01 November 2007

Off the net'

I'll be off the next few days, as I am going camping. Back Sunday night.

Heart Stoppage

Slow day at the office, until my ass vibrated at 5:55. Whipped out the phone, had a text message from the Mister.

Dogs out loose. Found boys. Missing Casey. Getting laundry then continuing search.

At 5:55:43, I punched out, and was enroute home.

The last half-mile was the worst - we live on the corner of a busy road and a cul de sac and I really, really didn't want to find my dog on the side of that busy road.

I didn't.

Got home to find the mister in the road with the super-ancient neighbor who had seen them go through the front window. He had, using his walker, corralled Jack and was wrestling him up the driveway when the Mister arrived home. Dude cannot really walk and I have never seen him past his driveway, and he was out rescuing my retards.

That left Casey.

I lost my childhood dog to a busy road years ago, and that was all I could think of. The Mister went in the house to listen to messages (the house number is on the tags) while I hit the road.

Not 200 yards from the house, my ass vibrated again.

"Found her." I flipped around and headed home to find him on the phone with a woman around a mile away who had my girl in her backyard. We drove over and found a middle-aged lady in scrubs, whose son, after school, had pointed out that he'd found a rather hairy friend while playing football in the yard.

[insert giant sigh of relief]

They're back. The screen has been replaced and the window is now closed over it. We owe the neighbors a cup of coffee and a game of cribbage.

31 October 2007

Sniveling weasels

So I see the State Department is having some trouble filling some of its not-exactly-Paris posts.

And so the Department is telling its employees to fill posts in Iraq, rather than asking them. Not surprisingly, some agency employees are less than thrilled about that.

"It is one thing if someone believes in what is going on over there and volunteers," [State Dept. veteran Jack Croddy] said, "but it is another thing to send someone over there on a forced assignment. And I'm sorry, but basically that is a potential death sentence and you know it. Who will raise our children if we are dead or wounded?"

Y'all will please forgive me if I'm not weeping along with these whining turds, won't you?

Goodness gracious - you have a job with U.S. State Department (which doesn't pay all that badly), which at one point or another you applied for. Then, when you got that job, you did have a little oath you signed off on (all Executive Branch employees do this - I did it for my position with the Furry Critter Management Agency).

Most of the 250 jobs to be filled in the next rotation over the coming months will go to volunteers, he said. But about 50 remain open.

The State Department has relied solely on volunteers to fill overseas jobs in recent decades. Forced assignments have not been used since the Vietnam War era.

"We cannot shrink from our duty. We have all agreed to worldwide availability," [FS Director General] Thomas said.

So out of all the Foreign Service employees out there, 50 are going to be ordered to serve in Iraq.

Let's just do a quick review - certain things come with the territory. If you work for the State Department's Foreign Service, you can expect that all sorts of things are on the table. This includes lions, natives, war, people who hate America, being held hostage, having eggs thrown at you, getting malaria and shortages of American dairy products. All on the table.

Further, nobody is forcing anybody to go anywhere.

Those chosen will be given 10 days to respond, according to last week's announcement.

Unless they have a valid medical reason to refuse, those who decline to go could face dismissal, it said.

Welcome to real life, whiny State Department employees. You've got good jobs, and you can either serve where you are ordered to serve, or you can go find another good job somewhere else.

Ass monkeys.

What I think I find most disappointing about this story, beyond the sheer lack of character revealed by public whining, is that it undermines my blissfully uninformed opinion about Foreign Service types.

I like to think of these folks trooping gamely around the world, having pet monkeys, drinking gin and playing polo. Perhaps I need to stop reading historic novels about the British Empire.

Happy Halloween!

From the Bad Dogs! We're all set for Trick or Treaters here, although I don't know how many we'll get.

I thought I had it all under control.

But then Mr. Abby was all like, no...scare the parents...blah blah blah...police...blah blah blah....paperwork....

SO we ended up using Plan B, which doesn't appeal to me quite as much, but which he promises will go over better with the neighbors.

Yes, he did buy sugar-free gum. God love him.

30 October 2007

Local news!

One of our fine North Texas residents held an impromptu class on how not to carry a concealed handgun today.

After arriving at work, the man draped his jacket over the back of his chair, [Lake Worth Police Chief] McGuire said. The .45-caliber automatic was in the left jacket pocket.

As the man got settled in his chair, the gun discharged, McGuire said.

The man was likely doing something to the weapon when it fired because "that particular weapon doesn't just sit there and go off," McGuire said.

The bullet passed through the man's left leg and then his right leg and through the corner of a bookcase before lodging in the wall of a cubicle occupied by a startled female co-worker, McGuire said.

"Startled female co-worker?" Yeah, I'd say so. It seems that the shooter/shootee was not licensed to carry a concealed handgun, but there are no indications he was plotting anything foul.

We also note the police chief pointed out that "particular weapon doesn't just sit there and go off." That, friends, is why they should list specifics. I want to make sure my .45s aren't the ones that do "just sit there and go off."

In other news, a local trucker erred on the side of caution when he warned police that they might be a bit taken aback by his freight when they searched his vehicle during a routine traffic stop.

Police in Royse City hope that a routine early-morning traffic stop Sunday won't become a Halloween tale, even though the tractor-trailer was carrying an estimated 20 human heads.

The rig was stopped for speeding at about 2:30 a.m. Sunday on Interstate 30 in Royse City, said Lt. Jim Baker, police spokesman. ...

The driver was acting suspicious, Baker said, so officers asked permission to search the vehicle, Baker said.

But, he said, the driver warned them first.

"He said, "You're going to see some body parts back there,''' Baker said.

The heads, apparently, were being transported either to or from some sort of legitimate medical research facility.

The driver did not have his paperwork in order, but once he got it all squared away by fax, the local police let him proceed on his way. Because really, playing games with the severed head guy is really only fun for a little while.

Go, Navy!

We know there are brave Sailors running around Iraq and Afghanistan, but for the most part it's an Army and Marine Corps show.

So it's nice to see the Navy getting down with its bad self.

American warships battled pirates Tuesday who had seized a tanker off the coast of Somalia as well as another vessel northeast of Mogadishu, combined reports said.

In the waters off Somalia, the warships reportedly sunk two pirate vessels and pursued a hijacked skiff carrying some of the fleeing hijackers.

That's our Navy - while everybody else is engaging in a no-fun grinding series of insurgent conflicts, they're killing pirates.

It's no Battle of Leyte Gulf, but actions like the Navy's are vitally important in what is probably the least-recognized theater of operations in the Global War on Terror.

Whether or not the warships engaged in pirate sinkin' today were technically, at that moment, acting as part of Joint Task Force Horn Of Africa (JTF-HOA), is not immediately apparent. However, that JTF is doing the hard work now that will prevent the rest of our military from having to do ugly work in the region later.

They're training troops, supporting communities and building infrastructure in a very touchy area in an effort to deny that territory to Al Qaeda. A lot of that is medical outreach and school building in those nations. And some it is law-and-order work.

Which includes whacking pirates off the coast of Somalia. So, Go Navy! Keep killing pirates - in addition to being a vital part of the war effort, it's really damn cool.

28 October 2007

This is a gimmee

We all know the Official Bad Dog Position on Children - they're necessary, but not particularly enjoyable. However, we have also recognized that if one happens to have children, one must make a good, honest effort to ensure nothing godawful happens to them.

Which brings us to this new story - Baby Drowns In Bucket Of Bleach

A 9-month-old Quincy girl drowned Saturday morning after she climbed into a bucket filled with bleach, the Norfolk County District Attorney’s office said.

The Boston Herald reported that the baby’s mother Lee Ann Auperlee, 20, was watching three children inside her Sumner Street apartment when her daughter Mya crawled out of her sight and into a bucket on the kitchen floor.

Now, again, I don't have any children of my own, and the stepweasels were past bucket-drowning age by the time they started hanging around with me. Nonetheless, I am aware that babies are somewhat prone to die, and thus one has to take certain precautions if babies are in the area.

Theses precautions, as I understand it, include (but are not limited to):
no loaded firearms on the floor,
no knives on the floor,
no razor blades on the floor,
not leaving them alone in a bath,
not leaving them in a car with the windows up on a hot day,
not leaving them in a car with the windows down in the winter,
no leaving them unsupervised with packs of strange dogs,
no rat poison on the floor,
no gin in their bottles,
no access to hazardous substances,
no unsupervised time with liquids deeper than .5 inches,
no unsupervised time with buckets of hazardhouse liquids.

Good lord, people. Do not leave your crawling baby with access to a big old bucket of bleach. That doesn't take a rocket scientist.

Curran said Auperlee told her the baby was in the living room just before the drowning.

“She said Mya was tapping at the TV then she just crawled away toward the kitchen,” Curran said.


No charges have been filed by police. Toxicology and other tests are still pending.

Poor child. We disapprove.

Finally, an urge I am resisting

The evil CMP Sales Update email arrived today.

The last time this happened, I was forced to order a Garand. The time before that, an M1 carbine.

Needless to say, I opened it with no small amount of dread - what fiendish plot, I wondered, could they have come up with to make me spend even more money?


Garand receivers and barrels...don't need those. Sights for .22s...don't need those. Rack grade M1 carbines...tempting...but I don't need one of those, either.

I feel so morally superior for resisting all that temptation that I think I should be allowed to order a field grade Garand.

[ducks as Mister Abby throws a coffee cup at my head]

Okay, maybe I'll hold off on the field grade another month or so.