Tuesday, May 15, 2018

National Police Week

The history of Police Week:
In 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation which designated May 15 as Peace Officers Memorial Day and the week in which that date falls as Police Week. Currently, tens of thousands of law enforcement officers from around the world converge on Washington, DC to participate in a number of planned events which honor those that have paid the ultimate sacrifice.

The Memorial Service began in 1982 as a gathering in Senate Park of approximately 120 survivors and supporters of law enforcement. Decades later, the event, more commonly known as National Police Week, has grown to a series of events which attracts thousands of survivors and law enforcement officers to our Nation's Capital each year.

The National Peace Officers Memorial Service, which is sponsored by the Grand Lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police, is one in a series of events which includes the Candlelight Vigil, which is sponsored by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF) and seminars sponsored by Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.)

National Police Week draws in between 25,000 to 40,000 attendees. The attendees come from departments throughout the United States as well as from agencies throughout the world. This provides a unique opportunity to meet others who work in law enforcement. In that spirit, the Fraternal Order of Police DC Lodge #1 sponsors receptions each afternoon and evening during Police Week. These events are open to all law enforcement personnel and are an experience unlike any other.

So this week we honor those who serve in the various law enforcement services around this country.

The heart of the week is centered on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial. The next few posts show the memorial and the special aspect it takes on for this week.

National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial

About the Memorial:
The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial is centered in the 400 block of E Street, NW, Washington, DC and is the nation’s monument to law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty. Dedicated on October 15, 1991, the Memorial honors federal, state and local law enforcement officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice for the safety and protection of our nation and its people.

The Memorial features two curving, 304-foot-long blue-gray marble walls. Carved on these walls are the names of more than 21,000 officers who have been killed in the line of duty throughout U.S. history, dating back to the first known death in 1791. Unlike many other memorials in Washington, DC, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial is ever-changing: new names of fallen officers are added to the monument each spring, in conjunction with National Police Week.

Designed by architect Davis Buckley, the Memorial sits on three acres of federal park land in an area of Washington, DC called Judiciary Square, the historic seat of our nation’s judicial branch of government. The Memorial grounds boast plush carpets of grass, nearly 60,000 plants and 128 trees. Each April, more than 10,000 daffodils bloom at the site, providing a burst of color for visitors. The Memorial’s central plaza features an intricate paving pattern and a bronze medallion with the Memorial Fund logo: a blue shield with a red rose draped across it.

Bordering the Memorial’s beautifully landscaped park are the two tree-lined "pathways of remembrance" where the names of the fallen officers are engraved. Each of the pathway entrances is adorned with a powerful statuary grouping of an adult lion protecting its cubs. Sculpted by Raymond Kaskey, the bronze statues symbolize the protective role of law enforcement officers and convey the strength, courage and valor that are hallmarks of those who serve and protect.

A number of commemorative ceremonies are held at the Memorial each year, and the site is visited by nearly a quarter million people annually. The Memorial’s beauty and tranquility make it a special place for reflection, contemplation or just a quiet moment away from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Honoring the Fallen

Honoring the Four Legged Police

Also honored at the memorial were the dogs of the police force. This was very moving.

Monday, May 14, 2018

I Dreamed of Toast

I had the strangest dream the other day. I dreamt of toast. Yes toast. I don't remember exactly what happened in the dream. But the upshot was it was important to make toast and to make sure it did not burn.

As I was waking up I thought I smelled toast. I put off to remembering the end of the dream. But as I became more awake I did indeed smell toast in my bedroom. I thought for a few moments about this and just put it off to the dream. But once I was fully awake my room smelled like toast.

I was concerned that maybe I'd left something on somehow. But that made no sense. The toaster oven I have has a timer and would have gone off hours ago. I decided to go down stairs and see if I could smell anything down stairs.

As it turned out I didn't smell anything at all.

I should say I had a fan running in my window over night. I thought for a moment that the smell be coming from outside. Behind my house is one of those micro brew pub. But since I didn't smell the smell at the back of the house It wasn't coming from there.

I went outside to see if I could pick up the scent. But to no avail.

I went back upstairs to my bedroom and again there was the toast smell. Still couldn't figure out where it was coming from.

That's the only day the smell of toast permeated my bedroom. So it remains a mystery where it exactly came from.

Monday, April 30, 2018

Pups and Presidents Bring a Win for the Nats 3-1

It was pups in the park yesterday at Nationals' Park and that seem to do the trick because the Nats won. It's the first game I've been to this year that they've won. It was also a much needed win. The Nats have not been doing well this year.

Here's a little about the game from the Post:
Gio Gonzalez often gets a little frustrated after losses but is not the type to let animosity linger. So when he suggested his manager, Dave Martinez, took him out too soon when he removed him in the sixth inning in his previous start, the two talked it over. Both of them seemed just fine with where they left things, neither bullied into submission nor storming away misunderstood.

But on Sunday, with few fresh arms in the bullpen and a tight lead to preserve, Martinez left Gonzalez in to pitch the seventh inning. Gonzalez put two men on, sliding into the kind of mess that has so often consumed this team late.

Then, in what amounts to a total reversal of fortunes for the Nationals, he got out of it. Something went right. Brandon Kintzler and Sean Doolittle handled the eighth and ninth. Washington salvaged a 3-1 win from an otherwise damaging series against the Arizona Diamondbacks and moved back to four games under .500.

Mat Wieters heads for home

There was some luck involved in the win. Arizona's starting pitcher went out with an injury. Matt Wieters was at bat. He was able to hit a home run off the reliever. The Nats then loaded the bases. They got one run on an error. But the chance to blow the game wide open eluded them. This had been a problem the Nats have had all year. They've had people in scoring position but have failed to get them in.

Michael Taylor added another home run in the third. The Nats were able to out of a couple of jams and ended up winning the game.

Michael A. Taylor adds another run

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Catholic University Closes Out the Academic Year with Fireworks

Here's the gran finale of the Catholic University end of the year fireworks. What's funny about this is I was thinking about this earlier in the evening when I was out for a walk. I wondered if I'd missed it. Turns out I didn't. This is the view from my back bedroom window.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Avengers: Infinity War

This is a great film. I will not give away any spoilers at all. At some point in a few weeks I might come back to it and discuss some of things that happened.

As I said this is a great film. I was very impressed how Marvel was able to intergrate so many super heroes into one film. It didn't feel forced or contrived at all.

Here's a little from the review in the Post:
What is not unexpected is the film’s death toll. Fanboys and fangirls have already steeled themselves to the eventuality that favorite characters will die here. Opening with a distress call from the Asgardian refugee spaceship that was seen fleeing planetary destruction at the end of last year’s “Thor: Ragnarok,” “Infinity War” gets that outcome out of the way early, paving a path forward for a film that, while very funny for much of its 2 ½ -hour running time, ends on an almost stunningly somber note. It should be mentioned that there is already a sequel planned for next year that is likely to act as a corrective — short of bringing people back from the grave. In the manner of the second and third “Matrix” films, and the “Deathly Hallows” segments of the Harry Potter films, you can expect that upcoming movie to be more of a conclusion to a giant, two-part saga — complete with this installment’s cliffhanger ending — than a free-standing sequel.

The laughs are dialed back some. But pay very close attention to when the Guardians rescue Thor and Star Lords reaction to him. It is some of the funniest parts of the movie. In fact I'd say some of the funniest parts of any of the Marvel movies. Also of note is the relationship that develops between Rocket and Thor.

Some reviews said that the movie runs long. I don't think that at all. I was suddenly surprised when I realized it was about to come to an end. There are a few slower parts in the film. But they're slower because they are not full of action. They also allow the audience to catch their breath.

I thought Chris Hemsworth was especially good in the film. He's really come into his own since Thor: Ragnarok. And he certainly gets beat up in this film. As you can see from the photo below.

In all a really good movie. I choose to see it at the Uptown which has one of the biggest screens in DC. The screen is curved, 70 feet long and 40 feet high. It is also one of the oldest theaters in DC opening in 1936. One other good thing about seeing it at the Uptown is that it cost $6 to get in. A really cheap price these days.

One funny event happened while I was there. I had gotten my seat (at 9am in the morning there weren't all that many people there) and was going out to get some candy. This kid of around 13-14 asked me if this was the theater that the Avengers was playing in. I said back to him that there was only one screen. He didn't understand my answer and asked the question again. I again said there was only one screen. He still couldn't figure out what I was talking about so I quickly added that this was where the Avengers was playing. The funny thing is the kid couldn't comprehend that a theater would have only one screen.

Go out and enjoy this movie.