Saturday, December 23, 2017

Happy birthday to me!

In less than a week, I'll be exactly 20,000 days old. A nice round number, isn't it? My friends and family will congratulate me on my yearly birthday in March, but I consider this "decimal birthday" much more interesting. 

I detest social conventions that make people feel obligated to celebrate, go somewhere or do something prescribed on some arbitrary date, be it a public/religious holiday or their own birthday. I may have fun on that day (just like any other day), but it will depend only on my mood and/or circumstances - not on the number in the calendar. I'm usually inclined to do the opposite of what most other people are doing, not just because I don't want to go with the flow but because it's often more fun.

- Working and/or staying home on public holidays. The holiday atmosphere is there, but the crowds are not, which makes local outings more pleasurable. Work often pays more and is shorter or less demanding, plus the commute is a breeze. 

- Travelling out of season. We used to take vacations a week or two before Christmas. Again, everything is ready for the holidays, but there are no crowds or lineups.

- Partying on a school day. Who says only weekends are for enjoying good company, a nice motorcycle ride or target practice? I don't have to stay up until 2AM to enjoy any of that.

Did I mention I hate crowds? They look like sheep and make me feel like a mindless drone following some meaningless trend. The only purpose of crowded spaces is to show me where (or when) not to go.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

My 2017 in review

2017 was a very dynamic year for me. Here are the highlights:
  • I took the Canadian Firearms Safety Course, passed all the tests (4), background checks and received my Restricted Possession and Acquisition License.
  • I served on a jury for a murder trial that lasted over two months. Sent one young man to jail for life, acquited the other. Gained a few new friends and a healthy respect for the Canadian justice system.
  • Got laid off soon after coming back to work. I was seriously relieved, plus got a whole summer to enjoy and figure out what to do next. I made the most of it.  
  • A couple of weeks in Venice with my sister-in-law and her family with a hop to Belgrade for my mother's 80th birthday. Always fun.

  • A week-long solo motorcycle trip to Gaspe and the northern shore of St. Lawrence River. 6,000km of great riding, beautiful scenery, good people and excellent food. There is a lot more left to explore in Quebec - I'll be back.

  • Purchased my first firearm, a Henry US Survival Rifle. Fun to shoot, light and easy to transport, cheap on ammo. Shot over 10,000 rounds through it so far.
  • A few motorcycle day rides to my favorite destinations in Pennsylvania. Explored public shooting ranges while enjoying great roads and scenery. 900-1,000km a day.
  • At least a dozen day trips to Crown land locations in Ontario in search of good spots for informal target practice. Found a few very nice areas to ride to, enjoy nature and plink - a win-win-win :).
  • Joined the Burlington Rifle and Revolver Club after taking the course, passing the test and fulfilling other membership requirements in record time. 24/7 access to the heated indoor shooting range will make long winter nights a little more bearable :). 
  • Started working on contract for the Ontario Ministry of Attorney General. Jury experience will come in handy, but there is a lot more left to learn. Different from almost anything I did before and much less stressful than my last job.
  • Bought my first handgun, a SIG Sauer 1911 22. Somewhat more interesting and definitely more challenging than the rifle at the indoor shooting range :). Also, fun to tinker with and practice DIY gunsmithing. Colt 1911 platform is like Honda Civic of handguns - it's as ubiquitous and infinitely customizable. It's also an amazing piece of firearms history - it was designed by John Moses Browning in 1906 and was the official US Army sidearm for 75 years (1911-1986).

What's next? I planted a few seeds for 2018, stay tuned to see what will grow out of them.

Happy holidays and all the best in 2018 to my faithful readers (all three of you :) ).