Saturday, January 31, 2009

Movie Review: Taken

I just went out and saw the movie Taken, starring Liam Neeson. It's about a retired CIA operative whose daughter is kidnapped while visiting Paris. He uses his skills learned from years as a Secret Squirrel to track down the slavery ring that took his daughter and try to get her back. It seems to be an action/drama. There is some genuinely good acting combined with Liam Neeson kicking some serious scumbag ass in numerous, and sometimes creative ways. I wouldn't be surprised if he won some awards for this one and I hope the morons in Hollywood recognize it as a bit more than the typical action-suspense movie with the typical action-suspense actors blowing things up and shooting things. I enjoy both, and Neeson's character does shoot a lot of stuff, but not to the point of cheapening the movie. Any more, and I'll end up spoiling it for those who haven't seen it.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Outbreak's First Book Review

I've never done anything but a passing verbal recommendation of a novel, so this will be a first. I just finished Pale Horse Coming by Stephen Hunter, and it was excellent. It's told in three parts from the points of view of the two main characters: Sam Vincent and Earl Swagger. It tells the tale of an old prison farm for "coloreds" in Thebes, MS, circa 1950.

I'm not going to do a book report, and describe what happens. What I will say is if you can't tolerate a heavy amount of racial slurs, used in context of the time, of course, steer clear of this book. It's not a racist book, quite to the contrary, actually, but it accurately portrays how good ol' boys in Mississippi used to refer to blacks. Also, if you can't stomach some pretty graphic violence in print, again, not the book for you.

Now, if you like prison break stories, guns(lots of guns) and one hell of a suspenseful story, you'll enjoy this book.
This was my first Stephen Hunter book, but won't likely be the last. Hunter has an interesting writing style that drops enough clues for you to figure out one mystery without actually revealing it till the end, and then whacks you with an interesting turn that you'd never expect just when you're feeling smart.

Highly recommended.

Peltor Tactical 6-S Review

I haven't made much light of my love of guns here yet, but I have a few new toys in the gun inventory, so I thought I'd start reviewing them here, as well as over at We The Armed.

First up is the new hearing protection, the Peltor Tactical 6-5 earmuffs.

I took Scott and Paul out to the range today and tried the new muffs out. They're are electronic earmuffs. They have a microphone on each ear cup and a speaker inside, but the mic's won't pick up gunshots, so you have crystal clear hearing except for the gunshots. Pretty cool stuff.

Now, I was a bit skeptical of the hearing protection these things would actually provide. We were shooting at an indoor range, where I've always doubled up on yellow foamy ear plugs and ear muffs, because either one on its own still allowed an uncomfortable amount of noise through. I chose to try the Peltor's with no plugs to start out, though I had them in my pocket.

The most surprising thing was, I forgot about the plugs after the first shot. The Peltor's worked GREAT. The noise level was comfortable even as the range began to fill up and 4-5 people were shooting at the same time. I could hear the guys' questions very clearly with the electronic system, and everyone other conversation in the room, too. They don't just let you hear like normal, you can hear BETTER.

The only downsides I could find were the cheesy headband, though it works fine, so it doesn't need any more over engineering. Also, they're pretty pricey. I've seen them between $50-100. I got mine for $25 second hand, from a friend, but now that I've used them, I can say I would be willing to drop $50 for them if I had to.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Holidays with Outbreak

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! It certainly was for me.

Christmas break started with almost a week back in the hometown with the folks and some friends I don't get to see often. I had a great time. We then trekked down to The Rock and celebrated the New Year at my Favorite Olde Pub with some of my best friends and some exquisite beer.

When I arrived back at The Rock, I had my very first Evil Black Christmas Present waiting for me from the nice people at Stag Arms.

I also brought some old heirloom guns back from the hometown and will be refinishing them and hopefully they haven't fired their last rounds yet.