Evidence 101

EVIDENCE 101...Wherever you go, there you are...







Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Life Just Got Real...Popo Ugly







Well, Schweetheart...it's like this. You knew we wouldn't last forever. This day would come. It started out such a great romance long ago, when I was young. I could see it in your eyes. It was love at first sight. You were such a cougar back then. You would scratch my itch, I would lay on your feet. You would snuggle, kiss my face, pull my ears.
 
Later, we
were working jobs, everyone was suspicious, we chased fugitives lost in the mountains, did some great search and rescue escapades. Remember that time when I got mad at you in front of the Sheriff and peed on your leg? Great times, great times. Or the time when all of us had to cram in that tiny motel room waiting to climb the mountain trail the next day and I jumped into bed with that other girl. First and last time I spooned with another woman. She was scared to death when she woke up and my paw was across her boob. I mean...what was the big deal? What a prude.  I still got my licks in when I kissed her face. Then, you and I made up and it was all history after that. I saw you looking at that German Shepherd and then I knew...I should appreciate what I have. I guess, thinking about it...there were lots of women in my life. Why did you stay with me? Why didn't you kick me outside?
Women. They give me a tingle in my jingle. Remember all the babies I had with that neighbor woman? I can't believe you didn't leave me then. All my kids were sold fast on the black market and dog trafficking became rampant. I was worried about the little fellas. They turned out to be great hunters. Remember when that guy from Colorado came up and asked for a whole litter? Talk about a workout. I had to go over there again. That was the only time I felt like a slut...selling myself for money.
 
Well, Schweetheart...my time is coming to an end. I've got the cancer. My eyes are weak. I can't see very well and now they say I have lumps. You can see it. I see you look at me and notice my grey hair, my lackluster coat, and my shedding problem.  Just a matter of time. No treatments for me. I think I will just take my time in stride and grace...spend it with you. I'll lay on your feet, follow you around, and go outside to pee. Don't worry...I won't have any accidents, I'm good about telling ya. The only thing I'm going to do is push that annoying Moose out of the way. He isn't going to steal my girl. You and Bug sure have changed over the years. We been through some doozies.

I still carry these pictures of you and Bug in my collar. Remember that picture? You were at class and I had to sit around and watch Matlock all day. When you came home, I sure was happy to see you. You had a rough day. I should have taken an "after" picture of your frown and ripped clothes. I still don't know if I believe your story about falling down while running in a scenario. I mean, really? I guess it's happened before.
 

And then there is Bug...isn't she just the cutest. This is my favorite. She's all grown up now. A teenager!
 
 
We'll talk about the stories this week and you can snuggle with me while we watch movies, have a drink, and watch the sunset. Just like real cowboys. I will hold out for Bug, I believe. She should be arriving home soon. Sure miss that kid. In the meantime, I'm going to keep nudging you for attention,  scratching these lumps, and smoking my cigars. Just so you know, I'm proud to be agile enough to still scratch my dick with one foot. I know you laugh when I topple over and fart at the same time I'm doing it. I still got it. Pretty amazing for a dog with cancer and as old as I am.. I'm old, Schweetheart. Gotta give an old man a break. Get me another cigar and a drink, would ya?
 

The Jury

It's a strange world.

Today...while browsing headlines back home, I found the recent homicide victim was someone I knew. I knew him personally and professionally. Odd how life just happens. He was the wrong man. The suspect meant to kill someone else.

The victim was the foremen on the jury of my first high profile trial. Most of my early high profile cases were plead out and did not go to trial because of overwhelming evidence or the suspects wanted less time than a jury would give them because the cases were solid.

This one made it to the jury. It was the trial that changed how I investigated child molesters.

I was on the stand for hours...over 5 to be exact and getting drilled by the defense. My prosecutor took me to dinner after recess and explained he was very proud of my testimony and couldn't believe how well I was doing. I was to start up again the next day. It was also the first time I was complimented by a judge.

It still didn't matter.   Evidence didn't matter. DNA didn't matter. My testimony didn't matter. The expert testimony did not matter.

The suspect was acquitted on the child sexual assault and found guilty on the drug trafficking. He was a "turd" that wore leather, piercings, and baggy pants sold drugs and did burglaries, vandalisms, and beat up people. Although strange, he was not your typical child molester on the outside. On the inside, he was a very sinister kid.

The defense dressed him like Urkel with dark rimmed glasses and a tie, pants too short. It was so far off his mug shot. We had to show the jury what he looked like in every day life by displaying pictures of his every day life and mug shot.

The case had an eye witness. The case had DNA. In fact, the witness saw him fondle the infant and was appalled, called the police after nearly escaping the apartment with the baby and cooperated with the investigation.

The suspect's left hand became significant. The witness could not distinguish what finger. We arrived on scene afterward. The suspect had not washed his hands (his admission) and admitted to being around the infant and caring for it.

The infant's DNA was discovered underneath his fingernail on his left index finger(s). Not on his right hand or right fingers. Not on his left hand, but on his left index finger. They were all clean of her DNA, just the one area. The infant had vaginal tearing and bleeding. Not on the outside. On this inside. Blood was found in her diaper and underneath the suspect's fingernail. A medical exam was performed by a doctor. The doctor testified to sexual assault as the cause of the injuries by an object. The object was consistent with a finger or other instrument. There was no other medical explanation or disease.

So why did they acquit? We polled the jury. They loved me. They thought I was an incredible investigator and were clinging onto every word I said. True. Those are not my words, but words from my prosecutor as he relayed all this to me on that day. They didn't like the mother who was bi-polar and off her meds. She didn't testify well. She broke down. She got angry. She almost stomped off the stand because she was insulted by the defense accusing her of being a horrible mother. Was she? She wasn't the best, but her baby was healthy and happy. She truly loved the infant. Her house was neat and tidy. She had a job. She didn't do drugs. She didn't drink. She just had a mental disorder.

The jury passed judgement on her because they "didn't like her" and felt she was not a good mother for NOT taking her meds. What did that have to do with the case? Absolutely nothing. It didn't matter in my investigation nor my opinion of her and I testified to that fact. It mattered to the jury. I still don't know why except they were ignorant.

It's the superfluous information that the public doesn't know that comes out in trials that I find incredibly hard to wrap my brain around. Crazy.

I remember this homicide victim hanging his head and looking away when they dismissed the jury. I looked at every one of them. Not scowling, not judgmental. I just wanted to look at their faces and see if I could get any glimpse of why. After the polling of the jury, I was still disheartened, but I had to live with their decision.

I saw him on occasion afterward and he was nice, professional, and friendly. He was a good person and well thought of in the community. There was still that intense week of court that we shared in common, but it was an area we didn't approach or speak of, but we both knew. It was a nod. His decision that day as a juror, and my disappointment that my case wasn't good enough...that was our cloud.

Later, after the suspect was released, he broke into the infant's mother's house and took property, beat her, and got caught exiting the structure with a cut arm. He slashed her tires. He tortured her any day he could. He went to prison. He got out. He sold drugs. He went to jail. He got out. It's a cycle.

Will it always bother me? It's a thorn. It doesn't control my life.

It's a tragedy about the foreman.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Quiet On The Frontier

So...which topic or post did you find most interesting?

And no, I'm not talking about my boobs, so that one does not count, WSF.

Did you agree or disagree with anything said by myself or a reader?

I am surprised I am not receiving heat for the dog answer. I wait with "baited" (Starbucks coffee and oatmeal, mixed with a little Crest toothpaste) breath. So...sound out your opinions, or forever hold your breath...and forever is a long time.

I would like to thank all of you for your emails, comments, and Facebook messages. It was interesting and fun!

And if you can't get enough...LIKE The Boogie Man Is My Friend on Facebook or find me personally out there and follow along.

You might ask how I find time to do emails, Facebook, and blogging amongst my normal life and workouts. The truth is...I am a speed typist. And work at a desk, now. And technology is a pain in my life. However, when I am seated at the computer writing a book late at night, it's nice to have something else to distract me from the mundane writing unless I'm on a roll. I may end the "bookfest" for a fall vacation. I need a life, that is all I can say. When the daughter comes home, perhaps I will get one. Or be a Supermom at least.

In the off chance I should take a vacation, you will know...or think I have died.

You might also like to tag along with the Casper Police Department Facebook page as I am finding it completely entertaining as of late. A riot, in fact. Simple things amuse me.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

The Blue Flame

I'm exhausted. Hope I answered everyone. If I forgot one...beat me or send me a message and I will get to it.

I wish we lived in a perfect world where things were better and agencies worked in harmony instead of trying to show who's dick is bigger. Girls don't do that. We just claw your eyes out.

Since I have moved, I have found out here that every agency is different and some of them do not have the ethical lines I had to keep. It disheartens me, really, and I am ashamed of some of the  law enforcement. I guess I lived in a tiny bubble where I worked and only thought the big cities had corruption. Not so.

Corruption does not run as rampant as people think...it just captures the news...because it is SOOOO bad. And not acceptable. There is a lot of good that the media does not show you. Only hero stuff, but not the every day good.

So...I suggest you get involved with supporting your local fire, police, EMS, and see how you can help bring out their best. If it means telling them they are an ass, or complaining, then so be it. If it means thanking them...then do it.

Was I perfect? No
Could I be a bitch sometimes? Yes.
Did I break the law? No
Did I break a traffic infraction? Yes
Did I dip the pen in the company ink? No
Did I turn in bad cop behavior? Yes, if I couldn't deal with it myself first.
Did I get complaints? Yes
Did I get sued? Yes...the citizens lost every one of the cases. Mostly got sued from anti-government hate groups, never for a legit problem with a legit citizen. Did I say that? It's actually true, right? They do want claim to succeed from the union, so therefore are they legit citizens?
Did I try to hold myself to a higher standard? Yes
Did I pride myself on my professional reputation? Absolutely.

And reputation is everything.  Except I think I blew that by showing you my boobs in a red dress. Oh, well.

PARK THE CAR and BE "TOED"..

Here's page 96 for ya, Yuri!

Coming home from work as a delivery driver, popo has the street blocked off in front of the house I'm renting.  Students are "rioting" (being drunk-ass punks) on the adjacent street. This is downtown Ann Arbor, and there is no place to park. You have to pay rent for your parking spot.  I show the officer my ID - has my address - and say, "I'm just going home."
 
COP: "You can go, but your car ain't passing through"

YURI: "Fine, I'll leave it here, knock on the door when you guys are done and I'll move it."

COP: "You leave it, I'll have it towed."

YURI: "Where would you like me to park it, officer?  I have a paid space over there." Again pointing to the house.

COP: "Well if you're going to be a crybaby about it, go on home."

Only bad experience I've had with the popo.  No 19 year old male likes being called a crybaby by ANYBODY.  But in the officer's mind I may have been another entitled punk he would have to tear gas again.
 
*********************************
Yes, he was an ass. Maybe he was fed up with kids and as far as you looked, you were another one. Or maybe he was just an ass. LOL
 
It happens. Assholes are every where. Oy.

The Raven and The Eagle

Ravenjanedoh...left this present for me. I love this woman!

Citizen here - the one with the fart dust and all ;)

I had a Popo that stalked me once; I was in high school, and he was known for it. HE gave the people in blue a bad name in our town, but I knew it was just him, and not the whole force - I have always appreciated that someone out there is watching our backs.

They put their life on the line. They sacrifice family time, safety, decent paying jobs, and .. well, lots more than I can list here, just so they can get the bad guys out of circulation.

Considering the general disrespect a lot of people have for them, I'm surprised they handle it as well as they do.... I for one, would have lost it and smacked a few of them upside the head time and time again.... I don't know how they do it. Seriously. -- I REALLY don't get why people don't treat them better; they're just doing their job ... more than JUST. If you aren't being a bad guy, you have nothing to worry about. - I LIKE seeing the police out and about- I feel safer. If they get mad and mouthy from time to time ... so what. Who doesn't? We're all human. Besides, think of all the crap they've had to deal with - OY! .. it probably helps my dad was an MP for a LOT of years; he's the most honest, well intentioned person I've ever met... so maybe my view is slanted ... but it's how I see it.... people need to get a life and find something better to bitch about rather than rag on the Police for being human. ... and now I'll shut up.

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Police stalkers concern me. It's an abuse of the badge. We had them in our department and they got fired. They are dangerous. Good for you for not giving all cops a blanket party and being a hater.

That is why the badge is so sacred...there is a LOT of power to behold. The system of checks and balances needs to keep cops on the straight and narrow, so I embrace it. It's rough going sometimes, but I am OK with it.

And you are right...why can't we all just get along? LOL

Police Under Fire...It's Hot In Here!


Here is one from the great LauraB....and some very interesting hot topics she did bring on! Woo hoo! Love these!

Oh my...this is a long comment but here you are.
1) the quality of candidates is dwindling - from the wars taking the best of them, to the lack of fitness, to the desire for a permanent "disability" check if they just get in and then get "hurt"...lord almighty...and then there are the ones who just want to get out of the basement and f*** with those that took their lunch money..."respect mah authoritay" types...sad state of affairs in the quality of people entering the field.

2) upper echelons who are all politics and no leadership - they want their retirement and title and only use the lower ranks to get those. Or those in rank who refuse to take to task those that turn into sh*theels.

3) unions. unions. unions.

4) Dog Shootin' Darryl's. WTF is that anyway?! Oh yeah - it relates to #5

5) Wrong Address Andy's - again, WT-holy-F is it with teams that cannot confirm they have the right house?! Seriously! This is your job, son! You HAVE to do it right the first time. Period. If you get your ass shot off at the wrong house, you earned it.

6) Those #4's and #5's need to be unemployed, period. Again, that is related to #3.

7) The knowledge most good officers have that the S will most certainly HTF and they want to be outta there before it does - early retirement of the best is draining the force of good.

Now...that is all negative, true. And there is a crapton of goodness all around in forces. However, that will always go by quietly when the morons get all the media attention.

I have always said - You have the power to utterly end someone's life - either by killing them or imprisoning them. That is a terrible power to bear and it must be wielded with great care. Most people encountered do not need it to be bashed about them. When you meet someone that does, you have to do it with full authority and yet with respect for their humanity.

My husband managed to have people thank him at the end of an arrest for treating them
well - he always told them to treat him as they would like him to treat them.

But...that is the difference in country policing and inner city policing - he has done both. You cannot do both in the same way. But you can do both with respect.

Did that even make sense?!

**********************************
1) Yes. I don't know what to do about that. In my department, our standards are very high. In others, I am learning, they are dumbing down to get candidates so they will pass. BAD IDEA. I would rather work overtime to cover the street than fill it with turds. And the new generation is the one of ENTITLEMENT..so watch out!

2. Has been that way for a long time. I don't know what happens past the sergeant phase, but it's medical. I think it's lobotomy.

3. Unions are going by the wayside. They had a purpose in 1950. They can be a problem or an assistance. I think they made their point back in the day they were needed. Things now have changed. We didn't have any in Wyoming. Only the firemen have unions. No one ever complains about the firemen having a lot of money and free health care. LOL.

4. It happens. The dog thing...let me address. This came to me also in a message from a Facebooker. You are not alone in your opinion.

I would have shot the dog. The dog needs not be in the scene. The owner's fault. I think it's sad and I much would rather NOT shoot a dog. But a Rottie charging after me is unknown territory and if I am in the line of duty trying to take care of a situation, the idiot dog walker/owner should have kept his dog contained. If it's the suspect's dog, then how are we to know what it is going to do? And God forbid you are concerned about a dog long enough for a suspect to take your gun. I know it's harsh. But that is the way it is. Stay away from the police when they are working. I love animals. I would have been upset to shoot the dog. It happens.

The wrong address thingy...happens. However, officers need to have due diligence in making sure they are correct. What happens when it is a booboo? You pay the homeowner, resident, innocent party. You get sued. It's scary. So yes, be correct.

5.  Addressed above.

6. It happens. I can tell you the FEDS busted down doors a hundred times and nothing happened. I was NEVER wrong. Was I on a raid where the detective or officer or agent was wrong? Yes. Not fun.

7. You know, I would have stayed on the department until I could no longer do it physically. That's how I felt. The department forces out the veterans. They stop sending them to schools. They treat them like yesterday's garbage. Some guys didn't care and kept on trucking. Some said, "fuck it" and left. The good veterans are important to retain and only a good boss with smarts is going to look at it with surrounding themselves with the best. The others...look at young, fresh, eager stat mongers to raise revenue or do as they say without opinion. Sad thing.

And it's OK that your concerns are on the negative side. There is a reason. The world of policing is under fire and changes are coming...both good and bad. Your husband is one of the good guys. I also had many people thank me. It's called treating a human with respect. Kudos to him.




Guns and Hoses

From the fireside..."the other blue"

Apparently, Fire Chiefs have problems with the following in the south...

You really want my views on cops parking?   From the view of someone who has had to deal with blocked fire hydrants at a fire due to a patrol car in front of the hydrant?
 
Cops always seem to want to park at a scene right in front – but I got BRT and BBT’s coming that really, really, really need that access.   No matter how many times we ask, even say pretty please, the next call there they are back in front…..
 
Parking at the county courthouse here... I don’t park in the LEO only spots (Well, not often) they should keep the fire lanes empty.  My guys know if I catch them in anything other than a BRT or BBT in a fire lane, they are going to get a chewing. 
 
Public perception sucks now.  Things we got away with 10-20 years ago you can’t even think about doing now.
 
****************************
 
Well, Chief,
 
I think you should move. It's the only solution.
 
I can't explain why law enforcement doesn't get it unless you live in a small town. Usually police officers get to a scene before volunteer firefighters. In a paid department, big city, they get there at about the same time.
 
Unfortunately, in a small town,  those police officers probably think they can act as a firefighter first on scene or they are just plain stupid. I would not be anywhere near a fire truck because I know better. Our entire department is trained to respect that line. If it's a hazmat? Far far far far far far away.
 
I would say common sense should prevail, but if that were the case, I would be President.
 
Have you tried having a liaison with their Chief? I'm sure you have. And it was fruitless. Tells me there is a big separation between the agencies and they have lost sight of what is important.
 
So...RUN.THEM.OVER. You have a bigger truck.
 
 
 
 
 

The Royal Reputation

The Queen has spoken and addressed the serial killer and the red dress. Curtsy to her! Here she goes with her snarky self again...


I think that ANY officer that can throw the cuffs on you and haul your ass off to jail for breaking the law, should be held to a much higher standard.

I believe the public is more apt to forgive a minor incident if they have general respect for the officer. Which means, if the officer suddenly yells at his neighbor and makes a general ass of himself (over the dog shitting in his yard for the 1000th time) and it hits the media.. we are going to be much more understanding if we respect that officer.

However, if that officer is one that acts like he or she is in charge of the world on and off duty. One who sees no gray area.. then the general public is pry going to return the favor when the outburst is caught on tape and hits You Tube.

Just my personal opinion.

Unless of course, the officer is Wheels.. then I forgive anything no matter what.. as long I get to meet him.. k?

**************************************
Well, our department beat the higher standard thing in our head. Now a former cop, I still can't shake the importance of my reputation. I guess I don't like being held to a higher standard. I think it should be the same standard, and yes, moral, professional, and ethical. But to make cops stick to a pristine environment is damn near impossible, plus breeds problems. They should obey the law...and no, traffic thingys are INFRACTIONS, not violations of the law. Laws are misdemeanors and felonies. Cops are going to break traffic infractions. They are going to have neighbor problems. They are going to have every day ordinary problems. It's just that we are not forgiven for those. We are to be PERFECT.

It's not fair. It is what it is. I guess it isn't worth fighting over. It's just so hard to be perfect, unless you are me. LMAO

And Wheels? Yes, he is a little puppy dog. Unconditional love.





Treasure This!

The next concern comes from a former LEO who lives not far from me...in a big city, full of real criminals and all. Say hello to the every gentlemanly, Bob G.

Momma Fargo:

I've met more than a few of the FWPD LEOs...a couple wearing brass instead of stripes, and overall, they're good officers.

My problem is with the "capo"...the top dog.

HIS idea of community-oriented policing doesn't work all that well when you DON'T have a "community" to speak of, especially in the minority neighborhoods.

Then it's not even an issue with BLACK and WHITE, but rather black against BLUE.
IN such a case, a PROBLEM-oriented approach is better.

Many in the ethnic areas are brought up to DISTRUST the po-po, and that's not helpful one damn bit when a D/B winds up out front of your rental crib.

 And the police can't patrol areas that NEED the patrols, because they're ALL too busy "chasing the radio".

(damn 911 butt-dials)

The young'uns on the force are very dedicated, bless every one of 'em...they haven't been frustrated (enough) yet, or been turned off by the lack of followup by the prosecutor's office.

It takes the effort of EVERYONE on the force to make things work as they're supposed to, and that starts...at the TOP.
Same goes for the citizenry.

All the tech in the world can''t beat good old gut-feelings and knowledge of an area, either.

Roll safe out there.

********************************
Bob G. Yes, your city has some BIG problems. You are like Little Detroit. The brass is always going to have the gap between what is real on the streets and what is best for the department and politics. I learned that the hard way. I can see both points. On the street, it frustrated the hell out of me. As a detective, the Chief gave me everything I wanted and needed because I was knocking down some big criminals, making headlines, getting newsworthy attention, and making him look like he was cleaning up the streets. All the other detectives during that time were also doing high profile cases. I found a way through all that red tape...knock down the big criminals...dig deeper...change something. I focused on child molesters which was a lost area and a big problem. On the street...I did the same for awhile and I was treated well. When I started training the rookies again, it was all different. Brass had lobotomies...you know how it is. You can only count on the sergeants down. Upstairs...it's all stats, money, and public image.

As for the ethnic differences. Yes, there are those. There will always be those. I didn't see color, although it saw me. I think the best way to tackle it was to be real with them. I also was in their area every day and they had to either embrace me as their community cop, or hate me. I had a little of both. What I did have most of the time was their respect. And if I was to get my ass kicked...I could count on some, which is more than I can say for other cops. I think the best thing to tackle the race problem is exposure, be respectful, chat it up, play street and yard games with their kids. LOL

And I totally agree with you on the old gut feelings and knowledge of an area. The brass will never get that...that is something they have lost. Sad but true.



Station Interruption

In the middle of my answering everyone's questions and posting here, there was a knock at the door. It was Sheriff Mike asking me if I was ready to go. He told me to get "saddled up." That is not something that should be said to someone from Wyoming, so I asked what he meant. He said I was to prepare for anything and I had 5 minutes. Wow. Spoken like a true bossy pants.

What did I do? Duh. (Yuri) I got ready. Yes,  a princess can get ready in 5 minutes. And no, I was not naked when I answered the door. Duh, again.

Halfway to Indy, he told me we were going to the trap range. I told him to turn around so I could get my gear. He said, "Nope. Gotcha covered."

I hadn't shot trap in AGES. Beat me. The sweat started to form on my brow.

Once we got there, it was full of...MEN. Yes, not one woman on the field. Did that bother me? No, except if you are the only woman, they assume you are there to hold their shotgun.

Sheriff Mike opened the back of his truck and brought out two very nice shotguns. Way more pricey than my pocket book could afford. Ammo cans of shells...everywhere. I had a little smirk on my face.  He asked me which shotgun I wanted and I told him the one that hits all of the birds. Duh.

He kindly handed me the most expensive one, which I later learned was NOT his favorite.

I have to admit I was kind of nervous since I hadn't shot a shotgun since December.  Well, no better time than the present to look stupid.

We took over a far station. The first three I missed. Not a happy princess. I'm sure disgust was noted by my cursing and the birds flying out of the automatic thrower because I did not keep my mouth shut.

SHERIFF MIKE: Yeah. Every word you say sends out a bird.

ME: [turn my head and give him the half smirk, I'm an idiot look]

After that...I stopped messing with my head and I was in my groove. Sheriff Mike was sweating bullets and kept commenting on how I was not missing anything. Soon...a crowd came over and put pressure on me which I did not like.

Sheriff Mike asked if I wanted to try out his shotgun. So I did. We went one for one. He missed. I didn't.

It wasn't too long before he made a comment that he wanted his shotgun back because I was "smokin'" him.

We stepped off to take a break. A man sitting on the bench winked at me and said, "That's some good shootin' out there. [yes, the southern drawl in the near south which throws me off]. I politely thanked him and moved away so a couple others could shoot while we loaded back up.

Before that, most everyone had taken a lunch break, so we had the place to ourselves. I asked the sheriff if I could help pay for the trap shooting.

ME: What do they charge?

SHERIFF MIKE: Four dollars a whack.

ME: Four dollars a bird?

SHERIFF MIKE: Four dollars a turn.

ME: Uh, we are done. We just racked up over $600.00. [thinking how are we going to pay for that]

SHERIFF MIKE: No. It's $4.00 for 25.

ME: [relief]Oh. Ok. I had a panic attack.

[serious blond moment]

Sheriff Mike made conversation with some of the men who were talking about me and complimenting my shooting. It probably didn't help that I shot a couple times from the hip because I was talking and set the damn machine off, making the bird go early. I had to shoot then and there or waste my bird.

A group of Japanese men in business suits were there shooting and I believe each of their guns had to be about $20,000 each. High dollar. In not so good English, they asked about the couple hip shots. I told them I got "wild west" training. They did not understand. I said, "rattle snakes."

I don't think any of them understood me. I didn't care. I can tell you it was almost as fun as sex. And that could be noted from my perma grin. Sheriff Mike told the club owners when he came out for competitions that I would be his partner. They said, "No doubt. You are no dummy. "

Thank you, Jesus, that I did not look stupid today.

Best thing was...I got to shoot over 400 rounds of ammo, use expensive guns, and didn't even have to clean a one of them. Being a princess for a day isn't half bad. And no, I'm not telling him that my shoulder is sore and it took everything I had to lift that gun up for that last shot and hit the pigeon.


And now...back to your questions. Yes, Yuri, I know you had more. I'm getting to it. Patience, grasshopper. They will be answered on page 96.

Kentucky Blues

My next response goes out to the divine Kentucky favorite of mine...Angel...

"My small town has police that are.. oh what's the word.. umm lackluster. Part of the problem is in our area they are low paid. Sorry but I find it offensive if I am asking you to protect me that my city cannot find the money to pay you enough to NOT live in low income housing.. trust story. I have a friend who is a dispatcher, people complained about the cost of running the service, but let them NEED their help and they will complain about how long it took them to respond. Imagine how much longer it would take without 911 to call.."

First, emergency services are costly! Wow! Millions. I've seen our budgets in Casper, Wyoming, and boy howdy. What the community doesn't know is that is just the icing. The budget figures do not include grants, government issued equipment donations-i.e. Military surplus, contract pay, Homeland Security monies, etc.  Small town America Copland is what the department makes it. Your small town cops can either be well-rounded, uneducated, Barney Fife, or bitter. They also work for next to nothing. For instance, the police around here start out at an average of $32,000-38,000 for a large department and state police. Smaller...less. I made good money. It's never enough in the cop's eye for what you put up with, but I had overtime opportunities and special assignment pay. In comparison, veteran cops may also have merit pay or specialty pay. Not all departments can afford to pay their people like that. Cost of living also has a lot to do with it. The police making that money in Indiana can live on that amount if they don't overdue their budget, but it is a tight living. No luxuries. In Casper...we live high on the hog.

Good pay also deters corruption and pays back what the job takes off your life. It's not feasible everywhere. So...most of your small towners do it because they love it...at least I hope so.

I have seen small town cops be corrupt assholes and uneducated where I would rather defend myself. I have seen small town cops be superstars and make the best of what they can.

And yes, isolation breeds problems and blessings. I was 911 on the river house. I am 911 here. And I live next to Sheriff Mike. That tells you something. I think it's his bad taste in music.

And Angel...always wanted to live in the south...so I am not far from you. I will visit you one day. As for training? Absolutely. They couldn't afford me. However, I do train agencies on Infant Death Investigations for free on weekends if my expenses including room and board are paid for.

Keep you chin up and your Kentucky shotgun close by!

Lost In Translation

The next comes from my favorite "English teacher", Yuri. Yuri is especially NOT fond of my lack of page numbers in The Boogie Man books. So, instead allowing him to fix my "not going with the norm" behavior, I have vowed to torture him all the days of my life. And to no offense, Yuri, because I think you are superfabulous and very sweet! Some of your emails have truly touched my heart.

Hey, did you notice my blog doesn't have page numbers either?

********************************
Yuri gave me several encounters with the police, both favorable and not so. I will address the not so first. Here it goes...

Pulled over for suspicious activity. (This was before I had my CPL, so there isn't the required awkward conversation regarding weapons.)  Two of my kids were doing rehearsals for a musical.  They car pooled to the church with another parent and her kids.  I just had to pick them up from the other parents house. They were supposed to be done at 11:00pm and home by 11:30.  It was a Wednesday, and Wednesdays are cards and cigar night for me, a few guys, and the occasional gal.  We end the games around 10:30-11:00, so it was a no brainer for me to pick the kids up.  I pulled up to the house.  No van in the driveway.  I call my daughter. "We're done and leaving now, we should be there in twenty to thirty minutes."

I pull a u-turn and head out of the sub division and around the corner to Taco-bell.  Because, fourth meal.

A cruiser follows me into the Taco Bell, and lights up the party lights.

COP: "How are you doing?"

YURI: "Okay, a little hungry.  On my way to getting a burrito."

COP: "This your car."

YURI: "Yes."

COP: "Where are you going?"

YURI: "Taco Bell" [DUH]

COP: "After that?"

YURI: "Pick up my daughter.  Go home."

COP: "Where do you live?"
 
YURI: At home.[ DUH.]

COP: "You understand that the direction you were going doesn't match where you live. What were you doing before?"

YURI: "Playing cards at a friends house."

COP: "Where's that?"

By now, I'm totally confused.  I used my turn signals, wasn't speeding.  Wasn't using my cell phone while driving.  And he hasn't asked me for any identification or registration, POI etc. I explain where my friends house is, where my daughters friend lives and where I live.

The officer looks back to his partner, I can't hear if his partner says anything, but then explains to me there was an attempted break-in on the street where my daughter's friend lives.  They had seen me pull up, make a  call and leave with no-one getting in or out of the car.  Just making sure I wasn't an accomplice.

He thanked me for being cooperative and wished me a good night. Again very professional.   On hindsight, he asked questions that he could verify by running my plates, and gauge the truthfulness of my answers, all without the "Papers please!" routine.

We as private citizens need to keep in mind that the popo deals with the worst of society on a regular basis and need to keep our attitude and ego in check when it's our turn.  On the other hand, assholes will be assholes no matter what their profession.  We know that God loves them a lot, 'cause he made so many of 'em.  And we should make an effort to love them too.  In short, cut the popo some slack, but call 'em out on anything abusive.

One of my neighbors was a retired dispatcher.  He told me a few stories about cops and how they used to get away with a lot of bad behavior.  Mostly DUI stuff.  The key take away for me was the phrase, "used to."  Again, I think that the crap cops deal with every day can and does affect them.  Hopefully, as we learn more about the psychological toll on our officers, we can offer ways to help cope that doesn't include alcohol, and officers can be "man enough" to seek help.
 
In this case, I don't know what the reason is why you looked like a burglary suspect ;) lol
 
Apparently they didn't tell you why they pulled you over until the contact was over. They aren't going to tell anyone right up front that you match a suspect vehicle or person. They are going to question you on things they can get from your papers and license plates because they want to see if you are driving your car, know the car you are driving, and/or if it is someone else's or stolen. Red flags go up when simple details don't match the computer data they can find out. Then the further questioning begins.  Sometimes being the only car pulling out of or into the area is going to warrant a stop if it is a hot call. I could go into huge detail about how burglars work and how cops work. That's for another day. You handled the call like a good citizen and kudos to you. I can tell you when we ask "the obvious" it isn't because we are stupid. We are usually trying to gage your body language, your answers, and, yes, we are judging your credibility and truth factor. Good citizens are easier to figure out than the ones that are irritated because we interrupted their lunch. Thank you for playing along with him until he figured you were not his suspect. And quit looking suspicious. DUH! (big smile)
********************************
My Canadian friend Joe was pulled over by a State Trooper.

JOE: "Your American cops need to chill the fuck out!", Joe said.  Joe is a PLC programmer.  He was born in Sarnia, Ontario.  Currently living in Windsor, he was contracted to a local panel shop for a project my company was installing in Brampton.*

YURI: "Why do you say that, Joe?"

JOE: "I got pulled over last night, and the cop just went bat-shit crazy yelling at me and looking like he was going to blow a gasket."  Joe has a somewhat vulgar vocabulary and a bit of an aggressive manner.

YURI: "What did you do?"

JOE: "Well, I pulled to the side of the road, got out and started walking over to him.."

YURI: "Tell me you didn't. Oh man Joe, you're lucky you didn't get shot!"

JOE: "That's what he said.  I think he just needs to chill the fuck out."
 
Although your email was longer, Yuri, I posted it at the most important point. Yuri went on to explain to his friend why the American police view this as a big problem and definitely will come out as an "asshole." In America, never, never get out of your car. We know how to fly and it isn't on brooms. Any behavior like that escalates the contact to high risk as most of us in the country will understand. Exiting your car and coming to the officer is the WORST thing you could do to be HELPFUL. Stay in the car. Officers get ambushed by thugs that get out abruptly and come toward the patrol car. People that exit, run. People that exit are dangerous. People that exit don't want cops in their car and try to distract us. People that exit are just A BAD IDEA. Most often it will get you an upset cop and possibly a gun in your face if you continue to advance and try to explain. It exudes aggressive behavior and a cop sees that as a threat.
 
Remember...fight or flight. That is going through out mind. Basic instincts.
 
*********************
 
Yuri, thank you for your positive contact stories on child safety seats and other instances. We try to be a public resource and not just a public pain in the arse. Cops are different in all parts of the world and I can only speak for what I know. We should be professional. We aren't always. I was never perfect in that realm as you know. We are all snarky. Just in different ways.

The Police Speed?Tell Me It Isn't So

The first comes from Well Seasoned Fool...who had an interesting email banter with me. I will spare you the details, but he is not a cop hater and hails from my side of the world. He is, however,  a watchful eye. Some of your emails I have to shorten or paraphrase. If I get it wrong or misunderstood you...chime out in the comments.  My words are imbedded in red in his communication. His email:

"When you are in the public eye, you are always setting an example; good, bad, or indifferent.

Sunday A.M. I am going from Eastbound I-70 onto Pena Blvd towards DIA. (Denver International Airport) Pena is four lanes and I am in the left lane.  In the mirror I see a police car coming up behind me,  fast. Move over to the right lane (with a quick look at my speedometer). He passes, and another cruiser is behind him. Both solo cars. Neither with lights or sirens on. They exit at East 56th Ave and head Eastbound towards Tower Blvd and MacDonald's. ( I know exactly where he is talking about. I have driven this road 600 bazillion times and had the toll road bill to prove it. I'm not bitter about toll roads, either. Nor do I have writer's cramps from writing the checks.)
 
Now it is possible they were responding to a disturbance, at 6:45 A.M.,  on Sunday, at a MacDonald's. Or, it is possible, they left the District 5 roll call, went on patrol, and stopped for breakfast. And were speeding, 10 to 15 miles over the limit, because they can. Which is arrogant, and contemptuous towards the general public.

So why do I give a shit? Damned if I know; it just pissed me off.

As an aside note, there is a Mickeys two blocks from the District 5 station.
 
*******************
 
 
WSF and I talked back and forth on this and some other subjects, but this is the major concern and complaint..."cops driving 10-15 miles over the speed limit without lights and sirens...are they on the way to a hot call or a hot cup of coffee?"

Good question.

Answer is, "I don't know." 

I can tell you my police side. I often drove over the speed limit. The reasons why I did were to get to a hot call that you could NOT run code to...such as a progressive domestic call that was not yet physical, but was escalating. I would run code to a robbery and then shut down lights and sirens blocks, even over 1/2 mile before I got there so as not to tell the suspects when I was arriving. I hauled ass to burglaries in progress with no lights and sirens except if I was on the opposite side of town. Once within a mile of the call....balls to the wall and no sirens, possibly lights until I got closer, then no lights.

Was this all against policy? Absolutely. Was it police practice? Absolutely. Would I do it again? Absolutely.

I have driven fast in a moment of "I have to pee" as well. Did I just drive around fast because I could? No. I did know some that did. It isn't right and I can't condone the behavior.

Police often drive at least 10 over going to other calls which are "progressive" or "escalatory (Fargo word)" in nature. These are calls that are getting called in because a heated moment is arising and conflict is not getting resolved, or someone is observing an incident that is about to explode into a physical confrontation. It is the way of the job. Society will never understand.

Should a cop run fast to a break or breakfast? No.
Should they just be driving around fast because they can? No.

What happens when they are going to a call and get told to stand down or get called off? What if at that moment they decide to slip into the local convenience store to grab a coffee before the next call? Yes, you will judge.

Most often, you aren't going to know the difference. And most often, you are still going to be ticked.

Those that abuse their authority...shame. I probably have been one of those guilty ones that rushed to get to court, rushed to the bathroom, or rushed to the station at end of shift because I was far away when I got called in.

Cops are not perfect, but yes...WSF, they are always in the pubic eye and have to be accountable to a higher standard. Agreed.

*************************
NOW...open for your comments as usual!

Thank you, WSF! Always a pleasure to hear from you.  I am sorry I couldn't include your police car pic, for some reason it told me I was "blocked".

Next topic...you will have to wait and see...





Here The Crowd Roar

Today was an early bird rise as I had an epic fail in the bedroom. Is that possible? Scary, huh? How could that be?

Advice to you...

Never...never...sleep naked (sorry TMI, Mom) with your bedroom door open. I usually shut it, but fell asleep very early last night and had another night of sound sleep. Until. 3:00-ish.AM. They don't call it the "witching hour" for nothing.

I shot out of bed as I felt a cold, wet... nose... poke my ass. Not only was I alarmed, I scared the intruder. It was my screams followed by a brown blur jumping back and wagging his tail. I'm sure he was proud of himself for succeeding in getting me out of bed.

My sound sleep had ignored Otis and Moose who were sitting at the outside door ready to pee. How long they sat there, I do not know, but Moose probably got impatient and came upstairs to get me. Since I did not respond (only assuming) to his sitting pretty, staring me down, and whining as he usually does, he must have decided to poke me in the ass. I thanked Jesus I was not facing the other way. ( I know, TMI, again. Sorry, Mom)

When I came downstairs, Otis was sitting by the door wagging his tail. I let them outside. Yes, naked. I didn't care. I don't know who saw me. Again, I didn't care. I still don't.

And so...I could not get back to sleep. This prompted me to work on your responses to my question about cops and behavior.

Well, apparently there are some curious and disgruntled ones out there. I have not been bombarded with so many emails and comments in one week for quite some time. I don't think an Internet porn site got as many hits as I did. Ok. That might be an exaggeration.

I have awakened your inner beast of cop frustration! Which is all good. I love free speech!

Since there were so many of you with similar instances, comments, and questions... I have combined some. Each topic will take up one post. Hopefully this wakes all you Zombie readers out there.

I do have to say I found several things surprisingly interesting and some I expected. Feel free to express your opinions in the comments. Mine are just from my point of view...so don't be a Fargo hater. I will try to give you a cop perspective.

You have kept your thoughts all to yourself all this time and finally, the truth comes out!

So...in no particular order...here we go..!




Friday, July 26, 2013

Does Fargo Bleed Blue?

I am not a vengeful person. I let things be. Except...now. Today is it. The day. The only day.

The grapevine is such a wonderful old way of communication. So this goes out to that one serial killer...out there....lurking.

If anyone sees this ring...I would like it back...so I can sell it and recoup some losses...
 
 
And...here's to ME! And here's the red dress I was not allowed to wear to the charity event or in public! Cheers!
 
There is your one shot at my porn, Coffey. Enjoy.
 
NOW...off to love life!


Rounding Up A Posse

I am working on a week long exploration into police conduct for the blog which conveys the citizen view of how a police officer should behave in public and what views society takes on a police officer. I have views from my perspective. Even though I try to put myself outside the box as a new found civilian, my points are always going to be from the first responder side.

So...I was recently under the gun in Casper, Wyoming, on a social media site because of my outspoken ways. I will share it with you. It was a time where Fargo exploded in a diplomatic way to citizen responses.

No way! Say it isn't so.I know it shocks you.

I would appreciate all perspectives out there on police conduct, on and off duty. Whether you are a civilian or a first responder of any kind...dispatch, EMS, fire, law enforcement, military, etc...I would greatly appreciate your views in the comment field. I will take those under advisement and we will have a great topic to discuss. If you would rather be anonymous, you can email me at mommafargo@gmail.com.

You can also see me under fire in another social media blitz on the Casper Police Department's Facebook page right now about police parking. And I loved it! Always a good debate with police haters!

No matter what you feel or say on here...it is not going to be held against you, unless you threaten lives or mention some terrorist threat...then I'm coming after you...or at least sending Big Brother after you. So...please share your TRUE feelings, not the textbook ones.

Embrace your freedom of speech!


Thursday, July 25, 2013

Booking It

Yesterday I left you hanging with "have a great weekend" without an explanation since I do usually post regularly. Actually, when I post depends on my mood. You are surprised? Come on. I am a girl.

Maybe it's just refreshing to shake it up sometimes for no apparent good reason. Be spontaneous. Adventurous. Go climb some mountains while I'm gone. Have that extra glass of wine or beer. Or something.

I am going to return...on Monday...or whenever I feel like it with some new untold stories ripped from police headlines and journal entries.

What am I up to? 5' 6" and trying to stretch it out to 5' 6 1/2". Maybe I need to get out my stilettos used for Friday night street walking undercover jobbies.

Evenings are scheduled with running and CrossFit. I'm boring like that.

I will be working on Book Three which won't come out until early fall. Maybe there will be some new pictures...no CENTERFOLDS, Coffey. Those are for my fourth book, "50 Shades of Blue".

Leave a comment to guess it's content or story-line and three random winners will get a free book!

In the meantime, I'm going to drink this Malibu run, diet coke, and a squeeze of lime over ice in a frozen glass. I might even lay out in the sun.

Malibu run is compliments of a neighbor. It's nice when a neighbor's tree falls in your yard and they apologize with refreshments. Good thing it didn't wreck my prized gardens or he would be bringing me a case. At the rate things are going around the Harry Potter house, I will never have to provide myself with alcoholic substances.

So...with that...guess the third book's story-line. It's nothing like the other two. Duh. You already have read those. I will give you a hint: IT'S NOT A ROMANCE NOVEL.

_________________________
Update: You are cracking me up with your comments. 

Coffeypot: That would require pictures and that is entirely too much work to pose naked all day. 

Yuri: You know I have a reputation for NO page numbers on The Boogie Man series. It's my thing. However, if and when and possibly this next book is not in this series..if I ever make a book with page numbers...you are the first one I will contact!

Sista: I snickered on that one. 

Keep a guessing! None of you are correct, although some good ideas are floating out there. 

Come join me on Facebook....at The Boogie Man Is My Friend!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Gavel This!

Well, all is wonderful in the world of serial killer court procedures today! It's like releasing a strait jacket. Maybe. I kind of like those cozy things.

I have a new found pep in my step.

Or perhaps it's also due to the 6 pounds I shed last week from my excessive running habits. Not that I am complaining. It's all good! I might be able to finish those fall races without crawling to the finish line.

In other news...here is the newest from Shinedown...pretty awesome...unless it's directed at you from a creeper. Well, could you ignore him or her just for the duration of a good song? I could suffer for 4 minutes...possibly.  I've endured worse!


Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

It's Impotent

I love English majors. I am not one. I am a far cry from perfect in any realm. However, it would be nice if everyone spoke the same accent as is the middle of the USA, i.e....Rocky Mountain region. Do you ever notice your news anchors talk like they are from Wyoming?

They do not have southern drawls. They do not have Minnesota Norweigan accents. They do not pock their cah in the yahd. It is a hay loft, not a hay mow.

However, there is one thing I am not...IMPOTENT. I know this, because I checked. Twice. Only one species can define this word and it is not the chick version.

Therefore, if you are in the near south, you must listen carefully, lest you make yourself look silly.

In my case, that could happen.

If I don't understand you, I will have raised brows, a snarl, and have a somewhat strange look on my face, but I will nod and just pick out a few words and put together my own sentences to piece-meal what I think it is you are saying. Or...if you ramble on and on...I will do the same thing...nod in affirmation and maybe interject a few words. Am I listening to you? Halfway. Do I understand the conversation? Parts.

What kills me is the language barrier. I speak cowboy. No one understands me and I find myself thinking they should have me in Near South Language Immersion classes. I guess essentially, I am.

For instance, the language barrier is often to my disadvantage.

Last night, I dropped some mail on the sidewalk and a nice young man picked it up for me. Handing it to me, he stated...

RED: Mam, you dropped something. Packetsin somethin. Here ya go.

ME: Thank you.

RED: Y'all welcome. Wow. You have a lot of packetsin in letters. You must be impotent.

ME: [looking down] What?

RED: Impotent. You must be. Look at all that mail you are carrying. No wonder you fall down.

ME: Ok. Yep. Gravity is a bitch.

RED: I don't know of her.

ME: Yep. Well, thank you.

RED: Yoo noo?

ME: Pardon me?

RED: You new round here?

ME: Uh. I guess so. Been here almost 8 months.

RED: Guess I recken haven't seen ya outinabout much. Usually knews about folks whos news in town.

ME: Uh. Ok. Then.

RED: Ok. Have a nice day, mam!

ME: You too.

And on the second day, Fargo hibernated. Because she was impotent and folks knows news about her packet sins or something.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Senior Moments

As I was plotting my day out on a flow chart and trying to fit all the things in it that I wanted to accomplish, I heard a knock at the door. It was the Sheriff.

Apparently he was bored and thus, had to interrupt my day. Not that he isn't a nice man, I just was ready to tackle the world and did not want to get side tracked. Well, it didn't last long.

SHERIFF MIKE: Want to go to the Annie Oakley museum and go antiquing? Court with the wife got me all stirred up yesterday and I need to get out of town for a few hours.

ME: I am your only non-senior citizen friend, aren't I? Who has no life and no kids and no husband? And the most exciting person in the neighborhood?

Long pause, followed by a "yes."

How could I say..."No." So I didn't. Sheriff Mike and I share the same interest in history, gardening, antiques, and unique things.Traveling to Ohio was longer than usual even though it wasn't very far. I was just tired...still...didn't have enough coffee and needed a nap.

It wasn't far down the road until we arrived at a place in the middle of nowhere which he often does and I have PTSD thought of serial killer moments.  He pulled into this old barn like place and I looked up to see we were by a river and looking at an old mill. "1849" was stamped on the building. I guessed I had just gone through the motions while driving down the road and I had no memory of the conversation.

I got out and went inside.

I think I was a kid in the candy store. Here was an old mill on the river with beautiful walking paths, gardens, and inside was a posh art gallery and shop. I lost the Sheriff. I think he was behind me, but I was so engrossed in the art that I was in my own world and enjoying the welded objects, glass art, paintings, pottery. Blah blah. The artists were freaking genius! And if I had the money, I would have purchased some pieces. They were that good.

It wasn't long before I saw free gourmet coffee offered in the corner of the gallery. Heaven. As I poured a cup for myself, Sheriff Mike came up behind me and frowned.

ME: Dude, this is an oasis in the middle of nowhere. Old restored building. Exquisite art gallery. And this!

SHERIFF MIKE: It's coffee.

ME: Look. It's iced coffee on the left and hot on the right. You have to at least try it. It's free and if you don't like it you can throw up. Besides, I am beginning to think you are a cop imposter. Cops drink coffee. Most of us are coffee connoisseurs. I am a coffee snob.

SHERIFF MIKE: Nope. Can't do it.

ME: It's Rainforest Crunch. You know...tropical bugs, medicinal flowers, nutty undertones, monkey balls.

SHERIFF MIKE: They seriously put all that in that fancy coffee? Why don't you just drink Folgers.

ME: Folgers sucks. And no. I'm kidding. None of those things are in the coffee, except maybe monkey balls.

SHERIFF MIKE: Nope.

ME: Fine. Be a party pooper.

I wandered throughout the 4 stories and took pics of the old mill, was mesmerized by the river running under the building that you could see through a glass floor, enjoyed the art, and then drug the Sheriff outside.

My eyes spotted an old iron gate and I headed that way. It was heavily wooded, a yard lamp was illuminating nearby it was so dark. I touched the gate and just stared at it. I'm sure the Sheriff knew what I was thinking because I told him I wanted an antique iron fence around my back yard.

SHERIFF MIKE: I could make you that, you know.

ME: You can make this?

SHERIFF MIKE: Yeah.

ME: You are not a cop. Cops can't make stuff like this. We have zero talent in welding something this intricate.  Someday I will be able to either find something antique like this and put it back there or pay you to make it.

SHERIFF MIKE: You don't have to pay me. I have tons of metal at the shop.

Record scratch.

ME: Yes. I do. I will save my money. I will take a picture of  this for you.

SHERIFF MIKE: No. I have it all over the shop. No need to pay me.

ME: Ok. This is where Fargo helps you. You make fence. I pay you. Free stuff leads to bad stuff and hurt feelings.

SHERIFF MIKE: I don't understand.

ME: Nothing in life is free.

SHERIFF MIKE: What?

ME: Ok. We need some boundaries.

SHERIFF MIKE: Ok. Why?

ME: Ok. Today, I am going to teach you how to be a cop. I can't teach you about anything else, because I suck at everything else. Today you are getting lessons. Maybe you will understand boundaries by my lessons.

SHERIFF MIKE: Ok.

ME: Lesson number 1. Do not dip the pen in the company ink. That means current coworkers, former cops, and neighbors. I meet two of the three requirements.

SHERIFF MIKE: I'm not sure I know what that means.

ME: It will come to you, Grasshopper. Lesson 2. Cops drink coffee. Real cops. Get to crackalackin'. We will start you off with International Coffees Swiss Mocha. They suck, but you will like it. Grocery store tonight.

SHERIFF MIKE: Ok.

ME: Lesson 3. Don't build fences for girls for free. They will think you want something in return. Some girls will return favors. Some girls have guns. I am one of those with several guns.

SHERIFF MIKE: Yeah. I'm not getting your analogy.

ME: *blink*blink* Ok. Did we not just have a conversation last week? Did I not do the duck and roll, run to the house.

Long pause and thinking.

ME: It's a senior moment, isn't it?

SHERIFF MIKE: Well. Ok. I think I know what you are talking about.

ME: Ok. Just because a girl is fun and exciting to you, doesn't mean she wants you to try to get down her pants especially when she is going through a divorce from a serial killer. She just enjoys having a friend who has similar interests.

SHERIFF MIKE: Ok.

Awkward. I just went on and didn't ponder that much longer. It was a linger subject, not a dwell.

So...we finished our walk through the river, the 1849 dam, the stone walled garden. While I was still gazing at the river, Sheriff Mike went into the shop and returned with a brown bag and handed it to me. It was the coffee I had tried that I liked. Very nice, however...

ME: Thank you very much. Fences, dude, fences. Now, what do I owe you for this?

SHERIFF MIKE: It's a gift.

ME: No. Fences. Boundaries. Remember?

SHERIFF MIKE: It's coffee. I won't drink it.

ME: Fine.

Soon, we headed to Annie Oakley's museum. It was a long quiet drive, but not very far from our location.

SHERIFF MIKE: What kind of music do you like? Let's put it on a station you like.

ME: [smirk] They don't have my kind of radio stations around here. I have to listen to my iPod.

SHERIFF MIKE: What kind of music do you like?

ME: Rap.

Long pause. Silence. Palm to head.

ME: Yep. I knew that would end our friendship. And you need to stop doing the palm to head thingy. It's head to steering wheel now...head to desk...or head to dashboard. Keep up with the times. Those criminals are going to sneak by you and know you are old school.

SHERIFF MIKE: Ok. [flips through stations] No, I'm going to find one that has rap music. It is just noise, but we are going to listen to it.

ME: Uh, No. Heavy metal is just noise. Rap music is beat. Rolling dirty.

SHERIFF MIKE: What is rolling dirty?

ME: *blink*blink* Ok. These lessons are going too fast. [finds an 80s station] Let's start with this song. What is it?

SHERIFF MIKE: I have no idea.

ME: It's Footloose. The movie song. You know?

SHERIFF MIKE: No. I don't know.

ME: [finds another station] Ok. Let's try this. This is an easy song. Flo Rida.

SHERIFF MIKE: Who's that?

ME: Just never mind. Listen. Ok. Move your head like this. Look out your window at your surroundings. You need one hand on the steering wheel.

I can't even describe it. Sheriff Mike's rhythm is worse than  mine. I think Elaine from Seinfeld is better. It was serious business. I was teaching an old cop new tricks and I couldn't laugh. I had to turn off Right Round because the lyrics were bad.

SHERRIF MIKE: Oh...he's singing he's going down. Like the police are spinning him in an arm bar and taking him down?

ME: *blink*blink* I don't think we are going to explore the lyrics of this song right now.

SHERIFF MIKE: Ok.

ME: [trying another station] Ok. Maybe we are moving too fast. Who's this?

SHERIFF MIKE: I don't know. Maybe the Eagles?

ME: Ok. The Long Run. We are getting some where. Feel the music. Move your head to it. [yikes bad images]Ok. Stop. Just try moving your hand to the beat on the steering wheel. New song.

SHERIFF MIKE: Like this? [tries to find the beat to Karen Carpenter that just came on the radio.]

ME: Ok. Who's this?

SHERIFF MIKE: Sounds familiar.

ME: Dude, it's Karen Carpenter. You have to know your music peeps. It's important. You  need to practice at home or in the squad car tonight. Someday you can move on to my CDs, but that is way too advanced for you right now.

SHERIFF MIKE: Ok. How about some Bob and Tom?

ME: Who?

SHERIFF MIKE: National public radio? You don't listen to that stuff or Patriot Radio?

ME: Are you clan?

SHERIFF MIKE: What? No.

ME: Dude, a little NPR late at night is fine. Daytime. No. Only old people have that as their favorites station. Seriously? You would look better if you had the Weather Channel or Fox News on. Maybe you need to get satellite radio in here. I was about to tell you one more road trip with NPR all day and I was going to eat my gun, but I was being nice and trying to drown it out with conversation.

SHERIFF MIKE: [not hearing a word I just said] Satellite. That would allow me to listen to all kinds of talk radio. I might like that.

ME: [palm to head]

SHERIFF MIKE: Hey. Caught ya! It's head to dashboard.

I think these senior moments are going to kill me. I can't wait to go to work and have stimulating conversation with someone my own age. Or younger. Beat me.

War and Wine

Coffee is my friend. Especially when it is hooked up to an IV and charged through your system at a brand name coffee house. Thankfully, they also have free Wi-Fi.

And no, I don't believe I am still drunk, nor was it too bad. That I recall. I only had one glass of wine.

Little did I know when I said "yes" to a couple of senior citizens who offered to "shake up" my life did I know the true definition of that. I was kidnapped by senior citizens. Thank God, I did not wake up naked on the neighbor's lawn or hanging out of a tree downtown.

My new found friends, who are wonderful and hilarious (Wanda and Harry)...and over 70...took me to the big city for a day of fun. I had no idea what I was about to partake in. I had mentioned I had never been to a Civil War reenactment, nor had I really dove into any cultural events here. This sparked an idea with Wanda and Harry.

On the drive there, I also got the speech about how I needed to meet a wonderful man on campus and I would. However, I was to shy away from professors because they are "screwy." That leaves who? Wanda gave me the college rundown. I felt like fresh meat. I told her I was perfectly happy. Wanda said..."For now." I asked, "What do you mean?" She looked at me with raised eyebrows, "Sex." Somehow talking sex with 70 year olds was just not what I had in mind. Do you know how many times you can change the conversation, and it all leads back to sex? It's like the 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon.

Finally, saved from further sex education, we reached our destination.

The day started out at an interactive Civil War historical museum which was set up in an old town in the woods. It was very well designed and felt back in 1836.

All was fine until Wanda and Harry put me in the General Store that was set to burn down. I should have heeded their giggles. Giggling seniors is a cause for flight...future reference.

After I walked across the covered bridge, I was met by Union soldiers. They sent me to the Porter house. I was soaking up this new flavor of history by talking to a young man who was playing the piano inside the Porter house. He and I got along great and soon we were engrossed in our conversation. In fact, he asked me to join him in the town social which was going to occur at 3:00 pm. Yes, my first date was with a young man from 1836. Shut it.

Apparently, this was not in the plans with Wanda and Harry, as I was holding up the show.  They drug me inside the General Store where the Union soldiers had gathered up. The soldiers told the townsfolks about the Confederate General Morgan headed our way who had threatened the men in the area. I was shoved next to the shelf of wares in the corner as fire balls, gun fire, and cannons took underway. I expected big booms and gunfire, so I prepared myself for the attack. I even thought about defecting to the other side because the Confederate General Morgan was hot, even if he was over 100 years old.

I did not, however, prepare myself for the ultimate embarrassment in Civil War history.

Sorry, Mr. Union Soldier, for that elbow strike as you came running past me. However, you really should not have shoved that shelf of dishes over next to me as I have these horrible scream and reflex problems when someone scares the shit out of me.

You can imagine how low I felt. I am sure I am now flagged for exclusion in any future living history events.

That was not all that was in store. No pun intended.

After all the gunfire, Wanda and Harry took me to the Rolling Stones. Yes. I was in heaven. Old hippies on the green...like 8,000. It was crazy. Wine. Beer. Food. Bravo for the Symphony on the Prairie! It was beyond fun. The music was amazing and the singer they hired was very famous...only not Mick Jagger. However, he sounded just like him. Two blue hairs taught me how to make Mick Jagger moves. It was not pretty.

And Christopher Walken showed up on the green and we had a little COWBELL. Many of you might remember the record our swing shift made on family violence and the drunken night of COWBELL for Team 2. We are famous. I even have the musical record (on CD) and video to prove it. Best dang record made by cops ever.

AnySatisfaction, the Stones were amazing! I was in heaven with the people watching. It was better than People of Walmart.  The 50 years of The Rolling Stones was a great show, all in all, and I would do it again. Apparently, this is a summer fall thingy. Not sure how I would fare during the classical music instruments. I can imagine I might chug too much wine and you have to wear a gown. On the grass. Strange.

It was a new assignment,  me trying to fit undercover into a day of cultural events. I can act refined and dress the part. Sista From Anotha Motha can vouch for me and chime out about the time I showed up to her house in my black evening dress after a night of "Got Stood Up" at the Christmas police dinner. If it weren't for her and my brotherhood praising my clean up act and pumping up Fargo in a long black dress, I might have noticed my date was absent. I just had to swallow crow and tell everyone I didn't need no stinkin' date. So yes, I dressed up that night for nothing. Any digression...this refinement has nothing to do with Indiana cultural events. It did teach me, however, that dating sucks.

The Indiana wine. It doesn't like me. I know I only had one glass. However,  those dang hippies kept filling it up. I had a hippie cleansing. Now I am ready for real life.

See, in Wyoming, cops just had drinking contests for therapy with firemen because we all hate bars and it's the only thing we can beat firemen at besides shooting matches. We tried boxing-failed. We tried cage fighting-failed. We are proud that we can out drink and out shoot them. This would start Poker and other games and usually led to trouble. Things got blown up,  burned, and stuff. Especially when you mixed the bomb team with the firemen. And especially when they decided my land of 40 acres was perfect for these things. Pure torture, those days.

Reminded me of those times when my brother built homemade cannons and pipe bombs. Of course, that was when the ATF just interrogated you over dinner on the ranches and laughed at the country kids. No jail.

Now I'm running from Union Soldiers, fitting into Woodstock, and sitting at a posh coffee shop attached to an IV and Wi-Fi. Life sure has changed. Or maybe it's the Indiana way. Like cow tipping, only different.

See...my mind is all over the place. That's what hippies and wine do to me.

And btw, I still have not been to a Civil War reenactment.