Tuesday, April 29, 2014

It's the harmless one's that'll kill ya...

Den of the Beastly Bear

Hi Folks!

An unspecified funk has hindered my putting words to page the last couple days...we'll see if we can't wring something out of ye olde brain today! Lol.

It's a rainy, gloomy Tuesday here...no severe weather, but our thoughts and prayers go out to those that have lost so much during the recent storms.

For some reason, days like this remind me of sitting in a police car...no, no...not in back!!! Let me explain.

My senior year of High School there was a program known as "Optional Semester". The idea was that you worked in the field you planned to go into, and instead of pay you received class credit instead.

As I planned to go into Law Enforcement, I spent my school year working at 51st. District court (to learn about the court system), Pontiac PD, and the Oakland County Sheriff's Dept. Safety Division (an offshoot of the Sheriff's Dept. responsible for policing the County complex and Govt. Buildings). Spending 2-3 months at each.

When I rode with Pontiac PD I generally rode along with a 2 man team, except when with a CSO (Community Service Officer), that was one on one.

The Sheriff's Safety Division was mostly one man cars, except for prisoner transfer or competency hearing transport from Clinton Valley Psychiatric Hospital.

One of the Officers I commonly rode with there, was a fellow we'll call Officer "George" as that was his first name.

Officer George was a bona fide Olympian! He competed in the '76 Summer Games as a weightlifter and won the Bronze in his weight class. For being all of about 5'6", he was a tough son of a bitch! Dark haired and blue eyed, with a 70's era porn star mustache...and a very cool guy. We got along famously, and he allowed me more and more responsibility as he taught me some of the "in's & out's" of patrol.

He really did take his mentoring role seriously, over the many hours we spent on patrol he talked of all aspects of the job...not just what you dealt with as you worked, but family and social matters you had to deal with when not at work!

One of the work related things he impressed upon me was constant vigilance when dealing with a suspect.
"They are at their most dangerous, " he said "right before the cuffs go on."
So he went out of his way to show me the proper way to frisk and cuff a suspect...demonstrating on me several times, then reversing roles to see if I'd learned.

One of the "tricks" he showed me, when you have a suspect against the car frisking them, legs spread...if they try to turn or reach for something, push them forward and knee them in the ass! Instinct takes over and they will reach out to catch themselves and protect their face.

I always wore a suit and tie ("clip on, so it isn't a convenient handle to chock you with!" -Off. George-)
and folks would automatically assume I was "in charge" being I was not the one in uniform. This tickled George to no end...

On a dreary April day we were patrolling the County complex near the Public Health building when we spotted a car parked in the handicapped parking spot with no tag/license plate saying it should be there.

This was Off. George's pet peeve, he had a sister with MS and anyone parking in handicapped parking that didn't belong there infuriated him!!!

"Call this plate in while I take a look in the car, it's possible it could belong here and they just forgot to hang their placard." He said as he got out of the car.

He'd had me practicing radio calls by "pretending".... When he was satisfied I wouldn't embarrass him, he started letting me call things in...as a smaller division we had our own dispatcher.

The dispatcher came back on the radio, and said that CLEMIS (Court and Law Enforcement Enforcement Management Information System) was down so there was no way to check for wants and warrants against the registered owner.

By this time Off. George was back in the car and writing the ticket. He shrugged, said "It happens..." got out and placed the ticket in a plastic sleeve under the wiper...and off we went.

About 10 mins. later dispatch called back...
"Unit Six, Unit Six...be advised CLEMIS is back up, car comes back as registered to: "Anonymous Dirtbag" of Such and Such address...showing two warrants, "failure to appear" and "Delinquency of child support"...copy?"

Before the dispatcher was done we had already pulled a u-turn and were heading back to the car...which was gone! It was sprinkling lightly and there was a dry spot where the car had been...still.
"He can't have gone far," Off. George said "let's see if we can't find this guy..."

We drove the expected route he would take to leave the complex...nothing. Right out to the major road...as we were getting ready to turn around, having been skunked...we saw him! He had gone to the opposite entrance than we assumed by his address...figuring he was heading home.

As he passed us heading South, Off. George lit up the light bar and we set off in pursuit. We were two cars back at the light, and by the time we got clear of the intersection he had a couple mile head start on us...as we got closer he made a right turn onto Dixie Hwy followed moments later by our black and white. He yielded to the shoulder, hoping we weren't after him...no such luck!

Resignedly he pulled over completely.  
"I want you on the passenger side as my second set of eyes...you see him do something "fishy" you let me know."
Off. George said as we got out.

He politely asked the driver for his license, registration and proof of insurance...I could see the ticket we'd previously given him on the passenger seat.

"What iz wrong Officer?" The driver asked. He was in his mid to late thirties, Hispanic, slender build...about average height by the look of things.

"You were going a little fast coming down that hill there..." Off. George told him, gesturing back the way we'd come.

"I am so very sorry Officer, I deed not real alize...it will no happen again."

"I'm just gonna check your driving record...if everything comes back OK, you'll be on your way..."

"Gracias" the driver replied as we turned and got back in our cruiser.

"Never let them know," Off. George explained "make it something trivial to keep them at ease while you make sure you got the right guy."

He called in the drivers info, sure enough we had the right guy. Seems he owed over 10 grand in back child support (a not inconsiderable amount in the spring of '81) and had a bench warrant for failure to appear from the last hearing he was supposed to attend.

Off. George handed me his cuffs.
"Feel up to doin' a frisk & cuff on this guy? Doesn't look like he'll give us much trouble...and you can get a "feel" for it. OK? Don't worry, I'll be right there."

"Sure" I said, eager to please.

Off. George explained that there was a problem, and would he please get out of his car to discuss it with us...

"I got my boss with me today...help me out?" He stage whispered to the driver.
Giving me a wink.

As he came around the front of the car
the driver asked: "What iz de problem Officer?"

"I'm afraid you've got a couple of outstanding warrants...and unfortunately we're going to have to place you under arrest. If you'll just put your hands on the hood of your car, my partner will search you while I read you your rights."

He placed his hands on the car and I moved behind him to make sure his feet were back, and spread as I'd been taught.

"Please señor, there mus be a mistake..."
I started the frisk at his collar.

"You have the right to remain silent..."

"I cannot go to jail señor, listen please..."
I checked the left arm, then the right.

"Anything you say, can and will be used against you in a court of law..."

"I will lose my job, please...I haf a family..."
Under both arms, down his sides and around his waist.

"You have the right to an attorney..."

"I beg you please don do dis...PLEASE"
 As I moved my hands down to check his front pockets he suddenly turned and reached into his right pocket.

Just as I'd been shown, straightening I shoved between his shoulders and brought my knee up hard into his ass...the hand in his pocket shot forward to keep his face from bouncing off the hood. As that hand contacted the steel, something flew out of it and clattered across the expanse of hood and sprung open with a "thwack". There before us, just out of reach was a gleaming 6" bladed switchblade!!!

I looked to Off. George and saw that he'd drawn his duty revolver sometime during our brief scuffle.

"You didn't Seriously just try to stab my partner did you???"

"No, no Officer...I was giving it too him, eh señor?" He said to me. "You tell him, Si?" He said as I closed the cuffs around his wrists.

"Seem that way to you?" Off. George asked me.

"No Sir, it did not..." I answered.

We put him in the back of our cruiser and waited for the impound wrecker.
Off. George explained to him he would also be charged with carrying a concealed weapon, and assault. Read him his rights again and we sat in silence for a time.

"I'm sorry about that." Off. George said after a while, staring straight ahead through the windshield. 
The rain making little rivers down the glass.

"I got "that feeling" as soon as he started to beg. Ya see, a begging man is a desperate man...and a desperate man is a dangerous man. I should have stepped in..." He said, shaking his head. 
"But you did good, handled yourself well. Did just what I showed you, and it might have just saved your life...."

As he spoke our prisoner began to weep, and mumble softly in Spanish.

"Look at him." Off. George said "Looks harmless enough, doesn't he? But he'd have split you stem to stern to get away...
If you take nothing else home with you today, take this...
Never trust the harmless ones, cause it's the harmless one's that'll kill ya!"

I haven't forgotten George!   ;-)

Be Well Folks!

Beastly Bear

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Now we're cookin'...

Den of the Beastly Bear

Hi Folks!

I may have mentioned before, that I do know my way around the kitchen...

So today I make my traditional after Easter scalloped potatoes!

We always buy a spiral sliced Dearborn brand ham, several pounds larger than we need and I reserve about 3 lbs. for later. Usually the ends that are not presliced.

This I cube up fat, rind and crusted glaze and sauté it up with 2 large yellow onions, diced. In a stick and a half of butter, and heavily peppered as you're seasoning a lot of potatoes!
Once the onions begin to caramelize, and the ham bits begin to brown dust the whole mess with four, then stir it in...I do this twice, keeping the heat on as I mix. This so you don't get a raw flour flavor...
We are making a rue to thicken the potatoes. Preheat your oven to 350°.

Leave this mixture sit, and wash and clean about 5-7 lbs. of potatoes, I use Michigan grown russets (sorry MiMi). I also leave the skins on, personal choice...peel them if that's what you prefer.

Did I mention I make a BIG batch?!? Lol.
Use your food processor to cut them in even slices.
You'll have to do them in batches.

I begin by layering the potatoes on the bottom of our 10 qt. Slow cooker liner, though we'll be cooking these in the oven.

We then add about 3 large serving spoonfuls of our ham mixture, spreading it thinly over the potatoes. Then we take another stick of butter, cut into pats...

I mix up how I arrange the pats in alternating layers. Every third layer push the layers down, compacting them somewhat. Continue alternating layers of ham, butter, potatoes until ham mixture is gone then finish with a final layer of potatoes. It should look like this...
Now comes the secret to awesome scalloped potatoes, skip the whole milk and go directly to the heavy whipping cream. 
I always go ahead and get 2 QTS. though you won't use it all, that's OK...thin what's left with milk for homemade "half and half" for your coffee.

I'm guessing at this point I should also mention these are not a dietetic food, but full fat comfort food!

Add cream just to the bottom, of the top layer of potatoes being sure to coat them all as you add it in.
Then place on center rack of preheated oven for about 90-105 mins. until a butterknife inserted in the center easily passes through the potatoes, signifying they're done. They will look like this...

Let them cool about 20 mins. and serve...

I make these in such a large batch because I get calls for them from friends and family, and we eat on the for 4 days or so...usually as a meal. Lol 

I hope you enjoy them!

Be Well!

Beastly Bear

Saturday, April 26, 2014

First loves...

Den of the Beastly Bear

Hi Folks!

Some guys and I were talking at work tonight about first loves...

Tom told me about his, how when he first laid eyes on that body he was transfixed!

Matt told me of the way his made him feel, she excited him like nothing ever had!

I had to tell them how mine got away...and how it made me sick to my stomach! Angry and hurt, and I never got over it...

Let me tell you how we met.

After my car accident, I was driving a 1970 Dodge Dart Swinger in Olive Drab paint...imagine if an army tank slept with Grandma's sedan, their offspring would have been that car. With a 1 barrel, 198 c.i. slant-six it couldn't get out of it's own way! We paid $50 for it, from a guy whose Mother was too old to drive...yeah, it was one of those.

Embarrassed of my crappy car, I wasn't dating much...

A guy my Mother worked with, said he knew a gal that would be perfect for me, and she should bring me over to meet her. He told my mother of her unsurpassed beauty, classy and mild mannered...a perfect match for a young man. Mom asked if I was interested...

Well, Duh!

When the day arrived I was excited, I couldn't believe my luck...ladies like her were few and far between. Normally out of my league, I couldn't believe I had a chance with her...

As we pulled into the driveway he came out of the house to greet us, he told us she was in the barn with the horses and he'd take us out to meet her.

We entered the barn, which was dimly lit...shafts of light showing swirling dust motes, and smelling of clean hay.

He led us around a corner and there she was...the most beautiful thing I'd ever seen in all my 17 years!

A 1974 black on black Pontiac Firebird Formula!
Oh My God!!! I was in Love!!!

My Mom didn't know a lot about cars, she told me it was this fellows wife's car. She didn't like the normal hood so he'd gotten a fiberglass hood in an "L Eight Eighty" style she told me. I could see now it was in fact an L88 style hood, like on hot rod Corvettes!

He'd removed the original exhaust and replaced it with 4" flat black sidepipes that ended just before the rear tires. He'd also replaced the standard gearshift with a Hurst short throw shifter, on the 4-speed manual tranny. My Mom couldn't remember what size engine was in it "but it ends in two letters, like O.H., or H.D. or maybe H.O....

When I popped the hood, it was in fact a 455 c.i. H.O. (high output for you non-car folks) that he'd dressed up with chromed valve covers, chromed air filter housing, even a chromed master cylinder cover!!!

His wife wanted a new car, and he was willing to make us a deal on this one, for $3,700.00! Quite a bit of money for a guy with a $3.75 an hour job, but if Mom would co-sign a loan...
Oh MAN, I'd be the King of my High School!!!!

"Whadya think?" he asked...as if he didn't know.

"She's a beaut!" I said "can we start'er up?"

"Sure," he said and tossed me the keys.

Herein lay the problem, while I knew in theory how to drive a stick at that time I'd never actually driven one.
But I DID know how to start it!

As I pushed in the clutch and moved the shifter to neutral, he told me:
"Put in a competition clutch too, when it needed a new one, higher lift cams and a 750 cfm double pumper carb...she drives and shifts like a dream..."

I turned the key and she rumbled to life, and I couldn't keep the grin off my face...

"I don't know what all that means," Mom said "but I think he likes it!"

"I do Ma, I really do!!! Can we get it?!? Please?" I begged, yes I begged! I'm not too proud to admit it.

"We haven't even driven it yet, and you don't know how...I'll take it for a drive to make sure it drives OK, and everything works..."

"There's not a thing wrong with this car, I wouldn't do that to you..." My ally told her.

"Still, I'll feel better if I drive it first...to be sure." Mom said.

"OK, let me get the door...I got some other goodies I'll let you guys have, I'll show your son what all I've got until you get back.  I got receipts and service records, the original window sticker...all kinds of stuff."

He began the "show and tell" as Mom eased her out of the barn, down the driveway and out into the street. Oh what a sound she made as she accelerated down the street.

I was collecting quite a bit of loot as Mom pulled back in the driveway some 15 mins. later. 

I knew something was amiss as soon as she got out of the car...

She held the keys out to her friend, and he put out a palm to accept them.

"Well?" He said "nice ride huh?!?"

She looked past him, to me...looked back at him, in the the eye and slowly said:
"No...Fucking...Way! No Fucking Way you're selling him that car!!!"

I was stunned...I'd never heard my Mother use the "F word" in anything less than in the peak of utmost anger before...never conversationally!!!

"Why not? What's wrong with it?" I asked

"You'll kill yourself in that car...or worse yet, someone else! That car is WAY too fast for you...and YOU, " she said rounding on the owner "you should have your fucking head examined for trying to sell that, that... BEAST to a 17 year old boy!!!"

With that, she turned on her heel and marched back to our car...

He looked at me "Sorry chief, looks like that's a no sale" he said, and shook my hand.

And that was the last time I saw her...I loved her, and lost her, before she was even mine...and I was sick over it!

I've never forgotten her...even now, some 34 years later I can still see her sitting there, a black beauty beckoning me to a life of thrills and adventure!!!

It's true, you never forget your first love...

Be Well Folks!!!

Beastly Bear

Thursday, April 24, 2014

I try to be good...

Den of the Beastly Bear

Hi Folks!

I try my best to be "good", but sometimes it's so HARD!

Quite a few years ago now we had a friend that was getting married. Of course we planned to attend!

The problem was he lived in Alabama, and we live in Michigan...so it was not as simple as " show up Saturday" lol.

Other members of his family, that we are closer friends with were heading down so we decided we'd make a vacation out of it.

We'd head down a few days early, a nice relaxing unhurried visit. Then after the wedding we'd head over to Myrtle Beach, SC. for some beach time before heading home.
Read this, it'll be important later.

Athens, Alabama is a beautiful, quiet little country town...we loved it!

We met our friends extended family, like every bodies sprinkled with a few mixed "nuts", but every single one of them so warm and gracious, and friendly that we felt a "part of the family"!

We got to meet our friends fiancée and family, and they were lovely people too...with one exception.
The brides father.

He was of the "Damn Yankee" breed of Southerner.

And he made no effort to hide it.

Anything from North of the Mason/Dixon line was suspect! Anyone from the South that moved North got "Yankee'fied", and were then rendered "useless" according to him.

Why all these "Damn Yankees" were here for the wedding he didn't understand, or like.

That was how he referred to us...every...single...time.

Promised to be on my best behavior, and not wanting to cause our friend any addition stress, I bit my lip....hard! Lol.

Finally the day of the wedding arrived! 
Just Beautiful!

A lovely service held on the courthouse steps, I was pressed into service to run the music.
Mama & Princess Bear and I on the Courthouse lawn.

A typical July Alabama day, sunny and HOT!

After the service, pictures were being taken on the steps while the rest of us looked for shade.

A group of us "Yankees" were standing together talking...I was mopping my brow with my kerchief when the father of the bride sauntered over, a malicious grin on his face.

"Hot enough for you Damn Yankees? Looks like a couple of y'all are a startin' ta melt!" He asked, nasty and smug.

I'd suffered through 4 days of this chucklehead, and I'd had just about enough.

"Oh, we don't mind the heat so much...In fact," I said
"last time MY people were down here, it wasn't quite hot enough for us so we lit all this..." I motioned to the town square around us "on fire!"
(Did ya read the sign? I told you it was important.)

I smiled  my own malicious smile,"Thanks for asking though" and with that I turned and left our little group and went to find more pleasant company.

That was the last time I heard the phrase "Damn Yankees" uttered in my presence...

I try to be good...it's just so HARD!!!

Be Well!

Beastly Bear

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Who do I write like?

Den of The Beastly Bear

Hi Folks!

Found this cute little gadget you can drop on your blog...
I thought it kind of cool, so I stated dropping the text of a blog I'd written in the "Analyze" Box.

I write like
J. D. Salinger
I Write Like. Analyze your writing!
"J.D. Salinger"?!? Awesome....so I tried dropping another....got

I write like
Stephenie Meyer
I Write Like. Analyze your writing!
I thought this odd. Now I've never read any Stephanie Meyer, I do know she is famous for the "Twilight Series", so I don't know whether that's good or bad...Lol! 

See, to me everything I write sounds the same in my head. How could two blogs be so different as to engender comparisons to such different authors? So I tried again, using a longer sample by combining the "Consequences" trilogy...

I write like
Margaret Atwood
I Write Like. Analyze your writing!

Margaret Atwood?!?!? Her I've heard of from..."The Handmaiden's Tale". 

So, just for shits and giggles I wrote a few paragraphs of erotica in the "Analyze" box and low and behold I got...  

I write like
Anne Rice
I Write Like. Analyze your writing!
Anne Rice, hmmm yeah that fits...

So continuing to play, I got : Jack London, Stephen King, Chuck Palahniuk(Fight Club), Margaret Mitchell, Cory Doctorow....multiples of several!

In other words I'm all over the place, Lol! 

I know it's all for fun, and at first I thought perhaps it was just a randomizer spitting out names...but give it the same post and you get the same answer!

My pride was hoping for Hemingway, or Steinbeck! lol.

Elmore Leonard would have been a nice comparison, or because my bank account could really use it, George R.R. Martin!!!

Anyway, it's fun and interesting but I don't think I'll add it permanently...give it a try, who do you write like?

Be Well!

Beastly Bear

Monday, April 21, 2014

That time of year again...

Den of the Beastly Bear

Hi Folks!

It's that time of year again! The time of year thousands go out to their garage, throw up the door, pull off the cover....and fire up that motorcycle for a ride!!!

Likely you've seen them out already.

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE be careful when driving, take an extra second...that's all it takes...to make sure there are no motorcyclists coming before you pull out!!!

I haven't ridden in a few years but I have MANY family and friends that do, and I want them home safe and sound at the end of the day!

I got a call on my cell phone Saturday about 5 o'clock from my Boss, Bill.

Now Bill NEVER calls me at home...I was intrigued.

"Hey Bill, what's up?"

"Joe? Joe?!? This is Bill..." Good God, he sounded drunk.

"Yeah Bill, I'm here...what's new?"

"Awww shit...*unintelligible muttering* awww man I'm hurting!"

"What happened? Are you OK? Where you at?" 
I asked, worried now.

"Inna hospital...wrecked my bike...oh God...I'm probably not gonna be in for a couple months, hurtin' bad!!! If I sound funny, I'm onna lotta of morfin, morphine..."
*background noise, lots of talking*
"Let me call you back *more mumbling* OK?"

"Yeah Bill, let me know what's going on, OK?...bye"

Poor Bill, last year I helped him in his search for a new bike. Tired of the bike he had, he needed a new baby! Lol

He was picky, he knew exactly what he wanted...year, model color, engine size.
We found and discarded dozens that we're almost perfect, but not quite. 

Finally by September he'd found it, made an offer, and one of his buddies took him to go get it. He was over the moon when he rode it in to work the next day, and we were all envious as it was just beautiful.

The only bummer was the season was almost over, but he put as many miles as he could on it in the time left.

This year he was eager to get it out....
He took his bonus check, and spent around $1700 on custom painted parts, and chrome. Just Thursday his special order gel seat arrived and he installed it before coming into work.

When I asked him of his plans for the long holiday weekend, he told me he was going to his sisters for Easter...then with a wistful look in his eye said:
"Other than that, if the weather cooperates...I'm gonna ride!"

I didn't hear from Bill again until almost 10 that night.
He was still in a lot of pain, 5 broken ribs and a broken collar bone and some "road rash". Seems he was on his way home, had just turned left onto a major thoroughfare when a wrecker waiting on the first side street on the right pulled out, making a left turn right in front of him. With a wrecker broadside, blocking the road...there was nowhere to go!

Luckily he was only going about 35mph. He says witnesses tell him he hit the back of the wrecker, but he has no memory of that...he was only about 30-40 feet from him when the guy pulled out, he remembers hitting the brakes and the bike going out from under him.

He had not been wearing a helmet lately, as it just became legal to go without in Michigan...luckily he had it on Saturday! He doesn't think he lost consciousness or hit his head, but when they took his helmet off it was in two pieces!

He said himself, had he not been wearing that helmet, he may not have made it...

His bike was totaled, and I think he's sicker about that than that he's hurt! 

So because of a moments inattention by the wrecker driver, instead of Easter dinner with his family he spent Easter in a hospital bed on a morphine drip!
A better outcome than the morgue, but still...

Who among us would want that on our conscience?

So please folks, as you go about your day...going to work, running errands...take an extra moment to look,
REALLY look before you pull out! Or change lanes, or make that left hand turn.

You just may save a life, and that makes you a hero!

Be Well Folks!

Beastly Bear

Sunday, April 20, 2014

An Easter Memory...

Den of the Beastly Bear

Hi Folks!

Happy Easter everyone!

When Princess Bear was very young, we finally got tired of borrowing Jerry's video camera to record holidays and bought or own.

She was about 3½ and we decided to tape her coloring Easter eggs.

We made a big deal out of it every year, cleared the kitchen table and covered it with newspaper. Put her in clothes she didn't wear anymore, put a booster under her so she set up higher and let her go!

We had a neighbor that I used to work with at Gell's that lived kitty corner across the street, and she had become a great friend to Mama Bear. A friendship maintained to this day!

So close to our family Katie called her Aunt Deb-Deb, so we invited her over to watch the spectacle...

As Kathy and Debbie got everything ready, I worked at setting up the video camera...finally deciding against a tripod in favor of mobility.

We got Katie set at the table and I started rolling...
I got how Kathy showed her the colors...showed her how to get the eggs into and out of the colors, and where to put them to dry.

Kathy and Debbie stayed close in case their expertise was required...or, what was more likely was the danger of Katie knocking the colors onto the carpet!

She was doing a pretty good job, and I was recording it all for posterity...a regular Cecil B. Demille!!! Lol

I zoomed in as Katie fished an egg out of the purple, and as she gently transferred it to the drying rack, an unexpected slip caused the egg to topple into the yellow...

My precious, innocent baby girl heaved a heavy sigh and said, with perfect intonation:


Oh my God we almost lost it!!!

In the video you can see the camera shacking as I fought not to bust out laughing...Debbie covering her mouth fighting it too, and Kathy barely maintaining stepped in to help.

Katie just looked at each of us...

"Whatsa matter Mommy?!?" She asked...as Kathy's eyes were leaking from trying not to laugh.

"Nothing Katie...but you really shouldn't say that..." She told her, whiping her eyes. 
"it's a grownup word, OK?"

"OK, mommy..." She said "but I'm almost 4..."

The rest of the eggs went off without a hitch, and that night we put together her Easter basket and set it on the table for her to find in the morning.

We then took the extra grass we'd bought and made a trail from the door into the kitchen sprinkling it as we went. Then took some raisins and dropped them among the grass.

In the morning Katie ran into our room...

"The Easter bunny was here! The Easter bunny was here!!!"

"How do you know? We asked sleepily.

"Cause he left a trail of grass that fell out of his basket when he came in...and I'm not sure...but I think he might have pooped." She explained.

"Pooped? In the house??? That dirty old bunny, if he keeps that up we'll have to stop letting him get in here."

"But Daddy, how would he bring me my Easter basket if you lock him out...I don't think he's got magic like Santa!"

"Well, let's go take a look..."

It was an Easter to remember for sure.
Ah the days when the kids were young, and all they had to worry about was what would be in their Easter basket.

Here's hoping this is an Easter for you to remember!

Be Well Folks!

Beastly Bear

Saturday, April 19, 2014

20 foot courage and Anonymous bravery....

Den of the Beastly Bear

Hi Folks!

I need to buckle down...skipping days and all, and I was doing so well!!!

Thursday's post produced quite a few comments...both in support and some not so pleasant. That's fine, and only what you can expect when blogging and putting things "out there".

What amuses me is, without exception all negative comments come from "Anonymous".

Call me crazy, but that just seems so cowardly to me.

I mean if you're going to make personal attacks, nut up and put your name to it! I don't hide behind a nomme de plume, my name is right there at the bottom of the page...if you're gonna make personal attacks shouldn't you do the same?

In my everyday life I call this "20 foot courage"...

It's amazing how polite and respectful people are...within arms reach.

Step away 20 feet and suddenly they're Superman!

When I was bouncing I saw this all the time...as you are putting them out of the bar they're very demure.
When they're getting in their car, all of a sudden they're gonna "kick your pussy ass mother fucker!!!"
just before they close AND LOCK their door to drive away!

You just gotta chuckle, shake your head and walk away...if that makes them feel better about themselves, so be it.

But we both know the truth.

The Internet gives "those people" a fresh outlet.

I've only been blogging since January, and for the most part everyone has been wonderful to me...kind and supportive, and I thank you all!

But over the years, following other blogs and reading forums I notice a preponderance of "Anonymous" Trolls.

If you see a downright nasty post or personal attack you can bet money it's some basement dwelling clown, who's an embarrassment to his parents, hiding behind a pseudonym and an avatar!!!

I even notice this on Facebook, either it's friends of friends, or somebody you know or knew but lives a thousand miles away now.

Had a fellow I went to school with, "Lyle". Nice fella, not very big and a bit nerdy but I liked him. He was a "satellite friend" orbiting our group of friends. On more than one occasion more athletic students sought to bully Lyle and I made it a "screw with him, you screw with me" deal and said bully would move on to easier pickings.

Lyle went on to become a Dentist and now resides in Texas.

It seems Lyle took exception to a second amendment post I placed on my page. Instead of intelligent discourse, our mild mannered little dentist went on a hate filled, derogatory, name calling and vicious personal attack/rant.

When another of our group that considered Lyle a friend, asked if maybe he wasn't being a bit "harsh", Lyle answered with a resounding "FUCK YOU!" and defriended us both. No great loss.

Now I can almost guarantee you, face to face it would have been a much subdued Lyle...yet because of the Internet and distance, he felt more than comfortable being a vicious little shit.
You can't blame the Internet, it is just a tool...
Instead it speaks to the character of the user.

Well that's my 2 cents worth...

Be Well Folks!

Beastly Bear

Friday, April 18, 2014

Disgruntled Bear 2 The sequel....Now He's Really Pissed Off!

Den of the Beastly Bear

Hi Folks!

Ok, so here's the update on the stolen gun.

I decided that I'd try an end run around mom and contact the police myself.
After 5 mins. of explaining the situation, Kathy the very helpful officer there took my info and contacted the property dept. to find out if they did in fact still have possession of the gun and that it had not been destroyed.

So a few hours later she called me back to tell me that the gun has not been destroyed and it is residing in the property department at the Waterford Police Station.

She gives me the number of the property department control officer and tells me if I give them a call they will be happy to tell me what I have to do to get the gun back.

Great, I figure I might have to produce a death certificate or something like that, but other than that transferring a handgun in the state of Michigan if you're a concealed weapons permit holder is really quite easy. A little bit of paperwork and that's it.

So I call the station, he tells me all I have to do is produce a copy of the document stating that I am executor of the estate and then he will submit a report to the chief to sign, and in 3 or 4 days I'll get the gun. Here's the problem, I am NOT the executor of the estate...
my mother is!

So if I want the gun, I have to involve my mother.

So I call my mother, and told her what I'd done and I told her that if she didn't want the gun that I certainly did! It's a cool little gun and I'd love to have it!

"I thought you were mad that I made a bad decision, I didn't know you wanted it."

"Well," she says "now I don't know what to do. After I talked to you on Monday, and heard how pissed off you were I called my friend "Bill" that used to be the Waterford police chief, and had him look into whether they'd destroyed it or not. He said he'd get back with me, but I haven't heard from him yet. Who did you call?"

"Waterford police, Officer W. he said all we have to do is drop off a copy of your executor papers, and of course you are the one that has to pick it up."

"Bill told me Officer W. works in Troy..."

"Nope, called Waterford."

"I didn't want to seem greedy, but I thought I could sell it and that would help me pay my taxes this year. And I didn't think you'd want it...you've got enough guns."


THAT boys and girls is simply not DONE!!!

That is tantamount to telling a woman she has enough jewelry or shoes, so she shouldn't want any more!!!
And unless you're paying my note each month, you get ZERO say in what I have enough of and what I don't!

She tells me this while she has $2-3,000.00 worth of guitars, a banjo and an electric keyboard of Jerry's she's been meaning to sell for over a year, sitting in her living room!!!

And she still has Jerry's very low mileage SUV sitting in the driveway, which he gave her with the stipulation that she sell her vehicle AND his and get herself a new car....still not done 2 years later. Still paying insurance and registering both vehicles...but she needs that $600 from that gun for her taxes....right. 

She had to let me go because she had a doctors appointment, but wants me to get back with her tomorrow (Friday) to discuss what to do (huh?),
and says we can go to the police station together.
I told her we didn't both need to go to drop off a piece of paper, that I could do that for her. But I'd certainly go with her to pick up the gun.

At this point I'm so fed up with her I can't stand it!
My original thought was that she just didn't think of asking...now to find out she tried deciding FOR me that I didn't need it, galls all the more.

I'd spoken with her since Monday, and she said not a word about trying to get that gun back...and had I not called myself I'm betting she'd have got it back, sold it, and I'd have never known.

Guess I shouldn't have told her what it was worth and made my case on strictly sentimental value. But I'm not built that way...

It's Pure "doggie bone" syndrome.
You know, dogs got a bone it's ignoring...until you try to take it, then suddenly they're all about that bone and you can't have it. You walk away, dog ignores the bone again!

Oh well...

Be Well Folks!

Beastly Bear

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Disgruntled Bear...

Den of the Beastly Bear

Hi Folks!

I'm a disgruntled Beastly Bear today...well, have been for a couple days.

Over the weekend I found out my Mother got a call from the police....let me explain.

My Mother had a long time boyfriend, and by long time I mean over thirty years. His name was Jerry.

Jerry used to work with my mom, and I really considered him my Step-father. Jerry was a Pontiac police officer during the '68 riots, was shot in the line of duty and eventually left the force for a job at the local natural gas company. The pay was better, and nobody shot at you! Through his contacts in the law enforcement community, he did remain a part time Conservation Officer.

Jerry started dating my mom, my junior year of high school and we hit it off immediately what with he having been a cop, and me wanting to be one.

She started seeing him not long after my accident and was there to help talk me down when it all became too much and I had my meltdown.

We shared a love of guns and hunting, fishing and the outdoors. We even started a home business J&J Guns.
He got the Federal Firearms License, I used my knowledge.

It was the ideal business, we got our stuff at dealer cost, and we could make a few bucks getting stuff for others.

When Michigan became a "Shall Issue" state, Jerry and I were among some of the first in line to get our carry license.

About 10 years ago Jerry bought a S&W 360PD revolver as a carry gun. It was a small frame, hammerless .357 magnum 5 shot. 

It's claim to fame was a frame made of Scandium with a Titanium cylinder. This created an ultra lightweight (11.4 ounces) compact carry gun.
Unfortunately these high tech metals made this a pricey weapon, carrying a $300 premium over a comparable stainless steel gun.

7 years ago Jerry had left the gun in his truck in my mom's driveway in a very safe neighborhood. The next morning, to his horror his truck had been broken into and his gun was gone!

The police were called, reports taken, serial number recorded. We all knew, in all likelihood he'd never see his weapon again.

We lost Jerry two years ago after a long battle with lung cancer. He passed at my mothers home, his daughter, my mom, my wife and I around him.

Estranged from both his son, and his brother Jerry left most of the guns he had not sold off to me. A couple he wanted his daughter and her husband to have, and the rest my mother kept.

So Friday my mother gets a call from the police, asking for Jerry. She explains that he is deceased and asks what this is about. The officer says they have recovered Jerry's gun, and they'd like to return it. If not to Jerry, then to his family/estate (which my mother is executor of) or it will be destroyed.

So my mother tells them to go ahead and destroy it!!!!

To say I was less than pleased would be an understatement.

So she says "Well I didn't know what crimes it might have attached to it."

I told her "Mom, if it HAD crimes attached to it...they wouldn't be returning it to you, it would be evidence.
You don't get those back usually. They probably pulled somebody over and found it on them, ran the serial number and found it was stolen."

"Well it's 'tainted' anyway, I didn't want it..."

"Mom, that's not a cheap piece of shit gun...those are well over a thousand dollars these days! If you didn't want it, maybe someone else did! Even if you didn't want anybody in the family to have it, you could have walked into any gun shop and turned it into $600 cash in a heartbeat!"

"Well I didn't even remember what it was...and there was no one here to ask." 

That's the little "you never come to see me" guilt dig, even though I do and we take her out almost every week.

"That's when you say "let me call you back", and you call me!!! You don't say "just destroy it"!!!"

"Well I wasn't feeling good, and they just caught me at a bad time..."

Oh for Gods sake!!!

"It's been gone 7 years Ma, another day or two wasn't going to make a difference... They didn't need an answer "right NOW"!!!"

"Well what's done is done..."


As she said, what's done is done...would I have liked to have it back? You bet! Mostly just because it was Jerry's. He had tried talking me into getting one when he got his, but it was too much money for too small a benefit ratio for me. 

But it would have been a nice remembrance.

Be Well Folks!

Beastly Bear