Sig Sauer Day at Athena Gun Club

It was a day of several firsts: my first time going out to a manufacturer event at Athena Gun Club, first time shooting in about half a year, and the first time that I experienced Athena Gun Club’s Virtual Simulator.

Sig Sauer representatives had a table set up by the Heckler & Koch display, just beside the Virtual Simulator room.

One table featured optics, another handguns, and a third a rifle (Sig MCX) that was taking a break from range time. I had the opportunity to handle Sig’s ECHO1 digital thermal imaging reflex sight, as well as some of their ROMEO line of red dot sights. The representative there told me that their red dot sights are designed to meet the same grade as Aimpoint’s offerings, though I have yet to investigate that claim. Perhaps later. In the meantime, the red dot sights appeared to be well-designed, and I liked the ability to toggle reticles. I also handled the Sig MCX and MPX.

I shot the Sig P220 and the Sig 1911. I shot the Sig P220 first, followed by the Sig 1911. I could have milked my range time and gotten more deliberate practice by loading a single round at a time. In future range sessions, I must continue working my trigger finger and aim for nice, clean pulls.

Sig P220
Sig P220 pictured with loaded magazine
Sig 1911
Sig 1911 pictured with loaded magazine

My setup with each weapon was similar: I began by fully loading the magazine and setting the target to its maximum distance (20 yards). I fired a single round from this distance. After that, I brought the target in to 10 yards, and fired until I had a single round left. At this point, I reset to the maximum distance, and took my final shot.

I followed the live session with a visit to the Virtual Simulator. There were other people in the room who were waiting their turn, and I asked that the man running a simulator show us what we’d be working with. The scenario was simple: shoot simulated steel plates using the gas-blowback Glock 19. The man running the simulator downed them in 2.14 sec, while I ran the same in 2.15.

My paper targets went absent after I set them to aside in the Athena lobby, but that’s just as well. They probably would have gathered dust on a tabletop at home.

Overall, I really enjoyed the event. I showed up pretty late, and suspect that the staff were a little worn out from fielding questions all day, as it showed in their demeanor.

Will Purple Release a Mattress Topper?

My interest in Purple was kindled after I saw the Purple raw egg test video. I began researching the company, its background, and its technology, ultimately ordering a Royal Purple Seat Cushion for myself.

Early on, I wondered whether Purple would release a mattress topper, thinking that such a product was bound to be a hit.

History suggests that the answer is a decisive yes, based on the market segmentation strategy employed by intelliBED, a company that brought products to market in the past using EDiZONE’s technology, as well as Purple’s approach to the market.

Furthermore, Purple have referenced a mattress topper in their indiegogo campaign, their FAQ, and in their Purple Product Registration form.

Marketing image in Purple’s indiegogo campaign (

Purple indiegogo marketing image
This image was used in Purple’s indiegogo campaign

In Purple’s indiegogo campaign copy:

Purple Top indiegogo campaign
Copy referencing the Purple Top in Purple’s indiegogo campaign

In the Purple website’s FAQ (

Purple Topper FAQ
Screenshot from the Purple website’s FAQ regarding the Purple Topper

In theĀ Purple Product Registration form on the Purple website’s Warranty pageĀ (

Purple Topper Product Registration Form
Purple Topper referenced in the Purple Product Registration Form

Purple Top Pricing

Projected Purple Top pricing developed using information from

Twin $449
Twin XL $499
Full $549
Full XL $599
Queen $699
King $799
California King $799

Order Placed: Unifi AP ac LR

I wanted a more robust wireless access point to supplement or replace my Linksys E4200. I had been experiencing spotty WiFi coverage at my home’s extremities, even after flashing DD-WRT and tweaking settings.

I’ve been spending a lot of time combing through Ubiquiti Networks’s product offerings as part of an ongoing engagement, and after reading Ars Technica Senior Technology Editor Lee Hutchinson’s review on their UniFi wireless access points, I decided that I was already too invested not to try one out for myself.

I chose the Unifi AP ac LR (MSRP $109,, the long-range version of their wireless access point. It’s rated for a 600-ft range, though we will see how well it fares in my living space.

Stay tuned: I intend to follow up with a review of the unit against my Linksys E4200.

Thoughts on a Recently Departed Neighbor

A year, maybe more ago, I set out to walk Paul through the neighborhood. It was, as Houston usually is, a hot day, but the sun was coming down.

By the walking path, I saw a man playing catch with a young girl, presumably his daughter. He saw me approaching, and the two concluded their game of catch. They began walking back home, and as I went down the path, I heard him holler, “put a shirt on, freak!” in parting.

It bothered me at the time, and I wondered what spurred him to act. Perhaps a mixture of insecurity over his own dad bod, coupled with a desire to protect his daughter. I laughed to myself, wondering whether he exhibited similar reactions towards the topless men whose glossy images adorned the front of men’s magazines, or if he flipped the channel anytime a topless man appeared on his television set.

Perhaps he didn’t recognize me as living just a few doors down, but I knew where he lived, and the name of his business. Some type of neighborly behavior, I thought. In my growing racial consciousness, I wondered: how might he have behaved if I were white, like him?

Better yet, if I were a woman and not a man?

I moved past the incident, but recently, I noticed great activity at his home. At first, a yard sign proclaiming the property was FOR RENT, with a local telephone number drawn in black marker. Then, the weeping willow on his property was pruned back, and the FOR RENT sign was replaced by a FOR SALE sign. I saw him in his driveway with a new commercial vehicle the other night, a tall white affair with a vinyl sign on the side.

I found his Facebook profile today, and wanted to share a couple of extracts from his few public posts:

Gadsden flag.svg
By Lexicon, VikrumOwn work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

^ The inconsistency displayed is remarkable

I had him pegged as a conservative, so this recent discovery served as happy validation of my intuition. I won’t miss having him around in this neighborhood, but who can say what new faces will take his family’s place?