Better And Better

If you don't draw yours, I won't draw mine.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Made my day.

My partner told me last night that in working with me, he has learned:
--that there is another viewpoint to each situation, and
--to search for it.
He said that it's made his life more complicated, but he sees things better.

This may be the nicest compliment that I've ever received, professionally.*


______________________
*"We really trust you" and "You're ethical" aren't to be taken as compliments; those are expected character traits, even if I feel pride when I hear them.

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Monday, December 27, 2010

What beer with crow?

I, uh, may need to eat some words, here.

Recall that I thought that it was really dumb to make a re-do of True Grit with The Big Lebowski Jeff Bridges? How I mentioned that the original movie was a stand-alone great? That it didn't need improving on?

Maybe so.

But when I went to see the flick on Christmas afternoon with my mother, we found that the Cohen brothers had done it.

And I know that the poster shows Jeff Bridges (Rooster Cogburn), Matt Damon (Ranger LeBoeuf), and Josh Brolin (Tom Chaney) as the leads, but don't you believe it for a second. Hailee Steinfeld steals the show, in her depiction of the sharp-tongued 14 year old Mattie Ross (from near Dardanell in Yell County).

It's worth seeing at the theatre. Go to one with a good sound system-- the sound is good. When Lucky Ned Pepper sees Rooster through a spy glass fire his pistol to signal that he's crossing a bald spot over a ridge, we see the shot, and second or two later hear the muffled report. When Rooster clambers down the pit to rescue Mattie, and fires off a couple of rounds at rattlesnakes, you hear the distinctive report of a black powder gun, echoing in a rocky, dirty pit. Before Mattie gets to the stream to get water to clean, you hear it as she approaches it. These little things make the movie better.

Damned Cohen brothers. Did it again.

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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Place your bets, now.

When I saw on the Yahoo news page that an unemployed west Dallas man had won McDonald's $1 Million Monopoly game, I grinned when I saw the following:

The old saw is that, if all the money in the country were distributed evenly among all the people here, within 5 years it would basically have been re-distributed to the same people who have it now. Call me a pessimist, but I actually suspect (without any real (non-anecdotal) evidence) that this is true.


But I chastised myself for having smirked, and thought, "maybe this guy has some good plans for the ~$600k+ that he'll get out of the giant cheque, after taxes." I mean, we all could fall on hard times. We all could find ourselves living with our folks for a few months after a lay-off. We all could end up extending that stay for years. And years. Could happen to any of us.

Now let's see-- he plans to repay his folks. He plans to take his nephew to Yellowstone Park. He plans to... um... get a tattoo of a McRib sammich.


He thinks that properly-utilizing this money, he could be set for life.


Bless his pea-pickin' little heart.

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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Funny, my chest doesn't *feel* hairier...

Friend Marko insists that the path to manly drinking may be found through Bacardi 151, vanilla, vanilla cola, Peeps, and fire.

I ran into problems in my replication.

1. No Peeps. Couldn't find 'em. Used fresh Kraft giant marshmallow, instead.
2. Same with vanilla cola. Figured the Mexican vanilla I was using probably would do the trick, though.
3. I used a small thin juice glass. Don't do that. They heat up and then crack. Oops.
4. I overcooked my marshmallow.
5. I used 151 rum and coconut rum in about even quantities.

But for all that, it makes good video:


video

Still? Pretty damned tasty.

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Saturday, December 11, 2010

New gun.

I hate to see a serviceable gun maligned. I have pressed less-than-optimum guns into strange duties for years. There was time when I popped a 200 lb wild hog behind the ear with a .22 Hornet. Or the time that I carried 6" Officer Model Match .38 Special deer hunting. (Admittedly with some souped-up handloads.) I've been running around with a P3AT in my pocket, sometimes to the exclusion of everything else, and considered myself armed.

So when I went up to Omaha a couple of months ago to go hunting with Vine, I was saddened to see the way he put down his Taurus M445 revolver. I had, at the time, a 5-shot airweight S&W M37 on my hip in an outside-the-waistband holster, and thought "Hey, that's not really THAT much more bulky than what I've got here."

Looking at the 2" 5-shot .44 Special Taurus without anything for perspective, you could believe that you're looking at J-frame Smith. But it's quite a bit bigger. In fact, it's precisely the same size as a K-frame.


(S&W M10 2" on top, Taurus M445 2" on bottom)

Vine ended up selling the gun to me. (My first new gun since I started graduate school.) I picked it up at my FFL last week, and the first rounds that I fired out of it were at my department firearms qualification. Yes, I'll carry this gun as an off-duty piece.


The trigger is currently too heavy. That needs addressing. I was concerned about getting holsters for it, but since it fits perfectly into a K-frame holster, that's not going to be a problem. I will probably carry Buffalo Bore Heavy .44 Special ammo in it. I need some .44 Speed Strips, but Vine graciously sent me a speedloader and a black nylon velcro and snap holster for it. I'm going to partially-bob the hammer, leaving just a nub for a retention strap (or my thumb) to get hold of.

While I have a M10 2" (on semi-permanent loan from Dad), there seems to be a serious difference between six shots of .38 Special and five shots of a healthy .44 Special. Don't believe me? Note the following pictures:

(Five shot .44 Taurus cylinder, left, 6 shot M10 .38 cylinder, right)
(Muzzle of .44 on left, Muzzle of .38 on right.)
(.44 Spl 246g HCSWC handload, left, .38 Spl SWCHP, right.)
[Click all pics to embiggen.]

Weight is about the same. We'll see how this goes.

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And this poor man doesn't think of himself as a libertarian, yet?

Big Bear is a man who just wants to go about his life peacefully.

He happens to be gay. The government says that he can't marry.

He happens to have family spread across the nation. The government says that he must be hassled more now than ever before when he flies.

He happens to wear a kilt.

Hilarity ensues.

Go read.

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Monday, December 06, 2010

Raising my voice.

The other night, I found myself raising my voice at every call that I went to. Not good.

First shake out of the box, we had a domestic disturbance which turned out to be a felony assault. When the mother-in-law (whose house the couple was staying at) entered the room where I was interviewing the victim at the critical moment where the reluctant victim was beginning to give me the most important information, I ordered her to leave. I was firm, but not yelling. When she protested that it was her house (it absolutely was, but I was standing in the single room that was a felony crime scene), I yelled at her. She left. I didn't like doing that, but I liked the prospect of losing a statement from a timid victim in front of her mother-in-law even worse.

Next, I went to a fight in progress. One man, intoxicated, had a bloody nose. The other man had fled the party. The victim's wife was fainting. Her friends and family insisted on keeping her on her feet, walking about over a tile floor. (Why do they do that?) When I invited the staged medics in to check on the woman, the man stood in the doorway of the venue (not his house), and told us that there was no need for medics to look at her. I yelled at him, and told him to shut up. I probably should have been more gentle with that, but I don't like seeing people interfere with the medics on other adults' behalf.

A few minutes later, I saw the probable actor who had fled from the fight, running away. I gave chase. Like a ninja, he disappeared into the neck-high grass of a fallow hayfield. He wore black and ran like I had shot at him, when I yelled for him to stop. After a merry romp through the fields and local neighborhood, I cleared.

Awhile later, while on a traffic stop in the parking lot of a convenience store, a vehicle pulled up beside me in the parking lot. "My friend's been stabbed," the driver said. I went to his friend, now standing in front of the vehicle, (again, why was he standing?), and found that one of his lower jeans' legs was completely saturated with blood, despite a bandanna tourniquet above it. I almost had to wrestle him to the pavement to get his leg elevated. It was quite a stab wound, probably administered by the guy whom I had chased earlier. When he raised his boot, about a pint or so of dark venous blood poured out onto the pavement. At about this time, a deputy arrived as Dispatch warned me that the actor was probably on scene with me. We began to handcuff the occupants of the car to sort stuff out. The clerk from the convenience store came out yelling about something or other. I told her to go back in and not interfere. She stomped over and began to demand questions as the medics arrived, only to see the large amount of blood. She gasped heavily, and ran inside. After the medics had the man in the box, I checked what she wanted. She first asked me how she was supposed to clean that blood off the concrete. I said, "Use cold water," and began to walk back to my business. She began to argue, and I found myself explaining, again with raised voice, that if she interfered with my duties during a stop or a call again, that I would put her in handcuffs as well.

I wrote a couple of tickets and took my butt to the P.D. for paperwork. I had had enough yelling for the night.

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Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Help me out on this. (Calling all Tooth Fairy Helpers.)

Friend Tamara busted (as in broke) an incisor. She doesn't have the money to fix it.

She's in that horrid dental pain.

I happen to get a lot of entertainment out of her posts, even if I were her friend. When she's hurting, she's not feeling compelled to write. Thus, kicking in some money toward her tooth really is like subsidizing my own entertainment.

Help me with this one, friends. Even if you don't read her daily (and probably most of you do, pretty often), you can all appreciate the disturbing nature of this kind of pain. This can actually be fixed pretty readily, with a little money.

Click on the box indicated at her site, and drop her a couple of bucks into her PayPal account. It literally took me 1 minute to send a little cash her way. If you could fit a few bucks into her account, that would really make a difference. I know that there are a few hundred of you a day who read this blog. Please-- make up for the other guys who will put it off and not put money in-- add some money right this second.

Consider it a Christmas gift to both of us. That's pretty cheap shopping, right there!
(Click the picture above, and then click on the yellow PayPal button that I've indicated, above.)

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