“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

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.