It was 41°F for my US friends and 5°C for just about everyone else in the world. Either way it was cold when I started my morning 18-meter archery practice outside. My bow had spent the night in my 2006 Ford 150 and it proved just how well it absorbs the cold. Cold or not it was time to practice.
I thought I’d dressed just right. I thought I’d stay warm. I was wrong. Certainly, I could have gone back inside and added my layers. Call it stubbornness or laziness, but I didn’t want to take the time or hike back to the house. I was on the range and I was going to stay.
I had a simple goal before practice, that was to shoot 60 tens in the outer 10 ring and no less than 40 arrows in the inner ten ring of a Vegas style 3-spot.
I planned to take my time, go through the shot process, don’t rush and make every shot count.
That plan held up though warm-up (that’s only an expression – it was never warm) and the first 30 arrows. By then, the ‘taking my time’ element had shivered out of my plan. I still shot well until the last arrow. With snot dripping from my nose I put too much heel in my bow hand lifting an arrow slightly out of the big 10 ring. I might have been able to prevent it if I could have felt my hand.
The temperature will increase by 23°F by this afternoon. (Sorry my Celsius friends your on your own.) I should have thawed by then and am looking forward to another run at 60 arrows in the big 10.
Hurricane Florence didn’t have much of an affect on Georgia. But, she did have enough of an influence on the weather to impact archers shooting at the Georgia Archery Association State (GAA) FITA Outdoor Championship.
It has been nine months since we moved back to Georgia. This is our home State and we’d made the move from our vacation home turned permanent residence in North Carolina.
The NC home was great. Off our front deck the distance to the bulkhead was just 18 yards. The bulkhead separated our property from Little River, which feeds into the Albemarle Sound. The views and water access were amazing. Our pier and dock led us at our boatlift 50 yards from shore. It was wonderful, except for the hurricanes.
Every year we’d have some storm spinning up our river. Most years there were multiple storms. Rarely, did we have a huge amount of damage. Always there was some damage and a general clean up. Sometimes there was a real post-storm mess. As with all storms we either rode them out or we headed to the hills. It depended on the category.
Florence didn’t do much to our old place in North Carolina. Of course, we sold it in May of this year so it wouldn’t have been our problem should there have been damage. Nevertheless, we loved that place and keep tabs on the storms that might intersect with our old home. We still have friends living on the Little River and we stay in touch.
What Florence gave to the Peach State was a rainy windy day for the second half of the Georgia State Outdoor Championship. For me, it meant I wouldn’t surpass my personal best score of the 1440 possible points that could be earned over two days shooting 144 arrows. Despite the second day’s wind and rain I exceeded my lowest score finishing 8 points below my average practice score. It wasn’t what I’d hoped for when the pre-storm weather forecast suggested warm clear days and 5 mph winds. That forecast didn’t hold.
The first day was rainless and the winds were around 7 to 10 mph – not bad. Day two of the weekend tournament brought rain and wind at 8 – 14 mph with gusts up to 22 mph.
Compared to what our Tarheel friends were going through the less than ideal conditions for archery was not very meaningful. It is a coastal North Carolina fact of life that hurricanes are going to happen and they’ll often bring real damage and suffering.
During one storm when we stayed to face it, a Category 1 Hurricane that have been downgraded to a Tropical Storm, I needed to head out during the storm to save boards on my dock and pier. The water had risen to near level with the dock and pier, about four to five feet higher than normal maximum. As the waves crashed into the boards they were eventually breaking lose. Trying to stave off a loss of boards I grabbed a battery operated drill a box of deck screws donned foul weather gear and went into the tempest hopefully to save parts of my pier and dock they seemed to be fighting to escape. Walking toward the pier I thought of Lt. Dan in the movie “Forrest Gump” during a hurricane yelling to Heaven, “You call this a storm?”
On the pier and dock I played a wet version of Whack-a-Mole trying to drill boards back down or pulling them free to reduce the pressure on the structure. The winds were high, waves often crested over me when I knelt to secure a board, but I didn’t lose a single board or my drill, and only a few deck screws found their way to Davey Jones’ locker. The hat I’d been wearing didn’t make it back; sadly it was a favorite that been given to me by one of my daughters. (If both of you are reading this think Christmas 2018 for a replacement.)
During Hurriance Florence as I watched some weather guy rocking back and forth being punished by unyielding wind I thought about that dock and pier. I also wonder what the weekend weather would do for the Georgia Archery Associations tournament. Still watching the reporter and wondering I pointed out to my wife, while seeing this poor fellow on the television reporting live, that he sure seemed to be having a tough time keeping his footing. It seemed a bit exaggerated.
Archers got some wind while shooting in that GAA tournament over the weekend. The storm was certainly a point of conversation. The weather guy’s rocking and rolling in the wind was a hot topic. Many viewers of the weather reporting had reach the conclusion that the guy was faking it.
The reporter’s performance had been inadvertently spoiled by a couple of guys calmly and easily walking around behind him oblivious to the wind impacting the reporter.
While he is on camera there is another tale-tell sign of the actual wind speed. It was being displayed live on the upper left of the television screen. The sustained wind was 29 mph and the maximum was 42 mph.
Storms have hit many people over the years. When one comes along families have to worry, leave home and pray that everything turns out for the best. For some those prayers aren’t answered in a manner they’d hoped. For others everything turns out fine. For a few that stay put to ride it out the storm becomes their last ride. Amid the real news of the impact of such storms as Florence, there is no room for make believe.
On Facebook I read a post by an older archer who complained of an event organizer that eliminated the Senior Hunter Class (IBO System) after a series of planned events had begun. The writer of the post is one of the Senior (over 50 years of age) archers impacted by the decision. He was not pleased with the event organizers dropping a class wherein he’d been competing since the initiation of the competitive series.
From what could be gathered throughout the Facebook conversation regarding the elimination of the Senior Hunter Class, it appeared there were not enough Seniors competing to supply a large enough pool from which to have a winner surface. The set of Seniors included three archers.
I do understand that having only three Seniors means there is a guaranteed place for each archer: 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. The organizers reasoned that was not enough people to truly make for a serious competition.
To some degree that is true. However, the organizers opened the class at the onset of the tournament series and as such should have kept it open until the finale. Instead, well into the series they combined the Senior archers with the Men’s Class (men 21 to 49 years old). The unilateral decision to drop the Senior Hunter Class angered those Senior Hunters that had been competing against each other. The anger, in this situation is warranted.
The move to drop a class of shooters after an agreement to open the class was wrong. On the other hand, I understand that if only 3 archers show up then that is not much of a competitive crowd from which to have an eventual champion. But, the archers can only compete against those who show up. It is not there fault if organizers have not created a market incentive to draw more shooters.
It boils down to this: The organizers had a duty to keep the Senior Hunter Class open through the event series regardless of how many archers competed in the class.
(No, I am not one of those displaced Senior archers. I am not that young. If those folks in their 50s think their competitive pool is dwindling let them wait until they are past 60. More on this later.)
I take nearly all the photographs on this website. That’s the reason there are so few photographs of yours truly. There’s also the irritation of looking over pictures of me. When I see them I’m as joyful as I am when I hear my own voice on a recording.
When I worked a real job I needed a greeting on my voice mail. I tried my best but there was nothing to be done that would improve the way I sounded to myself. So, I got somebody else of create my voice mail greeting.
I can’t get a model to pose for me in photographs. I don’t own Photoshop so there’s no way to make me look tall and handsome. The bulk of the pictures of me on this website have been taken by my wife. She is not an eager photographer. So, several of the pictures I’m embarrassed to say are selfies.
At being an expert selfie photographer I admit right here I am a failure. Not only does the subject matter fall short the amateurish result is pitiful.
On Facebook a selfie popped up so I studied it hoping I’d figure out the as yet unrecognized technique to self capture a self image . The effort to improve my skill at self-portrait led me down a path of discovery. Along that journey a number of common selfies were ruled out.
Immediately, the band of drunks was eliminated. To begin with I am not a drunk and neither are my friends. The driver pose in the driver’s seat car shot is a none starter for me. When I’m driving, I’m driving and not playing with my cell phone.
I tried the bicycle ride selfie but have ruled that out of my repertoire. Those attempts were conducted while coasting and still I nearly crashed. Running selfies are easier but they all reflected the strain of the run. Why broadcast my inability to smile, laugh, and leap into the air when I am running.
Then, there’s that ubiquitious puffy lip thing that shows up on Facebook every few seconds. It is the selfie that launched me on this path.
I wondered about that one. Does it come naturally? Do people sit in front of a mirror for hours practicing to have puffy lips and sunken cheeks? I didn’t know. So, I tried.
Clearly, this is not an innate ability. It seemed near impossible to get my lips to puff (Admittedly, I have thin lips). Were these people getting injections of Botox? Maybe.
What the experience taught me was that like everything to get the puffy lip selfie right meant practice. It is a practice that isn’t going to end up of my list of skills needed to perfect.
I suppose in general I just don’t get it. As such, I’ll continue to share photographs of the stuff I’m doing but rest easy there will not be an abundance of selfies on this website.