A few weeks ago I purchased a slingshot. A photograph of that is posted on my IG account and I’ll write a comment about it here eventually.
I wanted something I could shoot here in town on walkies. There are many open areas where it is safe to shoot a slingshot and there is no prohibition in the Carson City Ordinances (at least that I could find). No one has hassled me about it (yet).
Shooting a slingshot is a marksmanship skill. It requires good eye-hand coordination and an understanding of marksmanship. So it’s good practice for me.
This slingshot has a large palm swell. It’s a bit big for my hands, but still manageable. It is the first time I installed double bands. They are quite powerful and too much for .38 caliber shot. If I use that size shot, I get a lot of hand slap from the excess energy in the bands. However, .44 caliber shot works much better. There is enough mass in the larger shot to use up the bands’ energy.
I will eventually get a chronograph so I can measure shot speed. (It will also be useful when I start handloading centerfire cartridges later this year or early in 2018.) I’m curious how much energy the slingshot can produce.
In any event, this is fun and I’m enjoying the focus required to shoot it.
Saturday morning I decided to take The Girl and go walk the Mexican Dam Trail. It was a beautiful Saturday morning, even if I bit warm because I dallied too long over my coffee. But it wasn’t yet hot and their was enough breeze to be comfortable.
I was surprised by the amount of water still in the Carson River. The fields of the Silver Saddle Ranch looked good, so they are getting plenty of water this season. In fact, one field was mowed and there were bales of hay waiting to be picked up.
That brought back memories of working in the hayfield with FiL. That was good work and the companionship of FiL still brings a smile. Those memories…
I think I might take a tripod out to the river and get some extended footage. I could easily make a short video of that trail and the cottonwoods that grow along the corridor. I love being in the shade of those old trees and I love the sound of birds calling and moving about.
The Girl and I decided to walk the Riverview Park trails a couple of weeks ago. I expected that repairs were not complete and I was right. However, sturdy walkers continue to hike the “trails” and enjoy the park.
Carson River is still near bankfull. I moved here in 2007 and have never seen this much water. There is still snow in the Sierra Nevada. Jobs Peak (and sister, and Mount Rose) all have snow on them.
We were not able to walk the trail down to Empire Golf Course like I wanted to. There is too much damage, or at least too much water in the pot holes, for an attempt on our last visit.
I’m tempted to go walk the trail early in the morning. I might be able to bushwhack around the pots and regain access to the trail that runs along the perimeter of Empire Golf Course. I miss walking that trail, as much as I like our regular routes here in town that do not require a trip in the 4Runner.
Yesterday on walkies I carried my slingshot and was practicing shooting at found objects. (I followed the four safety rules, of course.)
This morning I discovered that one of my favorite pens, a baby blue Fisher Bullet Pen, was missing from my pocket. I had it clipped to the edge of my left slash pocket. I carried shot loose in the bottom of that pocket.
Apparently, while retrieving shot from my pocket, I snagged my Bullet Pen and released the clip. It fell to the ground without me noticing.
I decided to walk my route, which I probably would have done anyway, just in case I might walk across my missing pen.
Have I said that I hate losing things? I’m still looking for a lost/misplaced 12-ft tape measure that I’ve had for 40 years.
Well, as Lady Luck would have it, I walked up to my missing Bullet Pen. I’m surprised someone else didn’t pick it up because it really stood out.
I moved it to my left cargo pocket, where it will live with a few spare poop bags, my Olloclip auxiliary lens, and my pocket flashlight.
I recently purchased a slingshot (catapult in other locales). It is partly a toy and partly a part of my preparedness kit. I bought mine from Simple-Shot Shooting Sports, after spending some time reading reviews and watching YouTube videos.
It is a simple device, comprised of a set of thermoplastic frame, elastic bands, a pouch to hold the shot, and some means for fastening bands to frame. The Ocularis uses an interesting friction-fit connection that is fast, easy to set, and simple to adjust for optimum band length.
It is an improvement on the slingshots I built 50-some-years ago when I was a teenager. Back then, I harvested a fork from the olive trees across from my suburban home, which I then trimmed. I fastened bands from store-bought rubber bands my mom provided. I scavenged a pouch from old jeans or other heavy material.
I learned to double-up the bands to get more strength from the system. The tie was a simple larkshead knot on the frame. The same for the pouch.
Shot was mostly found materials, usually rocks in the half-inch size range. I preferred nicely-rounded stones which were plentiful in the Southern California desert. Targets were targets of opportunity — cans, bottles, fence posts, errant pigeons, and whatever. We didn’t shoot each other with the devices.
My new slingshot provides a lot of focus and fun without having to make a range trip for more potent weapons. The Girl accommodated the band “snap” on release quickly and is no longer spooked when I release a shot. Successful shots require skill and I can practice on walkies without having to worry about my shots hitting unintended targets. The maximum range of the slingshot is not more than a couple hundred feet and most of the energy is spent on the sandy soil so I’m not worried about bounces traveling far beyond my target.
This is fun. It’s practical. It’s cheap. It’s better to be outside than at the computer.
I started carrying my Fuji X-T1 a few days ago on our daily walkies. I decided that enough time passed that I should be carrying a real camera again, with good glass. Mornings are one of my favorite times to make images, especially early when the sun is low.
The Girl and I have walked this area many times (almost every day since returning to Carson). It was once an orphanage and school run by the State of Nevada. Now it’s only a collection of structures used by the state for storage. Sometimes the structures are used by Carson City Sheriff’s deputies to work K-9 units. Most of the time the area is populated (sparsely) by canines and their handlers.
We love the green, the large trees, and the fact that off-leash work is permitted. Most of the others who visit are friendly, or at least polite. The Girl loves to romp in the grass and there are plenty of California ground squirrels to chase. They are cagey, though, and she has yet to catch one of them in this area. (Some others have not been quite so fortunate, though.)
On this particular morning we walked on the capitol grounds. I was hoping for something interesting to present itself for a photograph. There was no joy, however. But this capture was one that pleased me. So I thought I would share it.
It’s difficult to imagine, but a century-and-a-half ago this site was covered with logs from the Sierra Nevada waiting to be processed into timber for mining and other applications. A large flume was used to convey the harvested logs to this site, where they were staged for milling.
Now it’s a linear parkway and a favorite place for dogs and handlers to play. When we do morning walkies in town, it is one of our favorite routes. The Girl loves the fact that ground squirrels populate the area and provide prey to chase. Then she loves the cool, moist grass (obviously) for a nice romp and roll after hunting rodents. I like the cool that emanates from the grass and the shade of the large trees surrounding the site. Plus there is a sense of history that hangs here. I know that men worked this area to make a living. Their energy still lives here. It is nearly tangible.
The Girl’s vet called me a couple of days ago. The mass he was concerned about was a hemagiopericytoma, which is an old term for a soft tissue sarcoma. The pathologist called it Grade 1, which means that there is a 15-percent probability that it will return or metastasize. The margins were clear so he got all of the dangerous tissue. It is the best we can do and I’m not going to worry about it.
But I still f*ing hate cancer. I remind myself regularly that there is only here, there is only now.
With all of the snow and rain, I really expected there to be a chance for a significant flood on the Carson River. There was plenty of nuisance flooding in Carson City, with crews out dealing with some minor damage to a few facilities.
On Monday, the Girl and I drove out Sierra View, the road on the east side of Carson River. I wanted a look at Mexican Dam. The west side was “closed,” although I saw some hikers out and about on Silver Saddle Ranch. But, being the lawful type that I am, I eschewed parking outside the ranch and walking in because the gate was closed and posted.
Still, the view was pretty good. The discharge when I made the capture was about 9,000 cfs. That’s not a big flood, but is substantially greater than the normal spring runoff.
The Girl and I are nearly done packing for the next trip. I have an interview in Denver and want to see Older Son and DiL. So, we’ll drive to Denver today and tomorrow, sit the interview, and then spend a few days with them. While there I’ll look up a couple of friends as well.
The weather here in western Nevada has been, well, fall-like the last few days. Much water and energy blew over the Carson Range and brought bluster, clouds, and rain. Our outside time has been restricted because the weather has not been very inviting. I miss the sun already.
The Nevada Day celebration was interesting. We walked the line of hot-air balloons as they prepared for the 0800 hours launch. But the ceiling was too low, so they called off the launch and the crews dismantled their aircraft. That was a pity.
The Girl and I returned to the room for a bit then walked back over the Carson Street to see the parade. I met an old colleague there and we caught up as I interacted with his dog. Levi was a sweetheart, a red pibbie with a great personality and full of love. The Girl and Levi got along well.
I was a bit puzzled by the heavy equipment that Carson City has in the Sheriff’s department. Some parts of law enforcement cross the line into para-military, it seems to me. The justification for that is difficult, especially in rural areas and small cities, like Carson. Perhaps there are things that I do not know that necessitate the use of military equipment (including assault rifles). But the irony of the situation was clear to me, as well as my colleague.
After a few minutes, the Girl stood up and put her paws on my chest, looking directly into my eyes. She was ready to leave the noise and energy of the parade area. I acknowledged her request, but we stayed a bit longer.
She asked me twice more to go. My colleague had wandered off to interact with friends, so the Girl and I turned east and returned to our room. Later in the day we walked a bit to take in the sun, which had come out about noon. The sun felt good on my body and the Girl and I really enjoyed our walk.
Sunday was another messy day, regarding the weather. We (or rather I) packed up most of our things and began loading the rig. (The Girl snoozed most of the day.) Just after noon another gob of water and energy blew over the hill and it began to rain. By the time we left to visit Jimmy in Reno it was raining quite hard.
On our way home I noticed snow on the Carson Range. The temperature had dropped with the pulse of weather as well.
I’m looking forward to some road time. It looks like the weather will be good for the next few days, so I’m hopeful we’ll have some time to hike or walk as well.