FOLLOW ME - You know you want to. If Baca can get 100 I know I can get 200!

Dec 31, 2007

Over the river and through the woods...

It happens every time about this same time every year. December, January, the weather gets cold and the paintballs start acting weird. The paintballs ship quick, overnight, but that's plenty of time for it to get cold and dimpled. We store it in a warm room but as soon as it's passed out it's back out in the cold.

When paintballs get cold they get brittle.

When paintballs get brittle they break in the gun.

I have two choices. I can get Wallyworld style paint that tends to be hard as marbles or I can try to get players to adjust their playing style - stop crashing into bunkers hopper first, try to be patient while the refs do everything possible to keep the guns clean and try to slow down their trigger finger (not only is this easier on the paint it also helps keep the inside of the barrel from frosting up with sharp little shards of CO2).

Marbles hurt.

Hope you have a great New Year.


Dec 27, 2007

More boring industry stuff...

I'm constantly having to remind myself, "Do not purchase the first run of any new paintball product." The industry is notorious for letting their customers do the field testing and quality checks.

I have to remind myself because I often forget. Like I did recently when I bought a "brand new, just hit the market" paintball gun.

Yes. It has problems. Problems that are well documented on the infamous Paintball Nation forum by the way. Problems that apparently already have a fix but problems just the same.

But here's the problem that really frosts my snowman.

Every time (Yes, I've run into this many times), every time I call the company technician about an obvious, as well as documented, equipment problem I get the same response: "Ahh, gee. I have no idea what you're talking about. Send the gun back so we can take a look at it."

Apparently technicians don't read Paintball Nation. If they did they would see they are often mentioned BY NAME as being the one who identified the problem in the first place!

Give me a "D". Give me a "U". Give me an "H"

I'm out.


WARNING - Boring industry related post...

I tried to raise a little dust on PaintBallNation (PBN) a few days back . Have you ever heard the expression “The silence was deafening”?

There is an event that comes around the first of the year for paintball field and store owners. The promoter does a great job of bringing the industry together in one place where we can learn and express and share. I attended last year and sat through a dozen different classes on a dozen different topics put on by paintball manufacturers and suppliers and providers. The classes ranged from field safety to gun maintenance to “what’s new”, insurance and business management and I enjoyed them all. I left each class feeling I was better prepared to go forth and help my business and the industry grow.

The classes were free.

This year there is a fee. Some rather substantial, ranging from $10 to as high as $500.

Now, here is where the raising of dust comes in. If you run a business that depends on the success or your salesmen and the satisfaction of the customer does it make sense to nickel and dime the salesmen or would it be better to provide them with as many tools and as much product knowledge as possible?

If a company wants me to sell their paintball gun shouldn’t they be anxious to teach me, their salesman, how to maintain the gun and provide me with technical information so I can keep THEIR end customer happy? How about a company that sells loaders?

Should I have to pay to learn how to attach a company’s after market parts? Should I have to pay a Scenario Game promoter to promote scenario games?

It's like paying someone to listen to their comercial.

What’s wrong with this picture?

Industry wants profit....................Customer wants quality/service
---------------------> Field/Store owner <-------------------------

Why do we let the industry put us in the middle without holding them responsible for arming us with the knowledge and ability to keep the customer happy?

Shouldn’t it look more like this?

Industry wants profit...................Customer GETS quality/service
---------------------> Field/Store owner ----------------------->

I brought this subject up in the Field and Store Owner forum and no one batted an eye. Want to bet me the class fees will be even larger next year?


Dec 21, 2007

The theory of (paintball gun) relativity...

"His gun is better cause it shoots further."

My jaw aches from clenching.

Any gun, ANY GUN, set up to shoot X feet per second with X being constant for each gun will propel a paintball the same distance**.

Merry Christmas

** The exception to the rule is the Flatline barrel. It shoots further, but less accurately, because it puts a spin on the ball.


Dec 13, 2007

The fans speak...

In one of the forums I look in on from time to time someone asked, "What should we do about cheating (wiping) in paintball?"

Here are some unedited responses:

"cheating has become a growing point of the sport, just accept it."

"wiping isn't cheating, it's an art"

"I'm not glorifying wiping, but if someone can do it and get away with it, then props to them. …its not unfair, both teams have equal opportunity to do this during the game. Professionals take it into account when they're playing, and plan their strategies around this."

"cheating is part of the game deal with it."

"cheating is part of the game now, your either good at it or your not and if your not then you get pissed off about other people doing it"

"cheating in an event is fine, the refs have to find you first....."

"You guys have to realize that cheating is not that big of a deal in paintball. Pro players cheat all the time"

"I'll cheat my ****ing *** off if I want to, and nobody will have a say in that."

"it's only cheating if you get caught"

"As much as I hate cheating, I do agree it's settled itself comfortably in the game, and probably will always be a part."

"I watched XXXXXX wipe 4 hits in a row, the man is a master and a beast to boot - And I have nothing but respect for him"

"If you ain't cheatin, you ain't trying hard enough..."

"I have kids on the team that will wipe if they decide its the thing to do. Bottom line I leave it up to them - I dont look down on the kids that wipe..."

"Because someone doesnt wipe, that doesnt make them a better player or a better person, it ONLY means that there beliefs are different"

"if you are going to play at the national level, you are going to have to get good at wiping to win."

"IF YOU PERM> BANNED CHEATERS THERE WOULDN"T BE A SINGLE PRO LEFT ON THE FACE OF THE EARTH! besides its just part of sports, ive seen an 8 year old wipe before"

"its not worth fighting for if its not worth fighting dirty for."

Hey Ollie, Chris, Alex, Ryan... any comments?


Dec 12, 2007

I am NOT Legend...

I'm looking forward to the movie similarly titled. I've always known I wasn't the only paintball blogger in the world but for a long time I couldn't find another worth mentioning. I recently ran across one that led me to more. is a blog right up my mean and grumpy firing lane. As he claims, "I've chosen to be nasty, sarcastic and contrarian because no one else is really taking this industry to task." His thoughts lean more toward the industry side of the business while I tend to stick closer to home.

From the Gnomes blog I was led to, , ,, . Each one has it's own style of news, information and commentary. Technical Paintball currently has a bunch of great photos of old and unusual markers. If you check any of the blogs and leave a comment be sure to mention you found them by way of T-Square Paintblog.

If you know of other paintball blogs I'd like to hear about them. My e-mail link is on the side bar.


Dec 2, 2007

Job Offer...

Posted (unedited) on "" forum:


I would consider applying if it didn't sound like some "Nigerian Prince scam"!


Nov 30, 2007

Just venting...

Like any industry or sport or hobby paintball has it's share of forums and chat rooms (not so many blogs, though). The forum threads I usually check out most are of the "Field Owner" variety.

It's a good place to pick up some fresh ideas, commiserate with fellow owners and sometimes do a bit of venting.

Unfortunately, everyday, without a doubt and as sure as the sun will rise and set there will be a post from some aspiring entrepreneur who dreams of making it big with a paintball field he wants to open up on Uncle Jack's back forty.

Here are some (unedited) samples:

"I am currently trying to start an indoor paintball arena in our town and was curious as to any advice you all might have. Also any information about the legalities and waivers that might be necessary when going into this business. Thanks for any and all help y'all can send my way!"

Fairly straight forward, polite - almost a request I wouldn't mind taking three hours to type out with everything it has taken me 12 years to learn. I wonder if it's someone planning to open a field next door to mine?

And let me point out, at the top of every "Field Owner" thread that I frequent there is a "sticky post" at the top titled something like "Stop bothering field owners with endless requests for information because every question you could ever think of is answered right here - JUST TAKE THE TIME TO READ!"

Anyway, more samples:

"Hey im starting a paintball field with some other people for a college project, could someone help me by sending me a layout for a good business plan. I have one made up but its only a lists of prices and mission statements"

Hey, cood sombody rite my term papirs??

"Hello, I am starting a paintball field and store. I need 100% everything but for less money, please give me a quote on how much you think I can get this for."

Would you settle for 97%?

"I have 11 acres that I'm thinking about starting a paintball arena. How do I go about starting and is this enough land to have a decent paintball facility?"

How big is the field in your area that you plan to put out of business?

"I have planned to build my field using my own home, and land that i already have. With a few bunkers and some netting i could have 3 really good courses, 2 speedball and a scenario field with a fortress(that being my actual house). From all the people i've talked to i'm crazy for wanting to do this, but i really feel like it would be awsome and i wouldn't mind having paint all in my house"

No way!! I call shens!

"I want to know how mush will this cost for a teen to start a feild? What is income, and how? Because their is only one place to play around here and its in niceville about 30 miles from where 3 cities play paintball. Now you can tell they are rolling in cash."

How do they profit when they're spending all that time rolling?

"Is there any field owner that is intersted in invisting in starting a branch of his in Cairo, Egypt. We are a group of Egyptian businessmen who are interested in that. We do not have any fields in Egypt at the moment. Thanks Saleh El Shobokshy"


"ok ppl i just started and i have a open feild right behind my house that is mine... i was just wondering if any of u guys would no how many guns i would need paintballs co2 all that good stuff...and my insurance that i may need"

"I was wanting a little inpoot i got a field and i just need to set it up and have a few ideas but need to know what kinda setup would be best"

"how to start a paintball feild, and also good sites for feild gear and airball binkers. and also could you tell me if you have the phone number for"

It's endless. Actually the requests for "How to Start a Field" that bug me the most are the articulate, well thought out ones. They should be smart enough to know nothing is free. Do your own homework/reading/research.


(Bring 'em home.)


Nov 28, 2007

More Big Game stuff...

Here is a small sample of the many photos taken during the "First Contact - 2007" Big Game. To see more go to arkansaspaintballphotography and leave John a big thank you. Or better yet, order a few prints from him.


Nov 21, 2007

Big numbers...

Here are some numbers from the 6 Hour Big Game we hosted here at T-Square Paintball on Sunday:

First, the really big one - 158 players. That's the most that have ever participated. In fact it was too many. I had people parking in my neighbor's yard. I hate to do it but I might have to have a sign-up/cut-off list next time.

The BLUE team won. Both teams played tough but it was obvious the Blue team had the upper hand most of the day. What wasn't so obvious was how close the score turned out. Blue Team's aggressive play almost turned out to be their undoing as they lost points as they raced around raising flags and stealing mission objects before they were actually put into play. After subtracting it was Blue 365 and Red 335.

There were 357 hot dogs and drinks consumed, 150 pounds of CO2 was used and the HPA compressor ran nearly non stop.

The Red team outspent the Blue team in paint purchases, suggesting maybe might doesn't necessarily make right.

Player's spent an average of $35. Not to bad a deal, if I do say so myself, for 6 hours of paintball.

Not counting the free one given to each player there was an extra 412 raffle tickets sold. Over $450 worth of items were raffled off. Tickets were 50 cents a piece - you do the math!! (Thanks to Springfield Paintball for the donations and great paint.)

The best number to me was the 158 smiling faces I saw when the event ended. One Mom was a bit upset. She said there was some beer drinking and cussing going on in the parking lot. I found this out at 6pm, a couple of hours too late for me to take the pleasure of tossing these people out. I do what I can when I can.

John Dougan braved the fire and took probably over 300 pictures. I'll get with him and figure out a good way to post them.

Thanks again to all who participated and to all that helped to make it a great day (and a special thanks to the hot dog cookers). The next one is in May, the Sunday after Mom's day.



Nov 17, 2007

Left. Right. Left.

Please don't call for directions and then argue with us about the directions we've been giving out correctly for 12 years.


Nov 7, 2007


I did indeed go to the World Cup in Orlando Florida as I mentioned a few posts back. Actually I hit the road for a break and ended up in Orlando. The World Cup was not particularly my priority stop since the intention was to get away from paintball for a few days.

Just past Birmingham Alabama I passed a sign for Talladega Speedway. I thought to myself that would be a great place to hold a tournament.

In Atlanta Georgia I visited the worlds largest aquarium. All the cool colored fish floating about gave me some great split shell, paintball, color combination ideas.

In Orlando I stopped off for a tour at Kennedy Space Center. I tried calculating how many indoor fields you could set up in the building that displays the Saturn V rocket (ten or more I'm sure). I saw a couple of great locations for scenario fields till I was told by the tour bus driver that rangers that patrol the area have security video tapes showing alligators climbing over 10 foot chain link fence just to get to a wild pig.

On the way back I decided in Pensacola that beach paintball would be tough on the equipment and hell on these old legs.

At Battleship Park in Mobile Alabama my attention was drawn to the signs that displayed the caliber of each gun on the Battleship Missouri. I'd hate to get bunkered by one of those big guns! (And as you might guess there is really only one shooting lane on the submarine I toured.)

In Biloxi Mississippi I tried to imagine a paintball field there and where it might have ended up after Katrina! Two years later there are still fresh signs posted everywhere reading "House and Foundation Demolition and Removal - $1 per square foot".

In Tunica I gambled away the money I saved for a new airball field (not really, but it sounded good).

And finally, back home, I pulled in the drive and congratulated myself for successfully dragging my butt away from paintball for awhile.

Can't wait to do it again.

Peace. Out!
Bring 'em home.

Oh, and the actual World Cup event? Just a bunch of boring paintball stuff!


Nov 5, 2007


You might think feed necks (the piece that sticks up from the top of a paintball gun that holds the hopper) would be a standard size or at least feed tubes (the part that sticks down from the bottom of the hopper and connects to the feed neck) would be a standard size but of course they are not. Hoppers will either fit loose, fit just right but become loose over time or they will not fit at all.

"Clamping" feed necks help. They adjust to fit. But even clamping feed necks vary in how large they open and how small they clamp.

It was considered just a minor frustration back when hoppers were just a simple, five dollar, gravity fed, tupperwear looking thing. Most of them fit loose but with enough black tape you could make it stay on long enough to get a few games in.

Now, with hoppers pushing the $200 range you might expect the darn things to fit the gun properly. But no, they don't. In fact, many hopper manufacturers give the tube a large diameter so you can modify it to fit your specific gun.

So watch Mom's expression when you take sandpaper to the $200 doodad she just bought here 12 year old. "OH MY GOD WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO IT???"



Nov 3, 2007

Name Game...

Here are some more paintball company names to add to the "Quick Quiz" from awhile back:

Hater Paintball
Monkey With A Gun
Deadly Wind
Full Clip

Which brings another subject to mind. Which one of the following is NOT a name of a paintball gun?

Nelsplat 007

Next time - classy tournament team names!


Oct 23, 2007


Going to World Cup. Be back in about a week!



Oct 18, 2007


For years small field owners have tried to convince the industry that in order to sustain events like this one at Disney World in Orlando Florida...

they need to support small fields like T-Square Paintball and the ground floor, grass roots efforts of small field owners.

It's estimated that less than 3% of paintball players are concerned with tournament paintball yet the industry insists on pushing high rate of fire, electronic guns on recreational players.

Now, in an odd turn of events, the industry is trying to make players think they need realistic looking military style guns in order to fit in or be able to keep up with the BIG GAME/Scenario crowd.

No doubt there are small fields that cater to tournament players just as there are fields that aim at attracting the BG/Scenario "teams". But I do have a sense of doubt about the industry supporting the majority of fields that make a living by introducing 10 year old birthday players and church groups to paintball. There hasn't been a good, tough, solid marker come down the line in a long time, one I might consider as a replacement for my aging Piranha rentals.

While none of this rant is a concern to any of you I did think it might provide a good platform for presenting a couple of cool pictures.

What do you think?


Oct 15, 2007


Maybe you've heard the expression - "Pain is relative."

A world class, middle weight boxer dropped by the pro-shop a few days back. He's new to the sport of paintball. He plays backyard ball with some of his friends.

He was looking for pads.

"Paintball hurts!" he said.

I explained how backyard paintball guns are usually shooting hot and I provide free chrono service. I hope he comes back. My store manager got his autograph but I was to intimidated to ask!

Play safe.


Oct 11, 2007


Maybe I put to much emphasis on GETTING OFF THE FIELD IMMEDIATELY when hit; to much urgency. Every weekend I see players, down in a crouch, who get hit and then STAND UP to leave the field, exposing themselves to stray rounds and crossfire.

It's like I tell people. If you get hit while running off the field with your gun up and yelling "HIT" I can go yell at the person who hit you. If you're strolling along, with your gun down, whispering your opponents position to your friends and get hit it's your own dumb @ss fault.

Peace out!
(Bring the boys home.)


Aug 29, 2007

If I hadn't seen it with my own eyes...

Epoxy glue used to seal an ASA leak.

Toothpaste used to clean a marker (and give it that fresh, minty feeling).

Scotch tape wrapped around the back to hold the grip frame to the gun body (to replace a missing frame screw).

JB Weld gunked around a steel braided line to stop a leak.

Rubber band o'rings. Literally. Rubber bands!

Holes drilled through goggle lenses for ventilation.


Jun 29, 2007

I get suggestions...

Some I can't repeat here. Most are pretty good.

I haven't responded to the many notes I have found in the Suggestion Box in awhile, at least not publicly. Let me try to catch up.

I always find the "make paint free" or "why don't you use (insert the name of your favorite $1200 paintball marker) for rentals." To those folks all I can say is keep trying. And to the author of the barely legible "I hate this costly place" you have my sympathies. Some days I hate how much it cost to run this place, too!

"Let people play in their own groups." You can. Bring 12 or more by reservation and you get to play as a group and get a discount.

"Separate players into two groups. One normal, another can shoot as fast as they want." NOT GOING TO HAPPEN! Besides, who would rather not be considered "normal"?

"Have Bunker Tag." NOT GOING TO HAPPEN! Stay back 20 feet.

"Getting hit in the gun should be called out. It promotes blind shooting since you can just stick your gun out." Gun hits keep you out of play. Players stick their gun out because they are afraid of getting hit, not because they don't care if the gun gets hit. If one of my refs isn't jumping on blind shooters let me know.

"Attackers on the Fort Game and Badlands Game should be eliminated. Defenders don't get another chance." Maybe my ref didn't explain the games correctly. In the Fort Game defenders who get hit go to the Fort and continue playing. If they get hit in the Fort they join the attackers and continue playing until the game ends. In the Badlands defenders who get hit go to the rear bunker and continue to play even if they get hit there! Our goal is to give everyone as much playing time as possible.

"Every man for himself." I'm assuming you are suggesting this for a game. Try to imagine refing that game. Seriously. Try!!!

"Make coupons for VIP's." The T2 VIP (Very Important Player) program is a very popular item here. Play a minimum of once every three months and you are eligible. Each time you play you get either free paint, free snacks or bonus dollars that you can spend or save. Become a Silver or Gold member and get more. It's free to join. All you have to do is ask for a VIP card the next time you stop in.

"Plant some mines in every field." Only if you volunteer to set them up before and after every game. "Make more fields." I'll do that as soon as I learn how to survive on less than 5 hours of sleep at night. "Sell free guns." As soon as I start getting them free you will get them free. Besides, how do you sell something if it's free? "Give away grenades." I don't even sell them anymore. They seldom work because players don't take the time to SHAKE THEM enough. (And yes, all these suggestions were on the same sheet of paper.)

And yes, I apologize if some of these replys sound a bit snarky or sarcastic. I do enjoy suggestions and do my best to make your T2 experience a good one. The comments option is turned off but don't forget you can always email using the link in the sidebar.


Jun 27, 2007

It has something to do with paintball...

"I'm special. I'm important. Just like everyone else." **

Think about that for a moment. Read it again.

Let me repeat it.

"I'm special. I'm important. Just like everyone else."

Words are amazing things. Put them in a certain order and they can inspire, confuse, motivate, infuriate, empower, evoke love or hate...

It's late. Let's just file this under "random thoughts".

**slightly paraphrased, from a film I saw on the Documentary Channel titled "The Behavior of a Backpacker"


Jun 8, 2007

I'm not sure why this never occured to me.

When someone is confused about how to differ teammates from opponents I often (tongue in cheek) tell them, "If they are facing you shoot at them."

From now on I'm going to include, "and if their back is to you shoot over them."

Classic! Thanks to "The Whiteboard"


May 28, 2007

Is it possible to make Free even Freer?

Lately I've been thinking I should try to be less mean and grumpy and try to be more informative. After all, many of the things that make me mean and grumpy are due to a lack of player/customer knowledge.

So in that spirit I offer to some of you...

I set up up two "Big Games" each year at T-Square. No. They are not tournaments. I call them big games because they are just like our regular games, only bigger.

They are also called "Free" big games because their is no field fee, no equipment fee and no CO2 fee. Regardless of what anyone might think these events are not money makers. They are not intended to be money makers. They are special events, advertised heavily toward our frequent customers and held in appreciation of them.

I have no problems spending money on advertising to insure a good turn out. I don't concern myself with the cost of the electricity it takes to keep the lights on while I work long into the night on the scenario script. And Lord knows the refs and staff deserve every dollar they earn in salary for the day. In the end I give away to much stuff in the free raffle, take the crew out to dinner, sweat the "1 in 99" and swear I'll never do another big game, all while mulling in my head how the next scenario script will include more pyrotechnics and more chaos.

In hopes of breaking even financially all I ask is that players buy our paint.

So, to the young man that called the day before the event to confirm, "There's no field fee and no CO2 fee and I get a free raffle ticket and I can use your equipment for free," and then ask, "Can I bring paint that I bought from (insert name of competing field here)?"

I apologize for hanging up on you.

Dumb ass.


Ancient history...

Demographics. It's a business thing.

Regarding paintball demographics, the typical age of most paintball players, falls somewhere between 12 and 21. I was reminded of this when I received an e-mail asking, "what does 'Garden Party' have to do with paintball?" ( referring to a post I made on 5.16.07)

Garden Party is the title of a song that hit the charts in 1972 written by a 50's teen icon turned singer/song writer named Rick(y) Nelson. Yeah, yeah, I know - over 20 years before many of the players at T-Square were born.

It's one of those "American Pie" songs. Oh, wait. None of you remember American Pie, either.

It's a song filled with obscure references and insider info that leaves the listener wondering just what was the singer/writer trying to say. (Was "Hughes" really about Dylan selling out or was it a reference to George Harrison, a friend of Nelson's? And were they really booing Nelson or were they heckling the two drunks and the police in the back of the crowd?)

Anyway. The chorus goes:

"But it's all right now, I learned my lesson well.
You see, you can't please everyone, so ya got to please yourself."

Like I said, it's one of those songs.

And I'm still learning.


May 27, 2007

A few questions from the test I give my refs...

"Pro-active reffing means

(A) waiting for something to happen.
(B) making something happen.
(C) acting before something happens.
(D) acting when something happens.

A referee's first responsibility is

(A) safety.
(B) doing paint checks.
(C) customer service.
(D) cleaning guns.

Players are required to stay how far from each other?

(A) 2 feet
(B) 12 feet
(C) 20 feet
(D) 22 feet

What is the best way to reprimand a player who ignores safety rules?

(A) in front of his friends
(b) let his Mom do it
(C) shoot him
(D) courteously and in private


May 16, 2007

Garden Party...

The "1 and 99" syndrome bit me on the ass again recently.

You know - the 99 happy customers and one complainer. My nature is such that I let the complainer distract me from the success of pleasing the other 99.

At noon I have a Dad drop a couple of twenties on the counter, tips for his referees. "Your refs are the best I've ever seen."

Just before midnight on the very same day I get an e-mail. "My ref was the worst. I'm never coming back."

The "worst" ref was not one of the "best" refs that were praised earlier. Some are better than others. So I kick one ref in the butt and give the other two their tip.

In the mean time I'm ready to shut the place down because I feel personally responsible for the poor alignment of the stars that caused sensitive customer one to get the one ref that was in a bad mood on that particular day.

Closer to home a lady acquaintance of mine recently and out of the blue announced to me that she hates paintball.

Not just hates it but "really, really, really, really hates it."

She didn't elaborate. I don't know if it's the game in general or if she hates how it use to consume me. We are not on speaking terms anymore so I guess I'll never know. Too bad since now that the business is running itself I find I have a lot of time on my hands.

Just another "1 and 99" to ruminate over and keep me distracted.


May 10, 2007

It's D, followed by a D, followed by another D...

There is an editorial in the February 07 Field and Stream that caught my eye. The title is "Morons Among Us". With my apologies to the author Bill Heavey I'm going to share some of it and add a bit of paintball spin:

"Ever wonder why so many folks have a less-than-flattering image of hunters (paintballers)? Let me explain it to you: There be morons among us. What's worse, the rest of us generally tolerate them. So if the antis ever succeed in banning hunting (paintball), it will be thanks to our generous support."

He goes on to identify just a few of the morons by their moronic actions. He took a particularly heavy shot at chat room antics. Rude smack talk. Crude behavior. Graphic images of overkill.

"There are a lot of people who want to abolish hunting (paintball). There are probably even more who are still forming opinions on the mater. The future of hunting (paintball) depends on the actions of hunters (paintballers)... If we don't police the morons and slobs ourselves, we invite outsiders to step in and do it."

I'm not blind to the irony of using a hunting article to bemoan the presence of paintball morons. Ever since the first paintball-shot-heard-round-the-world proponents of the sport have tried to keep the GAME separate from hunting/war comparisons. I offer Mr Heavey's thoughts because they are more about morons then hunting. The same editorial could just as well have been written by a surfing enthusiast, NASCAR fan or shuffle board player.

The point is, THEY are out there. WE (the majority by the way) need to make ourselves more visible.

Fair play. Sportsmanship. Safety. Common courtesy.


Apr 27, 2007

R.I.P. Sire Paintball. Sire was a local Little Rock couple of guys that, among other things, designed and distributed paintball related clothing. They had a good run and put out some great stuff. It's sad to see them go.

I've never had much luck selling paintball clothing in the Pro-Shop. Seems like no matter what color or style or size I stocked I never had the right item. Product would sit on the shelf or hang from the hangers till the color faded and I'd end up selling at a loss.

I tip my hat to anyone that can hang in there as long as Sire did and make a go of it.


Apr 24, 2007

Interior or exterior?


Good afternoon. T-Square Paintball.

Hey. Do you guys rent scaffolds?

Ummm. No. I think you might have the wrong number.

No scaffolds? That's odd. Do you know anyone that might?

No, Sir. Sorry.

CLICK! (Well, that's what phones use to sound like when they were hung up.)

Paint > Painters > Paintball...

Thanks Yellow Pages.


Apr 6, 2007

If your opponent is behind a tree would you yell at the tree and tell it to move?

Probably not.

So why do you yell at my refs and tell them to "get the hell out of the way"!

Yeah. Yeah. I know. My refs are not trees. They are capable of moving. And, yeah. Sure. It's probably the polite thing to do before you let loose a barrage of paint past their head.

But consider the fact that the ref is working. He has a job to do. He may be standing in the "best" worst place possible in order to watch as many players as he can. Most of my refs don't TRY to be in your way. Sometimes it just happens.

Adjust. Adapt. Be flexible. MOVE!

You are one of the game's chess pieces.

Not the ref!


Mar 31, 2007

Here's to the important stuff...

Hey, you need to chrono your gun.

"I don't know how."

Your dwell needs to be reset.

"What's that?"

What kind of lubricant are you using?


You need to clean your gun.


Is your input pressure correct?


You might want to turn your reg up just a bit."


Is there anything you do know about your gun?

"It shoots 28 balls per second"

Game on!

(just a reminder...the comment option is turned OFF but email is welcome -


Mar 26, 2007 the bravest bidder!

Ebay amazes me. Not so much for the "great" deals but more the people. It's a place where ordinary folks take on the personae of 5th Avenue Advertising Executives. Consider some of these Ebay gems:

"This gun is magnificent."


"Destroy all your friends with this amazing marker."

(Probably selling it 'cause he ran out of friends.)

"Works like a charm."

(Just how does a charm work? Seriously?)

"Marker comes with tons of extras.:

(Man, shipping cost is going to be a killer.)

"They (autocockers) are considered the BMW of the industry."

(Really? Not a Ford or Chrysler?)

"It (Spyder X-tra) has a refined appearance that suggests that it is a well made."

(Tailor made, perhaps?)

And from the same auction listing: "At first glance, the Xtra looks good on the field."

(How 'bout the second glance??)

And here is a classic. I see this way too many times. See if you can guess by this discription why the seller may be wanting out of paintball. Maybe it's just a typo. More likely it's a Feudian slip:

"Up for auction is an awesome setup for any one that loves painballing."

I also like some of the amazing claims:


(Man, I've heard of 13 balls per second but 13 at one time? Wow!)

And then I have to wonder why some people even buy paintball guns:

"never used"

"hasn't been used much"

"used it about 4 times"

And my favorite:

"Basicly brand new only used a couple time." Followed later in the same listing for the same item with: "its only been used 4 times."

It's a caveat emptor world out there folks!


Mar 23, 2007

Quick quiz...

Which one of these is NOT the name of a paintball retailer?

Murder Inc., Paintball
Punisher Paintball
Violent Products
Bad Habitz
Vendetta Paintball
Maddman Products

Yeah. You guessed it. All of them are names of paintball retailers. No wonder Mom prefers to buy her kids paintball stuff at Wal-Mart rather than seek out a local pro-shop.


Mar 14, 2007

It's a "game"!

Don't think because I haven't posted in a while that T-Square Paintball hasn't had it's share of odd calls, strange events and frustrating technical moments over the past few weeks.

Fortunately, life sometimes gets in the way of paintball. I say fortunately because I know what it's like to be consumed by one thing for hours and days and weeks and months and years at a time and I'm here to tell you it's not pretty.

Canoeing on the Buffalo, fishing on the Red. Down time with the Granddaughter. Getting the garden ready and volunteering at the VA. It's not all paintball, paintball, paintball, blog, blog, blog around here you know!

I've seen way to many players come out week after week, claiming paintball is now their life, only to have them burn out and never come back. If I had my choice I'd rather see a player once every couple of months for the next tens years rather that eight weekends in a row and then never again.

If my field manager has heard me say it once she has heard me say it a thousand times - Paintball is a lot of fun, as long as you don't take it too seriously... or in overly large doses.

Play safe. Have fun.


Mar 3, 2007

Hello! Hello! Is this thing on?

There's a part in our video taped safety briefing where I say, "Look before you shoot. Don't shoot at someone who has their gun in the air, don't shoot blind and do not shoot at your team mates."

I always expect a few laughs and snickers from the new players. I guess the thought of shooting your own team mate in the back of the head is kind of funny.

Next on the tape I say, "And here's one we don't joke or laugh about - Do not shoot at your referees."

Yeah, you guessed it. They laugh at that part of the tape, too.


Feb 28, 2007

It's hard to argue with the experts...

"Hey Mick. I have this paintball gun. What do you think I should do with ..."

And after my long, experience laden, thought out answer what is the response I get?

"Yeah, but my uncle/brother/friend/forum buddy expert/on line salesman says I should..."

Well, there you go!


Feb 24, 2007

For better or worse...

This quote caught my eye:

"Paintball has degraded into high speed checkers when it used to be chess with finesse" - Tom Kaye

Tom Kaye is one of my paintball heros.


Feb 15, 2007

Check the picture. What’s missing? No need to raise your hands. And please don’t shout out your answer. Write it on a slip of paper and pass it up to the front.

Removing a basic safety item from your marker (the only clue you get) just to make a “vanity” modification (ok, I guess that’s another clue) alerts me to a disregard for safety rules, a cutting corners mentality and a “I deserve to be the exception to the rule” attitude.

Following and embracing safety rules, no matter how mundane, insure safe playing conditions.

Cutting a corner puts you on my radar. It makes me mean and grumpy because now I have to divert positive attention from others and keep an eye on you for other corner cutting mentality.

And don’t waste your playing time trying to convince me to let a safety issue slide. Paying your field fee makes you a customer and entitles you to customer service. It does not allow you to make up your own rules.


Feb 11, 2007

It seemed like a good idea at the time...

Some things are tried and proven. There are other things that have been tried and found to be better off forgotten.

Scopes or red dots sights are one of the ideas best forgotten. I don't sell them. But players manage to find them, mount them and within a week or two take them off (or they get knocked off). They soon enough discover there is no time to use them and that no two paintballs are alike. They never go in the same place twice let alone hit the crosshairs. Not to mention focusing through a scope takes your attention away from the guy flanking you.

Long barrels are another. After finding out they do not improve range, and after smacking and banging them against the side of bunkers they usually find their way to the bottom of equipment bags. (I once watched a player with a long barrel pole vault himself into a bunker - true story.)

The Q-loader system...if you don't know what it is I'm not going to burden you. If you do know, well... then you know.

CO2 tank covers. Twist on and twist off the tank while fighting the spinning cover about a dozen times and it usually gets tossed.

Chest protectors? Hot, heavy security blankets that soon get out grown.

Mask fans? They don't usually last longer than the second set of batteries. To loud.

Remotes? Ten pod packs? Three hundred round hoppers? Seventy five dollar speedball jerseys? Goggleflauge?

You get the idea. Maybe.


Feb 6, 2007

King of the beasts...

I notice things.

It's human nature to want the best. As a kid we want the best video game. Later as a teenager it's the best car. A young adult wants the best mate which leads later to wanting the best for our children.

When kids come in to shop for a gun they often drag Dad along. Sometimes Dad will show a mild interest in the game, some stand back and snipe but more often they come to control spending.

"Yes," to that gun. "No," to another.

"Do you REALLY need that longer barrel?"

"Let's take another look at that low end gun."

I try not to get involved. Mostly because I usually side with Dad and end up loosing a few dollars on the sale.

It's what happens a few weeks later, after Dad has watched his son play a few games, after he has done a bit of online studying, that I find interesting.

He returns wanting the top of the line. The best gun. The longest barrel. The fastest hopper.

For himself.

Something similar to this "King of the beasts" nature is the "loaner" gun.

Quite often someone will come in wanting a beat up, plastic, something they bought at a yard sale, marker fixed.

Trying to be nice I might offer an observation. "This gun has certainly seen better days."

"Yeah. This is a gun I let my friends borrow. I shoot a ($1200) DM7."

I wonder how many friends this guy has?


Feb 4, 2007



Good morning. T-Square Paintball.

Yeah. Hey. How many walk-on players will you have today?

Ummmm. Hang on. Let me get my crystal ball.

Good grief people. Three weekends ago we had 128 players. The following week 31. Last weekend we had 101 players.

Grab a friend and come on out. It only takes two to play paintball!

Colts by 16


Jan 29, 2007

Gun care...

The best way to ruin your paintball gun:

Don't lubricate it.

The best way to ruin your paintball gun:

Use the wrong lubricant.

It's hard to get mean and grumpy with someone who uses gun oil to lubricate their paintball gun. I suppose they mean well and after all they are making an attempt.

Problem is GUN oil is the worst thing to use on a paintball gun. Gun oil has solvents and rust inhibitors that will make o'rings swell and get soft. In some cases the o'rings will dissolve and just disappear.

Guns do not have o'rings. Paintball guns need them. Guns need solvents to break away gun powder gunk and rust inhibitors to keep parts from rusting. Paintball guns don't use gun powder and are 95 percent aluminum.

Show your marker you care. Take the time to pick up some real paintball gun oil.


Jan 28, 2007

Thank you...

No one can say paintballers are not a loyal and hardy bunch. Two weeks ago most of the field was a foot under water. Last week it was covered in a foot of mud and this week-end it was terribly cold. But players came to wade and muck and huddle together. And one more time, this afternoon, I got to hear it again; "Man this was the greatest time ever!" Everyday I'm thankful for the opportunity to do something I like doing for people who appreciate it.

Play safe.



Jan 23, 2007

New forum...

Been working on a state wide paintball news forum but thank God, someone beat me to it. It's not as if I have nothing else to do. Check it out at . I'll put the link in the sidebar for easy access. The forum seems to lean a bit toward the mil-sim/scenario crowd so I urge all you rec-ballers and tourney players to wander on over and say hey!


Jan 20, 2007

With friends like these...

When people bring me a broken gun they all have explanations as to what happened, even if it's just to say, "I have no idea". My favorite one starts out like this:

"My friend told me to..."


Jan 11, 2007

Why not...

It's probably a bit late to be talking about New Year's resolutions. Actually I don't believe in them. Why wait till the first of the year to make a change? After all, wasn't it Anne Frank who said, "How wonderful it is that nobody has to wait a single moment before starting to improve the world."?

Anyway. I resolve to stop talking people out of buying things they don't really need.

There are a few bugs to work out, for instance, I'm not sure what I'm going to say when someone asks what barrel will improve accuracy.

I guess I could say something like, "Well, try one of these."

When someone wants to buy a $135 hopper for their $95 dollar marker? Why not!

I'm still not going to sell electronic rec ball guns. But I'm going to stock up on and sell the new military looking Tippmann X-7. I might even carry a few aftermarket parts for it.

High pressure air instead of C02?

Why not?

A twelve pod harness when two pods are more than enough?

Why not?

A regulator on a mechanical, Co2 gun?


Hell! Why not?



Jan 6, 2007

Big balls...

Big paintballs that is. What were you thinking?

Both of the round, spherical (not the quarter), colorful items in the picture above started out life as a 68 caliber paintball. The one on the right is fresh out of the box. The one on the left has been outside, on the ground and collecting moisture for three days.

Pull the trigger on the ball on the right and it will rocket down the barrel as it is supposed to. The one on the left will not. In fact, it won't even pass through the hopper feed neck.

It's too big!


Even someone with just a minimum understanding of the "round-peg-in-a-square-hole" concept, or in this case the "large-round-object-through-a-small-hole concept, should be able to figure this one out.

Yet every weekend someone (both youngsters and adults) will scoop big balls off the ground, put them in their hopper and then wonder why their gun fires but no balls come out.

I use to go up to them and clear the gun, remove the offending big balls from the hopper, and then explain why it's not a good idea to try and recycle paintballs.

Here lately I clear the gun, explaining why it's not a good idea to recycle paintballs from the ground and then hand the gun back saying, "If the gun stops working because of big balls again you are on your own."

In most cases they figure it out and I'll see them hunkered down behind a bunker clearing the remaining big balls from the hopper. Sometimes they remain clueless and spend the rest of the day dry firing and wondering why everyone else is using way more paint than they are.

I've promised myself I would show more patience this year. After all, I can't expect players to know ALL of the intricacies of paintball.

I'm going to try very, very, very hard to keep that promise.


Jan 4, 2007

More phone stuff...

Needless to say, the phone is a big part of our day - and day off - here at T-Square. If you call during other than business hours you get this message:

"Thank you for calling T-Square Paintball. There's no one in right now but you can press one to leave a message. Or call back when the Pro-Shop is open, Wednesday thru Sunday from noon till 6 or when the field is open, Saturday and Sunday at noon..."

Here's a message left a couple of Mondays ago: "My name is XXXX and my phone number is 985-XXXX and I need to make a reservation for this Saturday for a birthday party. Please call back as soon as possible.

And the next day, Tuesday morning, another message from the same caller: "Hello I called yesterday and left a message. I need you to call me back."

And that same Tuesday later in the afternoon, a third message from the same caller: "Listen. I don't know what kind of business you people are running but I need a call back so I can make reservations. I've already sent out the invitations. Please call back as soon as possible."

The first thing Wednesday when we open we check our messages. The call back to this caller went something like this:

Impatient last minute planner: Hello?

T-Square: Yes Ma'am, this is Mick Gray at T-Square Paintball returning your call.

Impatient last minute planner: Oh. It's you. Well... Forget it. We've decided to take the birthday party to Chucky Cheese.

Maybe I should spread my 60 hour work week out over 7 days instead of 5!


Jan 3, 2007

Agreeable is highly over rated...


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