Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Ah-hah! A witness!

Thing 1 hurt her arm earlier, and has been moping around the office with her dominant arm in a sling.  I am watching her holding something from falling with her good arm, and flailing away at something  else under the stack with her slinged arm, and -- being the ever-helpful boss -- I opine, "It's okay, dear.  All the dinosaurs feared the T-Rex."

This earns me a suggestion that I'm not perzackly sure is anatomically possible -- kids these days -- and then she yelps, "Oh, hell!  I've got to pay off the Outside Inmate Work Crew!"

I pause in the sipping of my tea to raise an eyebrow at her.

"Remember?  Dumpster diving for midget porn?"

 I smile happily at OldNFO, who blinks at her, then, in a slow Cajun drawl, he announces, "Girl, you ain't right."

I am tallying up the fact that -- finally -- an Innocent Third Party has witnessed the sort of shenanigans that fly past me on a regular basis, when Reno's voice rumbles out from behind a bank of monitors, "What are you paying them off with?"

Thing 1 chirps, "Wendy's frostys."

"Chocolate?"

She sniffs, "Of course."

Again the rumble, "And french fries?"

"Yep."

"Excellent."

Thing 1 continues, "Although I really don't understand dipping your french fries into chocolate ice-cream.  That's just ... weird."

"Well," says Reno, meditatively, "You just might be a Communist."

OldNFO blows coffee across the stack of files he's carrying.

Today ... is a Good Day.

LawDog

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Hyperventilating in three ... two ...

... Oh, who am I kidding? I'm already freaking out.

I'll be at Libertycon this upcoming weekend.

LawDog

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Whew

He still lives!

Ok, folks.  For the two people still reading my blog, the first LawDog File book is due out in one month.

Yes!  How-ever-many-years after asking, the book is here.

It is being published in e-book format first, with print-on-demand shortly there-after.

More details will be forthcoming regarding this first book.

The second book will be in the fall, and will be the Africa stories, with selected essays -- also from this blog.  More on that as the publication date gets closer.

I'm also polishing up a short story for a zombie anthology; and I'm working a fiction book to be self-published early(ish) 2018.

I'll post snippets from the self-published book as we go along here.

Busy, busy, busy.

LawDog

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Friend's book


My friend Peter Grant (also known as Bayou Renaissance Man) has his second Western book out.

Support starving authors!  Go read it!

LawDog

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Chicken and Ersatz Dumplings*

Ok, you'll need:

Six chicken thighs
1 can of cream of mushroom soup
1 can of cream of chicken soup
1 white onion
3 stalks of celery
3 carrots
White wine
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon Ozark Seasoning (or poultry seasoning)
2 Knorr-Swiss Chicken In A Tub
1 7.5 oz tube of whomp biscuits**

Turf your chicken thighs off into a stockpot in enough water cover them by about an inch.  Simmer them until the meat falls off of the bone.  Pull them out and set them to the side.

Toss your Chicken In A Tub into the water, followed by the diced onion, and the minced garlic.  Cut your celery and carrot into acceptable lengths, and bung them in there, too.

Add about a third of a cup of the white wine (more or less.  More.)

Bring to simmer.

Take your whomp biscuits and cut them into quarters.  Fling them in there.  When they're all in, give the mix a good stir.

Bring back to a simmer, then add your cans of soup.

Simmer about 15 - 20 minutes.  While it's simmering, shred your chicken; then add the chicken after the simmer period.

Bring back to a simmer, then serve.

Voila!  Chicken and Ersatz Dumplings!

LawDog

*"Ersatz Dumplings" because Herself holds opinions Most Firm about what makes a good dumpling.  It starts and ends with "Bisquick".

**Whomp biscuits are those tubes of biscuits found in the dairy section.  You peel off the wrapper, and about halfway through the process the inside cardboard tube bursts with a "whomp" sound.

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Wow

Dear Jesse,

Lad, you have issues.

To start with you have wandered into my virtual living room -- this blog -- listened to one story, made an assumption (a faulty one) based upon a single point from that story, then insulted me based upon your faulty assumption.

Yes, calling me a "badge bully" is an insult. Stating that I use my badge to "beat the shit out of law breakers" is an insult.  Calling me a hypocrite is an insult.

When I answered your comment -- without calling you names, I might add -- you decided to double down on the insults.  Now I'm a "dick".

And -- I'm still trying to figure this one out -- your answer to me is (and I do quote):  "Well, there you are, with all the answers again."

Again?  How does one get "again" out of a single interaction?

You have wandered into a stranger's virtual party, proceeded to insult, condescend, and lecture the host (that would be me) in a stream-of-consciousness info-dump that may have been longer than the post that triggered it; and when corrected -- without insult -- you insult the host (me, again) further in another stream-of-consciousness rant.

From the "going straight to insults" style of your rants, the "all cops are bastards, m'kay" stream-of-consciousness, and the allusion to me having provided you with answers more than once -- despite only having one interaction -- I suspect you have some major emotional or psych issues.

And I am sorry for you, but I can't help you with whatever metaphorical snakes you have in your psyche regarding cops.  That needs help from someone with more letters after their name than I have.

I also don't think you'll be happy as a commenter here at The LawDog Files.  If you comment again, I'll mark your comments as spam, and let the spam filter take care of them.  If you comment as a Nony Mouse, I'll just bin your comments as soon as I find them.

Be safe.

Cordially yours,

LawDog

Thursday, March 02, 2017

Scribbler

On the last post's comment section (this is how desperate I'm getting for blog fodder) Scribbler posted this:

"I'm looking for work (again) and there are several postings up for local police positions. It's hardly been on my radar as an option for me, but the more I contemplate it, the more it seems, well, worth the contemplation. You and MattG are, in my mind, what LEOs should be, and what I would be attempting to emulate, should that be a path I take."

Oh, man.

Okay.

The path I recommend to anyone thinking of this line of work in Texas -- is to find a mid-sized Sheriff's Office and sign on with them.

Why a Sheriff's Office?

Two main reasons.  Reason the First:  A Texas Sheriff, being voted into office every four years, tends to be a bit more responsive to the citizens of his County, than a Chief of Police who holds his office until the City Manager or Mayor finds a reason to hand him his walking papers.

Smaller (mid-sized) Counties tend to be even more so.  The Sheriff of Dallas or Harris County will never, ever meet face-to-face with more than a minuscule fraction of the citizens of their County.

The Sheriff of Wise, Childress, Midland, Wichita, or Randall Counties will, in a month (between church, the grocery store, restaurants, child-care, etc.) have face-to-face interactions with a not-insignificant percentage of citizens.

The Sheriff of Dallas County probably wouldn't get recognized in line at the Dairy Queen if they were in mufti.  My Sheriff gets to hear all the dirt about his officers, concerns, kudos, and theories by the 90% of the County citizens that not only recognize him, but grew up with him.  This is A Good Thing.

Reason 'B':  A Sheriff's Office has a wide variety of things to do.  Most folks start off in the jail, move to Patrol, try a stint in Civil, run through Courthouse Security, a bit of Inter-County/Inter-State extradition, off to Criminal Investigation ... so on, and so forth.  Sometimes all in the same week.  City PD -- it's Patrol, then Investigation.  Usually.

This is still a noble line of work -- provided you remember and hold to the Peelian Principles; and you bear in mind that most of your work is 40% compassion, 40% common sense, and 20% academy stuff.

MattG will no doubt chime in with counter-points.  Read them, think about them -- really think about them -- then come to your decision.

LawDog

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Dear Jesse

Dear Jesse,

On my "Meditations on Monsters" post you have decided to leave a comment regarding my hypocrisy (I am apparently a "badge bully", and "just as bad as the criminals", and "happy that no-one is judging" me).

This is apparently based on a sentence in my "Well ... that's awkward" post, in which I somewhat poetically describe the application of a mandibular angle pressure point hold during a Use of Force.

What I didn't put in that little post -- because I was going for humour, rather than drama -- was the description of the mass amounts of blood streaming from the four-inch laceration to the forehead of a somewhat-innocent third party that precipitated my being there.

I didn't describe the minutes of trying to talk the person into dropping the shank -- because I tend to go for humour on my blog.

I didn't describe my snap-decision to rush the guy with the blood-covered shank when he was distracted -- rather than wait until the SWAT team showed up and put a load of buckshot into his face -- because folks (other than you) read my blog for the funny parts.

I didn't describe the fear I felt when I realized that trainees and young officers assigned to my shift had followed my lead and jumped onto a mentally-disturbed, armed inmate -- fear that I might get one of my people stabbed or worse following me.

I didn't describe the jolt of terror I felt when the slick little bastard turned under me, and I lost my grip on his blood-covered blade arm.

No.

I described the mandibular angle hold I used to convince that MHMR-strong, armed, blood-slick inmate to let go of his shank so he could be handcuffed, instead of killed, and used it as a humorous part of a funny tale.  A funny tale that I wrote -- here on my blog -- as my way of dealing with the stress of the job.

Because that's what I do on my blog.

As far as you assertion that I am a monster -- this I do not deny.  I am a monster from way further back than this law enforcement career.

However, I do tend to think that another post I wrote here -- linked -- should adequately describe how I feel about my monster-ness.  A pity you didn't investigate -- read my writings -- further.

As I noted in your comment on the other thread:  your concerns as to my monster-ness are duly noted.

Cordially,

LawDog

Saturday, February 11, 2017

New author

Friend Dorothy Grant has published her first novella, titled "Scaling The Rim".

Since I've yet to read it, her husband has given a nice little synopsis here.

Support starving authors!  Go buy it.

LawDog

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Well ... that's awkward

In addition to her other good points, Herself is a perfumista, and as a result, I have noticed that my cologne collection has substantially improved.

I have briefly found myself reassigned to shift; and when I was getting ready for work, I grabbed a random bottle and gave myself a brief spritz.

Later on -- because I'm me -- I wound up on top of a critter at the bottom of a pile of officers, and I am Doing Things That Hurt to the critter.

After he's handcuffed, we "assist him in getting to his feet", he looks at me through the tears and snot, a beautiful bruise blossoming at his jaw hinge where I have attempted to scratch the inside of his brain housing group with my thumb, and mumbles, "Damn, LT, you smell good."

I look at him, eyebrow climbing a little, and one of my female officers on the far side of the critter gives a little shrug and says, "Yeah, LT, you kind of do."

I'm afraid that my reputation as a screaming nightmare may have taken a nasty hit. It's hard to terrify people when they're sniffing appreciatively.

Sigh.

Wonder if there's a cologne distilled from arson and massacres?

LawDog

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Meditations on monsters

"There's nothing worse than a monster who thinks he's right with God."
~Malcom Reynolds, captain of the cargo ship Serenity

I have spent a great deal of my life fighting monsters. Not the fun monsters that Larry Correia writes about, but the tawdry, dreary reality of men engaged in the ten thousand ways of being inhumane to other men.

I have seen the monsters borne of greed; of madness; and those borne out of lust for power over others.

Of all the monsters I've had dealings with over the last five decades, the absolute worst are the fanatics -- those monsters who think they're right with God.

Fanatics are people who think that their actions are blessed and/or required by a Higher Power (ideology, religion, politics, you name it); and are scary for a lot of reasons, but the two primary are:

1) Not only are their consciences clean no matter the evil they do, but there's usually a group of like-minded people (mob, Politburo, cult, congregation, cell, whathaveyou) providing moral support, validation, hero worship, and all of the other fun stuff that group dynamics handles; and

2) Mission Creep.  Defined as: "The expansion of a mission or task beyond its original goals, often after initial successes", in this context mission creep refers to the nasty habit that fanatics have of always expanding their list of "Heretics, Heathens, Idolaters, And Other What Deserve Our Righteous Wrath". Yes, they always expand this list -- unless and until someone (metaphorically-speaking) holds their little heads under water until the bubbling stops.

In Africa and the Middle East, I witnessed first-hand the damage that fanatics can do; along with the snow-white consciences of those who committed  some of the worst atrocities ever seen by the gods in the name of ideology, or religion, or politics.

Here in the United States -- other than a brief fanatic embuggerance during the 1930s and 1940s -- we don't have a lot of experience with the little bugsnipes.  Here when fanatics move up to their post-doctoral studies, the Rule of Law or society in general plays Whack-A-Mole with them, and then we trundle on our merry way.

In the last score of years or so, I'm starting to worry that this is no longer the case -- and this concerns me, although probably not in the way that the average Gentle Reader imagines.

The company that my father worked for had a policy of hiring most of their employees from amongst the ranks of war veterans.  The CEO was of the opinion that someone who had not only already been overseas, but had been shot at overseas, could probably handle anything West Africa could throw at them. 

An educated tribesman from the northern part of the country -- we'll call him "Abdul" -- got hisself bitten by the Religion Bug, came into our neck of the jungle, and set about bringing Allah to the fuzzy-wuzzies.  Started out ok -- if a little enthusiastic -- built up a group of worshippers sycophants, did Some Good.

However, things started getting all fire-and-brimstone, and next thing we know, some poor lad gets immolated for recreational friction with an unsanctioned partner after being singled out by Our Wee Fanatic.

Things get all hot and bothered for a bit, but it's all yelling and chest-pounding, and things settle down.  Two weeks later, Abdul the Moderately Rabid goes a-wandering in the jungle at night and winds up as Kittie Kibble.

The local elders put a slam order on the leopard, call Da', and I go out with him to do the deed.  We start at the body, track the man-eater down, Da' hoses him with a full magazine of 12 bore (Da' REALLY hated leopards), and that was the end of it.

Except, at the body, I realized that Abdul the Moderately Rabid had been done in with an extremely sharp knife run into his neck from the side and punched out the front.  All that the leopard did was clean up the carrion.

That's what I'm worried about.

There are a whole bunch of 50-60 year-olds in the United States who fought the Cold War in dark alleys, midnight ports, and moonlit rooftops with knives, brass knuckles, and silenced pistols.

There are a whole bunch of 30-40 year-olds in the United States who fought vicious CQC battles in places like Mogadishu, Tora Bora, Fallujah, Najaf, and Mazar E Sharif.

There are 20-somethings from places like Compton, El Paso, Chicago, Detroit, Tiajuana, "the barrio", "the ghetto", and "the heights" who have stainless-steel teeth and thousand yard stares.

There are uncounted numbers of immigrants who have come here from war-torn hell-holes -- and brought the skills and attitudes that enabled them to survive along.

This is what I'm worried about.

I'm worried that when Biff the Hygienically-Challenged and his Coterie of Fanatics decide that sucker-punching neo-nazis just isn't enough and mission creep themselves into Proper Fanatical Stupidity, that some truly scary people are going to start whacking and stacking in response.

I don't want to find myself standing over what's left of a coyote attack and suddenly realizing that unless coyotes are carrying knives, some pipe-hitter has just declared war upon other Americans.

Y'all should be worried about this, too.

LawDog

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

My shocked face, let me show you it

Well, President Obama has officially commuted the sentence of Chelsea (née Bradley) Manning.

Given the blasé attitude of this Administration regarding sensitive/classified information (Hello, Mrs Clinton and her bathroom server!) this doesn't really come as any surprise, although I am heartened by the fact that Manning's sentence was commuted, rather than pardoned.

Commuting the sentence means that Manning is still a convicted felon, with a criminal record.

I am saddened by what I fear will be the unintended (or maybe intended) consequences of this act:  there were many current and former military members (your Humble Scribe among them) who seriously believed that as soon as the conviction was handed down, Manning should have been taken outside, placed against a wall, and shot.

While President Obama is probably trying to appear kind and magnanimous, to those of us who believed that 35 years was considerably softer than the justly-deserved oxygen jig at the end of a hemp rope, this commutation smacks of a certain level of contempt towards us.

The perception of contempt, point in fact, that causes those of us who voted for someone other than Trump to be less unhappy about the Cheeto Jesus winding up with the Hot Seat At The Oval Office.

Not happy about it, mind you.  But a jolly sight less unhappy about it.

I didn't take Manning to raise, and my da' taught me not to offer advice to those who are neither kith nor kin ... but in this case, I seriously advise that Manning take the Golden Ticket that has fallen, find a quiet hole, and pull it in after.  Live quietly and low-profile.  Disappear.

Or Manning can hit the limelight, make political hay, and continually remind The Deplorables of the perception of contempt, and we'll see what shakes out in the mid-term elections.

Meh.  I'm good either way.

Now to see if President Obama wants to pull a contempt two-fer and pardon Bowe Bergdahl.  Any takers?

LawDog