Monday, February 25, 2008


Had a nice little *coughcoughhack*-th birthday.

I was gifted with a lovely little framed print of Rudi Hurzlmeier's "Krahe" -- maybe I'm just a bit ... odd ... but the sight of that crow marching across the field in those boots just kicks over the old gigglebox.

Got a nice big tackle-box tackle-trunk to put the growing collection of fishing goodies into; and topped it off with a nice bit of moo, seared exactly the way I like it.

Fielded several phone-calls from well-wishers and some e-mails to end the day on a proper note.

All-in-all, a rather nice day.


Saturday, February 23, 2008

Two years ago, tomorrow

The first post on The LawDog Files blog went up.

Two years later, something over 800,000 views, 645 posts of varying quality, a couple of blog-children -- and here we are.

A rather nice little blog, I fancy, though my personal and professional life have cut into my writings pretty heavily over the last several months -- but, still.

I've been quoted by a couple of folks -- always flattering -- and I like to think that my Gentle Readers have come to tolerate the lack of gratuitous profanity; the heavy blue italics; the English (proper) spellings and other little quirks of mine.

Two years. Tempus fugit and all that.

Here's to you, Gentle Readers, and I hope that The LawDog Files will continue to engage you for the next year -- and more.


Wednesday, February 20, 2008

I did a Bad Thing ...

Yesterday, I went to fulfill my obligation and responsibility as a citizen -- I hit the Early Voting booth for the Texas Republican primary.

No, that wasn't the Bad Thing.

As the lady fired up the Magic Voting Elf Box, I was in a deep funk. McCain is going to win the Republican nomination. Damn it.

So, there I was, getting ready to poke Dr Paul's name when I realized that the list of names for the Republican nomination for President was ... longer than I had expected.

Because the ballot was built before anyone dropped out of the race.

So, I cocked a giant snook in the direction of the Media and the Republican National Committee and happily punched the electronic box next to Fred Thompson's name.

Yes, I realize that I have wasted that vote. Yes, I realize that I voted for a man who dropped out of the race several weeks ago.

Sod it, I don't care.

I voted my conscience and picked the candidate who would best represent my interests in the White House.



You know your little blog isn't quite as little as you thought it was when you get an e-mail asking for your help with a college dissertation.

This turned up in my e-mail:

The purpose of this survey is to examine how people think and feel about the political issues, parties, and candidates in the upcoming election. In the survey, you will be asked a series of questions about two political candidates, John McCain and Hillary Clinton. We are very interested in how individuals that find information on the web think about politics, and your participation would be greatly appreciated. In total, the survey should take about 15 minutes to complete. The survey is completely anonymous and you can skip any questions you do not wish to answer.

Click here to take the survey:

Please feel free to contact Chris Weber ( at Stony Brook University with any questions or concerns.

Thanks for your help!

Folks, at the request of the doctoral candidate in question, I'm disabling comments for this one to prevent any bias.


Monday, February 18, 2008

Taser C2

Well, I have managed to coon-finger the Taser C2 -- designed to be marketed to the non-law-enforcement sector of the population.

I'm trying to like the citizen-version of the Taser. I really am. 30 seconds of The Dying Cockroach is the sort of thing that just warms my little Neandertal heart -- but I have some concerns about the whole set-up.

Once the 30-seconds of ride is over, the critter is perfectly able to get to his feet and gambol off none the worse for wear.

Yes, you have stopped the attack against yourself -- and that is truly A Good Thing. However, thirty seconds later the critter is perfectly able to continue his critter-ish activities.

If only there were some way to mark the critter so he could be easily found by the authorities later, or maybe to cause some slight damage to the critter to allow future victims a greater chance to escape his activities.

Like, say, whacking him a time or six with a fire axe while he's doing his 30 seconds of convulsing, or maybe taking advantage of that half-a-minute to park a convenient vehicle on his chest -- you know, little things to help law enforcement and the community in general.

Not that I can advise that sort of thing, you understand -- the Sheriff goes through enough Maalox as it is -- but it would be nice if Taser would take a look at upgrading their training a bit.

Plus, the Taser C2 runs about 350 US dollars. One shot, fifteen-foot range, $350. And each single reload is about $25.

Let me take off the shoes here ... 350 dollars for the unit, plus 25 dollars per shot ...

Ye tapdancing Buddha.

For that amount of money you can get a decent used pistol in .38 or 9mm and have multiple shots -- plus I can get Winchester white box at about 20 shots for 15 bucks.


The Taser C2 is okay if you're philosophically opposed to the whole "Blood Out, Air In" method of critter control; or if you're stuck in some Third World hell-hole that won't let you carry a firearm (like New York or California); or maybe if gun-shots, blood and screaming upsets your stomach -- but other than that I think I'll just stay with my bang-sticks.


Sunday, February 17, 2008

Beef and Rice


2 packets of Pioneer Brown Gravy mix
1 pound of beef cut into soup-sized chunks
1 seven-oz can of mushrooms
4 cups of water
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon garlic powder
A glug or so of red wine

Brown your meat in a frying pan and bring three of the cups of water to a rolling boil in a saucepan.

As this is occurring, take one cup of cold water and whisk your two packets of gravy mix into it.

When the three cups of water are nice and boiling, take the one cup of gravy mix/water and whisk it into the boiling water. Once one is well-whisked into the other, gently add your browned meat.

Stir well and be careful, because the gravy will stick and scorch if you give it half a chance.

Open the can of mushrooms and bung it into the mix -- juice and all.

Follow with the butter and the garlic powder.

Stir well until the mix is boiling again, then turn down and glug in your wine.

Let simmer and thicken to the desired consistency, then ladle generously over rice and serve with rolls suitable for sopping.

Voila! Beef and rice.


Monday, February 11, 2008

Phrase of the Day

Electile Dysfunction: The inability to get excited about any of your political candidates.


The Phrase of the Day is courtesy of Gentle Reader Merlin, who found it at the User Friendly Forum and kindly sent me a link.



I have been gently reminded that not all of my Gentle Readers may get the inside joke about getting the cat tutored.

Next to Terry Pratchett, Gary Larson's classic "The Far Side" cartoons are my weakness.


Apropos of nothing ...

Every once in a while -- usually whilst the old brain is in neutral -- I have A Thought.

So ... there I was, running a razor on autopilot, when It Hit Me:

Why the hell does 'lisp' have an 's' in it?

Petty cruelty? "We're going to give your affliction a name you'll never, ever be able to pronounce!"

Field-expedient testing? "If you can say it, then you obviously ain't got it."


Now, back to scraping stubble.


Sunday, February 10, 2008

The six-hundred-dollar cat.

We can rebuild him, we can make him more spoiled ...

Sometime back, I blogged about extracting a set of kittens from the dumpster out back of Rancho LawDog.

If you click on the photo in that article, you will see that there is a young gentlecat in a tuxedo in the very front of the pile.

Little while ago, Chris found said tux-wearing hairball out by the driveway -- wit
h a hernia and an oddly-shaped leg.

Seems he managed to break his back leg fairly spectacularly -- right under the growth plate, I'm (professionally) told -- before dragging himself back here.

Six hundred bucks for two titanium pins, installation and shots.

And that would be my bed he is currently overtaking and securing for use by friendly forces.


He's never going to have full use of that leg again.

The dogs are not -- I say again my last: not -- happy about this.

Considering it's another hundred to tutor the little maniac, I'm right there with the dogs.



Sunday, February 03, 2008

The word you're looking for is "Sedition".

I'm relatively sure that majority of my Gentle Readers are familiar with the latest kittenish activities of that liberal socialist Utopia known to us lesser creatures as Berkeley, California.

For those who may have missed the fun, allow me to shed some light.

The City Council of Berkeley apparently has a genuine 15-body committee named -- and I swear by Freyja that I'm not making this up -- "The Peace and Justice Commission".

In an effort to greatly expand the practice of punching hippies for fun and profit, the Berkeley Ministry of Justice -- oh, I'm sorry, didn't mean to cause Orwellian flashbacks there -- the Berkeley Peace and Justice Commission decided to forward a recommendation to the main City Council of Berkeley, California regarding the Recruiting Station belonging to the United States Marine Corps located in that wee city.

No doubt the Gentle Reader is expecting a convoluted pronouncement following the current Liberal mantra of "Opposing The War, But Supporting The Troops".

In this, the Gentle Reader underestimates the legendary, nay -- Biblical -- ability of the Berkeley City Council not only in packing the communal bong, but in drawing deeply thereof.

Allow me to quote:

(1) Direct the City Attorney to investigate and report back to Council within 60 days on City options for enforcing Chapter 13.28 of the Berkeley Municipal Code, prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, with respect to military recruiting offices in Berkeley;
(2) direct the City Manager to send letters to the Marine Corps Recruiting Station at 64 Shattuck Avenue and to General James T. Conway, Commandant of the United States Marine Corps, advising them that the Marine recruiting office is not welcome in our city, and if recruiters choose to stay, they do so as uninvited and unwelcome intruders; and

(3) encourage all people to avoid cooperation with the Marine Corps recruiting station, and applaud residents and organizations such as Code Pink, that may volunteer to impede, passively or actively, by nonviolent means, the work of any military recruiting office located in the City of Berkeley.


I do note that Chapter 13.28 of the Berkeley City Municipal Code prohibits the City of Berkeley from contracting for services from any company that discriminates on the basis of sexual orientation.

I had not realized that the City of Berkeley was contracting with the United States Marine Corps -- matter-of-fact, I'm under the impression that the Marines are renting that office space from a private company.

Ah, well.

That must have been one really good bowl of Amsterdam Dark, because at the same time, the City Council decided to approve a dedicated, marked parking spot for Code Pink right dead-square in front of the Recruiting Station, as well as permission for a table on the sidewalk in front of the Recruiting Station -- and a permit for a megaphone -- every Wednesday for the next six months.

The (metaphorical) detonation by various Conservatives has been somewhat satisfying.

The best has to go to US Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina, who is happily drafting legislation to rescind any earmark money directed towards Berkeley -- about 2.1 million dollars worth.

Not that Berkeley's co-conspirators on Capitol Hill will let this legislation slip by, but it does tend to warm the cockroaches of my heart.

As far as the Berkeley City Council reactions -- well, once the Doritos ran out, Mayor Tom Bates offered to help the Marine Corp break their lease on the office. Apparently the landlord is a "very nice friend" of the Mayors. The Mayor also noted that the recommendation "did not adequately differentiate our respect and support for those serving in the armed forces and our opposition to the Iraq war policy."

Well, it's nice to know that's cleared up.

I am ashamed to report that Mayor Bates is former United States Army.

Yesterday, following the Berkeley City Council mandate, three protestors chained themselves to the door of the Recruiting Station and scuffled with those attempting to enter, reportedly for about seven hours before the Berkeley PD cut them loose and hauled them off.

That, folks, provides the final element of the classic offence of Sedition -- not that anyone on the Berkeley City Council is going to get arrested for it.


Nice to dream, though.



By way of I Can Has Cheezburger:

You know, there's really nothing I can add to the essential truth of that.