Thursday, April 27, 2017

Don't Try This At Home

I really want a home range, but I will hold out for a different solution.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

For The Love of Beer

Some people really like their Budweiser.
When fire broke out inside a home in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, police say Michael Casteel rushed inside his apartment, in defiance of first responders' orders, to save what he held most dear - two cans of Bud Ice Premium.

The bumbling beer lover's valiant act landed Casteel in jail Sunday afternoon on two counts of obstruction.
A spokesperson for the Sioux Falls Police Department slammed Casteel's suds-saving heroics as an instance or 'poor judgement.'

"Poor judgement."  That's an understatement.  Now, if it had been Westvleteren 12....

See "He was saving his best Bud!" for the full story.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

No Rain at the Indoor Range

After missing all of last week, I was anxious to get in some trigger time this week. I had hoped this would happen at the outdoor range, but a prediction of several days of rain make that unlikely. Staring out of my office window at the heavy rain Monday made it hard to get motivated to even drive to the indoor range.

But, I did get motivated. I had a specific practice plan in mind for this session and started out shooting 50 round Julie Glob drill with the P320, this time at 10 yards. Shooting from low ready, I focused on quick target sighting and fast follow up shots when required. I jerked one of the head shots pretty seriously, and was a bit high on one body shot but was otherwise pleased.

After that I switched to the S&W Shield for some general practice. After several magazines with the smaller weapon, I went back to the SIG. The rest of my time was spent doing slower fire at 10 and 15 yards. I am feeling ever more comfortable with the new gun. For me, it points significantly differently than the P226, which I’ve put some 75,000 rounds through over the past 7 years. The good news is I’m starting to get used to the P320 and getting tighter groups, and pulling fewer shots.

That makes 1,025 rounds through the new P320. I gave myself a goal of 1,000 rounds before I tried out the gun in competition, or considered carrying it. Given upcoming fun family plans (and a less fun work calendar) over the next month or so, there is little opportunity for any pistol matches, so the round count will continue to grow through practice time.

I still hold out hope for a trip to the outdoor range later this week. If it doesn’t happen, perhaps I’ll plan another indoor trip. While my schedule allows, I'll take every opportunity I can to shoot. One never knows when the next "dry spell" will hit. After all, shooting IS a perishable skill, and for some of us it perishes more quickly.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Patience Needed at the Bar

One way I judge bar service is by how long my beer glass stays empty before the bartender notices. The truth be told, if the glass is already empty when the server notices, they are behind the curve. We were traveling last weekend and stopped into the hotel bar for a drink after dinner. It didn't take long to realize my second beer was going to be long in coming.

More than 14 minutes passed before the bartender looked up and acknowledged me, despite us being seated right in front of the taps. (I didn't start the timer for a few minutes after emptying my glass.) On the other hand, we saw one patron's beer get poured as soon as he ordered it, it then sat on the bar for 15 minutes before being delivered.

We took a chance on ordering a late snack as well, and the food service followed the same pattern. In the end our food was comped by the manager. On the bright side we did enjoy fun conversation with other patrons as we commiserated over our woes at attracting the attention of the staff.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Marketing Genius

This would cause snowflake meltdown if it aired in the U.S.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

No Shooting Last Week

I know that I have been quite fortunate to be able to visit the range frequently. It's a conscience effort on my part to go shooting at least once a week. Those visits, in addition to the organized matches, are my version of sanity in a busy life. Yet, all that frequent shooting, makes NOT going all the more noticeable.

I've had my range gear with me at work all week. But this was also the week that saw the implementation of a large project I'd been leading for months. Staff was trained, equipment was in place, and we were on time! A range trip celebration would have been the icing on the cake.

Yet it was not to be. Even with the project rolling out successfully, other duties kept calling. No time to rest on laurels as there's always other work to do. Each time I thought a break was in sight, the phone would ring, or someone would come by the office with a new task or request for assistance. On a couple evenings after work I even thought about heading over to the outdoor range, but never made that trip either.

As one of my favorite diversions, the range time was sorely missed. So now I'm previewing next week's calendar...

Friday, April 21, 2017

The Problem With "Steal the Glass" Promotions

A popular event at many pubs is the deceptively named "Steal the Glass" night. There's usually a few beers offered from a featured brewery, and the patron gets to "steal" a special glass, featuring the brewery's logo. Often that glass is a simple shaker pint, other times the glass can be unique or interesting in some way. 

The fallacy of the promotion is that with few exceptions, the drinker isn’t "stealing" anything, they are actually paying extra for the beer, in order to keep the "free" glass. I have dozens of glasses I’ve acquired at Steal the Glass events, but often times I simply don’t want the glass, and I certainly don’t want to pay extra for a glass I don’t need. And therein lies the rub.

We went out for dinner at a local pub the other night. I had seen a post on Facebook that the restaurant was "featuring" SweetWater Brewery, and pouring their 420 Pale Ale and SweetWater's 20th Anniversary Imperial Hash IPA. However, when we arrived we learned the beers were part of a "Steal the Glass" promotion. In addition, there were actually no SweetWater Brewery specific glasses being offered. Instead we would pick from leftover glasses from previous events — it was a "garage sale."

Wanting to try the Imperial Hash IPA, but not wanting to buy a random piece of glassware not even related to the featured brewery, I inquired if I could get the beer at the regular price and not pay the premium to "steal the glass. As I knew it would be, the answer was in the negative. I knew that because I had asked in the past, with the same answer. I didn't need or want the glass, so I ordered a different beer enjoy. Fortunately, I did have a very tasty Heavy Seas Loose Cannon IPA served from a cask.

We end up at this establishment on Wednesdays often, so we happen to hit their "Steal the Glass" nights with some regularity. And indeed, there are often interesting beers being offered. On occasion I even opt to pay to "steal," and take home an interesting glass. However, on more than one occasion we have been refused the featured beer for not wanting to pay extra for a glass. A pub should have glasses in which to serve beer without requiring the patron to buy one.

I wonder, could I bring back some purchased glasses and get refills at a discount?

Too much 'extra' glassware already

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Spam: ISIS holes

From a recent comment posted from Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan, intended for the two year old "The ISIS Shooting Drill" post:
That being said, the stuff you're drilling holes in can change vastly. It could be timber, brick, glass, steel, or possibly tile. Distinct bits are typically required for every various surface. [Link redacted]

The search term "drill" was all it took for "Mueeid Soomro" to find us. I suspect the irony of "drilling holes" given the subject matter was lost on the intrepid entrepreneur.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Father & Son Range Visit

Our son was able to come home for the Easter weekend. Even though he was here less than 48 hours, we were thrilled that he made the long drive so that we could celebrate as a family. We were sitting around Saturday afternoon talking, mostly about guns, and the discussion turned to a possible range trip. Colleen was planning an early dinner before the Easter Vigil. My part in the preparations involved steaks on the grill, and that was supposed to happen in about 15 minutes. We had several hours still before we needed to head over for Mass. I called an audible to delay dinner and we headed over to the range so he could shoot the new P320.

We set up a couple targets and my college student started putting shots in the center of the target right off the bat. (Sometimes he's annoying that way.) I kept loading and feeding him magazines, and encouraged him to work back to greater distances. He stayed consistent with good hits as he moved.

We had also brought along the smaller SIG P239 and he shot that for a bit too. He's been shooting that gun for years, and always enjoyed it. It is indeed a fun gun to shoot and I too bring it out regularly. Quite quickly he ran through the 200 rounds I had packed, though I did take the trigger for about 20 shots.

It was a short but especially fun outing. I didn't do much shooting myself, but the talk time with my son was most enjoyable. We were back home about an hour later, and I quickly fired up the grill. The dish of scalloped potatoes was still warm from the oven when the steak was served. There was even time for a cup of coffee before we headed out for the Easter celebration.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

"He is not here"

With those words, we learn that the promises of Our Lord were fulfilled. The empty tomb reminds us that death and sin have been conquered. Whenever I think about the Resurrection, I am struck by the sense of awe the women must felt at the tomb. I often too wonder what those who persecuted Him must have thought on Easter morning.

As we go through life we face many trials and tribulations. But we must always remember that "the worse thing that could ever happen" has already happened. The biggest battle man could ever face has already been fought, and won, for us. Jesus conquered death so that we could have eternal life. We rejoice in that knowledge at Easter.

Today we celebrate the fulfillment of Our Lord's promise of eternal life. On this most glorious of days, our worries and fears are laid to rest. We are reminded that the war between good and evil has already been fought, and that good has forever triumphed. For three days, Satan thought he had won. Three days vs. eternity. Easter gives us the strength to persevere against the lies of the evil one, to resist temptations, and to fight the persecution Christians around the world face on a daily basis.

Here's wishing you a blessed and joy-filled Easter. May the joy of the Resurrection remain in your life all year long.

Mass offered on the Tomb of Jesus,
Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem.
Photo by Colleen

Then the angel said to the women in reply, "Do not be afraid! I know that you are seeking Jesus the crucified. He is not here, for he has been raised just as he said.
-- Matthew 28: 5-6