Friday, November 16, 2018

Five O'Clock Friday: Selective Hearing

This was sent by a friend. It's an old one, but still funny.

Screw top bottles, it's been a while.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

A Dunkelweizen and A Smoke

We headed over to 1781 Brewery on Sunday afternoon. I was interested in trying the Dunkelweizen I had seen mentioned on their Facebook page. After getting my beer I also checked out the humidor in the brewery picked up a Crowned Heads Le Carema cigar to enjoy as well.

Although the beer in the picture above seems to have a reddish tint with the sun shining through it, the beer was actually dark reddish-brown in color. The flavor profile had a creamy, malt base with a touch of roasted bread. At just 4.7% it was an enjoyable mid-afternoon libation. The rich leather and creamy notes of the smoke made for a perfect match.

With the time change and cooler fall weather, once the sun dropped below the trees, the temperature dropped as well. Although I was tempted to enjoy another round, of both these pleasurable treats, it was time to head off in search an early Sunday dinner to wind down the weekend.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Windy Day At The Range

A busy work schedule and seemingly endless days of rain made it hard to get out to the range last week. On Saturday, the wind was blowing steady but it was still a good day for a little range time. As I have the last couple outings, I was shooting the Compact SIG P320.

The range was muddy in places and had standing water in others. I found some relatively clear ground around the 10 yard mark, so did all my shooting from the same spot. Two targets were hung so I could work on some target transitions. The range rules prohibit more than two shots per string so I was limited to one shot on each target. Given the temperature, I practiced drawing from under my jacket too. On a few occasions I had to wait for the targets to return to their vertical positions after being pushed horizontal by the wind gusts.

At each magazine change I alternated the direction of the transition, or switched to two quick shots on the same target. I did also devote 50 rounds to shooting SHO and WHO. Despite being a shorter gun, I think the Compact is better balanced for one-handed shooting than the Full Size version.

By the end of my 200 rounds, I noticed some degradation of my shooting and concentration, but still felt it was a great practice session. Even more, it was simply good to spend some time outside and on the range. The coming weeks looks just as full as the past few, making this range opportunity all the more welcome.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Spontaneous Range Time

It's been cold and rainy for so long, I was actually surprised to pick up my phone Tuesday afternoon and see 70° on the display. That's too nice to be inside! I decided to leave the office a little early and get in some range time. Stopping by the house I grabbed a target, a couple boxes of ammo, and the SIG P320 Compact.

I started my time at 7 yards, drawing from the holster and going for a quick hit on target. I also kept my "resolution" to expend at least one magazine each devoted to both SHO and WHO shooting. Moving back to 15 yards I became intrigued by the bits of clay targets littering the berm. I started alternating between the cardboard target and the broken clays, with surprising success.

Loading my last 20 rounds I moved back to the 25 yards line. (I was feeling bold I guess.) Most of those shots were fired at the clay bits as well. That exercise proved that the new sights were dead on, and that, with careful aiming, even I can hit a pretty small target at distance with regularity.

I soon lamented my decision to pack just 100 rounds. But, the quick outing gave me plenty of time to get home and finish up some of the work I had foregone at the office, thereby alleviating any guilt.

I think I will throw some clays in the car for the next outing too.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

The Pre-Game Was Fun

Arriving at our tailgate spot, we got our limited setup ready to go. It was a Thursday evening game so the festivities were somewhat subdued. I quickly had my essentials ready to go.

The beer options for the day were from Devils Backbone. I kicked things off with India Black Lager, brewed in collaboration with Wynwood Brewing Company. The dark, mildly hoppy beer was paired with a Perdomo 20th Anniversary Connecticut cigar. The beer went down quickly, although I didn't think it was an ideal flavor match, being a little heavy for the lighter cigar.

My second try was Mile 842 Hoppy Lager. This is a malty lager with a nice touch of citrus. I was a bit surprised how well it paired with the mild, but slightly spicy smoke.

The tailgate area is crowded, and folks are friendly. I had no complaints about the long smoke, and even met a couple other folks enjoying their cigars. I did observe that we had less people cutting through our space and bumping into our seats while I was smoking.

The cool weather, good beer, fine smoke, and plenty of food made for enjoyable afternoon. Unfortunately the game was less satisfying.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Rivanna IDPA and Weapons Master Match

The biennial Weapons Master match was held this past weekend at Rivanna Rifle and Pistol Club in Charlottesville. The match consists of 3 pistol stages, 2 shotgun, and 2 rifle stages. Shooters can compete in just the pistol portion or the complete match. I have shot neither my shotgun nor rifle in quite some time, preferring to focus my time with pistol shooting, so I opted to just shoot the handgun stages.

It was a somewhat cool morning, with scattered rain showers as I drove to the range. Fortunately the rain clouds dispersed before the shooting started, giving us quite a pleasant morning for shooting.

The first pistol stage was a "standards" stage, with one long string of fire that required freestyle, strong hand and weak hand shooting. We started at 15 yards and engaged three targets with two rounds each. Advancing to 10 yards, the targets were engaged again SHO. Finally we moved to 7 yards and repeated the engagement WHO. I ended up 7 points down, one jerked SHO shot into the -3 some contribution significantly to that score.

The next two stages were fun adaptations of stages we shot last weekend at the Potomac Grail. On the  first we started facing a wall with a narrow gap in the center. There targets were shot from retention with our wrists held to our chest. We then moved to both ends of the wall to find six more targets shot from cover. A few low shots saw me -3 for the stage.

The final stage had us pinned in a corner and shooting two targets from strong hand from retention. There were three more arrays of three targets each placed further back that we then engaged in priority. Two of the arrays presented some tight shots due to non-threats centered in front of the target pairs.

Though the pistol match was brief, requiring about as much time to shoot as I spent driving to the range, I was glad I went. I enjoyed the shooting, and as always the camaraderie with other shooters. I finished 6th of 40 in the pistol portion and 2nd of 16 in SSP.

This match is likely the final one of my shooting season. I was a fun wind down. Now I look forward to preparing for next year with dry fire and range visits.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

1781 Brewing Company and Em.bargo's Cigars

After (enough) chores for the day were done on Saturday afternoon we decided to head over to 1781 Brewing Company and Wilderness Run Vineyards for a quick beer. I had seen a posting about a fall release that I was interested in trying out, L’ Automne Red Ale,

L’ Automne is an 8.5% ABV Imperial Red Ale with a rich malt backbone and a touch of hoppiness to balance. The beer is quite hazy and "thick" in appearance, with a creamy mouthfeel to match. Colleen opted for the Saison De L'Orange, and crisp, slightly tart, Farmhouse Ale.

Quickly finishing our beers, we opted to enjoy another round of the same. We also grabbed some food from TÄ-KO Taqueira food truck. The beef and pork tacos were fresh, full of flavor, and we gobbled them down quickly.

Em.bargo's Cigars sets up a small seating area at the brewery on weekends, complete with a couple warm fire pits. There is also a selection of cigars on hand to purchase. I grabbed a RoMa Craft Intemperance to enjoy with my beer. Smoking is permitted throughout the grounds and we opted to find a seat at a picnic table located in some dappled sunlight. It was a moderately cool afternoon but the sun was bright, making for a pleasant time outside enjoying the view of the surrounding vineyards.

About when we were preparing to head home, some friends who we hadn't seen in a while arrived to have some drinks and listen to the band performing that evening. We were persuaded to stay a while longer, and enjoyed the conversation, the music, and another beer.