Thursday, June 30, 2016

Coming Soon 2: BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse

In a story similar to yesterday's post, we've learned that yet another long-closed restaurant in our area will soon be replaced. BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse has plans for the former Bailey’s Pub & Grill in the Central Park shopping area. The current building will be demolished and replaced by a 7,536 square foot restaurant including an outdoor seating area.

BJ's is a California-based chain that features their own take on Chicago-style deep dish pizza, and handcrafted beer and soda. There are four other BJ's locations in Virginia. The closest to Fredericksburg currently are in Gainesville and Richmond. The chain also operates six breweries to supply it's restaurants with their house beer. first reported the news here.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Coming Soon: Harry's Alehouse

It looks like we may soon have another local option for craft beer and food enjoyment. Signs announcing "Harry's Alehouse Opening Fall 2016" have appeared in a nearby shopping center. Neither their web site or Facebook page have much in the way of details yet. When I stopped by one afternoon the windows were all blocked off and I couldn't look inside. Obviously, I'll keep checking.

The location was once the home of Bridges Brick Oven Pizza, which closed five years ago. To finally see something coming to the empty space is good news by itself. A spot promising "a family friendly restaurant with some awesome food and great beer" is even better news, especially in this mecca of fast food chains.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Summer Themed IDPA Match

The June IDPA match at Cavalier held this past Saturday was a super fun match with summer activity themed stage designs. The pleasant, warm weather added to the enjoyment and made for quite a pleasant morning.

The first stage consisted of two separate strings of fire. We started standing at the grill, “cooking” a steak, with our strong hand on a spatula. There were four targets to be engaged in tactical sequence. For the second string, we took a seat at the table and placed the gun in a lidded box. For this string we shot four more targets, near to far, while seated. The last target of the string was well-hidden behind a barrel requiring a hard lean to hit it.

Moving to the next stage, we found a long clothesline with laundry strung across the bay. Starting with our hands on a laundry basket, when then move across the bay shooting at target down range. Moving around the clothes line, we then moved down range engaging targets from various cover positions.

Next up was a run ’n gun type stage. The movement was more like a USPSA stage than what is usually seen in an IDPA match, but still a fun challenge. The seven targets were arranged behind walls, requiring the shooter to cross back and forth into the corners as he progressed down range.

The last stage was the most challenging in my opinion, but perhaps also the most fun. We started standing behind a lawn mower. Giving the mower a hard shove forward activated a very fast, disappearing up-down target, along with a swinger target. The challenge was to push the mower, then draw the gun and get two hits on the disappearing target before it vanished. Following the two moving targets there were five more targets to be engaged.

Our squad consisted of just seven shooters, so we moved quickly through the match. In addition, the other morning squad was started two stages over so we never ran up against them. Thanks to superb organization, and no delays between stages, all five strings in the four stages were shot in less than two hours.

I felt good about how I shot, and had a great time to boot! Apparently, many other shooters had a good day as well. When the results were posted I was further down in the overall order than I had expected. But, that’s fine too; the only person I really compete with is myself. Nonetheless, it was still a very enjoyable morning at the range. I made it home in time to enjoy lunch with my family and then continue the weekend-long garage cleanup project.

Friday, June 24, 2016

The Threat of Lone Wolf Attacks

How many "lone wolves" does it take to make a pack? The lack of a direct connection to organized terror does not lessen the real threat to America. "He acted alone" is just further misdirection from the left.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Another Run at the IPDA Classifier

Most people don't do "tests" for fun, but I opted to shoot the IDPA Classifier at Rivanna last weekend. Since I had just participated in the West Virginia State IDPA match a couple weeks ago, and that counts towards the yearly classification requirement, I was shooting for my own personal challenge (and enjoyment.) I always manage to miss at least one head shot in the Classifier. Like many folks, I also tend to drop a lot of points on the 20 yard barricade stage. I hoped to make some improvements in both those areas.

I've been doing a lot of dry fire practice recently, especially focusing on strong and support hand only shooting, and I think it's paying off. The first of the three stages went quite well; including making all nine required head shots. The second stage went well too. Loading my mags for the final stage, I could feel my adrenalin ramping up, I was getting excited about a good Classifier. Stay calm I told myself. Deep breaths.

As I shot the final stage, with the 20 yard shots around the barricade, I kept reminding myself to concentrate on the upper target area as I tend to shoot low on this stage. Unfortunately I still had one miss, and had too many hits off to the left or right of the -0 area. In review, it was obvious I simply shot too fast. 

It was bit of a let down to not improve markedly on the barricade strings, though I was happy to meet one of my two goals for the morning. Despite the poor shooting on the final stage, it was still my best Classifier to date. Little steps I guess.

My main reason for shooting the Classifier was to test myself and to identify those areas where I need to focus my practice. Unless I am continually striving to improve, I'm just wasting time, and ammo. Frustrations aside, it was a beautiful morning to be out shooting, and that's always a good thing.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Changes at Spencer Devon Brewing

Last week, Spencer Devon Brewing announced an upcoming, and major, staff change at the Fredericksburg brewpub.
Legume is coming to downtown Fredericksburg and is going to support our vegan, vegetarian and pescatarian friends; which is awesome.

What isn't awesome for us is that they are getting the best executive chef currently working in downtown Fredericksburg by taking Justin Cunningham from our family.
Justin has been with me from the beginning and I certainly will miss him, but I know he struggled with this decision and made it only after much consideration for what is best for his family, his career and his craft.

I, for one, look forward to trying his new food and will support him in any way I can.

As for us, we still have him for a few weeks and will be searching for a replacement who can maintain our relationships with our farmers, use direct from farmer purchased ingredients in the menu, and provide for our customers the best food in Fredericksburg.

Chef Cunningham has provided an interesting and unique food menu at Spencer Devon since they opened. We've enjoyed trying the interesting entrees and appetizers that have been offered, though we did at times wish for more simple foods to accompany the beer.

Best wishes to Justin in his new venture, and to Spencer Devon in finding a worthy new chef to replace him. We look forward to enjoying even more great food, with great beer, in the future. (And still hold hope for more pub grub-style offerings.)

Legume is a new vegetarian restaurant opening this fall in Fredericksburg.

Lies and Deception

The left loves misdirection. They are artists in deception, and they will gleefully revel in the blood of innocent Americans as long as they can promote their agenda of opression. Take for example this email from the Senator from Virginia, Tim Kaine...
This week, in response to the tragedy in Orlando, I joined Senator Chris Murphy and 37 of my colleagues in a more than fifteen hour filibuster on the Senate floor. Our goal? Finally get Senate Republicans to agree to votes on commonsense gun reform measures like preventing suspected terrorists from obtaining weapons and expanding background checks to ensure only responsible citizens are authorized to own firearms.
That line about "preventing suspected terrorists from obtaining weapons" has been bandied about by the dishonest pundits of the left since the Orlando terror attack. It's referring to the fact that the Orlando shooter was investigated by the FBI at least twice prior to his jihadist actions. What they neglect to say is that he was not restricted from buying guns because the FBI is more concerned about not offending the mohammedans than they are are protecting innocent Americans. If Tim Kaine really cared about saving lives, he would be calling for an investigation of the FBI itself. His line about "expanding background checks" is misdirection too. The Orlando terrorist passed multiple background checks as part of employment investigations. In that process as well he was given a pass. There is simply no way for the left to promote gun control without engaging in lies and deception.

Another favorite lie of the left put forth in the past week is blaming Conservatives and Christians for imagined "anti-gay" rhetoric inciting the murders. Why do some feel the need to make this into an LGBT issue, or even a "gun" issue? It's more misdirection. The real issue is the twisted evil political ideology called islam. Honest Christians stand against the evil that is islam, and its acts of violence against ANYONE. I will not defend LGBT lifestyle choices in any way, but I will support anyone in a fight against violence from islam or any other fanatical group. Sadly we even see Catholic priests promoting leftist screed in order to direct attention away from the real issue. Too many Catholics today are led by ill informed men who have strayed from the teachings of Holy Church and instead treat their flock to PC nonsense and false social justice teachings.

It's my opinion that if a person spouts the progressive agenda, they have already proven their lack of integrity. Don't fall for the lies of the left. These are dangerous people who aren't happy with simply removing the 2nd Amendment, they are after the entire Constitution. They openly decry the 5th Amendment too. In the past weeks the left has shown its true colors through unabashed promotion of "lists" to which they can add Americans, with no due process or even knowledge by the affected citizen. They wish to deny Constitutional rights just because someone holds an opinion different from their own agenda. It's spun as a "terror watch list" or "no fly list" but what they actually desire is to add anyone with whom they disagree, on any issue, even the weather. Secret lists have been the weapon of oppression throughout history. We, the law-abiding, freedom-loving citizens of this country need to stand up for our rights. There is no room for debate. We will not accept blame for the acts of violence committed by criminals and thugs, nor will we have our freedoms restricted by elitist rulers.

Those who wish to limit where and how our rights exist, while preserving those same rights for themselves, are no better than the other fascists of history. Fortunately for us, while they may be vocal and violent, I believe they are still in the minority. The time for debate is over; they won't change. Arguing with them is a waste of time. What we must do is wipe out any apathy on our side, and stop the "it won't happen here" thinking. This is a war. The only way this war will be won, is if freedom-loving people speak out and join together to deny the leftists the power they desire. Hopefully, the ballot box will be sufficient, but that is by no means guaranteed.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Father's Day Porch Sitting

After Mass on Sunday, we drove out to Orange, VA for brunch at The Light Well. Coincidently, this was the same place Colleen and I enjoyed lunch on Mother's Day. The Light Well offers breakfast and lunch foods, along with a small but decent craft beer menu. We've enjoyed everything we've had there. This visit I opted to forgo beer with my lunch, saving that for my planned afternoon time to be spent sitting on the screened porch.

For my sittin' time, I grabbed a couple of unusual beers that had been waiting in the beer fridge, both from Flying Dog Brewery. Both beers were from the Brewhouse Rarities series, and seemed ideal for the warm, but pleasant outdoor time. The first beer was Berliner Weisse. The beer pours a bright golden color with a fizzy carbonation. The flavor has a refreshing tartness along with some earthy wheat backbone. I very much enjoyed this one.

Next I poured Mint Julep Ale. I'd been sitting on this one for a while. Other than then occasional York Peppermint Pattie, I am not a fan of mint. It's a long-running battle in my family regarding the appropriateness of mint to flavor chocolate ice cream. (I'm against it.) Flying Dog's Mint Julep Ale has a faint sweet bourbon aroma. The flavor brings notes of sweet honey, along with a mild yeastiness. The mint comes through in the flavor more than the aroma. It's a pleasing herbal, leafy mint flavor. This bottle I shared with Colleen since I knew my enjoyment of the mint would be limited.

After my beers, I came inside to find Colleen in the kitchen busily baking. She said something about a "Raspberry and Lemon Cake" to enjoy after the steaks planned for dinner. I decided I should save some room, and delay any further beers until after the evening's meals.

Father's Day

Just a suggestion for today's activities.

Happy Father's Day to all the Dads out there. Cheers!