Hello! Well, it’s time to talk about MY experiences at the NRAAM in Nashville. First off, this will be written in no particular order, because, well, just because. Second, if I tell you all something nice about a Product or Service that I saw or experienced at the Meeting, keep in mind that I either PAID for it or took time out to ask Questions or Handled it myself. I received ZERO compensation from ANY Companies while I was there, so the FTC can just go Climb a Rope! And lastly, these are MINE Opinions, you may have your own. So let’s get started, okay?
First off, the Tennessee Dept of Transportation Heads need to be Fired and people who actually KNOW something about Traffic Control need to be Hired. For Christ’s Sake, a HALF HOUR stuck in Traffic at 10:30 AM on a Weekday because of Road Construction? Ever hear of building a By-Pass Lane FIRST instead of trying to cram TWO Interstates into ONE Lane? Hell, PIttsburgh was a BREEZE compared to driving around Nashville! Heck I’ve had an easier time driving in BOSTON, and that was WAY before the Big Dig!
Then they decided that if one actually WANTED to Park Downtown, why, $21 for TWO Hours is a Fair Price, isn’t it? Yeah, that’s what the BAPTIST CHURCH was charging on Thursday across from the Music Center. I was talking to a Family from Los Angeles who told me that was HIGHER than what LAX charges!
Note to First Baptist Church of Nashville: Check your Bible to see what God says about “Usury.”
Anyway, I get into the Music Center, and the first person I run into is Chris Cerino from Top Shot. Turns out he was looking for the Press Room to get Credentials as I was, and we had a nice chat while looking for it. Caveat Emptor: Chris is from my Neck of the Woods, and we have some Mutual Business Aquatints, and we don’t know each other all that well, but I must admit it was little Weird traveling 500+ miles and seeing a “Neighbor.”
Now, for the most part, the Music Center Staff was pretty Gracious and Helpful, but there were a few who, shall we say, had an “Attitude.” I mean, when you stop one to ask where the nearest Men’s Room is, and they say, “Look at a Map,”, well…
But I can NOT Praise the NRA Staff and Volunteers enough. Especially the people who worked the Press Room. If they didn’t have an answer for me, they bent over Backwards to get me one. And anything I needed to do my Job, they did their best to help me. KUDOS to them!
So after I leave the Center and head out to my Hotel, I had some more WONDERFUL Traffic Fun. Now I know Nashville is an Old City, which didn’t get burned to the Ground during the Civil War, which means its streets are kinda narrow. But is it part of the Law there that ANY Taxi Driver can do a U-Turn right in front of you, forcing one to slam on the Brakes to avoid hitting them? Jeez Louise! Also, it seems the Speed Limits in Tennessee are merely “Suggested.” Look, when I’m in the Slow Lane doing 70 mph, and there’s two other lanes beside me that are Open, don’t be riding my Tail, Honking your Horn and Flashing your Lights, Asshole.
So I get to my Motel out in the Boonies, and every person out there at my Exit was as Polite as could be, calling me “Sir”, asking if I needed anything, etc. Old School Southern Manners as it were. Refreshing!
So I get up Friday, head into Town, get Stuck again at the Same Damn Spot, and make my way to the Exit by the Stadium. And there was Willy Wonka’s Golden Ticket! “NRA Parking and Shuttle Service, $10 dollars all day.” So I pull into the Stadium, had over $10, park my car, and head over to the line for the Buses. Now the Line is kinda long, and I was wearing the Press Credentials, so I was getting some Funny Looks. So I introduced myself, explained that I was Tiny Little Pro-RKBA Blogger who didn’t have a Big Network paying for my Hotel and Driver like the MSM, and all was well. Had a nice chat with a couple from Indiana, and we got on the Buses.
Now these weren’t Old School Buses, nor were they City Buses. These were the Big Cross- Country Buses that had COMFORTABLE SEATS AND TOILETS!
Trust me, they were more Comfortable than the last Airplane I rode in, and that was back in 2001! Again, Hats Off to the NRA!
So we pull up to Music Center, I get off, head up to the Press Room, and it was Old Home Week! There was OldNFO, and my “Neighbors” THOT and Pedium, and a whole bunch of Bloggers I haven’t seen in a while, like SayUncle, and Daddybear and well, you get the Picture. Found out a lot of them were at Ambulance Driver’s Shooting First Aid Seminar, and they would be back after Lunch. So after grabbing some Coffee and Pastries and other Sundries, I hit the Convention Floor to see What was What and take care of some Business.
And I’ll talk about that in Part 2. Until then, Bubblehead Les Out.