Installment 17: New Adventure, New Opportunity

September 29, 2019  

Good evening VFOT fans and followers. Posting a little later than usual today, due to some school work and the Pats game, but hey, the Pats beat the Bills, so it was worth the couple of hours distraction. This has been a very eventful couple of weeks and I’ve got a lot to share, so let’s get to it.   

Pro-Reading 

After coming off of a pretty heavy period of travel, I finally managed to get back on track with my pro-reading. Once I had completed Grit, C recommended that I check out Blink, by Malcolm Gladwell (Gladwell, Malcolm. Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking. 2005. Little, Brown, and Company; New York, NY.) I’m only a little way into it, but so far, it’s awesome. It’s another examination of intuition and the power of snap judgements. Gladwell also posits that learning to make reliable snap judgements can be taught and controlled.   

Lethal Force is still in the rotation. The newest additions to the pro-reading cycle are my school texts. I just cracked into the first of those this week.   

Other Reading 

Coming off of vacation, I still had some recreational reading open on my Kindle. My light reading this week has been Clive Cussler’s Dark Watch. I’ve read it before, but I really like the Oregon novels, so I don’t mind re-reading them.   

Other Learning Opportunities 

From the 17th through the 19th, I attended our annual Chiefs’ Conference to complete our mandatory In-Service requirements. I was fortunate to be asked to present on 2 topics. I assisted with the Stress, Stigma, and Suicide block on that Wednesday, then covered the new Use of Force and DT block with Chuck DiChara on Thursday.   

That Friday was the final day of this year’s Leadership Development Academy. This year’s class presented their final project to the Mayor and we recognized their achievements by presenting their certificates and enjoying some cake.   

The following day, we had an Advanced Concepts seminar at ZenQuest Martial Arts Center. AC seminars are held to allow the blue belts and above to spend some time focusing on the details of particular skills and techniques. The focus of this one was Spider Guard. At the conclusion of the seminar, I was humbled and honored to receive my Purple Belt. It was a pretty overwhelming experience but I somehow managed to keep my emotions under control.   img_0250

The newest learning opportunity has been the beginning of my course work in the Doctoral program. I’m just starting the 3rd week. Most of the prior 2 weeks has been spent getting set up on all of the online technology and getting comfortable with it. My first written assignment is due at the end of this week.   

On Monday, I did the introductory block on the history of SWAT and basic tactics for this year’s Basic Operator school. We certified a new class of operators on Friday, and I’m pretty proud of our team.   

FUN 

With Summer winding down and the 1st day of Fall arriving, there’s been a shift in the fun. Celebrating the Purple Belt required something notable and the weather on Saturday was gorgeous, so it was a good day for beer and wings on the deck at Ye Olde Forge.   

Monday evening was the 1st of 2 social events for The Berkshire Museum. We enjoyed a beautiful sunset reception for past and current Board Members at The Lakehouse Guest Cottages of the Berkshires. It was lovely.   

On Wednesday, we started celebrating C’s Birthday with dinner at Flavour’s. She picked there, because Chin and Sabrina had just returned from Malaysia, and we wanted to check on them.   

Thursday was C’s actual B-Day and she had to attend a work function in the evening, but I did manage to get a special arrangement from Township Four delivered to her office. I also picked up desert at Chocolate Springs to enjoy after training. Friday night, she was another work event for her and Jiu-jitsu for me.   

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Saturday, we both trained, then we made an appearance at the Department’s Family Fun Day at Jiminy Peak. After lunch and a ride up the scenic chairlift, we headed home to get changed for the 2nd Museum event, a lovely evening, garden party at a private home on beautiful Onota Lake.  

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Today was all about school work and football. That’s probably more than enough for now. So, until next time….  

Be Safe, Keep the Faith, Do Good Work, 1* 

Installment 16: New Adventure, New Opportunity

Happy Sunday afternoon VFOT friends and followers. It’s the 3rd Sunday in September, and that means it’s a football afternoon. The Pats are in Miami and right now they’re up 37-0, so that’s a pretty good thing. This has been an insane couple of weeks, with a lot going on. Where should I start.

Pro-Reading 

I finally managed to get through Grit, by Duckworth. That was definitely worthwhile. Her premise is that persistence and determination often matter more than raw talent. Her arguments are compelling and I got a lot out of this book. I’d recommend this one to anyone.

We’ve actually been away on vacation, so I didn’t start another pro-reading title yet. With some upcoming changes, it might be a little while.

Other Reading 

I finished reading 12 Strong again, and moved onto Murphy’s Law by Jack Murphy (Murphy, Jack. (2019). Murphy’s Law. New York, NY: Threshold Editions.) I really enjoyed that one. While traveling, I listened to Jocko review Outlaw Platoon, by Sean Parnell (Parnell, Sean. (2012). Outlaw Platoon. New York, NY: Harper Collins.), so I loaded that one onto my Kindle to take to the beach. That is an amazing book, about the 10th Mountain Division and a deployment to Afghanistan. Pick that one up.

I’m still flipping through Lethal Force and the Objectively Reasonable Officer. 

Other Learning Opportunities 

I wrapped up the final sessions of the CRASE training for city employees. I also had the opportunity to present to the City’s Citizens’ Academy on the structure and staffing of the Department.

While we were planning for our vacation, I took a call from a colleague looking for coverage for a leadership class at the Rhode Island Municipal Police Academy. That was a good opportunity, so I took it. It was an honor to spend a day with some motivated, young police supervisors. We had to overcome some logistical challenges to get it done, but we prevailed.

I’ve also had the opportunity to cover some Jiu-Jitsu classes over the past couple of weeks, and that’s always a boost.

While we were traveling, I managed to get all set up and registered for my 1st Grad School class, so I guess I’m really starting my doctoral program. I’m a little nervous.

FUN 

Our date night during the 1st week was improvised. We wanted to hit Firefly, but they were closed. So, we walked up to Nudel and managed to snag a couple of seats at the counter. The food there is always so good. After dinner, we walked across the street to Brava, for a glass of wine and some chocolate. Delicious.

After the Rhode Island class, it was time to get down to some serious vacation. C had managed to find us a beautiful, little AirBnB. It was literally a 2-minute walk over a sand dune to the beach. Score! So, Tuesday evening we played tourist and had a great dinner at The Coast Guard House. Wednesday, we enjoyed a perfect beach day, getting some sun, doing some reading, and smelling the salt-air. We were long overdue. Wednesday night, we went into town for dinner at The Mews Tavern. Thursday was a little cool and overcast, so, we made our annual trek to Newport to check out the sites. That was a fun day. That night, we had dinner with a colleague and her husband at a new place, Trio. It was a great trip. img_0139

Friday was our turnaround day. We traveled home, did the laundry and slept in our own bed. Yesterday, we traveled over to Rhinebeck, NY to attend the wedding of 2 great friends. I’ve never been to a wedding that rated the NYPD Emerald Society Pipe and Drum Corps. Wow!  img_0164

Well, that’s quite a bit and this is running long, so that’s probably enough for this one. Until next time.

Be Safe, Keep the Faith, Do Good Work, 1*