MORE RAMBLINGS- MOSTLY ABOUT HURT FEELINGS
July 15 Blog
Last weekend was rather productive. Greg and some volunteers crunched up the last of the old shacks and dumpstered it. They built a wall to complete bay -1 and 0. Oh, yeah, don’t be confused by the sign near the two new bays that apparently label them bays “10” and “11”. If we just ignore the signs I’m sure all will be well. What’s that? You were looking for bay 10 down range of bay 9? No, no. We use “New Math” and conceptualize the range as an object oriented loop.
So, you know, as you drive in, it now goes bay 10,11,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9 Because, math. And Jim.
Remember it absolutely does NOT go: bay -1,0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9. That would be crazy talk.
So yeah, Bay 0 and -1 are now finished.
Greg and company then moved up the line to the area around bay 3. He built up the bay 3a’s near berm using the unused berm near the well house and crunched up the overhead cover in 3a to make room for our spiffy new overhead cover which is on order.
The rumor mill says that Greg then decided to dig a ditch and broke the water line. Again. Richard came to the rescue Saturday morning before the match and patched the line so the Practical Rifle shooters could use the poop trailer.
Meanwhile, Dave Owens and Jim pulled new underground wire for the conexes. I think. I dunno, when they asked if I would help this weekend I said “Oh, I’d really like to, but I have to help with the practical rifle match”. Andrew hurt his leg defending his daughter from a cougar attack and needed some help. He most definitely did NOT get hurt prancing around a tennis court as some haters have implied. So I smiled and walked away from the work. Greg was too busy running the excavator to shoot the match, I felt bad for him. On the second stage, I was running and stepped into a hole that was filled with loose sand, I went flying. My pistol departed my holster and I earned a DQ. Some said it was karma for ditching the work crew. But, think about it. It was a hole. There was an excavator on site the night before. Coincidence? I think not.
Custer Sportsmen’s Club Board of Directors is my topic today. I’m sure that many of you are unaware that we even have a governing body. Our BOD takes care of the club employees, gets all of the bills paid, hires contractors, budgets our money, and all the other mundane day to day operations that a club of our size requires. Full disclosure, I’m the club VP, so my view is likely different than yours, but I’ll tell ya how I see things.
You wouldn’t believe the time and effort that many on the board spend on and at CSC. I’m pretty sure that only one of the board members is retired, and none of the BOD receive payment of any kind. The topic of compensating the board members with at least a free membership, comes up every year, and every year the board votes it down. We are volunteers. We serve because someone has to do the work, and we feel like we can make the club better.
Well, to be fair, I do like it when the club limousine picks me up for the monthly meeting. I also like the champagne and hor d’oeuvres served during the pledge on meeting night. I guess the chocolate fountain is nice enough, but mostly I go because it’s the right thing to do.
You, as a member, are welcome to show up on the second Thursday of the month at 7PM and give your opinion, make comments, hurl insults, clap and bow before your fearless leader, or whatever you feel like. We like hearing from the membership. Mostly.
We do strictly abide by “Jim’s rules of order”. It’s like Robert’s rule of order if ol’ Bob had been a gun toting hillbilly who can’t tell the difference between 0 and 11.
Anyway, we get together once a month and spend about 20 hours in our club room with the deep plush carpet, dark mahogany paneled walls and Pininfarina’s Aresline Xten chairs. We sip bourbon and scotch while discussing club business, what went right and wrong over the last month, hearing about the latest project we need to work on, and that sort of thing. Tony tells us how much we were supposed to spend, and how much more we actually spent. Marc tries to keep up with our rambling, recording it for posterity. Greg expounds on his next vision for the club that will require 8000 man hours, 1.5 million euros, and make life much better for the shooters. Jim tries to keep everyone on task, and the trustees work hard on making our rants into something that will actually help the club. I may have dramatized it a little for clarity’s sake.
Really though, show up once and a while and tell us how we are doing.
Front line shooters, speak up about your needs and wishlist items. The CSC BOD heard that you wanted more bay seperation, and Tony added it to the budget, and now it’s a real wall. Our President knows walls. He asked for ‘em, “Build the wall!” he said, and Greg made it happen. Our thanks to those of you who showed up and helped! Anyhoo, let the board know what you need. It may not happen overnight, but if we don’t know what you want, we can’t plan for it.
The BOD has been working hard this year to adhere to our budget. What? You say, we have a budget? Yep, Tony Blore worked incredibly hard over the last year and a half to craft a spreadsheet that details Every. Single. Penny. It’s one thing to be able to account for the money, it’s another thing altogether to peer into the future and project how much money we will make, how much running the range will cost, and where we might spend the difference. This process is difficult to manage even if you have a tight ship to begin with. Tony had, well, a sinking ship. It seems that I was the Treasurer last year, so, well, let’s not dwell on that. Let’s focus instead on the fact that Tony can indeed see into the future. His predictions are uncanny and he is doing a fantastic job helping the BOD steer the no longer leaking ship down the road, or the shipping lane, on the sound, or ocean. Whatever, metaphors are hard. Or is that a simile. Crap.
The following names have not been changed to protect the… Well that’s the point isn’t it?
President James “Jim” Russell Gruff old bastard who clearly can’t count.
CEO John “Greg” Markell Gets it done. Might get his 12 hours this year.
VP Todd “Me” Epps Better hope your President lives a long time.
Secretary Marc Ambers Nice guy, probably doesn’t belong with this crew.
Treasurer Tony Blore Sees the future. Counts the money.
Trustee Lonnie Rose VFW Post Commander
Trustee Zack Marr Budding Libertarian
Trustee Andi Dyer Real Estate Tycoon
Trustee Richard Arden Thank him for the water
Trustee Matt Pridachuk Bigfoot for tots
Trustee Bob Anderson Brass kicker extraordinaire
Trustee Jason James The Balance
Trustee John Asmundson Shoots front and back
I’d like to take a few minutes to talk about match shooting.
Where to start… Misconceptions.
I think that many people imagine that the average match shooter is some cocky dude with a stupidly expensive gun, fancy equipment, and that they strut around the back range doing tricks and talking smack. Before I started, I pictured a clique of guys that wouldn’t welcome a new person who had no idea how to shoot a match, or even what a match looked like. Sure the Army taught me how to shoot, and I was “good behind the gun”, but I was pretty sure that my skills wouldn’t really be translatable to shooting dimes flipped in the air behind my back and me using a mirror to shoot my pistol over my shoulder. Or, you know, whatever they do “in the back”.
Now that I am part of that secret back range club, I can tell you that I am indeed part of that original stereotype. I’m a cocky (chubby) (old) dude with stupidly expensive gun(s) and fancy equipment (it makes me shoot better(not)) and I strut (stumble) around the back range doing tricks (trying to hit what I’m aiming at) and talking smack (k, that part is true).
I was way off base on the welcome though. I couldn’t possibly have had it more wrong. Everyone was astoundingly friendly and helpful.
It was weird.
It was like going to the DMV and having everyone smile and helpfully move you through the line while correcting any typos, and the picture on your license looks like a glamour shot of the best possible you.
Ok, maybe not that weird, but I wasn’t expecting such a warm welcome and the helpful, one on one instruction and advice. I don’t remember feeling confused about what I should be doing, or what the rules were, and I never was in danger of being unsafe. Not because some dismissive range officer handed me a rule sheet, or pointed out the safety placards posted around the place, but because everyone made sure that I understood what needed to happen, when it needed to happen, and most importantly to me, WHY it needed to be that way.
My first match was a falling plates match. I was lead to believe that it was a good place to see if I liked competitive shooting by Paul in the front office. A few days later I confirmed that Theron also thought it was a good starting point. I was dubious, and I was fairly sure that it was a trap, setup to chase away “tourist” shooters who clearly were not serious about shooting competitively. I spent too much time trying to fall asleep the Friday night before the match. I just could not figure out how falling plates worked. I imagined a sort of series of elevated tables with ramps that the plates rolled down and you had to shoot them on the move before they “fell” off the end of the last table into a basket or something. I didn’t really spend much time on the basket theory, I was too worried that I wouldn’t be able to hit the rolling plates. So, Saturday morning came and I was down some sleep, but determined to soldier on and thoroughly embarrass myself by missing all the rolling plates. I walked into the pin bay, wondering briefly why in the world they called it that, and all eyes turned toward me as conversations died down all around. “Oh crap, it’s just like I thought, they can smell fear!” All these people started yammering at me, it was horrible. They said things like “What’s your name?” “Have you shot plates before?” “Someone grab him a tote” “You can sign in right over there” It went on and on. “If you need anything, just ask” I heard that last one so many times. They tried to help me load magazines, they gave me pointers on how to stand, what order to shoot the plates… Wait, what? The plates are all just in a line and you knock them down? You shoot them and they fall down. Falling plates, I get it. Pffft, this was WAY easier than I thought! Oh, I see, you are racing the person next to you. Hmmm, tougher, but you know, not that hard. I got my gear ready and watched the first shooters with great interest. The guy in charge, Gary? Greg? Whatever, I didn’t remember, was up against some young guy with glasses named Jake. The dude with the blue beeper thingy asked for more eyes as this might be close. Others were watching intently. Beeep! In what sounded like automatic rifle fire for less than a second, all the plates on both racks just sort of folded themselves down in two smooth waves. This repeated two more times. What the sh*t, I gotta get outta here! That’s impossible! I can’t do that!
And I was right, I can’t do that. But I did have fun, and I knew I would be back to try again soon.
It turns out that “shooting games” are addictive. I shot USPSA, then Bowling Pins (Oh, that’s where the bay name came from). Speed Steel came next followed by Concealed Carry. Eventually Practical Rifle became a thing and I started shooting that as well. I sucked. I sucked at all of them. I needed practice. How in the world was I going to practice when Paul or Theron gave me the crabby face if I started shooting fast in the pistol bay up front? One shot per second just was not gonna work! They told me I needed back range access to practice. I would have to take a class and shoot at least 6 more matches. After I did all that, I would have to find someone foolish enough to sign me off as safe to be left to my own devices with a loaded gun, unsupervised. Crazy talk. Nobody was that foolish.
The Class: I have been in possession of firearms my whole life. My Dad gave me a Daisy BB gun on my 9th birthday and I lost it the same day. For a year. I didn’t even shoot anyone! Apparently just pointing a BB gun in the general direction of “people” was a no-go. I mean, that dragon fly was all over the place, how was I supposed to know it was gonna make that last second zag toward the house? Sheesh. A year, when you are 9, is like 7 dog years. I got a Daisy BB gun for my 10th birthday. I was mostly more careful. I learned to hunt. A few years later, the Army made the same mistake as my Dad only they WANTED me to point my rifle at people, but not all people, just some. So confusing. So even with all this excellent experience, the Custer Sportsmen’s Club wanted me to take a “class” with some “civilian” who was supposed to teach me stuff. Whatever. I met Rick Naslund. We chatted for a while, he seemed ok. He too was a pilot, and people actually wanted to get in the plane when he flew. People mostly have the opposite reaction when I’m flying. Wimps. So Rick asked me a few questions, had me fondle my pistol in front of him, then began to show me stuff that I didn’t know. A lot of stuff. Really, an embarrassing amount of stuff that I never gave much thought about. I even remember some of it. Rick’s was the single finest 2 hour class I have ever taken. I recommend it to anyone who wishes to improve, no matter their current skill level.
Top notch shooters: Unless you are watching these guys tear up a stage, you probably don’t know how ridiculously super human they are. They walk among you, and you have no idea that they won the last 400 matches in a row. I have figured out their secret. I now know what I need to learn to become a great shooter. Humility. As in the act of being humble. Most of these guys win a match, or their division, and when you ask how they did, they will respond with “Oh, not too bad, I had fun”. or something silly like that. They will quietly offer support and help anyone that is having a tough day. You might hear through the grapevine that so and so placed 1st again, or that the coach of one of the teams is a Grand Master in two divisions, but unless you push, you likely won’t hear it from them. Meanwhile, if I place 52 in a field of 54, I’m busy sending everyone I know links to practiscore, and nonchalantly changing the computers in the office to highlight my 52nd place. How else are people going to know? Not the stupid grapevine, that’s for sure.
Back Range Blog
Hello CSC Back Range shooter,
In an effort to make this fair and relatively easy to track, we now have booklets, available in the office, for shooters to track their volunteer hours and items of note throughout the year. Back range rules and requirements are printed in the front of the booklet, and you will need a Match Director, CSC employee, or Board member signature after each volunteer time entry.
As a dedicated Custer Sportsmen’s Club member, you have met the requirements and been allowed access to the less supervised portion of our range. As has always been the case, there are yearly requirements to continue to use this fantastic resource. The difference now is the CSC Board of Directors have voted to enforce the long standing rules.
If you shoot Falling Plates or Bowling Pins, please enter those matches in your booklet and have the MD sign, as these matches are not registered on Practiscore.
As a reminder, you need 12 hours of club volunteer time, and you must shoot in 3 Custer matches per year to renew your back range access.
To be clear, your back range access will default to OFF at the end of the year and all back range shooters will need to bring their booklet to the office to have their access activated for the new year.
Hours are easy to collect through the year: Board meetings, match setup, match tear down, bay clean up, weeding, and work parties are just some of the ways to help out and chalk up time. If you can’t find something to do, check in with the office and pick up shotgun shells and wads left in the bays. If you are crabby about the new methods and need to vent, come find me, or email me with your thoughts.
Other matters in “the back”.
The orange cones on the road are to discourage folks from parking in that south area near our well head. Feel free to walk on through.
Shooting in bay 3b: Please park your vehicle in bay 3 if you are shooting 3b. Just move the cones to get there. This will (hopefully) prevent someone from shooting in bay 3 while you are in the back setting up targets out of sight.
Speaking of parking, please diagonal park along the fence across from the stat shack up toward bay 8. In the main lot (newly expanded) please pull all the way forward leaving enough room for a large truck to drive down the road in front of you. This will allow max parking.
Match Set Up
We have had a few rough spots with folks trying to setup for matches, and shooters wanting to practice in the bays. Here is the skinny on that going forward. On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, Match setup has the right of way. Period. Please be polite when they ask you to move, or better yet, help them setup! That being said, if you are setting up a match and can work on other bays first, allowing the person doing their practice finish, it’s the right thing to do.
Feel free to shoot in the bays after they are setup. The roped off areas are not to keep you out, they are to let you know to leave the bay the way you found it. You are welcome to (safely) shoot at the steel in the stage and or setup your own stuff. Do NOT move anything!
And please paint the steel when you finish up.
General Bay Usage for Practice
Don’t Bogart the bay. The BOD has voted that you get 4 hours of practice in any one bay, per day. Move along as soon as you can, allowing others to have their own bay time. I know most of you welcome folks into your practice bay, and that’s awesome, keep being you!
However, it is quite likely that folks have had a peek in the bay to see if it is free and you didn’t even notice them. They may well want some alone time. If you want to reserve the bay during the week (outside of match set up days), feel free, $196 per day and you don’t have to share.
Back Range whipping boy.
Please CLICK: HERE if you wish to renew online using a secure web page and form using a credit card. Do not copy and regular mail this form
THIS FORM IS FOR RENEWALS ONLY. NEW MEMBERS MUST APPLY AT CUSTER SPORTSMEN’S CLUB BUSINESS OFFICE Mail to: Custer Sportsmen’s Club 3000 Birch Bay-Lynden Road Custer, WA 98240 Renewal 2018
Step 1 Verify that you meet the requirements for applying for a concealed carry permit. You must be 21 years old, not convicted of a felony or found not guilty of a felony by reason of insanity and do not have any outstanding warrants. Step 2 Pick up an application for a concealed carry permit…