Friday, July 31, 2009

Fascinating Story on Open Carry in California

Seems that people in the liberal state of California have found a way to carry, whether or not their local CLEO (Chief Law Enforcement Officer) will sign off on a concealed carry permit for them.

Of note in this article - the publication is thought by many in "gun circles" to be liberal - yet the article is refreshingly objective.

Also, for those out there, allow me to make a distinction. California is a "May-Issue" state with regards to concealed carry permits. My home state of Tennessee is a "Shall Issue" state with regards to handgun carry permits. The difference?

"May Issue" means that if a person qualifies, he "may" be issued a carry permit - if the CLEO feels it is justified. If the CLEO does not want to issue the permit for any reason (or no reason at all), the permit does not get issued. There is too much subjectivity here for my tastes.

"Shall Issue" means that if a person qualifies, the state SHALL issue a carry permit. It is very objective. You meet the criteria and pay the fee, and you will get a permit to carry.

39 states are "Shall Issue"
7 states are "May Issue"
2 states do not have permits, but allow civilian carry - open or concealed - by anyone of legal age in the state to carry - VT (age 16 to carry) & AK (21 to carry).
In Wisconsin, one may open carry, but there is no provision for concealed carry.
In Illinois, there is no option for a civilian to carry a handgun.

Obama-Care Curiosity

We, the American people have heard for six straight months that we need to overhaul and socialize our healthcare. Obama and his ilk wish to "fix" our healthcare system. I have two major points that are not getting enough media right now:

We have the best healthcare on Earth. Why else do people from the socialized healthcare nations come here for treatment of their more serious illnesses?

Everybody I know will admit to the fact that whatever the government touches, they ruin. Government excess, beauracracy, and inefficiencies run rampant in every program they oversee.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Glenn Beck Rant

This is an absolutely classic rant full of great sarcasm.

Glenn Beck is lashing out at liberals who got all worked up over the fact that he actually carried a gun to a movie, like he is authorized to do under the law.

PS - if you have seen me in the last year or so, I have been armed when we talked. How does that make you feel?

Young Renter / "Accidental Repo" - II

This is not actually a repo story. However, it does have ties to the repo I mentioned earlier by the same title - Young Renter / "Accidental Repo."

Particularly, this was a situation that happened regarding that same renter some months later, after the repo. Remember, we put him in collections for $1000 because he never paid his deductible.

A manager at another location got promoted out and a new one promoted in. They needed a fill-in as the newly promoted manager-to-be was actually on vacation.

I was next in line and had worked that area before, so I was asked to volunteer my efforts. I did so with pride.

I received a call from the mother of the renter from the earlier post. She was upset and distraught. Her son had been pulled over and put in jail. Why, you ask? Simple. In Tennessee, if you do something with your car to owe money (collision damage, tickets, etc.) and you don't pay the money, the state suspends your driver's license.

Our former renter had never paid his deductible, despite our best collection efforts, and so this happened to him.

When our former renter had been pulled over for speeding, the police officer ran his license number and immediately discovered the youth was driving on a suspended license. That and the fact that he was going 85 in a 35 landed him in jail that particular day.

For the record: I feel he deserved what he got. Make no mistake, I have nothing against this individual, but he was a terror behind the wheel and needed a wake-up call.

At first the mother tried to make it out to me that it was some sort of mistake, that the former manager had some agenda against the kid. I then advised her that as luck would have it, I was that former manager.

Her story then changed to one of a request. She was asking that we take the $1000 off his record, so his license would get restored. I advised that I would do so as soon as I had cash or cashier's check in hand for the sum. She did not like this, either.

She requested to speak to somebody from corporate, so I advised her I would have the area manager call her within the hour, provided he was free to do so. I called the area manager and briefed him on the topic. He remembered, as this was the first wreck to happen in his area after he was promoted to the area manager position.

My Area manager advised me about two hours later that he had spoken with the mother and she was not happy with his suggestion, either. He suggested that her son start driving like a normal person and pay what he owes in life. I imagine that did not go over well. Knowing the area manager, I don't doubt he said it, exactly the way he told me.

Long story short, Enterprise was paid the $1000 they were owed. The young man got out of jail a couple of weeks later as it took time for everything to be processed by the state.

Oh, yeah, I knew the mom - we had worked together at a part time job at the same home-improvement warehouse in Jackson two years prior.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Young Renter / "Accidental Repo"

Setting: Jackson, TN. I was the assistant manger. This was my first gig ever in management. It was spring, 2000.

Renter was young - about 20. He had State Farm insurance, which is pretty good insurance. His car was in the shop after he wrecked it. We rented him a BRAND NEW Saturn LS100. This was the first year for that make of car.

Renter called our office at 5 pm one day. He said the car would not start. I asked him if the car had been involved in any sort of collision - and he said no. He stated he put the key in the car and the engine would simply not crank.

This was a typical problem, as many people with rental cars are unfamiliar with the vehicle and inadvertantly miss something needed to make the car start. In this case, the renter could not make the engine even turn while turning the key. So I go down the list:
- Car fully in Park?
- Turn the wheel a bit while trying to turn key?
- Foot on the brake?

Still, the car would not crank, much less start. Daniel, the manager, lived inthe same area that the car was at, so he said he would get it on his way home.

I get a call from Daniel just after closing time - 6:00 pm. He says the renter is not to get into another car. Daniel advises to put the renter on the "Do not Rent" list. I asked why and Daniel explained:

The renter had been involved in at least two collisions in the vehicle - one of them resulting in a completely demolished passenger side of the car. The other causing severe damage to the trunk area.

Furthermore, the renter had been caught in a Wal-Mark parking lot, speeding and jumping speed bumps. In the process, he had ripped off the bottom of the oil pan and had driven the car 5 days without oil!

When the car finally croaked, he had then decided to call us, stating the car would not start.

When Daniel had gotten there, the renter finally fessed up, and Daniel took possession of the car, denying the renter further services from our company.

Result: State Farm had to pay for a total loss on a brand new Saturn (less than 300 miles on the car). Renter's personal insurance got canceled.

On a side note: Although the renter did not owe money on the rental, he never paid Enterprise his $1000 deductible. State Farm paid for the total loss amount, less the $1000, as per his policy language. So this renter found himself on the "Do not Rent" list.

The perfectly normal repo

This repo was exactly what every repo should be. There was nothing special about it at all. No damage to the car, no funny conversations, no huge amount owed.

I write this so as to provide the reader with the ideal repo.

Memphis, 2001.
The renter had rented with a credit card and kept the car about a week past the originally indicated return date. The card declined further authorizations. No phone calls were returned. The renter owed about $75.

I got a key cut. After work (6 pm was normal closing time), at about 6:30, I drove by the renter's apartment to look for the car. No luck.

The next morning, I drove by at about 6:30 am (office opened at 7:30). The car was sitting there. I parked my car in a different part of the apartment complex, near the front office. I walked up to the car, got in, started it, and left. The branch was about a mile away.

Later in the morning, I had a fellow employee drive me down so I could get my personal car back.

Later that afternoon, the renter called us to see if we had reclaimed the car. We advised him that we had, and that he owed about $75. He never came in and paid, so we put him in collections for the amount and filled out an I-9 form.

Voluntary Repo

This one was pretty funny from my point of view. Particularly how it ended.

Setting: I was assistant manager at the Mendenhall Enterprise (since relocated). There was a rental that we were getting keys cut for. Jeremy (my manager at the time) and I had been trying to contact a renter whose credit card was declining for additional charges and she had exhausted the security deposit.

As she now owed about $100, we had the key in hand and I had plans to go make a visit that night, but then the strangest thing happened. The renter came in the office, saying she "heard we were looking for her."

I explained the situation. She needed to pay $100 to get current, and pay more if she wanted to keep the car longer. In the "confusion" she got to thinking (erroneously) that she only needed to pay $100 now.

So she paid $100.

I aksed her where I could return her to (Enterprise will pick you up, free, and take you back home or to the repair shop, free). The look on her face is etched into my memory like stone to this day. She asked why she could not keep the rental car longer.

I explained that she had just brought it current - and would have to leave more money to keep it longer. It was at that point that I realized she still had the keys to the rental, as I had not done a return check of the vehicle at this point. To this point it had still been possible for her to pay more to keep the car longer.

Realizing she had no intentions of paying more, I motioned to Jeremy discreetly to block the rental car in. He did so quickly and quietly. We worked as a team very well, and our branch was one of the most profitable in the state as a result. This was just another example of our teamwork. Jeremy and I were on the same page when it came to how to run a branch.

The renter got upset, as I had anticipated, over the fact that I was not going to just allow her to keep the car longer based on extending her credit of some sort, but that I was asking for payment in advance (which had been perfectly OK with her at the onset of the rental!).

She walked out of the building, only to find the car blocked in. She walked back in, all in a huff. She demanded I move the other car.

I politely refused, again asking her where we could take her as this rental had ended, if she had no intentions of paying any more.

After a bit of conversation back and forth she expressed remorse and stated that she should not have paid the $100. She felt she was entitled to that portion of the rental for free!

SHE ASKED FOR THE $100 BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I did not comply.

It was a quiet ride back to her home.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Anatomy of a Repo

I have posted many repo stories on here. However, I have never fully disclosed what work went into each repo I ever did. Earlier today, I had just such a request, so here you go:

First, car rental agencies, in this strange twisted plot to make a profit, actually want to get paid for the rental of their cars. I know, it sounds evil, but it is perfectly legal in all fifty states (fifty-seven, if you are muslim, or President Obama). These car rental agencies usually want credit cards, for several reasons:
a) a credit card is a fluid amount of money - it can be charged again when a renter keeps the car longer than originally anticipated.
b) a person with good enough credit to actually have a credit card (with some room on it for the charges) is historically a better risk than someone who does not. "Risk" in this sense refers to likelihood of returning the car, paying the full amount, and avoiding damaging the rented car.
c) folks who own credit cards that are not maxed out are typically more responsible and can actually be reached via phone in the event that such contact is needed for any reason.
d) cash is limited to a finite amount. When the rental exceeds the originally anticipated length, the renter must actually physically bring more cash in to stay current on the rental. Someone without a credit card is highly unlikely to do so.

Second major factor in a repo is an event that causes the renter to feel the need to go past due. This can actually take many forms. Some renters simply do not know that the insurance company paying for the rental have stopped paying. Some renters are trying to defraud the car rental agency. Most renters who require repossession have an odd mix of antipathy, entitlement mindset, strange sense of denial, and a general lack of desire to meet a problem face-to-face.

The third major factor in a situation that leads up to the repo is the actual action of the rental going past due. Most car rental agencies do not mind if you keep the car longer than you originally anticipated - provided you pay for such use of their car. Hey, the fact is that then they do not have to worry about finding another renter for that car at that time. ut when somebody's monety runs out - cash deposit is exhausted, or credit/debit cards decline additional charges - then the clock starts ticking. The rental agency is usually paid by the day or week on most rentals, and therefore charges accrue as time passes.

At this point, I would do the following actions:

1. Call the renter. In all seriousness, I would have been making calls before the rental goes past due. All car rental agencies require payment in advance, in addition to a security deposit over and above estimated rental charges. When a renter goes a day past the estimated return date, a simple call usually allows the agency to know the renter's intentions and provides a new estimated return date.

2. If / when a renter would not answer direct calls, I would place indirect calls. If the renter's car was in the shop, I would call the shop and/or the insurance company to obtain further information. In the event the shop is going to need more time to repair the renter's car, then the insurance company will usually authorize more days, with a few exceptions (like - the policy maximum number of days has been reached).

3. If indirect calls were not useful, then I would usually begin a "skip-trace" as these actions are known in the credit and collections industry. Attempts to reach known family, friends, or places of business were the common tactics. Simple calls placed could yield important information. If it got to this phase, there was a serious chance the rental would go past due. At this stage, if the renter's address on the driver's license did not match what they told me, I would begin reverse searching phone numbers at both addresses.

3.a) As an addendum to the previous actions, a quick swing by the residence or place of business for a quick chat with the renter could clear things up. If the renter had fallen on hard times and could not pay their cell phone bill, coupled with the rental agency having no other contact info, it would be easy to arrive at this point. However, I was always cautious, as a person who does not pay their own phone bill rarely pays much more on a rental car bill.

4. In the absence of direct contact (phone or in-person) to this point, I would gain information (ie - try to find out where renter lives, where renter works, renter's schedule at work). These tidbits would be very useful in reclaiming the car rental agency's property.

4.a) In a cash-only rental (or no deposit at all), the renter was required to fill out a form ("cash-qualificaation form") with additional information. This is exactly why the car rental agency requires this information! So they could track down delinquent rentals!

5. After obtaining information on the renter - often jotted down on a printed map of the renter's residence or place of employment - a key to the car would be obtained. Usually, this meant contacting a dealership and using the VIN number to obtain a key code that the parts department could use to make the key.

5.a) Often, an experienced employee at a car rental agency would be able to tell potential problem renters before the rental took place. Since one could not "discriminate" against a renter who otherwise qualified at the time, another solution was to rent a car for which one already had a duplicate set of keys. Made this part easy!

6. The hunt. Go to renters place of employment, during his/her shift and reclaim the car. Go to the renter's house early in the morning and reclaim the car. Sometimes, other times of day were appropriate. I would refer back to the cash-qualification form to learn more. It was always best not to interact with the renter during this phase.

Some people ask why not try to talk to the renter when reclaiming the car. There are several reasons, all related to safety. First, a renter in such a situation is either a scam-artist, or under high stress - no need to further escalate either situation. Second, the renter might not recognize you as being from the rental agency and think you are some hoodlum trying to steal the car they are renting - not likely, but possible. Third, when the agency has the car back in its possession, it is in a much stronger position to control the situation - no need to beg the renter to bring back the car or anything like that.

7. Clean the repossessed car. Cars that had to be repo'd are typically filthy and in poor condition. Future renters will complain about the smells, dirt, bottles, trash, handguns, pet hair, and other such things. I don't blame them - nothing is worse than a dirty rental car. And you would not believe the condition of some of the returned cars.

Sometimes, regular returns (non-repo's) were nasty, as well. I often wondered how some people who had a car just a few days could get the car so dirty.

8. Take an inventory of the personal effects found in the rental car. Yes, there will be all types of things. I have found phones, cell phone chargers, a magazine to a GLOCK, video games, sexual toys, CD's, food, DVD's & video tapes, and all sorts of other personal effects in returned rental cars.

9. Rent the repo'd car to another (hopefully, paying) renter. This is actually very important because some renters grow attached to cars - partcularly in the cases of repo's. When they realize it is nothing personal on your part because you just rented the car back out like some sort of car-renting machine, renters often get back to their senses. It is at this stage that the fact that they owe the agency money comes screaming to the forefront of the renter's mind and they often will have a strong urge to leave, lest they be forced to pay.

10. If there is a remaining balance (and there usually is), the renter was placed in collections for the amount owed. An I-9 form was filled out so that the amount owed could be reported to the IRS as unearned income (similar to bad debt from a loan). Also, the renter that owed the company money was placed on the "Do Not Rent" list - which would preclude them from renting at any other locations in the world for life.

Hope this guide helps!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Another Repo Story

In this case, to appreciate the entire story, you must understand the circumstances.

Setting: late March or early April, we got a call from a local body shop to pick up a customer. I was happy, because I had worked hard to set up that account and persuade that body shop to give us a try. We rented the car to the man, who would be reimbursed by his insurance company (most insurance companies get the bill directly from the car rental agency). No big problem, so his credit card was run for about 10 days worth of charges, as that is how long the repair estimate was.

Ten days later, the body shop was contacted and they advised the repair would take much longer. To make a long story short, it took almost a month for this renter's personal car to be repaired. His card kept authorizing for the amount, so it was no big deal.

Then one day in early May, I got a call from the repair shop. The renter had no money to get his car out of the shop. Seems the shop was not billing the insurance company either and the renter would be paying them directly as well.

Immediately, I knew to flag this rental.

I was right. The renter's card - which was, I found out, a check card as opposed to a true credit card - started declining. This guy had NO money.

I advised my boss in an email of the situation prior to the rental going past due. I was told to wait until the renter owed money, as per company rules. I did, and sure enough, as I had predicted, the rental went past-due.

Of course, I tried all of the usual stuff - calling his home and work numbers (no answer), driving by his house to speak with him (never there), etc. My co-worker, Fred, reminded me that when this guy rented the car, he asked about mileage limitations as he was planning a trip to PA. We figured he had gone there.

On a hunch, I ran the card on the 5th of the month (when government checks arrive). Bingo - it ran for $100. At this point (June) the rental was past due almost $1000 - so I kept hitting the card for $100 increments. It maxed out at $800. Good news was, he was now only behind by $200. I advised management.

June played out the same way, and I was able to run his card again for $800 in July. By this point, he was only behind by $300.

I went back to the branch and brainstormed with co-workers. One went to the shop and used her feminine charm to obtain some information. I called the cell phone company and simply asked if there were any other numbers on his account. The cell company gave them to me!

It turned out that my co-worker found a number for the renter's mother, whom he had lived with. This so happened to be the same number I found form the cell company. I called it and spoke to the renter's mom. She tried to elude giving me any info. Some of the folks in the office were of the opinion that we had hit a dead end.

I, however, knew we had hit the jackpot.

Notice I stated the mother tried to elude giving me information - had she not known, she would have simply stated as much. I knew he was at her house with some frequency.

Friday morning, I got a call on the cell phone. It was Fred. He had planned on coming in an hour early and leaving an hour early that day. He said when he got there, the rented white Toyota Corolla that had not been back at our branch in over three months was sitting in the parking lot, cleaned up, and the keys were in the keybox.

I had found the vehicle the night before at the mother's house and "ganked that sukka." - Rental speak for having taken possession of the rented vehicle. Naturally, I prepared it for rental and put the keys away - all way after hours (about 10 pm).

Co-workers were astonished, to say the least.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Tyrranical Government

In an earlier post, I described the purpose of the 2nd amendment. As a memory refresher, I will cut & paste the specific part I reference:

"The 2nd Amendment is not about hunting. Hunting is, however, protected under it.
The 2nd Amendment is not about sport shooting. Sport shooting is, however, protected under it.
The 2nd Amendment is not about self-defense. Self-defense is, however, protected under it.
The 2nd Amendment IS about the ability to remove a tyrannical government. It is, therefore, the amendment most feared by tyrants."

Response to this one has been beyond what I expected. In an effort to further clarify and exemplify what exactly the founders intended, I will now shed light on an event that happened here in Tennessee over half a century ago. This event is known by several names, but the most common name is, "The Battle of Athens."

Here are some links to the story:
Wikipedia (hey, they even got this one right!)
Jews for the preservation of firearms ownership

For those who like Cliff's notes:
- Corrupt officials in McMinn county (Athens, TN) were rigging an election. They even denied a black man his right to vote because of his race.
- A bunch of citizens, largely led by some recently returned GI's, back from WWII, got their guns and fought back.
- Real vote outcome was not in the best interest of the corrupt officials.

In an interesting side note, a libtard "journalist" from the New York Times wrote a scathing article about the men who took their county back. He went so far as to state that they had done so erroneously. He also suggested they had not gone through the appropriate channels with their complaints. When you read the articles and information on this event, you can tell this "journalist" had not done his homework.

It seems not much has changed in the last sixty-plus years of liberal reporting.

Caliber Debate

In the gun world, people often discuss and debate caliber (size of bullet). Generally speaking, a larger caliber is more powerful. However, even .22's (one of the smaller, least potent sizes) can kill.

During Vietnam, the US military forces switched from the M-14 to the M-16. The older, more powerful M-14 fires a 7.62 mm (.30 caliber) projectile. This weapon has the pros of being powerful, accurate at long ranges, and the ability to fire fully automatic. However, it was heavy, long, and extremely difficult (if not impossible) to fire accurately in fully automatic settings.

The newer M-16 was far lighter. Designed with some parts being made in aluminum and other parts in polymers the fully loaded riffle weighed in at around 7 pounds, compared to nearly 13 pounds for the M-14. The ammunition was much lighter, as well. This enabled the soldiers to carry more ammo and it still could weigh less than the older M-14. However, the projectile was .223 caliber (5.56 mm). This smaller bullet traveled much faster, but weighed much less and was not as effective as far out as the M-14's 7.62 mm round.

For comparison's sake, modern shooters can shoot the M-16 platform well out to 800 meters. The M-14 can be shot well and is proven to still be lethal beyond 1000 meters.

In the dense jungles of Vietnam, however, conflicts rarely took place at ranges longer than 200 meters, and at that range, the lighter and more maneuverable M-16 proved to be more than capable. Without a doubt, the earlier models had some design flaws that have since been reworked and eliminated.

Fast forward to today. There are still plenty of people that argue that the M-14 is a better rifle than the M-16. There are rumors of the M-16 and similar designs (M-4 and AR-15 are two common "cousins" to the M-16) are under-powered.

But look at the facts. A 5.56 mm projectile fired from an M-4 (shorter barrel and, therefore, a slower velocity than the M-16) is still more powerful at 400 meters than the .45 caliber automatic handgun at point-blank range. This is despite the fact that .45 caliber projectile weighs over three times that of the 5.56 mm.

The difference? Speed. And lots of it.

So for those that question the validity, I am going to provide a link to a series of photos of a 5.56 mm rifle wound to the leg of a suspected criminal. The pictures are very graphic, and so they do prove a point - You really don't want to get shot by this rifle.


Oh, yeah, and by the way - there have been how many thousands of Iraqis and Afghanis and how many millions of Vietnamese killed by the 5.56 mm? They would argue that the round is plenty powerful, thank you!

Thursday, July 23, 2009


As always, I look to inform - to teach if you will. One of the reasons I created this blog was in response to several family members and friends who wanted to keep up on things pertaining to the 2nd amendment, without having to dig for the information themselves.

I like guns (in case you couldn't tell!) and I keep up with these things for my own personal gratification. I read websites such as and I read blogs about self defense use of firearms, as well as numerous other types of input. I try to learn something every day.

Some time ago, I learned why the term "libtard" was created.

To be precise, I learned how little these liberals actually learn about laws they wish to enact. Let me explain: Carolyn McCarthy decided she wanted to sponsor a bill some time ago that would, among other things, ban certain weapons and certain features on weapons. Problem was, she had no clue what those features were.

My favorite quote from this clip:
"It's the shoulder thing that goes up."
(When asked what a barrel shroud is).

Folks, a barrel shroud is another term, (infrequently used) for a forward hand-hold or grip. It is the front part of the stock you hold with the non-firing hand. It is that piece of wood, metal, polymer that protects your hand from the barrel as it heats up with each shot fired.

Obviously, Ms. McCarthy has no idea what it is, but she wants it banned, by golly!

In other news... oh, well, I could not find a single instance of a person being killed by a barrel shroud.

Cool Blog

One thing I have always liked is bugs. My buddy, Emily, has a whole blog about bugs. This is definitely what I would consider cool.

Please take a moment and visit Emily's blog. I learned something there earlier, and it is very entertaining!

This is unfortunate

My Sunday School teacher and friend, Right-Minded, has a blog. He was, in fact, one of the primary motivators I had in creating this blog.

Recently, he stated he was not interested in running for State Representative in place of Susan Lynn, should she run for the State Senate seat that will be vacated by Mae Beavers.

This is unfortunate.

Right-Minded, if you read this (and I know you do), please reconsider. What we need now is folks in office that are grounded in their faith, values, and convictions and are not afraid to vote that way!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


My dad is home and in good health. He should be ready to be fitted for the first prosthetic in a few weeks.

Thanks to all who asked about him, prayed for him, and offered support. It was all appreciated.

Education Continues

I met a lady today that had some reservations regarding the new carry in restaurants law. It was fascinating. As our conversation progressed, it became clear that although "she supported the right to have guns," she had only learned anything about them from the TV. This is sad, but I'm afraid it is how most of America learns most things.

One of her arguments: "Now criminals will make phony HCP cards and get into bars with them."

Where do I begin on this one?
1) An establishment of any sort may not demand to see your carry permit.
2) Establishments will not be asking for them anyways.
3) Criminals won't go through the trouble to create a fake card - they will just carry illegally.

The part about the establishments not being allowed to demand to see the permit to verify seemed to bother her the most.

Another argument she made: "This just gives more rights to the criminal."

Ugh. Too much TV. Uh, where to start? Oh, yeah...
1) This bill simply provided for another exception under TCA 39-17-1351 which deals with where one may and may not carry a firearm when carrying with a permit. Another place where permitted carry is authorized was defined by the bill.
PS - the look on her face when I cited the exact bill was, indeed classic!
2) Criminals are still prohibited from the purchase or ownership of firearms. This bill did not change that.

It was fascinating seeing her at the end state that she now understands more and would like to see the statistics after a few years. I think she still thinks crime will rise in alcohol serving establishments, but she at least stated she would review the statistics objectively.

Excuse me???

>>> Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Senator Feinstein Opposes Concealed Weapons Amendment

-Amendment would force California to recognize concealed carry permits issued in other states-

Washington, D.C. –U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today voiced strong opposition to an amendment to the defense authorization bill which would undermine California’s rigorous state standards that regulate who may carry a concealed weapon.

The Concealed Carry Permitting Amendment (#1618), offered by Senator John Thune (R-S.D.), would effectively allow the concealed carry laws of one state to nullify the restrictions on gun possession in other states. It would force California to recognize concealed carry permits issued elsewhere.

“I believe this amendment is reckless,” Senator Feinstein said. “I believe it is irresponsible. I believe it will lead to more weapons and more violence on the streets of our nation. And, of course, if successful, it is another step in a march to remove all common-sense gun regulations all over this land.”

“Concealed weapons laws that work in rural states may not be suitable in urban areas. What’s good for Iowa or Alaska may not be good for California or New York,” Senator Feinstein added.

Senator Feinstein joined Senators Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine in a news conference to voice their opposition to Senator Thune’s amendment.

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger also wrote a letter to Senator Feinstein, urging her to vote no on the amendment. (See attachment)

“This is a simple question of protecting California’s ability to determine who is allowed to carry a concealed weapon within our borders,” Gov. Schwarzenegger wrote. “I have consistently supported states’ rights to determine their own fates on a variety of issues. This amendment would trample the rights I have worked hard to protect."

And Gov. Schwarzenegger is no conservative, calling for her to vote against this measure!

These liberals are afraid of people being able to protect themselves. It goes directly against their liberal ideology for people to provide for themselves as opposed to reliance on the government for every part of their life.

They need to understand that they are not advocating positions that are capitalistic and that promote liberty. They are promoting positions that enslave people. But hey, maybe they do know that. Perhaps their goal is to enslave in a manner of speaking?

The only thing every American is "entitled" to per the US Constitution is "Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." Anything else exceeds the government's mandate in the Constitution.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Rules for a gun fight

1. Bring a gun. Preferably, bring at least two guns. Bring all of your friends who have guns.

2. Anything worth shooting is worth shooting twice. Ammo is cheap - life is expensive.

3. Only hits count. The only thing worse than a miss is a slow miss.

4. If your shooting stance is good, you're probably not moving fast enough or using cover correctly.

5. Move away from your attacker. Distance is your friend. (Lateral and diagonal movement are preferred.)

6. If you can choose what to bring to a gunfight, bring a long gun and a friend with a long gun.

7. In ten years nobody will remember the details of caliber, stance, or tactics. They will only remember who lived.

8. If you are not shooting, you should be communicating, reloading, and running.

9. Accuracy is relative: most combat shooting standards will be more dependent on "pucker factor" than the inherent accuracy of the gun. Use a gun that works EVERY TIME. "All skill is in vain when an Angel blows the powder from the flintlock of your musket."

10. Someday someone may kill you with your own gun, but they should have to beat you to death with it because it is empty.

11. Always cheat, always win. The only unfair fight is the one you lose.

12. Have a plan.

13. Have a back-up plan, because the first one won't work.

14. Use cover or concealment as much as possible.

15. Flank your adversary when possible. Protect yours.

16. Don't drop your guard.

17. Always tactical load and threat scan 360 degrees.

18. Watch their hands. Hands kill. (In God we trust. Everyone else, keep your hands where I can see them.)

19. Decide to be aggressive ENOUGH, quickly ENOUGH.

20. The faster you finish the fight, the less shot you will get.

21. Be polite. Be professional. But, have a plan to kill everyone you meet.

22. Be courteous to everyone, friendly to no one.

23. Your number one option for personal security is a lifelong commitment to avoidance, deterrence, and de-escalation.

24. Do not attend a gun fight with a handgun, the caliber of which does not start with anything smaller than "4".

25. You can't miss fast enough to win.

"Assault" Weapons

I have had several requests from readers of this blog to elaborate on the assault weapons ban of 1994. Specifically, I would like to point out the purpose of the ban, and how it really does not help anybody but criminals in the USA.

President Clinton and the Democratically led congress of 1994 passed this bill. In response, voters gave the Republicans control of congress later that year. In 2004, the ban expired, due to a "sunset" clause. Some feel Obama wishes to do this again. I think he does, but I also think he knows it will cost him the control in the house and the senate, so if he does it, look for it in his sixth year (I really hope he does not get re-elected).

"Assault" weapons had to be distinguished from "regular" firearms. To do so, the congress of 1994 set forth a list of prohibited features. It is here that I will dissect the ban for what it was worth (or, rather, what is was not worth!). Let's examine some of those "evil" features and what they really do:

1. Folding or telescoping stock.
The stock is the "butt" of the gun. You hold this part to your shoulder when firing. A folding or telescoping stock enables the rifle to be used by folks of different sizes. This is why the Army now uses the M4 (essentially an M-16 with a shorter barrel and a telescoping stock), because recruits come in different sizes.

This DOES NOT make the rifle fire faster (and what would be wrong with that?) or make the bullets more powerful. This IS simply a feature to provide more comfort to a wider range of shooters.

2. Pistol Grip.
This is the handle part that you hold onto when aiming and firing a rifle. Compared to the older "upland" style grips, the pistol grip is more ergonomic and comfortable to hold. It also provides for more accurate aiming by changing the body ergonomics to a more comfortable angle.

This DOES NOT make the rifle fire faster (and what would be wrong with that?) or make the bullets more powerful. This IS simply a feature to provide more comfort to a wider range of shooters.

3. Bayonet Mount.
This is a recessed area on the barrel that makes the attachment of an older-model bayonet possible. Please note that the bill did not ban bayonets, just the recessed area of metal that might allow for a bayonet to be attached.

These days, bayonet mounts come in many sizes and can attach easily to almost any barrel of any rifle or shotgun, with or without a recessed area on the barrel. So what good did this part of the legislation do? And how many stories in the news do you hear about 15 people getting bayonetted to death?

This DOES NOT make the rifle fire faster (and what would be wrong with that?) or make the bullets more powerful. This IS simply a feature to provide more accessories to a wider range of shooters.

4. Flash suppressor.
This is a notched attachment at the end of a barrel. It has two major functions: a) it reduces flash to the rear of the muzzle, reducing powder burns and making the act of shooting even safer; and b) it reduces recoil (kickback) significantly, making shooting a more pleasant experience. My wife Michelle loves to shoot my AR-15 with the muzzle flash suppressor. Why? It enables her to shoot a powerful hunting and self defense rifle without feeling like her shoulder got kicked by the local mule.

This DOES NOT make the rifle fire faster (and what would be wrong with that?) or make the bullets more powerful. This IS simply a feature to provide more comfort to a wider range of shooters.

5. Muzzle attachment for rifle activated grenade launcher.
Again, not banning grenade launchers themselves, just the attachment on the end of a barrel. Again, it makes no sense.

This DOES NOT make the rifle fire faster (and what would be wrong with that?) or make the bullets more powerful. This IS simply a feature to provide more comfort to a wider range of shooters.

6. "High capacity magazines"
This limited new production magazines (often errantly referred to as "clips") to a capacity of 10 rounds or fewer. A magazine with more capacity means that I can spend a little more time at the range shooting, rather than reloading empty magazines.

A recent study of mass shootings since this legislation took effect showed that the killers would have been able to kill just as many with 10-round magazines as some of them did with 30-round magazines. Remember, the 10-round magazine is smaller and inherently easier to change out.

This DOES NOT make the rifle fire faster (and what would be wrong with that?) or make the bullets more powerful. This IS simply a feature to provide more comfort to a wider range of shooters.

Some additional facts:
The two most common "assault weapons" that were the target of this bill were the AK47 and AR15. It should be noted that the typical .30-'06 deer-hunting rifle is more powerful at 500 yards than either of these two "assault rifles" are at point-blank range!

The textbook definition of an "assault weapon" is a firearm that is capable of fully automatic fire. These weapons are already strictly controlled through hoops in the purchase process, price, and taxation.

I love it when people use the term "military style" weapon. Every type of firearm was at one point a military style weapon. In fact, the Federalist papers point out that the creation of the 2nd amendment was specifically to allow the public access to the military style weapons of the day. The King of England wanted to limit the number of weapons in each household and restrict them to hunting models, only (sound familiar?).

For the record:
A) AR-15's and AK-47's are semi-automatic.
B) "Semi-automatic" means if I press the trigger, only one shot is fired. To fire again, I must release the trigger and depress it again.
C) "Fully automatic) means that one press of the trigger will fire multiple shots. Usually until the gun is out of ammo, or until the trigger is released. Occasionally, there will be a gun that fires a three-shot burst when set to "fully automatic."

The 2nd amendment is not about hunting. Hunting, is however, protected under it.
The 2nd amendment is not about sport shooting. Sport shooting is however, protected under it.
The 2nd amendment is not about self defense. Self defense is protected under it.
The 2nd amendment IS about the ability to remove a tyrannical government. It is therefore, the amendment most feared by Tyrants.

If a politician is willing to disregard your rights under the 2nd amendment, what other rights of yours will he disregard?

Convicted Fellon: 0 - 10-year-old Boy: 1

A Ten-year-old boy recently was forced to defend himself and his sister from three intruders. One of the intruders was newly released from his seven year sentence for aggravated assault on a police officer and two counts of carjacking!

Now, normally, I would say that the only sad part is that the intruders who got shot survived. However, since this was only a child that had to shoot in self defense, I think the outcome was just fine.

I hope the slime gets more than seven years in jail for this one!

By the way - the liberals would ask: why were the boy and girl home alone? Why did they have access to a gun? Why didn't they just call the police?

Well, you see, some people in this world prefer to do for themselves than to wait for others to do for them. This boy, I'm certain, is one of those.

Also, it is a known fact that police are required only to report crimes that have already happened. They are under no requirement to protect you. As a good friend of mine who is a cop once said: "Police just cleanup after the crime."

That little boy called the police in to do just that - clean up the mess the intruders left after he shot them in the middle of their crime!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

And then there were eight

This Tuesday past - July 14 - it became legal for a Tennessee Handgun Carry Permit holder to carry his handgun into a bar or restaurant that serves alcohol by the drink.

The media and various liberal groups whined and complained and generally made a ruckus of it. They said things like "guns and alcohol don't mix." They claimed that we would return to the days of the wild west.

None of it has come true. And they knew it wouldn't.

You see, now 42 of the 50 states allow for licensed handgun carriers to carry in restaurants that serve alcohol - usually provided that they do not drink while carrying. These states include the liberal bastions of New York, Hawaii, and California!

Illinois completely ban the carrying of firearms by civilians. Wisconsin only has provisions for open-carry. If you ask me, this is unconstitutional. But nevertheless, this means that in states where one can become licensed to carry a handgun, 42 of 48 permit doing so in a restaurant that serves alcohol. Arizona also just passed legislation to join the group.

Here we are, almost three days later and we have yet to hear of the first shootout. There has not been blood in the streets. In fact, life in TN restaurants, from what I gather, has been altogether boring.

Maybe the criminals realize now that folks can fight back in the restaurants.

Pops in the hospital

OK -

Pops had the vacuum machine removed today. The doctors also looked around inside the wound and found no further infection. Then the fun began...

One of the nurses accidentally knocked his IV out of his arm. The IV was providing fluids and PAIN MEDICINE. Moments later, my father is in excruciating pain. Then more fun...

The nurse cannot put the IV back in. After several painful and unsuccessful attempts, she calls the phlebotomist. He inserts the IV correctly the first time - after my father's arm is hamburger meat from the incompetent nurse's attempts.

Pops gets out of the hell-hole tomorrow.

Thank God!

I don't think he could survive their attempts on his life any more.

Not a Repo story, but...

This is one of my favorite stories from car rental - ever.

Renter calls, "needing a new car since the one she has will not start." She needs it brought to her at work - evidently the rental car has died there at her place of employment.

I arrive at the renter's work location, and I find the renter. When we get to the car, things start not adding up really quick. First, the car door was unlocked, but the key would not even go into the ignition. I ask if she had unlocked the car with the remote. She stated that she had.


She then stated that some of her belongings had been taken from the car. She thought it had been broken into and that had killed the car.


I realized the seat was way back - at a position that would be comfortable for me (a tall man) and not so much so for her (over a foot shorter than me). I asked her if she had moved the seat. She stated she had not. Car thieves don't move the seats.


I use the remote and try to lock and unlock the car. No response.


I am starting to sense her urgency of wanting to take the car I brought. She said she liked the one she already had better, but since this one had "died" she did not trust it anymore.

A rule of thumb I developed in the car rental business back in 1999 was that the more the renter wanted to rush me, the more I needed to take my time and think, because something was not quite right.

I used that rule of thumb here and started all over from the beginning. I looked at the keys. Most rental agencies put a "unit number" or similar on the keytag because they purchase many cars that look identical. I realize the number on the key tag does not match the number on the car.

I ask the renter if she is not parked somewhere else. She adamantly replies that she parked RIGHT HERE and nowhere else. She gives me an evil look for implying she might have forgotten where she had parked. But I knew better at this point.

I looked around the parking lot and spotted another car that looked identical. It was five cars over and one row back. I hit the alarm button on the remote and the other car started beeping its horn.

I pressed the button again and the horn honking stopped.

"Ma'am, I think this is your rental over here." I suggested.

"No way, this is where I parked." She claimed.

"The keys will work on this other one, I'd bet. Plus, it's not parked very far from here. It would be an honest mistake." I suggest.

"I don't think the keys will work in it." She says.

I walk over to the car and turn it on.

She puts her things in the correct car and leaves without saying a word. She does not even respond when I ask her if all her things were in fact still there in the correct car.

This was a great story told at the next Manager's meeting.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Yet another Repo Story

Ya'll tell me if these get boring.
(actually, so far, I've only received good responses on the repo stories).

Setting: Spring 2001. I was assistant manager at the Enterprise on Mendenhall (same as in the last story I posted - this was a few weeks later). This time we had a claimant (other person was at fault) who had been paid for her car as it had been a total loss. Renter kept the car past the last day. The insurance company told us about the last day, only seven days later (jerks!).

The usual couple of days passed with the renter avoiding our attempts to contact her. Please note - not all folks do this, but people who get the rental car repo'd sure do avoid calls like the plague!

I get a copy of the key. That was easy as this renter was the first person to rent this car. It was a brand new Chevy Metro. She got it with 2 miles on the odometer. We still had the spare key for this car in the drawer. My manager, Jeremy and I did some tracing and found where she worked and what shift.

That night - around 7 pm - it was still dark as we pulled into the parking lot of the call center the renter worked for. We saw the metro. Sure enough, she had wrecked the brand new car! There were significant dents on the rear bumper. But that was not all we saw.

Packed into this subcompact car was every belonging she and her infant had managed to acquire over the course of her life. Yes, it looked as though she had moved into the car.

New key, engine starts, and away we go. Repo finished. This is where things get interesting.

Note - many personal items get left in rental cars accidentally during normal rentals, as well as things are often in rental cars when repo's are necessary. It was the policy of Enterprise that employees document the belongings removed from a rental car to make it easy for the renter to come back and let us return their possessions to them. We were forbidden by law to hold possessions in lieu of payment owed on the rental.

This renter had the longest documentation I have ever seen. There were thousands of objects to document. It took me and my manager working together for over four hours to log everything.

Another note - this Enterprise location shared the building with Enterprise corporate offices for West Tennessee, as well as Enterprise Remarketing and Car Sales for West TN at that time. In short, there were twenty some-odd other Enterprise employees just down the hall.

You know, we just had to show them the piles of bags we filled with the renter's belongings.

My area and city managers both commented in their six and ten years with the company, respectively, they had never seen so much stuff come out of one rental car. Much less a tiny little Metro.

Then, right there in front of the girls that worked in loss control (handling damage claims on rental cars), we see a box labeled "PRIVATE"

You know what we had to do.

My manager, Jeremy, opened it.

We shouldn't have. It had been most certainly labeled appropriately.

People, I am no expert in the areas of erotic toys, but I got through lessons 1 - 87 that very moment. Holy cow, did that girl like her "toys."

Several of the others ran back into the building to get more co-workers. This had to be witnessed by all!

Moments later, the thirty or so of us, tired of seeing these... devices... decided to close the box back up, put rubber bands around it, and catalog it all as a single item.

I go back inside and at least a half dozen of the various employees are on phones to workers at other Enterprise locations. The conversations all started with the phrase: "You are not going to believe this!"

Two weeks later, when the renter came to retrieve her personal belongings, I found it hard not to laugh in her face. I did however, make sure to tell the other employees in the other parts of the building that "she" was there. No other prompting was needed. A crowd gathered.

The renter pulled me aside as I explained the crowd as a bunch of employees preparing to go to a meeting. She asked me if I had found... "a box..."

"I saw one labeled private and made sure to bind it up and away from prying eyes," I lied. I made sure to show it to her as we loaded her new SUV full of the stuff she had left in that poor little rental car.

It had taken me twenty minutes to load all of the bags up into her new vehicle.

But now I had a story to tell my kids... when they grow up, that is!

Good News

Pops came through surgery well and is scheduled to be released tomorrow.

Interesting side note - he caught the Staph infection from either the hospital or the rehab facility. The same thing happened when he was in the hospital almost twenty years ago. Then today, he cut his finger and the nurse at hand wiped it down with a dirty, used washcloth form his bathroom. That's how Staph gets into the body, folks!

A quick record of complaint about the nurse and he was given the prognosis of going home tomorrow. It is certainly going to be safer for him than staying in a hospital.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Guns in Restaurants

Well, it's here. TN now has a provision for guns in restaurants.

In other news, there were no shoot-outs, killings by HCP holders, or other such garbage in the news anywhere in the state this fine day!

Family Illness

Well, Pops is back in the hospital.

It seems he acquired a case of Staph infection at the rehab facility just prior to leaving. He had it operated on tonight. They are going to keep his stub wound open until Thursday and vacuum out the gunk.

The operation went well and he should not have to go back to rehab as he can get around pretty well

Right now it looks like he will get home this weekend. I will keep you blog fans posted.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Fight Over

In recent (today's) news, the fight over "guns in bars" - which should really be called what it truly is: "Guns in restaurants like most other states," - is about over. This story details that the judge in the case to attempt to get a temporary injunction against the law has failed. Chancellor Claudia Bonnyman ruled that there will be no injunction.

Unfair, you say? Here's what the media has not told you:

1. Any business (bar, restaurant, or almost anything else) may post a sign in accordance with Tennessee Code Annotated 39-17-1359 which prohibits Handgun Carry Permit holders from carrying their weapons on their premises.

2. The HCP holder MAY NOT consume alcohol while in the possession of his or her firearm. This holds true in bars and restaurants, as well.

3. There are 37 "shall issue" states like TN. 35 of them have identical or substantially similar laws. The catch is usually that the gun carrying citizen may be restricted in the following possibilities:
a) the gun owner may not drink at all while carrying. or
b) the gun owner may only have one drink while carrying. or
c) the gun owner must keep his or her b.a.c. at or below the same limit as needed to drive.

Most other states do as TN will now do and completely ban the carry holder from drinking at all while carrying a firearm.

I, on the other hand, patiently await my new business cards, which indicate that any business with a sign in accordance with TCA 39-17-1359 will lose my business because of such sign. I will spend my money with businesses that want it.

PS - I have seen gun stores that do not allow carry permit holders to enter. Now that's just asinine.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Repo Story

OK, for this installment, I will take you back to the first part of 2001. I was the assistant manager of the Enterprise on Mendenhall in Memphis (this location has since moved to Winchester Rd.).

Yet again, we had a renter who had no $500 for her deductible to get her car out of the shop. Why these folks never figured on it BEFORE putting their cars in the shop still is beyond me.

So, the insurance company stops paying. Renter finally gets her car out of the shop. Mysteriously, she never returns the rental. I speak to the bodyshop manager who advised me she had paid for and reclaimed her car. I asked him if she dropped the rental off there.

Side note on dropping a rental car off somewhere other than the rental location:
Yes, sometimes people are foolish enough to leave a rental car somewhere other than the rental outlet - DON't EVER DO THIS, folks - the liability you face is incredible. And the number of vehicles damaged in such a case is very high - guess who gets to pay for that - YOU! And it is not only legal, but it is correct as well. The rental agreement you signed states you are responsible for the car until YOU return the car to the rental location (even if they brought the car to you!).

Meanwhile, I try to contact renter. No luck. Phone calls are not being answered. Finally, the card stops authorizing and she gets behind. I get keys cut.

My wife, Michelle and I have just finished a "date night" which consisted of dinner and a movie. I have the keys and ask if she wants to go on a repo. Of course she does (Michelle loves going on repos!).

So we arrive at the renter's residence and the car is in the driveway. No signs that say "No Trespassing" so this baby is a go. I walk up to the car and see why the renter has not returned the car. She is embarrased.

This car had been in a pretty bad wreck. All of the damage was on the front end and the driver's side. For all I know, this one may have tipped up on one side. It was a physical exertion to open the door. It was mangled shut.

I get in and we drive away - back to the rental branch. I have gone no more than two blocks when I realize the engine is about to overheat. No coolant. I pull over and realize there's not much radiator left, either.

TWO HOURS later I finally get the car a mile and a half down the road to a repair facility we used. I called them that Saturday morning, even though it was my day off so they could get to work on the car.

I guess she thought we would just forget about the car and she would never have to pay for the damages?

Four on one. Wasn't even close.

This story from Memphis proves a point I've long made when teaching unarmed self defense.

FACT: The mere presence of a gun can easily neutralize decades of unarmed training as well as any disadvantage due to lack of height, strength, speed, skill, or athletic ability.

To sum up:
A Concealed Weapons Permit Holder form Alabama, who also happened to be a jewelry wholesaler, was leaving a Memphis jewelry store. Four bad guys jump him. He pulls his weapon and shoots two of them. The other two, in a typical act of extreme cowardice, leave their fallen companions and flee.

According to the report, the four bad guys had been following the jewelry wholesaler for an undetermined amount of time, looking for the right opportunity.


Two of them almost got what they deserved - they are in the hospital in critical condition. The other two are still on the loose.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Regular Repo

Renter with a car in the shop could not afford her $500 deductible. I found this out from the bodyshop manager after she spoke with him and worked out a payment arrangement.

I knew immediately to flag this rental.

Sure enough, the arrangement changed, and she was going to go "week-to-week" until she had paid $500 to the shop. Problem: the car was fixed and the insurance company would not pay over three days past the completion date. Renter had no cash on file and my attempts to authorize additional payment on her card failed.

I called the renter and explained the situation. Naturally, she felt overwhelmed with a second major bill in her life now. However, the initial $150 that was authorized on her card would keep her a little over a week. I advised her if she wanted to keep the rental, to make a deposit by Friday and I told her the amount.

The reason Friday was so important was because although she still had some equity as of Friday, by Monday she would wind up owing. I knew from experience not to let this happen.

I advised my manager - just in case. He was level-headed and said to give her a day or two to prove she either intended to pay, or not. He told me Monday I could get the car.

Friday came and went. Monday came and went. I attempted to contact the renter several times on both days. No response. That is never a good sign.

That Monday, I showed Louis, a trainee getting ready for promotion, my preparation routine for a repo: Get keys, know where renter works and where renter lives. Know when renter is at work. This renter worked as a professor at a local University, if memory serves me correctly. Finding where the car would be would be a problem. But I did know her last class ended at 3:30 - putting her home around 4pm.

4:00 pm came and she pulled in like clockwork. We knocked on her door, in an attempt to retrieve the keys and give her the chance to retrieve any possessions. She saw we were from the rental car agency and then asked us to go away.

I complied with her wishes.

However - I took the car with me when I went. In Louis' words, it was anti-climactic. Yep, that's repo'ing rental cars. She did come in a few weeks later, paid the balance, then asked if she could have her belongings back. In Tennessee, rental companies are not allowed to hold personal possessions in lieu of rental fees. However, since she suggested...

She had a very boring list. I've seen some lists of possessions that... well, are not fit for print on a family website.

Repo in Jackson, TN

OK, for another Repo story:

Setting, Jackson, TN. I was a brand new assistant manager. The manager that had promoted me there got promoted to another branch within 4 days. I was disappointed, because I liked him (his name was Rich). He had been my first manager with Enterprise.

This was June of 2000. It was already hot outside. I had to work Saturday because, well, Rich was going to be at another Branch! On Friday, I decided to look through files to see where all the customers were, financially.

Not a good idea.

There were 7 renters that were behind over $150. I called all of them. One answered, claimed not to know he was behind (I am inclined to this day to believe him, there were no notes in the file of having been called since the rental started), and came in and paid.

Six renters did not have working phones, or did not answer, or could not pay (I advised three renters to bring the cars back that evening to avoid additional charges). None of the three returned the cars. So, I had keys cut on Friday afternoon.

I was actually living in Memphis (Cordova area) and so the drive to Jackson Saturday morning took right at an hour. I arrived in town about 6:00 am. Branch opened at 8:00 am. I had a pocket full of keys.

First house - jackpot. I ganked that car so fast you would have been surprised. I left my car in a nearby grocery store and walked up to the driveway and was gone. But now I realized I had a problem. I was almost eight miles from the branch. So I parked the rental car and use dmy car to scout out the next repo, which was only two blocks away.

Jackpot II. I repeated this process. Now there were two rental cars side by side in the grocery store parking lot.

Fortunately, the third renter was only six blocks away. Same story, same dance, same result.

Now I had to move a bit across town. About two miles away, I found the fourth rental car. It was about 7:00 am by now. Of course, as had been the case with the first three, the fourth car was all alone in the driveway of this renter while he or she slept. I remember this car was damaged. I parked this one in the parking lot of a nearby gas station and moved to the south end of town for the final two.

The last two were a half mile apart, and there was another grocery store near them. I repeated the process and had two more in custody. By now, it was actually 8:00 am. Our area manager was one to call early on Saturday to make sure the branches all were open, so I hustled back to the branch in one of the rentals, leaving my car at that grocery store.

Once I opened the branch, all heck broke loose. Myself and an intern were the only two people there. This intern had only been with the company 30 days or so and could barely write a rental contract. We wound up doing over 20 that day. That's a lot. My best day at the busiest branch I did 23 (it was a regular 11-hour day, not a shortened 4 hour Saturday). And that day flew by.

In between washing cars, answering phones, answering questions on rental basics, I called in three drivers and they began picking up cars. It took them over three hours to get all the cars back to the branch. The last trip was one in the personal vehicle of one of the drivers to get my personal car.

Then I went back to the branch to close out those repo contracts and run daily reports. I was there until 3:00 pm even though the branch closed at 12:30 noon. Michelle was none too happy about my extended day.

I am to this day, still proud of having completed six repos in one day.

July 14

We are rapidly approaching July 14. In case you have not been following the news, that's when House Bill 962 becomes law, allowing legal Handgun Carry Permit holders to carry in restaurants that serve alcohol provided they do not drink.

Wait. What's that? You haven't heard of it? Let me rephrase - this is the day that it will be legal to have (as the liberal media refers to it) "guns in bars."

As always, let me give you some facts on this law:
1. Guns will be allowed in bars - so long as they are on the person who has a valid Handgun Carry Permit (HCP), and provided that the person does not drink. THAT MEANS EVEN A SIP!
2. Guns will be permitted in restaurants that serve alcohol. This was, in fact, the whole reason for the bill. Again, the person must have a valid HCP and may not drink alcohol.
3. Only HCP holders will be entitled to do this.
4. Any restaurant or bar that does not want HCP holders to carry in their establishments simply must post a sign in accordance with TCA 39-17-1359.

Now that we have all that out of the way, did you know?
1. All states surrounding Tennessee have similar laws on the books already!
2. Most of the 37 states that are "shall-issue" with regards to permits to carry weapons have similar laws on the books already (only 2 of them don't!)
3. HCP holders in TN have a clean background, as checked by the FBI and TBI.
4. HCP holders have taken a class, proven themselves on a range, and paid out hundreds to do so, just to get the cool little card that lets them carry!
5. Criminals don't really care if it's legal or not to carry a gun anywhere. The only people that are limited are law-abiding HCP holders.

So why all the fuss? I really don't know. Makes for good news story filling time, I suppose.

Do guns and alcohol mix? No. But the new law takes that into consideration, as well.

Could a HCP holder break the law and carry while drinking? Sure. It's likely he (or she) would pay the consequences, as well. Too bad the hardened criminals do not always pay the consequences for their crimes.

So please hurry up & get here, July 14. I want to stop having to take off 5 pounds of my attire just to go into certain restaurants. And for those restaurants that post the signs - I will take my money elsewhere and let you know about it.

Robbers just don't get it.

This story has a happy ending for everybody except the robbery suspects.

PS - From my point of view, robbers don't deserve a happy ending of any sort.

Folks, if you are really interested in self defense, get a gun and LEARN HOW TO USE IT. WELL. Would-be robbers and bad guys travel in groups and use weapons. The chances of you using "hand-to-hand" self defense techniques are rare, unless you frequently get drunk & get into fights at bars or frat parties.

Martial Arts for Self Defense

There are many reasons to do martial arts. One of them is self defense. This is a bit ironic as most people not familiar with the arts will just assume all folks who do martial arts do them for the self defense aspect. This is certainly not the case.

Most martial artists stay with the martial art(s) of their choosing for a number of different reasons, self defense being only one of them. There are martial artists who practice for health benefits, fun, sport, professional competition, teach professionally, and a number of other reasons.

Within the martial arts communities, there used to exist an attitude of "my art is better than your art," or some such nonsense. The death blow for this happened in 1993 when the Ultimate Fighting Championship was created. People soon learned several things over the next few years:

1. He who controls the range, controls the fight.
2. The most effective training yields the most effective results.
3. There is no one art that is superior or inferior. There are only superior/inferior training methods.
4. A martial artist who hopes to have success should have expertise in all ranges of fighting.
5. There are really only 3 major ranges of fighting: striking; clinch, ground grappling.
6. Within each range of fighting, there are several "sub-ranges."
7. Mastery of each of these "sub-ranges" is critical to control the fight.
8. Most martial arts have useful parts to them.
9. Most martial arts have useless (or at least less useful) parts in them.
10. Fighting is not what we once thought it was. Even MMA is not an "end-all, be-all."

So this past week, I fielded a question. As a grappler first, and a karate stylist second, someone asked me why I put my son in an Olympic Tae Kwon Do studio as his first martial art. Here are the reasons I gave:

1. Training is everything. How he trains, he will fight. He is learning excellent timing, and kicking the level of which I cannot duplicate myself, much less hope to teach him.
2. Who ever said this would be his only art?
3. He is 4. He started at age 3. Not many grappling programs (none that I know of) start that young. Most start at age 7.
4. I had met the instructor. I wanted my son to have a positive and assertive male role-model other than dad. Mr. Smith is just that. He is no "wussified" metro-sexual.
5. His school & instructor HAD to be open to the fact that there are other martial arts that are just as legitimate within their realm as the one being taught. Cael's studio and instructor, Mr. Smith, are that way.
6. Nothing wrong with him having black belts in multiple disciplines. I do.

So tell me what you think. Give me some feedback. What other arts should he train?

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Back Home

Well, we are finally back in Mount Juliet.

The vacation was terrific, but I am very glad to be back to the same routine. I look forward to visiting with agents this week.

My dad is doing much better. No pain in his foot for the first time in over 20 years. Of course, there is no foot there anymore, either. We got to see him in rehab yesterday and today. He seemed to like seeing the grandkids.

I look forward to completing more blogging. I do like when people comment. It lets me know people are really reading this blog. I tried a site visit tracker, but I must have messed it up, because it never really worked well (or at all).

Also, I am up for suggestions on what you, the fans, want to see me blogging about. Send me those requests.

Saturday, July 4, 2009


I'm in the outskirts of Macon, GA, this morning at the Holiday Inn. Nice place. Of course, cashing in some of my reward points for a free stay is even better.

Last night, the family ate at a Huddle House. It was in fact my first time (but I am a Waffle House aficionado) at a Huddle House. However, the food was very good (no way it was good for me), and much like a Waffle House in most respects.

The part you might like is that on the way out, while paying the tab at the front, I noticed several business cards. Now this is not unusual, as I will see these solicitations in many places. The funny part was one of the stacks of cards - or, rather, the cards in that particular stack.

The card reads:
"Adopt - A - Potty LLC
*** insert a picture of a cartoon dog, in front of a doghouse, with a roll of TP in his mouth ***
Portable Toilets
Also Septic tank Instalation, Repair and cleaning"

Seriously, this guy sells or rents portable toilets. Why is he advertising this in a restaurant? Shouldn't he be going to the organizers of Bonnaroo, or to construction locations, or other places you see portable toilets?

Amazing the things you see in life.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Carrying stories

So I pretty much carried everywhere I went this week, except for those places not permitted by law in FL.

Not one person called me on it.

Rarely does a week go by in Tennessee that somebody does not notice. Usually, they don't really care. Except this one time in Blockbuster. That will be another post - but only if requested by my fans.

On a side note, I like showing my handgun carry permit as ID. Gets some good reactions sometimes.

On another side note - I carry a full size Glock (model 22 - .40 caliber). I carry inside my waistband at about 4:00 position. Very comfortable for me. After a few minutes, I forget it's there.

If you have seen me or spoken to me in the past year or so, I was probably wearing it. Yeah, it's that unnoticeable. If I know you, I will be happy to show its location to you. If you want, I will remove the firearm and let you see it - provided we are in the comfort of somebody's home. I don't wanna scare the sheeple... I mean people out there.

If you wanna learn how to shoot, I'll be happy to give you some pointers. And I'll take you to the range. My treat if I know you, or if you come recommended by a close friend.

Family Vacation

Well, vacation almost over, I must take a moment and reflect on some observations. I hope you find them amusing.

First, we vacationed in Kissimmee, FL. Literally 10 minutes from Disney. My in-laws own a time share there.

Have had a great time, eaten great food, and enjoyed teaching the martial arts seminar.

Another repo story

In case you can't tell, the first couple of Repo Stories were indeed the best ones I have. However, since there are all kinds of people, I am sure some of these others will entertain some of you folks out there in internet land.

Setting: Just outside of Jackson, TN. I am a newly-promoted assistant manager. Renter obtained the car under the impression that an insurance company would pick up the tab. They didn't. It really was not the renter's fault - I could see his point of view in the claim. In fact, I think the insurance company was taking him for a ride and not paying the claim because they knew he was poor and could not fight the decision.

Renter lived WAY out in the boonies. Nearest neighbor was two miles away, etc. His only telephone number he gave was disconnected (naturally). The cash he left for a deposit ran out fairly quickly. I was able to reach him through a cousin (last name was the same as another renter we had - lucky find, really). He kept claiming he would "take it to his attorney."

Evidently, my persuasive powers of trying to get him to bring back the rental car before he owed us money (or at least coming by and dropping off some more cash so he could keep it longer) were as of yet, unrefined as he ignored my suggestions.

So days passed and the money was used up and he got into the red.

Now let me explain something. In Tennessee, it is entirely up to the rental agency as to when they want their car back. Technically, a repo could happen while the customer still had cash (or charge) left on file to pay. However, as circumstances fluctuate and as all people are different, the usual rule of thumb was to wait until the renter was two to three days behind and multiple contact attempts before attempting a repo.

This situation was slightly different. I had spoken with the insurance company directly and all but pleaded with them to allow us to bill them. No dice (as I mentioned, my persuasive abilities were as of yet unrefined). I could see this one coming in advance.

So the day before the money ran out, I had a key cut.

When the day came, I was prepared with a map, the key, and a ride. We were doing a delivery a bit past the renter's residence that day and I tagged along. Instructions for the others included a request to have them try to call me on the branch cell phone to see if I would need a ride back. They would drop me off and then assume I got the repo if they did not hear from me.

I found the car and stepped in after being dropped off. Key in, engine started, car in gear and then it died. (Remember my two rules? This is why!)

I tried it again and got identical results.

Then I see the renter walking out of his domicle (a fairly classy looking mobile home). I'm busted. Well, no doubt what I'm trying to do so there is no need to try to cover it up, either.

Eventually, I convinced the renter to hand over the key, since he had no more money to give me. All the while, he was threatening to call his attorney, because "this wasn't right." Understand, he did not like me repo'ing the car, but he was really mad at the insurance company, not me. He made that clear. I was glad, because he smelled of drugs and the dogs all around me were barking like mad.

So I leave and get back to the branch. I close out the rental contract and he owes... $1.81. Yep, almost two bucks. But the manager of the branch had insisted I do that one, so I did. And I wrote off the $1.81. That actually got the manager irate at me... cursing and yelling. At my prior assigment, as a mere Management Trainee, I had once written off over $500 and nobody bated an eye. This guy was a new manager, and did not want his profitability hurt.

Since most managers at that time made 5% commission off of the branch profits, I gave him a dime out of my pocket to cover his loss. His response? He looked at me incredulously and said "you don't get it." I still take exception to that comment. Besides, I was NOT going to be the assistant manager to put somebody in collections for $1.81.

Repo: not really that interresting or unusual.
Manager's response: Priceless for the idiocy.

Family Illness VI

Well, after not having internet for almost a week :(
Here is an update on Pops.

Pops is doing well and has been transferred to a rehab facility. Supposed to get fitted for the first of several prosthetics next week. He is doing well in the rehab assignments and getting stronger every day.

Thanks to all who have offered up prayers and support.

Seminar In the Books

Well, vacation is almost over. I am in Macon, GA tonight and back to Chattanooga tomorrow to see Pops in the hospital.

The seminar this past weekend is over. A lot of fun was had by all. Special thanks to Jimmy Jackson and Bill Holland for making me feel at home, despite being hundreds of miles away. The hotel they put me up in was very cute. It had a real key! I haven't seen one of those at a hotel in years!

The students, though young, were enthusiastic and willing to learn. That is all I could ever ask for. They seemed to have fun and they learned a lot. Nobody got hurt and that is always my first and biggest goal. I had an absolute blast.

Bill Holland invited me back to the dojo Monday night to teach a bit during his regular class. I sparred with all of the students there. Everybody did great! I was worn out.

I look forward to doing this again in the near future.