Friday, May 10, 2013

7 Quick Takes Vol. 6

Again, hosted by Conversion Diary

1.       Mid-way through last week I fell down with one of my patented seasonal colds. This hit me hard for a day or two, then linger on in a moderate form for the next couple of weeks, leaving me lethargic and disrupting any exercise schedules I may have established (as of this writing, that is still the case). About the only silver lining is that I get to take Nyquil. Sweet, sleep-inducing Nyquil…

2.        During one of my healthier moments I managed to finally get out to a small local firing range and try out my revolver. Here’s the result:


Both of these silhouettes did very bad things: I had no choice but to take them down.

Overall, I’m pleased with how it went. I definitely need a lot of practice (and this was with .38 rounds: .357 rounds will pack a lot more kick), but it’s not a bad start. The range itself was okay; small, but literally empty  (I was the only one there ). On the one hand, I enjoy the privacy. On the other, it makes me worry that they might not be around for long. In any case, I plan to make this a (at least) weekly thing so I can get really comfortable with it.

3.       I have my first public violin recital tomorrow; nothing fancy, just a low-key opportunity for my instructor’s students to scratch out a short piece for the audience. It also means that I’ve officially memorized my first actual song on the violin (Faith of Our Fathers), which is a pretty cool milestone. I’m hoping to do The Star Spangled Banner next.

4.       Speaking of memorization, I’ve recently discovered that Rudyard Kipling was an absolutely awesome poet. My latest memorization project was The Gods of the Copybook Headings, which is an alarmingly perfect description of the current state of Western Civilization.

“And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins
When all men are paid for existing, and no man must pay for his sins
As surely as water will wet us, as surely as fire will burn
The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!”

5.       On the topic of memorization, the problem I’m running into is developing my ‘palaces.’ Briefly, those are the visual environments that I populate with the mental images to help remember things. See, the problem is that simply making them up is difficult and requires me to use precious memory to accomplish. But, on the other hand, there are only so many real places that I know well enough to use, and most of those are either too small for my purposes or already being used. I’ll have to go on more walks in the future to counterbalance this.

6.       I haven’t been keeping up with ‘Famous Catholic Fridays’ very well lately: I missed the past two weeks and probably am going to miss this week as well. Lethargy, laziness, and a lack of material are the main causes: I just haven’t had the energy to do the research and get the article out.

Let’s commit to getting one out next week no matter what, shall we? I’ll even give you a preview: it’s probably going to be Dante (hi, Liz!)

7.       Related to the above is DISCIPLINE! I need to get a lot better at disciplining myself. Grr! Let’s make that my goal for May, shall we?

Extra Take: This week I was very saddened by the death of Ray Harryhausen, one of my personal heroes. I take it as the final sign that the classic film industry that I loved is truly gone forever, and nothing like it will ever be again.

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