What can organized sports provide?

Advice to rip out your enemy’s heart!  And arrive with violence!

They won…

I don’t usually let politics guide my minute to minute thinking, but I couldn’t avoid thinking as I watched this that this coach probably voted for Obama (95% chance), who absolutely doesn’t want to hold his team (our country) to this standard.

Do speeches like this work?  On me, not at all. I wanted to win so badly that nothing coach would say would affect my effort.  I prefer soft spoken coaches that teach. I hope this coach is normally like that.

And of course in golf, tennis and shooting – the major sports in my life (other than baseball), such ranting and raving would be counterproductive to the quiet mental focus needed to avoid unforced errors that dictate who wins or loses.

H/T  Facebook friend

Father and Son


My son and I took home 1st (me) and 3rd place (Brian) at the United States Practical Shooting Area 1 2011 Championship.   This is in the B Division (sort of like a handicapping system).   I did very well, finishing 12th of 90 shooters and beating a bunch of Master, A, and even a Grand Master.   Brian did well as well and would have handily beat me except for pistol problems on two stages.

Next stop…. Nationals!

P.S. I like this better than Little League, cause I get to play too!



By the 1st quarter….

Maybe I’m jaded… but this Super Bowl seemed boring. The Dorito commercials were pretty good.   The rest… ho hum. The game… ho hum.  My wife has already bailed on it.  And, with 11 minutes left, I think I’m not long for it either…

Did Christina Aguilera sing the WRONG words to the National Anthem? Yep.

As to the half-time show…. sucked. Terrible. Uninspiring. They seemed to be phoning it in.

I’d also add that I found a number of the commercials borderline inappropriate for kids.

STI Sentry

In a few short weeks, this beauty will arrive:


It’s an STI Sentry, chambered in .40 S&W. It will be my gun for USPSA Single Stack and IDPA Enhanced Service Pistol division matches.

It will arrive just about match ready – with adjustable sights and a fiber optic front, as well as an Smith and Alexander style mag well.

I’ll have a local gunsmith smooth the trigger a touch, and polish internal parts and the feed ramp and then it will be ready to roll.

Oh… and I’ll get a supply of Virgil Tripp Cobra magazines for it – they always work.

For USPSA Single Stack, I’ll use a .40 S&W Major power factor load running about 930 FPS with a 180GR bullet.

For IDPA Enhanced Service Division, I’ll use a lighter .40 S&W load with 180GR bullet running about 800 FPS.

I’ll also carry it in my Sig Tac jacket in the Winter, or in a Cross Breed holster in the summer when I wear shirts untucked.

My son will shoot it, dissect it, and review it on his blog after it arrives.

My Cowboys SUCK


Read the full report card here...

It almost makes me glad my house flooded, losing my DVR, forcing me off to cable hinterlands in hotels for months so that I’ve MISSED most of the games.

Oh well, at least their cheerleaders are still pretty.

2010 USPSA Nationals

Definitely worth attending. The stages were hard but fun. And it was cool to be amidst so many shooters.  Also, the Orleans Hotel, which I’ve never stayed at before, was affordable and comfortable.

Scores can be found here.

I  placed 126th with 55%
Brian placed 154th with 52%

Given the difficulty, my physical condition during the match (poor), and Brian’s age/experience… I think we did pretty good.  There were about 260 shooters in the field.

I videoed Brian on all but 2 stages. They follow.  He did pretty good for his age and experience.  His best finish was 39th on Stage 9 (of 250 shooters).   His CR-Speed kept hitting his mag release on the draw, so on 5 or 6 stages you will notice a mag hitting the dirt on the draw.  And on Stage 17 he skipped 2 targets for HUGE penalty points and effectively zeroed the stage.  You don’t get much chance to airgun the stages at Nationals, so you really have to get it in the 5 minutes they give you. You will see him hesitate and wonder “what’s next” a few places in the videos.  Lessons learned!

Most of those attending said that the stages were exceptionally tough this year. Jerry Miculek, in his speech as the revolver champion, asked for a partial match refund because he had shot at “partial” targets all week!  All in jest of course… but look at the target below in the first video. See much of it ??? (hint – you can only shoot brown, not white targets) (-:

Pic of the Day


Squad 12 of the USPSA Limited 2010 Nationals Match

From left to right:

Brian Nelson, Ken Nelson, Steve Pries, David Farrell, Albert Lim, Jeff Bailey, Steve Leroux, Bill Johnson, Gary Powell, and Rob Boudrie.

We had an excellent time. Our squad was a great bunch of fellows.

2010 USPSA Nationals… looks tough

Our sports National championship started on Saturday.  Our division shoots later in the week.

We did a quick final tune up session today with Brian’s coach supervising.   I’d reviewed the Nationals matchbook stages and setup a couple practice stages that had long shots guarded by no-shoots, which seem prevalent this year.

For instance this jewel, Stage 14, seems typical:


If you aren’t familiar with how it works… don’t shoot the black or the ones with X’s on them.

With any luck we got all our no-shoots out of the way today, but frankly… I doubt it. Reports coming in show even the super squad throwing no-shoots and mikes.  So I think this Nationals will be more like the golf U.S. Open that brings even the pros to their knees.  

Our mental cue is “slow down”. Towards that end,  Brian and I have evicted cars from the garage and setup a serious set of airsoft stages.    The targets are all steel, but to slow us down we’ve placed  no-shoots behind it each – misses NOT permitted.

Here is Jo Jo Vidanes shooting the Open match.  Notice that bobbing target with A zone only exposed by bracketing no-shoots at about 43 seconds in the video.  Yep… should be fun!

We go down Wednesday, and shoot start our match Thu morning on Stage 12.  I will try to post status updates but may not til after the match because it will be a busy few days.

Rant of the Day

A rant with a heart.


Me, outside my hotel. Not!  Actually it is
Bikram Choudhury

Yoga is REALLY good for you. I can testify to that. Hot Yoga has helped me avoid chronic hip pain, sleep better, lose weight, and surprisingly, improve my complexion.

Lacking a Hot Yoga studio in St. George (which I may just remedy!), I’m taking advantage of our 107 degree summer, and I just practice outside in the shade of the hotel.  I don’t sweat nearly as much due to our 20% humidity ( a normal Hot Yoga studio is at 60% humidity).  But it still helps.

So what does science say?

Practicing yoga may do more than calm the mind — it may help protect against certain diseases, a new study suggests.

In the study, women who had practiced yoga regularly for at least two years were found to have lower levels of inflammation in their bodies than did women who only recently took up the activity.

I recommend it, although like many physical activities the first few times may be shockingly difficult (especially Hot Yoga). Keep on trying and you soon wonder how you could ever miss a session.

Another good thing… unlike other exercises, I’ve never been sore after a Yoga Practice.

Give it a go!

Learning to roll a kayak



Tonight I learned to roll a kayak. Rolling seems deceptively simple but actually is fiendishly devious. The class was two hours, in a pool, and eventually I caught on. I’d learned two types of rolls – both of the “Eskimo” variety. One I’d place at 95% for me (I can do it consistently) at a disadvantage of taking a couple seconds longer. The other faster (more compact) roll, I can hit maybe 40% in pool conditions.   I’ll definitely keep practicing this in my pool at home until I’m 100% from both sides with both of them.

Why would you want to “roll” a kayak?   It turns out there are lots of reasons and while you can kayak without learning to roll, not “having a roll” will limit what type of kayaking you can safely do.

The most important reason is safety. Put simply when you are upside down, you either have to do a “wet exit” or roll back up. If you do a wet exit your time in the water, wet, losing heat, dramatically lengthens. Depending on water temperature, staying in too long may kill you.

Another reason might be just to cool off on a hot day.

My instructor tonight, Jennifer Kleck had a very patient and encouraging manner.  She is among the best instructors in the world.  We had a very pleasant couple hours, rolling, chatting, rolling, chatting. And I only wacked her on the head with the paddle once!

Tomorrow, I’ll do the regular Thursday night paddle that Aqua-Adventures hosts. She promised to tip me over so I could demonstrate my new skill for real!

Yoga “Sculpt”


Everyday at 0900 I do Hot Yoga. The schedule looks like this:

M        T         W    T      F        S   S
HPF   S      HPF  S     HPF   H   H

HPF = Hot Power Fusion. Which I talked about before.
S      = Hot Yoga Sculpt
H      = Hot Yoga

The courses, start at C1, then C2, then H, then HPF and then Sculpt in terms of physical difficulty,

So today I did “Yoga” Sculpt. And it was BY FAR the hardest thing I’ve done since log drills in the Army.  At the end, I crawled out and my stomach still wants to hurl.

So why is it hard… well do hard yoga, then add weights, and do hard yoga.

Whew… tough. But I’ll be back Thursday.


What I’ve been up to last few days

Sorry for no blogging. I’ve been traveling to Idaho Falls, ID for the United States Practical Shooting Association (USPSA) Area 1 Championship. Area 1 includes Nevada, Utah, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Washington, and Oregon.  The sport is divided up into pistol types – Revolver, Production (stock factory guns), Limited (fancier, bigger magazines), and Open (scopes, huge magazines).  There were hundreds of shooters there, including 110 in the Limited division I shoot in.

This was my first “big” match and it tested me and found my weaknesses (-:  But I did pretty good, just finishing out of trophies by less than 1% and finishing 29th out of 110 in all of Limited and 6th of 33 in B class (sort of a handicap system).

Here is a video of me shooting Stage 1:

This link will show other videos for me. Currently 6 are uploaded. There were 12 total and 6 more will be posted when I get video from the fellow who had the camera on day two.

My overall standing can be seen here. And my stage by stage results here.


Those who shoot the sport will know what these stats mean. For those that don’t, you do not want anything under the D (sort of like the 1 ring in a bullseye target), M (miss a target completely), NS (no-shoot – hit a fake bystander), or P (procedural penalty).

I had 2 “M” on really easy targets (like 5 feet away), and 2 no-shoots because I slipped when I shot. Both were on the move.  Without those I finish 2nd in my class, and 18th or so overall.  Sigh…

Soccer Theater

And the academy award goes to….

I’ve not been impressed with the refereeing at the World Cup. But don’t bother with what I say, soccer matters not a bit to me.

Vuvuzela Fever

Just do the wave morons!

The loud game and ear ruining horns have spurred earplug sales.

And even composers have gotten in on the action:



If I were a ref, I’d stop play anytime I heard one of the darn things. Let them honk to empty grass.

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