Friday, August 5, 2016


Some people are built for grief. Others are not. Some people, in some way, suck it up and go on despite the pain. Others are so devastated over the loss of a loved one that they are unable to move forward.

I always put myself decidedly in the former camp. I've lost friends, fellow Marines, parents and other relatives, and four fellow cops - two by murder on duty, two by suicide. Certainly, these made me sad. Sometimes extremely sad. But there was always the sense that there was light at the end of the tunnel, although sometimes the tunnel seemed very long.

And then I lost Zeke. It's a loss so profound that I don't know how to describe it.

Zeke and I were one. He would often just watch me from across the room, and I him. There was comfort and peace in having him there. I've read that, when a dog looks at his owner, both the dog and the owner experience the release of oxytocin - the so-called "love hormone". I believe it. But more than that, I believe we each knew what the other was thinking. I could get Zeke to come to me, or go to the door to go outside, or go to the kitchen for food, just by the way I motioned with my head. And I knew what he wanted from me just by the way he stood and looked. When we went on our regular long walks in the park or in the woods or by the river, I talked to him like he was a toddler about where we were going, what we were doing,  and what we were seeing and hearing. I knew he understood. I never imagined a day when he would be gone.

Now, that day has come. I think of him every minute of every day. I've cried myself hoarse. I remember places we went and things we did so vividly sometimes, it's almost like reliving them. I see him running and playing when I drive by the places we used to go together. His spirit seems to dwell there. I occasionally catch sight of one of our other dogs out of the corner of my eye, and for a moment I think it's him. It's not. I dream about him.

I've learned that one life can make a person, and its loss can break him. I am forever changed. The world is a different place without Zeke. There are places to go and people to see and things to do, but I don't really care. Real happiness and fun are a memory. There are just days ahead.

I learned I am not built for grief.

I love you, buddy!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016



09/01/2002 - 04/25/2016

I could not have loved you more.

You will always be with me.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Rain Delay

Well, it was my hope and plan to tell you all that today I unretired, and was sworn in again as a police officer with my old department. The best laid plans.

Last Monday I had my second-ever trip to the ER. I don't go down easy, but this brought me to my knees. In the intervening week, I've been back there two more times. The situation simply is not resolving, and I am as uncomfortable as I've ever been in my life. Of course, I can't get in to see the specialist who can hopefully resolve this until Friday. I will simply have to suck it up until then.

So, Officer Cynical is going away for a while. I'm out of new posts, and right now I don't have the oomph to generate more. I'd hoped being back on the street would give me a new source of fun stories, but that's now on hold. I don't know for how long.

I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016


After my second-ever visit to an emergency room yesterday, I'm taking some time off. Not a huge deal, but I'm pretty uncomfortable. I'll do my best to get back to it on Monday. There also may be some big news coming, so stay tuned. Stay safe, everyone.

Monday, March 21, 2016

When They Stop In The Middle Of The Street With Their Foot On The Brake.....

21-year-old Darriyone Zamone Clark-Brown was arraigned on several charges including attempted murder in the incident after he fired a shot at a police officer at the beginning of a traffic stop. The officer was not hit, a chase ensued, Brown then fled on foot and was caught a short time later with the help of a K-9. Thankfully the officer was not hurt. Great work by the responding officers.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Accent Grave Over the 'E'

W.C. Fields died long before I was born. I don't remember anymore how or when I became aware of him. I do remember spending one New Year's Eve during high school alone watching a W.C. Fields marathon at a local movie theater (yes, I was that popular). I think he is the funniest person ever to grace a movie screen. In my opinion, only Peter Sellers comes close to Fields' comedic talent.

W.C. Fields was born William Claude Dukenfield in January, 1880. He began his stage work as a juggler on the vaudeville stage. He became a world-class act, and toured several continents as "The Eccentric Juggler", dressed in hobo-like attire. Remarkably, for someone who later became instantly recognizable by his voice alone, he worked silently in his early juggling act. He added dialogue later when he took his act to Broadway. Some of his juggling prowess was demonstrated in the 1931 film Her Majesty Love and the 1934 movie The Old-Fashioned Way.

Fields worked in silent films from about 1915 into the 1920s, transitioning to sound films in the 1930s. He made a series of two-reelers, including:

The Golf Specialist
The Dentist
The Pharmacist

He went on to full-length films, many written by Fields himself, for Paramount and for Universal. These include: You Can't Cheat an Honest Man, The Bank DickMy Little Chickadee, and Never Give a Sucker an Even Break, and many others. Perhaps one of his most famous - and hilarious - scenes is the porch scene from It's a Gift.

Fields also worked in network radio, in particular with Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy. Fields maintained an ongoing feud and insult exchange with Bergen's dummy, Charlie McCarthy.

Fields married Hattie Hughes in 1900, and they had one son. They separated less than a decade later, but never divorced. Fields corresponded with Hattie and supported his son until Fields' death.

Much has been said and written about W.C. Fields and his abuse of alcohol. Like so many quotes that have been attributed to Fields, it becomes hard to separate fact from fiction. I don't doubt that he was a heavy drinker, and that it shortened his career and his life. He spent considerable time in a sanitorium in his final years, and is said to have suffered from D.T.s. He died of a stomach hemorrhage on Christmas Day, 1946, at age 66.

Fields is one of the few persons in films that can make me laugh with a look, a gesture, or one of his sarcastic, cynical asides - usually muttered under his breath. Almost all his characters were rather shady curmudgeons, struggling to make their way in the world and do right by their families. It's amazing to me how alike many of his characters were, but how fresh every scene seems, no matter how many times I see them. Woody Allen called Fields one of only six genuine comic geniuses, the other five including Peter Sellers and two of the Marx Brothers. It's too bad that they're all gone, and there's no more of their work to come. But they were so good, what they left behind is enough to sustain us for a lifetime.