Thursday, January 30, 2014

Help a brother out ...

My buddy MSgt B needs assistance with helping his best friend find out who murdered said best friend's son, Kyle.  Details here.

I don't usually link this kind of thing, but MSgt B is a stand-up guy, and if he says this is a worthy cause, I believe him. Also, when he worked just over the river from my office, we met for lunch a couple of times. Just his gaze rendered me unable to park my car for some reason. If his steely gaze could cause me to forget how to successfully pull into a parking place after doing so for almost 35 years,  I know if I were a bad guy, I'd want the local constabulary to find me before MSgt B.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

I know, I know.

I know I fell off the face of the earth. Tons of little things just ate away at my will to blog. For starters, my computer. The one that died. Well, the screen did. The info is still on it, just really hard to get to, and next to impossible to see.
A coworker very kindly gave me an old laptop. A Dell Latitude D510. It runs Vista, when it's not seizing up on a whim. I should start tracking the problems along with the phases of the moon, because I can't figure out what causing it to lock up. It will randomly put me in virtual time-out ... and then BEEP! On we go again. Lather, rinse, repeat.
Let's see ... then last fall we had an 18th century birthday party for Sweet Daughter, and there was a lot of sewing going on. Lots. I think my Blog Muse got jealous of the Sewing Muse and left. And now they're both gone.
I've made a stab at cleaning out the garage this winter and made enough progress to get the car in the garage. Just in time for the cold snap a couple of weeks ago. I am trying very, very hard not to feel smug, lest stuff starts randomly falling off shelves and breaking my windshield.
I had a stretch of unbelievable baking failures, so I guess my Cooking Muse went off with the other two. SD, however, mixed up a batch of scones all by herself while I was running errands one day, and they were WONDERFUL. So maybe the Cooking Muse just switched hosts.
This weekend I'm attending the NoVaWinter Blogmeet. I'm looking forward to seeing old friends and meeting some new ones I'm hoping to see some of you there.
And next week, I get to go in for a colonoscopy. Apparently there is a shortage of MoviPrep and so I get to try something new. I don't even want to begin to fathom the reasons there would be a shortage of anything that scours one out so thoroughly. And abruptly.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


It  was wet, but at least the risk of fire was just about non-existent.
Dr. Mike showed up Thursday. JayG, Brad and Mike W. all showed up Friday night. There was hot buttered rum and Dr. Mike’s homemade enchiladas for the latecomers. Saturday dawned … wet. Stretch, Keads, Greg (a reader of Tam’s), Andy (of the Hoplorati hats) and a former coworker of mine I hadn’t seen in 14 years and two of her kids showed up Saturday morning. We trekked over to Geodkyt’s where we set up and got a safety briefing and a history lesson.

Real men don't use fuses. They use primer and slow match.
We started out with JayG’s  hand gonne. And we told him what we thought of his fuses. After that, Dr. Mike went through the basic evolution and progression of firelocks and let us shoot them.

Dr. Mike in full sailor/pirate kit, returning the rammer on ... something.

I lost track of them all. There was a cut down Brown Bess, and a Jaeger, and a blunderbuss, and something with a 47-lb trigger pull. Then there were pistols. And, yes. There is something strangely poetic about using IDPA targets with flintlocks

See how Dr. Mike has his hand out to help this young lady with the recoil? We neglected to tell him she's on a rifle team.*

 This is her brother. Apparently he found both the history lesson and the guns interesting. This was a first.
 Sweet Daughter wanted to try the blunderbuss. She got smacked a bit by the recoil, even with me holding the thing. She sucked it up, though, and asked if she could shoot Stretch's .22s.

That is one well-ventilated target. And it turns out she preferred the iron sights to the red dot. Thanks, Stretch, for the lesson!
Due to rain slowing things down, we didn't really get to the competition part. Nobody seemed to mind much, and the prize table (Hoplorati hats! Bacon!) was distributed by drawing names. There was lots of good food, even better company, and a definite desire to do this again. Dr. Mike already has plans to do this with cap and ball weapons.

Somebody gave their hoplorati hat to Sweet Daughter, who is beyond thrilled. She wears it to the bus stop every morning.

Thanks to all who made the trek in spite of the rain, especially Dr. Mike who supplied the weapons, ball and powder. I can't wait to do it again -- hopefully without the rain.

*Stretch - that might also be why she shot the hell out of your .22.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Flintlock 3-gun Update

Well, it’s raining. And that’s good from a fire safety standpoint, right? The current weather report is calling for the rain to stop around 9;00 tomorrow morning, and then leave us with some drizzle. JayG is bringing a canopy to help keep the guns dry. I know there are people already en route to this shindig, so it’s not getting called off.

Best case? We shoot when we can, and have a good time. (If you’re coming, you may want to bring something modern, and less finicky to shoot in case it does keep raining.)

Worst case? We have an all-day blog breakfast/lunch/dinner. I can think of worse ways to spend a weekend.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Flintlock 3-Gun NEXT WEEK!

If all goes as planned (HAHAHAHAHAHAH), we are on track to host an introduction to flintlocks, followed up by some manner of competition using pistols, muskets and a scattergun. This will take place next Saturday, October 12, starting around 10:00 or so. Dr. Mike ("Cutler to the Stars!") has been hoarding black powder, and casting lead ball all summer and is volunteering to provide all the materials needed.

If you were at the KidShoot in June, you know the location. If you weren't, we're located about 30 miles east of Fredericksburg, VA.

The plan is to start around 10:00 with an introduction to flintlocks and let everybody get a feel for them. After a lunch break, we'll get going with the "competition". I understand Broken Andy is bringing some Hoplorati hats for the prize table. JayG is also making an appearance and will be dressed as a Pirate Wench at some point during the weekend to fulfill his KTKC obligation.

Why pirate wench you ask? Well, because we've been calling this PIRATEHAWK! amongst ourselves. We may even have a prize for best pirate costume.

Anyhow ... after all is said and done and guns are clean, we're heading to the local Italian place we went to in June for dinner, then back to my house for rum punch around the firepit. For those staying in town, there will be a brunch here Sunday morning if you want to hang out and visit before hitting the road. Also, I have unearthed the 36-cup coffee maker.

The current weather forecast is calling for mid 70s and sunny, so if you're interested, drop me an email at dethosp AT gmail etc. and I'll get you the details.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Well, I forgot the cupcakes ….

Saturday morning, I woke up at 4:00 and couldn’t get back to sleep. This, and an a couple extra distractions left me behind the curve on my way out the door to WV on Saturday.

I’d printed out directions for the range, but neglected to put in the actual street and address. My Garmin didn’t recognize the name of the town I needed and so I just headed in the general direction of WV and decided to figure it out later.
I got to Fredericksburg before I realized I’d left both the promised cupcakes and my coffee on the kitchen counter.

There was a lot of cussing during the next 45 miles or so.
I found the range, no problem, then had the always enjoyable conversation of telling a stranger I was looking for people I didn’t know except from the internet. For some reason, that always makes me feels a little … odd.

I met Murphy’s Law, and had Proud Hillbilly and Stretch pointed out to me.
Stretch made me feel ... petite.
Saw some familiar faces and, considering how my morning was going … just hung out for a while. I got the hackbut going, and the first shot gave me no problems. The balls were a little bit snug, and the second got stuck, as did about every 5th round. That got frustrating, and so I went and watched the guys on the 200 yard rifle range. And I got to shoot a Swedish Mauser. And a lever action something of Andrew’s (sorry … I don’t remember what it was) and an M1.
And then the call went out “There’s a guy here with a Barrett (M82A1).50 and he’s letting people shoot it!”

I went and watched. When that thing fired, it was like being passed by a car on the highway. The hair blew back, and pantslegs flapped in the passing wind. I got to shoot it. Twice. On a 400-yard range. (I was too chicken to ask if I actually hit the target.) There was a happy dance. There is video somewhere, but hopefully not of the happy dance. I’m here to tell you that the adrenaline rush of that thing lasted a solid 5 hours. No back pain at all on the drive home. It also gave me a case of lead-foot, but that’s what cruise-control is for.

Afterwards, Murphy’s Law said, “Did you bring any 9 with you? Bring it here.” And I got to fire this.

And my first target looked like this.

Beginner's Luck
Then I got to shoot some lovely pistols. Murphy complimented me on my not flinching.

“Yeah. You’re not anticipating recoil.”

“I just shot a Barrett .50. What recoil??”
I got to watch Keads shoot … and then, when I thought the day couldn’t hold any more awesome, out came the M-60. There is something hypnotic about that thing. That was, without a doubt, the best range day I have ever had.

Thanks to all who made it happen!

 More reports here and here.


Friday, September 13, 2013

DC area blog shoot ... Saturday

Y'all need to come to this event.

Which has been relocated here.

Because, besides all the great people and cool guns? I'm bringing this:

Last night, Sweet Daughter helped me make 50 of these:

To my knowledge, this piece has never been fired. And I made the most redneck lindstock EVER. Come watch me set my hair on fire, or something. And just in case it turns out to be a giant ball of suck and fail due to my incompetence, I made chocolate cupcakes.