Monday, July 25, 2005

Dundee in July

Now that we have the administrivia out of the way (see previous post), I can tell you some of what I have been doing since we last talked.

The BIG thing is, I went to a club match at the Dundee range.

Yeah, I had a great time, and that ornery SOB named Barsoom beat me again. I don't understand it, I was BRILLIANT! Unfortunately for my ego, he was even more brilliant. Also more accurate, and faster. It seems as if no matter how good (and pure and true) I am, there's always someone who is better ... faster ... stronger.

At least, I'm prettier.

(In a better world, I would post comparison photos here so you could see for yourself. But because I'm too lazy to resize the hi-res photos so they load in less than a half-hour on your computer, as a courtesy to YOU I will allow you to take my word for it rather than require you to judge for yourself. No, don't thank me. It's just part of the service here at Geekistan Central.)

Where was I?
Doing ... Dundee ... fun ... loser ... Barsoom ... prettier ... Geekistan ....

Oh, yeah.

The thing about Summer is that it's hot. Even in Oregon, we're talking about 85 degrees. As an Old Guy, I find that I don't handle heat as well as I use to. This sounds like an excuse even to me, but it's just a fact of life. Unfortunately, it doesn't work as an alibi this time. It wasn't all that hot, I just got beat, straight up. I only mention it because a hot day, with no rain, is such an unusual phenomenon in Oregon that I thought it worthy of mention.

As we were going through the walkthrough prior to the start of the match, Prince Andrew walked up and introduced himself to me. "Hey, you're The Geek?"

No, not the Prince Andrew you're thinking about. This is another Prince Andrew, a guy from Hillsboro who has read some of my work. (As usual, nicknames are used rather than Real Names, to protect the innocent in case anyone I meet or talk about here happens to be innocent. Hasn't happened yet, but it could!) We've exchanged some emails, Prince Andrew and I. He is a pistol shooter, but hasn't ever been to an IPSC match. I had invited him to come out to one of our local matches, and his appearance was in response to this.

Apparently, he posts as "FreddyBoomBoom", but I like Prince Andrew better, don't you? It has such a ... regal ring to it.

I invited P.A. to stick with us so we could chat during the match, and I would
answer any questions he had about the game of practical shooting. He chose to do so, and I enjoyed his company. He's not as pretty as I am, and FAR less pretty than SWMBO, but he's still prettier than Barsoom!

It's unfortunate that I was pretty busy during the match, but I had introduced him to the rest of the squad (The Usual Suspects, plus Bob; not Bob the Contrarian but a local shooter who, if I'm not mistaken, also beat me in the match.) Since everybody knew him, I wasn't the only one who was filling his head with IPSC trivia, lore and legend.

As P.A. followed us around, he was privileged to view some of the fun moments in IPSC History.

For example, Big Dog has recently bought a Hoser Cam from Nolan Smythe. We had played with this at the match the previous weekend at Tri County Gun club, and I'm sure we'll enjoy it when Big Dog finally gets the DVDs cut and distributed. In the meantime, we're taking turns wearing the hoser cam. The first time I tried it this match, I was looking REALLY good on the first two target arrays, but by the time I got to the third array I had become aware that I was "On Candid Camera" so I tried to go REALLY fast. The result was that it took me 15 shots to clear a six-plate plate rack and two Pepper Poppers. That's one DVD I would pay real money to suppress.

When we got to the Classifier Stage (Six Chickens, CM03-02) we learned that someone had worked out that the hit-factor necessary to accumulate a B-open score was to clean the 12-round stage in under 12 seconds. Most of us who tried to achieve this rediculous goal caught one of the many no-shoot targets; some of us crashed even more severely. But I bet it was fun watching us trying to catch up with this mythical standard.

I know that I took a lot of pictures, and when I couldn't man the camera, SWMBO took over and got some GREAT movies. In all, we took about 50 movies of the squad shooting the match, and a couple of dozen still photos of individuals. Due to limitations on acceptible bandwidth (and threats of bodily harm from squad members), we won't be showing any of them here. But someday, I'll get some online storage so you can download movies of Great Moments in Usual Suspects Competition. My life won't be worth a plugged nickle from that time on, but I'll be able to post some of Big Dog's Hoser Cam cuts, too, so maybe he will draw the fire for me.

Moving along, we found that Stage Four, "Mean Steal", was a stage which required you to START in Box "A", but all shots must be FIRED from "Box B". Every shot fired outside of "Box B" was penalized ten points. There was no advantaged gained by shooting from "Box A", but you would be amazed at how many people forgot to move to the adjacent "Box B" before they started shooting. Most of them had zeroed the stage before they took the first step on this 125-point stage. One of our squad had a very fast trigger, but a slow sight-picture. It happens, but it's always scarey. There was no Match Disqualification, because the gun was pointed in a safe direction. However, it rattled him and he didn't shoot the rest as well as he usually does. Too bad, it's a major distraction when you have to shoot a stage under such a handicap. But P.A. got to see that even experienced shooters suffer a phychological condition called "Brain Farts" and throw their whole match away in a moment or two of slight distraction.

This stage was such a disaster to so many people, the Section Coordinator decided to include it in the Columbia Cascade Section Match, which occurs on August 6 & 7 of this year. It will be presented on the same stage, so (parenthetically speaking) if you think you have the presence of mind to overcome cranial flatulance I would like to invite you all to shoot the match, which will be called "Keystone Kops".

By the end of the day, we were all tired and happy. Lots of shooting, everyone had the opportunity to make a damned fool of himself or herself (and most of us did), and I told P.A. that the club had arranged to hire a crew to tear down the stages. This is a pretty good deal. The club charges each competitor an extra two dollars ... match fees are $17 instead of the usual $15 ... and we don't have to haul heavy steel and props up the hill to the Conex storage units. We decided to celebrate by adjourning as a squad to Abby's Pizza in Newburg (home of the world famous Linguica Pizza and Blitz Weinhard "Heffeweisen" wheat beer). Then we got the word that the tear-down crew was a no-show. P.A. had already left, along with more than half of the other competitors, before we got the word.

When the remaining competitor list was finally shook out, we had a dozen workers left, including the entire CCS Junior Team (along with Mike McCarter, Section Coordinator and Junior Team coach.) Surprisingly, it took no more than a half-hour to tear the whole match down, and nobody was particularly unhappy about the experience. Speaking personally, the extra labor helped work out some thigh-muscle spasms I was suffering from having to go to a kneeling position on TWO stages in the match, and I felt pretty darned good.

Sure, we missed the Pizza Fest at Abby's, and I could have used a tall cool glass of Wheat Beer. Would have liked to meet P.A.'s wife, too. (Would she be "Princess Andrew"?)

But the best part of the day was when the Match Director (Barsoom, who turns out NOT to be such a bad guy after all) pulled the extra two-dollars-per shooter funds out of the cash box and donated it to the Junior Team. Well, it was only fair ... they did the most of the work.

I think that kind of leadership is an investment in the future.

After all, when I'm old and grey (next year?) I want to know that there's a new generation already on the path to being as devoted to IPSC competition as we are.

This is especially important, when the new generation demonstrates such a clear willingness to do my work for me tear down the stages after the match.


Anonymous said...

It's kind of fun to be called PA again... A place I worked at a long time ago, in a country far far away, had a guy they called PJ (for Prince John, his last name was Johnson), so when I joined the merry men, they naturally hung the moniker PA on me. Kinda nifty...

Sorry to hear about the clean up crew no-show. I would have helped...

And you didn't miss the Watermelon Princess (as she is known), I had to come home and retrieve the fixin's for a Kentucky Butter Cake she made for us and her folks. So I felt bad about not attending the pizza-fest... Now I'm glad to know it didn't happen, I don't feel so guilty any more.

Something I will say about the Usual Suspects. They were all friendly, and pleasant, and nice. Even the guys that offered to sell me kits for a realy good price... :) I was impressed and a little intimidated by the shooting abilities of all of them, even the ones who were not so fast, or didn't hit everything. But since everyone encouraged me to come out and shoot, I think I will. Now to figure out when. :)

Thank you for a wonderful Saturday. I enjoyed myself immensly, as well as meeting all of you.

Jerry The Geek said...

The moral of this story is ... well, actually there are no morals. I hate stories with morals. But there are lessons to be learned.

* When you make plans for "after the match", you can be sure that Life will step in and change them for you. It's part of the service.

* If you're shooting with folks who won't admit to having a nickname, it's not going to be as much fun as you had hoped. They probably HAVE a nickname, but they're ashamed of it. There may be a good reason for that shame.

* Everybody in IPSC looks fast the first time you see them. After you play the game for a while, you realize that "The Emperor Has No Clothes". If you're really lucky, that will be only an impression ... not fact. [YECH!]

* Never buy a 'kit' from a guy whose friends refer to as the "Hobo Brasser"

* IPSC is a really boring spectator sport. Go to the certification classes, and next time ... bring a gun. That's the only way to learn the true meaning of the word "Chagrin"

* Guilt is where you find it. We didn't put it there.

Glad you stopped by to visit, hope you come back to play with us

Anonymous said...

It was the Geek's idea to donate the money to the junior program. it was loudly seconded by all present.