Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Quarterly Qualifications...

...went well for me today, and this old man is proud of himself. I shot a 244/250 on the first qualification round with the Glock 19. On the second round I shot 250/250 with the same pistol. I then shot a perfect score on the shotgun qualification 5/5 of 12 gauge slug. I also shot a perfect score 250/250 with the HK MP-5. Since this may have been my last chance to shoot the MP-5 in qualifications I am pretty happy with that score. I am also quite happy that m scores improved back to normal, up from what I have scored the last 2 or 3 qualifications at the range. Those scores were not terrible, just not up to my regular ability, and I thought my last couple or few qualification scores had been effected by my no longer so great eyesight. My vision seems to come and go from better to worse back to better, to worse. Today I was seeing things a little clearer than I have been lately, but I was also concentrating hard on doing things right as I shot, taking my own advice and mentally talking myself through each shot, even on rapid fire. Funny that I also started an exercise program lately and my vision seemed to improve right after that. Of course, I do not think exercise has anything to do with improving vision, so maybe it was just coincidence, but I do need to ask my doc about that. Whatever the reason, I shot better today than at least my last 2 qualifications and that was a good thing.

As usual we also shot a good number of rounds in tactical shooting exercises. We did man down, seated shooting (simulating shooting from a car), malfunction drills, and one handed loading of the semi-auto pistol. It was one heck of a nice day, the weather was great, blue skies, a light breeze, and great temps. Only 5 shooters showed up, I think about that many cancelled for one reason or another. Well actually we had 6, but one agent had to leave being called away on something for one of his cases.

One of the best things about the day was I got a good amount of practice ammo to use at my local range or at the range I belong to in NYC. The government is full of bureaucracy, but I can say without a doubt, time qualifying at the range is something I will truly miss once I retire.

All the best,
Glenn B

The Garden's Goodness

We only have a small lot on which our house sits, and we have what is just a tiny garden along the side that gets about the least sun during the day, but that is where our garden sits. In it we have planted tomatoes, butternut squash, peppers of a couple of varieties, cabbage, green leaf lettuce, red leaf lettuce, radishes, eggplant, broccoli, green beans and yellow wax beans. We also have some of the same in a few pots scattered around the rest of our backyard, and we have a potted strawberry bush/vine). This year has not been the best for our small crop, but it still has been fairly good in production. We treated the earth well, using lots of compost from our small compost pile, and the earth has rewarded us with a small bounty of delicious fruit and vegetables, and a good amount of earthworms for my Musk Turtle. Of course Linda also has a lot of nice potted flowers and a small flower garden too.

I think my favorite produce from the yard this year has been our yellow tomatoes. We have 2 varieties, a yellow plum tomato (not doing all that well, producing but the tomatoes do not ripen on the vine, so I ripen them inside a brown paper bag), and a Better-Boy yellow tomato that has produced medium to fairly large fruits for us. Those larger yellow tomatoes are just scrumptious as far as I am concerned, though they are not Linda's favorites. They are less acidic, an milder in taste than red tomatoes, but they have a fine flavor that is great straight, put on a sandwich mixed into a nice garden salad, or in a homemade salsa.

The butternut squash is just about ready for the harvest; and I almost cannot wait for it. Linda has a great recipe for baking this mashed and covered with butter and garlic. It is absolutely wonderful on the taste buds.

As for the flowers, I suppose some of my favorites are the Black Eyed Susan's (a variety of daisy). I think that is what they are called anyhow. Another favorite or I should say a favorite area is around the small patio out front where Linda has a nice variety of potted flowers. While the flowers still look great, it is getting obvious, by looking at the state of the plants in our vegetable garden that summer is winding down, and that autumn cannot be far behind. If only we had an apple tree, we'd be picking them soon too.

All the best,
Glenn B

Losing An Old Friend...

...can come in many forms. Today is my assigned range day for quarterly qualifications, and as usual I'll shoot the Glock 19, the HK MP-5, and the Remington 870. I like them all, but for sheer fun, and as my weapon of choice for my type of work out of the 3, I have to go with the MP-5. So it is with some sadness that I look forward to this day because it may well be the last day that I qualify with the MP-5. I was recently told that my employer plans on doing away with them in the near future. That is a true shame since the MP-5 is a versatile weapon. It is well suited for urban, suburban and rural environments. It is capable of firing semi-automatic, or in three round bursts (others can fire fully automatic too). It chambers the 9mm, but other models in other calibers are available. It can be used well close in, but can be shot out to some distance with accuracy and reliability, at least to 125 yards and probably out to 150. It also is an excellent weapon of choice for many of the types of operation which my agency conducts. It has sufficient firepower if ever called upon in a defensive situation. It is a well made and reliable firearm that is user friendly in its operation. It is also one of my favorite weapons, and when I have gone out on potentially dangerous operations it often has been my long arm of choice, even over my much touted (by me) Remington 870. I have to admit, while it has given me some comfort to have carried it on numerous operations, I am quite satisfied that I never had to shoot anyone with it. While I am prepared to do so if need be, I can tell you without a doubt, if you are a moral person to any degree, if you have respect for other people and respect for life to a good degree, you will suffer in conscious after shooting someone, even if to save another life. But I digress, so back to the MP-5.
If they do take them out of service, I will surely miss mine. So today, when I am at the range, I will try my best to shoot my best with it. If I have to give it up in the near future, I'd at least like to be able to remember that the last time I shot it, I was right on target with it. As usual, after shooting it, I'll give it a good cleaning, or two. I usually clean it once, wait a few days to a week, then clean it again. Even when you think you have cleaned one of these well the first time around, the second time around proves you wrong. Despite the pain in the neck cleaning them, and yes it is a chore, I will miss this one if they take them out of service.

All the best,
Glenn B
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