Weekends keep getting harder…

A wierd weekend, that one. Work’s pressing hard right now, so 16-hour days all last week, and when I got out of the car at herself’s on Friday night, I was so tired I forgot to grab my phone as I left the car. Remembered it two or three hours later, went to get it and of course the passanger side window is all over the road and the car seats, and the phone is long gone. Cue learning about roadside assist, reporting theft to the Gardai, insurance and Autoglass repairs and so on. All fixed by sunday lunchtime, but bloody awkward for all involved.

Swimming on Sunday morning, but only for forty minutes or so. Getting better, bit by bit. Back again on tuesday. Spent the rest of Sunday in work up to half eleven that night.

Saturday was the very odd day though. The NTSA AGM was held, and we were expecting it’d be a loud shouting match. And on many occasions it was – lots of stuff has built up over the past year or two.  But while we were expecting a long drawn-out argument from start to finish, we were surprised when apologies for some things were offered, and suggestions we’d made were taken up. So much so, in fact, that we decided we’d go forward and volunteer some of our people to the NTSA board. And then I got volunteered as well, which I wasn’t expecting. So now I’m facing a year as the NTSA secretary. Decidedly the oddest day of the weekend.  And now we spend a few days figuring out what our goals for the year will be and then we have the first meeting to go over these, lay out the year’s plan and then we get started.

There’s a very positive feeling towards this in WTSC right now. The potential for this is enormous. Myself, well, I’m perhaps a bit less euphoric but it’s very promising. I guess this is what the phrase “cautiously optimistic” was drafted for…

Small improvements

Back to the pool last night. Managed six lengths before having to stop for a few minutes, and managed either 19 or 21 lengths over the 90 minutes or so I was in the pool. Which isn’t anything compared to some of the people in there – one girl just swam breaststroke (which is apparently the most technically difficult and physically demanding stroke) continually for an hour while we were there and then just got out of the pool and walked away like she hadn’t even broken a sweat. The evil so-and-so.

Still though, I’m feeling more and more comfortable doing this, and my stamina is going up. My form is appallingly bad and my noseclip doesn’t really clip my nose, and the goggles are as anti-fog as victorian london. I still can’t get the timing right on the breathing, not during front crawl and not during breaststroke. I keep getting a mouthful of pool water or just not getting my old breath out in time to take any breath in. So the CO2 builds up in my lungs and my body decides it’s aphyxiating (which technically, it is), and that’s just plain unpleasant. Breathing out underwater while swimming isn’t easy, either, and tends to get the panic levels rising again, which is wierd, because that doesn’t happen even when I backflip off the deep end and dive for the bottom facing upwards while breathing out (the tumbling in the water bit’s much easier than the swimming bit, probably because I spent so much time tumbling in the air from the Aikido in college).  But still – getting better slowly. And I seem to be down a belt notch already, which was unexpected.

But – and it’s a large but – I’ve still not picked up a rifle or pistol since the start of August. Going to have to start technical training soon.

Anschutz Air Rifle Cylinder Recall

At this point, everyone probably knows about this, but just in case, given the damage that a faulty air cylinder could cause (lots. Seriously. Lots) I think it’s worth posting it anyway!
From the Anschutz website:

Some of the delivered aluminum compressed air cylinders may show material defects. We have arranged the most important information for you:Recall information sheetProcedure to empty the air cylinder

Identification of the serial numbers concerned

From the Identification page:

During product observation and quality control measures the J. G. ANSCHÃœTZ GmbH & Co. KG has found out, that a certain production lot may show material defects at the compressed air cylinders of target air rifles.This material defect may lead to a sudden failure of the aluminum air cylinder. The manometer or the filling valve may loosen from the air cylinder. Serious injuries cannot be excluded.For safety reasons a check and – if necessary – exchange by the manufacturer is essential.

The below listed air cylinder series – only until year of manufacture December 2005 – may be concerned:

Air cylinder, silver, length 430 mm: from 012947 to 016846

Air cylinder, red, length 430 mm: from 002444 to 002527

Air cylinder, black, length 430 mm: from 000006 to 000053 

Air cylinder, Junior length 290 mm: from 001632 to 002225

It is not allowed to use the mentioned cartridges anymore without being checked before. They must be safely emptied at once.

Please, send the affected and pressureless cartridges immediately for a check to
Abt. Kartuschenüberprüfung,
Daimlerstraße 12,
89079 Ulm / GERMANY

or to any authorized ANSCHÃœTZ sales partner in your country. Our sales partners are listed on our website.

Back in the water

This swimming malarky is going well, I think. Ten lengths last night. Not bad for someone who three or four posts ago was unable to get in the pool without trying to hyperventilate (surprisingly ineffective when you’re submerged in water) and enjoying the tender embraces of blind panic whenever the floor or wall was out of touch. It’s starting to feel like I’m not pushing myself though (one of these days I’ll figure out why I don’t feel like I’ve done a good job if I can walk after a workout…). Time to start swimming a bit more and pausing between lengths a bit less I suppose. Still though, managed to dive last night for the first time (something I never managed even as a kid) and touched the floor of the deep end. So yay me. I’m now up there with seven-year-olds in terms of accomplishments 😀

Long weekend

Been a bit of a long weekend really. Friday was a fundraising barbecue in Wilkinstown. Not a bad turnout, and we raised over a thousand euro for the team, so we’re starting back towards having some money in the bank for the club again after we put a lot of it into sending the Irish team to the World Championships in Zagreb. ‘Twas a good evening, but it was a bit of a haul to get out there after a long day’s work. Worth it though.

And now today, swimming again. Managed to swim for a little over 90 minutes without any form of paddling board or other assistance, so I’m making progress. Next dip in the pool is probably on Wednesday. I can’t see any huge weight losses so far, but I do feel a bit better, and I’m not tracking the weight on a daily basis at the moment, so who knows whether it’s going up or down. At any rate, it’s exercise and I don’t feel like someone’s hit my knees with a hammer at the end so that’s a good thing.

Not gone shooting yet though. Tonight I’ll get the air pistol out and do some dry-firing for a little while, and check the cylinder of my air tank on the rifle as there’s a recall gone out for anschutz air cylinders. Not sure if mine’s affected. Hope not, it’d be a bit akward as I’m trying to get training going again to have to send off bits of the rifle!

And sent off the motions for the NTSAs AGM to the NTSA as well. It’s a bit ridiculous really, having to send in over seventy motions purely because the people in head office think that working behind closed doors and ignoring suggestions and ignoring problems is acceptable. Fecks sake, we could be using the time and energy to train and get better, but instead we have to do this, because we know if we don’t, then things will just get worse. And frankly, there’s not that far down for the sport to go in this country. Every shooter that ever shot in the Olympics has walked away from the NTSA at this point. Their only international shooters come out of our club, trained by us, equipped by us, supported by us. The scores in the National Championships fall year by year since this ridiculous new format was introduced over the explicit, formal objections of several people (myself included), including the air rifle coordinator at the time, but every year, despite the match being a shambles with no manpower to run it and shooters exhausted from travel, it’s hailed as a success by head office. We haven’t won a medal internationally in a decade (at least not in any Irish team), and yet we don’t change anything to do with coaching or training. We have no coaches, but we turn down applications from volunteers to go to ISSF coaching courses, even when they volunteer to pay their own way. We’re great at planning – we can draft paper plans up to beat the band – but ever actually getting anything done? Forget it. And then the NTSA decides to treat us like we’re the problem with target shooting in Ireland today? It’s disgusting. And frankly, there is a significant lack of people who are willing to accept such incompetent, substandard, unprofessional conduct from them at this point.

Swimming again

Went back to the pool last night. Managed eight lengths this time, four of them without that little floating board thingy they give newbies to lessen the number of bodies the pool filters have to cope with. Not bad, given that I got some sort of insect bite or something last week and have been on antibiotics and painkillers since saturday because my arm decided to imitate some sort of balloon animal. I think this could really do good things for my core fitness level, and thus my score.

Also noted that there are 24 weeks left this week until the British 10m Championships in Bisley in late Feburary. Since I’ve not picked up a firearm since the start of August between one thing and another, it’s probably time to start again. Well. As soon as my elbows are the same size again, anyway.