“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

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?