Thursday, April 12, 2007

He Shoots! A Few Hours Later, He Scores!

Yesterday, I was busier than Don Imus' publicist.

My Wednesday began at 8am at the Philadelphia Police Academy's Pistol Range. It was time for my yearly re-qualification with my Glock 17 9mm pistol. Our course is a 60-round, stationary target shoot from distances of 25 yards and in. It's relatively easy to score in the 90's, and almost impossible to fail. The weather was perfect for shooting - and for Cowboy Blob, that means that there is still oxygen in the air - with clear, sunny skies, and a slight wind. It was brisk - about 54 degrees - but not too cold.

I breezed through the qualification course, except for two little mishaps. First, I had a terribly loose grip on my firearm at the 7-yard line, and threw a round to the left (-2 points). Flustered, I then threw two rounds from the 25-yard line because I was rushing my shots (-4 points). Out of a perfect score of 300 - which is divided by three for a perfect round of 100 - I scored a 294. Doing the math, for which I needed a calculator, my final score was a 98. Not bad . . . but not great.

Immediately after lunch, we finished off our old ammunition on a new course at the PPD Range - moving targets! Hooray, we joined the 19th Century! The targets were spaced evenly amongst the 25, 15, 10, and 7-yard lines, and were metallic like the ones to the left. They were *gasp* computer-operated, and blue and orange plates popped up at random. Blue targets were criminals, and orange targets were civilians. The plates couldn't have been more than a foot in diameter, and dropped back when struck with a round.

Each shooter received 20 rounds, and were observed by the group. No real scores were posted, the instructors were using this new gadget as a sighting tool. I was the first to step up, and after loading and charging my pistol, I was ready to go. Three targets immediately popped up, and I hit them quickly. Wow, I thought, not a bad start. Soon, I was rolling. Ting! Ting! Ting! I was starting to like this exercise a lot! When it was over, I hit targets with 17 out of 20 rounds; the best in my group. Sweet!

After I was finished qualifying, I made a bee-line to the field for our lacrosse game against hated rival Father Judge High School. My team (the Northeast Catholic Falcons) was currently 2-1 in league play, but we have had our last two games postponed due to snow/rain. Thank you, Al Gore! Today's matchup was huge.

Unfortunately for us, we sleepwalked through the first three quarters, and began the fourth quarter losing by a score of 6-3. Ouch.

After a supportive pep talk - I think it was comprised of yelling, screaming, and threatening - the team finally awoke. After killing a three-minute penalty, they slipped one past the Judge goaltender. Then another. Then another. With two minutes left in the game, our kids tied Judge, 6-6 on their home field. We won the next face-off and moved down toward the offensive end of the field. After a few crisp passes, our attacker came from behind the net, and bounced a shot which hit the top crossbar and went in. Falcons up, 7-6! There was 1:39 left in the game.

After losing the next face-off, our defense harassed the Judge offense and forced a turnover. With only seconds remaining, our midfielder vaulted the ball deep into Judge territory, sealing the win. It was bedlam. Falcons win, 7-6.

All in all, a pretty damned good day.

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