Back To Normal

For the past two weeks or so it’s been quiet here in Hardy Country. The Free Markets were sailing on their yacht somewhere in the eastern Mediterranean and I was pretty much left to my own devices here at the Towers. This meant that I could catch up with my reading, and the staff could recover from the floggings.

However, Mrs. FM returned home last night and Mr. FM remained in the capital to continue his calling, i.e. oppressing the working classes. This means that life will return to its quiet pastoral nature out here, except that the gardener is going to get soundly chastised for allowing the lawns to exceed the prescribed 2″ in height.

I think I’ll have some breakfast, watch the flogging and then go for a ride on the grounds. Colonel Brandon would approve.

Catching Up

As my life has slowed down to a crawl while I continue my sabbatical Over Here, I’ve rediscovered the joys of reading. (Yes, some of this is because Teh Intarwebz is down a lot of the time, but not all of it.)

Here’s a list of what I’ve read over the past month or so:

  • Sniping In France — Maj. H. Hesketh-Pritchard
  • Battle Tactics of the American Civil War — Paddy Griffith
  • Lost Battlefields Of Wales — Martin Hackett
  • Leadership In Conflict 1914-1918 — Matthew Hughes & Matthew Seligmann
  • The Secret War: Spies, Codes and Guerrillas 1939-1945 — Max Hastings
  • Europe, 1815-1914 — Gordon A. Craig
  • Nationalism, Industrialization and Democracy 1815-1914 — Thomas G. Barnes & Gerald D. Feldman
  • Ruined City — Nevil Shute
  • The Girl Who Wasn’t There — Ferdinand von Schirarch
  • Holidays In Heck and How The Hell Did This Happen? — P.J. O’Rourke
  • The Savage Empire: Forgotten Wars of the 19th Century — Ian Hernon
  • Flashman On The March — George MacDonald Fraser
  • James Purdey & Sons: Two Hundred Years Of Excellence — Donald Dallas

…and about half a dozen anthologies, humorous books and such, as well as the Daily Telegraph every day, and The Times On Sunday each week.

I’m currently working on:

  • Prisoners Of Geography — Tim Marshall
  • The Year 1000: What life was like at the turn of the millennium — Robert Lacey & Danny Danziger

No, I haven’t done any writing other than this blog. That will come back when I feel the urge again. Right now, I’m topping up the batteries.

 

Trying Out

When I quit blogging back in 2008, Loyal Readers from the time may recall that the Son&Heir was trying his best to make TeamUSA in the 10-meter Air Pistol and 50-meter Free Pistol events.

For the benefit of New Readers, however, I need to digress for a moment so I can explain what all the above means.

My son is unquestionably one of the finest shots I’ve ever seen — far, far better than I ever was. This is not Dad-bragging; he was heavily recruited by the Army to enlist so that he could join their Marksmanship Unit, and had he not had a small health issue, he could have walked into the Fort Bragg sniper school (once again, not bragging: one of the Army’s sniper instructors wanted to recruit him, until I told him about the health issue). Apart from his pistol shooting, about which I will speak later, he s an astounding rifle shot, capable of shooting minute-of-angle (MOA) at 400 meters (i.e. shooting and hitting a 4″-square target at 400 meters distance) without a scope. He’s done it, in fact, using my old 1906-manufactured bolt-action Swedish Mauser, using 6.5x55mm surplus (not target) cartridges.

Now for his pistol shooting: as a junior, he was many-times Texas state champion. As a senior (over 18) at the National Champs at Fort Bragg in 2009, he was ranked at #13 at Air Pistol, and #17 at Free Pistol, and subsequently improved his rankings to #7 and #13 respectively. This was enough to get him onto Team USA’s “development” squad. (They like people who can shoot in two events; saves on travel costs.)

This meant that the Son&Heir had a shot [sic] at making the team for the 2010 London Olympics. (Only the top 5 make the actual team, and he was competing against the kids from the Army Marksmanship Unit, so it really was only an outside chance.) So off he went to Trials at the USOC range in Colorado Springs, but sadly, he was unable to improve his ranking, so the Olympic dream ended.

Life then intervened in the form of his college commitment, and he stopped practicing three times a week. Brazil came up, but it would have screwed him up scholastically so he didn’t bother. He entered a few [Texas] collegiate Air Pistol events, and won all of them, against (admittedly) poor competition. Now he just shoots for recreation, “…when I need to hang out with old friends.”

By the way, he graduated cum laude so that, at least, wasn’t a waste of his time. Now he’s taken up indoor rock climbing, both for recreation and to help with that little health issue I referred to earlier (something to do with his lungs; nothing critical).

He also has a pretty girlfriend, whom we all love. She’s from Canada, but we’re a very inclusive family. (Comment from Daughter: “She’s far too nice; what’s she doing with him?” Ahhh… siblings.)

The Son&Heir will be 28 on his next birthday.