) Many of these individuals have since died, including: Martouf (and symbiote Lantash); Fifth; Narim; Hanson; Faxon; and two alternate versions of Jack O'Neill. This has led many of the cast and crew of Stargate SG-1 to humorously nickname her character Samantha "the Black Widow" Carter.[16]

Asked why the series never confirmed a relationship between Carter and O'Neill, producer Joseph Mallozzi stated in his blog,[17]

"The Sam/Jack relationship was fraught with complications given that he was her commanding officer. Pursuing any sort of relationship would have been inappropriate for both and would only have really been possible late in the series after Jack’s retirement. [...] Jack and Sam could have gotten together after Jack’s retirement, but it was never made canon because, quite frankly, it wasn’t my call. Still, despite the lack of official confirmation, it was only natural that they should get together after the events of Threads and, in my mind, they have been together ever since. An attempt to suggest as much in season 4's Trio unfortunately ended up on the cutting room floor when the episode ran long."

When Carter joins Stargate Atlantis as commanding officer, a framed photo of O'Neill is seen on top of a box of belongings she brings with her to the base.

As stated above, a scene was cut from the Stargate Atlantis Season 4 episode 'Trio' in which Carter and Dr Keller discuss their love lives. Carter says "It's complicated", then "He's in Washington, I'm here" and "He's gonna retire soon, so who knows?". From this it can be reasonably extrapolated that she is talking about O'Neill.

So, after all this, I think they ended up happily ever after, just in two galaxies.

Thats enough SCi-Fi for now. No more hyperbole for a while.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Role Model of the Week: Lucky #13

Maj. Steven Hutchison died on the 10th of March in Iraq. He was sixty years old, a veteran of both Vietnam and the Iraqi war. It truly is a tragedy when good men perish in service to their country. He died honorably, this much is true. The story comes from just after 9-11, he wanted to join the Army again, his wife said no. She died of breast cancer in 2006. Understandably, he was devastated. He started working out, running and jogging, getting himself back into fighting shape. He returned to ACTIVE duty at the age of 59 and was deployed until last Sunday.

If I did not have a family of my own, after 9-11 I would have done the same thing. As a matter of fact, I tried. The boss simply said "no". I applaud this gentleman who listened to the warrior within himself, a man who bucked the odds, worked himself back into warrior shape, and made the ultimate sacrifice for all of us.

He is a role model to us all for recognizing who and what he was, for being willing to do whatever was asked of him, no matter the cost. After his wife died, of course.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

IDPA, Exploring the Dark Side

I have been corrupted. It is snowing in hell, and the end is near. I shot my first IDPA match on Saturday, and I even followed all the rules!

The afternoon started easily enough, slightly overcast, a temperature of 65 degrees. I thought to myself, "Why not wear shorts?". First things first, I needed a cover garment. I also have to be one of the cool kids. So what to do? Off to the local 5-11 dealer, I had to find me one of those uber-cool 'shoot me first vests'. Taking a page from another IDPA shooter (that we all know and love, right?), I strapped on a BLackhawk SERPA holster and some plastic mag pouches.

So now I have all the cool gear, it's time to head to the range. The match was fairly straight forward, six stages, about 100 rounds fired. My most immediate observation was the focus on accuracy versus speed. It was almost shocking to see how slow everybody was shooting. I had some decent runs, didn't drop too many points, and I only had one procedural.

The final stage we shot was long by IDPA standards, 14 rounds. You started the stage having to shoot two targets at five yards, activate a drop turner, retrieve a volleyball from the top of a barrel, and retreat about fifteen yards. After the retreat, you had to reload, shoot two more targets, run another fifteen yards across the range, reload again, and shoot two more targets. The volleyball had to stay behind cover the whole time, you could set it down, you could do anything except palm it. There were people holding the ball between their biceps and shooting, people setting it down and shooting, anything that you could imagine. Did I mention that the volleyball was low on air? Not flat, just low enough that it crushed a little bit. The gamer in me took over, I couldn't help myself. When it was my turn I put my first rounds into the two targets, activated the drop turner, put three rounds in it, grabbed the volleyball, shoved it into my mouth and I bit down hard. Retreating to cover, I moved down the wall until the next target was visible. I Shot the other two targets, my slide locked back and I reloaded. Before I continue, do you realize how hard it is to reload with a volleyball in your mouth? I had to pull the pistol up to eye level just so I could see the damn thing. I ran across the stage, sliced the pie and shot all remaining targets with the distraction of everybody laughing at me.

Final notes: I still think that IDPA was created by a bunch of crybabies that were tired of losing at USPSA. This does not make the game easy, much like our government, they have added alot of rules to ensure that nobody has an advantage over anybody else. I just wonder if I can write off all this new gear that I bought.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Shooting Skills Evolution

I never understood what was meant when a professional shooter said that they could see the front sight during recoil. I always thought that since I could run good split times and could pick up the front sight almost instantly that I was okay. My scores have always been decent, and I can always see improvement from one shooting season to the next.

I don't know what happened when I got the STI back, I could see the front sight. I could see it all the time. I thought that perhaps it was a fluke, it wasn't. I switched to the Sig, and could see the front sight! I know it may seem odd to people that have always seen the front sight during recoil, but I actually find that it surprises me. It is almost disconcerting. I am going to need more training to get used to this.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Role Model of the Week: Part XIII

Who chooses what makes a role model? Who decides what is exceptional behavior? The short answer is that we do. But we did not get there by ourselves, someone, somewhere guided us down a path. At the beginning of this journey that we call life, that person is our mother. Mothers are not all knowing. Mothers are not perfect (I can give you a prime example). But all mothers love. Good mothers transfer that love into their childs hearts. Great mothers teach their children right from wrong. Awesome mothers teach their children to reach for the stars, that all things are possible, and that everybody can make a positive impact on society.

People as a whole are not perfect, this is common knowledge. If our goal in life is to end up perfect, we need to know how to get there. This is where the mother comes into her own. I firmly believe that 90% of what makes a adult the person that they are is the nurturing that they receive in the home. There are exceptions to every rule, and today they are not relevant to this article. If you are raised in a loving household, to respect those in authority over you, and to know the difference between right and wrong, you will probably become a productive member of society. This gives you an insight into the world we live in. It allows you to perform to your potential.

This world is not perfect, and for every good person there is a bad one. Perhaps a mothers love does not discern between the two in her own children, perhaps unconditional love does not know the difference between good and evil. But I do know this. I am grateful for ALL mothers that our willing to raise their children to be the best that they can be. Mothers that want their children to strive for success. Because without the love and nurturing of awesome mothers we would not have a role model to write about every week.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Scouting Lake Meredith National Park

A few weekends ago, I decided it was time to go scout for some deer. Being new in town has some disadvantages, prime hunting land being one of those. Deciding that a family outing was called for, I killed two birds with one stone. Several friends of mine decided to join us, and we were off!

A short 45 minute drive led us to our destination, a campsite was located, strategically placed away from the other campers. I had my campsite up in about 15 minutes (the beauty of a camper), the tents took a while longer.

I was surprised at the wildlife in the park. Turkeys and deer seemed to be everywhere. My Saturday morning walk turned up about ten deer in the next draw over from camp. I truly wasn't expecting that many animals. The conservation program in the park seems to be exceptionally balanced. I'm definitely tipping my hat to whatever biologist is keeping that going. I even shot a doe that morning (calm down, with the camera).
The kids enjoyed the hiking and camping, we came home with an impressive amount of freshwater shells (I thought I left those at the ocean, oh well). I wanted to spend more time exploring the south end of the lake, unfortunatly we ran out of time. The weather had turned on Saturday night and gave us enough rain to make the tent campers uncomfortable.

Regardless of the weather, a good time was had by all. I got to spend some time out of doors, and Mrs. Sigboy was happy because we were all together, of course, I'm sure that taking the camper had alot to do with her happiness.

I believe that I found a decent spot to hunt this fall, further scouting is required. My only concern will be the number of hunters out there. I may have to death march my way in. My gut tells me that I wont find many hunters off the beaten path.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Tortuous Turkey Tales

Many years ago, while still living in So. Cal. I decided that I wanted to start turkey hunting. I bought books. I went to a seminar put on by a 'professional' turkey hunter. I bought four different turkey loads and two different choke tubes. I scouted for three weeks before hand. I made my wife consider divorce with my constant practice of the turkeys language. I was determined to master it. I clucked and purred like a slutty hen, desperate to attract the biggest, strongest male around. To this day I am not allowed to use a turkey call within 1/4 mile of the house.

Opening day found me rising long before the sun. I loaded my gear into the truck, the dog paced with an excitement only a bird dog knows. My whispered apology was not enough to calm him. He watched me drive away, the disappointment apparent in his stance. I drove for an hour in the darkness. I prepared myself for the hunt, scenarios raced thru my head with all the possible outcomes.

The morning dew had just fallen as I eased out of my truck. I had about a half mile walk to the special meadow I had picked out the week before. It was not large, about 5 acres, surrounded by scrub oaks and filled with fresh spring grass, about six inches tall. A small creek gurgled on the south side, a natural barrier for a hormone charged gobbler. I stopped about 200 yards from my spot, I lifted a crow call to my lips. "kaw, kaw!" rang out loudly. I heard a gobble in the distance. The odds were good today. Perhaps I would be blessed with fresh turkey for dinner.

I eased into position as the sky began to turn pink with the first hint of daylight. I pulled some brush around my position, confident that my camo was complete. I had a stream at my back and an empty meadow before me, I could do no more to perfect my position.

I waited an hour before I started calling. Softly at first, lets face it, who wants the easy stuff? I slowly increased the tempo as the morning wore on. Suddenly I had a response. A gobble in the distance. I stopped calling for what seemed like an eternity, I grabbed my slate and let out one short 'cluck', another gobble, closert this time. I put down my slate and grabbed my mouth call. My shotgun had layed in my lap all morning, a unneeded piece of gear in my tool box. I shifted it closer to my shoulder, the less movement needed the better.

I heard a splash behind me from the stream. My first thought was coyote. I slowly twisted around to look. What greeted me? A fisherman. Fly fisherman to be exact. Splish Splashing his way up the stream with fly rod in hand. Has anybody explained to him that you catch more fish being quiet? Needless to say, that turkey was not heard from again. My only satisfaction being the look on this gentle mans face when I stood up, not five yards from him. I wish that I could say that he fell down in fright, however, he did jump a little bit.

Remember, it's not the meat that you put on the table. It is the soul that is fed by time outdoors. Regardless of my lack of fresh wild turkey, I have always enjoyed the time in pursuit of them. Perhaps it is a fools quest, but one day I may be blessed with fresh turkey for my table.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

The STI Returns

Last week the STI came back from the Gunsmith. New barrel, new extractor, new front sight. It's like having a brand new gun. The action is smooth, like to pieces of glass sliding across each other. The fit of all the new parts is excellent. It also turns out that my front sight height was off, so a new one was installed. The barrel has gain twist rifling, which is just a fancy way of saying that it starts off slow and speeds up down the barrel. I shot about 150 rounds thru it last week, this gun is smooth! All that is left now is a trip to the painter. Any body have any color scheme suggestions?

My apologies for the horrid photos, my camera isn't quite cut out to do the real close up pic's. I do like how the fiber optic in the front sight is slightly recceses, and it seems to glow brighter than the factory Novak.
As for the rifling, I tried to show how the twist accelerates down the barrel.

as usual, clicky to embiggen

Friday, May 1, 2009

Role Model of the Week, Part XII

Shamlessly borrowed from Fox News:

QUARTZ HILL, Calif. — Don't mess with the marching band.

That's what California authorities are saying after a 17-year-old girl used her marching band baton to beat back two would-be muggers.

Los Angeles County sheriff's Deputy Michael Rust says the Quartz Hill girl was walking to school April 24 when two men approached her from behind, tried to grab her coat and demanded money.

Instead, one got a punch in the nose and the other a kick to the groin. Rust says the girl then beat both of them with her band baton before she ran away.

The men had not been caught. But Rust says there's a clear message to take from the encounter:

"The moral to this story is don't mess with the marching band girls, or you just might get what you deserve. Final score: marching band 2, thugs 0."

I can't write it any better than they did, but I can offer commentary.

Here is more proof that it does not matter how old you are, how big you are, or how strong you are. The will to survive comes from within.

Monthly Match Update

Scores came in yesterday, four Stages:
1- 8th place
2- 8th place
3- 8th place ( I was running slower than I thought )
4- 1st place ( It felt good to flip that switch )
Site Meter