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September 18, 2006

For John, Beth, and Shadow

Every good trooper deserves to go out in style. I don't imagine John and Beth feel much like talking, but please feel free to leave your respects in the comments section. They'll read them when they feel up to it.

Family is family :)

I think we are drawn to dogs because they are the uninhibited creatures we might be if we weren't certain we knew better. They fight for honor at the first challenge, make love with no moral restraint, and they do not for all their marvelous instincts appear to know about death. Being such wonderfully uncomplicated beings, they need us to do their worrying.
~George Bird Evans

The great pleasure of a dog is that you may make a fool of yourself with him and not only will he not scold you, but he will make a fool of himself too.
- Samuel Butler

The greatest love is a mother's;
Then comes a dog's,
Then comes a sweetheart's.
(20th century). Polish Proverb

"To his dog, every man is King;
hence the constant popularity of dogs."
- Aldous Huxley

"If I have any beliefs about immortality, it is that certain dogs I have known will go to heaven, and very, very few persons."
- James Thurber

Labradors [are] lousy watchdogs. They usually bark when there is a stranger about, but it is an expression of unmitigated joy at the chance to meet somebody new, not a warning.
~Norman Strung

"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend:
and inside a dog, it's too dark to read."
- Groucho Marx

"If a dog will not come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience."
- Woodrow Wilson

"If you take a dog which is starving and feed him and make him prosperous, that dog will not bite you. This is the primary difference between a dog and a man."
- Mark Twain

Dogs' lives are too short. Their only fault, really.
~Agnes Sligh Turnbull

by Cassandra on Sep 18, 2006

Fare thee well Shadow, thou good and faithful friend...

Shadow - the Last of the Old Guard

If you're reading this, it's because Shadow has taken his last car ride, and has joined the Pack Invisible.

He's really not ready to go, but it's time. A great heart, being squeezed to death by lung cancer. Dammit dammit dammit.

Now is the time at Castle Argghhh! when we dance sing a soul to the Great Hunting Ground and Tennis Ball Chasing Facility.

Fare thee well, thou good and faithful friend.

Great farkin' gobs of spittle, I *hate* entropy.

But Lord knows, you'll have company. Ninja, Gabby, Sebastian, Little Guy, Mickey, and Whiskey. You guys come pick me up at Piddler's Green, 'kay? The last of the original Exterior Guard (Kansas Contingent) has passed and my world is smaller, greyer, and bleaker today.

Entropy has been rough on the Exterior Guard. From a high of 5, we allowed nature to reduce the force by attrition, hard as that was. Now we're having trouble manning the force. Our new recruit, Kiki, the brown yellow lab/bloodhound mix in the middle, has been with us about two months, and now we're back to two. Whodathunk that Permanent Private Houdini (he who goes AWOL a lot, and can move more dirt than an ACE), would end up the Guard-mount Commander?

...and then there were two.

I know that to many of you, the Castle is overrun - and with 5 dogs and 8 cats, we were. But now the place just seems... empty.

I'm done here for the day, I think. Anything else goes up, you guys do it.

[The comments are disabled on purpose. I just am not in the mood for an email assault - not that I don't appreciate it - I've just got only so much stoicism per day available... and didn't want to get pummeled by a lot of comment emails. And Shadow doesn't mind - he never read the blog anyway. He was a SWWBO fan. Whiskey was the Castle reader...)

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows サ

by John on Sep 18, 2006

August 15, 2006

Morning chow in the Guard's Mess.

The soldier's day is run by the bugle. Not so much now as back in the day, but here are times to be places and do things, and calls to regulate and announce those activities.

Consequently, the soldiery tend to become creatures of habit. One of things I like about working on post is Retreat, when they sound To The Colors, fire the cannon, and lower the flag to the sound of Retreat. I'm one of those guys who doesn't hang around the entrance to the building, waiting for all it all be over so I won't have to do the Parade Rest, Attention, Salute stuff. I *like* rendering honors. But that's just me.

Castle Argghhh! is no different. We don't have the bugle calls, but we do have our Sergeant Major Barnacle, whose voice might as well be a bugle. And 0530, precisely, is when Mess Call sounds and the Interior Guard heads to the Mess for breakfast before scattering back to their duties or naps.

Interior Guard at Mess

Center bottom: Private First Class Gandalf

Next up pod of three, l to r:
Sergeant First Class Cleo
Sergeant Major Barnacle
Private Hal

Next pod of three, all bunched up, l to r:
Private Little Orphan Annie
Sergeant Rest Stop
Empress Little Girl (She Rulez the Castle)

Off by his lonesome to the upper right:
Private First Class Meriwether

(that's SWWBO's new kitchen floor she mostly laid herself, btw!)

by John on Aug 15, 2006
She Who Will Be Obeyed! links with: John is cat blogging

December 29, 2005

I should have known...

It wasn't the temperature.

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It was just

by John on Dec 29, 2005

December 28, 2005

Oh for pity's sake.

Alright! Alright! I'll turn up the heat a bit.

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by John on Dec 28, 2005

September 22, 2005

Winning Work - losing friends

It has been an ugly two weeks.

One of the reasons for slackness in posting.

The contract I am working on ends soon. The client put out the Request For Proposal and its associated Performance Work Statement...

Which means that in addition to keeping up with the client work that pays the bills, we had to take the time to convince the client that they *really-really-really* don't mind the excessive compensation we get and *really-really-really* like the quality and quantity of brain-sweat we produce, and convince them to continue spending millions for our brilliance for 5 more years. All while quietly and indirectly dissing those hosers who are competing for the work (not a chance, bubbas!).

Let's just say it's ugly. The client writes the RFP by committee, so in many respects it resembles the proverbial horse-designed-by-committee... the camel.

We have no choice but to write the proposal by committee... only it really has to be a horse.

Ugly ugly ugly. Especially with a lot of FNGs on the prop-writing team. Many Big Defense Companies maintain prop-writing teams. We don't. We're privately held, so that kind of overhead comes directly out of our pockets, not the investors, and we're exactly the greedy-guts Beltway Bandits the anti-globalist protesters think we are.

We have a process to do this... but like all good processes, we don't always follow it - and immediately remember why we should.

Our prop manager neglected to account for all the FNGs, and many of us experienced writers had new roles in addition to our writing assignments (I had compliance).

And boy did we pay the price for skipping some of the preparatory steps, painful as those would have been. Would have saved us much grief later when we finally came to understand the structural/organizational flaws in the RFP that were going to make the prop a real pain to write coherently, yet follow the form and pattern the client has come to expect over the years.

We set a GICOD, a Good Idea Cut-Off Date. Intended to cut off the jaw-jaw and get the thing written. After you pass the GICOD, no new ideas are to be floated. At least not by munchkins. There comes a point when you just have to sit down and write.

I detest the Good Idea Fairy. Especially when he wakes up and waves his magic wand two days and thousands of words *after* the GICOD. I especially hate it when he's senior enough to ignore the GICOD. But, it is balanced by the fact that he was *right*.

Good thing SWWBO has been on the road, as I haven't been home much more than she has.

The Interior and Exterior Guard have not had the tender loving attention that they desire and rate.

The Exterior Guard is okay with that. A treat, tummy rub, pat on the head and they're cool.

The Interior Guard... well, Praetorianism raised its ugly head there.

The Interior Guard has been particularly restive, as their very-precisely-determined mess schedule has *not* been adhered to.

And, as SWWBO has been gone and I've been doing the procuration of comestibles... well, suffice it to say that quality has not been up to snuff.

And since we're all dieting, quantity has been right out.

And quality worship-by-Armorer has been lacking.

It all came to a head last night.

In the Flash Traffic/Extended Entry, you can see what I was greeted by when I came home.

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows サ

by John on Sep 22, 2005
dave's not here | David Earney links with: Travels in the Blogosphere
ROFASix links with: Writing a Proposal for LUH

September 05, 2005

>>hzzz. afterthought...

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>>hzzz. name muffy not be post in a while. longtime hy置mun denizens and pretty-lady denizennes know 礎out scrup値. maybe youngers and visitors do not.

go pretty barb-lady pless if forget or not know. pretty barb-lady first to know all 礎out scrup値 when talk to name scout. short read. has to be -- scrup値 have short attention span...

life be tough teacher. gives test first, then lesson. hurricane test be hard on hy置muns and lesson be painful. test be harder on others, who not know there be lesson to follow.

only know test.

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only know hy置muns left them, did not know why. only know brother and sister and other left them, did not know why.

did not know water, too, had killing bite.

know now

dog-thing, cat-thing be pets, not be told 礎out evacuate. not be taken off roof by helicopter, be taken in boat.

sometimes. when there be room. small life-sparks, pulled from water.

little afterthoughts.

dog-thing, cat-thing, even horse-thing once be pets, now be lost. now be scrup値. some hy置muns find, bring dry pless, like same for hy置muns. like same for hy置muns, food dish, water bowl soon empty. hy置muns be evacuate to 創other dry pless, many dry pless, where now food dish and water bowl full.

maybe scrup値 be evacuate later. maybe not.

little afterthoughts.

this be called bleg. not be ask for much because not need much. hy置muns, help, plizz?

not be ask that hy置muns send to help scrup値 instead of to help hy置muns, just small extra for help scrup値. something for keep small life-sparks alive...

plizz -- something?

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Feel free to swipe these graphics and use them yourself.

by name muffy on Sep 05, 2005
Righty in a Lefty State links with: "Bless the beasts and the children ..."
Mostly Cajun, All American and Opinionated links with: The others hurt in the hurricane
The Gun Line links with: Woobies...
NIF links with: Just another today

June 22, 2005

Live from Dayton, again.

The upside and the downside to deployed milbloggers - the war is real, and they are at risk. Speedy recovery, Chuck. H/t CAPT H.

It would appear that the Chinese government is up to it's usual tricks.

SondraK has an option if you like visiting sites and commenting on them... the ones that measure time in the Lunar Standard Time, that is.

Karl Zinsmeister is perhaps a little optimistic... but probably no more so than the MSM is pessimistic. H/T, SWWBO!

Speaking of SWWBO - this news is Important! It is Imperative that you follow this link!

Carnival of Cordite #18 is up at Technogypsy!! You remember Cordite, don't you?

At Carnaby Fudge - Kitty and Gun Pr0n! What more could you ask for?

Triggerfingers invites you into the mind of a gun-fearing wuss. Note the orientation-confusion the author (not Triggerfinger!) is suffering from. Heh.

Garand abuse! Shame! Shame! (The Armorer prefers his weaponry unfiddled-with, obviously, Publicola's mileage varies...)

Publicola also invites your attention to US Forestry Service actions in shutting down public shooting areas in Colorado. He wonders if it is a 'test the waters' tactic... and recommends you weigh in on the issue if you have an opinion. It might be nothing, but it might be something, too. And if they aren't coming out with reasons for doing it right away, my experience with bureaucracy is they *always* have a reason for doing something, and if they won't articulate it up front... well, there's reason to dig. And, well, there was... as Michael Bane points out.

I'll close this out with a little bit of KittyZen...

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by John on Jun 22, 2005

January 25, 2005

Have I ever mentioned...

...that I like dogs? (Check out the extended post) I'm getting pretty wordy these days so I'm trying to save some visual space...

The rest is in the Flash Traffic (extended post).

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows サ

by John on Jan 25, 2005

September 12, 2004

More Cat Blogging.

I am not allowed unsupervised access to the Internet, else I fall prey to Puppy P0rnゥ. Meriwether has the duty.

That is all.

by John on Sep 12, 2004

And just how pathetic are we?

You decide. The only way to keep the dogs out of the kitchen was to close the door.

This annoyed the cats.

We can't handle annoyed cats. We are, after all, Staff.

The cats love it. The door is clear - so the dogs can peer in and see the Promised Land, but, like sinners, can't get there without grace - in this case, St. Dad or St. Mom opening the gates to Paradise.

The cats, of course, have their own keys.

by John on Sep 12, 2004

May 13, 2004

Now to get some headgear for our furry soldiers.

Meet Kastor, and get a dog's eye view of his partner, SGT Darrin Smith. Arab bad guys (criminal and political) are targeting the four-footed-freedom-fighters because they are very good at their jobs. Too good. Plus, arabs don't care much for dogs. Another strike against the Wahabists in my book.


by John on May 13, 2004

March 16, 2004

Ah, to have so few cares...

That, or someone murdered some of my puppies this weekend! Whiskey and Houdini (on the right) catching a few zzzzzzs during the little sunshine we had this weekend.


by John on Mar 16, 2004

December 03, 2003

More on dogs and people

Say Uncle has a nice rant on who's at fault in the mauling death of a woman in Colorado. He also manages to praise the 2nd Amendment and spank the community at the same time.

Who's at fault? Hint: Not the victim, not the dogs. Go read it and see.

His post furthers the thread that e-Claire and I talked about last week.

And Claire and Uncle *both* spank the press for the words they use in reporting these incidents.

by John on Dec 03, 2003

While I'm grieving...

[self pity mode]...and trying to ignore the rapidly-cooling body of what was once the sweetest Golden Retriever in the world (don't argue with me, I'm not in the f*cking mood) I might as well read blogs that I 'roll.

Pam, over at Drowning at 2 Feet Sea Level Studios is enjoying her new job.

Juliette over at Baldilocks spanks the Lefties who will seize on anything to try to discredit Bush's trip to Iraq. Won't these people figure out that attacking the man ain't the way to win? Nope. At least I hope not.

Over at Madfish Willies (make me a strong Margarita - with Cointreau, wouldja? - and I need a shot of tequila on the side... for toasting her to heaven) it would appear that the Barkeep has caught the Puppy Blender in action.

Over at Note-It Posts, Dana (thanks for the note, ma'am) directs me to suck xxx left xxx. Shoot, girl - I'll do both - As soon as you get She Who Must Be Obeyed to give permission! (Don't waste yer breath or electrons!) Oh, wait. That was for the feminists! Damn! Um, can I be a feminist?

SGT Hook (how many of you know where the name comes from?) is saddened by a tale of children killing children. Not to miss a chance to act like a politician and exploit a tragedy for policy purposes... when are we going to ban pro wrestling? As a 'real' wrestler (meaning one of those guys you thought was pretty gay for all that groping in high school) I've been embarrassed and wanted them to drop the 't' and just spell it rasslin' for some time. RIP, little one, I know where there's a gentle Golden Retriever who will be happy to be your pal...

Eric, the Straight White Guy (are you sure, Eric - you seem to need to make sure we all know that...) tells tales of woe of living in a dry county down south. No wonder he hangs out so much at Madfish Willies that one of the barstools has molded itself to his butt....

Allah is, well, Allah.

The Curmudgeon is all over the map, as usual. Entertainingly, of course!

Jeff over in the Backcountry is sportslike, political, a little military and very orange. I think he favors some eastern football team or something, but I'm not sure. He did drop by tonight though, and for that, we thank him.

The Ghost of a Flea talks about Black Sabbath and Star Trek right next to each other. And dances, as well. We here at Castle Argghhh don't feel like dancing today. We're wallowing in self-pity, which is odd, since it's Mickey that died. I'm sure it was far harder on her than I. We do so like the mix of the Flea's academe, culture, anthropology, and appreciation of the Dungeon of Castle Argghhh!. It's alway nice when you run across a University Prof who likes and appreciates guns. Of course, the Flea is working his ass off at several jobs... so he isn't a typical tenured parasite, either.

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows サ

by John on Dec 03, 2003
drowning at 2 feet sea level links with: a real arrggghhh....

Goodbye Mickey. I'm gonna miss ya sweetie

Pardon my self-absorbed Narcissism right now, but good god, sometimes entropy really sucks.

Mickey just died in my arms. I hate it when that happens. But I guess not as much as I'd have hated taking her for her last vet visit tomorrow. But I sure wish the damn puppy would quit playing with his squeaky-toy right now.

Goodbye, sweetie. When ya wake up, Ninja, Gabby, Sebastian and Little Guy will be waiting.

Entropy sucks.

by John on Dec 03, 2003
drowning at 2 feet sea level links with: a real arrggghhh....
Straight White Guy links with: Talisker
Random Fate links with: Condolences for a loss
Electric Venom links with: The Letter Of The Day Is O
Electric Venom links with: The Letter Of The Day Is O

November 05, 2003

Entropy Sucks.

Fare thee well, thou good and faithful friend...

by John on Nov 05, 2003
She Who Will Be Obeyed! links with: coming home is good and very sad ...