September 16th, 2002

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Busy weekend

"Wowzers!" (-Inspector Gadget) Quite a busy weekend. Allow me to elaborate. No, too much, not enough time. Allow me to summarize: (3 points awarded to person who correctly identifies that allusion)

  • brother arrives
  • hot wings
  • banjo playing
  • sleep
  • McDonalds
  • rain
  • banjo playing
  • shotgun shooting
  • homemade bread
  • steak
  • banjo, guitar, and piano playing
  • headbanging hillbilly bluegrass concert
  • sleep
  • Sunday School
  • brother leaves
  • nap
  • CATT reunion
  • sleep
  • work. already?

Some or all of these activities will be elaborated on in future posts.

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Busy Weekend: Brother Arrives / Hot Wings / Banjo Playing

My younger brother (Chris) came to visit this weekend. He's really cool for all sorts of reasons and has been looking for an excuse to come visit for a while. The prospect of a Hayseed Dixie concert was apparently enough to tilt the scales for a visit this weekend.

Chris arrived about 9 o'clock Friday night. My wife and I were happy to see him. We had waited on supper because we didn't know if he would have eaten or not. It turns out that he did stop at a fast food place on the way, so he didn't need any supper. But we had planned for the possibility that he wasn't hungry and were planning on going to the local bar and getting wings. If Chris wasn't hungry, he could hang out and play the trivia game and have a drink or two while we ate. As it turned out, Chris had some wings, too -- once we were able to find some wings on the menu that weren't too spicy for him. We probably hung out at Buffalo's for about two hours, grazing on wings and playing the trivia games. We all won at least one round of the games. It was loads of fun for us all.

When we got home, Chris showed us his new banjo (he got it about six weeks ago) and played a few rolls and songs for us. It was really neat. But we were also all kind of tired and knew we were planning a busy Saturday, so we hit the sack for some shut-eye.

P.S. Banjos are really cool. I want one.
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Busy Weekend: McDonalds / Rain / Banjo Playing

The busy weekend continued when we woke up Saturday morning. I rolled out of bed about nine o'clock or so. While everyone else was getting up and getting ready, I took some time to play Chris' banjo. He brought the books that he's teaching himself out of, so I just started going from the beginning. A banjo is tuned so that if you just play all the strings open, it's a G chord. That made it easy, so I practiced some of the rolls that the book recommended. It was lots and lots of fun. I've said it before, and I'll say it again. Banjos are really cool. I want one.

Once everyone else was up and moving, we decided to go get something to eat before heading out to the sporting clays range. So we headed out to McDonald's after picking up some ammunition from Wal-Mart. I had a fish fillet combo because they're so yummy. Of course, as our luck would have it, it started to rain. None of us were thrilled about the prospect of shooting in the rain, but we decided to ride out to the range anyway, in case it wasn't too bad over there. Besides, it's a pretty drive to Summerfield and back. When we got there, we decided that it was raining hard enough to be annoying and that we might have better luck if it quit raining and we came back later in the day. So we went back home.

We got home and decided to play around some more. I got my wife's guitar out of the closet and Chris and I did some banjo-guitar duets. Obviously, I was on guitar. Once again -- loads and loads of fun. And banjos are really cool.

Later, as the weather cleared up some, we thought about going back out to Shane's Sporting Clays and shooting. We waited until it stopped raining for about a half hour and called the range to make sure that the weather in Summerfield was cooperating, too. It was, so we jumped back in the car for an afternoon of shooting.
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Busy Weekend (part 4): Shane's Sporting Clays

After confirming that it was no longer raining in Summerfield, we hopped back in the car and headed out to Shane's Sporting Clays for an afternoon of shooting.

Since the last time I went out shooting sporting clays at Shane's, they've incorporated and changed the operation to fully automated traps. Both of these are great news -- the fact that they've incorporated tells me that business is going well and they intend to continue running the sporting clay range and perhaps improve it. The fact that it's fully automated means that we no longer need to make appointments and there's no trapper to tip after a round of shooting. Plus, I think they've lowered their prices -- a round of 50 only cost $20 this time. I think it was $30 before, but I might be wrong.

We showed up and Trish explained the course layout (it hasn't changed much since I was last there) and gave us a quick lesson on how to push the buttons to release the clays (it's as easy as it sounds). So we headed off to the second station (we were advised that the first station -- the tower -- was a popular station to skip) and began. We progressed through all 12 stations and had a great time. When we were done, we even debated about running another round of 50, but decided against it. Chris said that he was definitely interested in making that a regular part of any time he comes to visit.

Chris and I even coached my wife and she took a couple of shots. In spite of the fact that neither of us are good instructors, she chipped the second clay she shot at. For the most part, though, she did a great job of running the traps for us. We'll probably go out shooting again sometime.

Chris ended up beating me. We both did relatively poorly -- I got 18 and he got 21 (out of 50). But we all had fun and that's what it's all about anyway. Plus, I improved on the score of 15 I got last time I was shooting, so I'm certainly not complaining at all.

FWIW, I've got a Mosberg 590 shotgun. If it's not the #53517, it's a very similar model. It's not ideal for sporting clays, but it's certainly usable.

If anyone is interested in going shooting with me at Shane's, just let me know. We can share my Mossberg if you don't have your own shotgun.