Category Archives: Conversations with Riley

Riley is my puppy, and she has a lot to say about the world and our society. “Conversations with Riley” is a series of posts that chronicle a small snippet of the deep philosophical conversations that we share. Please be sure to click the name of each post to view the entire story.

Conversations with Riley #27: Warm Spots Chase The Goblins Away

dog on couch_full
It’s comfy

Me: <stretch> I’m going to get some water

–30 seconds later–

Riley: Hi
Me: You took my spot
Riley: I heard a thing and I got scared and it’s getting cold outside and you’re spot is warm and I knew you’d give me hugs and kisses and do I have to move I like it here and I love you so much can I have a hug and kiss?
Me: Yes.

Conversations with Riley #26: Socks, How I Missed Thee

socks-hi
Like it says… Socks

Me: Ooof! It feels good to get my shoes and socks off!
Riley: Did you say… socks?!
Me: Yes, um… why?
Riley: <dive bombs my socks face first, then proceeds push her face against the floor using my socks as a cushion> They smell good! They smell like you!

Conversations with Riley #25: Books and Snacks

large_open_book
Remember the Pizza Hut Book Club?

Me: Ah! It feels good to sit down and take my shoes off!
Riley: <sits at attention, looking me in the eye> Hello sir
Me: Hmm… very formal

<Riley rests a paw on my knee>

Riley: Sir it’s been a long and quiet day and even though I’ve been bored I was a good girl and didn’t get into anything I shouldn’t or even eat one of those tasty morsels I love so well.
Me: And by tasty morself you mean… a book, don’t you?
Riley: Mmmmmmm book…
Me: Riley, did you eat a book?
Riley: I love you

Conversations with Riley #23: Tail Music

music_note_coloring_pages_-_coloring_pages__pictures_music_note_coloring_pages_
Puppy Music

Me: <singing> I wake up in the morning and raise my weary head
Riley: <Grin!!!! Jump!!!!>
Me: <singing> Had an old coat for a pillow and the earth was last night’s bed

<Guitar strum>

Me: ?
Riley: I always wanted to play for Snoopy and Woodstock’s All Pet Revue

<Tag wail, guitar strum>

Me: <singing> I don’t know where I”m goin’, only God knows where I’ve been…

 

In Which Racism is Institutionalized

On October 1, 2014, the Washington, D.C. police department decided that Dennis Stucky, a black man walking through a neighborhood where mostly affluent white people live, might have been involved in a burglary which by accounts appear to have not had a police response yet. The reported phone call came from an alarm that sent an automated call to police. Even worse (f that is possible), the officers involved were themselves black.

In our country, we have made amazing strides toward equality for those who have been disenfranchised by the government and by society. We are still working to better ourselves, and the most recent example are the recent court rulings regarding same sex marriage. Even so, we must be ever vigilant in order to ensure we do not take steps backwards in our pursuits of equality.

JRW-2012
Courtesy Global Cyber Risk, LLC’s website

Jody Westby, CEO of Global Cyber Risk, LLC, stepped forward on October 1st when she saw institutionalized racism at work in the Washington, D.C. police department, its response to a black man walking in her neighborhood.

Said Westby, “Just because he’s black, doesn’t mean he’s here to rob a house. He works for us he’s been in this neighborhood for 30 years.”

I acknowledge that the police should be allowed to ask questions about a crime that happened nearby (even though the crime occurred nearly a mile away); that said the manner of the questions and the style in which the questioning took place leave something to be desired. Westby’s housekeeper filmed the below video, in which you will notice the following:

  • The police demanded and required that Stucky get on the ground
  • The police demanded he explain where he came from and where he was going

Given that the police officers involved did not have a description of the suspect at all, the appropriate way to handle this, I think, should have been:

  • Ask him if he had a moment to speak
  • Ask him if he was aware of any suspicious activity in the neighborhood

Had they approached the situation in this way, they would have learned (without confrontation) what Westby had to explain to them: Stucky has worked in this neighborhood for 30 years, and his presence in the neighborhood was both expected and welcome by the community.

 And finally: as there was no break-in that occurred, and the alarm went off erroneously causing an automated call to be placed to the police department, an important question is raised. Why were the police stopping someone walking at a normal pace nearly a mile away from an active alarm going off instead of rushing to the scene of the “crime”?

Please be sure to watch this video, and share this message with people you know. We must work to be ever vigilant and cognizant of this type of behavior, now and always.

For more information about this event, please visit the following links:

Conversations with Riley # 20: Ghost Hiders… er… Busters

Ghostbusters_logo.svg
Picture Courtesy of Wikipedia

<smoke detector announcing battery is low>

Riley: What was that?
Me: Battery is low on the smoke detector

<smoke detector announcing battery is low>

Riley: WHAT was that?
Me: Oh I guess you haven’t heard that before
Riley: IT’S A GHOST! <hides>

<I brave heights to take the battery out>

Riley: Who you gonna call?
Me: It wasn’t a —
Riley: I ain’t ‘fraid of no ghost!!