mytopleft

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Fascinating what passes for "training" in Temp Town

On my new project, less than two weeks in, we all just got shifted to working on the privilege log.  I don't know if anyone got cut because their work on first review made it clear they are too stupid to do privilege logging, but I would not be surprised either way. On the one hand, doing a privilege log requires that you actually know what a privileged document is, and how to describe it on the log so that it sounds like a privileged document. It also requires that you know what a responsive document is, as probably half of the documents you will see that are marked privileged and responsive area at least not responsive, and frequently are neither responsive nor privileged.

For me, joy is found when a document is not responsive or privileged. I am happy, though, if a document is simply not responsive. Either way, I don't have to do a privilege log entry for the document -- I can kick it out. I don't think a lot of my fellow loggers understand that -- and this is not peculiar to this project. Most folks doing privilege log entries will try anything to describe a document as both responsive and privileged, even if it is neither, rather than kick the document out. I will never understand this. There is an obvious path of least resistance here, and it does not involve logging every single document.

I don't think there is any doubt that 30 minutes of training will change whether someone has any insight into whether a document is privileged or responsive. Realistically, that kind of education is not going to happen, in 30 or 300 minutes. All this training is supposed to do is give some guidance on how to create a privilege log entry that the privilege log quality control people can turn into something that passes for the legal requirements of a privilege log entry.It's not pretty, and I really doubt that it truly satisfies the Department of Justice' requirements, but there you are. It works, the DOJ is OK with it, and that is all anyone really cares about.

Who am I to argue?

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Lemmy has left the building

Lemmy Kilmister, the iconic bass player for the metal band Motorhead, has died at age 70. I was never a Motorhead guy, but for me, Lemmy is the guy who tried to teach Sid Vicious to play bass -- and failed miserably. Obviously, this did not prevent Sid from becoming the bass player for The Sex Pistols, but that is a post for another time. Lemmy had quite a career, though, and anybody who gives a damn about rock and roll should note his passing. Having said that, see ya, Lemmy:


Yeah, it's a cover, but Motorhead did a lot of that, and I don't think Lemmy would be insulted.

These guys take the neighborhood watch thing seriously

I have no damn idea what they were looking at, but you'd have to look around to find three cats more focused on the same thing:


Whatever the hell it was.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Yeah, this was probably a better reference

So, the reader who wanted to know what occasion I was hoping friends would give me a sendoff like this thought she had a more appropriate song/video reference. Of course, I should have thought of the great Joe Diffie:


Joe Diffie had a hell of a mullet.





Sunday, December 27, 2015

I guess this is a legitimate question

A reader wanted to know what occasion I would want to celebrate in this fashion. I suggested that my funeral would be fine, as I believed I would still be a good drinking companion. Well, I think there is some precedent:


Saw Warren Zevon tour in 1980, and it remains the best show I ever saw.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Two's company . . .

I'm sorry, four's  crowd. Mrs. Wolves sent me this picture the other morning while I was at work. All three kit-tays had set up camp on top of her:


She was complaining of being unable to get out of bed. Having been at work at that point for more than an hour, and out of bed for about three hours, I really had a hard time coming up with sympathy for her.

A Wolves Christmas

Christmas at Chez Wolves actually started on Christmas Eve. Cpl. Wolves and Married Into Wolves had in-law conflicts and so came to Chez Wolves on Thursday. Naturally, the animals were happy to see Cpl. Wolves, especially Jeb the Wonder Dog:


Yeah, he hung around with Cpl. Wolves quite a bit:


No, really:


Almost all of the animals got into the act. Sadie the Auxiliary Back-up Dog and Mischief failed to get into the act here, but they were the only ones:


Always good to have them over, and a very nice Christmas Eve it was, with one glaring exception that I will discuss in a later post. It involved what we watched, which definitely was not on our list of annual holiday favorites.

Kitties like Christmas, too

Naturally, the kit-tays view Christmas as playtime. Here is Mayhem, doing the whole kitty-in-a-bag thing:



And she flashed laser eyes:


 And, of course, they enjoy them some wrapping paper:


Merry Christmas, kitties -- and all of y'all, too.

A Christmas tragedy

Walking the dogs on Christmas morning, I looked up and saw what I was sure I couldn't be seeing. Could that possibly be . . .:


No way, right? I mean, the guy's been at this for I don't know how long. But there was all the evidence I needed:


Looks an awful lot like Santa fell off the roof. Or was it an accident? An anti-Christmas ambush? You decide.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

One of the greatest generals this country ever had was buried 70 years ago today

George Patton, certainly the finest armored commander in U.S. history and arguably the best ever (the Soviets would put forward a case for Gerogy Zhukov and the Germans for Heinz Guderian, but Patton would have to be in the mix), was laid to rest 70 years ago today. Well known for his belief that  the only way for a professional soldier to die was "from the last bullet, of the last battle, of the last war," Patton died in a traffic accident. It's a shame to have lost one of America's greatest warriors in such a manner. RIP, General.

So this is Christmas . . .

Never really thought black was a good Christmas color. Until now:


No, really:


I don't even care who wins the game. Merry Christmas, y'all.


President Louis XIV chimes in

Is it really possible the president is this out of touch:
If you read The New York Times‘ story on President Barack Obama‘s private meeting with news columnists Friday morning, you may have caught one quote that made the President look particularly bad:
In his meeting with the columnists, Mr. Obama indicated that he did not see enough cable television to fully appreciate the anxiety after the attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, and made clear that he plans to step up his public arguments.
The President of the United States failed to understand that Americans were anxious after two major terrorist attacks in Western cities because he doesn’t watch TV? It’s an admission that opponents are sure to use to make the president seem out-of-touch at best, and unconcerned about a serious threat at worst.
Leaving aside that the New York Times edited that paragraph out of its story without any mention that it was ever there. They claimed it was taken out for space reasons, even though it was replaced by a paragraph that was much longer. The fact that the New York Times has long since decided it doesn't care who knows it is sucking Barry's dick is really just not news. What is astounding is the president's utter disregard for a) the terrorist threat that faces this country and 2) the people who live in this country.

There really are only two ways to look at this. First, the president is telling truth and has no idea how the American people feel about anything if he doesn't see it on TV. He is famous, of course, for saying about various scandals in his own administration -- such as the IRS discriminating  against conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status, or his own DOJ forcing gun dealers to make illegal gun sales to drug runners, or the Veterans Administration putting veterans on waiting lists to die -- that he had no idea these things were going on until he read about them in the news. This interpretation makes it appear that Barry is Louis XIV, so out of touch with his constituency that he has no right to govern.

The only other interpretation is that he thinks that there is no terror threat and that the American people are a bunch of foolish sheep led by the media to believe that there is a threat where none exists. Unfortunately, earlier this week he basically said that:
President Obama said a “saturation” of media stories about terrorism was driving public fears andcriticism of his Islamic State policy during an NPR interview posted Monday.
“What is the public missing about your strategy?” NPR host Steve Inskeep asked. “And I say that simply because, according to polls, you don’t have very much approval for it.”
“Well, I think what’s fair is, post-Paris, you had a saturation of news about the horrible attack there, and ISIL combines viciousness with very savvy media operations,” Obama said. “And as a consequence, if you’ve been watching television for the last month, all you’ve been seeing, all you’ve been hearing about is these guys with masks or black flags who are potentially coming to get you, so I understand why people are concerned about it.”
So remember, it isn't that there are terrorists out there and that the president is basically doing fuck-all to stop them. It's that you are a candy-ass pussy who is scared of your own shadow, worried about a threat that is no threat at all. Got it?

No fucking wonder polls show people think he's a fuck-sock when it come to dealing with terrorism.

It's not what you think. But it's fabulous

Granted, the occasion at issue is not what you think, but this is a magnificent ad, sent to me by a reader:




I hope that, at some point in my life, be it a wedding or my death, I have friends who care enough to do this for me.

Merry Christmas, all

Just because it's a cartoon character doesn't make it wrong:


Merry Christmas, everyone.

I guess some folks need reminders

A reader tipped me off to this story,  which, I have to admit, gives me doubts about the future of the legal profession. Seriously, what kind of rampaging candyass would make it necessary to post a sign like this in the law library at a law school?:


Granted, I was 10 years older than most of my classmates, but even they came from a generation that would have cheerfully pummeled anyone crying in the law library during exams. They would, at a bare minimum, have not stopped me from giving the candyass something to cry about. Of course, I'd rather see that sign, which apparently actually was posted at the University of Minnesota School of Law, than this one, which apparently was posted at the same school:


This one makes more sense to me. There definitely were some folks who could have used a reminder. I can put in headphones to drown out some loser's sobbing; I can't stop breathing.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Too much work, not enough posting

Yeah, yeah, I'm working on it. Posting a quickie from behind enemy lines to let you know that I'm putting together a few posts for today, tomorrow and Christmas. Just remember: Confucious says, "16 hour work days suck."

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Fort Barrancas: A post requested by a reader

The reader did not specify Fort Barrancas, but I have been sitting on a request from a reader to do a post (or posts) about American forts. The reader, who happens to be my European correspondent, shares an interest with me in old fortifications. In any event, I am happy to fulfill his request for a post on American forts. We will start with Fort Barrancas.

Fort Barrancas is what is known as a Third System fort -- forts built after the War of 1812 and mostly before the War Between the States. There is a magnificent book on the forts of the Third System, A Legacy In Brick and Stone, that details the history of the Third System forts. The author has visited many of the forts and took the photos himself. In that spirit, I am starting with the forts I have visited myself. Yes, I own a copy of the book, quaint as that might seem in this e-book era.

Fort Barrancas is located on what is not Pensacola Naval Air Station. A few years ago, I visited my father, who lives in Pensacola and is a retired Marine.Thirty years ago, I lived in Pensacola, but was unable to visit Fort Barrancas because it is on a military base. With Major Wolves driving and flashing ID, I had no trouble getting on base.

Fort Barrancas is one of three forts built to defend the harbor at Pensacola. Fort Barrancas is located on the mainland on a low hill overlooking the harbor entrance. The second fort in the system is Fort Pickens, located on Santa Rosa Island, directly across the harbor entrance from Fort Barrancas. The third fort, Fort McRee, was located to the right of Fort Barrancas on Perdido Key. Together, they provided a triangle of interlocking fire that would have made it impossible for a hostile ship to enter the harbor:


Alas, things did not work out that way the only time the forts had the opportunity to spring into action. In the early days of the War Between the States -- commonly known as the Civil War, which is inaccurate because that denotes a was between differing factions of the same country, while the War Between the States involved two different countries, as the southern states had seceded to form the Confederacy. But that is a story for another day. In any event, Union forces retained control of Fort Pickens, across the harbor mouth from Fort Barrancas. Union ships and cannons at Fort Pickens bombarded Fort McRee, essentially destroying it. Nothing remains today -- the ruins are underwater at the eastern end of Perdido Key. The Confederates retained control of the city and Fort Barrancas, but the Union hold on Fort Pickens ended the value of Pensacola as a blockade-running port.

As you can see from this picture, Fort Barrancas has a pretty commanding position overlooking the entrance to Pensacola Bay:

I guess that's an oil tanker entering the harbor. The fort is built on the site of an old Spanish fort, part of which was incorporated into the defenses at Fort Barrancas. The old Spanish fortifications are known as the Water Battery. Located between Fort Barrancas and Pensacola Bay, the Water Battery is the white fortifications in this picture:


Fort Barrancas itself is a traditional masonry fort:


The fort was designed to defend the city from a seaborne attack, but had limited land-attack defenses. Here you can see the area between the sea-defense fort, on the left, and the land-oriented defenses on the right:


This picture is a view from the sea-side structures looking out of a firing embrasure toward the land-side defenses:


The idea was that anyone caught between the two could be fired upon from both structures. We'll never know if that was a good idea, as the concept never was tested. Here is a view of one of the passages that provided access for rifle men to man firing ports within the fort:


Here is another exterior view of the landside defenses:


And another view:



The is a view of the cannon emplacements overlooking Pensacola Bay:


I did not take this picture, obviously, as it is an aerial shot of the water battery(in the foreground) and Fort Barrancas:


This aerial from a higher altitude provides a better view of the fort's layout:


The water batter is in front of the fort. The two are connected by a tunnel.

At some point, I will probably do more posts about forts I have visited. In this case, I have my own pictures of Fort Barrancas from a relatively recent visit. I also visited Fort Pickens relatively recently, but have been unable to locate the pictures due to a recent computer change. While I spent a lot of time at Fort Pickens many years ago, I was far more concerned with sex and drinking at the time and did not even own a camera, so there are no pictures from that era, even though I was at the fort most nights for about a year. But we'll get there. Hope you enjoyed the Fort Barrancas post and, if you didn't, well, refer to the title of the blog.

Sweet, sweet victory game food porn

It was not a pretty victory in many respects, but it was a victory nonetheless, as the Packers beat the Raiders 30-20 on the Raiders' home field. The defense won the game with two early interceptions, including a pick-six, that gave the Packers a 14-0 lead. We'll take it.

So what did we have to go with that victory? As a dinner-time game, we had to adapt, making sure the game food  could serve as dinner, as well. To open the game, we had some stuffed skins:


They're always good. At half-time, had to put out some dinner-like food, so we went with sliders, Velveeta potato bites and baked beans:


Those of you hoping to make sliders should go here. Of course, the potato bites can be made from the instructions here. Combine good food with the win and we have, well, a pretty good weekend afternoon. The Packers clinched a playoff spot. We'll see how that goes.

All along the watchtower

Princes -- or, in this case, princesses -- kept their view. Murder looks ready to repel all boarders:


My last band used to do this song, more like the Jimmy Hendrix version:


That's some good shit there.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Looks like winter wheat again

Ever since Farmer John, whose name is almost undoubtedly not John, harvested his soybeans this fall, I've been wondering what he was going to do next. For a while, it looked like the answer was "nothing," The field seemed to be going to weeds, so I figured John -- name probably still not John --  was going to wait until spring, then plant corn. A couple weeks ago, I decided to take Jeb the Wonder Dog over to the field and see what is what. Jeb, of course, loves him a field:


He gets to run around and stand majestically in the middle of it all:


Eventually, he gets to fertilize Farmer John's crops, but we don't generally document that sort of activity here. In any event, what I saw indicates that Farmer John -- for those of you who have just joined us, that almost undoubtedly is not his actual name -- has planted winter wheat. It was a foggy day, though, so the linear nature of the green growth is not apparent in this picture:


Trust me, it's wheat. Maybe I can update with a better picture if I am ever home in daylight again. Apropos of nothing, this is one of many deer trails that lead from the neighboring woods into Farmer John's fied:


I'm sure it isn't necessary, but I remind you here that Farmer John's name is almost undoubtedly not John.

Friday, December 18, 2015

The return of Chester

Oh, my God. It's real:


I cannot believe I never wrote about Chester the Molester, but a search of the blog indicates I might have left him out. I've probably been on half a dozen projects with him, and he still creeps me out.   I'm sure he's a nice guy -- OK, no, I'm not -- but he looks like a guy you see on the evening news, just arrested for child molestation, and you say to yourself, how did no one notice him before? Bald on top, rarely cuts the fringe hair around the sides, and washes that hair, mmmmmm, never. Plus a face that seems to always be about to say, "I can't believe the prejudice that always leaps out anytime someone mentions man-child love."

Chester was on a project I worked last spring, working in the room next to mine, and I swore that if I ever worked with him again, it would be too soon. Well, too soon has arrived, as Chester, today, took a seat in the same cubicle that I am in. Six of us, and Chester is one of them.

Like I said, he's probably a nice guy. But I don't know why I say that. In Temp Town, the Venn diagram of people you work with and people you want to hang out with shows virtually no overlap. Why fight the odds? So, Chester has joined us. Who's next? The Bridge Troll?


Tuesday, December 15, 2015

I successfully ground a bumper crop of peppers

By successfully, of course, I mean without suffering any "ill effects." More on that below. Having already turned a bunch of this year's ridiculous crop of hot peppers into hot sauce, I finally turned this past weekend to deal with the absurd amount of peppers I dried over the course of the harvest. It was a lot of peppers:

 

That's two grocery bags full of dried peppers. It's a lot. So, I went over to Farmer Tom's to take advantage of Mrs. Farmer Tom's excellent food processor and outdoor deck (can't do this stuff indoors) and commenced to grinding. First, of course, you destem them:


Put the properly destemmed peppers in the food processor and have at it:


You will wear surgical gloves during this process, and you will not touch any other part of your body until your are finished or have removed your gloves. "Pepper dick" is real, and very painful. Search the blog for that phrase -- it hurts too much for me to even provide the link to that post.

Anyway, having taken the appropriate precautions, grind away:


I actually had an inadequate supply of shaker bottles on hand, so I filled the six I had with the ground pepper:


Put the labels on, and the shakers were ready to be Christmas presents. And, of course, that quart jar full of ground pepper will fill a pretty good number of additional shaker bottles:


Not a bad afternoon's work. Of course, that "afternoon" started in March, but it was a fine and rewarding culmination of a long growing and harvesting season. Now, finally, we are done until, oh, March, I'd say.

I sure hope I make a lot of money, because this job is going to kill me

Started the new gig yesterday and haven't had time for anything since. Getting home at about 10:30 at night (leaving home at 6 in the morning), so I don't think I'll have a lot of time for much else. No internet at our desks -- not because this agency is opposed to internet, but they lack the bandwidth because there are so many people on this project. The project I ditched will probably go longer, but this one has a LOT more hours. Also, I already have my eyes on something starting early next year that looks to have lots of hours and a much higher rate. Pays to plan ahead in this business.

Friday, December 11, 2015

All good things gotta come to an end

They cut us to 40 hours, as I mentioned before. I can't live on 40 hours, so reluctantly I sought a project with overtime. My current project probably will go back to overtime after the New Year, but I can't spend probably. Monday, I'll be starting another project that offers as much as 87 hours per week. I can't do that much, living so far away from DC, but I figure I can hit 75 or so and still catch Packers games on Sunday. That's the way this business is: try to find the project that best suits your needs. The agencies and firms aren't loyal to you, so you can't get caught up in a false loyalty to them. Take care of you. This project was good, but, like the song says, "all good things gotta come to an end:"


Double standard much?

Seriously, when a bakery owned by Christians declines to participate in a gay wedding by baking them a cake, they get driven out of business by popular opinion and government action. Muslim bakeries doing the same thing? Not so much:




So weird -- I'm waiting for the outrage, and I don't hear it.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Boom! The U.K. returns to the Top 10

For most of the first two years of this blog, the United Kingdom was the homeland of enough visitors to be solidly in the top 10 nations of origin. Initially in the top 5, the UK slowly drifted down the list as other nations overtook it. One day a couple years ago, the UK was bumped out of the top 10 by Latvia. Latvia! How humiliating, to be ousted by a nation with a fraction of its population.

But no more. Today, after weeks of regular visits from the UK, our favorite monarchy has muscled back into the top 10, nailing down the No. 10 spot. What's that mean? Why, it's time to play "Rule Britannia," of course:



Rude awakening

There we were, cruising along having just been assured the project would last into the next year without much changing and then BOOM, how do you feel about going from 60 hours to 40 for the foreseeable future?

The answer for a lot of folks was, "Not good."

Anyway, yesterday the firm sent somebody in at about 5 p.m. to let us know that we were now capped at 40 hours, effective immediately, please plan accordingly and, oh, by the way, you have to work five days a week.

Well, some of us already had 20 hours for the week by the time they told us, meaning we were supposed to do six-hour days for the rest of the week, or something like that. Well, fuck it, I got sick. I didn't go in today because of my horrible case of the I-have-to-find-another-gig flu. Two short days and a weekend off, and I hope to be on a heavy overtime project on Monday. Just another jolting reminder that they don't call us temps for nothing. And, of course, further proof that Rule No. 2 always applies. Take the overtime while they offer it, baby, because it's going away at some point.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

This doesn't look very comfortable

Apparently, looks can be deceiving, as Mayhem actually seems quite comfortable indeed.


It's hard to tell with cats.

Getting ready for Christmas?

Murder seems to be getting into the spirit. I think it is the Christmas spirit, but it could be something else:


Perhaps she is just getting ready for Minnesota Wolves and Might Marry Wolves, who are visiting around New Year's. Hard to tell with cats.

Monday, December 7, 2015

A date which will live in infamy

That's what President Franklin Roosevelt dubbed Dec. 7, 1941, the day the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and dragged the U.S. into World War II. Of course, if you refer to Dec. 7 as "a date which will live in infamy" to a millennial, you are likely to receive one of two responses: 1) "What date is that?" or b) "What's infamy?"

Anyway, today is the 74th anniversary of the attack, which left 2,400 soldiers, sailors, Marines and civilians dead and the Pacific fleet in shambles. They live on only in the collective memory of the nation -- or they should.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Is this a service call?

Apparently, the kitties are looking for job opportunities in the printer repair field. Mayhem recently displayed interest in how printers work:


I guess the paper wasn't feeding properly:


Or maybe she thought the expression "paper feeding" meant there was food here somewhere:


She sure looked:


And wound up with a "Who? Me?" expression when it was all over.


Friday, December 4, 2015

I can't believe what I just saw

So, I got home in time to watch the Packers play the Lions. I had Mrs. Wolves record the game on DVR so I could go back to the beginning, but fast forward through the commercials. Midway through the third quarter, I was caught up.

So much for technical details. We got our asses kicked in the first quarter, not so much in the second and third quarters. Down 20-0 late in the third, the Packers apparently decided to win. Two quick touchdowns made it 20-14, then the Lions scored a field goal, making it 23-14. With about three minutes left, the Packers scored a touchdown to make it 23-21. We stopped the Lions and got the ball back with 30 seconds left. A couple plays later, we were 65 yards from the endzone with 6 seconds left. A defensive penalty -- some Lion grabbed Aaron Rodgers' facemask -- on what should have been the last play of the game gave Green Bay one more shot. They did this:

But first, did I mention I went ahead and made some game food? Yeah, did some bacon-wrapped tater tots:


They were excellent. Anyway, with no time left, 65 yards away from the end zone, the Packers did this:
 
 
Richard Rodgers is all alone, tracking the ball the whole way, with no Detroit defenders paying him any attention. Kind of like this guy:
 
 

Looking at his phone. Probably texting a buddy who couldn't get tickets, "We just beat the Packers again!" Hope he hadn't hit "send."
 
Anyway, it wasn't always pretty, but we got the W. I'll take it.