Sunday, January 22, 2017

Home at last.

Now to get all the pics off both cameras and the cell phone into a "SHOT 2017" folder, and do that thing I was going to do at the airport yesterday.

Namely, I have a couple pages of scrawled notes, reminders really, just the name of a product or a random thought I had. I also have a page with three column headers to divvy those up into, which I totally meant to do while I loitered away almost ten hours in the Las Vegas airport yesterday. Those ten hours were mostly, however, spent in Facebook, sleep deprivation, and beer.

The three hours coming back east were brutal. I'm glad I don't do that often. My day started at 0545 PST yesterday on about five hours of sleep, and ended at about 0600 EST, having dozed maybe thirty minutes on the flight from LAX to IND.

I flopped down on the bed in Roomie's bedroom while the local news was on, intending to stay up long enough to watch Meet the Press. I have dim memories of waking up fully clothed atop the covers, and then waking up again in the last half of MtP, somehow having gotten myself into sweats and a t-shirt and burrowed under the covers.

So, like I was saying, I've a metric ton of emails to answer or write, and photos and notes to organize and divvy up, but all that is going to have to wait until tomorrow. Plus there are deadlines looming in the near distance, but I'm not even going to think about that until after a good night's sleep.

I'm going to try to play some World of Warcraft and do some laundry or something to keep me awake until 10:00PM or so, when I imagine I will then sleep the sleep of the just.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Travel Day

Getting ready to go spend most of a day hanging out in an overpriced mall before boarding a germ tube to IND via LAX.

I got pretty good grades in Geography, and I am as close to positive as makes no nevermind that LAX is not between LAS and IND unless you are going the long way 'round.

(Yes, I know how the whole hub and spoke thing works, and I selected this particular flight from a host of other based on price and the ability to make geography jokes on my blog.)

I'll be able to find a nook in an airport bar or restaurant, plug in the laptop, and sort out my SHOT notes and figure out what I'm going to write about for which outlet. I might even get some writing done.

Once I'm through TSA, I'm really at peace with the whole air travel scenario. If I'm traveling solo, the crowds at the airport really don't bother me as much as they normally would because I don't have to interact with them. I just bump gently along through the system of locks and sluices, carried along by the current of the airlines' timetable, until I'm eventually poured out the other side and into a cab.

Or, in this case, an Uber. I have finally downloaded the Uber app and, man, why wasn't I using this earlier? I could even see using it at home if I wanted to spend a day downtown and didn't want to bother with parking or the bicycle.

Friday, January 20, 2017


Two days of walking on the show floor.

Yesterday I carried crutches along with me, sort of as a prophylaxis against needing them and sort of as a lifeboat.

I was wearing the knee brace but I figured that if my knee started twinging out in the middle of the show floor someplace, I could crutch my way to the nearest bench or chair and then pop smoke and call for extract by electric scooter.

As it turned out, this wasn't necessary. Emboldened by the way my leg felt this morning, I dispensed with the crutches and just went with the knee brace. The leg is still fine despite having walked 2.2 miles on it today according to my watch.

My gait's back to normal and I have to fight to not favor my left knee instead, which is still sporting a truly amazing bruise, plus the wear and tear of doing all the work Sunday night through yesterday morning.

I think I'll pull through, but I promise that the first hint of recurring difficulty will send me scurrying to an orthopedic doc.

Still in the rental condo... I have no idea if there was a moment of silence on the show floor for the end of the Greatest Gun Salesman of All Time's administration.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Seen at SHOT yesterday...

Guy is standing there, guarding two of those rolling RSR milk crates that people fill with all the brochures and catalogs that they could download from websites instead of check as overweight baggage, while his buddy is off taking a leak or buying a corn dog or slice of convention center pizza or whatever.

Both milk crates are stacked to the brim with the little manufacturer logo tote bags being handed out, twenty and thirty apiece of Aimpoint and Nikon and Springfield Armory...because these can be used for shopping bags back at the store, see?

Guy's shirt is unbuttoned to the xiphoid process, medallion resting in his chest pelt, thick gold bracelet, and fistfuls of rings...he's a wide collar away from looking like an extra from Saturday Night Fever.

And I'm standing there myself, waiting on someone to get back, spending the longest three minutes of my life having to bite my tongue to keep from asking "So what's the name of your pawn shop? I see. And where in Jersey did you say it was?"

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Sig Sauer VIP Range Day pics, part 2...

Sig Sauer 716
When Sig Sauer announced an in-house optics line, it was hard to escape an ingrained reflex: Generally when you see anything from pocket knives to parkas with a gun company name/logo on it, it's junky licensed merchandise where the company's trying to make a fast buck hawking their legacy to people who will pay money to advertise the company's name on a crappy Taiwanese Zippo clone.

Thus, the initial supposition when you see that Sig is going to have their name on optics is that they're going to be godawful airsoft-grade Chinesium garbage like Barska or UTG. Then you hear "No, Sig isn't licensing their name to someone, they started their own optics division."

"You mean they bought some lame brand like Tasco and...?"

"No, Sig stood up an entire new optics division and poached talent from around the industry to do it. They've designed their own scopes. Manufacture is definitely farmed out to various contractors, though."


I remain very wary. Optics are someplace where the penalties for cheaping out can be immediate and harsh, but these do not appear to be cheap optics at all. I was proven wrong in my skepticism for the Burris MTAC, so I'm willing to be proven wrong again.

JayG is happy because he hit the thing and wants everyone to know.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Beginner's Luck...

So, all the shooting had wrapped up at the Sig Sauer shindig on Sunday, the firing line had been secured for the evening, and they were getting the reception rolling.

As I skirted the bar they were setting up on the sidewalk, I put a foot wrong on the edge of the sidewalk and felt it roll toward the dirt. I fought to keep my balance, but I'd come straight from the airport and had my suitcase slung over one shoulder and my laptop/camera bag over the other and I was seriously top-heavy.

I fell flat on my face.

Well, flat on my camera, and then my face.

The Hasselblad, despite some scuffs on the body and the eyepiece being packed full of dirt, continues to function.

Initially, I felt fine and was walking it off. I stashed my bags at the Grayguns table, found a gin & tonic, and stood around.

Then I sat around.

When I stood up to walk to the shuttle bus back to town with the Grayguns crew and various Sig Sauer peeps, my leg was hurting pretty badly. I limped to the bus and my knee nearly gave out going up the boarding steps. I was in enough discomfort that I spent a forty minute bus ride sitting right behind Max Michel and didn't ask for a single tip or pointer.

By the time I got off the bus, it was pretty obvious that something was bad wrong. My right leg would hardly support any weight and the outside of my leg just below the knee was super tender to the touch. Bruce Gray found a wheelchair and helped me get settled in at the hotel while dinner plans were bandied about.

I (foolishly) tried to cowgirl up for dinner, but walking a hundred yards through the parking garage at dinner that night left that right leg hurting as bad as it's ever hurt. And that's the leg with steel in it; "as bad as it's ever hurt" was the exposed ends of the shattered tibia dragging on asphalt, so my "10" on the pain scale is a little bit above "oh, I bruised my shin."

Thank you Michael for rescuing me with a wheelchair. Sorry to everyone at dinner for my constant grimacing and yelps of pain at the dinner table.

By the time I got back to the hotel room, I practically needed to be helped onto the bed, where I passed out fully clothed in the only position that was pain-free: Lying flat on my back with a bag of ice on my knee.

I woke up the next morning in the same position with a bag of tepid water on my knee. I spent Monday in the motel room, keeping weight off my foot and  using crutches to get around any time I needed to stand.

My Facebook status this morning:
"My right leg is feeling deceptively good.
By "good", I mean it is in no pain after a day of staying off it and my left leg actually hurts worse from doing all the work yesterday.
By "deceptively", I mean that there is literally no medical condition of the knee that could have felt the way it did night before last and been fine today."
I'll be doing SHOT Show in a scooter. (Thank you, Trevor.)

Monday, January 16, 2017

Sig Sauer VIP Range Day pics, part 1...

I finally got to put a few rounds through the new US-manufactured Sig Sauer P210 on the range yesterday afternoon.

Obviously a little bit of familiarization is not any kind of thing to base judgments on (at least if you're smart) but I'm cautiously optimistic. It has that same heft and a slide that ran like it was on greased roller bearings...
The trigger was classic target pistol. Probably slightly under three pounds and went from "Applying pressure" to "Making loud noise" with not much in the way of a perceptible transition between the two states. It would definitely take more than a couple magazines of ammunition to really get the feel for it.

I would love to put a couple cases through one of these at some point. Between being built on the right side of any tariff walls, CNC machining, and using MIM fabrication where they could, the price point looks to be in the middlin' decent 1911 range. Given that the 210 is a pistol design from the same broad generation of pistols (in other words, before stampings, castings, and polymer injection molding) there's a lower limit to the price point you can build this sort of gun to and still get a gun that functions like you want in the accuracy and reliability departments.

Purists will howl, like they do about current S&W revolvers or any gun, really, that wasn't built of parts lovingly hand-carved in a workshop in a hollow tree by forest elves, but the proof will be in the shooting.

Attention Hoosiers...

Contact your legislators and make sure they know you'd appreciate their support for House Bill 1159*, which removes the requirement for a permit to carry a concealed handgun in Indiana, but leaves the option of getting a permit for reciprocity purposes.

Indiana already has some of the most liberal gun laws in the nation, but there're still a final few steps to take. Since our new First Lady is a firearms instructor and one of the big pre-inauguration events was held at the range at Camp Atterbury, I'm hoping that the years of the Holcomb administration will see us fix bayonets, grab flamethrowers, head down into the last few bunkers of anti-gun legislation in the state code and root them out in a final mopping up action.

Constitutional Carry and Campus Carry...also the archaic restriction against using handguns as collateral for a loan, and apparently there's a (largely ignored) ban on plastic coated ammunition because armor piercing or something. I've lived here nearly a decade and didn't even know about that one.

(*This is a big improvement over the bill filed a few sessions ago that just struck all the permit language from the law entirely, root and branch.)


Details to follow...