Shooting Like A Girl…

So I was browsing through footage from Boomershoot 2012 and there was a couple clips I had intended to use but forgot about.  You see when Anette heard there was a rifle caliber pistol, she looked all giddy when I told her that.  Then we warned her about all the things that could possibly go wrong, most importantly making sure you provide correct eye relief before the shot. 

Below is the video of Anette and Shelly teaching us how to shoot like a girl.

Yes, Anette squealed like a little girl and Shelly just turned around and rocked it like a boss.  Now in Anette’s defense, she hadn’t seen that pistol fired every.  She didn’t know really what to expect other than what we warned her about.  Well when you’re warned about it flying back punching people in the face, you get a bit apprehensive.   Shelly got the benefit of watching Anette shoot it so she knew exactly what to expect.  Never the less, it was fun for everyone there, even Anette!

At the end was my new production clip I’m going to put at the end of every video I do.  That was my first venture into the world of After Effects and over time I may add more but that was 100% done in house.  I recorded the sound and edited it, did the 3D animation, and did the effect for the writing.  The animation was the hardest part because for some reason my render would break about a quarter of the way through.  Finally I did it in a bunch of stills and then condensed it into a clip.  Also of note, creating models in Solidworks is much easier than Blender.  Honestly I think blender has to be the most counter intuitive UI I have ever encountered.  When you’re excuse is, you haven’t learned it, you’re doing it wrong.  It doesn’t even lend itself to playing to figure it out, that’s a freaking clue!

The War on Mice

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

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

Yesterday morning I woke up to this:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ESS And Boomershoot 2012…

It went up without me even noticing it! 

Guns and explosives, not to mention Shelly and Anette.  Why haven’t you hit play yet!?

I mentioned how much I liked ESS Eyewear back here.  The video title makes me wonder where volumes 1-4 are though.

Yeah I’ll be on and off this week…

I am currently on “vacation” visiting friends and family.  Yesterday I met up with Phil and Scott from RNS down on the Tacoma water front.

Phil’s awesomeness was just radiating from him while at the restaurant.  It was a fun evening and was nice to catch up with friends I usually only see once a year at Boomershoot.

Earlier in the day though the wife and I went to Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium for the first time since our wedding.

I wasn’t smiling because well, I don’t normally smile.  Don’t know why, but I just don’t smile that much if it’s a staged photo.  We paid a visit to where we had our reception too. 

The Gibbons were out just the same as they were during our reception.  Just as adorable too.

We also found the Sumatran Tiger that was on display at our reception.

Here she is now, evidently she is most likely pregnant too.

And there’s even more cubs at the zoo, here’s baby snow leopards.

Yes, they were just as adorable in person.  There were a couple other cats that were adorable but I only have pictures.  If you have kittens, that’s exactly how they were acting but they were bigger.  I wanted to play with the kitty cats.  We did however stumble across a red wolf puppy.

Yes I know all of these are wonderful cell phone quality, I didn’t feel like lugging around my SLR and backpack.  Yes I had an urge to shoot the little bastards.  The only good wolf is a dead wolf however I consider a zoo a sanctuary and given they are nothing like the Timber Wolf or Grey Wolf.   That brings me to a story of someone who needed blunt force trauma to the face.

You see there are peacocks that run around the zoo uncaged.  They’re beautiful with gorgeous tails. When we finally ran across one it looked like it was shedding its feathers, but still seemed odd.  As TMW and I were talking a couple overheard us and told us that a woman was chasing the peacock earlier and stepping on its tail to get its feathers.  Yeah I was filled with rage when I heard that.  While I am not fond of some animals in the wild, I understand their role and don’t want to drive their extinction.  That said, something like that just disturbs me on so many levels.

So yeah, I’m going to be visiting other friends all this week and will blog when I can.

How I Came to Love ESS Eyewear

I will state this up front.  TMW 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, “TMM, 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.

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.

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.