If you caught that reference to the hard drive and are curious, that is my fine writing technique of foreshadowing. Bless you, Mrs. Rogers-Unetic of my junior and senior years at Huguenot Academy!
Firing from 100 meters or so, with the AimPoint red dot continuing to work its magic, I found that I'm so bad, that no practice whatsoever has absolutely no impact on my ability to hit a target with my rifle. Actually, the red dot makes me pretty good no matter what I do- just pull the trigger when the dot is on the target.
Which brings me to the second purpose of my multi-purpose range. 6 months into my deployment here, I found that my computer started acting up. I called Gavin and I called Barney (Barney's been pining to be included in my blog), our IT guys, to see what they could do. They identified the problem as a bad hard drive and replaced my computer. Of course, I'm a greedy son of a gun, and couldn't resist asking, "What about the data on the hard drive?"
Gavin taught me a bit more Australian slang when he responded, "oh, the hard drive? Its cactus, mate!" Cactus means it died, apparently. I've been trying to use cactus now in my conversations with the Australians here, but haven't quite been able to pull it off- I'm always using it slightly wrong.
I ranted and raved until they decided to send it to some hard drive restoration specialists, who also deemed it "cactus" (probably in more technical terms, though, given they work out of Dubai). But for some reason, the hard drive got sent all the way back until it made its way onto my desk.
Now, having lost 6 months of work on that hard drive, I had no love for it. Stupid hard drive. But musing that there was a chance that the hard drive might come back to life like the deceased in some b-class horror movie, I thought I could ensure the drive's "cacticity" and simultaneously take out some frustration by taking it out to the range- thus making it a multi-purpose range. There are some advantages to being on an Iraqi Army base firing range- it is not overpoliced by range nazis who would never permit such unofficial target practice- there must be some kind of incredible hazard in shredding a hard drive from 100 meters- but I and others around me remained blissfully ignorant of the potential hazard for our time at the range.
I can now state beyond a shadow of a doubt and with every fiber of my being, that the hard drive is cactus (and my M4 is true!), primarily due to some 5.56 rounds entering and exiting the drive's housing, and also the contributions of some 7.62. Those AKs are SO loud!
Yes, most of the rounds seem to be on only one half, but come on- this is at 100 meters! I think that's not bad for a talent management consultant, or a washed up psychologist, or even both. Even pretty good for a citizen-soldier. Probably not so good for a warrior-citizen, but I'm still fighting that imposed moniker.
My current hard drive has been, understandably, on its best behavior since early December. And Gavin, tired of my complaints, decided to mirror my documents onto the server, so I have a backup now, for the work that I do on the office computer. Good man, Gav!
And Barney, I love you, too. You purple dinosaur, you!