Sunday, January 30, 2011

Update: New Cat - Life Sucks


Around the first part of December of 2010, Main Lady found a nice new cat. I blogged about Emma here and here. On Friday, January 28, 2011 Main Lady took Emma over to the veterinarian to have surgery on her empty eye socket, which needed cleaning and closing so as to avoid infection, and to be spayed.

Emma didn't survive.

And that's the short of it.

Every once in a while life just fucking sucks.

Main Lady had a real sense of foreboding about taking Emma over to the vet. I should have counseled her to forgo or postpone the surgery, but I didn't. Instead I reassured Main Lady that it was a fairly routine procedure and I was sure everything would be okay. Now, my background is such that I know about animals, veterinarians and surgery, and I know that operations are not always successful. I therefore prefer to avoid surgery for my pets if it's at all possible. That said, I had my own cat Dante fixed because I did not want to put up with the behavior of a Tom cat when a female is in heat, and that was my decision, but I gave it a lot of thought first.

I got the call from Main Lady Friday afternoon around 3:00, asking me to come over to the veterinarian's office. She was crying so hard she really couldn't talk, so I expected the worst. I put my car under me and got over to the vet's office without fracturing any speed laws too badly. I found the vet (who did the surgery) and three technicians crowded around Emma trying to get several more IVs started. The story I get from the vet is that the surgery went fine, without too many complications. When Emma was supposed to be waking up her heart stopped. The vet got the heart started again, and Emma wouldn't breathe. The vet put her on a respirator and began trying to decide what to do for an encore, because now she's pretty much out of options. While everyone is watching the cat, the vet makes eye contact with me and shakes her head no. At this point Main Lady decided to call Cottontail.

Now Cottontail is a veterinarian with two fairly rare specialties: acute trauma and internal medicine. While serving her internship for internal medicine, Cottontail sewed up police dogs that had bitten off more than they could chew and would often be able to save them. Actually, there is no 'often' to it; Cottontail never lost a dog. The thing was, Dr. Cottontail had gotten up at four in the morning to take her husband Que Bee One to the airport so he could catch a flight to L.A., then she went in to work at her office in Eastern Pennsylvania. I'll give everyone credit, Cottontail attended to Emma over the phone, advising the local vet on a few procedures the local vet didn't know how to do. Cottontail then told the folks at her clinic in Eastern Pennsylvania that she had important work elsewhere before packing up her two dogs and heading for Sylvania. Cottontail coordinated via cell phone from her car, calling another expert she knew to gain any new ideas. The local vet and her staff cooperated fully. Cottontail got into town around 2:00 AM and stayed at the vet's office until around 6.

They put Emma in an incubator and kept it full of oxygen. It looked like Emma would recover, as she was getting a little stronger all the time, but it turned out that the recovery was only temporary. Emma's heart stopped for good today around 3:00 PM.

When I asked the obvious question about what went wrong, I got evasive answers. The local vet suggests that Emma had an adverse delayed reaction to the anesthetic. Cottontail speculates that Emma was missing one eye, and that might have indicated brain damage that was there from the beginning, meaning Emma wasn't healthy to begin with, and so this is a natural outcome.

My problem is that I know too much. I know, for instance, that Emma was a playful, energetic little preadolescent with a good appetite and regular litter box habits, and I know that if an animal is sick one or more of those properties is missing. I also know that by far the most common problem with surgery involves over-anesthetizing the patient. Then there's the local vet, who said that there weren't too many complications during surgery; not that this was a textbook case with a surprise ending. Then there's Cottontail. I've known Cottontail for years, and I know that she applies her own belief system and agenda to her professional life at the expense of everyone else's. For instance, I know that Cottontail believes that all animals should be spayed and neutered without exception. I also know that Cottontail will prevaricate and possibly fabricate rather than tell the whole story. So, as good a vet as Cottontail is, and make no mistake, she is very, very good at what she does, there is the rest of the package to deal with. When Cottontail was asked about the real cause of Emma's death, she started hedging. When asked for an opinion, she hedged some more and she did so in a way to protect the local vet.

I have thought about naming names and putting blame where it belongs, and I've rejected it. First of all, I don't feel like revealing my real identity. I suppose someone who was interested and persistent enough might find out who I really am, but I doubt such people take an interest in what I write. Secondly, I don't think it would help or change anything. The local vet was giving Main Lady her best efforts. Every once in a while the best you have isn't good enough, and when that happens we should all have the good sense to shrug it off, go home and have a drink.

I think Main Lady will get another cat very soon, and she can be satisfied that she provided a nice home for little Emma for a few weeks.

Range Report

I think Big Mike's email read, "Want to get some practice in on Saturday?" Me, being a man of few words as illustrated by my succinct reply to Mike's somewhat terse message affirmed what he already guessed: Yes. So it was off to The Bullet Stop to perforate a few targets in dim light and low temperatures. We could see our breath inside the range, which is 'heated' by a few economical electric heaters mounted at various points in the ceiling. Standing directly under a heater will cause the top of your head to overheat in a spot the size of a poker chip. If you tilt your head back, you can thaw out the end of your nose. In short, while I like the Bullet Stop the place is a fucking ice box and it's hard to hold your pistol steady while you're shivering from the cold.

.22 Handguns at 30 Feet
We started off with .22 pistols, as usual. Big Mike shot his Buckmark and I used my .22 Ruger Mark II Government model. I took the target on the left and put about 90 shots into it. On observing the used target, Big Mike commented that he hadn't fired as many shots as I had. I observe that fewer holes in the paper does not necessarily mean less brass on the floor.

.38, .380 and .45 at 30 Feet

We switched to larger calibers. Mike practiced with his .380 sock drawer gun, which is beginning to have an annoying tendency to hang up on the first two bullets. Mike was shooting the hard to find economically priced ammunition which does not have a brass casing, and he surmised that the case had a lot to do with the misfeeds. In this case, the slide wouldn't drop completely and had to be helped along with a slight push. This is not something I'd lose a lot of sleep over were it not for the fact that this is the pistol Mike will pick up should the bad guys invade in the middle of the night. My choice for this target was my Colt Trooper shooting .38 ammo. I didn't do badly.

.45 at 30 Feet
We switched to our .45 pistols and put up a fresh target. Mike shot his Kimber and I used Betsy. As usual, Betsy allowed me to put everything on the paper and look good doing it. The fliers are mine, made when I was shooting at slightly faster than one shot per second, which is about as fast as I can shoot and hit anything - including the water from the middle of the lake. Mike did better with his Kimber, and little wonder. The sights are easy to see and the trigger pull is about perfect.

All in all, this was a good shoot and I'm pleased with the results. We repaired to the Maumee Bay Brewing Company for beer and food, and here I will comment on the service at Maumee Bay Brewing.

There used to be a real good bartender at Maumee Bay who saw to our needs. Anthony never failed to deliver the first beer as quickly as possible and always, always got our first beer order before we were completely seated. You know, if you have a beer in front of you (particularly at a brewery) you don't mind waiting around a little for your food order. But even when it was busy, Anthony was prompt in getting our order and delivering the food from the kitchen. Naturally, Anthony is no longer at Maumee Bay.

The girl that waited on us was nice and polite, but she obviously had a few too many things on her mind and we failed to ascend to a prominent position on her list of priorities. Big Mike was a little irate and I could understand his point. When we wanted the waitress, she was no where to be found. Mike flagged a bus boy who immediately vanished in the wake of a promised to go and fetch our server, but as is typical of those who wander off alone in a Grade B horror movie, he was never seen again. He probably was drowned in a vat, or maybe a stack of kegs rolled over him. I didn't care; he looked kind of retarded anyway.

Undaunted, we tried again, this time flagging a short, somewhat stocky young man of agreeable demeanor who promptly fetched another beer and introduced himself as Ivan. Ivan picked up the noticeable slack left by our original serving wench, who finally appeared when we wanted the check. So new?

Big Mike and I looked at each other over the check. I advocated tipping the worthless serving wench a few dollars and Ivan a few dollars more. Mike agreed.

We'll likely return to the Maumee Bay Brewing Company, but when we go back we will ask for Ivan. I recommend you do the same.

Friday, January 28, 2011

State Gun

I have to thank Jeff Gamso for this one - check the source over at It Isn't Just For Football Any More and draw a bead on the State gun. Not Ohio, heavens no! A State gun! That's over in Utah (click here to read about it) where the politicians have somehow retained more than a modicum of intelligence. Here's a hat tip and hoist of the morning Bourbon glass to the State of Utah's government who are able to ignore the howling of the anti-freedom moonbats while simultaneously running for a touchdown.

The long and short of it is that John Moses Browning was born in Ogden, Utah. Among other things, John Browning developed the .45 caliber model 1911 autoloading pistol that was used in the United States Armed Forces from 1911 until 1986. We can also thank John Browning for the Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR) and the Browning machinegun. So, according to the Utah News:

During an official, one-time-only holiday honoring legendary Utah gun-maker John Moses Browning, a House committee voted 9-2 on Monday to endorse a bill to declare his M1911 handgun as the official Utah State Firearm.
Thus honoring a very noteworthy citizen and simultaneously spitting directly in the eye of freedom hating moonbats, who voted against the bill.
Only Democratic Reps. Jennifer Seelig, Salt Lake City, and Marie Poulson, Cottonwood Heights, opposed the bill in the House Political Subdivisions Committee.
The bill was sponsored by Carl Wimmer, who is quoted as saying:
“It’s an implement of freedom that has defended America for 100 years. … This firearm is Utah.”
Utah will be the first State to have an official State gun. What do we have in Ohio? Well, for our sins we have a very nice official State rock song: Hang On Sloopy by by Bert Berns & Wes Farrell, adopted in 1985. I can't imagine just how the Hell we ever got along without a State rock song until 1985, but somehow we managed. Click here for a list of Ohio's other State symbols. Ohio claims tomato juice as the official State beverage, which I think is somewhat misleading and ludicrous. Come on guys - tomato juice? Why not adopt the Bloody Mary as the official State beverage and call a spade a spade.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Good Samaritan

We're getting snowed on tonight. The snowfall started around 3:00 PM as a fine, powdery, harmless looking snowfall. By 6:00 PM people had concluded that it really was snowing and perhaps tonight would not be a good evening to get a quick beer and a bump and maybe another before going home to enjoy TV and whatever big mama has burned for dinner. At 5:00 PM I had dinner with the Centenarian. Both of us are eclectic epicureans and so enjoyed a dinner of Limburger cheese, King Oscar sardines, smoked oysters, rye bread and sliced apple. One of my favorite culinary delights is a sandwich made of Limburger cheese, a small slice of onion and a very tiny dollop of ketchup on cocktail rye bread. Delicious!

The Centenarian is somewhat lonesome and has no one to eat Limburger cheese with except yours truly and Excellent Rachmaninoff, who, to give him credit, is a good listener and has a fine appetite but is generally incapable of directly contributing to a spirited discussion on politics or religion. It therefore falls to me to provide a certain level of companionship and company, for which I am compensated by slices of superb Limburger cheese. On my way home I stopped and took Excellent Rachmaninoff for a walk, and he made it clear to me that he wanted to eat some harmless woman who was minding her own business in her own driveway. I rebuked him and ordered him to walk quietly past the danger zone, which he then did without fault. I suppose he's learning.

While driving home down Flanders Road I saw the car ahead of me get run off the road by a full size pickup truck with a snowplow on the front. Likely the driver was talking on his cell phone or something. Anyway, the section of the road along this stretch has a small drainage ditch, and the driver put his compact something or other right into it, then wedged it in trying to get out. I drove past him and parked with my four ways on, then I went back to help him out. He didn't look to be wedged in too tightly, and he had a shovel on the trunk which he used in its primary office, moving some of the white stuff to a more useful location. Meantime I flagged down a full size pickup that was carefully passing us and explained to the driver, a large young man, that the man in the ditch was stuck through no fault of his own, and I thought we had a decent chance to push the car out. The driver allowed as how he'd help, and parked his pickup off to the side.

Well, I noted that the car in the ditch had Virginia plates on it, but I failed to connect the dots. Sure enough, we got the car rolling right away and the driver managed to put it even further off the road. Just how he managed this, I don't really know, but he did. I took a look at the new situation and concluded that it could still be pushed out, but - I didn't voice the thought aloud - someone used to driving in the snow would have to get behind the wheel. The man in the pickup opined that the car was well and truly stuck, but he had a tow chain at home and would go and get it.

Now, at this point I didn't really expect him to come back. It's past dinner time, the weather is crap and getting worse, and this guy doesn't know either one of us. I was just going to suggest AAA when the pickup returned with the tow chain. The driver knew what he was doing, too, and about the time he got the truck connected to the car in the ditch a lady driving a minivan stopped to offer her assistance and to see if everyone was okay. I thanked her and asked her to wait with her four way flashers on as I was afraid of getting hit in the rear.

The pickup pulled the car out of the ditch with no strain at all, which surprised me a little until the owner told us that the truck was rated for about 30,000 pounds, making a compact car in a ditch no challenge at all.

The driver in the car thanked all of us sincerely and we all took off. The man in the pickup truck impressed me with his generosity. Stopping to help push, okay, that makes him a regular guy. Towing the car, okay, you must be a close friend or relative. Going home to get the tow chain and then coming back - that's a real Samaritan. 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


I like reading The S.N.A.F.U. Report. The author hates everyone equally and is fairly creative with his hate speech, which I can appreciate. Anyway, some well meaning pervert tagged him for a questionnaire of sorts; you can read his answers at Tagged And Bagged. I decided to take the quiz myself, as it's a great time waster. Read it and you may gain a few insights into my own twisted sense of humor. Or something.

1. If you have pets, do you see them as merely animals, or are they members of your family?
Yes, I have pets, and yes, they are members of my family. Last time I got back from the road Main Lady asked me who I was happier to see, her or the dog. I took too long to answer.

2. If you can have a dream to come true, what would it be?
Oh, I would dream about world peace where everyone would all just learn to get along together and accept each other for what we really are... beautiful inside, you know, where it counts.

Or, on the other hand, I could select a prominent freedom hating liberal, shove a gold handled cattle prod up his or her fundament and do the Mad Jack pogo stick dance instead of riding my exercise bike every day.

3. What is the one thing most hated by you?
Ignorance. Followed by stupidity. Hell, there really isn't any one thing. There's lots.

4. What would you do with a billion dollars?
Give all my friends and family a taste and retire to Aruba or Thailand or somewhere.

5. What helps to pull you out of a bad mood?
A perfect Manhattan, blues music, a dance floor and Main Lady. On less complicated nights the dog, Excellent Rachmaninoff, pulls me out of a bad mood.

6. Which is more blessed, loving someone or being loved by someone?
Oh, bite me in the ass.

7. What is your bedtime routine?
Dress appropriately for the occasion and hit the sack.

8. If you are currently in a relationship, how did you meet your partner?
I used to teach ballroom dancing. Yeah, I really did. Dancing with the stars, that kind of thing. She was my student.

9. If you could watch a creative person in the act of the creative process, who would it be?
Leonardo Da Vinci

10. What kinds of books do you read?
Hard boiled detective thrillers, horror stories, general fiction.

11. How would you see yourself in ten years time?
Given any choice at all, I wouldn't. However, I expect I won't have changed much, so I'll see what I'm accustomed to seeing.

12. What’s your fear?
Getting old, infirm and impoverished. Being in that state means that I'll be warehoused and cared for by people that are every bit as happy to see me as I am to see them.

13. Would you give up all junk food for the rest of your life for the opportunity to visit outer space?
No. Hell no. What are you, nuts?

14. Would you rather be single and rich or married, but poor?
Single and rich. Because, as summed up by the Rude Dude:

'Cause if your looks won't kill your cash will knock 'em dead
I'll have a sweet steady girl
   and two on the side
And every skirt I know
   will want to be my bride

15. What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?
Figure out how to get my morning coffee

16. If you could change one thing about your spouse/partner what would it be?
I'd make her so fucking filthy rich that Bill Gates would die from envy.

17. If you could pick a new name for yourself, what would it be?
Ned France.

18. Would you forgive and forget no matter how horrible a thing that special someone has done?
Oh sure. Right after I burned her house down and went there in the middle of the night and pissed in the ashes. Look Stupid (AKA, author of this question), anyone can forgive a transgression if they go about it the right way. The catch is that the truly ignorant among us have morphed the word 'forgive' into 'forgive and forget'. Forgiving someone for an injurious misdeed means not letting them rent space in your head. You forgive them, and they cannot cause you to lose sleep or affect your reactions to other people. Forgetting is something else entirely. No, you do not forget, because when you do you've given the perpetrator license to commit that act again.

19. If you could only eat one thing for the next 6 months, what would it be?
Brown rice.

End of Quiz

This is one of the dumber questionnaires making the rounds and serves to prove that I have a case of writer's  block, that I'm slightly bored and that I'd rather screw around with this than go to the gym and exercise.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Restaurant Review: Mac and Tong's Place

Mac & Tong's Place
Mac & Tong's Place
4330 West Central Avenue
Toledo, OH 43615-1669
(419) 531-3103

11am-10pm Mon - Fri; 5pm-10pm Saturday; Closed Sunday (except for private parties)

About two weeks ago Main Lady and I decided to go out to dinner, and after an aborted attempt at Angelo's Northwood Villa (which I may write about later) Main Lady suggested we stop over at Mac & Tong's, which I immediately recognized as a great solution for a busted evening. I've eaten at Mac & Tong's since back in the old days when they were over on Reynolds Road near Hill Avenue, and I'm glad to say that the food and service haven't changed since then.

Mac & Tong's is a proprietorship. Mac runs the front and Tong runs the kitchen and does all the cooking. Tong is an excellent chef, and if you don't see it on the menu, feel free to ask if Tong will make it for you. The menu has a dozen or so entrées and an equal number of sandwiches along with appetizers and soups. All the soups are made from scratch by Tong, including the specialty of the house, fifteen bean soup, which is excellent. The steak at Mac & Tong's is some of the best in the city, easily as good as anything found at Fifi's or Mancy's. I had steak Diane for dinner, a luxury I don't often indulge in. I was glad I did. Main Lady had fish, which she declared was outstanding.

One thing I should mention before I go any further is that Mac runs the front, which includes the bar. Mac really knows how to pour a drink, so if you're thinking of ordering a double, take my word for it and hold off. One Manhattan was enough to get me through the evening, and I have a powerful thirst and a tolerance to go along with it.

The ambiance at Mac & Tong's is formal. While you can stop for lunch dressed in your Levi's, dinner requires you dress a little better. You won't see ball caps and cut offs in the dining room, which is a big relief to me. Likewise, there won't be a crowd of snot-noses screaming and tearing the place up while the parents try to get in one more drink order before happy hour is over. Instead, the dining room has quiet lighting and comfortable chairs, and there is live piano music on weekends.

The best part about Mac & Tong's is that it's a proprietorship and one or both owners are always on the premises and available to the patrons. If anything goes wrong, whatever it may be, it will get fixed immediately. I've always considered the availability of the proprietor and the willingness to solve a problem now, right now, to be a better measure of good service than anything else. It's easy to claim excellent service when everything is running along smoothly, but the ability to fix a problem is what really makes a difference. Both Mac and Tong work hard at this, and it really shows.

Mac (standing) with attorney John Coble
You'll generally find Mac in the bar area. If he sees you walking in, he's likely to come up and greet you. While Tong is generally in the kitchen, she'll come out once in a while to make sure things are running smoothly.

Tong (left) with attorney John Coble
Mac & Tong's is not an inexpensive place to eat, but you will get an outstanding value for your money. I, for instance, cannot afford to eat lunch at Mac & Tong's every day, but I'll certainly go back for lunch next week.

In summary:
  • Ambiance: 9
  • Service: 9
  • Food: 9
Overall rating: 9

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Rant: (In) Justice Plea Bargains

Just idly reading the bird cage liner before I put it to a more practical use, I discovered the ending to this story. It seems that four choir boys who were on their way to Church ah... undocumented entrepreneurs - alright, here it is. Four scum bucket drug dealers forced their way into a retarded woman's apartment and used it as a kiosk for the distribution of recreational controlled substances - a sort of drug dealer's 7/11. The neighbors saw nothing unusual in this. The four kept their new business location for about four days. The victim, Tishie Bozeman, was eventually able to leave and call police who proceeded to bust the four criminals. Read the particulars from these four links, as you like:

In summary, there is plenty of evidence. The four criminals hid upstairs in the attic and had to be rooted out by police. Initially Dominique Davis, 19, Sean Johnson, 20, Dashawn L. Belcher, 21, and Jerome M. Hornbeak, 20 were charged with kidnapping and drug trafficking. Pretty much open and shut, right? Wrong. Check this:
4 Sentenced In $400 Theft Of Disabled Woman'S Rent From the article:
Four men who authorities believe took advantage of a disabled woman by using her apartment were sentenced to probation in Lucas County Common Pleas Court Tuesday after they acknowledged stealing her rent money.

Dominique Davis, 19, Sean Johnson, 20, Dashawn L. Belcher, 22, and Jerome M. Hornbeak, 20, each pleaded no contest to a charge of misdemeanor theft.
Misdemeanor theft? What about drug trafficking, kidnapping and burglary?
Under the negotiated plea, Judge Myron Duhart dismissed one count each of aggravated burglary and kidnapping against each defendant.
Remind me about this if I ever get a speeding ticket - I can probably plea bargain it down to spitting on the sidewalk or something. These four were ordered to pay $100 each in restitution (man, that's a lot of pot they'll have to sell!) and stay away from the victim. But it gets better.
In addition to restitution, the men were each ordered to obtain their high school equivalency diplomas and obtain gainful employment.

The four men were scheduled to be released from custody Tuesday [January 25, 2011].
Oh well, since the Honorable Judge Myron Duhart has so ordered, I'm sure that these four will run right out and in a year or two have obtained their GED and be working at a legitimate job somewhere. Of course, Judge Duhart failed to tell them not to break any more laws, so I'm not so sure this plan will work as His Honor envisioned.

This is bullshit. These four little scum bags broke into a retarded woman's apartment, a woman who can't defend herself and who is likely incapable of articulating just what happened to her, and who gets through life with the aid of a social worker who is supposed to help protect her. They terrorized her, they trafficked in drugs out of her home and her neighbors are so fucked up that not one saw anything unusual going on. Putting these four in prison is a good beginning. What's even worse yet is that the police see all this happen, know what's going on here, do their job right and the prosecutor bitches the case.

Rant: Our (In) Justice System

On June 23, 2010 two low life sons of bitches, Eric Skowron and Alisha King, went over to Josh Luck's house and stole Josh's dog Tyson out of Josh's back yard, then took Tyson down the street to Skowron's home where Skowron shot Tyson twice with a .45 pistol. Tyson survived the shooting and returned to Luck's house before collapsing in Luck's front yard. When Josh Luck found his dog Tyson in the front yard he took Tyson to the veterinarian. Josh thought Tyson had been hit by a car. Not so, the vet told Josh. Tyson had been shot. Fortunately Josh's neighbor has a surveillance video camera set up outside and caught the theft on tape. Watch the Surveilance Video and see for yourself.

Right after he shot the dog, Skowron decided he'd better call nine one one and report the shooting before anyone else did. Here's a link to a story from ABC, which has the 9-1-1 Tapes From Tyson Dog Shooting and a transcript. The police responded, but they didn't believe Skowron's story.

Eventually Josh Luck saw his neighbor's surveillance video and called the police. Now, at this point I'd think that it's only a matter of time before these two scum buckets are sitting in the hoosegow for a few years. The prosecutor has a video showing a crime being committed, a confession by scum bucket Skowron the alleged perpetrator, a severely wounded dog and a pissed off owner. What more is needed? Turns out that, as usual, I'm wrong. We've got to have hearings and plea bargains.

Plea Rejected In Dog Shooting Case From the article:
Mr. Skowron is charged with animal torture, killing or injuring animals, firearms discharge, making a false police report, petty theft, endangering, and criminal trespass. Ms. King is charged with animal torture, killing or injuring animals, petty theft, and criminal trespass.

Judge [Michael] Goulding rejected an agreement reached by prosecutors and defense attorney Don Cameron that would have dropped the weapons charge against Mr. Skowron in exchange for his plea on two first-degree misdemeanors and a fourth-degree misdemeanor, attorneys said.
Good for Judge Goulding, right? Why let these two off easy when the prosecutor has a winning case. Why indeed - here's why:
"It's alleged that he discharged a large-caliber handgun and fired more than one shot," the judge after the hearing. "If those allegations were true, that's a serious offense to community safety."
There you have it. The judge is anti-gun, so rather than give the prosecutor a good going over and telling him to get to work, the easy way out is rejected, as it should be, but for the wrong reasons. The judge could have rejected this because Eric Skowron is a real son of a bitch and scofflaw into the bargain, and he's unfit for the community. Consider that at the first hearing, Judge Goulding told both scum buckets to stay away from the Luck home, which includes driving past it. They refused to do so.

Suspect In Dog'S Shooting Rearrested From the article:
Eric Skowron appeared in court yesterday after a complaint was filed against him by Kelly Luck. Ms. Luck alerted the court that Mr. Skowron had been seen driving past her home in violation of the judge's orders.

After a brief hearing, Judge Michael Goulding revoked Mr. Skowron's recognizance bonds and ordered that he be held in the Lucas County jail in lieu of a $3,000 surety bond. Yesterday he was released from the jail after bond was paid.
So he's out again after covering a three grand bond. All this does is demonstrate that Skowron doesn't care about the Judge's order, which seems to be as effective as any other restraining order. Meanwhile, we're back at the negotiating table for reasons I cannot comprehend, and here's the latest from The Toledo Blade: Pair Plead No Contest In Shooting Of Pet Dog. From the article:
As part of the agreement, prosecutors dropped charges against Mr. Skowron of theft, endangering, and filing a false police report. And they dropped a trespass charge against Ms. King.
That's right. Charges get dropped, and these were likely the easiest charges to prove. The scum buckets enter pleas of no contest to all the other charges. Why? Well, according to The Blade, who quotes the assistant prosecutor:
Assistant Prosecutor Michelle Albert-Turvey said after Wednesday's pre-trial that despite strong evidence against the couple, she preferred to seek a partial conviction now rather than wait for the outcome of the jury trial formerly scheduled for next week.
She preferred to flush any work that was done in preparation for the trial down the crapper in favor of less work, and she doesn't want to wait. I'm not surprised, but I'm angry.

We pay taxes. Most of our tax money vanishes into The Anointed One's happy time machine in Washington D.C. A smaller amount gets hoovered up by Our Beloved Dictator in Columbus, Ohio. A still smaller amount pays to support our system of (In) Justice at the county level. We pay to have prosecutors go to trial and put scum buckets like these two away in the hoosegow. We do not pay, or at least should not be paying, for Michelle Albert-Turvey with her pretentious hyphenated name to add another plea bargain to her resume, especially when she could have won this case if she'd been willing to work at it. I suppose her case load is too large or the case isn't important enough.

Plea bargain? Plea bargain my ass. This was a winnable case and the prosecutor bitched it. Let's fire her and get someone who's willing to work. Now I know how the police feel when they pass a case to the prosecutor and the whole thing gets flushed because of a plea bargain.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Rant: Fallout From Gabrielle Giffords Shooting

I enjoy reading law blogs. Most of what I see in the news details abuse of authority by police, prosecutors or both, so I think it's a little refreshing to read about the same or similar events from the other side of the blue wall. Plus it satisfies my sense of fair play. Why must the police sit by quietly while an outspoken few talking heads hog the soapbox? One blog I enjoy is MotorCop If You Got Stopped... You Deserved It who posed an interesting question a few days ago (read about it here) citing a story (click here) about a New Hampshire couple who were rushing to the hospital to have a baby. The baby decided to show up at 3:30 AM, and with the wife about to give birth the husband drove on a highway at speeds of 100 mph. Suffice to say, they made it to the hospital with a police escort and later received a ticket for speeding which the husband is fighting - the ticket will likely cost him his driver's license. I don't bring this up because of the story per se, but because of the comments left on the blog, many of which I believe were left by women. People were horrified that the husband would dare to drive at 100 mph, no matter what the reason. Clearly the man deserves to be crucified and the family sedan run through the car crusher. One silly bitch wrote that she didn't even know a car could go that fast.

For my part, I don't see anything wrong with driving at 100 mph on an empty highway in the wee hours of the morning. It just isn't that big a deal, nor is it a big deal to any of my close friends - all of whom are gun owning, whiskey drinking males who believe in a live and let live society.

Cut to that inimitable misanthropic curmudgeon, Fred Reed, who relates in Conversations With Bob: Free Fall that

“They’re not the same Americans now. They crave authority,” he [Bob - mj] said. “They lust after regulation. They love being frisked, x-rayed, and felt-up at airports because it gives them a false sense of significance.”
Indeed. The belief that if law is good then more law is better permeates the general public and remains as unnoticed as the delicate odor of a badly used athletic supporter in a men's locker room. The thinking (and I use the term very loosely) is that if we are regulated enough and have copious numbers of official security personnel to keep us compliant, Representative Gabrielle Giffords would never have been shot, six people would still be alive and 14 people would not be wounded. That isn't true, but that's the belief.

Consider the example above. I think that it's likely that none of the people complaining bitterly about John Coughlin's driving have ever driven their cars over 70 mph. Furthermore, I think it's almost certain that none of them were sharing the road with John and his wife that morning, yet all of them are howling for the poor man's blood, and the reason is because John brazenly flaunted authority; the very same authority they crave and which they mistakenly believe keeps them safe every day. Not one of these people has considered the autobahn, sections of which have no speed limit. Speeds of 150 mph are not uncommon. Why isn't the autobahn a death trap with multiple fatalities every hour? No one knows, and since these facts do not conform to the theory, they must be disposed of.

As soon as regulation is brought up the knee jerk response is gun control, which is kind of frightening in and of itself. This time the anti-freedom people are beginning to expand into freedom of speech, stating that the inflammatory rhetoric of Rush Limbaugh combined with Sarah Palin's cross hair map pushed this young man over the edge, so clearly we need to dial back political rhetoric and construct some more regulation, just to be on the safe side. This is likely where their new idea will stop. Commercial media has big bucks and a concerned interest in retaining freedom of speech, and the executives are barely bright enough to realize that even if they - large commercial media - were exempted from any legislation restricting certain forms of harmful speech, it still isn't a good idea. It's the beginning of the end, and they know this. So I don't think that it's very likely speech will be restricted this time. Next time might be different.

As for the people involved in all this, I think the author of furthermore, flask summed it up quite nicely in a comment she left on a related post:
...the real problem is not where you stand on the political spectrum, but how far your head is up your ass while you stand there.
So if you Congress critters would be so kind as to get your head out of your ass just long enough to look around and see where you're standing, maybe, just maybe a few of the more blatantly unconstitutional laws can be removed and we can think about being a free country again.

The men who signed the United States Constitution were not warm, kind and caring souls who believed in political correctness for its own sake. They were legitimately tough customers (click here for a list of the signers) who had just come through a war as victors and had to deal with an apathetic populace; contrary to popular belief, most people didn't take an active position in our war for independence. There is no question that these men were exemplary. They were well read, intelligent and willing to work hard for the new nation, but I don't believe any of them fully understood the level of apathy that was prevalent during their time, nor do I think they could guess at the level of apathy we have today. Certainly they would never believe the craving for authority and regulation.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Gabrielle Giffords Shooting

I've been resistant to comment on this recent event because I thought I had nothing new to say. By now everyone has read or listened to the story on their favorite news source and come to their own conclusions. The anti-freedom moonbats are howling for more gun control, which is no surprise. Another set of moonbats are blaming Sarah Palin and her now infamous cross-hair map as being overly inflammatory, while others advocate the non-violent silencing of their own, personally least favorite and adversarial talk show host. Very few people want to accept this event for what it is: one single event, the work of a mentally ill man (Jared Loughner) who decided to shoot and kill a bunch of people, starting with Gabrielle Giffords. Jared Loughner's motivation for this shooting will always be unclear, because Jared is mentally ill. His television set, or radio or the dog next door told him to do this, and so, you see, here we are. This explanation is accurate to the extent that one or more professional headshrinkers have yet to examine Jared and reach one or more conclusions. Eventually that will happen unless Loughner mysteriously commits suicide in his cell.

While I'm at it, I'd like to point out the difference between mental illness and insanity. Insanity is a legal term, and indicates that your wires are so screwed up you do not know right from wrong. You can appear to be perfectly rational, by the way, but when asked a crucial question like, "Is it wrong to beat your mother to death with a shovel? Why or why not?" the insane person might respond that yes, indeed, it is wrong, but then will fail to explain just why this is so. Not having easy access to a shovel doesn't count.

A person can be mentally ill and not be insane. Acute clinical depression is a mental illness, and yet the people who suffer it will be able to explain just why it's wrong to beat your mother to death with a shovel, as well as being properly surprised at the question. The same thing is true for other forms of mental illness, such as paranoia or schizophrenia. If you're schizophrenic, you'll be watching a talking head on the television and in the middle of the afternoon news she'll tell you to start killing people, beginning with Gabrielle Giffords. Mind you, you still know that killing people is wrong, so your are not insane. You must also be able to participate in your own defense, which is kind of questionable if you're getting direction from the television set, but there you have it. Many people live with this condition and simply ignore it. They learn to tell reality from hallucination and leave it at that. I'm guessing that Jared Loughner is mentally ill but able to stand trial, or if he isn't he will be after they get him back on his medication for 30 days or so.

What I'd like to do is list the people who Loughner killed and ask that anyone who has religion please pray for their families. Here they are:

John Roll, 63, Judge
Christina Taylor Green, 9, Student
Gabe Zimmerman, 30, Giffords staffer
Phyllis Schneck, 79, Retired homemaker and Church volunteer
Dorwin Stoddard, 76, Retired, Killed while protecting his wife Mavy
Dorothy Morris, 76, Retired secretary

Christina Taylor Green will evoke the most sympathy from most people, which is understandable. My own sympathies rest with her parents who are forced to bury their child. That's hard.

Dorwin Stoddard was killed while protecting his wife. By all accounts Dorwin recognized gunfire when he heard it and understood what was happening right away. He pushed his wife to the ground and covered her with his body. Dorwin was shot in the head and died on top of his wife. I have a lot of respect for Dorwin and I wish I could have known him.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Rant: Censorship

The moonbats have decided to censor The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. I'm angry that they can get away with this shit, but I'm not too surprised. The moonbats behind this latest suppression of free speech are Randall Williams and Suzanne La Rosa of New South Books, officially supported by McAvoy Layne, who makes his living as a Mark Twain impersonator.

In particular Williams and La Rosa object to Mark Twain's use of the word 'nigger', so they've taken it into their politically correct heads to replace the infamous word 'nigger' with 'slave'. Likewise the word 'Injun' is replaced with 'Indian'. I expected these revisionists to use the phrase 'Native American', but I guess that these two are being deliberately insensitive to the American Indians - after all, everyone has to hate someone, right?

I'm being facetious. I didn't really expect them to use 'Native American'.

I think the publishers hoped to pull this deception off quietly, but thankfully there is some media coverage objecting to this despicable subterfuge. Naturally most commercial media in the United States doesn't want to condemn this censorship too strongly, because then the media could be accused of being insensitive, racist and politically incorrect. Here's an example from ABC:

Mark Twain Remains Censored, and Uncensored
The book's editor, Twain scholar Alan Gribben, writes in the introduction that he had taught Twain's work for years and that students were relieved when he chose not to recite any troubling words. He said changing the language would bring new readers and described Twain as "a notoriously commercial writer who watched for every opportunity to enlarge the mass market for his works.

"He presumably would have been quick to adapt his language if he could have foreseen how today's audiences recoil at racial slurs in a culturally altered country," Gribben writes.

"That's ridiculous," Powers said. "It's like people who ask what would Mark Twain think of women's lib? You can't assume that and then use that as a pretext for eviscerating a work of art."

"That is completely disingenuous," adds mystery novelist Walter Mosley, who wrote an introduction for a book of Twain detective stories. "They can say, 'Well, Mark Twain liked to make a buck.' But he's not making anything out of this."
While ABC won't decry this activity, at least they are willing to quote a few people who do. Walter Mosley, for instance. Tell me, am I the only one who sees some hypocrisy here? The BBC (that's British Broadcasting Company) has the cojones to publish a somewhat stronger condemnation, noting Twain's own feelings about accuracy and publishers.

Furore over 'censored' edition of Huckleberry Finn

Twain himself was very particular about his words.
He is quoted as saying that "the difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter".

And when a printer made punctuation changes to A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, Twain wrote later that he had "given orders for the typesetter to be shot without giving him time to pray".
The Nevada Appeal out of Carson City, NV supports this censorship. The editor of the paper won't call it censorship, though, because that would be wrong.

Twain scholar supports altering ‘Huckleberry Finn'

In the midst of a national debate over censorship, Mark Twain impersonator and scholar McAvoy Layne is coming down on the side of altering the author's text.

After experiencing first-hand the challenges of teaching “Huckleberry Finn” 23 years ago and receiving a less than warm reception, Layne says he sees the benefit of altering — some would say censoring — the work.

“I took that word to a half-black, half-white classroom in Las Vegas and the contempt weighed 40 pounds,” Layne said. “From (the students' perspective) here's a dead white guy who just used a word that negates everything I was trying to say ... the word is the offsetting factor.
Since self-proclaimed scholar Layne has conducted his own popularity poll in a Vegas classroom, he is clearly... what, in the right about this? Who are these idiots trying to kid? Besides, according to Layne Mark Twain's work isn't really being censored. It's being altered.

I'd like to alter Layne, and I'd use the same methods a veterinarian uses to alter a tom cat, minus the anesthesia.

The folks over at The Examiner got it right.

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Censored
Censorship in all forms must be opposed in the United States; it is an old pastime and hobby of many without thought of preserving our literary history.
A sentiment that I agree with. While people who oppose censorship could write to their elected critters and remind them that they were elected to prevent this kind of thing. The protests wouldn't get very far, though. Here's why:

First Amendment to the United States Constitution
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Free speech is not easy. It means that no good fascist bastards like Randall Williams and Suzanne La Rosa are allowed to censor historical literary works without much by way of restriction, and as deplorable as their actions are they are protected under the First Amendment. Of course, my right to own whatever weapon I like and carry such weapon in whatever manner amuses me is clearly protected by the Second Amendment, so why am I restricted by law? And since I'm restricted, couldn't these two fascist pigs be restricted in a similar manner? i.e. served a no-knock warrant at 3:00 AM by a rabid Los Angeles SWAT team with all the attendant damage to my person, family, home and possessions during service of the no-knock warrant, then be arrested for resisting arrest and subversion, beaten and 'lost' in the system for 72 hours while I'm interrogated and denied legal council. Much as I despise these two moonbats, I'm not willing to go down that road. Instead, I'll begin my protest with the power of the pen. The perpetrators of this repression are:

NewSouth, Inc., is an Alabama-based book publishing company co-owned by partners Randall Williams and Suzanne La Rosa.
We gravitate to material which enhances our understanding of who we are and which asks us to stretch in our understanding of others,” says La Rosa. “Our publishing program is defined by its strong cultural component.
What a bunch of hypocrites.They don't want understanding. They want justification for trying to make reality conform to their own twisted morals. I'm going to write and tell them so, then I'm going to write my elected critters and explain just why I oppose revisionist history and literature, and while NewSouth, Inc. has a right to publish revised works, they should not be allowed to do so without including an extremely prominent disclaimer stating that this book is being marketed as the original work, but it is not. The work has been rewritten to conform to the whims of two people who are as ignorant as they are controlling.

Here is the contact information for New South Books. Don't hesitate to tell 'em what you think.

New South Books - Contact Us

Mail: P. O. Box 1588, Montgomery, AL 36102-1588
Deliveries:105 S. Court St., Montgomery, AL 36104
Fax: 334-834-3557

For Sales, Marketing, and General Business, contact: Suzanne La Rosa, Publisher
For Editorial and Production, contact: Randall Williams, Editor-in-Chief
For Editorial and Acquisitions, contact: Brian Seidman, Managing Editor

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

This is my obligatory Happy New Year post. Happy 2011. So long and good riddance to 2010.

I had an enjoyable New Year's eve, although my august years dictate a much more sedate celebration than in times past, which is just as well in some ways. For one thing the idea of a group of people having an early morning swim in the indoor pool of a local hotel while still dressed in formal evening attire no longer carries the appeal it once did. Another good reason is that the police are getting serious about this drunk driving business, and the patience of the local constabulary is notoriously thin around the holidays. The topper is that New Year's Eve is the original amateur night, something I want no part of. I'll just miss out on all the fun, thanks.

My brother Big Mike suggested we go to the Bullet Stop and perforate some paper targets then follow up our success with a short stop at the Maumee Bay Brew Pub. I observed that Mike can always be counted on for good suggestions where guns and drinking are concerned, and so accepted his invitation.

Ruger .22
I started off with my Ruger .22 and didn't do badly. Here's a typical example of 30 shots at around 30 feet. I fired ten with a two handed grip, another ten one handed in my primary hand and the final ten shots one handed on my weak side. I managed to put everything on the paper but the groups are not outstanding.

Big Mike's Glock
I shot 10 with Mike's 9mm Glock, two handed at 30 feet or so. I like the sights on the Glock and the recoil is much better than most 9mm pistols which tend to have a nasty snap to them, but the pistol is small and a little hard to hold even with my small hands. As I've mentioned before, Big Mike has enormous chow hooks and I can only guess how long it took him to come to grips, so to speak, with the miniature Glock.

I ended up shooting one handed most of the time. My eyesight is crap, and if I hold my pistol one handed the rear sight, the front sight and the target are all blurred. Holding my gat one handed and extending my arm as far as possible I can bring the sights into focus, leaving the target blurred. On top of this the lighting at the Bullet Stop leaves a little to be desired. Bluntly, the range is shadowy even when you align your target just right and get it illuminated by the overhead lights, which I think are 40 watt bulbs instead of the 250 that we older gentlemen require.

Oh well. If I ever have to get up in the middle of the night to deal with a misguided choir boy or two I can't very well stop the proceedings and politely ask them to stand under the light so I can get a clean shot at them, so I'm putting this down to good practice conditions. Besides, the owner of the Bullet Stop is an old guy too, and is cranky into the bargain - meaning it's no use asking him to replace the lights, because he won't.

Mike ran a clip or two through Betsy and got a new battle scar on his hand for his trouble. The web of Mike's chow hook overlaps Betsy's beaver tail just enough to put it within range of the hammer, so if Mike is careless he can get bitten. Which is what happened.

The Maumee Bay Brew Pub is doing a brisk business, which is nice to see. I had a cup of the cheese beer soup and a few red hot chicken wings, all washed down with two beers. Then it was home to rest up before taking Main Lady out to dinner.

Main Lady suggested we go to Mac and Tong's Place (4330 W Central Ave; Toledo, OH 43615-1669; (419) 531-3103) which I highly recommend. They have live piano music and excellent food, if a bit pricey. I had steak Diane for about $35, and while the dinner lived up to the price I can understand that not everyone wants to spend the best part of $50 a person on dinner. Mac and Tong's is a proprietorship, and the owners are on the premises when the place is open. Tong does all the cooking and Mac handles the front. We've been going to Mac and Tong's for some years now, so when I got stuck with a bad server last night my irritation was mitigated by the fact that this was the very first time I'd ever had bad service at Mac and Tong's, and secondly I knew what to do about it. I went over and talked to Mac who apologized profusely before he adjusted the waitresses focus. She was one of those waitresses that refused to look in my direction and wouldn't stop by the table. Mac fixed the problem, which is what counts.

Perfect Manhattan
I had one drink, and one drink only before dinner, and nothing buy water after. Main Lady and I drove over to the video store and rented two DVDs, neither of which was much good. We walked Excellent Rachmaninoff at midnight, bringing in the new year in fine style. A few minutes after midnight I watched one of Sylvania's finest come tearing through Lincoln Woods, doing around 50 in a 25 mph area with his bubblegum machine off. Clearly the man was on a mission. Like I said, amateur night.