Monthly Archives: April 2012

Some Nights…

Some nights at work are very calm and flow very easily. Some nights at work are like a dance that has been masterfully choreographed and set to music, enjoyable and thrilling at the same time. Even when busy, some nights can stimulate and provide fulfillment in my choice of careers.

Some nights make me glad that whisky is made by the barrel and that Prohibition is a thing of the past. Some nights make me understand why so many ER docs burn out after such a short time. Some of these nights make me doubt that there is good in the world, that there is anything better to come than what I see around me, or that there is anything more to life than my senses can examine.

Tonight was one of those nights.

Categories: Work | Tags: | 1 Comment

One Week

It’s been one week since I made the commitment to myself to lose weight, and to do it for me this time.  So what have I done in a week?

— Eating a little bit healthier.
— Worked out twice.
— Heading to the gym to re-up my membership this afternoon.
— 2 1/2 pounds gone.

Not a bad start.

Categories: Health, Long-term Goals | Tags: , | 1 Comment

A Very Long Day

Yesterday ended up being a very long day, but it was worth it! I had to get myself awake and moving and out of the house about the time of day that I am often heading to bed because I had my NRA Basic Pistol (CCW) class set up. I am not used to sitting in a classroom for hours on end anymore; it’s been years since I did that on a regular basis (other than at conferences, and that’s a little different). I did learn a fair amount, though. It definitely got some thoughts chasing around in my head.

The range time towards the end of the day was like a reward for having been good all day long. Each person in the class got one-on-one time with one of the instructors, not only to “ensure competence” but also for them to work with each of us on the mechanics of how we shoot. I used my Kimber .45; the instructors didn’t seem at all surprised to see me (the only girl in the class) with a .45, but some of the guys in the class were a bit shocked. I had no trouble showing “competence” with my firearm, so I was off the range fairly quickly.

One interesting thing that they had each of us do, though, was to fire a few shots at the end with the gun held in tight, pretty much right at my chest. Admittedly, if I ever have to use it, it may well be at exactly that short range, so it is good to know how it feels…it’s rough and loud and hot, and I could taste it. But if I ever have to, the shot itself won’t startle me now, and it won’t scare me into dropping the gun.

After class was done, I got a treat! I went to another local range where I met THOT. He had invited me to come and see (and shoot at) a low-light/flashlight event. I was so unprepared…I don’t (yet) own a holster, and I only (so far) have a single magazine for the Kimber. THOT loaned me a holster and extra magazines so I could participate, and when they realized that I’ve never participated in any sort of shooting match before, the people running it didn’t turn the lights out on me, so I didn’t have to juggle a flashlight my first time through.

It was an awesome day.

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Taking a Mulligan

I’ve lost weight before, usually for the wrong reasons…always due to some externally imposed goal or pressure. It never sticks. Even as I’m losing it, I’m fighting the process. But this time, I have a reason to do it for myself. I have a goal. Several, in fact.

First, I am unhappy with how I look and feel at my current weight. A year ago, I was close to my goal weight, and I liked it. I now know how it feels, and I want to be there. And even more, for the first time in a long time, I really know that I can do it.

I want to get back in shape. Even though I probably shouldn’t run for distance anymore, if I’m in shape and at a good, lean weight, my knee will tolerate it to some degree. Biking is fun, and I enjoy it, but right now, I can’t even bike for distance. LARPing will also be a lot more fun if I’m not the one who can’t keep up when we’re running from the Big Bad Evil of the weekend.

I also want to get into competitive shooting. I’ve already come to realize that holding my arms straight out in front of me with a weight on the end of them is bad enough. Add in having to control the recoil and keep my point of aim where I want it, and I need to get back to lifting weights as part of the getting in overall shape. If not, I’ll never get where I want to with my shooting.

So the goal is set, up in lights for the world to see. I am going to get back down to 180 pounds. Then we’ll see. There may be room for further improvement at that point…or not. The target date is by the new year. Yes, that’s 7 1/2 months away, but for ~40 pounds, that’s reasonable. And if (no…when) I make it, I’ll have a new Christmas wardrobe to wear!

Categories: Health, Long-term Goals | Tags: , | 1 Comment

My First .45

Long day at work last night, and today’s sleep was interrupted by the doorbell several times…all of them deservedly ignored. It is Saturday, after all. And I heard the phone ring once in there, too. Also ignored; that’s what voice mail is for, and I do have to work tonight, too.

But the voice mail message said that my special order at LFS was in and ready for pick-up! So I quickly pulled myself together after I woke up and got myself to the store before they closed because this is My First .45! I’d only ordered it from them 3 days ago, and here it was, ready to go. I’m not sure I can remember the last time I ordered anything, from anyone, that arrived that fast…much less something like this.

It’s a Kimber Tactical Custom II. It has an aluminum frame with a checkered front strap. The barrel is a full 5″, and the sights are tritium night sights. And the grips are laminated wood. I did a fair bit of research to come up with this one, but some of it came down to just “want” when it felt right in my hands. It has such a lovely light trigger pull, too. Several of the guys behind the counter at LFS were commenting on it today, asking if they could get a feel for it and such, because this is not one of the models that they usually carry. (They usually have the Tactical Custom II HD, which is the steel frame…so heavier, but otherwise a twin.)

I can’t wait to get to the range with this beauty, but given my sleep/work schedule for the weekend, unless I want to find a new range to shoot at (the one up the street is closed on Mon/Tues), it’ll be Wednesday before I get a chance. This just might be a reason to go find a new range to shoot at!

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Buy a Gun Day…

seems to have become a month-long celebration for me this year.

It all started when I decided that I wanted a .22 for target practice. Cheaper ammo is not, after all, to be sneezed at, and with the variety of .22s that are currently being produced, I figured it wouldn’t be too hard to find something that I’d enjoy shooting.

I started at my local range where I most often go to shoot. It’s close; it’s convenient; it’s a small, local, second-generation family-owned business, and I believe in supporting local whenever possible. Unfortunately, they have been stocking fewer and fewer handguns lately, and their response to a query about a specific type or model is usually to shrug and say, “Sorry, we don’t have that,” rather than, “Let’s see what we might do about finding one for you.” But they did have an Smith & Wesson M&P .22. It felt just about like the two other M&Ps that I already have (9mm and .40). And I really do like both of my other M&Ps…so I got the baby of the family! It is fun to shoot, too. Very nice groups out to 50ft (which is as far as that range is long).

A few days later, I was at one of my favore stores in the world. It’s a large all-around outdoor store, but also a local business. While I was there, I was looking at their stock of Ruger .22s. I had been looking into those before I had found the M&P, but hadn’t seen one until that afternoon. After spending some time talking with a few of the guys behind the counter and handling several of the Rugers, I ended up with a second .22…the Mk III Hunter. I was delighted with this one on the first trip to the range! At 50ft, I ended up with about a 2″ hole in the target after 100 rounds with only a few fliers outside of it.

When I really think about it, though, BAG Day (errr…Month) didn’t just start with the search for a .22. I’ve also been searching for quite a while for my first .45. I finally made my choice and went in search of. But things being as they are, Small Fav Store didn’t have it, nor did Large Fav Store. But the guy at LFS called their smaller outlet and, lo and behold, they did! Or, well, they didn’t quite. But I didn’t find that out until I drove an hour to get there, only to realize that it wasn’t exactly the right model. However unlike SFS, the guy here didn’t just say, “Sorry, we don’t have it.” He spent well over an hour with me going through the manufacturer’s catalog to be sure we had the right model, finding the price, and getting it ordered for me. So I still have one more coming to complete BAG Month.

Categories: Firearms | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

Riding Full Tilt

Full Metal Jousting was on again tonight. I don’t think I’ve missed a single episode of it yet, and next Sunday night is the final joust as well as the consolation joust for two of the non-finalists (there just isn’t a nice way to say “non-winners”‘ is there?).

Having worked at renfaires of both the small, single-weekend sort and the large, fixed location, multi-weekend variety over the years, I’ve seen lots of jousting. I’ve also been to the dinner-theater jousting restaurants. But that is all theatrical jousting. They aren’t wearing 80 pounds of armor. Their horses aren’t the warhorses built to tilt down the list at each other at full speed. And when they fall off the horses, the sword-and-board (or other weapon of choice) fighting that they do is just as formalized and careful. Any blood shed is purely by accident and usually involves a quick trip backstage at most.

But FMJ…that’s for real. The guys go flying off their horses with surprising regularity. There’s been a lot of blood, and not nearly all of it the sort that a band-aid can cover. One guy sat out for over a week for a head injury, and another only got back on after a repair of a large groin laceration.

And the horses… I’d love the chance to ride some of those horses. They’re big and feisty and they like to run. At the ranch where I go to ride, they have Percherons. It’s not quite the same, I’m sure, but riding a Percheron at a canter or a gallop over the trail is awesome. I swear some days that I just about can feel the ground shaking under their hooves.

While I’m not really sure that I want to take the chances of getting hit in the head like some of those guys did, or getting knocked flying off of a horse to sprawl in the dirt…I’m also not sure I’d turn it down if the chance were offered me.

Categories: Bucket List, TV Shows | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Time to Start

I’ve been considering the idea of a blog for some time, but I had to decide which parts of me were fit for public display. There are some areas of it that I simply may not talk about, other than in the most round-about terms and well after-the-fact. And there are others that, though I may talk about them, quite a few people just won’t “get”. But there are enough interests that I think I do share with other people that some few of them may come to enjoy visiting here and sharing a bit of my life.

To them, and to you, I say, “Welcome to my little corner of the dreamscape.”

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