Friday, January 14, 2005


The flagship P.C. is back up. We've got a new motherboard, an 80 gig drive, GT6600 video card, and new power supply. Windows XP loaded, mom's games loaded, my games loaded, and the wireless network is loaded but still won't automatically connect.

Anybody out there have a clue why my CD burner keeps looking for a disk?

I loaded Half-Life2 yesterday. Wow. (Late)Last night I spent about three hours trying to stack empty drums (and one exploding drum) against a wall in a water filled room to make a ramp to climb up into a pipe. Somewhere on my hardrive (or maybe at Steam), I'm still there.

So far I've been beaten to death with electric nightsticks several times and fatally shot once. I also found out that if you are moving exploding drums around while carrying a pistol in your hand that bad outcomes are more likely than not.

Speaking of pistols, yesterday I joined the wife and some of her coworkers for a range visit. We both had what I call "clinic" days; the wife made large ragged holes in her targets at all ranges with her beloved Ruger SecuritySix and did almost as well with our P89 in 9mm. The Ruger line of pistols will never be "slick" - excepting the Vaquero line of cowboy pistols - but with a lot of practice their inherent reliability and accuracy almost make up for the lack of elegance you find in Colts or Smiths. I just shot my Springfield Armory milspec (with overtravel-corrected trigger and Hogue grips)M1911A1 in .45 and had a wonderful time. Right hand, left hand... even spent some time out at 25 yards trying to keep up with the wife and her revolver and did better than I have in years. I am left eye dominant and right handed. I never shoot on a busy range without somebody coming up and saying "Just which hand is your "strong" hand"???" It's nice to be good at something.

I coached a little. One of the coworkers put five rounds through one hole with my pistol. He asked where he might find a pistol like mine. Heh. New shooter, too.

Back in '87, one of our first dates was the inaugural visit to the range for the SecuritySix. At the time I was fresh out of some extremely useful USMC coaching classes and had finally had a chance to qualify with the .45 for the first time. Now I only shot marksman that first time, too, but I knew what I'd bollixed and our pistols were, frankly, trash. I was all ready to show my new liberal no-nukes non-shooter friend some tricks of the trade. I gave her a safety/mechanics class at the apartment and then another one at the line. She snapped in a few times with an empty weapon, then I loaded up six .38 specials and cut her loose. I made sure to stress that learning good habits was the goal and not to worry about where the shots went as long as she was safe and consistent. She fell into that classic "lean way back" stance that non shooters holding a heavy pistol seem to favor. I let it go with the intent to correct her after she got a feel for the weapon.

Her first group, at seven yards, was a ragged hole at the center of the bull the size of a quarter and one flyer about two inches above and right of the group. Still in the black.

"Damn. I missed one." says she.

I lifted my jaw back into place and loaded five rounds into the cylinder. Part of the pre-shoot coaching was to STOP on any failure to fire.

Pow. Bull. Pow. Bull. Pow. Cuts the paper between the first two holes. Click. The pistol could have been set in CONCRETE - NO anticipation, no twitch!

"What happened?"

"I left out one round to show you how... some people... tend to anticipate the report and recoil. You don't. Don't worry about it. You have two rounds remaining. Go ahead and finish up."

One ragged freakin' hole for five rounds.

And my first six? Five on the paper, baby, and a sawed-off shotgun would have left a more consistent group. The wife- to- be noted I wasn't a revolver guy.

I love that woman. Still do, eighteen years later.

Be safe. Be accurate. Be fast.

I'm off to do chores, then finish cleaning the pistols.

Then I'll figure out how to get into that pipe.


Out4Blood said...

Regarding your Half-Life 2 comment.

I did the same thing, but you need to go back and find the valve-wheel that raises the water level (it's hidden in the small room with all the vertical pipes), otherwise you won't get past the next room.

TmjUtah said...

Thanks, pard.

I'm in the wrong business; fifty bucks for the game (a gift) plus twenty five more for the game guide.

I'm finding myself spending more time getting turned into hamburger at the Counter-Strike Source game that was bundled with HalfLife2 than playing HalfLife2. I'm limiting the HalfLife2 to a few minutes in the evening for the next little bit, and Counter-Strike to nada until I finish some leather work and gun repair items.