Sunday, February 17, 2013

My Second Time Shooting IDPA

Lock & Load (under "Where I Shoot" over on the right there) sponsors an IDPA club and held a rare Sunday afternoon match today.  Even though I'm not properly a member (the whole works second shift thing gets in the way), this is my second try at it.  I don't try for "fast", but focus on accurate - and abiding by the competition rules (which seem about evenly divided between straightforward safety and trying to dull Occam's razor).  Let's just say, if the shooting stage requires you to shoot from behind cover, they mean behind.  You can expose your gun and as much of your head and hands to the target as is putatively necessary to shoot the target - and I fully understand the reasoning - but it is truly not a shooting stance most ranges will be happy to see you trying in the ordinary course of a casual range date.

As I said, I don't get the opportunity often, and I really appreciate the actual club members acknowledging my entirely accidental Mozambique shooting weak-hand at a rocker target (pivots back-and-forth across the shooter's field of view), but the IDPA claim that physical fitness isn't a requirement must pertain to membership eligibility only - you don't have to be a Conan body-type, but us Louie Anderson body types bring our own unscored level of difficulty to the thing let me tell you.

It was great fun and I look forward to having another go at it someday again.  If you like shooting, give IDPA a try.

UPDATE 2/19/13:
February 17, 2013
Most Accurate: William Brown SSP - Unclassified 124.68 (13)
Stage 1 Stage 2 Stage 3 Stage 4 Stage 5
Match Score
CDP - Sharpshooter
1 Bohman, John 87.58 27 0 0 0 14.28 (7) 30.52 (7) 10.29(0) 19.67 (6) 12.82 (7)
ESP - Expert
1 Walker, Jim 68.52 21 0 0 0 9.76(3) 22.61(6) 10.72 (3) 13.06(4) 12.37 (5)
ESP - Sharpshooter
1 Prater, Steve 84.44 36 1 0 0 12.56 (5) 23.28 (8) 13.92 (11) 20.99 (5) 13.69 (7)
ESP - Marksman
1 Prater, Jackson 95.78 36 0 0 0 12.38 (0) 35.40 (8) 17.83 (16) 14.34 (0) 15.83 (12)
SSP - Sharpshooter
1 Sanchez, Bob 83.67 24 1 0 0 11.05 (2) 30.06 (14) 12.30 (5) 19.37 (0) 10.89(3)
2 Quates, Robert 84.07 18 0 0 0 10.27 (2) 25.70 (0) 13.30 (14) 17.20 (1) 17.60 (1)
SSP - Marksman
1 Cundieff, David 104.91 50 0 0 0 13.71 (4) 33.33 (19) 15.63 (11) 23.95 (7) 18.29 (9)
2 Endres, Jack* 122.81 21 0 1 0 17.29 (0) 43.54 (5) 17.88 (10) 24.15 (0) 19.95 (6)
3 Trimble, W.P. (Mose) 133.30 48 1 0 1 16.51 (4) 37.76 (6) 16.35 (13) 39.84 (15) 22.84 (10)
SSP - Unclassified
1 Brown, William 124.68 13 1 2 0 19.46 (0) 41.69 (1) 14.14 (8) 29.63 (0) 19.76 (4)
2 Barton, Neal 165.78 72 0 3 2 23.95 (6) 52.98 (22) 13.98 (10) 47.66 (12) 27.21 (22)
Key to Penalties:
PD =
NT =
PE = Procedural Error. Each adds 3 seconds to your score.
FN = Failure to Neutralize (no hits in the 0 or -1 zone) Each adds 5 seconds to your score.
Hit on Non Threat target. Each HNT adds 5 seconds to your score.
Target Points Down. Each point down adds 1/2 second to your score.
Key to Abbreviations:
CDP = Custom Defensive Pistol, such as 1911. Must be .45 ACP with maximum magazine load of 8 rounds
ESP = Enhanced Service Pistol, single action or SA/DA such as H&K P7 or CZ-75 or Springfield XD
SSP = Stock Service Pistol, double action or 'Safe Action' such as Glock or SIG
ESR = Enhanced Service Revolver, rimmed or rimless ammo, full moon clip, power factor of 165,000
SSR = Stock Service Revolver, rimmed case ammo, no full moon clips
 I had no idea ...

Friday, February 15, 2013

(Retail) Evolution In Action

I read at The Firearms Blog that may be removing shooting sport-related items from their customer fulfillment inventory.  I sent the following message to the PR email link just now:
Dear Sir/Madam;
I have today read reports that will no longer be willing to meet some of my retail purchases, to wit, firearms-related items like scopes, sights, slings and other such shooting sport enhancement products.  If so, I will be taking my admittedly meager business elsewhere, to an undoubtedly less satisfying transaction process, but one that doesn't blatantly dispise my purchasing preferences. has a perfect right to make such a business decision (if in fact the company actually has done), but so too do the individual customers Amazon relies upon to complete the sales transaction process.  I do not wish to take my paltry business elsewhere, but decline to continue dealing with any business that openly despises my beliefs and, indeed, one of the fundamental  principles upon which the USA was founded.
Sincerely yours,
William Brown, Prime customer

Despite my having misspelled "despise" in the original, I hope the company's spokesperson's response is as serious - if more literate - than my inquiry. 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Life As A Series Of Second Acts

I don't ordinarily go into much in the way of personal detail here; frankly, it's no one else's business and mostly too crushingly mundane and boring to anyone not required to slog through it.  Then there are days like today ...

Pushing hard on 4am this morning, it having been several years since the last time I tried, I typed in my son's name on my Facebook page search engine ... and this time he had a Facebook page of his own to discover.  When I finally rolled out of bed shortly after the crack of noon (hey!  I work the evening shift; gimme a break) and fired up the computer, there amongst the usual spam was a Facebook "Friend" confirmation from him.

I keep reading how Mark Zuckerberg can be an asshole and such, but he has my thanks all the same.

I confess I don't quite know what to do with the car now that I finally caught the bumper, so to speak.  Duncan has his own life and family in which I have no place; I think it would be rude and boorish of me to assume anything about how he and I might accommodate each other in our lives now, I only know I so very much want to do so.

As a beginning, I am writing this post as a means for he and I to re-discover each other that isn't constrained in the same fashion as Facebook is (which I don't use other than as an easy means to keep up with my daughter and her family's doings anyway).   He isn't the little boy I remember (he has a daughter of his own now) and I'm not the (same type of) fool who wandered away from him either.  Finding out who we each are and where and how we can fit together again is all unknown yet, but this is what classical strategy is really for - advancing position into the unknown in mutually reinforcing and beneficial ways.

Mostly I don't spontaneously break out in tears though.

You deservedly call another man "Dad" son, but I hope one day to have the opportunity to introduce you to the rest of your family and see where we all go from there.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Hey Brother, Can You Spare A Dime?

So, the other day Captain Capitalism (AKA: Aaron Clarey) (Yes, it's on Kindle too ... sigh) posted a video he made about the Federal Reserve and whatever else it was that was clogging up his spleen.  Since his spleenic ventings are typically entertaining/interesting (for a given value of either you understand; YMMV), I watched - and then felt compelled to ask:
Query (because I really don't know); isn't GDP the Gross Domestic Product? If so, what influence does foreign based contribution to US stock markets have on market valuation that doesn't reflect in the formal GDP valuation? Or does it?

Cappy is ranting about decreased GDP with increased stock value; if the stock value includes input from non-domestic sources, wouldn't that be the expected result?
I ask because, since so much of US manufacturing business (and heavy industry generally) has been exported/off-shored/pick-whatever-euphamism-you-like, wouldn't a lack of growth in domestic financial indicators (which are what contribute to determining GDP) with simultaneous growth in domestic stock valuations driven by foreign capital investment result in pretty much just what arouses Cappy's ire?

I don't remember where off-hand, but I read recently (like, in the last few days) that Mexico is financially no longer even remotely deserving of the appellation "third world country" as it is now ranked as the 39th largest economy in the world.  That doesn't mean that at least a third of the country's territory isn't still a third world shit-hole as a practical matter, but there's a first-world pantload of money swirling around through the rest of the place apparently.

And somebody there seemingly wants to invest some of that in something other than amateur pharmacology, impromptu eugenics and surreptitious import/export.

My thinking is that Mexican (and Chinese, Indian, Middle Eastern, etc) money going into the US stock market ought to tend to drive up stock valuations irrespective of the rest of the US economic fraud manipulation activity also occurring.  The very idea of the Federal Reserve Bank being anything more than Congress and the Treasury Department's ATM machine and safety deposit box for temporary cash surplus occasions is just an invitation to larceny, so I understand the impulse to shout "The Federal Reserve Doesn't Produce Anything!", even though I have to say the Fed has a well-established track record of producing a faux debt that the US .gov insists we the tax payers have to honor which, however physically insubstantial it might be, is very definitely (some)thing.

I have also read that, "the universe is about 90% hydrogen and 10% helium; all the rest is basically a rounding error".  Speaking for my own portion of that fractional error, I wonder if there isn't possible a mathematical formula that is based on a measurable universal standard - say, the elemental number of hydrogen fer instance - and that this figure could be the known metric by which a stipulated quantity could be determined.  This measurable, known quantity could then be the basis for calculating a standardized valuation.  That being determined, any monetary issue (currency, regardless of source) could then have a universal monetary valuation calculated based upon the issuing country's floating (but serially measurable to a universal standard) GDP as that is mutually stipulated to reflect.

No such thing as fiat currency is even possible if all currency can be valued by a universal (and importantly, fixed and untamperable) standard.

All that aside, I do wonder if my basic observation about stocks and GDP is at all correct.  Wadda ya say, Cap'n?