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MetalShop Bullet Pencil October 27 2014, 0 Comments

Being the type of person I am, I sketch a lot. Whether it be a new tee shirt design, or doodling while talking a phone call, some sort of writing implement is usually always in my hands. I usually like writing with a pencil because I can edit, erase, and change things up fairly quickly.  That being said the only type of pencil you can carry in your pocket is a mechanical pencil, which is fine for the most part, but sometimes I want a regular number two lead pencil.  However you can't carry one of those in your pocket. 

When Jon showed me the prototype for the bullet pencil I was immediately intrigued. It's small enough to fit in pocket, and extremely lightweight at half an ounce. The bullet pencil serves a dual role.  In addition to being a regular number two pencil it also acts as a quasi kubaton. A kubaton is a self-defense device designed to be held like an ice pick, or with a forward grip, and is excellent to target fleshy, sensitive parts such as knuckles, forearms, the bridge of the nose, solar plexus, spine, temple, ribs, groin, neck and eyes.  With the top cap of the bullet pencil being a nice point, it should perform fine being buried into an attackers collarbone. 

Operation of the bullet pencil is simple, unscrew the cap, flip it around, and screw it back in, then you're off and writing. You can also use any pencil you want. I am partial to Faber-Castell HB pencils, so I went ahead and threw one in there.

Metal shop CT is in old world machine shop.  Growing up watching his Grandfather operate and run his own machine shop he was intrigued with the whole process.  After opening his own shop, Jon became tired of many products being produced overseas, so he took his training, and experience and set out to build the best products he can, all the old fashioned way, with hard work, and attention to detail. 

The Bullet Pencil is currently on its last week of its KickerStarter campaign, while they are already fully funded, they are trying to reach their stretch goal, so check it out and back it.  You can even purchase the new pen option they are currently offering.

The Bullet Pencil has found it home in my EDC for the past 2 weeks now, and I don't plan on changing it out anytime soon.

 

Check out Metal Shop online

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KickStarter

 

Steven LaBarre
Stay the Course LLC

F/A-18 Hornet pilots showing us that they are cooler than you. October 24 2014, 0 Comments

2014 Navy Hornet Ball is the most definitely the best naval aviation video of the year. The Hornet Ball is an annual event consisting of all the West coast Naval Hornet and Super Hornet squadrons.  Each year the event features a video, produced by “Wingnut”, a Hornet pilot himself, compiled from all the squadrons’ last year of flying in both combat and training missions: catapult launches, trap landings, aerobatics, dogfighting, live firing of air-to-air missiles, LGBs (Laser Guided Bombs), cluster bombs, low level flying in the desert, and much more.  Being stationed on an aircraft carrier for 4 years, and seeing these birds in action was truly unforgettable experience.  Hornet pilots are also bad influences, excellent drinkers, and will try to have sex with anything they can.  Watch it now and comment below!

Steven LaBarre
Stay the Course LLC

Survival of the fittest. October 21 2014, 0 Comments

This blog post is going to sound insensitive, please don’t take it that way.  This is just the rambling of a normal man who is questioning the world.  I am in no way trained as a Sociologist, Doctor, or any type of educated scholar.  Just take it for what it is, words. 

I see Ebola, and all sorts of natural disasters in the news and I can’t help but think to myself about balance. I feel that mother nature installs a series of checks and balances in the world, an order that needs to be adhered to.  If something steps out of line, bam, the bubonic plague, or maybe a hurricane comes and puts motherfuckers in check.  Human beings are apex predators, we are at the top of the food chain, but that doesn’t automatically guarantee our survival.
We vaccinate our children to keep them from getting sick, slather them in hand sanitizer, and keep them secured in the proverbial bacteria free comfort blanket.  Sure, a lot of this is because of the media creating panic and fear in parents, and the first thing they do is rush to get a flu shot, or antibiotics.  Then you have mother fucking Dr Oz with the latest heath fad, telling these stay at home mothers what the best anti anxiety medication they can take is.
What happens if we let a handful of people die from germs?  What happens if we stop talking prescription
 pills to make us happy, stop vaccinating our children, stop rushing them to the doctor at the first sign of a cold, stop popping antibiotics like candy?  What happens when society, as a whole, stops being pussies, and thinks?
Natural selection.  We would create a super race of the hardest people on the planet.  Healthy genes, clear heads, strong immune systems, the ability to adapt, and prevail.  Got someone trailing behind and bringing up the rear?  He will get his. The weak ones are always the first to go.
Survival is the victory to the strongest and most prepared.
Leave a comment below.  Let me know your views.
Steven LaBarre
Stay the Course LLC

The Making of a Truck Bag - Part 1 October 13 2014, 0 Comments

 

The are all types of bags in the tactical/prepper market today.  Bug Out Bags, Get Home Bags, Shit Hits the Fan Bags, while most carry the necessities for survival, people forgo the creature comforts they are accustom to when building a wearable bag. Truck bags are a different type of beast altogether.  Your vehicle carries the bag, so weight saving isn't high on the list, yet useful items are.  When I make a truck bag, I want it to contain stuff I need now, not the stuff I need if I am living in the woods for a month or two.

So where to start?  First off, identity your needs, and wants.

Needs:

-Water

-Fire/Signal

-Shelter

-First Aid

 

Your needs are the basically the bare essentials you want in any bag you carry.  It's stuff that is important to have, could get your ass out of a jam, and save your life.

 

Wants:

Man, I can go on and on in this section.  It all depends what you want to haul around.  It is 100 percent subjective to YOUR needs. Fuel, tools, tent, guns, floodlights, the possibilities are endless, however for the sake of this article, the wants will be constrained to the limits of the size of the bag.  Great thing is, you can add and subratact gear and tools to fit your requirements.

 

The bag itself (pictured above) is from LA Police Gear, it's their Tactical Bail Out Gear Bag, and it sells for around 19 dollars, however they run sales often, and can scoop it up for as low as 15 dollars.

I haven't used this bag before, so I cannot confirm on how well it will hold up, but the bag is a best seller (over 130,000 sold), so I doubt there were alot of problems.

 

-It is made from 600 Denier Nylon

-Has a hidden full size gun pocket.

-Has a slot to fit iPads, tablets, and small laptops.

-The bag is sectioned off down the center, and is covered in a loop type fabric, so you can attach your holders that are velcro based.

-The bag measures approximately 16" x 11" x 6.5" externally (15" x 10.5" x 6" internally.) 

-Includes a padded and removable shoulder strap.

-Numerous pockets, to stuff all type of shit in there.

-High quality zippers with paracord pulls (which I will probably replace)

Part 2 of the article will include all the gear that I have stuff into the bag.  Be warned, this fits MY needs, not yours.  So choose your gear carefully.


American Sniper Official Trailer #1 October 03 2014, 0 Comments

A one minute and fifty second trailer was released yesterday for the upcoming movie "American Sniper."  American Sniper details the life of Chris Kyle, US Navy Seal, who is the most lethal sniper in American military history.  Kyle was so infamous during the Iraq war, that the insurgents dubbed him Shaitan Ar-Ramadi, (Devil of Ramadi) and had an 80,000 dollar bounty on his head.  As you may, or may not know, Chris Kyle was killed in the United States by a troubled Marine, who is now awaiting trial for his death.  Bradley Cooper who plays Kyle, has vowed to tell this story for him, and all the veterans who have sacrificed for our country.  American Sniper is being directed by Clint Eastwood, who already has some great films in his quiver as a director (Grand Torino, Heartbreak Ridge.)  The film is slotted for a limited Christmas Day release, opening wider on Jan. 16.  I will say this, make sure you read the book before you watch the movie.

American Sniper on Amazon 

                     

Steven LaBarre
Stay the Course LLC

Company Spotlight: REI September 25 2014, 0 Comments

Company Spotlight: REI

Ok, I know what you're thinking, REI is a huge corporation blah blah.  True, they are, but they operate completely differently than your average Dick Sporting Goods, Academy's, and Walmarts.  To be honest, I didn't know much about REI until they opened up a retail store near my house. 
REI was founded in 1938 in Seattle, Washington, and quite refreshingly, they are a privately owned, American company.  They operate as a quasi Co-Op, basically if you purchase a 20 dollar lifetime membership,  and you will get an annual dividend check equal to 10 percent of what you spent throughout the year. Doesn't sound Ike much, but if you spend anytime outdoors, it adds up pretty quickly.  I was able to buy a Jet Boil, and a new headlamp with my last years return.  Their stores are always beautiful, clean, well stocked, and have helpful employees that know what they are talking about. 
So why am I writing this blog? Because I had an unusual experience from REI last week, and wanted to share it. I received an email, showing the Salomon Speedcross 3's were on sale.  Awesome, I wanted another pair, so I went to the website, and found the Speedcross's, which at the time were backordered, no big deal.  I ordered them and went about my day.  Later on that week, I received a shipping notification, so I made arrangements for someone to be at the house awaiting the UPS driver.  Dude never showed up, yet the tracking number said they were left by the door. So the next day, I filed a claim with UPS, which was a huge waste of time by the way, and while waiting for UPS to call me back, I took a chance and called REI, just to inform them about the situation.  
I was taken back, because right off the bat, I had a human on the other line.  But not just any human, a human who spoke English, and who was friendly.  I am 32 years old, and I have never had a nicer customer service representive talk to me on the phone, she genuinely showed concern, and cared about what I was going through.  After explaining the situation, she put me on hold, and transferred me to another friendly customer service representive who wanted to verify my shipping address, they were going to overnight me another pair of shoes.  I was shocked, I didn't get a run around, an excuses, nothing.  UPS made the fuck up, and they were making it right.  They both appreciated me shopping with their company, and thanked me for being a member.  
I base my purchases mainly on customer service, if you're a dickhead, don't return emails, I'm not going to spend my hard earned money with you. It's something I emulate in my business, I respond to emails, comments, and questions, because I appreciate everyone that supports this brand.  But REI, has cemented themselves into my life now, just by the way they treated me over the phone.  Simple as that.
Steven LaBarre
 
Steven LaBarre
Stay the Course LLC

Tac Rabbit EDC Pouch February 11 2014, 0 Comments

It's not everyday that a product impresses me right from the get go.  However with the Tac Rabbit EDC pouch, it did exactly that.  First off, the new Multicam Black fabric is quite fancy.  Not many companies are using the Black in their designs due to its recent release date.  It doesn't shout "tactical operator" like normal Multicam does.
Moving on, upon inspection of the pouch, everything is stitched nicely, and the finish work is impressive.  Little features like the heat shrinked 550 cord on the zipper pull, and the hidden reversed pocket on the inside make it seem like some thought was put into this product.
I should also note, that this pouch is in testing stages, there are some changes I would make for this pouch to be perfect, which I will get into later. (When I called the owner of TacRabbit, with my findings, they were already working on them).
I typically use this pouch when traveling, while at the gym, or when I don't feel like stuff a bunch of shit into my pockets.  I am able to fit a large knife (ZT301), my wallet, keys, cell phone, chap stick, earbuds, and still have some room to spare.
All in all I was impressed with the durability, I have thrown it across the pavement filled with rocks, allowed my 1st grader to play with it outside, kicked it around the gym on accident, and still looks brand new. 
Good: American made, Veteran owned small business, high attention to detail, quality product, price (when released will be very competitive).
Bad: Needs belt loop. -see below
Now, I have talked with Jada, owner of TacRabbit with some of my findings, he agreed with them for the most part.  My biggest issue was lack of a belt loop, he laughed, and was actually working on that as we were talking.  Some other development findings I shared with him was a slot to slide your ID in quickly, and easily, also the future addition of a removable modular organizer, for different storage options. (Pens, cell phones, camera, lighter, multitool, etc.
You can find TacRabbit at:
www.facebook.com/pages/Tac-Rabbit/308561689277634
www.tacrabbit.com
instagram.com/tacrabbit
Steven LaBarre
Stay the Course LLC