One of the unexpected benefits of owning the field has been the opportunity to watch many young people mature and grow. They come to play, some stay to work, and I get to watch them go through the phases of girl/boy friends, first car, proms and graduations, and going off to college or the military. Lately there have been a bunch of marriages and players showing up with their own children.
Even more unexpected was the recent loss of a player. I'm an old, tired, conservative, military retiree so when this skin headed kid with half a dozen piercings all over his face showed up to play I immediately made assumptions. He had dark brooding eyes and a scowl on his face and I right away decided he was going to be trouble.
Then he smiled and held out his hand and said, "Hey, I'm Rusty. Tell me about paintball." (shown center in the picture) That was the start of an acquaintance and friendship that lasted nearly 10 years. Not nearly long enough. Rusty passed away last Saturday at the age of 35.
I learned things from his smile (and he smiled allot!). I was reminded to look beyond a books cover. He's smiling right now, I'm sure of it. And that makes me smile.
Apr 24, 2008
Apr 22, 2008
I'm not the type that generally judges someone by what they drive or what they wear. They say you can tell much about a person by the way they treat their dog or by the length of their hair. That may be so in some cases but I don't put much stock in wholesale assumptions about people.
What will make me mean and grumpy and cause a snap conclusion without a second thought is obvious signs of total disregard for the most basic of safety considerations. Forget the fact that you are defacing a classic piece of paintball iron - someone who cuts off a trigger guard is just plain arrogant and dumb.
Apr 20, 2008
This is ridiculously long and embarrassingly self serving. There is no reason in the world for anyone to read the whole thing. It's just something I needed to do today.
7:40 – inspect the fields for flood and wind damage
8:11 – replace a few barrels and pallets that floated out of position
8:38 – clean safe zone and remind myself to mention to the refs that clean up is part of the set up and take down
9:07 - check answering machine. yes, there are already 2 calls
9:10 – check to make sure the ref's donut and Gatorade supply is good
9:25 – take a sneak peek at overnight EBay sales
9:32 – catch a half hour of a morning TV fishing show
9:40 – consider taking a nap
9:50 – pull weeds around gun shed instead
10:03 – phone call – “when are you open?” noon
10:08 – phone call – “how many people will be playing walk-on today?” wait, let me get out my crystal ball
10:30 – think about breakfast
10:33 – inspect pro-shop inventory instead
10:58 – the 10:03 caller arrives wanting a tank filed (noon, REMEMBER? noon – I fill his tank anyway
10:59 – phone rings while filling tank, “Do you fill nitrous tanks?” no
11:09 – explain to customer after filling his CO2 tank that he really should use HPA on his DM6 (later I try to explain why a Brass Eagle Triton doesn’t really need HPA)
11:22 – phone call – wanted to know how much I sell Evolutions for. After explaining the different prices he explained he was just checking since he had already ordered one on-line
11:34 –“Please help me change my PSP mode to semi.” Do you have the manual? “No.”
11:36 – looking for manual online while trying to watch the rerun of Danica Patrick winning her first Indy car race.
11:38 – “Hey, Mick. Wanna trade these parts for these parts?” I miss the end of the race.
11:39 – customer makes a purchase
11:40 – give refs two brand new garden hoes to clean weeds around player tables.
11:42 – spend time with 11:39 customer explaining how to maintain new purchase.
11:50 - try another online site for PSP to semi instructions
11:51 – attempt to arrange work bench
11:53 – set up my Mini-mag for someone to borrow (cause I’m a nice guy).
11:52 – give up trying to arrange work bench
11:55 – refs are back with two broken hoes.
12:00 – open for business.
12:05 – receive word a close paintball friend died yesterday in a motorcycle crash (RIP – Rusty. You were a friend)
12:08 - try another online site for PSP to semi instructions
12:10 - repair three rentals
12:35 - inspect masks
12:40 – finally find instructions online for PSP mode change. Player has already figured it out on his own.
12:41 – player’s A5 will not feed. Needs ratchet.
12:42 – interrupted to fill a tank.
12:47 - Continue working on A5
12:49 – run outside to reprimand a player (adult) for accidentally firing in the safe zone.
12:53 - continue working on A5
12:54 – phone rings, Mom needs directions.
12:57 - Continue working on A5
1:20 – A5 Ratchet replaced.
1:22 – the 2:44 caller calls back… lost
1:24 – make the rounds picking up litter
1:32 – sneak a quick peek at soon to end EBay auctions. Nothing I need. I bid on a gun I want.
1:35 – Grab a donut and a hot dog and a coke…………!
1:37 – finished lunch
1:38 – harass refs for standing in a group chatting.
1:40 – Put up safety tape around a bad piece of netting
1:43 – tune in to Mexico City Nationwide NASCAR race. Missed the start. Don’t recognize any of the (road race) driver’s names so I tune out.
1:53 – customer has an A5 that will not cycle. (Fresh out of Army basic, he has a real M-16 clip fastened to the bottom of his marker.) Take the gun apart and get knocked over by the smell of gun oil.
2:33 – replaced gun oil swollen orings on A5. Cycles fine now, customer says he will buy real paintball gun oil some other time
2:42 – grump about our missing 2:00 group
2:44 – prepare, in my mind, the butt chewing I’m going to give the refs for slacking.
2:53 – respond to an e-mail praising my refs
2:55 – cancel the butt chewing
3:00 – need to order pro-shop items, start inventory
3:15 – inventory
3:00 - inventory
3:45 – start preparing Tippmann, Kee and Smart Parts order forms.
4:10 – realize I need to order paint
4:11 – drastically reduce Tippmann, Kee and Smart Parts orders
4:12 – become depressed
4:30 – went outside and marveled over the great job we did (Kevin and John and me) replacing snapped poles and putting the back field netting up after it blew down for the third time this year.
4:35 – feel better
4:42 – make the rounds picking up litter
4:53 – begin sorting items to sell on EBay
5:05 – start listing items on EBay
5:08 – interrupted to fix a gun (burping – cleaned it)
5:16 – started over with first listing
5:18 – stopped to explain why a flat line barrel does not improve accuracy.
5:32 – try to finish first listing
5:41 – stopped to help 11:39 customer with a new gun problem.
5:52 – give up on EBay listing
5:58 – make the rounds picking up litter
6:00 – officially closed
6:10 – remind the refs I’d like them to get the close up checklist finished so we can go home
6:15 – remind them again
6:20 – remind them again
6.22 – help check out the last few players
6:28 – collect ref time cards
6:33 – last ref ride arrives
6:36 – lights out, gate locked
6:38 – continue to work on EBay listings
7:31 – give up after 3 listings
7:55 – sent off last order by fax
Forty five players and about a dozen walk-in customers (minus the 25 players that were supposed to show at 2:00). I’m kinda glad it wasn’t a real busy day.
Apr 19, 2008
Don't wait until you're checking out to let me know you had trouble with your rental gun or you had problems with my paint breaking in your barrel. I CAN'T HELP YOU NOW! If you had told me earlier I could have fixed you up with a new rental or showed you how to turn the dwell down on your new, high speed paint blender.
Apr 11, 2008
"Speed is fine but accuracy is final."
Apr 10, 2008
Have I mentioned I'm kinda old school? Back when I got hooked on paintball Automags and Autocockers ruled the paintball world. Autocockers were always a mystery to me. Everything I know about them I pretty much learned by mistake. I've always considered them cantankerous and ornery but I always had a few hanging on the pro-shop wall and in pieces on my work bench just on the off chance Bud Orr paid a visit (yeah, right!!).
I lost interest in them right around the time Mr Orr retired from Worr Game Products and the K2 business conglomerate took over production. It was about that same time that the Autococker was raped of its old school charm and became just another line on a business chart at a stock holder's meeting. Autocockers disappeared from my pro-shop wall (all except MY cocker) and I joked with my shop Manager how embarrassed I would be if Bud Orr ever paid a visit (yeah, right!!).
A few months ago I dragged a dusty box of old school Autococker parts out of a closet and started piecing together a couple of guns. With a few Ebay purchases I was able to put together a half dozen pre-2k oldies that I proudly displayed on my pro-shop wall.
Just in time, too. Bud Orr paid a visit to the shop today (no kidding!!).
Apr 9, 2008
Can anyone identify either of these two items? I know they are both paintball related. The silver item appears to be some sort of ASA mount/drop. The jewel on the side shows it's a KAPP product.
update: The silver item has been identified as a drop for an Angel Air Reg (thanks to Ken at Extreme Sports, Inc. Thanks, Ken)
Apr 7, 2008
Yes I'm vain. Sure, I have an ego. Yes I wonder what people think about the things I write but not enough to turn on the "comments" section. So I added the little star things at the bottom. Don't be bashful. It's anonymous. Tell me by way of the number of stars what you like to hear about, what you don't care about, what you want more or less of.
This is, after all, for me. A place to vent. I don't mind you looking over my shoulder.
Apr 1, 2008
From 68Caliber.com :
Last week rumors surfaced that two truckloads of paintballs were stolen out of the parking lot of the KEE Action Sports' warehouse in St. Petersburg, Florida. The total loss was said to be around 5,000 cases of paint which were sitting in two semi trailers on site. Apparently the thieves drove up in semi tractors, hooked up to the trailers and drove off with them.
There are unconfirmed reports that approximatly 500 cases of the stolen paint were recovered in the Miami area and at least one arrest has been made in connection with the theft. The location and status of the remaining 4000+ cases of paint remains unknown at this time.
Representatives from KEE Action Sports have promised a press release regarding this matter so as to help in recovering their property, which is valued at well over $100,000.
Just what the paintball world needs. Another "rifled barrel". Will we ever learn? There is nothing, NOTHING, a barrel can do to make a paintball go further (except the Flatline) or make it more accurate (especially the Flatline). Barrel manufacturers - STOP, STOP, STOP messing with the noobies' heads!