11 December 2014

November ePostal results

Thanks All for  your entries in the November ePostal match.  Thanks for playing along!

 Sharp-eyed readers may notice a glaring lack of participation of a couple usual suspects - Neither the SCSon nor I have entries as yet.  Though that's not for lack of trying.  We had a range trip on 11/30 specifically to shoot the match.  The targets were in the SCSon's range bag and somehow they ended up left on the stairs.
Good thing there is a special rule associated with this match - extended entry time!  This being the last match of the year, I will continue to accept entries and update the scores until the next match is posted in March 2015.  So fear not, we will get our entries in.  And so can you!

(For the record, this is not a new rule because we blew our chance to shoot.  Refer to last years match results where the same rule was in effect)

- no title specified





Sandwich order


Rimfire Pistol, Iron sights


Mrs True Blue Sam

Ruger mk III, Red Dot sight


Turkey, Canadian Cheddar & Swiss Cheese, Tomatoes, Green Peppers, Shredded Lettuce, Deli Mustard & Mayo


Mike B

S&W 617


Turkey, Canadian Cheddar & Swiss Cheese, Black Olives, Onions, Green Peppers, Yellow Mustard & Honey Mustard



Ruger .22/45


Ham & turkey, Canadian Cheddar & Swiss Cheese, Black Olives, Green Peppers, Tomatos, Mayo


Pat Butler

Remington 617


Turkey, Swiss Cheese, Shredded Lettuce+tomatoes & onions,  Deli Mustard & Mayo



Ruger 12


Ham Swiss, Onions, Tomatos, Green Peppers, Mayo


Engineering Johnson

Ruger .22/45 Red Dot


Turkey, Swiss Cheese, Tomatoes, Green Peppers, Deli Mustard



Ruger SSS .22Mag 9 ½


Ham Canadian Cheddar, Tomatoes, Onions (no condiments)


Rimfire Pistol, magnified optic sights


True Blue Sam

Ruger mk III, 2x scope


 Ham & Turkey, Canadian Cheddar, Black Olives & Onions, Deli Mustard



TC .22LR 2x scope, 10” bbl


Black Olives, Onions, Deli Mustard & Mayo


Rimfire Rifle, Magnified Optic sights



Marlin 795, 3x sight


Ham, Turkey, Canadian Cheddar, Tomatoes, Green Peppers, Onions, Deli Mustard


Center Fire Pistol, Iron sights


Pat Butler

S&W model 19


Turkey, American Cheese, Shredded Lettuce+tomatoes& onions,  Yellow Mustard + Deli Mustard & Mayo



Rossi .357


Ham, Swiss, Tomatoes, Onions, Green Peppers, Mayo



Dan Wesson 4” vent heavy BBL


Ham, Swiss, Shredded Lettuce, Tomatoes, Black Olives & Yellow Mustard


Center Fire Pistol, Magnified optic sights



TC 9mm 2x scope


Roast Beef. Swiss Cheese, Black Olives,


Center Fire Rifle, magnified optic sights



Hi Point Carbine, .40 cal 4x scope


Ham, Turkey, Canadian Cheddar, Swiss cheese, Black Olives, Onions, Tomatoes, Green Peppers, Deli Mustard


Fun class



Pedal Powered air gun


Ham, American, Onions, Black Olives, Green Peppers, Shredded Lettuce, Mayonaisse & Stoli


04 December 2014

USAF Band does it again!

We posted last year's USAF band performance at the Smithsonian Air & Space museum.

They did it again, this time at Udvar-Hazy center.

Magnificent!  I wish I were there to see it first hand.

01 December 2014

Thanksgiving Weekend at the SandCastle

Thanksgiving weekend was pretty quiet here at the SandCastle.  We didn't go anywhere and no relatives came to visit which is too bad because we had some really nice 80+ weather with clear skies.  So sorry for those digging out from record snows and freezing tail in other parts.  This is merely our payoff for putting up with a summer of triple digit temps.

Friday the SandCastle Crew collected on a Groupon deal for go-cart racing.  K1 Speed had a groupon deal that worked out to free signup & half price racing.  I thought it would be fun for the SCSon and I to do.  When I mentioned it to the SCQueen, she whimpered "what about me?"  Ok.  fine, lets buy two.

With the deal set to expire in the next week we had to act.  We signed in and waited to be called to race.  They first gave a briefing on the car.  These are electric carts.  ~20Hp with torque from 0 RPM.  "Go" on the right, "Stop" on the left.  Brakes only on the rears so if you step on them in the middle of a turn, don't be surprised at the resulting spin!  And don't step on the steering push-rods.

I'll skip the gory details but I had a blast.  We had two red flags in the 1st race and the SCQueen decided she'd had enough.  The 2nd race was cleaner, one yellow and no reds.  Good fun!  But Alas, I don't fit the cars... I'm about an inch too wide :-(  And I think it's a bone issue rather than a weight issue.  So I'll burn off the last races but that'll probably be it for me.

Today we took in the Trans Siberian Orchestra show.  I haven't been to a concert in many years.  A week or so ago the SCSon made an offhand comment "they'd be nice to see".  Which got me thinking "Hmmm... I've wanted to see them too" and to the internet to learn they are on stage this week!  YOLO, lets go!

With computer controlled and synchronized lights, lasers, sparks & flames, the show was an audio and visual assault on the senses.  The colored floods aimed at the audience were a "light too far".  The SCQueen shielded her eyes a couple time at the floods.  Just because you can do something with computer controlled lights, doesn't mean you should!  Cool it guys!  Otherwise the show was very enjoyable.

FTC disclosure:  eat it!   Venues/shows mentioned here provided no compensatory value.

07 November 2014

November ePostal "метро"

This challenge transports you back to a common teen first job: making sandwiches.  However this particular sandwich shop is in Mother Russia*.  So you only have one choice of bread and you will like it!  From there need to build a sandwich with a meat choice from the left column,  a cheese from the 2nd column, toppings from the 3rd & 4th, and condiments from the 5th (circles).

Download Target .pdf here  English Version here.

Course of Fire:
Distance:  10 shots at 10 yds or range minimum, which ever is larger.

Scoring is simple:  Your task is to assemble the bestest sandwich you can with 10 shots.  Each FIRST hit on a meat, cheese, topping & condiment counts one point.  No penalty for additional hits on a target.  "Complete sandwich" bonus 2x applies for targets with at least one hit in each of the four categories.

Liner's count.  Even liners on text extending outside of the normal target area.  Any hit touching a line counts as a hit (does not have to be enclosed).  No penalties for liners, no adders for clear hits.  This is intentionally an easy target!  I want to see lots of high scores!  (hits/liners on the course of fire notes do not count.  Those are on the target because many times I've printed targets when it comes out, but don't get around to shooting them until a week or three later.  As I'm driving out to the range I've wondered "How many shots? what distance?".  So it's right there on the target)

This is such an easy target, if you shoot a 10 shots without scoring a point, I want to see that too!  There will be a special class for zero scores! because I expect that will be challenge in itself!  Heck, if you shoot a one score, send that in as well.  This is a "just for fun class" so these targets will be accepted in addition to your best score with the same firearm, the multiple entry rule below not withstanding.

Don't worry about it... just shoot it and let me know the conditions, including if you can't shoot at the specified distance. You may assume a normal caliber/optic/barrel length/distance matrix of classes,   From  .177 air pistol garage range to a bowling ball mortar in a free field.   Potato Gun?  Why not?  Bring it!   Wherever (but post/send/link pics!  Particularly on the BB Mortar, without video, it didn't happen ;-)... just shoot it and I'll find a place to record the score.

Get out and shoot it!
Send in your target scans/photos or links to same to sand castle scrolls at emm ess enn dot com  (apply human filter to resolve actual eaddy).  Include your name (as you want it reported in the results), caliber, distance, sights (iron/ red dot or magnified optic) Gun Make & Model, and any web links you want to include for linky love.

Multiple entries are allowed and encouraged, but please only send your best per firearm.

* Why Russia?  because I needed a plot device to explain the limited options at this particular sandwich shop. My local uboat-way franchise offers many more options than I can fit onto an 8.5x11" sheet, but they can't explain why the advertised Honey Oat is not an available today,  several times in a row!

** I am not  Russian speaker.  "Dos Vidanya", "Nyet" and "minoga" are pretty much the limits of my vocabulary and those reach back to "Hunt for Red October".  The translations  offered here are credited to/blamed on  translate.google.com.

26 October 2014

"Just give them what they want"

How many times have we heard that from"'experts"?  NBC recently ran a report advising "treat them like royalty".

Today's DGC entry (#509) tried to be the good Samaritan, but the bad guys took advantage.  The good guy went along until what the bad guys wanted was the 19YO grand daughter's honor.

Grandpa scored hits on all three invaders, but unfortunately took some hits himself.  But it stopped the attack so I score that as a win, and I'd bet Grandpa would agree.  Heal fast Grandpa!  And good onya for saving your Grand daughter from these thugs.  You sir are a USDA certified 100% hero!

May the surviving bad guys spend many years at the greybar motel until they are old and grey themselves.

22 October 2014

DGC Update

DGC  506: Two guys rob a bank and leave the get away car running out front.  Someone at a nearby business  notices what's going on and takes action.  First he shuts off the car and takes the keys, then he draws his own weapon and waits.

Needless to say, the bad guys weren't amused when they emerged from the bank carrying a garbage can full of money to find their get away compromised. One bad guy gets hit in the ensuing gun fight and does not make it to the hospital.  The other bad guy left quite the carnage of dented cars as he tried for a get away.  But he didn't get far.

I feel bad for those with damaged cars.  They will likely be out their deductible to get their cars fixed.

DGC  507: (Via Bearing Arms) four guys invade a residence, at least one carrying  a gun.  But the residents have been robbed before and kept a weapon handy.  The now dead guy was out on bond waiting for a July trial.  So the taxpayers get to save a bunch of money on those trials and a whole lot more in incarceration costs.  Good shooting!

But I wonder what the bad guys hoped to find in the residence?

Again, what did he think was worth the risk?  The story notes the home had been broken into several times recently.  Was it thought of as an easy mark?  A close relative is a criminal defense attorney.   He tells me "criminals are not stupid.  They know that when a home is robbed, the homeowners typically have insurance to replace the stuff that was stolen.  That means the house now has new stuff to steal and thus becomes a known target."

Good on the resident for taking responsibility for his and his son's personal safety.  Also good shooting!

14 October 2014

RBAR Road Trip!

Photo courtesy SandCastle Son  c2014
We took a weekend road trip to the Red Bull Air Races and hang out with my cousin & family.

The course itself didn't look terribly exciting compared to some they've come up with in the past, but considering the venue, it still promised much exciting racing.

Saturday was a beautiful day only a bit hot due to the harsh Sun.  We arrived around 1030-1100 to watch some pilots practice a bit.

Then reviewing the schedule, discovered we'd arrived about 3 hours too early.  That meant a lot of time standing around in precious shade avoiding the sun and purchasing exorbitantly priced food  & drink just to ward off heat stroke and dehydration.  The food wasn't just bad, it makes the pre-cooked stuff at your corner gas station five star cuisine by comparison.  And of course they don't allow any outside food or drink.

Protip: Pack a cooler for lunch and leave it in the car.   Then plan a midday tailgate! (in & outs are allowed on the ticket).

Finally the qualies started.  to my grand amusement,  one of the announcers clearly is not familiar with speed units "Knots"  (abbreviated kts).  The announcer breathlessly called out starting speeds as "197 knots per hour!", or "199 kilometers per hour".  He'd occasionally get it right and just call it "knots".   For those unfamiliar as our announcer, suggest check reference 9b here.  The SCQueen suggests his normal job is probably announcing American motor races, not international air races.  Methinks she's on to something...

So with the Sunday schedule in mind, we arrived much later with the intent of catching the actual racing.  The flags standing at full attention provided the first clue something was amiss indicating a stiff wind.  The pylons are intentionally made of a very flimsy material so that an inadvertent touch will not harm the aircraft.  But in windy conditions it makes for pylons that dance around quite a bit.  this is especially a problem for the air gates where they seem to simultaneously either bend together or apart.  My cousin pulled out his smart phone and checked winds at Nellis AFB.  The ASOS was reporting winds 0, calm.   We disbelieve!  North Las Vegas (VGT) told a more realistic story, some 26G30.

The first two pilots both clipped a pylon or two, though the next several raced clean, truly a testament to their skills.  Still  the decision was made to suspend qualies due to the winds.  It was about time for us to leave due to travel constraints.  As we headed out to the car, the wind in my face felt  even stronger, I'd guess pushing 40 kts.  I mused... "I wonder what makes them think the winds are going to die down any time soon."   (long discussion on what causes those winds and when might they end interesting only to weather geeks omitted.  couple hints; "air masses" and "not today buster!")

And sure enough, the winds never did ease enough to resume racing.  So our call to leave early was proven correct.  And we were not alone in leaving after qualies were suspended.  Legions accompanied us to our cars.

Race organizers offer 50% off tickets to next year's race due to the lack of racing.  Quite frankly this surprised me as they did not even come close to filling the seats.  I'd guess 10% capacity at best and fully expected their decision would be "well this was a bust, let's regroup next year!"  Also weather conditions in this area go through a major shift mid October where daily high temps will drop from mid-hi 90's to mid-hi 70's over a period of three days.  They need to push it back a week on the calendar.  But no...  2015 is already on the calendar

I'll probably sign up for the "refund".  Though it's really a  credit towards next year's event, assuming it does.  They say it's on the schedule, but with such a dry turnout, what will be different next year?

This episode of the RBAR will air on Monday Oct 27 at 7PM ET/4PM PT on Fox Sports 1.

The well worn curse...

"may you live in interesting times"  played out last Friday AM.

The SandCastle Queen and I ventured a few miles South to rent a car for a weekend road trip.  This is a storefront car rental operation, nowhere near the airport.  We'd reserved a car online so we were expected.

While going through the preliminaries of presenting ID & credit cards, the rental agency phone rang.  We only hear one side of the conversation,  "No I can't release that information, my company is very strict about that...  hang on a second".  [he continues processing our transaction]"Who are you with?"  "What names are you interested in".... "okay... hang on a bit, I'm with a customer right now."

A minute or two later a young hispanic guy (HG) walks in and gingerly takes the chair by the door while we continue our transaction.  A minute or two later he asks to use the bathroom.   I'm thinking "interview"? He quickly continues "I'm here to rent a car."  The guy behind the counter (GBC)  asks for his name.  I do not recall the name but the GBC tells him, "Oh we just talked on the phone and as I mentioned, we are out of cars.   Come back after Noon."

The HG turns and walks out... exposing the 1911 on his right hip.  Now AZ is an open carry state so no freakout on anyone's part.   GBC picks up the phone and says "one of them just came in"...  "OK, hang on"

We head out to check out the car we are renting... The HG is lurking in the corners of the parking lot with a couple friends.  The car looks good 'cept the GM badge in back is crooked.  The SCQueen asks the GBC if we should call 911 for him.  "No need they are watching these guys and they have eyes on".

The GBC made some comment about the HG wearing a gun.  I commented "But you have yours too, right?  "no.. company rules".   Scanning the area, the HG & friends are gone,

I tried to put a bug in his ear,,, "What us more important?"  "This job or your life?"  Thinking "Dude, You are out here all alone,  Should something happen, you are dependent on the folks at the Sprint store next door or the kids working Arbys store to come to your aid."  And then how long before how long before help shows up?  See also, realtors of Texas.

Arizona is under a manhunt right now.  An LEO was shot in the face a couple days ago and these guys may or may not be connected.  Equally possible these guys are running drugs or involved with any such criminal activity,

Returning the car Monday AM, we inquired about the HG.  Nothing came of it.  "He never came back."  And nothing in the news.  Guess it never happened.

06 October 2014

DGC update

503: three badguys invade a home while grandma makes breakfast for the grand children.  Adult son hears the commotion and comes out shooting.  One DRT and two on the run!  And that works for me...

504 & 505: Four bad guys enter a Texas bar but a good guy within is carrying and sends two to the final roundup.  Catch is, the bar is posted no weapons allowed, felony penalties apply.  Needless to say the sign didn't stop the bad guys.  Fortunately it didn't stop the good guy either.  I hope this ends up "no billed" on the good guy and failing that "There's not a jury in Texas that would convict a good guy in a case like this"  and the prosecutor declines to pursue charges.

01 October 2014

DGC update

DGC 499:  Teens break into home, one dies of a case of lead poisoning.

Normally I'd be cheer a headline like that, but this may be a case of four lives thrown away for peanuts.  What'd they expect to score in the invasion?

The teens were enrolled in a welding program at the local technical school.  Certified welders are in high demand and they would have a job on graduation day.  Just ask Phil @ RNS.

Instead, one dead and three facing murder charges (Felony murder rule) which a timely 911 call probably could have avoided.  The wasted potential makes me sad.

Kids, remember this case.  The choices you make today will affect the rest of your life.  A felony at 18 means limiting your employment prospects, no voting (mebbe) and never touching a gun.

DGC 500: 11YO shoots man stabbing her mom.
Good on the 11YO and whoever taught her to use a gun!  Update the attacker survived.  No DGC for you.  (Still good shooting and I'm glad the 11YO was there and stopped the attack.

DGC 500 & 501:  three bad guys attempt to rob a gas station attendant.  He pulls the gun openly carried on his hip and returns fire, killing two of the three.

Let me say that again ... OPENLY CARRIED ON HIS HIP...  Wow... did these guys sleep through "the interview" class in bad-guy school?

The Good guy took some hits to the legs & hip, but nothing life threatening.  Heal fast good-Guy!

Via The Blaze which includes this gem
Everybody knew all the employees carry a gun!
How did they miss that?  If they catch the third guy, he'll likely get the Felony-Murder rule treatment as well.

DGC 502: I Shot My Stalker! (Via Bearing Arms)

Woman shoots a man who has been stalking her for six months and just kicked he way through her door, past the chair backing up the deadbolt.  Good Shooting! i am so glad you were armed and able to stop this guy when clearly the police couldn't/wouldn't.

And a side note, if they took your gun as evidence, as I hear this is often the case, I hope you have procured another!

Sigh, so many DGCs, so little time.  Seems there were others but these are the one I can recall today.

Update 03oct:  I misread the story of the 11YO - the attacker survived.  Also, the gas station attendant gts two DGC credits.

09 September 2014

DGC plus three

Web wanderings today bring us another three DGC stories.

Yesterday via Fox59  via Bearing Arms: a bad guy tries the old ATM double withdrawl  (good guy withdraws cash from ATM, bad guy attempts to withdraw cash from good guy).   But talk about a poor choice of location, the ATM is across the street from IMPD West End Police HQ where officers are having roll call and hear the shots.  they came running and found one dead, one wounded.

Note the ATM is in front of a Kroger grocery store.  As BA notes, hopefully this will wake up shoppers to the need to carry a gun and why Kroger should not make itself a gun free zone.


Next from Omaha we have the story of a father at home with his 4 YO daughter.  The doorbell rang twice and before dad could get to the door, the BadGuy has kicked it in.  Fortunately Dad has his gun and shoots the intruder.

Today we learn the shooting has been ruled justified.

Good shooting Dad!

DGC: 497

And finally from WRAL in South Carolina  again via Bearing Arms:
A homeowner shot and killed a masked man early Sunday who had broken into the Timberlake home, aimed a shotgun and demanded money, authorities said.
Fortunately the good guy shot first.  It must have been a good shot as he didn't survive the helicopter trip to the trauma center and into surgery.

The remaining question is will the now dead bad guy's girlfriend be charged under the felony-murder rule.  She was found driving in the area at the time, but can they tie her to the crime?

DGC: 498

08 September 2014

It was a dark and stormy night...

No really it was.

Doppler RADAR was clear about 0030 but the noise of the rain on the roof woke me from a dead sleep around 0220.  To say it rained cats and dogs would be an understatement. Let's go with tigers and wolves for now.  The first band moved off by 0300 followed by another around 0630 and a third around 0830 as I headed to work.  Local news reports Phoenix Sky Harbor logged 3.69" rain and surrounding communities reported 5" give or take.

Streets were flooded.  Case in point, SandCastle Street:
Photo credit SandCastle Queen c2014
The SCQueen waded in about a foot of water to take this picture.

It helps to understand Arizona laws regarding water retention.  I've been told* Arizona state law requires a land owner to retain any and all water that falls on his property, on his property.  This helps recharge the ground water and simplifies city provided storm run-off management.  While communities that regularly receive a surplus of water they can easily divert storm surplus out to sea,  We live in  desert and every bit of water that falls upon us is precious should be saved for the future.

Now it's not terribly practical for each home owner residing on a sub-acre lot of suburbia to comply. Instead each section of suburbia has a low spot that the storm run-off drains to, also called retention basin.

Our community retention basin is 90 degrees to the right of the above picture and  750 ft down the street seen here:
Photo Credit SandCastle Queen c2014
The retention basin is about the furthest you can see in the shot above.  The four tall palm trees just right of the close in palm at the left edge is in the retention basin.

360 days a year the retention basin is conveniently disguised as an inviting grassy park.  Ours even has a sand covered tot play area and a sports court with basketball rims.  5 days a year it's a small pond after typical summer thunder-boomer.  Once or twice a century that "pond" overflows and the local drains backup into the street.

Like this:
Photo Credit SandCastle Queen c2014
The water retention basin is to the left, sports court close edge marked by the basketball hoop.  The rest of the retention basin heads off about 500' to the left.

The main street bends off to the right of the fire hydrant towards the previous pic.

Judging by the fire hydrant, the sidewalk is about a foot underwater.  The street another half foot below that.  The basket ball rim suggests the sports court is about 4 feet deep and there are deeper parts of the park than that.  Some residents near the park reported 4" water in their homes.

Compared to many other parts of the country, 4-6 inches of rain over a couple hours is a normal summer rain shower, or just the opening bids of a hurricane.  But places like that have storm run off systems to deal with that kind of run-off on a regular basis.

This was one for the record books in these parts!

* IANAL and I haven't bothered to research the relevant ARS.  But it makes sense to me.

01 September 2014

DGC + 1 2

This is the kind of headline I like to read:
"...Homeowner shoots, kills burglary suspect"
 Two guys break in and hold two women and an 11 YO at gunpoint.  Guy sleeping in the back of the house wakes up and comes out shooting.

The comments are refreshing in that there wasn't much attempt to paint the intruders as choirboys.  

DGC: 494

And I just spotted another one At Albuquerque Journal via Breitbart:  Badguy robs a DQ, but isn't satisfied with the take and keeps pointing the gun demanding more.  GoodGuy comes around the corner and shoots the bad guy.

Fortunately the right people are alive and the aggressor is not.  Obvious question is whether corporate will have anything to say about it.  I hope the word is "Thank you" or "good shot", but all too often the word is "You're fired".  We'll keep an eye on this one.


Update:  The bad guy's name has been released.  The story includes this gem:
Sergeant Aaron Williamson said he has an extensive criminal history.

18 August 2014

What part of the word "requirement" do you not understand?

I find myself in a position I never thought I'd ever find myself.  I'm in the market for a "new" (to me) car.

In 30+ years driving, and buying/driving half a dozen cars or so, they've always been "pre-owned" AKA "used".  Some would qualify as "very used".  At least one qualified as a "historic vehicle" in my home state of Arizona.  I have never before purchased a new car, nor did I think I'd every be in a position to do so.  But here I am due to my own tight fiscal policies.

So while investigating used car prices, it seemed appropriate to check out new car prices.  To that end followed through the TrueCar website which in turn forwarded my contact info (uninvited) to several local dealers.

I explained to each of them "here are my requirements:  crew cab, manual transmission and air conditioning".

TWO reps came back asking "are you at all flexible on your transmission choice"  My first reaction was to berate them with "JUST WHAT PART OF THE WORD REQUIREMENT DO YOU NOT UNDERSTAND"?   But that wouldn't be helpful.  Instead  I replied with re-iterating my requirements: crew cab, manual transmission and air conditioning*.

I take their "are you flexible on this REQUIREMENT(my emphasis)" response to mean " I have several crew cabs models  with AC on our lot  that I need to move, but they all are automatic transmissions."

If I were to purchase a vehicle without any of these three REQUIREMENTS I would be PO'd and disgusted that I'd settled for less than what I wanted.  Even if you gave me the car, I'd be still disappointed every single trip.

A little help for  these dealers, from Websters, here's the definition of REQUIREMENT:

 noun \-ˈkwī(-ə)r-mənt\: something that is needed or that must be done

Sidebar....thirty-ish years ago a sailing rag called latitude 38 (wonderful folk and I'm a long time happy reader) ran a story about a Santa Cruz boat builder.  He made the point that rings true today.  (paraphrasing)
I promise a boat delivery on a certain date but if I have to cut corners to make the delivery, the owner will likely be PO'd every time he steps foot on the boat.  But if I take an extra week or two to make sure it's done right, he'll curse me for two weeks, then thank me every day thereafter,
I think that's sage advice and that's where I am... I have three requirements, you know what they are.

One dealer has come back saying "the factory never manufactured that combination", which I know is factually untrue.  So they are off the list, thank you for playing our game.  You may pick up the home version on your way out of the studio. LOOOOOSER!

Friendly tip, when I use the word "requirement" I mean "I WILL NOT BUY ANYTHING LACKING THESE FEATURES".  Capitol letters implying shouting intended.

I have the advantage that time is on my side.  I do not have to purchase a vehicle by any particular date, So I can wait for the right deal.

* I should have probably added "no black paint" as a requirement, though I'm more flexible on color than on the power train.  Black paint absorbs all solar radiation while other colors do not.  Color is not a specific requirement,  but black is out. Who TF buys a black car  in the desert?  I need a lighter color like white or silver.

** BTW, you have a small sized pickup meeting these REQUIREMENTS :  2005-2010 crew cab PU with manual transmission & air conditioning,  Make is less important:  Nissan Frontier is what we are looking at.   I think I saw a Ford "explorer-ish" size wise but with a bed but I don't find a similar model on the website,  If you have something that might fill the bill, lets talk!,  Crew cab Air conditioned, manual transmission.  Black paint is a minus,  I'm open to offers in AZ and adjacent states,

12 August 2014

SCTP nationals 2014 edition

I meant to post these awhile ago...  But better late than never.  And there will be more!

Here are my two favorite shots from Sparta:

First we have the SCSon in the box while a younger shooter from the next squad visualizes the shot:
This is actually one of a sequence of two pics where he younger's hands tracks the action of the shooter!

The pic makes much more sense when taken into context of the pic taken a few seconds earlier where SCSon's squad mate 'M' (a lefty) coaches* a younger team mate on visualization:
The picture I was hoping to catch was the three from a high angle (Coach 'M', Shooter "SCSon" and pupil 'X' all inn the same shot.  I see it clearly in my memory, but failed to capture the bits.  *sigh*  It was about a 1 second window and I got 1.5 out of 3 :-(  These are the pixels collected.  I'm just glad to have set up in position to nab what I did.

* Squad mates can coach each other but coaches (and parents?) are forbidden from coaching during a competition.  In my case it's a "don't care" as the SCSon now knows more about hitting the birds and has more experience than I do.  He coaches me when we shoot :-|  Color me humbly proud!  (But Don't get cocky kid!)

Still I love that Arizona Flag, displayed loud and proud!

23 July 2014

Sad case, but justified

Hotel guest exhibits genuine antisocial behavior (vandalizing lights & banging on doors when another guest, thinking the coast is clear. opens his door and is charged by the bad guy.  Fortunately he's CCW and the bad guy ends up DRT.

This is a sad case because the "bad guy" likely has mental issues.  Still the good guy on the scene doesn't have the luxury to decide if the guy means "I want to kill someone" or not...

DGC: 490

08 July 2014

DGC Two for Tuesday edition

First we have an entry from Dayton Ohio where Isiah Haggins and an accomplice made a tragic failure of the victim selection process.   A quick web search paints a clear picture of a choir boy minding his own business and shopping for back to school clothes.

Well done props to the shopkeep.  One got away, but if he is caught, he'll face 2nd degree murder due to Ohio's version of the Felony Murder Rule.

Of course the family is up in arms.  Sorry, no regrets here.  Seems you raised a thug and the risks of his profession caught up with him at a very young age.  Hopefully his siblings will learn a different lesson and we won't have to do this again.

Second,  David Codrea / War On Guns brings the story of a home invasion gone right (from the standpoint of the homeowner).  Four armed intruders enter the house, three left in a hurry following the successful counter attack on a leader.

Well done Rick in your role as BF/defender!  you have proven yourself worthy of any mate.  I hope Chelsea see's the value too.

Let me know when you're engaged, I'll gift a box of shells.... as long as it's not .22LR!  That stuff is currently unobtainium!

DGC 488, 489

26 June 2014

Don't bring a knife to a gun fight

I saw this story on the news but didn't catch the fatal (and thus qualifying) nature of the response.
The shop proprietor is a former LEO and former Secret Service, but it appears Pennsylvania is shall issue and thus she wasn't using any special "only-one" privilege to carry at work, thus it qualifies.

In this case the bad guy depended on encountering a unarmed cashier and expected no resistance.

Bad assessment, you lose.

DGC: 487

21 June 2014

Achievement Unlocked

No, not me, but the SandCastle Son.  The small blob near the top of the frame below and tracked by eight 12 gauge shotguns at the bottom of the frame is the SCSon's hat.  
Photo credit to the pink hatted shooter's mom.
A tradition among the Scholastic Clay Target Program* is to shoot the hat the first time a shooter scores a perfect round of Trap.  (Normally they let the shooter take if off first).  

Some come down full of ragged holes and in need of repair before wearing.  One young man showed me his with shot pellets still under the fabric of the bill.  These shot up hats are worn as badges of honor at tournaments.  Here's the hat after the event:
This is the SCon's hat.  There are many like it but this one is his.

With 8 shooters, you'd hope for more than just one solid hit but that's about all that scored.   Then again,  shooter's are used to tracking a target.  The first shooter to connect interrupts that tracking.  It's likely the first shot spoiled the tracking of the next 7 shooters.  Such is the game.  

Dang!  I wish I'd brought a shotty along for this one event.  Called it last year and now, sigh, moment passed.

Starting this season back in September 2013, The SCSon voiced his goal this year was" to shoot his hat".  Today was the day!  Congratulation bud!  You earned it!

* The tradition probably has other roots as well but that's where we learned of it

15 June 2014

Adrenaline Dump

It's a peaceful Sunday PM.  I've been plowing through the piles that have accumulated on my desk. [insert picture of waste basket full of junk mail]  Came across both the 2013-2014, and 2014-2015 insurance id cards required by the state.  I heard a couple car doors slam shut out front followed by a loud banging on the security door.

I've heard this before, like when the SandCastle Queen went out for a walk with the dog, then I walked by the door and noticed the dead bolt wasn't (and so I did).  But a mental check suggested this wasn't the case.  It's 10:45 PM local.  The SCSon headed to open the door.  I told him to stop and let me verify.

Turns out it was City PD (CPD) come to discuss a concern the SCQueen raised in an email several weeks ago!  The email regarded undesirable activities in a community park nearby and requested \CPD support in the form of a occasional drive by using the searchlight to look for people in the park after hours.

The SCQueen went out to discuss the issue with them.  They had a long list of excuses for why it wasn't their job (they always do).  She came back pissed (I don't blame her).  Antis are always saying "just call 911", yet here we have CPD all to often saying "not our job"

After action review, some stuff went well, some we could have done better:
What went well:  SCSon did not immediately answer the door.
What could have gone better: I should have asked "wait a minute.  do I understand you are banging on my door at a quarter to eleven to discuss a non emergency email sent weeks ago"?   Really?

Also I should have called 911 to verify the guys were indeed CPD before opening the door.  Finally, CPD could have been "professional" about this non-emergency issue and dealt with it during normal working hours.  Banging on the door at 10:45 rings of harassment.

I regret I didn't immediately explain to them that this is not the time for this conversation, the SCQueen is asleep and would love to talk to you during normal business hours tomorrow, come back tomorrow.  Thank you for stopping by.  (but by then she was awake and on site).

Adrenaline dumped.... none of us will be getting any sleep anytime soon.  :-(

11 June 2014

East Ohio DGC

Prolific DGC contributor Ed found this from East Ohio.   It's a month old, but a check back on Misfires & Light strikes found it hadn't been counted yet.  It's a month old because Ed took the time to verify the actual good guy and bad guy and that charges have not been filed against the good guy.
Coroner: Warren burglary suspect died of gunshot wound to the chest
It's sad the now dead bad guy was only 17.  But approaching a house not your own with a gun at ready is a risky bet, and I'm glad he lost this one.

Ohio has Castle Doctrine which protects an owner inside the house (2901.05 & 2901.09), but they have not yet passed Stand Your Ground.  I want say more, but that heads off into the realm of speculation, and that wouldn't be right.

For now I'm happy the good guy had his own gun when confronted by the bad guy with his gun.

Thanks Ed, keep 'em coming!

DGC: 486

10 June 2014

DGC St. Louis Style

I think the headline says it all:
Dad shoots, kills man who held a gun to teen daughter's head
Dad sees his daughter approaching the house with two guys and a gun to her head.  Both mom & dad grab guns and open fire.  One dead, one critical.

File this under no brainer.  Put a gun to the head of any of my loved ones  and you are betting your breathing privileges.  Well done mom & dad.

In most of the US this is a million to one scenario.  Maybe a billion to one.  But is it something to consider.

DGC: 485

Via ExKevin. Ex in so many ways:  ex-neighbor, ex-blogger, ex-home of the DGC count, but still a good friend.

29 May 2014

Another Day, another home invasion, another dead bad guy

*Yawn*  This time out of the Atlanta area.  Via AJC:
Two men banged on his door late Tuesday and forced their way into his home, with the first man screaming at him, the homeowner said.
After he shot the first man, the homeowner watched the second man run away and get into a waiting car...
Unfortunately the news story has pitiful little information to go on and leaves far more questions than answers.  I trust the police will ask the pertinent questions.

One question always is, how did they actually get into the house?  This story notes:
 forced their way into his home
What does that mean?  Did they kick the door in?  Perhaps a stronger door, or a security door is in order.  Did the resident open the door to talk and that's when they forced their way in?  Perhaps there is a lesson the Alpha Phi sorority can offer:
His first stop was an Alpha Phi sorority house.... {redacted assailant}* banged on the locked front door, but no one opened it.
And thank God no one did or the toll would have been much higher.  Well done Alpha Phi!

DGC: 484
Via rare.us

* Name redacted to deprive the desired "infamy".  Y'all know who he is but I won't use his name.

G&A Rates The States

Guns & Ammo assessed the states with regard to their gun friendliness.

Of course I was proud to see my chosen state of Arizona at the top of the list, though I think the editors might have been a mite too optimistic as Governor Brewer vetoed a couple of pro gun bills.  One would have allowed CCW holders to carry in more public buildings which are not protected by metal detectors.  As the recent events at Jacques in de la baux and The Pit have demonstrated, no guns allowed signs only keep out the law abiding; providing the criminal element a safe working environment.  Another would have fined municipalities that enacted codes more strict than state laws.

Here is a plot of the G&A scores versus the ranking. The blue line represents the raw G&A scores.
What surprised me (happily) was how many "good" gun states and how few "bad" gun states there are.  the line stays horizontal from the origin for most of the graph.  We have to go all the way to #32 to find a score below 40 (Maine scores 39).   Arbitrarily drawing the line at 80%, that marks 2/3rds as "good gun" states.

The orange line at the bottom is the delta from this state to the previous.  IOW, how far did this state drop from the previous score.  The first thirty seven states the delta is either 0 or -1.  State 38 (Iowa) marks the first change to a steep drop (-3).  The steepest drop doesn't occur until "state" 51 (Washington D.C.) with a -6 drop to a final score of 0 (zero).

28 May 2014

New home of the Dead Goblin Count

"1 dead, 1 wounded in gunfight"

Couple bad guys with a gun meet a good guy with a gun protecting his siblings.  It's not a perfect story as the good guy took some damage and one at least bad guy is still consuming oxygen.  But the siblings are safe and unhurt.

Looks like the police have some good leads so hopefully the accomplices will be brought to justice.

DGC: 483

Please send your future DGC nominations to sandcastle scrolls aat em ess en dotcom (correct obvious typos).  I look forward to upholding the high standards established by the previous trustees of the brand.

The SandCastle Crew sends warmest congratulations to Exurban Kevin of Misfires and Light Strikes.  He's scored the perfect intersection of professional skills, talents and interests.  We'll miss seeing you on the range.

Rumors that the signing bonus included a case of .22LR are probably unfounded.

19 May 2014

Wardrobe Malfunction

That should attract some clicks.  Sorry y'all, no skin here.

The SCSon and I hit the range to score some ePostal targets.  He wanted to shoot the Garand as well (Always a good choice).  Also, I scored a micro-pistol at a recent FoNRA dinner I needed to try - more on that later.

But...  While bending over to pick up brass... RIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIP!

Given the triple digit temps, it was kinda refreshing.  Airy!  yes, that's the word!  Airy.

I pulled my T shirt down and covered the top half of the rip but it still showed more of my tidy-whiteys and leg than I was comfortable with.

The SCSon and I packed up and evac'd to the car.  I hung out there with a towel in my lap while the SCSon waited for the cease fire to collect our targets.  Glad the SCSon was there to help.   The towel in the car would have given me a "grass skirt" option had I needed it, but hiding out was a better course of action.

26 April 2014

Shooter Self Care

"First Aid for Shooters" by Ambulance Driver

This 4 hour class seems to have spawned from an intarweb comment thread:
Do you have a blow out kit in your shooting bag?  You Should!
With the logical follow on questions:
What should I have in my blow out kit?
if you had one, would you know what to do with it?
I could not answer these questions in any favorable response.  So when this opportunity, A Blowout kit + 4 hours training for a very reasonable cost arose,  I jumped on it and signed up the entire SandCastleCrew.

This is BLS (Basic Life Support) with an eye for likely range accidents.  First Aid.  ABC:Airway, Breathing & Circulation.  AD covered these basics and what to do should one of these be compromised.  Good class and hopefully we learned some skills we'll never have to use in anger. But in the meantime, we are a little better prepared than we were at sunrise this AM.

If you can wrangle AD into a class within "convenient distance", whatever that means to you, jump on it!

And thanks to Brownells for covering the refreshments!

25 April 2014

NRA AM day 1

1st day on the floor at NRA Annual Meeting.

Met up with old friends & met some new ones.  Spent the day walking the floor.  I'd thought I saw most of it, but reviewing the SCSon's photos, I've missed a couple spots.

The show floor is a mind-numbing array with yet another AR builder/AK shotty glock parts booth.

A couple things caught my eye though.  An AR builder with an eye to the 3-gun market offers ARs with anodized barrels.  Turns out they are just up the road from the SandCastle.  The colorful anodization helps to identify "your" gun in a rack of near-identical rifles.

I need a new forestock for a recently purchased shotgun because the holding screws are stripped.  The manufacturer would fix it under warranty but to do so will require sending it back to the factory and being without the shotty for several months.  In reality, just purchasing the part will be less than the price of one way shipping so I'd rather just buy the part and put on myself.  Talked to the good folks at Brownells and they suggest a reasonable course of action.

Med class Sat AM & more Sunday.

18 April 2014

Negative rate of return

Well that's thoroughly depressing.  I just went to ssa.gov to see my estimated retirement benefits as well as contributions to date.   I have been working and paying into Social Security for some 30mumble years.

Lets assume I retire tomorrow so I am no longer contributing into the system even though I'm well short of retirement age. I'm fully 40 quarters vested.  Under the best case scenario and I wait until age 70 to start benefits and lived to 90,  I would get back less than 58 cents of every dollar I have contributed over my producing life.  I will have to live to 104 to break even.

Stand by while I consult the magic 8 ball.  "Not Optimistic"

But that's only half the story.  My employers have matched my contributions plus a little bit I don't understand.  That means given the total contributions by me and on my behalf, I will net ~28 cents for every dollar over the same time period.  I'll have to live to 141YO before I break even (again assuming the most optimistic scenario where I stop contributing today and start collection at age 70)

Re-consult magic 8 ball: NFW!!!

I've said for years, I would walk away from my all my SSA contributions todate if they would let me opt out. My calculations show the contributions I will likely  make more contributions in the next ten years that will exceed any withdrawals.  Another way of looking at this, writing off my past thirty+ years contributions + my employer's contributions.  Put my sole contributions into an account with my name at 0% interest,  I still come out ahead on day one!  Add in the employer contribution and I come out way ahead!

Now FedGov wants to sell me into MyRA?  See the negative rate of return shown above!  You have proven you can't manage my money.  Why would I trust you with my next dollar let alone everything
savedtaken over my working life?

I weep for the SCSon's generation.