07 April 2007

At last!

He finally sent a picture!

Ladies and Gentlemen, let me introduce you to the newest member of the Bad Dog Pack...[Name To Be Determined]!

He looks neither two months old, nor entirely like a lab (looks a little skinny for a pure lab - maybe some hound in there?). However, he is black and has four legs, so Mr. Abby's description wasn't totally worthless.

06 April 2007

Arming the neighbor kids - or not

I just off the phone with Randy. Randy is my older male cousin, and he lives up in Michigan. He's actually Cousin R's older brother, but I figured I'd give him his own name to keep things less confusing.

Randy is in the process of turning into a bit of an old bachelor (at 30). He works a ton, saves his money, lives alone in his own home and accumulates firearms.

At some point, he's going to meet the right gal and she's going to shut that down, so I encourage him.

Anyway. As some old bachelors are, Randy is fond of children. He is also fond of some fruit trees in his yard. He is, however, not fond of the rabbits that wreck havoc on his fruit trees.

This is the story he told me on the phone.

"So I had a family move in by me, and they had some boys. So I went over to the Dad and told him, 'Hey, I want to buy each of your kids a BB gun and BBs and let 'em shoot my rabbits.'"

I blinked into the phone. I love my cousin, but he's a straightforward guy, and I imagine he just walked up to this Dad who'd just relocated his family "to the country" and made this offer, with no more subtilty or fanfare.

"How'd that go for you, Randy?"

"Well, one of the boys was standing right there, and his eyes lit up. But the Dad was like, 'No, they're just 8 and 10 and I don't think that would be safe.' I told him, 'hey, when I was 10 I had a .410 and nobody worried about me!' But he still said no, even when I said I had 300 bucks in my pocket and I'd take 'em all down to the store right then."

"Well, I guess it ain't 20 years ago anymore, is it?"


Now, I can understand how having the goofy bachelor up the road wander over and offer to arm your children would be a little odd. But, c'mon! I know mothers can be a little flaky, but what Dad in his right mind would pass on that deal?

It's too bad, and I hope that the neighbors reconsider when they've lived there a while and realize that Randy's just...Randy. Not creepy, just the guy without a lot of social polish who thinks that boys should whack nuisance rabbits.

Because, c'mon - if you were a kid, what on earth would be more fun than having a neighbor set you up with a nice BB gun and asking you to declare open season on yard pests? I bet if those kids worked it right, they could even talk him into paying a bounty.

Gettin' Stuff Done

Slept a little this morning, then made up and to the bank, then to Jiffy Lube. Loves me that Jiffy Lube. Yes - I know I could learn to change my oil. But I don't want to screw around with it.

Then...the V-E-T. Of course, at first, Casey thought she was lucky. Hey - a car ride without the other dog! Score! Check out her Jeep-riding setup.

She's got a harness that buckles into the seat belt end. I only use it when the top is down or the windows are out, but it works. Way better than having her lunge out at a stoplight to chase some minority child.

She did well at the vet, and the vet did well off us (to the tune of $300-plus), but I got six months of flea and heartworm stuff.

On the ride home, Casey thought for a moment she was maybe going to score a treat.

Ahh...no. Even good dogs don't get designer wedding cakes. Sorry, girl.

And the trip's final highlight - a bus ad. Now, I'm really not into personal injury lawsuits to start with, but I don't think I'd be calling "Koby" on the basis of this ad. Then again, I suspect I am not the target demographic.

Eek! Visitors!

All these people are coming over and the house is a mess!

A big "thank you" to Tamara for throwing some traffic our way. Welcome to Bad Dog Central. Go ahead and grab something out of the fridge while I clear the dog toys off the sofa...

You'll find some handy links over on the left that will help you wade through the crap here. Whether the gun stuff, the war stuff, the dog stuff or something else is your thing, feel free to sniff around and see if you can find an old buried bone you like.


This is absurd. Apparently, the prospect of a road trip and job interviews has me so geeked that I am incapable of sleep.

I'm normally pretty much nocturnal, but I tend to be knocked out by 0300. I just tried for the second time tonight to fall asleep. Nada. When I caught myself doing pushups in bed (too see how that felt with my feet tucked over the mattress), I figured I may as well give up.

I've tried everything. James Patterson paperback? No luck. Two hours of reading flashlight reviews online? Buddy, if that doesn't work - nothing will.

So I'm going to go get some breakfast.

Seeing as I was busy today (yesterday? Thursday) and really was tired earlier tonight (last night?), I assume this will all lead to me falling asleep around 1030 and running late to the vet.

05 April 2007

Cue the Willie Nelson

'Cause we're about to be on the road again.

Well, I am. The Bad Dogs have a little getaway with Crazy Uncle Buddy, and I have a job interview in Texas next week. Two, actually, but one is far closer to being a "real job" than the other.

So I got my Mapquest, and I got my state maps. Tomorrow is a trip to the bank, then a trip to Jiffy Lube so my beloved Jeep is healthy for the trip, then a trip to the vet because someone (Casey) needs a bordatella booster. Then a fun-filled Saturday of making sure my grownup clothes are in order (heels - ick), and then I am outta here.

I love a good road trip. This one won't be leisurely - in fact, it'll be a Road Warrior Pedal to the Metal type of trip, but that's okay. Mostly, I just love having something to do, other than sit around here grumbling and talking to the dogs.

And c'mon - it's 1200 miles of smoking cigarettes (yeah, that quitting thing is not working out for me) and listening to old country music. You can't beat that.

Big Brown Truck of...Irritation?

I just intercepted the UPS man as he approached the door. He looked a little frightened to see me come hurtling out at him until I explained, "didn't want you to knock - makes the dogs crazy."

Of course, as I knew, it was the ammo, not the shirts.

And now you can really see why I wasn't all excited. 6.5 Carcano and an extra hundred of off-brand .30 carbine. Yeah - like I was waiting with bated breath for that.

I do have a Carcano - a bastardized sporterized cut-down of a rifle (the M91, I belive) that wasn't much to speak of originally. But - it was like $35 bucks on gunbroker.com, and after a little work and a little sanding, I took it to the range and found...it worked. You line up the sights and you hit what you're shooting at (if it's not more than 100 yards away).

But it's a little, tiny thing. So y'all know what that means...it's a kid rifle. One of the Bad Pups (my stepkids, for the new folks here) has adopted it. He can hit what he shoots at and it's his huntin' rifle, entirely ready for the day when either of the boys can sit quiety enough for more than 45 seconds and some deaf hog or whitetail wanders into range.

It's a good kid rifle. Simple iron sights, not punishing, etc. But ammo's a bitch. So when I found soft-point at 9.95/20, I jumped. Perhaps I'll take it to the range and ensure the ammo works.

Here's a pic of said Italian bastard rifle, pictured with my 336CS for reference.

UPDATE: It occurred to me that someone else might want softpoint 6.5 Carcano at 9.95/box. Here's where I got mine.

Sweet Ol' Uncle Mahmoud...

What a nice man! He let the British sailors and Marines go home. Group hugs for Uncle Mahmoud!

You know, anybody who tells you that how the release happened doesn't matter - it's the fact that the Brits are home which counts - they're wrong.

It's the difference between your dog pissing on the rug and stopping because he doesn't have to piss anymore (for a while), and stopping because you caught him, hollered at him, and tossed him outside to piss.

One course of action taught your dog a valuable lesson that, if repeated as necessary, will lead to a good dog, piss-free rugs and general peace and harmony. The other course of action will lead to damp, pee-smelling rugs for the life of the dog.

Or until you decide to live without rugs.

I lack the energy to go on about this today, but people - the Iranians learned a lesson from this, and it's not a good one.

To return to the dog analogy...when I was a kid, we'd put our pets through an obediance class taught by a very smart lady who always opened each session by reminding us that "you can't teach nothing."

That's true - your actions or lack thereof always carry a message and provide guidance to your pet. You have to be aware of this, and remain mindful to send only the messages you want received.

The rhetorical, diplomatic and military actions of a nation or group of nations also are always communicating something. I do not care for what we are teaching Iran and its filthy little co-conspirators these days.

04 April 2007

Quality time

Had to make an emergency Publix run earlier to pick up salad. I also got a little container of "sweet grape tomatoes."

Which were very yummy.

I just shared the end of the container with Casey (one for her, one for me).

Allie is still on strike about our fruit and veggie snacking.

It's okay girl, Cousin R will be back to get you and take you away from the Produce Eating Shepherd tomorrow.

Not the sharpest tool in the shed

Being an idiot, I just took all three dogs to the park. They were getting a little wound up and I figured it would be more effective than just walking them around a couple of blocks.

I was right. They're exhausted. But so am I.

First, I loaded them up. Which takes a little effort, because the instant I start collecting leashes, they get hysterical.

At this point, all I had to do was get Casey in the back, put Sparky's collar on, drive four blocks to the park (the sidewalk is too scary to walk all of them there), get the out of the Jeep, get leashes on, and get them into the park.

Jesus. We walked around the lake and over to the DOG PARK on the other side. Oh boy! DOG PARK DOG PARK DOG PARK. Of course, I had to take the leashes off, operate the park gates and then keep track of them. But they had fun.

That, people, is a fast-moving chocolate lab.

And that is Casey, Queen of the Dog Park, and She Who Herds Boxers.

We finally left the dogs park (collect dogs, attach leashes, untangle leashes, operate gates, drag dogs out). As we walked back around the lake, the gang pointed out that they were hot. Okay.

Everbody likes the lake. Some of us just like it more than others.

So then I loaded three wet dogs in the Jeep and drove home. Now I have wet, filthy dogs sleeping all over. As long as they stay asleep, it will have been worth it.

The top is going to have to stay down a couple more days to get that smell out...

03 April 2007

Why I love country music

Because, in part, of stuff like this.

Country singer wanted in shooting incident

Bily Joe Shaver wrote and sang, "Georgia on a fast train," which is one of my favorites. And, apparently, he shot a man outside a bar in some small Texas down a couple of days ago.

After Shaver left a bar in Lorena on Saturday night, a drunk, aggressive stranger with a knife followed him into the parking lot, said attorney Joseph A. Turner of Austin. Shaver shot him in self-defense, he said.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I'll share some lyrics, but you should go buy one of his albums. Hell, it looks like he might need the money for a good attorney.

On a rainy Wednesday morning that's the way that I was born in
That old sharecropper's one room country shack
They said my mommie left me the day before she had me
Said she hit the road and never once looked back
And I just like to mention my grandma's old age pension
Is the reason why I'm standing here today
I got all my country learning a milking and a churning
Picking cotton raisin' hell and baling hay
I been to Georgia on a fast train honey I wouldn't born no yesterday
I got a good Christian raisin' and an eight grade education
Ain't no need in y'all a treatin' me this way


So I picked up the phone and dialed a number. And got that weird, disconnected busy signal. I tried again a couple minutes later. Same thing. Tried a local number. Same thing.


Grabbed my cell. It can't complete any outbound call.

Emailed a buddy. She can't get a call through on either phone.

What the Hell?

My phone runs on the same FIOS lines as my internet access (which, we can see, works). My cell is an entirely different company.

I can only think of one thing that would cause this, and it doesn't make any sense, because I can't imagine why anyone would be running high-powered frequency jamming equipment here.

Well, I can, actually, but I don't think the couple of entities on the base that would have that shit would switch it on during a workday.

This is annoying.


One of the gangs points out it would be easier to make dog name suggestions if I posted a picture of the Pending Bad Dog.

Well, yes, it would. Wouldn't it?

But I don't have a picture. In fact, when I asked Mr. Abby yesterday if the little guy has any white marks, he replied, "I dunno."

[insert sound of head pounding against wall]

Jesus Christ, darling, did you notice if he has all four legs???

Poor Allie

So I was sitting on the couch last night, crunching happily through a bag of baby carrots. Casey is way into veggies, so I was tossing her one for every two or three I ate. She ALSO crunches through them with great zeal.

(Heck, even Sparky got in on the act and had one)

So Allie was staring at me. She obviously wanted a treat. Now, we know she's on a special diet, but I figured - hey, it's carrots.

I handed her one. She took it. And then just looked at me. It was as if I could read her mind.

I have absolutely no idea, she said with those big brown eyes, what the Hell is up with you people. This is not a snack.
Sorry, girl. The no-cheeseburgers rule remains in place.

02 April 2007


So I ordered a couple of shirts online. One for me, and one for Mr. Abby. I also ordered (from a different company), some ammunition.

One of those two orders has shipped, and I have no idea which. It hasn't registered with UPS to the degree that it's telling me where it's come from, so I'm totally confused.

The automated notice says the package weighs six pounds. That sounds like a lot for the shirt, but probably not enough for the ammo.

I hope it's the shirts.

UPDATE: Nope. It's the ammo. How annoying.

More Ammo Adventures at Wally World

Stopped at WalMart enroute to the range.

Yea! Plenty of Blazer Brass in my calibers! [insert happy dance here]

Had the usual experience of having to walk the gal behind the counter to the right stuff ("no...up one...to the left...yeah. Two of those...")

Ended up with 4 boxes of .45 and 2 of 9mm. Of course, the gal behind the counter wasn't empowered to use the register by the ammo, so she summoned a lackey to carry my ammo to the garden center register.

The lackey was a young guy (maybe 20, 21?).

"Wow," he said. "Gonna shoot somebody?"

I blinked. "I sure hope not." That's a pretty stupid question. But, although I'm not a crazed firearms evangelist, I do try to fight the ignorance.

He continued walking. "Going hunting?

Talkative little bastard. "Nope. Just going to the range. It's a hobby. But the same box would cost me 16 bucks there, so I stock up here."

"Huh." He was quiet until we got in line. He then opened one of the boxes of .45 and peered in. "Wow. That's a big bullet."

Jesus H. Christ. Now, some of my fellow gun nuts would kidnap the kid and take him to a Second Amendment Re-education camp, and some would shriek at him and call him a "sheeple" while berating him about his inability to protect himself and his loved ones. I mostly just wanted to not have a conversation with him.

"Well, on the outside chance it ever comes to that, I prefer a big bullet to a small one."

He looked at me. I looked at him. I thought about saying, "that's why I have eight of them in a suitable pistol on my hip right now. Which also makes me curious about why you have to carry my ammo to the register." But I left that part out.

All in all, a mildly annoying experience. The ladies at the checkout, however, were a hoot, pointing out that they were double-bagging my purchase to save me from having to gather several hundred spilled rounds from under cars in the parking lot.

01 April 2007

Moving right along...Looking for some help

OK. We got a little carried away with the last post, but I'll leave it in its stream-of-conciousness, I'd-like-to-kick-Nancy-Pelosi's ass entirety.

I would like to solicit input. As I earlier announced, we will have a young male black lab coming to live with us.

Mr. Abby wants to name him "Gunny" (after the rank). I think that's kinda dweeby, and counteroffered "Guns" (a much more familiar term for the same rank).

However, I was thinking aloud that I was inclined to like "Satchel" (the ball player).

And let's be honest - the fact that he's a black lab opens the door to lots of options.

LeeAnn has suggested "Little Black Sambo." I could definitely work with "Sambo."

How about some more suggestions? It's gotta be manly, but other than that, let's see if we can come up with something better than naming the poor little guy "Guns."

Highly uncool - Surrender monkeys run amok

You know, I've made serious efforts to remain bipartisan about this whole "War on Terror" thing. I try to be middle of the road. The President's plan in Iraq has long needed some...refinement. I've admitted that there have been alternatives and better ways to do things.

I've been waiting for someone out there, on either side of the aisle, to come up a better way to fix the Islamic terror problems (I say problems because we have distinct issues with Sunni terror and Shiite terror - they're different but equally troublesome beasts).

I've been troubled that, Joe Lieberman aside, I'm not getting anything from the Democrats.

Maybe I need to make my entire position clear. Ahem:

There are people in the Muslim world who have killed Americans, both military and civilian, with relative impunity for more than 25 years. These attacks have been committed by both Sunni extremists (Al Qaeda) and Shiite extremists (Hezbollah). The will to continue this sort of attack is still very much alive.

It is better to prevent these attacks than to let them occur. It is our duty as Americans to protect ourselves and our countrymen. It is impossible to build a giant wall around our nation and retreat within our borders, so we must take the fight to the enemy. This includes murderous regimes that blame America and the West for their shortcomings and misery. Current Middle Eastern governments keep substantial numbers of their people in misery in subjugation, then redirect their powerlessness and rage toward the West. Any offensive strategy in the Middle East requires a comittment to build functioning representative processes to replace dictatorships, which is difficult since the region doesn't have a tradition of such processes.

This is where I'm working from. I cannot imagine any of our national leadership who thinks the best way to counter what happened in New York, Washington D.C. and Pennsylvania is to give up.

We've discussed before that I was lukewarm on Iraq as a target. Oh - we needed a target, but if Abby were Queen, it probably would have been a different country in the region.

But now we're there. And man, did we every goatfuck that place. The invasion worked, the immediate aftermath didn't, and we wasted several years while the Administration refused to admit the initial plan wasn't perfect.

Changes have finally been made. We've got a helluva commander on the ground in Baghdad in General Petraeus. You ask me, I'd tell you we still don't have enough guys on the ground, but we're doing better than we were. We've reversed that awful trend leading up to the 2006 elections in which we pulled our people onto the big bases to try to keep them safer.

And now we've got the fucking Democrats in Congress whining for a pullout date. My question - are they stupid, or are they craven weasels more concerned with political success than the long term security of our nation?

'Cause folks, it's one or the other.

A pullout date is nothing. It's meaningless. Spring of '08? What the hell significance does that have? Did I miss the release of the Deomcratic Party Timeline for Success, which outlined the steps and dates for finishing the training of the Iraqi Security Forces (including a robust and functioning border guard), ensuring the Iraqi government is stable enough to run and hold elections on its own (without interference from the Bad Neighbors), and specific benchmarks for establishing enough local security for the defunct factories and oil facilities of Iraq to get fully back on line and offer employment opportunities? Did I goddam miss the part where they explained how we are going to achieve success (that is, VICTORY) by Spring of '08?

No - I don't think I did. Because for some reason, these cringing weasels apparently think we can't win there. We can't do the things in the paragraph above.

Ladies and gentlemen, that is a load of bullshit.

What we may not be able to do is have our cake and eat it too. We may not be able to have our uniformed folks at war while, as the pictures suggested, the rest of America is at the mall.

Only recently did the US Army and Marine Corps get authorized end-strength increases. We've heard the defeatists whimper about how over-tasked our military is for several years now, and only JUST NOW are we getting around to, you know, fixing that. (We're not going to be rude and talk about how our forces were gutted during the 90s - apparently someone thought we'd seen an end to war)

And that's just the beginning. We're currently handling our Reserve and National Guard forces under a "partial mobilization." There are two more steps beyond that. There may be some very hard choices to make if we don't want to lose.

We have options. And we have obligations. There are good men and women in Iraq who will die at the hands of terrorists and criminals if we pull out and abandon them.

There is a large and evil country directly next to Iraq that has watched our wobbling, our lack of resolve, our cringing and which has decided it can get away not only with defying the UN in regards to production of nuclear materials, but has also felt bold enough to kidnap and hold British servicemembers.

Iraq is not just about Iraq. Iraq is also about Iran. There are moral reasons we must not leave Iraq, promises we have made to the people of that country, and upon which they've bet their lives. There are also very serious reasons that we cannot demonstrate to Iran that we have no resolve.

Iran has a puppet state, you know. That's Syria. Syria is, of course, where Hezbollah gets to live and get money and equipment (since they've been largely pushed out of Lebanon).

Guess who's visiting Syria?

Nancy, I got 241 dead American warriors who'd like to have a little talk with you about sitting down with those savages...

Folks, this is all tied together. The term "rat's nest" doesn't even begin to describe this region. We jumped the berm into Iraq and waded ass-deep into the mess that is the modern Middle East. It isn't easy, it isn't simple. It isn't always clear, and it sure isn't made to fit neatly into soundbites.

But there is one country in the world that's a prime target for the rage that brews over there, and that is the U.S. And there is only one entity on the planet with the money, resources, brains and capability to even begin trying to unfuck the region. Fortunately, that is also the U.S.

This is not a short war. This is, as the wise men have said, The Long War. Cutting and running from Iraq misses the point. We need to figure out how to win there, because we're going to need to do it again in the same region before all too long. Whether it's at a time and place of our choosing or theirs, our work in the Middle East is far from over. Iraq is where it's started, and where we can either learn how to win, or begin learning how to lose.

Any politician who favors the later can go straight to Hell.

It's always gotta be complex...

The Bad Dogs eat the same thing. A Purina "healthy system" dry food made largely of salmon (and it stinks), with a small can of Pedigree wet food divided between them. Casey eats quite a bit, Sparky eats much less, and often they switch back forth between each other's bowls. Both are healthy weights, so I don't worry much about the details.

This has gotten a little complicated with Allie here. Like many labs, Allie is...big boned. Know what I mean? So she eats special food.

Now, although Allie hangs out with Cousin R, she really belongs to Cousin R's gentleman friend, Mr. Really Great.

Mr. Really Great is a very nice guy, but he loves his dog and could totally kick my ass. So since he takes her special diet Very Seriously (as he should), I do too.

What this means, of course, is that Dog Supper (and since Allie used to eating twice daily, Dog Breakfast), require a little adult supervision. Normally I kick the dogs out, fill their bowls, let them back in and ignore them.

Now I kick them out, fill the bowls (with crunchies - nobody gets wet food if everybody doesn't), let them in, steer them to the right bowl, steer them back to the right bowl, and stand in the middle of the kitchen until everyone is chowing down on the appropriate substance.

The Bad Dogs, of course, are now asking, "where's our people food?" since they normally get meat leftovers and big beef bones and occasionally eggs and/or soup.

And Allie occasionally tries to pull one over on me, by resting her head on my knee as I'm eating cheese or something else I'm normally inclined to share.

Sorry, Allie. Your Dad would strangle me if I fed you bacon cheeseburgers, so it's not gonna happen.