Tuesday, October 25, 2011

To Catch a Thief...

We got him.

Today, while at work, sitting at my desk near the front entrance, I heard the cover plate to the collection box clang to the floor. I knew something was amiss, and before I knew what I was doing I was up out of my chair chasing after an 18-year-old thief. When he saw me and I shouted "Stop! Thief!" he sped up, booking it through Mary's Garden down our main driveway towards the neighborhood.

Luckily for me, Melvin, my assistant, is always looking for a fight, and he was quick on his feet and engaged him immediately, when I yelled, "Stop him, Melvin! He's a thief!"

Melvin was painting the entrance gate, and saw this fool and me chasing him. The thief had a pair of scissors in his hand, which he used to pry open the poor box, and made it past Melvin, who then engaged in pursuit. Melvin, who is wicked fast, gave chase, even though his shoe fell off. He continued nonetheless, all while talking shit to the kid.

Seeing this and that I was being outpaced, I turned around, ran to the van, picking up my phone that I had dropped on the way, and sped off into the neighborhood to find the would-be thief pinned to the ground with Melvin on top of him, talking--no, yelling--at the punk. I called 911, the cops arrived shortly, we filled out our statements, the cops thanked us for getting this dip, and the vagabond left in cuffs.


1.) I have played previously this scenario over in my head several times. "What if ?" Now I know, what if. You can have a plan for what you will do, but in the end you act on instinct.

2.) I need to run regularly. I lost my breath quickly. Too quickly. If it wasn't for Melvin chasing this bastage down, we may not have found him.

3.) Stealth. Hindsight is 20-20. My approach worked, but if I had just booked it from my office without shouting anything, I may have prevented this dude from furthering his adrenaline rush and speeding up. I did succeed, however, in driving him out directly, giving chase and alerting Melvin in the process. In retrospect, I could have taken a different exit and possibly cut this kid off, with him least expecting it.

4.) All my EDC tools flew from my pouch while I was in pursuit. Time for a new pouch.

5.) Win the psychological battle. This kid was not tackled. He was talked into submission after being cornered and ordered to the ground. He knew he had done wrong, and is lucky it went so well for him. His conscience worked against him and so he eventually listened to us. We were lucky as well. Not every thug is so obedient.

6.) Bystanders. People are unprepared for conflict. People were outside. County construction workers witnessed the chase. Everyone simply watched, mesmerized something was happening.

7.) Mentally, I was in the game, but my physical condition sucked and deteriorated way too fast in the adrenaline dump.

8.) It would have been helpful to stretch this morning, have been wearing running shoes instead of steel toe work boots.

9.) Adreniline changes everything and puts you on a different mental plane. Fight or flight. In this case, sheer overwhelming verbal violence/force frightened the thief into submission.

10.) Murphy's Law Rules. I damn near twisted my foot running through this garden. This kid ran right into Melvin's path. Melvin's shoe fell off. The kid gave up relatively easily. Etc. Etc. In a live situation, things happen that we just can't forsee, though we have to be prepared for it as best as we can.

Stay safe out there. Be prepared.

Some days the dragon wins, but on other days you catch the thief under the best of circumstances.

This was that day.

Over and Out,


Monday, October 17, 2011

Varied Horizons

I have a lot to say, having been away from the Blog for a bit. So I'll just get right into it.

Today, we made the trip back out to Lost River State Park in West Va., easily one of the nicest and most serene forests I've visited. The fall colors scintillated in the sunlight from underneath the vast canopy, while the creek that runs through the park chortled with vitality and strength from the recent rains.

As always, our trip here feels much needed, almost like a pilgrimage. When we find ourselves there, we have this place to ourselves on the whole. The other visitors we come across are usually a joyful lot. picnicking or partying under a pavilion with their families. The park ranger was cool too, not to mention that he was fortunate to carry a Glock on his hip as part of his duties.

Visiting Lost River allows one to forget the world and assess it properly, to refocus and breathe anew. Far from the smelly jackasses on Occupy Wall Street who continue to foment revolution, out here in the sticks the seasons continue their natural cycle, heedless of the Left and their ilk.

Indeed, the world is spinning out of control. It remains to be seen if Europe will manage to find another temporary fix for its financial woes and whether the United States' own standard of living will immediately plummet. Regardless of whatever else we face, I am in agreement with Jack Spirko: an economic Depression is coming and that it is now unavoidable.

Reading Clare's ancestral histories of late has provided a clear insight on how her forefathers weathered the Depression and the years that preceded it. Several things stand out. Though poor, they were excellent farmers, who made farming a near art-form by way of hard work and a strong cultural pride. While others wanted, they never starved. They worked like beasts, wasted nothing, and built their lives from scratch, sharing in a strong local community.

Did I mention that they did not have any electricity or indoor plumbing until the mid-40s, or that the first tractor was purchased in 1948, replacing their mule-driven plow?

In our own day farming and even small scale gardening is a ton of hard work, which requires a great deal of follow through and commitment. Community rises out of necessity. Innovation and self-sufficiency require determination and imagination. Opportunities have to be seen for what they are and seized.

What am I getting at here?

Our candy-ass generation is in a whole lot of trouble.

Prep On,