"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, September 29, 2009
Monday, September 28, 2009
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
Friday, September 25, 2009
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
Just one quick link from Officer.com on quite possibly the stupidest command staff decision I've read:
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
- 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
- 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?
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
Friday, September 18, 2009
Thursday, September 17, 2009
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."
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.
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.
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.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
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.
I couldn't make up stuff this strange, even if I tried...
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Even have some time off this week.
Hopefully it means a return to blogging as well.
Friday, September 11, 2009
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
- - 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
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.
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
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.
Saturday, September 5, 2009
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.