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.


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, 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 -

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.

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.


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. 


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!


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."

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.