New shooter report

Sheryl isn’t a first time shooter. But she didn’t have much experience. She recently moved here from the Philippines and Calvin, her former Marine husband, did teach her to shoot. Calvin likes to drive up in the mountains on Forest Service and even unmarked dirt roads and yesterday they showed Barb and I a wonderful viewpoint east of Snoqualmie Pass:

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After getting off the mountain we went to the range where both of them shot a .22 with a suppressor. I gave Calvin a couple of suggestions and let him shoot by himself. I spent a lot more time with Sheryl and here is the result of her first target from about 10 feet away with 10 shots per bullseye:

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I then had them shooting five shots with the requirement that each shot be on a different bullseye from the previous to simulate a Steel Challenge type stage. Then I put them on the shot timer. I told Sheryl that I thought with a little practice she could do it in about five seconds—one second per shot. “No way!”, she said. I told her at first I expected something on the order of seven or eight seconds but we could get her somewhere in the range of five today.

It took a little bit for them to settle down and not get misses but when we were done Sheryl did better than Calvin with one string at 4.44 (IIRC). Calvin’s best was 5.15 (IIRC).

I moved them back to about 20 feet and Calvin did better. Sheryl kept trying to shoot the same speed as at the shorter range and had misses. A another trip or two to the range is going to be required before I take them to a match.

I then put them on my STI Eagle chambered in .40 S&W with low recoil loads:

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They both did well but Sheryl, in particular, had problems with the gun not fully cycling. I gave her a few major power factor loads. She did just fine with them but with the heavier gun, large grip, and her small hands I could tell she was getting tired. It was time to clean up and called it quits for the day anyway so that’s what we did.

Mount Catherine

Last Sunday Barb and I hiked up Mount Catherine. We were hoping that by driving east of Snoqualmie Pass and getting up near 5000 feet in elevation we could get out of all the forest fire smoke around home. No such luck, but it was a nice hike anyway. We probably will go back sometime when the air is clear and we can see something in the distance other than the haze.

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The drive to the trailhead really requires a high clearance vehicle. Even with my Ford Escape we bottomed out once on some particularly high rocks. The trail is pretty nice. It’s not a walk in the park with a wide smooth path, but it’s not one of those trails which “you have to believe it in order to see it” either (been there, done that, got lost, it wasn’t our favorite outing). The last little bit near the top is steep and it little more than dirt steps in the side of the mountain. No big deal when it’s dry but it could be treacherous when it’s wet.

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Quote of the day—Sherry Suen-Mizell

I prefer rifles.

Sherry Suen-Mizell
August 11, 2018
[Sherry was on the Huffman family farm and was given an opportunity to throw a tomahawk at the end of a log. She wasn’t interested and gave this as the reason. This was an excellent way decline in a manner which endeared her to me.

Also, from the same day, she acted as a chair for my grandson Bryce:

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We didn’t get to the rifles or the Boomerite this weekend. We will make it happen someday.—Joe]

Idaho visit

Last weekend Barb and I went to Idaho. We delivered more chemicals for Boomershoot 2019, trimmed some trees along the road to Boomershoot Taj Mahal, and attended my high school reunion. The weather was a little on the warm side but not bad. We took a few pictures during the trip:

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I believe this was west of Colfax on Highway 26. We found the clouds quite pretty.

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This is the lentil field just south of Boomershoot Mecca.

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I”m planning to repair these steel targets at the tree line before Boomershoot 2019.

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I was trying to do the equivalent of this one from almost exactly 10 years ago:

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Another view of the hay bales with the shooting line in the background.

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For many years Barb had digestive issues with wheat. Those issues mysteriously went away a few months ago (Barb is skeptical of my suggestion it was Dr. Joe’s cure for everything, and I’m skeptical of her hypothesis of a spiritual/energy something or other healing). Here we have her next to a field of Huffman Wheat.

Crater Lake

Last Saturday and Sunday Barb and I hiked various trails around Crater Lake. I’d been there a couple times before but hadn’t really done any hiking.

Our first hike was to The Watchman Lookout:

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At over 7000 feet above sea level there was some snow but nothing blocking the trails:

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The weather was wonderful with visibility probably exceeding 100 miles.

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With such clear skies the water was intensely blue (this is straight from my phone camera, no color adjustments):

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The incredible blue color is not new. 1853 prospectors named it “Deep Blue Lake” and in 1862 another set of prospectors named it Blue Lake. The color is because the water is extremely clear and deep. In the deepest part it is 1,943 feet deep. It is so clear that person in a submersible vehicle at the greatest depth was able to see the flag on the vehicle with only the sunlight which made it to those depths.

The island is called Wizard Island. The crater on the top of the island is called Witch’s Caldron. If you take a boat to the Island you can explore the entire island. We decided not to invest the time (the better part of a day) to go on that excursion.

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From the other side of the lake we saw the island named Phantom Ship, a bald eagle, and some very tiny flowers:

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There were several other geological features to be seen in the park which we visited on Sunday but the highlights as seen above can easily be viewed in a single day without strenuous hiking.

Lava River Cave

After we visited the Big Obsidian Flow Barb and I drove a few miles north to see the Lava River Cave. It is a lava tube nearly one mile long. There are no natural light sources and the only light sources are those you bring in with you. Pictures were difficult to take and those which were attempted were nearly pointless in attempting to convey the size and awesomeness of this tube.

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Barb had never been in a cave before and found the experience less than enjoyable. It wasn’t claustrophobia because we didn’t get to anything particularly small and she has been in small confined spaces before without issue.

Big obsidian flow

Yesterday Barb and visited the Big Obsidian Flow in central Oregon. As is the case with many volcanic fields it is somewhat other worldly. It’s a flow composed of about 25% obsidian mixed with pumice. It is an easy hike and very worthwhile.

There are huge chunks of the black natural glass all around you:

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You need to be careful when stepping on it because it is very slick. You are told not to bring your dog with you on the trails because, well, broken “glass” is everywhere.

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The native Americans who lived nearby used the obsidian for tools and traded it with other tribes.

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Because the chemical makeup of the flow is distinguishable from other sources scientists were able to trace tools found hundreds of miles away to this flow.

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Hiking on Mount Hood

Barb and I hiked on Mount Hood today. The weather was great. The air was clear enough that we could easily see Mount Jefferson over 45 miles away and Three Sisters and Broken Top (to the left of Mount Jefferson) nearly 90 miles away:

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Here is the same view of the mountains with a 125 mm lens instead of a 43 mm lens:

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We talked to another couple hiking down as we were going up who told us that yesterday there were 60 MPH winds. We were very lucky with our date selection!

We hiked up to the the ski lift junction at just under 7000 feet elevation. I wanted to make it above 7000 feet so I went on up the hill a short distance to what my phone GPS said was 7054 feet above sea level.

My view from there:

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Yes, it was July 3rd and there were lots of skiers. Here are some more:

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And here is a cropped version from the lower center of the picture above:

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Radio silence

I usually have QOTDs up for the time before and slightly after Boomershoot so I have time to concentrate on Boomershoot then just veg out and recover afterward. This time I did not get ahead on the QOTD stuff for this blog. I’m going “radio silent” for a few days.

Nothing to worry about. I’ll be back online when I feel like it.

Stabby Tree

I visited daughter Xenia this last weekend. She recently moved to Kentucky. It’s a little damp and cloudy but it looks like it will be very beautiful when it warms up and the trees get their leaves.

We did a little bit of sightseeing and this was one of the more interesting historical items we saw:

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She and John have a few acres with their new house and we took the dogs on walks and looked at the trees and birds trying to identify them. There were several trees like the one below. I thought trees like this only existed in scary Disney cartoons. It’s the kind of tree I would expect around Sleeping Beauty’s castle:

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Xenia says it’s a Honey Locust and is also known as a Thorny Locust. I prefer the name Xenia gave it when she first saw it, “a Stabby Tree”.

Quote of the day—Viscount Halifax

He mobilized the English language and sent it into battle.

Viscount Halifax
1940
Referring Winston Churchill’s speech in the movie The Darkest Hour.
[For Valentine’s Day Barb and went to this movie (she chose it). It is a very good movie.

Mobilize the English language and send it into battle. This what gun owners need to do. It is either that or face our own darkest hour and/or a bloody war.

I have often thought something like that is what I was doing. I try look at things, change the point of view, and articulate a vision which makes obvious we have the high moral high ground, we should always attack, and we must always make our enemies defend.

But I had never articulated it even one tenth as clearly and succinctly as Halifax did in the movie. The movie inspired me. Henceforth, I will make better use of words. If these words are properly crafted into powerful weapons of war we can win the battles needed to defeat the forces of evil in this country and avoid a war of bullets and blood.—Joe]

It’s nice when they self identify

I’ve used this car wash many times. And I walked right by it today.

From the Bellevue Washington police blog:

What started as a routine trip to the car wash ended in a melee and an arrest this past Sunday in Bellevue. Yesterday afternoon shortly before 3 p.m., Bellevue police responded to a road rage incident in the parking lot of the Brown Bear car wash in the Factoria neighborhood of Bellevue. While responding, police learned that there was a minor rear-end crash involving two vehicles that were waiting in line for the car wash. One of the drivers got out of his car to take photos of the damage to the vehicles. The other driver then reportedly got out of his car, pointed a handgun at the victim, and made threats.

When police arrived, the suspect, a 40 year-old Bellevue resident, refused to exit his vehicle or follow the Officers’ instructions. Officers attempted to remove the suspect from the vehicle, and the suspect fought, punching one of the Officers in the face. The suspect allegedly threatened to kill the police and made disparaging comments about the victim’s perceived ethnicity. Police used a taser to subdue the suspect, who was arrested. The Officer that was punched had a minor injury and was transported to the hospital as a precaution. The suspect’s vehicle, a red Chevrolet Camaro with a custom license plate “DIRTBAG”, was impounded to the Bellevue Police Department for a search warrant.The license plate of the suspect's vehicle.

The suspect is expected to be charged today in King County Superior Court with first degree assault with a firearm, assault on a police officer, malicious harassment, obstructing police, and resisting arrest.

If all the dirt bags would identify themselves in such a manner it make so many things much easier.

D-DAY Through German Eyes

My brother Doug told me he recently read D DAY Through German Eyes and really enjoyed it. I am almost finished with the second book now. It’s very good. There were a number of things I learned about the weapons the allies had but what I have enjoyed most was what the German soldiers believed they were fighting for.

I didn’t realize the allies had planes and ships that fired rockets. I thought the planes only had guns and bombs. And I thought the only weapons the ships could use against land based targets were their guns and planes from the aircraft carriers.

Some of the rockets had phosphorous warheads. There were also warheads with explosives and ball bearings which were used for anti-personal as well as anti-material. And amphibious tanks! This surprised the Germans too. Some of the tanks also had flame throwers. The Germans really didn’t like the flame throwers. Some refused to go back into battle facing the phosphorous and flamethrowers even though the alternative was an expedited court marshal and execution the same day.

There were Russians who defected on the Eastern Front and joined the Germany army who assigned them to the western front. When the allies took prisoners the Russians were separated from Germans and handed directly over to the Russians. The Russians executed them. There were thousands of them.

One soldier told of the “Browning Assassination Pistol”. From the description it has to be the FP-45 Liberator. What I found most interesting is that the soldier (a military policeman) who mentioned them said thousands of them were distributed in France and probably hundreds of German soldiers were killed by French civilians with them. This is in direct contrast to what Wikipedia says about them.

The MP was guarding a small group of Germany officers the night before D-Day. As the bombing started they went to a private residence set up as a small hotel for the officers. After dinner one of the waitress suggested to one of the officers that he looked tired and perhaps he would like to go to bed (it was implied the waitress went to bed with him). He did. Later the other officers wanted to speak with the “sleeping” officer and the MP went looking for him. He found him in the bedroom, a hole in his head, blood all over, and a “Browning Assassination Pistol” on the floor. All the hotel staff were gone.

Did you know that Germany was actually protecting France? They needed to be protected from the International Socialists to the East, so there was a partnership between the French and Germany governments. The Germans were National Socialists but that wasn’t a threat to the people of western Europe. Germany united Europe. This was good for people of Europe. Why would the Americans and Canadians have a problem with that? Sure, the British hated the French and wanted a piece of France, but the Germany was protecting France from the British and the secret societies (the Free Masons) to the west who were being manipulated by the international bankers.

At least that is what was believed by many of the German soldiers.

Clearwater County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Dog Team

My brother, Doug, is the team leader for Clearwater County (Idaho) Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Dog Team. Here is an article about the team and some of their searches:

We have all seen a dog follow a scent trail. Most of the time it is another dog or something else they think smells good, but what is the drive and reward to go out at all hours in all types of weather as a member the Clearwater County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue (CCSSAR) Dog Team.

“I sometimes hear people say, ‘Everyone wants to be a hero’,” says Doug Huffman. “I suppose that is especially true in the Search and Rescue business. I once heard a search dog instructor describe it this way, ‘everyone fantasizes about saving the lost child in the wilderness and carrying the child back to her mother’s arms in front of a cheering crowd, but that isn’t how it works in real life.’ I have been with CCSSAR since 1998 and I haven’t seen that fantasy search happen yet. More typically, we are out in the woods looking for a missing berry picker when we learn he was picked up hours before by a passerby. We get home at 5 a.m. exhausted from a long night out in the woods, when we could have been home asleep. We feel good about ourselves knowing we were involved in a team effort to help a missing individual and their family, but we usually don’t feel like a hero when it is over.”

A fair number of the search stories Doug has told me are for escaped prisoners, active criminals, or people presumed dead. These searches involving higher risks and/or unpleasant resolutions. Still, Doug has been doing this for nearly 20 years now so there is some sort of reward to it.