May 23, 2016

Post NRAAM

So, Saturday was the only day I had free to sneak down to Louisville for the 2016 NRAAM.  I wish I could have stayed longer, but schedules and finances were not going to let that happen.

At any rate, it's the usual NRAAM stuff.  Everyone and their brother has a newer and better AR-15 build, with their proprietary fancy gollywog stuff that makes THEIR AR-15 platform that much more operator-esque than the next guy.  Because when you have to operate, you want an operational operator gun.  Or something.

I did manage to refrain from whipping out the plastic to pick up Savage Arms' new bolt action 338 Lapua.  For now, anyway.

Got a lot of "possibles" for Kilted to Kick Cancer donation, a pretty fair number of "probables", and one in-my-hands donation from MantisX Firearms Training Systems.  This is a device that you connect to the rail on your handgun, download an app to your phone or tablet (Apple or Android), and as you fire, it measures the deviation of your pistol and gives you feedback on your shots, along with suggestions on how to resolve it.  It's got a bit of voodoo magic to it, but I found it interesting.  I will give the donated system away to KTKC, of course, but might just shell out the $149.99 and get one for my own use.

As usual, the attendees ran the gamut of culture and gender: Men and Women, many different racial makeups (African-American, Latino/Hispanic, Asian), and all ages.  And, as usual, everyone was polite.  The exhibit hall was much larger than last year in Nashville, and that made for larger lanes between booths.  Still, there were times when it was crowded, and you'd bump into someone by accident, and both people would turn around and offer a polite "Sorry about that" or "My apologies".  Ya know, for a bunch of violent savages, the NRA members are really quite considerate.

The NRA endorsed Trump.  This is not surprising.  What, you expected them to back Shrillary?  Trump had best keep that in mind, however... Ya dance with the one that brung ya, as they say, and if he goes back on his promises to uphold 2A rights, the NRA will drop him like a prom dress.

I got to meet Reya Kempley, a very pleasant young lady who is trying out for the US Olympic Shooting team.  I wish her the very best, and hope she kicks some ass down in Rio this summer.  Take bug spray, Ms. Kempley.

Didn't see any protesters.  Didn't really look, either.

Spent most of the day walking the exhibit hall with EMS Artifact, but managed to run into my buddy Ryan and his lady Amy, as well as JayG, Old NFO, Kelly Eads, and a few other folks.  Just not enough time to catch up with everybody.

Didn't hear of one single person getting shot, despite an estimated 80,000 people there, many of whom were most likely armed.

EMS Artifact and I went out for a quick bite to eat and a beer, catch up on stuff, tell lies, discuss upcoming hunting trips to take, and general BS.  Then about 6:30 I hit the road north back towards home.

It was a long day for a short visit with friends, but it was a nice break from the daily grind of work/house chores/work/house chores...

Until next year in Atlanta, my friends, I wish you farewell.  Thank you for letting me be a part of the tribe.

May 18, 2016

NRAAM Saturday Meet Up

I'm going to be in Louisville for the NRAAM this weekend, but only for Saturday.  Time and chores and finances don't permit for a longer trip.

Who's going, who wants to have an impromptu blogger meet-up, grab a beer?

May 13, 2016

In Lieu of Real Content

* It's been a rainy month so far... We've had measurable precipitation for 11 of the 13 days in May, and a fair bit of it at that.  Ground is spongy, low spots are flooded with standing water, the White River is pushing over the banks, etc.  Good for the lawn and garden, but if we don't get a few days of sun and dry weather, the farmers are going to be hard pressed to get fields seeded.

* Spawn the Younger has recently made a pretty significant change in her attitude.  She's smiling more, sulking less.  Laughing more, grumping less.  If I ask her to do something, she does it with far less fuss than previously.  Not sure what's gotten into her, but I like it.  Maybe it's that she has been put on a new medication by the dermatologist to help control her acne, and it's working well.  At that age, physical appearance helps guide attitude, I guess.  Anyway, I'm liking her attitude. 

* Elder Spawn is quite the opposite.  She's got, as my Southern friends would say, "an alligator mouth and a hummingbird ass".  It's truly amazing to me that she thinks it's acceptable to tell an adult "Shut up, you're an idiot, nobody likes you."  That sort of thing would have earned me a proper ass-beating as a child.  She says it with impunity because her mother won't punish her any further than a stern talking-to.  I've gotten used to it, and pretty much ignore her... water off a duck's back and all that... but it does get tiresome.  There are days I dread going home from work, because I am just tired of being spoken to with such disrespect. 

* Got to the range yesterday before the storms came in.  I had to remove and remount the scope on my Marlin Glenfield Model 60, so it was time to check the zero, get it dialed in.  I ran a 100 rounds of CCI Stinger and after about 10 I was plugging the bull and the proximity thereof pretty consistently at 50 yards.  It might be a 40+ year old gun that didn't cost $100 new, but by gosh I just _LOVE_ shooting that thing.  The fact that it was my dad's gun when he was a boy doesn't hurt.  I suspect I'll hand it down to my nephew some day, if he's of a mind.  

* Pork, Sweet Potato, Turmeric, and Quinoa Soup was on the table for dinner a few nights ago.  It turned out prety well, and will become a regular in the rotation.  

Take a couple pork hocks (smoked hocks, if you can get them) and plop 'em in the stock pot with celery, onion, carrots, and some black pepper, cover with water, and bring the heat to a soft boil.  Cover, reduce heat a bit, and let cook for a few hours.  Strain the solids, pick out the meat, and throw the rest into a compost pile.  

Return meat and liquid to the pot, add more black pepper, taragon, garlic powder, thyme, and turmeric to taste.  Put on low heat.   While the soup is cooking, take a few sweet potatoes, peel and cut into bite sized pieces.  Toss with EVOO and a bit of salt, cook in the oven at 250 for about 90 minutes.  Remove to cool.  

About 30 minutes before you're ready to serve, add 2 cups of unflavored quiona and increase heat to medium.  Bring to medium high heat and let it cook.  After 20 minutes, add the sweet potatoes, cook 10 minutes more, and serve.  Add more turmeric as needed.

* Considering switching from my current leather IWB holster to a Kydex IWB holster for the G19.  Recommendations are welcome.

That is all... 

May 3, 2016

This Is Pleasant

"I hate you."

"I never asked for you to be in my life."

"I hope you die in your sleep."

"You're a total f--king prick, and nobody likes you."

"Did you pay my cell phone bill this month?"

*sigh*

Why do I stay?

#TheStepDadLife

May 2, 2016

Always Have an Open Mind

Been getting frustrated with my results shooting the Glock 19 lately.  I've been working on getting more consistent groups, and that part has been successful (mostly.)

Problem is that my group was always an inch or so high, and an inch or two left.  That is, I'd beat the snot out of the 9 ring at 10:30/11:00, but couldn't seem to get them down into the bull.

Nearly exasperated, I finally decided "It's either me, or the sights."  So, at Tam's suggestion, I swung down to Indy Arms Company yesterday to let her take it for a test drive.  She's good enough that she'd be able to say "Yep, sights are off" or "Nope, you just suck."

Well, guess what?


Her first four rounds of the day could have been covered with a quarter, and enough left over for a dime change.

She hands the gun back to me: "Seems fine."

(Couldn't have thrown just ONE flier to make me feel better, could ya?)

At any rate, with her assistance, I made a few modifications to grip and stance, and the rounds started coming more towards the vertical center-line (i.e., 12 o'clock), but still high by an inch or so.

Then Zack from Indy Arms pointed out to me that I'd been lining up the sights wrong.  Well, more exactly, I was putting the front dot ON the bull, rather than just under the bull.

Here's a photo of the factory sights on a Glock:


Here's a bad drawing of a few different sight pictures, greatly over-exaggerated, but it paints the picture for what I was doing wrong:



I was sighting down the barrel like you see in the Sight Image 3, when I SHOULD have been doing the Sight Image 2.

Once I put the front sight to the point where it was JUST touching the bottom of the bulls-eye, I started hitting the bulls-eye.

Unfortunately, I was nearly out of ammo by that point, and my left elbow has a case of Tennis Elbow from a bit too much enthusiasm with the log splitting maul making firewood, so I didn't have a chance to really drill this into muscle memory, but you can be sure that I will going forward.

Oh, and I'm also going to get rid of the factory sights, get a set of AmeriGlo sights installed.

All in all, a good day shooting, and I learned something new, which is just cool.

April 27, 2016

Failures on Many Levels

There are many things in this story that are just wrong, it's hard to tell where to begin...
MILWAUKEE (AP) — A 2-year-old boy fatally shot his mother from the backseat of the car as she drove along a Milwaukee highway, sheriff's officials said Wednesday, less than two months after a Florida mother was shot and wounded in similar circumstances.
For the love of all that is pure and holy, SECURE YOUR DAMN GUN, people.  Under the car seat on the floor is NOT secure.
The child, who was sitting in the back seat, picked up a gun that slid out from under the driver's seat and fired it through the front seat, striking Price, the department said in a statement, citing witness accounts. A .40-caliber gun was recovered from the floor of the back seat behind the driver, along with a security officer's gun belt belonging to the victim's boyfriend, sheriff's officials said.
And while you're at it, SECURE YOUR DAMN CHILDREN IN THE CAR.  Had this child been properly restrained in a car seat, he would not have been able to reach down to the floor to pick up the gun that you didn't secure.

Also in the car were Patrice Price's mother and 1-year-old son, both in the front passenger seat. Officials said the 2-year-old boy was not riding in a car seat in the back. The statement did not mention if he was wearing a seat belt.
Children in vehicles do not belong in the front seat with another adult.  Sitting on Gramma's Lap is not an NHTSA approved method of safety restraint.

CAR. SEAT.

IN. THE. BACK.

And the gun goes in a holster on your hip.

I'm very sad that this woman lost her life, and that the children lost their mother.  But this was an entirely avoidable tragedy, had she simply secured either her gun or her children or both.

April 25, 2016

That Doesn't Look Right

This past Saturday, being a blue-bird day in East Central Indiana, I took advantage of the fact that I was (mostly) caught up on chores and decided to head to the range for some much needed recoil therapy.

Took the Glock and the AR-15, left everything else at home, and grabbed ammo cans for each, targets, and the range bag.

Started out with the AR at 50 yards, and loaded a box of Winchester White Box 5.56 NATO into a new magazine I'd bought a while back but never used before.  This was a cheap imitation of a PMAG that I'd picked up somewhere or another for, like, 7 or 8 dollars.

Loaded the magazine, chambered the first round, sent it along... Hrm, about 2 inches low at 50 yards.  Sent two more, all three about the same spot.  OK, dial up the scope a bit, 10 clicks then back down 2, send another.  Ah, now that's better. let's commence to commencing.

BANG

BANG

*click*

OK, what's this?  Light primer strike, I suppose.  NBD, right, just a chance to practice malf technique.
Safety on, drop the magazine, pull the charging handle to clear out the...

What the hell?

The round looks like the bullet was forced back into the cartridge. Very odd.

Set it aside, put the magazine back in the gun, chamber a round...

BANG

BANG

BANG

*click*

OK, now this is getting to be annoying.

Safety on.  Drop the mag.  Pull the charging handle...



Two rounds from the same box of WWB did this.

I unloaded the rest of the rounds from the cheap-o magazine, put them into a proper Magpul PMAG, and they ran fine, as did a few other boxes.

Wondering what caused this.

April 22, 2016

April 13, 2016

Why Did I Start Work in IT?

One of our clients is a medical office practice, doctors and nurse practitioners and such.  They use a program for their Electronic Medical Records, and the last update of that software introduced some "Undocumented Features" (we don't use the term "Bugs" because someone might get all butt-hurt and need a safe space... or something) that they've been fighting for a few months.

Vendor released a patch week before last that is purported to resolve the inconveniences caused by the aforementioned Undocumented Features, and it has fallen to me to install said patch.

Which I did last night.

Or, at least ATTEMPTED to do last night.

Because the server upgrade went fine, but every single client I tried up upgrade crashed.  Hard.

So last night I was up until 11pm reverting their entire system back to the version with the Undocumented Features, and now I get to filter through one log file after another to find out what the hell went wrong.

Sometimes I loath this job.

March 30, 2016

Assorted and Sundry

1.  Finally managing to get the work load at the office under control.  We do IT Services for several small businesses, local non-profits or government entities (for example, a few local public libraries have us as their IT vendor), and so forth.  Basically, any local business that has IT needs, but doesn't need a full time IT department.  At any rate, since it seems that they all have Jan 1 as the start of their fiscal year, they all want to start their new IT projects at that time.  Servers need upgraded or replaced... New PCs are brought in... A different software program to handle some function or another... They all want it done in the first couple months.  Now, being a small business, we have 12 employees total.  That includes the two co-owners, who spend most of their time managing the business, leaving the technical work to us.  That brings us down to 10.  Of those, one is responsible for customers who need ink or toner for their printers, and one is the office manager and she handles phone calls, shipping/receiving, scheduling, etc.  From 10, we're down to 8.  Of those 8, there are three of us that are "Tier 2" or "Senior System Admin" and capable of managing the bigger IT projects.  I'm one of those.  So I've been busy.


2.  We're getting typical spring weather here in East Central Indiana.  Warm and Sunny, high temps near 70F, blue skies, green grass... And it's going to drop to the high 30's this weekend, with the potential for severe weather tomorrow night.  I really want to get out to the range, but it doesn't look like I'll have a chance until perhaps next weekend.  Oh, wait, that's right.... I'm on call.  Damn.


3.  Speaking of the range, I read MattG over at Better and Better, and a post over there made mention of a pair of Howard Leight electronic ear muffs.  I've used foam plugs and passive muffs my entire shooting time, but I trust Matt's judgment and ordered a pair from Amazon.  They arrived yesterday.  Can't wait to try them out.


4.  I've been making slow, but steady, progress on splitting up the logs from the Great Ash Tree Cutting Up of MMVVV.  WE had a ~60 foot ash tree in our back yard that got infested with the Emerald Ash Borer, and had to cut it down.  The local business I hired to cut it left it in long, intact, chunks.  They would have hauled it away for a few extra hundred dollars, but I saw no point in that.  At any rate, I've been working on splitting the logs into firewood, and I've made a good dent in the pile.


5.  In somewhat local news, Howard County (IN) Deputy Carl Koontz was shot and killed recently while serving a warrant.  While I honor Deputy Koontz and his service to our community and the sacrifices he made, part of me wants to scream at the television "He was shot because of our senseless "War on Drugs", you numb skulls!"  Seriously, he was serving a search warrant because of suspicion of drug use based on the presence of a syringe.  And that we as a society will put sworn officers in harm's way over a SYRINGE just pisses me right the hell off.  There are plenty of good reasons to put your life at risk as a public safety officer.  Some low life who wants to shoot drugs into his arm isn't one of them.  Requiescat in Pace, Deputy.


6.  I'm going to be doing some repairs and general maintenance on the Heep, then passing it down to Elder Spawn this fall once she has her license.  At that point, I'll be shopping for a small/medium truck.  I don't need any big monster huge (yuge?) truck like the F-350 or such... Thinking more along the lines of a 4 cyl Toyota Tacoma or perhaps a Chevy Colorado.  Any suggestions (pros and cons) are welcome.

That's all for now.