Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Origins

Expert Witness? Well, yeah. In about four decades as a peace officer, I've unavoidably spent a certain amount of time on the witness stand. Everything from municipal court traffic cases to the occasional murder prosecution. I've also done a fair amount of teaching in law enforcement and jail schools.

First, let's consider "Expert." Break it down.
"Ex": A former condition of being; something that once was but is not now; A Has Been.

"Spurt," of course, is a drip under pressure.

Some years ago, I was picked to serve on the Investigators Instruction Staff of the former Texas Prosecutors Council. The Texas District & County Attorneys Association board wanted a staff of experienced investigators who could travel and teach two-day courses on "Making a Winning Court Case." One of the key elements was that we ALWAYS taught at venues at least a hundred miles from our home counties. The theory, of course, is that one definition of an expert is: a man with a briefcase more than fifty miles from home.

There's also a little custom amongst cops --and, I'd wager, medical persons, firefighters, and other career fields -- that, if you're far enough from home, tales of derring-do, and humorous situations as well, experienced by others may be adopted as one's own.

Okay - - This blog will be about things that interest me. If they happen to interest you, I'll be gratified, because it'll mean that I've furnished some measure of entertainment and/or some small amusement to my readers. I have some fairly varied interests - -

Cop stuff, of course. Cops-and-Robbers adventures are interesting, but high speed chases and shootouts and fist fights are but a small part of the Peace Officer's life. But, you know, some of that there law stuff is really interesting reading. And forensic science? There's some amazing things happening there - - and was, a long time before the Quincy, M.E. and CSI television series went on the air..

Hunting, shooting sports, guns and things like that. And, of course, reading about other people's experiences. Handloading. A little modest ballistic research and experimentation.

History. I finally managed to earn a baccalaureate in history from a decent university. I never cherished the idea of teaching history, but I knew that if I did, I wouldn't do it with a view to forcing students to memorize a bunch of boring dates and key words. If we can't learn something useful from history, why bother? More on that later on.

Books. I love books. 'Way back in grade school, I read dictionaries and the encyclopedia for fun. I learned lots of apparently unrelated but kinda interesting facts. I later began to form some half-baked ideas about how a lot of this stuff was kinda sorta related. I read up all the war and military and aviation books in the school library, and went to the public library on weekends. And then I discovered science fiction: Another entire chapter in my elementary and early high school career. Never outgrew it, of course, but it was all consuming there for a while.

Movies - - Not so much as books, but I spent a LOT of time in theatres over the years.

Government and the "social sciences" become interesting to me when tied in with the U.S. constitution and the Bill of Rights.

I wish I could say I'm really interested in computers and cyberstuff. In fact, i like them only as a means to an end. Something from which to learn, to aid in research, and to entertain me when I learn new things.

This little introduction is becoming pretty long. I think I'll shut it down for now, while I still have some stuff about which to write, tomorrow or the next day.

33 comments:

The Other Elle said...

Let's see...likes science fiction, books in general, history...

And is a personal hero of LawDog.

OK, you're on my Google Homepage! I'll put you right after 6YearMed and before LawDog Files and Farmgirl's Tractor Tracks. I like to keep things alphabetical.

It's the librarian in me.

Welcome to the blogosphere!

Ambulance Driver said...

Welcome to the blogosphere, JPG!

crazy baby lainy said...

Glad to see you out here in blogsville. :)

Maybe now you and DB should consider a laptop so you both can blog at the same time. Just a thought.

RobC said...

Welcome to the crazy world of blogging JPG.
Looking foreward to your expert opinions. :-)

Tom said...

I can tell this is going to be a good one. I can't wait to read some of your posts. I'm in LE in Illinois. I can tell by the way you write you'll tell a good story.

Mr. Police Man said...

I can't wait to hear your words of wisdom.

Ky Person said...

Fellow history lover here sir. I'm going off Sunday to a Civil War site near my home. Am looking forward to reading your posts.

IronShirt said...

I look forward to reading your posts. I have been following the adventures of LawDog for a while now. It has been quite an education for a dumb civilian like me. Most of what I thought I knew about law enforcement has come through movies and TV. It is good to hear the straight scoop from the folks who were there rather than filtered through the Hollywood fantasy machine. I certainly hope that you, LawDog, and all your LE and military buddies will keep on blogging. Your blog sounds as if it will be a great one.

JoeMerchant24 said...

Welcome to the show, sir.

Matt G said...

Good Start

5150Wife said...

Welcome to Blogdom!

Wow, you look so much like your eldest. Or, perhaps more fitting, he looks so much like you. Either way you look at it, that's a good thing. :-)

K-

Mark Seymour said...

Glad to see another in the LawDog clan is blogging. (I'm at ricorant.blogspot.com if you want to look, and comments always welcome.)
This is what happens when Good Old Boy meets the Twenty-first Century.
Welcome to the blogosphere.

Rico

Flo said...

JPG, I love your way with words and I am so happy to see you here in the blog world! I am looking forward to reading your posts.

Matt G said...

Holy crap! I just noticed the time stamp on this post.

Folks, Dad lives a good 15 minutes from my house, from which I ran him off at about 20:20 hours last night, to put my kids to bed. He banged out his first substantial post in under 20 minutes after hitting his driveway.

Whoa. Expect big content.

Good stuff.

Hobie said...

May I extend my own humble welcome? I'll be reading daily (now the pressure is really on).

;-D

LauraB said...

Oh, yes...this is going to be good. Added to Favorites in record time. Thanks to Lawdog for the linkage...

Ol' Lurker said...

A man who thinks of himself as a "peace officer" and is a friend of LD has to be ... as my old dad would say ... a man who'll do to ride the river with. I've added you to my "daily reads" and look forward to reading what you have to say. Best wishes.

Mark said...

With the Exceptions that I havent finished my degree and I spent 10 years in Security not Commisioned Police, your post almost describes me. Military history nut, enjoys sci-fi, writes some stuff, never turned in any homework in school, but I'd sit there and read the dictionaries and encyclopedia's and still pass the test. Sir, are you sure that we aren't related?

Old NFO said...

Welcome Sir :-)Since I'm current acting as an expert to the Navy, I can't agree more with your definition...LOL

Since I'm currently 7000 miles from home, I guess I can use EVERYBODIES stories...

Kate said...

Welcome to the blogosphere. While I am quite dense on all the gun stuff, I enjoy reading and trying to learn about it all, but it looks to me like your blog is going to be so much more than that, it will be a pleasure to read. You're bookmarked for sure!

Rabbit said...

I look forward to a daily reading of your notes. Glad Matt talked you into it.

Regards,
Rabbit.

Don Gwinn said...

Yes, yes, welcome aboard.

Now make with the embarassing Matt stories. Being mean to him on the internet has sort of become my blog theme.

dr mac said...

Your references doth proceed you. Your already on my "favorites" list.

Good Luck !

~Fathairybastard~ said...

Sounds like we have a lot in common. I don't make them memorize dates. The meat of things is much more fun to talk about.

Jerry The Geek said...

Welcome.

Write early, write often. That rascal Lawdog sometimes misses a day, or two, or even three. I need my daily dose of A Good Read.

Nancy said...

Best thing to do? Write what makes you happy to say. Write what you think others might need to know...

Get mad, or get happy, just get writing!

:o)

ABG said...

Love the pic! I'm excited to see what comes next. You always do tell a good story! I've got my eye on you , mister.

Papa Ray said...

Jeez, looks like you got a crowd gathered for a good yarn.

Count me in too, but don't worry about the crowd, do just like Nancy suggested and everybody will have a great time.

Thanks for your service and thanks for sharing.

Papa Ray

Anonymous said...

"a man with a briefcase more than fifty miles from home."

Medical field variation - "someone from another town, with slides"

Welcome, your references bode well.

farmist

g bro said...

I didn't know you were a history graduate, although in previoous posts you have demonstrated credentials as a historian.

I'm looking forward to reading your stuff.

OK Katrina said...

Sir,
An interesting and informative introduction. I truly look forward to reading more. Welcome!

DW said...

You've still got the eye, and I can se the humor. You look like the guys I would hang with growing up.
By the wat, your first post got more comments than any of my 300 posts, I'm afraid to count, you may have beaten my total.
Welcome

skywriter said...

you got more comments than I get in a week. And rightly so. We're looking forward to more from you.

Glad there's folks like you out there.