Things that won’t happen at Microsoft

Yesterday Barb had lunch with me at one of the Microsoft cafeterias. As we were getting her a visitors badge I noticed the beer and snacks in the lobby that were stacked more than half way to the ceiling. “Oh”, I said, “It’s party time.” The receptionist said, “Yes, but it’s not until 4:30 and I don’t know who it’s for and I know people are going to ask.” I told it was for our group. I had received the “meeting notice” a day or so before that. But I don’t care for beer, am not a big socializer, and I had some unit tests and code I wanted to finish up before I take time off for Boomershoot so I didn’t attend.

What is interesting to me is that nearly every other company I have worked for had strict policies against having alcoholic beverages at work. And at Microsoft they bring it to you–frequently. I think it averages about twice a month they bring in free beer and I could literally drink on company time at company expense. I usually grab a snack and chat with people a little bit but don’t drink.

With this in mind I wasn’t surprised with the opening of a new “food court” next to the west coasts largest parking garage being built just outside my office window they were going to have a pub. Sure, whatever. It doesn’t make any difference to me.

Now (via Ry) I find out they are canceling the lease for the pub. Hmmm… I probably would have never used it but I don’t care for the apparent change in culture.

I sometimes have had fantasies of Microsoft becoming more tolerant instead of less tolerant. In particular I would like to be able to carry concealed. And having an on campus shooting range would be really cool. They have lots of soccer fields, volleyball courts, and numerous other recreational areas available. Why not a shooting range? There is a large Gun Club at Microsoft. In fact I know just the place for such a range.

I visited the new parking garage recently. Here are some pictures:

As you can see there is lots of empty space in this underground garage. And with the aid of my trusty laser range finder I found places where it was 345 yards from wall to wall. It’s not really practice for Boomershoot (minimum range is 375 yards) but it’s close. And it’s would be better than anything else within 20 miles or so.

I was discussing this with some Microsoft friends at lunch the other day and they had a concern about the ceiling height. As the range gets longer the midrange height of the bullet gets larger too. Would people start hitting the ceiling beams? In particular Jim was concerned about using a 45-70 which has a trajectory resembling artillery.

It’s a valid concern. With a 340 yard zero a typical .45-70 cartridge is going to have a midrange height of over 50 inches. My AR-15 shooting it’s favorite ammo is going to have only a 7.1 inch midrange height. And my .300 Win Mag would have only have a midrange height of 6.3 inches.

I checked out the clearance in the garage and found that with a bench 30 inches above the floor there would be some beams the 45-70 bullets would connect with on their way to a 340 yard target.

So, I have to conclude it’s not going to happen in the new Microsoft parking garage.

At least with 45-70 toys.


10 thoughts on “Things that won’t happen at Microsoft

  1. I’ll have to check and see if you can even get a line of sight from corner to corner. And my laser range finder might be in Idaho now. I’m not sure…

  2. There are a lot of ranges with available distances less that 340 yards; what’s wrong with a 200 yard range, and would that solve the beam intersection problem? At 300 yards how big is the problem?

    How would you handle handgun shooting? I’m assuming you would want a section walled off for 25 and 50 yard distances.

    On another topic, how well does the empty space counter work? I’m assuming it tracks entrances and exits to/from each level. Does it ever have to be re-zeroed?

  3. Well, if very few are using said parking garage anyway, what would the harm be in knocking out a long section of the floor of the second level while keeping the ingress/egress ramps to the third level?

  4. I’m short on sleep or I’d probably be able to figure this out myself, but for purposes of sighting in for Boomershoot on my local 100-yard range, if I’m sighted in at 385 yards, what’s the trajectory at 100 yards of a .308 175-grain Sierra traveling 2300 fps at the muzzle? I have a bunch of guns that I think are still sighted in for 385 yards from last year, and I would like to confirm that, but only have 100 yards in which to do so.

  5. Who knew we were going to have a pub? The commute from Charlotte would have been a bear, but I’m with you, I don’t care for the change in culture. Back in the day, this wouldn’t have been a problem.

    In other news…I’ve finally been around long enough that I can talk about the “old Microsoft.” 🙂

  6. Homer, 200 yards just isn’t that interesting to me. Even 340 yards is only good for zeroing. It would have been pretty nice to have that available because you could be pretty certain your no-wind zero was good. Now 500 to 1000 yards gets my attention.

    A 25 to 50 yard pistol range would be cool. But that’s not going to happen either. I’m not entirely sure how the empty space counters are supposed to work. I know the ones in building 99 typically give bogus results. Nice idea but the technology still has some problems.

    Phil, those are structural beams and I expect all floors will be have significant load as soon as they open up the new buildings next month. My post was intended for entertainment purposes.

    David, I made some assumptions, which I sent in email. But I expect that about 100 yards you should be hitting about 10.7 inches high if you have a 385 yard zero at Boomershoot. If you have a 375 yard (that is the range I think the tree line targets are at) Boomershoot zero then it should be 10.2 inches. But that depends on a number of assumptions…

  7. I looked for a line of sight on the diagonal corner to corner. It might exist but it’s not going to be useful. The columns block so much that at best you might have a “window” which is a few MOA wide. The ramps to the floors above and/or below contribute to the difficulty.

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