25 April 2013

Dodged a bullet

Figuratively.... (I think)

The SCSon is at an age where he has many activities and sometimes the timings between activities tend to interference fit.  Today was such a day.

He had a school band performance that would get out late.  He also had a presentation to give a couple hours after the performance, but before the band was scheduled to return to school.  The only way this could work is if I picked him up from the gig and accompanied him to the presentation.

The drive out to pick him up meant a several miles in rush hour traffic.  I checked the local traffic net; it was slow but smooth.  So I took the freeway and it was.  Slow in places, but traffic was up to the speed limit when I reached my exit.

I collected the SCSon and headed back to the freeway.  Rather than a series of hard left turns, I took the easy right to the onramp 1 mile West.  Entering the west bound freeway entry lane, we heard emergency sirens.  "I hear it but I do not see it" I said.  Then flashing lights appeared ahead between cars in front.  A police car exited off the westbound offramp, then sped around and took the eastbound onramp just behind us.

Just then the traffic report came on the radio reporting "All lanes blocked on the freeway just East" of the overpass we are now sitting on.   And we saw the flashing lights down to the right. 

 Local news story link  The linked story says they pulled the offenders over, but I strongly suspect they briefly shut down all lanes.  I took that very offramp less than 10 minutes prior!

As we proceeded West on the freeway towards event #2, Eastbound traffic was  at a dead stop for several miles.  Had I been caught in the Eastbound back up, We'd have never made the 2nd event. 

BTW, the linked story reports it as a road rage incident where both drivers had weapons.  Not nearly enough info to know who is right or wrong.  Story doesn't mention any shots fired.  Thus the title refers to dodging a bullet that would have killed the required event timing rather than any physical bullets.

Personally, I find when I'm carrying I drive more conservatively.  Someone cuts me off, I back off and give them wide berth.  The time delta is insignificant compared to the $$$ cost of even a clean self defense shoot.  Don't sweat it.  I sure as heck don't go waving a gun around!

Happy ending: Timings worked out tonight and the SCSon made it to both events. 

08 April 2013

Commissioner's Cup, Trap Edition

The squad looks strong on paper.   Three of the five scored 2nd in Sporting Clays last week and one took 2nd in the individual results.  The SCSon's squad took 4th of 13.  Still this looked to be a"best of the best" squad.  We are optimistic.

The SCSon landed the squad leader spot.  I suspect that had more to do with a last name that falls early in alphabetical order than any measure of skill.  Still it gives him a measure of responsibility.  The match starts off with his inquiries "Squad Ready?"  "Scorer Ready?" and "May I see a bird"?  The scorer activates the system and he calls "Pull" to send the representative bird.  One squad member followed  the bird through as if he was shooting (All should be visualizing and the one that did wasn't the SCSon.  We need to talk).  There is also some responsibility after the round as the squad leader signs to accept the scorers scores. 

dead bird
Here we have yet another in the series of "almost really good shots".  Almost good because while the shooter is in focus, the dead bird is not.   I used the automatic settings.  What the shot needed was a tight f stop to keep both in focus.  I need to learn if this camera is even capable of doing that.  The funny thing is, my old "manual" camera forced me to set focus, aperture and shot duration for every shot and it was no i
big deal.  Now I have to figure out "what does it take to make the camera do what I want?"  And if it can't, this is not the right tool for the job.

This was supposed to be a panorama.  But somehow* the shots covering the last 90 deg  weren't there.
90 degree panorama

AzCC Trap is a 200 shot event.  It's an endurance race, not a sprint!  They did well in the morning session.  The SCSon scored 21, 22, 19, 20.  The afternoon session became problematic as the throwers ran dry and the shooters called "pull" 3-4-5 times to eventually see a bird.  I noticed a right handed shooter take his face off the shotgun to yell "pull" into the voice activated receiver sitting just left of the position, not a good setup to a good shot. Also by then they'd been out in the desert for several hours which alone is physically draining.  IOW, they were tired. The SCSon only scored 14 on the last station.

Eventually the scorer realized the thrower was empty.  Upon refilling, the squad leader requested to reshoot the entire round.  He denied saying "you took the shots, you accepted the birds".  Now I've never even looked at the rules though I suspect the cover this case.  Squad scores took a distinct dip on the last stage.  The SCSon scored 2/5 on the problematic 5 found set, and went 5/5 on the next once the thrower was reloaded.  Still that's a good lesson.

Though the 'rents had a camper and an RV, I've never seen a benefit of owning one.   Rather I have a lot of unpleasant memories driving cross country in the back of a camper in unbearable 120 deg desert conditions/90 % humidity, 95 deg with no airconditioning.  They had AC up front in the cab, but they also closed off the window so we didn't get any benefit.

Financially, it always seemed to me, I can put the money into the hotel bill or the gas bill.  Buying the gas also mean't a long slow trip taking the house along.  Buying the hotel room meant a faster less stressful ride and more comfortable surroundings.  Now I'm seeing a benefit where the value of comfortable surroundings *AT* the match is worth the cost of dragging it there.

Dad had an RV we could have had for the price of driving it home.  But we declined and that was still probably a good decision.  It had a funky Renault engine which made no sense.  Things like that have ongoing ownership costs (storage, licensing, maintenance, etc.)  What I need is to find someone that has one and is already paying the fixed costs that I can rent for a day/weekend basis. National chains are not the answer as they want multi-day minimums.

  * These new fangled cameras have lots of cool features but sometimes they trip up the users (meself included).  I call this ESO "Equipment Smarter than Operator".  I think it was set to a mode where it snaps continuous stills as long as the button is pressed.  Great for action stuff, but not so much for still shots.

scores are posted.  The squad took 3rd of 6 in class.  The SCSon led the squad with 155/200.  I gotta think a couple squad members were having bad days.  One squad member shot 89/100 the previous week at sporting clays, well above the SCSon.  Either said shooter had a real good day last week or a real bad day this week.  The SCSon's performance was in line with practice.  No matter, I'm sure everyone performed to their best on the day.  I'm proud of all! Good shootin' all!

06 April 2013

Shotgun Raffle Results

The raffle for the two Winchester SX3 Sporting 12 gauge shotguns was held tonight as scheduled.

Good News and Bad News.  Good news, I sold one of the winning tickets.  Bad News, the winners have already received a call and your phone probably didn't ring (mine either, Rats!).  The winning ticket I sold was sold locally.  So sorry..  I felt the same pang with Tam's raffle.  Still happy to support a good cause .

Sorry you didn't win.  Sorry I didn't win (I even bought another ticket tonight). 
but that is the nature of raffles.  Still Thank you all for supporting RSTT and youth shooting.  RSTT is a phenomenal program and worth every penny and every moment we've invested into it.

Here is the raw video.   The lighting sucks and I'm no Oleg Volk.  The point of this vid is to document the pulling of the winning tickets and verify the integrity of the process.  They picked the youngest person on the range and blindfolded him.  He mixed the tickets in the bin before selecting one.

Now the cool part is that we will see that gun out on the range next year.  The 2nd winner is local and his daughter is interested in the program.  I fully expect to see her on the line next year!  How cool is that!

Tonight marks the end of RSTT's season.  The SCSon who as of last Fall had never shot a scattergun in his life and was extremely recoil sensitive. Tonight a few months later he shot a 19/25 and 21/25 shooting a 12 ga on the trap field.  I have no confidence I could match that.  All credit goes to the RSTT coaches. Label me the proud papa.

I especially thank the other bloggers that linked to my post.   You Guys Rock!
Give me a little time to research the links and I will update with appropriate back links.

There will be another raffle in the fall.  Stay tuned for details.

01 April 2013

Last week for Raffle Tix

The shotgun raffle is this Friday.  I still have some tickets left.  Some readers requested tickets but I haven't heard from them so the new policy is first come, first served.

As USPS MO's arrive, I will issue tickets, and email a scan back as issued.  The ticket part that goes into the drawing requests certain information such as name, email & phone #.

Look for video of the drawing to be posted here next week.

BTW, RSTT now has possession of the shotguns and they sure are sweet!  Looks even better than the pic on the Winchester website.  Sure wish I'd thought to get a pic of it Saturday :-(