Sunday, May 27, 2012

Carrickfergus - A Memorial Of Sorts

The sun was setting over the sorghum with a gentle breeze tickling my nape and it brought to mind a sad day so long ago as I rocked in a beloved swing with a similar sentiment rolling through my thoughts - when I was "rarely sober"...

For all the young men lost, and the women and families that mourn that loss...(and, yes, the women, too - now that they also fall in those ragged lines...)

Friday, May 25, 2012

Spoilment Seems Unseemly...

It feels a bit wrong to talk about all the recent acquisitions on a solemn holiday weekend such as we have coming up. But I am so pleased that I cannot help but want to share it...yes, with you few - you lucky few...

I finally have a PC that is worthy of this century. I have Made Do with 1990 versions of things - and the office laptop - for long enough. When Woot had the HP Pavilion G7 on sale - and the geeks kindly offered several reasonable reviews - I pulled the trigger on it. Now, I am NOT a fan of HP, generally. However, if this thing gives me a few years of service, I shall consider it fair. We have a corporate deal with Dell but I simply couldn't get the site to give me a good deal without add-ons and hooey I don't need. After all, this isn't a gaming machine.

The screen is huge. HUGE. AND it has a 10-key keyboard which may seem dumb in terms of keyboard terrain but when one has to enter data it is a boon. Speedy, very fast to load, and it gave me zero headaches in terms of finding the wireless. Quite happy!

I also got these but that is not of interest to most.

And one of these.
And - uh - some of these.
Okay, fine. yes. And this, too.

So a lot of girly stuff, a lot of comfy stuff, and a lot of useful stuff.

Have I mentioned the TRP? Heh...goodness, I cannot wait to put her on tomorrow. Macha's the name...she rooms with Morrigan. In his new safe.


Okay - seriously - the safe we had needed to be upgraded and after our good friend lost so much recently, we decided to just take care of it while we could. A friend recommended this brand so they went together and picked it up.

So there you have it. Oh - wait. Yeah. A couple of these, too. But seriously. That's IT.

Now, time to make a bit of snackage. Texas Caviar anyone?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

A Sale! Tactical Distributors

Well, these guys always have something interesting (such as the slick Jetboil/Bag kit I rec'd recently) and they are having a Memorial Day sale so you might find something you can't live without.

Ends Monday at midnight...some caveats re: no clearance items, etc. so read the fine print.
Dunno if their VIP10 code works with the sale but might be worth a try! Happy hunting!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Bicycling Accoutrement

I cannot bike but I know many do - they have a bunch of interesting items!

Here, a bunch of bike-related items. Love the cute bags...

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Quiet Time

Trooper is away for a few days so I've taken advantage of the time to move the furniture around a bit and clean what hasn't been accessible. We bought a few things recently - a sofa upgrade (which the dogs do not appreciate) - so it was time to make a few adjustments.

It is strange to have the house to myself, knowing he won't be home tonight, that the guard duty will be all my own. I am out of the habit. And glad to have two furry underlings to aid in the task. Of course, it also means I have all the dogcare to do. Poor Kota was just wilting in the sun, her black fur baking so that she ran to the shade of the tree covered ditch and started digging a hole to lie in.

I have ordered this jacket for her (REI had it on sale) and hope it will permit her a bit more time outside in the summer. I am not a fan of walking at night which is the only time the heat breaks. Too, the light color might also reflect some of that heat for her. I had considered a reflective fly sheet for miniature ponies - and if that jacket won't fit, I may well get one just to see if it helps.

The morning will find us up early, I think, and taking a quick hike through the neighborhood to avoid the school buses and to give me some peace for work after...and maybe even a quick try of Trooper's newest acquisition. Supposedly 15 minutes alone will whip a person into shape. I'm game!

But right now...I'm just wishing he'd be coming through the door, cooler in hand, and tired feet. Reckon the dogs feel the same way...

Friday, May 18, 2012

Kit and Vittles

I have always liked the Kirkpatrick Leather offerings, especially their Texas Strong Side holster which is my most frequent carry option. Well, with the new TRP, I needed a new holster. I figured I'd might as well get a belt with it and added a double mag carrier - been needing one.

I ordered it all in black because it goes with everything, of course. Well, it would have been a 10 week wait for that holster in black but I could get the whole kit in their luscious "brown" immediately per the kind rep who called me. (She also discussed the need to add a belt size when adding both the holster and the double mag as it takes up a fair amount of room and she was spot-on.) I'll be darned if that box wasn't on my porch in 24 hrs.

Wow...what a difference a quality belt makes! So comfy and secure...well, let me just show you what it looks like...

Really very nice indeed. If you need a nice piece of leather at a very reasonable price I hope you will consider them. They also make amazing "western" stuff, of course.

Vittles....well, this gentleman had mentioned a while back about Augason Farms being a provider of food products and I was in the market to stock up. I'd priced Food Insurance and Shelf Reliance but both had their pros and had ridiculous shipping, I recall that. Anyway, Augason had a VERY nice shipping price for the amount I was buying and their products were the same as the rest, really. (I was going for freeze dried meat and veg - pricier but I think a better end result.)

The FedEx guy didn't know what to think as he offloaded one box after another. The extra large one containing a nicely priced 55 gal water barrel kit with pipe/pump thing was a stumper, I'm sure. We are pretty well set, generally, but water was definitely a missing link - and with the drought in the area the last few years I like having the option of a nice supply. I am fond of flushing as well as drinking...

At any rate, they had the best prices, the best shipping rate, and some interesting items (like cornmeal) that others did not have. If you want it overnight, you may not get it - they told me it can take 7 days to get it sent. But I was in no hurry. Now, I just have to haul it in here and ensure the order is complete.

Oh dear -  Trooper just got home from a very long day at a multi-gun event and is rather perturbed. I think a blueberry bar with ice cream might just soothe the savage beasty.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Good People - Team Red, White, and Blue

These folks are very active all around the nation and esp the Central TX branch. Give `em some love, check out the volunteer opportunities and be sure to refer them to any veteran you know that is having issues getting back in gear.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Good Price on Jetboil and Bag Combo...

Go here and consider this compact option. It's not the biggest Jetboil but it is, I think, the perfect size for every for everybody! The fact that it offers a coffee press is just a big ol' Win.

I bit expensive for my tastes, generally, but I loved the fact that it was all I needed in one bag. Done and done.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Gear Review: Hill People Gear Recon Kit Bag - Drawing From

I was able to spend the evening testing out the draw from my beloved new acquisition...with my other new acquisition, the TRP.

I'd been using the bag daily for the dog walks since I received it and really enjoyed having the ability to carry the keys, cell phone, spare mag and the Springfield Champion with ease. The weight is distributed so well that you hardly feel it. The mesh backing ensures it is nearly sweatproof from standard athletic activities.

I may see if can tuck a small Camelbak in the front just to refresh the pups mid-walk. I have seen them dock it to a Camelbak MULE so that will become my summer go-to soon - they get mighty thirsty on longer walks in the heat.

I am very fortunate to have HIGHLY trained individuals to aid me in the practice. I haven't done any chest draw work before but was reminded it was a similar pivot as the waist draw. As they'd taught me before, from the waist you draw to the pit - an pivot of the strong hand's wrist straight up and out so that one can shoot instantly. Then press outward and the weak hand merges as the eyes remain on the threat, bringing the front sight into view. "Front sight, PRESSSS"

So once I was reminded of it, they watched my drafted method and noted the "rowing" motion on extraction to get it free and up in view. I knew it was wrong, instinctively, but wasn't certain where to go from there. Back to the basics!! Weak hand pulls the pouch open as the strong hand reaches in and gets good grip, high up on the beaver tail for secure extraction, index perfection demanded for safety, and grip to enable shooting one-handed...strongly.

Then the pit maneuver - pull it out and pit the strong wrist so that one just pivots it out, and has it strongly gripped and already able to shoot. At the same time, that weak hand is now ignoring the pouch entirely. We are done with it - if anything gets in the way, it won't be in a moment so ignore that bag. Punching out, again, the basics - out and merging with weak hand as eyes remain on threat until the front sight is in view.
"Front sight...pressss..."

Over and over, I had to keep reminding myself to ignore the bag - my weak hand wanted to press it back to my chest/get it out of my way or support the flopping from the weight of the addt'l items, or reach to the pit to assist in the punching outward. No, no - we are done with the bag - ignore it, now and shoot! That took time. And I admit I had to practice that draw and pivot quite a few times to stop the "rowing" motion. But then it was a full length 1911 and not the one I carry daily. It took a few extra inches to clear the bag. I feel confident I can more easily clear the bag with the Champion length...

I have a lot of practice still to do to make it a smooth action and fill the muscle memory. But it was terrific to be able to have it hashed out by pros. Himself was, of course, one of them but one takes direction much better from others than spouses, no? Less personal that way. Regardless, it was the same method.They both move and shoot like bloody twins. Brothers of different see them in action is a delight and a terrible thing at once.

At any rate, I give the bag two big thumbs up. Huge. The gentlemen loved it, too. Perfect product, very well made. I am SOLD. (And I suspect a few will be hitting stockings at Christmas, too...) If you need a concealed carry option or simply a way to carry while backpacking, this is the gear for you. Worth the price.

Rebuttal From Himself

I have been asked to clarify my statement of "Mossberg Miculek thang" to reflect the actual ulta mega coolness it presents. So allow me to note the following rebuttal.

"Chained Blue Lightning (CBL) is a Mossberg 930 Jerry Miculek Pro series - 12 gauge, 22 inch barrel, 9 shot, tubular magazine fed and gas operated, shoulder fired and semi-automatic shotgun."

It shoots like a fracking dream, I must admit. SO easy to aim...though I suppose rather heavy when fully loaded. Regardless, I can see how my passing mention was insufficient.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Color Me Happy!

So we were picking up Trooper's new 3-gun shotgun (Mossberg Miculek thang) yesterday and, while there, I was able to handle a new 1911. I know, I know - it's not like we don't have a few already. was this one.
Ohhh...what a sweet trigger...and delicious grips...and I cannot wait to take her out to the range. Maybe later today as it would be a lovely end to Mother's Day.

I also received the Hill People Gear Recon Kit Bag and LOVE it. LOVE. It is seriously the best thing ever for carrying a full-size weapon and allowing yourself to be hands-free. Sure, it looks like what it is - I don't care about that. I care about being able to carry the weapon, spare mag, cell phone, keys, and the option for some MOLLE action for radio, etc. as needed. The option of docking it to a backpack or Camelbak is also nice. Just a very, very sweet accessory and I can highly recommend it. Just ensure the draw practice is performed to ensure a clean delivery...

Well, that's about it - I'll update with a post-shooty report. Cannot wait...

Monday, May 07, 2012

Catching Up and Giving Up

Another set of days bracketed by Trooper's very long day at the NRA shoot Saturday (0530-2200) which left me without wheels (Thor is getting a major set of maintenance) and sleeping the day away. It was AWESOME. I've been so deprived the last few months and just coping with it but having a day with no obligations provided the perfect opportunity to do NOTHING.

Trooper was rather irritated at the match - I'd sent him with provisions and water for 8 hrs. His water ran out at about 3p so it was a very long stretch...he R'dTFU, as usual. It is difficult, too, to be an RO and see how the stages could be better managed and yet not be able to do a damned thing about it. Too, there was some Houston team that refused to reset stages and paste targets. Slows things down. And, Trooper said, they had the longer stages at the end of the match which clogged things up - mixing the long and shorts ensures the lines aren't as long. I don't think he'll participate in another NRA event...

Meanwhile, back at the ranch...we're watching my stepdaughter's dog as she and her Intended go to Nola to scope out wedding locations. We are short, he hasn't asked Trooper for her hand, nor even made any sort of intention clear. He is also not martial in any way - liberal, really - and hasn't any way to defend her nor does he intend to acquire same. So...we're just waiting the 30 days for her entry into the Air Force and hope that things resolve a bit. She is a strong woman and has - for the 3rd time - found someone rather milquetoast. I have warned her often of the error - that one has to find a very strong man to support that personality while not being a pushover that you won't respect in a year. Trooper is very unhappy with things but will not interfere. Perhaps if it seems to be inevitable he will make that final push - have that final conversation. But it isn't that time yet.

We did manage a nice day at the range Friday...his Springfield M1A SOCOM 16 was a blast to shoot. Literally. I love being able to shoot what and how we want...I feel sorry for those who have to abide by rules set by people who want to limit how you experience the weapon.

And we tried out a new purchase. The S&W M&P Shield was an amazing pocket pistol. He was able to hit a reactive target from 50 yds, supported against a table. Speaking of that target...we didn't have any .45 to play with so we weren't able to actually make the thing bounce around. It really did just absorb the hits from everything else...regardless, he is very happy with the Shield and I like it, too. We had a SCCY to try and I did not like it at all - the trigger pull was fracking 80 lbs or something (ok, 9 lbs). The Shield was a sweet little shooter.

I am still waiting for my little pouch for the FN - it should be here soon and I know the man has a backlog from hell...meanwhile, my Hill People item should be here very soon (I also ordered the stability strap for any running/vigorous movement). Handy for dog walks and ambling about, I'll have to get in some range time for the deployment training - very different draw. I am all about getting different ways to conceal carry in the summer, now. And though I don't want to leave my .45 at home for the 9mm...if that is what it takes to avoid a cover shirt and sweltering, I reckon I'll have to. I will definitely be getting the pouch for the .45 anyway - just spreading out the expense a bit. And, in truth, I want a custom design on it! I just have to design it - or send him what I want replicated...

Last but not least...we've three Zippo fans in our cadre and I found this neato keen add-on. A real bonus for those who are a fan of the Zippo but run out at the least convenient moment! (No, they don't smoke but there is always something that needs lit, no?) I also stocked up on flints and wicks - enough to last a few years. Call me crazy. Oh - you already have? Well, right you are, then.