Lost classmates

Long time Boomershooters didn’t know him but they had plenty of reason to appreciate him. Terry Thornton owned Portogo Portable Toilets and delivered them to Boomershoot until 2017 when he sold the business.

We weren’t close but we had a fair number of connections. I went to High School with Terry and when I lived in Moscow Idaho he lived about a 100 yards down the street from me. I would occasionally see him at the grocery store and other places around town. His wife was a chemistry teacher at the high school and taught all my kids. One time she called me about Xenia. 

On December 1st Terry died:

Terrance “Terry” Thornton passed away Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020, in Yuma, Ariz., from complications of COVID-19.

He met his wife in Moscow, and he and MaryAnn Kallas were married March 4, 1979, in Spokane. They enjoyed traveling, watching their daughters play sports, watching their son ride in motorcycle races, riding their side-by-side, hunting, boating, golfing and gambling at their favorite casinos. He also had a love for riding motorcycles, dirt bikes and his Harley-Davidson. He was always in search of Bigfoot, and we wish him well on his quest to find “The Foot.” He was happiest when he and MaryAnn were traveling and his theme song was “On The Road Again,” which he sang loudly and off tune.

Terry never met a stranger. He would say hi and wave to everyone. His friends and family described him as funny, charming, the kindest soul you could ever meet, he lit up a room wherever he went and always had a smile on his face, kindhearted, good man, excellent husband and father, one of the good ones, wonderful laugh and warm hugs, caring and loving and hero to many. He could go into a room of deaf and blind people and come out with friends.

This is the second former classmate I’ve lost in the last month. Kathy (Farbo) Deyo died November 13th:

Kathy attended the one-room school at the Yaak until the family moved to Butte and then later to Orofino when she was in the third grade. Kathy made lifelong friends while attending school in Orofino, graduating as a proud Maniac in 1973. Kathy was the editor of the high school newsletter, editor of the annual and instrumental in organizing class reunions that are held every five years.

Boomershoot infrastructure improvements

I was at the Boomershoot site this last weekend. I had two main tasks. The most important was to bring the explosives magazine up to ATF spec. The shrouds around the locks on the explosives magazine were inadequate:

image

Many years ago I received a variance from the ATF on them. I recently changed the ownership and the ATF license from my dba FlashTek to  Boomershoot LLC. With that change, for some reason, the old variance did not transfer (I know, but remember, it’s a government rule. It doesn’t have to make sense). In the mean time there were additional rulings on the use of this type of lock. They clarified the requirements for the shrouds. I needed to improve them. I bought a cheap welder that could be operated by my 3kW generator and the steel to reduce the gap by 2.5”. I made the changes on Saturday without setting anything, or myself, on fire. There weren’t even any burn holes in my pants or minor skin burns.

The other issue was the top of the shipping container was in danger of developing leaks again. I strongly considered building some sort of covering over it myself but eventually decided I would rather have a professional take care of it in a more permanent manner. I received one bid by someone who proposed a sloped roof over the top which would have cost more than I originally paid for the container. Then another guy from Lewiston suggested a layer of plywood with TPO over the top and bid $1,700. I accepted and it was installed this weekend:

image

20201004_134801

It should last 15 to 20 years as long as it doesn’t have a tree fall on it or something.

It is such a relief to get that done. It was really tough to even find someone to return my calls and now it is done before the fall rains and the heavy snow arrive.

Well, it is 2020 you know

On Monday Barb and I were headed north from McCall to the Boomershoot site to do a little work on things. Between Grangeville and Kamiah we saw clouds which could have come from a biblical painting:

IMG_3238Adjusted

I didn’t think those type of scenes were real. It must be very rare. Another item for strange things in 2020 we told each other. Little did we know this was not the most unusual thing to happen to us on this day.

Continue reading

Beirut explosion

Via MSN:

A large cache of explosive material seized by the government years ago was stored where the explosions occurred, according to top Lebanese officials — specifically ammonium nitrate…

The cache was estimated to be 2,750 tons. Boomershoot uses about 1 ton each year. Timothy McVeigh used (IIRC) about 2.5 tons in the Oklahoma City bombing.

This is the best video I’ve seen so far:

Incredible tragedy. I’m sure the death toll will rise for many days. And of course the property damage will be horrendous as well.

As Boomershooter Aaron M. said in email:

Check out that white in that explosion. Remind you of something? They are now saying it was something like 2000 tons of ammonium nitrate. It looks correct for that.

I agree. The white “smoke” is probably the water vapor from the ammonium nitrate decomposition.*


* NH4NO3 –> N2 + 2H2O + 1/2 O2

Chamber hone for 6.5 Grendel

Via email from Rolf:

I know that several boomershooters use the 6.5 Grendel. I was having problems, and suspect a rough chamber might be the culprit. (Still awaiting a reply from Midway, where I bought the upper, as it’s a MidwayUSA house brand, before I do anything like home gunsmithing). I went looking for a chamber hone that would be right, and could not find one, and saw contradictory info on the web. So I emailed the company (Brush Research) that makes the Flex-Hone chamber hones to ask what the correct one might be. I got this prompt reply this morning. I’m pretty sure that they’d be OK with posting the info on a popular shooting-related web-site such as yours, if you want to post it for any of the Grendel shooters out there who might want to know.

From: Technical <technical@brushresearch.com>
Sent: Monday, July 13, 2020 9:21 AM
Subject: Re: [#479759] New Technical Inquiry Home

Hi Rolf,
Thank you for contacting us regarding chamber hones for your 6.5mm Grendel. We have made these for the Grendel before only they aren’t visible on our website or literature.

You’ll want to order part ID 12809  for 400 grit SC abrasive or part ID 12810 for 800 grit SC abrasive.  The following distributors can order this for you in Washington state. Simply contact them and ask them to order up the part ID’s provided:

APPLIED INDUSTRIAL TECH
4021 6TH AVE S.
SEATTLE WA 98108
(206) 223-5255

FASTENAL
9320 15TH AVE SOUTH
SEATTLE WA 98108
(206) 762-0297

Let me know if you have any other questions we can assist with.

Regards,

Brush Research Manufacturing Co., Inc. 
4642 Floral Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90022
Phone: (323) 261-2193 ext 703
Fax: (323) 268-6587

Not a contradiction

Via Far Right Of Right@FarRightOfRight:

DefundThePolice

If you think this is a contradiction you probably made the mistake of thinking they were telling the truth when they said you don’t need guns because you have the police. As we have known for decades they have a culture of lies and deception.

With that established fact in mind we can generate hypothesizes and test them against the facts. If we include the newly established fact that they want to defund and abolish the police as we know it what can it mean?

The hypothesis which seems to best fit the data is our political opponents wish to harm us and/or take our property.

I’ve been collecting examples of “They want you dead” for some time now. The recent looting demonstrates the validity of the “they wish to take our property”. That they wanted us disarmed and dependent upon the police followed by defunding the police demonstrates not a contradiction, but consistency with this hypothesis.

Are there other hypothesizes which match the data? Are there other data points which invalidate my hypothesis?

Discuss. Then take appropriate action. Consider preparing for Boomershoot 2021. Sign up is here.

Registration for Boomershoot 2021 is open

I forgot to mention that I opened up registration for Boomershoot 2021 yesterday. It’s already over half full because nearly all the people signed up for Boomershoot 2020 elected to move their entry to 2021 rather than take the refund I offered them when I canceled it. Get your entry in before it fills up completely.

Social distancing

The title claims “Ultimate in Old School Social Distancing”. While carrying a rifle down the sidewalk with an extended bayonet would grant you greater social distancing for a few minutes I expect the distance would be considerably shortened by the end of your walk as the police stopped by to have a chat with you.

Also, I expect an experienced Boomershooter could maintain something much closer to “ultimate” distancing than someone using a bayonet to keep the distance.

Free business/entrepreneur coaching

A few days ago I received an email from Brian:

I am doing a bunch of webinars for entrepreneurs where we do group coaching- essentially, brainstorming and deploying ways to connect with our customer bases and increase the chances that we stay in business.
 
I’d be happy to do one for your audience. Definitely off topic for your blog. But you have plenty of business owners I bet who would appreciate getting together and access to a business coach in this format for free.

This led to:

Hello Joe’s audience,

I’m Brian Keith and a member of the gun culture like you.

Current events show me more than usual that we are in a culture war for the soul of America.

As a business coach, the main contribution I can make is helping our team’s businesses survive this season.

If you are an entrepreneur, or you know a business owner who is in the gun culture (“one of us”), I have two offers for you:

1. I can lead a regular (monthly? biweekly? weekly?) group coaching call where you bring your problems to me and we figure them out together. The group format means you get to learn from your peers, and it keeps my costs low.

2. You and I can talk one on one for an hour. You get more privacy, and leave our call with a more customized plan on what to do in your business to survive and maybe even grow right now.

What does it cost?

You and I rubbed shoulders at Mecca manufacturing Boomerite. You comment on Joe’s blog. You and I look forward to Boomershoot 2021. We’re on the same side in this cultural fight.

So the cost is free.
All you need to do- email me (brian (at) redbeardconsulting.com) whether Option 1 (regular group coaching calls) or Option 2 (a single one-on-one call with me) would best help your business survive.

Boomershoot 2020 is canceled

At 2:45 AM this morning I sent a version of this email to all entries and the spectator and announcement list for Boomershoot:

Boomershoot 2020 is five weeks away and COVID-19 infections are still increasing across the country. I’ve had several people tell me they are not coming this year. Many states, including Idaho, have travel and social contact restrictions.

I’m canceling Boomershoot 2020.

I’m sorry to do this but both the legal and moral issues don’t give me any other options.

Regards,

Joe Huffman
Boomershoot Event Director
Cell: 208-301-4254

There has been a Boomershoot every year since 1998. It makes me sad to know that continuous record will be broken. I considered rescheduling for this fall but the end of fire season and the beginning of mud season is too unpredictable.

Quote of the day—John B.

A couple of my friends have asked if you could move the event closer to the US-Canada border, so that we could shoot across the border rather than having to cross it ourselves.

John B.
March 20, 2020
[Via email.

I think that’s a really cool idea! It might even be an act of war or something. How much fun would that be?

But, it’s not really practical because the production and storage facilities are not mobile. And finding a suitable location might be tough. Washington State is out because of the onerous laws. Idaho doesn’t have a very long border with Canada. This would make it less likely to have a place I could rent on both sides of the border. Montana might have a place, but I don’t know their explosives laws.

But, if I had the time those are all solvable problems. Unless it really is considered an act of war.—Joe]

Boomershoot 2020 and COVID-19

Too long, didn’t read, version: I’m going to wait and see until the end of the month before making the decision to cancel or not. The refund policy is here: https://entry.boomershoot.com/Refunds.aspx


As I live just a few minutes from ground zero in the U.S. I’m just as, or more concerned, than the typical Boomershoot participant regarding COVID-19.

I’ve talked to many people about what we should do in regards to Boomershoot 2020.

There are several components to Boomershoot. If the Federal guidelines remain in place and we adhere to them, then the Boomershoot dinner will be canceled.

One could make the case that the rest of the event is not at all that serious of a risk. People are outside with good air flow and, except for the portable toilets, not sharing door knobs or other transfer surfaces. With a big stash of disinfecting wipe the portable toilet point of risk could be managed.

There is another component that is of more concern and not as easily mitigated. Our target production facility has very tight quarters. I have dramatically improved the air filtration since last year but still it’s not nearly as good as I think it should be to be safe if someone were contagious. To top that concern off is the fact that two essential staff members are in the group considered “high risk”.

This leads me to conclude that unless things get remarkably better we should cancel the event.

My day job is working on a Cyber Threat Intelligence team. I get access to other types of threat intel as well. Last week I listened in on a call with DHS regarding COVID-19. There wasn’t any information that wasn’t already public but it was packaged a little bit better. I have also talked to a couple sources that have information that hasn’t been widely circulated. While still technically public information this information leads me to some conclusions.

  1. My expectation is that the seriousness of the situation will continue to get worse for some undetermined amount of time. It may be that summer weather will slow or even stop the spread of the virus. The threat, however, will continue to be significant for months, not just a few weeks.
  2. While things will get worse it’s not going to be life threatening to most people outside of the high risk groups.
  3. Avoiding contact with contagious people is extremely important for people at high risk. Some hospitals in the Seattle area are already at nearly full capacity and are sending injured emergency patients, sometimes, hundreds of miles away to hospitals without a COVID-19 burden.

What this means to me is that if we get some hot summer like weather for the next two weeks and things look summer like at Boomershoot things may be good enough that I will not cancel Boomershoot. I don’t think this will be the case but there is no harm in waiting. We are continuing to get the last of the supplies and will be able to put on a stellar event should we decide to continue.

The refund details are here. Basically, if the event is canceled you will get the option of full credit for next year or a refund of 95% of your credit card payment (details differ for a few people, read the policy). Your choice.

If you have questions or concerns I have not addressed here please send me an email or give me a call.

Joe Huffman
Boomershoot Event Director
Cell: 208-301-4254

Boomershoot 2020 speaker: Kim du Toit

Kim du Toit is attending Boomershoot again this year and he has agreed to be our Saturday night dinner speaker.

I believe the last time he and his son were here was 2005.

Anyone who has spent more than a few seconds around Kim knows he is a rather “colorful” character. His personality fills the room.

He’s publicly called me both “Paparazzi Bastard“ as well as a “National Treasure“. Those blog posts of his are gone but I haven’t forgotten.

I wonder what colorful language he will use this year. Attend Boomershoot dinner and find out.