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

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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.

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.

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.

In Which Lessons Are Learned

So as I previously mentioned I spent my Saturday with Paul Barrett and his wife Julie.

Yes, that Paul Barrett

Friday night Ry was trying to figure out who to put with Paul to ensure he had an awesome time.  I volunteered my self.  I mean, when else would I get an opportunity like that?  I also forgot what NAVY stands for.

I was bummed I didn’t have a video camera because I would have just tossed it on the tripod in front to record the whole thing.  Instead I must rely on memory.  I must get a new camera for next year.

I started off by unloading a bunch of equipment for my rig.  Initially I thought Paul was staying through Sunday and was quickly informed they’d be leaving after the dinner.  This meant I could use my equipment, which I’m more familiar with which is always a good thing.  If they were staying through Sunday I wanted to make sure they were familiar with the equipment they would be using.  Ry gave me his Evil Black Rifle to use.

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There were many reasons for this.  High capacity magazines, suppressor, and semi-auto.  Overall it was to illustrate the utility of such a rifle. 

How well did it illustrate that fact? I’m going to be buying another full length AR soon.  It will have a quick detach mount and I will be buying a suppressor to go on it.  For inexperienced shooters it seriously helps take the edge off shooting.  The loud bang is often what contributes to the flinch factor.  Not to mention it was much easier for me to communicate with Paul since I wasn’t partially deaf after each shot.

I pulled out my shooting mat, Joe gave me his to use but mine was a bit longer and thus would require less mud on clothing.  As for spotting scope, I grabbed mine because it had a Mil-Dot reticle in it like Ry’s scope.  This made it even easier for holds and other shooter spotter communication.  I set up that equipment as well and had a general discussion with Paul and his wife on long distance shooting answering questions while I set up.

I talked with Gene Econ and his crew and made sure we would have an extra instructor handy for help.  I also had them sit in on Gene’s class that morning.  Overall they appreciated Gene’s class, a bit of the material was way over their head because they weren’t familiar with the topic.  Over the morning those questions would be answered.

I did a quick review of the manual of arms on the AR-15 with Paul once the line went hot.  We then spend the next bit finding a comfortable position and getting him on target down range.  I eventually had to swap out Ry’s bipod.  It was too high for the berm and was better geared for the hill, or indirect fire beyond the hill.

He put in the magazine, dropped the bolt and we were off to the races.  Ry had informed me that the zero should be for the berm at 400 yards.  We had about a 6mph right to left wind.  I looked at the spare mag, wasn’t sure exactly what weight it was but I figured it was probably 50 or 55 grain V-max.  There would be a difference for compensation but not entirely sure of the BC I decided to push about 1 minute right from the no wind zero to start with.

I have him hold dead center of the target and start pacing the wind.  I tell him, “Spotter Ready, Hold Center, Send it.”  He squeezes off the round and I watch the trace, low and to the right.  I ask him, “Where was your cross hair as you broke?”  His reply, “In the middle of the cross”.  I come around, explain where the bullet hit and what that means.  I do the math in my head since I knew the correction in Mils.  I add another 1/2 minute of right windage and about 2 minutes of elevation. 

I tell him to hold center again and tell me when he’s ready.  He says, “Ready”.  To which I reply as the wind picks up, “Spotter ready, favor right.”  Shortly after I hear him say he’s sure exactly where to hold.  He know it’s not all the way to the right but he’s not sure what to use as a visual indicator.  I grab my pen and paper and draw the steel target he’s shooting at, a classic IPSC.   I visually explain center, favor and hold, their use and how you can combine favor up and hold right for example.

I go back behind the spotting scope and say, “Favor right, spotter ready, send it.”  He squeezes off the round and I watch the trace and it misses to the left again.  This time elevation looked better.  I tell him, “Hold right, spotter ready, send it.”

Fumpt….

*Clang*

Hit in the upper left, I ask him to call the shot.  He says it broke on the right edge.  I tell him, “You smacked it in the upper left, definitely a solid hit.”  At this point he makes a comment.  At this point he also indicates he’d rather stop just because he’s happy with the 1 in 3 record.  I tell him we need to get to the center of the steel.

I ask Julie, “Would you like to see bullet trace?”  She says yes so I put her on the spotting scope to call shots and I just kneel next to Paul to do the mental math and adjustments.  Every shot for the next bit is a hit and eventually he’s ringing the middle of the steel.  Next comes a conversation about the details of what’s happening and some of the physics involved.  I then ask if Julie wants to try.

Not nearly as excited as her husband she was still plenty interested.  Paul did it and he didn’t think he could so there was no reason she couldn’t.

I spend the next bit behind the spotting scope, the winds shift a bit and I have to do some windage adjustments but I notice something, she’s pushing a lot further left than she should be.  I ask Paul to watch through the spotting scope so I can sit and watch her shoot.  As she squeezes the trigger the next time I see it.  She isn’t using the pad of her finger for the pull but more of the crook.  It explains the push to the left.  I help her correct that problem and a couple more shots with her husband spotting and we here the magical sound.

*Clang*

She was ecstatic.   She never thought she would do something like that, and I will say she had the worse winds to shoot through during that.  She shoots a bunch more times and then starts to feel sore.

She climbs back up and we all begin talking about different questions they have.  From minutes of angle, to Mils, to ballistics, what is happening as a bullet goes down range.  The had a lot of very good questions. 

After a while of talking I ask Paul, “Want to go further?”

He replies, “If you really think I can do it.”

I then reply, “I have no doubt you’re capable of hitting out at 650.”

He says OK and I go grab my .308.  It’s a Kimber 8400 AT it’s heavy, I don’t find the recoil anything overwhelming.  I lay down prone behind it with my notebook, estimate the wind and range, dial everything in and squeeze off a shot.  Self spotting even on a 308 is difficult.  I see it low and left, I fire 4 more shots and get pretty close to the target and say to Paul, “You’re up, you should be very close.”

He lays down behind the rifle and I spend some time getting him in a comfortable position and adjust the stock.  I get his eye relief correct and his position looks good.  He sees the target I was shooting at and I get behind the spotting scope.  I tell him to hold center and away he goes.  It was to the left and a bit low.  I come up correct it and verify his position.  I didn’t pay attention to one thing though.  His eye relief was good, he was well supported, I felt he was good to go.  He felt good to go.

I get back behind the scope and tell him to favor right and send it.

*Bang*

Damn, missed it by about 2 inches low and left.  Then I heard, “Uh-oh”.

The phrase uh-oh and firearms should never be used together in the same sentence.  Well  while focusing on his eye, I overlooked his shoulder.  His polar fleece made it looked tucked tightly into his shoulder.  In fact it had been a bit loose and slipped during recoil.

Initially the cut didn’t look bad, but I grabbed Bill, one of the instructors and he grabbed his med bag.  Luckily it didn’t need stiches, but he got a good gash on his forehead.  His wife was joking about how she had something for her next speech.  About the time we finished cleaning it all up it was lunch time.  I talked to the guys at RNS and they were more than happy to feed Paul and Julie. 

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At this point I felt horrible.  I felt like Joe and Ry trusted me with a pot of gold and a bunch of underpants gnomes came and stole it under my watch.  I was so worried about just the eye relief I overlooked the shoulder.  Everyone eventually gets scoped in one way or another.  Anyone who says they haven’t has never shot anything bigger than a .22.  He did have a good sense of humor about it but I still felt really bad for missing it.

We told Paul he was by no means the first and definitely wouldn’t be the last.  We told him the story of Squeaky and David’s pistol. 

After lunch they decided to head back in to town.  He insisted it was not due to his injury.  I’m not entirely sure because I’m sure he probably had a headache from it too.  I hung out with the guys from RNS for the rest of the afternoon till the boomers were brought out and high intensity.

How awesome was it, Dave the photographer let me shoot his .45-70 Sharps and I hit steel at 650 yards.  I actually thought I missed and was pissed, then came the *clang*.  Yes I was that unnamed individual.

When I arrived at the dinner that night Paul came up to me and had a copy of his book in his hand.  He cracked it open and wrote this inside and handed to me.

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How awesome is that?

He spoke during the dinner and had a long QA with the people who were there participating.  There were a few comments made politically.  One question was made that I didn’t like how it was phrased, “Where do you feel safer?”  That’s a question with no real answer.  They were trying to illustrate that there was no need to be afraid of everyone carrying weapons.  The thing is, one always feels safer where they are familiar.  Which is exactly what Paul said.  The better question would have been, “Do you have any reason to feel uncomfortable in this room given the number of people openly armed?”  I know that answer would have been no.  Alas I didn’t get a chance to make the comment so on the blog it goes.

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I made sure to grab a picture with Paul before he left, and I know he and his wife were both happy as they were actually able to shoot something at distance.  Paul said he will be writing an article on his experiences and I’m looking forward to seeing it.  He said he’s going to have an entertaining time at work when he gets back.  How many people who work for Bloomberg Business Magazine, yes that Bloomberg, show up to work with a case of scope eye?  I guess we both learned something very important from this experience.

Learn from my mistake, don’t get target fixated on the distance between the scope and the eye, remember the shoulder matters too.  You have to balance each of them.

Boomershoot 2012–A Quick Rundown

I got home and finished unloading my stuff from the rig.  I’m now beginning to unpack.

Here’s a quick rundown with some pictures from each day.  I’ll be coming back over the next couple days and filling in detailed posts of the major items.

Day 1:

Soaking wet.  Trudging through mud.  Lots of boxes to be assembled.  After which we decided to eat warm food in town.  I loaned Joe the shower in my hotel room so he could warm back up.

Day 2:

Filled boxes with explosives, arranged boxes in the mud for the PRC shooters.

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After which we stood out in the cold and wind to run the high intensity event.

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I cleaned up after high intensity at entertainingly close distances, evidently the ESS guys filmed my stupidity.  Again more on that later, last night it turned into a two part series.

The minute in-laws were running a bit late.  We were going to meet a group in town for dinner and were running late.  Way late since I looked like I had been rolling around in the mud.

We didn’t have a single seat left in the room we were in.  It was like the pre-Boomershoot dinner that was just a social hour.

Day 3:  I was instructed to guard the pot of gold, Paul Barrett, and ensure he had a good time and enjoyed himself.  He told me that mission was accomplished even with one minor hiccup.

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I got both of them on steel at 400 yards and he just barely missed the steel at 630 when it all went south.

I helped with the high intensity again.  After which I stuck around since there was handling of firearms on the range to ensure safety while the ESS folks did some model shooting with Shelly and Anette.

I was chatting with the photographer and he ended up taking some pictures with me as well since I had one box to clean up afterwards.  

Day 4:  Woke up way too early, so we could be on the berm setting up targets at 0700.  I was starting to feel all the walking, bending, and repetitive motions associated with the shoot.  I trudged through tossing boomers and getting them staked out.  We did a quick interview with one of the ESS videographers explaining some of the physics, and then Rolf gave an impressive show by juggling the explosives.  Yes this is the same Rolf of “Entertainingly Close”.

We get the boomers laid out, a bunch of guys are working up on the hill and then we get read for the fireball.

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Yes that is Ry in the lower right.  His post on the fireball is here.  I will be doing a separate post with Janelle’s video here in the near future.  I love that picture because Ry just looks like a bad ass in it.  He lost hair this weekend, I bled a bit. 

There were a few exciting events, which I will blog about later.  The most exciting of which however could have ended the event permanently.  Luck prevailed and it didn’t go boom.

After the shoot was over we began the staff cleanup.  There was a lot leftover this year.  It 3 waves of a full high intensity event to get everything cleaned up.  We were exhausted, but I headed down the hill to grab dinner and then go visit with the RNS guys.  As exhausted as I was, we finally left their place about 0100.  I only see them once a year normally so it was worth it.

There were a few other side stories that I’ll be pushing up in the next couple days.  I’ve got a large pile of video and pictures for gun porn too!

So With that I’m going to go continue decompressing.  If I saw you this weekend and looked exhausted, in a rush, or like a man on a mission, it’s probably because I was.  Yes this is a “vacation” but it’s a lot of work and it’s exhausting.  So if you were looking forward to chatting with me more and didn’t get a chance, it’s not because I don’t like you.  It’s because those down times are actually pretty rare and usually done in parallel with stuffing our face.

I know there were a few people who asked me questions, and I’m very glad they asked, I was a little curt and blunt with the answer.  Again, I wasn’t trying to be or sound like a dick, at that point I was starting to seriously shut down.  I would much rather if someone thinks a target is questionable or doesn’t make sense that they ask instead of just shooting at it.  So to the man that asked me about the targets down on the end, hope this helps explain my curt response.

Quote of the Day–Paul Barrett (04/30/2012)

“Before we continue let me just say one thing.  That was fucking amazing.”

Paul Barrett – On the Boomershoot Firing Line

April 28, 2012


[I spent the day with Paul and his wife Saturday on the firing line at Boomershoot.  I teamed up with some support from Gene Econ and some of the instructors to ensure that Paul had a good time.

The above was the quote out of his mouth after smacking some steel at 400 yards.  Then we did it again and again.  He was ready to stop after his first hit because his ratio was 1 for 3 on hits.

There is no question though with that comment he had a good time.  Even with what happened later, he shrugged it off and said, “It’s another story.”  I’ll write up details on that one later.  He was also looking forward to telling the story in the office on Monday. –B]

Quote of the Day: Anonymous – 04/26/2012

Joe: Well we have an ATT microcell at Mecca if you want to call your wife.

Anonymous: I’m good, she wants me to call but the thing is, I’m on vacation.

Anonymous – Dinner Conversation with Boomershoot Staff


[I was going to credit this individual but he seemed to think he would be in some sort of trouble with his significant other.  His justification is he spends all day on the phone doing tech support and his wife wants to talk on the phone with him constantly about nothing.  In other words his wife is wanting him to continue his job without pay. -B]