Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

She stood perfectly still under the harsh and unrelenting glare of a single spotlight. In the smoke-filled room, loosely gathered around her, sat a circle of men. All silent now, they watched her with looks of hungry expectation.

While she couldn't see their faces, she felt their eyes on her. And their need.

With a small smile she stepped forward. One slender arm, sheathed in a long silk glove the colour of midnight, reached out and took hold of the microphone in front of her, pulling it close to her lips.

She closed her eyes and began to sing...

That's how tonight should have been.

Maybe next time.

Happy New Year everyone.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

This PI's New Year's Resolutions

Yes, Dear Reader, it's amost the end of yet another year. And, hopefully, the world as we know it - but I'm not holding  my breath.

Going by how things went this year, I can only imagine that I will further embrace the cliche that my life has become: Deadbeat PI. At your service.

Perhaps I should make an active effort to be the master of my destiny?

With that in mind, here are a few of my own personal goals for the coming year.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Novel Marketing Strategy for 2012

It's almost another year done and I've been giving next year some thought.

Quite a lot of thought, actually. (This was my thinking for 2011, but I got sidetracked).

In particular, I've been thinking about focussing on particular services towards a single sector: Corporate Investigations.

That's where the money is at. It certainly doesn't seem to be with the usual deadbeat clients I seem to attract, that's for sure.

Now, what's the best way of getting the attention of some of these key decision-makers...?

Adventures in Banjo Country

I always get the interesting jobs. And by 'interesting', I mean the difficult, tricky, inopportune, or generally just unpleasant ones.

Sometimes, if I'm really lucky, a combination of the above.

So, there I was the other evening, contemplating the free time I had ahead of me when the phone rings. It's one of my regular clients and they have an urgent job for me which needs to be done this evening...

It's not like I have a life, right?

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Season's Greetings

I'd like to wish all my readers a heartfelt 'Merry Christmas' and joyous greetings for the Festive Season.

Yes, I'd like to.

But since my Christmas is turning out to be a non-event thanks to douchebag clients who close up shop for the year without paying their bills, I'm all out of Christmas cheer! I'm out of other things too, hopefully some kind souls will feed me over the coming days.

Bah fucking humbug!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

If you're not cop, you're little people.

Sadly, this belief seems to be deeply ingrained within some of our law enforcement brothers (and sisters). Worse, it is all too evident in some whose position is in a 'customer service' role. They are the first contact a citizen has with the constabulary, when coming forth to make a complaint.

You'd think that perhaps that perhaps the police might give these staff some special training in regards to effectively dealing with the public in a manner that won't alienate or mariginalise them?


Friday, December 09, 2011

Do not adjust your set...

It appears that I forgot to renew the domain for INSIYHAL and it expired about a week ago.


In my defence, I have been a bit busy. You know, investigating and stuff.

Anyway, things are back to normal now and I'll have some more tales of woe to post shortly.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Surveillance Woes - 3rd Party Awareness

Just recently I had a simple surveillance tasking that went relatively smoothly - apart from being accosted by a Third Party at the very end when about to wrap up the operation.

Now, while this may happen occasionally, it can usually be dealt with by a convenient cover story.

But not this time.

No, this time I was accosted by a jumped-up lickspittle with ideas above his station. 

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Trash no longer!

You will be relieved, Dear Reader, to know that I am no longer residing in the caravan (or trailer, as my American friends would say). My Rockford days are over.

Having said that, I am slightly sad for having moved on. It wasn't all quite as bad as I had anticipated.

Now I have moved into the swanky bachelor pad/office shared with Pedro the PI as we are also now working together, along with another investigator. 

Things are on the up!

Serious as...?

This, Dear Reader, is an example of how my inherent cynical nature and scepticism can sometimes count against me.

Even I, on occasion, can be wrong.

Today was one of those days.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

More things that get my goat: Property Investors

I have to admit, nothing gives me satisfaction quite as much as being part of the process of bringing a person down a peg or two - particularly if said person is a bit of a douchebag.

Like property investors.

Not content with their new-found wealth, they always seem to be hungry for more and eventually take that one risk too many which the market cannot sustain. They are the very epitome of greed. Worse, they have the arrogance but without any actual talent. Kind of like the Kardashians.

And then, like the Right Hand of Karma, someone like me comes knocking at their door with documents of their pending bankruptcy or foreclosures.

Such as this morning for one Sarah Nichols* of Submarine Property Investments*.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Working undercover

Right. This time I have another question to pose the investigative community concerning undercover work.

There may be a possibility that I am to assist a colleague who has an out-of-town assignment requiring the placement of an undercover operative posing as a new hire. The client manages a warehousing operation where it is believed a ring of employees is stealing stock to order. The undercover operation is to identify and, if possible, inflitrate the ring to get enough evidence to lead to arrests and successful prosecutions.

All well and good, except this position requires some some specific licences in order to (legally) carry out its duties: ie driving forklifts and other such vehicles.

Can you see the nature of this problem?

Monday, October 31, 2011

Full disclosure?

Here's something a little bit different; a question aimed at other private investigators out there.

When you are in a social setting and someone asks what it is you do, do you tell them you are a PI?

Recently, I have had several people comment to me that they would have thought I would not have disclosed my profession given it's secretive nature.

It's not like I'm some Nazi spy though, is it?

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Show me the money

That's it, Dear Reader, I have finally had enough!

I have previously blogged about my frustrations with dealing with tyrekickers who just waste my increasingly precious time (and not endless patience),

Well, no more!

I have discussed the matter with a colleague who has recommended that I charge prospective clients for initial consultations. The charge is non-refundable and irrespective of whether they engage my services.

Marvellous idea! Yes, it may deter some potential clients, but I figure it will only deter those who aren't committed to their own cases and otherwise are penny-pinching tightwads.

Fuck 'em.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Things That Really Get My Goat - #1 - Unlicenced Investigators

As anyone that knows me will tell you, I'm normally a placid and carefree individual who holds to a laissez-faire philosophy on life. People who don't know me might insinuate that I'm just lazy and generally can't be arsed. As I said, they don't really know me.

From time to time, Dear Reader, the calm surface of the mill-pond that typifies my serene state is disturbed by bloody great big ripples of rage. Yes, even I get pissed off about things once in a while. I'm only human, after all.

So, what kind of things get my goat?

I'll tell you what...

Unlicenced Investigators!

Monday, October 03, 2011

Why bother?

I have to admit, Dear Reader, that I have been a little remiss with updates recently. I can't really say that I've been all that busy, hence my silence.


The truth is that circumstances are becoming a little dire - very few new clients and several current recurring clients are closing down their respective operations so no more future work from them.

Not very happy days at all.

And then there are those 'clients' like Velma.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

I told me so...

I generally prefer meeting clients at either their place or, when that's not appropriate, at a cafe where there are discreet corner tables or booths so as to discuss their case without being overheard.

While I have recently organised a new office, shared with another PI, I don't want to give out this address to just any prospective client without knowing a bit more about them as  I will soon be living here as well.

I  certainly do not want too many people knowing where I live, for the obvious reasons, so will probably continue to meet clients in cafes and the like.

And so, today, I met Velma by arrangement at a quaint cafe by the seaside. By quaint I, of course, mean tired and run down which, I guess, really is just typical of this part of town. Time stood still here sometime in the mid-70s. My tea certainly tasted as if it were freshly brewed then. I didn't finish it.

Friday, September 02, 2011

The threat is in the mail

Well, Dear Reader, I've just received my very first threat of litigation.

Earlier this year, I commented on an online forum where another agency had posted a job offer. They, however, stipulated that to qualify for the position, the applicant would have to undertake a 3-day in-house training course at the cost of over $3000.00.

I questioned whether such an offer might not be seen as unethical. After all, if an employer wants their employees to work to a particular methodology, then they should be training their employees at their own expense. Also, how long would it reasonably take to recoup such an outlay?

Here is his response:

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A joke's a joke...

But, seriously, why does it have to happen to me?

I receive a call this morning from a woman who wanted to make an appointment for next week to speak with a Private Investigator.

"Righto", I said. Would she like me to meet her at her place or somewhere else that is convenient?

"No", she replied. She wanted to meet at my offices.

Luckily, I have a new office (of sorts), so I gave her the address and then it all went horribly wrong...

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

An offer I can't refuse...?

I've recently had an enquiry that starts out innocently enough: locate the current whereabouts of a woman who is believed to have entered the country with her child, in contravention of a Court Order from her country of origin in favour of her ex-husband's custody of the child.

I say "starts out innocently enough" because I was contacted by a Russian Tractor Factory on behalf of the father as he is a major client of theirs.

Call me uncharitable, but while this Tractor Factory is most likely entirely legitimate and above-board, the very first thing that comes to mind is the Rossiyskaya Mafiya (Рoссийская мафия).


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Did you hear the one about the lawyer...?

So, a lawyer drives into the back of my car.

True story!


Deemed a 'no fault' accident as we were both reversing. Even though I saw him and stopped while he continued.

Oh well, at least insurance covers it.

Like sands through the hourglass...

Guess who called today requesting we meet next week to discuss her case?


I wonder if the sound of me repeatedly smacking my head against the brick wall was discernable from her end of the line?

Rather charitably (but that's just the kind of guy I am), I suggested that she call me next week - the day before the proposed meeting - to confirm her attendance.

Poll is now open. Will Gladys keep the appointment or will she cancel at last minute? Again.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Pants on Fire #2

Some people are really so stupid, they make dirt look smart.

I had a repo job that the client'd been hounding me to get done for ages. Deadbeat debtor had been moving from one town to the next, and every time they find her current whereabouts, she'd always had a bunch of excuses. Now the'd found a new address for her.

You know how much I hate doing repos. This pretty much sums up why.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Monday WTF Files #1: Lies, Damned Lies, & Statistics

So there I was, just looking through Google Analytics to see what brings visitors to my blog, when I see that I had two (2) visitors this month who came to my site when searching for:

...wait for it...

Saturday, July 30, 2011

PI Mailbag - Answering Your Questions (or your money back)*

I recently received a query from a reader that I felt was worth sharing with everyone, since it's a topic that deserves some thought and even input from other readers.

That would be you.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Interesting but a little depressing

I've just had a look at some statistics and have learned that my totally anonymous blog gets around 3.5 times the traffic that my not anonymous at all business website does.

The one where I try to actually, like, get clients and (eventually) money from...

Colour me bemused.

Don't worry, I'm not about to go out and cut myself over it. Or someone else.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Oh I am so going to that Special Hell

Perhaps I'm just getting too jaded and too cynical.

So there I was, braving the crowds at a local shopping mall, taking a look at the closing down 3-for-2 sale at Borders, when I noticed a reduced to sell copy of the book 'Madeleine' by Kate McCann.

But, seriously, what I actually saw was this...

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A sneak peek into the high-risk, action-packed world of...


 ...Fraud Investigations? Seriously?

Well, it's reality TV so it must be true.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Happiness is.....?

An open door. Or at least a lock that will open.

Recently it was my birthday. You didn't have to get me anything, which is just as well as you didn't.

That's okay, I bought myself a few tools instead - mainly to replace ones I had lost recently. And one of my first purchases was the Peterson 'Government Elite' lockpick set.

As I have mentioned previously, there are some very limited circumstances where I have the legal right to enter a premises - whether or not the occupants are there. Rather than calling out a locksmith, or beaking a window, I generally resort to picking a lock.

Or at least trying to.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Reaction time is a factor in this so please pay attention

"Describe, in simple words, only the good things that come into your mind. About your mother."

If being a PI has taught me nothing else, it's this Single Truth of Human Nature: people lie. And, being a PI, people lie to me.

A lot.

They do it for all sorts of reasons, some nefarious, others not. Sometimes people lie because they think it's what a friend should do.

Remember Crystal?


If you have been following the current News of the World saga, you may have heard about Jonathon Rees, PI extraordinaire. 

If you haven't, and even if you have, you really should read this article on Rees published in the Guardian.

I stand amazed at his impressive accomplishments -

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Why me?

Tyre kickers.

For those of you unfamiliar with this term, it is in reference to someone who, with no real intention of procuring your goods or services, will waste a great deal of your time and energy sounding you out in order to obtain as much free advice as possible.

You may recall, I actually started this blog over a year ago after receiving this sort of run-around from The Crack Whore - Part 1 (Part 2 and Part 3).

As with Gladys (not her real name), pictured. Well, seeing that I've not actually met her in person, this is a close approximation of her appearance cleverly deduced from our recent phone conversations.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Refusal may offend

I love language, with all its nuances, subtleties, and hidden meanings. And I love how some people will do their damnedest not to call a spade a spade, even to the last.

Let's take Crystal (most assuredly not her real name), who is currently the subject of an investigation regarding some irregularities around an insurance claim.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Local investigator killed in mysterious crash

Authorities are puzzled by the lack of clues in the fatal motor vehicle accident that claimed the life of local investigator, Eddie Chekhov*. Mr Chekhov's vehicle was found engulfed in flames on the side of the road early yesterday evening.

Although early in the investigation, it has been revealed that there were no likely explanations for the accident. No other vehicles had been seen on the road prior to discovery of Mr Chekhov's SUV, nor was there any indication of a collision. 

Mr Chekhov was identified through dental remains.

Police appeal for any witnesses to come forward.

* Not his real name

Friday, June 24, 2011

Off to the Land of Milk and Honey...

Now I'm not a piper, pied or otherwise, but I think it's a good idea for you to follow me.

Not literally as that would just be creepy. Nothing like if I followed you. (I have a licence, do you?)

I mean through either Twitter or Facebook.

What's in it for you? Cool stuff and fun prizes*.

And don't come running to me if your children start disappearing...

*Cool stuff and fun prizes void where prohibited. Stuff may actually not be cool, prizes may not even be fun. Or even existent. Kind of like God.  

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The importance of a support network

You may recall, Dear Reader, an earlier post where I decried my friends as not living up to the ideal as set by Rick, TC, or even Higgins.

Since then I've mentioned Saul Danson, Boy Valentine, Manson and a few others and you are probably wondering who they are and how they fit into my adrenaline-packed world of nonstop adventure?

With that in mind, I intend to devote a special section to these very special people over the next few weeks so that you too may get to know them better.

I'm sure they'll be pleased with this honour.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

PI-noir fashion

Fellow investigator Thomas H. Humphries (that *is* his real name) of [FIND] Investigations is a man of the cloth.  A sartorial aficionado, not that other sort...

As such, he regularly posts on the topic of the 'sartorial sleuth' on his blog and a recent discussion on bow ties got me thinking.

What should the dapper PI about town be wearing?

It's not paranoia if someone *is* out to get you

After a noticeable absence, I get hit by not one but two members of the Tinfoil Helmet Brigade at once. Perhaps, not by coincidence either, the recent full moon had a part to play?

First there was Mrs Dumont* who is the victim of a conspiracy that incorporates her brother and a number of individuals in positions of authority.

And then there is Mrs Milfoy* who is being targeted by Mossad or the FSB or someone with the resources to follow her around the country over the past 8 years.


Monday, June 20, 2011

Futatsu de jubun desu yo!

"Give me four."

"Futatsu de jubun desu yo."

"No. Four. Two, two, four."

"Futatsu de jubun desu yo."

"And noodles."

While  it's not 2016 in a darkly dystopian Los Angeles, we're not too far off, apart from geographic location of course. At least it's wet and miserable today.

Having completed a tricky job early this morning (I'm over jumping 6' fences in the rain!) I think it's time for a well-deserved treat of sushi while I wait for the next big case.

Also, I know I've been remiss in posting lately, Dear Reader. Never fear, there have been a few things worth writing about and I'll soon have them up. As you will see, it's been a bit hectic here so I hope you will bear with me.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Life not quite imitating art

"It's Laurie at the trailer park. A space opened up. Do you want me to save it or are the cops going to let you stay where you are?"

Well, it finally happened.

Due to circumstances beyond my control, I have moved into a 15' caravan, currently parked on the front lawn of my host, Manson.

Rockford Files or just rock bottom?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A Comedy of Errors

Sometimes, things just don't stand a chance of going according to plan.

Just a routine repo job for some industrial equipment squirelled away to a remote location. What could possibly go wrong?

Quite a lot of things, actually, as it would transpire.

Knowing your worth

I have to admit, Dear Reader, that a recent episode has left me scratching my head. I'm not sure whether I should be morally outraged or justifiably pleased with a job done well.

I'll let you be the judge.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Another Product Review: Handheld A4 Document Scanner

Okay, I'm not sure what the actual brand of this scanner is as it seems to be one of those types of electronic gadgetry that is branded with a number of different names.

Here it is as the VuPont Solutions PS410 600DPI Color & Mono Handheld Scanner.

So, what did I think of it?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Product Review: Canon PIXMA iP100 Portable Printer

I know you are all waiting breathlessly for my reviews of recently acquired gadgets and I don't wish to disappoint.

Well, after a couple of months use of the Canon PIXMA portable printer, here are my thoughts; good, bad, and indifferent.  

Thursday, April 21, 2011

They don't advertise for killers in a newspaper

Sushi, that's what my ex-wife called me. 

Cold fish.*

 I don't have an ex-wife, or even a current wife for that matter. But as I like to say (usually at weddings), I'm actually in the marriage business. Well, I'm usually called in more towards the end rather than the beginning but it's the same tired old game...

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Life imitating art - or at least TV

For those of you that remember The Rockford Files between 1974-1980, starring that old stalwart James Garner, you may recall the peculiar living circumstances of the main character.

He lived in a 50' trailer.

Granted, he had a beachfront view, but it was still a trailer.

Now I'm not one to begrudge someone's 'alternative' life choices if they decide that conventional four walls doesn't suit them. In fact one of my best friends, Saul Danson (not his real name), is committed to his free-spirited lifestyle unconstrained by standard conventions. Never mind that it's been quite some years since his house bus has moved anywhere and the area around it is as well-developed as an established garden in front of any normal house.

But that's another story.

The reason I bring this up is that it may be my own future living arrangement. My host, Manson, appears to be looking for ways to get me from sleeping on his couch and has mooted this possibility.

I guess if it's good enough for Rockford...

Friday, March 25, 2011

No resemblance, living or dead

Many of you, no doubt, wonder exactly what a dodgy private investigator looks like.

Some of you seem to, mistakenly, think that they may bear a striking resemblence to myself. (That's nothing but slander, Saul Danson!)

Well, here is a stunning example of a truly dodgy PI. No resemblance whatsoever.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Christopher Butler (his real name). You can read all about him and his sordid tale in this article by Peter Chooks at Diablo Magazine.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Rumours of my demise have been greatly exaggerated

Well, Dear Reader, you must excuse my tardiness in posting as I have been otherwise pre-occupied. You may have heard.

I was going to post my near-death experiences and tales of derring-do but, even a month on, I'm just tired of it all and prefer to think to the future rather than dwell on the past.

At 1251hrs on February 22, I made it out of my offices with literally the clothes on my back, the phone in my pocket, and my vehicle that was parked outside.

Actually, it was parked under the rickety fire escape and I was very surprised (and relieved) to find that the stairs hadn't collapsed on top of it. By all laws of probability, they should have.

Unfortunately, the scant items I left with pretty much comprised all my worldly possessions as the central city was locked down shortly thereafter, and I was unable to return. Not only are my offices and residence inside the designated red-zone, there is also a 'no-go' area at the heart of that area where, you guessed it, lies the building that once was dubbed "The Fortress".

That's where everything of substance I own, professionally and personally, remains.

All my wonderful tools. And notebooks. Oh, the humanity...

I have no idea when, or even if, I will be allowed to return and try to salvage anything. I don't even know if the building is still standing or whether it has been hurriedly demolished.

At the moment I am couch-surfing and trying to restart the business as best I can. To that end, I have scrounged together some items and now can boast a fully-mobile office. I can send and receive emails and faxes from the front seat of my car, scan documents with my hand-held scanner, and print up to 290 A4 sheets on my Canon Pixma ip100 portable printer.

I doubt I'll be working out of an office any time soon.

However, for the legalities of holding the necessary licences, I must have a place from which I conduct business - where said licences must be displayed. It's the law. Apparantly, 'of no fixed abode' just doesn't pass muster so I am on the hunt for a kindly and hospitable host who will be willing to put my licences up somewhere in their fine establishment.

Then I really would be that stereotypical PI who works out of a bar or cafe, kind of like Parker Kane. (In case you didn't see that particular gem, he had a whole booth at the diner).

I would try a strip club but, unfortunately, it was a couple of doors down from my office. I'd been given a full guided tour through it the day before, by sheer coincidence. For 'research' purposes only, you understand. 

While things are about as bad as they can get, I can't help but feel things will be better than before, in time. If I can survive this, the result will be a leaner and more efficient business.

So enough with the doom and gloom, I'm actually excited about what the future may hold - but I do hope I can at least rescue some of my personal possessions. It's not fun living out of a few plastic bags.

And on that note, please consider the recent events in Japan. If you are able, please make a donation.

Thank you.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

One Year On: A Contest - For Prizes*

That's right, Dear Reader, It's not stalking if you have a licence (INSIYHAL) has been around for one whole year this month and, to celebrate, why not have a contest for fun prizes?

What kind of contest you ask?

A haiku writing contest, naturally.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Here we are

We have finally made the transition to our own domain at so, if you've bookmarked our old blogger address, please update it now.

That is all.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Effective marketing for 2011

Sadly, I very much doubt this was a genuine advert by Bentley, but it should have been. It says it all, and in droves.

And it makes me think about my own marketing plans for the coming year.

Any ideas? (I'm out...)