02 March 2007

Fawn Hall moments

We have a shredder. I use it, although probably not as often as I should. In the course of Operation Paperwork Beatdown here, I've been using the beejesus out of it.

I give Mr. Abby a lot of credit for stepping in and handling the day-to-day money stuff when I took off for 14 months. He even did the taxes, which impressed me. BUT! But but but... WHY did have to print out the entire year's worth of activity on our checking account?

I just finished shredding THAT monster. Good lord.

Once upon a time, when I was a buck sergeant slaving away here at Major High Silly Command, we had a PROJECT. My little sub-department occupied two trailers, and we had been directed to consolidate into one.

Our staff included me, one other buck sergeant, the World's Most Useless Senior NCO, and about 15 field-grade officers.

We moved all the easy stuff, then turned our attention to the file cabinets. At that time (and probably still now), Major High Silly Command had a policy that NO PAPER could be thrown away. Not a single sheet. Every single piece of paper had to run through the shredder (which was rated for classified stuff and thus had a shred capacity of about three pages at a time).

And we were face-to-face with file cabinets full of...crap. Lots and lots of copies of forms, printed out Army Regulations. And maybe ten sheets that could have been sensitive. All the actual classified crap had been moved to the other trailer.

Didn't matter. We had to shred it all. The field-grade officers had to be banished because, well, we all know that field grade officers have lots of good ideas but impede the process of work. The World's Most Useless Senior NCO remembered an emergency somewhere.

So that left me and my buddy MC with thousands of sheets of paper, the Slowest Classified Shredder On Earth, and a gallon of shredder oil.

Several hours later, we dragged the giant bags of tiny shreds outside and fled to the bar. Your tax dollars at work.

Bonus points for knowing who the title of this post refers to - for some reason, she grabbed my attention more than her boss when I was young.

Military funding - thoughts on Walter Reed

We're seeing some big time fallout from the recent publicity on the less-than-stellar conditions at part of Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Heads are rolling, people are howling, and it looks as though the problems will be remedied.

Good. Nobody in this country should be able to buy better medical care than that which is provided to the men and women who have been wounded in their country's service. If it is available, and if it is at all possible, our servicemembers AND OUR VETERANS deserve the very best that our magnificent country can provide.

HOWEVER - this is not instant and it cannot happen overnight. We're going to talk about the issue of providing our warriors with the best possible equipment, but we're going to talk about it in the context of something less detailed. We're going to talk about M1114 up-armored Humvees.

Upfront, I am not an impartial observer on this issue. If it were not for this vehicle, I would not be writing this, because I would have been picked up in chunks and stuffed in a bag on the side of a particularly nasty route south of Baghdad. The M1114 saved my life. Probably twice, but most definitely at least once.

When we rolled into Iraq in 2003, there weren't a lot of M1114s. We were using the M998 and varients, which are great vehicles but lack armor. As things evolved, it became apparent that armored vehicles were going to be vital. We had some, we bought more, and they filtered into theater as quickly as was possible. In the interim, our magnificent servicemembers and deployed civilians did what they do best - they improvised and rigged armor.

Now, there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth that these vehicles were not IMMEDIATELY AVAILABLE in sufficient numbers.

Yeah, that sucked. But for the love of God, people, what do you expect?

If we (the American people) had wanted, we could have funded the manufacture and storage of several million M1114s. We could have done it in the 90s, when we weren't fighting a war and the economy was good.

But we didn't. Our leadership at that point thought we should enjoy a "peace dividend" in the wake of the fall of the Soviet Union, and so we cut military spending. The American people allowed it. Who wants to spend billions on that stuff when we didn't have to?

Then the need arose, and the funding was there, and we did the best we could. Ditto on body armor. Ditto on little things - drop-down holsters for deploying soldiers, M4 carbines, MICH helmets, one-hand tournequets. Ditto on the best possible medical facilities for our warriors.

Folks, we are always responsible for how our government spends our money. Some things we cannot forsee - stockpiling M1114s probably wouldn't have been a great idea, and they're already vulnerable to EFPs, so we're having to work up something better. Maybe the body armor, too. Technology advances fast - we've already got better alternatives than the Interceptor system that's saved so many lives. If we'd stockpiled whatever was available in '95, that may not have been a good use of money.

But the medical stuff...

Ladies and gentlemen, if you think we'll ever see an end of war, you're both an optimist and a fool. There is no reason to believe that at least once a generation, we will not send our warriors somewhere, and that we will not get some of them back broken.

Someday, we will stop fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. We will stop seeing the warriors come home, and their departures will no longer be on the local news. It will be easy then to stop paying attention to our military medical facilities. But if we do that, then the next time we send them off, we will not be as ready to care for the broken ones as we can be.

Not today, but in two or five or ten years, it will be vital for us to hold our representatives' feet to the fire. We must demand that they fund and supervise our military medical facilities to the point of readiness. Not a minimal standard, but to the standard of high-dollar civilian facilities. That way, when the first wounded soldier from whatever fight we're in in 2015 comes off the plane, it will be to what he deserves.

We must do the same with our VA hospitals. Around the country, they care for the wounded of our current war, and they care for the wounded of our past wars. A Marine damaged at Tarawa or Khe Sahn deserves no less care than a Marine damaged in Ramadi.

Let's remember this. And let's not drop the ball when this drops off the front page.


Wow - LL over at Chromed Curses threw us a link and I see I have quite a few folks dropping in. Thanks!

Hi! Welcome to Bad Dog Central. Happy to have you here.

We're pretty eclectic around here. We like dogs, and guns, and amusing military stupidity. We love our brothers and sisters in the sandbox. We talk about things that Piss Abby Off, and we talk about Abby's Mom kicking breast cancer in the ass.

We talk about lots of things, so feel free to wander around and see if you can dig up a bone that appeals to you.

Whenever someone throws us a link, I feel the need to be MORE ENTERTAINING. I have a vision of dressing up as the Mr. Salty Pretzel Guy and dancing around for you all. Don't worry - I won't do that.

Stayed tuned, as later today we'll be posting on CHARISMATIC MEGAFAUNA. There WILL be imagery.

Learning from the mistakes of others

I have no idea whether this is true or not. But The Smallest Minority found a post on the Mississippi Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks message board that can serve as a caution for all of us who've ever looked at a deer and thought, I wonder if I could rope one of those?

The answer, apparently, is yes. But it doesn't sound like a very good idea. Excerpt:

A brief 10 minutes later, it was tired and not nearly as quick to jerk me off my feet and drag me when I managed to get up. It took me a few minutes to realize this, since I was mostly blinded by the blood flowing out of the big gash in my head.

Now go read the whole thing.

01 March 2007

Product testing...

You know we here at BDC do not endorse anything we do not personally think is fabulous. So tonight I'm taking it upon myself to try "Landshark Lager."

Thus far (half a bottle in), it seems fine. Decent, light, American-style beer. A little tiny bit more robust than Corona (then again, what isn't?).

It's a shameless moneymanking tool for the Jimmy Buffet Empire. And I'm cool with that. Jimmy Buffet has been very good to me, and so I'm entirely about giving him money.

I've liked the music for years. I actually worked as unpaid security in my young jarhead days at a concert of his in Maryland. That was a hoot.

I've participated in the writing and drunken singing of many bad parodies "Margaritaville" in many places. My favorite? "Wasting away in Utapao," written by a pack of Marines stranded at an airbase in Thailand for a seemingly endless training exercise.

Jimmy Buffet also makes bad things better.

A couple of very clever GIs ripped him off to make fun of their time in Iraq ("Mortaritaville"). Hear the song here. Buy the album here.

I had a copy of Barometer Soup I used to listen to after the bad days in Iraq and that was a good thing.

I even read the books. Only "Tales from Margaritaville" was actually worth buying, but that's okay. I didn't hold it against the guy.

So anyway, I'm product testing his beer. I'm definitely biased, but I think the verdict will be at least "drinkable."

Tigers report!

This was fun. I recommend it. The drive was painless and less than an hour. Parking was $5, and then I was there. [cue "let there be light" music]

Joker Marchant Stadium is a good place to watch a ballgame (Joker Marchant, incidentally, was the director of parks in Lakeland back in the late 40s and was instrumental in setting up "Tigertown"). I don't think there's a bad seat in the house. I had a "nosebleed" seat, and this was the view.

Do note the sea of white hair. This is Lakeland, Florida in March, folks. The crowd was pretty "mature." But a fabulous baseball crowd. I saw people meeting up who apparently do this every year as part of their snowbird routine. Most of the stadium staff was from the same demographic, which meant that service was available and cheerful, although a bit hard of hearing.

The Tigers looked good. Mike Maroth started out pitching, and looked like he might be able to make it work this year. Justin Verlander, not surprisingly, threw the ball really hard. The infield looked good, with the exception of a dropped popup by Sean Casey. After last year's World Series performance, my guess is that there've been plenty of infield drills.

Sean Casey at second base. I love this guy because he can hit, and he can play his position, but he can't run. He was standing on second because he'd hit a hard bouncer into the right field corner. It rattled around for a while. And it was still close at second. Gotta love him.

After about the fifth inning, both teams started playing the guys who won't be make the team this year. Mostly that was pretty dull, but some of the non-roster invitees were interesting.

Timo Perez brought back some Lou Whittaker memories, both from the way he handled himself in the batter's box and the way he hit the ball. Brandon Watson did some very nice hitting, and was smart and quick on the base path. That was fun to see.

As for the food, I recommend the pulled pork sandwich ($6 with potato salad). I left fat and happy, but unlike some fans, I did not get to nap on the way home.

Off I go

To see the TIGERS. Report to follow!

28 February 2007

Something new every day

Looking for places to work in Texas led me to this site...who'd'a thunk there was such a thing as a squirrel rescue organization?

27 February 2007

Bad Shit

As I was driving up Dale Mabry tonight, I passed a very recent accident. I assume there was a car or truck involved, but there was definitely a motorcycle. And a motorcyclist. The bike was in pieces, and they were covering what was left of the rider with a sheet.

I'm married to a motorcycle guy (remember the Wreck of The Ducati?) and I'm well aware that there are many safe and conscientious riders out there.

But a lot of motorists are idiots.

Be careful out there, gang. I don't have many readers, and I'd like the ones I have to stay alive, since you're all obviously bright folks with good taste.

And oh yes - although I don't know if a helmet was present or not with the dead rider tonight, I see lots of bikers zipping around carry helmets but not wearing them. If you do that, stop it. That's dumb. Wear your helmet. Oh, I support your right to not wear one, but it's a stupid choice to make.


So I was just sitting here, trying to figure out what to do with myself. I've been cleaning, and I've been shooting. And I've been running. But I needed some other activity.

I hate TV.

I was watching the local news, and the sports guy was talking about hockey. I sighed, thought, I wish there was baseball to watch...

Am I an idiot or what? Where do I live? Florida. What happens in Florida every year during this awful period of hockey and basketball? Spring Training.

How 'bout that? Every year of my life (well, most of them, when I've been the US), I've heard reports "from Lakeland," and "from Fort Meyers."

Well, I'm here. I'm not totally broke. And I have nothing to do other than send resumes west and call and bug the temp agency people. I am 35 miles from Lakeland. So guess what Abby is doing Thursday?

I knew there was something that didn't suck about this state.

Update on Florida Madness

On the TBO page today we find this gem: Sex Change Up For Public Debate Tonight I'm linking you to the main page so you can see they actually used that very verbiage.

Commissioner Mary Black on Monday offered a resolution calling for the termination of Stanton's contract "in the best interest of the city." Commissioners will consider the resolution during a special meeting at 6 p.m. today at city hall, 201 N. Highland Ave. A large crowd is expected, and additional police and fire personnel will be on hand.


Now, I don't care if you think this guy is a courageous hero or a freak of nature. But think about that - one of your major life decisions up for public debate.

I've felt a lot in the last year or so like all my major decisions have somehow been made by committee, and it's not a happy feeling. And MY committee is made up people I care about and who like me.

This guy...Oh god, I feel sorry for him. I've often thought that if I were him, I'd probably just change my name and move to Mexico rather than try to stay in the same position, but...whatever.

But let's not have public debate on this. If the city council wants him gone, let them do it in a nice, closed-door meeting.

I don't know what's up with me

But the typos have been something else recently. I normally catch one or two when I publish, but I'm finding posts that look like I dictated them to a rhesus monkey. Yikes.

UPDATE- hold on, this is the Internet! None of you all are here. You don't know what's really going on in my house. So it's my story and I can tell it however I like.


There is a rhesus monkey taking my dictation. He's pretty good, but he does make mistakes. Don't criticize my typos or spelling errors, because it's the rhesus monkey making them. It may not be perfect, but it's pretty good for a rhesus monkey.

Ugh (gasp)...

It's warming up here again. Right around 80 and HUMID. So I went for a run. If you live in Florida, you cannot refuse to run if it's warm and humid. Well, you can, but then you won't really ever run at all.

So I did. Started feeling crummy tired right around 1.25, so I went 3 instead of 2.3. Running, in my world, is largely a mind over body thing. So if the body starts whining, I run an additional lap or half-lap around the park. To remind the body that the mind is in charge.

Yes, I know it's sick, but it's what I do.

As usual, Sparky is being super-annoying after my return. He recognizes red-faced and sweaty and seems to believe that means I need him to CUDDLE UP. You'd think that after I swat him across the couch EVERY TIME he does that, he'd learn. But you'd be wrong.

I'm fortunate to have a nice park with a nice trail .4 miles from the house. It's 1.5 around, and I can make a half-lap by using a connecting trail. The downside of the park is that whenever I want to run more than one lap (which is pretty much always), I have to pass the entrance. That gives my whiny body a chance to try to weasel me into going home early.

Oh, c'mon, the legs say. Let's just head back to the house...we're tired!

My favorite place to run is a nearby bridge. There's no way for the body to weasel out on that one. It's 2.6 miles across, and once you reach the other side, well, you really don't have much of a choice beyond turning around and running back. I like that.

26 February 2007


Oh holy God - I've never watched this before. What the Hell is the deal with this family?

I came from a smackin' home. It wasn't my parents' response to everything, but there was absolutely no doubt in my mind that an ass-whippin' was always on the table.

That's not a bad thing. It's good to know one's limits. And it's a big mean world, so there are lots worse things in the world than a little ass-whippin'. Getting one's ass beat occasionally is good practice for real life.

Oh Jesus, one of these kids just hit the mom. I'm going to stop writing about this before my head exploded.

Wife Swap

Is this not the weirdest show ever? Have you ever watched this? I'm catching it for the second time, and it's a strange one.

Two families are selected. It's apparent that each family needs to be profoundly weird in some way. This week it's the family that bottles deer urine and a family wherein the husband has a real job and the woman apparently travels around hosting "princess parties" for 5 year old girls.

The last one I watched involved a family that adhered to some sort of raw meat diet swapping women with the wife of some urban hipster.

What I find interesting is that these people all apparently volunteer for this show. I think a lot of it is some sort of urge to evangelize - they think they need to share their way of life with others.

People get awfully worked up on this show, but for the most part, I think the participants are good sports.

Today's mystery object

I found this while I was walking the Bad Dogs and I couldn't help but pick it up.

No - not the cigarettes. The object. The cigarettes are just there so you can see its size.

I was utterly perplexed. It's heavy, but not as heavy as a lead sinker of the same size would be. I was initially quite concerned it was something ass-related, because that would be my luck.

"Oh? You're looking for your shiny metallic suppository? Well, I think it's IN MY POCKET!"

But I don't think so. When I took it out of my pocket and set it on the counter, the behavior of nearby objects immediately told me that my object is magnetic. Very magnetic.

So what do you think it might be? The closest thing I can think of is a cow magnet, but it's a little small and the shape isn't quite right. Please - if you know, let me in on the secret...

Operation Gain Control

Situation: Bad Dog Central is entirely out of control. There are giant piles of shriekingly important paperwork, boxes of items both vital and inconsequential scattered around, and a severe case of general disarray. There is a pending major move in approximately 120 days.

Mission: Gain control of the general household area and situation. This will be divided into several specific sub-missions.
(mission of subordinate units, ie dogs - stay out of the way and don't eat anything non-organic)
(mission of adjacent units, ie Mr. Abby - don't offer helpful advice, provide helpful information as required)
Sub-missions (include for planning purposes, but are not limited to)
(1) Operation Paperwork Beatdown
(2) Operation Banish Useless Shit
(3) Operation Relocate Less Useful Shit
(4) Operation Tidy Up

Execution: All missions will be complete NLT 2 MAR.

(1) Operation Paperwork Beatdown
A. separate all household paperwork into piles labeled "keep" and "shred."
B. shove paperwork in folders labeled clearly enough for the slower members of our houselhold
C. stow folders and expanding files in single file drawer to expedite moving

(2) Operation Banish Useless Shit
A. locate all items not used or referenced in last 180 days. Evaluate their retention potential and issue use exemptions based on sentimental value, liklihood of future usefulness and ease of transport.
B. dispose of all items not meriting a 180-day use exemption based on the criteria in paragraph (2)A
C. find and dispose of all clothing belonging to Mr. Abby that makes him look stupid. Even if he really likes it.

(3) Operation Relocate Less Useful Shit
A. Identify those items designated for retention with a low immediate-use potential and transport them to the storage unit

(4) Operation Tidy Up
A. Procure movement-ready containers for temporary storage of household items normally stored using the "big pile" method.
B. Stack movement-ready containers in symetrical piles
C. Vaccum

Admin and Logistics
Disposal of paperwork and materials will involve leaf bags, trash bags, and both garbage cans, providing the one really crapy garbage can doesn't give up the ghost.

Command and Signal
All operations will be executed with complete authority by Abby. Requests for information will be routed via cell to Mr. Abby. Specific requests from Mr. Abby to keep stupid-looking clothes will be routed to the answering machine and immediately erased.

So - now y'all know what I'm up. Too much fun, hey?

25 February 2007

Sweet sweet MEAT

You've heard me talk about the joy of meat, but Hog On Ice is the king. I've been following his dry-aging adventure for a while now, and the results are in. Two posts on the subject:

1 - in which he photographs meat
2 - in which meat is cooked and eaten

There are no words for my envy. But I do note he resides in Florda, so perhaps I should cruise the state, windows down so I can sniff the breeze, then show up and look as pathetic as I can...

Fun at Abby's expense

OK. My veterans out there are going to laugh at me.

I was loading some AR-15 magazines before going to the range today. The 30-round ones. I don't have a speedloader, or ammuntion on stripper clips, or that many magazines (yet), so I was doing it by hand.

Now, all my old military people know that these magazines are tricky. It's entirely possible to not have the rounds in quite right. If you do it wrong, the green tips will extend too far forward and catch on the front of the magazine or not feed right. See below image.

So, what you gotta do is thump the magazine every so often to ensure the rounds are up against the back of it. Got it? You can (and should) slap the magazine against your thigh or the open palm of your hand.

But that's not what Abby did, is it? Because we all know that the best way to seat the rounds is with a good, firm tap on your helmet.

Did you know that if you do that at least once a day for a year, the next time you load an AR15 magazine, even if it's months later, you will do the exact same thing?

Except I don't wear a helmet around my house. Ouch. I feel like an ass.

Let the party begin!

Yep, Mr. Abby is out of the area. Off for professional development or some such tomfoolery.

In his absence, we are LIVIN' IT UP here at BDC. Casey has her half of the couch staked out, and Sparky is looking forward to sleeping on Mr. Abby's pillow. I will be off to the range shortly, and on the way home will stop for FRUIT, CEREAL and ROOT BEER, those being the things we subsist on when he's gone.

Any of you nefarious types out there who might view this as a good opportunity to come to BDC and steal our squeaker toys, beware! As always when the Mister is out of town, we've raised the household DEFCON from 4 to 3. That's right - we've got the Claymores out and I've taught Sparky to dial 9-1-1 while Casey does bite-testicles-and-shake-vigorously.

Ahhh...several weeks of nothing but CNN and the old country music channel. I'm all about that.

Unburdening ourselves

Oh, good lord. In today's pointless news that's supposed to make us all feel good (or perhaps, bad) about ourselves - Virginia expresses 'profound regret' for slavery

This has got us all in the mood to apologize for sins we have not committed, but which have been committed by someone somehow related to us.

I am profoundly sorry about all the trees my logger Grandpa cut down.

Mr. Abby is profoundly sorry about all those conquistadors his ancestors killed.

Casey is profoundly sorry about every rioter ever bitten on the ass by a police dog.

I'm sure the trees, conquistadors and rioter asses will feel as good about this as the slaves do.

Sorry, but I've never been sufficiently Catholic to see the point in self-flagellation.