“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

Monday, December 27, 2010


Yet again we are having issues with the Comcast connection for the past week - and yet again, it's just "our location" and a technician is coming out to fix it.

For the little gnome lurkers who wander about the net and teh Google for such things - this is the last go; if the problem occurs again we will be switching to FIOS.

I'm tired of paying for a service which is only intermittently provided...

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

May you and your families have a peaceful and wonderful day. For those of you away from home, may you be safe and return to the ones you love.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Hear the call of the valkyrie...

By way of Julie over at Jigsaw's Thoughts, Daddy Bear posts a story of courage and bravery for this season.

Enjoy the link here.

As an aside, although he reads me I've been neglectful & not read Daddy Bear til now - that has been corrected!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

No, she's not named Vera...

So while waiting around for some items to be delivered this morning I had a chance to do a bit of shooting at the range - nothing for qualifications or work, just a chance to unwind and enjoy myself for a few minutes. Which got me to thinking that as a nominal "gunblogger" I have yet to post any bits & pieces about my rifle build. Those of you not into shooting will be bored, but here she is:

Noveske N4 Light upper & lower receiver, with the VLTOR VIS rail on the upper, with a 14.5" barrel & pinned Vortex flash hider. Magpul ACS stock, MIAD grip and AFG fore grip. The optic is an EOTEC XPS3-0. Entire thing treated with Duracoat. Sling is a Vickers/BFG. Internals are mostly stock with the exception of a Timney trigger and a Bravo Company Gunfighter charging handle.

Every piece in it was chosen for reliability & quality - can't really think of anything where I chose to skimp just to afford something. Probably took me about two years total to get everything together the way I like it, including tweaking a number of things as I went.

She'll shoot in the same hole at 50 yards if I do my work. The trigger is a dream without being too sensitive. Definitely a joy to take to the range & very glad I put the time into it.

And nope, not offering to trade her for anyone's wife either - I am doing fine on that score as well.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


- Well, started a bit of drama today with the follow-up from last night. Turns out that not only were the patrol guys stupid, but they actually put in their report that they had been "told to do that by the bomb squad" - whom they never even talked to... So, now it's at a higher level due to both the choices made & the lying about it. We will see how this one works out, but it is nice to see the staff actually concerned for once.

- In my one, brief commentary about the repeal of DADT I will say this. DADT was always more of a political ploy than anything else, and was long overdue to go away. Anyone foolish enough to think that somehow the number of homosexuals in the military will change is seriously ignorant of history and current events - we've just taken a well-needed step towards getting rid of the legal crap which resulted from this measure. Yes, there will be service members upset serving next to folks who are now open about their preferences - just as there were people who couldn't handle serving with women, blacks, and every other change. The other positive fact of this change is that it was done appropriately - through legislation & with an implementation policy, as opposed to an overnight judicial fiat or executive order.

- For those who are shooters, Captain Jake has put up Shot Works Pro, a database to track your weapons and ammo. I'm trying it out & will post a review, but initial info looks very well designed. It also beats cloud computing and releasing such info to others... The first thirty days are free and if you like it the license is reasonably priced.

- Had several other thoughts to share but my brain is shot, so I will save it for tomorrow. Hoping to manage a long weekend without any callouts or drama, and get some writing done.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Yet another day

That rhythmic thumping sound you hear from the east coast is me banging my head against a wall, as yet again the patrol guys make stunningly stupid decisions on how to deal with a suspect device call...

Monday, December 20, 2010


So, my mind was doing one of those "random bouncing" things yesterday - contemplating how cold it was outside, which led to thinking of being someplace warm, which then led to smiling at how things turn out.

See, at one time I had a very detailed and responsible retirement plan. I was going to take my Navy training & the things I was good at, and I was going to find a nice warm tourist spot, open up a dive shop/bar and live out my days there. Sleep late, take people out on the water, party at night & console lonely tourist women. Enjoy my cynical lifestyle, let friends drop by on their trips about the world, and all that. Something like Casablanca, but with fewer Nazis & more bikinis...

Well, as previously mentioned, things didn't quite work out that way. Somehow I managed to stumble into love, marriage, a family and responsibility. Two wonderful children, a career I love, and a definite change in plans. Not to mention a changed lifestyle and health issues which keep me away from beaches and sunshine...

Don't regret a bit of it - the guy I was twenty years ago wouldn't recognize me now, but I can definitely say I'm in a much more content place & the better for it.


So, today is the anniversary of the date twelve years ago my lovely wife and I got married in Spain. Ups & downs, laughs and tears, we've enjoyed quite a bit of life - here's to plenty more!

We managed a date night out to celebrate last night; just dinner and a movie but no kids, rushing, or any of that. It was quite nice.

Plus, I added that special touch - wrapped her present in ordnance tape, since it was kind of fitting to our background :D She laughed at me & shared a few choice words, but was quite pleased with the results.

Not posting much else tonight but figured I'd share that moment. Thanks hon, love you!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Weekend already?

Wow - this week flew by - mainly due to all the other stuff going on, and a lack of sleep...

But this means I get some good time with the wife & munchkins over the next couple of days. I do have to work tomorrow night, but it's overtime so I shan't complain.

Running short on humor & pithy comments tonight, but I'll try to regroup over the next two days.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Bit more

To expand somewhat on the issues going on (within the limits of what I can say):

- My attorney managed to get disbarred last week, and it turns out didn't file some critical paperwork, resulting in the stillbirth of my defamation lawsuit ... From talk about the department I am not the only person affected by similar issues. Right now it's a bit up in the air as to any recourse I have, which needless to say has me frustrated.

- Due to the incompetence of some of our staff members my unit is going to loose out on a very sizable chunk of needed equipment, because the paperwork (which they have had for over 18 months) has not been processed on their end in a timely manner.

You can see why I'm a bit frustrated with folks.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Misanthropy strikes again

A nice day of people pissing me off beyond measure, reminding me why I have little faith in the competence of humanity, and just general all-around crap. I can list as my major accomplishments that I did not throw anything or yell at anyone - that's about it.

On the positive side, I have an incredibly wonderful and tolerant wife and family who understand when I have a day like this, and put up with me anyway.

No matter what else sucks, it's nice to come home to a hug and a smile.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Snow day

Our weather prognosticators apparently need some new sheep entrails, as their "light snow done by 8am" is continuing to fall with just over an inch so far. We'll see if it sticks around for the kids to play in after school, or if it's just a nice winter tease.

I'm just glad I'm not out working in it today - good timing on my day off.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Tis the season...

for bomb calls that is.

I have no idea what it is. Beautiful spring or fall day, nice to be outside, time in the suit won't horribly suck? Nope, I get nothing.

100 degree plus weather - definitely going to get a few.

Below freezing, no real way to stay warm no matter what you're doing, and calls that take hours instead of minutes? It's a gorram guarantee.

I've had more calls this week then in the past few months combined I think - some stupid stuff, others not-so-much. And, while the overtime is nice, it is cutting into time with the wife & kids.

Ah well, not to complain - I've been safe, and it is what I get paid for. Now I just need to invest in more anti-freeze...

Monday, December 6, 2010

Heard around the house

The kiddos have been in rare form lately, with us and each other. At one point tonight I turned to my wife & said "You know, it's a miracle we aren't addicted to headache medication here."

Her response, without even a pause:

"That reminds me, we're out of Tylenol."

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Upgrade time

Thanks to us being due new phones, and some nice discounts, I got a Droid to play with today as my early present. I'll be busy playing for a bit.

Sunday, November 28, 2010


Has anyone else noticed that, for all it's purporting to "share all information freely", Wikileaks is really only concerned with releasing what information will put the U.S. in a bad light, and not other countries?

Interesting read

A well-written overview of the attack of the Stuxnet virus attack on the Iranian nuclear program earlier this year. While the article doesn't go into depth, it's relatively common-knowledge as to who the players were and the reasons for the attack.

I find it interesting both in terms of the level of professional skill involved - the best operations occur when the target doesn't even realize you were there until much later (if ever) - and for the glimpse of the future it provides. As events like this, the Wikileaks document issues, and others have shown us, computers and their vulnerabilities are going to be just as important to the battlefields between nation-states as an infantry battalion or aircraft squadron.

The cyberpunk science-fiction of a few decades ago comes closer each and every year.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Fascinating history

From Peter at Bayou Renaissance Man, a truly fascinating article regarding an apparent link between a lost Roman legion and China.

I have always been of the belief that the ancient world was far more "worldly" and interconnected than we give them credit for - too many incidents show up like this. Should this be proven accurate it's just another wonderful example of how far humans have traveled and influenced each other throughout time.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Despite my tone this week, I have a lot to be thankful for:

- A loving family, a wife who tolerates my insanity & two wonderful children who all odds said never would even be born.

- A career I love, one that is relatively free from the risk of downsizing, and that lets me do neat things and get paid for.

- A home, vehicles for the family, clothes, food in the kitchen when I want it, luxuries like computers & books and such which I am able to use for education, relaxation or to share a smile. All of which is free from the threat of government or ruffian seizure at the slightest whim, variables of the seasons or environment, and far more than the majority of people throughout history and even today have been blessed with.

- The pride and memories of fourteen years of serving in the finest military the world has known, learning about myself, traveling the world, and doing things most people only get to dream of. The lessons and self-discipline from this time will forever benefit me.

- The privilege of living in a nation and society where I can speak freely, worship as I choose, defend myself and others, provide for my own happiness and welfare, and have the ability to influence the direction this country goes in. I've seen the alternative & while we are far from perfect we are gifted beyond measure.

So - my thanks to God and the world for these blessings. May your own days be equally gifted.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Ranting again

Since the week has continued to annoy me (apart from family, which is my sanity at the moment), I'll share one last rant before the weekend. This is for the public safety folks in particular...

Police - anyone feel like having me show up on your traffic stop, start searching the driver and car out of the blue & messing up a good drug arrest for a bad search?

How about I wander all around your homicide scene, pick up the murder weapon "just because" and generally muck things up?

Fire - same kind of thing - what about me doing patient treatments and giving meds out of the back of my car when I pull up on an accident?

Or maybe if I just play around on a HAZMAT call, we all know those aren't really serious anyway...

No? That kind of thing would tend to piss you off? Shows a lack of safety, professionalism, and general common sense?

Guess what, I agree.

Then, why in the name of St. Tabitha the Cross-Dresser do you guys PERSIST in screwing around on my bomb calls?

Moving items. Opening bags and packages because you don't want to wait five minutes. Taking pictures and looking up ordnance on the Internet so you can tell me "In my opinion it isn't anything serious." when I pull up. Etc, etc, et-frickin-c...

Seriously, I am getting beyond fed up with it - and it is by the purest luck that none of you have been hurt recently, nothing more.

Yes, we all know a great many "suspicious item" calls are nothing - just like a great many burglary and fire alarm calls are nothing. But you guys treat those seriously, just in case - why is it any different when it may be a bomb?

I could even understand it if you were in a situation where I was hours away, and this was tying up a whole jurisdiction. But I'm not - and most other bomb squads aren't either. We get there pretty danged quick - on average I make it to any call in under 30 minutes and that's if I have to get dressed and leave the house at 2am. Calm the hell down and wait a few minutes.

No one out there doubts your courage, or thinks you're being too cautious if you just slow down for a second and let me deal with the stuff. It's what I get paid for, and what I spend my time on & off duty training and practicing for. I'm not there to steal your glory, or take the arrest from you, or any other juvenile games - I'm there to help you get home alive & keep things from going downhill at a high velocity.

But, like every other time we go over this, I'm sure this will fall on deaf ears - and I just hope I'm not the one who has to tell your family that you're crippled or not coming home because you couldn't take the time to wait...

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Annoying day

Dealt with stupidity, annoyances, being tired and sore, and just generally a crappy day.

Wonderful to come home to a loving wife and children to help with all that - it certainly balances things out.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

I crack myself up

One of the perils of living with me that my wife suffers is my random commentary and insanity. Tonight's example occurred while watching PBS with a John Denver concert on. As usual, they are doing a membership drive, and one of the interludes came up where they asked for donations & discussed the CD's, DVD's etc. which each resulted in. Which led to me spontaneously adding this completely-inappropriate-but-funny-as-hell comment by yours truly:

"Pledge us $1000 and we will dig up John Denver's body and personally deliver it to your house!"

For the record, I already know I'm not right, and yes, I like John Denver even if I joke.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Sad starship here

Dealing with intestinal death again - given the timing & frequency we are thinking it's a side-effect of the medications. Fortunately I have an appointment next week to discuss such.

TMI I know, but thus the lack of posting.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Oh, really?

So had a DUI and refusal case come up in court today - nice, clean case, no issues to it at all.

The defense attorney (who I haven't run into before today) starts the fun by asking the prosecutor if they can just plead to a reckless driving charge - with a rapid response of "You're kidding, right?" He then says "Oh, well the judge used to be a defense attorney, I'll get this kicked in five minutes."

Now, while by no means a perfect person, I do pride myself on my DUI cases - I don't make questionable arrests or bring weak crap to court. I have a very good record of convictions on them as well, reflecting the time and effort I put into these things.

So - expecting this guy to try and challenge every bit of the case when it's time to cross examine, I make sure to include all my needed details and statements and such when I'm testifying; doing my job of painting the judge a very clear picture of what took place on the night in question. When it comes his turn to start not only does he not put any evidence on, his "big win" turned into two quick questions which were an attempt to mitigate the apparent attitude of the client as opposed to anything else. The judge then very matter-of-factly declared the guilty findings and imposed the penalties.

I stayed professional, but trust me it was tempting to ask the attorney as I left "So, how'd that plan work out for you?"

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Bravo Zulu

I had a work rant I was going to write up following today, but it is far more important that I pay credit to Staff Sergeant Salvatore Giunta on his receipt of the Medal of Honor today.

You are a credit to your nation and to the Army sir, and we are privileged to have men and women like you defending us.

Nothing more I can say is worthy. Well done.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Linky laugh

Always a good laugh at The Whiteboard, and loved the EOD reference.

Idiots at work

From Tam this morning.

I really try to avoid Monday morning quarterbacking around here, particularly when minimal facts are in - but this one is too stupid/good to ignore:

Backfires from broken-down van draw bullets from KC police

Larry, Moe and Curly - we have rules for a reason folks. Little things like "Known your target and what's beyond," "You are responsible for every round you fire," stuff like that. We stress those things starting in the Academy for a reason. I don't care if you are a cop, security guard, or armed citizen - if you can't identify a threat you have no freaking business pulling the trigger on your weapon - end of story.

Every time someone starts in on cops, stupidity and double standards I am unfortunately reminded of incidents like this, which give us all a bad name.

Sunday, November 14, 2010


Three hours, two replaced toilets, cuts & scrapes, aches & pains and a few choice words later I am reminded yet again why I'm not a gorram plumber.

There is a reason people get paid a lot of money to deal with that crap...

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Sometimes they just write themselves

Last night didn't find any drunks, but did have a couple of easy ones.

Our first winner was the person who after I stopped him for speeding, still managed to have his video player in his lap concentrating on his movie when I walked up to the car... Apparently this whole "concentrating on driving" thing is just a passing fad.

Then later on I ran into the young lady who made the excuse of "Well, my speedometer is broken, so I just have to guess how fast I'm going." Meaning we not just have speeding, but now we have to tow the car. Guess that didn't work out so well for her.

I always love the excuses people come up with on stops, to try and avoid the simplest things.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Once upon a time...

One of the things The Princess likes to do is cuddle with daddy & watch music videos on iTunes - she has a list of ones she likes (rock girls win every time for her!), and she gets absolutely entranced. Kyleigh saying "I want to watch a music video daddy!" is a sure sign of a long session at the desk - and I don't mind at all.

But, I'm wondering how she will react in a few years when her mother and I explain the legendary time when there was an entire TV network DEDICATED to music videos, where you could watch them for hours on end...


*Not my words, but well worth sharing*

Some veterans bear visible signs of their service: a missing limb, a jagged scar, a certain look in the eye.

Others may carry the evidence inside them: a pin holding a bone together, a piece of shrapnel in the leg – or perhaps another sort of inner steel: the soul’s alloy forged in the refinery of adversity.

Except in parades, however, the men and women who have kept America safe wear no badge or emblem.

You can’t tell a vet just by looking.

What is a vet?

He is the cop on the beat who spent six months in Saudi Arabia sweating two gallons a day making sure the armored personnel carriers didn’t run out of fuel.

He is the barroom loudmouth, dumber than five wooden planks, whose overgrown frat-boy behavior is outweighed a hundred times in the cosmic scales by four hours of exquisite bravery near the 38th parallel.

She (or he) is the nurse who fought against futility and went to sleep sobbing every night for two solid years in Da Nang.

He is the POW who went away one person and came back another – or didn’t come back at all.

He is the Quantico drill instructor who has never seen combat – but has saved countless lives by turning slouchy, no-account rednecks and gang members into Marinmes, and teaching them to watch each other’s backs.

He is the parade-riding Legionnaire who pins on his ribbons and medals with a prosthetic hand.

He is the career quartermaster who watches the ribbons and medals pass him by.

He is the two anonymous heroes in The Tomb of the Unknowns, whose presence at the Arlington National Cemetery must forever preserve the memory of all anonymous heroes whose valor dies unrecognized with them on the battlefield or in the ocean’s sunless deep.

He is the old guy bagging groceries at the supermarket – palsied now and aggravatingly slow – who helped liberate a Nazi death camp and who wishes all day long that his wife were still alive to hold him when the nightmares come.

He is an ordinary and yet an extraordinary human being – a person who offered some of his life’s most vital years in the service of his country, and who sacrificed his ambitions so that others would not have to sacrifice theirs.

He is a soldier and a savior and a sword against the darkness, and he is nothing more than the finest, greatest testimony on behalf of the finest, greatest nation ever known.

So remember, each time you see someone who has served our country, just lean over and say “Thank you”. That’s all most people need, and in most cases it will mean more than any medals they could have been awarded or were awarded.

Two little words that mean a lot, “Thank you”.


For the men and women who have served, or continue to serve, from one veteran to another - thank you.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Today in history

- The United States Marine Corps was formed 235 years ago. While I often engage in good-natured mutual ribbing & hijinks with my Marine friends, I have nothing but respect for the men and women of the Corps. Well done on your years of service, and may you continue to do so as your Nation calls on you.

- The Edmund Fitzgerald sank in Lake Superior in 1975, with a loss of 29 souls. Immortalized in song and story, the event continues to shape the nature of shipping on the Great Lakes to this day.

Random musing

One of the staples of fantasy/pulp horror etc is the virgin sacrifice. Whether an innocent tied to an altar for some elder thing, some maiden on a post waiting to be dragon food, or the ever-popular volcano god appeasement, the trope has remained.

Am I the only one who ever reads or watches this stuff & thinks "You know, 20 minutes in the hayloft with the male lead would solve the whole issue here for the heroine..."?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Back again

Yes, I am still amongst the living.

Spent a few days being horribly ill, then had last week at the range teaching the new academy, and just generally being overwhelmed with "Real Life" to the extent I wasn't up for blogging. Now things have calmed down for a bit on the work side, but my poor wife has now caught a bug as well...

Anyway... in some brief bits.

It always is a great source of stories amongst cops the excuses and rationalizations people will use when you find drugs on them or in their cars... or the ways they attempt to distract you from such. I was reminded of this yesterday while helping our narcotics k9s out with some stuff. Winner #1 was the guy with a significant amount of heroin in his sock - all of which magically became "That's not mine, I don't know how it got there." upon discovery.

Because I can't count the number of times someone has just slipped stuff into my clothing when I wasn't looking...

#2 just won on general stupidity - the kid who was swearing no one had ever been in his car with drugs, honest - he even patted down his friends before he gave them rides!


Just picturing that one in my mind - "Sure, I can give you a lift to the mall, but I need to search you first." Right.

We then turned it around on him by pointing out if you think you need to search your friends before going places with them, perhaps you need some new friends...


Going through the fun at work of setting up the process for my next full-time partner. The current one has reached the point of retiring next year, and we want to actually fill the position before he leaves as opposed to once he's gone from the department. The nice part is that our eligible pool of candidates are all good officers & bomb guys, so we don't have to worry too much about getting an idiot. The bad part is they are all good officers & only one can get the job... so it's going to be a tough decision & no matter how we do it some folks are going to be disappointed.

I am looking forward to passing some of my duties to them as the "new guy" - let them run training and budget stuff for a while to learn the ropes, and maybe let me bring a little less work home with me.


I honestly don't mind teaching new people who have trouble at the range - especially if they have little or no experience. I do, however, have trouble when said people are blatantly unsafe and make no effort to improve themselves over the course of a week. If you haven't worked to correct even one of the errors we are pointing out to you then you either A) don't comprehend the concepts or B) don't care. Either way, a lengthy memo had to get typed up for that recruit - we shall see what happens.


One of our prosecutors and a defense attorney both won nice points from me today. Got a call on a DUI case coming up on a day off next week - wherein they both wanted to let me know that they had reached an agreement on a plea and a sentence, making sure I was ok with the results, and most importantly telling me that I wasn't needed in court on my day off. Plus, it's a nice compliment when the defense attorney says to you "I know your cases and reports, I'm not going to waste time fighting a losing cause."


In the words of the cartoon - T t t that's all folks.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Interesting reading

As I am currently still sick-as-a-dog and not really the most lucid person, I provide a link to some interesting reading regarding the state of the nation.

Mark Steyn provides the article here.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Important Halloween Advice

While this is without a doubt my favorite holiday of the year, as generations now of movies have taught us, some people do foolish things and thereby unleash eldritch horrors, suffer eternal damnation, and just generally ruin a good time.

Fortunately LabRat and Patrick have put up some important tips to help you survive the weekend. Get thee hence and read!

Signs of the times

For those who are confused by the mixed messages about the economy, here's the law enforcement evaluation -
we are getting eaten up by robberies and burglaries more than ever.

That tells me all I need to know. Are your areas the same?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wednesday I guess

The days kind of run together sometimes...

Anyway - ended up meeting with some peers from a west coast agency who were out here teaching a class, had a chance to catch up on some stuff, swap a few stories & pick up some free pubs for the library. Unfortunately I didn't get to stay and blow anything up, but such is life.

The boy is sick tonight - I knew he was bad when at dinner he laid his head in my lap to rest and then just wanted to snuggle & go straight to bed. And nothing will bring parents to alertness faster than the sound of a child vomiting in the back seat.

So, fortunately I'm off tomorrow, which means I can stay home with the little man & help him get to feeling better.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Sad face

Got to the range a bit early today, hoping to get some shooting in before the instructing portion started. Brought along a couple of personal guns & some ammo, all set to just relax... at which point the phone started ringing, emails started pinging and in general I spent the next two hours dealing with "gotta be done now" stuff.

Hopefully next week.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Birthday Biscuit

Three years ago today Kyleigh joined us in the world - our second unexpected blessing, full of energy and laughter, cuddles and sweetness. With the stubbornness of both sides of the family combined and more cute than should be legally allowed.

Happy birthday princess! We are all thrilled to share the day with you!

I always knew this...

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

For the Lovecraft Fans

A ways back I had posted a question about any Lovecraft inspired or similar genre movies - some good suggestions, but I have found something new and which I look forward to.

The H. P. Lovecraft Historical Society
has done several "fan" movies with what looks like rather professional techniques. From The Call of Cthulhu as a silent movie, to the upcoming The Whisperer in Darkness.

The combination of modern technology and the period sets is exceptional - I have a feeling I'll be ordering a few things down the line.

Rainy day

Still enjoying my vacation here. Got a nice run in this morning - very much needed, as my knee has been acting up most of the week til now.

Something I've always loved about running in the rain, particularly in the fall. Things are nice and cool, and I seem to be able to just zone out a bit more and enjoy the run instead of feeling like I'm punishing myself. I suppose it comes from the days when I took my running much more seriously, and any relief from the heat during a long day was welcome.

Other than that I've been getting the desk clean, sorted out a bunch of old work stuff to get rid of, and just enjoyed the time at home. Apparently I need to do this more often...


From Peter at Bayou Renaissance Man - apparently they are planning a remake of the classic Rocky Horror Picture show.

Apostasy! Unbelievers!

Look - there have been movies and songs I have greatly enjoyed the remake of over the years. Ones where I think that a new aspect is well explored, or just a fresh take is nice. Things like Oceans 11, Casino Royale and such come to mind.

Certain other things Are. Not. To. Be. Touched.

I can still remember losing my RHPS virginity at a midnight showing years ago in college; and many other fun nights attending the movie and even a few times playing in the cast. To this day my wife and I can still quote our lines as we occasionally watch the DVD for laughs. Hopefully someday down the road when the kids are older we will be able to introduce them to the same joys.

No one will replace Tim Curry as Frank-N-Furter, much less the other cast bits. New technology or CGI will in no way improve upon the pure intentional cheesiness of the sets and effects. Quite simply, whatever they do can't be better.

They fling around fatwas and condemnations for everything else - perhaps we need one here!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Ick or something

Got a call today from my attorney with a question - she had a case with another officer going on (she does work as a defense attorney as well,) and had a bit of a procedural question regarding how we teach to do things & what might a "reasonable" officer do and consider in a certain situation. After spending a minute getting the details I let her know the areas that yes, I would have done differently, and that I consider while not "wrong" at least not in the best judgment. She thanked me and sent word a short time later that she had won her case.

I had to laugh some - on the one hand I told her I felt "dirty" for helping the other side (just kidding folks!) - on the other, one of my pet peeves is incompetent officers who make the job harder on the rest of us. Particularly when their actions border on questionable stops, searches or arrests.

Besides, around here at least we do generally have a professional relationship with most defense attorneys, which is something I like. Both sides are important in our system, and I have never begrudged the ones who put their effort into doing a good job.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Casting call

Jacob is currently working through The Hobbit as his bedtime story. He's done the graphic novel & the animated movie of course, but this is his first experience with me reading the words straight to him.

So, tonight as we are continuing through the opening scene at Bilbo's home, it struck me in both style and delivery who would be the perfect voice for Thorin Oakenshield - John Hillerman in his "Jonathan Higgins" voice from Magnum P.I. - the way his stories carry on, that bit of stodginess, all of it would work absolutely wonderfully.

If Peter Jackson casts him, I expect royalties...

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Vacation time

Last night's outing to pick out pumpkins and do family dinner was cut short by a call-out - fortunately nothing more than a nice chunk of hours for the overtime check.

Then I rolled into a DUI special for the evening; I hadn't realized that it was apparently drunk night throughout town. If I counted right, between the special & regular patrol officers we had about 14 DUI arrests last night - made for a slow time at the jail, but good to get them all off the street. I lucked out with mine as well as she was honest, polite, and in no other ways a pain in my butt. Much easier to deal with than some of the others I saw.

Off for the next week unless I get called in for any bomb stuff. Other than that I plan to enjoy some family time & get a few projects done.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Two hundred thirty five years ago today Congress approved the purchase of two vessels, the start of the United States Navy.

I had the honor and privilege of serving fourteen years of my life in the Navy before my life as a cop. Literally traveling around the world, and having the chance to work with everything from regular fleet units to the highest levels of special operations and national assets - professionals every one. Air units, submarines, surface ships, shore duty in the mud & sand and trips to great countries and nice hotels on the government dime. Doing sneaky stuff in different places, sitting boring duty watches, blowing things up, jumping out of helicopters, diving, shooting, - I could go on and on. Two wars, countless days deployed for other bits of fun, training and real world operations, and humanitarian support.

To say the Navy gave me opportunities and knowledge I could never have gotten otherwise is an understatement - I wouldn't trade that time for anything e lse.

Not to mention the fact it let me meet my wife & led to our wonderful family :D

For two hundred thirty five years countless other sailors have answered that same call. The service has done things far beyond the call of duty, from the depths of earth to the depths of space. Even now thousands of men and women serve away from their loved ones in the cause of freedom.

Happy birthday, fair winds and following seas shipmates. Bravo zulu.

Monday, October 11, 2010

More genre fun

Ever since last year's Halloween tribute to Browncoats my wife and I have enjoyed Castle in the times we are able to watch. Tonight's episode is supposed to be a steampunk-style mystery, so hopefully good watching for all of us!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Unexpected fun

While I love my job and the opportunities, there are occasional days when I miss the fun of being just a "regular cop." I read the posts by Momma Fargo and some of the others and am reminded of the joy in playing the game on traffic stops or pedestrian approaches, finding people who need to go to jail and all the other joys of field work.

So - today I was on my way out to help with teaching a class at the range when a car comes screaming by me doing triple digits on the interstate. After a brief pause to make sure I'm not insane, that I am still driving a big truck with POLICE on it in rather obvious letters, I move in behind them as they continue to speed down the road. A short traffic stop later & we are of course playing the "I don't have a license" game, along with the two occupants having completely different stories about destinations, routes and all such things. Add a bit of alcohol to the mix and things are just tons of fun.

Even though I'm not in the same practice as a few years ago I still remember how to play this whole game well enough. Big surprise when I find the crack and weed in the car (especially when she swore up and down that there was nothing to be found, honest officer!) - then it's the "That's not my purse, well I share it with other people." etc. etc. etc.

It still amazes me how people will try this stuff, even when caught red handed.

What caught me even more was when the lady in question then tried to pass the drugs off on her son who was with her - yes, she was willing to throw her son under the bus for several felony charges, just to get out of her own trouble.

W. T. F. ??????????
Our society has reached that point? I'm not overly naive about this stuff after the years, but it still amazes me the influence that drugs will have on people and the depths to which they will sink. It makes me glad I do my bits here and there to clean some of it up.

Plus, it was nice to know that my skills aren't completely shot.


Was just recalling as well the other bit of interest to me. One of our relatively newer guys showed up at the jail the same time as I was, and of course we were comparing "Why are you here?" tales. His response to my tale being "Why can't I get that lucky?" I really couldn't answer beyond just saying it was a "right place at the right time" kind of thing.

It just seems interesting to me how some newer guys don't realize how this all works. Over the years I've encountered literally thousands of people, either on traffic stops or service calls. Some of them I've had the opportunity to simply talk with, some got tickets, some got arrested. Sure, I've found drugs, illegal guns, murderers and a host of other things. But I've also encountered far more people who were simply normal citizens going about their lives, people who I never had any further interest in or need to arrest. It's a numbers game - you take the time to run into people, particularly in the high crime areas, and you're bound to found more who need to be arrested. It doesn't fall into your lap, it's not some magic trick, or some secret gift. You have to make the effort to get the results - which is the hardest thing to teach some of the new guys. Just food for thought in police work, or life in general.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Colder Days

Not only did I grow up in the era of the Cold War, my first few years of service were still very much in that environment. No matter where you were assigned, particularly in the "intelligence community," the Soviet threat was always a concern. Things like the "Moscow Rules," knowing the various agencies and players, and all the other fun bits of detente were very much a part of my life for a good number of years.

I was reminded of this as I pulled out my copy of Chess to put in the player while cleaning up after dinner. I've always enjoyed the album for far more than the single tune which hit pop culture, and tonight was no exception. Listening to the songs & the back story, the whole "US vs. USSR" which infected everything from world domination to sporting events, everything just wrapped together to bring back not quite a sense of nostalgia, but at least a time when we all knew the players and the rules. Plus, I've always thought it could be rewritten as a great spy adventure set behind the scenes...

Anyway, for those who may not be familiar, here's the one song everyone knows from the play:

Monday, October 4, 2010

I couldn't help myself

I wasn't going to blog this one, really - but I just couldn't help myself:

An Uncompaghre Ute Shaved Beaver Hide Painting. The Northern Ute would trap beavers, shave images into the animals' stretched and cured hides, and use them to decorate their personal and ceremonial dwellings.

Which led to the comment as I was reading the article "See, it's not my fault, it's genetic!"


It struck me reading a few blogs today that I've been a bit maudlin', whiny and generally self-pitiful lately on here - for which I am sorry.

I have a good job which keeps me happy & more than busy, a wonderful family and a life which is improving as opposed to the alternative. I have a home, I'm not getting shot at or eating MRE's on a regular basis again, and I am relatively sure that tomorrow will continue this trend.

I have no reason to bitch - I'll work on keeping that in mind, and thanks for understanding.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Bits from the week

Managed to survive another long one - rough on the family & I both, but hopefully next week will be better.

- For those wondering, lawsuits aren't that much fun, whether you are the plaintiff or the defendant. The fact that they move at a glacially-slow pace doesn't help.

- Pretty much tired & fed up with lawyers who are of the opinion that cops are stupid, simply because we don't have a J.D. after our name.

- The weather has finally cooled off nicely & we've gotten some much needed rain. I do enjoy fall around here, as it is a distinct season.

- I was dumb enough to pick up a 12-hour off duty job yesterday which involved being on my feet the whole time. Feeling the results still today... not one of my wiser decisions.

- We've entered the semi-annual range qualification cycle yet again. And yet again I'm amazed at the number of cops who don't even pretend to take it more seriously than going through the motions just long enough to qualify and go home.

Alright, bitching is over - I get to help a neighboring agency blow some things up tomorrow, so hopefully it will be a positive start to the week.

For those who are unaware, Monster Hunter: Vendetta and the new P.J. O'Rourke are both out...

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Is today done yet?

Let's see...

Started out the morning dealing with a call from a DUI arrestee pending trial. Who was full of demands, annoyance and other stuff. Folks - #1, conversations with me which consist of a majority of "You need to" and "You have to"'s will generally not work out in your favor. #2, when you are very obviously using some web site's "How to beat your DUI" line of reasoning before we even get to court - remember, you get what you pay for...

Then we got the official paperwork on the countersuit being filed against me from an arrest a couple of years ago. Delivered at home to my wife. And written in a highly inflamatory manner. Wish I could say more, but suffice to say it didn't help my mood. Then of course having to do emails and phone calls back and forth with the county attorney, my personal attorney, etc.

Spent the rest of the 12 hour day dealing with some VIP visit issues and all the associated fun.

On a positive note, I didn't spend much time out in the rain, and I came home to a wonderful family who were happy when I walked in the door.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Why cops who like DUIs make difficult parents...

from an episode of my children's silly time tonight:

"What would it mean if I said my alphabet A B C D X Y Z?"

"Well son, usually that means you're about to wear my handcuffs and go to jail."

My wife has the most well-toned eye roll muscles in the Western hemisphere for some reason.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

More thoughts

Kind of a follow-up to yesterday's post, based on my work today.

I spent the majority of my normal day off working - a relatively unpopular group was doing some protests in town, so we had to both pre-screen the areas as well as stand by throughout the event. The folks in question aren't "bad", but their ideas tend to raise a lot of controversy, counter-protesters, media reports etc.; all of which works in the protesters favor as more publicity and a chance of a stink. So, I was up at 5:45 this morning and didn't get home til the afternoon.

I will also add, as way of reference, that this is certainly one of those groups I am adamantly against - I don't agree with either their message or their frequent venues to argue it in. I can also fairly say my opinion was shared by the majority of the officers and citizens present at the event. But I am also a professional, and all that stayed at home.

I did a little count of the resources assigned to this event - just with my agency we had 60 officers, to include road units, EOD, SWAT, riot team, traffic control, an aircraft overhead etc. This isn't counting the few State police units I know were floating about, or anyone else who may have dropped by. The little gathering had attention all the way up to the Chief of Police.

For five protesters - that's it. A couple of counter-protesters showed up, but heck even the media outnumbered the two groups combined. There were no incidents, nothing more than pickets and discussion, and everyone went home at the end of the day with nothing more than a few more hours on the paycheck.

And I'm proud to live in this country because of things just like this.

Think about it - this is a place where today alone one agency spent thousands of dollars and man-hours to ensure that a small group of people, whose message was unpopular and unwanted in the communities chosen, were able to peaceably assemble and have their say. We didn't spend our time looking for ways to lock them up, or looking the other way as folks beat on or harassed them, or even worse, doing so ourselves. They weren't hounded out of town, denied their opportunities or disappeared into some dark hole somewhere.

All things I have seen happen in other countries throughout the "modern" world.

We are fortunate enough to live in a place where this can be - where people can share their opinions, grievances and beliefs in a public forum; and where that right will not only be observed it will be protected with the utmost promises. Because that's what all of us out their today showed by our very presence - the continuation of the premise that while I may not agree with what you say, I will defend to the death your right to say it.

60 officers today were on that line to defend that right - even for those they did not agree with - and for that I am proud.

We may not always like the words others have to say, we may find them offensive, hurtful or simply in poor taste. But before you judge and try to prohibit such things, remember that next time it may be someone who doesn't like what you have to say.

For those who need a refresher

OldNFO has a nice quiz on the U.S. Constitution for everyone.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Just so Jackie will quit giving me crap...

Perfect scores at the range again this week - so there!

But hide behind Momma Fargo all you want!

Clueless of the day

I generally try to stay away from the politics on my blog, because most folks do it much better than I do, and I don't feel like getting into comment wars.

However, this quote today (from Yahoo News/Christian Science Monitor) on the investigation into voter intimidation and Justice Department policies managed to annoy the crap out of me:

The case could damage the Obama administration, says Mr. Lichtman at American University. But he also argues that most Americans understand that the Voting Rights Act was intended to correct gross and historic injustices, not nit-pick along partisan lines.

"You can try to force [the Voting Rights Act] to be equal, but it's not," he says. "If these are the worst examples you can find, then, by God, white people in America are pretty safe."

Mr. Lichtman, your ideas and theories there are completely clueless, inept and wrong - to put it nicely. The whole intention of the Voting Rights Act is the same as the legislation which provided minorities and women the right to vote in the first place - the very same as the other protections under the Bill of Rights and throughout our government. The intention is absolutely for all Americans to be equal under the law - for black, white, brown, red, yellow, blue, purple or any other shade you choose to differentiate people with.

It is double standards like this which have done more to continue racism (in all directions) in this country than anything else in the past 40 years I have been alive.

We are a nation of equal laws - and I for one am sick and tired of the "some animals are more equal than others" attitude which has infected our society. Whether race, social class, gender, sexual/food/exercise/other preference, geographic location, education or whatever - none of the above ENTITLES you to anything more than equal protection and equal opportunity to succeed or fail on your own merits.

Rant off.

Friday, September 24, 2010

An earworm for you

Don't recall which blogger introduced me to the band Hey Monday a bit back, but I've found a number of their tunes rather catchy. This one has been in my rotation recently - like the song, and for some reason I find it reminds me of The Bangles cover of "Hazy Shade of Winter". Anyway, hope you like since I have little else to share.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Use of Force Analysis

Recently there was a police shooting of a citizen in Las Vegas which has caused a bit of concern. I have avoided posting on it, mostly due to a lack of complete info. However, Confederate Yankee has a guest post up on it today which is well worth the time to read - not only due to the issues in the shooting of Mr. Scott, but as an exceptional analysis of the concerns we face in any law enforcement shooting.

I hate to "Monday Morning Quarterback" but the more that comes out on this one the worse it looks... I just hope that the department has the integrity to come out with all the facts, good and bad, soon.

Requested Dog Pics

Yes, I know they should have been up yesterday - hadn't really gotten the chance to take any.

This first one shows Bella and her lines - she is rather a nice looking dog. Does well on the leash, though we're still sorting out whether she's going to need the harness or just adapt to a collar. She definitely loved some time in the park though.

Here are Bella and Kyleigh in their natural state - showing part of the difficulty of pictures when they only function at Mach 3.

Finally this is the Dog and Her Boy are in the park - she's already decided he is a Favorite Human, and I foresee a lot of time the two of them will be playing together.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Monday bits

- It's amazing what a night of you know, actually sleeping, will do to help your brain and body recover. Might have to try this more often.

- Enjoyed a nice day off today - didn't do anything work at all. Went on a run through the woods with my wife, dropped some things off for a friend who's opening a consignment store & then went to pick up the new family dog. A friend of a friend had one that needed a home, and as we were somewhat in the market it all worked out. Then dinner & time with the kids & now a quiet night at home.

- The new one is settling in nicely - her name is Bella, she's a year-old black lab & coon hound mix, and she's enjoying the yard, the kids and the chance to explore. Meanwhile the two cats are in a constant state of fluff and anger, so we shall see how long it takes for them to recover.

Tomorrow starts the work week, hopefully it continues on this positive note.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


Yet again, 'tis International Talk Like a Pirate Day! Ye be warned maties!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Friday evening

Blogging will be lite still - the wife is out of town this weekend so the munchkins are free to gang up on one parent as I practice my skills merely to survive. How she does it every day I don't know.

For those observing such, may you have a wonderful Yom Kippur and reflect wisely.

For Constitution Day I will point my readers to one of the funniest yet most informative books I've read on our government: Parliament of Whores by the ever-popular P.J. O'Rourke. Read and learn.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

More fringe benefits

One of the fun parts of my job is that I get issued thousands of dollars worth of tools & toys to work with - everything from weapons to explosives to protective gear to whatever it may be. Due to some grants last year I have had the chance to expand this list greatly for me & my team, trying to move our capabilities forward even more. So - periodically I will get a call from our supply folks saying some new thing is in for me to pick up, I will load it in the truck & then find time at work & home to make sure all parts are included, everything works well & it gets put in the appropriate spot. If it's something safe & fun I will take the time to show it to my children as well, since it's a chance for them to not only see part of daddy's work but something of the applications of science & technology, and they always have fun & ask great questions.

Tonight was some new night vision equipment - I was quite impressed with how far the technology has come in the decade since I last used things, and Jacob and Kyleigh both found it rather intriguing to poke around in a dark room with a magic eye light.

Someday they will have their own interests, friends, and obligations - they won't want to spend time seeing my toys, or laugh at my simple jokes. But until then it's nice to be able to bring work & the family together now & then.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Your video of the night

Because #1 I have to give credit to my people - and this is very well done!

and #2 - any video that contains the blog (intended or not!) needs to be posted.

h/t to my wife for the link.

Geek and Gamer Girls Song - Watch more Funny Videos

Other random bits

Along with the prior, while talking with my new acquaintances today the discussion about my military time came up. As always, I get asked why I didn't finish my 20 years up and get the retirement.

Well, I gave them the abbreviated story regarding some health issues along with the difficulty of starting a family when gone 9 months of the year. Normally this just leads to some confused nods & discussions of "Well, you should have/could have/might have..."

This time it was a refreshing change - the one former Master Chief told me that he'd told numerous folks in the past several years that when things started slowing down with age it was worth very serious thought as to when to bail or when to ride things out - that a retirement check isn't worth being miserable or crippled. The other gentleman just nodded along & agreed.

As I said, I enjoyed hearing others from my perspective - and as my wife reminded me, those who were in similar situations to mine in the more specialized communities have been those who most understood.

Anyway, just sharing that bit. In other news, it's off for TASER instructor recertification tomorrow. Fortunately not getting zapped again, just not in the mood for the long day.


It's often said in business that it "isn't what you know, but who you know." Well, police work, the military etc. also have that tendency. Had a nice reminder of that today.

A certain Very Large Company was in town doing a workshop & meet & greet that I was invited to, involving my agency & several others. While there I started talking to the representatives from Slightly Smaller Subsidiary Company. Both of whom are prior Navy themselves, from a community I worked with.

Now, one of the funny things about EOD guys, Special Ops Guys, etc. is the whole "name game" - or as my wife calls it "sniffing each other's butts." Upon meeting a new person associated with the community we start sharing who we know along with secret handshakes etc until we find a few names in common; after that it's like a magic door opening to the rest of the conversations. With these two in question it was a bonus, as they were both senior enlisted members in very respected positions, and with rare levels of experience.

As a side note, and the reason for the fortuitousness of this meeting, a downside of some of my specialized skills is that there are only so many places to practice them, particularly in my area - so we tend to beg, borrow & steal the opportunities as they come.

Anyway, so I chat for a few minutes with these guys, ask some questions about a few of their products, share thoughts on those I've been using etc. They ask in return some of our policies and procedures regarding these certain areas, and I explain our limited resources.

Which leads to an invitation out of the blue - "Well, I still know XXXX at so-and-so - I can get you guys in there to do some training with them, just give me a call and we will set it up."

So - for the cost of a few hours of the morning, I not only made some new connections, but I managed to get a chance for my team to work at a very high level & in a way that would NEVER be possible if we didn't have some mutual friends.

Sometimes it's nice having a past...

Friday, September 10, 2010

Movie night

Watching Secondhand Lions after way too long of a break tonight with my wife - both enjoying a quiet night at home before more work tomorrow.

I've forgotten how good this movie is, and how many good lessons it will have for my children as they grow up. I could share a ton of brief quotes, but simply watch the movie if you haven't - and if you have a child in the right range they may enjoy it as well.

Note for the cops

So, sitting in court yesterday waiting to do some traffic stuff I was chatting with my attorney for a bit (who was there on separate stuff). It seems that a number of our newer officers are developing quite a bad reputation for questionable stops, being rather lose with the facts in their testimony, and in general just calling into question their integrity and behavior as officers. During said conversation we witnessed one such, and I can certainly say from his testimony that if I had been a defense attorney I would have had questions.

Folks - your integrity is the only thing you really keep on this job & it will follow you always. You can do a lot of things and make plenty of mistakes, but should you lie about it (or just do enough to call it into question) then you are done. Just like cops talk, so do lawyers and judges, as well as the public. What you do, how you do it, and how you speak of it when called to do so are constantly under scrutiny.

I have worked hard over the years to develop my reputation with the courts and my community as an officer who can be relied on to share the facts of an event - for good or bad. To be honest, even when I make a mistake. Sure, it has cost me some cases here or there - things where there was enough for an arrest, but other elements kept a reasonable doubt for a conviction, or where being honest about the statements of all involved led to dismissals. But I've also had numerous cases where a "he said/she said" was decided in my favor because the judges knew my reputation. Defense attorneys who will ask me about DUI cases before the fact, knowing I will tell them the good and bad both, and often saving us all the effort and shame of a trial by pleading a case. Use of force complaints where I was able to not worry, because I knew my report was accurate and trusted Internal Affairs.

There is no case we do worth throwing that all away. I don't care if it's a red light ticket, a drunk, a ton of coke, or a homicide - nothing is worth lying or hiding the facts. We make mistakes, we forget things, there are plenty of other human errors which occur. Everyone knows this - sure, sometimes it is on something serious, but if you are honest when it occurs you will get a lot more mileage than trying to play lose with the facts. Because in doing so, you may win the one moment, but when it comes out (and it will sooner or later, never fear) your reputation will forever after be tarnished with every citizen, officer and judicial official you meet. Is the moment worth any of that?

Don't be the officer who paints us all with that brush of shame.

Monday, September 6, 2010

More post-theft

Because I'm out of original material at the moment, Grognardia sums up in a sentence what went wrong with Episodes I-III:

But, even so, there was a sense of reckless abandon, an openness to possibility that was nevertheless quite enthralling. Star Wars, the movie, was just a launching point for all manner of wild and woolly space fantasies, rather than the start of an epic storyline that would, ironically, turn its villain into its protagonist, with Luke, the farm boy turned galactic hero, reduced almost to a footnote in an overwrought tale of a petulant brat's unearned redemption.

and yes, Han shot first.

Comment on the book-burning idiots

The wonderful thing about reading Marko is he says all this stuff so much more elegantly than I ever could...

The funny thing is, these are the same people saying Islam is being intolerant of their faith and beliefs.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Why does this music sound familiar?


Well, last night's special was unsuccessful, in that I didn't find any DUIs to take to jail - barely even wrote any tickets.

On the other hand, encountered several people who were telling the truth when they said they'd only had one or two drinks (a rarity as any cop or EMT will tell you), and who were thanked very courteously for being under the limit & driving safely.

I'll call that a win - if there are fewer drunks out there than everyone is a bit safer.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Saturday night

and we've survived a day of children full of energy (mostly my wife, as I was feeling a bit wiped out this morning...)

Got dishes done, house cleaned & munchkins to bed. Now a few minutes to sit and just relax & then off on a DUI hunt.

Please let this one be simple and drama-free...

Fortunately my children haven't reached this level of coordination

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Moscow rules

Remember, once is happenstance, twice is coincidence...

Any bets on #3 coming?

Sunday, August 29, 2010

griping again

Last night's DUI hunt went well - the six of us locked up 9 drunk drivers in 6 hours, and fortunately none of them were involved in accidents or hurt other people. Made for a busy night at the jail getting your paperwork done, but well worth it.

Of course one of them had to punch one of my buttons... I am so gorram tired of people who get arrested for their own bad judgment, then start on the "You ruined my life." rant, then start trying to file complaints about excessive force, police rudeness and everything else in hopes of making their problem go away.

Folks - we don't put the drink in your hand. We don't start the car for you and tell you to drive home. We didn't make any of the choices which led to your life on this night & you getting stopped for driving under the influence.

And when we do encounter you, quit taking every freaking thing as a personal attack and judgment of you and your life. I'm doing my job - nothing more. Whether you are a preacher, a teacher, a businessman or a thug during your normal day has nothing to do with it - at this point in time you are driving drunk & that is my concern. Should you be over the limit, you're going to wear handcuffs, no matter who you are - that's the rules folks. No, they aren't comfortable - they aren't meant to be. You're going to go to jail & have to deal with the sounds, smells and sights of all these other people; and while I will treat you courteously and respectfully make no mistakes - you are under arrest, and will be treated as such. Bitching and whining about tight handcuffs, or that you weren't a risk to anyone and I should be after "real criminals," or the even better "You can't do this!" are going to do nothing but annoy me and get added to the file of statements for the judge to hear at trial.

But, apparently it's just part of modern society that no one is to blame for their own actions in life...

A wonderful bit of generosity

Artist Kaziah Hancock founded Project Compassion to provide free portrait paintings of military, fire, and law enforcement who have passed in the line of duty in the past decade. This is all done for the family at no charge and they are supported by donations.

If you have a few free dollars I can think of much worse things you could do than to help support such generosity.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Knowing your audience

While helping out with the public function today I noticed we were handing out a wonderful little coloring book to kids titled "When to call 911."

I made the observation to my coworkers that perhaps we'd cut our workload more if we did a version for adults, and included a copy in every six-pack of beer sold...

Friday, August 27, 2010

An utter disgrace

For whatever reasons the decision not to prosecute the mastermind of the bombing of the U.S.S. Cole is utterly shameful and unforgivable. Let us hope that enough public pressure can remedy this situation.

Bits & Pieces

- I love the winners who, upon seeing a cop car, do the "please don't see me" game. Staring straight ahead, slowing down to avoid passing you at any cost, hands glued to the 2 & 10 on the wheel, you can almost see the "Please oh please oh please" prayers going on. Because this desperate attempt to avoid attention is almost 100% certain to get me to go ahead and run your info and find out how many tickets you are about to get written...

- Get to spend my afternoon tomorrow at a dog & pony show for a local event. Then it's off to a DUI special for some overtime money. Hopefully I have better luck than last time.

- Been way too long since I blew anything up - need to remedy that soon.

- If you haven't been reading Momma Fargo you're missing a great blog - she can make me laugh and shake my head at her tales pretty much every day. Drop on by, I bet you'll like it.

Thursday, August 26, 2010


Sorry not much in the work posting category lately. Most of my time has been spent dealing with frustrations caused by staff members and other internal issues, so it's kind of had me annoyed.

Hopefully all will return to normal madness soon.

IRS using politics to determine tax status?

If this anti-Israel bias is true it is yet a new low for our current government.

More linkage

Matt has an excellent story up about the importance of even the simplest cases. This judge has the right idea.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

iTunes annoyances

- After all this time you would think that Apple could build a simple interface to let you look up songs by the title & match the info to your mp3 file without having to manually type it all in. Windows Media Player and RealPlayer have been able to do it for ten years now, get on the ball.

- Is anyone out there really reading a 64 page license agreement with an upgrade? If you want to impress your customers Steve put a simple summary at the front of the document highlighting the changes & let the lawyers enjoy the rest.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Wasting time

Spent far too many hours last night stuck late on an "assist" with a Federal agency running about town & witnessing a total lack of coordination or clue on their part. The sole highlight of the evening was delivering an ass-chewing of truly Biblical proportions upon the idiot who wanted to wear an Army uniform (improperly and with obviously unearned insignia) and pose as a soldier in order to get a bus ride discount. So at least I accomplished one thing.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

More fun

Nothing like finding out you and your department are being sued in Federal court to liven up your day. It wasn't unexpected, and the odds of it going anywhere are slim, but still rather frustrating...

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Twisted humor (NSFW)

Called in dead to work today, so I can try to kick this cold & get some rest. My poor wife, already suffering with a husband who's not the most helpful right now, has been busy rolling her eyes at my choice in shirts today:

I told her it's not like I'm wearing it in public or anything, and she just laughed.

Monday, August 16, 2010


Fighting the mother of all head-colds here, as well as extra heat and a work schedule in the sun too much.

Off for more rest, just wanted the world to know I'm (barely) alive.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Long day

In the good news, the rest of the family is home from their week at the beach. Kyleigh is definitely letting us know she missed her daddy, and Jacob is getting his time in as well.

Spent a long night last night in a fruitless DUI hunt - I wasn't the only one, as none of us had any real luck. Just one of those nights where no one was out to catch at the right time. Still, rather put in the effort than not as it were.

Then today, just after getting the biscuit down for her nap, the phone rang for a call-out in one of our shopping areas. Nothing to it fortunately - except for way too much media out there! (I have a long-standing aversion to pictures is all...)

All together a nice collection of overtime will be coming in for the day.

Monday, August 2, 2010

K9 Rule #1

People will automatically assume you are a training expert on any dog issue, no matter what, as soon as they know you are a canine officer.


The west end of our city has a reputation locally as being the "monied" side of things - not as true as it used to be, but that is definitely where some of the blue bloods, privileged types, and overly impressed with themselves live.

I was reminded of that fact working on a call today. Bit of juvenile vandalism, unfortunately involving explosives - just another in an exciting summer trend.

As we are talking with one area resident, asking if she heard or saw anything, and she's discussing all the reactions amongst the neighborhood her first comment is "Oh, I was just sick - I don't want the news media out here interviewing people on this, or folks talking about our street."

Not "I hope no one got hurt," or even "Gee, I hope there wasn't a lot of damage." No, her very first fear was that someone might associate her neighborhood with those "common people" whose children do such things.

Sometimes it's all I can do to keep my mouth shut...

Saturday, July 31, 2010

A message worth spreading

Hadn't heard about this until recently, but I want to pass this along.

Two Iranian brothers living in exile have a band called Blurred Vision. They were given permission by Roger Waters to re-record the song "Another Brick in the Wall" addressing the Iranian government from the dissident movement.

Normally I view musical remakes with the same loathing one reserves for a mixture of feces and slug-parts on the bottom of a shoe - but not always. And certainly not in this case.

Here is the YouTube embed. The song is available on iTunes.


Spread the word. Let those with freedom speak for those who cannot.

Sic semper tyrannis

Apparently I need to get to the range...

Because I was having weird zombie dreams last night, and I couldn't make a headshot for anything.

On a positive note though, it appears cats are immune to the zombie virus.

Friday, July 30, 2010

An Air Force Funny

Don't know if it's true or not, but it certainly does match what I recall of the C130 pilots we used to hitch rides from...

Letter to Wannabe Fighter Pilot:

The following E-Mail originated from a young kid who sent it to AETC (Air Education and Training Command) wanting to know how to prepare himself for a future career as a fighter jock.

To Lt Col Van Wickler:

Sir, I am DJ Baker and I would appreciate it if you could tell me what it takes to be an F16 fighter pilot of the USAF. What classes should I take in high school to help the career I want to take later in my life?

What could I do to get in the academy?


DJ Baker


From: VanWickler Kenneth, Lt Col, HQ AETC

Anybody want to help this poor kid from Cyberspace?


A worldly and jaded C130 Pilot, Major Hunter Mills rose to the task!

Dear DJ,

Obviously, through no fault of your own, your young, impressionable brain has been poisoned by the superfluous, hyped-up, "Top Gun" media portrayal of fighter pilots. Unfortunately, this portrayal could not be further from the truth. In my experience, I've found most fighter pilots to be pompous, back-stabbing, momma's boys with inferiority complexes -- as well as being extremely over-rated aeronautically.

However, rather than dash your budding dreams of becoming an USAF pilot, I offer the following alternative: What you REALLY want to aspire to is the exiting, challenging, and rewarding world of TACTICAL AIRLIFT. And this, young DJ, means one thing -- the venerable, workhorse -- THE >C-130!

I can guarantee no fighter pilot can brag that he has led a 12-ship formation down a valley at 300 ft above the ground, while trying to interpret a 9-line to a new DZ, avoiding pop-up threats, and coordinating with AWACS -- all while eating a box lunch, with the engineer in the back taking a piss and the navigator puking in his trash can!

I tell you, DJ -- TAC Airlift is where it's at!

Where else is it legal to throw tanks, HMMWVs, and other crap out the back of an airplane, and not even worry about it when the chute doesn't open and it torpedoes the General's staff car!

No where else can you land on a 3000' dirt strip, kick a bunch of ammo and stuff off the ramp without even stopping, then take off again before range control can call to tell you did your touch and go at the wrong LZ!

And talk about exotic travel. When C-130s go somewhere, they GO somewhere -- usually for 3 months, unfortunately. This gives you the opportunity to immerse yourself in the local culture enough to give any natives a bad taste in their mouths re the USAF and Americans in general -- not something those strat-lift pilots can do from their airport hotel rooms!

As far as recommendations for your course of study, I offer these:

Take a lot of math courses. You will need all the advanced math skills you can muster to enable you to calculate per diem rates around the world and when trying to split up the crew's bar tab so that the co-pilot really believes he owes 85% of the whole thing -- and the nav believes he owes the other 20%.

Health sciences are important, too. You will need a thorough knowledge of biology to make those educated guesses of how much longer you can drink beer before the tremendous case of the shits catches up to you from that meal you ate at that place that had the belly dancers in some God-forsaken foreign country whose name you can't even pronounce!

Social studies are also beneficial. It is important for a good TAC Airlifter to have the cultural knowledge to be able to ascertain the exact location of the nearest titty bar in any country in the world -- and then be able to convince the local authorities to release the loadmaster after he offends every sensibility of the local religion and culture.

A foreign language is helpful, but not required. You will never be able to pronounce the names of the NAVAIDs in France and it's much easier to ignore them and go where you want to anyway. As a rule of thumb: Waiters and bellhops in France are always called "Pierre". In Spain it's "Hey, Pedro" -- and in Italy, of course, it's "Mario." These terms of address also work in other countries interchangeably -- depending upon the level of swarth, couth and debonair of the linguist.

A study of geography is also paramount. You will need to know the basic location of all the places you've been when you get back from your TDY and are ready to stick those little pins in that huge world map you've got taped to you living room wall -- right next to that gigantic wooden giraffe statue and beer stein collection.

Well, DJ, I hope this little note inspires you -- and by the way, forget about that Academy thing. All TAC Airlifters know that there are waaay too few women and too little alcohol there to provide a well-balanced education. A nice, big state college would be a much better choice.

Good luck and see you on the SKE scope!

Major Hunter Mills

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

If we weren't all crazy...

With apologies to Mr. Buffett for the title.

Following a day playing catch-up after yesterday's work, I had just gotten home this evening when the phone rang for another call. Fortunately nothing to it at the end of things, but it added a few hours in the hot sun to a long day, plus rescheduled some other plans. On the positive side of things the patrol officers did everything right, kept their booger-hooks off stuff, and called us when things looked a bit strange - nice to know some of them are using their heads.


A post up on Texas Ghostrider this morning brought the following to mind.

For those who aren't aware, like any group police tend to have their little "sub-groups" with certain characteristics. Motor cops think about tickets, tickets, tickets. Narcs get tied up in playing the role & looking cool. Burglary investigators are just worried about case clearance stats, and can we move to the next one please. SWAT cops play their tacti-cool pose and strut. The poor road officer is overworked & unappreciated by the other cops. We joke about them, tease each other, and all that - but they do often hold true. And EOD guys are considered just a little bit crazy by all the rest.

We get our own share of teasing of course - we are not immune or better than the rest. Jokes range from "we don't do anything" or "all you guys want to do is blow stuff up." Comments about how we have all the expensive toys when no one else has money for stuff.

But we also get plenty of strange looks, and a different kind of respect than other groups (not more, just different) - to your average person or even cop, you have to be somewhat off your rocker to not only work with explosives, but to mess around other people's bombs. The fact that we walk downrange to deal with things designed to blow up just doesn't seem normal to cops, and thus they tend to treat us differently.

I've been introduced to Academy classes as "one of the guys you don't want to piss off, because he'll blow up your car or something." Watched a SWAT sergeant who has done more room entries than I can count back-peddle away from me at warp speed when I asked him to hold onto some explosives while I built a charge. Seen perfectly brave men & women look at myself and my teammates like we had two heads as we calmly discussed how to hand enter a package with a possible chemical agent. Heck, I have a Property Lieutenant who will call me personally to pick up packages that come in for my office, because he doesn't want to consider what might be inside. Like I said, to them we must be a bit nuts to even get into this job.

I can live with that... as the man said, it does keep my mail safe...

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Long ago whilst playing the same sort of games in the military we had an "unofficial" rule at work: should anything happen while on an exercise or deployment - be it diving, blowing stuff up, the range or whatever - you didn't call the parents/girlfriend/wife etc. while things were in progress. If you got hurt in minor stuff you took care of talking with them yourself, if you had series hospital stuff at least they'd wait til you were stable, and if heaven forbid it was really bad then the whole system would take over. Mind you this was before the days of cell phones, digital cameras and everything else being attached to every person in the world, instant Internet communications and all the other joys of modern technology. It wasn't in an attempt to be mean, hold back on info or any of that; more that while in the middle of dealing with a serious situation we really didn't want our minds distracted by home worrying about us or pestering for info. Yes, I know that it's not necessarily the best method, but it worked at the time.

For good or bad, it certainly doesn't work that way anymore. Not only do we have the media showing up on calls at the drop of a hat, but with the prevalence of information technology the fact we have a situation going on somewhere is pretty much common knowledge before I even get on scene. Which means that my wife is often aware from the news that I'm on a call before I even get home.

A little bit she left out though is another information source - a good friend of ours who is a dispatcher with my department. For the past couple of years it's usually just funny stuff "Sean's going to be late, he just stopped a car." or when she'll send us a message at home when I'm about to get called out for something. But, with today's call as an example, she's also been able to let my wife know when a call seems to be a bit more serious, due to the number of people out there, or if we ask for certain resources or whatever. And which also means that should something happen to me and she was working I know she would very quickly let my wife know what was up.

It's definitely a change in procedures for me to get used to - years of holding information close is instead transmitted before I ever even get done with the call. But it's also nice to know that she has something besides a half-written news blurb to let her know when I'm in the middle of stuff, and has a way to get some word of what's going on if my day turns long.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Weekend rules

Sorry for the dearth of posts - I've had the past four days off, and did my best to actually enjoy it as such, with minimal work effort (though some of course crept in) and no real stories. Relaxed with my wife & kids, had fun, slept a little, ate - all the things of normal life.

It's a nice change every now & again.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Notice from the management

#1 - I blog for my pleasure, sanity & venting. Not for money, to please others or to get into pissing matches online. Plenty of other places if that is your gig, I'm not doing it here.

#2 - Courtesy and common decency are expected in comments - and I reserve the right to delete those which have no place. Not saying no room for healthy debate, but I'm not putting up with the other crap.

#3 - If you think my blog is a place to pimp, advertise or otherwise hawk your site, service or other commercial venture you are sadly mistaken. Especially when such an industry is at odds with my career. As the latest example, that means trying to drum up business for your service in getting drunk drivers off in court is going to get very little mileage here.

Back to our irregularly scheduled programming.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Kittehs have teh priority

Fresh home from the vet the youngest of the two appears to have claimed her spot for the evening. It appears I shall be typing one-handed.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The demons

Going to try to write this without airing too much dirty laundry.

Unfortunately, we had another officer get caught up in an alcohol-related incident over the weekend. Hate to say it, but I'm not surprised given his history.

The bad part is, between current & retired officers, we are looking far from good in this area lately - a fact that the local press and various commenters have been enjoying immensely.

I happened to be working the other night when he was brought into the jail, dealing with one of my own DWI arrests. Even then you could see the realization of the hole he'd dug in his eyes. Given my presence & some other knowledge of the situation, and some of my history in the department instructing such subjects - combined with the fact that cops will gossip in a way to make a quilting bee take notes - I've been approached by a number of peers and others for various thoughts and discussions over the past few days.

One of the burdens you take up with putting on the badge is the fact that forever after you will be held to a different standard than the rest of the community. None of the drunks I've arrested this year had their pictures, names and occupations plastered in the paper or on the television, just because of their arrest. None of the fatal accidents I worked or helped with did the profession of mom or dad matter in what was reported, examined, testified to, or any other part of the case. But, if you are a cop, or a retired/former cop, that will be brought up in the news, in the testimony, in the civil lawsuit and everything else. We are "supposed to know better." We are the people who see this shit every day, who work in the mud and filth, and who somehow must magically emerge clean each and every time, never falling prey to the temptations, weaknesses, or failures of the rest of the world. Every single day in my jurisdiction and others people are arrested for things which will boggle the mind, or have histories you couldn't imagine - but it all fades to the back page when someone on the job makes a mistake.

Is it fair? Of course not.

Is it going to change? Absolutely not.

And if you can't handle it, find another job. This is part of the cost - the knowledge that the public, the courts, and your peers will hold you to a different standard than a citizen for the rest of your life.

Yes, in some ways it works to our benefit - I won't be a hypocrite and lie about that. Most cops won't write another cop for speeding or simple traffic stuff - "professional courtesy" is alive and well. They'll talk all kinds of crap about someone they don't like inside the station, but if outsiders are around that thin blue line becomes a solid wall. People I don't even like, and wouldn't say hi to in the hallway I will drive Code 3 across the county to help in a fight because they wear a badge.

But the cost is high.

Late on your bills at your job? That's your business. Here - it's something IA can start digging into, because now you're a "risk of bribery or corruption."

Have a family member who got popped for drugs, or stealing stuff or whatever? Who cares - we all have "those" relatives. Except for a cop - who has to be careful who he associates with in case it sends the wrong message.

Went out partying last night at the new bar in town? Glad you had fun. I can't go, because Internal Affairs and Organized Crime is watching the place due to rumored drug involvement amongst 1% of the clients.

Screw up and get arrested for something? In most cases you burn a few days of vacation, maybe even a few without pay, and life goes on - you have a story and something to bitch about, but you're still working, taking care of your family and all that. If you're a cop, the simple fact of the arrest alone means you are probably out of a job before the court case even is resolved.

Don't get me wrong - I am not excusing the officer for his behavior. He made his mistakes, and has zero excuses. This is more just a brain dump on the issues we face.

Twenty-some years ago, as I entered my first "special" unit I remember one of the senior members talking to all of us new guys. Part of the discussion lay in the fact that three things will kill your career - alcohol, women (at that time - for now we can say sexual relations and cover the gamut,) or money. Over the years I can say that has proven 100% true - and that far and above the winner is alcohol. It leads to more mistakes, lapses in judgment and just plain dumb decisions than anything else I have seen. I have watched people go from being a "golden boy" to a pariah based on one night's events; even worse I've had to go to funerals for those who didn't survive their choices.

I'm far from a hypocrite - heaven knows I enjoyed my beer back when I partook regularly. But I was very fortunate in not putting myself in those situations ever which had those long term consequences. And fortunately I learned some important lessons before making and serious mistakes. Unfortunately, far too many can't say the same. The demons which plague us all to one form or another managed to sink their teeth at the right times and forever after the effects will resonate in countless lives.

I guess I have a couple of points with this. For the world in general - keep in mind that we are human too behind these badges. We stumble, we slip, we fail at times. That doesn't change the inherent goodness of what we do, and try not to tarnish the whole with the mistakes of the few. For those who wear the badge - think about the demons in your own lives, and the consequences of your actions. Don't be the next news story just because you think you're above it all.