Category: Uncategorized

Taking Cat to the range

I just got back from taking cat on her first trip to the range. There are three ranges on Long Island even worth mentioning, and only two of them allow my Mosin Nagant. So for today, we went to the Brookhaven range out in Brookhaven, NY near the research labs.

The range itself was beautiful, and excellently maintained.

The range at Brookhaven

The range at Brookhaven

The firing line, as well as safety officer's office

The firing line, as well as safety officer's office

Most of the people there were shooting either .22 Rugers, hunting rifles, or some other modern rifle. So when I pulled my Soviet beauty from her case, it turned some heads. Everyone from the safety officer to the guys down the bench were curious as to what exactly the monstrosity I had produced was.

One of these things is not like the others...

One of these things is not like the others...

Cat was very, very excited to shoot her first firearm. But before I let her use the Mosin, I wanted her to get a feel for basic marksmanship with something that won’t make her flinch before every shot. For that, I borrowed my Dad’s Marlin 39 .22 rifle.

Cat's first shot

Cat's first shot

We traded off shooting, since we only had one bench available to us. Cat shot 10 .22 rounds, then I shot 5 Mosin rounds. We did that for about an hour before completely switching to the Mosin.

Me and my Mosin

Me and my Mosin

Cat with the Nagant

Cat with the Nagant

We spent about 2 hours, 100 .22 rounds and 60 7.62 rounds on the range, and at the end, Cat was beaming with joy at the firepower she had wielded, and I was relatively pleased with my shooting.

Cat proudly showing off her handiwork

Cat proudly showing off her handiwork

From the smile on her face as we left the range, I get the feeling we’ll be spending a lot more time there.

More PSARC history

I’ve been reading through some of the back issues of the Daily Collegian and its predecessors looking for more information about the club and its founding, since the 100th anniversary is (apparently) upon us. And if we’re claiming to be 100, it would be nice to have some proof of it.

So the first place I looked was in all the State Collegian issues from 1909, which were really interesting in and of themselves. There was a new railroad being built to service the area, mail delivery was just starting in the dorms, and Penn State beat the snot out of the Franklin and Marshall team. But unfortunately, there isn’t a single mention of wireless telegraphy, radio, or any other wireless technology.

The first mention of wireless technology comes in the November 24, 1910 edition of the State Collegian, where the paper mentions that a wireless station is being built that will be “thoroughly equipped in every detail”. The paper goes on to say that the station will be better equipped than any in the nation. I believe it’s safe to assume that an undertaking of this magnitude, that needs a monstrous amount of funding, would take some time to get rolling. So, in all probability, a small group of people would have started an organization the previous year geared towards amateur radio, and they had begun construction on a physical station the following year after getting enough funding.

But the concrete proof of the club’s founding date came gift wrapped with the perfect example of the club’s utility and purpose on campus. From the February 10, 1953 edition of the Daily Collegian, where it notes that the radio club is turning 44. It also recounts the story of how, after the radio station had gone online, there had been a giant sleet storm that brought down the telegraph lines that communicated with the signal stations along the new railway line. With the the telegraph knocked out, trains couldn’t start running until someone re-established communications. And the brand new Penn State Amateur Radio Club did just that, communicating with Harrisburg and Pittsburgh, and getting the trains running again.

I keep finding more cool stories, but that’s all I have for now. For those of you noticing some posts missing, they’re still online, you just have to log in to see them. No use criticizing an organization after they’ve already agreed to mend their ways. But those articles might resurface if they start slipping again.

4th of July in NYC

After an excellent meal at Virgil’s last night, I took Cat back home for a Battlestar galactica marathon, then dropped her at the train this morning.

For the 4th, I was invited up to the US headquarters of RAI, the Italian television channel, to watch the fireworks in New York City. The new headquarters is in the top few floors of the old AT&T building, with a pair of pretty cool radio towers on the roof. When we walked in, we saw this mural on the wall and I couldn’t resist snapping a shot:

AT&T Mural

When we got up to the 25th floor, we realized that me and my family stuck out like a sore thumb. Everyone was dressed in fashionable clothes, all of the women were young and beautiful, and everyone spoke Italian, except for us. There was a patio on the roof that gave us a great view of the city:

NYC from RAI

Before the fireworks, they brought out some gelato imported specially from Italy that was really, really good. Then it got a little darker, and we waited for th fireworks to start:

The fireworks would have been great, but there wasn’t much wind, and all the smoke stayed put, blocking us from seeing them. After a while, the gigantic cloud of smoke started to drift over the city, blocking out the view of midtown, and shrouding the city in a London-esque fog. But the illegal fireworks all around the city kept us entertained while the cloud obscured our view. Afterwards, we high-tailed it outta there and came straight home. Kind of disappointing, but better than celebrating “dominion day”.

End of the semester, planning for the summer

The semester is winding down, spring is in full swing, and I still don’t have a finalized job offer for the summer.

The last day of classes is this Friday, then a week of tests, and the parents are coming on Friday to take me home Saturday. At least the tests aren’t that bad, one on Monday, two on Tuesday, then one on Thursday, all thankfully after 1 PM, so I don’t have to get up early.

As for an internship this summer, I have four irons in the fire, but no definite yes yet. Iron number one is that Bear Stearns finds me a nice non-profit to work at, iron two is that Mount Sinai takes me in for the summer, iron three is a position in ABS at Penn State (which the girlfriend definitely won’t appreciate), and iron four is being a beta tester for some video game company in the NYC area. All of these jobs have my resume, seem interested, and would be a good experience, but none have gotten back to me yet.

I’ve also started getting the ball rolling for getting a chapter of the Collegiate Society of America started on campus. The lack of good old fashioned parliamentary debate is one of the things I missed in the transition from high school to college, and Model UN is way too geeky for me. I’ve contacted a few professors who might be interested, and I’ll see where it goes from there.

The campus looks really good too. Snapped a few shots with my phone.


Forgot to post what few pictures I took. Alas, my phone was the only camera I had.

Dad with a Belly Dancer:

Dad with a Belly Dancer

Rainbow I saw on the road:

Rainbow on the road

After that my phone died, so I have nothing else. Whoops!