Escape your life for a little while — come play in mine.

Posts Tagged ‘Hobbies’

Bloggershoot, Odds ‘n’ Ends

Posted by Lissa on July 28, 2008

My god, you must be thinking, Lissa wrote REAMS, entire virtual LIBRARIES about her experience at the Second (sort of) Annual Northeast Bloggershoot.  Surely she can’t milk yet another post out of it.  To which I respond, “O ye of little faith!  Those posts increased my daily views by a good factor of ten, and you think I’m not going to wring one more post out of it?  Oh, and don’t call me Shirley.”

In No Particular Order:

¤ Doubletrouble mentionedthat the Mrs. thought I was brave, coming to a random spot in the middle of nowhere to meet lots of strangers with guns.  I actually did think about it, but I didn’t *worry* about it.  It’s not the same thing as going off to meet an “internet boyfriend,” if you know what I mean.  I’d been reading Jay G and Brucefor months; I’d seen pix of Jay G and I think a few of his kids.  I figured that most likely I was going to meet a group of friendly, gregarious, law-abiding people who would provide great conversation and access to lots and lots of pretty guns; and I was right.  That being said, I left a note for Mike before I left: “Hi sweetie!  The Meet today is at XXXX Rd and XXXX St in XXXXX, New Hampshire; Jay G is my contact, his cell is XXX-XXX-XXXX and his blog is http://stuckinmassachusetts.blogspot.com/”  I also left the precise location (per Google maps) and direction emails open on the computer.  Oh, and I politely declined Jay’s offer of carpooling and drove myself.  Basic precautions 🙂

(Meaning, basic precautions when meeting strangers in a strange place, not basic precautions about not getting in a car driven by Jay G.  I have seen nothing to make me believe Jay’s a crazy driver, although I now know the risks of distracting him with conversation.)

¤ Brought up from my comments, ’caused it amused me just that much:

“I love you, you love me
Let’s all go and kill Barney
With a .410 bore
Lying on the floor
No more purple dinosaur!”

¤ Also from the comments: “Breda, PLEASE come out this way! That gathering will be the “Meet, Greet and Worship Breda” Bloggershoot”  To which the Marvelous Breda replied (she did, I swear, click the link):

“well, gosh, Lissa. How could I possibly resist an invitation like that?”

So the only question is, when?  Jay G, MAKE IT HAPPEN!  AGAIN!!!

¤ Your necessary LawDog links!  Here’sthe story about LawDog restraining a murderous toy; here’s the Snake Story.  And here’s the movie lines I loved and could easily hear y’all saying.

¤ Finally, some happy snaps:

(Anonymity preserved as requested.  Next time I’ll do a better Photoshop, promise.  Although, it makes me giggle the way it is.)

Dieeeeeeee, Furby.  Death!!!!

Thank you all so much.  It was lovely to meet each and every one of you.  Hopenchange!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | 4 Comments »

Bloggershoot, Part the Third: The Gunnies! (And pix)

Posted by Lissa on July 24, 2008

Well, amen to that.  Bruce, were these yours? 

As I wrote before, I am extremely sad I didn’t get a video of Bruce singing while we waited for our subs to be ready.  He was not exactly how I pictured him while reading his blog; I thought he’d be older and more dryly cynical.  I would not have guessed that he’d stand around singing songs about potatoes in a perfect Maine accent.  Bruce, perhaps if you posted a picture of yourself in a kilt for your “About” page, we could avoid these misconceptions in the future?  Although, really, this shot would probably have the same effect:

Which we do we like better, boys ‘n’ girls?  The TeleTubbie with its insides on the outside, or the lil’ Shrek dolls waiting to be murdered?

Bruce and Jay were the only folks I actually “knew” (on an Internet basis) before I headed up to the Meet.  Unlike Bruce, Jay was pretty much what I expected, looks and temperament wise.  I think this picwas all that was needed to get an accurate feel for Jay.  (By the way, I’d change it to “If you make her cry, I will make you bleed.”  Just sayin’.)  He ran around all day like an insane yet friendly hybrid of Dr. Evil and John Malkovich, garnished with a dash of the Monopoly guy.  And his bayonet charge was one of the funniest things I’ve seen in a loooooong time

I hadn’t run across Ted before the meet, but if I had I’d be surprised at how young he was.  Ted, are you sure that picture is of you?  It doesn’t look like you!!  Poor Ted sat next to me during lunch so he had to listen to me the whole time; sorry, mate.  As a silver lining, I amused myself by force-feeding him cookies 🙂

Here’s my best shot of the range along its length; you can see poor Laa-Laa dangling, desperately trying to believe that one day — ONE DAY — this death-by-a-thousand-shots will come to a merciful end.  And perhaps some nice little girl will take her down, and bring her home, and patch her up, and she’ll wake up as the Velveteen Rabbit.  Or maybe even Sleeping Beauty.  NOT LIKELY, YOU IRRITATING YELLOW SPAWN OF CHILD-SATAN.

Oh yeah, and you can see, from left to right, zeeke42, JD and TOTWTYTR.  Sorry guys, I got distracted by my gut-deep dislike of moronic singing pieces of [bleep].

I just thought this looked cool:

As did these:

A few more odds and ends tomorrow, but I suppose we have to end the post with this:

I hope Justice Stevens has nightmares about this.  And incontinence.

I didn’t mean that.

Or maybe I did.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | 7 Comments »

Bloggershoot, Part the Second: The Tools/Toys

Posted by Lissa on July 23, 2008

I *really* better write this soon, before I forget everything.  The way you can tell I’m a noob?  I remember everyone I met, I memorized everyone’s real names (not that I’ll tell you peasants — ha!) . . . and I can barely remember all the pretty weapons that folks let me borrow.  Note to self — next time, I’m bringing my AlphaSmart Neo (thanks Marko!) and taking notes as I go along!!  No, you may not use it for target practice, I like that little doohickey.

As I wrote earlier, I was too shy to say, “Oo pretty!  I can haz rifle?”  So I stood around enjoying the bangs and exploding water jugs until Mrs. Doubletrouble very kindly took me under her wing.  (TOTWTYTR generously offered me a pistol and use of his magazines/ammo, but the last time I went shooting was about two years ago.  I wasn’t sure I remembered everything about the safety, slide, etc. and I wasn’t going to try and “learn as I went along” with a borrowed pistol!  So thanks TOTWTYTR, may I take a rain check?)  Mrs. Doubletrouble had a pretty lil’ .22 that was marketed as a “boy’s first gun,” very smooth, very light, short stock, and very comfortable.  It was a great start to my day; I reminded myself to squeeze the trigger slowly and smoothly, to keep my sights nicely aligned, and to allow each shot to “surprise” me, rather than tense up in anticipation.

After that, it all merges together in an orgasmic discharge of powder and bullets.  I freely admit that I went here to try and match shooting experience to gun and to provider; please guys, pop up in the comments if you feel helpful!  So, in no particular order:

Thank you Weer’d Beard, who allowed me to shoot his .22 pistol.  It was little and cute and light and shot smoothly, and held enough rounds to make it look like a FREAK OF NATURE.  I swear the cylinder was like a clown car, y’all.  I liked this pistol because it was easily shot; I don’t know enough to say whether a .22 is a reliable carry gun or home defense gun.  My guess is that it would make an okay carry gun (if MA ever gave me a carry permit — SNORT), but that I’d want something with a little more oomph for home defense.  Like, say, a certain 12 gauge shotgun . . . more on that later!  Weer’d Beard also let me shoot a rifle, but damned if I know for sure, or what it was!  Hmmm . . . was it the one with strip ammo?  Help please!

Bruce was nice enough to lend me a cycle-action (?) lever-action .22 and untold handfuls of ammo.  (Oh, and everyone was nice enough to load the guns for me, at least the first time; thank you!)  Doubletrouble and his Mrs. thank you as well, because that was the gun that I wasn’t cycling properly, thus merrily ejecting live ammo all over the firing line.  Good times. 

I believe it was ArcticElf who loaned me the happy, happy AR-15 with the happy happy laser sight.  I [bleeped] that metal target UP, though I do say so myself.  This bad boy was heavy enough that I had to work at keeping it steady, but oh, the bad bad things I could do to home invaders with this sucker . . .

TOTWTYTR, your Enfield did NOT weigh as much as I did!  After all, I had to sample cookies as I baked them to make sure they were coming out correctly 🙂  However, I freely admit that it was too big for me to comfortably handle; the action was smooth and the kick wasn’t bad, but 1) I had to take it off my shoulder to cycle it, 2) TOTWTYTR actually had to cycle it FOR me the first few times, 3) my left hand started shaking badly enough that I gave it back without exhausting the magazine.  No point in shooting if your hand isn’t cooperating enough to give a good shot!

As far as home defense, according to my daddy what I really want is a shotgun.  (“Nothing stops a home intruder like the sounds of a shotgun being cocked, honey.”)  Luckily for me, Jay G brought his 12-gauge shotgun *and* was thoughtful enough to load it with birdshot; I think bigger stuff would have knocked me on my butt.  Gunnies, birdshot will still do to dispose of a goblin coming down the hallway, right?  I *really* liked the shotgun; the kick was minimal, and the BOOM was maximum.  (I’m the type that LOVES LOVES LOVES fireworks, for the sound and the WHAM! to your chest as much as the pretty lights.)  Jay also let me play with his pistol (which one, Jay? actually two pistols, damn shame I can’t remember which one I liked better!) and try both .357 and .38 special; the gun shot VERY smoothly.  I really got a good feeling from this one; I think it would make an excellent primary pistol.

And, of course, we have to finish off with my very first sub-machine gun.  True, I trimmed the trees more often than I hit the damn target, but O Joy of Joys!   As you can see from the video, I stagger away looking punch-drunk; that’s soooo much more fun than my average Sunday morning!  Mmm, worshipping at the Church of the Second Amendment . . . Thanks Paul!  (Daddy, if you ever drive by there on your way back to NH, it is your paternal duty to stop there and buy some ammo, at the LEAST.)

That’s all I’ve got for now . . . I reserve the rights to update as 1) I remember more specifics, 2) the nice folkses from the Meet tell me what they let me play with, in the comments.  Have at it, gentlemen!

P.S.  drmac, thank the Mrs. please for being willing to lend me her piece; maybe next time I’ll have time to shoot it 🙂

UPDATE: Thanks guys, some corrections to the entry.  ShootBarbie (I *like* that abbreviation!), I’ll put up pix in the next post, where I dish about all the fabulous people who came.  Jay, sometime when I have time, I will *definitely* take you up on that offer!  That way we can pick me out a primary pistol that *isn’t* a .22.  And we’ll take lots of pictures, and there will be much rejoicing.  (Breda . . . can’t I do both?  Piss off the goblins and THEN kill them?)

Posted in Me! Me me me!!! | Tagged: , , , | 17 Comments »

Before ‘n’ after, with help from the Underwear Gnomes

Posted by Lissa on July 22, 2008

Phase 1:

Phase 3:

Cue the chorus:  “What’s Phase 2??”

Glad you asked!

Next time, I’m *SO* bringing a Barney doll.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , | 7 Comments »

Fresh eyes at a private range (a long post, be forewarned)

Posted by Lissa on July 21, 2008

To those who grew up hunting and shooting, or were converted to gunnie-ship, guns are useful tools, or perhaps an enjoyable hobby, or perhaps links to our past that should be treasured as some people lovingly maintain classic cars.  To those who grew up in a liberal family, guns are dangerous weapons that cause untold injuries and death every year, that bring blood and destruction, and that are only loved by odd folk at best, and ignorant rednecks at worst.  The former are scornful of nanny-state regulations and prohibitions, while the latter genuinely believe that fewer guns would lead to less crime and tragedy and try to behave and legislate accordingly.

Allow me to try and bridge the gap.

At the Sooper Seekrit Blogger Meet, Greet and Skeet (organized by Jay G), I was the only novice shooter.  Let me say that once again:  I was the ONLY novice there.  Every single other participant brought his/her own gun.  Almost every other participant brought more than one gun (I think it WAS everyone, but I’m leaving it open just in case).  Most folks brought at least three or four, and some brought COLLECTIONS, y’all.  Looking at this prospective meet from a liberal mindset, one would assume that this meet would consist of swaggering men swigging beer while discharging their guns and laughing uproariously.  Perhaps one man would take Lissa aside to show the little lady how to shoot a pistol, allowing the others to carouse and caper about whilst blasting holes in targets, wildlife, and potentially, each other.

Um, that’s not how it goes.

A bit of background: I come from a liberal family.  They range in opinion and political spectrum from my sister, who is far smarter than I am and likes John Stossel, to my mother, who belongs to the Green Party and thinks that one country is never justified in invading another.  (Including our invading Germany in WWII; I asked.)  Folks, these are good people.  They are intelligent people.  They find it hard to understand why I no longer see the world the way they do, and I’m very bad at explaining it; they love me and so we just don’t talk politics very much at the family get-togethers.  These are not — repeat NOT — stupid people.  And yet I am sure some of them would envision our Meet ‘n’ Greet in roughly the terms I described above.  They would be wrong.

The Four Rules (as I remember them; wording differs):

1.      All guns are always loaded all the time.

2.      Never let your muzzle cover anything you’re not willing to destroy.

3.      Do NOT put your finger on the trigger (or inside the trigger guard) until you are ready to shoot.

4.      Always be sure of your target AND what’s behind your target.

Before the shoot, I’d emailed Jay G listing these out to assure him I had them down pat.  If, however, I’d temporarily forgotten any, I could easily reference the laminated poster by the range, which included these rules as well as the absolute prohibition of any alcoholic beverages before or during shooting. 

To set up the range, a long rubber hose was laid down to mark the firing line.  Jay G had with him a loud, shrill whistle he used for Cub Scouts; if I recall correctly, he had inherited this whistle from his father, who used it for policeman duties.  EVERY SINGLE TIME people went downrange to set up, or clear away, targets, their movements were preceded by a BLAST from Jay G, who would announce, “Cold range!”  Only after every person had backed away from the firing line and safed their guns could anyone cross over the firing line.  Once the targets were set up and the range was ready to go, a general announcement was passed around.  After every person was behind the firing line, after every person had donned ear protection and eye protection, then a BLAST from Jay G would precede the announcement, “Hot range!”

Never once did I see a person near the firing line without ear and eye protection.  Never once did I see a person waving a gun around (the gunnies are laughing incredulously at the very idea).  Never once was a loaded weapon pointed anywhere but downrange, in a very specific bounded area free of humans; every weapon that carried a safety had that safety engaged until the shooter stepped up to the firing line.  Every single shooter there was gentlemanly (or ladylike), friendly, chivalrous, and engaging.  I was there, I saw it.

Remember the part about my being the only novice?  Well, guess what?  This *extraordinary* behavior and these ostentatious precautions are . . . ordinary.  They’re the norm for gunnies.  It was not a show put on for my benefit or to protect against my inexperience, it was a mutually accepted mode of conduct to ensure that no one was harmed and everyone could have fun. 

If you had tried to explain that to me ten years ago, I may have laughed in your face.

I think that, by virtue (or vice) of living in New England, gunnies have a good deal of experience interacting with anti-gunnies who think guns are dangerous and perhaps evil.  In contrast, I find it hard to believe that anti-gunnies could have predicted the safety measures that are a given at a meeting such as we had yesterday.  (Please note that these two terms are not mutually exclusive; there are non-gunnies who just aren’t interested in guns, without being anti-gun.)

I also imagine that anti-gunnies, and even some non-gunnies, would be horrified at some of the humor that was displayed.  Let us examine one remark from yesterday; I’m hoping it will help me to bridge that afore-mentioned gap.  (Please excuse the hubris, but I am going to use my own quote.)

“Every time Sarah Brady cries, an angel gets its wings.”

Now, when I said that yesterday at the Meet, I knew that it would be received favorably.  People laughed appreciatively.  On the other hand, I was seriously nervous about posting that line here because, to date, the only folks reading my teeny-little blog are my friends and family, most of whom are liberal, and many of whom disagree with my (relatively new) conservative viewpoint.  I would not be at all surprised if someone’s immediate reaction was, “Wow, that’s incredibly cruel.  To make fun of a woman whose husband was shot in the head is beyond the pale.  Lissa’s my friend; I never would have thought she would stoop to something so low.”  I would understand that reaction, honestly.

So why did I say it?  How did I know it would be well-received?  Was I just hanging out with a bunch of cruel, ignorant people?  How could I *possibly* think that was funny? 

The folks at the Meet were not cruel.  They were not ignorant.  They *do* believe that the Second Amendment of the Bill of Rights of the Constitution of the United States of America guarantees their right to bear arms.  They believe that no man or woman of sound mind and clear record should be denied their Constitutional right to bear arms, any more than they should be denied their right to free speech, or free religion, or free assembly.  They hotly resent laws and regulations that are specifically designed to curtail this right.  But they don’t go postal; they simply respond with humor.  They don’t go around shooting display window TVs or puppies; they set up a range with safe rules and shoot TeleTubbies and Furbies.  (And watermelons, and old computers, and gallon-bottles of water, and balloons, etc. etc.) 

In their minds, Sarah Brady has made it a life crusade to deprive them and others of their Constitutional rights — a right that, for a young woman like myself, could quite possibly make the difference between life and death during an assault by a large man —  and freely distorts facts to do so.  Yet if the folks from yesterday met her, I bet they would be polite and courteous, even as they informed her of her numerous mistakes and incorrect information.  And then they would offer to take her shooting.  (Obviously, I’m both generalizing and making some assumptions here; everyone from the Meet, please feel free to pop up in the comments and correct anything I’ve gotten wrong.  Such as, you wouldn’t take Sarah Brady shooting because you’re afraid she’d try to shoot you and then scream “assault!”.  Just kidding.  I think.)

In closing, I think gunnies know that gun control advocates are not *evil*.  I am not as sure that gun control advocates think the same of gunnies.  I hope this long-winded post may remind gunnies of how utterly alien their mindset and customs are to non-gunnies, and even to amateurs like myself.  Likewise, I hope that non-gunnies and perhaps even anti-gunnies can catch a glimpse of what shooting is really like.  And I hope that, perhaps, another noobie or two will decide to dabble in gunnery and will believe me when I say, I have tried the private range, and it was good.

UPDATE: I can haz links?  Thanks go to Rattail Bastard, JD and of course Jay G

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | 24 Comments »