Getting Too Close – Update

I have an update for you all.

I worked a case with my group today.

Within two hours of being notified we had the bastard and got him in custody.

He was propositioning a twelve-year-old girl.

We got him. WE FUCKING GOT HIM!

After the two major losses I talked about in my last post I needed a damn victory. Holy shit… I’m elated.

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Getting Too Close

Introduction

Those of you that know me know that there are certain things I see as absolutely abhorrent in life… and I mean abhorrent. They burn a fire of anger in my core.

I can deal with situations that are awful as well as help others through said situations. I do it regularly and I don’t give it a second thought; I’m there to help. There are some things, however, that stick with you. Certain things I have a hard time letting go. These are the things that change you and that cause problems sleeping.

Even when nothing comes of it you still feel dirty and you still feel as though you have failed even if there was nothing you could have done to prevent it. I’ve had two in the past month and it’s taken everything I have to come back from the edge and keep fighting because people depend on me.

I didn’t know how to deal with any of these things at the time. Both of these incidents involve my investigations and involve me dealing with and confronting the worst in humanity. Moreover, these involve children.

I firmly believe that the last thing a child molester should hear is the report of a twelve-gauge being fired at his head and the last thing he should ever see is 00-buck flying toward his eyes.

One of the things I’ve also learned is that you can’t save everyone. I’ve had to learn that lesson the hard way and I think I will probably have to keep learning it since I cannot stop when it comes to cases like these.

First Incident

The Build-Up

About a year ago, a fairly interesting individual joined my department at work. He was a charismatic person and had a similar personality both to my best friend there and me as well. Needless to say, we took to him quickly and he quickly became accepted into our small group of silly assholes. We would all tell awful jokes just to make each other laugh and we could all play off of each other. He seemed like one of us.

Looks can be deceiving, however. As time went on we learned that he did not necessarily match up with the image with which he had presented himself. We had trusted him to manage our products and deployment timelines and he was incapable of doing so since our deadlines consistently slipped.

It wasn’t his fault that the deadlines were slipping but it was the way he was reporting it that was dishonest. We would tell him that we had deadlines planned for several months and we would have our teams re-structured and then the project plans would only show extensions of about a week; this went on for several months.

Eventually our boss realized the dishonesty and confronted him. He wasn’t able to defend his actions and was promptly let go on the spot since he was still within his probationary period. This is where the story gets interesting and takes an awful turn; up until this point I had considered this guy a friend.

The Investigation

Not too long after the guy was let go, my boss came to me with a request that I wasn’t used to based on his personality. I’d worked for him for years and it still caught me by surprise.

Boss: “Hawk, I need you to do something for me”
Me: “Sure, what do you need?”
Boss: “Look through his laptop”, he said as he handed me the guy’s laptop
Me: “Okay… what am I looking for?”
Boss: “Any documents he had that we need. If you come across anything inappropriate, document it and keep moving”
Me (knowing my boss well enough to know something was up): “Sir?”
Boss: “We’ll talk later”
Me: “Understood”
Boss: “I don’t need a full forensic investigation” (this statement was a red flag to me)
Me: “Then what the hell am I looking for?”
Boss: “There might be some pornographic material on that laptop” (the department purchased the laptop so it was company property)
Me: “Might be?” (at this point I’m convinced I’m not getting the full story)
Boss: “Again, I’ll tell you later”
Me: “Got it. I’m on it” (I now know that he knows I’ll find something)

I began my investigation. I went through the entire laptop and I picked up four artifacts of pornographic material left on the hard drive. It was definitely disgusting (I didn’t know the guy had a scat fetish) but nothing was illegal. I made my report and called it a day. We turned the laptop over to the central IT department to do an official investigation but I was confident in my findings since they were right in front of me.

A few days went by without incident and everything had gotten back to normal.

My boss pulls me aside at the end of the week with this look in his eyes. I’d seen that look before and I’ve seen it since; he’s hiding something from me and he’s trying to figure out how to tell me.

Boss: “I want to give you an update on his laptop”
Me: “Okay, shoot”
Boss: “They didn’t find anything inappropriate on it”
Me: “Of course they didn’t. They’re completely fucking incompetent!” (I used that exact language; I was PISSED).
Boss: “I know. They are. But they also didn’t find anything to be provided to the police department”

Now, I’ve worked with law enforcement in the past and I’m still directly associated with a police department now. I now had more questions than answers since I had never had any inkling that this would need to go to the LEOs. My boss also knows my history working with law enforcement as well as my current status so I’m certain he was telling me as professional courtesy.

Me: “…why would it need to go to the police department?”
Boss: “The child porn”

I lost it at this point and it was directed entirely at him. My boss and I see a lot of each other within each other so there are certain things we only say to each other. We’ve also had a lot of the same life experiences and there are some things only I’m allowed to say to him and sometimes vulgarity is necessary to accentuate the point.

Me: “WHAT THE FUCK DO YOU MEAN, CHILD PORN?”
Boss: “I thought I mentioned it”
Me: “The hell you did! You need to tell me what’s really going on here!”

I was beyond pissed that something like that had been hidden from me especially when all I want to do is put pedophiles behind bars and my boss knows it. What came next was a real shit sandwich:

Boss: “I was told about this not too long ago but the person that told me sat on it for about five months”
Me: “What the fuck…” (my eyes were red with anger by this point)
Me: “The evidence was GONE when I investigated! I could have caught this asshole if I had just been told when it happened!”

He then proceeded to tell me how it had been discovered entirely by accident by another employee when she was working on the guy’s laptop. A whole bunch of browser tabs had popped open with the content in it; at least the guy wasn’t smart.

This bastard got away and as far as I know he still hasn’t paid for possession of child porn. These people don’t stop; I just want someone to nail him before he escalates to hurting some innocent kid. All I hope for is that my equivalent finds him and catches him at the next company this asshole goes to. Once he’s behind bars then justice will have been served.

Second Incident

The Build-Up

My second case in this tale came about a few weeks ago. This one genuinely pissed me off since I looped in both one of my LEO friends as well as a former police psychologist so the three of us could work this together as a team. These cases are hard since having a victim open up is always difficult but there are times you can’t help feeling like you’ve gotten the run-around; it’s especially difficult when the victim is a child.

I’m a member of a fairly-large group of people who have either grown up around the military, are current/former military, or have an affinity for the military. I’m also a member of several LEO groups. This isn’t me dick-measuring with anyone but it’s just me mentioning how I see things and how I hear about things.

One of the members got wasted and posted his ex-girlfriend’s number in the group under the heading “Fucking Bitch”. I figured something wasn’t right so I texted her. I didn’t exactly know what I was getting myself into at that point. I soon found out.

The Investigation

I texted her and found out she lived across state lines from me. That immediately presented itself as a problem since I was now needing to operate within the laws of her state and not that of her home state. I learned them quickly so that did not present itself as an issue.

She and I began talking more and I found out she was seventeen. I had previously looked-up the area code of her phone and had found that it was within a certain state and our discussions had confirmed it; the age of consent there was lower than my home state. That in and of itself made me uneasy but I pressed on as a good investigator.

The entire time I wanted her to see me as a friend and we were just having a friendly conversation about life. We told each other stories about stuff that had nothing to do with what I was actually driving at but I didn’t want to make her uncomfortable by attacking the issue immediately.

She wound up giving me information and all kinds of details. I figured I could nail her asshole ex-boyfriend on statutory rape since the year where they had dated and had been sexually active had been before she could legally give consent since she had told me her birthday. She was very open about details and seemed like she was working with me toward that resolution.

Once I wanted to take it to law enforcement and get the bastard put away, she suddenly decided that nothing had happened. My entire case fell apart in a minute. I could not proceed at all. I had spent three days talking to her and getting her to open up to me; she divulged details.

Unfortunately, when I asked again when they had dated and had been active she gave me two different years and couldn’t remember. If it was one year she would have been able to give consent legally; if it was another it would have been statutory. That irritated me more than anything; I had the bastard and now he was being protected and the person that I had considered the victim was the one protecting him.

I contacted my LEO friend that I had looped-in and told him what was going on and there was really nothing I could do according to him either. To this day I feel like she was protecting him and just didn’t want to get him in trouble.

Conclusion

I had two massive failures in a row. One would have been bad enough but the two compounded each other. I didn’t know what to do with myself.

I wound up falling into a shitty feeling that took over a week to climb out of since I felt like I had two failures (though only one I was directly involved in).

Sometimes you can’t help people and it’s a hard reality of life. It’s one I’m still struggling to accept but I’m getting better at it. It’s absolutely still a hard pill to swallow since I want to help everyone. I got too close in both of these cases and I suffered for it.

I solved it by immersing myself in my work outside of all of this. It gave me something to focus on that had nothing to do with child cases since they really bothered me.

Red Pill Initiates

Two things have happened in the four months I’ve been away: people have been asking me for male guidance and I’ve been squaring old business as any good businessman should. Naturally, the combination of these two activities necessitates a hiatus from writing and a doubled-down focus on the real world. If I’m going to help people or at least impart any kind of advice I have to be completely focused on what I’m talking about. The former is an ongoing project of male mentoring with multiple people so I expect my presence here to be sporadic for a while at best while I take those individuals under my wing. Get it? Under my wing.

All kidding aside, I’m happy the aforementioned people came to me. I tried to impart the advice on both of them over a year ago since I saw lives (and in one case, families) falling apart but they were not having any of it; it appears that both of them are now willing to accept the reality of the dichotomy between the sexes and therefore I may proceed. Keep in mind that I have not forced it upon them; they both sought me out for guidance. For the purpose I’ll be referring to the first in the A Red-Pill Man is Born section and the second in the It’s About Damn Time section.

A Red-Pill Man is Born

The other day I’m sitting at work doing my engineering thing and I get an instant message from one of the guys I work with. The entire text of it is “What does Alpha Fucks Beta Bucks mean”. I knew instantly where he had gotten that and knew why he was asking me that but I pushed for written confirmation.

“Where did you hear that?”

“Oh yeah, [NAME REDACTED] told me about /r/TheRedPill so I took a look”

Christ, I’ve created a monster. I told [NAME REDACTED] about that sub a year and a half ago so this has something to do with me at this point.

In my mind I’m impressed and going “Another one for the realists” and getting excited but I work in an open office environment so my outward reaction was much more calm than that.

He asked me a straight question so I told him what it means.

“So you mean an Alpha shouldn’t pay for a woman ever?”

He took it to the same extreme I expected just as all newcomers to the RP lifestyle do. I told him my honest thought on the subject: “Not necessarily. He can but he doesn’t make a habit of it”.

I find the “he doesn’t make a habit of it” portion to be the most important. The primary distinction is that an Alpha has confidence about him and a Beta uses the influence of his wallet. Each woman is different (yes, I know AWALT) in their reaction to it and it’s important to gauge it in order to figure out the probability of future events. When I sense a woman is more interested in the Beta ideology (i.e. the latter) I leave and never contact her again; I’m not going to bankroll her bullshit. Are you interested in me for my ability to work a room and draw people in with merely my personality? Okay, let’s talk.

If I fuck up and misjudge it? I couldn’t care less; abundance mentality is beautiful that way.

No matter what I do I keep the advice of the wise Christian McQueen (and a buddy of mine) in the back of my head each day: “Her being one in a million means she’s one of a million”. There will always be someone else and I try to impart that as one of the keystones of my advice no matter with whom I’m talking. I told the same to a psychologist/therapist friend of mine (we’ve known each other for 20+ years) and she was quite receptive to it and agreed wholeheartedly.

Getting back to the original point: I walked over to the guy’s spot in the office and saw him looking at the sub. I asked him what he was up to and he turns to me and says “There’s a lot of good advice here”. At that point the incubation period was going forward and he was well on his own way.

It’s About Damn Time

I just got off the phone with this one. Three different times he almost started letting his emotions loose in a bad way; I understood, of course, as I’d been there a few times myself a few years prior. I don’t begrudge him at all.

At one point he managed to tell me that he had written poetry about the break-up.

Not just any poetry; poetry for her.

Eighty-four multi-page poems for her.

CHRIST.

Okay, some people get their feelings out in different ways and need different amounts of time to…

“I still talk with her mom and dad”

Dude, what the hell?

“Yeah, she still feels bad about breaking up with me”

I’m sure she told you that. You’re my friend and all but there comes a time where I’ll smack you in the back of the head, call you a dumbass, and question your sanity. She must have told you any or all of the standard female fare after a breakup (“I still think about you”, “I miss you”, “You were the best thing that ever happened to me”, “It’s not you, it’s me”, etc etc etc). All it is is rhetoric; it has zero basis in reality.

“She’s really upset”

How convenient. She’s trying whatever she can to keep you in her life while absolving herself of any responsibility while doing so. Been there, man! We call it “Rewriting the Past”.

“She sends me pictures of our dog”

Now she’s just screwing with you in a bad way. She’s trying to evoke emotion and a sense of togetherness over a shared experience to goad you into contacting her. Also how the hell did she get your dog?

“I don’t know what to do”

Turn your phone off or throw it in a lake; either one will have the desired result. I can’t necessarily be irked at him for not knowing what to do; hell, most things that caused the transition to The Red Pill were these exact kinds of events and even feeling helpless to some degree for some people. I’d much rather he come to me than start spiraling out of control.

Go no contact and take it a day at a time. It will absolutely feel like going cold turkey from an addiction but that’s the surefire way you’ll rebuild yourself into a hardened individual that’s capable of handling life and understanding the general truths of modern sexual relations.

Conclusion

You’ve now seen two completely true stories of transitions into the RP lifestyle. It’s always possible. Unfortunately there are times when it takes an absolute breaking of the spirit and the psyche to trigger it; these cases are the easiest to push toward the natural order of things, however.  In our cases experience really speaks and to the victor (he who has persevered) go the spoils.

Regrets

We all have them.

At what point, however, do we look into ourselves to realize that it isn’t the end of the world? We’ve all done things that are better off buried and I’m sure we all have missed opportunities that we wish we could relive. Unfortunately that’s not life and we only get one chance. Somehow we have to find a way to live with our mistakes and keep on going.

Let’s take my colossal fuck-up as a pure example of how to live with regret.

The Setting

I went to dinner with my best friend, his girlfriend, and his grandmother. It was quite a motley crew if I do say so myself. Anyway, we went to a Norwegian dinner lodge so I felt quite at home (I’m part Norwegian and have quite a bit of the Viking culture in my blood). Being the dick that he is, my best friend thought he could catch me off-guard with lutefisk until I reminded him that I’m Norwegian and it’s the food of my people. I would feast on his now-downtrodden nature until we arrived at our location.

Upon arriving I had absolutely zero problem with the setting and felt quite comfortable among the other folks that graced our presence. I was wearing my “Haunted Mansion” shirt since I had just come from work so I felt a bit out of place as almost everyone else was in formal wear; I’m an engineer and a teacher so I’m allowed to wear whatever I please each day, luckily. I managed to find some kind of brotherhood (sisterhood?) in another patron as she had on Halloween garb and we discussed both Halloween and the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland. I heckled her roundly to the joy of her mother who was also in attendance; she was quite cute and had a great sense of humor but that’s beyond the focus of this post.

The dinner was for the most part uneventful. I made fun of Halloween Girl quite a bit and we enjoyed each other’s company. When thinking about it as this point I really should have gotten her number. I finished up dinner with my buddy and his folks and we went outside.

While walking around outside I found all kinds of interesting tables filled with either Norwegian history or culture. The ones that didn’t have some kind of Viking collectibles had trinkets from places of interest. Behind each table was a knowledgeable person with some kind of story to tell.

The Screw-Up

At one point during my journey I happened across one unassuming table. As I was leaving the person who was manning the table noticed my “Haunted Mansion” shirt. She and I struck up a conversation and she told me she was in attendance during Disneyland’s opening day in 1955.

Anyone who knows me can confirm that I’m a huge Disneyland fan and pride myself on knowing all kinds of things about it. Could I really luck out more than meeting someone who was there during opening day and getting the low-down from a first-hand account? She and I talked for about a half-hour and it was one of the best conversations I’d ever had about the park.

I’m sure you can see what’s coming here. As my friend had to take off I unwittingly left my source. I was already in the car and pulling away before I realized just how badly I had screwed myself.

I still kick myself when I think just what kind of information I could have pulled from her. I easily could have spent another three or four hours talking to her as well as regaling my own stories from the park to her. That is easily one of my biggest regrets and I unfortunately didn’t realize it until it was too late.

Conclusion

Some regrets are preventable and yet others are contextual to the point where you don’t realize you’re leaving a good thing until it’s already too late. The trick is to realize when it’s salvageable or when you have to put in extra work to prevent yourself from leaving a good thing. Sometimes, though, you can’t prevent yourself from leaving a great source or a great conversation and you’ll regret it for quite some time.

The Great Steak Caper

Our story tonight takes place on a darkened night with a moderate storm occurring in the background.

Are we discussing the minutae of human nature?

Are we referencing anything that has to do with behavioral psychology?

Hell no. We’re talking about a manly subject that many of my readers have come to hold dear: steak and its preparation. Tonight we will discuss the strangeness that comes from invoking a remote spectator in the overall preparation of said steak.

Let’s get to it.

The Caper Begins

When I was in college we had a shared kitchen in the shared dorm. Suffice it to say that several of the denizens of said dorm were of sub-par cooking quality. There were those who could make basic dishes and then there were those who struggled with even the simplest directions that were printed on the basic Cup-o-Noodles recipes.

One of the idiots decided to microwave the equivalent of a Venti cup of a particular Starbucks roast. Needless to say that concoction wound up covering the ceiling of the microwave as well as its bottom; as the idiot stood cleaning it the rest of us gathered around and laughed at him in order to drive home the concept that the aforementioned should not be attempted in a simple microwave.

It absolutely gets worse from here so I encourage you to read on.

The Build-Up

Everything was normal except for the one guy attempting to cook noodles that night. How he managed to burn said noodles and set off the fire alarm is beyond me; however, he pulled off such a feat and therefore the majority of us wound up outside in the cold air of a 2 AM morning.

I talked with one of the fire officers and he had nothing to say beside “Yep, that bowl of overcooked noodles is responsible”. Of course we hunted down the culprit and exacted the college version of frontier justice but that is neither here nor there.

We were informed of the status of the building (i.e. we can all go back inside and go back to sleep) fairly early that night. There are some things that just won’t die, however, and they tend to live on through either written story or word-of-mouth.

I had yet to realize that I would soon be engaged in such a discussion in the worst possible time.

The Steak and Its Victim

As I stand urinating at the stall before me I hear a familiar voice.

“Hawk, does this look medium-rare to you?”

I’M STILL PEEING. For some reason, the stall door is still open so this is at least partially my fault.

“Hawk, take a look at this”.

I’m greeted with a piece of steak on the end of a fork while I’m trying to pee. My friend Alex had thought it proper to bring in this piece of steak for my review; while I generally don’t mind taking a look at various pieces of steak I have a mental block against doing it while I’m urinating.

“Hawk, this is medium-rare, right?”

Alex is now shoving this piece of meat in my face now while I’m trying to pee.

It has a nice exterior coating with just the right amount of internal redness so I figure “this looks good”.

“Of course that’s medium-rare. That looks good to me!”

He replies, “See, that’s what I thought! Thanks, Hawk.”

Upon realizing what has just happened I go back to my business and everything goes normally.

Conclusion

Sometimes your friends need your opinion on a specific cut of meat. Other times, your friends require your opinion in a restroom stall and nothing else can possibly serve the requirements for which have been set forth.

Either way, meat always has some kind of underlying ruleset that is modified based upon how it is cooked.

The 7 Key Wine Concepts

My buddy Mark Law has published an e-book called “The 7 Key Wine Concepts”. He asked me to review it and the link to his e-book is at the end of my review. If you’re into wine tasting and wine culture then you definitely won’t be disappointed. My review follows and you can get his book here: http://bit.ly/1wlGXRc


From the very beginning Mark sets the tone and purpose of “The 7 Key Wine Concepts” effectively and presents to the reader a situation that many of us have encountered: “How do I select the right wine for me?” He goes on to stress the point that one cannot place the brunt of their decision on the reviews of a wine critic or anyone else who, all things considered, is the same as any other person: he has different likes/dislikes and the reviews of a given wine tend to be personal in nature as taste is subjective. Finally, he rounds out a method of picking a similar wine if your desired choice is no longer in stock; the described method is solid and takes into account several important concepts and characteristics. All of this has happened in the introduction and serves as the perfect hook. I read on.

Mark makes the distinction between red and white varieties of wine instead of lumping them all together as a group. For those of us who like to pair our wines with food (he gets to this later and touches well on what to expect with pairings) this distinction is important. He provides an in-depth discussion of varietals and regions as well as the one-to-one and many-to-many relationships for both. He also provides an accessible discussion on wine terminology that is direct and free from the typical word-salad and nonsense of didactic lessons. The section on temperature plays into the above sections nicely as well as there are few of us who have a dedicated temperature-controlled cellar in which to store our selections; he gives practical advice here that is easily digested.

Faults are discussed and he gives some common profiles; I’m sure we have all encountered at least one on the list. He then segways directly into tasting a sample at a restaurant before committing to a bottle. He yet again presents a solid method but this time it involves ensuring the wine is not faulty. I’m a fan of swirling my reds to release the aroma so I was glad to see this included. The final concept is then discussed and it ties the entire experience of both the book and wine selection together nicely.

The writing flows well and at the end there is even a list of online resources for those interested in learning more. I’d recommend this book to fellow wine consumers without a second thought.

College Cats: The Importance of Being Social

I was reading the blog of my buddy Hans Dix, a cool cat and the author of The Campus Hustler, tonight and came across his article An Open Letter to “Freshman Roamers”. This got me thinking about my own fraternity experience when I was in college and the difference between the social and non-social folks. When in college you should strive to be as social as possible (without it tanking your academic life, of course) and I remembered a particular sorority party I attended.

My comment on his article follows after the horizontal line.


Boy howdy do I have personal experience with #3. I shall now regale you with a story from my college days also known as “The Before Time”.

I rolled into a sorority party with four of my boys (this was a “no alcohol” party and I was completely sober the entire time); our entire fraternity was invited but only five of us actually showed up. Go figure. Hot sorority chicks making food for all the fraternity guys and only five of us from my group showed up? Damn near sacrilege is what it was. Anyway, we get there and all five of us are greeted warmly; I lingered to talk to and flirt with the two ladies working the door and the rest of my guys basically just went straight in without saying anything other than “hello”. This is the point where it went completely downhill for everyone except me. This is the point where I’d like to turn your #3 into both #3a (“Check your Attitude”) and #3b (“Actually Attempt to Be Social”).

True to form, unfortunately, my guys go off by themselves and huddle in the corner together (I was standing in the line for food, meeting guys from other fraternities, and making new friends). Every time I tried to include my guys and bring them over to talk with my new friends it was met with the most extreme form of shyness and stand-offish behavior I’d ever seen. It wasn’t any better when I started trying to introduce them to women (women whom I’d only met about fifteen minutes prior) but they were reticent to be included there too. At this point I just gave up since it seemed like they were happier in their clique and I went back to talking with the guys from the other fraternities and the ladies from the sorority.

Eventually my boys left without telling me (i.e. they abandoned me) and I wound up being the only person from my fraternity still at the party. “Fuck it”, I thought, “I’m having fun and meeting tons of people so I’m staying”. I stood around telling jokes and playing off what other people said; I was just having a grand ol’ time. I finally grab some food and flirt with the two ladies cooking then go off with two of my new buddies to a couple of couches so we can down the grub. We’re quickly joined by six members of the sorority.

Now, I have a VERY unique side-profession and that fact got passed around the sorority since it came up in conversation with the door gals. Apparently they referred to me as “exotic” and “you have to meet this guy”. I started getting opened left-and-right by these chicks. I began telling some of my stories from my side gig to the ladies and the crowd starting growing; when I finished my first story I looked around and an extra nine women had joined the group. The two guys with me had no idea where they came from but they weren’t going to question a good thing when they saw it. I do have my darker side and my stories exemplified it; I think I genuinely frightened at least a few of them but it worked out well.

A few more stories and I had to be on my way amidst the pleading of “Nooooo don’t goooooo!” I had class in the morning and it was one of the few I actually bothered showing-up to that year (programming class regarding something I already knew but I was tight with the instructor so he’d know if I was missing). I still talk to the friends I made that day.

That same sorority put on a party later that year and several parties after that. My fraternity was no longer invited with a single exception: I was always asked for by name.