Friday, December 31, 2010

Quote of the day

"Sometimes the gods bless you in the morning and curse you in the afternoon"
- Hector from "Troy"

Monday, December 27, 2010

Quote of the day


An oldie, but a goodie, and a favorite of my sister, Carol...

"Take no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof."
- Matthew 6:34

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Quote of the day

From the "Only in LA" department - coming out of a convenience store in LA,  I overhear a lady offering to buy the homeless dude outside the store a cup of coffee... homeless dude says "I don't want a cup of coffee,  I want a fresh cappuccino." Then he looks at me and repeats "I want a fresh cappuccino." Right on dude,  hold out for your dreams.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Quote of the day

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

-

1 Corinthians 13

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Quote of the day



Broken relationships are like broken glass. Sometimes it's better to leave it broken than to hurt yourself putting it back together.

~Author Unknown

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Quote of the day



Giving up doesn't always mean you are weak; sometimes it means that you are strong enough to let go.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Quote of the Day



"Sometimes we hold on to the things that God himself is trying to tear away"

- From Tyler Perry's "Diary of a Mad Black Woman"

Friday, December 17, 2010

Quote of the Day



"If you carry a gun, you're a predator. If you don't think so, then don't carry a gun, go play video games."

h/t Kyle Defoor

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Quote of the day

This, spoken in fiction by an Islamic fundamentalist, is obviously taken out of context, but nonetheless holds some truth (and no, it's not in the last line of the quote) :
"You overestimate the people of this nation. They are soft and stupid. The reason political correctness and multiculturalism exist is because they are too lazy to hold others to what it once meant to be American. This nation is dying and we are not the problem; we are the solution. Islam-true, pure Islam- is what will save America. "
from "The Last Patriot" by Brad Thor

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Quote of the Day


"Absence diminishes little passion
and increases great ones, as wind
extinguishes candles and fans a fire."

Francois de La Rochefoucauld

Monday, November 22, 2010

Wisdom from "Captain Corelli's Mandolin"

"Love is a temporary madness. It erupts like volcanoes and then subsides. And when it subsides, you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not a promulgation of promises and eternal passion. That is just being in love, which any fool can do. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Those that truly love have roots that grow towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossoms have fallen from their branches, they find that they are one tree and not two.”
Attributed to St. Augustine

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Wisdom from "90210"

"History is largely told as a chronicle of great people doing great things. But, for most of us, life is not made up of big moments; it's made up of small moments. And, with every small choice, every small decision, we are defining ourselves. Are we honest? Are we faithful? Are we proud of ourselves or are we disappointed by who we've become? Life rarely turns out the way we plan. The unexpected happens and it surprises us with new and exciting possibilities. But sooner or later reality hits you in the face.

When the unimaginable happens; adapt, find strength, move on. I hope when my life doesn't go as I plan, which it certainly won't, I can handle myself with grace and strength."

Some small paraphrasing in the second paragraph to make more sense.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

QOTD


Wisdom from When Harry Met Sally:

". . . when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible. "

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

On Autumn...


As I enter the autumn of my fiftieth year on this big round ball, I can feel the melancholy growing. I know I've written about this before...maybe last year, more likely two years ago, but I can't find it. I wrote a while back on the feelings coming up with the "empty nest" syndrome. All of those feelings are conspiring against me as I enter this season of my life.

Career √
Father √
Grandfather √
Husband - yeah, not so much

Last year at this time, I was cruising the Caribbean with my daughter, who had just turned 18. We had a wonderful time. We saw things I'd always wanted to see. We climbed a waterfall and she swam with dolphins in Jamaica, and we ate very fresh conch (I love conch) and swam with wild Stingrays in Grand Cayman. It was the trip of a lifetime for me, made that much more sweet by sharing it with my little girl. We shared a beer at Margaritaville Grand Cayman, and she had the hot Jamaican dude pour the drink down her throat at Margaritaville Ocho Rios. I'll never forget that trip.

I think because of that experience, the transition to Fall passed me by last year completely, but my disdain for the season has been growing with each passing year, to the point where this year it threatens to overwhelm me.

For the last few years, this has been a pattern. The shorter days, the longer shadows, the darkness, all remind me that another season, and another year, are coming to an end. I love the holidays, and I'll almost certainly be out of this funk by the time Thanksgiving rolls around ... although I can't be sure because there's a new variable in the mix this year.

You see, as I've talked about in my empty nest posts, I'm looking at a future alone. I know some of you jackasses (if any men actually read this) are thinking I've got it made ... no one to answer to, no one telling me what to do, no questions . Dude. You have no idea what it is like to go to bed alone every night. You have no idea what it is like to not have someone to share life with. If you're married, LISTEN. I know what I'm talking about. She LOVES you or she wouldn't have married you. If you're not married, and you're thinking "why does he go to bed alone every night?" ... well, the answer is ... fuck it, close this window now because if you're asking that question, you won't care about my answer.

Married dudes ... be the man she married. Take care of her. Take care of your babies, if you have them. If you married her and she had some other dudes' baby(ies), take care of them, they'll weigh every other man in their life against YOU. Take care of yourself. Be a MAN.

I hear it now ... "She changed." "She doesn't care about me." "She bitches at me all the time." "She used to dress sexy and now she just wears house dresses." Man up. Get out from in front of the football game and ask her to go for a walk with you. Offer to do the laundry. Take her car and get it washed. MAN UP. God gave you testicles for a reason. You are the leader of the household. Take the lead. Don't dominate, lead. Lead with compassion, and understanding, and love. Remember the girl (woman) you married? She's still in there. She wants you to be the man she married. BE HIM.

Unmarried dudes ... it's not about the next conquest. It's not about a score card. It's not about how much fun you can have with how many people this week. Take it from one who knows. I've been single for 16 years. More than half of your life, I'll bet. It ain't all wine and roses. No one who gives a fuck when you're sick, no one there when your Mom dies, no one there to hold one side of the fucking lock when you're trying to install a new deadbolt. Dude. I'm here on the south side of fifty telling you to find a good woman, court her, woo her, and ask her to be your wife. Then MAN UP and be a good husband. Continue to be the man she married. Always and forever.

Edited to add: See parts two and three here

A reprint from earlier this year...

"To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully around with hobbies and little luxuries. Avoid all entanglements: lock it up in the safe casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket--safe, dark, motionless, airless--it will change. It will not be broken. It will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least the risk of tragedy, is damnation."

-C.S. Lewis

Friday, October 15, 2010

Warriors - what did you do today to help keep yourself in the fight?

Don't carry off duty? Think again.

From Breach Bang Clear

A Threat in Public

We watch this video, and wonder a few things; not least among them, how in the hell would any cop NOT want to carry off duty, and why do some civilians consider it a Bad Thing to have a concealed carry option? What if you were there, in that store, and you couldn't get to an alternate exit and they decided to start dumping witnesses? What if those witnesses included you and your kid? Let's take a look also at the mechanics of how the fight went down. No hesitation on the part of the shooter in the hooded sweatshirt and ball cap, calm and methodical malfunction drills when the weapon doesn't cycle. Then, when the second shooter engages, no real reaction from the first despite the proximity of the rounds going right past him. In face, they didn't have much of a sense of urgency until they were fleeing the scene.

See the video and read more here.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Quote of the Day

It's been awhile, so here's an oldie resurrected:

"The years have not brought me much in the way of wisdom. But I have learned that the father of a young woman has to remember only two lessons in caring for his daughter: He must be by her side unreservedly when she needs him, and he must disengage when she doesn't."

From "The Tin Roof Blowdown" by James Lee Burke

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Quote of the day

"There are some men who enter a woman's life and screw it up forever. Joseph Morelli did this to me - not forever, but periodically."
from "One for the Money" by Janet Evanovich.

Note: there are women who do the same thing.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Warriors - what did you do today to help keep yourself in the fight?

OP: Warrior Talk News

A Study Of Fighting In Your House

E_sft01-474x308-389x251 Fighting in houses...or fighting in your house can take on many forms depending on your mission. Having clarity of mission is essential so you know how to comport yourself in each event. I want to be very clear that this is one of the most dangerous activities that a homeowner may encounter.

Sadly, most training out there is limited to the police application, which I call “hunt the burglar”. This has very little in common with much of what you may need to do if you are not in that line of work.

Rifle2Basing our focus on the armed civilian CCW operator we can identify several possible mission profiles and tactical skills needed for fighting in houses.

1). Holding Ground. This is the most common home defense type scenario. Think of the classic scenario where a homeowner is awaken by a strange sound indicating a break in. They barricade themselves in the bedroom with the old double barreled shotgun, issue the classic warning, “I have a gun” and then call the police. We hear stories like this all the time.

The homeowner has no pressing need to enter the fight or go in search of the threat so he simply takes up a position of advantage, using as much cover and concealment as a bedroom will allow. He points his muzzle at the bedroom door chanelizing the avenue of approach of the bad guy and waits in ambush. When the bad guy forces his way into the bedroom, a "warning" may or may not be given depending on the tactical situation and the region.

For this very elementary event there is little need for any skills at all other than pointing the weapon and having the will to fire it at the home invader. They do however, need to have a weapon in the first place.

While many CCW folks advise this as what you always need to do, it is a very limited application. Will you do this if the rest of your family is still out there at the mercy of the home invader? Of course not.

Spain2005-22). Taking Ground. This is a bit more involved and far more physically and mentally demanding. This basically involves attacking the attackers. An example may be, as we mentioned earlier, the rescue of family members about to be victimized. The police parallel is a hostage rescue.

Think of the previous scenario except the homeowner is awakened by the sound of glass breaking, their child’s terrified screams in a bedroom across the house are suddenly muffled and they hear a stranger’s voice telling them to shut up.

This is hardly the time to hide under the bed with a shotgun is it?

This situation requires moving rapidly and stealthily directly to the threat. The mission is not to stay safe, it is to go to the fight. The mission is to close on the bad guys and shoot them to the ground with surgical close range gunfire. The urgency of the situation probably proscribes any negotiation, warnings, or attempt to deescalate the situation. The bad guys are located, closed upon, and shot down in order to save the innocents they are victimizing.

A similar situation is presented in an active shooter event where you have elected to stay and fight rather than run away. And before you discount this, there are plenty of reasons to do just that if family members or others for whom you are responsible are still in the danger area. You are not going to abandon your kids at Trolley Square or the Tacoma Mall and run for your life are you?

Mumbaitango

3). Traversing Through. Traversing involves traveling through a contested or conflict area where there may be active armed bad guys. The mission is not to engage them, but rather to escape them. But understand, getting shot in the back is no way to escape. The operator (s) and their protectees move rapidly through and out, free of the threat area, but ready to engage any threats that may appear or impede their exit.

Think of the active shooter event where there are multiple shooters but their immediate whereabouts are not certain. All you know is that the current place is not safe and that remaining there is not a good idea. You need to escape but running into one or more of them on the way out is a very real possibility.

There is no time to clear or search. You move quickly as before, giving cursory attention to danger areas with eyes and muzzles on the approach and egress, but no attempt would be made to “clear them” or search them. As soon as a danger area is passed, it is abandoned as new danger areas appear. The goal is to escape...but in a strong and controlled manner ready to convert escape into attack if necessary.

DIGG-GLOCK 4). Search and Clear. This is an area of study that is often the basis of many "shoothouse" training events. It involves moving cautiously and deliberately through an area in direct search for an adversary that is presumably hidden or unaware of the good guy's presence. It is basically an indoor manhunt.

Most people have no idea how strenuous this is both physically and mentally, nor how dangerous it is when done alone. A typical 3000 square foot house for example might take the better part of an hour to search correctly by a team of three. And by search I mean doing it right, not simply turning the lights on and peeking into a room then declaring it clear.

All of these require a thorough understanding of the nature of architectural features commonly found in modern buildings such as corners, hallways, doors, stairs, etc., and how to negotiate them at various speeds. You would also need the ability to identify danger areas and potential threats, and the ability to mold your fighting platform to the environment at hand. As well, you need a clear understanding of what your mission is at any given moment as well as the fact that things can change quickly from one mission profile to another.

A lot of the choices you make will depend on how much information you have. This is not the time to be thinking about liability and stuff like that. If you do, you'll lose.

Consider these situations

1). You wake up at 3:00 AM because you heard something. You are not certain enough to go back to sleep but not certain enough to call 911.

2). The noise that wakes you up is much more pronounced than in #1. Still not confirmed "human" but definitely something is not right.

3). You wake up to the sound of glass breaking and swearing. You live alone.

4). You wake up at 3:00 AM because you heard your kid scream across the house. His or her scream was followed by a male voice telling them to shut up.

5). You are at church and your kids are across the on the other side of the church at youth ministry. You hear gun shots coming from that direction, people screaming and running away from the sound.

6). You and your protectees are inside a building where bad things are happening. Your current location is untenable and you must leave but expect to encounter resistance as part of the escape.

While each event is similar, the dynamics of the fight are different and each one requires different tactics. Think about this now and how you might handle each one of these problems. Think also about what skills you might need to make your time in the fight safer for you and more dangerous for the bad guys.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Warriors - what did you do today to help keep yourself in the fight?

OP: Warrior Talk News

High Risk Operator - Rural PatrollingIMG_0961

“Just what is this business of Patrolling and why should I as a regular guy want to learn about it?” Was a question posed to me the other day. Well lets examine the ‘what it is’ first. Patrol(ling) as defined in my Webster’s dictionary states as follows.

A) the action of traversing a district or beat or of going the rounds along a chain of guards for observation or maintenance of security.

B) the person(s) performing such action.

C) a unit of persons or vehicles employed for reconnaissance, security, or combat.’

CQB-1 The military description places it into the two distinct categories of ’combat’ and ’reconnaissance’ patrolling, with a clear task or purpose for the mission . Combat patrols are further defined as raid, ambush, and security patrols. Which may be conducted in close proximity to a main party or facility for the purpose of defense ( the security patrol) or they may be sent deep behind enemy lines with the intent of attacking and/or harassing the enemy.

Reconnaissance patrols are generally tasked with the gathering and confirming of information and are dispatched with the intent of avoiding direct contacts with an enemy. The information sought can very from determining the size, activity , or location of an enemy or tracking their movement .It may be tasked with identifying a route for movement through an area , such as locating a place to conduct a river crossing or possibly establish a secure perimeter to base operations from. The reconnaissance patrol may be utilized to establish contact with friendly forces or sister units to report intentions, status, locations, etc.

Military patrols may be very small entities such as a fire team, or they may be conducted at squad or platoon strength, and likely have subordinate teams with in the structure. The overriding conditions of their existence and effectiveness at the task at hand must allow them to operate in an independent manor, relying on its self for immediate security, maintenance, navigation, and its ability to perform the operational orders that it is tasked with , such as breaching obstacles, securing of prisoners, the seizing of objectives, documenting intelligence, photographing/mapping terrain, etc.

Highriskoperator-7 The civilian police world incorporates patrolling into a variety of circumstances, some similar and some less so than the military application in a infantry context. Again we can identify a task or objective as the governing factor determining the methods utilized, as well as size, capabilities, and expectations of the patrol. The ‘street’ officer may be assigned with a general ’security’ task such as simply responding to any calls for service in a particular precinct or jurisdiction, maintain presence in an area for the purpose of identifying and deterring crimes, or tasked with a more specific purpose such as enforcing traffic laws in a congested area and/or conducting collision investigations as they occur. The ’security’ application of patrolling is applied in the protection of VIPs in both public and private sector. Prisons and correctional institutions conduct such activities outside the perimeters of the facility as well as with in the walls, layering security patrols on foot, in vehicles, and in fixed location such as control pods and towers for the purpose of maintaining order and custody with in the facility.

IMG_2818

Special operations with in the police world call for more specific applications of patrolling with certain objectives to achieve. I have conducted patrolling operations tasked with the purpose of gathering information, collection of intelligence, observing and surveillance of locations for evidence of criminal activity ,etc. Having conducted counter narcotic interdiction/eradication operations with multi-agency/jurisdiction task forces, many of these activities focused on gathering information for the purpose of securing warrants by means of placing video cameras and audio recording devices, photographing people, places, vehicles, and establishing the presence of trafficking and manufacturing of drugs. These details often incorporated support elements such as forensic technicians, aviation support, the use of crime informants or undercover personnel.

We always performed reconnaissance patrols prior to the service of arrest/search warrants for the detailed planning of those operations, maintaining real time current information on the location and its inhabitants, and to maintain ‘eyes on’ surveillance of persons of interest to the legal system. At times, providing protection of persons/places resulted in the tasking of similar patrols to survey the ‘arena‘ ahead of time. The circumstances that I have conducted such details have varied from camo fatigues and painted faces laying in a creek bed behind a spotting scope and note pad, too t-shirt and shorts sitting in the beer garden of a busy pub taking photos of ’the band’ and certain persons of interest that might be conducting business in the area as well, or on several occasions sitting in a U haul trailer positioned in a parking lot all night, taking shifts starring through a fish eye lens with some other lucky fellow. The nature of these type operations were similar to the ‘reconnaissance’ category found in the military circles…covertly maneuver to a location, occupy a ‘hide’, gather Intel, with draw undetected.

IMG_2837 Police Patrol operations at times share attributes with the ambush/raid flavor of military patrolling, but having much different rules of engagement. My involvement in such has included fugitive/inmate recovery teams, conducting activities traditionally referred to as ‘man hunts’ for individuals or groups that have taken flight to avoid prosecution or escaped containment of an agency or venue having custody over them. These patrols usually take on a more aggressive pace, conducting road blocks, check points, and tracking operations with the intent of capture . Similar patrols may conduct searches for missing and/or abducted persons, locating a downed aircraft, all using movement techniques designed to search and contact.

Police patrolling may employ a couple of detectives, a dozen members of a special response team, or consist of multiple agencies with various specific tasks assigned to them numbering hundreds. As with the military unit, the activity revolves around a specific task or purpose, (although sometimes with secondary mission considerations), that the ‘patrol’ carries out with the purpose of achieving the objective or task at hand.

IMG_2857

Now that we have an example of what traditional ‘patrolling’ activities may entail, lets identify why the civilian operator should study them and incorporate them into the ‘tool box’. First though it is important to establish where this fits into our training path. Mission number one needs to focus on individual operator skills- your shooting disciplines, hand to hand skills, emergency medical knowledge, vehicle operation, an understanding of how a single operator might negotiate a building or structure, etc.. We move from there into our multi-operator training as Suarez International provides via our HRO Team Tactics 1 & 2, CQB, etc. The application of everything we developed as an individual gets performed in groups, thus allowing larger and more complex tasks to be performed in a safe, efficient manor as a group. The formation of family members, neighbors, friends ,etc. into a functioning unit, where several operators actions are used to compliment each others efforts for a greater task is critical. The old adage of two working together can do more than ten working alone reigns true.

Based on the above descriptions of patrolling, we can describe the action as the application of moving about our area of operations in a overt/covert manor, using persons arranged in a tactical formation to observe people, places, and events, for the various purposes of learning about them, assessing their capabilities, equipment, indentations, sometimes contacting them, avoiding them at other times, possibly inflicting our will upon them, and on occasions attempting to influence, effect, or eliminate situations favorable to allow others to inflict there will on us. It is the activity that allows us to be the ’king of the hill’ so to speak, and function in our given environment. It allows us to maintain control over areas deemed ours and it also allows us to explore areas that may belong to others.

IMG_2879 Patrolling skills are necessary so that you, those you are responsible for, or have common interests with, can conduct activities to include securing properties ,locations, buildings, etc. from threats in the event of societal breakdown (think: your neighborhood watch on steroids) or if your business requires you frequent more dangerous locations around the globe, good patrolling skills allow for a element of safety while you travel! Do any of you live in one of the rural counties of this nation that have been advised that there isn’t enough capital left in the budget to provide for law enforcement services….who watches the ranch then folks? The ability to maneuver and negotiate our way around the planet in small groups is critical when the need to escape/evade/relocate from an area that has become untenable, sometimes requiring flight on foot and maintaining safety in your numbers. The understanding of how to conduct counter surveillance on a foe that may be targeting you and yours for abduction, assault, or theft, is most important in this day and age. Wouldn’t it be desirable to be able to deploy a patrol to discover the whereabouts and perform the rescue of a lost or abducted family member or friend in times of trouble. What if you need to reach a downed comrade in an emergency. Many times in our nations history (as well as most others) and seemingly with a greater frequency, we find ourselves left ‘on our own’ to provide for the safety of our family and communities for varying durations and in different scenarios, as our elected officials fail to respond in a timely manor or are under equipped to deal with overwhelming events.

IMG_2863

As civilian operators, responsible citizens, prepared families/communities , guerilla fighters, what ever banner you rally under- a knowledge of and application of patrolling should be a familiar topic in your bag of tricks. It must include ambush/counter ambush techniques, the understanding of conducting deliberate raids or assaults…do you know how to assemble your team into a line, file, or wedge and take the fight to the enemy ? How bout immediate action and contact drills to break the enemies attacks? Tracking/counter tracking operations….are you being followed? Do you have the skills to button hook your trail and conduct a hasty ambush? Traveling techniques, small unit formations, security halts, proper crossing and negotiation of various terrain, identifying bottle necks, fatal funnels, and other danger areas. Can you move your group safely up a ridge or conduct a river crossing? Is enemy contact likely? Do you understand how to move your team with traveling or bounding over watches through an open area? Can you keep the group together and on course in the thick timber? Can you establish a tight 360 degree perimeter for the night and allow every other member arranged like the spokes of a wheel to get some much needed rest, yet retain the ability to instantly and silently kick them to alertness in the event of compromise or danger? These things performed much easier having an understanding of how to do them and prior practice at it.

General navigation skills are a must. Can you read a topographical map and orient your self in the big scheme of things. Can you position yourself using terrain association and triangulation? How about the use of satellite navigation technology? I am of the opinion that it is a good thing to know where you are, how to get where you need to be, and return to where you came from, at all times! The understanding of how to organize, plan, and conduct patrol operations in varying terrains, environments, and conditions is critical. The knowledge required for establishing patrol bases, hides, security/ defensive perimeters in both urban and rural environments is important . If you are being watched, would you want to know about it and have the ability to loose your tail and conduct counter surveillance? All very important stuff for the civilian operator to know in our uncertain world! Remember the one person you can always rely on is you, and in hard times it is likely others will look to you as well. Will you be able to lead them? Be as reliable as you can.

IMG_0962 The safety of your ‘team‘, particularly over protracted events, boils down to your ability as a group to be able to shoot, move, and communicate. Those three things are the foundation. The study and application of patrolling is the method in which you maintain that safety in both the reactive and proactive side of events while on the move or ‘in camp‘. If you don’t possess the skills to advance to the fight, pick the fight, avoid the fight altogether, or flee from the fight if it found you- I submit you are not as combat effective as you ought to be and its time to develop these skills. Lots of material in this area of study will be available from Suarez International and its many talented instructors in the very near future. I encourage you to take advantage of these opportunities to become as complete of a warrior as you can be. ….your life and other’s lives just might depend on it.


Eric W. Pfleger

Staff Instructor

Suarez International


From Warrior Talk News

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Husbands, love your wives.

"Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave his life for it."
Ephesians 5:28 GOD'S WORD® Translation (©1995)

"Enjoy life with the woman whom you love all the days of your fleeting life which He has given to you under the sun; for this is your reward in life"
Ecclesiastes 9:9 New American Standard Bible (©1995)

This started out to be a much longer post on this subject, but I decided to let those words stand mostly on their own.

Men, love your wives. They are jewels in your crown. Yes, maybe they've faded a little bit, but be honest with yourselves. What part have you played in that? And haven't you, too, faded a bit?

Well into my fiftieth year, and without a woman to love and love me in return, I'm here to tell you that the grass is NOT greener.

It's simple, men. So simple even you can do it. Love them. Just love them. The way you did when you were trying to win their hearts. Take out an old picture of when you fell in love and remember. Remember. (Thanks for that idea to pastor Ken Appleton)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Inside Story on Police Harrassment

Recently, the Chula Vista Police Department ran an e-mail forum (a question and answer exchange) with the topic being, "Community Policing." One of the civilian email participants posed the following question,

"I would like to know how it is possible for police officers to continually harass people and get away with it?"

From the "other side" (the law enforcement side) Sgt. Bennett, obviously a cop with a sense of humor replied:

"First of all, let me tell you this...it's not easy. In Chula Vista , we average one cop for every 600 people. Only about 60% of those cops are on general duty (or what you might refer to as "patrol") where we do most of our harassing.

The rest are in non-harassing departments that do not allow them contact with the day to day innocents. And at any given moment, only one-fifth of the 60% patrollers are on duty and available for harassing people while the rest are off duty. So roughly, one cop is responsible for harassing about 5,000 residents.

When you toss in the commercial business, and tourist locations that attract people from other areas, sometimes you have a situation where a single cop is responsible for harassing 10,000 or more people a day.

Now, your average ten-hour shift runs 36,000 seconds long. This gives a cop one second to harass a person, and then only three-fourths of a second to eat a donut AND then find a new person to harass. This is not an easy task. To be honest, most cops are not up to this challenge day in and day out. It is just too tiring. What we do is utilize some tools to help us narrow down those people which we can realistically harass.

The tools available to us are as follows:

PHONE: People will call us up and point out things that cause us to focus on a person for special harassment. "My neighbor is beating his wife" is a code phrase used often. This means we'll come out and give somebody some special harassment.

Another popular one is, "There's a guy breaking into a house." The harassment team is then put into action.

CARS: We have special cops assigned to harass people who drive. They like to harass the drivers of fast cars, cars with no insurance or no driver's licenses and the like. It's lots of fun when you pick them out of traffic for nothing more obvious than running a red light. Sometimes you get to really heap the harassment on when you find they have drugs in the car, they are drunk, or have an outstanding warrant on file.

RUNNERS: Some people take off running just at the sight of a police officer. Nothing is quite as satisfying as running after them like a beagle on the scent of a bunny. When you catch them you can harass them for hours.

STATUTES: When we don't have PHONES or CARS and have nothing better to do, there are actually books that give us ideas for reasons to harass folks. They are called "Statutes"; Criminal Codes, Motor Vehicle Codes, etc... They all spell out all sorts of things for which you can really mess with people.

After you read the statute, you can just drive around for awhile until you find someone violating one of these listed offenses and harass them. Just last week I saw a guy trying to steal a car. Well, there's this book we have that says that's not allowed. That meant I got permission to harass this guy. It is a really cool system that we have set up, and it works pretty well.

We seem to have a never-ending supply of folks to harass. And we get away with it. Why? Because for the good citizens who pay the tab, we try to keep the streets safe for them, and they pay us to "harass" some people.

Next time you are in my town, give me the old "single finger wave." That's another one of those codes. It means, "You can harass me." It's one of our favorites.

(Received via e-mail)

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Quote of the day

"I took a deep breath and leaned close to Vinnie,  whispering in his ear.  'I know about Madam Zaretski and her whips and chains. I know about the boys.  And I know about the duck. "
-from "One for the Money" by Janet Evanovich

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

To Love...

"To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully around with hobbies and little luxuries. Avoid all entanglements: lock it up in the safe casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket--safe, dark, motionless, airless--it will change. It will not be broken. It will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least the risk of tragedy, is damnation."

-C.S. Lewis
H/T Carol Kennedy

Monday, June 14, 2010

Musing on an empty nest

This started out yesterday as a note on my Facebook page.

Those of you that read it there and don't think that I'm just a self indulgent narcissist can scroll down to find out whatever insight I add here.

"This was the first weekend that Sarah worked both days and I didn't have anything planned. I spent, as some of you saw on here, a part of both days working on my laptop at the Starbucks down in Laguna Beach. While I love being in a beach town, and at Starbucks to boot, I realized this afternoon that I'm already starting to feel the empty nest syndrome. I had a conversation with a friend this afternoon that only made it worse.

For the last 18 years, I have been "Dad". That has been my job, my role, my identity, my life, and I didn't even really realize how completely I identify as "Dad" until now.

Sarah is 18, driving, and employed. She has more friends at this particular time than she's had in quite awhile. She has a boyfriend. She has a life that doesn't revolve around me. Don't get me wrong, that's ok...that's the way it's supposed to be...but for me, it's weird.

I realize that most of my friends are married. The few single guys I know are twenty-somethings that I have nothing, or at best very little, in common with.

I'm going to be 50 next year. I'm getting very close to retirement, having been at my job for 30 years.

I don't have any idea what the future holds.

I'm alone, and I don't know how to do that."

I'll start with the last first. "I'm alone, and I don't know how to do that."

I realize while pondering this that I've never been alone, at least not for more than a couple weeks while Sarah was at camp or some such thing.

I lived at home until I moved out to shack up with the first love of my life. After that dream disintegrated, I moved back home where I lived until I got married to the second love of my life. Man, was I wrong about that. When we divorced, less that five years later, I moved in with the third love of my life, along with my then two year old daughter.

Skip ahead two more years, another relationship run aground, and I moved out with my four year old to live "on my own" for the first time in my life...at age 35. That transition is the stuff of a whole 'nother post. Suffice it to say that I was ill prepared to be a single dad in this great big world. But we survived.

And since that day, it has been Sarah and I. We have a strange and unique relationship that doesn't evade the notice of most people that know us. Again, that's the stuff of another post. But the point is, I've been "Dad" for 18 years. I was "boyfriend" a couple of times during that time for short periods, but I haven't even been "boyfriend" for...what?...7 years now? It's been so long, I don't remember. I see why so many marriages disintegrate after the kids move out. When you identify as one thing for so long, it's intimidating to face the unknown future. Ah, another post.

The stuff of this post is: I've NEVER lived alone. I don't know how to do alone. I don't know what to do alone. I don't know how to act when there is not someone else's opinion to take into account, someone to care about and for, someone to take care of. I'm...apprehensive? nervous? intimidated? scared?

Thanks to Alicia and Gabrielle for the kind words that encouraged me to explore these thoughts in a little deeper detail.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Quote of the day

"There is something comforting about large Anguillian women. At home [in the U.S.] a woman of this size would be considered overweight. Not in Anguilla. Generous weight is a sign of contentedness, happiness, even success; a thin person on the other hand, probably works too hard, worries too much, and doesn't eat enough"
-from A Trip to the Beach by Melinda and Robert Blanchard.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Quote of the day

Cuddy: "I just want us to be friends"
House: "That's the last thing I want us to be"

Saturday, May 15, 2010

The three best days of my life. So far.

October 5, 1991
July 17, 2007

November 10, 2009
Wonder what the next one will be....

Sunday, May 9, 2010

What I'm looking at right now

Main Beach, Laguna. I love living in Orange County. Have I mentioned that before? Happy Mothers' Day.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Quote of the Day

"You know it's a bad day when the best thing about it is getting shot in the head"
- from "Hunting the Jackal" by Billy Waugh

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

How NOT to get shot by the police

From Warrior Talk News

We discussed this at the Active Shooter Interdiction Class in Virginia and there was a great deal of work done on it in class. The concern is that the good guy CCW, or off duty LEO for that matter, taking out the bad guy might be misidentified by responding police and shot. Police shoot one of their own every 18 months around the nation so it is a very plausible event.

Contributing factors seem to be as follows -

You are more likely to be mistakenly shot by police in areas where the carry of weapons by citizens is not common. Places like New York or Los Angeles immediately come to mind. The notion seems to be that only cops or criminals have guns. This is not the attitude I see nationwide but it is prevalent enough to be aware of it.
Read more...

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Quote of the day

"Bravery is a far more common thing than cowardice, and the reason for it is a shame. People go into danger not alone, but with their friends, and you don't want to appear weak in front of them, so from the fear of cowardice comes the most insane of acts, the successful ones later celebrated as great heroism"
From "Rainbow Six" by Tom Clancy

Friday, April 23, 2010

Columbine Changed Law Enforcement 11 Years Ago - For the Better

From Trigger Pull Tactical

Eleven years ago April 20th Law Enforcement was changed forever when Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold walked into Columbine High School in Colorado and opened fire on students and teachers. What those two knuckle heads didn't know at the time was the profound impact they would have on law enforcement all over the United States and abroad. Because of their horribly thought up and acted out tragedy now almost every single officer in the United States goes through some form of Active Shooter/Rapid Deployment training. I myself am a Rapid Deployment trainer and I believe if it wasn't for Columbine we as a police officers would not have changed our tactics to combat the effectiveness of active shooters in businesses, schools, and public places. I do believe many lives have been saved and many more will in the future due to the training that is taking place across this great nation of ours.

Read More...



Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Good days...

Me, on the beach at the foot of Dunn's River Falls, Ocho Rios, Jamaica last fall - in support of my Facebook status. One of the best days of my life...so far.

Friday, April 9, 2010

What I'm looking at right now

One of the reasons I love living this close to the beach: watching the marine layer come ashore in the evening.
One of the reasons I love living this far from the beach: it doesn't always make it this far ashore.

What I'm looking at right now

Tonight it's chicken breast, asparagus, and a Henry Weinhard's ROOT beer. Still missing: special someone who likes I guy who can make dinner.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

What I'm looking at right now

Clam chowder at the Crab Cooker.  Yeah, baby.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Quote of the day #2

"Let me ask you something. If someone prays for patience, you think God gives them patience? Or does he give them the opportunity to be patient? If he prayed for courage, does God give him courage, or does he give him opportunities to be courageous? If someone prayed for the family to be closer, do you think God zaps them with warm fuzzy feelings, or does he give them opportunities to love each other?" - Morgan Freeman as God in Evan Almighty

Quote of the day

"So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud.

Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong."

2 Corinthians 12:7-10 (NLT)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

What I'm looking at right now

Forgot about the asparagus. Still missing: someone special to share

What I'm looking at right now

Salmon grilling on a cedar plank. Missing: someone special to share it with.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Quote of the day

It is better to have old second-hand diamonds than none at all. - Mark Twain, Following the Equator

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Quote of the day

“If two people love each other, there can be no happy end to it”
-Ernest Hemingway

Friday, March 26, 2010

Dreaming of warm places and a future


I mentioned to a friend that other day the possibility of moving to Mexico when I retire, and the less than enthusiastic response was basically "Why?"
That's the Sea of Cortez from San Carlos, Sonora, Mexico.
Any other questions?


Saturday, March 20, 2010

What I'm looking at right now

Aww...they took him to the mall for his birthday.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

If you're authorized to carry a weapon, and don't, say "baaaa"


http://www.policeone.com/off-duty/articles/2019751-Off-duty-Calif-cop-fatally-shoots-violent-man/

Through much of my career, I didn't carry a weapon off duty...too much trouble, too heavy, too hard to conceal, etc...but then I watched a video of Col. Dave Grossman giving one of his speeches. I've written here before about sheep and sheep dogs. The thing that Grossman said that has stuck with me since I saw that video was this:
“Do you have any idea how hard it would be to live with yourself if your loved ones were attacked and killed, and you had to stand there helplessly because you were unprepared for that day?”
I do have an idea. I couldn't live with myself if violence came to one of my loved ones because I was not prepared to confront it. Since that day I can count on one hand that number of times that I've been "unprepared", mostly because carrying a weapon was impossible or illegal, ie: on an airplane, Disneyland (whose weapons policy I'll NEVER understand), at the beach.

Thank God, and kudos to the officer that's the subject of this story, that he was prepared and didn't have to stand there helplessly while some scumbag did violence to his daughter.

Brothers, be prepared and watch your six.

What I'm looking at right now

Burgers on the grill and an ice cold Red Stripe...summer's coming!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Motivating Poster



I saw this over at Trigger Pull Tactical and had to repost it. It speaks for itself.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Video of the week

HT Ed, who named this "Video of the Week". Ed says this is "OK Go’s completely brilliant video for “This Too Shall Pass”", but I might go so far as to call it Video of the Year.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

What I'm looking at right now

Typical Saturday morrning at the coffee shop.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Quote of the day

For lack of an original thought on my part, or a new quote, I dug into the "good" box and came up with this gem, originally posted by me on Sept. 6, 2009:

"Because you are a man,' she said. "Like other men, insecure. When a woman throws herself at you, you are incapable of just accepting your good fortune. You don't think you are worthy of what you are being given, so the woman has to have some ulterior motive."
-from Black Ops by W.E.B. Griffin hb pg 222


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Twists and Turns


Sometimes life takes twists and turns that you can't detect or predict. All you can do is ask God to light the way and keep you on the path, and trust him to do it. The secular me wants to see the end of the road, the final score. That's not the way it works. If we could see the end game, we wouldn't have to trust now. I'm trusting, God. Don't walk me into a wall, or worse yet, off the edge of the cliff. Unless that's your will, of course. ;-)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

More LARN

Why it's called Trestles. San Onofre in the distance.

More looking at right now

Never tried video before. Hope it works. It's a picture perfect day. Just one thing missing...my Valentine.

(The video upload from mobile didn't work, but here it is)

What I'm looking at right now.

Trestles beach

(with either a giant ufo looming overhead or my finger in the picture...not sure which)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Our ways are not God's ways

A friend wrote this in a blog post today:
Sometimes when something really bad happens, it's God making way for something good to come into our lives.
True that. As a matter of fact, I might be wiling to go so far as to call that statement true even without the qualifier "Sometimes".

I've found it to be true many times in life that "it's darkest before the dawn". According to J.M. Farro,
It's no coincidence that right before deliverance comes, the temptation to lose faith in God became unbearable. These are the kinds of tactics that Satan uses to try to convince believers to abandon their faith and hope in God so that their victory will be delayed or even thwarted entirely. That's why the Bible says: "Do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord, no matter what happens. Remember the great reward it brings you! Patient endurance is what you need now, so you will continue to do God's will. Then you will receive all that He has promised." (Hebrews 10:35-36 NLT) The devil knows that if he can send enough discouragement and despair your way, you'll be more likely to quit and give up on trusting in God and His plans for you.
Yeah, that's what I wanted to say, but Farro said it already so I've just quoted him.

When we are walking through the difficult times of life, it is easy to forget that God is with us through it all. It is easy to turn from him if we're feeling that he's abandoned us. We must remember that he's not only there during those times, but those are the times that he's closest to us. He knows our troubles and feels our pain. Sometimes he won't take those pains away from us because we have more to learn by enduring them than we do by escaping them.

Sometimes he lets us hit bottom just so we'll look up. That happened to me. Those of you that know the story of my conversion have heard it before. If you haven't, and you're interested, ask me.

This whole post feels disjointed and unfocused, so I'm going to quit here. If enlightenment comes, I'll be back.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Yemen al-Qaeda leader threatens US

From the "If you're not concerned, you're not paying attention" department:

http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2010/02/201028133549227780.html

Of VERY special interest is this part:
"Elshari was released in 2007 from the US Navy's detention centre in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to his native Saudi Arabia.

There he graduated from a "rehabilitation" programme before fleeing the country to join anti-government fighters in Yemen.

He quickly rose to become al-Qaeda's second-in-command in the Arabian Peninsula."
We had him. We let him go. I have no further comment for polite company.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Where's Steve / What I'm looking at right now

Those of you playing along at home should recognize this place and know that I come here to listen for the voice of God.

I'm waiting...

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Radical Transparency


Are you radically transparent? I'm not...generally. Until recently, I can't think of a single person in the world who knew everything about me. Ok, honestly, everything is a bit of a stretch, I suppose. Not too long ago I met someone with whom I've been able to be completely open. This person knows more about the many facets of Steve than, I dare to say, anyone else in the world. With this person, I am radically transparent. And you know what? It's freeing, not confining. It's nice to be completely open and honest about everything...no secrets, nothing hidden. I've learned some lessons from that which I intend to put to use in my daily life.

I have integrity with this person. My whole being is integrated. I don't have the work Steve, the home Steve, the church Steve, and the all-alone Steve with her. Yes, it's a her. Why? I don't know. She makes it easy. She gets me and it's easy to be honest and open. I don't think she's going to run away screaming. No, we're not romantic. Would I like to be? Maybe. I don't know for sure. Why? Because I'm not sure she's as open with me. Not true, I'm sure she's not. And that's ok. Just because I'm an open book doesn't mean the rest of the world has to be.

But it's a liberating feeling. Not having anything to hide. Will she break my heart? Probably. But that's ok too. I'm learning things in the meantime.