Monday, January 19, 2015

A Few Of My Favorite Things

At first, I was too busy to have a sense of being retired.  But now I’ve had a couple weeks without traveling or being sick, and this morning I was thinking that I definitely had a favorite thing about being retired:  I can cook a proper breakfast.  I’m not really a huge fan of cereal - pretty much everything but plain shredded wheat is too sweet to me.  I have a strong sweet tooth but there are some things that I don't like sweet.  Like iced tea and cereal.  Donuts and pastries are supposed to be sweet and are quite tasty, but are even worse than cereal for letting me be hungry an hour down the line.  Not to mention that I know what all of it them, even the stuff labeled "all natural" (a marketing flim-flam) does to the blood sugar/insulin levels.  These days my breakfast is usually the main meal of my day and it's full of vegetables and lovely things like polenta or beans, almost always an egg or two, and is finished with a piece of fruit. I love being able to give that first meal of the day it the attention it deserves.  

Then the phone rang, and Murphy’s Law asked if I’d like to go shooting today.  Heh.  And even if it hadn’t been a holiday, I could say “Sure!”

And, oh yeah, I went to the range yesterday, too.  Because my weekends are no longer sucked up with scrambling to get a ton of stuff done before work starts again on Monday. Heh.  ML had plumbing problems yesterday and couldn’t join us.  I suggested Metamucil or Imodium but apparently a new faucet was the solution.

Just before Thanksgiving, ML had a couple guns follow him home from a pawn shop.   One of them came home to live with me.  It's a nice little Savage Mark II, my first .22 rifle.  

 It's a very nice little gun to shoot, and I really like the bolt action.  Because my arms are short, I have to drop the butt of the gun a bit and reach to work the bolt.  This slows me up, which right now is a good thing.  It helps me to think about every shot, and not just ping away.   I managed to get it out just once in December, when I figured out that the sights were set way wrong for the distance I was shooting, but it went yesterday and today.  

Yesterday was a good rifle day for me, but I had it at 50 yards.   Can't see the blamed target to see how I'm shooting after that and I had forgotten my binoculars.  Today, not so good, probably because we were on the 100 yard range and it wasn't until the very end that I realized that I still had it set at 50.  The grouping... not so hot, even taking into account that I was hitting low.

The reason I forgot the binoculars was that everything from my gun bag had been dumped into several plastic grocery bags and I lost track of them.  The reason my gun bag is gone is that my SIL's cat pooped in it while I was in MI in December.  Said cat, who is so old that we call him Methuselah, is psychotic, but our relationship, which has been based on my having a strong sense of unease ever since he tore my arm up just for grins and giggles, had been improving.

Blasted cat has cost me both scars AND a gun bag now.

The M-1 carbine went out today, too.  For some reason, maybe just lack of practice, my shooting with it has gone down the toilet.  And, again, I couldn't see if I was hitting anything at 100 yards.  We went down to check our targets.  Grumble, grumble, not a single one on the target.  Then John pointed out something.

Oops!  I guess the grouping wasn't bad but I was shooting just a bit high with it.  Bet they love it there when we tear up stuff like that...  Then I wandered right with it, despite aiming left.  Fa.  But then, I'm retired.  I can go practice.  Heh.

John was good enough to let me try his DPMS G2 Recon .308.  Nice gun!  I was giving him a hard time because it was pinging pretty much every ejected shell off my head or shoulder, with a few simply arching over just right to drop between my arms as I held my own rifle.  But I learned a lesson from the Recon.  I don't have any guns with optics on them and have only used one a couple times.  Note to self:  do NOT put your eye too close to the scope when firing. Punched me right in the eye.  Darned lucky I didn't knock the lens out of my glasses.  My nose smarted.  But at least one tends to remember lessons like that and not repeat the mistake.

Pistol was better.  The Glock was, anyway.  I've been shooting like crap for a while and it worried me.  Trouble is, you get frustrated and that screws up your shooting.  Yesterday, I tossed some clays out on the berm in order to give a bit of variety.  Distance-wise the clays were further away than the targets, but I did much better with the clays than with the targets.  Except, of course, that one clay that refuses to break and just flips and flips and flips as you chase it around.  Today,  after I got the initial wandering looseness settled, I felt much better about it.

But I was, at one point, contemplating the fact that you can work so hard on it:  you make sure your stance is good, your grip on the pistol correct, your breathing right.  You feel like you've got everything perfect.  As you squeeze the trigger that sight is dead on the center of the target.  And the instant before the bang, after your body is already committed to firing, some muscle twitches and you send a flyer over in the white somewhere.  Dad-gummit!

It's a bit brisk here now, although not nearly the cold we suffered through last year.  Being out in it for several hours both days has been really nice.  I might even come to accept Winter at this rate.  I had homework I needed to finish for church tonight, and I do have things I'm obligated to here and there because church meetings and shelter schedules can't be quite as random as other things.  But I'm really liking this being able to drop what I'm doing and go do something else just because I can.

And now I'm going to go read for a bit and go to bed, with the knowledge that I can get up tomorrow morning any darned time I want.  Heh.


  1. Sorry about the brass. In hindsight, we should have switched lanes. But thanks for picking them up for me!

  2. Nice, sounds like a good time shooting was had by all.

  3. A day at the range IS a good day! And you DO need a good range bag! :-)

    1. Yeah, now everything is dumped in a book bag and I can't find anything.

  4. Maybe the Easter Bunny will bring you a new range bag.

    1. Heh. Planning on at least checking GoodWill well before that.

  5. 1. Dang that breakfast looks GOOD.
    2. I prefer my Iced Tea straight up, no sugar as well.
    3. ANY day shooting is better than a day at work.
    The only thing you lacked was working some fishing into your "busy" schedule there. :)

    1. Spinach sauteed with garlic, onions, and yellow pepper, topped with black beans and a poached egg.

      There is hesitation about eating fish caught locally. Something about a chemical spill upstream years ago and open liesions...