Why do we fire guns in the air to celebrate things?

Nothing says ringing in the New Year like erratic gunfire and bullets dropping to Earth at terminal velocity.

How did we get to the top and, for some, near the top of the food chain? It is strange — no, bizarre — how people think.

I actually thought my Uncle Dewey was a man of the world and had a solid take on things. He graduated second in his class at The Frederick DUI School (where, oddly enough, the graduation party was held at the bar across the street) and he held a certificate of small-engine repair from Broadwell’s Garage in Tate, GA. Yet, he could not understand all the hub-bub about Sandy Springs Police Sgt. Dan Nable and the stray bullet that hit his car New Year’s Eve.

“It’s just good ol’ fun,” he said, reflectively, as he took a puff of his Pall Mall cigarette and then looked up toward the sky as if to give off some air of sophistication. “We did it every year up at the ranch and no one got hurt. My whole hunting club was up there and, …

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Trooper slaying suspect should have been in jail

Friday is the funeral for Georgia State Trooper First Class Chadwick LeCroy. He was killed Dec. 27 when Gregory Favors allegedly shot three times, hitting Trooper LeCroy once. He died on the way to Grady Hospital.

You all have seen this scenario played out before. Favors is a career criminal, in and out of jail for years. He was arrested Dec. 11 and charged with breaking into a car, drugs and several counts of obstructing a law enforcement officer.

And he was allowed to sign his own bond? Seriously?

I have no idea what this guy will put up as a defense. Did he not get a hug when he was younger? Or maybe someone bullied him in the fourth grade? Poor kid, life is so rough. I’m sure he has a lot of “poor me” crap he’ll present during his trial.

He had his chance and found it easier to victimize other people than to live his life with the simple dignity of contributing to society. Now, if convicted, he’ll finally graduate as a murderer. Unfortunately, Trooper LeCroy …

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Merry Fruitcake, you nuts

Folks, it’s time for my annual fruitcake blog, which has become a holiday tradition.

As the Christmas holidays close in on us, we carry on the age-old traditions of our relatives. Among those traditions are scaring the hell out of the small kids with second-rate Santa outfits that make Uncle Gene look more like Nunda the Ax Murderer than St. Nick.

The money we spend on this holiday is obscene. Every year I vow to stop the madness, set an example, and refuse to accept anything materialistic—until I see the cool stuff I want.

I like to listen to Christmas music during the holiday season. Where else can you get Burl Ives, Kenny G., Michael Bolton, and Bing Crosby in the same set? Weird? Maybe— but its Christmas! Nothing has to make sense until the credit-card bill arrives in January.

No Christmas holiday season is complete without the annual “A Christmas Story” marathon and fruitcake. Nothing says Christmas like watching Santa push Ralphie down the slide and eating …

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Off-duty: To men, shopping is torture, especially at Christmas

Hey, it’s Christmastime. Let’s forget our differences and take to heart the spirit this time of year is meant for us to feel. And while you’re at it — get the heck outta my parking spot, you &$(%#!!!!

That’s right, kids, we’re in holiday mode and it’s everyone for themselves. And don’t let those little old ladies fool you! They’re animals.

Get in your car now because traffic won’t get any better. To make it worse, it’s getting darker earlier, meaning rush hour is illuminated by all those thousand headlights making it seem there are millions of taillights between you and the dreaded mall.

I hate the mall. Maybe twice a year I’ll visit the mall around lunchtime just to break up the excitement of doing all the other lunchtime stuff that gets boring. Of course, after 30 minutes I realize I still hate the mall and I leave — smelling noticeably fabulous.

Quit spraying that stuff on us when we pass down the cologne aisle!

Shopping is not a compatible …

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Avoid holiday rip-offs, scams

Okay, well I might have been a little frivolous in my “throw- caution-to-the-wind” approach to Thanksgiving dinner. Truthfully, I almost died.

It looked so good on my third helping and who can turn down another round of oyster dressing because you know, oysters are said to be aphrodisiacs but, well, I guess I didn’t think it through because after eating, the only thing I was interested in doing was trying not to die. I was sitting on the couch, bloated like three-day old road kill. Somehow we survived it as I hope you did.

Back to business.

It has already started. Christmas rip-offs and scams are all over the place and despite warnings and all the good information out there on avoiding them, people still seem to walk right into trouble as if they just got off the bus from Sesame Street.

Wake up!

Fraud can be avoided.

Here are some things we call “clues” in police work.

Watch out if:

  • The deal sounds too good to be true.
  • There’s high pressure to act right away.
  • A …

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Off-duty at Thanksgiving: Guilt just gets in way of the gravy

We are on the threshold of another Thanksgiving holiday. Once again it’s diet-be-damned as we dive into the depths of too much food and the various ways we rationalize it before, during and after the feast.

The most common is the “Starting Tomorrow” speech as one piles the dressing on top of the mashed potatoes that are piled on the other kind of dressing that rests on the 16 slices of turkey.

“Tomorrow I’ll be getting back to my diet of six calories a day, along with 16 hours of non-stop exercise.”

We’re never actually starting the diet and rigorous exercise program after Thanksgiving but rather continuing the workout that would easily train us for any upcoming decathlon. Everyone nods in false agreement that makes the person feel better.

“I’ll just eat small portions.”

This one is followed by six trips of small portions — the last two trips hopefully unseen.

Another favorite is the person who proclaims a pre-Thanksgiving fasting ritual: “I haven’t …

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My holiday safety tips

Yep, it’s that time of year again. I’ll bet you can name a bunch of ways to stay safe through the holidays without being told anything. You should be able to. The cops and everyone else say the same thing every year:

• Don’t leave your GPS, laptop, wallet, M-16, Rolex, pan flute or other valuables in the car while you’re inside shopping.

• Don’t leave your house unlocked with no alarm and the porch lights on all day and the mail stacked up and a sign that says “Out of Town” on the front door.

• Don’t leave your purse in the child-seat of the shopping cart, open with your wallet sitting there, begging to be stolen.

• Don’t leave your car on while you walk inside the convenient store to buy something.

• Don’t send your name, date of birth and Social Security number, along with your bank account number, to that guy, the only living relative of the super-rich and recently deceased oil baron in the Great Providence of Neusabee because he happened to …

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Buying or selling something? Make it a face-to-face cash deal

A man answers an ad on Craigslist. The ad says they will hunt a car loan for him. All he needs to do is send $500, his name, date of birth, Social Security number and even his birth certificate to a guy known only as Dennis.

The victim did just that. The man later reports to the police that he never heard back from Dennis.

How many of you would do this?

This isn’t an error in judgment. It’s just stupid. We get dozens of similar reports each week.

You’re selling a $500 lawn mower on Craigslist or the online paper. You’re contacted by a man who said he wants to purchase the mower. He’ll send you $1,500. Deposit it and then send a money order for the balance of $1,000 to an address in another city for “shipping.”

You deposit the money order or check, then you send a money order as requested to the address. A couple of days later your bank said the money order you received was no good.

Yours was and it’s now gone to a P.O. box to be collected by the crook.

Now this …

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Life is short. Enjoy it now

Life is short isn’t it?

I heard a song the other day that said: “Life is a game you can’t win so enjoy the ride.” I’m sure that there are about a hundred variations of that in song or poems or drunken reflections, but it’s all true.

I figure I’ve delivered a couple of dozen death messages in my career—mostly in the early days when I worked the road.

The first time was unbelievably hard. All I can remember is taking advice from “The Godfather” movie, choosing to deliver the bad news quickly. It was something that I always remembered. They know you’re there for bad news because it’s all over your face. There is no sense asking them to sit or otherwise prolong what you need to say. It’s once you say it that you need to take time with them.

People react differently. Some get angry, some just don’t believe a word of it and some just stare at you.

I worked a traffic fatality one night. I drove to the woman’s apartment and spoke with her fiancé. I sat …

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Tips for a safe night of trick-or-treating

Halloween is again upon us.

It’s the time of year when little kids dress up like princesses and pirates while the older kids dress up in more theme-oriented costumes as Lindsay Lohan or Quagmire from “Family Guy.“ (Whatever floats the boat, right?)

Every year we look at Halloween safety, and every year dole out the same advice: be a parent.

I get comments every year saying we shouldn’t give out the same advice each and every year, that they know all the safety tips for kids. They want something new — like there’s some new strain of Halloween risks out there we should be aware of.

The reason we repeat what you probably already know is because there are a lot of parents out there who don’t do the basics and send the kids out there without a clue of what those basics are. That’s why God gave us Family and Children Services.

Believe it or not, some kids get sent out by parents who toss them a bag and say, “See you at 10.” My hope is that I’ll hit the basics …

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