Quote of the day—Roberta X

Don’t kid yourself that you’re in the clear because of your ancestors; it wasn’t just Jews, and the others weren’t all gay or gypsies, either: the politically unpopular got one-way trips, too.  Once a nation starts down that path, each step into evil is easier than the one before.

You don’t have to like politics, but you’ve gotta keep an eye on it.  No matter who you are.

Roberta X
April 15, 2015
Holocaust Remembrance Day
[The German people of the late 1930’s and early 1940’s are best known for their evil behavior but the Russians while Stalin was in power easily eclipsed the German body count. The Chinese killed millions at various times during the 20th Century. The Rwanda genocide wasn’t on the same scale in absolute numbers but may have account for as much as 20% of the population. The examples are incredibly and depressingly numerous.

There is one thing governments, of any type of people, do very well and that is killing people. We have lots of government in this country and it going to require lots of attention until we can get it back down to the originally designed limits. The stakes are incredibly high if goes totally malignant.

This is Why Boomershoot. It’s next weekend. Be there if you can. You can be part of the solution if things go really bad.—Joe]

Your estimated wait time

My sales tax quarterly filing for Boomershoot stuff is due today. The Idaho State Tax Commission has a new website for E-filing and paying taxes and when I tried to file on Saturday (yes, I procrastinate, it’s where daughter Xenia gets it from, see also here) it wouldn’t let me file. Barb tried calling and got a message saying their hours were Monday through Friday. I tried again this morning and still couldn’t get the button to file like the instructions said would be there.

Six minutes after they opened I called and pressed ‘0’ to speak with someone. The recorded messages said, “Your estimated wait time is four thousand, seven hundred and 60 minutes.”

This is what you get when dealing with monopolies. I can’t wait, but everyone will, for single payer health care.

As I had to take a shower and get to work sometime before midday Thursday I wrote them a letter with my story of woe*, sales numbers, and a check then mailed it on my way to work after I sent them an email saying the check was in the mail.

* It is possible it is my fault. After I had the letter and check sealed up in the envelope I noticed a tiny field on the online form. It was where I expected to have a label saying “ID number” because my tax ID number was just to the right of it. But it said, “Annual”. It’s possible they switched me to filing annually instead of quarterly without me reading carefully enough some letter they sent a few months ago.

But my guess is that the software vendor accidentally converted all the quarterly filing people to annual filing.


Boomershoot daffodils

Nine days ago Barb and I were in Idaho and among other things we inspected the daffodils we transplanted nearly two years ago. Last year they were rather disappointing with only a little bit of foliage and almost no blooms. I was concerned they weren’t going to make it. But this year they are looking pretty good:



I don’t know if they will still be blooming for Boomershoot this year but I hope so.

It snowed most of the morning and on the north slopes and higher altitudes it stuck on the ground pretty good:


We unloaded the stakes at the Taj Mahal, then we went to Mecca where I puttered around with Wi-Fi, lights, and shelves while Barb swapped out some fluorescent bulbs for LED bulbs and folded a bunch of target boxes.

Barb also got the conference/dining room at the Orofino Best Western scheduled for Boomershoot 2016. The date will be announced at the Boomershoot 2015 dinner on May 2nd, just 17 days from now.

Everything is on track for great Boomershoot this year. There are still positions available if you would like join us for an event you will never forget.

One lie update

At a group meeting at work today they asked for “Two truths and one lie”. I used these:

  • I won first place while playing for the University of Idaho chess team in the Association of College Unions Intercollegiate Tournaments in Region 14 (Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana).
  • I have a solar powered explosives production facility in Idaho where I make about a ton of explosives using Kitchen-Aid mixers each year for recreational purposes.
  • I went to Blackwater (a private military company and security consulting firm) for “gun blogger summer camp” for free and was taught by one of the top handgun shooters in the world.

After some discussion they pretty much unanimously agreed it was the chess item. Good job guys!

One of the guys in the group said, “I’m glad he is working on our side.” The director (who found out about Boomershoot during my interview for the job and signed up to attend Boomershoot with her husband) of our group responded with, “That’s why we hired him.”

Steel Challenge match results

Ry and I went to a Steel Challenge match today. I shot with a centerfire pistol and he shot a .22 Pistol.

I came in fourth out of 30 people which is significantly better than the seventh out of 36 last time with this group. I felt really good about almost all of my shooting this time. Well… except after stage 4 where I had no problems and it confounded almost everyone else in our squad and Taylor said she wasn’t going to hang out me with anymore. I completed it in 19 seconds flat and it took her over 49 seconds.

Ry made a video of me shooting one of the stages. It seems like my draw is really slow but it seems to be on the order of 1.5 seconds so that isn’t too bad.

Another thing of interest is that I was wearing a Boomershoot 2006 shirt and the R.O. said the Latin (Veni, vidi, BOOM!) was perfect.

Here are more detailed results:

Stage # SCSA ID Stage Name
1 ?? Go Fast
2 ?? Star Burst
3 ?? Concentrate
4 ?? In & Out

Centerfire Pistol

Place Name Comp SCSA Division Aggregate Total Stage 1 Stage 2 Stage 3 Stage 4 DQ Additional
1 Christian S 58 PROD 57.71 57.71 10.40 15.62 15.48 16.21 Junior
2 Alexander W 55 3362 OPN 62.61 62.61 9.71 15.71 21.12 16.07 Junior
3 Connor P 60 A87260 PROD 72.30 72.30 11.00 20.43 20.04 20.83 Junior
4 Joe H 23 3799 ISP 74.71 74.71 12.54 20.58 22.59 19.00 Senior
5 Bob S 2 PROD 78.06 78.06 13.02 20.21 22.55 22.28 Senior
6 Euan G 4 ISP 81.87 81.87 13.85 26.14 20.99 20.89
7 Jeff K 15 PROD 87.74 87.74 13.69 25.61 20.77 27.67
8 Matthew M 14 PROD 88.08 88.08 13.94 24.69 25.48 23.97 Military
9 Dan P 62 A87261 ISP 89.16 89.16 15.05 25.94 24.13 24.04
10 Eric W 63 3362 PROD 90.28 90.28 16.24 22.62 27.87 23.55
11 Lukasz T 35 5956 ISP 90.31 90.31 10.87 24.60 26.03 28.81
12 Bradley M 57 PROD 96.33 96.33 13.15 23.80 29.56 29.82 Junior
13 Lance B 16 PROD 97.86 97.86 18.22 26.53 25.52 27.59
14 Tim R 20 ISR 99.84 99.84 18.85 23.81 26.24 30.94
15 Earl B 10 ISP 100.32 100.32 19.27 24.08 28.13 28.84
16 Don C 33 A85736 PROD 101.26 101.26 16.96 27.43 29.15 27.72 Senior
17 Jason F 24 PROD 104.44 104.44 14.90 29.54 30.07 29.93
18 Jeffrey K 39 A84426 PROD 106.46 106.46 16.19 31.00 25.14 34.13 Senior
19 Jesse P 28 PROD 109.06 109.06 18.42 29.30 28.91 32.43
20 Mark B 3 OPN 112.01 112.01 18.79 30.51 29.48 33.23
21 Bryce K 8 PROD 114.50 114.50 18.86 26.12 30.76 38.76
22 Brad M 49 ISP 119.75 119.75 16.98 39.49 34.20 29.08
23 Jason G 27 A86456 PROD 121.79 121.79 17.35 32.19 35.62 36.63
24 Joel F 7 PROD 124.19 124.19 18.71 29.01 33.64 42.83
25 Euan G 9 PROD 125.53 125.53 23.00 31.80 37.14 33.59
26 Patrick D 5 PROD 155.65 155.65 17.15 40.77 49.57 48.16 Military
27 Denny M 25 PROD 164.79 164.79 27.78 50.18 38.22 48.61
28 Taylor C 18 ISP 170.22 170.22 20.46 47.90 52.83 49.03 Lady
29 Gail C 19 PROD 210.22 210.22 29.49 62.28 52.56 65.89 Lady
30 Paul B 29 A87020 PROD 248.23 248.23 18.95 120.00 42.46 68.43 Senior

.22 Pistol

Place Name Comp SCSA Division Aggregate Total Stage 1 Stage 2 Stage 3 Stage 4 DQ Additional
1 Christian S 59 RFPI 46.69 46.69 7.16 13.10 14.21 12.22 Junior
2 Connor P 61 A87260 RFPI 47.66 47.66 7.74 12.04 14.85 13.03 Junior
3 Lukasz T 34 5956 RFPO 50.86 50.86 8.54 14.39 13.33 14.60
4 Bradley M 56 RFPI 53.63 53.63 7.28 14.55 17.20 14.60 Junior
5 Jeff K 6 RFPO 55.02 55.02 9.39 14.23 15.63 15.77
6 Stephen D 1 RFPO 56.18 56.18 9.83 16.39 13.44 16.52
7 Alexander W 54 3362 RFPI 57.27 57.27 8.91 13.97 15.88 18.51 Junior
8 Cel A 48 4893 RFPI 58.49 58.49 11.97 15.46 15.82 15.24
9 Lance B 12 RFPI 72.81 72.81 12.20 17.27 21.37 21.97
10 Addison L 52 RFPI 73.83 73.83 9.14 20.13 26.24 18.32 Junior
11 Earl B 11 RFPI 79.23 79.23 9.65 19.77 24.54 25.27
12 Michael M 50 RFPI 93.87 93.87 17.92 26.63 23.32 26.00
13 Erik F 17 RFPI 95.71 95.71 14.51 26.51 30.53 24.16
14 Denny M 26 RFPI 103.69 103.69 11.45 29.27 36.83 26.14
15 Ry J 21 TY76202 RFPO 112.62 112.62 18.63 24.50 34.05 35.44
16 Adrian C 38 RFPI 113.81 113.81 15.13 25.98 35.98 36.72 Junior
17 James W 32 RFPI 116.89 116.89 13.68 40.04 35.67 27.50 Senior
18 Sara W 45 RFPI 117.25 117.25 30.42 30.62 30.36 25.85 Lady, Junior
19 Sabrina W 43 RFPI 125.27 125.27 19.81 37.65 36.21 31.60 Lady, Junior
20 Joey M 47 RFPI 143.40 143.40 44.56 42.90 26.41 29.53 Junior
21 Ezzy A 44 5478 RFPI 153.70 153.70 21.73 42.75 44.20 45.02 Lady, Junior
22 Isabelle M 42 RFPI 198.93 198.93 23.24 104.72 34.68 36.29 Lady, Junior
23 Paul B 30 A87020 RFPI 228.11 228.11 18.52 120.00 52.80 36.79 Senior

Vampire season again

Last weekend Barb and I made our annual trip to Lowe’s for Boomershoot supplies. Here are 825 18” stakes in the back of my vehicle:


As is usual I was prepared in case someone asked what I was going to do with all the stakes. The clerk did not disappoint me.

Clerk: What are you going to do with all the stakes?

Joe: Vampires.

Clerk: That makes as much sense as many of the other things people tell us.

Quote of the day—Frank Jardim

The sniper is an incredibly efficient fighter, compared to the typical infantryman. Consider that in World War II, American infantry units fired 25,000 rounds to kill just one enemy soldier. By the Korean War, that figure jumped to 50,000 rounds, and the select-fire M14 and M16 infantry rifles of the Vietnam War only seem to have produced more misses, requiring the expenditure of 200,000 rounds to kill one enemy combatant. Nowadays, it’s a quarter million rounds of spraying and praying to kill a single Taliban. By comparison, on average, a sniper requires only 1.3 bullets to kill an enemy. During the Vietnam War, it was noted on many occasions that a handful of snipers accounted for more enemy killed than the entire infantry battalion (and sometimes even regiment) they were assigned to.

Frank Jardim
February 27, 2015
History of the Sniper
[250 K rounds to kill one Taliban? Can anyone who has actually “been there and done that” recently confirm this? It seems like a lot.

And of course bullets and kills are not necessarily the appropriate measure of battle efficiency. You could consume 0.9 bullets per dead enemy by firing nine rounds for ten kills where one bullet killed two of the enemy and lose the battle because your enemy fired 10,000 rounds and killed 1000 of your troops.

Or you could roll your 1000 tanks supported by 10K troops into your enemy’s capital and the enemy gives up without firing a shot and no one dies.

But still, there is something to be said for one person being able to take out a selected enemy at will with a good chance of escape. This makes moderate numbers of individuals without a lot of infrastructure supporting them very powerful.

This is Why Boomershoot.—Joe]


I was at the bank today while wearing a shirt with this image on it:


As I was finishing up my business the teller and I had a short, off topic, conversation.

Teller: So, how do I exercise my freedom with explosives?
Joe: Once a year I put on a shooting event with high explosives as the target.
Teller: Oh! I thought maybe I would get to throw grenades or something.
Joe: Nope. The permits for those are much harder to acquire.
Teller: I would imagine so. Have a nice day.

Quote of the day—Carl Z.

This is somewhat like a family reunion.

Carl Z.
December 31, 2014
[This was part of the note which Carl sent to me with his check for Boomershoot 2015.

It’s true. Many of the people who go to Boomershoot have been attending for many years and it’s the only time they see each other. It’s a very friendly and happy place. No real competition, just everyone turning money into noise, laughter, and smiles.

Be a part of it.—Joe]

Another column on the spreadsheet

Years ago Ry coined a phrase we use when we are perplexed by something we thought we understood, “There aren’t enough columns on the spreadsheet.” This is usually used in the context of Boomerite.

Last week I realized there was another column on the Boomerite spreadsheet. Ry and I then chatted about it a bit and came up with a test plan. Last Friday I mixed and boxed three different recipes and performed the first set of tests.

The story is that we know Boomerite goes, essentially, dead after a week. But we don’t know the rate at which the degradation in sensitivity occurs. Because the quantities involved we make the targets for Boomershoot over the course of two days before the event. Most of the Friday production is used in the High Intensity, Precision Rifle Clinic, and Field Fire events (maximum range is 375 yards). Most of the long range (up to 700 yards) targets for Sunday are produced on Saturday. We expect targets which are one day old to still be close to the maximum sensitivity but we have never done detailed tests on one or two day old targets.

My epiphany last week was that when we have adjusted our recipe over the years we always tested the detonation sensitivity within a few minutes of when we mixed it. We were optimizing for maximum sensitivity for targets which had aged only, say, 10 minutes. What we should have been doing was optimizing the recipe for maximum sensitivity of targets which have aged for one or two days.

On Friday I created batches of Boomerite with various amounts of Ethylene Glycol while keeping everything else the same. The recipe we have been using for years uses 45 mL of EG. So I made targets with 35 and 55 mL of EG to test along with the usual amount.

I then attempted to detonate them with my .22 shooting CCI Stingers at various ranges. The 32 grain bullet is moving fast at the muzzle but it slows down quickly. By changing the distance from the targets I can get an estimate of the velocity required for detonation. Of course the velocity required for detonation is also very dependent on the bullet shape. Just because the hollow point Stingers detonate at a particular velocity doesn’t mean that the much more pointed bullet like this Woodleigh VLD 50 BMG bullet will detonated targets with the same or even significantly greater velocity. Here are pictures of the two bullets:


Yes, what I am saying is that both the bullet energy and momentum at the target are almost irrelevant in making the target detonate. For any give bullet type it is velocity dependent. For any given velocity the more pointed the bullet the less likely it is to detonate the target. We have literally seen multiple .50 BMG holes in a target while nearby targets hit with a .308 detonated reliably.

But since I’m using the same bullet we should (how many more unknown columns are there on our spreadsheet?) be able to determine the sensitivities of the different recipes over time.

The test results were “interesting.” All tests were done at a temperature of 33 F.

Within a couple hours of being mixed all recipes would detonate at 23 yards with a single hit from the Stingers and none of them would detonate from 29 yards. This figures out to about 1370 fps and 1330 fps.

About 26 hours later, after being stored at about 70F, none of them would detonate from 15 yards (~1425 fps). However they would all detonate with hollow point .223 rounds from about 20 yards away.

If the recipes made a difference my test did not reveal the difference. The deterioration while in storage is affected by still another column on the spreadsheet. My next hypothesis is that it is temperature dependent. I need to store a batch of our standard recipe at two different temperatures, say 30 F and 70 F for a day and see if there is a difference in sensitivity.

Does Google want me to hate them?

I generally like Google products. They have innovative products and implement them well. But what is it with them discontinuing the products I depend on the most?

First there was Google Reader.

Google Checkout was discontinued a year ago. I used this for processing Boomershoot payments. They explicitly said I should switch over to Google Wallet for digital goods, which, after a lot of work, I did. I just got that working in September.

Yesterday I got an email from Google (see also Google Wallet for digital goods Retirement):


When we first launched Google Wallet for digital goods, we wanted to make it simple for users and merchants to buy and sell online. The industry has matured a lot since then, providing a number of alternative payment solutions to choose from.

As we continue to evolve and improve our merchant tools to meet new market challenges, we are writing to let you know we will be retiring the Google Wallet for digital goods API on March 2nd, 2015.
    What this means for you as a digital goods merchant:
    •    March 2nd, 2015: You can continue to process payments via Google Wallet for digital goods until we shut it off on March 2nd, 2015.
    •    Remove Integration: If you don’t have your own payment processing, you will need to transition to an alternate solution and remove calls to our APIs before March 2nd, 2015.
    •    Continued Merchant Center Access: You will continue to have access to the merchant center for processing refunds, getting payouts and seeing reports.

Learn more about suggested next steps in our Help Center.

More help
Feel free to contact us for assistance. We are available at any time to help you with this transition.
The Google Wallet for Business team

I think It’s going to be either Amazon or PayPal that gets my business next. I’m thinking Amazon is the most likely. If you already have an Amazon account then when signing up for Boomershoot you can just use a credit card that you have on file with Amazon. For some reason I just don’t trust PayPal as much as I do Amazon. PayPal has also been really nasty with some gun issues. Amazon isn’t exactly friendly but they aren’t actively hostile either:

This Acceptable Use Policy lists items and activities that we prohibit because they may be illegal or inappropriate in connection with the use of our services. It applies to any person or entity using our payment service and any transactions that we are asked to process. Please take a moment to familiarize yourself with this policy. We may modify this policy at any time.

If we believe or suspect that any transaction violates this policy or is otherwise illegal or unsuitable, we may take any corrective action that we deem appropriate, including blocking the transaction, holding funds associated with a prohibited transaction, suspending or restricting the use of our service, terminating the accounts of violators, or any other corrective action.

Prohibited Items and Activities:

Firearms and Weapons – includes ammunition, guns, rifles, shotguns, pistols, other firearms, knives (automatic, spring-loaded knives, throwing, etc.), brass knuckles, or other weapons.

For the foreseeable future Google is going to get extra scrutiny before I collaborate with them.

My life is never boring

I received a call from the FBI today. We had a nice chat about Boomershoot and everything is cool.

Someone tried to get me in trouble but I’m pretty sure it was more trouble for them than me. For the record I don’t even let people use the “B-word” in the context of Boomershoot. So telling law enforcement I am teaching people to make such things is laughable, which is what happened when the nice Special Agent hesitantly brought it up.

The end of the conversation was, paraphrasing:

We have to check these things out and write up a report. As long as the information you gave me is correct, as I expect it will be, this will be the end of it.

I gave him information on the most likely suspect who sent them “the tip”. Ry thinks it probably was someone else but it just doesn’t matter. It’s just a funny story for me to blog about and tell my kids and grandkids.

Capturing the changes

Last month I made some substantial changes in the landscape around the Boomershoot explosives production facility (Mecca). I took pictures but I was frustrated they just didn’t seem to capture the changes. Barb and I were there again this weekend and in addition to some minor additional changes, such as spreading grass seed around and raking the seed into the dirt:


I took some more pictures. I think this one captures things much better:


I also was able to take a picture that better captures what the new tent site looks like:


Boomershoot 2015 statistics

Boomershoot 2015 is now half full:

  Total Average per position taken Average per total positions
Positions Taken 38 0.50
Participants 71 1.87 0.93
Friday Field Fire participants 11 0.29 0.14
Friday Clinic participants 6 0.16 0.08
Friday High Intensity participants 16 0.42 0.21
Private Fireball participants 0 0.00 0.00
Saturday Field Fire participants 29 0.76 0.38
Saturday Clinic participants 4 0.11 0.05
Saturday High Intensity participants 8 0.21 0.11
Dinner participants 37 0.97 0.49
Shooters 70 1.84 0.92
Spotters 1 0.03 0.01
Media/Bloggers 9 0.24 0.12
ATF Approved 12 0.32 0.16
Staff 24 0.63 0.32

Keep in mind this after the event has been open for entry for a little over a week and over seven months before the event. There are still positions open in every area so whether you want to shoot from the well drained ground on the berm, with a bench with room for a canopy, or in the .50 Caliber Ghetto you still have those options available.

There are still opening for Private Fireballs too. The smoke from these can sometimes be seen from over three quarters of a mile away. It’s tough to describe the intensity of the blast when you are 50 feet away. The phrase we hear about 75% of the time from first timers is, “Holy shit!

Sign up here.

Bomb help update

Early this morning I received the following email (name and email changed to protect the guilty):

From: XXX YYY [mailto:xxxyyy@gmail.com]
Sent: Saturday, September 27, 2014 1:52 AM
To: blog@joehuffman.org
Subject: removal of blog post

Dear Joe, I would like to ask you to remove a blog post concerning me (http://blog.joehuffman.org/2011/06/05/can-he-really-be-this-stupid) relating to an old email address of mine while I was suffering badly from a nervous breakdown, depression, and various other mental illnesses due to prolonged physical  and psychological bullying. As I have moved on in my life now, I would like you to remove this post as it has many references to my name and email that has caused problems when finding jobs.

Thank you and kindest regards, XXX YYY

I didn’t remove the post but I did change the name and email address and sent him a polite reply wishing him well.

Google Wallet

Does anyone use Google Wallet to pay for things?

The reason I ask is because I am setting up the Boomershoot entry website to use Google Wallet for credit card payments. I get a better rate than with PayPal or Amazon and, at one point, their terms of service were more gun friendly. But now their current terms of service in regards to weapons aren’t much different from PayPal’s terms of service.

What I didn’t realize until I was doing some testing was that you have to create a Google Wallet account with name, address, as well as credit card information. You can’t just give your credit card information and pay. This takes more time and one more business has your credit card info and has the potential to lose your credit card info to thieves.

I expect far more people have Amazon and PayPal accounts than they do Google Wallet accounts.

If you were purchasing an entry to Boomershoot and paying with a credit card would the additional Google Wallet account creation be an issue for you? If it makes a difference you can still pay with a check money order via snail mail.

Mostly off-topic but I found this clause in Google’s buyer terms of service interesting:


To help the government fight the funding of terrorism and money laundering activities, federal law requires all financial institutions to obtain, verify, and record information that identifies each individual or business that opens an account or requests credit.