Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Ferguson

As I stated somewhere else, Ferguson is:

"A bunch of jackasses running around reinforcing the negative stereotypes that they claim were the basis for the initial shooting."

Sigh.

I fail to see how anyone can honestly state that it is "justice" to go to the business of someone who isn't even remotely connected to the outrage you've got your Hanes into a half-hitch over, steal all of their stuff, and burn the business to the ground. Worse, how does it serve "justice" to burn your own city?

I can understand the critters doing the theft, vandalism and arson. They're brigands, dacoits, hooligans. They may claim that they're rioting for "justice", but deep inside they know that they're having a good time and stealing stuff. That's what critters do.

The people I don't understand are the ones excusing the behaviour. Whatever happened to the old saw about two wrongs not making a right?

More to the point, I think that the other old saying abouts actions having consequences should be followed closely in Ferguson, Missouri.

If you are a business owner, and a rampaging mob of Social Justice Warriors has looted and burned your place of business -- call your insurance company, take the cheque they're going to write, and use it to get the hell out of Ferguson, Missouri. 


 Take your vulnerable hide and your tax revenue somewhere that the local community doesn't think that it's perfectly okay for a bunch of thugs to burn you out because they've got a beef with the po-po.

"But, LawDog," I hear you say, "That'll just punish the innocent community of Ferguson, most of whom aren't rioting!"

Horsefeathers. The Ferguson community has had months to get their feral males under control before the verdict of the Grand Jury was released. The Ferguson community has had months to tell outside agitators, "Listen, you're stirring up the thug element. Stop it or get out."


People don't engage in this much destruction in their own community without the perception that it will be -- at the very least -- tolerated by that community.

So. Sod 'em. Take your toys, take your tax base, take your services and go somewhere that they'll not be the centrepiece of a barbeque that erupts the next time someone gets a case of the red arse.

LawDog

Friday, November 07, 2014

Hah!

Jennifer and Evyl Robot have come to Rancho LawDog for a visit, and --as is required -- we have made the rounds of pawn shops, yard sales and thrift stores.

What?

Anyhoo, we're at a newer pawn shop in Nearby Larger City, and I discover a fully-functional bang-stick of the crew-served variety. And it's for sale. This is something that us gunny-type must be made aware of.

I'm about to call Herself, Evyl Robot and Jennifer over, but I notice something.

Jennifer has been examining a musical instrument, with her back to the proprietor.

Now, Jenn has the area awareness that anyone carrying a gun ought to cultivate. She is fit, has her hair pulled back in a no-nonsense ponytail and is wearing jeans. The owner of the pawn store is discretely checking out the view ...

... and suddenly notices that the pistol Jenn is wearing behind her hip is printing big-time.

His eyes get real big, and he starts unobtrusively -- he thinks -- trying to get the attention of his partner. Partner finally looks towards the owner, and owner points at Jennifer, splays out the fingers of his right hand, then makes a fist and points at Jenn again.

Compadre blinks at him, then gives a small shrug.

Proprietor points a little more firmly at Jenn, splays out the fingers, mouths "Five", makes a fist together with an "O" mouth movement; then points most firmly at Jennifer.

It is a wonderful moment when I see things click with buddy, and the colour drains out of his face and pools somewhere around his ankles. I'll take money that in the deepest, darkest recesses of his mind he is offering God anything He wants, as long as Jennifer doesn't start looking too closely at certain items around the store.


Over at the counter, proprietor seems to have something jammed in his throat, that multiple swallows doesn't seem to be dislodging.  And I think that I may have seen an actual case of "flop-sweat".

Not only did I manage the hide the grin, but I didn't call out to Jennifer and suggest she take a look at the car stereo rack.

I think I deserve some sort of award for that.

Outside of the store, I explained to Jennifer that she had been mistaken for a cop, which led to giggling amongst all involved.

Heh.

LawDog

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Election Day

Well, the POTUS is on the TeeVee, jamming his -- no doubt very expensive -- shoe into his piehole ... again.

I swear, the urge to giggle insanely every-time someone gushes about what a wonderful speaker the current POTUS is is getting nigh-impossible to contain.

The gaffe du jour is from the above-linked video:

"Sometimes, someone, usually mom, leaves the workplace to stay home with the kids, which then leaves her earning a lower wage for the rest of her life as a result. And that’s not a choice we want Americans to make."

*blink, blink*

There are a not-inconsiderable number of moms who want to do exactly this. And why do you think you get a "want" in a mother's choice?

I swear, these days damned near ever single idiot at the government level is all for people having choices -- as long as those choices are picked from a very narrow, pre-approved list.

"What sort of career do you want?"

"I'd like to be a home-maker."

"Whoa! Whoa, whoa, whoa! That's not on the Approved List of Careers!"
~~

"What would you like to play at recess?"

"I wanna play cops-n-robbers! Wiv finger guns!"

"Oh. Why don't you take these pills and go speak to the nice psychologist."
~~

"When should we schedule you for Gender Studies?"

"I'm an engineering major. Gender Studies has nothing to do with my field of study."

"It's mandatory to graduate."
~~

"I'm getting married!"

"That's wonderful, George. Who's the lucky lady?"

"Frank."

"You can't do that!"
~~

It's not the place of Government to decide who can marry whom. It's not the place of Government to order someone to bake a cake for someone else. It's not the place of Government to frown upon someones choice in career.

Period.

And they need to stop sodding doing it. Or, failing that, we need to start electing people to Government who will keep their beaks out of people's private lives, damn it!

*sigh*

Today's rant brought to you by Election Day.

LawDog

Saturday, November 01, 2014

The Hickenlooper Blues



I wonder if Governor Hickenlooper of Colorado is having a terminal case of Buyer's Remorse?

It seems to me -- if I recall correctly -- that not too very long ago, then-Mayor John Hickenlooper (Denver, Bugnuts) was one of the Rising Stars in the Democratic party.

Apparently just after exchanging the Denver mayor's throne chair for the one in the Governor's mansion, Wee John started listening to those Bloombergian whispers in his ear ... and things just kind of went headlong down the khazi shortly thereafter.

Sidenote: I'm thinking that in certain circles the word "Bloomberg" is just as poisonous to Democratic campaigns right now a that of "Obama".

Ah, well.

While Hickenlooper may have given Colorado an odious set of gun control laws, and run a whole bunch of tax revenue out of State (Texas says, "Thanks for MagPul, Hicky!"), at least he is responsible for a catchy tune.

LawDog

Friday, October 31, 2014

Quote of the Day

Thing1 and Thing2 have just unloaded a spectacular quantity of wossnames from the back-end of the POV owned by Thing2.

Me: "I really didn't think you'd be able to get all of those in there."
Thing2: "Are you kidding? I can haul seven dead bodies AND the shovel, all at the same time!"
Me: *blink*
Thing1: *Nods happily*
Me: "What?"
Thing2:"What?"

Sometimes it's best to just drop the conversation right there.

LawDog

Oh, you've got to be kidding me.


Anyone who would name a fireplace after a firestorm that turned a major European city into a furnace for 25 000 souls, and burned 1600 acres into ash and rubble either slept through history class, or is attempting to exercise what he (or she) thinks of as "irony" and thus should be struck about the head and shoulders with a semi-fermented haddock until unconscious.

Just saying.

LawDog

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Miscreant E4s

In the Army -- and most probably in every other branch of the military -- there is somewhat of a tradition of Miscreant E4s. The paygrade of E4 is the first rank that involves any sort of official leadership, and -- as such -- is expected to make frequent faux pas. An E4 with a good head upon his (or her) shoulders, dedication to the mission and ... flexible ... scruples can often be the difference between a successful ARTEP, and a "No-Go".

As a "fer instance", let us suppose that you are somewhere, knee-deep in snow, watching herds of brass monkeys headed South. The never-sufficiently-be-damned cab heaters on the unit's M3 Bradleys have gone Paws Up -- again. Your miscreant E4s will show up just before chow, having "repurposed" a "stray" trailer for some extra cab heaters.

Later on during the same exercise when you suddenly need that "stray" trailer, it will appear -- as long as you don't touch the bumper number. Fresh paint smears something awful.

If your E4s don't have the lion's share of the pogey-bait, the really good FMs, and the superfluous equipment that just tends to make things easier ("A shower? How in the hell did you manage to bring a pressurised shower out into the middle of BFE?!"), they know where to get their paws on it. That, along with a certain willingness to trade, bribe, beg, borrow or steal repurpose as required to Accomplish The Mission, tends to make the task of the military commander somewhat easier less aneurysm-inducing. Vishnu bless 'em.

However, E4s without a mission to focus their little nefarious minds upon are often the source of the stories that begin: "This ain't no [deleted] I took my eyes off the little [deleted]s for ten minutes and the [Insert Descriptive Military Noun Here] exploded/ burst into flame/ sank/ floated/ wound up on eBay/ got pregnant/ moved, when movement was physically impossible/ broke the sound barrier, when not physically possible/ divided by zero/ wound up on top of the base watertower/ etc.," are typical.

Several miles of Interstate Highway shut down due to Tobasco-augmented smoke generators? E4s.

Nightly News video shot of hanging hams in the windows of the C-130 doing a flyby at the local airshow? E4s.

Base Commander's beloved prize-winning pecan orchard mysteriously converted into high-velocity matchsticks by precise application of low-yield explosives? Bored E4s.

When I was promoted to my current position, it required thirty minutes of arguing on the part of the Chief Deputy before I finally accepted the promotion -- and that was with the caveat that the Sheriff and the Chief Deputy understand that I am absolutely and totally addlepated when it comes to the day-to-day administrative paperwork. "Nae problem!" sayeth them, and Thing1 was detached to be my ADC.

Well, year later and I've gone from reporting to the head of a Bureau of the Sheriff's Office, to reporting directly to the Sheriff. As such, my duties have expanded considerably and I have developed another ADC: Thing2.

Both Thing1 and Thing2 are sergeants with eight years+ experience in the Sheriff's Office, they are both -- literally -- young enough to be my children, and they are both female.

I have learned several things over the last year. The first of which is that I have no idea how the fathers of daughters survive, much less maintain their sanity. Seriously. Multiple conversations in the office between those two have ended with me yelping, "I'm sitting right here, and there are things that I do not need to know about!"

Secondly, when it comes to flexible scruples and ruthless pragmatism ... all those E4s I've known -- and I've known a lot -- all those male miscreant E4s don't hold a candle to my two female miscreant sergeants.

For example: I'm sitting at my desk, when Thing1 and Thing2 stagger through the doorway, carrying a cube-ish, OD green wossname.
Me: "What is that?"
Thing1: "It's a wossname!"
Me: "It looks like a fridge. With Air Force markings."
Thing2: "Really?"
Me: "You've been in the DD-1033 room, haven't you?"
Thing1: "Isn't the DD-1033 room locked?"
Me: "Yes."
Thing2: "Then it couldn't have been the DD-1033 room. Place we found this wasn't locked."
Me: *migraine salute*
Sheriff: *wandering through with a cup of coffee* "Huh. Nice fridge. Probably fit better over by the filing cabinets."
Both Things: "Thank you, sir!"

*sigh*

And I'm not known as the greatest respecter of rank around, but really ...

I'm wandering through the office when I hear the walrus snorting of Senior Officer Who Shall Remain Nameless in his patented Condescending Neadertal persona, together with a voice I recognize as Thing2. This immediately causes me to buttonhook the corner in full fire-breathing mode only to find Thing2 apparently hanging on every word coming out of the pie-hole of SOWSRN.

SOWSRN: "Condescend. Condescend, condescend, condescendingly."
Thing2: "Really?"
I swear I've seen smaller eyes in anime.
SOWSRN: "Condescend!"
Behind SOWSRN, I see Thing1 steer a two-wheeled dolly into the open door of the office occupied -- coincidentally -- by SOWSRN.
Thing2: "I would never have though of that!"
SOWSRN: "Condescending, condescend, condescended."
Thing1 reappears in the office doorway. Strapped to the dolly is one very large, very expensive (and thus very scarce), very tightly controlled widget. Thing1, dolly and widget disappear down the hallway.
Thing2: "It's been so very interesting talking to you! We mustn't keep you! Bye!"
SOWSRN turns and ambles back to his office, whuffing contentedly. At the door he turns. I'm totally at a loss. I think I may be covering my mouth with a hand. I've never done that before.
Thing2 (sotto voce while giving a small wave): "Smile and wave, boss. Smile and wave."

I swear by Freyja: Those two are going to be the death of me.

LawDog

Some music for the Hallowe'en Season ...

... Courtesy of the talented Lindsey Stirling:



Enjoy!

LawDog

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Brush off some cobwebs here ...

Good Lord, has it really been since Easter?

Between Herself going for her BSN, and my Sheriff deciding to tweak the scope of my job a bit, my muse has buggered off to parts unknown, the hussy.

Unfortunately, the expanded duties have fallen right off into Sekret Skwirl territory -- not necessarily unknown turf to me, but doing so at Small County Government level is a whole different kettle of fish compared to the Federal government level, I'm here to tell you -- and seems to involve a great deal of desk work, interspersed with long runs of Being Diplomatic In Public.

Long-time Gentle Readers (the two who are left) will probably remember that deskwork and Dealing With People are not my preferred activities, introvert that I am.

For the last year or so, I find myself getting home after about nine hours of smiling at people instead of giving them the smack with a cudgel they're desperately crying out for and shaking hands with individuals who would greatly benefit from a decent throat-punch; crawling into the recliner, and dozing off until the whole thing starts again in the morning.

That sort of thing tends to play Merry Hob with the old creativity.

Anyhoo, I find myself desperately missing writing, and thinking: "Man, if there were only some forum on which I could ... Derp."

I'll not promise any stellar literary works -- mental exhaustion and all -- but we'll see about firing this old thing up again.

LawDog

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Hoppy Eostre's Festival ...


... And all that.

In holding with the whole bunny theme, I notice that one of my favourite animated shorts is free again:

Coincidence? I think not.

Yes, I am that odd.

LawDog

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Meditations on holsters.

I am contemplating getting a new pistol.

As my new duties are administrative, rather than operational, I'm tending towards something less than full-sized. Since I'm of the opinion that every handgun should have a dedicated holster, this means I need a new holster to go with the bang-stick. So I've been paying more attention than normal to the holsters everyone else is wearing, and doing a bit of Internet research into holsters.

Ye gods and little fishies.

Let me begin by stating that I don't believe in hardware solutions to software problems. Technology, no matter how "high-speed", "gee-whiz" or "cutting-edge" it is, can not trump insufficient, inadequate or generally [deleted]-poor quality training.

Matter-of-fact, I'm firmly of the opinion that mixing high-tech gear with minimal training only makes the problem you're trying to solve that much worse -- only no one notices that fact until right after Something Has Gone Pear-Shaped.

Any holster I use has to do two things very well: 1) It has to have a death-grip on the pistol when I don't need said pistol; and 2) It has to turn loose of that pistol like it was hot when I do need said pistol.

I'm a big fan of friction-fit holsters for off-duty carry, and I have two that are my particular favourites: a leather pancake holster by my friend Michael Hast of Michael's Custom Holsters, and a kydex Yaqui slide that was a gift from a gunsmith friend. Big fan of "Grab, Yank, Bang", I am.

However, carrying as part of your job tends to require another level of retention.

I started my career in the early '90s, and I trained on thumb-snap holsters because that was pretty much what was available to me at the time, to the point that it is ingrained in my psyche -- for good or ill -- that any retaining mechanism is to be released by the thumb.

By the thumb. Not by the social finger and not by the trigger finger. This is not to say that the popular holsters that do release by the index or middle finger aren't just the cat's meow -- for someone else. After twenty-plus years of training, my thumb sulks if any other digit releases the retention.

Any movement required to release the retaining mechanism must be a simple, single motion. If I have to press something in one direction until a certain point, then in another direction -- Bzzt! Thank you for playing, go home. And any holster that needs me to press one device in one direction, and second, separate device in another direction before giving up the pistol I need right the hell now! ... no. Just, no.

The holster should cover the trigger guard to keep any trigger-manipulating thingies out of the trigger area as long as the pistol is holstered. And by "trigger-manipulating thingies" I mean knotted drawstrings, zipper pulls and twigs, so half-cover of the trigger area isn't going to cut it.

Changing your grip part-way through your draw is an Epic Fail looking for a place to happen, so the holster has to allow me to achieve a proper grip upon the weapon before the retention is released.

My drawstroke has undergone only minor, evolutionary changes since I first received pistol training in the late '80s:

I start, bladed 35 - 45 degrees to the threat, both hands stacked flat on my chest at elbow level, middle fingers pointing at the opposing elbow. (This stance is probably familiar to long-time Gentle Readers.)

To draw, I slide my right hand down my torso towards the holster. My palm remains flat on my body until my hand clears the horizontal plane of my torso and my fingers rotate down; but my thumb maintains contact with my body.

My hand settles on the grip of the pistol, thumb maintains body contact and the last three digits achieve a solid grip.

Once a solid, three-finger grip has been achieved, my thumb moves to the release and activates it.

The pistol is drawn up almost to my armpit, then rotates toward the threat. If necessary, the trigger finger can enter the guard and shots can be taken from this high guard position.

If not, the trigger finger remains straight, the pistol is pushed towards the threat, with the left hand sliding across to meet it on the way out to full extension.

Voila! A draw.

The problem comes with the way I slide my hand across my torso to the pistol. This is down to clear any cover garments, radio cords, body mic cords, or anything else that might get in the way. It also keeps the gun hand close to the body where it is less likely to be interfered with -- deliberately or not -- by a third party during the whole affair.

Unfortunately, the Latest and Greatest Contraption to hit holsters seems to be something call a "chop block" or a "hood guard". This is an "L"-shaped piece of metal or polymer that sticks up from between the holster and your body and angles over the retention mechanism. It is supposed to stop Bad Guys from accessing the retention mechanism from a position in front of the officer.

See my thoughts on "hardware solution/software problem" and "technology vs. training" above.

In my case, what a "chop block" does is to cause me to expend my full vocabulary of abusive, indecent and profane language upon the makers of said device the first time I hammered the edge of my hand into the top edge of the bloody rigid bastard during a draw.

Did you know that you can frisbee the chop-block from a Safariland holster well past the ten-yard targets, given proper motivation? Well, now you do.

So.

I need something moulded to the pistol, with a simple thumb-release and a minimal cant. It should cover the trigger guard, allow for a three-finger grip, not get in the way of my particular draw-stroke and be free of fancy techie bushwa.

Wonder what Old El Paso Saddlery has to offer these days?

LawDog

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Abbreviations

I seem to have confused a couple of Gentle Readers.

The posts that you see written in blue Courier font are cut-and-pastes from reports that I have sent to various worthies throughout my career. As you can see, the snark is not just limited to the scribblings on this blog.

"LO/LOP" is an abbreviation for "Lock-Off/Loss Of Privileges" which is basically disciplinary segregation. An inmate violates a rule and catches "LO/LOP", we toss his butt into a solitary cell, no phone, no commissary, limited visitation, that sort of thing.

"Water-checks." Inmates in a solitary cell sometimes can't -- or won't -- report having problems with the water faucet in the cell. Every night, an officer goes around and checks every tap in solitary to make sure that the inmate inside the cell has access to water.

"SHU." Special Housing Unit. The formal term for Solitary. Sometimes also called Segregation.

"Ad/SEG." Administrative SEGregation. An inmate who -- for whatever reason -- can't get along in General Population, but hasn't caught a case and wound up on LO/LOP.  Protective Custody, MHMR patient, Escape Risk, amongst other reasons.

"TDC." Actually supposed to be "TDCJ" -- Texas Department of Criminal Justice". The prison system for the State of Texas. Old-time officers remember when it was called the "Texas Department of Corrections".

"Chain." The trip to TDC from the County. The TDC bus is the "chain bus"; the trip is known as "catching chain", so on and so forth.

"Jack." The most handy and fluid word in a County inmate's vocabulary. To "jack" is to succeed against another person, either by way of guile or by physical force. 

 "Hey, CO! Somebody jacked me for a soup!" 
 Translation: "Excuse me, Officer, but person or persons unknown appear to have stolen a food item from my property locker."

"Fool! Rank 'Dog just jacked Hernandez in front of his boys!" 

 Translation: "Comrade! Lieutenant LawDog has caused inmate Hernandez to lose face by removing Hernandez from his Housing Area in the presence of his compatriots after Hernandez stated that he would not move!"

"Boss! I don't know, but word is that someone's gonna jack Old Con in the shower tonight."

Translation: "Officer! While neither I, nor my colleagues, are involved, we suspect that another inmate -- one who is younger and Less Wise In the Ways Of The World -- is planning to physically beat an elder in the bathing area this night."

As happens, this useful word has found its way into the lexicon of the officers.  
"Hey, sarge!  21 just jacked his beanhole."
Translation:  "Sergeant, the inmate in SHU/21 is preventing officers from securing the food pass slot in the door of his cell."

"Taking a shower." Alternatively, "Asleep in my rack." In a Housing Area holding 24 inmates (and two showers) if you drag two inmates out of the tank for a bloody fight, when you ask the other twenty-two inmates what happened, all 22 will answer: "I don't know, boss, I was taking a shower."

That should cover some of the basics, I think.

LawDog