Enough ranting... how about an update?

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As much as I enjoy a good rant, it's probably best to give the weekly update - especially since I missed last week's update. :-)

Dan, Tara, and I went out for fish on Friday night of last week - we hit Dexter's Pub, where we had some stellar fish. Dan and Tara did the fried cod, which featured a thick, flavorful, perfect batter; I went with a grilled chicken salad, as I was trying to remain good. I did sneak a taste of the fish, and it was exactly as it was on the last visit - superb.

While eating dinner, Dan mentioned that another friend of ours, Dan (ironically), was in town for the weekend (he lives in Iowa). They had plans to go trap shooting and wondered if I'd like to join. I've never been trap shooting before, so I figured it would be worth checking out.

We met on Sunday morning at a local hunt club, donned some ear protection, loaded-up, and hit the course. The club had 12 stations and each station had two target systems. The targets launch via radio control - when you're ready to shoot, you say, "Pull" and one of the people in your group hits the "launch" buttons. You do this twice per station, so you effectively get to shoot at 48 clay targets.

Here's Dan at one of the first stations:

ts_dan_stand.jpg

Dan hunts a lot, so he had an extra shotgun (12-gauge, I believe) that he let me use. I had never fired a shotgun before, so I didn't know what to expect. It wasn't that "shocking" - I figured it would really pack a wallop, and it probably would with a non-target load. Here I am in one of the stations that simulates a boat on the water - the boat moved as you shot, because it was suspended by chains.

ts_boat.jpg

It was quite sunny and rather warm, but we all had a good time. Dan scored the most hits, with 30; I had 19 for comparison... :-)

Here's our group, at one of the last stations - Dan from Iowa is taking aim while his friend Brad watches, along with Dan. In the foreground you can see the clay launching mechanism.

ts_group.jpg

I have to say, it was pretty fun. Every station was different and challenging - some targets crossed in front of you, some came from behind/overhead, some came at you, and others bounced across the ground. The place was pretty busy as evidenced by the shells as seen at one of the stations:

ts_shells.jpg


This past weekend, I spent most of my time "moving" - it started on Saturday with a rain-delayed 5K race... I had signed-up to run the Madison Mini Marathon, but thanks to my poor prep work and recent overeating, I wasn't in any condition to run 13.1 miles... So, I did the 5K instead, and in hindsight, I should've stayed home.

The race was delayed due to rain... so about 5,000 runners sat for almost two-hours in the Memorial Union before being sent out to run in a torrential downpour. I managed to lose my iPod Shuffle during the run, and I wrecked one of my car keys as it got soaked. UGH. And it was a stupid 5K... not even worth doing; a 5K is 3.2 miles, and my daily average is 5.0 miles... Sigh. Here's the obligatory race bib shot, along with medal and my visor (sans iPod):

race.jpg

Immediately following the race, I went home and wrapped-up the morning with a few hours on the trainer (biking), followed by some plyometrics.

By 1pm, the weather was clear, so I went skydiving - still working on getting cleared for pilot chute pulls. My jump master on one of the jumps took pictures so that we could watch our arch and practice pilot chute pulls. These turned out much better than my first set, so I'll share them here. Here I am, hanging from the wing... believe it or not, I'm getting used to it, even if I am 4,000 feet above the ground, going 100+ mph.

sd_hang.jpg

And here's my release with initial arch (the wind does funny things to the 'ole mug):

sd_release.jpg

And in my arch, yelling "ARCH THOUSAND":

sd_arch.jpg

And then things got interesting; on opening shock, my chute twisted me around - I got jerked pretty good - you can see my legs flailing. I recovered nicely, though:

sd_opening.jpg

I say "recovered" because I managed to deploy my practice pilot chute (a yellow streamer). If you look closely, you can see the yellow blob floating away from me:

sd_pull.jpg

And here I am, fully deployed and beginning my canopy ride back down to the ground:

sd_deployed.jpg

And last but not least, here's my jump master celebrating the successful jump. I've also highlighted the landing area (drop zone) and me. :-)

sd_cheer.jpg

I woke-up early this morning and went for a 2 hour bike ride with one of my coworkers, and now I'm off for an early evening run... gotta' get back into race form and hopefully have pants that fit me better again. ;-)

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Steve published on August 21, 2011 6:47 PM.

Kids as pawns... was the previous entry in this blog.

A great cause, great support, and truly great friends is the next entry in this blog.

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