Thursday, April 07, 2011

'Vampire Woman' With Horn & Fang Implants Is Terrifying! (VIDEO) | The Stir

'Vampire Woman' With Horn & Fang Implants Is Terrifying! (VIDEO) | The Stir: "The horns I have are a symbol of strength and were implanted without anaesthetic. I had the fangs done because I loved vampires as a little girl and I changed the colour of my eyes so they were how I really wanted them to be. Tattooing is my way of being immortal, of really being a vampire and not dying -- leaving my work on other people's skin."

(See the video here)
I have no idea why anyone would subject themselves to this deliberate disfigurement.

This looks very much like the woman about whom, at closing time at the tavern, I once thought "Hey, when you look at her just right, she's not that bad!"

Birther ... me?

I turned 66 in February. I applied for Social Security benefits, Medicare benefits, and formally announced my retirement (effective ... not soon enough!). This is old news.

What I haven't mentioned is that my drivers license expired, so I had to go to the DMV and apply for a renewal.

The last time that happened, it was a hassle because they had this vision test, which took about 10 minutes ... and there was a long line of people waiting to fulfill this requirement, so it was a huge bottleneck in the process.

This time, they had changed the vision test something which looks very much like what my optometrist gave me. It also included a glance to check peripheral vision.

It still took me a month to get my permanent license, because I had to produce my birth certificate to prove that I was a natural born citizen.

Before I had to produce it, I would have sworn that it was safely locked in my home filing cabinet, along with my car titles and other important documents. Big surprise ... I looked for it there for days, and could not find it. Ultimately, I had to apply for a "Registered Copy" from my state .... something-or-other office. I was required to provide all my my birth information, parents' names, etc., and also send them copies of documents which provide that my SSN was assigned to me, and that the home address I gave them was my true current address. It took me some time to gather all of the materials. (I could have just sent them a copy of my current drivers license but they would not accept an expired drivers license; by that time, the license was expired.)

The process took several days, and what with fees for processing, and shipping my new hard-copy birth certificate, cost me about $60 "out of pocket".

There's a warning here for anyone else getting ready to retire, or to renew his/her drivers license; start early, and KNOW what documentation you need.

And there's a thought here, too: I wonder what's going to happen when President Obama has to renew his driver's license?

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Professional Shooters: Part III

Continuing the dialogue from Professional Shooters, Part II (comments from Hobo Brasser and Whitefish ... primarily a response to Whitefish):

Whitefish ... My original thought (not a completely contemplated proposal, I admit) was that while IPSC/USPSA was originally evolved as an "Amateur" competition, it has lately evolved to one in which "Professional Shooters" have dominated all Major competition.

A "Professional Shooter", for the purpose of argument, is one who has not only had all competitive expenses compensated by a (commercial) third party, but sufficient or a major part of his/her income derives from competition-related ... or expertise-related (eg: training classes), or professional (eg: branch of the U.S. Military which has assigned him/her to, for example, the U.S. Marksmanship Unit) ... day-to-day work to the point where we can honesly assert that their livelihood IS supported directly or indirectly by their Competitive prowness. And this support is to a greater degree incumbent upon their continuing ability to 'win' at the shooting competition defined by USPSA.

"Sufficient or Major part of his/her income" is defined as the amount which, if removed from his/her income, would require the shooter to either find another supporting source of income, or to dramatically reduce his/her life-style because residual funding is not sufficient in comparison.

Please let me know if any part of this definition does not seem reasonable to you. I'm not talking about mere "sponsorship";

Whitefish, your comment was:

While it may have merit, it takes us to a whole different level of bureaucracy, which we already have plenty of. Witness our burgeoning rulebook and those infamous interpretations thereof by JA. At what point does someone become a professional? Does someone (say a company or gunsmith) giving you a gun to use constitute enough to be called a professional? How about ammo to shoot at matches and practice with or a shirt with a sponsors name on it for advertising? If you will recall a certain arrangment with STI and the open gun you have used for several years, that may constitute "being a professional". I think that is great, but it also falls in the category of be careful what you ask for!!!

Point(s) well taken, and worth talking about.

First, I cannot address ANY suggestion that "J.A." may 'rule' against any change to the Classification system such as my comments may have been considered to suppose. Mr. J.A. pretty much defines the world in his own vision, and I have no idea which way he may jump on any given comment.

But let's just consider what would happen if he did NOT present himself as an active opponent to the idea, okay? Better to think about how it may come to be, rather than think about the opposition. This is still a conceptual proposition; there's room to play with it.

Here are your points of concern:
  • ... it takes us to a whole different level of bureaucracy ...
  • At what point does someone become a professional?
  • Does someone (say a company or gunsmith) giving you a gun to use constitute enough to be called a professional?
  • How about ammo to shoot at matches and practice with or a shirt with a sponsors name on it for advertising?
  • If you will recall a certain arrangement with STI and the open gun you have used for several years, that may constitute "being a professional". I think that is great, but it also falls in the category of be careful what you ask for!!!
Let's start out talking about a "whole different level of bureaucracy...", which I think is the most important issue among your many concerns:


In the late 1990's at the National Championship in Las Vegas, Nevada, I was approached by a match official who was also a candidate (failed, as it happens) for the USPSA Presidency. He wanted to know my thoughts about a proposed new Division, prvisionally named "Limited 10". He had a clear vision about why it should be accepted, and although he was not elected USPSA President, the concept was accepted by the USPSA Board of Directors.

At this time, we have Six Divisions:
  • Open
  • Limited
  • Limited 10
  • Production
  • Single Stack
  • Revolver
I bring to your attention that HALF of these divisions (Limited 10, Production, and Single Stack) have been instigated since that match. It's clear to me that USPSA leadership has no problems with initiating new Divisions, as long as it provides new options which are attractive to increased membership.

It occurs to me that the prospect of NOT being compared to "Professional Shooters" may be attractive to the "amateurs" among us.

Perhaps I have not given sufficient attention to the concept of adding a new divisory unit which differentiates PROFESSIONAL shooters from AMATEUR shooters, and I don't know (although I suspect not) that this should become a new Division. Probably, it would have to be hierarchically rated somewhere above DIVISION. (Forgive me for the stilted construct; I am, after all, a Geek!

While we're only talking about it, I don't much car what name you call it. Heirarchicaly, I see it looking like this:

(UNKNOWN CATAGORIZATION) ("Status?"): Amateur (Professional)
...........Division (Open, Limited, Limited 10, Production, Single-stack, Revolver)
....................Class (GM, M, A, B, C, D, unclassified)

The current breakdown:
...........Division (Open, Limited, Limited 10, Production, Single-stack, Revolver)
....................Class (GM, M, A, B, C, D, unclassified)
You can see the hierarchical structure. While Amateur/Open would not compete against Professional/Open, the Match Winner (in a major match) would be the same regardless of ... let's call it "Status"

Wouldn't it be wonderfully kewl to see a match where an Amateur won against a Professional? Wouldn't it be more meaningful?

Okay, so let's use this as a springboard, and take your issues point-by-point:

... it takes us to a whole different level of bureaucracy

I think we have already addressed the issue of "bureaucracy". In the past 13 years, USPSA has demonstrated a readiness to increase the bureaucracy needed to support a dramatic increase in the number of "Divisions". If it were to accept a new separation between PROFESSIONAL and AMATEUR, it would require a certain amount of redesign for the computer system to accommodate a new primary hierarchical definition, but the actual bureaucratic impact is yet to be determined.

At what point does someone become a professional?

How about ammo to shoot at matches and practice with or a shirt with a sponsors name on it for advertising?

I think this is one of the following 3 questions can be answered all at the same time.

The new definition of "Professional" vs "Amateur" would be based on remuneration over and above purely competition-related expenses. That is to say, it would provide (in some manner, yet to be determined) for the recipient to be able to compete as a "Professional" without need for a "second job" to provide for more than optional funding. That is to say: you can quit your "day job" and still suffer not significant lowering in your previously-established standard of living.

Does someone (say a company or gunsmith) giving you a gun to use constitute enough to be called a professional?

See above: could you quit your day job?

If you will recall a certain arrangment with STI and the open gun you have used for several years, that may constitute "being a professional". I think that is great, but it also falls in the category of be careful what you ask for!!!

See above: there's no WAY I could quit my day job based upon this personal accommodation! This suggestion may be something less than the precise definition of mere hyperbole, but it is something more than the suggestion that it would constitute the status of a "Professional Shooter.

An allegory would be a sales representative who would be hired to represent a commercial company at a competitive event; the sales representative would have use of the equipment, but there would no expected (nor material) 'other' remuneration regardless of the place of finish; nor would continued 'favor' be based upon the competitive excellence displayed, or not displayed.

I realize that here you are not making an attempt to establish a Quid Pro Quo, but only exploring the boundaries of the discussion. Please be aware that this extension of the discussion is not only not on point, but is also personally objectionable. (This is like flunking your match semi-final; it doesn't determine your final grade for the term, but it bodes ill.)

The Bottom Line:

It's quite likely that I have not provided a good, definitive description of The Professional Shooter. I accept the criticism, and I only suggest that it is a ripe field for further discussion.

We aren't quite certain how to define the Professional Shooter, but in a small way (and forgive me for the comparison) somewhat about the Supreme Court Judge when, asked how to define Pornography, said: "I'm not sure how to define it, but I know it when I see it".

You and I, my friend, have watched Professional Shooters at USPSA (IPSC, before that) for YEARS. They are the ones who get special attention, special favors from ... well, from Range Officers at Major Matches ... for example.

At a 1990+ National Match in Oregon, I watched a World Champion Grandmaster argue a Range Master into declaring that an obvious A-hit/miss into a "Perfect Double". I'm sure this happens, but I'm not convinced that it happened in this case. The point is, the competitor was a definitive Professional Shooter ... and he got preferential treatment which you or I would NEVER have been accorded.

The next year, I saw the same World Champion Grandmaster at a Charity Match (but a major match, none-the-less), where at the Chronograph stage his load was determined to be Minor Power. He had one round left, and his was the choice whether to re-weight the bullet or take a final shot over the chronograph to determine velocity.

He asked "Let me look at my gun", and his request was acquiesced by the match official. The World Champion Grandmaster then OILED THE BARREL of his gun, and returned it for the final chronograph shooting. It showed up marginally above
Major Power velocity (for the measured bullet weight), and all of his scores were subsequently scored as Major Power

I do not know if that person's "perfect double" was a double, or an alpha/mike shot.

Nor do I know if his final shot velocity (in the other match) was influenced by the oiled barrel. (Full Disclosure: in fact, I had been careful myself, to clean and oil the barrel of my own pistol; but this was before I went to the Chronograph Stage, as it had been my practice to do so before every stage because I know I was loading with the minimal power charge to make Major.)

However, I found myself resentful that this action was taken outside the normal practices; when you submit your gun and ammunition for chronograph, it is not typical that you are allowed to make changes in either in the middle of Choreographing your ammunition.

I realize the all of the last few paragraphs sound like Sour Grapes, but in fact it is evidence of "his" unofficial protests to the normal match events being accepted where in similar circumstances "my" similar protests, if I was sufficiently bold to make them, would probably be rejected out of hand.

Professional Shooters not only have an advantage in the support the receive in fiduciary matters, but they also may receive preferences in Match Administration matters. Whether this is evidence that Match Officials are intimidated by Professional Shooters ("He is so good, he doesn't NEED to argued that he couldn't possibly have missed the target!") or not, I personally find it unacceptable that I must compete .. if only in my Classifier scores comparison .. with Professional Shooters. They have the skill, they have the experience ... and they arguably have the influence in several ways over me. And over you, probably.

Why should Amateurs compete against Professionals?

Is it because it would be too "difficult" for USPSA to define a separate group: "Professional Shooter"?

I don't think so. USPSA hasn't weighed in on this question, but if they were reluctant, when closely pressed, I would think it would be because of laziness.

This is NOT the impression I have received of USPSA. over the decades they have administered my competition.

I think we should bring the situation to their attention; make them aware that we are serious about this differentiation; and allow them to address it as they see fit.

Professional Shooters: Part II

The Hobo Brasser (
Skeet shooting went downhill when they divided it up into so many classes that one could not hope to recoup your entry fees even by winning a high overall in a guage. It just got too big and the overhead was too high. A major match like the USPSA Nationals now costs almost $300 dollars to shoot. This is all ready too high IMHO. Lets leave it alone.
Yesterday, 3:40:02 PM
jerrydgeek (
We got to this point in IPSC/USPSA in 1998-1999, when we (USPSA members) were torn about whether to add a New Division: Limited 10. I recall being at the Nationals in Las Vegas, and being approached by "a candidate for the USPSA Presidency" (who shall remain nameless) who seemed to thing that this was the "make or break" decision for USPSA.

Subsequent history? We not only added Limited-10, but also Production Divisions. And the consensus seems to be thta we have improved the sport.

I'm not saying that the analogy between USPSA and Skeet Shooting is inapplicable. I'm only saying that USPSA has chosed "The Road Less Travelled", and now Production Division is often more 'higly subscribed' than that division which had earlier been described as The Road to the Future.

New ideas are difficult to accept. I don't much like "change" myself. But Benjamin Franklin, when asked what value could be found in a New Invention, replied: "What use is a new-born baby".

We don't know what adventures, what advantages the road ahead may hold for us. And until we allow it room to grow, we probably never will.
Yesterday, 11:50:30 PM
Whitefish (
While it may have merit, it takes us to a whole different level of bureaucracy, which we already have plenty of. Witness our burgeoning rulebook and those infamous interpretations thereof by JA. At what point does someone become a professional? Does someone (say a company or gunsmith) giving you a gun to use constitute enough to be called a professional? How about ammo to shoot at matches and practice with or a shirt with a sponsors name on it for advertising? If you will recall a certain arrangment with STI and the open gun you have used for several years, that may constitute "being a professional". I think that is great, but it also falls in the category of be careful what you ask for!!!

I've tried 3 times to reply to this: I can't meet the 3000 word limit that the commenting softwary includes as a restriction. I'll make this a separate, now article. Suffice it to say .. there are other issues than "The Grown of Burearucracy" which may be related to this major change in USPSA organization.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Introduction to USPSA: April, 2011

Thursday night (March 31), I realized that I didn't know whether or not there were any students pre-registered in the Intro class for Saturday, so I emailed Mac asking whether I should show up or not.

Friday, I received a response saying that he had received an inquiry from one person:

Also, my in-basket included a CC from Bernie confirming that he wanted to take the class, and offering both email and phone contact information.

I phoned Bernie "after dinner" (6:45pm in any self-respecting Oregon home, although not in mine) and confirmed that he did intend to take the course. I sent him an email with the basic information .. known as "The Boilerplate". That included an invitation to "... bring your friends, bring your family ...", so when I showed up at the range Saturday afternoon Bernie met me at the gate and said he had brought his friend Tim.

Tim seemed reasonable conversant with basic gun-handling concepts, even though he announced that he had only bought his pistol a short time ago. He mentioned that he had qualified with pistols in the military; that seemed to be "a good start", if not a guaranteed of advanced techniques. I accepted him as a student with few questions.

We moved down to Bay 7, and about the time we were starting to do our classroom segment, David showed up. He said he had been trying to work the class into his schedule for "a long time", but this was the first date he had been able to attend. He informed us that he had been competing in Speed Steel for some time, so I accepted this as verifying his basic gun-handling skills.

We got through the preface, started working through the test that they had (well, Bernie and Tim) downloaded from the Internet, and another student showed up: Juan.

Juan didn't profess to have any specific pertinent experience in gun-handling. Even though he had not been vetted by Mike McCarter, who usually handles and unknown or "marginal" entries to the class, I instinctively liked him because his calm and confident demeanor. I accepted him into the class anyway.

So I had one person with demonstrated skills-sets; one with only a recommendation from Mac; one with no demonstrable background at all; and one who admitted he has a new pistol with which he has not experience.

To my not-so-special surprise, all four of them managed to endure the next few hours of instruction and testing with .. perhaps no errors, but they all demonstrated good judgment even when the Feces hit the Rotary Air Conditioning.

It's a general statement that people who want to take this class usually have more experience and/or better judgment when it comes to gun-handling skills than the average man in the street. This is not universally true, and my experience in the past before Mac assumed the responsibility for vetting prospective students was sometimes unpleasantly surprising; still, 3 out of 4 participants were this week accepted although they had not necessarily demonstrably met the minimal qualifications.

We are, after all, an Equal Opportunity Gun Club. And I don't even have a bullet-proof vest.
But then, being in charge of the class allows me to exert the ultimate control of the class, shooters and stages; I have the authority to refuse further training on anyone who doesn't meet my standards. I've not had to exercise that yet; although the day the lady pointed a pistol at my belly while we were chatting at the safety table did give me a moment of retrospect about my decision to accept the trainer position. BTW, she never appeared at a match. Perhaps she realized independently that she didn't have the proper mindset to do "run-'n-gun" with live ammunition.

Anyway ....

Amazing that 24 hours before I thought I had no students, and now I had four. Even more amazing considering the the temperature at 1pm was 46 degrees and there was a strong wind bring an uncomfortable wind-chill factor into the equation.

These guys were really interested. What with the recap for slightly late-arriving Juan, and considering that at least one of them had neither red the manual or completed the test, the one-hour classroom session took us an extra 30 minutes over the scheduled time.

Then it took another 20 minutes to raid the prop room and set up the basic stave construction for the "Live Fire" exercises. By the time we started working on them, we were 47 minutes behind schedule.

I talked fast, but these guys were sharp and motivated; they asked intelligent questions in class, not all of which they may have need had everyone completed the preparatory material. However, they were all quick-witted and nobody asked a 'dumb question'. (I don't know what that is, except that my impression is that a "dumb question" is the one which is not asked. I was glad that I had already invited them to interrupt my presentation if they had questions; that allows me to respond with information which they really need.)

So, we got into the Live Fire portion a little late, and as a consequence when we got down to the end of the hard-wired syllabus, they were all willing to stay a little late so they could get the "extra credit" stage. Today, that included an impromptu stage teaching advanced topics such as "strings" in a stage, and "Strong-hand/Weak-hand" target engagement.

Everyone voted to stick around for that exercise, and I was impressed at how well they performed. At least one student told me that he had very little experience shooting handguns; no experience in competitions; and in fact he had just bought the handgun he expected to use "a few weeks ago" (a Beretta 92, which he discover was too large-framed for his hands).

But that wasn't the most notable moment of the class.

Teaching Moments:
I try to emphasize to these class attendees that there are some things in Practical Pistol Competition which are not intuitively obvious, and these will lead to moments of confusion or dismay in which they will doing something "not in their best interest". Also, that if there is an "extreme sport" version of competitive shooting, it is in Action Shooting (Practical Pistol, Multigun, 3-gun, etc.) In order to help them understand how actions which they take without thinking may lead to disaster, I describe at least a couple of things they need to think about.

During cold-weather months, almost everyone shows up with jackets, sweatshirts, and long-tailed shirts. I make a point of explaining that when they shoot a stage, they would be best served if they remove their coats/jackets before coming up to The Line. If they have a top which hangs outside their belt they must be absolutely certain that they holster their pistol carefully; if a shirt, jacket or sweater is hanging loosely about their waist, that material may be inadvertently scrunched between their pistol and the belt. In that case, if they (for instance) raise their arms above their head, the material may drag the pistol up out of the holster far enough that the pistol will fall on the ground.

The class, as seems reasonable, pretty much ignored this. All of my classes ignore this, because I give them a lot of advice and it becomes "Information Overload". (Think: "This guy is over-teaching, and it's not gonna happen to me because he's a worry-wort and I KNOW how to shoot .. he has nothing important to tell me.")

You can buy them books, but you can't make them read.

Five minutes after we had established the range props and targets, I was explaining the first exercise when I hear the clatter of a pistol hitting the concrete pad on the covered bay. Glancing to the side, I see a small Glock on the pad, and a very worried student wondering how the hell he's going to survive this Teaching Moment.

One of the other scenarios we had discussed was --- dropped gun. Drop your gun on the range while you're shooting a stage: definitive DQ. Drop your gun while you're smokin' and jokin' with your buddies in the Squad Area, you're okay as long as you do NOT touch the gun! That's "handling a firearm", and Match DQ."

Definite Teaching Moment. I've told them that their primary concern is the same as the Eddy Eagle Program:
  • Stop!
  • Don't Touch!
  • Call an Adult!
Or in IPSC terms: protect the gun, and call a Range Officer.

I got everyone uprange of the gun (even if I had to push them), looked at the gun in situ, rotated it downrange so it wasn't pointing at anyone. Then I picked up the gun, cleared it (unloaded, of course), called the owner over and handed it to him with the instruction to "unload and show clear; hammer down; holster".

End of lesson, except explaining how it illustrated one warning (don't let your clothing bind your pistol in the holster) and one Safety Rule ( don't touch a downed gun).

I have to say, this was the first time that this particular warning was so graphically illustrated. It was almost as valuable as the time in an earlier class when a Demonstrator I had shanghaied to help me with the class tripped during a Course of Fire ... and was NOT DQ'd because he "did everything right".

Full Disclosure: since I shot my first match in 1983, I have NEVER seen anyone drop his gun on a concrete floor in the Squad Area because when he raised his arm his shirt-tail pull his gun out of his holster. But I've seen less demonstrative incidents related to this phenomena, and I always knew it was just a matter of "when", not "if". And no, it's not that the student was especially negligent. He just did what a lot of people do without thinking. I can guarantee that nobody in THIS class holstered a pistol without checking whether his clothing was trapped between his pistol and his holster; and none of them will ever again holster a pistol without making that check.

When we actually started shooting, we discovered that there were two other issues which had not been clear -- or, having been clear, not immediately loaded in the Hind-Brain so it would never happen:
  1. Keep your finger off the trigger when you are loading/unloading, clearing a jam, or moving; this is a Safety Issue and may lead to a Match Disqualification (DQ);
  2. When you are done with the Course of Fire, and the Range Officer give the command "If clear, hammer down, holster", you should do exactly that ... paying close attention to maintaining control of your firearm and NOT "sweeping" yourself. THEN you can worry about picking up your dropped magazine, your unfired/ejected round, and your brass; and if you didn't perform according to your self-imposed standard you are free to beat your head against the Bianchi Barricade. In the meantime, listen to your RO and do exactly what he tells you to do; nothing more, nothing less.
When they violated a safety rule, I stopped them and announced that they had just been DQ'd. Then I let them continue.

One student was "DQ'd" twice during the same stage; once for leaving his finger on the trigger during a reload, and the second for leaving his finger on the trigger during Unload And Show Clear.

Other areas which need work:
Very few areas here, as this was an exceptional class. The single most frequent recurring problem, other than leaving your finger on the trigger during loading/unloading, movement, and clearing a jam was that students sometimes forgot to reload when a mandatory reload was part of the Stage Procedures.

Then, we announced it to everyone in the class. Reinforcing the lesson is embarrassing when you are the subject of The Teaching Moment, but it tends to help you remember The Thing You Did Wrong. Calling attention to a failure to perform a mandatory reload, for example, is part of emphasizing the "per-shot" penalties which are imposed when you forget to reload when the Stage Procedures tell you that you must do so.

Other than that, the relatively minor problems which were demonstrated during the class were no different than any other class. These included: not knowing what to do when you performed a mandatory reload, so you racked the slide "anyway" thereby discarding a round from your gun; at the beginning of the stage, forgetting what the Starting position was and therefore assuming it was the same as a previous stage (e.g. "surrender position"); and at one point during the Live Fire exercise, slowing down to look at the gun to determine what "condition" it was in. *(Is the safety On, or Off; and should the safety be On or Off?)*

IPSC competition is very different from the usual "going to the range with your pals, and handling the guns indifferently at the counter in front of the range". When we shoot with our friends, and we either aren't aware of the Safety Regulations or we assume that they don't apply here, we tend to develop bad habits. Breaking these Bad Habits is one of the un-announced primary purposes of USPSA training.

In a way, embarrassing a student because he demonstrates gun-handling habits which are entirely comfortable to him when he's shooting casually with his friends, but In Real Life (i.e. contrary to the rules of safe gun-handling), seems cruel. On the other hand, one of my common practices is to inform the students at the beginning of the class that ... one major reason for the class is to ensure that they are all sufficiently aware of the difference between "safe" and "not safe" handling. Why do I care? Because someday I may squad with them, and I only want to squad with Safe Shooters.

I want them to be safe because I expect to squad with them. And I don't want to get shot.

So I do not allow my natural disinclination to embarrass them prevent me from making a MAJOR POINT OF IT when they violate a safety rule.

My job here is to acquaint and familiarize them with the rules, especially those rules concerning safe gun-handling, and when they perform an unsafe act I intend to do whatever is necessary to reinforce the concept: they just did something "unsafe", and If This Was A Real Match you would be DQ'ed.

And if I say it loud enough, the other members of the class will somehow register it in their minds that this is something that IPSC shooters take very seriously. They should avoid it, if only to avoid personal embarrassment. Sweeping; Finger on the trigger; breaking the 180; dropped gun; and all of the other naughty things that one might do during a USPSA match.

In fact, I have compiled a "Seven Deadly Sins" list of DQ-able offenses, and I have recently started to include that in my regular syllabus. Those "Seven Deadly Sins" include most of the Safety Failures which I teach to my students as UNACCEPTABLE:

  1. MUZZLE: don't break the 180 degree demarcation between a "safe" zone where you can point your gun, and where you cannot point your gun safely.
  2. FINGER: Keep your finger off the trigger when you are (1: moving except no more than one step, or when you are actively engaging targets), and (2: when you are reloading, unloading, clearing a jam).
  3. SWEEPING: Do not allow the muzzle to point toward any part of your body ... sweeping during holstering/drawing/bagging has special circumstances.
  4. Dropped Gun: If you drop your gun during a Course of Fire, it is a DQ. Special circumstances if you "ground" your gun while recovering from a prone position, etc. If you drop your gun not during a Course of Fire (e.g., while you are observing or out of the shooting area), it is not a DQ unless you touch your gun except under the direct and specific supervision of a Range Office.
  5. D&D: "Drunk and Disorderly": "DRUNK" specifically includes "under the influence" (alcohol or other drugs, even if prescribed by your physician), especially they if they undermine your judgment, ability to perform safely, etc. "Disorderly" specifically refers to Unsportsmanlike conduct such as arguing with the RO in an unseemly or profane manner.
  6. Over The Hill: specifically refers to "negligent discharges", and other incidents which may be loosely grouped under this sometime-vague umbrella (note: the rules may not be all that vague, but is sometimes a 'judgmental' definition).
  7. Cheating: Refers to claiming exceptions to the rules which are defined elsewhere. Example: deliberately dropping "eye or hearing protection", which is required -- and accidental loss requires a mandatory reshoot. ( "Unsportsmanlike Conduct" overlaps with #5: D&D.)
As usual, many of these issues and points of interest overlap with comments I have made in previous articles referring to the "Intro to USPSA" classes which I have been privileged to teach. For those comments which are obviously redundant, I apologize; it was not my purpose to bore you with meaningless repetition.

It's just my way.

However, in EVERY class I learn something new. Sometimes it's something ... some incident or occurrence which may be a new version, or reinforces something I have observed before and am astonished to see that it remains no matter how I change the course syllabus to emphasize recurring issues. Sometimes it's something that has been mentioned before, but is reinforced by an actual re-enactment of what had previously been nothing more than a precautionary note. (Case in point: clothing jammed between holster and pistol results in a "dropped gun:"; or, how the competitor should respond to the situation, and how they may expect the RO to deal with the situation.)

If you aren't interested in an ongoing litany of "How Things Can Go Wrong", it's easy to avoid any future re-visitation to this kind of article. Just ignore any post labeled "Intro to USPSA".

On the other hand, I think it's interesting to note the kind of situation which many of us who are more experienced just -- take for granted. Yet new shooters provide a prolific field of errors and misunderstandings which may help the rest of us to re-visit our gun-handling practices.

If it saves just one child Range Officer ....

Japanese Schoolgirls - NSFW

Nipponese Swing - Freaking Wild!

Another H/T to G-Man.

And NSFW doesn't mean "Not Safe For Work" here; instead, it means "Nipponese Swing ... Freaking Wild!"

"SING SING SING", that great Benny Goodman hit was ... Too hot to trot! (The Swing Girls don't even have a Clarinetist.) I've already watched it 3 times, and I'm not including the link for your benefit, but for mine; I wanna go back and watch it again and again. Wonderful performance of Le Jazz Hot. (Here's how Benny Goodman did it.)

The link takes you to some really "I feel The Need ... The Need To Speed" video. There are lots more where that came from; search YouTube for " . Unfortunately, they(whomever published the "Swing Girls" videos on YouTube) requested that embedding be disabled for this video. What a great loss for Jazz Lovers.

One of the videos which was NOT "disabled" was their treatment of Glenn Miller's "In The Mood", which was not one of their best. Their performance was desultory, not showing the energy which the 'disabled' videos allowed. They did all the technical things, but it didn't demonstrate the enthusiasm which they demonstrate in their best performances.`

I saw music from Glenn Miller, the Dorsey Brothers, and Duke Ellington played much better. It's a disservice to people who want to see more that they didn't allow their "best" to be embedded. (Incidentally, the RAF Band did "In The Mood" in the same way that The Glenn Miller Band did ... more upbeat. Even if the British musicians in their performance looked like aging sourpusses (which the Swing Girls apparently considered the be the audience of the Glenn Miller classic to be the same kind of aging sourpusses.) It may be that the conductor slowed down the tempo because of perceived limitations of the performers, but the Swing Girls may have shown as much enthusiasm if he had allowed them to play it at Full Speed.

They did "Take the A-Train" well, for example (with a guest First Sax, and "embedding disabled" -- sorry), but they seemed to be walking through it. (Also, the first trumpet player hit a couple of flat notes. It happens.) If it's not Rock and Roll tempo, it's just another day at work. Well done, of course, but ... when they get the stuff they like to do, they show The Flash what should happen when he says "FLAME ON!"

Their performance of "Moonlight Serenade" was well done, although the arrangement they were given may not have been hot enough for them.

If you want to see more of them, search YouTube for "First & Last Concert2004".

All of these numbers were apparently in a movie titled "The Swing Girls". My guess is that the flat notes and pedestrian numbers reflect their original bad attitude: IMDB description of the show:
A tale of delinquent and lazy school girls. In their efforts to cut remedial summer math class, they end up poisoning and replacing the schools brass ban
Well, that will sour the performance.