Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Sign of the Times

Traditionally, as a manager with a group that currently consists of 12 direct reports, one of my yearly performance goals has been employee retention.

I was measured as a manager by how few people left my organization for other opportunities.

Even through the last economic downturn it was recognized that keeping key people was important to the ongoing operation of the business.

Then we were acquired last year by a very large corporation, of which software development in general, and my part of the development in particular, were such tiny parts of the overall revenue stream as to be invisible on the balance sheet.

For this year, retention disappeared from my goals.

I was just given my goals for next year. I now have an attrition goal.

I will now be measured as a manager by how well I can drive a specific number of people to pursue opportunities elsewhere.

I suppose that takes the pressure off of my worries about morale in the software development group.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Grass Valley Police Blotter vol. CXIX

2:05 a.m. - A man from the 300 block of South Church Street reported his roommate had been drinking and was "disillusioned." He said the roommate believed he doesn’t exist and was in his room with a machete.

[So we're primarily concerned with the existence of the machete then?]

10:22 p.m. - A caller from the 14000 block of Nutmeg Court reported an ex-employee embezzled a vehicle.

[I think when they end up with a vehicle, it ceases to be embezzlement and moves more into fraud and theft.]

10:12 p.m. - A caller from the 14000 block of Pleasant Valley Road reported a Volkswagen Beetle was spinning doughnuts in a field.

[I'm going to guess it was one of the "new" Beetles and not your classic pre-1975 VW.]

7:48 a.m. - A caller reported a large amount of bullets had been spilled onto the roadway at Charles Drive and Grass Valley Avenue.

[Ammunition spills are pretty rare.]

10:06 a.m. - A caller from the 12900 block of Amber Street said a neighbor was outside screaming that he was going to burn down houses and kill everyone. The neighbor's wife was at the caller's residence. Responding deputies restored the peace.

[What gets a man that riled up at 10 in the morning? I can't get that worked up until at least mid-afternoon most days.]

1:24 p.m. - A man from the 12700 block of Brunswick Road said someone put on Craig's List that he was having an estate sale Sunday and he did not place the item on the Internet.

[The classic "and what do you want the police to do about it?" situation.]

9:49 p.m. - A caller from the 11700 block of Upper Circle Drive reported a golf cart went by his residence and a person was throwing lit matches out of it. The caller said he reviewed his surveillance tapes and recognized one of the people in the golf cart.

[This seems amusing, unless you live in Grass Valley and it is fire season. I was surprised to not see an additional report about teens stealing golf carts to joy ride again.]

10:58 p.m. - A caller from the 14000 block of Torrey Pines Drive reported a golf cart had rolled over. A person was arrested on unknown charges.

[But no theft report.]

9:31 a.m. - A caller from the 100 block of Cornish Lane reported a large tool theft at the residence the prior evening. The caller said a neighbor heard a vehicle around the home between 10 and 11 p.m. Officers took a report for theft.

[And how large of a tool did they take? Ambiguity, a humor essential. Plus there is potential sexual innuendo.]

3:45 p.m. - A person in the lobby of the police station reported a possible fraud by AT&T. The person was urged to contact AT&T to clarify the charges on their bill.

[I bet this person is even now complaining how the police are totally in the pocket of the phone company.]

12:58 a.m. - A caller from Nevada City Highway reported seeing a mountain lion. No mountain lion was spotted, but a dog the color of a mountain lion was seen.

[A big dog presumably.]

8:45 a.m. - A caller from the 11000 block of Alta Sierra Drive reported a man sitting in a vehicle for several hours. He was out of gas.

[And hadn't realized it? Being out of gas is a problem solved rather easily, but you have to leave the vehicle.]

11:55 a.m. - A woman from the 13000 block of Wood Rose Way reported a toddler loitering by the mailboxes the day before.

[Can a toddler actually loiter in a legal sense?]

8:42 p.m. - A caller from the 13000 block of Blank Court reported people were firing shots over a wheelbarrow. A person threatened to shoot the caller earlier in the evening over the wheelbarrow. The suspect was leaving in an SUV with the wheelbarrow on top. The caller agreed to put his gun away and would wait for a deputy. Neither party wanted to be "the victim."

[I hope that wheelbarrow was worth it.]

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

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Fake Steve Returns!

Now that Fake Steve has his new iLiver installed and running, The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs is active again and telling the truth about Apple, its competitors, and the valley in general.

Welcome back Steve!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Dame Edna Reads Shakespeare's Greatest Sonnets

I have a subscription with Audible.com for audio books. With my subscription I can download any two audio books a month.

After nine years I have fished all the gems out of their catalog and now have to scan the new releases every month. Fortunately they have quite a few new releases on a regular basis.

To facilitate search the list, I subscribe to their new releases RSS feed which allows me to go through the titles and a brief description.

My eye caught and read one of the titles as, "Dame Edna Reads Shakespeare's Greatest Sonnets." As a concept, that made my mind stumble and I had to go back and read the full entry.

At which point I read the title correctly as, "Dame Edith Evans Reads Shakespeare's Greatest Sonnets," and was slightly disappointed.

Not that I am down on Dame EE, but she was reading Shakespeare back when Kaiser Wilhelm II looked like he still had a long and glorious reign ahead of him. Plus the picture they chose to represent her has more than a bit of the "air of dried prune" about it.

All of which brought me around to thinking that Dame Edna reading Shakespeare might not be such a bad idea after all.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

United Breaks Guitars

The tale of a musician who has a bone to pick with United Airlines. They broke his guitar and gave him the run-around, so he promised their rep that he would write three songs and create videos for them about his experience. This song is the first.

The full story is available here.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

The French: Arrogant, Cheap, but Nicely Dressed

At least when they leave France, according to a recent survey of 4,500 hotel owners across the world.

The French, said at least one self-proclaimed expert on the subject, find their country so wonderful that they rarely leave, thus they never bother with foreign languages and customs. So leaving France causes them to become stressed, making them seem arrogant and demanding.

I guess I could buy that for most of the country, though I suspect a certain percentage of the population of Paris must be stressed even within France.

Anyway, I am jumping on this excuse. Living in California, which must be comparable in wonder to France given how many people keep showing up here uninvited, explains my arrogance, cheapness, and tendency to add avocados to just about everything.

It certainly explains my not being well dressed.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

That Old Email Joke

We've all heard the one about the IT department sending out an email to all users announcing that the email server is down.

I've not only heard it, I've lived it. Some times IT has an excuse. We had an email from them recently that announce that email access at our Sunnyvale office was down. That at least informed people why we're not responding. Of course, the email itself seemed directed at the Sunnyvale staff, but maybe IT thinks that joke is funny still.

But today my hosting service one-upped IT. They changed the default settings for email access and followed it up with an email explaining how to adjust your settings to get your email.

Seriously, I checked the times. They did the change and then they sent the email.

Fortunately (?) my hosting service has screwed up email in the past, so I have it set to forward all email to another address that I can access, just in case. So I went and found the email, made the updates, and everything was fine. But if I had not had that I could have used the web mail service they offer. That service is somewhat low key however and I only knew about it because of past screw ups by the hosting company.

So I am going to bet that the support team at my hosting service has quite a busy day today. Well, I bet the phone guys did. The email guys probably had a pretty quiet morning.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Grass Valley Police Blotter vol. CXVIII

2:44 p.m. - A woman from the 15000 block of Washington Road reported she paid a man to do yard work, and now one of her plants is missing. He frequently stands at the front of her property and yells obscenities at her.

[I can see why you hired him. I mean, if he's already going to be there yelling obscenities, you might as well put him to work.]

11:26 a.m. - A caller from the 10000 block of Rancheria Court reported someone was dismantling a metal building to steal it.

[That sounds perfectly brazen! I wonder how big of a building we're talking about?]

1:52 a.m. - A man from the 10000 block of Boulder Street reported he "wants the people out of his house."

[On how many holidays have I uttered those very words? But I've never dialed 911 to do anything about it.]

2:09 p.m. - A caller from the hospital reported a man was in the emergency room, saying he was going to shoot everyone if he didn't receive medical attention. He did not have a gun. The man was arrested at 5:56 p.m. on suspicion of violating parole.

[That seems like quite a long time to go from threatening to kill people to actually being arrested.]

9:21 p.m. - A caller from the 700 block of Freeman Lane reported a man in a white four-door vehicle kept ducking down when someone drove by. A woman was cited and released on suspicion of having an open container while driving, possessing fireworks and possessing a tear gas container after being stopped on Freeman Lane.

[She had a busy night planned I guess.]

12:48 p.m. - A caller from the 13000 block of Tervetuloa Lane reported an argument with the neighbors about peacocks running loose. The neighbor said the initial caller verbally assaulted her and the other party's donkeys are running around and her peacocks have nothing to do with it.

[Issues that big city police departments rarely face.]

2:13 p.m. - A caller from eastbound Highway 20 at the Washington overlook reported finding six to seven bags of marijuana on the south side of the roadway. Upon contact, law enforcement determined the material was "leftover shake."

[At first I thought this referred to roofing material, but Google informs me that "shake" is "The cruddy end bits of a large bag of weed." That was my educational moment for the day.]

1:16 p.m. - A caller in the 200 block of Rockwood Drive reported a maroon sedan was parked near the person's residence, and people were trying to sell it.

[They were trying to sell it? Maybe I'm not clear on what the police are supposed to do here.]

1:58 a.m. - A caller on the 200 block of Dorsey Drive reported a children's video was playing in an upstairs apartment. The caller said the song continued to play unabated. The caller was advised to call the apartment management.

[How can you determine, at that hour, that you are not actually in hell?]

7:30 p.m. - A caller from the 15000 block of Sunny Hill reported the neighbor's television was very loud. The caller said the neighbor has a scanner and will turn down her TV if she hears the call.

[I like that sort of efficiency.]

12:23 p.m. - A man from the 18000 block of Message Place reported an ongoing issue with his neighbor yelling and screaming obscenities at him. He said he also has vehicles trespassing on his property. The neighbor said he was upset that the man was raising llamas on the property. The neighbor admitted yelling at the man, including calling the llamas (expletive) camels. They were advised to resolve the issue civilly.

[I am going to bet alcohol was somehow involved as well.]

8:24 p.m. - An elderly woman from Swallow Court called 911 and wanted to know if 911 was the correct number to dial in an emergency. She did not have an emergency.

[Just, you know, making sure.]

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

Friday, March 20, 2009

Grass Valley Police Blotter vol. CXVII

8:37 p.m. - A caller from the 100 block of Valley View Drive reported a smoke detector had been going off for 30 minutes. A woman was transported to the emergency room and cited on suspicion of violating probation.

[I'd like to know how this was all linked.]

3:35 p.m. - A caller from the 20000 block of Echo Blue Drive reported a man pretending to be her grandson called, saying he was in jail in Canada and needed $3,200. The caller's grandson lives in Corvallis, Ore., and was not in Canada.

[And presumably had no plans to travel to Canada.]

3:52 p.m. - A man from the 19000 block of Connie Drive reported a caller tried to get money out of him, saying he was his grandson.

[In jail, in Canada?]

4:25 p.m. - A caller from the 14000 block of Tim Burr Lane reported losing about $3,000 in an Internet scam.

[Let me guess, your grandson was reported in jail? Perhaps in another country?]

1:26 p.m. - A caller reported neighbors were tampering with medical marijuana. No address was given.

[That is going to be a tough crime to solve when they won't even give you the address.]

8:10 a.m. - A caller from the 13000 block of Twin Star Lane reported the unauthorized use of identification.

[I'm trying to figure out what this one means. Assuming that the person is not misrepresenting them self, I don't get it.]

9:37 a.m. - A caller from the 10000 block of Lowden Lane who was not making sense reported a firearm on a chair behind a locked door and a woman needing a therapist.

[Not to mention the caller.]

3:01 p.m. - A caller from the 15000 block of Mt. Olive Road reported someone trying to sell meat and seafood out of a vehicle.

[Meat I get... seafood though. One of these guys actually came to our door the other day. "Hey, we were delivering meat to your neighbor and have some extra on the truck!" Left over truck meat!]

3:12 p.m. - A woman from the 17000 block of Aileen Way reported vandalism. It was found to be erosion on an embankment and a naturally occurring hole in an oak tree.

[Mother Nature herself is screwing up your property value!]

12:26 a.m. - A caller from a business in the 300 block of Broad Street requested an officer come by to "get a visual on a punky kid."

[Not Punky Brewster I'm going to guess.]

5:02 a.m. - A woman from the 100 block of Conaway Avenue reported she left her vehicle running to warm it up and heard it drive away. A report was taken for a stolen vehicle.

[I'm going to bet she won't do that again.]

6:14 p.m. - A caller from Juvenile Hall reported a male staff member had been stabbed by a juvenile on the loading dock. A second call reported this was a drill and no stabbing had taken place.

[A drill? At 6pm tonight we'll be practicing our Juvenile stabbing drill! Who wants to play the victim?]

7:52 p.m. - A man from the 17000 block of Foxtail Drive reported a gold Dodge truck had shined a light into his house while driving past. He said the driver is a "goon" who is friends with a man who wants to harass him. He said the man's "goons" are intentionally driving recklessly past his house and behind his house. This is an ongoing issue with the man and his "goons."

[Goons in Grass Valley? Next it will be henchmen or minions! Where will it cease?]

9:17 p.m. - A caller from the 24000 block of Highway 49 reported one juvenile made death threats to another, and a screwdriver that was to be used in the attack was located. The juvenile was placed in restraints and arrested on suspicion of possessing a deadly weapon and making a criminal threat.

[Take him to Juvenile Hall, they know how to deal with stabby people there. They drill the staff on it!]

4:01 p.m. - A caller from the 1400 block of Segsworth Way reported a yellow Jeep drove by six times in 10 minutes.

[Forget being inconspicuous I guess.]

1:25 p.m. - A man who was on the ground at Dalton and Church streets was advised not to lay in the middle of the road.

[I like how this one was worded. We did not find out he was in the middle of the road until the end.]

3:34 p.m. - A woman from the 21000 block of John Born road reported extortion and bribery attempts by her sister.

[Extortion AND bribery. I think somebody is unclear on the concept.]

8:17 p.m. - A caller from Wildlife Lane reported hearing shots, possibly from a .45 handgun.

[That's a well trained ear I'd say.]

1:54 a.m. - A woman from the 26000 block of Wampum Way reported she and her boyfriend were high on mushrooms and he was stating he was going to kill her. The boyfriend came to the telephone and said he did not intend to kill her, they were "exchanging feelings."

[And we're not limiting ourselves to your "approved" feelings man!]

9:34 a.m. - A caller from South Auburn Street reported a woman wearing no pants (but wearing panties) had been asked to leave a business. She was located and said she found her pants and would keep them on.

[Pants that travel by them self? At least she found them. It is cold out.]

1:11 a.m. - A caller from the 300 block of Mill Street reported seeing lights and movement inside a guest house. A woman was arrested on suspicion of loitering.

[Has that got to be the low end crime in prison or what? What are you in for? Loitering.]

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

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Indifferent Promotion

I have worked for my current... well... what should I call it?

I hesitate to say company, since it has been several companies over my time here.

Product group maybe? That is as good as anything I guess.

I've worked with the same product group for well over a decade now, through various ups and downs, acquisitions and mergers.

I came on as an individual contributor, but in two and a half years I ended up as a manager with my own group.

And there I have stayed.

At points, staying in the same spot has seemed like a good thing. I seemed to survive layoff after layoff during the bursting of the first tech bubble. I got through reorganizations and the inevitable trimming of surplus people after acquisitions. I've made it through bad times.

On the other hand, when times have been... better... I have stayed put. Meanwhile, anybody brought in or promoted to management seemed to go straight to Senior Manager. Often these were people with considerably less experience, direct reports, or responsibilities.

I began to ask my boss about how I could get promoted to senior manager. Time and time again he agreed that people who were being given Senior Manager titles did not deserve them as much as I did. But nothing happened.

Some years we were at a company where promotion beyond manager required the approval of a committee, some of the members of which no longer worked for the company, making it hard to get a quorum.

At other times HR said I was not being paid enough to be promoted to Senior Manager, and since those were generally times when we were giving out 2% raises, getting there seemed a long way off.

And at some times it was just better to keep my head down, since everything looked like it was going to change the next day, and not necessarily in a good way.

Eventually we were bought up by what I would call a "real" company, a big company with where rules were not quite so ad hoc. I thought this would be a good thing.

In many ways it was not. Rules went from ad hoc to Byzantine. My connection with the company felt a lot more tenuous; I went from being in a meeting with the CEO once a week to being so many jumps from the CEO on the org chart that I have never seen him in person, I have seen one of his direct reports once, and I don't see or talk to anybody on a regular basis who actually works at corporate HQ. And I found out that big companies have crap benefits for the rank and file because, as I was told, "They can."

Still, one thing worked out my way.

In my position, with my responsibilities, I was required to have access to a specific internal email distribution list.

However, the rules for that list required that an employee must be at least level M1. I was only level L3.

My boss (an N2) tried for some time to get this fixed. Not having access to this list was impacting my work. However, IT was adamant that the rules for this distribution list were set in stone and they would not allow exceptions.

He went to his boss (an O3), who also tried to get the issue resolved. Eventually he came back to my boss and told him that he just made me an M1, since that was easier than working with IT.

M1 is, of course, the level of a Senior Manager.

So my boss called me into his office and gave me the news. I had been promoted to M1 so I could access an email distribution list.

I had to laugh.

My wife seemed less amused when I told her.

I explained to her that I had cracked the system! I explained that there was nowhere to go but up from here! I explained that my next promotion was assured!

All I have to do is find the right email distribution list and make the case that I need access to it. The rest is just details.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Grass Valley Police Blotter vol. CXVI

11:21 a.m. - A woman from Condon Park reported she was stuck in the mud and needed assistance. She called later to report she did not need help. A caller called at 12:53 p.m. to report a physical fight with the father of the previous caller.

[No doubt for getting mud all over the vehicle.]

9:55 a.m. - A caller from the 17900 block of Rockmar Lane reported he would be shooting mistletoe out of a tree at 10:30 a.m.

[Is that the recommended way to remove mistletoe?]

4:14 p.m. - A caller from the 13400 block of Tyler Foote Road reported the theft of a fallen tree from his yard.

[He was saving that fallen tree for later.]

10:21 p.m. - A caller from the McCourtney Road - Orion Way area reported seeing a nude man in the street holding a sign. She said the man was still in the area but she did not know exactly where.

[Aside from the fact that it has been snowing, we all

1:48 p.m. - A caller from the 200 block of Fairmont Drive reported she was followed home and harassed by three young girls who threw snow at her. Contact was made with the juveniles who were admonished.

[More snow related crime.]

2:20 p.m. - A juvenile from the 200 block of Sutton Way reported her mother refused to give her any food.

2:43 p.m. - A caller from the 200 block of Sutton Way reported her daughter had a lighter and was not listening to her mother.

[Home life is supposed to be unsatisfying, otherwise we'd never leave home.]

3:54 p.m. - A caller from the 11000 block of Polaris Drive reported her son was drinking rubbing alcohol.

[Hopefully an ambulance was dispatched or she brought him to the emergency room.]

11:25 a.m. - A woman from the 18000 block of Alexandra Way reported an elderly neighbor who came to her residence stating the gypsies were trying to kidnap him.

[Not a lot of stuff is blamed on gypsies these days.]

1:10 p.m. - A man from the 1000 block of Laurel Lane reported receiving a suspicious phone call from "Jeff," who wanted to speak to the youngest female in the house. The man said he does not know Jeff and there are no females in his house.

["Jeff" needs to work on his social engineering skills I think.]

1:18 a.m. - A woman from the 100 block of Park Avenue reported someone had been in her vehicle and rolled the windows down. She then said she just needed help reading the mileage from her car.

[Just a normal past midnight activity?]

5:33 a.m. - A woman from Colfax Avenue near Oak Street reported seeing a flashing light moving toward Ophir Street. The light was possibly from a garbage truck.

[I was hoping for another UFO report.]

10:25 a.m. - A woman from Minnesota called to request a welfare check on her sister in the 13000 block of Golden Star Road. She said she called her wheelchair-bound sister and all she heard on the line was panting. The sister was contacted; her husband had answered the phone and thought it was a telemarketer, so he left the phone off the hook while working out on his exercise machine.

[Great moments in misunderstanding.]

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

Friday, February 20, 2009

Grass Valley Police Blotter vol. CXV

4:11 p.m. ­ A caller from Idaho-Maryland Road between Centennial Drive and Sutton Way reported a 6-year-old on a scooter having difficulty in the snow.

[Trying to ride a scooter in the snow. What a poignant visual image, not to mention a metaphor for something I am sure.]

9:39 a.m. ­ A caller from Broad Street reported a man in a cowboy hat and a duster was yelling and screaming.

[The return of Cowboy Bill?]

11:43 p.m. ­ A caller from the 100 block of East Main Street reported a man in the Post Office was acting "odd, cleaning the counters and rambling."

[As long as he is working out his aggression on dirty counters, leave him be.]

10:54 a.m. ­ A man from the 10000 block of Combie Road reported receiving death threats by way of text messages.

[What a wonderful age in which to live. Death threats all nicely traceable back to the sender. Very smart.]

10:25 a.m. ­ A caller from the Broad Street overpass reported a man was throwing snowballs at vehicles on the freeway.

2:32 p.m. ­ A caller from La Barr Meadows near McKnight Way reported a driver of a blue Toyota Tercel was throwing snowballs at oncoming traffic.

5:25 p.m. ­ A caller from West Main and North School streets reported three people were throwing snowballs at vehicles.

7:54 p.m. ­ A woman from West Main Street and Forest Glade Circle reported someone threw snowballs at her vehicle.

[Some snow falls, anarchy ensues.]

8:43 a.m. ­ A woman from the 18000 block of Highway 174 reported her son, who was afraid of the snow, was missing. She found him 10 minutes later in the house.

[Given how much of it seems to be airborne and aimed at people, I can see a reason for the fear.]

1:47 a.m. ­ A man from a business in the 100 block of Mill Street reported a flak jacket had been stolen. He called later to say he had gotten it back.

[I hope it was the surplus store. Who else keeps a flak jacket around?]

9:33 p.m. ­ A caller from the 11000 block of Spenceville Road reported a bipolar man had not taken his medication and was "freaking out." The man allegedly thought Grass Valley was sinking and made his family evacuate the house.

[I suppose Grass Valley looked like it was sinking with the snow on the ground.]

8:40 p.m. ­ A woman from the 100 block of Park Avenue reported someone keeps opening the windows of her car. She found it suspicious and requested extra patrols.

[An annoying prank, but annoying enough to keep doing it? It something wrong with the car?]

8:27 p.m. ­ A caller from Mill Street reported a man wearing camos and carrying a pizza was walking down the street, talking about killing his mother. He was arrested on suspicion of being drunk in public.

[If you're going to mutter about murder, do it quietly I suppose. Or be sober.]

2:07 p.m. ­ A caller from a business in the 500 block of Brunswick Road reported a man left without paying for an extraction,. He went out to get his checkbook and did not return, leaving his cell phone and coat behind.

[It makes you wonder about the business. Was it a dentist?]

11:14 a.m. ­ A caller from the county tax assessor's office reported a man was throwing items at the front counter.

[It is only a wonder that this does not come up more often.]

4:33 p.m. ­ A woman from the 15000 block of Orchard Springs Road reported a man took photos of her and her husband while they were shoveling snow. The man threatened to show the photos to the Social Security Administration because the couple is on disability. She said the man refused to help them shovel the snow and was trying to set them up. She said she was using a "pooper scooper" to shovel the snow.

[Aside from the usual, "what do you expect the police to do about this?" question, I like the drama and detail of this entry.]

9:23 a.m. ­ A caller from Zion Street reported an 8-year-old boy walking down the street. The mother was tracked down and said she had dropped him off at school, not realizing it was the wrong location.

[Parenting at its finest.]

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

Friday, February 13, 2009

The Home of "Boots" Del Biaggio

Gambler, NHL franchise owner, and convicted felon William "Boots" Del Biaggio III had to put his home up for sale recently.

Now you can see for yourself what kind of home you buy when you commit $100 million dollars in security fraud.

The asking price is just over $3.5 million.

See it here, while it lasts.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Grass Valley Police Blotter vol. CXIV

1:04 p.m. ­ St. Patrick’s Catholic Church agreed to adjust the volume on the chimes after a neighborhood complaint.

[That is a new one on me. I wasn't even aware that one could complain about that sort of thing.]

3:10 p.m. ­ A caller from Nevada City reported receiving annoying telephone calls on a cell phone but refused to report it to Nevada City Police.

[Look, we've seen how strapped the Sheriff's office is for resources, why bug them on this?]

1:07 p.m. ­ A woman from the 29000 block of Highway 49 reported a man climbed over her fence to confront her about his dog, which he believed the woman stole.

[Is dog theft such an issue elsewhere?]

8:13 a.m. ­ A man from the 17000 block of Banner Quaker Hill Road reported being defrauded on eBay in the amount of $5,000.

10:22 a.m. ­ A man from the 13000 block of Discovery Way reported he had sold a Coton de Tulear puppy to a person who stopped payment on the check, but did not return the dog.

[Okay, so here we have actual dog theft... or dog fraud... or some such.]

3:13 a.m. ­ A caller from South Auburn and Race streets reported a man was yelling and went to lie down in the road.

[On a Friday night I somehow imagine this was not politically motivated.]

5:09 p.m. ­ A woman from the 11000 block of Yuba Crest Drive reported a pit bull terrier attacked her llama.

[Llama related crime on the rise?]

8:49 a.m. ­ A caller from Seven Hills Middle School reported a man came to the school at about 7:30 a.m. and kept insisting he needed to see teachers that he had more than 20 years ago. He was “shaving and brushing his teeth in the office.” He was told he could not be on campus during school hours.

[A massive nostalgia attack? The sudden realization that everything you know is wrong?]

5:24 p.m. ­ A caller from the 15100 block of Sunny Hill Road reported a neighbor was dumping fireplace ashes on her driveway.

[And it was not in an effort to cover ice on the driveway to give more traction?]

2:28 p.m. ­ A caller from the 10300 block of Gautier Drive reported his wife was acting "crazy" and had pulled his hair.

[You're married. It happens. There is nothing the police can do.]

8:31 p.m. ­ A caller from the 11200 block of Sierra Circle reported a verbal argument on the porch next door about pistols between a man and a woman who was not wearing a shirt.

[Conflict, guns, and toplessness? Why isn't this on Fox already?]

8:12 a.m. ­ A caller from the Litton Trail between Hughes Road and Sierra College reported a suspicious fox. The fox reportedly "darted" onto the trail at the caller, then did it again 10 minutes later.

[A suspicious fox? Damn their darting ways!]

9:52 a.m. ­ A caller from eastbound Highway 20 reported seeing a dark sedan with a man strapped to the hood with a fire hose. The vehicle could not be located.

[File under: Things you do not see every day... not outside of rural college towns, in any case.]

4:36 p.m. ­ A caller from Brunswick Road reported two men carrying garbage bags were stopping traffic and trying to get rides.

[Garbage bags are pretty low on the list of thing that will help you with your hitchhiking experience.]

5:05 p.m. ­ A caller from the 14000 block of Franciscan Way reported a possibly drunken driver drove through a row of mailboxes and kept driving.

[My uncle did this once. It is hell on the front end of the car as well as the mailboxes.]

10:08 a.m. ­ A woman from the 100 block of Badger Lane reported a woman in her 50s with curly hair walked into her home and was chased out by dogs.

[I don't know why this brings "Li'l Orphan Annie" to mind, or at least "Aged Orphan Annie," but it does.]

11:26 a.m. ­ A woman from the 200 block of Joerschke Drive reported her neighbor tried to run her over with his wheelchair.

[The disabled gone wild.]

10:40 a.m. ­ A caller from Beckman Street reported a woman was going into people’s yards and talking to herself.

[I immediately wondered what she was talking about. Was she talking to an imaginary person, into an imaginary (or real?) radio, or just checking off a mental checklist aloud? "10:32 am, now in the Johnson's yard. Still no killer bees."]

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

Friday, January 23, 2009

If Robots Were Alive...

If robots were alive and sentient in the way human beings are, would they be as bemused, disturbed, disgusted, or depressed about the operation of their bodies as I am about mine.

I swear, every time I go to the doctor I move one step further from belief in "the miracle of life" and one step close to "Rube Goldberg the creator."

The #1 argument against intelligent design has to be, "Have you seen how our bodies work?"