I went to the range in Bellevue yesterday with my friend Joshua. I had never been in a gun store before, at a range, or held a really truly loaded weapon in my hands before. I think it’s important to know how to work as many things as possible, at least on a basic level, both for the sake of simple competence but also for the Zombie/Singularity Apocalypse.

So we shot his ruger .22, ruger gp100 .357 magnum, and glock 19 9mm. I am right handed but left-eyed, and shoot just as well with my right hand as with my left, and on both sides I’m pretty darn good for a first timer (if I do say so myself – I shot the bull’s eye a few times and hit close until my arms got too tired).

I could easily see this becoming addictive, but I will still probably never own a gun. I want to know how to shoot one, how to take it from someone, etc, but the amount of damage that they cause is scary and far too easy. I fear the impact it would have on my mentality, honestly. Some are able to incorporate the idea quite well into their psyche (Joshua, for example, and I wouldn’t have wanted to go to a range with anyone but him (or maybe Ben)- high geek levels with responsibility and a healthy respect for the awesome bit of machinery you have in hand).
It’s sort of like the military… whoa boy did they want me (probably still do), but it’s not the route I want to go… and I fear how good I would be at it.

After we finished up, we were joined by the lovely Kaleen (hey, that’s my girlfriend!) to play backgammon with Santos and his boyfriend Patrick. There was much trash talking, story telling, and laughing.

Why am I doing such an odd array of things?
Specialization is for insects.
“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.”

I don’t agree at all that we shouldn’t specialize, but I do believe in a basic understanding of the world around you. It makes you more competent, understanding, and above all, efficient.
The only things I haven’t done before on that list are change a diaper, butcher a hog, set a bone, and conn a ship. The only thing I doubt I could do is conn a ship, and that’s only because I don’t know the necessary specs.

My own list included such things as learning to drive a manual, ride a motorcycle, shoot a gun, free rock climb, butcher a deer, and ride a horse. Most of these I can now do. I’m sure if I sat down and thought about it the list would be longer. What do you want to be able to do?

Oh, I also created a new community due to a conversation during backgammon called Dangerous Liaisons at Work because we all need a bit more epic cheese in our lives. Lorifury, I’m specifically looking at you, but there are others as well. Have at!

Also practiced Parkour all weekend (and in the days before), watched Wall*E twice, played video games, drooled on cars, went on a night drive to see some epic waterfalls (*waves to Christian*), read bedtime stories, spooned, played with Pixel Blocks, and celebrated a birthday. Whew.

10 thoughts on “Gun/Back/Gammon

  1. Become competent in a programming language (I’m trying Python right now), sew a button, work at a job I love…

    Glad to hear you and Kaleen are doing well.

    • I think that Willow’s referring to the technologic singularity in this case, which is not so much “all things becoming one” but rather “Terminator 2: Judgement Day”.

      But with less Arnold Schwarzenegger.

      • I know the singularity you speak of, dude.

        However, I got to say, I don’t think a T2 scenario represents much of singularity in a “Law of Diminishing Returns” sense. What Kurtzweil talks about is a fundamental shift of the human-technological paradigm as that binary is totally collapsed and we are enveloped into the eternal flux of instant and continual expansion. I imagine all grey matter subsumed into the datastream, all organics swallowed by the nanoswarm, the now-merged all-consciousness effecting mind-bending quantum change on the collective reality tunnel to transform it into a mirrored supermatrix in which all time and space is melted. What the fuck can you shoot inside that?

  2. I shot a gun before & it really was enlightening! 1st off…I had NO idea how HARD it is to shoot a freakin’ gun!! LET ALONE hit a target…
    I agree…life is about experiences.
    I would love to be able to speak Chinese. I don’t know if I can accomplish this in my life…it’s REALLY HARD!! AI-YI-YI!
    hee hee!

    • Too light, so the gun kicked up for every round fired. The heavier guns were steadier. But the Glock was way easy to aim with. Also more rounds, which I suppose is a good thing.

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