July 25, 2021
Good Sunday afternoon VFOT friends and followers. Today has been a weird weather day, here in the Berkshires. It rained hard overnight and this morning. It has cleared up since, but it’s still overcast, and everything is wet. This seemed like a good day to catch up on some indoor chores. I’ve been slowly puttering around, but I’ve gotten a bunch done. One of the biggest accomplishments was probably culling my t-shirt collection and disposing of some older, infrequently worn ones to make room for some recent acquisitions.
I’ve been plugging away at A People’s History of the United States—1492-Present, by Howard Zinn (Zinn, Howard. A People’s History of the United States—1492-Present. 2003. New York: Harper Collins Publishers.) I had some travel this week, so I missed a couple of days, but it’s going well. I’m in the middle of the Industrial Revolution and reading about the Women’s Labor movement and the beginnings of Women’s Suffrage. This is heavy stuff. More to come on this as I progress.
I blew through Medusa and had to pick some new titles. I’d learned from a recent installment of the Brass & Unity Podcast that Lt. Colonel Dave Grossman had recently released a new book, On Spiritual Combat. I downloaded that and got started on it. I’m really enjoying it, but its format doesn’t lend itself to short bursts throughout the course of the day. I’m still working through it, but I needed another title just to have handy.
Based on a recent conversation about scheduling some training next month, I decided to revisit The Trident, by Lt. Jason Redman. I’m just about finished reading this for the 2nd time. Man, I missed a whole bunch of stuff the 1st time through. I’m enjoying this re-read…and I’m really hoping that I get to meet Lt. Redman.
On top of those titles, I also learned about a couple of Sebastian Junger’s recent titles, including War and Freedom. So, I downloaded both of those onto my Kindle…just to have them available.
Other Learning Opportunities
In addition to my “normal” training routines, I had a new and unique opportunity this week. A couple of months ago, I was contacted by a good friend. He wanted to put me in touch with the criminal justice program manager at a nearby college. After making contact, the program manager explained to me that they were working with a local police department on professional development for 1st line supervisors. After a couple of conversations, I was asked if I would consider putting together a custom leadership seminar for small groups of new sergeants. I was happy to agree.
This Tuesday and Wednesday, I delivered the 1st round of this seminar to 10 relatively new sergeants. It appears to have been a success. The plan is to offer the same seminar to 2 more groups in September and October.
Some Stuff About Me
I’m not going to revisit the discussion from the previous blog. Let’s lighten this up a bit. I was recently telling a story about my stepfather to a friend. I’m going to repeat that story for you.
When I was a young boy, my stepfather was a long-haul trucker. He was what the industry described as an owner-operator. He owned his own tractors and a couple of trailers. Sometimes he hauled his own trailers, loaded with cargo. Sometimes, he would drop a trailer, hook up to someone else’s trailer and head to another destination warehouse. While he hauled a lot of different stuff, his mainstay was produce out of California back to the east coast, and frozen foods between the US and Canada. At various times, he tried his hand at a bunch of other stuff. For one long period, he and his team were hauling toys for KayBee Toy and Hobby to open all of their expansion stores.
One summer, when both my brother and I were in elementary school, my mom and stepfather came up with a plan. We were going to go to California to visit Disneyland. However, we weren’t going to travel out there like a normal family and fly. Instead, we were going to travel across the country and back in the truck. We loaded up our bags with clothes and books and games and threw our bags into the sleeper. Then we were off.
My mom, brother and I would take turns in the passenger seat. The others would sit or sleep in the sleeper compartment. On that trip, I had the best fried chicken of my life at a place called Ray’s Roost in Kentucky. We saw amazing landmarks all across the country. Ray pointed out a fort on the side of the highway that had been the set of the 70’s sitcom, F-Troop. We drove through the Mojave Desert at night. Once we arrived in California, we dropped the trailer we were hauling. After getting a full night’s sleep, we drove to the parking lot of Disneyland…in the truck. We parked in the remote lot among the normal families’ RVs, then went and spent the day as a family in the happiest place on earth.
After that, we picked up another trailer and headed home.
That fall, when we went back to school, my brother had to write an essay on what he did that summer. He wrote about this trip. His teacher accused him of making it up and sent him to the principal’s office. What young child could have made that story up?
We’ve had quite a bit of fun in the past 2 weeks. Our 1st date night was at Proprietor’s Lodge. While we were there, we ran into some old friends who were celebrating their wedding anniversary. It was lovely to see them. After dinner, it was home for dancing and prompt cards.
Last weekend, we went to have dinner and cocktails with some friends who had been out of state for several weeks. We hadn’t seen them since early June, and it was nice to catch up with them again. After dinner, we played games with them and their daughters. It was a fun night.
This week for date night, we started with cocktails at District. After a delicious specialty cocktail, we walked next door for steamed buns and ramen at Thistle & Mirth. This was a beautiful and fun night.
On Friday night, I had an early Jits class. Originally, the plan was to spend a quiet evening at home. However, during the day, C had learned that our same friends from above had experienced a loss in their family. C decided that we should take the pup to visit them and provide a little canine therapy. That was a good call. It was another fun night.
Yesterday was a full training morning. Once I got home, the weather broke, and it turned into a beautiful summer day. I spent the afternoon reading on the back deck and soaking in the sun. C wanted to try out her new Ninja air-fryer, so she cooked, and we ate on the deck. Then we retired inside and watched the 1st day of the Summer Olympics.
Today has been household chores and catching up.
Well, that’s enough for now. So, until next time…
Be Safe, Keep the Faith, Do Good Work, 1*
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