Tag Archives: Holidays

Friends in Low Places

(**** Photo Credits all photos contained in this post are from Valken ****)

I have friends in low places as in Low Country Paintball in Ludowici, Georgia. After a few years of persistence from Jester Court Productions, I was finally able free up my schedule, pack up the trailer and make the trip to Low Country Paintball for a weekend of fun to check out the field. The game was “The Finale: Return of Krampus” and was the battle for Christmas. The best part of this weekend was the charity aspect. I mean, what better way to spend your weekend than on the paintball field shooting each other while helping raise toys for kids.

LCP 3

When asked what I love about paintball, I always answer with “exploring new fields and making new friends”. The key to growing the sport is making the trip to explore different fields and to make new friends.

LCP 5

We pulled in late Friday night, set-up camp right next to A-Train from Valken (who put together an amazing video recap), then started to walk around. We got in late so walking the field was out. We walked around to see what else was going on. Following the music, we finally arrived to the building where everyone was taking cover from the cooler temps. Walking thru the door we ran across Jami Hubbell, Mike Paxson, Damian Ryan and Rocky Cagnoni, amongst many other players there for one common cause… “To help save Christmas for as many families as we could”.

LCP 6

Waking up Saturday morning to 29 degree weather and a light frost on the ground is not what this Florida boy is used to but I did it for the kids. With that being said, I hightailed it to my truck to turn on the heat and warm up a bit before getting ready to go out on my morning rounds. We had the traditional “Rules of the Game” followed by the introduction of both Kringle and Krampus and we then scattered to go spend the last bit of time we had until we all entered the field.

 

Saturday on the field we met with several hurdles and a group of worthy opponents who provided more than enough resistance to make the game interesting and make the game fun. Nobody likes an easy win but also nobody likes a cheater either. Saturday brought us a give and take with it seeming like Kringle wasn’t getting anywhere and that’s pretty much the truth. Krampus brought it to Kringle, and he brought it hard as we could tell based on our field position. Now don’t get me wrong I’m pleased with everything we did on the field but I would have loved to do more.

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On Sunday we woke up to even colder temps so once again I took up residence in my truck for a bit to warm up before getting ready for play.  Once the game started who cared about the colder temps as it heated up when we all started running our asses off. Battling back and forth, trying to gain every inch on the field with no luck, we had to rely on final battle. Final battle brought it all out for everyone and we left it all on the field.

LCP 1a

For the first time ever in all the scenario games I’ve played, once that final horn was blown, both members from both sides walked off the field side by side. There was no “Man that was a cheap shot” or whining. It was a lot of “Man that was a great shot” or “great game”.  This made for what I’d say is one of my best experiences ever on and off the field at an event and I look forward to the next time. We had it all that day…… The weather, sportsmanship, but most importantly the feeling of being able to help families in need while playing a game we love.

LCP 2

Budget-Friendly Paintballer Gifts

So as the holiday season is quickly coming up on us and my wife has been hounding me, I figure now would be a great time to put together a post containing a few cool items that you may want to consider for the budget conscious paintballer in your life.

 

1: Exalt Universal  Goggle Case – While everyone always thinks gear nobody really considers protecting that investment. The case not only has a cool looking exterior but microfiber lined inside to help protect the lense.

 

exalt_goggle

 

 

2: Exalt Loader Case –  Loaders being one of the more expensive and necessary pieces for the paintballer in your life Exalt has stepped up their game and created a great looking functional case lined in micro fiber so it’ll help the loader from getting all scratched up during travel.

 

Exalt_Loader

 

 

3: Exalt Tank Case – Tanks being another expensive investment  they’ve now come out with tank cases. They went the extra mile and lined these in micro fiber as well to help prevent scratching  and preserve that new look to our gear.

Tank_case

 

 

4: Exalt Carbon Universal Lens Case —  This was one of my first purchases when they came out. I always carry multiple lens and hated trying to transport them without scratching them. Now I don’t have to worry as the case fits my lenses perfectly and they sell individual dividers to go between the lenses as well.

 

Exalt Lense

 

 

5: Exalt  Microfiber Pod Swab —  Definitely a must have  for those who are constantly having to wash their pods.  This makes it so much easier and really reasonably priced.

 

swab

 

 

6:  Exalt Barrel Case – One thing we love is our barrels. I’m guilty for having  several and find the case to be the best way to keep them organized and protected. This right here will be an investment for those who carry multiple barrels.

Exalt_Barrel

 

 

All these items are manufactured by Exalt and look great. The best part is all the above mentioned carry a price tag of $30 and under so they won’t break the bank but they will keep that Paintballer in your life happy while protecting their investment.

The ultimate gift

It all started out as a friendly prank war between friends which got her the ultimate gift. She’s the only female player on our paintball team and yet she still hangs with the boys. She’s a tomboy, but still has her “girly” side as well. One day playing she broke her hopper and couldn’t play so we let her borrow one of ours. The one guy and I decided to have a little fun with her while we built her a new one. See the one guy that started helping me was the one she was in the middle of a prank war with so it was perfect timing. The two of us got together and decided we’d build her a super hopper, one that would last her a while, but still suit her girly side. We chose the Dye rotor as the platform for her gift because it had proven to be a product that was battle tested over time for us. We began by stripping it down to the shell and prepping it for paint. We needed to come up with a color suitable for her so we chose pink. I know it sounds weird but at the end of the day the color is actually pretty awesome. Then I enlisted the help of the wife and mother in law as we were going to make it personalized for her. After several brain storming sessions we came up with putting her name on it as well as all sizes of brass knuckles. After all she was the girly girl but still able to roll with the punches any guy would throw at her. Once that was done we purchased a new black color kit for it as the one it had on before was red. Moving on we reassembled the unit but didn’t do so until the day we were going to give it to her.

sign

Then next part was where it got interesting. A week prior to playing we decided to tell her we had something for her and I believe the exact phrase we used was “It’s going to be epic and tears will be shed”. She automatically assumed we were going to prank her and went in to defensive mode. Over the week she’d make comments like “I’m not feeling good” or “Can you give me a hint”? As it got closer to the weekend she’d ask for hints and the only one we’d give her was “It’s going to be epic and tears will be shed”. Becoming more and more fearful she then moved on to bribery to try and find out what her fate held for her. She made offers over the last few days ranging from her letting me ride her scooter to the offer of washing and waxing my truck for 3 months. I’m not going to lie but the three months of washing and waxing my truck was pretty tempting but I didn’t cave.

Hopper 3

Hopper 4

Finally the day came to give it to her and we hadn’t a clue on how to present it to her. As she rolled up to the paintball field you could see the excitement and fear in her eyes. The excitement was because she love playing paintball and the fear was due to the fact that she had no clue about what was going to happen to her that day. Getting out of her car we all say hello and smile at her. She then gets a bit more nervous as we’re all talking amongst ourselves. Then it was finally time to present the gift to her and we chose to do it in a silly way. Two of the guys went and held her as I ran at her with something wrapped in a shirt. She immediately closed her eyes and braced in for something that she thought was going to be truly awful. Once I got within a foot of her I raised it up to her and said “Merry Christmas”. You could hear a sigh of relief from her as the guys let her go and she looked at my hands puzzled. We then unwrapped it and she was amazed at what she saw. It was her own hopper and personalized so there was no mistaking who it belonged to. She was pleasantly surprised and I thought there would be tears but there wasn’t. So the rest of the day she played using her custom hopper and everyone loved it.

So the end result for her was she misinterpreted our motives and our cryptic messages. She automatically assumed she was going to be pranked and not that we were merely giving her the ultimate Christmas gift.

Hopper 2

Have you ever had anything similar happen to you? If so how did you respond?

The final countdown

With Dec 25th just around the corner we’re finding our schedules packed with all kinds of fun events. December 10th is the cutoff for our first annual Bike collection for Jingle Bikes for Kids and we have had a pretty good run for the first year. All in all we collected a total of eleven bikes to donate to “Toys for Tots” to help make some kids holiday a little bit brighter. For those who don’t know the story behind Jingle Bikes for Kids follow this link and you’ll understand why this was such a special project for us. This project started small as just Nanci and I buying two bikes and ended up with eleven bikes thanks to the kindness of those who were touched by our idea. For those who are interested in getting involved next year like and follow our facebook page.

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Restoring my Faith

It’s no secret that as of late my faith in people has been in question. Well yesterday changed that one tiny bit. I happen to be working out in the garage and noticed a man walking by with a shopping cart and a sweater and blanket over him. Now I have heard people in the past complain and say things like “He’s lowering my property value” or “I wonder what will end up missing tonight” but what I’m thinking is “I wonder that happened”. Wondering what circumstances caused him to lose everything (except for what he has in his shopping cart which he now calls home). Over the past few months I’ve seen him, whether it’s been on walks with my wife at the park or just passing by the house. Every time I just sit there and wonder where he’ll sleep that night. Well yesterday I witnessed something that is slowly restoring my faith in people in general. Some random car passing by stopped in my neighbor’s driveway and proceeded to chase this homeless guy down the street. The first thing through my mind was “Great I wonder what they are going to accuse him of?” After finally catching up to him she taps him on the shoulder, startled by the touch he jumps but turns around. She proceeds to hand him a couple of dollars. They look at each other, exchange smiles and then proceed to go their separate ways. In my entire time of passing this man I don’t believe I had ever seen him smile, but yesterday I did for the first time. After seeing that I won’t lie I actually shed a tear and did so again when I shared the story with my wife. It’s hard to imagine that one random act of kindness can change someone, but it can and will.

What’s the most random thing you’ve done for a stranger? What would you want for someone to do for you if you were in their shoes?

A helping hand

I know most of my blogs have been paintball related and I’m trying to be a little more diverse in my posts. This year I’ve had the privilege of working with some worthwhile charities and as we get into the holiday season I’d love to do more. I know financially that just isn’t always possible, but your time can be just as valuable if not more when it comes to charity. My mission this season is to try and make time to work with a charity for a little bit. The only question is which one? There are so many worthwhile charities deserving of donated time from individuals that it’s hard to choose. Last November while out in California on vacation, we went with some family and actually donated time. Sitting here writing this post has made me reflect on those who are less fortunate. While there are those who will sit back and complain that they only got a 16gb iPod but wanted a 32gb. There are those who will be perfectly happy getting some crayons, coloring books and stuffed animal because their parents simply don’t have the means to provide them with all the presents they’d want to and more. So this holiday season, think about taking some time out of your busy schedule and donate to a worthy cause. I know I will be

Do you know of any worthwhile charities and if so what are they? Then take this challenge and make some time to donate this season to any charity. You’d be surprised what even one donated day can do to make someone’s holiday that much more special.

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