Here Comes Halloween!

Yessss…don the persona, hide the banal, and become young once again. So I did once again – as I try to every year – dolling it up for the temporary heathens.

Oh, I do dislike the non-costumed greedy bastages…I give them a ration of shit – and a ration of crappy little Dum Dums since they suit.

But I also retain a few extra large fancy chocolate bars for those who went above and beyond. I reward excellence. It surprises the recipients and it makes me happy, too.

Amusingly, the local PD pal visited a time, whipping open the door and surprising the kids. I cracked up. Too, he thought my own gaudy trappings were amazing. I don’t know why more adults don’t get rigged up. Fun, fun…of course, we ran out of candy before we ran out to ToTs. They bus them in here.

Speaking of rigged up…Jayne, here…makes me laugh everytime.

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I hope it has been just the spooky break you needed.

Getting Squirrely

Well, damn…looks like the Jello Tamer’s marriage is kaput. It happens – A LOT – enough that when Trooper and I got serious I had a few people give me the one eyebrow look. Sure, everyone wants to marry into the Secret Squirrel Society and get the learnin’. From the outside its all sexy uniforms, badged power, and take-charge mentality. Whats not to like? Well, it can be that way for awhile. But then things start to fall apart and many, MANY marriages suffer. Hell, yeah. I know the statistics. But I also know the reason for them.

Fucking Around With Badge Whores: Lord knows I was a `ho for that damned motor unit uniform but it was HOT! My little jack booted thug…anyway, the skanks are out there and anyone who doesn’t see it is a fool. If you choose to marry a guy with less sense and fewer morals this is merely the first mistake he’ll make.

Not Able To Be Alone – A LOT: If you are the type that has to have attention, that lives all a-feared until Daddy gets home then this sort of life will leave you a wreck. If you can’t kill that bug, investigate that suspicious noise, take that shower alone, then you will not make it. They are gone ALL THE TIME. If the salary is shit, as it is in DPS, then you can be assured that even those two off days during the week (when you are likely working and unable to enjoy with him)and the one weekend a month he has off will be spent – in part – on another job. You’d better enjoy your own company, too, because even though it’s a “family”, it has that same set of dysfunctional bullshit.

Dysfunctional Bullshit: You know how life is during the holidays when family gets together and crazy Aunt Barbara loses her shit or Uncle Joe smokes in the bathroom or the dog poops on the sofa to make its own point about company? Same, same…I’ll be honest right here: I do not associate with any of the “wives” in his area. Used to…but they are all a couple decades younger than we are, still in their “acquire at any cost” mindset of the youth today. Be that babies (lovely little competition with – what? – 3 now changing diapers?), homes, furniture or cars. Regardless, none of them are comfy with an evening at home with the dogs and not drinking. Or just getting a cheap burger and talking hours over one iced tea after another. Hell, we LOVE beer – but it isn’t required at every get together and assuredly not when one is driving – talk about a career ender. AND being a hypocrite. So, no. I’ve no time for that nonsense. Get back to me in about 10 years, assuming your marriage has survived.

Not Interested in Guns, Shooting, Hunting, Getting Out in Da Woods: Holy crap. How many times have I met a spouse who simply doesn’t care about guns or doesn’t know how to enjoy a night in the woods with a shovel for a latrine. I guess much the same can be said for military spouses. If you don’t know the lingo, don’t know the tools of the job, don’t want to decompress well away from the people that they deal with every hour of every day…well, you might be surprised if your mate doesn’t spend much time at home. They may enjoy an evening on the sofa, watching a goofy chick flick with you, quietly texting a pal about the latest SWAT callout. But you will eventually find yourself left out of, or lost in, a lot of conversations…

Listening More Than Talking: They have to deal with the most moronic and skank nasty people you can imagine all day while consistently watching to ensure they don’t intend to KILL them. Now, mine has some break from that compared to the duty in Atlanta. Out here it isn’t nearly as nasty. But most do work in the city and that is some bad duty. When they get home, they will – if they handle it well – want to just have some quiet time and talk through the day, relate the high or low points, get a laugh out of it and then proceed into their off-duty persona and life. It is not the time to bring up the broken shower fixture, the dirty diapers, the garbage that needs to go out or how you need a new dress. In short, it is not about you. If you cannot STFU for 30 minutes at a stretch then please subject yourself to a different kind of person.

Accept That You Will Not Always Be Happy: Well, this is a tough one. People are told so often that they deserve to be happy, it’s not right that someone harshes their divine mellow because they are SPECIAL. If answered truthfully, many of the guys (and gals, yes) will admit that they love their work possibly more than they love their homelife. You may just come in second to the job. I’ll be the first to admit that there are many times that I get angry because I cannot plan a simple holiday – one day a year – and KNOW that he’ll be off. I can’t even plan for his long weekend because the schedule is issued about a week before the start of the month and several constraints (like maternity leave and training) can impact it with little notice. I get angry, yes. I am a planner. I need to know, in advance, where we will be so I can tell others of the plans. This means that I am often disappointed. Vacations? Are you nuts? My coworkers can look at a July and know they will be off for a particular set of days. We have to wait until the schedule comes out, look for the 4-day weekend, and hope like hell the budget permits something. It hasn’t in a few years. So you settle for those cheap burgers and long chats with good friends. Hell, you might even live large and have a beer at home since you won’t be on-call. Yes, you will be angry. You will often be disappointed. Your spouse won’t be able to do a goddamned thing about it. You will have to work doubly hard to not blame them.

Homelife? What homelife?: All that segues nicely into the basic fact that some forces are not on a set schedule. I have to look at a damned spreadsheet everyday to know when to make dinner. His schedule moves from pre-dawn duty to post-dinner duty throughout the month. If he has an FTO, I might not see him at all unless we have the trainee in for dinner. And not all of them are the kind you want to entertain. We’ve been pretty fortunate in that regard so I’ve set a table for 3 fairly often. When he is home he sleeps. If he isn’t sleeping or getting ready to go on, he is trying to fit in a workout so he can stay in decent shape to fight off the bad guys. Fitting in any home maintenance or chores or shopping trips is difficult. You will be on-call for all that sort of thing 90% of the time. They mean well, I assure you. They want to get that light fixture mounted for you. But it isn’t a priority. Which means that if it is something you really need to have done you’ll have to make that clear to them, or do it yourself – or hire someone else to do it. That last can also be problematic…

Secured Access: Not just anyone is let into the sanctum sanctorum. Even if you have the funds for a maid service, good luck getting that approved…strangers are simply not a good idea. We all want to think that you can trust most people but the truth is that each Trooper has a bounty on their badge. Access to their home, their schedule, their whereabouts and peccadillos is verboten. You may want to have that Book Club meeting at your home but unless you are all “family” you may receive the Eyebrow Of Doubt. Add in that you will likely have a weapon in every room when at home and you will find that people who are not “squirrel friendly” will have something to say about it. And they may say it to someone who won’t be against trying to get at the supply line.

Kids? You’re kidding, right?: Get a big dog first. Try that out for about a year. Please.
Even if I could have children I would still have to give it deep thought. Admittedly, I am a “have kids, stay home and raise them, please” type. I don’t care which one of you does – I simply detest the packing up of ones precious minds and handing them over to people who make minimum wage. So assuming you have to work…are you ready to do everything? Caring for the house, the cars, the pets, AND the kids? After a full day at work? Because you will. Oh, they’ll try to help. But go ahead and look at that Homelife topic. Those that do make it work are absolute gods. And likely exhausted. Make them a lasagna, won’t you? I cannot even imagine…anyway, it’ll all be on you so suck it up, do the job and don’t complain or don’t have kids. Yeah, I’m a bitch like that. Sorry.

Well, there you have it – my gentle advice for anyone thinking about entering into the society. And all this assumes that your beloved is a REALLY DECENT sort and not one of those off-kilter power mongers who can’t wait to tell YOU what to do, too. The job can attract a lot of bad people. We see them in the news all the time. The odds of finding the sincere and decent members are moderate.

And if they are already married? Please – don’t feed into that. Send them home to deal with it – either with honest appraisals of themselves or divorce papers. Because there is a spouse hoping they will get home safe, not even thinking that they might be looking for a reason to not go home just yet.

Jesu – I almost forgot. LEOs need to be just as cautious in their choice of mate. Good LORD, how many times have I seen them pick the worst possible option – “she doesn’t like guns or talking about my job and that’s a relief!” – uh, yeah. I think the real relief is that she’s young, pretty, and thinks you are all-powerful. That will wear off for both of you in short order.

Be wise. Know that a marriage is often just like a job – it requires work, respect for each other, kindness and politeness when you really want to throw a stapler at their head, as well as an ability to accept disappointment. Sometimes you won’t even like each other. And sometimes even the love you had at the start has to be sanded down and refinished, having tarnished over the years. Sometimes you will have to be the cheerleader, bringing low spirits up when you know that there is a reason for low spirits and you’d just as soon wallow in them, too. And if you happen to have that cheerleader outfit already? Hey, win-win, my friend…now, I wonder where he put those motor boots?….

Catching Up

It’s a classic Friday night in Texas with the football game loudspeaker audible in the back yard and Trooper noting the very polite ways of the visiting team as he pulls another part time to keep this ship afloat. Lovely man…warm peanut butter cookies will greet him when he comes in. Earned, after a full days’ work followed by more hours on his feet…

I drove back from the grocery in the dusk, slowly passing the cattle moving slowly to the fenceline to get the grass that is surely greener just on that other side. Yes, in a year that view will be gone, replaced by another building that no one really needs but which this small town will accept. Perhaps our property value will rise enough to let us leave…still…there are benefits to this small stop on the main road.

There you can see the view that greets me on the commute to the office, the fabulous tollway striking a clean line through the once-pastureland.

When we were away all we could talk about was how we missed the wide skies of home. And this admittedly horrid cell shot while moving can hardly convey its beauty. I am fortunate, I know, to have this before me. I miss not at all those 8 lanes of 75 South.

It was a difficult day, though, as the puppies were full of themselves and troublesome. Rain came briefly at dawn, settling me back into dreams of underwater sheep, grazing and walking around as though they’d always been amphibious. Some were bare of fleece, glistening like sharkskin, and others retained their wool and it moved like mermaid hair in the currents.

Suffice to say, I woke late and confused, with no time to do more than shove a breakfast sandwich at Trooper and settle in to the day.

Kota was the one most unhappy with the situation. No matter how much time outside I gave her, this was the result.

The window shows the evidence of her frustrations. But it is that face that gets me. Intense in moments. Intent clear. And sometimes a bit too feral to the eye though not in act. Most amusing is the cock of the white brow when she is puzzled. So perfect in execution that you can hardly keep from smiling.

She is smart…too damned smart in some ways. But as much as Ranger is delicate and cautious – so is she heavy-pawed and coarse. Even her gait is different, all stiff-legged and stomping compared to his prancing trot.

It has taken a lot of time and patience to get her in hand and it will take more, still, to keep it that way. She does not like strangers in the house so we’ve work to do on that front. Still a lot of wolf in her, the man said. And I have to agree. Yes, that piece of her remains and likely always will. But it also gives her that need of me, her pack, and her now-gentler pawing at me for attention. She dislikes an unexpected touch, flinching with surprised nerves, but craves it when she is able to control it, see it coming. A darling girl – but she does have a flaw.

The butter.

She ate two sticks in the course of a week when I’d neglected to comprehend her size and reach. I have a stick set out nearly every day for cooking so it was something I never considered. Ranger doesn’t counter surf, after all. I wasn’t prepared for her to assault it.

I do wonder, sometimes, if it is simply a need for more fat in her diet. Perhaps she needs the content for her wolf side and cannot help but desire it. I gave her a few pieces today after she kindly waited for the photo. You can almost see that madness gleaming in her eye, though, can’t you?

Well, there is all that…and then there is this – morale patches received in a crap shoot order. Mystery patches, you see, you have to take your chances to get the one you want. I, of course, gamed the system and got them all in order to get the one I wanted. This leaves me with two that I don’t really need. And yet…they aren’t exactly the kind of thing that everyone enjoys…

If you happen to know someone that can use them, email me and one or both can come your way for that – er – deserving person. Perhaps it is just the stocking stuffer you were hoping to find.

And that nearly gets us up to date. Now, I hear that old Ford pulling up so…good night…


I think renaming Echelon to Facebook was possibly the most effective re-branding exercise ever.” — Matt Jones”
From here

The author of the quote later noted this.

I may use Facebook but it isn’t an accurate rendering. And the friends are few enough to not reveal more than I’d like. But even this commentary, posting on any site, is a revelation to any and all who care to look deeper.

Which reminds me of this find (Bell System Technical Journal, 1922-1983) that may one day be handy for a more…antiquated communication option.

Cold Feet

Trooper worked a part time last night, getting home at pre-dawn in a night that had turned far colder than the dusk had been. He was on his motorcycle and every mile dropped his core temp. He came in nearly too cold…a draft of whiskey and a snuggle down deep against my warm self set him to snoring in moments – once the shivering stopped.

I was thinkinf this evening, as he makes his rounds again but wound round with thick leather instead, of how the seasons here are so forgiving.

October always had leaves, it’s true, even in the city. I loved to crunch the dried ones, wet leaves being not much fun at all. And if there was a sycamore, you could be assured of shin-high piles to kick through. But October also always had a sharpness to it in that cold place. Halloween was the best day of the year but it was tiresome to wear a heavy coat over your carefully crafted disguise.

At least in this tender place one can get away with a light jacket that you can make a parent carry so that your costume can be appreciated fully. Still…that princess will shiver as her bucket fills and that superhero will think twice about the comfort a skin tight shirt lends.

Cold it was in my memory of those days…hands chilled on the swinging handle of the jackolantern pail, watching your breath fly away on the wind. I do not have many memories of the summers there at all. Only the tightly bundeled woolened days of winter remain…

I was built for that cold. I love feeling that chill wind, having it swirl off the beloved as they sweep through the door. This movie gives me a dose that cuts my jonesin’…

I’ve not heard the snow under my boots nor struggled for air in the thin aether in a few years now. I miss it fiercely sometimes.

I know, I know – it’s no place to hold out against an onslaught. But my feet have been coddled and warm for so long…it would be good to have them complain with that dull ache of a chilled earth. Snow, this season. Somehow, I must get back to it just for a little while…