Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Finding a New Job Frustrations

I admit it's been a few years and things sure have changed regarding the job market.  A résumé is a résumé and that is now the front line of observation.  Long gone are the days of a "real live human being" reviewing your application.  For that matter, entering the potential new employers facility and filling out an application "in person".  Ok, I admit it's not been THAT long since I've filled out applications.  One can always dream of days gone by.

My huge frustration is getting back into the engineering field and supporting positions.  The only replies I receive lately are manufacturing based which has been my employment for the last 4 years.  My dilemma is how to get the résumé noticed for previous experiences related to the engineering field without deleting the previous work experience.  To me, deleting the manufacturing experience would be lying and I would still have to explain the 4 year gap in employment.  So it's a dilemma that's not easily resolved, so far in my research.

And when did potential employers stop sending the rejection letters?  It is very frustrating to see a job you applied for 30 days ago reappear!  It would be annoying to me, as an employer, to have the same person applying multiple times when they clearly weren't qualified the first time around.  With today's technology, a rejection template is simple, takes mere seconds to send and gets those pesky candidates off your back. want my references NOW?  I'm not forking over references without knowing the particulars of the job I'm applying for.  Last thing I need is potential employers calling my references and it becomes an annoyance.  I kind of bypassed this issue by having two sets of references.  I have the references that don't mind getting called and providing a good reference.  Then I have those that are the creme of the crop, those that will assist in sealing the deal.  I mean really, if you can't send a rejection email am I to believe you actually call those references prior to rejecting my application?

And to those who write that "employers are hiring experience over newbies",  I'd like to know WHERE!  I realize that as I age, like a fine wine, the market becomes tougher and a select few get chosen.  Maybe I need to invest some monies to have a professional write my résumé.  Give me some tips and tricks to at least get a foot in the door, errr, computer server.

Maybe this old dog needs to learn the new tricks.  I just find it very frustrating the process has changed so significantly since I began searching back in '84. 

Monday, January 05, 2015

2015 Starts with A Thud

I just learned today that changes are coming at my place of employment.  I think I've mentioned before I work in a manufacturing environment.  My job isn't difficult as long as you're organized and can create a routine.  I don't really like the hours as they are 12 hour shifts on a rotating schedule.  In other words, one week I work Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday.  The next week it's opposite days.  Life was good until about 6 months ago when they added another production line for me to run.  So instead of 2 lines, I know run 3 lines.  Walking went from 4-6 miles a night to 8-10 miles a night.  Physically it has taken it's toll on my body.  I am exhausted after each shift and rarely do much outside of work due to my physical ailments.

So with that back history, I just learned that starting in February we will be going to 8 hour shifts working 5 days a week.  Which one would think that's a good thing, except they are taking a $1.00 an hour away from our pay.  See, to lure people into accepting employment back a couple years ago (that would be me) we were sold on the $1.00 premium to work 12 hour shifts.  And now that they are moving back to 8 hour shifts they are canceling that $1.00 an hour premium.  Without going into Finances 101, I'll be losing approximately $5,000 a year.

Oh and I still get to run 3 production lines! 

Happy F&ckin' New Year!!!

Friday, November 28, 2014

Thanksgiving 2014

The day was mostly uneventful this year.  The biggest event of the day came at the expense of me.  If you don't like whiny, poorest me posts, move along.  This one is all about me!

I love my family, I really do.  But this year really struck a bad chord with the festivities.  See, it all started back many many years ago.  I'm not too positive of the year because I try not to remember events that are unpopular.  Unpopular, you ask?  Yea, like a death of a family member unpopular.  So I lost an uncle many years ago and I still carry the burden of not visiting with him the last Christmas he was alive.  I had just spent a long two days with my "new" family.  You know, the whole Christmas Eve and Christmas Day partying, eating and visiting.  I spoke to him on the phone that evening around 6pm and apologized for not making his family dinner.  I felt bad, really bad since my 1st cousin was home from the Air Force Academy and I didn't make the time to visit.  Little did I know it would be the last time I spoke with my uncle as he died 2 weeks later.

So fast forward to Thanksgiving 2014 and events unfolded that has me really upset.  My uncle's daughter, the other 1st cousin, was coming to visit my mom and dad with her daughter.  A sparkling bundle of joy that baby is, from the pictures I've seen.  I've not met her yet and would have really loved visiting with her (baby) and the family.  I'm guessing it was a last minute plan because it wasn't mentioned during dinner.  Maybe a surprise, I just don't know.  Anyways, I was informed at 3:30 we needed to be home by 4:30 so they could prepare for the shopping event known as Black Friday.  This really upset me, family ALWAYS comes first.  But I'm guessing not my side of the family.  I was also informed I was the designated babysitter for the evening.  Now luckily, it was just the two boys and no one else's kids.  That may have ended up a news segment for the 11 o'clock broadcast.  Reluctantly, I left mom and dad's and we headed home.  Only to get home and find out it was really 5:30 and not 4:30 everyone was leaving.  Needless to say I was, and still am, pissed beyond imagination.

So needless to say, my Thanksgiving was a bust in my opinion.  And unfortunately, my family will be the ones to suffer because I will NOT let these types of events to unfold ever again.  The spirit of family has been desensitized to the point of greediness.  I never minded the "we're leaving at 3am" type of plans because I could still enjoy my family time.  But we have digressed into thinking greediness is more important than quality family time.  Well today, November 28, 2014, that all stops in my household.

I really had a quality Thanksgiving post detailed out in my head for today.  But a black cloud has set my mood for the holiday seasons.  It's time I start being selfish and demand things are done my way.  Especially when it comes to quality family time.

I hope you all had a better Thanksgiving and you were fed well.  be sure to set your scales back 10 pounds!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Catching Up - Part Two

Yea I's been more than a month.  Reality sucks and takes time away from my postings.  But I have time now since its 3 am on my night off.  Yes, my sleep patterns stay relatively the same when I'm off work as when I am working.  So I sit and watch boring TV, read blogs, catch up on Facebook and do trivial things.  I can't do much since the house is asleep and its dark outside.  I thought about mowing the yard tonight by strapping flashlights to the mower.  I don't think my neighbors would find the humor.

So I spoke in my last post about our guardianships.  September 2010 we took guardianship of my wife's two great nephews.  I won't air out the dirty laundry of the circumstances surrounding the guardianship.  But I will say it was meant for the boys' best interest.  They are now 9 and 6 years old.  Both boys are enrolled in a private school (thanks to Indiana's School Voucher) and are thriving.  I must say it was quite the culture shock as we were a house of 3 turned into 5.  And being boys they are the handful.  Their mom, well lets just say crack does strange things to people.  Enough said...

Court costs for all this have taken a toll.  I lost track but I am guessing around $15,000 was spent.  I still owe around $6,000 and am struggling to maintain the finances.  It's tough when you're a household income of one.  But I wouldn't trade or change anything.  I just pray the boys turn out decent and we can give them everything they need to live a good life.  To think I'll be 61 when the youngest graduates high school.  smh  I hope I can stay awake during the ceremony!  LOL

With my current job, my music show (Quiet on the Set!) and all the festivities surrounding it have taken a backseat.  I still make a few shows for the local Indie bands and some regional bands.  Right now, Captain Ivory is the hottest band.  They just moved to Nashville and are going on a European tour this February.  Google them and check them out, you won't be disappointed.  All the bands I helped back when have mostly broken up.  I still have a few of them on Facebook as friends but for the most part there's no music involved.  I truly do miss those days and hope one day soon I can return to my passion.

One thing I've noticed about Facebook is the keyboard commanders and the "right to free speech".  Well I leave you with this:

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Catching Up - Part One

I'll be breaking this down into a couple of posts, or more, depending on how energetic I feel.  I mean afterall, it's been over 2 years since I've posted anything of substantial importance.  I did post the story I was writing but real life took over and the story is still stuck in my head waiting for a release.

I went through my blogroll today and I ran the gamut of emotions.  I found longtime bloggers still blogging, some spotty such as myself and some vacant.  I also found a few bloggers who are bereft of life.  Unless you have participated daily in the blogging life you cannot fathom how someone hundreds or even thousands of miles away, whom you never met, can really be apart of your life.  I am hoping those that are vacant are still apart of my newsfeed and/or have me bookmarked and check in.  Ksquest and CrazyUnk are bereft of life and hit me the hardest.  I know they are both living comfortably on the other side now but I feel terrible for not knowing within 30 days of their passing.  Maybe it's the empath in me, who knows.

Let's see...where to begin.  I am working full time and while it's a burden to my life but I am thankful to be employed.  At 49 years old it's a wonder kids these days will ever survive.  I work 12 hour shifts from 7pm to 7:30am on a rotating schedule.  This week I have Sunday and Monday off, work Tuesday and Wednesday, off Thursday and Friday and back to work Saturday, Sunday and Monday.  Rinse and repeat.  It's not tough work really except being on my feet 12+ hours a shift walking a minimum of 4-6 miles a night.  I've had this job for 2 1/2 years now and it's really disrupted my life.  I can't coach soccer, basketball or track anymore and that SUCKS.  I miss my nights on the weekends and being able to participate in festivities.  And I miss homecooked meals.  I won't lie about that, ever.  After working 3 days straight, or 7 days when working OT, I must have a homecooked meal that night off.  I tire of eating sandwiches and chips.  LOL

My son is a senior in high school this year.  18 years old and has his drivers permit.  Doesn't have a job yet because he does struggle in school.  He has worked odd jobs through the summers but mostly we want to focus on school.  This year his curriculum is loaded and he'll be busy busy busy.  I think dad will step in and help with homework whenever possible, such as papers and things. I am so proud of the young man he is today but he really needs a case of reality.  LOL  Unfortunately, we can't really afford him an allowance otherwise he'd have more spending money for things he enjoys, wants or needs.  I am hoping he wants to pursue college but I'm not holding my breath.  I will still poke and prod him to seek further education.  Mainly I don't want him stuck in the boat I am right now, I don't have that piece of paper that gets me the better jobs.  I can nail the interviews and such but it always boils down to a college degree.  If I had known back in 1984...

There will be more posts to follow bringing you all up to speed.  I still have to mention the guardianships we have, the progress of my health (obviously is good otherwise I wouldn't be typing this) and my love of ,music that took a back burner.  And of course my humor posts.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Clearing the Webs

Dusting off the "ol' blog" and getting back into the swing. I've done my tour of Facebook and while I enjoy connecting with friends, new and old, I'm growing weary of the social media. So I've decided to revive this blog for sanity purposes. I'm not going to publish daily, probably not weekly but definitely monthly.

 I'll be posting mostly my thoughts and extended thoughts of my life. Sure, there'll be the occasional post on religion, politics, pron and humor but mostly it'll be geared towards my thoughts I wish to share.

 So friends, if this won't be to your liking just click you're next bookmark. Stay tuned, more action to follow!

Sunday, March 04, 2012

A Revised Cataclysm Post

As promised, here is a revised story of this original post: May 20, 2012 portion of the post.

The boys had pleaded all morning to visit the neighbors house. They have 3 children and since we've all been working there's not been much time for play. I walked with them the next farmhouse over and spent about an hour visiting and helping Jim mend a fenceline. Jim seemed like the proverbial farmer with a quick wit, stern look and the fortitude to roll with the changes. He was a God fearing man and was quick to correct my use of language. Our short conversations were filled with intelligence and humanity. Neither one of us desired the situation we're in but neither one of us desire the alternative. He needs to refine his gun handling skills and dreads the day, if it ever comes, that he must choose between his life or the life of someone else.

His wife, Abby, is a sweet gal but according to Jim, she's loaded with dynamite if you cross her. She is a wonderful cook and knows how to cut corners without sacrificing the taste. With alllot of baking goods and spices/seasoning not available, one must adapt. The 3 children are spitfires and closely have all the attributes of their parents rolled into one. The oldest is 12 years old and I think she has a crush on my son Brad. Her name is Angie and she is a heart breaker. The two younger ones are twin boys. I can tell them apart but most I've talked with claim they can't. They are 9 years old and love when the boys come to play. Jacob and Elijah are good boys and although full of mischief, its harmless mischief. Well unless you consider letting all the air out of the truck tires to see if they can get Dad mad enough to cuss harmful.

I said my goodbyes and told the boys I'd be back later in the afternoon. All three seemed to be ignoring me until a raised hand waved slightly as they ran off. I headed back across the field to the road, wanting an easier walk and enjoy such a beautiful day. Finally, the house to ourselves!!! A good lunch filled with silence and maybe a nap was in order. As I rounded the end of the drive, I caught a wiff of grilled cheese sandwiches, my favorite. I closed the driveway gate behind me and locked it. I made the 200 yard driveway in record time! I was faminished and desperately wanted some quiet time with Caroline. As I came to the perimeter fencing, I slowed down my progress and made sure the dogs knew I was coming. As I opened the gate, both dogs came barreling across the yard and about knocked me backwards. For a split second, their attention was diverted to the tree line but soon enough they were both yapping at my heels. I noticed as I made the porch entryway, they both sat and watched the tree line again.

Caroline had outdone herself. Not only had she made grilled cheese sandwiches but also a pan of chicken soup. We sat down to eat and as I was devouring the sandwich, one of the dogs let out a nervous bark. About 5 seconds later they both started a vicious barking ensemble that alarmed us. I took to the hallway, grabbed the 12 ga. shotgun loaded with 00 buckshot. First 2 rounds were 00 buckshot, the third was a deer slug and back to buckshot. If the first two shots maimed you or slowed you down, the third shot would finish the job, was my theory anways. As I made the doorway and onto the porch, the noisemakers went off on the fenceline to my left. I spun and hit the ground with one knee as I drew aim on a fella trying to climb the fence. I yelled for him to stop as he cleared the fence, hit the ground and never stopped his advancement. He just kept coming so I fired two rounds in his direction at about 30 yards. He slowed a bit, stumbled about and proceeded to gain his footing again. I yelled for him to stop again and he drew what appeared to be a handgun. I dropped him square in the chest with the slug. Theory tested and approved. Now I had 3 shots left or two...damn the adrenaline was pumping hard now. I dropped the shotgun inside the front door and unholstered my 45 acp. The dogs darted to my right just as the man came around the corner. I believe he was as surprised as I was, even moreso when the 45 let loose. First two shoots went wild as I wasn't calm, cool or collected. He made the fatal mistake of stopping to turn and retreat when the 3rd shot, well he had an extra earhole now. He hadn't even hit the ground and I was back inside the house.

We had already prepared for a home invasion by practicing certain drills. Since the kids weren't home, Caroline was to either go to the basement or head upstairs. Basement door was ajar so that was my clue she was upstairs. If she'd gone to the basement the door woulda been shut and locked. Also, the half eaten grilled cheese sandwich on the stairwell was an obvious clue. I started clearing the downstairs while keeping an eye outside. It was eerily quiet. Where were the dogs? About that time I'd finished the thought, they let out another viscious ensemble of barking. They were on the front porch still and barking to the front part of the yard. As I entered the kitchen, I heard the back door creak slightly and a shadow burst through the doorway. I fired 3 shots as I dove for cover behind the kitchen island. I heard a loud gasp followed by what can only be described as a death scream. I peeked around the island and saw nothing. I peeked over the top and nothing. I slowly rose to my feet with all my senses on high. I saw the shadow fall in the back yard and grabbing his leg. I dropped the mag and chambered another one. I'd lost count again and wasn't taking any chances. As I stared out the door at the man, another man bolted from beside the doorway and headed out across the yard. I dropped him second shot and he didn't move. About the same time, I heard gunshots from inside the house. Damn I'd forgotten all about the dogs backing out front! Had someone gotten past the dogs? 4,5,6 shots rang out and my mind shifted to defensive mode. Then from the front yard I heard someone yell..."Sum of a Bi...." His voice trailed off and I made the front door just as he made the treeline. 4 more shots rang out from upstairs and I hollered for Caroline. She knocked twice on the floor that signaled me she was ok.

We both sat very still for what seemed like hours. Nothing but the eery silence again and the dogs panting. Or was it my heart? I could hear her begn to rustle upstairs and I quietly told her to remain still. She thumped back in her "Oh no you din't" voice she was checking the property out. Yes dear... A few minutes later she said it looked clear and I made my way out the backdoor to check on my shadow man. As I approached him, I was on full alert and ready for anything. He was ashen gray now and lifeless. Upon further investigation, my shot had hit the femoral artery and he bled out. The other man was lifeless and had no vital signs either. I made my way back into the house, called the dogs in and hunkered down for a another attack. 5 men and all attacking from different directions. Speaking of the 5th man...

We both sat quietly for an hour. One reason was we both needed to regain our composure and secondly we needed to make damn sure there weren't more armed attackers. I took this downtime to inventory my ammo, shape of both firearms and making mental notes. Shotgun has 3 shells left and 45 has a partial clip. Other clip is laying on the kitchen floor. As I recounted, I had fired 6 shots from the first mag and two from the second mag. If there was another attack, I'd have to be selective now on shots and this wasn't good. I could move belly prone across the hardwood floors and not be seen. But to get to the extra ammo I'd have to open the closet door. This movement alone would give a signal to anyone watching the house. I couldn't risk it right now. I could hear Caroline reloading the rifle and she let out a sigh. Not in relief but in disgust. I whispered if she was ok and she said yes very bluntly. I didn't press the issue as I knew better. I'd heard that tone a few times before.

Both men in the backyard had a disheveled look. Maybe the were homeless and wanting food. But why the armed attack? I mean its not really that bad right now, or is it? Crack heads looking for an easy score? Well not as easy as they thought! Still, the 5th man got away. I'll have to ask Caroline what happened after she shot at him. After 45 minutes the dogs weren't showing any interest in anything but hunkering down for a nap. I decided it was time to move and make haste towards the closet. Found the box of shells and 45 ammo. I stuffed my pockets with both, shells on my left and casings on my right. Grabbed the shotgun and headed upstairs quickly, two steps at a time. I found her peeking out the window and tears streaming down her face. I grabbed ahold of her in the biggest hug of our lives. I asked why she was still crying after 45 minutes. I know her well enough that this length of crying time was very unusual. She broke the hug and showed me her rifle. "I thought I had the 270 but when I shot the first round I knew immediately I'd grabbed the .22.", she exclaimed. "I let him escape alive. I know I hit him at least 3 times and one shot was in the butt." Well at least she hit the mark I thought to myself. Amazingly, she's more upset she grabbed the wrong rifle instead of 4 dead men in our yard.

We grabbed the 270, her 380 and my 30/30 along with ammo. We headed downstairs and she went out back to few the dead men. She stood in silence for a moment and then she kicked one square in the head. She went out the the bell we had and rang it 3 times, waited a couple minutes and rang it 3 more times. After a shorter pause she rang it twice. That was our signal to the boys, as practiced, we needed help BUT it could still be dangerous. Pretty sure they heard all the shooting and would be waiting for a signal. As she was ringing the bell, I removed all weapons from the dead men. One gun, ball bat, knife and razor blade is all I could find. Seriously? I left the bodies as they were, figuring we'd have to explain ourselves to the law enforcement. I went to check on Caroline and as I rounded the house, there she sat focused on the treeline. "I hear some movement coming thru the trees.", she stated calmly. I took cover at the burning barrel and kept a close eye for signs of movement. I could hear the movement now and voices. Then it went quiet. The dogs sat at the fenceline waiting patiently for anything. Ears were perked, noses in the air and they were tense. About this time, a voice called out. "Teddy" to which I replied, "Rough Riders!" It was Brad and the boys along with the neighbors. One by one they made their way from the treeline to the fence with the next in line waiting until the other reached the fence. Brad was the last one to come across and we all gave hugs along with handshakes. Jim complimented our son. He said the first shot rang out and he sprung into action ordering us to take cover. He also took charge when the gunshots ceased and again when the bell rang. I could not help but beam from ear to ear.

The women took the kids inside for refeshments. I asked Jim if he knew about handguns and he stated matter of factly he did. I handed him my 45 and my son the 30/30. Brad headed inside to get his stash of defensive armaments and returned with a 9mm, .40 and his 270. He handed Jim his .40 and gave me back my 45. Had his BOB of ammo and my BOB of other supplies in hand also. We talked of the 5th man and his direction of travel. We decided we'd call the LEO's first and get them headed this way. Jim went inside to use the phone as he knew the area better than we did and knew a few of the LEO's. He returned with news that it may take a few hours and might even be tomorrow before they got here. I hollered at Caroline to get the older tarps and get these scumbags covered up. I was tired of looking at them and I didn't want the kids to be mentally traumatized. Well, I didn't want the mental images but the kids were a good excuse.

After a quick bite to eat, Brad and I set out to find our 5th man. Jim stayed behind with the families to provide extra man power. He had no business being out with us and he definitely was out of his element around the bodies. Brad found the first sign of bodily damage as a few spots of blood were located just over the fence. Spots of blood were minimal and I used 1% peroxide to test if its blood or not. Just about to the treeline and the blood spots were about penny sized now and always to the right side of the path. In a patch of dirt, we found a footprint and drew a picture along with some measurments. As we entered the trees, we could follow the trail easily as the older leaves were overturned and scattered. We spread out to about 15 yards apart and made our advancement along the trail. We would stop every 50 yards or so, sit quietly for minutes and listen for noise. Just as we were closing in on the other side, I saw movement ahead and signaled to stop. I watched as the movement took shape into a man dancing around in a circle...without pants on! He was wiping off his legs with his pants and holding it firmly to his butt cheek. I giggled quietly and motioned for Brad to stay put. He was about 75 yards off and too far, for me anyways, to make a surprise rush. I crouched as I moved forward hoping to not make noise before I could close the distance. As I got closer I gained momentum and at 25 yards I was at full rush. He looked up with an "Oh Crap" look on his face as I lowered my shoulder and knocked him to the ground. He hit the ground hard and I pointed the shotgun right in his face. "Don't say a word or you'll die right here in front of Mother Nature and all her flesh eating critters!"


He was definitely our man as he had 3 small wounds on his body, one was in his butt cheek. We dressed his wounds, dressed him with pants and secured his wrists with Zip Ties. He was ranting and raving the whole time and I eventually gagged him. He was obviously a drug user as he was shaking and twitching as if he needed a fix. We walked the 30 minutes back to the house without much incident, well except for getting over the fence. We kinda just let him fall over without assistance. Anyways, we made it safely home to be greeted by family and canines. We took our prisoner and tied him to the clothesline post. We then tied one of the dogs to the other post with just enough chain to be within 4 feet of him. We then tied the dogs favorite toy just above his head and she started yapping and barking. Doing whatever she could to get the toy, she was making a ruckus that rattled my nerves and I wasn't even near them. I hollered at him she'd eventually give up and as long as he didn't move or make a sound she'd stay quiet. We all headed inside to discuss what next. Brad took the kids upstairs to occupy their time and keep watch. The little ones had no clue what happened and I preferred to keep it that way, for now. Jim called the LEO's again and informed them we'd captured the 5th man. He was informed they'd be out at 7am the following morning. We were not to cause any bodily harm to our prisoner and should provide him with accomodations. So after a well-deserved meal we set out to accomodate our new guest. We built a fire near him for warmth, ungagged him to fed him and then poured 1/2 gallon of water into his mouth. Reapplied the gag and shook the toy for the dog. Accomodation complete!

Jim and family spent the night with us. We took turns watching for more unfriendlies and we discussed developing a neighborhood watch sentry system. We would call for a meeting within the week. After today's event, we needed to move forward and quickly. Around first light I walked the 200 yards to the front entrance. I wanted to meet the LEO and not risk them getting shot or us for that matter. They arrived abit before 7 am and we exchanged greetings. They came with a squad SUV and a paddy wagon along with 5 personnel. One sherriff, two deputies, one coroner and one gopher. We rode up to the house without fanfare as I guessed the kids were still asleep or just waking up. We made the way to the front area while the coroner and gopher went to work. Caroline had made coffee and biscuits and we each took a cup. These guys seemed nice enough and we felt comfortable around them. Jim came lumbering out the door and greeted his friends with much delight. Each deputy took an adult aside and took our statements. They also took Jim and Abby aside to hear their version of the story. The coroner and gopher headed around to the back area with us in tow. The sheriff busted out in a hearty chuckle when he saw our guest and the yapping dog. He went and untied the man and let the gag loose enough for him to mumble. The dog torture had obvious effects as he wanted nothing more then far away from the house. He really freaked out when he learned the man attending to his wounds was a coroner.

The whole process took a little less than two hours. The man was loaded into the paddy wagon along with his buddies in body bags. The deputies confirmed our accounts and the sheriff was convinced it was a good shoot. We talked abit about the happenings around the county and he gave us accounts of similar shootings being commonplace now. We were given the green light to protect our property and lives without hesitation, without it being said directly. I sensed trouble was coming soon and he wanted us all to be proactive and not reactive. He said a deputy would stop by weekly to check on us, that being Deputy John. John took to playing with the kids and made quick work of their game of tag. A younger man around 25-28 I guessed and had a military presence about his demeanor. I mentioned he should at least hit the siren or horn before making the trip up the driveway. I'd have to talk with this young man and find out more. If he had military training it could prove invaluable to making our homestead safer and our new community safer too.

Our meeting with the neighbors was very productive. Of course the hot topic was protection since the attack on us has worried the neighbors. We have beefed up our first warning by adding a few dogs to our homestead. And more weapons are available for quick response. As for the neighbors, we have devised a patrol plan that will involve everyone and a scheduled rotation. We are also planning a training session for weapons use. Of the 12 families, 4 men and 1 woman have military or weapons training. These 5 have been tasked with providing all participating families with training, weapons and ammunition. Each house is to have at least 1 handgun and one shotgun or rifle and the required training of each. We have mapped out the area of 12 families and assigned sector numbers. We have made plans to visit each sector and take a daily traffic report of outsiders. Being so close to town, its impossible to shutdown the roadways, as the people would view this as a hostile act. We want to remain "invisible" if at all possible. Areas with the highest traffic will get the immediate attention of protecting the homesteads and subsequent training. We have drafted a manual for all to read and hopefully adhere too. It's in a basic outline form and a few of us will be collaborating the writing effort. There is not much we can fix about people on foot through the countryside. This will be apart of regular patrols both day and nighttime.

The local authorities stopped by our meeting to lend suggestions and support. While vigilantism is discouraged, the mood has shifted to our protective rights. They assured us they'd not interfere as long as we didn't become the aggressors. This created a bug sigh of relief. They are seriously understaffed and talk amongst our "elders" and Sheriff was grim. He told us armed gangs have been seen moving about the larger cities. He has also had reports of more traffic in and about the county. No attacks other than the usual home invasions or thefts by 1 or 2 people. The town medical center has been at capacity with the recent onslaught of personal attacks. Minor to serious injuries and thankfully only the bad guys have been reported deceased. He has sent his reports to the state government and also to the National Guard base. All local authorites are now on alert and 24 hour call. Something is about to happen and he wants to be prepared. He chuckled when he talked of our prisoner. He said the dog did a number on his mental stability and he told them anything they wanted to know. He had mostly useless information but did provide some information on unsolved crimes.

Root cellars will be built very soon as the equipment, gas and manpower is now available. Supplies are being delivered within the week and plans are set in motion! It's all starting to take shape...