Leatherman Tread: Now Boarding First Class and Business Class

As many of you know, I own two websites, a firearm review site GearsofGuns.com and “AtticusJames.com A guys Life In Review” site. I have written a few reviews about the Leatherman tools over the last few years. So when I heard about the Leatherman Tread, I jumped on getting one as quick as I could.

 

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Easy? Check

 

Complete? Not So Much

The Leatherman Tread is not the one and done tool you should carry. I doubt the designers had that in mind when they dreamt this tool up, I believe what they did want is a tool that was easy to travel with and that was something that went with any style. They came up with this:

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Around the World in 28 Days….Well the Miles Anyway

As you can read in my previous posts, I just spent a month in India. I just quickly did the numbers so you can see what the experience was.

· 3 Countries

· 9 Airport security check points

· 9 Flights

· 10 Security checks from hotels, tourist attractions, etc

· 10 Airports departing and arriving from

· 29,656 Miles Flown

· Circumference of the earth at the equator = 24,901 miles

Why do those numbers matter? Because that means that in all three countries and in all 10 security checks I went thru, never once was my Leatherman Tread questioned. It was never looked at as anything more than a bracelet. I never once had to check it in my bag. In fact, in two airports I didn’t even have to take it off my wrist.

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Looking at diamonds in Surat, India.

TSA Approved

The Leatherman Tread doesn’t have a knife on it, so it is TSA approved. Most people who see it look passed it, as it just looks like I am wearing an unusual watch band or a metal bracelet.

Crazy Person Here

I am right handed, but I normally wear my watches or bracelets on my right hand. Most people think that I am a crazy person doing that. Honestly I am not really sure why it matters. If I am right handed wearing my watch on my right hand, so what? I like it on my dominant hand.

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All The Tools

The Leatherman Tread has a bunch of tools on it. Hex keys, wrenches, screwdrivers and even a SIM pick. I found it to be really handy for me on the trip because I used a camera holster. It is a spider holster, which has a metal plate with an hex key to attach the plate to the camera.

The problem was, that is blocks the battery compartment. Every time I needed to change the battery, which was often, I had to loosen the plate to get to the battery. I didn’t carry the Hex key (Allen Key) with me since I had the hex key on the Leatherman Tread to change the batteries.

A Conversation Starter

This was fun for me. People would watch me take off what they thought was a watch, fold it and use it to remove a plate. It gave me something else to use to connect with complete strangers, other than just trying to start a conversation about nothing.

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The Price

The Leatherman Tread starts at $160 for the Stainless Steel model. It isn’t a cheap tool and to be honest it isn’t my go to tool in most cases. But it is a tool that has it place. It was perfect to travel with. It is great for those times when you don’t need a heavy duty Leatherman or a full tool bag. It comes in really handy. And let’s admit, it looks great.

The Weight

At first it felt heavy on my wrist. That is mainly because I hadn’t worn a watch in over 10 years. Now that I wear it whenever I leave the house, I don’t really notice it.

I have learned not to swim laps with it on because it feels like a weight dragging my arm down. If you wear a big watch or a smart watch, you probably won’t even notice the weight.

Final thoughts

I still carry my Leatherman MUT at the range and my wave when I know I’ll need a tool. For daily operations, The Tread does just what it is suppose to. Be an awesome bracelet and backup tool.

I really want the black Leatherman Tread too. I would like to see if I scratch up the bracelet as much as I have this one. The scratches really aren’t noticeable unless you are really playing with the bracelet. I believe that is just normal wear and tear that seems to happen on things I own. That’s just the kinda guy I am.

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Emirates: Airbus A380-800 & Boeing 777-200 Review

These Business Class tickets were purchased through a travel agent and I received no compensation in any form for this review.

I have reviewed Southwest Airlines as a domestic airline and since I flew Emirates to India and Dubai I thought it was time to review an International Airline.

We flew business class, since my grandfather, who has flown all over the world, prefers to be comfortable on long flights. Since I have back problems this made for a very pleasant flight.

Emirates A380

The Car Service

We were picked up in a Lincoln MKT Town car and taken from my grandfather’s home in California to LAX and home again at the end.

It is a nice added feature to be picked up and dropped off when you travel with Emirates. They also took us to the hotel in Dubai and back again. Just one more detail that we didn’t have to worry about.

Limo from Emirates

Lounges

There is something peaceful about going through airport security and then heading straight for the business class lounge. Sitting there for an hour eating and drinking before a long flight really helps melt the stress. It is nice not having to deal with the crowds when in the international terminals. Emirates Lounge

You have to admit having comfortable chairs, great food, alcohol and free WiFi makes the wait for your flight more enjoyable.

The A380-800

The Airbus A380-800 was something I had been really looking forward to before this trip. Knowing that this plane is a double decker plane is just awesome to me. I love watching shows about planes and I have wanted to fly in one since they first came out!

I cannot talk about any other A380s from other airlines, but I can say this was the most comfortable plane I have even been on. I will be discussing the Boeing 777 in a minute. Emirates Business Class

We had the one, two, one seating configuration meaning one window, two middle and one window seat when you look across the plane from window to window. The four flights we had with Emirates we always had window seats.

The A380 had Wi-Fi 10mb for free which was enough to send a few tweets, FB posts, snapchats or texts from iMessage or WhatsApp.

They also offered 500mb for $1 USD, so you could watch YouTube or stream from your device. I just watched movies on the in-flight entertainment system.

Emirates Seat System

As you can see in the photo above, these are a few of the items that come with the business class seat

· Two USB ports

· One tablet that lets you control the [KB1] TV on the seat in front

· One remote that also acts as the game controller if you play any games on the TV

· Lay flat chair

· Two sodas and two different waters

· (Under the window) extra storage for takeoff and landing

· Free toiletry kit

· 2 meals with an offer of light snacks during the flight

· Alcoholic drinks and access to the in-flight bar

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Emirates out the window

Loading the A380, they have to use three jet ways. Two on the lower level and one for the top. As to how they are so efficient at loading a plane that can hold upwards over 600+ people in such a short amount of time baffles me!

I am not sure which version of the Emirates A380 we were on, but they have 3 sets of plane configurations. The first two planes offer the same number of business class and first class with 14 First class seats and 76 Business class. The Economy seats change from 399 seats to 472 seats all on the lower deck. The third plane offers 58 Business class seats and 557 economy seats with no first class. Part of the economy class seats are on the top deck. We never flew on this plane, so I don’t have any experience with this plane. I know our two flights had 27+ crew members working the flight, flight attendants as well as those in the cockpit.

The Lay Flat Beds

The lay flat beds were really nice. When the A380 goes into “night” time, the flight attendants bring out foam mattress and make your bed for you so you can sleep. I ended up staying awake most of my flights. I slept when I landed to help with jet lag. The beds were very comfortable and easy to fall asleep on, even for someone with back problems.

A380 Bar

Emirates Bar

Flying out to Dubai, no one used the bar. I was sitting in the seat just in front of the bar. I walked by the bar a few times to go to the bathrooms or to see what snacks they had laid out and no one was using the bar.

It was a different story on the flight from Dubai back to LAX. This bar always had at least a few people hanging out. The bar isn’t all that big and I had my back against a wall to take this photo. You can get quite a few people hanging and drinking together and have a nice little party.

Emirates Bar with party

Now I will say, Emirates, if you are going to call yourself a “bar” you should at least be able to make a whiskey sour! Since I couldn’t have a whiskey sour (and everyone in the bar agreed that it is a staple cocktail) I had to sip on my pretentious Glenfiddich Scotch, 18 Year.

On a side note: they do ask you, before takeoff, what drink you would like, then bring it to you shortly after takeoff.

The Emirates 777-200

We flew the 777 from Dubai to India and from India to Dubai. I have told this joke to a number of people but we rode in 4 Rolls Royce’s.

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Okay so maybe we didn’t fly “in” a Rolls Royce, but they were the engines that flew us back and forth from India and Dubai.

The configurations for the two Boeing 777s seats were a Two, Three, Two set up. My grandfather and I sat next to each other. It wasn’t a bad set up, except when the flight attendant had to lean over to fix the stuck TV. It fixed itself and she almost got nailed in the chin as it popped up at the most inopportune time. SORRY!

The meals were the same as they were on the A380 since they are prepared in the same place. Delicious and tasty. They do offer bar service on the 777, but they do not have a lounge or bar in the plane. Boo hoo! This was only a four hour flight for us so, not really a “long” flight.

Emirates 777 seating

ICE: Information, Communication, Entertainment

On your TV, Emirates has access to their ICE: this is your access to your TV and gadgets. The selections you have are three on board cameras to watch while flying. You can see cameras from the tail, from under the cockpit and one under the plane aimed straight down. They also have world news and sports as well as info on the flight and location of the plane. Pretty cool to be able to track yourself across the globe.  We flew over the North Pole.

Communication wasn’t something I used or looked at. In hindsight that is something I should have looked at for the sake of the review. I know you can call from the plane and I see they have seat-to-seat messaging. Since my grandfather was next to me,behind me or in front of me by one seat I never messaged him.

Entertainment was something I enjoyed immensely! I got caught up on a few movies I had wanted to see and one movie I won’t admit to wanting to see. They have a few YouTube videos from Casey Neistat and a number of others who I didn’t know or care about. They also had some non-name-brand video games to play and TV shows.

Final Thoughts

Having car service to and from the hotel in LA and Dubai was very nice, the business class seats were comfortable, entertaining, offered great food and drinks. I loved it! I will not go as far to say they are my airline of choice just yet, as I would like to travel more on other airlines A380s.

Emirates is located out of Dubai, UAE. When you look down the line of terminals that Emirates uses, you will just see a long line of A380s and it is a beautiful sight to see.

The 777s we flew on didn’t have Wi-Fi and the TV screens and remotes weren’t clear or quick to respond.  It would have been nice to have seen an updated 777.

The flight attendants for both types of aircraft were AMAZING and always on top of everything. I am looking at you Lynn.

Emirates! You guys are awesome and I am looking forward to flying with you again soon. I plan to head back to India and plan on using Emirates to get there again!

 


From 5 to 11: The skinny on the 5.11 STRYKE™ PANTS

After spending a month traveling through India and Dubai I have found my all time favorite pants!

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The Military Travels, Right?

I know these pants were designed with LE and Military in mind but honestly they are perfect for travel. I was given a pair in Vegas just before leaving for India. I traded a pair of jeans out of my suitcase for these. Result? I would love to trade all of my pants for different colors and style of 5.11 pants and shorts.

In a Mall Near Me??? Soon???

I have been around 5.11 tactical clothes and gear for most of my adult life. When you are part of the gun community it is impossible not to know the name 5.11. I am not sure how popular they are outside of the industry. This needs to change. As to why 5.11 isn’t in every mall in the states is beyond me. Okay I have gushed enough about them. Let’s get down to the review.

Every Day Carry

I was offered a free pair of the 5.11 pants of my choosing. I visited the 5.11 store in Vegas and found the Stryke pants to be what I wanted to try for my trip. My brain was in India travel mode so everything I looked at there was “how could I make this trip the most comfortable for me”? I thought about what I might carry on a daily bases.

· iPhone 6 in Magpul case

· AA battery powered flashlight

· 2 Canon T4i batteries for my camera

· Passports

· Money

Pockets Full of Goodies

While that doesn’t seem like a lot to keep in my pockets, it had to be kept in my front pockets. I wanted to avoid pickpockets as best as possible. I kept my phone in my left front mag pocket which kept my normal pockets free for batteries and other junk I might pick up during the day. My right mag pocket I kept my flashlight. I used my right main pocket for my passport because it is deep.

Mag Pocket

SPECIFICATIONS

· 6.76 oz. Flex-Tac® ripstop fabric

· Self-adjusting tunnel waistband

· Fully gusseted crotch

· Articulated knees (kneepad ready)

· Bartacking at major seams and stress points

· TEFLON® finish

· 12 pockets, including double-deep cargo pockets

· Rinse washed

· YKK® zippers

· Prym® snaps

Be Comfortable Above All Else

My goal is to get the full line of pants for my travels because they are comfortable. I lost about 20 pounds in India. So the other advantage of the pants were that they have stretch in them, so they were always fitting correctly.

They have a button and a snap for the top of the pants so you can secure your pants if the snap starts to give out on you.

My only problem is that they require them to be washed inside out. While I do my own laundry at home, I had to send out for laundry in India. I requested that they wash the correct way but I cannot be sure of that.

Water Repellent

While sitting on the Double Decker bus in Abu Dhabi I spilled a little water from my water bottle and it just beaded up and rolled off my pants without them getting wet.

Reviewing pants is a little harder than I imagined, but all I can tell you from my experience is this:

· They look nice,

· they are comfortable enough to wear for 16 hours on a flight,

· they are decked out with pockets for all of your pockety goodness and needs.

Comfortable, stylish, pockety (full of function)

What more do you really need?

My Drug of Choice

Non-hygienic SugarCane juice can be found everywhere. They have engine-powered and hand-powered machines to make it. Like the one shown below, but these machines do not get cleaned, so we stayed away from them.

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My Grandfather told me about SugarCane juice while we were in Delhi, he said that my family knew of a place that had hygienic and clean juice. The photo is grainy because I took this through a mesh used to keep bugs out.

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The health benefits of SugarCane juice are listed in the photo below. Since clearly there is ‘no sugar added’ in sugarcane juice, it must be super healthy and good for you!

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Clearly, since the juice is soooo healthy, we had to visit this shop 2-3 times a day. After arriving in Mumbai we missed our new addiction, so much we tried to track down some more. Several restaurants carried it, but it just wasn’t the same.

We figured Mumbai was going to be the last place we would find it but lo and behold! We found it in Dubai!!!!

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Talk about awesome! We had to have two glasses.

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I miss my drug.

Song of the Day

Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here

I wish I was there…

Alleppey [UPDATED]

S o today we were picked up from The Elephant Court to head out for a boat ride. I am getting car sick anywhere we go now.  It is becoming a nightmare. I am worried about the bus tours we have planned in Dubai because I have been sleeping the sickness away.

Return Visit Planned

We only spent one night at The Elephant Court. I would like to come back with a lady friend someday in the future because this is a nice hotel for couples.
We went from the hotel, straight to the house boat tour in Alleppey. This is a private tour.  Just for the two of us.  Grandpa has been on this tour before and he said he enjoyed it. I was really looking forward to it due to his experience. We hopped on the boat and off we went.

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All this travel screws with our hunger and makes it hard to ever be hungry.  The tour had a lunch scheduled to be served on board. We rode for about 35 minutes before we docked for lunch. They served us more food than we could eat. The boat was a nice side house boat and bigger than needed for just the two of us. After lunch we sat there and waited and waited, but the captain never wanted to take is back out to tour.  I finally just asked him to take us back to our car and he did.  Ending our “tour” an hour early. When the owner of the boat got on board, he told my grandfather to tip the captain and the cook.  This really upset my grandpa because they didn’t do anything! I will get the tour info and update this post when I get home. Obviously I don’t recommend this company if you are booking in Alleppey.

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A Drink of India

Our driver took us to our new hotel for the night as we have a flight to Mumbai first thing in the morning. The hotel was nice.  We are at a Ramada with a view from the bar that is beautiful. We went up to the bar because we needed a cocktail.  The bar and staff have a number of cocktails that they have created and one of them is a vodka drink. It was almost like a taste of India. I don’t know what was in it, because it was very savory. Very tasty.  I liked the views in Alleppey.  It was beautiful backwaters.  I look forward to returning to explore more of the waters.

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Song of the Day

Can’t Help Falling in Love- Twenty One Pilots

It is a cover from Elvis, but it fits, because I am falling for India.

The Elephant Court

Some days don’t like myself.

Some days I wake up and I think today is going to be a good day. I will be a good person. Then, somewhere along the way I lose myself. I lose my composure and my ability to keep calm. Yesterday that happened. I am embarrassed and I feel bad about it.

We started the day as we have been, by driving from one hotel to the next.  I have been getting car sick, so I have been in the back sleeping, while grandpa is in the front with our driver, Kumar.

I was less than pleased with the Tea County Hotel as I told you yesterday.  I will be giving them bad marks when I write my review.

We made it to the Elephant Court Hotel, which I have been so excited about, since I saw their photos online. Granted photos are deceiving and the hotel wasn’t quite as beautiful as the photos show. Meh.

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We went to the room at 12 pm after checking in and the internet died. I called the front desk and asked for them to help.  They sent someone with the username and password.  I explained to him that it wasn’t a sign in problem, it was a repeater problem.  He said he understood and started to walk away like he was going to get help. He turned around when he figured out that I knew what I was talking about because his cell phone connected when it hit a different repeater. Oh joy, I am not an idiot.  I told the gentleman that I was going on a boat tour and that if they could fix the internet in my room that would be lovely.

The Boat Tour

It was a boat tour, nothing exciting. We did however get to see two different herds of elephants, otters, birds, rocks that grandpa calls elephants that are in disguise, trees that the woman next to us calls snakes that are in hiding, a wild boar, some deer, and that one dudes hand that kept getting in my frame. It was fun. Sadly the boat was big.  We had 8 people per row, so it is hard to get some of the awesome shots of all the above mentioned cool things…oh well.  You will take my word for it right?

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This is getting OTTER-ly ridiculous but you can see Kevin and his offspring

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As the Spanish call them… El Kevino Familia.

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The Kevin Family

IMG_4060This isn’t a race thing but this is Black Kevin

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This is Kevin.

The Spice Plantation

So at first I didn’t know what we were going to see. Grandpa and I questioned if we really wanted to go on the tour, but we paid for it and it would be silly not to go. It was only an hour right?

WRONG! We were in the van heading back to the hotel 47 minutes after arriving at the Spice Plantation.

Really? Wow! Nope, I will not say it a was good tour. I wouldn’t even call it an alright tour. It was awesome! The guide was really good and he really enjoys his work. You can tell by the way he explains the tour. It was hands on and we learned a lot from it.

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Our guide for the spice planation

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Cocoa

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Kevin the Elephant

Dinner and the Blow UP!

Grandpa and I live by the rules of: it is 5pm somewhere.

We have a drink together every few nights and discuss everything. If this was a cigar lounge we would be the men with the white mustaches and the monocles. We waited until dinner this evening, which started at 7.  I had gone back to the room and found that the internet still wasn’t working. After about 20 minutes of waiting for no one to show up, I called back and asked that they fix it while I enjoyed my dinner.

Dinner was wonderful! Dessert was amazing and I almost went back for more cake.

I like cake. Cake is good. Let them eat cake! The cakes a lie! Enough about the cake Carl!

So after dinner, we headed back to the room and still no internet. So I called and a gentleman showed up with the same username and password “fix” like before. I could tell that no one else on my block had been contacting them that the wifi was out. After that news, he told me he would see if the IT guy could check it out. They never showed back up. I went to the pool to work and call Texas (where we could get internet).  Low and behold, the gentleman who came to our room found me and told me that the IT guy could fix it and had known since 1pm. This is where I start to dislike myself.

This guy wasn’t the problem and he wanted to be helpful, but he just didn’t have the ability. I asked for his manager and he kindly took me to the front desk.  He called his boss but his boss was heading home and told him to get my cell number so he could call me.  Since I don’t have wifi, he couldn’t do that. At my limit, I asked the gentleman to take me to the overnight GM and we finally found him.

I did my best to remain calm, I really did, I promise.  I explained that I was tired of people coming to my room.  I told him I had explained the problem time and time again over the phone and they just kept sending people who brought me the same username and password. Clearly the IT guy isn’t doing his job. 

I told him I wasn’t looking for anything and that I just wanted him to know that it really makes it hard for someone reviewing his hotel to do their job when they cannot connect to the internet.

The Big Fix

I sat at the pool and talked business for about an hour until my phone was ready to die.  I needed to sleep, but when I got back to my room the internet was fixed. I asked my grandfather and he told me that the IT guy came and fixed it!

I woke up and packed.  I head straight down to the front desk to find the GM, Mr. Shaju Sebastian and I thanked him for getting it fixed.  He told me that when I told him that the ladies in the room next to me were also without internet that he called the IT guy back and told him to fix it. Thank you.

I am sorry for the way that happened!  I am thankful for the service and willingness to fix this. Credit where credit is due and you sir handled my problem and made sure that the guest on our block had internet.

Milkshakes

The Elephant Court is a hotel I intend on returning to with someone special one day. I love south India and I want to spend more time here.

Also they had a vanilla milkshake for breakfast that was amazing!  I will go back just for the milkshake. I guess it is true what they say, The Elephant Courts milkshake brings all the boys to the yard.

Alright, well I need to sleep.  I am going to get this sent on and and pass out!

The Tea County (UPDATE)

Mumbai to Kochi (Cochin)

We flew in about 9 am to Kochi with Spice Jet in India. I am now officially not a fan of this airline.

Total Confusion

Our ticket read gate A6. The board read A3. A kind gentlemen we spoke to at A3 had a ticket that read A4. Then the PA system said it was gate A6.

Everyone rushed back to A6 only to be stopped by the Spice Jet officials telling us to go back to A3.  After all that, we still had to wait an additional 30 minutes because they didn’t have a plane for us.

I think Spice Jet needs an adult to help them. I can call one, but I charge a finder’s fee to stupid people.

A Green Ride

The car ride to the Tea County Hotel was long and twisty.  It is pretty and green but it made me a bit green, if you know what I mean.IMG_3797

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I will be writing a full review of the hotel when I get home.  In short,  this is a big STAY AS FAR AWAY FROM hotel. They are horrible and someone needs to share that. It looks nice from the outside but the inside is nasty!

A Pleasant Change

We had our first Christian guide yesterday! We visited the Tea Museum.  We got a short description about how tea is made and it was nice. After that, we visited a few local tourist hotspots like Echo Point.  The highlight was seeing the elephants on the side of the road. It was fun. I don’t have much to talk about in regards to the tour.  It wasn’t a long extensive tour, but it was enjoyable, none the less.

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