This is something I’ve thought true for some time…

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Things haven’t always been this bad.  In many ways, they were much worse in the past, but you just never heard about them.  Now someone can’t sneeze without it being Tweeted around the world.  The Internet in many ways is a blessing, but in others it’s a curse.  Welcome to the age of being able to know anything as it happens.  Whether that thing is important or not.

One Day or One Trial (but really only 2 hours)

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Monday last was my first adventure into the jury selection process since the mid 1980′s.  Back then, I made it all the way into the court room and interviews by the attorneys in a Federal case, something dealing with drugs.  I was excused by the prosecution, probably due to my age.  Ever since, every time I’ve been sent a juror summons, my group was excused on the recorded message the day before the appearance was demanded.  This week, my group made it to the courthouse, but didn’t have to be there until 1pm.  So I gussied up, showed up, and wondered if I would see the inside of a court room this trip.  Well, it appears any jury duty will be a bit like my attempts to get my current job.  Inch a bit closer, each try, and eventually, years later, land that puppy.

So I sat. More

B&W Abe: Historical figure. Color Abe: A real man.

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Buzzfeed has a series of black and white photos that have been altered to show how they would appear if they had been taken in color.  There are several that are more powerful to me in color than in the original black and white, but there are also a few who seem to lose some of their effect when translated into a color picture.  Follow the link to see them.  This one of President Abraham Lincoln is the most powerful to me.  Seeing him in color makes him less a historical figure, and more a real man.

Some work codes

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SheriffBadgeGenericA lot of people like listening to the scanner, and keeping an ear on the happenings in their area.  Whether they listen to local police, sheriff, fire departments, ambulances, or other emergency services, often times it can be challenging to understand what is going on.  Codes and abbreviations can obscure the meanings of various transmissions, making the action difficult to follow.  I’ve compiled a short list of the most common codes used at my agency, and if you listen, you’ll definitely hear me use them.  I usually put up a notice on Facebook which channel I’m working, so if you ‘friend’ me there, you’ll know when I’m on, and on which channel.

Here’s the lowdown on channels you can monitor from the Internet:

Channel 1 – Primary south county channel.  This covers county areas around Lindsay, Strathmore, Porterville, Lake Success, the mountain areas including Springville, Camp Nelson, Ponderosa, Johnsondale, the Kern River area, California Hot Springs, Posey, and Kennedy Meadows.  Back on the valley floor, Terra Bella, Ducor, Richgrove, Earlimart, Teviston, Pixley, Tipton, Alpaugh, Allensworth, and the southwest part of Tulare county near Corcoran and Delano.

Channel 2 – Primary north county channel.  Coverage is Tulare, Visalia, Goshen, New London, Traver, Kingsburg, Dinuba, Delft Colony, Sultana, Yettem, Cutler-Orosi, Ivanhoe, Woodlake, Farmersville, Exeter, Lemon Cove, Lindcove, Kaweah Lake, Three Rivers, and mountain areas north of approximately Avenue 232.

You can monitor Channel one here.
Monitor channel two here.

You can also listen on your smart phones, on various scanner apps.  I use 5-0 Radio, and Scanner 911 on my iPhone.

After the jump, you’ll find the codes we use the most frequently.

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What Dreams May Come

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I seldom remember my dreams.  Unless I wake up during or immediately after, I just have no clue what they were about.  I might recall that I had a dream, but not the details.  I sometimes have a strange, fading image of something, and I feel like I knew everything about it just a moment before, but then it drops away, despite my attempts to remember, and is gone.

Last night I had a weird one, that speaks to how things that occur around us, even in our sleep, can be integrated into the dream, even as it is interrupted.

I don’t know the details of the dream before this moment, but here’s what I do recall:

I’m in a motor home, and near water.  The water level is rising, and I’ve decided I need to move to higher ground.

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Jim Reeves:

I may have to make the fair this year!

Originally posted on Queer Landia:

Another first for Tulare County, California.  Acting on the last-minute offer of space at the annual County Fair, local LGBTQ activists and organizations pulled together a display highlighting local and national resources and events.

This is a momentous occasion for the LGBTQ community here.  Tulare County, in the heart of California’s vast Central Valley, is firmly in the “red” portion of the state.  Proposition 8 (California’s initiative on the 2008 ballot to overturn the State Supreme Court ruling granting marriage equality) passed here with 75% of the vote.

This booth represents the second major advancement of LGBTQ recognition in Tulare County this year.

SPECIAL UPDATE: 9/12/12 0530 hrs Pacific
The LGBTQ Booth won first place! Pictures soon!

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The Other Road

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That title is not a “road not taken” musing, it’s an actual street name in my county!

After more than 18 years at the same agency, you’d think I’d have run across every street name in the county by now, especially if they’re not in a new sub-division.  Saturday sprung a new one on me, however.  “The Other Road”.  It’s in the Kennedy Meadows area of southeastern Tulare County, and I’ve not heard of it before.  Neither had I heard of a road that intersects with it…  “Up The Hill Road”.

In my defense, while we have a resident Deputy that covers the area (two of them, actually), we almost never get any calls for service from this part of our county.  It’s remote…  very remote.  If a Deputy or backup has to come from the nearest substation, it’s at least two hours.  Deputies for that patrol this area have to be a special breed, which is appropriate, since the folks that live out there are a special breed themselves.

When I first heard a fellow dispatcher taking a call from an address on “The Other Road”, we both first thought we were dealing with someone who simply did not know the name of the other road.  Turns out WE were the ones who didn’t know!

Now I’m going to be looking over the maps during slow time, to see what other odd names crop up.  Years ago the County changed the name of a creek to Negro Creek.  I’m sure you can figure out what the old name was.

55 years later

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So 55 years ago today, I graced the planet with my presence. In the time since that historic moment in human history, I have only grown in my modesty, good looks, wit, charm, and intelligence.
Especially in my modesty.
Here’s how I’m celebrating this historic day:

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I just saw a UFO. No, really, I did. Right over there…

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<<< That’s not what it looked like.

8:05 pm, I was getting in my car to go to the store, when I glanced up at the sky to the north of my home.  That’s when I saw it.  A red light, moving (apparently) slowly.  Not the blinking red light of an aircraft, but a solid, bright red light.  It seemed to hover above, and far beyond, the church across the street, and then seemed to be moving up and away from me, growing dimmer as it did so.  It quickly winked out, and after a moment I got into my car and continued on my errand to the store.

When nearing the store, I saw it again, in the northern sky.  When I found a place to park, and was able to look again, it was gone.  I’ve seen it (or something very much like it) there before.

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I’m a headliner! (not the kind in your car)

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Queerlandia.com puts me on the masthead banner.  I’ll try to keep it from going to my head.

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