I’ve added a few more watches and some barware to the list, as well as some accessories.
If you’re looking to elevate your wardrobe or experiment with your style, Amazon is a great option. Their return policy is phenomenal and relatively seamless, and I’ve been impressed with the quality of most of their staples.
Please Note: I do not recommend buying suits, jackets, most watches, or other items from Amazon that require a high amount of attention to detail.
This one is a combination passion and pet peeve of mine.
Firstly, I just love watches. It seems to be common among people in the firearm space; they’re almost guaranteed to also be geeks about either watches, photography, and/or cars/motorcycles.
That being said, it’s certainly not a universal interest. There are those people for whom a watch is purely a tool, and really only exists as a convenience to keep from fishing a phone out of their pocket. And that’s perfectly fine. I’m certainly not going to sit here and insist that everybody needs to share this interest. The challenge is that this lack of interest and understanding can cause some folks to make some avoidable errors.
We’ve all seen it. The guy that’s dressed up to a level past where he’s normally familiar or comfortable still rocking his G-Shock or Suunto, even worse if worn on the inside of the wrist. Is it offensive? Not at all. It does however communicate a lack of social literacy. It broadcasts that you “don’t belong” there. It’s like wearing Salomon’s with a suit.
If you’re the kind of guy that just likes the functionality of those wrist computers, that’s cool. Rock on with it. But if you find yourself in a situation that requires a collared shirt and tie, I’d just leave it at home at that point. Especially since they’re wholly unnecessary these days, no watch is definitely more appropriate than the wrong watch.
If you want to delve down this rabbit hole, here are some pointers to help start your journey:
The Sports Watch:
If you’re only going to own one, a Sports Watch will give you some good versatility.
I prefer bracelets because A) they hold up better in hot weather and B) they’re a better general purpose option. Straps can work, but you’ll need to swap them out for various casual/formal situations. This can be fun, but if you’re only owning one watch, accessorizing probably isn’t your thing.
Minimal complications. Usually just Time, Date, maybe Day
Avoid Chronograph (stop watch) for a 1-watch collection
A bracelet vs. a strap (leather, rubber, NATO, etc)
I always prefer to get a watch on a bracelet, because they hold up longer than straps. You can always swap them out.
This is a pretty open category. These are your utility watches. The name is really the job description: a watch that you’re going to beat on. So it either needs to be rugged, replaceable, or both. There’s no real rules here, so buy what you like. Just don’t try and shoehorn your Beater into an inappropriate role like a Dress Watch.
We spend a lot more time speaking with people than we do fighting, stabbing, or shooting them. I mean, unless you’re a complete psychopath, in which case please stop reading this. I don’t want my explosion of publicity to be “The People’s Exhibit A”.
On top of all that, being able to effectively communicate with people and control your message can allow you to prevent a situation from ever getting got the point that force is needed.
The challenge, as I see it, is that a good portion of people that are into guns are those that interact with their world physically. This is easy because there are “moves” to practice, and tangible results of your efforts in the form of holes in the target.
There seems to be some resistance to the idea of leveraging communication as somehow cowardly or less manly; not wanting to fight. But I’ll remind folks that “Verbal Judo” is a thing for a reason.
If you had to fight with someone, would you rather they be resisting you with everything they’ve got, or not even know that they’re in a fight? If your goal is just to fight (or spar), then the resisting opponent might be fun. But if your goal is to prevail, why make the job harder than necessary.
The other major reason that verbal skills are critical is because if you don’t have them, it’s easy for someone to jam you up and now you’re at their mercy. The reason why a lot of muggings start off with a request for the time, a cigarette, or change is because, while your brain is tied up responding, you’re not processing what they’re doing (read: initiating the attack).
Just like how you want your draw, trigger press, and reload to be so automated that they don’t require active thought, the same is true of your verbal skills. You want to have some appropriately automated responses (John Farnam calls them “Tape Loops”) established so that you can focus more attention on what they’re doing vs. what they’re saying (or trying to get you to do/say).
Having active, intentional control over the words you use can also ensure that you don’t create a situation that requires more force. Watch the video to see what I mean.
I get a lot of feedback from folks because nobody’s wearing a suit & tie anymore. Not only is it no longer required dress code in most professions, but lots of folks won’t wear them voluntarily at all.
So I decided to put together some visual examples to highlight how dressing intentionally and putting care into your wardrobe applies across the board, from the most casual outfit to the most formal.
On weekends when I’m running errands or meeting friends at a bar you’re likely to see me in something like this. The major things to pay attention to are:
Henley instead of a t-shirt: Visually a little more interesting, and also more flattering if you’ve got rounder features like I do
Jeans that fit properly! There’s not too much material bunching at the ankles, and no “relaxed fit” baggy bullshit around the legs.
Chukka boots: I love these things. Partially because I’m a huge Steve McQueen fanboy. That being said they’re an amazingly practical shoe, and an easy way to bump up from the beat up pair of sneakers you’re probably wearing right now.
Lightweight Field jacket: For the 2 1/2 weeks that it’s cold enough in Texas to warrant a jacket, this is a great one. Pick something that’s not too heavy, and jives with your style.
Depending on where you work, you could probably get away with wearing this to the office. If I want to dress “nice” without being overly fancy or risk being overdressed I’ll go to something like this:
Chambray shirt: Originally workwear, so much more casual than a crisp dress shirt.
Dark denim: A good bridge between casual pants and dress slacks.
Derbys: A leather lace-up that’s more casual than the traditional Oxford. You could easily do this with the chukkas or other polished leather shoe/boot.
Jacket/Vest: Either one works, and you can see how it elevates the look just slightly, but without being stuffy and formal. The vest offers the advantage of not having to tuck your shirt in over the holster
Something like this would be equally appropriate at a business meeting or an anniversary dinner. I call this one “modular” because as long as you keep the basic tenants, you can kinda plug & play different things to your tastes:
Dress shirt: Your standard button-up shirt. If you want to play it safe, stick with light blue, lavender, or pink. White can be a little too formal, plus they’re just a pain in the ass to keep clean. If you want to, you can toy with different fabric textures & patterns.
Trousers: Actual slacks. Same kind of fabric they make suits out of. Lighter weight, so they’re super comfortable. Blues and greys will give you the most mileage.
Sport coat: Firstly, make sure it fits right! (Those sleeves are just a smidge too long). Also make sure it’s not close in color/shade to the pants. It’s supposed to complement and contrast, not match.
Shoes: Leather. Polished. Either brown or oxblood. Black shoes are reserved for formal occasions.
So this might seem like a bit of a departure. I mean side from the silly “ATF should be a convenience store” bumper sticker, we constantly hear “guns and alcohol don’t mix!”
There are those people that are so dedicated to their personal protection that they flat out refuse to consume anything that would negatively impact their awareness, or set foot in an establishment that legally prohibits carrying a firearm. That’s their call to make. However, to steal a line from William Aprill’sUnthinkable class, “there’s a lot of fun stuff that happens with stupid people in stupid places”. Admittedly he’s being a little facetious, but the point was that living a purely risk averse lifestyle can be limiting.
On top of that, it’s just good to have hobbies that aren’t violence related. If you follow me on Instagram you’ll know that I have several, one being cocktails. I’ve never been visually artistic; I never really took to drawing, painting, sculpting, etc. Food and drink have always been my creative outlet. You can’t tell me that on some level this isn’t a work of art.
Another advantage of this hobby is that it helps me understand exactly what I can handle. We’ve all had that one friend who’s not a big drinker out with a bunch of friends go completely off the rails, and end up either as a hilarious story or potential 6 o’clock news story because they didn’t know their limits and overindulged.
In the video I go over 3 basic drinks that are a good place to start. They only have a few ingredients, nothing is super hard to find, and you can play with the ratios to dial in to whatever suits your taste.
Even if you’re not a big drinker or you don’t like the way liquor tastes, this is a very accessible drink. Even my wife (whose drink prior to us meeting was *shudder*…..Malibu & Pineapple aka Liquid Diabetes) enjoys these when they’re made properly. The standard ratio is:
Based on the name you’d think “OK, so it’s a Martini, but with tequila, right?” Nope! This is a classic gin drink. Lots of people have had bad experiences with gin, and so they shy away from any recipe where it’s mentioned. That’s unfortunate, because there’s such a breadth of options out there that there’s a gin for every palate. It’s especially great when the weather starts to heat up, when brown liquors can be a little heavy. I picked this because the gin is balanced out with the sweetness of the vermouth. It’s a gateway gin cocktail:
2 dashes Angostura bitters
1/4 oz. Luxardo Marashino Liqueur
1 1/2 oz. Sweet (red) vermouth.
1 1/2 oz. Gin
Measure all ingredients into a mixing glass, and stir until the mixing class is cold to the touch. If you’re mixing in something conductive like a shaker tin, stir for ~ 30 seconds or so.
Queen’s Park Swizzle
Everyone’s familiar with the Mojito. What I like about this one is that the use of dark rum and Ango (again) makes the drink a little more interesting, at least to me. Plus it’s prettier. This is a great summer drink, just be careful because they barely taste like alcohol.
5-10 mint leaves (depending on size)
1 oz. lime juice
1 oz. simple syrup
2-3 oz. dark rum
Angostura bitters to garnish
Muddle mint, lime & simple in the bottom of a collins glass. Add the rum, and fill halfway with crushed ice. Swizzle with a barspoon, then fill with more crushed ice and top with 5-6 dashes of Ango.
Give them a try and let me know what you think!
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Incorporating Defensive Tools & Mindset into a Carry-Restricted Office Environment.
If carrying a gun to work means a risk of losing your job, or, if your work attire makes it difficult or impossible to carry at work, then this presentation is for you.
We cover personal safety for people who have to dress in a ‘business casual’ manner for their jobs, as well as anyone working in an office or carry-restricted setting (the non-permissive environment).
We’ll discuss different means of carrying at work and the risks/benefits associated with them, managing concealed carry at work, defensive options other than firearms and types of gear that are best suited for business people, office workers and other professionals.