Tuesday, June 28, 2011


We are fairly strict around here. One way we exercise that is by not letting our teenage daughters engage socially with every Tom, Creep and Hairy Creep that is interested in getting close to them.

A while back, prior to an upcoming vacation, one of the daughters wanted to engage in a little online social networking. Here is her plea:

"Are you ever going to talk to mom about me getting a Facebook page? It would be nice if I had one before we left, that way I could cross-country communicate with people while I'm gone. Here are some of the perks of me getting one:
  • I could tell everyone something at once
  • I wouldn't have to send everyone individual emails
  • I could make sure __________ talked to someone other than Casey James
  • I could communicate with people I haven't seen in years
  • If I had a FB, we could be friends. I wouldn't have to tell you all my whacked up stories, I could just tell ____________, __________, and ____________, etc on FB, whether or not they read is their choice. . .
Anyhow, thank you for taking the time to read and consider this most important letter. We hope you will reply soon. Hopeful Facebook Friend"

We relented.

Saturday, June 25, 2011


The Battle of Isandlwana on 22 January 1879, was the British "Little Big Horn". Like the battle where Custer met his fate, a group of soldiers with modern equipment, tactics and weaponry was defeated by a larger group of indigenous warriors largely armed with primitive weapons.

At Isandlwana, nearly 1300 British troops were slaughtered as their army invaded Zululand in South Africa.

Although several reasons are known to have caused(and a few others are debated to have caused) this remarkable defeat, here is one that is fairly well known:

The troopers on the line only had a limited supply of ammo. When they exhausted their supply, as will quickly happen when you are firing into a charging horde of spear wielding warriors screaming for your blood, re-supply was nearly impossible.

The ammo boxes were kept far from the front. When they were acquired, you had to have a special screw driver to open them. And, they were controlled by fanatical supply sergeants that required the proper procedures prior to issue. Maybe this wouldn't be a problem under normal circumstances (no, I take that back. I am sure it was tortuous), but when you and all your friends are about to be killed due to a lack of ammo, it must have been a bit frustrating.

While I have never been the head of any organization with more than a couple of hundred people running around, I have seen that larger organizations still really enjoy creating frustrating situations. It will probably never change.

So, I am not sure if you should take this as a warning to not let the organization you are involved with get bogged down in the mire of bureaucracy or as an encouragement that at least you are not facing 20,000 Zulus intent on stabbing you with a short spear, so you should lighten up and not get so frustrated with the bureaucratic bungling that you face where you work. You decide.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


On Thursday, Diane and I had the opportunity to attend a screening of the new Sherwood Pictures movie, "Courageous".

This movie, set to be released in September of this year, is from the creators of the movies "Fireproof" and "Facing the Giants". For those of you unfamiliar with these movies, they are produced by a Church in Georgia that believed they could reach the world from where they were. The result of this idea was Sherwood Pictures.

The last film, 'Fireproof" starred Kirk Cameron and focused on a firefighter trying to "fireproof" his failing marriage. This movie focused on cops and being a "courageous" father.

I enjoyed this movie, thought it was great that I got to be in on a special pre-screening and I thought the message was powerful and effectively presented. And, as a special treat, one of the main actors from the movie, Robert Amaya, joined us for the screening.

Since this is a review, I will throw out some criticisms of the movie first, since I am sure everyone wants to know what they are. Here ya go.

Cop Stuff
Since I am a Law Enforcement Officer, it is probably a little easier for me to be bothered by the cop stuff than other people might be. But there were a few things that rubbed me wrong. You will be happy to know that I decided to set them aside and enjoy the show, so I might have missed some things that would bug other cops. But here are a few:

-The officers decided to barge into a house while looking for two guys with warrants. This was questionable and quite possibly a fourth amendment violation, since it was unclear whose house they were entering.

-One of the deputies had his finger on the trigger at one point when they were clearing the house. this is a big no no, because it lends itself to what is called a sympathetic response. When the other hand squeezes a door knob or a loud noise is heard, the trigger finger can, unconsciously, squeeze off a round. The other cop was very good about having his finger indexed along the side of the gun.

- While they are clearing the house, another "rookie" deputy stands around like a dolt that doesn't realize they re looking for dangerous felons and is subsequently taken by surprise.

- None of these guys wear vests. I know (all too well) that it is hotter and you don't look as good on film, but if these guys really want to be good dads,they would have a better chance of being one if they weren't lung punched in a shootout.

- I did learn a new technique, called the "slingshot". When you are chasing someone on foot in your car, and then it is time for the passenger to jump out and start running after the guy you are chasing, you yell, "Slingshot!" If your partner is a veteran, he will know that when you put your car into a side-slide, he should jump out and use the momentum of the slide to help "slingshot" him into the bad guy. Even though I am a driving instructor, I have never learned this cool move. Maybe if I was a driving/foot chasing instructor.

Other Stuff
- The movie had a plethora of heavy themes. At times it seemed a bit much. The themes included Gangs, Drugs, Death of a Child, Job loss, Spending time with kids, Ethical and Moral failure, Making up for past mistakes, the Need for salvation and more.

-It was also very emotional. Dealing with the themes above all came with a very high emotional price. I know that many will say it was powerful, and it was. But, it was a little hard to keep facing one deep emotional issue after the next. If you don't usually cry at movies, or weddings, or graduations, or sporting events, or funerals, be ready to find yourself shedding a few tears. If you are a crier already, you will be done.

Ok, that is enough of the criticism. Here is some things that I liked, and maybe you will too.

The Good Stuff
- I appreciate that they are not afraid to release a major motion picture that portrays believers in a positive light, and shows them having major issues, and major mistakes, to deal with.

- They do a good job of bringing to light the fact that many of the woes we have in society have a good deal to do with children growing up without Dad.

- The acting is not so bad. Those of you that did not like Fireproof because of the acting or their brand of humor may have the same issues with this one. But they are constantly improving in their craft and, while they might be a bit over the top at times, they do a good job of making the characters believable and natural.

- They have some genuinely funny scenes. You gotta love that.

- It is not populated by just a bunch of white people. While they don't go out of their way to make sure every ethnic group is properly and politically correctly represented, they do show that their really is diversity in the ethnicity of believers.

- The message for Fathers (And parents in general) is powerful and made an impact on me as a Father. This movie really will change lives.

- I like a movie that has cops as the heroes. Sure, everyone loves firemen. They have the best show muscles, they help out everyone and they have all that cool gear and equipment. They may not look as good in calendars, but I am partial to cops.

This movie hits the screen on September 30th. In spite of my criticisms, I would definitely recommend you grab a group of friends and check it out. It will challenge you to be a better Dad, better parent, better person in general. And this can have an incredible effect on your life and the life of those around you.


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Day of War

From time to time, I will get sent things (or sent to things) so that I can check them out and spread the word among those I know. The latest thing I was sent was the book Day of War by Cliff Graham.

I have long been intrigued by the biblical accounts of David's Mighty Men, his renowned warriors recorded in a couple of different Old Testament Books. Day of War is the first in a series that fictionalizes the accounts of these men.

Those familiar with the story of King David will also be familiar with names such as Benaiah, the warrior that killed a lion in a pit and a giant Egyptian warrior, Uriah, Joab, Saul, Jonathan and others. In the book, which focuses primarily on Benaiah, the story is told of the battles that these men faced.

But, this is not an account of historical events written in a dry, scholarly way or the typical feel-good-bible-based-christian-romance-novel. This is a gritty, bloody whirlwind tale of a man fighting with David out a desire to kill certain enemies and how he faces the tragedy of war, the life of warriors and the effects of his lifestyle on the rest of his life.

If you are not up for graphic battle scenes(complete with trampled unfortunates, pools of blood, collapsed lungs and the tactics, injuries and up close frenzied fighting of ancient warfare) and realistic look into the motivations of warriors, don't pick up this book. But, if you enjoy accounts of the actions and mindsets of professional men at arms and are at all intrigued by the legendary "Mighty Men", as they were called, then this book is worth a look.

For more about the book, the author and a movie in the works, head to:


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Now that is what I call country.

I think I have shared the lyrics to this song before, but I am ready to take myself touring as a country music artist. So, here is the first verse of my signature country song, "I can't believe".

Had a real bad night
Got in a fight with my lover
My truck broke down
She ran off with another.

I can't believe the things that happen to me.

My dog jumped out
Got hit by a semi
You should have seen
That poor little mutt fly

I can't believe the things that happen to me.


They're so bad, bad bad
They're so bad.
They're so bad, bad bad
They're so bad.

Now I just need a couple more verses. And it would help if I learned to play the guitar or something. Then I'll be ready for the road. Hope to see you out there.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Holy Cosplay Batman

When I visited Israel with a group from our school, I was struck by how someone seemed to have identified the precise location of every event that was ever recorded in the bible. I knew they were authentic, because they were selling trinkets that verified that this was, indeed, the place.

While I didn't come back with any pieces of the cross or bones left over from the saints, at times it seemed to be veering towards ludicrous.

Now, a tour company has let me know that we can add a few experiences on to a trip to Israel to make more of a Holy Land "Experience". I am not sure if they sound like fun, or just plain goofy.

Here are a few:


The angels appeared to the shepherds on the first night proclaim the birth of our Savior. On shepherd’s field we will go and sit out with the sheep. We will dress the pilgrims in Shepherd’s dress, have sheep mingling with them and create a dinner that the shepherds would have eaten that night. On location, we will sing carols, and have the night sky that will put us close to that night. We will have a certificate for each pilgrim to take home as well.


We will start early and have a cruise on the Sea of Galilee. The cruise will go out and have music, stop in the center of the sea where it is quiet and explain, all that Jesus did on the lake. We will have a demonstration of how they fished and hope we catch 153 fish. We disembark the ship and go to the beach where we will have a fire set, with one of the disciples cooking the fish. The group will be seated and we will make a covenant with the Lord, to “Feed My Sheep”. The breakfast is served, with a piece of Pita, and a piece of St. Peter’s fish. The pilgrim will be given the bread and then the fish.


Many of our Tour Hosts, have been to St. Katherines multiple times. As an alternative, we have created a 3 hour four wheel drive tour that takes us back into the exodus.Here is where the Israelites migrated for 40 years waiting to enter the promise land. We will stop at an oasis where we have a barbeque in the middle of the desert, awaiting us.


Only $25 a head. and you get to dress up for a couple of them. I am thinking of a few other things they can do. I will let you know.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

The bait and switch

It seems that our children's desire to help comes with some sort of weird inverse relationship to their actual ability to help.

For instance, our son. When we moved into this house, he was so excited about helping out with chores like sweeping, dusting, mopping and doing the dishes. In fact, I remember some house guests commenting on how excited they were that our three year old was standing on a stool at the sink working on the dirty dishes.

Now that he is nine, he has no interest whatever in any of the aforementioned activities.

Somehow, I do not think this phenomenon is uniquely his.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Come a little bit closer You're my kind of man.....

Brian Miller.
Pima County Republican Party Chairman

Brian Miller is a good man. He really is. I have met him personally and he is a man of principle, has a great family and is polite and pleasant, sincere and straightforward.

But, I am wondering if he has any discretion whatsoever.

Last year, we took the kids to a primary debate between congressional hopefuls Jessie Kelly, Jonathon Paton and Mr. Miller. During this debate, the candidates expressed why they would be the best for the job, most likely to win and their unique views. Since they held similar views, none of them really stood out based on their particular ideologies.

One candidate, Brian Miller, did stand out, but not because of his political views. He stood out because he began to rant about how Jessie Kelly's supporters were known to have been urinating on his campaign signs. He spent a good portion of his time talking about how his supporters didn't pee on signs and so, they were better people, which was somehow supposed to convince us that we should vote for him.

Why he brought this up to begin with is beyond me. The way he was unable to let the issue drop, describing in detail how he was being mistreated by Jessie Kelly's supporters, was simply absurd. I began to think that this man had no discretion at all.

Recently, members of the Pima County Sheriff's Department served a legally authorized warrant (in accordance with the constitution, state laws and department policies). Upon service of this warrant and after identifying themselves extensively, they found an individual waiting for them inside the door. When they began to enter, he pointed a rifle at them, and the inevitable happened.

Mr. Miller, in response to this, sent out an email from the party stating that we were all "______ ______", insert name of the man who pointed the rifle at the cops. He also has stated that the SWAT team murdered the man and violated a laundry list of his constitutional rights.

I understand that Mr. Miller may not agree with the practices of the department, but it shows a complete lack of sense and understanding on his part to immediately say the things he is saying. To me, this seems to confirm the conclusions I reached during the debate.

I am a registered Republican. I have long been a supporter of the party, to include being a convention delegate, helping with campaigns and the like. But I am very disappointed that the local party, through the official communique's of the chairman, would so boldly support a criminal that threatened the police and so quickly condemn the officers that acted in a hurried moment to defend themselves and their comrades. It is embarrassing.

If you have questions about this event, here are two people, on local radio interviews, giving reasonable explanations of what happened. The first is the Deputies Association president and the second is the association attorney explaining, in detail, what happened on the day in question.

SGT Joe Cameron

Mike Storie

And, let me remind you once again, that politics is not going to "fix" our society. It is not the remedy to what ails us.

Extra Credit if you figure out the reference in the title of this post.


Religion: Mankind's attempts to get closer to God (With the notable exception of one religion, which explains itself as being designed by God to show mankind that they could never be good enough, smart enough or, doggone it, likeable enough to get to God on their own.)

Religious: Someone who practices a particular religion.

More than once in the past few weeks, I have heard myself referred to as "religious". As in, "Isn't he that religious guy?", "Oh, I forgot, you are religious." and the like.

I have always recoiled at the word religious, because the word religion has always had negative connotations for me. It has always seemed to me to be a word that implies someone who adheres to a rigid set of behaviors because they feel that it will give them favor with God and give them a standing that is superior to other people.

Yes, I am a person that has a belief in God and it my beliefs do have an impact on my life and that I really do think is right and that many other belief systems are wrong (And most people I have ever met really do feel this way about their beliefs). Externally, the beliefs I have have affected the way I treat people, what I do with my time, my priorities, etc., etc.

But I do hope that my beliefs have not led me to the place where I even think that the things I do gives me an extra boost above everyone else with God while neglecting the things that are truly important to him. Like other people.

Even Jesus, when he walked among us, he spent a good deal of his time confronting, chastising and condemning those that were considered "religious".

So, while I have been labeled as "religious", I hope that I do not really fall into that category.

I guess I need to come up with some other term that people can use to label me.