Thursday, October 14, 2010

Time off is the best time to get back on track

Today marks the first of 10 days I won’t have to wake up at 0445 if I don’t want to.

Leave is one of the most underrated benefits to being in the Marine Corps, and you really only really appreciate it when you haven’t taken a chunk of it in a while. Sure, I’ve taken a few days here and there, but that was always to go visit the wife’s family. And while I love her family, the process of driving 8 hours (with a crabby 2-year old) only to be constantly on the go does not exactly constitute a vacation to me.

So this time, I’m taking time off for myself. I have a few things I’d like to get done, but I don’t have a rigid schedule, and if I want to just veg out in front of the TV for a few hours, I can do it with no distractions or regrets.

My stack of “must read” books has grown over the last couple months to the point I can’t keep up. Hopefully, I can knock out at least a couple to bring the pile down to a manageable level.

One thing I don’t like about this area of Wisconsin is the general lack of public shooting ranges. There are quite a few private shooting clubs that require some kind of huge annual dues payment in addition to “volunteering” a set number of hours each year, and that’s after you’ve made it through the “vetting process” and moved up the usually long waiting list.

In south eastern Wisconsin, there’s one public outdoor shooting range (McMiller Sports Center in Eagle, Wis.), so that’s where I’ll be headed at least one of the days I’m on leave. I have a Mossberg model 500 rifled slug barrel shotgun to sight in for Illinois’ deer season next month; a Savage .30-06 to continue breaking in; a new Ruger 10/22 to try out and a new-to-me Springfield Mil-Spec 1911 to put through its paces before going to the ’smith for some work.

I think I’ll probably take a motorcycle day trip somewhere. It’s going to start getting mighty cold here in the next month or two, so I want to get as much riding in as possible before putting the KLR650 up for the winter. Speaking of which, there’s some work to be done on the bike.

And of course, there’s work around the humble abode that needs to get done. The wife wants to rearrange furniture (yet again), so that’ll get added to the honey-do list.

When all is said and done, I think this will be some of the best leave I’ve taken if for no other reason than I’m operating solely on my own agenda.

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