Category Archives: family

cops and good neighbors

Housing
Image by james.thompson via Flickr

When I moved into my home well over a decade ago I was still a fairly fresh rookie with a young family. People being as nosey as they are, (and my stopping home for lunch/dinner in a patrol car), people learned fairly quickly that a cop had moved onto the street. As the years went by I began to notice a dynamic that was never explained in the academy. How you balance being a cop with being a homeowner.

One of the first hurdles I remember was trying to figure out which battles were worth fighting and which were not. The neighbor kid with his loud base thumping while I was trying to sleep? That needed to be addressed. When I stepped out the door and yelled (had to) “HEY..THATS WAY TOO LOUD!  TURN IT DOWN!!” the kids snotty buddy decided to reply with “It’s not after 11 PM yet…” alluding to the Town’s noise ordinance hours (which he didn’t know also includes unreasonable noise at any hour). After I replied with something like; “would you really like to test your knowledge of the law?” I recall the neighbor kid murmering “shut-up..he’s a cop”. The radio was turned down.

Funny thing is, I heard some other neighbors clapping from their windows. Apparently they either didn’t have the nerve to say anything or perhaps they thought it was the “cop on the streets” job.

Then there are the irritating things that just are not worth the hasstle. The neighbor down the street who thinks that they can park in either direction in front of their home because they obviously think that they are special and don’t have to obey the parking laws. Or the friends of the guy across the street who decide to park on the “No Parking” side of our street, just because he feels like it. I’m not about to walk over there and lecture them about it. All you will get then is complaints filed with the building inspectors office if you let the grass get too long, or calls to patrol to complain when a visitor parks their car over the sidewalk while in your drive way. None of that has happend to me mind you, but I have seen it happen to other coppers. I haven’t determined if this sort of behavior (petty violations like parking) is simply arrogance or if they actively think “I’ll park however I want, the “neighbor cop” won’t want to stir up bad blood over it”.

Then theres the issue of the other neighbors who don’t like these parking headaches either,but somehow think I should be deling with it vs THEM calling in a complaint.

Don’t get me wrong, all of my neighbors are decent people. If they were assholes, I would “take care of business”. In a way that would almost be easier, but the fact that they are otherwise good neighbors tends to cause me to overlook these minor issues.

BUT is that part of the “Quid Pro Quo”? Is there an conscious aspect to this? While they wouldn’t park in front of a No Parking sign if one of my co-workers was driving down the street, they don’t have any qualms with doing it otherwise because we have a “go along to get along” agreement?

And to add to the issue is the fact that I as the “cop on the street” have to be sure that I adhere to every law and ordinance because sure as shooting the murmers of “he thinks he can do whatever he want because he’s a cop” would start going around.

 It’s stuff like this that I bring up when the “Cops are just people with a job like any other” debate starts up. Like it or not we have different expectations of behavior on AND off duty and people treat us differently even when we are at home.

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Good Luck, Bad Luck. Who knows?

Talisman/Omamori/Good Luck Charm
Image by timtak via Flickr

The Chinese farmer

There is a Chinese story of an old farmer who had an old horse for tilling his fields. One day the horse escaped into the hills and, when all the farmer’s neighbours sympathised with the old man over his bad luck, the farmer replied, ‘Bad luck? Good luck? Who knows?’

A week later the horse returned with a herd of wild horses from the hills and this time the neighbours congratulated the farmer on his good luck. His reply was, ‘Good luck? Bad luck? Who knows?’

Then, when the farmer’s son was attempting to tame one of the wild horses, he fell off its back and broke his leg. Everyone thought this very bad luck. Not the farmer, whose only reaction was, ‘Bad luck? Good luck? Who knows?’

Some weeks later the army marched into the village and conscripted every able-bodied youth they found there. When they saw the farmer’s son with his broken leg they let him off. Now was that good luck? Bad luck? Who knows?

reference

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what a man

They dont make them like this very often anymore.
Read about the life of James Stewart.

An actor who gave it all up to serve his country and actually fought as a combat pilot. No cushy rear area job for this guy. He enlisted as a private and retired from service as a general. Married only one woman and actually kept the “till death do we part” vow too. How many bona-fide movie stars can match that?

Jimmy Stewart insisted that he was just one of the boys, no more important than any other serviceman. He refused to talk to reporters about his war experiences or appear in any kind of publicity event that capitalized on his service. He also refused to act in movies that depicted combat, leading him to turn down lucrative roles in big movies like Midway and The Longest Day. He explained, “They’re just hardly ever the way it really is.”

Jimmy Stewart died at his home of a pulmonary blood clot at the age of eighty nine on July 2, 1997. His funeral service was held at The Presbyterian Church which was the family church in Beverly Hills. The Stewart family sat in the same pew for forty years. Here he was married and where his wife’s funeral was held a few years prior to his own.  He is interred in Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California.

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mans best friend

empty bowl

Todays Crossfit WOD had a link to the Saddleback Leather Company. It was to a story called In memory of Blue. If you are a dog owner it may make you feel a bit down, but its worth the read anyway.

He certainly wasn’t a backyard dog that I threw a bone to now and then. We were usually together 24 hours a day. He always had to be leaning against me at night and during the day always had to at least have his paw or chin resting on me in the truck. When I was sad, he was quiet. When I was happy, he was too. He knew me almost better than a human could have and I knew him almost better than I know myself.

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Ratatouille on critics

ego

I was watching Ratatouille with the kids this morning, when a character gave this quote:

In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face is that, in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is more meaningful than our criticism designating it so…

Sometimes even kids movies have something profound to say.

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that time of year

The air is growing colder, the sky is growing greyer and the change of the season is something that can be felt all around, like the coming of rain. Something that has always marked the change of the year to me has been the beginning of deer season. As a child I remember my father, grandfathers and uncles going off to hunt. It always signaled the start of the holiday season to me back then, shortly after opening day came Thanksgiving, then Christmas and the New Year. Then snow was something looked forward to.

When I was old enough to hunt it was back when my grandfathers were alive. Opening day was a ceremonial event, remembered for the gathering of my father, my grandfather, my uncles, my friends and their brothers and fathers. For a while even my sister participated. Opening day was a valid excuse to be absent from school in my hometown. The hunting was enjoyable, but the real memories were in the gathering around the thermos cups of coffee and telling tales of the big ones that got away, the hunts of years gone bye and the family legends and tales that we all have.

As the years have gone by, the grandfathers have passed away and the friends have moved away or moved along. For a number of years it was just my father and I. Now, after his bypass, I have gone out to the woods only a handful of times. While I am blessed with three beautiful daughters, none of them are interested in getting up in the early morning hours and braving the weather and the cold to walk the woods. Last year my partner decided to pick up the shotgun again and we went out a for few days and plan on going again this year. While it is still enjoyable and my partner has become a good friend, in some ways deer season has changed from being a ceremony of community and continuing tradition, to a symbol of the changing of human life.