Monday, May 31, 2010

Baseball Update

Right Minded really like the Phillies. Really likes them.

I must post this, as it might be the last time all season I can do so...

The Atlanta Braves (my favorite team since 1982) has taken the lead today in the National League East Division.

They did so by beating the Phillies head-to-head.

I am relishing the moment, as it is likely going to be fleeting in nature.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Fun Day

Yesterday, I took my 5-year-old son to Lake Winnepesaukah in Chattanooga, TN. We have been in Chattanooga since Friday - spending time with family over the Holiday Weekend.

This is not the first time my son has been to Lake Winnie. He is an avid fan of the rides and attractions offered at the quaint little amusement park. I enjoyed myself, too. My parents took me often when I was young.

I encourage my readers to visit as the park is very fun, and very affordable. The two of us had a coupon and got admission and unlimited rides for $49. That's cheaper than admission for one to Six Flags, or similar. Also, the food and drinks are priced more reasonably than a big park, too. In fact, our food was less than same would have been at any area movie theater.

Why research is important

It is an election year. Many candidates running for offices will point out, and correctly so, their good ratings by the NRA. They do this because they know the "gun vote" is very important. Many folks who are less enthusiastic than me about firearms, still care whether a politician wishes to take them away.

Rightfully so.

Let me point out a small problem people may run across. NRA ratings. Many democrats, and some republicans get good NRA ratings, but are still anti-gun... or at the least: are anti-gun-freedom.

Case in point: Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen. Bredesen has twice vetoed bills by the Tennessee state house that would bring Tennessee into the mainstream and allow Handgun Carry Permit Holders to carry into establishments serving alcohol, provided they do not consume alcohol while carrying. Right Minded has a good article on this. Both bills were backed by the NRA. Bredesen at one point, held an "A" rating with the NRA. Yet, his true colors came out.

There is another part to this point. That is the fact that the NRA does not always back gun-freedoms. For example, the NRA refused to originally provide any form of support for DC vs. Heller. Also, the NRA backed the legislation in 1986, which virtually killed the general public's ability to purchase selective fire firearms.

One popular saying in gun circles is: "Having the NRA represent you before Congress is like having your mother-in-law represent you in divorce court." While that may be extreme, the fact is that the NRA has lacked the spine in several major cases on gun rights.

My point is this:
- Being backed by the NRA is not an end-all-be-all. Many gun grabbers have been.
- The NRA itself is not completely the bastion of gun freedoms some would believe it is.

So people, do some research on your candidates. Email me, and I'll gladly do research. I do have reliable sources and methods for finding things out about politicians in most areas.

For Governor of Tennessee, the good guys (when it comes to gun rights) are:
- Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey
- Congressman Zach Wamp
- Joe Kirkpatrick

For what it's worth, most laws Tennessee has put on the books in the last 15 years that have returned freedoms to Tennessee gun owners, have been voted for (if not written by) Ron Ramsey. He is by far the most pro-gun candidate in the race.
Joe Kirkpatrick and Zach Wamp both have strong leanings, but no voting records to back it up. For the sake of clarity, Kirkpatrick does not hold office, so could not possibly have voted for or against gun rights legislation.

Knoxville mayor and "republican" candidate for Governor Bill Haslam once belonged to Bloomberg's "Mayors against Illegal Guns" - a mis-named organization that is a gun-grabbing pot of hate speech against our second amendment rights. Haslam also stated last fall that he would have voted to keep HCP holders from carrying in Knoxville parks, had the vote been split and he were called upon as the tie-breaker.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

On becoming a Rifleman

I jotted down some notes and thoughts on the shooting of the AQT (Army Qualification Test) that earned me a “Rifleman” patch with the Appleseed project.

The Appleseed shoots a modified version of the course of fire that the Army used teach trainees to shoot on. It is quite similar to the modern NRA Highpower match course of fire. Here are the details of how it was shot, and what I was thinking:

It was toward the end of the day – after 2:00 pm. We had done drills and practiced all morning long. Myself and another fellow had established ourselves as the cream of the shooting crop for this particular shoot by this time. The newer shooters were asking for our help, and the instructors were already saying things like “you guys already know how to do this.”

The instructors announced we would then be doing an AQT.

Stage 1, I scored a 44. Not my best, but not bad.

Stage 2, I scored a 43. Again, not my best, but workable.

Stage 3 I scored a 41. This was not as good as I had been wanting or expecting, but (again) it was workable.

My mind raced into calculations - I would need a score of 41 in the final course to make the “Rifleman” score. In the final stage, points are doubled, so that would give me 82 points, and a nice, new patch.

I paced the line as we were in prep time for the final course. One of the instructors told me later I looked like a caged predator. My mind focused, like I do so often, on the goal at hand. My focus drilled down to a single point. Some people might say I was “psyched up.”

Course 4, I scored 44 points. Times two, it amounted to 88 points. Not my best AQT by a long shot, but it was the one that mattered. I had made the grade.

I gave the target to one of the instructors in order to check my math. I had originally scored it a 217, but the instructor – Big Mama – scored it a 216 (errantly, as I have verified since via calculator that it was actually 217). Either way, I'd made the grade. Handshakes all around as the instructors present as well as the other shooters congratulated me. My internal feelings of not shooting as well as I felt I should have melted away with the joy of knowing what I’d accomplished.

What's more - I had done it my way. I used a rifle that was straight out of the box. I used iron sights (no scope). No sling was used. Bulk ammo (not high-quality match grade ammo) was my choice. There were no excuses that anyone could make.

Better yet, my fellow shooter, Will, shot a 206 (if I recall correctly). Two AQT’s later, using Big Papa's tricked-out 10/22, he earned his Rifleman patch. This was his fourth Appleseed. He truly exhibited tenacity and perseverance.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Another something I find funny

I've been in a humorous mood today. Here's another one I remembered and decided to put on the blog for your reading entertainment. This has to do with the use of blinkers on cars. My friends from the North call them "directionals."

Normally, one would use blinkers to signal an intended turn.

Not in West Tennessee. Not always. The drivers there have other uses for them. For example, if a car in front of them is turning, they will turn their blinkers on, too - even if they have no intention in the world of turning.

I guess it's some weird method of being courteous? Alerting drivers behind you that someone in front wishes to turn and that's why we are all slowing down?

I challenge Right Minded to offer his $0.02 on this, as he is from the West Tennessee area. My dad, Pops, is from West TN, too. I have spent considerable time there... even lived there for three years.

I don't get why they do it - but it's funny! (and illegal!)

Quote Du Jour

Right Minded has a "Quote Du Jour" Section - "Quote of the Day for the French-impaired (aren't most French impaired?).

I don't find enough to warrant a section on it for this blog, but that doesn't mean I don't see them now and again.

My Quote of the Day:
"I agree with him (Governor Bredesen) guns and alcohol don't mix - I'd never put alcohol in my guns or guns in alcohol."
- Poster "tnhawk" on The Tennessee Gun Owner's Forum.

Family humor

Let's face it. Some of the best humor comes from your family. For myself and my siblings growing up, my mom, "Moms," was a consistent source of humor. I was recently reminded of this by my mom herself.

One must understand, my mother is not the most observant person in the world when it comes to food. Some funnies from when we were growing up:

- Pops had made grilled chicken with sauteed onion, mushroom, bell pepper, and melted cheese on top. Moms says after eating one of them:
"[Pops], this really good pizza!"
(yes, she actually thought it was pizza!)

- We take Moms to a hibachi Japanese place. She sees the chef cooking shrimp (note - Moms has always claimed to dislike seafood of pretty much any kind). Moms gets quite disturbed that the chef might cook other food on the same grill that touched the shrimp, and says so out loud.

Later, Moms picks shrimp off my plate, complimenting the chef on how tasty his "chicken" was!

- Nearly twenty years after the hibachi incident, we decide to take Moms to a local "Asian cuisine" place (has some Japanese, Chinese, and Korean food). We get sushi, and she likes the vegetable rolls, cucumber rolls, and avocado rolls.

Several times, she asks about the green blob on the plate - she thinks it is guacamole. I advise her it is Wasabi... and I tell her what wasabi is capable of. Several minutes later, she asks my brother if it is really guacamole. He tells her it is wasabi, and to only eat a small amount with the sushi, as it can burn!

A few moments later, she asks the waiter if the guacamole is good - pointing at the wasabi. He patiently explains wasabi much the same as my brother and I had only moments ago.

At this point, Moms figures she didn't live to be in her sixties by not knowing what tasty guacamole looks like, so SHE EATS THE WHOLE DOLLOP OF WASABI - in ONE BITE!!!

Several gallons of water later, she remarks that she should listen to her sons more often. We agreed.

Good article and the reason why I carry

This blog article is one worth reading.

It was written by Nikki Goeser. Mrs. Goeser and her husband were leaving a restaurant a few years ago. They were assaulted and her husband was killed. She was a HCP holder, but because of Tennessee's asinine state law, she was not allowed to bring her gun with her into the restaurant, because the place served alcohol.

Consequently, she did not have the gun with her as she left. She was unable to prevent her husband from being killed in the attack.

This is the reason for restaurant carry - to protect ourselves entering and leaving the establishment. I even agree with the anti-gun crowd that an assault inside the restaurant is highly unlikely. But nobody in their right mind can disagree with the facts of what happened to Mrs. Goeser. And what if that unlikely event happens? Having an equalizer sure would be nice, huh?

Folks thought I was crazy several years ago when I said I wanted a house on a hill so it wouldn't flood. Now they think I was prophetic.

The same principles apply here, too!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Update II

Today, as expected, Governor Bredesen vetoed HB 3025 - restaurant carry - on the last day he could legally do so.

Though specifics are scarce, it is presumed a staff member or aide delivered the vetoed document to the legislature today.

Lieutenant Governor, and (therefore) Speaker of the Senate (and Gubernatorial candidate) Ron Ramsey stated today that the veto will be over-ridden and become law next week.

Judging from the language used by the Governor in his veto it becomes apparent that Gov. Bredesen, like Attorney General Eric Holder did with AZ's immigration law, failed to actually READ the legislation before offering his opinion. Bredesen said in his veto:

"I believe a basic and effective rule of gun safety is one I was first taught at [an NRA] - sponsored gun safety class almost fifty years ago: 'Guns and Alcohol do not mix.'"

Mr. Governor, HB 3025 makes no provision whatsoever for the mixing of guns and alcohol. In fact, it provides for more punishments for the mixing of guns and alcohol.

Oh well, he's gone after this year.

Monday, May 17, 2010


Tomorrow is the last day Governor Bredesen could have vetoed HB3125 - allowing HCP holders to carry in restaurants serving alcohol - providing they do not drink.

As of the time of this blog, a vetoed copy has NOT made it to the State House of Representatives.

There's a really good chance we get restaurant carry back at 12:00 midnight tomorrow night.

How long until Rayburn and crew sue?
How much longer until another liberal activist judge strikes the law down???

Sunday, May 16, 2010

I'm glad I'm not in the dating pool

I came across a site that lists the top 100 things that make a guy undatable.

Link - WARNING: Adult themes & Language

Some of them, I can understand...

Some of them describe me:
8 - especially in allergy season
36 - sometimes I don't even know they are coming...
44 - have you read this blog???
68 - I have some impressions you would not believe!
92 - Really? Come on... that's women, too.

Good thing I'm happily married to Mrs. Usagi... who evidently loves me despite the fact that I violate almost half of the listed items.

Friday, May 14, 2010


A pit bull dog attacked a humane society director.

Officers shot the dog.

Nothing more to say, really. :)

Answering a question

I had a reader ask me recently where I find some of the stuff I mention on the blog. This particular reader was fascinated by the midgets vs. the lion story.

I do not openly disclose my sources...

Oh, who am I kidding? All my sources are linked to this blog.
Most of the really cool stories come from information I find on and

Again on Nashville Airport.

I had to travel this week for my job. We (my boss, a coworker, and I) had to fly to Chicago. As expected, there were shenanigans at the airport. It was funny.

My shaving cream was confiscated.

Over the past three years, this particular can of shaving cream has been checked through the following airports:
Nashville (12x or more)
Washington, DC
Buffalo, NY
Cincinatti, OH
Charlotte, NC
Richmond, VA
Norfolk, VA
Madison, WI
Milwaukee, WI
Kansas City (3x)
Lincoln, NE
Atlanta, GA

I guess the TFA guy ran out of shaving cream and saw a nice can of it he just had to have... hope there's enough left for him!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Time to comment

Tennessee HB 3125 passed the Tennessee State House of Representatives last week, by a more than 2:1 margin. It was amended to conform to SB 3012, which had been passed by the State Senate earlier.

This bill allows Tennessee Handgun Carry Permit holders to carry in restaurants that serve alcohol. As a side note that I beat to death last year, Tennessee does not recognize bars. There are restaurants and restaurants licensed to sell alcohol by the drink. Technically speaking, it is illegal for any establishment to derive more than 50% of its revenue from alcohol sales.

Many establishments violate that law daily and without punishment.

This bill is good, but it is flawed. There are three amendments stuck to it that make the language vague (perhaps unconstitutionally so, as with last year's bill). It removed the prohibition against carrying in an alcohol-serving establishment. It also added:
Amendment 1 - among other things, this amendment allows any location to legally post with a circle-slash symbol. This is bad. Really bad.
Amendment 2 - Adds to the penalty a HCP Holder would face if they possess a firearm and consume alcohol at the same time - the additional penalty? Lose one's permit for up to three years. This is unnecessary - the law already provided for that punishment.
Amendment 3 - Clarifies that a sign posted to prohibit HCP holders from carrying in a location must be plainly visible. Again, unnecessary. This is also already stated within Tennessee Code Annotated.

The bill is expected to be vetoed by Governor Bredesen before he leaves for China on Thursday May13. It is then expected to pass overwhelmingly into law on an over-ride vote by the State House of Representatives. I predict a similar 2:1 vote margin.

Then, July 1, or upon signing (that part is not yet clear), I will be allowed to carry into restaurants again.

At least until the case is heard by an activist judge.

My proposed solution?
Strip the part of the law that prohibits carrying into restaurants serving alcohol. No additional wording.
I also advocate the removal of TCA 39-17-1359 - the law that provides for criminal penalties if a HCP holder carries in a location that is posted. Only two states in the US have such a law. It is antiquated, and is the only law in all of the TCA that allows one citizen to determine whether the acts of another citizen are criminal.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Another positive announcement

The third and final Navy SEAL was found not guilty today.

Link to article.

Very good news.
Stupid terrorist should count himself lucky the SEALs did not kill him. They do that really well, you know - eliminating the enemy.

Photos of the carnage

Nashville and middle Tennessee were hit by the worst flooding on record this past weekend.

Some photos of it all.

It is a spectacle of destruction.

Picture 108 is of the parking lot of Opry Mills - one of the most popular malls in the state. It looks like a lake in the photo.

A happy day

I got home from work about 15 minutes before my son got home from Tae Kwon Do.

Last Friday, the instructor promoted him from the "Little Tigers" (ie - the little kids' class) to the regular children's class. My son calls it the "big kids' class."

He has attended several times this week and has enjoyed it a lot. The instructor said that he would order my son a yellow belt, as he was pretty advanced in the Little Tigers' class (white belt with a red stripe).

Today, my son greets me with both hands behind his back and a silly grin as he attempted not to have a grin on his face. I asked him what was behind his back.

He proudly displayed his new yellow belt.

Yes, it was a happy day.

My response on Facebook.

State Rep. Susan Lynn (who happens to represent me, among others) helped to pass HB 3125 yesterday.

The bill was aimed at allowing Tennessee Handgun Carry Permit Holders to carry in establishments that serve alcohol, provided the HCP holder does not drink while carrying.

I asked Rep. Lynn on Facebook if the bill was stripped of three bad or unnecessary amendments that were attached to the bill by anti-gun people in an attempt to get this bill struck down in court the same as last year's bill.

Rep. Lynn said the amendments were stripped.

The amendments were not stripped, and this is a copy & paste of my response:
"Unfortunately, it WAS NOT stripped of the amendments.

The three amendments were included which do not in any way help HCP holder, nor protect the public and were part of the bill that was passed.

Amendment 1 - allows the use of the "international symbol" of the circle-slash to prohibit HCP holders from carrying in a premises. BAD

Amendment 2 - adds to the punishment a HCP holder would face if they broke the law. Unnecessary, the law already had sufficient punishment.

Amendment 3 - Clarifies that the wording or circle-slash to prohibit HCP holders from carrying on a premises must be plainly visible. Unnecessary - already part of the law.

It is with the additional amendments that Rayburn and company will file another lawsuit and render the bill null and void... again.

We need a simple bill that strips the preclusion of places that serve alcohol... like HB 2694.
Also, we need to join 48 other states and not allow simple posting of a sign turn a HCP holder into a criminal."

Mae Beavers just solidified a vote from me in this election. She voted for the bill in the senate, but fought tooth and nail for a bill like HB 2694 - which would have simply stripped the restaurant serving alcohol exclusion that the law currently has.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

I wonder why...

The Nashville area is home to about 1.4 million people.

We just had a historic flood. Largest in modern history (probably second only to the one recorded in Genesis). We have had damage on epic proportions.

Right now, the death toll from TN, MS, and KY totals 28. That is unfortunate... but it could have been worse.

Katrina was worse.

But not much worse. Seriously. I saw the aftermath of Katrina in person. I am seeing the aftermath here. The difference? Tennessee has a hilly geography and the higher elevations were not affected.

And where is the mainstream news?

And where is the President? Oh, yeah, he said he wouldn't be coming to Tennessee.

(Oh, and the President has yet to address the Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico.)

If I hear the man, or any in his cabinet, refer to the previous administration (for any reason) after this - it will be absolutely empty! Completely empty rhetoric. This President does not care for the American people - white, black, or other.

Quote of the Year

If Jesus was a Socialist, he would have paid for our sins on the cross with someone else's blood!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Finally, it's over.

It rained all weekend.

Not just rain, record-breaking rainfall that never let up. Officially at the Nashville Airport (a 10-minute drive for me) it was 13.5" total rainfall for Saturday and Sunday.

Right Minded suffered a little property damage, but came out OK. We had the leak going, too.

I understand over 200 water-rescues took place over the weekend. Many people in the greater Nashville area were stranded. Some were hurt. More than 10 folks lost their lives.

My son asked me what happened. My smart-remark?

God sneezed.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Wow. Just. Wow.

I've been shooting for nearly 30 years.

At this point, I can hit a target, like the man in this story, at a distance of 500 yards - a bit over a quarter-mile.

The man in the story, Craig Harrison, hit his targets - Taliban terrorists - from a mile and a half away. He is a Sniper in the British military.

So, at my current pace, I will be able to make that shot in about 150 years.

I could go for this

"Sheriff Joe" from Arizona may be running for Governor of his state.

Don't get me wrong, I like Jan Brewer, the current governor of Arizona. She has been instrumental in the anti-illegal immigration bill, open carry bill, and others.

But a man who is willing in this political climate to make prisoners wear pink underwear and march through the streets from one jail to another? That's the kind of person that had the guts to do what a Governor sometimes has to do.

Link to an editorial on this.

Thanks to reader "Pops" for this lead!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

This is how you do it.

In Alabama, we have an interesting story.


It would seem that two would-be robbers tried to rob a man. The man grabbed the gun being held by one of the robbers, and shot him with it. The other robber ran away as his accomplice died.

Later, the coward was picked up by police. He is now in jail, and has the additional charge of the murder of his accomplice, as Alabama law requires.

This is a law I can support. Do stupid stuff that gets your friend killed - pay the price.

Another bad guy down...

A bank robber in Florida picked the wrong place at the wrong time.

Link to article.

Specifically, what was cool was a 62-year-old off duty security guard was in the bank as the robber tried to hold the place up. The man then walked out to his car, retrieved his handgun (he had a Florida Concealed Carry Permit), and WENT BACK INTO the bank to confront the robber.

The man held the robber at gunpoint until police arrived.

That guy must have some skills, because so many other outcomes would have been so much more likely.

Pretty Cool Stuff

This week, a friend from my Sunday School class was kind enough to go to lunch with me. His place of employment is close to where I now work.

He is the kind of guy that does not say a lot in SS class. I have noted before with other classmates that he is probably the wisest one in the group - because when he speaks, it is noteworthy and poignant. He is just no chatterbox.

Since I am in sales, and must speak for a living, I was figuring I'd be talking a lot at lunch. Not so. My friend was more talkative than I've ever seen - and not in a nervous way. I take that to mean he feels comfortable speaking openly with me. And for that, I am eternally grateful.

Our Sunday School class is best described as an eclectic group. I like it that way. I really care about all of the folks in the class. None of them is perfect, and I don't want them to be. I feel really honored when Right Minded asks me to sub for him when he cannot teach, but I also feel totally inadequate in that role... and I miss the insights gained form listening to the lesson as Right Minded lays it out.

Tomorrow I hope for another great lesson and maybe that sparkling nugget of information from my hopefully-soon-to-be-lunch-buddy.

Funny observation...

Mrs. Usagi and I have long used a small music player for the children when they go to bed. It soothes them and provides a sort of constant - something that always happens at bedtime.

The machine we use can be set to play one of a couple of lullaby tunes, or can be set to sounds such as rain falling, or soft jungle sounds. Usually, the kids like the lullaby, then we switch it over to a rain sound after they fall asleep (they wake up less when we do that).

This morning, when my daughter - age 2 - woke up, she was upset because of a wet diaper. As I was changing her diaper, something funny struck me.

The sound machine was playing the sound of rainfall.

Outside, it was raining.

The two sounds actually were quite similar.

I laughed because we were using modern technology to provide the same sound as was being provided by nature outside. Redundant, huh?