Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Where's Jim Today?

Sorry for the lack of posting today folks.

No, no stop that whining right now.

Today has been a little odd.

Normally I start my weekday by writing for several hours on what I hope will eventually make me a big fat pile of money, i.e. The Novel.

After a couple of hours, my brain turns to sludge - and that's when I crank out a blog post. Then I normally go back to writing work for a while - either taking notes on The Novel, or doing research, or outlining ideas for whatever writing project comes after The Novel.

Mid afternoon, the kid gets home from school - then I'm all done writing. I don't know about the rest of you, but it is not possible for me to concentrate on writing when the child is bounding up and down the stairs, banging doors, rooting through the fridge, chasing the cats, watching Drake and Josh at full volume, interrupting with questions about a random variety of topics every friggin' ten minutes, and so on and so forth and basically doing what twelve year olds do, i.e. drive their parents stark staring bonkers.

So, usually I head out the shop at this point.

I was on a roll this morning and had 3000 good words down on virtual paper when the phone ran. Then the cell phone rang. Then the email notifier popped up with a message from my son's school. Caller ID on both phones was also from the school - the automated notification message. Uh oh. Generally that's not a good thing.

I popped open the email while answering the cell phone and ignoring the land line and pulled up my twitter mail feed on the laptop - because the first thing I figured was that Mount Redoubt had blown.


There had been an armed robbery in the area and the school was in full lockdown.

It seems some asshole held up a coffee stand and then escaped on foot headed towards the schools. The state police notified the schools almost immediately and both the middle school and the high school went into lockdown with troopers outside to make sure the kids were safe and the shithead son of bitch didn't decide to take refuge in the schools.

You know, I can't fault either the police or the school's response, I'm glad they had a plan, I'm glad they were prepared, I'm glad they had the foresight to conduct lockdown drills, I'm glad it worked - but I can't tell you how much it irritates me that the word "lockdown" is common parlance in our schools nowadays - both because of situations like this one, and because of things like Columbine.

They didn't catch the guy.

He didn't show up at the school, thankfully, but he's still on the loose. The cops think he had a car hidden around the corner from the coffee stand. Maybe an accomplice waiting - through frankly I can't imagine that there would be enough take from a coffee stand robbery for two assholes, unless they plan on robbing a whole lot more - which they probably do. I can't say I'm surprised at this - the number of robberies, and home invasions, and thefts has skyrocketed out here in the Valley since the economy collapsed. Mostly it's been north of us in Wasilla, methhead Valley central, but the crimes have been moving in our direction as the shitheads get more and more desperate and daring. This coffee stand was an obvious target, isolated and alone on the back road - anywhere else and this place would have been robbed long ago. But see, Alaska, is usually safe from this type of shit - sadly it would appear that civilization is catching up to us.

Later in the day, about the time my son's bus drops him off down the road, came the sound of gunshots. Now despite the impression most of you have of Alaska, and despite the image our redneck governor managed to insert into America's collective conscience during the last election, gun fire is not common in my neighborhood - especially an hour after an armed robbery, which, for the record, is also not common around here.

Five shots, maybe six, somewhere down the hill from from my house. Close.

Honestly, it sounded more like rifle fire than the pistol the shithead robber was reportedly carrying. Most likely it was just somebody sighting in their moose rifle and oblivious to events. Still, really, really bad timing. Just saying. All the dogs went nuts - but despite the barking I didn't hear any sirens, so I assume the two events are not related.

I suppose I don't need to mention that at the moment I am armed and will remain so until further notice? Woe betide the stupid bastard should he show his face around here.

Anyway, that's why you haven't seen a post until now.

I'm sure you'll find a way to deal with it.


  1. Hope you're safe and well, Jim.

  2. Glad you and yours are safe and well.

    And since you're ok, I think I can say-WTF? You wait until your brain is sludge before you come and amuse us? Sheesh. Just think of all the prime Jim brain power we're missing out on.

  3. Glad all is well in Alaska.

    I'm surprised Putin didn't stop by to teach that robber a lesson.

  4. In other news, until the miscreant is caught, Sarah Palin will remain in an undisclosed location. (Note: I happen to know she's manning the M-61 on an AC-130 orbiting Wasilla.)

    Just think how much better served you are by keeping her at home.

  5. You wait until your brain is sludge before you come and amuse us? Sheesh. Just think of all the prime Jim brain power we're missing out on.

    Well, you could always buy the damned novel.

  6. Ugh. I believe I was in 10th grade when I was subjected to the first of two lockdowns I'd experience during my high school tenure.

    Early '70's. Lunchtime fight in the gym turned into a race riot. We didn't know it was that bad until we saw the police cars start pulling up on the bus ramp and everyone was in riot gear.

    Ah, memories...I love the smell of teargas in the afternoon...barf.

    Glad everyone was all right.


  7. We had a lockdown when I was a junior. I was in physics class and for whatever reason - I forget now - the teacher had a tv in the room and a copy of The Empire Strikes Back, so we ended up watching that.

    In our case it was a student that had brought a pellet gun, some knives, and some survival gear into the school. This would have been 98 or 99. He was mad that his girlfriend had dumped him and was going out with someone else. He gave the cops quite a chase (on foot) and from what I heard, when they finally caught up with him in some woods he had threatened to cut himself. Ah high school.

    The lockdown code on the loudspeakers had been rumored among the students for a long time, and it was funny to hear it actually used.

  8. Yow! Longtime reader and admirer, full time lurker. This prompted me to finally comment.

    I'm glad you and your family are safe. It's scary how the reality of violence can come so fast.


  9. Well, tt, I'm certainly no stranger to violence - I just figured that when I retired from the military, it would give me a little more distance.

    And they still haven't caught this guy.

  10. The problem has been taken care of.

  11. Yeah, Vlad, sure. I've seen how you handle violent crime in your own country - personally I'd rather deal with it my way than have a battalion of shitty MOD T-80's rusting in my front yard for the next ten years while the commander takes bribes to look the other way.

    Thanks for the thought though.

  12. Nyet on the tanks.

    Polonium is much better.


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