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04 May

Rejigging my Crystal Ball: And Far More Important Things

Okay, so the Prez didn’t authorize issuance of the photos, but CBS showed two other dead men from the same night, holes and blood and all. I don’t get it. I predict the next rumor will be that the President wouldn’t authorize Bin Laden’s death photo because the President is a Muslim. Not true, but this might very well be the direction the conspiraloonies go next. We shall see. I think the photo should have been released, but who am I — just some schmuck in a rusted out Flyover state. Twill be interesting to see where the phone numbers sewed into Bin Laden ‘s clothing takes the hunt next. A Pakistani military or ISI contact? Stay tuned. Will be happy to get into the woods so I can ignore all this baloney and posturing by everyone. California used to be the land of Fruits and Nuts: Now it’s nearly the entire country.

My friend Mike Vairo’s mother Dorothy passed away this week, 95 years old, a fine, fine lady born in Mohawk, Michigan in the Keweenaw. She will be interred in St. Ignace in July to rest beside her late Husband Joe, himself a UP original. Vairos are related to the one-time owner of the bar under the Calumet Italian Hall where in 1913 there was a party for the children of striking miners on Christmas Eve, somebody yelled “Fire,” 60-70 people died and nobody was ever charged or  brought to justice.

 Some years ago Dorothy took vehement exception to my characterizing the UP as a wilderness. Got really mad!  She was something. Most recently she decided (months ago) she’d lived too long so she took up smoking to accelerate the process. Course she was told it would take years of smoking to bring about the desired end, she just harrumphed. When state put up billboards promoting the UP as a 5-Star Wilderness, she seethed.  Last summer she was with Mike and Family at the cottage on Upper Lake Michigan and Jambe Longue, Shanny,  and I stopped in and Mike said, “Joe Heywood’s here, ” and she barked, “He’s not Joe Heywood!” She sort of had a nascient grudge about me — stemming to my sometimes overly physical play in our high school basketball days when Mike and I used to go head to head Iggy vs. The Yard. (They never won.) She will be missed.

And my friend Roger Kullenberg also passed away earlier.  Of Benton Harbor and Michigan State  roots, he was a lifelong newspaperman with ink for blood, a brilliant wit, and seldom a cold word for anyone. Rog  passed on a few days before Dorothy.  Next week I’m going to play cards with the Kalamazoo Gazette “Geezers” (odd game called 99) and I am sure the night will be filled with Roger stories.

Tomorrow is Cinco de Mayo, a late portent? We’re gonna go to Azteka in the morning, and get some skull pastries just to mark the times. Then it will be off to find a en plein air easel and paint supply box for Jambe Longue who finally will have time to paint this summer.

On both a happy and mystical note, Jambe Longue’s sister Mary Miars and her famous singing twins Megan and Liz, relocated to Nashville to begin their professional singing careers. They arrived at the rental  house before the realtor got there, and walked across the street to an empty field to get a better look at the house; there they saw a bluebird land on the roof. Mary and Lonnie’s dad, Cam Miars, passed away a few years back and the family has always equated bluebirds with his spirit looking after them. Who is to say they’rewrong? Naturally they all wept and when Mary talked to Lonnie, then she joined in to.


03 May

Allerdyce Interview

A reporter I once met long agao sent me the following transcript of an interview he did recently with Limpy Allerdyce. The reporter’s name is Robin Goodfellow. He writes for a nature conservation website in England. They met at Allerdyce’s compound in southwest Marquette County. His plan was to publish a profile of the old violator on Goodfellow’s blog.

GOODFELLOW:  Thank you for hosting me at your home, Mr. Allerdyce.

ALLERDYCE:  Call me Limpy or Allerdyce.

GOODFELLOW:  Where does the name Limpy come from?

ALLERDYCE: Call me Allerdyce.

GOODFELLOW: Beautiful rustic home you have here. May I take photos?
ALLERDYCE:  Camp, not home. Take pitchers youse leave here with camera up youse’s ass.

GOODFELLOW: You are friends with the game warden, Mr. Service?

ALLERDYCE: (Holds up crossed fingers) Me, Sonnyboy, like dat.

GOODFELLOW: You’ve known him long?

ALLERDYCE: Since his mum spit’ im out and bit it.


ALLERDYCE: Died. Back den womyns died havin’ dere kittles, eh.

GOODFELLOW: How old are you?

ALLERDYCE: How old you?

GOODFELLOW: I’m not writing about me.


GOODFELLOW: Do you and the game warden see much of each other?

ALLERDYCE: We don’t shower together, that what youse mean.

GOODFELLOW:  I didn’t mean to imply.  But I have been led to believe that you assist him from time to time on the prosecution of some of his cases.

ALLERDYCE: Sonnyboy,  he don’t need no help.

GOODFELLOW: You knew his mother and father?

ALLERDYCE: His old man was pal. Old lady, not so much.

GOODFELLOW: Service’s job has changed some in recent years.

ALLERDYCE: Don’t pay no attention. His job. Not mine.

GOODFELLOW: So you don’t work with him?

ALLERDYCE: Sometimes.

GOODFELLOW: Sometimes you do, or sometimes you don’t?


GOODFELLOW: You have the reputation as one of the biggest poachers in the Upper Peninsula, so joining forces with a game warden seems to me, at least on the surface to be a bit unusual.

ALLERDYCE: Biggest poacher in hull state. But not no more.

GOODFELLOW: You’re telling me you’ve reformed?

ALLERDYCE: That what you call it?

GOODFELLOW: Yes, reformed. Changed.

ALLERDYCE: Youse say.

GOODFELLOW: On what kind of cases do you collaborate?

ALLERDYCE: Use English, youse.

GOODFELLOW: It is English. The Queen’s English.

ALLERDYCE: We only got Yooper English.

GOODFELLOW: But your local patois is unique.

ALLERDYCE: My panties is what?

GOODFELLOW: Patois, your way of speaking.

ALLERDYCE: English, not no panties. Don’t talk panties, less you talk ‘em off gal.

GOODFELLOW: Word is that you like the ladies. In fact you’re sort of a legend along those lines, I’m told.

ALLERDYCE: More like dey like me.

GOODFELLOW: Service has a girlfriend?

ALLERDYCE: Yah sure, he porks’ cute Troop dickateckative  lives down Marquette.

GOODFELLOW: Do you have a ladyfriend?

ALLERDYCE: When I feel like it, eh. Dey all over place up here, bar, church, eh.

GOODFELLOW: You attend church?


GOODFELLOW: Taverns are not churches.

ALLERDYCE: Mebbe where youse come from.

GOODFELLOW: Can we talk about your career as a poacher?

ALLERDYCE: Talk all youse want.

GOODFELLOW: Will you be candid?

ALLERDYCE: (Puffing up). I tole youse no cameras, no pitchers.

GOODFELLOW: What I meant to say is will you be open with me about poaching?

ALLERDYCE: Youse can ask. We’ll see, eh.

GOODFELLOW: Was it lucrative?

ALLERDYCE:  You call me Lucifer?

GOODFELLOW: Lucrative, from lucre. It’s a word for money.

ALLERDYCE:  You mean money, say it.  What wrong with youse?

GOODFELLOW: All right, was the work profitable?

ALLERDYCE: What work?


ALLERDYCE: Wunt know. I ain’t never violated.

GOODFELLOW: You revised my statement to make sure I knew you were the biggest poacher in the state, not just in the U.P.

ALLERDYCE: You got it on tape?

GOODFELLOW:  No sir. You said no recorders, no cameras.

ALLERDYCE: Good. Yer word against mine, bub.

GOODFELLOW: Have I offended you?

ALLERDYCE: Not sure. Have youse?

GOODFELLOW: I just want my readers to get a sense of the poaching life. We have poaching in England, but it seems sort of tame compared to here.

ALLERDYCE: What I care what youse got or don’t got?

GOODFELLOW: (Frustration growing) So when did you last see Mr. Service?

ALLERDYCE: Don’t keep no book.

GOODFELLOW: Would you describe your relationship as one of friendship?

ALLERDYCE: I might. Doubt he would.

GOODFELLOW: Does he trust you?

ALLERDYCE: Some, not all.

GOODFELLOW: Do you find that annoying, this lack of trust?

ALLERDYCE: His feeling, not mine.

GOODFELLOW: So you trust him?

ALLERDYCE: Some, not all.

GOODFELLOW: How did you and he meet?

ALLERDYCE: Shot Sonnyboy in leg.


ALLERDYCE: Shotgun (Points to his own leg)

GOODFELLOW: An accident I presume?

ALLERDYCE: He try cuff me, o take me in. We sort of rassled, pow.

GOODFELLOW: And you went to prison?

ALLERDYCE: Seven years, Jacktown.

GOODFELLOW: What was that like?

ALLERDYCE: Place fulla butt-fuckers, earrings and tats, Queen English like youse talk.

GOODFELLOW:  Why was Service trying to arrest you?

ALLERDYCE: Don’t ‘member. Look ‘er up, youse.

GOODFELLOW: You ever see any cougars up here?

ALLERDYCE: Not for long.

GOODFELLOW: You mean you just catch glimpses.

ALLERDYCE: (Rubs belly). Not for long.

GOODFELLOW: But you do have eagles up here.

ALLERDYCE: Taste like shit. Eat too much rotted-out roadkill.

GOODFELLOW: You eat your national symbol?

ALLERDYCE: Govmint  eat us. What youse t’ink taxes is, eh?

GOODFELLOW: Why are you standing up?

ALLERDYCE: Tired talking youse.
GOOD FELLOW: You mean the interview is over?

ALLERDYCE: Your call. I ain’t talk no more.

GOODFELLOW: Will you be so kind to give me an escort back to my vehicle?

ALLERDYCE: You got hundred?


ALLERDYCE: What you think?

GOODFELLOW: This is robbery!

ALLERDYCE: Robbery when I hold gun you, take money.

GOODFELLOW: This is at the very least extortion.

ALLERDYCE: Give Limpy hundred, call it what you like.

GOODFELLOW: And if I refuse?

ALLERDYCE: Don’t take no wrong turns on way out, eh.

GOODFELLOW: I’m not intimidated.

ALLERDYCE: Have nice walk. You see bear with scar on head, run.

GOODFELLOW: I was told one should never run from a bear because they’re too fast.

ALLERDYCE: True-dat.

GOODFELLOW: Why then did you advise me to run?

ALLERDYCE: Give you something think about till bear rip out your guts and eat youse head. Had camera youse woulda  had Kodiak moment, take pitcher of bear  just before he swallow your head.

Mr. Goodfellow advised in his note that he paid Allerdyce $100 at that moment, was shown the trail out to his rental, ran as fast as he could,  and did not look back on his way to Marquette. He says the interview will not be published and he will never again return to the Savagelands of America’s Rust Belt.

I called the reporter this morning in New York. “Lucky you didn’t bump into a Waheela on your way out,” I told him.

“A what?”

“Waheela, it’s sort of a wolf that runs mostly alone and takes off the heads of human victims.”

“Blimey, you Yanks are all balmy,” he muttered.

I was going to offer to give him a hundred bucks, but he  abruptly hung up.

Indeed we are a bit on the balmy side.

I didn’t tell him the white crows are out and about tonight, but they are. Over.

02 May

Bin Laden: Thoughts The Day After

I’m incredibly proud of our intelligence and military,  and especially SEAL Team 6 for getting bin Laden. Now for my rant: while I’m proud of the people who got bin Laden, at the same time I’m ashamed of fellow Americans calling into C-Span and other media outlets with the most abject and pathetic b.s. imaginable:

“We shot him in the face, so we can’t ID him.  Does government think we’re stupid?”

“I just ‘cawin’ to say US government is lying. “

“Obama released long birth certificate to confuse people, so can’t believe him. “

“The Israelis were behind 9/11, but we ain’t going to Tel Aviv.”

“Where is proof he’s dead?”

“Now there’s gonna be more legislature on our rights.”

“So they say he’s dead and I just want to remind everybody  this is a victory for Team Obama.”

“Can’t believe our Precedent…” (sic)

“How do we know he ain’t been dead for years and they just saying this now to make us think they got him?”

“He ain’t dead, they captured him and they’re interrogating and torturing him.”

“This is all a plot of the One World Government.”

“You’re probably gonna think I’m crazy, but everybody does anyway.”

“How’re we gonna solve world peace now?”

“Is it coincidence Ghadaffi’s  intelligence guy comes over and suddenly we find bin Laden?”

“Whenever I heard about this last night, I’m Christian and he was murdered by god who says people in the Bible get punished.”

“Why do we got to treat his body by Islams law and give him proper burial. People in New York didn’t get burials per se.”

 Americans have an opinion on everything even when they are clueless. After 9/11 we took exception to certain Muslims celebrating the events in New York City. Now we kill bin Laden and what do we do? Think about the stellar example of citizenhood  on TV last night, shirtless, with a Budweiser in hand cheering like his team just won a damn football game.

It’s not a game, and it’s not over. As a people we need to shut up and listen and politicians need to stop making one-minute speeches so they can get publicity. This is a time for a deep breath and contemplation.

From my own listening and reading, here’s what I believed happen and what will come next: SEAL Team 6 landed at the compound 35 miles north of Islamabad, and the fight began. Bin Laden’s compound was less than 100 meters from what amounts to the Pakistani War College, or Command and Staff School, or similar. A fight erupted immediately. At some point bin Laden was killed, as were others. It’s not clear if we killed him or if one of his security people did so, and it doesn’t  matter. Our SEALS got the body, did facial ID (bullet going in front of face doesn’t have to make major damage – going out usually does). We also took tissue samples from bin Laden and his son, who was also killed, chucked the corpse on a chopper and boogied. DNA takes time. I predict when DNA comes back toda or tomorrow the photos of the body will be released. Even then, some Americans will continue to develop all sorts of conspiracy theories. Dudes, what you people really need to worry about is the US government coming after  you, because they will, ya know, sayin’?

Part of our collective problem is our seeming inability to remember history. When the Soviets were driven out of Afghanistan, we cut off all support to the Kabul government and rebel groups —  and in that space the Taliban (created in part by Pakistani intelligence) moved into the void and took over the country and there in created a refuge for bin Laden. Lesson: Now that he’s dead, we can’t just walk away from Afghanistan or we may have to do this all over again down the road. We need to help them get control of their country.

Finally we seem to talk and mourn the thousands killed on 9/11 (and other attacks), but nobody mentions the numbers of soldiers killed and wounded trying to find this sonovabitch. According to the Washington Post site (not updated since Feb 20, the number of US military lost stood at 5,885 (4,424 in Iraq op and 1,461 in Afghanistan). These numbers are out of date, but we lost more people chasing this guy than we lost on 9/11 (and that’s counting the 4,000 plus killed in Iraq, where he at the time had no role.). It seems to me that when we talk numbers we ought to talk about all of the dead from this, not just the catalyst.

A lot of people will avoid speaking this, but here’s my take: the brutal opposition to Obama comes down to his being Black. People use all sorts of codes to refer to him, but they really mean they don’t like the color of his skin.

Question for youse — C-Span: Does that stand for Crazies-Call-in Span?

Following the blog entry is a sign from Upper Michigan expressing the same sort of antigovernment, conspiracy fears as the callers to C-Span. Read it. It’s real, not something I had to make up for a novel. “All earthly governments are rule by Satan?” Sheesh. It takes all kinds, I guess.

Of all the commentary today there was one that stood out as sound advice for the moment. A woman called in and said, ““My mama always told me talk good of the dead. He’s dead. Good.”

Amen and over.

Citizen Opinion.

02 May

Bin Laden Gets His

Goodbye to a barbaric animal ; may he rot in Hell or whatever other place the so-called man reserved for evil pieces of shit who purport to carry out god’s orders. Congratulations to our CIA, other intelligence agencies, our government, and most of all to the courageous special forces team that went into Pakistan and got him yesterday.  It usually seems wrong to celebrate a person’s death, but not this time.We should take the high road and treat his body with respect, but good riddance to a dog. Now, where is  al Zawahiri? You’re next, bub. Over.

28 Apr

History at Hand (Literally)

Yesterday I worked with a crew of DNR Law Enforcement personnel on a project at the State Library in Lansing and we got a personal tour of the archives and how to use them. They actually took us into the vault and pulled out Michigan’s original constitution from 1835. Very, very cool. I love our state’s history and if you look you will see the original writer had to edit/ amend the document with the word “the” that had been omitted. Makes the folks just seem so much more human, eh?  The constitution was drafted in May and June and put to the people’s vote  October 5 and 6, 1835. The people approved the constitution 6,299 to 1,359, but we did not get taken into the union until 1837 when the Toledo issue was settled and the UP awarded to Michigan in lieu of the Toledo Strip. Good for us! Over.

Michigan's original hand-drafted constitution, written in Detroit, May 11 - June 24, 1835.

25 Apr


I was cruising through historical photos and ran across the following of what Mackinaw City and Iggy used to look like at deer season, pre-bridge. And there’s also shot of bridge under construction. Senator Prentiss Brown was the champion of the bride; John Voelker loathed it, didn’t want the added visitations. Over.

Long wait for Coxey's Army

Site Under Construction

24 Apr

Happy Belated Birthday

Yesterday was the day people celebrate Wm. Shakespeare’s birthday. Technicall the real date is not known, though there is an entry in Holy Trinity parish church in Stratford for Guliemus Filius Johannes Shakespeare (William, son of John…) for April 26, 1564. The mystery of the actual date revolves around rules for registering births at the time. In any event, Happy Birthday Mr. Shakespeare. How would Shakespeare fare as a writer were he alive today? I’d guess he’d have a pretty good following, maybe not the largest of any writer, but hey, he’d be a mere 457 years old, so any life and following would be pretty miraculous.

With apologies to the birthday boy I was thinking about some of his plays this morning and wondered what difference a title makes in a play’s reception and ultimate success. Remember the ongoing joke in Shakespeare in Love about the play the bard was writing to be called Romeo and Ethel the Pirate’s Daughter?

If he were alive today and went to his editor to help trim the “duck” fat and find the best possible title, he might run off course until the editor helped out. I offer the following misdirected, almost titles from our times (and my mind):

Much Ado About Whatever


Henry IV . 1 and henry IV .2

A Midsummer’s Night’s Stream — (a play about hexagenia limbata fishing, or mousing, takes your pick, guv.)


The Taming of the Vole

As You Know (Ya Think Ya Know) It

The, Like, Product Specialist of Venice?

The Tragedy of Errors

The Briefest Storm

24 Apr

Easter Cupcakes & Fish On The Run

Happy Easter to you and yours. Sort of gloomy day here, but not raining. Mary Wood passed along an Easter cooking photo  to share. The color is  sheer Vesuvian and I’m sure the eating would be excellent too.

Most times around Easter I’m in the UP working with COs who are covering fish runs. When the ice goes out, the fish come into the rivers to spawn, smelt, rainbows, walleye and then the suckers. When you see the redhorses you know the walleyes are done. The yellow perch and whitefish tend to spawn out on reefs in bays, rather than in the rivers, but I know of at least one river in the UP where lake trout swim up to spawn. Many years ago a truck carrying lake trout for planting encountered some mechanical problems and rather than let the fish die, offloaded them into a river and lo and behold they began coming back up that same river to spawn every year.  Funny how memories drive a lot in every species.

Back in my high school days at Rudyard everyone looked forward to the smelt runs and word spread fast when they came into the creeks. Then for many years the runs seemed to fall off in volume and duration, and fish biologists told me the small fish had changed their patterns to spawning on reefs off the mouths of creeks and rivers they formerly ran.  But now smelt runs seem to be growing again. Maybe the drop in salmon population, with smaller plantings has influenced this? Whatever. Deep fried smelt are one of life’s pleasures, right up there with pan-fried brook trout and morel shrooms, which should be popping around Mother’s Day. Enjoy the photos. Over.

Mary's Easter Cupcakes

Recent batch of smdelt from the eastern UP.

Eastern UP "Steel."

23 Apr

Spring’s in the Air, Animals Moving Around

In the sixties today, and sunny. Nice. Last night Jambe Longue and I took our new friend, Doet Boersma (from the Netherlands), on an evening animal viewing tour south of Schoolcraft. She had never seen whitetail deer, or turkeys or sandhill cranes. Last night we saw about 200 deer, 20 or so turkeys and some sandhills, including a pair where the male was doing his mating dance, which is fun to see. Doet was intrigued by the Green Streamer, which is relatively empty this time of year, though I always keep a supply of flies in the roof over my head — just in case.  From further north, CO Nightlinger posted a photo from today. looks to me like a broadshoulder hawk, but not certain. Also, her friend Dani Rutledge of Epoufette posted a photo of a coyote seen on the Seney stretch en route to Marquette. It remained stationary for 2-3 minutes so photos could be taken. Look at the pointy ears and “fox-like” face and you know immediately this is a coyote rather than a wolf. The trout opener looms! Over.

Heading out for a nature tour, hoping rain will hold off.

Handy overhead flies...what every vehicle needs.

Break-time on the Little South Branch of the Pere Marquette River, Bullshido Camp 2009. L to R: Robochef Bob Peterson, Al-the-Pal Allen VanDenBerg, and Reg YankCanuck Bernard.

Broad-shoulder hawk. Photo by K. Nightlinger.

Coyote seen near Seney. Photo taken by Dani Rutledge of Epoufette.

21 Apr

Cogitations and Ruminations

Lonnie (Jambe Longue) has finished radiation treatments and will begin a five-year regimen with Tamoxifen to suppress the estrogen that fueld the tumor removed in January. She made a decision to keep information public about what is going on to encourage other women to get regular mamograms and other checkups. She has met lots of women during this past couple of months, many with far more serious challenges and considers herself lucky to have caught this early. Since late December when the biopsy result came back Lonnie has continued to teach three classes at Kalamazoo Valley Community College, walk every day, do the stretches for her back every other days and maintain all her social relationships, all done with grace and a smile. Her way of handling such stress got me to thinking about how different people handle stressful times and moments in their lives.

46th Air Refueling Squadron patch.

 This led me to remember deep-winter excursions to Eilson AFB (near Fairbanks, Alaska), where we went to do periodic qualifications on what was called Max Gross Weight Takeoffs — maximum, nuclear war fuel loads. Don’t remember now how heavy the birds were, but Eilson was the only runway in the western hemisphere where this could be safely done (and then only in cold weather).  The takeoffs were required and while there we also used celestial grid navigation. As many know, the earth’s magnetic lines all converge at the poles, rendering compasses fairly inaccurate. To compensate we would disconnect the compass — which usually was oriented to Magnetic north, and point it out into the stars at an arbitrary spot and then navigate relative to our location versus that artificial point. This created in effect an artificial grid which would overlay the normal latitude and longitudes on regular charts and maps.

Missions typically took us up and out over the poles adjacent to Soviet air space and this naturally put a premium on navigators peforming flawlessly, less we run out of fuel and go down over a pole, or worse, wander over Soviet lines and be forced down (or worse) by Soviet air defense interceptors.

Not every navigator performed at expectations. I remember walking into the Eilson command post one night to get last minute information on weather, etc and looking at a wall with a map that stretched 20-30 feet across. On that map were pins and lines denoting actual routes traversed by errant navigators. Some of the tracks were so bizarre and so far off intended routes I wondered why crews had not crashed or been taken by the Soviets.

Naturally flying in the celestial grid mode with only stars to show the way (and assuming there’s no high overcast) tended to be nerve-wracking for all involved. Navigators were pretty much on their own and the crew totally dependent on his performance. Pilots couldn’t help because their alternate navigation devices were all compass-dependent, and the compass was disconnected. What I couldn’t figure out is why the errant navigators had not looked at their radars. True radar over year-round ice (it used to be so) caused strange radar readings and something called a reverse return. Most of us had done enough polar navigation in the ice belts to know how to translate what the radar showed, or if there was no undercast (which was rare) to simply look out the window for orientation. The far north is filled with countless islands, most of them unknown and uninhabited by other than a few Inuit hunters. Looking at your radar would be a way of checking your progress by letting you pick out prominent islands as a double check. My own principle, and that of my crews was to use every alternative available to us so we could successfully fly the mission and come home safely. Had I thought myself in a problem in such circumstances I would have been asking for help from my crewmates, not silently hoping for the best while we raced along at eight miles a minute.

KC-135 Stratotanker

Years later I saw the phenomenon again — this time in the corporate world. (Think military without uniforms.) I had been promoted a few times and wanted to offer my professionals a chance to go through a formal evaluation program to help them take stock of what were perceived to be managerial skills. I had been through such a program and albeit somewhat artificial, it was educational and useful. The entire battery of course is chock full of stressors, from intellectual to human.

One of my folks was a highly competent and competent performer, yet in several exercises he absolutely fell apart and go nowhere near the desired results. The scary part was that at no time did he reveal even a tiny degress of stress. He looked and acted like he was on top of everything. The results showed differently. he was certain he had maxed out every single task with the highest possible performance. Yet he had tanked virtually everything. In other words he had no idea of how he had really performed, only what he had programmed himself to think, a sort of tunnel vision, self-deluding wall as far as I could tell. The consultants pulled me aside and told me that this sort of individual was potentially most lethal to an organization, because he could not distinguish good peformance from catastrophic and might unknowingly continue on his merry way until everything fell down on top of everyone. You need to think carefully about what sort of assignments he gets and pay attention. The lesson is that we all need to know our limits and seek help and support before we begin to run off the edge of the map.

One of the exercises in the program involved a manager calling an employee to a meeting based on what he thought was a problem with the individual, but when the employee arrived he presented with a totally different and nearly off-the-wall situation. Most of the erstwhile managers of course prepared for Situation A, but came face to face with situation Z and those who lacked the ability to think on theri feet and improvise had an awful and stressful experience. Several actually sat in total silence behind the desk, tuning out the employee and his problem. We video-taped these sessions and invariable the person would say emphatically,” No I didn’t do that” until we played the tape and then they’d  amend their response to,” Oh.”

This shut-down behavior I had seen before during POW -interrogation resistance training at survival school at Fairchild AFB near Spokane Washington. There most tried to use techniques we had been taught to resist, but as weather and stress mounted others simply lay down on the frozen ground, curled their legs in fetal positions and stuck thumbs in their mouth. I was astounded to see it and learned you cannot tell by looking at people at a glance who can or cannot handle stress. Plus abilities change with age and experience. Each of us handles stress differently and the variation is surprisingly wide.

But Jambe Longue? She’s done good.  Enjoy your Easter. Over.

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