21 July 2007

I need a helmet

I drink coffee all day, so I was in the restroom at work (again). I was tucking my shirt in and glanced down.

Something didn’t look right with my dark green T-shirt. I paused, mid-tuck. Huh – thought I – is this on inside out?

Why, yes. Yes, it was.

This particular shirt has those semi-pronounced seams and no tag, so there’s really not much difference. And the people I work with are…less than observant.

But I had a cup of coffee and a couple of cigarettes with the Mister this morning before I left. I would have expected better.

Paying the piper

Abby's Mom is coming to town at the end of this next week. And Abby's Evil Corporate Masters were starting to look as though they thought working on a Saturday might be a Good Thing.

Better to be in control of one's own destiny, so I volunteered to work this Saturday instead of waiting to be volunteered to work next Saturday. This netted me last Monday off, but now I have to jump in the shower so I can go work noon-til-2100.


Upside? Gets me out of the house, bails me out of home improvement and provides an excuse to avoid a new-guy type social function the Mister is participating in. Downside? Another day spent indoors behind a desk doing nothing much even remotely important.

Then again, the place I work does not have the constant, neverending, incessant, fingernails-on-chalkboard background soundtrack of shitful cartoons 24/7. Silver linings, and all that. I best go wash my filth so I can leave...

Speaking of T-shirts...

This morning, Mr. Abby is wandering around in one I bought him half-in-jest a few years ago.

It's an awful turquoise blue and says in big white lettters across the front, "Feminist Chicks Dig Me."

I don't self-identify as a feminist (or much of anything else, for that matter), but the poor guy definitely didn't marry what would probably be considered a conventional woman.

Mostly, though, it's just fun to watch people take a second look on the rare occasion he wears it in public. Mr. Abby doesn't look like the sort of who feminist chicks would dig, it seems.

20 July 2007

Team player

I got a call from one of my coworkers this morning as I was wandering around sweating after my run.

"Try to wear red today!" she reminded me.


Somehow, the place where I work has developed some sort of collective "habit" of wearing red shirts on Friday as a visible demonstration of our support for our troops.

Can we just stipulate that the Bad Dog household, and Abby specifically, has got our troops' collective back? Love 'em. Been 'em. Sleep with one of them on a nightly basis. Troop support - covered.

But! I strive to be On The Team, and certainly want to encourage those who demonstrate their support in some of these more esoteric ways to go ahead and do so - hey - it's better than ignoring our troops.

So off I went to closet. Neither Mr. Abby nor I wear a lot of red. I had a Santa hat, a leather motorcycle suit, and a shirt depicting the famous work of art Dogs Playing Poker.

After much searching, I found an atrocious old red Marine Corps recruiting T-shirt. With weird sleeves. But hey - I'm on the team.

19 July 2007


I'm having a cranky evening. I could kick puppies. But I won't.

In the interest of not sowing hate and rage around the internet, I will share, instead of my rage, a picture of what I ran across this morning when, as I was wandering around with my coffee, I noticed I had only one dog.

Apparently, they believe that Girl Child's futon is just perfect for group sleeping.

A smarter woman than I would have stolen a bed dog and returned to the rack. Alas, I didn't. But to spare y'all any more griping, I shall go now.

Oh! In good news, my Texas DL did arrive today. Crappy picture (although not the worst ever, by a long shot), and I think it's the flimsiest driver license I've ever had. Old Lone Star State ain't wasting any taxpayer money on those, let me tell you.

Okay - one more gratuitous black dog pic. He's trying wearing his ear in the European style.

Sanity Check (new posts below this one)

I'd become utterly certain that some major manufacturer either is, or recently was, making a lever gun in .30 carbine. Am I insane?

I tried to price check this mystery rifle (which I think I thought Marlin made in a 336-style) tonight, and it appears I may have dreamed it up. I found Marlin's model 62, but that's not what I was thinking of.

Can anybody help me out, or am I just nuts?

I'm going to leave this on top for a while to give total strangers the greatest possible chance of straightening me out.

Family Values, Bad Dog Style

"Hey, honey," I said. "Where are you taking the boys? We're eating soon."

"We're going to go throw knives in the back yard."

Oooookay, then. Girl child consented to be dragged out to throw one knife, which she found anticlimactic. I took a smoke break and stood on the back patio and watched (you cannot beat this for cheap entertainment).

"Hey, Abby!" they chirped. "Do you want to throw a knife?"

"Nah, that's cool, guys. If I want to put holes in cardboard, I have my ways."

Knife-throwing as quality father-son time? Hey, you take it where you can get it these days, I think.

17 July 2007

Finally! An answer

Many of us gun people run into folks who ask tiresome questions like, "why do you need all those guns?"

Most of us are, in truth, kinda lost with this one. Really, there's a basic idea that about four firearms ought to pretty much cover every real need (your shotgun, your centerfire rifle, your sidearm, and your .22).

Ladies and Gentlemen, I have here the perfect answer.

Abby, they can ask, why do you need all those guns?

Because we're short, and bringing the ladder in from the garage to open a vent is a pain in the ass, that's why.

Feel free to use this one in your own life.

16 July 2007

And in one, final burst of usefulness...

we did a Home Improvement Project (we're really not this productive, usually, but Mr. Abby checks in at the New Duty Station tomorrow, so we thought we should knock this one out).

There was a path from the back patio to the pool, but it consisted of those 12-by-8 thin concrete rectangles. And it was apparently laid out by Big People, so everyone in our household had to leap from rectangle to rectangle. Funny, perhaps. Convenient, not so much.

So we wandered down to Home Despot and had a pallet of things loaded in the truck (props to the Despot - like the one in Tampa, the one here provided a 10% military discount). Then the fun began.

We removed the stupid rectangles, laid out the pavers, wetted the ground, picked a trench along each side, removed the pavers (setting one of them in a steaming pile of dog poo, which made for much fun when we picked it up again), picked the entire area, removed the dirt and grass, leveled the dirt, scraped the dirt, tamped the dirt, added sand, leveled the sand, scraped the sand, tamped the sand, laid in the pavers, leveled the pavers, added more sand, spread out the sand, and then went out for tacos.

That last part is vital.

And now we have...a path. We'll give it a few days and see how the sand settles. Ideally, the pavers will stick up maybe half an inch. It's flush now.

The pavers are heavy little suckers, too. Not so bad to carry, but scooting them around on the base layer of sand was tiresome.

The kids were even forced into productivity, carting the unwanted dirt away in the Rubbermaid containers you see in the background. Somewhere in the last five years, we lost track of our wheelbarrow. Which is a pity, because although other things can be made to work, there's really no substitute for a wheelbarrow.

So, as part of my ongoing effort to tell you which home improvement project you might want to undertake yourself, I give pavers a "lots of work, but very do-able." As opposed to tiling large rooms, which is rated, "highly hazardous to a happy marriage." Or cutting and installing baseboards, rated, "super easy if you have the right saw. Goddam impossible if you don't."

We're here to help, really.

Notes from a range trip

1 - WalMart still rocks on ammo prices, but availability was limited. However, y'all Texans have something called "Academy," and that's pretty cool. I got bent over on the soft point .30 carbine (but we knew that was coming). I got some cheap SP 55 grain 5.56 cheap, though. That was a winner.

2 - Alpine shooting range. I'd heard some grumbling around the internet that I seem to recall indicating the place sucked, but I thought it was fine. Not fabulous, but fine. The range officers were non-annoying, and it wasn't crowded. My only complaint - I was shooting with kids (of limited skill) and had a new gun, so I'd have appreciated a 25-yard line.

3 - I didn't pay any extra, and I didn't send along a 12-pack, but the Civilian Marksmanship Program sent me a carbine that shoots. I did a fast cleaning on all the metal bits, and put the M1 stock on after a couple of (far too) quick coats of BLO. My stripping job was good, but I'm going to need to use a little steel wool and more (slowly applied) BLO to make up for shoving it in a case tackey.

3b - I mean, it really shoots. I fired ten rounds and made some sight adjustments (all grouping nicely, although vertically, since I was dropping the sights), then Mr. Abby whined his way onto the bench. He fired five rounds that one could have covered with a quarter (I should have saved that target) just a shade to the right of the bull. It was 50 yards and off the bench and he's a good shooter, so I'm more impressed with the rifle than the shooting. But I'm happy with it.

4 - If you've been letting the kids shoot seven or ten yards with pistols, then suddenly all that's available is 25, it's a little rough on them. Particularly when they're out of practice. I'll have to find somewhere indoors with adjustable lanes to rebuild their militant self-esteems.

Oh, good lord.

Via the Brit-watching Kim du Toit, we hear about this horror: Scary Cows Spark Rescue Mission

Seven schoolgirls have sparked a major search and rescue mission - after being frightened by a herd of cows.

Huh? Well, then I assume they're small children. Very small. Because if you're very small, cows could, I guess, seem scary. They are, after all, quite large.
The terrified pupils, aged 14 and 15, were on a geography field trip in Swanage, Dorset, when they sent out an SOS.

They were dropped off three miles from their outdoor centre and told to find their way back using a map.

But the teenagers, from St Albans in Hertfordshire, got stuck on a hill when they came across a herd of cows in a field blocking their way

Point 1 - that's actually a pretty freakin' cool school assignment. Land nav rocks. I wish I had gotten to do things like that when I was in school.

Point 2 - what the Hell? "a herd of cows...blocking their way???"

Official Bad Dog Position Statement follows: no child of mine, nor any stepchild of mine, nor any child with whom I remotely associated, better ever turn into a giant sniveling pussy at the mere prospect of cows.

"Someone from the centre went out to meet them and persuaded them the cows weren't dangerous.

"They got to the other side of the field but were feeling tired and it started to rain so someone from the centre called the coastguards."

The Year 10 girls were on a residential field trip run by the Allnatt Group as part of their geography coursework and were staying at the Chatsworth Centre in Swanage.

Maire Lynch, the headteacher of Loreto College in St Albans, said: "None of the girls suffered any injuries, although one girl who complained of feeling cold was taken to hospital to be checked over by medical staff.

Seriously - I wouldn't take that phone call. If that were my child, I'd answer the phone, and it would get ugly.

"You what? Because of what? They had to call the Coast Guard? Because of cows? Hell no, I'm not going to come and get you. Walk you happy ass home. I don't care if it's 25 miles, maybe it'll give you a chance to get over your idiotic fear of cows!"

Which is probably why I don't have any children of my own.

Monday morning...running like Hell and gunfire

And I do not have to be doing the evil "working." I picked up Saturday, so, because my Corporate Masters frown on overtime (as do I, in general), I have today off.

Mr. Abby and I went running this morning - he took Jack, who seemed to enjoy the whole outing and who is sacked out on the floor now.

We're going to the range today for some Quality Family Shootin' Time. We're trying a place called "Alpine," which I will declare either Good, Mediocre or Evil once I've been. I did make the phone call down there to ask about what, if any, ammo restrictions they have on the rifle range.

"No FMJ - only hollowpoint or softpoint."

Okaaay. I'm not entirely sure what the theory behind that one is, but since the last range was FMJ only ("no hollowpoint or softpoint!") I'm a little low on practice-grade ammo of a fitting sort.

So - off to WallyWorld! People, unless you're shooting strange calibers or can find everything from those odd manufacturers in the former Soviet Republics, you should be buying your ammunition at WalMart. Yes, yes, I know. Evil soulless conglomerate...support your local gunshop...etc etc blah blah blah. People who say things like this are either wealthy, or reloaders (or both - and I don't hate them, that's just not where I'm at). If they carry it, WalMart beats what you can pay anywhere else, and significantly.

They should have what I need in .223 (the boys are simply enamored of the AR15). I have the softpoint 6.5 Carcano (Precise Boy's weapon of choice). I'm going to take it on the chin with the .30 carbine in a softpoint, but that's OK - I'm tough. Or stupid, as might be evidenced by the fact that I'm about to take off to the range with multiple 13-year-old boys.

We shall see.

15 July 2007

For my own reference

Xavier talks about DIY parkerizing...

I just had to make a note of this, because I think if I stick another firearm or firearm part in the oven, Mr. Abby is going to stab me in the neck. However, eventually he'll start traveling again...