24 April 2016

Today at the Range

Our local range offers a class "M1 Clinic and Introduction to High Power shooting".  The SCSon learned about it from classmates and he's been asking to take the class.  While I took the same class many years ago and had a great time, I have been less than enthusiastic because of the show time, and the length of the class:  class starts at 0700 prompt and today's class took ~ 8 hours.  The range is at ~30 minutes drive from the SandCastle*.  And I am not a morning person, especially on weekends!

Lucky shot - (Mine in catching the brass mid flight)
But he's been getting up early for years (to his credit) and the SCQueen is naturally a morning person so we made a deal:  She'll drop him off and I'll make it out for the shooting portion of the class (We make a great team!).

While his scores were unremarkable, he had a great time shooting the Garand and it was his first time shooting high power in a competition setting.  It is interesting to note his prone rapid-fire scores were 50% better than the prone slow fire scores.  Go Figure.

Some lessons can only be learned through experience.  However he also noted of the three scoring classes (M1 Garand, Current Military, and Youth), the only class an M1 won, was the M1Garand class!  Both Current Military & Youth were won by AR-15 platforms.  So he's eager to compete again, but with an AR...  (I expected that ;-)  Still there is something... ...magical... about shooting the older equipment.  I felt it too.  I also felt that flying 60 YO airplanes...

BTW, it just occurred to me...  I took this class those years ago, to buy this very rifle...  How poetic!

Next weekend appears to be a repeat of same..  He shoots the state Trap event in Tucson with an 0845 appearance time.  That means on the road no later than 0645.  And there is no early/late deal to be had with the SCQueen.  I just gotta suck it up...   Maybe I can request the SCQueen prepare a pail of coffee for the ride down ;-)  Come back next week for a full report!

* But this weekend there was a freeway closure to deal with and a 2nd unavoidable detour :-(

19 April 2016

Cr@p news

The Queen of my SandCastle learned today her mom has breast cancer.  Long time readers will recall the woman who bore me died of cancer several years ago.    Now it's the SCQueen's mom's dance with the big 'C': Breast Cancer.

The SandCastle Mother In Law (SCMIL) is a tough old country girl* that doesn't take cr@p from no one or anything - a learned skill growing up with several older brothers.  She has the right mindset to fight it out and win.  She's also lived a clean life and is in otherwise surprisingly good shape for a mid-octogenarian.  Apparently it's "on" the breast rather than "in" the breast.  Does that make it skin cancer instead of breast cancer?  Curious but it really doesn't change the situation.  SCMIL has a serious disease that needs and will be attended to as quickly as possible.

Still the SCQueen is pretty emotional about it and there is nothing I can do to ease her pain.  Suddenly I regret skipping medical school... and specializing in surgery... of cancer ;-)  (That was never my path but still...)  But I'm really glad for a culture that has learned a metric-crap-ton about the disease and educated an army of surgeons to do retail warfare with the disease.  

If anyone can beat this, she can!   Please keep the SCQueen & SCMIL in your prayers/good thoughts.  
Thanks from the entire SandCastle Crew.

* I think she would agree with the description and not take any offence at "old".   (though I'd fully expect her to make a show of it and get up in my face asking "who are you callin' "old"?..  Then she'd back down with a "yer damn right laugh!")

18 April 2016

A liberal mugged...

An old neighbor called yesterday to say "I need to get my CCW.  I walked into a hot robbery with my 5YO daughter".

I do not actually know her political tendencies, but if I had to guess...  I'd probably be right...

She walked into a local mart to buy donuts for her daughter's class.  Her spidy senses noticed something was wrong so she was trying to back her daughter out without causing a scene.  But needless to say the 5YO was goal focused on DONUTS!  I don't know the full story but she reports things like "in a head lock" and "lets go to the bathroom" and her momma bear instincts kicked in and she fought back and got away mostly unscathed.  FIGHT BACK!  She mentioned the clerk didn't fight back and took a beating :-(

Anyway, we gave her several suggestions on local CCW classes (highly recommended, even though constitutional carry is the law here in AZ)

I hope she follows through... And watches the MJV video.

17 April 2016

Great free advice for gun owners from an actual attorney.

"5 things every gun owner should know"...  Straight from the euphemistic "horse's" mouth.  I won't even summarize his main points.  Just watch the video.

It's pretty much the same stuff my CCW instructor stressed (Pulling the trigger is *the* last resort, it's going to cost you everything you own to save your freedom, and you can still lose).  But still that's been several years.    Block out 30 minutes and enjoy.

He even offers DVDs to instructors, free for the asking.  I am not an instructor, but I asked nicely. and they gave me one too (If I'd known the video was posted I wouldn't have even asked).  Notwithstanding, I value his advice.  If I were an instructor, I'd run the video for every CCW/self defense class.

He's an engaging speaker so it's an easy listen.

I hope I never need their services.  But then again I hope I never need to use the gun I carry either.

FTC disclaimer... save for the free DVD provided as mentioned above, I have no connection to MJV law.  I value his advice and recommended to my own family to learn from his videos.  His number is in my cellphone because bad things happen to good people.  And if a bad thing happens to me, he's the one I will call.  YMMV.  But no other compensation has been received or promised.

22 March 2016

Arizona Primary Day

Primary day is finally here in Arizona.  And for once our votes will count!  Usually it's all over but the crying by the time we get to cast our ballots.

I voted 3-4 weeks ago and I'm really glad I did.  Just drove past a polling location and the lines are out the door and down the block:

The SandCastle Queen reports she was at the polling location when it opened.  The lines were pretty short at 6AM ;-)  I'll be glad when this day is over.  Local TV has been unwatchable as it seems nearly non-stop political ads.

Update: 2130: Driving by the polling site around 1830 the line took the dimensions of the red line.  The Google Maps measurement tool puts this path at  >1000 feet.  At ~2100, 1 hour after the polls had "closed" (these people still get to vote), Media has already called the state for Trump & Clinton the end of the line stopped at the green dot (~650 ft).

This for a ballot with one question.  Someone said the voter check in process was taking a couple minutes per voter and that was the bottleneck.

So the line advanced 350-400 feet in 2  1/2 hours.  
So if we extrapolate, the last ballot will be cast around 0100-0200! strike that... it's not a valid extrapolation.  At 1830 the polls were still open for another 90 minutes and voters were free to join the line.  But after 2000 no new voters could enter the line.  But it's still going to be a late night for many.  Props to those that stuck it out in line for 4-5-6 hours to cast a ballot!

P.S.  This is one of the reasons I voted a month ago!  Recall the six P's: Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance!  I planned ahead and thus enjoyed my relaxing evening.  You didn't and ... enjoy your queue!  (I chose wisely!)

25 February 2016

I voted today

The Arizona Republican primary is still four weeks out.  But as one on the permanent mail in ballot list, my ballot arrived today*:
The Arizona primary date is March 22.  Today we are about 4 weeks out and there are 14 names on the list.  IMHO only three candidates are still viable, possibly only one by the time this ballot is counted.  I'm not a big fan of how certain states get to choose our runners and the other states opinions really don't matter.  There's got to be a better way.... but I don't know what that is...

Cruz got my vote.  Always liked him.  Trump is the only reason illegal immigration is on the table and I respect him for that.  But he's seriously wrong on other issues like imminent domain.  "Gang of Eight" Rubio is a non-starter.  I held my nose for Romney in 2012... they'll have to invent a weapons grade clothes-pin to hold off the stench long enough to pull a Marco lever.  See also Romney 2012 where some 4M voters stayed home.

Carson and Kasich at single digits are irrelevant..  Never been a Kasich fan but I have great respect and could vote for Carson.  but neither are viable as of today....  See.. this is what I mean about a few early states seriously affect our selections.

YMMV but that's my call.

I wonder if my vote will count on the day it's counted and that is the argument against early voting.  I don't see it that way.  I see my primary vote as supporting the guy that best aligns with my viewpoints, regardless of reported polls.

* ballot image is intentionally de-res-ed and distorted to deter ... voting shenanigans (why should I unintentionally abet someone else's ballot stuffing?)...but the candidates portion is (mostly) unchanged.  (maybe)

13 February 2016

How fast can you reach a loaded firearm?

TrueBlueSam's ordeal offers some important "lesson's learned".  We talked on the phone this AM and while physically OK, the nerves are thoroughly rattled and I bet the adrenaline is still flowing.  Comments here reflect some of that conversation and he gave permission to post.  This is not a game of "Let's Second Guess The Victims".

Let me address one.  Put yourself in the scenario...  It's 1030PM and someone is trying to physically force their way into your residence (Kicking doors & breaking windows).  From where ever you would be at that time, how quickly can you arm yourself?  For some very good family structure reasons everything was locked up in the safe at the back of the house.  I bet those seconds running to the safe and working the lock felt like days!

Takeaway:  Guns secreted around the house are a good thing!  Implementation is left as an exercise to the reader, subject to and tailored to family situation ;-)

BTW, I can reach one in 1-2 seconds "in my office" (best case scenario).  But what if I happened to be in the kitchen when the attack commences?   A lesson learned from a late night visit from the "good guys".  Or so I'm told the boys in blue are the "good guys" but their actions sometimes give me pause...