“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

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Strange times

Today we had a sober 50 year old man with no criminal record and a valid license lead officers on a high-speed pursuit at lunchtime for 23 miles "just because."

A brief moment of gloating

- $10000 lawyer & a few thousand more for your "expert" on hire...

- Three hour trial on your appeal...

- Still guilty at the end of things despite lying on the stand along with all the other stuff...

How'd that work out for you?

Monday, June 27, 2011

Happy Birthday!

Six years ago I was halfway through a midnight shift when I got the call from my wife that "I think my water just broke." I rushed home, loaded her in the car & we headed in a tizzy to the hospital - to end up waiting for twelve hours til this little guy decided to show up.

Fast-forward up to today.

Smart, funny, curious, sensitive, adventurous, and so many other things - everything I could have hoped for and more. Apparently our "make it up as you go along" parenting style hasn't been a failure.

Happy birthday Jacob - I am so grateful that I get to share in the journey of your life.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Today's quiz

I got an 84.85% - actually pretty pleased with that given the averages.

Try your knowledge of civics here.

Saturday, June 25, 2011


My lovely wife and I don't watch television much - a couple of shows now & then, but certainly nothing regular. One of the benefits of this is that we avoid modern commercials as much as possible, thus saving our gag reflex...

However, every now & again we will turn on one of the music video channels as we relax in the evening, watching the ones that catch our eyes and usually ignoring the interludes.

The infomercials get us every time though - I swear, it's like they want us to mock them. Does anyone else have that experience?


While I honestly try not to blow my own horn that much, I do consider myself rather skilled and knowledgeable in my job. Between years of experience, some bits of aptitude here & there, and I don't know what else, I happen to be good at what I do. Usually I really don't think about it in terms of my profession, as I tend to think most people are about the same level - unfortunately, that's not always the case. This week was a bit of a reminder into some of that...

Started out when I was invited out with some of our supervisors to observe a State Police exercise using some specialized explosive skills in a tactical arena. Before the trip I had been of the mental impression that their skill level was about the same as mine in this field - nothing I'd call "expert" but certainly competent enough to do the job. Instead, I found out that they were far behind not only in capability but in technical knowledge; the "why" you do certain things in certain ways, how the explosives are working. Basically the ability to not only use the tools, but to adapt them when needed & to know what the right tool is for the job. On the good side, they were receptive to some of my advice, and we've made some tentative plans to train together in the future where we can hopefully help each other with some of that.

Then today I got a nice call out to one of our Fire/Police shared facilities - seems like someone found an apparent device and obviously was a bit concerned. After some effort on our part and dealing with making the possible item safe we then found out that a third-party contractor had left it behind during a training exercise a month ago - no accountability, no effort made to clean up after themselves, didn't bother to tell anyone else etc.

So let's see - we tied up Police & Fire resources for several hours, all of which could have been used helping with other calls, or would have liked to have enjoyed their days off. We shut down a facility for the same period, preventing people from getting their work done. We put people at risk investigating this and having to treat it like a live device. All because you don't have the competence or professionalism to properly mark or take care of your toys.

The good note out of all of this is that my command staff is very happy with the unit right now and the things I've been able to do with it. Now my next goal is reminding everyone (to include myself) not to rest on our laurels, but instead to see what areas we can improve in so we don't become the ones folks talk about down the road.

Marko does it again

If I could write like that I guess I'd be a professional author as well - an excellent essay on the gay marriage issues out there.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


Today I brought out my shiny new "Malvin and Cobbes" t-shirt to wear for the first time, which brought the observation from Jacob of "I like your shirt daddy, who are those guys?"

So, after first pointing out the Firefly reference to him, I then proceeded to explain Calvin and Hobbes - and provide him with his first reading of one of the books.

On the one hand, Daddy is proud of his boy - another great time ahead of him learning the joys of Watterson's work.

On the other, I am in dread of the character similarities he will see, and the ideas he may garner...

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Shaking my head yet again

Had another of those "beat a coworker" moments the other night...

Working a DUI special & I manage to arrest a young lady on her way home from the bars. Now, to set part of the story - she is an attractive girl, and is dressed for a night out at the clubs, not for a night in jail. I even go out of my way to warn her before going in that there are liable to be drunk men there who will definitely ogle and possibly get mouthy - and that if she would like a blanket or some coveralls I will make sure she gets them. She politely declines, and we proceed with the processing such arrests take. Also please keep in mind - this girl has been an absolute lady the entire time - honest, courteous, respectful and everything else we so rarely see in drunks.

So, our prisoner in question is sitting there hooked to the rail as I complete my paperwork, when another officer brings in a prisoner of his own. He then looks over at mine and says in a voice for all to hear, "Wow, where'd you get her coming from, the strip bar?"

Before he can even continue to run his mouth I've grabbed him and pulled him around the corner, and I start in. Explaining that he's being rude in the first place, that he will not antagonize or even speak to my prisoner unless absolutely necessary in the second, and that if he wants to keep being an ass I'm liable to unhook her and let her kick him in the crotch with me helping. Based on his facial expression I think once he got past the shock he kind of got the hint.

Things like that annoy me beyond words. We have a bad enough time dealing with people as it is, and then some idiot like this makes us all look horrible. Yet, it seems without fail, there are certain officers who get their kicks out of humiliating, insulting, or otherwise antagonizing people who've been arrested and are in jail. Particularly when it's not even their prisoner. I don't let it go on around me, but unfortunately there are plenty who ignore it or look the other way.

Something I always used to tell new officers when I trained them - you treat your prisoners the way you would want someone to treat your parents or your spouse if they'd been locked up. You don't insult them, you don't humiliate them, and you remember that words like "sir/ma'am" and "please" and "thank you" go a long way.

With rare exceptions, people don't start their day, or go out for the night, planning to end up in jail. When you start adding alcohol and drugs to the mix then you add even more stress and emotion to a difficult event. Sure, there are times you have to fight people, or put them in a time-out chair, or whatever - but the vast majority of them in my experience will work with you if you simply take the time to treat them like the human beings they are.

Even when they're under arrest, they are still citizens and part of the community - you know, the folks we swore to serve and protect.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Weekend fun and togetherness

- Feeling much better, thanks all. Apparently it was only a 24 hour death.

- We spent the morning getting some long-overdue housecleaning done, to include work by the children which was much-hated but necessary. A bit past spring, but it was really our first good chance for it.

- Took the time to help a worthy cause at lunch - Cooking With the Troops was having a fundraiser for one of their houses which helps wounded soldiers and their families during their recovery period. It was nice to help with a little bit of cash and to talk with some other veterans. Definitely a worthwhile bit of your time if they ever do anything near you. Though it would have been nice to have them realize my wife is a veteran as well!

- Then it was off to the bookstore, with everyone finding at least something to enjoy. Books and such for the kiddos, a DVD set 80's TV series I'd been seeking, and nice time together as a family.

Enjoying a quiet night at home now & preparing for the birthday tomorrow. Plan to break in the new grill & be grateful for my wonderful family; far worse ways to celebrate another trip around the sun.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

continuing gripes

I also have now apparently been hit by the sudden death flu... please send sympathy to my poor wife who now has not only two Doom-Toddlers, but a whiny sick husband to sort out.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The smell of morning

For some reason I've been waking up at 0430 the past few days... ugh...

Hopefully a nap today and staying up later will help.