Getting Squared Away in the Hunting Blind

wpid-20131130_143250.jpg

This seemed an appropriate shot even if the Gunny himself isn’t a fan of the AR

Rather than battle the crowds to hunt the elusive bargain, EvylRobot and I spent our Saturday in the woods hunting for fast food. Knowing that a fair amount of time spent hunting is really more waiting, I brought along Gunny’s Rules: How to Get Squared Away Like a Marine to pass the time. (Go ahead and click that link and buy it. And whatever else you are shopping for while you are at it.)

Gunny’s Rules is part biography, part self help book, and a terrible choice for reading in your hunting blind. Why terrible? Because in multiple places I had to suppress the urge to laugh out loud and cheer in approval. R. Lee Ermey, I’m blaming you for the lack of venison in my freezer! You owe me, mister!

The book is not arranged chronologically, rather R Lee Ermey tells stories to illustrate the life lessons he wishes to convey. The words magically transformed from words written on paper into Gunny’s voice in my head. It was fast paced and entertaining and my one real complaint is that it was too short. Gunny is so very charming and delightful that I could have easily spent another 200 pages with him. Luckily, my friend Kenn Blanchard did an interview with him which is also quite charming and entertaining.

Gunny’s Rules: How to Get Squared Away Like a Marine is R Lee Ermey’s take on everything from leadership to fitness to traffic (seriously, get out of the passing lane ya jackwagon!) and lots of stuff in between. You won’t regret the couple of hours it takes to read it.

FTC: The publisher provided this book to me for the purposes of review. My thoughts are my own. 

 

 

Looking for Something Unique This Christmas? Get Lei’d

Maybe bring something tropical into the dreary cold?

editDSC_1304

Several months ago, Aloha Island Lei emailed and asked if they could send me a lei. They assured me that such a thing was possible even though I live in the dead center of the continental US. I was intrigued.

I was completely unprepared for what came in the mail a few weeks later. Packed carefully with a couple of reusable ice packs, were two strands of exotic flowers and a couple of chocolate covered macadamia nuts. Beautiful as they were, it was the smell that really knocked me out. Suddenly, my little house in the middle of Oklahoma smelled like the islands. It was intoxicating.

I wish I could somehow share that, but they don’t have scratch and sniff for the internet. But I can show you the construction.

4000DSC_1296

Each orchid is individually tied into the lei.

4000DSC_1293

As is each Tuberose. (It’s the tuberose that smells so incredible)

4000DSC_1308It just so happened that someone had spilled water on their cubicle wall in the office. These cubicle walls have the very interesting ability to smell like rotting fish when they’ve gotten wet. But not at my desk. Oh no, it smelled like tropical flowers there.

Even a week later, they still made an EvylRobot, a TeenBot, and the mother of bot smile

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Or at least make faces.

As per the instructions, I hung them up to dry back in July

Here they are today at the end of November

The smell lingered for months and the orchids are still beautiful today. The tuberose didn’t dry quite so beautifully, but it’s aroma was remarkable.

If you are looking for something for the person that has everything, check out Aloha Island Lei. I mean really, who doesn’t want to get lei’d for Christmas? Or really, for any occasion?

FTC: Yep, they sent them to me in hopes that I would review them. Didn’t you see where I mentioned that up there?

Aero-Precision:Initial Thoughts

So the good people at Aero-Precision contacted me and asked if I would like to check out one of their products. As you can imagine, there was much arm-twisting involved. (Ha!)

Okay, it was me doing the twisting since upon viewing what was available, I begged them to send me all the things. They said no, but you can’t blame a girl for trying.

What they did send, was held up at my local FFL for a bit, but now it is here!

What's in the box?

What’s in the box?

I know, it says black. But tan is the new black, right?

DSC_1885

There are many like it…

So it’s not a perfect match to the tactical toaster, but it compliments it nicely, don’t you think?

DSC_1880

 

I have compared it with the other AR pattern rifles in the house and it does appear that everything is precisely where it should be. I even fit it to one of the existing uppers and it slid together perfectly.

DSC_1884

 

I really wish you could feel it. The cerakote is flawless and so very silky. Yes, you will want to pet my rifle.

DSC_1883

 

Well, once it is actually a rifle, anyway. Every surface is seems impossibly smooth. I imagine this will allow for easy cleaning and reliable performance once it grows up.

So, here’s where you come in. I’ve got several thoughts rattling around in my head for what kind of rifle this should be. You see, even though the BATFEIEIO considers this a ‘firearm’ for which I had to pass a NICS, it is really no more than a very pretty bit of machined aluminum. I suppose I could club game to death with it as it sits, but that seems rather primitive and there are other tools better suited for bludgeoning.

So here’s my criteria:

1) I want this to be a suitable hunting rifle. Keep in mind that I live in Oklahoma, so I don’t run into a whole lot of Moose or Elephants.

2) I want a caliber other that .223/5.56. There are 3 AR pattern rifles in the house that eat that already. I want something different.

3) It’d be great if it could eat out of the magazines I already own

No, this will not be a rifle designed by committee, nor by popular vote. InJennifersHead is not a democracy, and I am Queen of this electron empire, but I want to hear your suggestions. Sell me on your choice caliber, set-up, etc. What makes your choice the bestest, whitetail-killingest of them all? Bonus points if it makes Nanny Bloomers cry.

Also, I’ve never built one of these before. Got any tips and tricks for me? Any must haves? Or must avoids? Any manufacturers out there want to send me a parts kit just to prove that it really is so easy to install that even a Jennifer can do it? (Keep in mind helping my son make a paracord bracelet this weekend resulted in injury complete with bleeding.)

If I use your idea(s), you will be awarded not only my gratitude, but also bragging rights. I may even award you a number of internets not less than one. Maybe I will even come up with other fun stuff as we get further along in the build.

Now if you will pardon me, I need to go pet my embryonic rifle and tell it stories about what it may grow up to become. Please do visit Aero Precision and tell them that I sent you. You can even pick up a lower just like mine and follow along at home. (If you do, please send pictures. I’d like to have them for the family album) So far, I give them my full endorsement.

FTC: Yep, they sent me the lower. They did not tell me that I had to be nice or tell people that it is lovely and awesome. It just really is lovely and awesome. And it smells nice too. Not that you are reading this anyway since your website says you are shut-down. Here’s a Barrycade in your honor.

barrycade

 

Preliminary Review Goes Here

So the good folks at Aero-Precision contacted me and asked if I would be interested in reviewing a stripped lower. I know, twist my arm.

To sweeten the deal, they even offered a Cerakote one that matches the Tactical Toaster. Because a girl’s got to accessorize ;)

So I got an email from my awesome FFL, Edmond Arms and Ammo telling me that it had arrived on Tuesday. He was busy that evening so we set an appointment for me to pick it up last night. I filled out the paperwork and fondled the lower while he ran the check.

It is, indeed, lovely. I really wish I could show you. It even has that not-yet-a-new-rifle smell. (What? Doesn’t everyone sniff their firearms?) It doesn’t even need awesomesauce. I can’t wait to see what this larval-rifle becomes.

But instead, I became a statistic. Again. For that background check that keeps our streets safe from chunks of not-yet-a-functional-firearm-just-aluminum-shell returned the dreaded delay. I suppose I shall have to console myself with one of the actually fully functional rifles already at my house. Or maybe the fully loaded and also functional handgun resting comfortably on my hip.

Oh but that lower is extra scary! It’s going to be an AR15 when it grows up! Eek! Double-plus-uber-evil!

Yep. And it’s going to hang out with the other 3 already complete AR15’s in the household. They must be defective, however, since not a single one has gone on a rampage. I bet this new one will be super duper rampagey.

Way to go Bradys! Keeping our streets safe from…  Yeah, I’ll have to get back to you on whatever it is that is supposed to finish that sentence. Good jyorb!

Psst! The delay is only temporary. And in case you weren’t already aware, does not put a magical force-field around the firearms already in my possession. This one? She will be mine. 

FTC: Since I don’t actually have any new shiny in my possession as of yet, y’all can just move along. There’s nothing to see here.

LifeProof Samsung Galaxy S3: The Unboxing

As most of you may be aware, I can be rather accident prone. Well you see, I’m not only good at damaging myself (recent perpendicular break up the toenail on the big toe of my left foot, for example), but I also have a very special talent for breaking my things. Yes, I am the reason my husband builds indestructible holsters.

I have now lost two phones to water damage and cracked the gorilla glass screen on another. My beloved Blackberry succumbed to the water rapids ride at Frontier City. My odd little Palm Pre was knocked into the toilet by my cat in need of toilet assistance (What? Your cats don’t use the toilet?). And the Samsung Epic 4G took a tumble into the parking lot of my chiropractor’s office thus cracking the top right corner of the screen. I continued to use it for some time after that as it didn’t really cause an issue.

So when it finally came time to replace our phones, we also made the decision to pick up protective cases for them. Our research led us to the LifeProof case for the Samsung Galaxy S3. (If you buy it through that link, I get a referral kick back). The company claims it is water proof, dirt proof, snow proof, and shock proof. The question still remains as to whether or not it is Jen proof, but we figured we’d give it a shot. Michael has had his for a couple of weeks, but mine just arrived today.

What's in the box?

What’s in the box?

Hit the jump for more pictures and the rest of the unboxing and installation.

Continue reading

New Springfield XD-S

I got the opportunity to try one of these out this weekend, and I liked it.  Blogger friend, Serenity, brought her brand new one out for Schutenfest 2013 (I’ve got pictures too, but I haven’t cleaned them up for posting yet. And hers are better anyway.).

I liked it enough, I was thinking about writing it up for the new writing gig.  And then one of the other writers beat me to it. Curses! My kingdom for content!

Honestly, I was pleasantly surprised.  I haven’t been particularly impressed with the XD’s. Sure, they are fine pistols, but I just don’t like them.  They feel awkward and flimsy and just never shoot right for me. The XDM is a vast improvement, but I haven’t felt compelled to add it to my want list.

So when I started thinking about a little .45 to carry when I can’t carry the tactical toaster, the XD-S didn’t even make my radar. I wrote it off too hastily. The Springfield XD-S feels solid and points naturally. The lightweight package does make the .45 surprisingly snappy, but it doesn’t jump out of your hand and stamp your forehead or anything. It has now become a contender in my search. Even if it will never be as pretty as this.

 

My Beauty Routine

Ha! Like I’ve got time for some personal pampering routine.  That’s rich.

You see, I’m not a morning person and yet I like to leave the house at 7am to both beat the morning rush hour idiots and get my choice in parking spots at the office.  (I have a winter favorite and a summer favorite. Hey, I drive a black sedan.  In summer, shade is far more important than proximity to the door.) Of course, not being a morning person means I’ve got mad snooze button skills. Yo.

So I end up rolling out of bed with just exactly enough time to stumble into the bathroom for a shower. I am not actually awake at this point so routine is very important.  My early morning autopilot software hasn’t been upgraded or defragmented in years.  So it’s facial cleanser to make sure I’ve removed the make-up that I may or may not have actually bothered to apply the previous day but most certainly failed to remove the night before, wash the hair, condition the hair, wash the body, rinse and dry off. Done. (Nope, you didn’t see a mention of dealing with body hair because I rip the little buggers out by the roots on a  regular basis.)

One problem with this routine is that it is way to easy for me to skip the whole moisturize after the shower step. And I have chronically dry skin.  I could write you messages on my legs with my fingernails, dry.  Well I could, but I can’t now.

Why?

Because of this.

Dove Visible Care

It’s the new Dove Visible Care softening creme body wash with the highest concentration of their NutriumMoisture technology across the Dove product line.  Honestly, when they asked me to review it, I wondered what I might possibly have to say about a body wash.  I mean, I review things like ammo here.  But hey, I like to be clean so why not?

I have admit, seeing the ‘visibly more beautiful skin in just one week’ line made me a bit skeptical.  I mean, I’ve got pretty decent skin if I’ll take the time to take care of it.  Really, dryness is the only issue. But this stuff, it shoved that often neglected lotion applying step right into the whole get nice and clean step. Hence the reason I can’t draw pictures on my legs with my fingernails anymore.  Really, I should have taken a before and after picture because my skin even looks softer. Also, it helped sooth and speed up the healing where I had scratched my thigh raw due to mosquito bites. Total surprise there.

So here’s what they have to say about it

  • Designed to soften skin and dry spots
  • Rich, pearlescent creme format with luxurious lather and clean rinse
  • Contains a mild cleanser, glycerin and stearic acid
  • A white floral gourmand fragrance that includes an elegant combination of magnolia and pink jasmine

Soften? check. Dry spots? Check.  OMG! The lather!  I almost forgot to tell you about the lather. It’s thick.  Like soap opera languish in the tub thick.  Even with my hard water. And a little goes a long way.

OMG! Shower Picture

I was actually concerned about the smell when I got it. I don’t like perfumes, particularly overly floral ones, and this stuff smells very strong right out of the bottle.  But it rinses away nicely leaving just a soft clean smell. Honestly, the smell is neutral enough that the EvylRobot didn’t mind when I washed his back with it.

Also, it opens on the bottom.  I know this seems like a little thing, but my shower ends up littered with precariously balanced bottles because I’m cheap and I’m going to get every ounce of that stuff out. Dove was kind enough to save me from the early morning fancy footwork involved when I inevitably knock down all the other bottles.

Bottle Top

Yeah, Dove.  I see what you did there. While everything else is rolling willy nilly in the tub, there you are.  Steadfast and true.  And making sure I get every drop of those 18 ounces without attempting to defy gravity.

This being kinda sorta generally a gun blog, I was going to shoot it when I finished reviewing it. But I love it.  I can’t waste it like that.  When it’s empty, I’ll be spending some of my ill-gotten wheelbarrow of cash to buy more.  So you’re just going to have to settle for a chance at a $500 spa gift card instead (Details on the sweepstakes are at the bottom of the post).

So really, try out the new Dove Visible Care line.  It makes me feel pampered and luxurious and continue my relationship with my snooze button.

Psst. FTC-Yep, they provided product and this is a paid review. And you can kiss my nice soft ass.
Visit Dove® VisibleCare® to get a coupon for $1 off!

Enter to win one of two $500 Spafinder gift certificates!

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY

COMMENTS TO THIS POST ARE NOT SWEEPSTAKES ENTRIES. PLEASE SEE BELOW FOR ENTRY METHODS FOR THIS SWEEPSTAKES.

You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

a) Follow this link, and provide your email address and your response to the Promotion prompt

b) Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and then visit this link to provide your email address and the URL to that Tweet.

c) Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and then visit this link to provide your email address and the URL to that post.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age
18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. Winners will have 72 hours to claim the prize, or an alternative winner will be selected.

The Official Rules are available here.

This sweepstakes runs from 7/18/2012 – 8/22/2012

Be sure to visit the Dove® VisibleCare™ Crème Body Wash brand page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ reviews and find more chances to win!

 

 

Glock: The Rise Of America’s Gun

The good folks at Random House sent me a copy Glock: The Rise of America’s Gun a couple weeks ago for review.

Short version: Buy a copy, you won’t be disappointed.

Longer:

First off, it’s an attractive book.  Yes, I’m totally judging it by its cover here.  But really, look at it.

I tip my hat to the graphic artist that used the ugly Glock so strikingly.

I had my doubts about this book when I received it.  I mean, I’m not a Glock girl after all.  I prefer my Smith & Wesson M&P and my FNP over the Glock. Sure, it’s a good, reliable pistol, but the Glock Perfection fanboys just make me roll my eyes.

But they asked me to read and review the book, not to like it.  Honestly, I expected it to be all fawning appreciation of the ‘super gun.’

I could not have been more wrong. Glock: The Rise of America’s Gun tells the intriguing story of Gaston Glock’s transformation from humble curtain rod manufacturer to eccentric billionaire.  And trust me, he’s quite eccentric.  Of course, you can’t tell the story of Glock without meandering through the political climate that surrounded it’s rise. There’s even some sex scandal thrown in the mix.

It’s not some dry history book either.  There are multiple times while reading it that I have laughed out loud.

Note to Paul Barrett,

This is not appreciated.

signed,

the cats

Anti-gunners would be appalled to see how Glock not only worked around gun control laws but also used them to his advantage.  Gun bloggers will laugh at the same.  Funny enough, it will probably be the fanboys that hate this book because it doesn’t gloss over the negatives either.

Really, if you are even the slightest bit interested in the evolution of gun culture and politics, you should read this book.