Friday, March 30, 2012

Funny stuff here

It has come to my attention that "Hide My Ass" only works when the ass to be hidden is somewhat smaller than a midsize sedan.

Just in case you were wondering.
Or, in case you weren't.
Even if you don't care.


Monday, March 26, 2012

Just learned of this

Tatsuo Suzuki, Wado-Ryu practitioner extraordinaire, passed away last year at the age of 83. I hold a black belt in Wado, and it is from tapes of Suzuki that I learned many of the kata of the system.



Saturday, March 24, 2012

Pops outdoes even himself

So today we celebrated the fourth birthday of my nephew - who happens to be the son of "Silie."

What did Pops get him for his birthday? Bath toys. With a note:

"Mommy, please give me a bath."

Oh, yeah, Silie does not bathe my nephew often. Once or twice a month at most. 

Regional AAU Qualifier Wrapup

Today, my son and a number of his teammates from Spirit Martial Arts competed in forms and sparring in the Regional AAU Qualifier. Taekwondo is, of course, an Olympic sport, and has well organized tournaments and systems to qualify athletes - all the way up to the Olympic games. Here's a summary:

My son competed in his second tournament of the year. Overall this is his 5th tournament. He currently holds a blue belt in Taekwondo. His forms division held 9 players. He won the first two rounds with unanimous decisions (three judges award victory to either the "blue" competitor, or the "red" one). He lost the third round via a 2-1 decision, but came back and won his final round. This was good for a Bronze Medal. He was 3-1 in the head-to-head forms format.

Sparring was his game today. He was in the "heavyweight" division for age 6-7, intermediate belts (green, blue and purple belts). My son is not fat, but is rather strong, which puts him up against larger boys frequently. Of note is that before the match, Cael agreed to dedicate his performance to his girlfriend, Kaylee, who was unable to attend.*

The first match was all Cael. He scored early. He scored often. Olympic style sparring allows for a "mercy rule" if one competitor builds a 7+ point lead. Cael did just that. However, before the point judge could raise a hand to indicate to the head referee that there was a mercy rule, Cael scored with a head kick, and earned two more points. Final: 11-2 victory.

Second match went like this: Cael would build a small lead of 1-3 points, then the other boy would come back and tie it. this went on the entire match. Most Olympic style matches see each competitor getting 8-12 points. A match with both players in the teens is a high-scoring affair. This match went to overtime, tied at 24 points!

Of note in the match, Cael's opponent could not outscore him, and resorted to holding Cael's kicks (illegal), slapping Cael's face (illegal), and pushing (illegal). The head referee was either oblivious, or chose to ignore the rules on these. Despite this, my son elected to compete fairly, and not break any rule. It became almost sad when Cael was given a warning for "not staying on his feet" when the reason he had fallen was the fact that his opponent had held his kicking foot!

Nevertheless, regulation ended in a 24-24 draw.

In the sudden-death OT, Cael lured his opponent in, sidestepped a roundhouse kick attack, then landed a body-body-head three kick combo. The first kick was blocked. The second kick landed, as did the head kick. However, one landed kick was all that was needed to give Cael the 25-24 victory, and hug from his coach, Mr. Newman!

Austin, a yellow belt, competed in the Winter Battle, and showed a lot of courage. He also competed in Georgia a few weeks ago and placed third in a division. Austin is a big kid, with an even bigger heart, and I really like him - and not just because my middle name (and my son's) is also Austin!

Austin came out like a lion in the forms competition. He was punching and blocking so hard, I thought he might tear his uniform. The uniform held together, but his opponent did not - forgetting parts of the form. Austin earned a victory. The smile on his face was huge!

Austin did not win again in forms, but he showed well, and gained more valuable experience. He also placed first in sparring, as there were no boys in his division. Instead, he got to do an exhibition match with a red belt - who, like Austin, had no competition in his division. Austin held his own against the much more experienced opponent. Austin finally lost in the second round by a score of 12-5. Nevertheless, he again showed great heart and also showed his skill is ever improving.

I didn't get to see a lot of Laura's matches, but she won 1st place in forms, and 2nd in sparring. Well done, indeed!

I did not get to see Tyler's matches at all. However, my good friend, Richard, tells me his grandson Tyler dominated in sparring: 18-3; winning Gold. Tyler also won Gold in forms.

Christian is about my son's age - just a few months older. However, because of birth dates, he competes in the next age bracket. Nevertheless, Christian was dominant today. Christian is not a large boy, but he is a tad faster than greased lightning. In class, sparring matches between he and Cael are always entertaining and inspirational.

Christian totally dominated forms and secured a Gold Medal. He was equally dominant in sparring and won Silver. 

Chandni is a sweet, if somewhat quiet young lady, 9 years old. Her mother entered her in this tournament with some reservation. Because of the reservation, Chandni's mom elected to only enter her in forms - not sparring.

Like Cael, Chandni won her first two forms contests, lost the third, and won her fourth to take home the bronze. She was beaming!

Chandni's mom also saw that her daughter is more than capable of sparring in her division, and promised to let her do so in the next tournament.

Callia is a very sweet young lady with very red hair. She is known in class for having very intense forms. We thought her a shoe-in to win her division in forms as she is precise, memorable, and very much a perfectionist when performing the forms.

Callia won her first forms match with ease. However, in a surprise move, she lost her second forms match via a 2-1 decision. My fellow parents from Spirit Martial Arts were crushed and severely disappointed in the judging, as Callia performed flawlessly, yet her opponent forgot parts of her form on three occasions!

Oh, well. That's part of life: learning to deal with unfair things.


* Of note: Cael's girlfriend, Kaylee, was not present. Earlier this week, Kaylee's mother, who is on parole, ended Kaylee's grandparent's power-of-attorney, and therefore their custody of Kaylee. Kaylee's mother is a known drug-abuser, and has been arrested as many as 13 times in a single month. There is no doubt she will be arrested again, but for the mean time, the legal system says Kaylee must be with her criminal mother, instead of her loving (non-criminal) grandparents.

Kaylee's mother is not responsible enough to bring Kaylee to positive environments like Spirit Martial Arts, nor allow the poor girl to compete in tournaments like she so dearly enjoys. 

I have learned that a state representative learned of this travesty, and plans to introduce legislation to allow grandparents certain custodial rights in extreme cases like this. Rumor has it, the representative will name this law, "Kaylee's Law."

I will certainly follow, track, and document the progress on this situation, as well as the legislation.

Let's see where this goes

Pike County, IL has passed a law allowing concealed carry by the subjects citizens. The measure was not voted on by elected officials, but by the people of the county.

Oddly enough (or not), voter turnout was one of the largest in county history, and the measure passed by a vote margin of 3214 to 550.

From those numbers, I don't know which is more shocking: that the margin was so overwhelming, or that 15% of the voters in Pike County are against our 2nd Amendment rights. 

Now, let's see if the State of IL allows this to stand. If so, lets see if they get more and more carry permits, and eventually join the other 49 states in allowing citizen permitted carry.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Wish it was just this simple

Pops: "When is a door not a door?"

Me: "I don't know. When?"

Pops: "When it's ajar."

(say it out loud if you don't get it)


Saturday, March 17, 2012

First in a long line

My soon-to-be former sister in law (SIL - henceforth known as Silie) is an odd individual. Since I have many stories from the archives on her, and since she decided to provide motivation by filing for divorce from my brother, here we go!


Junior (Silie's son) is young - about 2 years old at the time. As most 2-year-old boys are, he is active. He is in to everything. That's OK, and certainly not the odd part of this particular instance.

No, where it gets odd is in what Silie calls "parenting style." Silie claims to adhere to the notion of "attachment parenting." That is odd enough by itself, but to each his own, I suppose. No, Silie takes it to an extreme. Silie takes the notion of "positive discipline" to such an extreme so as not to allow others to correct Junior at all, regardless of circumstance.

This is hazardous, particularly with such a lazy-assed individual as Silie.

Junior had climbed up on top of our kitchen table. Silie had her lazy ass firmly planted in one of our living room chairs. I was in the kitchen, and my nephew was teetering, about to fall off the table.

"No Junior! You need to get down!" I exclaimed, grabbing the child from the ledge, and gently lowering him to the floor.

That got Silie off her ass!


Silie: "You know, Usagi, we do not give orders to Junior, and we certainly do not touch when we are angry to correct. Violence doesn't solve anything."

Usagi: "That's fine. Junior was about to fall off the table. I wasn't angry - I was worried my nephew would go splat in the floor! And if you don't tell the child what they need to do or need to avoid, how do they know when they are doing something unacceptable or unsafe?"

Silie: "But I heard you. You yelled at him! We don't do that and he didn't even need to be corrected."

Usagi: "Yelled? Corrected? I don't know what you heard, but that wasn't it. I didn't want him to fall and get hurt. That's all."

Silie: "Well, just stick to parenting your own kids, and let me handle mine."

Usagi: "Sure thing. By the way, when he starts putting his finger in a light socket, do you want me to just let him fry, or would you prefer I intervene and save his life?"


The Snake

Pops really liked this one.

At a drive-through, when asked to pay, Pops offered the cash in hand.

Also in his hand was a 3' long rubber snake - the cash was between the coils. The snake looked real.

Cashiers screamed. (Yes, he did it several times)
One actually liked it, and took it to frighten coworkers.
A few jumped back when they screamed.


Friday, March 16, 2012

College basketball 2012

Exciting games so far in the tournament this year. Of course, several conference champions were shown much disrespect when they were assigned 16 seeds. This has been happening for a while, and needs to stop.

Nevertheless, we have already had a pair of #15 seeds knock off #2 seeds. I look forward to catching up on more action this weekend. 


Some people need to be punched

My brother was ordered by the judge to vacate his home - which he still has to pay the mortgage on until the Divorce is final. He has until the following Monday. His soon to be ex mother-in-law actually had the nerve to ask this in a condescending voice:

MIL: Do you need some boxes to pack your things with?

Can't make up his mind

Another gem from my recent day spent watching chancery court, waiting on my brother's divorce hearing.


Defendant's attorney: "Your Honor, I was only recently hired by my client. I would like to motion to have a stay so that I may familiarize myself with the facts of the case so far. "

Plaintiff's attorney: "Your Honor, the defendant, who is not present today, has hired no fewer than three attorneys during the course of this case - Counsel Jones* here being the most recent. I move that the stay not be granted, as pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated, it is the defendant's responsibility to provide for his counsel the documents and facts from the case."

Defendant's attorney: "Your honor, I would like to ask for only 8 weeks to familiarize myself with the facts. Nothing more."

Plaintiff's attorney: "And in response, I'd like to point out that the case set to hear in 10 days is about the defendant not paying a dime of the child support that Your Honor ordered him to pay 15 months ago! Nor has he paid my client's reasonable attorney's fees, as Your Honor Ordered. Nor has he paid any of his own attorney's fees - which is why he keeps having to get new attorneys!"

Defendant's attorney: "Not gonna argue that one, Your Honor!"

Judge: "Motion denied. Case in ten days. Counsel, have your client give you the facts on the case. Or see if you can get some from the other attorney here today, because I have a feeling your client may not be responsible enough to actually keep up with them."

* Name changed


Thursday, March 15, 2012

He really likes doing this

Setting: Early one Saturday morning, a few months after this had happened. Pops knows of a crew that reports to him working that morning on a downed power line.

We drive to the location of the crew. As we approach, I see the supervisor munching on an apple. The crewmen are getting set up to make the repairs.

Pops yanks on the parking brake handle:

Apple goes flying.
Men take off running in a hundred different directions.
Pops and I are laughing so hard it hurts!

The supervisor had a few choice words for Pops. Most notably because now he had no breakfast - his apple was covered in dirt!


More Say What???

From the same conversation as my previous blog post. I am watching divorce proceedings in the court the same day as my brother would appear.


Note: Plaintiff had testified ad nauseum under direct examination from her attorney that her husband had been unfaithful. However, it came to be that the plaintiff had actually been the first to be unfaithful. The basis of the plaintiff's whole decision to get divorced seemed to hinge on her husband's infidelity.

Defendant's Counsel: "Plaintiff [female], did you have relations with Mary* in 2005?"

Plaintiff: "No. We made out, but we did not have sex."

Counsel: "Do you feel making out with another person is demonstrating faithfulness in the marriage?"

Plaintiff: "I don't... could you repeat the question?"

Counsel: "Do you feel that making out with a person other than your spouse is being faithful in your marriage?"

Plaintiff: "I'm not sure I understand the question."

Counsel: "It's a simple 'yes-or-no' question. Do you feel it is being faithful if you are making out with someone else while married?"

Plaintiff: "I feel you are trying to trick me."

Judge: "Plaintiff, it is a simple 'yes-or-no' question. I direct you to answer."

Plaintiff: (sheepishly) "No."


* Name changed to protect the innocent... and the ignorant, too. 


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Today is Pi day

I like Pi. ~3.14

I like Pie.

I like Pie.

No, I did not repeat myself. Those are two different types of "pie."


Say what???

So I was in court for moral support of my brother during his divorce hearings recently. Boy, will I have a lot of material from a half-day in court. Here is one gem.

We were in chancery court. Half or more of the cases were divorce related. At one point, this conversation was had between the plaintiff (female), and the defendant's attorney:


Counsel: "And, Mrs. Plaintiff, who is the doctor that has advised you to continue breast-feeding your son until the age of four?"

Plaintiff: "That would be Doctor Smith*. He's my chiropractor."

Counsel: "Chiropractor??? You asked a chiropractor for lactation advice?"

Plaintiff: "Yes."

Counsel: "What did your son's pediatrician say about breast-feeding for so long?"

Plaintiff: (looks confused) "Nothing. We don't have a pediatrician. We don't believe in them."


*Chiropractor's name not really "Dr. Smith" - changed name to protect the innocent... and the ignorant in this case. 


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Observations in Court

So I spent a recent day in court. My brother is going through the "Big D" and I don't mean Dallas.

Prior to his case, I got to see some interesting things. This one brought a tear to my eye. Facts of the case:

- Little boy, Cameron*, age 5
- Cameron's mother died last year.
- Cameron's biological father has never had anything to do with him.
- Cameron's maternal grandparents were petitioning the court to adopt little Cameron.
- Cameron's paternal grandfather simply wanted visitation rights, and it was 100% civil.
- Judge was very wise. He granted the motions.

* Name changed.

Always a joker

This is a Pops-ism. Not so much what he said as what he did.

Setting: I am about 14 years old. It is supper time, and Pops tells me we need to go get my brother, who is at a friend's house. We hop in the car and head that way. Sure enough, as we approach, we see my brother and friend, riding bicycles, back to the friend's house.

They are riding the same direction as we are, so they do not see us coming. Big mistake.

Pops yanks on the parking brake handle:


My brother and friend both bail off the bikes, into a nearby ditch - eyes wide as saucers. If I recall correctly, my brother elected to ride his bike home as opposed to riding in the car.


Monday, March 12, 2012

Today - 3/12/2012


I watched a liar lie.

I watched a man come out of his shell and fly.

And I watched a marriage die.

Here's to one of the wisest men I know, and watching him grow up even more before my very eyes, and do things I never thought he'd do. And to the new stage in his life.

Divorce is expensive because it's worth every last dime.


More on Pepsi and abortions

I blogged about Pepsi and their link to a company that uses parts of aborted human babies. Because of this business partnership, I do not drink nor endorse Pepsi products.

Well, now it seems the SEC has ruled that there is nothing wrong with this practice.

Even worse.


Check out this article

Not Christian Scientist. But this article is still pretty good.


Sunday, March 11, 2012

What it takes to get a gun

I get this question a lot from friends, family, and even neighbors.

"What does it take to get a gun?"

Well, that depends on where you are. In Washington, DC, it takes quite a bit. Emily, here, documented her trials and tribulations in legally purchasing a firearm in the nation's Capital. And here is a video of her finally getting to shoot it.

Here in my home state of Tennessee, it is quite a bit simpler. To purchase a gun from a licensed dealer, the process is simple:
- Select your gun.
- Fill out form 4473.
- Background check (performed by the dealer. Usually costs $10 in advance).
- Give the dealer money for the gun when (if?) you pass the background check.
- Take your new gun home.

There is no registration in TN. There is no permit required for the purchase of a firearm.

But what is a permit for?
Simple - a Tennessee Handgun Carry Permit allows the holder to carry a loaded handgun on his person in public. This includes transporting a loaded gun in the car (rifles and shotguns may not have a live round in the chamber).

Most states have similar purchasing to Tennessee. A few have required ID cards, or similar. A very few have registration of the firearm. Most states also have a carry permit system - only IL has no permit to carry provisions for citizens (subjects?).


Friday, March 9, 2012

On Rush and a Slut

>> Usagi looks at himself approvingly, having finally figured a good, legitimate way to work the word "slut" in the title! <<

 Recently, THE radio talk show host of all time, Rush Limbaugh, caused a national stir when he called a slut a slut. Seriously, the person of interest, Sandra Fluke, looked so very out of place when she demanded that the government (or somebody) pay for her birth control. Rush called her on that.

People, when I need more ammo to shoot, I do not get on national TV and demand the government pay for it. I work, earn money, and use that money to buy more ammo.

So, naturally, the media clamored to attack Rush. Some imprudent advertisers withdrew their ads on Rush's radio show (big mistake), and in the end, Rush apologized for using words that could be seen as a personal attack on Fluke herself.

Funny things, though:
- Rush still has the #1 show on radio.
- Rush will have other advertisers. Probably has them lining up to advertise with him.
- The companies that withdrew advertising are suffering from that decision.
- The media looks as silly as ever.
- Fluke will be forgotten in another, oh, 15 minutes or so.
- Rush will go on.

(still considering high-fiving myself for the use of "slut" in the title!)


He just can't help himself

Pops has a return visit to the doctor for a regular health checkup.

(Remember, Pops has his right leg amputated below the knee).

Nurse: "And how tall are you, sir?"

Pops: "Which side?"


Thursday, March 8, 2012

A moment of silence

For my friend, and former head of the Baptist Student Union, Jim Moore, has passed away.

Jim was a great guy and a mentor to many.


American Holy War

I am calling for an American version of a Holy War. This on people in HR, headhunters, recruiters, and the like. Of all of the folks I've ever met in these fields, only two have been people who actually do their job.

There is a saying that people who are in HR are so because they can't do anything else. Folks who are taking an HR job for a time just to make ends meet excluded, this is most certainly what I've observed.

Henceforth, I will use this blog to decry the ridiculous actions these people are guilty of, the insane things they ask of We the People, and generally wage an all-out war on the "political correctness" that they promulgate.

I welcome stories from my readers - I will post them minus key names, so that libel is not a factor.
I welcome input on these stories.
Most of all, I wanna hear the truth - it will be far stranger than fiction!


Some people refuse to get it

So a few years ago, my brother is interviewing for a job.

Recruiter: "Your resume says you live in Hendersonville. We are in Cool Springs. That's a long drive.

Brother: "About 35 minutes' drive. I drive it every morning. I currently work across the street from where we are."

2 minutes later

Recruiter: "It's really bothering me that you live in Hendersonville. That's such a long drive!" I know you think you can do it, but it can get old quick!"

Brother: "It really is not a problem. I've driven it for three years now. I work right over there in Building C - in the same place where this very building is 'A'."

5 minutes later

Recruiter: "I'm just going to wrap this up. I'm afraid we are just too far away form your home for this to work. I thank you for your time, though..."

Brother: << walks over to window, pulls curtain aside, points at building >> "Third floor, second window from the right. That's my office. Has been for three years. Are you really that stupid?"


Driving Mrs. Daisy

Pops was driving an elderly neighbor lady home from the hospital. She has issues with dementia.

Lady: "Who is driving this car?"

Pops: "You are, Mrs. Jones!"

Lady: "Well I'd better be careful, I haven't driven in thirty years!"


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Recent Training

I've been reading Art of the Rifle blog lately. Lots of good stuff if you haven't checked it out. One thing Rifleslinger from that blog talks about is his affinity for slings.

I must say, I have a bit of an odd relationship with slings. I enjoy using them for basic marksmanship. I have competed with one in place. I have thousands of hours of training in with one on. I own over a dozen, mostly USGI style, but also a couple of plain slings and even a leather 1907 style.

But ask Appleseed folks with whom I communicate online, and they'd tell you I hate slings. No real substance behind this claim - I just see the sling as a tool. A tool with limited use. Now, to be fair, Rifleslinger on his blog has detailed his own search for more uses of the sling, and that is to be commended.

However, my personal training has taken a different course. A good time ago, I learned from several sources that the most easily adopted stable prone position with an AR15 rifle is one where the shooter uses the magazine as a monopod. I can hold as steady with that position as I can with a sling.

The difference, for me, is speed and setup. While a sling must be deployed to be used, and this takes time, all I have to do is go prone and rest my magazine on the ground. Professional firearms instructors such as Kyle Lamb, Clint Smith, and James Yeager all advocate the magazine prone position.

Of course, a big part of this position, and why it works for me, is the AR15 platform itself. Magazine supported prone would be difficult with most other rifle makes - with the exception of FN-FAL and AK47 models. Some argue the effectiveness of an AR15 at long range (say, beyond 200 meters).

This is how and why I decided to train with these things in mind:
- The AR15 has many confirmed kills up to and beyond 800 meters in the middle east.
- Yes, the .308 (or similar) is better at long range, BUT
- MOST firefights take place at close range.
- I'd rather have a rifle that suits the majority of possibilities better and is still capable of the occasional long shot.
- I equip my AR15 with 55-grain and 62-grain ammo for typical use.
- However, I have 75-grain match ammo set aside, should the need arise.
- My ACOG is zeroed with the 75-grain stuff.
- The 55-grain stuff hits within 1" of zero at 100 yards using the ACOG.
- Yes, I know I use a 20" barrel, but I am more than capable of using it in "urban" environments.

Of troops that have used both the M4 and the M16, the only quantifiable reasons they like the M4 better is:
a) weight
b) getting in and out of cars.

My answer for that is
a) I am 6'3" and 220 pounds. I regularly engage in strength training and exercise. Handling my heavier rifle is not a problem. Really. Plus, the USMC still uses the M16, and there are lots of Marines that are neither as big nor as strong as I am.
b) I will never be getting in and out of cars a great deal with my rifle in action. I do not answer to a chain of command that would require that.


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The ultimate Pops-ism

Pops is recuperating in a hospital bed after having his right leg amputated below the knee.

Nurse: "And how tall are you, sir?"

Pops: "6'3" on the left side. Don't know on the right side yet."


Monday, March 5, 2012

New accomplishment

So, a while back, I shot a 250 on an Appleseed AQT. From 31 yards.
AQT rules suggest the target be placed at 25 meters (about 27 yards and change).

No, this wasn't at an official Appleseed event. Probably will not go to another one.

But, still nice to do so. And bonus points to do so with a real "battle rifle" and not a .22.
I shot the score with my M16A4 clone. Of course, the rifle has a few mods beyond M16A4 clone specifications, but the only one that would be of consequence is the NRA highpower match legal RRA trigger. It is a crisp 4.5-5 lb trigger. That and perhaps the match grade heavy barrel.

Since a 250 indicates that I scored a perfect 50 on stages 1-3, and a 100 on stage 4, I'll save the rest of the breakdown. Just suffice it to say that my prone and sitting shots were right on top of each other. The standing shots were all in or touching the v-ring.

In fact, only two shots on the whole COF were not on the V-ring, both were in the "head" area that still scores 5 points, and both were in stage 4, and both were called and shot on purpose. With that 4x ACOG, I can place shots right where I want them.

Funny, I thought it would have felt different. Oh well. On to the next challenge...


It's all in the wording...

Someone calls Pops:

Pops (picks up the phone and answers): "Telephone!"

Caller stumbles around aimlessly for a moment or two...


Laugh it off

This guy has a really unique way to play pranks on cops. Pretty funny!


Friday, March 2, 2012

Couldn't Help Myself

A few weeks ago, I voted early, as prescribed and permitted by state law. 

When we went, we were given stickers that read "I voted early."

Of course, the polls were decorated with signage advising that Tennessee requires ID to vote. That made me think:

I wonder if Democrats who vote multiple times in a day as part of election fraud get a sticker that reads: "I voted often."


Defeating Westboro Baptist

No doubt, the idiots at Westboro Baptist Church are out for attention and nothing more. They don't believe the crap they spew, they simply do it to get on TV.

A small town in Mississippi figured out how to prevent them from disrupting the funeral of a local military man.

What did the town do? From the article:
- Folks at a gas station engaged them in a fistfight. When police got there, nobody seemed to know who had beaten the WBC folks.
- Locals figured out the hotel that WBC was using, then parked their cars and trucks behind every vehicle with a Kansas license plate.
- Police were delayed in responding to WBC's attempts to get them to come to the hotel to move the cars.
- Local towing companies were also experiencing larger than normal volume issues - they were similarly delayed for several hours.
- Police detained the WBC folks for questioning into a crime that had been committed. Turns out that the WBC folks were innocent, but when the questioning was done, so was the funeral! Hahaha!


The Most Discriminatory Practices

Recently, I observed a liberal woman who was quite offended that men in Washington were the ones in charge of "telling her what she could do with her body." She claimed it was offensive to her, as there was no way they could understand her.

I turn this one around - it is quite offensive that she thinks any other person incapable of making an informed decision simply because that person may not share her gender.


It is not uncommon to hear the faulty term "reverse racism." The term is faulty, as there is no such thing, there is simply racism, or the absence thereof. Of course, "reverse racism" is used when a minority (a black person, for example) says or does racist things towards a non-minority (a white person, for example).

Fact is, that in this example, a black person who says or does racist things towards a white person is practicing racism. There is nothing "reverse" about it.


There are others, but these are examples of the two most common. Thoughts?


Thursday, March 1, 2012

Repeating themselves

Have you ever met a person that will ask you the same question repeatedly... to the point of the question becoming annoying? Especially when they either don't listen to the answer, or just don't seem to hear you, or maybe they just can't process it?

I have been married nearly 14 years to a woman who used to do just that. Almost everyone in her family does the same. Both of our children do the same. This is a subject near and dear to my heart.

What it is NOT:
Sometimes, the behavior borders on Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). in fact, my wife's family used to refer to her dad as "obsessing" when he would ask things 15 straight times.

Young children do this. In fact, nearly all young children will ask the same question over and over. It is a way they learn. This is not what I am talking about.

Also, the elderly may also develop this trend. If so, please have them screened for Alzheimer's. It is a known symptom of the debilitating disease of the mind.

What it IS:
Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), formerly known as sensory integration dysfunction, is widespread. This disorder prevents a person from being able to make full "heads or tails" of information their brain receives.

Often, SPD is misdiagnosed in children as ADD or ADHD. Sadly, since neither ADD nor ADHD is a real disorder, this is never the case. I feel sorry for the kids forced to take Ritalin because their brains cannot adequately process sensory input.

It is not uncommon for folks with SPD to have other pronounced issues with processing information. Mrs. Usagi was diagnosed with Dyslexia at a young age. I think the incomplete brain pathways of both SPD and Dyslexia are related. I'm not the only one.

Therapy can be best discussed with a specialist. For those who want natural alternative methods, let me describe a process that works when followed:
1. When the person asks the same question (or makes the same statement) a second time, hold up two fingers such that they can clearly see them.
2. When the person asks the question a third time, hold up three fingers.
3. If the person continues and asks a fourth time, hold up four fingers.
- Advise them that the answer has not changed (if it was a repeated question)
- Advise them that you heard them all four times (if it was a repeated statement)

Do this consistently, and you will end up helping your friend / loved one. This pattern helps them focus with their conscious mind, and develops neural pathways associated with listening for an answer to a question or listening for a response to a statement.

Consistency is the key. This forces the person to not only ask a question, but concentrate on listening for an answer. 

Do not get angry or frustrated with them. Reply in a kind manner each and every time. They cannot help it.

Have the person help others with the same condition.

Mrs. Usagi has all but completely stopped the repeated questions / statements since helping our children. Both kids have almost completely stopped the behavior. My daughter is the only one who still shows some signs, and that is simply because she is still only 4 years old.

Hmmm. I wouldnt put it that way.

Maine Senator Olympia Snowe will not seek reelection. This article calls it a "blow to the GOP."

Not sure it's a blow to the GOP as Snowe consistently voted with the Democrats. More like a relief to the GOP.

The nature of Apology

I recently came across an article that spoke volumes on the subject of apology.

Link to it here.

On a personal level:
This was a very interesting read. You see, some time back, I was "confronted" by an individual who took offense to something I'd written on this very blog. As always, I'd left out his name and key identifying details so that only the two of us would know what I was referring to.

Now, I fully understand that by writing this, that the individual to whom I am referring will think this whole article is an attack on him. That is the way his narcissistic mind works. However, nothing could be further from the truth.This is an article on when to apologize... and when not to!

The catch:
See, I'd said nothing but the truth, and we all know that sometimes the truth hurts. I was not going to apologize for that.

From the article:
"How does an apology make it right? It certainly doesn't undo the wrongdoing; it doesn't make it disappear. But an apology acknowledges the mistake and takes responsibility for it. A sorry from the heart has the following six implications:
  1. I am responsible for my behavior
  2. I regret my action and the problem it caused
  3. I don't blame the other person for my action
  4. I would behave differently if I could
  5. I am willing to change
  6. Your version of the truth is valid"

The facts:
- I had not made a mistake. No untrue statement was made.
- I did not (and do not) regret my actions. Given the chance, I'd make the same decisions again.
- While I do not blame the other person for my action, I'd never have made the observation without his action in the first place.
- I would not have behaved differently if I could.
- Since I made no mistake, since I'd do it all again, it is clear and evident that I would not be willing to change.
- His version of the truth had zero validity.

More on point 6:
How can I say his version had zero validity?
- Because his story kept changing.
- What he wanted me to apologize for kept changing.

More, anecdotal evidence:
A good friend asked me if I would consider an apology that began: "if I have offended you, then I am sorry." A person should not (and I cannot) make such a statement for several reasons:
- From the article:
"Why would you be sorry if your behavior (even if offense is the response) is consistent with your own values? That's like saying sorry for your very existence."
 - Also from the article:
"What if someone is upset as a result of your behavior, but your behavior was consistent with your principles and values? Then you can certainly be sorry that they are upset, but not for your behavior. No apology is required. Indeed, if you apologized to someone who was upset in response to you expressing your beliefs, you would be undermining yourself."
- Here's a quote from another article with a good way of looking at it:
"What is a conditional apology? Is that like saying “I’m sorry if I hurt you by punching you in the face” or “I’ll apologize only if you do too”? Who says that after grade school? "

Had I apologized for making a true statement, then I would in essence be saying: "telling the truth is not something I condone, and not something I will do in the future." This simply is not so. 

So, what should we learn from all of this:
If you are not wrong, do not apologize. To apologize when not in error is to do wrong!
If your words/actions were not wrong, but someone was still offended, do not apologize!
No "grade-school" apologies - either apologize earnestly, or not at all!

If you are wrong, make a sincere apology!

Take the Challenge

I started the 100 pushup challenge in January.

On Monday, Feb. 27, I completed the challenge - executing 100 pushups consecutively.
After, I proceeded to do sets of 40, 25, 25 and 50.

When I started in January, I could only do 21 straight.

In this time, my arms went from 13" in diameter to 15" and my chest from 48" to 50". I went from 238 pounds to 222 pounds - completely losing my Christmas weight. Of course, I also walk a lot - nearly 20 miles per week.