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Smokey Briggs


By Smokey Briggs

Tuesday, May 14, 2002

The problem with email

I am beginning to hate checking my email. Mostly, because it takes forever, because I have to sort through 87 unsolicited offers every morning to get to the 5 or 6 real messages sent by real people that I really want to read.

The other 82 or so messages range from the ridiculous, through outrageous, to items that would disgust a U. S. Navy Boatswain's Mate with 25 years in the fleet and hash marks up to his elbow.

It is my understanding that such unsolicited offers and advertisements are known as spam amongst the World Wide Web cool set.

Even more exasperating are the 10 or 12 of these messages that not only offer to make me more desirable to female members of our species as well as certain species of primates, but in the process insist on tricking my computer to hook directly to Mr. Spam's specific web pages.

So, there I am, looking over my shoulder at work for fear of one of my co-workers walking in and seeing a long list of messages with subject lines like, "Hot and steamy on the Farm," when instead of obeying my delete key my computer is taken over by some evil gremlin that forces it to dial up my internet service provider and log onto the "Barnyard" site complete with pictures of farm animals caught in various compromising positions.

These messages must contain this evil gremlin code that turns my computer into an unwitting automaton. Either that or my tired little laptop has developed some very serious psychosexual issues.

Of course, each of these informative messages contains a line of text that says, "Click here to be removed from this list."

Guess what?

When you click on that line you are either transported to Page Two of Barnyard Fun or your web browser pops back with the message that no such site exists.

Exasperated, I have hit the reply button to at least give as good as I get _ tit for tat right?

Guess what?

The reply key does not work either. Somehow Mr. Spam has figured out how to make his emails un-replyable.


So, it is time for technology to fix what technology hath wrought.

I suggest that some egghead out there in computer land write a program that forces these messages to give up their creator's email address.

That is all I need. I can handle the rest.

After I get this magic program, Mr. Spam is going to spend several hours downloading his email from me each morning. I think I will start by sending about 100 emails with different family photos attached.

Great big photos that eat gigabytes of space and take short eons to download.

After that, I will start on the full text of "War and Peace."

The day I get a message for Mr. Spam with a subject line that reads, "I give up. I apologize for sending you this drivel and if you will please stop sending me mail I promise to never send you another invitation to the Barnyard again," I will send a reply accepting his offer for a truce.

Of course, I will still attach 100 photos of my daughters riding their bikes and trikes.

Who would not want to see those?

Your View

Pecos Rifle and Pistol Club is improving

Dear Editor:
This letter is in response to the letter printed on May 7, 2002 signed by Robert Shaffer. Mr. Shaffer's letter criticized the condition of the local rifle range and questioned where any money the Pecos Rifle and Pistol Club receives has been spent.

First, I would like to say, `Welcome to Pecos, we are glad to have all the people we can get.' I would also like to give a short history of the range.

The Pecos Rifle and Pistol Club has operated this range since the early 1950s. In the late 70s and early 80s this "safety hazard" as Mr. Shaffer called it, was one of the best ranges in the region.

There was an automated target system for the pistol targets, and a very nice skeet range. Local citizens, such as Dr. Lovett, put their own money into it to make it more than "a piece of land with a mound."

They developed the 200-500 yard silhouette range during the 1970s. During this time the range was in perfect condition and it was normal to have 50-100 shooters show up for silhouette matches. The shooters came from all over the U. S. and from Mexico.

Then times got hard in Pecos. Many Club members had to leave Pecos. Vandals destroyed the automated pistol target system and forced the Club to remove the skeet machine. Over the past ten years vandals have regularly helped the range reach its present condition.

For the past two years the Club has been rebuilding itself and the range. For the past two years the Club has held monthly High Power and Service Rifle matches. This year the Club added a monthly John C. Garand matches and will hold two pistol matches, two black powder rifle matches and two .22 caliber silhouette matches as well.

Shooters from all over the area are again traveling to Pecos to compete. This year we have had competitors from as far away as Houston, Kerrville, Dallas, and Lubbock come to our town to shoot in one or more of these matches.

Our High Power matches are fired as part of an NRA sanctioned league and our John C. Garand matches are sanctioned by the Civilian Marksmanship Program.

The Club is also working hard to bring back the shooting sports for the kids in Pecos.

This year, for the first time in several years, there is an active youth shooting program in Pecos that is a joint effort between our Club and 4-H.

This spring the Club held its first Friends of the NRA Banquet which is a fundraiser dedicated to raising money for youth shooting sports.

Now, about the money.

This year was the first year the Club received more than a few hundred dollars from any law enforcement agency to train at this range.

Traditionally our income, including member dues, just covered the cost of insurance and the most minor of repairs to equipment.

The money you mention is in the Club bank account and will be used for improvements that are currently on hold because of repeated attempts or threats from the City of Pecos to take control of the range.

Until the Club's relationship with the City is firmed up legally, you are not going to see the Club expending a lot of manpower or funding toward making improvements on the range.

If we can work past this obstacle, I think you may be surprised at just how quickly the range improves.

This problem between the Club and the City has been ongoing for about 20 years and is one of the reasons that it has been hard to talk Club members into expending their money and their time on the range.

Why should they if the City is going to try to take control of the range next week, or next month or next year?

Last, Mr. Shaffer, this is a private club that does not receive public funding.

Do you go around questioning where other private clubs spend their income such as the Lions, the Knights of Columbus or Rotary?

And, while this is a private club, with a total dues of $24 a year, it is probably the cheapest shooting facility to be found anywhere in the United States.

I hope this answers your questions.

Member of the Pecos Rifle and Pistol Club
(And plans to stay one)

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Pecos Enterprise
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
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324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
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