Saturday, October 31, 2009


Hope everyone is having a safe and happy Halloween!!

I have ended up being one of the Lucky 14! Well, not so much lucky, as unlucky. I don't get to spend this evening taking my kids out trick or treating, because I've drawn duty for tonight.

I don't hold such a big beef with it, because of what the duty itself is. I'll spend the next four hours or so, driving around the county, and knocking on doors of Sex Offenders houses. Our teams will be all over our county, as well as teams from every other county in the state doing the same thing in their counties. We'll all be out making sure that the Sex Offenders are in their houses, porch lights off, and no bowls of candy to entice small children into their homes.

So, since I'm going to be out there trying to make it a safer place for my kids, as well as every other kid in the area I'm assigned to, I think I'll do this duty without even complaining.(well, maybe just a little complaining, what's work without some bitching? :P )

As I said above, I hope you and yours are enjoying the holiday, and keeping it safe. I hope that it goes without saying not to let the little ones at the candy until after you've looked it over.

Happy Halloween!!


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Random Revolver thoughts and questions....

Just a quickie while on a break at work, but had a couple of thoughts regarding revolvers and was wondering if anyone knew the answer?

First off, why is it that Single Action revolvers invariably have the loading gate on the right side of the revolver frame, while Double Action revolvers have the entire cylinder swing out to the left side of the frame?

Secondly, are there, or have there ever been, single or double action revolvers with that loading action reversed?

Appreciate any help in getting this little niggling thought answered :)


Saturday, October 24, 2009

Shooty Goodness!!

I really don't get out to go shooting as often as I like, or as often as I should. With two kids and a mortgage, all on a public servant's salary, it just often not in the budget. Thankfully, there's one shooting event that I always budget for. Each year, we have a locally organized Thin Blue Line tournament that not only gives us all a chance to go shoot, but raises money for various charities. You can read about the tournament and organizers, supporters, etc. here.

It's always a great time, all sorts of wild scenarios designed for us to go through. There have been scenarios that involved airplanes on the ground, a hostage situation on a school bus, and one year, being inside an ambulance when the victims rivals showed up to make sure the job was done. Great stuff all around, no matter how you look at it. This year was no exception.

I meet up with my partner at about 0530 yesterday morning, and we head to the office, where we meet the third member of our shooting team, and then head off to pick up the fourth and last member of our team. We arrive at the range at probably 0730 or so, and go through the registration process, and start wishing we'd brought more coffee.

At about 0820 or so, we hear the call to gather round, and we all amble over towards the command center to listen to the man in charge, and find out what stage we're starting off on. The range we're at is, in and of itself, awesome. They've basically taken a giant hill, and cut giant 'bays' into it's perimeter. This means that as long as you don't get crazy and shoot at the sky, and don't violate the 180 degree rule, you can shoot with impunity, and not worry about a stray shot getting anywhere near anyone else. I think the smallest division between bays is a wall of dirt and red clay 20 feet wide, and a minimum 10 feet tall at the outer point, going to over 40 feet high at the rear of the bay where it cuts into the hill. It's a perfect setup for multiple teams to all be shooting at once.

All of the Range Officers were volunteers. A great bunch of folks who, if I understand correctly, are all IDPA people, that use the range for their shoots one a month or so. They were great to work with, though they do have a rule or three that seemed a little odd, and took some getting used to. For example, at the end of a stage, or string, or whatever you like to call it, I'm used to holding my pistol up in my right hand, magazine removed, and slide locked back. That way, the RO can verify that the weapon is clear. A tap on the shoulder signifies that the RO has checked your weapon, and you can release the slide and holster up. The IDPA RO's had us demonstrate an empty chamber, then put the slide forward, and pull the trigger/drop the hammer/whatever your gun needs to not be cocked before we holstered up. To be honest, I can't really see the point of the extra stuff. If you've already verified that the chamber and mag well are empty, why have the slide forward and firing pin released? It wasn't even really an inconvenience, and only added a second or two to coming off of the stage, just seemed kind of odd to me, probably because it was my first experience with it.

We get off to our first stage and get the first shots off at about 0900. Our first stage was pretty straight forward, a few stationary targets, some behind civilian/no-shoot targets, a few moving targets who bounced out from behind cover and back again, and had to keep moving and utilizing cover as it became available with targets neutralized. About 5 minutes or so into our first stage, it started to drizzle rain. Usually, when you're doing things outside, and it starts raining, people start complaining. Not so at this event. As long as there's not lightning, we keep going, and everyone is in high spirits. I must admit to doing halfway decent on those first couple of stages. :)

Between stages, I dash back to the cruiser, and grab my rain gear, and it promptly stops raining :-/ I dutifully carried my rain gear from one stage to the next, even to the lunch break and back, and it dutifully got drier, and hotter throughout the day. Around the last two stages or so, it actually started to cool off, just a bit, and when we finished out last stage, at about 1400 or so, I stashed my rain gear in the cruiser, and then went to join the rest of the guys who were done to swap tales and catch up with the folks you don't see as often as you should.
It promptly started to rain.....

It wasn't bad, and didn't last too long, but it left me wondering if the mere fact that I was carrying rain gear during the day didn't hold off the rain. In any event, fun was had by all. Thankfully, there were door prizes and raffles to try and win, because there's no way I was winning for shooting. The majority of these guys that compete are all SWAT team guys, who get more trigger time in a month than I get in a year, and that includes hunting seasons too. Luckily for me, I got a door prize, and came out with a sweet knife. Donated by BlackHawk, along with a number of other prizes. One of the guys I know won a sweet, special TBL edition, 1911 style .45 from Para-Ordnance, another sponsor of the shoot.

All in all, it was a great day, with great people, and we got to shoot until we were startign wear blisters on trigger fingers!(or so the rumor-mill says :P) I swear, I need a job where I just get to play and shoot guns all the time....I'd never come home :p

Hope all you folks out there are having a great weekend, I'm off to nurse an ache or two that reminds me I'm not a twenty-something anymore :p


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

H1N1 - Swine Flu

I wonder if that title will engender as many hits as one talking about the Blue-Footed Booby?

So, I thought that with the last post, talking about the crud, we were just about over things. Apparently, not so much. My wife stays home with my oldest who was sick, and had some rough days, but troopers through it. Then my youngest got sick, but was doing ok. Just as my wife is starting to feel ill, my youngest gets a little worse. Fever spikes to just over 103 degrees, so off to the Doc we go. The wife is now feeling it full on, so I take the youngest while she bundles back into bed.

The Doc checks the youngest out, ears clean, lungs clear, fever down, lets do a swab and check it. 1o minutes later, she comes back waving a little strip around, and says that my youngest is positive for the flu. Not only is she positive for the flu, but she's positive for Type A flu. Apparently, here in Carolina, upwards of 95% of Type A flu, is H1N1, also known as the Swine Flu, late of main stream media infamy. Doc says nothing to worry about, everything looks good. There'll be a cough in the next few days, my oldest already has that, and it should last for a week or so, but no worries. If the fever spikes back up, then come back, because that may be indicative of a secondary infection.

The Doc downplays the drama, it is just the flu after all, regardless of what the main stream media would have you believe. However, when I call my mother, who is concerned about her grandbabies, and she hears the words "swine flu", I was totally unprepared for the drama avalanche. Obviously, she watches a bit more television than I do. It took about 20 minutes of fast-talking, and explaining that it was just the flu, and the majority of deaths associated with H1N1 occurred in patients who either had a pre-existing medical conditions, or were in at 'at-risk' population, such as elderly, or with an auto-immune deficiency in some way shape or form. Then, a couple of hours later, we repeat the whole process, only with my In-laws, who also watch a bit more television than we suspected.

So the wife finally wakes up this afternoon, fever gone and on the mend. Both kids are doing much better, and eating dinner with us, and I'm mentioning how glad I am that I got off with a mild case of this thing last week. When my wife says that she doesn't think I've had it yet, that all that crap from last week was just a regular cold in her opinion. Then she asks why I'm sweating while eating my dinner, to which I reply that it got awfully hot in the last little bit. This receives a raised eyebrow, and an accusation..."you're getting it now".

Ughhh! I surely hope not. We had a nice, anti-sickness dinner tonight. Grilled cheese, and tomato soup with enough fresh cracked peppercorns and roasted garlic in it to kill most any bug....I hope. I guess we'll see how things stand in the morning. I seriously hope I'm not just now coming down with this thing. I'm supposed to shoot in a Thin Blue Line tournament on Friday, and that's going to be kind of difficult if I'm staggering around the course with a fever and hallucinating targets. Plus, I don't want to have to tell me team that they need to find a replacement shooter with just one day to find them.

Remember, the flu, as nasty as it is, isn't as bad as the drama queens would have you believe. Rest, lots of fluids, and consulting with your Doc for high fevers, or if you already have some issues going on, and you should be fine in a few days.


PS- I really hope I don't have to miss out on the shooting. Too bad you can't put the virus on the firing line.....

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Going Green

No. Not that kind of green. The kind associated with snot and phlegm.

I've been battling a round of colds and flu-like crud for a couple of weeks. Every time I think I'm getting over one, the next one starts. Comes from dealing on a daily basis, with people who's own personal hygiene, is not high on their list of priorities. Plus, add in multiple visits, to multiple different detention centers. Couple all of that with the fact that I also have two little ones in daycare, which is like the cage match arena for sniffles, colds, flus, and anything else that has ever even thought of being contagious, and you have one heck of a recipe for getting sick. Even with hand sanitizer in strategic locations, and well used, plus almost fanatic hand washing, it's almost inevitable.

I don't know that I mind so much, the little bugs I pick up from work, they're usually pretty quick. Feel bad for a day or two, then get rid of it and move on. However, the ones from daycare seem to be particularly virulent. One of the kids brings it home, and they pass it back and forth among each other, and my wife. I'm usually safe for about a week or so. I feel good at the beginning, but then begin to dread what's coming, because, apparently, getting kicked out of the bodies of my wife and children, seems to piss these bugs off. I get the same bug each of them has had for a couple of days, but only about five times worse than any of them ever had it.

Not that I'm making excuses for the lack of posting or anything, that's just laziness :p By the time I get the kids in bed at night, all I generally want to do is sit back, have a couple of beers, and read something while I wait for the early news so I can go to bed.

I do have a few new stories, nothing terribly wild, but a little fun here and there, and I'll try to get those posted in the next few weeks. Other than that, gearing up for Halloween, and already starting to think about Thanksgiving and Christmas about you?

I'm going to have another Yuengling, and see what other, more eloquent and loquacious bloggers have to say :)