Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Fish Down!

Last month I may have mentioned that one of The Usual Suspects tripped over a prop and fell while shooting an IPSC stage.

I should mention that this is remarkable because the competitor (Fish) managed to keep his pistol pointed safely downrange and complete the stage with no penalty other than having taken a LOT of time (well, a couple of seconds) in excess of the stage completion time turned in by people who did NOT trip over a spike hammered into the ground. My congratulations to Fish for his superior gun-handling skills.)

I wasn't able to host this scenario over the web, because my available software will not store MPG files, especially those which are more than 1MB in size.

Things have changed!

At great personal expense, I have purchased software * which permits me to created Animated GIF files from the whatever.MPG files which I film with a digital camera during IPSC matches. With due respect for BandWidth, I have carefully chopped it into a sub-1MB file that you can see here.

(It's a lot smaller, faster, and easier to see than the original 2+MB file in whatever.mpg format, because I reduced the image size. Also, I cut out every other frame, so it will appear a little 'choppy'.)

Not everyone wants to see large animated GIFs, so I leave it to your discretion whether you choose to load the animated pictures.

Note that it still requires over 3 minutes to download on a 56kb modem.

Look for more animated GIF files on this website ... as soon as I learn how to make this sucker work!

Thanks to ImageShack for Free Image Hosting

[ * NB: For folks who care, the software which I bought to support this option is Corel's Paint Shop Pro 9, which includes a subsidiary application named "Animation 3". This latter software application is the part which actually converts movies to animated GIF files. Maybe someday I'll spend some time learning how to use Paint Shop Pro. In the meantime, "Animation 3" is available from the Corel website for $40 as a stand-along application]

[NB 2: maybe someday I'll learn how to apply Anchors to my blog enries, and I can quit using the cheesy asterisks to refer to notes.]

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Day of the Evil Drawstring

FOX 12 OREGON Drawstring blamed for deputy's accidental shooting

It's official.

Marion County (Salem, Oregon) Sheriff's Deputy Steven Cooper was not mishandling his sidearm when it accidentally discharged, striking him in the leg.

Instead, it was the drawstring on the waistband of his jacket which somehow, mysteriously, for no apparent reason but with obvious malice aforethought worked its evil way into his holster and around the trigger of his service pistol.

When he raised his arm to open the door of the car in which he was riding, this increased the tension on the drawstring, which fired into his leg.

Rube Goldberg, move over!

The story, if true, is the most preposterous excuse I have ever heard to account for an accidental discharge. And Deputy Steven Cooper is either the biggest storyteller most creative unfortunate self-victim I have ever heard of, or the unluckiest police officer.

This is a clear case for drawstring control.

If a million gang-bangers can manage drive-by shooting without shooting holes in their legs (have you seen the hooded sweatshirts? They have drawstrings at their waistbands!), why can't professional Law Enforcement Officers exercise the same Drawstring Control?

People don't shoot people. Drawstrings do.
This is what I write when I don't know what I'm talking about. Please see the correction, and my apology on Day of the Evil Drawstring Part II.
UPDATE: 13-JUL-2008
This article contains broken links. For the complete story, see "Day of the Evil Drawstring - Part III".

Portland, Oregon Bloggerfest

The Analogue Kid (see sidebar) is organizing a shooting event which is a thinly disguised reason for are bloggers to get together. The idea is that people who write, and people who read (no, you don't need to have a Web Log to be welcome), have an excuse to meet&greet.

He got this idea because he plans to attend the Practical Shotgun match at Tri-County Gunclub (TCGC) on Sunday, August 21. He figured he would come down early Saturday and spend that afternoon playing 'mine is bigger than yours' (firearms version) with like-minded folks.

The Practical Shotgun match is scheduled on the regular IPSC match day, which has been cancelled because the range will be co-host (with Dundee) for the Columbia Cascade Section Match on August 6-7. The IPSC folks at TCGC will be busy the week before, and the entire 2-day weekend, putting up stages and administering the match. Nobody is very interested in putting together another IPSC match two weeks later, and I don't blame them.

Unfortunately, the August 20 calendar for TCGC is full; There's a Cowboy Action match (surprising, since Albany is hosting their annual 2-day SAS match that weekend), Hi-Power, and a Hunter Ed class scheduled for the same day. Besides, the Shotgun match will be in the process of being set up that afternoon. The implication is that it will be difficult for TCGC to provide range facilities for this informal range session ... not the least because nobody associated with the event is a member of TCGC.

For various reasons, it appears that other ranges in the area will also be extensively utilized (Geek-speak for "they're all too busy to shepherd a bunch of strangers") during the planned time period, so the only remaining available range is "The Place To Shoot" (TPTS) in Delta Park. This is a certified bummer, becase TPTS is an indoor range and folks can't trot out their shotguns and rifles. Worse, you can't draw from the holster at TPTS.

The point of this whining is that I would REALLY like to find a better range for the event. It's not so much that TPTS range fees are $25 per person, as it is that they only allow a limited variety of firearm types to be used there.


If you are a member of a gun club in the immediate Portland area, and would be willing to acquire permission for this informal Saturday Afternoon shooting event, I would be eternally grateful if you would step up and identify yourself as a potential host.

I will be there, I suspect I can talk SWMBO into attending, and the list of guests includes may folks who are referenced on the sidebar. Right now, minimum attendants are AK, Rivrdog, Your Humble Geek, Perhaps SondraK and Mr. Completely. Again, readers are always invited and welcome ... this is not an exclusive event. It's just a bunch of experienced and well-mannered firearms folks getting together to meet, throw a bunch of rounds downrange, and Do Lunch.

You can reach me via the comments section (see below) for this post.