The other night, I saw a man with a tattoo that said “only God can judge me”. I wondered how that related to me.
It could be that he does not fully appreciate my ability to judge others, including him. I examine people and decide how I feel about them. That judgment is not always correct. I’ve been pleasantly surprised to find that I was wrong. A few times, disappointed.
The fact is, I am able to judge him.People judge each other. Making judgments about people is a survival skill. Do I trust this person? Should I be around them, or get away? Valid judgments we (and he) make all the time.
It is this judge’s opinion that this tattooed young gentleman judged (or, more correctly, misjudged) me and my ability to judge him. So, in my judgment, he is a hypocrite for judging me.
As the players warmed up, a ball skipped off the rim and made a break for the edge of the basketball court. It rolled toward freedom with an NBA player in pursuit. The ball found a gap in the court-side seats and dropped to the arena floor. The player paused at the edge of the court. He paused like Moonlight.
Moonlight Graham. Most people remember him as a character in the film, Field Of Dreams. But Archibald Graham was a real man, whose life was very similar to the movie’s portrayal.
Graham’s ambition was to play baseball. He made the major leagues, entered one game as a late inning substitute. Moonlight was to be the next at bat when the last out of the game was played. He never appeared in another major league game, never got to bat. He left baseball, got a medical degree from the University Of Maryland and became a small town doctor. Read the rest of this entry »
Back then, I was really something. I had purpose. Nothing moved without my say so. It looks like that time has passed. Here I am now, sitting in some parking lot, in the rain.
I made things work. I got things done. Now, don’t get me wrong; I’m smart enough to know I didn’t do it all. On my own, I was just something. But when I was part of something I’d keep the others in line and help them do their jobs. They did so much. We worked together, we were like a machine, we were a team. Read the rest of this entry »
Those of you who’ve been coming here for a while know that I’ve been a police officer for, well, a really long time.
My colleagues and I tend to minimize what we do. We’ve all got our assigned specialties or things we do because we’re good at them. To say we do them routinely is a disservice to those acts. Perhaps the best way to say it is that we do them well without thinking about what it looks like to our peers and the public.
As an example, I have a particular specialized assignment. It suits me. Other officers ask me how I do it, how I put up with some aspects of that assignment and finish the conversations with “I couldn’t do what you do”.
It strikes me that the person who is saying those things to me might be a detective who investigates fatal traffic accidents, or a vice officer who deals with unspeakably bad folks, or someone who runs 911 calls all day every day and never sees anyone who is having a good day. They all look at what I do and say “I couldn’t do what you do”. The funny thing is, I say the same thing back to them. I don’t know how my friends investigate child sex abuse cases. I’ll work drug cases, but I don’t like them. I’ve handled traffic fatalities, but how someone does so over and over is beyond me.
There are two things that we all agree on when we bump into one another in the hall. One is that we all have great jobs that are sadly necessary. The other is that there is always someone else who has it worse. Read the rest of this entry »
Chatting isn’t really my strong suit. I’m more of a people watcher. I watch and fill in the blanks.
Now, I’m not exactly a hermit. It’d be more accurate to say that I start slowly with most folks. I can hold my own once I connect, but until I do, I watch.
Being a quiet observer is entertaining. There are so many people in my world who I don’t know. I see them; I form impressions based on what I see and who they’re with. Since I don’t interact with them all that much, I decide what they’re up to as our paths intersect and divide.
In a way, going through life as I do is like moving through a play. I’ve watched this production for fifty-one years. My play has no real plot, but I give it exceptional reviews. I’m not sure about the director’s artistic vision because I have no sense of where the play is going. Each act is different and barely related to the last.
Some of the actors appear almost daily. Others take a cameo role and are never seen again.
A few days ago, a plot twist came up in my play. I never saw it coming. You see, I don’t get involved in the play. I just watch it as my world goes by me. A few days ago, the play got involved with me. Read the rest of this entry »
Perhaps you’re old enough to recall the run of the television show, M*A*S*H. If you aren’t, there’s a good chance that you’ve seen it in reruns.
M*A*S*H focused on life in an Army mobile field hospital unit during the Korean War. While the setting was serious, the show was usually funny, with the occasional moments that made the point that war is a terrible thing. The central character, Captain Benjamin Franklin (Hawkeye) Pierce, was unfailingly witty. Even under the most difficult circumstance, he always had the right thing to say, and that right thing to say was always something new…except for that one line.
Hawkeye found himself helplessly caught in the crossfire of artillery on more than one occasion. Such is the nature of being a television Army Surgeon in the Korean War. Captain Pierce would soldier on, doing the best he could while the guns rumbled and the shells exploded just off-screen. The sound of the artillery barrage was such a presence in the background that it was almost like another character in the story.
Then, as the story reached its peak of tension, Hawkeye would utter the only lines I remember him repeating. He’d ask “hey, do you hear that?” The character he was addressing would say “I don’t hear anything”. “That’s what I mean, the shelling has stopped”. Not until he said that, would the audience or the other characters realize that the artillery bombardment had stopped.
This presidential election has been a miserable affair. It seemed there were few places a person could go to avoid contact with the Obama or Romney campaigns.
Each side brought out the heavy artillery to destroy the other. There was a barrage of shameful ads from both sides. The parties recruited surrogates to drop the bombs deemed too unseemly for a presidential candidate to deliver.
In the end, they rained misery down upon those of us unfortunate enough to live in their crossfire. We soldiered on, suffered the attacks more than either candidate and did our patriotic duty. We got our little “I Voted” stickers.
The votes have been counted. The victor has been declared.
Hey, do you hear that?
Hey, did you know there’s an election coming up? Two guys are running for President of the United States, other politicians are running for office too. The campaign started seventeen years ago.
Perhaps you’re as sick of both the campaigns and their ads as I am. If you are, I’ve got a proposal to get us some relief.
Minds Are Made Up
This election will end in a little over a month. That one month will feel like at least a dozen. During that period, candidates will punish us with countless ads. Why? What have we done to deserve this?
Unless one of the candidates snacks on a panda during a debate, I’ve already decided how to vote. I think that most of us have selected the candidate we feel is the lesser of two evils. So who are these ads targeting? A minority who still feels the need for more information. Read the rest of this entry »
I don’t do book reviews. They just are not my thing.
Even though I can’t draw, I’ll talk about art. I’ll talk about music in great detail, even though I can’t play or sing a note. I can write, but I don’t review books.
So, that said, I’m telling you that I like a book by one of my fellow bloggers and recommend that you get it.
Todd Pack has co-authored and published a book with his dad, Clyde Roy Pack. “Pretty Babies Grow Up Ugly” describes and muses upon superstitions and folk cures from the Appalachian Mountain region.
Clyde produced a newspaper cartoon called “Poison Oak and Country Folk” until 1998. He based the cartoons upon folk cures suggested by his readers. Many of the original cartoons are reproduced in the book and the suggestions drive the book.
Authors go on talk shows to promote their books all the time. It’s usually apparent that the interviewer hasn’t read the book, but they urge you to get it anyhow.
Well, I’m urging you to buy “Pretty Babies Grow Up Ugly”. You might ask, “why should I? How does this differ from a dopey talk show interview?” Let me count the ways.
First off, Todd and his Dad are not here. Neither is some actress in a very impractical dress. I’m the only one here.
More importantly, I’ve read most of the book. Yeah, I know, most is not all. Give me a break, I work for a living. Most is a hell of a lot more than Jay Leno would read before he suggested that you part with your cash. I’m suggesting you buy the book. I’ll finish up before you because I have a head start.
The book is available for Kindle. If you prefer a real book and smite people with, you can order one from Story/ATOM Publishing.
PS – Don’t have a Kindle? You can get a free app for your smart phone that will allow you to read the book. Free app, $2.99 book. Dig.