January 24, 2021
Happy sunny, Sunday afternoon VFOT friends and followers. It is a beautiful, sunny day here in Western Mass, but damn, it is cold. This is definitely the coldest snap that we’ve had this year. It’s a good day to stay home, do a little writing and planning, and maybe take care of some outstanding projects. Anything to keep from going outside.
It has been a weird couple of weeks. I’m trying to stay hopeful and optimistic for the New Year. So far, it’s a challenge, but I’m staying positive. I went to church (virtually) this morning for the 1st time in a long time. Maybe that’s a sign of good things ahead. Let’s get started.
I’m still working on Power and Restraint: The Moral Dimension of Police Work, by Howard Cohen and Michael Feldberg. (Cohen, Howard and Feldberg, Michael. Power and Restraint: The Moral Dimension of Police Work. 1991. Praeger Publishers: New York.) As I said in the last installment, Dr. Feldberg has been a member of our community’s Police Advisory Review Board since it’s inception. I’m currently about 2/3 of the way through this. I like the way this book is organized, and I may actually borrow some of this format for a project that I’m considering. Essentially, the book is written in 2 parts. The first part is fairly short, and it outlines the authors’ 5 standards of police ethics. The second part is a series of case studies of enforcement scenarios and possible responses that the officers may choose. Each potential response is then “measured” against the 5 established standards for compliance or deviance. It really is a practical way of looking at the morality of police discretion and decision making.
As I said last time, I’m really looking forward to seeing the revised edition that is being worked on now.
In addition to working my way through Power and Restraint, I also started working my way through titles by Captain D. Michael Abrashoff, USN (ret.). I finished It’s Your Ship: Management Techniques from the Best Damn Ship in the Navy (Abrashoff, D. Michael. It’s Your Ship: Management Techniques from the Best Damn Ship in the Navy. 2002. New York: Hachette Book Group.) This title was recommended to me by a student in my last class for the Justice Institute in November. I can’t believe that I hadn’t found this book earlier. It was outstanding! I liked it so much that I immediately downloaded, It’s Our Ship: The No-Nonsense Guide to Leadership. (Abrashoff, D. Michael. It’s Our Ship: The No-Nonsense Guide to Leadership. 2008. New York: Hachette Book Group.) I started that one this week. More to come on that.
As you’ve seen in the past, I can’t do continuous pro-reading without taking an occasional break to turn to something lighter. Last week I went with another Clive Cussler title. This time, it was Marauder: A Novel of the Oregon Files (Cussler, Clive and Morrison, Boyd. Marauder: A Novel of the Oregon Files. 2020. New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons.) I always enjoy Cussler’s novels, but this one was particularly fun.
Other Learning Opportunities
There haven’t been a lot of opportunities to do any extra learning over the past couple of weeks. I did have a pretty cool technology demonstration from a potential vendor last week. Other than that, learning has been pretty much limited to Jiu-Jitsu. I’m getting plenty of training in at the dojo though.
Some Stuff About Me
I mentioned in the Intro that I went to church this morning for the 1st time in a while. C and I started going to church together almost as soon as we started dating. We looked at a couple of different parishes before we finally selected St. Stephen’s here in Pittsfield. We attended regularly until she went back to school. When she started working on her doctorate, something had to give. Our Sunday mornings together was what went. For reasons of my own, I didn’t want to attend church by myself, so I’ve rarely been to church since she started the program. Even though the services have been remote throughout the pandemic, I hadn’t made the effort to attend. I need to do better at this.
Church has not been a constant in my life. My parents introduced us to church when I was in later elementary school. I fell out with my church while I was in early high school. I wandered back and forth while I was at Navy and Williams, then was away from the church for a long time. Eventually, my ex and I found a parish home at my prior parish. I stopped attending there during the divorce. I do better when church is part of my life.
We have had some great date nights in the past 2 weeks. The first was delivery from Shire Breu-Hous. We hadn’t dined with them since the beginning of the pandemic. This was outstanding. The second week was from another old stand-by that we hadn’t patronized. I mistakenly thought they had closed. It was comforting to have some delivery from Tahiti Takeout and Lounge. Both nights included Icebreaker cards and living room dancing.
Last weekend, we had a visit from C’s parents to mark the Holidays and exchange gifts. We had a wonderful dinner and some great conversation. We introduced them to the Icebreaker cards as well.
In addition to keeping up with my jiu-jitsu, I’ve started mixing up my strength and conditioning routine. I learned a couple of new kettlebell flows that I’m really enjoying and have been spending some more time with the sandbag. This week I’m going to add some new pushing and pulling exercises. I’ll let you know how it goes. Well, I think that’s about enough for now. See you in a couple of weeks. Until then…
Be Safe, Keep the Faith, Do Good Work, 1*