Monthly Archives: October 2010

Scanners

When I teach class at the karate school, my usual mat space is on a mezzanine level that overlooks the rest of the school (it is a very big karate school). If you read my earlier post, “Relax, killer” you know how I handle security: Periodic scans, look for things that stand out. What I try to do at the school is place myself so that while my students are doing drills I can see the lobby and front door of the school. If there was going to be trouble, this is where I think it would likely start.

The other night I scan the lobby/front door and see the chief instructor through the door standing outside. Why is he outside? This is our busiest time of the night and he is usually teaching a class on the main mat. Is that his angry face? Oh crap! I give the highest ranking student the next drill and authority over the class and start bolting down the stairs.

I grab one of the other instructors and we both head out the door to find a customer of the business next door shouting at our fellow instructor. No reason to go into specifics of the argument, but we took up positions to backup our instructor and waited for the situation to calm down. The guy wisely never escalated to a physical confrontation which I can assure you would have gone poorly for him.

The only reason I am even telling this story here is because of what one of my students told me. She was in the lobby with the chief instructor’s wife and they were discussing whether to go get any of us to back him up. They decided since it was just the one guy that it wasn’t necessary. A few seconds later my student looks up and sees me running down the stairs. She says she immediately thought to herself, “Oh, Trackerk did his door scan!”

I love that she remembers the lessons I have taught her and that she got to see them in action.

Periodically scan the environment, look for what stands out.

Relax, killer.

About 2 years into my martial arts training I was driving my wife crazy. Instead of her husband or my kids father, I had turned into the family body-guard. Any time we went out I was constantly looking for ninjas to leap out at any moment and threaten us. In restaurants I was constantly eye-balling people like Edmond, Oklahoma was entirely populated by Al-Qaeda terrorists or gang thugs.

Finally it was too much for me, continually living in that state is exhausting. I took one of my instructors to lunch and told him my problem. During that conversation I learned a very important lesson:

Most people are good guys, and the bad ones will usually stand out some how. Look for the anomalies; people who aren’t dressed right; aren’t where they should be; or aren’t doing the things they should be given where they are.

From that he told me how to scan a room, make note of what needs further scrutiny and what can be ignored. The soccer mom with 3 kids isn’t going to whip out a Glock and rob you. The dude pawing all over his girlfriend doesn’t really care about you. The guy standing alone in the parking lot, neither going to or from his car, is the one who needs hard scrutiny. If you are in a restaurant and determined that probably no one there is a bad guy, then only those coming in or out require enhanced scrutiny.

Do periodic scans of the environment and look for people who stand out. Then you can spend the rest of your time being with your family as a husband and a father, not as their security detail.

‘Stranger Danger’ and the Decline of Halloween

Take “stranger danger,” the classic Halloween horror. Even when I was a kid, back in the “Bewitched” and “Brady Bunch” costume era, parents were already worried about neighbors poisoning candy. Sure, the folks down the street might smile and wave the rest of the year, but apparently they were just biding their time before stuffing us silly with strychnine-laced Smarties.

via WSJ.com.

According to the author, no kid, ever, has been killed with poisoned candy by a stranger. We will take our kids trick-or-treating this year, probably twice since the City of Edmond believes they can dictate when people can engage in private activity and I have a contrary spirit. Unlike the article suggests, I won’t be able to just let them go by themselves. Spike and I will follow along at a discrete distance. However, I do not expect any of my neighbors will be anything but friendly and dispense nice sweets.

One Laptop To Rule them All

 

Alienware m17x

  • Intel® Core™ i7 840QM Quad Core Processor, 1.86GHz (3.20GHz Turbo Mode, 6M Cache)
  • SLI® 1GB GDDR3 NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 285M
  • 8GB Dual Channel Memory (2x 4GB DDR3)
  • 640GB 7,200RPM SATA-II HDD
  • Slot-Loading Dual Layer Blu-ray Reader (BR-ROM, DVD+-RW, CD-RW)
  • Intel® Ultimate N WiFi Link 6300 a/g/n 3×3 MIMO Technology

I bet YouTube videos are going to look awesome on this thing!

Those of you who come here for firearm or personal protection related posts may be very confused. But here is a link to the unboxing of my Alienware m17x laptop. An “unboxing” for the non-nerd is where a particularly cool bit of tech is acquired by a geek or nerd and as the packaging is opened he takes pictures at each step. This is done for one of two reasons:

  1. The tech is very new and most people haven’t gotten their hands on it. The unboxing provides them a glimpse of the new tech and gives them an idea of what to expect when it finally comes to their city.
  2. To make other nerds jealous and possibly improve the nerd’s chance of mating with suitably impressed females.

I am already married, the m17x isn’t a brand new design, but it is one of the most high end laptops on the market; so you make the call on which reason I used.

Belt Fail

My kids have made me play this for them about a dozen times with shrieks of laughter each time. This or something like it would definitely happen to me, but unlike this guy I wouldn’t have the guts to put it on the Internet.

I wonder if this was a response video to this:

QOTD: Star Wars

“I say, if you’re going to do another Star Wars trilogy, don’t tell Lucas about it.” — IMAO

Legal Torture?

Geek torture: New bad-ass Alienware laptop delivered as I am on my way out the door to go to the gun range and then to teach Krav class. It will be at least 730 before I can crack the tape. No fair.

Democrats, the party of the middle class

Helped by loaning her campaign $1.1 million, the Democratic gubernatorial candidate takes slim lead in fundraising.

via NewsOK.com.

If I asked every relative I have to give me all they had from any liquid assets, I don’t think I could pool $1 million dollars.

According to this bio, Ms. Askins, has been a civil servant or elected politician all but 2 years of her adult life. Either she inherited some decent money, or that must have been some lucrative 2 years.

Democrats are the party of the poor and downtrodden all right. Bleh.

Her opponent, Mary Fallin, has been a politican for the last 20 years, but had a private sector job before that. I don’t think anyone should be in politics for 20 years, but the choices are what they are. I will be voting for Fallin because I think there is at least a slim chance (but better than Askins) she will work to decrease the size and intrusiveness of government. There is also a better chance that she will be good on gun rights and might sign off on open-carry*.

So I have a pick for Oklahoma Governor, Mary Fallin and Tom Coburn for Senate. I’ve sent them both some money. It was a little short of $1.1million, but hopefully it will help. Now to figure out who to vote for in 20 or so other offices.

* She says she’ll sign off on open-carry, but I give it only a “might”. Why? Because politicians are bastard coated bastards with bastard filling and that even goes for the ones I like. She could change her mind once she’s in office.

Live TV Viewer Brains

Two dozen zombies, their clothes spattered with fake blood, were staggering up and down the block Tuesday outside Madison Square Garden. Downtown, others shuffled across the Brooklyn Bridge.

The stunt was part of a campaign in 26 cities worldwide promoting the Halloween premiere of the AMC television series “The Walking Dead.”

via NewsOK.com.

The series looks interesting. I will be time-shifting it with my DVR.

Person of Interest

I think police stopped calling people “suspects” after Richard Jewel was unfairly labeled a suspect by the FBI and later took a bunch of money from people for perpetuating the slander of a hero. The problem is they have replaced “suspect” with “person of interest” in some sort of politically correct expansion of the law enforcement lexicon.  It’s been used so much now, when suspect would have been the proper term, that I now think “shooter” every time I hear “person of interest.”

It won’t work. If you guys keep using it when you mean “suspect”, eventually you will end up right back in court paying some innocent guy a lot of money.