Archive for the ‘Off-Duty’ Category

Baen Releases “The Family Business: New Novel From Mike Kupari

Sunday, July 25th, 2021

Baen Books has released Mike Kupari’s latest novel, The Family BusinessIt’s a dystopian (perhaps post-apocalyptic*) tale of a Federal “Recovery Agent” on the job in a much-changed United States of America. As of this writing, it is rated 4.4 out of 5 stars on Amazon.

Here’s an excerpt:


Being both farther south and at a lower elevation, it wasn’t nearly so cold and windy as Flagstaff was in the winter, and in the summer, it didn’t get as hot as it did in the desert around the Phoenix Crater. It was a pleasant morning and Whiskey Row had its share of locals and travelers, even if the bars and brothels weren’t open yet.

Traffic was light. Gasoline and diesel weren’t rationed anymore but were still expensive. Many people walked or rode bicycles to get around, especially on such a nice day. There were even a few folks going about their business on horseback, just like they would have done a hundred years earlier.

*This depends on your definition of catastrophe and apocalypse.

Author Mike Kupari in a deployed location, toiling ceaselessly to improve his skills and weapon manipulation (the better to write much more realistically…).

Kupari, a self-described revolverphile who preaches the Gospel of the FN, is an experienced (though wrong-handed) shooter who uses his experience as a former EOD Technician, PMC contractor, and general retr0-gun-nerd-savant to provide verisimilitude to his writing.

Here’s another excerpt.


Jesse’s shop looked cluttered and chaotic, but he seemed to know right where everything was. The centerpiece of it was a CNC mill and a lathe. Electronics projects cluttered one workbench, while firearms projects took up another.

A faded Arizona flag hung on one wall, as did a prewar, fifty-star US flag. Next to them was a pair of posters. REMEMBER PHOENIX, one declared, while the other proclaimed KEEP WATCHING THE SKIES!

Below those, framed, was his certificate of his completing the Arizona Ranger training course and a photo of his swearing-in ceremony. Leading Nathan to his gun-bench, Jesse picked up a large pistol and proudly handed it to his friend.

“What’s this?” Nathan asked, examining the gun in his hand. It wasn’t anything he’d seen before, and he knew his way around a gun.

“Did you make this?”

“I did,” Jesse said, beaming. “That’s my third prototype. It’s ready for field testing.”

The gun was a hefty semiautomatic, but the magazine well was located in front of the trigger guard. Nathan locked back the slide, verifying that the weapon was unloaded, and looked at the markings.

“.45 Win Mag?”

Jesse grinned. “Yup! The problem with most magnum semi-autos is that they’re huge, right? It’s because they’re trying to cram a revolver-length, rimmed cartridge into a pistol grip. You end up with a grip like a two-by-four. I solved that by moving the magazine well out of the grip.”

“Like a Broomhandle Mauser,” Nathan said.

“Only in overall layout. This gun is striker-fired. It’s roller-delayed, recoil-operated, like the Kraut STG-88 assault rifle. Try the trigger!”

Nathan released the slide and squeezed the trigger. With only a little bit of take-up, it felt like a thin glass rod breaking.


“Three and a half pounds’ pull weight on that, and it doesn’t feel mushy. I added a thumb safety because the trigger pull is so light, and to make it extra drop safe. I tossed my second prototype off the roof, onto the driveway, over and over again, trying to get it to discharge, and the safety held.”

“Anyway, the barrel is fixed, so it’s real accurate. For the next prototype, I’m working on a user-serviceable quick-change barrel system. You’ll be able to swap from the five-inch service barrel, like on this one, to a longer, heavier target barrel, and even a short snub barrel. I figure I can machine a scope mount into the heavy barrel, so it’ll be good for handgun hunters. I may be able to figure out a caliber conversion system, eventually, too.”

“This is really nice, Jesse,” Nathan said, aiming the pistol at an antelope head mounted on the wall.

“The magazine holds ten rounds. I’m working on a twenty-rounder, but I haven’t put it together yet. Even still, that’s four extra shots over a typical police revolver, it’s more powerful, and it reloads quicker.”

“I’m impressed, Jesse. Very nicely done. You gonna put these into production?”

“Eh, I really can’t. I’m a one-man outfit. I don’t have the capability to mass-produce a gun and making these as one-offs would make them too expensive. Once I get the design finalized, I’m going to try and sell the manufacturing rights.”

“Yeah, I guess that makes sense.” Nathan flipped the gun around in his hand and offered it to Jesse butt-first. “You gonna pack this beast on your next Ranger call-up?

Kupari The Family Business

Kupari looking OAF in tiger stripe cammies and a Sam Brown wheelgun belt.

The book is officially described thusly:

Decades ago, the Visitors descended on Earth. They claimed to bring peace and prosperity. Their real goal was the total subjugation of humankind. But humanity did not give up its only home without a fight. After a devastating war, the Visitors were driven back to Mars. Their millions of willing human collaborators were left behind. The task of hunting down these former alien collaborators and bringing them to justice falls to Federal Recovery Agents like Nathan Foster.

Now, Nathan Foster is tasked with bringing to justice Emmogene Anderson. As a teenager, Emmogene was experimented on by the Visitors and implanted with a device that allows her to control other people. With her is her obsessive ex-lover, who was also a former commando of the Visitors’ forces. It’s an easy enough job—but Emmogene has been implanted with something else, something much more important.

Nathan and Ben must decide what is right in a largely lawless world— and the fate of the planet hangs in the balance.

Says Kupari,

“I started writing in high school. I didn’t really get into it until college when I began writing fiction online. I never seriously considered trying to be a novelist, though, not until 2006. That was the year I met Larry Correia. He liked a story I was writing online and asked if he could jump in on it. That story ultimately became DEAD SIX.

I lived in Doha, Qatar for a year, while working security at a US installation there. Qatar ultimately became the inspiration for the fictional country of Zubara.

Later in life, I served as an explosive ordnance disposal technician in the US Air Force. I deployed to Afghanistan and applied that experience to my second book, Swords of Exodus.

My first solo novel, Her Brothers Keeper, wasn’t exactly inspired by real life. I am sad to admit that I’ve never captained a privateer rocket ship. I do, however, have a lifelong love of science fiction and space opera and am excited to continue sharing my take on different genres.”

About Author Mike Kupari

Mike Kupari is the author of the debut science fiction novel Her Brother’s Keeper, as well as the co-author, with Larry Correia, of the best-selling Dead Six military adventure series including Dead Six, Swords of Exodus, and Alliance of Shadows. He is a relatively active prolific freelance writer, having contributed to Breach-Bang-Clear, The Mag Life, and other publications over the last several years. Mike grew up in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and enlisted in the Air Force at the age of seventeen, deploying twice as an Explosive Ordnance Disposal tech. He went on to serve six years in the Army National Guard and spent several years both at home and abroad as a security contractor with a PMC. He now lives in the northern tier, bemoaning the price of ammo, arguing with a truculent parrot, and filling in DFPs (complete with grenade sump) dug into his yard by a recently adopted canine.

You can find the book on the Baen website or in’s book section.

Howler Brothers – Daily Grind Boardshorts

Sunday, June 6th, 2021

Summer seems to be coming in like a lamb this year but it’s definitely on its way. Some folks are already wearing shorts.

I recently picked up a pair of these boardshorts from Howler Brothers. Admittedly, what caught my eye was the East German raindrop camouflage pattern (they refer to it as “deluge”), but it turns out, they’re pretty nice all around.

They feature a front tie closure,
welded zipper front pockets with drainage, a rear pliers pocket
and a rear velcro pocket with drainage.

In addition to the camo version, there’s also a Black model. Offered in sizes 28-40 with some odd waist sizes in there as well.

Dixxon Supply x Brownells Flannel Shirts

Monday, March 15th, 2021

Brownells teamed with Dixxon Supply to offer a flannel shirt. This classic two pocket design is made from Dixxon’s signature D-Tech™ poly blend fabric that is soft but also breathable AND durable. It resists shrinking and wrinkling and doesn’t need ironing. It features the Dixxon and Brownells tag inside the shirt and the Brownells Tag on left chest pocket.

Available in a wide variety of sizes including tall lengths.

SUDSKI Shower Drink Holder

Sunday, January 10th, 2021

Since many of us have taken to day drinking during the pandemic, the shower drink holder’s day has finally come.

Sized to fit a standard 12 oz can, the SUDSKI Shower Drink Holder is made from antibacterial silicone with drain holes at the bottom, and sticks to the side of your shower.

Even better, it comes in a three pack. My shower isn’t big enough for three participants, so I guess I’ll have to put one in every shower.

Toyota Unveils Ultimate Overlanding Rig: The TRD-Sport Trailer

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2020

When in Tow Behind Your Favorite Toyota Truck or SUV, This Concept Trailer Packs Just About Everything You’ll Ever Need

PLANO, Texas (December 21, 2020) – Toyota, a brand known for its deep off-roading roots and rugged reliability, today unveiled the TRD-Sport Trailer, a creative ‘basecamp’ solution concept vehicle allowing overlanding explorers to quickly set up camp and then continue on their remote adventure.

In a challenging 2020, Toyota opted for a two-wave strategy to celebrate pure performance, both on and off road, and the TRD-Sport Trailer helps anchor the company’s second wave of SEMA builds. Toyota previously unveiled four builds in its wave one presentation at SEMA360, held Nov. 2, 2020.

“Overlanding has been picking up steam for quite some time, but 2020 just put it over the top,” said Ed Laukes, group vice president – Toyota Division Marketing. “Given Toyota’s solid off-road credentials and reputation, we thought it would be really cool to create the ultimate overlanding companion to our pickup and SUV lineup.”

Overlanding is an extremely popular and growing trend, providing adventures in a year when many have faced challenges taking traditional vacations. The TRD-Sport Trailer’s inspiration began when Bob Kupina, Senior Program Manager, Toyota Motor North America Research and Development, saw a trailer made from a Toyota Tacoma at the Overland Expo WEST in Flagstaff, Arizona. Kupina and team got the ball rolling with a cool base concept, but then Toyota turned to Marty Schwerter and the team at Motorsports Garage to take the concept to the next level… and beyond.

Toyota really saw the Tacoma bed as a perfect overlanding platform. It’s well built and offers a lot of space, giving the ability to take things to the extreme. All the while, the plan was to make the best use of the available space, adding all the creature comforts while maintaining a low center of gravity and a great approach angle.

The TRD-Sport Trailer features a scissor-lift that raises an innovative rigid platform several feet out of the bed. There’s a Yakima four-person tent with an awning and fly fishing-pole holders, a custom-built toilet and trash can, a refrigerator, a hot water heater, a shower with curtain, a generator, an Optima Yellow Top battery, a 16-gallon fresh water reservoir tank, a 15-gallon grey water holding tank, and a slide-out sink and stove. And that’s just for starters!

Schwerter worked closely with partners Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s to make sure the TRD-Sport Trailer was properly equipped with important outdoor gear like fishing poles, tackle and nets; waders and wading boots; coffee mugs, cookware, and other essentials. When fully deployed, the TRD-Sport Trailer creates a campsite with ample room, and to illuminate the surroundings the team added multiple RIGID A-Series Accessory LED Lights that pack a powerful punch while drawing an extremely low amount of power. When lower light is needed, say for star gazing, explorers can switch to lower-level lighting thanks to multiple Yakima SunBelt light strips.

The package rolls on TRD Pro wheels fitted with General Grabber X3 285/70/17 rubber. Cripwerx Engineering assisted with the build, and KC’s Paint Shop painted the creation using BASF paint mixed to match the Tacoma’s OEM Cement Gray color and added custom graphics provided by The Decal Source.

All the TRD-Sport Trailer’s conveniences allow explorers to extend their adventures in comfort. The end result is an overlanding multi-tool that pairs perfectly with Toyota’s pickup and SUV lineup.

Gilson X GI Joe Skis and Snowboards

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2020

Granted, it’s the 80s, cartoony version of GI Joe and not the classic 12″ version, but hey, knowing is half the battle, or something like that.

At any rate, snow sports company Gilson has introduced a line of skis and snowboards emblazoned with iconic Joe images.


Cobra Commander

Snake Eyes

Storm Shadow

You can also select a Team Joe or Cobra T-shirt.

The Gilson Hybrid-Camber Snowboard is blunted 3cm in the nose and 3cm in the tail, which makes the board measure a full 6cm shorter than their freestyle model.

The 99mm ski model is the All Mountain Ski which is the Best Selling Ski in the history of Gilson Snow.

Saxx – 2N1 New Frontier Shorts

Sunday, August 9th, 2020

I’ve been wearing Saxx boxer briefs for several years. They are extremely comfortable. I just ran across their 2N1 New Frontier Shorts which have integrated their Ballpark Pouch into shorts. Now, you can go commando without that swing.

Constructed from a moisture wicking fabric, Saxx has integrated their Ballpark Pouch crotch into the design. Your fellas will thank you in hot weather. I know mine do.

Offered in waist sizes 30-38 odd and even. Colors are Clay Heather (seen), Black Heather and Navy Heather.

Hasbro Presents – GI Joe Cartoons Live on Youtube

Tuesday, July 21st, 2020

If you grew up saying “knowing is half the battle” then you’ll appreciate that Hasbro is running full episodes of the GI Joe cartoon series on YouTube.