Thursday, August 31, 2006

Grass Valley Police Blotter vol. XIII

At 1:38 p.m., a man called from the 1000 block of East Main Street to report he received a couple of forged checks for a vehicle he is selling on the Internet.

[Did anybody ask if he was trying to sell the same vehicle to multiple people. It sounds like there is a little fraud ecosystem developing there.]

At 1:40 a.m., a woman called from the 200 block of Washington Street to report someone was in her basement. She could hear pots and pans being thrown around and her dogs were barking. Police arrived and found a dog in the basement. The dog was removed.

[Which brings us back to how the dog got in the basement in the first place.]

At 4:22 a.m., a woman called from the 200 block of Sutton Way to report she heard grunts coming from the bushes or possibly another apartment or a nearby shopping complex.

[She was quite certain that they were grunts.]

At 9:37 a.m., a caller from the 20000 block of Maben Road reported workers at a property have been having problems with a person living there. The caller said the person was throwing things at his workers and smashing plates against his head. He also broke glass against his face and made threats to kill the workers on site.

[I would take seriously threats from a guy breaking things on his head.]

At 1:12 p.m., a caller from Highway 20 reported a man was running around in a picnic area and screaming. Deputies were unable to locate the man.

[People just get tired of being annoying and go home if the police do not show up right away.]

At 9:36 p.m., someone called 911 from the 12000 block of Dobbins Drive, then hung up. A dispatcher called back and a man said he had been punched in the face by his wife. Deputies made contact and the man said he lied on the phone and he really meant to call 411. The man did not have injuries. A woman advised the incident did not happen and the man was very drunk.

[He must be a reader of the Police Blotter. Where else would he get the impetus to say "my wife punched me in the face" rather than "sorry, wrong number" when he mis-dialed 911? So many things seem funny when you are drunk.]

At 2:33 p.m., a caller from Main Street reported a verbal peace disturbance was stemming from one neighbor's dog digging in another neighbor's marijuana garden.

[I can see this is just not going to end with an admonishment by the officer.]

At 2:18 p.m., a caller asked for extra patrols on the 100 block of Carpenter Street because of problems with a man who had looked at another man's wife.

[That must have been some look!]

At 1:37 a.m., a caller reported a man and woman fighting in the back seat of a vehicle outside a fast-food restaurant on Nevada City Highway.

[That is not what the back seat if for people! Or is this some attempt to force the magic of "make up sex?"]

At 1:43 a.m., a caller from a business on South Auburn Street reported finding a man's wallet.

At 4:54 a.m., a caller from Packard Street reported a man lying in the road. Police arrested a 25-year-old man on suspicion of public drunkenness. He was the man who had left his wallet at the business earlier.

[Both he and his wallet were found lying around town.]

At 8:06 p.m., a tow company reported they were unable to assist a stranded motorist because the tow truck got stuck. A deputy located the motorist on Burlington Ridge Road and gave the person a ride to a relative's house.

[I just have a soft spot for "the tow truck broke down" stories.]

At 5:19 p.m., a caller from the 400 block of Nimrod Street reported people were drinking in Pioneer Park and throwing a homemade spear into a cedar tree.

[Again, alcohol turns so many things into entertainment.]

At 10:22 a.m., a caller reported people cleaning a tractor engine by a sewer drain. An officer found there was no environmental hazard because no soap was used.

[Any grime, grease, or oil that might have been washed off was fine, so long as there was no soap involved!]

Source: The Union (http://www.theunion.com/)

Monday, August 28, 2006

Grass Valley Police Blotter vol. XII

At 12:39 p.m., a caller from North Church Street at Main Street reported a pedestrian walked into a stopped vehicle. The 66-year-old pedestrian was cited at the hospital for being drunk in public.

[Insult/Injury Ratio: High]

At 12:15 p.m., a caller from Coyote Street reported a man had been drinking and was smoking "weird chemical cigarettes." The man was yelling and scaring people. An officer handled the situation.

[I want to know more about "weird chemical cigarettes." It isn't like regular cigarettes have things we might find weird in them.]

At 2:57 p.m. caller from the 10300 block of Pleasant Valley Road reported a bullet hole in their dining room window. Officers discerned it was not a bullet hole and possibly caused by a rock

[The rock throwing season has not abated.]

At 7:46 p.m. caller from Broken Oak Court reported juveniles were hiding behind a fence and throwing objects at vehicles and people going by on Penn Valley Drive.

[I would bet that the objects were rocks. Rocks or lawn mowers.]

At 9:36 p.m. caller from the 15900 block of Orchard Springs Road reported someone untied her boat and it was floating in Rollins Reservoir.

[Given past history, I would guess alcohol impaired knot tying is probably to blame.]

At 5:28 p.m. caller from the 900 block of West main reported someone was tampering with her vehicle as the battery was dead and the oil was missing.

[I have known people who have driven cars without maintenance until the above was the case, no tampering required.]

At 2:03 p.m., a man called from McKnight Way saying another man had offered him a $2,500 sound system for $300, and the man was following him to a bank. Police arrived and arrested the purported salesman on an outstanding warrant.

[I wonder how the purported salesman missed this phone call during the transaction.]

At 9:19 p.m., a caller from South Church Street reported a "tough-guy looking" man was pounding on an automatic teller machine.

[What style of "Tough-Guy?" George Raft? Vin Diesel? Al Pacino?]

At 12:16 a.m., police contacted a woman on the 200 block of Washington Street who was yelling because she couldn't find her cellular telephone. She agreed to keep her voice down.

[She appears to have been trying to talk to the person she wanted to call directly, without the phone.]

At 12:28 p.m., a woman called from the 400 block of Butler Street to report a semi was running and threatening her quiet morning in the garden.

[Threatening morning quiet is no doubt a serious crime, but it was afternoon already, so the hands of the police were tied.]

Source: The Union (http://www.theunion.com/)

Friday, August 25, 2006

The Company Move - Part 4

[I keep thinking I will have a resolution to this story, and it never comes to pass. There will be future installments.]

Deus Ex Machina?

Our current landlord shows up. He tells Smithers that we can have the top floor of the building behind us, which can be completely refurbished, and he will even throw in some money for custom construction and improvements, all for only twice the price per square foot of the Sun building. Oh, and he will lower our day-to-day rent to that price as well, as soon as we sign.

This is a Plan B on a silver platter for Smithers and he jumps at it like a hack writer on a mixed metaphor.

This change of plans will mean:

-The company will save a lot of money on rent in the short term, as the Sun deal shows no sign of being resolved any time soon.
-Rather than an office for everyone, only managers will have offices. Everybody else will be back in cubes.
-The move date will be some time in July.
-We have to start from scratch on design and planning
-We will end up in a twin of the building we have been told is crap for the last two years.
-We have to find a new place to watch fireworks on the Fourth of July.

Morale is down on the whole subject as one would expect.

All Smithers has to do to come out of this smelling like a rose is get the deal signed and get us moved in July. The duration of the work to get the building in shape for us is estimated to be about eight weeks. That is the estimate he is giving us, anyway.

April becomes May. Again news is sparse. All we hear is that the Sun deal passed another deadline that allowed us to walk away without losing any money.

May becomes June. A company-wide note goes out to announce that Smithers has decided to pursue his career with another company.

June becomes July. A new guy is hired to take over the move. We shall call him Sanders. Sanders talks to all the departments to make sure that everybody is happy with what they will be getting in the new building. Not knowing how Smithers was ignoring everybody for the most part, he opens a can of worms. Jokes start about not packing any Halloween decorations because we will be hanging them in our current building.

July becomes August. Sanders is busy trying to incorporate suggestions as well as design and color scheme ideas. There is a plan to get better cube material and furniture. A committee is formed to review chairs and partitions. Jokes about Thanksgiving decorations begin to circulate.

August nears its end. There is no hiding that nothing is going on at the new building. We can look out the window and see it. We also learn that the previous eight week estimate was "very aggressive." Jokes about New Years eve in our current location start.

Most Popular Searches

Yahoo! Pulse is that box on the main Yahoo! page that always has some tidbit that attracts your eye for a moment before you say, "Meh" and move on to what you were doing. Today as I hit Yahoo!, it had the following up:

Most Popular Searches: Overall

Wikipedia
WWE
Britney Spears
Paris Hilton
Oprah Winfrey
Jessica Simpson
Rock Star...
Tom Cruise
Beyonce Knowles
Katie Holmes

Seven out of ten of those searches I understand, at least in an abstract way. WWE I had to look up. It is something to do with professional wrestling. I do not have a clue on why people would search on "Rock Star..." but I guess you could make a case for it.

But why would you search Yahoo! for Wikipedia?

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Earth and Jupiter Not Planets Either

According to NASA Watch, the IAU's draft "Planet Definition" resolution not only removes Pluto as a planet, but also Earth and Jupiter, neither having met qualification (c) in section 1 of the resolution.

A footnote to that section names all of the planets, including Earth and Jupiter, but that does not make the definition any better.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Grass Valley Police Blotter vol. XI

At 4:06 p.m., a caller from the 12000 block of Hilltop Terrace to report a juvenile girl did not return from school and had told numerous people she was going to run away. She may have been heading to Boise, Idaho, for a fair with "James," a carnival worker.

[So kids really do run off with the carnival. Oh those carnies and their magical allure!]

At 7:51 p.m., a man called from Oregon Creek at Moonshine Road to report a man left a campground on a motorcycle but did not have a helmet. The caller advised he was psychic and he knew something was very wrong.

[At least he is using his psychic powers for good! I wonder what the dispatchers are told to do with this sort of report?]

At 1:33 a.m., a man called from the 11000 block of Lakeshore South to report a person was on the roof of a house shooting a .22-caliber rifle. The man said he had the person trapped in his backyard but security let him get away. The man said he was going back into his house to go to bed.

[The man does not seem very worked up about the whole incident if he is heading to bed.]

At 11:53 p.m., a man called to report a woman on the 200 block of Park Avenue had been depressed lately and did not return any phone calls. A dispatcher made contact with the woman who said she was fine and that she had broken up yesterday with the first caller. Contact was made by phone with the man, who was advised not to call the woman again or to use law enforcement to harass the public.

[So do not get drunk and try this on your ex.]

At 10:32 a.m., a man called saying he picked up a woman who was hitchhiking in Grass Valley and that she made sexual remarks and advances to him.

[I know I learned in HR training that sexual harassment can happen to both men and women, but this sounds more like a story for him and his buddies than something about which to inform the police.]

At 9:17 p.m., a caller from the 200 block of Washington Street reported a woman entered the residence through a dog door and removed property. The caller requested a log entry only.

[Property the caller did not really care about I guess. Did the woman carry the property back out through the dog door?]

At 11:30 p.m., a caller from Rockwood Drive reported a juvenile was knocking on his door and mooning him. Another juvenile was taking pictures. Police were unable to locate the juveniles.

[When it gets to this point, I guess you are beyond a simple, "You kids get off my porch!" Still, I bet the pictures appear somewhere on the net soon.]

At 6:10 p.m., a caller from Highway 49 reported that a juvenile male with long black hair and black and white face paint was kneeling on the side of the highway at the intersection of Carriage Road, rocking back and forth and acting very suspicious.

[Another fan pissed about KISS getting passed over for the Rock and Roll hall of fame again.]

Source: The Union (http://www.theunion.com/)

Monday, August 21, 2006

Legal Sized Issues

A few weeks ago a directive came from IT central at headquarters stating that, in the name of uniformity, all networked printers in the company must have legal size paper in tray 3. Go Uniformity!

IT representatives dutifully went forth and configured tray 3 on all the printers in our building and loaded them with legal size paper.

Here in my little world of product development, where the requirement for legal size paper is almost nil, this decision meant that we had to go load paper in the printer nearly twice as often.

This was annoying, but it would have only reached the level of a sigh and a rolling of eyes except that IT also has the print server set to draw the cover page for a printout from tray 3. Now every cover sheet came out with 15% more paper.

I am no activist, but I abhor waste, so I took the initiative and had out own lab IT guy (who reports to us, not to corporate IT) change back tray 3 and put the legal sized paper back on the shelf.

Things were fine until this morning. Over the weekend, IT reconfigured the print server here (and no doubt company wide, they never think small) so that it no longer drew the cover sheet from tray 3. They changed it so that the cover sheet merely requires a legal size sheet of paper from any source before a document will print.

Why they did this, I do not know. Perhaps we accidently ordered too much legal size paper and need to get rid of it.

Now when I print, the print monitor tells me there is a problem at the printer. When I get to the printer, the LCD screen asks me to place legal size paper in tray 1 (the manual feed tray) so that it may proceed. I figured out how to work around the need for legal size paper at the printer itself, but it involves a few button presses. Not tragic, but we have a lot of people who print and forget, so I had to clear the way for three documents before I got my own printed.

Again, our lab IT guy managed to work around the issue, but I still do not understand why this was done in the first place.

This Cannot Be Kosher

A new restaurant opened up in Mumbai called "Hitler's Cross." It features continental cuisine, swastikas, and pictures of the late leader of the Third Reich.

"This is one name that will stay in people's minds," owner Punit Shablok told Reuters.

I guess you can ring it up as a success on that count.

"We are not promoting Hitler. But we want to tell people we are different in the way he was different."

A single testicle? An obsession with a female cousin that drove her to suicide? A funny haircut?

Sunday, August 20, 2006

I Guess Firemen Don't Do This...

A man, angry that the fire department personnel who responded to his fake fire call won't rescue a cat from his tree, starts shooting at the fire crew.

Some of us take our illusions being crushed worse than others.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Searching for PDF Truth

I had hoped that after printing up a reasonably high quality brochure that Nuance would have also created a web site dedicated to "The Truth About PDF" or at least included the campaign on their main web site. (That would kill the plausible deniability of myth #2 I guess.)

No such luck.

Instead I did a Yahoo! search that came up with another document about PDFs over and over and over again. I would guess that this is something Adobe wrote for printing companies, since they all seem to be using the same document.

The link for this entry will run the same search for you.

The Truth About PDF?

Today there was a FedEx Letter sized envelope in my mail slot. It was a faux special delivery thing with "Priority Express" written in big letters along the back and "Bulk Rate" in the upper right corner of the front.

Inside this envelope was a booklet entitled "The Truth About PDF." It came from Nuance Communications, which is the company formerly known as ScanSoft, and its purpose was to expose the myths about PDF and get me to buy their product. The myths in the booklet got two pages each and came in the descending order below.

#8 PDF software is expensive

The response is that it does not have to be, but they are not very specific, saying only that their solution can be up to 66% cheaper than what Adobe offers. Even 66% off might seem expensive to me and my negligible PDF creating needs.

#7 Only Adobe can do PDF.

No, they say, it is an open standard. But I could have derived that from Myth #8, where they state they compete with Adobe in the PDF market, primarily on price if I follow them correctly.

#6 An Acrobat File is the only type of PDF file.

Oh no, anything that is a PDF is a PDF. A replay of #6 really.

#5 PDF forms cannot be filled out and saved.

Nuance says they can, but they are not very specific, except to say that you need some other piece of software from them for this, presumably made available to anybody who needs to fill out said PDF form.

#4 PDF software is difficult to install over a network.

It seems pretty easy to install to me, but the updates for Acrobat are hell, being frequent and always requiring a restart. But the brochure is taking the view that you want to install this on every desktop in you business, so they mention how you can use SMS and active directory to push the software across your enterprise. They do not say whether or not you can do this with Adobe.

#3 PDF files can't be edited.

The response seems to be that you can edit PDFs, so long as you have our software installed. But that would be true if I had Adobe's PDF creation software installed as well.

#2 The future version of Microsoft Office (Office 12) will include PDF.

A big hedge on this one. The brochure says that, at the time of its creation, exact details on the inclusion of PDF in Office 12 were unavailable. Then it follows up with, essentially, even if it is included, it will suck.

#1 PDF software is expensive.

Redundant on purpose this time, to indicate that they are competing on price.

There are sales pitches at the front and back of the brochure that include an 800 number to call to get a free copy of their software or to order a copy, indicating that I will be speaking to somebody trying to sell me something, and not even a special somebody, but just their regular inside sales staff.

I think the biggest issue they have, which they need to address, is the fact that their product is called "PDF Converter." That name doesn't say "PDF creation tool" to me. It says, "Tool to get stuff out of PDF format."

If you are going to push a PDF creation tool, you probably should give it a better name.

Grass Valley Police Blotter vol. X

At 1:34 p.m., a caller from the 35000 block of North Bloomfield Road reported a theft from a fire truck at the Graniteville volunteer fire department. Deputies took a report for grand theft.

[Not as ironic as a stolen police car, but embarrassing all the same. Still, it should be easy to spot.]

At 5:25 p.m., a man called from the 10000 block of Wahoo Lane to report his ex-wife was at the residence stealing things and preventing him from calling 911. A woman could be heard in the background laughing and yelling at the man. The man seemed to have been drinking heavily. A deputy responded and the people were gone on arrival.

[Who's afraid of Virginia Wahoo? They were no doubt fetching more alcohol.]

At 10:10 p.m., a woman called from the 20000 block of Post Chaise Circle to report her landlord hit her trailer with a board and broke the windshield of her car. She said the landlord was very drunk and making threats to kill her. When deputies arrived the man was not there.

[The other day upon the stair I met a man who was not there...]

At 11:42 p.m., a woman called from the 11000 block of McCourtney Road to report her ex-husband followed her around the fair, joined her in a group and announced loudly she had a sexually transmitted disease. The woman said her ex was not allowed to be within 100 feet of her. The man was very drunk

[I wonder what disease he chose to mention in his stupor. Did he go for a treatable but difficult to pronounce (when drunk) one or jump straight on something with initials?]

At 7:07 p.m., a woman called from the 200 block of Commercial Street to report a man climbed up onto her balcony and put a camera there. He said he was filming the street. She said she felt uncomfortable with it.

[Especially since the lens appeared to be pointed into her bedroom? Maybe. The urge to film what downtown on a Saturday night has to be strong as well.]

At 7:19 a.m., a caller from a mobile home park on the 100 block of Lark Street reported a person was coming after him with a stick making threats

[I hope he was on a cell phone, or at least a cordless. Your room to run away from somebody with a stick is pretty well restricted by a phone cord.]

At 4:34 p.m., a caller from the 300 block of Pleasant Street reported a repair man just fixed the air conditioner unit and smoke was coming out all of the vents. A fire engine and a police officer arrived. There was no active fire.

[I would like the name of the repair company so I can avoid them. Of course I picture comic amounts of smoke billowing out of the vents, but many things are more amusing in my imagination.]

At 3:31 p.m., a man called from McCourtney Road to report he was skateboarding down the road and a black Toyota truck stopped, people got out and started throwing unknown items at him. He said he was not hurt.

[Skateboard vigilantes? Unknown items?]

At 2:51 p.m., a caller from the 1800 block of Nevada City Highway reported a man had made threats to his neighbors and threatened to burn down his own house. An officer made contact and was unable to locate the man. No one was home.

[Everybody must be at the county fairgrounds getting drunk. At least those who are not already drunk.]

At 3:55 p.m., a caller from the 10000 block of Combie Road reported a man was causing a disturbance, running into the front of the building and hitting his head.

[I am at a lost mostly because this has occurred often enough that I am afraid I will repeat myself.]

At 7:14 p.m., a man called from the 16000 block of Annie Drive to report that he found animal feces and a note in his mailbox. The man also stated the incident was part of an ongoing issue with animal feces. He said he put animal feces in a bag and tied it around a dog's neck. The dog's owner put the feces in the caller's mailbox.

[I wonder if the caller used the actual term "animal feces?" Anyway, people do not appear to be bored in Grass Valley!]

At 7:40 p.m., a caller from the 18000 block of Penn Valley Drive reported a female's limp body was being carried by three guys. The fire department responded. It was kids playing.

[What were they playing, Snow White?]

At 9:12 p.m., a caller from the 14000 block of Mooney Flat Road reported illegal campers. A deputy made contact with people having dinner in their motor home to have time away from their children.

[There is a use for a motor home I had not even considered.]

At 4:44 p.m. a caller from the 10700 block of Spenceville Road reported two juvenile males throwing rocks at a shop next to a residence.

[August, when the rocks ripen and are ready for throwing.]

At 3:01 p.m. a caller reported a man in his 50s staggering and beating up a stop sign at Bank and Stewart streets.

[I think opening up a liquor store in Nevada County would be a sound investment.]

Source: The Union (http://www.theunion.com/)

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Spongebob In Paris

And you know what they call Spongebob Squarepants in Paris?

They don't call him Spongebob Squarepants.

They call him Bob l'├ęponge.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Photocopiers

Photocopiers. Now that seems like old, simple technology. There have been photocopiers around all of my life. Chester Carlson's first photocopier, the Xeorx 914, came out in 1959. (You should know the his name, as you should know the name Philo T. Farnsworth for the massive effect they have had, if indirectly, on your life)

Photocopiers are not bleeding edge in this day and age.

When I was young, you went to the library or the post office, laid your item to be copied on the glass sheet as indicated, covered it with the flexible lead-lined blast shield (similar to what your dentist puts on you when he takes X-rays), put your 10 cents in the machine, and received a blurry, somewhat grey edged, duplicate of your original. As an added bonus, it used to have a subtle scent, like that of paper off of the mimeograph machine at school, which would give you a mild sense of euphoria if inhaled deeply. (Ecstacy of the 70's? I knew a guy who used to hot box at the paper output slot.)

The choices were minimal. Your original could only be placed in one direction. A complicated machine might allow legal size paper or some minor adjustment of light/dark to control the amount of excess toner stuck to the edge of the page, but in general there was just one button. It said "copy."

Then came the 80's, and somewhere along the line the quality got much better, regular paper was used, and everything was good. In companies, sorters and collators found their way into the mix. There was even automatic stapling of your sorted and collated copies. The only worries were paper jams, low toner, and people who left the copier lid up.

Then the machines became too smart.

The first sign of real trouble was the automatic sensing of the size and orientation (horizontal, vertical, straight, or gay) of paper. Suddenly the lines indicating "letter" and "legal" sized paper morphed into a confusing rectilinear Venn diagram with indications of paper sizes you had never before encountered. (What paper size is STMT?) Copies came out with your original reproduced in an unexpected, and often cropped, fashion. Automatic paper choice meant your expense report receipts might very well come out blown up, cut off, and reproduced on a tabloid sized sheet. (Or was that A3?)

Then the copiers decided they didn't want to make copies at all, so they introduced a power save mode. In our department we had a copier until recently which took 10 minutes to warm up from power save mode and which went into power save mode after being idle for 20 minutes. You could start it up, walk away, and if you got distracted for an extra few minutes, you could come back to find the copier essentially off again.

And, yet, this copier was my friend. I could, if I timed things right, coax copies of my documents out of it on paper of approximately the right size on a regular basis. Granted, I could never get the sorter/collator to work, it was like trying to get HAL to open the pod bay doors, only it all transpired on a small LCD touch screen, but my copying needs are generally simple, so I could live with that.

True evil only came a few months ago, in the form of new copier. This time the copiers had won. I have never once gotten a copy out of this machine as I wanted it. The service tech never has to come visit this machine, as nobody can make copies on it. Toner expenses have plummeted in my department, since we all now go to another floor to use an older machine that is the big brother of our last functional copy machine.

This new machine has the same power save feature, but it is so much more evil. When you get it running finally, and you have your original in place, you press the multi-function button that seems like it should be the copy button. The copier will ask you on the LCD screen to confirm the paper size you want. It already KNOWS, the correct size is highlighted, but it seems to want you to feel involved with the whole copying process. Then it asks you from which paper tray you would like this paper to originate. When you select a tray, any tray, it informs you that the paper you have selected is not in that tray, and you have to start over. You soon find it claims to have no paper whatsoever, despite the obviously full paper trays. It is like the Cheese Shop sketch from Monty Python, only you don't get to shoot the copier in the end, because that isn't covered by our service contract.

When I complained about this last copier, I finally got to somebody at our former corporate HQ who told me that the copier we had was the corporate standard for departments of our size in remote offices according to our contract with Evil World Domination Copier Services, Inc.

Still, I have hope for the future. Our old parent company sold us to another company. Someday our new parent will cast its eye on our copier service contract, decide it does not align with the corporate standards, and force a new copier on us. Will it be evil? Will it be good? I cannot tell. All I know is that I unplugged the power cord to the current copier in our department several weeks ago and nobody has bothered to plug it back in.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

I Do Not Care #1

I do not care that there are unused icons on my desktop.

Happily Ever After?

A thirty year old woman dumps her toddler off with the child's father and heads to Australia to move in with a sixteen year old boy.

Truly a love that spans the ages.

And they think it would be neat to get married in a helicopter.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Grass Valley Police Blotter vol. IX

At 4:52 p.m., a caller from the 1000 block of East Main Street reported a juvenile throwing rocks at passing cars. The juvenile was admonished.

[Son of Battery Man! (featured in GVPB vol. VIII) And a weak double entendre!]

At 5:44 p.m., a woman called from the 400 block of Neal Street to report a person crawled under her residence, which was a suspicious circumstance. Police made contact with the man, who lives on the premises and was searching for artifacts.

[Do people just not communicate any more? Is a simple, "Hey, I'll be under the house" too much to ask? And what artifacts was our would-be Dr. Jones seeking?]

At 7:41 p.m., a caller from East Main Street reported a woman was passed out on the sidewalk

[That is what we like to see on Main Street, people who got in early for happy hour!]

At 10 p.m., a woman called from Packard Drive to report she saw a person holding another person at gunpoint. The victim had his hands in the air. Police made contact with a group of kids who were playing with an air soft gun.

[Do kids still play cops and robbers? Or cowboys and Indians? Or have these games been updated for the new demographic of a new century? Cops and terrorists? Pakistanis and Indians?]

At 11:28 a.m., a caller from the 200 block of Colfax Avenue reported a transient person was throwing rocks at a juvenile boy.

[If only the transient would turn out to be the battery carrying rock thrower we could close the loop on this.]

At 3:51 a.m., a caller from the 11000 block of McCourtney Road reported two groups of men were fighting in a parking lot at the fairgrounds. They appeared to have been drinking. Deputies made contact with the men, and no one wanted to press charges. They said they would go to sleep.

[4am on Sunday morning and two groups of men are fighting in the parking lot at the fairgrounds and they think ALCOHOL MIGHT BE INVOLVED?! The deputies tucked the men in and everything was OK.]

At 3:35 p.m., a man called from the 600 block of Freeman Lane to report a woman driver attempted to run him over. The woman called to report that the man pulled in front of her on purpose. Police mediated the situation.

[Is this the same couple from vol. VII or is it just a new fad?]

At 11:47 a.m., a male from the 17000 block of Minnow Way called to report receiving a message on myspace.com from a person calling himself "Adam" that stated he knew where the caller shops and gets gas. "Adam" asked the caller to get together and called him sexual names. A deputy advised the man the incident does not meet criminal requirements for stalking but told him to call back if any more contact was made.

[Again the internet leads to confusion.]

At 5:42 a.m., a caller from McCourtney Road reported seeing a man wearing camouflage, carrying a backpack, with a rifle slung over his back. Deputies made contact and discovered the weapon to be a pellet gun and that the man had been en route to his girlfriend's house.

[This just raises more questions than it answers.]

At 12:40 p.m., a caller from the 100 block of Stacey Lane reported the theft of a rototiller and a mattress. Police filed a report for grand theft.

[An award for most awkward items stolen. And a mattress? Just try getting rid of a mattress and see how well you do. I have one this guy can come over and steal, it would help me out greatly.]

At 6:30 p.m., a caller from the 100 block of King Court reported that a person within the same residence was yelling at fair traffic on the block. The caller had also overheard that the same person had thrown a lawn mower at a passing vehicle.

[He threw a lawn mower at a passing vehicle!? I think we might have our rototiller thief.]

At 9:21 p.m., a woman called from a fast food restaurant on the 1000 block of East Main to report her boss requested she call the police regarding the theft of a picture by three young men. It was a picture of "Jack with a donkey." Police took a report and alerted allied agencies to stop and interview the men if they were seen.

[I really like this entry. First, we are putting out an all points bulletin on the stolen picture. This isn't exactly Edvard Munch's "The Scream" that has gone missing here, this is a mass produced picture of a character from an ad campaign posing with a donkey. The criminal masterminds behind this were possibly not even drunk when they pulled off this caper. Second, what defines an "allied agency?" Are there opposing agencies in Nevada County? Are there Switzerland-like neutral agencies? Finally, this is just a great moment in managerial delegation. How often have I, as a manager, longed to say, "Go call the police and tell them three kids just walked off with our picture of 'Jack with a donkey.'"

Source: The Union (http://www.theunion.com/)

Friday, August 11, 2006

Pasteurized Processed Revolution!

My friend Scott sent this link to me.

It is an offer for a Kraft (the makers of American pasteurized processed cheese food) game floor pad controller, like those you might use with Dance Dance Revolution. It can be used to play games you download from the Kraft web site.

My mind boggles at the idea.

Kraft and games refuse to link up in my brain.

Still, I ordered one. They are only six dollars. Maybe somebody will put out some additional games to go with it.

Make Your Own Motivational Posters

Poking around after going through the Star Trek posters, I found a site that allows you to make your own.

Of course there is such a site, this is the internet!

Grass Valley Police Blotter Classics #1

A 40-year-old Grass Valley woman dropped off a computer at the Grass Valley Police Department at 1:55 a.m. She told police she was leaving the computer at the police department because she believed hackers were attempting to break into the computer's files. She told police the FBI was aware of the activities. Police advised her not to leave the computer at the police station and to take it with her when she left.

[This is the first police blotter entry I read back in 2001. This is what got me hooked on the whole thing.]

Star Trek Inspirational Posters

More Trek-ish than inspirational, but amusing.

An Inconvenient Something...

I do not usually delve into politics, not having that self-assured sense that I am right and everybody else is wrong that seems to be the requirement for entry into the arena, but this piece appeals to my love of hypocrisy.

It seems that Al Gore has not felt the need to make the personal sacrifices in the name of the planet that he is asking the average American to make.

There is something just joyous in finding somebody that is scolding you for not doing something has, himself, chosen not to follow his own convictions.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Lego Star Wars II

This looks like it will be just too much fun!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Where Is Fake Steve Jobs?

Fake Steve Jobs, the nom de plume of the blog "The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs" shut down his blog over the weekend, which is too bad, because it was hilarious.

But Fake Steve, or somebody very much like him (Fake Fake Steve?), appears to be back at another location under the banner of "Fake Steve Jobs." The link for this post points to the new location. I hope the quality remains the same.

All of the previous work is gone for the moment. I hope it sees the light of day again some time.

Grass Valley Police Blotter vol. VIII

At 3:45 p.m. a caller reported a young man with no shirt was on his hands and knees, apparently vomiting on the side of Ridge Road.

[If he had been wearing a shirt, I would not have included this entry.]

At 9:04 a.m. a caller from the 13600 block of Axle Court reported he was threatened by his neighbor, who was heavily medicated. The caller said the neighbor also shot at his house with one of the two dozen guns he owns.

[I will just keeping watching the front page to see if this situation develops. This is definitely poised for "film at 11."]

At 10:37 a.m. a caller from the 100 block of Richardson Street reported that he let someone test drive his car on July 3 and they never returned it.

[This call came in on August 3rd so, if nothing else, you have to admire the caller's patience. "Has it been a month since I gave that guy the keys? He should have been back by now."]

At 6:47 p.m. a caller said her car was towed to a business on Lower Grass Valley Road in Nevada City and her husband was taking things out of the vehicle.

[And you dialed 9-1-1 to tell us what again?]

At 5:36 p.m., a caller from the 700 block of Freeman Lane requested extra patrol for people throwing trash cans.

[A new sport? Is there a preferred trash can for throwing? Are they looking for the police to sponsor the league?]

At 10:42 a.m., a woman called from South Auburn at Mohawk Street to report a man carrying a battery threw a rock and damaged her vehicle. He was driving a gray Honda. Police took a report.

[One wonders what provoked this sort of behavior. I assume it was a car battery. Maybe he was irritable from having to lug it around.]

At 11:47 a.m., a man called from Mill Street to report a man in a gray Honda yelled at him and threw a rock at him after he made a joke about the man getting a ticket. The man then took off in his car.

[The rock thrower made it a block before he struck again. At least we have motive this time!]

At 11:59 a.m., police arrested a 33-year-old man on South Auburn Street for throwing rocks at vehicles.

[And the crime spree ends back where it started, no doubt halted by the officer taking the report from the first incident. There is a lesson here about returning to the scene of the crime.]

At 12:42 p.m., a caller from Dorsey Drive reported a semi hit a power line and pulled it down. Police made contact. It was not a power line, but rather it was a telephone line hanging low.

[But was the driver of the semi arrested for hit and run or damaging phone equipment?]

At 11:06 p.m., a man called from the 18000 block of River Ranch Road to report a person ran him over with a truck. The caller did not need medical attention. A deputy took a report.

[OK... Was the man in question Mr. C. Kent by any chance?]

At 6:17 p.m., a woman called from the 11000 block of Wild Turkey Lane to report a fight between herself and her husband who was holding a handgun. She was afraid he was going to shoot her. Deputies arrested the 48-year-old man for spousal abuse and an emergency protective order was issued.

[Not so amusing an entry, except that the street names seems to be an indication of what probably influenced this event. Chekhov (the Russian playwright not the Star Trek ensign) would approve... at least of the street name.]

At 9:30 a.m., a caller from the 14000 block of Stagecoach Way reported a man who had made threats earlier to kill the caller broke into the house and stole a dog. Deputies took a report.

[Stole a dog? Was this man medicated and the owner of two dozen guns by any chance?]

At 10:46 a.m., a caller from the 200 block of Broad Street reported several vehicles needed to be ticketed, a woman was changing her clothes in a parking lot and her dog was off its leash as well.

[And her blouse did not really match her pants and her right rear tire looked a little low.]

At 11:22 p.m., a caller from the 11000 block of Slow Poke Lane reported two juveniles ran away.

[More street name driven humor. Would you really need to run away from that street? I think a brisk stroll would do the trick.]

At 7:44 p.m., police made contact with two homeless men on Nevada City Highway who had an 18-pack of beer and backpacks. They were advised of the city's camping ordinance and they would be moving along.

[Aside from seeming like an old movie where the cops tell a hobo move along to the next town, I was not aware that they sold beer in units between 12 and 24. That probably shows how out of touch I am with the alcohol trade.]

At 2:05 a.m., an officer on the 200 block of Mill Street moved trash cans out of the roadway.

[More trash can throwing?]

At 4:10 p.m., a caller from the 10000 block of Comerate Road reported a juvenile with a fire extinguisher and a gas stove in his hand was threatening to start a fire. A deputy responded and mediated the situation.

[Did mediate include whacking the kid upside the head? Still, in addition to the stove, he had a fire extinguisher, so he was prepared for contingencies.]

At 10:23 p.m., a caller from the 11000 block of Wilson Road reported his 14-year-old daughter was missing. She left for Santa Cruz Friday to go camping with a man and his daughter and was supposed to return last night. The man was said to be driving a green minivan.

[I am going to ignore the vagueness of the description and assume that the caller knew the "man and his daughter" in question. I do wonder why you would leave an area surrounded by wonderful camping sites to go camp in Santa Cruz. Yes, there is the beach, but you have got Lakes around Nevada County just as cold and uninviting as the Pacific Ocean off of Santa Cruz and with far less undertow.]

At 10:41 a.m., a caller reported a trash bag in the middle of the Dorsey Drive overcross. The CHP was advised.

[I am just guessing here, but trash bag throwing must be in a different league from trash can throwing, so it got referred to the CHP.]

At 10:11 a.m., a caller from Highway 49 reported an elderly man was walking with a cane on the edge of the road, last seen just north of a mobile home park.

[Old people on the loose! Call the police!]

At 4:47 p.m., a caller from the 500 block of Pine Street reported a person was acting strange and making death threats toward the neighbors. The caller found this strange and alarming and wanted a log entry made. The caller was advised of the process of obtaining a temporary restraining order.

[Logically, this cannot be the medicated gun owner, otherwise the caller should have found this "alarming but perfectly in character." And a correctly obtained temporary restraining order is small comfort against somebody who has decided to act on a previously stated death threat.]

Source: The Union (http://www.theunion.com/)

Pull Up!

Two pilots and a passenger die when, after hearing the ground proximity warning say "Pull Up" thirteen times, the plane they are in flies into a mountain.

An honorable mention in this story for the worst metaphor of the day:

"It's like holes in a cheese, sometimes the holes line up and you will get an accident."

Remember that next time you choose Swiss cheese!

Friday, August 04, 2006

Grass Valley Police Blotter vol. VII

At 6:39 p.m., a caller from a fast food restaurant on the 11000 block of Nevada City Highway reported a man called a manager and threatened there were bombs and the manager did not believe him. The man called again to say he was going to detonate them. Police made contact and there was no bomb. A report was taken.

[I like the idea of a bomb threat where the person taking the call refuses to believe the caller. There is a Python-esque skit in that situation somewhere. Still, that does not mean I actually want to be in the building during the call.]

At 10:55 a.m., a man called from the 12000 block of Redwood Lane to report he arrived home to find a screen hanging off the window and a large puddle of urine on his desk. Nothing was missing from the residence. A deputy took a miscellaneous incident report.

[Bad neighbor relations, random juveniles, or an ex-girlfriend? You make the call!]

At 12:18 p.m., a man called from the 100 block of Neal Street to report his ex-girlfriend tried to run him over with her vehicle. The man requested a log entry only.

[He is obviously still in love. Will it lead to wedding bells or restraining orders? Only time will tell.]

At 6:17 p.m., a man called from the 300 block of Mill Street to report his wife had been hitting him in the head and he wanted her "talked to." Police made contact. Some community property was damaged and the woman had been drinking but was not drunk.

[Still, I am pretty sure that the inhibition releasing nature of alcohol played its part.]

At 4:51 p.m., a woman called to report she saw computer images of a juvenile smoking drugs with a parent. The woman said the juvenile's 11-year-old brother was taking the pictures, and it occurred on Bennett Street.

[I hear that this sort of thing happens all the time over on MySpace.com.]

At 1:16 a.m., the CHP reported receiving a report of a possible drunk driver pulling into the county jail. The driver was arrested for drunk driving.

[I was half expecting the second sentence to read, "Police were unable to locate the suspect," just given past history, but I guess this was a pretty easy bust.]

At 6:11 p.m., a caller from the 300 block of Broad Street reported they were flagged down and advised of a person in a bar with a gun. An anonymous man also called to report a man pulled a gun on him. The man with the gun called to say it was a BB gun and he pulled it because people wanted to fight him. Police took a report.

[Did the officer just call the report in as well? It seems like this whole situation was handled over the phone.]

At 5:06 p.m., a caller reported a full keg of beer was found on the side of the road. A deputy took a report.

[And? Did the deputy just leave it there?]

At 6:29 p.m., a woman called to report inappropriate pictures were taken of her at a party last night. A deputy took a report.

[Well, I guess at least she was not arrested the night before for being drunk in public... or indecently exposed.]

At 4:14 a.m., a caller from 11000 block Lakeshore North reported possible vandalism to security vehicles and an volunteer patrol car. All of the vehicles had flat tires.

[This rates somewhere behind "Fire Station Burns Down" for irony, but it is still fairly rich.]

At 4:21 p.m., a caller from a convenience store reported the manager frightened her talking about "revenge for his people" during a political conversation that took place inside of the store. The woman did not want police contact. She just wanted the information given to an officer.

[Revenge for his people? A new tack in customer relations! My imagination has him following that up with something about the streets running red with the blood of the unbelievers.]

At 3:48 a.m., a caller from Lawrence Way reported music from the "Raiders of the Lost Ark" theme was disturbing the peace. A deputy checked the area and the music tracked to an outdoor pavilion on Connie Court. The television was turned off.

[I could hear that theme in my mind even as I read this. And a definitive ending for a police blotter entry! Still, I wonder, was the TV just there by itself, or was somebody watching it?]

At 10:09 a.m., a caller from Highway 49 just past Ladybird Drive reported a man was on the side of the road yelling at traffic and getting close to traffic.

[In San Jose, we just hand these people signs pointing to new housing developments and let them be.]

Source: The Union (http://www.theunion.com/)

Vader Lives!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Slow News Day

In San Jose, somebody changed the price on a gas station sign, film at 11.

Grass Valley Police Blotter vol. VI

Special Road Rage Issue, all incidents are from Monday, July 31. I do not know what was going on, but it was a good day to stay at home.

At 12:42 p.m., a caller from Joerschke Drive reported road rage, but did not want to press charges. Police would make contact with both people involved.

At 2:35 p.m., a caller reported road rage on Main Street at Mill Street. A person driving a green Mazda Miata reportedly broke the windshield out of a white Honda Civic.

At 6:32 p.m., a man reported he had a road rage problem on Highway 49 with a person in a white van. The caller took the Idaho-Maryland Road exit to get away from the problem, however the other driver pursued him throughout the city, causing the caller to fear for his life and the lives of others. The incident was referred to the CHP for further investigation.

At 7:08 p.m., a caller from South Auburn Street at McKnight Way reported a bear was running into parked cars and in the traffic lane. Police checked the area and were unable to locate the bear. There were no further sightings.

Source: The Union (http://www.theunion.com/)

Shirtless Guys!

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel covers the shirtless guy issue outside of Grass Valley.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Least Effective Animation

Since June 19th, according to the associated blog, the online version of the comic strip "For Better or for Worse" has been animated.

Sort of.

They take the strip and make people's eyes blink. The effect is very odd.

It basically highlights the fact that nothing else in the strip is moving. With the blinking, people talking seem to have their mouths frozen open, people walking are frozen in the act, people kissing stay locked forever in their embrace, people with looks of horrified surprise on their faces just sit motionless. It is like the world is in shock, only allowing the occasional blink.

It seems to be a wasted effort, if the word "effort" can be used to describe the work required to make a .gif where eyes blink. They are taking a suvey on the "animation," so you can express your opinion for the time being.

After I wrote this, I made it to the August 2nd strip. No blinking eyes. Instead they made the special characters used to represent swearing flash. Not as creepy, but hardly animation.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

HP iPod Banner Ad

Today I ran across a banner ad from HP offering Apple iPods. I thought that HP had ended that deal some time back, so I actually clicked on the add. It takes you to the page at the link for this entry. Since this page will go away some day soon, I will summarize what they are offering:

Refurbished Apple iPod from HP

Apple iPod + HP 40GB, refurbished $229

Apple iPOD Mini + HP 6GB, refurbished $159

Apple iPod Mini + HP 4GB, refurbished $139

They come only with the Windows version of all of the software and silver is the only color available for the iPod Mini, but the price is about right. $149 is what you pay for a 1GB Nano currently. The Nano is smaller, but the Mini is pretty nice.

Grass Valley Police Blotter vol. V

At 2:56 a.m., a man in the police station lobby said a woman pulled a small handgun on him and threatened him. The man was unsure of where it happened and he wasn't sure it was actually a gun.

[He did seem certain that it was a woman, but later admitted he could have gotten that wrong as well.]

At 4:41 p.m., a woman called from the 15000 block of Norvin Way to report her husband had been drinking and had been trying to push a vehicle into the creek. Deputies arrested a 69-year-old man for battery of a spouse or cohabitant and vandalism.

[I have to assume that it was not his own vehicle. More neighbor issues? Still, it is nice to see older people getting out and doing things.]

At 8:06 p.m., a caller from the 200 block of Sutton Way reported a man with no shirt hit a woman in the mouth. When the caller offered to call the police, the woman declined help. Police arrived and were unable to locate the suspect.

[So all we know is that there is another shirtless guy on the loose.]

At 9:18 p.m., a 911 caller from the 200 block of Mill Street advised a man was yelling "fire" and smoke was possibly coming from a business. Police and the fire department made contact, and there was no fire. The man had been yelling "liar" to a woman.

[No word if he was a fan of Henry Rollins or not.]

At 10:29 p.m., a caller from an apartment complex on the 300 block of Sutton Way reported a fight. A woman with a sword was reportedly involved. Approximately 20 people were going in and out of the apartment. Police made contact and took a report.

[Okay, a lot of people going in and out... still, you should be able to spot the woman with the sword. I am going to pass on allusions to fictional and/or historical sword wielding women, but feel free to jump in yourself.]

At 3:55 a.m., a woman called to report she could hear a woman screaming in a park on Bank Street. Police arrested a 36-year-old woman for being drunk in public

[I think the real case for legalizing marijuana is that stoned people do not scream so damn much.]

At 11:14 p.m., a woman called from the 21000 block of Margaritaville Way to report she had a fire. The fire department handled the call.

[Flaming away in Margaritaville? Does Jimmy Buffet know about this street? I am pretty sure he will want some royalties.]

At 10 p.m., a caller reported a man riding a horse northbound on Ridge Road was creating a road hazard.

[I've read a couple of sites with "crazy" horse laws that always include one requiring a horse to wear a red light on its tail after dark, which doesn't seem so crazy on modern streets.]

At 1:08 a.m., someone called 911 twice from the 600 block of South Auburn Street and hung up. There was crying and screaming in the background. Police responded and arrested a 25-year-old man for damaging a telephone line.

[As my phone gently weeps? This is the second time in the last month I have read about somebody being arrested for damaging a telephone line. Is this an actual crime in and of itself? If only there were some easy way to look up this sort of information....]

At 12:57 a.m., a caller from a campground on the 19000 block of Larsen Road reported a campers were fighting, yelling and screaming. Deputies arrested a man for aggravated assault and a warrant and cited a woman for a Placer County warrant.

[If I were to hazard a guess, I would bet that alcohol played a role in this. But when you're busting some guy for aggravated assault, I guess you can leave off the "drunk in public" descriptor. On the other hand, I do not understand the woman being "cited" for an outstanding warrant. If you have a warrant out for your arrest, which is the only warrant *I* know of, don't they just arrest you when they find out you have such a warrant against you? How does giving somebody a ticket for having an outstanding warrant accomplish anything? And doesn't that imply that having a warrant against you is a criminal infraction of its own?]

At 1:59 a.m., a man called from the 20000 block of Tiger Tail Road to report a fight between him and his girlfriend. He said she slapped him and broke a window, and was outside the residence throwing things. Deputies arrested the 31-year-old woman for being drunk in public.

[I think the name of the road may be some sort of indication of this man's situation. And again with the drunk in public.]

At 5:30 a.m., a man called from the 12000 block of Oak Circle to report domestic violence. He said he was out drinking with a friend and when they returned home, his friend's wife hit him over the head with a porcelain doll. He said he was bleeding and required medical attention. A dispatcher could hear the woman in the background saying "bring it." She seemed very irate and was still causing a fight in the background. Deputies arrested the 26-year-old woman for battery of a cohabitant. They also arrested her 30-year-old husband for battery of a cohabitant and damaging telephone lines.

[They seem like a happy couple! Bring it! And we have more phone line crime.]

At 5:38 p.m., a woman called to report a man walking near Highway 20 and the PG&E camp at Bowman Lake. She thought the man might be thirsty. A deputy made contact with the man, who required a bottle of water and to be left alone. Water was given to the man and he was left alone.

[There is something just mystical about this. A man on a journey felt thirst and water arrived. Then he desired to be alone and was granted his solitude. But this is the police blotter, so we'll never know if he said something profound or found inner peace. All we can assume is that he had no outstanding warrants, had not been drinking, and that he was respectful of the local telephone equipment.]

Source: The Union (http://www.theunion.com/)