Our first snow accumulation of the year came overnight. It’s mostly melted now. But when the dog had to go out about 2 this morning I grabbed the camera and snapped a couple of shots before there were a bunch of tracks to muddle the view.
The social contract was altered. I really hope we figure out a new one soon, while we’re still around.
The Failure of the Sexual Revolution
Out of the Darkness
I’ve recently been doing a lot of thinking about the horrible quagmire that modern dating has become. Fortunately, I’m out of that game now. I’ve spent the best decade of my life blissfully married to a wonderful man. Before that, however, I was admittedly a bit of a slut. I’m infertile and have been since I was 18. It’s a running joke that if I end up with an unplanned pregnancy, what I really need is a priest, because it’s a bit late to have a replay of the Virgin Mary. Between knowing for a fact that pregnancy from sex is impossible and a religious usage of condoms in any encounter that wasn’t preceded by exchanging recent STD test results, I saw no reason not to be. I was assured that this was healthy behavior for a young woman. Looking…
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I had to unfollow someone on Facebook this week. Teh Burning Stoopid just got to be too much. I didn’t unfriend her, I’ll likely follow her feed again once the political crap she understands nothing about quiets down. But it’s been going on nearly a year now. I need a break.
It started with Trump’s election.
I wrote about that here. And the meltdown from the left was quite funny for a long time.
But they’re still going on about how horrible Trump is and how horrible guns are. I’ve had enough. These are the people who think Trump is the worst thing to happen EVAH! and who point out time and again that too much political power is a bad thing Continue reading “I’m Out”
My review of Aaron Elkins story in the Gideon Oliver series, Curses!
Mayan ruins in the Yucatán . . . a secret room in a tomb . . . age‑old skeletons. To anthropologist Gideon Oliver, the renowned Skeleton Detective, the invitation to join the archaeological excavation of Tlaloc promises two months of paradise on Earth.
That is, until an ancient series of Mayan curses against desecrators of the site is unearthed. When the first one comes to pass (“The bloodsucking kinkajou will come freely among them”), it is taken by all as a practical joke. But by the time the fourth one is apparently consummated (“The one called Xecotcavach will pierce their skulls so that their brains spill onto the earth”), nerves have begun to fray and suspicions and discord are mounting.
The steamy jungles weigh down on the band of eccentric anthropologists as one by one the curses continue to materialize. It takes Gideon’s special talents for deduction—along with the enigmatic insights of Mexico’s one and only Mayan Indian inspector of the state judicial police—to resolve an ancient riddle and a modern, murderous mystery.
The book I’m currently reading is dealing with Mayan ruins on the Yucatan Peninsula. About 10 years ago I got to see some Mayan ruins when my wife and I took a cruise. One of our ports was Belize City, Belize. Our excursion that day was to the other side of the country, to San Ignacio, Belize.
I honestly don’t remember most of the particulars our guide discussed there. I remember it means something like “Place of the ticks”, which sounds horrible but the day we were there it was quite nice if maybe a little warm.
We walked along a path from the parking lot and the first excavated area we came to was the ball court (C4 & C5) off Plaza C.
My review of Charlotte MacLeod’s The Palace Guard
When a museum guard takes a tumble, Sarah and Max find a forgery
It has only been a few months since Sarah Kelling’s elderly husband passed away, and she is struggling to adapt to life as a penniless young widow. To make ends meet, she converts her stately Boston home into a boardinghouse, a decision that brings something even better than money: the company of art-fraud investigator Max Bittersohn. The budding couple is standing on a balcony, recovering from a second-rate concert at a third-rate museum, when something plummets past them. The museum has been robbed, and a guard has fallen to his death.
Dozens of priceless paintings have been stolen and replaced with forgeries, and to recover these masterworks will mean tearing the lid off the quiet life of the Boston upper crust. But it is a chance Sarah and Max must take, lest they join the guard on his long trip down.
Quite a few NFL players have been deciding to take a political stance during the National Anthem. There’s nothing illegal about that, it’s their right. It’s not a new thing either. A few years ago then St. Louis Rams players decided to come out of the locker room showing the ‘Hands Up’ gesture. Last year Colin Kaepernick decided to take a knee during the National Anthem to protest minority rights and has now been joined by, it seems like, everyone in the NFL.
Well, there are a few that haven’t fallen into the victim mentality. Here we have Alejandro Villanueva who was the only member of his entire team to come out of the locker room for the Anthem.
Now, the only business I’ve ever been in charge of myself was when I was a kid and mowed lawns. But I’ve observed some of my relatives as they ran their small businesses. And I’ve worked for a fair number of private companies (along with some government agencies). Customer Service is stressed quite heavily, even in government believe it or not. Rule #1 in Customer Service is Don’t Piss Off the Customer.
My review of Champion Dog: Prince Tom by Jean Fritz and Tom Clute
This is the true story of a loveable, under-sized blonde cocker spaniel with big ideas. Prince Tom, who lives in Adrian, Michigan, with his owner, Tom Clute, spends his life surprising people, doing the impossible, and adding new titles to his name. Today he is one of the most famous dogs in the country with an official name so long that it takes two breaths to say it. (Try it.) Prince Tom III, Companion Dog, Companion Dog Excellent, Utility Dog, National Field Trial Companion.
(excerpted from the dust jacket of the Weekly Reader Children’s Book Club edition)
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