Random thoughts from flyover country

Friday, October 5

Qualification prelude

Qualification is upon us once again, and the ranges open for practice Sunday morning. There will be the usual crowd of dedicated, conscientious officers wanting to hone their skills and the guys and gals who just like to shoot for free! Of course, those two groups are not mutually exclusive. Over the next few weeks, they will fire several thousand rounds of 180 grain .40 S&W ammunition. A few of us will add several hundred rounds of 125 grain .357 Magnum, and a similar amount of 158 grain .38 Special. (Yes, there are still a few of us old-timers toting .357 Magnum revolvers with .38 Special bugs.)

Then, there are the others, those that don’t like guns, don’t like to shoot, don’t practice on their own time, and don’t even remove them from their holsters between qualifications. Those are the folks who will fail to qualify on at least one of the three opportunities on their qualification days. (A shooter must qualify on two of three chances in order to work armed. If they fail, range personnel conduct immediate remedial training and let them attempt to re-qualify. If they fail that, they don’t work until they have retrained from day one of the firearms course and re-qualify since qualification with firearms is a job requirement.)

I’ve already heard some officers whining about qualification, their issue weapons, and the likelihood that weather will be inclement. Sometimes I think they’re in the wrong career field. I heard one of them refer to his issue handgun as a “boat anchor.” I’ll be working with him personally to resolve any problems he thinks he has…


Another follow-up; another cancer update

    Last week I had my second post-surgical radical robotic prostatectomy follow-up (every three months for the first year), and I’m still showing a prostate specific antigen (PSA) level of 0.0 so far. This is good news, although my doctor will continue to monitor my progress for the next four and a half years.

    While I was there, the nurse practitioner told me that they’d had a number of men in their late forties/early fifties who had PSA levels in the double digits and were scheduled for biopsies cancel their appointments after the USPSTF issued it’s recommendation against PSA testing. That’s just sad because, odds are, they’ll be back, in worse shape, and with a drastically shortened life span and diminished quality of life.

    Next update on this subject will be in mid-December.


PS: I would like to thank the scum-sucking, stalking son of a bitch on the Yahoo Message Boards that linked to my blog celebrating my prostate cancer. Although I'm certain it wasn't his intention, he has aided me in my efforts to educate mature men about the second most prevalent cancer that affects them. To him, I can only hope he follows the recommendation of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force to the letter. -S