"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
Thursday, July 28, 2011
Along with all this, we have a recruit academy going through their first week on the range. Today had the incredibly rare occurrence of a moment which left me at a complete loss for words.
For those who don't know - when teaching adults a new skill it helps to put it in the perspective of a skill they already have. Helps the mind process the concepts better & gives you a common point of reference. For a lot of combat shooting you can do this by relating it to athletics and martial arts - balance, poise, relaxed focus etc. are all common elements.
Well, a young lady I was helping today on the line was having problems with keeping a consistent grip on her handgun. Thinking to use an analogy like softball, golf, or whatever I asked what sports she had played in school.
"None sir." (they're still in that super-enthusiastic military bearing mode - you get used to it)
"Well, what about other athletics? What kind of stuff do you do for fun?" Still determined to find something here to relate my point on gripping the weapon firmly & consistently, ever the dedicated instructor...
"Well... I do belly dancing sir." Perfectly straight faced, and I know she's waiting for me to give her some grief or something.
"Ummmm yeah I got nothing on that one. I'll be right back."
Friday, July 22, 2011
Jiffy Lube can officially go pound sand and find someone else to get money from. $80 for an oil change because of "increased oil prices" is gorram obscene and they will not get anymore business from me, no matter how convenient they are.
I'll make the effort to work around the corner garage's schedule and keep them open.
Jiffy Lube, may you be sodomized by a rabid yak.
Thursday, July 21, 2011
And the only response upon opening the back of your work truck and finding one has gone off is "Holy F*ck".
Which was then followed by four hours of cleaning and sweating in 105 degree heat.
So, that's how my day started...
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Fortunately I've caught up on sleep now, got to spend some time with my wonderful family, and catch up on things around the house. Work this week is actually catching up to where I need & my "to-do" list is shrinking instead of growing.
Hoping the trend continues & I'll have something worthwhile to share.
Thursday, July 14, 2011
Then it occurred to me yet again what a pretty gorram incredible wife I have. In just this week she's dealt with:
- Me skipping out on the family pool trip as I can't do the sun & don't feel like lounging around watching others from the shade.
- Me running off to a memorial service for one person leaving her with the kids, dinner etc.
- Me working a long range day, coming home hot, sweaty & tired, and her making dinner without complaint.
- Another coworker dying & all the drama that involves as both a normal human and a police wife.
- My day getting changed from somewhat normal to said 17-hours; leaving her with kids, house, meals etc. without relief or company.
- Me gone again all day & night Friday on a work trip, again leaving her solo.
All this without complaint and making it all look effortless - just support for our chosen lives & the things that occur.
I'm pretty blessed & lucky she decided to keep me around.
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Monday, July 11, 2011
Saturday, July 9, 2011
Meanwhile, Tam has a good discussion re: the Anthony trial and the judicial system in general. One of the hardest things to teach new cops, and one of the traps too many old ones fall into, is that one arrest isn't worth violating our basic principals, no matter how "dirty" the bad guy is. I was fortunate in my early years to have good training and examples of this, and have always attempted to follow such - even when I knew the car had dope, the guy was dirty or whatever, it wasn't worth my integrity and our rights to cross the line for one bad guy. Just wish the big system as a whole would remember this more.
Friday, July 8, 2011
Don't get me wrong - visually the Lord of the Rings movies were fantastic. But I remain unhappy to this day with the "artistic license" he took with the story and certain characters.
However, this photo of three of the dwarves from the upcoming adaptation of The Hobbit shows potential... hopefully he listened to those fans who asked for a bit of a closer following of Professor Tolkein's work.
Like so many of us, one of my dreams as a child was to be an astronaut - to explore the wonders of space, watch as humans explored new worlds and to see mankind expand beyond this one lone planet. While my path ended up in a different direction I still have followed the wonders of our space program throughout the years and believe that so much potential lies in the stars.
Today is the last launch of our space shuttle program, with no plans for manned spaceflight to continue in the foreseeable future by NASA. A sad day for us all.
Let us hope someone else picks up the torch and helps us find those strange new worlds.
Thursday, July 7, 2011
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Monday, July 4, 2011
IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.
We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.
The 56 signatures on the Declaration appear in the positions indicated:
Thomas Heyward, Jr.
Thomas Lynch, Jr.
Charles Carroll of Carrollton
Richard Henry Lee
Thomas Nelson, Jr.
Francis Lightfoot Lee
Robert Treat Paine
Happy birthday America. We aren't perfect, and have a lot of troubles as I speak, but we are still the best beacon of freedom and hope which has existed in any nation throughout history.
Saturday, July 2, 2011
Personally came out with double-digit tickets, which isn't bad. Contestants ranged from a "not quite drunk enough to go to jail" who got to park his car & get a cab just for safety, to the motorcycle rider on a new bike who hadn't bothered with a license or insurance yet, to the suspended driver with multiple prior offenses. The nice part is that 95% of them were still courteous and nice people, even if I had to write them tickets, tow the ride, or whatever - definitely improves the evening for all involved.