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Behind The Scenes At backwoods Home Magazine

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Archive for January, 2011

Dave Duffy

Silver coins of all shades, and one BIG EGG!

Saturday, January 29th, 2011

We’ve been getting everything from shiny silver eagles to green silver dimes since we started taking silver coins for subscriptions and any other products we sell. Not as many people have taken advantage of the offer as I had hoped. The price of silver has been all over the place, but I think offering a subscription for a dollar in face value for silver quarters, or a single silver dollar, is a pretty good offer for us to stick with. The prettiest coins out there are the silver eagles.

Morgan and Peace dollars are left, with Kennedy and Franklin silver halves below them. In the center are silver dimes in various condition, and at the right are silver quarters in various condition.

Here's a better payoff. See that big egg at the right! We're not sure which one of our hens layed it, but it's a record for our hens. We have Araucana, Bard Rocks, and Buff Orpingtons.

Dave Duffy

Heading back from Shot Show

Saturday, January 22nd, 2011

We headed back to Oregon yesterday and left Mike Nakaki and Russ Lary to work the final day of the Shot Show. It’ll be about an 850-mile trip through Reno, going from temperatures in the low 70s in Vegas to the mid-20s above Reno to the low 60s back home on the Oregon coast. We’re expecting a week of sunshine on the coast. Such is the southern Oregon coast winter — lots of rain but week-long breaks of warm, sunny weather suitable for playing golf.

Las Vegas is a big city, much bigger than when I lived there 40 years ago. You are pretty much anonymous among the crowds, which, in a way, is not bad. The cops there aren’t giving tickets for silly crimes like seat belt violations. They’ve got real crimes to solve, not the made-up stuff you find in small towns.

We found a good Thai restaurant right next to the hotel and ate there every day. We even became friends with the waiters, waitresses, and cooks, all of whom were Asian or North African or various mixes. Very smart people who understood the economics and politics of America. They were essentially Libertarians in their thinking. They loved America but were fearful of the spending of government, saying it punishes the rest of us who try to run our businesses with quality and thrift. If they are typical of the Asian influence in America, America stands to benefit greatly. I told them I’d take their photos and put it in my blog.

The restaurant is called Satay Thai Bistro and Bar, located at 3900 Paradise Road in Vegas, and it serves the best Thai food I’ve ever eaten. Prices are fairly cheap. Should you ever visit Vegas, I recommend you give them a try: Phone number: 702-369-8788, website:

We’re almost home. Nevada roads were in good shape, in contrast to California’s, which are in terrible shape. It’s probably a reflection of the crumbling California’s infrastructure on its way to insolvency.

Here are a few more photos:

Everything is king-sized in Vegas.

You’re not supposed to take photos of people gambling inside the casinos, but I thought I’d get this one anyway of John playing Hold ‘EM at the MGM Grand.

Just off the poker room, in a main lobby, they keep lions, borrowed on a rotating basis from a large number kept at a ranch 12 miles away. These three trainers are accepted as part of the pride, and spend a large amount of time just hanging out with the lions. They are behind a sound-proof, temperature-controlled barrier.

The lions regularly interact with the trainers, just like they were other lions.

Kwag Vchimme, left (pronounced KWAN-SHIMEE) is Thai and Chinese. Jan Ie (pronounced JAN-KNEE) is Malaysian, married to a Hawaiian.

Hicham is Morrocan. One of my other favorite waiters, Emmitt Morgan, who is half Vietnamese and half Irish, was not working when I took photos on our last visit.

It was 27 degrees on Route 44 above Susanville in California, which is north of Reno, Nevada. The forecast is for a week of sun and mid-60s temperatures on the southern Oregon coast.

Dave Duffy

Reaching my limit in Limit Hold ‘Em

Friday, January 21st, 2011

I took the day off from the Shot Show yesterday and let the other guys work. Instead I gambled, and lost. Most folks I’ve known who go to Las Vegas or Reno claim they pay for their trip with their winnings. Well I didn’t, so I must be the one supporting all those other guys. Actually, I think most of those other guys were lying.

I lost $299 at the Bellagio playing $4/$8 Limit Hold ‘Em. Three hundred was my predetermined limit before I ever left Oregon so I’m counting the gambling part of the trip a success due to the $1 that was not lost. My wife understands my thinking. It takes a man to detail the logic that you win when you lose due to the learning experience. This is why Confucius used to say, “A man who loses money gambling is a man who does not accept defeat.” Maybe that’s an Irish saying.

John did better. After the Shot Show, he won $140 playing $2/$4 Limit Hold ‘Em at the MGM Grand.

Here are a few more photos:

This is the Dillon Aero M134D Minigun that can be mounted near the door of a Huey and other military helicopters, as well as other places. It shoots the .308 round at between 3,000-4,000 per minute. Lots of sophisticated military weaponry like this at the Shot Show.There are impressive videos of this gun in action at their website. (

This is a poster in the Press Room at the Shot Show. It depicts a law that carries a penalty that is absurd: ten years in jail for buying a gun for, say, a foreign friend who is on an extended stay in America. I’m sure the government would tell us it’s to keep guns out of the hands of terrorists, but too many cops and prosecutors are willing to apply these laws with their draconian penalties to ordinary citizens. There are severe penalties for every little misstep in American society; If the government really wants to get you and put you behind bars for a long time, they’ve got lots of laws to choose from and lots of willing people to do their bidding. This does not portend well for the future of America.

This marble statue of Joe Louis is in Caesar’s Palace. Forty years ago, when I worked in Las Vegas at the Las Vegas SUN newspaper, Joe had fallen on hard financial times and was given a job as a “greeter” at the entrance to Caesar’s Palace. I was a big fight fan, had a pass to watch all the fights at Caesar’s, even got up close and personal with Muhammad Ali at one of his training sessions. I had so much respect for Joe Louis that I was embarrassed for him as he worked at what I thought was the demeaning position of “greeter,” so I avoided shaking his hand as I entered Caesar’s by entering at another door. It bothered me that “mere tourists” would slap Joe on the back and treat him like an ordinary man. Very disrespectful, I thought then, but now looking back I guess it was okay. Joe always had a smile on his face. The greatest fighter of all time was either Joe or Muhammad Ali. I think Ali might have beaten him, but BHM Senior Editor John Silveira, another fight fan, thinks Joe would have won.

Dave Duffy

Second day at a crowded Shot Show

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

I don’t know how many people were at the Shot Show yesterday (in the many thousands), but today there were about twice as many.

We hooked up with three more advertisers:

Elzetta, which makes tactical gun lights. Both owners were in the booth.

DuraCoat Firearm Finishes, which makes a variety of paints and stains for guns. The whole family of owners was there.

Next Level Training, which does firearms training. Owner Mike Hughes was in the booth.

I’m thankful to these  companies for supporting BHM. As you may know, a lot of companies do not advertise in BHM because of our support for firearms, so it’s nice to see gun-related companies support us. All the folks running these three family-owned companies told us they loved the magazine.

Bryan Marcum, left, and Dave Barnett, owners of Elzetta, which sells tactical gun lights.

From left are Debbie, Amy, Mike, and Steve Lauer of their company, DuraCoat Firearm Finishes.

Mike Hughes is the CEO of Next Level Training.

This is a big show with some big stuff. Mike Nakaki stands beside a 2-ton, 10-foot high gun safe.

There are several huge rooms housing the many exhibits. There is no way you can cover all the exhibits in the four days of the show. It is simply too immense. With five of us representing BHM, we're doing our best.

Dave Duffy

The Las Vegas Shot Show

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

BHM is covering the Las Vegas Shot Show, an enormous gun and gear show open to the trade and the media, but not the public. It is so big with so many vendors that it is initially overwhelming. I recruited four other people to help me cover it:

Representing Mas Ayoob,  BHM’s gun editor and blogger, is Mas’s former Police chief from Grantham, New Hampshire, Chief Russ Lary. We hooked up with him at the show, gave him his BHM Press Pass and a BHM T-shirt. The show has booth after booth of new police gear, and Mas will be blogging about some of it.

Out of Los Angeles I brought Mike Nakaki, probably the most knowledgeable gun person I know. He’ll be working with John Silveira, BHM’s senior editor who drove out with me from Oregon.

A former DA from my local area, Pat Foley, also drove out with us. He’s another knowledgeable gun officiando and volunteered to help us out.

I’m the one with the least gun knowledge, but I expect to learn a lot from the show and these four guys. I lived in Las Vegas briefly many years ago for the Las Vegas SUN newspaper so possess a little local knowledge. The SUN was long ago absorbed by the Las Vegas Review Journal newspaper.

We have four or five advertisers (companies who advertise with the magazine) at the show. Today we ran into one of them, BugOut Outdoorwear, which is under one of their other brand names, Boyt, at the show. They make a variety of outdoor clothing and accessories.

Tomorrow we’ll contact other advertisers.

Russ Lary and Dave Duffy

Mike Nakaki and John Silveira

Right away we hooked up with one of our advertisers. This is Brandi Fry and Michael Hackett of Bug Out Outdoorwear

Bug Out Outdoorwear sells a variety of outdoor clothing, gun cases, packs, and other outdoor accessories

There are hundreds of reporters at the show. Here, Robert Farago of writes a story for his website.

Dave Duffy

Here’s what we’re not gonna do! Yet!

Monday, January 3rd, 2011

Annie, Oliver, and I have been hatching up some big plans for the magazine during the past few weeks. We were looking at expanding BHM into New Zealand and Australia, then using that as a launch pad into India and China. English is one of the official languages of India, and my son, Jake, is studying Chinese at Portland State University so he could head up the Chinese operation.

We also talked about opening a “Back Room” on the website where several interesting people, such as John Silveira and O.E. MacDougal, would talk about politics, the economy, and other stuff. John and Mac were all for it.

Annie and I had talked about flying to New Zealand soon to scout things out and look for a potential partner there since that edition of BHM would have to be pubished on-site to avoid mailing costs. I had talked with Tom MacDonald about how the “Back Room” could be implemented since he is one of the brother geniuses who run Center Cloud, the web hosting company that has been so good for BHM’s website these past 15 plus years. I even worked with the beta version of a new domain name research tool the MacDonald brothers and their staff had developed and bought more than 50 domain names I thought would be relevant for the future.

Through all this I was reading several books (seven actually) that pertained to my vision of the future for BHM.

Then one day last week, while talking excitedly with Annie at her home about what we were to embark upon, I got chest pains, spent five hours undergoing tests in a hospital emergency room 50 miles south of Gold Beach, and was told by the doc, who just happened to be an avid reader of BHM, that I should slow down.

“You put out a wonderful magazine,” he told me. “I’ve read it for years and I’ve tried many of the ideas you’ve talked about.” He congratulated me for having Annie assume BHM’s main editing duties. “She’s doing a fine job,” he said. “The magazine is the best.”

Then he added matter of factly, “I suggest you let Annie take the magazine into the future.” He said all the tests “show you did not have an acute heart attack tonight,” but that I should follow up with my cardiologist this week. He said the chest pains were “probably the result of narrowing of the blood supply going into your heart,” adding “It may have been brought on by anxiety.”

So today I played golf. It was fun and relaxing.

Annie and I have decided to put Asia and the Back Room on the back burner. I love to work on BHM stuff, but I also love golf. And, of course, I love being alive. So I’m going to slow down, continue to write (that’s loads of fun), and put BHM on cruise control until Annie decides it’s time for a move.


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