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The Complete Idiot’s Guide To Private Investigating

I’ve not been a private investigator since 1986.  I’ve not been a credit card fraud investigator since 2009.  But I’ve been some-kind of investigator (private security, process server) most of my adult life.

It’s in my blood.

As such, I’ve tried to keep up with the latest regarding what records are available, what has been limited (due to privacy concerns) and the like.

And, of course, the overall erosion of privacy since Al Gore invented the Internet!  And the government passed The Patriot Act, NDAA, et al.

My dear friend Biff (previously lauded in song and story in these pages – well story, anyway) recently met me for coffee, and, as he oft wants to do, presented me with a gift!

I like gifts!  🙂

As he peruses used bookstores (in search of first editions and signed editions) he sometimes finds books his friends might appreciate.

And he found THIS!

pi-book

It was obviously used and in fair condition.  He was curious what I thought of it and it’s value to today’s sleuth.

It took me a few days to read it.  I had to keep reminding myself this was geared for the neophyte.  Hence the clever title…

Overall it’s a pretty good book.  The author claims to be a retired FBI agent who now has his own P.I. agency in Florida. (The Internet does confirm this.)  It’s fairly well organized and has both current and historic information regarding how to find stuff and to keep out of jail in so doing.  It even has material regarding sources on the Internet, and electronic surveillance.

My copy is the second edition.  An Amazon search revealed there is now a third.

It now holds a place of honor on my bookshelf, adjacent to Where’s What (the CIA book regarding where to find records, circa 1974).

Yeah, I’m a snoop at heart…

(FTC – neither Amazon, nor this book’s author gave me anything!  Biff did, but he’s my friend!  BACK OFF!)

I Know – I Said I Wouldn’t Openly Support A Candidate…

I’m not.

My good friend Kevin (of the couple written about in these pages –  Tomi and Kevin) asked I post a link to a candidate’s website.

To sell bumper stickers.  @ $10.00 a pop.

For charity, of course!  Which charity?  Joe’s choice.

The candidate is JOE MADDON.  He is the manager of the ubiquitous Chicago Cubs baseball team!

joe maddon

click on photo link to site

(I know, a political candidate and sports?!  Has Guffaw gone ’round the bend?)

Nope.  I support charities and my friends.  And considering the field of already declared candidates, while I suspect he too may lose, he’s probably a better choice than the front runners.

It was he or the big meteor set to collide with Earth…

Dear Friends, Part Three

Back when I was newly married (I’m now long divorced), my then wife was interested in finding ‘couples friends’.  Basically, other couples we could hang with and share interests with.  Socialize.

Instead of the more common I had my friends – she had hers.

Thankfully, this post is NOT about that!

I am most fortunate to have a small cadre of good friends.  Some of whom happen to be couples.  I am not currently part of a couple (my landlord being an ex gf is the closest I get) 😦

But recently, two of my ‘couples friends’ have come to my aid and comfort!

After my last scheduled medical procedure, wherein I was advised at the last minute I would owe a substantial co-pay up front, and I had to reschedule for lack of funds, one of the couples came through with the necessary amount!  (Customer Service, Part Cinco)

I finally go in for that procedure this morningOut-for-the-count @ 1130.  Thank you, Dear Friends!
(Hopefully, I’ll be back in my blogging chair again tomorrow…)

Last week, yet another couples friend advised me they were going shooting at an air-conditioned indoor range.  And asked me if I would like to accompany them!

Being of limited resources, I rarely get to go shooting, anymore.  I jumped at the opportunity.

We got to go yesterday to C2!  A very nice range, staffed by young, pretty people.  And I was just required to bring my eyes & ears and whatever firearm.  (I also found some ammo, although they kindly offered to share theirs!)  Thank you, Dear Friends!

Often, I remind you to hold your family and friends close, and tell them you love them, because one never knows…

I’m taking my own advice, today, just in case something happens.

I Love You Guys!

Neither A Follower Nor A Leader Be…

Because I’m more a follower…   (sigh)

Tamara and Borepatch took the test.  So I was compelled to follow…

Your English Vocabulary Size is:

22350

★★★ Top 6.08%

Your vocabulary is at the level of professional white-collars in the US!
Apparently, my blog-building/copying graphics ability is not as refined!  Please visit Tam (which you should already be doing, regardless!) to use her link to take the test, should you so desire…

Tool-Bearing Animals

The Brilliant-and-Lovely TAMARA spake thus:

Look…

Just because H. habilis was several branches back on the family bush doesn’t mean we’re supposed to stop being handy.

I get not carrying a pistol. It’s not for everybody and, if done with any level of seriousness, demands certain commitments and obligations that not everyone wants to undertake, and that’s cool. It’s still (mostly) a free country.

But how do you go through life without a flashlight and some kind of knife? Our most primitive ancestors carried sharp rocks around with them. Hell, carrying a sharpened rock around in case of future need is basically how we tell where the apes stop and the people start in our fossil family album. If they could have carried a light around without it burning their fingers or going out all the time, you bet they would have.

They make flashlights and knives small enough to accommodate any code, dress or legal, up with which you have to put.

AMEN!
I (and many of my brethren and sistern) have carried knives in perpetuity!  And many times flashlights.  (Especially now, with the advent of modern technology involving LCD bulbs and lithium batteries! – small!)
Unfortunately (or fortunately) my knife is mostly utilized to open envelopes (my maternal grandfather would cringe at persons using thumbs and fingers to open envelopes – he had a Christy!), and packages (my roommate is going for the Amazon customer of the year award – of course, she has her own cutlery!)  My Kershaw Ken Onion Blur rests clipped in my right, front pocket.
And Flashlights?  I’ve a two-inch long one affixed to my keychain, and a larger one (with lithium batteries) in my car console, and another in my nightstand.  AND, a Maglite nightstand adjacent!
Sight is of some value.
As is a cutting, stabbing, slashing device.

Having ‘The Talk’

No, not the birds and bees with your children, or the inane TV show.

(from the USCCA and Kevin Michalowski)

Kevin_ITF_Email_VideoPlayer_3-14-16

Sooner or later you will have to talk to your non-gun-owning friends about why you carry. You might be asked not to carry at someone’s house. Or you might be grilled on gun safety at your house when people come to visit. I can’t give you the exact words; they are your friends, not mine. But understand that…

Read More

SO…it’s NOT just about Safety.

It’s about rights, and protection, and so much more.

There have been a few places I’ve chosen to not carry, and not by government edict, either.  It’s been about respect, perceived security, and sometimes plain ol’ convenience.

But sometimes having a civil Talk is just what seems appropriate.

It’s That Day, Again

SIGH.

Today is the 21st anniversary of the passing of our daughter Molly.

We had been in an automobile accident the previous day, and I spent weeks in intensive care, the hospital and rehabilitation.

Molly spent one day.  She was twelve.

I’m doing pretty well, considering.  On disability – due to lymphoma.  I’ve a roof over my head and a beater car and a supportive family and friends, some of whom I’ve met through these pages in the last five years.

Which brings me to the point I often make.

GO AND HUG THOSE YOU LOVE AND TELL THEM SO!  Because you may not get another chance!

She was a terrific kid, and was going to be a terrific adult.  But never got the chance.

She was becoming a shooter (who knew? :-)) and was definitely a Daddy’s girl.

She will always be Daddy’s Girl.

I Love You and Miss You!

 

 

Knives Of My Youth

There were a couple, or three.

The first I owned because of my Father’s disconnect.

He was raised on the East Coast, in a more poor part of town, by a railroad policeman/former Marine.  An Irish neighborhood.

In my mind, his youth resembled a Dead-End Kids movie, except not in NYC.

And, laws aside, there were knives and guns around.  And his Dad’s rules about them – were something akin to ‘touch anything without permission and you get a beating’!

Fast-forward to 1960s Arizona.  A desert, agricultural college town.  Lots of farm and ranch kids.  About 3/4 or whom carried some kind of folder with them.  Girls included.

And me.

We had a couple guns at home, which I was not allowed to touch (see above).

One day, while I was in grade school, my Dad came into the back yard where I was playing.  And he handed me a folding knife.  I was going to be leaving for camp in the Summer, and he thought I should have one of his (!)

CamcoWaterfallCelluloidJack

not mine

AND, not unlike The Dead End Kids, he gave me a quick lesson in Mumbley-Peg with it!  Not understanding knives didn’t stick well in the dry, desert dirt.  See, disconnect.

None of my friends had ever seen such a game.  And, anyway, they didn’t bring their knives out at school.

And, I took the knife to camp, a fellow camper borrowed it, cut himself, got taken to the ER(!), and I never saw it again!  He was okay, though.

Fast forward to a year or so later.  I’d made friends with a couple of kids a block over, including a little red headred headed girl (!)  (Puberty had yet to hit, and, anyway, she was younger than me and a friend’s sister…I wonder where she is now? STOP THAT!)

My birthday came around, and surprise-surprise, the little red haired girl stopped by with a present!  (Hell, most of my friends hadn’t given me anything!)

And what do you think it was…?

NO, not a folding knife.

A sheathed belt knife!  How cool was THAT?  Of course, my Dad immediately glommed onto it for his camping and fishing trips.

not mine

not mine

And it resided in the truck’s over-the-cab camper for years.  Until my Dad passed and everything was given away or sold. 😦

Now, my maternal grandfather (aka ‘Gramp’) always carried a knife!  When I was a kid, I thought this was a disconnect, as he was an East Coast banker-type.  The only time we ever say it was when there were presents.

Used to open the boxes!  A Christy gentleman’s knife!

not his

not his

And it, too, is lost to history. 😦

Although, if I really wanted one, Christy still makes them!

FTC – no companies gave me any of these knives for commercial endorsement – now go away!

 

 

Well, Here We Are. FIVE YEARS LATER!

Yep.

(Well, Here We Are, March 5, 2011)

5th1

I’ve been posting something (sometimes copied stolen from others, sometimes amended, sometimes original) EVERY DAY since March 5, 2011.  Sometimes multiple somethings…

Along with a quote, funny, beauty and a You Tube clip.

EVERY DAY

What a long, strange, but mostly good trip it’s been…

I began blogging, as I’d been reading other’s blogs for about eighteen months (being on disability, and wasting time on the computer).  It occurred to me “Hey, maybe I can find a woman who likes guns” this way?

I did.  Unfortunately, the female gun bloggers I first found were in Idaho, Ohio and Indiana.  If you didn’t guess, I’m in Arizona.  So much for THAT idea! 😦

They became my Blogmothers™

Two remain today – Brigid and Tamara.  The others stopped blogging. (I don’t think I had anything to do with it.)

This blog has seen me through good times and bad times.  Loss and regain of benefits.  Skin cancer (post recovery from lymphoma) and minor injuries.  Loss of good friends like Mark Bell and Bob Hall.

But the BEST, and most surprising part, are the friendships I’ve developed through this medium.  Who knew?

A huge thank you goes out to the generosity of people I only know through the Internet, who have offered me support, both moral and financial.  And given me gifts!  You know who you are…

I miss those who are no longer blogging, by choice or life circumstance – North, Matt, Maura, CoolChange, William the Coroner and many others.  (If I’ve left you off the list and you are still around, please forgive me).

I am SO GRATEFUL for (in no particular order) Bobbi, Doc in Yuma, Ron, Proud Hillbilly, Paul, Kevin Baker and the other Kevin, Southern Belle and KX59, Tom, Biff, Keads, Bluesun, Wirecutter, Jim, Greg, Kenny, Quizikle, Sean, Irish, Jeffery and Wilson.

And especially Murphy, Brigid, ASM826 and Borepatch!  And Judy, my roomie!

And my dear friend Dave the genius (who prefers to be called Dave the mechanic) who sends me multiple funnies daily to possibly include in the blog!  And who – when he is in town – takes me out for Red Devil pizza!  And who has been a loyal friend since 1973.

And to all you loyal folks who don’t blog or even leave comments but bother to stop by – THANK YOU!

I don’t know what the future holds, but I do plan to continue posting some useless nonsense daily for a while longer.

It gives me something on which to focus – a routine and discipline.

338,283 Visitors

394 Followers

56 Countries

2,365 Posts

11,754 Comments

FIVE YEARS!  Here’s to five more!

toast

(Now, if I could just find that WOMAN!)

FTC – Red Devil gives me nothing!

RIP Bob Hall

bhall1It is with a heavy heart that I must report to you the passing of Robert H. ‘Bob’ Hall.

Like some folks, Bob was one of my ‘newer’ friends.  We met when he interviewed me for a private investigation position at Tom Ezell & Associates, in 1981.

I had applied because I had been working for other P.I. firms, and wanted to get the requisite three years under my belt to obtain my own license.  I saw an ad in the paper and called.  Jack Wheeler answered, and I thought I had the job!

Jack had been the salesman for Burns Security when I worked there as the assistant security supervisor (lieutenant), so we knew each other.  But Jack said it would be inappropriate for him to hire me without the chief investigator interviewing me, so I was introduced to Bob.  We became colleagues almost immediately, and fast friends.

You see, about five minutes into the interview, it was determined that Bob had attended high school with one Mary R.  The same Mary R. I had married a year previously!  They grew up in the same neighborhood.  Bob also had a serious firearms fetish, as did I.  He just had more firepower than me.  Like legal full-auto stuff! (including an M60 and MAC-10, both of which he no longer owns.)

And thus began our friendship.  He sold me my favorite 1911 ‘Bobbie’, aka The Bob Hall Signature Model, in 1983.  She still works and I still own (and sometimes carry) her.  We have been shooting together, on-and-off, ever since.

He married, fathered two terrific girls, and moved on to run his own P.I. agency.  In the 90’s, he also became the general manager of Legendary Guns of The West, a store where I hung out, purchased many firearms, and even worked part time.

Bob was one of my closest friends.  He taught me, as he taught his girls, not to take life too seriously.  Oft times, my phone would ring, and there would be Bob on the line, not ID-ing himself, but quoting the Firesign Theatre or Monty Python out-of-context!  “Shine-sheen.  A little Egyptian! Chanting a stream of ancient Egyptian holograms – hieroglyphs, that’s it!” or “We dreamed of living in a hallway – we lived in a cardboard box!”  Then he would get to the heart of the call – “let’s go shooting, or I’ve got a gun here I know you’d like…”

Bob’s health had been failing in the past couple of years (as recounted in these pages).  First diabetes took the lower half of his left leg, then esophageal gastric erosion devolved into cancer, which after chemo and radiation treatments were performed, won.

I remember him for his unwavering support of two family members and one friend through their battles with addiction, his gifting his father with an M2 – just like the one he carried in The War, and his pride in his daughters.  Both college graduates, one now on the cusp of getting her doctorate in clinical psychology from Northwestern!  Her focus is on veterans with PTSD!  Both are responsible firearms owners.

I know it’s a truism that the older we get, the more ‘this’ appears to happen.  Life isn’t fair!  Dammit, Bob, I still have the two books from Brigid I promised you!  (He refused visitors, not wanting them to see him in his emaciated state.)

Goodbye, and Godspeed, my brother.

I Love You!

little Bobby (courtesy of Robyn Hall Galbraith)

Little Bobby (courtesy of Robyn Hall Galbraith)

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…