Thursday, June 30, 2016

Coming Soon 2: BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse

In a story similar to yesterday's post, we've learned that yet another long-closed restaurant in our area will soon be replaced. BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse has plans for the former Bailey’s Pub & Grill in the Central Park shopping area. The current building will be demolished and replaced by a 7,536 square foot restaurant including an outdoor seating area.

BJ's is a California-based chain that features their own take on Chicago-style deep dish pizza, and handcrafted beer and soda. There are four other BJ's locations in Virginia. The closest to Fredericksburg currently are in Gainesville and Richmond. The chain also operates six breweries to supply it's restaurants with their house beer. first reported the news here.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Coming Soon: Harry's Alehouse

It looks like we may soon have another local option for craft beer and food enjoyment. Signs announcing "Harry's Alehouse Opening Fall 2016" have appeared in a nearby shopping center. Neither their web site or Facebook page have much in the way of details yet. When I stopped by one afternoon the windows were all blocked off and I couldn't look inside. Obviously, I'll keep checking.

The location was once the home of Bridges Brick Oven Pizza, which closed five years ago. To finally see something coming to the empty space is good news by itself. A spot promising "a family friendly restaurant with some awesome food and great beer" is even better news, especially in this mecca of fast food chains.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Summer Themed IDPA Match

The June IDPA match at Cavalier held this past Saturday was a super fun match with summer activity themed stage designs. The pleasant, warm weather added to the enjoyment and made for quite a pleasant morning.

The first stage consisted of two separate strings of fire. We started standing at the grill, “cooking” a steak, with our strong hand on a spatula. There were four targets to be engaged in tactical sequence. For the second string, we took a seat at the table and placed the gun in a lidded box. For this string we shot four more targets, near to far, while seated. The last target of the string was well-hidden behind a barrel requiring a hard lean to hit it.

Moving to the next stage, we found a long clothesline with laundry strung across the bay. Starting with our hands on a laundry basket, when then move across the bay shooting at target down range. Moving around the clothes line, we then moved down range engaging targets from various cover positions.

Next up was a run ’n gun type stage. The movement was more like a USPSA stage than what is usually seen in an IDPA match, but still a fun challenge. The seven targets were arranged behind walls, requiring the shooter to cross back and forth into the corners as he progressed down range.

The last stage was the most challenging in my opinion, but perhaps also the most fun. We started standing behind a lawn mower. Giving the mower a hard shove forward activated a very fast, disappearing up-down target, along with a swinger target. The challenge was to push the mower, then draw the gun and get two hits on the disappearing target before it vanished. Following the two moving targets there were five more targets to be engaged.

Our squad consisted of just seven shooters, so we moved quickly through the match. In addition, the other morning squad was started two stages over so we never ran up against them. Thanks to superb organization, and no delays between stages, all five strings in the four stages were shot in less than two hours.

I felt good about how I shot, and had a great time to boot! Apparently, many other shooters had a good day as well. When the results were posted I was further down in the overall order than I had expected. But, that’s fine too; the only person I really compete with is myself. Nonetheless, it was still a very enjoyable morning at the range. I made it home in time to enjoy lunch with my family and then continue the weekend-long garage cleanup project.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Friday, June 24, 2016

The Threat of Lone Wolf Attacks

How many "lone wolves" does it take to make a pack? The lack of a direct connection to organized terror does not lessen the real threat to America. "He acted alone" is just further misdirection from the left.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Another Run at the IPDA Classifier

Most people don't do "tests" for fun, but I opted to shoot the IDPA Classifier at Rivanna last weekend. Since I had just participated in the West Virginia State IDPA match a couple weeks ago, and that counts towards the yearly classification requirement, I was shooting for my own personal challenge (and enjoyment.) I always manage to miss at least one head shot in the Classifier. Like many folks, I also tend to drop a lot of points on the 20 yard barricade stage. I hoped to make some improvements in both those areas.

I've been doing a lot of dry fire practice recently, especially focusing on strong and support hand only shooting, and I think it's paying off. The first of the three stages went quite well; including making all nine required head shots. The second stage went well too. Loading my mags for the final stage, I could feel my adrenalin ramping up, I was getting excited about a good Classifier. Stay calm I told myself. Deep breaths.

As I shot the final stage, with the 20 yard shots around the barricade, I kept reminding myself to concentrate on the upper target area as I tend to shoot low on this stage. Unfortunately I still had one miss, and had too many hits off to the left or right of the -0 area. In review, it was obvious I simply shot too fast. 

It was bit of a let down to not improve markedly on the barricade strings, though I was happy to meet one of my two goals for the morning. Despite the poor shooting on the final stage, it was still my best Classifier to date. Little steps I guess.

My main reason for shooting the Classifier was to test myself and to identify those areas where I need to focus my practice. Unless I am continually striving to improve, I'm just wasting time, and ammo. Frustrations aside, it was a beautiful morning to be out shooting, and that's always a good thing.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Changes at Spencer Devon Brewing

Last week, Spencer Devon Brewing announced an upcoming, and major, staff change at the Fredericksburg brewpub.
Legume is coming to downtown Fredericksburg and is going to support our vegan, vegetarian and pescatarian friends; which is awesome.

What isn't awesome for us is that they are getting the best executive chef currently working in downtown Fredericksburg by taking Justin Cunningham from our family.
Justin has been with me from the beginning and I certainly will miss him, but I know he struggled with this decision and made it only after much consideration for what is best for his family, his career and his craft.

I, for one, look forward to trying his new food and will support him in any way I can.

As for us, we still have him for a few weeks and will be searching for a replacement who can maintain our relationships with our farmers, use direct from farmer purchased ingredients in the menu, and provide for our customers the best food in Fredericksburg.

Chef Cunningham has provided an interesting and unique food menu at Spencer Devon since they opened. We've enjoyed trying the interesting entrees and appetizers that have been offered, though we did at times wish for more simple foods to accompany the beer.

Best wishes to Justin in his new venture, and to Spencer Devon in finding a worthy new chef to replace him. We look forward to enjoying even more great food, with great beer, in the future. (And still hold hope for more pub grub-style offerings.)

Legume is a new vegetarian restaurant opening this fall in Fredericksburg.

Lies and Deception

The left loves misdirection. They are artists in deception, and they will gleefully revel in the blood of innocent Americans as long as they can promote their agenda of opression. Take for example this email from the Senator from Virginia, Tim Kaine...
This week, in response to the tragedy in Orlando, I joined Senator Chris Murphy and 37 of my colleagues in a more than fifteen hour filibuster on the Senate floor. Our goal? Finally get Senate Republicans to agree to votes on commonsense gun reform measures like preventing suspected terrorists from obtaining weapons and expanding background checks to ensure only responsible citizens are authorized to own firearms.
That line about "preventing suspected terrorists from obtaining weapons" has been bandied about by the dishonest pundits of the left since the Orlando terror attack. It's referring to the fact that the Orlando shooter was investigated by the FBI at least twice prior to his jihadist actions. What they neglect to say is that he was not restricted from buying guns because the FBI is more concerned about not offending the mohammedans than they are are protecting innocent Americans. If Tim Kaine really cared about saving lives, he would be calling for an investigation of the FBI itself. His line about "expanding background checks" is misdirection too. The Orlando terrorist passed multiple background checks as part of employment investigations. In that process as well he was given a pass. There is simply no way for the left to promote gun control without engaging in lies and deception.

Another favorite lie of the left put forth in the past week is blaming Conservatives and Christians for imagined "anti-gay" rhetoric inciting the murders. Why do some feel the need to make this into an LGBT issue, or even a "gun" issue? It's more misdirection. The real issue is the twisted evil political ideology called islam. Honest Christians stand against the evil that is islam, and its acts of violence against ANYONE. I will not defend LGBT lifestyle choices in any way, but I will support anyone in a fight against violence from islam or any other fanatical group. Sadly we even see Catholic priests promoting leftist screed in order to direct attention away from the real issue. Too many Catholics today are led by ill informed men who have strayed from the teachings of Holy Church and instead treat their flock to PC nonsense and false social justice teachings.

It's my opinion that if a person spouts the progressive agenda, they have already proven their lack of integrity. Don't fall for the lies of the left. These are dangerous people who aren't happy with simply removing the 2nd Amendment, they are after the entire Constitution. They openly decry the 5th Amendment too. In the past weeks the left has shown its true colors through unabashed promotion of "lists" to which they can add Americans, with no due process or even knowledge by the affected citizen. They wish to deny Constitutional rights just because someone holds an opinion different from their own agenda. It's spun as a "terror watch list" or "no fly list" but what they actually desire is to add anyone with whom they disagree, on any issue, even the weather. Secret lists have been the weapon of oppression throughout history. We, the law-abiding, freedom-loving citizens of this country need to stand up for our rights. There is no room for debate. We will not accept blame for the acts of violence committed by criminals and thugs, nor will we have our freedoms restricted by elitist rulers.

Those who wish to limit where and how our rights exist, while preserving those same rights for themselves, are no better than the other fascists of history. Fortunately for us, while they may be vocal and violent, I believe they are still in the minority. The time for debate is over; they won't change. Arguing with them is a waste of time. What we must do is wipe out any apathy on our side, and stop the "it won't happen here" thinking. This is a war. The only way this war will be won, is if freedom-loving people speak out and join together to deny the leftists the power they desire. Hopefully, the ballot box will be sufficient, but that is by no means guaranteed.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Father's Day Porch Sitting

After Mass on Sunday, we drove out to Orange, VA for brunch at The Light Well. Coincidently, this was the same place Colleen and I enjoyed lunch on Mother's Day. The Light Well offers breakfast and lunch foods, along with a small but decent craft beer menu. We've enjoyed everything we've had there. This visit I opted to forgo beer with my lunch, saving that for my planned afternoon time to be spent sitting on the screened porch.

For my sittin' time, I grabbed a couple of unusual beers that had been waiting in the beer fridge, both from Flying Dog Brewery. Both beers were from the Brewhouse Rarities series, and seemed ideal for the warm, but pleasant outdoor time. The first beer was Berliner Weisse. The beer pours a bright golden color with a fizzy carbonation. The flavor has a refreshing tartness along with some earthy wheat backbone. I very much enjoyed this one.

Next I poured Mint Julep Ale. I'd been sitting on this one for a while. Other than then occasional York Peppermint Pattie, I am not a fan of mint. It's a long-running battle in my family regarding the appropriateness of mint to flavor chocolate ice cream. (I'm against it.) Flying Dog's Mint Julep Ale has a faint sweet bourbon aroma. The flavor brings notes of sweet honey, along with a mild yeastiness. The mint comes through in the flavor more than the aroma. It's a pleasing herbal, leafy mint flavor. This bottle I shared with Colleen since I knew my enjoyment of the mint would be limited.

After my beers, I came inside to find Colleen in the kitchen busily baking. She said something about a "Raspberry and Lemon Cake" to enjoy after the steaks planned for dinner. I decided I should save some room, and delay any further beers until after the evening's meals.

Father's Day

Just a suggestion for today's activities.

Happy Father's Day to all the Dads out there. Cheers!

Friday, June 17, 2016

Five O'Clock Friday: Whisky Truck

Most sensible proposal I've seen all week.

Have a fun weekend, no matter where, or how, your refreshment is provided.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016


Earlier this week, I was faced with this comment in an online forum:

“If I had to defend myself, I would not be able to and that does not bother me in the least.”

I think it actually caused me physical pain to read that comment. How can a person have such little regard for their own life, or the lives of their loved ones, as to be comfortable with accepting their own rape or murder? I feel more sorry for any children who might be in this person's care than I do for them. Not everyone can, or should, carry a weapon for self-defense. But everyone should care about their loved one's safety, if not their own.

In the recent Orlando terrorist attack, the victims waited three hours to be rescued. We now know the jihadi took time to make phone calls to friends, he also stopped to wash his hands and even clean his gun!!!! Yet no one in the night club stepped up in their own defense, they simply waited. The killer was greatly outnumbered, he was often distracted. There's a reason a group of street thugs will approach their victim from opposite directions at the same time. You can't watch in two directions at once. This isn't meant to blame the victims or play Monday morning quarterback. I'm pointing out a mindset that has become so predominant in this country.

Americans today are brainwashed to think that must obey direction from any authority figure, without question. (And the jihadi with the gun IS an authority figure.) Americans are taught that someone else will save them. Federal and local government agencies, school systems, all teach "cower in place" as a defensive technique. People are trained to mindlessly do what they are told by people who want to kill them. I've lost count of the number of security videos I've watched where a criminal holding someone at gunpoint will actually turn his back, or set the gun down and start grabbing money from a cash register, and the victim just stands there, even when next to an exit. It's pathetic conditioning promoted by the leftist leadership; progressives savor mindless cooperation. And it creates victims.

A gun in the criminal's hand is a dangerous weapon. That's why a gun in the hand of a competent law-abiding citizen is the best defense. People need to plan, and train, before they face the need to defend themselves. Unless you have decided in advance that you will not go quietly, you will indeed go quietly.

I often think that Colonel Jeff Cooper's "Principles of Personal Defense" should be required reading in schools. I re-read it frequently. The wake up call has already come. How will you answer?

I'm even willing to help you get started.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Fairfax IDPA Match

Last weekend I headed north to Manassas to check out a monthly IDPA match put on at the Fairfax Rod & Gun Club. Driving I-95 on the weekend anytime holds the possibility of sitting in non-moving traffic but I decided to risk it for another chance to shoot. Fortunately the morning drive to the range was without issue and I arrived after about an hour on the road.

The club sets up six stages on three ranges. The ranges are spread out and require a few minutes walk (some folks drive it) between each. Most of the walks, and two of the three stages are pretty well shaded, which was welcome on the warm day.

The first stage we shot started with the loaded gun on a table along with a beach ball. At the start the beach ball was knocked away (simulating hitting an attacker), then grabbing the gun there were three targets to be shot on the move. Moving next to behind low cover, we engaged five targets that were arranged in a rotated sequence. (Imagine a tumbling ninja.) Each target was to be shot in sequence with two hits required on each. The challenge here is that the -0 zone is not centered on an IDPA target so you had to pay attention to the orientation of the target.

After we shot that scenario, we reloaded and move right over to a quick stage in the same bay.  The lone target was engaged in a single six-shot string; two freestyle, two strong hand only, and two weak hand only.

The scenario for the third stage simulated being surprised by bad guys as you left an elevator. At the start you moved behind cover to engage three targets from behind the "elevator" door opening. Then moving to the other end of a wall to find three more threats, as well as a couple non-threat targets. The next stage was an adaptation of the F.A.S.T. drill designed by Todd Louis Green. Starting with two rounds in the gun, the drill required two head shots, followed by a slide-lock reload, and four body shots. We ran the drill three times for 18 shots total.

On the fifth stage we started by dragging a duffle bag backwards and engaging two targets on the move, strong hand only. After depositing the bag behind a barrier, there were four targets engaged from behind the cover.

The final stage of the match was shot standing in one position at targets arranged from near to far. Starting one either side, the targets were engaged in a reverse "U" order; near, middle, far, middle near. Each target required three hits apiece. The trick here was to manage your speed as the target distance increased than shortened. This was a fun stage to shoot, though it may not be technically legal under IDPA rules.

In a somewhat unusual requirement forced by the host property, we were required to case all ammo and guns when moving between shooting ranges. Even within the gun club property, neither open nor concealed carry is allowed. This is true even for unloaded guns during an event. It's unusual to have to stow gear between stages at an IDPA match, but at least we were frequently reminded to avoid any infractions. I find it ironic since the rule actually increases the amount of unsupervised gun handling required by participants, but it does protect club members from seeing people actually carrying guns.

I was a little irritated by a number of questionable SO calls I heard, but being a first timer at the club I held my tongue. (The match director was very responsive to my feedback after the match.) Despite a few issues, I enjoyed myself and found it to be a fun match. The folks running the event are very enthusiastic and the other shooters all friendly. The stages were not overly complicated or difficult, which allowed all six stages to be shot and the props broken down fairly quickly at the end. Alas, the drive home was not as quick as the morning drive as I hit a few complete traffic flow stops on I-95. Still, it is another option for a place to shoot each month.

In adding this event to my calendar I had a realization. Although no events are actually in Fredericksburg, there are enough options within a one or two hour drive that it's possible to shoot an IDPA match just about any weekend, when I have the time and inclination to do so. And that's a good thing.

Monday, June 13, 2016

The Fantasy World of Liberals

Like many folks this morning, I was in a online discussion regarding gun control when the "no semi automatic/automatic weapons" argument came up. So I asked if they thought people should only be able to defend themselves with revolvers, figuring the poster was just using the terms without understanding their meaning. Until she replied:

"If Detective Callahan can do it with a revolver, I'm sure it's ok."

And just when I think I've heard all the arguments.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Starr Hill The Hook

This summer seasonal from Starr Hill Brewery is part of trend of the "session IPA." Part of me thinks "hoppy Pale Ale" when I red the term, but I still enjoy the full-flavors that most of these lower ABV beers offer. I first tried The Hook Grapefruit Session IPA a few weeks ago on draft and enjoyed it, so I brought a six pack home when I was shopping for a beer to wash down some steamed shrimp this weekend.

The beer pours a very attractive copper color with a moderate white head. The aroma is citrusy with some faint caramel mat. Grapefruit zest is the prominent flavor, with a bit of pine, along with caramel and bready malts in the background. The Hook is very light bodied and finishes clean. While the grapefruit zest of the beer was dominated by the extra spicy shrimp we paired it with, it still served well to cleanse the palate. A second pint after dinner, it's only 4.9%ABV, proved quite quaffable.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Wibby Brewing for Lagers

Another brewery I visited during my stay in Longmont, CO was Wibby Brewing. Wibby specializes in lagers, so I was going to be enjoying some different beers than my usual preferred Pale Ales and IPAs. The Wibby taproom features a large, open-air seating area. Even sitting at the indoor bar I was treated to the fresh and cool Colorado weather.

The first beer I tried was the Wibby IPL. The "India Pale Lager" is a bridge between a hoppy IPA and a lager. The beer is an attractive reddish color with a think beige head. The aroma is mildly toasted malt with resinous pine. The bitter citrus flavor and finish was reminiscent of a classic IPA.

I enjoyed my pint of Wibby IPL quite a bit, but I wanted to experience some of the other offerings. I opted next for a glass of Moondoor Dunkel. The Dunkel pours a rich deep brown color with a beige head. The aroma is cocoa and roasted grain. Lightly roasted grain, chocolate, toffee and touch of vanilla come through in the taste. The beer has a very creamy and smooth mouthfeel.

Finally I ordered a Lightshine Helles. This seemed to be the most popular beer being served in the time I sat at the bar. The Helles is a clear, bright yellow color with pure white head. The aroma is that of bready yeast and a slight sweetness. Sipping brings a refreshingly light sweetness and spicy hop notes, with perhaps a hint of lemongrass and a crisp, dry finish.

Wibby Brewing makes it easy to enjoy a number of their beers by offering four different serving sizes; 4, 8, 12 and 16 ounces. The larger three glass sizes are all the same classic style, just in varying in capacity, while the smaller is a more standard sampler glass. I appreciate very much the glassware options to enhance the tasting experience. I consider it notable if a pub offers a half-pint option, and Wibby goes a couple steps further.

I was impressed with the beers I tried at Wibby Brewing. Unfortunately there is never time to try them all. Perhaps next time.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

West Virginia State IDPA Match

"Tough. And exhausting." Those were my first words when I was asked how last weekend's West Virginia State IDPA match went. It was a long afternoon of shooting eleven challenging but fun stages. The Tier Three match was held at the Peacemaker National Training Center. This was my first sanctioned IDPA match so I expected a challenge, and was not disappointed in that regard.

While all were fun, a few of the stages offered especially memorable challenges. "Hug the Wall" simulated a terrorist attack in a hotel. After pushing over a popper that activated a quick up and down target, you moved to a "hallway" to engage more targets. In two positions you had to put your body flat against the wall, either your front or backside depending on the hand used to shoot, with the support hand on the wall. It was an unusual position, shooting into a narrow target area. I shot strong-hand only so had my back against the wall at one position, and my front in the second. Here's an instance where a "mature'' belly was a benefit and gave me some space away from the wall.

"Save the Hostages" was unique in that the non-threat targets were moved around between each shooter. The stage had two arrays of three shootable targets and two non-threats. You didn't know which targets were non-threats until you come upon the target groups.

Two stages made use of an actual crashed airplane. For "Down in the Desert" we started seated in the plane, gun loaded with six rounds on the glare shield. The first three targets were engaged in tactical sequence. After a reload, we yanked on a microphone cable which activated a pop up target and a very fast swinger. Part two of the scenario involved moving a bag from the cargo area of the plane to the tail, while engaging targets over the aircraft's body, while on the move. The stage finished with more targets from the cover of the tail section.

There were a couple fast stages mixed in with the scenario stages. "Turn Fast" had two targets on the 180° line at 7 yards, and a center target at 9 yards. You started facing one side target, shooting two body and one head shot, turned 180° to the second target, then back 90° to the center. The second string was the same but requiring three shots strong-hand only to the body of each target. The mental challenge to the drill was not shooting the center target as you swung past it; a challenge some shooters failed. "Cody's Sidestep Drill" was even faster, with targets at 3 and 5.2 yards. Stepping to the side at the start, you engaged the targets with 2 body and one head each. String two required three body shots strong-hand only to each. It was a fun "go fast or go home" type drill. 

I found the stage "Hit the Ground" to be especially fun. You started prone, with the gun on the ground. There were six targets to be engaged through a picket fence, all while lying with your stomach flat on the ground. There were three levels of priority which meant a lot of shuffling your body back and forth. Being the next to last stage of the day, I kind of wanted to remain lying down after I finished shooting!

The stage at which we ended the day was called "Fishing Trip Trouble." You sat in a "boat" which was suspended by cables allowing it to sway freely in all directions. Your gun was placed at your feet inside a tackle box. The shooter pulled on the anchor at the side, holding the boat to the side. Letting go of that started the boat swinging, while leaning over to pick up the gun added to the motion. The eight targets were place downrange with varying amounts of hard cover. It was a fun stage, and finished my match with a chance to sit down!

I opted to shoot the match in the afternoon, not realizing just how late that afternoon session would go. We started shooting after 2:00PM and finished after 8:00PM. There were actually twelve stages planned for the match. One stage, which looked fun and was shot among the trees, had been thrown out due to inconsistent running in the earlier squads. It was available to shoot for fun. By the time my squad got to it the daylight was already fading and we still had two stages to go, so we opted to forgo it. Disappointing, but I was glad to finish the match before dark. By the time I got home around 10:30PM, that cold beer was exceptionally refreshing!

The match was much longer and more challenging than the local, monthly matches I've been shooting. However, I was very happy for the chance to shoot it. I had more misses and hit more non-threats than I would have liked, but enjoyed the sanctioned match experience. At the end of it all, I finished 66th out of 156, and 12th out of 23 shooters in my division and classification. It wasn't my best match, but I'm not too disappointed given the level of competition. This was also the first time I visited the Peacemaker facility. The range is a little over two hours away from my home and in the future I think I'll consider attending some of the monthly IDPA matches held there. 

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Longs Peak Pub, Longmont, CO

While I was in Longmont, CO for work, a coworker recommended I check out Longs Peak Pub & Taphouse. Waking from a short after-work nap I headed over to the brewhouse. The pub offers both outdoor patio seating and spacious interior space. Naturally, I opted to sit at the bar.

The restaurant is part of the Mountain Sun Pubs & Breweries group, and serves the complete lineup of Mountain Sun Beers, as well as a few guest taps. Immediately after taking my seat I was greeted and given the lay of the land. The employees at Longs Peak share in all duties. That was made evident as the service was attentive and my glass (water or beer) was never left wanting. The staff is extremely friendly and welcoming.

There are around twenty Mountain Sun beers on tap, so my decision process was tough. I mentioned to one of the folks behind the bar that I liked hoppy ales, and immediately found sample of three IPAs in front of me. The pub serves half pints as well as full pints, which is a welcome option when looking to try several beers. I opted to start out with a half pint of Resinous Rye. Brewed with Simcoe hops and malted rye, the seasonal beer had pleasing resinous and citrus notes. Less sweet than some IPAs, with a nice bitter citrus flavor, the small serving was quickly consumed. Judging from comments from employees stopping by for conversation, Resinous Rye is quite popular among the staff too.

My food decision was no less difficult than the beer choice. I finally opted for Tim’s Blackened Chicken Quesadilla. The quesadilla is made with with jack and cheddar cheeses, spinach, tomato, diced jalapeƱos, blackened chicken and garnished with salsa, guacamole and sour cream. The blackened chicken has a very robust, spicy flavor. The plate is as colorful as it is generous in size.

After my initial half pint of Resinous Rye, I ordered a half pint of Newman's Altbier. Pouring an attractive reddish-brown color with a thick white head, the beer has toasted and caramel malts with a pleasant earthiness to the flavor. Only slightly sweet with a smooth toffee finish, I was struck by the rich flavor of the beer. I've tried numerous altbiers over the years, but I don't recall one I enjoyed as much.

About the time I finished the half pint of Newman's Altbier, the skies outside opened up and the rain came hard. Being in an unfamiliar city, driving an unfamiliar rental car, the wisest course of action seemed to be to wait it out. So I ordered a pint of Resinous Rye and nursed it until the rain slowed.

It's worth noting that Mountain Sun pubs are cash-only establishments. However, there are ATMs on site if you happen to be short of greenbacks. I really enjoyed the beer, the food, and the friendly staff at Longs Peak Pub. It's definitely on my list of places to revisit when I next get back to Longmont.

Friday, June 3, 2016

An Expensive Target Holder

Much to my chagrin, we've had to make some major HVAC "investments" recently. But, they say when life throws you lemons, you make lemonade. So I'll look on the bright side and make use of the nice target stands the contractor left street side.

All ready for the rifle range.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Indoor Range Trip

Now that the outdoor range is following summer hours, I haven’t even needed to hit the indoor range for practice in a couple of months. While I prefer shooting outdoors, it didn’t look like my schedule this week would allow for that, so a quick trip to the indoor range was called for.

This week I went a bit later in the day than usual and was pleasantly surprised to find just two other shooters present, and they seemed to be shooting at a conservative, controlled pace. (I make a point to observe for a few minutes before I get set up.) I stuck an IDPA target at 10 yards and went through 50 rounds, shooting in strings of one to four shots, concentrating on watching the movement of the front sight during recoil.

For the next 50 shots, I used splatter targets at 7 yards and concentrated on slow, aimed fire. I like the splatter targets in the dimly lit range mainly for the bright orange aiming area, more than the extra visibility of the hits.

As is typical, it was a short visit. I purposefully pack only 100 rounds when I go to the indoor range during the work day. Otherwise I’d never make it back to the office in a timely manner. Despite the short session, the practice was beneficial, and quite enjoyable. (I know I call it "practice" but it's really about the fun, and getting away from my desk for a bit.)

During the winter, the temperature inside the range varies little from the temperature outside. And the same applies during the summer, although there was certainly more breeze outdoors. That’s something I’ll keep in mind  if  when I visit mid-summer.