Gun store is coming along, out of books, SHOT show, and more

It has been a super busy week.  The new store is coming along, and we’ll be open for business after we get back from SHOT.  We’ll be officially open on the 11th.  The new walls are up, the slat wall is up, the new carpet is in.  We’ll be moving the inventory in after we get back, and we’ll be good to go. 

You guys have to see this place.  The retail space is 3 times as big as my old store, and I’m so pumped to start working on the indoor range.

We have something really big coming for ammo too.  Details to come as we hammer it out, but we’ll have a supply of NATO spec 5.56 and .308 for cheaper than you’ve seen for the last couple of years. 

I’m currently out of copies of MHI, and have more coming.  I’ve got a couple of paypals over the last couple of days, one order that got lost, and a couple that came in by checks, but I’m out of books, and have more coming from the publisher.  So anything that has been ordered in the last week, or during the next week while in Vegas will go out when I get back.

We’ve got a huge crew going to SHOT.  I’ll be posting here every night about what stuff I think is cool.  I’ll be working at either the Prism (AIS) booth or the Lasermax booth off and on all show, so come by and say hi.

I don’t have the stomach to comment on politics right now.  Sadly enough, I’m watching it come down to McCain vs. Romney, and though I’m glad Guilliani has fallen off the face of the world, I look at McCain and Romney, and rather than enthusiasm, I feel nauseous. 

I’ve disliked Romney since the beginning.  Electable in Mass.  Enough said.

But compared to McCain-Feingold/McCain-Lieberman/McCain-Kenney (notice a pattern emerging here yet?) and between the two, I’ve got to say, Go Mitt.

BAARRFFF

So sore… can barely… move… Curse you old manky carpet. CURSE YOU!

Like I’ve mentioned before, my gun store is moving to a new, bigger building, that will allow us to build an indoor range.  It was the Pioneer Moters building.  The carpet for our new 3,000 square foot showroom just arrived, so we needed to get the old stuff out, and get the floor prepped so we can put the new stuff in today. 

Yesterday we ripped the old carpet out.  Oh. My. Gosh.

Okay, first there was tile glued to the concrete.  Then the glued the carpet onto the tile.  And they used a lot of glue, and I think it was either super glue, or the stuff that they use to up-armor humvees, then have people walk on it to pack it down for a decade. 

Hell if I know how they did it, but that was the toughest thing I’ve ever had to scrape up.  Finally we managed to get an edge started, and then we used an 8 foot long pry bar to pull up the old tile and carpet.  And no, that’s not a typo, it was a foot and a half longer than me, and weighed like 50 pounds.  Since I was the big guy, I could put the most mass on that bar, I ran it for what seemed like all day.

Now, you’ve got to understand, I used to be a manual-labor animal.  I grew up on a farm hoisting cows all day.  But 5 years living in a cubicle has made me soft.  That carpet kicked my ass. 

We would get up a bunch of it, with Blain and Dave holding up the carpet, and me slamming away at it until all the plaque in my heart would dislodge, and I would have to wait out the aneurism for a minute.  The Minions were getting their butts kicked too, because as we got up more of the carpet (connected to the tile, and 60 pounds of glue per square foot) all of a sudden they’re lifting a metric ton of carpet.  So basically, it sucked for everybody.

This morning, I can’t move.  My back hurts.  My arms hurt.  I tried to lift my breakfast, and I was like, damn, that’s some heavy frosted mini-wheats.  My sissy accountant hands, though a thing of beauty on the 10-key, are not exactly the best thing in the world for swining a big old pry bar, and today, they hurt.  I’m actually typing this with a pencil, one key at a time, held in my teeth.  (just kidding, it’s not quite that bad). 

But it will be worth it.  The new carpet goes in today, and then we start putting up the slat wall.  We’ll be in the old store off and on for the next couple of days, then we’ll be closed for SHOT, and open in the new place on February 11th. 

Answering a few book related questions

I have to write this quick.  I’ve got a 30 person CCW class starting in a few minutes, but luckily for me, Cabelas has wireless. 

A bunch of people have asked when the next book will be out.  I’m working on MHI:2 right now.  It is still very rough and has a long way to go.  I’m really happy that everyone wants a sequel, but I want this to be as good as the first one.  I’m hoping to have it available around the end of 2008, and this time I’m going to try and make Christmas.  But if it comes between making it right, or making it fast, I’m going to go with right.  That’s the beauty of being my own boss.

Some people have asked how the book is selling.  I don’t really know yet.  I’ll don’t get my first royalty check until like 2 months after it is released, so I won’t really know until then.  Personally I’ve sold a couple hundred copies off of this blog.  Amazon has sold out several times, but that doesn’t really tell me much, if they order 4 books at a time, or 40, so beats me.

I can’t make any sense out of Amazon’s best seller ranking.  It seems to change every hour, but I can’t tell what time frame it references.  I’ll check one morning, and I’m #123,567.  I check at lunch and I’m #7,345.  Right after dinner I’m #23,987.   Really, I’ve been as high as the 7,000s and earlier today I was at 60,000 and something, so beats the hell out of me.  I checked some other authors that I liked, and that I know sell quite a few books, and they seem to be all over the map too. 

Though I am proud to say that I beat Stephen King’s Cell yesterday at lunch time.  That and fifty cents will buy me a Coke out of the vending machine. 

Gotta go, people are starting to show up for class.

PvtPyle starts a wordpress blog

Gun expert, businessman, vet, friend and business partner, PvtPyle has started a new blog. 

http://pvtpyle.wordpress.com/  Right at the beginning he warns you that you will probably be offended at some point.  He’s like my brother, and I see him every day and he still manages to find something to offend me with at least once a week, so he’s probably not exageratting.  But I can promise you that his rants will be interesting.

Here is a MHI spoiler review thread over on THR

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=330104&highlight=Correia

Warning, don’t read it if you haven’t read MHI already. 

Book is doing good.  The store move is coming along, and SHOT is in a week.  I was going to post more, but darn it, there is a Monster Quest I haven’t seen on the history channel.  That’s quality research time right there!

Another Gun Show comes to a close

So we just wrapped up another gun show weekend at the South Town Expo Center.

 

I’ve posted before about how we do shows, and we’re still some of the only dealers there that apparently give a damn.  We still run ours like a trade show booth, totally open, as opposed to the traditional Crusty Bastard Dealer on one side of the table, snarling at anyone who dares to touch his table consisting of the same huntin’ guns he’s had for the last 47 consecutive shows. 

 

This show we upped the ante by putting down carpet first.  Not just for the customers benefit, but for my guys.  If you’ve ever stood on concrete for two straight days, you know what I’m talking about.  Plus if anybody drops a gun, it lands on the carpet, as opposed to the hard floor.  I had somebody take a big chip out of the anodizing on a Stag upper doing that once. 

 

We had a really successful show, and sold a bunch of guns.  Overall, I was really happy. 

 

There were a few interesting incidents this time around.  Sometime before lunch on Sunday morning, there is this sudden BANG.  Imagine 1,000 gun nuts in one room, suddenly becoming very quiet and looking around to see what dumbass just shot themselves.  The quiet lasted for about a minute, nobody started screaming, nobody pointed any fingers, and the show continued on.

 

Later on, people in the offending area were talking about how somebody had dropped a clipboard, which was one version I heard, which was easily dismissed since collectively the population of this room had probably shot about a billion rounds of .22 LR, and it sounded suspiciously like a .22 to most of us.  Later on I heard that somebody had accidentally somehow set off a primer.  Primer?  Primer, my ass.

 

This just goes to show, always assume guns are loaded, don’t point them at people, and keep your idiot finger off the trigger.  That said, if you’re working a gun show, you had better be prepared to have guns pointed at you, no matter how infuriating and annoying you may find it. 

 

About forty minutes after the “clipboard fell” a guy’s walking toward our booth, and he suddenly just flopped forward onto his face and started to shake.  It looked like an epileptic seizure to me.  PvtPyle shouted really loud to the crowd for anyone who was a paramedic, and I went and ran down to the other end of the building to the Crossroads “command post” to get the event staff to call someone.  (demonstrating why I’m an idiot, because while I was sprinting across the aircraft hanger sized space, Uncle Barbie walked fifteen feet and got one of the security guards manning the door to use his radio.  Which shows that a college education may get you a commission, but it is the career NCOs that get stuff done). 

 

He appeared to be fine after they checked him out.  But so far in one day, we had had a negligent discharge, and a seizure.  Since things tend to happen in threes, I waited for something else bad to happen, but apparently nothing did, though I did eat a convention center burrito for lunch, so ask me tomorrow morning how that worked out…

 

Now a note on people watching at the gun show.  Damn it, people.  If I wanted to have people whine about free stuff, I would go hang out at the democratic convention.  I’m in a building full of gun folks, who I would expect to understand a few simple facts about capitalism, but that’s way too much to wish for. 

 

What am I talking about, you ask?  Well, we always bring our Prism simulator.  Think of it as $15,000 worth of equipment and top-of-the-line training software, that normally you have to pay good money for, or go through a police academy to get access to.  But we bring ours out for the general public to use at the show for free, because people enjoy it, and it always gathers a large crowd at our booth. 

 

But damn it, if I’m letting you use my simulator for free, don’t you dare bitch at me because I won’t let your kid play with it like it is the Lethal Enforcers game at your local Walmart.  We don’t let anybody under 16 use the simulator (unless we know them and trust them) because in the past we had a little kid drop the laser equipped Sig (both of which are real expensive) on the concrete, and his derelict chimp of a father immediately said “Oh, I ain’t payin’ for that!”  And another time we had a kid use two fingers to pull the heavy double action trigger, and he pinched himself, which of course, was our fault.

 

So yesterday we had this one guy get all sorts of offended when we wouldn’t let his eight year old “shoot all the bad guys”.  He then proceeded to take a seat, and pontificate about how this wasn’t fair, and it was a bunch of “bull shit” for about ten minutes.

 

Listen you monosyllabic moron, if you want fair, you picked the wrong culture to belong to.  The gun culture doesn’t care what you think is fair.  You survive by the sweat of your brow, or you friggin’ crawl back under your mossy rock and die.  If somebody decides to let you use their expensive stuff for free, use it according to their standards, or buy your own.  If the person that spent their heard earned money to buy the cool toys wants to set the rules on how to use those toys, you can have a nice warm cup of shut the hell up, or go with their rules.  If you want free and fair, the anti-gun culture welcomes you with open arms. 

 

Idiots like that are, luckily, few and far between.  The vast majority of people I deal with at the shows are awesome.  Thank goodness.

And the Big Announcement Is: We’re Moving

My gunstore, FBMG, is moving.  One mile south, just off the road we’re on right now.  Locals know it as the Pioneer Motors building.  Just go down Minuteman past Utah National Guard Headquarters, and turn left just past Ardell Brown RV.  The building is right there.

The beauty part?  It is going to be a whole lot bigger.

The retail space is about twice as big, but the good thing is that there is a huge shop behind the retail space.  We will be moving forward and building an indoor shooting range at the new location.  The current architecteral plans are for 24 lanes, 25 meters long, rifle rated. 

We will be in our current store until the end of January.  After SHOT Show, we’ll be in the new building. 

For locals, yes, we know that for the last two years, our parking has absolutely sucked, but this new place has about 30 spaces.  So that will be a welcome improvement. 

I’ll keep you updated as we progress on the range.

A little bit of political ramblings

This morning I was in the family room, and my kids were watching TV.  Specifically they were watching some Disney channel show called Higgley Town Heros.  Well, I guess one of their things is that they face a challenge, they come up with some super imaginative way to solve things, that is usually crap, and they sketch it out, then somebody responsible comes along and helps them solve the problem in a sensible way.

So today, the problem was that some kid’s birthday party was going to get rained on.  So this one little blob girl sketches out her plan, which is:  Once it rains, we can find a rainbow, and then walk up it to the sky, where we can find a fluffy cloud, and have the party on top of it, and eat cloud cake, and wear fluffy clould birthday hats!  The other kids then all cheered.

 I looked at my seven year old and said, “They must be Democrats.”  She nodded sagely.

So why am I talking about Disney channel cartoons?  Because they are shockingly similar to the crap I’ve been watching on the national news all week.  Barack Obama is such a light-weight, that the only way I could see any sane person voting for him is because they despise Hillary.  Does that man actually have any positions, other than walking up rainbows to eat fluffy cloud cake? 

Also, New Hampshire is no longer allowed to have a primary.  I’ve decreed it.  You really shouldn’t have the second friggin’ primary in the whole country, and have it allow non-residents and independants vote.  Wait, you mean that there is a system that is easily manipulated, and SOMEHOW a Clinton won?  SHOCKING.

The pollsters are shocked, shocked I say!  They all prophesized Obama winning.  But the explanation I heard was that all the independant Obama supporters then figured he was a shoe-in over the Wicked Witch of the East, and went and voted for John McCain, to help him out instead. 

How the hell does that make any sense?  Why should my party’s nomination process be corrupted by people that would normally support Barack friggin’ Obama?  Because, you know, we’ve got so much in common.

I’ve complained about the Republican nominees a bunch of time, but at least ours have a couple of brain cells to rub together.  I really pity the Democrats.  You guys are epically screwed. 

I ate dinner with some friends last night.  One of them is a political analyst.  She really fears Obama, mostly because of his charisma, and the stupidity of the average voter.  She believes that he is more dangerous than Hillary (which I would agree with), and she sees him as being very electable in the general election. 

Maybe she is seeing something I’m not, but if she is right, we’re screwed.  And if we do lose, it is our own fault for running a bunch of folks that are either A. not actually Republicans.  B. the ones that are actually Republicans have no personality.  Or C.  The only honest, honorable one in the bunch couldn’t get elected to Chief Dog Catcher of Fresno County, and even then his foreign policy still would suck.

So, no more primary for New Hampshire.  I have declared it. 

Also, no Republican primary for California.  I heard some Guilliani minion the other day spouting off about how all the 4th and 5th place finishes so far are awesome, because they’re going to win the big ones, like California.

Okay… why exactly is it, that a state that has zero, as in none, fin, absolute zip chance of going Republican during the general election gets a say in who the nominee is?  Seriously?  California WILL not be a red state next election.  Hell, they elected Arnold Mr. Microstamping Schwarzenneger to be governor, supposedly as a Republican, and the other 49 viable states have to let them have an opinion? 

That’s like a bunch of friends going to the movies, deciding on which one to watch, and the one with terminal narcolepsy gets a vote.  Come on man, he’s gonna sleep through it anyway!  His vote shouldn’t count!  I don’t want to watch Brokeback Mountain II: The Revenge of Spooner’s Ghost. 

Also, we’ve not got gun companies endorsing candidates that have no problem banning guns.  So in response to Alex Robinson endorsing Mitt Romney, FBMG has decided to officially endorse Cthulu in 2008. 

This whole election season is making my brain hurt. 

The week in review

It has been a busy time here on multiple fronts.

The book is doing shockingly well.  Reviews are going up all over the blogosphere, and a bunch of folks have already pounded through the book, and they only just barely got them.  I’m still trying to wrap my brain around that. 

Book stuff I’ve posted about, but there is more than that.  There will be a huge announcement from FBMG in the next week.  We’re living the rock & roll dream around here, but that is for an upcoming post.   But let’s just say that we’re going to be doing something really cool, and it is about friggin’ time. 

I’m finally feeling better after 10 days of being totally wiped out.  That was one nasty bug.  At least the antibiotics are working at last.  I’m still tired, pasty, and half out of it, but that is a lot better than last week.  Plus I easily beat Tom Morello on medium on Guitar Hero III, so I know I’m getting better.  

My wife and I went to the symphony Saturday night.  I haven’t done that since college.  It was really good.  Atomicferret and Nick the Intern got us tickets for Christmas, AND that included the two of them babysitting.  Somehow the Minions survived, and my spawn didn’t burn down the house, so all in all, it was a good night. 

MHI Update

Over the last couple of days, I’ve gotten a ton more orders.  I have about 60 books on hand, but I only have about ten or so patches.  The patches will be first come, first serve.

I have no idea how many books I’ve sold on Amazon, or what’s going on over there, but apparently it is doing pretty good.  I’m not sure how they calculate their best sellers, but the highest I’ve been so far is in the 7,000s, which is a lot better than the 60,000 something that I started at.   

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