Friday, March 22, 2019

Five O'Clock Friday: Time to Relax

And suddenly it was Friday. It's been a busy week. I squeezed in a trip to the range. We attended an amazing Joe Bonamassa concert. I had a checkup with my cardiologist, with all good news. I celebrated my birthday with a few good friends. With the doctor's blessing, I resumed the cardiac rehab sessions. In between it all, I've essentially returned to work full time.

Sitting here Friday afternoon and I realized, I am tired. But, the weekend is coming. I am planning to shoot an IDPA match on Saturday. The weather looks like it will be suitable for spending time outside at a local brewery on Sunday. I think a preparatory nap is in order this afternoon.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Time At The Range

When I walked by the hall thermostat on Monday morning my hopes of hitting the range that day seemed suddenly at risk. But as the morning progressed, I realized I would not be deterred by the blundering prognosticators. Though cool outside, the skies were blue all afternoon.

They're just making stuff up

Taking an afternoon break from my work, I grabbed the range gear and made a dash for the range. I started out with the SIG P320 Compact, shooting with slow triggers pulls from 10 yards. Satisfied with that refresher, I moved to 15 yards and switched to shooting from concealment. Two shots, at one target, with no movement, was as close to a match scenario as I could get. Nonetheless, I felt like I was finally getting back into the swing of things after my extended time off.

Next I switched to the new P365 and put another 50 rounds through it, shooting from 10 yards. This outing I shot it better than the first time, but the tiny sights will take some getting used to.

Since I was using the paper practice targets, I refreshed them frequently. Even if the holes are mostly -0, I like to see where in the circle they hit. Especially as I shoot faster I can gauge, and correct, the inevitable leftward drift.

To my shame, I noticed in my shooting log that I had not practiced any SHO or WHO shooting since last fall. (Granted I haven't practiced much of anything of late.) The practice time finished with some one handed shooting with the last few magazines in the P320. More practice is definitely to come on that skill.

Despite the early morning doubts, it was a welcome break to pull the trigger a few more times. Hopefully I'll be seeing a gradual uptick in my range time in the coming weeks.

Evidence of a satisfying outing

Monday, March 18, 2019

Shooting With My Son and a New Gun

Our son was home last week for his Spring Break. His extended visits home are always fun, especially since we usually hit the range together a time or two. This visit was made more exciting since only a few hours before he arrived I had finally picked up that SIG P365 I've been eyeing. And, now that the DST time switch has occurred, the range is actually open late afternoon and early evening, allowing more time to shoot.



I brought along my SIG P320 Compact, the new P365, and he had his P226. Copious amounts of ammo and targets completed were brought along. Upon arriving we noticed the bay had a new layer of gravel. We've endured a few years of bare dirt (mud) so that was a nice surprise.

I started out shooting a couple of mags through the P365 from 7 yards. After that we did all our shooting from the 10 yard line. I was generally pleased with how I shot the little gun. It's pretty easy to control, despite the small size and a bit of kick. The aggressive stippling on the grip helps, but also leads to sore hands after a while. I used both 115 and 124 grain ball ammo, as well as some Speer Gold Dot Self Defense rounds. There were no issues with any of it. I'll try to get several hundred more rounds through the gun before t-shirt season when it will be added to my carry rotation.

We alternated between all three guns. I soon realized that I should bring out the SA/DA gun a little more often. 

Due to range restrictions, we did spend more time standing idle than actually shooting. The latest rules at the club forbid more than one person firing at a time, even though everyone stands on the same line. If you find yourself pulling the trigger at the same time as another person, all shooters must sort out a plan to avoid that offense. More than one person shooting is seemingly too difficult for the range officers to distinguish from a single shooter doing "rapid fire." Strings of fire are limited to two trigger pulls. This leads to a lot of "You shoot two rounds, then I'll shoot two, then you..." Shooters are also forbidden from even loading up magazines when another is shooting, using up even more precious time. On the bright side it allowed more conversation during the breaks together to load magazines.

Despite the restrictive rules, the outing was a lot of fun, and provided enjoyable father-son time. It was good to continue working out the "bugs" from my down time. Given his busy work load in school, my son had not been shooting in several months and appreciated the tune up time as well.

It's good to have a target repair minion.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Sláinte!

It's that time of the year when a Saint revered by many, especially in the Irish-Catholic community, has his good name and works twisted into an excuse to drink to excess and abuse the color green. As a Catholic of Irish decent, and a lover of naturally-colored beer, it pains me to see what this day has become.

It strikes me as odd that this day, meant to honor a great man and Saint, has evolved the way it has. Whether you accept the traditions associated with his life or not, there can be no denying the good he did. (As much as some of these stories cannot be proven, they cannot be disproven either.) Kidnapped as a young boy and sold into slavery in Ireland, he grew to love the Irish people. Late in his life, he was around 60 at the time, Saint Patrick returned to the Emerald Isle to teach and convert the people he had grown to love so much. Certainly that is worthy of our respect.

Odd is it may seem, we actually have to remind people, and pubs, that St. Patrick was a man, not a woman. His name is Patrick, which comes from the Irish, Pádraig. Shorten his name to Paddy if you must. However, we do not celebrate "St. Patty's Day." Patty is a shortened version of Patricia, a girl's name. Feast-related debauchery is one thing, but transgendering our Saint is unacceptable.
So, celebrate the memory of St. Patrick. Enjoy a drink or two and some good food. There's nothing wrong with bringing a little revelry into the world, we certainly need it. I like a good party as much as the next guy. (And I certainly appreciate a good Irish drinking joke.) Drink your green beer if you must. Dress up in silly clothes. Dye your water fountain green. But please, remember the reason for this feast. Take a moment to honor the man and all the good he did. In our house we'll raise a toast, and a prayer, to St. Patrick in honor of his deeds and his country.

All the children of Ireland cry out to thee:
Come, O Holy Patrick, and save us!

Saturday, March 16, 2019

St. Patrick's Day Lesson

No matter how you celebrate tomorrow, please remember. . .



Note to marketing folks, St. Patrick was a man, not a leprechaun.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Regina Cigars - Supporting Good Works

Just because I'm on a short break from cigars, doesn't mean I can't make preparations for my future enjoyment. Recently, Colleen told me about a company called Regina Cigars that she had come across online. Run by faithful Christians, the company is using the sales of its cigars to support good works. From their website...
Our goal is to bring you finely crafted cigars that are lovingly hand rolled using exquisite blends from around the world. Part of our mission is also to help raise awareness and financial support for persecuted & displaced Christians, particularly those suffering hardship as a result of the recent conflicts in the Middle East. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of Regina Cigars will go to "Aid to the Church in Need" which seeks to supply emotional, material & spiritual support to hurting Christians around the world.

Obviously, I was intrigued. And when your wife suggests you buy cigars, it's best to jump right on it. The company lists about 20 different cigars of Honduran, Nicaraguan, and Dominican origins. All of the cigars feature exquisite religious artwork on the bands. I made a trial purchase of a sampler consisting of five Honduran blends. These particular cigars were blended by Christian Eiroa, founder of CLE Cigars and former owner of the Camacho Cigars company.



The cigars are resting in my humidor now. I am looking forward to lighting them up soon. Already though, I'm tempted to acquire the rest of the line to support the charitable works, and to collect the bands!

Friday, March 8, 2019

Five O'Clock Friday: DST

Daylight Savings Time starts on Sunday. I look forward to enjoying the added time in the evenings.


Mornings are long enough. Why don't we just agree to keep the clock set on DST next fall?

Have a great, even if shortened, weekend.