Category Archives: Personal

Haven’t Been Feeling Well

Short and sweet. For the past six months, I haven’t been feeling well. I rather not get into the details, but I’ve had some tests done, and I have one more test next Tuesday. By the end of next week, I will have all the test results, and I will have more information at that time. I just felt compelled to explain my absence as of late. Stay tuned.

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Back From Austria

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Just returned from my two week honeymoon in Austria, and I must say, I was very impressed. The country itself was stunningly beautiful, and the people were amazingly courteous. The food was absolutely delicious, the cities we visited, Vienna, Graz, and Salzburg, were very clean and well kept. A liberal friend of mine immediately commented, “Democratic socialism is not as bad as you thought? Mind perhaps expanding?”, to which I laughed. Not quite, and I will get into that in another post.

I just wanted to let everyone know I am back home, and getting ready to post daily again. So much to discuss, so much to comment on: I’m actually excited! It’s going to be a good year!

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I’m Back

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I’m just a cop, but I can tell you this: it’s been a while! I’d like to say that I took a break. I’d like to say that I needed to take a step back from politics, important issues, and debate. I’d like to say I just didn’t give a rat’s ass about anything except my family and close friends. I’d like to say that I just wanted to enjoy my retirement. All of those were true, but only for a little while. I took a break from all of those things and did, in fact, resign myself to just enjoying my retirement. It lasted maybe three months. I just couldn’t stay away. So, I have been engaging in heated debates again on Facebook for several months now, but I decided it was time for me to come back to imjustacop.com again. My blog. My home.

I think it’s obvious to all who know me, I love to debate. But in all earnest, more importantly, I love to share information, views, and opinions about things I consider important. Likewise, I enjoy learning new things from other people, and I enjoy having my positions challenged. The only time I don’t enjoy debate and the exchange of information, views and opinions is when it is done in a disrespectful manner. I have little tolerance for coarseness, discourtesy, or insolence. Arrogance and condescension contribute nothing to a debate in my view, and thus, have no place in one.

 
Sadly, the Internet is rife with these things. It is a place that sows impoliteness. It is a place where brusqueness combines with an exaggerated sense of invulnerability to create nothing short of boorish behavior. It not only allows, but seems to encourage people to forget all forms of civil mannerism, and devolve themselves into almost nonhuman creatures. I see it happen all too frequently, and I hate it. People are not forced to look into the eyes of the person they are engaged in conversation with, so oft times they simply say whatever comes to their mind, and have absolutely no concern in regard to the usual societal norms. In short, people who would never dare speak rudely to you to your face, have no issue whatsoever calling you an asshole (or much worse) while conversing with you over the Internet. An unfortunate inevitability of mass interaction without being face to face.

On the other hand, and on a brighter note I have also been privy to eloquent, articulate and very polite exchanges. I had recently been invited to two closed Facebook groups, and have become quite active in one of them. Therein I’ve found many people with whom I agree with, and many people with whom I disagree with, in some cases vehemently, and yet almost every instance of interaction has been entirely pleasant and civil. After all, it really is true that there are times when people need to simply agree that they cannot agree, and leave it at that. When both sides have stated their positions clearly, and neither was able to change the other’s opinion on the matter, what would be the point of further deliberation? Personally, I see nothing wrong with conversations ending in this manner, I deem it to be the logically conclusion when opposing sides cannot come to agreement. You just have to find a place where people on the Internet use logic when interacting. I was fortunate enough to have found such a place.

That brings me back to the point at hand: my blog. While Facebook is great for debate, when all is said and done, I sometimes feel as though I am wasting my time. I can spend hours writing and responding to comments, but in the end, I ask myself “what have I accomplished?”, and I find myself on many occasions not being able to come to an adequate conclusion. I do, at times resolve that writing is like many other crafts: it requires practice and continual use in order for its practitioner to have any hopes of mastering it. Therefore, the time I spend formulating well thought-out positions and responses does help me to hone my writing ability. But, is that enough for me? Is that I want to do? Inevitably, the answer is no for me. That was why I originally created this blog: so that I have something that is my very own. So, I here I am, typing on my computer once more, writing what I hope will become a coherent, well written thought, that will be of some interest to folks like you, who then choose to honor me by taking the time to read it.  That is the goal, I suppose, of any writer.

So, I am pleased to be back again, blogging away. I am pleased to be, once again, sharing my thoughts with you right here. As always, I encourage and hope that some of you will utilize my forums to communicate with me and your fellow readers. I also welcome any comments and suggestions you may have regarding my blog and forums. We have a lot to discuss, and I look forward to expressing my views, and hearing from you.

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Feathers, Feathers Everywhere!

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Let me tell you this. Nature is truly awe inspiring! A few posts back I shared some pictures of the foxes that made a den under our front porch. In a few weeks the kits will venture out from the den and begin playing; pouncing on one another, as they did last spring. I am truly blessed to live where nature is very prominent. We have foxes, deer, chipmunks, squirrels, and a plethora of birds, and today I was about to meet a new one!

Since retiring, I’ve had the luxury of observing nature where I live for hours at a time, usually taking long strolls. Well, about two weeks ago, I decided I’d start bird watching, or birding as it is otherwise known. My son and I went to a bird store, purchased a feeder, a post, some food, and a book called “Birds of New York“. Well, my son and I have spent some quality time searching for new birds to identify as we take hikes around the island. It’s been a great way to get some exercise and spark his interest in wildlife. He’s developed a keen eye, and is simply overjoyed when he spots a bird we haven’t seen before. I highly recommend it for introducing children to nature.

I also would like to add that, for me at least, watching birds at my feeder is very relaxing. Between my son and I, we have identified black-capped chickadees, purple finches, American goldfinches, white-breasted nuthatches, tufted titmouses, and red-bellied woodpeckers to just name a few. Also, all of those types of birds are daily visitors to the bird feeder in our front yard. Believe it or not, I’ve even been able to get the chickadees to take seeds from my hands! It’s quite a feeling to have a wild bird land in your hand, move his head from side to side while he looks you in the eye, take a seed, and eat it in a nearby tree! I’ve grown quite fond of the company my feathery friends provide as they feast at my feeder and I enjoy my morning cigar. Well, this morning I identified yet another avian compatriot of New York and Long Island; the sharp-shinned hawk!

It was like any other morning on my front porch: I was enjoying a cigar, a cup of coffee, and I was watching the birds gorging on bird seed. The squirrel was sitting on the squirrel feeder, eating a peanut, then opening the lid to get another. Suddenly, the squirrel took off like a thoroughbred race horse out of the gate! He ran across the road to his tree, and ran up it like a rocket! A few birds took off, but the ones in the caged feeder (it keeps the larger, annoying birds like starlings and crows from devouring the seed) stayed put. Then it happened: out of seemingly no where, I saw a larger bird chasing a chickadee! To be more accurate, I HEARD the larger bird before I actually SAW it, it’s feathers loudly ruffling as it twisted and turned. The smaller bird zigged and zagged in and out of a few trees, the larger bird on it’s tail mimicking it’s every movement! I watched as feathers flew from both birds, and it seemed as though the larger bird was about to catch it’s prey, and then: just like that, the larger bird flew up high in a tree, it’s energy spent.

I fumbled for my binoculars, knocking my cigar off it’s perch and onto the porch floor. I scanned the tree, and observed the larger bird, hoping to later look it up in my book. It’s beak was curved, and I immediately thought it, “this must be that hawk I’ve seen gliding above.” I had seen this bird floating on the air high above several times, but by the time I found my binoculars, it had always floated away in. It had bright yellow eyes, and a golden chest. Most of it’s body was gray, except for the chest. It’s sharp claws were yellow as well, and it turned it’s head from side to side a few times, then off it went.

I immediately dove for my bird book! I searched the index for hawks, and found that there were four hawks native to New York. The first one listed was the broad-winged hawk. I looked at the picture in the book, and it didn’t look familiar. It was also listed as 14-19 inches, and that was a little too big for the one I saw. Next was Cooper’s hawk. This one could be it, but again, the size of 14-20 inches seemed too big. I looked up the next one; red-tailed hawk. I immediately disqualified this hawk since it was even larger at 19-25 inches. I anxiously checked the last hawk, the sharp-shinned hawk. “Very similar to the Cooper’s hawk, only smaller.” BINGO! That was the bird I saw!

I read the description, and the book said it was a common backyard hawk that often swooped in on birds eating at feeders. Such a sneak! I have to say, it was pretty amazing to watch the encounter, and it felt good observing the bird for a minute then looking it up in the bird book. I am happy that the hawk didn’t catch the chickadee, but hey, that’s nature. I’m sure the hawk spends a lot less time hungry than the fox does, since it has not only an ample supply of prey, but also the means to catch it. It made me think how it must feel to be in the wild, one minute enjoying a fine meal of easily obtained seed, and the next fleeing for your life with your predator not inches away! Watching all that energy being spent trying to catch food made me hungry, so I went inside and dined on a delicious piece of veal. I didn’t even have to catch it! But hey, I’m just a cop.

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***UPDATE: When I got home this evening, the fox had just caught and killed a squirrel.

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Feel Like Sayin’ Foxy, Foxy Foxy Lady!

Yesterday morning, I came outside my front porch, and saw tiny footprints in the snow on the porch.

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So of course, I walked to the end of the porch, where the ramp was….

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And sure enough, a little place under the ramp had been dug out.

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Last spring, a pair of foxes made a den and had kits. Two to be exact.

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They were absolutely adorable! One was a little nervous, and the other was very brazen. I used to look for them every morning. Well, the two foxes that made their den this winter under the ramp were staying close to the house this morning. I took a picture of the both of them, and they ran away.

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Then about five minutes later, one came out from my backyard, and poked it’s head in front of my car.

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Foxes truly are magnificent looking animals, and the pictures don’t due them justice. Prior to their arrival, there were a lot of mice, and even some rats around our neighborhood, but after these guys came to town, we haven’t seen a mouse or a rat anywhere. I’m happy to share our home with these beautiful creatures, and I appreciate the rodent removal service they provide. I can’t wait to see the kits this spring!

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