Monday, October 24, 2016

Monday Frantically Trying to Catch Up

As requested, here's Asta-cat, 12 pounds of fury, sans tail. We almost lost him 2 years ago…he has a fragile digestive system, probably because of the Manx mutation, and the all-meat foods were literally too rich for him. We had to force-feed him until he was willing to eat again. He is a wonderful cat, as fierce as the McBain stone wildcats at the Clan memorial along Loch Ness.

The Clan motto, expressed in inexplicably hard Gaelic, roughly translates to, "Touch not the (wild)cat without a shield." So there.

Manxes are special cats. They hail from the Isle of Mann, and legend has it that they arrived late to Noah's Ark, and as the door closed it cut off their tails, now and forever. Asta is a "stumpy," with a short, vestigial tail. They are fearless hunters and tend to act more like dogs than cats. From an account by one Joseph Train in 1844:
"The hind legs are considerably longer than those of the common cat, and, in comparison with the fore legs, bear a marked similarity in proportion to those of the rabbit. Like this animal too, when about to fight, it springs from the ground and strikes with its fore and hind feet at the same time. The common cat strikes only with its fore paws, standing on its hind legs. The rumpy discharges its urine in a standing posture, like a rabbit, and can be carried by the ears apparently without pain. Like every species of the feline it is carnivorous and fond of fish and is an implacable enemy to rats and mice."
Asta and our beagle, Newt, engage in endless play battles, which generally the cat always wins.

I wouldn't trust Asta with a gun, even a small one…

Tomorrow we're staging a lovely riot for THE BEST DEFENSE, trapping a couple in their car. That should be big fun. I'm having lunch with Andrew Branca, author of The Law of Self-Defense (a truly indispensable guide!) and Dave Hartman from the 3Gun Show podcast. Ought to be interesting conversations. Andrew's been researching the legal perspectives of people caught in riots,and he's helping us out with this episode; Dave happened to be in town and always wanted to be in a riot, so we are happy to oblige!

BTW, all this talk about Asta-cat reminds me of an appropriate quote:

"Most of us are savages at heart. Deep down in the smug contentment of that hollow thing we call civilization there smolder the fires of our Berserker ancestry " 
-- Owen Letcher Thomas
The Bonds of Africa

Wednesday, October 19, 2016


Glad to be back home, first from vacation in Scotland, secondly from a visit to Streamlight in PA. Got so much work in front of me, it scares me to look at my calendar.

If you're around Loveland, CO, next Tuesday, we're looking for extras for our small riot Tuesday evening for THE BEST DEFENSE. We will only need 3 hours of your life, and you get to yell, scream and curse! Email and sign up!!!

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Typical Saturday at the Bunker

This morning there was a cluster of pathetic-looking mules deers, still fat from the summer, staring through the deer fencing at what's left of the garden after a couple of mild freezes (carrots, eggplants, beans, a few tomatoes). Asta the Manx simply went ballistic. He launched himself at the window, the little stub in the place where a normal cat's tail would be vibrating, hit the window with his claws out and growling. Asta is a mean 12 pounds of cat. Big "mouse;" little mouse; all the same to him. If he weighed 100 pounds, he'd be dangerous.

I have to say, the eggplants and the tomatoes produced spectacularly. The carrots we got in late, and they're just ready to eat. Next year, we'll do better. We learned a lot from this year's expanded garden…Rule 1, get the deer fences in first!

I gotta say I'm a little bit bored with outrage, more bored still since it seems to have invaded the training community. While I was in Scotland, I read the Facebook flame wars on metrics/no metrics, and there seems to be spatter still all over the place. Sigh. Just like there are no magic bullets, there is — at least to me — no magic training. I've learned from a lot of different people, many of whom I didn't, and in some cases still don't, agree with. I always fall back to Bruce Lee: “Absorb what is useful, discard what is useless and add what is specifically your own…”

Outrage is kind of a disease, somewhere on the continuum between nausea and diarrhea. It's a bogus emotion; in a world that includes Miley Cyrus, George Bush, Kanye West and Al Gore, true outrage is just plain out of reach. The most I can swing is revulsion, with maybe a touch of nausea.

Look, train how you want to train, with whom you want to train. The important thing is to keep training, keep getting better. I am and have always been a proponent of competition as an element of your training, because while competition may indeed be false stress, it is still stress. Because of y background in stupid shit, I am a strong believer in the concept of "stress inoculation," the old "cowpox protects you from smallpox" routine. Shooting under stress makes you a better shooter in numerous ways. Your gun-handling improves because you do it a lot, in front of strangers and some person with a timer. Your drawstroke improves because it is a fundamental skill in competition, so you have to do it a lot in both dry and live fire. This means that you have an index card for "draw" already in your head when you start working with your concealed carry gun…you don't have to start from zero. Ditto for marksmanship…it's a fundamental skill in all forms of shooting competition…sooner or later you've got to hit something at an uncomfortable distance…it's helpful to know what that distance is for you at this moment.

Anyway…I'm looking forward to tuning myself up after more than a year of rehab. We did a lot of walking in Scotland…not to mention A LOT of steps…castles apparently don't have elevators. All in all, it was great for me. I'm still a bit of a ways from "run and gun," but I feel like I've turned a corner on it. I have a meeting with my orthopedic surgeon end of the month and I'm hoping I get a decent verdict.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

"Gunfighter Moment" from Soldier Systems...

You need to read this on Natural Instincts, by Aaron Barruga:
"The quality at which we perceive information determines whether we receive data that is actionable or just noise. Entering a crowded room, you can scan the environment by simply moving your eyes within their sockets. Moving your head left and right may be necessary to gather data at different angles, but if we jerk our heads too quickly, any information about our surroundings becomes a blur. Another gift passed on to us from our ancestors is our body’s preference for expending the least amount of effort possible to accomplish a task. Unnecessary movement expends precious energy, but can also signal to predators our location…"
BTW, read this, too, from ZeroGov, one of the most thoughtful training articles I've read in a while:
Lets cut to the chase. The Derp can be deafening at times. In an effort to help combat some of this and save a lot of folks a lot of heartache, I am tossing out a few tactical tidbits for those interested. (All while staying in my lane of course)

A Thought for the Day

"If you want to go off the grid, you've got to move out of your mother's house…"

— "Bernadette"

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

I'm Back!!!

Vacation in the Scottish Highlands and the isle of Skye, with a sidetrip to Yorkshire to visit the Bronte sisters! And yes, there can be only one...but probably not me!

Monday, October 03, 2016

Expect Massively Slow Blogging

As we are in high season for SHOOTING GALLERY and THE BEST DEFENSE, with a little SHOOTOUT LANE and a lot of SGO on the side!

You would be AMAZED at how hard building the SGO Studio is proving to be. If I missed deadlines and flat out lied as much as the contractors bidding on what amounts to setting 6 concrete pylons and assembling a prefabricated building, I would be UNEMPLOYED! I'm not building Trump Towers, for God's sake.