Better And Better

If you don't draw yours, I won't draw mine. A police officer, working in the small town that he lives in, focusing on family and shooting and coffee, and occasionally putting some people in jail.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

So that's that.

Oliver cat passed away this morning, apparently just before I woke up. I notified the family, and then swung a pick to dig a hole in the cold winter soil the back yard. I had actually thought that he was going to pull through (as he had before), but one never knows. Hell, I knew that I was going to outlive him when we got him. (That's one reason why I didn't want to get him.)
That damned fat, grouchy cat.
He brought me some pleasure —and displeasure— at unexpected times.

November, 2017, under the lemon tree in the sunroom. One of those "unexpected pleasures."

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Tuesday, January 09, 2018

So is this how it's going to be? Every 5 years?

For the second time, it looks like Oliver Cat may have cheated death.

He's eating, drinking, and looks good. I'm medicating him daily. His condition is "guarded." So is mine, after my wife found out how much I'd spent on the vet bill. I had to work a few extra off-duty gigs to cover.

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Sunday, January 07, 2018

Sometimes, it's about something else.

I wrote this last weekend, on December 31st:
“Burglar Bob,” the semi-self-healing full-sized plastic shooting dummy which I had used for Shooting Incident Reconstruction back in grad school, was in the way again. My teenaged daughter Allie and her boyfriend had set him up on the porch during Halloween, and his clothed leg was sticking out into the main lane of travel in my cluttered garage while we put up holiday decorations. My wife, aggravated, yelled at Allie to come fix this mess, and stow ol’ Bob away properly. The joints on Bob’s limbs locked at 22.5 degree increments, and his pants had to be removed to adjust the wingnuts on the stupid system, and Allie wasn’t getting it, right away.
Allie had been called away from trying to get Oliver the family cat to drink something, and was realizing that tomorrow she would be taking the 9 year-old cat with kidney problems to the vet, perhaps (probably?) for his last ride. She fumbled with the scarred plastic mannequin fruitlessly for a few seconds before tears became sobs over this task which she felt helpless to effect.
I realized that I hadn’t done any shooting at “Burglar Bob” in years. Years of leaving this... thing... in our way. Years of not doing more of the kind of training that I had planned to conduct. Years of annoying my sweet wife.
I ripped “Bob” from his 2x4 mount, pushing past my crying daughter and startled wife. Though man-sized, the dummy was much lighter than I remembered, dressed in a cheap polo shirt, an old pair of Dockers, a belt, and tennis shoes. I honestly don’t recall if I threw him to the frozen ground next to the driveway, or just fell atop him, but I found in my hand a very large screwdriver which we use as a garage door track lock. I began to use it on the plastic dummy as an implement of rage. The detached part of my mind noted that the plastic had none of its self-healing properties at 20 degrees Fahrenheit, as the half-inch flat-head bit gored hole after hole into the torso of the dummy.
I left the screwdriver in “Bob’s” chest, and beat the ugly patched plastic head with my right fist, knocking it off the torso to roll somewhat comically across the lawn. I ripped the arms off of him, surprised a bit at how easily the brittle cold plastic threaded bolts popped, with a touch of rage. I beat “Bob’s” body with his own limbs, breaking them down segment by segment. I again took up the screwdriver and began stabbing again and again, until I became aware of the scrapes on my knees and bruises and cuts on my knuckles, and my deep breathing.
I stood up, brushed myself off, and began picking up the remnants of my old training dummy, and stuffing them into the garbage can. I assured my wife that “Burglar Bob” wouldn’t be in the way anymore. I thought it would be a little funny, but my daughter was still crying.
That damned cat. I didn’t want him in the first place. Now look at me. What a mess. I’m going to find some ibuprofen.

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Friday, October 13, 2017

Sex crimes

People ask me how I like my new job as an investigator. I tell them that the hours are nice, but I had no idea how much of my life would be spent sitting at a desk, going through pictures of phalli.

We live in a very, very different world than we did, 30 years ago.
When I was in my teens, I did not have a device in my possession which could pull up websites capable of meeting people around the globe, chatting with them anonymously in real time, and letting us take pictures and video of our genitals to send to each other. So there were not 13 year old girls getting extorted by foreign creeps who had talked them out of their clothes as well as their identities and social media accounts. There were not men posing as boys, meeting girls online. There were not men posing as fathers of pre-teen girls, soliciting sex from other women with their alleged daughters online. There were not men meeting up online with confused girls who had [literally] infantile fantasies.

We live in a very, very similar world to what we've had forever.
We have teachers having sex with students. We have brothers molesting their sisters, and making them cover it up. We have juvenile rape. We have adult drunken rape. We have buyer's remorse "rapes," in which the victim decides later to call the sex rape. We have enticing of minors. We have family members groping other family members in their sleep. We have teen boys stealing women's underwear.

Honestly? I'm thankful for the residential burglary and the identity theft cases that I've got to break of the monotony.

One of the common themes that I've seen has been repression of sex by the victim's family. In the last year, I've caught one and a half (just helped on one) cases involving a young woman from a sexually repressive family, declaring that she was raped when her family found out that she was having sex. I had a case in which the child's parents had chided the victim as a toddler for being immodest because she took her shirt off around the house, which seems to have contributed to the child not making an outcry for years of her brother molesting her. I've had a retraction of a victim's outcry, when her grandmother told her that she was going to ruin the family.

I'd frankly like to get back to putting other kinds of bad guys and gals in jail.

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Thursday, August 31, 2017

Things get better.

My elder daughter has moved home, after evaluating her financial situation. She didn't flounder; just just saw that she wasn't actually saving any money to pay for college. At the rate she was going, she would be forced to borrow money next year. She cleaned out her room, found her roommates a new renter for the room who was acceptable, and took back her old room in my house. And it's splendid having her home. She pays us a bit of rent, too. And she cooks and messes up dishes which I wash, because that's' part of the deal we made. And we drink coffee, and have her extremely conservative boyfriend over for dinner, and have lively political discussions with respect and love.

Seriously-- I'm happy.

My younger daughter is engaged in competitive colorguard, and practices hard with the band, and is tanned and muscled, from long days for half the summer flipping wooden practice rifles, and spinning flags. She's in the choir, in a band of her making, and in the Art Club at high school, while taking every honors class that is offered to her. She's happy.

My wife and I took a trip to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, where we observed the total eclipse on 8/21/2017 in North Carolina, then drove to Kentucky to Mammoth Cave National Park and to Land Between The Lakes, before heading to Arkansas to go to Hot Springs National Park. We stayed in our "new" 15 year-old Coleman pop-up camper. We took pictures of elk and bear and flowers and hand-hewn cabins. It was fun. My wife and I were happy.
I came back and decompressed for a couple of days before starting my new job at work; I'm now the first detective that we've employed at our little PD.
Mama bear and two of three cubs that we saw with her. Zoom in to embiggen.

The night before coming back on, my boss texted me that we would start by hitting the range together; he'd bought a new gun. (Sig P220 Legionaire.) As I hadn't qualified with my personally-owned Glock 31 (Gen 3) as a main duty gun, I went ahead and brought it to qualify with, as well. There are few nicer things than shooting Other People's Ammo, on the clock, and for a good purpose. He shot more accurately, but my times were very fast.

Today, I was buried in new cases. Financial, Juveniles, sensitive nature cases. Animal cruelty. CPS cases. Follow-up on felony DWIs, and drug cases.

I'm happy.

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Monday, July 17, 2017

The LawDog Files.

Buy it now at Amazon here
LawDog is a friend of mine. He has led a career in rural Texas law enforcement (he still does), just as I have, and he tells a great yarn. Almost twenty years ago, he started posting humorous posts online about encounters on the job. They were always crowd-pleasers.  Since then, I've been part of a literal crowd of people, demanding that he put a book together.

He's finally done it.

The LawDog Files is an easy-reading collection of short stories which were written, edited, and compiled by LawDog. Most are very funny. But as we sometimes find, those who can write humor can write a helluva sad story well, as well.

LawDog is one of the best writers that I know, and for a measly $4.99, you can instantly download his book to your Kindle or Kindle Ap on your phone. It takes seconds, and gives you fun reading for little commitment.  (I feel very smug when I find myself having to wait in an area with no cell reception, and I've got an anthology sitting on my phone to read while I wait.)

Larry Correia, author of the very fun, New York Times Best-Seller List series Moster Hunter, Inc, not only implores you to buy the book, but he wrote the forward to the book.  Larry knows and loves a good story, and is telling you: this is a bunch of them.

Go buy one. You'll be glad that you did. I loved every story, and can't wait for him to get the next book put out.

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Monday, June 05, 2017

She's leaving home (bye, bye)

The day we brought her home from the hospital. 
Renaissance festival, October, 2000. 
Airborne, 2003
All American Girl, Summer, 2009
Horseshoe Bend, Glenn Canyon, AZ, March, 2010. 

Drum Major, 2015
Senior in High School, February, 2016

High school graduate, 2016.
 About three weeks ago, my 18 year old daughter borrowed my pickup. We loaded her bed and her dresser and a bunch of clothes and other odds and ends into it, and she drove it away, with her boyfriend in the front seat. She had spent her last night in her room, and was moving into an apartment with one of her best friends and a friend from work.

She's not ready. Financially, I don't really believe that she's making enough to cover school expenses (though she has a pretty decent scholarship), car, rent, utilities, food, and sundry. She is taking on a good $5000+ in new expenses per year, just for the ability to say that she's moved out, even though her commute to college has only shrunk from 12 to 3 miles, and about the same for work.

I know-- kids want to feel grown up.  And she has a full-time job, and she pulled off a 4.0 GPA in her honors program at university this semester. She's a sophomore. She just bought her own Honda CRV. She's a great kid, and left the house with no animosity for her parents.

So why was I sobbing in my living room for five minutes after she left? Is this what I've become?

Okay, maybe I was the one who wasn't ready.

For what it's worth, the recently remastered release of the Beatles' _Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band_ album is absolutely worth a listen. Particularly have I been listening to "She's Leaving Home." (The hotlinked version isn't the remastered one; you'll have to get the album or find it on Spotify or Google Play Music.)

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