Friday’s Odds and Ends

There has been quite a controversy over the death of Sandra Bland in a Texas jail, where she was taken after a traffic stop in Waller County. The dash cam video has gone viral, and it is clear that what should have been a routine stop, escalated out of control quickly, in part because of the way the officer acted.

He lost all semblance of professionalism and fed into her mania with his own. Here is a LINK to the dash cam video of her arrest.

Had the officer not resorted to belligerence, maybe Sandra would have reacted differently, and she would still be alive. How is a driver supposed to respond when an officer comes to the window with that kind of attitude? Yes, we are supposed to be polite and cooperative when stopped, but what about the officer being polite and cooperative? The last time I was stopped, the officer used a very challenging and condescending tone, “Do you know how fast you were going lady?”

It was all I could do to hang on to my composure and not snap back at him.

Some years ago I wrote a book for teens, Everything you Need to Know About Dealing With The Police, that contained information and advice on how to respond to authority. The first rule when stopped by a police officer is to be respectful and cooperative, but that is so hard to do when the officer is not respectful or professional in his or her approach.

Not all officers take that high-handed approach, thank goodness, but those that do widen the gap of mistrust between the general public and law enforcement. Here is a LINK to another video that shows a Maine State Trooper responding in a very professional manner to a driver who didn’t even start out being cooperative. Warning, this video has not been edited for language, so there is some rough stuff.

Enough about that. How about some fun?


work dayBrothers Tom and Danny are always getting into trouble, and their mother knows if any mischief occurs in their town, the two boys are probably involved. Mom heard that a preacher in town had been successful in disciplining children, so she asked if he would speak with her boys. The preacher agreed, but he asked to see them individually.

The mother sent Danny in the morning, with the older boy to see the preacher in the afternoon. The preacher, a huge man with a deep booming voice, sat the younger boy down and asked him sternly, “Do you know where God is, son?”

The boy’s mouth dropped open, but he made no response, sitting there wide-eyed with his mouth hanging open. So the preacher repeated the question in an even sterner tone, “Where is God?!”

Again, the boy made no attempt to answer. The preacher raised his voice even more and shook his finger in the boy’s face and bellowed, “WHERE IS GOD?!”

The boy screamed and bolted from the room. He ran home and dove into his closet, slamming the door behind him. When his older brother found him in the closet, he asked, “What happened?”

The younger brother, gasping for breath, replied, “We are in BIG trouble this time! “GOD is missing, and they think WE did it!”

Some of us of a certain age recall the Burma Shave signs along the highways, and I think you can still see some of them in the Midwest. These are some of the quips you might have seen:

Burma Shave

Burma Shave

Each line of the quip was on a separate sign, so you had to watch for the next one to get the whole story. On long trips, it became a contest to see who could spot the signs.


These quotes come from Nora Roberts. Over at The Blood Red Pencil blog  recently there was an interesting discussion about the Muse and writer’s block, and Terry Odell shared these quotes.

“Every time I hear writers talk about ‘the muse,’ I just want to bitch-slap them. It’s a job. Do your job.”

“You’re going to be unemployed if you really think you just have to sit around and wait for the muse to land on your shoulder.”

“Well, first: There ain’t no muse. If you sit around and wait to channel the muse, you can sit around and wait a long time. It’s not effortless.”

“The Muse is a Fickle Bitch.”

What do you have planned for the weekend? I will be jamming with a couple of my kids and a good friend. We will play guitar and keyboard as long as our fingers hold out.

Do leave a comment to let me know what fun things you might be doing.

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