Sunday, March 24, 2019

Chicken Spaghetti

We made chicken spaghetti today for lunch.  Quick, easy, filling, alwas a hit.

We started by de-boning a rotissserated chicken.  Then put some seasoning blend veggies (onion, bell pepper ad celery) into a large dutch oven with a big dab of chopped garlic..  Sauteed that for a while.  Then added two cans of cream of chicken soup, two cans of rotel, cut up a pound of velveeta, and 16 oz (2 cups) of half-and-half.  Added the chicken, and it looked like this.

I could drink this stuff with a straw.

Boiled a couple of pounds of spaghetti then put it into two casserole dishes, poured the sauce over it, ad covered it with shredded cheese.  Ran it into a 350 oven until the cheese melted.

Serve with garlic bread.    We fed an even dozen people for lunch, and we barely have leftovers.

Yesterday's Shoot

The Cross Branded Peacemakers held their monthly match yesterday, and some friends from a neighboring club came over to shoot with us.

1st Blue Eyed Belle, 2nd Squirrel Girl.

Normally, the ladies shoot separately, but as there were only two of them, they opted to shoot with the men, and let their standings come from overall match placement.

1st Big Mark, 2nd Cajun Greg, 3rd Akarate Zach
We shot a 3X Nevada 8 match.  The Nevada 8 is a match format that is designed to speed things along.  All matches are decided in 8 shots or less.  We had 12 shooters in each round, and shot 10 rounds in just under two hours to determine match standings.  We shot the whole match in just under two hours.  Each shooter had to lose three matches before they were eliminated.

Saturday was a lot of fun..

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Club Shot Today

We move away from the weekly, workaday world to the weekend, and we have a club shoot today.  I've already been out in the range, sweeping and straightening, and making sure that we have what we need for a successful shoot.  Getting ready to make a run to the Dollar Store for some supplies.

I look forward to these club shoots.   Maybe I'll put up some photos later.

Friday, March 22, 2019

Embrace The Suck

It's a title, a book by retired soldier Austin Bay, and a mantra for so much of what we do, both in the military and in police work.    What we do, in large part, sucks.  But to succeed in our chosen field, we have to work through the bad times and maintain our professionalism, take care of the unit, and take care of our personal growth. 

Whether you are standing a lonely guard post on a cold, rainy midnight posting, or dispatched to an in-progress domestic incident, or yet even assigned to a boring desk job, our work sucks.  It's all vital, it's all necessary, and it's not always what we want to do.  So, embrace it.  Remember that we're here to serve something larger than ourselves.  We're doing what we do to preserve freedom, to serve the community, to serve justice.

It is very nearly a Buddhist concept.  Whatever life throws at us, we're here to do a job, and the lesson comes from the way we do it.  One day, if we're lucky, we'll get to reflect on it, to realize that what we've done comes from, and makes us, what we are.

Ten years I worked in an inner-city high school, and for most of that time, I thought that it sucked.  There were very few days that I can recall that were pleasant, jovial, and memorable.  The vast majority of those days were not.  Yet, I've run into students who graduated from that high school, and they remember me, even if I don't remember them.  They are young adults now, productive citizens in all walks of life, and I can take pleasure in knowing that they remember me, many of them fondly.

In just a few days, my associates are going to give me a retirement reception, and perhaps that's why I'm being introspective.  I'll probably be asked to give a few remarks, and I'm trying to figure out how to wrap up a nearly 40 year career in two minutes or less. 

The world will not long note, nor probably even care, but it matters to me.  So, it's well that I put my thought together.  This too will suck, but I'll embrace it.  I have too much riding on it to do otherwise.

Sir Robert Peel

Robert Peel is often considered to be the father of modern policing.  His principles are taught in academic circles and have great weight in the matter of the proper  use of police management.   Years ago, I taught Principles of Police Work a t the local college, in the Sociology department, before they had a criminal justice program, and Peel consumed the first chapter of the text I then used.

The reputation of the police agencies in this country have taken a beating over the past few years.  Most famously in the Obama era, but we continue to struggle with our general reputation, in some part because we tend to forget who we actually serve.   A review of Peel's work will help us to re-focus out efforts in a manner that serves the greater good.  One of my favorite of his principles is:
The police are the public and the public are the police; the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence. 
The police are the public and the public are the police.   This is the foundation of civil police work.  We are simply members of the citizenry who are paid full-time to focus on crime and disorder.    We are no better, or worse, in large part, than the citizens we serve.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Made For Idiots

My dad called them idiot lights, and I'm starting to believe it.  I found this little icon o my dash board when I started for work this morning.

Evidently, my washer fluid is low.  What a tragedy.  The first car I ever had didn't even have a windshield fluid reservoir.  My second car had one, but it had a manual pump that you had to pump to get water on the windshield.

Now, the car tells you when the washer fluid is low.  They are making cars for idiots.

Florida Man

It's a meme.  Google "Florida Man" with your birthday and see what pops up.  I got "Florida man captures record 18-foot Burmese python, the largest in the state"

New Zealand Convulses

I admit that I know very little about New Zealand, except that I have heard it is a beautiful country.  But, the liberals are in charge and they suffered an horrific crime last week.  Now, they're convulsing.
All military-style semi-automatic weapons, assault rifles and high-capacity magazines will be banned in New Zealand following the mass shootings at two Christchurch mosques that killed 50 people, New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced on Thursday.
I wonder, while they're at it, if they are going to ban murder?  Quite honestly, I don't believe that they have thought this through.
 "Every semi-automatic weapon used in the terror attack on Friday will be banned," Ardern continued, adding that she hoped the law would be in place by April 11. "This legislation will be drafted and introduced in urgency."
I'm always skeptical of  anything produced in urgency. 
As a result, many people who legally owned certain firearms will no longer be able to possess them on their existing license conditions.
An amnesty will be put in place for weapons to be handed in from Thursday. Cabinet has directed officials to develop a buyback scheme, and Ardern said that further details would be announced "in due course."
In due course?  That is never a good thing to hear from a politician.  I hope that the gunners in NZ are paying close attention, it appears that the NZ politicians are tying to make felons from law-abiding citizens.

Thank God, we have the 2nd Amendment.  Still, we have to defend it every day.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Great Discussion

A great discussion from two very well known gun guys about why the 1911 is still a dam fine pistol.

Hat tip: Knucklegraggin'

Black Pocket Tee Shirts

I had a doctor's appointment this morning, so I took a sick day.  I have a lot of sick time saved, and I'm going to lose it all next week, so rather than take the few hours the appointment needed, I took the whole day.  For, you see, I"m retiring.  My last duty day is March 28th.  On March 29th, I'll turn in my gear and begin the weekend.  My first day of paid retirement is April 1st.

I was doing laundry this afternoon, folding a big pile of black, pocket, tee-shirts, and realized that I have worn these for several decades because that's what uniform comps wear.  They are getting somewhat shabby, and they'll be converted to shop rags soon, but I'll have to decided wht to wear every day, something that I haven't had to do since I met Belle.

I had retired when I met Belle and was doing contract work but went back in uniform shortly after we met.  I've been a cop for most of my adult life, over 37 years behind the badge, and it will be over very soon.  Next week is going to be bitter-sweet, but I intend to work my last duty day just like I worked the first one.  When my shift is over, I'm sure that it will hit me, but right now, it's just something I have to do until next week is over.

I have two huge projects coming up in April, which is why I'm retiring now.  The nearest one is the shooting match I'm hosting, the second weekend of April.    The other is a project that I've been planning for six months, but that I won't talk about until April 1st.

Stand by.  We're going to have a lot of fun.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Seattle Is Dying

That is the name of a documentary by KOMO TV in Seattle, Washington.  They have reported on the intersection of the homeless/addiction/mental health/criminality problem.

My wife, the lovely and talented Belle has been a Mental Health/Developmental Disability nurse for over 40 years and puts the blame on the Clinton Administration, who started shutting down mental health hospitals because of yada, yada, yada, civil rights, these-people-deserve better, their rights to live in the community trump your rights to live in a safe, pleasant environment.

It's a problem for the police all over the country, especially if you work in an urban environment.  Even in this small city in central Louisiana, we have the same problem, to a lesser extent.  Where I happen to work, in the downtown area, we have a magnet for the homeless, but it is not just confined to the downtown area.  I talk regularly with the homeless coordinator for the schools, and we have approximately a thousand homeless children in the area.  She works tirelessly trying to insure that these children have a safe place to live and the things they need to succeed, and her work is never-ending.  It's a problem everywhere, and kudos to KOMO for highlighting the problem.

It's a great documentary, and I'm going to leave it right here so that I can find it later.

We need to get a handle on this as a society.  This is a police problem, but it is not a police issue.  By and large, we're doing our job.  This is a problem that other agencies need to address.  Seattle estimates that they spend a billion dollars a year on the problem.  Across the US, there is no telling how much we spend.  And, since 1992, it's been an abject failure.

Monday, March 18, 2019

That Venezuelan Military Video

I heard about it just this morning, and cannot testify as to the provenance, but it's a great meme, and it's priceless.

I'm trying to decide if the commentary is better than the video, or vice-versa.

However, there is a classic Stripes reference to this whole sorry debacle.

Exit question:  Does art imitate life, or the other way around?

Texas State

We rolled out Thursday afternoon, headed to Needsville, TX, for the opening of the competition season at the Texas State Championship of Cowboy Fast Draw.

I had to drive through Houston, a traffic nightmare of high speed and road construction.  A country boy like me doesn't do well in Houston traffic.  We shot all day, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

The Louisiana Contingent.  L-R: Chief Runamuck, Pistol Pearl, Southern Belle, Big Mark, Moon, Big Bill, Akarate Zach, Major D,  Blue Eyed Belle, and Dixie Rose.
After the awards ceremony on Sunday afternoon, we collected out gear and headed home, back through Houston.  We rolled into the driveway last night at about 2300 hrs, and hit the sack,   Now, it's Monday and we're back in the real world.