Monday, October 15, 2018

Bill Coors Dies at 102

The former chairman of Coors Brewing Company passed away this weekend.
Bill Coors, a pioneer in the American brewing industry and former chairman of the Adolph Coors Company, died peacefully at his home Saturday at 102.

Molson Coors confirmed his passing in a statement published Saturday.

Bill Coors began working for his grandfather Adolph's brewing company in 1939. Twenty years later, he became company chairman, during which he created and developed the aluminum can, a key milestone for the beer industry.

Despite a lot of skepticism at the time, the aluminum can contributed greatly to the expansion of the craft beer movement, especially in recent years. They are lightweight and preserve the flavor of the beer much better than glass bottles. But, the bigger part of the story is that Bill Coors lived to 102.

Maybe I need to drink more Coors.


See "Beer giant Bill Coors dies at 102" for more.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Relaxing Before the Match

I spent the evening before the Potomac Grail IDPA match at a hotel in Frederick, Maryland. Searching for local attractions I saw that there was a cigar shop just a few minutes from my hotel. Rather than sit in my room, or a local pub, I headed over to Quartermasters Cigars to browse.

Besides the well-stocked humidor, the shop has a large lounge that’s open to the public. I decided to pick up a couple cigars and enjoy one there.



There were a lot of regulars in the lounge on this Friday evening, and I may have been the only visitor. I saw many folks with cigar travel cases and a plethora of beverages. Unfortunately I was not prepared with a beverage other than a bottle of water, but that sufficed for this evening.

I enjoyed the smoke while catching up with email and news on my phone. Then it was time to head back to the hotel room for a little dry fire before the match. It was a most pleasant evening.

A report on the match will be a few days coming.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Musing For Eleven Years

Today marks the 11th birthday of these Musings. I think that's something like 77 in blog years. It's been a fun journey so far. The blog has been through some changes, with varying amounts of activity over the years. Since the summer, posting has slowed due time constraints. I did manage to keep up the shooting related posts, mainly for my own use in journaling the range trips and matches. I'm looking forward to some recreational time this fall to explore more beer, bourbon, cigars, and of course, more shooting.

Thanks for playing along the last 1.1 decades.

October 6 also marks the date of the first train robbery in the United States in 1866. Take that for what it's worth.

Cheers!

Friday, October 5, 2018

A Glock for the SIG Guy?

I was surprised to get this letter the other day informing me I had won a certificate for a Glock pistol at the IDPA Nationals.


I've never owned a Glock. I've never fired a Glock. But a free gun is a free gun! I have a few months to decide what I'd like. A big .45? Or a compact 9mm perhaps? Maybe I'll build a PCC from it.

That's two guns won now. In both cases, the prizes were outside my normal interests. At least that's a good way to try new things.

Thanks to GLOCK, Inc. for their support of IDPA.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Monday Range Time

Even though I shot three IDPA matches in September, including the IDPA Nationals, I did not get in any trips to the indoor range for practice. I sure didn't get a good ROI on my membership fees in August! On Monday, I finally made it down to Winding Brook Indoor Range, for the first time in five weeks.

This visit was a quick one, and I brought along just 150 rounds. For the first 100 rounds, I hung an IDPA target at 10 yards and shot at various speeds. After each mag of 10 rounds, I altered my pace; shooting slow, single shots, or rapid groups of two or three shots. For a few of mags I concentrated on head shots.  A couple of mags were also devoted to one handed shooting, alternating between strong and weak hands.

Finishing up with the target hung at 20 yards, the last 50 rounds were dedicated to slowish fire for distance practice. This was the most time consuming part of the outing as I had to bring the target in every 10 rounds or so to see the holes. With close, rapid fire, a drift to the left is not uncommon. However at this longer distance I was seeing the holes drifting to the right. I am probably concentrating too hard on not pushing to the left and creating the opposite issue. For my very last 10 shots, I focused intently on that side-to-side push and saw a very nice vertical line of hits right in the center. Vertical consistency is a point for next time.

I was fun to finally get back to doing some basic practice and simple shooting. Hopefully the frequency of range outings will pick up for the fall.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Friday Beer and Smoke

We're getting an extended break from days, no weeks, of rainy weather. After finishing work and errands Friday, Colleen suggested that we do a fire. I uncovered the wood pile and hoped it was dry enough to burn. It wasn't long before we had a nice fire going as we watched the sun set.

I opted to enjoy O'Fest from Devils Backbone. Despite gravitating to the hoppy beers in general, I always look forward to the Oktoberfest beers that fill the shelves and draft lines this time of year. The Devils Backbone offering pours an attractive dark amber color with a thin white head. The aroma has notes of sweetness, bread, and caramel. Rich, malty sweetness, bread, and a hint of grassiness greet the palate. I found this to be quite a tasty lager.



I grabbed an Ave Maria Immaculata to smoke with the malt-forward beer. The flavors of the beer and the cigar were in harmony and were very fitting for fireside enjoyment. Soon enough I had to go inside to get a refill for my glass. Imagine my disappointment when I realized that the six-pack was empty and there were no more to be had.

Sticking with the style, I did find a Sierra Nevada Octoberfest in the fridge. This one is, in my opinion, not quite as good as the Devils Backbone but certainly enjoyable. Soon the fire burned down, and our glasses were empty. With the approach of fall, I'm looking forward to many more evenings sitting outside around the fire pit.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Holy Archangels, Intercede For Us

September 29 is the Feast of the Archangels — St. Gabriel, St. Raphael and St. Michael. These are trying times for Christianity and freedom in general, both at home and abroad, with attacks coming from all directions.

Politicians and activists continue to push laws to restrict the free practice of religion. To my utter amazement, people actually stand in the street proclaiming how proud they are to have killed their own children. In the past week we saw a "trial" that would make Stalin proud. People with evil in their hearts, worked to destroy a man and his family, simply because they feared he might uphold the Constitution of this country. The satanic forces of islam continue hundreds of years barbarism and remain relentless in attacking and killing Christians around the world, including right here at home. The Catholic Church is being attacked from within by men who have given in to Satan and his perversions. To anyone paying attention, it's obvious that the evil one has established a stronghold in this world.

We must fight, physically and spiritually, and never surrender to the evil that seems so prevalent. Now is the time to implore the intercession of these warriors to fight for us, and with us. I pray daily to the most powerful of these Holy warriors, St. Michael, to ask his aid and guidance.


St. Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle.
Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the Devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray,
and do thou,
O Prince of the heavenly hosts,
by the power of God,
cast into hell Satan,
and all the evil spirits,
who prowl about the world
seeking the ruin of souls.
Amen.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

A Rain Break and an IDPA Match

Once again, Mother Nature smiled upon the Cavalier IDPA match. Like last month's match, the morning broke clear and relatively cool. Despite rain the night before, and later that evening, the sun shone during the morning's shooting event.

Our shooting began on a deceptively simple, two string stage called "Get Off My Lawn." Starting with hands on a lawn mower handle, we engaged five threat targets in tactical priority in the first string. There was a lone non-threat target to draw in anyone tempted to go too fast. The second string started the same way, but we had to move the left to find a single steel target hidden behind a barrel.

The next stage, "Unlucky 7," started with engaging two close targets while retreating cover. After engaging a lone target at that position, we moved forward and left across the stage. Targets found at two more points of cover tested our skills in shooting with sharp leans around cover.

In "Holy 7" we were seated in the pew in a simulated church. Our gun and magazines were in a bag at our feet. (Off body carry is always a bad idea, IMO.) There were three closely spaced non-threat targets directly in from us.  The placement of seven targets down range required careful aim between and around the non-threats.



There was a slight slowdown during my shooting of the stage as I lost my place in the targets. Even though I had a plan, and ultimately shot the targets in the planned order, not being able to see more than one or two of the targets at a time combined with the multiple levels of priority led to some hesitance. I have no doubt that challenge was by design.

"Hall of 7" was based on a stage at the National match; the stage designer was one my companions on that trip. Gun and all mags were placed on a table where we were seated. After engaging two targets in the open, we moved right across the bay, stopping at four positions to shoot from cover. After the far right most position, we moved down range to finish the stage. Lots and movement and lots of cover made for a fun course of fire.



We finished the match on "Deja Vu 7." Starting with our gear on a barrel, we loaded and took care of two close targets. After moving backwards to a point of cover, we then progressed left and forward to shoot from three more points of cover. Short target distances made this a stage where one might be tempted to shoot too fast. A couple of non-threat targets made that a dangerous temptation. I avoided the non-threats, but aimed too high on the target with a non-threat tacked to the front. Interestingly, I hit the target exactly where I was aiming, but apparently misjudged where on the target I needed to hit, and made a tight group of two holes — right in the -1 zone. I was -3 on the stage, but those 2 points were exceptionally frustrating, and I credited that mistake with dropping me three spots in the overall standings. But, I hit no non-threats the whole match. :-)



The range is under some temporary restrictions to shoot only in to the back berms while they establish the grass on the side burns. Despite that restriction, the match designers put together some very good stages. The creative use of walls and target placement provided a wide range of shooting angles and challenges. One would hardly notice the limitations.

I felt pretty satisfied with how I shot. My 14 points down was a little higher than I would have liked, but I still managed to finish 11th of 45 shooters, with one of the top 10 being a PCC shooter.

After the work and stress of last week's IDPA Nationals, I was very much looking forward to the relaxed enjoyment of this local match. It was indeed a pleasurable morning of shooting. I got to visit with friends, including some I had not seen in a while, and meet some new ones as well. Good shooting is best when paired with good people and this was an especially enjoyable match.

More match photos here.