Sunday, August 25, 2013

Horses in disguise?

So the pups turned six months old on Aug 14th. I don't know about you, but when I think of six month old puppies, I think of something like this.....

There is a disconnect between what I envisioned, and what is true.
I have these.....

Which is a very far cry from this....

Or this....

I think they are horses, in disguise......


Thursday, August 8, 2013

Long time no see

I'm beginning think I should change my name to "Catch Up Mama."  And I feel like I may have said that before.

I'm going to credit Limatunes for bringing me out of the woodwork. I was perusing her blog yesterday, and when I was finished reading her latest posts, I realized that she has me linked in her sidebar, and then I realized it's been a long time since I posted. How embarrassing.

So here's a quick rundown:
  • Puppies - grow like weeds. I swear we leave for an hour and when we come back they are bigger. They are both over 50lbs now, and aren't quite 6 months old yet. Will try to post some new pictures soon.
  • Appleseed - FINALLY. Officially scored Rifleman and took an "Orange Hat" (joined the instructor in training program). This was a long road and a lot of hard work, but
  •  Soldier Girl - she's been back home since mid-may, and is making college plans.
  • Training & Teaching - hubs and I have joined forces with a new tactical range, and we've been helping them make improvements and doing some teaching and training out there. More on that in a separate post.
  • Life - has just been busy. It may be time to assess and scale back to only the most important things again. I hate it when I have to do this, because I hate telling that I can't help them.

So back to Limatunes......I read her blog post yesterday titled "Fight Like A Girl And Other Lessons From A Stabbing"  - if you haven't read it, GO DO IT NOW. Because that's the bulk of what I want to talk about today. I'll wait......

All done? It's a sobering read, isn't it? I train every single day, and still it made me think of areas that I need to work on. I want to address some of the same points that Limatunes does.

As John Adams said about the American Revolution, a battle is most often won or lost in the heart and mind. If, in your heart and mind, you think you could never harm another person even if it meant your own life, then I submit to you that you *will* lose the fight. If instead, you believe in your heart and your mind that you will do anything to protect yourself or your loved ones, then you are already in a winning position.
That mindset did not protect her from being attacked. It only helped her make the decision to fight once the attack happened.
Even with that fighting mindset she was taken by surprise. Rushing from work to school she was emailing her boyfriend when she walked into the parking garage. She threw her bags in her car and was about to get in herself when she felt something at her neck.
This falls under Awareness, and as Lima discusses the Color Codes Of Awareness.
Should you try to live in Condition Yellow all the time? Yes, as much as possible.
Is it possible, 100% of the time? No. We get distracted by many different things (me included), and we all have to sleep at some point, right?
Should this young woman have put her phone away before entering the parking garage? Yes.
Did she deserve to get attacked because she hadn't? Hell, no!
Do I blame her for not seeing the attack coming? Absolutely not. Criminals rely on the element of surprise. They are always one step ahead, because they know what they are going to do, and they didn't give us a written gameplan.

The Attack
Angela's attacker put a knife to her throat and said, "We're going for a ride."
Angela made a bold decision. With a knife to her throat she chose to fight. She wasn't some sort of martial arts master. She took a self defense class and she chose to use what she had learned. She set a boundary that she wasn't going to cross and she fought. It was that simple.
I believe this was a pivotal decision. She chose to fight. With a knife to her throat.
Statistically, Crime Scene B is always far worse than Crime Scene A. What does that mean? If you comply with your attackers wishes to go to another location, things will end up far worse than if you stay and fight at Crime Scene A.

The Defensive Weapon
I hear too many people say "Oh, I don't need to train to fight, I carry _____ on me all the time." (Gun, knife, pepper spray, etc) 
First and foremost - YOU ARE THE DEFENSIVE WEAPON. All the other stuff you might carry are TOOLS to aid in a fight.
Angela had pepper spray, and she even tried to deploy it. But it was in her bag (where pepper spray often lives) and she couldn't get to it. Even if it had been in her pocket, she may not have been able to deploy it.
If you carry defensive tools, you owe it to yourself to TRAIN with it. If you don't train with it, there's a good chance you'll forget it's even there if you get attacked.

The Call

The only thing I will say about the call to 911 is this: This is a prime example of why you cannot depend on police to protect you from harm. Their job is to clean up the mess and locate and punish the criminals, not to protect you. Please don't take that as an insult to law enforcement. They simply cannot predict crime any better than anyone else, and when the call goes in to 911, the information has to be disseminated and units deployed. You are already there, so you should be the one protecting you.

The Injury
This really got me thinking. I carry very basic first aid supplies in my bag, unless I'm going to the range, and then I carry a larger kit. Poor planning, on my part. I wouldn't have the supplies to treat a stab wound until help could come. This will be remedied in short order.

Angela fought for roughly three minutes (an eternity in a fight). She was stabbed and while bleeding internally she ran down four flights of a parking garage to help.

Many Americans would not have the physical stamina to make it through half of that.
People, you owe it to yourself. Take care of your body. Help it to be strong and fit. You are worth it, your loved ones are worth it. Is it hard work? Yep. Is it hard to find the time? Sometimes. But like Lima said: It may very well be the difference between life and death.

I'll just reiterate all of what Lima said. There is no better way to say it.
Be aware. Be aware of your surroundings and those around you. Be aware of pre-fight indicators.

If you carry a defensive tool train with it. Have it accessible, ready to use and in good working order.

If your defensive tool is not available or not functioning be prepared to fight without it.

Be prepared to give an exact location to responders but don't rely solely on that to save you. Run, move, treat, seek alternative sources of help at the scene.

Have the skills and tools to treat injuries to yourself and others.

Be fit enough to fight. 


Fight and survive!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Cuteness overload commencing....

If you caught my last blog post dated over a month ago, you know why it's been a month since I posted. :)

Introducing the two newest members of our household! These were taken the day they came home. They were condemned to the cones of shame for 10-14 days after their spay/neuter you really think plastic e-collars are meant to hold up to razor sharp pirhana puppy teeth? Noooooo. We did manage to keep them on them for about 11 days, but there were many repairs that needed to be made during that time, and FORGET keeping them "sendentary" during that time!

Baby girl pup at 9 weeks old

Baby boy pup at 9 weeks old

They were so little back then......the boy weighed in at 12.5 lbs when he had his surgery (we don't have a surgery date weight for her - not sure if they didn't weigh her, or she wouldn't hold guess is the latter).

Names? Oh yeah, names!
We settled on Lula for her (yes, as in UpLula!) and Gunny (as in R. Lee) for him. :)

Lula is our crazy insane high energy oh my god I can't go to sleep or I'll miss something pup.
Gunny is mostly calm, serious, and laid back. But his sister can get him all wound up of course!

These last few weeks we've been working on potty training (I think we are FINALLY there! Knock on wood), a very few basic commands (sit, stay, down) and eating, playing and sleeping. These little buggers go 0-60 and then 60-0. Multiple times a day. We go through a 25lb bag of puppy food in about a week and a half. And I swear they grow in their sleep.

Here's more recent pics, from just a few days ago.
It's hard to tell the actual size of them in these pics, so we took some with Soldier Girl (she's back, by the way!) so far away family members could get a better idea of how big they are.

Soldier Girl is about 5'6", and you can see they're above knee height. Latest weigh in (yesterday) has Lula weighing in at 27.6lbs, and Gunny weighing in at 26.2lbs. And they're 100 days old today!

The poor cat still isn't quite sure what to make of them, but she's slowly coming out of hiding, and even interacting with them a tiny bit - at least until the puppy teeth go into motion and the chase drive is activated. I'm confident that we'll all live in harmony. Eventually. :)

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Prayers for my fellow Texans

The sleepy little town of West, Texas needs prayers and support.

Located just north of Waco, with a population of only about 2800 people, the fire and subsequent explosion at the fertilizer plant has caused mass destruction in this little town. Many people injured or died, most everyone displaced since the town was evacuated.

The blast was felt clear up to Amarillo (and beyond), where seismographs recorded a shockwave of 2.1 on the richter scale. This is a huge, heartbreaking tragedy.

My fellow Texans need prayers and support. If you can help with any type of donations, that would be fantastic too. This link shows places that are accepting donations, but blood donations are desperately needed.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Make way for puppies!

The mister and I had a moment of sheer insanity the other day. We signed adoption papers for TWO nine week old puppies!

No pics of my own yet, since the babies won't come home until later this week, but I found a couple of pics on the rescue organization's site. 
Daisy (mama) and pups
Hungry pups!

We're pondering names! One male, one female - brother and sister. We think they are part Anatolian Shepard. (If you aren't sure what those are...check this out. They'll probably be pretty big!)

Some names that have come up.....
Bonnie & Clyde
Smith & Wesson
M______ & P______ (following the Smith & Wesson theme - but with names that actually start with those letters)
Mosin & Mauser

If you were crazy enough to adopt two puppies at the same time, what would YOU name them?

Saturday, March 23, 2013

I'd like to thank the Academy.....

My one year blogaversary came and went with virtually zero notice by me. Oops!

The truth of the matter is, I've been SO busy for the last few months, that I've barely had time to blog (you didn't notice?), forget trying to keep up with all my favorite gun bloggers too!

So what has been keeping me so busy? Training. And training. Oh, and more training. Did I mention training?
And not just training, but lots of INSTRUCTOR training as well!

A year ago, I really was just starting on this journey, trying to figure out what to do next.
Remember this post?
Well, I jumped in with everything I had and got 'er done. I feel all official and what not.
Don't get me wrong, there is LOTS more for me to learn! But I feel like I can finally start giving back now.

Between the hubster and I, we have logged nearly 400 hours of training - since SEPTEMBER 2012.
From basic to advanced pistol, rifle, and even.........armed/unarmed self defense.

I guess we don't like to do anything half way around here. :)

I owe a debt of gratitude to a lot of fantastic people. I'm not going to name names, because I know I will leave some people out, and then I'll feel guilty.

Thanks to:
Strong women that inspire me. Shooters, trainers, activists, warrior princesses (and I don't mean Xena), bloggers, organizers.
Men that actually encourage and HELP women in not only the shooting sports, but also in other areas of the self defense world. Men that don't spout a bunch of hot air and then get cranky when they are questioned, but men that are interested more in correct and useful information instead of stroking their own egos.
Training counselors that would give you the shirt off their back if you ever needed it.
Anyone that has taken the time to encourage me and tell me that I have the strength to do all of this.

And most of husband. He's the one that started the wheels in motion for me on this crazy adventure. I have loved every minute of it so far. 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

March Appleseed - AAR

I had hoped to get this post up sooner, but it's been a busy couple of weeks in the 2A household. (Who am I kidding? It's been a busy few MONTHS. I need a vacation!)

I am happy to report that my marksmanship skills are improving! Even though we were shooting in the cold, rain, wind and mud, I had an incredible time and wouldn't have traded the experience for anything.

First off, this was the view immediately to my left.....

That's Mr. 2A, providing what he calls "motivation" with his RIFLEMAN sticker adhered to the stock of his Remington 597......I call it gloating. (Ok, it did motivate me a little.)

Second, see all those chunks of dirt mud? This photo was actually taken on day two, so the ground had dried out a bit from the cold wind that moved in. On day one, you'd walk downrange to check your target, and by the time you got back to the firing line, you were a good 4" taller because of the mud caked on the bottom of your shoes. 

I didn't shoot my Remington this time. We scored a used Ruger 10/22 and made some modifications to it.
Hogue stock (a dream if you're shooting in the rain), TechSites, extended mag release, and standard GI sling.
This one fits me much better than the Remington (although I did have it there as a backup, just in case!). I had trouble with mag changes on the Remington, having to break position to even find the mag release much less reach the mag well. Not a problem on the 10/22 - extended mag release made it a breeze to drop the mags, and the reach to seat a new one in the mag well was perfect. 

Ok, so on to the AQT's!
Mr. 2A shot only one AQT, and managed to beat his previous qualifying score of 211.....with a 233!!! 
After this AQT, he accepted an Instructor In Training hat, and worked the line. :) 

I went through all six AQT's and did pretty well myself. Sadly, not quite a RIFLEMAN yet....but the main thing I really need to work on is my timing.

Stage 1: Ok, I could use some practice here too. This stage is standing, 10 rounds, 2 minutes. I need to control my figure 8 better and work on my arm strength so my arms don't get as tired as quick.
Stage 2: This one hurt me. Standing to seated/kneeling, 5 rounds left, 5 rounds right, 55 seconds. I didn't get all my rounds off, simply because I didn't remember my Rifleman's Cadence. "Breathe in, breathe out, squeeze" stepped up or slowed down to fit your timing requirements. Had I completed this round....I would have qualified.
Stage 3: Standing to prone, 3 shots, 3 shots, 4 shots, 65 seconds. I need to work on cadence, as well as making sure I've got NPOA (natural point of aim) before squeezing that trigger. 
Stage 4: Prone, 2 shots, 2 shots, 3 shots 3 shots, 5 minutes. I need to remember to slooooow down here, but overall I'm pretty happy with this one.

Best score of the day = 200. Ten points shy of qualifying RIFLEMAN.
Practice, practice, practice....dry fire, dry fire, dry fire....and I'm going to try again in April. I'm after an Instructor In Training hat too. ;)

I must say, I really love what goes into precision marksmanship. So much, that I'm looking around for places I can start doing long range rifle shooting, and maybe even some competitions. I have a long way to go before I have a chance at winning anything....but don't forget....I've only been shooting rifles for 3 months now!

One more picture to leave you with. My final redcoat target of the weekend.
Of course, this one wasn't timed....... If  you can't quite read the distances on those (simulated distance)....
Top row: 100 yards
2nd row: 200 yards
3rd row: square 250 yd 'headshot'  and 300 yard silhouette
4th row: 400 yards

Gotta work on that timing thing...... :)