Friday, December 14, 2012

Gun Range Review: Eagle Gun Range, Lewisville, TX

**cross posted to The GunDivas**

Way back about a month ago (November 16 actually) I received an email from GunDiva asking me if I lived in the Dallas area; and, if I did, would I be interested in checking out a new gun range. My response was 1) yes, I live in the area; 2) Dallas is a big, freaking area; and 3) did you say guns??? Why, yes. I am interested.

GunDiva gave me a link to 2A Mama’s November 5 blog post blegging for Dallas area bloggers to come by and check out her place of employment, Eagle Gun Range in Lewisville, TX.

Before moving on with the actual review part of this, I need to expand upon the concept of the size of the Dallas/Fort Worth area for those of you who live elsewhere (bless your heart). It’s actually relevant to part of the review as you will see shortly.

I consider the Dallas/ Fort Worth area proper (us locals call it the Metroplex) to be everything you can reach continuously without running into rural land between towns. Give or take a little that means you have an area running about 57 miles north/south from McKinney to Midlothian and about 56 miles east/west from Seagoville to Benbrook. That’s 3192 square miles of area. I’m pretty sure we can fit a sizeable chunk of New England into that space. The point is, being in the area is a relative term around here and getting anywhere in the area is going to take you a little time.

Eagle Gun Range is roughly located on the north central part of the Metroplex in a suburb more towards the Dallas side of things as opposed to the Fort Worth side of things. According to MapQuest, it is supposed to take 38 minutes/31 miles to get from my house on the south central side of the area to Eagle Gun Range. Time and distance from the downtowns to the gun range are 42 minutes/34 miles from downtown Ft. Worth and 32 minutes/26 miles from downtown Dallas. That’s assuming no traffic. Dallas/Fort Worth is notorious for bad traffic. Not L.A. or Houston bad, but bad enough. TXDOT seems to think that right now is the perfect time to have every major highway in the area under some form of construction for the next two to five years.

So, anyway, back to our review. After accepting my assignment, emails were exchanged with 2A Mama. She gave me name and location information. Turns out, I had run into the Eagle Gun Range folks at a gun show sometime last year. They had a booth set up to promote the range in advance of their opening. They were handing out cards good for one hour of free lane rental. The cards had their website information and claimed a spring 2012 opening. I kept their card in my desk drawer and bookmarked their webpage in my web browser intending to check them out when they opened.

Well, the best laid plans never survive reality…for me or them apparently.

Fast forward to October of this year, and Eagle Gun Range finally had their opening on October 16…a full season at least later than planned. I was busy with work by then and had forgotten about their card. Then, GunDiva’s email arrived. It took me a little bit due to Thanksgiving, work and a vehicle impairment issue involving my inlaws’ horrible car mojo, but I finally made it out to the range after work here recently for a little looksee.

Before going any further, please allow me to make a brief FTC Disclosure. Aside from the previously mentioned 1 free hour lane rental card which was obtained long before I ever knew I was going to do this review, I neither asked for nor did I receive any payment, gifts, gratuities or compensation in the past, present or future of any kind for this review. I am not a member, employee or owner of the range nor am I related to anyone who is. I have no personal interest whatsoever in the financial success or failure of Eagle Gun Range. The nice folks at Eagle Gun Range gave me a tour of the facility and answered my stupid questions. Beyond that, I got nothin’. So, keep on walkin’ Mr. Government Man.

I went on a recent Monday night because 2A Mama optimistically said that it should have the least amount of customer traffic. Of course, the moment I showed up, it seemed like all of Lewisville had turned up to get some target practice done. In reality, it was only five or six people checking in at the same time, but that’s still a good sign that business is that good on a “slow” night at a place that still has that “new range” smell.

So, without belaboring the review any further than I already have, let’s discuss what Eagle Range has to offer and what I think of it.

The first, and arguably most important, thing I want to talk about is safety. How many of you have been to a range and someone got their full retard on trying to clear a jam with their booker hook on the bang switch while doing the hokie pokie and turning all about? Eagle Range has gone out of their way in my opinion to minimize the potential for disaster resulting from the Idiot of the Month Club breaking all four of The Rules simultaneously.

How do they do that? Well, for starters, there is at least one ranger officer in the range at all times. His job is to keep an eye on things and make sure no one commits an egregious party foul. The night I was there, they had two on duty for 12 active lanes most of which were in use. Now, for the sake of argument, let’s say the RO is busy chastising one fool while his twin brother is five lanes away trying to puzzle out the squib round that just plugged up his gat like a bout of constipation waiting for a bean burrito laxative. Should Bonehead 2.0 manage to push another round through the pipe while the muzzle is pointed towards his neighbor, there is an inch and a half of armor between lanes. Assuming standard pistol ammo, the only casualty should be a pair or two of soiled underwear and maybe a perforated bonehead.

But wait, there’s more. Before Bonehead 2.0 even has a chance to do something incredibly stupid, there is an additional layer of safety built into each lane. Each lane has a small surveillance camera pointing at it so that the folks at the front desk can keep an eye on things as well. If they spot something about to go horribly wrong, they can radio a warning to the RO for them to give the situation their undivided attention.

So, picking your nose with your booger hook, while potentially gratifying, is not recommended. Just sayin’. And don’t even think about a light snack of nostril oysters. One word…YOUTUBE.

Moving right along, let’s talk about the actual place where you can shoot stuff. Eagle has 24 lanes split between two bays. All lanes are 25 yards deep backed by armor and ballistic rubber. The range will allow firearms up to .50 caliber as long as you forego tracer, incendiary and armor piercing ammo. They will also allow shotguns as long as you use slugs. They have this thing about you possibly damaging the target carrier system with buckshot. I can’t imagine why. Full auto, rapid fire and double taps are verboten for the same reason.

Let’s talk about lighting. How many of you have been to ranges that were lit about as well as a kidnapper’s basement? Not so here. In a word, the range lighting at Eagle is outstanding. Lighting duty is handled by standard, overhead florescent tube fixtures and is bright without being harsh or blinding. There were no major dark corners or shady spots anywhere on the range. If you miss, you won’t be able to blame the lighting.

The range is also has a lot going for it from a creature comfort point of view. I’ve been in ranges that were freezing cold or blistering hot sometimes with both conditions existing in the same bay. Outside air temps were in the 40s the night I was there, but the temperature in the range was even and comfortable. The range also employs an air circulation system that is claimed to completely change out the air in the range every 87 seconds. I have no way to independently verify that claim as I write this; however, I can say that the air in the bay was very clean smelling despite most of the lanes being in use. I’d be interested to see someone shooting a black powder rifle or dirty hand loads to get a visual sense of how well the system deals with the smoke. But, that will have to wait for another time.

The range is also quite roomy. The lanes are about five to six feet wide giving a shooter plenty of elbow room to work. The area behind the shooters is about 15 feet deep and empty with the exception of folding tables along the back wall. The back wall is covered in sound absorbing tiles that did an admirable job of mitigating the noise both inside the range and out in the shop area. One more note on the back wall, there are no “fish bowl” windows between the range and the shop. 2A Mama confirmed that there is additional ballistic protection in the back wall, and she commented that having windows there would have caused stacking of customers in the retail area watching shooters on the line. Personally, I agree with her comments and have no problem with the lack of a fish bowl. Honestly, I think it enhances the overall safety of the range.

Finally, the target carriers and retrieval system are a cut above the ubiquitous toggle switch operated line and pulley systems. I didn’t take good notes on make and model (shame on me); but, based on my Google Fu, I think they are using Action Target’s STC-1 Smart Pad system. The system has a carrier mounted on a rail similar to what you see on a garage door opener. The controller is a key pad that allows for programming of preset distances as well as manual operation. Pressing and releasing the forward/back buttons moves the target carrier a half a yard. Holding down the buttons gives continuous movement until the button is released at which point the carrier stops dead in its tracks.

Moving right along to the rest of the establishment, Eagle Gun Range’s facilities are at least on par with other ranges in the area. The shop area is well laid out and clean. I really like how the new firearms are displayed in shadow box cases mounted to the wall as opposed to the traditional counter/display cases commonly seen. For a tall guy with bad knees like me, not having to bend down so much to peruse the selection is a big plus.

They offer two class rooms which are well laid out and actually look like classrooms as opposed to another range in the area that I’ve been to lately. They are currently offering CHL Licensing (new and renewal) as well as Pistol I and II training courses. 2A Mama indicates the instructors are all DPS/NRA certified with military or law enforcement backgrounds. Other classes are planned; however, 2A Mama was not in a position to give specifics until the details are finalized.

I did not inspect the bathrooms, but I would anticipate them being as clean as the rest of the place implies they should be.

There is a lounge/waiting area off to one side. It’s long and narrow compared to the rest of the facilities, and somewhat sparsely furnished considering the capacity of the range. I believe, if my memory serves me correctly, that there was a couch, a chair, vending machines, a buffet cabinet and a flat screen TV. Having said that, it is better furnished than some of the other ranges I’ve been to recently. There was a coffee pot set up on the buffet cabinet; however, there was no coffee set out when I was there. Even if there had been, I wouldn’t be able to comment on the quality of the coffee as I don’t drink the stuff unless there is Irish Whiskey and cream involved.

Eagle will rent you one or more of over 40 firearms for the very reasonable price of $5.00 plus ammunition for handguns. I am told that they are intending to expand the number of rental offerings as additional inventory is received. They are focusing on getting in the newer, harder to get guns right now. Look for a Springfield EMP and more revolvers in the near future according to 2A Mama. You can even rent an M1 Garand or a 1943 Mosin Nagant. Although, I have question the wisdom of allowing the rental of the Bolshevik Flame Throwing Spear of Death when you have a ban on incendiary ammunition. To each their own I suppose. If you don’t know what I am talking about, let me just say it’s almost worth the $100 or so bucks to buy your own Mosin and light a round off at dusk to see the fireball that puppy belches. It’s a Kodak moment for sure.

Last, but not least, Eagle offers a respectable assortment of new firearms, gun cleaning supplies, holsters, ammunition, optics, cases and other accessories for sale. Many are pink. They even have pink Daisy Red Rider BB guns for sale. I’m not making that up either. Apparently, the owner’s wife is very big on pink and making the range accessible to female shooters. At least the ones that are fond of pink.

They also sort and package used brass for sale to reloaders. When I was there, 2A Mama commented that it had not been moving as well as they had hoped. For example, they had a bag of 100 .45 ACP cases marked for $20.00. She and I discussed that, and I suggested that they were priced a little high for the market. In our subsequent email exchange, I provided her with some pricing examples from online vendors and she responded that they have since revised their pricing. I take that as a good sign of good business sense that they are open to constructive criticism and willing to make changes when it makes sense.

As you would expect for a brick and mortar store, pricing is higher than you would see on the internet or at a gun show. I am not up to speed on the current street price of all firearms; however, I have been eyeballing several polymer framed handguns for possible acquisition in the near to not too distant future time frame. As such, I have a fairly good grasp of the MSRP and going street price for those particular items. I was a little disconcerted to see a Ruger SR9 with a price tag listing its MSRP and no other figures recognizable as an asking price.

In our post visit email exchange with 2A Mama, she conceded that pricing is higher than you would see at other brick and mortar stores. However, she indicated that this is balanced by a higher level of customer service. Being the thrifty (read cheap) person that I am, high level customer service is not as much of a priority for me as some people. BUT, I will admit that I would prefer excellent customer service to indifferent customer service. Or worse…a know it all mall ninja telling me how awesome the H und K Blastomatic (that he has probably only ever used in Call of Duty 54: Tacticool Mall Ninja) is as opposed to my Sig 1911. So, like anything else, it’s a tradeoff. 2A Mama promises that even their “old school” guys will still listen to the customer and make recommendations accordingly even if they “seem to recommend revolvers over and over to women.” Her words not mine.

Like most stores, if they don’t have it…they will order it. They will accept firearm transfers; however, they currently will only do so for CHL holders and charge $50 for the privilege. Again, the tradeoff of service over price. They will accept trades and buy used firearms. 2A Mama indicated that they acquired some of their rental guns this way. They do not have a gunsmith on staff; however, 2A Mama indicated that a couple of the employees can perform basic work such as sight installation, etc. For anything they cannot do themselves, they can put you in touch with a qualified gunsmith.

Lastly, pricing for lane rental and memberships appears to be on par with other ranges. One benefit I don’t recall seeing at other ranges is an in and out privilege subject to lane availability. Also, Monday through Thursday, active military, veterans, law enforcement and EMS shoot for 50% off.

How would I rate Eagle Gun Range on a one to five star basis (five stars being the best)? For purposes of this rating, I am basing my opinions on personal use of four other local indoor ranges in the last two years (DFW Gun Range, Winchester Gallery, Bullseye Range and Great Southwest Range) as well as one outdoor range (Elm Fork). I’ve used other ranges in the past, but some of those no longer exist or are in other cities, etc. I’ve also perused the websites of at least a half a dozen others, and I have visited but not utilized one of those. So, let’s take a look at several categories that would be of interest to most shooters.

Amenities
Four and a half stars. To be perfectly honest, there is nothing lacking at Eagle Gun Range that I have seen offered at other gun ranges. However, I can’t help but feel that there is something missing. Maybe more seating in the lounge area or some kid oriented entertainment while mom or dad shoots. Again, I’ve not seen that at other ranges.

Facilities/Equipment
Five stars. There is only one range in the area (On Target) that even comes close to Eagle in terms of the facilities and equipment. The air circulation system and HVAC system are above par. The target retrieval system…above par. Roominess…above par. D├ęcor…neo classical firearm with overtones of sterile environment. In short, they’ve covered most of the walls with guns and most of the floor space with gun related stuff. Don’t like it? Then why are you at a gun range? You’re here to shoot stuff not look at how well the interior decorator coordinated the wood paneling with the couch pillows and the curtains.

Convenience
Four stars. For me, it’s a bit of a hike to get there especially measured against the fact that I have an indoor range less than a mile from my house (that I don’t use because I don’t like them); but, it’s only two miles further from my house than my normal work commute. So, it’s not horrible. Could it be more centrally located? Yes. Ergo, the loss of one star. Is it in the middle of nowhere? No. It is less than one mile off of an interstate highway and close to at least two other major thoroughfares. Bottom line, you can’t be close to everyone. Your mileage may vary.

Price
Four stars. Lane rental is $20 per lane, all day with in and out privileges as mentioned earlier. That’s a little higher on a per lane basis than other ranges; however, you get the benefit of come and go as you please. Tradeoffs again. As indicated above, retail sales are a little higher, but you are paying for better service.

Safety
Four and a half stars. I am reserving a half a star simply because a place where there are firearms with live ammunition in use can never be 100% safe. Having said that, I cannot think of any one thing that they could do differently to enhance the safety of the range. Having ROs in the shooting bays puts them a cut above all the other indoor ranges I’ve been to recently. The armor between lanes is also a plus. The range is also in a relatively nice, well lit area (it’s an industrial area, but it’s close to a major highway) unlike some of the other ranges I’ve been to. Bottom line, you will be hard pressed to find a range safer than this one.

Selection
Four and stars. The only way you can get five stars in this category is to offer one of each from every manufacturer. As it was, their selection of firearms was good considering they had only been open for about six weeks when I went in to visit, and inventory was still coming in. Also, being primarily a range as opposed to a gun store, you shouldn’t expect to see the same selection you would at a gun show.

Service
Four Stars. I would like to have seen a gunsmith on staff which other ranges have to one degree or another (I’ve not sampled the work of those ‘smiths…I just know they exist). Otherwise, the range staff was courteous, attentive, patient and helpful. As I said earlier, there was a brief crush when I came in. At one point, one of the employees (2A Mama’s husband I think) was unsure who was next, and he did what I would expect him to do. He looked at everyone standing around and said “Who’s next?”

Overall Rating
Four and a half stars. If you live in the area, you will be hard pressed to find a better, publically accessible, indoor range. If you live elsewhere and come here to visit, this range is well worth your money for a place to shoot.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Initial Product Review: Coonan Triple Threat Apocalyptic Kit



I’ve been wracking my brain for the last few days trying to decide what to do for the inaugural review around here at this new venture. It had to be something cool. It had to be something that wasn’t too complicated. More importantly, it had to be here now.

Then, quite literally, the subject of this review landed on my doorstep. Problem solved.

With The Queen’s and my nine year wedding anniversary coming up at the end of the month, I’ve been on the lookout for new and interesting gifts to give her. Buying things for The Queen is challenging because, on the one hand, she is not an overtly materialistic person; however, on the other hand, the materials things she likes are expensive.

Easy things like jewelry are out of the question because she is sensitive to metals (a side effect of the mystery illness). Chocolate…she’s not a huge fan. Lingerie…we’re just not going there. No husband should ever buy lingerie for their wife. If you get the size wrong, you are screwed. And not in the way you had hoped.

So, when I spotted the Coonan Apocalyptic Kit mentioned on someone else’s blog, my prayers for an interesting gift, or at the very least a gag gift, were answered. You see, The Queen is a fan of scary movies. Especially zombie, vampire and werewolf movies. And what self respecting scary movie fan would not want a kit specifically designed to fend off the undead? 


Out came the debit card, clickty, click, and, for the paltry sum of $39.95, Coonan’s website confirmed that the order was received. Standard shipping, UPS Ground in this case, is included in the price tag. I didn’t see an option for expedited shipping, but I am notorious, according to The Queen, for not paying close attention to these minor details. I completed the order on Thursday, November 29 in the afternoon. The non-descript box with “CARTRIDGES SMALL ARMS” stamped on the outside arrived on my doorstep on Tuesday, December 4. Not a bad turnaround time at all to get this item ground shipped from Florida to Texas considering the weekend thrown in for giggles.

I only have a couple of minor quibbles about the shipping. First, since the package was shipped UPS Ground, it would have been nice if Coonan had shared the tracking number via email so that I could track the progress and no when to expect its arrival. As it was, I had to hope that The Queen did not intercept the package and ask pointed questions about why there was a sharp pointy stick in a box. This brings up the second quibble. Basically, what you are getting when you buy this product is a sharp pointy stick with eight rounds of silver jacketed .357 Magnum ammunition in a plastic blister pack with only a small little dot of padding inside the blister pack to try and keep it from punching through the packaging.


As you can see in the photo, that little dot is a wee bit ineffective at fulfilling its intended purpose. Fortunately, UPS didn’t beat the box up too much leaving the sharp, pointy stick still sharp and pointy.

Let’s talk about the packaging for a moment. It’s a poster board sandwich holding the stake and ammo inside the plastic blister bubble. Coonan has gone to the trouble to design some clever artwork and a brief little back story on the back; however, the real treasure here packaging wise is the warnings. I’m pretty sure Coonan’s lawyers were under the influence of something when they wrote these. 


Bonus points to Coonan for some giggle worthy snark. My favorite is: “If any of these WARNINGS are news to you, it may not be an ideal product for you to own.” Yep, that means you Cletus.

On the flip side, the packaging is not what I would consider “display worthy”. Had they done something like put the stake on a velvet cushion inside a little glass topped, pine coffin with a hammer on a chain and an “In Case of Undead, Break Glass” flag, that would have been epic. Put that on you coffee table when you have guests over, and it’s instant conversation. The conversation may start with “Are you nuts?”, but at least you’ll be talking to someone other than the voices in your head. 


 Now, let’s talk about the product itself. According to Coonan’s website, this product is:

8 rounds with a Pure Silver Jacket in an Ash Vampire Stake.

The Coonan Triple Threat Apocalyptic Kit is designed for the serious hunter and collector. Packaged in a wooden Vampire Stake are Eight .357 Magnum Bullets Jacketed in 99% PURE SILVER. This is the perfect addition to your Coonan Pistol or a Holiday Gift Idea. It's not just a conversation piece, it's a Zombie, Werewolf, or Vampire's worst nightmare.

So, let’s break this down.

The Stake.

I have not taken the stake out of the packaging since it’s my wife’s gift. It looks like ash wood. The wood does not appear to be finished with any kind of stain, varnish or clear coat. I am not enough of a student of undead lore to know whether or not such refinements interfere with the vampire killing properties of a sharp, pointy stick to the chest, but my guess is that making the stick a little prettier wouldn’t hurt its effectiveness although the sadist in me thinks that leaving the stick rough and unfinished would cause the vampire a little extra pain from splinters whilst being impaled.

My biggest problem with the stake is the laser etching. Coonan chose to have its name and logo along with the words “Vampire Stake” burned into the wood using a laser etching machine. Unfortunately, it looks like it was done with an old dot matrix printer with a bad ribbon. Have some dyes or brands made and burn the stuff in proper for crying out loud. The laser etching on this example just looks terrible. 

 
I can tell you that the stake is very pointy since it has poked through it packaging. It will most certainly impale an undead chest or skull without too much trouble although the traditional mallet and stake approach is probably the better way to go when using this item.

The Ammunition.

Here again, I cannot comment on the effectiveness of the ammunition as it remains in its packaging. It does LOOK pretty. While .357 Magnum will take care of most of your zombie and werewolf eradication needs, it’s not my first choice for either target. Granted, the product comes from Coonan, a company known for its .357 Magnum 1911 style semi auto pistols. Having said that, for zombies, you really don’t need the silver and .357 is overkill against a shambler. A good old .22 long rifle is all you really need to dirt nap a zombie. For werewolf, I wouldn’t say no to a .357, but I would be a lot happier with a high capacity semi automatic in 9mm, .40 S&W or .45 ACP.

Conclusions.

I'm calling this an initial review because, in all likelihood, I will never have an opportunity to test it fully against a horde of undead. If I ever do, y'all will be the second to know. Assuming I survive.

Seriously, the intended purpose of this item is not to go hunting the undead. The reality is that you would be foolish to actually shoot the eight rounds of silver plated ammo for target practice, and you would be even more foolish to carry it in a concealed carry weapon. Try explaining to the jury why you shot the carjacker with silver bullets. Go ahead. I dare you.

No, this is intended to be a fun novelty that makes you smile and giggle a little. In that respect, I think the product succeeds in spades. Could it be more over the top? Yes. See my suggestions earlier about the pine coffin, etc. Is it good enough? I went ahead and gave it to The Queen last night after she had a rough day with the kids. I was rewarded with smiles and giggles.

That alone made it worth the $39.95 price tag.

FTC Disclosure: I paid for this product with my own money. Coonan didn’t give me squat and was not consulted before this review was posted. So, bug off.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Welcome to the Toy Box

Those of you who have followed me over here from Preachers and Horse Thieves, you kinda already know what this place is about. Thanks for coming along for the ride. If you are finding your way here from somewhere else, welcome and please allow me to give a (hopefully) brief statement of intent. 

First, though, a little brief history. For a business trip in 2010, I rented a car. On a lark, I decided to write a review of that car for my original blog, Preachers and Horse Thieves. That review turned out to be my most popular post ever and popular enough in Google's eyes to reach number three on the search engine results when you look up "2010 Ford Focus SES review." For whatever that's worth at least.

 Like most people, I am a consumer of goods and services. Unfortunately, in a capitalistic society (at least for now) and the Internet being what it is, it's nearly impossible to find unbiased information about the value and quality of a particular item or service. Most reviews you find are on sites trying to sell you something. Those sites, of course, have absolutely nothing bad to say about the stuff they are selling. How many times have you seen "We sell only the highest quality bovine feces from the top producers"? Yeah, um hum. I see, and how can every producer of bovine feces on the planet be a top producer? What exactly makes bovine feces the highest quality anyways? Even sites that are not trying to sell you something seem to go out of their way to focus on only the good points of a particular item, gloss over the details of how the item came into their possession, are vague about the methodology, etc. And let's not get started about traditional reviews done by print media. When was the last time you saw Car & Driver or Guns & Ammo say something was an unmitigated failure of design or manufacturing resulting in a world class piece of garbage? I'm betting its somewhere between a really, REALLY long time ago and never.

 So, here's the deal. I plan on writing reviews of stuff. Products or services of interest to me (a slightly overweight, middle aged, white guy with a toy habit). That means cars, motorcycles, airplanes, guns, knives, tools, books, movies, music, etc. Initially, it will mainly be stuff that I already have or can beg, borrow or liberate from easily accessible sources since I am not independently wealthy nor intimately connected with an over abundance of industry contacts outside my current profession. Need to know a good civil litigation defense attorney or mediator? I can probably hook you up in two phone calls or less. Otherwise, I will be depending upon the kindness of others or the limits of my own bank account to get this bird off the ground.

 My promise to you is that the reviews will address the good, the bad and the ugly of any particular item or service to the best of my abilities. I will do my best to compare claims made by the manufacturer/service provider against reality. There may be actual research and/or interviews involved. I will endeavor to be completely transparent about means, methods and potential conflicts of interest. Please note, I am not a scientist or engineer. If you REALLY want to know whether the BFG Blastomatic 5000 really is made out of aircraft grade aluminum as opposed to beer can aluminum, you are barking up the wrong tree.

 My intent is to eventually grow this into a semi commercial venture. That means I am not opposed to earning a little money off this puppy if you, the readers, find the service has merit and value. There may be ads if I can figure out how to solicit from advertisers that I deem worthy. There will be a tip jar once I figure out how to stick one in the side bar.

 And, I will take requests. You want an unbiased opinion about something. I will be happy to provide it subject to the availability (to me) of the product or service. So, if you want me to review say a Lamborghini Murcielago, your assistance (physically or financially) in arranging a date for me with said vehicle would be greatly appreciated. Otherwise, your request will languish until an opportunity arises.

 Similarly, if I am physically, legally or morally unable to test the product or service, other options will need to be explored. For instance, the likelihood of shoehorning my 6'4" 238 pound frame into a formula one race car, aside from the financial unfeasibility and lack of access issues, is between slim and none. Likewise, God, The Queen and the law would probably have a thing or two (none pleasant) to say about a suggestion to review the services provided by a local bordello.

 That's it in a nutshell. More or less.