Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Do NOT watch Gunny Peterson shoot. It is scary.
He took third yesterday in the President's match, yet won the shoot-off. The winner was a civvie which is a lot more common than you thing, second place was an Army marksmanship unit guy.
I don't understand the scoring system but I was behind him at the 600 yard shoot-off and he only dropped a single point. Guys like that scare me to watch. Incredible hand/eye co-ordination at it's finest. It is amazing to see talent like that. I was behind him watching the fall of his shot and it was ungodly. I think he was made of spare parts they found at Walter Reed or something because it is hard to imagine a shooter like that being made out of flesh and blood. The man is like a machine.
Yesterday at the radio shack an interesting thing happened. I made a QSO with a guy in Texas that used to be on the Marine team a few years back. He had a message to pass on to the team so I took off running to the firing line to pass the word like a good ham is supposed to. Then I ran back to the rig and passed on the reply. One of the shooters on the Marine team knew him from years ago.
Yesterday was a day short on QSOs but long on fun as at about 1900 a couple of the guys from one of the teams dropped by the shack. One of them commented that my little setup looked like something out of a movie set of a Japanese holdout in the South Pacific. It does look kind of laid back.
The main form of transportation around Perry for the permanent party is a fleet of golf carts. The MPs for some reason look out for me and when they see me hoofing somewhere they often snag me and give me a ride. They also keep an eye on my shack. In return I put their lunch sodas, gatorade in with the beer I keep on ice so they can get something cold to drink when they need a break.
I was up at first light and picked up the cigarette buts left by last night's visitors because although my camp may look like a coastwatcher's hovel, I keep it neat so nobody can really complain. You have to think of PR when you do something like this.
Yesterday there was a little National Guard detail I passed and I asked the crusty old Sergeant First Class if he would keep an eye out for my mother. When he looked up at me trying to figure out why a sixty year old man would be looking for his mother, I told him that if she didn't show up inside of 5 minutes, I was going to have to pick up after myself.
One dopey Pfc didn't catch on and asked me what my mother looked like. Go figure. There are some people you can put in a padded room with 3 bowling balls and when you return one of them will be missing, the other snapped clean in half and the third one will be impregnated.
The sergeant turned to me and gave a slight nod of thanks to me. He got it. He turned to the detail.
"His mother is not here to pick up after him and neither is yours!" he snapped.
Good NCOs are grateful for little things and setups they can use to their advantage and later on he thanked me when he saw me passing by somewhere else.
Last night the rig was manned on 40 meters by a young shooter off of a junior team that had a license. I told him to use both my call sign and name for QSL purposes and he was smart enough to do it. He made a couple of QSOs for me and I was grateful for the respite as I could sit there and yak with a couple of Marines that dropped in.
One of the interesting Marines that dropped by is a Master Sergeant that is shooting on his own nickel and on his personal leave time. He's an interesting man. Several of us sat around telling screwed up stories of our experiences both in and out of service.
One of the commo NCOs asked me how I got the antenna up the tree so high and I showed him my slingshot and fishing reel arrangement. He's headed to Wally World today for parts to make one and I would not be surprised to see a bunch of them floating around the services in the future. It's funny how the services hire technical people to design advanced field communications gear yet the whiz kids fail miserably with the little common sense ideas to get something like an antenna wire up a tree.
My scant records are en route to the base CO's office and I think that today I am going to have to put the nose to the grindstone and make a bunch of QSOs to fill up a couple of pages.
A Pfc asked me why I always seem to have something pink on and the tone in his voice was somewhat insulting and homophobic. I returned by suggesting he liked his women flat chested and with a small boy's butt and he got really annoyed. Then I told him I wear pink for breast cancer awareness.
The rest of the guys laughed at him and one of the guys took a small piece of my safety tape and put it on his golf cart, which is the one he shares with the Pfc, much to the embarrassment of the Pfc.
In other gnus I am seriously considering scraping up an M-1 to shoot the JCG match if I can find a last minute slot on the morning relay. I always shoot a perfect score in that match, based on what we call a 'JCG match perfect score'. It means all of our rounds fell safely into Lake Erie.
An NCO brought by a 4 digit serial number Garand last night. I guess it had started life as a gas trap model and the receiver had a square cut operating rod slot which was later changed to a round cut as squares cut into steel sometimes lead to weakness at the corners and the steel can crack after years of use. Round corners don't as the round shape is more graceful. The rifle had never been issued, and was converted to a gas tube modification and was put back in storage after it had been modified and was never issued afterwards.
The save the whales people seem to have laid low so far but I fear they will try and crash the JCG match. I get tired of how much money and time is spent chasing those idiots around and the truth is that military impact areas should simply be labeled 'Darwin zones' and the services should simply continue business as usual and anyone that enters an impact area should simply be left to their devices. Time to put a little more bleach into the gene pool.
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