Evidence 101

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

Monday, August 28, 2017

Meet me on the KNOLL for a Chat

It is always exciting to be able to interview an author, especially when their work is extraordinary. I found a Colorado resident to match this description quite well. Stephen Hillard is the mastermind behind Knoll.

Knoll was full of spins and twists taking the reader into the JFK assassination plot with some well-known characters. You can check out my review a few weeks back or for your convenience, I have been kind enough to make it easy on you internet slackers by linking it up here.

In fact, it pushed me to order Mirkwood off of Amazon and find out what I missed. Mirkwood is Mr. Hillard's novel about J.R.R. Tolkien which had sparked great controversy. I just got it on my Kindle, so I will be enjoying some porch reading in the mornings and evenings.

Hillard's enthusiasm was invigorating and I can tell just by the short contact I had with him on the phone, that he is full of energy and drive. It really was contagious and he was such a joy to speak with about his books and future undertakings. Furthermore, it is certainly encouraging to listen to someone who is passionate about their work. You can't help but join in the excitement!

Based upon some true events and facts, Knoll sucked me right into the roller coaster ride until the end. Additionally, I found myself getting out my phone and laptop on occasion and googling names, dates, places, and historical accounts. It really brought the detective in me out front and center again. And the ending-left some openings. Let's take a look at the intellectual architect behind Knoll, Stephen Hillard:

Mr. Hillard, how did you get inspired for Knoll?

  • Family history, for starters. I grew up in Bossier City, Louisiana, my brother played in the house band at Carlos Marcello's nightclub and gave me a great personal sense of the "Little Man." My father worked in the big downtown hotel in Shreveport and was very familiar with the Louisiana Mafia at the time. The "journal" that plays a role in the book comes substantially from his actual journal. My school friends had fathers who were "made men" in the Mob. My family moved to Colorado shortly after JFK's assassination and I finished growing up in the hometown of blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, who penned the movie "Executive Action" portraying a conspiracy to murder JFK. All that formed a poignant stew for the book.

Why JFK? Is there a fascination with the historical accounts and perspectives, conspiracies?

  • In addition to the personal ties, I realized that (a) the majority of Americans still believe there was a conspiracy, and (b) my generation (Boomers) probably has the last active JFK conspiracists. I wondered at how the mystery of the crime might somehow, if ever, get unraveled. 

What kind of research, if any, did you conduct? Did you hit any roadblocks or surprises along the way?

  • I used lots of sources--books, newspaper articles, historical archives, oral histories of folks in Louisiana at the time.

Does the book mimic your own findings and opinions on the JFK assassination?

  • KNOLL was intended to pose this question: are there thus-far undiscovered secrets about those events and has something helped maintain that secrecy all these years?

Did you hit any surprises along the way while writing this book? If so, what happened?

  • Yes, my brother's account of Marcello and the role the Mob played in the history of North Louisiana, and the abiding hatred Marcello had for the Kennedys. Also, the resources and power of the NSA was a stunning revelation to me. 

How does the character Bus compare to your own persona?

  • He's a different me in a somewhat parallel universe. His reactions are close to my own. 

Please talk about how you sit down to write a book. For example, do you go to a cabin in the woods, sit at the kitchen table? Do you have to have a quiet environment, or anything goes when the inspiration strikes you? Is it handwritten ideas and notes, outlines, frantic keyboarding? 

  • Every book--indeed every project I get into--has a unique way of evolving. I used to just get up at 4 or 5 in the morning and start writing for two hours. For KNOLL, I spent as much time researching as writing, so it was more stop and go. I found myself writing, jumping between characters, as soon as I felt I knew the answer to a particular historical question that had stalled things. 
Your work morphing into television and film entertainment is exciting. What can we expect from your books moving into the visual industry? 

  • Every book has a movie or TV show inside it, if only through picking up on a particular character or event. I try to write with that thought in mind, but I love the craft of words and the images and feelings they can evoke just on their own. 
Tell me more about your work at Rikers. I find this fascinating,. Was it rewarding, challenging, both, or otherwise? 

  • As a student at Columbia, I knew I owed many things back, and that seemed to be a good place to start. Getting there from Manhattan's upper West Side by subway was itself daunting. The place was intimidating as you approach, like a great keep. Once inside--the clanging bars, the smell of generations of inmates, the feel of old cricks and unforgiving steel and ultra-spring tension sitting arm in arm with despairing boredom, all did a job on me. I met and tutored unforgettable people. Some of them I helped. Some of them I could never get out of my head. Some of them should have been governors or movie stars, or students like me, but instead they were facing murder charges in there. One of them became the character Louie Diamond in the book. 
Of all the avenues your career has taken, what was the most fulfilling to you? 

  • Each one has been very different and very fulfilling. My only regret is that I didn't get serious about writing earlier. That thing about putting in 10,000 hours in order to become good at something. Oh well, better late than never. I love this stuff. 
What advice do you have for aspiring authors? 

  • Get serious now and don't let someone else crush your dream. Everybody is a great story and everybody has a great story to tell. Chalk up some of those 10,000 hours and you will get lots and lots better.
Anything you would like to add which I have not asked. 

  • Most important, thank you for giving me the chance to interview with you. 
Mr. Hillard, I thank you. I was honored and very grateful for the opportunity to chat. 


I would like to steer you toward Stephen Hillard's website for some detailed action of current and future works. He has quite the extensive background and interesting career history. 

In the meantime, pick up your copy of Stephen Hillard's, Knoll, on Amazon or your local bookstore. If you venture beyond my recommendation, pick up the others. I did. 

Friday, August 25, 2017

Wheels UP!

Going back and found a good one with Wheels!

Drunks were running amuck again as usual. Utility poles-0. Drunks-20. Apparently Rocky Mountain Power puts those dang things in the middle of the road. Or something. Occasionally we get a report from a concerned citizen before someone gets killed or kills a pole...or worse. You know the rest.

One such citizen called in a cowboy before he could strike a pole. Wheels was JohnnyOnTheSpot and happened to be close. He pulled him over and called for another unit. Sgt. Downtown Brown had put him in my area, so we worked together that night. Naturally, I was his backup.

WHEELS: This should be a fun one, Boss.

ME: That bad?

WHEELS: Yup. And he's 21.

ME: OK. Let's go.

So Wheels started out with the preliminary questions...

WHEELS: Do you have any head, neck, or back injuries I need to be aware of?

CLOWNBOY: That's confidential.

WHEELS: I need to know if medically there is anything that may prevent you from performing these tests or a medical problem going on now.

CLOWNBOY: Yeah. That's confidential. HIPAA.

ME: Look. We aren't going to plaster your medical information all over the internet. We need to know a few simple things about your medical background, mostly pertaining to injuries, heart conditions, diabetes, and epilepsy. The better you cooperate, the faster we can get you on your way. We need to see if you are safe to drive. Your choice.


Now...he didn't know that the "faster we can get you on your way" may be to the jail, not necessarily behind the wheel. One glance at Clownboy and he was going NOWHERE except to the clink. The field sobriety tests...fascinating. Only if I could show the video. It was priceless. Of course, in the end, he was arrested and blew a .189. However, he was a clever cowboy.

Horizontal gaze nystagmus started us off with a bang.

WHEELS: Hold your head still. Just follow my pen with your eyes only. You keep moving your head.

CLOWNBOY: [swaying in place]Well, you  need to keep that pen level. You keep moving it up and down and you can't keep it straight for me. If you do your part, I'll do mine.

ME: Guess he told you.

CLOWNBOY: Don't you see my issue, ma'am? He's all over the place.

ME: [big cheesy smile]

WHEELS: Ok. Let's try this again.

The new DUI training has eliminated counting and the alphabet, but Wheels was taught OLD SCHOOL, so he still uses it despite his new updates.

WHEELS: Can you say your alphabet from A to Z without singing or rhyming. It should sound like this...A, B, C...and so forth.

CLOWNBOY: A, B, C, D, E, J, L,M, Q, R, X, Y, AND Z! Yeah, hell, I messed that up.

[No shit, buddy]

WHEELS: Can you count backwards from 68 to 52?

CLOWNBOY: Hell, no.

WHEELS: No? Do you want to try?

CLOWNBOY: Hell no. If I walk backwards, I might hit something and hurt myself. What kind of stupid test is that?

WHEELS: No. I want you to stand still and count backwards like 68, 67, 66, and so forth. I don't want you to walk backwards. So do you want to try?

CLOWNBOY: My answer is still HELL NO.


The walk and turn was SOMETHING. Wheels demonstrated it and CLOWNBOY tried. At least we thought that was what he was doing. I, myself, think he was trying out for the circus.

His arms were parallel to the sidewalk. He swayed like he was on the high wire. If he had been on the high wire, he would have fallen several feet below into the net. He had to have his baseball cap off because it "threw him off balance". So, of course, we allowed him to take off his hat. We didn't want him to fall down from the extra weight and we like to give people every good advantage to pass.

CLOWNBOY: 1, 2, 3, 4, 4, 5, 6, 7, Whoa the line is moving. I need to do this somewhere else- the line is moving.

ME: It's imaginary. So it's in your head. Focus.

CLOWNBOY: 7, 8, I need to put on the record the sidewalk is sloping right here and really pulling me into the street.

ME: So noted. [roll eyes at Wheels]

WHEELS: [ big cheesy smile]

CLOWNBOY: 9, 10...and spin around military style. 1, 2, 3, I need to put on record the sidewalk is smaller here and there isn't enough room.

WHEELS: It's a normal sidewalk.

CLOWNBOY: Well, I feel it's smaller here. 4, 5, 6, 7. Oh, by the way... I have a broken leg.

WHEELS: Like right now? I asked you about injuries to your legs.

CLOWNBOY: No, when I was 8. Fell off a horse.

WHEELS: Ok. Are you under a doctor's care for that?

CLOWNBOY: No. But I think it's affecting me on this test. It's wobbly. 8, 9, 10. I'm done.

WHEELS: You're finished?

CLOWNBOY: Yes. I took an extra step to make it 10 for ya.

ME: Actually, you took more than 10 on the first set of steps.


WHEELS: I told you to take 9 steps.

CLOWNBOY: I wanted the extra credit.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Cop Accessories Are Important

Occasionally, I sift through my old journal entries. Perhaps I find one that should be published. Many times, I've stuck my nose in there and either shake my head or start giggling at the memories. 

I have been reflecting on what police work was and what it has come to be. It certainly is a different time. I'm wiser. I have grown out of that impermeable shield I thought I had. I was pretty arrogant at times when it came to my confidence of walking into danger without being killed or at least jumped. 

Today I may approach things a lot different. There is one thing to keep in mind that has changed. People did not believe it right or the norm to attack cops, ambush them, or even physically push the badge. Well, that was mostly true, unless they were running from the law, high, drunk, or stupid. They were not your average sober person who all of sudden feels rage at the blue. 

There were fights, runners, and people talking back or flat out refusing orders. Sure, I had many tussles. But, only once or twice did I think they wanted to kill me. People look at cops differently. Violence is real. So when you read this story, know it was a different time and I might have been a little bit stupid. 

So here is the story. Click the link here. Enjoy.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

An Interview With Justice

Somehow I grew up with the love for books. I don't know if this came from hours of both parents and grandparents reading to me or if my imagination just needed to be fueled by others. There are times I get lost in a book because of the story. Those are the ones I hate to put down and it is almost heart wrenching when they end. I know I am not alone. There are many "others" like that out there.

Don't be shy.

Recently, I read Robert K. Tanenbaum's Without Fear or Favor. You can pick it up on Amazon. Follow Butch Karp through a modern day exposure of the truth. The review is posted a few miles back for your inquiring minds, but lucky for you I will link it here as well. It is a great read. I think you can tell a lot by an author by his or her work. Without Fear or Favor speaks volumes of  Butch Karp's integrity which shines in different moments throughout the book. I happen to believe Karp and Tanenbaum think a lot alike. Yes, I do realize Tanenbaum created Karp. (sarcasm and reference to author's characters being a reflection of themselves)

Without Fear or Favor takes the reader on a thrilling hunt for justice. We have seen too many cases go public where fairness and liberty were excluded because of some flare up to appease people and hasty decisions to arrest which backfired. Injustices of any kind are a travesty. These might be highlighted in Without Fear or Favor. (just a hint) You might be inclined to think the book takes you through current American social problems. You will not want to put it down.

Tanenbaum's stories capture the reader and are fast paced with surprising twists. Without Fear or Favor will not disappoint, especially if you like thought provoking substance.

Robert K. Tanenbaum's books are chock-full of thrills and pulled from his experiences. How do I know this? After reading Without Fear or Favor, I had to read more.

The author has a remarkable background and phenomenal career. He spoke to me over the phone for an interview. I could not have been more stoked!

Get it on Amaz

An article reflecting many of the conversation highlights was reported on Law Enforcement Today. This post will not be a repeat of that, so you might want to tune into both to get the scope of all the exciting elements.

His stellar career and life accomplishments are astounding and reflect his justice warrior personality. How many people do you know get involved with that many high profile cases and some of which occurred during significant U.S. social and political events? It's rare. And that expertise is invaluable.

Tanenbaum wants those who commit crimes to be held responsible. Furthermore, he represents strong moral values in his profession while advocating for the justice system to provide due process and to afford the same opportunities to all-whether indigent or wealthy. He and his colleagues have been pioneers in the legal system before Miranda v. Arizona existed. By the way, you might want to read up on that case.

So it would be very obvious Tanenbaum's legal mind and work has been and still is very valuable to our justice system and greatly admired. He was very diligent in seeking details and the truth in its entirety. I only wished I had been able to take some of his courses or work with him in the justice system.

The legal procedures and processes surely improved so much through Tanenbaum's work. He believes in searching for the truth and that truth comes from various aspects, even the defense. I find this to be fact. Tanenbaum says the truth should be found and justice should be done without fear or favor. I encourage you to peek at his background, but really dig into his writings. They represent values. They have depth.

It seems today values and what is right gets lost in certain cases and it is within all of us to keep the justice system pure from political and personal agendas. It is a system we rely on for our moral and social control. These are important things to note, especially when the variables hitting it today come from all different directions and endanger the purity of justice. Every component of the system should strive to keep it impartial while also protecting it from toxicity.

Tanenbaum said, "The justice system reflects our character as a nation." 

That statement is so true and resonates with my thoughts and beliefs. Do you agree?

It was also refreshing when he spoke with candor.  He expressed the media has been complicit and the false narratives are hurting our country. In fact, they are a catalyst to the division we see and the social unrest which plagues our nation.

Ferguson. Baltimore. Minneapolis.

Specific examples were brought up regarding the conflicts with the Baltimore area. Marilyn Mosby, who was fast to charge officers in the Freddie Gray case, used the podium to grand stand for her agenda. The city was filled with protests, political pressure, and false narratives from the media.

Additionally, there was racial disparity felt between the citizens and officers. Whether it was actual or perceived does not matter. It was there in some form. The media fueled the problems in Baltimore. The protests and political pressures built up and suddenly officials were struck with the feeling of urgency to quiet the masses.

But you can't rush justice. Investigations must be complete as well as comprehensive. You can't stop with some of the facts, you must seek them all.

The officers who had been formally arrested were later found not guilty and the remainder of the officers were not charged. Now Mosby is faced with several civil lawsuits. Freddie Gray paid the ultimate price. Lives were ruined. The city was labeled and viewed with distrust. Careers were destroyed. Where are we now? Are we learning from these travesties of justice? And this wasn't the first case. We had Ferguson and others like it before that.
Photocredit: Blake Little

Tanenbaum instilled the importance of a prosecutor to stay apolitical and remain steadfast to the work authorized for them to conduct.  In fact, he shared his perspective that prosecutors should have very few press releases and remain free from using the legal system as a "political vent".

I truly have learned things from Robert K. Tanenbaum. I have learned to always grow. Strive to do better. He reminded me to be better. You can always do and be better than you are. He inspired me to fight for the truth and to hold steadfast to my values.

"The search for truth matters most," echoes in my mind all the time. It is something I always knew and went after, but saying it out loud and advocating for it makes it bigger.

I encourage you to pick up a copy of Without Fear or Favor. You might want to add more of Robert K. Tanenbaum's authorship to your list after that. I guarantee you will enjoy the books and find substance in the stories!

Monday, August 21, 2017

Bicycles. We all need bicycles...

The eclipse is today. Mass hysteria, suicide pacts, and for those Zodiac readers...chaos. I think it will just be an unusually dark day with less sunshine than most. But aside from that, I will not be partaking in any hysterical nonsense nor will I be running for the mountains because the end of world is upon us.

Good grief.

Has the world lost it's common sense? Wait. Don't answer that. Like a good cop, we often know the answers to the questions we are about to ask.

In case you have missed my latest articles on Law Enforcement Today...here they are:

1: Law Enforcement Mom: How Police Work Ruined me as a Mother

2: The Search for the Entire Truth: Insuring the Integrity of the Proof

They are remarkably opposite content types. One is humorous, one has a lot of deep content. Hope you enjoy them. You might also pass me around to your friends if you liked them. It generates interest and ultimately, it is nice to still be employed because your posts do not just sit in cyber space unread. Just a thought.

In other news, the war on cops continues and more officers' lives were lost over the weekend.

Additionally, protests continue and the president can't seem to win favor anywhere no matter how he approaches these demonstrations.

I don't even want to go down that rant, because I unplugged from most of the news feeds this weekend due to a possible implosion event: PIE. This is not a bowel problem, but a brain problem. And sadly, it does not involve any treat called pie. It is because no one anywhere is being reasonable or working together.

I will just call this moment in time: The Great Divide. Pitiful.

There are no big girl panties available anywhere anymore because apparently no one is wearing them and no one is doing constructive change for the better.

I think I will retreat to that mountain and watch as the world inhabitants beat each other since they only think violence is the answer now.

Do not come find me. The mountains are more secure than the Witness Protection Program. I will blend in and identify as a tree.

Happy Monday!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Knoll: The Last JFK Conspiracist

Who isn't intrigued by the mysterious shroud around the JFK assassination? When you dig into Knoll by Stephen Hillard, you just stepped into a thriller with many caveats to "stay in your own lane."

For Bus McIntyre,  the danger signs are acknowledged, but ignored.

The story begins in the west with McIntyre's career as an attorney. Due to his aspirations being extinguished, he begins an unlikely entry into a well-known presidential assassination.

McIntyre is tormented by past tragedies.  Relying on journal entries, he digs into the death of his father, a former cop. His father's journal which details  his own experiences leads Bus along a path of adventure tangled with the mob and further down the road into hidden conspiracies involving the death of John Fitzgerald Kennedy.

He diligently wants to recapture his father's footsteps and sets off to do so through direction he obtains from the journal, twists along the way, and also using a rogue spy's clues and internet presence.

Although the book had a slow start, it was pages spent on setting up the reader with much needed details: be patient. It allowed for reader input and imagination while taking you through the complex characters and players along with muddling through the vague evidence afforded to Bus. You have to know every angle before the plot thickens.

The Mafia presence is all over the case.

I have always been fascinated with the lack of public knowledge about JFK's assassination and the fact it was and still is surrounded by so many conspiracies. Who doesn't like problem solving or trying to figure out if the government covered up JFK's murder?
Excerpt from Part I: Voices
Knoll is chock full of information and details, which brought out the detective in me. I found myself googling characters and plots on my phone while reading the book. Is it fiction or is it like a true story only with disclaimers to make it appear like fiction? Maybe you should read it to draw your own conclusions. Or maybe Mr. Hillard tells you on his website. Go check it out.

Would the NSA have been capturing my keyword strokes? Probably not, but it was kind of fun supposing the PRISM issues would present themselves.

You have to pay attention. Each page changes the story. Still, Bus McIntyre managed to unravel a doozy. You might not think the ending was what you thought in the beginning. Isn't that the work of a great writer? Indeed.
Photo credit: Pinterest

Knoll is a great read. If you are fascinated with these historical events and newfound thoughts, you will not be disappointed.

Be sure to click on the link to Amazon and get yours now! Stephen Hillard is an accomplished person and great author.

Surely he has some career accounts and tales which I would love to hear over some coffee!

About the author:
Stephen Hillard grew up in Bossier City, Louisiana, and Grand Junction, Colorado. He graduated from Colorado State University and later earned a degree in philosophy at Columbia University and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Colorado. Before settling into his current career as a private equity entrepreneur, Hillard was a teacher at Rikers Island Prison, a welder, a carpenter, and a practicing lawyer. He lives in Grand Junction, Colorado.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

The Vanilla Levelers

Behold the world's longest rant. Here me out if you have the patience. If not, you are one of THOSE. What is one of those? Those vanillas.

What is a vanilla leveler? It is super easy to say in stick figures, but I didn't draw any. I wrote words.

Left of center. It's funny when you think about that. The words' meaning all by themselves are just direction. But the true definition is believing and engaging in politics and having beliefs which are left of center. We don't have a center. We can't even agree on what is center. Do they mean a centrist? Where is that exactly? Show me the 12 rules of left of center. Anyone? Anyone?

Oh, but if you are right of center (which does not have a ring to it) you are the devil incarnate.

We all know this. Why? Because the left tells us so. How much right is a devil make? A smidge?

This entire post is surely guaranteed to offend some or all.

Funny thing. Sometimes I just need to unplug from all the chaos flitting around on social media. Usually that happens on the weekends.  Then I come back to Monday's shit show of some sorts.

Except it is Thursday.

Why are national concerns things we should be concerned with? And are they are really concerning to cops? Should you be concerned?

Uh. Yes. Duh.
Bad humor inserted here.

The answer is everyone. We should all be concerned that the Omaha female troopers have undergone very unusual exams prior to hiring which are discriminatory and sexually deviant in nature. Essentially these women were violated and not only reported it, but the uppers didn't care and covered it up.

We should all be concerned when one person gets discriminated against. We should all be concerned that Paris has become a hot spot for terrorist targets. We should all care if a rain forest gets burned down to the ground.


We are watchdogs. We are the levelers. The social and justice worlds (they are two separate arenas) get smoothed to median level when something goes too high above or below the line. The crowd cheers or jeers and the social justice warriors go fix it.

It's nothing new really, except we seem to take things in eensy beensy increments anymore to mean maximum deviation in that alarms go off. Is the Nebraska Patrol thing eensy beensy? No. It's huge. And that's why the police officers said something. Nothing happened except a cover up. They had to sue. Those things all fall under shocking the conscious. We thought we were past that.

The police have to be up to snuff on the latest and greatest of everything to know how the world goes around. Being an officer is not robotic and it certainly includes more than walking around enforcing laws and being present to scare people predisposed to doing crimes from doing crimes. We are expected to be even Stevens. Over the years, the expectation gets worse, but we expect it. Get it? Got it. Good.

The real world (not cop world) is much more complicated.

So why is our world so chaotic with unhappiness, unsettled persons... and discontent is running amok?

Let's look at a few things.

In the past, it was fine a small organization started out as a Christian based ministry of good. Then throw in some products for sale. Still ok. They are small. Who cares, right?

Oh, but businesses cannot have beliefs nor platforms. Right? Who said that?

We never said that. You said that. Who said that?

The HuffPo said businesses are the greatest platform for change. No kidding. They did.

We are watching businesses reframe themselves. They must conform when they are nonconforming. What do I think? I think it depends.  Sometimes in order to survive and sustain someone's livelihood, I think the person needs to separate themselves and beliefs from the business. They might need to remain vanilla in order to avoid problems, discrimination issues, or lawsuits. But again, it depends. Are you offering goods or services, and what kind?

Take Boy Scouts. They grew. They got large. Huge, actually. Now that they are a super power national organization, people are shaming them because they are Christian based. Well, duh. They started that way. Why would they lose their faith halfway between?

That's how they started out. So now we crucify them because they are religious? I'm surprised people aren't raising a stink because they are a boys org. Let's just call it the Scouts and get rid of everything they came up from the ashes for. Please.

Do you see people being excluded from other organizations? I don't think I could join several actually. I don't care. If they don't want me, I don't want them. More importantly, it doesn't interest me. If it did, I would inquire. But I am certainly not going to shout from the top of the trees that those "clubs" or orgs should change or be removed from existence. Or worse...sued so I get millions.

What about Hobby Lobby? No one cared when they were small. But now that they are big, they are under fire a lot. I see a theme here where I am using Christian organizations. There are many. Many different kinds. It's a big deal. What about others? What about Muslims? Islamic faith? Oy. The war on religion. I went there.

Well, there is a war on cops, even if the media says there isn't. Why? Because cops don't count, right? That's what they say.

We don't let people go without learning to read anymore. They need to learn or get the opportunity to learn. We don't discriminate against disabilities unless you are cops or military. We have acts to protect those in all the protected classes.

So why are we getting so many protected classes? Why do we need to be vanilla?

Let's take 4-H. Who do they exclude? Well, I need to go to the meetings and have a project. If I don't have a steer, I can't finish the pathway to the beef cattle club. I could tag along, but I don't get any points or kudos. Nor would I get money at the sale. In the least, I could do an art project even if I suck.

What about Farmers of America? Business Leaders Orgs. Or Law Enforcement Orgs. You can't join all of them. You have to be one. Maybe if you tell them you identify as one, they will let you in. Except the cops. They are mean.

I can't get food stamps because I'm not that poor. I am mandated to file with the IRS and we have military drafts. Now that includes women. Oh those are not what everyone is talking about you say.

Well, how about LGBT? I do pick up the fight for equal rights. I have many friends who are LGBT. Love them dearly. But they never invite me to watch them in drag shows. I don't get invited to their parties at their homes around here. Events? Nope. Maybe they are unsure of me as a friend. Or maybe that is a part of their lives they do not wish to include me in.  I don't know. Or, maybe they don't want to introduce their straight friend. I'm just Fargo. You don't have to "adjective" me. I would say it is geographical. Why? Because I never felt excluded by my gay friends in Wyoming like I do here. Friends for life. Through and through. Not just fair-weather or "depends upon" the time, day, event. But just because I am comfortable and want to be included, doesn't mean they do. Or anyone else. This goes for anyone.

But what I am saying is everything does not include everyone. And it's Ok. Embrace our differences, but don't force oranges to always be with apples. Sometimes they want to be exclusive. Maybe only when you put in pineapple and grapes, then add whipped cream. Only then does it feel right.

Nope. Nope. The justice warriors say it is not OK.

What about the Elks, Masons, Rotaries, etc.? Some include women, some don't. Some used to be men only but now include women. What about Tuesday clubs? What about Women's orgs.? Oh wait, it's ok to have girly orgs who exclude all men because men are bad, and have excluded women for years. Paybacks. It's not me, it's you.

What about fat people? They get discriminated against. I have to be a certain age to join AARP. Nope they don't count.

Why is one issue different than another? Because you can change one and not the other? So you can't change your race, sexual preferences, or your age, but you can change your religion or your fatness. You can change your gender now too.

Remember when the only people discriminated in the business world or in public were those with tattoos? Or nose piercings? Or colored hair?

Oh, those are dumb examples, you say.

I don't think I could join the Black Panthers. I'm sure even if I said I identify as black, it would not work. I would feel out of place going into a Greek church or a bar mitzvah. Oh, it's not about how you feel. It's about whether you could go. What if I showed up to a Buddist temple? Don't I have to abide by rules and etiquette? There are still excluded areas. Oh, now it's a religious thing. Those don't count or only those religious exclusions count?

Make up your mind.

It's really about any cause or thing people decide to raise a ruckus about. Tread lightly. You might be under fire. you might be labeled because of one little thing you did or said or aligned yourself with.

You know what happens? People go where they are welcome and then instead of the old days where you felt like you belonged, you exclude. That's the perception. Does that make any sense? It's not fair anymore.

Things change. Things develop. But how did we get to a place where it is so overbearingly sensitive and everything has to be vanilla. Now someone will say using the word vanilla is a white thing. Really. Really. You go there?

I don't want everything to be vanilla. I like colors. I love various cultures. You know what I miss about the west? Indians and Mexicans. Don't scoff. It's true. Indiana has a lot of diversity, especially in the big cities, but I miss the cultures I grew up with. In the four years I have been here, I have met or even seen zero Native Americans. There are two Mexicans in my life here: in this geographical area. Now with these absences, I have learned a lot about other cultures. Why? Because I have been exposed to many other cultures.

But I long for the wilderness. I like to be in the remote country with no interference from people. I would love to run into a grizzly bear again on a hiking trail or see a wolf go after my chickens. I even long to hit a rattlesnake over the head with a shovel. Ok. Ok. Maybe I am going too far left of center. No pun intended.

It's still OK to make fun of sea legs, flatlanders, landlubbers, or mountain people right? Or put them in those categories?

Let's get off the sad train and go back to the vanilla levelers. So if you voted for Trump, you are despicable and automatically endorse all that is bad in the world. But if you voted for Hillary, you get a pass. How does this go? 

Not once did I look at my dearest Democrat friends and think they endorsed adultery, lies, or scandal because of their vote or allegiance to the Clintons. I think people are missing a great deal about the world and a great deal about each other. People vote for the negative effect. People also vote for the lesser of two evils or even take one thing from a candidate and go with it, even if the other things are not appealing.

Or maybe one candidate is so horrible in their mind, they will vote for the other even if that person isn't great either. Or maybe there is one great thing that raises that candidate up and it means a livelihood change or rock the boat type of issue. Or we think lesser of two evils. There are so many ratios and scenarios to analyze the behavior of the voters. You really can't lump it into condemning that person. But what has happened? Us versus them. It's stupid. And people are losing their shit over things.

The latest loss of shit is the DOJ looking at removing affirmative action. Oh geez we are going backwards, you say. Really? Do you ever stop and think those rules or acts are no longer needed? That we have come a long way and need to take things like that off the books because we now have a federal law and business practices which trump all the movements and rights they had to implement back in 40s, 50s, 60s? It doesn't give anyone a green light to discriminate. So, all you orgs and businesses with affirmative action on the books...look. You can't discriminate. Period.

Nope. People say it is because Jeff Sessions is a racist and he sees that the pendulum has swung the other way and now whites are excluded. Specifically, white males. Actually, they are, but that is beside the point. Well, it certainly feels wrong to be white right now.

I am beginning to think that we are no longer allowed to embrace our differences, but we are all supposed to conform. We are all supposed to be vanilla. See. It WAS a white thing.

You did it to yourselves.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Sex Wax Is Good For Your Stick

Bringing up the surf time at the peak of summer. Here's one of my favorite traffic stops and yours...

Tonight in Gotham City, I pulled over this VW bus. I approached the driver, duh. That's what cops do.

As I was walking up, I noticed the Mr. Zog's Sex Wax bumper sticker on his back window. Now most people might not think this is unusual. But, it's Wyoming. We have no surf. Not unless you are in the middle of Alcova Lake at high wind time.

We got into the dialogue of the traffic stop and since he was a chatty guy, I opened my big mouth which at most times I should just use my professional lingo and move on. Nope. I felt the need to converse. When things in my head roll down and out the tip of my tongue, I should just use duct tape.

ME:      Sir, clever slogan...that bumper sticker on your back window. I just never understood why they called it that, but boy, did Herzog change the world.

DUDE: Yeah, way cool. It's really good for your sticks.

ME:      You don't say? [I'm thinking...surf boards or Mr. Wanky?]

DUDE: Yeah, it really gives me a good grip.

ME:      Really?

DUDE: Yeah, when I'm getting a good beat...I can keep great timing and rhythm. I can get right in there, beat 'til I'm exhausted and still never lose my grip. Really live the moment, ya know?

What do I know about surf talk? I'm from Wyoming.

ME:      Aha. I just think it makes me flinch hearing about it.

DUDE:  [Laughs] Yeah, when I'm beating down good,  I get sweaty and that stuff keeps my grip and conditions the stick. Say, why do you say it makes you flinch?

ME:     All I can think about is it has to get all balled up down there and then it's like a Brazilian wax job. Hurts to think about it. Unless you did some manscaping.

DUDE: [Acts confused and then the light goes on]Oh, ma'am, it's not like that. It's for my drum sticks. Sex wax is just what it is called and just a clever slogan. The dude thought the name sounded cool when he invented it. Surfing, you know. Sex sells.

ME:     I don't care what you call it. I don't care that you refer to Mr. Wanky as "drum stick". It's still got be sticky and gets all balled up down there. Then when the moment is over...not fun to pluck, pull, and yank that stuff out. 

DUDE: No, ma'am. It isn't for sex. Sex wax is not just for surf boards. It is for drum sticks. I'm in a band.

ME:    You don't say?

DUDE: Seriously, google it. [Laughs] That was pretty funny though.

ME:     Yeah. This is an entirely inappropriate conversation, isn't it?

DUDE: Oh, it's all good.

ME:     Well, I think I will give you a warning...slow down...on the driving and the beatings...or something.

DUDE:  Heh, heh. Thanks, ma'am.

ME:     Have a nice day. And take good care of your stick. You want it to last a lifetime.

DUDE:  [Laughs]

And so with that, I rushed right into the station to google sex wax thinking the filters of Big Brother wouldn't even let me google that combo of words. And now, I am probably going to be on the porn watch list of the city.

But, hey, you don't say...the dude was right. Read all about it. Whodathunk? Learn something new every day.

Thin Blue Line Shop

Today is exciting! I get to share with you some great products. Thin Blue Line Shop has some amazing items for all of us to show our support for the blue!

I received these two great creations last week and immediately fell in love. (Links are provided all over this place so you can find yours to bring home to display!)

First, who doesn't want to show love for America and law enforcement by displaying the Thin Blue Line American flag?  I'm kind of partial to this, you know.
Thin Blue Line American Flag
flown proudly at Harry Potter House

It looks so great at the Harry Potter house.

When we hung it up, some of the dog walkers took a bee-line for that part of my house to check it out. They were impressed. Every one of them beamed up at it and smiled. I received several thumbs up.

One man I had never seen in my neighborhood before (probably NSA spy) said he was very pleased with the pride I displayed and we chatted for a while.

He had three cute dogs. I have no idea how he kept them all in line, but they were very obedient and friendly. The government probably has a professional trainer for his cover.

I gave him the link to get his own flag.

Let me demonstrate in pictures for all of you visual learners: (see flag pic)

This is next to an entry door at my house and is visible from three sides (most of it until you move to blind spots).

Sadly, my favorite neighbor (Lord Farquaad) cannot see it until he comes around to the front or other side. He hasn't seen it yet, but when he does, he will say something. As usual, he will be snarky and sporting a cigar. He is a true patriot and backs the blue. He's nosy, so it is just a matter of time.

Sheriff Mike gets a bird's eye view of it every day. He is a night shift dude, so I will see what he says when I run into him. It should hit him right between the eyes every time he leaves his drive. That is figuratively speaking. I hang my flags properly.

All I do is go outside and stare at it. I am so proud to have one at my house. I've been wanting one for a while and really, there was no excuse to wait. This was a nice surprise.

That isn't all, Thin Blue Line Shop is full of many fun products to show off your police pride. Go browse their merchandise.

Additionally, check this out- (again demonstrating in pictures)- a thin blue line tie. 

It is perfect

I will be posting another pic with a model wearing it with a dress shirt. It is exciting to shop for a nice shirt and pants for an event and this is the tie Chad will get to wear. I'm so thrilled.

It is ideal for church or court. Maybe you have a wedding to go to? A nice dinner with your significant other? It's a must.

The logo is displayed on the inside: non -visible side of the tie for all you non-tie people.

As you can see the pattern is classic business and the thin blue line is subtle but bold with LEO pride at the same time in your display of the blue.

You get this and you will be a snappy dresser. Guaranteed.

And the police appreciate your support. If you are law enforcement, well, this is a no-brainer.

My tie: quality material and stylish

And goes with today's business prestige. As I said, it is a timeless pattern.

A very classy tie.

If you need a gift and you want something different or you have to share your blue pride...go check out the shop. If you are a cop, come on. It's a necessity to your wardrobe. Get one. They have other patterns to show off your blue pride as well.

When you see Chad, my model, in his new shirt accessorized with the Thin Blue Line Shop's tie, you will be so impressed.

Very sophisticated and super chic (yes, chic ties)

Until then, I have included Thin Blue Line Shop's picture from the merchandise display page on the website. It looks exactly as shown.

What you see is what you get.

Amazing, huh? I like it. Wow! It is so elegant.

Love it!

Photo Credit: Thin Blue Line Shop
Don't miss out! When I was browsing their site today, I saw some sales. Bam! I am all about saving a little here and there. It just so happens I was looking for something unique and fun for a special gift.

Show your blue pride!

Check out Thin Blue Line Shop. You will not be disappointed. I'm serious. They have many more goodies and lots of different styles, fashions, trends!

Today, I purchased a gift for a special person from their site and used my coupon. You might get lucky with their online coupon spinner and get some savings on top of their sale prices too.

I am super impressed!
Super flashy ad made by moi