This morning we hiked up Camelback Mountain, so named because it looks like a camel's back. My uncle, 3 cousins, one of their friends, myself and the dog. A bunch of real troopers. It was a moderate hike, about a mile and a quarter, with some parts that were just walking up and others that required more climbing. Morgan (the youngest) and I got all the way up the mountain. The dog would have been happy to run up and down the mountain had the humans gotten out of her way.
We were sort of rushing back down the mountain, to get to a party of some friends, a double birthday party for a father and daughter. The party was at Jillians, the arcade/bowling/billiards/club place. Half the crowd was middle aged friends of the father, the other half elementary school friends of the daughter. I obviously didn't know anyone, and didn't feel like shmoozing with the fogies, so I sat down with my cousin Brendan and another kid. The kid asks me how old I am, I tell him 21, he says he's 10. Not being very good at 10 year old conversation, I said as a joke, "I was 10 once too!" The kid scrunched up his face in confusion for several seconds, then declared, "well you had to be 10 once if you're 21 now! You had to be 1...2...3..." By 6 I was thinking, jeez kid, you're not really going to... but he literally counted - slowly - to 21. Finally I smiled at him and said, "it was a joke, kid," and got back to eating my burger. Poor guy.
After the party, my uncle and I went to an indoor shooting range. I had never shot a gun before and he hadn't shot in several years, so we watched the safety video, got a one-minute lesson in gun mechanics and signed our lives away on disclaimer forms. Then we rented two 9mm semi-automatic pistols and 50 bullets each and went out on the range.
Even with ear protection, it's LOUD. There was less of a kickback on the guns than I expected. I had my target board (an outline of an upper body) set to 25 feet away. The circle in the crosshairs is pretty big, so I wasn't sure exactly how to line it up with the target. I got most of the shots in the general area I wanted, though, so my aim could have been worse. A shooter in the next lane was firing a 9mm in a rapid stocatto at a target further away than mine and got every single shot within an inch of the heart. Another guy was firing 3-round bursts from what looked like a modified M-16. (Those are probably cool on the range, but I honestly don't see why they need to sell fully automatic rifles in the shop.) Anyway it was fun and a good experience. I think I'd like to do range shooting occasionally, but I don't think I'd like to own a gun, not now anyway.
Back at home there was good conversation, more gymnastics with Morgan, a promise to take Brendan to school tomorrow on my motorcycle (so I need to get up early), and an episode of Desperate Houswives, which I've decided is not my kind of show. Good night.