I'm currently reading August 15th LJ entries. So perhaps it's appropriate that I write about the events in my life on that date.
telnar and I woke up at an only slightly less absurdly early hour this morning; around 6AM or so, I think. Because we'd learned that kelloggs2066 was still un-adjusted to local time, too, we'd arranged the previous day that he'd have use of makovette's cell phone. We gave him a call on it, and he took Mako's truck to meet us for breakfast.
I wanted to go to New York, New York for breakfast, still hoping for that elusive cheese blintz. The best cheese blintzes in America are made in NYC, so I figured the casino ought to have at least a passable imitation Telnar knew how to get there, but he wasn't keen on driving. Scott was not thrilled about driving, either, but he volunteered to do so anyway. As we were pulling out of the parking lot, my cell phone rang: level_head was awake. This was to everyone's delight, particularly since Level Head knows his way around Las Vegas and actually likes driving. :)
So we turned around and rendezvoused with him, then trooped out to breakfast. As it turned out, I was half-right about New York, New York: they used to have cheese blintzes on the menu ... but not anymore. Alas. I got some quite reasonably tasty chocolate chip pancakes instead, and the company was better than blintzes any day. We tried to figure out why the restaurant's ceiling map of the USA had far more lights in Florida than any other state. We didn't manage to solve this mystery, although Scott did notice that the entire country west of the Rockies was apparently suffering a blackout.
After breakfast, we went back to the hotel to meet lady_anne and ltwarhound, then zipped off to Mako's place. openheartsoftly met us there, and a few of Mako's local friends and housemates joined the party as well. We represented a wide range of experience with guns, though surprisingly, all of us had been shooting at least once. Mako gave us a lesson on gun safety and the mechanics of loading and operating his particular collection of guns. I had considerable difficulty loading and readying all of the automatics; I couldn't get the requisite grip and strength to bear on pulling back the slide, or even operating the safeties in some cases. It was pretty pitiful. And the Desert Eagle was way more gun than I could use.
Fortunately, once we got to the range, the gentlemen were very gentlemanly about loading and readying the guns for me, so I got a chance to try everything. I even shot a few rounds with the Desert Eagle. That's an, um, big gun. ("No, my hand isn't shaking because I'm tensed against the recoil. My hand is shaking because it's tired from just trying to hold this cannon straight out in front of me.") I fired half a clip from the Glock and then took a break because my hand hurt too much from the recoil. (I am such a wimp). I finally got to see what people mean about recoil on guns. The only other time I'd been shooting was with an air-powered .22 rifle, which has functionally no kick at all. Even the smallest of these pistols had far more noticeable recoil.
My aim was predictably awful; about the best I could manage was to hit the target a pointblank range. Of all the guns, I still liked the revolvers best, simply because I felt comfortable loading and unloading them and had no difficulties using them. They also seemed to jam less (read: not at all) than the automatics. Since the revolvers didn't jam while I was around, I don't know how hard they'd be to clear, but some of the automatics were definitely a pain to un-jam. I remember openheartsoftly liked the revolvers best, too. That was my pick for "if I had to use a gun right now, I'd use that one." It'd've been even easier to use if I'd remembered about cocking the hammer back part way so that the trigger'd be single action instead of double.
I think if I were going to carry a gun, though, I'd rather learn how to use properly a small automatic, just because they're smaller and more convenient to handle. And I'd prefer a gun with a safety if I were to keep it on me -- neither of the revolvers we used had safeties. (Lut now points out to me that there's not much need for a safety on a revolver, since it can't fire while the hammer's forward, and the odds of an accident cocking the hammer are pretty slim. OK, I won't worry about that bit then.)
Altogether, we had a great time. Lut ("Lut" is short for "Lt.Warhound", incidentally) really enjoyed firing the Glock, so much so that he bought more ammo for it, then went around checking to see if anyone else wanted to use it, because he figured he'd unfairly monopolized it. :) And as I'm sitting here writing and reflecting back on it, I find myself wondering about local gun ranges. Hmmmm... Maybe someday, with enough practice and exposure, I'd actually understand prester_scott's gun entries. :) Thanks again for letting us use your pistols makovette!
Afterwards, we went to a local restaurant, Big Dogs, for lunch. (Thanks for that too, Mako! Mmmm, sweet potato fries). The party broke up for a few hours after that. Telnar and I spent some time playing poker, and were so intent upon it that kelloggs2066 and openheartsoftly sat down on chairs against the wall behind us, and we took several minutes to notice them. (Hi, Scott! Hi, OHS!) They met up with Level Head later, I understand, and Level Head won some more rounds of air hockey.
Around seven, we all re-grouped for a showing of "I, Robot" at the casino's theater. When that was over, we split up once more. This time, Level Head joined Lut and I. The arcade was right next to the theater, so we stopped in to get thrashed a few more times at air hockey by Level Head. Oh, and I got thrashed by Lut at air hockey, too. Lut and Level Head were fairly closely matched, in fact, but I solidly established my air-hockey-inferiority to both of them. That's okay -- it's playing the game that's supposed to be fun, not winning. :)
When this began to pall, we got frosty drinks at a little coffee shop in the casino, and went back to the rooms. We chatted for a bit, and started to talk about one of the games I'd brought, "Robo Rally". After a few mintues of attempting to describe aspects of the game, I thought, Gee, if we're going to discuss it anyway, I might as well dig it out and show it to him. So we taught Level Head the rules and played a short trial game to give him a feel for it. As I recall, I called an early halt to the game, as I abruptly ran out of steam and crashed into unconsciousness shortly after ushering our host out of the room.