Local IDPA Match video from this weekend

Busy weekend started off with the local IDPA match.  I am the match director for this match, which means that normally I come up with the stage descriptions.  However, one of the regular particiapants (and an MD from another local match) asked if he could supply the descriptions this time so that he could make sure to focus on stage elements he wanted to get some practice in on before heading to indoor nationals.  Always one to let other people do work for me, I obliged.

Evidently I need to work on the same things he does since this is the worst performance I’ve had in over a year (12th out of 19 with 2 penalties for hitting no shoots).  Time to get back into more of a regular practice habit…

Paper catharsis

Tonight I shredded 115 lbs of documents. Nearly 20 years of receipts, paid bills, report cards, pay stubs and medical records dating all the way back to our first year of marriage. Each year accumulated in a box. Each box accumulated on a shelf. For 20 years.

I’m not sure when I realized I didn’t need any of it, or when that idea was compunded by the thought that having it all around may actually be hurting me. Holding me in the past. Keeping me from the present moment.  Or at least adding visual clutter.

So now it’s gone. I feel lighter already.

Resolutions

Yeah, I know I’m a month late.  But I wanted to make sure I was going to actually keep up with them before I posted them.  I know what you are thinking: shouldn’t you post about them before you start to hold you accountable?  Sure, that’s one way to do it.  I’m doing it a different way.

The first one is a carry over from last year.  I have been interested in Kettlebells since I first heard about them on the Joe Rogan show a few years ago.  I found a local place that had great reviews and even a few personal friends who trained there.  It was one excuse after another though, so I finally signed up in November for a 10 week beginner class.  That I just completed in 6 weeks (minus a week I didn’t go due to work travel).  It’s great and I just signed up for a second 10 week intermediate class.

The second is an extension of some reading I did last year as well as the completion of a to-do I’ve had sitting on swipes since I first started it using it at the start of last year: medidate.  I’m a few weeks into an 8 week course outlined in a book I finished over the Christmas break.  The key to me finally getting started was giving up on the idea that all things have to start on a Monday.  I start a new cycle of the course each Saturday and so far so good.

The third is something I also tried to do last year with little success: journaling.  I am just not a good journaler.  I bought the smallest moleskine I could find and still managed to fill less than half through the course of all of last year.  So I am “cheating” and using a five minute journal.  I was a dummy and ordered mine too late so it only showed up a few days ago, so I only have a few reps here, but it seems to be easy enough that I am declaring that it will stick.

Next is supplements.  I had moved away from taking multi-vitamins a year or so ago.  I haven’t picked up a generic supplement, but after my blood tests last summer, I did start taking a big Omega-3 dose every day.  To deal with a slight bit of seasonal affective disorder, I am also taking a vitamin D every day.  The most recent add is a daily Neuro-Clarity, a near nootrpoic.  I’ll be the first too admit that it could be a placebo affect (or the effect of the meditation, exercise and journaling), but I can tell a definate difference in my clarity, recall and focus.

How are your resolutions going?

Who had the worst day, Glass or Watney?

We went to see The Revenant last night (small spoiler alert for below).  It was the third movie in a row we’ve been to that was packed, so we ended up having to sit in the first few rows.  A few weeks ago we saw the recent Star Wars film in similar conditions and a few weeks before that we saw The Martian in a packed house, although we did see that on opening night and knew it would be full so we showed up early and got pretty good seats.

The Revenant is a beautiful and disgusting movie all at the same time.  We all left the theater saying to each other “if I ever say I’m having a bad day, ask me if it was bad enough that I would eat raw Buffalo or cut open a horse to sleep in to keep from freezing to death.”  The story is quite simple and probably pretty well known by now, but the message will take some time for me to unpack.  I do know that this is a special film that will be watched and studied for years to come.

About two thirds of the way through the movie, I couldn’t help but make a mental comparison between Matt Damon’s character in The Martian and Leonardo Dicaprio’s character in The Revenant.  I honestly do think that Mr. Glass had a worse time of it on earth that Mark Watney had on Mars.  The suffering, both physical and mental, that Glass endured is unbelievable.  While The Revenant and The Martian are both fiction, they are both plausible.  In the case of The Revenant, I am sure that everything that happened in the film actually happened on the frontier, just not to the same person.  In the case of The Martian, while set in the future, it’s not too much of a stretch to imagine humans one day landing on Mars, and if you can get there, the rest of the story is simple tragedy and redemption.

It’s amazing to me to think about how far we have come in a few hundred years and how far we could go in the next couple centuries that being stranded alone on another planet would be an easier day than being alone in the wilderness on our own planet.

Great expectations

I’ve gained a lot from listening to the Tim Ferriss podcast over the last few months.  I will admit that when I first heard of his breakout book, I thought it sounded a little like snake oil sales.  After reading it, I changed my mind though and subscribed to his podcast.  It has been one of the best feed adds of 2015.  His guests are great and the conversations are even better (mostly because of the good questions he asks).

One tip that one guest offered (not recalling exactly which one, but he did mention it again in a recent episode on what he learned from his guests) was to set the dates for vacations far in advance.  The idea was you get a double benefit: you get the experience of actually going on the trip when that date comes, but the more time you have to plan you get all of those experiences as well.

So, yesterday afternoon, after a few weeks of research, we huddled around the screen, did some flight searches on Kayak and booked 4 tickets to the emerald isle for July.  We’re flying into / out of Dublin and currently plan to head north to Belfast, then over to Sligo then down to Galway / Burren (to see a day or two of the Galway International Arts Festival) before cutting across the middle to head back to Dublin.  But that’s just today’s plan.  I have about 180 days to come up with better ones and if Tim’s right that could be almost as much fun as the trip.

Thank you Vontaze Burfict

I developed my addiction to pro football and cheering for the hometown Bengals later in life, somewhere in my mid-twenties.  Count it among the number of ways that I was a late bloomer.  Since then, I’ve gotten deeper and deeper into it.  Scheduling my Sundays so I could watch games (it’s never the same if its recorded), buying a jersey here and there, and even at one point holding season tickets.

After nearly 20 years of addiction, I was cured last night.  Thank you Vontaze Burfict.  Being a Bengals fan, I got used to loosing.  Losing prime time games, losing important games, and especially losing playoff games.  But you added something else to the mix last night: the poorest demonstration of sportsmanship, composure and integrity I have ever seen.  You may think you were playing for the team, but you’re lying to yourself.  You may think you are an enforcer, but that is another case of self deception.  You may think the ref’s stole that one from you, but you need to look in the mirror for the cause of last night’s loss.

If there is anyone I do feel bad for its the majority of the Bengals players and coaches that seem to be good people, that know a thing or two about football and that some of whom are even good a their jobs (Andy, Whit, AJ,  and AJ, here’s looking at you).  But you have to take your part of the blame for what happened last night too.  If the good ones don’t speak up, the bad ones set the culture and the Bengal’s culture was on clear display for all to see last night.

Thank you Vontaze Burfict for giving me the last little bit I needed to see my way clear of my addiction.  For the first time in nearly two decades I am looking forward to next season for all the football I am not going to watch.

GoPro video from January IDPA Match

I finally remembered to take my GoPro to this past weekend’s IDPA match.  Unfortunately I remembered about 20 minutes before I left so I only got about 30% charge, which means I only capture two of the four stages.  I shot pretty well on these two, although I bobbled on the tactical sequence at the start of stage 3.

I got a second battery from my kids for Christmas, so I’ll get them both charged and have full match video in Feb.

Should I stay (dry) or should I go (wet)?

image

Yep, I voted.  I broke my self imposed lifetime ban and voted in the special session called on a single issue for just my county: should it be legal to sell alcohol in Grant County. I voted yes, of course because I would like to drive less when I am out of wine or bourbon, because I would like to see Grant County develop a bit more and because freedom is the answer, regardless of the question. I know it’s a slippery slope to believe you can vote yourself to freedom, but with this being the only issue and it being extremely local, my concious is clean. But just to be on the safe side, I cast my ballot electronically, so it probably won’t count anyway.

Distracted from distraction by distraction

I ran across a small quote from Four Quartets from T.S. Eliot.  Looking up the whole thing, I found the opening of part III to speak to me.  Amazing how poetry can do that through the ages.

Here is a place of disaffection

Time before and time after

In a dim light: neither daylight

Investing form with lucid stillness

Turning shadow into transient beauty

With slow rotation suggesting permanence

Nor darkness to purify the soul

Emptying the sensual with deprivation

Cleansing affection from the temporal.

Neither plentitude nor vacancy. Only a flicker

Over the strained time-ridden faces

Distracted from distraction by distraction

Filled with fancies and empty of meaning

Tumid apathy with no concentration

Men and bits of paper, whirled by the cold wind

That blows before and after time,

Wind in and out of unwholesome lungs

Time before and time after.

Eructation of unhealthy soulsInto the faded air, the torpid

Driven on the wind that sweeps the gloomy hills of London,

Hampstead and Clerkenwell, Campden and Putney,

Highgate, Primrose and Ludgate. Not here

Not here the darkness, in this twittering world.

Source: Four Quartets by T.S. Eliot