Better And Better

If you don't draw yours, I won't draw mine.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Late October weekend recap.

--Lou Reed died last night. Well, now it would be the night before last. I'm surprised at how many of my friends really liked him. I thought most people just know "Walk On The Wild Side". When I was a freshman, my roommate had a copy of Lou Reed's New York, which I played to death. It's excellent. The first song that came to mind after I got married was "Beginning Of A Great Adventure." (Not the best song on the album, though. The best is "The Dirty Boulevard." )

One of the most moving album reviews that I ever read was of Lou Reed's "Set The Twilight Reeling", in which the reviewer noted that the album was not so well-received because it displayed the softer side of Reed; he was in love in love with Laurie Anderson, and proclaimed it openly. To paraphrase the review, the writer said that we should all buy it and listen to it, because if two jaded New York social critics like these two could find love and lose themselves in it, then there is hope for all of us. And hope is worth a $12 risk on a CD.

--This weekend we traveled to Denton, and watched the Dia De Los Muertos Coffin Races down the hill on East Hickory, off the Courthouse Square. It was a lot of fun, and was more about style than speed:






 
--I worked a 24 hour shift this week this weekend at the fire department. I listened to a firefighter, whom I firmly believe would walk into a wall of flame to rescue a victim, express real terror at the thought of sleeping alone in the upstairs sleeping quarters. Because they're haunted. I did everything that I could not to roll my eyes, but I don't know how successful I was.
 
--We went to Six Flags Over Texas for "Fright Night" on Saturday night, and got season's passes. I dropped by the security office to sign in because of the metal detectors. When I got out my pistol to check the serial number, the security sergeant there, who has seen a lot of such procedures over his years there, expressed interest in my pistol, having never seen one like that before. It was just a S&W 637 with a bobbed hammer spur. Now I was confused. Since when has a Chief's Special been an unusual off-duty cop's gun?
 
--We rode on the "Superman Tower Of Power" ride (apparently Metropolis and Gotham are now considered to be two of the flags that Texas has had flown over it.).  A storm raged in the near distance as we shot 330 feet into the air. I pointed out at the apogee that we might die due to lightning. My elder daughter was not reassured by that. She thought it quite amusing how I whooped and hollered on that ride. Damned exhilarating being accelerated up at about 2 g's, and DOWN at well over the acceleration due to gravity. I've sky dived, and it was only a little cooler. Shortly after, they shut down the rides. I hustled the family out of the park, and we just beat the storm out.
 
--I went to visit some of the firefighters at a campout at a nearby lake. One of the guys there had made "chili." He was born in Ohio, and was raised by Yankees, so he has an excuse for what he served us. It was actually quite tasty, bless his heart. But it wasn't Texas red.
 
--At the FD, I watched the Dallas/Detroit football game. Both teams played very well, and the score was decided in the last minute. Exciting, right? No. The two other firefighters watching were disgusted with the Cowboys for blowing it. The Dallas Cowboys had "effed it up."  I don't root for a team, but I thought that it was a good contest, and was surprised that they were so upset. They don't appreciate a good game? It's only fun to watch when their team wins?  I submit that they weren't being football fans, so much as winning fans. Yawn. 

--I watched this dash video of a street level supervisor responding to an officer-involved shooting in Warren, OH. I hope that the brass recognize what a superb supervisor that they've got in Sgt. Holmes (4690). He stays off the radio except when necessary while responding to the scene. He arrives, and takes control of the scene in a direct, but not panicked manner. He gives explicit instructions as to what he wants done, but doesn't hold forth. He took a tough situation, and did a good job. Warren P.D. comes out looking really good in this handling of what appears to be a good shoot.

---There is no report more boring to work than a fraud report. Period.

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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Late October. I won't tell you.

This month has thus far been pretty good, but I won't tell you about it.

--I could tell you about the three-day whistle-stop tour of Blogorado 5, where I had the best time with (roommate) A.D. and JPG and Gay Cynic and Tamara and FarmGirl and FarmFam and Old NFO and Stingray and Scribbler and DirtSailor and ERDoc and Scribbler and all the rest, but I won't. We had a great time.

--I could tell you about the drunk who wanted to fight me but I wouldn't let him, or the other drunk who called me an asshole the whole way to the jail and all through book-in, but I won't.

--I could tell you about the wrecks that I worked wearing each my fireman and my police hats, but I won't.

--I could tell you about the injury, and the recovery, and the costs, but I won't.

--I could tell you about the house repairs and the cars, and the expenses and such, but I won't.

--I suppose that I could tell about the kids, and their accomplishments, failures, and lessons learned, and their doings at the school and in their clubs... but I won't.

--I could talk about new laws and politics and such, but I  won't.

--Work squabbles I never much have written about. And still won't.

--I could talk about gun projects and successes and failures, but I won't.

--I could talk about the busy family weekend coming up, but I won't right here and now.  Maybe later.

It is a good month, and there are drawbacks and successes. But I shall choose to see that things are getting Better and Better.

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Tuesday, October 08, 2013

The best month.

This is the best time of the year. It was 47 degrees this morning, and will be a high of 79 this afternoon. The leaves are green. What breeze there is is mild. Not a cloud in the sky.

We made it through the long death march of summer.

My okra are producing. My squash are producing. My tomatoes and peppers are... well, the PLANTS are flourishing, but they're not making much in the way of fruit (I think that I've got a soil imbalance that I need to correct).  My green beans and peas are going great guns. The pecan trees are laden with nuts that will probably open in early December.

I don't sweat everywhere I go. I'm about to switch to a larger off-duty pistol.

We've got outdoor projects that I will actually attend to.

October is my birth month, and I celebrate it the whole danged month.

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Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Busy month.

--The Sophomore In The House has to raise money for a band trip. I've bought cars on several occasions for less. This means raffles, and fund raisers and volunteering to work at the booster club food booths at football games, and frankly, I'm almost ready to just say "take the damn money."

--I've been going to court a lot, lately. It never fails: work days, and you go a year between trips to wood-paneled rooms presided over by attorneys wearing black gowns. Go to deep nights, and you're suddenly testifying more often the Paul Drake did.

--I did some fire training on Friday night. I started by doing the agility test for new firefighters, while in full bunker gear. I passed it, but damned if I didn't have a lot taken out of me. Then, for the past several days, I've been having a couple of vertebrae out of alignment, probably just from the unequal tightness that I put on my back. I think that I'm going to the chiropractor. That's a shame, too, because I've spent up my Flex Spend medical account with voluntary eye surgery, back in June.  But I can't do much good like this.

--A senior asked the Sophomore In The House out to a school dance, in a pretty cool fashion. My daughter had not planned to go to the dance, but could not turn down such a sweet invitation. Uh huh. Very nice. And that's all the effective persuading that you're going to be doing, sport.

--This weekend promises to be excellent. No clouds. No wind. High of 74. PERFECT. But I have to work it.

--A bunch of work that I've done at work has borne some fruit (that in no way benefitted me, of course).

--Being an effective cop is not without its repercussions.

--I start EMT classes this month.

--I'm rolling my eyes at the sides-taking on the issue of the current government shutdown. The Republicans are saying "We don't need Obamacare! It's still more government on top of the enormous amount of government that WE want!" The Democrats are saying "The obstructionist Republicans have stopped government!" But we Libertarians are saying, "Notice how, when the federal government shuts down, life doesn't end?  Anyone else want to try some more of not paying for what  we apparently can survive without?"

--I've said it before and I'll say it again: You want to stop the out-of-control spiraling cost of medical care? Mandate that all medical providers and insurance companies give a definitive price of what a procedure or treatment costs before it is done. No more "we'll just have to submit the claim, and find out what the insurance will pay." That's like taking a check in for $10,000 and asking "How much will this buy me?  When you do it that way, it won't buy much.  We have a flawed market that doesn't permit competitive shopping. The market has no incentive to fix itself, at the current rate.

--My friends are worked up about the play of the Texas Rangers Baseball Team and the Dallas Cowboys Football Team. They don't seem to care about the Dallas Stars Hockey Team or the Dallas Mavericks Basketball Team. Loyalty is a fickle thing, dependent upon winning. Each those players make more in a year than I have in the past 10 years of working. I just don't care.

--My wife made the finest gumbo that I've ever eaten, two nights ago. That's impressive, because I've eaten a lot of great gumbo in my life. I could point to the excellent Holmes Andouille sausage, or the chicken, or the homemade chicken stock, or the home-grown vegetables and herbs that went into it, but really, the greatness lay in the roux. My wife's grandmother grew up in New Iberia, LA, and she taught her the importance of a good home made roux to the texture and flavor of a good stew or gumbo.

--Speaking of cooking, I need to pick up a beef brisket next week. I've got to uphold the dignity of Texas barbecue in the presence of out-of-staters. I'd probably better plan on doing it twice. It's been a while.

--Note: The secret is not in the sauce*. It's in the rub, and the smoke and time that you put into it.

--I know that I said it before, but I've been watching a lot of old British Top Gear episodes, lately, and they're great. I have been watching the early episodes of the reboot from back in 2002, and it's fun seeing how the silly stuff evolved. I went to watch the American version of the show, and it really doesn't translate very well. AEPilot got me started on this show, mostly to see what they did a 1988 Toyota Hilux pickup that rests on a plinth in the Top Gear studio.

--I have zero explanation for a mild interest in owning a Ruger 77/357 rifle. I won't even try to justify it.
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*I rarely ever use barbecue sauce of any kind.

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