Flu, crossbow

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Man, I feel like shit.

I guess I have the flu now, about a day after I got over a cold. Everyone in the office seems to be catching this same bug, which makes me feel like an idiot for setting out plastic, one-pound containers of banana chips and trail mix on my desk for everyone’s virus-infected hands to dip into before I ate from them. The only saving grace is that it’s a pretty shitty weekend outside, pouring rain and slightly cold but way too humid, which is conducive for sleeping about 22 hours of the last 24.

My crossbow is finally here. The company, which is most likely one redneck with a PO box and a bad web site, sent it to my billing address instead of my work address. He also sent it about two weeks after he charged my credit card, which is not cool. Anyway, I walked to the PO in the rain thismorning to pick up the package, and unpacked everything before I went back to bed. It’s a very small crossbow, about the size of a 1911 .45 pistol, plus the actual bow and a small stock-like lever to cock it with. (here is a picture from the store’s web site.) The package I ordered came with a small imitation maglite mounted on the underside, a red dot sight (not a laser sight like you see in the movies; this has a clear rectangular eyepiece you look through, and a red dot is projected into the middle of it.), and two quivers to hold a bunch of arrows.

The big pain in the ass was getting the string on the bow, which required some force to tension the piece of fiberglass enough so I could slip on the somewhat-shorter string. I spent a while looking around the house for a door frame or something I could push the bow against to get the string on. I finally found that my metal laundry cart was the perfect shape to hold both ends of the bow so I could push it down with a bunch of my weight and then quickly slip the string on.

The next task was to find a target indoors. I took the box the shipment came in and put it at one end of the long hall in my apartment. I cocked the crossbow, which was fairly easy; you grab it at the front, unlock the rear stock, and then push it downward. Two metal L-shaped bits pull the string back and deposit it in the trigger area. (Sorry I have none of the terminology here…) Anyway, I put in an arrow – they are maybe five inches long, with a metal point and aluminum body, ending in ABS plastic fins. After dicking with the trigger assembly, I pulled the trigger, and it shot with a loud THWACK. The arrow went through the box, hit the wall behind it, and then shattered. The fins were tiny shrapnel everywhere; the shaft was on the ground, and the tip was buried in the trim of the wall behind it. Oh well, I’m not getting my deposit back anyway, right? I tried three more times, broke three more arrows, and put three more holes in the wall. I’ll need to read up on it, because the thing seems to pull to the right, and I don’t know if it is some tuning thing, or if I’m pulling at the last second because I’m afraid the bow string will snap back and take my eyes out or something.

Another 9/11 anniversary rolled around, and I didn’t really want to contribute to the great amount of stupidity on either side of every issue by posting anything that day. I often wonder how much lame cheesiness was generated in the various anniversaries after Pearl Harbor. I guess they didn’t have 500 channels of TV and a million different blogs to fill back then, plus we were really at war. I’m not saying our troops around the world aren’t in a war, but there’s no consensus on the purpose of any of the various peacekeeping missions, and that’s what causes problems. I don’t think we should carpetbomb Iraq until it looks like the parking lot outside of a theme park, but I definitely think if we leave now, some distant cousin or buddy of Sadaam’s will suddenly rise up and start building palaces with oil money instead of feeding people. That’s what happened in Somalia, and it’s probably going to happen in Liberia when Chuck Taylor returns from vacation. I’ve actually been reading up a bit on the situation there, since I think it will become our next Somalia, and it’s truly amazing and pathetic. What’s funny in a “give peace a chance” sort of way, is that people in Liberia WANT the US military to show up, but aside from a small Marine presence that showed up and then left, we’ve basically said “No thanks, we’ll just watch Black Hawk Down and call it a day.”

(BTW, just heard that a bunch (i.e. 1/4 of those sent) of the Marines came back with malaria. Word is, it might be a strain that’s resistant to anti-Malaria drugs the leathernecks take when they’re in that part of the woods. Shit!)

Anyway, I avoided watching TV on Thursday. At work, we had a sort of rememberance party for the four people we lost on 9/11, but it was fairly low key, and nobody even did a speech or a toast or anything. Since there was free beer and it was Budweiser and not some hoidy-toidy stuff, I drank early, fast, and many. Around the time I theatened to wrestle anyone in the big open area by the QA PC racks and I started trying to break a beer bottle on the counter to use it as a weapon, everyone prevented me from getting back into the fridge. So I went home, passed out on the subway, and woke up about 10 seconds before my stop. I was pretty much sober by then, and no hangover. I got on the Playstation, avoided the sappy news coverage of “A Day of Remembrance and all of that crap, and all was well. Then the next day, I caught the fucking flu.

OK, I have to finish up my Subway, see if anything is on TV, and probably stay up half the night watching old ER reruns because I’ve been asleep for so long.

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