Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Road Trip - 2015 8th Annual NEBS (Part One)

It was just what I needed although I could have used another week or two of it. The it to which I am referring is the short road trip Brendan and I took to New Hampshire for the 8th Annual Northeast Bloggershoot this past weekend. Driving there, a day earlier than expected on Thursday, was not bad, at least for me. I had good company. It was the kid (err, young man) Brendan who had to put up with all of his old man's (my) yammering. He did okay that way even if I was a pest with my incessant babble. We got there in fairly good time based on our average trip times there, I am guessing it took about 5 - 5.5 hours or so. We stopped at least twice on the way up, the longer stop at a Cracker Barrel. That first night we did little more than check into our hotel, Motel 6 Nashua South, and watch TV.

On Friday, we were up not too early but not late either. We headed out from a decent breakfast at a small diner in Nashua, darned if I can recall the name. After that we drove up to The Manchester Firing Line Range in Manchester. Brendan had a hankering to shoot a rental gun that for which he passed up the opportunity the last time we were up that way in March. At the rates they charged, I knew why he passed it up - they wanted $18 per hour range time, $75 per hour for the rental gun, and a lot of moola for ammo (they required their ammo in range rentals). So he declined but the desire to shoot it did not disappear. As a matter of fact, I think it ate at him between the trip in March and this one. On the way up he told me he was going to shoot it regardless of the price.

Well, when we got to the store, we rented one and got a whole $3.00 apiece discount for the range time because I am considered an armed professional there due to having an armed guard license. The discount though did not apply to anything else. So, the range fees were $30 total between the two of us instead of $36, the gun he wanted to rent was still $75 per hour, the ammo was $28.50 per box (plus or minus some cents) and we bought 5 boxes ($142.50 worth) knowing it was not really enough but had to be enough at that price. Heck, I can get the same exact ammo at about $18 per box on line. We also picked up three targets at about $5 total for all of them. I guess the fact that the desire to shoot the derned thing had been eating away at him since March was the deciding factor and it won out over price.  In all, he paid about $252 plus change; yes Brendan paid for it all and even let me shoot.

Are you wondering what was the gun? Here is a hint, as Brendan prepared to fire it he said something very much to the effect of: "I'm gonna give you to the count of ten to get your no good keester off my property. One - two - ten" . Then he opened up with a short burst followed by full auto. That was followed by him laughing and then saying: "Keep the change ya filthy animal". If you have not guessed the gun by now, I guess you never watched Home Alone.

The gun he rented that we shot was, as Brendan likes to call it, a Chicago Typewriter. In other words, it's known as a Tommy Gun, aka: Thompson Submachine Gun.  The one below is the actual one we shot; well, its a pic of the action anyhow. I wish I had the selfie videos he made by placing his phone on the bench under the gun when he shot it, or the ones I took of him while using his phone, but he won't let me download them now. He is busy going out with his buddies - so maybe later for those shots.

Was it worth the high price he paid for us to shoot it. Yeah, I think so and I am sure he thinks so. Regardless, at least now he has gotten it out of his system and also has accomplished something he badly wanted to do and let me enjoy it too - good kid. I know for a fact he had fun and so did I. Since I had 100 rounds of our on 45ACP ammo with me in the range box, Brendan also shot my Remington R1 but only 50 rounds worth. Somehow that other box of our 45ACP disappeared down range in a few well placed bursts through the 20 round mag for the Thompson. Yeah, all they had was one single 20 round stack type magazine for it. As I said though, shooting it was a pisser.

We drove around for a spell after that and wound up at the Nashua Garden for lunch. It was packed, probably not so much so because the food was all that great,  no one seemed to be really stuffing it in their pie holes with reckless abandon, but because the upstairs was closed during lunchtime. We headed out to look for another place to eat but got momentarily diverted by the place next-door; that was Castro's Back Room, a cigar store. I picked up a few old cigar boxes and Brendan got himself a coffee flavored stogie. Had a nice talk with the guy behind the counter about the planned shoot while there. Then we again were on the prowl for good eats. We spotted a place a few blocks away down the river (I am guessing it was the Nashua River) and got in the car to drive it there. It wasn't so much that it was a couple of blocks away but because I would have had to come back to move the car or feed the meter before our meal was done. So I just moved the car closer to the restaurant - Tio Juan's Margaritas Mexican Restaurant. While waiting for the food, it sure looked like Brendan enjoyed the Margarita that he was inhaling. I had a couple of excellent 16 ounce Tecate beers at the surprising price of only $3.00 each. The food was pretty good too and while it certainly wasn't as authentic as food along the Mexican - U.S. border but it was pretty darned delicious.

After that, we hemmed and hawed about what to do and decided to take the advice of Deb, one of our gracious hosts for the upcoming bloggershoot, and headed to Pack Monadnock (a small mountain) in Miller State Park. I did not have to debate whether or not I wanted to hike or drive up it since my lower back and hips were pretty much killing me right about then so, up we drove. It was a short but twisty and fairly steep (for the east) drive.

The Master of all he sees.
Once up on top we enjoyed a breath taking view of the surround area. Brendan surveyed all he saw as if ready to conquer it, or whatever, while enjoying his cigar. He sort of reminded me of Geroge C. Scott in the movie Patton or maybe of a king overlooking his realm. What he was looking at deserved that kind of a look; it really was that reminiscent of a kingdom that needed to be viewed from on high by its king to see its entirety.

Here are a few pics of what he was looking at and let me say it now, the pics don't do justice. if I can edit a video  shot, I will load it later. This is what he had been looking at:


Click it to enlarge it and get a more panoramic view.
Oddly enough, my hips and back were feeling somewhat after being on the mountaintop for a half hour or so. Thus, we decided to go for a brief downhill hike. I do mean short too because if my aches came back, I did not want to have to hike far back uphill but as you will soon see we cut it even shorter than I had expected to do. On the hike, we got to see a bit more of the scenery from a different angle and then were in deep woods with lots of rocks both big and small. We walked only about 10 minutes and then had a sit down for five or ten and headed back up top. On the way into the woods, we had passed a fairly young to middle aged woman sitting there. We said hello and kept walking. A few minutes into our hike, I realized she was following us. During the several times I looked back she was pacing us exactly and not acknowledging us, kind of staring off into space as if we were not there or as if she did not want to seem intrusive or whatever but it was weird. 

It seemed more than a little odd and could have meant a several things. Either she was afraid of hiking alone and for some reason figured following two unknown (to her) men would offer her some protection, she was just oblivious to the potential threat that could have been the two strangers she had decided to follow and was in her own version of La-La Land or she had hiked up with a boyfriend or spouse who argued with her and left her there and she was afraid he might be waiting for her in the woods to kick her ass and that we might somehow prevent that. The thought had also crossed my mind that she could have been looking to rob us if she had gotten the chance, with an accomplice who may have been 
further down the hill. Of course, she could have just be an out and out kook who was hoping for an opportunity to say we had tried to rape her or something like that - heaven knows there is way too much of that going around in recent years. The again, she could have been hoping to have really wild sex with the both of us in the wilds of NH but I highly doubt it. I also suppose she could have just decided to start going back down after we had passed her.

Yet, because of her following us, more than being pooped or worrying about my aches returning on the way back up, I decided to tell Brendan I needed a break and we sat down. We talked to this mystery woman (the mystery was why she was following us) as she passed us. She seemed kind of, sort of, almost okay but both of us got the feeling something was weird about her having followed us like that (Brendan mentioned that to me after she had left). So, I bored her to tears with some story of me once getting altitude sickness out west and she was soon off on her own traipsing down the mountain. We then headed back up to the top and to the Corolla. I imagine she was a nice lady and none of the above applied, except maybe she was afraid to hike alone, but as I said it all seemed too weird at the moment to chance continuing on with her tailing us. We were out of there after that.

How could I not post this pic!
That night, we ate at the Tilted Kilt in Nashua. If you are a man who appreciates fine looking young ladies, clad in mini kilts and tiny tops, this is the place. To tell the truth, the ale and spirits selection was good and the food pretty darned tasty too. Besides our waitress, Emily, being on the rather sexy side of good looks, she also was an excellent server. The combination of it all could not be beat. Sadly, all good things do come to an end and it was all too soon time to head back to the hotel. We grabbed some beers somewhere and Brendan imbibed most of them before I had one down. Oh well, such is youth.

The next day would bring us to the bloggershoot and we needed to get some rest and that's I exactly what we got once all the brews were gone. As for the bloggershoot itself, I'll tell you about I in Part Two.

All the best,
Glenn B

No Blogging As of Late...

...and the reasons are twofold. First we were up in NH at the 8th Annual Northeast bloggershoot over the weekend. The second is that I have been having problems with my laptop with it getting extremely hot, so much so that it feels as if it is about on the verge of a meltdown and I smell something burning. That problem has been intermittent but man it sure does get hot when it heats up. In fact, it gets hot enough to leave a first degree burn, like a sunburn, if you hold it at its upper left hand corner of the lower section for more than a second or if you actually have it sitting on your lap. It mostly gets that hot when playing a game, like Fallout - New Vegas but sometimes gets almost as hot just playing chess or solitaire. It can also get very, very hot when I am on the Internet, especially if I open a couple or few different sites at once. When I gets very hot, [programs slow down and some completely lock up for up to a minute or so. Last time this happened it did not get quite as hot and programs did not lock up but they had to replace a fan. This time they are telling me it could be a fan or the processor on the motherboard. Whatever, I have several days remaining in my warranty period - so it will be going in for repairs as soon as I get the shipping box and label from them. Cold have had it done at home with in home service but opted to send it to the factory because last time a tech person came here to repair it, let me simply say, he was a friendly moron I did not think he was as much in the know as he should have been so. 

Anyway, Ill try to post some later tonight or tomorrow and maybe will get some posting done with my phone while the laptop is being repaired.

And yes, we had fun at the bloggershoot; I will try to post on that before I send it in for repairs.

All the best,