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.


Pursuing God: The Ministry of Silly Walks on the Narrow Path

What kind of man sits at home all day on a computer while his wife is out working her butt off?

Believe it or not, people ask me this. Sometimes blatantly, and at other times they use tact. Either way, it can be tricky. I’ve handled this a couple of different ways the past few years, most of them badly. Then I realized something: we’re all different. Further, as we take the narrow path, we each walk differently. Picture Monty Python’s Ministry of Silly Walks, if you will.

When I met my wife I was doing a work-from-home tech job so I’d be around for my son, who I’d just gotten custody of. A few months later I began making use of my G.I. Bill before I lost the benefits I’d earned. My wife, who I was dating by then, had (and still has) an excellent job with great pay and benefits. She also has a child with some chronic health issues and taking off work all the time to handle those wasn’t done lightly during a time her employer was looking for people to let go. So she asked me to help out with that; an undertaking I gladly took up and still cherish today.

Today I take care of the kids, the house, the dog and cat, and pretty much everything else around our home. I also am afforded the time to write both my blog and a variety of stories and poems. Further, I am able to act as a board member for two non-profits. Finally, I am part of a couple of groups in our church and volunteer as a part of several ministries.

My wife’s job is stressful. It makes her feel good to know I’m available to take kids to doctor appointments. She doesn’t need to worry about cooking dinner every night or fighting with the kids to get and keep the house clean. She knows her husband is pursuing a dream that makes him happy and has the potential to help pay the bills. At this point, at the very least, I can pay for a fast food lunch somewhere for the two of us every now and then.

Finally, I’ve been the guy that hires people in a couple of different industries. I can’t turn my head all the way left and right. My knees give out. I have shoulders that don’t like keeping my arms at “10 and 2” on the steering wheel without a lot of pain. Besides, when it comes down to it, we’re not likely to risk my wife’s $30/hour job by having her miss work to take care of a hospitalized child (which is something we do at least once a year with the child who has chronic health problems) when the best I’ve ever made in my life in hourly or salary work is about $15/hour.

In short, I’m the kind of man who wants to make my wife’s life less stressful. She’s not your wife. Your wife might require something else to make her life less stressful. I love my wife. I’m betting you love yours, too. Our dream isn’t about chasing more stuff. It’s about chasing more time together with each other and with God.

God made us all for his glory, but he made us all different. Please remember that the next time you see someone pursuing life, pursuing God, differently from how you do it.

You might be walking sedately, in a stately and upright manner … I’m more like the guy shuffle, shuffle, high kicking.

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.