Sunday, December 28, 2014


So, what did you get for Christmas? Here is what I got:

On Christmas day, I got four Mounds Bars in my stocking. I also got to have the pleasure of watching my wife, son, daughter, son-in-law and my mother-in-law opening the extra presents I had gotten for them. Since we were doing the Secret Santa thing this year, where each of us would get a gift or gifts for only one person up to a set price limit, those presents from me were totally unexpected. Evidently though, judging by the smiles, those gifts were well appreciated. That was my best gift - seeing the smiles on their faces. I also got a thank you email from my nephew who I sent a gift card from I got nothing else on Christmas day except some Merry Christmas wishes and kisses. That was because our family celebration was set for yesterday (the Saturday after Christmas) due to family work obligations. On Saturday, during our celebration, I got to see my two brother's-in-law smile when they got the extras I gave them, as well as seeing everyone smile when they got their gifts from their Secret Santas - myself included (well I did not see my smile but felt it there on my face)..

Yesterday, my Secret Santa (my son, it was not hard at all to figure out) gave me three things from my wish list. A jar of Ole Smokey Moonshine Cherries, a gift certificate for Zum Stammtisch restaurant (one of my favorite places to eat) and a complete lower build A2 parts kit with a note from him on the box saying: "HO-HO-HO NOW YOU CAN MAKE A MACHINEGUN".

The note is now hanging off of the bottom of a picture frame just above my desk.
I already had a stripped lower that needed a parts kit and that was just the thing I needed. Now I have to put the darned thing together  and there is not even a parts list in the box let alone instructions on how to do it. I guess I'll be looking to YouTube for instructional videos. And by the way - NO IT WILL NOT BE FULL AUTO NOR EVEN SELECT FIRE no matter how much my Secret Santa thinks I can now make a machingun.

So, What Did You Get For Christmas?

All the best,
Glenn B

If I Was In A Similar Situation...

...I think that instead of me being focused like this:

...I would be more focused like this:

I mean, I'd like to think I was man enough to admire the beauty of the body whenever possible but at times like that I'd think I have another thing on my mind. Maybe that's just me though.

All the best,
Glenn B

Another Officer Down - End Of Watch

Police Officers - how did Jaden Ramos, the son of slain NYPD Officer Rafael Ramos, say it shortly after he learned that his father had been assassinated and stolen from his life:

"Everyone says they hate cops but they are the people that they call for help."

He was not exactly right about everyone saying they hate cops, not everyone says that although most people do criticize them freely with frequency. So, he was very close to being right on the mark. It's natural to criticize, at least here in America where we can enjoy our rights by way of exercising liberty and that criticism often is directed at public servants. Heck, I was in law enforcement for a career spanning just over 32 years and I found myself on the receiving end and find myself doing it too; that is when I think it warranted. It's not me hating cops (and other law enforcers) but criticizing them and calling for changes because I see law enforcement in general getting out of hand, not just now and then but as a regular occurrence in today's world. Yet, I also respect those in LE a great deal - at least those who stand behind the shield honorably and who do not abuse their authority especially by way of rights and liberty violations. We all need to respect them, I think we are obliged to do so out of a sense of what is right. We should respect and honor those who perform that duty that Jaden mentioned.

Yes, he mentioned their duty - the duty to come when they hear us call for help! They come at all hours of the day or night, in any weather, whether they are feeling up to it or not to serve and protect - to answer our cries for help. They actually do serve and protect, no matter how many times they may also be criticized for things they get wrong (and yes they are human too and screw up just like anyone else). The fact is the police are the ones we call for help - we the: men, women, hard core right, whacko leftists, moderates, Republicans, Democrats, Tea Party folks, children, adults, whites, blacks, red men, yellow men, brown, men, Christians, Hindus, Jews, Muslims, atheists, straights, gays, plumbers, professors, prostitutes, politicians, homeless bums, preppers, 3 percenters, agitators, racists, race baiters, and even cop-haters call them for help when thy need them. Sure, they do some bad, they are often way too in line with soft tyranny (sometimes even real tyranny). There are some bad apples in the bunch, real bad ones at that who probably commit more crime than prevent it BUT they are the exception.

Cops also come when called, by us, for help; that is the rule for them and not the exception. They do so to face all sorts of unknowns. Sometimes they come to help deliver a baby, or to give medical assistance (this cop thought he was about to issue a speeding violation), or to find a missing person, or keep the peace during demonstrations (even when the demonstrators call out for dead cops) or to respond to calls on alleged or actual: burglaries, assaults, and to more heinous crimes like rapes and murders. They even get called for cats up trees (and wind up need help from the fire department). Then there are the catastrophes to which they rush to save lives, well knowing that their lives are at risk, such as school shootings, terrorist attacks and the like. Of course there are the more mundane things they do, like sit and eat lunch in their patrol cars, and even they wind up dead - just for being cops. When some among them are criticized, alleged to have done things, accused of crimes, convicted of criminal acts - we tend to lump them together and see them as bad. The truth is though, most of them do good and try to answer our calls for help, to serve us and protect us, as best they can and as I said, they never know what lies in wait on any given call.

Somewhere between a lunch break, a routine and a heinous murder or terrible catastrophe are calls about domestic violence. They can be the easiest going call or the most dangerous calls a police officer will ever receive. Police officers often become the target of both the caller (who called 911 for help) and of the person who the caller accused of wrongdoing (spouse or domestic partner). When they arrive on the scene of a domestic violence call, young Jaden's words come true all to often because it sometimes seems that everyone involved in those calls hates the police! If not everyone then many times at least one of the parties involved turns their anger on the cops but it is all too often that everyone involved sees them as the bad guys. Drunken violent badgering husbands attack the cops, badly beaten and abused wives who called the police for help suddenly turn on the cops as the cops put their husbands in cuffs, parents attack the police or accuse them of wrongdoing when the police use force to control their emotionally disturbed and dangerous child, the same child they called the police to control because moments before they feared for their lives at the hands of their own child.

Sadly, it has happened again and this time with fatal results. Yesterday, the police in Flagstaff, AZ were called to a domestic violence situation. Later on, an officer, while following up on the investigation, was speaking to one of the parties allegedly involved. As they stood talking to one another - the officer and the alleged suspect - the man reportedly pulled a gun and, at close range, shot the officer in the face. The officer, Tyler Stewart, was rushed to a hospital by but succumbed to his wounds.

Police Officer Tyler Stewart RIP
The piece of dirt who shot him then killed himself rather than having the courage to face what he had coming on this earth.

Police answered that call too, the call of shots fired - officer down. They never know what each day, each hour, each minute, each moment will bring them - they never know what call for help will come next or what will lie in wait for them on that call. Officer Stewart was a rookie ,with less than a year on the job, and he was only 24 years old. (I started my LE career just days before my 24th birthday so this really hits home with me.) You can bet that he did not wake up yesterday, put on his uniform and strap on his gun-belt, with the thought: Today is a good day to die and then rush off to work hoping for a life or death encounter in which he would lose his life but it happened. He is gone, he is dead, he was killed answering a call to help, he was killed in the line of duty, he was killed while both trying to serve and protect, he was killed doing a job that most people would never even consider doing, he was killed while being a police officer who was answering the call. 

Now, the police in Flagstaff, from all round AZ and the adjoin states and probably from all over the country, maybe even from around the world, will come to answer another call - the call of camaraderie to attend his funeral services. They will come to pay their last respects to a brother officer who fell in the line of duty. They will come to give support to the family, loved ones, friends and partners of Officer Stewart. They will come to show support for one another just as they came in New York for the funeral of Officer Ramos and as most certainly they will come for the funeral of Ramos' partner Officer Liu. They will come looking their finest, they will stand at attention, they will salute him, they will play the pipes for him, they will honor his memory and honor his family all to pay their respects to one of the finest - who died in a way they all fear - a police officer who lost his life in the line of duty answering a call for help.

It was a call Officer Stewart answered, that they almost would all answer, regardless of the callers race, religion, gender, sexual preference, politics, or any other consideration because the only thing that mattered is that someone called for help and he was a police officer so he answered the call. Yes, other officers will answer the call now and they will come to his side, this one last time. He was a brother officer who was gunned down in the line of duty and if they do not come - then who will come to answer that call of Officer Down - End Of Watch.

My condolences to the family and loved ones of Officer Tyler Stewart and to his fellow officers. At the very least we owe him that much respect, it is our duty to answer that call, the call to see him off with honor.

All the best,
Glenn B