The Big Update

So I’ve been meaning to actually drop this on the blog for a while but busy has barely begun to describe my life.

Why so busy?

Well we went into overdrive getting the house fully ready for sale. It’s on the market, we have an offer and we’re waiting for the other party to sell their current house. If I don’t look at a caulk gun for another 4 months it will still be too soon. Same thing with paint, dry wall, and mud.

We ended up in overdrive to sell the house because well…

Barnett 2.0 arriving August 2015.

Barnett 2.0 arriving August 2015.

That’s right, Barnett V2.0 is due August 24th. We needed to get as much done in advance because well this month is going to be spent finding more stuff we don’t want/need to clear out, moving stuff to storage, and rearranging the house.

Couple this with job related item and other things I just haven’t had much time for anything and well the outlook into the future doesn’t look good for my spare time either.

If you need a regular fix of my dry sense of humor, make sure to hit up the Gun Blog Variety Cast. It may only be once a week but it’s better than nothing. You can also go follow me on the Facebooks.

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.

I always thought this was a bad idea…

So I had previously seen a lot of different coverage in different places about the “festival of colors“. For a quick background see this.

I always thought it intriguing yet weird because well my fascination with fire and explosives has taught me the dangers of such things as dust, especially in large quantities. Well my apprehension was evidently well founded.

An article on the incident had this to say,

Explosions and blasts continued to take or put human lives in danger across the globe over the past week as fun and frolic turned into tragedy in the space of minutes. In the Formosa Water Park in the Bali district in Taiwan, over 200 people suffered severe burns after a dust explosion engulfed an area where people were merrily dancing.

I learned about the wonders of dust explosions back in scouts and the ripe age of 13. Non-dairy creamer, flour, really anything in a powdered form that is combustable will produce fantastic results. The MSDS for white chalk further provides data that while it may be chalk, danger is a serious concern for fire and explosion.

So remember, trust your gut and just because a bunch of people are doing it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s safe.

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.

Quote of the Day–Unknown (01/06/2013)

I felt that in my balls.

Unknown

For full context:


[Yeah, that was awesome and I’m sure he did.  Funny story about that…

For you see, when I was about 4 years old my dad took me to an airshow.  This the day after I broke my ankle by repeatedly doing something stupid.  It was probably about the 10th time that I broke it but I digress.

You see it wasn’t a major break, didn’t swell up, I could still walk on it, it just hurt.  So when my dad took me to the airshow the next day I just rode around on his shoulders everywhere.  None of us knew it was broken until the next day when I had X-rays because it wasn’t getting better.

At some point during the day, I’m sitting on my dads shoulders and I point to the horizon.  Coming in just above the deck are two A-6’s hauling ass like there’s no tomorrow.    The go directly over us so close I could swear I could touch them.  If you’ve never seen a jet do a flyby it is loud and you can feel that through your whole body.

So there I am, sitting on my fathers shoulders, A-6’s are hauling ass over head and I am a small boy with no verbal filter.  Does anyone want to guess what kind of statement I made?  Anyone?  Bueller?

I said the following once the jets were far enough away:

Daddy, that made my penis tingle!

Before my dad even has a chance to erupt into laughter, the woman standing in front of him turns around and gives this nasty glare and says, “Sir, are you going to correct your son?”

To why my dad then replies along the lines of, “Why?  It’s the correct response for the son of a naval flight officer, and that boy knows what he likes!”

Yeah, I hated that story growing up… It was one of my dad’s favorites, I have since begun  to appreciate it and understand why. ~sigh~ –B]

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.

Was It Good For You?

Now it is worth noting, there is a law of diminishing returns on the appearance and effect of explosives and their weight.  If you ever pay attention and just keep increasing the weight by the same amount it doesn’t actually increase by the same punch every time.

That said,  I would have loved to feel the thump in my chest from that one.  I’d ask Joe if we could recreate it, but I know the answer would be an emphatic “NO!”  Though that one had a pretty weak shock-wave.

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.

Two Questions…

One, where can I recreate this.  I don’t think that Joe’s neighbors would appreciate it.

Two, is Ry willing to arrange the fireball for it.

I love seeing the shockwave roll across the sand, that’s just awesome.  I came across this one too:

The raining phosphorus at the end was down right neat, though I wouldn’t want to be anywhere near it when it went off.

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.

Sometimes It Just Doesn’t Make Sense

I had a crazy dream last night.  By crazy, I mean the following mantra was applied:

There are very few problems that cannot be solved by the suitable application of high explosives.

Overall there’s nothing wrong with the above statement.  The reason it is crazy is because it violated all laws of physics.  Here’s how it went down:

I’m called on site for some issue a utility is having with a recloser.  For some reason they ground only two phases of the recloser while working on it.  The third phase, for what ever reason was packed with explosives and detonated… this fixed the problem.  It’s crazy because it defied all laws of physics since the recloser wasn’t rendered to its molecular components.

Now it is worth noting though, explosives are used in the power system.

Had I been involved in that, or shock testing, things would have been a lot more normal and note worthy.

It’s a bummer I cannot find a way to combine my job with the above, that would just be AWESOME!

Getting back to the dream, using explosives and not annihilating a complex mechanical mechanism just doesn’t seem right.

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.

Independence Day 2012 Part II

So Sebastian said the following on Monday.

I think it’s the right of every American to celebrate our nation’s independence by blowing up a small chunk of it.

At which point I started laughing because honestly not everyone can effectively blow up a chunk of America.  The good news is, I am capable and have resources to do exactly that.  Not only do I have resources though, but the method of detonation provides a method of celebration endorsed by John Adams himself.

However, it must be said, please do not attempt to recreate any of this.  I am trained and experienced in mixing and handling explosives.  Just watch Caleb’s PSA.  Where ever he says “Gun”, replace it with “Guns or Explosives”.  

So without further ado, I give you the 4th of July, Boomershoot style.

I’m sure Mr. Adams would have approved.

As a note, it seems Sebastian knows this, but I still think my graphical display helps spread the joy.

*Sorry for the delayed post, Murphy hates me.  YouTube was constantly quitting mid-download.  I finally achieved success using IE.  I left to go to a BBQ and my computer went to sleep.  Thus it finally went up a day late.

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.