“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, May 28, 2012

Kilted to Kick Cancer

I'll be posting more on this as we get closer to September, but for those unaware the sign-ups are starting.

Let's get this thing rolling early for 2012 and double last year's totals.

Link here at Ambulance Driver's.


Saturday, May 26, 2012

Hoarding, guilt trips and other fun

As some of you know, I spent the entirety of last weekend dealing with a callout and the associated issues, then attempting to recover from the same (technically still not done, as there is one report left I need to re-type). Very very fortunately for me, my Lovely Wife was in a position to deal with the kids and everything else for the time involved, and more appreciated, to support me when needed.

The short version of the story is that we had an elderly gentleman pass away & not get found for over a week. He was a MAJOR hoarder - literally the worst I've ever seen or heard of. Trash piled up from at least fifteen years, over three feet deep throughout the house - food, assorted items, guns, ammo, feces, etc.  This combined with the smell of a body which had been left alone that long in the heat. Oh - and the reason for our attendance - rumors of booby traps and old military explosives. Which means that we spent the next two days first getting a safe access to the inside, clearing the body, and then clearing each and every room of all this stuff.

In the interests of privacy and decency I won't share many more of the details. Yes, we did recover some things out of the house which had to be taken care of. Being confident in your skills is a good thing when stuff like this shows up. Explosive breaching works. For those who aren't aware, I don't care what the label says - chemical suits don't keep the smell of decomposition out. Supportive wives and families are irreplaceable. So is supervision that gives you support & stays out of your way. Some days the overtime money isn't enough for what you have to deal with.

Anyway - when all was done finally, we cleared things up & the body removal people took care of their end. The house was boarded up waiting on inspection and final determination on what to do and how to manage the cleanup. Which is where the other fun afterward came in. 

Apparently, after two days effort, they found a next of kin - a daughter who flew into town. Apparently, when she went out with the building inspector they weren't happy with how the body removal service had done their work - and she called in a complaint to the chief's office. Oh, and also was in a rampage as to how soon she could get all his guns out of property so as to sell them off.

Really? W. T. F. ?????

#1 - it's not our job. All the police do is clear the scene, determine if there is a crime which was involved, and then the body service and the mortuary take care of the remains. Take a little personal responsibility for cleaning.

#2 - more importantly. WTFing F???? 

This didn't happen overnight. Your dad lived like this for years. This trash building up, this lack of care and concern - the mental issues and everything else - but suddenly now that he's gone & you feel guilty you want to pass the blame off on someone else?  Go find a doughnut and perform an appropriate act as it rolls along the ground... While I am sorry for your loss, I in no way am willing to ride on your guilt train for the issues from your father's death.

So yeah, that was my week.

Thursday, May 17, 2012


OK - it looks as if I have a good possibility of being able to go to Blogorado this year (thanks for the invite BTW!).  Here's the deal - #1 I don't want to deal with the hassle of flying w/guns; #2 I hate TSA, #3 I'd like to save some money...


If any of my readers in the "mid-Atlantic" area (Virginia particularly, but if close by...) are driving out there & have any interest in carpooling, sharing gas/lodging expenses etc. I'd be interested.

Hit me up in comments.

Not sure if I'm feeling pride or terror...

Tonight the Biscuit spent her after-dinner craft time gleefully painting "Zombie Dora" pictures as she talked with me.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Musical request

For insane reasons of my own, I'd be curious as to everyone's suggestions for Steampunk-genre music... groups, albums or individual songs. Explanations as to why will be extra-appreciated.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Lesson learned

Apparently lawnmower and similar engines don't do well with newer gasoline & the higher ethanol content. Our old mower has died an ignominious death, and now been replaced - with the new mower having a very prominent "don't use high ETOH in this" set of warnings about the documentation and mower itself.

Good to know now. Would have been even nicer to know six months ago with the old one.

National Police Week

This is the start of National Police Week, a part of which is spent remembering those officers who died in the line of duty over the past year.

163 officers gave their lives last year in service to their communities. Please take a moment to honor them and the families they left behind. 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

I laughed :D

More of a long week

First off, I'd like to apologize to those residents of the continental United States who were stunned by the high-pitched screaming for a half-hour earlier tonight... the Wee Biscuit had a fit the likes of which were extraordinary even for her talents. Fortunately we were able to sort it all out, and she went to bed smiling and happy again.

As for today's amusing quote, it was being told by a defense attorney "Officer, I don't need you to waste your time testifying. My client's a moron."

Some things you just can't comment on...

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Sad but true

Graphic from Military Times Gearscout.

Anyway, I post this not just because I laughed, but because it's so true.  There is a large percentage of the shooting/military/law enforcement/airsoft/wannabe/whatever crowd who will base their purchasing decisions on gear which is, or is rumored to be used by various Special Forces. Because, ZOMG if THEY use it then it MUST be teh coolest!

And, unfortunately, many companies have picked up on this and tailor their marketing and pricing accordingly. Examples being all around - from a certain watch company which had a few examples tested & rejected but somehow became the "Official SEAL watch," to whole sweatshops worth of gear manufactured in the latest "go-to" camo pattern and sold by the ton at gun shows and flea markets, with no reflection of quality. Many people aren't aware that units buy a lot of things in small numbers just to test them - to see if it is a useful item, or just fluff - but that doesn't make it official issue.

This has really not been great all around, for a few reasons.

- It's led to a whole inflation in perception on both sides of the equation. "Regular" units get the impression their gear must be substandard, since that's not what "So and so" uses - despite a lack of appreciation for different mission profiles and needs; and Special Operations units (particularly the new guys) think that for some reason all their things need to be different. This is nothing new - from the "we have to have 9mm handguns because we need more bullets" turning into "we need .45 pistols because the regular military 9mm isn't good enough," to "everything I wear from head to toe must be from such-and-such because they're the current best."  Hell, I suspect that Roger's Rangers had guys saying "we can only carry tomahawks made by Bob's Smithery down in West-town, they're the heat!" This hurts both sides. There is a lot of "regular" gear that is outstanding - you ask most of the old Special Forces and Recon guys and they STILL think the 50 year old ALICE pack is the best military option around, and they should know. And, there are other things which simply don't cross over - what a line infantry guy needs to ride in a Hummer & patrol the streets is often different than what a SEAL needs to conduct an underwater infiltration and board a hostile vessel or oil platform. The mission drives the gear, not the other way around.

- It leads too many people on both sides to cherish equipment over competency. Doing the job becomes less a matter of knowing the tasks and more a case of "if we had this item we could do it easier." Which is then the slope of blaming the gear - everyone has seen this at the range: "My sights are off, my optic failed, these magazines aren't the best, if I only had ...." Sure - there is value in having the right gear, and you do get what you pay for (trust me, ask my wife about my collection of stuff - and how much I've gotten rid of!) - but relying on it, or thinking you have to replace it every six months with the shinier version is just deluding yourself.

- It has caused pricing to explode like a cancerous mass. We joke that you can take the same bag - you put "tactical" on the label and you double the price, you color it Multicam and you can double it again, and you add to your marketing that it's "Issued to So-and-So" and now you can quadruple it. (Don't ask me what it does to the price when it is a Tactical EOD item!) This hurts individuals who often are buying it on their own dime; and it hurts units/organizations who are forced to spend more of your tax dollars to get what they need.

- As a corollary to this one - don't think that Special Operations always buys something because it's the best. The supply chain is the supply chain - and many times something was chosen because they were the lowest bid on the contract. This is what leads to my note above of people buying their own crap.

- It also hurts availability. When a company is set up to produce X lots of an item, anticipating a demand of a few hundred or thousand to outfit their customers - and all of a sudden they have everyone knocking down their door & now need to make 100X, it slows down receipt by the users who need it.

I could add more, as I'm sure could others. I think the main point being that people need to worry more about what works for them and their needs, and less about what some "special" group is using in a different job.

As for me - just as a note - I'm finding as I age and look at things that I'm discarding more than I'm acquiring; and that I'm looking for ways to simplify and lighten each piece of kit I use. Some of it comes from being older & not wanting to carry 900 pounds of lightweight gear anymore, and some of it has come from experience and the lessons of time.

Now I think I need to plan another bin purge and gear giveaway...