An Open Letter To AARP

Dear AARP,

I appreciate that you look out for my interests. I don’t have the time to travel to Washington as often as I’d like. When I do get there, I’m not interested in soiling my reputation by being seen with elected officials. I’ll happily pay my dues to have you lobby on my behalf.

Yeah, I get a free one. Why? Because I’m an AARP member. (image public domain)

That’s not all that you do for me. I get good deals on donuts when I get together with my old man friends every morning. And when I travel, I get a break on hotel costs. You offer me insurance and I get a magazine every month. It almost seems like a one-sided deal that is in my favor. If you’re OK with that, so am I. Read the rest of this entry »

Paul McCartney & Kanye West. Where My Generation Is Getting It Wrong.

It seems that one internet explosion leads to another. Wasn’t it Issac Newton who said that? I’m pretty sure that’s what he meant, if he didn’t just say it outright.

Last week, the net blew up with the news that Kanye West and Paul McCartney had recorded a song together. Then came the word that some Kanye West fans had communicated the idea that they had no idea that McCartney existed before he recorded with West. And then it started – a Mount St. Helens level eruption by the over fifty set (or the section of the over fifty set that knows how to use “The Twitter”) excoriating the younger generation for not knowing exactly who that talented guy performing with Kim Kardashian’s current husband was.

I know he’s someone, isn’t he? (image by rich007, CCbySA3.0)

And you know what? They’re right to do that, to a point. Read the rest of this entry »

What’s Wrong With This Picture?

Take a look at this photo. Yes, that’s me, without a hat or sunglasses. I do come from attractive parents; apparently the attractive genes are recessive. But anyhow, look at the photo.

Can you tell me what’s wrong with it?


Yes, it’s a little out of focus and there are shadows. The original doesn’t have those problems. Why are you so picky?

If you said anything like “I don’t like your stupid smirk” or “you’re so old; what’s with the faux-hipster goatee?”, you’re right. Those closest to me might also add that the blank background does not give adequate perspective to let the viewer know how truly large my cranium is. Read the rest of this entry »

Fifty Is The New Twenty

I did a little travel last week. Time away from home with the most important people in my life is good for my soul. I love driving and seeing the countryside go by. But I learned something too.

What Sauvignon Blanc looks like before it goes to the store. (image by Agne27, CCby SA 3.0)

I recognized that being in my fifties has its privileges and burdens. That’s not so different than any other age. So, in the way that so many have declared so many things the new something else, I am declaring that fifty is the new twenty.

There came a time in the trip where a bottle of wine was just what an unremarkable hotel room needed. I stopped by a grocery, grabbed a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc and headed for the check out lanes. The self check out scanner line was short. I scanned the bottle, the price came up on the screen, followed by a prompt to show my identification to the cashier.

Now, I think I already established that I’m a bit older. No one is going to mistake me for a twenty-one year old. I understand the liability issues that force stores to confirm that every one who buys a bottle of wine is over twenty-one; I just happen to believe there is room for common sense in that confirmation process. Read the rest of this entry »

Growing Pains

Maybe soon I will be (image via

Some time ago…well, I’m 52 so…a very long time ago, I used to gripe to my mother about being in pain. I didn’t have a good reason for it, but my arm or my leg hurt. Mom just dismissed my complaints as growing pains.

Growing pains were a very appealing explanation to eight year old me. I wanted to grow, but it was hard to know when I actually was growing. I wanted results. We tried the marks on the door frame thing to track my increasing height. Unfortunately, when we moved to a new town those marks didn’t move with us. That made those growing pains the only readily available (if inaccurate) sign I had that I was growing.

As I got older, I still had parts that hurt. I could connect those pains with injuries – I’d fallen off a bike, twisted something when I was horse-playing with friends. When I worked in policing I could remember why things were sore. My shoulder was sore from helping carry a 450 lb man down some stairs. My hip was tender after being hit by a thrown television. A lot of things were sore when I was hit by a car. Read the rest of this entry »

When I Knew It Was OK To Retire

My retirement from the police department becomes official on Tuesday.

I’ve been on leave for the better part of this month. I’ve spent the time doing important things like exercising, watching football, growing a beard and growing a beard while watching football. I guess you could say that I’ve been retired for a month, but the official date is Tuesday.

As it got closer to time for me to go, I thought a lot about leaving the career that I loved.

Was it really time to go? Everything about leaving made sense, given the course of my life. But I still got a lot out of the job and was able to get it done. I did have to admit that when I got it done it was a lot slower and much craftier than when I was in my twenties. Still, crafty is at least as effective as being swift. Often it’s more effective. But the question was still there, was I done?

I needed something. I needed a sign. A sign that said, “it’s time to go.”

Twenty-eight years of policing changed me. A lot of those changes were good; there are a few that I will fix.

The biggest change is that certain things just didn’t sound odd to me anymore. Sure, shady people in suspicious circumstances still got my attention. But some other stuff that really should have made me scratch my head, didn’t. I got my sign a little over a year ago.

This Actually Made Sense, To Them And To Me…

We had another fun baby shower and even the co...

Cookies For A Kidnapping (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On a particularly busy Saturday afternoon, I was on the way to two calls – a robbery and a stabbing. As a sergeant, I was expected to show up at “major” calls like those to make sure we were getting the investigation off to a good start. As I drove, a third major call came out – a kidnapping.

The stabbing was the biggest problem, so I elected to go there first. I listened to the radio for information on the robbery and the kidnapping. While I got involved in the stabbing call, I heard that the robbery was a false alarm. That left the kidnapping.

A few minutes later, I heard my number called on the radio. I answered and an officer told me I wasn’t needed for the kidnapping call. “It was just a baby shower” was the only explanation I received. I acknowledged what he’d said then went back to work at the scene I was on.


Baby Shower!!! (Photo credit: Anders Mikael Lilleberg)

As I went off to sleep that night, I started thinking.

At that moment, ten hours after it happened, it finally occurred to me to wonder how a baby shower could result in someone believing there was a kidnapping going on. And it hit me – I was so used to weird that it wasn’t even weird anymore.

…And THAT Was My Sign

The next morning, I spoke with the officer who’d handled the baby shower/non-kidnapping. He wasn’t really sure what happened either. All he could tell me that everyone was calm and happy when he arrived. The people who made the 911 call told him “we thought it was a kidnapping but it was a baby shower.”

I’ve been to kidnappings and I’ve been to a baby shower. The only thing that the two events have in common are that people are present for both sorts of events. There was no danger to anyone at the baby shower I went to. Gifts and silly games were not involved in any of the kidnappings I worked.

When I realized that I’d spent twenty-eight years in a world where people said stuff like “we thought it was a kidnapping, but it was a baby shower” every day and truly meant it, I also realized that I’d seen and given enough.

I can let go now. I’m at peace and ready for a new adventure.

My best wishes, respect and love to those who remain on the job. I miss you and The Rock already. I’d swap places with any and all of you if they’d let me get even one of you to safety sooner. Blessings upon all of you for getting me here.

Y’all be careful.

07-1021, 10-42.

Five Signs You’ll Get Alzheimers

I’m aging.

I meet a lot of people who complain about getting older. That’s their right, I suppose. You’ll not hear me whine about aging. When a person stops aging, they don’t get much else done. I’ve got too much on my plate right now to stop aging.

Getting older has meant a lot of change for me. My solar sex panel is expanding. A lot of people call me sir. That used to happen at work because of my rank, now it’s because I’m an antique. A kid is now defined as someone under 28. I’m starting to get senior discounts. The ads that are targeted toward me are changing too.

Read the rest of this entry »

My Father’s Greatest Innovation

“Ya know what they should do with these guys, don’t ya?”

When my brother and I were young, this was the line that usually preceded our father holding forth on some issue. It was usually a good idea to stop and listen to what followed that line. In fact, it still is a good idea. Dad is a practical man, with a humorous streak.

If Dad announces the solution to a societal problem, there are three things which are certain:

  • The solution would likely work
  • It would be hysterical to see happen
  • What he proposes would have little chance of being implemented, because of those first two things

This is the tale of his best problem solving idea. Read the rest of this entry »