29 December 2015

November ePostal results (2nd edition)

Here is the first release of the November are the standings of the Winter ePostal match:
Last Updated 09Jan2016

Class Shooter Bangstick score Targets Hit
Rimfire Pistol, Iron sights

Mike B S&W 617 8 8 free parking

Billll Ruger Mk I 8 8 free parking

True Blue Sam Ruger .22/45 7 6 Free Parking + 1 Steering Wheel

True Blue Sam Ruger Mk III 6 5 Free Parking + 1 Steering Wheel

Ed Hibbard Ruger Mk III .22/45 5 2 Free parking + 2 Steering Wheels + 1 Driver's License 8F

True Blue Sam Ruger Single Six 4 4 Steering Wheels + 1 Yield – 1 citation

Matthew Pond Ruger Mk III .22/45 4 2 Free parking + Stop Sign + Steering Wheel

danno Ruger Single Six 1 1 Stop, 11 yards

Mr. CCBCC Ruger Single Six 0 1 Yield + 1 Driver's License – 2 citations, 11 yards

Mr. CCBCC Ruger .22/45 -1 1 Free Parking – 2 citations, 11 yards

danno Ruger .22/45 -1 -1 collision warning, 11 yards

Rimfire Pistol, magnified optic sights

True Blue Sam TC .22LR scope 7 7 Steering Wheels

Rimfire Rifle, Magnified Optic sights

Billll Marlin 795, 3x sight 7 7 Free Parking

Ed Hibbard Savage Mk II, 3-9x sight 7 4 Free Parking + 2 Steering Wheels + 1 stop. 8 degrees F

Matthew Pond Savage Mk II, 3-9x sight 3 Free Parking + Yield + Steering Wheel

Center Fire Pistol, Iron sights

Billll CZ v82 6 6 Free Parking

Billll Glock 22 6 6 Free Parking

Mr. CCBCC Hi Power 2 1 Yield + 1 Driver's License, 11 yards

danno Hi Power 1 1 Stop, 11 yards

There was some confusion on the scoring - hits on the bold lines of the parking spot score as a miss (0), not a "no-shoot" (-1).  Also the sign posts and grass sprigs are part of the target at the top of the post.  The intent here was to add additional scoring area.  (Except on the collision no shoot, the post and grass enlarge that no-shoot (-1).  Sorry for the confusion.  If there is any question in the interpretation of the rules, please ask!

This match is not over!  This is only the first edition results.  I will continue to accept entries until the next match is posted around the end of February/beginning of March.  Also, do not limit yourself to the above classes.  Shoot it however you want and if it doesn't fit the above classes, I will add classes as necessary.

Maybe we SandCastle residents can improve our negative scores.

26 December 2015

New PC...

Not for me, but the SCSon.   He received a new computer game for Christmas and quickly found his PC wouldn't run it as it needed 2x the RAM he had installed.  Quick research showed the DDR2 RAM he uses has fallen from favor and is getting more expensive.  Another 4GB would cost about $150.

Further research showed his processor & Mobo were really old so it really wasn't worth upgrading.

So instead we jacked up the Hard Drive & Case and slid a new CPU + MoBo + RAM underneath.  Fry's had a deal for an AMD FX6600 + MSI 970-G43 MoBo for $109 (After rebates & discounts).  Another $70 brought 16GB RAM.  That meant we could upgrade him several hardware generations for barely more than the cost of the additional RAM into the old system.  That's the way this business works.  Sometimes you just have to jettison the old.

That and about 6 hours of reloading /upgrading to Win10 64bit and mucho frustration, he is now upgraded.  At one point he came to me for help.  I had to beg off "I'm sorry - you are the leading expert in this family on this topic.  You upgraded my netbook and mom's laptop.  You have the experience.  I cannot help."  (besides I was reloading and not enjoying the interruption)  He understood but wasn't very happy about it.  30 mins later he was frustrated to the point of walking away.  Another 30 later, he was successful.  Hopefully the "don't give up" lesson is reinforced.

BTW, the timing here is good as he has the time to apply on the problem, and the motivation to succeed.

And from my experience, 6 hours is about on par to bring up a new system by the time the hardware is installed, drivers installed, OS installed and brought up to date with updates, adding a virus scanner, etc.

And my turn in the barrel is coming..  I run most everything on a Linux box built from leftovers in the junk box.  There is an Win7 machine adjacent for stuff that just runs on Windows (AMD Phenom 8450 triple core, 2.10 GHz).  It too is becoming dated even running Win7.  But I don't really want to upgrade to Win10 until updated hardware is in place.

I'm not very happy that every family needs a resident IT "guy".  But we seem to be there.  And I'm ecstatic the SCSon is stepping up!

24 December 2015


A long time friend is changing jobs and we scheduled a farewell lunch.  Another longtime mutual friend lives across town.  I invited him to fly down and join us.  This is known in pilot circles as "an excuse to fly".  And any real pilot would jump at the chance!  See also "no brainer!"  IOW the trip is the destination,

The nearest airport is one he hadn't landed at in many years.  As he was taxiing in, someone came on the radio to let him know the CTAF* frequency had recently changed.  My friend checked the current AFD** (Apparently it's and android app - Yeah Technology!) and it still showed CTAF on 122.9.  He inquired to the caller "What is the source of your information?"  "That's what somebody told me".  :-(  That's not a very good answer.

My cross-town friend emails tonight:
On the way out of XYZ I saw a sign at the end of RWYnn that said CTAF had changed effective Dec (??).   When I got home I called Flight Service and asked for the CTAF for XYZ.  I was told 122.9.  I told my story and asked was he sure it was 122.9.  He then found the notam that published the change.  Asking for the CTAF is not enough, you have to ask for weather/notams.  What a stupid system.
(Emphasis mine).  I wish for a double bold font for those last four words!  Bold Italics will have to do.

Y'all be careful out there!  And keep the scan going.

* CTAF = (Cee-TAF) =Common Traffic Advisory Frequency,,  This is a frequency used at an uncontrolled airport where  pilots can communicate and coordinate between themselves as to where they are in the pattern and coordinate landing sequence.
** Airport Facilities Directory

22 December 2015

Last Call!!!...

... before posting initial winter ePostal match scores.

The original plan was to post first round scores 'round about yesterday or today.  However I just received the first entries from Mike & Billll.  Unfortunately the "yet to shoot" list includes the SandCastle Crew (we did Sporting Clays yesterday to prep for a year end match instead.  The SCSon beat me by one with a 33/50).

So here's the deal - I'm granting a one week extension.  Rain (or snow) or shine, first round will be posted NLT 12/29.  But additional entries will be accepted and added until the next match is posted in late Feb/Early March 2016.

BTW... I'm noticing a problem with Billll's targets - the traffic citation has no limit.  I'm working with Billll to see where the problem occurred - on my posting the target, his printing, his scanning, or somewhere else.  If you have issues with the target, lets talk and work it out.  eaddy on the target.

19 December 2015

Amazon Air?

So it seems Amazon is no happier with UPS than I am.    Quoting a quote from the article quoted below:
“Amazon is pretty fed up with the third-party carriers being a bottleneck to their growth,” Robert W. Baird & Co. analyst Colin Sebastian said.
Solution? build their own airborne shipping infrastructure!  Everything from this point forward in the post is rampant speculation as a I have no connection to the company save that as a customer.

Ok..  let's think about this..  A network of jets only gets product from the distribution warehouse to a distant city, not to the end address.  So say AtoZco has a distribution warehouse in the Phoenix metro area.  The jet network effectively expands the reach of that network to Southern CA, Bakersfield, Las Vegas, maybe Reno, Salt Lake City, Albuquerque, and probably Western Texas.

I suspect AtoZco has a similar network of distribution warehouses throughout the country, maybe Spokane or Boise, Iowa, Kentucky, and Alabama-ish to cover the SE corner of USA.  That means just a few planes can cut a day, maybe two off 3rd party deliveries.

And then if AtoZco can get the drone deliveries* up and running...  Then they-will-be-golden with 24 hr delivery to most anywhere withing the CONUS a reality.

But this is mere rampant speculation.  What do I know?  I'm a customer and not in the shipping biz and not at all satisfied with BigBrown.  This is the way capitalism is supposed to work - find a need and fill it.  Or in this case, when your transportation chain is broken, work around them!

And lately, seems BigBrown tracking is "broken".  I received a package yesterday (I didn't have a choice of shipper) that wasn't even shown as "out for delivery".  Maybe they are\working the "under-promise, over-deliver" angle.

Again, rampant speculation.

At the very least, maybe it will force BigBrown to up their game,  or they will die.  That's how Capitalism works.  And that's a good thing!

* I'm still not convince on the drone delivery thing.

03 December 2015

Amazon -> U ROCK!

I'm sick of dealing with UPS.  I'm done with them.  Got on live chat with Amazon and explained the problem, asking them to start a trace with UPS.

He said "No problem.  We'll refund the original order, then have you re-order with the fastest shipping option and we will waive the shipping fees."

OK, that's not quite what I had in mind but it achieves the goal.

I re-ordered with the fastest service, same day delivery.  Sent the order # to the Amazon guy.  Fees were waived and I had the order by 6pm.

Amazon, You Rock!

FDA disclaimer - The AtoZ company paid me nothing for this post.They don't even know I put it on the web.  They didn't ask and I didn't tell.  The comped shipping was to make sure I got my order when Big Brown effed it up.

02 December 2015


I placed a small Amazon order last week.  I found a laser sight in my shooting bag.  It works but the batteries are dead.  The SCQueen tried to source the LR44 batteries locally but came up empty.

It then occurred to me I had inadvertently signed up for a free 30 day Amazon-prime trial (The link said "click here for free 2 day shipping" only to find out later it was the free 30 day trial.  I actually tried to get out of it but couldn't find a way).  OK.. one of the Prime benefits is free shipping without a minimum price.  So I when found a 10 pack of batteries I needed for five bucks & change, ok.. buy.

The package has taken on a life foretold in song:

swap my package for "Charlie" and UPS truck for "MTA"!*

UPS's tracker no longer even tracks the package.   Last thing I see is "packaged delayed one day"... dated MONDAY.  And everyday they do not deliver they simply move the "planned delivery date out a day".  Take away:  UPS tracking is USELESS!  The grief this shipping has caused both on my side and likely UPS as well vastly exceeds the package value.  Of course there is one simple way to resolve this, and that is for UPS to DELIVER THE PACKAGE!  Easy-Peasy!

Tonight the guy on the help desk (after 35 mins on hold) offered...  Well it is the holiday season and we are getting slammed.  I countered "Hello, do you have a CALENDAR?  this boon is as predictable as boons come.  How could you NOT be set up to handle it?  Excuses are like... well you know the rest.

I have screenshots to back up all of the above...  I didn't even bother with customer support this afternoon figuring "why listen to the lies?"  same same tonight... the people at online support don't know anything that's not in their computer, and they are no longer scanning this package.

I put this up as a "this in my experience"  as we enter this holiday buying season.  I offer this as fair warning to others.  I'm a capitalist...  Here are my takeaways:
  1. Caveat Emptor baby!  Buyer Beware!  I will avoid UPS if at all possible. FedEx and even USPS (GAG) are superior choices.    I'm struggling to find a shipper inferior to UPS and I come up blank.  I wouldn't trust UPS with my dirty laundry right now.
  2. If unavoidable, ship to $DayJob instead of $SandCastle. 
And hey Amazon... This affects you too...  You ship via UPS and they are not delivering.  This is  a big factor in NOT purchasing Prime for the year!  UPS has cost you business.  You should be involved.

That said, this feels very small considering the activities in San Bernadino, but this has been going on for 3 days now and is not over.  People, carry your guns.  They talk about "first RESPONDERS"  I want to talk about "Zero'th responders!"  That is people that are on site when the deed  goes down.   These things typically end when a good guy with a gun shows up.   They don't "respond" because they are already there!   YOU should be that good guy!  I want for  someone to "respond" with a reach to their hip, pull a gun a stop the offender(s) and control the situation until the "first" responders um...respond.

When I contact UPS (local) in the AM, I will specifically request they check under the drivers seat and any other cubby holes in the truck.  This wouldn't be the first time a vindictive UPS employee subverted my delivery.

Update 12/3:  I made the morning call..  The "manager" that answered was very dismissive.  "We don't know where your package is.  Just call Amazon and have them start a trace."  In otherwords, same thing everyone else looking at their computer screen has told me.  The one gem in the sea of Rocks was K...  I'm afraid to use her full name lest she get into trouble...  She took a genuine interest in the case.  I was sad to tell her "I'm sorry... I don't care anymore.  Amazon has made this right on their end and I've learnt my lesson WRT UPS."  Thank you for trying K...

Update 12/4:  Big Brown finally delivered the package today and on the early truck (before noon).  So my guess that "The driver threw the package away" incorrect.  However I suspect the only reason it arrived today and on the early truck is through the heroic efforts of the above mentioned K...  No one else seemed to care or was able to do anything.  Thanks K...!  Your efforts were noticed.  You are an inspiration to others.

Timeline:  Ordered 11/26, shipped 3 day select..  They scheduled delivery for 12/2 because they don't count Thanksgiving and the following Friday.  But the truck was enroute and got to town 11/30 and put on a truck for delivery Monday.  Which didn't happen.  They kept making excuses, finally delivered Friday 12/4 after a whole load of grief.

* I do not know the original date of the song..  I only know if it because it was probably the most appealing song we sung in 6th grade mandatory chorus, which I hated.  My  $.02, the best music is that without words!  The music speaks for itself.  See also Frankenstein.  Awesome piece, zero words.  The music speaks for itself.  But I digress...

FDA disclaimer:  Do you really think UPS would have paid for this post?   Really?