“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

Friday, April 30, 2010

Gunny Movies

From today's xkcd - if gun people wrote the zombie movies.

In other news, last final of the term almost done, but full weekend of work ahead. Sanity scheduled to return Monday.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

No posty posty

It's finals week, plus a lot of stuff at work, so no real posting coming up.

I will share last night's quote from our local TV news, following the discovery of a homicide victim with a gunshot wound to the head:

"Residents reported seeing him walking around looking fine earlier today...."

Yeah, because those cranium wounds seem to have side effects...

Monday, April 26, 2010


The day is starting with the work truck failing to start in the driveway. As I sit here waiting on the county tow truck I sincerely hope this is not a harbringer of my day...

Friday, April 23, 2010

More good

2nd Frog cleared.

Let's hope for a quick resolution on the third.


- Whatever you do, don't go to the DMV "tomorrow." - because it is obviously going to be absolutely packed. I say this, because yet again today I got the same answer for why someone hadn't taken care of their license plates/drivers license/whatever that I have gotten it seems every other time over the years: "Oh, I was going to do it tomorrow, I promise!" Just saying it's going to be a busy day...

- What is it about the fact I'm driving a truck instead of a car that makes people think they somehow can magically break the law in front of me and not get stopped? I mean, it has obvious markings, lights and them whole works. But instead, yet again, I get folks screaming by me at over 20 miles over the limit...

- Ended up working a bit late helping with a search warrant. If you ever feel like you've been neglecting your housekeeping, just go along on one of these warrants and you'll feel like your place is spotless, trust me... And yet again we had to laugh at the truism that on every search warrant we've collectively done we have found porn and sex toys - and rarely the good types...

That's it for my day - back to school work for me!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

I needed the laugh

Darth Vader's Facebook Page

Language and beverage alerts in effect.

and now I'm off to bed.

Military news

- The first interesting bit is that South Korea is now publicly saying what was suspected from the start: that a North Korean sub torpedoed the South Korean vessel Cheonan last month. Unfortunately not getting much exposure in the press or international response. It does not bode well for happenings in the peninsula however.

- In better news, a Courts Martial has acquitted the first of three SEALs charged with abusing a captured prisoner in Iraq. Let's hope this quickly results in the other cases having similar results.

Size matters

So I had to turn the Big Truck in for some maintenance issues and an inspection today, necessitating the transfer of assorted bits of gear, weapons, explosives etc into a loaner vehicle for an indeterminate period.

Which led to tonight's observation - if a mere 2/3 of your gear fills up a Ford Expedition to overflowing, and if said vehicle feels like you're suddenly driving something much smaller & nimbler, then apparently you use way too many tools as a part of your daily job...

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Random moments from the day

- Did get to spend some brief time on my own stuff at the range, which was nice. Gotta love free ammo these days.

- Picked up and disposed of another Civil War cannonball. Always amazes me the number of people who have had these sitting in their houses for years, and just now realized they might be hazardous...

- Had to recalibrate one of the normally competent fire marshals when they failed to call us - just because the smoke bomb has "already gone off," there's still the important "B" word there for us to check out TYVM...

- No yelling at the range today - always nice when the competent people show up.

- Apparently lawnmowers work better when they get a tune-up more frequently than every three years. Just in case you were curious.

- My poor wife not only cooked a nice dinner, so as I could get said lawn mowed; she then had to deal with cleanup, bath and bedtimes all on her own, as I had gotten called out to walk the dog through some mud and thorns for a while.

Seeing as a I have a "to-do" list THIS long, I should be doing something besides blogging right about now...

Monday, April 19, 2010

Best laid plans....

You know those days where you say "I'll just go in, do a few things quickly at work, get home early and spend some time with my family & get stuff done around the house?"

Yeah, me either.

Let's see...

Started out with having to change my morning plans to run from one side of the county to the other & back again to pick up some stuff.

Then got stuck in a "short" meeting for longer than planned.

Then rescheduling another meeting because someone got called out of town unexpectedly.

Finally, heading home & stopping to run one errand on the way. When crazy lady has to call in a bomb threat at one of our local establishments. So - I head over there to help the patrol units, plus have to run the dog through just to make sure things are clear. Plus, we have some suspect info to follow up on. And the primary unit is field training a guy, so I take the time to help walk him through the important parts of the report & setting up an interview time and all that. Oh, and going up and pulling the 911 tape of the call and doing all the stuff to get that into evidence.

So - it obviously turned into a much longer day than planned. Thankfully my wife is understanding (not a fan of such days, but at least she understands!) and had some help with the munchkins and was able to plan dinner and such. I was able to be home for dinner, baths and stories so that helped at least. We even managed to sit down in the same room together afterwards and enjoy a movie as we both got work done.

Anyway - tomorrow is a range instruction day, which usually runs long - I'm hoping that things balance out though and I somehow leave early from that... it would be a nice change.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Barefoot/Five Fingers Running

A lot of folks lately have been posting their curiosity about the Vibram Five Fingers shoes for running and walking. Thought I'd share a bit of my experiences and a running plan that works well for starting with them.

I picked up my KSO Treks back in October. Got a little bit of running in them before winter interfered, and then picked it up again as spring has started. Also I wear them around the house as just casual shoes, and with the warmer weather have taken to doing so outside and around town.

So far I love them. It definitely takes a little bit to get used to them - the feeling of your toes being separated, and the intimate contact with the ground even through the thicker soles of this model. The first few weeks I would notice some muscle soreness after prolonged wear, mostly in the feet and calves, and which was just due to the fact my foot was working differently than wearing my normal boots or shoes. Once you get used to it though they somehow "feel" more natural - I don't notice it when I wear them out and about now so apparently I've adjusted.

One other important thing you will learn quickly though is that they don't protect the rest of your feet the way shoes do! So watch out for stubbed toes and the like - you'll adjust soon enough.

The first few wears are definitely tight til the leather stretches to your foot, so it may take some time to wiggle each toe into place - again, if your feet are anything like mine, your toes have to relearn positions after years of entrapment.

Downsides? Well - no protection or insulation for the foot, so these aren't a cold-weather item by any stretch. You can pick up pebbles and such into the shoe if you aren't careful, but they aren't hard to clear out at all. Some folks think they are pricey for what is essentially a slipper, but I didn't mind given the benefits. And they don't provide any ankle support or real arch support, so if you have problems with these areas I'd build up slow to let the muscles strengthen.

Only other "downside" is that sizing them definitely takes a few minutes - I recommend finding a store & trying them on, as opposed to ordering online & having to send them back and forth to get the fit right. You want them very snug at first, they will loosen up quickly and not slip then.

Not sure if I personally would wear & trust them as regular hiking footwear yet - think I'd like the foot protection and ankle support myself with a pack, but that is just me. For around camp after a hike though they will be exceptional and very lightweight to carry.

Overall though, a great buy. Highly recommend you try them even if just as casual footwear.

Anyway, those are my thoughts on the product. I also wanted to share a bit of a running program to help those new users who were curious. I do not take credit for this - it is a mix of one we used for pre-training candidates in the service and one that was developed for the shoes by some Crossfit trainers in Virginia Beach. This should help you adjust soon enough without injury. Anyway, here it is:

Week 1 Run 2 minutes, walk 2 minutes. Repeat 7 times. Conduct 3 times/week
Week 2 Run 4 minutes, walk 2 minutes. Repeat 5 times. Conduct 3 times/week
Week 3 No running. Walk in the shoes for at least 20 minutes 3 times/week. This should minimize the risk of stress-fractures.
Week 4 Run 6 minutes, walk 2 minutes. Repeat 4 times. 3/week
Week 5 Run 8 minutes, walk 2 minutes. Repeat 3 times. 3/week
Week 6 Run 6 minutes, walk 2 minutes, run 10 minutes, walk 2 minutes, run 10, walk 2 minutes. 3/week
Week 7 Run 10 minutes, walk 1 minute, repeat 3 times. 3/week
At this point assess how you feel - if you are experiencing pain then repeat the above cycle before proceeding. When ready to proceed run at least 3 times a week, more if you enjoy it and feel ready.
Week 8 Run 13 minutes, walk 1 minute, run 14, walk 1
Week 9 Run 15, walk 1, run 16, walk 1
Week 10 Run 16 minutes, walk 1, run 18, walk 1
Week 11 Day 1 Run 4, walk 1 (faster pace) repeat 6 times
Day 2 Run 9, walk 1 (faster pace) repeat 3 times
Day 3 Run 15 walk 2 repeat 2 times
Day 4 Run 30 minutes
Week 12+ Increase or alter as desired - plenty of options, but by this point you should have adjusted nicely and built a good base.

Catching up

Finally back home. Thankfully that was the last trip for a bit - for some reason even though it was short, it wore me out.

Caught up on the crack that is high-speed Internet. How did we ever deal with 1200 baud modems again??? And kind of daunting to realize how many different blogs and feeds I read when I come back after 4 days of no access...

The training/forum session was excellent. Some very talented and knowledgeable people sharing their information with both the civilian and military side of the bomb disposal community. Came out of it with some new tools and a chance to practice a few things we normally don't get to do more than talk about due to the hazards involved.

One of the things I like most about bomb techs as compared to some of the other units I've been associated with is that meetings together involve a lot less comparison of genitalia sizes, and a lot more general fun and camaraderie. This group was no different. A few minutes conversation quickly turned up people we knew in common, and stories and laughs were shared from past years. Then the meals and such were great conversations on a tremendous breadth of topics. I was noticing it on the last night sitting in the hotel lounge - where the crowd included one of the world's experts on improvised & terrorist explosives, a retired Federal agent who had worked several of the extremely high profile cases of the past years, a scattering of civilians from various agencies, local cops, military from newer guys to very experienced - and all sharing equally in the thoughts and conversation. Not a lot of other communities around where you get that kind of interaction.

Speaking of the military guys - spent some time chatting with one of the junior enlisted guys who is wondering about life after the Navy. Gave him some thoughts and tips on the law enforcement side, along with a reality check of everyplace has stuff good & bad - you just figure out which parts you can handle and like. It was very interesting to hear about some of the things that have changed in the time since I've gotten out, and the tremendous progress being made in improving our responses. As always too it is amazing the motivation and ability of these young men and women - though it makes me feel old seeing them bounce around and follow us senior guys like puppies in the farmyard! Anyway, if this group is any example, then the services are still in good hands.

As to the family, it is great to be home and able to help my wife and spend time with everyone. The munchkins are thrilled to have daddy back and I'm glad to be able to relax and sleep in my own bed. Other than that it's catching up on house stuff, work, school and all the other things which fell behind.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Posting on hold

While the hotel I'm at is nice enough, the Internet speed makes glacial movement look rapid...


Getting tired of these trips.

Sunday, April 11, 2010


Sorry for the dearth of posts. Had a long week here - work stuff, trying to catch up on school, and family & house time. All of it added up together to leave me worn out & burnt out, not sleeping well & certainly didn't feel up to blogging. Fortunately the weekend off has restored me somewhat, and hopefully I'll be able to catch up on all the things I need this week.

A few random notes from the week:

- Consistently surprises me the number of people who leave taped up, empty boxes around different parts of the city. Each time requiring us to be called out & check things out before we can clear it all up. Hasn't anyone heard of a trashcan anymore?

- To the random Pakistani military officer who emailed me seeking to "exchange professional information on IEDs;" you'll have to forgive me if I am disinclined to acquiesce to your offer.

- We've had a wonderfully warm start to the spring so far. It's helping the plants to grow and keeping things nice and warm and comfy around the house. Just hoping it doesn't turn into an overly hot summer.

- About to head out of town for a few more days of training, leaving my poor wife to deal with stuff on her own during one of her busy weeks. Hopefully it goes quickly and the world is merciful on her.

- Looking to replace the old grill/smoker combo, as this one is probably on the last season... Has anyone out there had experience with the Big Green Egg type of grills? Looks like our #1 choice right now, but we are open to ideas...

Saturday, April 3, 2010


One of the downsides (not that there are many!) to being married to a lovely, brilliant and quick-witted woman, is that she tends to have just as much humor as myself at times.

Tonight being the example of watching some old Miami Vice episodes as we wrap up the evening - with many of the cameos and actors who went on to other things - and where she throws quotes from those later roles up in true snark magic...

Sometimes I think half our fun on watching moves and TV is the comments we share with each other!

More of the random

Sorry, no real mega-posts lately & no long stories worth sharing. But don't want to totally neglect the blog.

Did another DUI special last night. The only highlights lying in #1 - apparently I couldn't have found water if I fell out of a boat, much less a drunk... and #2 - when the nice officer stops you and says he's not writing you a ticket, please don't spend another five minutes trying to make excuses and trying to kiss up to me in thanks. Seriously, it's just annoying at that point - a simple "thanks" and go on your way please, TYVM.

Despite being up earlier than planned today we had a productive day here. Got another peach tree planted plus a bit more yard work, time with the family, school work & then an enjoyable movie with my wife. These nights at home are definitely enjoyable having readjusted to a human schedule now.

Probably could rant on a few other things but I'll leave it simple. Hope that Easter, Passover and every other appropriate holiday is going well for you my friends.