19 January 2007

Road trip!!!

Ok - we're going off the net for a couple of days.

Sniff around and see if there's an old bone buried for you here somewhere. We shall return shortly.

18 January 2007

Fair winds and following seas

to Art Buchwald.

A funny man, and a Marine Corps sergeant, WWII vintage, newspaper variety. Possible proof that coping with the military leads to a highly developed sense of humor.

Story Time! Sparky and the Kittens

Once upon a time, not so long ago, before the DoD moved us to Florida, Mr. Abby and I lived Up North. We had a house, and it had a barn and a couple of ponds (it also had two bathrooms and a washer and dryer. Not that I'm bitter). When we bought the place the owners had horses and dogs and cats.

"Don't worry," they said, laughing. "All the critters are going with us."

Liars. They took the dogs, and the horses, and the emotionally damaged donkey, but they LEFT THE GODDAM CATS. And we're not talking about housecats, either. Or nice cats who lived outside.

We're talking about Barn Cats. They left us an indeterminate number of angry, antisocial Barn Cats. We were never clear on the number, because they were ALL orange. We had at least three. Maybe four, and possibly even five. I don't know. One was very large, at least one was normal sized, and one seemed to be retarded, as it wandered in circles and had crossed eyes.

And had they been "fixed?" Oh no, they had not. Hell, you couldn't even get near them, let alone catch them and take them to the vet.

So there we were, with this fabulous house we'd just purchased, and our two Bad Dogs, and this gang of cats that we were only aware of when we'd enter the barn and they'd go racing up the ladder to the hay mow.

That is, until they started coming in the garage. And peeing in the garage. It was a nice garage, too. Until it started smelling like cat pee. And they'd come in the window if they couldn't sneak through the garage door.

I can hear you asking now, "Abby, you guys are Gun Nuts! Why didn't you just shoot the cats?"

Well, we tried. Problem is, we actually kinda like cats, and couldn't bring ourselves to shoot them. We shot at them occasionally, but somehow, a couple of "expert riflemen" (by various DoD standards) continued missing.

Then the Bad Pups (my stepkids) showed up for the summer. And what did the cats do? They immediately produced a litter of three inbred orange kittens in the barn. And kids loooove kittens.

So we couldn't take advantage of the opportunity to trap at least one adult and the kittens and transport them to the Kitty Gulag.

Weeks passed, and the kittens moved out of the hay mow and took up residence under the mower deck of Mr. Abby's tractor. The kids continued to obsess about them, and we continued to envision the exponential growth of our inbred, garage-peeing cat population.

Have I mentioned that Sparky CANNOT ABIDE cats? Hates 'em. Several times he'd pursued the adult Barn Cats into a tight corner, whereupon the cat would claw his face most viciously, bite him, then escape. We'd already had one close call with him and an infected cat bite.

One afternoon, Mr. Abby took the Bad Pups and went somewhere. I went out the front door to get the mail, and Sparky escaped through it. Being a terrier, he made a beeline for the barn. Where the kittens were.

Shouting, I pursued him. The sounds of kittens yowls, Yorkie snarls and other horrid, animal fight noises were coming from under the tractor. I hit the dirt, reached under the mower deck and extracted Sparky. Noticing he was bloody, I carried him back to the house.

There was blood on his face and blood on his paws, and he was itching to get back in the fight. After ensuring both of his eyes were intact, I tossed him in the front door and turned to face the barn.

Shit. I had a bloody Yorkie, and, I was guessing, a scene of significant carnage awaiting me beneath the tractor. I figured he'd done a number on the still-quite-small kittens. I also knew that this was not something I wanted the kids to come home to. The situation needed to be dealt with, and as I was the closest thing to a responsible adult present, I had to do it.

I trudged toward the barn. I did not want to see what was under the tractor. I didn't want to have to engage in any kitten mercy killing. What I wanted, in fact, was for my Dad to come and Fix The Problem.

Oh well. Dad was 10 hours away. I entered the barn and flopped down on my stomach to look under the tractor. Sometimes, being a grownup sucks.

Three little pairs of eyes peered back at me. I reached under the tractor and scared the kittens out into the open. Where they proceeded to give me filthy cat looks. They were fine. They were licking their bloody little kitten claws.

I shrugged and trudged back toward the house. To examine my Yorkie. Who had LOST A FIGHT WITH KITTENS. I don't think he's ever really recovered.

In the end, the Bad Pups left at the end of summer. We kidnapped the kittens and, in what could be another whole NOVEL of absurdity, kept them sequestered in the house to give them some human contact. One went to live with a co-worker of mine and became the World's Most Spoiled Orange Cat. The other two went to the Kitty Gulag. And the rest? Well, I have to admit, we didn't mention that to the World's Greatest Tenant when he moved in...

Automated Job Applications

So when you're sitting in front of one of those "Apply Here" kiosks and wading through the evil computerized application, is it a BAD THING to look at one of the questions and laugh hysterically?

"What is the total value of employer property you have destroyed or which has been destroyed while you were present?"
A - $0
B - $5-20
C - $21-499
D - $500+

Hmmm...what's the approximate cost of two massively dicked-up M1114s, one M240B and countless other stuff?

I decided that wasn't really what they were talking about and answered A. I'm probably going to Hell.


Hey - I just got a comment from an old friend that reminded me of a story. I think tonight I'll brew a pot and tell y'all about Sparky and the Kittens. It's a bloody tale...

Good vibrations

It's shaping up to be an actual Good Day here at BDC. I just managed to shower without having the water go ice cold on me. SCORE! True, I had to use the evil shampoo/conditioner combination stuff, and it's possible I didn't actually wash BOTH armits, but I scrubbed my face and my ass and really, isn't that half the battle?

Those of you with normal hot water heaters...you have no idea. I'm getting ready to head out and about and I'm NOT PISSED OFF. Amazing what NOT being doused with frigid water will do for you.

So I've printed up a few copies of the old resume and made a couple copies of my Form 4 and all that good stuff. I'm going to go out in search of the first menial job that will hire me quickly.

By the time I make my next entry, who knows - I could be the night manager at your local Kwik E Mart.

Oh yes, and I'm also wearing my lucky underpants. They were clean. This is looking so promising I think I'll buy a lottery ticket.

17 January 2007


So I've noticed I'm starting to get some visitors from out and about around the country.


It's a little weird realizing that people are actually reading this. Weird but cool.

You'll notice a wide variety of topics addressed here. You'll find cute dog pictures, random gun-related stuff, thoughts on our involvement in Iraq, the occasional "back in the day" story, and of course, updates on the health and well being of Abby's Mom.

(Go Mom! 3 rounds of chemo down, 5 to go!)

And I'm getting some comments, which is fun. I'm not sure what to DO with them, and although I feel as though I should reply, I can't always think of anything useful to say. Fortunately, nobody has behaved badly in the comments section thus far, and I've been able to avoid learning how to "block" comments. Please keep up the good work - I'd hate to have to learn how to be mean.

So anyway, welcome to Bad Dogs Central! Sniff around - I hope you find something that smells good enough to roll in!

I want my new TOY!!!

Tonight's irritation is EBAY. I sold an object a couple of days ago and the buyer hasn't paid for it yet. Which is OK, in theory, because they have several days in which to pay. But it's ANNOYING me because that money is earmarked for a new toy (M9 pistol). I won't order the gat till I've got the money in hand.

So I'm grumpy. Harumph. Anyway, here's a pic of what my new toy will look like.

I like the M9. I'm not one of those who think it's the end-all be-all just because it's what the military issues, but it's an easy pistol to shoot well. 9mm ammunition is affordable. And I really wanted to have an example of the sidearm I carried for a year.

One of these days when I'm not poor (or when I find a bunch more crap to sell on FleaBay) I'm going to pick up an Evil Black Rifle that's similar to the M4. Again, so that someday, years down the road, I can say, "this is what Grandma carried in the war."

Now, if only it were legal/financially possible for me to acquire an M240B...

Story Time! Wake Island

Although you might not know it from the last few posts, I don't drink a whole lot. That hasn't always been the case, though.

I washed up on Wake Island once, on the way back from a trip that had involved the Republic of Kiribati and drinking on a C-130 with the remains of WWII Marines. Our mission complete, we needed to fly from Hawaii to Okinawa. You cannot do that directly in a C-130, you need to stop.

And when you need to stop in middle of the Pacific, you stop on Wake Island. We landed in the evening and were to take off the next day.

Wake is a strange place. There are very few people there. There are no natives. I recall a handful of civilians running the airstrip and plenty of ghosts.

Being a small group of Marines (me, the C-130 crew, four honor guard guys and their SNCOIC) with an evening to kill, we commenced to drinking.

Canned beer. And I recall it being phenomenally cheap. Actually, I recall the folks who were stationed at Wake buying most of our beer. I actually ran the pool table in their bar - the only time I've ever done that.

After we consumed a significant quantity of beer, someone pointed out that there was a beautiful lagoon and a BRIDGE outside.

You can see where this is going, can't you?

This is the bridge.

It was dark and warm and the logical thing to do seemed to be to take an armload of beer out, then take off our clothes and jump, one by one, into the water, where we treaded water and drank beers the helpful locals passed down to us.

You know, treading water in a lagoon at night while swigging beer from a can ain't a bad way to kill an evening.

Of course, now whenever I hear someone say "If everybody you knew was jumping off a bridge..." I have to laugh.

I think that picture must have been taken at low tide, since I remember it only being a short distance that a beer had to be dropped. And a side note - there is some degree of fitness involved in treading water while drinking, especially if you keep it up for a while.

Stay tuned

The voices DID remind me a story about Wake Island. I think I'll make a pot of coffee tonight and share that one with y'all.

THAT worked...

Nothing like a bottle of Cutty Sark to make the voices go away. I don't know that I really LIKE that particular Scotch, but it was the cheapest thing not in a plastic bottle. I think I prefer the Walker.

So, now the voices are temporarily gone, and I'm left with a slight headache and an icky, non-specific lower back pain that's probably related to knocking out on the couch, where Mr. Abby gave me a blanket and left me.

But it's a gorgeous day here (again), so I think after the Aleve kicks in I'll go out and about a little.

16 January 2007

I know how to make the voices go away...

And it works every time. Bad Dogs Central is OFF the net' for the rest of the evening.

Balls landing...

Ok, so in reference to the earlier hint about a really great job...someone else will find out if that's the case. The government agency in question decided to "go another direction." (bastards)

Now, I've got a couple of other lines in the water, but that was the one I liked the best.

And then there are the voices. I hear them - do you?

Ahh, fukkem! You didn't want to sit inside at a desk and draft text for the rest of your life!

True, that part wasn't so appealing, but the money was good and the location was great!


Come on, I'm a grownup. I'm supposed to have a boring job! I should settle down a little. There's gotta be something...

Why should you settle down? You don't want to settle down. Settled down is halfway to dead. You know what you really want...

No I don't.

Yes, you do. You want to be back on the hairy edge.

But that's not a healthy want! I need to get over that! I need to want to be...a secretary, or a student, or a bureaucrat! And I do! I want to do that! And to come home every day and -

And try to think of something to cook and turn off the news because you feel like a weaseling shit? That's not what you want.

If I try maybe it will be!

No. Remember what it feels like to roll out a gate? Oh yes, you do. Remember auto-pilot, when you're not even in your head anymore, because everything is automatic? Remember what it was like to deal with other people who had a sense of purpose?

But I'm supposed to be thrilled to be back here and working at McDonald's is supposed to sound better!

Says who? Really, says who? You're supposed to NOT want to do something you're good at, and which is really, no bullshit, important? Who the hell is running your life?

I am.

Doesn't sound like it. Whatever happened to "a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do?" Does that only work for one gender? Is it "a woman's gotta do what a woman's gotta do as long as everybody agrees it's the best thing to do?"

I dunno. If everybody else is telling me something, though, doesn't that mean there's a pretty good chance it's right? Anyway, they're all just worried about me.

That's nice. I'm sure they are. But is living one's life in manner to not cause others any concern what we should be doing. Anyway, if everybody else got naked and jumped off a bridge, would you agree it was the right thing to do?

Well, yeah. See there was this one time on Wake Island...

You miss my point. Nevermind. You just think about all that for a while. I'll be back.

Have I mentioned how much I HATE the voices?

Today's depressing picture

So I went to visit my stuff today at the storage unit.

We don't have a lot of stuff, but the stuff we have is stuff we LIKE. I, for instance, like my books. Mr. Abby, for instance, likes his tools. Alas, our books and our tools live in the storage unit.

I'd seriously sell my soul for a garage.

Things Abby Hates

My neighbor has a bird. I don't know what kind of bird. Mr. Abby (who actually talks to the neighbors) has seen it and believes it's some sort of parrot.

It seems to live out on their back porch. And it shrieks. Frequently throughout the day. When I first noticed it, I had a moment of thinking someone was gutting a small child in the street.

Although I dislike children, I was about ready to go investigate and at least insist the gutter conduct his/her business more quietly. But then I listened, and I realized. It was the freaking bird.

Fortunately, being a bird, it shuts the hell up around dusk. But all afternoon...SQWAAAK!!!

I like to watch wild birds. I like to eat birds raised on farms. I think people who have birds as pets should themselves be cooked and eaten. What the Hell kind of pet is a damn bird?

15 January 2007

Housekeeping updates

OK - so I switched to the "new better Blogger template" thing, since actual HTML coding was kicking my ass most viciously.

So we've added a sitemeter, since apparently someone other than my Mom (Hi, Mom!) drops by here occasionally.

I'm also working on some links on the left. The good, wholesome places are listed under "Tail Wagging Goodness." I'm issuing fair warning about "stuff to roll in." The only one there right now is Bane, who is often entertaining and occasionally horrifying, but I DO read him regularly. The "buyer beware" warning HAS been issued for anything I put up under that heading.

OK - I just stop cursing at Blogger for the night and go to bed.

Just a LITTLE gloating

You KNOW I hate Florida. But today...today was sunny and it was in the 80s. So you know what I did? Took the top down and drove to the beach.

I laid in the sun and read. It was fabulous.

You all may commence leaving profane comments now.

Oh, stop it. You laugh at me all summer when I'm dodging hurricances.

Getting in JUST under the wire

I almost neglected to wish you all a Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day! Posting has been, as always, light on the weekend.

We seem to be winning with the hotspot, but I'm not making the mistake I made the other day. The licky collar is going BACK ON before I hit the rack.

Mr. Abby is asleep now...so don't tell him...but I'm letting Casey hang out in his spot on the couch. Shhh...