Friday, March 27, 2009

Easy Friday

We took two of the four legged members of the family to the vet today. Pepper (the 6 year old Border Collie - Lab mix) had a rash on her back and needed annual vaccinations as did Puss Tom (an 11 year old Lilac Siamese). The vet said that Pepper's rash is a simple bacterial infection most likely from a bug bite and will be simple to cure. Of concern is Puss Tom's weight which has dropped to 6 pounds from a high of just over 8 pounds about four years ago. The vet is concerned that he may have diabetes or a kidney problem.

And today is our 10th wedding anniversary! WooHoo... We celebrated a bit early with a meal at Red Lobster the other night. My step mother had sent us a gift certificate for Christmas for Red Lobster and Cracker Barrel.

Officially we had purchased each other Ruger 10/22 carbines for use at a future Appleseed event. The family that shoots together... Shoots together. Or something.

I finally upgraded from the Pocket PC that I've had for the past three years. I picked up a Blackberry Bold from the AT&T store and have spent the last several hours learning some of the ins and outs. My first impressions are very favorable after having struggled with the Pocket PC for so long. For one thing... No More Touch Screen!

Oh, and one of my games as White in ICCF WS/H/171 ended in a draw (my first result in this event). I played very uninspired chess against a fellow about 100 points my better. To be honest my last several Retis as White have been a bit dreary. Perhaps it is time to try something different.

I used to play the Scotch...

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

2009 US Championship

...has a strong top of the field with Kamsky, Nakamura, Onischuk, and Robson slated to compete. I hope ICC does live Chess.FM coverage.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Breaking 2000 at ICCF

The latest rating list from ICCF has me rated 2020 after 30 games. As I am competing in the Higher Class now I expect that to drop back under 2000. I'm not doing well at all in WS/H/171. I'm holding my own in half of the games but I fear I may be coming up short in the others.

All games are past the 20 move mark and are in the middle game.

In my games as Black, I think I have a small advantage against a Veresov (1.Nc3). I played 1...c5 in the other two of my Black games. One is a Scheveningen where I am at least equal. The other is a Wing Gambit that is nip and tuck and could go in any direction. I have been able to liquidate some of the forces while hanging on to the extra pawn, but White still has potent chances in the middle and Queenside.

As White I played the Reti in two games and a King's Indian Attack in another. The KIA and one Reti are fairly well drawn. One Reti is very imbalanced with gobs of chances on both sides.

So, two out of the six games are very exciting!

[UPDATE] It seems I can not even count to three... Instead of two games, that should be THREE games that fall into the exciting category. The Veresov, the Sicilian Wing Gambit, and the one Reti are all three riveting in their own way. Fifty percent exhilaration in Correspondence Chess is nothing to sneeze at! I'll count it a moral victory to score half a point in any of them...

Monday, March 9, 2009


You can be Obamiconned, too.

Reading Horowitz's Chess Traps, Pitfalls, and Swindles

I've had this book for a while. I have one of the early editions in Library hard back which means going back to Descriptive Notation. I'm not enjoying this one quite as much as other Horowitz-Reinfeld books but I'm only on the third chapter. I see on the Amazon box at the right that an updated copy with Algebraic notation can be had for less than a nickel...

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Three Things the Redskins Should do NOW...

Since they have shown that this is a "win now" year and that the cap means practically nothing... Make no mistake, with the signings of the Big Three this team must win this year.

1) Sign either Ray Willis or Khalif Barnes to play RT.

From LT to RG the Skins are set for this year. They have no starting RT. Heyer and Jansen are NOT it for a team that is a contender. Willis would be the answer to the RT position for years. Barnes would fit nicely at RT this year and until Samuels retires... Which should be in a year or two. Along with a move for Willis or Barnes (Can I have both, Daddy?) are plans Zorn and Co. have announced about trying to get Kendall back in a reserve role.

This would give us a line of Samuels - Dockery - Raback - Thomas - Willis/Barnes with Kendall (or another C/G free agent), Heyer, and Rinehart in reserve.

2) Sign Igor Olshansky to play LE/LT. Right now he is a 3-4 DE, but at 6'6" 309 Lbs he would be a run stopping DE that would shift to DT on passing downs. This would work great with the way the Skins have stated they want to move Haynesworth around. As an example, look at how the Giants have killed QB's by moving and mix-matching big DLs and quick Ends. Forget about running by the left end. Olshansky will absorb and destroy most of the blocking in that direction.

This would give us a d-line of Carter - Haynesworth - Griffin - Olshansky with reserves of Golston, Alexander, Wilson, and Jackson. There's a drop off there at DE, but I think #13 is a great place to pick up a DE this April.

3) Sign LBs Kevin Burnett and Khary Campbell. Khary needs to come back as he is a great fit for this team as a back-up and teams player. Burnett is on the rise as a LB in Dallas and would be a great fit at the SAM. Plus, he's an SEC alum, albeit from the East side of things. And the Skins have a desperate need for LBs. They're gonna have to sign at least three.

Starting LBs would be (W-M-S) McIntosh - Fletcher - Burnett with Campbell and Blades (and who else?) in reserve. I have to say that the LB situation scares the crud out of me. McIntosh has a very suspect injury history in college and the NFL, Fletcher showed his age at the end of the year in 2008, and there is no starting SAM on the roster at the moment.

Will the Skins be able to do all three, or even two of these things? Maybe only in fantasy. But they should be able to accomplish at least one of them and in the process go a long ways to ensuring that Zorn has a decent shot at success in his second year.

Eighteen Taser Hits Equals $3 Million

From the Austin Statesman:
A Harris County jury Monday awarded $3 million to the mother of a mentally ill man who died after he was hogtied and shocked 18 times with a Taser gun during an arrest four years ago. (...) Casey's death was ruled a homicide. An autopsy concluded that he died of psychotic delirium with physical restraint associated with heart disease.
There's that psychotic delirium again that Taser says has nothing to do with their product's use... Even when EIGHTEEN Taser hits are administered. The way Taser keeps denying that their device is a lethal weapon makes one think THEY suffer from some sort of delirium...

Monday, March 2, 2009

Why Gun Owners Should Patronize Gun Shops and NOT "Big Box" and "Discount" Stores

As I wrote previously, the Pax Wife and I went out and purchased some additions to the Pax Armory. In our travels during this endeavor we stopped in two national chain stores, Wal Mart and Dick's Sporting Goods.

Not good decisions.

At Wal Mart we found that they have deleted all firearms from their inventory (at least at THIS particular store). While looking around the sporting goods area I noticed "James" standing at the counter in front of the (mostly empty) ammo cabinet staring off into space. I approached "James" and asked, simply and nicely, "Have you stopped selling firearms?"

You would have thought I had called his mother a vile name.

James responded, "Are you looking for handguns? We NEVER sold those!" Understand, he didn't just SAY this, his tone and demeanor were those of someone who might have been asked if they would trade their female relatives for cattle. I was a bit shocked and was about to explain that I had looked at a Remington 700 and a Ruger 10/22 there last fall when "James" went on in a quite apoplectic manner that this Wal Mart had not sold rifles or shot guns for at least two years. I replied that it had not been two years, but thanks, and that I'd go elsewhere.

That wasn't good enough for James of Wal Mart. He literally chased me down and began yelling that he would call a manager if I didn't believe him. At that point I challenged him to do so if he so wished with the warning that I would file a compliant about his attitude and mannerisms should he so wish. The guy finally stopped and found his way back underneath his rock.

After our Wal Mart adventure we found our way to Dick's Sporting Goods. I had been eyeing a Remington 700 in .308 with an OD synthetic stock and scope combo in there for several months. A young man soon approached us at the firearms counter. I told him what we wanted to look at and he went in search of someone with a key. Seconds later a young woman appeared, the key holder in question according to the young man from before, and asked how she could help. I told her what I was looking for, the Remington 700 in .308, and the young woman sarcastically bobbed her head and said, "Yeah, ok. And?"

I answered, "Yeah, ok, and what?"

"We don't have one."

Now, when a customer comes in your store and asks for a specific item that is out of stock it is generally accepted custom to inform the customer when it might be in stock or how the customer might obtain one from the store.

Except for this young lady. Nope, scorn was the order of the day for her. Being a bit tired of dealing with store representatives that didn't want my money I simply said thanks and walked away.

Not the Pax Wife. While I went out to the Pax Motor Unit she proceeded to the Customer Service desk and complained. A manager apologized to her about the young lady's attitude and stated that coaching would be in order. The manager also explained details about Dick's ordering and stocking process about which I have no interest and for which one would have to ask the Pax Wife. Bottom line: They don't have what I want and their sales person lost the opportunity to get it in return for my cash.

When I went into the small gun shop down the road from these "Big Box" department stores the guy behind the counter listened to what I wanted, showed me what he had, and explained to me why he didn't have some of the things I wanted and told me how he could get them for me.

Imagine that. Customer Service from a merchant that wants my business and is glad to have it.

If you are on the west side of Nashville and want or need firearms related merchandise stop and see Nashville Sporting Arms.

Forget the box stores. They are often staffed by liberal know nothings who don't share our belief in or our desire to exercise our Second Amendment rights. As happened today, law abiding gun owners are the targets of disdain by the representatives of these merchants that benefit from the commerce we bring them. By contrast, gun shops like Nashville Sporting Arms are staffed by the people that own them and people they trust who share our dedication to Second Amendment liberties and who are knowledgeable about the products they sell.

I've often stopped in at Wal Mart in various locations when on the way to a range to quickly pick up a box of "cheap" ammo. As we learned today, there is another cost associated with buying firearms and related products from the Big Box stores. That is the cost of enabling those Big Box stores to inhibit our access to the products that are essential to the exercise of our Liberty while at the same time denying commerce that would help like minded, Second Amedment supporting merchants.

Does it add up to Lexington Green?

Ammo shortage plus arms shortage plus Tea parties may equal Lexington Green says Bob Owens at Confederate Yankee.

But an increasing number of people are openly expressing that the reason they are stocking up on ammunition is that they fear the actions of our federal government. These are people who have never been radicals, most could generally care less about politics, and many have never even dreamed of owning guns until now.

And while it will no doubt come as a surprise to those who would like to perpetrate the stereotype of gun owners as rural and uneducated—the kind that bitterly cling to their guns and Bibles as someone once scornfully said—anecdotal evidence suggests many new gun owners are minorities, and all social classes are purchasing firearms and ammunition.

While we seem to have a tea party movement growing nationwide as people voice their dissatisfaction with our power-mad, spending-crazed government by calling on the symbolism of the acts of Patriots in Boston Harbor more than two hundred years ago, I suspect those protests are hiding a deeper resentment and fears about the competency and goals of our federal leaders.

If our government continues to make citizens feel abused, and makes an over-aggressive miscalculation in asserting their power—certainly possible with our fumbling Attorney General who was part of the Clintonian Justice Dept management nightmare under Reno—tea parties will be the least of their worries.

They should be more concerned they are convincing many Americans to prepare for Lexington Green.

Stock up and get survivalist, folks...
[UPDATE] 2 March 2009 1730 The shortages are real, folks. The Pax Wife and I went out this afternoon looking for a few things to celebrate our upcoming 10th anniversary. One was a Remington 700 in .308. Uh, nope. There isn't one on this side of the town.
We did find a couple Ruger 10/22 Carbines. They have a new home. The guy at the gun shop had just put them out.

It wasn't just rifles. Handgun cases show plenty of empty spots where they were filled to over flowing previously. There seem to be plenty shot guns, but I seem to remember a lot more of those in racks than now.
Ammo? I saw two boxes of .308 in all the places we visited. Most of the shelves in most shops are half or less full. A year ago they would have been almost full. When I asked about getting a thousand or so rounds from the sales guy for the 10/22's he actually laughed.
I think the Pax Wife is a bit disappointed with the 10/22 as a gift. She said something about wishing it was a SKS...
Luckily I have plenty 10/22 accessories and ammo. Project Appleseed, here we come!


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