Sunday, May 17, 2009

ARPC SIngle Stack Championship, May 9, 2009

I was unable to attend this years annual Single Stack Championship at the Albany Rifle and Pistol club, but fortunately the inimitable Trevor ("TrevorMaster") did and he filmed this video of the entire match.

I think it's the entire match. I haven't counted the number of stages on the 3:25 minute video.

And he didn't actually film it himself; it only includes his own performance on each stage.

Still, it's nice to have a chance to see what it looked like. From this point of view it looked very challenging to me ... even though Trevor made it look easy.

Kids, don't try this at home. When compared to the performance shown here, your results may be disappointing.

PBS: How will "Non-Sectarian" Programming Change It?

PBS board to vote on sectarian programs (Seattle Times)

According to the Washington Post, Public Broadcasting Service's board are scheduled next month to define the one of their basic precepts: not to broadcast "religious programming".

News Reports refer specifically to Television programming; at this time it is not clear whether any decision or clarification of terms will similarly apply to radio programming.

The discussion, some station managers fear, could lead to a ban on broadcasts of local church services and other faith-oriented programs that have appeared on public stations for decades despite the prohibition.

The Public Broadcasting Service's board is to vote next month on a committee's recommendation to strip the affiliation of any station that carries "sectarian" content. Losing its PBS relationship would mean a station could no longer broadcast programs that the service distributes, from "Sesame Street" to "Frontline."

Not being much of a television watcher, I can only remember from my childrens' youth how much they (and I) enjoyed "Sesame Street". Disenfranchising a station would have a powerful impact on local programming, one which no station would easily ignore.

In my locality, I've been listening this afternoon to my local PBS radio station. They just finished a two-hour programming complex (several similarly related programs) which might be called "Songs of The South". The last program was "Alabama Music", which prominently featured Hank Williams.

A preceding segment might be termed "Black Music of The South", which featured Jazz, Blues, Soul ... and Gospel.

It would be difficult to imagine an attempt to portray this segment of American culture without including Gospel music. If this attempt to Bowlderise programming content were to be enforced, the programming would (inaccurately) suggest that religious music was not an important part of American culture.

That is, by definition any reference to religion, no matter how innocuous or how important and/or necessary to the content, would be identified as "objectionable" by implication.

This isn't 'just' a corporate decision; this is a decision which affects how the First Amendment may be applied to Public Broadcasting. Even though it would currently affect PBS, under the current administration it would establish a dangerous precedent.

The worst part of it is, it's a decision which is not made by The People (the "Public" which the system is intended to serve), it's not even a decision which will be made by Congress ... our elected representatives.

Should it be?

If, for example, Clear Channel radio made the decision to discontinue any "sectarian content", that would be a legitimate Corporate decision. One wonders, though, whether the PBS Directors can legitimately make this decision.

There are doubtless those PBS patrons (listeners or viewers) who truly do find "sectarian" or "religious" programming objectionable.

The First Amendment, though was defined specifically to protect "objectionable speech".

And there are may be even more PBS patrons who will be disappointed that Public Television and/or Public Radio will no longer be permitted to present content which may be considered "religious". Or "Sectarian".

It depends on whether the word "sectarian" means "applying to a specific religious sect to the exclusion of others", or "applying to any non-secular content".

The dictionary definition doesn't define sectarian as religion in general; it refers to a "sect" as:

a body of persons adhering to a particular religious faith; a religious denomination.

And "Sectarian":

1. of or pertaining to sectaries or sects.
2. narrowly confined or devoted to a particular sect.
3. narrowly confined or limited in interest, purpose, scope, etc.
[emphasis added]

I don't personally go out of my way to listen or view religious programming. If something come up which I choose not to listen to, or to view, I simply change the channel or do something else. I don't demand that it be removed from the airways because it offends me.

But not everyone is like me.

In the New Liberal / Politically Correct culture which we have watched develop during the past generation, there seem to be a narrowly defined group of people whose attitude is that anything which offends them must be forbidden. And we are deferring to their selfish demands.

In other words, we are catering to a Sect.

Now, that offends me.

May Blogger Hiatus Expected to End Soon

Between familial situations, THREE Major Projects at work, and recurring bouts of dyspepsia and sleep-pattern irregularities (not to mention my eight month fight with Hand Eczema), I have been way behind my personal expectations in three major areas for the past several weeks:
  • Blogging
  • Work
  • Family
  • Shooting
My epidemiologist finally found something that helps the Hand Eczema, but it is not yet a cure. At least I can now type without wearing vinyl gloves. This also suggests that I may be able to reload ammunition, work on my semi-nonfunctioning competition pistol, and perhaps even compete in USPSA matches without shredding the skin on my fingers (and triggering another Eczema outbreak).

My family situations are settling down. My son and his family have moved to his new duty station in San Diego, which is (not coincidently where my daughter and her family live.) They are now mutually supportive, and don't expect to be displaced by change in duty station for the next few years. There's a pleasing symmetry to this situation, except that they all now live so far away that it's virtually impossible to see them more frequently than once a year. But when I get to see them, I'll visit them all --- all four adults and SEVEN grandchildren!

Also, we just celebrated my Mother's 91st Birthday, the day before Mother's day. She's doing very well now; her health has settled into a comfortable rut. My sister has been increasingly concerned because Mom has developed problems with her balance (and memory, Osteo-arthritis, etc.) We got her one of those "Help Me I've Fallen And I Can't Get Up" systems and I installed it last weekend. Together, Mom and I tested it and we received a very warm welcome from the Medical Alert operator. My sister is completing the forms with family contact information and medical history. When she submits it to the Medical Alert people, they will have friends and neighbors who they can call to contact in case the alarm rings, before they call the EMT and local police. We all feel a lot more comfortable now. Especially since Mom fell down the back-porch stairs two weeks ago and got a black eye and four stitches in her eyebrow.

(I also installed grab-bars in Mom's shower, and my sister got mom a walker to get around at home and when she goes out shopping. Plus, my sister is taking Mom places so she isn't driving hardly at all any more.)

Work is going to continue to take more time than I have, and less time than I will be able to give. Last month I missed more hours of work than I could cover with accumulated sick leave and vacation leave. Most of this was because of insomnia, but some due to dyspepsia. Without getting into the Too Much Information, these are both stress-related.

I had intended to go to the ARPC Full-Auto Shoot this weekend, but I missed Friday and parts of Saturday and Sunday due to dyspepsia, so I had to choose between spending my time with SWMBO and going to the gun range. Easy choice, SWMBO and I went out to breakfast this morning (after I slept 11 hours last night) and did some essential shopping (books, groceries) before I headed home early in the afternoon.

With any luck at all, I'll be able to put in a full week's work during the next 7 days and still get ammunition loaded at night, so I can attend the match at Dundee next weekend.

I'll still be shooting iron sights, but my bifocals have made it easier to see the sights and even, sometimes, get proper sight alignment.

It's a joy to be able to shoot Limited again. Still, I'm hooked on shooting Open division. If I can bet .38 super ammunition reloaded I'll replace the mainspring on the Open gun and start using it again. That is, I will if I can find primers!

Saving the best for last, SWMBO has been continuing to slowly build her strength. Her Oncologist increased the volume of infusion a week ago, and it severely affected her balance, strength and mental accuity. She has an appointment tomorrow and plans to insist that the negative affect on her quality of life is not worth any marginal benefit, since it appears that the tumor is not shrinking no matter what they do. Her choice, and I won't argue with her. It's a joy to see that twinkle in her eye and hear the joy in her laughter. I've missed that.

Bottom line, I feel more free than I have for months, and I've saved up so much blogmeat that I don't know what to write about first. Guess we'll all just have to wait and see what comes out of the Geek Meat Locker next.

(Now, if I can just get my PC and SWMBO's fixed, we can go back to Business As Usual.)