Evidence 101

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







Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Cowabunga! On The Beach With Author Jeremy DeConcini

Duke Kahanamoku said, "Out of water, I am nothing." Well, I realize being a surfer would resemble this statement and so to water I must seek the writer. I am not afraid of water, but I prefer the mountains. So, chasing down a surfer leads most to California with the best of both worlds, I guess. Or Hawaii. Fortunately for me I had the internet which made it quite reachable to contact Jeremy DeConcini, author of Camino Del Diablo. You might recall the book review done by yours truly a few days ago. And so...there I sat...on the beach with my cup of coffee coconut umbrella drink waiting for Mr. DeConcini to arrive on shore for my interview. Not really. But it would have been a great conversation! Instead, I found his online interview just as intriguing. I hope you do also. Enjoy!



Jeremy, how did you come to have such a colorful career? Why did you choose the path you took?

It wasn’t really by design.  Over the years I have tried to maintain a certain amount of ambition and career planning, but I’ve also tried to go with the flow and not be too rigid because plans invariably change.  For example, I went to law school explicitly to go into federal law enforcement. At that time, I had no interest in practicing law, but in those days, if you had a Juris Doctorate, you were really attractive as an applicant for any Special Agent job.  So, right out of law school, I was hired by the Secret Service in Los Angeles, but when I was six months into their Academy I blew out my right Anterior Cruciate Ligament.  The injury required significant knee surgery, so rather than sit at the Secret Service office in LA answering their phones for six months while recuperating, (which would be typical for someone injured in the academy) I resigned so that I could use that time to take the California Bar Exam.  I still had no interest in practicing law, but I have a hard time sitting still and it seemed like a better use of my time than answering the phones at the SAC office on the taxpayer’s dime.  After I passed the exam, I re-applied with Secret Service and what at that time was the US Customs Service (and a few other agencies) and ultimately took a job as a Special Agent in San Diego with what had just become ICE (Now Homeland Security Investigations).

Way cool. You are somewhat shrouded in mystery. Tell me more about your back story. 

“Shrouded in mystery” That is great!  I assume that my entire life is an open book to anyone with an internet connection, but maybe not.  I grew up in Tucson, AZ in a pretty classic American Immigrant family that made good.  My great grandfather came over from Italy like so many of his countrymen did in the late 1800’s.  He started as a coal miner back east and quit the day he watched a man next to him get killed in a cave in.  He tried lots of different things, including starting a bar in Michigan before having to move the operation to Wisconsin when Michigan adopted prohibition in advance of the eighteenth amendment.  (No guarantee of accuracy here, family lore being what it is.)  He got very sick in the 1918 flu pandemic and was advised by his doctor to go to a drier climate for his health, so he moved his family to Tucson and was promptly killed in a car crash within the month!  

Oh. That is horrible sad. 

My grandfather, who was maybe twenty, had to take control of the family business which consisted of a small hotel across from the train station.  He lived in one of the rooms there and was the manager.  He prospered and ended up becoming an Arizona Supreme Court Judge and died in the mid nineteen eighties.  To this day, people still refer to him as “The Judge”.  The federal courthouse in Tucson is named after him.  His children also became successful.  My Uncle Dennis became a US Senator in Arizona and was, at one time, the Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee.  He served three terms and retired.  My dad ended up running the family real estate business that sprung up out of that little hotel, but being a child of the late fifties and early sixties, he was something of a proto-hippie, different from his more ambitious brothers and maybe a bit like Hunter Thompson with less drug use. He took us down to Mexico a lot when we were kids which really felt like the frontier of civilization to us.  To my dad it was no big deal, he had been doing it since the sixties when you were really on your own down there.

He sounds like a very colorful man.  Go on.

So I grew up with all of these strange influences, the classic Italian Immigrant Family, but out in the desert southwest in this dusty town where there were very few of us compared to, say, New York. (Famously, Joe Bonanno was one of our circle of Italian-Americans with whom we had a checkered history of disavowed friendship between him and my grandfather and a later prosecution by my uncle when he was County Attorney.)  Growing up I had three brothers and we sort of became our own gang, not in a bad way, but we lived out in the sticks and we didn’t have a lot of neighbors, so we just sort of ran together looking for trouble as kids do.  I went to Catholic high school then college at the University of Arizona, followed by law school at Pepperdine.  That is the short version of the back story, now that I am past forty, I can look back and see how unique my upbringing really was.

I would say so. You have a childhood worthy of books.  Why become an author? What inspired you?

I have always been a big reader.  I love to read as much as I can.  I look at a stack of books the way some people might look at a T-bone steak.  I never realized it, but I was always writing as I grew up, from philosophy in college, exams in law school to case reports as a federal agent and briefs as a lawyer.  It wasn’t sexy stuff, but I got used to exercising my brain that way.  Currently, my professional life doesn’t really call for much writing, so my brain just took it upon itself to start creating a story from what I was reading about in both the newspapers and books.

Did some of your adventures play into your story?

Yes and no.  My personal input into the book was certainly the law enforcement jargon and, for example, the experience of sitting on vehicle surveillance.  That would be hard to write if I hadn’t actually lived it to a degree and the locations in the book are places that I have been many times. Also, I did live on a sailboat at one time like Ben’s friend Joe Lanahan, but I have had to tell more than a few people that I definitely did not kill anybody that I will admit to (just kidding) and I didn’t go to jail for manslaughter a la Ben Adams (or for any other reason).  I wanted the story to be just believable enough for it to feel realistic, but a good enough story so that the reader wouldn’t want to put it down.  It is funny how people who know me and have read the book seem to think that the story has more than a bit of truth to it, which has caused more than a few strange questions that usually start with “So…did you really do XYZ?”, where XYZ is something shocking from the book.  The framework of the story is true enough, but the story itself is most certainly a work of fiction.

Is Ben a mirror image of the author or a creation of your imagination? He is a complex person. Do tell.

I think he and I share a wry sense of the universe that includes the ultimate futility in many things we do, but his attitude is much more exaggerated due to his familial and professional disillusionment and obviously it makes a better story.  We also became Feds through law school.  The other thing we share is a love of surfing.  I know it is a well-trodden path pontificating about the joys of surfing, but I have been at it well over twenty years now and it has yet to lose any of its luster.  It is much more than a sport.  It’s more like a religion, or a disease maybe.  I love to travel and participate in all sorts of adventures but I always want to get back to the ocean.  Surfing gets into you and changes your life, largely for the better, but, that is not to say that it doesn’t come without personal or professional costs. 

I think it looks like fun and I am always up for a new sport, but I am sure I would be swallowed up by some wave into the mouth of a great white shark. My luck, you know. Anyway, tell me more.

Back to Ben, Ultimately I think he is a bit of a cliché, and maybe if we overlap that means I am as well, but I mean that in the best possible way.  There is a literary archetype in the pulp fiction style of writing of the burned out ex-cop or ex-military guy who gets into crazy adventures.  I like to think that I am adding to that tradition in a way that is respectful of it but also somewhat new.  Ben has a bad attitude and the skills to match, but he is also funny, sarcastic, sometimes clumsy and a bit hard to read.  It is not really clear what his real motivations are.  We will get to know him a bit better as he and his story develop in the next two books, which leads us nicely into the next question.

I can't wait. I like how you incorporated a multi-faceted story line which is up to date with today's events and public concerns. What is next? Will you have a series?

I am about halfway through the next book with the same character.  Camino Del Diablo was my first book and it included issues that were currently relevant as I was writing it.  I rushed a bit to get it published for this reason.  I wanted people reading it to feel like it was happening as they read it, and I was pretty close.  I published it in September, just a few months after Jade Helm and the Governor’s decree about cutting water usage due to the drought in California.  The next book won’t be quite as acutely topical since I want to take a little more time on it, but hopefully it will be a much better book and a wilder ride! I think I have enough imagination and material to make a three book set for Ben Adams, and since they are short, I will design the trilogy to be read as one if someone really wanted to plow through them.

Hmm. Interesting. How did you develop your villains? Were they taken from reality? Or did the characters develop as you wrote?

I wanted many of the characters, even the peripheral ones, to be products of their time and experiences and I think the US wars of the last 15 years have had a profound effect on the people of the United States.  I see it more so living in a military town (San Diego) but I think at this point there are very few people in this country who haven’t been impacted in some way by the wars.  So the bad guy military contractors are, to me, an inevitable consequence of the many worldwide conflicts that are now fought partially by mercenaries.  You have an entire generation of people (military and contractor) whose dominant skill set includes killing.  Now, I know and am friends with people who work in the military and as military contractors and I am certainly not trying to paint an entire industry with a bad brush, but I wanted to show in an entertaining way that when there is lots of money to be made, otherwise good people can do some terrible things and lose sight of themselves.  My ultimate bad guy in the book, Alan the CEO, thought that by donating to environmental causes and going to black tie fundraisers that he could otherwise do whatever he wanted in the pursuit of business and have a clean conscience, and he died not realizing what a psycho he was.

He was a very evil man. Too bad his plans did not work out for him. No more spoilers for anyone who has not read your book yet. Any advice for budding writers?

Just start writing, the hardest part is to just put things to paper.  I don’t think Camino Del Diablo is ever going to win The Pulitzer Prize, but if I was overly concerned with perfection, it would never have gotten written, so my advice would be to go for it, sooner than later!   It is way too early in my career to know if I will have any commercial success, but the technological advancements in publishing have made it so that an author can focus on the writing and not worry as much about trying to sell the thing to a publisher.  You still have to do the work and try to put something together that you think someone would want to read, but the barriers to entry have never been lower, which means that there is more good material out there than ever, but also much more terrible stuff, which can be fun in its own way in the vein of the “Bad Hemmingway Contest” and things like that.  There is a blog dedicated to horrible e-book titles and covers and there are hours of entertainment there, which I think if you are on that list is still a success of sorts.  I am not sure if I have the guts or not, but I have been trying to figure out a way to use “It was a dark and stormy night” in one of my books.  Maybe I will spare the reading public.  It might be too cruel. 

Ha. That is funny. We had a veteran cop who always started his reports with the weather and particularly loved, "It was a dark and stormy night." He put our sergeant into fits. Anything you would like to add that I haven't asked you?

Thanks very much for reading my book!  It was a pleasure to write it and I am very happy that you enjoyed it and gave me such a nice review, I appreciate it immensely!  Look for the next book in the series in Summer 2016.

Absolutely no problem! I enjoyed it. You know what else? You need to talk someone into getting a Starbucks on this beach. Do you know how far of a drive it is into San Diego for a refill of my coffee? Geesh. I will be looking forward to the next Ben Adams adventure. Thanks for taking the time out for this great Q & A. Surf's up! 

Later!

You can check out Camino Del Diablo online at Amazon.com. The link is provided for you as is the book review. So much fun that Jeremy is! I wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

The Hidden Illegitimate Child

Cops may have a different opinion of homelessness than the public. Let me explain the cop side. I believe there is a profound difference between the homeless and transients. You could break down homeless persons into additional categories as well such as those who are truly riddled with unfortunate times versus those who live in that state by choice.

Transients are on the way other side of this spectrum. Transients are drifters, travelers, and panderers. These folks can be very dangerous. Some are actually wealthy and prey on people generosity and vulnerability. Most of these come in and out of town and often times have criminal history and can be dangerous, thieves,  or con artists. Several bloody homicides in Casper were committed by transients over the years.

Several homeless persons have mental illnesses or suffer from some sort of serious mental disorder. I have encountered many schizophrenics who have no way of getting help. Those are the sad cases since the deregulation of the mental wards and services. Families have deserted them as well. So many of them are vets. They self medicate.

Also a large number of transients are criminals floating through states where they can't be extradited for their crimes. And still, some are local homeless persons the cops see every day, usually drunk or stoned, living under bridges or near waterways. Usually the local ones seemed to appear mostly docile, just choosing to be in the homeless state and having no responsibilities, no desire to carry on a productive life.



The governments-local and state- have set up a shit ton of services for these social matters. And they are necessary. We still need a better system. Health care, shelters, woman and children centers, vocational therapy, etc. And jail. Yep. Homeless people go to jail often. Why? Because when they are intoxicated or get permanently kicked out shelters in the freezing winter...they go to jail for their own safety and the public's safety.

I don't give them money. I have given them blankets, shoes, and taken them meals. I have given them rides and even done some bang up negotiating with shelters to take them when they have been refused.

If someone has lost everything due to economic reasons and really are in dire straits, that is where my heart goes and my hands. You will see me arranging food baskets, doing Toys for Tots, or volunteering somewhere through my church or the local foundations.

I know. I am jaded. I think 99% of cops feel this same way. I don't think of it as pessimistic. It is realism. No rose colored glasses. I do have a heart and I do feel there are several very sad stories and cases. But my approach is often on the side of caution first.  I've seen the back story and the inside of this social problem. It isn't pretty. It doesn't have a happy ending.

Blessings To You

I'm just going to leave this right here...

God never gives someone a gift they are not capable of receiving. If he gives us the gift of Christmas, it is because we all have the ability to understand and receive it.

Have a very Merry Christmas! Lots of love sent to you from The Harry Potter House!

Monday, December 21, 2015

The Force Awakens: Only With Coffee

Bug and I were treated to the new Star Wars movie last night. We went with "others." Sounds Sci-Fi doesn't it?  I will give no spoilers, but it was very entertaining and brought up all the greatness of the original movies, then left an opening for another series. Booyah!

It is being celebrated as the largest money making blockbuster weekend. Duh. Who didn't figure that one.

She didn't understand it much. Yeah. I am a loser mother because I didn't force the FORCE on her. She never had an interest until now. I guess she will see the series in reverse.

It's been a long time since a movie has surged excitement and craze over a large mass. I think we as Americans still like the nostalgia of the old greats. When they make an addition like Star Wars with the brilliance of George Lucas...well, there you go. One thing they did do....they made the Storm Troopers a little smarter. They were unusually dumb in the first series. Still stupid, they carried on their same habits only with a little less rigid personalities.

And even at 73, Harrison Ford is still a hotty. Who doesn't adore Han Solo, right? He doesn't look like this anymore...but still. He has aged pretty well.

And he makes his home in Wyoming, so I feel I could call him Harry.  I suggest you get out there and see it. You aren't a Star Wars fan? I can't talk to you anymore. 

Excuse me while I go find my light saber. I set it down somewhere...

Yeah...I know...it should just come to me. Shhh. I am in training...




Sunday, December 20, 2015

Still Counting All The *******s In The Room

Well, Merry Christmas to me! I lost 23 blog readers/followers in one day. I wish they would give Blogger an exit interview so I could know what triggered them to leave. That's a lot. It's like someone played minesweeper on my site. Usually it is a drop or an add of one or two here and there. This was massadus exitus. Weird.

We need a little Volbeat to celebrate. Yes, it's inappropriate and rude.


Thanks for sticking around.

I'm pretty sure it's my spelling. For instance, let me take you back to 2011.

Things were shaking up at the House of PoPo whilst I was away.

The physical fitness test has been modified. Yes. It is still mandatory. Yes. It is still Olympic standards. However...the Chief took away the punitive part of the testing...no termination...and no flagging your jacket and disqualifying you for promotion or new assignments. Those are big deals. I'm somewhat relieved.

I think our department is about retention right now. We are losing veteran officers to other jobs...not other law enforcement agencies...but other careers all together.

Getting back in the swing of things has not been a very nice cup of tea for Fargo. It's like getting off the short bus with glee only to find yourself without your green helmet.

For instance, Squirrel pulled over a psycho.

Not only was he over 260 pounds, wearing plaid pajamas and sporting pink hair, but he was on top of his car jumping up and down like a monkey...and screaming.

Instead of getting my bitch on in 2.2...I just gawked in silence. Occasionally I would look back at Squirrel. He was giving me the gentle shoving signs to get my bitch on and show this guy that the PoPo were not going to allow this shenanigans.

Why? Why interfere? It was entertaining. I didn't want to stop the behavior. He was damaging his own property...so who cares! He was mad at himself for hitting a tree and it was late morning. Afterall, the whole neighborhood was getting a freak show free of charge!

Was I a failure as a public servant? Well, I surely didn't see it that way.

I decided to get the information from the other passengers and pass it along to Squirrel for his accident report. Information like name, address, date of birth, phone number, etc. After I was finished being the perfect little assistant backup Queen, I then gave him the paper:

SQUIRREL: What does this say? Janazapan?

ME: Jackson.

SQUIRREL: This is terrible. What happened to you?

OFFICER GUNCRAZY: What's wrong with her handwriting? I can read it.

ME: Yeah. Me, too.

SQUIRREL: What's this? Slobbermahanalink?

ME: Middle row backseat. Lincoln. Geesh.

OFFICER GUNCRAZY: I would have never complained. You can read mine, I can read yours.

ME: Thank you. That is why we work the same area and are partners. Harmony!

SQUIRREL: I think you lost your PoPo magic while you were gone. What is this? Willbdrivahanagan?

ME: William. Backseat behind driver.

OFFICER GUNCRAZY: I could read it perfectly.

SQUIRREL: This is terrible. Why don't you guys go work your magic on that dude with the pink hair?

OFFICER WOJO: This dude is nuts. Did you see the front of his car?

SQUIRREL: Yeah.

ME: George of the Jungle.

SQUIRREL/WOJO: *blink*blink*

ME/GUNCRAZY: Watch out for that tree!

ME: High five!

So GUNCRAZY and I reaffirmed we had not lost the magic aura we shared..working the same area... knowing how to mesh as area partners. We were in cop bliss...thinking on the same page.

SQUIRREL: [big sigh] Could you go help that crazy guy? I'm lost with him.

ME: Why? He will run out of steam. The average fat person can only last on crazy at full speed for two days and 2.5 hours. Then they peeter out.

SQUIRREL: *blink*blink*

OFFICER GUNCRAZY: It's true. Venting at Mach 7 is actually good for the brain waves and it later boosts creativity and reproduction.

*crickets*

And then it snowed. Life was perfect in Antartica again.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Camino Del Diablo: Book Review

Who can't get enough to read? Me, for one. Lately, I am a book junkie. I have even found myself reading uninterrupted which is indeed an unusual event at my very busy house. When I received Camino Del Diablo for review, I was already curious because I had done some "snooping" around on the Internet about the author. 




Naturally, the author, Jeremy De Concini is going to capture my attention. Why? He has to be a man of mystery. I mean, let's take a look at his background. Who doesn't want to sit down with a beer and discuss his life in law enforcement? Let me share with you a little of his story: 

"Jeremy DeConcini is an attorney and real estate broker who splits time between San Diego, CA and Tucson, AZ. A former Federal Agent in LA and San Diego, he worked primarily in undercover weapons smuggling and non-proliferation, as well as anti-terrorism and narcotics efforts for the US Department of Homeland Security."-Amazon Author's Page

Now that's some history right there. And granted he went to the "other side" by becoming an attorney, but I give that a pass. Eagerly, I sat down to read...

Jeremy DeConcini's Camino Del Diablo is a tangled web of political hot topics and current events such as immigration, environmental matters, corporate greed, danger, and action involving matters of the Colorado River. Ben Adams is a former FBI agent turned con due to being charged in an operation blunder. His character is a mix of a cynical man who is inherently good, but has many flaws.  His flaws are kind of irritating which makes him more believable. 

Of course, there is a woman in the mix. Jessica is intelligent and keeps Adams on his toes. Enter Geronimo, Ben's companion. I like Geronimo. He is of the furry variety. Those are the good guys. The book is plenty full of bad characters who are true to their form and deliver.

While Ben is being Ben and enjoying his casual life after prison, he meets Jessica. Adams stumbles across a mess which leads him into a sinister corporate scandal involving some heavy hitters. I don't really want to give it away but the plot could very well be truth in today's world. What is it all about? Greed. People. Money. Firearms are in there as well.

Water is the perfect camouflage. Everyone wants a piece of the America's water sheds. For what purpose? You will be surprised to find that it isn't the water, but maybe the land or maybe the water is hiding a form of conveyance. I know that doesn't make any sense, but it will. Dive in. 

There are some areas I had wanted more meat and potatoes-a little more details- and for DeConcini to go farther. I thought he had made it too simplified at those moments. It didn't make anything bad, it just made you wanting to pull more out of his very deep story line. 

Do I have your attention? Well, good. Go get it on Amazon. Put it in someone's stocking!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Century Bob You Suck

I was invited.

It wasn't like I could get in without proper clearance due to the 3 sections of electronic entry points. It was like the NSA only different.

When the doors opened up, I was in AWE. It was a real live fancy police workout facility and not jail hand me downs or a very small room like I was used to back home. Not to knock our gym, because it improved greatly over the years, but was like kindergarten compared to this one.

So, I worked out. With cops. For free. I didn't have to go to jail nor get in a foot pursuit either. And it was all in a nice gym equipped with all the latest and greatest, large televisions, music, and a room for ground fighting and dummy hitting. Ok. Nice jump to conclusions there. I was NOT the dummy.

I ran the stairs with weights and as I did, I started to have flashbacks of Kirk racing up behind me at CPD back in 2010... yelling to "stop being a pussy" and "come on, Kathryn" and all that jazz. It was kind of creepy. It did cause me to do a couple more sets of flights. I was glad they only had four floors instead of 6.

The introduction to the dummy was quite...uh...blond, I might say. I also might say I stared at this man for a long time before bringing it to every one's attention. I had an angled view from a treadmill.

ME: Hey...in that room over there is a guy sitting on a bench naked. I can see his butt crack. Do you have a sauna or am I viewing the door open to the men's locker room? (clearly panic stricken and sweating about seeing the backside of a real live naked man)

COP 1: Uh. What are you looking at? The locker room is on the other side.

ME: (points at naked man)

COP 1:(laughs like I am a dumb blond)

ME: It isn't funny. It's uncomfortable. Does he not realize there is a girl in the gym?

COP 1: (still laughing) That is the dummy we use for boxing. Go in there. You will notice he is on a stick and is attached to a weighted base.

Yeah.
Century Bob boxing dummy-you can buy him on Amazon or check him out at local police training centers. He is an asshole. 


And then the world became really big and I transformed into an ant.

Charlie Brown Reflections


In recent days I have come to realize Charles Schulz was my father and I am Charlie Brown, the girl version. It is a revelation which has summed up my life in its entirety.

I have always over-analyzed everything my entire life. It is a fault and recently noticed by many. Speaking of the word "notice", notice the word is a sub-word of the word: "anal". That is a fact. It makes me an asshole.

As I see it, the perfect job for me is to sit in a big room with a bunch of cold cases, face deep in documents where my mind can't rest and I make lists, plans, and strategies to open an investigation.

Or staying up all night looking at the ceiling coming up with a plan for world peace.

Are those paying jobs?





Monday, December 7, 2015

Excuse Me, Do You Have a Moment?

What better way to start off a conversation than with a profound question? It seems to be the topic of the world these days. And today is the anniversary of the air attack on Pearl Harbor. Eric Foner, Columbia historian is well known for his work on the debate and how the meaning of freedom has changed over time. You can read a ditty about his work here. 

free·dom
ˈfrēdəm/
noun
  1. the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.
    "we do have some freedom of choice"

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Bling Bling and Some Serious Cop sTufF

Taking a timeout from the Internet woes of our nation...I thought I would share some of my serious side. The first piece deals with victims and advocacy. It's short. Possibly the start of a platform. Not much substance, but paints a small picture of what is to come in future posts. At least that was what was going through my mind.
Additionally, I have added these wonderful blinky pics to drive you insane and zap your mind of today's headlines. Thank me later. Especially after you see spots.

The second post is quite long and deals with some personal disclosures of my own. Please let me know in any comments below your discussion points, personal experiences, or differences you might have in opinions. Additionally additionally, what would you like to see me post from my serious side? Scan through criminaljusticedegree.com and click on blog posts by yours truly to see what has already been published.

It's like Christmas around here today, only hippy like. 

Yes, the nation is in a state of terror today. Be vigilant. Be alert. Don't be a buffoon. Peace out. 

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Gun Brutality

Violence. That is the new overused word in the news. The prerequisite is the word: "gun". According to Google I get "About 33,000,000 results (0.38 seconds)."
Wow! That is fast service and so many choices. 
Are you shockened to know that the first and foremost hit is: Everytown.org. 
You shouldn't be. 
SHOCKENED IS A WORD. Urban dictionary: best word ever made 'nuff said. Yeah. 

Plus, sharing inner thoughts: this really cute lacy pink bra I have on is making me have a better day. I think I Google better with it on. Also, I'm having a "my pet rock even ran away day" today. 


I tried to Google "gun violence" to get the Webster's definition but it led me right to "gun control." Strange. I wonder if Webster is a far left wing liberal. Wikipedia gave me a definition but said it was violence with a firearm, not necessarily criminal. Weird. The short definition of violence is "brute force or brutality". I prefer gun brutality if we are going to create television drama, you media pussies. Let's get brutal.

The Google definition of violence: strength of emotion or an unpleasant or destructive natural force.

"the violence of her own feelings". 

I don't think I even understand that one. 




More inner thoughts: I am about to sound like a flaming liberal is trying to escape a Republican body. Ignore that. It's really a middle of the road Republican viewpoint. 



Anyway, my point is this is all stupid word play in order to get discussions going about gun control again. Secondly, "feel good laws" are those they want to fast forward  or create some executive order to make the victims feel better that Uncle Sam has their backs guns. No, I am not in denial. I am being real about it. Actually, it is talk to make the victims' families feel better because all the victims are mostly dead. I'm not making light of that. It is just the truth of the matter. Sad reality. 

It's so funny we want to hand out bandaids that fall off when we sweat and don't even keep a wound sterile rather than go in and dress the wound properly. We are overmedicated. Depression is killing us. Pharmaceuticals are overused. In fact, those companies are movers and shakers in the medical world...powerful...and not in a good way. We are disconnected. Our kids play too many video games and don't play outside. We don't give a shit. About much really. In general terms. Our kids are selfish. 


Our food has too many additives and sugar and we just feel yuck a lot. The FDA is a joke and can be bought by the highest corporation. They hand out crack to Americans by way of sugar. 

Americans are very unhealthy. Fix the food. Fix the mind. Exercise the bodyI know from experience I feel like a new person by applying those ideas to myself. And I'm Charlie Brown; the girl version who is haunted by a black cloud of bad luck and work related medical issues. 


These underlined sentences are all left ideas. *shudder* Who is the President? *shudder* A Democrat. Why isn't there a shakeup? They just like to talk about it. Throw it in our faces.  Ideas are carried out half-assed. Oh just fucking recycle something for Pete's sake. It makes us all feel good. It won't solve world problems, but each piece might help. I don't know if liberals think it might end global warming by recycling and shutting down fossil fuels. Whatever. But we can be more responsible resource users. 

Start with yourself. Get healthy. If you feed the physical machine, the mental benefits comes along with it for free. And if you occasionally need a glass of wine...have one. If you need to go meditate on a mountain. Go do it. Just don't jump off it. 


Get up. Get going. Save America. Stop being lazy. I have been. 


Fix the food. Fix the mind. Exercise the body. We are all in control of these three things on our own selves and our families. Be well. 



You would be surprised what all that would do.  I bet everyone could maybe stop shooting each other even. Concept.



(Mic drop)

No...I have not been smoking weed. 




Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Mother Seuss

What happens when Dr. Seuss meets Mother Goose:


Hillary dillary dock
The shit is about to dock
The lies were a ton
The truth was no fun.
Hillary dillary dock.

One wish
two wish
three wish
four wish.

Squash the wish
Wash the wish
Lost the wish
Veto the wish.

This one cancelled from afar
Oh look a nice car
Say! What a lot
Of dreams there are

Yes! Some were new.
Some were old.
Some were progressive.
Oh what to do!

Why are some good and new and fun?
I do not ever have a clue
But I know they are all done.

Veto! Rewrites! Squish them like a bug.
I'm Hillary, dammit, actin' like a thug.

From there to here and from here to there
Trounce the common, handouts everywhere!

Monday, November 23, 2015

READ THE CONSTITUTION and then apply the "GASP TEST"

Sometimes I get sensory overload from news. I have to gaze or glance at multiple sources on either side to find "few" facts. Facts remain to be found. Or truth. Where is truth?

I think I know truth most times but I have no idea where to find it in news anymore. Will we ever know 100% truth? Ever? That's a good question. I have some doubts. Plus you throw in perspectives and whee! (roll, bounce) truth gets a little skewed. Local stations are supposed to be neutral and have sanctions against them if they go left or right. Not sure about that reliability either. I guess that is why this generation questions everything.



Today I found some articles interesting. Here are the quips I got from the various sources (now I am paraphrasing so don't hate the blogger):

1. Millenials favor socialism because they have never captured the feeling of the American Dream, make less than their parents do at that age, and have an astronomical debt from student loans. They also overemphasis equality at all levels. Does this mean everyone should make millions or live on the poverty level? (Ok. That was a Fargo joke)

This all stems from the after effects of the last recession as per the views of the writer. 

Geopolitics also shape their views such as looking at Norway and Sweden, thinking all socialists live in happy bliss and harmony. Studies show that as millenials climb the ladder of success, they start to think more conservative in their values. (*shudder* say it isn't so)


2. "Democrats are squishing free speech by over doing the PC policing in America." 

Ok. I have to help the unknowning peeps here because FREE SPEECH IS FREEDOM FROM UNWARRANTED PERSECUTION OR CENSORSHIP FROM YOUR GOVERNMENT. It has nothing to do with walking down the street talking to your neighbor or being at work or saying something to a group of people...UNLESS YOU ARE CENSORED OR JAILED OR RESTRAINED BY THE GOVERNMENT BECAUSE OF WHAT YOU SAID. Also...speaking out does not mean it doesn't come without consequences. So if Ethel Justice decides you suck or you offended someone and makes it go viral and people point at you or picket outside your home AND YOU WANT TO SUE FOR MONEY, it is not a violation of the First Amendment. ERG. This drives me crazy. Know your constitution. 




So...this is my perspective and interpretation of a right SHIFTED article is that the writer feels political correctness is endangering people's ability to feel free saying things without repercussions all the time, THUS, changing how we interact with each other and creating a lot of division. Whew. At least that is my interpretation. That we have gone so far one way to deter offensive language that we are making it ridiculous and then "offensive language" becomes overkill and division become the forefront. Just think...when I was a kid...almost anything went out your mouth (except cursing) without frownie faces.



Now things come out your mouth have to pass the "GASP TEST." In other words if the average, reasonable person would GASP IN HORROR because of what you are about to say...maybe rethink that and see if it is still OK to GASP or NOT OK to GASP with repercussions or frownie faces. Now I would agree in some sense that the open discussions have been squished and people don't FEEL free to express themselves as much or talk about hot topics. This makes me sad. Why? Because we need to talk about things in order to get better and not worry about being called a hater or a racist or a fascist.

I think we are entirely too sensitive. It makes me want to high five people in the face.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

And I Help!

*kkkkkkk kkkkk kkkkk **#####sssskkkk*

Is this thing on?

Hello?

Ok. Well here goes...

Hell, fire, and damnation!

Or as we Heartlanders say...

Nuts, rats, and possums!

The Heartland is good for my cursing problem. Most times. At least in public, anyway.



Hey! Can you hear my thoughts? No. It's probably a good thing.

I'm feeling a Little Big Town today and they are in my headphones at work. Just so you know. It NOT a rap day thus far. I'm sure Beel will be happy to hear that. I'm not 100% ghetto all the time.

Today's post is my reflection which I hope sparks your reflections of your thoughts and hopefully those thoughts will ooze down through some comments. It's getting quiet in here.

It's really about silly issues which become bigger issues within our minds and thought processes. It's not about guns. Those are not silly. It's not about finding a faster gun, but maybe we all should. For all those inclined to do so, please do. For all others...here is another way to find a faster gun.


Now some social science...
So several of my friends have discussed or posted that filtering your profile is stupid and does nothing to help the problems of the world. Many are downright mad about it. I found this one quite humorous from THE UNNATURALS...

Come on, this is funny even if it is cynical.


I totally snorted water up my nose when I saw this. Several friends shared the post and even commented about their own thoughts. I don't disagree with any of them. I just have a broad array of ideas. So of course, you can imagine a barrage of comment wars ensued...not just on one or two friends' pages, but several. So why is everyone so passionate about our stances on social media that we can't even have a conversation without burning our best friend at the stake. Egads, people. I'm starting to think South Park is got this one. At least you know they will offend someone on purpose and we can all laugh like when we tell bad blond jokes. So sensitive we are.

Here's my take and not that it matters, but I think it is interesting to hear all takes on the world views:

I'm not helping fight the thugs overseas. Obviously, I'm too old and broken down. I always wished I had served in the military and once thought about the National Guard in my 40s. It never came to fruition because I decided to marry a serial killer instead. It sounded like a good idea at the time. I wouldn't pass with my broken neck and arm now and so those ideas are shooting blanks. 

I can voice my opinion, speak out, and send money. That's about it and number three is scarce. In fact, it might be on the endangered list. BUT...there are other ways. Many of us (egads I think I am admitting I am disabled) are doomed to sit and watch without the capability to physically assist. I am armed at my home for any threat I might incur, but I'm not marching across waters to stand in France or go to Syria. I suppose you could join the Red Cross efforts but then who pays the bills and takes care of the kid and homestead? See where this goes? Nowhere. I'm stuck. I can voice my opinion, speak out, and send money. That's about it and number three is scarce. In fact, it might be on the endangered list. BUT...there are other ways. 

A simple gesture is we can show respect and solidarity through whatever means possible even if it is a simple acknowledgement of support. Even if it is a post, a comment, a pic, a profile filter. Believe it or not if you start talking, it draws attention. ISIS might even target you, especially if you favor crosses. We can talk to our government...get things heated up. Motivate our Congress? It is possible but not an easy task. I just think you need to keep hitting them with sound bites. OR..we can stomp around and break our crayons. It worked for Mizzou. 

In all seriousness, if I saw world profile pics with USA all over their faces, I would think it was cool. 

So does your opinion differ? Why or why not? What do you think is a better idea? Do you actively seek to make positive change? How can we unite the nations?

Or we could say "FUCK IT" and listen to some more Little Big Town....


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Coffee With An Author

Traffic was really conjested with several cars slowing to a crawl as the snow fell on the roadway.  I felt sweat beading up on my forehead. Fretting about being tardy, I thought to myself, "How rude would that be?" It was a great honor just to have the coffee invite accepted by such a great author and award winning screenwriter. Perhaps the cafe had a roaring fire inside. I had requested my favorite table which was located close to the warm amber glow when it was lit. Mr. Whitehill would surely scold me if I was late. 

*record scratch*

Not really. I really just had coffee by myself. 

However, Robert Blake Whitehill, author of several great books including the Blackshaw series, graciously agreed to answer my questions which I think are quite exciting to share. I just finished Geronimo Hotshot. It's a great read and my favorite of the series thus far. 



Without further ado-here is what every Blackshaw fan wants to know. Enjoy! 


What inspired you for the story line in Geronimo Hotshot?

Devoted “Blackshaw Series” readers are always my most important inspiration. They demand a new Blackshaw mission every year now, and I would hate to disappoint them.  In the Geronimo Hotshot mission, I wanted to ramp up the level of conflict far above anything Blackshaw’s handled before, creating a central nexus where several very different factions are smashing together to create an explosive critical mass. Think of Tolkien’s chapters on “The Battle of the Five Armies” in The Hobbit. I wanted that feel of an embattled landscape and disparate cultures are ripped apart, but in our dimension, in our country, and not in Middle Earth.

Any coincidence your books are inclusive of current events and hot topics in law enforcement?

There is no coincidence that Blackshaw tilts at windmills built from the timbers of current events. Blackshaw is not some hyper-violent berserker, killing willy-nilly. He responds and reacts to things that are happening directly in front of him. Whether he is protecting his home from bloodthirsty, corrupt rogue operatives, like in Deadrise, or sabotaging a coup in South America, as in Nitro Express, or settling the hash of sadistic human traffickers running an on-line snuff site, like in Tap Rack Bang, or hunting down murderous White Supremacists, as in Geronimo Hotshot, there is always an aspect of today’s most poignant, grievous ills underpinning the story. These true-to-life tragedies might not always be found on the front page, above the fold, but they do haunt the inner pages of our times. Blackshaw stories are built around bad people causing big problems. Maybe as an author, I start out each mission acting as a clipping service for today’s troubles.

like how you include the real thought processes in police officers struggling with good and evil-i.e. the darkness issues. Tell me more about that and how you bring it into Blackshaw's character. 

Thank you so much Momma Fargo!  Snipers are keen observers. Mythic accuracy at shooting gets all the attention, but SEALs are often deployed for reconnaissance to gather intelligence before they ever put the crosshairs on a target.  They survey the area, and understand the battle space as much as possible, using a detective’s intellect to interpret input from all their five senses. So, let’s say I know a chapter conclusion that Blackshaw needs to reach for the plot to move forward. I begin with that, and then work backwards, thinking about all the clues that I can put into Blackshaw’s sphere for him to see that will lead him where I need him to arrive next. He has a high emotional IQ to complement his strategic awareness and tactical skills. Like the real life Sergeant York, and the late hero American Sniper, Chris Kyle, Blackshaw was raised as a rural hunter. A character with inspirational smarts and skills like this is unstoppable. He can read signs, spoor, clues, and human behavior to get to the next conclusion, just like a detective.


When you have to injure or kill off a character, what goes on in your mind while you are writing those story lines? Do you get emotionally attached to your characters? What decides their fate? (I know you do, but as the story develops...what's going on in the writer's mind?) Or do you think more so how the reader is going to be affected and how it develops plot twists?

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, at one point, killed off both Sherlock Holmes and his arch enemy, Professor Moriarty. He tossed them off a cliff into a massive waterfall! His audience was so pissed-off that after suffering a few years of reader invective, Conan Doyle resurrected his most famous character to unravel more cases. With that in mind, let me say that I injure and kill characters with great deliberation. One time, there was a character who was well and truly killed in an early draft of a story (I won’t say who, or when so please don’t ask.) When I showed the manuscript to trusted readers, I caught an incredible volume of flack about it. How could I do such a thing to such a beloved character? The anger, even the angry tears, they were quite persuasive, I’ll put it that way. It used to be that every character’s boo-boo, and every fatality used to serve my initial concept of a given story. Now, from the very first draft, I know to size up every character’s emotional value, and the impact of that character’s termination on a very real, profoundly invested readership. I respect my readers.  I serve them, and their rightful wish for emotional satisfaction, but I don’t baby anyone.

The thing is, I’m not Blackshaw’s pal, even though he is the focus of the series. I am really best buddies with every last one of his enemies. I conspire with them to make Blackshaw’s life a living hell. The more awful, grotesque, sadistic, calculating, and irrational Blackshaw’s opponents, the higher Blackshaw has to rise to defeat them. We might like a hero’s ways, but deep down, we revere him because of the unmitigated monstrosity of the enemies he destroys.  We want that guy on our side.  We want to be him.

What is next for Blackshaw?

In Blackshaw’s next mission, entitled Dog and Bitch, he is forced to confront an earth-shattering relic from his time as a SEAL. The honor of his former team is at stake.  Shadowy, brutal government forces have coopted a crucial mission to the point that, if the devastating secret were revealed to the public, it could phase-shift world politics into a wholesale holocaust. The problem is that these days, Blackshaw hates secrets…

What do you want your readers and Blackshaw fans to gain the most from your series? 

The most important thing I want Blackshaw fans to take away from each book is that the 56 thousand irretrievable heartbeats a reader invests in devouring the work has been one hell of a terrific ride, and could not have been better spent in any other way. I hope the takeaway from the Blackshaw Series as a whole is that Blackshaw is a good, relatable, ordinary man battling his way through extraordinary times while still managing to march to his own drumbeat. If one reader can be inspired by Blackshaw’s actions to do the unusual thing, especially if it’s the right thing, then crafting the characters and events of all these adventures will not have been in vain.

When and where do you write? Do you have to have a special location? Inspiration? (for example)

I am very fortunate in that I can write anywhere, most anytime. That said, these days, what with writing the Blackshaw movie scripts, I cannot afford even the minimal travel time to a local café, or to a rented office to do my writing, no matter how refreshing a change of venue might be. It cuts into the time I need to spend making every line of the story sing or sock you in the gut. Nowadays, I wake up, maybe I exercise, but then I throw myself in front of the computer at home and dive into the manuscript. Working at home keeps it real. I am right there in the house with the mortgage my writing helps pay off. I can see my son, for whose education I have to save. There is no faking the urgency of sustaining one’s family. So, it isn’t a flowery, uplifting kind of inspiration with Celtic music playing softly in the background. As a writer, I either deal with a gun to the head, or face the wolf at the door.

Do your characters ever take on different directions than your original creative ideas as you progress through a book as you write?

My characters are so ornery!  I plot, I plan, I think I know exactly where a day’s writing will lead, and then these imaginary beings I’ve created veer off in some unforeseen direction, or say the most outrageous things!  It happens more than once every day. These characters are ungovernable, and unpredictable. It keeps things fresh for me as their employee, that’s for certain.

What is the most annoying thing about the writing process? Most satisfactory?

The most satisfactory moment of the writing process is when something so exciting, so explosive hits the page, that I have to get up and tell my wife. Then she asks what the heck I’m talking about, specifically. This brings me to the most annoying part of the writing process. I can’t tell her what I just wrote. We have reluctantly agreed that I will save it all for the moment I can hand her the finished draft. This really bugs us both, this temporary limbo of secrecy, but we both agree it’s worth the wait.


Anything you would like to add?

I want to thank you, Momma Fargo, for taking the time to craft delightful, provocative questions that have been so much fun for me to answer. I also want to thank the Blackshaw fans, because they always push me to do better. The feature film adaptations are in the works for them.  As a more immediate thank-you, e-book readers who are new to the series can take the plunge with the Ben Blackshaw Box Set: The Alpha Missions, which includes the first three books for the price of one!  It’s not only a great value, but it gets a reader primed and ready for the fourth book, Geronimo Hotshot, which is also available now. This is a good place to say I truly welcome emails from readers anytime.




Thank you so much, Mr. Whitehill!

**************************************

You can check out Robert Blake Whitehill's collection on his website above, amazon.com, or other book sites! I encourage you to pick up his Blackshaw book set at that price! What a great deal!