Inspired by a conversation about guns at lunch yesterday--one of the dojo guys used to shoot in pistol competitions, and described how he set up a 10-meter airgun range in his house once--I paced off a target area in one of the few private areas on the property (almost everything is visible from the windows and porches of the three-story apartment building next door) behind the back house. For a target I drew some squares on a cut-open shopping bag and stapled it on to a 2x6 sheet of plywood. I'm a fair shot, and this is basically hitting the side of a barn. It's nice to bring my air pistol out of retirement, not having shot in years.

No matter your projectile, if your target reflects your projectiles back at you, even weakly, you need a new target.

It's not clear to me why the BBs were coming back: as far as I can tell, they're hitting the previous BBs I'd sunk into the wood. They were at reduced speed and random angles, but it's safety, the principle of the thing. Targets shouldn't fire back, at least at this level.

I went to the eye doctor on Wednesday, for the first time in maybe five years or so. After fun and games with shiny new diagnostic equipment involving lasers and computers, my vision, for once, hasn't actually gotten worse. I've been noticing some blurry edges and details over the past few years, but that turns out to be the changes in my astigmatism (I have different astigmatisms in each eye, and one time in high school I switched my contacts--it was maddening, trying to read. "WHY CAN I ONLY FOCUS ON ONE PART OF THE TENNIS RACKET?!"). She said I'm a fine candidate for laser surgery, which I've been considering, and also explained why my eyes always dried out when I used to wear contacts: the previous generation of astigmatic contact lenses was thicker, to accomodate these tiny cylindrical weights that kept the lens from rotating; in order to get enough oxygen to the cornea, they were more permeable to compensate for the thickness, so water escaped easier and they dried out. Apparently the new AccuVue brand has improved on things, so I'm going to give them a shot again. My interaction with the world without glasses is unbelievably different...people perceive a different person (I'm a lot cuter and confident-looking), and I feel different. The world isn't separated from me by windows of clear plastic, and my peripheral vision looks like everything else, instead of being blurry. I don't have this expensive apparatus on my face that I have to protect from damage, or prevent from falling off (or getting knocked off or smushed, as has happened innumerable times in aikido). It's just this different experience of being.

Eventually I'll get checked out and learn about the surgery. It's worth any amount of money to me to be less dependent on these silly things, though I've been put off by stories about night vision and color perception being affected.

I need to buckle down and finish up my living space: new couch, new bed, some more cleaning, finally throwing crap out. I can't kid myself that I'll approach some kind of portable minimalism--I'm looking at getting a forge and anvil, for Pete's sake--but at least I can get rid of stupid stuff before the 900 pounds of everything arrives from my parents' house (yes, at age 28, I'm moving out).