Archive for the 'Firearms' Category

Thank-you TN Department of Safety

Saturday, December 4th, 2010

My TN HCP came due for renewal this year.  I got notice several months early, but did what most people probably do and put it off for “later.”  Obviously, I didn’t read the notice closely enough to see the warning that renewals can take up to 90 days.  So, less than a week before expiration I find myself reading on some online forums that the TN Department of Safety really means business about taking up to 90 days for issuing renewals with lots of people citing their own stories.  Ouch.  To top it off, mailing in a renewal won’t get you the form copy allowing you to continue carrying until your renewal is approved (or denied).  Double ouch.  So, I found myself standing in a 2 hour DMV line on the Friday before expiration.  Note to self — the security guard recommends not coming on Mondays or Fridays.  Lesson learned.  At least I had the form copy.  Much to my surprise, my new permit arrived in the mail 2 weeks later.  So, thank-you TN Department of Safety for doing a reasonable turn-around in processing my application.

Nitro Therapy

Sunday, November 8th, 2009

Today (well, technically yesterday), I got my first dose of nitro therapy (went to the range) in almost 3 years.  I can’t believe it’s been so long.  You know you’re getting old when 3 years goes by and it doesn’t feel that long.

I’m on the hunt for a new carry gun and I’m highly focused on .45acp as being my new round round of choice.  That certainly narrows the field of choices quite a bit and my natural first interest is the venerable 1911.  With 100 years of history, there are a lot of options.  Through a lot of reading and question asking of my local expert I started narrowing down options I thought I might prefer, but I was missing a key component in my evaluation — I’d never fired a 1911 before, or even a .45.  So, today we went up to Range USA to rent one.  I brought along a trusty old Makarov to get back into the shooting groove.  I was certainly a little rusty, but I quickly re-acclimated to the Makarov.  Range USA had a couple of 1911′s and I chose the Kimber Stainless Pro Carry II (with Crimson Trace grips, although I didn’t realize it before making the pick).  It’s a closer match to the options and size I’m considering than the full size Springfield they also had.

What did I think?  Well, I’m not sure.  Recoil and muzzle flip weren’t really a problem, but I certainly shot different with it than the Makarov.  It alleviated my concerns about an aluminum frame.  Reliability wasn’t a problem, but I wouldn’t think an unreliable gun is good for a rental anyway.  The sites were horrible — not that the sites on my Makarov are any better.  Actually, before coming out here to Memphis, I had no idea that the plain sites on my Makarov were that bad (although I’d read it many times on forums).  They seemed fine to me, but back in Oklahoma I always shot outdoors and during the day.  Indoors with poor lighting is a very different thing and makes a huge difference.  The bottom line is that I’ll still be pursuing the 1911 and now I’ve got more of an idea what I’m getting into.

Another Day, another shooting

Monday, June 4th, 2007

Well, another day, another shooting.  I didn’t even see mention of this on the local news tonight.  Maybe I just didn’t hear it as I wasn’t watching/listening too closely.  This time maybe it was self-defense, but the alleged attacker certainly didn’t seem to have benign intentions and if he hadn’t been shot, what might he have done with the gun he brought while trying to break-in to the residence.  The scary part, all 3 involved are police officers.



It finally arrived!

Friday, May 25th, 2007

This has got to go down as the longest transaction I’ve ever done. I first called the seller on 4/10 to see if they had a rifle someone told me he’d seen at their shop (a variant of a rifle I’d spent a couple of months looking for). They said they did, so I setup with them to purchase it. I had my funds to them in about a week and a half (a little slow, but in my defense I spent a night in the emergency room and was horribly sick most of that time). I just picked up the rifle from a local FFL today. Yes, today 5/25/2007. This handily beats the huge UPS I got off eBay that took me a month to get. So, I present my new project rifle, an Arsenal Inc. SA M-7 SFC. I hope one day to convert it to a clone of the Arsenal of Bulgaria AR-M4SF. Gotta finish the house first.

Arsenal Inc. SA M-7 SFC

At least somebody gets it

Tuesday, April 10th, 2007

Found a link to this article today. I must say, I’m a bit surprised to see something like this on any of the big media outlets, but if one would have it, it would probably be Fox News. That or something by John Stossel (spelling?). It’s kind of preaching to the choir for those of us that “get it”, but maybe it will help some others see the light.


Always where you least expect…

Tuesday, March 27th, 2007

I found this article a couple days after it happened and I just hadn’t gotten around to posting it (buried in a a few hundred open Firefox tabs).  It just goes to show one needs to be prepared anywhere.  This happened literally at one of the intersections that defines the border of our “campus” at work.  I haven’t heard it mentioned by anyone either.  We’re in a “safe” area, but that’s simply a misnomer in a place like this.  The latest statistics I’ve seen say that the murder count for Memphis for 2007 up to March 14 was 30 (up 7.1% for the same period in 2006).  Hopefully that’s just a statistical anomaly.


Update on the Zumbo affair

Monday, February 26th, 2007

It was very interesting to see how this Zumbo affair worked itself out this week.  Surprisingly, it even made mention in the general media.  Apparently, the Washington Post had something that was sindicated to MSNBC here.  Naturally, it misses the point, but at least it was mentioned.  In summary, Zumbo has lost every major (and maybe not just major) sponsorship he has.  Also, he lost his job, has been distanced from the NRA, and basically disavowed by anyone and everyone that could get hurt by association with his comment.  His multiple apologies he has put out completely miss the point.  He still doesn’t get the outrage.  Sadly, he probably never will.  The only real positive I’ve seen come out of this, though, is a new grass roots coalition is forming among the firearms enthusiasts to try and organize for the coming 2008 elections.  I’m not talking about something that will be another NRA or GOA, no, nothing like that, but a concerned and dedicated group that will try and pool their vast collective resources to push back on the misconceptions and common false beliefs about our sport.  We’ll see how it works out.  People all too quickly become complacent.

Think before you speak

Monday, February 19th, 2007

At some point in everyone’s life you have one of those foot-in-mouth episodes that could have very easily been avoided if one thought before speaking. Well, Mr. Jim Zumbo has just had the SHTF for a comment he made in his blog, because of not thinking. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a firestorm like this online. It’s amazing the level of fuss this has caused. Remington has even already put out several statements from several levels of management (including the CEO) to get some CYA going. It’s a shame, but I’m certain their business will take a little hit from this despite their quick response. Hopefully this all gets worked out, but I’m actually glad the topic is bubbled to the surface. This is something that is a fundamental difference between 2 sets of gun owners that needs to be resolved before we can put forth a united effort to fight for our rights in the face of those like the Brady campaign. I only hope that those sportsmen that don’t understand our evil black rifles take the time to hear what we have to say. It’s bad enough when the general population (that seems to get it’s point of view and “understanding” of our hobby from Hollywood) misunderstands what our hobby even is. Let the dialog begin. Read what started the storm:


For those that don’t wish to read from the link. Mr. Zumbo basically called people that have AR-15s (and AKs) terrorists.

Staying busy

Monday, December 18th, 2006

It’s been pretty busy since my last post.  There is a lot going on.

First thing is the weather.  It has been a Dr. Jekel and Mr. Hyde thing.  We had a pretty cold streak that lasted about a week (cold enough I actually turned the heater on) followed by a heat wave.  It hit 70F-something today.  It’s December; it’s not supposed to be that hot.  I’ve turned the A/C back on.
Kitty is losing some weight.  I’ve put her on a restricted diet with Shinta gone and when she came back she said Kitty looked skinnier.  I’m not starving her by any means, but we’ve cut back from giving her food at every meow to something much more structured and regulated.  When she gets down to “healthy” we’ll increase the flow a bit.  I bought a bag of the “light” food too, so hopefully we can up the volume enough that she doesn’t feel as hungry.  We’ll see how it turns out.

I’ve been out to the airport 3 weekends in a row now.  It’s kinda nice just sitting there watching the planes and listening to the traffic on the scanner.  I’m gonna be real used to radio traffic again when I start back flying.  Heck I might even get to know “the guys” fairly well by then too.  It’s cool to have such an active little airport so close to home.

With Shinta gone, I had to occupy my time more than normal.  I decided to go ahead and try listening to a podcast I’d seen postings about, but just never gotten around to listening to.  It’s BSD Talk (http://bsdtalk.blogspot.com/). Somehow, I managed to listen to ALL of them.  Yes, an entire year’s worth of podcasts in a little over a week.  I’m caught up and loving it.  Will does a really great job covering the BSD’s and related things.  I find myself checking for more postings daily now.

The TV show season is winding up.  We just watched the Survivor ending tonight.  It’s cool that Yul won, but really any of the final 4 was fine with me.  I’m a little disappointed in the Amazing Race ending.  I really didn’t want any of the top 3 teams to win.  I’d have liked the Alabama team to win from the 3 that got to the top, but I really wished Kentucky or the Cho brothers had made it.  I think the Cho brothers had more of a chance, but they shouldn’t have played so stupidly.  It’s one thing to help the other teams in the “six pack”, but to constantly draw themselves down in order to help the others was just dumb (in my opinion).  Oh well, it could have just been how the producers edited things.  I’m looking forward to the Amazing Race All Stars coming next year.  I’m starting to wonder when Stargate is going to pick up again.

I took a couple of work buddies shooting.  Introduced them to “the dark side”.  It’ll be interesting to see if they want to go again.  I think they enjoyed it.  It’s hard not to enjoy blasting 5.56 down range.  No recoil, lots of noise, and an evil looking toy.

I finally added a slide show to my photo gallery.  It’s certainly not the most full featured slide show.  It’s not pretty, very intuitive, or even that elegant, but it functions without javascript.  That’s a big deal to me right now.  Maybe when I code some sort of AJAX solution, but not right now.  Right now I want it all done in a way that supports a wide set of browsers without the need for javascript.  I’m about ready to write the captions parser, but I may wait and redo the entire back end first to make it a bit more of a media asset manager with web browser accessibility, than just a dedicated photo gallery.  We’ll see.

Work seems to be kind of winding up for the year.  Looks like there are a lot of people disappearing for vacations and our last release of the year out the door.  Time to start working on some infrastructure changes for next year.

First weekend ‘packing’

Monday, December 4th, 2006

Well, my holster came in Friday, and so I tried my first weekend of ‘packing’.  As I’ve been told, it’s a little work to get used to, but I’m just barely starting to get to the point where I go for a while without noticing ‘it’ there.  I decided to just go for it and didn’t tiptoe.  First day out, I went to dinner, clothes shopping (trying out pants, no less), and electronics shopping.  There wasn’t a single sign of anybody staring at me funny (well, any more than some people tend to anyway).  I picked up a radio scanner to start listening to aviation traffic and just as I was walking in the Radio Shack I started to wonder if the shoplifting-prevention-scanner-things would go off based on a large chunk of metal.  Not a peep.

Sunday turned out even better.  I was a little more used to things, so I gave it another go.  Went to the airport (didn’t pack in the airport, that’s what the car safe is for).  I tried out the new scanner sitting out on their picnic table by the FBO.  I also picked up a FAR/AIM and Memphis sectional to start studying up for getting my license current again next Spring.  There was a decent bit of activity despite the cold.  The helicopter guys apparently were teaching a student.  That was kind of neat to watch.  I think I even saw an auto-rotation.  I’m not a 100% sure, because there was a Cessna 172 nearby that was taxing on out making enough noise I couldn’t tell if the helicopter’s engine was at idle.  It did come down quick, and it struck me as more of an auto-rotation than a normal landing.  It was a bit too much fun just sitting there than I should probably admit.  No warbirds this time; several Cessna 172′s, a couple Piper Cherokee’s, a Super Decathlon, a Cessna 208, and that helicopter (Eurocopter maybe).  I might do it again next weekend.  The scanner worked really well.