Friday, April 30, 2010

I'm not good at mornings

Today, being Friday, is 'casual dress' day at work.

I bought a new top the other day and decided to wear that with some jeans.

While getting the top on this morning I noticed that it still have the sales tag attached. So I walked into the kitchen to get hubby to remove it for me and promptly got sidetracked and forgot all about it - until now!

I was just wondering what was digging into my back and scratching me. Ah, a tag!

Oops, definitely need to increase coffee consumption in the mornings! And, I guess I can be thankful that the tag was hanging inside not outside my top.

Hehehehe .. well for some odd reason I thought it was funny

From today's news

Police impound 17-tonne front-end loader

POLICE have ordered a 17-tonne front end loader to be impounded after the driver was allegedly found to be behind the wheel without a valid licence in Millendon, 30km north-east of Perth.

Police pulled over the vehicle at the intersection of Hadrill Rd and Great Northern Hwy at 9.30am yesterday after they allegedly saw the 25-year-old driver talking on a mobile phone.

When officers requested his driver's licence, they discovered it had been suspended.

He was arrested and charged with one count of having no authority to drive. He will appear in Midland Magistrates Court on Tuesday.

A police spokesman said officers issued a surrender notice for the owner of the front end loader to hand it in to a holding yard within seven days. Once surrendered, will then be impounded for 28 days.

It is understood the front end loader was being used in roadworks on the Great Northern Hwy.

Under unlicensed driver impounding laws which came into effect in July last year, police can seize vehicles on the spot for 28 days. A court can impound a vehicle owned by second-time offender for up to 3 months and in the case of a third offence, a court can confiscate the offender's vehicle.

Couple of questions:

1) Why wasn't he also charged with talking on a mobile phone while driving (as this was the reason he was stopped)?

2) Does this mean that the Great Northern Hwy road-works (which in my experience have been going on for ever) are going take even longer to complete?

Thursday, April 29, 2010

No ETS but lots of staff ....

from today's news:

Kevin Rudd's Department of Hot Air costing taxpayers $90m

TAXPAYERS will fork out $90 million a year to keep more than 400 public servants employed within the Federal Climate Change Department - despite most of them now having nothing to do until 2013.

More than 60 of them are classified as senior executive staff on salaries between $168,000 and $298,000 a year. Their salary bill alone will cost an estimated $12 million every year.

A further $8 million will also be paid in rent for plush offices at Canberra's Constitution Place until 2012, where it is believed 500 new computers will be delivered this week.

It can be revealed that despite Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's decision on Tuesday to suspend the failed Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme until at least 2013, the department has ruled out plans to cut back staff.

A formal response by department secretary Martin Parkinson to a Senate estimates hearing on Tuesday - the same day as the scheme's suspension - claimed the department would not offer redundancies.

The formal response, obtained by The Daily Telegraph, said there were no plans for "the immediate future" of any scaling back of staff, despite the agency losing its core function.

According to official figures, the number of top-paid bureaucrats being paid up to $298,000 a year has almost doubled since January this year from 39 to 61. That was to gear up for establishment of the Australian Climate Change Regulatory Authority, which will also now have no function.

Overall agency staff has also been ramped up since last year with total climate change employees having risen from an initial 246 to 408.

Of the 61 senior agency officials, only nine have been inherited from the scrapped home insulation scheme. The majority, 38, were employed on the CPRS and a further 19 were employed on the renewable energy scheme which has also been axed.

But none of the 408 staff within the department will be shed even though the department's key function, the CPRS, has been axed.

Its own tender documents reveal a lease contract of $16 million for its offices which expires in 2012.

"The hundreds of public servants who have been beavering away on this policy, the 114 public servants who they took to Copenhagen for that matter in support of this policy . . . none of that's changed," Opposition Leader Tony Abbott said yesterday.

"Which is why I think that Mr Rudd for political reasons doesn't want to talk about his great big new tax on everything but as sure as night follows day, if he gets re-elected, we'll be stuck with it."

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

“Hunters need not apply”, but apparently fishing is okay …

Nice property, but apparently the owners don't like hunting. Surprisingly they're okay with fishing. Maybe fish don't have feelings.

Oh, and the fish?

Shame I don't have a spare couple of hundred thousand laying around.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Received by Email ....

As received: ...


I don't know that this is true but i can just "see" it happening.... (if not now ... someone, sometime!!

-----Original Message-----

Subject: FW: ANZ Bank - This is Brilliant !!! - I'd say UNBELIEVABLE,rather than brilliant. Note to self: 'Cancel credit cards prior to death! Be sure and cancel your credit cards before you die!

Ts is so priceless and so easy to see happening - customer service, being what it is today!

A lady died this past January, and ANZ bank billed her for February and March for their annual service charges on her credit card, and then added late fees and interest on the monthly charge The balance had been $0.00, now is somewhere around $60.00.

A family member placed a call to the ANZ Bank:

Family Member: 'I am calling to tell you that she died in January.'

ANZ: 'The account was never closed and the late fees and charges still apply.'

Family Member: 'Maybe, you should turn it over to collections.'

ANZ: 'Since it is two months past due, it already has been..'

Family Member: 'So, what will they do when they find out she is dead?'

ANZ: 'Either report her account to the frauds division or report her to the credit bureau, maybe both!'

Family Member: 'Do you think God will be mad at her?'

ANZ: 'Excuse me?'

Family Member: 'Did you just get what I was telling you . . . The part about her being dead?'

ANZ: 'Sir, you'll have to speak to my supervisor.'

Supervisor gets on the phone:

Family Member: 'I'm calling to tell you, she died in January.'

ANZ: 'The account was never closed and the late fees and charges still apply.'

Family Member: 'You mean you want to collect from her estate?'

ANZ:(Stammer) 'Are you her lawyer?'

Family Member: 'No, I'm her great nephew.'(Lawyer info given)

ANZ: 'Could you fax us a certificate of death?'

Family Member:'Sure.'( fax number is given )

After they get the fax:

ANZ: 'Our system just isn't set up for death. I don't know what more I can do to help.'

Family Member: 'Well, if you figure it out, great! If not, you could just keep billing her. I don't think she will care.'

ANZ: 'Well, the late fees and charges do still apply.'

Family Member: 'Would you like her new billing address?'

ANZ: 'That might help.'

Family Member: 'Rookwood Memorial Cemetery , 1249 Centenary Rd, Sydney Plot Number 1049.'

ANZ: 'Sir, that's a cemetery!'

Family Member: 'Well, what the ***** do you do with dead people on your planet?'

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

CCW - in Australia

There's a poll up on the Liberal Party website calling for the introduction of CCW.

The idea proposed is:

Despite governments putting more and more police on the street in the CBD of melbourne and getting "tough" on crime, violence is still on the rise. Being under Common Law, Australians' rights are spelled out in the Magna Carta. One of the rights in the Magna Carta is self defense. In the U.S., carry concealed weapons permits have been successful in deterring criminal behaviour, and reducing crimes since potential victims are now able to defend themselves. Criminals think twice. The Liberals party should look at allowing law-abiding adults, with no criminal records the ability to carry concealed weapons in an effort to deter criminal behaviour.

Apparently "if this idea reaches 100 supporters, the relevant Shadow Parliamentary Secretary will post a response."

Oh, it's just got to 100 ... now, "If this idea reaches 500 supporters, the relevant Shadow Cabinet Minister will post a response."

Ohh, this could get interesting.

UPDATE: At the current time only 222 people have registered to 'support' the proposition. I am surprised. I would have thought that given the number of firearm owners in Australia more would have been willing to put their name to this proposal, if for no other reason than to remind the Liberal party that there are a lot of voters out there who are firearm owners.

Some commentors on another shooting site think that people might be scared that registering for the website is registering as a supporter of the Liberal party. Well, if they put forward this proposal as an election promise then they will have my support too.

Firearms Licencing - from a Commentor

Max has just left a comment on my last Firearms Licensing post to say

I applied for Class A open license for an air rifle and a .22lr on the 18th Feb 2010, Got a letter on the 7th April to ask if I wished to continue and to fit a gun safe cabinet, I had already fitted one and signed of by police so I sent back the letter that day.

Now 20th April Curiosity got the better of me today and I rang Firearms Licensing enquiring on the progress of my application and all I got was a recording saying:
"We are experiencing technical difficulties in processing the backlog of applications and will take in excess of 8 weeks to finalise your application........"

Its been 6 months since they introduced this new system and looks like they still can't get it together.

Thanks for the update Max and I hope that you get your new firearms in the not too distant future.

I am still not sure what to get for my next gun, but if this is the current situation with licencing maybe I'll wait a bit longer!

Eyjafjallajoekull help saves the earth

According to this site ( the CO2 emissions from Eyjafjallajoekull are 206,265 tons less than the emissions from the planes that would be flying if it hadn't erupted.

Check out the full article and the associated graph.

Can't wait to hear the full story ....

From today's news

Goat loses the plot, sends three to hospital

THREE people have been taken to hospital after being attacked by a goat in Melbourne's east, the ABC reports.

more to come ...

Mmm Cooking

I had a chat with the girls over the weekend and had asked them if there was anything else that they wanted to do on the school holidays that we hadn’t got around to. They both said, “cooking”.

As yesterday was the last day of the school holidays, we organised uniforms and school stuff and we then decided to do some cooking.

Miss 8 helped me cook some of the goat I had brought back from my recent trip. We did it in the slow cooker with diced tomatoes, mixed herbs, olive tapenade, black olives and a dash of red wine. We had pierced the leg and pushed pieces of garlic into it as well. When I took it out of the slow cooker it just fell off the bone. We’re both looking forward to tasting it tonight (hubby doesn’t like any game animal and Miss 6 says she doesn’t either).

The sauce looked pretty rich, so before serving I will add some vegetables and maybe a can of chickpeas or butter beans. I also have some field mushrooms in the fridge that need to be eaten so I might grill these and serve the goat over the top.

Miss 6 LOVES spaghetti bolognaise, so she helped me make the sauce. She actually did very well. She normally only manages to “help” for 5 minutes before wondering off. However yesterday she sautéed the onions and browned the meat mostly without assistance. There were also the nearly continual taste tests that occurred through the cooking process. The girls had it for dinner last night and breakfast this morning! And I bet Miss 6 will want it again for dinner tonight!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

A Busy Weekend

This Saturday we had planned to do practical rifle / shotgun with one group on Saturday morning and the Saturday afternoon group.

We generally use the two long ranges for training, one is called the ‘270’ range, the other the ‘rifle’ range. A month ago the guys who set up for the IPSC trophy shoot asked if they could use the 270 range this weekend and give me on of the other (shallower but wider) ranges in return. As I would be working with the non-rifle / shotgun people I agreed.

However, Friday afternoon around 3pm the Chief Instructor gets a call telling him that we can not use the rifle range this Saturday as some range works were being done!

This caused us to re-evaluate what we were going to do, as it really is not worth doing rifle / shotgun if we can’t use either the 270 or the rifle range. So we ended up with two sets of plans for Saturday – depending on what the TRUE situation was up at the range.

Normally for a trophy shoot the guys come up on Friday or early on Saturday to set up. When we got there the bulldozer was running around the rifle range, but nothing set up or happening on any of the other ranges.

We decided therefore to go with the original plans and use the 270 range for the rifle / shotgun training and I used one of the wider / shallower range for my group.

We were expecting 6 people for the rifle / shotgun – of which 5 turned up. We discovered the other one had been deployed to Papua New Guinea so we sort of understood his non-appearance.

I was expecting 9 in my group, of which 7 turned up. Most of my group have been shooting for 7 or more weeks and were really getting the hang of gun handling and safety. So I decided that I would make things interesting for them this week. The Chief Instructor made me up 100 dummy rounds so that I could force stoppages.

So after doing a few ‘wake up” standard exercises I asked them to empty two mags for me and take out 10 rounds. I gave them 10 dummy rounds and got them to mix up the rounds and load the mags. We then had a chat about stoppages and jams, how they can happen and what you need to do in each case. I then took the loaded mags off them, mixed them up and distributed them.

We then went to the firing line to practice the ‘bash, rack, bang’ method of stoppage clearance. It was a lot of fun. By about the third stoppage they were remembering to take their fingers off the trigger when they cleared them. We ended up doing the whole process three times with different (loaded / unloaded) start positions.

I then reorganised the range with three targets on the top right corner of the range and three on the top left, with boxes near each group of targets. We then practiced shooting strong hand at the right group of targets, doing a mandatory reload on the way and shooting weak hand at the left group. We then reversed the process. Everyone did very well. No one broke 90 on the mag changes (which is one of the things I was really testing with this scenario).

On another small range I had set up for an El Presidente ( shoot. Three of the trainees were scheduled to do the Range Officer’s role this week as well. So I explained how the shoot worked, ROed the first trainee through, she then ROed the second, who ROed the third. Then they took on the ROing role (with me standing off their right shoulder) for the rest of the trainees. We shot the stage three times and a couple of the trainees were getting sub-10sec times, which is pretty good.

This used up all of the ammo so we called it a day (well it was also mid-day at this stage!).

During this stage the guys turned up to set up for the IPSC trophy shoot. So after we finished I went and had a chat to them about which ranges they needed etc. Turns out they didn’t need the 270 range after all, which meant that it was free for the afternoon’s training group.

All except one of the afternoon trainees turned up by 2pm, so we headed off to the 270 range with rifles in hand. All of the trainees have shot rifles a lot before, however they haven’t had experience with ‘practical rifle’ and the associated rules. We started off just doing static shooting with four different types of .22 rifles. My single shot Stirling and one of the bolt action ones were the most popular.

We then set up a stage with a door and a couple of windows and ran them through a practical stage. Two of the trainees turned up range with the rifles when they had finished the stage – as you would when out hunting (barrels were down, actions open) so we reminded them of the rules of practical shooting. We shot this stage twice, once with the bolt action and once with the lever action. No one had any other issues with the shooting.

So we then set up a target at about 25m (furthest extent of the range) and set up the Hornet on its bipod. We then gave everyone 5 rounds and decided to do a “smallest group” challenge. All except one trainee got all of their shots within a $2 sized area (this trainee only had one shot outside). An Australian $2 coin has a diameter of 2cm. There were 5 rounds left after the trainees had shot. So the Chief Instructor shot two, again within the $2 coin area and then it was my turn … eeekkk … I’ve not done any rifle shooting like this so I wasn’t sure how I would do. Anyway, I managed to get my three shots within the same sized area (phew)!

It was still pretty early when we finished the rifle shooting so we decided to get the semi-auto shotgun and my Tuffy out and had some fun with these.

Once the ammo was gone we called it a day and headed up to the Club House for a beer or two.

The plans this morning was to head out to an Orienteering course bright and early. However “bright and early” didn’t happen. We still decided that we would try and get to the registration point by the close-off time but we weren’t sure that we would make it (it’s about 50kms from where we live).

We actually managed to make it with 2mins to spare!

So I registered while my husband got the girls organised and then we set off on the “Easy Course”. We did some Orienteering last winter and the definition of the “Easy Course” seemed to be that there were easy to follow tracks between the check points. However, there were a few checkpoints on this course that weren’t joined by tracks and actually required some overland navigation.

My eldest normally does the navigation with a bit of help and she managed quite well today. We did lose one checkpoint and found another group of people who also couldn’t locate it. Hubby and the girls decided to have a sit down while I scouted around with this group to locate it. Which, luckily we did a short time later.

My youngest doesn’t like walking at all. So she started complaining the minute we left the start point and didn’t stop the whole time. Falling down twice didn’t help the situation. It’s a bit hard to know what to do with her. My eldest loves orienteering (as do I). Hubby quite enjoys getting out in the bush and we can’t really leave a 6y.o. at home on her own so we need to take her with us. But it does get quite frustrating when all she does is whinge and complain for 2.8kms!

I think being able to navigate via a map (and map / compass) is a very important skill to have so I really want to encourage her to join in with us and help navigate but so far I haven’t found a way.

After the walk we decided to meet up with a friend and go out to a local vineyard for lunch. The platters and wine went down well! A nice way to finish the weekend.

Friday, April 16, 2010


Some blogger somewhere recently asked for advice as to which organisation to donate money to if they didn't stick to a goal. They wanted something that they wouldn't normally support but were it wouldn't be too bad if they ended up having to donate the money there (if anyone knows who I'm talking about please leave a note in comments).

Anyhoo ... I have just heard of a website called Stickk ( - which doesn't apparently work well with Firefox). The purpose of this website is to help you stick to goals. You can set a goal, choose your stakes and they will automatically deduct the money from your credit / debit card if you don't report in that you reached your weekly goal.

The money can go to - Charities, Anti-Charities, Friend or Foe.

So I thought I would have a look at what it decides a charity is, vs an anti-charity.

Charity List
- American Red Cross
- Doctors without Borders
- Feed the Children
- Freedom from Hunger
- Multiple Sclerosis Society
- United Way

Anti-Charity List
- Americans United for Life
- NARAL Pro-Choice America Foundation
- Nature Conservancy
- The National Center for Public Policy Research
- Freedom to Marry
- Institute for Marriage and Public Policy
- Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence
- NRA Foundation
- George W. Bush Presidential Library
- William Jefferson Clinton Presidential Library
- The Countryside Alliance
- The League Against Cruel Sports
- Stop Climate Chaos Coalition
- The Scientific Alliance
- Centre for European Reform
- The Campaign for an Independent Britain
- Centre Forum (Liberal Democrat)
- Policy Exchange (Conservative)
- The Fabian Society (Labour)
- The Arsenal Fan Club
- The Chelsea Fan Club
- The Liverpool Fan Club
- The Manchester United Fan Club

Lol ... they do at least seem to offer choices from both sides of the political fence.

I was disappointed however not to see PETA listed on the anti-charity list - I really think that would encourage me to stick to my goals :)

If you choose Charity you don't find out which charity actually gets your money, if however you choose Anti-Charity you can then select which one gets your money.

Once you've made a "commitment" you can't change or edit the contract - I'm wondering if this actually works for people?

Will the automatic deduction of money out of your bank account to a charity you do / don't support really make you focused on achieving a goal? What do you think?

Oh, and where would you choose your money to go?

More From "The World Has Gone Mad - UK Edition"


Caravanner, 61, prosecuted for having Swiss Army knife in his glove box... to cut up fruit on picnics

A disabled caravanner who kept a penknife in his glove compartment to use on picnics has blasted the authorities after being dragged through court for possessing an offensive weapon.

Rodney Knowles, 61, walks with the aid of a stick and had used the Swiss Army knife to cut up fruit on picnics with his wife.

Knowles yesterday admitted possessing an offensive weapon at Torquay Magistrates Court. He was given a conditional discharge.

But speaking after the hearing, he said: 'It's a stupid law. Now I have a criminal record.'

Prosecutor Philip Sewell told the court that Knowles was stopped by police when he left a pub on February 24.

He was arrested for suspected drink-driving but a breath test showed he was under the legal limit, the court was told.

But Knowles was charged with possession of the knife, which was found in its pouch in the car glove compartment.

Mr Sewell told the court: 'He told officers that he had the knife for caravanning. He is not working and had no malicious reason for carrying the blade'

Defence solicitor Jolyon Tuck said Knowles, who is a carer for his wife, had used the knife to cut up fruit on picnics with his wife.

'He accepts it was in his car and the law is very clear,' he said. He admits possession of it and he had no good reason for having it.'

Chairman of the bench Robert Horne ordered forfeiture of the knife and £40 costs to be paid.

He said: 'There is no previous conviction history whatsoever and it was not in his possession and was in the car glove compartment in a pouch.'

The retired maintenance engineer, from Buckland, Devon, had no criminal record before the case.

He said: 'The tool was in my glove box in a pouch, along with a torch, first aid kit and waterproofs.

'It is everything I need for the maintenance of my car or if I break down.
'Now I have a criminal record for the first time in my life. I am upset by that.'

There's a couple of things that I don't understand about this situation:

1. How was the knife found? Surely the police needed a reason to search his car or are things that different in the UK?

2. How can having it to cut up fruit and do small repairs NOT be a valid reason for owning a Swiss Army knife?

3. How can a knife in a pouch in a car be 'in his possession' when he was originally stopped outside of the car?

Mmm, all very strange!

Yes, I can use this alot

Have a read and a laugh:

(I'll do a proper link when the computer lets me).

Anyone know where I can get a stuffed Alot from?

(h/t Munchkin Wrangler)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Back from a Hunting Trip

Okay, I KNOW I didn't tell you I was going away. Not sure why, I think I just ran out of time ... but I do hope everyone had a great Easter.

Anyway, I'm back!!!

The destination was Perenjori again (last blogged about here).

I drove to my shooting mate's place and we loaded up his car and headed off on the Friday morning. It was a nice drive and surprisingly quite quiet on the roads (especially once we got past New Norcia).

We arrived at the caravan park at a good time and checked into the accommodation and had a cuppa. At about 5pm we headed out to the farm for a look see.

I had different ammo for the lever action .22 so we set a target up at 50m to sight it in. We then had a bit of a drive to see what was around.

Within a few minutes we spotted two small flocks of goats. They were too far for a good shot (even with the 30-30) so we decided not to disturb them.

Once it got dark we began to see foxes. We did a bit of fox chasing across the paddocks ... which was a lot of fun and I managed to get a few shots off with the .22 but I missed :(

After one of the fox chases I spotted a rabbit and managed to nail it!

We only stayed out until about 9pm and then headed back for some dinner and an early night.

Saturday morning saw us up and out at 6.30am, just as the sun was coming up - the sun rises are as stunning as the sunsets in that part of the world.

We headed back to where we saw the goats the day before without success. As we drove around the farm I spotted another larger flock off it in the distance. We drove close and then got out to stalk them, however, for some reason a herd of horses on the property decided to take a run behind the goats, which spooked them and they were off.

We headed around the hills to try and cut them off, but misjudged where they were going to come out. We again gave chase but didn't managed to get a good shot off.

After a couple of hours driving around without success we headed back to the gate where we bumped into the property owner's brother. He explained that the owner was in Perth for the weekend and he had come across to check the pumps and water tanks for the cattle.

As my shooting mate had been coming to the property for the last 20 years and was on good terms with the whole family, he was asked to keep an eye on the pumps and tanks which would save the brother a 120km round trip each day. My mate, of course, agreed.

We then headed back to the caravan park for a cuppa, brekky, shower and nap and to wait for some other friends who were coming up for a quick visit.

We met up with the caretakers at the caravan park and extended an invitation to them for a beer which they took us up on later in the day. While we were chatting and drinking our friends turned up so we did a bit more chatting (and no more drinking).

It was about 6pm when we decided to head back to the farm. We took both vehicles out to the shearing shed, and planned to leave my mate's one there and do some spotlighting from our friends' ute. However, our friends were having problems with their ute. Initially they thought it could be fixed, however after a few scavenger hunts through the shearing shed and some jiggery pokery on the ute it was clear that it was a job for daylight, at least.

We headed to the property's house and were lucky to find a dual-cab ute sitting there which my mate has standing permission to use. We all piled in and headed down the drive back to the paddock, only to discover a flatish tyre. So back to the shearing shed. However, while we could locate a compressor, we couldn't locate the correct attachments to pump up the tyre ... so back to the house again.

Luckily my mate had the right fittings and a compressor which runs off his battery in his vehicle, so we pumped up the tyre and then finally made it out onto the property!

Unfortunately it was quite a windy night and not many animals were out and about. My friend got a shot or two off at a couple of rabbits but that was about it.

Around mid-night we decided to head back to the caravan park to get some sleep and see what the morning brought.

We had suggested to one of our friends that he joined my mate on the Sunday morning goat hunts, but as there was no sign of him at 6.30am, I decided to go instead.

We got to the farm in good time, and had a look at where we had see the goats previously, no luck. So we decided to do a bit of a drive around, my mate was just saying to me to keep a look out on the left when I spotted a flock of about 15 on the right. They had also spotted us so the chase was on!

We went around a hill or two to try and keep them away from the fence line and trees and managed to get into a good shooting position. I let off a shot with the .22 and downed one. We then took off after the others, I got another one with my next shot. I then passed the gun to my mate who downed another. Again off after the remaining flock and my next shot took out a nanny with two kids, and then I got another billy.

The remainder of the flock had disappeared by this time.

So we went to ensure that they were all dead and to see what meat we could get. My mate took out the two kids which were hanging around the dead nanny. The billy needed another shot to finish it off, but the others were all dead.

We decided to take the kids for meat, along with a couple of legs from the others. The butchering took awhile and by the end of it we were ready to head back to the caravan park for shower, cuppa and brekky.

Our friends were up and about when we got back (it was about 9am) so they decided to contact the RAC (automobile service club) to see what could be done about their ute.

We were expecting a LONG WAIT (which would give the guys time to tow the ute back to the caravan park rather than trying to explain where on the property it was), however, the local mechanic lived across the street from the caravan park and was there in 15mins.

So my friend and the mechanic headed out to the ute and we sat and waited to hear what was going to happen. We had just decided to head out to the farm to show my other friend around when we got a call from them telling us they were towing the ute back and that they needed to call the RAC again to arrange a tow back to Perth.

Again when they contacted the RAC the service was fantastic. The tow truck driver had to come from another town 80kms away, but he was willing to plan to arrive to give my friends time to go back out to the property for a look around.

So we headed off again. We took the guns, however all animals were hiding. Our friends enjoyed the drive around and all too soon we had to head back to the caravan park, only to discover that not only had the tow truck driver arrived but the ute was already on the back of the tray and ready to go.

My friends were getting a ride back with the tow truck, so we all said a quick goodbye and they were off.

My mate and I decided to crash for a couple of hours and then head out again to the farm.

On the way back out, we stopped by the water tanks to check on them and discovered a small leak in one of the pipes leading to the tank that the cows were drinking from. As there is no mobile service in the paddocks we headed back to the house to call the property owner's brother. He asked us to keep an eye on it and to let him know what the situation was in the morning.

So back to the paddock again. This time we spotted a few more rabbits which I managed to get (well two out of the three) but they were too little for meat. We saw some foxes in the distance. My mate managed to get a good shot off on one of them (at about 200m with the 30-30) we saw the fox go down, but didn't manage to find the carcass.

On the way back to the road we spotted an emu. The property has a destruction licence so I was able to take aim. I managed to miss it, but then noticed another emu wondering along the fence line of the paddock. Managed to get that one, and on the drive back saw another one which my mate managed to knock over (we used the hornet on these).

We decided to call it a night (as it was around midnight again) and head back to the caravan park.

On the Monday morning we were planning another 6.30am start, but were both too tired to rush. We had to pack up and check out anyway so it was about 9am before we got going.

We headed back out to check on the water tank and discovered that the leak was affecting the supply of water. So back to the house, and when my mate chatted to the brother he was asked to fix the pipe. So back up to the shearing shed to try and find a joiner and an adjustable spanner, then back to one paddock to turn the pump off, then the other paddock to cut and fix the pipe and then back again to turn the pump back on and then back to the house to report on progress. During all this driving around we spotted another group of emus.

So after all the chores were done and phone calls made we decided to go and see if the emus were still in the paddock where we had spotted them. We were quite disappointed to see that they weren't. However, in the distance we saw a lone one (still in the same paddock, just at the other end of it). We decided to give chase. I had a few shots at it, but failed to connect. Then my mate decided to give it a go, while driving at 50kph (luckily the paddock was pretty clear) and he took it down with a shot.

We had just driven up to it to check that it was dead when we spotted another 9 emus in an adjoining paddock. My mate managed to get one straight away and then we jumped in the car and gave chase. Between the two of us we made quick work of the other 8 - not that I'ld admit it, but my mate took out more than I did.

After checking that they were all dead we were heading back to the main road when we noticed a leaking pipe. Apparently we had driven over it and it had split. So again we jumped out and repaired it!

Before leaving we decided to head back to the other pipe we had repaired to ensure that all was in order. Then back to the shearing shed to drop the adjustable spanner off and one last look at the property before heading back to Perth.

It was a great weekend and I had lots of fun. Looking forward to doing it again soon.

Some Pictures
- Pink & Greys in a Tree

- A Calf

- Our Friends Heading Back to Perth

- A Banksia

Letting Your Co-Workers Know You Shoot - Part 2

Jay, over at MArooned, has a blog post up about why he doesn't advertise that he shoots at work. Jay was the blogger that I had the discussion with which sparked my recent post on the topic which can be found here.

Have a read of Jay's post and the comments he received.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Introducing women to shooting …

Over at JayG’s blog I came across this paragraph:

Every time some gun store commando looks past the young 20-something woman to the guy behind her; every time some idiot hands his girlfriend a hot .44 Magnum for her first time shooting; every time some yahoo claims that women are too weak to rack the slide on a 1911... All of these put women off the shooting sports; all should be avoided at all costs.

And it got me to thinking about women and shooting.

This year, up at the gun club, a third of our trainees are women. Some of these have tagged along with male friends but others have either come on their own or with another woman.

I think it is fantastic to see, not only women becoming interested in shooting but having the “balls” to come along to a male dominated arena and take part.

My shooting history, briefly, is that hubby introduced me to shotguns and rifles back pre-1997, however we lost a lot of those guns in the “Post-Port Arthur” buy-back and shooting wasn’t really a part of our lives until 2006.

I was working with a guy who shot practical pistol and after seeing how IPSC shoots are organised and conducted I fell in love with the sport and wanted to be involved. I was the one then who dragged hubby along to another range (due to opening hours and other factors) and we both then became interested in pistol shooting.

This led ultimately to both of us joining our current club.

I have experienced the ‘being ignored in a gun shop’ routine on a few occasions (one memorable instance had me standing at the counter with credit card and firearm licence in hand while everyone in the shop was being served but me), but now the gun shop owners recognise me so it’s not so bad.

Now that I am on the training team at the Club and have been involved in bringing many female ‘newbies’ to the range I thought I would share my approach to introducing a woman to shooting.

Firstly, and most importantly, I want them to feel comfortable, unhurried and pressure-free.

So determining the BEST time for them to come and have a go is critical. You don’t want them to be there when there are heaps of guys and a lot of noise going on. Some times, however, they will turn up then so there’s not much you can do.

Secondly, prior to their visit, I ensure that they have an idea of appropriate clothes. Hot brass is HOT and getting burned on delicate places is NOT FUN! So low cut tops and open shoes are out! If you REALLY want to show of your assets afterwards in the club-house have another shirt to put over and button up on the range! (Of course, ensure that you have appropriate eye and ear protection for them).

Thirdly, I don’t expect them to know anything about the mechanics of firearms. It’s all very well you knowing that a semi-auto pistol will spit the cases out the side after you’ve pulled the trigger, but the majority of women just won’t know that. They may not know how rounds are fed from the magazine or even what a round is. So I ensure that I TALK to them and give them an idea of how the gun works and what is actually happening when you pull the trigger. If there is enough time I will pull a bullet apart and / or a gun and SHOW them. Most women I’ve come across like to understand what exactly is going on.

Fourthly, safety. Now I know this is the MOST IMPORTANT THING but rabbiting on about safety when you’re not even at the range isn’t something I’ve found works. However, when you get to a range I find talking about safety is imperative. You can show them where ‘down-range’ is. You can show them what you mean by keeping the muzzle (don’t forget to explain what you mean by that too) level. You can show them about keeping your finger off the trigger. Remember too – like everything - people will do what you do. Follow the safety rules yourself on the range and the newbie will most likely do so too (except finger off trigger – that one you’ll need to watch carefully).

Fifthly, gun choice. Start a newbie, especially a women, off with a gun that they can hold and that isn’t going to frighten them. A .22 is perfect for this.

Sixthly, target choice. Ensure that they have something very easy to hit and that they’re very close to it for the first time out on a range. This will give them confidence. You’re not there to prove how good a shooter you are, you’re there to let them have fun and enjoy what they’re doing. Hitting a target does this.

Seventhly, grip. Making sure that the newbie is holding the gun comfortably and safely is important before any trigger pulling happens. You want them to feel in control and confident about what they have in their hands. Let them hold the gun BEFORE you load it. Give them a chance to get a feel for it. Explain about recoil (if you’re not using a .22).

Once they feel comfortable with holding the gun, load a mag. Depending on how nervous they appear I will put anywhere from 1 to 10 rounds in the mag. (Generally I have a couple of loaded mags ready with different numbers of rounds). Explain what you’re doing when you put the mag in the gun (I find it is often easier for me to put the mag in then to give it to them to do initially anyway) and then explain that the gun will go BANG if they pull the trigger – and keep an eye on the trigger and their finger when they’re reholding the gun.

Let them pull the trigger (be ready to grab the gun if they decide to let go). If necessary, remind them about taking their finger off the trigger. If they hit the target, congratulate them! Ask them how they feel. Ask them if they’ld like to try a few more rounds. I’ve never had anyone say ‘no’ yet!

Once you can see that they’ve got the hang of the .22 and they’re enjoying themselves THEN offer to let them pull the trigger on whatever else you have to hand. Remember however, to let them get the feel of the gun BEFORE you load it. Ensuring that they’re following the four safety rules at all times.

If you give them something that is going to recoil, tell them. Explain how it will feel and what they need to do. While it can be amusing to watch a newbie shoot a gun with lots of recoil it doesn’t encourage them to come back to the range.

Hopefully by the end of the session you’ll have a happy newbie who will be thinking about the next time they can get up the range!