This category contains 7 posts

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!


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!)

More Government Statistics

snoring(courtesy of Joel, in part)

Here’s a little something to pressure-test those cerebral arteries*:

20,642 New Regulations Added in the Obama Presidency

The tide of red tape that threatens to drown U.S. consumers and businesses surged yet again in 2015, according to a Heritage Foundation study we released on Monday.More than $22 billion per year in new regulatory costs were imposed on Americans last year, pushing the total burden for the Obama years to exceed $100 billion annually.

After spelling out (this tiny piece of) the problem of overregulation, the writer goes and spoils it all by offering a plan for “reform” …

Congress needs to take immediate action to control the continued expansion of the administrative state, prevent further harm to the economy, and stem the erosion of individual liberty.

Right. Good. While we’ve got their attention, we should force the congress critters to promise to slow the earth’s rising sea levels and heal the planet, too. Then all our problems will be fixed.

Anyone who still thinks there’s a constituency in congress actually in favor of reducing the size and influence of government – or even ‘controlling its continued expansion’ – has not been paying the slightest bit of attention.


Personally, I see this as not just petty power and control (or even Grand power and control) but as yet another addition to the whole Cloward & Piven strategy.  Just keep adding stressors to the bureaucracy of government until the whole thing collapses under it’s own weight.

Then, some savior will step forward to save us from the cataclysmic mire, involving controls we’ve dared not yet imagined, complete with the largest showers ever!

Cleanliness is next to…

So, I’m reading passing-over, yet again, another warning on the Internet regarding keyboards.  It seems, more than public bathrooms, computer keyboards are THE source of e-coli bacteria for most folks.  E-coli is one of those nasty things we sometimes access through uncooked food and can cause serious illness and even death.

Yeah yeah, sure sure…yawn

I’m a bit of a germaphobe.  Being slightly OCD and having been ill many times in my life, this is not surprising.  A while back I was reading how the so-called 5-second rule is more realistically a 5-minute rule.  (dropping food on to a generally-clean-appearing floor does not automatically mean it’s instantly acquired enough strange bacteria to be a health hazard if eaten!  As if I’d do something like that! :-P)  Currently living in a house with three dogs and a cat usually means mishandled food doesn’t even make it to the floor.  If it does, it means they’re kenneled, sleeping or seriously full.

So, back to the keyboard.  Specifically MY cordless computer keyboard.  Usually observed in low-light conditions, no issues are observed.  Wait-a-minute…what’s THAT on the keyboard, that red stuff (OH, it’s probably wearing paint…) WAIT!  The keyboard has black with white lettering, no color!  Uh-oh…

Yep.  A couple months back, just after my move, I developed a habit of eating at my computer, over my keyboard in some cases.  Usually…aw geez!  That’s it!  Jack-In-The-Box Tacos!


Apply Clorox Disinfecting Wipes to the affected area, twice!  And to all the electronic gadget remotes living in my room, just in case.  Because one never knows.

I feel better now, and a little hungry.  What sounds good?  mmmmm-tacos!

Attention FTC, neither Jack-In-The-Box nor The Clorox Company have given me anything save delicious, cheap, greasy food and cleanliness.  In that order.  Go clean your own keyboards!

“Ees gun, ees not safe!”

A few other blogs this week have pointed out the idiocy of people acting unsafely with firearms.

Specifically, blank-shooting firearms.

Immediately, a couple things came to mind:  1)  The Four Rules – see right sidebar for specifics, and

2)  Jon-Erik Hexum

Mr. Hexum was a rising young star in the 1980s.  Deep voice, great physique, okay actor.  I remember reading in a TV Guide interview that while he cut a striking figure, he was not (and I quote him) “Not just another drop-dead clothes horse.”
Obviously, though, he’d not heard of The Four Rules.

(from IMDB)

However, on October 12th, 1984 after a long and draining day’s shooting on the set of “Cover Up: Pilot (#1.0)” (1984), Hexum became bored with the extensive delays and jokingly put a prop .44 magnum revolver to his temple and pulled the trigger. The gun fired, and the wadding from the blank cartridge shattered his skull, whereupon the mortally injured Hexum was rushed via ambulance to hospital to undergo extensive surgery. Despite five hours of work, the chief surgeon, Dr. David Ditsworth, described the damage to Hexum’s brain as life-ending. One week later, on October 18th, he was taken off life support and pronounced dead. However, Hexum’s commitment to organ donation meant five other lives were assisted or saved with organs harvested from him. The youthful & charming Hexum was dead at only 26 years of age.

I believe it was Jeff Cooper who told a story of a Russian discussing the ‘safety’ of a particular firearm.  He said, “Ees gun, is not safe!”

We cannot stress this enough.  Firearms (EVEN blank firearms) are dangerous tools.  Just as with chain saws and other tools, there are safety protocols.

Life’s Rules – Modern ‘P.C.’ Edition

Washington Rebel brings up two of Life’s Rules which influence every aspect of Modern Society.

~”…, I’m discerning that we have two rules in place — on which we never actually voted, but from which we’ll brook no deviation, we’ll tolerate no violation, and yes, we pass judgment on the character of our fellow citizens according to not only their compliance with these rules, but their enthusiasm for so complying. One, we don’t discriminate. Ever. If we do, we make sure we discriminate in the “right” direction. Two, human life is precious. It is so precious that we have to make sure everyone is out of danger, all the time, no matter what, and we seem bound and determined to keep writing more and more safety rules until everyone lives forever.”
A more cynical perspective would be that we aren’t interested in making anyone safe at all, we’re just concerned with ass-covering. And, as Surber opines, the people we put in positions of power just like to push others around. Maybe it’s a case of, a certain job will attract a certain personality type. These jobs have authority invested in them…so that’s the personality type they attract. Bullies.~
(emphasis Guffaw)
Go read the whole thing.  Don’t wear a helmet when doing so, be a rebel!

h/t Morgan K. Freeberg

What? More Rules?

We here at Guffaw in AZ, and many other gunnie blogs, have touched upon The Four Rules more than once.  They are on my sidebar, and should be committed to the memory of everyone in a gun-owning household, ages three and up.
We owe Jeff Cooper a great debt for distilling out these rules.  Others, like the NRA, have subtracted one rule:  1.  All guns are always loaded.
(The NRA seems to think one will have time to load, when needed.)
And some have added a Rule 5 Don’t try to catch a dropped gun (or knife).
But, there are more rules out there.
One of the more popular television shows (since 2003) is N.C.I.S., about adventures of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service.

“A slap to the face
is an insult — to the
back of the head
is a wake-up call.”

Generally entertaining, flawed characters, diverse plot lines.
The main character is Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs, played by Mark Harmon.  His tragically deceased wife (in the show) is said to have created a number of rules, which he adopted, and passed on to his agents and agent trainees.  There are more than 50 rules, I’m cherry-picking ones I find of interest:
Rule #9: Never go anywhere without a knife
Rule #23: Never mess with a Marine’s coffee if you want to live.
Rule #27: Two ways to follow: First way, they never notice you, — second way, they only notice you.
Rule #35: Always watch the watchers.
Rule #45: Clean up your own mess
Rule #51: Sometimes — You’re Wrong!
If you’d like to see more of the ‘rules’, here’s a link:  Gibbs’ Rules
(Obviously, being a fan of the show would help.)

PS – Yes, I had to get past Mr. Harmon’s support of gun control in his private life to watch the show.  Unlike some Hollywood types, he separates his private and public life.

h/t CBS television


…if the coffee is hot!

I wrote earlier regarding my disdain for the lowly caliber .25 ACP.
Some folks took pleasant offense to this stance, suggesting variants of
Mark Moritz’  First Rule of Gunfighting.
1.  Have A Gun.
In a gunfight, there is no second rule.
So, I started researching the Internet regarding this matter.
Findings?  Interesting.

from The High RoadDon’t Bring a .25 to a Gunfight52 postsApr 7, 2008
Michael Bane copied (with credit) from Carnival of Cordite, as follows:

Monday, August 29, 2005

Yet More “Rules of Gunfighting”

You’re all familiar with the basic rules of gunfighting, the first of which is, of course, “Have a gun.” I cribbed these from last week’s Carnival of Cordite (where I was graciously mentioned, thank you, Gullyborg!):

US Marine Corp Rules for Gunfighting

1. Be courteous to everyone, friendly to no one.
2. Decide to be aggressive ENOUGH, quickly ENOUGH.
3. Have a plan.
4. Have a back-up plan, because the first one probably won’t work.
5. Be polite. Be professional. But, have a plan to kill everyone you meet.
6. Do not attend a gunfight with a handgun whose caliber does not start with a “4.”
7. Anything worth shooting is worth shooting twice. Ammo is cheap. Life is expensive.
8. Move away from your attacker. Distance is your friend. (Lateral & diagonal preferred.)
9. Use cover or concealment as much as possible.
10. Flank your adversary when possible. Protect yours.
11. Always cheat; always win. The only unfair fight is the one you lose.
12. In ten years nobody will remember the details of caliber, stance, or tactics. They will only remember who lived.
13. If you are not shooting, you should be communicating your intention to shoot

Navy SEAL Rules for Gunfighting

1. Look very cool in sunglasses.
2. Kill every living thing within view.
3. Adjust Speedo.
4. Check hair in mirror.

I especially like Marine #5 — “Be polite. Be professional. But, have a plan to kill everyone you meet.” Reminds me of when I was first starting out in this stuff. I was, like, 29 years old and had just started “combat shooting.” I go out for burger and fries with a bunch of guys I shot with…one a SWAT commander; one a Vietnam Special Forces vet and two visiting Brit SAS guys. We’re sitting there eating the MacWhatever burgers and one of the SAS guys turns to the SWAT commander and says, “What do you think?” The SWAT commander quietly starts pointing out people, “Him first…head shot…head shot…double tap…double tap…” One of the SAS guys says, “Sorry, mate…the girl behind the counter…can’t see her hands, so she’s a head shot, too.” The other SAS guy pats me on the shoulder. “Don’t worry,” he says. “You’ll get used to it. Eventually, it won’t even feel weird.”

Michael Bane didn’t include the additional rules from Carnival of Cordite, not quoted in his post, to wit:

US Army Rules for Gunfighting

1. Select a new beret to wear.
2. Sew combat patch on right shoulder.
3. Change the color of beret you decide to wear.
4. Walk in 50 miles wearing 75 pound rucksack while starving.
5. Locate individuals requiring killing.
6. Request permission via radio from “Higher” to perform killing.
7. Curse bitterly when mission is aborted.
8. Walk out 50 miles wearing a 75 pound rucksack while starving.

US Air Force Rules for Gunfighting

1. Have a cocktail.
2. Adjust temperature on air-conditioner.
3. See what’s on HBO.
4. Ask “what is a gunfight?”
5. Request more funding from Congress with a “killer” PowerPoint presentation.
6. Wine & dine key Congressmen, invite DOD & defense industry executives.
7. Receive funding, set up new command and assemble assets.
8. Declare the assets “strategic” and never deploy them operationally.
9. Hurry to make 1345 tee-time.

US Navy Rules For Gunfighting

1. Go to sea.
2. Drink coffee.
3. Watch porn.
4. Land the Marines.
(And in the interest of full disclosure: the old man spent 30 years in the Navy, and I spent 6 in the Air Farce, I mean, Force. – M. Bane)

(Not to mention Caleb Giddings, now (in)famous .25 Beretta and cup of coffee combo!)
Please address any in-appreciation of humor with the Messrs. listed above.
I wouldn’t approach Mr. Giddings, though, coffee is hot!

h/t Mark Moritz, Gullyborg, Michael Bane, Caleb Giddings

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…