Friday, February 27, 2009

Losing an Old Friend in the News

The Rocky Mountain News is Shutting down.

This is very unfortunate for me. When I was stationed at Lowry Air Force Base in Denver, I would pick up a copy of this paper during lunch so I could read it after all my other duties were done for the day. I never read the editorials, just the news, the comics and the sports page. I remember following a good portion of the Colorado Rockies' inaugural season through that newspaper. Liberal, conservative, whatever. I'm sad to see it go.
Bowling Night Report, 02/27/09

I stuck with the plan unlike a couple of weeks ago, but had a brain fart on the "unload and show clear" instruction. The RO looks at me, and says "Drop the magazine, remember?" I need more sleep, apparently. Ah well, at least I shot decently tonight. The steel targets don't bother me as much anymore, either. I don't know if that's due more to the fiber-optic sight making it easier for me to aim or not, but I don't care as long as those steel poppers fall over.

The coolest part of my match tonight was being mentioned to the new shooters as a "worst to first" example. I'm still not one of the best shooters, but in two and a half years of shooting in IPSC matches, I have improved greatly. I'm still not at the level I want to be, but I'm getting there. And yes, I did stink the place up when I first started. I improved by practicing the basics over and over and over. "Practice makes perfect" isn't a cliche, it's a timeworn truth. Keep practicing out there and don't give up even when you hit a plateau.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

It's Ash Wednesday again...

I punted this year on what to give up for Lent: my breakfast of champions, the humble doughnut. Ah, well. As Lent goes on, I tend to find other things to add as part of the process of spiritual purification. This year will be no different.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Bowling Night Report 2/19/09

No shooting goodness tonight. The sinuses are draining and the last place I need to be is in a very cold indoor shooting range.

However, there is other shooting goodness in Illinois that isn't expending a single shot. HB0245 and HB0462 are two bills before the Illinois House that would create a shall-issue concealed carry law in Illinois. These are more like Texas' laws than Vermont's, but we can at least get into the 21st Century with the other 48 states with concealed-carry laws. You'll have to go through the usual licensing and training issue, but it'll be worth it. Home rule preemption is written into each bill as well.

I support concealed carry and I always will. The police can't teleport to you, so you might need something a little more than thinking happy thoughts.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Bowling Night Report 2/12/09

I didn't shoot all too well tonight. More practice will be needed. At least I got through the stage without any problems with the door I had to go through. Still, though, I just need more practice.
It's Abraham Lincoln's World, We All Just Live In It

I thought that was a pretty good tribute to the nation's 16th President right there. Besides, living in central Illinois means you are in center of All Things Abe. I don't mind it, really, but sometimes it goes overboard.

The 200th anniversary of his birth today? That's not so overboard. I'm enjoying the day off.

Oddly enough it's also the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin. Their mighty shadows still loom over science and politics today.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

What you mean "we," white man?*

(originally seen at The Anarchangel)

The last time I checked books like 1984, Animal Farm, Brave New World, and Fahrenheit 451 were NOT instruction manuals. Apparently my English and History teachers in high school were wrong about these books being cautionary tales. And yes, I appreciate the contrast of my own situation and my not wanting to live in a socialist society. Socialism isn't exactly placed on people by their consent. Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and Lithuania are just a few examples of that.

So, now what?

* This is an old punchline to an old joke about the Lone Ranger, his teammate/ hetero life-partner Tonto, and being surrounded by a thousand Apache warriors. There's your obscure "Jokes told to me as a child by older men of the family" reference for the year.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Bowling Night Report, 2/5/09

Tonight was a typical classifier night for me. Not bad, but not great would be my assessment of my shooting tonight. I was still a little low, which means a little more time at the range is needed. So, I'll have to remedy that this weekend.

The stage was pretty simple: engage three targets from Box A, run to Box B and engage the remaining three targets. My shots were a little wilder than I like, but no misses were scored against me. Sometimes it seems like your simplest stages are the toughest. The distances aren't the problem. My guess is that it's deceptively simple; the targets are set to make it look like it'll be a breeze. It's a check to see if you're overconfident, I guess. I need to check my front sight as well. It didn't seem to catch the light as easily as normal on my last run.

The big news for tonight, though, is that the first batch of my new reloading gear arrived. Thanks to the folks at Kempf's Gun Shop I now own a new "Classic Turret Press" from Lee Precision. The price was just about right for what I wanted as a starter. It's at just the right price point where I can see if reloading is going to help me shoot more often for the same amount of money, or possibly less money. It's also inexpensive enough that if I don't like reloading then I'm not out a lot of money. My stuff arrived in good shape, nothing broken or out of place. Soon I'll have my necessary measuring gear and brass preparation equipment and I'll be ready to start recycling my brass the right way: back into loaded cartridges! I'll have to start showing off the press a little bit, too, especially if I get it done right the first time.