Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Springfield Armory XD 9mm Pistol

So after selling off the Polish, I ended up getting this handgun. Ironically this was the first handgun I ever purchased, but at the time I thought I wanted a rifle. Lesson to be learned; if you don't have a really good reason to sell something off, don't panic sell because of a thoughtless decision.

Anyway, one thing I never really pondered until reading a bunch of zombie books was that you always need a backup gun and a nice 9mm does the job well. I had bounced between getting a 3rd Gen Glock 17 or an XD, but after going back and forth 20-sum-odd times at Cabelas, I decided on the XD because it just felt better in my hand. Cabelas is usually a more expensive place to shop but they had a deal where if you signed up for their credit card, you could get $100 off of a $500 purchase. So guess what was a bit over $500.

One unanticipated benefit was that Springfield Armory (SA) had a free 2 magazine give-away a few weeks after I made my purchase. Luckily for me, my receipt date fit right into the beginning of the qualifying timeframe. I've never heard of Glock doing a promotion of that kind, but then again, you can buy Korean surplus Glock mags for pretty cheap.

So let's get back to the pistol. I picked a 9mm because I'm a cheap bastard and it's the cheapest mainstream round that is not a .22LR. I picked the XD because it felt good in the hand, it had both a chamber indicator and striker indicator that could by touched and verified with a quick feel, and because SA has a lifetime warranty if anything ever goes wrong. I had wanted to get the XD9m, but since I don't know what state I'll eventually end up in, I planned for the future and got the XD9 which has 10-round mags if/when the day comes. It will be a dumb decision if I remain where I'm current at, but oh well.

The thing with pistol shooting is that I find it a bit more challenging than rifle shooting. It's harder to keep the site picture steady, you need to breathe properly, and finally you have to try very hard not to jerk when you pull the trigger. I also discovered that, for me, if I cup the bottom of the grip with my left hand, I can keep the gun on-target much better and I also get better groups, as displayed in the picture below. Peeps on the Internet had made suggestions on how you want to have as much of the frame covered by your hands. That method did not work all that well for me as seen in my original groups from the pic above. Pros
  1. Grip feels better (To me)
  2. Cheap ammo
  3. Physical indicators
  1. I don't like the SA-patented grip safety
  2. The XD9m exists to tease me

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Tomorrow, When the War Began (Foreign Australian Action Drama 2010)

Yeah I think there is a reason why not many movies come out of Australia. This story is based off of some book that is very reminiscent of Red Dawn. Essentially you have a group of kids going into a guerrilla war after some invading army comes in an takes over their town.

What makes this movie suck are the characters, dialog, and acting. Everything sucked from almost everyone. The main chick, Caitlin Stasey, is the only one who can kind of act. Nobody else can do anything.

Many times it seemed like this was some lame B-movies that go straight to video. It really is sub-par. But ironically enough, they are supposedly in development with a part 2 and part 3, just like LOTR...this will be a hoot.
Rating - D

Faster (Action 2010)

So The Rock finally got a part that did not involve little kids in some Disney movie. This action flick was's good to see bad guys get what's comin'..but the story was way too predictable. Probably within in the first 15 min you knew the whole story. Very simple plot and it has most certainly been done before.

I can't say that Dwayne Johnson did much acting because he didn't. Look at the picture from the poster to the left. That is the exact same expression that he had throughout the whole film. The other characters were very forgettable.

So yeah that is what this movie was all about...payback and nothing else. No acting, no story, no real special effects...nothing. It's good background noise but that's about it.
Rating - C

Friday, February 11, 2011

Monsters (Drama 2010)

Total false advertising here. This movie sucked and it barely had any monsters in it at all. This film was all about the interactions between this annoying photographer and this short-haired blonde chick. Note that they are married in real life. The guy looks like he's on meth so I dunno how that happened.

Either way the movie started out OK as in the first 5 min it looked like it might be good. But soon afterwards we were stuck in this grueling story of these 2 peeps trying to make it back to the US from Mexico while the top-half of Mexico was some quarantined zone because these huge Octopus-looking aliens crashed and started reproducing.

The only 2 main characters in the whole film were was a rich chick who wore these nasty-looking UGG-like boots and the other was a dude who was obsessed with taking pictures. It was hard watching these ignorant Americans trudge through the forest because we all know that in real life they would've been shot or abandoned.

Yeah there was nothing good about the movie. The story was boring, I couldn't root for any of the characters, and the special effects were few and far between. No.
Rating - D

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Gunnar PPK Digital Optiks (Random Products)

So during my wanderings through the interwebs I discovered that there were these special glasses from a company called Gunnar that were touted to reduce eyestrain and glare when using a computer and staring at a monitor all day.

I bought the version called PPK because of the measurements. I noticed that if you get glasses that are not wide enough for your face, it makes wearing them very uncomfortable. Although the overall width was correct, the nose area is also an important measurement. These had a length of 20mm whereas my most comfy sunglasses are 17mm. They were still wearable but it just didn't fit all that well. So yeah I would recommend trying on different glasses at some store to see what your measurements are.

I'm sure you're wanting to know if the glasses themselves even worked. Yes and no. The stock glasses have a yellow tint to them so that took some time to get used to. The lenses are also a little bit magnified as well so when you look at something on the screen you actually zoom into it a bit. I used them for a week at work and although the pair did seem to help with eye dryness, it didn't assist with eye fatigue as it was still there.

One additional reason I got these was because I read on their website that you could get prescription lenses ordered. I called the only local dealer in Reno and asked if they could pull it off. They said yes so I gave them the glasses and had prescription lenses ordered. Unfortunately this plan didn't fully work out the way it was supposed to. The store called me back asking all sorts of questions pertaining to plastic vs polycarbonate, tinted vs none, or anti-glare vs none. All of this was confusing because I was under the impression that the lenses were supposed to be "Gunnar" ones which would already have all of these features; you're not really supposed to have a choice. Long story short I had to cancel my order because the lenses supposedly would've cost around $200 which was more than double the price of the glasses themselves; and this was with insurance too!

I also emailed Gunnar asking if I could directly get prescription lenses through them. They sent me an order form that seemed to be created by a 7 year old as it left a bunch of unanswered questions about payment, shipping, etc. I emailed and called them inquiring as to how the form was to be filled out but they never returned any of my attempts at contact. So yeah this company can go to hell.

All in all my whole experience with this company and getting prescription lenses left me with a very bad taste. If they ever get a competitor I'll definitely go that route. I'll also know for future reference that nose measurements are very important.