Eclectic, quirky, and sometimes edgy…this is how things look from my front porch.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

This Is What Courage Looks Like - Owen

Okay, I confess it.  I always thought Shriners were a little goofy with the Fez hat and riding around in parades on tiny little motorbikes.

However, Shriners Hospitals (in cooperation with God Almighty, Commander-in-Chief of the Universe or as we military families call him "CINC-U") make everyday miracles happen for kids like Owen.  Owen was burned by boiling water over 98% of his body and was given ZERO per cent chance of survival.

This is Owen Mahan with the University of Indianapolis Baseball Team management signing a contract in a special program which pairs up college athletes with special needs kids.

This is Owen and his foster Mom turned forever Mom.
And if Owen can face life with a smile, then surely we can, too.  The next time we wake up with aches in places we didn't know we had because of too much yard work and think to complain like I did this morning, keep Owen in mind.

This is what courage looks like, people.

Owen's Story

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Did You Ever Notice?

Did you ever notice that the more verbiage on an envelope about how important the contents are, the less important it is?  If the printing reads "important" and "time sensitive" and some of it is in bold face, then I can assure you that the contents are completely worthless.

To show how totally without merit this little envelope from Ditech was, we have the requisite bolding, important notation, time sensitive verbiage, AND a tracking number.

And yes, I do miss Andy Rooney from 60 Minutes.  I can't quite make my voice sound as crabby and peeved as his.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Just Because I Am So Odd...err Unique

We drove over to the little communities of Rescue and Battery Park, Virginia on Saturday.  I know there must be a story about the name "Rescue" but I haven't discovered it yet.  Both neighborhoods are in Isle of Wight County...perhaps 20 minutes from our house.  However, they are light years away...sleepy, bucolic, peaceful non-suburbia.

Back in this area is a surprising place called Oak Crest Farm.  It is so surprising that the LA Times wrote a story it.

Zebra Farm

I'll never forgot how odd the zebras seemed the first time we saw them grazing.  It was as if a narwhal was sunning himself in Virginia Beach or a polar bear was sitting at a bus stop in Los Angeles.

The zebra are the farthest away from the road and hard to catch in a pic. The donkeys were frolicking right next to the fence, so I took some shots.
Okay, maybe it is just me, but I think this donkey needs to see a dentist.  He reminds me of a shipmate of my husband's who always used to say, "I'm an awful handsome fella, but my teeth are screwed up."  Actually, he said something else other than screwed up, but you get the idea.

I've been laughing at this pic ever since I took it.  I know.  I'm unusual.  It is what I do.  It is who I am.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Police Week

I’ve held my silence and stayed in contemplation since Ferguson and the war on police began in earnest.  This week is Police Week, instituted by President John F. Kennedy. I will remain silent no longer.

I’ve read all kinds of hateful stuff from bloggers who usually know better.  I’ve watched the mainstream media provide biased and unfair reporting.  I’ve watched thugs loot, burn, and steal under the coverage of what is called “peaceful protest.”  I’ve listened to the hypocrisy of the Justice Department, Al Sharpton, and the NAACP.  

For all of you out there who complain about police response time to routine incidents when you don’t bother to call the police – shut up.  If you complain about being asked nicely to follow the same parking rules as everyone else – too bad for you!  You got a ticket because you were unlawfully speeding?  Too bad, so sad.  You don’t like how the police responded to your domestic situation?  Keep a lid on your family arguments.  Here’s a news flash:

Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Romans 13:1

Over the three years that I have worked for my law enforcement agency, I have had three colleagues killed in the line of duty.  Think about that – who works in a place where three people get killed in three years, just for doing their jobs?

One co-worker, Jim, narrowly avoided death in November and only just returned to work last week.  Why?  Two bank robbing thugs in body armor had parked a getaway car in his neighborhood and tried to kill him while he was running the tags on his way to work.  Another Sgt. I work with was rammed by an evading driver going over 70 miles per hour and he is not yet back at work following the injuries.  This is just in one office alone.

Master Trooper Junius Walker (pictured above) stopped to assist a motorist whom he thought was broken down on the highway.  Russell Brown was actually lying in wait for Trooper Walker and shot him in the face so he could see “what it felt like to kill someone.”  This father, husband, and grandfather was close to retirement and was one of the longest serving troopers in our organization.  Trooper Walker was beloved by his family, organization, and the community he served.  We didn’t hear a peep from Al Sharpton, the Justice Department or the NAACP when he died.

Here is a cold, but true fact:  It is the African American community itself that is killing young black men, not police departments.   Where are the protests about that?  Inner-city criminals have been killing each other for years and not a word from the community or Al. 

For those who have been killed by law enforcement officers, the vast majority have long arrest histories.  The chance of anyone who is reading this or me being killed by law enforcement is zero.

I don’t know what went on in Baltimore, but I suspect that this “victim,” (who was actually a drug dealer well known to local police) may have swallowed some of his product before he ran.  This, in turn, may have contributed to whatever was going on in the van.  You have to dig pretty deep in the reporting to find out about his criminal history.  He preyed upon the folks in his community, those same folks who preyed upon local businesses which the neighborhood depended on, like CVS. 

That CVS is now closed and the neighborhood residents have lost their jobs there, as well as a place to pick up prescriptions.  All the looting did was hurt the community and get the “peaceful protesters” free liquor.  Of course, once your mayor states that you should have space to “destroy,” I guess you do.  I wonder how the owners of those destroyed business feel about that?

Do you want to know how it is that people are killed by law enforcement?  They break the law.  They flee from the police.  They move when they are commanded to stand still.  They resist arrest. They illegally carry weapons.  They try to hurt police officers.  They kick, punch, and spit at officers.  They try to grab officers’ weapons.  In Ferguson, they think they are entitled to steal cigars, strong arm the owner, punch a police officer in the face, and then try to grab his weapon…proven by DNA.

They are brought up in single-parent households and are not held to accountability nor taught respect for any type of authority. Teachers are afraid of them. Remember what would happen if a teacher ever called your parents about bad behavior?   In public schools these days, the parents come in and yell at teachers who try to discipline children.

Many kids are raised with no honor and that there is an excuse for anything.  They are not taught how to control impulses and often have no example within their families of people who work to advance themselves. 

The best thing that Al Sharpton and the NAACP, Urban League, etc. can do for African Americans is to advocate for better education for them.  They can teach kids ethics starting in pre-school.  How about citizenship classes?  What about parenting support and classes? 

How about telling young black men and women not to have children they can’t afford?  How about if Al and the NAACP address the fact that 80% of all black children are born out of wedlock, one the strongest indicators of childhood poverty. 

Two officers were gunned down in cold blood in Hattiesburg this weekend.  What was one local response?  Some subhuman Subway worker cheering about it on Facebook, Good for Subway for firing her, even as she lied and said her phone was “stolen.”  

A rising young officer killed in New York City and Officers Liu and Ramos before him.  So far this year, 40 officers have been killed nationwide in the line of duty.  Where is the Justice Department about that?  Where is justice for the Fallen in my profession?

So during this Police Week, I ask you to pray for the families, co-workers, and agencies of the Fallen. Let your police know that you support them.  Please pray for your own local law enforcement agency.  How many people are willing to go to work each day knowing that there are people waiting to kill them?  Pray for the wives, husbands, parents, and children of these officers.  Pray for their safety.

And if you don’t want to do that…try calling Al Sharpton or the NAACP next time instead of 911. 

Please note that these opinions are mine and mine alone.  They do not reflect my organization, which I have not named.