Friday, October 31, 2014

Five O'Clock Friday: Bacon Blessing

We already know about the blessing for beer, but there's also a Catholic blessing for another of our favorite food groups — bacon! While it might not be very useful on a (meatless) Friday, it's a good tool to share with your favorite priest.

V. Our help is in the name of the Lord

R. Who has made heaven and earth.

V. The Lord be with you.

R. And with your spirit

Let us pray. Bless, Lord, this bacon which You have made, that it may be a healthful food for mankind. Grant by the invocation of Your holy name that all who partake of it may receive health of body and safety of soul, through Christ our Lord.

R. Amen. (Then it is sprinkled with holy water.)

H/T to The Catholic Gentleman.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Oktoberfest Beer Tally

Oktoberfest officially ended a few weeks ago, but that didn't stop our enjoyment of Oktoberfest-style beers. I decided this year I would concentrate on trying as many Oktoberfests as I could. I didn't drink them exclusively, but I did look for them when I was at a pub, and also picked up a selection to stock the beer fridge.
  • Paulaner Oktoberfest Märzen
  • Warsteiner Premium Oktoberfest (draft)
  • Legend Oktoberfest (draft)
  • Hacker-Pschorr Oktoberfest Märzen (draft)
  • Bell’s Octoberfest (draft)
  • Weihenstephaner Festbier (draft)
  • Sam Adams Octoberfest
  • Blue & Gray Baron von Stueben Oktoberfest (draft)
  • Great Lakes Oktoberfest
  • Sly Fox Oktoberfest
  • Harpoon Octoberfest
  • Shiner Oktoberfest
  • Schlafly Oktoberfest 
  • Wild Wolf Folktoberfest (draft)
  • Brooklyn Oktoberfest
  • Flying Dog Dogtoberfest
  • Dominion Octoberfest
The American brewers do a great job with the style, even when they apply their own interpretations. As much as I look forward to the Oktoberfest beers each year, and enjoy them very much, I admit now that I've grown tired of them. For a while anyway. It's time for some IPAs!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Clueless Shooters Shorten Another Range Trip

Regular readers are aware I shoot at a semi-unsupervised range conservation organization. There are RO's that pop in regularly to enforced the latest iterations of the range rules, and I've been told numerous times the rules are to keep the "less safe" shooters under control. My response has always been, if they can't be safe and can't follow the rules, kick them out!

Sunday afternoon my friend Greg and I were at the range getting in some practice. We were having a fun time and enjoying the beautiful fall afternoon. At one point we turned back up range from pasting targets to see three new arrivals setting their gear on the bench, AND handling and setting out firearms while we were down range. I look at Greg and asked, "You done?" to which he replied in the affirmative. We proceeded to police our brass and pack the gear, but as we were loading our gear into our cars the new arrivals began shooting — without a warning. We were caught off guard when as we had taken off our ear protection.



After getting our ear protection on quickly, we watched them for a short time. I remarked to Greg that I was glad to find he was as anti-social as I was when it comes to shooting with people I don't know. I prefer unsupervised ranges, but only when it's just me and folks I know. We watched as they continually swept each other with firearms. I get really nervous when I see someone unholster a firearm while standing directly behind another person at the line. Apparently maintaining muzzle awareness is difficult with a cigarette in your hand.

Over the years, I've found that shooting enthusiasts are by far the most friendly, safety conscience, and courteous folks I've met. That's why incidents like this are so exasperating. There's been chatter lately about limiting or even ceasing the range use at the club. In fact the hours they are open have already been reduced. It's because of people like this. When I take new shooters to the range, I make sure they understand they have a dangerous weapon in their hands. Unfortunately even some long-time shooters seem to forget that when they head out to the range. Just because it's fun doesn't you can ignore the safety rules.

And unlike the time we were admonished for shooting at three targets instead of just two, there wasn't an RO to be seen.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Flying Dog Hoppy American Wheat

A few weeks ago we received a couple sample bottles from Flying Dog, which were promptly stuck in the beer fridge, and life went on. This weekend I remembered getting that package, but couldn't recall what beers were included. I dug around and pulled out this bottle of Brewhouse Rarities: Hoppy American Wheat Ale.

The small batch American Wheat Ale pours a very cloudy deep gold color. The quickly building white head is think and creamy, though it pretty quickly drops to quarter inch thick and persistent layer. The aroma is that of tropical fruit like pineapple and mango. I might get a hint of bready wheat, but the tropical fruit dominates.

The flavor of this beer is an interesting blend of a bitter IPA and a wheat beer. The "hoppy" side definitely predominates the flavor profile though. The tropical fruit and citrus is topped with bitter rind and hint of grassiness. The "wheat" background comes through in the medium bodied mouthfeel and tingling carbonation. The finish is a lingering zesty bitterness.

Flying Dog Hoppy American Wheat Ale is a refreshing late Summer release, that might be better described as a low ABV "session" IPA than a wheat beer. But that's just fine with me.

Coincidently, or perhaps by design, the other bottle in the sample package was Galaxy Single Hop Imperial IPA. Since Galaxy is also the dominant hop in the Hoppy American Wheat Ale, I'll try to get to the IPA real soon, while the flavor of this one is still fresh in my mind.

The beer reviewed here was a promotional sample from the brewery. My impressions are provided of my own free will.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Your Second Amendment

Bill Whittle breaks it down in terms "even a progressive could understand."


Refuting "crybaby progressive whininess." Heh.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Range Time Found

After I posted that I may need to take some time off from work to rectify the lack of range time, I realized that actually was wonderful idea. So, I did just that one afternoon this week. After days of cold, wet weather, a fall day in the low 70's was too good to pass up.

Loaded!
Colleen, our friend Checkered Flag who also had the day off, and I loaded the car and headed over to the range. Colleen was lamenting that she hadn't used the shotgun since our class with Tom Givens last May, so we started on the shotgun field. We set up our five clay stands and took turns running the array of targets.

After a few runs at that drill, we moved over to the rifle range. There we set up two targets with multiple color aiming areas. We shot standing at various distances, and a bit while on the move. Despite it's effectiveness as a defensive weapon, every time we take the AR to the range, Colleen remarks it's also really fun to shoot. Perhaps there's an additional rifle in our future, since we're sharing just one at the moment.

Finally it was over to the pistol bay. We spent the next hour simply enjoying the time shooting. Checkered Flag has a collection of what we refer to as "Little Man" targets that he uses for his precision shooting practice so we also put them to use.

A plethora of targets
It was an exceptionally enjoyable few hours. I've not been out to the range a lot recently, and Colleen has been even less. It's still one of the best diversions from daily stress I know, and it's a fun way to spend time with my lovely wife. We should really make it part of the regular schedule of life.

A sign of a good day - a full brass bag!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Five O'Clock Friday: Beer On the Brain

Thought for a Friday...


H/T to The Feral Irishman (Possibly NSFW).

Has VCDL Gone PC?

A recent email from the Virginia Citizens Defense League contained an essay entitled "Firearm vs weapon, CHP vs CCW - words mean things." Within that post, VCDL President Philip Van Cleave made this comment,
HANDGUN, FIREARM, SIDEARM, GLOCK VS WEAPON 
Avoid the use of the word “weapon” when referring to your firearm.  Weapon has a negative connotation, referring more to something used in an aggressive or offensive manner.  The military carries weapons.  You and I carry for defensive reasons only.  Instead use the words firearm, sidearm, handgun, or the firearm type, such as Glock, Sig, etc.

I was taken aback. What is this PC nonsense? Van Cleave claims that "weapon" has a negative connotation. He posits it is because the military carries "weapons." Does that mean the military has a negative connotation, or is deployed only for offensive purposes? A weapon can certainly be used defensively, as one was just this week in Canada, and also 100's of times each year, by civilians in the United States. I carry a defensive weapon. In fact, I carry a dangerous defensive weapon. If it wasn't so, I wouldn't stake my life on it.

I agree with the VCDL in that "words mean things." That is why we should not cede the language to the hoplophobes. The enemies of freedom have already usurped words like "tolerance" and "liberal." We see it everyday in the news when mass killers are described as "shooters" or "assault weapon" is used to refer to just about any semi-automatic gun that's black.

Do I say "weapon" every time I refer to my gun? Of course not. Will I avoid the use of the term for political correctness? Certainly not.

On the other hand, maybe VCDL is on to something.


 I suppose my "pistol" would be allowed wherever this is posted.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

That's 2,000 Musings

The previous post was number 2,000 for these Musings. I find it appropriate that the subject was reminiscing over one of my long-time favorite beers. Now to get to work on the next thousand.

The post announcing my 1000th post, not the post itself, is consistently in the most popular post listing in the sidebar, though I'm not sure why. It will be interesting to see what happens with this one!

Heavy Seas Loose Cannon

It was like visiting with an old friend. This week's "Steal the Glass" event at Capital Ale House featured beers from Heavy Seas Brewing in Maryland. One of the beers was an old favorite of mine, Loose Cannon Hop3 IPA. Also available were Cutlass Amber Lager and Small Craft Warning Über Pils. Naturally, I started with the Loose Cannon.



Two different glasses were offered for "stealing," a Belgian-style glass and a standard "shaker pint." I opted for the stemmed glass, as did Colleen for her Cutlass Amber Lager. Loose Cannon on draft has long been one of my favorite beers. It's not uncommon to find that a beer on draft tastes better than the same beer from a bottle. However, I've repeatedly found that Loose Cannon is significantly better on draft. So much so that I rarely bring it home, choosing to enjoy it whenever I find it on draft (which is infrequently in my local area.) The pine and fresh citrus flavors, caramel malt, and mild bitter finish brought back memories of the many pints enjoyed through the years.

I noticed that shaker pint glass offered sported an updated logo, different from the Clipper City/Heavy Seas pints I acquired years ago. So, in the interest of completeness, I opted for another helping of Loose Cannon, this time in the logo pint glass. A man's gotta do what a man's gotta do.