Fill Yer Hands

you son of a

Moving Along

Starting point

Now, I know that’s the kind of title I might use if I were announcing I was closing down my blog.

On the contrary. I mean quite the opposite.

Those who follow me here, or on Twitter or on Facebook or my other blog, Plumb Mad Dog Mean, know that since last March I have been fighting leukemia. Between that and keeping life going, it’s about all I have had time or energy for.

The last USPSA match I shot was on February 27, 2016. I looked at this match as the last one I would shoot before qualifying for Senior in March. I was right, but it was also the last match I would shoot before being diagnosed with leukemia on March 15.

I must confess, thanks to a suppressed immune system, and not really feeling like going to the range, I haven’t fired a gun since that match. But all of that is going to change.

I have come to realize, the hard way, that life is short. There are things I enjoy in life, and I owe it to myself to devote some time and energy to those, and to enjoy them to their fullest.

So, I have put together a set of goals that I want to reach, before the anniversary of my transplant on June 28:

  1. Post to this blog at least once a week, preferably more.
  2. Post to Twitter and Facebook at least daily.
  3. Devote time each day in my office dry firing. (This is one advantage of working from home!)
  4. Work on my physical strength and endurance so I can compete decently. After all, I have lost quite a bit of weight, and I need to take advantage of that, and regain my strength. I may even try to find a coach or other training so I can get my stamina back.
  5. Start competing regularly in USPSA and GSSF.
  6. Move up from D class to C class in USPSA Production.
  7. Look into other aspects of shooting sports to see if I want to give them a try:
    • Reloading
    • Open shooting
    • 3-gun
    • Sporting clays
  8. Attend the NRA Annual Meeting in Atlanta.
  9. Be more involved in GeorgiaCarry.
  10. Renew my Glock Armorer certification.

So, look for more posts. The ones involving these goals will be tagged Moving Along.

Take What I Can Get

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One of the side effects of my leukemia treatment is that I have lost about 30 pounds, and about 4 inches on my waist. As a result, I can actually carry a pistol in a shoulder holster without having to do some kind of sick judo move on myself just to get to it.

Now, if I decide to, I can carry my father-in-law’s old Beretta. Nice.

Who knows what’s next.

EDC as a Lifestyle

I was reviewing my blog, and as it turns out, in the years I’ve been writing this, I’ve never done a post on my everyday carry. This seems strange to me, since most of it hasn’t changed in a long time.

To start with, I’ve carried a pocket knife for as long as I can remember. Starting in about the 7th grade, I carried a Boy Scout version Swiss Army knife, up until about the time I graduated from high school. Yes, in those days we could carry a knife with no comment from anyone at school. I even had a teacher borrow mine once or twice.

I changed knives in college, and then went back to the Swiss Army knife you see above, in 1992.

I added the Leatherman tool a few years ago after I received it as a gift. I particularly like it because it’s got tools I can use, like pliers and a file. But the thing I like best is that it doesn’t have a blade, so the TSA lets me take it on an airplane, and so when I travel without checking bags, I’ve got something, at least.

In the same vein, I’ve carried a flashlight for my whole career. As a chemical engineer, there are many times every day when I needed to be able to see something in a shadow or in the dark, and I started carrying an explosion proof flashlight. I still do, only this one is 200 lumens, and uses AA batteries. I keep about 6 rechargeable batteries in rotation, and when the last charged set of 2 go in, the other 4 go in the charger overnight. When I travel, I always carry a spare set of batteries, and I keep a set of 4 in the Get Home Bag.

Next is my wallet. All I carry in there is my various ID – driver’s license, Weapons Carry License, insurance cards, and the like – and my credit cards, and a few business cards. I haven’t carried cash in my wallet since I was in college, and when I do I carry it in a different pocket than the wallet. This has to do with avoiding pickpockets.

In fact, I always carry these things in certain pockets, for a reason. Here’s where:

Right front: cell phone, knives, car keys, cash, and a pen.

Left front: wallet, flashlight.

Left rear: a handkerchief.

Note I don’t carry my wallet in a back pocket, so I can avoid pickpockets. I also carry my wallet on the left side, so if I’m asked by a policeman for my ID, I’m not reaching on the same as my pistol.

I also carry my flashlight in my left pocket, so I can draw it and go to a Harries or other flashlight hold.

On a similar note, in my car I keep my insurance card and registration in a folder on the back of the driver’s side sun visor, since I can’t promise that I haven’t just been to the post office, which would mean my pistol is in the glove box. Again, no sense drawing attention to anything I don’t have to.

Now we get to the most recent addition – a pistol. In the summer I carry Liberty, my G19, IWB at 3 o’clock.

In the winter I mostly carry Bruce, my G17, on my belt OWB at 3 o’clock, with an open shirt or jacket or fleece vest over it.

Year round I carry a G17 magazine with a plus-2 extender on my left side at 3 o’clock.

So there you have it. Nothing that isn’t part of my life, for quite a while.

Having said that . . .

I will likely add a medical pack in the near future, now that Linoge has shown how to put it all in a cell phone case. Stay tuned.

P-Mags – Questions for my Readers 

I recently got to spend some time with an experienced Army sergeant, who has spent his share of time in harm’s way. When we were visiting, he noticed my P-Mag supply, and asked if they were all I used.

Naturally I was concerned that a professional would question this, in much the same way if my doctor were over, and questioned my brand of first aid products; they must have a good reason.

As it turns out, he did. He told me that, in fact, he had used them quite a bit, exclusively in fact, for quite a while. He liked a lot of things about them – grip and texture, weight, durability – but he eventually stopped, due to one reason. After a long time carrying them, they started misfeeding, and the followers got hung. He found out they had gotten full of sand, and that was causing the problems. So, since he could, he just switched over to the Army issued metal mags, and had no problems thereafter.

So, that got me thinking: should I get rid of mine and switch?

But before I tell about that I thought I would ask you, O Reader: what is your experience with P-Mags? Please share, and I will continue next week.

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