Friday, November 18, 2016
Monday, October 24, 2016
Frankly, I thought all that Under Armour money would be put to better use.
About a half hour outside of Washington, D.C. (give or take an hour or two for traffic), the University of Maryland in College Park is a new member to the Big Ten Conference. For the first conference game against my beloved Golden Gophers, I met up with a group of friends to check out Capital One Field at Maryland Stadium and their campus as the Gophers worked their way toward a 31-10 victory.
Pre-Game TailgateThere are a number of open and available tailgate lots all over campus. We bought our tailgating passes from the University of Maryland and paid about $20 for the parking spot. There's no need to arrive early. In fact, we got to the tailgate lot about 8 a.m. and were among the first to arrive for a noon kick-off.
What struck us most about the tailgate situation at Maryland was the laid out list of rules that included a weak attempt to draw a line between "partying" and "tailgating". It seems music is a big problem at Maryland. If you have music, that means you're crossing the line between a party and tailgate which could get you in trouble. Although, I must admit, I didn't see anyone actually asked to turn their music down.
Overall, the fans were cordial but this didn't feel like a major football environment out in the tailgate lots. After trips to some of the less-impressive Big Ten football programs like Indiana - I'd put Maryland in the bottom tier, right next to Northwestern and far behind the rest of the conference.
|From our tailgating spot, it was only about a 10 minute walk to the stadium.|
Traffic wasn't a problem on our way in. As I mentioned, the game day atmosphere wasn't really in full effect until much closer to kick-off.
Getting Into Maryland StadiumMaryland Stadium holds just over 51,000 fans at capacity and with a 3-2 Minnesota team coming to town, we didn't expect it to be a sell-out. While a college town, College Park doesn't appear to be a college football town. (We're told to come back during basketball season).
The walk from the tailgate lots was pleasant on a warm autumn day. The campus was well-maintained and there were no safety issues in terms of sketchy folks around the stadium.
One thing that stood out was that as we walked toward the stadium, we saw a ton of students walking the opposite direction. It was bizarre. In fact, we had to re-check Google Maps because we thought maybe we'd taken a wrong turn along the way. It turns out, students at Maryland just don't really care about football.
We did encounter a bit of a bottleneck at the southwest entrance to Maryland stadium when trying to enter.
We didn't anticipate a 15-minute or so wait at the gate to get through security and to our seats. Not a huge deal but we probably should have planned for it. Because of the delay, we missed the opening kick-off and anthem.
Inside - The GameOur seats were located in the southwest corner of the stadium behind the Minnesota bench on about the 10 yard line (Section 3). We were situated about 25 rows up from the field and had great sight-lines with no real issues in that regard.
When looking for tickets (we paid $25/each on Stubhub), we had some worries that seats closer to the field might have some serious obstructions because of a lack of elevation. Seats were cheap, even in the second and third rows from the field and we figured we should avoid them.
It turns out, we might have been misguided - here's a look from about the tenth row:
|Probably the worst college football fan east of the Mississippi|
Wrap-Up of the Trip
Thursday, October 20, 2016
I thought this was a pretty interesting guide. I'm not the chemist that a lot of my reloading friends are but pretty cool nonetheless. That's Vihtavuori Powder on the left-hand side versus the slower burning Hodgdon Powder on the right. It's interesting to see the real-time burn rates. Obviously, inside an ammo cartridge you don't get to see the combustion that you can see in this example. I'm curious if the pressure inside a cartridge plays a role in how it burns though. I would assume with limited oxygen that would play a role in how the fire eats fuel.
Widener's has some more neat images in their smokeless powder guide. If you're curious about reloading (and with the election ammo rush in full swing, who isn't?) it's worth 10 minutes to check out.
Monday, September 5, 2016
|The Bowl at Sugar Hill on Sept. 3, 2016.|
The Bowl at Sugar Hill is located immediately behind Sugar Hill's City Hall building and all indications are it is run by the City of Sugar Hill, which may be where this concert went wrong, but I'll get to that in a moment.
The Bowl at Sugar Hill
|The grandstand at the Bowl in Sugar Hill|
Who Sucked Out The Feelin'?
|Third Eye Blind's Steven Jenkins.|
|Near the end of Third Eye Blind's set.|
Wrap-Up & Video
Tuesday, June 21, 2016
Thank you for reaching out to me with the opportunity to help fuel your campaign.
It probably comes as no surprise to you, I'm not in the position of giving things away. In fact, as I age I'm doing all I can to get better at making really good deals. Because of that penchant for making good deals, I'm learning to discern between winning investments and losers --- but also getting adequate compensation for the amount of risk I'm taking.
While some might be tempted to point to your enormous personal wealth as a reason a middle-class American should not feel any obligation to donate to your campaign. I don't think this is the proper tact. Rather, I insist that we look at campaigns the same way we would look at any investment - through the lens of return on investment and best alternative to a negotiated settlement.
Monday, June 20, 2016
I thought it'd be fun to take notes because I'm a glutton for punishment. Without further ado, here's how things played out.
Harry Reid - (D - Nevada), Senate Minority Leader
3:12 p.m. First highlight of the day was when Harry Reid called Newtown, Connecticut, "Newton". Nevermind that the Newtown tragedy is central to the Dems' talking points today, how does any American not recognize the city involved with the Sandy Hook shootings?
3:14 p.m. Reid just did it again, "Newton". How do you sit on a soapbox of respect for those "victims" when you can't even learn the city they lived in?
3:15 p.m. Reid continues to call it "Newton". Isaac Newton is proud and I could use a beer.
3:16 p.m. Reid on a 30-round AR-15 magazine, that he of course called a "clip": "It would take 3-4 seconds to empty it" Based on his language, he seems to have a semi and fully automatic rifle confused. (common theme among liberal politicians).
Patrick Leahy (D - Vermont)
3:20 p.m. It sounds like Sen. Leahy just wanted to get out of writing a letter. He read his response to a 15-year old who is concerned about guns. At least saved taxpayers a stamp by reading his response on the Senate floor rather than mailing it.
Barbara Mikulski (D- Maryland)
3:33 p.m. "I'll tell you why I support a filibuster, guns, guns, guns, guns!"
3:40 p.m. "40% of gun sales are unlicensed, they are sold online or at gun shows. That means 40% of the gun sales have no background check." - How is this stat possible? Without a background check, how does the government know about it to count them?
It turns out this stat is based on 1994 data that Hillary Clinton has used extensively. The stats are derived from phone interviews conducted with just 251 people. In that survey, about 24% indicated they received their firearm as a gift or via inheritance --- which would be lumped in with the 40% number Dems love to tout. I'd say there's a pretty big difference between getting Grandpa's World War II M1 and lurking in the shadows trying to buy a firearm "off the grid" to do something nasty with it.
Richard Blumenthal (D - Connecticut)
4:14 p.m. "AR-15's are weapons of war and mass destruction." I guess we found what we were looking for in Iraq post-9/11 then, huh?
Bill Nelson (D - Florida)
5:25 p.m. (Paraphrasing) "There are only 5,000 people on the terror watch list. Who cares if we restrict their rights with no due process."
Thursday, May 26, 2016
On a scale of 1-10, I'd give this past week's NRA Annual Meeting a 7.
Great attendance, solid political speeches and a great turnout on the show floor by the industry as a whole. That said, the show itself had a few logistics-related issues that got in the way of a better score and something beyond anyone's control, the weather created even more problems.
PoliticsI was a bit surprised the National Rifle Association was willing to extend a direct endorsement to Trump so soon. I don't think anyone who is familiar with the organization and gunnies in general would be surprised at the number of self-identifying "libertarians" among the ranks. Because of this, I thought the NRA might allow a bit more time for Trump's candidacy to breathe and allow the same time for Gary Johnson to make his case and see if he'd get any traction.
Furthering my concerns, Trump said a few things to the NRA that I wouldn't think he'd want public in that setting. Especially his remarks about the number of rifles his sons having as "being scary" [not his exact words but close enough].
GunsI had a good chat with Chris Hodgdon from Hodgdon Powder in Louisville He seems like a genuine guy and doesn't know me from Adam so I was impressed with his willingness to chat with an "average joe".
I did pick up a couple pounds of the Titegroup Hodgdon Powder from Widener's and will be hopefully trying some reloading in the next few days. This isn't my first go - but my first reloading effort in a long time. (Yeah, I'm the idiot that waits until ammo is nearly free to start playing with a reloading press again).