Friday, October 6, 2017
Blogorado, day (or, rather, evening) 1
We arrived safely in Colorado after an uneventful, but rather wet, journey. It rained pretty solidly for about four hours, which made driving much less enjoyable, particularly when passing through the spray kicked up by long lines of semi-trailers, which reduces visibility to potentially dangerous levels. We broke the journey in Amarillo for a quick visit with Alma Boykin, which was (as always) most enjoyable. She's good people.
After unloading most of our baggage into our hotel room, we headed for the Highly Secret Blogorado Location, on a farm some miles out of town. It was great to meet members of our tribe again, many of whom we haven't seen since last year. People kept on arriving through the evening, making for many late suppers as they tucked into lobster and chicken-fried steak. (Did I mention that the food at Blogorado makes the journey worthwhile all by itself, never mind the company or the shooting?)
There was some somber discussion of the Las Vegas shooting earlier this week. All of us are shooting enthusiasts, but we all recognize the impact that this tragedy is likely to have on our hobby (for some of us, an avocation). Most of us expect that so-called "bump stocks" are likely to be, if not banned altogether, at least brought under the aegis of the National Firearms Act of 1934, and treated as if they were "real" machine-guns, requiring registration and the payment of a tax. Until now, bump stocks had been regarded by serious firearms owners as a toy, something owned only by "wannabes" who couldn't afford the price of a real full-auto weapon (or the tax stamp for it). Las Vegas has irrevocably changed that. Personally, I don't mind them being banned. I've always viewed them as the sign of an amateur and a showoff. Tragically, we now know that under the right conditions, and given an area target rather than one requiring marksmanship and precision shooting, amateur show-offs can use them to deadly effect. (Of course, one doesn't require a bump stock to "bump fire" a rifle; it can be done without any modification at all. The bump stock merely makes it easier.)
I've learned, to my mortification, that as I get older, prolonged pain makes me snappish and unpleasant to be around. It's the sort of thing one doesn't notice until a loving wife points out, as gently as possible, that one behaved very rudely to the hotel clerk when the credit card machine malfunctioned and other problems arose. I hate that. I'm going to apologize nicely to the clerk this morning, and I'll have to learn to watch my behavior more carefully. Strong painkillers make the pain more bearable, but after reading up about them a few minutes ago, I now know they can also "mask" or lower one's conscious inhibitions and social controls, almost like over-indulging in alcohol. I daren't let them turn me into a permanent grouch! That's an important lesson learned. Those of you who are in pretty much permanent pain, as I am, might want to think about it too.
Anyhoo, we'll be joining the rest of the clan for breakfast shortly, then it's off to the range for a day's shooting and socializing (and more great food, of course). I'll try to post again tonight or tomorrow morning.