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David Hines [userpic]

it's always the quiet ones

November 20th, 2008 (08:38 pm)

I can't say that we enjoyed our first four or five days of surfing -- it was far too painful -- but there were, every now and then, moments of utter joy. We soon learned, too, to do it the easy way. At least I did -- Archie usually took himself out to the reef by his own efforts. Most people, however, had a Hawaiian boy who towed you out as you lay on your board, holding the board with the grip of his big toe, and swimming vigorously. You then stayed, waiting to push off on your board, until your boy gave you the word of instruction. "No, not this, not this, missus. No, no, wait -- now!" At the word "now" off you went, and oh, it was heaven! Nothing like it. Nothing like that rushing through the water at what seems to you a speed of about two hundred miles an hour; all the way in from the far distant raft, until you arrived, gently slowing down, on the beach, and foundered among the soft flowing waves. It is one of the most perfect physical pleasures that I have known.

After ten days I began to be daring. After starting my run I would hoist myself carefully to my knees on the board, and then endeavour to stand up. The first six times I came to grief but this was not painful -- you merely lost your balance and fell off the board. Of course, you had lost your board, which meant a tiring swim, but with luck your Hawaiian boy had followed and retrieved it for you. Then he would tow you out again and you would once more try. Oh, the moment of complete triumph on the day that I kept my balance and came right into shore standing upright on my board!

-- Agatha Christie, from her autobiography. Yes, the Agatha Christie. She hung ten. The mind boggles, doesn't it?


Posted by: Betty (brown_betty)
Posted at: November 21st, 2008 03:10 am (UTC)

Hey, David, is the reason I had to learn this from Making Light and not you because it is already passé among aficionados?

Posted by: David Hines (hradzka)
Posted at: November 21st, 2008 11:39 am (UTC)
catwoman and holly

Clearly, I have been remiss in my duties.

(I love the old article of GUN WORLD part, because it reminds me of something I greatly enjoy. There's another magazine -- wonderfully, just titled GUNS -- that has had better luck with back issues: they've scanned all of 'em, and put up for free download as PDFs their issues from 50 years ago. You can also buy the PDFs en masse if you want. There's great stuff: my favorite old GUNS articles so far are a puff piece on King Faisal of Iraq before he was killed, and a freelance piece about gun ownership for women that's clearly written by a not-really-all-that-closeted lesbian.)

Posted by: sharaith (sharaith)
Posted at: November 22nd, 2008 05:41 pm (UTC)

o__O Agatha Christie? Surfing? Does not compute.

And, um... speaking of guns (since you're the only gun nut on my flist) I was wondering whether you knew of some sort of website with information on M16s for beginners. Or just on guns in general.

I'm enlisting in a couple weeks and I figured it would be a good idea to have some sort of notion of how the things work, what the parts are, etc. Especially as I've never touched a gun in my life (unless getting periodically - accidentally - whacked in the ribs with assault rifles on buses counts).

Posted by: David Hines (hradzka)
Posted at: November 22nd, 2008 06:09 pm (UTC)

Brownells has made a terrific multi-part video series on building the AR-15, which is the civilian version of the M-16. (In the US, full-auto guns are very heavily regulated, so some internal parts are different, but you'll get the basic info on what it looks like, how it breaks down and is built up, etc.) It's designed for civilians in the US (i.e., Brownell's customers or potential customers), but it could well be exactly what you're looking for. Lemme know if it helps.

Best of luck in your service. Keep us posted, eh?

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