A good two snapshots of an accident scene I had attended last spring. An 80 kph zone, four total lanes of traffic in the area, and the van COMPLETELY avoided all traffic, came across the roadway on a slight curve, and took out TWO of the giant utility poles on the far side! The driver’s mistake? Falling asleep while driving, in the middle of the afternoon, while his other four passengers were all asleep in the back seats as well!
Thankfully, not a single person was seriously hurt. If I recall correctly, only two people went to hospital for minor injuries.
Lesson of the day – pay the fuck attention and drive safe! LOL.
Well, the acts are flying in. Our kids are ready. The crowds are starting to fill up the roads. It’s going to be nice weather for the event weekend, too. We’re all pretty pumped up…
Well, at least the swans and their babies don’t seem bothered by all the fuss…
I’ll update further pics and videos after the air show weekend is done (and DEFINITELY better digital SLR photos, not just from my crappy iPhone camera). And there’s more posts coming shortly too on the Jamaica trip that Erin and I took in April 2015 too. Enjoy.
The Canadian Forces “Snowbirds” just flew over my house about twenty minutes ago…
…and I couldn’t get to my effing iPhone / camera in time. LOL. Nice little flyby in their standard formation, cruising at only about 250-300 feet max. Shoulda been a nice little look-see for the kiddies in town.
Apparently, they were just flying over a local school, on their way from the London / St. Thomas, ON airshow this past weekend, down to a Michigan airshow over the next few days, and then I believe they’re expected at this weekend’s big military airshow at CFB Trenton this weekend (which I’m taking the family to). More pics and such of that after the weekend.
But a quick recent review coming later today, then continuing on with the catch-up posts from the past year…
So, April 21st has come and gone. Vacation time!!!
I know, I know, I know – I’ve been promising more posts and updates for months now, but I know I’ve definitely been lacking in producing them. Close friends and family are aware of goings on, but I’ve been getting a number of messages and e-mails from readers and other extended friends, wondering where the updates are, and what’s going on! LOL.
Basically, long-story short…
The last little bit in the Military Police has caused some hardships at home. It’s definitely been a trying few years, with the time away from family, but the last year specifically more so. As I’ve said to others – it’s sometime hard to swallow always being away for days on end, protecting other people’s homes and kids, when I can’t even be home to tuck my own in every day. So, there’s that issue to reconcile with my family life. There’s also been some wooing from outside agencies too. So, I made a decision back in the fall to take a bit of a step back. I’ve currently released as a full-time, “regular force” patrol MP. I’ve done a “component transfer” down to the reserves, as a still-credentialed MP (sort of – it’s as/when needed), still potentially able to do TASO / air marshal-type duties, etc. And, it allows me to still do any overseas tours in the future. As well, I’m looking towards a potential September or October-ish start with a civilian police force too. So, that would let me have the best of both worlds, coming from the Military Police / TASO world, to have a civilian policing job, but still in as an MP reservist and TASO. Very cool, and might be the best path forward for me and my family.
The plan for right now though is to take a number of months off to repair and replenish the homefront batteries – I’m planning to do relatively nothing until the daughter starts full-day junior-kindergarten in September. Ahhhh, Canadian summertime – PERFECT TIMING! Lots of time to smoke cigars, drink rum, watch the kids, do some home-repair / honey-do-list stuff. And, lots of time to get stuff updated on here finally.
I have some stuff going back to last June almost, with quite a number of cigar reviews to get caught up on too (uuuhhhh, remember when the Diplomaticos Bushidos FIRST came out early last year??? Well, I got a nice sample from LCDH Toronto, but then failed to actually post my review up of it. Oooops.) Lots of flyin’-around-the-world-and-shit stuff to get up on here also. I’m guessing, all told, I might have a post up on here roughly every other day or so, for the better part of almost two months, JUST to get caught up. Pretty psyched actually.
So – that’s some of the background of what’s been going on. Hope you enjoy the following few weeks of posts, until I’m back to “real-time” reviews again, and it should help get all of us all caught up again. Sweeeeeeeet.
…friends of mine decide to take a picture of it and send it to me for a chuckle. Of particular interest for this one, which I was sent back in the summer, is the art-nouveau addition to the “Titan” name badge area. Seems like people know what I like! LOL.
Almost nothing’s cooler than the rumble and power behind a Globemaster III upon take-off. Saw one doing some touch-and-go practise the other night, and the departure angles caught my eye. Looks very cool at night…
So, in the middle of July, out of the blue in the midst of some stressful goings-on in the summer, my wife up and says to me, “Do you wanna go shooting?” By the time I picked my jaw up off the floor, she already explained she wanted to start with some clay pigeon shooting with the shotgun. WTF??!?!?!!!! 12-gauge to START WITH?!?!?!?? I’m in LOVE!!!! Daddy married RIIIIIIGHT!!!! LOL.
You see, I’ve been fishing and into the outdoors for most of my life, and shooting firearms since I was 14 (covertly with neighbours and friends, as my parents didn’t want to let me), and firearms hunting with my own since just before I turned 30. Since then, I’ve bugged my wife once or twice a year – wanna learn how to shoot? She’s always shrugged it off. Her explanation? “You’re the cop, I’m the nurse – you hurt them, and I fix them. I don’t need to know how to shoot guns.”
So out of nowhere, this came up. Gladly, I made arrangements for her to try out the Benelli M2 Field and Remington 870 Wingmaster 12 gauges when we went out to some friends’ farm in the middle of July for a BBQ (the same childhood friends who I hunt deer with in the fall). Obviously, she enjoyed the Benelli M2 Field a LOT more, as the recoil / autoloader action of it made it a lot kinder on her 5’7″, 133 lb-or-so frame. And no pun intended, but she had a blast, and was a trooper in going through about 45 shots or so just to herself for a first-time shotgunner, and busted her fair share of clays (even with my buddy Scott saying they were gonna switch her out for me for being a better shot for deer hunting, LOL!!!)
Then, later at the start of September, she reminded me that she still wanted to do a “range day”, where she got to try some of the other stuff. So, a Springfield XDm 9mm and Sig Sauer P226 Combat 9mm pistols, a Remington 700 VTR .223 rifle, and a Sig Sauer M400 Enhanced carbine would be up for the task that day. A perfect sunny day, light breeze, and only about 22 Celsius. Five hours spent on the range, about 400 rounds gone through all told, and lots of basic hands-on proficiency (after some dry-fire safety stuff at home in the evenings prior to our range day). Amazingly, she seemed VERY comfortable with the Sig M400, being that AR’s / carbines are looked down at as “scary black guns” and assault-rifles (hey, they’re dangerous alright, but they simply are a tool at the disposal of whomever is holding it – but that’s a debate for another day), and did pretty well with the reactive targets (the last video was at the very END of the day, she was very tired, and had sore and tired arms at this point, LOL).
While it was only a very basic point-and-shoot day for her, her willingness to even trying it out was wonderful. After a bunch of weeks and months of very stressful stuff for both of us, we had a great time with that range day, and she was rarely without a grin that day. She kept saying too that one of the coolest things was constantly having a pistol loaded and on her for the day, that it was a “neat feeling”, both awkward and scary and powerful all at once. That it gave her a new respect for what I do at work and the responsibility and onus carrying a pistol has, that it made her acutely aware of that while it was on her hip (and she made reference to the awareness that we must have on duty when other people are around us).
All in all, some fun things to share with her. I think she’s hooked too, as she’s already asked about doing it again! Win!
So, some ask me sometimes what it’s like to work at a police detachment. “It can’t be all seriousness, is it?” they ask. Well, umm, no. It can be, but we have a little fun too – yup, usually when the chain-of-command are nowhere to be found, LOL.
Frequently, let’s just say that “random gremlins” have taken to putting up motivational posters (and perhaps demotivational ones too, LOL) in various places in the detachment. Or, e-mailing or texting sometimes work related memes and such. Usually, there’s always gripes about the chain-of-command (not everyone agrees on everything all of the time), or about members of the public complaining, or other day-to-day trivialities. And yes, some dark humour definitely comes into play.
Here’s an assortment of some of my recent favourites (at least the ones that I feel I can share, LOL). Enjoy…
Then, there’s those fun memes that we text each other from time to time to have a chuckle (usually at the expense of ourselves)…
And then, when we’re REALLY bored, it’s always fun to crank up some tunes and have a rave strobe party in the patrol office…
…Or mess with the keyboards of people who are two-finger typers, and then they can’t figure out why their spelling errors shoot through the roof…
So, trying to work my way into summer, and scrolling through my phone for some updates to post for “Lights, Sirens and Cigars”, I found this frozen little goodie.
Back in early February, my Military Police detachment did a batch of annual requalifications (though we try to have range days at least every six months, and many of us wish for and recommend much more than that, especially for some of those that don’t shoot on their own). But, a range day in February? Sure, great idea – it’s the dead-middle of winter, everything’s frozen solid, the wind is bitter cold…let’s go to the range and shoot shit! LOL. The range guys did give us props though – we were the only boneheads crazy enough to do a range day basically since New Year’s, due to how bitterly cold, frozen and windy January and February had been. That day in particular was somewhere in the nature of -20 or -25 Celsius or so, and a 25-30 kph wind cutting across the landscape. While it sucked, all in all though, it was a good test of men (and lady) and gear.
Anywho, I have a few pics and vids I can share here. The colourful balloons are so that members can see the targets (white and cream coloured, in the main) against a snowy background. Plus, it makes it fun when things go pop (even though it’s only a visual cue, as you can’t hear it over the gunfire).
If I recall correctly, this was all done with C8 carbines (firing 30-round mags of 5.56 mm NATO rounds, with no tracer rounds; these are basically the same as a U.S. M4, the carbine version of an M-16 / AR-15), C6 light machine guns (basically the same as a U.S. M249 S.A.W., firing 220-round belts of 5.56 mm NATO rounds, with a tracer round once every five bullets) and with one C9 medium machine gun (the same also as a U.S. M240B, firing 7.62 mm NATO in 220-round belts as well, and same with one tracer every five bullets). After we finished our C8 carbine shoot at 50 and 100 meters or so, I believe we had 6 or 7 shooting positions for the light and heavy machine guns, back at 200 meters I think, with all positions being C6 and only one C9 (yes, you can hear the difference in the audio).
Of special note, take a listen to the last few seconds in that first video. As I was in the backstop / butts area (kind of a cement reinforced trench below the shooting lanes), I was getting some camera shots of the balloon carnage (kinda funny how the wind and bad visibility played havoc with us all in only that distancing). However, in those last few seconds of that first vid, with the big dirt berm / hill “backstop” being frozen relatively solid, it was getting filled up with more and more lead…and then the ricochets REALLY started. A deflection came back and landed right near my feet. With a slight delay, because I was really kind of “what the fuck was that?!?!?!”, off goes the camera as my sphincter clenched even more in the cold, and I ran my ass laterally away as quick as I could down to the other end of the butts. I was then able to see the tracer fire of how crazy the ricochets were getting. In the second video, if you expand the video size, I believe you’ll be able to see them too, and you can definitely hear when some more come back off the backstop. And you can really hear the C6 / C9 – 5.56mm / 7.62mm difference in the bap-bap-bap-bap sounds of the guns in the distance.
But…a fun, frozen day nonetheless. As a co-worker said, “it’s always fun to fire thousands of rounds through the big bitch”! LOL.
I came across this article a while ago, as a reprint in one of my policing magazines, “Blue Line”. The article is by Kevin Myers, and was reprinted from “The Sunday Telegraph”, from June 29, 2014. Enjoy…
Salute to a Brave & Modest Nation
Kevin Myers, ‘The Sunday Telegraph’ LONDON:
Until the deaths of Canadian soldiers killed in Afghanistan, probably almost no one outside their home country had been aware that Canadian troops are deployed in the region.
And as always, Canada will bury its dead, just as the rest of the world, as always will forget its sacrifice, just as it always forgets nearly everything Canada ever does.
It seems that Canada’s historic mission is to come to the selfless aid both of its friends and of complete strangers, and then, once the crisis is over, to be well and truly ignored.
Canada is the perpetual wallflower that stands on the edge of the hall, waiting for someone to come and ask her for a dance. A fire breaks out, she risks life and limb to rescue her fellow dance-goers, and suffers serious injuries. But when the hall is repaired and the dancing resumes, there is Canada, the wallflower still, while those she once helped glamorously cavort across the floor, blithely neglecting her yet again.
That is the price Canada pays for sharing the North American continent with the United States, and for being a selfless friend of Britain in two global conflicts.
For much of the 20th century, Canada was torn in two different directions: it seemed to be a part of the old world, yet had an address in the new one, and that divided identity ensured that it never fully got the gratitude it deserved.
Yet it’s purely voluntary contribution to the cause of freedom in two world wars was perhaps the greatest of any democracy. Almost 10% of Canada’s entire population of seven million people served in the armed forces during the First World War, and nearly 60,000 died. The great Allied victories of 1918 were spearheaded by Canadian troops, perhaps the most capable soldiers in the entire British order of battle.
Canada was repaid for its enormous sacrifice by downright neglect, it’s unique contribution to victory being absorbed into the popular memory as somehow or other the work of the ‘British.’
The Second World War provided a re-run. The Canadian Navy began the war with a half dozen vessels, and ended up policing nearly half of the Atlantic against U-boat attack. More than 120 Canadian warships participated in the Normandy landings, during which 15,000 Canadian soldiers went ashore on D-Day alone.
Canada finished the war with the third-largest navy and the fourth-largest air force in the world. The world thanked Canada with the same sublime indifference as it had the previous time.
Canadian participation in the war was acknowledged in film only if it was necessary to give an American actor a part in a campaign in which the United States had clearly not participated – a touching scrupulousness which, of course, Hollywood has since abandoned, as it has any notion of a separate Canadian identity.
So it is a general rule that actors and filmmakers arriving in Hollywood keep their nationality – unless, that is, they are Canadian. Thus Mary Pickford, Walter Huston, Donald Sutherland, Michael J. Fox, William Shatner, Norman Jewison, David Cronenberg, Alex Trebek, Art Linkletter and Dan Aykroyd have in the popular perception become American, and Christopher Plummer, British.
It is as if, in the very act of becoming famous, a Canadian ceases to be Canadian, unless she is Margaret Atwood, who is as unshakably Canadian as a moose, or Celine Dion, for whom Canada has proved quite unable to find any takers.
Moreover, Canada is every bit as querulously alert to the achievements of its sons and daughters as the rest of the world is completely unaware of them. The Canadians proudly say of themselves – and are unheard by anyone else – that 1% of the world’s population has provided 10% of the world’s peacekeeping forces.
Canadian soldiers in the past half century have been the greatest peacekeepers on Earth – in 39 missions on UN mandates, and six on non-UN peacekeeping duties, from Vietnam to East Timor, from Sinai to Bosnia.
Yet the only foreign engagement that has entered the popular non-Canadian imagination was the sorry affair in Somalia, in which out-of-control paratroopers murdered two Somali infiltrators. Their regiment was then disbanded in disgrace – a uniquely Canadian act of self-abasement for which, naturally, the Canadians received no international credit.
So who today in the United States knows about the stoic and selfless friendship its northern neighbour has given it in Afghanistan ?
Rather like Cyrano de Bergerac, Canada repeatedly does honourable things for honourable motives, but instead of being thanked for it, it remains something of a figure of fun. It is the Canadian way, for which Canadians should be proud, yet such honour comes at a high cost. This past year more grieving Canadian families knew that cost all too tragically well.
Yesterday, I had one of the most humbling and awakening experiences thus far in my career. Sgt Andrew Doiron was repatriated back to Canada from Iraq, coming in via my base at 8 Wing / CFB Trenton. I’m here, in the comfy confines of a frozen but comfortable country, while other brothers-in-arms are off in harm’s way. His sacrifice, like the sacrifice of others before him, is always remembered by those in the armed forces community.
So, I and many others volunteered to assist on our days off, as even though we’re at minimum manning in the Military Police, it was one event that we all insisted to the chain-of-command that we wanted to be there for. I wasn’t quite ready for it though.
From Global News
From Global News
From Global News
From CTV News
From Global News
Myself and our Lt were tasked with providing a presence, in standard MP patrol-dress uniform, at the A-lounge of the PAX terminal at CFB Trenton. There, we would witness the heartbreaking agony of a family with their son/brother/former-spouse/rock taken from them. Many dignitaries arrived to try and console their loss with the knowledge that he died fighting for our beliefs and freedoms – Gen. Tom Lawson (our Chief of Defense Staff), the Governor-General, the Minister of National Defense, and multitudes of other brass and VIP’s would try to encourage the family. All the while…Sgt Doiron’s various nieces and nephews played and wondered what all the fuss was about, too young to quite comprehend the loss and the extreme solemness on display by the 60 or so family and dignitaries huddled into the small, secluded, private area of the terminal.
Marching out after the family onto the tarmac to receive his casket and then salute it’s procession, I had it easy. Our wing chief, CWO Elder, a giant 6-foot-4 or so of a man (and an MP as well, prior to becoming our wing chief), stiffled hardly to retain his composure as Drew’s remains were loaded into the hearse. Hundreds of soldiers, many of them Canadian Special Operations Regiment personnel in their noticable tan berets, stood in salute to him, frozen at attention aside from rapidly blinking eyes holding back tears. Other MP co-workers of mine took part as escort vehicles for the ride to the coroner’s office in Toronto. Public support, as always during these events, was present at every major roadway and highway overpass.
Some of the most humbling aspects of what we do, and who we are, as Canadians, was on prominent display yesterday. Makes me so very very proud.
Yes, “black lives matter”. But, why does it always seem to be the black lives that are taken by white police officers that become an issue for the various protesters and others of the ilk of Al Sharpton, etc., etc.?
No one seems to be protesting in the streets and chanting “black lives matter”, and screaming “burn this bitch down”, when young black men kill each other– it’s not politically relevant as much, or doesn’t sell as many papers as the rascist-inflammed and twisted viewpoint that white cops are gunning down poor, innocent, harmless black “kids”.
In 15 years in the U.S., from 1999 to 2014, there were 76 black males killed in police custody or in the course of arrest…
Somehow, the political, black rights, and social groups have banded together in recent months and years, and somehow turned this into a race-baiting issue. Hell, if you don’t agree with them that white cops are senselessly gunning their kids down in the street, then you’re a racist. If you point out that black males are killing each other more so than at any other time or by any other group, well, you’re a racist, because you don’t see how the past treatment by the white man caused these conditions. No self-responsibility, no self-awareness, nothing – these groups seem to aim to have others fix the problems for them, and stick their heads in the sand as to the community itself festering in these self-promulgating conditions.
There were also two police officers that were recently shot in a shootout with some subjects a month or so in New York, during the midst of all this racial unrest. Where was the self-righteous Al Sharpton and the rest of his cronies then? Where was the thousands and thousands of people protesting then?? Where were the signs saying “Police Lives Matter”, or simply “Lives Matter”, no black, no white????
With these recent occurrences, there seems to be this thought that “unarmed” seems to mean “non-deadly” or “non-violent”.
Let me share something…
That’s called the “Use of Force Continuum”, and it’s what myself and relatively all other police officers are trained on. The differences in various Canadian provinces and U.S. states may be present, but overall, it’s a similar item used across policing everywhere.
The concept is that the Use of Force Continuum emphasizes that there are several degrees of responses to threats that do not involve weapons, and that weapons are only an option of last resort. Lethal force is also only used when the officer has a perception that there is a threat of serious/grievous bodily harm or death, as illustrated by the subject, and focused as a threat to the officer or any other member of the public that the officer has a duty to protect.
Does a gun always present a threat of serious/grievous bodily harm or death? Absolutely. Doesn’t matter if it’s proven to be loaded or not, firing pin broken or not, etc., etc. – those are all semantics for afterwards. Bad guy points a gun, threat is real. Period.
Knife? Same thing, if you’re within a certain distance.
Anything else that can be used as a weapon? Perhaps.
Take the Michael Brown case. It’s now known that he tried to disarm the officer, was beating him in the head, the officer felt his life was threatened, a round went off in the car, Michael ran away, the officer felt woozy and felt like he was about to lose consciousness from the beating and altercation, Michael was a giant of a man compared to the officer, and then after running away he turned and charged back at the officer.
Reasonable to believe that the officer felt his life was threatened? Absolutely.
Just because Michael was unarmed, didn’t mean he didn’t portray a deadly threat. Due to the circumstances around that, it was extremely likely and reasonable for the officer to believe that if Michael got back to him, the officer might lose the fight, have his weapon taken from him by Michael, and be slaughtered.
This new incident with Tony Robinson in Wisconsin. Again, not all the facts are out yet, but since these special interest groups are rushing to judgement immediately – the officer was responding to a call of multiple occurrences involving the same subject, of a threatening manner and a battery that had occurred, busted into the subject’s apartment (lawful and required action of a police officer) after hearing an ongoing disturbance, etc. Some media reports I’ve seen have stated that that officer was struck over the head with a pipe or other metal object, that the subject was something in the nature of 6-foot-5-inches and 220-plus-pounds (vastly different from the officer), and that the officer said the subject was trying to take his gun away from him in a struggle.
Reasonable to believe that the officer felt his life was threatened? Absolutely.
With the above two examples, unarmed does NOT mean non-deadly. One thing I was taught as a cop – no matter what, NO MATTER WHAT, there is ALWAYS at least one gun at any scene…mine. If I “lose the fight”, if some guy gets the better of me, if he’s already taken the choice to fight a uniformed police officer and disregard the law to that extent, it’s more than reasonable to believe that if he knocks me out he’s going to want to get my damn gun – from that point, there’s only really one round he needs to use to take me out, and then gawd knows how many others could be killed or hurt with the remaining rounds. The onus is on every individual police officer to always go home to our family’s, and to always protect the public safety as well, and if some subject, unarmed or not, wants to present a threat like that and have his family claim afterwards that their “poor innocent harmless child” has previously “never done no harm to anyone”, tough.
These special interest groups, these parents (and I do understand their grief and anger, no matter how ill-aimed it may be), these communities – they need to fix their own issues, fix the roots of the problems. They need to stop blaming everyone and everything else. They need to wake up that, yes, while everyone’s sons and daughters may be sweet, innocent, harmless little babies at one point in their life, they sometimes develop into little devils and gangbangers and deviant criminals. If your “innocent little darling child” has an arrest record and rap sheet longer than their scholastic endeavours, there’s an issue there. If they’re “well known to police”, generally it’s safe to say they haven’t been a complete angel, no matter the sentimental misrepresentation.
These aren’t “innocent kids” as some of them claim – these are men, old enough to vote and drive and be done school and be working. These are sometimes giants of men, stereotypical “football players” – tall, well-built, muscular, determined men.
White, black, red, yellow – doesn’t matter. Unarmed or not – doesn’t matter. If a subject exhibits a threat of serious/grievous bodily harm or death, that’s when the “police challenge” is issued by the officer yelling “Police, stop!!!” or “Police, don’t move!!!” and drawing their weapon to bear. After that – cede and obey commands, or we’ll cede you for yourself.