“May have been the losing side. Still not convinced it was the wrong one.”


"This report is maybe 12-years-old. Parliament buried it, and it stayed buried till River dug it up. This is what they feared she knew. And they were right to fear because there's a whole universe of folk who are gonna know it, too. They're gonna see it. Somebody has to speak for these people. You all got on this boat for different reasons, but you all come to the same place. So now I'm asking more of you than I have before. Maybe all. Sure as I know anything I know this, they will try again. Maybe on another world, maybe on this very ground swept clean. A year from now, 10, they'll swing back to the belief that they can make people . . . better. And I do not hold to that. So no more running. I aim to misbehave." ~ Captain Malcom Reynolds

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Ummm

Called out right at bath/bedtime for the kids tonight - three hours out in the sub-freezing cold dealing with what ended up not being a bomb, all because some guy has anger management issues.

I really hope this isn't a portent for the week to come.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

just saw Sherlock Holmes - absolutely delightful! Now out on a date night with my lovely wife :)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

No snark, pithy stories or humorous quips today.

Simply wanted to take a moment to wish a Merry Christmas to everyone out there who observes the same. May your day be joyous and time be spent with those you love.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Bath songs of a four year old...

Sung to the tune of "Frere Jacques/Are You Sleeping Brother John" and presented EXACTLY as sung:

"Where's my penis, where's my penis?
Here I am, here I am.
Chicka-chicka-boom-boom, chicka-chicka-boom-boom.
La la la, la la la."


To say his mother and I were near speechless with laughter is an understatement...

Monday, December 21, 2009

A note from your friendly, neighborhood bomb squad

So, in tonight's public service message:

- Should it be the holiday season...

- And should you not only send a package to the completely wrong address, but use a box which still has the labels on it from the various hazardous chemicals it originally contained...

- Furthermore, should it contain some electronics and such, of a sort that tend to make bomb techs a wee bit suspicious...

You will as a result attract the attention of your local police and fire agencies to a house, whereupon said bomb techs will gleeful blow said package up, sending Christmas presents of various forms and pieces all about the yard.

Oops.
Roads are 98% clear and people are still displaying a stunning inability to drive. I'm starting to think it is a chronic condition in this state.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Tactical junk question

So, looks like the Brits have chosen a new camo pattern...

Nice. But is it just me, or does their "rapidly researched and produced pattern" look EXACTLY like the Crye Multicam pattern that some of us have been using for a number of years now?

Just curious.

Working conditions

We've been experiencing a bit of disgruntlement at work lately amongst the rank and file... Some of it is economy-based (no raises, cuts in training budgets etc due to lack of funds), but honestly IMHO most of it is stupidity-based. A few officers have done some tragically, even criminally stupid stuff recently, the department has had to make some blanket changes and policies to address them, and folks aren't seeing the big picture. I've done what I can to share my thoughts with coworkers, but a lot of it will just take time and perspective. No place is perfect, but honestly a LOT of agencies have it much worse than us.

For example, take the Philadelphia Police Department. They've spent the past six months working without a contract, due to union negotiations, and have finally got one in place. Which puts them under conditions I can't even imagine.

Sure, they keep their healthcare. No raises this year, but they get small ones the next two. A few other provisions for both sides. But here's the big one:

The city & department have the ability at will to furlough any officer, without reason, for 30 days a year. No pay, no pension contributions or any of that, and no justification - just because they want to save some money, and here's a way to do it. Never mind the effect on public safety, officer safety, or morale.

Imagine at YOUR job if tomorrow your boss could say "Oh, by the way, you're off all of January, have fun and hope those bills aren't too much for you." Imagine how most people would react if a company had that policy. But somehow it is acceptable here.

Yet another of the many reasons you will never see me working under a union system.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Friday is here!

A long academy week is over - they did well, but I'm exhausted. A full day of yelling during tactical drills & sucking down just as much (if not more) gas than they did doesn't help. But, it's the weekend at last.

And, in our weather note, I think CrankyLitProf sums it up nicely for us as well...

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Today's gun safety note

For the shooters out there - from today's class at the range.

Yes a .40 S&W round will chamber in a .45 ACP pistol - it will even fire. However, said casing will rupture and fail to extract afterwards, necessitating a manual punch with a rod.

Fortunately for the shooters no one was hurt by this.

Pay attention when loading - sometimes rounds get mixed up folks.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

...

Long, rough week already. A really bad arthritis attack going on, which I hope the doc can help with tomorrow. Haven't slept well in several nights for some reason. And the group I'm helping teach at the range this week apparently consumes a full cup of dumbass every night...

On the other hand, in a first today, the elderly metrosexual cat of the house Sebastian wandered in proudly with a caught mouse tonight... not sure where it came from, and he was sure pissed at having to give it up.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Young son is hanging out in the office as I work, and just asked me to put on "The Lord of the Rings" audiobook. Daddy is proud!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Politically correct carols

Email from a Brit friend:

The Rocking Song
Little Jesus, sweetly sleep, do not stir;
We will lend a coat of fur,
We will rock you, rock you, rock you,
We will rock you, rock you, rock you:

'Fur is no longer appropriate wear for small infants, both due to risk of allergy to animal fur, and for ethical reasons. Therefore faux fur, a nice cellular blanket or perhaps micro-fleece material should be considered a suitable alternative.

Please note, only persons who have been subject to a Criminal Records Bureau check and have enhanced clearance will be permitted to rock baby Jesus. Persons must carry their CRB disclosure with them at all times and be prepared to provide three forms of identification before rocking commences.'


Jingle Bells
Dashing through the snow
In a one horse open sleigh
O'er the fields we go
Laughing all the way

'A risk assessment must be submitted before an open sleigh is considered safe for members of the public to travel on. The risk assessment must also consider whether it is appropriate to use only one horse for such a venture, particularly if passengers are of larger proportions. Please note, permission must be gained from landowners before entering their fields. To avoid offending those not participating in celebrations, we would request that laughter is moderate only and not loud enough to be considered a noise nuisance.'


While Shepherds Watched
While shepherds watched
Their flocks by night
All seated on the ground
The angel of the Lord came down
And glory shone around

'The union of Shepherds has complained that it breaches health and safety regulations to insist that shepherds watch their flocks without appropriate seating arrangements being provided, therefore benches, stools and orthopaedic chairs are now available. Shepherds have also requested that due to the inclement weather conditions at this time of year that they should watch their flocks via CCTV cameras from centrally heated shepherd observation huts.

Please note, the angel of the lord is reminded that before shining his / her glory all around he / she must ascertain that all shepherds have been issued with glasses capable of filtering out the harmful effects of UVA, UVB and Glory.'


Little Donkey
Little donkey, little donkey on the dusty road
Got to keep on plodding onwards with your precious load

'The RSPCA have issued strict guidelines with regard to how heavy a load that a donkey of small stature is permitted to carry, also included in the guidelines is guidance regarding how often to feed the donkey and how many rest breaks are required over a four hour plodding period. Please note that due to the increased risk of pollution from the dusty road, Mary and Joseph are required to wear face masks to prevent inhalation of any airborne particles. The donkey has expressed his discomfort at being labelled 'little' and would prefer just to be simply referred to as Mr. Donkey. To comment upon his height or lack thereof may be considered an infringement of his equine rights.'


We Three Kings
We three kings of Orient are
Bearing gifts we traverse afar
Field and fountain, moor and mountain
Following yonder star

'Whilst the gift of gold is still considered acceptable - as it may be redeemed at a later date through such organisations as 'cash for gold' etc, gifts of frankincense and myrrh are not appropriate due to the potential risk of oils and fragrances causing allergic reactions. A suggested gift alternative would be to make a donation to a worthy cause in the recipients name or perhaps give a gift voucher.

We would not advise that the traversing kings rely on navigation by stars in order to reach their destinations and suggest the use of RAC routefinder or satellite navigation, which will provide the quickest route and advice regarding fuel consumption. Please note as per the guidelines from the RSPCA for Mr Donkey, the camels carrying the three kings of Orient will require regular food and rest breaks. Facemasks for the three kings are also advisable due to the likelihood of dust from the camels' hooves.'


Rudolph the red nosed reindeer
Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer
had a very shiny nose.
And if you ever saw him,
you would even say it glows.

'You are advised that under the Equal Opportunities for All policy, it is inappropriate for persons to make comment with regard to the ruddiness of any part of Mr. R. Reindeer. Further to this, exclusion of Mr R Reindeer from the Reindeer Games will be considered discriminatory and disciplinary action will be taken against those found guilty of this offence. A full investigation will be implemented and sanctions - including suspension on full pay - will be considered whilst this investigation takes place.'

Fun & games

The children have been in full demon-spawn mode the past two days - a chunk of it being full of energy & unable to get outside due to weather lately, the other part just a goal of challenging daddy I suppose...

Kyleigh just added a new trick to her arsenal. THINK she got it from her brother, but hard to say.

Whilst upstairs playing, getting into things she isn't supposed to and all that she reached the point I told her that it was time to go downstairs now thankyouverymuchyounglady! To which she replied "No! Kyleigh night night!" and jumped into her bed with some comically loud fake snoring sounds to prove she was asleep, no really daddy, trust me!

How does my wife survive this every day?
Test post formobile blogging

Just because


It's been way too long since we've had a good sheep joke on here.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Out of town

Not that I've been posting tons lately, but going to be out of town for a few days without net access. You all keep an eye on the place for me, k?

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Nice toys

Had a good day getting things done around the house and time with the family. Including finding a huge chunk of old trash to throw away or donate... all in all quite productive. Then followed by a nice meal and quiet time with my wife - after this past few weeks we both needed it.

Now we're sitting together watching King Arthur on the big screen plasma TV - still amazes me the difference the HDTV makes in picture, sound and all of that... love my technology toys!

Hope your evening is pleasant as well.

Pursuits

For the second time recently our agency was involved in a pursuit which ended with the offenders dead. Robbery suspects, who were observed committing another, struck one police vehicle & were armed at the time. Can't give more details than that, but that is plenty I would think.

So - debate for all out there - do we continue to allow police pursuits where people die?

Side one would say you already have an idea who these guys are, and find them later - don't risk the lives.

Side two says they have shown they are a danger to society and need to be captured, and they made their own choices.

Discuss, with supporting facts/thoughts...

Legal madness

Two parts of this story have me annoyed & wondering:

#1 - The judge wanted to delay sentencing because he was unsure of the rational of the sentencing guidelines??? Ummm is this his first day in the system or something?

More importantly, #2 - This is the guys SECOND child porn conviction? And he only got 4 years on the first? Something wrong with this.

Sorry, too much research out there shows that pedophiles and the like don't get reformed, it's just an ongoing cycle - so why are we leaving these folks free to offend again & harm other kids?

Market system

OK, when piracy has reached the point of having its own stock exchange, it is seriously time to start reconsidering how the international community is dealing with it...

What's next, will the Mexican kidnapping industry start trading folks like commodities?

Friday, December 4, 2009

Disasters

The rest of the family is out for the afternoon, so I'm catching up on some paperwork plus a few other things while I have the house to myself.

It's a good thing I'm better as a bomb tech than I am wrapping presents. The results are terrifying, even to myself - what is it about putting a roll of wrapping paper in my hands which removes every bit of competence and ability from my hands?

For the bibliophiles out there

A collection of customer encounters from a used & rare bookshop:

We are doomed! These are actual conversations with people, who in theory, should know better. Keep in mind, these people drive cars, vote and might even have jobs.

(phone call)

Do you buy books?

Yes. What do you have?

Reading books.

Reading books?

Yea. Books you read.

Ok. But I am not sure what it is you have.

I just said. Reading books. Do you buy them?

No. Thanks for calling.

(phone call)

I found a book "---" on your web site. It was written by my Uncle. I was wondering why it is so expensive? ($50)

It was inscribed and signed by him.

Why should I have to pay for his autograph? He's my Uncle, not yours!

(sigh... and no, she didn't buy it)



Click the link for the full list and more laughs...

Early morning

So the littlest one went and woke up at 6am today - she's getting used to a big-girl bed, so now is free roaming & requires that early adult supervision to avoid destroying the house. We snuggled up on the couch and made it through an episode of Firefly before Mommy got up for the day.

Then after my wife got dressed my brilliant son looks at her and said "Hey, that's the spaceship on Firefly!" as he looked at her shirt.

Guess it's going to be another shiny day!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Smiles

Tail end of a long, crappy day (as in, folks are lucky I couldn't say "I don't care if we're in the middle of space, get off my gorram starship RIGHT NOW")...

Then I walk in a home with two laughing children thrilled daddy made it back before bedtime, and a wife who made homemade cookies for all of us.

Can't end the day much better than that.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Funny/truthful email of the day

Source unknown but listed as a Vegas newspaper:

To the editor:

I don't understand why the White House is so upset about the two party crashers at Barack Obama's steak dinner the other night.

Is it really appropriate and politically correct to call them party crashers just because they trespassed on Mr. Obama? Does that make them criminals? Isn't that discrimination? Shouldn't they be rewarded for such bold and brave behavior? Maybe they were just trying to feed their family?

I would suggest that it's more appropriate to call them "undocumented guests."
Just because they weren't officially invited doesn't mean they should be treated like criminals. Maybe they should get free health care, free housing, free legal services and free White House green cards so next time they can enter legally. And they should be able to bring all of their relatives and family members, too.

How can Mr. Obama be mad at them just because they crossed over some arbitrary man-made border? They were there only to do the things that regularly invited guests didn't want to do. (Like hang out with Joe Biden.)

How can the White House punish these poor oppressed undocumented visitors?

Brian K. Shoemake

Shiny

I'm cool because I got my wife two nifty Serenity shirts today, along with a "Come to the dark side, we have chocolate" companion piece.

She's cooler because they're shirts she asked for, I didn't pick them out for her :D

It's fun living in a Browncoat house.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Saying Thanks

A quick note from the management.

Xerox is doing a great program right now. Please click on this link - it will let you choose a free postcard to send to a servicemember serving somewhere overseas, to say thank you.

Having been there I can tell you, even in these days of email and instant messages, getting something in the mail even from a stranger means a lot.

Show the men and women serving our country a moment of appreciation at this holiday season please. Thanks.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Officer down

Initial reports on the details are sketchy and unreliable, but by now everyone knows about the four officers killed today in Tacoma, Washington.

My prayers and thoughts to their coworkers and families in the days ahead.

Going to be one of those winters

Helped deal with the aftermath of another fatal accident today. At the same spot where a week ago the victim's granddaughter was killed in an accident.

Be careful out there people, please.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Un-fun calls

Worked another late shift last night - part extra patrol to help with the holiday crowds, part DUI hunt. In my typical fashion I waited til close to the end of the shift to find my drunk driver - some sort of curse I have apparently.

Fortunately I found him before he got in an accident and hurt anyone or himself; he was well over the limit and definitely in no condition to drive. The passengers weren't in any better state either.

The unfortunate part is that I know his father, who happens to have retired just a few years ago. Trust me, it's not a fun task to call up a friend at 1am to tell them that their son is in jail, the situation at hand and listen to that sigh of regret and frustration. He took it as well as can be expected, and without getting angry with his son or us for a bad situation overall.

Still wasn't a call I enjoyed making.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Ummm..... yeah

Seriously, if I've arrested you on felony charges, please don't call in to communications to leave me a Happy Thanksgiving message. Just kind of creepifying.

Kthxbi.

Giving thanks

I am thankful for a loving wife who has stuck with me through good times and bad, and who is my pillar of support and calmness when I need it.

I am thankful for my two incredible children, completely unexpected blessings who are brilliant, fun and growing wonders that I cherish every single day.

I am thankful for my health, for the doctors and medical care which enable me to continue to live and work when I could very easily be unable to.

I am thankful for a job I love, that lets me help people and challenge myself and in which I get to pass on my knowledge for others in the future.

I am thankful for those of you who read my ramblings, the comments you share and just having the outlet when I need it.

and I am thankful I live in a place where all of this is possible, where I have the freedoms to enjoy such privileges and rights.

May your day be filled with thanks as well.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

part three

Guess I could edit, but anyway...

part of today's fun was working on updating one of our lesson plans. Which included some time in google and wiki land digging up various pictures of past bombings and certain explosives. I feel sorry for the poor fed guy who thinks he has a good database hit until he pulls up my file and realizes I'm a bomb tech...

More Wednesday

Today continued well. Made the first batch of the winter chili, along with a big pan of cornbread. Everyone seemed to enjoy the meal.

Got some work stuff done on the computer, cleaned the kitchen and a few other things. Apparently this quiet day off stuff can be productive.

Already done

It's a pleasant relief to know that two days before the madness even starts all my holiday shopping is done.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

:(

Mongo tired. Long week. No muse. Much stupid.

Go sleep now, hope to blog soon.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Another poor choice

Sometimes folks ask me why I go after DUI's so much - why I'll go out of my way to try and find them when citizens call them in, why I put in the extra shifts to hunt them, even knowing how much of a pain everything will be come court time. I get asked why I can't just cut them a break, or give them a ride home, that it won't ever happen again.

But then folks will do things that put it back in my mind. Like the officer we had a couple of months back who got himself arrested for a DUI on his night off. Bad choices on his part, and as unfortunate as it is to say, I don't have a lot of sympathy for it. Especially when you are more than 3 times the limit - cop or not, you make certain choices and pay the consequences.

Well, last night was another of those reminders as well. Fortunately I wasn't working it, but got most of the details today. Nothing I'm posting that isn't in the papers, but I won't identify much more than that.

Seems one of our officers ended up going to stop a car. Said car decided to run instead of stopping - less than five minutes later the driver had managed to head-on into a tree and died at the hospital.

25 years old. Already on a suspended license for a DUI once this year. Alcohol a factor in this crash as well.

Not only did this young lady end her own life through a series of bad choices, but now her family & friends have to deal with the after effects as well. Plus the officer involved is dealing with things. Internal and media scrutiny, Monday-morning quarterbacking of his choices and everyone talking about him is one thing. But try to imagine how he's feeling as well - the thoughts in his head of what different that he might have done to change the ending, what he could have done in those five minutes that would have possibly altered a lifetime.

The driver made her choices, both in drinking, in choosing to drive, and in running from the police. Just like countless others do every night in some way. Hopefully someone else out there may look at the results of her choices, the ripples of destruction outwards that touch so many others, and instead of driving find another way.

But if not, I'll be making my choice as well - hoping to keep it from ending in disaster.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

So what did you do today?

Went in to work this morning for a quick meeting, then had just left and was trying to decide on which of several projects I have to work on I felt like digging into.

Then I got a call to take care of some old ordnance, and my plans for the day changed.





I get paid to blow stuff up, shoot guns, and play with a dog. Seriously, can it get any better?

Today's geek funny

Monday, November 16, 2009

I got nothing

Busy day here but nothing to really write about, plus my muse apparently took a brief vacation.

Back soon.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Needs to be said

A few of the blogs I read are having bits go around and around regarding terrorism, militant Islam, etc. Unfortunately some of those debates are getting rather heated & a few people IMHO have gotten blinded in a panic-mode response.

I just will say this - things like "The only solution is for Islam to be exterminated" sounds exactly like something that a few people got together around 70 years ago and had a shot at with another group...

Genocide is not the answer folks. It's hateful and stupid and closed-minded. From either side.

Find another way to solve cultural issues than by just eliminating one of those cultures.

Random

Long day here, so keeping this short.

Started out by getting a call on my way to teach at in-service. A potentially no-good, very-bad situation afoot, which fortunately turned out to be nothing more than a threat to do so, rather than the actual event. Sorry I can't write more about it than that.

Spent my afternoon and evening working a semi-off-duty assignment at one of the local university basketball games (both women's and men's teams). Not much of a sports fan here (meaning not really at all), but from what I observed both teams actually were playing with a great deal of sportsmanship and drive, as opposed to being a free-for-all like so many professional events you seem to read about. However, I made two more interesting (to me at least) observations during the events:

- What happened to people learning proper behavior during the National Anthem? While it was nice to see the crowd standing, and hats removed, I would say less than 10% of the people held their hands over their hearts (and probably only about 5% of the athletes themselves). Just found it curious.

- I'm not saying cheerleading has changed in the 20+ years since I was last in school, but the last time I saw dancing like that brass poles and dollar bills were involved. Plus, I'm really not sure at the point of cheerleading anymore - it certainly didn't seem like the crowd or the team paid them much more notice than any of the other folks on the sidelines throughout the games.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Great inside joke





Lovecraft would be happy!

Ack-ward moments

Stopped today at the store on the way home to pick up some things for dinner and soup for my wife (who isn't feeling so well). It was the tail end of a training day, so I wasn't in my regular uniform but still had the badge and gun showing so it wasn't hard to figure out who I happen to be.

So I get to the register and the young-ish cashier asks "Oh, are you an officer?"

"Yeah, I am. Just a job really," trying to head off any further conversation when I just want to get home and don't feel too chatty.

At which point she kind of giggles and says "Oh, don't be silly. Don't you know every girl has a thing for cops and firefighters?" This said with a strange smile as she rings up my order.

Now I would like to stress here that I really can't recall being hit on at work ever, especially because of my uniform and job - and I would like to think it's because I have generally worked the high-crime and drug project areas of town, and not because of any particular hideousness on my part thank-you-very-much! But I was starting to get slightly creepified by all this, as Jayne would say...

Figuring I would deflect whatever this was easily enough my response was "Ummm, sure, but everyone likes the firemen more, it's no big thing," trying to laugh it off.

"Not me! I like the cops, in fact I want to collect the whole set!" with what I can only say was an attempt at an alluring smile...

At this point I think I made the fastest grocery store exit by a paying customer in years.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veteran's Day

Today there are hundreds of thousands of men and women away from their homes, serving our nation and people. Millions more are still alive who have done so in the past.

They live without many of the conveniences, privileges and even freedoms that most of our society takes for granted. They are subject to being called up at a moment's notice to pack their bags, travel far away and be gone for however long when needed.

These men and women are currently fighting and dying overseas, and even in our own nation against those who would do us harm. More die each year in training accidents - because doing certain jobs is hazardous in an of itself, much less when under fire. Others have suffered injuries and wounds in both combat and peacetime which will burden them for the rest of their lives.

And, for almost the past four decades, every single one of these military members has done so willingly - has chosen to enlist and serve, be it for a short term or an entire career. They weren't drafted, they weren't forced - in fact they are given multiple opportunities to make sure that the decision is done willingly before they ever commit.

From the lowest ranked person stuck doing what some would see as a thankless, menial job to the highest ranked officers rubbing shoulders in Washington, these people have placed the needs and good of others ahead of their own. Be it for patriotic reasons, a need to challenge themselves, or the chance for an education otherwise unobtainable, they swore an oath and followed through to protect and defend this nation (and often others), and to pay the sacrifices needed to do so, even with their own lives.

As I've said before, I am proud of my service. I was fortunate to have opportunities I would have never encountered otherwise, to go places and meet people literally around the world, and to learn about who I am and what I am capable of when need be. I've also had the privilege of meeting and learning from those servicemembers throughout my career. My fourteen years in the Navy helped make me who I am today in every way, to include introducing me to the woman who would become my wife and the mother of our children.

So - to every Sailor, Marine, Soldier and Airman out there - thank you. Whether you are serving now, or have moved on, I am grateful that you gave of yourselves. For my friends who have given the ultimate sacrifice throughout the years, I pray you are at peace and know that you will never be forgotten.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The joys of community

Despite the fact that the internet is a much larger place these days than long ago, when to even get on a BBS you had to know a bit more than where the power switch was, it's still a joy to find a community of intelligent, broad-knowledged people who are able to converse and help on a variety of topics. Case in point is the fact I recently did a Linux install on the laptop, just because I felt like trying it again as opposed to to messing with another Windows upgrade. Ran into a few wireless networking issues, and in a very short span of time on the gunblogger conspiracy channel I was able to get the problem resolved with the help of folks who didn't even need to look up the solutions & were more than happy to take the time just because.

Always nice to have friends, even if you never meet them in person.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Credit where due


Taken from Roberta -

Good to see, thank you for standing up for what is right.

EDIT - Apparently the picture didn't come out too clearly to read - the Islamic Society of North America issued a condemnation of the Ft. Hood murders and I wanted to make sure they received full credit for doing so. Too many times we have criticized the Islamic community for when they have not spoken against such things - I wanted to make sure we give equal credit to a group that does.

And, for those not aware, this is the largest Muslim organization in North America.

Moments from policing...

For the first time in far too long I found myself working this afternoon with nothing pressing on my "to-do" list - so I spent some time just driving around and helping the road units with a couple of calls. Most of it was pretty quiet, but I did end the day helping catch a shoplifter from one of the local malls. This was fun & memorable for the following:

- Discovering that apparently as the former diver on the call, I'm the guy who gets to chase said shoplifter into the retaining pond and stream when they get scared and stuck. Hey, somebody had to do it & they were all looking around with that stare of trying to figure out how to avoid getting dirty.

- While Gore-tex lined water-resistant boots are a great joy in most situations, they have one downfall: they do just as good of a job keeping water in after they are submerged. Not clean, pretty water either, but an afternoon of feet soaking in green scummy water til I got home. Hopefully the good wash and soak will have them back to new.

- Apparently boosting a selection of clothing for your significant other's birthday is considered OK these days. Guess that helps with the holiday budgeting.

- When said perpetrator has items from three different stores stolen over a period of days it's going to be an annoying report to write. Glad I got to hand that part back to the road guy.

- No miss, your prior "indecent exposure" charge I can guarantee you was not simply because your skirt was too short, no matter what story you're trying to tell me. I'll bet my next two paychecks that it's because you were turning tricks to pay for your habit, just like today's little adventure stemmed from.


All-in-all it was a fun afternoon and was nice to just play simple police stuff for a day.

Off to cook dinner and spend time with the munchkins to give the wife a break.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Ft. Hood

First, my thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families at this time. May those who are gone be at peace, and those wounded recover quickly.

Second, Ofc. Munley has hopefully forever resolved the argument on the abilities of women to be good cops. Her quick actions and bravery kept this from being a much worse scenario for everyone. May she also recover quickly and return to the job she obviously loves.

Plenty of other folks are already discussing the pitiful fact that none of these soldiers was able to protect themselves, as well as the curiosity about the lack of an investigation into the shooter despite numerous warning signs which should have raised flags. I'm curious as to how much of that had to do with certain changes in priorities which have been pushed through in the past year...

Also interesting is some of the data not making it to the U.S. media. The Telegraph is reporting a possible connection between the shooter and the 9-11 hijackers - something tells me that even more will be coming out as the investigation progresses. Whether this was a lone player, influenced by others, or part of a conspiracy, the fact is that jihadist terrorism has once again struck on U.S. soil.

Finally, as an active shooter instructor for my department, I hope that other agencies took note of the successful resolution before more deaths - entering as soon as possible and engaging the suspect saved lives, as opposed to just setting up a perimeter and waiting.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Cowboy advice

Can't say I've always lived by 'em, but worth remembering...

* Your fences need to be horse-high, pig-tight and bull-strong.

* Keep skunks , bankers and lawyers at a distance.

* Life is simpler when you plow around the stump.

* A bumble bee is considerably faster than a John Deere tractor.

* Words that soak into your ears are whispered...not yelled.

* Meanness don't jes' happen overnight.

* Forgive your enemies. It messes up their heads.

* Do not corner something you know is meaner than you.

* It don't take a very big person to carry a grudge.

* You cannot unsay a cruel word.

* Every path has a few puddles.

* When you wallow with pigs, expect to get dirty.

* The best sermons are lived, not preached.

* Most of the stuff people worry about ain't never gonna happen anyway.

* Don't judge folks by their relatives.

* Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.

* Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you'll enjoy it a second time.

* Don't interfere with somethin' that ain't botherin' you none.

* Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a rain dance.

* If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop diggin'.

* Sometimes you get, and sometimes you get got.

* The biggest troublemaker you'll probably ever have to deal with, watches you from the mirror every mornin'.

* Always drink upstream from the herd.

* Good judgment comes from experience, and a lotta that comes from bad judgment.

* Lettin' the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier than puttin' it back in.

* If you get to thinkin' you're a person of some influence, try orderin' somebody else's dog around.

* Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God...

Update

My father-in-law came through his surgery ok - according to the doc things were actually pretty clean inside the torn muscle, so that should help the healing. Still, he will be out of commission for a few weeks with several months of rehab after that.

We appreciate all the comments and thoughts for him - I will be sure to pass along the well-wishes. Thanks all.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Good wishes please

My wife's father had a bit of an accident today, and will be going in for surgery tomorrow. I know that she would appreciate any prayers and good thoughts you could send that way.

I have other stuff to post about but think it will wait for tomorrow when we are all more rested.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

More fun

Spent the past two days putting together some nice training scenarios and teaching some new guys a few advanced demolition tricks. Got to blow stuff up, have fun and all that it entails... Yet again, hard to beat my job!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Review

Well done! First broadcast show I've watching in ummmmmmmmmmmmm yeah, that long - but I liked it. We'll see how it develops.

Though she and I both had to laugh at the irony of Alan Tudyk catching a stake through the chest in a sci-fi show... If we get any more cameos I may die laughing.

GARRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!

I DO NOT CARE ABOUT ANY POLITICAL CONCESSION SPEECH ENOUGH FOR YOU TO INTERRUPT MY GORRAM SHOW TO MAKE ME LISTEN TO IT!

As my lovely wife just said - this is why broadcast TV sucks.

Busy

No bloggy tonight - V is on.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Benefits package

Pretty much have to love a job where I spent the chunk of my afternoon shooting other people's ammo out of a full-auto weapon, and tossing the magazines around and generally abusing the whole package as part of a T&E process. Hard to beat that.

New music

Apparently all of us 80's remnants are influencing music again - Yay! Stolen link from Christina at Lucrative Pain, but here's a neat new song to take us all back...

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Random note

I'm guessing I've spent just a bit too long in the world of bombs, special weapons and all that stuff... When the wife asks about what I'm working on alongside dinner, and I explain it's a simulated device for the week's training cycle - and her only response is making sure I have all the stuff I need it must be a sign of something...

Rainy fall day

Woke up to a beautiful morning of rain and falling leaves, chilly enough to want to stay nice and warm without being so cold it's uncomfortable. Spent the first two hours snuggled up with the kids as they enjoyed a mix of morning shows and playing and laughing with daddy. My poor wife has finally come down with the crud which afflicted the rest of us, so we were able to let her sleep late and hopefully work towards getting better.

Nothing dramatic planned today, which I am thrilled with - let the kids play, do some reading and just have quiet family time. Work and normal life will return soon enough.

For today's funny link, Mr. Tayler has been talking with bomb guys again I see...

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Another recap....

Because my titling skills are completely absent today...

Finally got a chance to get out for another DUI special last night - this one was a road check, instead of out wandering around looking for drunks. Road checks are one of those luck things in my experience - what you come out of it with at the end of the night greatly depends on where you end up standing at any particular moment, and what car pulls up to you. Sometimes you get lucky with a good arrest, other nights you have a chance to meet a great many drivers who aren't impaired, who are licensed and upstanding citizens, and you can send them on their ways with hopefully a smile and minimal inconvenience. Either way is still a success in my book; even if I don't get a drunk off the road hopefully the fact we are out there will remind others of the risks and help them make good choices.

Anyway, last night ended up being one of the lucky ones. We've barely gotten into place and the first cars are coming into the line when I see the one that will be ending up in front of me; he's coming down the empty portion of the road in stops and starts as you can almost see the attempt to process what's happening and what he can do about it. Before he even gets to me I have a good idea where this is going, and it doesn't take more than a few seconds of our initial contact for me to confirm my suspicions. It isn't very long before we're taking the ride down to the jail for what ends up being a busy wait at the jail. Definitely made it nicer and a few of the other folks jealous that I picked mine up the very first car.

It did lead to other fun moments (like always). Yet again it amazes me the number of people I run into who think that mixing beer with heavy medication, or even just the medication, is ok to drive with - this was one of those where he even had the stuff with him labeled "Don't drive or operate machinery" - oh, but officer, I just HAD to go to the club for a bit, I was only a little dizzy... But apparently the world still thinks being incapable of driving due to medication is somehow less risky than being so because of alcohol. Of course this also adds to the procedures on my end, since I have to go get blood samples instead of just the breath test - we have a good system in place locally, but it is some more work.

Ended up with some frustrations with other officers as well, a few times I had to bite my tongue. Guys not searching prisoners properly, or treating them like buddies instead of like someone in custody; being casual and half-assed about paperwork and procedures, and just stuff that tends to otherwise get on my nerves. I do what I can to help remind folks but sometimes you can't get through to people.

Ended up being a bit later after that since I helped a coworker with his own arrest. His catch was a guy on a weekend away from the military, who apparently thought it would be nice to supplement his DOD pay with some drug distribution, concealed guns and all that... Not fun getting to call a duty officer in the middle of the night and explaining that one of their enlisted guys is in custody on numerous serious felony charges...

Off to take the kids for some museum fun time and a bit more Halloween. Hope everyone out there gets good sweets of some sort or another. My plans involve a quiet night at home with my wife, no costumes required...

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Tonight's lesson

When it's the tail end of a long, frustrating 11 hour training day, and your group is making the same stupid mistakes we lectured you on five hours ago, I won't feel particularly guilty about emptying a full magazine of airsoft rounds into your bodies during a scenario because you can't pay attention. Maybe it will stick in your minds this time and keep you alive out there on the road when it's for real, and throwing a tantrum about it not being nice or fair won't really impress me. TYVM.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Fan post



Dang it, just because of this clip now I'm going to have to watch the gorram show to see what it's about!

Monday, October 26, 2009

No post of note

Feeling off still - a combination of couldn't sleep last night & felt like crap so slept this morning - plus the poor kids are sick. Have a full schedule the rest of the week. So, can't think of anything to write worthwhile, sorry...

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sunday Funnies



Am I the only one who misses scary vampires?

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Saturday notes

Both munchkins fighting pink-eye, plus had a visitor with the flu this week - so when I woke up feeling crappy wife strongly suggested I head to the doc-in-a-box for a check - and continued doing so til I listened. Fortunately no flu or strep, so just have to deal with a few days of unspecified viral fun.

It did lead to the moment of explaining to the lab tech that if he didn't quit digging the needle into my nerve he was about to get hit - I think he finally got the point, but my arm STILL hurts hours later.

In other fun, it looks like the fraud issue from earlier this month is back - fortunately Wachovia caught it earlier (kudos to their customer service on this as well) & we have a hold on the account. Now just hoping we can find the folks & prosecute - at least it's not costing me any money.

That's it for my fun.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Funny text of the week...

Heard from a fellow bomb-squad member one that should make a few of you laugh. As follows:

Him: "So have you heard of geocaching? I hadn't until two hours ago when I blew up one of their finds thinking it was a pipe bomb..."

Me: "Yeah, I have some friends who do it even. Nice shootin' Tex."

For Meadowlark


This is all that is left of two of them - and yes it was good!

I'll have to check out the link you sent, thanks!

BTW - add coffee to your rubs, if you haven't already - it's a good addition...

Yummy

Just to make a few people jealous - my kitchen is STILL full of the scent of the two briskets I smoked for the party yesterday... perfect to wake up to on a cool fall morning!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Two years

Still playing catch-up from the trip, plus have family in town, so thus the absence of posting. Hopefully things will be calmed down in the next few days so I can catch up.


Sorry for the poor picture quality, but the little princess had her 2nd birthday party tonight (tomorrow is the actual date but the scheduling worked out better for tonight) - hard to believe it has gone by so quickly! The little baby who fit in my arm is now a squirmy, stubborn ball of energy who isn't afraid of anything. She's still most definitely daddy's girl though - and it was great that we had a house full of people, good food and plenty of smiles for her special day.

I hope they all continue to be as wonderful in your future Kyleigh!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Home again

Survived my week away, and home with my wonderful family. The kids were thrilled to see me, and my wife I know is happy for the assistance. Plus it was wonderful to cook a meal again and eat something healthy.

And in fairness to my last post - the bomb squad guys were just as amusing doing tactical entries during some of the events as the SWAT guys doing explosives. But everyone found a good common ground and got a lot out of the week.

Have a few stories to share when I get the chance, but for now I want to relax with my wife and then get a real night's sleep.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Thanks!

OK appreciate it all - I know I don't have room to whine, it was just one of those days.

Much better today - got some sleep and all that. Plus I got to enjoy watching a number of SWAT guys learning explosives math.... as my wife put it, there was some frustration with the "ugh, can't shoot it" guys... Gave me a few smiles though.

Anyway, thanks for the perspective ladies - I'll be better!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Whiny Travel Post

Didn't sleep last night, crappy hotel bed... though thankfully my teammate doesn't snore...

Long day sitting in a classroom just reviewing stuff I already know. Not enough caffeine to make it go fast enough.

Miss my family back home.

Traveling just isn't as funny as it used to be. Hopefully tomorrow is more fun.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Brief notes from a long week...

- Yet again it appears to be the season to cheat at the range... I've caught at least one person every time. WTF??? Apparently integrity and effort don't mean what they used to.

- Found out tonight that it looks like an online transaction somewhere recently got hijacked into some internet fraud. Right now it looks like I'm getting a "refund" from the company that made the charges - but I have more research to do and a report to file, and will mostly likely try to pursue some mail fraud charges. Plus this means my wife and I need to pull the credit reports and see if there is something we don't know about going on.

- Just when I'm almost caught up on things around the office from my last trip and vacation, I'm headed out of town again for a week. Much closer to home this time though, and I get to play with someone else's explosives, so it should be fun. Might even be able to swing some pictures this time.

- Poor Kyleigh seems to have picked up the flu I had before - just feeling a bit rough, but combine that with being two and she is quite unhappy when things don't go her way! Hopefully one more good night's sleep will help with that problem.

- Finally, although I've been trying to keep it quiet, apparently I'll be getting the Nobel prize for science sometime soon. Oh, I haven't actually DONE any research yet, but I have some nifty ideas for cybernetics in the future, and it's the thought that counts now...

Thursday, October 8, 2009

They chose.... poorly

I can guarantee you from my experience, the fiercest fighting during this battle was on who got to go play "catch the pirate" amongst the troops present.

Somewhere Blackbeard and others are spinning in their graves in shame...

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Another link in lieu of my own content

Because it's still one of those weeks.

Marko has another reminder of what a "right" actually is, reference some recent public debate.

Give it a read

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Good thoughts requests

Had a bit of a rant planned, but no room for it - my problems are minor.

It seems Peter over at Bayou Renaissance Man had a heart attack earlier, and is scheduled for triple bypass surgery.

Please take a moment to drop by and send the man some good wishes, letting him know we all hope he recovers quickly.

Thanks.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Software repair tip

Just so you all know, threats DO work...

Following a sudden, unexpected & completely random moment this morning whereupon my desktop decided to corrupt the sound card drivers & play no audio, I spent a few frustrating hours trying the standard fixes through Windows Update etc in order to get things back on track. I was just about at the point of deciding I would have to go ahead and go buy a new sound card etc, when I crossly inquired of the computer if perhaps it was time for a round through the chasis to correct the attitude...

For some reason the next patch straightened things out, and now the sound is back fine.

Just a tip to keep in mind...

Friday, October 2, 2009

Playing games

Had a frustrating day at the range this week - teaching, not shooting. Time for the semi-annual quals for everyone, and it was one of those groups that just didn't seem to take things seriously.

Police work has changed in the past years, and it's certainly not the culture of frequent shooters and such that it used to be. As many others have observed there are a great many cops these days that view their sidearms as more of a burden than an obligation, and don't take the time to practice with it any more than they are absolutely required to. Which, whether or not you are a fan of shooting, is simply negligent in my book - to neglect practice and preparation with one of the most important tools in your possession, particularly one that requires skill and judgment to use, is inexcusable.

Be that as it may, as I said this group was particularly frustrating. Not only were most of them not taking it seriously, but we had just about every sort of cheating possible. Folks trying to shoot extra rounds up close so they wouldn't have to risk missing further out. Another guy who kept trying to fake out putting his pistol all the way in the holster, so he wouldn't have to burn time trying to remember how to draw the gorram thing. People just going through the motions on everything & doing the minimums to get by. Then when they do BARELY pass do they feel concerned about what that means about their skills - nope - more just relieved that they are done for another six months.

Heck, when I confronted one guy about things his response was "Well, this is how I'd set things up if I was going to get in a gunfight, so why does it matter?" Because apparently he has the magical foreknowledge of exactly when an where he's going to ever be called upon to be faced with that sort of situation on the job.

Like I said, I just find it very frustrating. If you heard about a fireman who didn't keep his first aid skills up and someone died, you would be livid. Or a doctor who didn't maintain his knowledge for surgery. But for some reason far too many cops refuse to take seriously their own proficiency to be ready to use the tools of their profession. Just something I can't understand.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Two for one

Spotted this in the store last night for all the bacon fans out there - Bacon Adhesive Bandages PLUS Bacon Soap...


Monday, September 28, 2009

And so it begins...

Apparently the whole "genetic code/nature" thing is taking root already, as my boy displayed twice today.

Part one occurred at school, where my wife informs me he spent a good part of his outside playtime chatting up a young lady in the kindergarten class above him on the swing, to include taking her over to play with the little sister for bonus points and all that. Really, I didn't teach him any of it yet, honest - it just happened on his own from a very early age (heck, the boy tried to check under the pants of his older god-sister at his first birthday party...) - but I can see he's going to be a bit of a handful in that department.

Part two was an even better smile though. We went to the local "art district" to do a bit of walking around and grab dinner out for the family. While there we unfortunately found out that one of our local niche (sci-fi/mystery/children's) bookstores is closing down :( - but they had a good deal on closeout stock, so we spent some time browsing around. During which Jacob was determined to find books of his own as well - we have been blessed in that both of them have inherited our love of books. So, after looking around for a bit he comes back with a copy of The Boggart by Susan Cooper; not one I've read before but just reading the back cover and I was more than happy. All on his own not only did he pick a nice fantasy book, but one that looks (especially from the first chapter tonight) like it is very well based in Celtic myth and legend. So his taste in reading material is good as well.

Now I just have to dread the day his sister starts all this as well...

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Random meaningless post

Nothing really to update on - spent the weekend with my family, entertained & was worn out by my children, and just generally recovered from the flu. Read some books, watched some movies & even slept. It was a nice way to wrap up the vacation & get ready for next week.

Friday, September 25, 2009

semi-Retro

One of the downsides of the digital age is that I have found myself doing the majority of my music listening the past couple of years to either the songs I have saved to the computer, or to those on the iPod in the car. This means I've lost a little touch with the CD collection as it still stands - a number of things that never got moved en masse to the computer, and some of my more esoteric bits of the collection.

So lately I've taken to pulling random disks off the shelf to listen to as I cook, do dishes or other bits of kitchen work, it's worked out very nicely to touch base with things I've missed. Lately I've had a chance to remember what good albums Under Wraps and Stormwatch were by Jethro Tull, reconnect with the haunting Iberian-Celtic melodies of Luar na Lubre, and even enjoy a few of my old comedy albums.

It's been a nice change of pace for things and reminds me why I still keep the disks around.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Crud

Apparently I've picked up a chunk of the crud from Jacob's schoolmates... so feeling like crap, not much sleep last night, and have to shoot range quals tomorrow. Hopefully the Nyquil and a good night's sleep will help enough to get through.

Just one quick link from Officer.com on quite possibly the stupidest command staff decision I've read:


http://www.officer.com/web/online/Top-News-Stories/SC-Mayor-Bans-Police-Pursuits-on-Foot/1$48500

S.C. Mayor Bans Police Pursuits on Foot

Yeah, that makes sense - let's see how much money she saves the city when the first guy who runs kills someone and they get sued.

Freaking idiots.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Folllow-up

Wow, some great comments folks, I appreciate it. As opposed to keeping everything in that back link, I'm just going to share my thoughts here.

- First off I don't have an issue with "professional courtesy" as it were in most situations - for cops, fire, etc in law enforcement; just like the example used I wouldn't have an issue with two plumbers cutting a deal for some work. I've cut plenty of people breaks on tickets in my career - not just cops - but yes, if you're an officer & I stop you for a minor violation odds are you're going to just get a lecture. This has to do with not just professional courtesy, but with the fact that most agencies will have serious issues with one of their guys getting a ticket (or worse arrested) when it comes time for their performance reviews. I certainly don't want to cost someone their raise (or worse their job) because I felt like proving a point by writing a taillight ticket or a minor moving violation. So yes, cops (and a few others) get a break here.

- However, my personal thoughts on this end when the safety of others is affected - particularly with incidents like DUIs, firearms violations or similar things. This is because not only are these HUGE errors in judgment (in areas we gorram well oughta know better), but an officer making these mistakes puts far more than himself at risk. It's one thing when your stupidity just affects you - but when you've worked a DUI fatality accident, seen what it does to children, innocent passengers and everything else you have no excuse to do the same. Particularly when we're talking not the .08 "I had one more at dinner than I should have" but the above the .20s where someone deliberately got trashed.

Fortunately I haven't been in a situation like that where I've had to arrest another officer - but I do know a few who have. It's a tough place to be in & hopefully I won't be faced with it.

I guess I can best sum up my thoughts this way - we are given an incredible amount of trust and responsibility by our society, to take freedom and lives away, to control things that happen in the community, etc. And with that trust and responsibility comes certain obligations as well. Like it or not as officers we are under the spotlight - certain elements of our lives and behaviors we have given up the privilege of keeping private. Do I think agencies and the public should be involved in what happens in my bedroom, or what I write in a private email to friends? Certainly not. But should I be expected to set an example when I drive, or if I choose to drink alcohol outside the home, or go shooting, or any of a number of very public activities where my status as law enforcement is known and looked at? Absolutely - that is another of those prices we pay for the job.

Just my two cents worth as always.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

What if?

So - a question for my cop readers out there - just a random poll:

- You encounter a fellow officer who's DUI. Not just DUI, but well over the limit - what do you do?

- What changes your decision? Is it a stop, or an accident? Are other people around or is it just the two of you? What about their attitude?

Before anyone asks, no this one isn't from personal experience, just taking a poll of sorts. Non-cops are free to share their opinions of course - but curious as to what other officers have to say.

Does "professional courtesy" extend to driving drunk or not?

Weekend wrap-up

Nice, relaxing weekend here - actual vacation time is a rare thing, so I enjoyed it. Got to spend a good time with the kids, plus let my wife get a couple of naps. Got some cleaning done, cooked a few meals, and all that. So nothing awe inspiring, but it was very much needed.

Along with that actually finished a book as well - the munchkins were generous! I'd been meaning to read The Weapon by Michael Z. Williamson for quite a while now, and damn I was impressed. Excellent writing, the plot flowed very well and I enjoyed pretty much every bit of it. He definitely captured well the mindset and possibilities of a well-trained special operations force, and put it in a science fiction setting (although not so sci-fi as to require serious suspension of disbelief) - a case of excellent research by the writer combined with a healthy dose of "what if?" My only criticism would be that I wish it had been longer, as there were parts I definitely would have liked to have seen more of. So - good recommendation on this one, and I'll be reading his other stuff to see if it compares.

Have to go back to work this week, so hopefully the updates will get more exciting than me enjoying being at home.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Aarrrghh!

'Tis true that today be the day even the lubbers amongst ye is expected to prattle on as if you're one of the sworn brethren... So sail forth, and may your day be filled with plunder and revels.


Happy "Talk Like a Pirate Day"!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Nada

No good stories or links today. Jacob made it through his first week of school having fun and no meltdowns, which is always nice. Kyleigh is getting spoiled with both mommy and daddy home in the mornings this week, and being the center of attention. That's about it for my Friday's tale.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Stolen but great!

The best one I've seen yet on the rewards of raising kids - from Aircraft Resource Center for you modeling geeks:


Cost of Kids.........
I have seen repeatedly the breakdown of the cost of raising a child, but this is the first time I have seen the rewards listed this way. It's nice, really nice!!

The government recently calculated the cost of raising a child from birth to 18 and came up with $160,140 for a middle income family. Talk about sticker shock! That doesn't even touch college tuition.

But $160,140 isn't so bad if you break it down. It translates into $8,896.66 a year, $741.38 a month, or $171.08 a week. That's a mere $24.24 a day! Just over a dollar an hour.
Still, you might think the best financial advice is don't have children if you want to be "rich."

Actually, it is just the opposite.

What do you get for your $160,140?

Naming rights. First, middle, and last!

Glimpses of God every day.

Giggles under the covers every night.

More love than your heart can hold
Butterfly kisses and Velcro hugs.

Endless wonder over rocks, ants, clouds, and warm cookies.

A hand to hold, usually covered with jelly or chocolate.

A partner for blowing bubbles, flying kites, building sandcastles, and skipping down the sidewalk in the pouring rain. Someone to laugh yourself silly with, no matter what the boss said or how your stocks performed that day.

For $160,140, you never have to grow up.

You get to finger-paint, carve pumpkins, play hide-and-seek, catch lightning bugs, and never stop believing in Santa Claus. You have an excuse to keep reading the Adventures of Piglet and Pooh, watching Saturday morning cartoons, going to Disney movies, and wishing on stars.

You get to frame rainbows, hearts, and flowers under refrigerator magnets and collect spray painted noodle wreaths for Christmas, hand prints set in clay for Mother's Day, and cards with backward letters for Father's Day.

For $160,140, there is no greater bang for your buck. You get to be a hero just for retrieving a Frisbee off the garage roof, taking the training wheels off a bike, removing a splinter, filling a wading pool, coaxing a wad of gum out of bangs, and coaching a baseball team that never wins but always gets treated to ice cream regardless.

You get a front row seat to history to witness the first step, first word, first bra, first date, and first time behind the wheel.

You get to be immortal.

You get another branch added to your family tree, and if you're lucky, a long list of limbs in your obituary called grandchildren and great grandchildren.

You get an education in psychology, nursing, criminal justice, communications, and human sexuality that no college can match.

In the eyes of a child, you rank right up there under God. You have all the power to heal a boo-boo, scare away the monsters under the bed, patch a broken heart, police a slumber party, ground them forever, and love them without limits, so . . . one day they will, like you, love without counting the cost.

ENJOY YOUR KIDS AND GRANDKIDS!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Brief mid-east commentary

I've been trying to avoid the political stuff lately, but got some interesting reading sent to me this morning.

For those interested STRATFOR has always done competent analysis and put things in terms easy to understand - they have an excellent paper discussing the current risks regarding the Iranian nuclear program and Israeli options up here.

I pretty much have to agree with their conclusions that the nation-states are flying without a rudder & things have a lot of potential to go off the wire.


Oh, and the only shocking thing about the recent UN report discussing potential war crimes in the latest Gaza conflict is that they actually said the Palestinian side may have done bad stuff as well... That's a first coming out of there.

Today's funny

It's always a pleasure to find people further down the road of geek insanity than I am. To wit, today's entry of a whole site dedicated to women who have chosen their cosplay role as being that of Slave Leia from "Return of the Jedi"... I didn't dig into it, so no promises on safe-for-work or not - the opening page was enough to make me laugh & leave.

fansincostume

I couldn't make up stuff this strange, even if I tried...

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Trailer for Browncoats: Redemption is out

Browncoats: Redemption Teaser Trailer from browncoatsmovie on Vimeo.




Looking forward to this fanflic myself, and wanted to pass it on to others in the 'verse.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

It's..... aliiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiivvvvvvvvvvvveeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!

The weekend-from-hell is done, although I'm still short sleep & the body clock is a ton of confused. Hopefully though that means I'll be able to get back on a normal schedule tonight.

Even have some time off this week.

Hopefully it means a return to blogging as well.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Gone for a few...

Working 40 hours in the next two days, so won't be online. You all enjoy yourselves - food is in the fridge and drinks are cold. Try not to leave a mess.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Not much here

Up since 0400, two call-outs today and a long weekend ahead. Plus the flu shot from yesterday is kicking my butt.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Today's Lessons

From the visit to the VA:

  • - Take a longer book next time, which I should have thought about in advance knowing how far I was through this one already.
  • - Don't let the med school student do the blood draw, the crusty old phlebotomists are MUCH better.
  • - Despite everything else I'm still incredibly blessed to have come through my service with as few problems as I have, and the fact I can drive to my appointment and walk in and out is something I will always be grateful for.

Monday, September 7, 2009

The boy's memory is way too good...

So sitting at dinner tonight, somehow my son starts talking about "house rules." And then pops out with "And we all know what house rule #3 is," as he starts laughing in that four-year old way.

To which my wife & I, both already knowing it won't be simple, ask for a reminder on what "House Rule #3" might be...

"No peeing on the cat!" is delivered with glee, whereupon he almost collapses in his chair giggling.

*sigh*

I can't decide which is worse. The fact that he remembered the prior discussion amongst his parents and other adults relating a humorous event, or the fact that my son is not the culprit that rule was made for...

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Long day #3 billion

Last night went well enough. Made a bit of overtime money, got to feel like a cop again for a bit and it was educational for a number of people I ran into.

It started out with helping out a couple of the newer road guys with a disorderly call at a local bar. I was good and just let them run things for the start of it - because I would have had the folks involved in cuffs a whole lot sooner as opposed to just messing around inside and letting them get more spun up. Be that as it may, ended up with folks being led to cars for the ride to jail & I was trying to help clean up the last of it with sending the rest of the parties involved on their way home. Which led to lesson number one for the folks in the community - when the nice officer is asking you how much you had to drink, and trying to figure out if you're in any condition to drive, it is probably NOT a good time to get a pissy attitude and stop cooperating with things. Because our young lady in question didn't think that one through, so she ended up taking a ride on her own and spending the night sleeping it off.

Floated around for a few minutes after that, nothing much out catching my eye so I just kind of hit my little Zen moment and wandered. Which is right about when I had a lovely, obvious drunk pull out right in front of me. Get him pulled over, and it's like he read right through the normal script for DUI's - seriously folks, get somewhat original. For those who haven't heard any of them, here's the typical selection, with commentary:

  • "But I didn't do anything, why are you stopping me?" - Ummmm the fact you can't find a lane to keep your car in usually works for me, but what do I know?
  • "I only had two beers." - I seriously want to find the place that serves beers big enough so that two of them get you to a .20....
  • "But I swear, I'm not drunk!" - Yeah, yet again - the facts of the situation tend to show differently.
  • "I passed all those tests." - No, if you'd passed the field tests you'd be on your way home, not wearing handcuffs on the way to jail...

and one of my personal favorite questions: "If I pass the breath test you're just going to take me home, right?" Sorry folks, it doesn't work that way. #1 - if I put the cuffs on you, I make sure I've got enough for a good arrest before I make that choice - really not a big fan of "wrongful arrest" lawsuits or losing cases in court; and #2 - while the breath test is a part of things it's far from the whole case & in fact the great majority of my DUI's are won before we even get to that point in the case.

So anyway, after we get through all that and the fun of my paperwork I got home for a few hours of sleep. Woke up and started a few clean-up chores on my list, when I had another callout to go play bomb guy for a bit this afternoon. Fortunately it ended up not being a real device, but kept me busy when I had other stuff planned. Then it was home for some family time & an early night coming up in the next few minutes.

Reality comics


Apparently yet again they are channeling my son for inspiration.

New reading

OK I just have to add The Blogess to my list - I haven't even read anything but this one post, but it's the funniest stuff I've read in years! Drop by for a good laugh.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Unintended consequences

Let's see - tell the little ones that they won't be punished for not going to school, and they don't go.... who'd of thunk it?

Head over to Cranky Prof for the full tale.

Busy busy busy

Jumped back into a week of "Oh, glad you're back, can you take care of X, Y and Z? Since um no one else does it as well, and oh yeah we need this and that and the other too." Not complaining, just saying it's been a busy week!

Plus a call out yesterday on my "day off" - nothing to it, but some easy overtime.

Jacob is spending the weekend with his grandparents, so this morning the Princess and I ran some errands while letting mommy go get some of her own stuff done. She had fun hanging out with daddy and I enjoyed being able to make her laugh and smile as we drove around. It's amazing how much she changed in just six weeks away - more vocabulary and definitely thoughts on how to use it. The little girl certainly isn't shy about her place in the world! Then it was naptime for everyone, which was enjoyed by all. Now I have a couple of steaks just waiting for the grill, and a nice family dinner.

Going in tonight for a few hours to do another DUI special - since it's been two months it should be interesting, plus the first chance to make some stops in the new truck which I have a feeling may get some looks.

And I am really curious as to the algorithms that iTunes uses on random play - just seems interesting the song mix I get at times.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Someone's funny

Sent to me in an email, not sure the original source.


I wish Google Maps had an “Avoid Ghetto” routing option.

More often than not, when someone is telling me a story all I can think about is that I can’t wait for them to finish so that I can tell my own story that’s not only better, but also more directly involves me.

Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you’re wrong. (Can someone tell me what this is like? Seriously, not so sure!)

I totally take back all those times I didn’t want to nap when I was younger.

The letters T and G are very close to each other on a keyboard. This recently became all too apparent to me and consequently I will never be ending a work email with the phrase “Regards” again.

There is a great need for sarcasm font. (Definitely installing this one as soon as released!)

Sometimes, I’ll watch a movie that I watched when I was younger and suddenly realize I had no idea what the heck was going on when I first saw it.

How the hell are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?

I would rather try to carry 10 plastic grocery bags in each hand than take 2 trips to bring my groceries in.

I think part of a best friend’s job should be to immediately clear your computer history if you die. (The modern version of the deployment box from my service days...)

The only time I look forward to a red light is when I’m trying to finish a text.

A recent study has shown that playing beer pong contributes to the spread of mono and the flu. Yeah, if you suck at it.

Was learning cursive really necessary?

Lol has gone from meaning, “laugh out loud” to “I have nothing else to say”.

I have a hard time deciphering the fine line between boredom and hunger.

How many times is it appropriate to say “What?” before you just nod and smile because you still didn’t hear what they said?

What would happen if I hired two private investigators to follow each other?

While driving yesterday I saw a banana peel in the road and instinctively swerved to avoid it…thanks Mario Kart.

MapQuest really needs to start their directions on #5. Pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.

Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died.

Shirts get dirty. Underwear gets dirty. Pants? Pants never get dirty, and you can wear them forever.

I can’t remember the last time I wasn’t at least kind of tired.

You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you’ve made up your mind that you just aren’t doing anything productive for the rest of the day.

Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after DVDs? I don’t want to have to restart my collection.

There’s no worse feeling than that millisecond you’re sure you are going to die after leaning your chair back a little too far.

I’m always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my ten page research paper that I swear I did not make any changes to.

“Do not machine wash or tumble dry” means I will never wash this ever.

When I meet a new girl, I’m terrified of mentioning something she hasn’t already told me but that I have learned from some light internet stalking.

I like all of the music in my iTunes, except when it’s on shuffle, then I like about one in every fifteen songs in my iTunes.

Sometimes I’ll look down at my watch 3 consecutive times and still not know what time it is.

It should probably be called Unplanned Parenthood.

I keep some people’s phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call.

Even under ideal conditions people have trouble locating their car keys in a pocket, and Pinning the Tail on the Donkey – but I’d bet my @$$ everyone can find and push the Snooze button from 3 feet away, in about 1.7 seconds, eyes closed, first time every time…

It really pisses me off when I want to read a story on CNN.com and the link takes me to a video instead of text.

I wonder if cops ever get pissed off at the fact that everyone they drive behind obeys the speed limit. (Yes, yes we do!)

I think the freezer deserves a light as well.

I disagree with Kay Jewellers. I would bet on any given Friday or Saturday night more kisses begin with Miller Lites than Kay.

Size matters




Picked up the new ride today, along with all the other paperwork and catching up I have going on.

Dang the thing is huge! I'll just say that the two Crown Victoria cop cars pulling up next to me at the light seemed a bit ummmmm uneasy I guess is the word :D

Now I just have to sort out how I want to store everything in it. Plus of course see what my partner has to say about his part of the truck.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Home

14 hour drive following an early day & work - got in at 0330 and up at 0930 - so a bit tired. Getting everything ready for the rest of the family to be home in a few hours. Updates to follow, but I am home!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Light posting

Probably won't have anything more up for a few - #1 I'm trying to wrap everything up on my trip & #2 I feel one of my moods lurking...

I go through my "dark times" as it were - periods of funk, I won't call them manic-depressive, but I definitely get my moods. One of those is showing up now. Can't tell what causes them, or what helps make them better - they just come and go as they please. Fortunately I am blessed with a partner who, if she may not understand them, at least accepts them and gives me my space when needed.

Anyway - yep, I'm feeling morose and melancholy and all sorts of other introspective things right now. I'll make it through. Just letting folks know why I may be quiet for a couple of days.

Musical interlude

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Decades and paths

Went on a nice, long hike in the mountains today to help clear my head as well as to stretch my body. It definitely helped with both. Too much time this past two weeks stuck around other people, with no room for my own thoughts and for my soul to clear.

Yes, I can tolerate people when I need. I can blend with the crowd, enjoy conversation and social time with like-minded folk, and make do with quiet moments here and there. There are even cities I cherish, able to wander for hours enjoying the sights and the people around me – places like Hong Kong, Sevilla, Santa Fe and Jerusalem all come to mind.

But my soul needs time away – whether for a few hours or days, I must have time without the thoughts of others crowding me, without the noise of their words or the pressure of their presence. At times I have found this peace on the beach or ocean, quietly in a park, or even sitting with a book in a silent corner. The mountains will always be a special place though, the home of both my peoples resonating in my blood throughout the years. Whether it be the hills of the Appalachians, the Japanese Alps, or my beloved Rockies something about a little bit of altitude and wilderness always seems to help.









Today while I was hiking I got to thinking, as I always do. Finishing this time away from home I was pondering the directions life has taken me.

I don’t believe in some grand, over-arching destiny to life and what happens – that everything is pre-ordained and we are simply pieces moving about some gameboard put into play by our Creator. I do however believe that we do have paths which are put before us – we just have to choose whether or not to walk them. Not just one path per person, but choices along the way; and that for some reason when we make the right choices in accordance with these paths somehow things seem to happen for the better – and when we fight them is when we encounter more difficulties. So yes, I believe in my free will but I also know that too many times things seem to have happened for a reason, even if I don’t recognize it at the time.







For my life so many of these choices and changes seem to happen right around the decades of my life. This is when it seems that I somehow end up on a path different than the one I had originally conceived, but which when I recognize it is so much the better.

When I was twenty my life was starting on one path, leading me down years of service in the military and giving me a chance to find myself and learn the disciplines I would need to proceed. At the time it seemed this would be my life and career, and everything went down that path.

But even when the path through the woods is wide and clear we come to forks – choices we must make on which way to go. Sometimes the choice is simple and obvious, and at others you find yourself wandering seeking the path even if you don’t realize you took the wrong turn. This happened to me a bit over a decade later, when I suddenly found myself adrift, unhappy with the course I was following and the goals I was seeking. It took input from my brilliant wife, and time alone in my head to realize that the moment had come for a change – for one reason or another, this was no longer the path I should be on. Sure, I could have stuck it out a few more years, waited around for the retirement check and all the other things; but I would have been unhappy and more importantly stagnant – two things I cannot stand and refused to do for something as simple as money. It took a few more years to finish my tour, but I changed – moving from the military to law enforcement at a time most others are already settled in a career.





Once again a path lay before me, moving to a new place and career, and growing in what I had chosen. I found something I had an affinity for – a combination of the things I liked doing and the skills I brought from my prior life seemed to make the job easier for me than some others, and I spent my first few years learning and growing as a cop. A while back though I started to feel that restlessness again; I still loved being a cop but I needed to find something new to challenge myself. It was time to start looking at my options inside the department, deciding on the next step I needed for my career and my personal growth, and finding out where I was supposed to be.






As I was considering these options, trying to find in my head what felt right inside and what path I was ready to walk – when yet again the right opportunity presented itself. It had been a long time since I’d done any bomb work, but the chance to join our team here arose and I was approached by several of the members to see if I was interested. At first it was part time, just a collateral duty with the regular work I did. Then one night I got the call letting me know that I was chosen to move to the full-time position, with new responsibilities and opportunities that came with it.

Since this path has presented itself it seems many other things have fallen into place, both at work and in my private life. I certainly can’t take credit for everything, or say that the switch was some magical event in doing so – but I do view it as yet another example of when you pay attention to the signs which are put in front of you, and chose the right path, things tend to work better.

Where the next decade takes me, and what choice it is that flows from there I can’t even guess. But until then I hope I can continue to recognize the path when it is in front of me.