ESS and Boomershoot – Part V

Previously on Masterpiece Theater:

For some extra humor, the blue canopy in the back ground is a couple of guys right next to the ESS crew that were shooting without eye-wear.  They even refused to try the stuff ESS had.  Yes, when I was told that story, I’m reasonably this was my reaction.

I chatted with Ari a bunch while at Boomershoot, awesome guy.  As I’ve said before, I highly recommend the Cross Series of products.  Just to show how much I like them, the FTC can suck an egg, I was paid nothing for saying any of this.  I got a free pair, no strings attached, but it wasn’t even really with a review in mind.

Barron is the owner, editor, and principal author at The Minuteman, a competitive shooter, and staff member for Boomershoot. Even in his free time he’s merging his love and knowledge of computers and technology with his love of firearms.

He has a BS in electrical engineering from Washington State University. Immediately after college he went into work on embedded software and hardware for use in critical infrastructure. This included cryptographic communications equipment as well as command and control devices that were using that communications equipment. Since then he’s worked on just about everything ranging from toys, phones, other critical infrastructure, and even desktop applications. Doing everything from hardware system design, to software architecture, to actually writing software that makes your athletic band do its thing.

This One’s for Sean…

So, I kind of batted at Joan in my Priceless video but it wasn’t really a good solid hit.  It was more of just a fun video.  Joe took a good solid swing here which I felt was on the right track but the more I thought about it, more needed to be done.  I had piles of video of pumpkins blowing up between 2010 and 2012.

Sean posted a comment when Joe did his first post on Joan’s PSH stating we should have a self contained video that explained her break down and put everything in one easy to see spot.  Well I did just that.  Now while overall this really didn’t need to be made, it was more practice and work with the Adobe tools.  The learning curve is steep but doing projects, no matter how pointless is how you get over them.

So this one’s for Joan!

Besides, it’s quite fitting since it’s Halloween with the pumpkins and all.

Barron is the owner, editor, and principal author at The Minuteman, a competitive shooter, and staff member for Boomershoot. Even in his free time he’s merging his love and knowledge of computers and technology with his love of firearms.

He has a BS in electrical engineering from Washington State University. Immediately after college he went into work on embedded software and hardware for use in critical infrastructure. This included cryptographic communications equipment as well as command and control devices that were using that communications equipment. Since then he’s worked on just about everything ranging from toys, phones, other critical infrastructure, and even desktop applications. Doing everything from hardware system design, to software architecture, to actually writing software that makes your athletic band do its thing.

ESS and Boomershoot–Volume 4

Yes I make a couple appearances… You can see me on the left as Rolf decides to juggle the explosives.  What I love is the story of the history of the anvil launch.

You learn something new every day… It does for some reason really make me want to get a cannon.  I wish I had 7 grand.

Barron is the owner, editor, and principal author at The Minuteman, a competitive shooter, and staff member for Boomershoot. Even in his free time he’s merging his love and knowledge of computers and technology with his love of firearms.

He has a BS in electrical engineering from Washington State University. Immediately after college he went into work on embedded software and hardware for use in critical infrastructure. This included cryptographic communications equipment as well as command and control devices that were using that communications equipment. Since then he’s worked on just about everything ranging from toys, phones, other critical infrastructure, and even desktop applications. Doing everything from hardware system design, to software architecture, to actually writing software that makes your athletic band do its thing.

Priceless…

So last weekend Joe came out and did a private party for Barb L. and her son.  This had been planned for at least a couple of weeks earlier and since it was October we figured we’d do a pumpkin shoot.

The last two we actually did after the elections for one reason or another that’s just how it worked out.  The upshot was that’s when pumpkins end up being dirt cheap since it’s after Halloween.  Well I swung by the store the Friday before and picked up over 300lbs of pumpkins. The trick is to buy pumpkins larger than their scales.

Now why would I discuss our plans about pumpkins… Well it seems that Joan Peterson (link safe), went into full PSH(link unsafe) over a video from Hickok45Joe promptly stated that he was in agreement with Joan because there’s a better way to carve pumpkins, you just use the gun as the detonator!  So without further ado, here’s a new commercial I did…

Some things are absolutely priceless.  While certainly sending Joan over the edge to spout quotes like:

So wouldn’t it be great if families got together in their neighborhoods and carved pumpkins with handguns?

Or even better, Evil Black Rifles™ like we used here.  But you know what’s even more priceless, something her and her ilk can never recreate.  Go back and look at the smile on that kids face at the end of the video.

Or this smile:

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Or this one:

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And that was despite being soaked to the bone and freezing cold.  But wait, there’s more!

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Honestly I could keep on going with picture after picture and video after video of the grins Boomerite have created.  But since it’s Boomerite, that means a firearm has to be involved too!

We all know why Joan says these things, she’s a delusional Puritan who thinks the world revolves around her and her feelings.  I’m sure she would object to my method of celebrating the 4th of July as well.  (Not to mention this video has yet another grin and expression of happiness!).

The crux of Joan’s rant was that bullets go through stuff, evidently most bullets contain PFM that allows them to penetrate everything and keep going forever.  You see evidently, according to her, the bullets Hickok used after leaving the pumpkin were blood seekers and sought out his neighbors and killed them.  Evidently somehow the bullets can just go straight through the berm and then fly until they find a person.

Now she does use a couple of examples of people who violated the 4 rules and tries to use that as justification for disarming everyone.  First is this quote from Tam:

I don’t care if every other gun owner on the planet went out and murdered somebody last night. I didn’t. So piss off.

Second is that she’s in a world of denial, her side lost, and her only grasps for relevancy are when people break existing law and then she claims just one piece of paper would have stopped evil or stupid.  She’s wanting to prohibit exercise of this right by everyone for the actions of a few.

Honestly the thing I think she hates most about that video, is she knows there is no way for her side to compete with the joy that shooting pumpkins brings.  So I will bring that joy to someone new every chance I get.

*Now while I was actually going to spoof Mastercard to begin with, Joan’s PSH made finding a good punchline that much easier.

Barron is the owner, editor, and principal author at The Minuteman, a competitive shooter, and staff member for Boomershoot. Even in his free time he’s merging his love and knowledge of computers and technology with his love of firearms.

He has a BS in electrical engineering from Washington State University. Immediately after college he went into work on embedded software and hardware for use in critical infrastructure. This included cryptographic communications equipment as well as command and control devices that were using that communications equipment. Since then he’s worked on just about everything ranging from toys, phones, other critical infrastructure, and even desktop applications. Doing everything from hardware system design, to software architecture, to actually writing software that makes your athletic band do its thing.

ESS Volume 3

Volumes 1 and 2 can be found here and here.

If you watch carefully.  You can see bullet trace as they’re shooting up on the hill.

Also, yes I have a guest appearance at the end when she’s shooting David’s pistol.

Barron is the owner, editor, and principal author at The Minuteman, a competitive shooter, and staff member for Boomershoot. Even in his free time he’s merging his love and knowledge of computers and technology with his love of firearms.

He has a BS in electrical engineering from Washington State University. Immediately after college he went into work on embedded software and hardware for use in critical infrastructure. This included cryptographic communications equipment as well as command and control devices that were using that communications equipment. Since then he’s worked on just about everything ranging from toys, phones, other critical infrastructure, and even desktop applications. Doing everything from hardware system design, to software architecture, to actually writing software that makes your athletic band do its thing.

The War on Mice

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Those who know me know I hate varmints and vermin with a passion.  We had a small problem last year but we quickly got it taken care of and didn’t have any further issues.  Well this year they have returned, with a vengeance.

Our cats clued us in to their return as they started staring at the access panel to the Jacuzzi tub again.  We opened it up and there was evidence galore they had recently come back.  Down went the kill traps and the wait began.

Yesterday morning I woke up to this:

The other trap had been set off but evidently they got lucky and didn’t take a metal bar to the face.  I reset the traps and away we went.  The wife got home and informed me of the following:

That’s right, two more of the little buggers took metal bars to their necks.  I reset the traps and not even 3 hours later I’m informed by the wife, they’re full again.

Now I’m saying, holy !@#$ Huston we have a problem.  I clean it all up.  Reset the traps and add in two more.  I wake up this morning to find the sneakiest bastard of the bunch:

The little bastard tripped three out of the 4 traps and some how didn’t get snapped… Well the 4th trap broke his neck and ripped open his nose.

Earlier in August the wife and I signed up for pest control which thus far had worked well.  Took out a couple of larger wasp nests that were forming in areas that were difficult for me to get to.  We’ve seen fewer creepy crawlies overall.  At that point we hadn’t seen much in the way of mice signs so they didn’t do much at that time.

Well now that harvest is in full swing, and I’ve killed 6 in 24 hours, they’ll be back out on Thursday.  Janelle is less that thrilled right now though because I’m leaving with Joe tonight for Mecca and then we’re headed to Reno for GBR tomorrow morning.  So that means if there are any more of the little buggers she gets to clean them up and reset the traps.

As an FYI, just about everyone has mice problems this time of year in the area, even brand new construction.  It’s the down side of basically living surrounded by wheat fields.  I would poison them, but the last thing I want is for them to die in the crawlspace.  The house would stink to high heaven and then finding the little buggers would be an interesting venture all of it’s own.

Barron is the owner, editor, and principal author at The Minuteman, a competitive shooter, and staff member for Boomershoot. Even in his free time he’s merging his love and knowledge of computers and technology with his love of firearms.

He has a BS in electrical engineering from Washington State University. Immediately after college he went into work on embedded software and hardware for use in critical infrastructure. This included cryptographic communications equipment as well as command and control devices that were using that communications equipment. Since then he’s worked on just about everything ranging from toys, phones, other critical infrastructure, and even desktop applications. Doing everything from hardware system design, to software architecture, to actually writing software that makes your athletic band do its thing.

Random Thought of the Day (08/30/2012)

You know you’ve made a fantastic choice of friends when you get an email about taking delivery of 1.5 tons of Ammonium Nitrate…

It makes you realize you’ve made some very smart choices in your.  Sure, you’re stuck lugging around 50 pound bags, but I’d rather do that than burn fuel, lug someone’s couch into my truck, and move it while everyone else eats the pizza so there’s no left by the time you get there.*

Yeah, I prefer dealing with the Ammonium Nitrate, the effort is quite worth it.

*After that my standing rule is “if you want to use me and my truck in your move, it will arrive with a full tank and it will be full again once we’re done.”

Barron is the owner, editor, and principal author at The Minuteman, a competitive shooter, and staff member for Boomershoot. Even in his free time he’s merging his love and knowledge of computers and technology with his love of firearms.

He has a BS in electrical engineering from Washington State University. Immediately after college he went into work on embedded software and hardware for use in critical infrastructure. This included cryptographic communications equipment as well as command and control devices that were using that communications equipment. Since then he’s worked on just about everything ranging from toys, phones, other critical infrastructure, and even desktop applications. Doing everything from hardware system design, to software architecture, to actually writing software that makes your athletic band do its thing.

How I Came to Love ESS Eyewear

I will state this up front.  Janelle and I received a free pair of ESS frames and lenses with no attachment to them.  They were ours to keep and use.  I have worn them constantly since I got them at Boomershoot this year.  So while I did get free stuff, there was no request for a review, and I was not compensated for this.  In other words, the following is entirely my opinion and no one paid for any of this so the FCC can go suck an egg.

Lately we have had a few reminders of why wearing your eye protection is important and others doing reviews of eye protection themselves.  Well I’m going to do both.

The Review

My previous eyewear was no slouch however they left something to be desired, doubly so since I was spending considerably more time with ear muffs on.  For those who haven’t spent all day wearing hearing protection while wearing sunglasses, let me enlighten you.  There is the frame which runs back behind the ear.  Your ear muffs sit around your ear attempting to create a tight seal.

Two things happen because of that frame.  Extra pressure is applied from the muffs pinching your head between your frames and a decrease in noise reduction from the hearing protection.  Enter ESS’s Cross Series.

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I have two of the three frames, the Cross Bow and Suppressor.

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The Cross Bow frames are your everyday frames and I have worn them every day since Boomershoot and they have been amazingly comfortable.  The rubber pads maintain the comfort while also helping to keep them from sliding off your head.  I also use these when working in the shop doing things that don’t require hearing protection.  That includes cleaning the toys, I just swap out for the clear lenses.

Every part of the series in individually replaceable.  Scratch or destroy the lenses order new ones.  Break a frame, order a new frame.  Break a nose piece, order a replacement.

Now the Suppressor frames are why I fell in love with ESS, plus a little story I’ll get to here in a minute.

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Notice how thin the ear pieces are on the frame?  They are unbelievably flexible and well are wide and thin to help distribute pressure.  Not only do they solve the pressure problem but the fact they are thin helps hearing protection form a good seal around your head.  In other words they solve the two main problems you find with most safety glasses.  The visibility while shooting with the copper lenses I might add is amazing.  The rear strap effectively keeps the glasses in place while you’re not wearing hearing protection.

The comfort and visibility are quite nice.  With most glasses if there is a gap anywhere I can see out, I will most often find myself using that to look, completely defeating the purpose of the safety glasses.  These however I just look as I normally would, my peripheral vision remains while I cannot effectively look through gaps to try to skirt around the glasses.

These have become my go to glasses for yard and shop work where I need hearing protection.  Even my father-in-law, who is a machinist, is going to be ordering a prescription set that he can use at work.  My mother-in-law is getting a pair as well.  I’m going to get a complete kit to toss in my range bag so I know I’ll always have a set with me when going to the range.

As a FYI for how much use these things see for those who haven’t met me, I am actually unbelievably anal when it comes to eye and hearing protection around tools and equipment.  I know growing up with many 4th of July’s I’m sure I’ve done a decent amount of hearing loss.  To top that off I enjoy my weekends by spending time shooting guns and blowing up explosives.  I regularly wear plugs on top of wearing muffs specifically because I’m around such loud impulses.

It has become such a habit I wear hearing protection if I’m going to be around loud noises, it’s just easier to wear eye and ear protection than to buy hearing aids and hope the doc can repair my eyes… which brings us around to the story.

The Story

You see, your humble host has spent so much of his time around explosives, entertainingly close is entertaining for me.  For many it’s terrifying but I’ve been around explosives enough that as long as you remember the cardinal rule I’m not that afraid.  In other words a box on the ground with nothing between me and it doesn’t cause me discomfort being close.

Now I won’t go as close as the current record holder and never will.

That said, even without stuff between you and the explosive, odds are you’re going to get peppered.  Some time’s you’re lucky and your optic catches the mud destined for your eye.

Sometimes you just end up turning your clothes a nice shade of brown.  So now you’re asking yourself, where is all this going?  Well Tango got my earlier entertainingly close excursion on video.

Now, towards the end, the video doesn’t show it too well but I was easily with 10-15 feet of a bunch of those boomers.  If you don’t understand how close that was, let me say, I should have been wearing my Carhartt jacket.  What do you mean I hear you ask, well let me show you.

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That wasn’t from the mud, that was from the ammonium nitrate prills.  There were more injuries on the other side of my arm too.  That peppering occurred during one of the last couple shots.  So at this point I found my limit of how close I was willing to go.

But you see, your humble scribe often acts before the page fault has allowed all the necessary data to be returned to memory for the correct decision.  Even more than that, often the page fault doesn’t occur until after the fact where the event itself causes the page fault.

Can you guess what happened?  I’m sure you can, especially since this is a post about eyewear.  Well let me set the stage for you.

It is the last day of Boomershoot.  Everyone but staff has left and we are rounding up piles upon piles upon piles of explosives.  There were so many explosives I said, and I quote,

You know something is horribly wrong with you when you’re finding it tedious and exhausting to set off hundreds of explosives.

If you’ve never been there for staff cleanup and haven’t worked the days preceding the event you just can’t really fully understand it.  I seriously don’t know how Joe does it but I’m grateful that he does.

So I’m tired and exhausted and we’re tailing down the end of a very long week.

Continuing on though, we have to look for boxes of Boomerite that may have skipped over the berm, while walking behind the berm I discover an ant hill that is by no means small.  Well to demolish said ant hill we place a couple of targets of Boomerite on it.  I place them in such a manner as to give me the maximum distance without placing anything between me and it.

We start shooting explosives.  We shoot more explosives.  We shoot three waves of explosives  most of us extremely tired and exhausted by the end.  We call the range safe after the “last” boomers go off and we start cleaning up.  Then as someone walks behind the berm, “Barron, we forgot the ant hill.”

Frick, Joe is already up on the hill in the direction I was originally going to shoot, well I only have one other option.  I move about 120 degrees to give myself maximum distance from the target.  Without realizing it though I have now inadvertently broken the cardinal rule.  Parts of the anthill are between me and some of the explosive.

I squeeze off that round and immediately I’m encased in a cloud and my left hand, arm, and face feel like they’re on fire.  It freaking hurts. I start falling off the top of the berm and immediately drop the muzzle and flip the safety on.  Tango is behind me and I take off the rifle and hand it to him asking him to clear to make life easier.  I probably could have cleared it, but at the time I was wanting to do it one-handed.  One handed hand off is easier.  I didn’t need to compound this with shooting myself or someone else.

Again for those who don’t know, my pain scale is screwed up compared to most people.  There is a reason for that and I have done serious damage and then showed up to the doctor 2 day’s later with him saying “WTF!?”.  I would take my pocket knife and dig out glass from my arm and hand when I would find it.  In this case my arm felt like I had just take it to a belt sander with 120 grit on it.

I had a high number of pain exceptions and overloaded the system. It took a visual inspection to clear the faults.  My brain registered a high number of impacts, thankfully only a few broke the skin, the two most notably.

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You can’t really see it but the spot I’m bleeding out of on my knuckle is a ripped open scar, (it’s bigger now), and my lower arm and hand are both bright red from being peppered with smaller spots bleeding.  The hit below my left eye was a solid hit, I washed some crap out of it when we got back to the hotel. Inspection of the ant hill after the fact indicated that I was also blowing up a stump.  Also not visible in the picture was dirt and marks from larger debris that had obviously impacted the glasses.

I am extremely grateful I wasn’t any closer, given the few major cuts I had along with the peppering of bleeding I was on the hairy edge.

At the time I wasn’t so sure I was going to document my stupidity.  I realized though now it actually is one of those things that speaks well for ESS.  The glasses didn’t really end up with any pitting and they did  their job.  I will say I wish I had been at least wearing my flight gloves to save my hand.

So in closing a big thank you to the guys at ESS, especially Steve Dondero and Ari Drougas from ESS.

*Also I forgot to mention, there were a couple of folks shooting next to Shelly and Anette, and thus next to the ESS guys, who were shooting without eye protection.  Yeah the ESS guys tried to give them free suppressors to wear but they turned them down.  I’m of the mind that an extra 50 bucks in my pocket won’t make a lick if difference if the time comes my glasses have to do their job.  In fact, I’ll probably wish I had sprung for the more expensive set.

Barron is the owner, editor, and principal author at The Minuteman, a competitive shooter, and staff member for Boomershoot. Even in his free time he’s merging his love and knowledge of computers and technology with his love of firearms.

He has a BS in electrical engineering from Washington State University. Immediately after college he went into work on embedded software and hardware for use in critical infrastructure. This included cryptographic communications equipment as well as command and control devices that were using that communications equipment. Since then he’s worked on just about everything ranging from toys, phones, other critical infrastructure, and even desktop applications. Doing everything from hardware system design, to software architecture, to actually writing software that makes your athletic band do its thing.