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

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Doing politics in business

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. VILLANUEVA 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.

If you do 20 good things no one is likely to notice. Piss off one customer and 20 people hear about it. How many of you won’t do business with a certain company, or know someone who won’t do business with a certain company, because of a bad experience. Gordon Graham has a good little story about it. It goes something like this: He and his wife went to Sears to get a washer, set up delivery for a specific day and time frame. His wife was there, Sears wasn’t. Instead of rescheduling the delivery, they cancelled the order and got the washer from a competitor. I quit eating at Pizza Hut because of the poor customer service at multiple locations (in two different countries!). I quit using Barnes and Noble because of their customer service among other issues. I don’t buy books from Tor anymore either.

All of the places I’ve been employed have had a policy where if the employee does something to embroil the employer in a controversy the employee can expect to be fired. Making your employer look bad is a good way for the employer to lose business. If the company loses business, they have to let employees go. Or might even go out of business all together.

Apparently there aren’t many good business leaders in the NFL, because by continuing to allow their representatives (the NFL players and coaches) to piss of their customers (the fans). But then again, maybe they aren’t worried about it. The NFL actually had really good paid attendance last year. I’m not sure if that actually translates into butts in seats or merchandise sold, but their attendance was it’s best ever.

attendance nfl

We’ll have to see if that continues. Last year there was lots of gloom/doom early, and the protests were the most often cited for those no longer watching, but there were other issues as well, like off field player conduct and the NFL’s response to it.

Yes, occasionally police officers get a little over zealous, but more often than not the incident is the result of really poor and oftentimes intentional actions on the part of person who gets shot/beat by the police officer. If Michael Brown would have simply stepped up onto the sidewalk to get out of the street, he would be alive. If Alton Sterling wouldn’t have decided to fight with officers he would be alive. He’d probably still be in jail because he was a felon in possession of a firearm, but he’d be alive. Of course he had a history of making poor decisions, so this one wasn’t really a surprise.

I, for one, am planning on putting away my jerseys for awhile as these spoiled brats are pissing me off a little. I wonder how many of them have any experiences outside of North America and the annual NFL London games? Things aren’t exactly rosy out there.

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Champion Dog: Prince Tom

My review of Champion Dog: Prince Tom by Jean Fritz and Tom Clute

champ 001

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)

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Training

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.

Tuesday:

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

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“Both sides are bad”

The Writer in Black

How terrible!  How horrible!  How dare you say both sides are bad when one side is Nazis!

Well, I’ll tell you, there are worse things than Nazis in the world.  Yes, the Nazis of the 30’s and 40’s were horrible, vile, beyond the pale.  But even so, there have been worse things in the world.

That’s even leaving aside that as far as actual Nazis are concerned, there are no more than a few hundred to a few thousand out of a nation of over 300 million.  You can find more people believing that the Earth is flat, that it’s hollow and there is “another world” on the inner surface, or that NASA has a sex colony on the moon.  That’s actual, ideological Nazis, not the “everyone who disagrees with me is Hitler” type of “Nazis” that seems to be so popular among certain elements of the Left.  And…

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The Family Vault

My review of Charlotte MacLeod’s The Family Vault

Family Vault, The - Charlotte MacLeod

A mislaid corpse strikes terror in the hearts of Boston’s strangest family.

Like many old New England families, the Kellings live to die. Although their family vault is spacious and comfortable, for Sarah Kelling’s Great-Uncle Frederick it will not do. In his will, he demands to be buried inside the ancient family tomb at Boston Common, which hasn’t admitted a new member in over a century. But when the Kellings crack the old vault’s door, they find a recently built brick wall. And behind it lays a surprisingly fresh corpse — a skeleton with rubies in its teeth. 

Her name was Ruby Redd, and many years ago she was the toast of Boston’s burlesque scene. Her murder case is ice cold, but when Sarah begins investigating it, she finds that the burning passions behind this beauty’s death still burn white hot. With the help of art-fraud investigator Max Bittersohn, she will solve the stripper’s murder, or take her own place in the family vault.

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Tales From the Uplands

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Uncanny things haunt the high country, where mountains bring justice and men tell mysterious tales. A place where churches seek the lost and deadly forces lurk below the peaks.

Contains eight short stories drawn from locations and legends of Central Europe, including the Drachenberg version of a famous folk-tale, and an excerpt from the next Cat Among Dragons novel.

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Horns Up: Inside the Greatest College Football Dynasty

Horns Up

College football hotbeds are scattered across the country, from Alabama, Oklahoma, Notre Dame and Michigan. When you think of the greatest college football programs in the modern era, those schools come immediately to mind. But none of them did what North Dakota State did from 2011-15 and that is to win five straight national championships, in NDSU’s case at the Division I Football Championship Subdivision level (formerly known as Division I-AA). In fact, nobody at any level of college football has ever won five straight. The Bison did it with a unique toughness, including farm kids from the Midwest who were used to working 18-hour days before taking one step on the Fargo, N.D., campus. They did it with a work ethic and an unusual devotion and love to their hard-driving strength and conditioning coach. It didn’t come without some hard knocks. The Bison went 3-8 in 2009, one year after becoming fully eligible for Division I athletics after making the transition from Division II. They lost their head coach during the 2013 title run, a change that was met with resistance and tension within the coaching staff that filtered down to the players. From 2011-15, Alabama won 62 games, Florida State 58, Oregon 57 and Clemson and Ohio State 56 each. North Dakota State, with its collection of lightly-regarded players primarily from the states of North Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin, won 71. Since moving to Division I, NDSU went 8-3 against bigger FBS schools with wins against the likes of Minnesota (twice), Kansas State, Iowa State and Colorado State. They had some stars, like in 2011 when a quarterback from Bismarck Century with a few scholarship offers decided to stay in-state and attend NDSU. Four years later, Carson Wentz was the second overall pick of the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFL Draft. The national media paid attention. ESPN’s “College GameDay” came to Fargo two straight years and the network developed a love affair with the city. “Horns Up” is a story of a football program that came out of nowhere. It’s a story nobody could have predicted.

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Yellow Eyes

My review of John Ringo and Tom Kratman’s novel Yellow Eyes

yellow eyes

Stand Against the Posleen Horde!

Earth invaded! The Posleen aggressors eating what population they don’t outright vaporize! Now the aliens are closing in on a vital choke point for the humans: the Panama Canal. No canal, no food. No food—the North American resistance crumbles, and hope fades. What’s worse, slimeball appeasers within the U.S. State Department (surprise!) are set to sell out the resistance to another race of would-be galactic overlords.

One problem for our enemies: when the chips are down for humans, heroes have a habit of arising: A captain of industry who whips a corrupt and inefficient Central American kleptocracy into fighting shape within weeks. A retired Panamanian woman warrior who returns to the field of battle to rally her people in a last stand to save their children. And a battleship that is literally brought to consciousness by the echoes of ancient naval tradition (and a sentient A.I.) to fight ferociously for her country — and the captain she’s come to love.

It’s a rip-roaring epic of tactics, heroism, and survival as only two masters of military SF (both of whom served in Panama during their stint in the Army) can tell it.

Multiple New York Times and USA Today best-seller John Ringo and Tom Kratman, collaborator with Ringo on the intriguing and controversial Watch on the Rhine, deliver another exciting entry in Ringo’s hugely popular Posleen War series.

 

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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!)

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