Monday, October 29, 2007
I have two on the left -- one for being nominated in the Bloggers Choice Awards of 2007, and one ROFL Award for December of 2006.
I'm guessing that since the voting is done for the Bloggers Choice Awards, and I didn't make it anywhere near the top, that badge probably ought to come down.
I'm a little more fuzzy on the ROFL badge, though. Would I be insulting the person who awarded me the badge if I leave it up after so long? Will I insult them if I take it down?
Sunday, October 28, 2007
The video involving the car thief almost caused me to drown in Dr. Pepper.
The full series of Trunk Monkey videos can be found here. Be forewarned that the site has a picture gallery in which the occasional young lady in a bikini and a Trunk Money doll will show up. Personally, I'm all in favour of young ladies in bikinis, but your boss and/or Human Resources Department may not see things my way.
Anyhoo, I had filed Trunk Monkeys away as an amusement, until today, when I discovered that our troopies have apparently been referring to the rear gunner in gun trucks and hard-backed HMMWVs as the "Trunk Monkey".
And there are even (unofficial) Trunk Monkey Patches.
Oh, I'm going to have to get one of those.
1/4 cup of unsalted butter
2 teaspoons dried chives
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
Mix all the above until thoroughly blended, then pop into 'fridge.
Go to the meat market and look for some generic 'cook-out steaks'. You'll need four weighing about six ounces each.
Grab four long rolls -- hoagie rolls, short baguette loaves, po'boy rolls, or such -- some lettuce and a red onion on your way to the register.
Fire up your grill, and cook your steaks to medium rare -- more if you're squeamish -- and scoop them onto a platter.
Split the rolls, lightly butter and toast them. Put a leaf of lettuce and a couple of red onion rings on the bottom half of the roll, slide a steak on top, then get your prepared butter out of the 'fridge and divide into four parts.
Four pats of herb butter, and four steaks -- obvious, yes?
Dab a pat of the butter onto each steak, so it will melt and run nicely over the steak -- and serve.
Voila! LawDog's Summer Steak Sandwich!
Friday, October 26, 2007
"12, go ahead."
"12, when you go 10-8, contact the supervisor at 2300 Fernoak Road."
I stare at the cows I am currently attempting to put back behind their fence. Crap. Crap crap crap.
Twenty minutes later I pull up to the back door of the local nursing home.
I say back door, it is actually a set of French doors on the back side of the dining room/TeeVee room, opening onto a patio, surrounded by a faux wrought-iron fence about eight feet high.
Just inside the fence, a matronly-looking woman in scrubs, body language giving every impression of annoyed impatience I've ever seen, looks pointedly at her wrist watch as I park the cruiser.
"It's five minutes past seven o'clock. I called the sheriff at a quarter 'til. Be sure you put that in your report."
"Sorry about that, but I was on the far side of the county with a herd of cows when the --."
"That's sheriff's business. Mr. Johnson is missing. He's ninety-four years old, white, last seen wearing a tartan dressing robe over blue pajamas."
"Okay, good to know. When was he last seen?" Ninety-plus years old, I doubt if he got further than, say, a mile. Unless someone picked him up...
"When was he last seen?"
"Are you implying something?"
What the hell? I look at her over my Gargoyles in absolute confusion, "When was the last time he was seen? So I'll have a search limit?"
"Young man, Bugscuffle is not that big."
I see how this one is going to be played. "Okay, do you have any idea which way he might have gone, or where he might be going?"
"Mr. Johnson has a severe case of Alzheimers. Not only do we not know where he may be going, or which way, but he doesn't know either." The 'you idiot' was unspoken.
I'm trying not to show teeth in a smile that neither one of us is going to believe is friendly. "I understand. Can you tell me what kind of footwear he's wearing?"
"You, young man, should be looking for Mr. Johnson, not standing here, conducting what my lawyer will probably tell me is an illegal interro --."
"Madam. These are dirt streets. We haven't had rain in months, and there's a good layer of dust everywhere. I can track Mr. Johnson quite easily -- if I know what I'm looking for. Now. Am I looking for slippers, am I looking for sneakers, am I looking for bare feet, what?"
She looks at me for a long moment, no doubt cataloging my series of sins and trespasses in her mind.
"I'm sure that an aide will be able to help you. I'll send one out. You are planning on looking for poor Mr. Johnson sometime today, I hope?"
The amount of saccharine in that one little sentence would probably kill half a lab quota of rats, and I feel my jaw muscles knot up as I gravely incline my head, "I'll certainly do my best. May I see Mr. Johnson's room?"
"He's not -- oh, bother. Very well. 105." With that, the supervisor throws up her arms and stomps back into the facility, me taking the moment to slip in the self-locking door behind her.
A couple of moments later I'm at room 105.
I've been here before. About three weeks back, half-an-hour before end of shift, the ambulance was paged out to the nursing home. As was our policy, I had responded, had come to this room from the other direction to find it full of aides and nurses. The bed just inside the door had been empty, bedclothes thrown back as if the occupant had been taken out of the room. The far bed had had two of the staff attempting to resuscitate a tiny figure; then two of our local paramedics had button-hooked the door and taken over, only to gently shake their heads after a brief exam.
What was her name ... Viola Faye Carter Johnson. I worked the escort for her funeral later that week. I close my eyes and I replay my courtesy at the service in my mind:
Walked in through the side door. Waited at the door while my eyes adjusted and spoke with the funeral director about the route and location of the grave site. Walked through the line ... grandchildren, grandchildren, daughter, son, son, ah-hah. Tall, barrel-chested, big-boned, but no muscle over the bones. Natty bowler hat on top of thin white hair, incredibly bright yellow-and-red feather tucked rakishly in the hat-band, white moustache, good grey suit, malacca cane leaning forgotten against the pew.
Complete and total dazed incomprehension in the blue eyes.
Got him. Now I know who he is.
Out of habit I look under the bed -- hey, it's happened before. No such luck this time, though.
I open the closet door -- no Mr. Johnson there -- the clothes are hung with almost military precision, no gaps to show missing clothes. I'm looking at a tiny framed pen and watercolour portrait of a woman on the bedside table when two younger women step through the door, one of them carrying a red, blue and green check robe.
Well, he's not wearing a tartan bathrobe after all. Hope he's still wearing the blue pajamas.
The portrait is a bit smudged and looks like it was bent or folded a time or two before being framed. It is a blonde woman, young, who is pulling a blue ribbon from her ponytail while looking levelly at the artist. It is well-done, drawn with love as well as skill. Dollar to a doughnut says Mr. Johnson was the artist -- it has that feel.
The aides are clearly upset -- Mr. Johnson seems to have been a favorite. He is a white male, tall -- they're not sure how tall -- and he's nice. And never a problem.
That's nice to know.
The only thing they think is missing from his room -- aside from him -- is his cane. The side door alarm beeped at the supper meal, at five. They think that was him, but truth be told, nobody is really sure when Mr. Johnson amscrayed.
Yeah, this one isn't going to be easy.
I tip my hat to the aides and start walking around outside the home, checking the dirt at each door. At the side door, I find it. It's not much -- a circular imprint a little bigger than the diametre of a quarter in the dirt -- but in my memory I see the tan rubber after-market tip someone had slid onto Mr. Johnson's cane. With the cane imprint as a marker, I can see the shiny spots where his cloth-soled slippers pressed into the caliche and it's fairly easy to track Mr. Johnson to Muir Road.
I mark the spot, hurry back to the Super Scooter and call in a BOLO (Be On the Look Out) for Mr. Johnson to Dispatch, then a run the cruiser up to my mark and start slowly idling east on Muir road, head hung out the window, watching the little rounds marks.
Six blocks later, I'm starting to get worried. Muir Road goes straight east into Old Town, the original location of Bugscuffle. In the early 1900's, maybe teens, something had happened in Old Bugscuffle -- fire, tornado, I'm not sure. Whatever it was, that entire section of town had picked up and moved west to it's current location, leaving behind stone foundations and a few low ruined walls, overgrown in eighty-some-odd years of salt cedar, pecan trees, ornamental trees run amuck, cane breaks and other tree-type growth. Worst of all, Old Bugscuffle had red brick streets. Which New Bugscuffle happily -- and mindlessly -- runs a street sweeper down every other week.
Two blocks later, and I watch helplessly as the little circles and the small shiny spots turn into red brick streets. Dammit, dammit, dammit ... "Car 12, County."
"Go ahead, 12."
"County, I've lost track of that BOLO at Muir and Pecan. Might be a good idea to turn out the VFD."
"10-4, car 12."
"Go ahead, 10."
"What's 12 got?"
I climb out of the car as Dispatch fills the Sheriff in on our Missing Person, hoping that Mr. Johnson had veered from his course and had climbed up into the grass. No such luck -- but I honestly didn't figure a 94-year-old man to get off on uneven grass when there was a perfectly nice brick road right there. Dammit. My walkie-talkie crackles into life.
"Car 10, car 12."
"You know that foundation slab about a block and a half east from your current location where the high school kids go to party?"
"That's the old Carter place. Next door to the east is the old Johnson place. Comprende?"
Bingo. I feel my chest ease a bit. "10-4, car 10, I'm en route."
"Good. Car 10, Dispatch, tone the fire department and have them meet me at the corner of Muir and Pecan."
Three quick breaths later and I pull the cruiser to a stop on the red brick street. North of the road is a huge lot waist-deep in vegetation -- where it isn't shoulder deep or worse in salt cedars, rioting pyracantha -- and a narrow path wending it's way through the undergrowth. I scoot along the path, anxiously looking for -- and not finding -- those little rounds marks, but checking anyway. At the end of the patch -- almost fifty yards back -- is an enormous stone foundation slab.
Dozens of burn marks show where decades of high schools students had started campfires, various names and statements were written onto the stones with pens and markers; sprayed on in every conceivable shade of Krylon; or carved into any available surface, while scads of empty beer cans, liquor bottles, fast-food containers, and empty condom wrappers give mute testimony to what the kids were doing when they weren't indulging their artistic and literacy Muses.
But not one sign of Mr. Johnson. I lope back to the street and walk slowly along the edge of the road, looking ... got it.
Right in the middle of the lot that the Sheriff had called "the old Johnson place" I find two parallel lines maybe a handspan apart, where the leaves had been moved and turned over, their damp bottoms dark in the sunlight, as if by someone walking through in a shuffle. Say, an elderly man. I kneel and brush gently to the right of the trail, and am rewarded when I come across a round impression -- a little larger than a quarter -- partially covered by a leaf.
"Car 12, car 10."
"I've got tracks at the old Johnson place."
Out of habit I stay to the left of the tracks, but I move quickly -- the sun is going down and night won't make this any easier. The tracks lead through the brush and up onto a foundation slab, straight up the center of the slab for several yards, before making an abrupt left turn, marching off the slab, then angling northwards of the Carter place.
Five minutes later, as the sun is going down, I find Mr. Johnson.
There is a low -- no taller than the middle of my thigh -- fieldstone wall separating the two lots, and sometime in the past there had been a pecan tree next to the wall.
He is sitting on top of the wall, back against the stump, his spiffy feather-adorned bowler hat a sharp contrast to his neat blue pajamas, a rusted metal box sitting in his lap and the cane leaning against the wall.
"Car 12, County. Code 4."
If one were to squint real hard, it would be easy to believe that he's lost in thought, or maybe napping.
But I can tell from ten feet away that he's not.
"Car 10, car 12, do you need Rescue?"
I take my hat off and put it on the wall, then I strip off my gloves and drop them into the hat. His right hand is resting on top of the metal box and I slip my fingers to the inside of his wrist to check for a pulse.
Looped around his index finger, held in place by his thumb, is a ribbon, badly faded to a dove grey, but probably once the cornflower shade that might have been used to tie back the hair of a blue-eyed blonde girl.
I gently place my fingers on the side of his throat. He's cold and there hasn't been a pulse there for some time.
"County to car 12."
Funny how there seems to be a hitch in my throat. I squeeze the fragile shoulder softly, then hit the 'send' button on my walkie-talkie, "County, negative on Rescue. Signal 9."
A long pause before the County Dispatcher replies, "10-4, 12." She'll be calling a Justice of the Peace to come pronounce -- there's going to need to be a path cleared for that, and for the funeral home, but it just doesn't feel right to leave that old gentleman alone again. Not in the dark.
The Sheriff and the volunteer fire department will be here soon enough.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Monday, October 22, 2007
While leading a mission to locate a high-level anti-coalition militia leader, Lieutenant Murphy demonstrated extraordinary heroism in the face of grave danger in the vicinity of Asadabad, Konar Province, Afghanistan. On 28 June 2005, operating in an extremely rugged, enemy-controlled area, Lieutenant Murphy's team was discovered by anti-coalition militia sympathizers who revealed their position to Taliban fighters. As a result, between 30 and 40 enemy fighters besieged his four-member team.
Demonstrating exceptional resolve, Lieutenant Murphy valiantly led his men in engaging the large enemy force. The ensuing fierce firefight resulted in numerous enemy casualties, as well as the wounding of all four members of his team. Ignoring his own wounds and demonstrating exceptional composure, Lieutenant Murphy continued to lead and encourage his men. When the primary communicator fell mortally wounded, Lieutenant Murphy repeatedly attempted to call for assistance for his beleaguered teammates. Realizing the impossibility of communicating in the extreme terrain and in the face of almost certain death, he fought his way into an open terrain to gain a better position to transmit a call. This deliberate heroic act deprived him of cover, exposing him to direct enemy fire. Finally achieving contact with his headquarters, Lieutenant Murphy maintained his exposed position while he provided his location and requested immediate support for his team.
In his final act of bravery, he continued to engage the enemy until he was mortally wounded, gallantly giving his life for his country and for the cause of freedom. By his selfless leadership, courageous actions, and extraordinary devotion to duty, Lieutenant Murphy reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service."
Requiscat in Pacem, Lieutenant. Godspeed.
One box manicotti noodles;
One can Frito-Lay Bean Dip;
One small bunch of green onions, chopped;
Half pound of ground meat;
One jar or can of your favorite spaghetti sauce
Two bags shredded cheese.
Prepare your manicotti noodles according to the instructions on the box. While they are boiling, bung the ground meat into a frying pan along with the green onions. Brown.
Once the meat-onion mix is browned, drain off the grease and then add the bean dip. Heat and stir for another minute or so.
Take the manicotti noodles and stuff them with the meat/onion/bean dip mix. Lay the filled manicotti in a baking dish, and sprinkle with any left-over meat/onion/dip mix, and one bag of shredded cheese.
Open your can or jar of spaghetti sauce and pour over the bed of manicotti. Top with the other bag of cheese and bung into a 300 degree oven until the sauce is bubbling nicely.
Technically speaking, three of the four kittens got shipped off about four days ago. During the ensuing rodeo, mama cat and the calico kitten hauled tail for the alley and didn't show back up until that evening.
I spent the next three days pretending I'm back in the bush and sneaking up on the calico kitten. I'd get within a fingers-length of the little scamp, and she'd turn into a furry streak headed for Goddess-only-knows-where.
Mama cat had no problems whatsoever demanding pettings and food and attention -- I think she probably realizes that winter is coming and has a pretty good idea on which side of the toast her butter (and blankets and fireplaces and warm milk) is on.
Last night, a hint of the winter weather heading this way swept through North Texas. I don't know where mama cat spent the night, but calico kitten spent it under the lawn-mower, on the concrete of the driveway. Not the warmest place in the world.
This morning I put out a cup of food, and sat on the back porch to watch the cats nosh -- as is my wont these days.
Mama cat showed up right skippy, but calico took a long time to stagger out from under the lawn-mower; when she did, she headed immediately for mama cat and started to nurse -- which is kind of odd, because she's been eating solid food for a couple of weeks now.
I watched -- freezing my butt off, I might add -- until mama cat started to figure that calico had had enough, then I ghosted off the porch, across the eight or so feet between the porch steps and the food dish, scooped up calico and was halfway back up the steps before either one of them figured out what had happened.
That little bit was vibrating like a meth-addict on a three-day binge. I'm not sure if it was from fear or the cold, however, I do note that I was fully expecting to grab a handful of Cuisinart in feline form, but she neither bit nor scratched me.
I took her inside, laid down on the sofa, put her on my chest and cupped my hands around her while the dogs whined about cat cooties.
Took about ten minutes, but she finally sighed, spread out for maximum heat transference and went to sleep.
Ten minutes later, the guy who got the other kittens showed up, and I took the gently sleeping, trusting little calico out on the front porch and stuffed her into a cold plastic pet carrier along with her mother.
Now I feel like a traitorous slime.
In consequence, the locals offer sacrifices to these avatars -- usually in the form of bananas, other fruit, and the like.
Monkeys being monkeys, the little devils have seen a Golden Opportunity and snatched ahold of it with both furry paws.
Apparently, they're running amuck in New Delhi, routinely invading "parliament, ministries, courts and government offices", and, it seems, learning the finer points of politics in the process.
This April, S.S. Bajwa, a member of the political party Bharatiya Janata, was elected as New Delhi's Deputy Mayor. In the past, Bharatiya Janata has been roundly criticized for not doing enough to tame the city's simian situation.
Well, it seems like the monkeys have figured that since there's a war coming, they should probably go proactive.
So, a whole bunch of them went over to the Deputy Mayors house and whacked him.
Kind of reminds me of Chicago politicking. Or maybe New Orleans. Except cuter.
In light of this terrible occurrence, I have only
1) Can Rhesus macaques survive in Washington, DC; and
2) What would it take to import about two thousand of the furry little darlin's?
Friday, October 19, 2007
Yes, Dear Gentle Readers, it is that time of year again. Time to lock up sisters, daughters, maiden aunts and slow chihuahuas.
I am ...
... On Vacation!
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Thanks to Governor Schwarzenegger, any handgun sold in the State of California starting in the year 2010 must stamp a number capable of identifying the make, model and serial number of the firearm in two places upon the cartridge cases each time the firearm is discharged -- a technology called 'micro-stamping'.
It should comes as no surprise that the Governor and California Legislature ignored a State-funded study of the technology which found micro-stamping to be seriously flawed -- indeed, their own researchers recommended against implementing this technology.
So ... will handgun manufacturers make one micro-stamping model for California and a different, non-stamping model for everyone else?
I doubt it.
Given that most crimes are committed with pistols that have been previously stolen; and given that folks that steal guns don't notify the authorities with their names and addresses once they steal the guns -- finding a micro-stamped case at the scene tells the police ... what? That the victim was killed with a stolen gun?
Bloody lot of help that is.
Given that in a blind test, only 20% of the micro-stamped numbers were correctly identified -- out of five micro-stamped numbers, only one was correctly read -- with "subjective interpretation of the examiner" seriously impacting the total results ... what damned good is this going to do in a trial?
Since four out of five numbers were wrongly read, seems like a better than average chance that law-abiding California citizens will be wrongly implicated by this technology, thus having to spend a great deal of their money to prove their innocence.
If I were a resident of California, I'd demand to know what funds were being set aside to compensate those wrongly accused by deficient technology.
By Odin's one eye -- when the hell are we going to get some real, live, actual conservative politicians, instead of these gods-be-damned fakes?
Monday, October 15, 2007
One down, 79,999,999 to go.
And a Social Security Trust Fund full of nothing but US Government IOUs.
One tends to believe that if the US government was broke enough to need to pilfer the Social Security Trust Fund money to pay for other proto-socialist government programs, then odds are that when the IOUs come due ... the same government that was broke enough to issue the IOUs will probably still be broke.
Lying and theft are sins. If there is any kind of justice, a whole bunch of Congresscritters are now -- and will be -- spending the next eternity roasting in hell.
Friday, October 12, 2007
To my nephews, Hjalmar and Ludvig Nobel, the sons of my brother Robert Nobel, I bequeath the sum of Two Hundred Thousand Crowns each;
To my nephew Emanuel Nobel, the sum of Three Hundred Thousand, and to my niece Mina Nobel, One Hundred Thousand Crowns;
To my brother Robert Nobel's daughters, Ingeborg and Tyra, the sum of One Hundred Thousand Crowns each;
Miss Olga Boettger, at present staying with Mrs Brand, 10 Rue St Florentin, Paris, will receive One Hundred Thousand Francs;
Mrs Sofie Kapy von Kapivar, whose address is known to the Anglo-Oesterreichische Bank in Vienna, is hereby entitled to an annuity of 6000 Florins Ö.W. which is paid to her by the said Bank, and to this end I have deposited in this Bank the amount of 150,000 Fl. in Hungarian State Bonds;
Mr Alarik Liedbeck, presently living at 26 Sturegatan, Stockholm, will receive One Hundred Thousand Crowns;
Miss Elise Antun, presently living at 32 Rue de Lubeck, Paris, is entitled to an annuity of Two Thousand Five Hundred Francs. In addition, Forty Eight Thousand Francs owned by her are at present in my custody, and shall be refunded;
Mr Alfred Hammond, Waterford, Texas, U.S.A. will receive Ten Thousand Dollars;
The Misses Emy and Marie Winkelmann, Potsdamerstrasse, 51, Berlin, will receive Fifty Thousand Marks each;
Mrs Gaucher, 2 bis Boulevard du Viaduc, Nimes, France will receive One Hundred Thousand Francs;
My servants, Auguste Oswald and his wife Alphonse Tournand, employed in my laboratory at San Remo, will each receive an annuity of One Thousand Francs;
My former servant, Joseph Girardot, 5, Place St. Laurent, Châlons sur Saône, is entitled to an annuity of Five Hundred Francs, and my former gardener, Jean Lecof, at present with Mrs Desoutter, receveur Curaliste, Mesnil, Aubry pour Ecouen, S.& O., France, will receive an annuity of Three Hundred Francs;
Mr Georges Fehrenbach, 2, Rue Compiègne, Paris, is entitled to an annual pension of Five Thousand Francs from January 1, 1896 to January 1, 1899, when the said pension shall discontinue;
A sum of Twenty Thousand Crowns each, which has been placed in my custody, is the property of my brother's children, Hjalmar, Ludvig, Ingeborg and Tyra, and shall be repaid to them.
The whole of my remaining realizable estate shall be dealt with in the following way: the capital, invested in safe securities by my executors, shall constitute a fund, the interest on which shall be annually distributed in the form of prizes to those who, during the preceding year, shall have conferred the greatest benefit on mankind. The said interest shall be divided into five equal parts, which shall be apportioned as follows: one part to the person who shall have made the most important discovery or invention within the field of physics; one part to the person who shall have made the most important chemical discovery or improvement; one part to the person who shall have made the most important discovery within the domain of physiology or medicine; one part to the person who shall have produced in the field of literature the most outstanding work in an ideal direction; and one part to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses. The prizes for physics and chemistry shall be awarded by the Swedish Academy of Sciences; that for physiological or medical work by the Caroline Institute in Stockholm; that for literature by the Academy in Stockholm, and that for champions of peace by a committee of five persons to be elected by the Norwegian Storting. It is my express wish that in awarding the prizes no consideration whatever shall be given to the nationality of the candidates, but that the most worthy shall receive the prize, whether he be a Scandinavian or not.
As Executors of my testamentary dispositions, I hereby appoint Mr Ragnar Sohlman, resident at Bofors, Värmland, and Mr Rudolf Lilljequist, 31 Malmskillnadsgatan, Stockholm, and at Bengtsfors near Uddevalla. To compensate for their pains and attention, I grant to Mr Ragnar Sohlman, who will presumably have to devote most time to this matter, One Hundred Thousand Crowns, and to Mr Rudolf Lilljequist, Fifty Thousand Crowns;
At the present time, my property consists in part of real estate in Paris and San Remo, and in part of securities deposited as follows: with The Union Bank of Scotland Ltd in Glasgow and London, Le Crédit Lyonnais, Comptoir National d'Escompte, and with Alphen Messin & Co. in Paris; with the stockbroker M.V. Peter of Banque Transatlantique, also in Paris; with Direction der Disconto Gesellschaft and Joseph Goldschmidt & Cie, Berlin; with the Russian Central Bank, and with Mr Emanuel Nobel in Petersburg; with Skandinaviska Kredit Aktiebolaget in Gothenburg and Stockholm, and in my strong-box at 59, Avenue Malakoff, Paris; further to this are accounts receivable, patents, patent fees or so-called royalties etc. in connection with which my Executors will find full information in my papers and books.
This Will and Testament is up to now the only one valid, and revokes all my previous testamentary dispositions, should any such exist after my death.
Finally, it is my express wish that following my death my veins shall be opened, and when this has been done and competent Doctors have confirmed clear signs of death, my remains shall be cremated in a so-called crematorium.
Paris, 27 November, 1895
Alfred Bernhard Nobel
The last will and testament of Alfred Nobel, in which he created the various Nobel prizes.
One prize to: "one part to the person who shall have made the most important discovery or invention within the field of physics";
A second to: "the person who shall have made the most important chemical discovery or improvement";
Thirdly to: "the person who shall have made the most important discovery within the domain of physiology or medicine";
A fourth prize to: "the person who shall have produced in the field of literature the most outstanding work in an ideal direction"; and
The fifth and last prize to: "the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses."
Fraternity between nations, abolition or reduction of standing armies, and holding or promoting peace congresses.
While Mr. Gore has done nothing to abolish or reduce any standing army, and I believe I must have missed the peace congress he held, I suppose one could argue that his global warming travelling tour has fostered some kind of fraternity between nations.
Sort of. I guess.
We have long suspected that the Nobel Prize for Peace is increasingly irrelevant -- despite repeated nominations, Ghandi never received one, yet Yasser Arafat is a Nobel Peace prize recipient.
Ah, well. That's politics for you.
Thursday, October 11, 2007
According to this story, a one-year-old child by the name of Joey Cosmillo fell into the family swimming pool and did his damnedest to drown himself.
His mother found him, hauled him out, but he wasn't breathing. She took the sprog into the house and dialled 911. Rescuers -- bless their hearts -- got him breathing again, but the time he spent not breathing has done some nasty damage. He is unable to walk, he is unable to talk and he can't even breathe on his own.
He is currently in the care of a nursing home five miles from his house, where he can receive the 24-hour-a-day care that his breathing tube and his feeding tube require.
Keep that in mind.
One of the responding public servants -- Casselberry PD Sgt Andrea Eichhorn -- who arrived minutes after Joey's mother fished him out of the pool and carried him into the house to dial 911, is suing Joey's mother, his grandmother and his grandfather.
Why, you ask?
Well, it seems that Sgt. Eichhorn stepped through the door into the bedroom where rescuers were working upon one-year-old Joey -- attempting to save his life -- she slipped on a puddle of water and injured her knee.
To be fair, reports are that Sgt. Eichhorn actually fractured the knee. Of course, reports also say that she continued to work the scene -- it was only "later that day" that she sought treatment for the injury.
The tile-crawling invertebrate hired by Sgt. Eichhorn to represent her in this lawsuit states:
"It's a situation where the Cosmillos have caused these problems, brought them on themselves, then tried to play the victim,"
We will now pause to allow the full impact of that statement to sink in.
Their precious child almost died. Did die, near as I can tell, and suffered extensive, life-altering injuries -- requiring 24 hour professional care.
And this qualifies as "playing the victim"?
You two-bit, four-flushing, dirty, rotten, knee-biting, inbred vomitous mass.
You meretricious, soul-less, microcephalic, forked-tongued carbuncle in the armpit of humanity.
Is your mother proud of this, or -- as I suspect -- did you spontaneously spawn as the gelatinous mass in the bottom of a used jock-strap bin, thus sparing any woman the utter humiliation of admitting that she failed to drown you as soon as she saw the cruel, debased and sadistic gleam in your porcine little eyes -- you complete and utter vulture; you black-hearted, slime-trailing little invertebrate.
And that goes double for your client -- who the hell do you think you are? You busted your knee, sad, but we're in a rough line of work, princess, and anyone who told you any different Lied. To. You.
Who the hell are you to burden this family further? What kind of sociopathic, money-grubbing , cold-blooded parasite goes out of her way to heap insult onto tragedy?
Did some sulphur-reeking vermin from the lowest pits of hell crawl onto your shoulder and whisper sweet dreams of pieces of silver into one of your avaricious little ears -- is that your excuse?
Do you really think that -- after paying for the medical bills of this child; after paying for the 24 hour care; after paying for the nursing home that he'll probably spend the rest of his earthly days in -- that there's going to be anything left?
And just what the hell makes you think you're entitled to one, single, lousy red cent?
You, madam, you and your attorney, are a prime example of why public floggings should never have gone out of style.
UPDATE: I would like to extend an 'attaboy' to the Casselberry Police Department -- according to this story (published during the time I was writing) Sgt. Eichhorn has been removed from duty.
There is also a press release from Casselberry PD here.
Thank you, Chief, for taking a principled stand.
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
Today's example, however, just really blows my tiny little mind.
The World Socialist Web Site -- find the link yourself, 'cause I'm not linking to those honyocks -- is busily getting their collective (is that a pun?) knickers in a knot over some the latest illegal alien round-up.
Buried deep in a story dripping with outrage was this little gem:
"They stormed houses armed with shotguns and submachine guns and, in some cases, wearing cowboy hats."
Maybe I'm just confused ... but did some Socialist bedwetter just equate "shotguns and submachine guns" with cowboy hats?!?
OhMyGawd, Muffy -- they're wearing cowboy hats! The Glorious Peoples Revolution is doomed!
Are Stetsons the secret ingredient that repels pinko socialist scum? If I wear my silverbelly a little more often, will it drive away hippies like garlic and crosses drive away vampires?
Why did no one tell me of this?
By way of Tolewyn, I have discovered Jeff Dunham, a ventriloquist who seems to have been around for a bit -- despite me not ever having heard of him.
Like most vetriloquists, Mr. Dunham has a variety of puppets -- Peanut being my absolute favorite.
Until a little bit ago.
Gentle Readers, I give you ... Achmed the Dead Terrorist!
Be advised that some of the language is not 'G' rated, and some of the subject matter covered probably isn't for kids.
I, however, snickered for most of the ten minutes of this video.
The artist is named Bev Doolittle, and she has painted several more works in this 'camouflage' style.
Knowing of my fondness for foxes and my liking for Ms. Doolittle's work, Mom gave me a framed print of a Doolittle painting called "Woodland Encounter" which I hung on the wall behind my desk just this morning.
Little while after I get the picture hung just right, a detective leans around the corner and hands me a affidavit to check. I'm reading through it, she's fidgeting, and suddenly she freezes and blurts, "Holy crap, there's an Indian in that painting!"
Next thing I know she's standing with her nose practically pressed against the glass, making "Oh, wow!" noises.
Which is all well and good -- but I'm sitting in a chair, in a small office, tucked up against a desk, and she's Right. Behind. Me.
Now, I realize that with most normal and stable folks this isn't a big deal.
It drives me nuts.
In the most cordial, charming and polite way I can muster, I chuck her out of the office, take a deep, calming breath and head for the tea-pot.
There's four of 'em in my office when I get back. One pour of half-and-half, one pour of tea, couple of sugar cubes -- and my office is full of investigator-types.
I am sipping my now-cool tea, when I am informed that my presence is requested by a judge.
Off I go -- judge isn't in the office. I check the court-room -- no judge. Court reporter says, perkily, "The judge went on break."
Back to my office. I hadn't realized my office was a judicial break room, cause there's two of 'em in there. Behind my desk. Tracing outlines on my picture.
I enquire if my presence was still desired -- it is. And to fix the minor catastrophe requires that I access my computer. Which is on my desk.
By the time I get the problem solved, the judges are still entranced by the picture and I'm audibly grinding my teeth. And then at least one of the judges had to go tell some attorneys about the "really neat painting" over in 'Dog's office.
Six hours of having people breathing the air behind my desk along with me, and I'm surprised the bail-bond agent didn't spontaneously combust when he stuck his head around the door to ask me a stupid question.
I'm getting some new hangers, and tomorrow that picture is going on the other wall.
Sunday, October 07, 2007
"...and where would one be able to read said particularly lurid sword-fight?"
Ah, my little secret.
My first exposure to science fiction literature was by way of, shall we say, pulp fiction. Conan the Barbarian, John Carter of Mars, that kind of thing.
And, once in a while, I get a massive urge, I turn off the lights, drop some epic heavy metal into the CD player along with the Conan m0vie soundtrack, and I start writing some ... really ... lurid, awful, about-as-far-from-Politically-Correct stuff as you can get.
When I say it's bad, it's bad. Embarrassing, even. Tolewyn gets some of these stories -- after I've toned them down a lot.
Hell, the last one I wrote, there are two safe paragraphs in the whole story:
"After his father was beaten to death with a chainmail brassiere full of rocks, the Prince was forced to conceal a breeches-wetting phobia of concubines. After all, who the hell wants to be led by an Emperor of All He Surveys who must be pulled kicking and screaming out from under the bed at the first sight of lingerie?"
"The man had a six-foot spider on a leash. Which is actually fairly creative -- but he unfortunately had the gall to outfit the demonic arachnid with studded leather anklets and a rather spiffy leather bikers cap. Hell, yes, he had to die."
And it gets worse from there.
And no, I won't post the stories. Gawd, no. I've got enough folks accusing me of being a racist, there's no way I'm getting accused of being a misogynist to boot.
No. Hell, no. Not going to happen, don't ask.
I learned to write using a fountain pen and a bottle of Waterman's blue-black ink. In my mind that is the way you should write your personal stuff. This blog is a personal journal of mine, so I use heavy italics in dark blue.
Plus, the heavy blue italics have become a bit of a LawDog Files signature.
My mother was born in Texas and has American citizenship. My father was born in Kansas and likewise, has American citizenship. I was born overseas, but under the doctrine of jus sanguini I have American citizenship. My grammar, punctuation and spelling reflect the education I received overseas -- and that is why The LawDog Files occasionally look like they were written by a foreigner.
My being born overseas results from my father being employed in oilfield engineering. I am not a Military Brat, nor a Missionary Kid.
I am also an extremely private person. Outside of work, or the Internet, I am screamingly introverted, and this is why I use the nom de cyber of LawDog and am intentionally vague regarding personal details -- although I am getting better. And, yes, I realize that any script-kiddie worth his salt could find out everything he wanted to know about me with a handful of keystrokes -- but why make it easier for anyone else?
All pictures posted here that aren't downloaded from the Internet are taken by me with a FujiFilm FinePix A345 digital camera.
I still don't have any plans on publishing a book; and I will get the Pink Gorilla Suit Story done sooner or later.
I think that just about covers the range of questions.
"Because it's ever-so-much more dangerous than a dumpster?"
Seems like the daft mama of the kittens previously rescued -- twice -- has done had her another set. And this time, since we're obviously not dangerous (dumb, but not dangerous), she has stashed them under the lawnmower on the driveway outside the back door.
Mama cat either isn't really a feral cat, or she's decided that the feral life sucks:And our driveway -- with it's dearth of dumpsters -- seems to be prime kitten-raising ground:
As would the living room, if only we'd bow to the inevitable and open the damned door: