Archives for the ‘Blog Entries.Local’ Category

12 Gauge AR-15

Author: From • Jan 20th, 2018
   Category: Blog Entries.Local
Remember when the leftist media warned us about the dangers of the chainsaw bayonet accessory AR-15 accessory?  In another riveting piece on evil "assault rifles" we are shown the dangers to innocent fruit from the 12 gauge loaded rifle.

I can just imagine to smug satisfaction in the newsroom over that exposé. 

Hollywood Cemetery – Richmond VA

Author: From • Jan 20th, 2018
   Category: Blog Entries.Local

The Iron Dog
The Confederate Memorial

So far 2018 has been bitterly cold in Richmond. Today was a glorious 63 degrees F and sunny. I was a good boy this AM and went to the gym, then watched Purdue just destroy Iowa at their arena. That's 3 straight Big 10 blowouts, 2 on the road, if you are counting at home. But that is not the subject for this post.

After the game my son and I went to explore Hollywood Cemetery. It's most famous as the final resting place for Jefferson Davis, two US Presidents, and a whole host of people very important in the history of Richmond and VA. Walking the cemetery was probably a 3 mile jaunt, and there were many people out today with dogs and kids. I like visiting cemeteries, even though I have no desire to end up in one myself. I have a rule that if I photograph a grave I take a minute to read the monument and learn something about the subject of my picture. The best stories at any cemetery are usually not the big famous monuments.

Consider this one - a War of 1812 veteran! I wouldn't know that if I just shot the photo from a distance.

The Iron Dog

I need to go back in tourist season when they do guided tours.

The Iron Dog
The Iron Dog

This little girl died at age 2 of Scarlett fever during the Civil War. She loved her father's Iron Dog, so it stays with her. Moving it to a cemetery also saved it from being melted down for war materials. People still leave toys and flowers for her.

Jefferson Davis
Jefferson Davis

President of the Confederate States of America and all-around bad guy.

Plaque on Jefferson Davis monument

They spelled racist traitor incorrectly.

Another dog

I love that somebody left a tennis ball with the dog statue.

James Monroe
James Monroe

President Monroe's final resting place.

More photos

Book Review: DryFire Reloaded

Author: From • Jan 19th, 2018
   Category: Blog Entries.Local
DryFire Reloaded by Ben Stoeger is the newest addition to my shooting sports library. The book is the latest of several shooting books penned by the repeat USPSA Production champion. This book reflects what Ben is currently teaching in his classes, and doubles as the "homework guide" for those classes.

The focus of the book is geared to the USPSA shooter, but the drills and exercises are applicable to all action pistol sports. After a brief introduction to the basics of dry fire or dry practice, the book is divided into sections based on the skill focus. The sections on Elements and Standards are the areas where most shooters will concentrate. As expected, the drills in the Elements section focus on basic fundamental shooting skills, without distractions or complications; Trigger Control, Draws, Reloads, Target Transitions and Movement are covered. Each skill is practiced in isolation. All exercises include detailed commentary to remind the shooter of the focus of the drill.

The Standards section brings the basics together, with the added element of some strict par times. Classics such as Bill Drills and El Prez are included, along with other multi-target drills. Later chapters introduce more complex stage or scenario setups, where the par times and specifics are left to the shooter.

I spend most of my time on the Elements and Standards, especially the former. I find the breakdown of the skills to be beneficial. Since one of my weaknesses is getting sloppy with trigger pull under speed and pressure, I typically start each dry fire session with both the slow trigger press and speed trigger press exercises. Then, depending on the time I have that day to devote to practice, I add in various other Elements such as Reloads, Draws or Transitions.

As noted, the book's main target audience is the USPSA shooter. Since I'm focusing on IDPA, the exercises are easily adapted. For example, I always wear a cover garment when doing draws and reloads. When practicing reloads, I start with the slide locked back with an empty mag in the gun, and finish by racking the slide to chamber a dummy round, then present the gun to the target. Various props add an element of realism. Hanging different reduced scale targets helps to simulate distance in the small practice area I am using. I always use a timer to initiate the drills, and of course for tracking par times.

I'm making regular use of DryFire Reloaded in my daily (well, almost daily) practice. I find the breakdown of the skills and the commentary to be beneficial. Over the past few weeks, my concentrated practice has even led me to make some adaptions to a few of my "skills." I'm looking forward to putting the practice sessions to the test in the upcoming match season. Whether you are trying to get started with dry fire practice, or just looking for some new practice inspiration or guidance, DryFire Reloaded is a good place to start.

Can a cop pull you over for no reason?

Author: From • Jan 19th, 2018
   Category: Blog Entries.Local

One big question that many motorists have is how the officers can pull you over. Do they need a reason to do so? In other words, can a cop pull you over for no reason?

The answer to this question is kind of complicated, but it starts with a simple answer of no. An officer cannot pull you over for no reason. In order to make a traffic stop of your vehicle, the law in the United States says that an officer must have a valid reason to do so, but it’s more complicated than that.

The basic law for stopping a vehicle is that a cop has to have reasonable articulable suspicion that you have broken the law or that other criminal activity is afoot.

What does that mean? Well, the simple answer is things like traffic laws for speeding or registration or swerving over a line. Those give the officer a reason to pull you over. That’s a simple clear-cut example that everyone understands. Where it gets complicated is in things that big catchall of criminal activity being afoot. What exactly does that mean?

What that means is that if the officer based on his training and experience can testify and point to several things that he thinks meant that there may be some criminal activity going on, he can still pull you over. A good example from might work is that if you’re swerving within your lane in Virginia an officer can pull you over for suspicion of DUI. Even though it’s not illegal to swerve within your lane as long as you’re maintaining your lane of travel and not crossing over either line, if you swerve several times within your lane an officer can testify that based on their training and experience that means that you may have been under the influence of something, and therefore, they can pull you over to investigate.

How else can an officer pull you over? One easy example is if they run your plates. This can give them a reason to stop you.

A cop can definitely stop you after running your plates if the return in the computer shows a problem. For example, if the registered owner of the vehicle has their license suspended and if you match the general description of the registered owner, an officer now has reasonable suspicion to pull you over to see if you are that person and if you’re breaking the law by driving on a suspended driver’s license. The same could be said if the registered owner has an open warrant for something or if perhaps the registration is dead and doesn’t match the tags that are displayed on the car.

As you can see, a cop can pull you over for many reasons. They can’t pull you over for no reason whatsoever, but there’s a lot of different things that can get you pulled over depending upon what’s going on in your specific case. This is why it’s important to maintain proper registration, inspection, if required in your state, any other decals such as county tax decals that might be required. It’s also important to obviously make sure that your vehicle has proper and safe equipment and no unauthorized equipment such as an after-market loud muffler. Another thing that gets people pulled over at least in Virginia is having what they call a dangling object on your rear-view mirror. The law is clear that a dangling object can get you pulled over, and if an officer is fishing for a reason to stop you, that is just enough reason for them to pull you over legally.

While a cop can’t stop you for no reason, there’s many, many reasons why an officer can pull you over so the best rule of thumb, of course, is to not break the law, to not have anything to hide. However, if you’re pulled over and an officer starts asking you questions or asks to search your vehicle, I always recommend that you do not answer questions politely and that you never consent to a search of your vehicle.

photo credit: black.zack00 Police officer

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Seven Years Ban Free

Author: From • Jan 18th, 2018
   Category: Blog Entries.Local
On January 18, 2011, I was notified by Facebook that these Musings had been flagged as containing "content that is abusive or spammy" content. As such the posts are unable to be shared on Facebook. Our Facebook "jail time" lasted a little over 24 hours before the restriction was lifted without explanation.

As Seen on January 18, 2011

I have no reason to believe that Facebook is any more accepting of non-leftist views than they were seven years ago. I am surprised to have escaped further bans, at least so far.

Challenge accepted. 

Shooting Stock Guns

Author: From • Jan 16th, 2018
   Category: Blog Entries.Local
In the nine or so years I've been attending pistol matches, be it USPSA or IDPA, I've always shot in the "stock gun" divisions. Other than some experiments with sights and adding grip tape, I prefer the guns as they come from the factory. Some of that affinity may come from the fact that I became interested in shooting originally for self defense reasons, and only came to competition as a way to test my skills.

The USPSA Production and IDPA Stock Service Pistol divisions have fairly strict limits on what you are allowed to change on the gun. Sure, I've admired some sweet Limited (USPSA) or Enhanced Service Pistol (IDPA) guns that friends have, but it's still stock that holds my attention. My BUG and CCP guns are also "out of the box." I will also definitively that I've never been tempted in the slightest by the Open gun phenomenon.

Though I often shoot the same guns I carry in competition, I admit to switching holsters and concealment garments when competing. That said, I also practice with my carry holsters and "street clothing" often.

I'd rather spend money on bullets than doodads.

Cartoon found via Twitter.

What is a capias warrant?

Author: From • Jan 16th, 2018
   Category: Blog Entries.Local

In Virginia there are certain options the judge has if you miss court when you’re summons to be there as a witness or as a defendant. One of those options is to issue what’s called a capias.

A capias is a bench warrant for your arrest. It orders the sheriff to find you and arrest you and bring you before the judge to answer for whatever the judge is claiming you did wrong. The main use of it is for what’s called failure to appear in court as a defendant in a criminal case.

If you are originally charged with a misdemeanor offense, then a capias for failure to appear in court is a misdemeanor. If you were charged with a felony offense, then a capias warrant for failure to appear is a felony. In either case there is a possibility of jail if you are found guilty of failing to appear.

If a capias gets issued against you, the best thing for you to do normally is to contact the court and potentially a lawyer, especially if you already have a lawyer for the case and to turn yourself in on the capias, especially in a lot of misdemeanor cases if you turn yourself in quickly and can explain to the court that it was simply a misunderstanding or you misread the date on your paperwork. In a lot of cases if you don’t have record of failure to appear in the past you would not normally get jail time for your first offense for failure to appear in court.

However, if you have prior failures to appear and this is not your first one, then there is a chance that the judge could give you jail time for failing to appear when you were ordered to do so.

You may also have a legitimate defense to a failure to appear charge. It could be that you didn’t have proper notice of the court date, perhaps the paperwork had the wrong court date on it or perhaps you were arrested on erroneous paperwork that was recalled or something along those lines. This is why it’s important if you are charged with failure to appear that you do need to talk with an attorney to find out what defenses you might have and what outcomes might be possible for your case.

Keep in mind that if you’re accused of failing to appear in court, that means you had an underlying charge you also have to answer for. So not only do you have to take care of the failure to appear, but you also have the original charge that had you in court in the first place.

People underestimate the importance of being to court on time and as scheduled. However, judges take it very seriously if you’re not where you’re supposed to be when the court or the officer has ordered you to be there. You may not be guilty of the charges that are bringing you to court but if you have been given valid notice and required to come to court at an appropriate time and you’re not there you may be guilty of misdemeanor simply for not showing up when you were told to be there.

photo credit: Pastrami Vicar aka Salamander “Noodle” Turgidson May Day March, Los Angeles

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Henry Rollins – Just Travel Dammit

Author: From • Jan 15th, 2018
   Category: Blog Entries.Local

Henry Rollins

Henry Rollins rolled through town last night on his new spoken word tour, which is actually a slide show of photos he has taken on his extensive world travels. He shows a photo, starts talking about the story behind the photo, and before you know it he has talked for 2:30 straight without a break, and it feels like he just started. They guy is a master story teller and his travels have provided more than enough source material.

What struck me about what he was saying wasn't so much the specifics of the people or places he visited, it was the over arching theme of the importance of travel as a vehicle for personal growth and compassion. Somebody that spends a week in Tehran enjoying the food and getting to know the people and culture a bit simply can't come back to the States and believe we should bomb those people off the map. They are a caricature if all you know of Tehran, or anyplace else, is what the US media or politicians tells you. Going there, wherever there is, makes it personal and that changes everything. Going there means getting out and experiencing the culture. He likes to hit the big city bazaar or market, as it's a melting pot of local people, food, and culture.

Another theme he returned to many times over the course of the night was the necessity of leaving your Western POV at home, especially when you are visiting some place like Vietnam or India. His pictures bring out a beauty in a woman picking though a garbage dump for food that you just wouldn't think possible until you see his picture and listen to him challenge you to consider that people everywhere do what they have to do to survive, and that doesn't make them any less worthy of respect than what you may feel you deserve. I would extend that to say they are probably more worthy of respect because of what they do to get by. Most of the world doesn't have as easy I do sitting here in my heated home with stable electricity and Internet. I'm reminded once again that yes, I am damn lucky.

So I guess what I'm saying is that I need to travel more.

Instant Pot Honey Sesame Chicken

Author: From • Jan 14th, 2018
   Category: Blog Entries.Local

No need for takeout when you have an Instant Pot. With an Instant Pot, your meal is done and ready to enjoy before delivery of any takeout food could reach your home. This honey sesame chicken is very flavorful, so easy to make, and tastes like it came from one of your favorite restaurants. 


- 4 large (about 2 lbs) boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into small cubes
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. pepper
- 1 Tbs vegetable oil (or olive oil)
- 1/2 cup diced yellow onion
- 2 tsp. minced garlic
- 1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 2 tsp. sesame oil
- 1/2 cup honey
- 2 Tbs cornstarch
- 3 Tbs water
- 2 scallions, white and green parts, chopped small
- Cooked rice and steamed broccoli, for serving, if desired
- Chopped scallions and sesame seeds for garnish

Season chicken with salt and pepper. Select Sauté to preheat the Instant Pot. Add oil, onions, garlic, and chicken to the pot. Sauté about 3 minutes, stirring often. Stir in soy sauce, ketchup, and red pepper flakes. Lock lid in place and select High Pressure with 3 minutes cook time.

When cook time ends, turn off the Instant Pot. Use a quick release to vent steam. After valve drops, carefully remove lid. Stir in sesame oil and honey. In a small bowl, whisk cornstarch and water until smooth. Add to the Instant Pot and select Sauté/Simmer, stirring constantly until the sauce thickens. Stir in scallions and serve over rice with steamed broccoli, if desired. Garnish with fresh scallions, if desired, and sesame seeds. Enjoy! If you'd like a printer-friendly version of this recipe, Click Here.

"Your best teacher is your last mistake." - Anonymous

Saturday Morning Shooting Fun

Author: From • Jan 14th, 2018
   Category: Blog Entries.Local
My son and I headed down to Winding Brook Indoor Range on Saturday morning. We weren't sure what the crowd would be like on a Saturday morning, but we had accepted that we might have a wait. We could have shot without delay but we opted to wait until two adjacent lanes opened up.

Using some IDPA practice targets, I started out shooting multi-shot strings at 7, then 10, then 15 yards. After emptying the first box of 50, I moved the target carrier to 10 yards, and set it to expose the target for 3 seconds, with a 4 second interval. From extended and compressed low ready positions I shot 2, 3, or 4 rounds on the target as it turned. The next 50 rounds were very quickly expended. This is as close as I can get to match-like practice, and that alone made long drive to the range worthwhile.

I finished up with more 15 yard work, and then some close SHO and WHO shots. I was done a few minutes before my son, so spent a little time watching him shoot. He's had a good teacher so does well. :-) He's getting ready to head back to school so this was likely our last chance to shoot together for a few months. We also got in lots of good conversation during the drive time and post shooting lunch making it a super fun and memorable morning.