Author: Pete

Kimber K6S

The Kimber K6s is a 6 round double action only revolver chambered in .357 magnum. I have been shooting with mine for about 6 months, so I thought I’d share a quick review.

This gun looks and feels very well made. My only other revolver is a Ruger LCR, and it feels like a toy next to the Kimber. The Kimber is stainless and has a unique notched cylinder that makes the gun quite narrow even though it adds a 6th round of capacity.

The two inch barrel makes the K6s easy to conceal – small enough for strong side IWB or ankle carry. I typically carry this as my back up gun, so it’s almost always on my ankle. The Wilson Combat Sentinel is my primary and goes IWB during casual dress, or strong side OWB under a sport coat or cold weather clothing.

At the range, the Kimber performs well. And I say that with one major caveat. Unless you are Duane The Rock Johnson, you are not going to want to shoot .357 magnum in this gun. It kicks like a rabid donkey and is quite painful after just 2 or 3 rounds. You’ll want to use 38 Special ammo. I have a ton of .357 magnum ammo that I’m working through, and I never shoot more than 6 rounds in a session. And I wear a glove. Not practical for the real world.

At 10 yards I can put a 6 shot group within 3 inches, and at 20 yards, I can get 6 shots in 5 inches. Further than 20 yards, it’s probably not going to be the best gun for you, simply because of the short barrel. But that’s ok. This is a snubby revolver intended for last line self defense, and if someone is attacking you, they will be much closer than 20 yards.

Double action only isn’t for everyone. That means no hammer to cock, which also means no hammer to get caught on your clothes when you try to draw. I like that, personally. However, it means a very firm, roughly 12 pound trigger pull. This contributes to the accuracy issues as you get closer to 20 yards. That said, the trigger is extremely crisp, and you can actually feel the gun cock as you pull back the trigger, and you can pause when you feel the click. This essentially gives you a single action trigger pull from there – useful if you have time to draw and aim carefully… not so much if someone is shooting at you.

If you’re looking for a well made revolver for concealed carry, and you like the option of double action only, this gun is the best one on the market. Just make sure you load it with 38 Special.

2017 Christmas Letter

Hello beautiful people who still check this site even though I barely update and when I do it’s unreadable hot garbage!

2017 started with a bang heard round the world. My mom filed for divorce. Of course, my siblings and I have been telling her to do that since 1994, but better late than never! Granted, my father won’t go away without a fight. But while you might think all of that drama would be stressful, I can honestly say that for her, myself, and my siblings, this has been a year of incredible freedom and peace. I can’t remember a time when it was this calm, happy, and loving. For plethora reasons, that’s all I’ll say about that for now.

That brings me to work, I suppose. In 2016, our distributor, who is not known for creating accurate forecasts, ordered double what they normally do. I pushed back and told them this was really weird and were they sure, and they said they were positive. Well, turns out they were not correct, and they had actually ordered twice as much as they needed.

My previous boss had this notion that we could force them to keep buying stuff they didn’t need, even though the contract didn’t dictate any such thing. I found out part way into the year that the distributor was looking for a way out of working with us because they were so sick of him emailing threats to “call the CEO” and other such nonsense.

In reality, the distributor had screwed up, but I don’t believe in throwing tantrums to get my way, especially when “getting my way” has no contractual basis or logic to it. Instead, we calmly worked with the distributor and came up with some very reasonable, workable short-term solutions, understanding that excess inventory would eventually be depleted.

What that meant was 2017 was a slow year – but ironically more profitable than previous years… imagine that. We have a solid core team that works hard. We have a ridiculously integrated quality system that we continually upgrade and spent significant effort on this year. We digitized 100% of our records and all current and future record-keeping is in the cloud. We cut costs, consolidated our space, updated our workflow, and overhauled our entire inventory system.

On the personal side, 2017 was a lot of work, but it was so much fun. Having two one year olds is a challenge as any parent of twins could attest.

Molly is the perfect baby of the family. It makes us not want to have any more. She was destined to be the youngest. She’s extremely mellow and sweet. She’s almost never mad. When she cries it’s for a minute or two then she’s over it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mia is very spunky and she lives life at 110% at all times. That means when she’s happy she’s HAPPY, when she’s sad she’s SAD, and when she’s mad, she will slay you and anyone who resembles you. She’s also tough as nails. I tripped going down the stairs with her and about killed myself. She’s more likely to break the stairs than be injured by the stairs.

 

 

 

 

 

Elaina is everything I would hope for in a four year old. She’s stubborn, funny, imaginative, emotional, and cannot for the life of her put a shirt on by herself. Her favorite activity is her “pick one” (iPad) where she watches YouTube shows. Her least favorite activity is eating dinner when I tell her to.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Olivia… she’s 13 in every sense of the word. She has become a woman before our very eyes. For a couple of years, we saw a child with occasional flashes of womanhood. Now, we see a woman with flashes of childhood. She dances competitively and has practice 4 or 5 days a week. She plays cello in the school orchestra. She’s got all A’s and B’s in school. She’s 5’10” and about to pass me up within the next year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nicole and I celebrated our fifth anniversary this year. I can honestly say it has flown by. Having 3 kids during that time probably had nothing to do with it. With the kids, we struggle to find time together, we run constantly, and we collapse into bed between 10:30 and 12, then start over again the next morning before 6. She’s adores our kids and they adore her. She’s the best wife any guy could ever ask for.

We have aspirations of living in SoCal, so maybe that will be the next big change for us. Or maybe it will be changing our last name to get rid of negative associations. Or maybe we’ll decide we need more kids. Maybe she’ll be having me committed to a mental hospital tomorrow. 🙂

 

 

 

 

Over the course of 2016-2017 I finished two full sleeve tattoos and started a full back piece (5 months to go on that).

If you have been a reader here or you know us personally, I wish you and yours a Merry Christmas and a wonderful 2018. Keep your stick on the ice.

How to Know You’re in a Cult

There are many helpful red flags to let you know that you’ve inadvertently stumbled into being a cult member. Keep in mind the simple definition of “cult” is a system of religious veneration of a particular figure. A cult doesn’t have to be sacrificing virgins and worshiping Satan to be a cult.

None of the things I list below necessarily mean you’re in a cult, but it sure might. So tread very lightly if you see these warning signs:

  1. The “leader” is revered as the one person with all the answers. This is especially true if he will argue with anyone who challenges his assertions. You can’t be a cult leader without first being a narcissist.
  2. The leader has no actual seminary training or ordination. Folks, there is a reason that the vast majority of preachers go through seminary, or at least through an intensive ordination process. It’s because it weeds out a lot of the potential cult leaders – people in it for personal accolades. It also provides real accountability, as a person who is ordained through a larger organization can be fired and replaced if they go off the path.
  3. The “church” is several years old and still meets in someone’s home. Again, this is from my own experience, and your results may vary. Many churches start in homes, but churches that are planted in this way typically outgrow the home quickly.
  4. People who leave are badmouthed by the leader. In a real church, people come and go all the time. This happens for myriad reasons. Sometimes it’s doctrinal differences. Many times it’s simply logistics. And other times, it’s interpersonal reasons. However, if each time a family leaves, the leader of the “church” talks about “always knowing they were bad people….” you can be sure of one thing – you’re in a cult.
  5. The leader has requirements of members that make most reasonable people uncomfortable. For example, if the leader of your “church” insists on kissing all of the women on the lips, you can be sure you are in a cult. The Bible does say to “greet one another with a holy kiss.” However, I don’t recall the Bible saying to kiss the women on the lips and no one else. Creepy As F. Also, a 100% sign you’re in a cult.
  6. Your “church” only attracts weirdos. Sure, we’re all a little weird, and into every church a weirdo or two will appear. But if your entire “church” is made up of weirdos, misfits, and the fringe of society – there’s a good chance you’re in a cult. Cult leaders prey on the weirdos and misfits. They tell them that if they just follow this set of rules, that they will be an accepted part of the group. That’s what weirdos and misfits want – acceptance.
  7. Incidentally, if everyone “out there” is considered lesser because they don’t believe exactly what the “leader” believes, chances are, you’re in a cult. There are about eleventy-million denominations within the Christian faith. All of them share a reasonably short set of things in common and have many small differences. I would never say a Lutheran is less of a Christian or less of a true believer than a Baptist. However, these little one-off cults are happy to paint with a broad brush.
  8.  The leader makes all the decisions. I’ve been in a lot of churches where they pay lip service to inclusion and accountability. But I’ve also seen people who just “pitch” their ideas to their “elders” and it’s just expected they will rubber stamp it.
  9. The leader meets with and “counsels” people of the opposite sex one-on-one in closed door sessions. No professional, accountable person would ever do this. Pastor’s office doors have windows in them. Pastors don’t meet with women one-on-one without anyone else around. Even if the pastor has no bad intentions, it’s completely unprofessional and is asking for trouble. If your “leader” doesn’t worry about things like this, you may just be in a cult.
  10. The leader tries to act like an altruistic hero. “You don’t even have to pay me, I’ll just do this cuz I’m a good guy.” Mmmhmmm. A wise person once told me… “Pete, everyone gets something out of it.” I’ve never met a real pastor that wasn’t a humble, genuine guy. You can smell narcissism from a mile away, and if you smell it, run away – you’re in a cult.
  11. The “leader” interferes with other people’s relationships. No real pastor or counselor takes a side when doing relationship counseling. To pick a side is to interfere in someone else’s relationship – something only a cult leader wants to do. If a pastor is telling you “he’s no good, you should dump the bum….” he’s WAY overstepping his bounds – a sure sign you’re in a cult. Some exceptions apply, but they are extreme – physical or sexual abuse. “He’s mean” is not a valid reason for a pastor to try and break a married couple up. A real pastor is always working towards helping both parties get better and create an environment for reconciliation. If he is not up to the task, perhaps he should be in a different line of work.
  12. The church ceases to exist when the “leader” moves on. Churches go thru tough times, but no church should be built on one single person. If it is, there’s a good chance it’s a cult.

Dell Latitude Rugged Extreme

Dell Latitude 14 Rugged Extreme (Model 7404) notebook computer, group shot, one open 90 degrees, the other closed, showing handle.

If you’ve ever dropped your laptop off a table, you know the fear. Every digital thing you own may have just died a tragic, untimely death.

Dell has the solution, and it comes in the form of the Latitude Rugged Extreme 14. This laptop is ridiculous in every way. It’s heavy, it’s bulky, it is so big it has it’s own handle and shoulder strap. And you could drop it off a cliff in a rainstorm while it’s open and on, and when you climb down to retrieve it, it will still be running just like you left it. It’s constructed from magnesium alloy and ultra-polymers. It’s IP-65 against water ingress. Its official spec says it can withstand a 6′ drop, but they are tested at 12′, and most survive from much higher drops than that.

It’s tested to run at -20 to 145 degrees. It can operate in blowing dust and sand, snow, salt fog. The desert. High altitude. The jungle.

And best of all, it can run in a manufacturing operation in Missouri. That’s where I come in. I work in a manufacturing environment where we have heavy equipment and chemicals everywhere.

So a top spec rugged 14 extreme will set you back about $7,000, and it will last until the sun turns into a chunk of charcoal. I frequently toss and drop mine to demonstrate to friends. It’s a computer AND a party trick.

Hasselblad X1D-50c

Do you love insanely high resolution, smooth, creamy medium format images but you hate carrying 200 pounds of medium format gear? If so, you have found the perfect weapon of choice in the Hasselblad X1D-50c.

Prior to the X1D, I was shooting the Hasselblad H5D-50 Wifi camera and carried several of the heavy HC lenses in my kit. The X1D uses the SAME sensor. It uses software that is actually more modern than the H5D.

After a couple of weeks with the X1D, I sold my entire H5D kit including all of the HC and HCD lenses. The XCD lens line is so much lighter, and syncs at 1/2000 out of the box. My HC lenses would have required an expensive shutter upgrade to achieve anything higher than 1/800. And multiply that fee by 6-8 lenses and you’ve got some serious outlay of cash.

I currently shoot with the X1D, and my lens kit includes the 90mm, 45mm, and 30mm XCD lenses. I’m excited for the release of the 120mm later this year, and frankly that may just complete my kit.

The 30mm is plenty wide for landscape, the 90mm is amazing for portraits and fashion, and the 45mm is a great walking around lens for street photography.

So as pros go, the high end 50MP CMOS sensor, the beautify of Hasselblad’s color management system, the fast flash sync, and the medium format “look” in a package that comes in at a third the cost of a new H5D system, and frankly stacks up nicely even against the H6D-50.

As many before me have noted, it does have some “early adopter” issues you might expect in a new platform. The firmware is buggy. It sometimes hangs up. The delay after a shot is unacceptably long… close to 2 seconds. Focus is MUCH slower than any comparable full frame 35 (as if there’s such a thing), but it’s quite similar to the H6D I rented. Again, I think this is more related to firmware than hardware. We’ll see with future updates. My biggest complaint is the “eye level activation” that works like a piece of crap if you happen to wear glasses. I cannot get the thing to activate unless I take off my glasses, which renders me nearly blind. I really hope that Hasselblad addresses this issue in a future firmware update, as it drives me absolutely nuts.

All in all, for a camera body that rings in under $11,000, and lenses worthy of the brand, I highly recommend this camera. If you shoot action, medium format isn’t for you anyhow. If you need 100MP, you need the H6D anyhow, and you are almost certainly shooting in a studio. X1D was meant to be highly portable, and it shines.