Thursday, December 31, 2009

You won't see this on the news...

The Stock Market ended its best year since 2003. Even better than 2004, 2006, and 2007 - all positive years.

Many of you are scratching your heads, because if you listen to the nightly news, you would never have known that these years were all really good growth years for the stock market.

Link to stock market performance since 1975.

Kudos to MSN money for actually reporting this. Link.

Becha won't see this on network news. Any takers???

In case you missed it...

We all know the mainstream media never lets the facts get in the way of a good story. Additionally, they never let a story air about someone or something they are in love with.

That being said, here are 9 major news stories the mainstream media passed on this year.
Link to article.

For your Googling pleasure, in no particular order:
- Van Jones
- Acorn Tapes
- Science Czar John Holdren
- "Climate-Gate"
- NEA gets politicized
- Chas Freeman
- The TEA Party Protests
- Safe School Czar Kevin Jennings
- Stimulus money for Democrats-only.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Wrapping up the year.

I don't know how many more posts I will do this year. Maybe none. Maybe a bunch. However, I did want to say to the world that I for one am glad 2009 is ending. This has not been a good year for me. I look forward to the opportunity to start off on a new foot.

Things I cannot wait to put behind me that happened in 2009:
1. My dad and his health. Specifically, the weeks he was in the hospital & rehab for his illness, foot infection, and broken hip. I've never seen anybody have as many problems in one time span.
- Good news - he is walking now and getting around well. I know he looks forward to playing with the "Little Usagi's" more now that he can get around!

2. The job situation. I got laid off. So did ten coworkers in my department (and even more in other departments). I hate having to look for work for no fault of my own.
- Good news - I have several strong opportunities that are nearing a hiring decision. January will likely be an exciting month for me.

3. Obamanomics. Seriously, have we ever had a more clueless leader? The only part that directly affects me are his financial decisions for the country. So far, all of those have been going in the wrong direction.
- Good news - God works miracles every day. Maybe He will answer my prayers and divinely zap Mr. Obama with a big dose of common sense in the money field.

Oh, and if you want to read a really positive New Year thread, my Sunday School teacher, Right Minded, has posted a beauty. Link here.

A shocking admission...

I must admit... sometimes, even the Brady Campaign against guns is right.

'Holy cow!' you say! Has Usagi lost his mind?

No. Not at all. Not yet, anyways.


You see, one of the "tenets" of the Brady Campaign against guns is that if you have a gun in the house, you are more likely to have the gun taken from you and used against you. Now, we all know this is complete rubbish. If it were the case, we would read about it in the paper every day. The liberal media couldn't let those stories slip through.

However, I have found a story of the exact opposite thing happening. A would-be robber pointed a gun at his intended victim. The victim fought back and wrestled the gun away from the bad guy. The victim then shot at the hapless criminal, wounding him.

Link to story.

So technically, the Brady Campaign tenet is correct. In this case, the gun was taken away from the intended user and actually used against him.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Funny Story - Fascinating People

A while back, I was teaching an individual self defense class. I do this from time to time. This "class" was a nice lady almost my mom's age, her daughter who was about my age, and her husband.

The lady, whom I will refer to as "student" in this post, had come across one of my old business cards that read "free trial class." Although I no longer taught regular classes, she was insistent upon receiving her free trial class... so a free trial class she got!

Husband sat in the corner of the living room (yes, we were in a private residence that was the domicile of a third party mutual acquaintance - long story). Student and daughter were very "into" the class. They caught on quite well.

At this point, I must inform the reader that I was carrying my GLOCK, as I always do. It was early spring, and still cold out - so I was wearing a large pullover that doubled as my concealment for my GLOCK. Our mutual acquaintance had full knowledge of my carry piece, and has several firearms of his own.

All throughout the class, neither the student, the daughter, nor the husband caught on to me carrying a firearm.

At the end (about one hour) we sat down and conversed. People often have questions and comments for me after a self defense class. The student asked me if she could now defend herself.

"No." I replied honestly.

She did not know what to make of it, so I explained that one class an hour in length is not long enough to get proficient with anything worthwhile. The only such class that could possibly come close would be a class in defensive firearms.

Then came the question: what would I do if someone pulled a gun on me? I replied I would likely pull my own gun if I did not die in the first few seconds from the attacker shooting at me.

She answered: "what if you are not carrying your gun... like right now?"

Folks... I really could not resist at this point!

I answered: "I am carrying my gun right now, and I would draw it!" I turned, lifted the pullover, and revealed my full-sized GLOCK on my hip at a 4:00 position inside my waistband (only the handle showed above my pants-line.

Eyes grew to the size of saucers. I laughed internally. The statement was made: "but isn't that dangerous!?"

Husband piped up: "Honey, don't worry. It's not legal to carry it loaded or cocked."

Oh, boy... this one I really could not resist! Our mutual acquaintance smiled knowingly and nodded approval to me as I glanced his way with an evil smirk.

"This is a GLOCK 22 in the .40 caliber," I stated. "I am going to show it to you and educate you on a finer method of self defense, if you want."

The husbands eyes grew big and he looked as giddy as a schoolboy would at the pistol. "Yes!" He suggested.

I removed the pistol from its holster and, keeping it pointed in a safe direction, I removed the loaded magazine and worked the slide to unload the live round from the chamber. I showed them both the empty chamber for verification. "As you can see, I not only carry this loaded - as it would be silly to carry an unloaded gun - but I carry it with one in the chamber, ready for use."

"But do you carry it cocked?" the husband asked. I realized he truly believed what he had told his wife moments ago.

"Of course. With a GLOCK, the act of inserting a live round into the firing chamber also cocks the hammer. All I have to do to engage a threat is remove the gun from its holster, point at the bad guy, and pull the trigger." I said.

"You just don't tell the cops?" The husband asked.

"No, but it is perfectly legal. I have a permit to carry the pistol."

I told them about Tennessee's handgun carry permit, how most other states had similar permits, and answered many of their questions about carrying.

Another wild story

Police in St. Louis were involved in a wild set of circumstances.

Answering a 911 call by a neighbor due to sounds of gunshots, police arrived at an apartment and entered. A single man, who may have been chasing an intruder out of his apartment, shot at the police. The police returned fire and killed the man. Drugs were found on the man.

There was evidence that there had been a struggle, likely involving either a robbery or drugs, prior to the police arriving and they believe the resident was chasing the intruder when the police arrived.

Link to Story.

Lessons to be learned, here, kids:

- Don't do drugs. Don't sell drugs. Don't buy drugs. Drugs make you do stupid things. Drugs make other folks do stupid things.

- Be sure of your target and what is beyond (one of the FOUR RULES OF SAFE GUN HANDLING).

- Shooting at police officers is a good way to get yourself killed.

Crazy story

Sorry, no guns involved this time.

Link to story.

"CHATTANOOGA — Chattanooga police say a couple they believe was trying to steal a cart full of TVs and a computer caused chaos at a local Wal-Mart.


According to a news release, Officer Josh Wright was off duty when he saw a man trying to force his way past a greeter with about $2,000 worth of stolen goods Sunday night. Wright displayed his badge, but Joseph Anthony Hill said it was fake and tried to force his way by Wright as well. Wright then tackled Hill and arrested him.

Then Hill’s wife, Lisa Hill, feigned a heart attack and said she did not know her husband.

After a witness told Wright the couple had been together in the store, Lisa Hill followed the witness into the parking lot and attacked her. The witness stabbed her in the arm with a pocketknife, and Lisa Hill had to be treated at a local hospital.

Joseph Anthony Hill is charged with theft over $1,000 and assault on a police officer. Charges against Lisa Hill are pending."


Wow.
Just.
Wow.

Only at Wal-Mart...

Monday, December 28, 2009

Funny things the past 28 hours.

Starting yesterday at 3:00 pm, I went to Milwaukee, WI for a job interview. Naturally, this involved plane travel. This is where the fun begins.

I have flown Delta before, and was forced to again this time - as no other carriers had seats left for this trip when I booked the flight.

There were no direct flights form Nashville to Milwaukee or back, so there were a total of four planes involved. A few funny observations:

- Delta LOVES to make their passengers disembark onto the tarmac. Four planes, three times on the Tarmac yesterday and today. I have flown several other carriers, and NONE of them ever have made passengers step foot outside. Seems like this might pose a security risk, too.

- Female passengers enjoy falling asleep and resting their heads on me. Mrs. Usagi does not like it when others do this, but she likes to do the same. Four planes, two nappers rest on my arm. I've had this happen a half-dozen times in the last few years. Every one of them was VERY embarrassed when they woke up. Funny! Thankfully, I've never had a guy do that.

- There are some strange people in airports.

- I did not have access to my sidearm from Sunday at 3 pm to Monday at 9 pm. That's the longest I've gone without touching a gun in... well... years.

- People are now bringing small dogs with them on airline flights. Every one of the four planes I was on had at least one. The final plane back to Nashville had four. You know the kind - the little ankle-biters similar to the one Paris Hilton has. I've flown multiple times, but never seen this prior to today.

- I saw the Great Lakes for the first time ever from the window of the plane. Really neat!

- Airport food is the same as most other food. Just costs 40% more.

- Airports are really serious about their rules.

- Airplane seats are small. My butt is not.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

10 Manliest Guns

Nobody who knows anything about guns would disagree that some guns are more "manly" than others. Well, there now exists a list of the top 10 manliest guns in existence.

Link to article - WARNING - some language.

In order:
10: SMLE
9: Mosin-Nagant
8: GLOCK
7: Swiss K31 Carbine
6: AK47
5: S&W 29 (Dirty Harry gun)
4: AR15
3: Remington 870
2: Colt 1911
1. Barrett M82 - .50 caliber sniper rifle.

My favorite part (talking about the Swiss K31 Carbine) is from WWII. A visiting German Kaiser is speaking with a Swiss commander:
"How big a force do you command?"
The Swiss General replied confidently, "I can mobilize one million men in twenty-four hours."
The German asked: "What would happen if I marched five million men in here tomorrow?"
The Swiss replied: "Each of my men will fire five shots and go home."

My only criticism from the article is actually fairly obvious:
WHY LEAVE OUT THE M1 GARAND???

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Would you look at this???

It would seem we have a story of note here. More people strongly disapprove of the job Mr. Obama is doing than folks did of Mr. Bush at the end of his presidency.

Link to story.

It took 8 years of constant media bias and liberals bashing Mr. Bush for those numbers to take hold.

It took less than one year of President Obama and his socialist platform to sour more people. I've said it before and I'll say it again... the "hope and change" has not been what folks thought it meant. There are a lot of people out there that have a serious case of buyers remorse about the guy.

If only they'd listened to those of us who had done our research on the man prior to the election!!!

Amazingly unpatriotic!

CNN's Chris Matthews called Socialist Saul Alinsky - best known for writing the socialist take-over book "Rules for Radicals" - a "hero."

>>> Sarcasm alert:

No, there is no media bias towards the socialist movement.

<<< Sarcasm off.

Link to the Youtube video.

Laws that don't make sense

As a Tennessee Handgun Carry Permit Holder, I was instructed in the state-mandated class about the legal ins and outs of when one can shoot in self defense.

One such time when a shooting is often justified is in the defense of the life of another. For example: if I were in a convenience store and a robber pointed a gun in the face of the clerk, I am allowed to shoot in defense of the life of the innocent person - the clerk in this case.

In Kansas, a man shot a doctor. The doctor was shot because he performed illegal late-term abortions. In other words, he murdered unborn babies. In this case, these abortions, or murders, were done on babies that were old enough to survive outside the womb. The Kansas man shot the doctor in defense of these defenseless babies.

Link to article.

The man will not be able to use the legal alibi of "necessity defense," which is what I described earlier in this post. The liberal activist judge has barred this defense from being used.

The judge should tread carefully. As of now, there are few legal definitions of when an act is abortion and when it becomes murder. Should any judge ever decide that abortions can be done after birth has occured, there would be no legal precedent... and folks could claim they are "aborting" their 95-year-old grandmother. And then any age would be fair game. It is a line best not toed. An outright ban on abortions would clear all of this up before it ever becomes a bigger problem.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Gun Control Challenge...

OK, all readers of the Usagi blog... here's a challenge for you:

I suggest that any and all proponents of any form of gun control fall into one of three categories. They are:
a) Clueless - they don't know whereof they speak.
b) Dishonest - they really do know and prefer to ignore the truth.
c) Hypocrites - they know the truth and don't let little things like personal conviction or principles get in the way.

OK - there is the challenge. Find me someone who advocates any level of gun control that does not fall into one of those three categories. I bet you can't!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Another good shoot.

The first good shoot I posted this evening was from my hometown of Chattanooga, TN.
This one is from my mom's hometown of Harriman, TN.

Again, there were two burglars. This time, one was killed by the gunshot wound.

Story on Knoxnews.com.

The other burglar was not shot, but was later arrested and confessed to the crime.

Good Shoot

From the Chattanoogan.

A homeowner in Chattanooga returned home to find two men robbing his place. A fight ensued and the homeowner prevailed, particularly due to the fact that he was a Handgun Carry Permit Holder and had his sidearm with him.

One "suspect" was shot in the chest and in the leg. The other "suspect" escaped without injury.


Please note, a person in Tennessee needs no permit to own a gun. However, the victim here had been out Christmas shopping and had the gun with him during that time. One does need a permit to carry in public, according to Tennessee state laws.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Yet another failure...

President Obama spoke today at the "climate change" Summit. In response, leaders from India and China walked out of the summit.

Link to story.

Seriously, is there anything this guy has done right?
He has seen or caused failure after failure since taking office on Jan. 20 of this year. If he were in sales, he would now be looking for a new job. Lucky for him the current gig is guaranteed for three more years.


Geesh... how much longer 'til 1/20/2013 ???

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Talk about no proof

It is almost a given amongst the leaders of the scientific community - man-made global warming, or climate change - is a farce. There is more credible evidence of alien life than there is for catastrophic man-made global warming.

Further indications? In Copenhagen, a blizzard is dumping snow on global leaders who are there meeting to try to "solve the climate change problem" (read - they really want to raise taxes and exert more governmental control over the citizens of this fine planet).

Al Gore must be there. Every time he goes somewhere to tout global warming, record cold and snowfall follows him.

Small Rant

For my first installment of "Wacky Hiring Practices" I would like to detail something that really burns my bootie. Salary fit.

Part of finding a good job (or a good candidate from the company's point of view) is proper fit. The company is great for the employee and the employee is great for the company. A big part of that is salary. Hence, "Salary fit."

-----

Once, I was hiring an "Outside Sales" person. Someone who would be selling "business-to-business," as they say. I found a great candidate, who was currently employed and I found out she was making 25% more than the top of the salary range I had to work with. Still, my boss wanted to interview her. He knew she would do well, also. However, he still wanted to offer her the top of the salary range - $35,000 base plus commissions. She was currently earning $50,000 base plus commissions.

My boss never really understood why she did not take the offer.

-----

Recently, I interviewed with a company that had a position that seemed very interesting. They did not bring up salary. I did - after the phone interview, first interview, and second interview. They were offering a third of what I am looking for. 1/3! Had they stated a range (like most companies do), I would not have applied and wasted their time and mine.

-----

In short, I have found that companies that are reluctant to talk salary have a reason for being that way - they know the do not pay enough for what they want.

Good companies looking for a proper fit tell you the salary range up front and ask if that is something you can live with.

Silly job interviews

A month ago or so, my employer decided to do away with my position. This affected 10 people altogether. Since then, my former counterparts and I have been searching for work.

It has been a while since I had been on a job interview, and so I had forgotten some of the things that some people do. Some of these things are clearly geared toward selecting the right candidate for the position. Other behaviors I've seen can only be described as... odd.

I was a "Territory Sales Manager" for an insurance company. Sales is my thing. I am not pushy, overly intense, or anything like that used car salesman that sold you your vehicle. Former supervisors have consistently given me performance-reviews with descriptions such as "reliable," "professional," and "polished."

In 11 years in the work force, I have been promoted, or offered a promotion 10 times. I have hired dozens, fired a few, laid folks off, been laid off, and dealt with HR issues of every kind (yes, even including lawsuits my employer was involved in).

When I interviewed folks, my style was simple - get to know the person; find out what motivates them. I know that personality is the single most important trait - even more so than experience or qualifications.

In the middle of these interviews, I have seen so many people that just have no clue how to advertise a job or conduct an interview. I have been requested to add a new column, detailing some of these silly, and often hilarious situations. Of course, all of these stories will be true, and accurate. I will only name companies that need naming.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Can you do this?

A man in AZ killed a bobcat with his bare hands.

WITH
HIS
BARE
HANDS!

Link to story...


In other news, Chuck Norris is rumored to be looking for an Arizona man in hopes of actually having a sparring partner that can challenge him a bit. Oh, who am I kidding, even this guy would not make Chuck work up a sweat!

Old school martial arts videos

I recently came across these gems. Old school judo master Tsunetane Oda - one of the founders of Kosen Judo (a favorite martial art of mine). Oda is demonstrating some of his mat technique.

Video 1
Video 2
Video 3

A common mistake that people make is thinking guys like this are masters because they know so many techniques. Although he knows a lot of stuff, like most masters of the arts, he realizes there are only a few basic moves - and he can apply them from countless positions and situations.

In fact, when I had regular classes, I only taught 12 offensive movements. 3 Arm locks, 4 leg locks, and 5 chokes. 3-4-5 as I called it for my students. There were a few others I'd show from time to time - but those were highly situational and not as widely applicable. Learning defense, strikes, takedowns, positional shifts and the sort were far more important.

Article on "Climate Change"

Here is a link to a well written and accurate article on climate change and man's impact (or lack thereof) on any changes in Earth's climate.

Link here.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

More on sheep, wolves, sheepdogs...

Link to article.

My favorite passage:
"There was research conducted a few years ago with individuals convicted of violent crimes. These cons were in prison for serious, predatory acts of violence: assaults, murders and killing law enforcement officers. The vast majority said that they specifically targeted victims by body language: slumped walk, passive behavior and lack of awareness. They chose their victims like big cats do in Africa, when they select one out of the herd that is least able to protect itself.

However, when there were cues given by potential victims that indicated they would not go easily, the cons said that they would walk away. If the cons sensed that the target was a "counter-predator," that is, a sheepdog, they would leave him alone unless there was no other choice but to engage."

Rediculous...

An 8-year-old boy was asked to draw what Christmas makes him think of. He drew Christ Jesus making The Ultimate Sacrifice on the Cross. Now he is being sent for psychiatric evaluation.

Link to story...

Unbelievable. I think it is about time folks in MA took their state, country and government back. Through local and statewide voting first, but if those "in charge" keep this garbage up, then I would say it's almost "Go-time."

I've said it before, and it is worth repeating...



From a previous post.

I absolutely believe the rules of a gunfight are there for your protection...

Monday, December 14, 2009

Guns in restaurants, public transport and more.

A year ago, Georgia approved a law allowing their handgunn carry permit holders to carry in many more places, including:
- restaurants that serve alcohol.
- public transportation vehicles.
- state parks.

Some liberals, including Atlanta's mayor, felt this measure would lead to more crime, particularly on the subways. There were petitions to have bullet-proof glass installed in the trains for the workers.

A year later, there is proof that crime is down in the public transportation areas. This article details it well:
- there has not been a single murder on a MARTA vehicle since the law took effect.
- robberies have dropped significantly since the law.
- overall crime rate per 1000 riders is down from 3.90% to 3.09% and falling in trends.

Follow up on interview

In this post, I detailed a job interview I had recently where a lot of things popped up as red flags.

Now I have a follow-up.

When I left that interview, I emailed the gentleman that interviewed me and informed him that I needed to remove my name from consideration for the "position." That was Wednesday afternoon.

Friday afternoon, I get a call from his boss, asking me to start Monday. So I get to tell him the same thing.

These folks really need to get things together.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

MSNBC Article

This article, from MSNBC, talks about "loosening" gun laws.

Some things the article gets right:
1. They put one of my favorite shops, "Guns 'n' Leather," in the picture. I recognized the shop before I read the caption below the picture.
2. They listed the laws we passed in TN this last year.

Some things they got wrong:
1. As expected, the article only provides quotes and opinions form the anti-gun side.
2. The supply "facts" that are only anti gun without explaining the whole of things.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

More Pumpkin Shooting

In response to this post on AR15.com (WARNING - adult language!), several "Arfcom" members have made some good Youtube suggestions.

I thought I might post some of them here. Naturally, the content of these videos is of a nature I cannot control, so please be advised.

Pumpkin gets shot and totally explodes.
More pumpkin carnage.
Pumpkin carving. - Impressive!
Shooting pumpkins on the roll!

Shooting Pumpkins II

My good friend and Sunday School teacher, Right Minded, has read my post on shooting pumpkins.

In his response, Right Minded outlines exactly what he wishes to accomplish with his pumpkin shooting:

1. Single pumpkin, clean entrance, clean exit.

2. Single pumpkin, clean entrance, messy exit, chalk outline of the pumpkin.

3. Line up several pumpkins in a row and see how many of them a single bullet can penetrate before stopping.


I have an idea how these would be accomplished, but I am not sure I have all of the proper guns - and I know I do not have a nearby range to try these ideas on. Therefore, I have enlisted the help of one who makes a living shooting things - the author of the website "Box 'O Truth."

I'll keep everyone posted... especially if there is a response!


.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Stimulus Dollars at work

Hillary Clinton's former campaign pollster and his companies received $6 Million of last year's "Stimulus Package"


Link to story.


Epic FAIL!
On so many levels.
Had a Republican done this, the media would be all over it!
But now we know the stimulus bill was really a payback by Obama to all those who helped elect him... paid for by us!

Worst job interview...

Everybody has their horror story. I could tell some good ones. I call this one the worst I've had because of the number of red-flags, not because any one red-flag was that severe.

Over the years, I have had an interview or two. At this point I consider myself pretty good at weeding out the positions that are really going nowhere by the email stage, if not the phone interview stage.

This one slipped through due to some pretty interesting circumstances. I won't go into detail on the circumstances, but here's the list of red flags:

1. Not in the best section of town.
2. This company was the only company in the corporate office building they called home.
3. There was carpet construction going on the entire time.
4. Too many young, attractive females worked there. This indicates that a job is not a career place - just a place for one of the managers there to find dates.
5. An interesting questionnaire about me & sales (I have never interviewed at a place that had a paper questionnaire regarding sales that turn out to be a quality employer).
6. Had to wait 30 minutes for an interviewer to show up.
7. The interviewer was not the person I had scheduled with (at this point, I knew what was coming, but I was already there, so I decided to count the red flags and post this blog update!)
8. The interviewer had a disheveled look to him - collars popping halfway up; tie the wrong size (way too small), shirt not pressed, hadn't shaved in a week, etc.
9. Interviewer does a 5-minute blurb about what they sell, then proceeds to break down commission compensation (again, decent employers don't do it this way - there's more of a game to it).
10. Have to take a $280 class to get an insurance license - on my own dime - as part of the "training cycle."
11. To be eligible for the "base salary" one must meet certain commission quotas. This is known to the rest of the world as "commission + bonus pay" whereas this company tried to label it "base salary + commission." WRONG!
12. Interviewer asks me if I have any questions. I reply "no." He then offers me the job, pending the "CEO's" approval. Folks - real interviewers want you to ask them questions and often will not hire you if you don't at least attempt to do so!
13. Two more young, attractive females are applying as I walk out.
14. I see only this business listed in the building directory. So I take a moment and verify that yes - they are the only company renting space here!
15. In the adjacent building, there is only one company renting there! These two buildings each had five floors with eight office spaces per floor!

Any one of these, and a company is still OK. Any two or more, and things get... interesting. Three or more and they are usually off my potential employer's list.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Shooting Pumpkins

For several months, my Sunday School teacher has wanted to go with me to shoot pumpkins.


Yes - you read that correctly... he wants to shoot pumpkins.


I cannot imagine the strange mental workings one would have to possess in order to want to shoot pumpkins, but that was his request. It was made clear to me on several occasions that this was the most earnest desire of his heart.

Since the Second Amendment guarantees us the right to obliterate food with our firearms, I am looking for some pumpkins and some time to meet up to grant Right Minded (my SS teacher) his deepest wish.

In the mean time, here is a link to a video of a guy on Youtube doing just what Right Minded wants to do...

SHOOTING PUMPKINS

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Funny conversation

At a recent family gathering, a group of us were conversing. Without my intervention, the conversation turned to guns. One of the others, who we will call "A" so as to keep her safely anonymous, has a job that takes her frequently to inner city areas in a major city. She stated she could never carry a gun. It was understood by all in this group that I do carry a gun, as does Mrs. Usagi. As luck would have it, A's husband also carries.

A had a laundry list of reasons why one should not carry. The funny part was my brother's response to every one of them. My brother is not quite as avid a gun fan as I am. He does not have a carry permit. But he does own several guns and is a respectable marksman.

As A would list a reason why one should not carry a gun (most of which were straight from the Brady campaign or liberal one-liners), my brother would respond with an absolutely silly remark.

A - "Nobody needs to carry a gun in a restaurant that serves alcohol - that's just asking for trouble!"
Brother - "But what if your waiter gives you poor service and you need to 'motivate' him to hustle more?!"

A - "I don't think I could pull the trigger on a homeless person attacking me! I'd feel too bad for them, even if they had a weapon!"
Brother - "That's why you need the gun - to get the target practice on the bums!"

A - "I go to the inner city a lot. The poor homeless beggars always just back off when you tell them to forcefully."
Brother - "And they would really back off if you pulled the gun on them. Heck, you could even rob them if you wanted to, because carry permits let you do that."

I almost could not contain myself with laughter. Finally, A became a bit flustered at having her points made fun of indirectly. I passed the entire argument - only stopping to put in:
"Whether or not you carry is up to you. Not me. And the reverse is true to. And nobody should be limited where they are 'allowed' to carry if they make the decision to carry."

So here's to my younger brother for fighting the good fight for me with humor I never could have gotten away with.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

If the First Amendment was treated like the Second...

Holy cow... This is a good read!!!!!


Link to article.

And what a fine article it is. I type no more... letting the genius that it is speak for itself.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Rednecks and guns

Just because one is a redneck does not necessarily mean that one is an expert on guns. But, think of an expert on guns. That person is likely exhibiting several factors that point toward being a redneck. This is not a bad thing.

I myself enjoy the moniker of being a redneck. I'd like to think I'm in good company. Here are a couple of rednecks whose ability with a gun landed them some recognition.

Alvin York
From Tennessee. York at one point killed 28 Germans and captured 132 more - all by himself. Armed only with an '03 Springfield (bolt-action) rifle and a 1911 pistol. York recalled of his action: "There were over thirty of them in continuous action, and all I could do was touch the Germans off just as fast as I could. I was sharp shooting… All the time I kept yelling at them to come down. I didn't want to kill any more than I had to. But it was they or I. And I was giving them the best I had."
Source - Wikepedia

Audie Murphy
From Texas. The fictional John Rambo has nothing on this guy. The single most decorated soldier from WWII. On multiple occasions, took on dozens of the enemy all by himself. Once, a friend of his was killed by a German machine gunner who was feigning surrender - Murphy killed the entire machine gun nest and then turned the machine gun on several other nearby German positions. His continued heroics earned him field promotion to the rank of lieutenant by the time he was 19 years old (very rare for any enlisted man). Oh, yeah, he lied about his age to join the Army at 16 years old.

A couple more for you to Google -
Jim Bowie
Davy Crockett

Stupid is as stupid does

A man in Alabama decided to rob a bait shop.

For the not-so-bright among us, let's look at how much FAIL is contained in that one sentence:

- Bait shop = redneck (I know because I am one!)
- Redneck = has guns!
- Rednecks know how to shoot!
- Rednecks know which kind of guns work better!
- Bait shops have little money on hand anyways.

The man died from the wounds - apparently right then and there. Not really surprising. I can't say that I feel sorry for him, either, given his chosen "profession."

Note to all you aspiring criminals out there - avoid armed citizens - they shoot back, and are statistically more accurate than the police! Rednecks are particularly dangerous as they enjoy shooting and know about guns, giving them the advantage.

Don't believe me about the "redneck" thing? I'll have a post for that a little later!

Another case of self defense.

Close to where I live...

In LaVergne, TN (South and East of Nashville) a man shot at two would-be robbers - aged 19 and 17. The two crooks were not injured, but were arrested a little later.

Link to the story in the local news.

According to the report, the victim (who was not harmed during the incident) had just purchased his gun a few days prior to this event.

Best insurance policy he ever got... I guarantee!

You shoot like a girl...

This video is of a professional competition shooter... who also happens to be female.

I'd feel sorry for some terrorist who might attack her. Even armed with old fashioned arms, she shoots faster and more accurately than most can with a semiautomatic.

Link to Youtube video.

Another case of self defense:

An Oklahoma woman was home when a would-be robber decided to target her house. That was the last mistake this criminal would ever make.

Link to story.

Points to learn from this story:
1. Buckshot wins... again.
2. This criminal saw her dialing 911 and still attempted to enter the house. Think about that next time you see one of those oh-so-fake alarm company commercials!
3. The woman's dog was barking and that woke her up. That means the bad guy probably heard the dog, too... and still he wanted to get in the house!
4. This woman understood that when seconds count, the police were only minutes away!

Final note:
Some say that a person with a gun is trying to compensate for something. You better believe this woman was compensating for something - being smaller, weaker, and less mentally deranged than her attacker for one thing...

I'm just going to leave these here...


Thursday, December 3, 2009

What can I say???

President Obama stated at his "Job Summit" that the onus for job creation is on the private sector.

Chalk this up as the single most poignant statement of the obvious that our dear leader has ever uttered. I mean, come on - conservative media outlets have been stating this for years... because it is a fact.

Now if only we could get him to realize that more government programs and higher taxes do the exact opposite... these things reduce job growth. But, then again, maybe he doesn't really want job growth...

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

7 Stories Obama doesn't want you to hear.

From Politico.

In summary, the 7 stories Obama does not want you to know are:

1. He (Obama) thinks he's playing with Monopoly money.
2. Too much Leonard Nimoy.
3. That's the Chicago Way.
4. He (Obama) is a push-over.
5. He sees America as just another pleasant country on the roll of the UN - somewhere between Albania and Zimbabwe.
6. President Pelosi.
7. He (Obama) is in love with the man in the mirror.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Double Standard

A few years ago, I was teaching a jiu-jitsu class at a local YMCA. We had an incident with a parent that really sticks out in my mind.

The father of a somewhat larger boy approached me regarding a difficulty his son was expressing about practice. The boy, about 9 years old, was closing in on 200 pounds and had some difficulty with some of the warm ups we did. The father never knew of these problems before the boy told him, because he dropped off his son so he (the father) could go work out there at the YMCA.

Like many grappling classes, we incorporated some basic tumbling and breakfalls into the warmups. This boy was having difficulty with forward and backward rolls. So the father asks me if the son can skip this part of the exercise, or if some other accomodations can be made due to his weight issue.

"You of all people should understand," the father said.

Note to all readers - I am no small man. At the time, I was about 285 pounds. I am 6'2".

I ponder the statement and question for a moment. Without saying a word, I execute a forward roll and complete the motion all the way back to a standing position.

The father says, "point taken!" And then he walks off, never complaining again about anything I ask the children to do.

Of course, had he ever actually stayed for a class, he would have seen me do the same movement dozens of times during the warmups.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Icing on the cake.

Recently, I was laid off from my job. I had been working for an insurance company.

About a month ago, I earned my property & casualty insurance license. As such, I was appointed with the state to be able to write insurance with my company, should the need arise.


Yesterday, I got a piece of mail from my former employer. My appointment with them has been canceled.

If I were bitter about the recent separation, that letter might just have been the icing on the cake. As it is, I was expecting the letter and found it halfway amusing - just because of all the legalities that an insurance company must go through, just to not have an agent write with them any more.

This is where my inside knowledge of government regulation on the insurance industry comes from.

In the books

Well, Thanksgiving is in the books. I had a great time with family.

My father is out of the hospital with his recently broken hip and is now doing much better.

Took my brother-in-law shooting. His first time. That was fun.



Now back to the job search...

Friday, November 20, 2009

Activism is alive

Today, Chancellor Claudia Bonnyman, an activist judge, ruled that HB 962 - which passed and went into law in July of this year - was "unconstitutionally vague."

Link to a story on it.

These judges really think they can legislate from the bench. A sad day, indeed.

Time for a new Car

A man from Decatur, Illinois recently purchased a brand new Chevy Camaro. While that is not necessarily uncommon, the fact that the man was 101 years of age at the time of purchase is quite out of the ordinary.

Link to article.

Is it just me, or does Mr. Coffman look like he's in great shape for 101?

Oh, by the way, Mr. Coffman is six months older than General Motors. No word on if he has had the same financial difficulties that GM has - probably not, given the fact that he just bought a $40,000 vehicle!

Usagi Jr. Breaks a board

This video was filmed at the beginning of summer this year. My son broke a board one day in Tae Kwon Do practice



Link to Video.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Tomorrow is a big day

Tomorrow - Friday, November 20 - is a big day. A Tennessee judge is set to hear motions and arguments on a lawsuit filed by some liberal restaurant owners in an attempt to stop the legislation to allow HCP holders to carry in restaurants.

So far, there is nothing about it in the local media, and Google yields nothing on the subject after the month of July, this year.

I am hoping, with fingers crossed, that the media realizes this issue is dead. The law passed. There are no questions.

Now, we just need the legislature to clear up the guns in parks issue and disallow locals to "opt out" of allowing people to protect themselves.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Another Reason to carry

Governor Phil Bredesen of my home state, Tennessee, has proposed budget cuts for this coming fiscal year.

That in and of itself is a good thing... mostly.

HOWEVER...

One of the cuts would result in the release of over 3000 inmates.

I'm packin' a Glock in the .40 caliber - how about you?



Link to article.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

WOW - What a game

I usually do not post on sports. My Titans have given me some hope, but not enough, yet this year.

However, I just watched the best game I've seen in my life. The Indianapolis Colts just beat the New England Patriots 35 to 34. Peyton Manning engineers two touchdown drives to bring the Colts back to win from 13 points down with 4 minutes left in the game.

The Patriots were in control all night - most of the time they led by a two score margin. The Colts scored twice in the waning moments to take the lead when it mattered most - just as time was about to expire.

Another wording

In a recent post, I mentioned that I will not be calling my AR-15 a "semi-automatic assault rifle" as the media has done. This will not be done for several reasons, as I have pointed out... not the least of which is the fact that a semi-automatic cannot be an assault rifle by definition.

Instead, I have chosen to use the terminology "Multi-purpose rifle."

Recently, however, I found another term popping up in different places, in reference to AR-15's in particular. The term is "Homeland Defense Rifle."

Some places I found the term:
A forum post.
Another forum - one of my favorites!
Yet another forum.
And a patch has been made - from AR15.com, of course!

So beware - I might use the term. It might get to the point of being almost interchangeable.

Not the economy, but still not fun

On Friday, I learned that I was laid off. Nine counterparts unwillingly got to join me in our new condition. The condition is the unlimited opportunity to seek alternate employment.

My company had just completed a nine-month time span during which time, the company made more money than at any other time in its history.

My territory is up 140% over the same time last year. I was a marketing rep. We sold insurance. My job was to convince independent insurance agents to use my company more often for "high-risk" auto insurance.

The boss's boss stated plainly that it was not a cost-cutting measure. It is simply what they are calling a "change in focus." They are going to market in a different way. I wish I could have been allowed to try to help them market like they will be doing.

I say this not because I wish to have my old job back, but because my next employer is going to find out I adapt pretty easily and meet all challenges. Evidently, my former company did not want to try to do so with me or my co-workers.

Make no mistake, I absolutely loved what I did. I looked forward to going to work every day. I will miss some of the friendships I have forged on the job. I will stay in contact with most of them. My goal now is to get a similar position, if at all possible.

Maybe a gun rep position will be open? I could only hope...

Friday, November 13, 2009

Three months in...

Well, it has been almost three months since Tennessee became the 41st state to allow handgun carry permit (HCP) holders to legally carry in restaurants that serve alcohol. I have yet to hear of the first shootout, disturbance, or anything of the sort in relation to it.

There has been nothing indicated in the Nashville, TN police media releases about even so much as a single incident.

I have even tried Google and cannot get a single article written after July of this year on the topic - and, yes, I even tried the inaccurate phrase "guns in bars," that the media fell in love with.


That being said, let me quote Governor Phil Bredesen's statement on the topic:

"Let me be very clear: I am a strong supporter of the right to keep and bear arms," Bredesen said at the veto signing. “However, these rights, for more than two centuries, have come with reasonable and necessary rules and guidelines. This bill crosses the line of reason.”

Bredesen said that government needed to strike a balance between Second Amendment rights and public safety. “Guns and bars simply don't mix.”

Link to article where this quote can be found.


Let me make a couple of points on the Governor's misguided comments:

1. Guns and alcohol do not mix - I agree. That is why the legislature made sure that a HCP holder may not drink while carrying. But, our kind Governor will not comment on that part.

2. What rules and guidelines has the Second Amendment ever had? The only restrictions placed by the constitution were on the government, not on the people!

3. The Governor said we need to "strike a balance between Second Amendment rights and public safety." In other words, he wants us to give up [some of] our rights in the name of safety? Ben Franklin said it best:

"Those who would give up liberty to purchase temporary safety, deserve neither."


And now we have 3 months' proof (and counting) that Liberty is always inherenly safer than the alternative.

Finally, a law I could live with... almost...

Vermont state representative, Fred Maslak, has introduced a bill that would turn the tide in governmental efforts to enact gun restrictions.

Maslak argues that NOT owning a gun is hazardous to your health and well being, as one would be more likely to require Police assistance when one does not own a gun.

Therefore, Maslak suggests that registering people who DO NOT own a gun would be the sensible idea. He also proposes that these individuals pay a $500 tax to boot.

Link to article.



Here's the point, people. I am not in favor of this law... but it is far better than what most in government want to do - limit guns. Also, Vermont has the best concealed carry law in the nation - none. Any Vermont citizen, age 18 or older, may open or concealed carry at any time without a permit. We need that on the books in all 50 states.

By the way - I thought we already had that law on the books:
"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

I still don't know what part of "shall not be infringed" people don't get.

Man shot in Reno "Didn't deserve to die"

A man in Reno, NV "didn't deserve to die" according to his family. Scott DeMars pointed a replica gun at police officers and was shot in response.

Link to the article.

I personally think this was a good shoot. Pointing a gun - replica or real - at a police officer is a great way to get shot at. People who get shot sometimes die... it's sad, but it is a known fact of life.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Give me a break

Chicago's mayor recently blamed the terrorist attack on the Ft. Hood soldiers on America's love of guns. Link to article.

Had more soldiers been allowed to keep the guns they love on base, the idiot could not have shot and killed as many as he did.


I get sick and tired of folks attacking inanimate objects as being the problem. Left alone, these objects can do nothing. It is the person using the object that does good or commits evil.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

It couldn't happen to a better guy...

At 9:11 Eastern time, "Beltway Sniper" John Allen Muhammad was executed. The single most prolific serial killer in a generation.

In a related story, a muslim male was facing judgment this evening at 9:12 Eastern time. Standing at the throne of Jehova, Mr. Muhammad was overheard asking where Allah and his promised 72 virgins were.

No Insurance = Jail Time

In a recent interview with ABC, President Obama indicated the fact that if his healthcare bill passes, then those who do not purchase insurance could face jail time.

Socialism 101 is over. We are now at Socialism 102.

Great Article

This article details sportive uses for the AR-15 platform. The AR-15 is frequently and incorrectly referred to in the media as an "assault rifle" or a "semi-automatic assault rifle."

Of course, the definition of "assault rifle" is a rifle that has the capacity to fire fully automatic, and one cannot, therefore, have a "semi-automatic assault rifle." It would be like having a "full-size compact car." Besides, rifles never assault people. They are inanimate objects. People assault people.

Back to the article. It is well written, shows some of the sportive uses for the AR-15 platform, including the advantages it has over some other models - light weight, reduced recoil, accuracy, easy follow-up shots when necessary.

As always, nobody is perfect, and this article is not, either. The author states that private civilians may not own fully automatic rifles. This is not true. A better, more accurate statement would be that "private civilians must jump through numerous and expensive hoops to own fully automatic rifles."

Monday, November 9, 2009

Open Carry is dangerous

For a Handgun Carry Permit holder, there are two main options for carrying one's handgun.

Open Carry - the handgun is secured in a holster on the outside of the wearer's clothing - often attached to the wearer's belt. This is how police officers carry.

Concealed carry - the handgun is carried concealed, such that it is not clearly visible to other people. It can be hidden in a pocket, a purse, on the ankle under the pants, or even inside the wearer's waistband under the pants/skirt and shirt.

I suggest open carry is dangerous:
1. It is dangerous to tyrants.
2. It is dangerous to criminals
3. It is dangerous to terrorists.

A Brit gets it right

The British are no fools. This one particular blogger makes a good point about our president.

Warning - some mature language.

Liberals don't like Pelosicare, either.

I read an article that details how liberals are not satisfied with the Pelosicare plan that was passed late Saturday evening by the slimmest of margins in the US Congress. It seems the liberals don't like the fact that "abortion rights" were sacrificed in order to get the bill passed.

Link to article.

Let's see - conservatives don't want Obamacare / Pelosicare.
Moderates don't want Obamacare / Pelosicare.
Liberals don't want Obamacare / Pelosicare.

It seems the only morons that want this legislation are those in Congress. Here's a hint, America -
VOTE THEM OUT... ALL OF THEM!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Holidays are here...

And so are the robberies. In fact, every year, the dirty little secret of Holiday shopping is that more robberies and crimes are committed during this time than at any other. Usually, we will hear of shoppers getting into fights over toys or some such nonsense because those stories are more sensational. However, "facts is facts," and the fact is that robberies are on the rise.

This downturn in the economy has left even more people desperate.

Arm yourself, be aware, and live your daily life. Do not concede your lifestyle to these domestic terrorists!

From the Nashville police media releases - just from the month of November:
Story 1
Story 2
Story 3

Three incidents in one major city and we are just on the 8th day of the month. All of the month of October saw just one such attempted robbery in the Nashville area.
I have spoken with many people regarding Tennessee's new bill allowing guns in restaurants that serve alcohol - provided the HCP holder does not drink while carrying. Some have emailed me. Some have been conversations with clients. Many other conversations have been with random people or the odd acquaintance.

One of the most common arguments against "guns in restaurants" or "guns in bars" is the fact that very few shootings or robberies happen in crowded restaurants. I will concede that as a fact. But that alone is not nearly reason enough for Tennessee or any of the other 41 states with similar statutes to reverse course.

See, in many areas, the gun is not needed in the restaurant, it is needed walking to and from the restaurant. Even in cases where the walk is short, or even in the parking lot of the restaurant, this is when bad guys pounce. They know most folks are not at their most alert.

Here is a link to an article on a recent incident.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Proof of something we have always known...

Tonight the US Congress passed the Healthcare bill. Heretofore, this bill should be referred to as either "Pelosicare" or "Obamacare."


As a brief study of the English language will teach someone, the prefix "pro" is the opposite of "con."

Now we have absolute proof forever that "progress" is opposite of "Congress."

No. You. Didn't.

Journalist Laraine Perri has gone and done it. Perri's article, here, equates dressing one's son in camouflage with being as improper as dressing one's daughter in "hooker clothes."

I take exception to this. Particularly, if one looks at the connotations Perri derives from those adults who wear camouflage either by choice or by requirement (US Military). Perri associates those who wear camo as being persons who kill. Let's talk about that:

1. Hunters wear camo. Hunters kill animals.
- Many of these animals have few natural predators in their environments and being killed by man is the only thing keeping their numbers in check. This is far better than these animals having collisions with cars and killing people!
- Most of these hunters either eat the meat, or donate it to the poor. Either of these options is perfectly acceptable as an alternative to purchasing meat from a store or restaurant.

2. The military wears camo. The military kills people.
- The US Military kills the enemy. The enemy would kill each and every one of us, given the chance. Since I am a bit wary of being killed, I will gladly concede this "necessary evil."
- The US military does not kill innocent people. They only kill enemy combatants. By the way, if you knowingly enter into combat, you know from the outset that you have the other side trying to kill you. This is known in legal-speak as "assumption of risk" or "inherent risk associated with an activity."

But the main point is this... since when does wearing anything make you do something? The clothes do not make the man. If they did, I'd right now be in a "Super Man" outfit flying around overhead. Sounds kinda silly when you put it in those terms, huh?

Friday, November 6, 2009

A Real American Hero

Yesterday, a soldier at Ft. Hood went haywire and started gunning down his fellow soldiers. The man, Nidal Malik Hasan (who holds, or at least, held the rank of Major), killed 13, and wounded 30 more in his rampage.

The hero, police Sergeant Kimberley Munley, shot and stopped Hasan. Fox News has a story on her.

Others might have been able to prevent the violence from going as far as it did, but military bases are "gun free zones." Yet again, only the criminal was armed. One armed soldier stops this creep in his tracks before so many get hurt - I guarantee that.


PS - I am a firm believer in "innocent until proven guilty." However, the accused does not deserve to be called by his rank in light of the allegations. For clarity's sake, it is NOT proper to refer to the gunman as "Major Hasan." Don't do it and don't let others get away with this.

Any self-respecting soldier would never be brought up on such charges.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Say what???

Recently, a soldier at Ft. Campbell, KY was arrested for having explosives in his possession.

Here is the article.

My only contention is that about halfway down the page, the article states:
"During a search of his home, authorities also found several unregistered guns, including a machine gun."

Machine guns, more correctly called fully automatic guns, must be registered with the Federal Government.

However, the article states there were other "unregistered" guns there. Tennessee does not register guns. Neither does Kentucky.

Narrowing the field, Part II

The race is on for Governor in the State of Tennessee. On the Republican side - where I usually start looking for decent representation - We have four candidates:
1. Zach Wamp - US Congressman for Chattanooga and parts of East TN
2. Ron Ramsey - State Senator and Lt. Governor.
3. Bill Haslam - Knoxville Mayor.
4. Bill Gibbons - Shelby county (Memphis) District Attorney.

As per my post, Narrowing the Field (first installment), Bill Haslam provided me with enough incentive to refrain from voting for him. See, he opposes HCP holders being allowed to carry in parks. In other words - he does not want the good people of the world to be able to defend themselves from the wolves of the world.

One down.

Now there's another.

In a recent article, Bill Gibbons stated he opposed the "Guns in bars" bill. Really? Come on, now - you know it has been proven over and over that the bill simply allowed Tennessee to join 41 other states in allowing HCP holders to carry into restaurants, provided they don't drink alcohol.

Two down.


Interestingly enough, in the same article, Zach Wamp (ironically, the first person I ever had the opportunity to vote for in a Congressional race after I turned 18), stated the following:
"There can only be one Governor at a time, but if I had been Governor, I would have signed the bill."

In case you are wondering, Ron Ramsey was a co-sponsor for HB 962 - the bill on guns in restaurants. He voted for it.

Ron or Zach?
Wamp or Ramsey?

This might get interresting!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

World Record

A few years back, a good friend of mine, Tim Sikes, set the world record for push-ups in one hour. I was one of the people priviledged enough to witness the event. In fact, I was one of several people called on to count the push-ups. As an added honor, my signature can be found on the official certificate of witnesses.

Here is a link as proof for any of you skeptics of Tim's accomplishment.
And another.
And yet another.
Page 16 of this newspaper, saved in Adobe Acrobat format.

Tim was interviewed by All Things Considered.

In case you are wondering, the record, as set by Tim, is 3669 push-ups in one hour. That works out to a little over 1 push-up per second for the entire duration of an hour.

In case you are wondering, here's how he did it:
- His first four sets were 75 push-ups each. He prepared as his son (the unofficial timekeeper) would count down a minute. He would drop into position and do 75 push-ups in about 25 seconds, then stand and rest and stretch his arms.
- After the first four sets, he went to 60 per set. One set per minute. Each set took him about 25 seconds to perform at first.
- As time wore on, around the 45 minute mark, he was unable to complete 60 pushups in a minute with enough rest. Occasionally, he was unable to do more than about 30 or 40 before collapsing on the floor in a heap to rest a bit.
- With 8 minutes left, he surpassed the record. During the last 8 minutes, he only managed a bit over 200 push-ups. Several times he collapsed in a heap, unable to move.

Toward the end, the crowd gathered (about 60 people or so) was urging him on. A mutual friend and former Marine (acting like a true Drill Sergeant) was literally an inch from his face, screaming on encouragement (and a few choice words fit for a Marine). Tim was plain exhausted. But he still did push-ups.

He did more push-ups in the last 8 minutes than I can do if given all day long.

A side note - there was an ambulance there on hand, just in case. The EMT's weighed Tim before and after the event. He lost 8 pounds in that hour. Most of it was a puddle of sweat on the floor where he would drop to do his push-ups. Gross, I know!

We went out for supper that evening, and Tim was his normal jolly self, albeit more tired than I could possibly imagine!

For the record

As Halloween is now over, and we are in to the month of November, I am reminded by the incessant commercials and advertisements that the Holiday season is upon us.

I'd like to go on record here. When I say "Holiday Season," I mean the general 6-week time of year when we have:
- Thanksgiving
- Christmas (yes - I said it!)
- New Years' Day
- and, for my three Jewish friends, Hanukkah

Other so-called "holidays" I do not personally recognize.
- Winter solstice is not a holiday - it is a time of year when the daytime is at its shortest.
- Kwanzaa is a racist celebration created within the last 45 years by a racist idiot and is not worthy of recognition.


So - to all my friends out there:
Happy Thanksgiving!
Merry Christmas!
Happy New Year!

The three races

Everybody seems to be following three election races for today - the Governor's race in New Jersey and in Virginia, as well as the special election in New York District 23 for the Congressional seat.

CNN has an interesting article posted. Here's the link.




I have one question, however...

When Liberals are angry and going to the polls with that anger, the left wing media (including CNN) calls them "energized" and "motivated."

When Conservatives are angry and headed to the polls with that anger, the left wing media calls them "angry" and part of a "political rebellion."

Why the difference?

Absolutely Rediculous

The State of California, which is mired in budget shortfalls due to the slumping economy, has decided to withhold more from taxpayers - 10% more to be exact. This is designed to increase revenues for the state.

Although this is not a tax increase, it sure will feel like one to the residents of Kommie-fornia. Residents will "be repaid any extra withholding in April - those getting refunds will get a larger refund and those owing will owe less."

Yeah - I'll believe that when I see it. Can anybody say more "IOU's"???

Link to the article in the LA Times.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Tools for the job.

I have spoken with many people recently, and asked them about their specific profession. Particularly, I ask about the tools used on their job. It seems I have found a pattern. Folks typically use the more modern tools to do their jobs.

- A friend who is in the construction business states they rarely use the old-fashioned hammers. These days, they use nail-guns.
- A friend in meteorology says they use computers and radar - not the old method of Farmer's almanacs and guessing.
- A friend in the restaurant business uses industrial stoves, grills, fryers, and ovens. They do not use the campfire.

The underlying principle is effectiveness. Mankind has progressed mainly by making newer and better tools!

Why, then should there ever be a law against a modern gun? Some say that all the "common people" need is the old bolt-actions or such. I call this nonsense! People need modern tools for the job of self-defense, too!

I suggest that if a person ever needs to defend himself or his family, then he has the right to do so with the most modern and effective tool he can buy. If that is an AR-15 or an AK-47, then great!

Bad guys usually run in bunches and usually carry weapons. How can one man or one woman be expected to protect their family unless they have the best tool available? A good, "military-style" rifle can even the odds quite a bit. Being able to fire an effective shot each time one pulls the trigger, up to thirty times or more, can help a person win a fight they might not otherwise be capable of winning.




POINT OF CLARITY:
Oh, and for all of you out there that still disagree, let me educate you on the following:
Would you use a computer made in 1947? How about 1959?
Do you use a phone made in either of those years?
Do you drive a car manufactured in '47 or '59?

No? Why not? Oh, because those are old-fashioned models that are out of date and no longer that effective.

So then, you shouldn't mind my "scary" AR-15 - that design is from 1959.
And, you shouldn't mind my friend, John's AK-47. It was designed in 1947.
The last major update on either platform was in the 1960's - over 40 years ago.

So really, I'm not advocating "modern arms" at all??? :)

Appleseed Suggestions

Appleseed is generally a good program, but it has some flaws.  Below I propose some changes that they should make.

If Appleseed does not change anything, it is likely because they, as an organization, are unwilling to listen to suggestions and criticisms. That is fine, but in this case, I would then make suggestions to anyone going to attend an Appleseed.




What to Expect
Bring what Appleseed website says to bring.
Prepare as they say to prepare.

Be mindful of people on the internet - specifically those from Appleseed - giving open advice. Some of this advice can be correct. Much of it is misleading.




Do's:

1. Make sure the attendee has been out shooting before.
Different people acclimate at different speeds, but I would say a good rule of thumb might be 3-5 times shooting, at a minimum - more for some folks. Preferably with the same type rifle they will be shooting.

2. Make sure the attendee is familiar with the rifle he/she will be using.
Know how to work the rifle. Know how to clear jams, do mag changes, etc. Appleseeds are not tactical training.

3. Bring a semi-automatic rifle. Preferably a Ruger 10/22 or Marlin 795.
Bring 5 magazines, preferable (2 minimum). Sight in the rifle with the exact same ammo you intend to use.
 Do not bring a bolt gun or lever gun, until you have shot Rifleman with a semi-auto. 





Dont's:

1. Don't bring a new shooter.

2. Don't bring a bolt action, lever action, pump action, or single shot.

3. Don't bring folks who are unaccustomed to the outdoors.




Play The AQT Game:

The AQT was designed directly from the NRA highpower course of fire. "Fred" (founder of Appleseed) made a few modifications, and the product we see now was born.

Since Fred created the AQT, he has made a few user-friendly modifications that help newer shooters - allowing scopes, shooting only at 25 meters, and others. Also, the type of rifle that can be used at an Appleseed is generally not limited, so many people bring highly customized and tuned rifles so as to reduce the mechanical error.

While this all goes against the grain of "rack-grade rifle, iron sights at 500 yards," the simple fact is that a good player plays to the limits of the rules as written. To score a patch, most people use a highly modified rifle, so why not? After all, it is only a game - not real combat shooting. Play the game!


WHAT APPLESEED SHOULD CHANGE

1. Time limits. 
The current time limits are based on NRA High Power competitions. There is nothing wrong with that in and of itself, but for new shooters, this is not only daunting, but frustrating.
As proof, go look at Appleseed's AAR's (After Action Reports). Many first-day 'Appleseeders' do not return the second day often due to frustration or perceived misrepresentation of skills taught. From information I have gathered, it is not uncommon to have 25% or more leave the Appleseed early.

Appleseed should extend / eliminate timed portions of the AQT. 90-120 seconds per stage would be just right.

2. Sight in from a supported position.
Sighting in from unsupported prone is for NRA High Power masters and high masters. Every other application should use supported prone or a bench. It's just too unreliable for new / inexperienced shooters to sight in from unsupported prone. Too much human error.

3. Change the amount taught. 
Either increase the material and make a "Part 1" and "Part 2."
Or reduce the material and make it more mainstream.
Alternately, do not advertise to new shooters.

4. Award more patches / awards that are more visible.
(BUT, do not change the qualifications for "Rifleman")
The Rifleman patch should remain as it is. However, adding other achievement levels will only help, not hurt.

Appleseed Suggestions - Shooting the AQT

Play The AQT Game:

The easiest way to get a Rifleman patch is by playing the game. Make no mistake, the AQT is a game - it is a course of fire with rules. Playing the game right will get you a patch. Some people are competitive, and want to "win." Be fore-warned, you can get a lot out of the program without getting the patch. Nonetheless, a "Rifleman" patch cannot be bought - it must be earned.

MOST Rifleman scores I've seen and read about were with heavily modified rifles like I describe below...
A small proportion of the folks who make "Rifleman" do so with iron sights. A very few have shot the score with bolt-actions. Some with factory rifles. And even some with bulk ammo. I've only heard of one person to make the cut without a sling (me!).By far, most people use better equipment and "play the game."

Skill
You should be able to consistently hit a 1 inch square target at 25 meters from prone position (no rests). If you can do double that - 2 inch targets - you are good to go in the sitting stage. If you can do double that - 4 inch targets - standing, you are again good to go.

Rifle
A Ruger 10/22 will work best. I think a Marlin is a superior rifle out of the box, but the best way to play the AQT game is to hedge your bets. The Ruger can be outfitted with a hair-trigger, scopes galore, and target grade barrels. Add in the quick mag-release, and custom stock options, the Ruger 10/22 can be customized into a great game-gun for the AQT.

Modifications
A stock 10/22 can shoot a rifleman score - but it's really hard. Do the following mods for better success:
- Target grade heavy barrel.
- Volquartsen (or similar) hammer for a light trigger pull.
- Volquartsen extractor for reliability.
- Extended magazine release.
- Volquartsen (or similar) automatic bolt release.
- Large, variable power scope.
- A stock to your preferences. Pistol / thumb-hole grips are suggested.

Sling
Most people will not be able to shoot accurately enough without a sling. Get a USGI web sling. Learn how tight you need it.

Ammo
Most people will not be able to shoot accurately without match grade ammo. Again, we want to take as many variables away so the shooter can have the best chance. When using a 10/22 that's been outfitted to your preferences, shoot good ammo through the gun. CCI or match-grade stuff.

Magazines
Have at least 6 magazines. They should all be 10-round magazines. Two of these mags should be factory clear, or otherwise marked clearly with tape or paint, to help identify on the 2nd and 3rd stages which mags have 2 rounds, and which have 8.

Technique
One technique, suggested by a "Red-Hat" instructor, for use on the rapid-fire stages (stages two and three) is described below:
Fire one shot, then change mags (the second round should be in the chamber at this point. Then you can fire nine more shots without a mag change. This has the added benefit of being less likely to cause the shooter to lose count of where he/she is on the AQT.
A word of caution: though there is nothing in the official Appleseed rules that prohibits this action, some shoot bosses not only frown on the  practice, but also prohibit it.
Be sure to ask your shoot boss if he permits this strategy. Last thing you want is to shoot the score, and then have it DQ'd by a power-tripping shoot boss.

Another set of techniques is position modification - like High Power shooters use. Sometimes, their positions are different than Appleseed. Since the Appleseed's AQT was derived directly from High Power rules, it is only smart to use commonly found techniques. Such as reversing the support hand in standing.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

A funny employee

At Enterprise, the management encourages all employees at all branches to "run tight." That lingo means to rent out the majority of the cars you have. It is a sound business principle, as the more rented cars there are, the more money the branch makes. The goal is to always have 90% of the cars on rent at any given time.

For example, at a branch with 100 cars in its fleet (this is a medium sized location), you would want 90 cars on rent at any given time. Naturally there are peaks and valleys, but a good manager keeps the on-rent percentage over 85%, even in the valleys. By default, this means that during certain times, there are 95% or more of the cars on rent. Take out a few for routing maintenance and repairs, and that means there are no more cars for now.

This happens weekly - usually in the middle of the week. Sometimes, it will happen on a weekend in certain places when there is a big event going on.

Jackson, TN in the fall of 2000 provides me with one such a place and situation.

One of the local colleges was having its homecoming weekend football game. Cars were rented out, and for top dollar. One of my co-workers had made a reservation for a friend. When she had done so, I told her it was not likely that the friend would get the car, as I knew we had many reservations already. My co-worker agreed and said make one anyways, and call her if we got an extra car. That Saturday I was working and that co-worker had the day off.

I get calls from her at 9 am, 10 am, and 11 am - each call a bit more frantic than the one before. As luck would have it, we had zero returns and all the cars were rented before 9 am. But my co-worker knew that would likely be the case.

12 noon arrives and I get another call from my co-worker. She is now sounding like a hysterical customer. I wonder where she has been the past 8 months? She had seen this side of things many times.

I calmly tell her that we still have no cars, but if we got one before closing time (12:30), I would wait at the branch for her friend... after hours... just to rent her the car.

My co-worker's response?

"But, she has a reservation!"

Oh, no, darlin' - that ain't gonna fly with me. I honor reservations, but this one had been made with express knowledge that she might not get a car!

"So, from your experience, does that reservation make a car magically appear on our lot?" I asked.

Normally, I am not that rude to customers. But co-workers... who are familiar with our situation... who had been advised we would not likely get a car... no way - all bets are off. I will tell things like they are.

I got no further calls. I got no more cars back in. I went home happy that day as all cars were rented and my branch was making a lot of money - which I got a small commission off of.

My co-worker said nothing about it Monday Morning.

Funny customer

Another dealing with the public episode. This one happened in Memphis, when I was an Assistant Manager with Enterprise Rent-A-Car (ERAC).

We had a lobby full of people - well over 50 customers in the lobby. Some were renting cars for the weekend - some were returning cars. It was a Friday afternoon.

While returning a car from a customer, out of the corner of my eye, I see a man walk into the branch. There was nothing out of the ordinary with him, it was his behavior that caught my attention. He looked at the people in the lobby with disdain. After a moment, he huffed, sighed out loud and walked out the door.

A part of me was actually kind of excited as that would be one less buffoon I would have to deal with on this fine day. But, I digress.

I watched out of the corner of my eye as the man walked back to his car, which was parked right outside the front of the branch in plain view. He got in, picked up his cell phone, and started making a call.

Mind you, at this point, we have over 50 individuals in line, waiting to pick up or return rental cars. The phones are ringing off the hook. I see my fellow employees in the back - the ones who answer the phones during rushes like this - get overwhelmed at the call volume. I am returning rented cars right and left. Folks have a slip with the mileage and fuel level indicated that they got from one of my co-workers outside, and they lined up in front of me to return the car in the computer and get assigned a ride back to wherever they needed to go.

So I pick up the phone to help out the folks in the back as my job was actually sort of robotic.

"Thank you for calling ERAC, this is [Usagi], how may I help you?"

"Yes, I would like to rent a car..."

"You would like to make a reservation with us?" I ask.

"In fact, I already have a reservation." He says.

At this point, I realize the man in the car, who walked out in a huff is the one with whom I am speaking.

"Very good, sir. When should we pick you up?" I asked.

"Actually, I don't need a ride. I just need a car." he replies.

"Great, when you get here, have your drivers license and form of payment handy and we will get you whatever car you like. We have many to choose from today!" I said with a smile.

"That's the problem. I've already tried to get one, but there were so many... people." he said. The way he said the word "people" was just humorous. It was as if they were germs, or something else he did not want to come in contact with. "Can you come outside and get me the car?" he continued.

"Well, I can do that, but you still have to come to the counter to do the paperwork, first." I answered.

"So can I come right to the front and ask for you? What's your name?"

"Well, my name is [Usagi]. And feel free to ask for me, although I am doing returns today. But you can't just come to the front - you must wait your turn." I advised.

"But I have a reservation!" He exclaimed.

"So do the fifty or so other people in here. It would not be fair to them. You have to wait your turn like all of them have." I said.




I guess having a reservation moves you up to the front. I also guess he never figured other people might have reservations, too.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Holy Bat-Man

Professional basketball player, Manu Ginobili, punched a live bat as it flew past him during a game tonight between the San Antonio Spurs and the Sacramento Kings. As luck would have it, the flying mammal died of its injuries.

Previously, the game had been delayed as the little critter flew around and frightened some of the other players.

How exactly did a bat get into a modern NBA arena???

If you watch the clip in the article I linked, you will see why I put this under "just plain impressive." I mean, Mr. Ginobili's hand-eye coordination was absolutely superb.

As luck would have it, the spurs mascot, a coyote, was sporting a "Batman" costume in honor of Halloween.

And, of all nights for a bat attack - it's Halloween - the main night of creepy-crawly things.

Don't Bring a knife to a gun fight

Be the one who brought the gun!

A woman in Alabama attempted to rob a man at knifepoint recently. The man pulled a gun.
The woman did her first smart act of that day - she fled.
Then she went on to rob a Dollar General store... at knifepoint.

I think she's lucky nobody at the Dollar General was packing. My dad shops there from time to time and he and his wife have their carry permits.

Friday, October 30, 2009

A revelation

This morning, I had a revelation.

For all the talk and hype surrounding Mr. Obama, I have come to realize that although he has his merits, he really only has two things he's incapable of doing:


The two things our President cannot do:
1. Make a decision
2. Admit he is wrong.


Now - back to our lives. Every time we see him on TV, see if you can't chalk his shortcomings up under one of these two incapabilities.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Kids say the darndest things...

When my father was in rehab recently for his leg amputation, we had a nice incident with my son, Cael. Nice in the sense that nobody's feelings were hurt, but he said something very funny anyways.

We enter the rehab room - which looks eerily like a hospital room. Each room has two occupants, separated in the middle by a large curtain. My father, and about a half-dozen members of my family are on the right.

On the left is a gentleman in his 80's who has recently had a hip replacement. The surgery must have taken its toll on him as the poor fellow really looked as though he had seen better days. He was very pale and was lying motionless as he was napping at the time.

"Daddy, is that a dead man?" My son asks.

Laughter. Attempts to stifle laughter. Failed attempts.

An instant classic.

Cool Sign says it all...

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Box O Truth

Box O Truth is one of the most fascinating websites around. The author, who goes by the screen name "Old Painless," in a reference to the movie, "Predator," shoots things and reports on his findings.

Coming up soon is a section on shooting bullet proof glass. Please check the website over the next few days for the report.

Here's a hint - bullet proof glass does not stop all rounds!
(12-guage shotgun loaded with a slug)

New Name

In 1994, the US Congress made a boo-boo. They passed an "assault weapon" ban. Unfortunately, none of the features or weapons targeted constituted a real assault weapon. They were geared towards restricting semi-automatic weapons. By definition, an assault weapon is one capable of fully automatic fire.

Well, the media does as they do and next thing you know, they are calling this rifle and that an "assault weapon," or a "semi-automatic assault weapon." These names are misleading and erroneous.

Two of the primary focal weapons of this misplaced nomenclature are the AK-47 and the AR-15. To be fair, I own an AR-15. I do not own an AK-47. My AR does everything an AK does, only better. But this is a discussion for a different post.

Back on track, I will henceforth be changing the way I communicate regarding these types of rifles. I will call them "General Purpose rifles." Why?

Thanks for asking.

My AR-15, and those like it and on a similar platform can be used to do the following:
1. Shoot for fun.
2. Target shooting.
3. Shooting training.
4. Self Defense.
5. Riot protection.
6. Precision shooting.
7. Hunting (it is legal in TN for all game).
8. Varmint eradication.
9. Capable of iron-sight shooting or scoped shooting.
10. It is lightweight, low recoil, and is powerful enough for all applications, except hunting the largest animals in North America.

Open Carry a Rifle

What? You say we should not be allowed?


Ponder this article.

A woman was killed by coyotes. Had she been open-carrying a good "general purpose" rifle (AK-47, AR-15, etc.), she would have been able to fend them off easily. And wipe out a few pests in so doing.

Note to USAGI Blog followers - I am replacing the mainstream media's use of the wording "assault rifle" with the wording: "General Purpose (GP) rifle." I will explain this in another blog post.

Great Clip

This clip on Youtube is a very educational, and factually accurate explanation of the AR platform of rifles.

Of course, the AR platform is one of my favorites - for many reasons. The clip explains most of my reasons for owning one.

For the Record

For the record, this clip - ironically titled "For The Record" - happens to be just up my alley.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Local Politics

A wise man once told me that blogging about local politics can be a precarious proposition, at best. You will notice that few of my posts say much about the local stuff.

State? Sure, I'll tackle that.
National? Absolutely.

That being said, my friend, fellow blogger, and Sunday School teacher extraordinaire, "Right Minded" has published a very good article about some local political subjects. Namely, the fact that the Republicans in the House have picked up another seat.

By the way, if you ever want to know how I feel on a subject other than Phillies baseball and other than Memphis Tigers sports, go check out "Right Minded."