Sunday, February 26, 2017

Saturday, February 25, 2017

BadWolf Public House Opening in Manassas

BadWolf Brewing is expanding even further. A press release from the City of Manassas Economic Development Department has the details.

BadWolf Public House to open in Historic Downtown Manassas 

The owners of BadWolf Brewing Company and CJ Finz have teamed up to bring a new home grown restaurant & brewery to Historic Downtown Manassas - BadWolf Public House.  The 3,000 square foot restaurant and brewery, located at 9406 Battle Street, will consist of a 3-barrel brewhouse, taproom and a 2  floor private room that seats up to 35.

The restaurant intends to open in March and will feature a farm to table style menu with local brews on tap. The brewery operation will open later featuring new and unique BadWolf beers. Little BadWolf - 9776 Center St. Manassas, VA will convert to a sour only brewery with limited hours once the new brew operation opens. "As local business owners and long-time residents of the Manassas area, we have deep roots and a love for our community and the impact we have on it," said Chris Sellers, owner, CJ Finz and co-owner BadWolf Public House.

"Our unique concept offers a new attraction for residents and visitors and builds on the revitalization of downtown. We will source local ingredients whenever possible for the brewery and restaurant and plan to increase local ingredients as available in the future. Spent grains will be donated to local farmers and re-used in some recipes in the restaurant. We believe in building our local economy through social responsibility and supporting all local industries, not just our own," said Sarah Meyer, owner, BadWolf Brewing Company and co-owner BadWolf Public House.

Mayor Harry J. Parrish II said "The City has established Historic Downtown Manassas as a modern dining and shopping destination for residents and visitors alike due to its unique character and the strength of its independent small business owners.  BadWolf Brewing Company was the first craft brewer in Manassas and helped establish our City's growing leadership role in craft brewing and craft spirits.  We are pleased to welcome the partnership between BadWolf and the owners of CJ Finz, one of our great local restaurants, as they expand their businesses and establish BadWolf Public House together."

We're looking forward to visiting!

Friday, February 24, 2017

Range Time: Flashlight Drills

I brought along a flashlight during my weekly trip to the indoor range. I’ve been reading about various techniques for holding a flashlight while shooting a pistol, and have been trying them out in my dry fire practice. I found two options that seemed to work for me and now it was time to try them out with live fire.

The first flashlight technique I tried was holding the flashlight like a cigar between my first and second fingers of my support hand. The flashlight is pressed up under the trigger guard, while the support hand index finger goes in front of the trigger guard. I’ve seen this referred to as the Graham Technique. Except for that odd finger placement on the trigger guard, I found the technique very effective. The flashlight moved around a bit until I applied more pressure to pull it back into my hand on the pistol grip.

Next I tried the Harries Technique. In this, the flashlight is held in the support hand, which is crossed under the gun hand, and the back of your weak hand supports the gun hand. In dry fire practice, I thought this technique would be useful, but under live fire I found it woefully lacking in support and stability.

After devoting a few magazines to both techniques, I decided I would concentrate on the first technique, at least for this practice session. After a box of ammo downrange, I was pretty comfortable with holding the flashlight under the trigger and keeping it in place with repeated fire. Unfortunately, I can’t actually live fire in the dark with the flashlight. Any nighttime practice I get is limited to dry fire.

I finished up the practice with some close 5 yard precision shooting, which was surprisingly satisfying, followed by some 20 yards shots that were less so. In total, 150 rounds were put down range at this fun "lunch break."

Happy feet!!!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Thursday: Made Me Laugh

To make up a lack of content, enjoy this meme that made me laugh out loud.

Though I am not sure if my laugh was one of disgust, or fear.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Virginia Governor Shows His Disdain For The Military

Once again, Governor McAuliffe shows his disdain for the Constitution, self defense and U.S. military personnel.  From a VCDL Alert...

Governor McAuliffe just vetoed HB 1582, Delegate Campbell's bill to allow active duty and honorably discharged military members who are over 18 and under 21 to apply for a concealed handgun permit.

The Governor has never been a fan of gun owners and is now also showing an anti-military position to boot.

HB 1582 passed the House by a whopping 79 to 18 vote! THAT IS VETO PROOF as long as the Democrats (and Republicans) stand their ground on this bill.

The House will get the first chance to override the veto. If that succeeds, then the Senate will have its chance to do the same.

Unfortunately, the bill only passed the Senate by a 24 to 15 vote, with one Republican not voting (Senator Wagner). Assuming that he votes correctly when he gets a chance, the vote would be 25 to 15, only two votes shy of a veto override.

HOWEVER, there are several Senate Democrats who voted against HB 1582 who also represent large military areas. They may well change their vote under pressure.


We need EVERYONE to send an email to their Senator on overriding the veto, ESPECIALLY IF YOUR SENATOR IS A DEMOCRAT!

Click here to send the email:


Also make sure the House overrides the veto by contacting your Delegate:


To push even harder, click below to get the phone number to call your Senator and Delegate [immediately]:

It's unfortunate that people who surround themselves with armed security have so little concern for the safety of "regular" people. In addition, the elitist's veto prevents Georgia from honoring Virginia Conceal Handgun Permits. 

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The Black Target "Problem"

The “No More Black Targets” Campaign is, apparently, a movement to eliminate the use of black targets at gun ranges. Or, I think it is. Honestly, I am not sure if this is a serious movement or an exceptionally well-played internet troll. From the website...
An academic study published by University of Illinois researchers drew together findings from 42 different studies on trigger bias to examine whether race affects how likely a target is to be shot.

"What we found is that it does," Mekawi told NPR's Arun Rath, who covered the story.

"In our study we found two main things: First, people were quicker to shoot black targets with a gun, relative to white targets with a gun. And ... people were more trigger-happy when shooting black targets compared to shooting white targets."

The claims of liberal snowflakes often border on the absurd, but this is the first time I've ever heard of race being applied to cardboard. If race is applicable to non-living objects, then we must take into account that most guns are black as well. It then follows that what we actually have is a black-on-black crime issue, rather than an issue of racism.

On the other hand...

I looked through the alternative target gallery on the site. If #NoMoreBlackTargets catches on, the hippie community may soon feel targeted as well.

Monday, February 20, 2017

A Challenging IDPA Match at Rivanna

On Saturday it was time once again to head over to Charlottesville for the monthly IDPA match held by the Rivanna Action Pistol club. Checking the weather the evening before, I saw there was a predicted 35° temperature swing during the time of the match. The morning started at 34° and the car thermometer read 72° at the end of the match — in February!

The Match Director set up four extremely challenging stages. The first stage had us seated at a table, with the loaded gun in a box, and spare magazines on the table. There were two rows of targets placed behind a row of non-threats. Copious leaning in the chair was required to see all targets. Head shots were not required, but for all intents and purposes, heads shots were the safest option to avoid the non-threat targets.

Stage 2 was an interesting stage with two moving targets. From the start position we faced three targets; an open target on the left, in the center an up-down target that popped up from behind a barrel and activated by a stomp plate, and on the left a paper target with a falling popper behind it. The popper activated a double swinger with a non-threat that we would shoot from the next position.

The up-down target come up and dropped back down very quickly, so you had to be ready to shoot it when you stepped on the activator. There were differing opinions on when to activate the double swinger. The targets were slow to separate, but as they slowed the targets would get back in sync. Continuing through the course we faced a target between two non-threats. At the final position, three more targets, two of which were also partially obscured by non-threats. Though not required, shooting head shots seemed the safest course of action.

Stage 3 started us facing up range, standing in front of a target stand, which we knocked over at the start before turning to engage three targets while on the move. Moving to cover, we found two more targets, with a non-threat placed to make head shots the way to go yet again. All the targets on this course of fire required a minimum of three hits each.

The fourth match stage, which was the first one our squad shot, consisted of just three, open targets. Magazines were downloaded to 6 rounds. We put two hits on each target, did a slide lock reload, then put two more hits on each. Simple? Not quite, the targets were set at 35 yards! It was quite the stage on which to warm up. We were warned that future matches would feature even longer shots.

The match was a lot of fun, and a bit frustrating at the same time. I hit three non-threats and dropped several head shots. Accuracy was extra important at this month's match. Between long distance shots, fast movers, head shots, and lots of non-threats, it was quite the challenge. In total, the 68 shooters racked up 3,786 points down, 136 hits on non threats and 40 procedurals — in just four stages requiring about only 60 shots!

The Rivanna club is hosting the Commonwealth Cup in September, so I expect the monthly matches leading up to the sanctioned match this fall to be more demanding than usual. It'll be good preparation, as well as a fun way to, hopefully, get better!

Now, back to the practice range, and more dry fire...

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Catholic Terminology

An explanation of Catholic terminology for your Sunday reading.

AMEN – The only part of a prayer that everyone knows.

BULLETIN – Your receipt for attending Mass.

CHOIR – A group of people whose singing allows the rest of the Parish to lip-sync.

HOLY WATER – A liquid whose chemical formula is H2OLY.

HYMN – A song of praise usually sung in a key three octaves higher than that of the congregation’s range.

RECESSIONAL HYMN – The last song at Mass often sung a little more quietly, since most of the people have already left.

INCENSE – Holy Smoke!

JESUITS – An order of priests known for their ability to found colleges with good basketball teams.

JONAH – The original “Jaws” story.

JUSTICE – When kids have kids of their own.

KYRIE ELEISON The only Greek words that most Catholics can recognize besides gyros and baklava.

MAGI – The most famous trio to attend a baby shower.

MANGER – Where Mary gave birth to Jesus because Joseph wasn’t covered by an HMO. Holiday travel has always been rough.

PEW – A medieval torture device still found in Catholic churches.

PROCESSION – The ceremonial formation at the beginning of Mass consisting of altar servers, the celebrant, and late parishioners looking for seats.

RECESSIONAL – The ceremonial procession at the conclusion of Mass led by parishioners trying to beat the crowd to the parking lot.

RELICS – People who have been going to Mass for so long, they actually know when to sit, kneel, and stand.

USHERS – The only people in the parish who don’t know the seating capacity of a pew.

Tip o' the hat to Gun Free Zone.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Date Day Part 2 - Strangeways and Legend Breweries

After we finished up a fun-filled hour at the range, Colleen and I headed over to our next planned stop, Strangeways Brewing. We don't get down to Richmond often, and this place has been on my "need to do" list for sometime. Strangeways has 36 beers on tap, so deciding where to start was an issue. The friendly bartender suggested we start with the "Nucleus Flight" consisting of six of the brewery's core beers.

The beers on the flight are Albino Monkey White Ale, Woodbooger Belgian Style Brown Ale, GWAR Blood Red Ale, Phantasmic Belgian IPA, Hop Howler, and Überlin Berliner Weisse. We enjoyed the entire flight. Interestingly, Colleen and I were in agreement in picking Albino Monkey, Woodbooger, and Phantasmic as our favorites, but it was quite difficult to actually rank the six beers in order of preference.

The 3.5 ounce servings were enough for us to share but not so big that we couldn't try out more beers. So after the flight we grabbed a bag of tortilla chips and some salsa from the cooler, and tried a couple more 5.5 ounce tasters.

Colleen selected the Tirami'zu Brew Rum Barrel Aged Porter. This porter is brewed with coffee, cocoa nibs, vanilla beans and aged for 3 months in rum barrels. How could one go wrong with that? The beer did justice to its namesake with flavors of rum, chocolate and coffee. The mouthfeel was thick and creamy. My next selection was Legalize It Come Togther Hoppy Wheat Ale. The juicy citrus hops were joined by a nice wheat flavor that for a unique flavor profile.

The beers at Strangeways are as unique as their names. As we prepared to leave for our next stop, I still was curious about a few other beers on the list. One that had been tempting me the whole time was Virginia Stingo Red Wine Barrel-Aged English Strong Ale. At 10% ABV, I couldn't add it to my tasting list, but the bartender offered me a small taste. The Old Ale was aged for nine months in oak barrels that previously held red wine. And what a fantastic flavor that created! Boozy, with lots of dark fruit with caramel sweetness. In retrospect, I should have brought a bottle home.

After Strangeways, our original plans were to grab a quick bite to eat and head home. However, we decided to get food, and more beer, at another area mainstay, Legend Brewing Company.

We opted for a couple of starter plates for an early dinner; the Munich platter with Bratwurst, Kielbasa or and Andouille, (we upgraded to all three) a soft pretzel, sauerkraut, havarti cheese and spicy mustard, and the Smoked Salmon platter with honey smoked salmon, avocado, roasted red pepper, Fuji apple, dill cream cheese and grilled pita. The two plates contained more than enough tasty food for us to share.

As for the beer, I had a Golden IPA and Colleen enjoyed the seasonal Winter White. Both beers were fine accompaniments to the food, over which we lingered for quite a while. We also enjoyed a sample of the just released Ütebier. This struck me as a cross between an American Pale Ale and a very crisp Pilsener. It was an interesting flavor, and one I might seek out in a bottle locally.

Believe it or not, after all the food and beer enjoyed in the long day, we debated a bit about the next stop in our adventure. We'd already made it a longer day than planned, but as noted, we don't make it down to Richmond all that often and debated extending the road trip. In the end, we opted to start the long drive home, vowing we'd be back soon.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

A Welcome Text Message

In the middle of a ho-hum day, it's a joy to get a text from Colleen when she's out shopping.

The day is looking up.