Sunday, May 17, 2009

Gunfire echoes & plans slowly evolve

Three semi-automatic pistols this time: A .22, a 9 mm and a .45

The sound of gunfire carries on the winds of May

We have done this before. I remember. It will, however, almost certainly be the last time for a while. My final day at work was Friday. Quitting a job without going to another immediately is sort of like setting out in a canoe for the first time on a particular river. A touch of excitement, a taste of nervousness and a trace of anticipation. "Here I Go Again," to quote Whitesnake.

Life goes on, and so does the gunfire. My fifth range trip in eight weeks took place on Saturday. With each excursion, I become more comfortable, more relaxed, more natural and less artificial in movement. It is just like James Dickey with his archery; the Zen of delivering the missile, whether arrow or bullet, from me to the precise point sought. Less aiming, more pointing; more speed, more fluidity; less thought, more like gentle breathing; more dream-like. You really should try it.

Saturday's selections begin on the top with a .22 caliber Ruger Mark II Government Target Model. As the name implies, and with its heavy "bull barrel," this pistol was primarily designed for target shooting at medium to long range. They also have been used for first-step military training for inexperienced handgunners because there virtually is no recoil. With its six and one-half inch barrel and reputation for accuracy, the military found other uses for it, as you might well imagine. Mine has the original grips replaced with rubber wrap-arounds from Pachmayr.

In the middle is another Browning Hi-Power. You already have seen one Hi-Power in this space before, however, the configuration is different on this one. It has what is called a "tangent sight," and is adjustable to 500 meters down range. So much for the range limitations of handguns, hah? Pistols with sights such as these generally were issued to artillery units who were behind the front lines and might engage in long-range, defensive firing. They were popular in Canada and European countries, and often came with a wooden holster that could be attached to the pistol as a shoulder stock, turning it into a "mini-rifle" for more accurate shooting. It is in 9 mm caliber, and was made in Belgium.

Last, but not least, is a Tanfoglio, made in Gardone Val Trompia (Brescia), Italy. This version was distributed as a Springfield Armory pistol in the United States. It is in .45 caliber, and a double-action, semi-automatic handgun. Most of these now are made for competitive shooting and personal defense, but mine is set up in more of a military configuration. I bought this a number of years ago, and will sell it at some point because it is a bit too large for my hand. Otherwise, it is a neat pistol.

Saturday dawned sunny for me, but with the temperature at 34 degrees Fahrenheit and a stiff breeze blowing. At first, I wished there was no wind, but the goal of shooting is to do well at it no matter what the external conditions. Within moments, I was appreciating the wind, and wishing to also shoot again in the rain, or as dusk draws down. Those times will come again for me, too, I am certain.

When all is said and done .... who knows?

I was asked last week how my summer plans are progressing. I am sorry to admit I am being a bit indecisive on this situation. But, to toss out what I do know: Either Thursday or Friday, I will be leaving home to attend a graduation ceremony in another state, and not returning until the following Monday (or, possibly, Tuesday).

Then, there will be a few days of being a bum and trying to get my house and property in order. Then, from June 8 or 9 until July 2, I will be handling business for a friend to allow his family crew an extended vacation. I agreed to do this way back around Christmas. This will be the important time for me to finalize my own plans.

Greece definitely remains in the cards, sometime after, say, about July 4. Two to three weeks there, then, who knows? Maybe longer roaming in Europe a bit; maybe not.

The odds probably are one in a million that I will stay with my original plan, which was to look around southern France for a place to settle in for a year or so. My half-plan there was modified some weeks ago, and mentioned here at least once before. Upon return from "vacation" to the U.S., I now want to do something of a driving tour, seeing the sights and looking for a place to hang my hat; searching for a potential, new Sanctuary/Refuge. I have been looking at maps and geographic descriptions for a few minutes nearly every day recently. It is on my mind more than anything right now.

If everything falls into place, I will be relocated before the snow flies again, ideally, but not necessarily, to a place where the snow does not fly (at least, not often). If everything does not drop into place, I will turn my house into a home for wayward young ladies who play the guitar and love rock and roll. I probably could tough it out for another Minnesota winter under those circumstances .... whatever ....

William Shakespeare
Sonnet 55

Not marble, nor the gilded monuments
Of princes, shall outlive this powerful rhyme;
But you shall shine more bright in these contents
Than unswept stone besmear'd with sluttish time.
When wasteful war shall statues overturn,
And broils root out the work of masonry,
Nor Mars his sword nor war's quick fire shall burn
The living record of your memory.
'Gainst death and all-oblivious enmity
Shall you pace forth; your praise shall still find room
Even in the eyes of all posterity
That wear this world out to the ending doom.
So, till the judgment that yourself arise,
You live in this, and dwell in lover's eyes.


TheChicGeek said...

Awww, I miss you already :)

You sure do have some nice guns...LOL

Have a Nice Night!

Fram said...

I am already missing me, too, Kelly. (Sorry, I could not resist.)

Thank you, very much. I wish to assure you that absolutely everything about me, not just my firearms, is extremely nice.

My night has been, is and shall be contemplating the future, with a bit of wandering and listening to music (.38 Special / Hang on Loosely, right now; I mean, really -- seems appropriate to my post) tossed into the mix. Again, thank you, for the wish for a nice night and for putting me into a good mood.

A Cuban In London said...

Greece, south of France and one of Shakespeare's sonnets mixed in together. Who can resist this combination on a grim Monday morning? Many thanks.

Greetings from London.

Magdalena said...

Well, I do not play guitar and don't love rock'n'roll to much, more then that I'm not so young any more, but I surely I'm wayward enough to join your open house, if my next year Florence plans don't drop into place, agree? :-)

ps. Setting out in a coanoe for the first time on a particular river is extremely fascinating, and we should possess such kind of freshness in our senses all the time.

Fram said...

I have passed through the south of France twice, CiL, for a few days each time, and thought it would be a good place to become a recluse for a year or so. I still think it would be, but now feel more compelled to stay here, first, to find a new "castle" and, next, to be witness to "political events" as they unfold and, lastly, I think my money could be spent in wiser ways.

I have never been to Greece, and need to learn if Odysseus still lives. (So, I am a bit weird .... Like Scaramouche, I was born with a laugh on my lips.)

It was only a matter of weeks ago that my interest in the sonnets resurfaced. I have been trying to closely read two or three a day to re-explore them.

I hope your day becomes less grim as it moves along.

Fram said...

A flutist is worth at least a half-dozen guitar players, Magda. I suppose you could take a walk or go shopping or visit a museum when it is time for the rock & roll band to practice. People keep telling me being young or old is mostly a matter of the mind. I foresee no problems whatsoever. Agreed -- we have a deal.

Starting out on any new venture is fascinating, I think. I suppose that is the fundamental reason why I am constantly doing it. I have no wish to be an expert at anything, instead, to experience many things.

As for canoeing a river (or a large lake) for the first time, with a bit of luck, it can be a return to Eden, at least for a few days.

Magdalena said...

Super :-) Or I will take my horse and go around. Or have a meditation sessin. Or will do some interviews with native Americans. Or sometimes I will play with you :-) But if I will stay in Florence promis to visit me, Fram!!! We have a storm in here, so I have to switch off my computer :-( I will come tomorrow. Bye, bye.

Katy said...

Exciting times, Fram. Perhaps the weeks you spend looking after your friends' business will help you sort out your plans - if, that is, you want to plan to plan them...

I've probably said it before, but do let me know if you do happen to be anywhere near this part of Europe on your travels.

As an aside, a salute to you for leaving your job. Exciting times indeed.

Fram said...

It sounds as if you are getting everything planned out, Magda. It is always wise to be prepared. Horse back riding, meditation and interviews with Native Americans undoubtedly would keep you occupied. As for playing with me .... well, that needs additional discussion. Rules must be set.

If you should further your education in Florence, I would have no choice but to visit you, provided you agree to be my guide. I have never been there, and most certainly would be very frightened to move about the city without your company.

See you upon your tomorrow.

Fram said...

With plans or without them, it will happen, Katy. That is all I know for certain.

And, should I make it to England, you would be the first person I would call. I would expect a pilgrimage to Canterbury, at the very least. I should also hope for company should I be able to toss a canoe into one of your rivers, or even surf the sea. Canada is the only "foreign land" I have canoed in and, around here, that is no different than canoeing in the state next door.

Magdalena said...

Oh, I'd love to be your guide in Florence, I love each stone there, and quite know the city. My heart lives there all the time. We will take canoe ones and sail by Arno river, there is such a sport club Canotieri di Firenze.

I ment playing with your rock band. I think you would be a singer, wouldn't you? Sometimes I like rules, tell me more about it, please.

Today rainy day in Poland, I like rain very much. This is like that, because I have sent polish sun to Minneapolis. So have a beautiful day :-)

Fram said...

Magda returns and brings the sunshine with her. Monday was a perfect day, and Tuesday is expected to be even better.

I think most young ladies prefer Florence to any other city in Italy, but I do not know why. There must be something magical or mystical about it. We can go to the sport club, and show those boys how to handle a canoe properly.

You meant playing with the rock band? I am sorry to misunderstand. Life is but a dream, so say some.

If this rock & roll band were to be born, it would be for young ladies in spirit and mind, not for men. That is the rule. My role would be to follow the music, to grade the lyrics/poetry and to understand the emotions. Understanding is everything.

Magdalena said...

Ok. So I will follow either. Woman's band is not this what I would like very much. So maybe you will find time to go on horse trip with me sometimes? Or meditation sessins? Or to meet Native Americans? :-)

Florence is mystical, in the deepest meening of this word.

Yes, wi will show them how to handle canoe, Master! :-) Maybe we can take a longer trip by Arno to somewhere? I need a map!

Fram said...

Magda, I am sorry, but so often you sneak up behind me, and I do not notice your presence until a day or two later.

Yes, to all your questions. Riding horses would be fine; meditation sessions I would need to learn; Native Americans are always here and there, and are welcome.

As for the canoe, yes, they would be children when compared to our effort. I would enjoy a long canoe trip with you on any river, and the Arno might be a special one. I seem to recall that "Ernesto" mentions it in one of his novels. It has much history.

We need no map on a river. We go where it takes us. That is the beauty of a river. We belong to it.

A Cuban In London said...

Since the comments box for you latest post is nowhere to be seen I will have to use this one instead.

There are three elements that jumped up at me straight away after reading your latest entry:

1- Decisions. No matter how careful you are you will always affect someone or something when acting upon them. It is good in these instances to go back to you individual self (our cave, for men) and brood. This leads me to my second point.

2- Individuality. I'm not American and never visited your country, but even for a foreigner the 8 years Bush spent at the White House were a waste of money and time. Nobody, in living memory has done more harm to a country's profile abroad and to his own people than the previous incumbent. Whether you like Obama or not, and judging by you views, you don't, he ain't no socialist, my friend. Believe me, I was born in a so-called socialist nation and that guy you have in the White House is anything but. Which brings me to my last point.

3- After living in a society under a centralised, despotic government you would probably think me a person keen on individualism. Well, welcome to Cuban In London's world, mate! I think government has a central role to play in the shaping and development of an individual, but should not and must not attempt to controls hi/her will. A contradiction, yes, but it really isn't. You abide by the rules and get on with your life. I am pro small- and medium-sized businesses. Why? Because I think that they provide the backbone of economic development whether you're talking about a small town or a big metropolis. It also encourages individual enterprise and that usually brings positivie results. So, I disagree with you slightly with the notion of 'We are what we eat. We are what we drink. We are what we believe. We are what we smell, hear, see, read and dream'. Yes, we are, but we are also rational animals and if I am smoking in a pub and the smoke gets into a baby's eyes and nose, I should also have a modicum of respect for that baby and retire to another part. Since I cannot be trusted to do that out of my own volition, then the government needs to legislate against smoking in pubs.

Where I do agree with you is you definition of politics. But here again we come to the same dilemma that has cause d alot of head-scratching and soul-searching in the British Parliament in the last ten days. What are politicians for? Well, politicias are for negotiating and reaching a compromise on our behalf. The fact that many of them renege on that pledge should not be the kiss of death of representative democracy but the engine to move us forward as it is already happening here in GB on the back of the MPs' expenses scandal.

That was a good honest post and I ennjoyed reading it so much. Sorry for the long answer, but I guess that in the era of the two-line blogger who writes as if they were texting posts like yours deserve praise and rational responses.

Greetings from London.

Katy said...

Hi Fram. Like CIL, I couldn't find the comments box either so posting here...

In my (admittedly sometimes naive) mind, I find it quite possible to separate the country from the politics, the person from their views. Thus when it comes to the USA, although I think that Bush did much harm to the world view of American politics, he did nothing to change my view of the American people or of the country itself. I am more intrigued by the USA (and Russia) than any other country on earth.

I have not yet vistied Russia but will do. The USA I have had the fortune to visit 3 times so far and will again. Its almost boundless landscape enthralls and captivates me - from Arctic to tropics and everything in between. As someone who was born and has grown up in a country smaller in landmass than some of your singular states, this is perhaps not surprising! But it is, as ever, so much more than just a question of size. I think the biggest thing that struck me on my 1st visit, and was reinforced on subsequent trips, is just how different from England / the UK it is. Like many before me (I'd guess), I'd been subconsciously deluded by the sharing of a common language into assuming a similarly shared culture. I could not have been more wrong - the USA was (is) as different a culture from the UK as could possibly be. Not better, not worse, just utterly different, like apples and oranges.

How did this manifest itself? In a hundred and one ways, but mostly I think, for me, in the way that American people seem so much more open, straightforward even. A thick vein of cynicism runs through most of us Brits as I'm sure you know, something that you're not aware of until you notic its absence. It was absent in the Americans I met in the USA, whose open charm and welcome were as refreshing and unexpected as a cool shower on a hot day.

Why am I writing all this? Just to say that I understand your current feelings of 'being let down' - as CIL mentioned above, something similar is in the air here with regard to our own politicians right now. But that doesn't have to mean that the place is fundamentally bad like a rotten pear - just maybe, as you are going to, that a step away will heal the rift you feel.

On what others think? We are a long time dead. One life, one shot, one bullet. As someone very wise once wrote, we only regret the things we don't do.

Fortitude and courage mon ami. The only thing that lies ahead for sure is our future and the grave. You can't avoid one but you can make the most of the other.

Magdalena said...

Good, it means I become to be invisible, hurrraaa!!! :-))) And good the second time for mapless, I can never read it correctly. Bye, bye :-)

Fram said...

Not even invisibility will make a difference when dealing with a wolf, Magda. He will sense your presence even when he cannot see you, and will look for you at his leisure, until he finds you.

Never a map, not on the water or in the woodlands. Nature always will point the way.

Something special ....