'The true Soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because He loves what is behind him.' -G. K. Chesterton

28 September 2013

What I've Been Doing

I've been away from the blog for a while now. I've been busy but in a good way. Lu and I have been working the 2013 USPSA Limited/L10/Open Nationals. It's the first time it's been held here and we have been working our tails off.

Lu and I volunteered to be both Target Master and Quarter Master. That means we painted about 900 targets and then packaged them with another 5500 to make 24 separate target packs for 22 stages. That's 528 individual stage target packs. Yeah, it's been busy around here. That was the Target Master stuff. On Sunday and Monday we began the Quarter Master stuff. That consists of taking the target packs out to the stages 4 times a day plus keeping the ROs full up with pasters, water, ice, paint and the myriad things needed to run a national level match. It's been....interesting.

The day starts at 0630 and usually ends about 12 hours later. On top of that I got a bad case of some kind of upper respiratory infection that kept me out of action for two days. Thankfully Lu stepped immediately in and ran the range logistics pretty much by herself for those two days. What a woman.

We've met some pretty cool folks, including a few top level shooters, as well as the usual collection of idiots, boobs and prima donnas.

I should have some pics by next week but frankly Lu and I are both wiped out. Kipling tomorrow and then a few days whilst we recuperate.


15 September 2013

Sunday Kipling

I got nothing. We got some family news yesterday that has me heavy hearted. I need to process today.

The Rabbi's Song

"The House Surgeon"--Actions and Reactions
                    2 Samuel XIV. 14.

If Thought can reach to Heaven,
  On Heaven let it dwell,
For fear the Thought be given
  Like power to reach to Hell.
For fear the desolation
  And darkness of thy mind
Perplex an habitation 
  Which thou hast left behind.

Let nothing linger after--
  No whimpering gost remain,
In wall, or beam, or rafter,
  Of any hate or pain.
Cleans and call home thy spirit,
  Deny her leave to cast,
On aught thy heirs inherit,
  The shadow of her past.

For think, in all thy sadness,
  What road our griefs may take;
Whose brain reflect our madness,
  Or whom our terrors shake:
For think, lest any languish
  By cause of thy distress--
The arrows of our anguish
  Fly farther than we guess.

Our lives, our tears, as water,
  Are spilled upon the ground;
God giveth no man quarter,
  Yet God a means hath found,
Though Faith and Hope have vanished,
  And even Love grows dim--
A means whereby His banished
  Be not expelled from Him!

14 September 2013

My Trainer

It's not an official relationship. More like I follow him around like a love starved puppy begging for a friendly pat on the head and a biscuit. Still, Glen is patient and generous with his time and knowledge and seems to be interested in helping me progress. I even gave him the go ahead to commence beating me with a stick when I screw the pooch. Which at this point is often.Very often.

In the interest of starting things off on the right foot, as I take you all along with me on the journey of a 54 year old dog attempting to learn new tricks, I thought I'd introduce you to my trainer. Azgunner.

You will note that even the true experts in the discipline are quite capable of making...errors. Still, the man is fast and accurate and his reloads make me positively swoon with admiration. I want to be just like him.

There will be video in the coming weeks and months. I need it to break down my form and see where I need to improve. I'll even share if it's particularly embarrassing. Faster and straighter are my watchwords Though I'm guessing slow and uncoordinated will be among the choice words Glen will be using. I'll be training with him next Wednesday and I'll do a review here with pictures.

Oh. There will be a National level match here week after next and Lu and I both will be assisting. Not shooting. Assisting. Pictures. Maybe video. 


13 September 2013

A New Miracle Gun Lube?

The Rev. Paul reminded me of a story with this post.

This is how I learned what the slickest substance known to man is.

In Monterey they still have the remnants of a fishing fleet that works squid in season. Calamari don't you know. Well, they process it in a building on the wharf and then load it into large semi trailers. Open top trailers. It's really a quite disgusting process what with the squid sliding down the chute, making disgusting plopping noises when the hit the mound in  in the trailer. Massive flocks of Seagulls then swoop down in search of an easy handout while a foreign worker stands in the back, armpit deep in eviscerated squid bodies and waves his hands in the air while yelling vile and unintelligible curses at the birds all to no avail. It's all quite exciting.

One day a trailer was a bit over filled and as it made the left turn onto Del Monte Avenue a good bit spilled out onto the road. By a good but I mean several tons and by on the road I mean pretty much curb deep.

Well, we got the call and, what with Patrol being busy with actual police type things going on and all, me another Motor Officer headed over. He got there first. Fortunately. En route I heard one squawk from his radio and then utter silence. Um, probably not good but, I mean, what's the worst that could have happened? Unless there was some radiation involved and Zombie Squid were suddenly hell bent on world domination the call was absolutely routine. Right?

Well, not so much as it turned out. When I got there this is what I saw. A mass of raw squid covering the road with a very Motor Copish looking trail right down the middle. Standing on the side of the road, next to an unexpectedly Cephalopod encrusted Kawasaki KZ1000P, was my partner. The entire left side of his uniform, from helmet to bitchin' Motor Boots, was covered in a thick, viscous slime that looked exactly like the ectoplasm from Ghost Busters. He was dripping with the stuff. It didn't smell too good either. Imagine a fish that's been dead for about a week or so that has been farted on by drunken hobos on a daily basis and you'll at least be in the ballpark. Though why anyone would ever imagine such a thing is quite beyond me.

I parked well short of the disaster and sauntered over, sauntering being something they teach you on the first day of Motor School. I majored in sauntering with a minor in RayBan sunglasses. Anyway. As I approached my by now quite distressed partner I stepped in a little of the disgusting glop, just the edge really, and nearly ended up on my can myself. It was like walking on ice while wearing butter soled shoes that were made by the Grease Gnomes in their ancestral snot tree.

My buddy tried to explain it all away, using every excuse in the book from "I didn't see it" to "Those stupid Gnomes" but in the end he had to admit that he'd tried riding right through the mess and ended up trying to pilot an already inherently unstable contraption through a squid tsunami while trying not to look like a 5 year old on his first two wheeler calling for Dad to come rescue him before he hits the mailbox. Obviously he didn't quite make it and ended up on his side, sliding through about a thousand Surf & Turf dinners worth of dead squid. We laughed and laughed. Well, I laughed. He mostly glowered and swore dire imprecations upon me if I didn't stop.

I learned two things that day.
First, never admit anything on the radio. If it didn't break nothing happened that some chrome cleaner and a good dose of Tide and Kiwi won't fix.
Second, Raw squid is the slipperiest substance known to man. Why some Mad Tyrant doesn't use this stuff to grease the treads on his Tanks of Inevitable Destruction will forever be a mystery to me.

I offer this story to you both for your amusement (If you can't laugh at someone else who can you laugh at? Hey, it didn't happen to me) and as a free tip to all the gun lubrication companies out there searching for the next great answer to the eternal question of why my Raven Arms .25 won't cycle.

Squid grease. I'm tellin' ya, it's the bomb. Just ask a certain motorcop somewhere in California (but nowhere near anything that even vaguely resembles a squid loading Wharf). He'll be the one with stained breeches, a newly washed motorcycle and a very chagrined look on his face.

Approach from upwind. Trust me on this.


12 September 2013

New Sig Scorpion 1911

AKA Car Guy Wins again.

That is a brand spankin' new Sig Sauer 1911 Scorpion. It's a 5 inch 1911 pattern single stack pistol in .45 ACP. It has a tactical rail, night sights and the grips form a modest magwell. It's finished in Desert Tan Ceracote.

The grips are Hogue Piranha and are very grippy. It has checkering front and rear. Mags are 8+1. The gun is tight and very well built with excellent quality control throughout. Plus, it's frickin gorgeous.

There is a logical explanation for this that doesn't involve drooling gun lust and poor impulse control. Well not just that. I swear.

As you know by now I am deeply into learning a new shooting discipline, USPSA and IPSC competition. To that end I have been perusing, studying and considering what guns I need and what guns I simply want. Now, follow me here.

USPSA is broken down into divisions
Open - Anything goes and run watcha brung.
Limited - Mostly stock pistols with some minor modifications that are not factory installed.
Limited 10 - Much like limited but with 10 rounds per magazine required (Thanks California!).
Production - Pretty much stock duty type pistols. 10 round mag limits.
Single Stack - About what you'd expect. Dominated by 1911 pattern SS pistols. 
Heavy Metal - This is 3 gun with a 44 mag. minimum, 12 Ga. pump and .308 rifle. More on this later but this division is a big reason for my latest acquisition.
There are some others but, with the exception of Open, for me these are the most important. All those divisions carry a Minor/Major Power factor penalty and require .40 and above (along with a PF calculation that includes velocity and bullet weight) to shoot Major. That's important because Minor carries scoring penalties for any hit outside the A zone. What that means is that .45 ACP qualifies for Major on all counts as does .40.

Ok. I have a Glock G35 in .40 with 15 round mags. Lu says I can borrow her XDM in 9mm to shoot Steel Challenge where there's no Power Factor penalties. With the Glock I can shoot Production, Limited 10 by simply downloading the mags to 10 rounds and Limited with full mags. With the new Sig I can also shoot both Production and Limited 10 with only a 2 rounds per mag penalty. At my modest level that's no real imposition at the moment. It's made for Single Stack and is perfect for Heavy Metal and I really want to shoot that. Badly. 3 Gun with my M1A, 870 and now my new Sig 1911. Can you say Holy Crap That Is Magnificently Awesome?

I'm ready to go right now on Heavy Metal with at least 2 guns I am intimately familiar with and can shoot reasonably well. The 1911 I can shoot I just need to get reacquainted with that whole safety thing. There's one other consideration in this purchase.

I want to see how well I can shoot this competition stuff. I've hooked up with a very good shooter who is coaching me. I'm starting to improve and really getting hooked. There's a whole new category of pistol out there I was ignorant of until recently, the 2011. It's basically a double stack 1911 pattern pistol. Yep, Para Ordnance has been making them for years but they just never registered with me until now. But the high speed guys are mostly shooting them with a few exceptions like Tangfolio and CZ DA/SA pistols.

So. This new gun will allow me to get back into 1911 shooting at about half the cost of that new STI. I'll be able to shoot it in various matches and see if I can actually run one. I can shoot the Glock as well and see how far I can go in the sport. If I fail I still have a great 1911 pistol for whatever shooting purpose tickles me and I can go back to shooting plastic pistols in competition. But. If I can master this new discipline and reach a certain level with both the Glock and the Sig then I'll take the next step and plunk down something north of 2 grand for that shiny new STI Tactical 5.0 or its equivalent.

See? Doesn't all that just make perfect sense? It's not lust and an enabling wife at all. It's actually science!! Settled and everything (Hey, if the global warmers can get away with it then so can I).

The upside of all this for me is that the reason I stopped carrying and shooting 1911s in the first place is no longer extant. I couldn't get past the manual safety on the 1911 after carrying and shooting SA/DA pistols on duty. It was a safety issue. Since I'm no longer on duty I can try it again. And this is a nearly perfect pistol to do that with.

I am so excited. Stay tuned, I'll be having a discussion about competition versus self defense shooting in the very near future. In the meantime there's a new gun and a couple of boxes of ammo in my safe. Time to go shooting!


11 September 2013


The war is not over. No, far from it.

We also remember those service men and women who have given so much that we may prevail over those who would see us servile or dead. Selfless service deserves selfless service.

And as always for Ken. May you soar with the eagles forever. We will always miss you.


10 September 2013

The Caliber Wars Are Finally Over

Heh heh.

And there was much rejoicing throughout the land!!


08 September 2013

Sunday Kipling

Another week come and gone. It's a little dismaying how quickly time seems to slip away the older I get. Ah, such is life and on the whole I prefer it to the alternative.

Today is a day of rest. The entire household has been under the weather all week though some things must progress regardless.

I think my phone is dying. It self dialed Car Guy a couple of times at O dark thirty in spite of the fact that it was not in use at the time. I'm such a Luddite I have no idea what to do beyond keeping it turned off until I need it or simply getting something new. I hate these stupid things.

The weather seems to be turning. We've had a week of mild temperatures along with quite a bit of overcast, wind and rain. It's comfortable if a little irritating at times. Still, after a very hot summer we're looking forward to Fall.

I hope this day finds you all hale and whole. Take some time for yourself and remember that all batteries need recharging from time to time. Lu and I send you all our best, today and every day. We treasure your friendship. It's comforting to know one has so many friends across the nation who will always have your back. Love is more precious than gold or jewels.

Natural Theology


I ate  my fill of a whale that died
    And stranded after a month at sea.
There is a pain in my inside.
  Why have the Gods afflicted me?
Ow!   I am purged till I am a wraith!
 Wow!   I am sick till I cannot see!
What is the sense of Religion and Faith 
  Look how the Gods have afflicted me!


How can the skin of rat or mouse hold
  Anything more than a harmless flea?
The burning plague has taken my household.
  Why have my Gods afflicted me?
All my kith and kin are deceased,
  Though they were as good as good could be,
I will out and batter the family priest,
  Because my Gods have afflicted me!


My privy and well drain into each other
  After the custom of Christendie
Fevers and fluxes are wasting my mother
  Why has the Lord afflicted me?
The Saints are helpless for all I offer
  So are the clergy I used to fee.
Henceforward I keep my cash in my coffer,
  Because the Lord has afflicted me.


I run eight hundred hens to the acre
  They die by dozens mysteriously. 
I am more than doubtful concerning my Maker,
  Why has the Lord afflicted me?
What a return for all my endeavour
  Not to mention the L. S. D!
I am an atheist now and for ever,
  Because this God has afflicted me!


Money spent on an Army or Fleet
  Is homicidal lunacy.   
My son has been killed in the Mons retreat,
  Why is the Lord afflicting me?
Why are murder, pillage and arson
  And rape allowed by the Deity?
I will write to the Times, deriding our parson
  Because my God has afflicted me.


We had a kettle: we let it leak:
  Our not repairing it made it worse.
We haven't had any tea for a week.
  The bottom is out of the Universe!


This was none of the good Lord's pleasure,
   For the Spirit He breathed in Man is free;
But what comes after is measure for measure,
   And not a God that afflicteth thee.
As was the sowing so the reaping
  Is now and evermore shall be.
Thou art delivered to thine own keeping.
  Only  Thyself hath afflicted thee!

07 September 2013

New Gun!!!

Finally, after waiting and waiting the new gun has arrived. What is it you ask? I'll give you a hint.

The grip should give it away. If not....

A Springfield Armory XDM-9 5.25. The 5.25 refers to the barrel length and the 9 to caliber. Yea verily it is a 9mm bullet hose. It is primarily a competition gun and is used by a lot of USPSA shooters. A lot of others hate it but what do they know. I love it and more importantly so does Lu. More on that in a minute. Here it is in all it's glory.

It came with a veritable plethora of stuff. Two additional back straps to mold it to perfection, three (count 'em three) 19 round mags, a mag loader, holster, mag pouch and the hated and useless gun lock. $760 bucks out the door. The front sight is fiber optic. Gamer all the way baby.

Why this particular gun? Lemme 'splain. No, there's no time. Lemme sum up. Warning: this is competition talk about a gun I got strictly to shoot competition. Any resemblance to a combat firearm are strictly coincidental. (Though I'd take it into a dynamic scenario in a heartbeat but that's just me)

I am currently shooting a Glock 35 (after my Sig crapped out on me) in .40 S&W. A fine pistol but one that just doesn't fit me as well as I'd like, especially when I'm desperately trying to master a new discipline. What I needed was a more traditional pistola, one chambered for a softer cartridge and suitable for hosing those difficult stages when actually aiming just won't do. I looked and searched and asked and the majority decision seemed to be this gun. Then I shot it and was instantly hooked. It's very accurate, easy to shoot and points instinctively. Ooh baby, now we're talking! Plus it's amenable to some simple adjustments (like a trigger though the stocker is pretty dang good) that are not only USPSA approved but that will take it from good to totally fabulous.

But wait, it gets even better. Lu has come along very nicely and is ready to take the next step in her development (Whatever that next step turns out to be. That's still being discussed). She's been shooting her Sig P226 9mm which she adores but which isn't exactly suited for this type of shooting. Recently she got the chance to shoot one of the guy's XDMs and she loved it. So much so that we've been looking at getting her a 4 inch. Then she saw mine and decided to wait until she could shoot it and then decide. Well, she shot it today and can you guess what she now wants? That's right, one just like mine. In fact she has already taken a decidedly untoward interest in my very gun. I have had to take it away from her numerous times. The slobber all over it is just so hard to remove. Hang on a sec.

"Lu, put that down! My gun. Mine."

"But we needs the precious. Yes we do!!!"

"My gun. Bad Lu. Bad!"

Where were we? Oh right. I am also considering a 1911 (Or maybe a 2011. One never knows...) so I can shoot Single Stack and Heavy Metal 3 Gun. If I do that we can share (Yeah, wishful thinking right there) the XDM. I'll probably get it on alternate weekends and she'll yell at me for feeding it junk food and not properly giving it a Sunday bath.

"We loves the precious. Yes we do."

So, there we are. At this point we're cussing and discussing where we're going. I've been perusing the 1911 offerings while Lu tries to hide the XDM. I may just throw in the towel and buy a second one just so I don't have to engage in a continual Tug-O-War with the woman who cooks my food and knows where I sleep. I mean it's only money. Right?

Did I mention that the gun store just got in a H&K MP5 and I have wanted one for like forever? Or that the same gun store is well stocked with a variety of tasty1911s?

Hey Sweetheart? If you really want that XDM I think we can work this out....

"We gots the Precious! Oh yes! Oh yes, my Precious!!"

I'm gonna need a bigger gun safe.


04 September 2013

Opportunities To Make A Difference Are Where You Find Them

I know many consider sports nothing more than a distraction from the important stuff of the day. For the most part I agree. We tend to put way too much emphasis on what a bunch of adults playing kid games do. But. There are chances to influence others everywhere provided we see and act when given the opportunity. The venue matters not at all nor does the age of those involved unless it's to give us hope for the coming generations.

I know that I miss way too many. We all do but it's important that we recognize these oh so fleeting and precious moments for what they are whenever we can. There are nothing less than the chance to prove that we are more than simple fearful and reactionary beasts responding only to the stimulus of the world. Existing within ourselves to the exclusion of all else. Nihilistic and narcissistic. Vain and superficial. We are so much more. We are human, molded in the likeness of the Creator. Men and women charged with ensuring that beauty and love and charity and basic kindness never perish from this world.

Those opportunities are out there, right now. Chances to make a real difference in someone's life no matter how small. Sometimes the littlest gesture has repercussions all out of proportion to the kindness extended.

We miss them at our cost. We ignore them at the peril of our very souls.


01 September 2013

Sunday Kipling

The Absent-Minded Beggar

When you’ve shouted “Rule Britannia,” 
when you’ve sung “God save the Queen,”
When you’ve finished killing Kruger with your mouth,
Will you kindly drop a shilling in my little tambourine
For a gentleman in khaki going South?
He’s an absent-minded beggar, and his weaknesses are great –
But we and Paul must take him as we find him –
He is out on active service, wiping something of a slate –
And he’s left a lot of little things behind him!
Duke’s son – cook’s son – son of a hundred kings –
(Fifty thousand horse and foot going to Table Bay!)
Each of ‘em doing his country’s work
(and who’s to look after his things?)
Pass the hat for your credit’s sake, 
                                      and pay – pay – pay!

There are girls he married secret, 
asking no permission to,
For he knew he wouldn’t get it if he did.
There is gas and coals and vittles, 
and the house-rent falling due,
And it’s more than rather likely there’s a kid.
There are girls he walked with casual. 
They’ll be sorry now he’s gone,
For and absent-minded beggar they will find him,
But it ain’t the time for sermons with the winter coming on.
We must help the girl that Tommy’s left behind him!
Cook’s son – Duke’s son – son of a belted Earl –
Son of Lambeth publican – it’s all the same today!
Each of them doing the country’s work
(and who’s to look after the girl?)
Pass the hat for your credit’s sake,
                                      and pay – pay – pay!

They are families by thousands, far too proud to beg or speak,
And they’ll put their sticks and bedding up the spout,
And they’ll live on half o’ nothing, 
paid ‘em punctual once a week,
‘Cause the man that earns the wage is ordered out.
He’s an absent-minded beggar, but he heard his country call,
And his reg’ment didn’t need to send to find him!
He chucked his job and joint it – so the job before us all
Is to help the home that Tommy’s left behind him!
Duke’s job – cook’s job – gardener, baronet, groom,
Mew’s or palace or paper-shop, there’s someone gone away!
Each of ‘em doing his country’s work
(and who’s to look after the room?)
Pass the hat and for your credit’s sake,
                                       and pay – pay – pay!

Let us manage so as later, we can look him in the face,
And tell him – what he’d very much prefer –
That, while he saved the Empire, his employer saved his place,
And his mates (that’s you and me) looked out for her.
He’s and absent-minded beggar and he may forget it all,
But we do not want his kiddies to remind him
That we sent ‘em to the workhouse 
while their daddy hammered Paul,
So we’ll help the homes that Tommy left behind him!
Cook’s home  - Duke’s home – home of millionaire,
(Fifty thousand horse and foot going to Table Bay!)
Each of ‘em doing his country’s work
(and what have you got to spare?)
Pass the hat for your credit’s sake 
                                      and pay – pay – pay!