Sunday, December 31, 2006

My blog

I've had a little disclaimer on the sidebar of this blog since I started it. You're welcome to comment, to disagree, whatever. I have never invited anyone to my blog directly, nor have I requested or demanded (yes, you, anne elizabeth, I know you still visit. Anonymous isn't very anonymous when you're stupid.) to be linked to. I think it's cool if you visit, even more cool if you return to read, and pretty damn flattering if you link to me.

If you don't like something I write, please feel free to disagree. In fact, I pretty much expect it. I don't write things like "Today the sky was blue." I know what I'm writing about is often controversial and I am fully aware of the fact that I believe things differently than your average, white bread, Republican policeman. (And I can say that because my husband is a shining example of "The Man".) But that little disclaimer on my sidebar has said, from the beginning, "I like comments. But I like real comments, not people being assholes. If you have something constructive to add, by all means please speak up. If you just like to lurk, please lurk. I don't take flaming lightly. I will erase those comments."

I love a good debate. Bring it on. But do it logically. Use reason, research, fact, even your own opinion. But don't attack me. I do not attack people that I disagree with, and that's my one request of you; respect that and return it. Calling me hormonal just because you're having a shitty day (and happen to know I'm pregnant) is being an asshole. Or showing up anonymously and berating me cause you can't use intelligence to argue your point, well, that just gets your comment deleted. You'll notice, if you go through past posts, I never deleted any comments where people disagree with me. Nor have I been nasty in response. However, if you're nasty to me, yep, I reserve the right to be a bitch back. Today was the first time I deleted a comment. The person didn't have anything constructive to add, and basically felt like blaming me for something that happened to her at some point in the past (that coincidentally wasn't me, although I'd like to have taken credit for it).

I realize I have different viewpoints. Sometimes they may not make sense to some people, especially cops. It's funny that I know enough cops and since I'm married to one (and have them in the family as well) that I'm expected to bow down and have the exact same opinion as cops? Nope. Not gonna happen. Sure there's a lot of things I do agree with, but I'm not a sheep.

Anyway, by all means, disagree with me. Tell me so. But expect a good debate, if I want to debate about it. (If I don't want to debate about it, I'll just let it go) And don't read into my tone. It's the damn internet, there is no tone except the one you're making up in your head. If you can't handle a debate, know what they say about the heat.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Ex-cop teaches you how to hide drugs

An ex-Narcotics Officer is creating a video to teach people how to "Never Get Busted Again." His former employers remember him as being one of the best narcotics officers they've ever seen. In the article it mentions that he is in favor of marijuana legalization, believing the War on Drugs to be a waste of resources, filling the jails with harmless criminals.
I actually happen to agree with him about pot. I've never heard a cop story involving a violent stoner. I've never met anyone who did anything more than just sit and be stupid while smoking marijuana. The worst I've heard personally was the local kid, Alex Manocchio, getting stoned and driving his car into an 8-months-pregnant woman, killing her and her unborn baby. If it was legal, there could be laws passed preventing 'stoning and driving', just like alcohol. But that's a long battle and debate that frankly I don't want to get into. To me, I don't see the difference between pot and booze.
The problem is that his video, if I'm understanding the story correctly, is how to hide your narcotics. Is pot a narcotic? I was under the impression there were far more serious drugs out there than pot. I also believe resources would be better used pursuing the drug trade for those drugs that cause violent behavior, serious bodily harm, and addiction. I mean let's be honest...someone gets stiffed over a joint, do they go on a violent spree? Do kids become hookers for pot money?

That said, I think it's pretty sad that he used to spend his life upholding the law, and is now making a trade teaching people to evade the law. Unfortunately being a cop doesn't give you any room to disagree with the law. You uphold it, regardless of your personal beliefs, or you lose your job. Obviously this officer wasn't OK with that.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

But he only had a knife!!

UPDATE: PLEASE SEE COMMENTS FOR THIS POST. The description of the photos is inaccurate per and another officer who also received the email.

This email has been circulating in the cop community, and I thought it important enough to post. Please note: I am uploading the pictures but you must click on them to see them. THEY ARE GRAPHIC IMAGES. That's your warning. If you click and are sickened, not my fault.

I'm reposting the email as it arrived in our inbox. I don't think that I'd have worded it the same, but here it is:

The photos are of an officer trained in hand-to-hand combat.
The officer thought, due to his size and fighting skills, he could disarm a knife wielding aggressor.

Here is why I am forwarding these on.

To all the idiots out there who always say, "Why did the cops have to shoot him?
He only had a (insert your choice of weapons here, i.e. knife, bat, club. whatever).?
He didn't have to be shot.

To that, I respond, "tough crap ... shoot'em".

If an officer tells you to drop your weapon, just drop it.
If you're a retard, stupid, on crack, mental or just "scared" ... too bad.?

No one deserves what this cop got for just doing his job.?
If you've got a knife, then you should die ... period.

This is vivid proof of how deadly people who are "only" armed with a knife can be.

Some of the public think that officers should try to disarm someone armed with a knife but anyone who has had training in knife fighting will tell you - even if you win you are going to get cut. Keep this in the back of your mind when confronting someone armed with an edged weapon.

Photo 1

Photo 2

Photo 3

Thursday, December 07, 2006

A better driver? my post about the kid who smoked pot and caused a major accident, I mentioned that I had a lot of practice before actually getting my license. I said I thought it made me a better driver.

This morning a freak snowstorm hit Cincinnati. The high today was somewhere in the mid 20s, with wind chill around zero. While going a max of 25-30 mph over a bridge, I hit a huge patch of ice, and started to fishtail. I was able to regain control of my Jeep for all of .25 seconds, and spun out in a wide arc. Miraculously I was able to avoid being hit by the monster salt truck in the next lane, but I hit the cement guard rail. Scraped up the front left corner enough to make it rub on the tire when I hard turn, and knocked off the back left quarter panel. Scared the CRAP out of me. I got out to assess damage, and another car had stopped to check on me. It was two young guys, and one of them even picked up the pieces of the quarter panel. I thought that was a very endearing gesture, although I can't imagine he actually thought they would put it back on, LOL! My car was fully driveable and I was less than a mile from work so I thanked them and got back in the car. Once I started driving, I got the adrenaline dump that I'm sure some of you are all too familiar with. Was shaking so bad I wouldn't have been able to dial a phone.

Someone asked if I called the cops. No, I didn't. I was the only car involved, the car was driveable and I wasn't injured. Plus due to the snow, there were accidents piling up all across the city, involving injuries and multiple cars. I let them deal with the more important issues.

That was my first accident ever. The worst part was the awful realization that it was inevitable. All I could do was wait, at that point, to hit the wall. And be thankful that there were no other cars near me. But it was a humbling experience. Yes, it was my fault. I was accelerating with disregard to the weather. Mother nature demands more respect than I offered this morning.

Yes, the baby is fine. I'm fine. We went to the doc anyway, and listened to the heartbeat, and laughed as the doc chased the baby around my belly. She/he is very active in the late afternoons!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

How do Tasers work?

Found an article on Slate about how Tasers work. It's from a few weeks ago but it's a concise explanation. Also mentions that Taser International is suing some Ohio & Indiana coroners for implicating Taser in the cause of death. Yay Taser! The article ends by comparing the difference between a Taser shock and being hit by lightning. I wish I knew where to find independent studies on the effects of Tasers and stun guns, but today I'm a little too lazy to look them up.

Boredom Meme

Stole this from Katey and wanted to do it. You're supposed to bold the ones you've done.

01. Bought everyone in the bar a drink
02. Swam with wild dolphins
03. Climbed a mountain
04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
05. Been inside the Great Pyramid
06. Held a tarantula
07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
08. Said "I Love You" and meant it
09. Hugged a tree
10. Built your own PC from parts
11. Hit a home run
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea
13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise

14. Seen the Northern Lights
15. Gone to a huge sports game
16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
18. Touched an iceberg
19. Slept under the stars
20. Changed a baby's diaper
21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
22. Watched a meteor shower
23. Gotten drunk on champagne
24. Given more than you can afford to charity
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
27. Had a food fight

28. Bet on a winning horse
29. Asked out a stranger
30. Had a snowball fight
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can

32. Held a lamb
33. Seen a total eclipse
34. Ridden a roller coaster

35. Visited Paris
36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
37. Adopted an accent for an entire day
38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
39. Had two hard drives for your computer
40. Visited all 50 states
41. Taken care of someone who was drunk
42. Had amazing friends
43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country

44. Watched wild whales
45. Stolen a sign
46. Backpacked in Europe
47. Taken a road-trip
48. Gone rock climbing
49. Midnight walk on the beach
50. Gone sky diving
51. Visited Ireland
52. Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love
53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger's table and had a meal with them
54. Visited Japan
55. Milked a cow
56. Alphabetized your CDs

57. Pretended to be a superhero
58. Sung karaoke
59. Lounged around in bed all day
60. Played touch football
61. Gotten married
62. Kissed in the rain
63. Played in the mud
64. Played in the rain
65. Gone to a drive-in theater

66. Visited the Great Wall of China
67. Started a business
68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken
69. Toured ancient sites
70. Taken a martial arts class

71. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight
72. Gone scuba diving
73. Been in a movie
74. Crashed a party
75. Gotten divorced
76. Gone without food for 5 days
77. Made cookies from scratch
78. Won first prize in a costume contest
79. Ridden a gondola in Venice
80. Gotten a tattoo
81. Rafted the Snake River
82. Been on television news programs as an "expert" (an expert at being a cop's wife, LOL)
83. Got flowers for no reason
84. Performed on stage
85. Been to Las Vegas

86. Recorded music
87. Eaten shark
88. Kissed on the first date
89. Gone to Thailand
90. Bought a house
91. Been in a combat zone
92. Buried one/both of your parents
93. Been on a cruise ship
94. Spoken more than one language fluently
95. Performed in Rocky Horror (ok at, not in)
96. Raised child(ren)
97. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn't stop when you knew someone was looking (um, every day)
103. Had plastic surgery
104. Survived an accident that you shouldn't have survived
105. Wrote articles for a large publication
106. Lost over 100 pounds
107. Held someone while they were having a flashback
108. Piloted an airplane
109. Touched a stingray
110. Broken someone's heart
111. Helped an animal give birth
112. Won money on a T.V. game show
113. Had a snake as a pet
114. Gone on an African photo safari
115. Had a facial part pierced other than your ears
116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol
117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild
118. Ridden a horse
119. Had major surgery
120. Broken a bone
121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
122. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours
123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states
124. Visited all 7 continents
125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
126. Eaten kangaroo meat
127. Eaten sushi
128. Had your picture in the newspaper (had a whole article just about me)
129. Changed someone's mind about something you care deeply about
130. Gone back to school
131. Parasailed
132. Touched a cockroach
133. Eaten fried green tomatoes
134. Read The Iliad - and the Odyssey
135. Selected one 'important' author who you missed in school, and read
136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
137. Skipped all your school reunions
138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
139. Been elected to public office
140. Written your own computer language
141. Thought to yourself that you're living your dream
142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
143. Bungee jumped
144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn't know you
145. Had a booth at a street fair
146. Dyed your hair
147. Been a DJ
148. Shaved your head
149. Caused a car accident
150. Saved someone's life

Monday, December 04, 2006

Never a shortage of them...

For my more frequent readers, you might be intrigued to hear there is a bit of a debate going on in the comments section of a thread from a MONTH ago. I had posted right after elections about one unhappy local businessman's reaction to the public smoking ban here in Ohio. Some anonymous visitor has taken on himself (herself?) to use it as an opportunity to let me know what, in his opinion, is wrong with the voting system today. At first it started out that since 20% of Ohioans smoke (not entirely sure where they got that figure but I've heard similar estimates) that therefore, 20% of public places should allow smoking. As you can see, there isn't a lot of logic to this person's arguments, but for some silly reason I let myself get sucked in. After I got another comment today, I realized this person isn't mad at me, they're mad at the world, and mad at the way democracy works. Check it out, you might get a kick out of it. I closed the commenting because A.) if you're going to go on a rant, at least have the balls to put your name on it, and B.) my blog isn't about the failures and successes of the system.

On another note about the smoking ban, it starts to take effect on Dec. 7. That's a mere three days away, and to be perfectly honest, I'm tickled pink. I've had my own little countdown going til the day when I don't have to ask to be seated in non-smoking! And to be perfectly honest, I don't know how the law works as far as bars go, but since I won't be going in any bars til at least next May, it won't affect me anyway. My hunch is, though, due to the rather stringent language of the bill, bars probably won't be allowing smokers either.

On a *third* note about smoking, we recently discovered that Scott's, a major lawn-care company located in Marysville, Ohio actually successfully enforced a company policy requiring their employees to quit smoking completely. If your brain is working today, you'll realize when I say enforced, that means they fired an employee who they caught smoking off-hours. Now, I'm all for people taking charge of their own health, and not doing things that are proven detrimental to your health, like smoking, binge drinking, overeating, drugs, etc. But there's got to be a line somewhere in how involved a company can get in the employee's personal life. I could understand if Scott's decided to not pay for the health insurance of smoking employees. Let them pay for their own health insurance, if they're going to willingly partake in a known health hazard. But firing them? I can't say as I agree with that! What's next? I have heard some other arguments, like "if they can fire you for doing drugs, why not smoking?" Well, smoking cigarettes isn't illegal, yet. I don't know exactly where the line should be drawn, but I certainly don't think someone should be fired for doing something entirely legal on their own personal time, no matter how stupid. The fired employee, Scott Rodriguez, is apparently suing the company for violating a state privacy law. Given that the company enacted the policy a while ago, I find it curious that their lawyers found nothing wrong with the policy at the time. So I wonder how successful Mr. Rodriguez will be in suing?

Flirt much?

So last week J was escorting a female prisoner to court, and apparently she was trying to strike up a conversation or something. She looks at him and says "Why do you look so mean? Are you having a bad day?" Which doesn't surprise him or me, because he's always got that look on his face. If you don't know him, you'd think he was pissed off if he's not smiling. So he replies "No, not a bad day." Usually he looks the most mad if he's lost in thought and possibly doing something he isn't 100% fond of (like court services). So this prisoner, apparently either thinking she'd done something wrong OR trying to get on his good side, replies "Oh. Well you have really pretty eyes." He and I both laugh at this because he's already described this prisoner as having seen better days, most likely due to meth. She's missing half her front teeth. Lovely!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Teen kills woman in crash

I've been keeping up with this story for a while now for various reasons. Over the summer a teenager who had just gotten his license the day before decided to smoke pot and go for a drive. He wrecked into oncoming traffic, killing the 8months-pregnant driver of the car he hit and her unborn child. What an idiot. This is one of those classic "don't do drugs" commercials that I usually don't buy into. Ohio has changed the driving laws since I was a teenager, making it harder for 16 year olds to get a license without proper practice and training. But hundreds of them still get their licenses every week still. I personally did not get my license until I was in college, but had a ton of practice before I did officially get licensed. I think that made me a better driver.

But today the kid, Alex Manocchio, was not sentenced to jail for his actions. Instead he'll be attending an unlocked treatment center in Hamilton County. Why? I can only guess the judge took pity on him and hoped he'd turn around. But he took two lives due to reckless action. Shouldn't that hold stronger consequences? He will undoubtedly be haunted for a long time by the memory of it, if he actually has a memory of that day. She was only 22, barely six years older than he was. The whole situation makes me terribly sad.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Baby brain

So another one of the reasons I've been absent for awhile from this blog is that I've found a new community online. Not a replacement for this blog, mind you, but a baby website. There's a forum filled with other mothers expecting their wee one sometime next May. It's been really nice to sit and gab with all these ladies who are going through the exact same experiences that I am, at the same time as I am. It also means I won't be unloading my pregnancy woes onto you readers, who are undoubtedly here for some police related reason. Squirt is doing wonderfully. I'm feeling nice and fat these days, although the best is yet to come. We heard the heartbeat again last week, and we get the big ultrasound later in December. Yes, we'll try to peek to see if it's a boy or girl. But I won't be updating on Squirt much here, because I'm doing it nonstop at the baby bulletin boards.

One of the topics recently discussed on the forum was started by a woman who, over the long weekend, was witness to two separate incidents of children being left in the car unattended. One incident was an infant strapped in a seat; the other incident was a 2 and 4 year old. If I recall correctly, it seemed to her that both times the mother had ducked into a store for what could only be a quick reason, like a convenience store or something. The poster was pretty upset about it and wanted to know what other people's responses would have been. Now, none of these other women know my husband is a cop. I bring this up because up until now, it wasn't relative to the conversations. After all, hubby's occupation doesn't really affect round ligament pain, or how big our bellies are measuring this week. Well, I suppose if your husband was a chef it might...

Anyway, a few women replied that they would call the cops if they witnessed this occur. Several women had replied that circumstances were everything, they pointed out it *isn't* sweltering summer weather, they've done it before, they'll never do it, etc etc. But naturally I had to respond to those women who wanted to call the cops. I need to repeat here that we were all assuming these were short incidents, where a mother had gone in to pay for gas or get one item in a small convenience store. I simply replied that there's nothing illegal about it, and that a cop was likely not going to show up unless the child was in danger, i.e. hot summer weather, a long time since any attending adult was seen, or the car was not easily accessible by a parent. J said unless a child was left in the car for an hour or more, all he would do is talk to the parent about the risks. I can say I don't agree with leaving an infant in the car unattended. What if someone stole your car, or crashed into it, or who knows? I'm too paranoid, since I hear horror stories all the time. I don't know as there's anything wrong with leaving a sleeping three year old in the car, turned off and locked, while you run in the house to grab an extra sweater. But there were women who said they didn't care if it was only a minute, they'd call the cops immediately. I replied again that unless they were sitting in front of a police station, nobody would even be able to show up before the mother left! Naturally the response from one woman was that she'd report their license plate.
You have got to love the high expectations that cops are given sometimes. My favorite is when J used to get calls at his old job by parents who couldn't even be bothered to parent their children, and expected the police to make the kid go to school, or do his homework, or clean her room. I believe my last response on the forum was "They aren't going to do anything with a license plate number. I'm sorry if you don't agree with the law, but it's not illegal to leave your child in the car for a few minutes unattended. There are always laws people don't agree with." and left it at that.

NYPD shoot unarmed men

Uh oh. NYPD officers shoot at and kill some men outside a strip club. Not a lot of details are out, but what is in the media indicates that after the shooting was over, it was discovered that the men were unarmed. There's going to be a HUGE ruckus over this, I guarantee it.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Blogging update

Boy blogger is really pushing beta now, aren't they? If you have a blogger account, you'll know what I mean; once you log on they are almost not letting you go into your blog to post without being hounded about beta.

I hope everyone's Thanksgiving was good. We traveled, which is why I haven't updated a lot. Ours was another family holiday, but could have been much worse. Amazingly my entire family was able to peacefully coexist for a day and eat some awesome food. My great uncle did drop the n-bomb four or five times, to which I wasn't really sure how to respond. How *do* you respond to an old bigot, particularly when you aren't used to hearing those words in civilized conversation, nor are you comfortable with that? In college I had all sorts of training on that, but it's slipped out of my noggin. I do know it's not right to sit there and let it happen; the best thing you can do is let it be known you aren't comfortable with it and try to foster a more open attitude from people. But that's all I did. So did J, my little sister, and my mom, who were also visibly disturbed by his comments.

I came down with a horrific cold, and due to this little creature in my belly, I am not allowed to take anything but Tylenol and half doses of Sudafed. What you may not know is that Sudafed is one of the key ingredients for the manufacture of methamphetamine. Here in Ohio, Sudafed is quickly becoming a controlled substance, almost to the point of needing a prescription. Some stores put it behind the pharmacy counter. You aren't allowed to buy more than one or two packs. When J went to buy it for me, he had to show his license and everything. How ironic that it's one of the very few approved drugs for pregnancy? Meanwhile this cold has been running the FULL course on me, and I've been miserable. If the rhinovirus comes a knockin, TAKE YOUR DAMN DAYQUIL. And I don't want to hear any whining about it, because I'm now on day 5 of the cold, and I just have to keep coughing and wheezing.

While in Columbus we happened to be driving behind a car with the license plate "JK 007". Naturally we got to theorizing what it stood for. My guess was James Kahn or something very similar to Bond. J pointed out it was a woman driving the car, so I guessed Jamie. He then said if he was in a cruiser, he'd pull it up to see. Which begged the question of the frequency of such occurrences. He confessed it is pretty common to run personalized plates just for the heck of it, see what comes up. It made me remember that my mom's ex-husband, during his mid-life crisis, got SUPERMAN plates, and suddenly was getting pulled over ALL the time. So getting those fun plates to distinguish you from the crowd ALSO distinguishes you to the cops, so you'd better not be pulling anything stupid, cause you WILL get caught. Naturally my mom's ex had a number of tickets, and several times had his license suspended for various reasons, so his record wasn't exactly perfect.

Actually that just reminded me of the other day while driving to lunch, J and I were cut off by a guy with plates that were easy to remember, and we watched as the guy spun his tires and left marks all over the road, before pulling a donut in the intersection and almost hitting us for the second time. It was a matter of seconds for me to call the local PD and rattle off his plate. On the way home from lunch, we drove by his car again, parked in front of a ratty apartment building. Shocking.

Anyway, hope everyone else's extended weekend was awesome. Mine has been pretty good, because since the courts are closed, my hubby's home. As much as he bitches about court, I know he enjoys this silver lining. Hopefully he'll be at court for another month or two so we'll get Christmas and New Year's together, on EXTENDED weekends!! That'll be a first in who knows HOW long, because before he was a cop, he worked at Home Depot, and you don't get a lot of time off around the holidays in retail!
Today the weather is unseasonably warm in the Queen City, and provided I can breathe halfway normally, we'll be putting up our Christmas decorations. My cutoff for the holidays is Thanksgiving, and since it's passed, all hell breaks loose. J laughs at me because I am a Christmas fiend.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Bennie Hall wrap up

Bennie Hall will not face charges for shooting the person stealing his car.

For more details on this case, see this post and this post.

Witnesses AND forensic evidence indicate he was being driven toward, and had the right to defend himself. This was just released at 11:00 am EST today, so I've yet to see what the reactions are going to be. Either you won't hear a PEEP from the wailers, or the next thing they'll be claiming is that the witnesses lied and the forensic evidence was falsified. Heaven forbid you just accept it!

Bible botherers bother me

Another study in homosexuality seems to disprove yet another bogus argument from the right wing, church crowd. One of the more prevalent arguments against gay marriage and civil rights is that it's "Not natural." or "Against God's plan." Well, it certainly is natural. And if you think it's against God's plan, that's a pretty rude comment against God, who created many, many species of the animal kingdom that exhibit homosexual behavior. It's not an exclusively human behavior, yet they'll argue that only humans have the free will to do what God didn't want them to do.
This Live Science article is exclusively about different species exhibiting gay behavior. What's interesting is that several of these animals also exhibit other 'perversions' such as oral or manual stimulation, as well as gay couples raising the young!! Guess when the gay people and gay supporters go to hell, we'll be joined by Noah's ark, too.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

My visitors

Ooh, I just checked my statcounter and saw some REALLY interesting locations that I'm being visited repeat visitor (or visitors) from J's previous township station before he landed in court services. One visitor from a tiny town in Arizona that my dearest friend lived in, although now she's living in Maine. A visitor from the Bayern region of Germany, which is neat to me because large numbers of my ancestors are from that region.
The greatest part is I haven't even UPDATED in a number of days, and I'm still getting way more traffic than I expected! How strange.

Politicians and their bull****

So the last week has been a little busy in this city I live in. In my previous post I discussed this a little, about the mayor and his lackeys, along with several idiotic members of our city council pulling their crap with the budget of the city, and not hiring more cops/firemen, and not bothering to rehire the cops/firemen that they laid off when they claimed to not have any money. Now they've got a boatload of extra money, and the forecast is looking quite green.
Today I got a call from one of the other wives whose husband got laid off, wanting to know if I had copies of the letters they received when they were first notified "officially" of their layoffs. One of the few councilmen with half a brain (ha ha, it's a councilwoman no less. No wonder she's got a brain) is looking for this letter. The mayor is holding his ground that he didn't layoff the three cops, that they resigned of their own free will. This is complete and utter bullshit, and makes me very angry. I want to know what he thought those letters were? Why on earth did he have to send them letters if they were going to be able to keep their jobs? What his sorry ass would have done in their shoes? Wait for the layoffs to get new jobs? You've got to be kidding me. Unfortunately I do not have the letters any longer. We threw them away when we washed our hands of this damn city. I wish we'd moved then, but we're kind of lazy and anxious about the whole house-selling process.
I think the councilwoman is going to call the mayor out, although I'm not sure what good it's going to do. I'm probably going to go down to the meeting, which isn't the best idea. Why? Because I'm going to get pretty pissed off and stand up, putting my face on camera and in the public eye, and let loose on them. It's never good for my blood pressure or stress level when I do that, and I've got a wee one to think about now, since those vital signs directly affect her (or him).
J will never want this job back, nor will the other two officers who left and found BETTER jobs. But it's the principle of the matter. And the fact that the city is sitting on its ass, waiting for new police applicants to come to it. I can't say as I'd want to get a job here, with the asinine way they run things. I'm not sure what's in their budget, the police department OR the fire department. I don't hear the scuttle from the civil service commission, as to what tests they're running. Maybe I'll know more after tonight. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Why we need cops

This is yet another 'incident' that happened far too close to my house. This has been happening quite a lot this year; people getting attacked, beaten, shot, you name it. The area is just far enough away that I wouldn't have walked the dogs to it, but I could. Man was beaten and shot, and the suspect was trying to force him into the trunk of the car.

One of the council representatives keeps a number of citizens in the loop for council meetings by emailing the minutes and heated discussions. I receive her emails weekly, and appreciate them. It's really helpful when you don't have the opportunity to go to the meetings. One of the more recent meetings involved a budget surplus, and a number of citizens got upset because we recently passed an emergency tax levy to save three police officers, four firemen, and one service garage person. Granted, the tax levy wasn't specifically dedicated for those purposes, but the town understood that those 8 jobs were going to be eliminated because the city had been spending its surpluses every year without a long term plan. That's what happens when you elect your neighbors, uncles, or buddies to council and as mayor without them having any real qualifications. My husband was one of those whose job was on the line. Despite passing the levy, and despite having greater than expected income every year, the city still got rid of those 8 jobs. Fortunately, the three policemen all found other jobs before losing their positions here. Anyway, citizens are upset because the city now has been receiving plenty of income and has yet to recreate those positions.
But they will sit on their fat asses and whine and complain when there's a shoot-out at the gas station, or people are shot literally on the city's front door. They have cut the police department down to 12 men, plus the chief. With three shifts, seven days a week. I think you can do the math, but just in case: that's four men per shift. The off/on days at that department are 6 on, 2 off. That means if EVERYBODY is at work, that is two people on duty, three if they're lucky. That's not accounting for sick days, vacation, comp time, etc. Yet council wants to cut the departments down to bare bones, and then expects one of those cops to sit on the main street, writing tickets all day long.

Cop Killer

Percy Wilson killed Cincinnati Police Officer Melvin Henze in 1979. He was found guilty, and sentenced to 22 - life. He's trying to get out on parole. Bastard. He was denied parole in 2002. State parole board again said no this week. There's that, at least. Let him rot in prison!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Veteran's day

So Sunday we went to the Bengals game. In honor of Veteran's day, Paul Brown Stadium hosted several firemen from 'Fort Pitt', FDNY's Ladder 18. They also had several men from each branch of the armed services, and they rolled out a monstrously huge flag, probably 100 x 50 feet. A woman sang the National Anthem, and two F-18s from Virginia Beach flew overhead at the end of the song. I cried.

Paul Brown Stadium holds over 65,900 seated fans. It was amazingly silent.

Thank you to every man or woman who puts themselves on the line to protect me and my country, domestically or internationally. We wouldn't be here without you.

Friday, November 10, 2006

The bean

pregnancy calendar

I think I'm going to repost it once a week or once every two weeks or something, since it only changes on Fridays. One of the preggo forums I visit has all these snarky women who refer to girls as 'cheeseburger crotch" because of this 'tracker'...anyway, there you go :)

Thursday, November 09, 2006

More voting results

Just as I think it's ridiculous to blame the entire Republican party on the misguided ways of some of its members (ahem TomFoley ahem), I also think it's patently ridiculous to be wailing and crying that the Democratic party is sending the country straight to hell, especially since they now have a slightly larger control of our government's legislature. For over 200 years this country has been operating on a largely bipartisan basis, and the control has always swung back and forth between parties. I was not at a voting age when the Republicans took control of Congress, and I can't say as I had a huge interest in it at the time, but was there this much crying and teeth-gnashing then? Get over it! Start whining when the country is run by people with pitchforks and horns. In the meantime, let's hope something good will come of this regime change!

In the meantime, I forgot to mention that there was a measure on our ballot to pass a sales tax increase of a quarter of a percent, in order to build the funds necessary to build a new jail. I've probably blogged in the past about the horrendous overcrowding of jailspace here, not just in Hamilton County. Prisoners are let go in order to make space for other prisoners. J makes routine prisoner transports to other counties because there just isn't enough space. So they have to send prisoners to other jails, sometimes 5 and 6 counties away, where there is space. Doesn't anybody realize we're paying for that? That we're paying more in the long run than we would to build the new jails necessary? The greatly ironic thing is that it was a REPUBLICAN who proposed this tax increase. Ha! So poo on all you who swear that Republicans cut taxes, and all Democrats do is raise taxes!
Unfortunately, the measure failed. Also, the Republican candidate strongly supporting it, Phil Heimlich, was running for re-election and lost. The guy that beat him, David Pepper, previously ran for mayor of Cincinnati. I guess he's so anxious to make a change in the city that he doesn't care what position he's running for. I am told David Pepper also supported the tax increase, but Phil Heimlich has a record of supporting LEOs and the system. Hopefully they will continue to work on new ways of supporting the construction of another jail. I'm really not comfortable with the idea of someone being convicted of a class 1 felony and being let go, simply because there's too many class 5 felons crowding up the jail.
(Note: currently I don't believe they will let felonies go, only misdemeanors. I'm being a little exaggerative here)

I see you...

So I love statcounter. It's awesome. I sort of feel like I'm spying on visitors, but then I realize it's not entirely accurate as far as where people linked to my site from, how long they visited, or where they're located. Heck, when I visit from work, it shows my location as four states away from where I actually am.

Noticed a visitor from Gainesville, at U of F who stumbled upon my blog after doing a google search to ask if cops shoot laser from behind.

The answer is no. They don't shoot laser from in front of you either.
They just psychically know when you are speeding. The laser is just the proof they need to show you when you ask to see it.

Speaking of statcounter, one of the neatest tools is the ability to see on a map where people are visiting from. As I said above, it's not the most accurate thing in the world. But today I saw a visitor from Pompano Beach. As you can see on this map, it's right near Weston. I got a little sad because a former friend of mine lives (lived?) in Weston.

***end update***

The vest

I've blogged before about the necessity for cops to wear the vests they are given (most places) along with their uniform. I still strongly believe they should be mandatory. I know lots of departments don't require it, it's just strongly suggested you wear it. Right. It won't save you any more than a seatbelt. (Please recognize the HEAVY sarcasm here)

Yesterday J was scarfing his lunch, and threw the last bite of coney down in an effort to attend to someone who'd just walked in the courthouse. He either didn't chew enough, or it went down the wrong way, or something. He started choking. Lt happened to be nearby, attempted to do the heimlich. In case you don't know how to do the heimlich, you have to perform sharp, upward thrusts immediately below the sternum. Tactical vests cover this very area, as it's where most of your vital organs are located. J said he ended up getting one or two blows to his stomach, but it may have been enough to help him cough out the stuck item.

Although I'm very concerned that we may have to teach J how to chew his food all over again, it kind of made me wonder if that old joke about the hillbillies performing that "there 'hind lick' maneuver" didn't have some merit.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Ohio Smoking Ban

Pub owner whines that business may be lost due to smoking ban.

Um, people aren't going to just *stop* going out because they can't smoke in most public places anymore. Otherwise business would have been lost by all those non-smokers *NOT* going out! Plus it's not like those smokers have anywhere else to go to spend their money so they can smoke. Do you think they're all going to be crowding tobacco stores??

Quit yer whining. The article also says the pub owner is saying goodbye to employee health benefits. Wait, wait. Your insurance company is willing to cover you when you allow your employees to work in an unhealthy environment, but now it won't when you are allowing them to BREATHE? That makes NO sense.

I'm personally tickled pink that I can go out now to restaurants and pubs and not come home smelling like an ashtray.

The vote was rocked

Well it looks like the Democrats successfully overturned the power ratio in the House, and possibly in the Senate. It's still a little early so I'm not sure if that's 100% yet. So the people wanted a change, and the people got a change. Now we'll see if the change is for the better. Only time will tell.

In other election news, I'm super happy to report that issue 4, the Ohio Constitutional amendment to force-allow smoking in many public places has FAILED, and issue 5, the law proposed to ban smoking in most public places has PASSED!!! WOO HOO!!! You can find more about it here: SmokeFreeOhio. One of my favorite 'dissenting arguments' against issue 5 was that gov't shouldn't control people's behavior. First of all, issue 5 wasn't banning smoking entirely. You still have your car, your house, and certain outdoor locations. Most enclosed, public spaces will now be smoke free. Second of all, the government does control other behaviors that are considered dangerous to other people, not just the person partaking in the activity. Speeding, anyone? Driving drunk? Shooting a gun off in a public place? If you want to get into the debate, those DO control your behavior. It just so happens that all those other behaviors have a DIRECT effect on the health and well-being of anybody you're around. Since the general public tends to be too stupid to protect themselves, it falls to the government to protect them. Understand that I don't believe this argument to extremes. I wish people were smart enough to not smoke, or not drive drunk. But they do, despite knowing the dangers.

Anyway, now we won't have to say "party of 3, non-smoking" anymore! Woo!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

I voted...did you?

OK I am officially a democracy geek. I got the warm fuzzies walking out of my voting location, knowing I'd done my part.


***Note*** for some reason Blogger will not show the 'scaled' version of the photo, but if you click on the link you can see the photo. Oh wait, that's cause Blogger sucks 50% of the time.
How cool is this picture? When my husband's grandmother died, we all gathered at her house and started sorting through old photographs and such. It was very cathartic for everybody, since Grampa had died five years earlier. We came across this photo, and it was decided it would go to J. His grandfather is the man on the far left, with the pipe and no shirt. The bottom right symbol, in case you can't read it, says Signal Corps, U.S. Army. 'Bud' was a cook. He was a neat man. He was always so very nice to me, even when Jim and I first started dating. We don't know any of the other men in the picture.

Rock the Vote!

Voter apathy has really been getting on my nerves lately. If you really don't care about the issues, and you don't like any candidate for a position, you'd best shut the hell up when your taxes go up, or the hospital gets shut down. I don't want to hear it when you want to know why we're sending prisoners all over the state due to jail overcrowding. You whine about policies set in place that DIRECTLY affect you by the legislators, but you can't be bothered to take five minutes out of your day to go vote? Look, it didn't take me that long to get onto the League of Women Voters website, find the issues and candidates in my state and on my local ballot, and get informed. LWV does a great job of giving the arguments for and against, and summing up each candidate and each issue.

GO VOTE. And I definitely don't want to hear that crap about "My vote doesn't count." It definitely does. Remember the last two presidential elections? So narrow you could have huffed and puffed and blown it one way or the other? I've worked on pushing an issue or two in my little town here, and literally seen how heavy you can sway the vote if you get to talk to enough people. Which we did. We got the property tax levy increase to be passed by a 50% margin, because the town didn't want their police and firemen being laid off. We also had a petition signed by 50% of the people who were going to vote that would have voted for a higher levy. That doesn't happen all the time. I've seen my vote count in more ways than one.


Sunday, November 05, 2006

Post Secret

Some of you may know that PostSecret is new every Sunday. I check it every week.

This postcard is my favorite for this week.

Court Hijinks

So yesterday J goes on a prisoner transport, taking prisoners from county A to county B, then some from county B to county C, then a few on the final leg back to A. I ask him what it's like. Do they talk to the officers? He says yes, but he usually turns up the radio so they can't hear 'em. He says every prisoner stinks. Doesn't matter what jail. Doesn't matter how long they've been there. They stink. He says they always ask if they can smoke. My husband doesn't smoke, but even if he did, they're not allowed to smoke in the vans. I am told by the TV/movies that cigarettes are currency in some jails. However, apparently in Logan County, OH, the prisoners are given a carton when they are admitted. On the one hand, maybe they'll kill themselves off quicker. On the other hand, what a waste of taxpayer dollars. Anyway, J knows other officers who do smoke, and will smoke in the van in front of the prisoners.
Anyway, yesterday J is starving during this transport, having only grabbed a bagel on his way out the door. So they stop at a convenience store so he can get a cup and a bag of chips. On the way out of the van, he asks the prisoners if they need anything, can he get them some cigarettes? He's met with a chorus of YEAH! To which he snarkily replies, "Too bad!"
I don't know about you, but I got the biggest kick out of that.

Saturday, November 04, 2006


OK the best show ever has finally released a trailer for the new season.

Season 6 extended trailer.


Did you ever have a situation where you are 98% certain you pissed someone off, you have NO idea why or how, and it bothers you more than it should?

I believe the following phrase was invented for just such a reason:

What the FUCK?

Friday, November 03, 2006

Here's your sign...

J's got a new rant about the public in general. OK maybe not the general public, just the public that ends up going to court often. He's been pretty fed up with being at court services. Sitting at an x-ray machine all day long gets REALLY boring. In the four weeks he's been at the courts, though, he's already whored up more overtime than he did in the previous YEAR. Which, I've got to say, is rilly rilly nice.

He tells me, since I've never been in any court in my life, that as you walk in the building, there are SEVERAL signs telling you what to do to prepare yourself for the x-ray machines.
  • Every package must go through the x-ray.
  • No weapons of ANY kind, including but not limited to the following: x y z.
  • No food or drink past the x-ray.
Apparently the court-going public is illiterate. Every day, he gets some a-hole with a pocket knife who wants to beg and plead and insist that it's not a concealed weapon, it's shorter than 4 inches (where the public got the 'cutoff' for knives, I will never know), it'll stay in the pocket, on and on. Or insisting that his water isn't a bomb so he should be able to bring it in. Yesterday it was an idiot frat boy who wanted to bring his Gatorade in. J says to him, patiently, "You can't bring that in here." Now, if it'd been me, I'd have said something snarky like "Those signs aren't up for my health. You just walked by your first two warnings."
His a-hole frat buddy says "Can I bring my pencil and paper in?" being a smartass, like it's J's decision what you can and can't bring in to the courthouse. Now I can't remember what his response was, but it was basically pointing the kid at the signs, and telling him not to be a smartass. The kid responds "Oh I wasn't trying to be sarcastic, I just wanted to make sure I could bring them in." Listen folks, if you're going to be a smartass, at least stick it through. Don't backpedal when some authority figure calls you out on it. Apologize, or keep being a smartass. Don't wuss out and try to lie your way thru.

J also told me a really funny story about an inmate who was being a super-jerk in court yesterday. He kept talking out of turn, and during the recess kept talking to people he wasn't supposed to, and making faces at the judge. J said the guy was acting like a child so much, he almost turned him around to face the corner and put him in time-out! I told him if he did that, I wanted pictures.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

laugh o' the day

Today I was clicking through my usual list of blogs that I routinely visit, and found that Officer Gary's wife has a blog also. It's not about him being a cop, but I read through it anyway. It's called "You know what I hate?" and I found a HYSTERICAL post from a few weeks ago. Had to share.

Crappy Husbands.

Note: It's not bashing her husband. Just read it. I got several laughs out of it.

Asshole book

I want this book! The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn't" Unfortunately it isn't due out til February of next year.

Here's a good synopsis/review of the book. It's about, you guessed it, assholes. How to recognize one, how to stop being one, how to deal with them when forced to interact with them. My favorite: The dirty-dozen list of asshole actions:
  1. Personal insults
  2. Invading one’s personal territory
  3. Uninvited personal contact
  4. Threats and intimidation, both verbal and non-verbal
  5. Sarcastic jokes and teasing used as insult delivery systems
  6. Withering email flames
  7. Status slaps intended to humiliate their victims
  8. Public shaming or status degradation rituals
  9. Rude interruptions
  10. Two-faced attacks
  11. Dirty looks
  12. Treating people as if they are invisible

For what it's worth, I work with someone guilty of ALL TWELVE.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Life over property, take 2

Man shot while breaking into home.

In continuing with the theme of my most recent posts, here's another example of A.) how you would react to a break-in while you are home, and B.) how you defend your property or yourself when it's threatened.

So far the story is very sketchy, but says a woman called to report her husband had shot someone while that man broke into her house. The woman then went on to say that the intruder was one of Warren County's most wanted.

How did she know that? I wouldn't know the faces of the most wanted, unless it was Osama Bin Laden.

Obviously this is a slightly different variation on defending your property, since last week the criminal was driving away with the property, and this week it's a home invasion. I'm interested in public reaction to this one. I hate to say it, but

But you'd better believe if you broke into my house, you'd be meeting with the business end of a lethal weapon.

The scuttlebutt we're hearing is that the woman must have known who the man was. She was overheard at the main County building telling someone on the phone that her husband killed somebody, referring to the intruder by first name only. Suggests familiarity, not only by the woman, but by her family that she was on the phone with. That means there's definitely something more going on with this story...
***end update***

***update Nov 2***
OK so now charges have been filed against the shooter. More info is coming out that the people all lived together at some point, or that the deceased previously lived in the house he was breaking into. I realize not all of the facts are at my disposal, but even if David Brian Richardson formerly lived there, why was he trying to get back in? The 911 tapes have been released, so I suppose it's under investigation to see if he was truly breaking in or what. Obviously it's not a clear-cut story. Nobody's making a huge scene, calling all the news channels to be interviewed, and defend the actions of the recently deceased.

You know, every time I see 'recently deceased' it makes me think of the Handbook from Beetlejuice.
*** end update 2***

Cops, Donuts and Fast Food

I should definitely start this post off by saying I hope I don't deeply offend anyone with this post.

Police Chief fired for attempts to get officers in shape.

I never thought I'd hear the day when a police department became so politically correct that they couldn't handle being told they *should* get in shape. Not even that they were forced to do so.

Winter Haven, Florida officers must pass a physical fitness test to be hired, like so many other departments, but are not held to a standard after being hired; also like so many other departments. The chief issued a memo suggesting 10 reasons police officers should be in shape.

I've got to admit, I'm kind of a fat snob. I firmly believe that many of the health problems that plague so much of our country are directly related to the fat-is-beautiful, clean-your-place mentality we drill into our children. And I don't for one second feel sorry for people who cause their own heart disease, high blood pressure, back/knee problems, diabetes type 2, ETC ETC because they can't stop eating. I have yet to hear of any medical journals, studies, or health articles that prove people are fat for purely genetic reasons, or reasons out of their own control. I am bound to piss people off with this standpoint, but we're a nation of whiners who can't be held responsible for anything we've done. To the point that doctors are unable or unwilling to tell their patients that they need to lose weight or they will continue to deteriorate.

I also strongly believe that officers should take better care of themselves, and should take periodic health assessments and physical fitness tests to keep healthy. My husband J also believes this. He has come home in the past and discussed foot pursuits where the overweight officers he works with were unable to keep up, unable to catch the person, and who injured themselves attempting to chase someone. He's also come home and been angry with himself for getting winded after a pursuit. He's come home proud that his fitness or training enabled him to gain control of a subject.

I know full well why so many cops are overweight. They spend 8 hours on edge. Many departments don't have their own kitchens. During third shift there isn't anything open but the greasy spoon diners, the Taco Bells, McDonalds, fast food. They don't have time to eat anything other than crap. Often they don't have time to pack a better meal, and turkey sandwiches get boring pretty quick. And to make matters worse, those of us that support the departments and the men & women in blue tend to bring extra goodies around the holiday times. Plates of cookies, cakes, pies, donuts, etc. Those shops also donate at certain times of the year. People that thank the police usually do so in the form of some bakery concoction. I'm guilty of it.
Those foods aren't bad, on occasion. They're devastating when it's all you eat. And no amount of exercise is going to save you if you're eating empty carbs, saturated fats, and tons of sugar.

I guess what I'm getting at is I'm shocked this chief was forced to resign over this. I've sat around groups of cops, usually over a meal, and invariably someone makes a self-deprecating comment about their weight or fitness level. This chief was trying to motivate his department, without singling anyone out (so the article claims), and lost his job. Granted the article does claim this is just one in a series of examples that the officers felt 'picked on' by their chief. But in a job where you pick your battles, isn't that one you should have let go?

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The Babe

pregnancy calendar

I need to decide on a permanent home for this guy

Inmate dies after being stunned

Ruh Roh...
Inmate at Hamilton County jail was stunned last week for being noncompliant. Article says device was NOT a Taser. Inmate later had breathing problems, and died at a local hospital. Obviously it's under investigation, but it doesn't look good...article does say that hand-held stun guns are designed to immobilize suspects for several minutes. Having first-hand knowledge of a Taser, I can tell you it does not immobilize anyone after the shock. While the person is being shocked, yes it immobilizes them, especially if the barbs are fired. When a localized stun is used, it doesn't even immobilize them during the shock. I wasn't aware that there were commercially sold stun guns that were designed to keep someone immobile after the shock...

Don't have the inside scoop on this one yet so I can't tell you much else, other than there won't be a very pretty response from the community.

St Louis teen dies after being stunned.
The only thing I know about this case is that the article is careful not to say it was a Taser that the police used, just a stun gun. However the article goes on to discuss how Amnesty International has documented 156 cases of deaths related to stun gun use, and that this rise in deaths coincides with a rise in Taser use by police departments.

According to Congress' Government Accountability Office, Tasers were used more than 70,000 times as of last year. Doesn't say when they started the count. Even if we assume the 156 deaths are all Tasers and not just any stun gun, I'd like to see numbers comparing deaths to firearms use. Chances are they don't compare. Tasers are considered less-lethal, NOT non-lethal. The number of lives of criminals that were saved by the use of stunning instead of shooting is huge. You'd think Amnesty International would be happy about that, but you just can't please some people. I think Amnesty International has the right idea, but I don't believe absolutes and ultimatuums are realistic. They are also urging police departments to suspend use of Tasers and other stun guns until more research can be done about their safety.

If you follow that logic, it means every time some looney is charging at a cop, especially if armed or under the influence, the cop has the right to shoot them, where they might have had the opportunity to use the Taser and leave that person alive. Right, that makes sense....

*** end update ***

Monday, October 30, 2006

Your plan of escape

OK in elementary school, most people have a fire safety week, where you learn about fires in your house, how to detect if you should leave your room, smoke inhalation, etc. etc. Often children are told that they should have a plan with their family in the event of a fire, including how to get out of the house, and where they should meet up. Most larger businesses have something like this in place as well.
But nobody ever comes up with a plan for a home invasion while you're home. Well, not normal people, anyway. Not what Lt. Col. Dave Grossman would call the sheep, they don't come up with this plan. They prefer to pretend the wolf isn't right around the corner.
LEO families are a bit different. Cops spend their careers training for worst case scenarios. A lot of them like to play first person shooter games. They probably enjoy paintball games immensely, or plan on going to the range on off-days. Several have past military careers. The ones that don't, often wish they did. And they plan for home invasions. They have already mapped out several different scenarios in their heads. They may have instructed their wives to escape. Or told them where to hide. Or told them how to act as back-up, if she is comfortable with guns. Of course, we fall into this third category.
I wonder how many cops have tactical plans for their entire house. How many have planned out how they'd approach each and every doorway, stairway, and open space. I'm not suggesting that these guys sit down one day after they move in, and write these things down. Merely that it's second nature to them.
We do have multiple plans previously discussed, of course. I know how I'd escape our bedroom. We try to keep the cell phones upstairs at night, in the event the power/phone was lost. I do not have a hiding place, because I'd either escape or fight. I know where the guns are kept, and how to use them. I've also had plans in mind for when I was alone at night, while J was on 3rd shift. Now that we've got a wee one on the way, we're going to have to invest in a gun safe. J and I have also discussed if we are both home, that I make sure to stay out of his way, pay attention to anything he says, and respond immediately.

Is this weird? I suppose so, but in the past he's brought home instructions along these lines that were distributed by his work, or that he received in training. I guess I'm curious how many other LEO families have a plan for when the wolf comes knocking...

Sunday, October 29, 2006

The media

Short post today. Especially since I've been ranting about the Quavale Finnell case and the fact that people jump to all sort of conclusions based on what they hear on the news and their interpretations of it, I'd like to offer you this little news blip.
Deputy fired after fight.
It's already obvious from the short article that this isn't the whole story. What you have to love, when you know the real story, is reading how it's so twisted by the media. This shouldn't be a surprise to anybody, especially the other LEOs out there who probably end up in the news more times than they care to remember. What I'm basically saying today is that you should never believe what you read in the newspaper, 100%. Ever. I'm not saying that there aren't remnants of facts in the article. There was a deputy fired, and it was after a fight.
It's just frustrating that the general public who wasn't there and doesn't know the truth will read this article and automatically make their own judgment on erroneous information. Exactly the same as with Quavale Finnell and Bennie Hall.

Saturday, October 28, 2006


So today J and I are on the freeway, doing a reasonable speed. It's a Saturay morning, so there's a fair amount of traffic. This white car comes flying up behind us, probably doing 80. In a 55 zone. She zooms into the middle lane, and at first swerves to cut in front of us. There's another car in front of us, so instead she swerves back over to the right lane, to pass the group of cars. We come around a curve, and general traffic hits the brakes or at least lets off the gas, because there's a Hamilton County deputy running laser, pointed right at us. Blond sorority girl in white car slams on brakes so hard, her front end almost eats pavement. Pretty funny. If she'd had packages in the trunk, they'd have been on the passenger seat next to her. Deputy puts laser away, hops in car.
Here's a little tip for those of you driving around with those stupid radar/laser detectors. They don't work.
Here's another tip. When you see a cop shooting radar/laser at you, it's too late. He's already seen you, even if you think you saw him first. He already knows how fast you're going.
At this point, I get a gleeful little giggle, because it ALWAYS happens that you see some yahoo driving like an idiot and you just wish, JUST this once, that a cop would see it too, so they'd get in trouble. This was just the first time it happened in front of me. Most of the time when it happens and I'm with J, he says something like, "Why don't people do that shit in front of me when I can do something about it!"
Deputy hops in his car, takes his time pulling into traffic. Meanwhile, Goldilocks is doing about 50, and checking her side mirror more than looking in front of her. By now I think most of the other cars know who's getting busted, so they're all moving out of Mr. Deputy's way. He zips right over, and gets in the lane right behind Goldi. No sooner did he flip on his lights, that she put on her turn signal to get over. She knew what was coming.
It was about that point that I stopped feeling the schadenfreude. Who hasn't been speeding along, thinking they wouldn't get caught? So she probably got her ticket, and at least for today will not zip around like a speed demon, weaving in and out of traffic.

Summary of car theft shooting

Well since I have a more level head about it now, here's my summary. I never wish anyone death. It is tragic Quavale Finnell died this week. I do think it's a direct result of parenting that people end up following the paths that lead them to death while committing a crime. I'm sorry if that sounds harsh. I think it's sad that the foster system must have failed him, and yes, I feel that it did. He was living in a tiny house with many siblings, considered semi-homeless, and was committing crimes. That's not a success story.

I think probably Bennie Hall mis-used his weapon. I don't know for sure, and I will never know for sure. I wasn't there. I wasn't Bennie Hall. Who knows what he felt at that moment, except him. I do think people should be able to act in defense of their own property, but I don't personally think it's worth a life. If we settled crimes in the eye-for-an-eye way, car theft wouldn't have resulted in death, I don't think. I'd like to think if I was on the grand jury, if Bennie Hall does in fact face a jury, that I'd hear the truth, and that I'd make a sound judgment.
Another Cincinnati blogger found my blog because of this story, and offers a very insightful post, asking some excellent questions. You can find that here: BlackCincinnati Blog.

I got so outraged at what I was hearing from people because it strikes so many similar chords to young black males in Cincinnati dying at the hands of the police. I hate to hear people martyring these so-called victims. Having just been to a funeral earlier this week, I know first hand that in death, we always try to remember the best about a person, not the worst. But that can't be a reason to justify what caused the death. And I don't see the point in attacking Bennie Hall for doing what he did. Hopefully the justice system won't fail him too, and fail society by whatever decision is made about this example.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Judgment Day

So here's a story: One morning this week, Bennie Hall went outside, started his car, and went back inside the house to let it warm up. It's been cold in Ohio, and we had a killing frost one night. No big surprise. I gotta say it wasn't this man's brightest day, because he left the car unlocked. I'm assuming, anyway, because someone walking along saw it running and hopped in it to steal it. Hall shot the thief. He died. For most of the day, Cincinnati PD hadn't identified the thief. Finally late that evening, they figured out it was 14 year old Quavale Finnell. Who had a rap sheet as long as his age, for other car thefts, breaking & entering and various other charges. Then more details start to come out, like the fact that Finnell was about to run over Hall. Let's be honest folks, if someone's stealing your car and you're watching it happen, a lot of us are probably going to do the first reaction, irrational thing and run up like you're going to stop it. Whatever the case, I did hear today from a coworker that Hall had his concealed-carry license.
Story about celebrating Quavale Finnell's birthday.
Local blogger's reaction.
Enquirer story weighing charges against Bennie Hall.
channel 12 interview with Finnell's grandmother.
Fox story on Quavale.
Now, hearing shit from a coworker is what got me so pissed off today. I work with a variety of people from different walks of life, different areas of town, different classes. I mention this because you get people that grew up differently or experienced life differently, and you are going to hear their opinions based on their lives. What I was hearing today was two people discuss their outrage about Finnell's death. They couldn't believe anybody would understand or applaud Hall's actions. One man, let's call him Jeff, was appalled that 700WLW would call Hall a hero for what he did. Specifically because "Not all of the details are out yet." And went on to describe this poor 14 year old dying just before his birthday, and why'd he get shot over a car, why'd Hall 'run in front' of the car, why didn't he just call the cops, etc. So in other words, what he's saying is "Don't judge the story before you get all the details, but I am going to judge the story before the details are out." So I called him out on it. Pisses me off to sit there and listen to people spout illogical arguments. "Well I wouldn't shoot somebody over my car." Right. My ass.

I'm not saying it was right or wrong that Bennie Hall shot the kid. I don't know. I wasn't there. I don't know all the details. If he was in fear for his life, legally he was justified in shooting Quavale Finnell. If he was shooting from the safety of his own home to save his car, well, Ohio law only permits (civilian) use of deadly force if you feel a life is in danger, including your own. I have to be honest and say I don't fault Hall for it. My guess is he probably did what a lot of us would do, and ran out to try and stop the loss of his car. Since the shooting occurred in the middle of the street, it's evident that Finnell had the car in motion. Since Hall is legally allowed to carry his gun, that's probably why he already had it on his body. My point is I'm not judging Hall for what he did. I think this kid got shot because that's what happens when you choose the lifestyle he chose.

What you have here is a clear case of someone breaking the law, and the victim of that crime trying to stop it from happening. People do that. It's pretty instinctual to save yourself, and your belongings. It's a guess, but I'm pretty sure cavemen were hitting each other over the head with bones if another one tried to take his mammoth steak. If you own dogs, one will growl at(sometimes attack) another one that takes its bone. Granted, we're logical beings, capable of thinking about something instead of acting on instinct. But it's pretty fucking easy to sit in a heated office, sipping your cuppa, and hypothesize that if it was you, YOU'D FUCKING DO IT DIFFERENTLY. Pardon my language but shut the fuck up. You can't just sit there and proclaim that you're so much better than this man because you wouldn't do that. I don't believe it for a second. You don't KNOW what you would do in that situation unless you've actually been in that situation. People think they know themselves, but you learn a lot about yourself in the heat of the moment. So all of a sudden you're so equipped to judge this man, since you HAVEN'T been in that situation before? Oh, oh and the other part I loved hearing was "If he had to shoot, why didn't he shoot the tire out?" Quit believing everything you see in the movies. It isn't that easy. Ever.

Am I ranting? Probably. I have to listen to these same two yahoos make judgments on actions the police make. If the situation was altered just slightly, so that it was a cop who shot a juvenile stealing his car (which HAS happened in Cincinnati), you'd have riots on your hands by now. Pisses me off to no end. "Why didn't they shoot the guy in the knee to stop him from running away?" "Why didn't they just let him get away with the car and call the cops?" or "The car is just property, let insurance cover it." "If they let him get away with this, before you know it kids will be shooting each other for shoplifting." *grr*
Later in the day, "Jeff" came back to talk to "Bob" and before I left the room out of frustration, I heard Jeff say something about Hall being a retired marine and he didn't know if Hall was a 'marksman' or not, but if he was...then I left before I blew up.
Are you really going to sit there and say he should have just shot out the tire, or some otherwise bullshit?

As a cop's wife, naturally I have to hear cops in general get bashed. Not that this story is bashing the cops, but I heard a lot of the same arguments that I've heard before when they were aimed at the cops. And you have to be able to see some of the similarities, especially about the gun use.
If you've never shot a gun before, here's a tip. It doesn't work like it does in the movies. There are a handful of people (at most) in the US who can so accurately fire at a quickly moving target that they are willing to take the shot. Nobody has ever purposely shot a criminal's knee out to keep them alive but stop them escaping.
Here's a little tidbit inside a cop's training: They are taught to use their weapons to "Stop the Aggression." They are not taught to kill. They are taught to stop the person from doing whatever it is that they're doing. Usually that's putting another life in danger. And they are taught to aim at central body mass. Why? Bullets travel easily through arms and legs. They hit other people. Cops want to minimize that risk. Central body mass is larger than arms and legs. When the adrenaline is pumping and a cop pulls his weapon, which most of them pray they never have to use it, fine motor coordination goes out the window. It's not the same as standing at a firing range with an immobile paper target, breathing slowly and squeezing the trigger.

I'm not judging Bennie Hall for shooting Quavale Finnell. I don't feel equipped to. I'm not God. I do feel confident in saying Quavale Finnell was headed down a dangerous path in life. If you click on some of those links above, you'll be looking at his mugshots from previous offenses. He would have turned 15 yesterday. He was on house arrest for a prior b&e. He shouldn't have tried to steal someone's car. It's unfortunate that this happened, but I can't necessarily fault Bennie Hall for what he did. He was trying to protect his property. And Bennie Hall still has to face a grand jury and defend what he did. Hopefully they will be comprised of his peers. They will decide if he'll be charged.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

The Movie

Totally forgot to mention in that last post that J was seeing "The Departed". He came home with accolades for Scorcese and most of the actors. So he's recommending it to everybody. Which means when it comes out on DVD it will definitely be in this house, and I'll probably end up watching it at some point. So go see it. It's good.

A Brush with Fame

So there's an entirely long back story to what I'm about to tell you, but I don't have the patience to write it, nor do you have the time to read it. So just accept some things without further detail. Last night J went to a movie with his dad, and I was waiting at the theater for his mom to pick me up. The boys were no more than 20 feet from the truck that I was still sitting in to keep warm. A car drove by, and I thought the passenger looked like Rich Franklin. I should mention I had quite a headache and was still trying to work through it, so my thought process was a little slow. After the car passed me, I realized it WAS Rich Franklin. I was floored. I turned to look at J, and banged on the window so he'd turn and look. He was already staring at the car, and turned back to me. Rich 'Ace' Franklin was going to the same movie theater as J, at the same time. I stared as he got out of his car with his wife, and made his way up to the theater. I tried to look for signs of injury from his recent fight. I thought he walked with a slight limp, but I could have been reading into his walk.
My phone was dead. I couldn't call or text anybody. When my mother-in-law showed up, I tried to tell her about the 'sighting.' She doesn't watch very many sports, and of course had no idea who he was. When we met up with my sister-in-law, I tried to tell her. She is into a lot of sports, but not fighting. So she had no idea who he was. Now granted, he lives in the area of town where we were at (same area my in-laws live in) so it wasn't a HUGE shock to see him there. But in a city with a million citizens, it's rare to run into people you know, let alone people you know *of*. So it was cool.
Later after J's movie was over, I texted him to see if Rich had been in their movie. He said no, but he shook his hand. I thought he was a little geeky at first, but then he explained that they'd been standing in line for snacks, and Rich and his wife walked up. J couldn't resist telling him that he's a huge fan. He left it at that, though. We'd heard rumors that his nose was broken, or ribs, possibly. J said his face showed no signs of any breakage, and that Rich said he was doing all right since the fight. I can tell you that Rich is a hell of a fighter with an amazing record, but he lost his title to Anderson Silva on Oct 14, and rightly so. Anderson Silva is a scary fighter! But we're still on the Rich Franklin bandwagon so we're thinking he'll spend the next six months recuping, and training harder than ever to get his title back.

This 'celebrity sighting' was far more exciting than the time I saw Dwayne 'the Rock' Johnson working out at a gym in Florida. I guess because I'm a fan of Rich Franklin? I also wasn't very impressed when I saw Chad Johnson at Hooters a year or two ago. But I got his autograph anyway, mostly because our waitress talked me into it. I'd have to say it was also more exciting than seeing Efren Ramirez (Pedro from Napoleon Dynamite), although seeing him was the most 'celebrity' like encounter. All the other times, I was seeing celebrities be normal people. Going to the movies, getting some wings, running the treadmill. Efren and his brother and their little 'posse' came in looking very much like they expected to be recognized. I blogged about it before. You have to respect when they are just being normal people. Let them be normal, right?

I still hold to the fact that if I ever saw Brad Pitt in person, I'd probably end up committed for making a fool of myself. Especially if he was with Angelina! Kind of sad to admit that, but I'm all for honesty.

Any of you guys ever have a celebrity sighting? Local or National, doesn't really matter. I'm considering it a celebrity sighting if you knew this person from TV or movies and then saw them in person.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Fun day

Well this morning J and I got to hear Squirt's heartbeat for the very first time! It was awesome. Dr. K said it was between high 150s and low 160s. It was kind of surreal, but J and I both immediately got huge smiles on our faces. And I found out my blood type is O+. What good is having O if it isn't Oneg to donate? But that means I am RH positive, which means I don't have to worry about antibodies attacking my baby's blood type. Of course this means they don't automatically test J, so he still doesn't know what blood type he is. He wants to write it on the inside of his vest. I personally think it's a little morbid, but a necessary evil in that career path. Do any of you LEO readers have your blood type and/or any other medical info taped to your vest, or otherwise found on your body in case of emergency?

For your viewing pleasure, I'd like to present Cate. I'm not sure if she's on something here, but she's with her dance troup and talking about horror movies.

I'd like to have more halloween links out there for you guys, but I've been out and about all day so haven't gotten the chance. I'm seriously toying with the idea of being a hot cop for halloween. Not so easy with the growing pooch I once called my stomach. Alternately, since it's so freaking cold in Cincinnati, I'd really like to be Max from "Where the Wild Things Are". C'mon, I'd get to wear footy pajamas! Man it's no wonder Maurice Sendak won the Caldecott for that book...

Ooh, ooh I almost forgot. J's 5.11 pants finally came today. He ordered them directly from Galls. He was so excited he called me at work to tell me. It was pretty cute. He is considering trying out one of their compression shirts, similar to the HeatGear by UnderArmor. 511 claims their shirts compress more or less in certain areas to prevent the shirt bunching up. Guess we'll see how he likes them if he tries them. I know Bobby mentioned he owns some 5.11 gear....anybody else have any reviews on their compression shirts?

Monday, October 23, 2006

Interesting Links

I am a huge fan of Clicked, and check it as often as I can. He finds the most interesting links out there, and often what 'everybody' is linking to on the net. Super interesting. Found this site, which is a photo slide show of advertising that makes you look twice. Totally SFW, unless laughing out loud is frowned upon at your job. Check 'em out.

ha. ha.

I hope that when this life is over, and I find out this has all been one colossally huge joke, with me as the butt of it, that I can actually laugh. I have a feeling I'm going to be pretty pissed off, though.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Random Factoids

Well, because 'everybody's doing it lately, and because I want to toot my own horn on this rainy day, here's some random facts about me:

  1. I can type 100+ words a minute, with zero errors.
  2. I can change my own flat tire, by myself, thankyouverymuch.
  3. I cannot change my own oil. I wish I could.
  4. I will learn to ride my own motorcycle. Soon.
  5. I have experienced Hulk-like rage.
  6. I love vampire mythology.
  7. I have the worst vision of anyone I've ever met. The worst by a lot. I don't qualify for lasik surgery because of it.
  8. I used to hate my eye color until I realized few people have green eyes. Now I wouldn't trade them for any other color.
  9. I never met my own father.
  10. I may have 19 siblings. 18 of them by my father.
  11. I only know one sister.
  12. I hated my stepfather when I was growing up. I was happy my mom divorced him. Now I'm glad he's not in my life. He hated me, too.
  13. My ex-step father owns a fairly well known website, with hundreds of thousands of paying subscribers. I am not one of them.
  14. My husband is my high school sweetheart. All together now, AWWWWWW
  15. I have been to Monet's garden, and sketched in it. It was awesome.
  16. I have always been artistic, and have painted murals in every home I've lived in since I was 14.
  17. I have one tattoo. I designed it myself. You can't see it unless you ask nicely.
  18. I wanted to work at the zoo or become a vet, growing up. Now I work in corporate America.
  19. My office is so similar to Office Space it's scary. Down to a Milton with his stapler. I'm not kidding.
  20. I drank with my RA, freshman year at college. Sophomore year, I *was* the RA. I only busted one party, and it was because they were assholes, not because they were drinking underage. And they weren't even my residents.
  21. My dorm almost burned down because of a candle. It was mine.
  22. I don't regret anything I've done, unless it hurt someone I love. Then I can't forgive myself.
  23. I have no problems with nudity or swearing. Nudity is natural. Swearing only means what you allow it to mean. I have huge problems with violence. I don't think it's natural.
  24. I have two black labs, both rescues. I'd rather be around dogs than people.
  25. I am horrifically arachnophobic, but would stop you from killing a spider for no good reason.
  26. I've shot 7 different guns. An AR15, a few 9mms, a few 45s, and one 40. And I know how to field strip a Glock 17. I'm also a pretty damned good shot, with no official training.

All right, there you have it. I know it's not up to Katey's 50, but I'm just not that good. It took me a while to come up with these.

Keep yourself informed

With all the scary new threats made by North Korea, I felt it important that I start learning more about what was going on. Not that it will stop a war by any means, but I think I should be aware, for my own sake.

Came across this article in Newsweek, which is very frightening, and very informative about past and present efforts in dealing with (or not dealing with) North Korea and their nuclear weapons development. I'd strongly suggest you read it. It talks about what our government did under Clinton, and how that changed drastically under Bush. It talks about possible method behind the madness for Kim Jong Il. It's an eye-opener.

In other news, the US denied entry to a major Muslim leader who holds British citizenship, and constantly speaks out against violence, both to the general public and to the Muslim world. Nobody is really sure why they denied him entry. I'm sorry if you disagree with me, but I do NOT agree with over-generalized 'profiling'. This man doesn't fit the profile of a terrorist, and he was coming to New York to speak at a conference at New York University Law School.

As a cop's wife, I understand that the media attacks the word 'profiling' and uses it to sound as though cops are doing something dirty or racist. I understand that when a call comes out over the radio for a suspect who is 5'10, black, 16-20 years of age, wearing a white oversized t-shirt and jeans, and you, as a cop, see someone fitting that description, you are actually profiling. I don't think that's a bad thing. How else do we expect you to catch suspects? I think when you only have one word to describe your suspect, "Muslim", and you immediately hound all people fitting that description, that's where it becomes negative and should be avoided. That's why those descriptions that come out over the radio or posted on your bulletin boards are so descriptive.

Anyway, since we've started watching Jericho, I'm just hoping we don't actually get into a nuclear war. It's too scary to think about. Do you know what *you* would do if we were attacked? It's unfortunate, but we might all need to start coming up with our own disaster plans.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


So I know we, as bloggers all go through those times where we get a little writer's block. Maybe nothing's going on in the world that we write about. Maybe we don't have the heart to share when it does. But then on the other side of it, when you blog and don't hear from anybody, you start to feel as if you're being ignored. Or being boring. Maybe your blog wasn't that interesting to begin with. Maybe nobody's reading anymore. Do we get writer's blog for commenting on blogs? I occasionally hear from people I know in real life, friends or family, who read my blog and comment to me personally, via email or phone or whatever. But they usually lurk, if they really are reading. Why do we continue to blog, then? Is it that everybody likes to hear (see?) themselves talk? Are we so narcissistic we think someone actually wants to read it?

Speaking of narcissism, I've got a new theory about people liking the way they look. See, it could be argued that we're attracted to beautiful people because genetically they represent ideals. I can buy it from a scientific point of view. But I have this theory that we're all programmed initially at least, to like the way we look. The people who enjoy staring in the mirror are just the people who are honest about it. Why do I believe this? I also believe that (normal) parents are preprogrammed to think their own children are so beautiful that they will take care of them no matter what. Why? Because they look like us. How is it you can know someone who has a baby that, let's be honest, looks more like Yoda than a Cabbage Patch doll; yet the parents of this child think he or she is more beautiful than anything they've ever seen? Because we're all narcissistic to our very core.

That's just my theory, anyway.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Taking care of your equipment

So I was going to post about how we still live in the neighborhood we were forced to live in when J got his first cop job. More of an educational story for my non-LEO readers, but I'll get there one day. J started cleaning his gun tonight while we were watching TV. Heroes was on, which is a pretty good show. Anyway, since J got reassigned to this new post, for some strange, departmental reason, he had to switch guns with someone. Why? I don't know. It doesn't make a lot of sense to me. But I am not a cop administrator so I guess I don't know anything.

J carries a Sig Sauer P226 currently. They all do at his county dept. So it wasn't like he had to switch to a new gun that he'd have to get used to all over again. But the guy he switched with had a newer version of the P226, and J knows because it's got the new 'rails' on the side. You boys in blue probably know more about that than I do. I just repeat what he told me. Anyway, J had the older version, but he takes care of his equipment. It's there to help save your life or save someone else's life, so take care of it. It's kind of like your car in the sense that when you don't take care of it, it doesn't take care of you. You need to clean the gun after every time it's shot. Gunpowder builds up in the slide, the barrel, the trigger, etc. All the moving parts of the gun get pretty gunked up. You also need to clean a gun periodically even when it hasn't been shot, for the same reason you clean your house. Things get dirty.

Apparently the guy who carried this newer Sig never cleaned it. As most people know, cops periodically have to qualify with their weapons, to prove they still know how to use them. So it wasn't like this gun was never shot. J takes this thing apart today, and I can tell from 10 feet away, in the fading evening light, with my untrained eye, that it's dirty. I wish I'd taken a picture of the pile of blackened paper towels and q-tips that he went through. He was actually pretty pissed at the state of the weapon. There is rust on it in some spots. If it were me, since I'm such a hothead, I'd probably have complained to a boss about being forced to take an inferior piece of equipment. But J's a little more level-headed than I am, and also a little more diplomatic with his superiors.

so that's the rant o'the day...J's currently listening to "The Pot" by Tool. For some nutty reason you can't legally download this song online. Me? I'm only listening to my Sirius, and loving the fact that I can program it to let me know when my favorite song(s), group(s) or both are playing on any station. Can terrestrial radio do that? NOT YET!!! Hahahahahaha....Most recent stored group? Art of Noise. Doubtful many people have heard of them. Cool stuff, though.