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.
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.
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 lasttwo 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.
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:
Or this one:
And that was despite being soaked to the bone and freezing cold. But wait, there’s more!
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:
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.
Looks like I’ll be meeting and hanging out with a bunch of you the beginning of September. Joe mentioned the Gun Blogger Rendezvous last May and I was planning on going. I saw this and really started itching.
Then I had some unexpected expenses and well the wife an I live in a budget. We’ve stopped using our credit cards and are paying down our debt as quickly as possible so when I dipped into the savings fund I said, “Well there’s always next year.”
I saw Joe last weekend and we ended up talking about it and his travel plans have changed. Initially it still seemed like it wouldn’t work and it was going to kill a bunch of extra time since the point of departure wouldn’t equal the point of return. On the way home from the Boomershoot site I had an idea on how to make that work. I told Joe I’d let him know this week yea or nay.
Then earlier this week I got an email at work, the company calendar uses photos taken by employees. I didn’t get a submission in this year because I didn’t have time to prep the photos I was going to submit. They did however look at my submissions from last year and they want to use some of them. They pay the employees for the use of the pictures. It’s not set it in stone, it’s a risk we can take it though because even without it we could do it, it would just be tight. I suspect it’s one of the following though:
So this morning I dropped my check to Mr. Completely into my mail box along with the GBR-VII form. My leave request has been approved so at this point I will be at GBR! So it looks like I’ll be seeing David, Kevin (for the first time since 2009) and Derek (again since 2009) again. If you’re going, find me and say hi. Seriously I’m kind of hard to miss.
Yesterday was the USPSA match in which I was the Match Director. I designed all the stages and picked out the qualifier. Overall I was looking forward to it. Mainly because one of the stages was going to be the first stage I ever designed.
We got a bit of video of me shooting that stage.
I laugh because someone was glad that I was pissed for “forcing them to shoot this monstrosity” except everyone I talked to loved it and wanted to shoot it again. In hindsight I should have thought of a way to run it backwards. If you’re wondering about the outburst at the end I looked at the target and saw I broke the perf on a no shoot at the end of the course.
However I’m saddened we didn’t get video of probably the most important thing that happened on that stage. It happened while the RO was scoring my stage and I was standing right there. I’m sad I didn’t even take a picture of it.
You see that white guy in the middle. Yeah I shot the little bastard because he wasn’t smart enough to get out-of-the-way. I drilled two A’s into T2, 2 A’s in to T1, and barely nicked the perf on the No Shoot. When the RO came through he called Alpha Charlie on the target. He thought I was outside the perf. I promptly stopped him and said, “Name redacted, That should be 2 Alpha, 1 No Shoot.” He looked at the target again and said, “holy crap you’re right.” The funniest thing is, I didn’t even think twice about it, it was immediate and without thought.
Now I know some of you will think that some how that was in my favor, it was not. Here’s how the score for that breaks down, if it had been an Alpha-Charlie, I would have gotten 7 points. With a 2-Alpha, No shoot I get 0 points. The No Shoot is –10 points, each A is a 5. If I was a little less ethically inclined I could have taken a 7 point boost on my score for that stage.
It’s not worth it at all. I’m in this for fun and you know what, if I have to cheat to have fun I’m doing it all wrong. If I want to stand up on the top of the hill and say I won, by god I want to be proud of how I got there.
I was really sad when I had to call a FTE for the RO I caught as a shooter ran through. I had actually hoped he was the first guy to just skip the body and take the head shots at an earlier position. He shot the steel and forgot to hit the other target.
Here’s the match stages, both the descriptions and the Google Sketch Up files. If you want to use them at your local club feel free to do so. Just give me credit and I’ll be happy.
That particular stage is 30 Minutes or Less. It started off being just 30 shots but when I redesigned it to fit in our bays and equipment list I ended up adding a target.
Another interesting story was from the standard I created 4×3. I designed it specifically so the shooter would have a choice between which hand to use at which distance. I ended up walking up just after they finished reading the stage description and two of the main shooters shot it strong hand closest, then weak hand when further away. I promptly recheck the stage description which says the following:
String 1. Upon start signal from behind F1 engage targets T1-T4 freestyle with one shot each. Perform a mandatory reload and reengage T1-T4 one hand only.
String 2. Upon start signal from behind F2 engage targets T1-T4 freestyle with one shot each. Perform a mandatory reload and reengage T1-T4 with one shot each with the opposite hand.
I thought about it for a minute and promptly talked to the two guys who read the briefing and had shot. In the back of my head I kind of chuckled at the thought of shooting the course of fire weak hand forward, strong hand rear, but I knew it would immediately cause an uproar. So I clarified it for everyone and we re-shot those shooters at the end.
I still kind of wanted to hear the collective groan after I shot the course and then read the description for everyone. If you are into USPSA, learn this now, pick up the description yourself and read it before shooting. Others may have misinterpreted the rules.
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.
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.
I have two of the three frames, the Cross Bow and Suppressor.
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.
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.
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, 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.
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.
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.
Yeah, at $749 bucks I can think of a lot of other stuff I’d rather do, but man it would be fun. I am a bit sad that their guns have been de-milled though. Honestly I’d rather shoot from the tank than just about anything.
Don’t get me wrong, driving a tank = awesome. Lobbing a HE round a mile and smacking on target, priceless. Just sayin’!
So here’s the conversation for those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about. Yes feel free to laugh at the guy who thinks he’s educating Janelle about how explosives work.
Aaron, let me enlighten you as to the background of my wife an I. We are both staff for FlashTek. Since you probably don’t know what that is, it’s run by Joe Huffman and is the company that is responsible for putting on Boomershoot every year. Here’s the quick rundown from this year.
In one weekend we manufacture approximately 2000 lbs of explosives and are quite familiar with what they are, how they work, and the possible consequences of both their use and misuse.
We both spend a lot of time outside of preparation for the main event with experiments and development of the mixture, targets, and other things both pertaining to the technical aspects for the explosives as well as the event itself.
On the fire and environmental factors:
You do not actually need excess fuel in the form of gasoline to start a fire. Actually the chemicals involved in the explosive can cause a fire on their own. Boomerite actually can spontaneously combust when subjected to UV sunlight but your extensive knowledge of explosives has you obviously knowledgeable on that fact. Do you know all the failure conditions for the materials involved in Tannerite to make your statement about fire not being an issue. Further no reaction is 100%, actually far from it. Some of the material from the explosion will not actually combust and be consumed in the reaction. These materials can be problematic as it can react with organic material as it breaks down. From a cursory inspection none of the materials immediately seem to be a fire danger but we thought the same thing about Boomerite.
The bottom line is that explosions are caused by combustion and to cause them we use materials that are prone to combust, quite quickly. Yes reactive targets have been blamed for fires, including some recently here in the state of Washington. While I’m not sure that the targets were the cause, it is certainly a possibility and not outside the realm of reality. As a FYI when that happened, it was still relatively wet out here, still is actually.
However that doesn’t change that you are actually within the fire season for the State of Washington, as well as Idaho. You can’t control the weather and just because things seem moist and safe doesn’t actually make it so. Further there are already numerous wild fires including one in Colorado and another in Montana. While further away, it should still serve as a reminder that caution and vigilance is important.
Be careful, be aware, have a plan to put it out, and make sure to turn the soil where you detonated the targets after you’re done to separate and disperse components. But you, who knows so much about explosives were going to do that already. Right?
Now on to my biggest point of contention.
This is Technically a Crime in Washington State
Washington is not exactly the friendliest of states with regards to explosives. As Janelle pointed out RCW 70.74 actually outlines many things that are prohibited regarding explosives. Including the fact that RCW 70.74.022 technically requires that any person mixing explosives have a license. While I fully and whole heartily sympathize and think it’s B.S. the law is still the law. It’s kind of funny that many of us whine about how congress critters ignore the law and then we turn around and do it ourselves. But that’s a level of irony for a whole different post.
But you’re not going to be in an urban area so how would you be caught I hear you cry. I would hope to shout since discharging a firearm is illegal in most cities and townships. But you should know you are not safe just because you’re in the middle of nowhere. All it takes is for one person to see you and dislike what you’re doing and you’ll be in a world of trouble. Joe had problems because someone who was near a quarry he had permission to be at called the sheriff and the ATF. Joe learned of the situation after and an ATF Agent, not inspector (also known as the branch of Jack Booted Thugs), tracked him down and contacted him weeks after the incident. Note Joe has a license to manufacture and handle explosives and permissions to be on the property. Joe also knew inspectors on a first name basis with people in the same office as the agent. Joe had every i dotted and t crossed and was legal and clear in what he was doing.
What cards do you have to play like that if someone doesn’t like what you’re doing? You will be in violation 70.74.022 and if they attempt to classify the explosive as a firework you will be violating 70.77.495. All it takes is some people trying to enjoy the wilderness that are disrupted by your activities and with a description of your vehicle you life can start rolling down hill.
FYI, I’m more familiar with how the legal system works that most people would ever like to be. There is a phrase I often say that I am going to repeat here, it’s how prosecutors think:
Given the overall destruction of Mens Rea three isn’t much the nanny state wont outlaw. Even given the fact that it’s nanny stateish I would be very careful about willfully or knowingly committing crimes, much less posting to Facebook about your intent and will to do so. That’s just not smart or bright at all. Especially since it can be brought out as evidence later showing you knew full well about the legalities involved.
Will you probably get away without a problem? Probably. Does it have the potential to go south on you? Most definitely. Do you need to be prepared about the potential to cause a fire? Yes, even though it isn’t extremely likely it can happen. It may not even happen while you’re there but a day or two later.
What the wife was saying and I’m repeating:
Be careful, know what you’re doing is dangerous and can have consequences that you’re not immediately aware of, and be prepared to deal with them because youare responsible. You would think that common sense would work, but common sense isn’t always so common. Instead of walking over people thinking you know more than them and just dismissing their comments for whatever reason, maybe you should just shut up and listen. They might have a reason for what they’re saying.