Saturday, August 5, 2017

The LawDog Files, by D. LawDog (& Keyboard Blues)

To read the somewhat condensed Amazon review, click here.

How far do you go before you replace your keyboard? I've had this one, a Logitech Wireless K520, for quite some time. The letters are starting to wear off. The letter 'A' is just a blank key, and others are not far behind. One of the keys on the number pad is completely gone; the thing just popped off one time when I knocked the keyboard off the desk. It didn't really bother me, since I didn't ever use that key. I'm not even sure what it is. It's between the '/' key and the '-' key. Probably the '*', which I rarely use, and when I do, I just use 'Shift8.'

But recently, I've been having other problems. It's a wireless, and I thought it might be the batteries, but they check out fine, and a replacement didn't make any changes. It's likely cat hair, since SugarBelly refuses to modify her behavior of sleeping on me, regardless of whatever else I have in my lap at the time. Twice recently, I've had bizarre events happen; the most recent was an attack of the letter 'k,' all across the screen. Fortunately, I noticed it right away, and it responded to a sound trouncing. But, I fear, It's time to go after another keyboard. I think I'll get this one:

It allegedly will work with the same dongle my trackball uses.

I am almost positive that my first contact with the LawDog came from Peter Grant's blog, the Bayou Renaissance Man.

I am similarly under the strong impression that said introduction came in form of a squee.

And thus, I have a bit of cognitive dissonance I must overcome, because to the best of my knowledge, Peter Grant has never been known to squee.

Maybe it was in the comments section. Maybe it was a guest post. Maybe it was Dorothy.

Maybe I'm mistaken.

But I don't think so.

At any rate, the squee was to the effect that the LawDog had agreed to write a book, or was going to re-activate his blog, or was within driving distance, or was going to be at a convention, or some combination of all the above. At any rate, the news prompted a squee. Who it was who squeed, doesn't really matter anymore, because I arrived at SqueeSource.

If not quite of the same status as an imprimatur, a Foreword written by Larry Corriea has at least symbolic value to the hordes who shamble after him, holding out cash and begging for something else to read. In this case, though, it serves to tie in the current work with an experience that many of us (at least those of a certain level of maturity of years) have shared: finding a bright ray of light in the early days of what has become the Internet. Long before pictures of cats were available, text-based bulletin boards gradually evolved into text based fora, where grim knowledge was exchanged, along with the occasional insult. LawDog injected some humor into the wasteland, and thus won a following. (Note: I am a member of that same forum, dating from about 10 years after LawDog started posting. Sigh. Had I only started earlier, who knows? Perhaps I would now own a mountain.)

The stories are a selection of the material LawDog has posted over the last 20 years. Prior to each story, he provides some of the background material that lead up to the post. For those of us who LOVE back story, this is exactly the sort of icing on the cake that makes us feel like we are part of the inner circle.

The very first story he posted, sometime in the late 1990s, had a drunken, lovestruck armadillo as a main character. What makes the story stand out, however, is not the armadillo, but LawDog's ability with language to poke fun at himself. He describes hanging upside down in a thorny hedge, while fellow LEOs and other emergency service people are standing around, helpless with laughter, in such a way that we are brought into the event. With talent like this, and material to work with with, failure to amuse was NOT an option.

LawDog kills Santa Claus. He falls on the ice, and uses that as a tool to catch a miscreant. He introduces us to characters we NEVER hope to meet in person, including various members of Big Mama's family.  He also gives us insight into the times when the solution to a crime problem DOESN'T involve an arrest, and the times when sitting in silence is the very best choice that can be made.

It's the latter, I believe, that keep the LawDog from that edge of cynicism about the human condition that grinds so many cops into the ground. If you want a beautiful picture of human compassion, then read "Going Home," a story about his search for an elderly man missing from a nursing home.

He gives us delicate and tasteful advice: "If you’re going to Say It With Saliva in Texas, make sure your boyfriend can take a whuppin’."

He describes the brilliance and utter stupidity of inmates, who publish their crimes  on social media, and who are able to recognize legitimacy of reports based on they type of language and ink used.

And, of course, the should-be-deservedly-so famous story of the Pink Gorilla Suit. It's so famous, it's INFAMOUS. Like El Guapo.

Be sure of this: unless you are ill, incarcerated, or have very little sense of humor (poor soul), you will find something to love in the LawDog Files.

And on August 10, the LawDog's African stories will be available on Amazon. You can pre-order it here:

Peace be on your house.

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