Last day at Microsoft

Barb and I cleaned the last of my stuff out of my office yesterday so there wasn’t a whole lot of things to do today. The developer and test team took me out to lunch and gave me a nice card and some gifts. I turned over some unit test code improvements to a co-worker. They will check it in some other time when “the bar” isn’t so high. I turned in all the “engineering” cell phones I had in my storage cabinet. I went to the company store and bought a few things. And I filled out the online exit survey.

But what may turn out to be the most important was my in-person “exit interview” with HR. She asked “Why are you leaving Microsoft?” I told her it was entirely due to my manager. I loved my job until he came along. I told her in my 30+ years as an engineer I have had alcoholic managers, incredible stupid managers, and even one that was bordering on sexual harassment. None of them were all that difficult for me to work with. But this one was impossible for me to deal with and I could not find another way out. I talked to previous direct reports of his who had the same problems. My co-workers and I had talked to his boss with zero results. Another co-worker (Chet) had quit before me and there would almost for certain be others who follow me. And that I would have rather gone back to the farm in Idaho and shovel manure than work for him. I spent 20 minutes telling her stories and she took nearly a full page of notes. She said I should have come to HR sooner and they could have gotten me out of the situation almost immediately. I wouldn’t and shouldn’t have had to leave Microsoft. My boss’s boss should have addressed the problem. He was at fault in this too. Would I ever, sometime in the future, be interested in coming back to Microsoft? “Yes, I might be”, I replied. She told me there was nothing in my record that would prevent that and to give it consideration.

I’m skeptical HR could have or would have done something earlier. Talk is cheap at this point. It does makes me feel better so that is at least a momentary pleasure. But will there be any change? I don’t know. If there is change I’ll eventually find out about it. It would be nice if there is a hint of justice in the world but I’ve seen enough cases where you just have to say, “Life isn’t fair. You just have to move on.”

I’ll probably dribble more details out over the coming weeks but one thing I just can’t hold on to any longer…

Remember when I said I wanted to say something about remote update on the phone? There were a bunch of problems with updating customer phones in the field that delayed getting new versions of the software out to all our customers. I talked to someone on the team that fixed that problem and got the story as to what was wrong with the code. Before my boss came to my team he was the developer lead on “device update”. It was his team that shipped the faulty code.

After working for him for several months I was not surprised the code his team wrote gave us the greatest grief in the field.

My one regret today is that he wasn’t in his office when I dropped off my badge. I expected he would want to shake my hand and say something nice to me. I was ready to refuse and tell him, “GO. TO. HELL.”

Quote of the day—Lyle@UltiMAK

It never ceases to amaze me that so many can get so upset over something so innocuous as simply leaving people alone.

May 31, 2011
Comment to Quote of the day—Dave Workman.
[Yeah. Amazing isn’t it? But yet it happens over so many things like homosexuality, skin color, what (if any) religious beliefs you observe, and how many rounds of ammo your gun holds. Why should there even need to be constitutional protection for something so innocuous?—Joe]

Quote of the Weekend

“I never thought it would be this much fun.  I thought it would just be a bunch of learning.” – Josh – One of my nephews

My niece, Roz and her husband, Josh had been talking about getting firearms for protection, but they wanted to get some hands-on experience before making any decisions.  I’d been telling them for some time that I was willing to show them several different handguns and long guns, different action types and so on, and have them do some shooting.

They made it down from Spokane to Palouse, WA, with a stop in Moscow to hand the baby over to Grandmother, on Monday.  After a quick briefing at my place as I was loading up the pickup, we headed to the closest range, about 9 miles away on the edge of Garfield, WA.

“I’ve got a pickup load of iron, and lead” – Josh said it should be a country song.  I agree.

This is for Tam – This is why you need a full sized, extended cab 4 x 4 pickup with canopy.  You can carry a lot of guns, a shooting bench, a clay target thrower, 100s of pounds of ammunition and several people all at once.  The duals in the back are optional.

When we got to the range, there was another pickup there stuck in the mud, a couple dozen cattle out in the adjacent wheat fields, a man on an ATV and one on foot out trying to round up the cattle, and Officer Friendly standing in the parking lot telling us A) that the range was closed for Memorial Day, B) the other truck was stuck, and C) don’t go over there and try pulling him out because you’ll just get stuck too.

Long story short; I went over there and pulled the other truck out (easily) the cattle got put back into their proper field, and Officer Friendly, who so far as I could tell didn’t do much if anything, said “Thanks for helping out”.  I didn’t tell him what I thought.  I just said, “No problem”.
Roz and Josh had come all this way to learn about guns and do some shooting, and here we were at a closed range messing around with tow straps, mud, cops and cattle.  Sometimes you just have to roll with what’s thrown at you.

15 more miles to an abandoned gravel pit and we were in shooting heaven.  We went through the safety rules, the functioning and handling of the AR-15, position, grip, sight alignment, breath control, trigger control, follow-through…  Slow fire at 80 yards, rapid fire at 20 feet.  Same with handguns.  At several points along the way, Roz was laughing as she was popping off rapid double and triple taps with a Glock 20, and hitting her target. “Front sight front sight front sight!  Your group’s too small, speed it up!” Giggle giggle giggle.  I think the dot-sighted M1 30 carbine was the favorite “fun gun” of the day though.

As we were wrapping things up, Josh came out with the money quote.

After all the talk and anxieties we’ve gone through at home regarding education verses understanding, teaching methods, self-organizing systems, etc., over the last few years, I can’t tell you how significant and how terrific it was to hear that.

Lakewood Massacre as an UPSA stage

On Saturday Barb and I spent the day with our kids. Our daughter Xenia currently lives in Lakewood Washington.

On November 29, 2009 Lakewood had four police officers murdered in a coffee shop while they were writing their reports. This is believed to be the most deadly attack on law enforcement in the state of Washington.

While spending time with our daughters we visited the site of the event and I took some pictures.

There is a memorial honoring the slain officers.


According to Wikipedia:

On the morning of Sunday, November 29, 2009, the four officers were working on their laptop computers prior to the start of their shift inside a Forza Coffee Company coffee shop in nearby Parkland, adjacent to McChord Air Force Base. All four were in full uniform, armed, and wearing bulletproof vests. At approximately 8:15 a.m. Maurice Clemmons entered the coffee shop, approached the counter, turned around, and opened fire on the four seated officers with a semi-automatic handgun. Sgt. Mark Renniger and Officer Tina Griswold were killed as they sat in their chairs. Officer Ronald Owens was killed as he stood up and attempted to draw his weapon. Officer Greg Richards managed to get into a struggle with Clemmons and fire his own weapon, wounding Clemmons, before being shot and killed. Clemmons was then seen getting into a vehicle which fled the scene. Neither the two coffee shop employees nor the other customers in the store were hurt, and no money was taken from the cash register. Investigators say the murder was a targeted attack against police officers in general; none of the four officers was individually targeted and robbery was ruled out as a motive.

In the interior picture above Barb and the girls are standing at the counter which Clemmons approached. I asked the baristas where the police officers were sitting but they did not know.

I created an USPSA stage to partially recreate the event. As one of the props for the stage I have a coffee cup from the store. The Lewiston Pistol Club will be shooting the stage Lakewood Massacre (along with Heads or Tails, Six Six Six Six, Steel Cardboard and the classifier Band and Clang) next Sunday. Nonmembers and beginners are welcome to participate.

Update: Based on feedback from more experienced stage designers some of the stages have been slightly modified. Due to details found in a link provided in the comments by ubu52 there were modifications to some of the distances in the Lakewood Massacre stage.

Quote of the day—Stephan P. Halbrook

A year after passage, the Civil Rights Act was the subject of a report from President Grant to Congress which stated that parts of the South were under the control of Ku Klux Klans, the objects of which were “to deprive colored citizens of the right to bear arms and of the right to a free ballot ….” In debate on a bill to expand civil rights protection, Senator John Scott explained how Klansmen seized the firearms of their victims before lynching them. But Senator Pratt observed that the Klansman “fears the gun” of a man in his “humble fortress.” The Klan targeted the black who would “tell his fellow blacks of their legal rights, as for instance their right to carry arms and defend their persons and homes.”

In sum, the Civil Rights Act of 1871 was understood to provide a remedy to persons who were deprived of the right to carry firearms for self defense. This is such a case.

Stephan P. Halbrook
May 25, 2011
EDWARD PERUTA, et at., Plaintiffs-Appellants v. COUNTY OF SAN DIEGO, et at., Defendants-Appellees
[Via David Hardy.

The right to keep and bear arms is a civil right. The first laws in this country to deprive people of this specific enumerated right were specifically intended to keep slaves, and sometimes more generally all “people of color”, from possessing firearms. When governments expand the prohibitions to include nearly all people what they are implicitly saying is the people in general should be treated as slaves with the upside down relationship of the public servants being treated as the masters.

This arrogance of public servants cannot be tolerated. Sometimes servants need to be reminded of their position in life. This is one of those times.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Dave Workman

Wisconsin would not be in its present situation had it not been for anti-gun former Gov. Jim Doyle, a Democrat. He twice vetoed concealed carry legislation that had been supported by most people on both sides of the issue that would have included permits. His actions have resulted in something of a civil rights backlash, with many gun owners now pushing for full carry rights without a permit. It’s essentially payback for Doyle and a handful of Democrats who refused to override his vetoes. If Wisconsin’s Legislature adopts constitutional carry, the blame, or credit depending upon one’s perspective, lies at Doyle’s feet and nobody else’s. He had two chances to be “reasonable,” as the gun control crowd always puts it, and he blew them both.

Why this is important to gun rights advocates in the Pacific Northwest should be obvious. Washington has one of the strongest state constitutional right-to-bear-arms provisions in the nation. Open carry has been legal here since before statehood, as noted yesterday. CPLs were not required until 1933. We can carry right now in the Capitol and legislative office buildings, a fact that gives gun prohibitionists heartburn. A growing contingent of Evergreen State gun owners think we ought to return to the “good old days” and point to Alaska, Arizona (which has a state constitutional provision identical to Washington’s) and Vermont as examples of properly minimal gun regulation.

If Wisconsin adopts, right out of the gate, a constitutional carry measure where no concealed carry provision existed previously, then 2012’s legislative session in Olympia just might see the same proposal. In an election year, that could create a degree of political discomfort for lawmakers who do not care to rile this state’s activist gun owners.

Dave Workman
May 26, 2011
WI panel OKs gun bill; columnist shows bankruptcy of anti-CCW mindset
[The repression of a group over a long period of time spawns resentment. This resentment can result in a demand for “justice” that far exceeds the original modest requests. For many decades gun owners have been treated as second and third class citizens instead of first class as have those that exercised other specific enumerated rights such as freedom of speech.

Those that lament our recent successes in our regaining the recognition of our rights should celebrate that we found success in the courts and the legislatures rather than through our method of last of resort. I suspect we were far closer to the breaking point than the other side realized. Hence our gains are far more modest than they really should be but there is the benefit of the gains being obtained without the shedding of blood. For that both sides can and should celebrate that the system is working.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Joss Whedon

The first thing I ever thought of when I thought of “Buffy: The Movie” was the little…blonde girl who goes into a dark alley and gets killed, in every horror movie. The idea of “Buffy” was to subvert that idea, that image, and create someone who was a hero where she had always been a victim.

Joss Whedon
Welcome to the Hellmouth DVD Commentary from Wikiquote.
[The idea of the right to bear arms is the same.

About 70% of the people in the firearms classes I have taught have been women. All of them were taking the class so they could get a concealed weapons license. I don’t consider them heroes. They are ordinary individuals exercising their natural rights.

We create people who can and will defend themselves against evil. We create a society of individuals who can, will, and must respect the sanctity of life and the dignity of others.

The Brady Campaign has a vested interest in the “little blonde girl” getting killed in the dark alley because that is how they perpetuate their organization. The more victims the more they can dance in the blood and the more donations they get. They create victims and call them heroes and experts. This has to stop. It has to stop with my generation and I intend to help make it so.—Joe]

2011 MGM Junior Shooters Camp

From the USPSA:

Attention all Junior Shooters!

This year’s camp is going to be the best yet! This year the scheduled instructors include Phil Strader, Max Michel, Randi Rogers, B.J. Norris, Matt Burkett, and Manny Bragg! This year’s camp is going to be in Parma, ID on July 22nd – 24th. Price is $260 per junior shooter and includes lodging for the shooter and his/her guardian. All of our former sponsor are once again showing their support by donating prizes, cash for scholarships and Remington has even offered to provide each junior shooter with 500 rounds of ammo! For more information check out the camps website at There is a limit of 60 shooters so get your entries in soon!

The camp is the weekend before the MGM Targets Grand Nationals Man on Man Shoot Off (modeled after the American Handgunner World Shoot Off) This will be a great vacation for families that enjoy shooting!

Camp Staff

Here is a story from the 2010 camp.

I wonder what the Brady Campaign has to offer the young to pick their sides in the war over gun ownership rights. Oh! That’s right. They just have sad stories and obvious lies to tell.

Quote of the day—Clark Aposhian

The Second Amendment is not about what I need. It’s about what I want — as long as I obey the law with it. If we start restricting everything to what we need, we are going to be a very boring society.

Clark Aposhian
May 27, 2011
Utah market shows a boom in military-style guns
[While correct this is a little bit weak. More forceful would be “The Second Amendment is not about what I need. It is about what the government is forbidden to do. The question of ‘need” is what must be demanded of the government and never the individual. It is a Bill of Rights. It is not a bill of needs.”—Joe]

Firearms Coalitions action alert

Via email from Jeff Knox:

From: The Firearms Coalition’s e-Update
Sent: Thursday, May 26, 2011 4:55 PM
Subject: [Fcalerts e-Update] Immediate Action Alert!

Immediate Action Alert . . . .

Immediate Action Needed – Window Closes Tuesday!!

Copy the text of the email below or rewrite it in your own words and email it to:

The comment period for the ATF’s proposed “temporary,” emergency regulation requiring firearms dealers to file reports every time someone purchases more than one semi-auto long gun was reopened, but that comment period closes this Tuesday, May 31.
During the last comment period on this gun owners were outnumbered by the prohibitionists.  That should NEVER happen!  We outnumber them 10 to one and our response to outrageous proposals like this should reflect that numbers advantage.
The ATF claims the reporting is necessary to combat the flow of firearms across the border into Mexico, but in light of the “Gunwalker” scandal currently being investigated in Congress and by the Justice Department Inspector General’s office, it looks like ATF is the problem, not the solution.

Some implications of the Project Gunwalker scandal are that ATF has already been receiving significant, voluntary cooperation from gun dealers in the border states, but that the agency has used that cooperation more to build inflate the numbers of illegally “trafficked” weapons as a way of justifying their existence.

Beyond the complications of Project Gunwalker, the idea of requiring reporting of multiple long gun sales is clearly in conflict with established congressional mandates and restrictions on ATF’s authority.  By attempting to push through this major regulatory change without congressional approval (which they could not get), ATF is seriously overstepping their legal authority.

Please copy and paste the following note into an email or write your own and get it submitted as soon as possible.  Also, please do the following: Cc so we have some record of responses; Send copies to your Senators and Representative and ask that they send their own notes of opposition to ATF; Be sure to repost this Alert to all of your friends and every pro-gun forum you can find.  We must have an overwhelming response to this.
Sample comment:
Subject: Oppose Regulation Expanding Multiple Sale Reporting
I am writing to oppose the Information collection action to register multiple sales of certain rifles with BATFE  from the 04/29/2011 Federal Register:

This information collection is both illegal and unnecessary.

*  The action proposed is outside the statutory grant of authority to record information about multiple sales of firearms.  Title 18 U.S.C. § 923(g)(3)(A) specifically grants the authority to collect multiple sale information on handguns and revolvers.  Other firearms are excluded and there is no implied authority to extend this reporting requirement to rifles or any other type of firearm.
*  Analysis of the number of firearms seized shows that Mexico is being primarily supplied with firearms by South American countries, NOT the United States.  In fact, a STRATFOR report indicates that fully 90% of the firearms traced in Mexico are NOT coming from the United States, contrary to assertions in the mainstream media:

Additionally, Wikileaks cables have shown the US Government is at least partially responsible for supplying Mexico from the United States:  These firearms are NOT from the US commercial market.

*  Source documents of the BATFE uncovered by US Senator Grassley and US Representative Issa show that BATFE has been complicit in supplying Mexican Narco-terrorist forces with firearms:

*  ”FFL” holders are already required by law to respond to BATFE requests for information on firearms distribution pursuant to criminal investigations:  Title 18 U.S.C. § 923(g)(7).

*  The regulation contains no provision for the destruction of information collected, which establishes a nationwide registry of “certain types of firearms” as proposed. Because of this the regulation, as proposed, is illegal under Title 18 U.S.C. § 926(a).  ”No such rule or regulation … may require that records required to be maintained under this chapter or any portion of the contents of such records, be recorded at or transferred to a facility owned, managed, or controlled by the United States or any State or any political subdivision thereof, nor that any system of registration of firearms, firearms owners, or firearms transactions or disposition be established.”

There is a grave potential for this regulation to unduly burden citizens who are collectors or must obtain purchase permits at the local or state level to possess firearms. The proposed regulation does not say what the agency intends to do with the information but ostensibly it would be for criminal investigations. Subjecting law abiding gun owners to this type of investigation under the guise of “information collection” is an overt attempt to prevent them from exercising their 2nd Amendment rights to purchase and own firearms.
This regulatory action should not be approved.
# # #
Whether you use this specific language, edit it, or compose a letter of your own, please take action immediately!  Do not put off sending a comment!
Comments must be received by Tuesday May 31, 2011.
Repost — Repost — REPOST!!
Please Send Your Comments Immediately and cc to
Thank you for your Action!
Jeff Knox 
Director, The Firearms Coalition

Quote of the day—Susan Glick

The bottom line is that Florida’s concealed-carry law puts guns into the hands of criminals.

It is ironic that the gun lobby’s ‘model’ concealed carry law is designed to actually reward criminals who plea bargain, a practice that the gun lobby’s rhetoric routinely and vehemently condemns. Under the Florida law, Patrick Purdy, perpetrator of the 1989 Stockton, California schoolyard massacre, and the gun lobby’s poster-boy for the evils of plea bargaining, would not have been prevented from eventually obtaining a concealed carry license despite his previous arrests and convictions for drug possession, illegal possession of dangerous weapons, firing a pistol in a national forest, and resisting arrest.

Florida’s law has made it substantially easier for individuals with criminal records or criminal intent to go about armed. The findings in Concealed Carry: The Criminal’s Companion demonstrate that Florida’s concealed carry law is definitely a model one not to be followed.

Susan Glick
November 1, 1995
VPC Health Policy Analyst
New Study Shows Florida’s “Model” Concealed Carry Law Puts Guns Into the Hands of Criminals
[Note the date, 1995 before you get too wound up over this. History has shown the were demonstrable wrong on the “model one not to be followed” and their efforts to stop the shall issue concealed carry laws from steamrolling the nation were futile.

Even if we ignore the hints they prefer a system where accusations and not convictions are all that are required to deny a person their specific enumerated right to keep and bear arms they still have serious problems with their mindset. It may take few extra seconds to grasp but their basic premise is incredibly stupid. Almost any normal person would realize this within a minute after putting it down on paper. That they don’t recognize this shows how broken their mental processes are.

How can they possibly claim, “Florida’s law has made it substantially easier for individuals with criminal records or criminal intent to go about armed.”? Or “The bottom line is that Florida’s concealed-carry law puts guns into the hands of criminals.”? Do recreational drug users have any problem finding a supplier? Does anyone think that the criminal who wants a firearm will have trouble finding a supplier or tucking a gun into their waistband if they can’t get a concealed carry permit?

The anti-gun people have long demonstrated they have crap for brains and this is just one more example.—Joe]

Good old boys organization for California concealed carry

I was reading the appellants’ opening brief in EDWARD PERUTA, et. al., v. COUNTY OF SAN DIEGO, et. al. and found some interesting material.

It turns out that if you are much more likely to get a concealed carry permit if you are willing and able to join the Honorary Deputy Sheriff’s Association (“HDSA”) – a private, civilian entity, wherein membership is achieved merely by being sponsored by a current member, passing a background check, making a “donation” and paying annual dues (see pages 10 and 11).

Sponsored by a current member, make a “donation, and pay dues? Imagine only getting permission to exercise your right to an abortion, free speech, practice your religion, or a jury trial if you could get “sponsored by a current member” and made a “donation”. If this were anything other than a gun issue you would hear the screams of racism and sexism from the other side of the continent.

The right to keep and bear arms is a specific enumerated right and it’s time these repressive governments get slapped down over it.

For more information on this case see Michel & Associates, P.C. web page on Peruta v. San Diego.

Quote of the day—John M. Snyder

The facts show the gun grabbers are out to lunch. The entire gun control movement is full of bananas.

A drop in violent crime rates does NOT correlate with a drop in gun purchase rates. It DOES correlate with an increase in firearms purchase rates.

John M. Snyder
Telum Associates, LLC
Arlington, VA
Crime Rates Drop as Gun Buy Rates Rise, notes Gun Law Expert
[So much for “gun availability” being a contributing factor to crime rates—Joe]

Quote of the day—Mad Rocket Scientist

I would just love to hear about one these RAIDS coming up short because the doors wouldn’t batter down and the windows just chipped instead of breaking. I can just imagine the SWAT team standing outside of the little bungalow they tried to force, a bit perplexed that they couldn’t get it, when grandma’s voice comes out of the intercom speaker by the door, “Can I help you?”.

Mad Rocket Scientist
May 24, 2011
I think I’m gonna start a business
[There are other outcomes that I have fantasized about which also bring a smile to my face. But implementations are not cheap and the risks are unacceptably high even though the deterrence effects would be “significant”. It also probably would require “entrapment” of the police by the homeowner which would be frowned upon by many.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Nicolo Machiavelli

For among other evils which being unarmed brings you, it causes you to be despised, and this is one of those ignominies against which a prince ought to guard himself, as is shown later on.

Nicolo Machiavelli
The Prince, Chapter XIV, That Which Concerns A Prince On The Subject Of The Art Of War
[The first half that sentence is sometimes attributed to Charlton Heston. It’s possible that Heston borrowed that fragment from Machiavelli or it’s possible that it’s improperly attributed to Heston. I haven’t bothered to track it down but I thought you should know.

It’s also important to point out that we don’t have recognized royalty as rulers in this country. This country was designed with a different model. A model where the ultimate power resides with the people and they grant certain enumerated powers to the government via the various constitutions.

Because of this difference in models between a society which has the ultimate power residing with the royalty and a society where the ultimate power resides with the people the proper analog of Machiavelli’s instruction in our country is that the people should be armed to prevent them from being despised by the government. And so it came to be that we have the Second Amendment to our constitution and similar, if not stronger, provisions in most state constitutions.—Joe]

Steel Challenge results

Today I shot in a Steel Challenge match at the Lewiston Pistol Club. With Boomershoot consuming my time for the previous couple of months and the timing of my visits to Idaho not coincident with the match schedules it has been a long time since I shot in a match.

I messed up one stage and that hurt my overall results badly:

May 22, 2011 Steel



Showdown Jr

Not that W

Smoke & Hope

Total Time

Roger (auto)







Roger (Revolver)










































Mike S.





















Mike G







Notice the top two positions are the same guy shooting an auto loader and a revolver? It just goes to show you it is the shooter/training not the gun that makes the biggest difference in the outcome of a shooting match. Also, I am pretty sure Roger is the oldest shooter. What does that tell you given that I am in my mid-50s?

I’m skeptical

The Brady Campaign as an organization as well as board members and top leaders have repeatedly said they don’t want to ban guns.

One should probably regard such claims with skepticism since Google reports there are 86,200 instances of the of the word “ban” on their website.

Bing reports only 48,200 instances. Well, okay then. I guess it’s not as bad as I thought it was.