Friday, November 14, 2008

A little bit of my day

Today I was off from work. I'm blessed with a rather exorbitant amount of vacation time each year, and most years am unable to use it all. This year, for reasons I'm not going to detail, I've decided that that I am going to use every freaking hour up, and maybe even make a dent in the amount I'm allowed to "carry over" from year to year.

At any rate, I'm driving down the road and get behind a Ford Escape hybrid (the concept of a hybrid SUV is still causing me cognitive dissonance 3 hours later). Said vehicle had a "Support Democratic Candidates" bumper sticker, an Obama bumper sticker, and, I kid you not, a world peace bumper sticker. You can not make this stuff up.

I manfully resisted the temptation to use my much larger gas-powered (and gas-sucking) SUV to bump them into the next phone pole. Given the political sentiments hereabouts, they obviously must be here from Charlotte (also known as Moscow on the Catawba) for the day. Momma always told me to be nice to strangers.

However, I did notice their license tag: PSH-xxxx. How wonderfully appropriate.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

So just how big is the monarchy?

A number of folks have commented on the media's tendency to speak of Obama's "rule". Well, apparently Obama is getting beyond the station of monarch, since he wants an "auto czar" and a "climate czar". (Well, as long as we don't have a "gun grabbing czar" we can live with it, maybe.)

But what do you get promoted to after monarch? Oh yeah--Messiah.

Cults of personality rarely have a happy ending. Food for thought, folks.

Smart lady, smart message

Gov. Sarah Palin speech to the Republican Governors Association was right on the money:

Let us resolve not to become the negative party, too eager to find fault or unwilling to help in this time of crisis and war," she told the gathering Thursday. "Losing an election does not have to mean losing our way, and for governors, the way forward leads through our own state capitals in reforms we will carry on or begin anew.

She's exactly right. After their defeats by Ronald Reagan, the Democrats spent a lot of time whining, complaining and trying to fix blame. It didn't help them out.

Learning from that bad example, the Republican party needs to focus on its core beliefs, articulate a message (based on those beliefs) that the voters can believe in, and not indulge in an orgy of self-immolation. Not things that they've been too good at lately. However, with a new generation of leadership (which I hope is based around Palin), I think that getting back on track may be less difficult than the naysayers think.

My generation may be finally stepping up to the adult table. About time.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Nazzo fast, Guido

There ain't no such thing.

Obama needs to stop rushing to the coronation, methinks.

Too much Change?

The Washington Times reports that The Bringer of Light's Hope and Change Agenda, which caused such a snit all over the Intertubz this weekend, has been tossed down the memory hole.

Oh dear...Google to the rescue!

Note to the Bringer of Light: Nothing ever dies on the Internet. Nothing.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Let's have a gun post...

Enough political crap for a moment--I wanna talk about guns and shooting and about a well-spent afternoon.

So I got up yesterday morning, full of plans for around-the-house stuff I wanted to get done. Then I happened to look at a calendar. Oh crap, it's the second Saturday! How did I miss that?

The reason that the second Saturday of the month was significant is that it was my range's first .22 rimfire "fun shoot". It's meant to be a low-pressure, bring what you got and have fun sorta-competition. I had promised the organizer that I'd be there. I guess it's because I'm acknowledged to be a rimfire nut. I love old .22s with a passion.

OK, I still got time to be there before the opening. What am I taking? I want to go with tradition--only one gun in the safe meets that hands down--my Dad's Remington 512 "Sportmaster". Long barrel, iron sights and a smooth bolt action. I keep one range box at the ready to shot .22s (makes for an easy, quick trip if I'm in a hurry), so I grab that, case the gun and head for the range.

I got there in time to be shooter number 2. The course of fire is already laid out--softballs, golfballs, paintballs, silhouette targets, paper plates with post-its centers, charcoal briquettes and little bitty swinging iron targets at 25 and 50 yards. Rules are discussed, with the group of shooters having a lot of input. It is the inaugural match, and things are evolving. Shooting position is shooter's choice, but no artificial supports are allowed. The sole benchrest fanatic that showed up was highly disappointed and decides to shoot elsewhere on the range. Good. It's supposed to be about having fun, not spending money.

The shooting begins. First guy shoots, then it's my turn. I missed a freaking softball at 25 yards?! No way! I also missed a tiny little steel chicken. Gr-r-r. 6-2 at the end of the stage.

I move on to the second stage. I nail 3 softballs 1 golf ball and 2 charcoal briquettes, which make a most satisfying cloud of dust when struck. (Softballs also make a most impressive "twap" when struck near the center.) 6-2 again.

The third stage, shot with large pig and turkey silhouettes at 50 yards, is shot in two parts. I go 7-1, 7-1. I feel better.

Fourth stage is those tiny steel chickens at 50 yards. I go 6-4. I missed the first four, but I was able to see that the barrel is heating and warping just a bit. Some Kentucky windage, and I got the last 6 in a row. OK, now I know how to adjust for the rest of the match.

Nest stage is small swinging iron targets at 25 yards. These things are triangles and rectangles, no more than 3" on a side. They're painted white, and against a light background, are nearly impossible to see. 4-6. After this point, the organizers decide to paint them orange instead. Thanks guys.

After a break, it's time for more softballs and such at 50 yards. No sweat, I go 8-2.

Next stage, after a longer break due to a competitor with feeding problems on a borrowed gun ("If it's gonna break, it'll do it at a match," were the wise words from the organizers), my barrel had had a chance to cool significantly. I'm shooting at a 2" target at 50 yards. Apply windage or not? Let's go with not. I should have went with--I fired a wonderful group, 2 inches above and 2 inches to the right of the target. 0-10. Ouchie.

In the end, I went 50 of 82, all shot with my elbows propped on the bench. I'm not sure how that stacks up, as I had to bug out to deal with getting a friend of Son's back home on time after a stay-over.

I'm going to have to pull the Remington's action from the stock, and see if a bit of relieving needs to be done. That'll be careful work on an heirloom like this. I don't want to insult the gun.

All in all, everyone seemed to have a great time, and it's already decided that this will become a monthly event. I'm all for that. I've tried other competitions, and save for wobble trap, most of the shooters take them too seriously for my taste. I'm out to have fun, and yesterday was Fun with a capital "F".

Geopolitical Challenges

(Via LawDog)

Stratfor has a good thought piece on the geopolitical challenges faced by The Obama on his ascendancy to the throne. (Well, it is a throne, right? I mean, I've heard that phrase on various media outlets--"How will Obama rule?" Since Presidents govern and monarchs rule, as monarch I assume he gets a throne, right? But I snarkily digress....)

Let's see if dealing with all those disapointed people and governments keeps him busy enough that he can't cause too much trouble here at home.