School has started for almost 2 months, the textbook for my course has finally arrived in mail today. Textbook selling in the university bookstore is ridiculously expensive. A new paper back textbook is selling for $120, a well beaten used copy with lots highlight and dog ears is selling for $80. For the same textbook, I can find a new one online for $70 including shipping. It is obvious any reasonable man will order textbook online instead of getting rip off by the bookstore.
Well… everything comes at a price. In the university bookstore, you go home with the textbook in your hand. In a online store, you have to wait patiently for the textbook arrive in snail mail. The online book store, abebooks, I usually buy from is pretty reliable on delivery. Somehow they screw up my order this time, the book never arrive, probably lost in mail. So I have to cancel the original order and order a new one. I end up having no textbook for almost 2 months. Luckily a kind hearted classmate let me photocopy her textbook for the assigned readings. I can also read some sections of the textbook on Google books. I should order the textbook before school starts next time, so it will arrive on time.
零五年上映的「吸煙無罪」雖然獲提名金球獎﹐但沒有大明星坐陣沒有強力宣傳﹐只是一套叫好不叫座的小成本製作。這套影卻是近年我看過最好笑的諷刺喜劇﹐風格與Nicoles Cage的「軍火之王」(Lord of Wars)相似﹐但在黑色幽默中沒有如後者般叫人沉重。這電影改篇自Chistopher Buckley的同名小說﹐主角是在華府替煙草商工作的說客。這套電影並不是鼓吹觀眾吸煙﹐事實上電影中一個吸煙鏡頭也沒有。
I am never a fan of any sport super stars. I don’t understand why anyone crazy about some strangers playing sport somewhere far away. What is the fun of watching other people play sports on TV? Isn’t it much more fun to play the game yourself? Why would people waste time, energy and money to follow sport stars? Finally I may have a glimpse into the mind of sport fans because I think I have became a fan of Laetitia Daguenel. Laetitia Daguenel is born in France, 18 years old and she is the IPSC world champion. Here is a video of her on youtube.
I love Vitasoy. It is my favorite drink since I was a little kid. Soya milk is healthier than soft drink and it taste good. Over the years, Vitasoy has grown from having only two favors, the original and malt, to over a dozen of favors. When I was doing my grocery shopping, I saw the new coconut flavor Vistasoy in supermarket. I decided to buy a pack and give it a try. I think the coconut Vitasoy is too sweet. The coconut favor doesn’t taste quite natural, it seems come from artificial favor. I will stick with the original or the malt favor Vitasoy. Just like Coca-cola, the original Vitasoy always taste the best. People drinking Vitasoy not because they want to stimulate their taste bub. On contrary, they just want to recall the familiar taste, nothing less, nothing more.
Gun Digest是美國最大的槍械雜誌出版商﹐它出版一系列的槍械書藉﹐是射擊界中甚有份量的刊物。這本the Gun Digest Book of Glock可以說是Glock的百科全書﹐內容包括Glock系列的發展歷史﹐槍械構造大解剖﹐進階保養DIY﹐不同口徑Glock與其他廠同級手槍的大比拼。書中除了有關原廠手槍的資料外﹐還大量升級配件的文章。從槍袋﹐彈匣﹐激光瞄準器﹐低後座力槍管﹐比賽專用改裝部件也有詳細介紹。這本書對於非槍械愛好者來說﹐用容無疑是太過艱深。我雖略懂槍械﹐起初看時也頗為吃力。不過從書中學懂的槍械知識十分有用﹐比起網上東拉西扯的免費資訊更有系統﹐閱讀起來很容易消化學習吸引。這本書是每個Glock的擁有者也應該閱讀的指定讀物。買槍不同買名牌時裝﹐不能盲目地的追捧潮流人買我又買﹐必需要清楚知道自己買了什麼﹐才是一個負責任的消費者。
Today is the last class of the 7 weeks long marriage PREP course and I have learned a lot from it. Every Catholic couple has to take the marriage PREP course in order to have a Catholic wedding. The Catholic church run this program to prepare the couple for the marriage life, as a mean to fight the raising divorce rate. The course is very practical, with useful tips on communication techniques, financial planning, family consulting, etc. Since the course is run by the church, it slips a couple boring talks by a priest on the role of God in marriage, which is kinda expected. The course is run by the church after all.
I found the talk about marriage as a sacrament is quite interesting. It talks about the theological meaning in the union of man and woman. It also talks about trivial knowledge in the cannon law relate to marriage. Other than informative talks, the course invited couples that have been married for years to share about their experience with us. It is good to see how marriage work in other family and draw reference form their stories.
Take aside the useless religion stuffs, the course itself is very useful, I highly recommend it to all engaged couples. The increasing divorce rate is quite alarming, almost half of the marriages ended in divorce in Canada. In sociology, family is one of the four major social institutes that builds the society. Failure in the family institute will make the society less stable and hinder long term economic growth. If people have to do a driving test in order to get a driving license. Why can’t the government make everyone take some kind of marriage PREP course in order to get their wedding license?
After seeing the flash movie, one thing is quite obvious. The religions of the west, Judaism, Christianity and Muslim get into a lot more conflicts than the religions of the east, Hinduism and Buddhism. I think it is due to the violent nature and the conquer all mentality of monotheism religions. Maybe there will be world peace if everyone simply convert to Buddhism.
This weekend I attended the level 1 firearm training. I was a little bit cold feet last week, wondering why would I want to learn how to shoot a handgun. Isn’t shooting seems so easy on TV, anyone can just pick up the gun, point it at the target, pull the trigger and bang right on. I did quite well shooting the rifle on my own, just learn from the tips by the old folks in the shooting range. I could spend the tuition on ammos and get some more practice. In the end, I am glad that I took the class. Shooting a handgun require more delicate skill than shooting a than rifle. Shooting is like playing golf, it is all about muscle memory. If you have some bad habits when you first start shooting, it will be a lot of extra work to get rid of the bad habits.
The shooting school, Silvercore, trains armor car guards and associates with the police academy, so their instructors are top notched. Day one is the classroom module. We revise the safety rules, learn how to hold the pistol and practice dry fire on disarmed firearms. The right way to hold a gun is using the push-pull method. You use the left fingers pull the grip of the gun against your right palm. You should only feel pressure on the front and the back of the grip. If you squeeze the grip too hard with your right fingers, the gun will start to wiggle. You may able to hold the gun stable, but a bad trigger pull make ruin your aim at the final moment. We learned a cool drill to smoothen the trigger pull. Put a penny on top of the gun, pull the trigger and try to keep the penny from falling off. Then we practice with laser bullet that fire a red dot to see how well we aim. We also played a “state of the art” shooting simulator, which is just a computer game bundled with a laser gun. Day one is a bit boring, but learn the basics is necessary.
Real fun begins in day two. We have a whole day of non-stop shooting. We start off with practicing all three shooting positions. The weave position is the most common way to hold a gun 00in TV. One elbow bends sideway, the other bends downward. I don’t quite like the weaver position, is kind unnatural. The isosceles position is the most stable position and the easiest to shoot Both arms holding straight like a zombie. It is useful but it doesn’t look cool. I prefer the chapman position. Step back on one foot, shooting arm lock straight and the supporting elbow bends slight outward. In the afternoon, we also shooting with left hand and using only one hand. To my surprise, shooting from the weak hand doesn’t make a big difference. As long as you remember always to place both of your thumbs one the same side of the gun. If you forget and cross the thumb behind the gun, you will have a very bad thumb bite when the slider slides back when ejecting the empty shell.
We begin to shoot from 2 yards. I though that could be easy, but I still manage to fail hitting the bulls eye from 2 yards away. I tend to drop the gun slightly when I pull the trigger, so all of my shoots are too low. This is a very common mistake of all new shooters. I anticipate the recoil, so I try to compensate the upward movement by pointing downward. I should pretend the gun has no recoil when pulling the trigger, just let the recoil surprise me. Later in the day, we move back to 5 yards, then to 10 yards, as we are getting more and more accurate. We also practice flash shooting and double taps. In flash shooting you don’t have time to align the sights, just point your thumb to target and pull the trigger. Double taps is shooting two rounds back to back. A firm grip with good stance makes a big difference. The force of the recoil should push back the gun and transfer most of the force to you body instead of making the gun points upward. So you can aim the second shot with less distraction form the recoil.
At the end of the class, we have the a shooting test, which is a simplified version of the annual firearm examination of the Vancouver police. We have to fire 50 rounds while moving progressively from 2 yards to 20 yards. The police has to score 45 out of 50 to qualify for carrying a gun on duty. My score is 34, not too bad for a first day shooter. The instructors said two weeks of intensive practice should bring most people up to the standard. I am looking forward to take the level 2 training. For the mean time, just like every other sports, the only way to improve me skill is to practice.