Monday, May 31, 2010

Honoring Veterans on this Memorial Day

To all Veterans:

Thank you for placing your life on hold to ensure my safety.

Thank you for putting your life on the line to protect my freedoms.

Thank you for making the ultimate sacrifice.
Please, never EVER forget the fallen.

Please support the Call of Duty Endowment (C.O.D.E.).  This fund helps give Veterans 21st-Century job training and career placement.  Go to their Facebook page and click the "Like" button.  They will donate $1 for every person who does this.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A Great Place To Work...

I just came across this recent article on the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's website that details the top companies to work for in Southeast Wisconsin.  The company I work for was named the second best place to work for companies with greater than 500 employees.  Pretty cool.

What I thought was even cooler was that the Mayville Engineering Company (better known to shotgun enthusiasts throughout the world as MEC), was named one of the top midsized companies (between 150 and 499 employees) to work for.  This midsized engineering company based in a small town of just over 5,200 residents is the top producer of shotgun shell reloaders in the world.  They're employee owned and they have operations in Mayville, Beaver Dam, Neilsville, and Berlin, Wisconsin.

Congratulations to MEC for achieving the distinction of one of the best places to work in Southeast Wisconsin.  For more information about MEC, see their profile on the Journal Sentinel's website or visit the MEC corporate website at

I'm wanting to get back into reloading...maybe this posting will get me a sweet deal on a new 12 gauge 9000G.

I have no shame whatsoever...

Monday, May 24, 2010

Another Successful Shoot

Yesterday was this year's second registered ATA event at Boxhorn.  I was tickled pink to see all of the people coming out to support us.  We had a total of 68 shooters and we threw 13,500 targets!  The scores were pretty good despite the unseasonably warm and humid weather.

Dan Ewert was the top shooter in the singles and doubles, shooting a 99 and 96 respectively.  A pair of long yardage shooters had the top scores in the handicap.  Ryan Jossart (26.5 yards) and Jacob Craig (27 yards) both shot 97.  We had a lone 96 and a large number of shooters in the mid-to-low 90s.  The targets were set pretty good again...and once again, I can credit Rick for that.  Also, congratulations to Ed Fish who shot at and broke his 50,000th handicap target!!!

We didn't have any of the issues that we had at the last shoot, however, we weren't expecting to have 14 squads of singles, 11 squads of handicap, and a handful of doubles squads.  To make the day run quicker, we should have probably planned for either one of the following two things:
  • Running the events on 6 traps instead of 4 
  • Having more loaders on hand to keep the wait times to a minimum.
At Boxhorn we have 8 traps, but only 4 of them are PAT Traps (fields 2, 3, 4, & 5).  To shoot on more than 4 fields means that some people would have to shoot on a different type of trap from everyone else.  This may or may not be a big deal because the other traps throw a nice target also.  Having extra loaders would obviously speed things up a bit, which is something we will likely do for the next shoot.

The next shoot is on Sunday, June 6th.  This shoot is NOT a $15 per hundred shoot, however, we will have $24 targets with $5 from each entry going to trophies...still pretty reasonable.  June 6th is also the same day that the Southwest Zone is being held at Sauk Prairie and the Northeast Zone is being held at Fox Valley.  If you aren't planning to travel to these shoots, stop on over to Boxhorn and I guarantee you will have a great time.  To view our program, click this link:

On a side note, I personally didn't shoot particularly well.  Handicap was rough...I felt good, and I was doing a lot of things right, but I also did a lot of things wrong en route to a 73.  I guess I need to get out and practice some caps.  Doubles started off rocky again, but I finished strong for a 93.  Practice, practice, practice...I need to make time for some of that...

Monday, May 3, 2010

I like streaking...

Don't get all hot and bothered.  I won't be disrobing and commencing an awkwardly disgusting trot around the neighborhood.

I will, however, share with you some information I discovered about my streak that I mentioned in my previous post.  I was curious as to how I can put the streak into perspective for myself so I can understand whether it's a notable streak or not.  Here's what I found:
  • My last doubles score that was less than 90 was an 86 which I shot on May 12th, 2001 at Janesville.
  • That's 8 years, 11 months, and 21 days from today (5/3/2010)
  • W was in his second year of his first term in office
  • 9/11 hadn't happened yet
  • Jay Adams, the Wisconsin ATA Delegate, was still in high school
  • Kyle Wojicechowski, Wisconsin Alternate Delegate, was still in middle school
  • Since that score, I've shot 20,600 registered doubles targets
  • That's almost half of my lifetime doubles targets shot (41,550)
  • Since that score of 86, I have averaged 97.40% in doubles (including my 91 from yesterday)
  • In that time frame, I've registered 13,600 singles (98.06% average) and 16,900 handicap (88.99% average)...a total of 51,200 registered targets
  • Composite average over that period of time: 94.81%
It's interesting to see the numbers.  I feel it's important to look back at your shooting over the years to see how you're progressing.  For me, it reveals that my singles and doubles have been solid, and that if I hadn't had a couple really amazing trips out to Spanish Fork Gun Club (Utah), my handicap average over that period is pretty embarrassing.

Man, looking at this streak has made me depressed about my handicap shooting.

First ATA event of 2010 at Boxhorn

The first ATA shoot of the year at Boxhorn Gun Club is over, and by and large, it was a great success.  I was expecting to have two or three squads in both singles and handicap, and maybe one squad of doubles.  Instead, we had eight squads of singles, seven squads of handicap, and four squads of doubles.

44 shooters making 82 entries...8,200 targets shot.  I definitely didn't expect that kind of turnout for a shoot in early May in Wisconsin.  We were trying something new to get shooters to come back after a few lackluster years of registering ATA targets at the club.  We were offering $15.00 per hundred targets PLUS a free lunch and beverage with entry into any of the day's events.  This, along with the beautiful weather (including only a light breeze), must have been enough to get people to come out.

Since we weren't offering any trophies, I didn't expect there to be many category shooters.  However, I was pleasantly surprised to see that we had a handful of junior/sub-junior shooters and another handful of ladies show up.  Many of them shot very well.  Cody Joerndt, a young shooter from Burlington, broke his first ever 25-straight as well.

Rick set the targets beautifully, and the scores showed it.  We also had many compliments from the shooters, which always makes you feel good.

We only had one significant issue the whole day, and it came in the doubles.  Both of the doubles traps were breaking lots of targets, causing some frustration for the shooters on the line and slowing down the progress of the shoot.  After some investigation, a simple changing of the arm on these Pat Traps was all that was needed to resolve the issue.  We will keep this in mind for the upcoming ATA shoots and will make sure the arms are ready to go next time.  Thanks to the shooters who struggled through all of the breaks.

High scores for the day were as follows:
  • Singles: Richard Reading (St. Francis) - 99 x 100
  • Handicap: Bryon Fennig (Wind Lake) - 98 x 100
  • Doubles: Robert Okray (Milwaukee) - 96 x 100
I only managed to find enough time to shoot the doubles.  I wasn't expecting a very stellar performance since the last time I had shot doubles was at the Breast Cancer Shoot at Boxhorn in October.  After starting off with a 7 on my first post, I was preparing myself for what could be my lowest score in a long time.  I was able to compose myself somewhat, only having a few brain farts after that.  My final score was a 91.  I managed to keep my streak alive...I haven't shot a score less than 90 in doubles since 2001.

Our next scheduled ATA shoots at Boxhorn are:
  • Sunday, May 23rd
  • Sunday, June 6th
  • Sunday, June 20th
  • Sunday, July 11th
  • Sunday, July 25th
See our program for more details:

    Saturday, May 1, 2010

    Wow, two months flies by fast...

    So I've demonstrated exactly how to lose two months of your life without even realizing the time had passed.  Life is a bit chaotic right now, due to the various things pulling at Melissa and I, including (but not limited to):
    • Wedding planning
    • Registering for wedding gifts
    • Easter
    • Work
    • Planning for running ATA shoots
    • Working out just how I'm going to teach people how to improve their doubles shooting (more on this to come)
    • Driving between Oak Creek and New Berlin at least 100 times
    • Cleaning up the landscaping at our house
    • Painting the inside of the house
    • Mini bridal shower for Melissa by her family friends from the Appleton/Oshkosh area
    • Work
    • Wedding planning
    • Trying to unpack the last of our boxes from when we moved all of our stuff into our new house in September
    • Sudden development of allergies...I must be getting older
    • Wedding planning
    • Work
    • Wedding planning
    • Work
    • Urgent last-minute wisdom tooth surgery for Melissa
    • Taking care of someone after they've had their wisdom teeth out
    I haven't had much time to myself, let alone to go out and shoot at all.  Melissa and I went out about four weeks ago to teach our friends Lindsey and Troy how to shoot.  I only had time to shoot 50 singles (shot a pair of 23s), and I haven't shot since.

    I missed the Eric Weikum Memorial shoot due to Melissa's wisdom tooth surgery, which was a bummer because it was so much fun last year.  Word is that it went well and the weather held out.

    And, I've neglected my blog.  I'm sorry for that.  I'm sure people have stopped checking in, so I'm going to have to drum up support for it again.  Not sure if I have the energy for that right now, but I'll do my best to keep it updated from now on.

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