24 February 2007

Waiting on the man...

Gorgeous day here in Florida. Mid-70s, sunny. Mr. Abby is running around tying up loose ends, as he's about to be out of town (in the military sense) for a while.

I, on the other hand, am sitting at home on the couch waiting on FEDEX. They're deliverying ammo, so someone has to be here to sign and I don't think Casey counts.


23 February 2007

Things Abby Loves

There aren't many. And even fewer of them are even remotely related to the fast food industry.

But McDonalds' chicken snack wrap - oh good God - it's fabulous. I'm probably only days from hanging outside seedy hotels, trading sex for these things.

Just so you know, you can get two of these and a small orange drink and get change back from a five.

They're better than that stupid KFC snack thing that's similar. These are smaller and McDonalds doesn't use a tortilla with a three-foot radius.

Military Family Life

When you're on active duty, the process of "getting orders" is a pretty big thing. Most places you're sent ("duty stations") have you for three years. There are a few places where you go for shorter periods, and you can extend for longer in some cases, but it's pretty much three years.

After that, you know there's a change a-comin'.

My active duty days were in the Marine Corps. I think we've established that Mr. Abby is a US Marine. So I feel entirely qualified, after 11 years of dealing with them, to announce the Marine Corps as the most adminsitratively tiresome of the branches. Seriously (and we're going to ignore the Coast Guard here for a second, although my Coasties know I love 'em), the Marine Corps is the smallest branch. How hard can it be to keep track of people?

Difficult, it seems. And pulling orders out of these people is always an adventure. Orders come in the form of a piece of paper, telling you WHERE and WHEN. Before you get the piece of paper, it's not abnormal to have 3-8 converations with your "monitor," that is, the person in Washington who moves all the Marines in your field around like pieces on a chessboard. It's entirely possible to have several different scenarios presented to you as "a done deal," and then get a piece of paper telling you you'll be performing a fourth scenario.

When the Bad Pups were here last summer, I kept trying to explain the process to them.

I likened it to getting a Christmas present from a crazy person. You have no idea what's in the box. Sometimes it's a warm, rolly beagle puppy. Sometimes it's a dead crow scraped off the highway. Sometimes it's four salamanders, and you have to decide how you feel about them. You just never know. And any time you think you know the mind of the Marine Corps Orders Process, well, you're wrong. You don't.

Abby, you say. You're doing that long way around thing again. Stop it.

Sorry. I do that.

Well, we GOT the box from the crazy person. And we opened it. And in it?

An armadillo.

Which of my readers can tell me about Dallas?

22 February 2007

There's a moral in here somewhere...

From CNN - Sword seized after man mistakes porn for rape

A man says he broke into an apartment with a cavalry sword because he thought he heard a woman being raped, but the sound actually was from a pornographic movie his upstairs neighbor was watching.

I should have something to say about this beyond, "Huh." But I'm not sure what it would be. I guess the moral would be - turn down the volume if you have shared walls. Or something. I dunno. It makes my head hurt, so I think I'll go buy some fruit.

Oddly, we do note this occured in Wisconsin, even though it's the sort of thing that one would expect to have happened in Florida.

This amuses me

From CNN, we have U.S. seniors fight off muggers, killing one

One of the tourists -- a retired U.S. serviceman whom officials estimated was in his 70s -- allegedly put Warner Segura in a headlock and broke his clavicle after the 20-year-old and two other men armed with a knife and gun held up their tour bus Wednesday, said Luis Hernandez, the police chief of Limon, 80 miles east of San Jose.

Well done, Mr. 70-something former servicemember!

21 February 2007

Tampa Wins!

I have an ongoing contest with Auntie M to see whose part of Florida produces the weirdest news. She normally wins hands down. She's got the Anna Nicole Smith nightmare, and that's not easy to beat.

Today, however...I got THIS: Largo City Manager Plans Sex Change Operation
Also for your reading pleasure, the letter he sent out to his city employees.

We here at BDC support everyone doing whatever they gotta do in order to enjoy the short ride they get in life. So more power to this guy. But it is weird.

I did NOT shoot these clowns


Somebody shot two clowns in a circus in Columbia.

My maternal great-grandmother dislikes clowns. My maternal grandmother thinks they're creepy. My mother hates clowns. I hate clowns. Someday, if I have a daughter, I shall teach her to hate clowns.

But still, I didn't shoot these clowns. I've been here in Tampa. You can check.

Coffee cups I have loved

Y'all know I subsist largely on coffee. Love the stuff. I've loved it for years, since the World's Coolest Grandmother (who really merits her own post one of these days) started feeding me the potent, black stuff when I was a kid.

I drink coffee in the morning, coffee in the afternoon, and more coffee at night. I use only one cup. This is my coffee cup:

I do not wash my coffee cup. I never, ever put anything in my coffee. No sugar, no cream, no booze. So I never wash the cup. In fact, I like to leave about an inch of coffee in the bottom at all times. That way, when I put new, hot coffee in, it's a drinkable temperature right away.

This drives my husband insane. Previously, this habit has driven those who work with me insane. There was a certain Army officer who used to swipe this cup off my desk and scratch "wash me" into the residue.

I used the trusty deer cup during my tour here at Major High Silly Command. T'was a good and faithful cup. The next one, it was explained to me, seriously jeopardized my future as a Marine Corps NCO by its constant state of filth.

This was also a very good cup, but the metal on the rim meant it did not like microwaves. That was OK, since it was my cup in an office where there was always scalding coffee.

Alas, my cup that I carried around Iraq is MIA. I'm 98% sure it came back with me, but I have no idea where it is.

This whole thing has been the long prelude to tonight's Story of Stupidity. I made crab cakes for dinner. As I was mixing ingrediants, I somehow managed to fling a clump of crabmeat into my German Shepherd cup. It was, of course, partially full.

Folks, once you introduce non-coffee organic material to your cup, you're sunk. You gotta wash it, or it will turn into a biology experiment. So I did.

Ick. I hadn't washed it since Christmas. Now my coffee tastes thin and without character. It'll be four or five days until it gets a good, protective coating of coffee residue and things are again as they should be.

Whiny dog

Casey was grumping at me today, asking why I've been posting gun pictures lately, and not DOG pictures.

I replied that since she's afraid of the camera, I face certain challenges in taking any pictures that don't make her look like a guilty, skulking coyote. But I tried anyway.

What did I end up with but another picture of her skulking away from the camera, with some bonus ghetto backyard thrown in for good measure. It ain't easy documenting these dogs.

She's pretty even when she's skulking, though.

75% YEA!!!!

I'd like to point out to the Bad Dog Faithful that tomorrow will be Abby's Mom's SIXTH chemo treatment. Of EIGHT.

That's 75%, or THREE QUARTERS of the way through this process, people! Can I hear a BARK and a YAP and HOWL?

In Abby bad-student language, this means Abby's Mom could quit going to chemo and STILL PASS with a C. Although I don't think it works that way and she shouldn't do that.

Go Mom! You ROCK!

20 February 2007

For my male readers...

If your wife uttered the phrase, "Just grab another beer and go touch my AR15," how would you respond?

Anti-Plastic discrimination

The Zumbo thing has had me thinking. I very recently bought my first true EBR (that's Evil Black Rifle, for my non-gun nuts).

Doesn't that look EVIL? It's kinda SCARY, right? It's a veritable KILLIN' MACHINE. Technically, it's a semi-automatic centerfire rifle with iron sights, chambered for the .223/5.56mm round. Just for gits and shiggles, let's look at another gun, shall we?

That's better, isn't it? That, my friends, is a gun for huntin'. See all that wood, that nice leather sling, the leather cuff on the stock and the nice checkering? Actually, it too is a semi-automatic centerfire rifle with open sights, only this one's chambered in .300 Savage (and built in 1938). The difference between this one and the one above it? This one is bigger, heavier, and I can drop a target with it more effectively because it fires a bigger round. In fact, at 500 yards, it's got TWICE the power of the above SCARY rifle (482 foot-pounds vs. 207).

How about this one? Most of you are nodding and saying, "huntin' rifle." And it is. A pretty good one. A Winchester Model 70 Short Action in .308. Incidentally, .308 is the preferred round of U.S. military snipers, and using this particular rifle, a skilled operator can drop a man-sized target at 1000 yards.

Are you scratching your head yet? Let's do one more.

This is the "deadliest weapon" in the Bad Dog arsenal. Like the Winchester above, it's a bolt-action. And it lacks a scope, which lowers its "sniper quotient" in some folks' eyes. However, it was built back when they really knew how to build them, and the sights are adjustable to 2000 meters (or yards, I'm not sure). Tell you what, if you're well trained and you practice, I'd bet you can HIT at that distance. This rifle is chambered in .30/06, which is the largest round any of our household rifles fires.

What we're getting at here, folks, is part of the reason why gun nuts are so defensive about their EBRs. They're fun to shoot. Really. A lot of Americans know how they work, know how to manipulate the sights and troubleshoot the weapon, thanks to military service. And the rifles and rounds? Well, they're really no more or less dangerous than the centerfire rounds fired by any other rifle.

There is a movement out there to get rid of the "killing machine" guns, and allow Americans to own that rifles of types that are "particularly suitable for sporting purposes" Oops! Clicking on that text will take you to an Assault Weapons Ban currently in House Committee...

What I want you to take from this point is this: The scary rifle on top is not a more effective killing machine than any of the other three. The effectivness hinges on user ability, and it is not an ability easily cultivated (either in respect to technique or mindset). Allowing a ban on the first sort of rifle, while assuming that the huntin' guns or old guns you might own are safe is bad business. Our anti-gun foes are not stupid, they are devious. Once they've come for the EBRs, they will come for the rapid-fire rifles (number 2 above). Then they will come for the sniper rifles (number 3 above), and finally they will come for the long-range rifles (number 4). And then when they come for whatever is left, we will have only nine toothless amendments with which to defend ourselves.

Write your congresscritters and tell them that House Bill 1022 (what a fabulous name) should be allowed to die a quiet death in committee.

(a note for my true gun nuts: #1 is a S&W M&P15 and it's mine. #2 is a Remington 81 Woodsmaster and it's Mr. Abby's. #3 has been ID'd, and it's Mr. Abby's. #4 is a Brazilian Mauser in .30/06 and it's mine)

Product Endorsement! Discussion

Sorry - I don't have anything fabulous to report to you today. In fact, I'm having a bit of a dilemma.

I have endorsed the AKC Outdoor Series of squeaker toys. The endorsement was based on the purchase of one Large Black Squirrel and one Small Racoon. The squirrel squeaked for months before dying, and the racoon still squeaks. That was worthy of endorsement.

However! Several days ago, I bought Sparky an AKC Outdoor Series squeaker fox. Which he killed in less than an hour.

I am not going to withdraw my endorsement - yet. However - if his next AKC toy doesn't hold up, I will have no choice. The fox was long and skinny, with easier-to-puncture squeakers. The next one I purchase will be more similar to the others that have lasted so well.

I do take my product endorsements seriously. I don't have millions of readers, but I do have some who have outclicked on the button to purchase these toys. I don't want you to spend good money on bad advice, so I will keep you posted.

In other product endorsement news, Mr. Abby recently applied Herculiner to the bed of his truck. We will not endorse this product until it's held up to some abuse, but right now it's looking good.

Jim Zumbo thoughts

We avoided talking about the Jim Zumbo meltdown over the weekend. Others were doing it well and we were most lazy.

-quick re-cap for my non-gun nut readers: Jim Zumbo, longtime writer for Outdoor Life, went off half-cocked and stated he saw no hunting-related use for, and thus no reason for anyone to own AR-15 style firearms. He referred to this entire family of rifles as "terrorist rifles." -

This is one of the amazing things about the internet.

We first heard about it via Tamara.

Word got out quickly among the gun people, and within 48 hours, Mr. Zumbo had issued an apology, been disowned by several sponsors (including Remington, which is kinda like being disowned by the GM of the firearms world), and Outdoor Life has pulled him off the 'net.

We occasionally hear talk of how blogging, and the internet, has impacted politics (think Trent Lott). It's interesting to see it impact commerce, too.

Oh - an aside - Zumbo did screw the pooch and deserved the resulting beatdown. But the reasons for that are complicated and the discussion will require footnotes, so we'll talk about that another time.


We've been reading LL over at Chromed Curses for a while now. We enjoy her periodic ranting, her unbridled support of our servicemembers, and the fact that her day-to-day life appears to be even more frustrating than ours. We also enjoy the fact that she seems to encounter the most entertaining shit on the internet.

For instance, she recently posted the single most entertaining math-related post I've seen.

Also, she's how we found out about Overheard at the Office, which is hours of entertainment.

Go visit.

19 February 2007

Mt. Hood

Up front, we'll say we're very happy about this.

The dog, named Miss Velvet, is doing better than the humans, Trevor Liston said at a news conference Monday evening.

Good. It's not the poor Black Lab's fault that its idiot people dragged it up Mt. Freakin' Hood in winter.

Good dog.

Stupid people. Isn't this like the 37th dramatic-Mt.-Hood-rescue we've been subjected to on CNN in the past few months? It seems the Oregon legislature has introduced a measure that would require climbers headed above a certain elevation to carry position-pinpointing equipment to aid in rescues (this appears to be what saved this most recent group). I'd rather see Oregon start billing people who decided to ascend past a set elevation during these winter months when they require rescue.


Monday matters

In case you haven't noticed, we're taking an extended weekend. Mr. Abby being the ulimate federal employee, did not have to work today.

He's currently out doing a slow trot around the park with Casey. Sparky and I felt lazy, so instead of joining them for the trot, we went on a "date" (car ride! car ride! yap yap yap!) to the liquor store for Tecate.

One of the great things about dogs is that they don't guilt-trip you if the only form of "quality time" you can muster is a 5-minute drive to ABC Liquor and back. They're thrilled. Gotta love that. Then again, I did let him drive, so I suppose it was a highlight.

Cat Torture?

We're having a little debate here in the greater Tampa area, and it centers on an age-old question: How evil is dressing up your pet?

Apparently, Checker/Rally, a local/regional burger joint, is sponsoring some sort of "Rapcat" contest. When I saw the headline, I figured it had something to do with cats and urban music. So I clicked on the link.

And apparently, no - it did not involve music. It involved, literally, wrapping one's cat. In a decorated paper bag. With head and leg holes cut in. Actually, TBO referred to them as "armholes," but I don't think cats technically have "arms." The cat owner is supposed to decorate said bag with the logos of favored sports teams and then take pictures. The pictures are to be sent somewhere, and apparently, the best pictures will net the winning owner...something.

Huh? I followed the link to the "rapcat" site. There's no information there, but there is a picture of a stuffed cat dressed as a "rapper."

Which makes me wonder about the paper-bag sports-team thing.

Whatever. The good people at Hillsborough County Animal Services are concerned that beyond just being stupid, this activity could be cruel. Because perhaps (and Animal Services wasn't taking a hard stand on this), most cats would not enjoy being shoved into a paper bag.

Well, the official Bad Dog position is one that supports humiliation of cats. However, we do not under any circumstances support any form of meanness to any pet animals.

We recognize that the act of shoving a cat in a paper bag would, under most circumstances, pose absolutely no threat to anything except the dignity of the cat in question. Whatever idiot would try to shove a cat in a paper bag would probably also suffer severe arm lacerations, which strikes us as appropriate. So at first blush, we SUPPORT the idea of shoving cats in paper sacks.

HOWEVER - this contest appears to be non-specific, tacky and stupid. We feel that the target audience of this contest is probably also quite stupid, and thus we're not certain they can be trusted to shove cats in bags without taking things too seriously and hurting the cats.

So - upon review, our verdict is one of disapproval. We do not support this dumbass "rapcat" contest. You shouldn't either. Find other ways to humiliate your cat that don't encourage corporate entities to dream up stupid shit like this.

18 February 2007

Sunday Updates

We're not blogging much this weekend, as there are actually better things to do here at BDC. However, the wise ones say that one should post at least once a day.

In current weirdness, I don't know what's going on with personal hygeine products here. Suddenly, we're tearing through body wash and toothpaste at an alarming rate, and I don't understand why. Either Mr. Abby has started drinking the body wash, or he's also using it to bathe Sparky. One way or the other, we were suddenly in need of both the other day.

I made a normal and unexciting body wash selection. But the toothpaste... I don't really have a "brand loyalty." I believe in paste, not gel. I smoke and drink gallons of coffee a day, so I hopefully buy the "whitening" stuff. And I like me some sturdy mint flavor.

So I bought THIS.


Ladies and Gentlemen, this is not toothpaste for the faint of heart. Mr. Abby brushed his teeth and hit the rack last night and I followed. As I climbed into bed, I remarked, "Wow. That new toothpaste..."

Apparently, he was lying there thinking the same thing. "Yeah. It's weird. Strong. Or something."

Oh, it's pasty (with some creepy orange stripes), but it's also MENTHOL-tasting. Very much so. Which is odd. However - if you suffer from chronic congestion, BUY THIS TOOTHPASTE. It'll clear you out.