Undying

This is the scariest game I’ve ever played.  More than Doom 3, the Marine missions in AVP, or FEAR… which are all my top choices of a scary gaming goodness… But Undying holds the crown.  The graphics suck and the combat dynamics are “interesting”… the story is pretty good for a Video Game’s rationalization to go around and kill everything.  What sets it apart is the Characters and the Environment.  The lighting effects, the sound effects, and the music combine to create an immersive environment that few games can even get close to.  While I consider myself to be very jaded and disconnected, Undying really sucked me in to that world.  And that world scared me.  There was one area in the game that was pretty much empty of monsters, but the mood and the music worked together to really creep me the heck out.  Undying is the only Horror-FPS game, or any Horror Game, that made me throw a NOPE grenade, unplug the computer, and walk away.  UNDYING did that to me.  It’s never happened before or since… but I had to pull the power cord, get up, and walk away, because I was freaked the hell out.

You know how you have your 1 horror movie that freaked you out the most when you first saw it?  For me that’s EVENT HORIZON.  Well, Undying is that – in a video game.

PatrickGalloway

This is the character you play.  Patrick Galloway.  He’s a Post WW1 Era Scottish version of Neo/Mr. Anderson or a Dr. Gordon Freeman.  He can use bottles of flaming liquid, a revolver, a shotgun or a slingshot from that guy on Youtube that makes crazy slingshots.  And in the other hand, he can use Magic.  And he’s left handed.  Clive Barker said that he wanted to make this character sexy, as he is gay and wanted a character that held his attention.  The result is that unlike other FPS Game characters you get to know Patrick Galloway… your alter-ego as play through and get sucked into the Undying world.

Being written by Clive Barker, it’s going to have some depth, some darkness, and a enough Batshit to build Crazy Town with.    Clive… is a guy that’s really not right in the head.  He makes Stephen King look like a school teacher, and Dean Koontz look like a sunday school teacher.  So some aspects of what he writes is just oh so very wrong.  There’s a lot of Wrongness in this game.  Here’s the thing though… It works.  And it’s scary.  And it’s a hard game, which means you are not going to be breezing through it.  You have to investigate things, and figure things out, and it’s not going to be easy.

I’d like to see this game redone on a better game engine with better graphics.  And I’d like to see the ending cleaned up and some other things tweaked… but overall it really stands on it’s own.  Maybe though… maybe it’s best that the Graphics remain poor.  Because maybe it would be too much if it was any more “realistic”.

Sriracha Sauce

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People are discovering Sriracha.  A spicy, flavorful hot sauce from Asia… Originally only found at Chinese Buffets and the like.  But it’s broken out of the stereotypes and now it stands on its own.  I’ve heard it called “Thai Ketchup”… which is a fairly accurate term.  As anything you might put ketchup on – you can put Sriracha on and it will be better.  This started a new Spice Trade… The factory in Asia couldn’t keep up with demand so they built one in the US as the tasty sauce has really taken off.

Here’s the problem though.   The US factory that makes Sriracha has been declared a public nuisance because of the smell.  At the same time it’s becoming more and more popular.  People are hording.  In some places, it’s hard to find.  In fact, I couldn’t.  We had run out and the local stores didn’t have any.  One thing we really like at The Ogre House – is Hot Sauce.  We use it all the time.  The more different varieties, the better.  And one of the House Favorites is Sriracha.  And we couldn’t find any.  This was a problem.   But I did find an alternative.
Because of the threat of the US Sriracha factory being shut down, Texas Pete stepped up and made their own version of it.   Texas Pete is a North Carolina tradition… so I had to buy a bottle to try out.

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Oh, it’s good.  It’s very good.  If you can’t find the original.  Which I couldn’t.    In fact, I like it.  It does very well on Burgers and Dogs and Steaks and noodles and Pizza… Everything I tried it on.  The above image was posted on FaceBook as I was showing off my Lunch – because that’s what Facebook is for.  To make sure all your friends know what you are eating.
Then yesterday a mystery box appeared on our door step.

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The box contained 6 big bottles.  The real deal.  There was no note.  No return address save for the Factory.  My wife declared it a “year’s supply”.  I give it a month.  A tasty tasty month.

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So the question here is how does Texas Pete’s version stand up to the original?  (The 6th bottle of the original goodness could not be pried from my oldest son’s hands.  Even just to take a photo.)

It looks almost identical in the photo.  But it’s not.  The vehicle for this test was a simple scrambled egg.   Half the egg was covered in the “Rooster Sauce” and the other in the “Cha”.

The Flaming Cock wins.  Hands down.  The flavor is richer, fuller… while the Texas Pete seems to have a little more watered down taste… more Vinegar.  In the original, you can really taste the peppers. The Texas Pete just doesn’t stand up.  It’s not quite as hot either, so maybe it’s good for Beginners and it’s just fine if you can’t find The Good Stuff.  It’s not really a HOT SAUCE per say.  Because it’s not really “HOT”.  It’s warmer than Ketchup.  Maybe on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being “Insanity Sauce” (Just throwing that out there), then Sriracha is about a 3.  But it’s not about the Heat.  It’s about the Flavor.  It tastes GOOD.

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Here’s the thing – they both have their place.  If you are preparing something that asks you to mix the Sriracha in something or put it in your cooking… You can use the Texas Pete.  It will be fine for that.  Save the original Sriracha for pure topical applications where your sauce isn’t diluted.  And you can put it on just about everything.  And it makes everything better.

Why Sriracha?  This explains Sriracha quite clearly.

Seriously, guys… But it on your Burgers and Pizza.  Use it generously.  On a burger – use it like you would ketchup.  On a pizza, drizzle it all over it, or dip it.  It really adds tone and flavor.   If you don’t try it – You Are Wrong.

FNH shows some Leadership

Congratulations to FNH for showing some serious leadership in the SHOT Industry.  Something EVERY company that’s involved in the Shooting, Hunting, and Outdoor Trade industry.
Partnering with TREAD LIGHTLY!.

994325_10201226366874642_910207755_n (1)This sends the right message.   To everyone.  From our fellow shooters, to everyone that enjoys the outdoors for all reasons.  My brother in law Sage Wheeler taught me to appreciate our lands more than I had thought about.  I’m not an Environmentalist by any means, but I am one that is concerned.  I’ve spend many hours in the desert filling up the back of my Chevy 4×4 and my Ford Bronco full of garbage and crap to take to the landfill.  Couches, Appliances, Chairs, TV’s, Computers… All of them… Everything… riddled with bullet holes.  Sure, I made my share of holes… But then I came back and cleaned up what I could.  Because the #1 reason our shooting areas are getting closed off – is because we tolerate those that use those areas as a dumping ground.   That has to stop.  If it doesn’t, we’re going to lose all of it.

Thanks, Sage.  And thank you, FNH.

My Top 3 Interesting Handguns

I’ve a rather short list of handguns that are of interest to me, at the moment.  Perhaps the fascination will pass on these, but the Want Factor has been quite high all year so far.

1.  The Walther PPQ M2 5″.
PPQ-M2-5inch
The P99 I reviewed for Concealed Carry Magazine really impressed me, overall. But a couple things that irritated me to one degree or another on the P99 was removed or fixed in the PPQ.  Namely the mag release and the decocker button on the top of the slide.  The PPQ retains everything good about the P99, just cleaned up.  Like a Subaru WRX without the Spoiler and Hood Nostril.  Talking to some other guys about the PPQ, such as Jon Hodoway from Nighthawk Custom Training… it’s quietly becoming a favorite in the class of Polyframed Striker Fired pistols.

2.  The SIG M11-A1.
SIG-Sauer-M11-A1
This is basically a reintroduction of the  very excellent SIG P228… Which is what SIG is now calling the 229… but the 229 has rails.  Don’t try to figure it out – it’s SIG and they just do things like that.  But it takes nothing away from the M11A1… Which is an excellent pistol and one that’s been on my mind more and more lately.  Slightly shorter than the full sized 226, the M11A1 comes home to that “Just Right” size for me.  For EDC work both Open or Concealed, this gun can get it done.  And has been getting it done under the 228 tag for a long time.  I had a 228 that I used as a backup gun for some time and it was quiet excellent.  I did have some problems with the trigger return spring, but that was an easy fix and it never troubled me again.  I miss that gun.  This is it’s resurrection.

3.  The Ruger Super Blackhawk, 4 5/8″, .44 Magnum.
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Nothing quite says “You’re Doomed” like thumbcocking back the hammer on an accurate and powerful single action revolver.  I’m more fond of the western style revolvers than I am the more “modern” double action types.  There’s something about the classic heritage of the breed that is both fascinating and just… I don’t know how to say it… “The way it should be”.  Especially when dealing with full potency magnum loads.  The only thing I’d do to this gun would be to get a Gold Bead front sight put in.  That’s it.  The reason I picked this over the Vaquero… the sights… the magnum frame… and a grip that fits my hand better.  The Vaquero felt too small to me.  Nice, but too small.  That and with the Blackhawks I can really place my shots.  For me, that’s a requirement with a gun with only a few rounds in it.  The shorter barrel looks properly handsome as well.    If I was in a rural area again where Open Carry didn’t even cause folks to look twice – That’s what I’d be packing most of the time I think.  (Along with a Truck Gun in the same caliber… Such as a Rossi 92 20″)

Armchair Quarterbacking: DETONICS.

Combat Master

Before I roll forward with Armchair Quarterbacking Detonics, I want the readers here to know my long history with the Combat Master, and my affections for it.   I wrote two articles about the Combat Master for Concealed Carry Magazine.  Both articles were rather glowing of the guns overall.   You can read them both here.  The second article has photos here.

“This is like Scarlett Johanson winning an Ultimate Fighter Championship.”

I considered Jerry Ahern a friend.  We had many great conversations about Detonics and about the Combat Master.  When Jerry passed away, I was greatly saddened.   But what saddened me the most was the new iteration of Detonics and the all new version of the Combat Master.

One of the things we had talked about was the use of a regular dovetailed front sight with Tritium and moving the rear sight back to the normal 1911 position and using a regular Commander style hammer and a Beavertail.    Make it more like a regular 1911 that people are familiar with instead of having the Combat Master occupy the Uncanny Valley.  We had even discussed me buying one in this configuration from Detonics USA, and Jerry had said “Don’t worry about it, George.  We’ll send you a prototype.”  This was being discussed while I was writing the second Combat Master review.   But before I could return the review pistol to Detonics, the company had closed its doors and Jerry was removed from his office.  And what we had discussed went with him.

Some time after that all happened, Detonics had reopened.   And they did come out with a new version of the Combat Master…. and this happened:

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They did indeed use a regular sized front sight post… and they moved the rear sight back to where they normally go.  And then they did that.  I don’t even know what that is.  No one else did either as this version of the Combat Master was killed off almost as fast as it had come out.     Here is where it failed again.  It’s still not like a 1911… It’s still almost familiar but wrong – dead nuts in the center of the Uncanny Valley zip code.   Right where people look at it from a distance and say “hey, look at that” and then they get close enough to really see it and they are repelled.  Instinct dictates the initial attraction and the subsequent revulsion.  Because it’s not what they are familiar with it.  A hexagon barrel with the front sight mounted to it is just fine… On a Webley.  But on a 1911 pistol of any sort?

Detonics needs to bring back the Combat Master because that’s WHAT DETONICS IS.  But they need to forget that strange polygonal barrel and make it more like a traditional 1911.

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The scalloping of the ejection port on the older Combat Masters is both elegant and beautiful.  That’s a nice touch that should come back.  The Rear Sight should be in the normal 1911 position.  But not a Novak ramp style.  Something more like an ICE Claw rear sight.  And give it a small Beavertail.  For better accuracy, reliability, and ballistic punch, lengthen the barrel a bit.
The other problem with the Combat Master is the Magazine.  They are shorter than the standard Officer’s model, which means you are Single Sourced for them.  Lengthen the frame just a touch so that you can use regular Officer’s Magazines.   The result is you will have a gun that fits people’s hands better and they can get a bunch of spare mags without having to sell a car to do it.
I’d even take this a step further and use a GI Guid rod and Bushing.  Take a look at the Nighthawk T3.  You know what, Detonics?  There is a waiting list for those things.  And those guns cost double your discontinued Combat Master.   Do you see the difference here?  You probably don’t.  The difference is your gun was not just different – it was strange.  While the T3 was a compact 1911 DONE WELL.  That’s the difference.  And that’s why people were waiting to pay double dollars for something that the Combat Master was competing with.

The 1911 should always feel like it’s familiar.  You should never have to break out a Manual or look up a How To video on YouTube.  The 1911 should be a 1911.  Like Apple Pie and Baseball, it should be Classic and it should be reminding their owners of heroic days past… and it should be inspiring in its accuracy and reliability for future adventures.   It it doesn’t do that, you’ve failed.   I can’t explain this any better.  If it’s not clear to you, well… Good luck.

The MTX pistol looks interesting.  But you said a 3.5″ and a 5″ version will be available in 2013.  Nothing looks worse than saying you are coming out with something and then you don’t.  Unless it’s a double stacked 1911 with a 3.5″ barrel.  Just don’t do that.  It sounds good at first but is never a good thing once it’s in the hand.  Just drop that, and concentrate on getting that 5″ version done… and maybe even do a 6″.  Do a 10mm version in 6″ because that would be awesome and something that is just not available outside of STI.  A 6″ 10mm MTX would have me drooling.

Bring back the Range Master and the Street Master.  Make the Range Master a 5″ traditional 1911 with adjustable sights and the Street Master a 4.25″ with fixed sights.  Make them like the originals, but better.  Give them Match barrels and triggers and make them as accurate and as reliable as any other high end 1911, but do it at a competitive price.  Look at Dan Wesson’s 1911′s.   They are absolutely excellent.  Do some extra touches that need to be done… Polish the rails and the locking lugs.  Polish the trigger parts so the trigger feel is absolute perfection.    And forget the gimmicks.  The only options should be polished blue or stainless.  The grips should be stunning woods with torques head screws so it looks clean.  Double Diamonds.  Traditional.  Traditional done to Perfection. Make the guns live up to their names.  It should make the person feel like he really and truly is holding something special and wonderful in their hands when they pick one up.  Nothing about it should make one raise an eyebrow.

Caliber options for all guns should be 9mm, 10mm and .45 Auto.

If at this point, you can’t do a good traditional 1911, Detonics should be allowed to die with dignity.  But for some people, the name still holds currency and we want it to succeed.  You just need a man with some vision to take charge and make the name great again.  You need another Jerry Ahern.

I’m available for contract negotiations at any time.  ;)

They don’t make it, but I want it.

Beretta_90TWO

The Beretta 90-Two.  Beretta’s best and worst in one single package.  Let me explain why.

On one hand, it’s absolutely the best.  The best handgun Beretta has ever made.  It has all the latest features and updated good looks that really take it into the next century.   I love the swept lines and new contours in the frame on the safety levers.
On the other hand, it has the worst name they could have given the pistol.  I had people come to me at the gun counter and say “I want a Beretta ninety two.”  Yes, I have that right here.  ”No, a ninety two.”  You get my point.  It’s name was made of confusion.  Had they called in a 2092 or something, it would have worked.  Colt and STI did similar things for the “1911″ and it worked.  Worked just fine, without being cute.  In fact, it was more descriptive and accurate if a name.  People knew what you were talking about.
The internal buffer and the dovetailed sights are both features of the 92A1… and that’s great.  But the 92A1 doesn’t have the fresh new look.
I’ve been wanting one of these more and more this year.  For no specific reason.

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Here’s the other gun I’m wanting.  The 92FS Compact.  I have no real justification for it.  It’s only a little bit smaller than the standard 92FS.  A little shorter in barrel and slide, a little shorter in the grip frame.  So it’s really not so “Compact”.  It’s more of a 92 “Commander” in that it takes the gun that feels rather large and turns it into a gun that feels “Just right”.  I can’t describe it any better than that.  It just felt oh so very “right” when I drooled on one at the last gun show I went to in Utah.  I passed it up, but the gun has been on my mind ever since and as of late as been doing laps like a motorcyclist in one of those round steel cages.

Both of these guns are very high in Want Factor for me.  I want them bad.  But I can resist buying them because of rational reasons.  But rationality can only go so far.

Now, if Beretta made a 90-TWO Compact.  I’d just have to throw my hands up and surrender to the Beretta Trident and do something very foolish to quickly raise the money to buy one immediately.   Because that’s what I really want.  I don’t think I could take living in a world that has that and me not having one.

Jeb Bush and the GOP

1450731_10201883299977559_382447294_n (1)I don’t like Jeb Bush. He’s not just a RINO, but he’s everything I don’t like about politicians rolled up one big fat burrito that the GOP may try to choke us with. He’s another Big Government RINO and we’ve more than enough of those.
The GOP is so completely full of fail that I’d be laughing if this wasn’t happening in my own country.

I am really seeing less and less of a distinction between the two parties. I’m quite disappointed in both… but especially the Republicans.
It’s going to come down between Jeb Bush and Chris Christie… Just watch. Or worse – they are The Ticket.
I tell you what, I keep hearing about Belize… Belize is sounding better and better all the time. Because the USA is looking more and more hopeless.
The fact that I am even thinking like that just pisses me slam off. Because I love this Country. I love America. But America is making some really bad decisions… our Government needs a Factory Reset.
1. We need Voter ID laws passed in every state.
2. We need Closed Primaries. Only Party Members should vote for party candidates.
3. We need Congressional Term Limits. 4 years, 2 Terms Max.
4. We need Congressional Pay, Benefits, and Pensions dramatically cut. Pay should be capped at 80,000, Benefits limited to only during their term of service, and Pensions – no – No Pensions at all. Because serving should be a Service and not a Career.
We do those 4 things… And I believe the Government will clean its self up as the Rats will seek out other ships.

Pistol Braces

I am quite tempted to get an AR-15 Pistol and but a “Arm Brace” on it.   Because I love SBR’s but hate the red tape that goes will them.   Here’s the thing though, and the reason I am hesitant about this… The ATF has changed it’s mind in the past about things and there is no reason that they couldn’t change their mind on this.  This “Brace” thing looks too much like a stock, even if it isn’t.  For some reason.

Because I look at these things… and the first thing that comes to mind is “Stock”.  It just does.  It has the profile of a stock and you can shoulder it like a stock, so realistically, what’s the difference?  I’m afraid at some point in the future, the ATF is going to change their mind on these and all the sudden you are going have an illegal SBR on your hands.   Or even worse, you can be well within the guide lines and yet some local Officer Captain America is going to see it and declare it to be an SBR and arrest you and confiscate the “pistol”.   Because Cops in general, do not have the best track record of knowing all the ins and outs of Gun Laws.   We would think that they do, and a lot of them really do… but some don’t.  MAC talks about being That Guy, well, there is always That Cop.  And you don’t want to be that guy that meets That Cop.    Especially considering that these things could be legally reversed overnight.

What we need to do is just get rid of the Barrel Length restrictions on rifles and shotguns.   Just do away with those line items in the NFA.  And well, if we are doing away with those, let’s just toss out the NFA altogether because it’s a package of regulations that only serve to create infringements and stumbling blocks for things you can still get if you are willing to jump through the hoops.  So they effectively do nothing but piss us off.

So I’m going to avoid a potential ATF trap with these Braces.

Adams Holsters

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These three holsters are from Adams Holsters.  They are Luke’s “Crossroads” holster in exotic leathers.  Top left is my Glock 23 RTF2 in Shark hide.  The top Right is my Beretta 92FS in two different Shark hides.  A subtle two tone that looks very sharp.  The bottom center is my Springfield 1911 GI in Gator and Elephant.  (Legally imported Elephant hide)

The Crossroads is just one style of holster Luke makes.  These are a pancake style outside of the waistband holster that carries a heavy gun quite comfortably.  It’s my favorite for that reason, because when I wear a gun, it’s from pants on to pants off.

The “Gatorphant” Crossroads is my newest that just arrived the other day.  I’ve been wearing it constantly of course.  The GI 1911 is a heavy pistol and I’ve found it to be less than comfortable in other holsters.  In the Crossroads though, I’ve had no problem with all day packing.   I know I’ve talked about it before, it I wanted to take a group photo.

Armchair Quarterbacking: JEEP.

I’ve not come to terms that Jeep is now owned by the Italians.  Fiat of all things.  Who could have guess that would happen 20 years ago?  Fiat, the makers of cars that break down more often than cars from Jaguar.  Fix It Again, Tony… now has Jeep in it’s pocket.  This is the automotive equivalent of Jennings owning Browning.   It’s an absurd notion… But Fiat made some good moves and positioned themselves to buy Lancia, Alpha, Ferrari, and Maserati… Unbelievable.  Now they own Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep.  Boggles the mind.

I think that this is the reason that Jeep is probably the most Bi-Polar of automotive brands.  When one says “Jeep” it invokes a mental image.  One of rugged outdoorsiness.  A majestic warrior off-roading rig perched on a mountain ledge like the Lion King, chin into the wind and looking stoic.
Jeep_King

That’s “Jeep”.  That’s what we think about.  We think about taking Jeeps through deserts and mountain trails hunting Orc and Adventure.  And that’s been The Jeep Thing for decades.  But unfortunately Jeep has become this:

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The new Jeeps, the Patriot and the Compass are a pair of Dodge’s trying to look butch.

WTF?

This is Automotive Evolution gone wrong.  While some companies are making better and better vehicles all the time, Jeep is kinda… going the wrong way.   These butch little Mall Hunters are not keeping in the spirit of the brand.  The Identity.  I swear to heaven that I saw “It’s a Jeep thing” on the back of a Compass.  Do you know why?  Because people are forgetting what a Jeep thing is.  This is an utter failure of the Brand.  To keep up with the Lion King train of thought – this is most fitting:

Jeep needs to Remember.  They need to kill off the Compass and the Patriot.  Get rid of these pathetic little Cute-Utes and return to it’s core.   To do this, they need to bring back two vehicles in updated versions.  First.  The Wagoneer.

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Jeep has defecated on the Wagoneer badge… Used it like a Trim Package that just put terrible wood patterned vinyl on the sides of Cherokees and Grand Cherokees.  I’m talking about bringing back the real thing in an updated version.  A real honest Wagoneer.  Full sized, no apologies.   Jeep doesn’t think this can work, so they have not done anything of this sort.  But it does work.  And I can prove it as evidenced by exhibits A, B, C, D, E… I could go on, but you get my drift now.   Jeep had that.  A full sized, luxurious, commanding vehicle that could carry people and cargo and tow just about anything that needed towing.    I still see them on the road once in a great while… and they are beautiful.  I had one once… and letting it go was a huge mistake.  It was awesome.  Jeep needs to bring this back.  Do some Retro Styling on it for the sake of Identity, but build it on a RAM 1500 platform.  Body on Frame.  Give it some off roading chops.  And give it three engine options.  The 6.4 liter “392″ Hemi for the Petrol Guys.  The 3.0 Liter V-6 EcoDiesel, for those family guys wanting economy and room.  And for those that need to tow heavy things… the 6.7 liter Cummins Diesel.   Give it three Jeep trim levels.  The Limited, the Overland and the Summit in keeping with current Jeep SOP.

Jeep_Wagoneer_Lifted

And maybe a stripped down version for the Die-Hard off roading Jeep Enthusiasts.  Keep it simple, straight forward, honest and truck-like and guys will cheer and sell their houses to buy it.  Ram does this with a version of the 1500 truck and it sells well to those guys wanting to hotrod it out.

The new “Cherokee“?  I hate it.  It may be a decent all roader and something people are wanting – vehicle class wise.  But come on.  For the love of all that is holy at least make it look like a Jeep.  Make it look like a smaller Grand Cherokee with similar styled lights and grills.   What you have now is alien and disgusting.

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Not in a good familiar and hot way.Avatar-bug-eyed-alien-1

You get my point?

The other vehicle you need to bring back… Is one of your pick up trucks.  There was the Comanche and others… and they didn’t sell well, because Jeep was owned by people who didn’t know what they were doing.  But they did make a solid truck.  They just didn’t know how to market it.

1980 Jeep truck

People want Jeep Trucks.  And they are willing to pay for them.  Do you want to know how I know?  See the Brute and tell me people don’t get weak in the knees like that.   You guys tried with the Comanche. But that failed because quite frankly, that was a stupid idea.  Cutting down a unibody into a pickup?  Who’s idea was that?  It was so bad, that your Dealers had to ask you to stop it.  But the Brute shows us something.  The Brute shows us that Gladiator Concept was a good idea.   The problem with the Brute is that it’s expensive as hell.  Too expensive.   As is everything with a Jeep badge these days… but the Brute is just stupid expensive.   You get what I’m saying.  Make the Gladiator and make it simple.  If you did that… Adventurers would be applauding around the world.

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