Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Let's try that again.

Some time back, Ambulance Driver came up with the idea to run a linked series of blog posts, by different authors, about their perspectives and reactions to a fact-based, yet fictional, situation.

The first ever of these "Perspectives" posts involved MattG responding to a wreck from his view as a peace officer; followed up by AD as the responding paramedic and ending with BabsRN as the receiving ER nurse.

The series was an immediate runaway hit and was followed sometime later by a second series, this time using myself as the initial contact officer -- and (loosely) based on a real-life person from one of my early stories -- with AD back in the role of paramedic, and BabsRN in the ER.

This three-part story was -- again -- incredibly popular.

So much so, that we're considering taking another whack at it. The part of the first responder will be played by Your Humble Scribe -- again -- with AD back in harness as the paramedic, but for this outing, the part of the ER nurse will be played by the lovely MonkeyGirl and introducing Peter as the Critical Incident Counselor.

Hang on to your hats, Gentle Readers, as before there will be little -- if any -- humour, but given the Real Life Experience, not to say talent, of the other contributing authors, I think it'll be a crackin' good story.

LawDog

Paw of Approval

I'm a big fan of fountain pens. I learned to write with one, and while 90% of my writing these days is either done on the computer -- or with a Pilot G2 gel -- some writing simply requires a good fountain pen.

Yes, ball point pens are convenient, as are roller balls, and each one is fully capable of forming readable letters on paper -- but there's something kind of nice about writing with a fountain pen. An elegance in the midst of a fast-paced world that spurns elegance in favour of expedience.

My writing -- barely readable at the best of times these days -- becomes marginally better when I pick up a fountain pen.

In the past if I reached out for a pen on my desk, odds are it was going to be some variety of fountain pen. Since my law enforcement career began (trust me, "Press hard, you're making four copies" simply doesn't work with a fountain pen) I have gradually lost, or given away, my beloved pens, leaving me with an ancient Shaeffer and a Parker of uncertain provenance which I never can seem to find when it's time a jot a note.

During a visit to the Metroplex, La Fatale introduced me to Pilot Varsity pens.

I don't know who came up with the idea of disposable fountain pens -- in this day and age -- but God bless him, and I hope he's making a ton of money.

I've got four of the little jewels rolling around my desk as I type this, and there are two more in my briefcase.

Granted, they're not as smooth, nor as precise, as a good quality refillable fountain pen ... but for two bucks each, they're pretty darn good.

And if you lose or break one, it's not liable to induce the aneurysm that would result from dinking your brand-new $50 dollar Waterman -- or three-digit Pelikan.

Pilot Varsity disposable fountain pens get the LawDog Paw of Approval.

LawDog

Saturday, July 26, 2008

That's gonna leave a mark

By way of Gentle Reader PMHenick, we have an example of the level of snark I hope to achieve someday:

Times Online, 25JUL2008

Ouch.

LawDog

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Oh, that's nice, that is.

One of the pleasures of my childhood was reading the adventures of Asterix and Obelix.

This was a series of comic books (graphic novels, really) written by René Goscinny and illustrated by Albert Uderzo, and focusing on the adventures of a Gaulish warrior, his best friend and their village -- which was the last hold-out to Gaius Julius Caesar's conquest of Gaul.

The sheer amount of puns, running gags and caricatures in this series of books is mind-boggling, and a great deal of the humour requires some knowledge of historical events, characters and Latin proverbs.

To be fair, there are actually 33 Asterix and Obelix books -- but the ones published after the death of Goscinny lack his sense of humour and unique wit -- so I usually only recommend the first 24 books to new readers.

Imagine my joy, when piddling about, to discover my highly-dog-eared and much tattered copies of Asterix in Britain and Asterix and Cleopatra -- which has been a jolly good way to spend a couple of hours and some mugs of tea.

For those Gentle Readers who may be looking for some light reading with just a sneaky touch of classical education, I heartily recommend this series of books.

LawDog

It is good to live in the future.

It is probably no little secret that I love blogging. Oh, not the writing of a blog -- which is actually pretty fun ... most of the time -- but the reading of the works of other people is absolutely stunning.

My grandfather -- from whom I probably inherit my Gaelic love of language and words -- was a wit, philosopher and story-teller every bit as good as Will Rogers or Samuel Clemens. The only difference is that while they found sponsors and patrons that enabled them to write for a living, my grandfather stayed in the oilfield.

I seriously doubt if my grandfather was the only one. I maintain that for every Shakespeare there are ten, or a hundred, writers just as good who never leave their farms. For every Robert Burns, there are uncounted other poets whose poetry is only heard by their kith and kin. For every Dylan Thomas, Vladimir Nabokov, and Christopher Marlowe there were -- and are -- others, just as gifted, but because they had to make a living, and circumstances in general, they never got to shine.

This has all changed. This -- right here, right now -- is a Golden Age for the written word.

Right now, anyone can take his thoughts, his visions ... and through the medium of words, can paint wonderful works across the eyes of our minds -- from anywhere, read by anyone on this little green dirtball -- all on a blog somewhere.

Yes, there is dross. Great Googly-Moogly, but there is some utter and complete garbage written on the Internet.

But in amongst all off the drek, there is exquisite beauty. And each little spark of beauty makes the effort of wading through the rubbish all worthwhile.

Twenty years ago -- hell, ten years ago -- would the world have known Marko Kloo's thoughts as to civilization and guns? I'm not talking about his family and friends -- would anyone with access to a public library have known?

Twenty years ago, how many people knew about -- and appreciated -- Tamara's rapier-sharp snark? Far fewer than the number of visitors her blog received in the past 24 hours, I'll guarantee.

Twenty years ago, Peter's love of aviation could only be spread by finding a publisher to take a risk in publishing his articles. Today, anyone can appreciate his article on aerial gunnery with the click of a finger.

Twenty years -- ten years ago -- I enjoyed the writings of published authors too numerous to mention.

Today, I still enjoy those same wordsmiths, only now I add to their numbers Brigid, Larry Correia, CrankyProf, GwinnyDaPooh, Jay G, Michael Yon and an entire world of authors, funny, heart-breaking, serious, sad, snarky, illuminating -- absolute wonders in a little electric box -- none of whom would have been known to me without the magic of blogging.

Yes. There is drek. There is some truly awful stuff mis-written in cyberspace.

For anyone who loves language, though, for those who love words, for those who love the very stuff of thought itself -- the sheer number of diamonds revealed by Blogworld and the Internet is worth ten times the amount of drivel you have to wade through to find them.

It is truly great to live in the future.

LawDog

The snark is strong with this one.

Goddess knows that I'm not a fan of John McCain, but you've got to give the man props where they're due.

Annoyed by the one-sided press coverage, McCain has hauled off and had some of his minions create a couple of videos of the juiciest media fawning, added appropriate love songs, and posted them on his campaign site under a poll so that viewers may select the "Best Song For Their Devotion".

Go here to vote.

LawDog

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Arrgghh!

[Deleted] Writers Block!

Dammit, dammit, dammit.

"Just blog about anything" They say. "Write whatever comes to mind."

*snort*

Easy for Them to say.

Whatever comes to mind.

Okay. I'd like to thank whomever came up with this stuff. I don't know about the "Anti-Aging" part, but by Freyja, with a thick coat I can actually stay out for an hour or so without spontaneously combusting. 'Course, by "thick coat" I mean that the 8oz bottle is good for about four applications.

*scratch, scratch*

'Bout six weeks ago, I was walking into the house, when I noticed a scrap of carpet on the front fence. Being in a bit of a tidy mood, I walked over to dispose of it and discovered another kitten. It was flea-ridden and starved to the point that it didn't even make a sound or a move when I picked it up.

One day I must find the "Sucker Lives Here" sign on the front door and remove it.

About a week of touch-and-go there, and the sprite made a fairly impressive recovery -- enough so that I took him to the vet for the shots and other sundries that an eight-to -ten-week-old kitten requires.

Now, before we get into the meat of this story, bear in mind that the feline in question was -- at the time -- barely bigger than the palm of my hand. Got a mental image? Good.

So. I pack up said bit of fluff, and we show up at the vet's office, him being in full-bore Adorable Mode and being such a tiny little thing -- what could possibly go wrong?

Shows how much I know about cats.

Said vet looks over kitten, and makes a general statement to the point that it would be best for the other cat if we tested said kitten for feline leukemia. The vet goes further to assure me that this test "is nothing" and requires "just a bit of blood".

I thought it passing strange that the vet gently demurred in allowing me -- with several decades of experience in holding animals far larger than a palm-sized kitten -- to assist in this little blood-drawing experience, instead summonsing his aide who promptly gently took the little bit out of my hands, laid him on the steel table and proceeded to grab an amazing amount of the scruff of his neck.

My paw to Freyja -- there was more fur in the aide's fist than there was left on the kitten.

I was about to opine something along the lines of, "Hey, he weighs a pound and a half. Is this really ..." when I noticed that my kitten was making a new kind of noise. One that I'd really not ever heard before. It was an odd sort of noise, somewhat like a very small, very distant, monumentally pissed-off chainsaw. Running full bore.

I'm not exactly sure, but I believe that the translation of this is: "Now I am become Shiva, the Shatterer of Worlds."

Folks, when your housepet starts quoting ancient religious texts, rest assured that someones day is about to get Very Interesting, Indeed. Trust me on this one.

Well, the vet took a deep breath, leaned forward, slid the needle into my kittens leg ...

Have y'all seen Terminator 2? Remember the part where Ah-nold slammed the evil terminator face-first into the wall, and the evil terminator kind of shimmered and then his front moved to his back?

That little kitten promptly retracted all of his limbs and other assorted protuberances, rotated inside his skin, popped back 180 degrees out from original position and proceeded to enthusiastically bury five of his six ends in the vet's arm.

A long, shocked pause, and then the vet remarked, quite coolly and calmly -- as if, in point of fact, he didn't have blood dripping out from under an enraged black hairball attached to his forearm -- "I hate it when they do that."

Sayeth the aide: "OhMyGawd."

Kitten: "Mmmrrraaaaooowwwrrrr." Which, of course, translates as: "From Hell's heart I stab at thee! For hate's sake, I spit my last breath at thee!"

The fact that my cat can quote Melville disturbs me more than an ability to quote the Bhagavad-Gita. Which probably says unsettling things about me.

Vet: "We're in, loosen the tourniquet. The tourniquet. Loosen the tourniquet."

Aide: "Sweet Jesus, you're bleeding!"

Kitten:
"You cockaroaches! I bury you! You wanna play rough, okay! Say hello to my little friends!"

Vet: "These things happen, get the tourniquet loose or we're going to have to do this all over again."

Aide: "Got it!"

Kitten: "I can haz arteries, [deleted]!"

Vet: "That's probably enough. Get the vial off the end. The vial. Yes, the vial. For Christ's sake, don't drop it."

Aide: "Got it!"

Vet: "That's good. Get it to the lab. Sir, would you kindly help get your [deleted]ing cat off my arm?"

Bit of tussling later, and we've got one homicidal, yet terminally cute, furball back into the Cat Crate. Ten minutes later, the vet comes back -- covered knuckle to elbow in Spongbob Squarepants band-aids -- to announce that kitten is leukemia free and then squints somewhat woozily at the calendar.

"Well, he'll need to come back in three weeks for shots. Hmm. Linda! When's that snotty intern supposed to be in?"

"Monday through Wednesday for the next two months!" comes a bellow from the front desk.

"Sir, feel free to bring your furry little cusinart in on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday the third week from today."

*sigh* Wonderful.

*scratch, scratch*

Well, hopefully that broke the old Writers Block. We'll see.

LawDog

Thursday, July 10, 2008

CowTown Cop

Yet another Texas cop has decided to jump into the blogging waters!

I'd like to introduce CowTown Cop.

I'd take it kindly if y'all'd stop by over there and give him a warm welcome.

LawDog

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

I can't make this stuff up.

Tuesday, July 8th, the Dallas County Commissioners court was holding a special hearing regarding reported problems with the central collections office that handles paperwork and traffic fine payments for the Justice of the Peace courts in Dallas County.

County Commissioner Kenneth Mayfield noted that the office is losing paperwork, and metaphorically called the office a "black hole".

County Commissioner John Wiley Price then interrupted Commissioner Mayfield with a yelped, "Excuse me!" before asserting that the office had become a "white hole".

*blink, blink*

Wait. It gets better.

Justice of the Peace Precinct One, Place One The Honourable Thomas Jones -- no webpage available -- then demanded an apology from Mr. Mayfield for the use of a "racially-insensitive analogy".

?!?

When my legions of flying monkeys complete my Quest For World Domination, one of my first acts is going to be to ensure that this kind of stupidity hurts -- one way or another.

Tip of the Stetson to Gentle Reader Merlin, who was kind enough to forward me a link to this asininity.

LawDog

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Ohhh, that's gotta suck

Gentle Readers, allow me to introduce "Joe Critter".

Joe is a fairly recent transplant to our fair city, having been forced to relocate due to Mother Nature developing a serious case of the arse regarding his former stomping grounds.

What earns Joe his moniker of "critter" is the fact that he is currently on misdemeanor probation due to his having an attitude towards romance which is generally frowned upon by society.

Now, to the best of our knowledge, Joe has managed to keep his booger-hooks to himself for a fairly admirable amount of time -- probably due in no small part to Joe's erstwhile Probation Officer getting a wee bit put out and issuing a Violation of Probation warrant for Joe -- but, it being a long summer, Joe has apparently decided he can contain himself no longer.

So, Joe hops into his late-'7o's crittermobile and cruises down to a local curb-side diner, pulls into a parking slot and orders a meal, content in the knowledge that said meal will soon be delivered by a toothsome morsel.

Now, as Joe's meal is being fixed, allow your gaze to fall upon the pick-up truck several slots down from Joe. Witnesses become unexpectedly blank as to the description of the truck, the description of the occupants, and even the name on the side of the truck, but we're fairly sure that it contains several men of Hispanic extraction.

Anyhoo, back to Joe. Sure enough, Joe's munchies are delivered by a Sweet Young High School Thing, and Joe is so happy about this fact, that when she appears at his window and greets him, he reaches forth and gathers himself a nice, big, double handsful of female ... umm ...
architecture.

Our Wee Damsel, having been gently tutored in Southern Feminine Deportment, Etiquette, and Grace by a loving Mama and/or Daddy, immediately stiff-arms 44 ounces of Sprite into Joe's leering mush.

Joe is somewhat taken aback by this reaction to his smoothness, and responds with language that is not generally viewed as being romantic by most people. To say nothing of our Fair Maiden, who takes a two-handed grip on her Serving Tray of Doom +3 and attempts to line-drive Joe's snot-locker over the score-board.

Now, you may be developing an inkling that Joe isn't quite as quick on the uptake as one might hope for -- he hauls off and delivers a tirade of abusive, indecent and, yes, profane language, said language which tends to incite our Lady Fair into taking a firmer grip upon her tray (Of Doom, +3) and commencing to pummel him furiously about the head and shoulders.

Sometime during the middle of this beat-down, Joe's buttocks (being somewhat brighter than the rest of Joe) apparently decide that discretion is, indeed, the better part of valour, walk themselves across the bench seat, open the passenger side door, and hop out onto the parking lot.

We know this, because Joe has repeatedly maintained that he is -- and I quote, "a man, 'n' I don' run from no [expletive deleted] [deleted]!"

Since Joe seems to be rather firmly attached to said buttocks, here we have Joe out on the parking lot, with Our Heroine button-hooking the front of his punkmobile, battle tray at the ready.

Well, this is altogether enough for Young Joe -- steps must be taken to preserve his reputation -- and he comes to his feet with a linoleum knife in one paw.

Any further action on Joe's part is interrupted by a soft voice saying, "Perdóname, señorita."

Well, this kind of clears the old tunnel-vision, and Joe discovers that he and our Damsel are surrounded by a group of gentlemen -- probably out of the construction truck mentioned earlier -- one of whom is 'tsk'ing his tongue at Joe whilst gently wagging an index finger.

Joe, finally tapping into a here-to-fore unused reserve of smart, freezes in place.

The finger-wagger was heard to murmur, "Con su permiso?" before a very large gentleman with a huge mustache over a bigger grin firmly relieved Joe of his pig-sticker -- then witnesses affirm that the gentlemen grinned at our Sweet Young Thing, made "get-on-with-it" gestures, and went back to noshing on fries and Cokes -- still surrounding the combatants.

Ahem.

Since this is Texas, let us say that our Damsel then "held the suspect for questioning by police."

Yes, that will do nicely. The suspect was, indeed, still present when police arrived. Followed by the ambulance.

Responding officers note that there may have been some quite understandable enthusiasm expressed in said "holding for police".

Heh.

LawDog

Petition

I have been told that on-line petitions are worthless. They can be spoofed easily, verification is iffy, and politicians aren't going to base their decisions on what may be a manipulated Internet document.

Be that as it may, signing one of these petitions doesn't cost you a thing, takes thirty seconds -- and Goddess knows that the Internet is affecting more and more things these days.

Ian McCarthy over at TexasOpenCarry.com/Txcdl.org has an on-line petition up to encourage the Texas State Legislature to allow the open carry of pistols in Texas.

I'd take it kindly if my Texas readers could wander by and sign it.

Thanks, y'all.

LawDog

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

New Blogger

Since BlogWorld can always use another red-headed peace officer who likes Terry Pratchett, cooking, guns, and freedom (not necessarily in that order) -- I'd like to formally introduce Brigid to my Gentle Readers.

Go read. You won't be disappointed.

LawDog