16 August 2007

One more thing...

I just ordered some of that Georgia Arms .30 carbine soft point. I've heard good things about it. Price isn't bad, since the cheap soft point is just stupid, when it can even be found.

These ammo prices, and solid word of more pending increases, have me laying the stuff in like it's going out of style. I think it's entirely possible that over the course of the last ten years, ammo (particularly good .223) may very well have held its own with gold as an investment.

I'm not even preparing for the end of the world, I'd just like to continue to be able to make range trips (and more frequently as life falls back into line) and not go broke doing it. Which has lead to some weirdness.

When the kids were here, I moved the ammo (in cans) out to the garage. Not underfoot that way, you see. The Mister looked the other day and remarked that the cooler temps in the house would probably be better.

Boy howdy, would they! Thought he'd never bring that up!

So we trooped the cans into the closet in Girl Child's room.

Before they left, they were speculating on what we'd do with all the space when they were gone (they've reached the age where it occurs to them they do take up space). They may have had some ideas, but I don't think they figured we'd turn their rooms into an ASP.


So there we were

the Mister was "texturing." I hate to say it, but he may have found his calling (by the by - the creepy look last night was just the drying pattern - this seems to be working pretty well).

I thought I'd give Dad a call and see how he was progressing. Around 8.

"I'm just outside of Memphis," he said. "I'm letting the dog drive so I'm making good time. I should probably be there to have coffee with you tomorrow morning."

Thankfully, father visits do not excite the same cleaning hysteria and feeling of domestic inadequecy as mother visits. I shoved an armload of bedding into the washer, took out all the truly egregious garbage, and ran the vacuum.

That ought to do. But I am going to turn in a little early, because the kitchen (newly textured) could use a wee bit more tidying in the morning.

Passing the buck

I rolled out of bed this morning. Yes, I was going to run. Put on my PT clothes, stumbled out into the kitchen...noticed a mile-high stack of dishes and realized I needed laundry.


Thought it would rude of me to leave the dishes for the Mister (he gets home first), so I scrapped my run and did 'em. Oh, the sacrifices I make...

Now, if I shower quickly, I should be left with sufficient time to find a notary this morning. There's some new paperwork that must get on its way to Anniston, Alabama...

15 August 2007

Good times

Spent the evening making the kitchen (former home of the Ugliest Wallpaper in Texas) into a kitchen with textured walls. It's a work in progress.

I'm about to go to bed, and the walls we completed...man...I hope I'm seeing a drying issue and they'll look normal in the morning.

We're trying applying a layer of joint compound, then texturing with a damp sponge. I'll get back to y'all on how that all works out...

Note to self: Do not ask the people who sit by me at work if they know where the illegal Mexican day laborers hang out. Apparently, this is a social error in Texas. And no matter how many times you say, "hey - I'm just askin'!" nobody will believe you.

I think we've been here before...

as some yahoo bleats the term "draft!" with much concern and a scholarly note of resignation.

Firt, LTG Douglas Lute, who really must have pissed someone off to get stuck with this whole "war czar" billet, made the godawful media error of saying that a draft could and should be considered as a viable option when making military plans.

Full response during the NPR interview:

I think it makes sense to certainly consider it, and I can tell you, this has always been an option on the table, but ultimately, this is a policy matter between meeting the demands for the nation's security by one means or another. Today, the current means of the all-volunteer force is serving us exceptionally well. It would be a major policy shift — not actually a military, but a political policy shift to move to some other course.

Methinks the general may have found a way out of the world's most awkward job.

It is worth noting that if we examine the general's bio, we find a good amount of staff work. Specifically, planning work. Quick note - hearing an experienced planning officer say something needs to be kept in mind is not cause to stop the presses. These guys do what the term implies - they plan. Somewhere out there in a drawer in the Pentagon or at NorthComm, there are plans for invading Nova Scotia, I'm sure. I'm equally sure there are different options to that plan, based off of whether we're running a conscript or volunteer military when the fateful days comes.

Military planners are the sorts of people who have, in the backs of their minds, a plan to nuke their mothers' 75th birhday parties parties. Not because they want to, you see, but because wouldn't you feel like an ass if you had to nuke her birthday party and hadn't bothered to plan for it?

Of course a draft is on the table. We have the system in place, and it's an option. As long as it doesn't involve unicorns or the sword of Godric Gryffindor, it's probably "on the table" for planners.

Good lord, people.

14 August 2007

Last resorts

We were talking about Garands. And about smacking folks with 'em. Rabbit used one of my favorite verbs - "buttstroke." That, for my non-military folks, would be the fine art of smacking an adversary with the butt end of a shotgun, rifle or carbine. You've got your horizontal buttstroke, and your vertical buttstoke.

What? Oh, okay. Let's have some chapter, and some verse. First, let's look at the horizontal option.

Kinda catchy, ain't it? Admit it - even now you're thinking of someone in your life who could use a good buttstroke. But it gets better. I've always found the vertical buttstroke a little more appealing.

Yeah...I know you dig it.

Only the Marine Corps would use low-resolution photos of a black man, wearing a black T-shirt, with a black rifle, in a reasonably dark forest, in a black and white publication. Love my Corps... Other topics addressed in the same section include Tent Pegs and Sharpened Stick - Almost as Useful as a Grenade! and Throwing Rocks at Bad Guys - We're Pretending This is a Viable Option.

Anyway. Never let it be said you waste your time here at Bad Dog Central. We try to provide valuable education on a daily basis.

(note to the curious - all materials shamelessly scanned from my old 1993 Marine Battle Skills Training Handbook, Individual Combat Tasks for the Private-Lance Corporal)

Morning update

Sparky is fine. He appears to have suffered no ill effects from his toad encounter, although it's hard to tell, since he's always been inclined to hop in small circles and bark at nothing.

I think I annoyed him to the point of thinking about biting me last night - one more pulse check while he was trying to sleep and I may have lost a finger.

The party, my friends, just never ends here.

13 August 2007

Swear to God...

If they're not losing their hair in patches, puking on the one piece of carpet in the entire house or devouring my ammo, they're still up to something.

Tonight? Tonight Sparky licked a freakin' toad.

We were standing out back, enjoying a smoke and noting that perhaps we should do something about mowing the back yard. Out of nowhere, Sparky comes racing into the light, shaking his head and snorting. Closer inspection revealed mouth foamage, so he went in the house for an intensive mouth wash (and fur-around-mouth wash with soap).


He seems to be fine, although I believe I should be monitoring his little pulse.

Once we washed his little mouth out, I trudged out with the flashlight and camera, in case we find outselves in doggy ER at 0330 trying to figure out the appropriate antivenin.

This is the Evil Toad.

I think what we have is a Woodhouse's Toad - Bufo woodhousii. It's too small and out of range to be a cane toad, and the most striking marking was the stripe on its back.

In good news, it appears that if the toad was going to be the death of the Yorkie, he'd be convulsing or panting by now. In bad news, I can assume I'm going to spend half the night checking his heartrate...

About the Garands

...and the carbines. How did that happen, that your humble author came to crave these military rifles that predated her in service by a couple of wars and several decades?

Well, therein lies a bit of a story, and, of course, an Old Marine.

Charley is an older gentleman who probably (and don't kill me if I'm wrong here, Charley!) just barely missed Korea, but was off the table for Vietnam. His time in the Marine Corps was a single term in his youth, but it defined him (and well) as it has so many other men.

We first found Charley when he volunteered to construct pullup bars for the Marine Corps recruiting district in the wake of Sept. 11, as his contribution to the cause. He struck up a friendship with the Mister out of that undertaking, and things went downhill from there.

He took us hunting up in Deer Creek, Minnesota. Here's a hint - despite the name, there are no deer in Deer Creek. There was one and Charley shot him 15 years ago. But it's a fine place for drinks and sea stories.

He took us shooting at Oakdale Gun Club, where he discovered that the true hoplophile in the family was not the active Marine. The downhill progress picked up speed (with the added influence of John With The Thompson and Mike The Other Instructor). Within months, he had me joining the club, helping to instruct the Firearms Safety course, and shooting the (monthly? twice monthly?) military semi-auto 100 yard match with one of his M1 Carbines.

I got a lot smarter in a hurry. I'd always been a military history buff, but until Charley and his collection, I had no concept of how large a Garand is, or what it does to those with slow thumbs. Nor would I have realized what a revolution the M16 platform and the 5.56mm round are - if you haven't handled the old gear, you have no idea what it weighs, or how serious and solid it is (that is, of course, a good thing and a bad thing. I wouldn't want to hump one across Europe, but if I was out of ammo and had to go upside someone's head, I'd take the 43 inches of walnut and steel that comprise the old beast over an M4 carbine in a heartbeat).

My love affair with the 1911 is probably also somehow his fault.

But - I digress.

Charley was the consumate instructor, passing on something useful at almost every encounter, yet never making one feel like an idiot. We were guests at his table several evenings, where his wife made even us nomads feel at home.

Leaving Charley and his wife was as bad as leaving the good job and the nice house in Minnesota. Good friends are like that.

And I think of Charley every time I seal up a CMP envelope (I didn't even know the organization existed before he pointed it out to me). I'm sure Mr. Abby thinks of him as well. However, I know my thoughts are fond ones. Heh.

Charley's a machinist, so you need any precise machining done and you're in that area, shoot an email and I'll put you in touch. I highly recommend you avoid him for your gunsmithing work, however. I left an old .38 with him once and now it has a trigger that falls when mosquitoes fly nearby.

Cool site

I saw a spot of Fox News the other day, and found the good people of Dogs Deserve Better.

It's an organization dedicated to trying to decrease the practice of chaining dogs. You know what I mean - the neighbor's hysterical wolf-looking beast that barks all night and looks as though it wants to eat you?

Anyway. Good site, good cause. I bought a coffee mug.

I have noted, in my time with dogs, that they do not like to be separated from stimulus. I've seen lots of them, mine included, go absolutely batshit when someone is on the other side of a fence, or just out of sniffing reach when they're on their leashes.

Casey, for instance, is a perfectly cheerfuly beast. But if she can't get up close and smell something...well, then the police dog routine is in full effect. Really, the only way dogs have of perceiving and understanding people is to get right up close and get a good sniff.

Chains are worse than fences and leashes for all the obvious reasons. In addition to putting a dog at a tactical disadvantgae, which makes them defensive, chaining sucks. Really - would you like it?

Now, I know there are some of us out there who kinda look out the side of our eyes at the idea of passing laws about such things. It's my dog, we think, who's to say what I can do with it?

Well, I kinda sorta agree. Now, personally, I wouldn't mind if we added an Amendment to the Constitution mandating being nice to dogs. However...that's not how it's supposed to work. I'm not even sure what that's really the province of States. But towns/villages/cities/townships? Hells yeah. I'd be proud to live in a town like Maumelle, Arkansas:

any person owning animals whether vaccinated or unvaccinated, licensed or unlicensed, shall confine such animal within an adequate fence or enclosure, or within a house, garage or other building in conformance with Maumelle Bill of Assurance or its successor. Animals shall not be tied or chained to dog houses, or other stationary objects, but must be in an approved enclosure

I like city ordinances, in theory. They're an opportunity for a community to express its values. And, in an official Bad Dog Opinion - "No Dog Chains" is a Good Community Value.

(So, add the Bad Dogs, is Free Bacon on Tuesdays)

12 August 2007

These requests

I talked to Cousin R today. She just finished her Navy Reserve Yeoman's course - bravo to her!

(Cousin R is a teacher and has a life, but thought maybe she should put on a uniform, just in case her country needed her, before she got too old. How cool is that???)

Anyway, after the usual gossip about the hometown and all that, she pointed out that I have been posting an insufficient number of pictures here.


Ok, Cousin R - this weird collage is for you. If I don't get a comment, I'm driving to Georgia and shaving your chocolate lab.

That's an M1 carbine bolt tool, bolt inserted, as I'm swapping out a sheared extractor. Perfect tool for the job - doing this with bare hands takes hours. With the proper tool, about ten minutes.

What - I can hear Cousin R from here - that sucks. I shall try something much more cute.

Sparky occasionally likes to try on one of the Big Dog beds. For some reason, as soon as Girl Child left, they kidnapped this sweatshirt she'd been wearing. Like sleeping with her, I suppose.

The other two?

Ensuring our dishes are properly pre-rinsed. Yep. They are on the team. And finally, in anticipation of this week's excitement...my Dad is coming to town!

I assume, since it's August, he will not have a beard anymore, not will he be wearing Carhartt. At least not the overalls. I might have to remind him about that - I'm pretty tolerant, but I'm not taking him out in public if he wears the Carhartt overalls.

Hey, Cousin R - check your Yahoo mail!

More blog maintenance

I so totally suck at keeping up with the blogroll. I'm the last person in the world to update to Squeaky Wheel's new site, but I finally got it done.

It only took me three or four months of enjoying "Murphy's" comments to realize that, of course, he's that Murphy. Cut me a little slack - occasionally we all get to part of the "10 percent."

And Ambulance Driver is just fabulous - with the occasional ER nurse of the North dropping by, how can I not have a link to him?

Please bear with me, gang. Life got a little out of hand in the past few months, but I think I'm slipping back into the groove. We shall see.