Evolution isn't working fast enough. More dumbasses need to be shot.


personal experience


I spent the last two and a half days in training. WooHoo! This department doesn’t have much of a training budget, at least not for us dispatchers. I came back to this department (originally worked here from January 1998 to May 2000) in January 2008. After training on departmental policy I had Active Shooter Response training in December 2008. That was the last training I had other than working the new video recorders and data logger.


Clarke and Tracie Paris spoke The Pain Behind the Badge, about suicide prevention and dealing with Post Traumatic Stress. Good stuff. Emotional stuff. I cried. They listed about 30 items that are indicators of Post Traumatic Stress. I ticked off about half of them.

This didn’t surprise me. Back in May 2000 I moved from a tiny department on a college campus to a small department in an adjoining town, and got sent to APCO Basic Telecommunicator training with the other dispatcher that also got hired in May. The instructor handed out a sheet about stress and various stressor events. I think there were about 25 or so on the list and point values. And then there was a chart at the end something like this:

  • 0-5 points was no real stress to worry about
  • 6-10 points was light stress, you might consider counseling
  • 11-15 points was moderate stress, you should contact a counselor
  • 16+ points was severe stress, you need to contact a counselor

Continue reading “Training”


Cover Your Ass

I was talking with a coworker this afternoon about an incident that happened last night. I was relaying my frustrations about how I was sitting on the phone talking to another dispatcher at another agency, requesting assistance for my officers and she was asking questions that, if you think about them at all, are obvious.

ME: I have an officer requesting back up. Male ran from him, last seen heading southbound down ROBERTS ST TOWARD NP AVE.

DISPATCH: Is that North or South?

ME: Southbound on ROBERTS ST. (there is no ROBERTS ST south of MAIN AVE. This is your city, you should know that)

D: Where did this start at?

ME: 2 AVE/7 ST N (not that it really helps, since that isn’t where he was last seen)

OFFICER: I have one at Taser point, 1 AVE/10 ST, I need backup.

ME to Officer: 10-4, one at Taser point, 1 AVE/10 ST N.

OTHER AGENCY OFFICER: I’m out with the XXXX officer, 1 AVE/10 ST.

ME to Dispatch: He’s out with the subject 1 AVE/10 ST N.

D: OK, do you still need us to respond?

ME: Yes! He has one at Taser point. (You already have one of your officers on scene!)

Continue reading “Cover Your Ass”

I’m cranky this Saturday, too

Sarah was talking about how she is cranky this Saturday. I’m pretty cranky today as well.


My daughter is in dance. And the company she is in does a great job teaching the kids, and even places well at competitions. They are quite affordable, being a couple of hundred dollars less/year than other area companies. But the owner is not nearly as organized as she thinks she is.


My daughter was signed up for a dance camp for Tues, Wed, and Thurs this week. When my wife and daughter showed up at 6 for it, no one was around. We never received an email that it was cancelled or postponed. The telephone number listed on the website and the facebook page is disconnected. My wife sent her an email. The next morning there was an email from the owner, but it wasn’t about the cancelled camp. It was about drop in classes being available this week instead. In fact, we didn’t get a response back from the email we sent until this morning, 5 days after the fact. When we hadn’t heard from her by 1PM Wednesday I posted on the facebook page asking what was up, and that this was the 4th or 5th time within the last year that something my daughter had been signed up for had been changed with little or no notice.

This morning’s email said she was sorry for the confusion, that she thought we had signed her up for the August camp, even though she made it clear when she responded back in June that Little Britches was signed up for the July camp. Miss M (the owner)  also said that this was NOT the 4th or 5th time something had been changed and that she was upset with me for posting on their facebook page. Unfortunately for her I have the emails yet where she did, in fact, change things. Continue reading “I’m cranky this Saturday, too”



Growing up I heard many stories about the year The Mouse Roared, 1969. The river is known as the Souris River in Canada, but the Mouse River in North Dakota. There were a couple of books, pamphlets and documentaries made about it was well as the stories of the people I grew up around. The flood of ’69 left an indelible mark on the city of Minot in April. Not just psychologically, but physically as well. There were still water stains on the classroom doors of my junior high school, Erik Ramstad. Others have written about the event much more eloquently than I can. You can find more photos here and here as well.  These photos shown here were taken by my grandparents.

69 Flood Lake Darling

This looks like it is probably the spillway at Lake Darling, about 20 miles north of Minot. Continue reading “Flood(s)”

Beware purple dragons

Pay no attention to the whimpering troll in the kitchen, he’ll be fine once the java is done brewing (or I’ll take his other hand off).

The life of a shift worker sucks at times. The wife is dealing with issues at work that are bleeding into her sanity at home. Little Britches has been acting out at the same time and needed to be dealt with. This means I’m a little punchy at the moment. I got up at 6 AM Friday to get them off to school. I took a two hour nap from about 8-10 PM so the wife could rest and then came to work for a twelve hour shift. I’m currently half way through, have already finished off one Coke and a pot of coffee. I foresee much more coffee and Mt. Dew in my future this morning. Can caffeine be safely taken intravenously?


Hey, anyone seen the purple dragon with the box of donuts? I could use some sustenance. That fucker is never around when I need him.

Even more photos

I’m around half done with my grandmother’s photo album. Here are some more highlights.


Oscar & Elfrida
Oscar & Elfrida

This looks to be the oldest photo in the album. These are my great grand parents Oscar and Elfrida, both born in Sweden, married in Fargo, ND, March 24, 1906. She passed away a few days after my grandmother was born. Continue reading “Even more photos”

More old photos

I scanned some more of my grandmothers old photos. Here are some highlights.


Elsie graduation
Elsie graduation

I think this is one of my grandmother’s nieces. Unknown what date this was taken.

Schultz album 176

There’s no information on the back of this one, but it looks like it could be my grandmother when she was in school. Continue reading “More old photos”

Old photos

I recently got hold of my grandmother’s photo album. Well, one of them anyway. This one seemed to have the most photos and the widest range of photos. I started scanning them this weekend as the holiday weekend is extremely slow with no camps or students around and all but essential personnel not working.

I just love working with old family photos. One of the things I’ve been surprised by is how flimsy many of these old photos are. Notebook paper seems sturdier. Most have a name or place written on the back, but it’s hard deciphering the handwriting at times. Some have no information so I have no idea who the photo is of. It’ll probably take me a few weeks of working steady to get through all of the album. In other words it’ll probably take all summer of doing it a little here and a little there.

Here are some of the highlights so far:


This is my paternal grandfather ‘Bud’. He was born in December 1923, so I’m guessing this was taken in the spring of 1924.


This is my grandfather in his uniform. He was a paratrooper with the 517 Parachute Combat Team. Continue reading “Old photos”

It’s a Tribal thing

I see Manchester United’s bus was attacked by West Ham fans as it tried to get into the stadium. Rioting sports fans is nothing new. In fact England is somewhat notorious for its ‘(soccer)football hooligans’.

It happens here in the States and Canada as well. Last year at a Monday Night Football a Vikings fan was beaten by some 49ers fans.

In the late ’80’s and early ’90’s there were high school teams that refused to use the locker rooms at a couple of the schools located on tribal lands (cough, New Town, cough, cough) due to safety concerns. The teams would arrive on the bus in their gear, play the game, and then go from the field/court to the waiting bus outside and drive off. While I didn’t see it personally, I heard that at least once someone was shooting at one of the buses as it rolled out of town (I think that was in Parshall).

The thing is, this bad behavior isn’t necessarily a racial or ethnic thing, despite protestations otherwise. It’s a Tribal thing. But not as in ‘their just a bunch of uncivilized indians’, but rather who or what you identify with. It’s people who identify with Team X and attacking the symbolism of the ‘Other’. It’s also usually conducted by younger people, in their teens and twenties. Usually this is limited to vocal taunting and gestures, but occasionally we’ll see it make news headlines when it becomes physical.

Fandom isn’t necessarily geographic in nature either. Though local areas generally are more supportive of a team, you will frequently find fans of that team in far flung places as well.

A couple of years ago I attended a MN Vikings game at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis with my Father-in-Law and Brother-in-Law. None of us is a Vikings fan. But after attending a couple of Chiefs games in KC because my Brother-in-Law is a Chiefs fan, my Father-in-Law wanted us to see a NY Jets game as well. The couple sitting next to us were Viking fans, as could be expected. But they weren’t from Minnesota. No, they flew in from New York City to watch the Vikings play. They didn’t even have any ties to the MN area.

In today’s world, at least in the US, we often choose our tribe rather than being born into it. Sometimes that tribe is the local one, sometimes not. Sometimes it’s loyalty to the team, sometimes it’s loyalty to a particular player. But once we’ve made that choice we can sometimes become overly passionate about it and lose focus on being good people. Attacking someone or something because they are perceived as ‘Other’ isn’t limited to sports either. Anything with fans falls into this same trap, though it might not always be physical in nature. Though sometimes it goes beyond mere heckling to harassment and even libel/defamation (See Sad Puppies 3 where several ‘news’ organizations had to retract ‘articles’ regarding Larry Correia).

Continue reading “It’s a Tribal thing”

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