Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Bad Boys and their Shenanigans

So I had a very eventful weekend. I went on two ride-alongs (which are when you sit shotgun in a police car for the officer's shift). The first one was in Rockville and the second was in Columbia. Needless to say , they were freaking awesome.

The first one was with a friend of my aunt and uncle's and he was awesome. He was open and honest and had a dirty sense of humor, which is always good. He made a good point right off the bat he said (roughly), "No matter what people tell you, people become police officers to lock bad guys up." Which is such a good point, I mean, yes, the more complex idea of police officers is to serve the community which includes active law enforcement as well as community outreach and in-school programs. But when you get down to it, cops are cops cause they want to find the bad people and lock them up. Anyhoo, onward. So the shift was from 3pm-1am which was a good time, it was a Friday too, so it should have had some serious action. Not to mention it was like 40-45 degrees, which if you are from Maryland, you know, that's pretty warm for the weather lately.

The second ride-along was the next night in Columbia from 6:30pm - 6:30am, or so I thought. I got to the station at 6:20 all ready to catch some dirtbags but as it turned out, the officer I was supposed to ride with wasn't in till 8:30, but thankfully a rather nice officer got me to ride with another. So I would ride with the first officer for 2-3 hours and then meet up with the other officer. Both officers were really nice guys, I had a good argument about good rap artists with the first and the second officer got me re-motivated in my employment effort. On another note, it was a Saturday night, so perhaps some action?

Results: Very little action with plenty of traffic stops.

Friday night a sobriety test was given, license plates were taken away and several cars were searched.

Saturday night involved a domestic dispute, a medical emergency and a DUI arrest. Although these things sound not too exciting, they were definitely enough action. Going into all of these situations is like a giant rush of information. Using all senses as well as communication with people you must understand, control, and resolve a situation without showing signs of weakness, which leads me to another good lesson I learned from officers on both nights.

One of the most important things you can do is not show any type of fear when dealing with people, especially suspects. Friday night I saw the officer who I was with, who was 5'6" 180lbs deal with a hostile 6'4" 300lb man without batting an eye. The officer I rode with for a majority of the second night was of similar size and declined to show any fear. They explained that if you show fear the suspects will turn it on you and eat you up. The confidence and mindfulness that is necessary to show a lack of fear but a sense of respect is amazing.

Anothr lesson I learned: Do not be afraid to talk to the people you are dealing with. A prime example was a traffic stop of a 22 y.o. male. When we checked his previous arrest record we found out he had served 18 mo for attempted murder. Although this put me in a defensive mindset, you wouldn't have thought the other officers in the situations thought anything of it when they talked with the guy. In fact, I found myself soon shooting the breeze with him and joking around, because there are two important things to see in the people you deal with: The personality and the actions. Both are equally important when you deal with people as a police officer.

Finally, one last useful lesson: The way most officers catch people doing the things they shouldn't be doing is by finding something wrong with a car and initiating a traffic stop. One good thing to check is tag lights (the lights above license plates). If one of those is out you can be pulled over. So if you don't want to get pulled over, remember, make sure everything about your car is in order, especially the lights, and drive well!

Well, that is all about that!

Till later

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Pump Pump Pump It Up!

So, I think I should start this post by stating that I love the gym. I find it to be a strange form of meditation that gets me to focus only on what I am doing.To think about one action without considering the past or the future, only what you are doing at that very moment, its amazing. Well, now that I think about it, there is an important distinction. Cardio, I feel, in a gym, is torture. Running in place is a huge oxymoron. I love running but I like to do it out in the world, otherwise you just stare at one place on the wall (thank god for tvs) and think about how you are tired, your legs hurt, 3 minutes, 4 minutes, 5 minutes.... But lifting is different. Especially when you lift to your max, you have to put all of your energy into that single motion.

Funny anecdote: You know those situations in movies where the person can't lift the heavy barbell and ends up dropping it on themselves? Well, I have had the distinct oppurtunity to be that guy and all I have to say is thank GOD the gym was nearly empty, cause it really is as humiliating feeling as it looks. I mean, the first thing is that you feel weak cause you literally can't lift the weight to save yourself. But secondarily, getting that bar off of yourself is the biggest fiasco after which you must try and play it off and put the bar back like its no big deal. The only good part is that it is funny, I mean, it is just silly to do that, so you get a good laugh out of it.

Ok, back to the topic. I am a very scatter brained person so it is hard for me to focus on a single thing, unless that single thing is me...scoff... So the feeling of let's say moving your arms from chest high down to your hips ushing as hard as you can is amazing. All your thought, all your energy and all your power go into that single movement. Plus, anyone who lifts enough knows that the soreness associated with lifting makes you feel like the freaking Hulk but less sea sick looking.

So getting away from the amazingness of the gym I feel I need to make a comment about something that just seems completely hilarious. The gym is all about making yourself better, sweating, exerting and working hard. Well, if you ever watch someone lifting weights when they are in between sets, they just sit there and stare into nothingness. I know I do it, and I saw plenty of others doing it today. The polarity of it amazed me. You just saw some guy bobbing his head to his Ipod bench 8 reps of 200lbs. You could literally feel how hard he was working, and after a big exhale and a quick towel wipe that same guy seems to release all of his kinetic energy (well, you cant release energy technically, so we will be correct and say he converted it back to potential energy) and just sit there and regain his breath. You can see (dont stare to hard) that he has a completely clear mind just sitting and breathing and recovering. Its like weight lifting is all about transitions between the polar opposites of extreme exertion and complete relaxation.

This makes me think of the distinction between the body and the mind when it comes to weight lifting. Its like the balance of energy used shifts to the body therefore the brain, more specifically the mind is given a break. So for those who think lifting is hard work, it is. But to be specific it is hard work for the body but simple for the mind, almost mediation for some...

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Honey? Is All We Have On the To-Do List: "Stay Alive" ?

So, this may be a heavy topic for a first post, but I think I like the idea of jumping right into it and skipping the formalities.

I know when you start reading (though technically you already have) you are gonna think this is a bunch of existential bullshit, but I am just trying to pose a question, whether it be answered or not.

So, today I was thinking what are we supposed to do? Like, humans. Naturally our first instinct is to survive and procreate. Food, Shelter, Sex. Now those are three things that I can get with. But then we got past that, a little thing some may call evolution. I know that is a scary word for some people (Creationists) but i think if you take a deep breath it will go down just fine. Anyhoo, so at some point we got past those things, getting food and making shelter and impressing the ladies took up less and less time until we needed other things to do to fill the time. Pastimes. And then we got a bit more complex and made jobs blah blah blah.

OK, so here we are, now what are we supposed to do? Go to school? Well yes, of course. Although most parents send their kids to school to get them out of their hair and to make sure they can get a job at some point in their life. But the most important thing is to open the mind and expose it to the idea that there is information available to be exposed to that even if the mind doesn't absorb, it starts the process of thinking intellectually and analytically. Then what? Work? well, that just seems like the logical option. It is the leading way to make money which we then use to buy food and shelter....and sometimes sex...hehe. Then what? Whatever the hell else you want. Guns and SUVs for the Conservatives, Trees and hybrids for the Liberals.

But after all of these things, is that what we are supposed to do under it all? Once we secure food, housing and sex we just do whatever? Watch tv for the rest of your time? Write blogs? Ask silly questions that have no answer? Hey wait a minute...

Today I was watching tv and thought to myself, 'What am I supposed to do?' Like, what is our purpose? To make ourselves happy until we die? The idea of it just bores me.

Well, my train of thought has run out