Tag Archives: Situational awareness

Dog poop, custody of the eyes, situational awareness, spiritual life

Observing the saints in Rome such as Aloysius Gonzaga, one will surely be impressed by their humble custody of the eyes. Or so said a fellow seminarian way back in the day before making the sardonic comment that this was merely the way to avoid stepping on dog poop. There’s been dog poop at that narrow almost unavoidable spot near the Angelicum for the past 40 years. I check. But it’s not a matter of looking only at dog poop or otherwise your soul being as good as dog poop. No no. You can have situational awareness and be entirely chaste with blazing purity of heart and agility of soul regardless of what you otherwise see in decadent sleazy Rome or anywhere else in this world of exile away from our heavenly homeland. And that involves a friendship of humble thanksgiving with our Lord. And that involves something for which to be humbly thankful. That involves Confession. Love of God is love of neighbor. And vice versa. Love of neighbor is love of God.

4 Comments

Filed under Dogs, Situational awareness, Spiritual life

UPDATE: Jedi mind tricks vs robbery twice yesterday [most dangerous guy]

[[[UPDATE: I did a bit of investigation and found out that the guy who accosted me twice was the guy I thought he was. He’s one of the most dangerous people in Western North Carolina and has a standing arrest order on like half of all state owned properties in this entire region. The Jedi mind trick worked even with him. Good to know.]]]

You never think it will happen to you, until it does.

There are retired operators of whatever background who offer classroom shakedowns for pay, that is, for students of situational awareness and deescalation, very useful exercises. But I don’t get the part about paying for this. Guardian angels will provide all the incidents you could ever want and more. Yesterday, for example, I had two would-be incidents, would-be except for my guardian angel and the Jedi mind tricks I employed. It’s especially important to learn the Jedi thing here in Andrews since I’m now guessing that for the unforeseeable future we will have no actually local police for a number of reasons. And the local riffraff know it. Such is small town drama.

Our town politicians will be upset with the first fifteen seconds of the above video, but this is what Andrews is fast becoming with what amounts to little law enforcement. It’s true that the county deputies come into town to look for the riffraff they are after to effect their arrest warrants, and they are a most welcome sight. Wherever you see them, however, you also know that the riffraff they are after are very close by. That’s a good heads-up.

Yesterday, for instance, I was returning from a Communion Call, driving past the DMV, and there was deputy […] in full uniform but in his unmarked black dodge charger pulling in behind me from the direction of our little church. This reminded me to come back and get my soon-to-be-required-by-everyone-in-North-Carolina Gold Star Federal ID card issued in my case as a North Carolina biometric driver licence. The picture, taken by a special multi-lens camera looking ever so much like a Star Wars droid, has 12 measurement points which are inimitable, so that not even plastic surgeons at Liberty Crossing Campus at McLean can mimic what is measured, such as center of pupil to center of pupil. Foiling one won’t foil the others. My very first thought, however, was “Who’s the deputy after?” But before going to the DMV, I needed to fill up at our local BP gas station. He stayed on my bumper until I pulled into the BP and then disappeared somewhere.

First incident

Just as I had paid-at-the-pump with a debit card and had placed the hose-pump into the gas-tank receiver of Sassy the Subaru, a riffraff looking guy, about 6′.6″ tall (even I had to look up), coming out of nowhere, tried to make his way to me around that pump station. With all my situational awareness, blah blah blah, I hadn’t seen him. Don’t be upset with me for that riffraff description. I’m riffraff myself and know riffraff the second I see riffraff. Birds of a feather and all that. Anyway, he was so intent in getting right in my face that he couldn’t see the window-squeegee-combo-trash-buckets in front of him, and, running into them, was getting frustrated. With that, I knew that all was not right, that the guy was perhaps a bit drugged up, and so I started to back away. But, I gotta hand it to the guy for being clever. He was using the “I-really-want-to-speak-with-you-but-I’m-not-going-to-speak-to-you-until-I’m-an-inch-from-your-face-and-I’m-keeping-eye-contact-so-as-to-make-you-feel-obliged-to-let-me-do-that” trick. Not able to get closer in just that three seconds, he stated that he wanted my money. Twice.

I said to him with joyful alacrity and an abundance of confidence, now using his own eye-contact trick against himself, that, “It’s really NOT smart to shake down people for money at gas station pumps.” Glare-glare-glare. My glaring worked. With that, he stepped back, but only to go around the pump station for a sneak-attack. Just as he was coming around the other side, even as I was taking the pump-hose out of the side of the car to hook up in the pump station once again – a pretty vulnerable position – I saw him consider the joyful alacrity with which I had said NOT smart.” He stopped and reckoned for another second, then turned and walked away. Hah. Thank you guardian angel. I noted he was walking in the direction of town (where the DMV is).

Second incident

After spending quite a bit of time with the most wonderful church secretary in the world, I made my way to the DMV for that biometric Gold Star driver licence, where I had seen deputy […] looking for someone. I pulled into the DMV parking lot. With all my situational awareness, blah blah blah, I hadn’t seen the same riffraff guy (this being exactly one mile away). As I got out of the car and before I could even lock the car, he was right on top of me, an inch away, the trick of practiced pickpockets. Again, very clever. The entrance of the building is kind of in a side alley blocked from view of the inside of the building and from most everyone on the street. That’s where he had me. People going into the DMV to do document work are just as likely to already have their wallets and documents in hand while getting out of the car and going into the building. That was the case with me. Stupid me. His question this time was not about money but about whether or not I was there to try to get a driver licence (I had driven up) and that’s what he was trying to do for a really long time. He was eyeing the wallet and documents an inch away. Bolting for the door would be useless. Time for a Jedi mind trick, again. I fully turned to him and said with rather stern but joyful alacrity and confidence: “Yes, a driver’s licence… THAT’s what I’m trying to do.” Glare, glare, glare. My glaring, as a challenge, combined with the joyful but rather to the point confidence had him back off and disappear. Thanks, guardian angel.

Long time readers know that I carry. Not that I had any firearm on me. I did not. They are not allowed in the DMV, of course. Criminals also know that the safest place for them to commit crime is in gun-free-zone, or, hey, in a parking lot of a building that is a gun-free-zone, because, although the parking lot is not a gun-free-zone, no one in that parking lot will have such a tool with them.

Mind you, I’m 6’2″, 250 pounds (still), wear a 5-11 tactical shirt with collar (because I’m more elephant than donkey), and this guy still thought I was an easy target. Twice. Druggies, I’m thinking, are having a tough time if they are being kicked off the welfare system as their excuses are found to be invalid by real doctors.

Oh, it’s him

Oh, wait a minute. I think I recognize him. He’s the guy who, at a certain garage getting my tires changed out, towered over me, an inch away from me, as I sat low to the floor on a couple of stacked tires, waiting for my tires to be changed. I was there, again with my Roman Collar on, a Catholic priest, obviously, with him saying to me (a white boy and a foreigner – born outside the county – and from a state of Northern Aggression, Minnesota), he saying to me that: “We don’t like N*****s around here,” trying to be as threatening as he could be, you know, just an inch away from me, and me being as white as white can be. I just shrugged my shoulders and asked a question about the tires, diffusing the situation. I remember having asked about him later. Apparently, the guy really is clever. If I remember correctly, he was in fact trained up to analyse the criminal mind. And then he became a criminal.

Mind you, I try to be practiced as well with situational awareness, but this guy, trying not to be seen until he was on top of me, was better than me, druggy or not. A good lesson. I bet he’s the one the deputy was after.

So, look at that. Being practiced in Jedi mind tricks and depending on one’s guardian angel is the way to go, even with someone like this.

That’s an eye-opener for me – two experiences like this in one day – and I thought I would share that with you. It’s not just a good lesson. It’s an important lesson.

Leave a comment

Filed under Guns, Situational awareness

Road rage tender snowflake tantrums and peaceful situational awareness

road danger nantahala gorge

A view in front right where the slow-moving-vehicle right lane just quits.

Situational awareness involves always having at hand a number of ways to deescalate a potentially dangerous situation. This is especially useful in road rage situations, which, it seems to me, are on the increase for the reason that road rage is all about the tender snowflake entitlement mentality of “it’s all about me.” There are so very many tender snowflakes these days. Very few have their identity in their Creator, Christ Jesus. Nothing to do about that until they get to know the self-sacrificing love of Jesus, with some goodness and kindness and respect for others. So, patience and a good example is what’s best. In a dangerous situation, give them what they want, which is that the road is for them and nobody else. I don’t want to die and I don’t want to see anyone else hurt, not even the tender snowflakes.

I tend to go right at the speed limit, or, as I like to tell people, just a 1/2 mile an hour under the speed limit so that I don’t ever get a speeding ticket from a State Trooper in the area who gives everyone a ticket who is going just a half mile an hour over the speed limit. But anyway, it’s a known fact that speeding up a couple of miles an hour enrages road-ragers. So I just go the speed limit. It’s also just safer with all the blind drive-ways and the possibility of hydro-planing because of misconstructed roads and fallen-trees after a rain so very common in the gorge. Speed limits are there for a reason.

Well, last evening as dusky dark, coming back from Bishop Curlin’s funeral, passing through the Nantahala Gorge, which is pretty much double-yellow no-passing for miles and miles, I noted a group of cars going waaaaay over the speed limit zipping up behind me, driving really aggressively among themselves, enraging each other like yellow-jackets attacking a hornet’s nest, with all the more raging when they got behind me, what with me going only the speed limit. Now I was a common enemy to the lot of them.

There’s a courtesy lane for slow moving vehicles to move into for a few hundred yards right at the end of the gorge, so I thought I would get in that, fearing that if I didn’t, they would pass on the right and knock me into oncoming traffic on the left. Yes, that happens… lots of cross-markers for deaths that way. Or they might otherwise just pass on the double-yellow going up the mountain to Topton, likely, then, to kill themselves and others on the blind curves, causing head-on collisions. The passing on the double-yellow thing is a way of life here in the mountains. Lots of deaths that way too, but, it seems, no one really cares. But this crowd was particularly a raging sight to see. So, all situationally aware, I let them pass while I got into the slow-moving-vehicle-lane.

I knew I would have to slam on the brakes in the all-too-short lane as there is no one polite on the road anymore it seems, and the entire line of traffic would surely try to pass me whether I crashed out or not. I don’t like crashing!

Here’s the video from the back window of Sassy the Subaru as the tantrums of the tender snowflakes unfolds.

Note all the angry honking as they passed, ever so angry that I was only going the speed limit. It’s kind of humorous in a sad sort of way in that it’s all so predictable. The more tender snow-flake one is, the more angry one becomes. You know: tough tender snowflakes. Honk honk honk. It’s a tender snowflake world. That sounds like a song title.

I’m not saying that these guys did anything wrong at all. But real road ragers who actually endanger others should have some sort of punishment like sporting huge car-magnets for a month which say “I’m a tender snowflake throwing a tantrum.” Then they pay a fine to cover the cost and replacement of the magnet if they throw it away or if they don’t have it on their vehicles during the required period. I’m so bad and evil. But really, it seems that driving is getting to be a barometer of the soul. Does no one have the ability to just take it down a notch?

Jesus, save us. Give us a sense of identity in you. Don’t permit any of us to be tender snowflakes. Make us tough, that is, Lord, have us be good and kind and courteous and polite and respectful. Have us be safe so that we can be good stewards of soul and body, which are to be tabernacles of the Holy Spirit, at peace and peaceful, joyful in your presence. Amen.

At peace and peaceful. Joyful. Amen.

3 Comments

Filed under Road danger, Situational awareness, Spiritual life

Basic coping mechanisms in societal and geo-political breakdown: Go to…

tactics 2

Whatever one thinks about anything 2nd amendment (gun rights), there are some tactics which are essential to everyone’s life regardless of whether or not one carries, tactics which, knowing them well and putting them into practice, is a huge service to oneself, to one’s neighbor, to society.

  • The Crucial Advantage: Preventing violent attacks before they happen [I thought this might just be a short pamphlet with some throw away lines, but, no, 266 pages of tightly scripted text book; I’m impressed.]
  • How to Control Conflict and De-escalate Threats (DVD & guide) [So, if you can’t prevent violence, is there a way to control the conflict and deescalate? Much excellent advice here, also that which requires study. Excellent.]
  • Advanced Gunfighting and Survival Tactics [In the heat of an uncontrollable situation, are there nevertheless useful tactics that benefit you, others, society? This is multiple DVD course which needs ongoing training, bringing much together. Great!]
  • The Gift of Fear [Throwing a spotlight on a balanced approach to situational awareness, not paranoid, not naive, entering deep into the human psyche in a fallen world.
  • On Killing [Analysis of what goes on in the fallen human psyche when faced with the mere possibility of killing, for instance, in self-defense, whether in war or in society; a balanced outlook that makes the difference between being mowed down or having no conscience whatsoever.]
  • Defeating Jihad [Trying to wrap your mind around confronting violence for the sake of violence? Meet Sebastian Gorka. He makes an extraordinary analogy between the ideology of the USSR and that of ISIS. Perfect.]
  • Left of Bang [Superb presentation of situational awareness.]

tactics 1

But I’ll tell you this, none of this can be brought to perfection without first being good with God. For instance, if one is already being dead and on one’s way to heaven, that is, as far as one knows having nothing on one’s conscience, that means everything as far as one’s engagement is concerned, as far as one’s prudence and emotions and fear and reason can be properly utilized in whatever situation. Rule number one: Go to confession.

5 Comments

Filed under Guns

Situational awareness: an essential exercise in deescalation. Distinctions

situational awareness color code

Prosecuting Attorney: Do you exercise situational awareness at all times?

Defendant in self-defense case: Yes.

Prosecuting Attorney: Because you are paranoid and want to take someone out? You’re guilty as sin.

Defendant in self-defense case: No. Situational awareness isn’t concerned with feeling threatened without cause; that’s paranoia, and paranoia is what goes hand in hand with feeling aggressive without cause. That’s dangerous. Instead – and having nothing to do with paranoia – true situational awareness is directed at evaluating circumstances with an eye to deescalation. A responsible upstanding citizen is interested in peace, even to the point of removing oneself from a situation if at all possible, doing more than the law requires on behalf of peace. Being oblivious and naive is unhelpful to oneself, to the community, and indeed, to any possible aggressor who may have his opportunity for aggression removed by a responsible citizen practicing situational awareness.

//===// So, how have you developed your situational awareness today?

5 Comments

Filed under Deescalation