Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Jew Without A Gun

Today I have found the blog of Robert J. Avrech, Hollywood screenwriter (Emmy award winning, no less): Seraphic Secret.

The current post -- hot-linked -- is titled Jew Without A Gun, and recounts his (and his family's) experience on the evening of the 1992 Rodney King riots in LA.

A good read, very well written.


Monday, December 17, 2012

In honour of the Holiday Season:

Something to remind us that there is always beauty in the world.


A simple question

For the liberals/Leftists/what-the-hell-ever-label the gun banners are hiding under this week, I have a simple question:

How would taking my guns away from me have stopped what happened in Connecticut?

I'm not talking generalities here; I'm not speaking about large groups of Americans -- I'm speaking about me, myself -- in person and specifically.

If you were somehow able to go back in time to last week and seize all of my guns -- how would that have stopped what happened?

All right, I'll go you one better: suppose you could have seized all of my guns and all of Phlegmmy's, too. How would taking every gun in my house have stopped what happened in Connecticut?

How would taking all of mine and Phlegmmy's guns have prevented that tragedy?

Now. Do you honestly believe that my name will ever come up as a mass murderer at a school in the future?

So why do you want to take my guns?

I am not a unique case.

There are about fifty-two million -- let me type that out for you: 52,000,000 -- households in the United States that own a gun who did NOT murder anyone in Connecticut.

There are 52,000,000 households in which nothing bad at all has happened with their guns ... ever.

Bear in mind that 52 million households is not 52 million people. Many households have more than one person living there-in, so let's give a best-guesstimate of eighty million gun-owners.

80,000,000 people did nothing wrong in Connecticut.

80 million people haven't done anything wrong this week, won't do anything wrong next week and have done nothing wrong in the past.

When did it become normal to suggest that the United States of America punish 80,000,000 of its' citizens for the actions of a number of evil people totaling less than 0.00001%?

And that's what gun-banning is: When you take away someone's rights, you are punishing them. You take away my right to my AR15 because of what some scaffy little bugnsipe did somewhere else, you are punishing me for someone's elses actions.

Is it American to punish me for the actions of another; is it
just to punish me for the things someone else did?

I wouldn't think so, but maybe I'm old-fashioned.

Apropos of nothing, I note that the Independent School District of Harrold, Texas -- which armed its' teachers in 2008 -- has had absolutely no problem, no incident, nothing of any kind with either critters attempting to murder its' children, or with the teachers carrying guns in class.

For the past four years.

Might be a bit of a clue there, but what do I know?


Monday, December 03, 2012

Well, that's just splendiferous

Each of us has a monster down deep inside.

It's made of fangs, talons and shadow, and it glories in blood, fire and pain.

It's been part of us since before we climbed down out of the trees, wrapped around our hind brains; it is there today, and it will be there as long as humans are human.

It is, after all, one of those things that makes humans, human.

Some will argue that it is our intelligence that makes us human. Well, no doubt. Other will point out opposable thumbs, and they probably have a point.

However, Gentle Reader, I put it to you that the ability to take a bit of rock, a stick and some vine, and see what it may become in our minds is no more important than that monster lurking in our bones and blood.

Yes, to take those items and turn them into a spear is important -- but what use is the spear without being able to walk up and stick it into the cave bear, or lion, or raiding Neandertal, or any of the thousands upon thousands of other bogeymen waiting to make early H. Sapiens into a brief diorama in some other species Museum of Natural History?

Opposable thumbs enable us -- as a species -- to write sonnets, turn gears, build wondrous structures, sow, weave, paint and everything else that makes us ... Us.

Before that, though, the monsters that live inside of us used those thumbs to pick up stone axes, walk into caves and Put Out The Cat so that our mates and our progeny could not only live, but thrive without becoming Kitty Kibbles.

It's there. That monster is in good people, bad people, smart people, stupid people, big people, little people, brave ones and cowards. If you are human, it's there.

Part of walking the warrior path involves reaching inside, grabbing your monster and hauling it out to take a good, hard look at it; because denial doesn't make your monster go away. Denial only ensures that if your monster ever does try to slip its chain, you'll not know what to do about it, or even what it is.

That's the thing: those people who swear they don't have a monster -- when theirs gets loose, they don't have a clue. Their monster runs them -- and that's a recipe for an unpleasantness.

Man should always control his monster. It's when the monster control man that things get nasty. And you can't control your monster with denial or ignorance.

You can't control your monster unless you know it. Unless you know what it looks like, what it feels like, what it feeds off of ... and what it can do.

I once engaged in a debate with a young lass who swore that my assertions regarding the monster that lives in each of us were totally mistaken. Not everyone, said she, had a monster. Surely I didn't think that she had a monster.

In response I asked if she had a child, or if there was a young child in her immediate family? There, indeed, was. A niece, of whom she was very fond. I then asked her to engage in a creative articulation with me. I asked her to imagine that she and her niece were in a room, and that the room was empty of everything except one other person.

She said that she could, and then I told her that the other person was Jeffrey Dahmer.

There was a long pause, and then she stated that she'd obviously call the police. I responded that Jeffrey Dahmer was bigger than she was, stronger, faster -- and, of course, a serial killer.

I asked her how much she cared for the niece, then I mentioned that there was a hammer in the room, and asked her to think honestly about her response.

She looked at me for a long time, then I said: "Hey, look. Monster."

When she told me to go to hell, I figured that I had gotten my point across.


Today, we had a young man come to jail for burglary. Not only is he a long-term substance abuser, but he has almost mechanically-perfect scars up the inside of both forearms from wrist to elbow.

I spoke to him gently -- he was obviously still under the effect of whatever the current recreational pharmaceutical du jour is, but was coherent enough to assure me that he had thrown away any blade that he kept around for the purpose of cutting himself. He told me several times that he wasn't stupid enough to keep a weapon about his person while committing a burglary, and seemed somewhat aggrieved that I would ask him such a thing.

When the razor blade used by a self-mutilating, substance-abusing critter to carve multiple dozens of lacerations into the flesh of both his forearms slid through my nitrile glove and several millimetres into my right index finger I knew exactly what that electric burn meant.

My monster roared up out of my hind brain, fueled by such things as "HIV", "Hepatitis", "LIAR", and for a brief instant my monster filled my mind with visions of rage and blood, of crushing fury and punishing pain.

Only for that briefest of instants, though.

I ordered the critter not to move, informed the other officers that I'd been injured by a blade in his pocket, waited until they had secured the blade and walked to the nurse's station, blood dripping off my finger every step of the way.

Later, the arresting officer sought me out to apologise for missing the razor blade in the critter's pocket during his frisk, and stated, "Man, I don't know how you did it. If that would have been me stuck by that nasty razor, I would have smashed him!"

Kid, I'm a man. I control my monster -- always. My monster doesn't control me -- ever. Period. Full stop. End of story.

And that's something you might just want to think long and hard about.


Friday, November 16, 2012

Somebody alert Tallahassee from Zombieland.

Apparently there will not be any Twinkies after the Zombie Apocalypse.

Hostess Brands, makers of the ubiquitous -- and world famous -- Twinkies, has announced that they're shutting down.

Why, do you ask? Why would the company that makes a product that is popularly thought of being able to survive anything, up to and including various apocalypses, holocausts, Biblical catastrophes and the occasional zombie, be shutting down?

Glad you asked.

Apparently the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union decided to get their noses out of joint and initiated a nation-wide strike that pretty much destroyed the iconic Hostess Brands.

18,000+ people (only about ~6,500 of them Union members, though) have been laid off, or will be laid off pretty damned soon -- and just before the Holiday Season, too. And because the company is up to its eyeteeth in bankruptcy court the amount of help that Hostess is going to be able to offer its (former) employees pretty much equals jack divided by squat.

Unused vacation time? Not in the budget approved by the bankruptcy court and the lenders. Go ask the Union, maybe they'll help.

Severance benefits? Sorry, try asking the union for help.

Expense claims waiting for reimbursement? Whoops. Hey, maybe the BGTWGMI Union will help with that.

Pension? Medical benefits? Other stuff? B-A-N-K-R-U-P-T-C-Y. Go ask the Union that got your job killed for help.

We here at the LawDog Files would like to congratulate the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union for demonstrating that not only do folks not learn from history, but they are obviously completely unable to learn from SIMPLE BLOODY NURSERY TALES.


In a civilised country, the BCTWGMI Union Officers would be apologising on national TeeVee before retreating to a back room with a pen, a sheet of paper and one round; and leaving their successors to make things right.

Unfortunately, I foresee a whole bunch of sniveling done by people who should be angry, much posturing by people who should be legally destroying the BCTMGMI Union, and pompous denials by Union Officers.

Pfagh, on the lot of them.



I've been receiving some comments and more than a bit of e-mail stating that Bloggers new anti-spam reverse Turing test was hard to read.

So, a couple of days ago I finally figured out how to turn it off.

Holy gods!

The spam filter has bloody well exploded, and that's not counting the spam that the filter doesn't catch.

I had no idea the spam comments were that prevalent.



Wednesday, November 14, 2012

What the hell?

I have supported the Wounded Warrior Project with money when I could, time when I had some, and by word of mouth for a couple of years.

Today I learn that might not have been my best idea.

I am a gun person. The majority of my friends are gun people. While I may not agree with them a lot of the time, I support the NRA, GOA, LEAA and other gun-rights organisations.

Apparently this gets me cross-threaded with the Wounded Warrior Project.

The following link leads to an e-mail exchange between Tom Gresham of Gun Talk Radio and the PR Director over at WWP.

Just in case someone was playing a nasty joke on me, I popped over to the 'Additional Opportunities' page at www.woundedwarriorproject.org and looked for the quote cited in the e-mail exchange linked above.

Yep. I do quote from that page:

"WWP does not co-brand, create cause marketing campaigns or receive a percentage or a portion of proceeds from companies in which the product or message is sexual, political or religious in nature, or from alcohol or firearms companies."

Highlighting is mine.

I am a "firearms person" and I have done what I could for that charity.  I know of several "firearms companies" who have gone above and beyond for wounded veterans and the charities that support them, up to and including the Wounded Warrior Project.

This is one hell of a spit in the eye of those in the "firearms business" who have gone out of their way to support this Nation's wounded heroes.  All righty then. Doom on the Wounded Warrior Project.

Other folks have recommended Soldiers' Angels, and they haven't shown any sign -- so far -- of biting the hands that feed them, so they'll be getting my hard-earned dosh and time from here on out; and nothing but the back of my hand for the Wounded Warrior Project.


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Well, that's different

Tonight, we here at The LawDog Files have learned that the White House has a section of its website upon which one may create a petition.

Then, if that petition gains 25,000 signatures within a certain period of time -- I think about thirty days -- the Administration will issue a response.

In response to the recent election, some enterprising soul has created a petition to allow Texas to withdraw from the United States and form its own government.

Anyone in the Administration who didn't see something like this coming shouldn't be allowed outside without a minder, but I digress.

The petition was created on 09 NOV 2012, and needs 25,000 signatures by 09 DEC 2012. As of 12 NOV 2012 there were double the needed amount of signatures, with more coming.


You don't have to be Carnac the Magnificent to foretell the official response from the Administration -- something polite masking giggles, giant Bronx cheers, and probably a cocked snook or two -- but I signed it anyway.

I noticed that several other (lesser) States had similar petitions up, but Texas was in the lead by a good bit, which either makes me extremely proud or slightly worried.


Friday, November 09, 2012


As I mentioned earlier, we are currently graced with the presence of OldNFO and AEPilotJim; and just a little bit ago EvylRobot Michael and Jennifer dropped by.

We discussed the plight of loved friends, and Things Have Been Jolly Well Sorted Out.

OldNFO has decided to raffle one of his Colt Diamondbacks for the cause. It's blued, 4-inch, 38 Special and is just back from Cylinder and Slide who have -- no doubt -- done their usual excellent work on the pistol.

It's a shooter, not a safe queen.

Having heard this announcement, Michael has decided to help by donating a holster. If you're the winner, tell him if you want an Inside-the-Waistband or an Outside-the-Waistband, and he'll make it for you.

Not to be outdone, Good Friend Joe Speer over at Jackalope Rifle Company announced that he would provide a second place prize. For those who hanker for something a little ... different ... he will donate a replica 14th-century handgonne.

Or a knife, if your tastes run that way.

So, here's the deal.

Go over to Tam's blog and hit her PayPal. I am told that there will be a receipt of some kind that pops up and can be printed off. Enter the word "DIAMONDBACK" on there somewhere, and e-mail the receipt to OldNFO.

Each donation to Tam of $25 gets you one entry into the raffle. Want two chances to win this pistol and holster, or the handgonne? Donate $50 to Tam. Want four chances? Donate $100.

OldNFO would like to see $1500 go to Tamara. I'd like to see that number left gasping in the dust on the way to double or triple that.

I am told that my lady and Jennifer are collaborating upon another raffle for the same cause, I am sure that details will be forth-coming.

Make me proud, folks.


UPDATE: Stingray and LabRat over at Atomic Nerds are throwing their hat into the ring for Tamara. Also in the raffle will be a $200 gift certificate to Brownell's. Check with OldNFO for details.

Well done, my friends. Well done, indeed.


Consider doing me a favour?

Tamara over at View From The Porch is a good friend to myself and Phlegmmy.

She is a intelligent, sweet lady whom we are proud to call "Friend" and who is welcome in our house any time.

She's had a bit of bad luck (though not as bad as it could have been) in that her fair-skinned, light-eyed, strawberry-blonde self has come up with what most of us red-heads are going to have to deal with sometime: she is calling it "cancer's farm team" -- a wee bout of basal cell carcinoma.

Tam refers to herself as a "Self-unemployed on-line writer", and she doesn't have medical insurance.

Surgery is never cheap, and surgery in the facial area will probably add a zero to the total cost.

So, if y'all would like to do me a favour, pop over to her blog and hit her tip jar. It's on the right-hand side of the screen and can't be missed. It doesn't have to be much -- a Starbuck's coffee worth, or a meal -- but it will go a long way to helping the Mistress of Snark, and a true treasure of the Internet.



Thursday, November 08, 2012

Are you sure about that?

When did it become a sin to utter the words "I don't know"? And when did it become the accepted thing to pull random facts out of your fourth point of contact to make up for the fact that one simply does not know?

Case in point:

OldNFO and AEPilotJim are up visiting and decompressing. Being, well, us this has involved a bit of trawling through a gun store or two.

One of the afore-mentioned gun stores would be the big Academy Sports in the near-by Big City.

At this Academy, OldNFO spotted a rifle that tickled his fancy, at a price that was more than fair, so he decided that he should have this rifle and so informs the sales-drone.

Now, OldNFO is not a resident of Texas. He currently makes his abode on one of the coasts, but this makes no never-mind as the rifle that he fancied was, matter-of-fact, a rifle, and as such, only requires a NICS check.

Not so, sayeth the sales-drone. He can only sell rifles to residents of Texas, or residents of States that touch Texas.

There is some blinking, then I gently opine, "That's an odd company policy."

He achieves That Special Supercilious Look, and proclaims: "Nope! That's Federal Law!"

No. It is not.

Per Title 18, US Code, section 922(a)(3), (5); 922 (b)(3); and 27 CFR 478.29 and 478.30, and even going so far as to quote the ATF website FAQ:

"A person may only acquire a firearm within the person’s own State, except that he or she may purchase or otherwise acquire a rifle or shotgun, in person, at a licensee’s premises in any State, provided the sale complies with State laws applicable in the State of sale and the State where the purchaser resides. A person may borrow or rent a firearm in any State for temporary use for lawful sporting purposes."

Highlighting is mine.  Note, do, the words:  "In",  "Any",  and "State" and how all three of those words are right next to each other in the same sentence.

OldNFO and AEPilotJim look at each other, and sensing an opportunity to educate and maybe enlighten one who doesn't seem to have all the facts at his fingertips, offer the gentle rebuttal that it is not, in fact, against Federal Law.

This, of course, causes the sales-drone to dig in his heels, puff out his chest and give that little eyebrow arch that hints:  "Desist, law-breakers."

Bloody damnation.

I'm going to assume that somebody must have provided this drone (probably with the same smug look he rendered unto us) with the false and incorrect information regarding fictitious Federal Laws, because I would hate to imagine that this young man has simply decided all on his ownsome that since he has a job selling guns, he needs to pull bull[redacted] [redacted] out of his [redacted] just so he can feel superior to his customers.

Still, one would like to imagine that he would have enough pride in his job that he would take the time and effort to improve himself by LOOKING UP THE [REDACTED] LAW FOR HIMSELF.

The relevant law is on the Internet.  Took me all of 0.17 seconds to find it on Google.  It's even in books, and those books are generally free to read in libraries both public and those belonging to universities.

I would note, in case said sale-drone ever stumbles past this blog, that the books are "free to read" in libraries, the books are not "free to eat".

If Academy Sports wants to have stupid rules about whom they may sell guns to, that's their business.  As a private company, if they decide tomorrow that they will only sell guns to left-handed pygmies wearing fuchsia tutus, that is their business.

Giving their employees false information regarding Federal Laws and how those laws pertain to Constitutional Rights is not.  Hiring employees who lie to, and condescend to, customers regarding Federal laws and how those laws pertain to Constitutional Rights is not.

Academy Sports lost the chance to make $500.  And in the coming economy, that piddling little five hundred dollars may not be peanuts much longer.

More importantly, they have lost all of my future business, all of the future business of OldNFO, and I will quite happily tell anyone and everyone I come into contact with that Academy Sports are rat-bastards who should feel the full weight of economic Darwinism, and any money would be better spent somewhere else.



Friday, October 19, 2012

Oh, bother.

Ever since I got back from Blogorado, I've not been feeling Up To Snuff.

It got steadily worse, until finally I head into Bugscuffle Clinic & Bait, where it's fairly obvious that they remember me from last time.

When I say "fairly obvious" I mean that there's a giant fluorescent pink sticky note on the outside of my file which reads (in silver sharpie ink) "DO NOT GIVE THIS PT NTG IF HIS BLOOD PRESSURE IS NORMAL OR LOWER!" with the "DO NOT" circled. Multiple times.


I am shown to a room, the nurse gets my vitals and promises me "someone" will be in shortly.

Sure enough, I look up and there's someone who looks vaguely familiar holding out a paw for a shake. I squint, imagine I'm looking up at him from a steeper angle, mentally put defib paddles in his paw ...

... Oh, joy. It's the Nurse Practitioner from last time. Out-[deleted]-standing.

We shake hands, and things seem to have changed. He listens, by which I mean that this time I'm doing more talking than he is, and we seem to be getting along just fine.

There is much listening to my chest, and finally he opines that it sounds like I have pneumonia, and would I mind having a couple of x-rays taken and some blood drawn?

"Nah," sayeth I, "That's what I expected."

He takes a deep breath, and asks -- and I'm quoting here: "Does this pain feel anything like," here he pauses, leafs through my file until he finds the page he's looking for, and then carefully articulates, finger tracing a sentence, "An ice-cream headache with a grudge and a club?"


Nope, I state, rather firmly I will admit.

He takes another breath. "Your file show that you don't present normal symptoms for, well, anything. Do you mind if we get an ECG, just to be on the safe side?"

I feel my eye twitch.

He holds up both hands, "If there's a problem, and I don't think there will be, but if there is -- no one will call anything unless you specifically ask for it, okay?"


So. Five minutes later, I'm laying on the same damned bed in the same damned ECG room from last time, with some disgustingly cheerful tech sticking leads on my chest.

"Okay, sir," she burbles, "Have you ever had one of these done before?"

I twist my head to look at her.

"You obviously weren't here in May."

She smiles at me, then hits the button. The ECG purrs, and spits out paper.

A tearing sound followed by a long pause, and then then sound of sneakers rapidly exiting the room.

I start mentally reviewing curse words, then lean up on one elbow, find the 'PRINT' button and print meself a copy.

Oh, look. Elevated S-T interval. In, let me see here -- yup, every damned lead.

I execute a Migraine Salute for a very long time, then start mentally reviewing the locations of the exits until my front pocket starts ringing. I weasel my cell-phone out, look at it, but the screen only shows a number. Huh.

"LawDog," sayeth I.

To which the happily perky voice of my cardiologist -- whom I've not spoken to in months, and never by phone -- responds, "How's my favourite grouchy patient?"

I blink. Several times. "Doc?"

"I'm looking at your ECG on my iPad. You want me to come over to Bugscuffle and push on your chest?"


"Looks like you've got yourself another case of pericarditis, but if you'd like I can push on your chest again."

"I'll pass, doc."

"Okay. Rest! Same drugs as last time. Rest! Five days off of work, and then call me before you go back. Rest! Come see me in a week. And rest! Ciao!"

The phone goes dead.

Umm. Wow. The future, it is grand.

I'm still looking at my cell-phone when the Nurse Practitioner comes into the room, both hands held up in a placating gesture, "Mr. LawDog, I'm afraid that you don't have pneumonia. You've got ..."

"Pericarditis," I interrupt, "Again."

He blinks. I hold up my phone, "Cardiologist just called."

"Wow. We just e-mailed the ECG, like, two minutes ago."

"Yeah. I think I'm going home now. Anything to add?"

"Nope. We called the 'scrips in to your pharmacy. Call us if anything changes."

Wow, indeed.


Monday, September 17, 2012


Took Chris to Union Station in Dallas to catch an Amtrak train out to the Eastern seaboard -- an interesting experience that I must comment upon tomorrow -- but we got to the station more than a bit early.

As is our wont, after a shufti of the station and the surrounding environs, we went for a bit of a walk-about, and I showed him Dealey Plaza which he had never visited before.

As we contemplated the famous 'X's painted on the road, he turned around to find the sniper's position and pointed to a building some distance away.

"Nope," sez I, "It's right here." -- pointing to the Book Depository.

He blinked.

"Hell, you could have hit him with a good, healthy spit!"

I have never understood the folks who get all fuzzy about the "difficulty" of Oswald's shot. While not a cake-walk, it's a shot that could be made by any competent deer hunter.

We then strolled over to the Grassy Knoll and walked around behind the famous picket fence -- where True Believers have spent idle moments penning mawkish prose, Exhortations of Conspiracy, Declarations of Awful Truth, and the occasional sly wit, when I saw his mouth twitch.

"When you get back home, Google the name of the captain of that Jap destroyer that oopsied the PT109, and when you come back to pick me up, bring a sharpie."

Oh, Lord.

I have no idea what message Lieutenant Commander Kohei Hanami is going to leave on that picket fence, but I'm pretty certain that it's going to morally offend a whole bunch of JFK fans.



Wednesday, September 12, 2012

And damned-all will we do about it.

Last year a gentleman, apparently by the name of Sam Bacile, produced and directed a movie that portrays Islam as a "hateful" religion.

I'm willing to bet that somewhere in that movie, he adds "violent".


When the Islamists revolted against Khaddafi, an American diplomat named J. Christopher Stevens was one of the first American Foreign Service representative to support and aid the nascent revolution -- serving as the Special Representative to the Libya Transitional national Council.

When I say that, apparently he was on the ground in Benghazi from fairly early on in the dust-up.

After the rebels won -- by no means a sure thing, by-the-by -- Stevens was named Ambassador to Tripoli in 2012.

By all accounts Ambassador Stevens genuinely liked the Libyan people, and they -- again, by all accounts -- liked him.

Ambassador Stevens seems to have thoroughly enjoyed the Middle East as a whole -- beginning as a Peace Corp volunteer in Morocco, teaching English to the locals, had a brief career doing other things, then joined the State Department, serving at such posts as Damascus, Cairo, Riyadh and Jerusalem, before being named as Ambassador to Tripoli. A fluent speaker of Arabic, he was known for wandering around the traditional areas of Cairo, jogging through the villages of Libya, and visiting souks on his ownsome at every posting he was assigned to.

Does this kind of give you an idea of the character of J. Christopher Stevens?

This was a man in the United States State Department anyone could point to and say: "Here. This man is a friend to the Arab peoples, and to Islam."

Keep that in mind.

So. Back to Sam Bacile and his movie.

He made this movie in the United States, in which he portrayed Islam as "hateful" and probably "violent".

And some locals in Benghazi decided that having their religion labeled as "hateful" and "violent" was such a travesty and an insult that the only appropriate response to such lies about "hate" and "violence" ...

... was to kill Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and several of his security detail.


Or, as in this case, they'll kill good friends of their country, their religion, and their people, if those friends happen to be handy.

As far as the response to this outrage -- this act which is casus bellorum to every civilized nation in the world -- I'm sure that our Commander-in-Chief will issue very stern reprimands, some symbolic slaps on the wrist; and -- if pressed -- the Libyans will find some poor schmuck who is willing to confess to anything to make the beating stop, and who will take the high jump with a minimum of last-minute embarrassing revelations.

Sweet Freyja on a twister mat, but doesn't it feel like 1979 all over again?

If I see Carter going into the White House to offer advice to Obama, I'm probably going to destroy something.



EDIT: Apparently after they got done killing the Ambassador, they dragged his body through the streets, snapping cell-phone pictures and generally having a grand old time.

I will not link to the pictures, out of respect for the kith and kin of the murdered diplomat.

I do note, however, that our Dear Commander-in-Chief swears that the murderers are simply carrying the dead man to the hospital -- cell-phone pictures being critical to that process.

Words cannot express the fury I am feeling right now.


Tuesday, September 11, 2012


Your Humble Scribe and a Minion are watching an inmate who is praying vigorously to Ralph, Ye Ancient God of the Porcelain Throne.

Inmate: "Oh, Gaaaawwwwd!"

Minion: "Sweet Jeebus, does he have anything left?"

LawDog: "Probably not. Pretty sure I saw toenails come out just a second ago."

Minion: "Do we need to send him to the hospital or something?"

LawDog: "Nah. When he was arrested -- curled up under the dining room table of a complete and total stranger at three in the morning, I might add -- he had a baggie with trace amounts of heroin in it. Trust me, the jail nurses are quite familiar with the protocols for opiate detox."

Inmate: "You don't unnerstand! Gawd, please kill me!"

LawDog: "If I were you, I'd shut up and concentrate on keeping your organs on the inside."

Inmate: "Don't make fun of me! Yeeaaarrgghh!"

LawDog:  "If you feel something round and furry coming up, best swallow hard, 'cause you're going to need it later."

Minion: "Eww."

Inmate: "You're makin' fun of me!  I'm somebody! I went to Local State University!"

LawDog: "Graduated magna cum laudanum, no doubt."

Inmate: "Yeah! Blargh!"

Minion (Rolling her eyes at her Mentor in All Things Knuckledragging): "That ... was terrible."

LawDog: "I'll say. I'm pretty sure the jail kitchen doesn't serve a damn thing that colour."

Minion: "Smartass."

Ah, well. The finer points of extemporaneous wit are lost on the young.


I'm so unappreciated in my time.


Sunday, September 09, 2012

Personal Defence Weapons

I'm fixing to gore somebody's sacred ox here, but that idiot over at RECOIL Magazine pushed one of my hot buttons, that being the FN and H&K PDW systems and their "magic death-ray" powers.

Folks, the FN 5.7 and the H&K 4.6 PDWs were designed for the use of personnel who either couldn't be bothered to carry a real rifle, or whose duties made the carry of a real rifle impractical. Cooks, clerks, supply, and the other rear-echelon types who are vital for running a war.

Both systems pretty much produce the same result: .22 Winchester Magnum Rimfire ballistics out of something that's too large to be a pistol, but not big enough to be a rifle.

4.6X30mm. Bullet weight: 40 grains. Muzzle velocity: 1900 FPS.
5.7X28mm. Bullet weight: 40 grains. Muzzle velocity: 2034 FPS.

.22 WMR. Bullet weight: 40 grains. Muzzle velocity: 1920 FPS.

Which sounds pretty good -- until you realize that the .22 WMR is okay on 40-pound coyotes, but most-assuredly marginal on anything bigger. And most enemy soldiers are somewhat larger than a 40-pound canid.

So, basically what you have with the FN/H&K PDW systems is the equivalent of a full-auto .22 rimfire that the folks who don't carry a real rifle can shoot at enemy troops (armed with the equivalent of .30/30 deer rifles) who get around, over, or through the front-line guys and start running amuck in the rear areas.

To boil that down: the FN/H&K PDW guns are there so that the generals awarding the posthumous medals can say, "They went down fighting" with a straight face.

They are not a "magic death ray" to an enemy soldier -- or thug -- any more than your grand-father's .22 WMR varmint rifle is a "magic death ray" to an enemy soldier -- or thug.



It's a bird! It's a plane! It's SUPER ZUMBO!

Before today I had never heard of RECOIL Magazine.

Which is probably not a Bad Thing, because the editor appears to be a gun-banning wolf in geeks clothing.

By way of George Hill, we learn that the afore-mentioned magazine apparently ran an article on the H undt K MP7A1 in which said editor writes:

"…the MP71A is unavailable to civilians and for good measure. We all know that’s technology no civvies should ever get to lay their hands on. This is a purpose-built weapon with no sporting applications to speak of."


Why do the gun-banners always, ALWAYS bring up "sporting purpose?" Or in this case "sporting application"?

It's right up there with the "For the chhhiilll-dren!" trope.

Once again, I have re-read my copy of the Constitution of these United States, and -- yet again -- nowhere in the Second Amendment to that Constitution do I find any Freyja-be-damned thing about "sporting purposes" or "sporting applications".

As an aside, I have to wonder just exactly how good the firearms knowledge of that editor is, because the technology of the MP7A1 is based on designs developed in an Ogden gun shop by John Moses Browning in the 19th century.

If they mean the 4.6X 30 cartridge the MP7A1 was designed to fire -- there are plenty of 40gr bullets running at 1900 FPS at Wal-Mart. We just call it the .22 WMR. Oh, wait. The 40-grain .22 WMR generally runs about 100 FPS faster than the 40-gr 4.6. 

 My bad.

Not sure that I've heard very much about the death-dealing potential of the .22 maggie -- but since it's actually faster with the same weight bullet as the 4.6 I'm sure DOD will be all over it right skippy.


It gets better.

Apparently there was a bit of a backlash, so the very same editor who wrote the article decided to double-down on the stupid on Facebook.

Again, from George Hill:

"Hey guys, this is Jerry Tsai, Editor of RECOIL. I think I need to jump in here and clarify what I wrote in the MP7A1 article. It looks like I may not have stated my point clearly enough in that line that is quoted up above. Let’s be clear, neither RECOIL nor I are taking the stance on what should or should not be made available on the commercial market although I can see how what was written can be confused as such.

Because we don’t want anything to be taken out of context, let’s complete that quote and read the entire paragraph:

“Like we mentioned before, the MP7A1 is unavailable to civilians and for good reason. We all know that’s technology no civvies should ever get to lay their hands on. This is a purpose-built weapon with no sporting applications to speak of. It is made to put down scumbags, and that’s it. Mike Cabrera of Heckler & Koch Law Enforcement Sales and veteran law enforcement officer with SWAT unit experience points out that this is a gun that you do not want in the wrong, slimy hands. It comes with semi-automatic and full-auto firing modes only. Its overall size places it between a handgun and submachine gun. Its assault rifle capabilities and small size make this a serious weapon that should not be taken lightly.”

Let’ also review why this gun should not be taken lightly. In the article it was stated that the MP7A1 is a slightly larger than handgun sized machine-gun that can be accurately fired and penetrate Soviet style body armor at more than 300 yards. In the wrong hands, that’s a bad day for the good guys.

As readers of RECOIL, we all agree that we love bad-ass hardware, there’s no question about that. I believe that in a perfect world, all of us should have access to every kind of gadget that we desire. Believe me, being a civvie myself, I’d love to be able to get my hands on an MP7A1 of my own regardless of its stated purpose, but unfortunately the reality is that it isn’t available to us. As a fellow enthusiast, I know how frustrating it is to want something only to be denied it.

Its manufacturer has not made the gun available to the general public and when we asked if it would ever come to the commercial market, they replied that it is strictly a military and law enforcement weapon, adding that there are no sporting applications for it. Is it wrong that HK decided against selling a full-auto pocket sized machine gun that can penetrate armor from hundreds of yards away? It’s their decision to make and their decision they have to live with not mine nor anybody else’s.

I accepted their answer for what it was out of respect for those serving in uniform. I believe that we as gun enthusiasts should respect our brothers in law enforcement, agency work and the military and also keep them out of harms way. Like HK, I wouldn’t want to see one of these slip into the wrong hands either. Whether or not you agree with this is fine. I am compelled to explain a point that I was trying to make that may have not been clear.

Thanks for reading,
- JT, Editor, RECOIL"


Well, that just speaks volumes about the mindset of the staff over at RECOIL Magazine, doesn't it?

Makes me wish I had a subscription so that I could cancel it.


Far be it from me to offer advice to those who are neither kith nor kin, but I'm thinking that the hard-earned money of gunnies can be better given to people who actually support the Second Amendment. Unlike RECOIL Magazine.

But that's just me.


Saturday, September 08, 2012


I am learning sushi.

Herself is a dedicated connoisseur of all things sushi-related and I am content to let her pick the course when we go out, but last night I had a major brain-cramp.

The special at the local sushi bar was a whole bunch of something that was topped with a cilantro/habeñero pureé.

I looked at "habeñero pureé", read "habeñero pureé", but my Brain Housing Group came up with "jalapeño chutney".

Jalapeño is about my limit when it comes to spikiness in my food. Much hotter than that, and the meal becomes an exercise in masochism rather than a meal.

The roll that I sampled was delightful. Right up until some little Japanese gnome with a flamethrower and a grudge set my tonsils on fire.

I am proud to say that I chewed thoughtfully, took a sip of water, and then made -- what I hope was -- an insightful comment about the heat level of the food.

I then immediately took a sample of something else both to give myself an excuse not to go anywhere near that Satanic green jellyroll ever again, and to attempt to pummel the vertically-challenged pyromaniacal Nipponese lawn ornament into submission.

Unfortunately the next thing she had selected was a volcano roll -- apparently so-named because the centre is full of magma-grade molten cream-cheese.

Between the chemical burns and the thermal burns my throat will never be the same again.

Still ... damn that was a good meal.


Thursday, September 06, 2012

That's odd

For the longest time I had an e-mail contact address on the side-bar.

A Gentle Reader named Mike posted a comment asking for contact info, and I was wondering why he didn't just use the ... oh. It's gone.

I have no idea when it left, why it left, or even if it's called home.


The LawDog Files (at) g mail (dot) com

Take out the spaces, and replace the bracketed terms with the appropriate symbols.

(Death to spambots!)


Wednesday, September 05, 2012

This isn't my first rodeo

When I first started seeing Herself, I didn't have a cell-phone. This situation became untenable, so I purchased one of those Pay-As-You-Go phones, and have been -- mostly -- happy ever since.

I find the no-contract thing to be a great relief, and for a little over a dollar a day I get unlimited phone calls and unlimited texts for a month.

Plus, I find that walking into a business, setting a couple of anonymous $20 bills on the counter, and receiving a code that I input into the phone for another months service -- no address required, no information exchanged, no credit card number handed over  -- to be damned civilized.

Unfortunately, the anonymity that I love is also desired by other people, people who may have a better reason for anonymity than I do.

As a for instance, this sort of easily-dumped phone is -- apparently -- often used as a business phone by those whose business might tend to be frowned upon by Society At Large, or otherwise tend to attract the attention of the Minions of The State.

Say that you are a Purveyor of Recreational Pharmaceuticals. You get one of these phones, the heat gets too close, you dump it in a garbage bin. No muss, no fuss. 

 Unfortunately, the phone company doesn't know about the black-market side-business, so when you don't re-up the number after a certain amount of time they re-issue the number.

For example, one of the very first texts I received on my brand-new phone -- I wasn't even sure what a text was at the time -- went something like this:


Huh, thinks I. I do believe that I am being asked to provide street-level amounts of marijuana. I should probably notify narcotics, but then I'd lose my two-hour-old phone to evidence for six months over a misdemeanor nickel bust, and that's just not cricket.

So, I squinted at the manual until I understood how to call a number which had texted, did so, set the phone on the table, waited until the screen announced that the other party had picked up -- then I lit three Black Cat firecrackers and started begging for my life in tones most piteous.

Of course, after the three fireworks went off, I stopped begging. Out of courtesy, you understand. Might have dropped a chair next to the table, too, come to think. Then I dragged the phone off the table, snarled, "Get his [deleted] phone. We'll find every [deleted] [deleted] the thieving mother[deleted] sold my [deleted] to and take it out of their [deleted] skin!"

Apparently the person on the other end didn't have the couth to stay on the line for the denouement of my extemporaneous little performance. Hmph. That earned that number a place on the Blocked list.

Between that sort of thing, and the exclaiming to various lady(?) friends that I was so happy they texted, that I thought they'd never speak to me again over the whole "Lying about not having herpes" business, followed up by declaring my Eternal Devotion to [Insert Random Female Name Here] and That Trick She Did With Her Tongue ...

... Well, the unsolicited calls from people I didn't know dropped precipitously. I like to assume that low-level assaults by enraged women upon the previous owner of my phone number went up by the same amount, but I have no data on that.

Anyhoo, while that part was amusing, less amusing was the fact that Sumdood Critter was apparently either a lousy dealer, or a lousy money manager, because I also received calls from a collections agency looking for him.

I would usually spend about a month telling the agency that I wasn't "Mr Sumdood Critter", that this number was a Pay-As-You-Go phone number, that I had no idea where Mr Sumdood Critter might be found. They'd finally get the hint, but after a couple of months they'd sell their list of uncollected debts to another agency and we'd start all over again.

Finally after a couple of years of this, I asked the earnest drone from the latest collections agency to put me through to her supervisor. When that worthy answered I explained -- yet again -- that I was not Sumdood Critter, that my name was LawDog, that this number was from a Pay-As-You-Go phone, and that I would like him to do something for me.

He said that he would, and I asked him to put this call on 'hold', and then to dial this other number and ask the person that answered to put him through to LawDog.

He said that he would, and less than a minute later, Dispatch calls me and says that I have a call, and wold I like them to put it through? I tell them to go ahead, they do, and I answer with my title and job.

There is a long pause on the line, and then the supervisor says that he's really sorry, and that he'll deal with it.

Not so fast sez I. Since I've been told that exact same thing for a couple of years now, I want the full name of the supervisor that I am speaking to. He hems a bit, my LawDog voice comes out, and I have his full name, and the full name and address of the collections agency he works for, which I then verify using the office Internet connection, correcting the two transposed numbers on the address.

Then I gently inform him that I am now holding him personally responsible for any further harassment. I further suggest that my number be removed from the records of this debt. He agrees. I further suggest that he ensure that my number doesn't sneak into any lists of uncollected debts sold down the line. He fervently agrees, we part on amiable terms and I've not been bothered by any calls looking for that particular critter in some years since.

This new one? I'm a little rusty, but I'll bet it'll come back to me.


Tuesday, September 04, 2012

In which Your Humble Scribe becomes mildly irritated with ...

The vast majority of my DNA comes from the Scottish Highlands.

As such, I have no particular problem with those folks who run professional "payday loans" businesses.

I have never been tempted to use their services -- and will never -- because my Scottish ancestors would rise up and beat me about the head and shoulders for knowingly paying 900+% interest on anything, but if citizens enter into contracts with these companies of their own free will and cognizant that they are going to owe approximately Oh-My-Tap-Dancing-Gods-Are-You-Kidding-Me worth of interest on those loans -- who am I to involve myself in private business dealings?

BestPayToday.com employs a gentleman by the name of Caesar -- I'm going to assume that is the proper spelling -- and Mr. Caesar would really, really like a citizen by the name of "Timothy" to pay BestpayToday.com what he owes.

I know this, because Mr. Caesar has called my phone multiple times -- three times today, point of fact -- asking for Timothy.

Over the past couple of months I have spoken to Mr. Caesar, or his minions, a couple dozen times; each time I have politely informed Mr. Caesar (or his minions) that not only is there not anyone by the name of "Timothy" at my cell-phone number, but that no-one at this number has ever utilized the services of BestPayToday.com in the past, will ever use the services of BestpayToday.com in the future, nor does anyone here owe them any money in any way, shape, form or fashion.

Apparently Mr. Caesar and his minions either don't believe me or BestPayToday.com employs some proper thickwits, because they woke me up three times today demanding to speak to "Timothy".

When I started this post, I had a three page rant about the situation that Blogger ate.

This may have been a Good Thing.

Above, I began this second post by stating I had no philosophical objection to payday loan businesses. That may have changed, because -- after being woken from a sound sleep three times this morning -- I have now developed a solid case of the red arse.

Stay tuned.


Oh, sonuva!

I had three. Bloody. Pages of rant here.

I pressed the 'Backspace' button and it all went away.

[Deleted]! [Deleted]! [Deleted]!

Gods damn it.



In order for me to write on my blog, I have to click on a button at the top right corner of the screen to log-in.

A month ago it disappeared.

Poof! Gone.

I'm going to guess that Blogger sprang another "upgrade" on me. Again.

Today I was noodling about my iGoogle homepage, and I clicked on the 'More' button. On the drop-down menu, about the ninth item down, is 'Blogger'.

Hoping against hope, I clicked on it.

Yay! I'm back!


Tuesday, August 07, 2012


By now everyone has heard of the mass murder at a Sikh gurdwara in Wisconsin.

The evil little pismire who was responsible got centre-punched at the scene -- damned fine work by all involved -- and is facing his Eternal Judgement.

Having skimmed the theories being posited around the Mass Media, and around the Intarwebz, it seems that everyone wants an explanation as to why this bipedal maggot would do such a thing.

The only explanation necessary is this: He was evil. And I have no doubt that no small part of this act was the hope that he would gain notoriety from it.

He shall have none of that here.

Instead, we here at The LawDog Files wish to honour a man of peace present at the scene of the mass murder.

Satwant Singh Kaleka was a deeply religious man, who came to the United States from India in search of the American Dream.

He found it. Through his own hard work, he pulled himself from poverty to becoming the owner of several gas stations. He then turned the money he made to his community, helping to build the temple, where he became the president.

He was present, at his duties, when Evil slimed its way through the front doors of his temple.

One of the tenets of the Sikh religion is that adherents must carry on their person a knife, called a Kirpan. The Kirpan is a reminder that the carrier should have the courage to defend all those who are persecuted or oppressed.

In our enlightened, politically-correct times, however, this has caused some problems. The blade -- traditionally between six inches and three feet in length -- seems to be "intimidating" in the Age of the Common Man, and thus has been variously legally required to be "less than four inches", or blunted, or even sealed inside of its scabbard with glue.

I mention this because initial reports state that when Evil presented itself in his place of peace and began to slaughter those of his flock, 65-year-old Satwant Singh Kaleka did his level best to punch the ticket of the decades-younger murderer with what the Media has described as a "butter knife" -- a blunted blade, less than four inches in length.

Some Media reports indicate that there was a "trail of blood" from the spot where Satwant Singh Kaleka did his last duty as a Sikh and as a man; others do not mention it.

For myself, I choose to believe that Satwant Singh Kaleka went to his God with a smile on his lips and a bloody Kirpan in his hand.

Hoo-ah, sir.


Friday, July 27, 2012

A question!

Gentle Reader Jeff Wood asks:

"Would some kind soul explain "Max Pod" to this Brit in Italy?"


First you have to understand that a County jail in Texas is not the same as a prison.

A prison is used to house people who have been adjudicated guilty of committing one or more felonies. In order to be in prison, you have to be both A)found guilty; and B) found guilty of a felony.

A County jail is rather different.

County jails holds: A) anyone (in the case of Toadstomp County) awaiting trial for citations (traffic and otherwise) who cannot -- for whatever reason -- bond out;

B) anyone (in the case of Toadstomp County) who is sitting out time for citations (traffic and otherwise);

C) anyone awaiting trial for misdemeanors other than citations, who cannot -- for whatever reason -- bond out;

D) anyone who has been adjudicated guilty in misdemeanor court and sentenced to serve time (in Texas that can be up to a maximum of one year);

E) anyone awaiting trial for felony crimes who cannot -- for whatever reason -- bond out;

F) anyone who has been adjudicated guilty of felony crimes who is awaiting transport to prison;

G) anyone who has been adjudicated guilty of a misdemeanor or a felony, sentenced to probation, who has screwed the pooch on said probation and is awaiting a decision from the Probation Department and the judge on what to do about the case; and last, but certainly not least

H) anyone who has been released form prison on parole, who has screwed the pooch on their parole and is awaiting a decision from the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles about what to do about their case.

As you can see, you can have an eclectic bunch in your standard Texas County jail. However, as my buddy MattG says, "You don't want to throw the puppies in with the wolves" so there has to be some way of separating the "puppies" from the "wolves".

At Toadstomp County we have three classifications of custody: Minimum, Medium and Maximum. Well, six actually. Female inmates can never be housed with males, for obvious reasons.

When someone comes into our tender custody we take a look at what their current arrest is, what their criminal history looks like, take a look at any past behaviour problems during any previous stays with us, and several other factors and come up with an initial classification of Minimum, Medium or Maximum.

Obviously traffic offenders sitting out tickets and non-violent misdemeanors are our Minimum inmates. Non-violent felonies, some and all other misdemeanors are typically Mediums, and assaultive felonies with past violent histories are our Maximums.

What I referred to as a "Pod" is actually a "Housing Area". We have two types (four, counting the females): Minimum (MIN) and Maximum (MAX). Minimum classification inmates are only housed in MIN pods. Maximum classification inmates are only housed in MAX pods.

The art comes in when you find out that anyone classified as a Medium can either go into a MIN pod or a MAX pod -- but that's a post for another time.

So. When I say "Max pod" I'm talking about a housing area that holds inmates who are charged with assaultive felonies, who have past violent histories -- either on their rap sheet or in our custody -- and inmates who have been found guilty of a violent felony who are awaiting transport to prison.

Hope that helps.


Out of curiosity

Of the mass shootings that have taken place in the United States over the last two decades, have any of them been in places that DO NOT expressly forbid the carry of firearms?


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Meditations on gun control

I don't work patrol anymore, haven't in a while, truth be told.

These days I work in the Toadstomp County Jail as Semi-Important Knuckle-Dragger and First Assistant Bottle Washer ... most of the time.

Since I work inside the secure perimeter with the inmates, there are rather strict rules about what I can take in there with me -- any sort of weapon is a no-no, as well as anything that can be modified into a weapon: metal buckles on my duty belt, soft-drink cans, that sort of thing.

Guns are a definite no-no, as are knives, clubs, etc., etc.

While there are Less-Lethal tools on-site -- OC spray and TASER -- they are locked away, only to be brought out for certain situations and only by certain officers. Usually me. In addition, just about every part of the facility that it is legally possible to have video surveillance, has 24-hour/7-day recorded video monitoring.

In other words, the Toadstomp County Jail -- and other similar facilities around the State of Texas and the United States as a whole -- is pretty much just as close to the liberal dream of a total gun control Utopia as you can get.

No guns allowed, ever. No guns, no knives, no weapons. Full gun control. Period. Full stop. End of story.

I bring this up, because the tragedy in Aurora has brought the Usual Suspects out of the woodwork, circling on the metaphorical thermals as they grunt about the lack of gun control on TeeVee and hiss "common-sense gun-laws" all over the Internet.

I have this terrible urge to snatch up the next numpty whining about the lack of gun control and dump him in SHU for a couple of shifts.

Granted, the Toadstomp County Jail Special Housing Unit isn't the gun control Mecca that, say, San Quentin or Pelican Island are, but one of my officers did get stabbed (non-fatally) with a golf pencil by an inmate in SHU some time ago.

He was stabbed by this inmate, as a point of fact, because he was "The kindest officer" on shift that day. My paw to Freyja, that quote is the absolute truth.

Alternatively, an hour or so in a 40-man Max pod could be instructive. Again, while our Max pods have the same stringent gun control as Attica Correctional or Angola, we're not quite the Gun Control Paradise those places are. Only a hands-full or so of our inmates have needed medical care after inmate-on-inmate violence. This year.

So, I have to ask: if gun control is the panacea these folks think it is, why aren't they clocking in to the safety, peace and quiet of a boring shift at Sing-Sing or ADX Florence? Complete and total gun control means those should be amongst the safest places in the world, right?



Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Letter to a victim.

Dear Ms.

I am the officer you spoke to today, when you attempted to visit your husband in the Toadstomp County Jail.

I'd like to take this opportunity to explain myself further, and hope to clear up some things you appear to have some misconceptions about.

First, when it comes to the inmates under my care, custody and control, my word is law. Now, I am neither arbitrary nor capricious, when I make a decision about one of my inmates -- in this instance, whether he gets a visit or not -- there are valid, articulatable reasons why I make my decision.

Which brings us to the second point: Your husband is here because he got caught with his hands wrapped around your throat and his thumbs on your windpipe by a fairly grouchy city officer. The fact that your Pookie was doing so in violation of an Emergency Protective Order signed by a judge to protect you was pretty much just icing on the cake.

I do realize that you are not going to press charges -- your husband's multi-state record of domestic violence arrests with no records of prosecution tell me that you probably have the fine print on the Affidavit of Non-Prosecution form memorized.

How-some-never, your Snookums now has yet another Emergency Protective Order against him on your behalf. That, coupled with the bruises showing quite clearly above the turtle-neck you're wearing in July in Texas is more than enough to convince me that allowing you to visit him in my facility is not in anyone's best interest, much less your own.

Yes, I figure you love him. The fact that you spent thirty minutes attempting to negotiate with me, bargain, plea, cajole, argue and debate your way into changing my mind about your visit tells me that you feel something for him. I also understand that the Emergency Protective Order states that he is only forbidden from communicating with you in a "threatening or harassing manner", and that he's nothing but roses and kittens on the visitation phone. And I do understand that you do not want, need or appreciate my protection --

-- Tough.

I would, however, like to confess to a lie.

At the end of your harangue, when you asked me if I had a shred of human decency or compassion, I told you that I did. I further explained that it was at home, in a jar, in my armoire.

Well, actually I fibbed when I told you that. I told a bit of a lie.

I don't have an armoire.

Nothing but love,


Monday, July 23, 2012

This is my surprised face.

Forbe's Magazine recently published their list of the Top 20 Most Miserable Cities in America.

Out of sense of morbid curiosity, I paged through their presentation, and when I came to the end, the first thing that popped into my mind was: "Yet one more reason for my shadow to never, ever darken the borders of California."

Of the twenty cities listed, eight of them are in California.

Folks, if eight of your cities are among the "Most Miserable" places to live in the United States, that there is what we finely-trained law-enforcement types call "A Clue".

By way of comparison, I give you the Great State of Texas. Not a one of our cities lands on the Top 20 list -- and that's saying something considering there're parts of Houston, Dallas, San Antonio and El Paso that I wouldn't venture into without heavy fire-power and a full platoon of Marines for back-up.

California has eight out of the twenty, yet California is still held to be the ideal in certain social and political sectors.

"You should be more like California," they say, "California is enlightened!" "If it's good enough for California to do, it must be mandatory for you!"

Huh. I hadn't ever considered that "Misery" might equal "Enlightenment" but that thought process might explain a great deal.

California is the reason that every bit of fishing tackle I buy has an idiot label on it that says: "This product contains chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer and/or birth defects or other reproductive harm" -- even the brass-and-tungsten "no-tox" weights.

If it isn't bad enough that media and social pundits keep extolling the virtues of California, people fleeing California to my Fair State keep trying to make Texas into a carbon-copy of the misery they just left.

Why? Texas: None of the Top 20 Most Miserable Cities. California: majority shareholder in the Top 20 Most Miserable Cities. SO WHY THE HELL DO YOU WANT TO CHANGE TEXAS?!

Now I realize that California liberals fleeing their State couldn't get a clue if they smeared themselves with clue musk and did the clue mating dance in a field full of receptive clues at the height of the clue mating season, but here's to tilting at windmills:

California is doing something wrong. Texas is doing something right. Quit trying to turn Texas into a carbon-copy of California. Leave us the hell alone.



Ask not for what the scarab rolls

We have dung beetles.

As the custodian of three well-fed little furchildren, I'm somewhat of a fan of dung beetles, so when I and the pups stepped into the back-yard this morning I confess to getting a warm feeling from seeing several little balls of ... stuff ... meandering across the yard.

The dogs, on the other paw -- well, let us say that reactions were ... mixed.

Mochi sneezed and wandered off with the air of, "Meh, sometimes poo moves." Chuy, of course, admonished his new little sister that the poo was not, in fact, "moving" but was being moved by a beetle of the family Scarabaeidae. Praline's reaction was true to form: "It's moving?! Poo isn't supposed to move! Kill it with fire!"

I admit to chuckling a bit as I chivvied the dogs off to do their business ... until I noticed that there were two perfect little spheres of what came out of a south-bound pup which had apparently been rolled along the concrete walkway until progress had been halted by the -- also -- concrete back step. Two shiny metallic beetles leaning against their cargo, apparently completely bumfuzzled.

Great, I think to myself, I finally get some dung beetles, but they had to ride the short bus to my house. Just my luck.

This initial impression was not hindered in the slightest by the sight of yet a third ball trundling industriously along to (already mentioned) concrete walkway until it fetched up against the (I think I mentioned this earlier) concrete steps with a fairly authoritative smack.

A mental image of a short little guy in a Haz-Mat suit, gas-mask knocked awry, looking with some puzzlement over his load was abruptly cut short as the other two beetles ceased leaning against their respective balls, scooted over to the new-comer and promptly proceeded to kick the ever-loving whey out of him.

May I say, as a connoisseur of the Art of the Toad-Stomp, that had to be one of the most thorough butt-whippings I have ever borne witness to, ending with Beetle #3 hauling carapace in the general direction of Somewhere Else.

And it finally hit me: the purplish tint of Beetle #1 and #2; the leaning against their work; the general sneer attitude I fancied I could feel directed towards me.

I don't have developmentally-challenged dung beetles.

I have unionized dung beetles. My sodding back-yard is Bugscuffle Local #Whatever of the Scarab Extortionists International Union.



Thursday, July 19, 2012

Miss Mochi

As those Gentle Readers who follow my lady's blog already know, Herself and I have adopted another furball.

Allegedly she is a chiweenie, has received the appellation of Mochi (although to me she seems to be mo' weenie than chi, but there you go), and has settled into our little pack with a minimum of fuss, bother and bleeding.

Since the bleeding was all me, I'm fairly grateful for that.

She is a puppy -- less than six months old -- and it's been long enough since I was around a puppy that it's almost like learning all over again. The gnawing upon any and everything handy was a bit of a shock, truth be told.

Mochi seems to have four settings: "Sleep"; "Snuggle"; "Investigate!"; and "I'm Gonna Kick Yer Arse!", and I honestly can't figure out if this is another puppy trait I'm just not remembering, or it's a doxie thing, or if just all Miss Mochi -- but she simply will not back down from a fight. Even if the opposition masses over three times her body-weight.

I think the desperate desire for snuggling is probably the result of having been taken from her mother and chained to a post in a trailer-park back-yard to be ignored except for dumping some food into her bowl every so often -- a rant for another time -- but I could be wrong.

She has a bit of an over-bite -- not as bad as some I've seen -- but she's doesn't know she's any different, and certainly doesn't let it slow her down; and she's a bit puzzled about this whole "house-training" thing.

All-in-all, an absolute darling little dog, and I think we're lucky to have her.


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

That one's going to leave a mark

I ran across this video whilst banging about the Internet:



Monday, July 09, 2012

Requiscat in pacem

Ermes Effron Borgnino, born in Connecticut in 1917, died yesterday in California with his wife and children by his side.

The son of Italian emigrants, Ermes spent several years of his childhood in Italy, before moving back to the United States and graduating high school in New Haven, Connecticut.

He then joined the US Navy, racking up ten years of service -- including World War 2 -- on a destroyer, achieving the rate of Gunner's Mate, 1st Class.

An active Republican, Freemason, and 30-year Grand Clown in Milwaukee's Great Circus parade, Mr Borgnino also did a bit of work in Hollywood, under the name Ernest Borgnine.

Rest in peace, sir.


Friday, July 06, 2012

FNH USA Question

During my trip to the NRA convention, I wandered over to the FNH USA booth and had a bit of a chin-wag with the nice folks over there.

Our talk got around to the Less Lethal goodies that FNH had on display, and I wound up going back to the office with a couple of their inert .68 calibre 303 projectiles to show my Chief Deputy.

Fast forward a couple of months and we've had a couple of incidents that have the Sheriff and the Chief Deputy looking to expand our Less Lethal options -- the first option that came up was the FNH 303 series.

I've had a bit of a look about the web, and the most I have come up with is that poor girl who got killed in Boston, and some miscellaneous training videos, but not a whole lot else.

Have any of my Gentle Readers had any experience with the FN 303 -- either the pistol version or the rifle?

I've got business cards from FNH for Sales and Training, but I'm interested in some kind of general overview before I give the folks at FNH a call.


Sunday, July 01, 2012


As part of my regimen for getting my right paw back up to scratch, I have acquired a "therapy ball" which appears to be a balloon full of what is referred to as "granulated pelletised silica" and then stuffed into another balloon.

Were I to guess, I'd say that "granulated pelletised silica" is probably a fancy term for "sand", but there you go.

Anyhoo, it seems to be working a treat.

Unfortunately, Miss Praline has apparently decided that it is, as a matter-of-fact, the very stress ball used by Abdul Alhazred during the penning of his last tome, and there-fore Must Be Destroyed. Utterly. It's for our own good. The Fate of The World, and all that.

I've never before had a Jack Russell Terrier, and the amount of sheer, single-minded focused determination is ... awe-inspiring. This is a level of concentration on one single task that Zen Masters work life-times to achieve -- without success.

There is nothing, not dinner, not her (formerly) favourite toy, not the new puppy, nothing capable of distracting her from her self-appointed goal of destroying the menace that is my therapy ball.

Whole bunch of folks ought to be thanking their various and sundry gods that no-one saw fit to give Miss Praline thumbs, because -- near as I can tell -- the lack of opposable thumbs is about the only thing preventing the Reign of (Mostly) Benevolent Dictatrix Praline.

Which -- come to think -- might not be all that bad compared to what we currently have.

Ah, well.


Friday, June 29, 2012


Well, I have been relieved of the cast on my right arm, thank various and sundry gods.

The amount of atrophy in my right hand, wrist and forearm is ... staggering.

I had anticipated that six weeks of not being able to move my little and ring finger was going to have unpleasant effects once the cast was off, but I really hadn't planned on it affecting as far up my arm as it obviously is.


When the tech cut the cast off, she ambled off to get the doctor, leaving me to my own devices -- probably not a good thing, come to think.

Anyhoo, I had my right hand flat on the table, left hand on the knuckles and leaning my weight in as I twisted my shoulder -- because I wanted my bloody fingers to straighten out, damn it, that's why -- when I looked up to see the doctor and a stranger in the doorway.

The doctor heaves the mighty sigh of one beset by the tribulations of a cruel and not-very-smart world, turns to the lady beside him and says, "Physical therapy?"

She offers one rather un-lady-like snort, and opines, "Why? There's nothing I can do to him that he's not already topping."

I am prescribed a brace to be worn for the next four weeks, take it off to sleep, to shower and three times a day to squeeze a ball. Final evaluation two weeks after that.


Ah, well. At least the sodding cast is off.


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Lucky fin update

I went to the orthopaedic witch-doctor yesterday for the two-week roentgenogram. Turns out that I haven't broken a metacarpal after all.

I've broken two.


Not only did I fracture the fifth metacarpal, but also the fourth.

To add insult to injury, I also dislocated both the fourth and third where they connect to the wrist.

Doc peered at the screen for a long time, then asked, "Are you sure you didn't hit a wall, or the floor, or something?"

"Positive, doc."

"Maybe missed and tagged a long bone, or the skull?"


"Wow." Long contemplation. "Use a stick next time."


Five more weeks until they cut this damned thing off. It may survive until then.


Monday, May 28, 2012

Never Forget.


Sunday, May 27, 2012

Mental note: Let's not do that again.

I have a routine I follow when I know that things are about to get ... dynamic.

I take a slow breath through my nose until my lungs are full down past my belly -- and a little more -- and hold it for a slow count of five. Then I let it out slowly through my nose until my lungs are empty. Repeat twice more.

When I was taught this, I was told that it would help me shoot more accurately, hit harder and think clearer.

While I can't prove that -- and have no real desire to find out -- I'm of the impression that when I have time for this I don't get tunnel vision; the adrenaline shakes aren't as bad, and -- most importantly -- when I breathe like this the panic monster stays shackled.

As a Pavlovian side-effect of doing this before hopping off of choppers, going through doors, climbing into rings, and other assorted adrenaline-events is that when I do the breathing ritual, my body seems to start dumping endorphins pretty much immediately.

I have discovered that this comes in handy when I'm knackered. I do the breathing and it's like a double-shot of espresso -- the world clears and I can focus on whatever needs doing.

This has gotten me through more than one 72- or 96- hour ARTEP, but I've slept for a day or two afterwards.

One of the things that disturbs me the worst about this pericarditis episode is the fact that I'm only good for about four hours, then I'm exhausted.

Well, today Herself, AEPilotJim and I went out to do some errands for the upcoming PhlegmPhest and I hit my four-hour limit. Not even really thinking about it, I took a deep breath, held it, let it out; lather, rinse, repeat X2.


I was myself! I was awake! I had energy!

For about twelve minutes. Then I augered-in, we got home, and I slept for two hours. And I'm still wiped-out.

Yeah. We won't be doing that again for a while.


Friday, May 25, 2012

Part, the Second

So. There I am, in the back of The Big White Taxi, my blood pressure is 116/68, pulse is 72, mood is grouchy.

The paramedic, bless his heart, has agreed with me that I am not -- as a matter-of-fact -- having a heart attack. He has run another 12-lead using his EKG and has shown me a strip which shows mild ST elevation on just about every lead, and is busily trying to find a vein.

As he is rooting around, he asks, "Don't like hospitals?"

"I had this exact same pain last year. I thought I was having a heart attack, so I had my lady drive me to the ER -- did you know that the ER doctor association at Big City Hospital doesn't accept County insurance? -- spent four hours in the ER, to find out that it was pleurisy, given steroids, anti-biotic, Aleve and a bill that I finally got paid off this past month."

"Ah," he grunts.

"I've got a really good vein in the back of my right hand. Everyone hits it. Pop that cast right off, and you'll be able to see it from orbit."

He gives me Ye Olde Hairy Eyeball and keeps checking my left arm.

"Since then I've had about six or seven flare-ups. Same type of pain, same location, just not nearly as bad. The first time I hied meself over to Big City Urgent Care, waited for four hours and was told I was having esophaegeal spasms, told to take Aleve, and if I had further episodes, that I might need anti-anxiety meds."

I wave my cast at the paramedic, who still seems to have not found a vein to his liking. He starts eyeing it speculatively.

"The second time, I went back to Urgent, got the same answer. And did you know that the labs that Urgent uses don't take County insurance? Yeah, me neither. I also got the distinct impression that even though I don't like pain meds and frequently refuse to take prescribed pain meds, that the folks at Urgent were suspecting me for fishing for an opiate scrip."

My bad luck, the paramedic hits the vein above the cast first try.

"So the next two times, I went over to Bugscuffle Clinic and Tyre. The doc over there diagnosed it -- both times -- as 'chest wall spasms', suggested Ativan the first time, and Xanax the second, along with a gentle noodge to make an appointment to see the travelling psych doc. So. I double-dose on OTC Aleve for three to five days, it gets better, no muss, no fuss."

And we pull up to Big City ER, the first person I see is the charge nurse.

"'Dog," sayeth that worthy, "What the hell?"

"Not a heart attack," I snip, for the umpteenth time, as the paramedic says, "Called to Bugscuffle Clinic and Tyre for AMI." We go through the Standard Report, and next thing I know I'm in an ER cubicle with Charge Nurse and a padawan. Introductions are made, and then Charge Nurse says, "Remember what I said about 'Special Needs' patients?"

Padawan nods her head enthusiastically, "They're iron-assed, bull-headed, and mule-stubborn; too [deleted]ing ornery for their own good, and too [deleted]ing stupid to go to a hospital instead of dying."

"Yes. And this is their king."


"Given the history, and the presentation, what do you think we have here?"

Padawan frowns at me, "Umm ... pericarditis?"

"Very good. Here's the ECG strip, see the ST ..." The two of them wander off, leaving me to my ownsome until Chris shows up, followed shortly by my lieutenant, AEPilotJim and my lady love.

Long story short, some time later a doctor wanders in, announces that there have "Been changes" to my EKG since the Great Pleurisy Incident of 2011; that a heart attack "Cannot be ruled out" and I'm chucked into a bed in the brand-new Cardiac Care Unit.

Several hours later everyone has gone home, I'm working my way up to "Irritated" from "Peevish" and I open my eyes to find a stranger sitting beside my bed. At midnight. In a hospital. Figuring someone had wandered into the wrong room, I cock an eyebrow at him.

"Oh. Hello," sez he, "I'm your cardiologist."

"I don't have a cardiologist." I reply, somewhat snippily, I admit.

He grins, "You do now."

We size each other up for a moment, and I announce, "I am not having a heart attack."

"Nope," he replies, with a great deal of relish, and more than a touch of confidence, "You are not."

"Great! So I can go home?"

"Charge Nurse called me. We had a long talk, and I'll make a deal with you: You let me do one quick check to verify the pericarditis, and if you feel up to it when I'm done, you can walk out of here with my blessing. Deal?"

I figure, what the heck, nod in assent and my new cardiologist puts the flat of his hand against the left side of my sternum and pushes towards my right shoulder-blade.

The world goes grey, shot through with red flashes. I really, really want to scream, but it hurts too bad to breathe. It feels for all the world that I've just been kicked in the chest by a bus, and the damned thing has parked a tyre on my shoulder blade and is spinning out.

When everything comes back into focus the doc says, "I don't think you've ever had pleurisy. I think you've been fighting pericarditis for the last year. I don't like hospitals either, but you're 45, diabetic, and your heart is pissed-off at you. Spend a night or two here, we'll get you started on colchicine, echo your ticker to see if there's any damage, and send you home. Deal?"

You know, I really couldn't argue with that.


Pericarditis, and you

The pericardium is a double-walled sack around your heart. It is slicker than greased weasel snot, and is usually lubricated with a small amount of pericardial fluid. During the normal course of your day, the two membranes and the cardiac muscle slip past each other with nary a care in the world.

Other times ...

Several nights ago -- just before the "Hey, I just broke my hand on a critter" day, matter-of-fact -- I was yanked out of a sound night's sleep by the somewhat unique sensation of getting hammered through my chest to just under my left shoulder blade by what can be best described as an ice-cream head-ache with troll genetics, a lead slapper, and a grudge.

I staggered out of bed, into the bathroom and assessed the situation: There was chest pain, but it didn't have a "heavy" sensation; it got worse if I bent forward, laid on my back, or took a deep breath; I was sweating, but not clammy; and there was a feeling of general pissed-off, rather than fatalism or anything else.

Ergo, I thought to my self, pleurisy. Again.

So, I downed two naproxen sodium and held my breath in the recliner until the pain subsided enough that I could doze back off.

Last April, AEPilotJim was visiting, and we were enjoying something dead and not very burned at a local eatery when this exact same thing happened. At that time, Herself and AEPilotJim rushed me to the ER where it was determined (after one metric butt-ton of very expensive tests) that the sensation I was not enjoying was not a heart-attack, but "probably" pleurisy.

I was given a prescription for steroid horse-pills, non-OTC naproxen sodium, and a anti-biotic; and advised to take a couple of days off.

While the pain did go away, every once in a while since then I've been getting a somewhat-less-agonizing repeat -- each of which has been diagnosed as "chest-wall spasms" or "esophaegeal spasms" or other ailments which seem to be primarily treated by a regular dose of anti-anxiety meds.

Well, bugger that for a lark. I figured the pleurisy had left a weak spot over a lung, and each time I'd take naproxen for a week, it'd get better, and voila!

Fast forward to now. AEPilotJim had arrived in town for a visit a couple of days ago. As is tradition, we went to the same eatery, and the next day at the office I was assigned to work a rather warm control room. About 90 minutes into my shift the nagging pain of my pleurisy episode had increased, but the alarming thing was the fact that it was slowly getting harder to breathe.

I gave myself the rest of the day off, and -- since my lady tends to fret about my health -- I decided I would go by Bugscuffle Clinic & Bait and have them take a picture of my lungs so I could reassure her that I wasn't having pneumonia. Again.

"Hello!" chirped the alarmingly cheerful receptionist. I marshaled my thoughts -- there were so many ways that what I was about to say could go very bad, medically-speaking -- then said, very gently and with all of the confidence I could muster: "Yes. I've a touch of pleurisy. I've had it before. I just need a chest x-ray to make sure nothing dramatic is going on."

Low key, right?

So, I'm led back to a cubicle where a Nurse Practioner is already waiting, and the first question out of his mouth isn't so bad: "Soooo ... pleurisy?"

"Yep," sayeth I, "I've had it --" The next question cuts me off mid-speech, and I know I should have gone on home. "Sooo ... your chest is hurting?"

I look at the eager young eyes, and something in the back of my mind sighs, pulls a Migraine Salute and whispers, "Don't bother. The path from here is preordained", but I try anyway.

"Yes, I have chest pain, but it is positional. It is worse when I lie down or bend over. It gets worse when I breathe in, but exertion does not make it worse. I've had this exact same pain, in the exact same place, before and it was pleurisy," I look at another nurse who is busy pumping on my arm, "Look, my blood pressure is 120/76. I'm willing to bet large amounts of money that my pulse is strong and steady at between 60 to 80. I am NOT having a heart attack."

"You are over forty, past history of diabetes, hypertension and hyperlipidaemia?"

"Yes, but X plus Y plus Z doesn't necessarily equal 'Acute Myocardial Infarc', either. I just need a chest x-ray to make sure I've not got pneumonia and that my lungs are still where they should be, give me some NSAIDs and send me home."

He adopts the soothing tone instilled in nursing school and I know I'm screwed, "I checked your file, and you don't have a baseline EKG in there. That's something we like to maintain, so why don't we go ahead and knock that out while you're here. Okay?"

I figure, what the hell, get the EKG out of the way, only a little bit of extra time, then home, right?

When the tech ran out of the EKG room so fast that her crocs were smoking, EKG strip clenched in one paw, I started to get peevish.

Of course, this was followed by the NP bounding into the room, EKG clenched in one paw like the Six Lost Commandments, and announcing, "You! Are having a heart attack!"

I heroically resisted saying the first thing that came to mind, instead stating -- rather firmly, I admit -- "No. I'm not."

"You are! Right now! Here, swallow this aspirin! Good, slip this under your tongue! Now, see this EKG? This part! You don't understand it, but trust me! This is your heart dying! Denial does not change fact!"

I glare at him, grab me cell-phone and call Chris, "Chris, Bugscuffle Clinic & Bait is saying I'm having a heart attack ..." and then that little voice in the back of my head says, "Oy. Sub-lingual? That's nitro. But my blood pressure was 120/ ... Weasels! Popcorn! Bretty putterflippthbb, ppthhbb, ppthbb*"

I wake up several minutes later, in screaming agony because I'm flat on my back, and the first thing I see are the softball-sized eyes of a good friend in his Bugscuffle PD uniform. Then I notice that the entire room is full of Bugscuffle Volunteer Firemen. And that Nurse Practioner is rubbing two cardioverter paddles together with the sort of beatific look on his face that tells me that I have just made all that schooling, testing, time and money worthwhile.

I roll to one side, then push myself to a sitting position BECAUSE THE PAIN FROM THE PLEURISY IS BLOODY WELL KILLING ME, and snarl, "I am not having a sodding heart attack, so don't even think of coming near me with that ... oh, bugger. You called the ambulance, didn't you?"

Sure enough, wading through the horde of First Responders with a reassuring air of humour and cynicism is a set of paramedics from Big City. One of them kneels next to me, "Hey, sport. How are you doing?"

I look at him, "How do you feel about listening to your patients?"

"Makes my job easier."


"Pisses me right off."

"We're going to get along just fine. I have chest pain. It is positional, and gets worse when I take a deep breath, or lay flat on my back. I've had this exact pain, in this exact location before, and it was pleurisy. I am not in denial, and I am NOT having a heart attack."

"Nope. You're not. But your EKG isn't right, either. Let's go ahead and take you into Big City Memorial, let someone with a lot of letters after their name make sure this isn't going to go south on you."

I take a breath and he leans forward, and says, sotto voce, "I broke my Edison cherry a long time ago, and I'm not jonesing for a chance to kink your curlies. Be safer in the Big White Taxi."

"Load me up."

Part 2 to follow.