Clearwater county growth rate

This is from the most recent annual report of the electrical utility cooperative in north central Idaho:

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Boomershoot is located in Clearwater county. There was nearly a 30% increase in cooperative members in just one year. People are leaving the blue states and moving to Idaho. I have posted about this before. But I did not know any county by county numbers.

Another indicator is that recently I was talking to a guy that works for a construction company out of Orofino (Clearwater County). They mostly do  earth moving and concrete stuff. He said they have a three year backlog.

We live in interesting times. Prepare appropriately—If it is not too late.

Earth and sky

I was in Idaho yesterday. Among other things I was getting the Boomershoot weather station and webcam back online. A bunch of weeds had grown up high enough that the solar panels were severely shaded and the batteries had discharged to the point that everything shutdown.

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Despite the “bird repellent” wires, birds had used the rain gauge as a toilet:

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Everything is now fixed.

It was nearing sundown as I was leaving and I noticed an unusual cloud formation:

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The sky picture goes with the earth pictures I took not too far away earlier in the day:

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This was formed where there was standing water on clay which dried up.

When my brothers and I were growing up we would sometimes marvel at a similar formation a short distance from the house. There was the added thrill of seeing sparkles in the “mud chips”. We wondered if it was gold or silver. It was probably just fine sand, but still we found the formations fascinating.

Quote of the day—Kim du Toit

I’m getting too old for this foolishness, but maybe a boomer or two will cheer me up.  That’s always worked in the past…

Kim du Toit
April 29, 2022
Journey’s End
[It seems to work for everyone, every time.

For example, on April 23rd, one week before Boomershoot 2022, we had a private boomershoot event. On April 17th I advised we postpone it until the weekend after Boomershoot 2022 instead of the weekend before:

I was on site last Friday and I have been watching the web cams and the weather forecast. I am strongly recommending you postpone your event. The best-case scenario is that your shooters are laying in mud. Most likely it would be an inch or two of icy water. Access to the target production facility also may involve wading through shin deep mud and carrying nearly 900 pounds of targets 100 yards to the nearest gravel road. Our target production manager will be seven months pregnant at that time so we have our own motivations for postponing the event as well.

They decided they wanted to proceed with the 23rd. Okay, if that’s what you want.

We managed to get vehicle access to the target production facility. As predicted there was icy water in the shooting area and mud in the target area. The weather was better than I expected. It was cloudy but no rain … until about two minutes after the shooting stopped. Icy rain drenched the shooters before they could walk back to their vehicles.

The event was for a promotional advertisement. All the shooters, about 100 of them, were wearing the company t-shirt. I saw one petite woman soaking wet in the t-shirt, shivering, and telling us how awesome that was with a huge smile on her face.

When Kim was 16 years old she had broken up with her boyfriend. She hadn’t smiled in a week. I took her to the local gravel pit to test fireball construction. This is a frame grab from the video as she stood up from detonating the fireball target:

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They can’t always express themselves coherently (Cyndi couldn’t even talk) but when a newbie detonates a boomer and they always have a smile on their face.—Joe]

Boomershoot 2022

Boomershoot went reasonably well this year.

Dinner was good. I really like this food vendor. This is the second year for them and will probably will continue to be the vendor of choice.

MTHead (frequent commenter here and sometimes quite quotable) showed up and helped with Saturday target production.

Our Saturday night dinner speaker Kim du Toit spoke on how he believes individuals can help Make America Great Again. He says there is a Boomershoot report to follow once he returns to Texas. Also, he has a plan to sponsor a free Boomershoot dinner for all participants. We will discuss the details and give his idea serious consideration.

The weather was mixed with showers on Saturday but Friday and Sunday was dry and a bit cool. The targets had a high detonation rate. We did not find any targets which failed to detonate when they received a solid hit. There were the usual targets which were torn and lost content when hit by projectiles of wood, rock and ammonium nitrate prills from other targets which detonated.

We had a last minute problem with the land owner on the hillside informing us the USDA Conservation Reserved Program had recently informed him the rules were being interpreted much more strictly than in the past. Hence we couldn’t put any targets on the grass. This limited the most distant targets to about 690 yards to 700 yards and about 30 feet in width. We put targets in this area out in two batches.

The muddy 375 yards berm was handled in a special manner as well. In previous years with extreme mud we found the blast from targets would completely coat remaining targets with mud which was near perfect camouflage. To prevent this we put targets in this area out in three batches. The targets were given greater spacing in depth as well as elevation. This was a huge help. There was virtually no mud coating of nearby targets.

The first two batches at the 375 yard line were the usual mix of small (4″x4″ and some 3”x3”) and a few 7”x7” targets. The last batch was a last minute idea of mine. Instead of putting the remaining 140 7”x7” targets out near 700 yards we put them at 375 yards. This made the end of the event easy, fast, and exciting. A Boomershoot Grand Finale! It seemed to be a great hit.

I had one shooter tell me, “I had my bench and everything packed up and then I saw there were a whole bunch of big targets at 375. That’s like a bank setting a bunch of cash out in the open for everyone. I had to unpack my gun and shoot from the ground. I got another 10 targets and one probable.

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Some of the more elaborate setups.

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One of my co-workers and his wife with heads down.

The remainder of this post is high in image intensity and so I have split it to save people bandwidth.

Continue reading

Quote of the day—Anonymous

And a dozen years after McDonald v. Chicago, the Second Amendment still doesn’t really exist in the 2nd, 4th, 9th circuits etc. I am all about fighting in the courts, but that’s hardly sufficient to secure liberty. You need to fight in the political arena.

Anonymous
April 24, 2022
[The author prefers some privacy. The link will only give you the source if you are one of those allowed access.

It’s not just the political arena, which is absolutely critical in some jurisdictions for court appointments, it’s the culture of the population. Gun owners need to “come out of the closet”, take non-shooters to the range, show them gun owners are safe, friendly, and good neighbors and friends.

Today is the long range event of Boomershoot. It features hundreds of highly reactive targets, a massive opening fireball that draws cheers and applause, and spectators from nearly 300 (and occasionally over 1000) miles away. Boomershoot is an mind blowing awakening for people who only know of guns through the lens of legacy media. Attend, share your Boomershoot stories with friends, neighbors, and family to help change the cultural view of gun ownership.—Joe]

Boomershoot week is in progress

I’ve been on site doing Boomershoot stuff on and off since last Friday. We had a private event on Saturday and tonight the first participants and volunteer staff showed up. Aaron (a regular in position 65) drove by my encampment about 7:00 PM. I did a few things before going over to visit with him.

Then as Aaron and were talking Barron, Janelle, their kids, and Bradley up.

Tomorrow daughter Kim and I will prepare Boomershoot Mecca for target production, do some inventory verification, pick up some last minute supplies, get the U-Haul trailer, and prepare for site preparation by the volunteers on Thursday.

The rented portable toilets were supposed to arrive last Thursday but the day before I got a call from the rental place. She sounded almost scared when she told me, “We no longer serve your area and we won’t be delivering the toilets tomorrow like we agreed.”

I told her I would have liked to have had more than one day notice. Did she have a suggestion for who might service our area? She did suggestion a competitor. I called them and they declined. I called a place in nearby Orofino I tried to contact months ago and they failed to return my call. I got voice mail again.

I was feeling the panic creeping up on me. Over 100 people here for a long weekend, 30 minutes from their hotel rooms and no toilets…

Then the phone rang. It was the Orofino rental place. “Sure! We can get three portable toilets to you next Wednesday.” That will be tomorrow. I’m still a little apprehensive because I have never done business with them before and I got burned with the other company last week after having the agreement in place for months. I’ll believe it when I see three clean and serviceable toilets sitting in Boomershoot Field sometime before midnight tomorrow.

Boomershoot 2022 Ukraine discount

I do not ever recall a time when such a lesson was made clearer than in the last few weeks. The Ukraine government has given guns to “all patriots who are without hesitation ready to use them against the enemy!” Many of those people had never fired a gun before. And yet, they are more than holding their own against the Russians.

Imagine if those patriots, instead of getting their hands on government AK-47s and hoping they can hit targets at 100 to 200 yards had practiced with their own equipment and knew they could confidently engage targets at 700 yards. This is what Boomershoot is about. You train and practice at long range targets. You engage reactive targets which give you immediate positive feedback. When you hit a target, you make the earth shake. The thrill that elicits is indescribable. It is extremely rewarding.

And in addition to being fun it gives you the knowledge of what you are capable of. Should a scenario like that which befell the people of the Ukraine happen here you will have a tremendous advantage over those patriots.

With this in mind, the Boomershoot team is giving people signing up for Boomershoot 2022 a 15% discount on most events. Use the discount code “Ukraine” when you sign up at https://entry.boomershoot.com/.

Boomershoot 2022 is April 29th, 30th (High Intensity, Precision Rifle Clinic, and Field Fire) and May 1st (Long Range). Sign up now while there are still positions available. Be able to engage hostile invaders at 700 instead of hoping you connect at 200 yards.

Reloading dies?

If I could afford it, it would be cool to reload for this caliber. It would give Boomershoot a whole new meaning:

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Of course I would need a new press and reloading dies. Does anyone know where I could get a press and dies which could handle 16” projectiles?* Oh, I also need a new gun and new range.


* Yes, I know, these projectiles didn’t use a shell casing. I was just making a joke.

Quote of the day—Forrest Cooper

In his book, Antifragile Nicholas Nassim Taleb describes his concept as something which gains from disorder or resistance. Having no word to accurately describe something that is the opposite of fragile, he argues that the term robust does not go far enough, and is neutral at best. Antifragility is a trait, whether it be in markets, military strategies, or bone mass, that grows off of the volatility of their environments.

The phenomenon that is American Gun Culture has responded to censorship in an antifragile way. This can be seen in the sudden spike in firearms purchasing whenever politicians push for banning certain firearms, as well as by continuing to grow despite political and cultural opposition. While social media platforms normalize censoring firearms-related content, the culture revolving around firearms shows that it doesn’t need their approval to continue thriving.

Forrest Cooper
February 7, 2022
Censorship and Antifragility: Aero Precision
[Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder is a good book. It is a novel, (but obvious in hindsight) way of looking at things. As an engineer it helped me think about the design of reliable systems. It can help the gun rights community think about better responses to attempts at infringements too.

Gab is a good example. They were deplatformed on multiple axis simultaneously and came back stronger than before.

One might also say Boomershoot was an antifragile response to a law introduced by Diane Feinstein. The word did not exist at the time, but it certainly fits the facts.—Joe]

Boomershoot country in the winter

Last weekend I visited the Boomershoot site to get the weather station (see also here, it seems I always have to work on it in January) and webcam working again. The webcam had been down since November 8th and the weather station went down on December 31st.

I figured there was a good chance the power went down. The power supply is two deep cycle batteries charged by two solar panels and in the winter there is a risk of not enough solar to keep the batteries charged. The math says it should be enough as along as the batteries are not at end of life. But the batteries are getting old.

I took my 2 KW generator and a battery charger and arrived at my new gun range a little before 4:00 PM. It looks a lot different with 20+ inches of snow over it:

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After taking a few pictures there I drove to the driveway at the Boomershoot site. As I expected the driveway was impassable. I loaded up the toboggan I borrowed from Brother Doug and went out to the shooting line where the weather station is:

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I opened up the underground “vault” where the batteries, charge controller, ethernet switch, and power supplies are:

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I measured the battery voltage. The 12 Volt batteries only had 3.7 Volts. That’s not good. That’s a real problem.

I hooked up the charger and generator and the smart charger quickly brought the voltage up to six volts and went into “maintenance” mode. Crap! It thinks these are six Volt batteries rather than 12 Volt. There was no manual switch to convince it to charge to 12 V.

I went back to my car and found the direct battery charging cable for the generator. I almost left this home because I didn’t think I would need it as I had brought the smart charger. I’m so glad I brought it.

Back at the shooting line I hooked up the direct cable and in a few minutes got the voltage up to about 10 Volts where the smart charge, with a power cycle, became convinced these were 12 Volt batteries.

It was getting dark but there was a nice sunset fading away:

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The next morning I came back to refill the gas tank and check the charge on the batteries. Things were a bit frosty:

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The charger said the batteries were fully charged. That’s not good. These two batteries should have a combined 400 Amp Hours of storage. The charger puts out a maximum of 12 Amps. After being on the charger for about 16.5 hours that is a maximum of about 200 Amp Hours of charge (including the consumption from the electronics and contribution from the solar panels that morning).

For all I know they could have stopped accepting charge after eight hours. There was nothing I could do about it. The only solution is new batteries. And I do not want to do that in the winter. The batteries are just too heavy to make the trip on the toboggan and be lowered into the “vault” with all the snow making access difficult. I’ll go back in a month or two and recharge them.

I couldn’t get the webcam to come back online. It is dead. I confirmed that after bringing it home. It doesn’t even turn on the ethernet switch lights. It seems to be a frequent occurrence at this site. I suspect low voltage to be a contributor. I have a new webcam but I forgot to take it with me. I’m thinking I will make another trip to Idaho in late February and put up the new web cam and charge the batteries then.

I will be spending some time on site a week or two before Boomershoot 2022 (April 29th –> May 1st, sign up here!). I’ll install new batteries, get the local Wi-Fi working, etc. then.

Most AWESOME Boomershoot fireball video ever

Jason used to enthusiastically participate, including volunteering, in Boomershoot every year. He, his wife, and kids didn’t attend for several years but made it to Boomershoot 2021. At the time I knew he had video cameras set up from various angles but forgot about it until he sent me a message:

I finally got around to editing my fireball video. Happy new year!

It’s the best Boomershoot fireball video I have ever seen:

Sign up for Boomershoot 2022 and experience the next fireball yourself. It’s an experience you will never forget.

Eagle Scout fundraiser

The daughter of a long time Boomershooter has a daughter working on her Eagle Scout project and needs some money to complete it.

Here is her GoFundMe pitch:

Hello, everyone! My name is Elysia, and I’m a Scout from Troop 498. I want to be the first female Scout from my Troop.

For my Eagle Project, I want to build a eagle-perching pole on Eagle Island in Eagle Lake. A previous Eagle Scout put a pole on the island for our local eagles to perch on. It was there for many years, but it was made from a fallen tree, and eventually it rotted, and it fell during a winter wind storm. The community has wanted to replace it with something better, but there are a lot of projects they want to do, and not a lot of people that want to take charge. They were very happy when I said I wanted to do this!

My plan is to get a 35-foot aluminum flagpole and mount it in a concrete foundation on the island. At the top, I will put a lightweight triangular perching structure to replace the usual ball at the top of the flagpole. I will build the perching structure out of aluminum pipe and aluminum sheets, welded together into support arms, with some hardwood dowels for the eagles to actually perch on.

The flagpole is the most expensive part of the whole project at about $3750, but we need a pole like that because:

  • We need to transport the flagpole to the island by rowboat, and it comes in two 75-lb pieces. Wood utility poles would be too heavy to transport, even if they float.
  • The island is only 20-feet in diameter, so the pole needs to be light enough for a few people to lift it into the foundation socket without heavy equipment
  • Wood will eventually rot away, but we’re using only aluminum pole, aluminum screws and aluminum parts for the perch, so we won’t get galvanic corrosion between different metals.
  • The pole is rated for 60mph winds with a flag on it, so that should stand up to windstorms even with the perch at the top
  • It should be strong enough for 12-lb eagles to land on, but too wobbly for them to try to build a nest on it.

I hope to build the concrete foundation for the flagpole in August while the weather is dry and the lake is low. Then I’ll get the aluminum parts together to build the perch assembly, and some of the volunteers from my troop know some Boeing engineers with the right kind of equipment to weld aluminum. (I have my Welding merit badge, but welding aluminum is not like welding steel!)

About me:

  • My cultural background is Peruvian, Texan, English, and Cantonese, and my dad is a US Veteran.
  • The Hamlin Robinson School is the best school for kids with dyslexia and language development difficulties. They really helped me! I hope they can help someone you know.
  • I am learning American Sign Language, and I hope I can earn my Translator patch soon.
  • I help my grandma at the Shelton Community Lifeline, when I can. If we raise more money than we need for this project, and my local community agrees, I want to use any extra to help the homeless shelter.

After my $50 donation she has 3,920 of her $4,500 goal. Can you guys push her over the top? Donate here.

Quote of the day—PeacefulMountain

YOU DIDN’T MENTION THIS CACHE WAS DOWNRANGE OF A 3 DAY EXPLOSIVES FIREARM EVENT!

I was in Pullman on business this weekend and I made it my goal to find all the old caches in the area. I wasn’t planning on going for any caches today but when I realized I still had 2 hours of sunlight left in the day I made a run for this cache, and I was not prepared. I had only 1 primitive map downloaded, and no nearby caches.

But I insisted anyway, and I made it to the area just in time. When I turned down the paved road I discovered that there was event today, and I could practically drive straight up to GZ. But what’s with all these signs that say Boomershooot, and this line of gun stands? And what looks like a firing line. Turns out they were in the middle of a firearms and explosives event and the cache was downrange.

Luckily they were just all camping, drinking beer, and telling questionable stories about Seattle life.

I found the cache easily, and signed the log just as the sun was setting.

Thank you Joe Huffman for the cache!

PeacefulMountain
May 1, 2021
Via email from geocaching.com.
[I try to make my Geocaches a little more interesting than most.—Joe]