17 November 2007

I hate working Saturdays

but it allows me to peruse the news.

Which occasionally makes you feel good about your life choices. For instance, it was not at my house where Oregon Police Find 8 Dogs in Freezer, 24 Running Loose While Serving Child Porn Warrant

Lt. Jim Anglemier says investigators today found two dozen poodles running loose or in cages, some near death. Eight puppies were found dead in a freezer.

That, for instance, makes me feel okay about having three dogs running loose, and only some sausage, frozen veggies and lemonade concentrate in my freezer.

Anglemier says trash was strewn throughout the place and dog feces were caked on the floor, beds and clothes. The odor was so strong, that some detectives needed to wear breathing respirators.

And although there may be "dog feces" in my backyard, and possibly even "caked on" a pair of sandals, it is not caked on the floor, bed or clothes.

Sometimes you just need a pick-me-up, and the horribleness of others can provide it.

15 November 2007

Supply meets demand

...and it's a bummer.

I love Blackhawk. I've used their thigh rigs (I roll, when forced, with an Omega), and I like them. I scored one of their range bags on clearance, and it rocks.

(If you don't cruise the Blackhawk clearance section, you lose. Great gear, great prices.)

Anyway, I was checking them out a few days ago, and clicked over to "new products" or "pending products."

And found this.

“At Blackhawk we get up every morning dedicated to using our resources to help save lives,” explained Noell. “When medics and doctors that deal with combat and tactical medical needs see the system, they at once understand the immediate life saving potential. Four tourniquets in the pants and four tourniquets in the shirt (two in the short sleeve version), correctly positioned and oriented to the upper and lower extremities, are immediately accessible under existing gear and can be operated by the wearer, their buddy, or a medic.

Heh. That's only laughable if you've never given serious thought to rolling out the gate with a tourniquet on each limb, and not done it only because your unit didn't have enough to pull it off.

Dear Santa, this year, all I want for Christmas is for all the warriors to keep all their limbs.

Watchin' the politics

I'm tuned into the Democratic debate on CNN, but this is requiring the consumption of beers, so I won't....

...hold on....

who is this freakin' Marine who is letting his mother trot him out to yap about our future policy in Iran?

Alright. Nevermind. I'm just going to watch, and drink, and not blog about politics.

Critter magnet

I took off down the road at a blistering trot this morning, with my trusty shiny black running buddy doing his best to drag me. Glancing over into the neighbor’s yard, I noted a small dog there.

Huh, I thought. They don’t have a dog. I trotted on.

I swung out onto the trail behind the house and picked up the pace from trot to painfully slow shuffle. I was just settling in when one of the other morning regulars, a gentleman of maybe 70 years or so, flagged me down.

“Have you seen a dog that might have been hit by a car this morning?” he asked.

I shared that I’d seen a small dog in the neighbor’s yard and didn’t know the story behind it. The old man continued on his way, and I continued on mine. Jack and I finished our run (poorly), after we were forced to take two pee breaks and one poop break. None of these, I point out, were for my benefit.

As we passed the neighbor’s house, I noted the small dog was still in the yard. Startled by a large truck passing, he got up, and I could see he was holding a rear leg off the ground. Ahh…the injured dog.

I shoved Jack in the house, found a phone, and went back outside. He was gimping at a good pace, headed back into the open area behind our row of houses. I called the animal people, since they pick up injured critters. And if it was my injured dog, I’d want whoever saw it to call it in.

After letting them know the dog’s description, condition and location, I went out in the back yard to scoop some poo. As I finished, it occurred to me that the little gimp may have been wandering toward the busy road. Taking a cup of coffee out the front door, I went walkabout around the perimeter. There, on the strip of grass the separates our side fence from the busy road, was Injured Dog.

I placed my coffee cup in the grass and said, “hey, come here.” And he did. I looked him over, seeing an obvious case of road rash on the right back leg. “You going to bite me if I pick you up?”

He looked at me, and I scratched his ears. I scooped him up, and rather than flail or bite, he snuggled up against me, shivering. I carried him into the garage – he only weighed maybe 12-14 pounds. I made him a little bed out of a towel and an old sheet, then went in and called the Broken Animal Division of the local PD.

“Hey, this is Abby. I called earlier about an injured dog in the area. I found him next to my house, and he’s in my garage.”

I handed him off when the Broken Animal Lady showed up (I want her job). She looked at him, “We’ll get you to the vet for some good drugs!” She looked at me, “He looks like a pit bull puppy, but he’s got adult teeth. I don’t know. I hope he’s not a pit – because…well, we don’t adopt out pits. We’d have to put him down.”

“Yeah,” I said. “I hope not, too. He seems like a nice little guy, and I think he might be an adult.”

There was a collective shrug, and she carted off the little injured guy.

I hope he does okay, and I hope the verdict is not “too much pitbull,” because he sure seemed like a sweetie. Honestly, I’d be inclined to think he was more of a smaller terrier, but I’m not sure what sort that would be.

14 November 2007

T'ain't all bad

...when the Mister is out of town. Last night's dinner - tuna sandwich and root beer. Tonight? Polska kielbasa and a pot of coffee.

The downside? He normally gets home first and the dogs do their major spazz at that point. When he's gone, they have to amuse themselves an extra 90 minutes or so (for a grand total of nine hours of time during which nobody is fussing over them).

I thought someone had been doling out cocaine dog biscuits by the time I came through the door.

13 November 2007

I got nuthin'

Does anybody want to read several paragraphs on why I'm thrilled to have new checks from my new bank? No? I didn't think so.

Interested in another breathless discussion of the whole Supreme Court Parker vs. DC possible pending potential maybe-gonna-happen decision? I really don't want to write it - sorry. Go here - it's done very well.

I thought about writing about the desecration of what sounded like a very nice veteran's memorial in the Kansas City area - but it was so soul-sucking that I decided to let it lie.

I guess I shall just head off to work and hope to run into, rather than a non-merging DFW driver, a metaphorical caution cone of inspiration.

12 November 2007

Creepiest thing ever

A few years ago, I went to Madagascar with World's Coolest Grandmother, my Mom and one of Mom's Nursing Buddies.

One night, we were camping...somewhere. We'd been out trudging through a national forest in the dark, spotting lemurs with our flashlights by looking for eyeshine. This was highly cool, since some of the lemurs were inclined to leap around in the treetops, and you could follow their eyes.

Our guide seemed pleasantly surprised that four women from somewhere called "Michigan" were really, really good at spotting glowing eyes, and had no clue what we meant when we explained that years of looking out for roadside deer had left us very hip to shining eyes.

We returned to our camp, and Maurice (the guide) wanted to point out just one more very cool thing. He shined his flashlight around the tall grass in the clearing, revealing dozens of bright, shining points.

I, foolishly, had always assumed this was drops of dew. But I was wrong.

They were spider eyes. The eyes of what we call here Wolf Spider. Dozens and dozens of sets of spider eyes in that one patch of grass.


I shined my light around now when I'm out at night, and I really, really regret that I know what all those shiny points in the grass and on tree trunks are.

(image above courtesy of SpiderzRule.com, a very nice site owned by one of those odd people who really believe that all spiders are not vicious and evil)

Oh yes...

And a public thanks to Texas State Trooper Harn (or Hearn? Or Hern? - his handwriting sucks), who passed up the opportunity to hit the Mister with a decent speeding ticket at mile marker 583 this morning and let us proceed with a warning. Even though we were filthy and smelled like a campfire.

Appreciated, Trooper. And yes, we kept the speed much more reasonable for the remainder of the trip.

Question for any of my LE-types out there - is it normal now for an officer to approach the passenger window during a side-of-the-highway stop? It seems like a good idea (that is, the officer does not have to stand on the same side as traffic), but I don't think I've seen it done like that before. It's sorta awkward, though. I mean, I'm in the passenger seat, and although I understand the officer needs to speak to the driver, it seems rather rude for me to ignore him.

I opted to go with the "good morning, sir," then just leaned back and ignored him. Which must not have been too offensive.

We have returned!

And, yet again, all the happy little animals of the area where we hunted are safely still in their homes, distinctly unshot. Hell, they were distinctly unseen. Fortunately, we are easily pleased, and a weekend in a tent with a campfire was just dandy, even if we did get skunked.

However, things did get a little horrifying yesterday evening when I was perched in my tree stand, waiting for that last magical hour fading light when, according to people who occasionally hunt successfully, animals come out and walk around and are easy to shoot. I looked left, noted something moving on my arm.

Ick! Green hairy spider about the size of nickel. Brushed it off, continued to sit, and wait. Was mildly creeped out, but carried on. These things happen in the great outdoors.

Looked right...there was another green hairy spider about the same size hanging out on my right arm. Brush/fling...I was safe, but disturbed.

I caught another one on my arm, then one on my back, then I climbed down out of my treestand and got the hell away from that tree.

Edit to add: I guess there aren't any images of this critter on the internet. Just your standard jumping spider, it seems, but white and green. [shudders]

I dislike spiders, and I dislike hairy ones especially (hair should be reserved for mammals).