Saturday, October 25, 2008

Getting Older

What’s wrong and right with getting older? On the downside we get medical ailments, our friends die, we move slower, we forget things and we may need naps. But naps aren’t all that bad. I’m currently writing a geezer-lit thriller. The tag line is, “Saving the world between naps.” On the positive side as we get older we become seasoned veterans with a lot more experience than the young whipper-snappers. Let me give you an example. When I played tennis as a kid, there was one old guy named Winslow who drove us nuts. He was build like a fireplug and stood with his feet planted in the middle of the court with a cigar butt handing out of his mouth. He chopped and cut all his shots with no orthodox style whatsoever. We would blast the ball at Winslow and he would chop it back with a weird bounce that would cause us to overhit the next shot outside the court. We relished our youth and energy, but Winslow beat us with his experience and cunning. The need for elders goes back to our tribal heritage. The youth had the speed and power to track down game but the elders had the wisdom to know where the game would be.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Road Trip

My wife and I have just returned from a driving trip to Southern California to visit two of our kids and our granddaughter. While in Los Angeles I did some research for a geezer-lit thriller I’m writing, so in addition to visiting family members, it was a worthwhile trip. Also on the way there and the way back driving through the whole state of Utah, my wife took naps and I started plotting a future geezer-lit mystery novel in my head. Whenever we took a rest stop, I’d jot down my ideas in my notepad. By the end of my trip I had pages of notes and the last morning before we hit the road again, I got on my laptop and wrote an outline. Who says road trips can’t be useful for authors?

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Police Training

I had a chance this last week to join in another police training exercise and participate in three scenarios. In the first I played the role of one of two complaining neighbor who hear a loud argument in another apartment. Two police officers arrived and we pointed to the apartment where we had heard the people fighting. The police go inside and find an angry belligerent person. Upon searching they also find in another room a person lying “dead” with a gun on the rug. The correct procedure is for one of the officers to calm down and interrogate the shouting roommate and to handcuff that person if violent and the other officer to search and find the “body” and remove the gun. In the second scenario I was part of a group having the Thanksgiving dinner from hell. Six of us were in a room arguing and shouting when the police arrived. The objective was for the police officers to calm us all down and separate us. In sitting us down there was a gun under a cushion on one chair which the person sitting in that chair draws. The officers need to either take that person down or “shoot.” One of the lessons learned involved checking the cushion before having someone sit there. The third scenario took place in a disco where a number of us were dancing and two people get into a fight. The police arrive to break up the fight. In all of this, no citizens were injured because all the “take-down” roles were played by police trainers with body-protection padding. The bottom-line for me seeing the police operate in these training exercises was the importance of being observant, using forceful language to move people who are causing problems and being prepared to act when a problem occurs.