Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Obligation as a citizen.

I hit the Early Voting booth in between court today.

By-the-by, note that the title of this bit of prose involves the use of the word 'obligation'. I purposely did not use the word 'right', 'privilege' or 'Minor Irritation That Disturbs My Ennui'.

Voting is an obligation. It is a duty that should be borne by every American.

One day, when I have completed my Quest To Take Over The World, anyone who doesn't vote in an election will be dragged from his house by my legions of flying monkeys, horsewhipped to the polls, and there given a choice between the voting booth or the firing squad.

My reign as Monarch Of All He Surveys is probably going to be the shortest tenure in history, but -- by God! -- things will be run right.

Anyhoo, where was I?


I followed what has become my usual practice at the polls the last two election cycles: I voted Libertarian in every race that had a Lib in it, and in those races that had no Lib candidate, I voted for which ever candidate was the most classically conservative.

In races where the only choice was a liberal candidate, I left the spot blank.

It's not that I think the Libertarians are a good choice -- in some cases they are the absolute worst choice (open borders, anyone?) -- but something simply has to be done about the status quo in Congress.

Did I throw my vote away? There are people who will argue -- some vociferously -- that I have.

Be that as it may, things aren't getting any better in Washington DC, and they haven't for a while. Things aren't going to get any better until the conservatives in DC experience a radical shake-up.

I figure if the Libertarians become a viable party -- and until they can reliably pull 10 to 15 per cent of the popular vote, they're going to be a fringe party -- then the conservatives are going to have to start courting the Lib voters.

The only way the conservatives can attract those Libertarian voters is by pulling their heads out of their fundaments and start embracing some Libertarian values.

So, I hold my nose and vote Libertarian, hoping to raise their pull of the popular votes enough to make Congress sit up and take notice.

I may just be tilting at windmills, but at least I bothered to vote.


Monday, October 30, 2006

Chupacabra. They're all over Mexico.

Why didn't anybody tell me about The Venture Brothers?

Perverse. Sick. Twisted.

I love it.

It is definently not a kid's cartoon. There's a bit of salty language, an adult situation or three, more salty language, couple more adult situations, grown-up humour ...

Come to think, it's pretty much one long adult situation.

Not for the faint of heart, and some folks aren't going to get the humour, but if you're as squirrelly as I am, you'll probably laugh yourself sick over it.

The sheer number of sly allusions in each episode is amazing.

Anyhoo, something to keep in mind for Wierd Uncle Harold this Christmas.

And Brock Samson is my hero.


Sunday, October 29, 2006

Professor LawDog's School of Survival and Mayhem

Good evening, class. My name is Professor LawDog, and I will be your instructor for this block of training.

Due to the amount of e-mail I have received concerning this subject, today's class will cover an alternative deployment of the weighted strap.

A weighted strap is, of course, a weight on one end of a flexible strap.

A field-expedient strap can be a rope, a belt, a hose, purse strap, oxygen line, panty hose, electrical cable, sash, scarf, dog-leash, pillow-case, sock, child-leash, phone cable, or any other flexible strip of material that the human mind can spot.

Likewise, the weight is anything heavy that can be attached to one end of the strap. My personal favorite is a padlock with a laminate construction, usually referred to as a MasterLock. Generic versions can be had cheaply from most hardware stores.

Now, a significant portion of e-mail enquiries have taken me to task concerning the use of a weighted strap in a confined area -- such as presented by an aeroplane walkway. They have stated -- and quite rightly -- that swinging a flexible weapon in this environment will probably lead to the weapon connecting with obstacles and/or frozen sheep before tapping the critter, and that this prior connection will probably be detrimental to your desired result.

Well, yes, but the beauty of the weight on a strap is that it doesn't necessarily have to be swung at arm's length.

For the purposes of this exercise, we have Abdul the Moderately Rabid standing in front of the door to an airliner cock-pit at the front end of a plane, box-cutter firmly in paw.

Take the dress belt and thread the tongue through the buckle. Place this loop around your dominant wrist.

Firmly tie the padlock to the tongue end of the belt.

At this time, you should have one end of the belt firmly looped around your dominant wrist and -- depending on your figure -- a padlock tied to the other end of a 16 to 30 inch strap.

Take the padlock into your dominant hand. If you wish, you may tuck the belt loosely in your sleeve, or hide it behind your arm. Make sure that it may flow freely, however.

Now, the most difficult part of the exercise: get up from your seat and advance upon Abdul. Focus your gaze upon the bridge of his nose.

When you get to the distance where you may reach out and almost touch his boxcutter with your off-hand, I want you to haul off and fast-pitch the padlock into his schnozz. Under-hand, over-hand, side-arm, it doesn't matter. Throw that padlock through his snout.

Now, Abdul is at that location that we refer to as 'The Hurt Locker'. He can block the hurtling padlock with an arm, but that's going to really suck; he can block it with his face -- which is pretty much what we're after -- or he can duck.

The only thing we're concerned about is whether Abdul goes down, or if he stays up.

If he stays up, take a firm grip upon the strap at the half-way point (more or less) and vigorously apply the padlock where it will do the most good while he tries to adjust to the change in his world-view.

If he goes down -- whether from ducking or due to impact -- feel free to break-in your cowboy/engineer/combat boots between applications of the lock.

Repeat last step as necessary.

This concludes today's lesson.


Saturday, October 28, 2006


It's the 28th of October. It's 5:30 in the afternoon.

And people are trick-or-treating.

What the hell, over?

I don't have candy yet -- because it's not Hallowee'en yet. I don't even have a Jack-O'Lantern out yet -- because it's bloody well not Hallowe'en yet.

This is wrong on so many levels.

Come back on Hallowe'en, dammit!

People tell me that they just move Hallowe'en to the weekend "for the children". Little sprogs have school and all that.


And Hallowe'en has become the latest victim of the massive commercial juggernaut that is Chri$tma$ in America.

I say this, because while I was helping Reno put up his Samhain display, we had to go into town for supplies. Stopping at Wally-World we asked a salesdrone where the Hallowe'en stuff was, and we were informed that what we sought was "Just past the giant inflatable Santa Claus."

You know the worst part?

It wasn't that the Chri$tma$ selection -- in late October -- was bigger than the Hallowe'en selection.


What was truly, utterly horrifying was the cute little smiles on every-stinkin'-thing there. Ghosts with charming smiles and great huge ditzy anime eyes. Beaming plastic jack-o'lanterns. And -- the cherry topping the Cake of Despair -- a fluffy, furry skeleton with an idiot's grin on it's soft little squeezable skull.

Oh, the humanity!

Hallowe'en isn't about your little bubble-wrap-and-nerf world. Hallowe'en isn't about pastel colours.

Hallowe'en is the time we set aside to tweak that primal part of our psyche. It is the time we set aside to run little cold fingers up our spines and strum -- ever so gently -- on that nerve marked: Here Be Dragons.

Several years back, Chris and I made a wicked little scene in the front yard. We had a truly evil jack o'lantern set on a man-high stick at the curb. He was wearing a black hooded robe, and was lit by a red chemlight. He was right where the chillins would get out of the car, and the wind made his robe flutter in a really sinister way.

We had ruthlessly dissected one of those little furry dolls with the big eyes that blink, and we had set just the eyes -- lit by red chemlights -- on a branch of a tree in the front yard, so that they'd blink at you as you walked up to the front door.

Swinging gently at the front door was a floating skull with a simulated flame inside.

Just beside the front porch, there was a small trench cut in the lawn where I was laying, covered by a camouflage blanket.

When the sprogs were opening up their bags to get the goodies -- and keeping a weather eye on that evil skull or the blinking eyes -- I'd reach out, grab an ankle and scream.

The shrieks and sprinting children were great.

And they kept coming back. One little bairn and her mom came back to have their ankles grabbed eight times.

For the next six months, people -- children and adults both -- kept asking us if we were going to do it again.

That's what Hallowe'en is about. Goosebumps. Screams. Coming face-to-face with ghoulies, ghosties and things that go bump in the night on All Hallows Eve.

So come back in three days, dammit!


Thursday, October 26, 2006


There I was, stuffing a red chemlight up into a cow skull with the intentions of hanging it on the cemetery fence in Reno's front yard when it dawned on me: I've got precisely one chemlight in my entire house.

Great Googly-Moogly!

Call them chemlights, snaplights, lightsticks, cyalumes, glowsticks, whatever -- I've held a deep affection for those plastic snap-and-shake lights ever since my military days, and I've usually got a mixed box of various sizes somewhere in the house.

Chemlights are one of the few things that I've acquired as a solution to a particular problem, but then kept turning up new uses for them.

The only surviving chemlight in my house is attached to my emergency house key. There is a single key -- to the front door and deadbolt -- that shares the keyring with the four-inch-long green chemlight.

This little gem is used in case of a bona-fide break-in. Family members will hole up in the master bedroom and call 911. When the police get here, the chemlight will be activated and the keyring thrown out of the window facing the front lawn.

The brightly-glowing chemlight will insure that the responding officer can't miss the key in the grass -- no matter how dark, snowy, raining, foggy, or whatever the weather conditions are -- and the key will allow him to get into my house without kicking in the door or breaking a window.

See? Once you get some chemlights, various new ways to use them keep presenting themselves.

Children love to carry activated light sticks while shaking down the neighborhood for candy and such on Samhain, and the chemlights don't break if little hands drop them, they don't get hot, and the bright glow is easy for motorists to see.

Orange chemlights fit into a Jack O-Lantern right nicely, don't get blown out by the wind and can be left in your pumpkins all night long with no fear of setting various odds and ends alight.

As mentioned above, the red ones give any old skull a nice eerie glow, and the green and yellow ones -- being waterproof -- won't short-circuit if you put them into a punchbowl full of colored water and dry ice.

And that's just the uses on All Hallows Eve.


Time to restock.


Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

One of our female officers called in as the shift was starting to report that she was taking the day off for an emergency.

Sergeant asked her what the emergency was. Officer told him that her car had a flat tyre and neither her boyfriend nor her father were going to be able to change it before the end of shift.

Long silence.

Sergeant tells the officer to bloody well change the tyre herself. Officer replies that she doesn't know how.


Fortunately, an admin-type officer was free, he drove a cruiser out to her house, sat on the hood of the cruiser and said, "First, get in the car and set the parking brake. Good. Now, open the trunk and look for the spare. Yes, you. It's probably going to be under the carpet. Yes, you are. Then get some gloves, I'll be sitting here when you get back ..."

She now knows how to change a tyre.

The thing that blows my tiny little mind is that she's not alone -- there are at least three other officers of the distaff persuasion who not only admit to not having a clue as to the business end of a lug wrench, but have firmly stated that tyre changing is a duty of the men in their lives.


When did helplessness become the "in thing"?

Ladies -- for God's sake, learn how to change a tyre, okay?

Gentlemen -- be sure that the ladies in your lives are able to change a tyre, okay?


Tuesday, October 24, 2006


I need to write.

Unfortunately, my mind is spinning too fast to write anything coherent.

Marc MacYoung's book came in. It's interesting. I'll have to read it again before writing any sort of report, though.

At lunch, I wrote an article concerning using slungshot technique with your MasterLock-on-a-belt. General consensus around Rancho LawDog is that I need to lighten up a bit, so that one will stay in Drafts for a while.

Polished a short piece about fighting a 10-96 EDP -- Emotionally Disturbed Person (PC-speak for 'pyscho') -- who tried to kill me with a steak knife. Graphic and brutal. Felt good to get it on 'paper' -- so to speak -- but I think I'll drop it onto a CD and file it.

Looks like the Main Stream Media has no interest in possibly treasonous activities by sitting US Senators. Sodding hacks. Bush get a DWI ticket 30 years ago and the Media is all over the story like a pack of manure-flinging monkeys. Nine-day wonder it was, too.

The Frogman Of The Chappaquiddick may have given aid and comfort to an enemy state during the height of the Cold War soley for the purpose of unseating his own President, and the Media is too busy picking lice off of each other to give a tinker's damn.

Bugger 'em all.

Gran is not handling the post-surgery recovery period well. The last couple of days she's spent over 18 hours of each day in bed. We're almost having to bully her out of bed to eat, and all she wants to do afterwards is go back to bed.

I'm not having good feelings about this development at all. We've told her doctor and the nurses about this -- all they do is shrug and say, "Well, she's 99 ..." -- like that's an answer.

I see that David Zucker of the infamous Madeline Albright advert has another one up.

If military rifles interest you, Lady Tam has started an on-line repository for her encyclopaedic knowledge of the subject. Go pay her a visit.

Political polls and various pundits are forecasting a Democrat win this mid-term.

I've just one question for these folks: have your political polls and forecasting actually had better than a 50% success rate over the last ten years?

I'm too restless to write. See y'all later.


Sunday, October 22, 2006


By way of Cybercast News Service, we discover that Senator Ted "Frogman of the Chappaquiddick" Kennedy may have conspired, colluded and collaborated with the Soviet Union to defeat the President of the United States.

Blogs quickly picked up on this story.

I want this story checked and re-checked, verified and re-verified. I don't give a tinker's damn how much money it costs. Once every living soul who might have gotten anywhere near this letter has been vetted, I want twenty sodding mediums with Ouija boards hunting down Andropov's rat-arsed soul.

IF this story is true -- IF, IF, IF -- then I want testimony. In public.

IF there are verified, bona fide witnesses, I want them to testify on the bloody Capitol steps in front of EVERY -STINKING- BODY.

IF a sitting US Senator conspired with our enemies to defeat the President, I want every news network, every cable channel, every radio station, EVERY - STINKING - BODY IN THE PRESS with their sodding feet nailed to the sodding Capitol steps.

IF this story is true, I want Senator Ted Kennedy hung by the neck from the rafters of the Capitol Building until he is bugger-all dead, dead, DEAD.

And then he is to remain hanging there, with his toes dragging on Congressional desks until the end of this Session of Congress as a warning to the rest of the Congress-critters to NOT DO THIS CRAP!

This act -- IF he did it -- was treason. Is treason. Period. Full stop. End of statement.


Your attention, please.

When brewing tea it is essential that the water be at a boil before adding the tea.

Not "warm", not "hot": boiling.

"Looks warm enough" doesn't cut it. If the water isn't bubbling, it isn't hot enough.

Oh, and if you're making a cuppa with a tea bag (nothing wrong with that, and my preferred method these days), the milk goes into the cup before the boiling water. Scalded milk just ruins the whole experience.

That is all.


Saturday, October 21, 2006

The Ant and the Grasshopper

By way of e-mail.

The Ant &The Grasshopper, traditional version:

The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter.

The grasshopper thinks he's a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away.

Come winter, the ant is warm and well fed. The grasshopper has no food or shelter, so he dies out in the cold.

MORAL OF THE STORY: Be responsible for yourself!

The Ant &The Grasshopper, modern version:

The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter.

The grasshopper thinks he's a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away.

Come winter, the shivering grasshopper calls a press conference and demands to know why the ant should be allowed to be warm and well fed while others are cold and starving.

CBS, NBC, PBS, CNN, and ABC show up to provide pictures of the shivering grasshopper next to a video of the ant in his comfortable home with a table filled with food.

America is stunned by the sharp contrast. How can this be, that in a country of such wealth, this poor grasshopper is allowed to suffer so?

Kermit the Frog appears on Oprah with the grasshopper, and everybody cries when they sing, "It's Not Easy Being Green."

Jesse Jackson stages a demonstration in front of the ant's house where the news stations film the group singing, "We shall overcome" before kneeling down to pray to God for the grasshopper's sake.

Nancy Pelosi and John Kerry exclaim in an interview with Larry King that the ant has gotten rich off the back of the grasshopper, and both call for an immediate tax hike on the ant to make him pay his "fair share."

Finally, the EEOC drafts the "Economic Equity and Anti-Grasshopper Act", retroactive to the beginning of the summer. The ant is fined for failing to hire a proportionate number of green bugs and, having nothing left to pay his retroactive taxes, his home is confiscated by the government.

Hillary gets her old law firm to represent the grasshopper in a defamation suit against the ant, and the case is tried before a panel of federal judges that Bill "no pants" Clinton appointed from a list of single-parent welfare recipients.

The ant loses the case.

The story ends as we see the grasshopper finishing up the last bits of the ant's food while the government house he is in, which just happens to be the ant's old house, crumbles around him because he doesn't maintain it. The ant has disappeared in the snow. The grasshopper is found dead in a drug related incident and the house, now abandoned, is taken over by a gang of spiders who terrorize the once peaceful neighborhood.

MORAL OF THE STORY: Vote Intelligently!


It'd be funny except for the fact that it's true.


Friday, October 20, 2006



I spent half-an-hour typing a Deadly Force screed. Blogger told me that it didn't get published.

I spend another 20 minutes retyping it. After trying twice, it published.

When I popped in to read it, I discovered that Blogger has bloody well lied to me, and the first iteration did, in fact, publish. So now I've got two versions of the same article.

Bloody hell.

Second one is gone. Sorry if you were reading it when the flushing sound came.


Meditations on Deadly Force

Deadly Force -- the taking of a life -- is one of the most profound actions one human being can undertake; not only for the recipient, but for the person who wielded it.

To use Deadly Force against another -- to kill some mother's son -- is to take away everything that person was, everything he is, and everything he could be.

Once deployed, Deadly Force can not be called back, there are no 'Do Overs' and no matter how hard one might wish it, a killing can never be reversed.

I have a very poetic soliloquy concerning loss of innocence, predawn ghosts, and how dark tiny little blots on your conscience can be, but that is for another time.

Today, I want to ask if you -- as an adult -- have sat down and truly pondered Deadly Force? Have you, as an adult, made the conscious choice to decide when, where, and under what circumstances you will use Deadly Force, and when you will not?

And more importantly, as an adult, have you drawn a firm, bright line between I will and I will not?

I ask this because there are people -- purportedly adults -- who have stated to me that they do not know under what circumstances they would attempt to take the life of another, and that they don't wish to think about such things until the moment that it becomes necessary.

This is complete, total, and utter bushwa.

Make your decision now. If the time comes, trust me, a violent face-to-face social negotiation with a critter is neither the time, nor the place for an inner debate vis a vis morality and philosophy.

Get the debate done now, so that it will be one less thing to worry about when the time comes.

Would you kill a man for trying to kill you? For trying to injure you?

Would you kill some mothers son if he attempted to kill your children? If he was attempting to kill a stranger?

Would you shoot someone for stealing your car? Your house? Your 79-cent garden gnome?

Where do you draw the line? Decide now.

And I say this thing to everyone, not just those who have taken classes in the use of firearms, knives, fists and feet.

Would you drive your SUV over a critter who was attempting to kidnap your child? Would you push a critter attempting to rape you down a flight of stairs?

On Monday morning, should you come face-to-face with a critter attempting to take hostages at your local school, would you -- could you -- beat his sociopathic arse to death with a computer power strip?

Everyone should know -- right now -- where their bright line is drawn.

It is one of the obligations and responsibilities that come with being an adult.


What, again?

Six weeks after Steve Irwin got on the wrong side of a sting-ray, James Bertakis was boating along the Intracoastal Waterway somewhere around Ft. Lauderdale when, according to the Chicago Tribune, a spotted eagle ray "...burst from the water and stuck his chest with its barb."

The gutsy 81-year-old got his boat to land and called 911.

Believe it or not, according to reports the spike nailed him in the ticker. At this time, the stickee is reported to be alive.

Somebody -- anybody --What are the chances of two men getting run through the heart by rays within six weeks of each other?

It's a piscean plot. The insidious stingray plan to Take Over The World is beginning.

Not only that, but when you've got rays jumping out of the water to stick a target in a moving boat, it becomes fairly obvious that you're dealing with Ninja rays.

I don't know about y'all, but I'm going to be checking the khazi for infiltrators and sneaking up on the kitchen sink for the next month or so, just to be safe.


Wednesday, October 18, 2006

What's rotel?

Reader Shimfee asks:

Lawdog, I'm here in SW FL. What is "rotel?"

Rotel is, quite simply, canned tomatoes and green chilies. 'Rotel' is the brand name of the first company to produce this little wonder, but like 'kleenex', 'vaseline' and 'band-aid', 'rotel' is becoming the generic name for canned tomatoes and green chilies.

They produce several different varieties of Rotel, from "Milder" all the way to "Extra Hot" and they've got whole, extra chunky, and various flavoured varieties.

I keep several cans of Rotel handy in the pantry. Mostly I use the "Milder" to spice up soups, but the others come in handy, too.

A can of Rotel can be added to anything that calls for tomatoes, if you want some extra zest.


Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Colidge stoodenz

Blogworld has been buzzing regarding the treatment of Minuteman Project founder Jim Gilchrist at Columbia University in New York.

Apparently he was invited to speak by one set of students, and during his speech he was rushed and run over by another set of students.

Lots of people out there venting their spleens over the actions of these kids and the lack of reaction by the staff at Columbia -- as well they should.

College kids -- unless things have changed drastically since my college daze -- are a seething mass of hormones, away from home for the first time and possessing no significant Life Experience; desperately seeking guidance whilst being supervised by folks with less life experience than the kids.

In other words, if you're the cynical, twisted type college kids can be fun to play with.

Bunch of college kids got riled up by a PeTA-favouring perfesser and proceeded to picket the commons area of the university then being attended by an Anonymous Furry Individual of the Legal Canine Type and His Brother.

I'd like to say that Chris and I were attempting to make a point, but the truth is, we were having fun playing with the pawns.

Anyhoo, upon discovering the demonstration, Chris and I hot-footed it over to the library, found some lovely pictures of a frilled lizard and proceeded to violate several copyrights by using it to make placards, catchily labeled:



(and my personal favourite)


Thereupon, we promptly fell in behind the demonstrators and began waving our signs, bellowing slogans and yelping creative curses.

Took all of about ten minutes to get the entire bunch to chant -- in harmony -- "Naugahyde belongs on naugas -- not sofas!"

Whenever one of the little darlings would start to twig that things might be a little off, I'd get in front of them, wave my sign and passionately shriek: "DO YOU KNOW HOW MANY NAUGAS IT TAKES TO MAKE ONE NAUGAHYDE SEAT?"

They'd usually look a little embarrassed and then fervently join in the chanting.

The piece de resistance was when Chris hi-jacked the bull-horn and gave an extemporaneous speech about the degrading conditions on nauga ranches. His description of baby naugas being torn from the loving claws of their mothers didn't leave a dry eye within earshot; and his vivid retelling of how the nauga rancher would harvest the skins by forcing the naugas to drink hydric acid -- the sadistic bastard -- was inspired.

Then we unarsed the A.O. and let the little darlins stew over the plight of the poor naugas until one of the more worldly of the professors stomped into the crowd and announced in withering tones exactly what a nauga was -- or wasn't in this case -- and what hydric acid was.

Kind of took the wind out of the kiddies sails.



Monday, October 16, 2006

Well, better than nothing, I suppose ...

Allow me to introduce Lynn Stewart.

Actually, we really should begin with Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman. You probably know him by his nom de sleaze: The Blind Sheikh.

Omar is doing life at Club Fed for 'seditious conspiracy'. He is tied to the first bombing of the World Trade Centre, numerous terrorist acts, but has only been convicted for planning to detonate five bombs throughout New York City.

Well, Omar the Putz seems to have needed the services of a lawyer -- enter Lynn Stewart, stage Left -- pun intended.

Ms. Stewart is a proudly self-acknowledged radical.

Anyhoo, when she took the case, she was informed by the U.S. Government that her new client was the leader of Al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya (The Islamic Group), that it was a terrorist organization, and she was given a notice -- in writing -- that she could defend Rahman -- as long as she understood that she was not to:

"use meetings, correspondence, or phone calls with Abdel Rahman to pass messages between third parties (including, but not limited to, the media) and Abdel Rahman"

Fairly straightforward, yes? Omar Abdel Rahman is a terrorist, and he is the terrorist leader of a known terrorist group, so it would Be In A Lot Of People's Best Interests to not allow him to give orders to his rampaging pack of Islamic Idiots.

Unless, of course, you are a self-confessed radical leftist lawyer who believes that Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman is actually an important political leader who needs to be allowed to express his views to his radical leftist killers.


Apparently from the beginning, Ms. Stewart happily channeled press releases from Rahman to his pack of terrorists, and she chanted gibberish and sang nonsense to prevent prison listening devices from over-hearing Omar Abdel Rahman giving instructions to Ms. Stewarts' co-conspirators.

She was accused of providing material aid to a foreign terrorist organization, making false statements, and conspiracy to defraud the federal government -- re-indicted for material support to a murder conspiracy -- and convicted of same.

Now, sentencing guidelines for providing material support for a murder conspiracy call for about 30 years in the clink.

The judge stated that Ms. Stewart's past service off-set her crimes and sentenced her to 28 months.

28 months.

Not only that, but the nice li'l ol' judge said that Ms. Stewart didn't have to actually, you know, go to prison until she finished appealing the sentence.

That's going to be another year.


Ms. Stewart steadfastly maintains that she is "Not a traitor."



Sunday, October 15, 2006

No muss, no fuss turkey soup


1/2 lb ground turkey
1 onion
1 can pinto beans (don't drain)
1 can mild rotel (don't drain)
1/4 cup red wine
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt

Chop your onion and bung it into a frying pan with the ground turkey.

While the turkey and onion is browning, take everything else and dump it into a soup pot. Heat over medium flame.

When the turkey/onion mix is nicely browned, drain it, and ease it into the soup pot with the rest of the goodie.

Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes.



Rain! Glorious rain!

It's currently raining like a cow whizzing on a flat rock -- and I can't say that we haven't needed it.

I've got the windows open so that I can smell the rain and hear it hitting the ground; and I've just finished Randall Garrett's short story "Frost and Thunder".

I should start some turkey soup for a late lunch/early dinner, but I've still a little Darjeeling left in my mug, and I've got that old contented feeling going on, so my boots are propped up on the desk as I watch the rain drift through the pecan tree while the old mind wanders.

Today is the last day of my vacation. It's been a good vacation -- other than the occasional medical panic -- did some visiting, some reading and a bit of hiking.

Like every other vacation, I'm not wanting to go back to work.


I was talking to a friend the other day, and she introduced me to the writings of Marc MacYoung. His language does tend to the salty side, but he seems to know of which he speaks.

I was impressed enough by his web-site, that I popped over to Amazon.com and ordered one of his books, Street E&E.

I'll post a review of it after it gets here.

Well, I guess I can't put it off any longer. I'm off to the kitchen.


Friday, October 13, 2006


As I was scooting back home from MattG's place this afternoon, I drove through Wichita Falls and heard an interesting tidbit on the radio concerning their police department -- seems like they just "indefinitely suspended" one of their officers because of his MySpace page.

I checked it out through the website of the Wichita Falls newspaper, and found these:

Story one.

Story two.

And Fox News.

I've been told that the story has been on CNN also, but I can't find it on their web-site.

This ought to be interesting; wonder how my department is going to react to this little development.

While I do have a MySpace page, I acquired it for the sole purpose of viewing the MySpace page of Jesse MacBeth, and not only haven't done anything with the page, but to the best of my knowledge I've not been back to my page since then.

I do, however, have this little blog. Longtime readers know that I go to some lengths -- more or less -- to hide my identity, the identity of other people in the stories, and the location of my department.

I have had flattering -- more than flattering -- offers to publish some of my scribbles and tales in various places -- the Darwin Awards for example -- and I always turn these offers down, probably to the confusion of people.

Now you know why.

On one paw, I consider this blog to be my ultimate expression of Free Speech, as protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. I like to think that I am responsible in my postings.

On the other paw, Texas is a Right to Work state. The personnel in my department are constantly reminded that we work at the whim of the Sheriff; and that the Sheriff does not require a reason to fire us in Texas.


My department is probably going to react to the WFPD story. How it does so is not really known to me at this time, but it could require -- worst case scenario -- that Internal Affairs be notified of any web presence, so that IA may vet such writings, or even to order department personnel to stop blogging or find another job.

Again, that would be a worst case scenario.

I have become fond of this little blog. While it neither feeds me, nor pays any bills, it attends to my need to write, and it has become a way for introverted me to interact on some level with other people outside of work.

I have come to like reading the Comments and discovering that other people enjoy the things I write.

This blog is my Free Speech. I'm not giving it up.


I'm back

Well, spent a little while with friends Holly and MattG down south of here.

Lots of talking, good food, and genial company.

All-in-all, a good time.


Wednesday, October 11, 2006


What happens when the "longtime Democrat" who gave us the movie "Airplane!", "The Naked Gun" series and the "Scary Movie" series and other movie wonders has had enough of the leftist bushwa?


Well, I had the video right here, but it seems that YouTube has yanked it. Oh, well. Click on the above link, and it'll take you to the Drudge site, where he has his own copy of it.

Spread this. Don't let it be buried.


Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Well ...

Nana is home.

And from the speed of the walker going past the computer desk, together with the yelps of, "Mother! You're supposed to be taking it easy!" I'd say that things are fair-to-middlin' normal around here.

Bit of a note, though: if you're thinking of mixing Celebrex, Lortab, and Phenergan, you might want to have folks with nets standing by. The local hospital dosed Gran with the above combination at 0900 Saturday morning.

Ever see a 99-year-old lady skitzing? Brr. And the hallucinations lasted until Monday morning.

Oh, well, she seems to be over them, now.


Monday, October 09, 2006

Tomato salad

6 good sized tomatoes
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons chopped basil
3 tablespoons chopped mint

Salt and pepper to taste

Slice your 'maters -- about 1/2 an inch or so thick -- and arrange in layers.

Whisk your oil and vinegar together, and then drizzle the oil/vinegar over each layer of slices.

Generously sprinkle each layer with the basil, mint, salt, and pepper.

Voila! Tomato salad.


Sunday, October 08, 2006

New blogger in town.

Matt G is a fellow moderator at TFL and THR; he's also a gun-nut, lover of freedom and general all-around good guy.

He's been a friend and confidant of mine for a long time, and has now gotten his paws upon a brand-spankin'-new blog:

Better And Better

Go by and offer him gentle encouragement.


What's the Latin word for 'Northwomen'?

The war continues.

Mom didn't tell me that she bought an advertisement in the local paper.

Personal details have been blacked out, due to me being a paranoid whatsis.

Goodness gracious, but the local Shi'a Baptists are having a bad couple of weeks, aren't they?

And the lesson to be learned here, ladies and gentlemen? Mind your own sodding business.

Have I mentioned lately how proud I am of my mother?



*sigh* Blogger won't let me make the bloody page any bigger than that. So, here's the transcript:

Several days ago, Ted [Name deleted] tracked me down and asked me to tell him what I'd done to get on the [Location deleted] Baptist hit list so he could get on it, too.

I had no idea. Although I have respected this organization, I have never been a member nor shall I ever be. However, I soon found out.It seems that the [Location deleted] Baptist Church has something called the 'Ministry of Intercessory Prayer' which prints a weekly handout. This handout has, as No. 1 on its hit parade, something called, 'The Lost.'I am reliably informed by a former member of that organization that this means that the souls of people on this list are with Satan.

The list is not confined to the organization's membership. Everyone is vulnerable without question to any member with an ax to grind. So I got a copy and took a look. Sure enough, there I was: 'The Lost...Anita [Name deleted]...'I didn't know whether to be amused or apalled. As it happens, neither. Sheer outrage won out.

You trespass. I am from a long line of Scotch Presbyterian and Missionary Baptist Ministers of the Gospel who fought for their religion for centuries. Some died for it. That is the faith of my fathers. It is also mine. No one has ever questioned it and neither your presumption nor your 'intercession' is acceptible.How dare you?

I have been in the dark places of the world that you cannot even imagine. My faith has gone quietly with me into Moslem, Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish, and pagan lands where there were no other Christians. I and my religion were accorded more respect from these non-Christian peoples than this organization has done.Through revolution, jihad, revolt, desperation, terrible danger, awful sickness, unbelieveable cruelty, and downright murder, never, never has my faith been shaken.

Why would you imagine that anything you think, or say, or do would be of the slightest consequence to me?On the other hand, if my father were alive, he would horsewhip you in the streets and you'd be lucky.

What if some meddling busybody had gone into the hospital and told my 99-year old mother? Are you prepared to answer for the consequences of that?The worst of it is that whoever has done this and approved putting people on this list will quite happily allow the good decent members who would never dream of doing such a thing, to share in the blame. That is shameful.

I am told that my name has now been removed from the list. Do you really think, since I've received calls from [Location deleted] to [Location deleted] wanting to know why I was there in the first place, and I couldn't answer that question, that removing my name NOW will erase the offense?

For your information, I came into this world in the hands of a wise God and I shall go out the same way; my soul is God's estate, and none of your business.

Anita [Name deleted] [Name deleted]

(Disclaimer: The above reflects my opinion only and is not that of this newspaper. AHM)

Sorry about that.


Friday, October 06, 2006

Meditations on the Combat Mindset, part 2

In violent incidents there is a reaction I see everyday.

"S/He [fill in the blank] me.

I can't believe s/he [fill in the blank] me."

I wish that I had a nickel for every time I've heard a victim tell me that he or she "couldn't believe" that the attacker had assaulted them.

It seems to always come up during interviews on stranger assaults. "He hit me. I couldn't believe it."

And this is not just Suzie Soccermommie. Some weeks or so back, a very large, fairly well-trained young male officer in my department had a smaller, older inmate rush him from inside a cell; this officer just stood there staring at the inmate.

Fortunately, another officer was nearby, who dropped the inmate like a sack of potatoes, but I asked the young officer why he didn't do anything.

I knew the answer before the young officer said it: "'Dawg, I couldn't believe he'd do that."

Several years ago, Reno and I were bouncing in a violent little club. One of our bouncers was working the floor, when a bar patron suddenly walked up and -- out of the blue -- landed a haymaker on the bouncers cheek. The bouncer stood there in shock and watched his assailant turn around and do a victory dance for his buddies right there in front of the bouncer.

Bouncer didn't do a thing.

I walked up to the bouncer to check on him, and he said -- you guessed it: "He hit me. I can't believe he hit me."

Part of your combat mindset training has got to be dedicated to eliminating -- or at least reducing as much as possible -- this disbelief, this shock.

And, if you're smart, taking maximum advantage of it in your attacker.

The best way to do this -- and the only effective way that I, personally, know of -- is to prove to yourself that you can fight after getting hit.

You have to know, not only in your head, but you have to know in your blood and you have to know in your bones and you have to know in your guts, that if you get hit, you can fight through it.

Sometime during your training, you have to put on the padded headgear, put in the mouthguard, put on the gloves, and take some hits.

If your training does not include some form of safe full-contact sparring, then you are not training for combat. All that you are doing is dancing.

This is one of my biggest complaints regarding martial arts schools. The bouncer in my example above actually possessed a black belt in a widely-regarded martial art.

Up until that guy popped him on the cheek, he had never been punched. He had never done anything more than tap sparring.

And he had been issued a black belt, and was an assistant instructor.

Boggles my mind.

On the other paw, the majority of critters experience the same kind of shock.

I have had multiple, multiple critters tell me that "citizens don't fight".

Most critters know that if they go up against another critter, or a cop, there's going to be a fight -- but experience has taught them that if they go up against Joe Sixpack or Suzie Soccermommy, those folks going to be too busy in the I-can't-believe-he-hit-me trance to offer any meaningful resistance. And since their victims have never fought back before, they expect their crime to go the same way it's gone the past twenty, or fifty, or hundred times.

And this can be used to good effect -- if you have the right mindset.

As an example, well-dressed young lady stops at a package store on the way home to buy a bottle of wine.

As she is exiting the store, one of our long time Usual Suspects grabs her arm, shoves her against the wall, and demands the usual.

What he got was a bottle of understated, yet complex '95 Seville Estate Shiraz bounced off his ear, which rather neatly dropped him onto his butt on the sidewalk.

His not-quite-a-victim runs back into the store, calls 911, PD show up, and what's the first thing the critter says after being mirandized?

"She hit me. I can't believe she hit me."

He'd been doing this kind of thing for twenty years, and she was the first would-be victim to haul off and hit him -- and it just flat blew his mind.

Those moments of disbelief -- that I-can't-believe-she-hit-me shock -- gave her enough time to escape and get help.

Something to keep in mind, ladies and gentlemen.


Thursday, October 05, 2006

Do not read this.

Anyone who is faint of heart had best scroll on down to the next post.

Anyone left, y'all'd best get a rag for the inside of your monitor, because I'm fixing to vent my spleen.

I have just now read a transcript of the supposedly male American by the name of Oliver Stone shooting off his cakehole at the San Sebastian Film Festival on 29SEP of this year.

The quote that caught my attention goes like this:

"...Terrorism is a manageable action. It can be lived with," said Stone.

Goodness. Terrorism is a "Manageable. Action." Terrorism can be "Lived. With."



Who the f...

You are a poncey little hackneyed arse-wipe poseur with delusions of adequacy -- who the hell crowned you expert on any-godsdamned thing other than the proper creation of suck-arse movies?

Terrorism can be "lived with"? Tell that to the innocent dead, you sodding cock-up! Holy Mary, Mother of God, I can't believe that someone managed to stack horse dung tall enough to pass for an actual human being!

Who the hell was the jackass that gave your vomitous mass -- spewed forth onto a handy rock by some nauseated, parasitic flatworm -- a birth certificate?

You listen to me, you fungus-scraping: You are a sodding has-been. You got lucky with one movie, and you've been by-God coasting on that ever since, you miserable, fatuitous hack.

Tell me, truly: what part of "talentless, incompetent, posing artiste" qualifies you as an expert on terrorism? Hmm? What? What part of "failed, washed-up schmuck" gives you this wonderful insight?

Is this truly what it takes to become an "ex-spurt" in terrorism? Film a couple of embarrassing, slip-shod, art-house, box-office failure
crap movies, and all of a sudden you're a flaming terror genius?

Sweet shivering Shiva! Why the hell didn't someone tell us sooner! Sink me, the pornography industry must be an un-tapped extravaganza of counter-terror specialists!

Oh, wait, maybe not. Unlike your efforts, people will actually pay money to see porn. Hmm ... Is complete and total failure an absolutely necessary part of your anti-terror expertise, you arrogant little pismire?

"Live with terrorism" -- I have never heard such addle-pated, doltish, simple-minded, obtuse, vacuous, drivel in all my born days.

You don't "live with terrorism", you lack-wit. "Living" has not one sodding thing to do with terrorism. Terrorism is about death, you cocked-over simpleton. Yours or theirs -- and they've already decided.

How the hell -- you drooling, lily-livered, mono-synaptic, gutless, pea-brained, spineless imitation of a lick-spittle toady -- how the hell do you "live with" people who want to kill you?

How the hell do you "live with" people who want to see your entire society wiped from the face of the earth?

Huh? How?!

You buggering cretin, I swear to Loki, I'd back-hand the dentures right out of your gums, but I don't want to splatter manure over half the Left Coast.



Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Oh, hell.

Last night I re-read -- for the umpteenth time -- Alfred Bester's "fine little novel" The Stars My Destination along with a giant mug of Earl Grey and good music playing softly on the CD.

I logged on this morning fully intending to wax poetic about the novel, and performed a search to find just the quote I needed.

What I discovered instead, is that Hollywood is apparently in the process of turning one of my all-time favorite books into a movie.

Hoping against feverish hope that somebody had glued Ridley Scott to a chair and forced him to re-watch two weeks worth of
'Blade Runner' before being allowed to lay one single digit on this classic, I checked on the progress of One Of My Favorite Novels.

Things are not looking good.

Apparently five different folks have written screenplays based on Besters book -- just for this production.

Three other folks have RE-written those screenplays.

Oh, Jumping Judas Priest on a flaming pogo stick!

Buy a book for each one of your actors, hand each one a book and say, "Here's your script."

That's all you've got to do.

It gets better.

The director is one Betty Thomas
-- also listed as a producer -- and she has directed such science fiction edge-of-your-seat classics as:

'Dr Doolittle' with Eddie Murphy, 'Private Parts', '28 Days' with Sandra Bullock, 'I Spy' and 'John Tucker Must Die'.

She has produced such sci-fi wonders as:

'Can't Hardly Wait', 'Charlie's Angels', and 'Surviving Christmas'.


They're going to [deleted] up my book.

Hell, I'd even grudgingly allow John Carpenter to helm this one, as long as he swore on the heads of his children to be faithful to the book.

Please, for the love of Vishnu, you have to assign a director who knows science fiction, who breathes science fiction, who loves science fiction, to this one. I'm begging you.



Tuesday, October 03, 2006

You think you're tough?

My 99-year-old grandmother broke her hip five weeks ago -- we think.

She had been mentioning, quote: "some discomfort" unquote, but didn't say anything at all about "horrible screaming agony", so the family was bunging Tylenol down her, which seemed to do the trick.

Well, Mom got kind of worried, so she took Gran over to the witch-doctor, who talked to Gran, and came to the conclusion that Gran had probably mildly strained a muscle.

Hah, I say. Hah.

"Just as a precaution" the doc arranged for an X-ray, and Mom said that when the film was developed, the doctor showed up at a sprint with a stretcher and admitted her right there.

Imagine that little ball on the top of your thigh-bone is a globe. Gran somehow, somewhere, somewhen, managed to neatly split that globe at the equator.

Since the northern hemisphere hadn't displaced any, and given that Gran is, well, literally 99 years old, the doctor decided to keep her in bed at the hospital and see if the bone would knit on its ownsome.

Well, the nurses tucked Gran into her bed, left the room to get an admissions kit, came back and the bed was empty.

They caught up with her at the front door.

The doctor gently explained to Gran that her hip was broken. Gran gently explained to the doc that she had things that needed doing at the house.

The doc told Gran that if she displaced that section of bone, surgery was the only remedy. Gran allowed the staff the wheel her back to the bed.

An hour or so later, they brought Gran lunch. Five minutes later the hospital cook called the nurses station and asked if they might be short a patient.

Apparently Gran decided that her chicken required more sage, and went walkabout looking for some.

The cook faithfully promised not to send anymore bland food to Gran's room.

The staff took a wheelchair to the kitchen, re-explained the part about surgery to Gran, and wheeled her back to her room.

Nobody had thought about giving her a painkiller at this time, because she wasn't complaining of any pain.

At three o'clock the flowers started to arrive.

At three-thirty, the duty nurse looks up and sees someone in a purple robe carrying a bunch of flowers trundle into a room, there is a brief pause, and then my purple-bathrobe-wearing grandmother comes out -- after having given the person occupying that room some flowers -- and disappears into the next room.

Almost at the point of tears, the duty nurse fetches my grandmother, duly promises to properly distribute the excess flowers and rolls Gran back to bed.

Sometime after this, the next shift arrives and are briefed regarding the Gran Situation.

Next shift puts their heads together and decide that they're going to Take Steps: they catheterized Gran.

Flushed with victory, they return to the nurses station, just in time to witness my four-foot, ten-inch grandmother place the neatly-rolled, self-extracted catheter on the station desk, while announcing -- quite firmly -- that she was perfectly capable of going to the bathroom like a civilized human being, thank you very much.

They folded. Wimps.

"Nana," I suggested, sometime during the next couple of weeks, "You need to tell someone when you're hurting."

She squared her little shoulders, fixed me with a gimlet eye, and very firmly stated: "Ladies and gentlemen do notburden others with their pain. It is discourteous, it is rude, and it is simply Not. Done."

"Yes, Nana, but you're in a hospital. Their job is to deal with your pain. They get paid for it. That is one of their reasons for being here."

"Oh," she blinked for a moment, "In that case, I do have some discomfort."


Anyhoo, Gran spent the next two weeks in the hospital, ostensibly on bed-rest, until the doc figured that the bone had had enough time to knit, then they sent her home.

Bedrest for four to five weeks.

Do you think her family had any more success with keeping Gran in bed than the hospital staff did?


Anyhoo, ten days ago, Gran didn't get out of bed in the morning. A little concerned, Mom went in to ask her if she was okay, and Gran told Mom that she was "In pain."

Mom broke multiple nails hammering the numerals 9-1-1 into the phone.

The doctor was waiting at the ER entrance, and hopped into the back of the ambulance before the driver even got out of his seat.

"Ma'am," asked the doctor, "Are you okay?"

"It hurts," she replies.

"Right. Take her to the big regional hospital."

"But," responds the nonplussed medicos, "We haven't gone inside ... she's still loaded ... you haven't done ... How do you ...?"


Somehow, she managed to displace the top half of the ball half the diameter of the joint.

She slowed down at the big ER long enough for X-Rays, then went right into the next open OR. Complete replacement of the top one-third of her right femur.

She was back in our small-town hospital two days later.

Yesterday, she rode over to the big hospital for her ten day check-up, and if she completes her physical therapy this week, she'll be coming home.

At 99. And other than that one day, she hasn't complained of any pain.

Sweet shivering Shiva, I hope I'm half that tough when I'm 99.

I'm off to ride herd on Gran at todays physical therapy session.

Later, y'all.