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About Mark Harris

Mark, who feels uncomfortable referring to himself in the third person, was taught to shoot at age 5 by his father. Mark grew up, or at least increased in age, in east central Indiana. After realizing that he was not going to become an astronaut, he attended design school and spent 25 years in commercial printing before a trip to the emergency room convinced him to abandon this folly. The online purchase of a holster led Mark to OpticsPlanet where he is happier than any person has a right to be, except that his wife refuses to let him buy a dog or a motorcycle. She is, however, pretty darn cute, according to Mark.

Here are my most recent posts

29 Oct

I’m Packing It In

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In preparation for my annual fall trip to the Great State of Tennessee, I started to weigh my options – literally.  Over the course of a year, I find all sorts of cool stuff that I think needs to go in the pack I keep in my car, and the pack grows in weight.  This year, I was determined to pare down my pack weight, in hopes that I would make it to the top of the mountain without having to be airlifted out as my camping buddies snickered and split up my gear.  There must be some kind of …

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02 Oct

On, King! On, you huskies!

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Hopefully, there are still a few people in the audience that remember that line, indicating that Sergeant Preston of the Yukon was beginning another episode.  Sergeant Preston was aided by his horse Rex and his faithful dog Yukon King.  Rex was okay – I mean, he was no Silver (the Lone Ranger’s horse), but Yukon King was the man.  Dog.  Whatever.  Yukon King could out-think Lassie with one leg tied behind his tail.  Yukon King wouldn’t come and tell you that Timmy fell in a well, Yukon King would prevent Timmy from falling in the well in the first place, …

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02 Sep

107 People Walk Into A Bar…

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Okay, actually they visit a website and leave product reviews, but that’s not nearly as catchy of a title.

We here in Product Intelligence have the greatest job in the world.  All day long, we get to read about, talk about, play with and give our opinions about gear.  When I get home from work, I eventually grab my iPad and end up on one or more relevant forums, because I’m interested in what people have to say about the products – I just can’t get enough of this stuff.  It's impossible to own one of everything, so I supplement …

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06 Aug

A Tree, A Binocular And A Weasel

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No, they don't walk into a bar, but they do combine to make this month's blog post.

When my lovely wife Wendy and I moved into our present home some thirteen years ago, at the rear of our property was a scrubby little patch of woods, that backed up to a similar scrubby patch of woods on an adjoining property.  The other property had no house on it, and was owned by our homeowners association.

We also had four enormous trees in the back yard.  The two that were farthest apart were perfect for a 100-foot dipole antenna for my …

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10 Jul

Hey, Four Eyes!

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Okay, this post may not result in lots of sales, since you may not be allowed to own this, depending on your occupation and zip code, and even if you were, you would probably buy something more practical for the money, like a car, a house in Youngstown, Ohio, or a large portion of Detroit.

But it is one of, if not THE coolest thing that we sell, in my always humble opinion.  Feast your eyes upon the EOTech GPNVG Panoramic Night Vision Goggle:

Having an issue with the field of view on your current night vision?  Tired of turning …

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10 Jun

Doubling Down

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Last weekend we participated in a neighborhood rummage sale.  For weeks, we collected things all around the house – the basement, the garage, the attic.  Once I reclaimed my items that my wife tried to sneak in to the sale, we surveyed the pile of stuff accumulated over 29 years.

I thought back to a time (1978 to 1982) that all my worldly belongings fit in a Chevy Chevette.

A rare sighting of a Chevette in the wild, at Road America in 2013, next to the late Erik the Silver.

Now, just the things we were trying to shove off …

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08 May

Of Birds, Cats, Horses And Binoculars

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When I was but a wee lad, our elementary school library had a book I was very fond of.  It was a book about animals.  It wasn’t one of those “the bunny is fuzzy” books, but was about animals' vision.  One type of illustration in particular fascinated me – it showed the areas of binocular vision for different animals, based on the placement of their eyes.

Meadowbrook Elementary is closed now, and that book is long gone, but through the magic of Wikipedia, I can show a couple of the type of illustrations:

A person apparently is going to have …

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30 Mar

Who’s In Charge?

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One of my favorite examples of thinking under pressure occurs in the movie Passenger 57.  A man named Charles Rane bursts into the cockpit of a passenger jet in flight.  He has a gun.

Charles Rane: “Who’s in charge?”

The Pilot, Captain Whitehurst, replies “I am”, and is immediately shot and killed.

Rane asks, “Once again, who’s in charge?”

The First Officer replies “you are”.

Rane: “Excellent”.

There’s an easier way to determine who’s in charge in any situation:  The guy (or girl) with the binocular is in charge.

Let me explain my reasoning.  I was digging through some cartons …

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26 Feb

Ich mag Deutsch Dinge

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I like German things.

I like German cars (between my wife and I, we have owned nine Volkswagens).  I like German beer.  Apparently others like German beer as well, as there are over 1300 breweries in the country.  I love my niece Amy, who was born in Darmstadt, Germany, thanks to the United States Air Force.  Well, thanks to my brother Keith, who was IN the United States Air Force.  Wanted to clarify that.

John Banner, who played Sergeant Schultz on Hogan’s Heroes was from Austria, but still, he seemed like a guy you could hoist a brau with, and …

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21 Jan

The Best Laid Plans Of Rodents and Men

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I had big plans.

I was going to sit in my living room with my Nikon 8×42 Monarch binocular in one hand and three fingers of George Dickel #12 in the other (with elbows steadied on the arms of my favorite chair), watching and feeling benevolent as the deer gnawed away at the deer block I thoughtfully placed in the back yard a few weeks ago.

The number of deer vary, but there’s a group of eight or so that make the rounds through our subdivision each day.  For three seasons, life is pretty good for a deer.  My wife …

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