Boom!

So we’re coming up fast on Boomershoot.  I’ve got a pile of stuff I need to do to get ready and time’s moving quick.  In the meantime here’s a pic from last years fireball.

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+1 to Ry for convincing me to get the Adobe Cloud.  Here’s the before and after on that photo.

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Lightroom is fantastic with Raw photos.

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 it’s thing.

Please Be Careful if You Do This…

So a coworker just bumped me this little incident through IM.

He drove upriver, investigated and with the help of Asotin County deputies and area landowners found the fire was started by someone shooting at an exploding target. The alleged fire-starter apparently fled the scene in such haste that he/she left behind an AK-47.

First up, we all know the identification abilities of both the press and law enforcement are how shall we say, lacking.  So I have a feeling it probably was not an AK-47.

Next up is why I’m writing this post.  If you’re going to play around with reactive targets, please be aware, be careful, and do it right.  Doing stupid stuff can cause the powers that be to outlaw things in an effort to stop stupidity.  They seem to think that laws will actually stop stupidity while those of us with functional brains know it just stops the smart and law abiding from enjoying freedom while making it a little more difficult for Darwin to do his job.

I’m not sure exactly why this fire started, there’s a couple different options.  First is that the bullet itself struck something and caused a spark resulting in a fire.  Not impossible, but not very likely unless they were shooting steel core surplus ammo.  I find this a possibility given the expeditious fleeing.

Laughably is the idea that the explosion itself set something on fire.  Combustion, and the heat that accompanies it, dissipates in milliseconds at most.  For the fireballs we create at Boomershoot we actually have to have road flares to cause the fuel to ignite because there is no heat remaining as the vapor cloud expands.  We have added things such as magnesium and other materials and this does help.  Assuming this was Tannerite, it is possible that some of the elements were still combusting when it hit the ground, I just am a bit skeptical.

Lastly they were attempting to be Ry and recreate the following.

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It is well known that creating a fireball like that can land you in an interesting position.  The heat radiated after combustion begins can easily cause surrounding plant life to ignite.  We do it prior to the fire season beginning as well for numerous reasons.  Trying to put out a fire as it rages across the field wouldn’t exactly be fun.  Think of the exploding toilet in 2008.

There is a second reason and that is Boomerite that is spread on the ground can actually cause a fire.  The KClO3 breaks down exothermically under UV and can ignite surrounding material.

But seriously, if you’re going to go out into the woods and create a fireball.  Be ready for some stuff to be lit on fire.  It is going to happen and you better be ready to fight it.  So if you’re going to do it please do the following:

  • Have fire extinguishers at the ready
  • Bring numerous friends to help extinguish the fire
  • Soak the surrounding area with water if it’s been dry over the previous couple days
  • Be ready with dirt buckets too
  • Have a plan to deal with fire

Seriously, it only takes one person to screw it up for the rest of us.  Please, don’t be that guy.

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 it’s thing.

In Which I Forget a Recent Lesson (And some testing)

I still haven’t written up a couple posts from Boomershoot.  It hasn’t been as much laziness as I have had other things of interest distracting me.  From ideas, to projects, to wish lists(migrating the platform for the blog from Drupal)*.

There is one story from Boomershoot I do need to write up.  The lesson though evidently was skipped over yesterday during some testing with Ry and Joe

You see, after one of the boomers went boom, Ry had a new look.

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I made the mistake of standing just slightly further back than Ry, not thinking about the amount of rain and how close we were.  I had the same outfit afterwards.

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(Yes it was cold).

Eventually I will write up a post on what happened at Boomershoot, one of the other reasons for the delay is it will also contain a review of the eye protection I’m wearing.

On to testing:

So Joe and Ry had a couple project ideas they were working on and I offered to go out and help.  While they were working on mixing up explosives for some of the tests I worked on an idea Joe had for making primers go bang.

In this section, I verify that all that Hollywood crap is exactly that.  Ry had a setup to create an arch between two wires with AC.  It didn’t make the primer go boom.  Joe had another idea using DC to make the primers go boom.  Stuff got warm but still no joy.  Then by luck I inadvertently made the circuit pass through a piece of metal in the primer construction.  That turned into a light bulb filament.  I attached a primer to it, rigged it up and gave that a shot.  10 seconds after connecting the battery I hear a pop.  So heat, not electricity makes the primer go bang.

So they go bang, but not enough for solid computer control.  Well we still have the question of will boomerite go off?  Put it in the bag of boomerite, wire it all up and it was the most anti climatic thing I’ve ever seen.  The pop was so faint I could hear the conversation between Ry and Joe who were further away than the primer.

So primers were a bust, what about the lift experiments for getting a good fuel air mixture?  I have video for that, and everyone likes vide!

This is probably one of the more interesting stills from the testing.

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You can see the water vapor form the lift, this was with ground under the targets.  Ry also had some targets with bags of water underneath.  I’m not sure it really made a difference, though it’s hard to tell with a sample size of one. 

We have a new target type we’re seriously considering putting out for the shooters.  This year things were a bit more difficult that usual.  Target distribution didn’t end up in the amounts we would have preferred.  This resulted in a lot more 4 and 3 inch targets on the hill than we would have liked.  Believe me, I don’t like it when that goes wrong.  I made a nice quote of the day that made everyone chuckle but no one remembered to actually blog it… yet another story to be told about this year.

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The tubes though are 1.5 inches in diameter (inner) and 4 feet long.  We figure we can put them horizontal or vertical.  Either it will require precision on at least one axis to make a successful hit at distance.  Personally I think they’d just be fun.  Yeah you want to get a boomer, but if it was easy that wouldn’t be saying much now would it? 

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*I’m in the beginning stages of investigating moving from Drupal to WordPress.  The latest version of Drupal is lacking a bunch of the features I want that help me with my blogging.  I could write and build the features I need but I don’t blog as a forte into working on the computer.  I have enough other projects that the last thing I want to do is work maintaining my website.  The migration however has me a bit nervous mainly because I don’t want to break any incoming links for other sites to material I’ve written here.  I think I have a solution to the issue, but even then it will probably take me about 48 hours to rip apart the databases and port the content to WordPress.  I have a VM I am using as a testing area currently and I’m learning what exactly is going to have to happen and how to do it before I bite off more than I can chew.

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 it’s thing.

Marketing Photo Of the Year

Sarah took the marketing photo of the year at Boomershoot.

Seriously, why are you still here?  Go now!

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 it’s thing.

Tango’s Name has been changed…

See, Tango had a couple issues over the Boomershoot event.  On his way up his car had issues and had to go in the shop.  He figured that was his issue for the trip.  The answer to that question was a resounding, “NO”.

See, we got back to the hotel room to eat our dinner while waiting for a call from Phil so we could meet up and chat since we were all departing in the morning.  As the wife and I finish downing food our hotel room phone rings.  Odd, Phil was going to call my cell phone.

It was Tango informing us he was on the grade and his vehicle had just died.  He was in search of a tow truck and currently stranded.  Immediately I ask where he is because there’s a secondary problem.  He has a trailer behind him so depending on the tow truck that could be a problem.  New problem for me, I didn’t drive either truck.  I promptly call Phil and say, “We have a blogger in need of assistance.  Tango’s rig broke down coming down the grade.  He’s currently pulled off at the turn to the dam.”

Immediately he say’s he’s departing the restaurant and he’ll pick me up on the way out.

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Yes that’s Tango in the back right as the tow truck driver starts hooking up his rig.  Tango was quite pleased that the tow truck showed up.  Phil and the rest of us were actually planning on pulling his trailer back up to the Boomershoot site if necessary.

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Luckily the tow truck was flat bed.  He loaded Tango right up and then hitched up his trailer.

So at that point us bloggers needed to remain no more. Se we left his ass on the curb after taking this parting photo.

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After all was said and done and we were relaxing back at the place where RNS was staying Phil stated the following:  “Tango is no longer known as Tango, he shall be known as Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.”

Frankly I happen to agree.  WTF indeed.

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 it’s thing.

You Wouldn’t Like Me When I’m Angry

There were a couple incidents at Boomershoot this year.  Three to be exact.

The first event had the immediate potential forever to end Boomershoot if we hadn’t been so lucky.  It was partially our fault, however one would think that the people who come to this event wouldn’t be so stupid.  Well, wish in one hand, crap in the other, see which one fills up first.

Incident the first:

While putting up targets on the hill side we had missed a full crate of 7 inch targets that did not get put up.  The crate was off to the side, not very far from the actual targets.  For those who don’t know, a 7 inch target is about 2lbs to 2.5lbs of explosive, and there’s 12 targets to a crate. 

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8lbs of explosive has blown out windows in the house near the event.

8lbs has knocked stuff off the walls.

8lbs has cost Joe money in having to repair damage.

We don’t blow that much anymore except in areas where it will not be a problem and safe.  24lbs however I don’t think there is enough distance or hills to prevent damage.  Immediately after discovering the crate we called a cease fire.  Joe went and retrieved the crate and tossed it behind a berm. It wasn’t until lunch time I discovered that Boomershoot almost ended early and for good.  In the picture above you can see a box was wounded.  That wasn’t even the worst hit.

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You can see an exit wound in the box towards the middle there.  Sorry for the bad angle, I could barely see the screen and was shooting blind.

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You can see an exit wound there as well.  One of the bullets actually came in between two 7 inch targets and then exited out the center on the opposite side.  We escaped quite literally by the hair on our chinny chin chin.

So please, if you come to Boomershoot, limit yourself to the single targets and steel.  Do not shoot at anything crate shaped, if we catch you, you will not be coming back.  Also on that note, don’t shoot at things like the wind flags or the stakes used for the caution tape.  The caution tape stakes weren’t up this year but people just love to shoot at anything on the hill side, even stuff that isn’t actually a target.  Hence why Joe has to tell people to not shoot at the trees.  This isn’t tree shoot, it’s Boomershoot.  If you didn’t bring enough gun for the boomers, go after the steel, unless you brought a 50.  Then you just need to get better because you don’t have an excuse.

The easiest way to think about it is this, does shooting X actually seem like a good idea?  If you’re not sure, ask.  Seriously I am very happy that guy asked about the targets in front of Ry’s position. Yes I was a bit curt stating if you do, we will not allow you back.  Then explaining that you’d be shooting towards the road which is bad, very bad.

There were a few that started to try and justify the people shooting at the crates saying they may not have been able to tell.  I saw it with my 8 power scope and  could tell it was a crate.  Not to mention the following:

  • All the targets are 1 MOA or smaller.
  • A crate is obviously much bigger than any other target.
  • Ranging a crate would put it closer than the actual range, enough it should raise flags.

Did we leave it up there, yes.  Should we have left it up there, no.  Should people have shot at it, no.  Could they figure it out, yes.  If you want Boomershoot to continue, you can’t try and justify stupidity.

Incident the Second:

Now we get into why this post is title the way it is.

For those who are unfamiliar or have never been to Boomershoot, cease fires are a regular occurrence.  There is a road that runs next to the firing range and we have to call a cease fire for traffic.  We have a spotter car on the road letting us know when traffic is traveling on the road.  As previously mentioned we also have ceasefires for range issues

.Boomershoot Layout

We have had a parachutist come down in the middle of the range.  We have also had the field start on fire after blowing up a toilet.  It is important that everyone listen to the range commands, issued by air horn.  It only takes one incident to end it all and I know it.  I used to laugh about this post from Joe, I don’t laugh anymore and thoroughly understand it from the other side.  Not to mention the fact that I am now in a position that during a cease fire I could be very well headed down range.  People I know could be very likely headed down range.  It takes on a very high level of seriousness. 

This is something I really enjoy and love.  I love it so much that I take extra time off and volunteer to help Joe with manufacture, setup, clean up, and any other tasks that come up.  As an FYI last year other than Joe I know we were the last to leave.  This year we weren’t quite dead last but everyone else was heading to their vehicles at the same time.  The staff invest a lot of time and effort in making this event fun, enjoyable, and safe.

That’s why when I hear a gun shot during a cease fire everyone for about 20 positions around me hears me promptly yelling.  As to further prove what we heard they smacked a boomer too.

This wasn’t just minorly after the cease fire.  The cease fire is called.  I sit up in my position turn around and start conversing with my Father In Law who is acting as my spotter.  After about 15 seconds of silence we hear, *bang*……*booom!*.  It was immediately followed by my wife tearing off in that direction down the line and me yelling the following while getting up and starting to walk down the line.

Cease FIRE Cease FIRE!!!!

Who Fired That Shot!!!

*silence while I get out of my position*

*silence still as I start walking the line*

Who the FUCK fired that shot!!!!

Silence as I walk down the line, people are pointing to their right.  I yell again, this time peeved because Janelle has already hit the end of the line and no one has bothered to fess up.  Seriously, fess up to her that way you can salvage yourself as being honest.

I continue asking positions, most just point as I arrive.  I had a couple positions give me direction information that conflicted.  Multiple positions does not help me narrow down the culprit.  Like I have one position pointing left while the one on each side says go right.  Some pointed to the very end of the line, that would have been the RNS guys but there’s a problem.  They have a radio.  They know about a ceasefire before the air horns.  I have a suspicion on who it was but that’s not enough for me to come down on someone.

At this point there’s not much that can be done and we don’t even know why it happened.  I know it was in-between Bill Waites and the RNS crew.  Needless to say dumping a round down range during a cease fire is a great way to make me into someone most people wouldn’t want to associate with. 

Would they have been done shooting for the day, yeah.  I didn’t pull that trigger, they did.  It’s like a DQ at a USPSA match.  Honesty might have caused me to call up Joe and let him make the final call, but making me hunt you down I can guarantee that would have been the end of your day.  The fact the hill and the line fell silent should have been clue.  With 76 positions it is a rare event that the whole line is quite for more than a few seconds, much less 15.

Seriously, most people love me.  I’m actually very nice and get along with most anyone. However that said, I can become scary in the crack of a rifle.  Please, leave the beast in his cage and don’t taunt him.

Incident the Third:

You would think as word got around of the first discharge during a ceasefire people would be more careful.  I guess since it was towards the end of the day someone was careless.  A cease fire was called, there was a car half way down the road when a shot goes off.  There was no excuse, the Horn blow should have been obvious from their position in the low lands.

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At the time  3 of us (as pictured above) are talking as the shot occurs and Ben just say’s “I got it.”  He start’s going from tent to tent and people point.  Eventually he arrives at a position and he’s there for the next 15 minutes.  I think he found them.  They didn’t shoot anymore.

Side Bar Stupidity via Ry:

So just prior to Incident the Third, I went ahead and walked down to talk to Ry while taking a break.  Evidently he  did have someone on his end of the line he was having to keep his eye on all day.  Issues involving being unfamiliar with the rifle they were using and general lackadaisicalness regarding safety.  The shining example I sadly didn’t get a picture of. 

But imagine if you will, you needed to adjust the muzzle break on your detachable magazine fed H&K.  What would be the first thing you would do before adjusting said weapon?

Remove the magazine, unload and show clear right?

This individual just tilts it up, and starts cranking down on his muzzle break.  That’s step one for him.  By the time Ry sees it and tells me he’s done.  Ry at this point was getting tired of talking with the individual.

Which begs the question.  Why are some people safety conscious while other’s just throw caution to the wind.  How dumb are some people?  ESS was at the shoot, demoing product.  Their booth was set up behind Shelly Rae and 30 Cal Gal.  One of the positions to the left of them one of the shooters didn’t want to wear safety glasses.  I repeat, there was a shooter that refused to wear eye protection, and he was next to the ESS booth who offered to let him try a set.  He was setting off controlled explosions next to his face and didn’t want eye protection.

I’ve seen kabooms, I don’t shoot without eye protection*.  I only have one set of eyes and as of right now they’re priceless.

Closing:

If you want to hang out with me, go shooting with me, or otherwise retain me in my mild manner and easy to get along with state, please don’t do any of the above.  I’m at Boomershoot to have fun.  Incidents like the above do not equal fun to me.  They’re stressful and sap the fun right out of the event.  Safety is a culture and ultimately everyone is responsible for it.  As we tell everyone, anyone can call a cease fire.

*Normally and not intentionally.  I forgot once and it’s on video.  See if you can find it.

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 it’s thing.

The Story of Little Bunny Fufu

Quick disclaimer, this probably isn’t something you should show small children.  You have been warned.

So last year those who attended Boomershoot might remember that we had two smaller bunnies on the hill side.  We had breast implant bunny and suicide vest bunny.  Neither of them worked like we had hoped.

This year we found this on sale.

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Personally I felt it looked like some deranged Easter Bunny.  We took it with us to Boomershoot to share our new found friend with our other friends.

Janelle lovingly packed her with explosives Saturday while I was busy with Paul Barrett and his wife.

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The bunny helped signify the end of the boomerite production for Boomershoot 2012.  Joe carried bunny Fufu off into the sunset to be placed into the magazine.

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The next morning some enterprising individuals placed him on the hill.  Word of bunny Fufu’s presence was only passed by word of mouth along the line.  Many apparently refused to believe there was  bunny up there till they found it.

At some point .30 Cal Gal connected with little bunny FuFu.  I will say that I suspect her hit was actually the sucking chest wound as I don’t recall seeing any damage to the facial area.  There was a second hit which shredded bunny Fufu’s leg.  Since he was still alive during lunch, Janelle decided bunny Fufu was now reserved for her mom.  Everyone had their chance.

Janelle, the Animal Science major, proceeded to try and amputate to stabilize the bunny.

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The damage though proved to be too great.  She sadly had to put him out of his misery since no one else could.Boomershoot20012 Bunnycide (7)

For some reason though that wasn’t enough.  She had to make sure he was good and dead.

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Then he was placed on the berm so Janelle’s mom could have the honor of rendering him to his molecular components.  Janelle’s mom had yet to shoot a boomer.  It was time we fixed that minor deficiency and I also needed to plant the seed of the wonder that is the Evil Black Rifle.

I handed her my AR with the ACOG with the dot on top.  Quick intro instruction and a few practice boomers.   We got the whole thing on video.

The destruction was complete, with just little bits of fuzz remaining.  Even better though was I was informed the mother in law now was an Evil Black Rifle, and some sort of red dot optic.  Winning one step at a time, I’m sure Sarah Brady is crying in her beer on that one.

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 it’s thing.

Boomershoot 2012 Pictures

Rolf was kind enough to upload a bunch of his pictures from Boomershoot 2012 to one of my hosting providers.  I just added these to My Gallery.   You can find the Boomershoot 2012 gallery here.

Here’s one of the better pics of the fireball.  Again Ry looks just stoic with flame coming at him.

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Update:

Thanks to Uncle for the link.  Here’s video of the fireball.

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 it’s thing.