Friday, August 31, 2007

Friday Moment of Silliness

Sleestaks in the library

This cracks husband and me up. Then again we are easily amused

Thursday, August 16, 2007

At what price, this 'routine' vigil?

Yesterday a Sgt. from one of our local sheriff's offices was killed. This is an opinion in today's local paper. I like Howard Troxler, sometimes I don't agree with him (what do they say about opinions?). I really like this tribute and think it applies to all who do the 'routine' job of Law Enforcement.


By HOWARD TROXLER, Times Staff Writer
Published August 16, 2007

At least 22 arrests dating from age 12. A prison record. A history of violence. An upcoming trial that seemed likely to put him back behind bars.

Michael Allen Phillips had built some track record. And he was just 24 years old.

"Mike was mentally unstable," his ex-girlfriend told a reporter Wednesday, "but he was a good person, too."

Definitions vary.

Early Wednesday, good person or not, authorities say that he shot and killed a veteran Hillsborough County sheriff's deputy, told his ex-girlfriend of the act, and informed her that he was coming for her family next.

Deputies soon found Phillips at his mother's home in Brandon. According to Sheriff David Gee, he spouted Aryan sayings over the telephone to negotiators. Phillips then exchanged gunfire with the SWAT team that surrounded the house. That decision did not turn out well for him.

- - -

Some years ago an officer pulled me over in the rain. For some idiot reason I got the idea I would save him some trouble, got out and ran toward his cruiser.

The officer threw open his door, dropped to one knee and called on me to stop RIGHT NOW. I do not remember seeing his weapon but he would have been right to draw it.

This memory never left me, not just because of my own stupid act, but because of what it showed about the nature of his job.

Hour after hour, day after day, it is routine, boring, frustrating, rewarding, and then in the span of seconds before you can finish this sentence, you are stone dead.

Sometimes you get advance notice of the risk. Tampa Bay officers have lost their lives in hot pursuit of killers, responding to violent crimes or being involved in undercover assignments.

But the circumstances of their deaths also include: approaching a parked car, making a routine traffic stop and even just sitting in their own vehicle. What other job is like this? What if selling cars, or accounting, or cutting hair, could be fatal any second?

- - -

Sgt. Ron Harrison apparently wasn't chasing a murderer, or a kidnapper, or breaking up a robbery.

He had been at a DUI checkpoint, given that he was the sheriff's head of DUI enforcement.

They say he seemed to be in a good mood as he left. Maybe he was thinking, as he pulled away, that they had made the roads safer that night.

It is not clear exactly how Harrison was shot, or whether Phillips was in a car or on foot.

Either way, Harrison apparently realized he had minutes at best, no time even to radio. He turned his car, maybe headed for the closest hospital. His cruiser left the road and hit a tree, which is where they found him. He was 55.

- - -

I have a neighbor, a nice guy, friendly to everybody, great sense of humor. He and his wife just had a baby boy, their first.

Sometimes I see him out on the street and wave. Sometimes he pulls up in front of my house and we shoot the breeze for a few minutes.

Then he drives away in his police cruiser for his night shift. The idea that he might pull away and that I might never see him again - that his wife and his baby might not - I cannot imagine it, nor imagine what guts it takes to live that way, or at what cost.

Monday, August 13, 2007

And so it begins

Oh Sweet Jesus, football season has started. I'm not sure if I can make it through. I mean I'm already stir crazy from being home most of the time, and now football. I don't mind the regular season so much, only three days a week, and the evening games I only have to sit through half of it. Husband usually leaves for work around half-time.

But pre-season is like basketball season, it seems to never end. There is a game every night this week. Am I being a bad wife? I try to care, but its really hard.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Observations on Unemployment

Unfortunately since this blog is about my thoughts on things in my life, and currently unemployment is part of my life, that is what the theme lately. This is the longest I have been unemployed since I started really working (high school and college employment don't count). I was was out of work a month between the PD and the college, but I knew that the college job was waiting for me, I had a roommate who paid half the bills and I took work at the bar she worked at, so it wasn't bad. So here are my observations on this thing called unemployment.

1. I have gone days without knowing what day it is. When you have no place to be, you can lose track of time. And I have no idea what the date is. I'm lucky to actually know what month it is.

2. I actually have more meetings now then when I had a job. Between the company trying to get me a job, the attorney (another story for another time) and aerobics with mom, I'm actually busy.

3. I am inherently lazy. Oh I'll work hard when I have a job to do, but ultimately when I have nothing to do, I would rather be in bed than any other place. Curled up with a cat and, husband, warm and cozy. Ummm, nothing better. In fact I could use a nap now.

Friday, August 03, 2007


Not much to report over the last couple of days. I've been working on my resume with my marketing advisor and working on my dissertation on my own. I've analyzed my data and am working on chapter 4, my results. After that I have one more chapter and I need to beef up my lit review and I can start the approval process. I'm hoping to graduate by December.

Other than that I'm finding that I am busier now than when I had a job, lots of meetings and water aerobics. I have also found out that there is absolutely nothing worth watching on TV during the day. Man I need a job.