The Importance of Jargon

Jargon has its place in the English language. It allows people in various fields to conduct conversations about matters that impact outsiders without necessarily letting them in on what is going on. You see this with doctors, police, computer techs, and even in search and rescue.

Now, my instructors in the lofty towers of the Defense Information School will tell you jargon has no place in your work, but they are stodgy journalism professors (who, incidentally train the best journalists in America) with their own set of jargon (Says one to another, “You should see my pica pole.”)

Peace River Search and Rescue has a code system for informing each other about the status of searches.  These codes are arranged to help the team communicate delicate information while keeping it confidential from any listening ears that do not yet need to know the information being broadcast. This system, especially the codes for living or dead persons, is designed to be very user friendly, even in the event of an “oh shit” moment.

Recently I was part of a search and was shocked to come around a bend, in the dark, and see our missing man. I was working with another handler and she confirmed he was our missing person and ran to meet him. As the flanker (assistant), it was up to me to call in our find. My gears were spinning and getting no traction due to the overflow of adrenaline – I found a missing person! I say this to excuse the inexcusable.

I called in our find – and used the wrong code words. I accidentally told all listening he was dead.

I’m told there was a considerable intake of breath by all listening.

Our quick-thinking leader decided to confirm what I had said.

“So, you’re talking to him now?”



I’m told there was a considerable amount of relaxation at this point.

Jargon, it has its place. If you’re going to use it, use it correctly. I’ve worked in several jargon-intensive fields and I get quite a laugh from those who try to look knowledgeable by using jargon how they think they should. Don’t be that person.


What’s up down on Fraggle Rock?

Sorry for the absence … again.

Things got crazy around here. Our fourth high school graduate was taking up our time when she wasn’t working. Her sister was dating and getting engaged. The last kid in the batch was presenting his own challenges.

And then a young lady called and told us, “I can’t take care of my kid right now. I need your help.” That was six months ago and the young man in question has become an even bigger part of our family than he already was. We had been there for his birth. Our house was his first home after the hospital. He’s been on vacation with us. He goes to church with us. He evaded Hurricane Irma when the rest of the family skeedaddled to North Carolina in September.

Things have settled back down, now, and we are used to the idea that our oldest daughter will soon move out and get married. Our oldest son, in the Navy, continues to excel as a sailor and is coming to visit soon with his wife. The second oldest, is doing well in Nashville, but looking for something more. Of the two youngest, one prepares for nursing school and the other is preparing to graduate high school with his associates degree. Next step? USF Bulls and a commission in the United States Marine Corps.

And where does that leave the adults of this little tribe? The missus has found herself in a challenging position that she enjoys. As for me, I’m finally able to get some writing done on a regular basis and making headway on the follow-up to “A Taste for Something New.” It is tentatively titled “Wolves in the Storm.” I hope to have the first draft completed soon and in the hands of an editor by November, with an eventual publish date in mid-February. I plan to share a sneak peak of this new work by the end of the week.

Hope is out of her cone. Small dogs may still bark, but the moment her head turns to glare, they run away. The squirrel in the back? He runs past and doesn’t stop to chatter at her anymore. Brandi relies on Hope as her muscle and Cowgirl is back to being Hope’s punching bag. Koda/Dakota and Hope are sorta friends for real now. Midnight, my future son-in-law’s cat, is not as accepted. We still volunteer with Peace River Search and Rescue and love it.

One final note — Savage 4×4, Inc., in Fort Myers chose my Jeep and I for their 2017 Heroes Build. If you visit their website and social media platforms you can learn more about this project and ways you can support it. I was nominated because of my status as a veteran and for the work I have been doing with PRSAR. Around Nov. 1, Savage will get my Jeep and I won’t see it again until Veteran’s Day, Nov. 11. They did this last year for a truly deserving guy and it was incredible. I’m truly blessed to be a recipient of this honor and the work and so forth that goes into it.

And that, dear readers, is a snapshot of life down on Fraggle Rock.

Summer Storms In My Mind

The summer has been crazy. I’ve been busy and I’ve thought, a few times, that I had decided on a serious, dedicated direction for all I’m doing. So far, though, I’m just staying busy and feeling a little unproductive. It’s like there is wind and rain whipping through my mind, confusing my direction, while thunder and lightning boom and flash, adding to my distraction.

School is out for a few days before the Fall semester begins. I’m taking 18 credits since a full-time job has yet to surface in my life. I’ve been working a few hours a week on a friend’s farm and I hope to continue this (with a few more hours) for the foreseeable future. It’s hard work, but it helps pay the bills.

What does that mean for my blog? Actually, it means good things.

I spend a lot of time thinking while I’m at the farm. Several of us work there but my duties keep me on my own most of the time. The means my wheels start turning and creativity comes about. When that happens I either start writing or I get out my camera.

Some short works of fiction will be popping up in between my thoughts on life and liberty. I hope you enjoy them. I hope you comment on them.

I’ll also be sharing more of my photography at Rounds Downrange, another blog I have for that purpose.

I enjoy writing and I enjoy photography and I have a plan for the future that will put both to use. In the meantime, I’ll be sharing the journey with you. I hope you enjoy. If so, tell others, please. If not, please let me know.

And for those who know … Semeste.