On the Senseless Death of the Unborn

It is with profound sorrow that I write about another senseless termination of an unborn life.

The wanton and needless destruction of this life potential makes me question the very nature of life in this universe.

Why does this happen?

The poor lifestyle choice of one, or perhaps both, parents causes a living potential to be destroyed.

What could they have accomplished had they been given the opportunity to live?

What joy might have they brought to others given the opportunity to behold them, to watch them grow, to see them reach their full potential?

What might they have done if poor choices hadn’t dictated a premature termination of it’s life?

They will never open their eyes.

Never inhale the first breath.

Never take in the wonder of this world

Never feel the warmth of the sun.

Never feel a cooling breeze.

Never meet others like them.

Never grow to make their own choices.

Never know if their choices would lead to a continuity of life, or a senseless termination.

All choices have consequences.

We have come to be a world where consequences are explained away, minimized, perhaps even ignored.

Make the choice, cause a foreseeable result, and just move on. Free to make the same poor choices again, perhaps with different consequences, or worse, and no expectation to learn from the actions we set in motion.

But I write because I was fortunate enough know one being, or more correctly one potential being, that will forever be denied the opportunity to make a choice.

I had the opportunity to try and minimize the damage of the parent’s poor decision.

I made an effort to undo nature’s course, and I did not succeed.

So it is with profound regret that I write about the premature passing of the unknown species of bird that I tried to hatch.

I came upon the egg as the nest fell from one of our jetways at the Southwest Florida International Airport, Fort Myers.

The local birds sometimes make the poor choice of building nests in areas that at first appear a perfect choice.


High off the ground.

Devoid of common predators

Near abundant food and water.

And, unfortunately, moveable.

More often then not we find the eggs broken.

But this was different, I was right there as the nest, mostly intact, slid through as the jetway moved and the egg came to rest.

It was still warm.

With the nest destroyed, there was nowhere to return the egg. Not to mention that birds are not exactly welcome at airports. Just ask Captain Sullenberger and the passengers of the USAir plane that became a boat on the Hudson.

So I thought I’d take a chance with an artificial nest (a box of Kleenex) and a warm light.

With the amount of information instantly available online you’d think instructions on raising an unidentified, but hardly unusual, egg would be included.

It is not.

So I decided to wing it. (Pun intended)

Based on the information on indigenous birds of Southwest Florida I narrowed the species down and set up the makeshift incubator.

The dogs were fascinated.

They had never seen me take so long to make them eggs for their meal.

I did my best to maintain a consistent temperature.

We monitored the egg looking for any signs of development.

We tried, we really did.

Well, the dogs more for selfish culinary purposes than any noble preservation of life. They had never heard of 10 day scrambled egg but they were willing to try it.

I should have known not to try and change evolution.

Evolution is successful precisely because it weeds out, albeit over an extended period of time, bad parenting lineage.

Build your nest in a moveable jetway, the eggs get crushed, and the gene lineage for poor nesting location selection is slowly, inexorably, weeded out.

I gave my egg-encased bird a name, Charles. It was a demonstration of my overall optimistic outlook on life.

I believed he might make it.

Unfortunately, it is my duty to announce the passing of
Charles “Chuck” the (Species Unknown) Bird, 2-?-2013 to 2-28-2013.

A life denied, a potential unrealized.

The dogs were heartbroken.

They love scrambled eggs.

Excerpt from my upcoming first novel “A Collision of Faith”

Suddenly, three alert tones on the radio,

“201, 202, 2S1”

“Report of shots fired, Kent Farm, Gemini Drive, Black male armed with a rifle, multiple
victims, respond Code 3″

“2Lincoln1” the voice of Lieutenant Charley Ackerly came over the radio.

“2Lincoln1, stand by, further info on shooter, last seen”

The radio became a mess of unintelligible noises as several cars all tried calling at once. Finally, silence.

“2Lincoln1 to dispatch YOU stand by, I am on Gemini now and there is nothing here, NOTHING, got it, tell those damn cars to slow down, do you still have the caller on the line?”

“All units, from 2Lincoln1, slow down, nothing showing on Gemini. Caller hung up, Lieutenant. No other calls”

“2Lincoln1, have two units, and only two units respond here and look around, pull the 911 recording I’ll be in the station in five minutes”

More alert tones.

“202, 207, 2S1, 2Lincoln1” the dispatcher, one of the good ones, was rattled, “Armed Robbery , shots fired, Cumberland Farms, Taunton Ave at City Hall, witness says two people shot in the head, suspect on foot, east toward Broadway, light skinned black male, 6 foot, hooded sweatshirt, witness says suspect armed with sawed off shotgun”

“2Lincoln1, we are getting multiple calls on this one, suspect running towards 6 Corners”

Every cop now knew the first call was bullshit, this was the real one, the other a pathetic ruse.

“Now we get to do some real work, Cheeks, and we are right there” Josh jumped on the accelerator and the car stalled. “fucking moron city mechanics, can’t they even tune a car properly!” Josh restarted the car and headed onto Grosvenor ave and there he was. Josh threw the car into park and was out the door.

The guy in the hoodie saw the unmarked car for what it was and ran. It was clear he was holding something under the sweatshirt as he ran. Josh yelled into the radio for cars to move onto Grosvenor to cut him off. As he did this he remembered all those times he told people “Don’t yell into the radio, it makes it unreadable”. Yet he continued to yell locations. Adrenaline is a compelling chemical.

The suspect seemed injured because as he was running there was a strangeness to his movements, a stiffness in the right leg, an awkward running motion.

“Maybe he has the shotgun down his pants?” Josh thought.

But he was still pretty quick. John St onto Grove St into the church parking lot. As they neared Saint Domenicks, he heard one of the cars call they had a suspect in custody. Strange how that could be since Josh was gaining on the guy and still had him in sight.

“Maybe there was a second guy?” No time to think about it, his guy was right there in front of him and Josh was gaining ground. The suspect turned onto the stairs and ran into the church. Josh called that he was still chasing the suspect fitting the description and radioed that he was entering the front and to set up a perimeter outside the church.

Churches are always dark. Probably to enhance the mystery or the fear depending on the particular religious flavor. Saint Domenick’s was no different, Dark wood pews and altar, minimal lighting to save money, probably to pay all those lawsuits from altar boys used for unadvertised purposes.

Father Jim, now the Pastor of this church, heard the door open, saw Jo-Jo run in, and dive behind the altar. As soon as he saw Jo-Jo he knew him right away, one doesn’t forget a face you’ve seen over and over in your mind every night for 15 years.

Father Jim closed the door enough so he couldn’t be seen but could still see out. He watched Jo-Jo crouch down and pull something from his sweatshirt. He couldn’t quite make it out but it looked like a gun.

“On my God, he thinks Father MacLoughlin is still here, or he’s coming for me. Mary Mother of God why now, after all this time?” Another sound drew his attention to the front of the church. He saw Josh come in, low, fast, and with his weapon drawn. “Thank God” he thought, “Josh must have seen him come in, he’ll stop him”.

Josh had his Sig Sauer out. He was one of a few that refused to go to the Glock, he preferred the precision of the Sig to the more commonly used Glock. The Sig has nice low light sights, fit well in his hand, and gave him the confidence needed should the opportunity arise.

And precisely at that moment, it did.

Movement to the right.

Blue hooded head behind the altar moved toward the Sacristy.

“Stop right there you motherfucker or I will blow that fucking hood off with your head in it”

While the language was a tool to get the guy’s immediate and complete attention, Josh was struck by the irony of such words being directed at a individual on an altar in a Catholic Church. Josh had long ago come to see the fallacy and contradictions of organized religion. But 12 years of CCD and Church every Sunday is a hard habit to break. There was an ingrained discomfit with those words, spoken in anger, here on a platform many viewed as sacred.

People say time slows down during a dramatic event. What actually happens is the brain comes alive. It focuses its’ innate resources and power to create a more in-depth and complete record of the activity. The mind’s ability to gather, evaluate, and record is exceptional and rarely fully used, except when confronted with what could be it’s sudden and immediate termination.

Nothing brings clarity like the unwelcome opportunity to die.

Twenty-five feet separated Josh from someone who had likely shot two people in the head.

Father Jim heard Josh yell, heard the words spoken in anger. “Why would anyone use those words in a Church?” He almost opened the door fully but hesitated when he saw the guy trying to move towards the door.

Josh moved closer, aiming his weapon at Jo-Jo.

Father Jim saw Jo-Jo starting to move again “My God, he’s pointing a gun at me!” …….and then he heard the voice, it sounded older, but was the same sadness from all those many years ago…….

“I tried to get him to stop, I tried to get him to stop….”

Josh tried to focus on the guys hand’s. Eyes betray emotion, falsehood, and fear. Hands will kill you. Looks can’t kill, trigger fingers do. The guy kept looking from Josh to the sacristy, perhaps measuring his chances of making it out there without getting shot. He was talking but Josh couldn’t make it out

“Was there someone else there?” Josh looked at his legs, one was bent in the classic sniper crawl, knee angled away from the body, sliding him forward, the other was straight back with his foot trying to contribute to the motion. “which part of don’t move motherfucker aren’t you getting, asshole?”. Josh yelled again “stop moving now or you are a dead man”

The guy slowed his movement.

But something was wrong, “Where were his hands , where the fuck were his hands!”

Josh saw a flash of metal “a gun?, a barrel? damn it!” moving from under his leg toward Josh.

” Look for the hands, the hands will hurt you” he thought.

Then he saw the hand moving towards him, holding something black, lifting it towards him.

Josh heard the voice, clearer, pleading, almost sobbing.

” I tried to get him to stop, I tried to get him to stop”. The voice was crying.

Josh thought ” oh man the guys a nut, a nut with a gun and trying to point it at me!”

Father Jim closed the door.

The click of the latch echoed throughout the church, sounding louder than he’d ever heard.

Josh looked through the sites and brought his aim to center mass.


“Misfire? Is he trying to fire the weapon, why the fuck won’t he stop moving?”

There comes a time in every potentially fatal encounter….where potentiality is overcome by the instinct to survive. The decision is made, it’s just the mechanics of the process that remain.

Josh took a breath, and squeezed.

13 pounds of trigger pull is all it takes for the first round and 3 pounds after that with the DASA (double action, single action) Josh preferred. Josh fired three rounds, saw them impact, saw the involuntary jerk of the body, saw the pink spray from the round that hit the head, Smelled the powder burn and blood.

Father Jim heard more yelling…….and then three shots.

“I tried to get him to stop”. And finally, Jo-Jo stopped moving.

Father Jim opened the door a bit and looked out again, saw Josh leaning over the guy, trying to stop the bleeding, doing CPR, and could hear Josh yelling at the guy not to die.

And Father Jim once again did what he had done on that terrible night so long ago. He quietly walked back into the residence connected to the church and waited for them to come find him, where he would deny knowing or seeing anything. For this, he knew there was no absolution.

Jenn Hamlin came running in.

“Josh, Josh!” she yelled.

As she moved closer she saw Josh leaning over the guy. “what the hell was he doing,”she thought.

She yelled “Josh, what the fuck are you do…”

And then she heard him.

“Don’t you die, you motherfucker, don’t you do that to me!”

And she realized he was doing CPR, he was trying to SAVE the guy!

As she got closer, she saw the dark, blood pool under the hood, saw the shattered right side of the head, saw the bubbles in the chest with each of the compressions.

“Josh, Josh, stop, he’s gone” she touched his shoulder.

” Why the fuck did he do that, why did he make me shoot him?” Josh was yelling “I told him to stop, I tried to get him to stop….”. Echoing the guy’s very last words.

“it’s okay, you had no choice, come on with me, let’s go outside”

Several other officers arrived and started securing the scene.

A cell phone rang and the officers looked at the body, the cell phone was in Jo-Jo’s hand.

They looked towards Josh and then turned away, trying to look busy.

Jenn took Josh outside and sat on the front stairs. “look at me” she said “you did what you had to do, you had no choice, he shot two people, he would have shot you, it’s okay, you’ll be okay”

Sgt. Adam Stevenson, Internal affairs, came over to Hamlin. “L T can I talk to you for a moment”

“it can wait” Jenn said “wait until the shooting team gets here, I want to stay with Josh”

“No, L T, it can’t wait”.

“Josh” she said gently “I will be right back” Josh continued to stare off into the sky, shaking his head.

When they had moved a distance away Stevenson said “did you see a weapon in there?”

Jenn was angry “you fucking leech, you haven’t been here thirty seconds and you want to fuck him over? He just killed someone for God’s sake, show some compassion”

Stevenson glanced over at Josh.

“We have another guy in custody, but no weapon yet, and he has a major fucking fracture in his skull”

“Good” Jenn said “I’d open the prick up myself if he was here”

Stevenson continued “there’s more, the witness says he” motioning his head toward the church “may have tried to stop the robbery”

Jenn looked at Stevenson, confused “What the hell are you talking about?”

“Lieutenant” Stevenson said “according to the witness, the guy in the church, the one Josh just shot, tried to STOP the robbery, he clocked the guy we have in custody with the shotgun”

Jenn couldn’t quite get her mind around this. How could this be?

Trying something new

As many of you know I am in the midst of publishing my first novel. It is a trying, difficult, yet exhilarating experience. That work, Collision of Faith, is in the publishing review process.

Meanwhile, I am experimenting with different writing genre.

So I though I would put this out there for your comments. It is in an entirely different venue, science fiction, but hey, nothing ventured nothing gained.

Please if you take the time to read it, comment on it, good, bad, the important thing is you take the time to comment. I truly appreciate it all


Everyone knows of him, he knows no one.

It is all changed.

Memories no longer matter.

He has outlived memory.

When the Quantum Link Interface Monitor detected the last transmission, it began the termination sequence.

He would awaken in a completely unfamiliar world .

He’d been informed of things since the journey began, but it was through the neural link, not actual experience.

His life reduced to a blog he couldn’t write.

He saw the changes take place, but it was not real, not yet anyway. His “real” memories were of quantum jumps through the universe over unimagined distances. But, then again, was that any more, or less, real?

The first sensations of coldness and warmth.

Sensations of plunging skin chilled by winter air into running water, the neurons confused, sending mixed signals of warmth, then cold, then hot, until settling into familiar recognition of the temperature.

He heard, actually felt, sounds for the first time in a long time.

The neural link had manipulated his brain into believing the audio and visual stimuli, but these sounds vibrated in his ears, he could feel and hear it.

Strange and familiar all at once. Real.

He heard voices, clinical, focused, not directed at him but about him.

“Ready to remove the light dampening systems and reinstate eye functionality?”

“On my mark, slowly bring the artificial dampening unit down in 10 % increments I want the eye function to be gradual. Monitor corneal activity for any signs of deterioration”


He could feel light as it reached his cornea. His eyes felt, warmth. The iris began to move. He felt it all, these were new, yet vaguely familiar, sensations.


He could detect movement, only lines and shadows, but he was “seeing” again.

Then, he heard the voice from long ago, one he would never forget, “Alec, its me Nadie, in a few minutes you will be able to open your eyes, wait until I tell you to, okay? Alec, nod your head if you understand”

Alesdair “Alec” MacGregor, after a moment’s concentration recalling the processes of muscle movement, nodded his head and it was as if he had never felt movement before, he had memories of moving his body, but this was different, this was, real. The neurons firing, the muscle’s contracting and relaxing were all electric, he felt every pulsing cell as they responded to the stimuli.

That voice, that wonderful, beautiful voice, how he had longed for this moment. “Alec, I want you to try to open your eyes, slowly, understand? Slowly”

Alec concentrated on his eyes, he could feel the movement, he could feel the warmth of light on his eyelids, he felt the eyes as they moved against the eyelids. He was deliberate in his focus, he recalled the pre-mission briefing, functionality will be fully restored but you must proceed slowly and follow the recovery teams instructions.

He began to open his eyes, light divided by his eyelashes came through the gap, took shape, warmed his eyes. They continued to widen, slowly, deliberately, until more movement was apparent. Then, color, amazing, intense, vibrant color, red. He recognized the red lights used in equipment to minimize reducing the eyes’ light gathering ability in low light conditions. Everything was red, glowing, moving, confusing.

“Alec, can you move your eyes around, I want to insure full range of motion and functionality.”

He moved his eyes up and down, left and right, things began to focus, he recognized people, rather
the shapes as people, no one was familiar.

“Alec, look all around you, there are quite a few people here to see this moment, ready to try more motion?”

He nodded his head again.

“Okay, try moving your right arm”

It took him a moment, he had to force his brain to recognize the limb, he lifted the arm and tried to flex his hand, again the motion was delayed until the brain reminded itself of the function process, the hand flexed. He switched to his left side, as he did the right arm slumped back to the table.

Until he brought focus to a limb it remained immobile. Gradually this changed.

“Alec, you are doing great, take your time, we’ll have you up an about in few minutes”

Progress was indeed rapid, as the autonomic functions were fully restore, Alec’s control over his movements became more refined and stable. He rose from the table and took his first steps in centuries.

He began to look around the room, there were five other people with him, but only one he recognized, Nadie.

But how was this possible?


The scientist turned and looked at Alec “well, it’s about time you got home” smiling that beautiful smile and walking towards him.

He reached out, requiring a great deal of focus, and hugged her. She felt wonderful, she felt as he had remembered her when they first met in the research lab. But how? It had been over three thousand years ago.

“All will be explained Alec, give yourself some time to grow accustomed to being on your own and I will tell you the whole story”

“Can I go outside, I want to breathe real air”

“Let’s give it a few more minutes then I will take you for a walk, okay?”

Alec nodded and sat back down. Every motion brought new sensations, every muscle movement was enlightening. He looked at the various instruments and controls within the room. All of it was unfamiliar, he recognized none of the people or the name tags on their lab coats. All except Nadie.

Walking to a mirrored wall, he knew it to be an observation portal, he looked at himself. He was 32 years old when the project started and he looked exactly as he recalled that day. Yet, he had more memories than any 32 year old human had ever experienced.

He had seen worlds orbiting stars whose light was too faint or obstructed to reach Earth. He had been into wormholes, time vortexes, had ridden Einstein’s light wave and demonstrated that Light speed itself is relative and time flexible and easily manipulated.

Now he had “returned”.

The Quantum Linked Remote Entity, having fulfilled it’s purpose, terminated, and the last of the memories recorded in his mind and in the Quantum Integrated Storage Medium.

He had seeded several thousand worlds with bacteria, single-celled organisms, human and animal DNA in an attempt to stimulate the development of life. His mission was over, now they would send a second mission on the same path to measure the results. Would he be around to see the conclusion?

That depended greatly on the progress made on the “problem”.

For my daughter, in whom I am well pleased.

The birth of a child brings a total upheaval to one’s life. From the moment of birth, to when they first open their eyes and smile, to the time they first head out a door on their own, they encompass your every waking, and most sleeping, moments.

The first time they fall asleep you can’t help checking on them every five minutes, followed quickly by the time they argue about not going to sleep, it is an ever changing influence on your life.

Gradually, at first, and then with ever increasing speed the transformation takes place. From the first independent steps, to the time they head off to school, to that first solo trip in a car, to their selecting a college, they go from total dependence, to total (well mostly) independence.

On the day of my daughter’s birth, at the moment she was only a few minutes old, the nurse took me along as she cleaned her up.

I stood absolutely useless, having no idea what to do.

The nurse, an experienced old hand at this, smiled and said “Talk to her, she knows your voice.”

So I bent down and said “Hi, Kelsey”

Eyes opened, she looked towards the sound of my voice.

Instant tears.

The nurse laughed and said “works every time”

And so it has continued.

Every new stage bringing new joys, fears, hopes. There is no describing the pleasure of being part of her transformation from a child, needing guidance every step of the way, to an accomplished, articulate, thoughtful, and independent young woman who, more often than I care to admit, points me in the right direction.

So that which began some twenty-four years ago ends and a new stage begins.

She heads off on her own independent path in life.

We’ve done what we could to provide her with the opportunities.

She has taken advantage of these and made more of them than I could have ever imagined.

Someday, I know, she will be that initial guiding influence on another new life.

She will be a great one.

She will also know the bittersweet moment of recognizing the time for letting fully go has arrived.

I wouldn’t have missed this for the world.

But for now, we get to relax a bit, take some measure of satisfaction in a job well done, and see where this all leads.

For with my daughter Kelsey, in whom I am well pleased, the world is a better place.





Nostalgia and defeating the seat belt warning

I, like most people that are online and “connected”, are inundated with nostalgic emails touting the “good old days”. Some are quite touching in spite of their superficial treatment of history.

Harmless I suppose.

So I thought I would indulge in one of my own.

I received my driver’s license when I was 16 years old (1972, and yes we had cars).

The first time I began conscientiously wearing a seat belt was most likely around 1992 when my daughter, who would have been four years old, was aware enough of the need to tell my wife if I didn’t.

She, of course, took great pleasure in this, I may add.

In those intervening 20 years, I had driven several hundred thousand miles, many of them as a Police Officer, in less then ideally maintained police cars, at high speeds, in all sorts of weather conditions, all without wearing a seatbelt.

I apparently defied the odds.

I miss those days. Sometimes, late at night, on the way home from work, which today consists of a 7.4 mile trip, I release the seatbelt a good .1 miles before I arrive home.

My idea of rebellion having mellowed a bit over the years.

I miss the ingenuity of Americans coming up with ways to defeat those seatbelt warning buzzers and lights.

I miss the days of getting into a car and not having the seatbelt connector act as a surrogate proctologist.

Nostalgia, by it’s very nature, must ignore more truths than it reminds us of but it is a momentary indulgence for which we should all occasionally partake.

In the interest of the full disclosure, while I was on the Police department, I had the occasion to arrive at a car accident in which one of my best friends was involved. He was likely saved by the fact that he was wearing a seat belt.

I went to the hospital with him and took great pleasure in poking at the bruises, with the assistance of the ER physician, left by the seatbelt. I was glad he had the seat belt on. Not only because it offered me a medically supervised way to torture him, but it gave me more years to benefit from the friendship.

A short time after this incident, I received one of the calls cops get all the time in the middle of the night. I answered in my usual way “Hello, who’s dead?”

Th answer was as I had assumed, someone was in fact dead. Another good friend, in a car accident. He hated seat belts as much as I did.

So, enjoy the nostalgia of your past, laugh about the things you remember, the risks you took, but what the hell wear the seat belt.