Sunday, June 10, 2012

nothing is wasted

I did the "club shoot" today, which is the archery club's monthly tournament. It turned out they were running a state-circuit tournament at the same time, so it was a whole big thing. I think the only people doing just the state shoot were me and the four compound-bow guys with me.

  • It's a long day. You're hiking several miles, on your feet for 5 hours.
  • If you're shooting "traditional," which is a recurve bow without the bells and whistles like sights, you're spending a lot of time hunting for arrows in the undergrowth while your companions rack up points from their 4-inch groups at 80 yards.
  • The technology on compound bows is amazing. They have spring-loaded arrow rests which are linked with a string to the bowstring. When the bowstring moves as it's drawn back, the arrow rest is held up by that link; when the shooter looses the string, the arrow rest collapses right as the string casts the arrow, so the arrow rest doesn't interfere with the arrow at all (which is exactly what you want from an arrow rest).
  • I think shooting a compound bow with all the gadgets is more like shooting a gun than shooting a recurve bow. The technology, like mechanical string releases, takes out so much human error that what's left is holding still and shooting without disrupting the system. That's not easy, but it's also fewer things to screw up.
I didn't actually enjoy it. It was frustrating, I was shooting poorly even for me, I lost one arrow point and one whole arrow, and I was tired. I did finish, with a score of 120 (out of a possible 560), to my companions' 425-475. I had a nice chat on my way out with a traditional shooter I'd seen, who's been shooting for years, gets similar scores, and doesn't do the club shoot.

Years ago, there was a huge Chagall show at SFMoMA: hundreds of paintings, appearing only in San Francisco and Paris. So I left work early, waited in line for a couple hours, went through the show, and you know what?

It turns out I hate Chagall. I think his palette was dim and boring and full of black and dark red, and he was obsessed with stars and roosters. Brilliant and all, but unaffecting in the way I find most visual art.

But I don't regret it, because I make that judgement from a pretty sweeping experience of his work. Literally, hundreds of paintings, one after the other. It's not like anyone can say, as they do with Frank Zappa and any Japanese anime, "Oh yeah, you really have to listen to these 5 other albums for a few weeks/watch this first few dozen episodes and then it gets really amazing." No, I've seen a large representative sample of his work.

Now I know I don't really like club shoots, and I don't have to do one again.

No comments:

Post a Comment