Thursday, August 31, 2006

Rimfire Hanging Plate Match Rules and Info

Just in case you missed it, I now have the rules and all of the details for putting on a rimfire hanging plate match at your own club listed over on the right side bar under "Reference Library". Details on the plates and plate rack construction is also covered.

A hanging plate match is a great intro to club competition for new shooters at the club level, yet it's still a challenge for more experienced competitors. The plates and rack can be put together easily in an evening or so.

Check it out, give it a try, let us all know how it goes!

Gun Blogger Rendezvous Schedule and Jam Session

The question has come up as to exactly what the schedule is for the Rendezvous. The schedule is deliberately very loose to accommodate everyone with different things they want to do.

Here's the basics:

Thursday, October 5th:
A number of folks are arriving a day early to get in an extra day in Reno, see a couple more of the sights, and, I suspect, get in a little pre-function partying! The Circus Circus also is offering a half price room rate for the Thursday, which is also an incentive!

Friday, October 6th:
There are no formal events scheduled for Friday, although the Hospitality Room for the Rendezvous will be open from 5pm. to 11pm. I suspect the Hospitality Room will turn into something of an event all by itself!

Saturday, October 7th:
From approximately 11am. through 4pm., those interested in getting in a little range time will be gathering at the Washoe County Parks Department Regional Shooting Facility, which is about 20 miles out of town. I am hoping to get some of the manufacturers and those in the trade to bring some of the toys they would like to showcase out to the range for some hands-on show and tell. More on this soon.

6Pm. at the Circus Circus Mandalay room we will have our banquet. The default dinner will be Prime rib, but there are a couple of other menu choices if you don't want prime rib. Those of you with reservations will be contacted about your dinner preferences.

The Hospitality Room will also be open from 5pm. to 11pm. on Saturday night.

Sunday October 8th.
Get in a little last minute gambling and or tourist stuff in the morning, then it's time tocheck out of the hotel and head back to the daily grind. It's probably going to go by way to fast!

Jam Session: I talked to the Circus Circus folks, and they said that acoustic guitars would be OK in the hospitality rooms on Friday and Saturday nights. No amplification and no drums, however! That seems reasonable. Since a number of you are also guitar players, you might just drag your axe along!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Predator Buick V8 Chain Saw

One of the attractions at the Island County Fair weekend before last was the Logging competition, where loggers climbed poles, chopped, threw axes, set chokers, rolled logs, and ran chain saws against the clock.

In the "Hot Saw" class was this V8 Buick powered monster called the Predator. One guy stood at each side of it to lift it up and saw through the log. It didn't take very long! The day before the saw chain broke while sawing the log and a piece of it hit a buddy's truck tailgate, denting the tailgate and gouging out a piece of metal. Not too surprising, except that the truck was a dump truck.....

V8 Chain Saw

Not exactly a pruning saw, but it sure does cut!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

The Second Amendment Carnival IV is UP!

Stan over at Free Constitution has got his fourth 2nd. Amendment Carnival up, and there's some good reading over there. It's quite a bit of work to put one of these together, so go have a look, and leave him a favorable comment.

Good Job, Stan!

Suicide Bomber?

Came across this on Free and thought it was worth posting in case you haven't seen it. Although the signature is difficult to read, it appears to be "Mike Shelton - The Orange County Register" to give credit where credit is due.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Help With The National Rifle Association

I need a little help from some of you out there. I'm trying to get the NRA to participate in the Gun Blogger Rendezvous, but I haven't been able to establish communications with anyone at the head office who was able to be much help.

The rendezvous would be a great public relations venue for the NRA, in addition to having a chance to meet a number of gun bloggers and broaden NRA communications throughout the gun-blogosphere.

I think it would be entirely appropriate for the NRA to send someone from the head office to attend the Rendezvous. I think it would also be appropriate for them to present a letter of commendation to Dan McKown, our guest of honor, as a token of appreciation for his risking his life to protect others from a mall shooter.

I contacted my local NRA rep, and he contacted the head office, and they vaguely suggested that perhaps the local Reno area rep might be able to stop by. Since the Rendezvous is not in my local rep's territory, it's unfair to expect him to spend a lot of time on this, but he did what he could to help. In fact, the Rendezvous isn't a regional event at all, but rather a national event.

I've telephoned the head office, and got bounced from one person to another without much result. One NRA person wanted to know how many new NRA members I expected to sign up for them! When I suggested that just about everyone who would attend was probably already a member, they sort of lost interest. One person promised that the'd have someone call me back right away. That was several weeks ago..............

It seemed to me that I just wasn't reaching the right people at the NRA. If any of you know anyone at the NRA would you give them a call or drop them an email and see if you can help me out on this? If you don't know anyone there, send them an email anyway, or give them a call at 1-800-672-3888 and tell them that you think that the Rendezvous is definitely a place where the NRA should be well represented.


CWSA Steel Challenge -- 08/27/06

"Evil Al" with the "Lawrence of Coupeville" hat running the shot timer.

The shade was a big help! You can see the shooting station and one of the stages behind.

A little "Iron Sight" Action.

Sometimes you just have to be careful what you wish for. I had been hoping for a nice day this past Sunday for the CWSA steel Challenge match, since there's no cover for you if it's raining, and it can get kinda wet and sloppy. Well, we got weather, all right! 90 degrees of it! We locals were suffering mightily, trying to keep out of the sun, not dehydrate, and still remember that we were shooting a match. Yes, I know that 90 isn't all that warm for those of you who are used to it, but for Western Washingtonians, that's about where it starts getting miserable. Fortunately Chris and Tony brought a temporary shade tent thingie, and that, plus a big umbrella and the sides of several vehicles gave us a bit of shade.

Since I had done better than I had expected in the first tryout for the county inter-club match team, I decided I better shoot three classes, even though the Taurus PT92 "Econo RAce Gun" wasn't really ready, and there was still work to be done to it. I signed up for Open Revolver, Open Centerfire, and Open Rimfire. We only shot two stages, but with the good turnout, it still turned into a long day. The stages were both basically standard Steel Challenge stages, although "Evil Al" substituted some 10" plates for some of the 12 inchers, and I think one of the stop plates was supposed to be 18" by 24" instead of a 12" round one, but that just made us all aim a little more carefully.

It was a long day, and to make it even worse, I forgot my lunch! At least I remembered the thermos full of ice cold pop. By afternoon everyone was starting to fade, and trying to focus on the match became more and more difficult. The good thing about shooting a match when it's hot is that it makes you work harder on focusing on you shooting. If you work on staying focused when you are miserable, it makes it a lot easier when the weather is more pleasant. At least, I kept telling myself that!

KeeWee skipped this match since her shoulder is still bothering her a bit after bruising it a bit when she tripped stepping over a low rabbit fence around one of the flower beds.

In Open Revolver, Evil Al is so much faster than the rest of us, it's usually a battle for second, third, and fourth, with first being a foregone conclusion. Now that Al has a new 8 shot revolver, it's even more so. After the scores were totalled up, Al had indeed walked off with it without much pressure from the rest of us mere mortals. Young Tony was in second, I had managed to tuck in right behind him for third, and LouG was right behind me in fourth. Considering that I was the only revolver shooter shooting single action, I certainly couldn't complain!

In the Open Centerfire class, it was obvious that I hadn't had time to do much practicing with the 9mm. Taurus. My times varied widely, but I got in a few reasonably fast runs to offset the slow ones. Al shot his new revolver in the Open Centerfire class too, and also won this one. I surprised myself by ending up in second place, but still way behind Al.

Once I get a trigger shoe on to the Taurus to effectively move the trigger farther forward, and get used to the grip angle, it should start being more consistent, at least, if I get out and practice with it!

Open rimfire ended up just the same as it has in every Steel Challenge match this year, with Al winning with his S&W model 41. I was second ,and LouG (I think) was third. Actually, I was pretty well wore out by the time the match ended so that I didn't take a very close look at the scores. I helped break down the stages and put everything away as fast as I could so I could head home for some food and something cold to drink.

Next weekend CWSA has a Hanging Plate Rimfire match on Saturday, and a Bowling Pin Shoot on Sunday, so I need to get in a little practice and work a bit on accuracy over speed before next weekend.

For those of you who have been thinking about coming over to one of the CWSA matches, or haven't been to one in a while, this next weekend will be a good one. Mark, Lisa, AK, RD, the folks over at Kitsap, the Douglas Ridge shooters, the welcome mat is out!

Hope to see you there......

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Looking For A Job?

(Click for larger view)

.........Thanks to Pegi for the pic!

The Carnival of Cordite #70 is now up

The Carnival of Cordite #70 is now up over at Resistance is Futile.

e-Postal Match - Entries Due Monday

This is the last weekend to shoot the latest ePostal Contest - Give a Rino a Hand over at The Conservative UAW Guy's place. This is a tough match, but I'm not about to let JimmyB walk off with the money, marbles, and chalk on it just because he can shoot one-handed with either hand!

Get those targets downloaded and shot full of holes, then get your entries in right away.

If JimmyB STILL stomps us all, at the Reno Gun Blogger Rendezvous I'm going to drag him out to the back alley and kick his butt big time! Mano-a-mano, by golly!!

.......uh, he's a LOT bigger than me?

.......and a lot younger?

........never mind........

Maybe just a good "Well Done" would be more in order, anyway!

Friday, August 25, 2006

CWSA Inter-Club Qualifier Update

A few posts back I mentioned that I was going to shoot in the Central Whidbey Sportsman's team qualifier match to see if I could make the four man team for the upcoming inter-club match to be held in late September. Since all handguns have to be .32 caliber or larger, I couldn't use any of my rimfire race guns. Instead, I decided to shoot my Taurus Model 66 revolver in .38SPL, and also try the Taurus PT92 "Econo Race Gun" project 9mm. semi-auto, even though I haven't really got it ready for competition yet. If I can't qualify with one, perhaps I can make it with the other.

The first qualifier match was set up as four runs on each of two steel challenge stages, then 4 runs against the clock with full size bowling pins as a third stage. The 9mm. Taurus, usually the picture of reliability when it comes to feeding and ejecting, just about drove me nuts! Most of the time it would work flawlessly, then it would fail to eject for two or three in a row. Everything seemed to be OK, and nothing was obviously wrong. Needless to say, my times with the 9mm. weren't very good, but one or two runs where everything worked properly looked very encouraging. (It wasn't until the next day that I found the problem. A small piece of junk was lodged under the extractor, keeping it from fully hooking the cartridge. Since it was only a small chunk, the extractor still hooked the brass, but just barely.)

The revolver was working much better, and even though I'm nowhere near as fast as "Evil AL" I managed to hang in there with steady times. It was decided that for shooters not starting from a holster, the start position would be a one handed low-ready, with the other hand above your shoulder, and a time penalty on each shot string would be assessed to the holsterless shooters. There was a number of opinions expressed on exactly what the time penalty should be. My personal opinion is thazt it should be roughly 3/4 of a second per shot string, but opinions ranged as high as 2 seconds per string. The final decision is still up in the air, but at least for the first try-out, Al, LouG, young Tony, and myself were the top four, and there was a fair sized gap to the number five position, regardless of the size of the time penalty. I only need to be fourth to make the team, so no complaints!

However, this was only the first tryout. There's one more on September 7th., and if anyone beats my times at that second tryout, I get bumped from the team. Needless to say, I plan to get the Econo Race Gun finished up and practice with it a bit before the next tryout, in addition to getting in some practice with the revolver too.

I've got the reloading press more or less set up now, and I need to work up a couple of good 9mm. loads, one hot enough to send a bowling pin flying, and another load that has minimal recoil with just enough bullet to ding a steel plate. Both loads must feed through the same gun reliably. Fortunately the Taurus PT92 isn't too picky on ammo.

Sounds like some range trips are in order.

Oh Well, if I must........

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Gun Blogger Rendezvous - Who's Going

Registrations have come in for two more bloggers planning to attend the Gun Blogger Rendezvous.

Kevin, proprietor over at The Smallest Minority, has signed in. For Kevin, it's a 12 or 13 hour drive each way to get there from his home stompin' grounds, particularly since he's going to take a route that bypasses California, even though it's a little shorter to go through! Kevin has been blogging, and gun blogging, since May, 2003, which in the blog world, makes him something of an old timer!

I'm sure a lot of you already know, or have heard of Joe Huffman. Joe Writes The View From North Central Idaho. Joe is also known for the Boomershoot Rifle Festival and his exploding targets, as in

- - - K A B O O O M - - -

type explosions!

If you aren't already reading their blogs, go check them out, and then make your plans to come on out to Reno in October to meet up with them in person!

Click on the link at the top of the page to find out more about the Rendezvous, including how to register, and how to get the special room rates at the Circus Circus hotel in Reno.

Grace Slick & The Great Society

I was talking about all time favorite rock bands with some folks the other day, and Grace Slick and the Jefferson Airplane came up in the discussion. I've always enjoyed the earlier Airplane stuff, and I had the chance to hear them live back in 1966 or 1967, and have been impressed with Gracie Slick's voice ever since.

"If you like Gracie Slick, have you heard any of her earlier stuff?" one guy asked. I replied that I hadn't, and he pointed me towards a band called "The Great Society", and said it was worth tracking it down. A little internet searching and I found a CD that had two of their LP's on it.

Have a look at the song list:

1: Sally Go `Round The Roses
2: Didn't Think So
3: Grimly Forming
4: Somebody To Love
5: Father Bruce
6: Outlaw Blues
7: Often As I May
8: Arbitration
9: White Rabbit
10: That`s How It Is
11: Darkly Smiling
12: Nature Boy
13: You Can't Cry
14: Daydream Nightmare
15: Everybody Knows
16: Born To Be Burned
17: Father

You'll notice that both "White Rabbit" and "Somebody To Love" are both here. Some of the songs sound like the were recorded live at a rather small venue. The musicianship isn't as complex as when Jorma Kaukonen was playing lead for ther Airplane, but none the less, I enjoyed the CD thoroughly. At times bluesy, other times psychedelic, sometimes sort of pre-psychedelic transitional rock, all in all it's an interesting CD, and if you enjoy Gracie Slick, you will certainly enjoy The Great Society.

Oh yeah, I found it for about six bucks plus shipping, which was a bargain, and I couldn't pass it up!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Island County Club Challenge Tryouts

Today should be an interesting day. This afternoon the Central Whidbey Sportsman's Association is having tryouts for the four man handgun team to represent the club in the Island County Club Challenge match coming up in late September. The Holmes Harbor club is ALSO having their tryouts this evening at exactly the same time, and I'm a member of both clubs. Bummer!

The Oak Harbor club, Central Whidbey, and the Holmes Harbor Rod & Gun club each enter a team. Some years the Island County Sheriff's Deputies also enter a team. The match is hosted by a different club each year, and this year it's at Central Whidbey. The host club sets up the rules for the match. This year it will be a combination of pin shooting against the clock, and some steel challenge type stages, also against the clock.

Unfortunately it's center fire only, so if I want to be on the team, I have to shoot either a revolver or a center fire semi-auto, and as it's a time-scored match, the revolver is at a disadvantage. The Taurus 'Econo Race Gun Project ' gun is still not quite ready for prime time, but it's closer.

I got a chance to get to the range for a few minutes last evening to see how it's coming along, and it's getting there. The single action conversion is working perfectly, and the trigger is decent, although still a bit heavy. I haven't had time to revise the mag release button, so it still sucks. On the first PT-92's the release was at the bottom rear corner of the grip, and it's impossible to release it quickly for a mag change. I had some really light loads from a friend of mine to try, but they were just a bit too light to cycle the gun. I've got some 'store-bought' ammo I can use, though, at least for the tryouts. If I can get on the team, I've got a month or so to work up a good load for it.

To put this in perspective, they are looking for the four fastest centerfire handgunners in the club, and realistically, I'm not in the top four, at least in centerfire, so I'm going just for the fun of shooting it, and I have no expectations at all.

I'll let you know how it comes out.................

Pic of the Day

.... at least they have a sense of humor!

Thanks to Pegi for the pic!

Monday, August 21, 2006

CWSA Black Powder Rendezvous

Last Sunday morning (was it only yesterday?) KeeWee and I headed up to the CWSA range, but this time we left the guns at home. today were were going there just to be spectators. Once a year the CWSA black powder shooters invite other black powder shooters from all over the Pacific Northwest to come spend the weekend camping the old fashioned way, wearing buckskins, shooting black powder guns, throwing axes, and all sorts of other old time fun stuff!

Our first stop was the traders area, where you could stock up on leather stuff, furs, knives, flints, and a huge array of other goodies of the olden times.

Yup, those furs are REAL fur!

A blanket trader.

We met and visited for a while with this guy, what they refer to as a blanket trader. Sitting in front of him was a bunch of scrimshaw pieces he had made. I'm no expert on scrimshaw, but it sure looked like nice work to me.

Wayne the Blacksmith!

One fellow had a blacksmith shop all set up. As I walked a bit closer I saw it was an old friend of mine whom I hadn't seen in a couple of years. We had a good visit and caught up a bit on old times as he was making some iron gizmos. I bought a really nice looking flower pot hanging hook for KeeWee that Wayne had made.

Preparations behind the firing line.

After checking out the traders, we walked over to the handgun range where they were holding the team rifle/shotgun competition. The idea was that one of the team members would shoot a coffee can full of water with a pop can on top of it using a muzzle loading rifle. When the can was hit, the pop can would go 20 or 30 feet up into the air. The second team member then had to try to hit the pop can in the air with his black power shotgun. The coffee can was about 25 yards away sitting on a wooden block. It looked like they had a lot of fun shooting this one!

She shoots the coffee can with the rifle, and he hits the pop can in the air!

The coffee can had been hit, and the pop can is in the air. If you click on the picture you can see it in the enlarged version.

Everyone seemed to be having a grand time, and the weather couldn't have been better. It sure did seem funny just being a spectator, though. Usually I'm busy loading magazines, trying to be organized, and concentrating on the match and how I was planning to approach it.

Spectating is kinda fun too, but I think I'd rather be shooting........

For a whole bunch more pictures from the Black Powder Rendezvous, check out the post at KeeWee's Corner.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Another Great Gun Blogger Rendezvous Sign!

Kevin at Smallest Minority has also come up with a great way to publicise the upcoming Gun Blogger Rendezvous!

Kevin will be there at the Rendezvous, so if you'd like to meet him in person, maybe even pick up an autograph, here's your chance. And if you aren't already reading Smallest Minority, then you ought to go check it out!

Yet Another Blog Alert!

KeeWee and I have now survived our day at the Island County Fair. We manned the booth for our Fishin' Club for several hours while we were there. KeeWee has some pictures posted if you'd like to see what the fair was all about. We got a chance to visit with some folks we only see once a year at the fair, which is kinda fun.

Right across from our Fishin' Club booth was a booth full of "save a tree for the gay whales and Children" moonbats. One of the highlights was watching a somewhat elderly rock-ribbed conservative friend of mine walk in to their booth to "Visit". I pointed out the situation to KeeWee and we both enjoyed watching the moonbat's face get redder and redder, then sort of a purplish maroon color as Don kept "pushing the hot-buttons". I was starting to worry that she was going to explode kinda like the alien did in the first Men in Black movie! Just short of detonation Don smiled innocently and walked from her booth. The Guy's a pro!

Anyhow, today (Sunday) will be another busy day, with the morning spent at the CWSA range checking out the Black Powder Rendezvous, then this afternoon back to the County Fair to do one more shift in the booth, then tonight we pack up the booth and truck it out and put it back in storage.

Then on Monday, it's back to work.......


Friday, August 18, 2006

A Way Too Short Break......

KeeWee and I took off Wednesday evening for the Olympic Peninsula, looking for a quiet spot in a remote campground to take a little break. I knew of a campground on the Dungeness river right at the base of the Olympic mountains. I hadn't been there recently, and it was getting dark, but I managed to find it without too much trouble.

The next morning we wandered around a bit and took some pictures. Here's our campsite: The river is perhaps 100 feet past the picnic table behind the trees.

Our Campsite.

The Dungeness River.

Another fork of the same river.

A short ways upstream from the campground we saw several salmon, probably Coho's, heading upstream to spawn.

Three Coho salmon headed upstream.

You can keep your fancy-shmancy French cuisine. THIS is REAL gourmet food, as American as it gets!! Alder coals on a bed of Douglas Fir coals.

After hanging around the campground for two nights and one full day, we decided to start heading back. We went out and explored some of the mountain one lane roads, and the scenery was worth the drive.

One of the mountain roads.

Pictures just don't do the scenery justice!

After wandering around the hills for a while, we finally found our way back down to the paved roads, then picked up Highway 101 and headed back to Port Townsend where we could catch the ferry back to Whidbey Island.

Just as we were entering Port Townsend KeeWee spotted the Dollar store, so we stopped to check it out. As usual, KeeWee found some bargains. From the dollar store it was a short drive to the ferry dock, then a 30 minute ferry ride back to Whidbey, and then another twenty minutes or so back to Completely Castle by 2:30pm.

It went by WAY to fast...........

NOTE: For more pictures and descriptions of the outing, check out the story at KeeWee's Corner.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Blog Alert

Since I worked most of last weekend, and will be doing pretty much the same next weekend, except for the time on Saturday when I'll be running the Fishin' Club booth at the Island County Fair, KeeWee and I decided to take a short two days off this Thursday and Friday.

We plan to jump into the RV and head off to a quiet little obscure campground on a small river in the middle of nowhere for a little R&R. She's got a couple of books she wants to read, and I'm planning on taking a couple of world-class naps. Of course, we also plan to burn a few hot dogs and marshmellows too, and we'll be sufficiently armed that no one is going to "Harsh my mellow" (or marshmellow, for that matter!).

We'll be back blogging Friday night. In the mean time, get your registrations sent in for the Gun Blogger Rendezvous, so we can meet you there!

All American Boy

"Gather round cats, and I'll tell you a story 'bout how to become an all American boy."

"Got me a guitar, and put it in tune, I'll be a rockin' and a rollin' soon!" (….Bill Parsons)

My last band, the Headstone Band, playing at the Cozy Corner Tavern in Clinton, Washington (1971?). Loren on bass, Jeff in the middle playing lead, Mr. Completely with the 12 string, and Bob in the back on drums. How 'bout them sideburns?

Somewhere around 1966 I was sitting in the campus coffee shop at Western Washington State College in Bellingham, Washington having a cup of coffee. I had only recently transferred to Western from Whitman College in Walla Walla, and didn't know very many people at the school yet. A tallish guy with glasses walks by, and we both kinda recognized each other at the same time.

"Didn't you used to go to Whitman?" he asked.

"Yup!" I replied, and he sat down at the table. Gary O'Brien was his name, and he had recently graduated from Whitman, and was now enrolled at Western to work on his Master's degree. Gary was also a fine guitar player and while in Walla Walla had his own rock band, the "Animals" years before Eric whatzizname used the name for HIS band.

"Didn't you used to play some guitar over at Whitman?" Gary asked.

"well, yeah, sorta, but it was mostly coffee house folk music sort of stuff." I replied.

"How'd you like to play in a rock band? I'm putting a band together and I need a rhythm guitarist."

"Uh, I don't know any rock songs, and I only have an acoustic 12 string guitar."

"No problem! You can pick up a used guitar, and I'll teach you how to play it. You need to go find a guitar made by a company called Fender and it's called a Stratocaster. See if you can find one by Friday, and I'll stop by and show you what you need to know."

By coincidence, Terry Afdem, a student I sat next to in a couple of classes happened to be working steadily as a rock musician in a Pacific Northwest area rock band called the Dynamics. I asked him if he knew of any used Fender Stratocasters, and it turned out that they had just traded one in at a local music store. I hurried to the store after class and it was still there. It was a 1964 in very good condition. The price was $125. The lady in the store told me that if I didn't have that much money, I could rent it for $35 for three months, and the rent would go towards the purchase if I decided to buy it. DEAL!

I rushed back to my hole in the wall apartment to give it a try. I didn't want to play it at the music store and embarrass myself. On trying it out it I discovered that without an amplifier it didn't make much sound. In fact, you could barely hear it! I fooled around with it for a couple of days until Friday when Gary came over to get me started.

Friday afternoon Gary showed up with a small Sears Silvertone amplifier and his own strat. Gary showed me some basic chords, including some bar chords. Yes, I know some folks call them "Barre" chords, but in my case it had more to do with where I was going to be playing, rather than anything about guitar technique!

Gary scribbled down some chord progressions, explained what a 12 bar blues progression was, showed me what it should sound like, and told me to practice all weekend, as there was a band practice on Monday night.

"Yeah, right…….."


"I practiced all day, and into the night…." And my fingers were alternately in great pain, or numb.

Monday night we gathered at a friend's house for our first band practice. We stuck to some basic rock songs, but at times it sounded great, and like at all band practices, sometimes it didn't. We practiced a couple of times a week for several weeks, and started booking some gigs. We rocked hard, made a few bucks, and had a lot of fun too.

I, too, was becoming an "All American Boy", just like the song!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Eternity in Death Valley?

This month's e-Postal handgun match "Give a Rhino a Hand" is being hosted by JimmyB, The Conservative UAW Guy, and he also set the rules. I got a chance to give it a try, and all I can say is JimmyB better hope none of the Saints or anyone else with any pull upstairs tries this match.

I'm not exactly saying it's a toughie, but I can see a very real possiblilty that JimmyB might just end up spending eternity picking up red hot brass in Death Valley!

Go check it out!

Gun Blogger Rendezvous - Registration

Just a short reminder that there are two parts to the registration and reservation process. Reserving your accommodations at the Circus Circus hotel only gets you a place to sleep. The registration for the Rendezvous itself is separate.

Your Rendezvous registration pays for the hospitality rooms on Friday and Saturday night (maybe one on Thursday night too, we'll see) air transportation and accommodations for our guest of honor Dan McKown, and last but not least, the Saturday night banquet itself.

Any Rendezvous registration funds beyond the Rendezvous costs themselves go directly to Dan McKown's recovery and rehab account.

Digital Video Cameras

As you can see by the post just below this one, I finally got around to setting up a Youtube account for Mr. Completely. This means I can now put some of my own videos on the site, that is, if I had any, which I don't!

I'd like to post some videos of pin shooting and Steel Challenge matches, for starters.

I've got a small Sony Handycam, and with a certain amount of hardware and messing around, I guess you can convert the analog video to digital and get it into the computer. I have no idea what quality you would have left after doing that, however. Another option would be to buy a digital video camera, and then you can send the video directly to the computer (I think).

I'm sure some of you have been down this road already, so I am seeking your advice on how to proceed, including what's a good camera, and what features to look for.

Any ideas?

Monday, August 14, 2006

Rolling Stones-Far Away Eyes 1978

Another side of the Stones. Warning - if you listen to this more than once it'll be stuck in your head for days!

NOTE: If the video is blank, Youtube is off for a bit doing some updates, but should be going again soon.

Pipe Cleaners

Sometimes you come across something that although it's not world peace or anything like that, it's still something pretty neat. For those of you who have already discovered these, you can skip to the next post, but for the rest of you all, check this out! I was wandering through a craft store a while back and saw a package of big pipe cleaners in their clearance bin. (The are not called pipe cleaners, but chenille stems, to be politically correct!)

I grabbed them and figured they'd be handy reaching into nooks and crannies when cleaning guns. BOY HOWDY! These are great for that! Cleaning the slide rail grooves, extractor slots, extractors, lots of places. I don't know how I got along with out them. Even though the craft store's price, even on clearance, wasn't that great for the size of the package, they were still well worth it. It didn't take me long to use them all up.

KeeWee is a "Dollar Store" addict, so I tagged along one time to see if there might be some chenille stems in the Dollar Store. BINGO, and a big package was only a dollar. It kinda made my day, in sort of a small caliber way.

Grab a pack and give them a try, you'll see what I mean!

Tree Huggers

Found this over at Neanderpundit, Og's place:
Tree huggers

It dawns on me that Tree Huggers have a misplaced ideology.

Let's examine this a minute, shall we?

There are no gay trees.

Trees only mate with their own species.

Trees have sex the same way they always have.

Trees have natural enemies, and in millions of years, have developed natural defenses against those who would harm them.

Trees never fail to engage their natural defenses.

Trees are useful, in life, and in death.

Trees usually smell nice.

Damn. I'm gonna go hug a tree. Trees are probably Republicans.

Nice writing, huh?

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Ear Ring

A man is at work one day when he notices that his co-worker is wearing an ear ring. This man knows his co-worker to be a normally conservative fellow, and is curious about his sudden change in “fashion sense.”

The man walks up to him and says, “I didn’t know you were into earrings.”

“Don’t make such a big deal, it’s only an earring,” he replies sheepishly.

His friend falls silent for a few minutes, but then his curiosity prods him to say, “So, how long have you been wearing one?”

“Ever since my wife found it in my truck.”

This joke was shamelessly purloined from Mostly Cajun - All American, who got it from his sister!

Pre-Geezers Shoot Out the Lights.....

Retired Geezer over at Blog Idaho had the grandkids from Calofirnia come visit for a couple of weeks. The whole family spent a couple of days at the range learning range safety and a bit about how to shoot "Cowboy Action" style. Then they went to the Idaho Cowboy Action State Championships and all did themselves proud.

For the whole story, check here and here. For more about Cowboy Action Shooting, check out the Single Action Shooting Society's website.

By the way, if you are at a Cowboy Action Shoot and you run into "Doc Peabody", he bears a remarkable resemblance to Retired Geezer!

Friday, August 11, 2006

Car and Van Pooling to The Rendezvous

Rivrdog, out favorite ninth level black belt curmudgeon, will be driving a passenger van from Portland, Oregon to the Gunblogger Rendezvous in Reno, so if you are anywhere along the route you should get in touch and join in on the ride. It will be a "Share the cost" deal so if a number of you jump on board, the cost to and from Reno will be very reasonable. Rivrdog plans to leave for reno late Wednesday night so you will be able to get in on the Special half price room rate for Thursday night at the Circus Circus. He's got a big post up with all the details here. Even if you aren't exactly along the route, a bunch of you can probably car-pool it to a place somewhere that IS along the route to jump aboard the Rivrdog Gun Blogger Express!

Earlier this year Tam at View From The Porch was looking for riders from the Knoxville, Tennessee area, so if you are somewhere along that route, you might want to go to her blog and drop her an email and see if the car is full.

If YOU are planning on driving to the Rendezvous and would like a rider or so to share the cost, drop me an email and I'll get the word out and see what we can do.

For all the latest info and registration details, check out the Gun Blogger Rendezvous website.

Be sure to get your registration in right away,
as the Rendezvous is only 8 weeks away ! ! !

I'm Still Alive, Really..........

I haven't had much time over the last few days to get in much blogging, as work and other stuff just kept getting in the way. We don't have any handgun shoots for several weeks, with the exception of a steel silhouette match at Holmes Harbor this sunday, but it's from 25 to 100 yards, and I haven't got any idea how much I'd have to adjust the point of aim at 100 yards, probably a lot!

Tomorrow our Fishin'Club has it's potluck lunch/dinner/picnic/salmon BBQ at Maxwelton park, so that's where we'll be tomorrow. The following Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday is the Island County Fair at Langley, Washington. Our fishing club has a booth at the fair to increase awareness of our club and it's activities and to recruit new members. If you are in Western Washington and you'd enjoy a family oriented small county fair, this one's worth visiting. On Saturday KeeWee and I'll be manning the Fishin' Club booth from 9:30 to 1:30, so stop by and visit a spell!

We are also in the planning stages for three quick weekend outings with the RV to occur in the next month or so, before the weather starts getting crummy.

In the in between times, I'm still working and keeping things going for the Gun Blogger Rendezvous. Don't forget to get your reservations in ASAP, as the more reservations I have in hand, the easier it is to get the manufacturers to drag their latest toys out to the range for us to play with!!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Steinem Comes to Whidbey Island

Thanks to AnalogKid at Random Nuclear Strikes, I am now aware that a really famous person is spending the Summer on Whidbey Island!

Gloria Steinem will be a writer in residence at the Hedgebrook Farm writer's retreat place on Useless Bay (really!) on the South end of Whidbey Island. At the peak of her career she was a Playboy Bunny, but her career has slipped a bit since those times.

According to the article in the Seattle Times, she had agreed to write a book several years ago, but just never got around to it. Now she can.......

Picture credit to the Seattle Times

Free Iraqi Photo Service

Found this over at Cowboy Blog's place. If you aren't checking his blog regularly, maybe you should put it on your list of regular stops. It's not always safe for work, though.........

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Rendezvous - Who's Gonna Be There......

Here's a partial list of some of the blogs and companies planning to attend the Gun Blogger Rendezvous. If you are planning to attend and I've missed mentioning you, please let me know so I can get you added to the list.

These are in no particular order, and more will be added to this list, but here's some of the folks you will get to meet at the Rendezvous:

Mowin' The Lawn.........

Let's see. Beer and ice in cooler, rifle ready to go, extra ammo, gas in the tank. Yep, we're ready to mow the lawn!

August e-Postal Handgun Match is UP!

The latest e-Postal Handgun Match "Give a Rhino A Hand" (or a few bullet holes!) is now posted over at JimmyB's place, The Conservative UAW Guy. There's plenty of different classes, so there's something for everyone.

Go Check it out, download the target, shoot it full of holes, and send the pic's and scores in to be entered into the match. No entry fees, no prizes, big fun! Let's shoot the rhinos (rinos?)

Have Fun!

Eddie's Italian Vacation

Eddie has just returned from a scenic two week vacation in Italy. He sent me a write up on the trip and some pictures of the area. I've never been to Italy, but pictures like these sure make you want to go have a look!

Big "Thanks" to Eddie for the pictures and story!

Entering Primaore

Our rented farmhouse.

The view of all of Primore from a window of our house.

More of the view from our house.

Add a few clouds for a different flavor!

Yup, it's still leaning!

My wife, daughter and I took a 2-week vacation in Italy. We began our adventure by renting a refurbished farmhouse over the Internet. It’s in the small Hamlet of Primaore, which is located in the Apennine Mountains. The hamlet consists of about 12 houses of which 2 or 3 are rented out to skiers in the winter and warm weather lovers in the summer (We fall into the latter category).

Primaore sits on a prominence about 4,000 feet above sea level and is surrounded by forested mountains rising to 8,000 feet above sea level. The nearest town (Villa Minozzo) is about 10 miles away. It has a public swimming pool, 2 small grocery stores, a hardware store and a cop shop. The Italian police are armed with 9mm handguns and somehow I suspect they are Berettas. Other than that I never saw anything resembling a gun shop, although from speaking to some natives the hunting in the mountains is excellent. According to good sources there are deer (I spotted some), wild boars, rabbits, pheasants and other game birds. There are also venomous snakes and lizards about so cross-country walking requires protective clothing and boots.

We flew into Bologna airport at the beginning of July and picked up our Hertz rent-a-car. It was a small Fiat stick-shift, but with the price of gas being about $5.50 a gallon we were just happy it got good mileage. We drove about 80 miles due North-West to our home for the next 2 weeks.

After stocking up the larder with plenty of food and wine we made a few local trips just to get the lay of the land. The countryside is magnificent. Although I’ve never been to Washington State I imagine the views are similar.

Our big venture was an overnighter to Pisa to see if that tower really leans. I can assure you it does. The temperatures were 90-100 most of the 2 weeks with little rain. Basically, we relaxed, read a few books and added to our already wide girths by eating real Italian pasta, pizza and drink some superb wine.

The big barrier was the language. Since we were basically in the boonies virtually no one spoke English and my Italian vocabulary is limited to buon giorno (hello), grazie (thanks) and a few swear words I won’t mention. However, my family and I found the Italians most friendly and helpful. Usually, after a few minutes of animated hand waving and rapid speaking the conversations generally ended in a mutual understanding.

If you have the time and money (Flights are not cheap) it’s a worthwhile experience.



It sounds like you had a great vacation, thanks for sharing it with us!

Monday, August 07, 2006

It's a "No Brainer"

Fodder at Ride Fast - Shoot Straight has done it again in promoting the Gun Blogger Rendezvous coming up the first week in October in Reno. He and his better half are going to be there, along with a bunch of other bloggers, blog readers, and other interested folks.

Have you sent in your registration yet? Better get it in today, the Rendezvous is only ten weeks off!!

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Another Busy Weekend Done!

It's been a busy weekend! Yesterday KeeWee and I headed out to the CWSA range for a Rimfire Hanging Plate match. Hanging plates are a lot of fun, and it doesn't take a lot to get set up target-wise if you'd like to give it a try at your local club or range. Here's all the details for "rolling your own" Hanging Plate match.

With club level matches, you never know who's going to show up, or how many shooters there will be. At yesterday's match we had a relatively small turn-out, with no shooters from other clubs. In some ways a small turn-out is kinda good, as we can usually get the match finished and the target stand disassembled and back into storage before 1 pm. Such was the case today.

It turned out to be a battle between Evil Al and I, both in the iron sight and the optical sight class. I managed to get a couple more plates than he did in the optical sight class, but in the iron sight class he turned the tables on me. Both classes weren't decided until the final 25 yard distance, and even then it was close! A nagging shoulder injury was bothering KeeWee, and she struggled a bit, but finished the match.

Today it was back up to CWSA for a Bowling pin match. KeeWee elected to take the day off and give her shoulder a rest, so I headed out to the range by myself. As I've been doing lately, I entered my Taurus 66 revolver in the wheel-gun class, my long barreled High standard and my Smith & Wesson 422 in the rimfire optical sight class, and another High Standard in the iron sight class.

In the timing in for the revolver class, I managed a personal best single table time of 4.70 seconds shooting single action, with a combined time for my 3 best runs of just over 15 seconds. Evil Al knocked a few pins over and had to reload a couple of times, but shot a 3.13 and a second table in the very low 4's for a 3 table total around 19 seconds.

Since the first round opponent is determined by your qualifying times, and as Al shoots 3 second tables pretty consistently, you can see why a lot of shooters don't always try as hard as they might in qualifying! Being it's single elimination, meeting Al in the first round just about guarantees your quick exit from the match! To my amazement I managed to narrowly beat Al on the first table! The second and third table, however, was no contest. So much for the revolver class! The MasterBlaster 147gr. bullets seemed to be working well for me on the pins.

Rimfire iron sight class only had 4 shooters today, so I ended up shooting against Mountain Man Phil in the first round. Phil won the first table, but I got him on the next two, to go to the finals against JimP. Jim showed why he wins a lot of iron sight matches. I kept close, but not close enough. Congratulations to Jim on some fine shooting!

Rimfire optical class qualifying ended up with my long barreled High Standard fastest, with Al and his Smith & Wesson model 41 only a few tenths of a second behind me. My Smith & Wesson 422 timed in third, and JimP with his long barreled Ruger Mk. II 4th. This time I got to retire Al, just as he had done to me in the revolver class! A little turn-about is fair play, I'd say!

As soon as I had put the High Standard into it's case, my S&W 422 and I were summoned back to the line to face off against JimP. I retired Jim in two tables, a little payback for Jim knocking me out of the iron sight class!

The elimination chart then put me up against myself, with my High Standard up against the 422, so I had to retire one gun. The 422 went back into it's case for the day.

Farther down in the elimination chart, Evil Al's GRANDSON Derrick was kicking some serious butt, retiring one shooter after another to reach the finals. Shooting against kids is tough, since they usually have quicker reflexes and better eyesight than us old farts!

I shot my two best tables of the day, and put young Derrick in second place overall.

You gotta beat them while you can, but deep down you also know it's just a matter of time before you can't beat them anymore!

Good Shooting, Derrick!

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Gun Blogger Rendezvous Update

NOTE: This post will stay on top for a while,
so please scroll down for the latest posts.

The Reno Gun Blogger Rendezvous is a little over two months away, on October 6th., 7th., and 8th. We are rapidly approaching "Crunch Time" where we absolutely need your registrations in hand, both for the hotel accommodations, and for the Rendezvous itself. In the next few weeks I need to be able to tell the Circus Circus exactly how many dinners we will need (there's a little flexibility here) so we will have the right sized dining room reserved.

The Rendezvous is open to any and all gun bloggers, military bloggers, blog readers, shooting sports enthusiasts, competitors, manufacturers, gun shop owners, and anyone else with an interest in firearms and shooting sports.

For all of the information on the Rendezvous, events planned, how to register, and what to expect, please have a look at the Gun Blogger Rendezvous Website.

There are a number of regional gun blogger and military blogger meets throughout the year, but this is the only national gun and mil blogger meet of the year. This is the first year it's been tried, and future of national gun blogger gatherings will depend on the success of this first attempt.

If you are a blogger, your attendance is crucial to the success of the event. Manufacturers, associations, and others in the shooting sports industry will adjust their level of participation and suppoort to the size of the event, and if we have a small turn-out, their participation will be limited and their future participation questionable.

If you are a blogger, I hope you will make every effort to attend. If you can't make it, see if one of your guest posters, or even one of your favorite commenters can attend. We want to have representation from as many blogs as possible so we can kick off this event in style!

All blogs represented at the Rendezvous will be given recognition, both at the Rendezvous itself, and on the Rendezvous website.

If you are a blogger, please help the Rendezvous by reading the Rendezvous website, and then do a post on the event. If all you have time for is a one line link, we appreciate that too, but we need articles and posts about the event on every gun and mil blog out there if this is going to be a success. The first year is the tough one, but after the first successful Rendezvous, the second one will be a whole lot easier, since everyone will have an idea of what to expect.

Thanks in advance for the help, and we'll see you in Reno!!

.....and away we go!

KeeWee and I are off to a CWSA Hanging Plate match today (Saturday), then tomorrow a Bowling Pin shoot. Another two match weekend, but when the weather is nice it's a great way to spend some time with good friends and guns!

Hope you get the chance to get out to the range sometime this weekend too!

Back later.....................

Friday, August 04, 2006

Carnival of Cordite #68

Dan McKown - Some Great News !

I just got an email from Dan McKown with some great news! As you may remember, Dan was the fellow who intervened in a mall shooting last Fall in Tacoma, Washington. Dan's intervention prevented any further people being shot by the perp, but unfortunately Dan ended up being shot five times at close range. For a more complete background story have a look at this article in the Seattle Times. Unfortunately, one of the bullets hit Dan in the Lower spine. The doctors told Dan he would never walk again. While in the hospital Dan started to recover some function in his right leg and with the help of a walker, he was actually able to walk out of the hospital. His left leg, however, was basically non-functional.

Just in the last few weeks Dan has started to get a little bit of function in his left leg!
Not a lot, but he is now able to move it a little tiny bit, one to three inch kicks at the most, but that's a start! WOOO HOOOO!!!

For all of you out there who have been praying for Dan's recovery, keep it up!

For privacy reasons I'm not giving out Dan's personal email address, but if you'd like to leave a comment to him in this post, I'm sure Dan will read it.

If you would like to meet Dan in person, he will be our Guest of Honor at the Gun Blogger Rendezvous in October.


Fug's Back Blogging

Fug over at Fugger Nutter took the Summer off from blogging, and is now back at it. His first post is the first in a series called "Our Daily Bread". It's about preparing a smoked venison dinner, starting with taking the deer, growing the vegetables for the salad, and preparing the meal. Go have a look!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Hanging Plate Match Rules and Equipment

If your gun club is looking for a fun yet competitive match for both new and experienced shooters, and one that doesn't require a lot to make the equipment, you might consider a "Hanging Plate" match. Hanging Plate matches are similar to some versions of Falling Plate matches, but it doesn't require a complicated plate rack/target. A hanging plate match could be set up in an indoor range, and move the target rack for each distance, or at an outdoor range, and move the shooting positions for each distance.

A Hanging Plate on its hook.

First, I should mention that the hanging plate targets I'll be discussing are intended to be used with nothing larger than .22 LR ammunition. You will need to make 24 steel disks (called plates), preferably out of 3/8" steel plate, but nothing lighter that 1/4". Make 6 plates 4" in diameter, 6 plates 5" in diameter, 6 plates 6" in diameter, and 6 plates 7" in diameter. Drill one hole near the edge of each plate so it can be hung on the hook.

The Hanging Plate Rack.

The rack to hang the plates can be made out of just about anything you have on hand, but the rack at Central Whidbey is made from rebar. The uprights and crossbar could be made out of 2x4's too. Our rack is probably taller than it needs to be. You will want to make the rack solid enough that hitting one plate doesn't set the rest of them swinging!

From the crossbar you need to mount six 1/4" diameter steel rods, each with a hook bent in the lower end of the rod to hang the plates. Make the hook a full 180 degrees, so hitting the plate will swing it around, but not knock it off of the hook. Space the rods 16" apart.

Finally, if you are shooting at an outdoor range and you want to move the shooting position rather than the target rack to change the distance, you need to come up with a portable shooting station table of some sort. One of those blue plastic barrels will work just fine if you have one available, otherwise a small table will work just fine.

The Pocket Pro Shot Timer.

The only remaining items needed are a shot timer like the Pocket Pro, and a clip board and paper to record the times.

At CWSA we shoot two classes, one for optical sight guns, and one for conventional or "iron" sight guns. If we had a few more revolver shooters, that would also be a class.

Steve shooting, LouG running the timer, and Al recording the scores.

The basic procedure and rules are simple, and you can change them around if you like to suit your needs. Set the timer to beep a second time six seconds after the first beep so shooters will know when the six seconds have expired.

We use a "Low Ready" starting position with the gun pointed down at a 45 degree angle. You could also choose to use a "Muzzle on the Table" start position. It's up to you, either will work fine.

After the beep, the shooter has six seconds to fire six times, one at each plate. All shots fired within the six seconds count, and shots fired after the six seconds has expired don't. Any shots fired beyond the first six shots are also not counted. Each shooter makes 3 runs of six shots. Scoring is the total number of plates hit. After everyone has had their three runs, or "Shot Strings", the distance is increased to 15 yards, and the 5" plates are used. Again, everyone shoots three shot strings. Once everyone has shot at the 15 yard distance, the plates are changed to the 6" plates, and the distance increased to 20 yards. Finally, the distance is increased to 25 yards and the 7" plates are used.

After a number of shooters have shot, we re-paint the plates with white spray paint to make it easier to tell if a shot hit or not. Usually there's a good "Plink" sound, but an edge hit isn't always easy to tell.

When all of the shooters have finished, each shooter should have fired 72 total shots, 18 from each distance. Scoring couldn't be much easier, just add up the plates hit!

That's all there is to it! It's a lot of fun, and one of our most popular events. We charge $5.00 entry fee, and first place gets a buck per shooter in his class as prize money, so it's also a good fund raiser for our club. Why not give it a try at YOUR club?

I should also credit LouG for putting these matches together in the first place. Great job, Lou!

e-Postal Handgun Match "Pizza" Results

Marc at the Ninth Stage has posted the results for the e-Postal Handgun Match "Pizza", which had three classes, Precision Pizza, Quick Pizza, and Blazing Pizza.

The quality and creativity of these matches just keeps getting better and better. If you haven't been entering the e-Postal matches, you should give them a try.

JimmyB, The Conservative UAW Guy, will be hosting the next match, to be announced shortly. Check his blog regularly for the match announcement. (I wonder if it will have anything to do with smiting hippies?)

The following month's match, handgun golf, will be hosted by US Citizen at Traction Control.

Check it out!

All contents copyright 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012 and beyond, unless otherwise noted