Better And Better

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

Monday, October 31, 2011

Random Halloween Day Thoughts.

  • --The Eighth Grader In The House carved up a jack-o'-lantern that was better than any that I've done in 40 years. My wife, a sculptor, was impressed. Not fancy; just well-executed. I don't have a picture because the effect is lost without darkness and a candle, and I forgot to take one last night.
  • --I still need to finish cleaning guns from Blogorado. Next year we should put together a gun-cleaning table to sit and chat at while cleaning guns at the end.
  • --While working the crosswalk during the city-sponsored Halloween event this weekend, my partner and I wondered how else girls would learn to dress up as sluts in public, if they didn't have their hot moms to show them how at Halloween.
  • --Yard decorations for Halloween have gotten out of hand. I don't think Christmas-style strings of orange house lights were even seen before about two or three years ago. Now they're ubiquitous.  Front yard graveyards are thick on the ground. Stupid inflatable fabric lighted yard decorations? All over.
  • --My daughters are terrified that I'm going to wear my kilt and pith helmet while accompanying them and their pack of friends trick-or-treating this evening. I've let them believe that I'm going to. Talk about the scariest thing that they can think of on Halloween! Heh.
  • --While in the front yard spattering stage blood (left over from my graduate studies) onto the white lace garage sale dress that The Fourth Grader In The House was wearing, I thought to myself that the greater horror for me was seeing my kid in a bridal gown.
  • --My younger daughter, while standing outside with the blood drying on her bridal gown, saw the cat playing with a mouse. She tried to save the mouse, and got bitten for her trouble. Didn't break the skin, and the mouse was healthy as could be. I told her that she was lucky that I got to see the rodent, or I would have her getting shots. Do they still do that? I also threatened her with a thrashing if she ever again tried to touch a wild animal of any stripe. I killed the mouse, which did have a broken back already. The cat looked at me disgustedly, and ate it.
  • --My elder daughter dressed in black, painted her nails, eyes, and lips black, wore a giant silver cross and a chain belt, and made her face white, and went as a Goth Girl. She practiced sighing and rolling her eyes as she announced, "Trick or treat" in a voice dripping with irony.
  • --My neighbor thought that it was AWESOME when I put Burglar Bob, the reactive shooting dummy, on the front porch. He liked it even better when I put the words "Free Candy" on my skeevy old van parked out front. I took some pictures, and then chickened out. I gotta work in this town.
  • --At the last second I had to run get some candy. The door hasn't been knocked on yet.
  • --I should probably fix that doorbell.

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Saturday, October 22, 2011

The passage of time.

This month  marks 5 years since I started this blog, and also half a million discrete visits to my blog.
I've met some good friends here, whom I identify with.

Thanks for the good times, friends. Let's continue to try to see the other side of the issues that we discuss, even if we don't ever believe that we'll agree with them.

And let's continue to laugh. You people crack my happy ass up.

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Friday, October 21, 2011

It happened again.

In the sallyport at the jail, this time. The acoustics are great, in there.

Curse you, Phlegmmy.

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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Might want to check those stats....

According to the Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife, there are no cougars in the state anymore.
 
 
They have admitted that there have in the past few years been some sightings of bears in the eastern end of the state, but they're still not considered to be reintroduced.
 
 
My research, however, has found ZERO evidence that the O.D.N.R. is willing to admit the presence of Face-Eating Monkeys in their midst.
 
 

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Monday, October 17, 2011

Ear Worm: CURSE YOU, PHLEGMMY!!!

Y'all might not know this, but the esteemed Phlegm Fatale has some vocal training. And you thought that she just studied punning.

The songs that stick in her head get sung, say, around the campfire at a certain southwestern blogmeet, and then, ta-dah!, it's stuck in your head, too.
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This weekend has been work for me, but the good kind of work that I signed up for. I broke a felony case, and performed a LOT of interviews, and got confessions, and recovered stolen goods, and wrote case reports and probable cause affidavits, and catalogued evidence. Today, I was supposed to be off to go to the fair with my family (we went, but later in the day), but I had to drop off evidence at the lab, pick up warrants (the judge complimented me on my PC affidavits), and drop the warrants off with our dispatch department to input into the system.

While not in regular uniform, I was wearing a decent khaki twill shirt and slacks, with decent leather showing, and a badge, J-frame and ID completing the "investigator" outfit, as I ran these official errands. I felt pretty good about finishing up a good weekend's work, and didn't mind that I looked... well, maybe not sharp (no tie, and my creases weren't razor sharp), but pretty respectable, anyway.

So it was that, as I got out of my patrol car with a handful of warrants clutched in my fist at the sheriff's office, I noticed a woman checking me out. I wasn't smug as I noticed her eying me surreptitiously. After all, an attractive young lady such as herself was only human. How could she be expected to resist noticing... what was that sound?

It seemed to be... coming from my own mouth. What...? What could it be? I just kept listening to figure it out, even as I drew closer to the lovely lady standing, now slightly agape, next to the open door of her car in the parking lot.

"...easy 'cuz you're beautiful...." went the falsetto.  What was that? Then to my shock and horror, I heard my voice attempt the whistle, and I realized what had stuck in my head.

Because Phlegmmy had been singing it.

The hottie in the skirt hopped into her sports car and slammed the door.

I heard the door locks click.

I didn't feel as suave as I had exactly 10 seconds before.

I'll get you for this, Phlegmmy.

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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

BR3 - personal contributions.

We had some achievements and contributions this year at Blogorado.

The Nerds LabRat and Stingray brought more beer, and in more varieties than I'd have thought. Their contribution to the event is unquantifiable, but if you wanted to try, you'd start with beer, anime, tech support before and after, trucking equipment and persons in and out, area expertise on things biological, technical, and physical, and couture.

Old NFO brought a Yukon full of aePilot, cans full of ammo, highly accurate and well-scoped rifles (My fave this year was the SCAR-17 with the ACOG), AEP's Barrett .50 BMG, and both of their densely-packed bags-o'-anecdotes, knowledge, and experience. When I grow up, I want to be Old NFO. Maybe in the meantime, I could be AEP. AEP also brought with him a disturbingly specific disdain for personal boundaries. (Ouch!) They did the major range set-up and planning, along with...

LawDog. He had just presented his ladyfriend Phlegmmy a new CircuitJudge, and wanted to have a safe place for her to shoot it. I will have to say that a great deal of planning goes on, when there are several type-A personalities, all with strong wills and valid points, planning a safe range, with the added bonus of a fall-out zone for a .50 BMG, on a drought-hardened, flat landscape. (LawDog, like me, is a TCLEOSE-certified firearms instructor. Neither one of us did much (if any) instructing, but we were all on board with regards to keeping it safe.*)

As mentioned, PhlegmFatale arrived with LawDog (or did he arrive with her?). She brought her new play-pretty. She brought her abilities as a social coordinator. (As FarmGirl is the Founder of the Blogorado social event, Phlegmmy is the event's de facto Social Secretary.) Phlegmmy also contributed a gift of a cute little wookie doll to...

Tamara. Tam had been invited for years, but the distance combined with her disdain for flying made it a bit problematic. She finally met us half-way, literally. She drove down to my house, and I drove her the rest of the way to Blogorado, after an overnight at Chez Phlegmmy's. Every time we started a trip, the wookie doll (firmly affixed to Tam's turse**) would be given a quick squeeze, and we would begin rolling with the echoing of a small Chewbaca roar. As God as my witness, Chewie was my co-pilot. Tamara also brought lots of pistol ammo, and some very neat pistols that she shot and shot and shot, very well. The rest of us shot and shot and shot her ammo, too. Tam left an M&P on her hip the entire time that she was there, unless she was sleeping, bathing, or shooting the thing. I never thought that I'd see the day...

Me. I like to think that my main contribution was wheedling Tam into coming. I brought a few guns, and some ammo, but mostly I got the 5'12" redhead gunnut BroadRiparrian to make the event. (Not that I could have gotten her to do anything that she didn't want to do, but hey, having your friends hassle you until you can't put them off has caused more than one fun get-together to occur.) I also brought some fine single-malt scotch sent by Accountant Bill.

ChristinaLMT arrived with Sci-Fi and his wife (Dang it, I know her name, but not her online moniker). Christina brought a massage chair, table, and lots of ability as a licensed massage therapist to the event. Sci-Fi and B. brought Christina and their charm. They came from Massachusetts, which means that they had the furthest to come, and had the biggest culture shock of anyone there, I think.

Evyl Robot and his lovely wife Jennifer arrived with kids in tow. The kids got to shoot a lot. E.R. brought some great holsters of his own making, some for practical purposes, and some for serious show. They also had some great Performance Center Smiths, a Winchester .22 that I'd really like to steal, and Jennifer's FN pistol. I didn't shoot the FN. It was getting rave reviews, but was giant. I was afraid that I'd fall in love with it, and then have to buy one, and a new holster, and then change my carry style, and...

Ambulance Driver brought me my bithday present, made partially by his ex-wife, and partially by his own hands: a kilt. (I thought that it paired nicely with my pith helmet and a Webley Mk IV.) Seriously, it is well-made. Ambo Driver also helped me enormously, by carting my half-a-butchered FarmFam steer home in the back of his pickup. Do I have to mention that AD brought his own Bag-O-Anecdotes, honed and rendered with Old World Craftmanship?

Salamander brought his gentle self and his kneebeards to the table. He wielded a small crossbow.

My Dad JPG brought his bride Holly with him, for the first time. He also offered to tote some of my gear home with him. (My car's small, okay?)

Spear brought a dadgummed handcannon, crafted by his own hands. It was purely awesome to shoot. He also brought some other guns that he's been tinkering with at gunsmithing school. He also brought a very nice bowler hat and a very nice bit of facial hair. He also brought another gunsmith (I promised him that I'd try to remember his name, and look at me fail).

Farmgirl arrived. She brought her new (to her) Winchester levergun in .22 WMRF. Despite the perfectly-correct-for-the-model horrible open rear sight, we all found it to be a very accurate rifle, and easy to shoot well. FarmGirl, you will recall, was the impetus for this whole wonderful gathering.

While we're on the subject of those responsible for the whole get-together, I need to mention FarmMom and FarmDad. When I arrived, FarmMom gave me a big hug (Note: hugs are actually kind of contagious at Blogorado.), and FarmDad gave me a firm handshake and told me "Welcome home." And I believe he meant it. Their contributions were everything. A safe and empty place to shoot, enormous amounts of good food for supper and lunch, a happy place for evening conversation each night, prepping the range, dragging out a DADGUMMED CAR to shoot at from about a quarter mile.... it goes on and on. They made special efforts specifically on my own behalf, too. Farm Mamaw was feeling under the weather, some, but she provided the gathering spot locale, and participated in the conversation, too. Farm Mom got me and Phlegmmy a cake, and it was lovely, and tasted good. We washed it down with coffee.

What a fine birthday weekend trip for me.

While the decompression was palpable, my PBD set in pretty firmly by noon, yesterday. This was about the time that our little caravan broke up, and Tam and Ambulance Driver simultaneously drove away from my house.
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*We ended up using a basic radial pattern of shooting stations for trap, handgun, short-range rifle, and long-range rifle, with a car park and rest area in the middle.
**Tactical purse. You should see what comes out of that thing.

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Sunday, October 02, 2011

Self-Justification

Tam, as she often does, hit the nail on the head:
"Having a dedicated Agency responsible for "gun crimes" creates an incentive to find and, if necessary, manufacture gun crimes in order to justify their existence."

It is not because I'm a generalist that I am annoyed at the BATF. Hey, I'm all for specialization, in complicated areas. I just recently did a sexual assault investigation with the assistance of a larger city investigator who specializes in that, specifically on children. (And bless his heart for that. I would get burnt out within about 2 months of that work.) Two weeks ago, I provided some intel to a detective who specializes in copper theft. (Note: detectives who work in such areas are GOLD MINES for info on the meth trade in their area.) When I have a financial crime, I know just the detective to call on for help, and she's brilliant. Time to lift fingerprints? I call a neighboring crime lab. Specialization makes sense, in a lot of areas. Those fellows are better at it than I am, due to their familiarity with the topic. They are all subject matter experts.

Large cities generally break down their police department's investigative bureaus into sections like Property Crime, Violent Crime, Sex Crimes, Juvenile Crime, and Homicide. That's fine; there has to be some way to delegate cases. But when you create an entire agency that specializes in a specific type of crime, you run into problems. What if that type of crime is down that year? Their budget could be in jeopardy.

The problem is compounded when the premise of the crime fighting is in question, in the first place.

But we have a system in this nation, good or bad, that dictates how guns are sold from dealers. It's hackneyed, but it's followed. As FFL licencees are generally quite law-abiding folks, the prospect of committing felonies rightfully scares hell out of them. So obvious straw purchases are not permitted. Clear felonies in firearms purchases are denied. Unless. Unless the aforementioned hackneyed system is intentionally sabotaged by the agency ordering its use, to create more crimes for that agency to investigate.

This would be akin to the FBI ordering that the back door to banks be left unlocked, and the vaults be left ajar, with the alarm passcode be scrawled in pencil on the wall next to the door.

I believe that I've mentioned before that using numbers to try to promote your own crime-fighting agency is a double-edged sword. Trying to pump them up is a Bad Idea, friends. Look, you chief administrators: You're spin doctors, right? Right. If crime stats are down, we all know that you can just say "Look at what an effective job that we've done! Our agency needs more resources to continue in our quest to stamp out crime!" And if crime stats are up, you get to sound the alarm that "Now, more than ever, we need more resources to fight the growing trend of crime!" You can serve it up either way. We all know that.

You don't have to make more. Got it?
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While at a nearby police range recently, I had to wait for the local ATF agents to finish their stuff. One of them, a friendly lady agent, chatted with me for a few minutes. I enjoyed our talk, but wondered if she was as annoyed by my shirt as I was by her hat. Her aftermarket custom hat was similar the standard ATF ballcap, but with the words "Mt. Carmel" embroidered in smaller letters below the agency letters. Marvy.

She didn't remark on my shirt, which I had ordered a decade ago through the assistance of the now-famous author and then fellow TFL denizen, Larry Correia:


I don't know if she understood the meaning behind the words "MOLON LABE." If she did, I suspect that she would have been confused as to why I, a cop, ordered the shirt, and why I, a cop, still wear the shirt.

Meanwhile, I don't have to guess whether the sentiment would have been understood by the Texas Ranger recently seen in the area with the Gonzales battle flag scrimshawed on the outside grip panel of his ivory stocks of his 1911 pistol.

But there I go, taking up for generalists. :)

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