Saturday, November 12, 2005

Career Apparel

I got my new uniforms the other day. It all began last spring sometime. One of the sergeants asked my opinion about going into career apparel. True or not, I was later told he had a problem with something I was wearing, but wouldn't tell me what it was. Since then, no one has said anything about my work wardrobe until a month or so ago, and then it was just a reiteration of the discussion with the previous sergeant. No specifics about my clothings, not even that there was a problem. Basically, what uniform did I prefer, the civilian career apparel (Dockers and polo shirt) or the green certified uniform without badge.

Since I've been with this agency, I've been in brown shirt and gray pants, out into civilian clothes, in grey and white civilian uniforms, out into civilian clothes, into green uniforms without badge, and back out into civilian clothing.

The first time, we (civilian employees) looked like bus drivers. We wore a brown shirt with badge and brass. Found out later that the badge we were given was the official badge and should have been worn by certified staff. They were wearing the badges civilian personnel should have been wearing. Don't know who did the research on that one (and yes, there was a lawsuit involving the use of the badge. I might post about that someday). As I said, we looked like bus drivers. No kidding. I was stopped on the street more than once by people asking where the nearest bus stop was. I was even asked where the subway was. I told them that we didn't have subway here; we'd have to issue scuba gear to passengers.

The second time, we wore either gray skirts or pants and white shirts with patches on the sleeves. We also had blazers and ties which no one ever wore. I went to a promotions board wearing the tie and blazer and was told to take it off. I'd be more comfortable and they all knew me, so "dressing up" wasn't going to impress anyone. It was meant kindly, not meant that I wasn't going to be promoted (I was). That uniform wasn't really too bad. Except for the tie and blazer, that is.

The third time, we were put into greens. A green polyester shirt and pants which were cold in the winter and hot in the summer. The pants had a grey stripe and were the same as I'd worn the first go round. We did have the departmental patch on the sleeves, but were not issued badge and brass this time. After being stopped several times and asked to take some kind of action by citizens, I stopped wearing my uniform to and from work. I left my uniforms at work and changed from street clothes into my uniform when I got to work. Too much liability all around.

When asked what uniform I preferred, I said I did not want the greens. I wasn't ceritified and didn't want anyone to think I was. I explained the liability factor for the department and the sergeants realized that it could be a problem so the career apparel was decided on. The sergeants should have thought about liability. It took a civilian to point it out.

When all this was being talked about, no word was ever discussed that my personal clothing was in any way inappropriate or not in line with official dress code. I think the issue was with my shoes, but no one had the guts to say anything. You see, I wear sneakers. I do not wear heels. I have foot problems and they are alleviated by wearing flats and sneakers. I was married in sneakers. White, yes, but still sneakers. I have one pair of loafers that I wear occassionally.

I later came to find out that the major had already decided that I would be in career apparel, no other uniform was appropriate or considered. I also came to find out that notice was put into my contact record that my lack of professional attire was discussed with me. I know for a fact this was done, it wasn't reported to me by anyone else. This statement is false, untrue, and an out-and-out lie along with other statements.

In any case, I was lead to believe that the issue of going into career apparel came about because my supervisors made the decision. I know now that it came from the major. I began to wonder what else I've been told recently, and in the past, that was not true. Several things came to mind, but nothing I could refute.

Retirement is looking better and better every day. Twenty-one months, two weeks, a few days and I'll be officially eligible.

But who's counting?

Wouldn't you know, I have the Wizard of Oz on while surfing the net and read that more tornados touched down in Iowa today prompting the evacuation of Stratford, a town about 23 miles northwest of Ames, due to tornado damage.

Fans waiting for the start of the Iowa State/University of Colorado football game were moved to Hilton Coliseum as tornado warning sirens sounded.

My cousin Buddie lives in Iowa, but I'm not sure where he is in relation to the areas affected by the tornadoes. I have email out to him to see if he and his family are alright. In the meantime, Buddie, if you read this, please leave a comment that you are okay or email me, please.

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Update: I heard from Cousin Buddie and he and his family are fine. I had no idea where he was in relation to the Iowa tornadoes, but apparently they are across the state from there. So all is well in our family, tornado wise.

When were the first computer programs published?

Answer next week
How Many Dogs Does It Take to Change a Lightbulb? - 8

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Jack Russell Terrier
I'll just pop it in while I'm bouncing off the walls and furniture. (how true)!
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Friday, November 11, 2005

News Just In...Dogs Kill Crocodile

Three dogs saved their human family from a vicious, extremely dangerous crocodile. After the kill, the hide was used to make collars and leashes for the three heroic animals.

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This is not part of the How Many Dogs series, but I thought it would be fun anyway.
Recall Notice!

The Maker of all human beings is recalling all units manufactured, regardless of make or year, due to a serious defect in the primary and central component of the heart. This is due to a malfunction of the original prototype unit code named Adam and Eve, resulting in the reproduction of the same defect in all subsequent units.

This defect has been technically termed, "Subsequential Internal Non-morality", more commonly know as S.I.N., as it is primarily expressed. (original sin)

Some other symptoms:

1. Loss of direction
2. Foul vocal emissions
3. Amnesia of origin
4. Lack of peace and joy
5. Selfish and violent behavior
6. Depression or confusion in the mental component
7. Fearfulness
8. Idolatry
9. Rebellion

The Manufacturer, who is neither liable nor at fault for this defect, is providing factory authorized repair and service free of charge to correct this SIN defect.

The Repair Technician, JESUS, has most generously offered to bear the entire burden of the staggering cost of these repairs. There is no additional fee required. (believe in Him and obey His commandments)

The number to call for repair in all areas is:


Once connected, please upload your burden of SIN through the REPENTANCE procedure.

Next download ATONEMENT from the Repair Technician, Jesus, into the heart component. No matter how big or small the SIN defect is, JESUS will replace it with:

1. Love
2. Joy
3. Peace
4. Patience
5. Kindness
6. Goodness
7. Faithfulness
8. Gentleness
9. Self control

Please see the operation manual, the B.I.B.L.E. (Believers Instructions Before Leaving Earth), for further details on the use of these fixes.

WARNING: Continuing to operate the human being unit without correction voids any manufacturer warranties, exposing the unit to dangers and problems too numerous to list and will result in the human unit being permanently impounded.

For free emergency service, call on JESUS.

DANGER: The human being units not responding to this recall action will have to be scrapped in the furnace. The SIN defect will not be permitted to enter the Heaven so as to prevent contamination of the facility.

Please assist where possible by notifying others of this important recall notice!!!
Thank you for your immediate attention.

ALL MY LOVE - GOD (Abba, Father in Heaven)
How Many Dogs Does It Take to Change a Lightbulb? - 7

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German Shepherd:
I'll change it as soon as I've led these people from the dark, check to make sure I haven't missed any, and make just one more perimeter patrol to see that no one has tried to take advantage of the situation.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Happy Birthday Marines!

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Semper Fidelis - Always faithful.
To the nation, to each other, to the cause we serve.

Two hundred and thirty years ago today, November 10, 1775, the United States Marine Corps was born.

The next time you see a Marine, give them a hug or a handshake. At least give them your thanks. They, along with the other branches of the Armed Services, serve so that you don't have to.

Being in law enforcement, I've had the privilege of working alongside many men and women who served in the Armed Services. It's just part of the nature of law enforcement that it draws service personnel to it. It's easy to tell which ones served. They have a bearing of personal self confidence that most other people just don't have. They aren't better because they served and we didn't, but there is a difference.
Thank you to each of you.

Happy Birthday, Marines!
The Folded Napkin ... A Truckers Story

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(If this doesn't light your fire .... your wood is wet!!!)

I try not to be biased, but I had my doubts about hiring Stevie. His placement counselor assured me that he would be a good, reliable busboy. But I had never had a mentally handicapped employee and wasn't sure I wanted one. I wasn't sure how my customers would react to Stevie.

He was short, a little dumpy with the smooth facial features and thick-tongued speech of Downs Syndrome. I wasn't worried about most of my trucker customers because truckers don't generally care who buses tables as long as the meatloaf platter is good and the pies are homemade.

The four-wheeler drivers were the ones who concerned me; the mouthy college kids traveling to school; the yuppie snobs who secretly polish their silverware with their napkins for fear of catching some dreaded "truck stop germ" the pairs of white-shirted business men on expense accounts who think every truck stop waitress wants to be flirted with. I knew those people would be uncomfortable around Stevie so I closely watched him for the first few weeks.

I shouldn't have worried. After the first week, Stevie had my staff wrapped around his stubby little finger, and within a month my truck regulars had adopted him as their official truck stop mascot.

After that, I really didn't care what the rest of the customers thought of him. He was like a 21-year-old in blue jeans and Nikes, eager to laugh and eager to please, but fierce in his attention to his duties. Every salt and pepper shaker was exactly in its place, not a bread crumb or coffee spill was visible when Stevie got done with the table. Our only problem was persuading him to wait to clean a table until after the customers were finished. He would hover in the background, shifting his weight from one foot to the other, scanning the dining room until a table was empty. Then he would scurry to the empty table and carefully bus dishes and glasses onto his cart and meticulously wipe the table up with a practiced flourish of his rag.

If he thought a customer was watching, his brow would pucker with added concentration. He took pride in doing his job exactly right, and you had to love how hard he tried to please each and every person he met.

Over time, we learned that he lived with his mother, a widow who was disabled after repeated surgeries for cancer. They lived on their Social Security benefits in public housing two miles from the truck stop. Their social worker, who stopped to check on him every so often, admitted they had fallen between the cracks. Money was tight, and what I paid him was probably the difference between them being able to live together and Stevie being sent to a group home. That's why the restaurant was a gloomy place that morning last August, the first morning in three years that Stevie missed work.

He was at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester getting a new valve or something put in his heart. His social worker said that people with Downs Syndrome often have heart problems at an early age so this wasn't unexpected, and there was a good chance he would come through the surgery in good shape and be back at work in a few months.

A ripple of excitement ran through the staff later that morning when word came that he was out of surgery, in recovery, and doing fine. Frannie, the head waitress, let out a war hoop and did a little dance in the aisle when she heard the good news.

Belle Ringer, one of our regular trucker customers, stared at the sight of this 50-year-old grandmother of four doing a victory shimmy beside his table.

Frannie blushed, smoothed her apron and shot Belle Ringer a withering look.

He grinned. "OK, Frannie, what was that all about?" he asked.

"We just got word that Stevie is out of surgery and going to be okay."

"I was wondering where he was. I had a new joke to tell him. What was the surgery about?"

Frannie quickly told Belle Ringer and the other two drivers sitting at his booth about Stevie's surgery, then sighed: "Yeah, I'm glad he is going to be OK," she said. "But I don't know how he and his Mom are going to handle all the bills. From what I hear, they're barely getting by as it is." Belle Ringer nodded thoughtfully, and Frannie hurried off to wait on the rest of her tables. Since I hadn't had time to round up a busboy to replace Stevie and really didn't want to replace him, the girls were busing their own tables that day until we decided what to do.

After the morning rush, Frannie walked into my office. She had a couple of paper napkins in her hand and a funny look on her face.

"What's up?" I asked.

"I didn't get that table where Belle Ringer and his friends were sitting cleared off after they left, and Pony Pete and Tony Tipper were sitting there when I got back to clean it off," she said. "This was folded and tucked under a coffee cup."

She handed the napkin to me, and three $20 bills fell onto my desk when I opened it. On the outside, in big, bold letters, was printed "Something For Stevie".

"Pony Pete asked me what that was all about," she said, "so I told him about Stevie and his Mom and everything, and Pete looked at Tony and Tony looked at Pete, and they ended up giving me this." She handed me another paper napkin that had "Something For Stevie" scrawled on its outside. Two $50 bills were tucked within its folds. Frannie looked at me with wet, shiny eyes, shook her head and said simply: "truckers."

That was three months ago. Today is Thanksgiving, the first day Stevie is supposed to be back to work.

His placement worker said he's been counting the days until the doctor said he could work, and it didn't matter at all that it was a holiday. He called 10 times in the past week, making sure we knew he was coming, fearful that we had forgotten him or that his job was in jeopardy. I arranged to have his mother bring him to work. I then met them in the parking lot and invited them both to celebrate his day back.

Stevie was thinner and paler, but couldn't stop grinning as he pushed through the doors and headed for the back room where his apron and busing cart were waiting.

"Hold up there, Stevie, not so fast," I said. I took him and his mother by their arms. "Work can wait for a minute. To celebrate you coming back, breakfast for you and your mother is on me!" I led them toward a large corner booth at the rear of the room.

I could feel and hear the rest of the staff following behind as we marched through the dining room. Glancing over my shoulder, I saw booth after booth of grinning truckers empty and join the procession. We stopped in front of the big table. Its surface was covered with coffee cups, saucers and dinner plates, all sitting slightly crooked on dozens of folded paper napkins. "First thing you have to do, Stevie, is clean up this mess," I said. I tried to sound stern.

Stevie looked at me, and then at his mother, then pulled out one of the napkins. It had "Something for Stevie" printed on the outside. As he picked it up, two $10 bills fell onto the table.

Stevie stared at the money, then at all the napkins peeking from beneath the tableware, each with his name printed or scrawled on it. I turned to his mother. "There's more than $10,000 in cash and checks on that table, all from truckers and trucking companies that heard about your problems. "Happy Thanksgiving."

Well, it got real noisy about that time, with everybody hollering and shouting, and there were a few tears, as well.

But you know what's funny? While everybody else was busy shaking hands and hugging each other, Stevie, with a big, big smile on his face, was busy clearing all the cups and dishes from the table.

Best worker I ever hired.

Plant a seed and watch it grow.

At this point, you can bury this inspirational message or forward it fulfilling the need!

If you shed a tear, hug yourself, because you are a compassionate person.

Well.. Don't just sit there! Send this story on! Keep it going, this is a good one!

From email. I don't care if this is true or not. It's a feel-good story and we all need more of those.

How Many Dogs Does It Take to Change a Lightbulb? - 6

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Oh, me, me!!!!! Pleeeeeeeeeze let me change the light bulb! Can I? Can I? Huh? Huh? Huh? Can I? Pleeeeeeeeeze, please, please, please!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Operation Enduring Service

This is a website about the restoration of WWII Ships and the training of emergency responders.

We are preparing to receive at least two ships (if everything goes as planned) to begin the conversion to Fast Attack Emergency Cargo Ships to respond to disaster incidences in Coastal States (East Coast, Gulf Coast, and in some instances West Coast). It is estimated that we can remove about 27% of the federal burden for Ice, Water, and food within the first 10 hours following a CAT-4 landfall. There is also the ability to provide climate controlled medical and staging facilities for up to 40 percent of the same disaster area.

Read the rest here (scroll down to Play It Again, Sam). A must read. If I understand what this is all about, it is absolutely essential that we support this effort. It would have made a world of difference in New Orleans, Mississippi, Texas, and even here in Florida during the hurricane season. Last year it was Punta Gorda, this year New Orleans. Next year? Maybe your area?

More information here and here. And here is a link to your congresscritters.

Excellent idea.
The dieter was at his width's end.

Which land animal, after the elephant, is the heaviest?

Answer next week
The Second American Revolution

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Tea Party Project

Chuck, a postal worker in Georgia advises that the only thing necessary to send a teabag to your senator/congressman/president is to attach a mailing label to the teabag or dunking string along with the correct postage. Then just drop it in a mailbox.

Buy a box of teabags, print off labels to your
congressman, senators and President Bush. Make sure "FairTax" shows up somewhere on the label. Tape the label to the teabag or the string. Affix the correct postage. Mail one teabag a day.. until the box is used up. When it's done, buy another box. Repeat.

No need to explain FairTax. No need to write much of anything. The tea bag will make the statement. Politicians will understand instantly. The media will figure it out. The tea bags will cause a lot of trouble. The good folks of the USPS will get a lot of welcomed overtime and the politicians will get a real wake up call.

The Founders would be pleased.

Thanks Chuck.

Via email

Interesting idea, but I'm not sure what the Post Office would think about it. It would certainly get the attention of the congresscritters, but will it retain their attention long enough to get the FairTax passed?

My other question is whether we'd lose the goodwill of the PO by mailing thousands of tea bags. And what if they break? That much loose tea would not leave me very happy.
Girlfriend and Sister's Week

I am only as strong as the coffee I drink, the hairspray I use and the friends I have.

To the cool women that have touched my life. Here's to you!

National Girlfriends Day

What would most of us do without our sisters, confidants and shopping, lunching, and traveling girls? Let's celebrate each other for each other's sake! It is good to be a woman:

To the cool women that have touched my life. Here's to you!

It is good to be a woman:
  1. We got off the Titanic first.
  2. We can scare male bosses with the mysterious gynecological disorder excuses.
  3. Taxis stop for us.
  4. We don't look like a frog in a blender when dancing.
  5. No fashion faux pas we make, could ever rival the Speedo.
  6. We don't have to pass gas to amuse ourselves.
  7. If we forget to shave, no one has to know.
  8. We can congratulate our teammate without ever touching her rear end.
  9. We never have to reach down every so often to make sure our privates are still there.
  10. We have the ability to dress ourselves.
  11. We can talk to the opposite sex without having to picture them naked
  12. If we marry someone 20 years younger, we are aware that we will look like an idiot.
  13. We will never regret piercing our ears
  14. There are times when chocolate really can solve all your problems.
  15. We can make comments about how silly men are in their presence because they aren't listening anyway.

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From email - was there a doubt?

I Can't Say I'm Sorry to Hear This

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NEW YORK (AP) - Michael Jackson will come back to the United States, but it's unlikely the King of Pop would ever make it his home again, says his father.

"He'll come back to visit, but not to stay, not to live," Joseph Jackson told The Associated Press in a recent interview.

Jackson said his son, who was acquitted in June of child molestation, has received lots of threats in the United States. The superstar now lives in Bahrain and his lawyers have said that he no longer considers his Neverland Ranch in California as his home.

"They didn't treat him right here. I know if I was him, I wouldn't come back," his father said.

However, the elder Jackson said he expects Michael to return to his music career - and hopes it would include a reunion with his brothers.

"I'm trying to motivate them to go ahead and do this record," he said of his other sons. "They want to do it, but they're too slow. They'd rather do it with Michael."

Michael Jackson is working on a charity single for hurricane relief with stars such as R. Kelly and Snoop Dogg.
How Many Dogs Does It Take to Change a Lightbulb? - 5

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Who cares? I can still play with my squeaky toys in the dark

Tuesday, November 08, 2005


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This has been around before, but is worth reading again, and oh, so true!

A young wife sat on a sofa on a hot humid day, drinking iced tea and visiting with her Mother. As they talked about life, about marriage, about the responsibilities of life and the obligations of adulthood, the mother clinked the ice cubes in her glass thoughtfully and turned a clear, sober glance upon her daughter.

"Don't forget your Sisters," she advised, swirling the tea leaves to the bottom of her glass. "They'll be more important as you get older. No matter how much you love your husband, no matter how much you love the children you may have, you are still going to need Sisters. Remember to go places with them now and then; do things with them. And remember that 'Sisters' also means your girlfriends, your daughters, and other women relatives too. You'll need other women. Women always do."

"What a funny piece of advice!" the young woman thought. "Haven't I just gotten married? Haven't I just joined the couple-world? I'm now a married woman, for goodness sake! A grownup. Surely my husband and the family we may start will be all I need to make my life worthwhile!"

But she listened to her mother. She kept contact with her Sisters and made more women friends each year. As the years tumbled by, one after another, she gradually came to understand that her Mom really knew what she was talking about. As time and nature work their changes and their mysteries upon a woman, Sisters are the mainstays of her life.


Time passes
Life happens
Distance separates
Children grow up
Jobs come and go
Love waxes and wans
Men don't call when they say they will
Hearts break
Parents die
Colleagues forget favors
Careers end


Girlfriends are there, no matter how much time and how many miles are between you. A girlfriend is never farther away than needing her can reach.

When you have to walk that lonesome valley and you have to walk it by yourself, your girlfriends will be on the valley's rim, cheering you on, praying for you, pulling for you, intervening on your behalf, and waiting with open arms at the valley's end. Sometimes, they will even break the rules and walk beside you. Or come in and carry you out.

Girlfriends, daughters, daughter-in-laws, sisters, sisters-in-law, Mother, mother-in-law, aunties, nieces, cousins, and extended family, bless our life! The world wouldn't be the same without them, and neither would I.

When we began this adventure called womanhood, we had no idea of the incredible joys or sorrows that lay ahead. Nor did we know how much we would need each other. Every day, we need each other.

Another email gem
How Many Dogs Does It Take to Change a Lightbulb? - 4

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Make me
To find bargains go where the auction is.
Humane Society of Southeastern Mississippi

I don't know what much of this is true, and how much is misunderstanding or even something else altogether. I post and leave it up to you, my faithful reader to make a decision and do as you see fit. From email:

Project Halo has left behind a warehouse full of food and supplies in Gulfport for the people who are in dire need of these items inorder to take care of their pets.

THE HUMANE SOCIETY OF SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI HAS CONFISCATED THESE SUPPLIES. THEY WILL NOT RELEASE TO THE PUBLIC, in fact they are selling some of these items that were meant to be given away for free.


I received this in email, and we all know how reliable email can be on some issues. However, I have some faith in the sender and believe that this person would not send on email knowing it to be untrue. The sender also has factual knowledge of things not indicated in this post that lends credence to the story.

I posted this hoping that someone knows the truth. If it is true, that these were goods donated to be used by pet/animal owners and that HSSM is selling donated goods, then it is my opinion that something is wrong in Mississippi. If anyone knows the truth behind this, please let me know. I don't want to cast aspirsions on HSSM or to propogate incorrect information.

Update: sent via email: I found out that this was very much untrue what I sent out on the 7th. They are still giving out supplies to the public as planned. They are trying to sell some of the supplies but if someone in need asks they will give it to them with no questions asked. I apologize for forwarding something that was not the truth.

Monday, November 07, 2005

How Many Dogs Does It Take to Change a Lightbulb? - 3

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You know I can't reach that stupid lamp!

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Convicted Death Row Inmate Walks Out of Jail

Charles Victor Thompson, was convicted and sentenced to death in 1999 for the shooting deaths of his ex-girlfriend Dennise Hayslip, 39, and her boyfriend, Darren Keith Cain, 30.

Thompson visited with his attorney and then after the attorney left, removed his handcuffs, changed out of his orange prison jumpsuit and left the Harris County jail after flashing his inmate ID card. The card had been tampered with by placing a piece of tape over the area that identified him as an inmate. Investigation has been launched to determine whether he had help.

The Harris County Sheriff's Office admits that human error allowed the escape. I'll say. There is no way a death row inmate could have gotten out without more than a few people failing to follow procedure somewhere. My first thought was that he had help, then I began thinking about how he could have done it all himself.
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The handcuff keys came from somewhere. Either someone gave them to him, or someone is missing their keys, meaning they were stolen, misplaced or lost. A report of missing keys would have left the jail personnel on alert that an inmate might be planning something. The jail should have been put on lockdown and the facility searched for the keys. Handcuff keys, like anyother keys can be simply misplaced, but in a prison, there can be serious repercussions. It's not like losing your car keys.

The clothing came from somewhere. Again, either someone managed to get them to him or he got them from another inmate or even from Property somehow. He might have gotten hold of the clothes and then worn them under his orange jumpsuit. The question will be, where did he get them.

The room he was visiting in should have been searched at least visually before he went into the room. If this was done, and the keys and clothing placed before the lawyer came in, they should have been found. If the room was scanned, and nothing found, it might implicate the lawyer. The lawyer may not be involved, it's just a thought.

A deputy should have been available to immediately escort Thompson from the visitation room to his cell. Obviously, he was left alone after visitation for a period of time long enough to get out of the handcuffs, change clothes, and make his escape. No, a deputy probably would not have been in the room with him and his attorney. But a deputy should have been outside waiting to escort him back to his cell.

I haven't heard what time Thompson made his escape, but he could have timed it for shift change, and/or when visitors were moving around. He could have blended in when things get a little hectic.

The ID badge wasn't checked as it should have been. A closer look would have shown the tape covered his inmate status.

It's possible that Thompson simply took advantage of opportunities. Opportunities to get the keys and clothing and secure them in his cell until the opportunity presented itself to make his escape. It's possible that he wore the clothing under his jumpsuit anytime he was out of his cell waiting for the right time. This time he found all the right holes and breeches of procedure that allowed him to escape.

I work in a jail, and although I'm not certified, I understand how this could have been avoided, and also how it could have happened. Officer complacency, failure to follow procedures, and opportunities presented and taken.

It should never have happened, especially with a death row inmate, but things like this do happen, everyday. Now is the time for Harris County to review it's procedures, see what happened, correct the deficiencies that allowed this to happen and to do what they can to be sure this doesn't happen again.

I imagine that disciplinary actions will be taken from suspensions to out-right firing. Who will get what will depend on the results of the investigation. Since this did involve a death row inmate, I would guess someone will be fired. I can guarantee that (nearly if not) every jail and prison in the country will be talking about this at muster and meetings and reminding staff that this can happen here. That procedures must be followed and complacency cannot be allowed because this can happen. I can guarantee that it's already being discussed at Harris County.

Update: Thompson was captured in Shreveport LA on Sunday. He will be arraigned in Shreveport and then, if he waives extradition, will be returned to Texas immediately.
How Many Dogs Does It Take to Change a Lightbulb? - 2

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Border Collie
Just one. And then I'll replace any wiring that's not up to code.
And Here We Go Again

No, not a hurricane this time, a tornado. It ripped through Kentucky and Indiana last night. At last count, 21 were reported dead, and extensive damage in the Evansville area. It covered an area about three miles wide and 20 miles long. A fifteen mile debris field as been identified. Most of the deaths, at this time, are reported in a mobile home park outside of Evansville. The tornado destroyed traditional brick-and-morter homes as well as mobile homes.

The governor is on the ground surveying the damage. It's expected that he will then declare a state disaster and call for FEMA help. Remember, FEMA cannot respond until the governor asks for help. The Indiana National Guard has been mobilized to help in search and rescue as well as securing the area.

Until the damage is assessed, we won't really know where it rates on the tornado scale. Right now, it's being called an F2, but from the damage reported so far, it was more likely an F3. It doesn't make much of a difference where it was on the scale, it was bad.

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Some say tornado sirens didn't sound at all, others heard them for only seconds. It's reported that only eight minutes elasped between the time the tornado was spotted to when it hit. That's not enough time for someone in a mobile home to get to safety. I'm not complaining about insufficient time or anything, just stating a fact.

I don't know whether mobile home parks have a building where residents can go to seek shelter from a tornado, but they should. I don't know whether it would make a lot of difference, especially at night, when so little warning is given. But I would feel better to know that there is someplace people can go.
When cannibals ate a missionary they got a taste of religion.
That's What I Said

Lee Says Educated Blacks Should Be Icons

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (AP) - Spike Lee says the value of education is being overshadowed by the images that gangsta rap glorifies.

"Young black kids didn't grow up wanting to be a pimp or a stripper like they do now," Lee said of his youth in Brooklyn.

He drew two standing ovations Wednesday night as a featured speaker at a conference on cultural diversity at Middle Tennessee State University.

The 48-year-old filmmaker, who is working on a documentary on Hurricane Katrina, urged students to find a way to make being educated cool again.

"Back then, we were not called sellouts for using our brains. And being intelligent was not frowned upon," Lee said.

He likened the images from some rap videos to the distorted view minstrel shows of the 19th century gave most of the world about American blacks.

Lee said he has tried through his films, which include "School Daze", "Do the Right Thing", "Jungle Fever" and "Malcolm X", to show the diversity of the black experience.

While it may especially apply to blacks, education is the key to lifting yourself out of whatever "class" you might be in, to a higher class. Sure, there have been more than a few blacks who managed to get away from their poor backgrounds and reach millionaire status through music, acting, or sports. And I applaud the fact that they "made" it. But the vast majority of us don't have those talents, and those that may have it, won't get the breaks, for whatever reason, that are needed.

And you know what? The ones who make it without an education will be hiring those who do have the education to look after them in some fashion. Either as lawyers, accountants, financial planners, or agents. I won't pretend that getting an education is easy, especially if you aspire to Yale, Harvard, MIT, or any other major league university. And having a degree doesn't guarantee a job. But, someone with a degree has a much better chance of getting a job that doesn't involve asking, "you want fries with that?".

I'm not putting down working in a burger joint, but it's basically a dead-end job that doesn't pay much. It's great for teens getting a first job. It's great for a senior citizen who needs to supplement retirement funds. It's great for that "I need a job for now while I look for a better one." It's great for the person who says, "It's a great job to start off while I learn what I need to know to someday own a string of these shops." It might be great for a mom or dad who needs a part-time job to help pay for braces, Christmas gifts, medical bills, or whatever. It's even a great job for someone who just wants a paycheck with little or no responsibility. But for a career that will give you enough money to live on, to raise a family? Not so much.

When my grandparents were young, it wasn't unusual to drop out of school before getting a high school diploma. Hard work, talent or skills, the willingness to work, and putting forth a whole lot of effort could get you places. When my parents were young, there were still drop-outs who succeeded, but the one with a high school diploma got the jobs first. When I started out in the work force, a high school diploma was expected, and at least a junior college AA degree was preferred. Now, not only must you have a college education, post college degrees are preferred, and depending on the job requirements, necessary.

Not too many years ago, to be hired as a police officer, a high school diplomas was sufficent. Today, don't even bother to apply if you don't have a high school diploma. You have a better chance with a Batchelor's degree in criminal justice, and if you have Masters, you'll beat out those with "just" a Batchelor's.

Unfortunately, just because you have the sheepskin, doesn't mean you can do the job. That's what you have to prove after you get the job. But if you want the job, you have to have the paper that proves the education first.