Friday, June 29, 2007
In 1986, the Senators of these United States and the Representatives of these United States stood in front of the people of the United States and declared that this new law was guaranteed to control our borders.
In 1986, these Congress-critters stood in front of the citizens of the United States who had put them in office, and whom they were sworn to serve, and they solemnly promised that this new law would stop employers from hiring undocumented -- illegal -- immigrants.
The cost of this, they murmured piously, was that the United States would have to grant amnesty to the estimated three million illegal immigrants who were "hiding in the shadows" at the time.
Do this one thing, they promised us, and we will control the borders. Amnesty for no more than three million, and we will stop employers from hiring new illegal immigrants.
Don't bother with protestations -- the Congress lied to the American People.
Oh, not about what would come to be called "la amnestia" -- no, on that the Congress of the United States went above and beyond their call of duty.
No, Congress lied about controlling our borders. And Congress lied about preventing employers from hiring new illegal aliens.
Now, twenty-one years after the deed, the Senate of the United States, in their colossal arrogance, believed that the American people had forgotten that they had been lied to in the past about "immigration reform" -- or believed that those of us who did remember would happily forgive Congress for lying to us about "immigration reform" in the past.
Surprise. A whole hell of a lot of us have neither forgotten, nor forgiven Congress for lying through their snaggle teeth to us back in 1986.
I seriously doubt if any Senator would deign to stoop to reading this little blog, but just in case one stumbles by, here's bit of advice -- no charge: Try not lying to us in the future.
Now, you're going to hear a lot of lies and bushwa in the fallout of this little experience in basic courtesy -- both from Congress, and from their Media lapdogs.
You're going to hear that without "Comprehensive Immigration Reform" that America will not be able to control her borders.
The person who says that is a liar. Border control is an integral part of the "Comprehensive Immigration Reform" that was the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act.
You're going to hear that without "Comprehensive Immigration Reform", that Federal Law Enforcement will have no ability to deal with illegal immigrants.
The person who says that is a liar. Federal Law Enforcement has all the powers and directives they need to deal with illegal immigrants -- an integral part of the "Comprehensive Immigration Reform" that was the Simpson-Mazzoli Act of 1986.
You're going to hear a lot of dire warnings and predictions of American helplessness in the face of illegal immigration because the Senate didn't pass "Comprehensive Immigration Reform".
I will guarantee that a check of the U.S. Code will reveal a Federal Law to deal with just about any dire situation -- passed by Congress -- and ignored by Congress.
The American People trusted the American government to control our borders in 1986. Congress lied to us. The American People trusted the American government to control immigration in 1986. Congress lied to us.
Stop lying to us -- enforce the laws you already passed, show the People on the United States a good faith effort to enforce the laws YOU ALREADY PASSED -- THEN come back to us and float your Z-Visas, your touchback provisions, and your amnesty by and we'll see who salutes.
But -- BUT -- until the Congress of the United States of America stops lying to the People of the United States of America about immigration laws, don't expect my support for any new immigration reforms.
And nothing but the back of my hand to those Senators who decided they could walk another pack of lies past the American people with no challenge.
Thursday, June 28, 2007
As is normally the case when you're dealing with amateurs, The Black Hand went for flashy -- with that name who'd have guessed? -- and gave each schmuck a bomb. Cyanide was also distributed, just in case.
Such high drama.
Anyhoo, about 10:15 in the morning of that fateful day, the target drove slowly and happily right past the first Noble Conspirator.
He ... um ... got caught up in the moment -- probably writing some really terrible poetry commemorating the moment -- forgot what he was doing, and kinda, sorta neglected to throw his bomb.
Never fear, this is why you have back-up ... except Noble Conspirator #2 was practicing his sneer or something -- and also forgot to throw his bomb.
#3 actually had his head in the game, and when the target came by, he hauled off and pitched his Kaboomite candy-gram.
Unfortunately, the timer was just a skoshy mis-set -- and he missed anyway. The bomb hit the back of the target's car, bounced off the cobblestones and rolled a bit before being driven over by the next car in the procession where it went off, putting the car out of commission and about 20 people in the hospital.
Being a thoroughly-trained Minion, #3 downed the cyanide pill, and -- just in case -- hurled himself into the river.
Pity the river was only four inches deep.
Even worse, #3 discovered one of the drawbacks about being used by overly-dramatic nihilists: the cyanide was either out-of-date, or there wasn't enough of it -- which afforded the irritated crowd the time and ability to drag his little anarchist arse out of the river and beat him like a drum before the police could rescue him.
The car containing the intended victim -- understandably -- took off like a striped-arse ape for safety, leaving the rest of the Noble Assassins scuffing their toes in the dust.
Unfortunately, the intended victim and his wife had a stiff dose of the noblesse oblige that infected a lot of folks of that social class at the time, and the victim over-rode his security types, demanding to go visit the hospital where the victims of the bomb meant for him were being treated.
Things went Charlie Foxtrot, security was doing one thing, no they were doing something else, Mr. Target wanted this done -- and no one updated the driver.
Because Murphy hates people -- personally -- the driver was forced to stop and turn Mr. Target's car around. In front of the cafe where one of the Noble Assassins -- Gavrilo Princep -- was getting comfort food to assuage his disappointment.
Recognizing the target, Princep lunged and fired two .32 ACP bullets from a Fabrique National M1910 into the open touring sedan, fatally injuring Archduke Franz Ferdinand Karl Ludwig Josef von Habsburg-Lothringen of Austria, Prince Royal of Hungary and Bohemia, heir presumptive to the Austro-Hungarian throne; and his wife, Her Highness Sophie, the Duchess of Hohenberg.
In a matter of weeks, citing the assassination as casus belli the Great War, the War To End All Wars, WW1 kicked off -- and 9.9 million young men died, 21.2 million were WIA, and another 7.7 million MIA.
Eight million wound up in POW camps before everything was said and done.
The map of the world forever changed -- as did the course of humanity as a whole -- on this day, 93 years ago.
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Yes, that is a picture of three kittens -- actually, there were four -- trapped out back of Rancho LawDog.
What may not be apparent, is that they are in a dumpster. A dumpster, I might add, that had enough raw garbage in it to be foul to the point of nausea, but not enough for the kittens to get their fuzzy little arses out.
Did you know that if you climb into a dumpster full of kittens, the little ingrates will turn into furry ping-pong balls?
And, if they've been in the dumpster long enough, when they're ricocheting off the rotting trash, the walls of the dumpster -- and your leg -- they'll splatter enough offal about your person to cause your dogs to back up and sneeze when you walk into the house?
Now you do. And knowing is half the battle.
Sprayed garbage juice all over my boots, my arms, my shirt -- my favorite pair of linen slacks, damn it -- and then high-tailed it into the bush without so much as a, "Thanks, mister!"
Ungrateful little hairballs.
Someone once informed me that cats were actually just as smart as dogs, if not more so.
Chris found one kitten in the dumpster yesterday. One. Today he finds four. Four.
They ain't learning, folks. Hell, at this rate we'll have the whole buggering kindle in there tomorrow.
Pfagh. I'm for the shower.
Monday, June 25, 2007
For those of you who may not have been keeping up with this case, Judge Pearson is the honyock who sued a dry-cleaner for $54 million dollars because they lost his pants.
Allegedly lost his pants, I should say.
Anyhoo, the case has been an absolute pot-boiling soap opera, with Judge Pearson breaking down in tears on the stand as he described his missing trews and having to leave the courtroom to compose himself after testimony. About his trousers.
You know, I'm halfway tempted to suggest that DC PD investigate these pants -- because trousers capable of making a grown man weep by merely disappearing ... simply must be the One True Trousers, forged by Sauron in the fires of Mount Doom.
That, or they're addictive, demonically-possessed and/or an alien parasite.
The case got even better when Judge Pearson was forced to testify that in 2002 he had lost an earlier version of his "Ppp-rrrrecious" at the very same dry-cleaners, received a $150 check and was banned from the store by the nasssty hobbitses -- excuse me, owners.
Only after begging and pleading was Judge
The case drew outrage from bloggers nation- and world-wide and is seen by some as an indictment of an out-of-control civil justice system.
We here at The LawDog Files would like to commend Judge Judith Bartnoff for her display of simple common-sense -- not only did she find for the defendants and ordered Pearson to pay their court costs, but she is also considering making him pay the attorney fees of the business.
Oh, hell yes he should pay the attorney fees.
Sunday, June 24, 2007
"'Dog, what is this?"
"That's an incident report. We're supposed to make one whenever we interact in a negative fashion with people who aren't us."
"Smartass. I know what it is. What is this part?"
I look where his index finger is pointing. "You want me to explain the concept of sentences, words, or just letters?"
"No. You can't say, 'Nervous as a poodle in a Chinese restaurant.'"
"Sure I can. Only one of those words has more than two syllables, and my vocal chords, lips and tongue are all functioning perfectly, so I am absolutely capable of saying those particular words."
My Lieutenant rubs his temples as if a sudden headache had crashed down upon him. Articulating carefully, he responds:
"You're not supposed to say that."
"Why the hell not?"
"Because you can't. It's a slur to Chinese eateries everywhere."
I stare at him for a long time. He has the grace to look uncomfortable.
"You want me to get the Health Department records for the last three times they shut down the Peking Moon?"
"But you can't ..."
"Fi Do Gai Pan."
"Three times, it was shut down."
"Have we had the talk about stereotyping yet?"
I look at him in disbelief.
"I'm fixing to lose this one, aren't I?"
"You mean 'A mental picture that represents an oversimplified opinion, prejudiced attitude, or uncritical judgment'? I believe I last heard that particular phrase in a Cultural Diversity class taught by one of the people in this conversation who isn't me."
"The same class, as a point of fact, in which I heard the instructor -- again, currently in this conversation and not me -- use the concept of Americans regarding pets as family, and certain Asian groups regarding the same animals as food items as an example of cultural differences which can cause friction."
"I don't suppose we can just forget that this conversation ever took place?"
One of these days he's going to learn.
Most of the time, this stratification will result in cold, manky water at the bottom of the column and warmer water at the top, separated at a sharply-defined layer called a thermocline.
Now, I call the cold bottom water "manky" because that is where the dead stuff winds up. Which is kind of logical because -- as we know -- gravity always wins in the end and it drags the leaves, branches, dead turtles, deceased fish, corpsified snakes, and various and sundry wastes (hey, you think fish climb out of the lake to go to the litter box?) all wind up in the cold bottom water.
Now, Mama Nature has to get rid of all the above, so we've got decomposition down at the bottom, with the attendant bacteria, sulphides, sulphites, methanes and all the other olfactory goodness that goes along with that sort of thing -- and we've got a thermocline capping it all off which means that the top, oxygen-rich water, and the bottom, oxygen-poor water never mix, and the bottom water stays at the bottom.
Except during the fall, when changing temperatures alter the density of water, and occasionally in the spring for the same reason -- this regular event is called the lake "turnover" or inversion.
Sometimes, though, you can get an inversion or turnover triggered by large amounts of rainfall.
Like right now.
So. We're getting extraordinary amounts of rainfall, which all pounds into the lakes, we've got rivers and creeks and arroyos all jetting rainwater into the lakes -- and the thermocline tears apart, no longer keeping top water and bottom water separate, and the two mix or "turnover".
All those sulphides, sulphites and methane hit the top of the water and outgas, and all that bacteria hits the oxygen-rich, nutrient-rich surface water and promptly throw a single-cell orgy --
-- and my glass of water drawn from the faucet (and out of the convenience store fountain) tastes like it's straight out of a swamp.
Which -- come to think -- is a pretty accurate description of what the city lake resembles right now.
Bottled water for a couple of weeks, I guess.
Sunday, June 17, 2007
Rivalry does not mean lack of respect.
This weekend I have received some e-mails from several Gentle Readers about a request from BlackFive regarding a Marine unit currently in the Sandbox.
BlackFive did an interview with the CO of USMC Regimental Combat Team Six. In short, Colonel Simcock would like his Marines to know that -- despite what the TeeVees in the chow hall, in quarters and everywhere else say -- that Americans really do support them.
BlackFive is asking folks to send supportive e-mails to those Marines.
Done, and done. I am more than proud to do so.
The e-mail for those boys is: RCTemail@example.com
RCT-6 has their own blog at: http://fightin6thmarines.vox.com/
I would ask that each of my Gentle Readers take the minute or so required to hit their e-mail button and send those kids an 'Attaboy'.
Thank you, and God bless.
Saturday, June 16, 2007
WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? Nope.
WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED? Umm ... not real certain, probably the last time I watched Old Yeller.
DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? Not anymore. I've gotten sloppy.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT? Honey roasted turkey.
DO YOU HAVE KIDS? Not to the best of my knowledge.
IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU? I'm not sure. I can be a bit arrogant sometimes, and I hate that.
DO YOU USE SARCASM A LOT? Umm, no. D'oh!
DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS? Yes.
WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? Again? Probably not.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? Froot loops.
DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF? No, but I wear western boots a lot, so that probably doesn't' count.
DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? Yes.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM? Mint chocolate chip.
WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE? Hands, eyes and body language.
RED OR PINK? Purple.
WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF? The bloody spare tire that's ambushed me here in the last year or so.
WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? Two-Step, but I'm working on sight picture and trigger control to fix that little problem.
WHAT COLOR PANTS AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? Blue jeans and black ropers.
WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE? Bowl of tortilla soup.
WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? Gregorians version of 'My Immortal'.
IF YOU WHERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE? Flesh. Duh.
FAVORITE SMELLS? Baking bread, rose oil, jojoba, powder smoke.
WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE? My brother.
FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH? Rugby.
HAIR COLOR[S]? Red.
EYE COLOR? Absinthe green
DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? Used to.
FAVORITE FOOD? Steak.
SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS? Happy endings. With the bad guys all dead, and the hero getting his reward.
LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED? Pirates of the Caribbean III
WHAT COLOR SHIRT ARE YOU WEARING? Green.
SUMMER OR WINTER? Summer for bikini-spotting, spring or fall for weather.
HUGS OR KISSES? Properly done, one rather leads to both.
FAVORITE DESSERT? Tiramisu.
MOST LIKELY TO RESPOND? Who knows?
LEAST LIKELY TO RESPOND? See above.
WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW? 'White Night' by Jim Butcher.
WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? If I had one, there'd be a mouse on it. I use a PC Concepts touchpad.
WHAT DID YOU WATCH ON T.V. LAST NIGHT? Ninja Warrior.
FAVORITE SOUND[S]? Chuckling water, foxes calling, baby's laughter.
ROLLING STONES OR BEATLES? Neither.
WHAT IS THE FARTHEST YOU HAVE BEEN FROM HOME? Mentally, that would be the first morning of Basic Training. Physically, I've been on the side of the Earth exactly opposite home, so I've been as far as you can get without leaving atmosphere.
DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT? Yes.
WHERE WERE YOU BORN? In a hospital.
WHOSE ANSWERS ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO GETTING BACK? Anybodies.
*pptthhbbtt* to Tams.
Friday, June 15, 2007
I was bipping through the Internet this morning, and decided that I really wanted to listen to some chants while doing paperwork.
What I found was this:
Didn't get much paperwork done today.
These folks are a German band who have decided to perform Gregorian chant-inspired versions of pop and rock songs.
Probably not everyone's cup of tea, but I am absolutely enthralled. I think I'll hie myself over to Hastings tomorrow and see about ordering a couple of their CD's.
If you like a -- different -- version of your favorite tune, you might give these folks a listen.
That man would dose his breakfast eggs with an astounding amount of Louisiana hot sauce, then grab the pepper shaker and go to town until there was literally a pile of black powder on the plate -- and only then would his eggs be fit to eat.
He had this vicious little pepper plant -- Mom said he found it somewhere in the boonies during their college days -- that grew these little cherry-sized peppers that, when ripe, were piebald red and purple.
Lovely little peppers.
Whenever we'd move, Dad would take a shoot and some seeds from the plant to pack up for our new home. We must have left pepper plants all over the Near and Middle East -- and the thought of the amount of bribe money my Da spent to get his peppers through various Customs agencies boggles my mind to this day.
Anyhoo, Dad would collect the peppers from his plant, bung them into a jar and cover them with whisky -- usually blended Scotch, but occasionally a bourbon -- add some other stuff, tuck the jar away in a dark, cool place and leave it for about six months.
Six months later, in a secret magical ceremony, Dad would decant about half of the peppers into another jar for the 'fridge.
These he'd eat, one or two at each meal, for the next little while.
The other half jar of booze and peppers went into a blender, with a chopped red onion, some cilantro, lime juice, and other stuff, to be blended until chunky.
I knew this was a magical ceremony, because Dad would be surrounded by friends, some of whom would be gazing rapturously upon the peppers, grunting and nodding sagely as Dad would hold up each ingredient before dropping it into the blender; others who would be dancing in circles, making mystical hand gestures in front of their faces and uttering the magic "Gah!" word.
Everyone would tell me about how wonderful! the taste was, but the tears flowing copiously down their cheeks did something to my desire to actually try it.
Long time Gentle Readers will have noticed that when I cook, I always use MILD Rotel and mild seasonings. Anything spicier than "mild" is outside my comfort zone.
About twenty minutes ago, mind elsewhere, I made myself a chopped BBQ brisket sandwich and brought it here into the office. When I sat it down, the top slice of bread went awry -- and it struck me: somewhere under that pile of peppers is a bit of BBQ.
I'm turning into my father.
My father died when I was 16. There is no "good time" for a father to die, but I think it's particularly bad at that age.
If someone had told me when I was 16 that I'd become my father, you'd probably have had a fight on your hands. Even a decade or so later, I'd've found the thought of becoming Dad to be amusing at best.
These days, as I search through the desk for my black pepper Spice Weasel, the thought that I've developed some of my father's mannerisms -- and tastes -- is comforting.
Happy Fathers Day, Dad. Love you.
Monday, June 11, 2007
Naturally, I cut in behind him, and follow for about two blocks before I turn on the lights and pull him over.
I walk up to the door, and gently ask for his drivers licence, insurance and registration.
"What for?" he asks, all innocent.
"Because I asked for it." I reply, equally innocent.
He gives me the requested documents, I walk back to the Super Scooter and check him and his pickup for wants and warrants. All clear -- for once.
I walk back to the driver's side door, flip open my Book of Citations and begin writing.
He looks at me, sputters a bit, then yaps, "You can't write me a ticket!"
"Why not?" I ask, filling in Block 9.
"Because you can't!"
"The answer 'because' doesn't work on my nieces and nephews," I answer, X-ing Block 23, "Articulate a reason."
"You're a cop! My daddy says you can't be insulted by anything!"
"That is correct." I sign with a flourish.
"So you can't write me for flipping you off. I'm not signing that."
"Correct. How-some-ever, this is not a ticket for flipping me off. You extended your left arm horizontally out of the drivers side window."
"So, anyone who passed Drivers Education should know that an extended left arm is a signal for a left turn. You failed to turn left. Sign here, this is not a plea of guilty, it is merely a promise to appear in court."
"You're ticketing me for ILLEGAL USE OF A TURN SIGNAL?!"
I am SO going to hell for that one.
He paid it, though.
Saturday, June 09, 2007
Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca was joined today by District Attorney Steve Cooley to announce a new early release policy that requires all jail inmates to serve at least 25 percent of their sentence before being eligible for release.
I cannot find a later announcement which changes or supersedes this one.
Is there an official press release from LASO which changes this 25% policy? If so, can you point me to an official copy?
I have known Don for ages, back when he was still calling himself Gwinnydapooh on various on-line forums.
He is good people, and I'm proud to call him a friend.
Go by and test out his new blog.
We e-mail advice on SOPs, warnings and alternative tactics. The biggest thing I see coming through my Inbox each day, though, is safety advice for non-cops.
This is, I suppose, logical -- Goddess only knows how many of the General Public have walked up to me and asked my advice for keeping safe, so I would imagine the same thing has happened to every other officer out there.
Some of the advice, though, is definitely regional.
Case in point: the latest Advice For The General Public.
If you have a car alarm, get a spare alarm fob and leave it next to the bed.
If someone attempts to break into your house, punch the panic button on the fob. A car alarm going off in the neighborhood tends to grab people's attention.
Especially grouchy people who are trying to sleep at three in the morning, but maybe that's the point.
Anyhoo, the premise is that your basic critter hates anything which will draw attention to him or his activities, and if the car in the driveway of the home he is breaking into is honking the horn, flashing the lights and yodelling up-and-down the alarm scale, he's probably going to go look for a softer target.
I can see the logic behind this.
How-some-ever, I feel that if a car alarm going off in the driveway is attention-getting, the shotgun blast that punts the critter into his next incarnation is even more attention-getting -- with the added feature of removing that particular critter from the predator pool of your area.
It's not a bad idea, and can be a wonderful addition to a layered defence -- punch car alarm button, call 911, gather all family in master bedroom, point shotgun at door -- but unless I was living in one of those socialist dystopias popping up on the coasts like mushrooms in a midden I wouldn't rely solely upon it for protection.
There are others who may feel differently -- particularly those who (for whatever reason) don't feel comfortable around guns, or don't feel comfortable with the idea of High Velocity Critter Control as a Social Service.
In those cases, you might want to take a look at this use of the car alarm.
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
Operation Neptune -- the transport of invasion troops from England to Normandy, landing them, and providing fire-support -- remains the largest seaborne/amphibious invasion in history.
Almost three million troops from the United States, Great Britain, and Canada hit Gold Beach, Juno Beach, Omaha Beach, Sword Beach, Utah Beach and the Pointe du Hoc; supported by just under seven thousand naval vessels drawn from the navies of the United States, Great Britain, Free France, Poland, the Netherlands and other Commonwealth nations.
The butchers bill was severe: 45,000 KIA, 173,000 WIA or MIA. Among French civilians -- including the Maquis -- 12,200 dead or missing.
By the time Operation Neptune was considered complete -- 30JUN1944 -- ground troops from Poland, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Greece, the Netherlands, and Norway were also involved.
Here's to the dead. Here's to the survivors.
And here's to the other countries -- often forgotten -- who stepped up at crunch time and sent their children to fight alongside those of America, Britain, Canada and France in the Channel currents and amongst the Normandy hedgerows.
Thank you, and God bless you.
Tuesday, June 05, 2007
She is a Southern lady of intelligence, wit and grace. Go read her blog, and listen to her interview on Friday.
I guarantee you'll be charmed.
'Bout ten years or so back, I was standing outside the ER of an Amarillo hospital, when a lovely nurse gave me one hell of a hug, kissed my cheek and said, "Thank you."
The ER was jumping that night with everyone doing forty things at once, and I didn't want to distract her, so I never got to ask why. I had thought of going back when they weren't busy, but she was wearing a wedding band -- and I don't poach -- so I chalked it up as a pleasant little mystery and moved on out.
The mystery has been solved.
An hour or so before the incident in question, the S.O. got a panicky 911 call from a house occupied by an elderly couple. The call was from the wife, and entirely unintelligible, so I head thataway.
When I get there, I find her husband sitting in a chair, clutching his chest and panting. He's chalk-white, soaked with sweat, and cussing his angina.
Seeing a small brown vial open on the table beside his chair, I ask how many of the nitro pills he's taken, and he says, "Four" further opining that "The damned things are out of date, because they ain't working" as he massages his left shoulder and jaw. The scrip had been filled three months previous.
I broke two Olympic records and a porcelain vase on the sprint for my cruiser where the radio and AED were located.
I'm slapping the leads on his chest, when all of a sudden the house is full of volunteer firemen, EMTs and deputies. One of the many reasons why I love living in a small town.
The big unit goes on, and it's firmly decided that the gentleman is on his way to the 'Rillo. His wife is determined to accompany, but the paramedic takes me aside and whispers that more than likely they're going to be doing some pretty dramatic things before getting to Amarillo, and it would probably be best if she wasn't sitting up front to watch them jumping up and down on her husband's chest.
Nae problemo, sayeth I, I'm 15 minutes from End of Shift, I'll take her in the Super Scooter. Things Go Rodeo, she's with me and doesn't have to see it.
All well and good.
Even better is when we pull up behind the ambulance at Amarillo, they're off-loading her husband -- and he's grouching about it.
Nonetheless, he goes in at the head of the line. And a long line it is, too. That place was swamped. Folks piled up in the lobby, beds lined up in the halls, nurses hither and thither, looked about like Grand Central Station, only with more crying people.
Gentleman goes into a alcove, I follow behind with his wife, get her settled, ask if there's anything else we can do, and get set to leave.
As I exit the alcove, a pretty nurse comes out of the next door alcove with that walk ladies get when they really want to stomp, but they're not going to, muttering a steady stream of cuss words under her breath and she ricochets right off of me.
I tip my hat, pick her up and she slaps my hands and snarls, "I suppose you want Vicodin, too!" before stalking her way to the front.
I shrug, a little nonplussed, but write it off to stress, turn to leave and happen to glance through the not-pulled-quite-shut curtain into the alcove she just left.
There's Two-Step. Laying on the cot, left arm over his eyes, legs crossed, finger of his right hand drumming on the mattress.
Two-Step had (probably still has, if he's still alive) a rap sheet longer than I am tall for Theft, Burglary and Possession of Controlled Substances.
And there's warrant for his arrest on a burglary charge sitting on my desk.
My day is looking up.
I walk into the alcove to make sure that the body laying on the table is, indeed, my suspect, and when I do, I brush the curtain with my shoulder.
The noise causes the perfectly relaxed Two-Step to utter the most heart-rending, pitiful, hammy, fakest groan I have ever, in my life, heard -- followed by, "Oh, Gawd, I can't take the pain! I'm gonna lose my mind if I don't get some relief from this pain!"
I really can't think of anything to add to that, and I'm for a phone as Two-Step continues, "My back! I've got to have something for the pain! And a pillow, because my doctor said ... Mr. 'Dog?!"
"Hello, Two-Step," sez I, pretty much figuring he's stupid or desperate enough to think I can't touch him outside of Bugscuffle County, "You okay?"
"Oh, Mr. 'Dog, it's the pain. I just can't take it!"
"I hear you, Two-Step. Listen, I just brought Mrs. Humphrey over to tend to her husband and I've got to get back to Bugscuffle. You take care now, you hear?"
"Yes, sir, Mr. 'Dog."
I slip out of the alcove and drift down to the Nurse's Desk, whistling a jaunty tune, before asking the duty nurse behind the desk for a phone, then happily dialling the office number.
"Bugscuffle County Sheriff's Office."
"Earlene, it's 'Dog. Listen, I need you to run a local check for Critter, Jody, a/k/a Two-Step."
"Lordy, what's that boy done now ... I swear, he's going to be the death of his momma ... here it is. One valid warrant for burglary."
"Thanks, Earlene, tell the boss I'm still in Amarillo, and I'll be back as soon as I hook-up Two-Step and find a local to take custody of him."
"All right, 'Dog."
I hand the phone back to the duty nurse -- who is regarding me with disbelief -- give her a beatific smile and trot back down to Two-Steps alcove ...
... where the little bugsnipe has apparently developed some smarts and legged it out the door.
Oh, well. Catch some, lose some. I'll get him next time.
So, I'm just outside the ER door, heading for the Super Scooter and idly wondering if I'm hungry enough to stop at the Waffle House, when the nurse who bounced off me earlier comes out of the door and gives me the hug and kiss mentioned above.
It wasn't until today that I discovered that Two-Step's pitiful attempt at scoring dope is apparently very common, very widespread and a major pain-in-the-neck to ER staff everywhere, with addicts tying up desperately needed ER space while trying to game the system for narcotics.
Glad I could help, in a small way.
Monday, June 04, 2007
A copy of the 95-page indictment may be read here. I suggest you download your own copy of the .pdf file.
Do note -- for trivia purposes, if nothing else -- that Representative Jefferson has the singular honour of being the first sitting Congresscritter to be tried under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
If found guilty, Congresscritter Jefferson faces a maximum sentence of about 235 years in the Greybar Bed and Breakfast.
And the air smells a touch sweeter this afternoon.
Sunday, June 03, 2007
There I am, meticulously sharpening pencils, when someone, somewhere in the murky depths of Bugscuffle County requires emergency assistance!
"Bugscuffle 911, this is Deputy LawDog, what is your emergency?"
"Bugscuffle 911, what is your emergency?"
"I don' wanna go-go jail."
"Honey, what's your name?"
"Jenna, that's a pretty name. My name is 'Dog."
"Jenna, how old are you?"
"I'm six and a haf' years old."
"I see. Now, Jenna, is there something wrong? Do you need help?"
"I don' wanna go-go jail."
"Okay. Why would you be going to jail?"
"Mommy says if I don' eat kak-rots, I go-go jail."
'Kak-rot'? What the hell is a 'kak-rot'? Fortunately the Sheriff -- father, recent grandfather, hopefully fluent in Small Child -- wanders by, coffee in hand.
"Boss," I say, hand over the receiver mouthpiece, "What the hell is a 'kak-rot'?"
He pauses, sipping meditatively, "It's either orange-coloured rabbit-bait, or unlawful in twelve states -- depending on the age of your caller."
"Jenna, are you still there?"
"Jenna, we don't arrest people for not eating their carrots."
"Mommy said I go-go jail."
"I understand that, honey, but sometimes Mommies get confused. You do need to eat your kak-- carrots -- because they're good for you, though."
"I no go-go jail?"
"No, honey, but you really do ..."
I look over at the Sheriff, whose mustache is twitching as he counts the number of meticulously-sharpened #2 pencils embedded in the acoustic tile above my chair.
Sensing a great disturbance in the Force, I reach out and hit the 'SPEAKER' button.
"Bugscuffle 911, this is Deputy LawDog, what is your emergency?"
"Yes. I need to talk to the officer who just talked to my little girl."
"If you're Jenna's mother, that officer would be me."
"Yes, hello. Listen, I need you to tell Jenna you were wrong."
"I'm going to hand the phone to Jenna, so you can tell her you were wrong."
"Is this about arresting your six-year-old for not eating her kak-rots?"
"Yes, now here she is..."
"I wouldn't do that, if I were you."
"I'm not going to lie to your six year-old and threaten to throw her in jail for not eating her kak-rots."
"Why not? Work with me here."
"Madam, your daughter may need to talk to a police officer sometime. If I terrify her by telling her I'm going to throw her in jail for absolute bushwa, then all cops become the Boogeyman. Small children just don't walk up to the Boogeyman and tell him about emergencies."
"Now look here, buddy, I pay your salary."
"Yes, you do. You -- personally -- pay about two dollars and forty-five cents of my salary each year. Here's your $2.45 worth: find a way of serving kak-rots that she likes."
Long pause, faint sound remarkably similar to the grinding of teeth comes over the speaker, followed by a muffled, "Bubba! This smart-ass at the Sheriff's sassing me!"
"Well, Jenna won't eat ... just want them ... is all."
New voice on the line:
"Now, see here, little girl, you better do what you're told, or I'll have your little ass fired, do you hear me? Me and the Sheriff is good friends, and if you want to keep your job, you'll do what my wife tells you to. Now, here!"
I watch the Sheriff's eyebrows shoot up into his hairline, as the faint sound of Jenna's mother in the background says:
"Oh, it's not that college girl. Its that foreign-sounding dude with the red hair."
"You know, the one that always wears the black clothes. Put you in the Emergency Room with that busted head last Memorial Day rodeo? I swear, I don't see how you could forget him, even if you were drunker than a waltzing pissant -- he knocked you plumb out with that flashlight."
Long pause. Sound of a cleared throat.
"I think we've taken up enough of your time, Mr. 'Dog."
"Sheriff heard the whole thing, too, Bubba."
"Umm ... Howdy, Mr. Kenny."
"Bubba," says the Sheriff.
"I'll just be going now."
Our dispatchers really don't get paid enough to put up with this.
Saturday, June 02, 2007
Australia, Canada, the European Union and -- of course, California -- are either in the process of mandating the use of CFLs, or have already done so.
We are assured by High Priest Algo-Re that replacing good old incandescent bulbs with CFLs will "reduce greenhouse gas emissions", save the planet, cause lions and lambs to lay down with each other, convince Third World countries to have our children, put a Democrat in the White House and convert Muslim radicals to the Way of Peace.
There's always a snake in Eden. In this case, the snake is a wicked element called mercury.
Yes, the same element whose presence in tuna causes environmentalists to foam at the mouth like a pack of rabid chihuahuas is found in their holy CFLs -- about five milligrams worth per bulb, more or less.
That fine print will get you on the arse every time.
So. The peons are forced to convert to CFLs -- because the environmental movement and the Gummint know what's best for us -- which leads to ...
How many extra CFLs in the garbage that first year? Which adds up to how much extra mercury in various landfills that same year?
Oh, Holy jumping Al Gore on a pogo stick! We're poisoning the Earth with mercury! Think of the chilllll-dren!
So, to prevent the mercury and methylmercury poisoning of Mother Gaia, the enviromentalists will suggest that disposal of used CFLs and clean-up of broken CFLs should be paid for by the peons what bought and broke them -- two grand and change according to Ms. Brandy Bridges.
Two thousand dollars ($2000) to clean up one (1) broken five-dollar ($5) CFL. And these things are supposed to be easier on our checkbooks?!
And since people are people and don't want to drive 60 miles to find a CFL/mercury Disposal Centre -- or shell out two grand because Junior was bouncing a baseball inside the house -- they're going to quietly wrap the burnt-out or broken CFLs in a newspaper and stuff them deep in the dumpster.
Which, of course, will lead to further mercury/heavy metal poisoning of the environment.
And since the government is the government -- they will quietly criminalize the improper disposal of burnt-out or broken CFLs.
Al Gore and the rest of the Watermelon* Environmental Movement can take their mercury-laden CFLs and stuff them up where the sun don't shine.
Give me my incandescent bulbs -- good enough for Thomas Edison, by God -- and bugger off.
*Green on the outside, red on the inside.