Monday, December 19, 2016

Insert saxophone solo here

You know, there is something very noir-ish when your lady slips a snub-nosed revolver into the outer pocket of your leather over-coat just before you venture out into a sub-freezing night to help strangers.

Just thought I'd throw that out there.


Saturday, December 17, 2016

The Popular Vote

We here at Rancho LawDog are seeing a whole bunch of fluster in the air regarding Secretary Clinton "winning the popular vote."

Leaving aside for the nonce the uncomfortable fact that there is no such thing as a popular vote for the Office of President of the United States (yet another sin that the Mainstream Media will have to answer for) near as I can tell -- if we had been foolish enough to do so -- had there been a Popular Vote the winner would have been "None of the Above".

According to data from the United States Election Project, there are just over 231,000,000 (231 million) eligible voters in the United States at the time of this cycle's General Election.

Secretary Clinton got (so far) ~ 66,000,000 (66 million +/-) of those eligible voters.

Mr Trump got (so far) ~ 63,000,000 (63 million +/-) of those eligible voters.

Let us add 66 million to 63 million -- if my math skills are up to scratch -- about 129,000,000 (129 million) votes.

231,000,000 (total eligible voters) minus 129,000,000 (eligible voters participating) -- leaves 102,000,000 (102 million) eligible voters who sat at home, muttering into their beers on Election Day.

In other words, it sure looks like the Presidential picks were so dismal this year that 45% of the electorate couldn't get enthused enough to cast a vote.

To quote Herself:  "So, she got about half of the half that showed up?"

It actually cyphers out to Secretary Clinton getting 48% of the 55% that showed up, but close enough.

Hillary Clinton didn't win the popular vote.

"Bugger This For A Lark" and "None Of The Above" won the popular vote with a total of 102 million to Secretary Clinton's 66 million -- almost half again as many votes.



A cheeky young bugger has pointed out that it could be said that "Noah Ward" was actually the winner of the popular vote.



Wednesday, December 14, 2016


2 1/2 pounds stew meat
4 cups beef stock
28 oz little taters (one to two inches in diametre)
3 carrots
3 stalks celery
2 medium yellow onions
5 cloves garlic
2 bay leaves
6 sprigs of thyme
4 sprigs rosemary
1 cup red wine
couple of slugs of Worcestershire sauce
olive oil


Bung your beef stock into the slow-cooker, or decent-sized stock-pot, and start it going.

Generously salt and pepper the stew meat, dredge it through some flour, throw it into a frying pan with some oil, and brown it.  You'll probably need to do this in batches.  When the meat is brown, bung it off into the stock.

You're probably going to have a nasty mess inside your frying pan.  That's perfectly okay.  Take your cup of red wine and pour it into the frying pan. With a wooden spatula, scrape the goodie off of the bottom of the pan while still on a medium flame.  This is called "deglazing" and you may be surprised at how easily the gooey bits come loose.  When it's all loose, pour all that goodness into the pot with the meat.

Quarter the taters (I prefer the little red or gold ones), cut the carrots and celery into one-inch lengths, chunk the onions, and throw it all into the pot.

Run the garlic cloves through a press into the pot, toss in the bay leaves, and tie the sprigs of thyme and rosemary together with twine, and into the pot with it.

End up with a couple of generous glugs of Worcestershire sauce (about a teaspoon worth).  Simmer or slow-cook on high, until the meat is nicely tender, pull out the bay leaves and the spice bundle; and serve with crusty bread.

Voila!  Stew.


Sunday, December 11, 2016

Mood music for today

Trans-Siberian Orchestra is a bit of a tradition here.


Friday, December 09, 2016

Because esoteric makes me warm and fuzzy

Couple of Gentle Readers are enquiring about the title of my last post.

It is a somewhat sanitised version of a punchline to an Internet meme I saw sometime back, which (if I remember correctly) goes something like this:

GOD:  "Behold!  I have created Mankind!"
Angel:  "You [deleted]-up a perfectly good monkey is what you did.  Look at him -- he's got anxiety!"

The meme goes on for a bit, and ends with the angel begging God to turn Man back in to a monkey.

Anyhoo, the punchline kind of stuck in my head -- apparently it's weird in there -- and I have found that it is a wonderful comment for the occasions when "WTF?!  Really?!  W.T.F?!" just won't do.

As a for instance, let us say you are observing a scene in which several laws of physics have been violated in a way only possible by a combination of an overabundance of hormones divided by an under-appreciation of mortality.  Fire that is guaranteed to not be possible is possibly occurring, and something -- probably important -- is in a physical location that there is no sodding way for that something to be in.  The young -- they're always young these days -- person responsible is standing in front of you, twiddling their fingers in such a way as to suggest that the report that is about to cross your desk is going to be one of the more impressive works of speculative fiction/ nitwittery you will read since ... well, the last one .. lacking only in the mention of the beer that someone was holding during the entire episode.

I find that glaring at the responsible party over your glasses, then performing a Migraine Salute while gritting out, "Yeee-up.  Cocked-up a perfectly good monkey" manages to be completely apropos, yet just profane enough to properly convey my feelings on such occasions.


Thursday, December 08, 2016

Yup. Buggered up a perfectly good monkey.

I was swinging through the office this morning, in search of a cup of coffee that wouldn't put up too much of a fight, when one of the front office ladies -- the perennially perky one, and I do realize that's not much of a distinction -- caused me to pause in my search.

"'Dog," sayeth she, perkily, "I don't see your name on the Angel Tree."

The office has this tradition where you draw names and ID info of disadvantaged children from around the community, and then you buy gifts for that sprog.  Rather charming, really, but after the Event of 2009, I discovered that you can also send the charity HQ money, and those worthies will take care of buying presents for the kid.

I am blearily eyeing Her Perkiness, trying to organise the words necessary to tell her so, when another office lady button-hooks the partition, frantically waving her hand in front of her throat, "No!  'Dog isn't allowed to help with the Angel Tree!"

We both look at Office Lady #2 -- one of us more squintily than the other -- and #1 queries, "Well, why on Earth not?"

That worthy responds:  "In 2009, 'Dog pulled the name of a twelve-year-old girl from the hat."

"Ok," says #1.

Here come the tones of moral outrage, "He spent fifty dollars on her!"

Office Lady Numero Uno says, somewhat placatingly, "Well, that is a little excessive, but I don't ..."

"$50 worth of pepper spray, a flashlight and A HUNTING KNIFE!"

I protest.  It wasn't a hunting knife.  It was one of those little fixed-blade jobbers you used to be able to get from Cold Steel, had about a two-inch serrated blade.

Perky Office Lady #1 guppies at me for a second, then (in mildly outraged tones) demands, "Why, in God's name, would you give a knife to a little girl?!

My buddy Tam has a great many quotable things to say about carrying a knife that I have memorised for occasions such as this.  One of my favourites is:

"Hell, carrying a sharpened rock around in case of future need is basically how we tell where the apes stop and the people start in our fossil family album."

We love Tam, and if you're not reading her blog, you're missing out.

Anyhoo, I had that little quip all memorised, and when I opened my yap ...

"Because nothing drives home: 'Keep your meathooks off of second base until I decide differently' quite like a strategic shanking."

... came out.

I blame the lack of caffeine in my circulatory system.

As both Office Ladies disappeared in the vague direction of the powder room, I continued my quest for the Holy Java Bean of Life, stepped around the cubicle wall, and ran into the Chief Deputy, sipping coffee and eyeing me amusedly.

"Morning, boss," I say, trying to figure out if he left anything in the pot.

"'Dog," he responds, "The inside of your head is a weird place.  Don't ever change."


And that is Reason #243 that LawDog shouldn't be allowed anywhere near people.


Tuesday, December 06, 2016

This is why Civics class is so important

Well, that's what I get for posting in an un-caffeinated state.

My bad.


Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Oh. Wow.

Dear Gentle Readers,

Larry Correia is a very large, very kind goober -- during this years LibertyCon, he had me take a bow in an auditorium full of people.

At the same LibertyCon, Peter Grant and his wife did the same thing to me in a discussion panel they were putting on.

My lady has been noodging me fairly firmly, as has OldNFO.

Those of you whom I have spoken to in the paint have likewise been prodding buttock.


As of ten minutes ago I have signed a contract with a publishing house for two books:  one of law enforcement stories, and a second of Africa stories.

If you'll pardon me, I'm going to go breathe into a paper bag, and then I have to write.

Thank you, all.  I think.


Thursday, July 07, 2016

LibertyCon 2016, Day -1

Well, after a couple of days driving (courtesy of OldNFO), I am at LibertyCon.

First impressions:  Larry Correia is bigger than I had figured, and his wife is a complete sweetheart.

I am more comfortable at LibertyCon than I had feared.

The drive in was striking; there were all of these tall, green things that I am reliably informed are called "trees".  Odd, but pretty.  Also:  not only does water come out of the ground --,by itself -- it comes in colours other than red, and can often be seen through.  I'm ... not sure how I feel about this.

Joking aside, the rural areas of Arkansas and Tennessee that we drove through were breath-takingly beautiful.

If you're in Chattanooga, you should probably go by the City Café Diner, but you'd better pack an appetite -- the beef souvlaki platter I had was about thrice what I could get around.

Since I volunteered to help at the range trip tomorrow, I'm headed for bed early.  More updates tomorrow evening.


Friday, June 03, 2016

Dear Trump protestors,

Dear Anti-Trump protesters,

As a student of history, and as an observer of the American political process as a whole, I have been watching the increasing violence of your protests with some cynical bemusement.

First off, we're electing a President, and not a God-King.  No matter which of the -- quite frankly -- dismal prospects available in this election wins the Oval Office, at least some part of Congress is going to dig in their heels and do their level best to stymie anything that President does.

Near as I can tell, you idiots seem to confuse "President" with "King".  Maybe there's some psychological projection going on there, an unconscious desire for a benevolent King surfacing in your little hearts, or something, but without a majority of Congress backing him (and trust me, most of Congress hates Donald Trump almost as much as you do), the best a President can do is twiddle his thumbs for four years.

Yes, I know about Executive Orders.  I also know that Congress has multiple ways to pimp-slap an Executive Order across the Capitol (How many years has it been since the BATFE had an actual director?  Five?) from passing legislation that contravenes the Executive Order; going through holding back funding of the Executive Order, all the way to not confirming key people required (Hello, BATFE! How's that "Acting Director" thing working out for you?).

Second off, the country that survived the likes of Warren G. Harding, Andrew Johnson, and James Buchanan is going to survive this election cycle.  Get your Hanes out of the half-hitch, and breathe.

However, I would be remiss if I did not point out that the major effect of your little tantrum throwing is to irritate a large majority of neutral-leaning folks.  Americans are fairly predictable when it comes to getting annoyed -- they tend to do whatever it takes to annoy the people that are pissing them off.

Every time you hold up traffic -- some neutral voter who's being discommoded is going to decide to vote for Donald Trump just because it will upset you.

Every time you show up on the TeeVee screen pelting a little blonde gal with eggs -- someone watching is going to decide to vote for Donald Trump, just to whiz in your Post Toasties.

Every time you show your violent little arses on national TeeVee, voters who would have voted against Donald Trump are going to vote for him ... just to stick a metaphorical finger in your eye.

In other words:

Not that I really give two hoots in hell either way, but someone should be giving you the warning that your parents and your teachers obviously skipped out in giving.

Nothing but love,


Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Books by friends

In a couple of weeks just chock-full of the suck, there is some good news.

Peter Grant, also known as Bayou Renaissance Man, who moved to Bugscuffle a short while ago with his lovely wife, has written a Western novel.

If you like the old pulp Westerns along the lines of Louis L'Amour or Zane Grey, you might give it a look.

He, and his publisher, are hoping to give the non-porn Western novel a shot in the arm.  Definitely worth the old college try, I say.

In similar news J. L. Curtis, who blogs as OldNFO (and whom also recently moved to Bugscuffle) has a military sci-fi short story up, which appears to have hit #1 in a couple of categories.  If you liked Armor by John Steakley, you'll probably like Rimworld: Stranded -- although understand that Curtis' protagonist is a boozy lifer tech-type, instead of the Combat Arms hero of Steakley's book.

In book news of my own, the work on The LawDog Files: The Dead Tree Edition is on temporary hold as I get another story out of my system.

I'll probably post a teaser section here in a bit, see what folks think.

Now, I'm off to do some writing.  Y'all try to hold off on the dying until I've had a bit of a breather, ok?


Sunday, April 10, 2016

Small town Law Enforcement

"Really," I say, trying to fit as much disbelief and sarcasm as is possible into those two syllables.

"Yes, sir."

I stare at the 16-year-old boy for a good while, before allowing my eyebrow to lift.

"You're visiting your girlfriend whose last name you can't quite recall at this time, whose first name is either 'Stacey' or 'Shelly' depending on when you're asked; and you're not sure what her address is, but it's -- and let me quote this:  'On a street'."

Long pause.

"Umm ... yeah?"

"Ah.  And as far as romantic gifts go, your lady is perfectly happy with a gym-bag packed with," I pull each object out one at a time, "A ski mask, a pair of leather work gloves, and -- goodness -- a crowbar."

The kid is looking at everything except me.

"We all need to be honest here, so let me be the first:  You, sir, are a thief.  Ah!  Let me finish.  The fact that you do not have a criminal history attached to your name merely tells me that you are a here-unto-for lucky thief.  You're not here to visit your girlfriend, because any girl young enough to be dating you will be at tonight's Homecoming football game.  Where -- coincidentally enough -- much of the rest of the town is located.  Which leads us to yourself, wandering the empty streets all by your ownsome with naught but a bag of burglars tools to keep you company."

I can hear him swallow, so I take a step forward, crowding his personal space.

"So, there's two ways this is going to settle out.  The first is that I take you, and your stuff, back to the office, I call the football stadium and when a member of West Podunk High School faculty shows up, I tell them what I think is going on, give them you and your bag of goodies, and wave bye-bye."

I don't think he likes that idea.

"The second way is that I hand you this receipt for your bag of burglars tools, you take your self back to the stadium and I don't see hide nor hair of you outside of that stadium for the rest of the evening.  Tomorrow, you bring that receipt and a parent to the office, and I give you back your crowbar, your gloves and your ski-mask."

I'm guessing from the nodding that the second choice is a bit more palatable.

"Five blocks that way.  You can't miss the lights.  Scram."


Hopefully, he's taken enough of a scare to persuade him that the critter life isn't for him.  Yeah, and as long as I'm hoping, can I get a long-legged lingerie model with a bag of grapes?  I file the fink card -- excuse me "Field Interview Card" in the Bloody Idiots file in my briefcase and clear the call.

It's one of those lovely fall Panhandle evenings, so about ten minutes later I park the Super Scooter at the end of Second Street, get out, and start checking doors on what passes as the Main Business District of Bugscuffle, Texas.

Three doors later, I smile slightly as a roar echoes lightly around the front porch.  A moment later, the sounds of musical instruments played maybe with a little more enthusiasm than skill follow.  Sounds like the Bugscuffle Fighting Rednecks are doing well this evening.

I push gently on the door I'm facing -- and it swings open.



"Car 12, County."

"Go ahead, 12."

"I've an open door at 1201 Second Street.  Public service the Williams and see if they can put an eyeball on Dot."

There's more than a touch of amusement in Dispatches voice as she replies, "10-4, 12.  You want me to roll you some back-up?"


"Negative, County," I say, as I step into the front hall of the Conroe and Conroe Funeral Home, "I'll be on the portable."

A dollar will get you a doughnut that I'm going to find the same thing I've found the last umpteen Open Door calls we've gotten here, but I'm well aware that Murphy hates my guts -- personally.  So my P7 is hidden behind my leg, finger indexed along the frame as I shine my Surefire through the business office, the guest rooms, multiple viewing rooms, the Icky Room (brrr), casket storage, finally to be slipped back into the holster as I find the small, slim figure sitting all alone in the chapel.

Dot Williams is dressed in her standard uniform of hot pink sneakers, blue jeans and Hello Kitty sweatshirt, one foot swinging idly as she gravely regards the awful plastic gold-painted, flower-adorned abstract sculpture stuck to the wall behind the altar.   In honour of the evenings football game, a red-and-black football is painted on one cheek, and red and silver ribbons have been threaded into her ever-present pony-tail.

Eleven-something years ago, a college kid with a one-ton Western Hauler pick-up truck and a Blood Alcohol Concentration of 0.22 packed the Chevy S-10 driven by the hugely-pregnant Mrs. Williams into a little bitty mangled ball and bounced it across Main Street.  The Bugscuffle Volunteer Fire Department earned their Christmas hams that evening in as deft a display of the Fine Art of Power Extrication as any department – paid or no – could hope for.  Couple of hours after the Jaws of Life were cleaned and stored, Dorothy Elise Williams was born.

I scrape my boot heels on the carpet as I walk around the end of the pew, careful not to startle the little girl – although, truth be known, I have no idea if Dot has ever been startled in her life.  Or if it's even possible to startle her – then I sit gently on the bench just within arms reach and ponder the sculpture.

Yeah.  It's bloody awful.

I reach into my vest and pull out a pack of chewing gum, unwrap a stick and chew for a bit, before taking a second stick out of the pack and – careful not to look at Dot – casually lay it on the bench midway between us.  A couple of breaths later, equally casually, and without taking her eyes off the plastic abomination on the wall, Dot reaches out and takes the sweet, unwrapping it with ferocious concentration and putting it into her mouth one quarter piece at a time before meticulously folding the foil wrapper into little squares and laying it on the bench mid-way between us; where, after a couple of breaths, I gently pick it up and stick it in an inner pocket of my denim vest.

Dot is ... odd.

Probably not very long after I sit down, but considerably longer than I would like (I'm sitting in a funeral home, after dark -- I've seen this movie) Dot slides a battered something or other that was probably once a stuffed giraffe ... I think ... along the pew towards me, maintaining a firm grip on one of it's appendages with her left hand.

Careful not to touch the little girl, I grab ahold of a fuzzy limb, and then carefully stand up.  A beat later, Dot stands up, and we start walking towards the exit.

Dot doesn't like to be touched, matter-of-fact the only sound I've ever heard the wee sprite make is an ear-splitting shriek whenever someone who isn't her family touches her.  Learning that lesson left my ears ringing for days; however, as various and sundry gods are my witnesses, I swear that if this little girl turns and waves at the altar, I'm carrying her out the door at a dead sprint -- probably emptying my magazine over my shoulder as we go -- banshee wails and damage complaints aside.  Like I said:  I've seen this movie.

Fortunately anything Dot might have been communing with seems to lack an appreciation for social graces -- or simply wishes to spare my over-active imagination -- and there is no waving.

When we step out onto the front porch, an elderly man who has been leaning against the guard-rail, clears his throat.  Not really necessary, but polite all the same.

"Bert," I say to the owner of Conroe and Conroe Funeral Home, "Thought you'd be at the game instead of listening to the scanner."

He grins, "I was.  Sitting next to the Sheriff on the fifty-yard line when I heard the call over his radio."


"I doubt that anything is missing or damaged ..."  He raises a hand, cutting me off.

"Of course not.  Dot would never be that crass."  He gives a formal, Southern nod off to my left, and I realize that I'm the only one holding on to the stuffed wossname.  Bloody hell.

"Miss Dot.  How are you this evening?"

Dot, who is intently examining a mimosa branch at the end of the porch, ignores him.  He smiles, then moves to shut and lock the door.

"Dorothy Elise Williams!"  On the street, a Suburban has pulled to a stop, catty-wampus, before disgorging Mr and Mrs Williams, the latter of whom is heading for her youngest at full speed.  "What have I told you about wandering off, young lady!"

"'Dog, Bert, I'm so sorry,"  Cody Williams has taken off his Stetson, and is wringing the brim.  I'm a little shocked.  "We were talking to the new pastor, and just took our eyes off of her for a second ..."

I wave the stuffed whatsit at him, "Cody.  Put your hat back on.  You look weird without it.  No blood, no foul."

Albert Conroe smiles at him genially, "We've had this talk before, Cody.  It's quiet, she likes it, and she's a very courteous guest.  I don't have an issue."

At the end of the porch, Mrs Williams has taken her daughter's chin and gently turned her for eye-contact.  There's finger-shaking going on, and then Dot reaches out and very gently pats her mother on the cheek, before turning her attention back to the branch.  I hand Cody the stuffed thingie, "Take your family back to the game."

Bert and I stand on the porch as the Williams climb into the Suburban and take off.

Bert chuckles gently, "Small towns."



Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Umm, what?

The local company that supplied aero service into, and out of, Warri International Aeroport had a pilot named Bob.

Bob wasn't Russian.  Matter-of-fact, Bob would go on at length -- in a nigh-unintelligible Russian accent, usually while potted on vodka, and waving his arms with their Cyrillic tattoos -- as to his not-Russian-ness.

This being West Africa at the time, the old hands simply agreed with him, and ignored his singing of Soviet marching songs at the top of his lungs at three in the AM.

Bob was also an excellent pilot, and his baby was a C-119 Flying Boxcar that was the major hauling aeroplane for our little patch of the jungle.

The company that Bob worked for had an extremely logical training process.  If you were brand-new to Africa, you would fly with an old Africa hand until said worthy decided you were less-inclined to prang an expensive aeroplane (and kill yourself in the process, but that wasn't as important), and you got a plane.

Well, Bob got this new kid with a brand-new pilot's licence and a hankering to see Africa -- and it was not a happy match.

Seems like Africa wasn't exactly matching up to the kid's expectations; high on the list being the fact that Bob was frequently one-and-a-half sheets to the wind when flying.

One day the kid stomps onto the 'plane past the locals, the livestock, something angry in a sack (Fact:  if you get on a bush cargo plane with bunch of locals, there is always something angry in a burlap sack.) up to the flight deck, where he learns that Bob isn't aboard.

Short search finds Bob -- completely and totally fit-shaced -- asleep in the pilot/radio shack/tower.

This is the Last Straw as far as Junior is concerned.  There are regulations, damn it!

Junior goes and grabs another newbie -- this one apparently still with egg yolk behind his ears -- and our intrepid birdmen mount their steed for the trip into Lagos.

The locals, who aren't exactly gormless, immediately grab Co-Pilot Egg-Tooth, gently loft him out the back door, carry Bob from the pilot shack, plant him in the left seat and begin to ply him with coffee, all much to the sputtered indignation of Junior.

Bob surfaces enough to figure out 'up' from 'down' (fairly important for a pilot, I'm told), and they take off.

Not very long in the air, and the locals decide to celebrate their victory by building a fire on the back deck and spit-roasting Angry Sack for brekkie.  Angry Sack apparently held opinions most firm about this, and as soon as the sack came open, did a runner.

This, of course, led to the locals snatching up machetes and tear-arsing off after their breakfast.

Angry Sack made three laps through the flight-deck (the locals only made two) before Junior Lost His Tiny Little Mind, screamed, leapt to his feet, vaulted into the back and uttered thundering denunciations of Africa in general, and the passengers in particular.  Fingers were waved!  Regulations were cited!  Heritage, manners, sexual proclivities, and level of civilization were denounced in fine rolling language to the deep appreciation of the locals, who were passing a gurgling jug around the back deck in silent admiration of a fine oration.

Unfortunately, Junior didn't realize that his vault into the back of the aerocraft had landed him standing four-square in the campfire built for the roasting of Angry Sack.

When the C-119 landed in Lagos, Junior was carried off in a litter to a standing ovation -- which he apparently didn't appreciate in the least -- but before being loaded into the ambulance managed to snarl a series of promises to Bob, not the least of which was that Junior believed that not even the Nigerian government would let Bob fly anywhere without a co-pilot, and that would give Junior enough time to have Bob's licence to fly yanked.

Bob belched meditatively, and while the plane was being refueled, he wandered over to the edge of the tarmac, paid ten Naira for a chimpanzee and another Naira for the gimme hat the chimp's previous owner was wearing.

He then boarded the plane, buckled the ape into the co-pilot's seat, crammed the gimme hat onto the chimpanzee's head, clamped the radio headset over the hat, and took off for Warri International.

Fast-forward to the landing, my father and his best friend are in the radio shack, just kind of chilling.  Dad is sipping his first cup of coffee and Tom is swearing creatively at his whiz wheel.  In comes Bob's plane and my father comments, thoughtfully, "I wonder where the chimp got that hat?"

Tom immediately bounds to his feet in shock.  "Honestly, Jim!  You Yanks!  I can't believe you just ... Bedamned.  That's a monkey."

Dad takes another sip, "Bet he's sober."

"Huh.  Good point."


Africa Wins Again.


Friday, March 04, 2016

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Listen up, snowflakes

I'm seeing a lot of yik-yak banging around the media and the Internet regarding student loan debt.  Said yik-yak usually involving some Special Snowflake who has racked-up five or six figures worth of student loans getting a (less-than-useful) degree.

Seems these folks want the loans they got for their poorly-chosen degree plan forgiven -- which is Socialist-speak for "Everybody else needs to pay for my degree in Gender Studies/ Sub-Saharan Basket Weaving/ Puppetry Arts/ WhatTheHellEver".

It has apparently become such a brass ring for the Media that a significant part of Bernie Sanders' campaign is about Student Debt; and a great deal of the allure of the Nordic Model to the Usual Useful Idiots is the "free college education".

Setting aside the fact that abso-damn-lutely NOTHING is free, we here at The LawDog Files do actually have some sympathy for those poor students who have racked up stupid amounts of debt in pursuit of a useless degree, but -- unlike the politicians or the media -- we have discovered that there is an existing way to not only take care of that crippling debt, but to be actually socially useful.


Under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, if you serve honourably in the military for ten years, or as Law Enforcement for ten years, or as a fire fighter (ten years), or serve ten honourable years in any of a number of public service jobs ...

... You can have your entire debt forgiven.  Minus 120 reduced loan payments during that period.

As a "for instance", take this person:

I am sure that the above person will be ecstatic to learn that the Los Angeles Police Department is hiring!  Ten good years street time and that debt goes away.

I am pleased to inform all three of the above that the United States Army is still recruiting.  Honourable Discharge after ten years -- or more -- and all that debt is written off.

Good news, young ... Thing ... The New York City Fire Department is hiring.  Ten years of running into burning buildings, saving kittens, and other karma-improving activities, and your $80,000 parchment receipt will be forgiven.

The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program.

Granted, you have to be useful for ten years, but it is there.


Monday, February 29, 2016

Monday morning giggle-snort

This popped-up in my Facebook feed last night, and almost made me blow water out of my nose.

The folks making the video are Polenar Tactical, apparently a group of lads out of Slovenia, and they  appear to not only have a wicked sense of humour, but also fairly level heads.

The video has some Bad Words Graphics in it, so you might not want to play it where the sprogs can see the screen.


Sunday, February 28, 2016


I consider voting to be my ticket to complain about the government and the state of the nation in general.

Understand that I don't hold anyone else to this standard, but I -- personally -- feel guilty whinging about how the country is going to Hel in a handbasket, without having voted.

This year, though ... bloody damnation.

Texas has early voting, so I hie'd meself down to the courthouse and spent a great deal of time staring at my choices in the Republican primary.

As near as I can tell, the 2016 election is going to be based mostly upon which candidate wears the bigger clown-shoes.

On the Republican side, looks like Donald "Weathervane" Trump is the man to beat.

On the Democrat side, it's a dead heat between Hillary "Why Haven't I Been Indicted Yet" Clinton and Bernie "Economics is a Latin Word Meaning 'Free Stuff'" Sanders.

Kee Riced All My Tea.

The next four years are really going to be interesting -- for Chinese values of the word "interesting".



Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Nice going, Tofu Breath

It is with absolutely no surprise that at breakfast this morning, Peter informed us of the "Cecil Effect", which is simply a Social Media-friendly iteration of the "Law of Unintended Consequences".

For those Gentle Readers who may have been living under a rock, last July an American hunter thumped a lion in Zimbabwe -- legally.  The international media must have been short of neurologically-room-temperature reality stars that day, and turned this fairly routine killing into an ecological frenzy.

It is safe to say that out of 10,000 Zimbabweans, 9,999 of them had not one clue regarding the life of this lion -- and frankly, did not care.  This did not stop the media from deciding that this lion was obviously beloved by all, and the Twitter Twinkies lost their ever-loving minds.

Rallies were held!  Speeches were made!  T-shirts were sold! Petitions signed!  Appropriate hate directed!  Knee-jerk laws passed!


Fast-forward seven months -- about two months longer than I had thought, truth be told -- and this morning we learn that one concrete consequence of all of the knee-jerk bushwa restrictions is that about 200 lions are probably going to have to be culled, because the furry great bastards are eating the game preserve out of house and home.

As a child of Africa I'd like to point out a gritty reality that the Mainstream Medi and the Twitter Twinkies are going to be deep in denial over:

It costs about $USD50,000 to buy a tag for a lion in Zimbabwe -- that (stable) money goes to Zimbabwe.

Every hunter who buys a tag for a lion must stay somewhere in Zimbabwe -- and lodging costs money, which stays in Zimbabwe.

Every hunter who buys a tag for a lion must eat during his stay -- and food costs money (which stays in Zimbabwe).

Knick-knacks, souveniers, tchotchkes, trinkets, gifts for friends and family back home, and other mementos of a trip to Africa would be purchased.  Money which doesn't go back State-side.

We won't even discuss tips and bribes, other than to say ... it's Africa.  Tips and bribes will be significant.


As a mental exercise, let us take fifty thousand US dollars (plus all the other money, noted above), multiply that number by two hundred lions, and see how much money the bunny-huggers and the spine-less, knee-jerk politicians and bureaucrats have kept out of the mouths of starving Zimbabweans and the game reserve.

That's right, Tofu Breath:  those game parks you're dotting your cupcakes over?  A large percentage of their budget and operating capital comes right out of the wallets of hunters.

In one fell swoop -- over one idiot furry predator -- you've not only managed to take the food right out of the mouths of the families that have come to rely upon it, but you've also managed to make a significant dent in the operating capital of the park itself.

On top of being forced to kill 200 lions -- for free.

Well done, old chaps.  Jolly well done.


This is what happens when people whose entire knowledge of the subject comes from a grotty Disney version of Hamlet (with dancing hippos, and singing giraffes!); these Disney-sotted simpletons decide that this gives them insight into a complex situation in a complex country on the other side of the world, and throw a monumental hissy-fit until Someone Has Done Something, and be damned to the consequences.

While this sort of idiocy does win up hurting someone -- the eco-bullying, patchouli-reeking Twitter Twinkies, sitting smugly in their parent's basement never really get to feel the consequences of their brief shining moment of Social!  Justice!  For!  Cecil!  Yeah!


Sod 'em all.


Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Well, drat

So far, 2016 has not been kind to Your Humble Scribe.  January was the Retinal Vein Occlusion; February debuted My First Kidney Stone.

Yay.  Let us not ever do that again.

We have, however, learned that I am still a lightweight when it comes to narcotics.  0.5 mg of dihydromorphinone via IV puts me right to sleep.

Hopefully we're getting all the medical stuff out of the way early in the year.

In other news, Judge Antonin Scalia has Passed On.  Since Judge Scalia was 79, had a bad heart, and had spent the previous day hunting quail in West Texas ... this is not a surprise.

The surprise, though, was the political donnybrook that immediately broke out.  Whoo. Looked a lot like jackals fighting over the corpse of a lion.

And while both sides did absolutely nothing to bring honour upon themselves, I have to say that the level of hypocrisy shown by the Democrats has been awe-inspiring.

And by "awe-inspiring" I mean they managed to gob-smack me on two different levels.

First:  Listen, guys.  You can't bawl like a kicked pup when the other team does unto you what you've already done unto them.  Sauce for the goose really is sauce for the gander.  Suck it up.

Second:  I've never seen the Democrat philosophy regarding the Constitution so clearly displayed.  When it comes to gun control, or immigration, or a Supreme Court nomination by a Republican president, the Constitution is "out-dated", and should be considered a "living document" that provides "guidelines" for government.

Yet, when it comes to this, the Constitution is a "sacred document" which should be "followed to the last jot and tittle".


It's one or the other, children.  Make up your tiny little minds.

I'm off to the retina doctor. See y'all around.


Saturday, February 13, 2016

Out-of-context theatre

PhlegmFest is in full-swing.

As per the usual, we have met at the Bugscuffle Café for breakfast.  The things one hears during lulls in the conversation are ... odd:

Ambulance Driver (of course):  "And then we rolled him over and pulled the sheet out of his [deleted]."

Random female voice:  "Yes, but prostitution has been preserving marriage for, like, forever."

"I'm sorry, but I seem to have put my finger all over your wriggly bacon."

And in the background you have Phlegmmy, Jenn, and Christina doing opera renditions of "It's Hard To Be A Pimp", "They See Me "Rollin'", and other -- non-opera -- songs.

Sometimes I wonder why we usually get a dining room to ourselves, and then I realize that it's out of sheer self-preservation on the part of the café management.



Friday, February 12, 2016

I really must learn to keep my mouth shut

When I was growing up, "bint" was a British slang word for a girl.

It is a loan-word from Arabic, where it is a patronym for "daughter" in the same way that "bin" is for "son".  "Azadeh bint Suleiman" would be "Azadeh, daughter of Suleiman".

In the 1975 movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail there is a scene where King Arthur is explaining to a group of peasants that he is King of Britain because the Lady of the Lake gave him Excalibur.

Which leads to an unruly peasant making the classic statement:  "Oh, but if I went 'round saying I was Emperor just because some moistened bint lobbed a scimitar at me, they'd put me away!"


Fast-forward to last week.  I am looking for a certain box of widgets that aren't where they're supposed to be, and during the search I am asked by an officer as to which candidate I intend to cast my vote for in the up-coming Presidential election.

I answer something along the lines of:  "Personally, I'm all for finding out who the moistened bint lobbed the scimitar at and give him the keys to the Oval Office."




I have found my campaign this year.


Monday, February 08, 2016


One of the latest trends in socio-political engineering that I am noticing is the "Returning American Ex-pat" article.

I have noticed several of these little jewels pop-up in various social media, to the point where I could probably put together a bingo card of their high-points.

These articles usually -- allegedly -- written by Young Americans, who have just returned from living in Europe.  Northern Europe, to be precise.

The last one I skimmed, the writer had come back to the United States from Norway, before that was Denmark, and Sweden.  I think the most southerly European nation these sub-set of articles referenced was Switzerland.

Anyhoo, these articles usually start off with the writer describing moving to whichever Nordic country they chose and the culture shock they experienced when they arrived.

This culture shock, they will explain, is from the shorter work-week of this country, followed by mention of the mandatory vacation days.  Soon thereafter comes the extolling of the country's universal health care, free education, and various and sundry "social safety nets".

They then mention their looking into this miracle, gloss quickly over the "government runs EVERYTHING" point, and describe how the richest entities happily pay "their fair share".

The latest articles wax eloquent about how the heroic government keeps the banks and corporations from profiting off of anyone, and how there are no poor people there.

Matter-of-fact, the last one I read -- she had just come back from Norway -- hit heavily on the "responsible capitalism".  That being "capitalism" under the complete and total control of the government and the national unions.

The articles then end up with the author describing their return to the United States of America, and how -- compared to the Nordic Model paradise they had just left -- the United States is a third world nation.


Two points immediately come to mind when I see one of these thinly-veiled propaganda pieces.

Point One:  Why is the author still State-side?  If Norway, or Sweden, or Denmark, or Iceland, or wherethehellever is so much better than here -- emigrate.  Pull up stakes and get gone permanently.  Vamoose.  Shoo.  Scram.  "Delta is ready when you are."

Why. Did. You. Come. Back? Seriously?

If the U.S. is so bad that you have to drip existential angst all over the Internet at the thought of the place you just left, you owe it to your mental health, your karma (and probably your credit score) to surrender your US citizenship and go back.

Second:I was raised in third world countries.  I grew up in Africa; hit puberty in the Middle East.  I have scars, nightmares, and a medical file more than a metre thick (No, I'm not exaggerating.  Hell, the "parasite infestation" part of my medical file is four fingers deep) that attests to the fact that I have a thorough, intimate knowledge of the third world.

And, pookie, if you think that the United States of America is "like a third world nation" then you either need to actually -- you know -- go to a genuine third world country; or you need your headspace and timing re-adjusted.

I'm not sure what irritates me the most about these articles:  That they're such an obvious and clumsy bit of socio-political engineering propaganda; or that no matter how clumsy they are, people or going to take them at face value -- right down to the "America is a third world nation" part.



Sunday, February 07, 2016

Saturday, February 06, 2016

Well, that was festive

Back in the late 90s, I was on my first night patrol after having just gotten back from a gun class out of State.  Along about 0500 Dispatch called, "Dispatch, Car 12."

The 0500 calls are always interesting, so I admit to some anticipation, "Go ahead."

"1100 Possum Drive, 911 call, report of a possible prowler."

I sighed.  1100 Possum Drive was a nice, middle-aged lady divorcee who called in a prowler about three times a week.  Said prowler always being brush rubbing the siding on her house, or a cat, or the wind.

"10-4, en route."

I pulled up in front of the residence, and I can see the Reporting Party in the bay window, still clutching her cordless phone, and pointing frantically to the back of the house.

I admit to a well-concealed sigh, waved at her, and then began making my way around the outside of the house, no doubt to spend several minutes peering into the dark.

Imagine my surprise when I turned the back corner into the backyard and came nose to snout with a bloody huge feral hog.  I remember well -- in the middle of that startle-response adrenaline dump -- seeing the bristles fly up on his chest.  Kind of like he had just gotten centre-punched with a Winchester 127-grain +P+ 9mm.  Like the kind I carried in my P7.

And I realize that I was standing in a text-book perfect speed-rock position.

I had just enough time to mentally pat myself on the back, and then the hog (metaphorically-speaking) looked down at the hole in his chest, said (again, metaphorically-speaking), "Oh, you [deleted]", and then headed my way with the obvious intention of adjusting my buttock-to-shoulder-blade ratio.

Not being entirely gormless, my body (not currently admiring the shot that started this whole episode) spun, took two steps, and flung me at the lower limbs of the nearest mesquite tree ... about those two steps ahead of the enraged pig.

So.  There I am, hanging like a panicked sloth from the lower limbs by one ankle, one hand, and one wrist, while a Paleolithic-class hog stands below, loudly opining as to my ancestry and sexual proclivities, and daring me to come down.

Yeah, that's not happening.  Unfortunately, my current suspended position means I can't get another shot off at the hog without winding up down on terra firma with said ambulatory chop -- with him at a decided advantage.

Worse, during the mad sprint for the tree, I seem to have dropped my walkie-talkie.

I resign myself to not going anywhere for a while.  A sentiment obviously shared by Senor Puerco.

A lot longer later than I felt was absolutely necessary, I hear the sound of a DPS cruiser pull up outside.  At last, think I, back-up.  And not before time.

Indeed, back-up soon showed itself cautiously around the corner in the form of the DPS trooper assigned to our wee town.  He scans the back-yard with his torch -- passing over me the first time, I might add -- before the beam settled on the hog.  It then panned up.

There were snorting noises that I suspect may have been an attempt to conceal mirth.  Not a very good attempt, but at least he tried.

"Shot the hog, didn't you?"

I snarled something that may have been less than courteous, but I plead long-term discomfort.

"I told you that dinky little 9mm wasn't any good, didn't I?"

I was attempting some form of come-back, when I hear the bark of a Texas DPS-issued Sig P220, and the .45 ACP round smacks the hog right behind the foreleg.

I know this, because I had a unique perspective on the second bristle spray of the morning.  Which led the hog to announce -- at the top of his porcine lungs -- "You want a piece of me, too?"

And I watch the DPS trooper scramble to the top of an ancient outhouse with the alacrity and grace of a scalded-arsed ape.

"Nice shot, Tex" I snark from the comfort of my mesquite tree.

"Damn," replied that worthy, "That's a big hog."

I cast a sneer in his general direction, "Why don't you thump it a couple of more times?"

Long pause.


"Well", I snarl, twisting a bit, "I not in any position to do anything about this, so it's pretty much up to you."

The hog sends a grunt my way, letting me know I haven't been forgotten.

This pause is longer.  Oh, for the love of ... "You dropped your bangstick, didn't you?"

"I had something on my mind!" There's another pause, contemplative this time, "I've got my .32 backup."

I can feel a facial tic developing.

This goes on until the sun rises, the hog trots off (with a firmly-cocked snook in our general direction), the trooper and I climb down and solemnly swear to never speak of this again.

Fast-forward about a year, and I'm in Dispatch when the local Game Warden staggers in, and heads for the coffee-pot with the same sort of intensity that a man three days under the Sahara sun heads for an oasis. 

"You okay, Harry? I ask, slightly concerned.

"[Deleted] monster hog out by the T bar S," he mutters from around a soothing mug, "Took three rounds from my .450 Marlin.  Didn't think the [deleted] was ever going to go down."

I'm mildly impressed.  "Damn."

"Checked him over, found this under the skin on his chest." He displays a perfectly-mushroomed Winchester Ranger bullet.  Probably about 127 grains, were I to guess, "Some damfool moron shot him with a 9mm sometime.  Can you imagine that?  Idiot.  Some people shouldn't be let out without a minder."



Friday, February 05, 2016

Better than a poke in the eye with a sharp ... oh, wait.

My office at the Courthouse has no windows.  For that matter, none of the halls on the entire floor of the Courthouse where I am located have windows.

Thus, I didn't think it was too altogether odd when I walked past a window in someone else's office, and the after-image from the bright Texas sky took almost 40 minutes longer to clear my left eye than it did the right.

At first I figured that the lack of sunlight in my office had triggered some latent Morlock genes, but then I noticed that my field of vision when both eyes were open was ... odd.

When I covered one eye -- didn't matter which one -- my vision was fine.  It was just when both eyes were open that something undefinable was wrong.

This was enough, and I hie'd myself over to my local ophthalmologist for a professional opinion.

Now, the local place is pretty high-tech, and the County optical plan is rather good, so they did the full work-up on me; and I'm sitting in the exam room when the doctor walks in.  He's one of those chatty types, and we're having a nice talk up until the following point:

"Well, Mr 'Dog," he says, glancing at a three-dimensional picture of the back of my eyeball, "I'm willing to bet from the symptoms that what you have is an optical migraine.  We're not exactly ... sure ..."

And his sentence just kind of stops right there, with him blinking furiously at the afore-mentioned three-dee picture.

Long pause.

"Doc?" I ask, rather firmly, I do admit.

"... Wow."

I'm here to tell you:  this is not the kind of thing you want to hear from a medical professional.  Kind of sends the old heart rate up a bit.

Next thing I know, the doctor has leapt at me like a leopard on a gazelle, and spends the next fifteen minutes staring intently into my eyes through what looked like a jeweler's loupe and with the aid of what felt like a 5000-lumen flashlight, all the while muttering excitedly to himself.

The denouement of this whole wretched performance was when he turned off the flashlight, and sat back with an expectant air ... and I discovered that I was completely blind in my left eye.

"Doc," I said, with what I believe to have been commendable restraint, "I can't see anything out of my left eye."


The rapid sound of clicking on a keyboard.

"Doctor.  I have several weapons on my person, and you have just blinded me."

The startlement in his voice is almost palpable.  "Oh!  I'm sorry!  It's just that I've never seen this in progress before!  I don't think anyone has!  We only see it after the train wrecks ... so to speak!"


He finally explains, phone calls are made and I am scheduled to see a retina specialist first thing in the AM.

Next day my Lady Love is helping me from station to station in an even more high-tech office, until I wind up lying in a futuristic recliner when the retina doc walks in and shakes my hand.

"Well, I've got good news and bad news."

I sigh, "Well, what's the bad news?"

He grins, "You're getting an injection in your eye."

Well, hell.

"Ok, what's the good news?"

He points at my sweetheart, "She's not going to feel a thing!"

Not to be outdone, Herself asks, "How many shots have you had in the eye?"

"None!  Never had a baby, either, but I've delivered a bunch!"

Hyuk.  Hyuk.  Hyuk.

For the record, getting a shot in the eyeball is every bit as bad as you might think it is.


Back to see the retina guy next week.



postscript:  My bad, I left something out.  Turns out it wasn't an optical migraine, it was a developing Retinal Vein Occlusion, which -- from various reactions -- is Not Good after it's full-blown (so to speak), but entirely treatable, with excellent prognosis, if caught early.

Mine wasn't just caught early, it was caught while still developing.  Which apparently doesn't ever happen in  my neck of the woods.


Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Meditations on the Constitution

"The Constitution is a living document" is a phrase I have been hearing more and more since the Other Side has been losing in the Courts.

Most often associated with the Clintons, Al Gore --and now the Obama Administration -- the "Living Constitution" or "Evolving Constitution" is a philosophy that demands that we read the Constitution of the United States according to a socially-generalized modern viewpoint, rather than the interpretation the writers of that document used.

I see that I have lost some of my Gentle Readers. Allow me to illustrate.

In the Second Amendment, mention is made of "the Militia". In the time that the Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution, "the Militia" was every free man capable of bearing arms. Every one.

(As a point of fact, modern Federal Law mirrors this view in its own definitions: US Code, Title 10, Chapter 13, Sec 311:

"The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.")

To a proponent of the Living Constitution, though, this doesn't matter. To their way of thinking, "the militia" -- indeed the entire document -- must be read according to today's popular sensibilities.

So, where the Founding Fathers defined "militia" as "every free man capable of bearing arms"; and the current Federal Government defines "militia" as "all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and under 45 years of age"; the proponent of the Living Constitution defines "militia" as the National Guard.

The reasoning for this is, near as I can tell, that the socially-generalized modern interpretation (read:  Public Opinion) holds that the "militia" is the National Guard, then the intent of the Founding Fathers, Federal Law, and precedent be damned ... "the militia" in the Second Amendment obviously must be the National Guard. Because the majority of Joe Sixpack thinks so.

I have a couple of problems with this way of reading the Constitution.

The Constitution was written by a group of men who were incredibly well-read, well-educated, and well-versed in Law, Logic, History and Philosophy. These men are spoken of as being intelligent, but their intelligence was based upon logic, upon application and upon discourse, rather than upon rote.

So. On one paw you have a group of men who wrote articles and books which are read to this very day, who invented items and pioneered philosophies which influence our lives every day;

And on the other you have Modern American Society ... which thinks that 'Keeping Up With The Kardashians' is the height of entertainment; who can't find Hungary on a map with the sodding Latitude and Longitude right under their noses; who believe that the President of the United States has the power to unilaterally balance the Federal Budget -- and who consistently rank the public travails of a white-trash pop-tart walking train-wreck as being, like, sooooo much more interesting than those boring old laws passing through Congress.  People who have spent -- nay, wasted -- their childhood in the American Public Education System, where they are taught what to think, rather than how to think.

Oh, the choices. Do I base my government on the bedrock laid by such men as Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and others -- or do I base my government on a modern reinterpretation by a society which appears to value "self-esteem" as being far more important than, you know ... earning that self-esteem.


Bear this in mind, O Gentle Reader, during the current game of Political Handegg (which is -- metaphorically-speaking, what the American Election Process has evolved into):  any candidate who believes in, or mentions "Living Constitution" or "Evolving Constitution" seriously believes that the Founders of this Great Nation (and the writers of the bedrock of this Great Nation) were wrong; and that the Mob (Honey Boo-Boo, anyone?) are right.


Vote accordingly.


Public Service Announcement

By way of Ursula Vernon, over at Red Wombat Studio, we bring you this important Public Service Announcement:

Especially important, giving the up-coming Political Season.


Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Not much more that I can say to that ...

Intake officer gives me a call from the Intake section and I scoot on over there.

Seems an elderly gentleman has arrived in our jail by way of the local Municipal Court. 70 years old -- plus or minus -- and has exactly zero criminal or traffic record of any kind.

I look at this gentleman -- eyes clear, back straight, looking around with mild amusement -- and I ask what brings him to us. Surely community service would be a better way of dealing ...?

The old gentleman fixes me with a gray eye, and in slow drawl he says, "Son, I spent 1951 to 1953 in Korea, trying not to get my boys killed. I figure that there makes me a man grown."

I nod, cautiously, not exactly sure where this is going.

"Now I figure that since I am a full-grown adult -- and I know the risks -- whether or not I wear a seatbelt isn't the business of a bunch of panty-waisted jackasses down in Austin."


"My wife asks me to wear the damned thing -- I wear it. I'm her business. My girls ask me to wear the damned thing -- I wear it. It's their business. Everyone else needs to tend to their own knitting and leave mine alone."


"So I take this ticket to the city judge, and he asks me if I was going to plead guilty or not guilty. I say that I don't know about guilty, but I definitely wasn't wearing the damned thing that day. He asks how I'm going to pay the fine, and I tell him he'd better stick me in jail, because I wasn't going to pay someone for putting his nose off into other peoples business."

I look at the Intake officer, both of us trying not to smile.

He grins at me, "So, here I am."

I head for the Intake Sergeant to suggest that maybe some kind of accelerated time-serving might be considered. Maybe a passing of the hat, or somesuch, when I pass the GenPop tank and notice one very large, very familiar figure glaring balefully at me.

"Waldo," I say, carefully, "What's on your mind?"

Waldo the Wonder Biker sneers at me, then spits off to the side.

"He was riding down Main Street wearing a chrome Nazi helmet, dark glasses, combat boots and a smile," says the Intake corporal, contemplatively, "Seems there was stuff flapping in the breeze that God never intended to flap."

I grimace, "There's not enough brain bleach in the world to fix that ..."

He grins, "Gives 'tank-slap' a whole new meaning, don't it?"

"Oh, for -- enough!  Eww!"

I look at Waldo, "You've been guinea-pigging the product again, haven't you?" My answer is an extremely eloquent extended middle finger.


Well, at least they got some clothes on him.

I find the Intake Boss, he agrees that the older gentleman doesn't need to be in Durance Vile for any longer than strictly necessary and I leave to chase down the Jail Administrator.

Twenty minutes later, I'm back with an Order of Release, scoot past the GenPop tank ... and the older gentleman is sitting on the bench, talking softly and gesturing gently.

With Waldo and two of his buddies sitting on the floor in front of the bench, listening raptly.

Huh.  This is ... odd.

As I watch, another inhabitant of GenPop -- much younger, with the ingrained sneer and Bad Attitude one tends to associate with some of the Younger Criminal Element -- swaggers over to the bench currently occupied by the elderly gentleman, plants himself and drawls, "Hey, there, Old Stuff.  You need to move off of my bench."

At this, Waldo raises a polite hand to the older man and says -- my paw to Freyja, I heard it with my own two ears -- "I'm sorry, Mr Frank.  Excuse me for just a moment."

I'm looking at Waldo, seriously wondering if I should check him for a pod attachment point, when he lumbers to his feet, drapes a fatherly arm across the shoulders of the youngster and gently steers him to the bathroom area of the tank.

At this point I'm seriously worried about Waldo's mental status.

Then I hear a muted 'thud', followed by the Waldo's dulcet tones -- he'd make a fine rage metal front-man, would our Waldo -- gently gargling something about eye-sockets; respect; an anatomically-improbable, yet gruesomely-fascinating version of puppeteering; and courtesy in general.

Ah.  That's the Waldo I know.

There's a final thud, and then Waldo steps out from the bathroom area, resumes his seat on the floor in front of the bench, and says, "I'm sorry, Mr Frank.  You were saying?"  And the older gentleman resumes what is obviously a riveting story.

I can't stand it.  I beckon, "Hey, Waldo!  Come up to the bars for a moment!"  Waldo's beard contorts into his usual snarl, but he gets up and stomps over to talk.

I indicate the older gentleman, "What's up, Waldo?  You feeling ok?"

He looks at me a moment.  "Man, 'Dog, that old dude's been through some [deleted].  You can see it on his face.  Really bad [deleted], but he doesn't let the [deleted] win.  Dude like that earned respect."

Well.  Hell of a thing when a burned-out biker reprobate meth-cook makes more sense than a municipal judicial system.

Not much more that I can say to that.


Monday, February 01, 2016


Well, let's see if I remember how to do this ...

*tap, tap*

Is this thing on?

Well, the last several months or so has been kind of rodeo here at Rancho LawDog.  OldNFO has moved to the area, along with Peter Grant and his lovely wife.

My first thought when I heard that these folks were moving this way was something along the lines of:  "Whoo.  Getting crowded on my little patch of dirt.", but -- truth be told -- I'm discovering that it's kind of nice to have friends in the area.

Thing2 has moved on to better things -- she got promoted to Jail Captain -- so I'm back down to one minion.  Alas.

I have -- thus far -- managed to keep my face off of national TeeVee:

National news-critter with microphone (shoved under my nose):  "Sir, what do you think of your Sheriff's decision to [insert something mildly controversial here.]

Me (blinking):  "What the [deleted] are you talking about?"

Thing1 (politely):  "We're sorry, any questions will have to be asked of the Sheriff or the PIO."

Me:  "That, too, but what the [deleted] is he talking about?!"

Camera-dude:  "Whoa, we can't put that sort of language on the air!"

I am, however, quite proud of the fact that when suckered into giving an interview for local media I managed to use the phrases, "Mongolian rabies", "Can't cure it with bleach", and "Diseases science doesn't have a name for yet" on the air.

You know, I begin to understand why the County Attorney's favourite expression around me is:  "'Dog!  Inappropriate!"

Ah, well.

In other news, Peter and OldNFO have promised to help me get a LawDog Files book or two off of the ground.  Anyone still hanging around this general area may now bug those two about it.

On that front, my lovely lady -- along with the machinations of OldNFO, Peter and Dot -- has decided to expand my social wings some more, and has talked me into pre-registering for LibertyCon.

She seems quite smug about the fact that I haven't hyperventilated over the whole thing.  Yet.  It's early.

I've a couple of Africa stories percolating in my head for the past couple of months -- we'll see about getting them written down here.

I took an Edged Weapons Overview class from Craig Douglas (SouthNarc) over at ShivWorks.  Excellent class -- which I must post about later -- which also demonstrated quite thoroughly that I have spent waaaay too much time behind a desk these days.

Hmm.  More later.


Testing, testing

Let us see if this works ...

Well. Bedamned. Haven't forgotten how to work one of these things.

Colour does appear a little dark, though. May have to tweak that.


Colour check.

The quick brown fox jumps over the ...

Much better.


*blink, blink*

A comment already???