Monthly Archives: April 2009
For some time I’ve wanted to try my hand at shooting competitions. The main reason I haven’t? Scheduling. Things have been happening lately tho that have spurred me to get off my duff and finally try competition shooting. I still have to get my schedule happy, but at least my desire to do competition has moved from passing thought to “OK, let’s seriously consider this.”
As you can see here and here, the Austin and greater Central Texas area provides for a lot of competitions. Shotguns, rifles, carbines, pistols, combinations of them (e.g .3-gun), and just various types. So where to begin? I figure I’m going to start with handgun-only competitions, because that keeps it simple to start. But even with handgun-only there’s still many things to try. So I asked my mentor what to do and he suggested I start with Steel Challenge-based competition. There’s the ALSPPC that sounds like a good group to get started with.
I think steel will be a good way to start. It’s a simpler competition, by design, which is good for breaking into the world of competition shooting (less to worry about). Given the skills I’m working on and need to improve upon, Steel Challenge seems right up the alley: distances 7-35 yards, every shot must count, speed is important but accuracy more important (slow hit better than a fast miss). It really seems exactly the sort of thing I need right now. An additional benefit is you can shoot it with a .22 rimfire handgun… given the state of ammo today, that’s a great thing. Furthermore, kids can shoot! If Daugther eventually wants to try, she can! As I was researching for this post, I came across videos of a Tori Nonaka, who appears to be a 13-year old girl shooting Steel and IPSC competitions and being quite good at it:
I watch her videos and am not just impressed with her shooting, but I can’t help but think of my own Daugther and wondering if that might be her someday.
But back to steel… here’s some resources:
- Steel Challenge Shooting Association — the official website.
- The Rules
- The Stages. Another listing of the stages. Provides for different file formats.
- Past Champs. Men’s Records. Women’s Records.
- Shooting tips from Karl and Penny.
- ALSPPC’s entry on their steel matches.
- YouTube search on “steel challenge”. It’s great to watch the top-level shooters and the “Joe Blow” club matches.
So, at this point I’ve got more reading, practice, and preparation to do. But as soon as my schedule will allow me, I’m going to try shooting steel.
Last weekend was the annual Polite Society conference. Massad Ayoob has a write-up of the event.
James R. Rummel has an entry about how to store a handgun kept for self-defense. This actually started as a comment on his blog but got long enough I thought it warranted its own blog entry.
Overall I agree with James:
- Concealed carry is a great option as it always keeps the handgun on hand, ready, and should keep anyone else away from it.
- Home-security is far more than just “have a gun”. Upgrading your locks, frames, lights, other sorts of barriers to prevent or delay entry. All good things.
- There is no perfect storage solution; they all have trade-offs.
- Trigger locks are bad.
But I disagree with what appears to be his recommended choice of storage: either in a box under lock and key, or using a cable lock.
A couple hours ago I finished watching the movie Blade Runner. Never seen it before, so it was about time that I did. Interesting movie, and I should probably watch it again to more fully appreciate it. While the movie wasn’t quite what I expected, in a good way, there was one line that jumped out at me. Roy Batty said:
Quite an experience to live in fear, isn’t it? That’s what it is to be a slave.
True, so true.
Twitter is informational malnutrition.
George Carlin had a small rant about “sound bytes”, basically equating them to malnutrition. Twitter, the sound byte of 140 characters or less.
As mentioned previously, the orange cat has problems. Finally got the blood tests back.
I believe the wife said intestinal lymphoma.
Nothing we can do.
Some things could be done to address symptoms, but more or less he’s on his way out.
This is Wife’s cat. She’s broken up and very torn. The diarrhea all over the house is driving her crazy, but she’s not ready to say goodbye. It’s a big mixed bag of emotions.
In my day job as a Mac software developer I’m certainly excited by the prospects offered in the upcoming Mac OS X 10.6 release codenamed “Snow Leopard“.
But that’s just the thing. I’m excited because I’m a developer and Snow Leopard offers a boatload of awesome things for developers and other under-the-hood improvements. As an end-user, I’m not really sure what benefits I see from Snow Leopard, especially in terms of enticing me to plunk down a big chunk of money to buy that OS version.
Adam Engst at TidBITS wrote an article that articulates the matter better than I ever could. I think there’s a good argument for making Snow Leopard as low-cost as possible, especially because yes a lot of people are still hanging on to Tiger (Mac OS X 10.4). Anything to help get people to move along is useful.
Obama secretly tested for swine flu after man he shook hands with in Mexico drops dead the next day. Officials concerned because Obama’s touch usually heals.
The Austin City Limits Music Festival’s 2009 lineup has been announced.
Most of the bands that play ACL just aren’t the sort of stuff I care to listen to. Pearl Jam headlines this year… meh. I recall when Mother Love Bone ended and was looking so forward to what was to come. Temple of the Dog was a cool thing, but we still were waiting for the next thing. Then “Ten” came into the radio station and we listened and all I could think was how unimpressed I was. It was OK, but didn’t really move me. Everything since then did less for me.
Dave Matthews Band. I saw them many times before they got signed (they were a local band when I was in undergrad). They actually are pretty cool and I did enjoy seeing them live. I recall during one show Dave was signing and kept breaking strings on his acoustic guitar. He just kept singing, fished a new string out of his pocket, and restrung his guitar while continuing to sing. I always thought that was pretty cool. They were a great jam band then, but I just haven’t kept up with them.
Beastie Boys, yeah that’d be cool to see.
Sonic Youth would be very cool to see.
Toadies. The only band to ever make me physically ill. Some many years ago, I think during a SXSW, a few too many adult beverages, and the bass was cranked so high I could feel it. I come from the water *boom boom* I come from the water *boom boom*. And with every boom my stomach rumbled in a bad way. Held it fine, but still.
The B-52′s. I love Kate Pierson’s voice and think she’s totally cute. They’d be fun to see live.
Clutch. That’s cool. Finally, one band that’s at least somewhere in the genres I tend to prefer.
Asleep At the Wheel is an institution. I always loved Ray Benson’s look.
But apart from that, it’s a lot of bands that I’ve not heard of and could care less about. Tends to be the case every year with ACL’s lineup. That’s OK tho. It’s a great festival and is great for the city. Just not for me.