My Favorite Pants: Lululemon Commission Ventlights

I’ll be honest I didn’t really see the appeal in Lululemon at first. I happened to be shopping for some pants at the outlet and picked these up on sale. One thing I like about the brand is that they have smaller sizes for me and I imagine the only reason I got this on sale was because I can squeeze into a size 28.

These are absolutely the most versatile pants ever. I’ve been wearing them as travel pants, golf pants, and semi-formal dinner pants. They have vertical pockets for formality but they’re made of a techwear material called ventlight that makes them comfortable and breathable. The fabric is made in a grid pattern and you can see pin sized holes where the gridlines intersect. It’s almost exactly like the material on my Nike TeckPack pants but built into dress pants. Being a lover of techwear and formalwear, these are immediately became my new favorites and despite their $120 price tag, I set out to buy more.

(Quick side note, LLL support is really friendly and they showed me this dot inside of the pockets that have the size and product numbers in them. So if you ever need to identify LLL products look for the dot!)

After a bit of searching online and in stores it’s apparent that the pants are completely sold out, despite what I consider a heavy price (guess not). LLL has no idea about if or when restocks happen. So if you happen to find Ventlights in your size, I recommend picking them up.

Space Force Officer Reviews KA-BAR’s SPACE-BAR

In an attempt to create the world’s most durable letter and package opener, KA-BAR has released a USSF branded KA-BAR. Famously used by the Marines in WWII, the KA-BAR has since found itself in the hands of the Army, Navy, and even Coast Guard. Now-a-days it is typically engraved and given ceremoniously as a thank you or retirement gift. Though the knife isn’t necessarily standard issue today, the company still creates knives branded with KA-BAR on one side and either USMC, USA, or USN on the other (to my understanding they do not make a USAF KA-BAR). Now at long last the US Space Force gets their own branded KA-BAR to use in a pinch against aliens (this leaves the USAF as the last branch to not have a KA-BAR to my knowledge).

The knife was released in December of 2020 as the USSF SPACE-BAR Knife. It features a light blue handle with a grey powder coated blade. The heel of the knife reads USSF on one side and KA-BAR on the other in a retro NASA font. It retails for $111. On the side it comes with a plastic grey sheath and USSF KA-BAR line cover for the box.

In all seriousness, this was not a collaboration with the US Space Force and “US Space Force” is actually not mentioned anywhere on the product advertising, only USSF. The light blue is not at all similar to the “Space Blue” one sees on the uniforms and patches of Space Force members. None of these SPACE-BARs will be issued to Space Force members but rest assured one has found its way into my hands. It is going into a tabletop display on my desk at work. Hopefully some Marines from the neighboring building will get a good laugh out of it. I’d like to note here that the display costs more than the knife brining the total over $200 for a gag but it had to be done.

Both the knife and the case are exceptionally well made. If I had any need for a large knife honestly I would consider buying another one for use instead of collection. The rubberized grip and balance makes this knife very comfortable to hold, I could imagine myself using this… if I had any use for it. The display case features a magnet on the stand that secures the knife in place much better than if it were just a wedge or balancing act.

The KA-BAR USSF line also features an astro military police (karambit), corser folder (folding knife), and my personal favorite, the bridge breaching tool (basically a prybar with extras).

I love this knife. It’s a well made knife and a hilarious nod to our newest military branch. My only critique, they should have used Space Blue instead of this light almost tiffany blue for the handle.

Serious Q&A:

What use is this knife to the Space Force?

I will open letters with them in the rare cases where I get physical packages.

Does anyone in the Space Force actually have use for such a knife?

The electronic warfare guys deploy and could have use for a big knife while opening boxes or something. Honestly about as much use as anyone else has for a knife these days, though who wants to carry around a large heavy knife?

Will astronauts carry this knife?

As of writing, the Space Force has two astronauts. However, I don’t think carrying one of these in space would be a very good idea, the knife is heavy and pointy, not good for space suits.

 

If you want to know more about the Space Force check out my Space Force FAQ. If you have any questions, leave them in the comments!

Review: Brooks Brothers Golden Fleece Captoes

I needed a casual set of oxfords and this light brown was perfect. I got the GF Captoes on sale for around $120 with a coupon. The oxfords feature a non slip sole and ortho insoles, great for a casual shoe I intend to be traveling in. These shoes are made in Italy out of calf skin. The sales rep told me that they were made on a Peele & Co last which is what sold me.

Here’s my greatest issue, these are by far the most difficult dress shoes I’ve had to break in. I’ve probably walked about 5 miles so far in them and the contact points at the base of my toes and heels blister upon extended use. I’ve never had a shoe bite into the top of my foot so much at the crease behind the toecap, it’s especially bad at the base of my big toe. I think I could be wearing a half size smaller to make this shoe a snug fit. That would only increase the problem but I would say the sizing runs slightly large. Even just standing around at the craps table the orthopedic insoles were not doing me as much good as I would’ve hoped. The description of these shoes promises a flexible, comfortable, shoe which has been the exact opposite of my experience so far.

At the moment it’s unclear what direction Brooks Brothers will take their shoe line, the shops haven’t had any shipments during COVID so I may just be beating a dead horse critiquing these oxfords.

I’m not giving up though, I did spend a bit of money on these. Hopefully, with a more break in, these will become a comfortable casual shoe for me.

 

Description: Brown Oxfords with non-slip soles and ortho insole.

Brand: Brooks Brothers

Line: Golden Fleece Footwear

Style: 100083732 (color: cognac)

My Favorite Spirits

Alexander Murray Benrinnes 23 Year Old 1995 » Get Free Shipping | Flaviar

Whiskey: Alexander Murray & Co. Single Malt Scotch Whiskey 23 years

Hakushika Junmai Sake 300ML

Sake: Kuromatsu-Hakushika Junmai Ginjo

Jinro Grapefruit Soju Price & Reviews | Drizly

Soju: Jinro Chamisul Grapefruit

Casamigos Blanco - Best Local Price | Drizly

Tequila: Casamigos Blanco

Tito's Handmade Vodka - Buy Online | Drizly

Vodka: Titos, cheap and clear tasting. Don’t need anything else in a Vodka. My favorite drink but I guess save the boring ones for last.

 

My favorite brandy, gin, rum, and cognac are to be determined. I’m not a fan of many of those right now, but I suppose all the other spirits have grown on me eventually.

A Visit to Keens Steakhouse

I was staying in Manhattan for the weekend and I’d been craving steak for a month. Steak is my favorite food next to sushi and on special occasion I often visit Maestros. It was my family’s restaurant of choice for many when I was younger, we often secured a private room for parties. I’m also fond of Ruth Chris and Gallagher’s, all amazing. In my search for Peter Luger I found that it’s actually across the bridge, a bit too far for me so I made a reservation at Keens.

We arrived at noon after finishing a few mimosas over a rowdy Sunday brunch. The restaurant was dim and the host was polite despite my friend and I being underdressed in our rain coats and jeans. The host of course was in a tasteful black jacket and bowtie. The restaurant seemed empty at lunch (COVID era) and there were plenty of open tables even though only the downstairs portion of the restaurant is open for lunch. Soft music played in the background; our waiter asked us what was for lunch in a hush voice. I ordered the mutton chop and my friend ordered the filet mignon.

The first thing I noticed about the mutton was its size, it’s a big cut. Though I slowly realized that there’s a lot of bone taking up that space so I was able to finish it, barely. I’ve never had mutton before, but I enjoyed it a lot. There’s some meat hanging off the side of the cut that has a really strong flavor. The meat is a little bit awkward to cut around the bone. It’s probably not going to replace my love for steak but I could see myself getting this whenever I’m in the area. If you haven’t tried mutton chop, I’ve heard this is the place to try it.

The fries were top notch: salty with amazing crispy texture and served at a perfect temperature. My friend commented his steak was the best he ever had. Though take that with a grain of salt because he’s an anti-foodie, adverse to trying new foods, he doesn’t quite like visiting a large variety of restaurants.

After the meal, the waiter handed us off to the host who showed us the playbill President Lincoln was holding when he was shot, blood splatter, brain matter, and all. Keens has a history related to theater, it’s on the back of their menu. Also of interest was Babe Ruth, Pres Roosevelt, Pres Hoover, and General Douglas MacArthur’s pipes in a case. Some more modern pipe owner’s names were by the door. I was hoping to get my pipe up somewhere since I saw that they sold them, there was one missing above my table but I imagine the club is pretty exclusive. Lastly, I looked for Albert Einstein’s pipe but the host told me it was stolen. Whoever has Albert Einstein’s pipe comment below, I’d pay a pretty penny for it.

An absolutely hilarious superstition I read about stems from family members breaking the pipe of the deceased so that it could no longer be used. In a sort of reversal when a pipe falls from the ceiling the myth implies that a member has died.

I wish Michael Jordan’s steakhouse was still open in Grand Central but next on the list is Peter Luger!

Review: Ducky x MK Creator Mecha Mini

I bought the “Ducky x MK Creator Mecha Mini RGB 60% Double Shot Pudding PBT Mechanical Keyboard” because I needed a 60% for FPS gaming and I loved the look of the pudding keycaps. As it says in the name, it’s a collab with mechanicalkeyboards.com and was available for a limited time. For the premium you get the aforementioned pudding keycaps, a custom purple base, and a custom creator spacebar. It also comes with the standard keycap puller and cable.

There should be more available soon; “late March 2021” they advertise. But it’s March 21st right now and it’s still not available. I didn’t find this product during the retail window so I had to get mine off ebay. After a bit of negotiating the seller and I settled for $200 with shipping, about $80 over the retail price.

This is going to be an FPS only keyboard so I went with black switches. The size is perfect, giving me the most room possible so that I don’t run into my keyboard on long flicks. I don’t like linear switches nor 60% keyboards for typing so I keep another keyboard on my desk when I need to do some work.

As with the normal one 2 mini, the base is a high quality metal and the entire keyboard has a surprising weight. Opening and closing the feet gives the most satisfying sound, like flipping a switch on a piece of heavy machinery.  I’ve been using this keyboard for three months now and I’ve seen no signs of wear, the finish on every part is just as solid as when I bought it.

This is all consistent with the standard Ducky one 2 mini. The things that make this keyboard unique, I’m not impressed by. I dislike the texture of the keycaps. The plastic is semi-rough and it dirties easily.  You can also feel / see bit of plastic where the mold was injected near the top of all the keycaps (I think it’s called a sprue?). That part faces away from you when you’re typing so you’d never feel or look at it with regular use but upon closer inspection it’s easily visible. The custom space bar design is a low resolution. The lines in the design are imperfect and its noticeable even when just looking down at the keyboard. They include the pudding space bar in the box but I’m likely just going to replace this with an artisan. Lastly being a custom collab for mechanical keyboard enthusiasts, I feel like it’s missing an essential item we all purchase anyways, a custom cable. I would have loved a custom purple coiled cable even if we had to pay more for it.

So would I recommend the keyboard? For a $20 premium on the regular ducky one 2 mini? Yeah, sure. The keycaps look cool and you get a purple base. For a $100 premium, like you’d get trying to buy one new off ebay right now? Nah.

Shopping for a Ready to Wear Savile Row Suit

Perhaps one of the greatest aspirations for a fashion hobbyist is owning a bespoke suit from Savile Row in London. Nowhere else is quite as famous for making suits. This is perhaps because in other countries, the sartorial heritage is more spread out throughout multiple cities instead of located all on one street. The brand names that come to mind when I think of a Savile Row suit include Huntsman, Henry Poole, and Anderson & Sheppard.

All of these brands make amazing bespoke suits. Now we get to the sort of “work around” that I always love to talk about: Of these three famous brands, one makes ready to wear suits, Huntsman. (Aside: if you like the Kingsman movie series, they wear Huntsman suits and their set is based off the Huntsman store. Though if you want a Kingsman suit they actually have their own brand called Kingsman which can be bought from Mr Porter.) Now there is nothing like a bespoke suit but it’ll cost you thousands of dollars and four separate trips to London to be fitted. That’s a bit out of my budget range right now so I’ll settle for the next best thing, a Savile Row suit in name made ready to wear off the rack.

 

Huntsman makes 7 suits ready to wear, but really it’s 4 suits with the most common design having a few options. They basically make a “standard” suit, an evening suit with peak lapels, a tuxedo like suit with a shawl lapel, and a hopsack suit. Their standard suit comes in winter and summer weight, navy and grey, filling out the rest of the selection to 7 choices total. The two evening suits are pictured above and the more standard suit is below.

If this is going to be my nicest suit, I’d like some versatility from it. I don’t think peak lapels are for me and a shawl lapel is really only for those late evening events. That standard look pictured above is what I’m going for, something I can wear to work and a wedding.

Their sizing goes down to 34 on the suit with the shawl lapel and 36 on everything else. I’m a size 35. Oh well, that’s the compromise with ready to wear anyways, they typically only have even sizes.

I prefer a black suit. Some people say it makes you look like a butler and it’s overly formal but it’s my favorite color. If I had a bespoke tailor I’d try to find a black fabric that looked more casual. For now with the Huntsmen suits, my choices are grey and navy. Neither would be a fitting color for black tie but honestly how many truly black tie events do I attend?

The worst thing about being in a suit for me is the heat. I have a nice selection of overcoats for the cold but in any heat I’m uncomfortable. So I prefer lightweight suits weeding out all but three choices, the navy fresco suit, grey fresco, or navy hopsack. The two navy suits are pictured above. The navy fresco and navy hopsack are sold out in size 36 so my decision was really made for me, the grey fresco.

They also make these suits made to measure for the same price but really it’s just a few tailoring options. The most dramatic change one can request is a different cloth but the rest of it is unimpressive. I couldn’t dictate a different size or a different fit. Just waist and sleeve adjustments. Next time I’m in NYC I’ll stop by their New York location to take a look at these cloth options (they have a location in Manhattan as well as on Savile Row).

Teredo is unable to qualify

So you’re trying to play Forza on Windows 10 or whatever and the Xbox Live Networking app is giving you this error:

NAT Type: Teredo is unable to qualify.

Server Connectivity: Blocked

There’s a million fixes online and the error has existed for years. Hope this saves you the hours of troubleshooting I had to do. I fixed the error by forcing the correct settings via group policy.

Run the local group policy editor. (Windows Key + R, type in gpedit.msc)

Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > All Settings

Find these settings and double click it to edit. Remember to hit apply.

“Set Teredo Client Port” set: Enabled, port 0

“Set Teredo Default Qualified” set: Enabled, Enabled State

“Set Teredo Refresh State” set: Enabled, 30 second refresh rate

“Set Teredo Server Name” set: Enabled, Server name: “win1807.ipv6.microsoft.com”

“Set Teredo State” set: Enabled, State: Client or Enterprise (try both)

My fix was inspired by OG-Lomeri’s post from two years ago https://www.reddit.com/r/Windows10/comme…; however, his server name configuration didn’t work for me. I think it’s been updated? The server name I used is from https://support.xbox.com/en-US/help/hardware-network/connect-network/troubleshoot-party-chat

Hope this works for you all.

Space Force FAQ

The Space Force is officially one year old and I’m going to write up a quick FAQ for those of you with questions. Information dated: 20DEC2020

Do we need a Space Force?

Yes. If you don’t believe in the branch’s necessity, you’re uninformed. A quick google search can direct you to write ups much better than I’d be willing to summarize here.

Why not keep the Space Force under the Air Force?

If you’ve done some reading on the topic you’ll learn that the Space Force, its jobs, and its members are just rebranded Air Force Space Operators. Why not keep it that way? Long story short, money for space turned into jet fuel money under the Air Force.

Why not just have NASA?

NASA is a civilian entity for science and research, not warfighting. You want to separate the two. Money for war is not the same as money for science… though the military does do a lot of science. (Honestly a good way to hide scientific spending in the budget if you were a snide science loving politician)

What jobs are in the Space Force?

I’ve heard that there will be 9 warfighting disciplines. The primary ones are:

1. Orbital Warfare: Flying satellites. But instead of being flown with joysticks they’re flown with physics and math. (Best discipline, cause I’m in it.)

2. Space Battle Management: Track space stuff with assets on the ground and in space.

3. Space Electronic Warfare: Jam satellites.

4. Space Access and Sustainment: Help launch rockets. This is the rarest of the primary space disciplines. It is a career broadening tour. So you can’t get this one out of the gate.

Other warfighting disciplines that as of now are scheduled to join our ranks but aren’t in yet: Cyber, Intel, Acquisitions… I forgot the rest of them.

Will support jobs be added to the Space Force?

Not for the foreseeable future.

How do I join the Space Force?

Get a space job with an Air Force recruiter. That’s 13SX for officer and 1C6X1 for enlisted. If you have a bachelors degree, go officer. We do the same job but officers get paid more.

How do you feel about “Guardians”?

It wasn’t my vote but maybe it’ll grow on me. I’ll give it a chance. I wanted astra, sentinel, or anything but spaceman.

What do your uniforms look like?

We use OCPs with dark blue lettering for our tapes. The flag and higher headquarters patch are on our left sleeve. (I assert this is the best side for the patch since we carry it into battle and you don’t have to reverse the flag.) Our unit patch and duty identifier tab is on our right sleeve. The tab isn’t official yet but many of us wear it to distinguish our discipline. Most of them are about the size of a flight suit morale patch. I’ve seen SEW patches the size of normal duty identifier tabs. Congress has banned the creation of new camos for each service to save money so we’re not gonna get that moon camouflage any time soon. Furthermore, space operators work on the ground. We do deploy for secret missions and we do need OCPs.

Are you against the weaponization of space?

It’s going to happen despite our good intentions of keeping as a scientific frontier. The number of nations that have access to space is growing. We may not be the first to employ kinetic space warfare but we’ll be ready when the time comes.

Where can one get stationed in the Space Force?

80% of us are in Colorado, most of those in Colorado Springs. Generally OW is at Schriever, SEW is at Peterson, and SBM is at Buckley. There are many, many, exceptions to that, for example I’m OW at Buckley. There are also SBMs at radar sites, Beale, Cavalier, and Cape Cod. Then there are a few SA&S guys at launch sites like Vandenberg and Cape Canaveral but that’s a temporary career broadening assignment. And then there are the very few abroad in Thule, Europe, Asia, and those deployed.


July 2021 Updates:

How big is the Space Force in terms of personnel? 

11,000 strong as of last month.

How many Space Force members have been to space?

We currently have two astronauts.

 

Other questions? Leave a comment.