Monday, May 30, 2011

Thank you Bill Pieper - The Hawk-Girl Returns!!!!!!!!!!

One of my co-workers is an amazing photographer. Although if you told him that he would deny every word I just said. Since my redtailed hawk-girl is always showing up when I don't have my camera Bill had his on hand when she showed up the other day. He even had his super dooper telephoto lens. So he kindly took some awesome pictures of her. Even if I did have my camera, I would not have been able to capture the awesome photos like he did. Thank you very much Bill Pieper.

Photo courtesy of William R. Pieper

Photo courtesy of William R. Pieper

The green dress

 As promised pictures from the 100 Club event. I absolutely hate the way this blog program adds pictures. I would like them to be grouped better but after fiddling with it for about 30 minutes....its just going to stay this way. Special thanks to Kathy and Henry for taking pictures as I left my camera on the sink in the bathroom. :-(

The group photo taken before the 100 Club Awards

This is a nice one.

Part of my team from the September event on campus

The Griffins

A little pose before we left for the night.

Kathy and Henry AKA "Jesus"

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

...Not since High School

Yesterday I went on a dreaded shopping trip to Kohls to find some new tennis shoes because mine were pretty much ready to be used for yard work only. I have no idea what possessed me to go to the women's plus size section and see what they had on the rack. First of all, you have to realize I absolutely hate shopping for clothes. For this reason I stick to a safe pair of jean shorts and a t-shirt usually bought in the men's section at Walmart because I don't care for pastel colors. Every time I go shopping it is a cruel reminder that generally stores don't like to keep their plus size section organized or in stock with anything other than the absolute worst fabric available on the market.

For years I have told my sister that we should go into business making REAL plus sized clothing which were affordable, cute, and didn't involve stars, ducks or huge florals. It would be everything you see in the petite stores but in OUR size. From trendy to career wear to formals. Yeah, I'm still a dispatcher.

So, I went to the tiny plus size section and didn't see anything that jumped out at me. They have very few dresses and very few items I am willing to wear. I found a dress that looked cute on the rack but a little voice kept telling me, "You're wasting your time, it will never look that good on you and they don't even have your size." I pulled a dress off the rack that was 2 sizes smaller than I would usually try on and went to the dressing room. "Are you crazy? You're just going to disappoint yourself. But go ahead if you are going to be hardheaded about it, what a perfect chance for me to say I told you so!" I pulled the dress on and while it looked a little stearn, it fit. I couldn't believe it. I looked at the idiot in the mirror and smiled. "Ok so you've been working in the yard a little and maybe you picked up something that was mislabelled." She said back to me a little ticked-off. I went back to the section and found a pair of slacks I saw that were definately not my size but I wanted them for work. Off to the dressing room I went and I was smiling a little when the voice didn't say a word as I pulled them on. They were 4 sizes smaller than I usually wear. I smiled even bigger in the mirror when I turned around to find they weren't sagging off of my butt. Again the voice was silent.

Well, if I can fit in this size in the plus size section I wonder if they have any XL's in the skinny women's section that look fashionable. I walk over there and I must say, I found a few things I might actually wear, but only if I were going to give into my age and show it.

So, I did something drastic! I walked across the walkway into the girls section. This is usually were the teenagers are when they want to wear something cute besides a t-shirt. The voice started laughing at me. "Yeah ummmmm right!!!!!" I saw the cutest green and black dress ever. I had to see if they had an extra large and even then would it fit over my head? I felt myself get really excited when I found an extra large that was marked on the dress and not just the hanger. Off to the dressing room. This is a record for me. If I go into the dressing room more than 2 times it's too much and it's time to go. I put the dress on and looked in the mirror and almost got a little misty. I haven't put this size on since high school. While it's a little tighter than I would usually wear I could hear my friend Ana tell me I shouldn't hide everything under a t-shirt like I usually do. I snapped a few pictures on my cell phone and sent one to Ana making sure I wasn't under some sort of weird chemically induced hysteria. When she confirmed it looked ok I looked back into the mirror and wondered, "Do they change these mirrors to make you look thinner? Maybe I should try another dressing room." It was just that much of a shock. I left the store after trying on a few more things just to make sure I wasn't crazy. Oh and that awesome green and black dress???? It's mine now! I might just have to try it on today to make sure I wasn't temorarily that much smaller. I will post pictures after the 100 Club event. Shhhh it's a surprise.

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Dunning-Kruger effect.

Kruger and Dunning proposed that, for a given skill, incompetent people will:

1.tend to overestimate their own level of skill; to recognize genuine skill in others; to recognize the extremity of their inadequacy;

4.recognize and acknowledge their own previous lack of skill, if they can be trained to substantially improve.

They won a Nobel prize in psychology for their research. Right-O.
I know a place where this exists. I go there often.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


I was informed yesterday that a group of officer and dispatchers from our department will be recognized for our efforts during the September 28th incident on campus by the 100 Club of Central Texas. While I am extremely honored by the nomination, I am writing this not to brag on my acheivement, but rather to say there were more people involved who were not included in this award.

During any major crisis you hope that you have the best people available to be a part of your team to bring everyone home safe. I had a team of people working with me that were the best of the best. Kathy and I would not have been able to do it alone. There were officers and dispatchers who came in early and some on their day off to help us. Matt didn't wait to be told we needed help, he sacrificed his day off and came in to help. We had support services come in to help us answer phones and I never once worried about what they were telling the callers on the other end. We shared a radio channel with Austin Police Department and their dispatchers were incredible. They gave me the radio when our officers were talking and they handled their officers when they needed them. It made everyone feel a bit more comfortable I think rather than one anonymous voice on the radio acknowledging their traffic. We did our job with the best team and we brought our officers home safe.

If you are not familiar with the 100 Club of Central Texas they are a non-profit organization that helps family members of first responders who are killed in the line of duty. They also provide a formal police funeral for K-9's and horses used in mounted patrol after they pass even if they are retired at the time of their death, including a headstone, a flag presented to their handler and a casket spray of flowers.  That's very very cool in my book. You can find the link here.

The awards ceremony is next week and while I am not thrilled about having to wear a dress or getting my picture taken, I will be there. I will be thinking warm thoughts for those who did an outstanding job and who will not be there. Thanks for everything!

Monday, May 2, 2011


Zen Moment
The beautiful Red-tailed Hawk remains elusive. I have found that every single time I bring my camera she doesn't come out and perch at her usual place. Until she comes out, here are some entertaining squirrel pics. :-)

Oh Hai!

Could I please have another cracker?
I'm very friendly