Thursday, December 31, 2015

A Year of Shooting IDPA

Even though I had dabbled in IDPA a few years ago, I’d switched to shooting USPSA matches almost exclusively for a few years. Regular readers may have noticed that my focus was on the IDPA game this year. At a match last Spring I was asked, "What brings you over to the dark side?" My quick answer was it was simply a desire to shoot more. It so happens that local IDPA matches fit my schedule better than the local USPSA events. There are also multiple weekday and weekend options for IDPA matches locally.

After a couple of matches I decided to shoot IDPA exclusively this year in order to concentrate on one set of rules. As I thought about it more, and shot many more matches over the summer, I found a renewed enjoyment in competitive shooting. Even though both organizations promote very similar handgun shooting sports, their focus is quite different.

I took up shooting for self defense reasons, my interest in competitive shooting came later. The IDPA founders intended IDPA to be self defense oriented, but I recognize it is still a game, a way to test skills while having fun. There are rules, there’s a timer, there's a score, and thankfully the "threats" don't shoot back. The rules, however imperfect, are intended to apply some defensive fundamentals in a way that can be standardized for competition. It appears that USPSA might be feeling the pressure to attract defensive shooters to their sport as well as they’ve now added a provisional division for "Carry Optics".

IDPA also updated their rulebook this past year, making some changes that helped attract me back to the sport. The rules on reloading your gun on the move became a bit more reasonable. The new Back Up Gun (BUG) and Compact Carry Pistol (CCP) divisions offer options to shoot different guns in the matches. (And provided an excuse to buy a new gun.) The equipment needs in general are much less intense than USPSA. If I have a new gun I want to shoot, three magazine and two mag carriers are just about all I need. I do like the option to be able to compete "as I carry." I will admit, that I usually play IDPA with a full size gun in an OWB Kydex holster and a custom fit concealment vest, rather than my day-to-day carry gun, IWB holster and untucked shirt. However I do plan to shoot in both CCP and BUG divisions in the coming year.

I managed to get to twenty-two local IDPA matches this year. That included weekend matches at Cavalier and Rivanna, as well as weekday matches at Black Creek and Colonial Shooting Academy. I often didn't feel like driving to the weekday matches after a day at work, or I probably would have shot even more.

After a few months, I'd gotten accustomed to the IDPA rules, and kept the cover and reload differences, and the rule against "air gunning" well in mind. It was a little longer before I stopped trying to "run 'n gun" and concentrated on getting the hits. It wasn't a bad season. Rivanna runs a year-long "Top 10" competition, and I managed three Top 10 finishes, ending up 12th overall at the end of the season. I never expected to make the cut, but still it was a bit of a motivator, even if it was a fluke.

I've already marked up my calendar with some regional IDPA matches in 2016 that I might try to attend in addition to local matches. I am still hoping my schedule will allow me to get to the local USPSA match from time to time. In the meantime, for my interests, and schedule, IDPA provides the game I am looking for. If that’s the “dark side” so be it.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Ballast Point Habanero Sculpin

A friend included this bottle of Ballast Point Habanero Sculpin as part of a Christmas goodie bag. I've been anxiously waiting for the chance to try it out. One of the benefits of a "staycation," besides not shaving everyday, is having the chance to relax with some good beer. I grabbed the bottle to try out before dinner one evening.

Habanero Sculpin has an aroma of fruit and citrus, with only a faint note of habanero. I was concerned as I had been told the heat level is variable. Would this bottle live up to the name? I need not have worried. The initial flavor is that of a nice, citrusy IPA, and then it hits — Habanero alert! The pepper heat comes in strong and unmistakable. It's exactly what one would experience from fresh habaneros. But it's a tasty, not destructive flavor. Interestingly, the heat does not linger long. After a minute or two, the habanero heat diminishes leaving the palate is ready for another sip.

I'm a fan of spicy food. If the top of my head doesn't sweat just a bit, I don't consider the food to be spicy. While I didn't break out in a sweat from the beer, I did get the impression of eating a habanero-laced dish. It was just a couple weeks ago I enjoyed another habanero-enhanced beer, Starr Hill Mango Genius. That beer had a more subtle heat, and was a perfect accompaniment to a spicy food dish. I enjoyed the Habanero Sculpin on it's own, and I think I prefer it that way. It's a novelty beer, and probably not one I'd drink several of in a sitting. That said, it's quite flavorful and enjoyable. I wouldn't hesitate to pick up a six pack if I see it in the store in the future.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Gabriel Possenti Shooters Range Trip

In what is now a holiday tradition, a bunch of us gathered at the range for the 2nd Annual St. Gabriel Possenti Shooters "Day After Christmas" celebration. The informal and wholly unorganized group of Catholic shooters paid homage to the Patron Saint of Handgunners by spending the morning enjoying talking about guns, politics, and of course, shooting.

I was especially looking forward to the event, as my son was coming along for the second weekend in a row, and so was Colleen. Plus I was trying a new gun that Santa dropped off! The day was unseasonably warm but wet, with a light mist in the air all morning. Our family arrived early and staked a claim on the pistol bay, setting up our target stands and loading magazines as we waited for the others to arrive. There were eight of us total, which made for lot of smoke and noise generation.

We had a variety of targets and guns to shoot. Everyone was very conscientious of safety and aware of other shooters. Besides all the paper targets, several of us brought shotgun clays which were placed on the berm as reactive targets. They were fun replacements for the now banned steel targets.

After a couple hours of shooting some folks headed for home, while four of us moved over to another range to shoot rifles for a bit. By this time the mist had progressed to a light rain, so we didn't stay long. Our timing was perfect though, as the rain started in force as we drove away from the range.

It was an exceptionally fun morning spent with good friends. We put many rounds down range, and enjoyed a lot of conversation and laughter. There's no small amount of mud to be cleaned out of the car, and time to be spent cleaning guns afterwards, but that's a small price to pay for good times with friends and family.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

The Overlords Require A Tribute

Last week, Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring revoked the rights of millions of law-abiding citizens to carry concealed hand guns in Virginia. His accomplice in this egregious act is State Police Superintendent Steven Flaherty, a long-time anti-gun activist in his own right. In unilaterally revoking long-established reciprocal agreements with 25 states, this team of elitists, along with Governor McAuliffe, is ultimately attacking Virginia gun owners.

The end result of revoking reciprocity agreements is that Virginia gun owners will lose their rights to carry concealed in other states. This is a blatantly vindictive move against a population, who by and large, did not vote for the Governor or AG. There appears to be an additional motive behind this action as well. It turns out that visitors to Virginia can actually still conceal carry while in Virginia, as long as they pay an extra fee to the State Police.

Lest you think this is just coincidental, on the VA State Police Facebook page, the state's spokespeople wasted no time in "reminding" visitors that "out-of-state residents can readily apply for a Nonresident Concealed Handgun Permit in Virginia." That's right, if non-residents pay the Praetorians an extra tribute, they will be allowed to once again exercise the rights that were taken away by the very people collecting the tribute. The State Police are very protective of this fee they collect for "allowing" rights. Last year a proposed bill to recognize all out of state conceal carry permits was killed in the Senate Finance committee when Flaherty's organization claimed it would lose money should the bill pass.

Remember, if they don’t want you to have a gun its probably because they want to do something to you and you would use the gun to resist.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas

In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus
that the whole world should be enrolled.
This was the first enrollment, 
when Quirinius was governor of Syria.
So all went to be enrolled, each to his own town.
And Joseph too went up from Galilee from the town of Nazareth 
to Judea, to the city of David that is called Bethlehem, 
because he was of the house and family of David, 
to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child.
While they were there,
the time came for her to have her child, 
and she gave birth to her firstborn son.
She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, 
because there was no room for them in the inn.

Now there were shepherds in that region living in the fields 
and keeping the night watch over their flock.
The angel of the Lord appeared to them 
and the glory of the Lord shone around them, 
and they were struck with great fear.
The angel said to them,
“Do not be afraid;
for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy 
that will be for all the people.
For today in the city of David 
a savior has been born for you who is Christ and Lord.
And this will be a sign for you: 
you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes 
and lying in a manger.”
And suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel,
praising God and saying:
“Glory to God in the highest
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
-- Luke 2:1-14

May the joys and blessings of Christmas be yours, every day of the year.

The Church at Shepherds' Field, Bethlehem
Photo by Colleen, August 2010

Thursday, December 24, 2015

When a Man Sat in the Oval Office

President Ronald Reagan's Christmas address to the Nation on December 23, 1981.

Here was a man who never called for civilian disarmament, even after an assassination attempt on his life. 

Legend Winter White

I picked this one up last week to serve to some friends. Everyone seemed to enjoy it so much, I decided to kick off my holiday vacation this week with a glass of Legend Brewing's winter seasonal. Even though it's not my typical style preference, it was a good choice for some late evening relaxing.

Legend Brewing Winter White "Belgian Style Ale" pours a cloudy amber-orange color with a thin white head. The aroma contains hints of pepper, banana, bread, and a bit of yeast "funk." It's a pleasant but not overpowering combination.

The flavor is what is expected in a Witbier. There's a tingly carbonation that releases flavors of white pepper, lemon zest, banana and a touch of bread. Some subtle spice and citrus lingers in the end. The mouthfeel is moderately thick and leaves a sticky finish.

Legend is Virginia's oldest production craft brewery, established in 1994. I don't think they get as much attention as some of the newer craft breweries  —only their Brown Ale shows up with any regularity on local taps. The Winter White is enjoyable, though not complexly flavored beer  At just 5% ABV, it's refreshing and easy to sip. I can see keeping it on the list for our next holiday gathering.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

The Stockings Where Hung by the Chimney With Care

A few last minute chores and then I'm on holiday!

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a very good night.

Found here: Shut Up And Take My Money.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Doing The Work Twice

Converted this...

to this.

Which overnight became this...

so we did it again.

At least I can laugh about it now.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Heavy Seas Deep Six

Last week I was picking up some beer for an evening with friends at our home. As I perused the aisles, I spied a cart of Heavy Seas Deep Six English Porter being unloaded in the store. I was shocked since I had just seen an email from Heavy Seas announcing the new beer the previous week, and hadn't expected to see it locally so soon. (In fact this sighting was two days before the official release party at the brewery.) Having long been a fan of Heavy Seas, I added a six pack to my shopping cart.

Deep Six pours a deep, dark brown color with a moderately thick cocoa head. I picked up rich aromas of dark chocolate and roasted coffee. Likewise in the flavor, dark roasted coffee and bitter chocolate, with hints of dark fruit, combine for a flavorful porter. The mouthfeel is creamy with a dry finish.

Deep Six English Porter is a great addition to the Heavy Seas lineup. There's plenty of bitterness and roasted malt, but at the same time the beer is smooth and mild. We quickly went through the six pack I picked up last week, so I think I'll make a return trip for more. This will be a good one to have on hand for the cool winter evenings.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Father and Son Range Time

Our son is home from college for a long Christmas break, and the fun times over the next month kicked off with an early morning visit to the range. It's been a while since we got to shoot together, so I was excited for this opportunity. It was a cold and breezy 30° as we set out our gear. At least we knew we'd be undisturbed as most "normal" people were probably home enjoying hot coffee still.

We started out on the pistol bay. Shoot a little bit, warm our hands, reload mags, warm our hands again, and shoot a little more. Despite not having been to the range in over a year, the kid shot quite well. I actually didn't put as many rounds down range as I had planned, as I was enjoying watching him shoot so much. After a while I handed him the brass bag and sent him off to pick up brass as I packed up the gear. No bending over for me this trip!

Despite the cold, we moved over to the rifle range for a bit. Neither of us had shot the AR in a long time. As expected, the boy was dead on with the rifle too. We didn't stay too long though. Even with a bit of sun peaking through the trees, it didn't help to warm things up at all.

Despite the cold, we had a great time. It's pleasing to me that hitting the range is enough to get a college kid, home on break, out of bed early on a cold Saturday morning. Arriving home, Colleen treated us all to a big omelet and bacon breakfast. I also enjoyed a couple mugs of hot coffee while we planned our next outing to the range.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Don't Be A Willing Victim

In practical terms, this only applies to local folks, but I'm joining other enthusiasts and putting this offer out there. If you're an upstanding American and ready to take responsibility for your own safety, and that of your loved ones, I will devote the time necessary to help you get started safely.

If you aren't quite ready to shoot yet, we can just talk about first, over a beer even. Of course, going to the range and buying a gun are only the first steps. I'm not a professional trainer. I'm just a guy who believes strongly in the 2nd Amendment, who believes people should stand up against crime and thugs, AND who also simply enjoys shooting. So once our introductory work is done, I will connect you with the experts who will help you get more training and become well-informed on self defense laws and the responsibilities of living an armed lifestyle. (If you aren't willing to do that, you probably aren't serious about the decision.) 

In my opinion, anyone who can legally and responsibly carry a gun and doesn't has already surrendered to criminals and thugs. Don't do that. The first box of ammo is on me.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Free Glasses From Sierra Nevada

Free stuff! A couple weeks ago I came across this offer from Sierra Nevada Brewing. In exchange for uploading a picture of Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale, the brewery would send a couple of free glasses. Since I had just taken a photo my beer for the VA Tech celebration post, I uploaded it to the site as my entry. And I promptly forgot about it.

Lo and behold, the other day a package arrived and there were two nicely decorated Sierra Nevada Celebration glasses from Sierra Nevada. Time to celebrate with some Celebration, again!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The Liberal Mindset

The office cleaning service is coming a day later than usual this week. One of the liberals in the office, the one with 2008 and 2012 obama stickers still on his Prius, is complaining that the trashcan by his desk stinks. He walks into my office and says, "I'm debating if I should empty my own trash." 

And thus is illustrated the entitlement mindset that got obama elected.

Celebrating Victimhood

The Fredericksburg Police Department held a gun "give back" this weekend. Because state law requires guns acquired through buy back events to be offered for sale to gun dealers, the slick city lawyers labeled the event a "give back" and arranged a donation to charity for each gun. Extending their twisting of words even further, the police department expressed joy that they "reclaimed" 32 guns during the event. They gloss over the fact that the guns [I assume] were never owned by the police department in the first place, so they weren't "given back" at all.

As one might easily guess, I found the whole idea of this event ludicrous. No thug is going to turn in his gun, so no guns being used for criminal acts were taken off the streets. One participant noted his gun had been sitting in a locked box for 10 years, yet he had a fear that the gun "would likely end up in an accident or used against me." This unfortunately is illustrative of the victim mentality of so many in this country. He admits that he is "no longer comfortable [he] could use it accurately." At the same time he is acknowledging that there are people who would willingly use a gun against him. So, instead of stepping up, getting the training to protect himself and his loved ones, he surrenders the gun and chooses to leave his family defenseless. Such a mindset makes me sad for society.

This event served no purpose other than helping clueless people feel good about themselves for doing nothing. 

Or I thought there was no purpose served, until I read this, 
“This way, they know the gun is out of harm’s way.” Sgt. Jim Kuebler, Fredericksburg police.
Well, heck, if we can get those poor innocent guns out of harm's way so they are in no danger, then I'm board!

Monday, December 14, 2015

Starr Hill Mango Genius

After an afternoon of stacking firewood and other yard chores, we decided to hit Capital Ale House for an early dinner on Sunday. (Or was it a late lunch?) While deciding on our beer selections, our server suggested a "mango habanero IPA from Starr Hill." I was intrigued but not convinced, so she offered a taster. After that I was convinced.

Some quick Google-fu at the bar helped me learn that the beer was called Mango Genius and was a collaborative effort with Brothers Brewing. The beer pours a bright golden color with a white head. The aroma is citrusy and fruit-like. Sipping the beer, the flavor is what I can best describe as tropical citrus "juiceness." The habanero makes its presence known at the end. A subtle warmth slowly comes into play in the finish. It never burns, but teases in the back of the throat.

This was an excellent suggestion and beer I'd definitely order again. In fact I did, to go along with a very spicy Mexicali salad. The salad, with copious raw jalapeños, went well with the "cooling" citrus fruit of the IPA. 

And that beer in the foreground? That's Colleen's glass of Heavy Seas Red Sky at Morning. This is a version of the brewery's delightful Red Sky at Night aged in Chardonnay barrels. Two excellent beers from two of our favorite breweries, with a Redskins win on the bar TVs, made for a enjoyable afternoon.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Your Government at Work

Department of Homeland Security. The bureaucrats charged with keeping you safe.

Kelli Ann Burriesci, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Screening Coordination Officer of Policy, Department of Homeland Security, appears to have ascended to her highest level of incompetence.

Or maybe her parents made a large donation to the obama campaign. 

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Sheriffs Who Get It

Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, AZ might be the most well-known and outspoken Sheriff who regularly shows his support for armed, law-abiding citizens. However, he is not alone in speaking out. I've noticed a frequent news item recently about these elected officials.

Sheriff Clarke: The 2nd Amendment Is Treated Like the Constitution’s Bastard Child
Milwaukee County, WI

Police Chief Craig: Armed Detroiters cut terror risk
Detroit, MI

New York Sheriff Urges Citizens to Carry Guns After San Bernardino Mass Shooting
Ulster County, NY

Second NY Sheriff Urges Licensed Gun Owners to Carry Their Weapons
Sullivan County, NY

Florida sheriff calls on people to be ready to take on terrorists themselves
Brevard County, FL

Missouri sheriff discounts concealed carry permits to encourage armed citizenry
Laclede County, MO

Boone County Sheriff Michael Helmig calls on concealed carry permit holders to always carry gun
Burlington County, KY

NY Sheriff Urges Concealed Permit Holders to Carry 'at All Times' to Fight Terrorism
Steuben County, NY

Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple: Bad Guys Win “When We Live In Fear”, Promotes Concealed Carry In His County Alongside Training
Albany County, NY

We the people are the first line of defense against thugs and terrorists. Law enforcement is rarely present at the start of a violent crime, rather arriving after the fact to take a report and bag evidence. These gentlemen are to be commended for speaking out and showing that the safety of their constituents is their primary concern.

All that said, it's sad that a law enforcement officer declaring his support for the Constitution is considered "news."

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Governor McAuliffe Fights Gun Violence

A most excellent analysis:

Governor McAuliffe Creates Gun-Free Zones to Stop the Carnage in State Agency Buildings!

Richmond, December 4, 2015:  Virginia Governor McAuliffe, in order to stop all the continued bloodshed in state-agency buildings, has made an EMERGENCY regulation to ban guns in those buildings effective immediately!

The reasons this is an emergency action are numerous:

* There has been a horrendous and eye-popping ZERO shootings in state-agency buildings!  The Governor plans to fix that problem with this gun ban.

* Virginia’s 400,000 concealed handgun permit holders, with a pretty much ZERO PERCENT violent crime rate, are clearly a serious and ongoing threat to all of our state agencies!

*  Likewise, off-duty police officers, another proven group of untrustworthy, unbalanced, and potentially murderous time-bombs, could start shooting up state agencies because of long lines. Only on-duty police should be allowed to carry a gun!

*  Importantly, terrorists and active shooters have shown NO interest in violating gun-control laws by attacking in gun-free zones.  Gun-free government buildings are especially safe from attack!

*  Anyway, it’s far safer for citizens to be executed one-at-a-time than for those same citizens to have a gun to fight back with!  Why, somebody might get hurt!  Only the Governor’s 24/7 security team needs guns, as it goes without saying that some lives are much more important than others.

*  As a bonus, the Commonwealth has a glut of chalk used to draw lines around dead bodies.  This will reduce those inventories, saving space in the State Police headquarters building!

To the blood-thirsty naysayers of his gun ban, the Governor says:

* I am NOT paying back Michael Bloomberg’s million dollar campaign donation by pushing his major issue - more gun control!  That’s merely a coincidence.

* I am not pushing Hilary Clinton’s favorite issue - gun control - because I want to be Hillary Clinton’s Vice-Presidential running mate!  That’s merely a coincidence.

* I do have a thorough understanding of state gun laws!  I know, for example, that it is illegal for Virginians to own machine guns.

All hail the Governor for doing SOMETHING to make Virginia safe from those evil and dangerous concealed handgun permit holders and off-duty police officers, and making state-agency buildings SAFE for active shooters and terrorists!

H/T to VCDL.

More on the executive order signed by Bloomberg's puppet in Virginia.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Blinded By The Light

I opened the beer fridge Sunday evening and was momentarily blinded by a bright light. I was temporarily shocked and confused. "What is that?" I thought.

Then I realized, it was an empty shelf! That light bulb hasn't been visible in a very long time.

The second shelf is not looking so well-stocked either. I guess I have some shopping to do.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

More Cookies & Beer

As the sun went down Sunday afternoon, I cracked open a bottle of Flying Dog Fig and Fennel Stout. This is one of the beers in the Flying Dog Holiday pack of beers paired with Otterbein's cookies, that we started exploring a few weeks ago.

Per the brewery's directions, I first tried the stout with Otterbein's Oatmeal Raisin Cookies. The beer pours a deep brown with dark red hint. Extremely faint roasted and dark fruit aromas were present. The initial roasted malt flavor was followed by some citric tartness and a dry finish. I happen to like figs, so I was disappointed to not detect fig, or fennel notes, in the beer. Sampling the Oatmeal Raison cookies brought out some mild dark fruit notes, but the cookies were the best part of the pairing.

Coincidently. Colleen was also baking Chocolate Chip cookies as we tasted the Flying Dog beer. So naturally, I grabbed some fresh-from-the-oven cookies to try with the beer as well. The warm, milk chocolate in the homemade cookies moderated some of the bitterness of the stout.

The stout was acceptable, the Otterbein's cookies delightful, but neither beat the joy of the warm, homemade chocolate chip cookies. The beer gone, I decided I'd pair a couple of fresh cookies with a bowl of ice cream later, after all, it is the Feast of St. Nicholas.

The beer, and Otterbien's cookies, reviewed here were promotional samples from the brewery. My impressions are provided of my own free will.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

What? Me Worry?

Meme of the Week.

Here's wishing you a stress-free weekend!

Friday, December 4, 2015

The Gun Control Song

Arguing with "brain dead" leftists is pointless. It's more fun to laugh at their so-called "logic" instead.

And already they are calling the San Bernardino terrorist attacks a "wonderful opportunity... to make changes" to our gun-control laws. 

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Memories of "Plinking"

Last week over at the Brookston Beer Bulletin, Jay Brooks shared a story about the Targeteer Beer Can Launcher. This "toy" from the 1960's used .22 blanks to propel empty beer cans through the air. The post brought back memories of my youth. Many fun times were spent in the woods and gravel pits near my home shooting at cans (and bottles) with .22 caliber rifles and pistols, as well as air rifles and powerful slingshots.

Those were fun times, and reminiscing made me realize that I actually have no access to a place to just plink as an adult. All the ranges I go to forbid anything other than "real" targets — paper, clays,
 steel . Shooting at "trash" (and now steel) is strictly verboten.

I suspect the fun that comes from ringing steel targets is a holdover from those youthful plinking adventures. And perhaps those memories are also what made this "bottle" target so appealing.

More and more craft brewers are taking advantage of modern canning techniques these days, so if I did get out to plink, my target variety would certainly go beyond the rusty cans of my youthful adventures.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

The Circle of Time

After I posted the pic of my glass of Sierra Nevada Celebration yesterday, I was looking through old Musings and found an interesting coincidence. Last year on the same date, November 28, I also shared a post about the same beer.

In an another similarity, last night's glass of this seasonal favorite was also the first I enjoyed this season. And perhaps a tradition is born.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Go Hokies!

With a 23 - 20 win over rival Virginia, the Hokies continue the streaks! We're finally relaxing after a long day Charlottesville and this seemed liked fitting libation to cap off the day.

It was a nail-biter of a game and great send off for Coach Beamer.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Black Friday Range Time Too!

After a good range practice session yesterday, I returned this morning to join a couple of friends for some shooting fun. We got an early start to beat the crowds that were sure come later. The time was spent "just shooting" and enjoying friendly conversation. In fact, we probably spent as much time chatting as shooting, but that's the way it should be when you're just out to have fun.

I got to shoot a gun I hadn't shot before, and I also spent some time shooting my usual carry gun. I don't shoot it as often as a I'd like, mostly because it means cleaning it right away before I carry it again. Interestingly, I had last cleaned this gun less than a month ago, yet when I fired the first shot, I watched a clump of lint float away from the back of the slide. Note to self: Keep an eye on that, especially since it's sweater season now.

It was a treat to hit the range two days in a row, spending time with friends doing what we love to do, on another unseasonably warm day. And I'm pretty sure we had more fun than the folks fighting the crowds at the stores.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thanksgiving Range Time

While enjoying my coffee Thanksgiving morning, relaxing after Mass and a big breakfast, I started thinking about some range time. I've only gotten out to shoot once in about the last six weeks. Looking through old Thanksgiving-related Musings posts, I noted that I had been to the range previously on Thanksgiving day, and had the range to myself. I figured why not try again?

Sure enough, the park was empty except for a lone fisherman. I took my place near one of the wider berms and set up a couple of IDPA targets. The ground was covered in leaves and pine needles, so I also set out a small tarp to catch brass (at least some of it anyway.)

I eventually spread the targets apart further and spent some time working on transitions between the two. Shooting on the move and head-only shots got some practice too. After the requisite visit from the RO, and no admonishments, I snuck in some close in, and fast, multiple shot, point shooting.

It was a beautiful afternoon, and I greatly enjoyed the time shooting, being thankful for the freedom to do so. I was surprised to have the range to myself on a 60° November day, but grateful for that as well. It was a wonderful addition to the holiday celebration.

Happy Thanksgiving

To all my friends and family, I wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving. As we in the United States set aside a day to give thanks and be grateful for all of our many blessings, please take some time to reflect on the meaning of the day.

Today, as every day, I give thanks for my loving family, my faith and the freedom to practice it, my health, for my friends, and for all the freedoms I enjoy as an American. In these perilous times we should be especially conscious of our freedoms, as we are reminded frequently just how tenuous they are. We should pray that the oppressors of our freedom, those within our borders and enemies abroad, are quickly conquered.

Whatever you do today, however you choose to mark the day, I wish you the best and hope your holiday is filled with joy.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Thanksgiving Humor

Starting off the Thanksgiving Holiday weekend with a little humor.

"As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly."

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Tech Specs Make Good Advice

I was looking at kegerators online recently and had to laugh when I saw this in a product description:
Holds either a 1/2 barrel keg or a 1/4 slim keg. The unit converts between a refrigerator and a beverage cooler to suit your needs. Note: Does not hold Coors and Miller brand kegs.
I know, technically, that's because those kegs are larger than standard kegs. Still, if I ever added one of these to my basement, that would be one of the rules of the house.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Remembering Blessed Miguel Pro

[Reposted from November 23, 2013.]

November 23 is the Feast Day of Blessed Miguel Pro. Born on January 13, 1891, in Guadalupe, Mexico, Miguel Pro was ordained a Jesuit priest in Belgium in 1925. He returned to his home country in 1926, in the midst of that country's Cristeros War. After being falsely accused of an attempted bombing, Father Pro was executed by government forces without trial

Blessed Miguel Pro's final request was to be allowed to pray to his heavenly Father.

After which he refused a blindfold and faced the firing squad bravely, proclaiming ¡Viva Cristo Rey!

Father Pro's executioners initially failed at their task, and the deed was finished at point blank range.

I am saddened, but hardly surprised, at the ignorance of the American public regarding the persecution of Catholics, and of the Cristero War that took place in Mexico in 1926 through 1929. Some 250,000 people lost their lives in a persecution that was supported by the government of the United States with both funds and air support. Given the ever-growing intolerance towards Christians, especially Catholics, in the United States, we would do well to remember.

Christ the King, by the intercession of Blessed Miguel Pro, I beg you to answer my prayers. Give me the grace and the strength necessary to follow your heroic example and to live my Catholic faith in spite of all temptations and adversities. Amen.

Images from Wikipedia.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

November IDPA at Rivanna

The last IDPA match of the year at Rivanna was one to remember. The stages were interesting and challenging, and simply put, just plain fun. The morning started off quite cool; I watched the dashboard thermometer bounce between 26° and 32° as I made the drive to Charlottesville. However the sun was shining bright once we started shooting. making for a pleasant morning.

Our squad began on what was probably the most intimidating stage of the match. You started off engaging three targets in tactical sequence while backing up. Then from cover there were four more targets partially hidden behind three non-threats. And, in front of each of those non-threats were small steel plates, a miss on any would be a hit on a non-threat. I ended the stage 8 points down, hitting the steel and avoiding all non-threats. I breathed a sigh of relief after that one. 

Next up was a long course of 18 targets, all of which required one head shot each. Starting out, there were three targets to be engaged while seated. Next, three more to be shot on the move. Finishing those, you moved to a port in a wall to find six more targets. Moving to the last position, you went prone to engage six more sideways or upside down targets through a ground level port. I have shot my pistol from prone only a few times in my life, so I was looking forward to it, though not totally sure how I was going to do it. At the end all my hits were the the required head shots. Alas, I managed to skip one of the targets though the wall port, and earned 5 down and a FTN. 

After two stages focusing on accuracy, it was time for some one-handed shooting. The next stage started with the gun placed on a barrel in front of the shooter. Picking it up, the first two of five targets were engaged with three rounds each, shooting weak-hand only. Switching the gun to the other hand, the last three targets also got three hits each, strong-hand only. All the the targets were covered by t-shirts so hits were not visible on the targets. Ending up just 3 points down was a nice pick-me-up after the skipped target on the prior stage.

The last stage we shot was another fun one. It started out with the classic "drag your buddy to safety" scenario, a stage set up I had not experienced. Your loaded gun was placed on the dummy's chest to start. At the start you ran to "Earl," retrieved the gun, and dragged the body to safety. There were three targets to be engaged as you backed up while pulling Earl. Two of the targets were quick up-and-down targets activated by dragging the dummy backwards. Earl had to be pulled around the corner behind a wall; I watched many shooters drop the body after engaging the last up-and-down target, earning procedural penalties. After getting Earl to safety, there were three targets to engaged with three rounds each, through a snow fence vision barrier. The final position had three more targets, engaged from cover, requiring a neutralizing hit (at least -0 or -1). 

I too dropped Earl after shooting the last mover, but remembered right away and dragged him to safety. Alas, I forget about the three hit requirement on the middle three targets. I did shoot one of them three times as I made up a shot I didn't feel good about. So at the end, I was 14 points down, 10 of which were earned from that oversight. 

Overall, it was an exceptionally fun match. I felt I shot very well, excepting the mental errors. I've been struggling a bit with accuracy lately, so was very happy to shoot so well this match. Due to a busy schedule, at work and home, I have not shot at all, nor even dry fired, since the last Rivanna IDPA match, five weeks ago. A few practice draws in the safe area before the match was the extent of my practice the last month. This was likely the last competition of the year for me, hopefully I'll get in some practice before January's matches.

All non-threats were safe

Saturday, November 21, 2015

A Surprise Gift

Early Musings readers may remember the frequent postings about Clipper City Brewing. The Baltimore brewery is one of my old time favorites. Even though it's now officially called Heavy Seas Brewing, I still tend to use the old name.

Friday evening we enjoyed dinner at Capital Ale House and had a brief conversation with one of the managers, who always makes a point to stop by for a chat. He mentioned that we missed a Heavy Seas "Steal the Glass" night earlier in the week. I expressed my disappointment, and then shared some stories of some of my Clipper City beer adventures. A short while later, he came back and said, "We have a few extras" and set a nice logo Heavy Seas glass in front of me. It made my evening. Sometimes it's the simple things in life that bring a smile.

And I'm sure I'll put it to good use soon.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Flying Dog: Cookies and Beer Holiday Pack

Flying Dog Brewing has once again teamed up with Otterbein's Bakery to bring us a holiday beer and cookie collection. As much fun as we have with food and beer pairings, I think I might enjoy the "beer and cookies" concept the most. Because, well, cookies.

The four pairings this season are:
  • Citrus Saison with Sugar Cookies
  • Belgian Pale Ale with Orange White Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • Cranberry IPA with Lemon Cookies
  • Fig and Fennel Stout with Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

After an afternoon of bathroom painting, Colleen and I rewarded ourselves by trying out a couple of the beers and suggested sweets. First up was the Citrus Saison and Sugar Cookie combo. Flying Dog Citrus Saison is brewed with grapefruit zest and peppercorns, both of which come through in the aroma. The flavor is citrus, with a mild yeasty "funk" and a touch of pepper in the finish. The sweet cookies seem to accentuate the citrus notes, at the same time having their own sweetness enhanced by the flavors in the beer.

Next up was the Cranberry IPA, paired with the Lemon Cookies. Flying Dog Cranberry IPA pours a bright, clear orange color with a thick white head. The aroma has some sweet fruit notes with a mix of citrus. I tasted the Lemon Cookie first (couldn't resist) and when I sipped the beer, the fruit aspect of the flavor popped out right away. After a few more sips, I picked up more grassy bitterness, especially in the finish. Alternating back and forth, I was amazed at how much the cookie gave more of a tropical fruit splash to the beer. With or without the cookie accompaniment, I enjoyed this mildly flavored IPA quite a bit.

We still have two more beer and cookie pairings to try from the Flying Dog Holiday pack. And we still have another bathroom to paint, so perhaps I'll save them for a reward at the end of that project too.

The beer, and cookies, reviewed here were promotional samples from the brewery. My impressions are provided of my own free will.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

The Red Cup Drama

Over the past week the mainstream media has been reporting that Christians are outraged because the Starbuck's coffee chain has supposedly declared a war on Christmas. The basis of the media's claim is some self-proclaimed "American evangelist" who took offense that the seasonal cup at the coffee chain is red. That's right, red, like the vast majority of all Christmas decorations. Apparently Starbuck's removed snowflakes, polar bears, and candy canes from the cups. Well, I have news for the publicity hound who whined about this, those things aren't Christian symbols anyway.

That anyone would try to make an issue out of a red coffee cup at Christmas is unfathomable to me. Christians are losing their heads, literally, around the world over their faith, and a red cup merits outrage? Just as ridiculous is the lazy and dishonest media running with the story and making it seem like there is some massive outrage among Christians. Quite the opposite of their coverage when muslims riot and kill Christians over some perceived desecration of a book — also just another paper product.

Frankly, I haven't heard from any of my fellow Christians who have taken offense. Sure, some Christians don't patronize the chain for other reasons, but a holiday red cup isn't one of them. This media-manufactored "controversy" actually says more about the media in this country, than it does about Christians or Starbuck's.

Oh, by the way, you can still by Starbuck's Christmas Blend Coffee, Christmas-themed gift cards, and even Advent Calendars from the chain.

Am I offended by red cups? Yea, if I have to drink beer out of them.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

To All Veterans, Thank You

A grateful nation pauses today to offer thanks to our thanks to our veterans. Sadly, it seems that lately we're seeing a drift, headed by the left and the current administration, toward disrespect of our veterans, and the military in general. Despite the ramblings of this ingrate population segment, our veterans should know that there are those of us who remember, and appreciate, your service. Our nation is forever in your debt.

Cheers veterans!

Monday, November 9, 2015

Yep, It's Monday

Mondays are more tolerable when the weekends are filled with new beer and trips to the range. Alas, this one was not.

That's just how it goes sometimes.

H/T Borepatch

Friday, November 6, 2015

Treat Guns Like Cars?

I am typically distrustful of American citizens who would advocate ignoring the Constitution of the United States. Despite that, I did give thought to this Letter to the Editor published in our local newspaper.
To operate a motor vehicle you must be licensed by the state and pass driving and written exams. You also have to pass an eye exam, because if you can't see you have no business driving.

Every vehicle you own must be registered with the DMV, and your tags, stickers and insurance kept current. Get ticketed and the DMV puts points on your license. Get too many points and the DMV can suspend your license. Drive on a suspended license and you can go to jail.

Why such strict regulation of vehicles and drivers? Because vehicles moving at high speeds can be very dangerous, and if the driver is impaired or the brakes are faulty, innocent people can die. So we comply with these safety regulations, which have saved millions of lives.

But what about the 13,140 people who are shot dead in this country every year? Regardless of criminal history or mental status, anyone can buy any kind of guns they want because background checks are not required on private sales. And that’s perfectly legal with zero accountability. That’s insane.

Gun ownership should be licensed and regulated much like drivers and motor vehicles.
The first requirement for licensing should be medical proof of mental competency, because someone not mentally competent has no more business with a gun than a blind person has driving.

The biggest problem with guns today is gun owners who are nowhere near mentally competent.

I’m a gun owner who welcomes strict gun regulation. Unfortunately too many in this country fiercely oppose any gun regulation at all, and couldn’t care less that innocent people continue being slaughtered because of it.

We must find a way to get control over this license to massacre that the Second Amendment has become. 

The author incorrectly equates a Constitutional right to a State-granted privilege and also equates gun "ownership" with car "operation." However, I was willing to ignore those flaws in the proposal and give it fair consideration. Unfortunately I was unable to fully reply in my own Letter to the Editor, as the paper restricts letters to a mere 300 words.

In the United States, anyone can buy a car with absolutely no background check, whether dealing with a private seller or a licensed car dealer. Under this proposal, gun dealers should no longer be required to perform background checks. Equalizing the regulations would also remove any waiting periods to buy a gun. Since there are no age restrictions on buying cars, this proposal makes gun purchases available to all as well. Like cars, there would be no restrictions on the type or quantity of guns purchased either. By extension, the free giving of guns as gifts, as with cars, would also be allowed.

To operate a car on a public street, one must register the car with the State. Of course, the ultimate purpose of this is actually taxation, not regulation. In addition to registering the vehicle to be taxed, one must also demonstrate a very elementary knowledge of traffic laws, and exhibit a basic ability to operate a motor vehicle. These requirements are easily passed by thousands of fifteen and sixteen year olds every year. That initial requirement accomplished, anyone is free operate just about any type of car or truck, on any street, in every state in the country, for the rest of their lives, without retesting as long as they continue to obey the law, and pay a renewal fee every few years.

The registering of firearms, and paying for a permit to carry that gun concealed for self defense, is a repulsive idea to many gun owners. However, treating gun ownership like a license to drive would finally mean gun owners could carry their guns for self defense in every state. Like cars, we would also be able to possess our guns when going on to school property, and even drive to U.S. Postal Service parking lots, the same privileges granted every licensed driver.

Without ammunition, a gun is pretty useless, just as a car without gasoline is of little use. If we equalize the regulations, it would make ammo purchases also open to all without regulation, age restrictions, or ID requirements. Perhaps gun stores would become as ubiquitous as car dealers and gas stations. I am liking this proposal even better the more I think about it.

The author adds to the proposal by demanding "medical proof of mental competency" in order to own a gun. I am willing to see the same requirement of anyone granted the privilege to drive a car.

After consideration, I find myself willing to compromise and accept the proposal. While the interference of the State in a right is still offensive, treating gun ownership like a license to drive would make life as a gun owner subject to far fewer restrictions. It would also equalize the laws regarding guns across all localities. I want to thank the author, a supposed gun owner, for the thoughtful suggestions to reduce the inconveniences imposed on law abiding citizens when exercising our 2nd Amendment rights.

Obviously, my reply is written tongue in cheek. Intelligent people realize that equating gun ownership with driving a car is nonsense. That is the abysmal level of commonsense and intelligence we must deal with from the gun grabbers and hoplophobes. Personally, I'd prefer to simply ignore such people, or provide a much shorter, two word response.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Sedona Taphouse

Sedona Taphouse opened in downtown Fredericksburg a few weeks ago. Never wanting to go right away when a new place opens, we waited and finally stopped in for dinner this week. Colleen and I generally prefer to sit at the bar when we visit a pub, but the bar seating was full. Fortunately we waited only about 10 minutes until I received a text message our table was ready. We were seated and quickly approached by server for our drink orders.

I didn’t count precisely, but estimated we had about 50 draft selections and 250 500 [Ed., new count from other reports] bottled beers to choose from. We stuck with draft this time, but the bottle list had quite a range of styles and breweries giving us even more great optons. Happily we noticed that the bottled beers were being poured into glasses as they were served at the table, to be enjoyed as the brewer intended! Settling on Three Stars Peppercorn Saison and Ballast Point Grunion Pale Ale, we perused the extensive food menu in-depth.

Sedona Taphouse offers a variety of dining options; salads, pasta, tacos, flatbread pizza, sandwiches as well full dinner entrées. It’s great to see such a varied menu, especially one that includes lighter “pub” options. We ordered a Mediterranean Hummus appetizer, with marinated peppers and feta and served with warm flatbreads. The appetizer was very flavorful. The marinated peppers topping the hummus added bit of extra flavor to the generously sized appetizer plate. The flatbread was warm and wood-grilled.

For the main course, Colleen chose the wood-grilled Crab & Shrimp-Topped Tilapia drizzled with lemon caper butter, served with garlic whipped potatoes and asparagus. I opted for Fontina Marsala Pork Chop, topped with melted fontina cheese and house-made Marsala sauce with sautéed mushrooms, and garlic whipped potatoes. Our dinner entrées arrived in a timely manner after we finished the starter course. In fact, the service at Sedona was noticeably efficient. One of our laments about some of our favorite local haunts is that the food service is often quite slow, sometimes annoyingly so. Sedona seems to have the kitchen processes down, and we remarked on that several times during the evening.

Our dinners were well prepared and quite tasty. My pork chop was moist and the marsala sauce hit nice bite to it. Colleen enjoyed her tilapia plate as well. After enjoying our dinner, we convinced ourselves that we needed dessert; in order to do a proper review. We opted to split the featured Salted Caramel Cheesecake, a NY cheesecake topped with warm caramel, fresh ground sea salt and toasted walnuts. I am not typically a fan of cheesecake, but I took one for the team. Truth be told, I had no trouble devouring my half of the large slice. It was that good.

We had a wonderful experience at Sedona Taphouse. It was quite busy and a bit noisy. But not in a bad way; a lot of people out enjoying good food and beer in pleasant conversations. The service was efficient and friendly. The food was excellent. The beer list is extensive and demands further exploration in the future, and I look forward to doing that in the near future.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Word of the Day

Ineptocracy (in-ep-toc’-ra-cy) - a system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers.
-- seen online

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Monday, October 26, 2015

Parkway Brewing in Salem, VA

Prior to our visit last weekend, I'd had tried only one Parkway Brewing beer, Get Bent Mountain IPA. I've enjoyed that one on draft several times, and even bottles in the fridge. It's a really good IPA, so I had I high hopes for more good beer during out visit. I was not to be disappointed.

We opted to try a flight of six beers, choosing from the ten available. We enjoyed our beers in the large seating area that was open to the outdoors, in front of a wonderfully relaxing fireplace.

First up on our Parkway Brewing flight was Seeing Colors Spiced Autumn Ale, a brown ale brewed with cinnamon, ginger, allspice, clove and nutmeg. The beer had a pleasant aroma and classic fall spice beer flavor. As we got to the next beer, Colleen remarked, "Didn't we get the coffee beer?" What was in the glass looked all the world like a Pale Ale; aren't coffee beers usually dark? Picking up the glass, she smiled and announced it did indeed smell like coffee. Cocka Doodle Brew Coffee Ale looks like a Pale Ale, but smells and tastes like fresh brewed coffee. Good fresh brewed coffee at that. There were undertones of a citrusy pale ale, but the coffee flavor, and aroma, predominate. I found it to be an extremely interesting and tasty beer.

Since I'd had Get Bent IPA previously, I opted for the Grapefruit Get Bent Mountain IPA to compare. This version of the beer ramps up the citrus aspect. The flavor brings to mind juicy pink grapefruit flesh, with just a hint of sweetness, like the touch of sugar added to a grapefruit half. Between the Coffee Ale and Grapefruit Get Bent, we had a proper "beer breakfast" going.

The flight up to this point had been relatively moderate in both flavor and ABV. We kicked it up a notch for the second half, starting with Four Damn Fights to a Pint Double IPA. Bold tropical fruit and pine hop flavors combine for a pungent, bitter brew. Following on the heals of the Double IPA was Barrel Aged Ravens Roost Baltic Porter. The alcohol aroma and flavor stood out strong over the dark roasted, mocha and bready porter. Colleen described it "Like a rum and coke, but with bourbon," and that truly hit the essence of the beer.

We closed out the tasting flight with Magellan Belgian Dark Abbey Ale. Despite checking in at 11.1% ABV, the alcohol was amazingly well-masked in both the aroma and flavor. Rich notes of plum, raisin, and dark cherry with a touch of brown sugar made for a very tasty ale. I could see sipping a full glass of this one in front of the fire for a relaxing evening.

Unfortunately we were on a tight schedule and did not have time to linger longer, and enjoy more of the excellent beers at Parkway Brewing. However, we will be passing through the area frequently in the future so I will try to plan for a more extended visit on an upcoming visit. I'm looking forward to enjoying more of the fine ales at Parkway Brewing.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Liberal Paradise

Meme of the week.

How about we round up the anti-gun crowd and give them the home they have been demanding?

Friday, October 23, 2015

Flying Dog Gourd Standard Pumpkin IPA

When I pulled the bottle from the review package sent by Flying Dog Brewing, I spied the label "Gourd Standard" and thought, "Oh, a pumpkin beer." Of course, it's always exciting to try new beers, but I'm not a big fan of the pumpkin ales that fill shelves and tap lines this time of the year. Then I read the smaller text at the bottom, "Pumpkin IPA." Well, that's Flying Dog for you — always twisting things up. I was intrigued enough to try it.

Gourd Standard Pumpkin IPA pours a dark amber color and is cloudy in appearance. The aroma brings the expected spices; nutmeg, cinnamon, pumpkin, and a sweet malt base. Those are not IPA descriptors. The taste starts out much as a typical pumpkin ale, but the profile quickly changes and some IPA bitterness comes into play. The IPA-ness is not overwhelming but a pleasing piney bitterness comes to the forefront. There's a hint of mouth-tingling astringency in the mouthfeel as well. The finish is hangs around with earthy and bitter notes, along with a bit of stickiness.

This is a schizophrenic beer. The aroma is full on pumpkin ale; the flavor is predominately IPA. But it's not totally an IPA, as the more you sip, the more the pumpkin ale personality begins to show itself in the flavor. I found my brain wavering, trying to decide what I was drinking. In the end, the IPA won out, and that's a good thing in my book. Gourd Standard is an interesting addition to the fall vegetable beer season, and something that definitely breaks the mold.

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

Monday, October 19, 2015

Rivanna IDPA Match

"What am I doing?' Those were the thoughts in my head as I headed out early Saturday morning for the monthly Rivanna IDPA match, with the dashboard displaying 39°. But I had packed gloves and a fleece jacket, so I was ready for a fun morning of shooting.

There were four stages providing our entertainment that morning. Stage 1 started with the shooter holding a shovel, which was used to knocked over a nearby popper, triggering a drop turner. I was wearing the fleece jacket rather than my "gamer" IDPA vest but was still able to get the shots off on the fast disappearing target. There were six more targets down range to be engaged.

The next stage began standing arms length from a single target which required three shots from retention. Backing up from that target, we found three targets to the right of a wall, followed by three to the left of a parallel wall. I was actually "down zero" with what I consider a respectable time for the run. I distinctly remember a sharp focus on the sights and being conscious of the trigger pull and my grip on the stage. I should do that more often!

The third stage of the match required distance shots and elicited a lot of groans from the shooters, and also a lot of good natured ribbing. The targets were estimated to be placed at 15, 25 and 35 yards. Two targets at each distance required three hits on each. My plan for the stage was, "I have 31 rounds, why leave any behind?" I was there to shoot, so I might as well shoot. I wasn't going to win any steak knives anyway. Despite the good-natured "complaining" it was fun, especially since I rarely get to shoot anything beyond 20 - 25 yards.

Stage 4 was designed to keep our brains working. The stage was divided into three "sections" each holding three targets. All magazines were downloaded to just six rounds each, and all shooting was to be done on the move. The course of fire started with the shooter engaging the first three targets, in tactical sequence, while retreating. Reloading before leaving the cover position marking the next section, we found three targets to be engaged, in any order, while moving across the bay. After another slide lock reload, there were three more targets, again to be engaged in tactical sequence, this time while moving forward. It was a lot of fun, and being the first stage our squad shot, was a good way to wake up the brain cells.

As usual, the Rivanna match provided good shooting with a range of challenges. This was the first year I've shot Rivanna IDPA, and have thoroughly enjoyed it. The matches are well-run, folks are friendly, and it's always a good time. The only downside to Rivanna is that the match conflicts with the Cavalier USPSA match, which I have also enjoyed shooting in the past. Even though I concentrated on IDPA this year, I'd still like to get to some USPSA matches in the future. Too many matches on the same day; a good "problem" to have I guess. Maybe I'll need to alternate next year.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

What Did He Say?

I recently came across this Facebook group description...
This is a group based upon the reality of enigmas. It is only for the ability to question, and independent education. Not all things here are in fact, "Fact." But as a community, society, world, -we must communicate, debate, and educate. If anyone has a questionable post, or comments, please do it in a civil, manner. Debating is fine, but keep your kool, -present the facts/truth/evidence. Slander/trolling/excessive cursing, and Caps are not allowed, and you will be metaphorically, thrown the f*** [edited] off of my page. This page is about the reality of the Nation, and world we live in. Please respect it, and keep bringing others to the light.
Liberal arts major perhaps?

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Comment vs Compliment

Two very different comments heard recently, directed to my musings on beer.

Commenter #1: "Oh, you're the alcoholic."

Commenter #2: "You are the first guy I think of when I think beer."

I smiled in response to both statements, though with different intent.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Cedar Mountain Practice Match

This past Saturday I made the short drive out to Culpeper for the Cedar Mountain Youths monthly practice match. Match organizer Mike had set up four stages based on USPSA classifier stages and two larger USPSA-style field courses. The previous matches this year all consisted of classifier-type stages only, so the two larger field courses were a change. Fortunately it occurred to me the morning of the match that I should probably bring my USPSA belt setup, which I've not used all year, in order to carry more mags. I've typically shot the Cedar Mountain matches using my IDPA belt and two mag carriers.

The morning was sunny, and quite cool. While I was waiting for the match to begin, I was really wishing I had brought a jacket. It did warm up as the sun got higher and it turned out to be a very pleasant morning, although the low sun was a bit of an inconvenience on the first stage.


Our squad shot the four classifier stages first. The shooting went very quickly, with just four of us on the squad, and we waited a short time for the other squad to finish the larger field courses. I went out fast on the fours stages, with the expected results. But, it's all just for practice and fun anyway.

I was looking forward to the longer field courses. As I was doing my walk-throughs I realized it was a good thing I remembered the USPSA gear, as that allowed me to make reloads on the move and drop partial mags, a stage plan I've gotten out of thinking about after shooting IDPA this year. At the end of my run on the first field course I felt really good. I felt even better as I quickly checked the targets. Then I heard the RO clear his throat and point to a target I had skipped. A target that not only had I failed to engage, but one that I never even noticed in the walk through! It was a low and close target, an easy "2 Alpha." It wasn't even that hidden; I think I had tunnel vision on the steel plates and swinger to be shot through the same port. That will teach to me to not check the target count against my stage plan. That hurt, and I admittedly needed a few minutes to assuage my frustration.

That's the one

The final stage, and second field course, was another mix of steel and paper, with lots of options for engaging all the targets. For my own ego, I needed a good run on this one to finish the day. And I got it. I may have been (purposefully) slow, but the score was 18 A and 2 C, with all the steel being hit one for one. It was a fun run and a good way to end the morning. Both of the field courses were my best stages of the morning; that whole "watching the sights" thing really works.

All in all it was an exceptionally fun morning. We were done shooting a little after 11:00 AM and had the stages torn down in short order. This was the last practice match at the club for 2015 and I'll miss the monthly low key events until they resume next Spring. Not only are the sessions a fun way to get in some practice, but I've introduced a number of new folks to practical pistol shooting at Cedar Mountain this year as well. I'll be looking forward to next year and the quick Saturday morning shoots.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Whither the Men?

As the left continues in its quest to redefine destroy marriage and the family, the loss to society is becoming more apparent. Bill Whittle, and others, get to root of so many of society's ills — the absence of fathers and strong men in the home. Watch below.

Bobby Jindal also spoke out last week regarding the inane whimpering of so-called "father" of the Oregon killer.
"And who is it that generally commits these evil acts of mass murder that are becoming routine? It’s almost always young men who have either no father figure in their lives, or a broken relationship with their father. Is this just a coincidence? Of course not.

"Now, let’s get really politically incorrect here and talk specifically about this horror in Oregon. This killer’s father is now lecturing us on the need for gun control and he says he has no idea how or where his son got the guns.

"Of course he doesn’t know. You know why he doesn’t know? Because he is not, and has never been in his son’s life. He’s a complete failure as a father, he should be embarrassed to even show his face in public. He’s the problem here.

"He brags that he has never held a gun in his life and that he had no idea that his son had any guns. Why didn’t he know? Because he failed to raise his son. He should be ashamed of himself, and he owes us all an apology."

Despite a precipitous decline in violent crime in recent years, the left maintains a laser-like focus on "the gun." But they must, otherwise it will become obvious that it is their own agenda which is fostering the rise in unstable people carrying out these heinous crimes.

Larry Correia recently gave a proper fisking to the metrosexual ramblings of the self-proclaimed "modern man" to whom Bill Whittle refers above. It also worth your time to read.