Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Dating Game

Since we just celebrated Valentine's Day, and my quartet spent a wonderful Friday delivering Singing Valentines, I've been thinking a lot about Dating and Love...

The idea for this post arrived via Facebook, when I came across these items:

2A Speed Dating

Reasons to Date a Female Doctor

It made me think even more about some "social" issues that I have come up against time and again. Namely, how much information do you share with a date?

It's not bad enough that I feel I have to hide what I do for a living (at least initially) for fear of intimidating a potential date, but I struggle with sharing my firearms hobby as well.

I mean really -- it's not like the Mid-Life Dating Game is brimming with men who are looking for an age-appropriate woman anyway (and not 20-something arm-candy). Thus, intimidating a man Financially, Intellectually, and Arsenally (is that even a word?) is not really going to help the situation. LOL! I know there are men out there who could handle it, but I haven't run across too many of them yet.

Thus, my conundrum. How does one remain "true" to oneself and one's interests without scaring off any prospects before they have a chance to get to know you? One of my Facebook friends said that there should be a dating website for shooters. After all, there are specific dating sites for various religious groups, and farmers, and I think Alaskans, too, so why not for firearms enthusiasts? Surely the NRA has big enough server space to host something like that?? (hint, hint) LOL!

I can't be the only one who has come up against these issues. Surely other women shooters have dealt with this as well? After all, Kay found Jerry, right? And Lena just got hitched, and so did Gabby Franco. But they're cute young things, not a grumpy old broad like me - LOL.

So anyway, I thought it would be a fun subject to talk about.
What about you? What do you think? Do you tell a new date about your shooting habits, or do you bury it until things develop a little more? How do you broach the subject? Do you wait until they see your massive gun safe? LOL. I suppose "carrying" on a date is a must - especially for someone you meet online (besides the usual safety advice about meeting in a public place, etc.) Have you ever met your significant other at a shooting match? At a gun club dinner? In a duck blind?

Have you met anyone at SHOT? ...... LOL there's a fabulous idea!! A Singles Meet and Greet at SHOT!! (Or even the National NRA Convention) Who wants to head up that committee and get a sponsor?!!! Anyone? Bueller?

I'd love to hear people's experiences and thoughts! Feel free to share either here on on the Facebook page.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Parts is Parts

One thing I was NOT prepared for when I took up shooting 5 years ago, is the amount of "stuff" I was going to accumulate. All I started with was a pistol - just a smallish pistol. And the first box of ammo - "50 whole rounds in a box? That'll take me a long time to use" .... Oh silly, naive little me.

But the pistol came in a case, and with a cable lock... that also had a key that I could lose. There were also two magazines. And there was an owner's manual, and a cleaning rod, and a brush, and a little envelope that held 2 rounds of fired brass that maybe in some states I'm supposed to give to the State Police or something. There were a lot of pieces and parts that came with this smallish pistol.

What people failed to warn me about is how these parts breed.

Before I knew it I had more boxes of ammo, and the saved plastic insert thingies, because someone who reloads might be able to use those. And there was saved brass. And there was one kind of holster, and then another kind of holster, and then a little safe to keep the pistol in, and a belt, and a couple hundred foamy earplugs and an ugly green set of earmuffs, and snapcaps. And then soon there were rifles with more cable locks with keys to lose, and more owners manuals, and more cleaning rods, and something called Boresnakes, ( Why did it have to be snakes?), and more magazines, and more kinds of ammo, and more saved brass, and little springs, and little screws, and little hex wrenches to tighten the little screws, and scope rings that fit, and scope rings that don't, and they have their own screws and hex wrenches, and then there are the old front sights in a little baggie, and another pistol with more paperwork and more brass in a little envelope, and ANOTHER cable lock with a key I could lose, and now there were extra backstraps to keep track of, and a Bigger safe, which had its own paperwork/owner's manual and a combination to code in and remember, but at least there weren't any more keys for me to lose, and then there was another set of sights in a little baggie, and more earmuffs, and even MORE magazines, and something called an uplula, and yet another belt and 3 more kinds of holsters, and shell caddies, and more springs, and a recoil pad, and extra chokes, and more kinds of ammo, and along the way there were stickers and targets and bottles of this oil and that oil and bags of little cotton patches, and old oily socks, and reference books and learning videos, and PVC pipe target stands and bags for them, and I could just go on and on... It's crazy.

It's really worse than my sewing habit and fabric addiction, honestly.

What I'm thinking is, if I have this much "stuff" after only 5 years, what must the abodes of lifelong shooters look like? I mean, I had to finally move my gear to a corner of the basement the other year, just to get it out of my bedroom so I'd still have a place to sleep!

The other thing that occurred to me, is with all these springs and screws and extra/old sights and cable locks and such, is the stuff worth keeping? If it's not, then what do I DO with it? Does one simply throw these things away? That seems a shame, especially when someone else might be able to use them. It's not like you can send them to the Salvation Army Store. Is there such a thing as a shooter's garage sale? The closest thing I can think of is a gun show, but I don't have enough stuff to be worth getting a table.

Maybe it could be a gun club fundraiser? Has anyone ever tried that? How about if everyone in the club gathers up their random parts and pieces, and brings them to the clubhouse. Then they sort out the pieces, set up tables, signs and displays, and charge say five bucks at the door. I'd bet with the really big clubs that there'd be enough parts for someone talented to build several whole new firearms just from random pieces. But, maybe it's not that simple, what do I know - I'm just the idea gal.

And while I'm talking about "stuff", the newest addition to my "stuff" has arrived.

Yes, they are already white, and thus obviously not a usual color for live rounds, so this should cue me that they are practice dummies, But... control freak.
So I took a sharpie to them. That part was easy. The hard part is making myself actually practice now that I have them - HA!

I was wondering if I could kill two birds with one stone, and combine a new walking routine with a reloading routine. If I took the shotgun along with me on my walks and practiced reloading the dummies while I was on the move, that shouldn't disturb the neighbors and the HOA much ........ should it? :-)

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Lady 3-Gun Slot

I've got my slot for Lady 3-Gun!! I'm #28 -I'm so excited!

Even more exciting actually, is that the event is well on the way to selling out. Registration has been open for about 72 hours as of this writing, and I see name #193 on the squadding list. I'm so happy to be able to participate in this "First" for women's shooting sports!

It also is going to give me a boot in the pants to shake off my winter Blah's and get geared up for Spring shooting! I've only got one 3-Gun match under my belt so far, so I definitely need to get out there and find some club matches. There are plenty of pistol matches, but so far the nearest 3-Gun matches are almost 3 hours away. Looks like I'll be taking some long weekends LOL! Anybody want to come with me? I snore though - be forewarned.

There is so much that I don't know yet, and so much I need to work on. I have no idea how to properly use a sling... and will I even need one? I've not yet fired slugs with my shotgun. I need to get a better scope for my rifle. I need to work on shotgun reloads ---- and settle on a technique for that matter. Now that my M2 Baby has come back all pretty and smooth from her trip to the gun spa , I have no excuses.

The Youtube videos and demonstrations for shotgun reloads are legion. What I originally learned was a weak-hand reload, working by feel coming up from underneath. But, I'm admittedly not very good at it. I did at least go ahead and order a nine-pack of 12 ga. dummy rounds to practice with, but I haven't even decided if I want a strong hand or weak hand reload if I'm going to try to switch. What I really need for shotgun is a THIRD hand, but since that isn't an anatomical reality, and I don't think Brownell's carries bionic spares, I'll just have to make a choice. LOL

Then there is my physical condition. I recall feeling quite weighed down with all that gear last summer. Perhaps my first step to getting ready should be to get back into a walking and/or weight program. I mean apparently dragging the laundry up and down two flights of steps isn't enough. Hours in the day -- can I order some more of those, too? How about Ambition? (The Christmas tree just got disassembled and put back in the basement tonight - LOL, don't judge me!)

So much to do, and that means more "Parts and Pieces" too. Gawd, the parts and pieces to this sport.....
... but more on that later.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

The Camo Police

If you've been reading this blog recently, you are acutely aware that I've been away at the SHOT Show.

SHOT was a lot of things, but one thing I noticed that it "wasn't" was a fashion show. My first day on the show floor, I wore a lime green lace-trimmed top with a floral cardigan, and let me tell you that I felt like a bright flower in a sea of khaki and black. At least you could have found me easily.

That theme carried over for the entire week. If it wasn't khaki, or black, it was some iteration of a camouflage theme. There was RealTree and MossyOak (and if I could figure out how to do the TM next to those, I'd do it), ACU, Multicam, pink camo, woodland BDU style, grassland and marshland themed styles, and a host of other color schemes, all designed to conceal the human form in one environment or another.

There were even items done up in camo that would never in any universe need to be concealed - purses, sneakers, backpacks, wallets - you name it. I haven't seen one yet, but I know that someone out there undoubtedly markets a camo toilet seat ... and I know some guys who would buy one.

We love our camo. In my state, camo is practically a uniform. Some people don't even own a heavy coat that isn't Mossy Oak. It is part of an "identity" if you will. I've realized that it's a bit like wearing team colors.

Now, stop for just a second, and imagine a place where camouflage coloring is illegal. Yes, a particular color scheme is against the law - can you imagine that? And apparently it involves "real" police, not just the fashion police. I had no idea such a thing existed until I went on a Caribbean cruise right after SHOT. Several islands I visited were accompanied by a warning from the cruise line that camouflage clothing - or camouflage ANYthing - was against local law. (I'm glad I didn't load up on swag before I left Vegas - whew!) . I'm also kind of glad that I left my GunGoddess ballcap at home too. Sheesh.

Honestly, getting an eyeful of what some people (especially Europeans) wear to the beach, I'd not be surprised if Tim Gunn had something to say. But we're not talking fashion critics having a word with the fat guy in a Speedo, or advising me that they'd rather I wear anything but a bikini. We're talking actual police turning you back at customs and demanding that you change clothes, and/or confiscating the offending item.

I subsequently did a little Googling, and found out that in fact, most of the Caribbean, parts of Central and South America, and parts of Africa also ban camouflage. Apparently even baby clothes don't get a pass.

Now, I sort of understand that a country that has experienced coups in the past, might be a little sensitive about random tourists wearing camouflage shorts. But baby clothes? With teddy bears? It's not like roving bands of rogue toddlers have been terrorizing local cruise ports -- it sounds like a Monty Python sketch.

But --- it was educational. It was evidence of a yet another freedom that I take for granted in the U.S. Can you imagine trying to pass a law like that here? There would be a million SOMEthing march on Washington - except you wouldn't be able to accurately count the attendees due to their numbers being obscured by the camouflage they were wearing.

I might have to go get me a ghillie suit now - just because I CAN.  God Bless America!!