Monday, February 3, 2014

NoVA Blogdinner AAR

I have the same one-word recap of the blog dinner as I had for "Lone Survivor": Wow.

We started with the World's Smallest Gun Show in Manassas; there were disappointingly few used guns for sale and, as feared, no .22LR in sight. Well, there was one guy selling 50 round boxes of CCI Stingers for $15, but that was all I saw. I did see a brick of .22 Short, which I found interesting (and I wonder how many people snapped them up not bothering to read the label carefully?)

Did something I've not done in a long time: Walked out of a gun show without buying anything.

Killed some time hitting Virginia Arms right down the street. Nice place, very large (one of the blog dinner attendees quipped that it was larger than the gun show); I will have to go back there some time to spend some money. Also need to find where the heck my KTKC certificate got to so I can redeem my Ruger 22/45 Lite there - they are the kind folks that donated one of the KTKC prizes.

A quick trip to the house to change and we were off to the dinner. The Cajun Experience is easy to miss - it's a rather small restaurant - and fortunately there was public parking (Free!!!) about 500 feet down the road. When they showed us the room that they had selected for our gathering, it was shockingly small - we had 26-28 people in our group and had to put some folks in another room.

The food was outstanding, though; and the companionship was even better. Saw a lot of old friends and made some new ones; was gifted a bottle of VA bourbon, a can of dehydrated water (heh), and a NEW 30-round magazine (HEH!) as "Welcome Home" presents. Thanks everyone. The restaurant is part of 2AO - they actually encourage diners to open carry, and on certain nights offer discounts for folks who open carry into the restaurant.

I gotta tell you, it was weird walking into a restaurant with a pistol on my hip. Not something you see in Massachusetts, well, EVER. 

There's another big difference between a blogdinner in Massachusetts and one in Virginia. In Massachusetts, we would do the inevitable throwdown whereby everyone puts their EDC knife and/or flashlight on the table. In Virginia, we passed around our BBQ guns. OldNFO brought his positively gorgeous 4" Python; Stretch had a magnificent 1911; I brought my S&W model 13 in the Dragon Leatherworks Flatjack.

Thanks to everyone that came out - OldNFO, Chris and Laura, T-Bolt, MBtGE, #1 Blogdaughter and SD, Formynder, Stretch & his wench (his words!), Nate G (no relation), Mike W., SailorCurt, Chris (the other one), Cargosquid, Proud Hillbilly, Murphy's Law, Wandering Neurons, PA State Cop, Turk Turon, The Historian, and anyone else whose name escapes me at this time. Awesome food, awesome company, what a great time!!!

We obviously have to do this again...

That is all.


Old NFO said...

Yep but we need a BIGGER venue... sigh...

Murphy's Law said...

Doh! Wish I'd known at the show that you wanted .22lr. One guy on an end of a row had some relatively decent deals on Remington Viper.

But just wait--Dulles shows are coming. (Not that you find many deals there, but there are lots more tables full of over-priced stuff to drool over.)

Turk Turon said...

I had a great time. Thanks for organizing this.

Cargosquid said...


The owner mentioned to me after you left that he has an outdoor space for warmer, better weather. He said that with advanced notice...he'd let us use the whole thing for free.

It was a good dinner. New friends are always good.

Nashville Beat said...


Thanks for organizing the meet. I was so happy to meet people whose blogs I have been reading and enjoying for years. Next time I hope I get a chance to visit with you a little more. I was happy to have your six throughout the night (we ended up sitting back to back), but I would enjoy talking with you, too. As far as I am concerned, my view of the event and all those attending is perfectly embodied by Rick's closing line, "Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship."

Veeshir said...

VA Arms is awesome, that was my favorite gun store when I lived in NOVA.

I've bought 20+ guns off their consignment rack and they're very good on prices of new. You usually get the gun, including tax, tags, title and transportation, for less than the MSRP on the manufacturer's page.

It's the place where you go in to buy something new (Like a 1911) and it takes you 4 or 5 trips to actually leave with the 1911 because you keep finding something awesome on the consignment rack.

Ed said...

If you have a Massachusetts License to Carry Firearms, then you can open carry. It is not against the law in Massachusetts. However, some police chiefs in Massachusetts in their all-seeing, all-knowing, infinite wisdom regard open carry of firearms by people other than uniformed police officers or security guards as bizarre behavior and cause to revoke your LTC. That is not against the law in Massachusetts, either. That is why you do not see open carry in Massachusetts. Keeping and bearing arms as a Constitutionally protected civil right in Massachusetts? Only with the occasional consent of your local civil servant.

Mark said...

You have a better chance of seeing me at the NRA range (again, sort of) than at one of these gatherings, sorry to say. In the first place, I could not find where the Cajun place was (and it only occurs to me, now, that I should have mentioned this in a comment to the original announcement: oops). Even now, I clicked on the link to Virginia Arms "right down the street," but their website (under construction!) did not mention where they were. OK: next time!