Archive | January, 2007
January 3, 2007

Got a gun. Fact I got two. That’s OK man ’cause I love god

This past Sunday I went shooting with my cousin Jason and his friend Danielle. I purchased a Mosin Nagant M91/30 back in July 2004 but never got a chance to test it out because I moved to London shortly thereafter.

We headed out to the canyons past Thousand Palms – public land where you are allowed to target shoot. There wasn’t much in the way of targets, but someone did spray paint a giant blue man on a piece of plywood and place it on the side of the mountain, so it was kinda like shooting at a giant smurf.

My Mosin. It’s a big, heavy gun. Built in the Soviet Union in 1942 during the midst of Velikaya Otechestvennaya Voyna, the Great Patriotic War. A beautiful piece of history, it might have been used by some starving Ivan in the defense of Stalingrad or the capture of Berlin. We’ll never really know.

Taking aim at the giant smurf

I’m gettin’ back to the Fincher family’s Texas roots. I thought that perhaps my aim would improve by wearing Jason’s cowboy hat, but it doesn’t quite work like that. “Lindsay, LEAN into the rifle.” I know, I know. Need more practice.

The Mosin was just as I expected – LOUD (yes, I had ear protection), with a nice kick, but damn that bolt can be a real pain in the ass sometimes. I really had to smack the bolt pretty hard to eject the spent shell casing.

After I went through my box of Winchester 7.62x54r ammo, I tried out the guns that Jason brought along: two shotguns and a Glock handgun.

The shotguns were fun to shoot

First time I ever shot a handgun (bad stance duly noted). I can definitely see why the Glock is such a popular handgun, but I doubt I’ll be buying one in the future. I’ll stick to my $75 Russian military surplus rifles, and maybe a Mauser Kar98k while I’m at it.

I also purchased a Mosin M44 back in November 2005, but haven’t had a chance to disassemble it and clean off all the cosmoline gumming up the parts because I left the gun at my parent’s house in California when I moved to DC.

The M44 with permanently attached bayonet

I had a lot of fun shooting that day, and I’m definitely hooked on the Mosins. I’ve got to find myself a few Mosins and shooting range out here on the east coast. DC has some of the strictest gun laws in the nation, though, so I’m not quite sure how I would go about purchasing firearms in Maryland or Virginia (certainly there aren’t any gun stores within DC city limits) when I’m a DC resident. I’m pretty sure I can do that, but prior to do that I have to go down to DC police headquarters and apply for some pain in the ass registration certificate for every firearm I buy. Whatev, maybe I’ll just wait until I move somewhere else.

(Post title is from “Glorified G” by Pearl Jam, of course)

January 2, 2007

The Last Supper

Er, breakfast really. Before heading to the airport, we hit up In-N-Out at 10:30am so I could have a quick fix before I flew back to DC.

The usual: #1 with onions

(Gerald and Betty Ford, BTW, used to frequent this very In-N-Out, god bless ’em.)

My plane was three hours late leaving Palm Springs, so I missed my connecting flight in Chicago and had to overnight there. Thankfully, American Airlines put me up in the Chicago Hilton and gave me vouchers for dinner and breakfast, which I made sure to use up completely so I could stick it to them.

My flight to DC left around 6am. I was totally out of it this morning, but once I got my venti caramel frappacino courtesy of American Airlines, the caffeine started flowing through my veins and I was ready to go. Thank you, Starbucks.

Tomorrow: a picture heavy “fun with firearms” post, as I FINALLY put my Mosin 1891/30 through its paces.

January 1, 2007

Bouldering in Joshua Tree

Joshua Tree entrance

Joshua Tree entrance

On Saturday, Katerina, Diana, Maggie, Alex and I headed up to the local playground, Joshua Tree National Park. Alex goes to Joshua Tree quite often for bouldering and rock climbing and was going to teach us how to climb around on rocks and what not. The poor guy had no idea what he was getting himself into.

If you’ve never seen Joshua Tree before, here you go:

Joshua Tree

I’ve been to Joshua Tree numerous times, but have never done any rock climbing or bouldering. Actually, I’ve never done any sort of rock climbing whatsoever, not even on a climbing wall at the gym. I did, however, make sure I had some awesome climbing shoes. I opted for the shoes sporting the colors of the Soviet motherland.

climbing shoes

Joshua Tree bouldering
Looking for some boulders

Joshua Tree bouldering
Found one. The thing that looks like a mattress is called a “crash pad” for obvious reasons.

Joshua Tree bouldering
Maggie was really good at bouldering

Joshua Tree bouldering
The most bizarre recreational activity I’ve ever done. I’m trying to get over my fear of rocks (don’t ask) but I think this only contributed to it.

Joshua Tree bouldering
I eventually made it

Joshua Tree bouldering
But then realized I had no idea how to get down. That was the scariest part. I kissed the ground when I got down. Seriously.

Joshua Tree bouldering
Katerina climbing

Joshua Tree bouldering
Then we went scrambling. I did a crazy tumbling head first movement down a small hole in between the rocks, but emerged unscathed.

Joshua Tree bouldering
The view was very nice

Joshua Tree bouldering
Alex shows us how it’s done

Joshua Tree bouldering
Trying another boulder

Joshua Tree bouldering
And eventually succeeding

Joshua Tree rock climbers
Can you spot the rock climbers?

Alex said that next time he is going to get us on the ropes. I figure the next time I’ll be in the desert will be a year from now, so maybe I’ll try out one of those rock climbing walls beforehand. And then, EL CAPITAN HERE I COME! Eh, who am I kidding? I think I’ll stick to surfing. I like wipe outs in water, not on hard surfaces.

After spending the day at the park, we had dinner at Crossroads Cafe in downtown Joshua Tree. Best cheese and avocado burger I’ve ever had.

Rest of the photos are here.

Unfortunately, I have to fly back to DC today.