Friday, March 31, 2017

Five O'Clock Friday: Tired

What a week it's been. I need a nap to prepare for the weekend.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Man Shoots Self in Buttocks While Reaching for Wallet

I didn't even need to read the story to know what happened.
FAIRFIELD, Conn. A Connecticut man said he was reaching for his wallet to pay his restaurant bill when he shot himself in the buttocks Friday night.

Police said Michael Southmayd, 56, of Bridgeport, may face charges of unlawful discharge of a firearm in connection with the incident, which unfolded around 8:30 p.m. at Tazza, 116 Post Road. Southmayd was there dining with his family, police said when he said he reached for his wallet and somehow pulled his firearm from the holster and shot himself. They bullet was lodged in the floor, and the casing stuck in the gun.

Stop playing with it. Yes, stupidity should hurt.

Full report here.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

McAuliffe Shows His Allegiance to Criminals

Last week Virginia Governor McAuliffe vetoed a bill designed to protect victims of domestic abuse. The democrat politician was more concerned over the danger to the abuser than the victim. This week he continues his attacks on law-abiding Virginia citizens with his amendment to a bill to keep the state from sharing concealed handgun permit holder information with states that don't honor Virginia permits. The governor is using the recent arrest of gun runners in New York as an excuse to curb the rights of Virginians by proposing to bring back the one handgun a month law. Only in the mind of a leftist would it seem logical to pass laws affecting law-abiding citizens in response to criminals breaking existing laws. Limiting the firearm purchases of law-abiding people only serves to benefit the criminal element.

The Virginia Citizens Defense League has issued an alert regarding the Governor's shady maneuver.


We have GOT to protect CHP holders when they travel to states like Maryland!

Governor McAuliffe wants to gut SB 1023, Senator Stuart's bill to keep Virginia from sharing concealed handgun permit holder information with states that don't honor our permits, by replacing it with a One Handgun a Month bill!

What does "One Handgun a Month" have to do with not sharing CHP holder information with hostile states?  Nothing, of course.  As far as gun traces out of Virginia, nothing changed when we got rid of One Handgun a Month and nothing would change if we reinstated it.  It is nothing but political theater.

Unfortunately, McAuliffe seems to be far more interested in appeasing the anti-gun politicians in his home state of New York than he does protecting law-abiding Virginians.

To pass SB 1023 we need both the House and Senate to reject the Governor's changes and then to pass the enrolled version of the bill with a veto-proof 2/3 majority in each body.



We need to flood the Senate and House with phone calls and emails, urging them to reject McAuliffe's changes to SB 1023 and to pass the enrolled version of the bill.

THOSE OF YOU WHO HAVE DEMOCRAT LEGISLATORS, IT IS PARTICULARLY IMPORTANT THAT YOU DO THIS! It does NOT matter if they usually vote wrong: this bill is different - it is more about privacy than guns.

1.  Send a pre-written email to BOTH your Senator and your Delegate - this takes less than 20 seconds, figures out who your legislators are, and sends to both at one time!  Click here:

2.  Call your Delegate and Senator at their DISTRICT office, too.  Calls can really help. Their district phone numbers can be found by clicking here:

* Delegates:

* Senators:

* If you are not sure who your legislators are, click here to find out:


Here is an article on McAuliffe's changes to SB 1023:

As someone who was recently harassed and frisked on the side of the road by Maryland State Thugs, solely for legally transporting firearms in Maryland, this privacy bill strikes close to home. I encourage all Virginian's, gun owner or not, to take action to help fight the Governor's move. Other state governments have no right to the private information of Virginia citizens, especially when they use it solely to hassle law-abiding travelers.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Afternoon Range Time

I escaped for a visit to the indoor range on my lunch break today. As I walked up to the door at the range, the proprietor was outside enjoying a smoke, he nodded and simply said, “Lane 14.” I headed inside and started shooting without a delay.

Doing my room scan, I saw one couple a few lanes over that seemed to be doing more talking than shooting. Interestingly a couple other folks came in after I started, but I heard very little shooting from them either.

Like the last couple visits, I started out shooting while gripping a flashlight. I’ve been trying out a few different grip methods during the past couple of range visits, and I think I have a preference now. I've held the flashlight while shooting in a lighted range, and I've done dry fire with the flashlight in a dark basement. It will will be interesting to put them together in an upcoming "in the dark" match.

Some SHO and WHO shooting was next on the agenda. A few magazines later I know I still need to give some attention to developing that skill. The afternoon practice session closed out with some 20 yard slow fire.

I’ve increased my “standard” indoor session round count from 100 to 150. Now that it’s a bit warmer outside, the range is more comfortable inside, so it’s easier to stay longer. I'm still constrained by time, but the afternoon in the office is always more pleasant after this short diversion.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Cavalier IDPA Match

The monthly IDPA match at Cavalier Rifle and Pistol Club was held this past Sunday. This month's match kept  the "winter hours" and didn't start until 10:00 so I even got to sleep in a bit on Sunday morning.

The first stage of the match had us sitting on a cooler under a low canopy. The unloaded gun and all mags were in a smaller, deep cooler between our feet. There were five targets arranged in a triangle to be shot near to far. All except the furthest had hard cover covering half the target. Getting the gun, and the reloads, out of the cooler gave an interesting diversion to the stage. 

Next up was a stage with two strings of fire. The first string was shot while seated, with the loaded gun and mags on the table. All of the three targets behind two non-threats had to get two body shots, before returning for a head shot on each. For the second string, we moved behind some stacked barrels to engage two targets from cover. We then moved to engage an open target the move, ending at a final  target behind a wall. 

The third stage was quite interesting and the fault line placement meant some hard leans around cover to hit the targets. Starting behind a wall of barrels, there were three targets visible from the right side, and single target visible around the left. After shooting those, we retreated up range, where a steel - paper - steel combo was mirrored on both sides of the bay.

The final bay had two stages that were shot back to back. Stage 4 presented a number of options around magazine staging and reloading. The course of fire started with all magazines on the table. The unloaded gun started in an open box, with the slide locked back. At the start the gun had to be loaded from the table, and we had the option of picking up and stowing a mag, or picking it up as we later passed by the table. After loading and engaging targets on either side, I opted to do a tactical reload, pocketing the partial mag from the gun and grabbing my reload off the table as I passed by on the way to the next shooting position. Four more targets were engaged from two locations to finish the course.

The next stage started where we finished the previous stage. At the start we moved to engage a low target over a wall. There were targets to be engaged from four more positions to finish the stage. This is where the Match Director made interesting use of fault lines. Between the walls used and the fault lines, four distinct positions and directions of fire were contained in a small space, with movement between each. It required a bit of thought or planning, but made for an interesting stage. I wish I had taken a picture of the end of the course as I found it to be an interesting use of the new fault lines.

As usual, the match was a lot of fun, with interesting and challenging courses of fire. Match Director Chris has a knack for coming up with unique twists. I always walk away thinking, "That was different." The matches run smoothly and quickly. Our squad this month was smaller than usual, so we did end up frequently waiting for the group ahead of us to finish, though not for long. On top of the fun shooting, the weather was delightful; it's been many months since I wasn't using a fleece jacket for a cover garment.

I was mostly pleased with my shooting, finishing 14th of 35 overall, and 5th of 15 in the SSP division. For an old guy with bad knees and deteriorating eyesight, I can accept that. I did end up with one miss and one hit on a non-threat this time, which affected my score significantly. But the enjoyment of spending time shooting with fun people made up for those minor disappointments. Now I'm looking already forward to next time.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Thursday Evening Fire Pit

With the longer days, and still cool evenings, Thursday presented an opportunity to enjoy some time around the fire pit. We enjoyed an early dinner and then decided to head outside. The fire was going strong as the sun set gave way to a starry night sky.

The flames were quite mesmerizing, even if I was distracted enough to make note of some yard work awaiting. Even though the next day was still to be a workday, the relaxing evening set a perfect tone for the weekend to come.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Birthday Sights & Sounds

Plans for a full vacation day on my birthday yesterday fell through, but that doesn’t mean I couldn't enjoy the day.

I had blocked off a chunk of my calendar in an attempt to avoid anyone scheduling for me something. I used some of that freedom to visit the indoor range for an hour. I had the place to myself for most of the time, which is always an added bonus. I started out shooting a few magazines through the M&P Shield. A friend had kindly adjusted the poorly installed sights and I was anxious to try it out. Success! I might actually shoot some BUG matches later this year — though I’m now without an excuse for any poor shooting.

I next switched to the SIG P226 for more trials at shooting while holding a flashlight. I changed my method from what I used before and was quite pleased. Now I’m holding the light under the trigger between my two middle fingers. It feels much more stable, though the grip on the gun is a little odd. I will still need to practice reloads in dry fire.

For general practice I decided to do the 50 round Julie Golob drill at 15 yards. I was quite pleased with that drill, shot at a relaxed pace. Finally, I moved the target all the way out and did some slow shooting at 25 yards. No low hits this time. It was very difficult to see my beige IDPA center repair target against the beige cardboard hanger. At least I could somewhat make out the black aiming point in the center.

When I got back to the car after shooting, I noticed a text message from Colleen. She had been shopping again. I truly enjoy these messages from her.

When my work day ended, we went out for an enjoyable meal. Naturally, the meal included some tasty beers. We enjoyed a couple hours sitting at one of our favorite bars and just talking. Frankly, I feel that life's been moving at a fast pace recently, so it was especially satisfying just to relax with Colleen for a while.

All good things must come to an end, but the birthday treats hadn't ended yet. There was a specially labeled delivery left at the house as well.

One can't fight getting older, but we can certainly celebrate marking another year on the calendar.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Rivanna Indoor IDPA

This month's IDPA match at Rivanna Rifle and Gun Club was held on the indoor ranges due to poor ground conditions left by the past week's snow and rain. I was actually hoping that would be the case as I haven't shot an indoor match in quite some time and wanted to get some more experience.

The first stage I shot (stage 2 of the match) had us facing a non-threat target which we knocked over to start the course. The target stand actually fell back more slowly than expected and I had my gun out and ready to shoot before it was out of the way. We put 6 hits on the first target while backing up to a barrel stack. From that position there were three more targets to be engaged with three shots each.

I was dismayed when the stage was scored to see I was 4 points down. My hits on the last targets were in good groups, but low. This stage would be my best finish of the morning.

The next stage had us facing open targets at 15 yards, all requiring three hits each. We engaged the first three while stationary, then retreated up range, around a barrel, and back down range to hit the last three targets. Again, all my hits were on target, but low.

Up next was a seated stage with six targets behind a couple of non-threats, again at 15 yards. Precision shot placement was required to avoid hitting the penalty targets. I was quite pleased to finish the stage clean. However, again with low hits, racking up the points down. By now I was getting some well-deserved ribbing from my squad mates.

The final stage was shot one-handed. The first string of three targets was shot weak hand only, the second strong hand only. As a friend pointed out, now my weak hand shots were actually high.

I spent a lot of time thinking back on the match, and the shooting that led me to finish 24th of 60 shooters. There's a lot to analyze and consider. Was it from being tired? Was it the low light levels? Was it the way I've practiced lately? I could make a case for any, or all, of these excuses. If anything, it reminded me of back when I first switched from USPSA to IDPA and had to adapt to the -0 area being higher on the target. I just don't see the target clearly at distance and perhaps wasn't aiming high enough on that blurry beige blob in the distance.

However, in the end, it's me. I had an off day and didn't shoot as well as I believe I can. It's finally getting to the time of the year when I can hopefully get to the outdoor range, and I have some definite things to work on in practice. The match was a lot of fun, and I enjoyed myself. I always say it's a successful match when I learn something or find specific things to practice in the future. By that account, this was a highly successful match.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Troubling News From Peacemaker

Last week I received an email from Peacemaker National Training Center in West Virginia with some disturbing news. A neighbor of the range, in Virginia, has filed a nuisance complaint against the range. As a result a judge has ordered Peacemaker to turn over the private information of anyone who has ever shot there. Here is an excerpt from the notice sent out.
Despite numerous motions and requests to reconsider, and numerous mediation efforts with the plaintiff, the court has ordered PNTC to produce the below documents and other private records under a “Protective Order.” Under this order, the plaintiffs and their counsel are legally permitted to access the following information: 
- All member files
- All waivers from any person who has accessed PNTC, to include all law enforcement,
federal agency personnel, military personnel and foreign military personnel names
- All shooting competition files and lists
- All training information and lists
- All customer waivers
- Identities of all persons who have used PNTC ranges
- All ATF & NFA records (to include Forms 4473 and ATF bound book information)

I've only shot at Peacemaker National Training Center once, and that was for the West Virginia State IDPA match held there last June. I recall I provided my full name and contact information to Peacemaker, and they may have information on the firearm I used as well. What makes this especially troublesome is that there is no reason that the complainants need the personal information of Peacemaker customers, other than for future harassment. I'll be watching this case as it unfolds.

You can read the entire announcement from Peacemaker here. Also, there are discussions on the West Virginia Citizens Defense League and Peacemaker Facebook pages.

March 20, 6:29 AM EDT

Spring has sprung. There's still some cold weather ahead, but it's not too optimistic to say we've turned the corner. Not a minute to soon for my tastes.

Soon, there will be more late afternoons on the range, time for good beer on the porch in the evenings... And sun!

Friday, March 17, 2017

St. Patrick's Day

"May St. Patrick guard you wherever you go, and guide you in whatever you do – and may his loving protection be a blessing to you always."
-- Traditional Irish Blessing

Ah, Saint Patrick's Day. Such a confusing day. For the Irish, the day honors a beloved Saint. For many others, it's a day dedicated simply to green beer and other debauchery. St. Patrick is our parish's patron Saint, so we're granted a reprieve from our Lenten penances. As such, we'll be enjoying a quiet evening at home with some "traditional" Irish-American food and drink. There will be no green beer.

Our family has long had a devotion to St. Patrick. Our admiration was made all the more tangible when we were blessed to take a pilgrimage to the Emerald Isle in 2012. During that visit I was reminded just how much the Irish love Patrick. To honor this day, and St. Patrick's memory, I'll share a few depictions of St. Patrick seen during that trip.

The Black Abbey, Kilkenny

Tapestry, Knock Shrine

Ballintubber Abby

Croagh Patrick, County Mayo

St. Patrick Cathedral, Dublin

And finally, since St. Patrick is also our parish patron, one of our church window.

Bishop Patrick

All photos taken by Colleen.

Five O'Clock (AM) Friday: St. Patrick's Day

For those starting early.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Keep Your Finger Off the Trigger...


I think that's going to leave a mark.

This is an old video that's been making the social media rounds recently. The thing I find most unsettling is that the students stood around laughing. I would have made tracks for the exit after the gun spun by my face.

Videos like this bring back frightening memories. A few years ago I was standing next to a retired federal LEO, trainer and author when he wanted to show me a SIG he had in his truck. He racked the slide, then dropped the mag, and pulled the trigger. The round went into the bed of his pickup. Fortunately I had moved to his side as he removed the gun from it's case. You just never know...

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

St. Patrick's Festival To Honor Jeff Fitzpatrick

The annual St. Patrick's Day parade and festival at Adventure Brewing South (formerly Blue & Gray Brewing) has been renamed to honor the late Jeff Fitzpatrick. The Free Lance-Star reports...
Adventure Brewing Co. is raising a pint to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in memory of the late Jeff Fitzpatrick, the area’s first local brewer.

Adventure bought Blue & Gray Brewing Co. in Spotsylvania County and are continuing his tradition of holding a St. Patrick’s Day parade. Adventure’s owners have renamed the event in his honor.

“We’re excited to host the parade this year,” said Stan Johnson, one of Adventure’s owners, in a news release. “The parade is a tradition for the families of Fredericksburg, so we’re glad to have the opportunity to continue that, and to honor Jeff’s legacy in the craft beer scene.”
This is a fitting tribute to this pioneer who brought craft beer to the Fredericksburg area. This quote from Jeff, a faithful Irish Catholic, fits his humor perfectly, and I can imagine the smile and laughter on his face when he said it. "We said ‘Kids eat free,’ and I ought to have known better than to invite a bunch of Irish Catholics to have their kids eat free."

See "Annual St. Patrick's Day Parade renamed in memory of Fredericksburg area's first brewer" for the full story.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Flying Dog Experimental Pepper IPA

The Flying Dog Brewery Heat Series of spicy, pepper enhanced beers returns this year with four enticingly flavored brews. I've enjoyed several of the previous "Heat Series" beers and was excited to taste what the brewers had come up with this time. This year's additions are available in a "Hot Box" variety pack, and includes Shishito Rice Ale, Cherry Bomb Gose, Chocolate Habanero Stout, and Experimental Pepper IPA.

As expected I went right for the one that sounded to be the most extreme, the Experimental Pepper IPA. The beer pours a bright orange color with a bright white head. The aroma is fruity with a mild hot pepper accent. The initial sip provides a quick and brief hint of the underlying IPA, with mild citrus and fruit. The peppery heat comes quickly. It's not a brutal hit, it just seems build and roll across the palate in a wave. There's a full hot pepper flavor, but not one of discomfort.

The pepper heat lingers a bit, though doesn't build significantly over time. As I sipped my beer with some cheese, crackers, and pickled herring (don't judge) I was still able to enjoy the flavors of the food. It wasn't until a subsequent sip of beer that I would realize the previous heat had faded.

Flying Dog says the pepper used is a new variety that tops the Carolina Reaper when it comes to heat.  The brewers managed to harvest that heat and serve up the hot pepper tastiness in an manageable manner. I very much enjoyed the Experimental Pepper IPA. I'll work the three others from the box into my beer sipping schedule soon.

These beers are unsolicited samples from the brewery. All drinking and commenting is done of my own free will.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Daylight Savings Time

I rather like the positioning of the daylight versus the clock. The jolt of the change, not so much.

There will be more evening range trips, more walks, and more time on the porch with a good beer in hand.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Dreaming of Diversity

When I read stuff like I find it really hard to have hope for the future.
Southern Illinois University Hosts Library ‘Nap-Ins’ To Have ‘Dreams Of Diversity’

Southern Illinois University’s Morris Library is now hosting “nap-ins” to help students dream of diversity.

Marissa Amposta, a “student coordinator” at the university is holding four two-hour naps in the library this month to “internally generate student dreams of diversity,” the Daily Egyptian reports.

However, I've spent the past week enjoying the company of our son who's home on spring break, and am reminded that not all college students have been raised to be snowflakes.

“It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.” 
― Frederick Douglass

Monday, March 6, 2017

Terror Alert: It's an Ammo Horde

"Nearby homes evacuated after 75 rounds of ammunition found underneath house" is the alarming headline.
The San Antonio Police Department's Bomb Squad was called to a Southwest Side neighborhood Saturday after dozens of rounds of ammunition were found underneath a home.
The ammunition was discovered on the 7900 block of Dempsey Drive, near Old Pearsall Road and Southwest Military Drive, around 2:45 p.m. Saturday.
Neighboring homes were evacuated for three hours so the "bomb squad" could do their job.

Really? In Texas? I've probably lost more than that in the washing machine.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Two Spammers in One

Apparently, this spammer suffers from Dissociative Identity Disorder.
Hi there,

I reached out last week but haven’t heard back. My name is Yvonne and I am part of REDACTED, and I was getting in touch to discuss collaborating with

See my initial email below.


On Wed, Feb 22, 2017 at 11:09 AM, Yvonne wrote:
Hi there

Just wanted to say I'm a big fan of and I really enjoy your content!

My name is Julia, and I work for a website called REDACTED.

I wanted to reach out because I believe REDACTED would be a great addition to and your growing audience! We'd love to contribute some content to your blog: either in the form of adding content in an existing article, if it fits, or a brand new piece of content that your audience will hopefully find valuable.

Please let me know if you would consider working with me. I'm willing to contribute a small donation for your trouble!

Best regards,

Thank you Julia, or Yvonne, for your content contribution.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Virginia Gun Legislation Update

A lot of good gun legislation was passed in Virginia this year. Here's a summary provided by the Virginia Citizens Defense League, the pro-rights group which had been instrumental in protecting the rights of gun owning Virginians.
19 gun-rights bills will hit the Governor's desk this year!  4 signed into law already, 2 vetoed (but could be overridden on April 5), and 13 have not been acted on by the Governor yet (he has until March 27).

Number of gun-control bills hitting the Governor's desk: 0

1. Bills signed into law (effective July 1)
2. Vetoed bills that could be overridden on April 5
3. Bills awaiting the Governor's signature or veto by March 27

1. Bills signed into law (effective July 1)

* HB 1466, Delegate Fowler, allows Circuit Court Clerks to send email reminders when a CHP is going to expire in at least 90 days

* HB 1849, Delegate Gilbert, allows Circuit Court Clerks to create laminated or plastic CHPs if they choose to do so

* HB 2325, Delegate Fariss, CHP applicants must be provide photo identification, but no long will need to have the application notarized

* HB 2369, Delegate Pogge, CHP holders will no longer be required to provide proof of address when changing the address on their CHP

2. Vetoed bills that could be overridden on April 5

* HB 1582, Delegate Campbell, allows an active-duty or honorably-discharged member of the military to get a concealed handgun permit if they are at least 18 years old.  It also fixes reciprocity with Georgia

* HB 1432, Delegate Lee Ware, legalizes switchblade knives (the Senate version of this bill is still working through the General Assembly)

3. Bills awaiting the Governor's signature or veto by March 27

* SB 1023, Senator Stuart, prohibits the Virginia State Police from providing Virginia concealed handgun permittee information to law enforcement in states that do not recognize Virginia concealed handgun permits

* HB 2077, Delegate Wilt, prohibits the Governor from disarming citizens in emergency shelters.  This bill is on McAuliffe's desk but has not yet been formally vetoed.  McAuliffe has told the Roanoke Times that he is going to veto it.

* SB 1299, Senator Vogel, makes a protective order a temporary concealed handgun permit

* SB 1300, Senator Vogel, makes firearms safety training free to victims of domestic abuse, sexual abuse, stalking, etc.

* HB 1852, Delegate Gilbert, similar to SB 1299, Senator Vogel, which makes a protective order a temporary concealed handgun permit

* HB 1853, Delegate Gilbert, similar to SB 1300, Senator Vogel, makes firearms safety training free to victims of domestic abuse, sexual abuse, stalking, etc.

* HB 2429, Delegate O'Quinn, provides a mechanism to restore gun-rights for a person who had their gun rights removed for a mental health commitment, but now lives out of state

* SB 1315, Senator Carrico, allows foster parents to carry a firearm on their person, otherwise it is to be locked in a closet or cabinet, with the key out of reach of the children

* SB 1347, Senator Reeves, makes switchblades legal

* SB 1362, Senator Black, allows active duty members of the Virginia National Guard, Armed Forces of the United States, and Armed Forces Reserves of the United States to carry concealed without a permit and wherever they go in Virginia, including schools, courthouses, etc.

* SB 1533, Senator Obenshain, allows non-violent felons to possess, transport, and carry either an antique firearm or a back powder firearm for sporting, recreational, or cultural purposes

* HB 1392, Delegate Lingamfelter, authorizes a school security officer to carry a firearm on school property. Such an officer is a retired police officer and the local school board has given him authority to carry a firearm.

* SB 865, Senator Stuart, allows family members to transfer various knives to minor family members for the purpose of engaging in a sporting event or activity

Many of those bills will likely be vetoed by our carpetbagger governor, who's generally more interested in protecting criminals and illegal immigrants than he is in defending the rights of law-abiding citizens. The governor's actions on the bills on his desk will provide a clear picture of his feelings regarding the Constitution and the right to self defense.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Five O'Clock Friday: Pub Rules

Good advice....
  1. Buying someone a drink is five times better than a handshake.
  2. If someone offers to buy you a drink, do not upgrade.
  3. Persons drinking a pint of Guinness before it has fully settled will be immediately barred.
  4. Anyone on stage or behind the bar is 50% better looking.
  5. Telling lies is unacceptable, you may however grossly exaggerate.
  6. If there is ever any confusion, the fuller beer is yours.
  7. If you hesitate more than three seconds after getting the barman's attention, you do not deserve a drink.
  8. If you buy a woman a drink and she refuses, she does not like you.
  9. If you buy a woman a drink and she accepts, she still may not like you.
  10. Girls hang out, apply make-up and have long talks in the bathroom. Men do not.

Now, go forth and be good citizens of your local pub. Happy weekend!