Santa Has A Few Things On His List For 2019

Every year as Santa – and this is #20 – is different. Gone is the younger man who needed a gallon of beard whitener to hide the black and red of his beard and hair. The top surface is patchy at best, shaved when possible, and the beard is almost completely white. 

The  suits have changed over the years, from a beautiful quilted suit that you could roast a turkey (me) in under photographic lights, to this years new look as a dapper Edwardian gentleman Santa.

Different cars to drive, different dogs on the couch next to me, different jobs. I was not even interested in writing 20 years ago, and would have been horrified to think I’d write thrillers about things I’d vowed never to talk about. 

Over the many years, the families have changed as well. I am still in touch with some of them, and the first family I had as a regular customer is now spread all over the land, the children in college and married off. The parents will soon be grandparents, and the grandparents great grandparents. 

But a few things never change, and it is good to remind myself of them as I embark on the season.

Every person you meet as Santa is special.

Each life you touch should be improved for your having been there just for that moment.

The pictures you take will be with the family forever – and you should smile just as brightly in each one.

The photographers are counting on you to do your job well so that theirs is possible.

Everyone needs a smile.

Kindness is free. As Santa you deal with hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of broken souls each year. Some as small as a loaf of bread, others your own age or older. Make sure that the love you feel from God is passed on to each of them.

Stock a few Teddy bears in your bag. It helps to have a bear when the tears are flowing, and by spending those few dollars for the toy you are improving a life.

Don’t be greedy. There are plenty of jobs out there that you don’t need to do this year. Be gracious in rejecting them – not always something the prospective client understands – and keep it at some sane level.

Take your wife out for dinner and lunch. She will be lonely on days you’re on the road for 12 hours. 

Make sure your dog is loved as well. It’s hard to fathom sometimes, but when you breeze out early, and come home late, the dog misses you as well.

Pray for everyone you meet. I often fail at this, but try very hard.

Don’t expect any reward for doing your job well except the agreed amount. Those smiles and warmed hearts are a great bonus.

Look for opportunities to boost other performers: they’ve helped you as time has gone by.

Talk to God in the quiet moments, not your smartphone.

Be humble. You are not the best Santa ever born. His name was Nicholas and he was a saint. You’re an old man who loves Christmas – but emulate him.

Do some random nice things for people. Find someone who needs a lift spiritually, financially, or in some tangible way and make sure they don’t know it was you.

Love this opportunity to serve.

I know that sounds like a list you put out there to make yourself look better, but it genuinely is my thought collection on this Friday afternoon. I will add pictures on Sunday and set this to print on Monday. But today, with the first “public” event of the year less than 14 hours away, I am very aware of the responsibility, and privilege, I have as Santa. It is not a heavy burden, but one I take seriously.

New Look 2019

Note:  I’ve often said that Santa could dress up like Johnny Cash and still be Santa if his heart was in the right place and the eyes sparkled. 

I asked a lot of the children on Saturday, and the new look got two thumbs up. They especially liked the hat. The photographer, on the other hand, said I looked like a Kurd who was lost and wandering around the mall. 

I like the look, and will sport it many places over the coming years. Especially the hat!

We Won The Cold War.

Today’s post is simple and to the point: at the cost of tremendous fortune in blood and gold, we won the cold war. Good men and women died to defeat the evil that was the Soviet Union.

If we are not careful, and let the useful idiots on the left have their way, we will wind up like the people everywhere who have lived under socialism/communism:

 

Afraid to speak their minds lest they lose their jobs and freedom.

Forced to work in jobs that the state has selected for them.

Restricted in whom they can have as friends and associates.

Unable to worship as they choose.

Fearful because they have no real property that is their own.

Socialism/communism have failed everywhere on the planet they’ve been implemented. Even if the standard of living has gone up, the people still live in fear at night of the secret police coming and hauling them away.

My friends, that is what we are headed for with political correctness. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders would both take away property from the masses through inexorably grinding taxes. Both claim it is for our own good – Stalin said that as well.

When our weapons are gone (see all the candidates on the left) our freedom leaves with it. If you have any question as to the validity of this, look at the places where it has taken place: violence is still there (Cain did not have an AR-15) and people can no longer defend themselves from a rapacious government. 

But our children are being duped by the voices in academia, and if you do not personally tell the truth to others, and take a stand, the time will pass where you no longer can.

Look to Trump to forestall that end. He speaks crudely on occasion, but he’s right. I can think of two other leaders who faced the same claims of corruption, mental illness, and war-mongering: Winston Churchill and Ronald Reagan.

Yet Churchill defeated Hitler, and Reagan defeated the Soviet union.

Watch the video and do some study. I still get chills each time I watch it.

Some New Beginnings

Two weeks ago I said there’d be news. It’s finally here. 

Since I have kept you in the dark, I’ll do them in reverse order of universal importance to keep you waiting a bit longer.

First, I’ve formed an inventing company: Agzo-inc.com.

You might be (legitimately) asking, “What does that doofus know about inventing?” That’s a danged good question. I’ll give you a danged good answer. 

I’ve always been right on the edge of ADHD, but blessed with the ability to direct that energy. I’ve got degrees and experience in technical and classic topics, and have been exposed to a wide range of technologies. I’m comfortable discussing most concepts, and have enough of a grasp of the physical sciences to be able to figure out how things work. Not on a micro level in every case, but on a macro level. 

One of my passions has always been law enforcement. As you will notice, the logo above has a pair of handcuffs for the letter “g”. Not by accident. Over the course of the years, during ride-a-longs, and watching Live PD and Live Rescue on A&E, I’ve noticed some very needed things for the first-responder community. I’ve spent hundreds of hours sketching, doing research, designing circuits (yeah, that computer science degree seems to be paying off) and investigating patent law.

Two weeks ago I attended the IACP (International Association of Chiefs of Police) conference in Chicago with my sister Jean. We went wearing two hats – the second will be revealed below. One thing I wanted/needed to do was see who was making things and what was out there that I was unaware of in the world of police technology. I specifically reference that one, because much of the technology I can improve is common to police/fire/EMT units around the world.

We worked our backsides off, hitting 700 booths in 11 hours on the conference floor. Some we could skip, they were single product booths where we didn’t have an interest. But we did talk to a lot of people about our two missions, and I came back with several improvements to make to existing technology: the kind you can patent and sell/license. I’ve been hard at work getting those ready to reach out with, and by the first of the year I hope to be working with a few of the companies on at least three of the inventions I have been developing.

The second item/mission, both in my life and at the conference, was for The Command Post

The Command Post is a non-profit dedicated to first-responder wellness. I’ve been asked to serve as the Vice President for the initial board term, and one of my jobs was to attend IACP  and see what other groups are out there, and to try and find some funding. While our board  is dominated by researchers/university professors and senior police officials around the world, two of us are not. But all of us have a heart for making things better for the community. Better first-responder wellness means fewer traffic accidents during chases, lowered suicide rates in the job, fewer shootings, and generally an improvement of the lives of our people serving on the front lines. 

I met some great people at the conference, and came away with a lot of ideas we shared in our board meeting this past weekend. We do it by video conference, as one of our members lives overseas. 

Now, with a better idea of what we have for resources, we’re ready to really get rolling. But we need funding, as the board members pay for all their own expenses. So, if you know of grants, generous people, and other funding sources for our board, we’d appreciate it. Much of the research is covered under scholarly grants, we still have to travel some and pay for hotels! 

Yes, I’m still writing. Yes, I’m still doing audio books. Yes, I’m still Santa. Yes, I’m still doing voice over. And, strangely, working a full-time job in the real world. 

The salvation is that I will be able to retire from the day job next year if I want. If all of the rest of these pursuits work out like they seem destined to, I will be cutting back to just 40 hours a week sometime in the next year.

So, that’s the update. 

I Am A Cheesebag

I lied. Didn’t mean to, but I lied. 

The “Big Announcement” scheduled for today has been delayed for 1 week. The reason is simple, I’m a member of a board, and the board deserves to hear it all from me first.

As to the second announcement – well, let’s just do them both at once. 

I will say, in any event, that all of you praying for me was appreciated. And, it appeared to work!  I had great results at the IACP (International Association of Chiefs of Police) convention in Chicago.  More to come, as it relates to both announcements. 

 

In the meantime, I’d just like to make my opinion known regarding the Ukrainian Impeachment Follies the democrats are holding at the capitol.  Russia didn’t work. So now they are meddling in foreign policy. Regardless of what your opinion is of Donald Trump, Presidents of the United States have wheeled, dealed, and squeezed foreign leaders using aid as leverage since at least Thomas Jefferson.

It is not the place of anyone in the chain of command to countermand, or deny, or report the President for doing so. Having been in the chain of command, you never know what the big boss has in mind. You aren’t there to judge it, but to support it. Do your best, keep your mouth shut and move along smartly.

Sometimes you are asked to do things that others might view as a crime, but the command authority has a good reason for doing them. I speak from experience. A Lieutenant Colonel is a nobody. A two-star General is a nobody. They don’t get to second-guess the President.

And, for those of you who are saying “He can’t criticize anyone in uniform” I’d just like to remind you that plenty of people wearing the uniform have been very wrong over the years. I’d give you a list, but either you’re nodding your head already or you think I’m a jerk. 

Joe Biden bragged about quid-pro-quo regarding firing the prosecutor in Ukraine. It’s on video. President Trump was within his rights to ask that it be investigated. If you really want to tell me that running for President absolves you from the law, every stupid drug-dealer in America should run for president to avoid  going to jail. 

There’s an election in 2020. If you don’t like Donald Trump, don’t vote for him. But this insane drive to impeach him began before he was sworn in. It’s not good for our country. Period.

Now, back to what I was doing earlier. Looking at pictures of Chewy.

 

Chewy

A Little Late This Week

Today’s post will be a mere teaser. I’m asking you all to keep me, and my family, in prayer this coming week.

Why?  As if I don’t have enough to do, I’m launching two major changes/additions to my life in the next few days.

I don’t want to release details until we’ve reached orbit, but that will be sometime next week. 

What I can say, for the moment, is that years of preparation and hard work (not all of it on my part) have gone into this moment.

If part I works as envisioned, I’ll be doing great things for good people all the time. And, I’ll be financially secure if part II plays out.

So, it’s a two-parter that needs your prayers. 

 

Details next Thursday.

 

Thank you in advance.