Atticus James Canon T5i Unboxing Video

Atticus James Canon EOS Rebel T5i EF-S 18-55 IS STM Kit Unboxing

I am always excited to play with new camera gear and just gear in general. After a few months feeling naked
without my DSLR I finally found a great deal online to replace my Canon T4i.

Stay tuned for future reviews using this camera.

Click here For the Unboxing Video.

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

Emirates Tablet

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.

Emirates 777 engine

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?

I’m Home!

I’m Home!

So before I give my wrap up of India I still have a few days I didn’t write about while I was in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

A Geography Lesson

First and foremost, we heard repeated from people visiting while we were, that they thought they were in Saudi Arabia. Just to make sure everyone is on the same page, Dubai and Abu Dhabi in The United Arab Emirates (UAE). They are their own country.

Thank you, now back to our regularly scheduled program.

Reality In Dubai

We left Mumbai for a second time on the 23rd to head back to the UAE to visit Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Contrary to what the young lads at Taco Bell seem to think, not everyone drives fancy cars. I did not see a single pet tiger, and while I didn’t visit every bathroom, I can say, I never found gold toilet paper anywhere.

Burj Khalifa

We stayed at the Sheraton, at the Mall of the Emirates. The night we got in, our first stop was to visit the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world. This was AMAZING! I have only been up there at night and I can tell you for fact that the view changes from day to night. If you get a chance to go up during the night and the day it is worth seeing. The fountains were cool in front of the Burj but I wouldn’t call them better than Vegas… just different.

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Side note: I noticed I have a few days missing from my travels, so I will be re-uploading them shortly.

On the 24th we visited Abu Dhabi and took a bus tour around the city. There wasn’t any one spot we wanted to get off the bus and visit. I am not Muslim but we did see the grand mosque. Honestly it is a mosque to me, so it wasn’t something I really care about. The carpet is one single piece and that was cool. The chandlers are like 9 tons. Otherwise it was just another mosque to me.

We stopped at one of the malls and grabbed lunch which was very tasty. We wanted to have the leftovers for dinner but there was not a way to get it home and still have it safe to eat. Tis’ a shame.

The Gardens

On the 25th We stayed in Dubai and visited the Butterfly Gardens and the Miracle Gardens. Why are they a miracle? Because we are in the desert! It is beautiful and green and flowering and how they are able to have this is the desert is amazing! They desalinate the ocean water to keep the UAE green and beautiful. Truly incredible.

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The Butterfly Gardens were AWESOME!!!! Why? Because they let us pick them up! Grandpa needed a pet so I gave them to him!

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We met some people from Colorado who are now living Kuwait teaching. I ended up giving them a few butterflies as well. If you are in Dubai these places are sooooooooo worth the cost to visit.

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The next morning we work up at 4am and headed to the airport. I am ending my trip to Dubai and India here because Emirates Airline will have a review coming shortly and that is where I will pick up from.

India is Calling my Name

This trip to India was amazing and I honestly wish I was there right now. It has been great being home but India is calling and I am ready to pick up the phone.

I am so thankful to my grandfather for planning and inviting me on this trip of a lifetime. I cannot wait to finish telling you all the stories.

Song of the Day

Rob Thomas – Ever the same

I just like the song

Planes, Trains, and Vans?!!?

(No photos, the internet in our Surat hotel is horrible and I just can’t get anything uploaded.  My apologies)

Okay, so maybe this is just the head cold hitting me but I am starting to feel like myself being here in India and the traffic is normal. This isn’t a good thing. Don’t get me wrong, I love being here.   But things should not be normalizing for me!! This means when I get home, I am going to miss not being able to breathe!

Family…Lots of Family

Now, so let’s talk about Grandpa and family.

These people are so amazing! The fact that they are giving me a trip of a lifetime like this, it is truly something there are no words.  I can’t find any  to use that express how thankful I am to be here with them. My grandfather is amazing person and I wish I could share him with everyone, but he is my grandpa, so BACKOFF!!

Yesterday we took a van ride from the Gir Jungle to Ahmadabad.  From there we hopped on a train that took us here to Surat where our family lives. It was a very long trip for two people with colds to take, but we are badasses and we pushed through it.

Catching some ZZZZZ’s

Today we slept soooooo late (845am). We managed to make our way down to breakfast before we walked over to our families home. They took us to visit my grandfathers old home from the 1930s. This house is still owned by my family from my understanding.

It is 4pm local time and I am chatting with a friend of mine back home who is Indian. I am looking forward to being home and sharing this adventure with them. I am not loving the bouncing from hotel to hotel. I understand that it is a small sacrifice to be able to see as much as we are.

Notes for Traveling & Adventure:

· Unless I know I need more than one than one button down shirt, I need to trade them in for nice looking long sleeve shirts.

· This trip has made me realize that spending money on things like new iphones or having to get the latest and greatest isn’t always what it is cracked up to be.  I should be saving that money to visit other places in the world. I see that now monkey.

· I need better luggage.

· I need to activate a world data plan with my cell phone.

· This Leatherman Tread is an amazing Photographers tool.

· Always change your battery pack in the morning before leaving for your daily adventure.  Even if you only took 5 pictures the day before.

· Be an open person. Try new things. Be willing to adapt to change when you are traveling.

· If you take over a weeklong trip to another country, you should always have one meal that is from back home. I had a subway sandwich yesterday and wow was it different.

· Smile at everyone.

· If you meet an elder, even if you are not related, point your camera and gesture that you would like to take their picture. They love it! I am not keen on taking pictures of children, as that is seen as stranger danger back home. I don’t want someone mistaking my actions as less than appropriate. However, this is okay if the kids pose for you to take their picture. Or they are just too funny to miss.

· Drink more water!

· Stay more organized so when you move from hotel to hotel, it is a faster easier process.

· Travel with people who are adaptable and willing to try things.

· Travel alone. See the world without the need to be on anyone elses’ timeframe.

· Make notes about the places you visit and review the places online so others can hear your thoughts.

· Buy a 6ft charger for your phone.

· Buy a nice camera and lens and learn how to use it months before going!

· Have a laptop that you like and know how to use well. This goes against what I said earlier about not needing the best and newest gadgets.  These have been important for me to be able to share my thoughts with family back home. I am working on getting a new laptop when I get home.

· Remember that everything costs.

· Have the balls to be the first to try something. Don’t be a follower.

· If you are single, use dating apps like tinder when visiting new places. You’ll always meet new friends. You can use them for dating but if you have no plans on living there, use it for friends and be open and honest about that.

· Listen to music. Create a playlist that you can have playing in your ear while you relax for the day and share your thoughts. Even if it is with no one but yourself in a journal, listen to music and put your thoughts down on a laptop or on paper. It makes for an amazing way to reflect.

· People are nice but always use the safe in your room.

· Be happy and smile, you are visiting places that are incredible in their own ways.

Song of the day:

Mumford and Sons – Believe (Acoustic)

As I said before, this has nothing to do with India, but it is the song I am listening to while writing this.

G, I think even you would like this song.

A Fanged Look At The Snakebite

Growing up I spent a lot of time in the wilderness of Texas and Colorado. I was always told to watch out for snakes so they don’t bite you. I am now well past 21 and I have a snakebite a few times a month.

A Fanged Look At The Snakebite

No Snakes Were Harmed During the Writing of This Post

Okay, so by now you have figured I am probably not talking about a real snake biting me. Then again, I could just be a deranged lunatic who just likes the oh so sweet feel as the venom courses though his vein *clears throat* sorry off topic.

Rum Rebellion

No, I am talking about a drink that I had never heard of prior to finding my new local bar at the beginning of 2015. I cannot tell you where the bar is for fear that ALL of you might magically show up at. You will come and want to buy a round for me, just to hear my old wars stories from when I was in the Rum Rebellion of 1808. I digress. 

History of the Snakebite….NOT!

I wanted to give a little history on the snakebite as part of this review. After exhausting research and finding numerous different stories and variations of the drink, I figured, to hell with that! Who needs history when you have beer and cider to drink?!

Recipe

8oz Stout or Lager beer
8oz Hard cider

Pour your cider first and then layer the beer on top.

I prefer Guinness and Angry Orchard. I suggest it is worth experimenting with different combinations to find out what suits you. The more experimentation, the more fun!

Panasonic On-Ear Headphones RP-HS46 Review

I cannot stand “in the ear” headphones. When I am working out they’re always falling out during the best part of the song or during the last few reps when you need that motivation to help you push yourself.

Over the years I have used all different types of headphones and it wasn’t until May 2009 that I found the pair I could stand behind.

Panasonic On-Ear Headphones RP-HS46 Review

The Back-Story

In May 2009 I was working out 5-7 nights a week at my gym alone with my amazing Apple 30GB iPod I used to rock out with. I had gotten to the gym at my normal hour of 11 and got changed in the locker room when I found headphones had ripped the cable out (or something along those lines… I don’t fully remember). I quickly ran to my local Wal-mart to pick up the cheapest on-ear headphones. I found the Panasonic RP-HS46.

I ran back to my gym and worked out using these headphones for the next year and a half. I ended up not working out for a few years after my accident but I always carried my iPod to work with me so I needed a descent pair of headphones to get me by.

The Torture Testing

From 2011 until April 2015 I have used that same pair of Panasonic headphones while working at my fathers company doing decorative concrete work. To give you an idea of what that means, it is a lot of catching the headphone cord on equipment, lots of dust, dirt and sweat getting into the headphones. It is also a lot of bending over and putting pressure on the headphone plug. It is also hundreds and hundreds of hours of music being pumped through the headphones.

After all of that time, the headphones still worked until they finally gave up the ghost and went out on me in April. This forced me to shop online for a new set. When I had last looked online for the pair as a gift, I could only find them for $50-80 dollars on Amazon. I paid $13 (most expensive pair I had ever purchased at that time, so the amount had stuck in my head) when I first picked them up in 2009.

In April I was lucky enough to find them again for $8 a pair online so I picked up two.

Conclusion

Are these headphones the best in the world? No. Do they have the richest sound? No. Do they last unlike any others I have ever used? YES!

I wanted to write this review because as someone who beats the living hell out of clothes and gear just living a normal (for me) life I want to share what I have found to be durable and long lasting and can take the beating I put things through. These fit the bill.