17 July 2008


I did not want a new laptop. I cannot afford a new laptop. However, there is a new laptop that will be heading my direction tonight.


In case anyone hasn't picked up on it, I'm getting ready to on another long Army trip. In most other circumstances, I'd consider a laptop something one wants, not things one needs. However, things being as they are, it's a need.

I am most appreciative of the info on how to suck over the info from my other hard drive. Stay tuned early next week for info on how that technological exercise goes. I have in the past been utterly overwhelmed by high-end calculators, so hilarity may ensue.

In much happier news, Mom is coming to visit tomorrow. So after I crack the whip and we get the kennel we call home cleaned up, I get a few days of hanging out with her, which is pretty awesome.


One of the kids was lurking by my laptop with me last night, as we talked PhotoShop and discussed the entertainment potential of cutting-and-pasting the heads of our various dogs onto major political and cultural figures.

You know, quality family time.

Problem was, beers were being consumed (by the adults, not the kids or dogs). And when the kid with whom I was sitting leaned over to get a better look at the sceen, a bottle of Landshark Lager was tipped onto my laptop keyboard, upper left side.

The situation appears dire. The laptop went dark, and one attempt to restart resulted into a brief flash of indicator lights, then total non-responsive deadness.

So - here's my question. Assuming the worst, and that my current attempts to remove all panels and let any moisture evaporate do not work out...if the laptop is dead...what measures can I take with my hard drive to try to save/extract information (photos, documents, etc)?

16 July 2008


So the 'Dawg writes about taking a vicious kitten to the veterinarian, and ensuing blood and pain.

Now, I grew up with cats, and we were cheap, so we did home vaccinations. I got scratched. But I did not truly understand the evil of an angry cat until I was in Iraq.

We took a vet with us when we deployed. She was a major, some years in the Individual Ready Reserve, who ran a cat clinic in the South. A kind, short woman, who received cards, letters and photos from her "patients."

We shared a tent in Iraq. It was really fairly comfortable, since there were just three of us. The specialist, me, and the major veterinarian, who we referred to as, "The Ma'am."

One day, The Ma'am was showing us a postcard from a kitten, or some such madness, when the specialist took note of her arm.

Ma'am, are those...scars?

I glanced down. Our sweet, kind, southern vet had long white scars running from the backs of her hands up to her elbows, and a few disappeared beneath the tan sleeves of her uniform t-shirt.

Oh, she answered. Yeah. From back in the days when I held cats myself, before I started hiring assistants.

I grew up with cats, and I like cats. But cats are definitely, totally, not nice.

Abby's Big Adventure

Girl Child and I made it to Port Wood pretty much without incident (well, there was the part where I tried but failed to buy a blueberry muffin at a Starbucks that didn't have any coffee). Our first attempt at finding the correct photo location failed, but we got pointed in the right direction.

(Let's take a moment and hear it for the planning that resulted in us arriving at the first location at 0935 for a 1040 appointment - it turned out I needed the time cushion)

I pulled up to the corrected location, and climbed out to confirm we were in the right place before we downloaded my outfit.

Hey, Abby?

Huh? Did someone know me? I looked over, and there was a guy. A familiar guy.

As it turned out, a Blog Friend who I'd run into once before in the wilds of Louisiana. One of the Bad Dog crew, stationed at Port Wood, took note of my departure time and, having a down day in his outprocessing, thought he might swing by the photo place around the time it seemed I might arrive, just in case I needed some help.

[happy dance!] Yes, I did. Particularly when re-directed to another location for the photo. That, as it turned out, was a bit of a process, but we got 'er done.

Post-photo, we enjoyed a nice lunch, during which I learned he is in the process of acquiring an M1 carbine. I can only hope I was a bit of an influence. Perfect gun for desert coyotes at close range, that M1 carbine.

It's cool to meet people in real life from the internet. I'm sure there's a limit as to when it's cool to meet people from the internet, but I like to think the Bad Dog Blog attracts a distinctly groovy class of person.

Post-lunch, Girl Child and I very nearly t-boned an old lady who may or may not have been confused about from which lane she should make left turns. Or it could have been my mistake about which lane I should go straight from. But since it's my blog, we're calling it her error.

And, since now two of you have asked, I shall expose you to my awful Photoshop skills and share with y'all the product of my day's trek.

It's an OK Army photo, but it was a bad enough photo of me that I'm afraid the disembodied Casey head is an improvement.

We're off!

To Port Wood!

If you happen to see a grumpy-looking woman and a small child in a Jeep, who appear about as excited as you'd expect people to look who are driving 160 miles for a photograph, feel free to wave.

15 July 2008

Oh, I get it now!

More wisdom from the man who will bring all the "combat troops" home from Iraq within sixteen months.

As you know, we here at BDC have been asking, as non-combat troops ourselves, exactly why we would do that. Turns out, it's because hanging out in Iraq is distracting.

Okay. I can see that. I mean, although I was a non-combat troop (that is, a troop to whom combat happens, but who is not...well...oh hell, let's not get into all that), I did find that being in Iraq distracted me from certain things. Like...I dunno...hanging out with my husband, drinking cold beer (or, for that matter, warm beer), eating holiday meals with my family, etc etc.

So. Yes. Iraq = distraction. Alas, that doesn't seem to be what Sen. Obama meant. Because the Senator is a very verbal man, he goes on tell us what he means.

"As should have been apparent to President Bush and Sen. [John] McCain, the central front in the war on terror is not Iraq, and it never was," Obama said in what his campaign called a major policy address on Iraq, Afghanistan and national security.

Obama said that part of his new strategy will be "taking the fight to al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan." [emphasis added]

See, that's an important point, clarification-wise. Senator Obama seems to believe that being in Iraq is distracting our combat troops from...invading Pakistan?

Honestly, there might be some vaildity to that point, but "taking the fight" across the largely imaginary Pakistan border, at least in any way that we'd talk about, is probably something that bears a little more discussion than the average throwaway line in one of the Senator's speeches.

Fortunately, the Senator continues to imply this fight-taking is the work of the combat troops who have been thus far more or less, he seems to think, fucking around in the desert in Iraq for no apparent reason. I for one am glad for that, even if it means I have to spend a tour in Iraq without the combat troops, because at least it doesn't imply my participation in the first rotation of Operation Waziristan Freedom, or, as President Obama might choose to call it, Operation Hindu Kush Hope.

In the news

we have some choices today.

We could talk about this chipper bit from Fox News: Stocks Set to Plunge - FOXBusiness: Futures tumble as concerns about bank sector, GM job cuts drag on the dollar, send overseas markets lower. But that sounds dull and awful, so let's not talk about it.

Instead, let's discuss Drunk Man Torn Apart By Bears After Falling Into Enclosure. That sounds far more interesting.

The 22-year-old man was drunk and trying to take close-up shots of the Siberian Brown bears at Mykolaev city zoo when he lost his footing, witnesses said, acording to Channel 5 television.

The three bears charged the man immediately, tearing him "limb from limb" as he tried to escape, according to the station, quoted by the Deutsche Presse-Agentur news agency.

That's really pretty much the whole story, right there. I think most of my readers are sharp enough to extract the learning points from this one without further comment. But it is nice to see that once in a while, somewhere out there, actions still have consequences.

14 July 2008


I don't know which brilliant individual decided that official photographs should be included in Army promotion packets. But that individual is currently on the list.

Because I am a decent Soldier and I think they should pay me more and let me be in charge of more stuff, I will be driving my happy self down to the place that sounds like Port Wood because - I kid you not - it is the nearest Army-blessed photographic facility.


The only thing that could make this evolution more fun is if it required great amount of uniform futzing. Wait - it does!

Because the Army is big on self-esteem, they have a ribbon for everything. Including NCO schools, which I have been attending like a big dog all year. So I dragged a kid with me to JRB, bought that ribbon, an annoying little number to put on it (because I have been to two NCO schools, and thus am entitled to more plummage than folks who have been to only one, but less than folks who have attended three or four). I also bought a new ribbon bar, and devoted a chunk of time to trying not to destory other ribbons in the process of moving them over.

Girl Child was "helping" (that is, laughing at me while I swore).

What's that one?, she asked, pointing.

It's the Army Service Ribbon, I responded. In the Army, they give you a ribbon to wear on your Army uniform as additional proof that you are in the Army.

Oh, she said. It looks kinda...um....well, if it was a flag...


I know, I responded. But I am probably not allowed to refuse to wear a ribbon because it looks like a gay pride flag.

We're dogsitting!

This is Tango.

Tango is, I am informed, part shepherd (I dont really see it), part pit (that I see) and, I'd guess, part raccoon. She's adorable, and just a little bit high-strung.