Author: C. L. Swinney
A boy becomes a man.
Along the line,
life grabs him, rattles his innards
like a wooden roller coaster catapulting him into the jaws
of a treacherous society.
As this becomes clear, a reality,
a game if you will,
one he cannot win no matter the effort
or how sly he’s become, begins.
Only then does the risk
become the fuel to survive,
–C. L. Swinney (c) 2017
A salty policeman struggles to lift his hand
to the hand of a stranger.
Community meetings force him
from the comfort of a cruiser.
He walks along an uneven path
through downtown streets
leaving muddy boot prints,
each one crushing his aspirations.
Stress is part of the deal, but where trust once existed,
media has stripped completely away.
The pride once gained by risking our lives for strangers,
is gone. “Stranger” never meant what it does today,
like it did back in the day.
Back when “neighborhood” meant something.
Back when you didn’t ask police to raise your kid,
or scare them straight because they embarrassed you in public.
Back when civil disputes were handled by adults,
when simple things wouldn’t tear at the very foundation
of our society.
Yes, we’re wired for scary things.
Yes, we hunt active shooters
and run toward the gunfire… the evil you pretend
does not exist, that which looms in the back of your mind daily.
Why I risk everything for people who want me dead
is my own mystery. One for me to work out on my own.
My sisters and brothers will continue to protect the innocent,
enforce antiquated laws, and do what we can to crush
So we’re far from simple nuts and bolts,
robotic if you will. Strip away the badge and the gun.
Beneath the pain and suffering is a man or woman,
same as you. Nothing too fancy.
Beneath a ballistic vest and forty-pounds of accoutrements
we want the same thing, and we’re prepared to make
the ultimate sacrifice to obtain or provide it.
-C.L.Swinney (c) 2017
I’m happy to announce the first phase of this project launch. Essentially, I’m going to be selling decals, shirts, hats, and other items in the next few months that are cop-related. Proceeds will be donated to the families of fallen officers. Please check this out.
Watch your six decal with thin blue line. Size 2.75″ X 6″ Cost $5.00
*Always remember to watch your six. Watch your partner’s six. Watch your family’s six. This is the decal to remind you every day to be vigilant and make it home each shift. NEVER LET YOURSELF BECOME COMPLACENT.
“Not Today” broom decal. Size 3″ X 7″ Cost $5.00
“Not Today.” This is for sheepdog to remind them that they need to believe that they will not die today. We SWEEP the streets of evil, law breakers, criminals, and of the stuff no one else wants to deal with. In the process, we risk our lives for complete strangers. Rest assured, there will be no ambush, not today, not any day. NEVER LET YOURSELF BECOME COMPLACENT.
Roman Numeral Six decal. Size 5″ X 5.5″ Cost $5.00
Always remember to watch your six. Watch your partner’s six. Watch your family’s six. Do not become complacent. Recall that Gladiators did not give up until their death. We must do the same when we gear up for duty as well as off duty. NEVER LET YOURSELF BECOME COMPLACENT.
Shirts and hats to follow.
**EDIT** Robby has been moved from the ICU! I cannot thank all of you enough for the support and positive vibes. I’ll keep you all updated as the updates come in.-Chris
If you’re reading this, you already know who I am and what I’m about. But, if you don’t know me, my name is Chris Swinney. I’m a deputy sheriff with the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office with a soft spot for the men and women in blue. These gofundme accounts are happening far too much across our great country, but this one hit me right in the gut and knocked the wind out of me. I’ve been compelled, along with others,to take immediate action.
My academy mate and friend, SSFPD Officer Robby Chon, was attacked in South San Francisco yesterday. Robbie was struck in the head with a skateboard and as a result, he’s in intensive care. It’s too early to know what the outcome of this tragic event will be, but I know we can help him and his family through this terrible ordeal if we work together and show our support. Obviously, as I receive updates of his condition, I will share them with all of you.
Whatever money raised will go directly, in it’s entirety, to Robbie and his wonderful family. The money will be used to help off-set any medical costs or unexpected bills that will pop up during this difficult time. Robbie is the kind of man who’d give you the shirt off his back, it’s time we return the favor.
Robbie doesn’t know this because I never shared it with him, but he was one of the few guys who inspired me at the police academy. Without him, I might not have finished. He would run our PT (physical training) and often did his famous, “Chon Kickers.” That exercise kicked my butt, but it was well worth it. His view and take on life, with friends, family, and complete strangers, has always been top-notch and pleasant. His career has been example of what it means to be a “go to” officer, leader, and teammate. Raising any amount of money for Robbie and his family won’t make things entirely right again in the short-term, but it would help.
I feel a great sense of pain and sadness knowing he’s fighting for his life in a hospital right now, but I will not quit on him now, or ever. Robbie would not be happy that I started this gofundme thing, it’s not the type of thing he would like because he’s the most unselfish person you’d ever meet. But, he’s the kind of guy you can’t help but want to help, and he needs our help now.
This effort is not me alone. SSFPD Officer Chris Devan and the entire SSFPD Administration is pulling for one of it’s finest officers to make a full recovery and survive this malicious attack. I can tell you that the entire San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office, Daly City Police Department, Colma Police Department, Broadmoor Police Department, California Highway Patrol, Burlingame Police Department, San Mateo Police Department, San Bruno Police Department, BART PD, and the remaining law enforcement agencies along the Peninsula and throughout the state are pulling for him to make it through this. With your help, we might be able to turn this tragedy into something a little better. I’m not asking that you break your bank, and I know the Holiday Season is among us, but any amount would be greatly appreciated.
Please consider donating to this cause for SSFPD Officer Robbie Chon and his family. The entire law enforcement community would be grateful for any support you can show his way.
**IF you would like to donate a check or offline, you can do so by sending a check made out to “South San Francisco Police Association” with “Injured Officer Chon Fund” on the memo line to:
Sgt. Sean Curmi
SSF Police Association
33 Arroyo Drive
South San Francisco, CA 94080
Chris Swinney (SMCSO Deputy Sheriff)
Chris Devan (SSFPD Officer)
SO WHERE WILL THE MONEY GO?
Hey everyone. Folks have been asking me about where the money that is being donated to this cause will go or what the money will be used for. I applaud these questions.
It’s important to understand that I started this cause to help my friend and his family while he fights for his life. This is not the first gofundme account for an officer and sadly, it won’t be the last. I’m praying, as are many of you, that Robbie survives this senseless attack. None of us know what will happen as of right now.
I don’t want to consider this option, but there is a chance Robbie won’t survive. If he recovers, he might not be able to return to duty. He might also return to duty, but on a limited basis. The road to recovery for him is long and arduous. All we can do is hope and pray.
All the donated money will be used for various things such as: medical bills and expenses that are not covered by his medical overage (not everything is always covered), his wife obviously cannot work right now and neither can Robbie, they have bills like a mortgage, utilities, food, costs for their kids, car payments, etc that this money can help off-set, if Robbie can’t return to work, any money donated will help the family transition to a much different lifestyle and way of life, insurance policies and life insurance plans take months to sort through and to get money to the beneficiary, this money will be used for any unexpected bills that might come up while this chaotic time unfolds, some of the money could be used for college funds for his two children, and lastly, for stuff I cannot think about right now. I assure you, no one is being forced to donate and this cause is valid.
As it stands, the money will be moved from the gofundme account to the SSFPD POA and delivered to Robbie or his beneficiary. I hope this answers some of your questions.
HERE IS THE LINK TO THE GOFUNDME:
THANK YOU EVERYONE.
Hey folks. Been tied up at work and family stuff so I slipped on posting the latest blog.
Sadly, we had to put Bella, the greatest dog we’ve ever had, down. She had terminal lung cancer and it seemed like she was telling us with her face that she was ready. But we weren’t. It was the toughest decision I’ve ever had to make. We miss her dearly. If I ever get any good at making beer, the first one will be named after her.
“Bella-dog.” aka, “Bellisimo.”
Alas, it was time to take baby steps forward. The following is my recent home bottling of a super light ale with a slight hop aroma. Enjoy. I’ll post back on how it tasted. Out of the fermenter, it was superb.
CLEAN, CLEAN, CLEAN. If you are home bottling and brewing and you don’t get into the habit of cleaning and sanitizing your process, from start to finish, you are killing the opportunity to create superior beer. DON’T BE LAZY. PBW is the best cleaner I’ve used. Once you clean the bottles, tubing, caps, bottling wand, and everything that is involved in this process, it’s time to bottle.
A shot of the pre-bottling CHAOS:
I like to set my bottles aside. If I’ve made some adjustments with carbonation tablets, i’ll keep the bottles separated. For example, the bottles with four tabs on the left and the bottles with three tabs on the right. Hook up your tubing, remove the air lock and lid, and insert the bottling wand into the tubing leading from your bottling/fermentation bucket.
If you aren’t giddy at the sight of the tubing charged with beer, well, I don’t know what to tell you!
Most bottling wands have a built-in mechanism that will release beer once depressed (or pushed down on the bottom of the bottle). Once the bottle begins to fill, it will (obviously) rise. As the beer makes it to the top, you stop. Once you remove the wand, it leaves some room in the neck for the carbonation process. THIS IS A GOOD THING. If you spill some beer while bottling, I STRONGLY SUGGEST YOU DO NOT LICK IT OFF THE FLOOR>>Don’t ask….
You’ll get to the bottom of your bucket and the entrance point of the spigot. There is usually a good amount of beer left lying above the trub. Gently pull the bucket toward you and allow the clean beer to fall into the opening of the spigot. This beer will fill the tubing and wand and you can normally get 2-3 more bottles before the yucky stuff. The picture below shows nearing the bottom, pulling the bucket toward you to get more of the beer, and then the layer of trub, aka “yucky stuff.” DOING ALL OF THIS WITH TWO HANDS IS SILLY, BUT WHAT OPTIONS DO YOU HAVE? I’ve spilled some beer trying to manage all of this, but it’s kind of funny and a challenge, so no worries.
*NOTE* Make sure your caps are clean before capping the bottles.
There’s plenty of different options on the market, but I use a very basic bottle cap press that features a magnet to hold the cap in place. Pressing a cap on a bottle sometimes feels like the bottle or capping device are going to break. They likely won’t. Just use some elbow grease and get the darn caps on. Once that’s over, place them in the cardboard bottle box or on the counter and keep them out at room temperature for at least a week, maybe two. After that process is over, called “bottle conditioning,” throw those bad boys into the refrigerator. In two weeks, start “sampling” bottles. Pour and enjoy.
I hope this was informative and helps with your journey into home brewing. Shoot me an email or comment if you have any questions.
Remember to listen to people who care about you enough to speak to you.