21 April 2007

Lazy Saturday Evening

Yep. Life is rough here at Bad Dog Central. Observe your author in her natural environment.

Please do not laugh at my running shoes and red socks. They're running socks, and that's what I was doing right before Mr. Abby and I headed to the range.

You can see Casey's ears in the background here - she obviously chose to avoid an encounter with the scary digital camera.

And now, as evidenced by the charcoal in the above image, it's time to grill steaks.

Awkward moments

with Mr. Abby. Including when he says, "we're not buying any more guns until after we move, RIGHT?"

I pause. Blink. He reads the blog. How can he have missed this?

"Well, actually, I'm going to order one of the CMP carbines at the end of the month."

He looked at me. I look at him.

"Can't we wait?"

"I don't think so, honey. I mean, if you want, we can wait until Fall, and then I can drop like $1,200 on a rarer manufacturer. But really, I'm good with the $495 Inland."

"Well, I guess that's better to afford now than to afford later."

Yesss...my precious. We will afford the Inland now, and then we will be amazed by our ability to afford the Saginaw S'G' this fall...we will be amazed because we will not notice our wife has delayed the electric and gas bills...

20 April 2007


I get such a kick out of the sitemeter. I get lots of folks like this:

Referring URL http://www.google.co... of the night yorkie
Search Engine google.com
Search Words random barking in the middle of the night yorkie

And I get some unfortunate, desperate souls for whom things seem to have gotten a bit further out of hand...
Referring URL http://www.google.co...ously bad dogs&meta=
Search Engine google.co.uk
Search Words training for seriously bad dogs

But the one totally random post on which I still get folks wandering in is one in which I mentioned by name a certain male enhancement product advertised on late night TV. I'm not sure what share of those hits are sleazebags who want to see the sleazy commercials again (ick), and what share are the unfortunate souls who think they might need said product.

It makes it kinda tempting to just post random word strings and see what happens. Let's try!

Weasels wearing diapers
Hot wet rawhide chewtoy
Monkey with wineglass
Paperback shotgun marathon

There. I'll let y'all know how that turns out for me.

I live in the dumbest place on earth

I hate to keep hitting y'all with these local news roundups, but the madness just never ends here.

Let's start off by revisiting the whole shooting-range hostage thing from a little while back. Remember that? It seems that one of the hostages, who was on TV chattering cheerfully away about his "ordeal" almost immediately afterward, was on felony probation. And now he's back in jail. (moral of the story - no matter how shiny and exciting the TV camera is, if you're on probation, and you're not supposed to handle firearms, don't go on TV so your image is broadcast all over the state.)

Then we have Man In Miniskirt Exposed Self To Cop, Police Say. This really requires no further statement.

I just don't get this place.

Slightly odd

Apparently, my puppy has no bones.

Jack is forever just collapsing. He just slid off the big chair on which he was dozing and landed in a heap, apparently without even waking up.

This is turning into an amusing regularity. Rub his ears, and his legs go out from under him, then he's on the floor. The gals at the vet stroked him, and he just flopped down. He was sitting on my lap earlier, nodded off, and slipped to the floor.

Is this a lab thing? Will he grow bones as he gets older, or am I doomed to have a collapsing dog for the next ten or 12 years?

NOTE: It's not a submissive thing, it's some sort of...laziness/mellow thing.

19 April 2007

For the record...

I've about had it with the overuse of the word "kid" when the talking heads are going on about the Virginia Tech shooting.

The evil cowardly sniveling whiny wannabe shit who did this...let's please not soften the vileness of his acts by referring to him a "disturbed kid," or a "kid who needed help."

He was 23. He was a grown man.

23 and in college does no confer upon one some sort of "errant child" status. 23 is five years past the age of majority.

I find this whole trend offensive. Hanging out in college is not, it is generally accepted, a sign of emotional, intellectual or social retardation. So why is this little fucker getting off with the label "kid?"

Why does infantilizing some guy in his early 20s piss Abby off? Well, folks, because it infantilizes all the guys in their early 20s. We should not allow that.

It pissed me off, when I heard either Glen Beck or his guest use the term for the shooter. For some reason, it made me think of another guy in his early 20s. A year younger than Cho, in fact.

Cpl. Jason L. Dunham was 22 when he died.

These two young men should not be mentioned in the same breath, unless we're discussing the very finest and the very worst that we produce here in America. But it remains useful when we need reminding that childhood does not extend into one's 20s. It simply does not. To do so is to try to put off accepting responsibility for one's actions. When we allow this sort of "cute term" to be applied to GROWN MEN, we increase even further that ever-growing goddam group of people who we don't simply expect to able to pull their weight.

A 23 year-old man is fully responsible for the things he does. Beyond just Cpl. Dunham - an exceptional example, one of the finest men of his generation - hundreds of thousands of 23-year-olds in this country are adult, productive members of society. Fathers, mothers, guys with five years' seniority on the assembly line, nurses with degrees and couple of years of experience. Teachers.

It is possible that Cho should have been more forcefully handled by the University. It is possible that someone, somewhere along the way could have done something to prevent this specific event.

But he alone is responsible. He was a disturbed, pissy, whiny, sulking little beast. He wallowed in his own perceived little world of drama and torment. He was smart enough to be a student at Virginia Tech - this is not East Podunk Junior College - he was a functioning adult who conciously made bad, evil, murderous decisions.

Just because we don't like what he did doesn't mean we get to pretend he's a dumb little kid. He was a bad man.


Sorry about the light posting. It's been a tiresome couple of days. I'm going to summarize.

It's hard to write when there's only one real-world story going on. The position I take, and the position pretty much everyone I'm interested in takes, is, "Jesus. What an awful shame. Too bad somebody didn't shoot that bastard before he killed all those fine people." Once everybody's said that, and agreed on that, everything else is...unnecessary.

Jack's vet appointment was great. He was a good boy. No microchip showed up when they scanned him (but he's got one now), so he'll be staying. He's got The Appointment next Friday. Vet says he's probably almost full grown. He weighs 43 pounds now, she said he'll probably get an inch taller and end up at 55 or 60 pounds. Cool. I've had much bigger dogs, but that's a handy size.

I have a job, and a start date (end of next month). That's nice, because it enables us to move forward in our dialog with a realtor and start some concrete planning. It's also going to enable me to buy tickets to my buddy's wedding, since now I know where I'll be flying out of.

I'm not going to be specific about who I'll be working for, but that's more to protect my privacy than anything else. Suffice it to say it's the first private-sector job I'll have held since 1996. Even my rent-a-cop time was as a federal contractor. I'm not sure how I feel about that, since a highlight of the public stuff was always feeling as though I was providing a service to people. We'll see.

The highly entertaining part of all of this, and the part which you all will be invited to ride along and laugh at me during, is going to be June. I'll be heading to DFW at the end of May, and until Mr. Abby and the Pack show up and we close on a house, I will be seeking one of those homeless-people-type "weekly rate" motels to live in. And I'm poor. And cheap.

So, although we'll suffer a shortage of dog pics in June, you all will be privvy to Exclusive Updates from Skid Row. An adventure! I can't wait.

18 April 2007

Fiddling around...

..trying to get this job issue in Texas sewed up. Hopefully I'll have that all clear by this evening.

Then Mr. Abby and I can start the specific date planning for the madness that will be the next couple of months. Too much fun.

In other news, I'm taking off in a few minutes for Jack's first vet appointment. He obviously has no clue. He tried to climb in the shower with me earlier (No! Bad Dog! There's not enough warm water for me, and there's not enough for you!). He also crossed a serious bad dog line when I had to retrieve my Detroit Tigers cap from the yard. You can steal my shoes, dog, but keep your nasty teeth off my Tigers hat.

17 April 2007

Tampa News Roundup

A yorkshire terrier puppy stolen from a local pet store has been returned. Moral of the story? Yorkies seem like a really good idea, but once you have one, the horrible truth emerges very quickly. They're evil little beasts. An aside - we disapprove of pet stores that sell pets. This puppy was stolen from a glass-fronted kennel in the middle of the night. What a sad place for a puppy to be.

Moving right along...
A local man doing 83 in a 65 zone got pulled over and was busted with half a kilo of cocaine. Moral of this one? If you're driving around with a fairly large quantity of cocaine, significantly exceeding the speed limit is probably not the best idea.

A father shot and killed his son in an argument over money. This happened in Gibsonton, a community that's traditionally...a little weird. It's where the carnies and circus freaks winter, which probably explains the somewhat odd names of the men involved.

OK, folks, that's it for now.


Jack is settling in nicely. We continue to work on what is and what is not a toy. We're getting there.

In good news, he's not chewing on prohibited items. He likes to pick them up and move them around. This can get a little irritating. Please observe.

Yes. To the right of the stuffed camel, and above the grill brush, that would be my shoe.I'm glad he's not eating my sandals, but it's a little annoying to want to put them on and to have to venture out in the yard to find one.

The grill brush, apparently, just rocks. I hung it back on the grill, but while I was collecting up toys to bring them back inside, he got it again. I am a little curious about what all I might find if I were to really dig through his favorite clump of grass by the fence.

Small victories

The yard has been de-pooped. It needed it - badly.

Man, I can't wait until the kids are around for the summer. One of my favorite things to be able to say is, "Five bucks to whoever de-poops the yard." Yes, it adds up, but scooping dog shit out of the yard is one of those things I'm happy to pay for.

16 April 2007

Thinkin' about a project

a Gun Project, that is.

I've got a new rear sight on my old Ballester Molina, but the front sight issue is requiring serious contemplation. The one I got won't work - at least not with the tools and workspace I currently have - and I may need to order another. So that's on hold.


we know I intend to pick up an Inland M1 carbine via CMP (go there now so you can get one too!) very soon.

My trusty old Plainfield, with which I can shoot 25 yard groups and cover them with a thumbnail all day long, is begging to become...some sort of exercise in sly humor. As we know from this image:

I already slapped a RamLine black composite stock on it, just for shits and giggles.

Now, you people know I love my M1 carbine, and I think all of you need one, and I think every child between 8 and 12 needs one, and every adult who's never fired a rifle needs one...

Then I found THIS.

Well, huh. That's a damn accessory rail for an M1 carbine.

Now, I ain't never had me no "accessories." When I went Iraq, they gave us M4 carbines, and that was it. No AimPoints, no ACOGS, no EOTechs, no lights, no vertical forward grips. Nada. And you know what? The M4 works just fine without those things. Not saying that some folks (especially those who routinely operate in darkness) don't find them useful, but suffice it to say - I needed my M4, I used my M4, and it worked just fine with iron sights.

So, I'm not doing anything to my AR at this point. I can work that iron sight system with all of Hell falling down around me (let's hear a big "thank you, US Marine Corps!"). I'll take some convincing to switch to anything else.

But I'm willing to learn....

So, I'm thinking, since I'll soon have a real GI carbine to shoot and teach on and hang on the wall, I may as well really screw with the Plainfield. The Ultimak rail system (about which I've heard good things, and which is pictured above) can be had for under a hundred bucks.

Now...about the optic to put on it. I really really like the EOtech concept. I think it's a great system for the application - that is, getting rounds on target real fast, real close. But man, even the cheap one is 300 bucks. I might be able to buy used for a little less...

But geez...I paid $175 for the carbine (and put another $150 in Abby-hours into it).

I'd love a cheap ripoff to decide if I like the concept enough to try the real deal on my AR. But it's hard to pick one. Any of y'all got any ideas? Something similar in ergonomics and function (I know the quality won't be the same) so I can see if it's a concept I want to drop money on?

Plus, then I'd have an uber-tactical M1 carbine. And that, in and of itself, strikes me as cool in an amusing sort of way. Kinda like a 90-year-old woman who's good with a switchblade. Yeah, it's funny. But do you really want to try to mug her?

Last word...

from me on this Virginia Tech situation. I say again, Bad Dog hearts go out to victims, families and those in pain tonight.

We do not yet know, and will not know for several days, at the least, exactly how this unfolded. We know there was a single gunman. We know he shot people in the dorms, then crossed campus and shot roughly 40 more.

We know this unfolded over a couple of hours, although it doesn't seem clear exactly how long the shooter was "active" at the second location. We do know he moved among a few different locations within Norris Hall.

There will be much speculation about the gunman's motivation - what drove him to such violence, what could have been done to "help him" before he committed the crimes. There will be discussions about more "programs" to "support" troubled students.

This is all fine and good, but it isn't the angle of this tragedy on which I feel qualified to speak.

Once upon a time, I was on a small Forward Operating Base, and there was a shooting. As often happens in such situations, very little was immediately clear. There was a gravely injured soldier, and with no other information to go on, word was rapidly spread that all soldiers must immediately load a personal weapon, confine themselves to their tent areas, and be prepared to defend themselves.

I feel qualified to speak to this: there is evil in the world. There are people who are evil, and there are people who are not, but who nonetheless commit evil acts. Once this begins, the only option is to limit the damage.

Focusing soley on the prevention of horror denies human experience. No matter what we do, bad things will happen.

LawDog has written very well today on the mindset required to counter evil and horror. He also points out that Virginia is a state that allows individuals licensed to carry firearms to do so on college and university property - Virginia Tech as an institution decided this would not be allowed. The Virginia legislature opted not to force universities to allow the carry of firearms by licensed individuals.

What are the chances that, had it not been forbidden, an armed student or staff member would have been in a place and time and tactical situation that would have permitted them to intervene? We'll never know. What are the chances that a student with a firearm in a dorm room could have stopped this horror after two deaths? We'll never know.

If any of those dead or wounded were my friends, my family, I would like to have had the chance to find out. I would like for someone, anyone - the janitor, a GI Bill student, a professor, anyone - to have been able to fight back. If it had been one gutsy, stupid soul three rooms away, who'd arrived only in time to shoot it out and save one student - that would have been a better outcome.

Listen, guns aren't the answer to every question, the solution to every problem. But - in a world where evil happens, and 32 people die at the hands of one sick bastard, it sickens me that the university administration clearly and consciously, with eyes wide open, decided to remove the ability of those in their care to fight back.

I cannot imagine many situations which would tear me up more than this: I imagine sitting in a classroom in the morning, listening to a lecture, backpack by my feet, coffee on my desk. I imagine hearing shots - knowing instantly, viscerally, what they are - hearing screams. I imagine my old instincts to run to the sound of the guns - I have felt it before. I imagine looking down at my backpack, in which any of my service pistols could ride comfy and concealed and realizing that, because I am a rule-following student, I have a graphing calculator. I imagine the horror of realizing that although I have the training, the mindset, and the ability to save lives, I do not have the tool. It would break my heart.

Food for thought

There's a lot of talk about cellphone notification and text messages and emails as it becomes very apparent that Virginia Tech fucked up big time this morning.

Just for the record, in case anyone in a position to think about these things reads here...sometimes low-tech isn't bad.

Sirens work.

Campus-wide sirens, with two or three different tones, coded "fire," "tornado," "shelter in place," provide a notice to people walking around, joggers, students and faculty in parking lots. Sirens wake up sleeping students and, if they're good, loud sirens, can be heard over an ipod.

We're going to wait for things to become a little clearer before we talk about the very obvious, legal-in-Virgina, option that may not have saved every life, but could well have saved 30 of them.

Bad Dog Cage Match

So...when the 45-pound puppy decides to beat up the nine-pound yorkie and steal his food, once the snarling melee is broken up, which dog is bleeding?

That would be the 45-pound puppy.

Once again proving that size is no match for "getting aggresive enough fast enough," Sparky is getting some much-deserved adoration from Mr. Abby while Jack lets the bite wound on his chin clot.

It's a learning process.

Virginia Tech madness

Well, this sounds pretty freakin' awful: Chief: At least 20 dead in campus shootings

I dislike talking out my ass, so I'll refrain from any commentary until we have a better idea of exactly what went down.

Bad Dog hearts go out to those affected.

UPDATE: Now we're looking at around 30 killed, and 20-some wounded. In two locations. Over the course of several hours. Something, I think, may have gone terribly wrong.

15 April 2007


OK, so now that's TWO nice long posts that are still in draft form because I'm spending a lot of time explaining what is an "unacceptable toy."

Puppies. Gotta love 'em. 'Cause they're too cute to shoot.

Anyway, "unacceptable toys" so designated within the last 36 hours include (but are not limited to):
grill brushes
cranberry-orange lip balm
Gold Bond Foot Powder
baseball caps
tupperware dishes
gatorade bottles
water bottles
Advil bottles
Cinnabon lip balm
styrofoam packing peanuts
paper towel rolls

Of course, this has all been in addition to his obsession with "acceptable" toys, including (but not limited to): Nylabones, beef bones, tennis balls, Bad Cuz, the Tire Bite, five different plush squeaker toys, and a stuffed camel.

He's a good boy, but every time I take one "unacceptable" toy away (No! Bad Dog!) and replace it with, say, the Tire Bite (Now THAT's a GOOD BOY!), he's cool for about five minutes, then comes wandering in with something NEW and unacceptable.

We also discovered he's not afraid of the shower. We discovered that when he leaped in the shower to stay close to Mr. Abby.

Seriously - I'm about to return to being more than a one-subject blogger. I swear.


Yes, folks, it is that fine day widely recognized in the gun nut blogosphere as "Buy A Gun Day."

I've wandered my favorite blogs and made a note of all the fine toys folks are picking up.


I feel as though I'm not pulling my weight, but I just can't pull it off this year. Money is tight. I've picked up several new firearms this year, and I'm still focused on that CMP Inland carbine at the end of the month.

So, alas, no new armament today at BDC.

You all enjoy your new toys. I'll pick up the slack in the next few months, I promise. If you've got the means, please compensate for the damage I've done to the average and buy yourself TWO guns today.

The days of poverty are rapidly coming to an end, though. The first gun-related object that will come with my pending employment and our move is a safe. The 10-gun glass-front cabinet just ain't cutting it anymore.

After that...a nice .270 or .308 for open-country hunting, and I really really need a mid-size .357 to round out the collection, and then I need to start trying to find a decent Garand, and I'd like a .410 or .28ga autoloader, and...well, suffice it to say I'm certainly not going to leave the American firearms industry high and dry.

Heh. I love this hobby.

You's talk funny

I thought this was highly interesting. It's a survey of regional dialect patterns.

Mostly, it looks to me like a lot of regional peculularities have become widespread - not surprising considering the increased mobility of Americans.

I've been accused of talking like a northerner. I've also been accused picking up strange southern phrases. I'm sure a lot of that is the military - that's a culture that, beyond its own weird turns of a phrase, blends a lot of different regionalisms. I've heard it said that "everyone in the Army sounds like they're from Georgia," which is, to my observation, largely true.

Although we mostly recongize that there is a "correct" way to speak, there ARE acceptable variations in both phrasing and pronounciation. I've always found that interesting.

Anyway. Thought y'all might get a kick out of the survey, hey? Enjoy.