Playing Hide And Seek In Plain Sight

21756761One late afternoon I was piddling around in my shop when I get a text message from my son. He wanted to try out the effectiveness of his newly finished ghillie suit. He sent me some real general directions to the back of the property where I was to look for him hiding in plain sight. Now, I haven’t seen his new suit so I have no idea what I’m looking for. As I set off on my trek I remembered my Air Force field training which was to look for a few things. First, look for that piece of nature which looks too perfect because nature is one imperfection after another. Second, look for un-natural shapes and oddities which don’t look out of place. Third, look for the straight lines and solid colors. Now, these are good skills to know what to look for when someone is hiding from you to either elude you or to kill you. There are also good to know because the reverse goes into play when making oneself invisible in the environment. When I get to the described location I see that I’m in the area we have roped off to play paint ball with friends and family. All I can think is this will be an ambush of some sorts.

I walked past the back side of the downed tree twice, once going out towards the ridge facing the river and the return trip. It was not until I came around to head back to the river when something caught my eyes, solid color gloves. Busted. Being color blind I have a true unfair advantage because I focus more on the shapes in the woods and not the colors. I would have walked right past him another time if it weren’t for the gloves. But, I wanted to screw with him a bit before I let him know he had been found. I pull out my cell phone and call his mother to tell her we will be a little late for dinner and why. I put my phone in my pocket, turned, and walked away, but not before snapping a picture. I headed to the house and texted him to tell him he did a great job and to head back in. I don’t know if he knew I knew he was mere feet from me so I sent him the picture.

His reaction was different than what I expected. He text me back and told me he will fix the glove visibility. That was it at that time. At dinner time he explained how he watched me walk by him both times and how easily it would have been to unleash a barrage of orange paint balls onto me. He said he considered it but I was wearing my good jacket and my good boots so he waived embarrassing me at that point in time in history. He bragged quite a bit, which is great, because he did an awesome job. We both know I would have been a kill. So, dinner was full of excitement and stories. It’s nice, for me at least, to be able to still go outside and not have to wonder if my kids are still on their phones for whatever reason. You know it’s not enough to be un-plugged any more, we have to have something that competes for their time. Just let it be known that when it is time out here, there isn’t too much competition.

I look forward to our next time out back in our  woods, I better bring my “A Game” because I know I will not be given a second chance twice. Perhaps the next time I bring re-enforcements because multiple sets of eyes are always better than one. My son is always amazing me with what he can come up with and I think that is one reason why he always keeps us guessing as he gets older. Until our next time in the woods ………………

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Just Put It Down And Drive

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Yes, you heard me, I’m sure I’m talking to you, just drive and watch the road around you. These are words I not only preach but I also practice them as well. Those who know me will tell you I will take a phone away from a person if they are behind the drivers wheel of a vehicle when I’m a passenger. Those people who know me would tell you that I say there is no need to be on your phone talking, texting, or surfing because whatever it is can wait. Let’s use these two pictures as an example of what happens when someone takes their eyes off the road to check a text. Unfortunately, now she will pay more to have it fixed than she paid for the car in the first place. Well, the insurance will be paying because she has a zero deductible. I actually need to back all of this up a bit and provide a little history so every bit of this makes sense. But, before we begin, a message to Allison, who I told I was going to write about her and her accident. I hope you understand, Allison, that I’m a bit pissed with you. You were lucky …………….. this time.

To begin with I met Allison some years ago. She was 24 when she decided to get out of the Navy since she said 5 1/2 years of the 6 years was to long. She began as a waitress at Club X and eventually decided she wanted more money and began stripping. She was also going to school full-time at the University of Houston getting her degree in radiology of some sorts. Makes me a bad friend I guess because I can’t recall the specifics, oh well. She knew I would go to state auctions that featured vehicles seized for one reason or another. One weekend she invited herself along with me, my son, and my dad. This older Mercedes caught her eye, she liked it allot because it was a convertible. She got it at a good price in my opinion, $5,700.00, since the original sticker on it was somewhere close to $80,000.00. Of course, at auction, you buy the vehicle “as is” with no warranty or guarantee, so the risk falls fully on the shoulders of the buyer. She obviously thought the risk was worth it at the price she paid. She was real lucky with her great buy, she needed to have the leather replaced on the driver’s seat, had to have the trunk liner replaced, and she had to replace all 4 tires. She put that additional $3,000.00 into the car and she was on her way.

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When she graduated form UH she actively pursued a job that would become her career and soon enough she walked out of the doors of Club X to strip no more for the very last time. Life was pretty good for Allison, her career was going great and she has recently gotten engaged, setting the date for the fall of 2014. She had everything going for her and she couldn’t ask for life to be any better. This past weekend she was on her way to pick up her fiancé to go to the Christmas party being hosted by the hospital she works for when she decided to text him to let him know she was running late. Before she hit “send” all hell broke loose as she came to a very abrupt stop in the middle of the road. She had struck a deer that was standing in the road while she was looking down to send her text. She watched the deer limp off the road and into the tree line then she lost sight of it since it was dark. She called me to ask me what she should do. I informed her that she needed to contact TPWD (Texas Parks & Wildlife Dept.) for the phone number of the game warden in the area because the game warden will come out to the scene to locate the animal. If he finds it he will dispatch it and remove it. Other than being very shook up she was un-injured. She told me that she needed to make some calls and make some arrangements, so thanks for my help.

The following day she sent the pictures to me asking me what I think. What do I think? She really didn’t want to hear what I had to say so I kept it to myself. I will say it here tho, I know she will read it here, and I hope it makes sense to her as I did tell her I was going to write about it and use her accident as an example. She neither agreed or disagreed so I’m just running with it. Here are my thoughts on her accident. One could make the argument that she would have hit the deer regardless of her phone activity. That is both true and false. Had she not taken her eyes off the road she might have had the time to react. So, in reality, that argument is invalid and therefore I deem the subject closed from this point forward. Luckily she was not traveling at a higher speed, she was going around 40mph she says. This could have been much worse than just a trashed Mercedes, a crimpled deer, and her getting her nerves shook up a little. She could have died. She could have killed someone else. For what? A text? In my opinion there is zero excuse for being on your phone while you are driving. If it is so damn important then pull over and handle it. I hope you understand, Allison, that I’m a bit pissed with you. You were lucky …………….. this time.

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