Underground Bunker Milestone

On Monday I reached an important milestone with my underground bunker in Idaho.

The last of the major dirt movement was completed:image

No, I won’t be answering any questions online.

From a Recent Trip

Barb, her daughter, and I went sightseeing for a few days before Barb and I continued on with a cruise. We wanted to see some things before WWIII breaks out and destroys it all:



Barb commented that St. Mark’s Basilica was wallpapered in gold. This is essentially true. Each of those squares are about the size of a fingernail:




House Near Boomershoot With a Stunning View

I stumbled across this house for sale a few miles from Boomershoot with a really nice view:



It is a five bedroom, four bath, 4,044 square foot house going for $899,000.

You should know the road to the driveway is “primitive”. Much of it is single lane and it can be very rough.

I would like to see someone culturally similar to my blog readers get this house rather than some communist from California, Oregon, or Washington.

You CAN Survive a Nuke Attack

Quote of the Day

You CAN survive a nuke attack … but you MUST make an effort to learn what to do! By learning about potential threats, we are all better prepared to know how to react if something happens.

Janet Liebsch
February 27, 2022

The almost offhand post the other day about a Geiger counter had so many comments that I thought I would do a little more research on the topic.

The linked article above is pretty good stuff. It gives you the basics of the various types of threats such as initial blast and radiation, fallout radiation, and types of radiation (alpha, beta, gamma). Then it goes into types of shelters including how to make an expedient shelter.

If you are thinking of building an underground bunker then these have more detailed information:

The bottom line is:

To survive a nuclear blast, you would need to be at least 3 feet deep underground. Also, you need to be at least 36 inches of concrete or tightly-packed dirt to shield you from the blast radius.

There are other options to dirt and concrete, but in most cases those would be the cheapest.

To figure out the blast radius for the targets nearest to your bunker read Are You Living in a Nuclear Death Zone? Find Out with the U.S. Nuclear Target Map and use this nuke map.

The article also includes this image of the supposed Primary target locations for Soviet nuclear strikes during 1980s:


I am more than a bit skeptical because, while I can understand Boomershoot being a primary target, Boomershoot didn’t even exist until 1998.


Last Thursday, Mike B. was in the neighborhood and stopped by for a visit. We were talking about various threats to the social order. He mentioned EMPs were of concern to him. I mentioned another plague, the high crime rates of Seattle and other big cities, nuclear fallout, …
Mike: Kerry (mutual acquaintance and head of a university chemistry department) is the only person I know who owns a Geiger counter.
Joe: [gets up from his chair, opens the cupboard above Mike’s head, pulls out a box, and shows Mike a Geiger counter].
Mike: Okay. Two people.

Tolmie Peak Lookout

Barb and I visited Tolmie Peak Lookout six years ago. Yesterday, we hiked up there again. We left a little after 6:00 AM and arrived at the trailhead at about 8:00 AM. The last 19 miles were gravel with “high clearance vehicles recommended.” The speed limit was 25 MPH, but in places, I thought 15 MPH was plenty fast.
The sign at the trailhead said 5.8 miles round trip. They lied. My GPS step tracker said it was 3.47 one way.

The first part of the trail was really nice. It got a little more difficult in places. But it’s not so bad that we really complained about it. We knew the reward at the end would be well worth it.
Down toward the trailhead:

And on and up to the lookout:

We started out at just over 5,000’ elevation. This is the sign at Eunice Lake

The lookout is at 5,935.
Near Eunice Lake, we were swarmed with mosquitos. We applied insect repellant, but it was far from completely effective. Barb described it as her being their buffet.
This is Eunice Lake with the lookout on the skyline just right of center:

About halfway up the hill from the lake, we saw Mount Rainer to the Southeast. No matter how many times we have seen it, it never fails to impress us. This is from more than nine miles from the peak with a cell phone camera. The peak is nearly 9,000 feet above us.

To the Northwest was a valley filled with a river of fog.

We arrived at the lookout just before 10:00.

The lookout isn’t particularly special compared to many other lookouts. But the view is very special.

It is hard to capture it with a cellphone camera, but this is a very round valley carved by a glacier.

Last time, Barb got uncomfortable with the trail beyond the lookout. I turned around to stay with her. This time, I went on without her. I after traversing this section of the “trail” I stopped and reevaluated my life choices.

I had gone further than last time, but I didn’t see the risk/reward benefit analysis being all that favorable. This was the view forward shortly before I turned back.

Lake Twenty Two

On July 4th Barb and I hiked to Lake Twenty Two in the North Cascades.

We arrived at the trailhead by 8:20 and found the parking lot full. A couple hundreds yards down the road the day use picnic area had one spot we could squeeze the car into.

The trail is claimed to be 5.4 miles roundtrip and has a difficulty of “moderate”. They lie.

My GPS tracking app says it is 3.3 miles one way. Had the trail been on even ground instead of random sized, irregular shaped, rocks half of the distance we would have granted it a moderate classification. The constant attention required to our footing and the work to keep our balance make it above what we considered “moderate” difficulty.

That said, it was a very nice mountain lake with waterfalls and snow:




Continue reading

Only a Little Surprised

Quote of the Day

A new study commissioned by the European Federation for Transport and Environment revealed that toxic emissions of sulfur oxides from 63 cruise ships belonging to Carnival Corporation were 43% higher than all the combustion engine vehicles in Europe. This stunning statistic comes as EU leaders have decided to ban small combustion engines for cars by 2035. But what about ‘green’ cruise ships? Only crickets…

“The most polluting cruise ship operator was MSC Cruises, whose vessels emitted nearly as much sulphur as all the 291 million cars in Europe. When looking at parent companies, as in our original 2019 report, the Carnival Corporation comes on top with the 63 ships under its control emitting 43% more sulfur oxides than all of Europe’s cars in 2022,” the study said.

Tyler Durden
July 6, 2023
Carnival Cruise Ship Emits More Toxic Fumes Than All Of Europe’s Cars, Study Finds

Although Barb and I have never been on a Carnival ship we have talked to several people about the various cruise lines. Carnival cruises has a reputation like the Yugo GV has in the world of luxury cars. Yeah, they are laughed at and made fun of. There is a reason the contempt:

If a cruise ship is in distress or the passengers are suing it is a safe bet to say it was a Carnival ship.

Carnival ships emit more pollution than all combustion engine vehicles in Europe combined? I’m only a little surprised.

Gas Tax Loophole

You may have heard Washington state has the highest gas prices in the nation. A huge contribution to this is the state gas tax.

As I frequently drive to and from Idaho this is rather painful. However, I have found a loophole. The difference in the price of gasoline in Idaho versus the Seattle area is so great than I can buy ethanol free gasoline in Idaho for approximately the same price as I can purchase the 10% ethanol blended unleaded in Bellevue.

Ethanol free gasoline gives my car a noticeable boost in gas mileage. On my last return trip from Idaho I was able to demonstrate that I can fill up in Moscow, just over the border from Washington, and, driving at or under the speed limit, I make it back to Bellevue on a half tank of fuel.

That means that if I bring back a five or six gallon can of ethanol free gas I can drive around town a little and still make it all the way back to Idaho without giving the commie Washington state government a single penny of gasoline tax.

Oh, and I can buy all the standard capacity magazines and guns I want in Idaho while I’m there too. All 100% legal*.

*I am legally required to leave any such newly purchased items in Idaho until the courts overturn the illegal gun laws in Washington. But that is what the armory in my underground bunker is for.

Supervolcano Awakening

Quote of the Day

A long-slumbering “supervolcano” in Italy is getting closer to a potential eruption for the first time since 1538, a new study warns — and the consequences could be catastrophic.

If Campi Flegrei were to reenact its largest previous eruption, it would punch molten rock and volcanic gases high into the stratosphere, unleash 100-feet-high (33.5 meters) tsunamis and spread a plume of sulfur and toxic ash that could plunge Earth into global winter for years — killing crops and causing mass extinctions.

Ben Turner
June 19, 2023
Europe’s most dangerous ‘supervolcano’ could be creeping toward eruption, scientists warn

Prepare appropriately.

I want my underground bunker in Idaho.

Of course, then, the Yellowstone supervolcano becomes a threat. I once read that if it were to blow like it did last time all life within a 600-mile circle would be killed. I looked at the distance from the center of the Yellowstone volcano to my property. It is about 325 miles. I should be fine.

Decline in the Number of Farms

Study shows farms on decline, posing risks to future food supply

The world’s farms are disappearing.

A new study out of the University of Colorado, Boulder found that the number of farms globally will shrink in half by the end of the century.

“The most striking finding that comes out of this work is that globally…we’ll see a tipping point from farm creation to farm consolidation,” said Zia Mehrabi, an assistant professor at the University of Colorado, Boulder and author of the study.

Why is this happening? One reason, the study mentions, is because there are not enough people to do farm work as people move from rural areas to cities.

The research also mentions the average existing farm will double in size by the end of the century.

My family has been farming on South Road in Clearwater county for almost 130 years. That will end in a few years when my brothers retire. The land will probably be rented to one or more younger farmers giving them larger farms that ours. Other neighbors are considering subdividing into individual homesites.

It is sad, but unless there is a cure for aging there just aren’t enough people interested in farm work these days.

Federal AutoMatch Target Grade 22 LR Ammo from Wideners

About a month ago I received an email from Widener’s Reloading & Shooting Supply. In part it said:

We recently updated the front end of the Widener’s website, if you have a moment, you can check it out here. The basic idea is to make the site easier to navigate so customers can find products more quickly. We’re still working out some of the bugs, so if you see anything that could be improved, feel free to let me know.

I’m reaching out to see if you’d be interested in shopping our updated website and reviewing your experience along with some ammo on blog.joehuffman.org. As you know, product reviews are an opportunity to increase website traffic and build a stronger relationship with your audience. Sharing your online shopping experiences with your audience can also be a great way to build trust.

If you’re interested in receiving some free ammo for an unbiased product review. I’d be happy to set up a gift card for you to send a caliber or two your way.

If there’s anything else I can help you with, don’t hesitate to ask!

I accepted the offer and received a code for a $200 discount on anything on their website. I shoot more rounds of .22LR than another other round and I can’t reload that so I figured the best value would be to get some more .22LR. I use CCI Mini-Mags in competition because of the superb reliability even with my somewhat finicky competition gun. I am well stocked on Mini-Mags so I decided to get a cheaper alternative for practice. I chose the cheapest .22LR ammo on their website.

It arrived in the factory carton undamaged:





I tried the ammo in two different handguns, a Ruger 22/45 Mark III Lite, and my competition gun. There are two ten-round groups on the 12-inch steel plate in the picture below. Both were while standing, with iron sights, at about 11 yards. On the upper right is the Ruger:


Both groups are about 1.5”. I believe this is my limit rather than a limitation of the ammo and/or gun.

I fired about 130 rounds. It was 100% reliable in the Ruger. In the competition gun I had one magazine which had repeated failures to feed. I added a suppressor and had no further problems.

It think I found my new practice ammo. At the very least it is an alternate ammo in times of ammo shortages.

The Wideners web site is quite nice when searching and selecting ammo.

I placed the order on Saturday April 15th. It arrived at my gun range in Idaho on Friday April 21st:

Tracking Number: 397064210616
Carrier: FedEx
Status: Delivered
Delivered on: Apr 21, 2023 5:42 PM
Signed by: Signature not required
Service Type: FedEx Home

Location Date Local Time Description
Lenore, ID, US Apr
21, 2023
21, 2023
On FedEx vehicle for delivery
21, 2023
At local FedEx facility
21, 2023
Departed FedEx location
20, 2023
Arrived at FedEx location
20, 2023
In transit
19, 2023
In transit
19, 2023
In transit
18, 2023
Departed FedEx location
18, 2023
Shipment arriving On-Time
18, 2023
Arrived at FedEx location
17, 2023
Picked up
US Apr
15, 2023
Shipment information sent to

Because of Boomershoot and other things I didn’t get to try it until last Tuesday after I came back to Idaho to escape the plague (Barb tested positive for COVID on Mother’s Day).

Deer are Dangerous

This evening I was first on the scene of this accident:

The driver was a 16 year old boy who had his drivers license for only a few days. He turned to avoid hitting a deer that jumped into the road ahead of him. He avoided the deer but lost control and rolled the car.
He sat in my car while talking to the 911 dispatcher. He claimed he had just skinned his knee, but the dispatcher sent an ambulance anyway. I’m not surprised. He was not talking clearly. He was obvious very shaken up.
His grandmother (I knew her when I was going to grade school even though she is about seven years younger than me) showed up a few minutes later and is shown in the picture above. She comforted him for a while. Then his mother and sister showed up. A bunch of hugging occurred and grandma explained the deputy would ask some questions and that it didn’t matter about the car as long as he was okay.
The deputy showed up. Grandma said, “It’s Jeremey, good.” Jeremey talked to the family for while and after the ambulance and fire truck arrived he took some pictures.
The medics evaluated the boy, put him in a neck brace, put him on a stretcher and hauled him away. I don’t know his diagnosis but I expect he will be fine. But I’m not surprised they wanted him to get some in depth attention.
There is a lesson to be learned here. Avoiding the deer certainly caused more physical injury than if he had hit it. And, almost certainly, it caused more damage to the car. Hit the brakes and reduce the impact velocity, but if you worry about avoiding the impact, you almost certainly put yourself and vehicle at greater risk. I hit a deer at 65 MPH and car and driver were in much better shape then this kid and his car going probably 35 MPH or less and avoiding the deer.
Deer are dangerous.

Living in Bellevue Has Advantages

Quote of the Day

These new findings offer detailed estimates of death rates by cause, year, and sex among the county’s nearly 400 census tracts. Residents in census tracts on Mercer Island and in Bellevue have the highest life expectancy, while those in Auburn and other areas of southeast King County have the lowest. In 2014, the top causes of premature death were: ischemic heart disease, lung cancer, self-harm, Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, drug use disorders, cerebrovascular disease, cirrhosis and other chronic liver diseases, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases, diabetes, and colon and rectum cancer.

Nationally, the average life expectancy in King County is in the 95th percentile among all US counties. With a population of more than 2 million, King County ranks among the top 5% of counties in household income and life expectancy.

The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (University of Washington)
September 5, 2017
Life expectancy varies by up to 18 years in King County

Interesting. Barb and I probably mention the “Bellevue Bubble” to each other once a month or more.

And example: A couple weeks ago I got a chip in my car windshield fixed near a strip mall in Renton. While waiting I walked past a few shops on my way to Wal-Mart. When I got home I started to tell her about my adventure with, “The chip repair place was across the street from Wal-Mart…” And she interrupted me, “Oh no! The Renton Wal-Mart! What happened?” I told her of the three people, I saw as I walked to 200 yards to Wal-Mart, either openly using drugs or standing and swaying like they were about to fall. On the way back I saw a fourth person sitting on a bench bent over looking as if he were about to vomit being told by a cop that he could not loiter there and had to leave. And there was a homeless looking (filthy clothes and body, carrying a tattered bag) guy wandering up and down the aisles of the Dollar Store.

We shook our heads and told each other how glad we were to live in the Bellevue Bubble. We just don’t see that sort of thing in our neighborhood or where we shop.

I expect the life expectancy differences are probably due to better attention to health, ability to afford health care, less tobacco, probably less alcohol use, more exercise in the later years, lower violent crime rate, etc.. Another thing we notice is the people in south King County are much more likely to be overweight.

I still want my underground bunker in Idaho for when the Bellevue Bubble pops.

This Should be a Clue

When more than half of your residents would leave if they could it should be a clue to the public servants that they are doing something wrong:

Fifty-one percent of those surveyed said they would move to another state if they could, compared with 39% who said the quality of life in Washington is worth the cost. The remaining 10% said they didn’t know.

I didn’t read this until a few minutes ago but Barb and I talked about this on our walk this morning. It is very expensive to live here, but the “Bellevue Bubble” has its benefits.

UR a Smart Ass, Carl @Ur_a_Smartass_C

Quote of the Day

After I got shot, laying in my hospital bed, I said to myself. “There will never be another person standing over me with a gun, holding all the power to determine if I will live or die”

I have never supported gun control since. It’s not gun control, it’s the power to control the defenseless.

UR a Smart Ass, Carl @Ur_a_Smartass_C
Tweeted on March 31, 2023

A lot of people have stories to tell about why they are “gun nuts” of some flavor or another.

Barb has hypothesized that my abusive and sometimes brutal grade school experience contributed to my interest in guns and self defense. I told a coworker about one of my experiences and he said, “If that were to happen today it would make the national news.”

I suppose Barb could be right. But I did not get emotional involved and buy my first gun until the Ruby Ridge incident occurred. That was long after the time when I could have legally purchased a gun and my own children were in grade school.

Deer Revenge

Last Tuesday I took most of the afternoon off from work for a doctors appointment and then to drive to Idaho. I needed to be onsite to take delivery on 18” surveyors stakes used for holding the Boomershoot reactive targets and some other Boomershoot tasks.

About dusk, going 65 MPH on highway 26 west of Dusty, I hit a deer. Even though the radiator was pushed back, the left turn signal and headlight were flopping about, the driver door was difficult to open, the seat belt had retracted and locked (the indicator on the dash indicated the air-bag had deployed but had not actually done so), the car was still drivable. I made it on to my camping trailer near Boomershoot and successfully took delivery on the stakes and did most of the other business. A few days later the insurance company declared the car totaled, so I now have a new, to me, car.

I had planned to drive that car for several more years. Barb and I both loved the metallic blue color. The “new” car was what I could find on short notice which met my immediate needs. That was a high price to pay for a trip to Idaho.

Later, when talking with my cousin Alan, we discussed the interaction between people and deer. He has hit five and one of those was while on a motorcycle. He spent a few days in the hospital for the motorcycle. He went on to say that white-tailed deer cause the death of more people than any other animal in the continental U.S. I knew that the most frequent cause of vehicle accidents in Clearwater County Idaho was a collision with a deer, but I didn’t know they claimed more lives than any other animal in the U.S.

Alan’s claim is confirmed in this video:

It is almost as if they are attempting to get revenge for our hunting of them.

Update: These are sequential frames of the video. From the first frame until the last is 1.05 Seconds:








High School Reunion Coming Up

Rolf reports his high school reunion is coming up soon. It turns out my class is having reunion this year as well.

Rolf included a link to High school reunion shocker: They’re dying off! Which is interesting. The number from the article are:

To estimate the statistical death-rate norm for any class size, Polasky provided the following rough figures:

    • 10 year reunion — 1 death per 100 graduates.
    • 20 year reunion — 1 death per 50 graduates.
    • 30 year reunion — 1 death per 20 graduates.
    • 40 year reunion — 1 death per 10 graduates.
    • 50 year reunion — 1 death per five graduates.

Even though his is not this year, I was talking to a cousin of mine a few days ago about reunions and he was saying about 40 or 44 percent of his class was gone. And while I don’t have the most current numbers for my class the number is uncomfortably high with another couple dying in the last six months. And I know the numbers from my last reunion are about 50 percent higher than this. In part, this is probably due a high percentage of logging and construction type jobs my classmates went into. That area of Idaho is also known at a “cancer belt”. I don’t think anyone knows for certain why, but the cancer rate in that area is higher than normal. The speculation I have heard discussed is:

  • Being downwind from Hanford
  • Toxic chemicals from the pulp mill
  • Farm chemicals
  • Outdoor activities and exposure to high levels of UV

I have enjoying the reunions but there is also a fair amount of sadness is seeing how many are now gone.