Laziness, Or What?

Yesterday I lazed away the entire morning in bed, snoozing, catching up on a few old favorite websites, reading the news and watching a couple of stupid YouTube videos — you know, just yer everyday laziness.  I did have a couple chores to run, but none were critical so I kept putting them off till later until pretty much the whole day had passed by.

I’d like to say I felt guilty about it all, but I didn’t;  and when during a rare moment of introspection I paused to wonder why not, I realized that I am retired, and I don’t have to do anything I don’t want to.

As I said, I don’t feel guilty about this, at all.  And the corollary thought came to me that this guilt (that I didn’t feel) is probably caused by the fact that everyone has to be busy these days:  that inactivity is seen as a Bad Thing, or Laziness, and that I should be more like those old fools who spend their retirement walking in the Andes or going on adventures in the Amazon, or (eek) bicycling across Siberia or some equally-foolish nonsense.  Good grief, even camping makes me feel jittery.  I don’t do the latter because I did enough when I was in the Army, and even if someone did force me to do it, my reaction might be to equip myself with something like this:

Note the rain shield, the wooden floor (elevated so you don’t have to walk on the dirt, and so that any rain will drain away outside the tent) and so on.  On the other hand, there’s even a word for this: glamping (glamorous + camping), which is such a precious term I would not only not do it myself, but I’d punch someone in the face who boasted about having done it.

If you want to really rough it, stay at a Motel 6 in some small country town.  That’s about as far as I’ll take it.

But let me drag myself back to the original topic.

I don’t have any problem at all with a life of idleness after retirement.  I’ve worked fucking hard my whole life — even my hobbies, like paying in a band, were strenuous.  (Yeah, driving miles to a gig, setting up all the gear, playing like maniacs for five hours, then, when all the partygoers have gone home to bed, having to pack the gear back up, drive back to town and unload it all into the storage locker to be ready for the next practice — it’s not all fun fun fun.)  And as for my jobs:  stress, long hours, massive responsibility, brain-draining calculations and study — it’s a wonder I survived to age fifty, let alone halfway into my sixties.

So now I prefer to live a life of quiet contemplation and idleness — reading books (not too challenging, because I don’t want to overload my already-overworked brain), shouting at the TV, writing this blog and in all senses of the word, letting my life slow to a crawl before old age stops it altogether.  (I know, there’s that Uber nonsense that I do, but it’s manageable and I do it on my own terms anyway in order to fund good things like travel, fine food, single-malt Scotch and, very occasionally, a decent gun.)  I have my friends and family, and all of them know this about me because I’ve told them, in no uncertain terms.

As for the rest of it, it can all drift away on the tides of my indifference because I just don’t care a fig about it anymore.  All I’m looking forward to is annoying my kids when and if they present me with grandchildren to spoil — and if they don’t, c’est la vie.

It’s called Splendid Fucking Isolation.

And now, if you’ll excuse me, I think I’ll go out for some breakfast.  I’m lazy, but not that lazy.

I’m With Insty

Glenn Reynolds points to an article which proclaims the virtues of the double-tap, and makes this comment:

Lately, I’ve gone to Mozambique drills

…and I agree.  (For the record, I’ve always referred to the “controlled pairs” type of shooting as “double tap”, simply because an uncontrolled second shot is a wasted shot 99% of the time, and every shot should be a controlled shot.  I just prefer the cadence of the double-tap phrase over the vague-sounding controlled pair.  Here endeth the exposition.)

While the double-tap is good — provided that one has mastered the timing thereof —  three will always be better than two, especially if you’re using a smaller cartridge like the 9mm or .380 ACP.  (The good part of a smaller cartridge is that the recoil is less than, say, that of the .45 ACP or .357 Mag, so target re-acquisition is far quicker, making the third (head-)shot easier.)

The tricky part of any “repeat” shots, whether the double or triple, is the timing thereof.  Here’s my training drill for each.

My goal for any double-tap is to get both shots inside a palm-sized area in the center mass of the target.  As I get them consistently inside that 4″ diameter circle, I try to cut the time between shots.  I don’t specify a time for this drill (e.g. both shots out the barrel in less than a second).  The quickest speed that I can land both shots inside the circle over forty shots (two boxes of ammo) I call my “optimal” speed; that is, the time in which I can reliably get almost 100% accuracy.  (Obviously, that speed increases with, say, a drill with a .22 LR pistol compared to that with a .45 ACP 1911 or with a .357 Mag revolver, which is why I don’t use an actual time-frame to judge the effectiveness of the drill.  And if I don’t get both bullets consistently into the circle, I slow down until I do.

I refer to this as “Bang | Bang”, where “|” is the optimal interval between shots.  (Sometimes expressed as “Bang” {beat} “Bang”.)

I do the same for a Mozambique drill, except of course that I now have to get the double-tap into the 4″ center-mass target, and the third shot into the head area of the target (if using a silhouette target, or if not, a 3″ circle about twelve inches right above the 4″ circle).

There’s a significant difference in the timing interval between the three shots, though, because I think a shooter needs a fraction more time not only to re-acquire the target, but to shift the point of aim upwards.  For the Mozambique drill, therefore, I try for the following timing:

Bang | Bang | | Bang — in other words, whatever is the pause between shots 1 & 2 in a double-tap, that pause is doubled before I drop the hammer on the Mozambique’s shot 3, the head shot.

In my opinion, if you’re an ordinary shooter like I am (as opposed to a competition shooter like Rob Leatham or Dave Dawson or even compared to deadly shots like The Layabout Sailor or Doc Russia), it’s too difficult to get the same interval between shots 2 & 3 as you’ve managed to achieve between 1 & 2 — and let’s be honest, the third (head-)shot is the most difficult of the three, so give yourself just that extra beat to acquire the new target and get your shot off with absolute confidence.

After going through hundreds upon hundreds of these drills, I’ve found this timing and these target sizes to work for me.  It really helps with IDPA scores, by the way, if that is your favorite competition type:  the time penalty is much less than the miss penalty.

Others may differ.  Your mileage may vary.  Void where prohibited (e.g. at your local range).

All comments welcome.

 

Rich Bastards Not Wanted Here

I’m not quite sure what to think of this situation:

New Zealand is set to ban foreigners buying homes after a spate of millionaires creating luxury doomsday bunkers has apparently pushed property prices up for local buyers.
It comes after purchases by PayPal founder Peter Thiel and disgraced former NBC host Matt Lauer, who lost his job after allegations of sexual misconduct.
The country’s centre-left government, led by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, has blamed the wealthy expats for their major housing crisis with homelessness rates being among the highest in the developed world.
Yet David Parker, Minister for Trade and Economic Development, said the bill, for which he is responsible, isn’t only about house prices.
‘In this world of concentrating wealth, we don’t want this coterie of ultra-wealthy people overseas being able to outbid successful New Zealanders for what is our birthright, not theirs,’ he said.

From a free market perspective, it’s not right;  but on the other hand, seeing how Californians have done pretty much the same thing Over Here when fleeing their home state for other, less burdensome ones, I can sort of see the Kiwis’ point.  It’s also happened in Britishland, where wealthy Londoners have bought themselves country pieds-à-terre and have driven up real estate prices beyond the reach of the locals.

Here in north Texas, we’re facing a similar situation with regard to both Californians and Yankees moving into the area — real estate prices are constantly increasing — but there’s so much land around here for expansion that we haven’t yet reached that stage of feeling “trapped”, so to speak, by soaring prices.  That’s not the case in tiny Britain and New Zealand, of course and as I said, I can sympathize with the KiwiGov for wanting to at least arrest the phenomenon somewhat.

That said, New Zealand is prone to having some humdinger earthquakes from time to time, so the rich farts’ “doomsday bunkers” may ironically not be quite the secure bolt-holes their owners believe them to be.

Ending The Bullshit

I’m getting a little sick of all the en vogue enthrallment of the media with this fad called “democratic socialism”.

In the first place, regardless of the figleaf nomenclature — and the “democratic” prefix in this regard is just that — we’re still talking about socialism:  that appalling socio-political system which has failed (and will continue to fail) everywhere it has been installed, has caused countless millions of deaths and has resulted in universal poverty and misery not seen probably since the Dark Ages.

And lest we forget:  with the exception of Russia in 1917, all the worst socialist governments — Hitler’s Nazis in Germany in the 1930s, Allende’s Socialist Party in Chile in the 1970s, Chavez’s Fifth Republican Movement in Venezuela in the late 1990s and so on — were democratically elected into power by their respective voters.  Whereupon they all, without exception, followed the socialist precept of “One man, one vote, one time”, and set about holding onto power simply by the means of outlawing political opposition, vote fraud and all the other little parlor tricks by which socialists remain in power.

So no matter how outwardly attractive the socialist candidates may appear — strongmen like Hitler or Chavez or twinkies like that little tart from Brooklyn — let us never forget that at the end, they will impose their horrible philosophy on the nation and they will always strive, by any means, to hold onto power.

And if you think this could never happen in the United States, you’re being hopelessly naïve.  It’s already started.  What other rationale could be offered when local governments run by Democrats — and sometimes even the federal government — have no problem with allowing non-citizens to vote?