Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Resolutions

So, New Year's Day is just mere hours away. And people are getting all their New Year Resolutions in order. I predict by March that 95% of you will fail to make it through most, if not all of them. I don't say this to be mean or some kind of "negative nellie", I'm just being real.

From the Bureau of Homemade Statistics:

95% of those who make resolutions for the new year will fail to succeed in all of them. Of those that do manage to succeed, the success is based on a curve of any number of teh resolutions being attempted. 87.4% of people lie about completing just one.

For me, I'm making one last New Year's Resolution. And I should be successful in amking this one happen. It is to never make another New Year's Resolution again. EVER

This is either a pass or fail measure. I am planning for full success. Partially becauswe of the stupidity of these things, and partially because I am pretty lazy. NOT making a list of things to do seems to be easy enough. Definitely easier than actually making that list.

Plus consider this thought: Given the high failure rate of resolutions made at New Year's time, it makes a good competition with government performance. For those of you who pay attention, name the last major success of government. And don't grade on a curve. If you can't give it a legitimate "A", then it doesn't count as a success.

Besides the failure rate of resolutions, think about what making them means. It means you see needs for improvement. On its face, this seems natural as none of us are perfect. However, it means you aren't happy with your situation, or with yourself.

Well, I'm fine with me, and any problems I see must not be that bad if I'm not going to take care of them, regardless of the time fo year. New Start my ass, that can happen anytime. And if you have a problem with me or my situation (and ladies, I dont mean me being married so you can't have me, so back off that one), well then that isn't a problem for me to solve. That's your problem you have to work out on your own.

So you can either like me, put up with me, or ignore me. Anything else I'm not going to acknowledge, much less put forth an effort to change that status. I wasted far too much of my life trying to fit in with the popular crowd, also unsuccessfully. So screw it.

If you do make a resolution, I wish you luck. I just don't want to hear about it, unless you actually made good on it. And if you failed at one, don't expect me to be surprised. Its normal. I'm not all that great at aiding your pity party either, I'll just try to one up you until you get frustrated and give up.

Despite my rant, I do hope you enjoy your New Years, whether you're out celebrating or staying in.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Lebkuchen and Sledding

Okay, so more Christmas weekend stuff to get through. The last post was chock full of pictures. This one will have less of those, and should be shorter overall.

First off, Christmastime means one very special package that comes every year without fail. My aunt Denise knows how much I love the Lebkuchen treats, so I always get a couple bags of that, along with a couple packages of the other ginger treat, Contessa. Very tasty stuff. It comes specifically for me and my mom. It turns out, my family kind of likes it too. I leave the package on the counter with a certain amount in the bag. I come back by it even 5 minutes later, and half of it has disappeared. My family is ninjaing (ninjaing is NOW an official word in my vocabulary. You all might as well capitulate and add it to your linguistic repertoire.) my friggin lebkuchen. I have mixed feelings about this. I should be happy that they like some of these very same treats I grew up enjoying, and cannot be bought out here in Iowa, as far as I am aware. And yet, I'm mildly upset, as my selfish side says the lebkuchen is "MINE! ALL MINE, DAMMIT! KEEP YOUR GRIMY HANDS OFF OF IT!"

I'm sure at some point I'll receive a talking to about how being selfish is bad, and not of good character. I need to set a good example when it comes to sharing, blah blah blah. You can rest assured though, that your superhero will use his magical power of selective hearing and tune it all out. I'm so good at that, that I may have received this talk multiple times and still remain totally unaware. Good for me.

Well, this year's Christmas turned out to be a pretty big hit all around. My Dad got a slingshot screaming monkey. He collects monkey stuff. If mom didn't secretly purge pieces of the collection I'm sure he'd have at least 100 monkeys sitting around his house somewhere or another. I don't think any part of the house is out of eyesight from one monkey or another. A creepy proposition now that I think of it. I may have been enjoying my morning constitutional under the ever watchful eyes of a monkey hidden amongst the plants, for all I know. Mom got her bath products as usual. Christmas is when she stocks up on this stuff for each year. My wife got her juicer, and some spice grinder/shredder thing. (I dunno its name, I was just assured certain death if I use it to shred cheese) My sister, well she got a bookmark. It turns out she needs more, since she mysteriously chews all of hers up without realizing it. I think her and The Colonel need to get together to have a fiber binging vacation or something. Sophie got all kinds of stuff, clothing, a few toys, you know, baby stuff. Vic, got his candy, SourPatch Kids. Apparently candy is rather amusing to him. Another present he seemed to take delight in was whenever I left my new slippers, courtesy of my in-laws, laying around. If I didn't have them on my feet, Vic was wearing them. So now I have to find a similar pair, so he has his own for those cold days. He's from down south, so he has sensitive feet don'tcha know!

The boys received all kinds of toys. But Santa, also brought them two brand new red sleds for Christmas. So the day after Christmas, when the weather cleared up enough to go out safely, Vic and I drove them down the road to the local golf course where I used to sled while growing up. There was a LOT of snow, and only a few people had been sledding prior to our arrival. So slick paths they were not. Most trips ended up with sled and rider being separated by at least a few feet. These sleds, being plastic and small were enough to hold a single kid, and barely a single adult, however a kid and adult rider at the same time caused mass burial of the sled maybe halfway down the hill.
Buggy trudging up a hill. Independent as he is, he has decided that he needs his own hill to sled on, not the one his brother or any of the other kids are using. Eventually other kids followed to use his hill. If Buggy has my ego, he'll only see himself as a trendsetter, and his later years living at home will be a battle of egos between father and son. I only hope I can still win then.
It's hard to see it when its all white and snowy out, but behind us, there is a huge drop off from our hill....most of the ground you're seeing is actually on the other side of the valley.
I made it partway down a small hill before the sled finally bucked me off and tossed me into a drifted side of the hill. I am thoroughly buried, and was comfortable with just dying right there. It turns out trudging up snow covered hillsides in full outdoor gear is well beyond my cardio capacity currently. I believe 8 cardiac arrests were recorded on myself alone.
Here's Josh just prior to going down yet another hill. The boys were thoroughly enjoying themselves this day.
And here is Vic and I getting all bundled up for the sledding excursion. I hadn't been sledding since probably 1990 or 91. This was Vic's first time ever. We were a mix-n-match collection of outdoor gear, almost none of it our own. But we stayed warm the whole time, despite blazing trails through nearly waist deep snow at times. Buggy had to stay in our tracks lest he get lost underneath the white billowy blanket in certain spots.
And of course I'd be remiss, if I didn't post a picture of my dad's dedication to the art of grilling. It's either that or his disdain for making dirty dishes unnecessarily by using pots and pans on a stove. So, here he is (also known as the Evil Duane), grilling outside while the snow falls around him.

Christmas...12 Feet Under The Snow!

So, I was itching to get back to write about all the new stuff that has happened this Christmas holiday. Now that I'm here and in front of the computer, I'm a lot more overwhelmed than thrilled about documenting s short snippet into the life that lends itself to the Mind of Mookie.

But first off, a little housekeeping is in order. To all you idealist people who kept wishing and praying for a white Christmas....let me be the first to say thank you very much. In two weeks, I've seen around 30 or so inches of snow. In two weeks, we have met our yearly snowfall average. Winter technically started a week ago. As a man who is NOT a fan of precipitation in any form, you can take your wishes of a snow filled christmas and stick it in some places best not actually said in this public forum. Christmas morning found my car lost...and only by the graciousness of my dad to plow the snow out of the driveway was my car even visible to be dug out. So thank you.

So anyways... On Christmas Eve I get off work at 8am, and we travel the two and a hlaf hours to my parents for Christmas and the ensuing weekend, which lasted longer than anticipated, but we'll get back to that later. Roads weren't too bad, mostly wet, but got a bit icy as we got closer to our destination. Had we left much later, our trip may have been more aptly described by the hit song "An Icey Dicey Christmas" as sung by Burl Ives.

As some of you have already read, I recently acquired a niece after a kindly stork dropped by my sister and her husband's place in Florida. So this was going to be our first time seeing her in person. About 35 minutes into the trip my wife realizes she left the camera at home. Well, given the storm predictions, we'll just have to hope my sister remembered hers and can send us photos. My sister came through not only with a camera, but a laptop to upload the photos to an online storage site, Snapfish (Let me be clear...this is not a paid endorsement. None of these damn companies I ever mention think to offer me money to brag about them on this most popular of blog pages), so they would be ready to be organized once we made it home, and for me to be able to post them here today for you to enjoy.

Well, anyways, we got to see our niece, Sophia. I made her smile, mostly because I'm on the same level as new babies when it comes to maturity. Also, I like to burp and poop alot, so we have lifestyles in common.

So here are a few pictures of my new niece. With her mother in her new Christmas dress. Then again with my wife.
And here is Sophie, slightly intrigued, but still not sure about this Christmas present business.
And of course, helping Daddy play some cards. And trust me when I tell you, he needed all the help he could get. He may be part Rocket Scientist, but when it comes to games of chance, the playing field is leveled out a bit for the reast of us lowly peasants. And there she is laying on a blanket with me looking down on her. Don't mistake my smile for pure joy. I'm still curious about this little one. Hard to tell if I really like her or not. She cries a lot, which disinterests me. Now, I know what you're thinking: Shame on you Mike, she's just a baby. and then there will be my wife telling me to drop the macho uncaring act, and that she'll have me wrapped around her little finger. Whatever, I say. We were busy amusing each other with making raspberry noises at each other. What can I say? I'm easily entertained. We'll see how she is when she gets older. If she ends up anything like her mother was, it wont be good. Any car rides while visiting will be accompanied by a lot fo bickering in the backseat and my brother-in-law incredulous at having to chastise both a child and an adult with the idea of turning the car right back around and going home. And of course, the jeers of "she touched me first!!!" whining out of my mouth. Should be interesting to say the least.

Anyways, it was the 24th of December, which of course means it is Buggy's 6th birthday. Another first and only milestone in his life. He'll never turn 6 again. His "Uncle Jim" usually puts himself in charge of making birthday cakes for the boys. He definitely outdid himself this year with a multi-layered cake, plus a couple cookies, a lot of icing, and a motion sensor dinosaur built into the birthday cake.

So we had a birthday celebration, prior to a bunch of people coming over for the traditional Christmas Eve get together my parents have. Weather, being all snowy and blowy, kept a few people away this evening, but still a good sized crowd for such a small little house.

The next morning, after we all finally woke up. Becky and Vic, obviously awoken by their baby, and quite possibly by my two boys who shared the bedroom with them. I, on the otherhand, not being the center of attention at the ripe old age of 30, no longer get up 3 hours before dawn to raid the stocking and start figuring out which presents are mine. I'll get up when either my bladder or everyone else decides I need to get up. But I have to admit, the tree looked pretty good and sparkly. It was a shorter tree than usual, but rather full and balanced, which always makes for a prettier Christmas tree. Add the presents and the shiny bows that add to the glow off the light-adorned tree, and there is still that little flicker of magic that Christmas always holds over the imagination.

Everybody scored some pretty good loot, but the best present I got was actually the present I gave to my sister. You see, in all my years, I have been able to pretty much pick up a package and guess the contents underneath the wrapper, with almost 100% accuracy. It's a gift that can't be taught. Well, two years my sister has managed to mess up my formula and my guesses were wrong. That was years ago. But this year, after all had been forgotten by most, it was my turn to get her.
I enlisted my mom's help in wrapping up multiple boxes inside each other...add some tissue paper here, packing peanuts was quite the job. In one of the random boxes, I had taped her gift card to the inside front, in a position where she wouldn't notice it. She went on to the next box, pulled another out of the bag, opened it up and found a smaller box. And neatly folded inside this little Jewelry box, underneath the protective batting layers was a note telling her that she had still had some looking to do, and that somewhere in the mess she had made was her actual gift. It took awhile, adn I finally had to point out the box to her. The look on her face (my mom prophecied the night before while we worked on this project that Becky would cuss me out for this, which she did) was more than satisfying. Her frustration and the "I'm gonna kill you!" look made my Christmas.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Rent-a-Cop of the Year Awards

Well, after a long, hard fought competition, the Rent-a-Cop of the Year for 2009 is...... (okay so I haven't learned how to make a drum roll noise happen here, you need to do it yourself):

Colonel Beauregard Sterlng Lovell, Head of security at the Mookified Compound. What he did to earn this illustrious honor: took out Rent-a-Cop Manager of the Year 2008, Stew Holloway, when he came to check on the Colonel. After Manager Holloway stepped on his tail, The Colonel sprung into action with his cat-like reflexes, did a jiu jitsu leg sweep and then sprang at Manager Holloway's head, and biting him on the ear.

Let me be the first one to say, this contest was obviously rigged somewhere along the line, and by rigged, I mean NOT IN MY FAVOR!!! I was one of the 6 judges for the competition. Now before anyone asks how ethical it might be for me to be running for the award while being a judge...I invented the friggin award, so get over it. After hearing the announcement, I found the head judge, Manager Holloway, and asked for the breakdown on the votes. Apparently I was the only one who voted for me. Given my track record of excellent rentacopping, I was rather shocked at this. Apparently I didn't bribe the right people here. (In retrospect, bribing myself, a sure vote, was probably not worth the time, energy or cost that could've been invested in one of the other 5 judges).

Also upon hearing the news, newcomer and runner-up for the award, Trevor "Irish" McCarthy was also not pleased, and recently commented on his facebook about how he would be gracious, yet wished the Colonel harm, in hopes of taking his place. Irish was then informed that unlike other meritorious awards like Miss America (Irish also missed out on winning this one, after disparaging homosexuals rather blatantly when questioned by Perez Hilton- almost to the point of being arrested for his disturbances), there are no duties to the community or anything resembling service requirements associated with this award. Once you win, you win, and all losers (which I guess includes me) will just have to wait for next year in hopes of being bestowed with such high honors as the Rent-a-Cop of the Year Award.

It was however a very successful gala last evening. Lots of cavorting about drunk on jelly donut filling, or glaze, as well as highly intoximacated rentacops loaded with all sorts of liquor, and probably a few other things, like drain cleaner (Irish), windex (Manager Holloway), and the like (Me- not sure what it was...scrubbing bubbles maybe?).

At one point, all human rentacops vowed revenge on the Colonel for having upstaged them, a brawl ensued, we haven't seen the Colonel since, however we have all managed to be coated, inside and out, with his hair.

Three upstanding rentacops made citizen arrests on themselves for drunk and disorderly after having gone, not through the window in the midst of the fight, but managed to take out the wall itself, and land in the parking lot. One, is testifying both for and against himself in a trial set for just after the New Year. We haven't figured that one out yet. But, if you thought lawyers were full of shit, be prepared for this idiot rentacop to make you proud at his ability to upstage even the best of lawyers.

WE haven't seen Irish either. We last saw him bragging about his ability to maintain the fight while imbibing an entire 55-gallon drum full of Irish Whiskey, without being knocked out, or passing out. He's probably still somewhere in the rubble trying to get the last few drops down before the cleanup crew clears all the debris away, finds him, and kicks him out.

In all the drunken madness the Rent-a-Cop Manager of the Year award ended up going to former NPI supervisor Hayley Eash. She was not in attendance at the great gala, but received 5 out of 6 first place votes in the human poll. The Harris interactive computers had her at .945, while the AP computers had her as low as .796. BCS representatives were unable to explain these discrepancies, but did issue a statement to the effect that the system is what it is, and works effectively enough to determine a national championship. Somewhere, Congress is looking to investigate the BCS' role in determining not only college football, but also the Rent-a-Cop of the Year awards as well. Representative Barney Frank was clearly annoyed that after Manager Holloway stole the ladies swimwear event with style yet didn't win.

Either way it was fun, we were all drunk and/or in jail despite our supposing to have been on duty. Irish and the Colonel are AWOL....could be that Irish found the Colonel, and perpetrated that harm he wished and is off burying the body. But until he returns and files an incident report, details are sketchy at best. We're still a bit busy nursing our hangovers and in some cases, consoling their Bubbas as they get bailed out pending their hearings. If we ever recover any photos from the event we'll be sure to update you. If pictures of a few goats surface, don't judge us.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Family Together...With Your Help!

My friend Jay, and his wife, Naomi are in the process of adopting children from Ethiopia. They have cleared the first set of major hurdles towards realizing their dream of having a family. First off I would like to thank everyone who has already helped contribute towards their cause. You can only imagine how much your help means to them.

They now have some last steps to complete while awaiting their referral for their future children. For a basic breakdown in how you can help click this link:

As it mentions in the link, you can donate via Paypal by clicking on the PayPal link on their page, or if you do not have PayPal you can send any and all donations directly to the address: 822 Jonathon Rd. Powell, WY 82435
Please make any checks payable to "Ethiopia Hope Fund". All donations are tax deductible, as they are run through Harvest Church.

Every little bit helps out Jay and Naomi, as they scrape together their own funds as well to make their dream of having a family come true. They thank you very much for any help you can provide!

Friday, December 11, 2009

It IS Haunted, I Don't Care What Anyone Says

After having heard some stories about Hoyt Sherman Place here in Des Moines, a few of us thought to look up the "known" haunted locations here in Des Moines, Iowa. When googling "haunted places in des moines" and "haunted places in Iowa" one gets millions of hits because even when using "" (<---these) around a phrase, you still get hits for anything that involves any of these words. I swear people could have told me that googling made research easier, but to me it seems to cloud things up worse than before. Maybe I just havent mastered the art of google. But either way, Hoyt Sherman was not listed. However, while for the purposes of finding a picture of the mansion known as Hoyt Shermna Place, I came across a link to paranormal investigators having done an investigation at this very location. Pretty dry read, adn no good stories or anything that really make fo rgood listening/reading, but here it is:

So anyways, you have heard me talk about this place before, if you were reading my blog back during the infamous bat attacks rentacop incidents, earlier this summer. I may have even blogged about the time I was there respnding to an alarm with a fellow patrolman, who lifted the skirt of the stage in the theatre. After having been there 10 minutes already, this simple action suddenly led to very soft playing music, something that sounded like it was out of the 1920s or 30s. Creepy stuff to be sure. I was definitely ready to leave upon that.

Well, last night, or rather this morning at about 4am, things got a whole lot creepier. And by a whole lot, I mean, I'd rather pee my pants in public than step foot in that place after the lights have been turned out, and especially never again while I'm alone.

So, I was chatting with my supervisor, Stew, when I got the call from the alarm company saying they had motion in one of the emergency exit stairwells. My supervisor offered to come along, which was okay by me, I prefer to have company while I'm there anyways. This place is rather big and kind of scary. So we get there, and this particular zone is on the theater side of the building, (there is the house, and then there is the theatre... the alarm system is set up to montior them as separate zones altogether), so we enter in through the theater entrance. We make our way down through the floor level seating, and I notice a stocking cap laying in front of one of the seats. No big deal, they are showcasing The Nutcracker, and someone who watched the show probably lost track of it and left without it. I set it on the front of the stage as we head to check the stairwells, and all the back storage and dressing rooms.

When we come back out, the hat is no longer on the stage. Okay, no need to panic just yet. Maybe the keyholder, who is the maintenance man (I believe) got called as well, like usual when we have an alarm. He must've come through while we were in the other rooms, saw the hat and grabbed it to take to the lost and found depository. Having cleared the theater side, we decide to go into the house to see the keyholder and let him know that nothing is wrong. Well, the door is locked that wil take you into the house side of this monstrous building. Not that unusual, but when I unlock it, the alarm goes off for the house side, which means...noone else is there. However, in that old sitting room that serves as a side lobby, there are some sculpted busts. On top of one particular busts, sits this blue and white stocking cap...just like the one we found in the theater, which I had left on the stage. Now this is just far too creepy for me, and as well for Stew. We quickly took care of the alarm system, rearmed it, locked that place up and got the hell out of dodge.

I think the next time that alarm comes up, I'm either sending someone there and handing them the keys to take care of it, or I'm coming in with full intentions on torching that place. Bats are one thing....hats moving from one side of the place to another, through locked doors and not setting off alarms, and noone else seen on sight...well, that's totally different, and it aint cool at all. I'll be the first one to tell you, that my little macho image is truly stricken dead when this kind of stuff happens!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Quantum Theory Has The Cubs Winning the World Series

Now, maybe I don't have a firm grasp on everything there is to know in this universe of ours. I know what you're thinking. Mookie DOESN'T know everything? Yes, hard t believe but true. And part of that reason is any subject that began with the word "quantum" generally sent me into my own little world to ignore a subject that more theory than possibly conflicting facts.

I now believe in Quantum something or another Theory. I have decided, after working last night, that somewhere in an alternate universe, the Chicago Cubs did in fact win the Wolrd Series. How do I know this. Because Hell Has Frozen Over in Iowa!

Not only did we get more snow in one storm system than we have had since 1996, (we had 16 inches dumped on us), but the temperatures dropped into single digits with windchills WAY below zero. The wind was gusting between 45 and 60 miles per hour, creating white out conditions. And not just regular white out like you use on paper, and can see the mistake...this was Super White Out. It erased the front end of my patrol car from visibility altogether. Recently plowed roads were re-covered by a big blanket of white blown back ontot he roadway by the highg winds...most multilane roads had one driveable path, and if it was a two way road....well let's just say that thanks to a big tractor looking snowplow who refused to hold up until I could get around a big drift that erased part of the road, I became stuck...100 feet from the building my work is located in, and 400 feet from the building that I was responding to an alarm at. Naturally noone was available to help a rentacop out. so, I ran (and by run I mean in slowmo as I bounded through drift after drift like some sort of sled dog with only 2 legs) to the shop grabbed a shovel and proceeded to scoop my patrol car free. In the process I could barely see the car I was scooping free, and simultaneously trying to remain in position to do the job as th wind tried to blow my butt across the road. My already cold legs that had been exposed to lots of snow from earlier events, were now being windburned THROUGH my pants. Already exposed to moisture and frozen half solid, this was not good. I'm pretty sure I died from exposure...twice.

To back up a bit....I got up in plenty of time to go to work, but i spent ten minutes getting unstuck from my parking spot here at home. I make it to the shop..well the south entrance to the parking lot, and spend 20 minutes digging my way out of that with an ice scraper of all things. I go to the north entry, get stuck there, and it was an hour after I originally got on scene before my car was rescued and allowed to be parked in the lot behind our work garage. I braved the treacherous roads, and was forced to do more drive-by checks than actual lot patrols at many of my accounts as there was NO way to access the property without getting stuck again, and I'll be damned if they pay me enough to bound through nut-high snow drifts in single digit temperatures just to walk around a building while I risk my patrol car getting bashed up or buried by the DOT snow plows going up and down the mai roads in fruitless efforts to keep them open even a little bit.

I made a few extra efforts to make a more complete job at properties, btu most of it was simply driving the roads around them and making sure there was nothing visibly wrong with the places. Then at about 4am, I get a call to go to a residential house buried deep in the heart of residential development and about 6 or 7 blocks from any main road. I made it down the side street that intersected the street I was looking for. Then I humped it the 75 yards through snow and high winds blasting my face just to walk around a house that has been drifted shut, and showed no signs of entry. the alarm were interior motion alarms, no perimeters. I leave, I manage to get back to the main road and on my way....20 minutes later, I get teh call for the same place, same alarm. The homeowner is in Denver, and insists we re-check the place. All I have to say is the only way someone was going to burgle that house was to come up from underground and drill through the slab underneath. So back I go down the side road that hasn't seen a plow in probably 8 hours or more, hike through the snow to their house where I could hike through more snow and find out that there still was nothing wrong with their place. I told the alarm dispatch compnay representative that the resident owes me a christmas present for that kind of service...with a tow ban in effect, had I gotten stuck down in that neighborhood, well, lets just say it would be tomorrow or the next day before they would be allowed to come rescue me.

After that all was well...for awhile. I ate breakfast INSIDE the Mcdonald's where they had a cleared out parking lot. I needed to warm up and relax for a bit. Then I got called for 2 different alarms.....on the way to the second one was when I got stuck, as described above, by the shop. Then, my relief got his personal car stuck outside his driveway. I had to go pick him up. I got the patrol car stuck around the corner and a half block down from his place....more shoveling. I will be the first guy who dies of a hernia and a heart attack at the age of 30, along with hypothermia and some frostbite. This is honestly what I was thinking during this shoveling incident. But, we got out, got him to work. I shoveled my personal car out of its spot behind the shop so I could come home. I get on the road out to the main artery, where I got stuck again in the plow slushed mess. I used my cold wet booted feet as the shovel to kick everything out of the way, so my little car could actually get moving. Didn't matter at that point, I was ready to amputate with or without anesthesia anytime. My feet felt like blocks of ice, or frozen clubfoot.

The low fuel light was on. So I had to baby the car to the nearest accessible gas station. As I pull in, I see two guys stalking me. One with a camera, the other with a microphone. Having been, what I can assume was fully rested over the night while I worked, they came up and asked to interview me about my night and the weather.

You see, I really am that important. The local metro news needs MY opinion. However, I do have a face built for radio, and a voice for silent movies. I suspect any mention of me might be my name, and a recapping of my comments by the reporter with his pretty little made-for-tv face.

But now, it is time to warm my innards with coffee, and my feet somehow. In the army, they always taught us to put our cold hands either in our armpits or crotch to avoid frostbite and exposure issues, since those two areas are teh warmest on our bodies. I contemplated this with my feet, then realized I'm not that flexible to begin with, and there is no way that could be comfortable even if I did manage to cram my feet into my armpits or crotch like some advanced yoga pose.

I expect better working conditions tonight, or I just may quit. Should've listened to my wife and just stayed home from work last night. I blame my dad for instilling such a sense of responsibility in me...damn him anyways!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Short History of Warfare and Its Contemporary Failure

I'm looking at what should be a pretty complex issue, however as usual I will most likely ovrsimplify things, for easier writing and easier comprehension of the basic points I'll be making (a tactic that can often be mistaken-sometimes correctly- for me not wanting to melt my brain with hard thinking) today.

"War's very object is victory, not prolonged indecision. In war, there is no substitute for victory" --General Douglas MacArthur

The quote seems simple enough, as it should be. Most things in this world are simple, until someone with a more than just an ounce of intelligence starts scrutinizing them and pondering enough scenarios to fill a library, along with those who choose to counter with their own thoughts. The human mind is capable of a lot, which has led to much good, much bad, and much ugly things in our world.

War fits the latter two categories. War is very often the result of disagreements over simple things. One man disparages another man's ego, and suddenly a duel is in place for them to settle their differences, no matter how many people are dragged into their conflict, willingly or otherwise. Rhetoric is ratcheted up on both sides, in the hopes of compelling others of their own righteousness, and possible allies in their "fight against evil."

War and Politics have been intertwined with each other since the invention of both. In the beginning, politics often led to war. Then the armies fought it out, with total victory in mind. While politics played a role int he war, it was often mere infighting as to who got to do what, and who gets credit for this or that. But neither side ever deviated from the main goal, which was to dominate and eliminate the enemy until the point of surrendering. Many times, the same war was fought between the same opponents, multiple times, with just a different name assigned to each particular conflict. While armies decimated each other, it was a back and forth of unsettled politics between the foes, with certain stretches of 'peace' between the events.

One example of this would be the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. American authorities and British authorities had squabbles, first resulting in the war for our Independence. Later, political and economic reasons, led us back into war with the British. Since that point, both countries have gotten along for the most part, keeping a more peaceful temperament with each other. There are of course, thousands of other examples, such as European Empires fighting back and forth over the centuries, but I'm not going to muddy the waters by including each and every one of them.

You look at politics even in the Civil War. Politicians shaped the arguments, engaged the people, next thing you know, America is imploding on itself in all out war. Strategy was largely determined by generals. Occasionally the Commanders-in-Chief would step in if a general wasn't doing his job, which was create victories. Lincoln was forced to re-assign, or outright remove many generals for their failures, ineptitudes, or downright unwillingness to take the fight to the enemy on multiple occasions, but we wont get into specifics on that today.

The last "conventional war' that was ever really fought, at least as far as American involvement goes, was World War 2. Armies were identified with clear distinction, and the name of the game was killing the enemy and taking land, chunk by chunk, until the enemy surrendered. Even within this war, political infighting was apparent within the ranks of any given country's military and government, as well as between nations and their allies. But, as I mentioned earlier, in the end, the goal was clear. Tactics and basic strategy may have changed, depending on the situation on the ground, but the overall strategy was simple: Defeat the enemy everywhere you meet him, and drive him back to his home. He can choose die or to surrender. There are NO other underlying circumstances to be optioned. You send out your soldiers to win the war, so they can come home.

Well, World War 2's ending saw something a bit different than that. After victory was declared, many nations' armies occupied enemy territory even as peace was assumed. Two superpowers emerged in the world. First was America, who had helped greatly the efforts of Europe to get out of the Nazi chokehold, while also battling the Japanese on the other side of the world. Second was Russia, who depsite losing tens of millions of soldiers, had kept Germany from expanding its control over them, and helping the allies make headway into Europe by obliging Hitler's attempt at a two front war. Disagreements were rampant between the allies and the Soviets over who got control of where, and a nearly 45 year standoff ensued known as the Cold War.

Enter Politics not only as the decider of when war would be waged, but where it would be engaged, how it would be fought, and to what extent it would be fought. The world was suddenly divided into two camps. You either supported America and Capitalism, or the Soviets and the Communist form of government and economics. True, some countries essentially tried to stay out of the mess, but the majority of countries around the globe found themselves tied more to one side or the other. Again this is a vast oversimplification. If you want a lot more intricate detail, you can find a wealth of knowledge from a fellow blogger, Scott, over at

America soon adopted a foreign policy that was designed around the idea of stopping the spread of communism, whereever in the world it may show its face. Our next major conflict found American forces in Korea. The Korean peninsula divided itself up. You had the communist regime controlling the north supported by the Chinese, while leadership in the south attempted to avoid communism, enlisting the help of America to repel communist forces. It was a drawn out conflict, which technically still exists today. Peace is fragile under a truce, as neither side could force the other side to surrender, and technically the two sides remain at war. While militarily the war could have been won, politics played a major role in deciding just how far American forces would go. For all the sabre-rattling America did as a government in response to the "communist threat", she did not wish to fully engage China or Russia into the war. The threat of nuclear war was always there, as the Soviets had developed their own arsenal in response to America's nuclear capabilities (and history of use at the end of WWII), and neither side wanted to test the resolve of the other. Evnetually the 38th parallel was drawn as the dividing line, and the Korean peninsula remains divided to this day.

Years later, after Vietnam had won its independence from France, America had its own advisors in the south of Vietnam, helping fight and train with their armies, while Ho Chi Minh led a communist movement from the north. Minh' splan was to keep Vietnam unified under a communist banner. America and the south Vietnamese were determined to repel the communists.

While guerilla warfare has always been used in conjunction with conventional war tactics, this was the first war in which America found itself on the opposite end of a well sustained guerilla movement. American forces were harassed daily by guerilla forces consisting not only of regular army units, but iregular units as well. And interesting turning of the tables, considering these tactics were used successfully by the Americans in their own war for independence from Britain. While taking massive casualties through this long drawn out war, the American forces had successfully repelled guerilla attacks as well as win every major military engagement during this time. However, politics was playing a heavy hand in this engagement. American Commander of the Army, General William Westmoreland, asked for and received the troops he asked for to fight this war. Militarily we had the ability to engage the enemy and drive them back to Hanoi. Politically, we were not willing to do so, give the possibility of threat from the Chinese and the Soviets, and what that meant as far as possible large scale war again.

And so today we look at current American war zones, Iraq and Afghanistan. Militarily winnable wars. However, we have also engaged a multitude of other objectives, such as the spreading of democracy, stability of the governments and the regions as a whole, and I'm sure a host of other things, that Scott can go into more detail about.

These days, almost no war is winnable under the whole sense. No country seems to be willing to define just what victory is (Hat tip to Classicliberal2 for pointing that out. Note, this link wil take you to his blog, not the specific comment. He's very smart, and write's well thought out commentary. Despite he and I often disagreeing on most things political, its a good conversation and learning experience)
Victory these days, is so multi-sided that we send off our soldiers to go fight battle after battle, usually with no idea what the actual goal is. I mean sure, from the young soldiers perspective, go find and kill the enemy. But the macro scale of what the war is about, or what defines victory is often shielded from or completely incomprehensible to the common soldier.

And to a certain extent, I think that part of the PTSD we see in soldiers these days is the direct result of constant political shifting of the winds in regards the war (and not necessarily our ability to diagnose it better than in the past). A soldier fights small and large battles, but with no clear direction on where to go. The mission changes every day, victory is either not defined very clearly, or defined at all, bsides some vagueries thrown out by the higher ups. And sometimes I wonder if THEY even know what the overall objective is.

There is a lot of conjecture on both sides (pro- and anti-war) as to why we are in Iraq and Afghanistan. Iraq is winding down, we hope. Afghanistan is heating up again, after what seemed to be a long time stuck in a holding pattern. Some wish we'd pull out immediately, which comes with serious political implications. Others say we ought to throw more soldiers (which the President has decided to do on a smaller scale) at the effort there in Afghanistan (which also has serious political implications).

These days, the idea of a pure war do not exist. They are entirely too intertwined with politics, which are often filled with a whole lot of 'what-ifs" to function as they were intended. Which really makes it a disgrace and a show of dishonor to our troops to send them places to do things to which there is no real end game. We send them off to foreign lands to either babysit, or to inflict, view and experience death on a daily basis, only to someday bring the live ones back, and having accomplished nothing but the shedding of some blood. Also to is the concept of fighting a moral war, that somehow we can change the rules of engagement to make it somehow better. This can only be accomplished in the circles of theoretical, but misguided minds.

As a military history buff, and a former member of the military, I make it my official position that unless we can define our goals and just what victory is, our government has no business sending our troops anywhere. Let them stay here in the states and territories with their families, ready to defend our own citizens, until a clear need to dispatch them away to far off lands actually arises, and then, and only then, with a clear plan in place for the military to do what it does best.
If we adhere to such standards, I think that the relatively few wars we would actually engage in would be far more supported by the people here at home, which in turn would make it a less politically divisive issue to tear each other and our leaders at the time down.

Glad I'm a Boy and other happenings

This morning I came home from work. In the midst of telling my wife about my evening, she suddenly interrupts with "OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD"

While my work shift had some actual work involved, I didn't think it was so exciting that it would elicit such a strong and loud response. She was standing in front of the bathroom mirror doing what women do with their hair. I don't know about this kind of stuff. My involvement with my hair is cutting it back off as much as I can (also read: as short as my wife will allow it to get, apparently she isn't into the boot camp haircut on my head) Anyways....I thought, well maybe she burned herself with one of those hair tool thingys that women use. But no, that isn't the case. As I walk in to see her, she is examining a very lightly colored hair, it was pretty much white. I say pretty much, because it wasn't entirely white. It had SOME coloration to it. Now my wife wears vision correction devices. I on the other hand have better than 20/20 vision. So obviously I can see better than she can.

But she's freaking out about finding grey hairs on her head. She's 29. I met her when she was 17 when I met her. She had these ultra light colored hairs back then. I guess she never noticed them before. but she is completely focused on her having grey hairs. Apparently her mind can't get past what her eyes see. I attempt to explain to her that these are not "old lady" grey hairs, but merely the same kind of super light colored hairs she has always had. I've seen pictures of her when she was young and had hair that nearly qualified as albino in its coloration. While your hair may darken to a different hue over time, you never lose all your natural coloring, even the really light stuff. I know this, she SHOULD know this, but naturally being a woman, the first reaction is not to be logical and develop a clear sense of conclusions. Nope, its to freak out in some weird traumatic emotional overload.

And yes, I can get away with saying this, because my attempts to quell her emotional tide have already gotten her irritated with me...and being her boyfriend, fiancee, and husband for so many years, the hole I've dug for myself is so deep there is no hope of ever getting out of it. I'm currently constructing a state of the art nuclear proof bunker while I'm down here. I have already offered the rational, well thought out, and sensible conclusion as to what the hair was, and all without a hint of emotion. Well, there was some emotion, but it was the immature giddy kind, as I used a higher pitched voice while mocking her initial spastic verbal reactions. But beyond that...completely sensible. God, I am sure glad I'm a boy and don't freak out over such small fry stuff. I now shall sit back and await a unified female backlash for this posting here in the blog as well as from the facebook community of female friends who will chastise me about my insensitivity, to which I say "Screw it!"

The Colonel May Need to be Demoted

After returning home from a weekend full of Thanksgiving festivities, my wife decided it was time to erect the Christmas Tree. Not a big deal in my eyes. The Colonel however had ideas of using it as a training opportunity. At some point a few days ago, he attacked the tree vigorously in an attempt to make it submit. My wife caught him in the act. With one of the fake branches the cat had managed to dislodge from its place, she whacked the Colonel. He ran off to hide.

That was 4 days ago. Now, I get the whole retreat to regroup after a vicious attack like that. I've done it before, and will probably do it again. But I always come back. The Colonel has, as of the last 2 months, become oddly affectionate, and will crawl up in our laps for some relaxation while being petted. However it is day 4, and every time she approaches, he runs off and hides. Clearly the Colonel has become a coward. The Mookified Army, including the Feline Division, is expected to act bravely and smartly in all situations and never fear an opponent, no matter how ruthless they may be. As the Commanding General of the Mookified Armed Forces, i take to the front of the charge, involving myself in all the glorious battles that ensue, as a true leader should. I smart at my wife, knowing full well that I may be awakened from sleep being victimized with a maneuver called "The Claw" ripping my abdominal muscles away from my body. It tickles and hurts all at the same time, and yet, I return with aggressive rhetoric and offensive strategies of pure genius. I also know that at any given confrontation my wife may tweak my highly sensitive and tiny little nipples as a response to these offensives. It hurts like no one's business. But, the campaign must continue, no matter how many injuries I receive or purple hearts I find pinned to my uniform. Because in the words of a highly touted rap artist, "I ain't scurred."

Today, the Colonel had to be coaxed to her so she could pet him and let him know she still loved him. He was more than just a little apprehensive about this meeting. Clearly though, the Colonel has demonstrated a propensity for cowardice when it comes to my wife. It was a disappointing and embarrassing moment for me, as his commanding officer to see this streak of yellow painted boldly down his back. He will have limited time to earn his right to retain rank, otherwise, I may have to demote the cat.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The End Is Near!!!!

No, not the apocalyptic end, or anything like least I don't think so anyways.

Nope what I'm talking about is the end of the year, which also means the highly anticipated Rent-a-Cop of the Year Awards Ceremony. If you haven't been awarded a VIP ticket, just drop me a note, and we'll get you a seat reserved.

For those of you still wishing to contend for this prestigious award, there is still time. If you want to make a nomination, pass on this notice on. ALL NOMINATION FORMS MUST BE RECEIVED NO LATER THAN MIDNIGHT CENTRAL STANDARD TIME ON SUNDAY DECEMBER 6, 2009. Late entries will not be accepted.

The requirements are first to have worked a security gig of any kind DURING 2009...yes even those of you who acted as protective big brothers over your 4 yr old sister's birthday party at the Chuck E Cheese's will be accepted.

Secondly, you must submit a picture of you in your security uniform, even if its a stupid shirt that just says 'security' on it. All poses are accepted, be it a simple head shot, a mug shot (for those of you who went to jail for beating down some poor bum for rooting through one of your clients' trash bins), an action pose, etc. NOTE: We do NOT accept racy photos. Should you submit one, even as a jokey extra photo, to the committee, you will find yourself the subject of many blogs, web pages, maybe an ad in the paper or with online advertisers..but you will be given exposure of the negative type. We will also subject your email inbox with more spam than you thought could possibly fit. If you have limited space email accounts, we will crash them. Oh, and you will be docked points that go toward determining the winner of this award. All of these proposed consequences are not to be considered a threat, a promise, or any other like word. Merely a fact.

Thirdly, you must submit your accomplishments as to why you should be considered for Rent-a-Cop of the Year. This can be done in essay form, or merely enumerating your vast accomplishments. These must be actual events; you can't go making up fictitious events like saying you were responsible for stopping terrorist-hijacked planes from crashing into your beloved lego tower. And the language must be clean. In other words, if any word you use would get a 10 year old kid's mouth washed out with soap, I'd suggest you replace it with a different word of synonymous meaning. This is a disqualifying offense.

Fourthly, This year we have eliminated the talent contest as well as the swimsuit competitions. You can thank last years contestants for taking things a bit too far. I still shudder at the big hairy guy in the speedo. Trust me, this is for the well-being of all involved.

To submit your info, merely send all requirements to my email: with 'RENTACOP 2009' in the subject header. This will be a BYOB event. Hey, we're rentacops, which can also be read as 'poor broke bastards'.

1. To those wondering why I, Mookie, can be in contention for the award, while being on the judges' committee as well....hey, I invented this award, therefore I make the rules...get over it, or don't participate.

2. No, we will not divulge the contestants to the others involved until the day of the award. You can thank a couple guys who tried to mace and tase the competition a few days prior to the 2007 awards ceremony. We do not condone skewing the results through premeditated assaults. Which leads us to the next question...

3. YES, you do have to be present at the Awards Ceremony to win. If you aren't there, you can guarantee you lost.

4. NO, we do NOT pass out little awards for participating. This is America, and we believe in true competition. There is only one winner, and one winner only. The losers just have to suck it up and hope for next year.

5. Yes, contestants complaining about the judges, the outcome, or any other process associated with the competition have the right to be shot without prior warning. In other words, no bitching allowed. Before, during or after does not matter. We will have you shot in cold blood. We allow gloating by the winner no matter how horrible it is, but no sore losers.

6. This is a Badge and Tie affair for the contestants. Be sure to adhere to the rules, or you will be docked for it. For spouses, significant others, civil partners, or mere spectator can wear whatever you want. but since sometimes things get a bit too celebratory in nature at these awards shows, you know with crowd control lacking since the Rent-a-Cops will all be at VIP tables on stage and off-duty (meaning we don't friggin work that night for anything), I'd wear something you don't mind getting dirty...or wet.

7. This Judge can be bribed with a new pair of regulation black combat boots (size 8 1/2W)

That is all. Remember...all nominee forms need to be completed and turned in to my email box by midnight of Sunday, December 6th, 2009.