30 May 2010

That's not quite the image...

I have in mind when I think "e-Postal"

The SCSon had a school project to write an autobiography. Under the heading "For Fun:" he wrote
Well my family goes to E-Postal shooting matches.
and then included this picture That's an M2 .50 cal Browning Machine Gun"Ma Deuce" on the deck of the USS Missouri now parked in Pearl Harbor. It's not the pic I would have chosen but then again, it's not my book. And if you can't go "over the top" when you're 10, when can you?

While this month's e-Postal contest does not include a category for full auto, I'll be happy to accept the entry either in class 7 (Centerfire rifle, iron sights) if you are comfortable shooting "Standing unsupported, one or two hands" or in class 9 (other) if you insist on using the tripod mount.

Consider this your friendly reminder LAST CALL!!! All entries must be in by Midnight Tuesday.

25 May 2010

Left side marginal updates

Please welcome WilsonBlog and Mariner1460 to the daily reads. WilsonBlog popped up on the sitemeter daily perusal. I popped myself on over to find a fellow shooter with lil'ole SCS there in his blogroll. Wilson presently lists some good reminders for bloggers: Pictures help tell the story, but keep them small (he's on dialup). Links are good, but not too many. [side note, too many links don't bother me personally but this new technology that pops up unwelcome stuff on the page while I'm trying to read is downright annoying]. And finally, post because you care, not because of some "post everyday" rule. Pop your browser over to Wilson--Blog and RTWT. It's a good reminder from a reader.

I concur pictures help tell the story, and I generally downsize the pictures. But I don't do it for Mr. Wilson's direct benefit. I do it because I'm selfish. Once in a blue moon I get a really good picture, almost. Once a millenia I accidentally actually take a really good picture. No photographer wan't their best work stolen. My best defense is to only publish low res non-commercially useable versions. If you like the a pic and want the rights to use it, lets talk. I'm reasonable. But in the meantime, I'm happy it benefits Mr. Wilson and every other user with fast page loads and won't notice the pic is only 72 dpi and encoded as a lossy jpeg rather than 300 bit map. (If you ever have one of your pics show up without your permission and unattributed you'll feel the same).

Mariner1460 submitted a handful of ePostal targets for he and his son. Mariner1460 mostly covers small boat sailing on the San Francisco bay but they have recently gotten into shooting. I grew up racing on the bay so it's a deep interest.

Also, I am ashamed to have overlooked Cheaper Than Dirt in the Gunnie Links section. I've enjoyed their catalogs and ordered from them in the past. Like other big names[Midway] the order was handled quickly and efficiently. I wish other [non-gunnie] vendors were as professional.

Finally, sitemeter shows a bit of a Dirt-Slide from their blog post. I did not know CTD had a blog either (*head hung in shame*). So the blog gets it's own entry.

One correction though. While this weekend is the last opportunity to shoot the May ePostal. However I'll be taking entries through Midnight Tuesday (01June 23:59). So if you're heading out camping and taking some LEDs* along, take some dartboards along as well. You'll have time on Tuesday to submit the targets even if you get home late Monday night.

Post Script: Random Nuclear Strikes is next at bat for the ePostal contest. They are still choosing their target and don't expect to have the next match posted until at least Monday... Tick-Tock guys! We don't want to hear the start is delayed because you were up all night analyzing NKorean fallout or some such weak excuse. After all what really is more important, heading off an international nuclear conflict or kicking off the ePostal contest on time ;-)

I'll be checking in early and often just in case they do get started this weekend. Who knows, could be a two-fer weekend!

PPS: I run a mostly reciprocal blogroll here, so long as the content on your end does not offend me. [Did I mention I was a sailor?] If you link to me, drop me a line and let me know.

PPPS:LEDs = Lead Emitting Devices

22 May 2010

Why we shoot

Mariner1460 just submitted a couple ePostal targets for he and his son. He included a note from his son which made my day.
"Hey, Dad. You know how sometimes when you don't feel like doing something because it doesn't sound fun, and then you go do it and it's awesome?"
"You mean like shooting today?"
"Yeah, that dartboard target was really fun!"

That's why we do this. Glad you enjoyed it! And you are right. Shooting is awesome!

The May match "Throwing Darts" is drawing to a close after next weekend. As this is a holiday weekend here in the USA, I'll accept entries through Tuesday June 1.

Random Nuclear Strikes will host the June match

19 May 2010

Career advice

The DayJob(tm) is hiring and received notifications I'm scheduled for a couple up coming interviews. A couple words of advice for people in the job market: (primarily for noob's as experienced seekers already know this)

* You already know to search yourself on the internet and scrub any "marginal" content. You know we will search you out to see if what you tell us about yourself matches what we find on the web.

* Make absolutely sure your written correspondence is impeccable. Here's a proofreader's trick: start at the bottom right corner of your document and read each word backwards. Reading it normally, your mind fills in the blanks. Reading it backwards destroys the context and allows concentrating on individual words. As an interviewer I'll point out any typos I find for two reasons. One to see how they handle the challenge and also as feed back so they can correct the error going forward.

Which brings me to this. We are judged on our communication skills. People form a perception of us by our communication skills, both written and oral. Personally I stutter a bit which drags me down on the oral side. But I try to make up for it on the written side by being extra vigilant for typos and grammo's (Grammatical errors).

This applies several orders of magnitude to PR people. Your entire job is to represent your organization to the public. This is mostly done indirectly by communicating to other professional communicators (the media) whom you want to disseminate your carefully crafted message to the public. Absolutely everything must be picture perfect. So what opinion do you think I formed when I pulled up this:Blithering idiots.

I haven't read a word of your message and you've already communicated your intellectual status. You're idiots. Oh sure you're going to lay the blame on some low level web person. No sale. I know how it works, you emailed them a file and they posted it. Why should they review it, after all, they are low level websters and you are high level PR mavens. Also, you are responsible for everything that goes out to the public.

P.S. I'm not perfect. I'm a good speler but a lousy typir;) But I care enough to proofread repeatedly and fix immediately because I understand the perception.

16 May 2010

The phone rang

it was about 10pm. We were still up but it's definitely on the dark side of the "too late to call" line. 'Twas the neighbors, the ones that we were watching their dogs because they were out at the lake. They weren't expected home until the next afternoon.

They had an altercation at their campsite. They pulled in after a day at the lake to find a couple guys going through their stuff. The neighbor told them this was their campsite and they needed to leave. Words were exchanged which ended when the badguy pulled out a gun and asked "Can you stop a bullet?"

The neighbor [unarmed] backed off and called the sheriff. Who arrived 25 minutes later and wrote out citations for disturbing the peace for both but did nothing about the guy brandishing the weapon.

Said neighbor has had the revelation... When (milli)seconds count, the police are minutes away. He suddenly found himself and his family face to face with a bad guy and a gun and no answer to the problem 'cept to hope the bad guy doesn't feel like killing today.

Looks like we'll be taking them to the range soon for basic familiarization on the 4 rules and advising to get some training. Even money he'll have a CCW and a carry weapon inside of 6 months.

Ear - to - Ear!

That would be our grins as we headed home from the range today.

The family came out with me to give this month's ePostal contest a try. Eh, not bad but I can't shoot offhand for spit.

Down at the other end of the range we heard an occasional rata-tat-tat. The SCSon wandered off to see what it was. He reported back "He has a Tommy gun in a Viola case!" Heh.. "A violin case would be more traditional" I mused.

As we packed up and headed out, the SCSon stopped by the owner and complimented him on the gun. The owner replied with words we would all like to hear: "Would you like to try it?" SCSon turned to SCQueen..."MOM CAN I???"

She said they'd drop off the gear in the car and be right back.

The owner loaded up 5 rounds into the drum magazine and wound the spring. He advised the gun has very little recoil or muzzle rise. He then brought the SCSon up to the line and braced his shoulder with one hand supported the gun with the other. "Don't drop my gun" is all he said.

And me with no camera to record the event! (Ok, Your offspring unit is on the line with a Tommy gun and about to unleash a brass rainbow. What would you pay to have a camera right now? Priceless!

He reloaded for both the SCQueen and myself. When he offered it to me, I wanted to thank him and decline but I couldn't say no. Full auto invitations are slightly less rare than tax rate reductions.

The trigger was stiffer than expected, but as he said, no noticeable recoil or muzzle rise.

Full auto is clearly nothing new to the owner... He related letting an exwife try his Sten gun at some time in the past. I gather the Sten is traditionally shot from the hip. She fired a small burst "Rat-a-tat" and gasped. Then a longer burst "Rat-a-tata-tat" *gasp*. And then the rest of the magazine by which time she was positively orgasmic.

He clearly gets more enjoyment sharing it with others than he does just burning through the .45ACP himself. It's funny how that works. We thank him for sharing his toys with us.

So, I shot a 1928 Tommy gun on full auto today! What'd you do?

14 May 2010

Me neither...

...I'm not hanging out with the cool kids in Charlotte. Not for lack of trying though. Airline flights were reasonably priced but inconveniently timed. All the flights home departed at OMG-dark-thirty (EDT). Adding time for Security theater, some semblance of breakfast and correcting for biological time translates to why-go-to-bed (AZST)? Also it appeared all the available hotel rooms were far enough out we'd need a vehicle to make the trip and now we have to deal with parking problems. Strike three and you're out. Also Charlotte has nothing else to offer as an attraction. Yea I see the NASCAR HOF just opened. I love motor racing but "roundy-round racing" and "yellow flag for my favorite driver needs a yellowdebris on the track leaves me yawning is disbelief. [OTOH, this weekend is Monaco]

Next year is Philadelphia which the SCQueen has wanted to visit anyway. Look for us there!

Instead I'm home playing PC repairman. The SCQueen's PC gave a sudden last gasp today and now it won't boot. Some of the best advice ever, may have been from the notebooks of Lazarus Long, was "Make sure she has her own desk and KEEP YOUR HANDS OFF". Today this translates to "Make sure she has her own computer and etc..."

She was thinking she has a virus. Could be, but I took the drive out and ran virus scan on the drive from another suspected clean machine [do we ever really know?] Nothing found.

My first guess was a bad power supply. Fortunately I had one in stock. No dice. Tomorrow we'll try a new processor (also in stock) and failing that, a different motherboard (also instock).

Update: Swapping the motherboard fixed the problem and she's back up and running. But I can't get the genuine windows validator to run and it seems awfully slow...

09 May 2010

Mother's day

For today's "Hallmark(r) holiday" I took the SCSon out to the range. While some may say "Hey, wait a sec! That's cheating". Understand what the SCQueen gets out of the deal... a couple hours of quiet! And that's absolute Au.

So anyway, we took the opportunity to try the May ePostal. And I must say, WHAT SADISTIC ILLEGITIMATE SON came up with this abomination! Even with the distance corrections, those target areas are completely obscured by the sights. And the 100% rifle targets at 25 yards? GMAFB! All I can do offhand (Unsupported) with Fe sights is try to keep the shots on paper. I'm trying a new load in the .30 carbine though and the 4x sight at 25 yards looked reasonable though. I really wanted to chrono the load but that's something to do on a solo trip.

Still, even misses are likely to count for something on this target, the liner rule (counts for the higher score) enlarges the hit zone and there are no no-shoots. So it's still a nice contest to shoot and a plausible excuse to put some Pb downrange.

BTW, if shooting at the specified distance or shooting offhand seems just an absurd waste of ammo, shoot the match as you see fit and submit your target in class 9. That's what it's there for. I brought the target .22 rifle today, but it was too heavy for the SCSon to reasonably control. Instead he shot it from the bench and posted a decent [class 9] score.

BTW, it was a good day to hit the range. It was less than half full which made taking two adjacent benches an easy and unselfish thing to do.

(Sorry, I was a chemistry geek in school and the Breaking Bad train wreck was on tonight)