December 08, 2006

Seven Days

It's a tune by Gordon Mathew Thomas Summer, & it's no wonder he prefers to go by Sting. I used to do it with a very hot little 4 piece band back in the mid-90's. It went over just as well in the rock clubs as the jazz venues, which is not too uncommon with some of Sting's material. The instrumentation is clever & the melodies are nice, not overpowering but memorable. Plus it's nice to see an uncommon time - the verse is in 5/4. The song is about a man who has been given an ultimatum by his lover; there's competition & he needs to make up his mind about his intentions within the week. So the singer laments having to make a decision as well as having competition in romance. Here's the video & here are the lyrics (though it's "...suitor appeared..." not "...suit appeared..." - I mean where did these folks learn to listen?).

Competition in romance isn't usually a good thing - least if you're one of the competitors. I'm a firm believer in taking my ball & going home in such circumstances. It probably stems from having so much competition in other areas of my life (any idea how many guitar players there are for each open gig?) or some bit of Eastern philosophy that struck a chord with me when I was a kid but in general if someone has their attention divided that's a sign for me to vacate the situation.

In sports though competition is expected & somewhat necessary. Men & women don't compete on an even field here either though, except for a few specific activities:

A sport where women routinely defeat men

C'mon - any idea which sport they're talking about without clicking the link? I'll give you a hint - it's not the Caber toss.

"There is a sport, however, where men have absolutely no advantage over women. Indeed in this sport, still regarded by some as a “macho” thing, women often beat men. Several variations of this sport have been in the Olympics for more than a hundred years.

This truly gender-neutral sport is marksmanship; shooting a rifle or pistol at some target."

It's a good article & I recommend reading it & passing it around, especially to any young ladies in your life.

I joke around about some of the women I used to take shooting being better shots than I am. In truth though I'm not joking. One in particular I could outshoot right now, but that's because of practice & knowledge, not skill. Her eyesight is better as are a few other factors & if given the same practice she'd be topping me without much effort. & for the record there are at least two women who would regularly outshoot me at the High Power matches that I used to attend. In fact one was a High Master & she outshot a lot of folks.

I ran into a bench-rester a few years back whose wife was also a shooter. He explained to me that in their discipline she was better than him due to a few factors but most importantly was her heart rate. She was about 5'4" & he was over 6 foot tall. She had a smaller frame & therefore a smaller cardio-pulmonary system. This meant a less aggressive pulse & therefore not as much jump from her pulse when she was shooting, whereas his would account for almost 1 MOA if he shot during his pulse. I have no idea if that's the main reason for his deferring to his wife as being a better shot but it does make a little sense.

So the moral is that if you have a young lady in your life that wants to excel at something then the shooting sports offer a good opportunity for her to compete with men, & possibly compete successfully. It depends on her efforts instead of her musculature so it's an even playing field, unlike dating. :)

Posted by Publicola at December 8, 2006 07:37 AM | TrackBack