Thursday, August 11, 2011

My Next To Last or Possibly My Last Firearms Qualification... a federal agent took place today. I shot a 250/250 with the issued Sig 229 and then shot a 249/250 with the Glock 19. At the 25 yard line, I jerked the trigger on the very last shot and it flew a bit high and to the left, enough so to cause it to be inside the four ring. If this winds up being my last qualification it sure would have been nice to be going out with double distinguished expert scores. Hopefully I will get a chance to shoot next quarter but as things are turning out I may not have the opportunity - but I digress.

The shoot today was a lot of fun. Out of about one dozen shooters, I knew 3 of them. Man oh man there are a lot of newer and younger agents on the job these days; makes me feel like a dinosaur. It was nice for me that I also knew two of the three range officers there today. My cousin John being one of them. He is a good guy, an excellent firearms instructor/range officer and fun to BS with - and I am not saying that because he is family but because it is true.

After shooting today, I did something I do not usually do, I left before the guys firing long guns shot. The pistols quals and tactical shoots were completed but I usually stay until the end, I just felt like I needed to get home and get some things done but for the life of me I cannot remember of what  was thinking when I thought that. I did get to go to a Greek grocery store where I picked up some feta cheese, pita bread, a couple of varieties of olives and some almonds and also stopped at a pet shop where I picked up some black worms and 6 Cardinal Tetras (hard to find healthy looking ones over the past year or so and these looked almost excellent so I took the chance). Now before it gets really dark, I had best go out and collect my tortoises before it becomes a chore to find them. Again, I am digressing from writing about my last o next to last range day, but then again that is how it was, just another day with qualifications thrown in there.

I will miss range days a lot once I am retired.

All the best,
Glenn B

Double Indemnity, of a Sort, for Survival of the Species

As I posted before, my Hermann's Tortoise laid two clutches of eggs awhile back. They were laid about two weeks apart and consisted of 4 eggs each for a total of 8 eggs. I imagine that laying more than one clutch really is a sort of double indemnity for the species. Multiple clutches probably help the species survive not only because there are more eggs and thus more chances for new tortoises but because the clutches can be laid in different places and thus not all eggs would be detected at once by any predator.

As for the eggs my female laid, as it turned out, only 1 egg in each clutch wound up being fertile (this was the first time for her and the male, and while he is a bit young for a breeder, he is obviously endowed). One of the eggs, the one that was fertile from the first clutch, hatched on July 29th and I expected the one from the second clutch to hatch about 2 weeks after the other one. Over this past weekend, I was somewhat disappointed to see the egg had cracked and some of the inner membrane was sticking out somewhat precariously. I left it in the incubator anyway, hoping this was done by the tortoise moving around inside because it was ready to hatch even though I did not expect that for more than a week. On Tuesday, I took another look and the egg had hatched, half of the shell demolished and kicked away and the other half complete and still laying atop the tortoise hatchling. When I looked again last night, the baby tortoise had crawled away from the shell and buried itself in the substrate within the hatching chamber of the incubator. So there had been nothing to worry about after all.

It is nice to see these hatchlings made it from me caring for the adults properly, to fertilization, through egg laying, through my digging them up and putting them into the incubator, all the way to hatching. They can now live a long time, probably up to 40-50 years if not more. It is doubtful I will be around that long to care for them so, I am hopeful my son and daughter will learn how to care for them properly and that they will keep them. My daughter helps with their care now, as does my wife, feeding them often and y sons takes somewhat of an interest in them. They are very easy to care for if you take care to reliably supply them with a few specific requirements for their well being and if you make certain, while  mowing the backyard grass, to keep an eye open for them. (No the babies will not be allowed to roam the backyard as they would be able to escape though just about any crack or hole in the fences or get picked off by just about any bird; only our larger juvenile and adult torts get that outdoors roaming privilege during the nicer weather.)

All the best,
Glenn B
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