Saturday, February 28, 2009

The weather gods frown upon me.

It was a balmy fifty-something degrees just the other day, but in celebration of the bowling pin match today, Gaia has sent another cold front. Luckily it stayed cloudy last night, so it's only about 31 out there, but it's not expected to get any warmer today...

But, yay! Bowling pins! And then maybe going to a gun store! Yay guns!


Brian J. said...

We have gone from 60 to snow showers in two days here in Missouri.

Anonymous said...

we have a company shoot with many AR style goodies today and FREE AMMO and I wake up to 1.4 degrees. At least the sun is shining

Roberta X said...

...This is how you can tell Tam from me: faced with the prospect of getting up early to shoot pins in below-freezing temperatures, I stood in bed.

Roomie's parting words? Sounded a lot like "Wimp." Ah, well.

Anonymous said...

You should be a nascar fan this weekend, It's supposed to be 74 both days this weekend here in Vegas.

It's perfect! Too bad I have to work...

atlharp said...

Well they canceled the IDPA match here in Chalotte, NC. :-(

We have been hit by tons of rain and tomorrow they are calling for 3-6 inches of snow. I still shot today anyway, I am not sure if I will tomorrow though. We'll see! :-)

Unknown said...

I understand target shooting, I even (if you're in the military) understand combat range shooting, but 'pin shooting...?'

Please, someone, explain the joy to me.

Yes, no doubt 95% of you will start screaming 'troll'. But if I were a troll I'd simply have walked on by this site; the whole thing would be too easy. You may correctly assume I'm simply asking a question to which I care to know the answer. 'k?

BTW, it's scheduled to reach 34C in Sai Gon today. Jealous? Happy Sunday, Yankees :-)

MauserMedic said...


Small targets, high density, with a rounded shape the requires a good solid hit to sweep them of the table; otherwise they can spin, wobble, lay flat on the table creating an even smaller target, etc. But smacking a pin clean off the table with center mass hit is very satisfying, especially if you can do it clean across the table.

Jay G said...

Shorter answer: Shootin' stuff is fun...

Anonymous said...

[snicker] ro called Tam "Yankee."
Watch this space!

Unknown said...

I use 'Yankee' not as a term of offense but simply as a generic term to describe anyone living between Mexico and the North Pole. I can't be bothered to define the various ethnic sub-categories you chaps like to dwell upon. In the same vein, although I'm Scottish you may simply refer to me as a 'European', 'k?

And thank you Mauser Medic (you realize the irony implicit in that username, don't you?) for the description of why 'pin shooting' is a joy. Whilst I may not agree, at least I now understand your perspective.

"Shooting stuff is fun"? I suppose. It was fun in the army but, to me, it's always seemed rather pointless in a civilian context. But different strokes...

Tam said...

Why do people like fireworks? Why do people like knocking bowling pins over with balls or knocking bails off wickets? Why do children the world over stack blocks up and knock the resulting towers over while squealing with glee?

There's a very atavistic enjoyment in knocking things over or blowing things up that, if channeled healthily, makes for good, clean recreation, and is part and parcel to a lot of sports and activities.

One of the things that makes bowling pin shooting so much more fun for me than traditional bullseye target shooting is the instant feedback from the target, and the time component involved.

The way we shoot is like this:

Two tables, 25 feet away. Each table has five pins on it. Two competitors step up, one in front of each table and, at the command, open fire. The first one to have cleared the pins off the table wins.

The action is fast, it's fun to watch, the guns are loud (obviously powerful pistols tend to be used, as a smallbore won't budge a pin, and even 9mm has to shoot in a special division where the pins are placed halfway back on the table to compensate for its lack of power.) When a skilled shooter with a big .44 Magnum or .45 Colt steps up to the line and *BANGBANGBANGBANGBANG!* the pins fly off the table in a blink as though yanked by invisible strings, why, it's as much fun to watch as a fireworks display.

And for much the same reasons.

George Weinberg said...

Ro, calling a southerner "Yank" is like calling a Scott English.

Anonymous said...

Thursday and Friday were lovely, in the low 90s. We had a front blow in on Friday night and it never got above 70, yesterday. Today promises to be better.

The cottonwood trees are all greened out.

A buddy's coming over to sight in his old Mauser, and I guess I'll meddle with my "new" 1937-vintage 98. Two old guys at the front-porch benchrest, enjoying a sunny day. A good time to check out the newly-acquired BDL in .17 centerfire as well. It oughta work for prairie poodles, come summertime.

Life is good...


Unknown said...

George, I've been called far worse things than "English", but I take your point. I'll refer to Yankees as "Americans" from now on :-)

"Why do people like fireworks?"

'Cos they're pretty?

"Why do people like knocking bowling pins over with balls or knocking bails off wickets?"

'Cos they're child-like games?

"Why do children the world over stack blocks up and knock the resulting towers over while squealing with glee?"

'Cos they're learning about eye-to-hand co-ordination and tactile sensitivity?

I was in Cambodia four weeks ago. Just outside Phnom Penh there's a special forces base at which you can make BANGBANGBANG noises in exchange for $'s. For $200 you can make a very big BANGBANGBANG noise with an RPG or a Claymore. To make the little BANGBANGBANG session more fun, they'll throw a chicken down the range for you to shoot with your weapon of choice.

Would this be more fun than 'shooting pins', I wonder? Apparently, when you hit the chicken the cloud of feathers is quite spectacular.

I can't help but think that both scenarios represent an awfully immature approach towards gun ownership/gun use.

And before you castigate me as a gun-hater; I had a close relationship with my SLR for several years of military service. I liked that weapon. I simply dislike guns being used as toys for the child-like amusement of their owners. But YMMV.

Tam said...

"'Cos they're pretty?"

Pictures of fireworks are pretty. The actual things are also loud, explosive, fiery, and appeal to a part of us much further in the hindbrain than, say, a Matisse exhibition.

"Would this be more fun than 'shooting pins', I wonder? Apparently, when you hit the chicken the cloud of feathers is quite spectacular."

I would hope that an adult and fully-sentient human being is capable of telling the difference between a chicken and a bowling pin. I am given to understand that some aren't.

While I am given to understand that some folks would find blowing up a chicken for no good reason to be amusing, I am not entirely convinced that these same people wouldn't pull wings off flies or send human beings up chimneys for kicks, too.

Fortunately, I am actually able to differentiate a game of skill involving knocking over inanimate objects, whether with a bowling ball or a pistol, and inflicting pain, however brief, on a living being for amusement.

Tam said...

Oh, and FWIW, it was too cold for pins yesterday. In very cold weather, the pins tend to shatter, which is no good.

We shot steel plates instead; a different kind of match entirely.

Again, different from, say, ISU smallbore target shooting, speed is more important than pinpoint accuracy. I suppose it would be possible to demonize it by calling it "combat shooting". Especially if one placed enough quavering emphasis on the word "combat". It didn't feel particularly combative, as the steel plates were neither dying nor shooting back, and some of the guns being used were about as appropriate for combat as an FIE regulation foil.

José Giganté said...

I'd like to shoot pins, but the local range shoots them on the same Saturday as my Cowboy matches, so I'm afraid I have to choose the favorite.

Is there a SA Revolver category? j/k, kind of.

I did get to the range yesterday and sighted in my AR BUIS sights and my Buddy got to try out his new (to him) 30-30 levergun.

Roberta X said...

...Ro old thing, I'll bite. I am not nearly as avid a pure-hobby shooter as many: I carry a gun for self-defense. I train in order to shoot accurately and rapidly when necessary.

I like shooting bowling pins as a form of training. They have much the same shape as a human being (and it is human beings who have pointed guns at me in the past, not chickens or pieces of paper); the competition is one-on-one and requires both accuracy and speed to win. Feedback is immediate. If you can shoot well enough with a handgun to hit a bowling pin at 25 feet squarely enough to knock it off a table, you can hit a man at 20 feet when it counts. (Amazingly, many people cannot even hit a bowling pin at 25'; they seem to think a handgun is a magic thing or simple to shoot accurately).

Best of all, pin-shooting is not the sort of solitary activity target-shooting so often can be. There is usually a good crowd of people from every walk of life, a reminder that the overwhelming majority of people are decent and friendly.

Occasionally, I get some guff about oh-how-awful a gurrrrl especially would even think about shooting someone, ever. Get this through your head: if some creep tries to grab me and rob me, do bad things to me, I will stop him. Tried it without a gun and that does not work so very well. Your opinion in the matter does not count.

I enjoy pin-shooting a "a game of skill involving knocking over inanimate objects." But aside from the fun and companionship, my reasons for getting out of bed at oh-dark-thirty on a Saturday morning are deadly serious. (So why'd I wimp out yesterday? It was too cold and I was working a Sat/Sunday overnight shift -- 480V three-phase power is deadly serious, too, best faced well-rested and alert).

Unknown said...

Roberta, sweet child, the game is not about getting you 'to bite'. The game is about *me* learning something about *you*.

I am not 'anti-gun' per se, but I will always regard anyone who carries a weapon in a public place (i.e. they're fine in the countryside or backwoods) or who chooses to play with one outside of a well-run range as a danger, both to themselves and to me. I've seen too many AD's by well trained individuals to trust my future heath to another persons 'skill'.

I don't have anything against civilians being trained in combat shooting. I understand they may be times ahead when that skill is useful. But the idea of you - yes YOU Roberta - walking around some town I happen to visit in God's Own Country with a weapon nestled in your pocket fills me with dread.

Sadly, my opinion DOES matter, Roberta, because you reside in a democracy. You don't exist in a vacuum or in a world where you make your own decisions on life or death. As I understand it, the penalty in America for robbery - even robbery with violence - is not summary execution. But you may advise differently.

You represent *precisely* the group of individuals I don't understand. Generally intelligent, articulate and compassionate. Yet some element in your psyche short-circuit these characteristics in respect of gun ownership and use.

It's interesting, though probably not ultimately very productive for either of us, to talk with you here. But you seem nice. At least you didn't swear at me :-)

Roberta X said...

Oh, my poor, dear innocent lad - it's so very nice to read that you don't mind "civilians" being trained.

But you suffer a number of misconceptions. I'll try to take them by size:

" reside in a democracy." No, sir, I do not; I reside in one State of a Federal Republic with written Constitutions at both the state and Federal level, documents which set a number if rights outside the power of the popular vote and whims of my government; among them is the right to keep and bear arms and in my State, that right specifically includes so doing for my own defense. I see your "democracy," sir, and it is a tyranny of the mob.

"I will always regard anyone who carries a weapon in a public place or who chooses to play with one outside of a well-run range as a danger..."
Feel free to so regard them; your opinion does not deter malefactors, so why should it matter to an honest man? It is none of your business what it in my pocket or purse, no more than what style of underwear I have on. I take great exception to the term "play" in re my carrying of a gun; it is nothing of the sort. I do not handle guns lightly or playfully, no more than I would a sharp knife or any other dangerous thing. --But by the inherent energy or daily death-toll, a gun is less dangerous than an auto, far less so than a motorcycle -- tell me, do you fret over the widespread availability, use of and, indeed, play with them as well? Do you lay awake at night, concerned that drain cleaner is for sale to anyone with the ability to pay? --Perhaps you do, but that gives you no right over others.

A more subtle point is that you appear to conflate self-defense with the justice system: "...the penalty in America for robbery - even robbery with violence - is not summary execution." Penalties, verdicts -- these are things for judges and juries to decide. In the moment, the question is survival; there is often more at stake than mere robbery. Read your own newspapers and ask yourself how bad a beating are you willing to risk? How violent a rape? I won't roll the dice -- if I am armed, the risk is on the attacker's side; I will happily take my chance with "justice," alive and intact.

YM, as they say, MV. I shall look after my own skin and the only man who need dread me is the man who attempts to do me harm.

MauserMedic said...


The SLR is a fine rifle indeed; I have one in the safe, previously the property of Great Britain, although it now has an Argentine receiver, which is an interesting bit of irony.

Re the net name, I can put holes in people or patch them; my army trained me to do either. Mausers are a simply personal hobby.

Anonymous said...

After RO said "I am not 'anti-gun' per se, but I will always regard anyone who carries a weapon in a public place (i.e. they're fine in the countryside or backwoods) or who chooses to play with one outside of a well-run range as a danger, both to themselves and to me. I've seen too many AD's by well trained individuals to trust my future heath to another persons 'skill'.", I wonder if s/he would use this reasoning as an excuse to NOT call the Police if facing a criminal or observing a crime in progress? After all, "anyone who carries a weapon in a public place", especially those "well trained individuals" that have ADs; well, we wouldn't want them interrupting a crime, would we? Why, someone might get hurt...

Roberta X said...

[Photo caption]"Kampuchean scarf. Now I can pretend it's Year Zero and kill all the intellectuals I come across. In reality I sent these to the babies in Scotland as presents. So they can kill all the intellectuals..." Ro, on his own blog.

As someone who wears glasses and uses the occasional big word,I am starting to see why the notion of citizens carrying arms upsets you.

Here is a free clue: mass murder isn't actually a good basis for humor. This holds true no matter what faction or -ism is doing the killing. Or aren't Cambodians "real people" to you, O Shooter Of Chickens?

Unknown said...


As I was in Kampuchea actually providing medical aid to the continuing victims of the previous regime and as I understand their sense of humour I think I'm in a far better position to judge what is, or is not, amusing in that regard.

Cambodians laugh at their past and their pain. They have no choice. As for your own nations role in the rise of the mass murderer Pol Pot, you clearly have some reading to do. Similarly in discovering who ended the Pol Pot regime and brought a semblance of peace to a still-shattered country.

Please, do not lecture me on matters of which you clearly have very limited knowledge.

And Roberta, just how well CAN you read? I never said I shot a chicken, you ninny. I wrote that it was offered, and I wrote that purely as a demonstration of the mentality of some who shoot guns 'for a giggle'.


Yes, irony is a permanent feature in life, isn't it?

Take good care of that SLR. It's probably the finest weapon I've ever fired, though cleaning it afterwards is an absolute pig :-)


I think we have a different mindset, in fact I know we do.

Engaging in pointless circular reasoning is both pointless and circular. I shall leave you immersed the conundrum of your own making.

Anonymous said...

Y'know, Ro, recognizing the sense of humor (or grief, or horror or whatever) of those who have undergone something you did not is one thing -- colonizing it for your own is quite another.

I don't accept any guilt for Pol Pot's band of killers. I did not put them up to it. Go talk to Johnson and Nixon. Ooops, they're dead, too. And yes, I know it was the moderate-ish commies of Vietnam who put a stop to the radical, insane commies of the Khmer Rouge. Hooray for them. Still ran prison camps in the South of their own country, didn't they? But you appear to be all for a well-run police state as long as it's not too ugly where you can see it.

In re "chicken-shooter," sweetie, you're the one who offered it up as an example of good fun with guns. Tam and were revolted by the notion. Your example is a remarkable insight into the extent of your ignorance about law-abiding gun owners in the 'States. --Not to mention your inability to discern between irresponsibly blasting away for the noise of it and aimed fire in a competition.

I am sure you mean well and in places so hard-pressed for the basics, the medical aid you provide is undoubtedly a good thing. But that does not make you an expert in anything but medicine -- and it does not make you a saint. Nor does it qualify you to diagnose me as a "ninny" (wanna compare IQ scores, smart boy?). Physician, heal thyself -- and work on your name-clling skills; they're weak.

Unknown said...

Roberta, can you possibly discuss something after READING what people have written, rather than interpreting it through a perspective I simply cannot - for the life of me - comprehend?

Fine, Pol Pot was nothing to do with you, merely your government. And a mere 'hooray for them' for the 20,000 Vietnamese troops killed putting an end to the chap who was nothing to do with you. It was no biggie. I'm sure America couldn't have done anything to stop it earlier anyway...

And to receive comments on prison camps from a resident of a country which include Guantanamo Bay on its Roll Of Honour is beyond amusing, it's hilarious. Let me be clear; you, as an American, have the moral high ground on nothing, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING, relating to torture or prison camps.

On the 'chicken issue' (good lord, you do like to repeat yourself) I suggest you re-read my words. Reading is good, comprehension is better.

Yes, I do a damn good job in South East Asia. But I've never claimed nor sought sainthood. Where did you get that from?

Look up ninny. Oh, I'll save you the trouble. From the Urban Dictionary:

1. ninny

Shortened version of nincompoop, a silly, idiotic person. can be used affectionately.

e.g. you went into the girls bathroom by mistake? you ninny!

It was meant affectionately. I'm sorry you chose to take it as an insult. But perhaps that says more about your insecurities than my poor choice of words.

Anonymous said...

How many men died at Gitmo, again?

As for Pol Pot, sorry, before my time. I'm votin' for isolationism as hard as I can but it's not workin'.

Anonymous said...

We should all take into consideration that ro is being closely watched as he writes. To post on blogs here, he needs to be pre-approved as safe, and helpful to the people's cause. He's probably writing up his reports now about what he has learned about new ways to attack the US. On one hand, you might want to be just a little careful what you say. On the other, you can't help but feel sorry for anyone reduced to his pitiable and depraved condition. It's right out of 'Lord Jim.'