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Wednesday, March 30, 2011


     Spring, so we are told, has arrived. You could never tell it was so from the winter-like temperatures we have been experiencing. To make matters worse, the weather prognosticators are predicting a snowstorm for this Friday, April 1st. Is this some sort of sick April Fool's prank?

     Anyways, the forecast got me to thinking about the last blizzard we experienced up here in the frozen tundra that is New Hampshire in winter. It got me to thinking about those businesses and offices that closed down because of the snow and those that did not. The contrast between the two is fascinating.

     For example, most municipal and state government offices were closed. Apparently the government cannot govern during a snow storm. However, if you needed your morning fix of coffee, most Dunkin Donuts were open for business. Apparently government workers are incapable of making it into work when there's snow on the ground. However, the people who make the donuts and fresh coffee apparently have a higher calling and are able to make it into work.

     Another example are the Courts were closed. Apparently justice cannot be dispensed if the roads are snow covered. Lawyers, Judges and Court staff are precluded from making it into work when there's snow. Interestingly enough though, most breakfast shops were open. If you needed a hot breakfast the breakfast makers were on duty dispensing their waffles, pancakes and bacon, eggs and toast. It must be more important to provide sustenance to the masses than to dispense justice.

     A final example is education...all the schools were closed. Apparently children cannot be given an education and teachers cannot teach if there is snow falling or is already on the ground. However, if you have run out of milk and bread, the grocery stores are open. Apparently it is more important to have food available for sale than to have information available for instruction.

     To be clear, my criticism of the government institutions is with tongue firmly planted in cheek. My point is that there are many unsung heroes who trudge to work through all kinds of horrible weather to provide the conveniences of our daily life. Truth be told, all of us could go a day or two without our daily coffee and donut, hot breakfast or grocery store visit. Yet, these people somehow make it into work and are not paid very well for their trouble. 

     So, I salute all these dedicated people, these unsung heroes.  The next time you visit one of these establishments show your appreciation to these workers by giving them a smile and a kind word and if it's permitted leave them a tip. Enjoy your day!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


     I consider myself to be an abundantly blessed man. I have been privileged to have many people come into my life and make a significant impact. For this blog entry I will focus on some of the females, most of which have been human, who have enriched my life.
     First I would like to talk about Becke the Wonder Dog, a yellow Labrador retriever. Becke came into SWMBO and my life several years ago. Becke was a kennel dog, kept only for breeding purposes. Consequently, many of her natural instincts were suppressed. Notwithstanding that, she has become a valued member of our family. She is so gentle and has an almost puppy-like personality! She seems to understand how rambunctious she can be depending on who's about. She is more physical with me then she is with our two year old granddaughter with whom she is very gentle. She won't go to bed unless I give her permission. She won't go outside unless SWMBO opens the door for her. She is an absolute love.
     Next, a few weeks ago I fell in love with little Cadence Rose...our newest granddaughter was born. She is absolutely adorable. She doesn't have much to say and is kind of selfish. She also acts like the whole world revolves around her. She is right about that and if you check her little pinkie finger you will see me wrapped tightly around it.
     Speaking of pinky's, my eldest granddaughter, Emily Elizabeth , has me wrapped around hers as well. She turned two years old today. She is absolutely gorgeous. She is also absolutely petrified of her pepere. I guess I'm too big and too intimidating. But she is beginning to warm up to me. She is beginning to see that I'm not the ogre she perceives me to be.
     Another female in my life is my daughter Carmen, also known as Kicky. She has been, and continues to be, a constant source of joy to me. She has inherited my sense of humor often to the chagrin of her mother, my wife, the lovely SWMBO. I am so proud of my daughter. She has grown up, much to my chagrin, to become a great wife and a wonderful mother. I still see her as a little girl on roller skates with pig tails, wearing a football jersey and striking a pose. She will always hold a special piece of my heart.
     Last, and by no means least, is the lovely SWMBO. Lynn Marie and I have been married for 39 years this July. I love to the depths of my being. I love and appreciate the way she takes care of me and the way she makes a home that I yearn to come back to. She provides a refuge from the world. She provides me a safe haven. I am so proud to be her husband. I thank God so often for blessing my life with her. She has been, and continues to be, a wonderful fellow traveller through life.
      So, as you can see, the females in my life have been, and continue to be, a tremendous blessing....a blessing I do not deserve but for which I am so thankful.
     Who are the people who enrich your life?   

Monday, March 21, 2011


     There was a time when the question of the existence of God was pretty much settled. The consensus of opinion was that there is in fact a God. Our founding fathers believed the existence of God to be "self evident" and stated as much in the Declaration of Independence.Today, that consensus of opinion seems to have changed.
      For me the question is still settled. I have no doubt that there is a God! Why do I believe so strongly that there is a God? There are many reasons. It seems to me that the evidence is overwhelming in favor of the existence of God. In legal terms, there is proof beyond a reasonable doubt. 
      I recommend to all of you that you read the book " I Don't Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist " by Dr. Norman Geisler and Frank Turek. The thesis of this book is that it takes more faith not to believe in the existence of a creator God then it does to believe. Dr. Geisler and Mr. Turek present several of the classic atheistic arguments for the non-existence of God and then present their view, supported by evidence, as to why it takes more faith to accept them.
       One of the primary reasons why I believe that there is a God is the Bible. The Bible is truly a miracle book. It has been the number one best seller of any book in print for many, many years. Throughout history kings and governments have tried to suppress or eradicate this book from existence only to fail miserably in the attempt. There are several other reasons why the Bible is a miracle book. Let's look at a few of those reasons.
       The Bible consists of 66 different books and was written over a period of about 1500 years by more then forty different authors from diverse walks of life. Moses was a political leader and a judge. David was a king, poet, shepherd and warrior. Daniel was a noble who became a prime minister. Solomon was a king and a philosopher. Luke was a physician and a historian. Peter was an uneducated fisherman. Matthew was a tax collector. Paul was a rabbi and a theologian.
       The Bible was written on three continents, Asia, Africa and Europe. The Bible was written in three languages Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek. Despite this diversity the Bible tells one consistent unfolding story of the creation, fall, and redemption of man.
      The Bible has been shown to be accurate with respect to History, Science, Geography, and Archaeology to just name a few subjects. Most persuasive to me is the accuracy of Bible prophecy. There are about 300 prophecies about the Messiah written hundreds of years before his birth by different authors. Every one of them was fulfilled in every detail by the man Jesus Christ. The odds of such a thing happening by mere chance are too astronomical to calculate. All Biblical prophecy has been fulfilled as predicted with one exception, the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. 
       So, the existence and content of the Bible is just one of the many reasons why I believe there is a God.  Over the ensuing blog entries I'll highlight more reasons. I strongly urge all of you to make a sincere and diligent examination of the evidence for the existence of God. I promise you that you will not be sorry that you did. Let me know if I can help! 
       Until next time, God Bless You!

Friday, March 18, 2011


       People sometimes ask me what being a police officer is like. There are many answers to this question. One of my favorites is "It's like having a front row center seat to the greatest show on earth!" It's incredible what we see on a daily basis. We see everything ranging from the horribly tragic to the absurdly funny. Here are a few examples of the latter.

       A police officer was operating stationary traffic radar. He clocked a vehicle exceeding the speed limit by 12 miles per hour. He effects a motor vehicle stop. He follows all the necessary protocols. He selects a safe place to make the stop. He positions his vehicle properly. He calls in the stop to Dispatch. When he leaves his patrol car he quietly closes the door. He walks up to the driver and professionally introduces himself. As he is explaining to the driver why he was being stopped the officer suddenly sees the car shudder and simultaneously hears a bump. Upon looking to his left the officer sees his patrol car tight against the  car that he stopped. Although the officer tried very hard to do everything right, he forgot one little thing...he did not place the gear selector of his patrol car into "Park" before getting out to make contact with the driver. The correct term for this is "OOPS!"

       A police officer stops in at a convenience store to get a cup of coffee. He parks his fully marked police cruiser in front of the store. He walks into the store and goes to the coffee bar. While he is at the coffee bar, in full uniform, a man walks in and walks up to the counter. The man pulls a gun, points it at the clerk and announces a robbery and demands cash. 
       The officer couldn't believe what he was seeing. He immediately took cover, drew his sidearm and to the utter amazement of the robber, announced his presence and made the felony arrest. This deep thinking robber walked past the fully marked police car to enter the store. You can't make this stuff up.

       Another deep thinker walks in to a Pizza Restaurant and asks for a job. The manager gives him  an application form and a pen. The applicant completes the form and hands it to the manager. His next move was to pull a gun and rob the store. He left leaving the store leaving the job application behind. He was arrested a very short time later. He apparently used his full name and address on the job application. He wasn't hired!

       Well, I hope you had a laugh or two. There are many more such examples of criminal humor which just might be the subject of future blog entries. Just when you think that you've met the dumbest person to ever draw breath, someone always comes along to prove you wrong! Enjoy your day.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


      One day I noticed that some of the kitchen cabinets were sagging, apparently coming loose from the ceiling. So I jury rigged a brace using some scrap wood and the jack from my truck. This supported the cabinets pending further action.

Kitchen Cabinets Braced!          

     SWMBO did not want to keep the cabinets in the jury rigged condition so we, that is I, had to find a solution. Of course, SWMBO asked me why the cabinets were sagging and of course, I had no idea.

     I solicited advice from friends who were more adept at home repairs than me, which means pretty much anyone else I know. The consensus of opinion was that the cabinets had to come down before a definitive diagnosis could be made.

     I had a carpenter come by and give me an estimate. He said it would cost at least $700/day plus the cost of materials. I had an appointment with another carpenter who failed to show up as scheduled. Not having $700 dollars plus lying around I decided to tackle the job myself. After all, I'm pretty good at breaking things. It's the putting them back together where the problems usually arise.

     Day one of the destruction...I mean the demolition, went fairly well. I did not shed any blood and neither the ceiling nor the roof came crashing down.

Demolition Day One!
      Notice the two milk cans, books and shelving. Considering I was doing this by myself I wanted something to lower the cabinets to so they did not slam onto the counter. It worked very well.

      Demolition day two went equally as well. The most difficult problem I ran into was almost completely stripping the screw heads holding the cabinets to the ceiling . Another problem I ran into was plugging a 12 volt DC charger in to a 5 volt electric drill, cooking the drill. 

Demolition Day Two

        SWMBO and I decided to replace the cabinets with two wall cabinet units each with an appliance garage underneath. We went to Lowe's Hardware Store and Home Depot and found a couple of brochures with cabinets we liked. We hope to enclose the soffit over the peninsula counter with sheetrock, spackle and paint.
      Stay tuned for further developments. Enjoy your day!


Friday, March 11, 2011


     Every now and then an issue arises that causes me some measure of annoyance. I realize that there is little I can do to address the issue so please be patient while I indulge myself and vent my spleen a little.
     I was watching the news recently when I saw a story about some parents who thought it a good idea to bring their young daughter to a police station for the purpose of having the police scare her into behaving properly. The police refused to cooperate with the parents and subsequently charged the parents with neglect or some such thing.
     During my career, I have had the experience of being in uniform in a public place. I have seen and heard parents point to me and tell their young child that if they did not behave I was going to take them away and put them in jail. Now to set the stage properly try to imagine the scene. I stand six feet four inches and weigh as much as an NFL short I appear intimidating. Now put yourself in place of the child aged somewhere between 5 years and ten years old. How do you think they feel?
     Judging by the wide eyed fear in the eyes of the child, I surmise that they are petrified. I have a real problem with parents who chose to frighten their children as a parenting technique. This is just wrong!
     Imagine, if you will, that this same child later disobeys his parents and wanders off out of the backyard and becomes lost. Who are the parents going to call? The police of course! Now imagine what might be going through that child's mind when they see us looking for them.
     "I must have done something really bad. I didn't listen to Mommy I left the yard without permission. I am in real trouble! The police are looking for me to take me away!"  
     So, what is the child more likely to do...hide or go to the policeman and ask for help? Obviously they are going to hide.
      Now add to this the extremes of weather, the dangers of exposure to frigid cold or worse, predators of the two and/or four legged kind. The probable result is an avoidable tragedy.
     Parents, please teach your children that if they need help the police are there to do just that, to help them. It just might save their lives! Please teach them that Police are not in the business of punishing anyone, especially children!
     Another similar scenario concerns adolescent children. A parent will bring their disrespectful, disobedient, out of control adolescent child to the police station and essentially tell the officer on duty to "fix" them. NOT GOING TO HAPPEN, PEOPLE! You've had them for their entire life. There is no way on this earth that the police are going to be able to undo all the years of upbringing, for good or ill, that you have exposed them to. We're good but we're not that good!
     By the time kids become teenagers they often know exactly what the police can do and what they cannot do. So telling a teenager that the police are going to bring all manner of dire consequences upon them when they know that it is not true is, shall we say, counter-productive.
     The solution is, it seems to me, that from the beginning you love your child unconditionally. Next, you teach your child right from wrong while they are still young and hold them accountable. You teach them that bad choices result in bad consequences and good choices result in good consequences. When they do something wrong they need to experience negative consequences commensurate with their age AND the deed. Also, when they do something right they need to be praised and encouraged, also commensurate with their age and the deed. Be loving! Be consistent! Be Persistent!   
      Police are here to help, not to be your personal bogey-man! SMARTEN UP PEOPLE! It doesn't take a village to raise a child, it takes two loving, committed parents.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


     As I write this Blog entry there is still about three feet of snow in our back yard. There is a mound of snow in our driveway that is about six feet tall by about fifteen feet long by about ten feet wide. Temperatures range from a high in the mid 30's to lows in the single digits. We consider it a warm day when the mercury rises above freezing. I am so done with winter!
     I understand that winter is the price we have to pay for the other three seasons and I positively love the other three seasons. As I get older, though, this price seems to be too much. I mean, winter starts around late October/early November and lasts until March...that's five months. Yuck!
     In the beginning of winter the crisp, cold air is invigorating. The first snow storm makes the landscape look like a Currier & Ives Christmas Card. A crackling fire in the fireplace and the smell of a wood fire is wonderful. However, after you have shoveled your back deck, your front walk and the path for the oil man to make his deliveries for the millionth time, winter kinda loses it's charm.
     Another downer that is winter consists of the people who have resided in New Hampshire for years, have driven on our roads for years, but somehow manage to forget the laws of physics and how frozen precipitation impacts them. They drive as if these laws didn't apply to them. They often painfully learn their error after they have rearranged the structural integrity of their, or someone else's, motor vehicle.   
     So as I anticipate the arrival of Spring with it's milder temperatures and bright, warming sunshine, I am so done with least until the next one.
     Die Winter! Die! Die! Die!

Monday, March 7, 2011


     Are the words "Legally Binding" an anachronism in today's world? Is any contract or agreement binding anymore? I wonder!
     Consider professional athletes. You often hear of an athlete who beats all the odds and signs a multiple year professional sports contract. After one year, they decide that they are being underpaid. They next demand to renegotiate the terms of their contract demanding more money. To press their case they refuse to honor the terms of their initial contract and they stop working.
     A recent example of this comes from the New York Jets professional football team. By way of full disclosure I am not a fan of the NY Jets. I'm a New England Patriots fan, and proud of it!
     Jarelle Revis, a cornerback, played his rookie season. His performance was outstanding and showed him to be one of the best players to play that particular position. People lavishly heaped praise on his abilities, from his head coach to other players and coaches, to sports reporters. Come the next season, Revis refused to report to training camp until the Jets gave him a new contract with vastly more money.
     Consider the state of marriage in America today. Experts say that one out of every two marriages end in divorce. When people marry they make a solemn vow before God, family and friends to love, honor and cherish each other, forsaking all others until death do they part. Doesn't their vow really mean anything? What happens to cause them to abrogate their vows?
     I concede that some marriages are ended legitimately where one of the partners commits adultery, or becomes abusive towards the other partner. However, a vast majority of the marriages end for much less serious reasons. Again, do vows mean anything anymore?
     A final example comes to us from Brigham Young University. BYU students must read and sign a statement of understanding regarding standards of personal conduct. Violation of the standards is grounds for suspension or expulsion from school. A star athlete engaged in pre-marital sex with his girlfriend. The act was consensual between the two parties and no allegation of criminality is even suggested. However, the act constituted a violation of the standards of personal conduct and the athlete was kicked out of school.
     In response, a great hue and cry arose condemning BYU for enforcing their standards. No one forced the student athlete to attend BYU. He could have chosen to go to another college with a less stringent code of conduct. However, he freely chose to attend BYU and freely agreed to conform his personal conduct to the standards set forth by the school.
     There was a time when a handshake was a binding contract. How far we have fallen from that standard!
     What do you think? Am I wrong?