“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, May 29, 2011

Memorial Day 2011

Today is the day in the United States where we take some time to remember those who have given their lives in the service of our nation's military over the past two centuries.

Some will do it by enjoying a day off from work or school, cooking out and enjoying time with family and friends. Others may spend it in quiet reflection for family or friends who have passed on.

Much is made of the fact that for many people today really doesn't hold much "meaning" beyond that of another holiday. The percentage of veterans in our society is relatively low, and for a large portion of our population the sacrifices made by military members throughout the years really have no personal connection. Today is just another day to party, sleep late, find a few sales and enjoy the start of summer.

Honestly I'm fine with that - I've lived and worked in places where everyone is under threat of attack, where civilians face as much risk of death or injury as soldiers; where armed attack, landmines, bombings, snipers and everything else makes "normal" life impossible. I would rather have a world where the few protect and shield the many from the ravages of war.

For others of us this day will always be a reminder. Friends and comrades who have died - some in combat, some in training, and some in unfortunate accidents throughout the years. The nature of preparing for and fighting in war is that sometimes people die - it's a dangerous business. Anyone who's served for a period of time has been exposed to this, particularly with the conflicts of the past ten years.

However much they blur into news bites or moments of the past, we owe them this moment of memory, this honor for their sacrifices. For the past four decades in particular every single person in our military has been a volunteer - no draft, no involuntary servitude, just people who stepped forward. Some did it because of a family tradition of service. Others were there for the college plan. Some wanted a personal challenge, others felt they had no other options in a bad economy. But for whatever reason they chose to enter the service of this great nation. Maybe they sought combat and died in battle, maybe they were just a cook or supply person who was in the wrong place at the wrong time. No matter which it means the same.

Over the years I lost many of my own comrades - names and faces which live with me still. Combat in various theaters. Helicopter crashes. Diving accidents. Two unfortunate suicides. Other scattered incidents throughout the world in peace and war.

Brothers, you are not forgotten. I am honored to have served alongside you, and we do our best to remember you as you would have wanted.

Although I don't often wax religious on here, there is a biblical verse which is appropriate. It's one used in the bomb disposal community normally, but in my mind it applies to each and every member of our military:

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I. Send me!" Isaiah 6:8

Friday, May 27, 2011

Doing better

Apparently, sweating for several hours on a bomb call does wonders to clear the mucus from your head - who knew?

Most-amusing-moment is a tie right now between the former resident who wanted to complain that we blew up the grenade left at his house; or the news commenter who annoyed my wife with her statement of "They had the road closed and I couldn't get home with groceries in the car."

One explosion and some paperwork later, and I'm home for a quiet night.

Thursday, May 26, 2011


Kids brought home a new bug, which I of course caught.

Talk amongst yourselves.

Monday, May 23, 2011


Spent some time at the VA Hospital today for an appointment - during the wait for everything I ended up in conversation with a gentleman and his wife also waiting.

30 year veteran of the Army and Navy, with service from WW II through Vietnam. An old-school diver from back when they did the training up in New Jersey (WAY before my time!). It was a great talk with both of them - sharing experiences old and new, places been to and various experiences.

I think it's important we cherish these people - for it is a kind of history which can't be learned in books. And someday it will be our turn.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

I have issues

Saw a window sticker today which read "Christian hunter" - and my first thought leapt to - "Wow, thought that hobby sort of went away with the Romans... I wonder what season they're best in?"

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Good court day

3 hours of overtime for 5 minutes work - seems that the clerks forgot to tell everyone when the defendant withdrew his appeal on the case two months ago...

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Go. Read. Laugh.

If this kid didn't become a bomb tech he sure should have.

h/t to Firehand.

And there are no incidents like this in my past. Honest. The lithium-in-the-school-bathroom incident was never proven, and there are no witnesses to anything else...

For the win

A bit back I mentioned a DUI arrest which had been complicated (screwed-up) by me getting called out for a dog search halfway through.

Well, today was the court date for it - I had let the prosecutor know in advance that it had issues & what they were, fully expecting them to either not go forward or to let the guy get off with a reckless driving charge or something. Not what I'd prefer, but better than fighting a weak case in front of a judge. (Of note - the arrest was good, for those not familiar with such things - just some other administrative/procedural elements which the State requires weren't done thus complicating things.)

Instead, and in full credit to the prosecutor who stood her ground with the defense attorney - they plead guilty to a DUI. Completely surprising me. Even more so when the prosecutor told me it was because #1 I had very complete notes of the entire encounter and a well-written summary of all the things his client said/did throughout (the kind of stuff a defense attorney doesn't want the judge hearing), and #2 the defense attorney knows me and my reputation for thoroughness and good arrests.

So yes, I'm a bit proud of how things went - not just for myself, but as an example of what we teach from day one of the Academy and what I've always preached in terms of good notes, good testimony and a reputation for integrity and honesty going a long way in how things work.

Nice to have a win, even if the horse looked lame at the gate...

Friday, May 13, 2011

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Good press

Well in the past two weeks we've had:

- An officer get picked up for (but not charged with) DUI in a neighboring jurisdiction & who wonders why the chain is talking about firing him anyway... particularly since this is just the latest in a string of incidents involving this idiot and poor judgment.

- Another officer who went through the phone pics of an arrested subject, and upon finding several intimate pictures of a female then forwarded the pictures to his own phone - without deleting said forwarded messages either. Very understandably causing an upset subject to call Internal Affairs upon his release.

- And our latest winner, picked up on Federal charges involving child pornography and offenses with underage participants.

On the ironic note, it sure makes me glad to be low-profile & out of the limelight due to the presence of common sense.

On the other, this stuff pisses me off on multiple levels.

#1, any of the above are violations of not just the law but of common decency - all of which deserve the appropriate punishments.

#2 it's shit like this that makes it harder for those of us who try to live up to the standards and do the right thing. The vast majority of the cops out there bust their ass every single day, fight the good fight, and do their best to live by a higher standard. But, every time one of these idiots does something it taints all of us. Citizens and the community don't remember the good ones - they remember the news stories about "yet another' dirty cop. They don't look at how hard I work for my reputation and integrity - they just ask why it seems some of us feel untouchable or above the law. For all we bitch about the breakdowns in society and the system, or we takl about how the mopes and thugs are getting worse - hold up the mirror to what is going on in our houses.

I'm waiting to see what happens with each. We have a new chief, and this is his opportunity to establish the tone of his discipline and tenure. I find each of these offenses unforgivable & I hope that they are treated as such - but I also hope that it's done fairly and openly. That way not only the department but the community can see that we will not tolerate such people masquerading as one of our own.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Bits & Pieces

- For those who are ranting because the .gov has decided not to release videos and pictures of the operation last weekend, please consider that a great deal of sensitive information might be affected by this as well. Tactics, techniques and procedures are closely guarded, particularly amongst certain units, and satisfying some need to see what happened may put future operations at risk.
Furthermore, do we really need to get into the habit of posting trophy shots of our kills? No thanks - at least in my book.

- One of our K9 officers had to put down his partner yesterday, due to a rapidly developing tumor. He's taking it pretty hard & we're all doing our best to help him out.
For folks who've never worked with a police dog, or at least been in the family, it's hard to understand the bond - much more than that of just a pet or acquaintance. There are frequently weeks where I spend more waking hours with my work dog than I do with my family; and a level of trust and a bond of friendship develops which can't be easily explained. Especially when you consider that this is a partner you regularly trust your life to, who looks at you with absolute devotion, and who would sacrifice his life for yours. Losing a canine partner is just like losing a human partner for most officers, so it's a tough week.

- Looked at my calendar today and it seems my schedule is actually starting to slow down for a bit - either I've forgotten to write some things down, or I may even get a chance to catch up on things and relax.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Home again

Spent the great majority of the past three days at work, with enough time at home for a bit of sleep and off again - which unfortunately was on the opposite schedule than everyone else. Based on the reactions of the children and animals in subjective time it was closer to 3 years... But, I'm home now, and playing catch up. Hopefully this will give my poor wife a chance to recover now, as I have tomorrow off as well.