Discoveries: Land Rover Defender XTech

For King and Countries.


The definitive verdict on The North Face, Marmot and Merrell.


The quintessential camper's camper is here.


Survive the zombie apocalypse in your very own lighthouse hideaway.

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Monday, April 30, 2012

PAL Survival Team #1: Abraham "Ass Kicker Abe" Lincoln

Survival Team

Welcome to the PAL Survival Team. A running dossier/celebration of the men, women and zombie presidents that you want on your side when Justice stops prevailing... And starts getting real.

PAL Survival Team #1: Abraham Lincoln

Badass in Chief
If my poorly-funded public school education has taught me anything, it's that Illinois super-lawyer, Abraham "16th President of the United States" Lincoln, is best defined via an over-simplified list of accomplishments (to be memorized and quizzed at a later date). For instance, in one lifetime alone he...
  • Grew up in a log cabin
  • Freed the slaves
  • United a nation
  • Rawked a stovepipe hat
  • And graced a coin that's worth less than it costs to make
All mighty feats deserving of recognition, right? Wrong. Because, if pop culture has taught me anything, ol' Honest Abe also kicked some serious ass:

He invented the WWF...

He rap battled Chuck Norris...

And he hunted vampires with his bare hands.

Which is precisely why Abe Lincoln is the proud inaugural member of the PAL Survival Team.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Discoveries: ResQMe Rescue Tool

Discoveries: The ResQMe Rescue Tool
Around here, you get used to making quick exits. Which is why I got so excited when I came across the ResQMe 2-in-1 automotive rescue tool.

Monday, April 23, 2012

UPDATE: James isn't suffering nearly enough

Make James Suffer. "You donate it, I carry it."
Ok, guys.

Remember James? We were trying to make him suffer. We were trying to shower him in coins, so that the American Heart Association scores some cash and he scores himself some pain. We weren't trying to make his 5k charity run - loaded with the burden of your love - easy on him.

As of this evening, he's at about 35 pounds of quarters. Not too shabby, but not nearly dastardly enough. We can do better. 20 bucks buys a pound. A pound buys another shin splint. So, let's get to it!

The patented stink eye.
Srsly. That all you got?

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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Let's Make James Suffer

This is James.

He's a successful Internet entrepreneur.

He's a GoRuck survivor.

He's a World's Toughest Mudder 2012 qualifier.

And he's insane.

Because when you donate to the American Heart Association via his cause, he'll run a 5k with the weight of your cash (measured in quarters) strapped to his back.

Monday, April 16, 2012


I knew times were tough, but holy crap!

The US Navy's super-secret Sea Shadow stealth cruiser is actually up for sale! Launched in 1984, and probably best known as the inspiration for the seaborne lair of a lesser/lamer Bond villain, she was the love child of a cash-flush Lockheed Martin and a nearly unlimited Cold War paranoia-fueled defense budget. Drawing stealth technology and design from the F-117 stealth fighter program, she was the testbed for advanced naval technology, from sea skimming hull structures to automated control systems. (Not to mention, who knows what else...) And now for a princely pauper's bid deposit of $10,000, you too can stalk the seaboard of third world countries with complete immunity.

Desperate measures.
Don't count your Bond boat before it hatches, though. If you are the lucky winner, you won't be cruising Malibu and picking up invisible ladies with your radar-dodging prowess. No, you get the distinct honor of being the jerk who murdered the winningest naval vessel ever built, because the GSA terms of sale demand that you bust her up for scrap. Preferably not for sale to the Red Chinese, of course.

Auction includes her floating drydock/barge/boat cave/rotting hulk.
Reagan just did a Double McTwist 1260 in his grave.

Check it out at GSA Sale-Lot #: 31QSCI12129001

US Navy Sea Shadow (IX-529) – Rating:
10 of 10 Gavels

Everything must go.
Obligatory up-spray-skirt shot.



We're gonna need an invisibler boat.

Escort or lunch?

Loose lips sink stealth ships.

Photo reference:


I'm no MENSA genius, but I do know that getting ahead in life is all about who you know as much as what you know. And I know some pretty wicked-awesome people. Exactly the kind of people you want on your side when the shiz hits the fan. Don't let the shiz hit the fan. Hook it up, yo!

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(Or perish alone at the hands of the zombie hoards. Your choice, bucko.)

EMS Powerstretch Full-Zip Hoodie: Cool-ish Weather Meets Its Match With This Lightweight Jacket

Between nine and five on Monday through Friday, your jacket has only two or three buttons.  After hours and on the weekends, though, your warmth-giving options usually have zippers of varying length: quarter, half, and full-zip.  And, in spite of the incremental weight trade-off, nothing is more convenient than a full-zip hooded sweatshirt for instant comfort.

Unfortunately, most hooded sweatshirts are, shall we say, generously cut.  Many are made of cotton, which absorbs moisture, gaining weight in the process, and takes forever to dry.  Seeking a more athletic option with a trimmer profile, I picked up Eastern Mountain Sports’ Powerstretch Full-Zip [fleece] Hoodie.  The list of features is fairly impressive: decent warmth for its weight, good wicking action, and versatile enough to be worn as a lightweight jacket or as an insulating layer.  Although the color options are limited, you have the choice of getting stylish contrast stitching (in my experience, the stitching is much less pronounced than the website makes it look).  Speaking of stitching, the seams are unobtrusive, particularly in the shoulder area, which makes carrying a backpack full of client files much more comfortable.  The close-fitting scuba-style hood provides noticeable warmth without impeding peripheral vision.  I wore it as my primary jacket during a cold, damp, Northern Michigan weekend camping trip this fall, and it stood up to the blustery mid- to upper-30s temps.  Paired with a rain shell, it was more than satisfactory.

The hoodie is definitely more technical than casual.  It has longer sleeves equipped with thumbholes, which is nice except for the 85% of the time you don’t need to use the thumbholes.  I’ve had to roll up the sleeves a few inches to avoid the bunched-up, factory-reject look.  This isn’t a problem per se – it was designed this way and the thumbholes are nice if you’re caught in the cold without gloves.  Given the fact that the hoodie doesn’t have any meaningful pocket space (there’s a small/useless zippered chest pocket, big enough for maybe an ID, a credit card, and some folding cash), getting caught without gloves could be a real problem.  Although others seem to have trouble with the fabric pilling, I have not had that issue in the eleven months I’ve owned the jacket.  At $99, though, it is a bit pricey to have quality concerns.

 Overall, the EMS Powerstretch Full-Zip Hoodie is a versatile, technical option for lightweight, cool-weather warmth.  Not great for casual situations, it’s still a good addition to the active attorney’s outdoor wardrobe.

Eastern Mountain Sports Powerstretch Full-Zip Hoodie – Rating:
7 of 10 Gavels

Get it here: Eastern Mountain Sports