I’ve changed the Update schedule back to “Temporarily Sporadic” until we get a handle on things. (Patrons won’t be charged during this period.)

We finally get to see Letoa going through training at Quantico. With “going through” being the operative phrase. There are some trainees that are hard to forget, and she’s definitely going to be one of them.

Whew! Full couple of weeks. They weren’t bad weeks, just busy ones. Wish Max and I could show you what we’ve been working on, but it’s not our property. If it finally gets to the point of public disclosure, we’ll let you know. Glad to be back though!

More below!



Home On The Range


If you live in the USA and you are an adult, you’ve probably been shooting at least once in your life. There are gun ranges scattered all over the place, and no matter how you may personally feel about firearms, it seems like there will eventually come a time when a group of friends or work buddies will decide to go punch some paper, and off you go. I doubt the experience has ever changed anyone’s mindset, but at least you can say you’ve tried it once. Even Max-The-Artist has apparently been shooting recently, under just those circumstances. Hopefully he saved the receipt, because as of this page he can now write it off his taxes as “research.”

During my days writing hard-boiled detective stories I went to the gun range a number of times, mainly because they would let you rent all sorts of firearms to try. It allowed me to write about them with reasonable accuracy at minimal expense. It was useful. And yes, I’ve been yelled at by the range supervisor for firing too quickly. It is always a temptation with a semi-auto to see how fast you can empty a magazine. You also discover that doing such a thing with a gun that has actual recoil makes control pretty difficult, which is why they don’t allow it. You can tell how often it happens by visiting a gun range and looking up. See all those lines of bullet holes stitched into the acoustical tile of the ceiling? That’s what happens when people try to shoot really fast with a gun that kicks upward.

Unless, of course, they have nerves of steel and iron-clad control. Like, y’know, Letoa.

One great memory of my early-1980s gun-range days is those times when a tourist bus would pull up. The gun ranges were hugely popular with Japanese tourists and a bus full of excited Asians would pull up and disgorge a neat and orderly crowd of dark-haired males (well, mostly males.) They would line up at the counter and while they generally couldn’t speak much English, it seemed like every one of them knew two important words from that era.

“Dirty Harry.”

The gun range owner, who probably made a good living just from these tourists, would beam, reach under the counter, and bring up a special wooden gun rack containing ten identical Smith & Wesson Model 29s. As each Japanese tourist would step up to the counter, the owner would smile, hand him a tray of bullets, and rather ceremoniously lay a gleaming length of blued steel with an 8-3/8″ barrel across the top.

“Welcome to America,” he would say. “Here is your Magnum.”

You could tell they were thrilled.


— Bob out