Friday, June 06, 2014

Off to Gun school.

Originally, I was supposed to be going to Alabama to take part in the same class that Keads is currently in. But alas, when registration opened, the class computer crashed due to the traffic because it was a popular class. When it came back up, I was only able to get on the waiting list, and far enough down that it was unlikely that I'd make the cut.  And I never did make the cut. Pity. 

But by then, I had the bug for a class of some sort, so when Six of Warrior Class fame mentioned a carbine class taught by Ron Avery at a range near him, well I decided that it was time to take the advice of Horace Greeley and "go west". So I write this now from my seat on a Spirit Airlines A320 Airbus as it is carrying me west towards a city called Las Vegas in the state of Nevada. On arrival there, I shall post this missive and then set out to explore this place known as "the strip". Come the morrow, I'll head north into Utah where Six, his wife Lu and Angus the Wonder Dog reside. Stay tuned here for lots of posts, but as I'm pretty much restricted to using an iPad, my posts will likely be light on pictures until I return to The Lair, at which point the blog will be bombed with them for days if not weeks. I do plan to be out for a bit, and sightseeing will commence when the class is over. I have a rental SUV with unlimited mileage waiting for me, and a lair sitter and others will be keeping Murphy and Belle fed and entertained in my absence.

I miss them already.

So let's talk trip here. First off, Spirit Airlines blows. I bought my ticket online and I thought that I had also paid for one checked bag at the lower internet rate but when I got to the airport, their system had no record of my bag registration, forcing me to pony up $45 for one damned rucksack, and I'm sure that they'll screw me for the same amount on the trip back. Damned bag might just go back UPS out of principle. At least my rifle and ammo arrived safely, having been sent out UPS ahead of time.

With an hour to kill before boarding, I hit the Rams Head restaurant in the concourse. That was a mistake too, as they clearly bank on volume business and a monopoly based on their unique location over customer service. I won't go into details, but Rams Head in C Concourse at BWI can bite me.

I got on the plane quick enough though, being one of the first seated, and as my reward I got to watch all of the other passengers come on, an experience that has caused me to lament the passing of the good old days where people actually dressed nice to fly on a plane. And yeah, I particularly mean people like "Sumdood" who came on with his baggy pants low and his underoos visible, topped off by a sleeveless undershirt in lieu of an actual shirt. I wish airlines would enforce a dress code and tell fools like that to either pull their pants up and wear actual clothes or head back to the terminal and just board the Greyhound bus outside.

To be fair, I did get an upgrade to the better seats up front by virtue of my sparkling personality, but the edge came off that treat pretty quickly as the two seats beside me were taken by two women who brought about a week's worth of food with them. Before we even taxied away from the gate, they both broke out salads which were slathered with some pretty pungent dressing and began tucking in. And no sooner did they finish those then the boxes from Buffalo Wild Wings came out of their bags, followed by a huge sack of spicy pork rinds. Yeah, they were great seat-mates, and that was before they started to berate the stewardesses for only having "no-name" bottled water on the cart. 

But the flight itself was cool. Fifteen minutes into it, we passed over Harpers Ferry and Martinsburg, WV. I could almost make out The Lair and my little Cessna on the Tarmac at KMRB below.

 Forty-five minutes after take-off we were crossing over the Lake Erie shoreline right at Sandusky, Oh. I could clearly make out Camp Perry below, and it wasn't much longer before we reached and crossed Lake Michigan. My Cessna 172 has it's pluses but it definitely takes a back seat to this Airbus for speed.

An hour and a half into the flight, we passed over Madison, Wisconsin. Go, Governor Scott Walker!

Oh, my seat neighbors also have a ziplock bag filled with popcorn. And breath spray. It seems that the concept of olfactory boundaries is totally lost on these two.

But I'm on the ground now, and I even managed to get off the plane without turning around and smacking "loud talking guy" who was in the seat behind me for the last five hours. Hey everyone, see how I'm totally not smacking him?  I really am getting nicer. 

Or maybe I'm just tired. 

Anyway, more later. Got to get my bag and find my rental car, then go hit the strip!


  1. Enjoy and looking forward to the AAR...

  2. Wow - about the only thing you didn't have on this trip was a lengthy delay. You trying to rival Old NFO for bad flights?

    Srsly though, glad you made it okay.

  3. Glad you got there and tell the Six clan I said hi!

  4. The only time I ever fly anymore is when the destination is Maui... Looking forward to the Vegas Report!