Ry looks a little tired in this video:
When I first met Sean Flynn he was a member of the Microsoft Gun Club. He has attended many Boomershoots and volunteered many hours to making Boomershoot a great event. I’ve traveled to Olympia with him to attend gun rights rallies. I’ve quoted him on this blog 16 times. He has commented on here many times as well.
American cooking utilizes spices to add variety to the food.
Indian cooking utilizes food to add variety to the spices.
This complements my story from the same day.
From brother Doug:
From: Doug Huffman
Sent: Saturday, September 12, 2020 6:48 AM
We have had a busy fire season in recent days.
On August 30, we had the, “White Tail” fire, which didn’t threaten our home, but I was involved in fighting it. Things were just getting back to normal on Labor Day, September 7, when we had a major cold front come in with very windy conditions. We had cut a sample of garbanzo beans and determined they were dry enough to cut, but we decided to shut down harvest for the rest of the day due to wind. Combines often start fires and even though we usually keep our 1300 gallon water truck on hand to fight fire, a windy day isn’t a good time to have a fire. We went home and I was doing a few chores around the house. The wind started taking down trees and of course, some of those trees went down across power lines. When our power went off about 2 PM, I told Julie the power lines may have started a fire when they went down. I am with Evergreen Fire and so Julie retrieved my fire radio from the bedroom and kept it close. She looked out the front window and realized the top had blown out of a tree and fallen on our Caterpillar D6C, which was hooked to a plow and parked out front to fight fire in the fields. I took a chain saw and after assessing the damage, I started cutting the tree off the tractor and plow. I was mostly done when Julie came out of the house with the fire radio and told me there was a fire on Clover Road, which branches off Cavendish Grade about 1/2 mile east of the Sunny Side Fire Department. It isn’t in our district, but the folks at Sunny Side knew with the very dry conditions and high winds, they would be overwhelmed almost immediately and they were. They called for mutual aid from all surrounding Fire Departments including Evergreen.
I drove to the Evergreen Fire Department and met with several other people. We knew Clover Road was very close to the south side of our district and in fact is just down hill from us. The wind was driving the fire westward across the slope, but fire goes up hill very rapidly, so we didn’t want to send all our resources to help Sunny Side when we knew the fire would be in our district very soon. The strong wind was out of the east and would essentially drive the fire along the boundary between Evergreen and Sunny Side fire districts taking out houses in both districts. We sent one 4000 gallon tender and a brush truck to assist Sunny Side and kept our remaining resources with the intention of staging at the intersection of South Road and Cavendish Highway to protect the homes in our own district. While most of our fire fighters went directly to the intersection, I took engine 31 (a brush truck) and drove to the eastern end of South Road and then drove full length of South Road assessing the situation. It was obvious from the smoke that our most immediate threat was near Meridian Road and Havlock Road. We were also hearing on the radio that the Sunny Side fire station itself was endangered and nearly surrounded by flames. We sent one more brush truck to assist Sunny Side and the rest of us (one brush truck, one pumper and one 4000 gallon tender with only three people total) headed east on South Road where we expected the threat to hit our district first. At Lansings place, we met a husband and wife who had just evacuated their home on Havelock Road. The husband wanted to show me their house,which they felt was in imminent danger. We followed him to the top of Havelock Road (on the east side of the Lansing property), which is a one lane, very rough gravel road. I really didn’t want to commit the 4000 gallon tender to that road just yet, so I instructed the tender driver to wait at the top of Havelock while the pumper and myself in the brush truck went down to scout out the situation. We drove down to the intersection with Valley View Road, which goes east from Havelock. We were very close to the fire by this point with smoke coming up just down the hill from us. I instructed the pumper driver to turn around and prepare to leave. The pumper is a slow and awkward vehicle and I was already concerned about having it down there. I drove the brush truck out Valley View Road with the home owner where I believe we saw four homes. Yes, they were in serious danger. I thought about it and suspected we could probably save any one of those houses if we had the tender, the pumper, the brush truck and had our lines laid and were ready. I knew we couldn’t save all of them. The fire was coming at us hard. it was about to cut off our only exit, which was Havelock.
I have taken a few wildland fire fighting classes, but it has been several years ago. They taught us a lot of safety rules and I was violating every safety rule I could think of just scouting this area.
You are never supposed to get uphill from a wild land fire, yet our DISTRICT was uphill from the fire. You are supposed to “have one foot in the black” at all times, meaning you are supposed to work at controlling the fire from the side that is already burned so you can retreat to the burned area for protection. You are supposed to have a lookout posted who watches the big picture while those fighting the fire focus on the nearby issues. You are suppose to have safety zones, like a large gravel parking lot, a dirt field or some other fire proof area you can retreat to when things go bad. You are supposed to have communications with incident command at all times. The incident commander for this fire was with Sunny Side fire and based on the radio traffic, he was completely overwhelmed as the fire was growing much
faster than could be dealt with. Thus he didn’t even know we existed.
We are supposed to maintain escape routes, but I knew our only escape route (Havelock) was rapidly being over taken by the fire. I sized up the situation and made the only decision I could. We needed to pull back. Initially, I pulled back to the intersection of Valley View and Havelock where the smoke was getting thicker. While I had been away, a homeowner from further down Havelock had come fleeing up the hill with his wife in the car. The husband had burns on one side of his head.
They had smashed the car into a tree that had fallen across the road.
The car was gushing antifreeze, but still running. They were already gone to safety by the time I got back to the intersection. I was explaining my view of the situation to the pumper driver when the homeowner from Valley View drove by and left for safety. He wanted us to stay and save his home, but he was leaving. I decided to cautiously check down Havelock just in case there was a nearby house, surrounded by a large gravel area or large green grass area that might be defendable.
I drove the brush truck a couple hundred feet further down Havelock until I could see fire. There was no place to turn around, nothing we could defend. I backed all the way back up the hill to the intersection where the pumper driver was getting nervous. I radioed the tender driver and told him we were pulling out. I took the lead and told the pumper driver if things got bad, to abandon the pumper and get in with me. The brush truck is faster and more agile than the pumper. I would rather make a run for things in the brush truck than any of our other equipment. We drove up out of Havelock with no problems. We were abandoning all the aforementioned homes and they would all later burn.
I have never had to make that judgment call as a fire fighter before.
(Deciding to abandon undamaged homes and allowing them to burn)
We went back to South Road and drove a little further east and successfully defended a home directly south of Meridian Road. At some point I turned the Evergreen brush truck over to another fire fighter who had shown up. He took me over to the Sullivan place where our (Huffman Brothers) 1300 gallon water truck was parked. I took that back to keep an eye on the home south of Meridian Road and I sent the rest of the fire fighters to the next two homes west of that including the Sevastianova residence and the Dennis Weaver residence. In addition to blowing west, the fire kept coming uphill to the north into my brother Gary’s property on what we call the Sullivan Place (which was once the Frederiksen place). It came north onto that property and then the strong east wind drove it westwards towards the residence South of Meridian Road. I got on the radio and called the guys I had just sent away and one of them came back to help, along with another Evergreen fire fighter who had shown up later. At one point I did a, “pump and roll” with our water truck, which means I was spraying water out a fire nozzle on the driver’s side while driving. This way, one person can cover a lot of ground on a field fire and get a lot of fire put out. We stopped it on that occasion and then saved a small building south of Gary’s property which was threatened. The outhouse and all the miscellaneous things around the little building burned, but we saved the main building ( a tiny vacation cabin). The other fire fighters again left and went westward to engage various threats while I stayed alone and monitored the situation south of Meridian Road. The fire was creeping up the canyon on Gary’s property and it eventually jumped a fire break (a neighbor had used a disk to put a fire break around Gary’s field). Once the field was on fire, I drove out the driveway to South Road and turned our water truck around to get the fire nozzle on the east side facing the fire. The wind was driving the fire across the field and gaining momentum. My plan was to do a pump and roll on the driveway and stop it from crossing the driveway. Meanwhile two other fire fighters showed up. One was the guy with the brush truck. The other was an Evergreen Fire fighter with a 3000 gallon tender. They both drove around me and went in to directly deal with the fire. We didn’t have time to discuss our plans. The guy with the tender drove into Gary’s field and started trying to put the fire out doing a pump and roll maneuver. It wasn’t working well. He didn’t have a well defined line where he was trying to stop it. He was just sort of randomly chasing the fire around in the field spraying water and things weren’t going well. I waited until the fire was nearly at the driveway and started my maneuver. I was driving along about 5 or 6 mph spraying water out my left side wetting everything down on that side of the driveway. By the time I got to the really heavy part of the fire, the smoke reduced my visibility to almost zero. I had my windows rolled up and was struggling to see where I was going. I was afraid I might go off the edge of the driveway and there are some places with a pretty bad bank where I might get stuck or possibly even roll the truck. Just as I was getting out of the thickest smoke so I could see something, I suddenly saw the grill of a huge truck right at the end of my hood. The guy with the 3000 gallon tender (Jim Kramer) had decided his pump and roll maneuver in the field wasn’t working, so he drove through a bared wire fence to get on the driveway and was attempting to do a pump and roll on the driveway like I was doing, only he was coming from the other direction. We almost had a head on collision in the heavy smoke. I hit the brakes, slammed the truck in reverse and started backing out. This was even more difficult trying to get back through all that heavy smoke without running off the driveway, but it gave everything a second coat of water because I was still pumping. Jim Kramer continued out with his tender, also pumping and so we kept the fire from jumping the driveway and the house south of Meridian Road was ultimately saved.
Initially it was too windy for air support, but before the day was over, we had a helicopter dropping water and a four engine aircraft dropping fire retardant. Julie had alerted Gary in regards to the fire. Gary finished removing the tree top from the D6C and plowed fire breaks around the fields by our houses. Julie packed the car with clothing, important papers and more and was prepared to evacuate. I was mostly ignoring my cell phone, but a couple days later I was checking my voicemails and found a message from the Clearwater County Sheriff’s office at 4:36 PM the day of the fire, ordering us to evacuate. Our land line was down by that point, so they called my cell phone, but they didn’t have Julie’s cell phone number, thus Julie didn’t get the message. We had farmers from several miles away show up and plow fire breaks around all the fields adjacent to South Road. Gary and I went back to the Sullivan place that night and stayed out until about 10:30 PM spraying water around the edges of the fire with our water truck. By that time, we had help from all over northern Idaho, including Lewiston, Clarkston, Troy and Clearwater Paper (located in Lewiston). Clearwater Potlatch Timber Protective Association was there in force along with a whole lot of professional fire fighters I didn’t identify.
When Julie and I went to bed, there was fire was about 500 yards directly south of our house. It was held in check by a fire break in a field, South Road and a lot of fire fighters. I went upstairs and went to bed. No power, no water and no shower. Julie was frightened and slept on the couch in the living room where she could sit up and look at the fire across the road to assure herself it wasn’t getting any closer. Most of the devastation was on Cavendish Highway and Sunny Side Bench Road. The fire eventually crept up to and touched the road bank on the south side of South Road about 1.2 miles east of our house. It covered over 1600 acres, consumed 13 homes and is the largest fire in this community in my life time. I believe there were only two homes destroyed in our district. Most of the homes on Havelock were actually in Sunny Side’s district. The power came back on after 47 hours. The phone came back on after four days.
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:
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.
Does anyone know why we talk about at a particular time but on a particular day. As in, “Let’s meet at noon on Sunday.” But never “Let’s meet on noon.” Or, “Let’s meet at Sunday.”
Brother Doug has been doing some research on our grandfather Huffman. During WWI Grandpa was in the U.S. Army and was sent to Russia. Here is the latest story related to that deployment.
I bought a couple more books on the American Expeditionary Force Siberia. One called, “The Russian Sideshow” by Robert Willet is particularly interesting. I have been able to correlate things he said in the book to things my grandfather, Cecil Huffman wrote home to his parents about. In particular, the trip to Vladivostok is of interest.
Cecil sailed to Vladivostok on the Sheridan, leaving San Francisco on September 2, 1918. They were accompanied by another troop ship called the Logan. The ships stopped at Japan to take on coal. They stopped at Hakodate on the northern island of Hokkaido, which unfortunately didn’t have any coal.
From the book:
As the two ships anchored outside Hakodate on the northern island of Hokkaido, it was decided to let the doughboys get off the ship, visit the city, and stretch their legs. It was not a wise decision. The ships arrived unannounced, and very soon, unwelcomed. As the thirty seven hundred doughboys, unsteady from weeks at sea, descended on the city, they immediately looked for bars and ladies of the evening…
It soon became apparent that Japanese whiskey had a power that affected the men far more than they anticipated. Johnson described the problem to Roberts:
“All the cheap bars have Scotch whiskey made in Japan, “ he told us, “If you come across any, don’t touch it. It’s called Queen George, and it’s sublimate proof, because thirty-five hundred enlisted men were stinko fifteen minutes after they got ashore. I never saw so many get so drunk so fast.”
Johnson enlisted Roberts and a few others to round up the men and get them back aboard the two transports. Roberts described the challenge:
“Intoxicated soldiers seemed to have the flowing qualities of water, able to seep through doorways, down chimneys, up through floors. When we slowly edged a score of khaki-clad tosspots from a dive and started them toward the ships, then turned to see whether we had overlooked anyone, the room would unbelievably be filled with unsteady doughboys, sprung from God knows where, drunkenly negotiating for the change of American money or the purchase of juss one more boll of Queen George.”
It was not just the enlisted men; officers joined in the orgy and later paid the price. Eventually, order was restored, and the two ships lumbered out of port, still without coal.
Cecil wrote his parents (This is his punctuation, spelling and sentence structure):
On Japan Sea
September 28, 1918:
Dear Father + Mother,
Well I wonder how you are tonight I am fine and dandy. We stopped in Japan got to go ashore one after noon had more fun than I ever had in the same length of time. They just follow you around in droves some of them can talk a little English my bunch ran onto some boys that were talking English in high school they said, could talk pretty good had them show us to a resturant we went in and ordered ham + eggs they brought us bread and butter on plates we told them we wanted ham and eggs so she went back and brought us some raw eggs in the shell then one of the boys went in the kitchen and showed them what we wanted so after so long a time we got them they were sure good when we got them. There was one thing right after another happening all the time we were there. The town was a dirty place they had no sewers or anything like we have at home they had street cars but the tracks are not kept up are awfully rough. They are about a hundred years behind the U. S. in everything…
The ships sailed north about 150 miles to Otaru to get coal. Only a few men were allowed to go ashore at Otaru, but those few managed to convince the locals that gilded Philippine one-centave coins were pure gold coins. They were passing the coins off to the locals when the fraud was discovered and the police got involved. One of the soldiers smashed a liquor bottle over the head of a police officer and it created what was described as a true international incident. The ships were held in port until the fraud and assault charges were resolved. While they were being held in port a typhoon came in and blew the Logan ashore damaging it slightly. (Cecil was on board the Sheridan)
Cecil mentioned the typhoon in his letter of September 28:
Had a real storm while we were in the harbor I never saw the wind blow so hard the water or spray blew through the air just like the snow flies in a bad snow storm. Was glad we were in the harbor it would have been awfully rough on the sea.
The ships arrived in Vladivostok on September 29 at 8:30 PM, the day after Cecil wrote the letter to his parents. He didn’t mention any of the conflict the soldiers had with the Japanese in his letter.
It is interesting to note that Dad told me Uncle Walt and Grandpa didn’t drink, while Uncle Claude was a heavy drinker. I have no idea if Grandpa was involved in the drunken behavior in Japan or not. He was 31 years old at the time, older and possibly more mature than most of his fellow soldiers, but who knows what part he played in the unruly scene in Japan.
The book mentions all three skirmishes Cecil was involved in. Previously, I could only find information on the skirmish at Novo Nezhino. The book downplays the significance of the skirmish at Novo Nezhino compared to the description I found in the book entitled, “The history of the 31st.” I will write about the skirmishes at Maihe and Knevichi at a later date.
We arrived at Mount Rainier National Park on Thursday. Our first hike on the way into the park was thwarted by closed gate on a Forest Service road:
We found a different trail nearby and walked in about a mile or so and crossed a small stream. We found a log to sit on and ate our lunch. It was a hot day and snuggled down in the bottom of the ravine with the creek a few feet from us made it a lot more pleasant.
After lunch we continued on to our campground, set up camp, then ventured out to a nearby trail which promised great views of Mount Rainier and multiple lakes. The temperature climbed to 98F. And we were going to be climbing up a mountain trail. Hmmm… Well, the hiking is what we came for. And it wasn’t going to be any cooler at our campsite.
The view of the mountain from Reflection Lake was nice and was visible from the parking area:
In the last few months I’ve occasionally posted about Mount Rainier 50 miles to the south of where Barb and I live. Last year at this time we went camping and hiking on the mountain. Last Thursday went back to the same campground for more camping and hiking in Mount Rainier National Park. We returned home yesterday.
One of our big joys was to see Mount Rainier up close with a “hat’”: Over 30% of the pictures Barb took are of this “hat”. Although my percentage is lower I took 27 pictures of the mountain with its “hat”.
Random thought: Joe, are you and Barb giving any consideration to relocating?
I mentioned this to Barb as we were getting up and received the expected answer, “No.”
That’s a little more strongly worded than the reality and also deserves a bit of an explanation. Barb and I talked about it some as we went on our morning walk and I took a few pictures to help explain. As we walked along I was struck by the alternate reality she and I are living in compared to downtown Seattle only a few miles away. Barb elaborated with, “We are living in bubble.”
In this picture, a short walk from our house, you can see the U.S. flag on the left edge of the image:
Below is an expanded snip of another flag near the car on the right in the image above:
It’s extremely rare to see a U.S. flag in downtown Seattle. Unless, of course, if someone is burning it.
Here is a common view on our walk:
In the distance to the south you see Mount Rainier which is over 50 miles away. The air is frequently that clear. My cell phone camera doesn’t do it justice but you can almost as frequently Mount Baker 80 miles to the north from another location on our walk.
In the picture below you can see Seattle (click to get higher resolution and see the Space Needle) in the distance the night after the most recent “peaceful protests”. I imagine the couple on their deck reading about the riot in the newspaper as if it had happened 1000 miles away instead of 10.
Our reality is much different from downtown Seattle. The streets and air are clean, the neighbors are polite, the police are responsive, the views in all directions with only a short hike are a joy to behold. There is a lot of territory between us and ground zero of the riots. There are thousands of homes and a large lake between us and the terrorists. The roads into our neighborhood are few with lots of cover and concealment along the sides. It is my belief that there will be a lot of warning and a heck of a lot of “vigorous” resistance to the terrorists migrating out of their turf into ours. And the primary resistance will be supplied by the local police department who has not been shackled like the Seattle Police.Department. When I was shooting matches I frequently had a Bellevue police officer on my squad. The next chance I get I will ask a few questions about how he thinks an attempt at a riot migration to our side of the lake might turn out.
That said, daughter Jaime asked that Barb and I take a look at houses “out in the country” with her and her spouse last Saturday. They live in Bellevue near where the nearly completed light rail from downtown Seattle terminates near Microsoft. She tends a bit toward the neurotic side of normal and her location near easy access from the communist infected downtown Seattle bothers her. She received permission from “all the way up the management chain” at Microsoft to work from home “forever”. Barb and I looked at homes with them for several hours which were an hour drive from her current location. They made an offer on a place with a one acre lot next door to a home with a “Trump 2020” sign in the yard. That might as well be an alternate universe from downtown Seattle.
Also, I have accelerated my plans to buy or build a home in Idaho. A good part of our visit over the 4th of July weekend was to look at three different homes near Boomershoot we expect to be on the market soon. In this neighborhood property seldom gets formally “listed”. It’s almost always via word of mouth that you find out something is for sale or someone is interested in buying. We drove by the homes and told my brothers and sister-in-law that we are interested. We also looked at three different potential sites on my property to build. We chose one and have contacted a potential builder/architect. Then yesterday I completed a tentative floor plan. This would be small “summer home” or bugout location if things get too dangerous or politically intolerable in our current location.
So, to answer Alien’s question in something more than one word and less than a page, we feel pretty safe where we are for now and really like what we have here. We won’t be moving unless there is some pretty drastic changes happening a lot closer to home. However, we and others, are implementing plans to deal with that scenario.
Over the 4th of July weekend Barb and I visited Idaho. The plan was to visit Elk Butte Lookout, watch the fireworks show in Orofino, and maybe do some hiking. We drove over on the 3rd, fixed the weather station at Boomershoot shooting line, inspected the top of the shipping container at Boomershoot Mecca, and did a few other odds and ends before checking in at the Konkolville motel in Orofino.
On June 5th Barb and I took the day off work and went for a drive to Lopez Island. Lopez is the third largest of the San Juan Island archipelago. A map is here.
We had been there together before (and here) in 2015 and camped. This time it was just for the day. Going earlier in the year resulted in the temperature being a little cooler. With a little bit of wind it was occasionally on the cool side of comfortable but with a flannel shirt or sweatshirt it was still nice.
We saw many of the same things and hiked many of the same trails. It was our first real excursion together since the COVID-19 outbreak. The lack of traffic, both on the highways and the ferries, reflected the current situation. It seemed that we almost had the island to ourselves. It was a wonderful vacation from the lockdown.
The trails were wonderful. The views were wonderful. And the companionship was awesome.
Via email from Barron. He says he laughed. That’s understandable. I didn’t laugh. That should also be understandable:
Those with borderline personality disorder have problems regulating emotional impulses and often experience rocky relationships. But new research suggests that many men find traits associated with borderline personality disorder to be appealing in physically attractive women. The study has been published online in the journal Personality and Individual Differences.
The research was inspired by a viral parody video, in which a man provides scientific-sounding advice about the relationship between a woman’s physical appearance, personality, and her dating appeal.
“I had stumbled across the Hot Crazy Matrix (HCM) YouTube video and was struck by its popularity and media coverage it had attracted. It got me thinking about why it resonates with so many people,” explained study author Alyson Blanchard, a senior lecturer at Bishop Grosseteste University.
More information on HCM is available here.
If you think you may be dealing with someone with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). Read this book:
It changed my life.
Barb and I have been on the more cautious side of the behavior spectrum in regards to avoiding risk of COVID-19. We have been going on almost daily walks but haven’t gone on any hikes in the woods and mountains like we usually would have by now. Last weekend we decided we would go for a drive and at least visit the mountains and enjoy the view of them from my car.
I found a place that looked like it had good views and we had never been. It’s the parking lot for the Alpental ski area:
It’s about a 45 minute drive from our place and I figured we could get out and walk around the parking lot some without having to worry about the whole social distancing thing on narrow trails. I expected something similar to what you see in the picture above.
We were surprised to find the parking lot almost completely full of cars with lots of people. Apparently my idea and choice of locations was not all that novel.
We managed to find a parking spot and took some pictures. There wasn’t much walking though. The weather and views were great so we accomplished our mission to get out of the house and do something a little special for our current circumstances and more like the normal we are looking forward to.
A couple days ago I had a check to deposit. With Tamara’s words from 11 days earlier still fresh in my mind I put on my white hat to indicate I was one of the good guys:
I’m not sure it helped that much. But they did let me in the bank when the ATM didn’t want to allow the deposit so I couldn’t have been all that scary.
For our first year anniversary (wedding pictures here) last February we went to Kailua-Kona Hawaii. It was the first time in Hawaii for me. I wanted to wait until their stupid gun laws allowed me to carry but Barb did such an awesome job bargain shopping that travel, lodging (in a nice condo), and meals for the week came in at under $1000 (IIRC) that I decided it was worth sacrificing my principles.
It wasn’t quite what I expected. I expected numerous huge beaches. I expected jungle like forests. I expected flowing lava and blobs of red hot rocks flying through the air. I was wrong.
That doesn’t mean we didn’t see and do some really neat things. We did. The high point for me was walking across a volcanic crater. This crater:
Last week Barb, her daughter Maddy, and I all had blood drawn for testing of antibodies to SARS-CoV-2.
All results came back negative. We were pretty certain Barb and I would be negative. But Maddy was working in Brooklyn, New York until late March and told us horror stories of how tight people were packed on the subways. So, when she came home she was in quarantine for a while. But we thought maybe she picked it up without symptoms. Nope.
Since the COVID-19 restrictions went into place Barb and I have been taking a lot of walks around the neighborhood. The Seattle area rain, fog, and moss is a bit of a downer but it’s better than being in the house all the time.