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CRKT PILAR

In my opinion CRKT is a lot like Babe Ruth, the Sultan of Swat. Babe Ruth swung more Strike Outs than anyone. A record breaking number of swings and misses… But at the same time, he made some crushing home runs. What is he remembered for? No one remembers his strike outs. They remember his home runs. It’s really easy to dismiss a knife company that takes so many swings and makes so many misses. I used to pretty much just flat out hate CRKT and I dismissed everything they did because of all the misses. But they really do smash some home runs. Their catalog has a whole bunch of them. Why is that? Because they are not afraid to take the swing. I like that. What I don’t like are their secondary locking mechanism… freaking tumors on otherwise good designs. But the Pilar doesn’t have a secondary lock.

The PILAR is one of the Home Runs. It’s different… A unique take on the new trend of Cleaver Style blades, which are just butch Wharncliffe style blades. And that’s a good description of the Pilar. It’s butch. It’s stout. It’s kinda thick, but not too thick that one doesn’t want to carry it. I don’t like thick folders for EDC use. But this one isn’t that thick… It’s thick enough to have enough beef to it that you feel like you can really get in there and get some work done if needed. Which is good. This is a Gentlemanly Working Knife. It EDC’s very well, and even leaves you more than enough room to still have a usable pocket when you carry this clipped to said pocket. As one of my Lads would say, “She thick”. Which is evidently a good thing. I think that suits the Pilar. She thick.

The other nice thing, is that the knife is quite attractive. It’s good looking in that “She Thic” kind of way. The Pilar has some technical look to it and in a solid stainless construction, looks and feels like something Cyber Punkish. It opens and locks like a Bank Vault. Maybe a little too much so. The Frame lock is as stout as the knife… meaning, it’s a bit stiff to unlock. After working the Pilar for a couple weeks, it’s gotten a bit easier. It doesn’t hurt my thumb to unlock it anymore. And the knife has smoothed out a great deal. I can easily and quickly open the knife by holding the blade hole between finger and thumb, and flicking the handle down. This method of opening puts the blade in a perfect working position.

The Pilar is by no means a “Tactical” knife. The grips are too slick. The blade too short and blunted. It’s not black or flat dark earth or coyote tan. There’s no Green Berets that used it to slit Taliban throats. Army Rangers don’t rappel out of hovering choppers holding this knife in their teeth. Marine Raiders don’t keep one in their boots when pillaging. Navy Seals don’t use these for trimming their nails and cuticles. It’s just NOT a tactical knife. But an Office Manager might use this to open a package of Notepads and Pens he ordered from Amazon. An Account Agent might use this to break into the next pack of Coffee for her morning wake up in the office break room. Steven in Acquisitions might use one to trim his Steak during lunch. There’s a lot of real world uses for a good folder that do not involve Violence… and this Pilar just might be a great little knife for that. Because even around the most melty of snowflakes… pulling this out in front of them wont cause them to signal to Human Resources that you have a dangerous weapon. They just might instead say something like, “Hey, that’s pretty cool.”

Because it really is pretty cool. For a 2.4″ Frame Lock knife, it is about as cool as it gets without looking like you’re about to go Sweeny Todd on someone. (Like the Gerber Flatiron or CRKT Ripsnort) It looks like this knife is more interested in opening a bag of crisps rather than jugular veins. It’s a well behaved and handsome EDC type knife that wont raise alarms, but maybe an eyebrow or two. And it’s about 25 bucks on Amazon.com. Can’t beat that.

BMW’s Best Failure: The K1300S


If this is a failure of a motorcycle, then I wish more bike companies would fail like this.  Because this bike is one of the greatest motorcycles ever made.   Unfortunately, the bike was a commercial flop and BMW abandoned it long before they finally killed the production.  What remains is a bike that should garner a zealot worthy cult following and you should start to see these bikes gaining in value over time.   Because they are just that bloody good. Continue reading BMW’s Best Failure: The K1300S

Rolling with a Wheelgun

My EDC package.
Ruger SP101 .357 Magnum, 3″, with Hogue Monogrips

The Ruger is amazingly accurate, even with the full house 158 grain semi-jacketed hollow points.  And thanks to the bigger rubber grips, it’s not uncomfortable to shoot.  Of course, with lighter loads, it’s just a pussycat. 
This is an Adam’s Holsters Texas rig.  I’ve had it for a couple years now and it still looks like new, save for some wear along the very top edge.  Holds the gun nice and tight to the body, and I can wear it all day long.
Here we have the Benchmade Crooked River folder.  I love this knife. It’s a full sized folder, making it larger than in commonly carried.  But it’s wicked sharp, amazingly smooth, and just looks so very good.

Guns & Butter


A long time ago I listened to a lecture from a guy that was some sort of Financial Wizard.  He said that we spend our money on Two Things… Guns and Butter.   The terms are figurative… Allow me to explain.
Guns are Assets.  Guns are things that either Hold Value or Gain Value over time.    A Gun, if you buy it right, will be worth what you paid for it, and can even go up in value if you buy them right.  That’s another subject all together, investing in guns… But I digress.  A Classic Car can be considered a Gun Type Purchase… Property… Anything that becomes an Asset to you that either gains value in and of its self, or allows you to make profits because of it.  Such as Tooling for your business.
Butter are things that either lose value over time or are consumed.   For example, you can buy a pound of butter now, and in a couple months, you no longer have a pound of butter… it’s either been used up or has gone rancid.    Butter is also those normal expenses we all have or frivolous spending… like that new boat you want.  Because the value of that boat will go down over time.
Now, this sounds very wise to want to spend more on Guns than you do Butter.  However this Financial Guru missed the 3rd and most important Thing that we Should be spending money on:  MEMORIES. Continue reading Guns & Butter

I’m no longer in the Gun Industry, under any capacity.

I’ve ended all my consultation agreements, and I’m closing all those accounts within the firearms industry.   I’m done with everything having to do with guns, professionally.   I’m “Out”.   However, I will continue with my interests in firearms as a hobby.  I’m venturing into a new career in the Motorcycle industry with Triumph, BMW, and Ducati.  So you will continue see some gun related content, but a lot more about motorcycles.

Star Trek Beyond

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The first two Star Trek movies that Rebooted the Franchise really nailed it. This one, though… Well… it had potential. Right up to the point where the Enterprise sailed (sailed?) into it’s first – and last – battle. And then it just when full pants on the head retarded. It introduced a potentially cool new character and then seemed only to make her a bleached Xena Warrior Princess… No, wait… that gives it too much credit. A tall blond and hot Ewok.
Then to defeat the crazy powerful enemy that shredded the Enterprise, their old outdated ship that barely made it off the ground – blasts BEASTY BOYS which causes all the badguys save the Boss to Self Destruct because of the savage beats of the song “Sabotage”. All while the All Powerful Enemy is forming a perfect surfing wave formation for the old ship to Hang 10 through… because we all know that that is by far the best attack formation in space.
Then when get to the final Kirk v Boss Fight, we find that the enemy is Idris Elba who goes all Black Lives Matter protesting in the shiny new space city…. And ends up killing himself with his super evil weapon of evil before he can even loot one big screen.
*sigh*
Idris Elba could have brought so much more to the film and the whole franchise… but no… they went and… did this.
*sigh*
Here’s the thing. I’ve been loving the new Trek films… But this took the new Crew all the way back to Voyage Home levels of stupid and really just kinda gave the new fans like me, the middle finger and reminded us why we never liked Trek in the first place.

Kassarine Lost: Part 4

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Night time in the desert isn’t what most people would think it’s like.   It can be scorching hot during the day, and absolutely freezing at night.    Geoffrey pulled the thick woolen blanket around his shoulders.   But that wasn’t what was irritating him.  Dale Collier snored like some large dying beast.   Full of volume and stuttering resonance, like Geoffrey had never heard before.  He looked over at Nathan.

Even in the dark, Nathan caught the glance and just shook his head.   “Let the lad be, Poulden.”  He said quietly.  “It’s best he gets what rest he can.  He’s cross when he doesn’t get enough… and then he burns through more ammo.”

Geoffrey nodded, consenting to the logic.   “What gets me is that he’s maybe only twelve stone at the most… but snores like a gigantic fat man.”

Continue reading Kassarine Lost: Part 4

Kassarine Lost: Part 3

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Captain Geoffrey Poulden double checked the Sun Compass to verify their heading.  It was crudely mounted above the dash right where the windshield would have been.  The trucks used to have the newer P8 compasses but those had been ruined some time ago, forcing them to use the old and still reliable Sun Compass.  The sun remained the most reliable thing the LRDG had.  Geoffrey glanced up.  It was still there, burning exposed skin, and bleaching everything else.   Thankfully, the second most reliable things they had were their trucks.

When these trucks arrived in North Africa, they were brand new Chevrolet WB 30 cwt 4×2, straight from Detroit.   Once they got into the hands of the New Zealanders that formed the original LRDG, hacksaws and cutting torches were used to remove the tops and anything that would be otherwise useless.  Then they were painted the same color as the desert sand.  After the trucks had been passed down from squadron to squadron to the Englishmen who formed “G” Patrol there was little of the original trucks left save for the frames.  As trucks broke down, they were cannibalized savagely to keep the rest of the trucks operational.   There are been seven trucks in Poulden’s squadron, and twenty five men.  Now it was down to three, crewed by nine.

The first truck was marked with a crudely painted scorpion in a circle, right in the center of the hood.  Geoffrey rode shotgun, while Staff Sergeant Nathaniel Allum drove, and Sergeant Dale Collier, the young man from Cambridge manned the new dual Browning fifty cal machine guns mounted in the back of the truck.  Geoffrey looked in the back and saw that Collier was fast asleep again on top of a pile of rolled camo netting.  Dale was good with the guns, and while he should be keeping an eye out for aircraft, Geoffrey let him sleep.  Dale had been awake longer than the rest of them, and they were still well within friendly territory.   It would be dark soon and it wouldn’t matter.  He wanted Dale to be well rested tomorrow come sunrise.  Because they would be deep in the desert with no support then… and the skies wouldn’t be trusted.

The second truck had Lieutenant, Eugene Baskett commanding, Staff Sergeant Roger Friedman driving, and Richard O’Carroll standing in the back of the truck holding on to his dual mounted, .303 caliber Vickers guns.  Richard looked like he was wiping them down with a rag.  They were good guns, but required a lot of care. Richard O’Carroll was probably the youngest man in the squadron, having come to the LRDG from the 2nd Lancers.  He was used to tanks instead of trucks, having trained extensively with the Crusader light tanks.  Fat lot of good that did him here, but along the way he learned how to run a Vickers K Machine Gun, so he was useful.  Their truck was also their Wireless Truck.  It had several long antennas and radio sets that worked well… most of the time.  

The third truck was their Gun Truck, they called it Anvil.  Unlike the first two truck, Anvil was sporting a 37mm Bofors Anti-Tank gun.  Sergeant Roberto Goss was a wizard with it. They had tried to give him one of the captured Breda 20mm guns, but Roberto insisted that the Bofors were better and hit harder.  Most thought the Bredas were more accurate, but Roberto just laughed and asked when was the last time he missed.   No one could argue that point.  Roberto Goss never missed.   The gun truck was called the Anvil because when Roberto fired that Bofors, a few seconds later you would hear the loud “clang” of the shell slamming into target.  The gun might not be able to punch the newer Panzers, but anything lighter would be wrecked.    Roberto had made thousand yard hit on a moving German 232 Scout car.  One shot, one kill.  No one tried to take the Bofors away from him after that.

Staff Sergeant Logan Weston drove Anvil.  He was able to somehow keep Anvil from getting stuck even with the heavier weapon and ammunition she carried.    Lieutenant Philip Clayton was Anvil’s commander, and had a knack for positioning Anvil so Roberto had a good angle to biggest problems.  Philip had been given a wide brimmed Stetson hat from an American cavalry unit, and he’s worn it ever since.  

Geoffrey was a little envious.  The hat was almost ridiculous, but it did good work keeping the sun out of Philip’s eyes and off his neck.  Like the rest of the men, Geoffrey wore the Arab style headgear called a keffiyeh, which was pretty much a scarf held to his head with some black rope called an agal.  It did fairly well in the heat, but a cowboy hat would be better, Geoffrey thought.

 

Kassarine Lost: Part II.

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The men were laying around on top of supplies in improvised bunks and hammocks.  Each one was filthy looking, smelled of sweat and oil, and appeared to have forgotten what a razor was.  They had made some sort of hovel from parking three trucks together in a semi circle and used tarps to fashion a large but rudimentary tent.   

Corporal Carter looked around at the men, offended by their lack of decorum and military bearing.  “Where is your Commanding Officer?  Who’s in charge here?”  Carter said, with a raised voice full of repudiation.  

Continue reading Kassarine Lost: Part II.

Kassarine Lost

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Prologue:
“Where is he?  I can’t see the bastard!”  Wallace craned his head around, looking into the clouds and sun. 
“He’s playing with us.”  Quinton moaned from the radio position, holding a rag against the hole in his gut.
Wallace looked back at the cockpit’s instruments.  He could see daylight through the holes.  The artificial horizon was drilled through and what was left of the compass had fallen out and was now behind the rudder pedals.  Most of the cockpit was splattered with blood.  Some of it was the Hendrick’s, the pilot. Some of it was his own.   The pink chunks of brain matter across the canopy was most likely all Hendrick’s as well.  
The Lancaster shuddered.  This time, not from more hits, but from engine two, which had just failed.  He reached out to throttle back the damaged engine.  His whole arm burned from fingertips to shoulder.  The ragged hole through the forearm was a good indication of why his arm burned, and why that was all he could feel.  He saw his hand hit the throttles, but he didn’t feel them. Wallace concentrated and made his hand hook the lever and leaned back to pull it.  The lever moved some, but it was slick with blood and his hand slipped off.  He couldn’t grasp the lever enough to make it move anymore.  
Wallace looked up through the shattered canopy and was about to say a prayer when he caught sight of the BF-109 that had been killing them.   It was directly above them. 
“Look at that, Quinton.”  Wallace said.  “I found him.”
Quinton didn’t respond.
Wallace let out a sigh of resignation as the German fighter rolled in the air and dove.  He almost didn’t care anymore.  He saw the glittering of the muzzle flashes as it began it’s attack, but the firing stopped.
The BF-109 flashed passed the cockpit.  Wallace lost sight of it again so he turned his attention back to the flying the stricken aircraft.  The Lancaster was down to two engines, leaking all it’s fluids, leaving a trail of smoke, and was losing altitude by the minute with half its crew dead or dying.  Wallace tried to at least keep the wings level and the nose from pointing down, but his hand slipped again and fell back into his lap.  He felt so tired…
A glint of sunlight caught his attention outside again and he turned to look at the German fighter, just feet away.  The German pilot was clearly visible as he waved, and then curiously, peeled off and took a heading away from the British bomber.
“That’s it, bugger off now.”  He tried to laugh, but only coughed on the blood in his throat.
Wallace could only guess he had run out of ammunition.  Not that it mattered.  They were as good as dead anyways.   He looked out and saw they were down to about two thousand feet.  The only thing he could see below was rolling sand dunes of North Africa.  At least they wouldn’t drown. 
Wallace tried to grab the yoke with both hands again. Only one reached it.  The other hand dangled from the arm that didn’t want to rise.  He looked down and saw the gaping hole in the leather jacket at the shoulder.  Blood was pouring from it at an alarming rate.  Not much he could do about it. 
When he looked out again, out to the ground ahead.  He saw what looked like a dry lake bed.  Maybe he could put the Lancaster down there.  With the same effort as pushing a truck, Wallace pushed the left rudder pedal.  It moved only so slightly… but it was enough.  The lake bed was soon straight in front of him. 
His eyes were heavy.  He wanted to sleep.
But he had to land the plane.
Don’t worry, he said to himself.  The plane would land all on its own… One way.  Or another. 
He closed his eyes.