So tomorrow morning, I skydive for the very first time. I’ve always wanted to do it, but it is a weird feeling. I’m excited because I love the freefall feeling. My favorite rollercoasters are the ones with a big drop. I’m also scared because, well, I’m jumping out of an airplane. Jed’s done it before and he assures me that he didn’t die, so I’m quite optimistic about my chances. Also, apparently Perris is one of the major sites in the world for skydiving. They even have a large windtunnel for “indoor” skydiving (which I’d also like to try sometime). My step-dad Kevin and Jed are going, but my mom is going to stay behind with my new baby sister Savannah (aka Woojie) and wait for the call to find out if we are okay after the jump. I invited my sister Monique but she was er… washing her hair…and rearranging her furniture, and some other stuff… Next time, Mo. If there is a next time… stay tuned.
Archive for December, 2009
While the ladies went shopping, my step-father-in-law Kevin took me to a shooting range in Orange County.
Kevin is LAPD, so he’s got some nice guns with features that aren’t available to the general public (like, for example, a 13-round magazine). I got to shoot a Glock 21 .45 caliber, a 9mm Baretta 92fs and a Smith and Wesson 442 .38 caliber revolver with an internal hammer.
While I’ve recently shot a rifle, I haven’t shot a pistol in years, and then my experience is almost exclusively with revolvers. I admit that I was a little nervous that I wouldn’t be very accurate. Fortunately, I think a combination of having shot guns so often when I was young with shooting photography more recently brought everything back to me very quickly.
The Glock 21 was my favorite, and I can see why it’s so popular in the U.S. – especially with law enforcement. It was stable and the trigger was smooth. There was definitely a kick, but it didn’t hurt.
Here’s a video of me shooting the Glock. I emptied two 13-round magazines at this target – the first in the chest and the second the head. This is the second magazine. It’s harder to see the holes in the darker parts of the target, so I didn’t know how I did until we brought it back for review.
Here’s Kevin shooting the Glock at a larger distance.
The Barette 92fs was a heavier gun, but I had more trouble with accuracy. The bullets never seemed to go where I pointed them. I think it was the yaw of the gun in my hand, adding an axis that I was too out of practice to control.
The Smith and Wesson is extremely light-weight and small. It’s affectionately called the “hand-cannon” because you feel it kick hard. It’s even painful after enough rounds.
All three were fun though, and it was cool to get back on a shooting range. Maybe I’ll have to find one in D.C…
Our Merry Christmas video – the production value here rivals Avatar.
And, of course, it’s baby Savannah’s first Christmas.
PS – If you can’t see the vids click the links below to watch them at our site.
This isn’t a New Years Resolution. No one ever keeps those. I think of it more as self-administered year-long educational endeavor.
If you’ve spent any amount of time around me in the last several years, you are likely aware of my affinity for photography. I take a lot of pictures. In 2009, I took upward of 10,000 shots, and only a fraction of them were worth keeping and a smaller fraction still were technically and aesthetically strong.
I want to improve that ratio, which means harnessing the power in my gear. I rarely shoot in Auto now, but when I pick apertures and shutter speeds, I’m throwing darts. I understand photography in theory, but not in practice. Today, I don’t have the control I want.
So, in 2010, I will undertake a Project365.
Simply put, Project365 means you take a picture every day of the year. That means I’ll have to carry a camera with me every day. That means I’ll have to look at the world around me as a photographer for a year.
Added a WordPress plugin that should include a link to the site in the footer – mostly for Facebook which imports the posts as notes, but doesn’t link to the original post.
On a related note, I’m really getting tired of Facebook revamping their entire interface every month. Each change is like a step in the wrong direction. The new limited feed vs. live feed may have actually been a bridge too far. I don’t enjoy interacting with the site nearly as much.
Anyway, if you use an RSS reader – click here to subscribe to the MrMrsLink blog.
But baby, it’s cold outside…
No kidding! I’m not sure how many inches we’ve accumulated over the past day or so, but our lawn chairs in the back are nearly covered, and the snow is up to our windows! Being a California girl, I never grew up with snow. There would be the occasional trip to the mountains where snow lived from time to time, for some sledding, snowball fights, and restaurant trips for hot chocolate, but it was never a way of life for us. Therefore I have never really known how to live in and handle snow. Although, to my credit, living in Maryland for the past six years and being with a Montana man for the past eight, I feel I have a decent handle on snow these days. I was wrong.
The snow started at some point while we were watching the Montana Grizzlies game in Arlington VA. There was probably 2 inches of snow on our car and the ground. It continued to snow the whole way home, and apparently through the night. When we woke up, there was like 6 inches of snow on the ground and maybe more. It snowed all of yesterday and by yesterday evening, the snow had to be somewhere in the ballpark of 25 inches. We finally went out to play in it and it was amazing. I have never even seen anything like it. Over two feet of freshly fallen powder covered our condo area. It was quite beautiful. We laughed. We frollicked. We made snowangels. We unsucessfully made snowballs to throw at eachother (the powder just wouldn’t stick together). It was pretty awesome. We had a snow day!
I woke up this morning and it looks like it finally stopped snowing. Everywhere is just piled with white. The sun is out and it looks like a beautiful day. I tried to convince Jed to strap on our skis and just slide around Columbia. Apparently our skis aren’t made for that sort of thing. I must say, I think I’m finally coming around to this snow thing.
Enjoy some clips from our romping adventure.
I’m the luckiest College Football fan in the world.
Lately, my teams have been really, really good. Take, for example, 2004, when they were playing in 3 separate National Championships. The Trojans beat Okalahoma 55-19 to win a National Championship (undisputed). The Montana Grizzlies played the James Madison Dukes in the I-AA Championship Game (they lost 31-21 on a famously torn up turf). The Carroll College Saints won their third National Championship of what eventually become a streak of five in the NAIA Division.
This year was a down year for my Trojans. After peaking early in Columbus, they never gelled as a team, and lost some ugly games. But I still get to cheer for my Montana Grizzlies who will play in the I-AA (FCS) National Championship Game against the Villanova Wildcats tonight.
The Griz come into the game 14-0, and a perfect example of what college football playoffs can look like. Being the top seed after the undefeated regular season, the Griz earned the right to play at home, and Montana’s Washington-Grizzly Stadium (“the toughest venue in I-AA”).
Round 1 vs. South Dakota State featured an offensive performance of epic proportions. Down 48-21 with about five minutes left in the 3rd Quarter, the Griz Office came alive and scored 40 unanswered points to win 61-48. It was one of the greatest comebacks I’ve ever seen (thanks to streaming video at KPAX-TV).
Round 2 vs. Stephen F. Austin was all about the defense who recovered no fewer than 10 turnovers in the 51-0 shutout. Texas boys, in their big coats and sleeves, do not fair well in sub-freezing Montana weather. The Griz had now scored 91 unanswered points in the Playoffs.
Round 3 vs. Appalachian State was a clinic in coaching and clock management, as the game rolled down to the final seconds following a number of lead changes and some monster hits from the fired-up Griz. The Montana fans were a big part of the game. Which reminds me – Montana fans are the best fans in the world.
So now, the Griz play the Wildcats from Villanova. If all the pieces from the Playoffs can show up at game time tonight (offense, defense, coaching) I can’t see how we lose. Plus, the Grizzlies have a pretty strong track-record against cats.
This year, Johns Hopkins is instituting its enormous revamping of the medical school curriculum. This means that I will be in the pilot group of students trying it out. It also means that I’m going to get a bit screwed in the process since I did my first 2 year of medical school under one curriculum, and will be doing the last 2 under another. The old curriculum was particularly student-friendly in that students could choose when they would do their basic clerkships (medicine, OB-Gyn, pediatrics, Emergency, surgery, pyschiatry-neurology, ambulatory) at any time during the 3rd or 4th year, so long as they completed all before they graduate. This allows them to experience electives (any other specialty, basically) during their 3rd year, in time to gain enough experience to make an informed decision as to which specialty to pursue. The new curriculum now dictates that all basic clerkships must be completed during the 3rd year, and only 1 block can be taken for electives. This means that if you don’t happen to like the one elective that you took in your 3rd year, you have to wait till your 4th year (after you have begun to apply to residency programs) to take another. For example, if you are interested in Dermatology, Radiology, and Anesthesiology, but unsure how to decide, you can only pick one to do a rotation in before you have to apply to residencies. Don’t like that one? Oh well, hope you like one of the other two.
There are a variety of reasons for this. One is that when 4th year students took basic clerkships, they pretty much already decided their specialty, so it is hard to engage them in your subject when they’ve already decided against it. This is the best one I’ve heard, that isn’t exactly my conspiracy theory.
My theory is that Hopkins is trying to push us medical students into primary care specialties such as internal or family medicine, pediatrics, ob-gyn, ect. By not giving us a chance to experience an “elective” specialty, it ensures more will go into the ones they have experienced and have had time to prepare a strong resume for. While I understand the need to do this, maybe 10% of Hopkins graduates went into a primary care specialty when my med school class graduated (not uncommon), I feel that rather than force us into it by limiting our options, we should be working to increasing the incentives to go into a primary care field. Helping humanity at ridiculous hours and poor pay doesn’t pay back the 300K+ worth of loans you racked up in med school alone. I hate for it to come down to that, but it does. However, you tell students that you’ll pay off their loans or even a good portion of them if they go into primary care specialties, I guarantee that you’ll people flooding into to them. I really just bristle at people telling me what I can and can’t be when I grow up, even if its just by making those other choices less available. It is the start of an extremely alarming trend, in my opinion.