Valentine's is an odd sort of a holiday for me. On one hand, it is an overly commercialized day that everyone knows is just an opportunity to keep florists in business. One the other hand, there is some sort of a spirit of romance in it. In the modern day, I suppose that is a testament to the power of marketing, although Valentine's Day has had romantic undertones since the Middle Ages in Europe. Quite possibly, its origins are much older and stem from an old Roman fertility holiday that was in the middle of February. Personally, having grown up in a place where there isn't much to do in the winter but sit indoors and wait for the snow to melt, I have a suspicion that it was simply a reason to... well, you get my drift.
Either way, for me there is another meaning to February 14th and it has nothing to do with Roman holidays, Christian saints and starving florists. My grandfather Julius was born on February 14th of 1917. Of all the different people in my family, I think I look the most like him. I also inherited his "angelic" demeanor, sarcasm and all. These are the personality traits that make people think (justifiably) that you are not a nice person. I am probably not and my grandfather, at times, probably wasn't either. There is a big difference though between being nice and being good. My grandfather, by all accounts, was an exceedingly good man. To his family and friends he was loyal, selfless and giving to the extent of his capabilities and sometimes beyond them. That is a lot to live up to for his descendants. My daughter Julia was named after him.
He grew up in a Jewish family in Saint Petersburg that was sort of a comfortable middle class prior to the Communist revolution in Russia. Unfortunately, my grandfather did not get to experience any of that middle
class comfort since the Communists did what Communists always do once they take power: kill a bunch of people and rob the survivors blind. It so happened, that my grandfather's uncles were among the organizers of the February revolution in 1917 that overthrew the tzar (the first of the two russian revolutions in 1917) and they, in turn, were killed or imprisoned (and then killed) by the communists after they took power in the November revolution later that same year. It was sort of an interesting story.
My grandfather was the oldest of four children and he ended up being the head of the family at the age of 14. He worked his ass off while his siblings were going through school. They all ended up with doctorates, while he never went back to school working as a chief electrician on large industrial projects his whole life. I think he had a little bit of an inferiority complex due to that. His whole life, whenever he had a moment, he tried to learn something new.
Many of his interests leaned toward art and music and he rather aggressively tried to push that onto my brother and me. I have a strong suspicion that one of the key reasons I ended up going into a very technical field of study was simply an act of resistance to him pushing the art stuff. As far as stubbornness goes, he and I were well matched, but he had a lot more experience. For all I know, it was exactly the result he was hoping for. He was, indeed, a very smart man. Math was my weakest subject going through school (aside from art and music if you consider those to be subjects...), yet here we are.
His early adult years were spent during the Soviet purges of the late 20s and 30s and that influenced him tremendously. That is probably a story for another day.
He ended up moving to Israel at the age of 73 and died there in the Holy Land at the age of 86. Immigration is hard at any age and especially hard for the elderly. Still, at least during his latter years, he lived free.
I gave it a couple of days and figured it is time to do a live show on intermediate magnifications in LPVOs and a couple of other updates.
I am budgeting 30-45 minutes for this, but it might go to a full hour depending on how it goes.
I'd like to do a quick overview of how the hog hunt went, the gear I was looking at and why I love doing this stuff.
Let's aim for tomorrow (Tuesday, October 12th) at noon Mountain Time.
Here is the wrap up of the Steiner M1050r LRF bincoulars that I have been playing with for a quite a while now.
Observation optics is a pretty involved subject as is, further complicated by the fact that most observation optics are not made for shooters. Here is a live show I did on observation optics that touches on this:
This binocular is decidedly not intended for birders. As the name implies, it is squarely aimed at military and law enforcement applications. It is a very competent overall design, but there is a feature that is sorely missing.
Let me know what you think once you watch the video. The binocular in question is the Steiner Military 10x50r LRF: https://bit.ly/2WA88hY
It is a solid design overall with excellent optics and good LRF performance. There is, however, one critical feature missing.
The registration for SHOT 2022 is finally open and I am in the process of making something resembling a schedule for it. The way it usually works, I make a detailed schedule and it goes to hell in a handbasket eight minutes after the show starts. Still, I have to make plans.
Interestingly, the Safari International event is in Las Vegas this year and overlapping with SHOT.
SHOT is Tuesday through Friday and SCI is Wednesday through Saturday.
I normally do not go to SCI given that it is more of a hunting oriented event. However, given that I am gearing up for my4th hunt this year (aoudad sheep in April, spring black bear in Alaska in June, hogs in Texas two weeks ago and New Mexico elk coming up in December), I can no longer say that I am not really a hunter with any sort of honesty.
I may not be a good hunter, but I am a hunter. Apparently.
With all that, I may be able to sneak over to the SCI show on Saturday. I always run out of time at SHOT, so I doubt I will be able to give up...
Folks, I am going to do another livecast tomorrow focusing on LPVOs and FIxed Power scopes when both are equipped with an offset RDS.
Matt of Everyday Marksman and Jacob of Pro-gun Millenial will join me tomorrow.
Yesterday's livecast, once we got done with the original topic of discussion veered a little bit toward other aspects of shooting quickly with conventional riflescopes and the topic of OEGs (Occluded Eye Gunsights) came up. I figured that I should probably write a short article on how they work when I realized that I already have and that Guns and Ammo makes this one available online.
It went into the 2019 Retro issue when they asked to write a little bit about OEGs since they were famously used in the Son-Tay raid.
It did make me want to re-visit the subject, so I pinged the good folks at Armson USA to see if I can borrow a modern OEG form them and go over the subject in more detail.