Monday, April 29, 2013

Justifiable Confrontation: A Matter Of Mental Health - I




Song:  Heart Of Courage (Extended Version)

Group:  Two Steps From Hell




Why am I talking of confrontation as related to child rearing?

Because...
of all the various influences in a child's life...
the parents are the most influential
(or at least...should be).

If I can convince you...
your actions will teach your children...
and they will then be able to live life with a free heart.


First of all...
I am not espousing confrontation as an initial method...
if it is avoidable.

However...
some instances simply are not avoidable
if you are to live the life of a free man...
one whom is free from fear and self loathing...
one whom has a love of self...
and so...
of others.

Basic human respect...
as I have said in previous articles...
is a fundamental right of all.

Just as all those who treasure justice and respect for others...
so must they treasure it for themselves...
for they too, are persons...
and so, are just as deserving of it.

This precludes the notion of having to respond to every slight.

This is also under the assumption that you are also correct...
that it is a justified confrontation.

The very first thing I do when I feel wronged...
and it takes but a few seconds...
is to run through possible reasons...
and to determine if my stance is, in fact, valid.

Also, if something is a first time offense...
especially if I don't know their motive...
I usually forgive them.

I do, however, make solid eye contact with them...
and through my body language and facial expression...
let them know that I had forgiven them this ONE time.

This is to not only give them a chance to correct themselves...
but it is to let them know that future transgressions shall not be so tolerated.

Often, however, I find the person was merely frustrated. 
They had not meant to be evil...
they had just boiled over.

Believe me...
I know the feeling.

I am very forgiving of this type of instance.

It is the person with whom I have no doubt as to their motive...
to whom I usually react.



There are two basic kinds of confrontation that people usually classify
 situations as being:

Verbal

Physical


In this article...
I shall focus on the Verbal / Passive Aggressive actions.

In the following article...
I shall focus on the physical.


I will first illustrate the verbal...
as well as that of indirect action or inaction
(passive aggressive acts)
as these are the most frequent forms of attack on basic dignity and respect.


One VERY common attack on the intelligence and respect of people...
and most commonly done in the service industry...
is that of purposely inferior service.

Always remember...
you are PAYING for service.

It is their JOB to provide it.

It applies to, not only the quality of their product...
but in the delivery of it...
and in the case of restaurants...
you are also paying for the overall ambiance...
as well as for your booth.

What many waiters...
managers...
and even some owners do not realize...
when you sit down at their table...
it then becomes yours
 (so long as you follow the established rules of conduct).

You are the king of your realm...
and you are sitting down to a royal feast.

Before you think of me as an arrogant fool...
a case in point:

Quite a few years ago...
I had gone to a new restaurant in town.

As it was a high end chain steak and seafood restaurant...
I don't know if it was an overall company decree...
or that if it was an over zealous manager or owner who
had simply not thought through their policy, but...
when I sat down with the menu...
and after a few minutes when the young waitress came to take my order...
she SAT down opposite me in MY booth.

She looked at me and asked me what I had decided on.

Well...
I had immediately decided that I didn't like her uninvited intrusion
into my sacred realm :)

I looked at her to see if she was joking.

Nope.

I asked her if this was official policy.

She had stated that it was.

I had gently told her
(I knew she was only doing what her buffoon of a boss had told her to do)
that I thought it was an incredibly presumptuous policy...
that it was in fact...MY table...
that my wishes for my realm came before their policy...
and that I would order once she una##ed my realm.

The rest of the dinner went very well.

When I returned a few weeks later...
they no longer carried on with that particular policy.

No doubt many of the customers had also complained.

They had gotten the message...
and it became one of my favorite places in which to eat.

Only because people were willing to speak up for themselves did
positive change come about.

Also, just as importantly, to have accepted this behavior...
and to pretend that it did not matter...
would have been a betrayal of the self.

To betray the self is to not respect the self...
and without self respect...
true love of self...
 of others, and of life...
is impossible.

You will have clipped your own wings.
You will have imprisoned your soul in a cage of your own making.

When establishments are lacking in quality...
I definitely let them know.

To not, is to sheepishly accept substandard treatment...
and nothing speaks louder than actions...
or a lack thereof.  

In one particular instance...
I had actually told one of the waitresses of a Korean restaurant 
(which subsequently went out of business)...
and who was originally from Korea...
the meaning of the word/s -  Bulgogi / Bool Kogi... among other names.
She had tried to tell me (after I had complained about their Bulgogi)
that many customers liked their dish (a flat out lie).
I told her that their Wok cooked meat and vegetable dish 
was not only inedible...
it was not Bulgogi!

It means...
Fire Meat...as in FLAME broiled...Korean Bar-B-Que...
not pan fried...and especially not cooked in a Wok with a multitude
of vegetables which renders the unappetizing mass into a gelatinous 
goop with no flavor...and with the meat tasting as if it had been boiled
(and yes...in those words).

She tried to tell me that it was the way it is normally done!!!

I informed her that I had spent a total of 3 months in Korea...
and that I had eaten many a delicious Korean meal.

I had told her that the reason the cook had done so was because he was LAZY...
and I had told HER, as being from Korea...that she knew better...
and that the shame was hers
(It was simply too much! I simply could not believe it!). 

And no...
we never went back :)

I can forgive ignorance
(although I try to educate them).

What I don't tolerate...
 is deceit
(without good reason).


 I simply LOVE good food...
especially the highly stimulating and varied ethnic dishes
with their wonderful spices and food combinations which 
simply energizes my body to the bone
while simultaneously sating the gnawing craving from my nervous system
for the tastes and textures...the soothing flavors which put my mind and body
into a state of well being, calmness...and feeling as if I am on top of the world!

It is these feelings I wish for my family to fully experience.

We research as much as possible beforehand...
but with profound expectations...
sometimes come profound disappointments.

This I realize.

Before anyone thinks that I am a cheap tyrant...
NO...
I regularly tip 20% or more for those deserving of it
(I am a benevolent ruler of my realms :)

I have also not left any tip...
and at the register...
I tell them that while I normally tip 15 - 20%...
  I wouldn't be tipping that particular transaction...
and I tell them why...
in front of the customers waiting to enter.

You must remember...
I was not the insulting party.

They had sought to insult all who had entered.
I had merely called them on it.

Yes, there are numerous accounts I could go into here of restaurant malfeasance 
(yes...I think it is that serious :)...
but before I move on to other areas for fear of making you think that somehow...
I am the problem...
first know that I have spent a total of 4 years in Japan.

The customer service there was nothing short of spectacular.
I was so impressed with, not only their customer service...
but the amount of respect given in their culture.

Where ever I went in Japan...
I felt so comfortable...
so welcome...
and in their stores and restaurants...
I felt as all should in all restaurants...
like a King!

Never forget...
while cultures may differ...
basic human nature does not.

Would the establishments here in America only practice what is done in Japan...
well...
people would spend a lot more time and money in them
(how is that for an economic stimulus? :)

Make the customer feel special...
he WILL return...time and again.

Now...
on to purposeful rudeness.

I do not tolerate this.
It is profound disrespect to people.

It is meant to injure the soul of the recipient.
It is an attempt to belittle...especially in front of others...
and because they think that by using "socially safe" methods
that the recipient is bound by a code of social conduct to not point it out.
(Usually anything but verbiage.  They will use body language...facial expressions...
withholding of necessary information...dismissive attitude...
implied meanings through timing, intonation, or other modifications
 to their previous speech patterns...etc).


WRONG!

Just last month...
I was at the checkout stand of one of the major sports stores here in Reno.

After I had placed my items on the belt...
and pulled out my debit card...
the cashier looked me with assurity in her face and demeanor...
and had said in a matter of fact tone...
"What is your phone number".

Notice I did not use a question mark.

Her intonation was one of expectation of an immediate answer...
without any resistance...
one in which was designed to imply a moral right to her utterance.

Now...
had I been of quicker wit...
I would have said with a smile...
"Hey, I am a married man!"

Instead...
I simply said that I don't give it out.

She replied that she appreciated my not being snippety with my reply...
and she went on to say that some customers get upset at the "request".

I pointed out to her that I understood why customers felt upset.
I went on to explain that I was a recent transplant from California...
and that it is, in fact, illegal to even ask for personal information
when paying by credit or debit card there (other than validating I.D.)
(it is so in 10 states in the U.S.).

She then said that it was company policy.
I asked her if she was certain that it wasn't also illegal in Nevada.
I explained that many times in California I had to educate store managers
on the laws...and that company policy in no way trumps law.

I then helpfully suggested that she double check with her manager...
again reminding her of it may being illegal...
and she rudely interrupted with what she meant to be 
a derisive and dismissive retort, "in California".

I again asked her if she was absolutely certain.

I smiled, nodded politely and left for a 15 minute drive home...
where I printed out the law prohibiting it in Nevada...
drove back, and called for a manager.

I must admit...
I was hoping to show the evidence directly to the cashier also...
however, she had already gone home for the day.

I knew that the manager was merely ignorant of the laws.
I explained them to him...gave him the laws...
and then I went to the other cashiers to explain them and to tell them
that their manager would be changing the store's policy soon.

Of course...
I had wanted to let the other cashiers know that I was the one 
who had brought in the laws...
and I had asked them to tell the cashier whom I had dealt with
that I was the one who had done it.

It was important to me that she knew that I knew...
and that she knew I knew that she would subsequently know.

When I got back home...
my wife was kidding me by saying...
"You are evil...
you enjoy doing that (sort of thing)".

I simply replied that the fact that I had enjoyed it immensely was immaterial  :)...
and that what I had done was not only valid...
it was necessary to improve them...
 and for me to not feel as someone who had allowed himself
to be taken advantage of...
without a peep.

I have given one of the least confrontational instances
I've had with various, and numerous, stores in California and Nevada.

I've forced changes in their ill thought out policies...
especially in the quite illegal practice of attempting to stop
and detain customers leaving the store until they show their receipt
while they do a quick check for big ticket items not on the receipt
(Costco may revoke your card if you refuse...
however, they may not detain you in any way).

They do this as a measure against EMPLOYEE (checker) theft.
Some checkers run a scam of not charging accomplices for items...
and then splitting up the booty with them later.

They try to inconvenience the customers to improve THEIR security.

Electronic stores are especially bad about this.

I don't go out of my way to confront others...
I merely do not do what I know stores cannot ask for.
I look clerks, who try to stop me...right in the eye...
and I walk right past them.

It is when they try to impede my progress...
that is when confrontation is justified.

I also justifiably confront passive aggressive bullies...
in all their many forms.

One example of this type of situation I have frequently found myself in...
especially in cities, malls, amusement parks...etc...
where ever there are large groups of people...
is one of the claiming of territory.

One thing that really bothers me...
is when...
especially when I am walking with my family...
another person or persons walking to their left on the pathway...
instead of walking on their right (as we drive)...
all the while pretending that they don't see
 all of the others having to move out of their way.

As I walk in public...
I am always scanning for a break in patterns...
the anomalies which signal possible danger to my family.

I usually see these arrogant beings from quite a distance...
and no...I do not alter my course.

I get especially, and justifiably, upset when I see them
force families aside as they attempt to plow their way through...
especially when they walk two and three abreast.

I let them know from far away that I shall not be altering my course...
by locking my eye contact with theirs.

They almost always then pretend that they are focusing on a distant sight
beyond me...as if to say that our inevitable collision will be MY fault...
as they were simply not aware.

Well...
you see...
if they can play that game...
so can I.

On males...
I will usually shoulder check them hard...
then with a look of mock surprise...
I will apologize and exclaim that we both must have 
not been watching where we were going.

Of course...
with my eyes...
I am telling them that I just called them on their bluff...
and that it is then their move.

I simply turn the tables.

They are then forced to either accept their loss at our little game...
or they will have to up the ante to the physical...
at which point they will know that I will have won once again...
for I will have positioned myself as the asserter...
and they, as the aggressor.

Check mate.

Of course...
in such instances...
it could very well get physical...
but I never bluff...
and in my eyes...
they can see that.

I am willing to accept physical confrontation when necessary.
One simply must... if you are to not have your soul tread upon.

Does this mean that I am a rigid robot demanding
 that all before me must part the ways?

Of course not.

I always...
and gladly move...
halfway.

They must also make an effort.

I am also gauging motives through their body language...
especially with what I see in their eyes.

In very crowded conditions...
I fully realize that people must break patterns in order to navigate 
their way through the maze before them.

I do not get upset at this.

It is when I know they know what they are doing... 
that I engage them.

Some of the worst offenders are women
(untouchable queen bee syndrome).

Now, while it would take highly unusual conditions for me to shoulder check one...
it had happened once in my life.

There were 2 young couples (19 or 20 years old)...
walking 4 abreast, with the males on the outsides...
on a fairly crowded San Francisco street.

My wife was on the right...
and she was pushing Alex in a stroller.
I was to her left to guard against intrusion from that side.

I saw from a distance, an undulating pattern of the people before me.

I saw the 2 couples walking 4 abreast...
with the males pretending to be oblivious to the other
pedestrian's plight as they forced everyone all the way to the right.

It was, however, what I had seen in the females eyes that had
spurred me into action.

When a person is using their periphery vision...
their gaze is slightly off center and unnaturally fixed
(to the side they wish to monitor)...
their blinking rate is dramatically slowed...
as they are concentrating so intently...
that what is usually unconscious...
becomes a conscious act.

The females were monitoring their surroundings...
loving the reactions of those whom they had
forced aside with their youthful arrogance.

In combination with their boldly exaggerated strides...
and wide smiles...
it was the following action by both of the females not 10 feet from us
that had spurred me into action.

They had looked right at my wife with her baby stroller...
just for a split second...and continued on their path...
an inevitable collision course should WE not move...
and it was done with glee.

It was this one action and the conscious choice they had made...
to initiate an aggressive act against a family...
especially one in which was transporting a baby(!)...
that had made the situation unbearable.

I immediately sped up my pace, lengthened my stride...
and vectored in for an early intercept.

I had shoulder checked the near outside male so hard...
that all four of them were knocked aside with such force
that they had almost lost their footing
(remember, they were walking abreast).

The resulting domino effect and their dumbfounded gazes were...
well, just plain delicious to see :)

In this particular instance...
I did not apologize.

Through my steady gaze into the nearest male's eyes...
I had told him that my act was purposeful...
and that I was ready to carry it to the next step.

It was not in the then silent and stilled motion of the
members of the arrogant 4 which made me simply walk away...
it was not in the mock insulted stare of the stupidly
posed females standing with their hands on their hips...
and their mouths frozen agape...
as if demanding an apology from me.

It was in the eyes of the nearest male...
who had briefly caught my eyes after they shifted
from the females...back to him.

His gaze had then diverted down...
not in submission...
not in fear...
but in shame.

He had seen the disgust in my eyes for him.

He, at that point, had not only realized that they were all wrong...
he knew that I had known his real plight.

He was a drone...
enslaved to his queen bee.

He knew that he was allowing himself to be manipulated
by his "Queen Bee"...
and, he had seen in my eyes that
  I knew that he was not a man for allowing it to happen.

For that... he was profoundly ashamed.

And when I had seen his shame...
I was genuinely sorry for him.

With that...
I turned and walked back to my family...
and we simply walked away without another look back.

Hopefully the shame of the boy was enough to 
spur him to free himself from his cage...
and to grow the wings of a man.

Am I an aggressive brute for applying physical force to the arrogant 4?

If you think so...
first think that they had threatened my family...
my wife...and my young son...
with physical force.

No one...
absolutely NO ONE physically threatens my family
(PC does not apply in the realm of the physical).


In most of my cases against the passive aggressive...
wrong side of the walkway...
pretending to not see other people's plight...
making all move out of their way...
arrogant bullies...
I just turn the passive aggressive tables on them.

Just prior to an inevitable collision...
I will simply stop and turn to my right...
and pretend that I had just seen something profoundly interesting
on the building to my right.

I will simply stop dead in my path and stare up...and wait.


I will make remarks to myself as to the beauty of the building...
of how interesting the structure is.

I will smile and sigh with delight at birds in the sky...
I will then turn toward them...and then pretend that I
have focused my gaze beyond them...
having seen another interesting sight.

This is, of course, to let them know that I couldn't have missed 
them standing there.

It is to let them know that the game had begun...
and that I shall win.

They will then move around me...
usually with a loud sigh accompanied by a shaking of their head 
as if I had been the one at fault.

Am I the small minded person
who delights at dominating a situation...
and so, others...
taking great delight in their frustration?

No.

I am a person who simply refuses to be dominated.

And it is in this...
that I take great delight.

Big difference.


One quick example of a social bully.

Almost always passive aggressive in actions.

They seek to dominate by seizing early political control...
and by simply not doing something that which is necessary...
and that which would negatively affect others...
all the while professing their complete innocence.

This is usually not a problem...
and is actually fun to counter with some imagination and ingenuity.

These type of people, in the long term...
actually keep people sharp.

In order to not be under their control...
they provide the impetus for change in many.

People grow in their knowledge and skills.

The social bullies provide the motivation to get revenge 
through living a superior life...
to get so good at something as to leave them in the proverbial dust.


Now...
I know many people think that by now that I am simply
an old malcontent who is miserable in life...
and so, is looking for ways to make other's lives miserable too...
a man who is small of mind...
 is bothered by small things...
 kind of thing.

Quite the opposite.
I simply LOVE life.
I love the simple pleasures in it...
and the good and innocent people in life especially.

It is precisely because I stand for principles...
that I don't allow my soul to be tread upon...
that my heart is so light and free.

I simply do not tolerate Bullies.

To do so, emboldens them...
and threatens all who come into contact with them.

Worse still...
is the effect upon the person who allows himself to be bullied.

Just by standing up to the bullies...
you will have won your self respect...
the respect of others...
and of that of the bully.

The effect they seek...
 is for you to hate yourself...
to become submissive...
one who, in their eyes, is not worthy of respect.

They wish to enslave you in fear.

They seek dominance at your expense.

For someone to allow this
 is someone who loses all self respect...
and whom eventually becomes that bitter and sour old person.

They hate themselves...
and so, they hate life.

This is why it is SO important to teach
what is right to your children...
and to teach them to stand up for that which is right
(so long as it will not immediately endanger them...
a case of sacrificing the long term for the short).

I will go more into this in the next article.


Rule number one: 

 Never sacrifice the long term good for the short term.


Rule number two:  

Ensure you are absolutely correct in...
not only your principle...
but in your application of it.



There is so much more I wish I could go on about this subject...
but I fear I will bore too many.

This must suffice:

It all starts, and ends, with respect.

With it...
you shall know a deep love of life...
and it is through this deep love of life 
that you shall know a profound sense of happiness 
and satisfaction in it...
and in yourself.










Preparations for NNVMath Club's ARML Competition



Song:  Santorini

Artist:  Yanni



The founder of
The Northern Nevada Regional Math Club
is introducing the problem solving tactics class instructor.

He went over efficient modes of problem set up, and solving... 
using a logical thought process.



This is the parent's lounge area.

Today, the parents were signing travel and competition waivers...
 as well as press releases...
in preparation for the ARML competition in Las Vegas next month.


The instructor (on the right) is having one of the High School students
explain how he had solved one of the problems.




The problems in most math competitions are not mere calculation problems.
They involve real life word problems in which the competitors must think logically
in order to even know where to start in problem set up.

They must explain the plausible assumptions on which they base
their further calculations, the reasons for determining their probability calculations...
and their explanations of their logical thought process in arriving at their answers... 
in prose, as well as in mathematical notation.

The instructor used to judge various math competitions and he explained
what the judges look for...and highly value, in the team's answers.

This was a highly valuable, and productive, session for the club.

Alex had said he had learned a lot from this class.

This Saturday...
Alex is going to be taking another official SAT at one of the local High Schools.

Then on the next day (Sunday)...
Alex's math club is going to have a full mock competition (4 hours)...
to ensure the team functions well in problem distribution and performance 
under official time constraints and conditions...
as well as giving each team member a feel 
for what is in store for them during real competition without her leadership
 (only the children will be in their competition rooms...along with their proctors).

Even though Alex's finals are upcoming...
as he always studies everyday...
he just needs to review...
and not cram...
and so, he may concentrate on his SAT and the ARML.



After his math club session...
we went to a new Casino...
The Grand Sierra.


We ate at an Asian restaurant...
called - Rim 
(I would assume as a shortened name for Pacific Rim).

Alex had a Chinese dish of sweet and sour chicken.
He thought it was very good.


I had Thai soup (Tom Sum Goong)
and Korean short ribs (Kalbi).

The meat was tender and good overall...
however, the spices were tamed for American tastes...
especially in the assorted accompaniments.


As I have spent a total of 3 months in Korea...
and I have eaten truly delicious Korean food...
I am a hard customer to please.

Yes...
I have talked with many an Asian Restaurant owner or manager
about how they can improve their restaurant 
(especially the Korean and Japanese ones)
and no...
I don't think any of them actually headed my advice  :)

Anyway...
Alex really loved his Mango Parfait.



Well...
this talk of food, and the sometimes subsequent disappointment...
has given me an idea for my next article:

Justifiable Confrontation:  A Matter of Mental Health

I will illustrate this concept through various real life (mine)
examples of justifiable confrontations I have had...
and have not had (and the reasons behind them)...
in not only restaurants...
but in other instances.

It applies to children...
and I will make an argument for its necessity 
for a happy and healthful outlook in life.






Saturday, April 27, 2013

Alex - River / Boca Reservoir Fishing / A Funny 911 Call



Song:  Sky Becomes Water

Group:  City Of The Fallen





Alex, and I, decided to go to the river feeding Boca Reservoir to do some fishing.

We told his mother where we would be going (the river and Boca Reservoir)
before we left.

Alex always tries to Face Time his mother every so often while we are on the road...
and when we reach our destination.

Alex had tried just prior to our stopping here...
but he had discovered that there was insufficient signal strength.

After 15 minutes of casting...
I realized that it was much more suited to Fly Fishing as it was fairly shallow...
and faster moving...
so we then went back to Boca Reservoir to fish.

Remember this...
as it shall factor into later events.


 We arrived at a location I thought was perfect to fish.

As the water level was low...
a spit of land about 100 yards from the high water mark protruded.

In fact...
I had asked Alex to look around him and to reason why the land looked so different
from where we were standing and the line of plant growth about 100 yrds. away.

I told him that since the water level was low...
the area where we were standing was, at certain times of the year...
normally underwater.

Another point to remember :)



After we had cast our lines...
Alex started playing with a large rock as if he were putting a shot.





Alex then started digging for different colored rocks.
The rock that he was holding was a reddish-goldish color.
He immediately exclaimed that it was bronze and that it was for sale
 for x amount of dollars (he was fooling around :)


We recast the lines every so often.



He then picked up some driftwood...
and claimed they were magic wands...
and he then proceeded to have them battle each other  :)


Alex then started digging for rocks at the edge of the water.


As there was no action in the water...
time for another diversion.

I had taught Alex how to skip rocks
(by this time we were about ready to go...
we weren't worried about scaring any fish :)





We were almost packed up and ready to leave.




We were ready to leave...
thinking that it was a nice few hours...
and that it was then the end of our day...
with no prospect for any more fun.

How wrong I was...
the fun was just about to begin.

I got back on the road...
which was just a few miles from the main highway...
and less than 30 minutes from home.

After a couple of miles...
a Deputy Sheriff's vehicle started following me.

I, of course, immediately looked down at my speedometer...
and to my dismay...I realized I was going 5 miles per hour over the speed limit.

I slowed down to the appropriate speed...
and continued driving.

After another mile or so...
the Deputy put on his lights.

I, at this point, tried to remember how much
a speeding ticket in California would set me back
(yes...it has happened more than once :)

I pulled over, and the Deputy walked up to my car.

What I hadn't known at this point was what my wife had set into motion
half an hour prior to this.

My wife often stays home when Alex and I go places together.

However, Alex always has his iPad...
and as he has 4G connection...
and a GPS function...
besides Alex contacting his mother on her computer using Face Time...
his mother also tracks us on the computer using the GPS on his iPad.

She does this to not only have fun imagining what we are doing at the shown location...
she is an emergency backup in case we don't arrive, or return, at the estimated times.

This is the picture of what she had seen from her computer:


Of course, you probably realize what had happened.

Shortly after Alex had tried to Face Time his mother through his iPad...
he had gotten through...
but my wife was not at the computer at the time.

By the time she had tried to call back...
a while later...
we were out of cell range.

So...
she tracked us using the GPS function on his iPad...
and she saw the above picture.

She said that at first...
she rationalized that we had rented a boat and was out on the Reservoir...
and she waited about half an hour...
but when she saw that the dot had not moved...
she researched Boca Reservoir...
and called them to ask if they rented boats.

When they said they did not...
she remembered that we first stopped at the river (upper right)
near the road.

She said that she imagined that Alex had fallen in...
and he had used his iPad to call her as he was being swept away by the current
towards the reservoir...
with me swimming frantically behind him :)

She then had another scenario in mind in which
we had run off the road and were then floating in the reservoir
300 feet from shore...and that Alex had tried to call her ...
before we sank :)

So...
she immediately called 911 in Reno.

They contacted the Deputies in California who patrol the reservoir.

She gave one of them a description of our van...
and for Alex and me.

She also told them the area in which she was tracking.

The Deputy then started his search.

Our van had the sun behind it as you look from the road...
so I am sure he would not have been able to see it well.

Anyway...
there I was thinking I was getting a ticket...
when he came to my open window...
and asked for me by name!

I looked at him closely...
thinking that the only way he would know my name was if we had worked together
at some point in time before I had retired...
or if he had run my plate (which was from a different State).

He then handed me the phone and said I needed to call my wife...
because she had called 911.

Now...
at this point, I thought something terrible had happened to her.

The Deputy then said that she had been tracking our GPS signal...
and it had shown that we were in the reservoir...
and that it hadn't moved for some time.

He said that he knew the water level was low and that we had probably 
driven near the shore and that the map hadn't reflected the change in water level.

I called my wife and we all had a laugh.

I thanked the Deputy...
and we both went our separate ways...
with smiles on our faces.

I remarked to Alex that his mother had done the right thing...
and that it was good that she had the presence of mind to rationally
put together possible scenarios with the information she had.

She had weighed everything by a risk/cost/benefit ratio...
and had acted appropriately.

When we got home...
my wife had said that while she had felt nauseated with fear...
she had remained calm in relaying information to 911 in Reno...
and with the Deputy at Boca Reservoir.

I have a renewed sense of confidence in my wife.

She keeps tabs on us to ensure our safety...
and she acted when she had researched and deduced...
what she determined to be, with her available information...
a plausible and potentially dangerous situation.

Ah...
what can I say...
she is a true Helicopter Parent (as am I)...
always on standby...
always ready to react.

This is exactly one of the life skills in which I wish to instill in Alex...
to be able to gather all available evidence from his surroundings...
to be able to know in an instant if it warrants further investigation...
 if it is a potential danger to life...
and for him to react appropriately on the side of safety first.

So...
while, once again, we left without a fish...
I came back with a story that is better than any fish story :)




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