Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Back in Black (Random Equipment Notes)

Call sign "CARRIED INTEREST".  Aka "The Wraith."  600+ hp  6-liter W12 twin turbo.  0-60 4.3 sec/200 mph top-end :), yet still remaining within the parameters of elegance and civilized taste.  The Flying Spur is part of a larger upgrade to, shall we say, "institutional grade infrastructure" on multiple dimensions.  More detailed reviews on effectiveness in both social/lifestyle and pure performance contexts to follow after a few months of work with this beast.


Tom Bihn is well-known among the hardcore vagabond-travel types and the gear is really well thought-out.  I have fancier-looking and heavier luggage for certain applications, but the Bihn stuff is what I use all the time.

Here we have two bags, the Synapse 25 backpack for technology/gadgets and the Aeronaut maximum-legal carry-on (which does have concealed backpack straps) as a "shack pack" (overnight bag normally left in trunk of car and used to support unplanned opportunities). 

We all probably have opinions on this, but the system that I personally use for EDC luggage goes something like this:

1.  Go Bag.  The requirement here is versatility in social and practical use contexts.  You want a bag that, ideally, you could A) take into a business meeting; B) use as a carry-on flight bag;  C) *comfortably* take with you on a day of sightseeing as a tourist; D) work out of if you had a few hours in a coffee shop;  E) take with you on a casual date (if you had to). 

The single best bag for these purposes that I have found is the Filson 72.  It's about the perfect size and it has a retro, WWII-vintage or safari-esque look that works well in a variety of settings and has captured my imagination.   I also use some beautiful and attention-getting Saddleback leather products for more glamour, but the Filson bags are light and efficient. 

2.  Tech Bag.  If I want to bring a lot of gadgetry around and can prioritize comfort over other variables, I usually will want to use a backpack in the 20-25 liter range.  

3.  Shack Pack.  This is a carry-on sized bag for clothes, shaving kit, etc.  It would normally be left in the trunk.  The items carried in it are for comfort; I assume that if I am out and about I will be dressed in Hedge Fund Gigolo, so the Shack Pack is meant to complement HFG. It gives you the ability to change into something more functional/casual, work out, and so on w/o having to go home first.  Most of the items are from TAD Gear and Arc'teryx; I suppose that the concept could be called "Paleo Gigolo".

I really dislike being inconvenienced, especially with tedious, routine life frictions.  Alas, a frequent inconvenience occurs when I have to transfer pieces of equipment between the Go Bag and the Tech Bag; these are the two bags that see the most content-transfer because they are both used regularly and serve a similar role for me.  Filson has helped me out with these padded "Multipad" sleeve/organizers.  They come in different colors, including tan and black:

Each sleeve has layers of internal organizer pockets: 

Here is Filson plus the two Bihn pieces:

A former member of the Strauss/Mystery pick-up artist crew and professional gambler-turned-nomadic world traveler named "Tynan" has produced some excellent gear reviews and minimalist-travel type load-out lists using a Bihn Synapse bag (I am currently using a few of his suggested items): 

Tynan Gear List


In terms of some interesting leather goods...  Teppei Teranishi left the Orange County hardcore music scene and has been doing handmade artisanal leather work in the Pacific NW.  Here we have three items:  the indigo/tan minimalist leather wallet at the top is a really nice, conversation-quality piece; the larger Dopp kit on the bottom right is stashed in my shack pack Aeronaut; and my favorite of the trio is probably the small Moleskine notebook cover with the integrated pen sheath (pen I put in there is a Fellhoelter in titanium that I purchased from the master outfitters at TAD Gear). 

The notebook cover contains a small leather business card case from Wulf.  Here it is next to a beautiful Saddleback cover for the larger Moleskine notebooks that I use for (archived) journals:


These guys make really nice dress socks, boxers, and sweat pants, among other things.  They transform the shop into a lounge at night; I could readily imagine Danny Ocean and Rusty Ryan shopping there.


This rifle is a Spike's Tactical "Black Assassin" with a Magpul sling and Hazard 4 "Evac Smuggler" soft case.  This is my favorite general format for a utility-outfielder-type AR and Spike's executed it very well.  They are great people to work with.  

I will be mounting optics, weaponlight, etc. in the next couple of weeks, but so far I really like this thing and would certainly put it on the same shelf as my AR carbines from other high-end makers.  Spike's Tactical also makes an integrally-suppressed SBR called "the Compressor" that unfortunately has a current backorder log of almost a year.  Having handled one briefly in the Spike's shop, I can say that a tricked out Compressor will probably be my home defense piece as soon as I can acquire one.   


Amusing morale patch: 



A selection of the very, very best interdisciplinary combat instructors---i.e., guys who can put together a training package that has elements of shooting, empty hands, knife, social dynamics/social engineering, tactical applications, and so on---are now conducting classes in association with TAD out in California.


This is a real Dream Team.  I have learned and continue to learn a lot from these men.   Much of the Septivium concept and curriculum is based on conversations I have had with them over the years. 


  1. Pretty interesting collision of lifestyles brother. Are there many shooters in the HFG scene? I know some guys doing contract work who are living high on the hog, but mostly in a more country boy manner and in Southern and Westren locations. A few who are doing it overseas.

    Have you shot the Ruger SSR 556? So far it's been the most accurate out of the box "assault" rifle I have experienced. Not cheap but quality performance for less then any custom build I've owned. I've always been disappointed with those vs money laid out.

    M4's need suppressor like flowers need the rain.

  2. Hey Ton, interestingly enough I just got back from a weekend at a hunting camp in rural Pennsylvania that featured about 30 hedge fund or prop trader/shooter types. Some of those guys were more into high-end big-game hunting (including Marco Polo rams) than strictly tactical stuff, but I think everyone was 1) into firearms (or they are getting into firearms now), and 2) a strong believer in ideals surrounding freedom, adventure, and tribal groups doing paleolithic hunter team-building stuff. It was a really amazing group of guys.

    No experience with that Ruger you mention; will have to check one out.

  3. Very interesting Seb. I have this theory about successful men ( area of success not with standing)generally being decent and fun to have a beer with. One beer dudes, two beer dudes etc but at least one beer dudes. All the guys I've meet in group, or various teams have been pretty solid dudes. Maybe not ever my best friend type, but solid

    I have reckoned that to be true in other areas of life, but my exposure to other areas of life is fairly limited. You know, guys I've meet on planes, pulled security for and what not. It makes sense if they are aggressive and have their shut together in the business world, they would be like that about life in general.

    I also have this theory that if a man can achieve high levels of succession in one area he could probably do so in others. Generally speaking of course. Leastwise I hope so since I'll be hanging up my gun in 2 years to join the real world

    I hate making weapon suggestions to other experienced shooters (way to many variables per shooter) but it's my favorite AR. I haven't done anything with it as I enjoy shooting it with the iron sights and all.

  4. -I think you are on to something. It seems to me that *our type of guys* share a common devotion to four things:

    1. Developing individual capabilities (physical, psychological, economic resources, etc.)

    2. Personal Liberty

    3. Adventure and Controlled, Incremental Risk-Taking

    4. Camaraderie and Good Fellowship

    You put those four elements together in a man and he will probably look for like-minded souls and wild stuff to attempt. He'll believe in the Swash and the Buckle. Some activities will no doubt be stupid/reckless in hindsight, but they will make sense at the time and legends are often built on reckless stuff.

    You clearly took this personal journey to an extreme (Army's SMU, etc.)

    -What are you running on that Ruger in terms of accessories?

  5. Just so brother, just so. My theory is if a man is born with certain traits and talents he is set up to succeed. Then whatever culture he is born into shapes the rest. I joined the Rangers, found the challenges and adventure but even better, a group of brothers to live and work with. 26 years latter and I'm still living and working with brothers.

    Taking it to the extreme; not really. I went where my talents took me. I failed my 1st time trying out for the big leagues. Which made me angry and more motivated. Then CDQC terrified me.... well to be honest it started with pre scuba. Which made me angrier and more motivated. Any rate, I'm more of a one trick pony compared to guys like yourself. My old boss is now a very successful restaurant owner and started his own veterans advocacy foundation helping vets get into the restaurant business. His foundation and restaurants have won some awards. Totally bad ass accomplishments across the full spectrum of life.

    I haven't added anything to that rifle. I am sentimental. It's a joy to shot as is and takes me back to being 18. I have other rifles that have been customized with various eotech add ons( buddy of mine gets a serious employee discount who passes that on to me). Anyrate since I have other rifles that are tuned up I just leave the Ruger be.

  6. Hey Seb it's hambone from TPI, trying to scam my way into my universities magnum opus on strategy and really would love hear your thoughts. Hit me up on hambone0665@gmail.com if you can. Thanks J

  7. Hey, brother, sorry for the delay. Will e-mail you ASAP; interested to hear about the curriculum

  8. No worries bro I know your super busy I'm sure even more than usually with the VIX looking the way it does right now.

  9. Sebastian I highly recommend you become a member of the Facebook group Darwinian gender studies. You would find the group interesting and useful.It has in depth discussions of gender relations from a darwinian perspective and lots of discussions of the mating market. Several of the leading researchers in evolutionary psychology are members.

  10. Thanks, Mountaindewey---I may need to join FB to participate! Sorry for the delay in responding---just saw this

  11. Okay, it's been a year with Carried Interest. Do tell...;)