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The Best of The Week

My dog has saved my life.

I don't mean in a way that makes headlines. He's never dragged me out of a burning building, or walked ten miles to the nearest house to lead someone to where I'm trapped in a ravine.

But there have been plenty of nights that I could sleep because I know he can hear better than me, and will wake me up if something happens outside. And plenty of mornings that the only thing getting me out of bed, not holidays or due dates or court dates, is making sure he gets fed and taken out to piss.

And there are a lot of days where the only thing I can count on is him. Not even myself. He's there when nobody else is, or can be, or is allowed to be. He doesn't ask questions, he doesn't offer solutions, he doesn't even try to understand; he's just there. And he has an uncanny ability to know exactly when I want a hug and when the best thing he can do is watch the door for me.

He's smart as a dog has ever been, and whatever life put…

Gobbing is the practice of audience members spitting on a band as a form of applause.

Gobbing is a fine tradition of punk music, and more specifically the UK punk music scene in the 70s and 80s. Legend has it that the practice started when Rat Scabies from the band Damned objected to an audience member throwing a beer at him, and spit in his face in response. There are also reports of Damned attending other band's gigs and spitting on them from the mosh pit

Quite often rogues seem inherently more interesting than the staid and worthy. Perhaps that is why I've spent more time than I should in researching a long-dead ne'er-do-well great uncle. During that genealogical quest I came across the California Prison and Correctional Records, 1851-1950 and indeed I did find my uncle in those records.

However, I got side-tracked when I saw the…