Turkeys in the Perimeter!

It's a long story, but I was supposed to receive a commendation award for a high speed - multi-jurisdictional - armed bank robber police chase that I dispatched last year.

The Mother of Five had cooked a fabulous turkey dinner (my favorite) for me (a little foreshadowing here). 

My wife and kids were going to attend along with my mother and father.  It was to be a big affair - held at city council meeting, with the Chief of Police, my supervisor, the City Manager, and City Council. 

Just as the Mother of five was pulling the turkey out of the oven, my pager went off.  It was a SWAT call-out.  Being part of the SWAT team, that means my number is up... Time to go.  Drop what I am doing, and head out... 

There was several hours before the ceremony, so I decided to take my fancy clothing and miscellaneous toiletries to clean  up (just in case).  This also included my camera.

As the call drew out further, it was obvious that...

I was not going to get home for my turkey dinner

I was going to miss the award ceremony.

About the time I came to this realization, I looked out the window of the Command Post, and noticed FOUR wild turkeys crossing the road.  (Reminding me in a mocking sort of way, that I was going to miss the turkey dinner)

THESE TURKEYS CROSSED THE POLICE PERMITER LINE!!!

turkeys in the perimiter 1

turkeys in the perimiter 2 

turkeys in the perimiter 3

A Moving Thought....

I read something today that moved me. 

"The fruit of silence is prayer..."

Today (Sunday) was the kick off for Catholic School Week.  As part of the celebration, the kids that attend our parish school participated in the mass.  At the end of mass, the kids lead a prayer that Mother Theresa of Calcutta authored.  The line quoted above came from that prayer.

Since I was in church when I read it, I spent time praying and reflecting upon the words.  The more I reflected upon it, the more poignant it became.

Dear Lord, if the fruit of silence is prayer, please help me to find more times of silence in my life.

American Girl Doll Store

Photos only...  They speak for themselves... 

American-Girl-1

American-Girl-2

American-Girl-3

American-Girl-4

A good time was had!

Hey, #3 of 5...

IMG_0352 

 

 

How would you like some hamburger with your tower of pickles and ketchup?

 

IMG_0351

It is with great fear and trepidation...

It is with great fear and trepidation that I post the following link...

EXECUTIVE ORDER 09-03

In a nut-shell, out State's Governor signed an executive order to start a work-group. The work group's task is...

By January 4, 2010 the PSAP Work Group will develop a comprehensive strategy for regionally based Public Safety Answering Points throughout the state. In developing the strategy, the PSAP Work Group will consider the 2004 report to the Minnesota Legislature on PSAP Consolidation and recommend:

    • The number and recommended potential locations for regional centers;
    • A governance structure that encourages collaboration and cooperation in the operation of regional centers;
    • Funding sources for capital and operating costs;
    • A preliminary set of standard operating procedures;
    • A mitigation plan that addresses concerns identified in the 2004 PSAP Consolidation Report;
    • Incentives that might be provided to encourage migration to regional centers; and
    • A comprehensive implementation plan.

In a nut shell... By January 4, 2010 - I should know how the State of Minnesota is planning on looking at consolidating some of the independent 911 centers in the state (which may include the one I work for), and how many, and where the new "regional 911 centers" there will be.

The job I have could be no-more. Not to mention... The possibility that one of these "regional" centers may not be within driving distance of home...

This saddens me... As I have a lot of pride working for the city I do. I grew up here, I was a Police Explorer here, I did my Law Enforcement Internship here.

This also frightens me... As I have huge responsibilities to maintain our household, and provide for my wife and children...

My best guess is that I still have between three and five years before these changes could be implemented. I should be thankful that I that much notice. Many folks show up for work on a Monday morning, and find out their job was phased out on the previous Friday...

Maybe this is the sign I needed to seriously consider the Mortuary Sciences Program at the U of M.

(More on this later...)

Historic Occasion

I would be remiss if I did not take an opportunity to mention today's impending historic and newsworthy event...

The inauguration of the 44th President of the United States... Barack Obama.

While it is true that Mr. Obama was not "my guy" this election (neither was his "primary opposition" John McCain for that matter) - as the "soon to be" newly appointed President of the United States, he takes his seat in the highest office in the land with my best wishes and initial support.   

 

In the past 12 months, we have watched our economy "circle the bowl".  I have friends and acquaintances that are, or have dealt with layoffs, unemployment, devalued investments, and home foreclosures.  I have no doubt that almost anyone reading this has (directly or indirectly) been touched by the ill effects of our soured economy.

 

Regardless of your political viewpoint or stand on the issues (or who is to blame for the mess we are in), it's hard to deny that there is a level of optimism in the air.  Optimism that we have not seen in a great many years.  I believe many are under the impression that President Obama may take or economy back to a state of strengthened stability, back to a level of healthy growth, growth that we can actually sustain. 

Personally, I unsure if he can do it...  Correction... I am quite SURE he will NOT be able to do it, at least not single handedly. 

A successful economic recovery will require changes in our lifestyles, wiser financial choices, some personal accountability to the lifestyle and financial decisions we make (both good and bad) along with an open minded approach to affect that change from ALL OF US (from the President of the United States, all the way down the chain to little ol' you and me) to be successful.  A continuation of the ways we have been operating will surly doom us to failure 

 

Weather or not we can do that is yet to be seen.  For our sake, the sake of our economy, and the sake of the state in which we are going to leave this country to our children, I'll keep an open mind.  I am going to give President Barack Obama the opportunity to do so, and the benefit of my doubt, that things can and will get better for us.

 

Best of Luck President Obama.

I LOVE Minnesota!

This message from the National Weather Service came across the Police Teletype this morning...
The data is "public" and can be Located at THIS LINK
URGENT - WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE
 
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TWIN CITIES/CHANHASSEN MN 522 AM CST THU JAN 15 2009
 
...DANGEROUSLY COLD WIND CHILLS CONTINUE...
 
.A WIND CHILL WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FOR THE ENTIRE AREA. THE WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR WEST CENTRAL AND SOUTH CENTRAL MINNESOTA UNTIL NOON TODAY. THE WIND CHILL WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FOR EAST CENTRAL AND SOUTHEAST MINNESOTA...INCLUDING THE TWIN CITIES METRO AREA...AND WEST CENTRAL WISCONSIN UNTIL NOON ON FRIDAY.
 
A WIND CHILL WARNING MEANS THE COMBINATION OF VERY COLD AIR AND WINDS WILL CREATE DANGEROUSLY COLD WIND CHILL VALUES. THIS WILL RESULT IN FROST BITE AND LEAD TO HYPOTHERMIA OR DEATH IF PRECAUTIONS ARE NOT TAKEN. WHEN VENTURING OUTDOORS...MAKE SURE THAT YOU DRESS IN LAYERS... AND WEAR A HAT AND GLOVES.
 
BITTERLY COLD ARCTIC AIR COUPLED WITH NORTHWEST WINDS OF 5 TO 15 MPH WILL CONTINUE WIND CHILL READINGS FROM 35 BELOW TO 55 BELOW ZERO ACROSS WEST CENTRAL MINNESOTA THIS MORNING. WIND CHILL READINGS OF 35 TO 45 BELOW ZERO WILL OCCUR ACROSS THE REMAINDER OF CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN MINNESOTA AND WESTERN WISCONSIN THROUGH THIS MORNING.
 
SOME IMPROVEMENT IN THE WIND CHILL VALUES WILL OCCUR THIS AFTERNOON AS WINDS DIMINISH IN WESTERN MINNESOTA AND TEMPERATURES GRADUALLY RISE ACROSS THE ENTIRE REGION...BUT WIND CHILL READINGS WILL STILL BE 25 TO 30 BELOW ZERO.
 
AS A PERSISTENT WEST NORTHWEST WIND CONTINUES TONIGHT IN EAST CENTRAL AND SOUTHEAST MINNESOTA AS WELL AS WEST CENTRAL WISCONSIN...THE WIND CHILL READINGS WILL DROP BACK DOWN TO 30 BELOW TO 40 BELOW ZERO INTO FRIDAY MORNING. WINDS TONIGHT ARE EXPECTED TO BE MUCH LIGHTER ACROSS WEST CENTRAL AND SOUTH CENTRAL AREAS OF MINNESOTA WITH WIND CHILL VALUES NOT AS LOW.
 
SOME OF THE LOWEST WIND CHILLS OBSERVED LAST NIGHT INTO EARLY THIS MORNING WERE IN WESTERN MINNESOTA. THESE INCLUDE 52 BELOW IN GLENWOOD AND 51 BELOW IN BENSON AND GRANITE FALLS.
The TV meteorologist said today is the coldest morning we have seen since January of 2004 (in five years!).
 
Where is my ice fishing gear??? 
 

My Cousin Paul!

Hey folks...

I wanted to share a video of my cousin Paul - from a recent outdoor adventure.

Paul lives in Maine. NORTHERN Maine.
You can throw a rock, and it will land in Canada from where they live.

Paul is the one pulling the fish in...
(After seeing this video, I am convinced I have to get up there sometime soon!)

Congrats Paul!!! Nice catch!

Do You Ever Have One of Those Dreams?

Do you ever have one of those dreams... You know... the ones when you get to work or school and you suddenly realize that you are still in your pajamas, worse yet - in your underpants, or (as the ultimate humiliation) in the buff when you arrive?

Today, It was not just a dream...

After waking, and getting out of the shower, I proceeded to get ready for work.  While I finished my personal hygiene regime (in the bathroom), I alternately multi-tasked my morning by eating breakfast, then returning to the bathroom, making my lunch, then returning to the bathroom, and finishing some other "miscellaneous" tasks before leaving for work.

I left for work, and (about half way to work), I felt my hair bumping up against the roof of my car.  I turned the dome light on, and was shocked to realize that while alternating my morning routine, I never returned to the bathroom to do anything with my hair. 

RS3  Not only did I NOT dry my hair, but I did NOT comb, brush, spray or do ANYTHING with my hair.

I have been a big fan of "The Cure" (I still am!), and have always loved the "Robert Smith" look - but it works for him... NOT FOR ME!!

I got to work, and made a preemptive strike by making fun of myself in front of everyone in the dispatch center (a strategical move on my part) before they could make fun of me.  I proceeded to the locker room and fixed the problem.

Thankfully, the police department has a full locker room facilities, and I stocked my locker five years ago with items I thought I MAY need someday - like hairspray, hairbrush, etc...

I was able to return to work, and salvage what was left of my dignity..  With "normal" hair.

I hope I can keep this going...

.
I hope I can keep this going for the next.... oh, I dunno... maybe the next TWENTY NINE YEARS!

(That way, I don't have to chase them off with GRANDPA'S SHOTGUN!)

fort1 fort2

And here it is... Straight from #5 of 5!

video

A Future Photographer?

2009-01-03-213554-26

 #2 and #5 of 5 just returned from a trip to Illinois with their Grandma and Grandpa.  They went to visit Uncle B____ and Aunt J______, and their cousin M_____.

While there, the kids came home with their Christmas gifts from their Aunt, Uncle and Cousin.

#4 and #5 of 5 received Disney Pix-Micro digital cameras (digital cameras for wee-ones)...

I loaded the cameras up with batteries, and set the girls off to have fun while I installed the drivers.. 

They went "snap happy".  Each taking between 40 and 55 photos.

2009-01-03-213554-17When I was done, the girls brought me their cameras - and we checked out the photos the girls took...

Most of them were.... Well... Er... Uh.... 

But, there were a couple of usable ones...  Since I TAKE most of the photos for FOF, I am seldom IN one... So - without further delay - a copy of the Father of Five - taken by #5 of 5!

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Thanks Uncle B____, Aunt J______ and Cousin M____!

The Last Three Days

The last three days have been some of the best days I have had in a LONG time!  It started when I got off duty on Tuesday Dec. 30th.  That left me with New Years Eve Day, New Years Day, and January 2nd as days off.

We planned a New Years Eve party - just our family.  Just the seven of us.  No one else came over, and we went nowhere else.

We had food-a-plenty... Snacks-a-plenty...  (Family friendly) Drinks-a-plenty... 

- Build your own club sandwiches (roast beef, ham, turkey, lettuce, and tomatoes) - all on a delicious onion bun...

- Seven layer dip for tortilla chips (And tortilla chips to go with the dip)

- A plethora of assorted crackers, and a "sharp cheddar" cheese log to keep the crackers from getting too dry.

- Beanies and weenies - slow cooked in a crock pot - drowning in a decadent brothy vat of BBQ sauce and their own grease

- Left over Christmas Cookies

- Choice of soda from the Shasta Variety Pack we purchased at Sam's club.  (Lemon-Lime, Orange, Grape, or (who can forget) Tiki Punch (their version of Fruit Punch))

NYEAs I posted a couple of days ago, I was quite sure that (as in years past) - I would be out cold LONG before 2009 made it's grand entry, but given the great company, and planned activities - I was able to maintain consciousness until well after 2am - thus shocking myself that I still had it in me..

We had a Wii (or is it Wii had a We) marathon.  EVERYONE got involved..  Lots of Wii sports, Wii Play, and Mario & Sonic Olympic Games...

As the night drew on, #5 of 5 was not going to make it - so Mother of Five and #5 of 5 headed upstairs to "watch a movie" (i.e.  Fall asleep) in mom and dad's bed. 

After #5 of 5 went upstairs, the remaining kids got their chances at Guitar Hero!!

Once #4 of 5's bedtime rolled around - the boys and I head upstairs, and started in our first full 4-on-4 game of Settlers of Catan game going. 

nye2(Folks, that game is a BLAST for the older kids, and the "kids at heart that are older"!) 

Once #4 of 5 was in bed, Mother of Five headed off towards bed, and ended up falling asleep while the boys and I played.  Towards the end of the game, I noticed that it was after midnight, and that we missed the dropping of the ball - but they did not mind at all.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

On New Year's Day we lost two of the kiddos to go with their grandparents to see their Aunt and Uncle (B_____ & J_____ - and their cousin M____) in Illinois. 

The remainder of the family did more Wii'ing, and #1 and #3 of 5  and I got another hot game of Settlers of Catan going! 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

New Years Day +1 was spent putting Christmas away for the next eleven months.  Boxes, Bags, Bins, Totes.  Up and down the stairs.  In and out of the Crawl Space...  All to do it again in 11 short months...  Mother of Five had to work, and #1 of 5 was gone with some friends - leaving me home alone with only TWO kids!!!  I had #3 and #4 of 5 all to myself!!

It was nice to be able to do that - because these are the two that have the hardest time getting along.  They bug each other until one or the other is yelling, screaming, crying, whining, or tattling.  Having a little more time to focus on the two of them is "just what the doctor ordered".

They (of course) wanted to Wii - but I had some other plans in mind...

 

ALMOND BARK PRETZELS!!

almondbarkpretzels   chocolatepretzels

After finishing the pretzels, and clean up (since everyone did such a fantastic job, and clean up went like a breeze), we went down and played a Wii-bit-o-the-Wii - before the kids were off to bed.

Worry not folks... The apparent high volume of video game time will go back to it's normal "weekend only" mode shortly.  We are letting it go through vacation.  Once school starts, it's back to looking at Wii until the weekend.

Before I sat down to write this post, I reflected on these past few days - days filled with NOTHING but time away from work with my family!  

If the past three days are indicative of what 2009 has in store for us... It's going to be a GREAT year!!  Happy 2009 everyone.  I hope yours is off to as good of a start as mine is!

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