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.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Monday midday.

--I missed getting to go the Fort Worth Main Street Arts Festival this weekend, darn it. Sometimes my wife and I will get a room right on Main Street, overlooking the fest, and enjoy it at our leisure. Being in April, it is sometimes bad weather. Sometimes it rains, sometimes it is 98 degrees. On Friday, the first morning of the fest, it frosted heavily, here. They had some wind, but it was beautiful, as witnessed by the camera phone picture that my elder daughter sent me from Main Street, while I was at work:
Main Street, Fort Worth, Texas, April 20, 2013.  That's the 90 year-Blackstone Hotel on the right, where we usually stay. Some glass and steel wonder to the left. (Click to embiggen.)
Not a bad day to be outside.

--It amuses me that Blogger Spellcheck does not recognize the word "embiggen," as Blogger and Wordpress are most certainly the vehicles which transported that word to its current position as a term of common [Internet] parlance.

--While I was at work, my wife painted the inside of the back door black. (No, it had theretofore been red.) When I got home last night, I kept thinking that the back door was standing open.

--I'm going to miss being with my friends in Houston. I talked with my sergeant. There's no way I can get out of working that weekend.

--I have lost 12 pounds since my hunting trip, minding my carbs. I would step over my own mother for a plate of biscuits and gravy. (Sorry, Mom!)

--I look at a picture that Tamara took of an old F11-F1 in Blue Angels livery on display at the Grissom Air Museum, and I remember watching these F11s perform over me at an air show in 1985, and thinking "this is stupid. Those aren't even current fighter jets anymore. Like anyone would use a thirty year old design for fighters, in this day and age!" The next year they went to the new (10 year old design) Hornet. Which they are still using, and which are still current.

--While flying with my friend Rich a few weeks ago, he had some amazing aps on his iPad, which was suction-cupped to the windscreen of the cockpit, which would take into account current weather conditions and advise his best aircraft settings for optimum efficiency, saving hundreds of dollars per trip. Rich is a great pilot, but he's also a techie, and knows that it's better to measure-and-know than to guess-and-suppose. Seven years ago, I was impressed at the glass cockpit avionics that he had installed in his Baron 58. In this Pilatus 12, there were such ameneties factory installed.  My friend Scott (a computer tech business owner) tells me that, once you get to a certain minimum level of hardware, it's ALL about the software. Apparently, this is very much true in aviation, too, these days.

--Meanwhile, I would dearly, DEARLY love to have a Cessna 180. A 56 year old 182 brings $42,500 asking price, but I'll bet I could wheedle him down to $42,000.

--I should probably get a pilot's license, first. And pay off my student loans. And pay the mortgage.

--Comes now the Internet groups of people who are giving backlash over the Boston bomber apprehension. While I completely agree that the populace should have been armed and were unreasonably prevented from being so, I am frustrated at what I'm seeing. Folks, in an instance where there is an armed bomber in a known small area, who is exchanging gunfire and throwing bombs at cops, the police would be fools not to wear every stitch of armor that they've got while searching HARD for the guy. When people say the police on such a mission then look like military with such weapons and soft armor and helmets on, they sound like the hoplophobes that are scared of weapons that look menacing.

I am a traditionalist cop. I like police patrol uniforms to look like police patrol uniforms. I do not like BDUs on patrol officers. I hate black gloves except when it's cold out. (I like rubber gloves for pat-downs.) I am repeating myself here; I have written before about my views on the militarization of law enforcement. But during a specific special duty like that manhunt, I'm fine with cops dressed like this.

Yes, it was a private citizen who found the bad guy in his boat. But the bomber was hiding in that boat because of the full-court press looking for him. I am a Libertarian. I want limited intrusion in my life by governmental authority. But when there is an emergency, I want the cops to do their jobs. It looks like they did that in Boston. I'm not going to call them heroes, because they were just earning their pay, last week.

We need to think about where we actually stand. This reactionary after-the-fact anarchist point of view frankly looks a bit childish.

--I have seen no violation of the Posse Comitatus Act with regard to the Boston incident of last week. If someone has a verified instant, I would appreciate it if they would put it in my comments here. Pictures of cops in APCs are not valid responses.

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At Monday, April 22, 2013 1:30:00 PM, Blogger JD said...

My only concerns on last weeks events were how citizens were treated when asked to let them search the house, and as a MA gun owner I am not sure how they would have reacted to my being armed if I was in the search area because I can swear to you I would be armed to protect my family in that case. . . overall I think they did a great job, but I do admit to my minor fears on how people acted.

At Monday, April 22, 2013 2:59:00 PM, Blogger Old NFO said...

Sorry you won't make Houston, and yeah, that back door would bother me too!

At Monday, April 22, 2013 5:13:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

At Monday, April 22, 2013 7:36:00 PM, Blogger Daddy Hawk said...

You have good taste in aircraft. If I had the cash and a green light from The Queen, I'd offer to go halvesies with you.

At Monday, April 22, 2013 7:40:00 PM, Blogger Home on the Range said...

The Baron is one heck of an airplane. Did charter in a 58 model building flight time. They're seriously sexy and fun to fly.

At Monday, April 22, 2013 9:00:00 PM, Blogger Groundhog said...

That the reaction of a number of people to the Boston events is disturbing to law enforcement speaks volumes. The reaction you are seeing is due to a distrust in government that has grown enormously since Waco. Prior to that, LE would probably not gotten any reaction other than positive cheers. That's when most of the populous knew you were on our side. We don't know that any more. Do you realize that in most places in Texas when you get your CHL, it's highly recommended that you don't tell much anything to the police after a shooting? You're a cop here, in a state that's about as gun friendly as they come and where it's pretty hard to prosecute someone defending themselves. Yet we no longer trust the police like we did when I was young. You are not alone though. The military is being wondered about and all federal LEO agencies are now feared. By regular citizens. It's just a symptom of the times and one that is not going to change for the better any time soon I'm afraid. Our politicians are mostly corrupt and our country is highly divided. It is rough to be a cop during these times. I hope for all our sakes things get better but short of a miracle from God I don't see the path to it.

At Monday, April 22, 2013 10:01:00 PM, Blogger Lance R. Peak said...

I think the Posse Comitatus comments stem from images like this:

However those are National Guard troops. "It does not apply to the National Guard under state authority from acting in a law enforcement capacity within its home state or in an adjacent state if invited by that state's governor."

I truly believe that Posse Comitatus should always be strictly enforced, but people should also do a little research (of course that goes for everything not just this incident) prior to claiming the sky is falling.

At Tuesday, April 23, 2013 9:50:00 AM, Anonymous Jennifer said...

We'll miss you in Houston.

At Tuesday, April 23, 2013 4:09:00 PM, Blogger lelnet said...

"once you get to a certain minimum level of hardware, it's ALL about the software"

This is true. But what's also true is that the "certain minimum" keeps getting moved. Mostly in response to interface improvements.

Everything cool your buddy's iPad app and glass cockpit did could theoretically have been computationally achievable even in the '70s. But without the modern integrated graphical interface, there wouldn't have been a user benefit valuable enough to justify the investment in hardware and programmer-hours.

So new kinds of hardware make new kinds of software more practical. But every time there's a truly new kind of hardware, it takes YEARS for all the possibilities for new kinds of software to be explored in even a preliminary way.

At Tuesday, April 23, 2013 4:34:00 PM, Blogger Matt G said...

Eh, the iPad (or any tablet with a touch screen and network interface) was a leap forward. But then had to come software that would update with fuel, weather, and user input changes in realtime. Because the hardware that was luggable hadn't been invented in the '70s, neither was the software invented. (And if it had been, it wouldn't have yet had a graphics interface.) But really, I was putting the glass cockpit and the iPad into the area of "software", with the airplanes as the "hardware."

Rich said that, since using the ap, he never has to use paper charts anymore. Of course he has them, but the iPad self-updates, and is far more organized in a cramped cockpit.


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