The Appleseed Project: Saving America, One Rifleman at at Time


This weekend April 17, 2011 I participated in a Project Appleseed Rifle event. My son Michael (17), Annie (16) and me the mom (58). Why we went?  It was a chance to study about American heritage and the skills that brought the country to where it is today and to learn about marksmanship.  The marksmanship training was mixed with educational teachings about the people, events and ideas that lead to the start of the American Revolution. What they teach is real rifle marksmanship (the best I’ve seen) and safety (big-time on the safety). Not to get into minute detail, however, we learned how to use the GI sling the right way (it’s not just for carrying the gun with!) and how to shoot properly while standing, kneeling/sitting, and prone. My kids complained they could hardly walk the next day. They had fun telling their friends why they were so stiff. The guys really teach you how to shoot. I was smart enough to start taking ibuprofen before I started my day.  Watch this video

I learned that, and I quote the first paragraph here, “Through Project Appleseed, the Revolutionary War Veterans Association is committed to teaching two things: rifle marksmanship and our early American heritage. We do this for one simple reason, the skill and knowledge of what our founding fathers left to us is eroding in modern America and without deliberate action, they will be lost to ignorance and apathy.” I highly suggest you go there and read this statement in it’s entirety along with the report entitled The American Revolution. Who Cares? which is available via a link. The test and report are the work of an outfit independent of the RWVA (that’s the Revolutionary War Veterans Association by the way), the American Revolution Center (ARC), a non-partisan, not-for-profit organization. The results are utterly shocking; no wonder we’re in the shape we are as a nation and a people.
The RWVA Appleseed Project’s motto is (or at least I believe it is) “April 19th 1775 When Marksmanship Met History and the Heritage Began”. That sounds great, even better if you know the importance of April the 19th 1775, do you? I do, well; at least I do now thanks to these folks.
The real reason I initially attended an event. An event is what they call a shoot or gathering (it is NOT a match as you only compete with yourself). I went because they claimed to be able to greatly improve my rifle marksmanship skills in just two days on the firing line and at a very little cost.  First, I am a pretty darned good shot but who can’t use a tune-up and second, I didn’t want to spend a lot of money at a gun range. So I signed up for a one day shoot. Saturday was a lot more intense and is good for someone who has never shoot a rifle. I was only able to attend the second day and I am really glad I did. They are “marksman” they were right on when they said that I would improve my shot. They proved it and it was not only a fantastic history lesson it was a lesson on becoming an excellent rifleman. I cannot recommend these people enough let me tell you.  You must attend a Appleseed Project. The whole family will love the history and learning the history that goes with  “April 19th 1775 When Marksmanship Met History and the Heritage Began”.

Welcome to Project Appleseed

What the RWVA (Revolutionary War Veterans Association) is all about:

History and Heritage
Project Appleseed is an activity of The Revolutionary War Veterans Association, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, dedicated to teaching every American our shared heritage and history as well as traditional rifle marksmanship skills.  Our volunteer instructors travel across the country teaching those who attend about the difficult choices, the heroic actions, and the sacrifices that the Founders made on behalf of modern Americans, all of whom are their “progeny.”

Our heritage program vividly portrays the Battles of Lexington and Concord with the kind of care and immediacy that is absent from most formal schooling. Modern listeners are confronted with the danger, the fear, and the heartbreaking separations that arose out of the choices made on April 19th, 1775. They are also reminded of the marksmanship skills and masterful organization that ultimately helped set the colonists on the path to success. Those who attend gain a better understanding of the fundamental choices faced by our ancestors as they began to set the stage for the nation we now enjoy.

Marksmanship Clinic

Our rifle marksmanship program complements our history and heritage.  We teach the traditional American marksmanship skills.  There are, however, several aspects of our marksmanship program that deserve special mention. We are particularly proud of our younger attendees. In accordance with applicable local laws, young people with sufficient maturity are welcome to the Appleseed line and can, with parental permission, join the cadre.  The RWVA recognizes the importance of introducing a wide cross section of Americans to their marksmanship heritage. To encourage participation, we offer our program of instruction at a greatly reduced price to both women, and responsible persons under 21; Finally, an important aspect of our marksmanship program is called “Adaptive Appleseed.” Project Appleseed is serious about bringing our heritage and marksmanship instruction to everyone so we’ve committed ourselves to adapting Appleseed to the special needs of those who have certain physical challenges.

Why teach marksmanship?  Because good shooting requires learning positive traits such as patience, determination, focus, attention to detail, and persistence.   Since these skills are likewise key elements of mature participation in civic activities, we urge our students to take what they have learned about themselves as marksmen and apply it to their participation in their communities and in the wider American society in accordance with their own choices about how Americans should govern themselves.

Civic Involvement

There are those who feel that America’s future is grim, that is, that America has lost something special and it can never be regained.   And in their consternation they mutter about “dark choices” and the like.  Appleseed has a message for them.   Just over two hundred years ago our ancestors genuinely faced a tough choice.  They could submit to those they felt were depriving them of their rights as Englishmen or they could fight.  Because they chose as they did, we may never have to face their dilemma because we have a third alternative.

So what must you do with your third choice?  Well, you must roll out of the recliner, cut off the computer, turn down the TV and get involved.  That’s it.  Talk to family, talk to friends, interact with neighbors, take part in local community decisions, and become active in whatever political party best fits your idea of how America should be governed.  Write to your elected representative, attend town halls, correspond with newspaper editors, and wholeheartedly enter the discussion in both online and traditional forums.

Read!  Think!  Debate!  Vote!  And finally, we’d really like your help in shaping America’s bright future by participating in this program as a student, as an instructor, or as a volunteer in other support roles.  But even if you never pick up a rifle again, know that you are everything that Project Appleseed works for.  You are an involved, committed American making responsible use of the liberties gifted to us so long ago.  The future is what we make — YOU make — of it.

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Buying a car is a Comedy Act

Just to make sure before you read this. This story was written in 2011. I have since had several great experiences buying a car. But this post has received a lot of attention. If one salesperson can make it a better buying experience than I have done my job.

After many years of driving a large luxury SUV I decided it was time for a new car. My kids are also at the age that they need a car to learn in. The Navigator is just too big for them to drive. When I went to a gas station I could never fill up my 28 gallon tank with the $75.00 limit. Time for me to downsize and maybe I could get a car that used regular gas. OH happy day! But what I was not looking forward to was working with a car salesman. I thought it best to look at the cars on the road. Then if I like the look of the car I did the research. was my starting point. I soon realized that the research did not help because they gave accolades to many of the cars on the road that I was not interested in. I did know that I wanted a small SUV and not a car. So time to go to the car dealership and test drive cars that I thought I would like.

I started my quest on Harbor Blvd in Costa Mesa, CA. The Ford dealership was first and the only car I wanted to look at was the Ford Edge. The car salesman came up to me and wanted to shake my hand and ask me how I was. I will never understand why people ask how you are with no intention of finding out and anyway, I don’t know this person why would I tell him how I feel. So I just smiled and asked to sit in the car. I need a car that has a left and right place to put my arms, a place to store small odds and ends and most important I wanted places to plug in an I Pod and a computer. Have you sat in the Ford Edge? This car is hard to see out the back and you also could not see the where the front of the car ended. Thank you Mr. Salesman, I am just looking. Next stop Chevrolet to look at the Equinox and Traverse. I sat in these cars and it felt like I was in a tank. This is a good thing if you want this feel. I must admit I did pass on looking at any Toyotas. Too many recalls and I just did not love any of the SUV’s. The car salesmen each had a story that their car is the best car on the road; sit down in my office and I will make you a deal. No I said I prefer to stand. Then when I kept looking they would tell me the 0% financing and I told them I was paying cash. I told them I was looking for a white car and they wanted to show me a black car. But they would say they could make me a good deal today and I could drive off in a brand new car today. They said I should finance the car and keep the money in the bank. I kept saying no and they kept saying I should lease or finance the car. This was getting funny. Thank you and I left. Then he came up to the car while I was getting ready to drive away and said that they have a red car with low miles and I could drive it home tonight for no money down. MR. SALESMAN I WANT A WHITE CAR.

I drove every SUV I could imagine. I do not understand why they make cars that require back up cameras. Can’t you just look out the back window? Oh yeah they forgot this part of the car. After driving every car on every lot I went home to think about which car I liked.

The Honda CRV EXL white or blue with gray leather was the car I really liked. It was a simple car that felt right. I went to Freeway Honda dealership and asked more questions. I walked in and someone came to great me. Then he introduced me to a CRV expert. Looks like the commission will be going to both people. As soon as they new that I wanted a specific car you could see the show start to go on.

This is where the lights came on the stage and the car salesmen went into their act. They sat me down and tried to get me to commit to buying a car at the MSRP. You have got to be kidding.

How much is this car? He pointed to the sticker on the car. This is what you pay he said. I pay the MSRP? Really? No Mr. Salesman how much do I pay for the car really? MSRP – “Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price”: Note here that the word “suggested” is key. Basically, the manufacturer builds the car, sells it to a dealer, and suggests to that dealer what the dealer should sell it for. This is NOT the price the dealer pays for the car, nor should you EVER pay this price for any car!

Mr. Salesman says I need to come into his (cage) office so he can show me his list price for the car. List Price – There’s no such thing. The only things that have list prices are Santa Claus. If a dealer uses this term, insist that he clarify whether he means MSRP, Dealer Price, or Bank Value.

Let me show you the dealer cost then. Dealer Price – This misleading term is usually not the final cost a dealer will shell out for a vehicle! Yes, the dealer did initially drop an amount of cash equal to “dealer price” to get the vehicle, but there are ways that dealer will get some of that money back. Consider this the INITIAL money the dealer put out for the vehicle, not the FINAL cost he or she will pay. Likewise, there’s no reason for you to pay even this amount, either!

This car buying experience was starting to make me laugh and it was becoming a hassle.

I was showed the “invoice” for the car and I think he thought that I thought that this was what the car should sell for. Then he said we should talk about options for the car.

Option – This is something that you can choose to have installed in your vehicle. There’s no such thing as a “standard option,” so when the dealer says that, inform him that it’s a standard, not an option. Options are things such as a sunroof, which you have to pay extra to get installed. If the car you want has options installed that you don’t want, insist to not pay for those pieces. After all, you don’t want them. If the dealer really wanted to, he could order you a new car from the factory with those options not installed. Insist on having the dealer split the cost of these “options” with you if he doesn’t want to order a new version from the factory.

Well this was making me angry. So I said that I would like one price that is “out the door”. He had to go has his boss. The price was higher than all my research. I left. Sorry Freeway Honda you do not have a deal.

After I left Freeway Honda I thought it would be best to do more research since I knew that the car had every option I wanted. I went home to do more research. How come you can not buy a car at Nordstrom’s? It would be so much easer. I visited Kelly’s Blue Book ( This place is great! It shows you how much the car costs on the retail market, and then how much it costs the dealer! In reading this site, you are told how much the dealer paid for the car, in addition to what the “retail” value of the car is. Retail value is simply a marked up price that you should never pay, but a lazy person who never reads an article like this, or the billion other web sites out there saying the same thing, will simply pay this price. Lazy people buy for sticker price, and make it that much harder for people like you and me to buy cars. These people believe that the dealer actually paid just about retail price. No I did not fall off a turnip truck.

After I had all my information about the price of the car I called. Fladaboe, Norm Reeves, Power and Hardin Honda. I also called dealerships out in the desert, Riverside, the Valley, Los Angles and Long Beach. I gave each and every person exactly what I wanted. Told them where I lived and I wanted the price to be exactly how much cash to bring in. Oh yeah, I called the Schools First Credit Union. They were one of the higher priced quotes. One car and everyone had a different price. Why?

Supposedly internet pricing is supposed to be better. I did get what I thought was an ok price from Norm Reeves internet. So I decided armed with all my information I went in to the lair of the dealership.

I deiced that I would drive the car one more time. I still liked it I was ready to buy it. I went into the booth of the salesman and he too started to tell me what the car is worth. I told him that I would like to make a deal and he leaned over and talked to me like I was at a timeshare sales office. You want to make a deal right and you want to be in a new car tonight to go home in. He wrote down a price and it was $800 less then the internet price. He said you like this price and I said yes. “Ok, we make a deal” he asks, I say I am not sure but this is a good price. I tell him what I will offer and he comes back with the papers that tell me what the list price is. I start to walk out and he says to pay the sticker price. NO I gave you an offer. Then he gets his boss and he comes over to me like he is the only one on this earth that can sell a car. OH gee. I tell him I am interested in buying a car but I have had three quotes from the salesperson. He said that the sales persons can not accept offers or make offers. I took the paper out of his hand and showed the “boss” what the sales person wrote that I could buy the car for. “Oh no”, he said he can not tell you a price I do. I walked out. Norm Reeves did give me a bottle of water to wash down the pills to make the headache go away.

This is the day that I knew that car salesman are MORONS.

A few weeks go by and I really want a new car. So I go back to one of the dealerships that is close to my home, Power Honda. I was greeted by several sales people and each one handed me off to another person. OH gee. I felt that I just walked into a lion cage. The person that I decided to talk to seemed nice. Johnny a retired police officer and I say in my mind, I will buy my car from you. He keeps repeating my name and he sits at his desk like he is ready to do a deal. He wants to show me the cars that he has. I tell him I know what I want but he said, “Let me show you the car you want”. OK I go with him to see the car. OK this is what I want. Now let’s talk price. HERE WE GO AGAIN. Then his price is higher than all of them and I told him that his price is too high and to find me a used car with low miles. This is why I think Power Honda should not hire stupid people. My Passionate Opinion!

Several weeks go by and I have yet to get a written quote for the car. Then I get an email that says they have a white CRV-EXL in white 2009 with 15,000 miles. I make a formal email appointment. I go to the dealership and he takes about 20 minutes to find the car. He motions me to come with him and I follow him out to a car, AN OLD car, not a 2009 with 15,000 but a 2007 with 80,000. The car never came in to the dealership and they do not know when the car will be in. So he shows me a “white” car alright. He is so stupid. I go and talk to the sales manager and they appear normal and not stupid. I tell them I want to by a car in cash. I do not think they care.

I get an email from Mr. Johnny and he says that he can not give me a better deal. Deal? I have never seen your deal. He says, sorry that he can not get the car in that I want. (There is one sitting on the lot)

Are Car Salesmen Really Stupid? Yes and I can prove it

It’s a pretty powerful thing to call a car salesman a stupid person, but I’m going to say that yes, for the most part they really are. Not all salesmen are, and in fact, I hope to find a really great salesman who I will recommend to you, but only after I am driving my new car. What is really sad I am on my 12th dealership and have talked to ten morons so far.

Why Car Salesmen Are Stupid

There’s no minimum education, intelligence, or even training requirement to be a car salesman. All you have to do is show up, and sell cars. In my study, I found that no car salesman, regardless of his age, had been selling cars for more than 3 years!!! This may not be the case in every circumstance, but it surely is something that should make you really suspect about the person who’s pretending to be an expert in car sales. Most of the salesmen I met had been selling cars for less than one year, and only had a high school diploma.

Many of the salesmen were in the 50’s. I’m sorry, but a guy who’s 50 years old, working an entry-level job either means he’s an early-retired financial genius, a guy who’s working a second job to make ends meet, or he’s a moron. Financial geniuses don’t sell cars, so that means your guy is either a hard-worker, or a moron. It should take about 10 seconds to figure out which one he is.

I did finally buy my car. One price and it was the lowest of them all. I was even picked up by the owner’s son and driven to the dealership. Spreen Honda had my business. No stupid car salesman here.

Why is underwear nicknamed “drawers”?

In the 16th century, drawers became a common term for both men’s and women’s underpants. Made of linen, the items were no-frills and looked more or less interchangeable (this being well before Victoria ever had a secret; decorative lace trim started appearing on the garments only in the middle of the 19th century).

Most likely, underwear earned this distinctly unsexy epithet because it describes the way that people put on their unmentionables — drawing them up and over the lower part of the body

Have women always carried purses?

Once upon a time, ladies stored their essentials in a little waist sack tied under their clothing (sort of an early ancestor of the fanny pack) and accessible through slits in their skirts.

Around 1800, thinner, silkier fabrics and slimmer cuts came into vogue, and women could no longer hide the bulging sacks around their midsections. The solution? They began carrying their belongings in small pocketbooks instead.

How did pumps, stilettos, and sneakers get their names?

The term pump first popped up in 1550 in England, where male servants sported the style. It is said that the noise they made while wearing the loose-fitting shoes resembled the sound of a water pump.

The word sneaker entered the language in the 1870s; the rubber soles made the shoes quiet and therefore “sneaky.”

The modern usage of stiletto, a Renaissance-era Italian word for an assassin’s narrow-bladed knife, made its debut in 1953. The word turned out to be especially appropriate, because the shoes’ pointy heels were murder on wooden floors.

What was the inspiration for Lilly Pulitzer’s colorful printed dresses?

Bored Palm Beach socialite Lilly Pulitzer opened a juice stand in 1959 to pass the time, but she found one drawback: The citrus concoctions discolored her clothes.

She instructed her dressmaker to create a uniform that would camouflage the bright stains, and the “Lilly” design — sleeveless cotton shifts in vibrant prints — was born. The style was an instant hit with customers, who soon began placing more orders for dresses than juice.