Thursday, December 25, 2008

Story Flashback: This is why I cannot write fiction

The day before yesterday a woman called the police appalled and feeling violated because one of her neighbors, who all hate her, drugged and castrated her favorite horse.

An officer responded and, after a very un-CSI-like investigation determined that, and I mention now that this is a completely true story, the horse had not been violated but instead was very cold.

The junk just disappears inside the body cavity apparently

No wonder those guys can run so fast. I could too if I could raise and lock my “landing gear” away.

You never see a grandfather clock running down the street

Something to consider.



Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Snow Removal Jobs, Vampires Need Not Apply

From KNXV-TV Phoenix, AZ

Iowa city uses garlic salt to melt snow and ice

Reported by: Associated Press
Last Update: 12/18 3:49 am

No, it's not Pizza Street -- but it smelled like it.

Road crews in a Des Moines, Iowa, suburb used garlic salt to melt snow and ice after a storm this week.

The spicy road treatment was donated by Tone Brothers, a company headquartered in the area.

The spice company says the nine tons of garlic salt would have ended up in a landfill.

Public Works Administrator Al Olson the says the city mixed the garlic salt with regular road salt and it works just fine.

He adds some members of the road crew said using the spicy mixture made them a little hungry.

From the DeMoines Register

Story of garlic salt on Ankeny's roads is national hit


That Ankeny’s road crews were sprinkling the streets with smelly, expired garlic salt that was donated to the city instead of dumped in a landfill was too much for media to resist.

The story with a simple moral and a funny twist has been carried by major newspapers and bantered about on television and radio stations coast to coast, ever since word got out that Tone’s Spices of Ankeny donated nine tons of garlic salt to be used on city streets, not on your neighbor’s mashed potatoes.

Public Works Administrator Al Olson has been a popular guy, giving six or seven interviews that have picked up nationally.

“It’s crazy – just crazy,” Olson said, recalling the friends and family who have heard his interviews in New York, Texas and California. “It’s been such a feel-good thing. It’s amazing the different takes the news stations have had around the country. … Some of them are just hilarious.”

The list of media to carry the story includes USA Today, The Los Angles Times, “Good Morning America” and National Public Radio.

photo: Lawry's

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Dear Mr Jobs,

On behalf of 911 operators everywhere I wish to congratulate you on the wildly popular and successful iPhone.

This lovely device is not only easy to use normally but it affords the owner the option of dialing 911 with their buttocks more easily than other cell phones. Blackberry owners have some similar problems but the numbers of ass-dialed calls from iPhones are increasing.

Not only can one use the internet, listen to music, and make phone calls from a single device but one can also have a nice surprise conversation with me or one of my ilk. A conversation which will go something like this:

iPhoner: Hello?

911: Hi, this is the 911 operator, your phone called 911. Is there an emergency?

iPhoner: I didn’t call 911.

911: Actually, yes, your phone called 911.

iPhoner: But I didn’t call 911.

911: It’s not a problem if you accidentally called us, we just need to make sure you are okay.

iPhoner: But it wasn’t me.

911: is your phone number XXX-XXXX ?

iPhoner: yes…

911: and did you order sweet and sour sauce with your 10 piece McNuggets?

iPhoner: you heard that?

911: and a Diet Coke

iPhoner: Wow, I guess I did call. I must have bumped it. Imagine that…

911: Indeed. So you are okay, you don’t need the police, fire department, or paramedics?

iPhoner: No. But thank you for calling. You people do a great job.

911: Why thank you. Have a nice day.

Next call:

911: 911, what’s the location of your emergency?

a different iPhoner: (background noise and voice talking to her friend Becky about some other girl’s big butt)

911: (slightly more testily) 911, what’s the location of your emergency?

iPhoner: (more background, laughter. Probably some good natured swearing.)

911: (initiating the loud screechy TDD tones to no avail)

911 sighs and hangs up. Re-dials

iPhoner: Hello?

911: Hi, this is the 911 operator, your phone called 911. Is there an emergency?

iPhoner: I didn’t call 911.

iPhone pic from

Stress reduction picture:

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Invasion of the Alien Jellyfish

!! Shock Horror !!

Perhaps due to my recent mauling by sea-life at the Atlanta Aquarium or perhaps due to the fact I’m been reading a lot of H.P. Lovecraft lately, I find this story upsetting.

Fri Dec 12, 6:16 pm ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Huge swarms of stinging jellyfish and similar slimy animals are ruining beaches in Hawaii, the Gulf of Mexico, the Mediterranean, Australia and elsewhere, U.S. researchers reported on Friday.

The report says 150 million people are exposed to jellyfish globally every year, with 500,000 people stung in the Chesapeake Bay, off the U.S. Atlantic Coast, alone.

Another 200,000 are stung every year in Florida, and 10,000 are stung in Australia by the deadly Portuguese man-of-war, according to the report, a broad review of jellyfish research.

The report, available on the Internet at, says the Black Sea's fishing and tourism industries have lost $350 million because of a proliferation of comb jelly fish.

The report says more than 1,000 fist-sized comb jellies can be found in a cubic yard (meter) of Black Sea water during a bloom.

They eat the eggs of fish and compete with them for food, wiping out the livelihoods of fishermen, according to the report.

And it says a third of the total weight of all life in California's Monterey Bay is made up of jellyfish.

Human activities that could be making things nice for jellyfish include pollution, climate change, introductions of non-native species, overfishing and building artificial structures such as oil and gas rigs.

Creatures called salps cover up to 38,600 square miles (100,000 sq km) of the North Atlantic in a regular phenomenon called the New York Bight, but researchers quoted in the report said this one may be a natural cycle.

"There is clear, clean evidence that certain types of human-caused environmental stresses are triggering jellyfish swarms in some locations," William Hamner of the University of California Los Angeles says in the report.

These include pollution-induced "dead zones", higher water temperatures and the spread of alien jellyfish species by shipping.

(Reporting by Maggie Fox, editing by Philip Barbara)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Thank You Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich

For making our Governor, Sarah “Skinny G” Palin, look like a lily-white rocket scientist.

Keep up the newsworthy behavior.

Love and Kisses,

The People of Alaska

p.s. to Skinny G: don’t get any ideas.

Monday, December 01, 2008

With Two Get Eggroll

While walking the dog Thanksgiving evening about 8pm I found a cell phone on the street.

I tried to not find the phone. I saw it and walked right past it. I have a fear of commitment and I knew that picking up that phone entailed a commitment.

Yet if I lost my phone I would want someone to let me know before it got run over by a vehicle or used in a criminal manner. Losing a phone is a monumental inconvenience and can be costly. My wife lost her phone and it cost a sizeable amount to replace it because our wireless company doesn’t give you a cut rate on a phone other than at the initial signing of the several-year commitment. Bastards.

I wanted to return the phone to the person who lost it. I want to do the right thing. I believe people are essential kind and good. So I picked up the phone. It’s not a Blackberry or iPhone but it’s a decent metallic pink Samsung phone. It’s a female’s phone. There’s a chivalry issue.

But I’m Eric and I don’t talk to strangers. Should I take it to work the next day? It’s safer to have someone pick it up at the Po-Po than my house. What if this is some kind of crazy bait-phone. Okay, doubtful. So I need to call them that night.

Being a devoted husband I exercise the only acceptable option: I say “Hey honey, would you like to figure out who this belongs to?”

Kelli calls the speed dial labeled “home” and leaves a message to call us.

Crap. That means someone is going to calls us. Luckily we have contingency plans for this sort of thing in place. Kelli talks on the phone and I’ll actually meet face to face with the folks. It’s a win-win.

But jeez, who knows when they are going to call. I just got home from a 12 hour shift. A 12 hour shift on Thanksgiving. Think: carb-coma. I just want to go to bed. Whaaaaaaa.

Yet very soon a grateful woman called Kelli and said it was her phone and she would be back en route from nearby to pick it up. Excellent. This will end soon.

As I’m waiting for the owner to arrive I have another series of thoughts.

Wow, I wonder if they’ll reward me with money. That would be sweet. But I couldn’t accept money, it being an act of chivalry and good will and all on Thanksgiving. So I’ll politely decline the money, protesting that it was just the right thing to do and being extremely magnanimous.

There’s no magnanimity like calculated magnanimity.

By this point the dog wanted to go out again so I bundled up to take her. Just as I opened the door to walk out, the phone owner’s car pulled up. Bonus! I stowed the dog back inside and walked onto the porch with the phone.

A man walked up to me as his wife waited in the car. I held the phone out to him. I could see gratitude in his eyes.

Then he handed me a plastic grocery bag and said “These are egg rolls. My wife is Korean.”


I don’t want stranger-danger food but, unlike money, I can’t refuse it. That would be rude of me. Imagine that, me being rude while trying to do the right thing. I can’t believe this.

Luckily he didn’t want to have a conversation any more than I wanted one. He grabbed the phone, handed me the egg rolls, and jumped back into the car. His wife rolls down her window and as they started to leave she yelled a “thank you!”

I waved and said “no problem, happy Thanksgiving!”

Then I walked into the house and dumped the eggrolls into the trash before taking my dog out for the walk.

We were thankful not to discover lost property on that trip.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Bathroom Sex Scandal Ruined My Life

Not my life but this lady’s life.

DesMoines Register, Staci Hupp, November 26, 2008

A Carroll woman who was caught having sex in the men's room at an Iowa Hawkeye football game in Minneapolis last weekend says she’d had so much wine before kickoff that she doesn’t remember walking into the restroom, the man she had sex with in a stall, or when the police opened the door.

What L--- F------, 38, will remember is the humiliation afterward.

“It’s ruined my life,” she said through tears today. “Not just the incident but the press.”

F------, a married mother of three, has been the target of Internet jokes and prank telephone calls today. She was fired this morning from an assisted living center, where she had been an administrator.

F------ said her husband, K----, has been supportive. She said he faults himself for not going with her when she left her seat to use the restroom before halftime.

“I don’t know what happened,” L--- F------ said. “But I don’t deny that it did happen because obviously there are police reports.”

Police ticketed F------, 38, and R--- W----, 26, of Linden for indecent conduct Saturday night.

A security guard who said he saw the two having sex through a gap in a men’s restroom stall flagged down campus police, according to the police report.

By the time an officer arrived, about a dozen people were cheering and laughing in the bathroom while F------ and W---- were inside the stall, the report said.

The officer pushed his way through the crowd, opened the door and separated F------ and W----, the report said.

Police described both F------ and W---- as upset, drunk and uncooperative.

Chuck Miner, deputy chief of the University of Minnesota police department, said officers tracked down F------’s husband.

“I’m not sure how they made contact with her husband, but they needed her husband to help identify her” because she’d given the wrong middle name.

Miner said police didn’t measure the blood-alcohol level of F------ or W----. Asked to respond to F------’s claim that she was too drunk to recall the incident, Miner said: “That’s probably an accurate statement.”

F------ said she’d never met W----.

“I don’t know who this man is,” she said today. “I just found out his name in the paper last night.”

W---- wasn’t immediately available for comment.

Carroll, F------’s hometown, is about 60 miles northwest of Linden, where W---- lives.

F------, who describes herself as a light drinker, drank wine at the home of family friends before the football game.

She said she doesn’t remember how much she drank, but the party’s hosts refilled her glass each time it was low “so I’m sure I drank a lot.”

F------ said her husband later told her he’d tried to talk her out of the game because she was intoxicated.

“He said I didn’t realize it was that bad,” she said.

F------ said her husband accompanied her to the game, but their friends stayed home.

She said she remembers sitting in the stands one moment and the next “being slammed around by a cop and screaming.”

“Apparently I was panicked and very uncooperative,” she said.

F------ said she “ran away” from her husband [at] the Metrodome after the incident.

She said a woman she didn’t know offered her a ride home about 11 p.m.

F------ said she gave her husband’s cell phone number to the woman, who called K---- F------ for directions to the couple’s hotel.

L--- F------ said her attorney has encouraged her to fight the ticket.

“He feels I was taken advantage of in my state of mind,” she said. “This is not me. We’re a very good family. This shouldn’t happen.”

Miner, the campus police officer, said fighting the indecent conduct charge could be a long shot.

“It’s spelled out in the law in Minnesota that intoxication is not a defense to any crime,” he said.

I redacted the names to protect the guilty but I have questions.

In my jurisdiction if you have sex with someone who is too intoxicated to consent then you are a dirty, dirty rapist (you would be shocked how many recruits I’ve had to explain this to in detail because they believe if you get drunk you deserve what you get).

So is R--- W--- a rapist? And if not, why not? And even if there’s a possibility of such why on Earth would the paper publish the victim’s name? There are rape-shield laws about that kind of thing.

Evidently the police have ruled out this possibility.

Ladies and Gentlemen, if your potential sex partner is very intoxicated and is a stranger, or you intend to claim he/she is a stranger, JUST SAY NO. You don’t want any part of that action and you don’t want to be considered a date-rapist.


How often does L--- F------ blackout from drinking? Shouldn’t she get some serious help? She could have conceivably been charged with assault on a police officer. She also fled from her husband and ended up getting a ride with another stranger. So she’s still in danger at that point.

And while she states that her husband blames himself and she doesn’t blame him… um. She blames a lot of other people.

She said she doesn’t remember how much she drank, but the party’s hosts refilled her glass each time it was low “so I’m sure I drank a lot.”

F------ said her husband later told her he’d tried to talk her out of the game because she was intoxicated.

“He said I didn’t realize it was that bad,” she said.

L--- F------ said her attorney has encouraged her to fight the ticket.

“He feels I was taken advantage of in my state of mind,” she said. “This is not me. We’re a very good family. This shouldn’t happen.”

It shouldn’t have happened, she’s right about that. She shouldn’t have drank so much, her husband shouldn’t have taken her to the game, she shouldn’t have hooked up with the guy in the restroom, he shouldn’t have hooked up with her.

And what about her kids?

I hate to blame the victim here but I’m willing to bet there’s more to this story.


and here's a little more, but still something stinks.

Woman in Metrodome sex incident says she was victim


Friday, November 28, 2008, Daily Times Herald

MINNEAPOLIS - While police say a high-profile indecent conduct case in the Minneapolis Metrodome Saturday is closed, a Carroll woman involved in it told the Daily Times Herald she believes she was a victim of foul play rather than a willing collaborator.

F------, 38, of Carroll, and R---. W----, 26, of Linden, were ticketed for indecent conduct after they were reportedly caught engaging in sexual activity in a Metrodome men's restroom handicapped stall during the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers game with the Iowa Hawkeyes. More than a dozen people in the restroom were cheering F------ and W---- by the time authorities arrived, a University of Minnesota Police report says.

F------ acknowledged drinking heavily before the game and says she doesn't remember being in the bathroom.

"I would never ever do that,"
F------ said. "My kids are my life. I go to church every Sunday."

Information obtained in police reports and during an interview with University of Minnesota Police Chief Greg Hestness revealed no suggestion or evidence that the incident was anything but consensual on the part of both W---- and

F------ tells the Daily Times Herald she may have been drugged or otherwise victimized.

"Everybody thinks something got put in my drink,"
F------ said.

She offers no further details as to how that might have happened or who may have been involved.

"Right, and that's what my attorney and I are working on," F------ said.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Atlanta Aquarium Horror

I promised you some Atlanta stories but I’ve found it difficult to compose my thoughts, what with the trauma I endured at the Atlanta Aquarium.

I had not been to an aquarium since I was a kid so I was not prepared for exactly how peaceful and beautiful it would be. The Atlanta Aquarium has a beluga whale in residence and I probably could have watched it for hours diving, twisting, and spinning underwater.

Jellyfish too. I love me some jellyfish, provided they are safely in a tank.

But there was an aspect of the aquarium experience for which I was unprepared – the tactile experience.

I have two rules that I seldom break: I don’t talk to strangers and I don’t want strangers to touch me. It’s not a Howie Mandel sort of thing, I’m just not a touchy kind of person. I should have afforded the aquatic life in Atlanta the same privilege.

I’d blame peer pressure because all the cool kids were touching the starfish and the anemones and even sharks and rays but I could have said ‘no.’ I didn’t even think. I was all for bellying up to the touching bar.

And then I met the shrimp.

Shrimp are, to put it charitably, alien sea-bugs. I don’t even know why I wanted to pet one.

The shrimp tank was elevated so I that one must stand on a little step then lean over to reach inside. I have T-Rex arms so I had to not only lean over but reach my arm up to the elbow in the water. The cold water.

The shrimp petting rules were as follows: touch them only with two fingers and you have to sneak up behind them with those fingers because they’ll dart away from you if they see you with those “eye on a stick” things.

So I tried to pet a couple of relatively small ones but they just laughed and darted away when they saw my ham-hands approaching. At least I think they were laughing.

Then it happened. I tried to swoop in on a big brown shrimp. And it worked. He never even saw me coming. But then it went terribly, terribly wrong.

When petted its back it apparently didn’t know the rules, at least the rules as I had imagined. Instead of darting forward or backward or to one side or another it went in a direction I had not even considered: straight up and at my hand.

My response was not the Steven Seagal aikido screaming eagle shrimp-dodge.

My response was more “sea-bug, Sea-Bug, SEA-BUG!” and pulling my arm out of the water with amazing speed.

That would have been fine if my arm had not collected half a gallon of water with it as it surfaced like some sort of humpback whale. Did I mention it was cold water?

Splash, all over my shirt. Mother trucker.

The shrimp wrangler guy started laughing. I gave him my “this wasn’t all that funny Mr. Shrimp Wrangler” look which instantly made him cover his mouth with his hand and laugh harder but more quietly. When he caught his breath he said, in the least sincere or comforting way I have ever encountered, “Oh don’t worry about it. People do that all the time.” Yeah. I’m sure.


So I went from simple aquarium attendee to loser of the world’s worst wet t-shirt contest.

Luckily I was mostly dry by the time we had walked over to CNN to ride the world’s largest escalator and take the studio tour. Although we got to see Dr Sanjay Gupta prepare for some sort of piece, I was still bitter about that shrimp. I think I was suffering the effects of PTSD. Post Traumatic Shrimp Disorder.

I vowed to have my revenge.

Later in the evening, revenge I had. Revenge on a stick!

All photos are mine except the brown shrimp which is from

Friday, November 21, 2008

Skinny G needs a vacation

By now you’ve seen it.

By it I mean my Governor, Sarah “Skinny G” Palin, giving an interview to KTUU in front of a guy slaughtering turkeys. If you didn’t here it is:

This whole mess started out fine enough. She’s a former small-town Mayor who is currently a small-state Governor who likes to do folksy small-town stuff like doing a photo-op pardoning a small-town turkey before Thanksgiving.

It’s an odd tradition but it’s quaint. It’s cute. It’s even symbolically humane.

Then it started to turn odd. She made it clear that just one turkey would be pardoned and that the rest were good eatin’. Fair enough. She’s a hunter, she’s probably even a scavenger, and she’s a politician so she’s naturally inclined to give with one hand and take with the other. Again, odd but almost cute.

Then she gives the post-pardon interview. And you either knew what you were seeing in the background or you weren’t sure at first. But yes, as a matter of fact, it was a guy in blood-stained Carhartts putting a turkey upside down into a funnel thing then cutting off its head and letting the blood drain into a trough. And then a second turkey.

Gore times 2. (Something of a Republican nightmare pun, that)

All the while she’s talking about the Presidential campaign and saying really ironic things, given the slaughter in the background

“.. it’s pretty brutal…”

Then during the death-throws of the second turkey

“… Oooh, this was, this was neat. I was happy to get invited to participate in this, for one you need a little levity in this job… it’s just nice to participate in something to promote a local business and that’s not so heavy handed politics that invites criticism. Certainly we’ll invite criticism doin’ this too but at least this was fun…”

When asked what she was cooking for Thanksgiving

“I’ll be in charge of the turkey. Yeah, my sisters and my mom will be bringin’ everything else but I’m always in charge of the turkey…”

Then, as God is my witness and please re-wind and look at it again if you have to, she gives a crazed stand-up comedian look and then finishes

“so I’m where I need to be today.”

Actually I think Skinny G needs to do the traditional Alaskan holiday thing and be in Hawaii. And not Oahu but on a tiny island far away from TV cameras and reporters.

We’ll be okay. She was gone for a month or so and we did fine. She’s had a very full summer / fall (well both “autumn” and “fall” as it turns out) and she needs some alone time.

Please Skinny G.

For yourself, for us, for America, and for The Iraq - take a vacation. We’ll all still be here when you get back.

And bring back some chocolate-covered macadamia nuts, Alaskans love those things.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

CIT Dispatchers, you bet. CIT Pilots?

Air hostess helped land passenger jet after co-pilot had 'breakdown' over the Atlantic

By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 9:56 AM on 20th November 2008

An air hostess helped land a jet carrying 146 passengers after the co-pilot had an apparent mental breakdown over the Atlantic Ocean, investigators revealed today.

The UK-bound plane made an emergency diversion to Shannon Airport, in Ireland, last January after the Air Canada flight officer began a ‘rambling and disjointed’ conversation, said an official report.

Another attendant suffered wrist injuries as the crew forcibly removed the co-pilot from the cockpit controls and restrained him in a seat in the cabin.

The captain of the Boeing 767 from Toronto to Heathrow asked staff to seek out any trained pilots onboard.

One of the female cabin crew came forward saying she had a commercial pilot’s licence and was asked to take over in the co-pilot’s seat.

The captain praised the attendant to investigators for helping him safely land the plane at Shannon, where the ill flight officer was removed and admitted to the acute psychiatric unit of Ennis Regional Hospital for 11 days.

He was later flown home to Canada by an air ambulance for further care, according to the investigation.

The official report into the incident by the Irish Air Accident Investigation Unit (AAIU) did not explicitly refer to the co-pilot’s medical condition.

But it recorded the views of two doctors onboard that he was in a ‘confused and disorientated state’.

The captain also reported that his colleague became uncharacteristically ‘belligerent and unco-operative’ and was ‘effectively incapacitated’.

One passenger at the time reported seeing the distraught co-pilot yelling for God as he was being restrained.

The AAIU praised the actions of both the captain and crew in diverting to the nearest airport and removing the co-pilot from the controls.

‘For his own well-being and the safety of the aircraft, the most appropriate course of action was to stand him down from duty and seek medical attention which was available on board,’ said the report.

‘The commander (captain) realising he was faced with a difficult and serious situation used tact and understanding and kept control of the situation at all times.

‘The situation was dealt with in a professional manner... As such, the commander and flight attendants should be commended for their professionalism in the handling of this event.’

There were no safety recommendations from the investigation.

Although flying sucks for a big fat guy such as myself, I consider myself a pretty mellow passenger.

That being said, if the crew starts saying "Peanuts or pretzels, sir? And do you happen to know how to fly a commerical aircraft?" I'd imagine I'd quietly crap myself.

All kidding aside, how cool is it that the crew could efficiently take care of a psychotic co-pilot? Flippin' CIT Pilot of the year, that one.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Friday, October 31, 2008

A little light humor

I apologize for not knowing the original source. I'll give credit when I find it.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Heckler – the documentary

I watched the movie Heckler over the weekend and it has stuck with me.

Jamie Kennedy, stand-up comic and actor, interviews fellow performers, critics, and hecklers about the ugly act of heckling.

I don’t drink and I don’t want attention directed toward me in public so I can’t imagine yelling “you suck” at a comedy show. It’s just rude.

But there’s the other side of heckling which I found thought provoking.

Blogs and bloggers.

The magic of a blog is that anyone can be a critic.

The evil of a blog is that anyone can be a critic.

This includes me.

It’s easy to forget that people, including celebrities, have feelings.

Have I ever wronged someone purposely on this blog? Maybe.

Looking back I did refer to Vincent Gallo’s movie The Brown Bunny as the "worst movie ever made" and a "corn-studded turd of a movie." I stand behind that assessment. I explained it and I didn’t say anything about Gallo’s worth as a human being so that’s nice.

But it’s easy to get into the habit of crapping all over someone you don’t know.

So new rule: I’m going to reserve the right to criticize but will attempt to be constructive or at least not abusive.

For instance - Senator Ted Stevens. Uncle Ted. He’s done many good things for this state. He’s probably a nice man. He is, however, a convicted felon and should resign from office if he has the fortune of being re-elected next week.

Then Sarah “Skinny G” Palin can appoint herself as the replacement Senator and continue on her national political career. It’d be a win-win.

Friday, October 24, 2008

“B” is for Big Fat Liar

bslady** update 12:30hrs ** she's a confirmed liar. But she's also mentally ill so I'm taking her name out of the story.

McCain Supporter Robbed With Knife At Bloomfield ATM

PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh police are still questioning a 20-year-old woman who said she was robbed and assaulted at an ATM in Bloomfield because of her political views.

(name redacted) , of College Station, Texas, said she was using an ATM at Liberty Avenue and Pearl Street just before 9 p.m. Wednesday when a man approached her and put a knife to her throat.

Police spokeswoman Diane Richard said the robber took $60 from (name redacted) , then became angry when he saw a McCain bumper sticker on the victim's car. The attacker then punched and kicked the victim, before using a dull knife to scratch the letter "B" into her face, Richard said.

"She further stated that the male actor approached her from the back again and hit her in the back of her head with an object, she doesn't know what the object was, causing her to fall to the ground where he continued to punch her and kick her and threaten to 'teach her a lesson' for being a McCain supporter," Richard said.

Richard said the woman refused medical treatment after the assault, which happened outside the view of the bank's surveillance cameras. More Here

For those playing the home game, here are some clues:

1) she’s robbed at knife point at an ATM then the guy noticed the bumper sticker on her car and got medieval on her face. Hmmm, why would someone risk a successful armed robbery to go back for seconds?

2) the “B” scratch is superficial. The sort of superficial that would leave a mark but no permanent scar or damage.

3) the “B” is backwards as if done in a mirror

It would be more disturbing if I was wrong but I’m betting my bottom dollar that this woman made up the story.

Reeks of a finger found in Wendi’s chili.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Voters: Alaska Needs Sarah Back!

Sarah “Skinny G” Palin has created quite the media storm with her background, level of experience, and governing style. I know I just posted that there was nothing left to say about her but whether you like her or not, I want to make this simple plea:


The reason is simple.

She is the best Alaska has to offer and we cannot afford to let her go.

Her track record speaks for itself:

  1. She’s a maverick who took on her own party and won the governorship based on her high level of ethics. While in office she has broken no ethics laws (rules violations, schmules violations, no laws were broken). See: Investigator: Palin abused power, Anchorage Daily News

  1. She’s a master of foreign relations: Alaska has remained free from Russian attack for her entire administration, ostensibly because Vladimir Putin is afraid of rearing his head toward her.

  1. Her husband is an influential member of an Alaskan Native tribe so this keeps her in the know on the special issues of Alaskan natives because (according to ) “Through Todd’s Yup'ik grandmother, Alaska’s Native heritage plays an important role in their family.” If she becomes vice president then there will be no Alaskan Native voice in the Governor’s mansion. See: Natives Claim Palin neglects issues, Anchorage Daily News

  1. Also from, “As the mother of a special-needs child, Governor Palin has pledged to all those families with special-needs children to be their advocate in the White House.” She already has a proven record of championing the cause of special-needs children in Alaska (if by championing you mean she has cut budgets of state agencies which help special-needs kids. Can’t very well coddle them, right?)

  1. As Governor, her entire family has dedicated their time to conducting state business. This work by her husband and children was all done for free (except travel expenses which the state paid for) see: Palin office defends charging state for children's travel, Anchorage Daily News

She’s young, she has vast executive experience (just ask her, she’ll tell you), she just started that 40 Billion Dollar pipeline project thing. It’s clear that we still need her.

Please don’t take her away from us!!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Blabbity Blabbity Blog

I haven’t kept up with blog posts lately. Partly it’s because everything I would windge about is sort of off limits.

I can’t post about most work stuff because it’s way too easy to figure out who I am with just my first name and my job title. Plus I’d never have anything bad to say about work because that would be wrong.

I can’t post about Sarah “Skinny G” Palin because I don’t really have anything to add to the conversation. It’s all been said. Good, bad, true, false. Criticizing her further would be like kicking a puppy. Oh yeah, and I’ll never vote for her again. I’ve been disillusioned. At this point I feel sorry for her kids.

I’m going to Atlanta in November for the National Crisis Intervention Team Conference. It should be fun but it sucks that I can’t get any more time off so Kelli and I could make a vacation out of it. I like going to new places but I’m not exactly thrilled by the idea of flying for an entire day each way. Life in Alaska I guess.

Could be worse. I could live in Wasilla.

I’m not hopeful about the economy.

On one hand I’m something of a Socialist. I love the idea of nationalized healthcare and free education and food/shelter/jobs for the hungry/homeless/unemployed. In the UK they get taxed up the wazoo but they have excellent health care. Best I can tell they have decent roads and schools too. There are advantages.

On the other hand I’m cool with capitalism. Big governments have big bureaucracy and therefore big problems. Individual entrepreneurs are the backbone of our country. By the same token the banks and mortgage companies and large corporations involved in the whole mortgage-backed securities and commercial dept obligation nightmare can choke on their own vomit.

This bailout plan, while keeping us afloat (which is a good idea,) rewards these same banks and big corporations who screwed everything up. It’s socialism for rich folks and free market capitalism for poor folks. That doesn’t seem fair.

I’m not hopeful about the situation in the Iraq or the Afghanistan or the Pakistan or the Russia or the Georgia or the Ukraine.

How can we get all up in Russia’s grill for invading Georgia, a sovereign nation, when the USA invaded Iraq, also a sovereign nation?

Who would have thought that 20 years after the end of the cold war we’d be the biggest debtor state and have a bad reputation in a lot of the world and Russia would be rich and cocky?

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Madness, Mayhem, and a Side of Slaw - The Verdict

The robber I posted about February 29, 2008 has been convicted and sentenced to a YEAR in jail for the spork attack.

Spork assault nets man prison

Anchorage Daily News

A man who stabbed another man with a spork, a combination fork and spoon, earlier this year in what police said was an attempted robbery was sentenced Thursday to a year in prison for felony assault. (read the rest of the story HERE)

Heres' the original tale and my take on it:

Robber wields spork, police say

A man accused of attempting an armed robbery with what appears to have been a spork was arrested Monday night, when police say they placed him at the scene of the crime through the use of KFC bags, according to Anchorage police.

Police responding to the intersection of 11th Avenue and Turpin Street at about 10:30 p.m. were told the robber tried to grab at the victim's watch, managing to unlatch it but not get it off his wrist, police Lt. Paul Honeman said. The suspect fled without stealing anything, he said.

Police located an intoxicated Peter Albert, 52, a few blocks away with a small pocketknife as well as a backpack containing a KFC bag and some sporks -- plastic spoon/fork hybrids, he said.

Police found other KFC products discarded at the scene of the robbery, Honeman said.

Though the victim reported the robber was swinging a pocketknife, the weapon may have in fact been a spork based on the four parallel scratches officers found on the victim's side, Honeman said. Police have not ruled out a knife was used, however.

Albert was being held at the Anchorage jail in lieu of $5,000 bail on a charge of first-degree robbery.

I'm not suggesting it would be fun to be shanked with a spork but if you examine the contents of any random bag of KFC I wonder how far down the list the spork would be in terms of things which are deadly.

1. chicken injected with enough fat and chemicals that, while tasty, it will make your poop turn green.

2. mashed potatoes, corn, baked beans in sauce - carbs carbs carbs

In fact, that stick they use for the corn on the cob is probably more deadly than the spork.

Yet its just this kind of resourcefulness which gives me hope for the survival of society. If this suspect had used his ingenuity for the forces of good we'd already have solved this global warming problem and I'd be spending my time sharpening sporks to fend off all the polar bears.

Or not.


Saturday, October 04, 2008

Herb Shaindlin 1930 - 2008

Tonight we mourn the loss of Herb Shaindlin, an icon of Alaskan radio and among the very best journalists in our state's history. He will be greatly missed.

His children have set up a MySpace site at
In their words:
"We wanted to give the public who loved our father so much
a place to share and send their wishes.

Thank you to everyone who listened to and watched Dad
all the years he was doing what he loved so much.

He loved journalism in its purest form.

He loved being the center of attention.

Most of all he loved making people think."

I'm going to take this opportunity to re-run a story which many readers originally thought was a eulogy. Although it was not intended as such, it serves that purpose today.

originally posted October 2, 2005:

Herb Shaindlin’s talk radio program "The Public Opinion Hotline," which aired on AM 750 KFQD for most of my life and certainly all of my formative years, educated me in more ways than I have time to list on this post so I’ll give you just a few examples:

One is that Herb’s program introduced me to the works of Stephen King, Tom Lehrer, Spike Jones, Robert Service, and many other artists. One taste of each of these artists led to exploring most of their works and works of similar artists. In this way he set my compass on the course I have taken ever since.

The second is that he told stories of his life. Many of these stories rattle around in my head to this day.

Last night I saw a helicopter fly past my house at relatively low altitude, creating a certain amount of noise in its wake. From its direction of travel (and the few helicopters that would have any reason to fly over my house) I could identify it as the LifeGuard Air Ambulance.

As I watched it pass I had to smile as I was reminded of one of Herb’s stories. If memory serves, the story goes like this:

When Herb was growing up in Brooklyn, New York, he would constantly hear the wailing of all types of sirens: police sirens, ambulance sirens, fire engine sirens. He once asked his mother if the sirens bothered her or worried her because every siren meant that there had been a crime or an accident where someone was probably hurt.

Her response was a surprising “No.” She explained, “Every time I hear a siren I don’t get mad because it is interrupting my peace and quiet; rather I am happy because I know that someone is racing as fast as they can to help someone else. Sirens are a happy sound.”

Ever since hearing this story (at least 20 years ago) I have smiled a little when I hear a siren. And now I smile at helicopter noise too.

Thanks Herb, you are the very best.