Monthly Archives: August 2009
I spent all of yesterday out at the deer lease working on getting it ready for deer hunting season. Went out with my buddy C and his brother M (we’re the 3 on the lease), and we got a bunch of things done.
Went out and scouted the property again. We’ve got a good feel for the lay of things. The property owner had put up some flags to better clarify where the back-end of the property was, so that was useful to see and adjust to. One thing we also noticed was, as we were driving in we noticed how green everything was. Obviously they’ve been getting rain and for a while, whereas Austin’s been bone-dry. But as we got onto the actual property, it wasn’t as green as everything else had been; greener than Austin, but not as lush as places within a 50 mile radius. Ah well, it’s still getting rain and things should green up as the temperatures are going down too. And we do need more rain as the tank/pond still has water but certainly the level has gone down significantly; refilling it is needed.
We found a lot of good places to hunt, from stands (either formal or make-shift), stalking, good stuff. C managed to snag a great deal on a box blind via craigslist. He then built a 4′ platform riser and much of our morning was spent assembling and preparing that stand. You can see in the picture that it’s mostly complete. We still need to work on the windows, finish up the painting, and we’re thinking about doing other things with the roof (currently just a sheet of hardiplank). Still, it’s a pretty nice setup and overlooks the pasture.
Set up two other stands. A free-standing tripod in a back corner of the property, single person. Then we also set up a tree ladder stand near the pond. The ladder stand was cumbersome to put up. I had assembled most of it at home, but just trying to hoist that sort of weight at that height well… leverage and gravity are not your friend here. Plus trying to find the right tree that is 1. in a good hunting spot, 2. provides the structural support the stand needs… that’s tough to come by. But we found a good setup. We also opted to drop one set of ladder rungs so instead of being about 14′ from ground to the platform it’s now about 10′, so when seated the gun will probably be 12′ to 14′ in the air (didn’t measure exactly). But that’s good enough. It also put the bottom of the platform just atop a sturdy branch, which added nicely to the stability.
Put out another feeder, near the tank. Moved one of the game cameras to watch that feeder. We’ll see what shows up. Speaking of which, we did clear the photos off the 3 cameras we have on the property, but we haven’t gone through them all yet. M took all the pictures and is started to go through them. An initial email from him said he saw a coyote along the back fence. There’s also been much evidence of hogs on the property, which is great for C and me since we love to hunt hogs (M will take a hog but doesn’t really care to seek them out). Lots of deer on the cameras too, but no word yet on quality and “takeable” bucks.
It was a long day, much work, but overall productive. We’ll probably have a long work weekend in early October to finish up what needs to be done. Season starts in November.
Some random comments:
- The iPhone is quite handy. All the pictures were taken with it, and while it may lack things like flash and zoom, you can still get pretty decent pictures out of it. Certainly better than a lot of other mobile phone cameras.
- As well, I’m glad I bought the iPhone 3GS. The GPS functionality is quite the boon. I took coordinate readings of various things on the property, which then when I got home I could feed into Google Earth and map out. I could easily figure out things like distances (e.g. from this stand, how far to this fence or that tree so I can know exactly how far the shot would be). I want to go back out and get coordinates for many more landmarks on the property…. could make for a nice motorcycle ride.
- Mobile phone reception at the property is fine. No 3G network, but there is AT&T’s Edge network… slow, but something.
- We found a dying cow back by the tank. The property owner had been out earlier in the morning and was aware of it (we called him to report it). Kinda sad to see. By afternoon it was dead and the buzzards had arrived. A bit of a humbling experience.
- We saw deer throughout the day. Antlerless, but they certainly roam about. Hopefully that will mean good things for us.
- I went through almost 2 gallons of water, and still barely peed. Never felt dehydrated, but it’s amazing how much water was gone through and it was pretty much just keeping up.
- Under Armour is awesome. I felt so comfortable all day, even in a long sleeve shirt.
- Sunscreen is your friend. Yes, I used it all day long. And my boonie hat.
- Given we may be shooting ranges from 100-200 yards for many shots, I want to get my hunting rifle to the range to see where it lands at 200 yards. I’d like to do it soon, before the onslaught of people wanting to get zeroed in 2 weeks before hunting season.
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
Source: The National Archives and Records Administration, “The Charters of Freedom” exhibit.
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
Source: The National Archives and Records Administration, “The Charters of Freedom” exhibit.
I see a headline at SayUncle that grabs my attention: Kimchi.
Being as my mother is Korean, I of course have eaten lots of Korean food…kimchi is quite the staple of my diet. In fact, just reading Uncle’s blog post and the comments, my mouth started to water, the bottom dropped out of my stomach. Man… talk about Pavolvian response.
But the point of his article was something we ourselves had encountered. Being a geek, that means my workday tends to be surrounded by other geeks, especially back in the days when I worked out of an office building. Back then a lot of the folks I worked with were single and had little life other than work. Or if they did play, often it was with people from work and many times playing multi-player games over the office network. One thing Wife and I realized was how they didn’t eat all that well, or if they did it was expensive restaurants.
Looking for a job opportunity, Wife thought she could make food for my office-mates. Make huge batches of various dishes, portion them into containers, sell a week’s worth of containers to someone. They can stick ‘em in the freezer, then defrost and heat in the microwave as needed. It would have worked out great… except for massive amounts of government regulation. It’s interesting that I can make food to feed my family — arguably the people I care most about and above all others wish to ensure their good health and welfare — in this kitchen, but I can’t make food for someone else, at least for profit, in the same kitchen. That I don’t have two mop sinks somehow means this kitchen isn’t good enough to make for-profit food for someone else. I could have a huge dinner party for my friends, and that’s OK, but if I charged money to consume the food suddenly the food isn’t clean enough.
Reading tgace’s blog this morning and I find a neat thing that he did. He participated in making an online tutorial for how to peform the Filipino Martial Art concept of siniwali. Specifically, heaven and earth 6.
Yes it’s basic, yes it’s not a substitution for being in a proper class with a proper instructor, but it’s still a good tutorial. It does a gradual build from the basic motion alone, to with a partner, to stylized application, to more free-form application. It also emphasizes how FMA teaches concepts, not just rote techniques, and presents questions to help you explore further.
It’s nifty. Check it out.
One thing I liked was just watching someone else move. I’ve found myself seeking FMA videos because while all FMA’s share similar concepts, there’s an amazing amount of variation. It’s nice to see what other people do because it expands your outlook. For instance, in tgace’s initial siniwali movement it’s not just a parry but also a downward pull on the blocked hand; I usually just parry.
This issue of the newsletter stands out with a lot of good information.
- An article about dealing with semi-auto pistol malfunctions. Interesting to note that one suggestion for dealing with a malfunction is not: draw your back-up gun (BUG). Heh.
- A fantastic article about shooting one or two handed. This is a response to an article Mr. Givens read that he felt was flawed in what it was promoting as shooting technique. This article alone is worth the read.
- A discussion of Tennessee self-defense laws. In addition, some good advice is given for anyone that might be involved in a self-defense incident. One suggestion that was new to me was after speaking with the police, ask to be taken to the hospital. Read the article to find out why this is good advice.
- A brief write-up about the Ruger LCR.
I found the write-up about the LCR kinda funny. I had emailed Mr. Givens a few months ago when I was doing my snub researching. He told me what he carried, and the feeling I got was that the LCR wasn’t proven enough. It’s cool to now read that he liked the LCR. Furthermore, it seems his carry ammo is Buffalo Bore 150 grain hard-cast wadcutters. Take that for what it’s worth.
One additional point I wanted to comment on was the one vs. two handed shooting article. Foo.c and I tend to go around and around on something a lot, and I think this may provide me an opportunity to clarify my position for him. I advocate 9mm over .45 ACP because in the end their terminal abilities are more or less the same. Yes I can see some slight edge to .45 ACP on paper, but real world results show that 9mm vs. .40 S&W vs. .45 ACP all amount to about the same terminal performance from your modern self-defense loads. So if they’re essentially the same in that regard, to choose one over the other comes down to other factors such as capacity, cost, ability to shoot it well, and so on. Now, foo.c seems to think that I advocate that the 9mm round is more accurate than the .45 ACP round. That’s not what I’m saying. What I do say is that I believe people can shoot 9mm’s faster and more accurately: i.e. the ability of the shooter, not the ability of the round. Why do I say this? Recoil, both recoiled produced and ability to manage it. Sure the .45 ACP doesn’t kick like a pissed-off mule, but it does generate more recoil than a 9mm. Then you need to be able to manage that produced recoil, be it through the structure of the gun (e.g. big and heavy) or your shooting technique (e.g. modern isosceles stance, Todd Jarrett kung-fu crush grip) or a combination. With 9mm producing lower recoil, then you have less recoil to counter so in the end you wind up having 9mm being more controllable than .45 ACP (all other things being equal). You’re going to be able to get off more shots, on target, in less time. This bears out in an anecdote from a trainer friend of mine, something to the effect of skilled shooters shot courses with 9mm and .40 S&W and their times were 15% slower with the .40 (the story was something to that effect). It’s just more recoil to manage.
How does that pertain back to the article? The article’s data shows that even highly-skilled shooters cannot shoot as fast one-handed as they can two-handed. Why? Recoil management. You can manage recoil far better with two hands. So, my whole debate with foo.c really comes down to that: recoil management. Suppose you shoot a string of 9mm at your best: fastest you can shoot and get them all in the A-zone… your best Bill Drill ever. Now, can you replicate that same time (or do better), same round count, all good hits, with a .45 ACP (all things equal, like gun size, weight, etc… only the round is different)? I doubt it, only because there’s more recoil to manage. It may only come out to a few hundredths of a second difference, but sometimes that matters.
For me, I can shoot .45 ACP just fine. I can shoot .40 S&W just fine (tho I don’t really care for the snap). But I prefer 9mm because it’s “good enough” for terminal ability, I can carry more rounds (who says there’s such a thing as too much ammo? who wants to walk out the door with less ammo or half a magazine?), it generates less recoil thus is more controllable and I can shoot it faster and still get good hits (fast and accurate). But that’s my preference. And maybe foo.c might understand where I’m coming from now… or he’ll just continue to needle me because he likes to.
In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.
Source: The National Archives and Records Administration, “The Charters of Freedom” exhibit.
Had a small incident tonight.
I’m chillin’ with Daughter in the house when Oldest rushes into the room and says, “Mom needs you, now.” Urgency there, I get up and go. Wife briefs me. There’s some dude hanging around the street-light a couple houses down. Gave Oldest the willies, and it was certainly odd behavior. Strange person, why would they just be hanging out at the street-light?
I head outside to check on things. I’m able to do a few things in the yard to look busy and otherwise occupied, but watching what the dude is up to. Then I see good neighbor across the street, who has a similar penchant for paying attention to the neighborhood goings on. I head over and we talk, as he too noticed the dude.
As we watched, dude’s behavior wasn’t too suspicious. Perhaps just waiting for someone to pick him up. But then it dragged on. We were standing outside talking about life, family, work, hunting, playing in band back in grade school, whatever topics. But dude was still there… hour went by, still there. It went from a concern, to probably nothing but we’ll keep an eye, to “this is just getting weird.” Why just standing there, doing nothing, for about an hour? Gave the police a call to have them drive by. I don’t know exactly how long it took them to show up, but I know I checked the clock and 15 minutes went by and it was some time after that before APD rolled onto the scene. Two cruisers showed up, they spoke with dude, eventually some people from a nearby house come out and there’s interactions with the police and discussions. Back and forth for a bit, APD seemed eventually satisfied and left. People from house brought a phone out to dude, and eventually he leaves in a car with someone (they had pulled up prior to APD arriving).
While the men were outside minding things, the women of the neighborhood were on the phone alerting all other neighbors. People were watching out their windows, noting things, taking descriptions, pictures, whatever. If something was going to happen, we were going to be prepared. Plus, as everyone connected, it was evident that others had noticed dude too and had similar concerned feelings about the matter.
No idea what was going on, but it was still all very strange. We’re attempting to contact APD to find out the story.
- Don’t blow off gut feelings. If something feels wrong, act on it.
- You don’t know when ugly will strike, so always be prepared. I have all my everyday gear on me (including my flashlight), every day all the time. Wife needed me now, I was able to go and was ready (well, didn’t have my phone on me… still trying to work out a good “gotta keep it charged but need to keep it on me” strategy). I didn’t have to take time to get all my stuff together, I was ready and could act immediately.
- Ensure all your neighbors know each other and have each others contact information. You don’t have to be friends, but you are neighbors. Even if you might not like your neighbor, there may come a time where there’s a bigger evil that will require you to come together.
- If you’ve got a team, ensure you’ve got a plan. My wife and I? Team. Kids can be involved too. Then have plans, and ensure people know their parts; practice. Wife knows one of her primary roles is communication: she calls proper people, gathers information. I didn’t have to walk out the door and tell her to do any of this; she knows her role, I know mine. Kids even do to, for instance, they know that yeah sometimes in life you might be able to argue with Mom & Dad, but when something serious is going on you must obey… and they know that.
- Don’t count on a fast police response. I’m not surprised they didn’t come blaring in with sirens within 2 minutes, and I expect if they had to get two cruisers/officers and coordinate a bit that that would require a little more time too. I wish they were a little faster in their response but in the end it was acceptable response time. Still, it was quite a long time for the response…. you can only count on the police for so much, and your immediate safety isn’t necessarily part of that equation.
- If you believe in self-defense, your training shouldn’t be in only physical skills such as punching or shooting. You need to know street smarts, mental skills, and other such things. That will take you further.
I believe the world is a generally safe place. I believe the world is filled with good people. But evil can come in any form to any place at any time. Nothing is immune. If you don’t want evil to harm you and your loved ones, it’s good to be prepared to deal with it when (not if) it comes your way.
I’ve been needing some covers for the scope on my hunting rifle. The rifle was a combo that came with a scope. Seems the scope is a Simmons Blazer, the 3-9x40mm model. A set of Butler Creek scope covers would be fine. Thing is, I didn’t know what size to get. So, I did the logical thing: I called Simmons to ask.
The guy on the phone said I wanted a 10 eye (1.516″/38.5mm) and a 28 objective (1.890″/40.0mm) (these are the regular flip-open models). So off to the store I went and bought them. Came home, put them on, and well… technically they fit, but really they don’t. They’re probably the exact size, but that made them just a hair big and thus they were loose. No way they would work. So, went back to the store looking for the next size down. No luck. I did find a 26 objective (1.820″/46.2mm) which was fairly tight but works, so I exchanged the 28 objective for the 26. I think a 27 objective (1.840″/46.7mm) would probably work… fit well so it wouldn’t fall off, but not be so tight that it’s difficult to remove (like the 26). I don’t know what eye I would need, but my initial guess is just one size smaller at a 9A eye (1.485″/33.7mm). It’s possible a 9 eye (1.468″/37.3mm) could be right, but no way I can know until I can try them. Apparently Cabela’s should have 9 and/or 9A, but I don’t feel like hauling all the way down there just for one of these. I’m sure I’ll be down there sooner or later anyway and I’ll look for one then.
Just wanted to put this information online for the search engines… in case someone else runs into this eventually.
BTW, here’s a handy Butler Creek scope cover size chart.