November 29, 2013
barber shop, Caldwell Barber Shop, evolved, Gay rights, HRC equality logo, LGBT, marriage equality, obama
Today I stopped in at my regular barber shop for what I call my “5 minute slash-and-burn”.* I parked across from the shop** and as I walked up to go in, two of the lady barbers*** were taking a break, sitting on the curb out front. We said hello as I passed.
I went inside and sat down with the other waiting customers, many of us fiddling with our phones to pass the time.****
The ladies finished their break, and came in, and I was called up by one of them. After the introductory pleasantries, and telling her how I wanted my hair(s) cut, something new happened. She asked what my bumper stickers meant.
Apparently they sat outside during their break and discussed what they might be about. They were not familiar with the HRC equality symbol, and were a bit confused what the “Obama Evolved” indicated. Internally, I almost groaned, and thought this might not go well.
November 5, 2013
golf, linwood golf course, terry ommen, visalia, Visalia history
There’s a great website by Visalia historian Terry Ommen, Historic Happenings, that chronicles the history of Visalia. This month’s post had a question about the location of the Linwood Golf Course.
The image above is where I believe the course was located. South of School Street, between Linwood and Crenshaw. The course, if I recall, was a small 9 hole affair, and stretched down to the edge of Mill Creek on the south. (I don’t recall if the creek traversed the course, or simply skirted it.) The area is now condominiums and single family homes.
I played one “round” there when I was in the 5th or 6th grade (circa 1968). A buddy who lived in the area invited me to go with him and “play” a round. We did, but I don’t remember our scores, or if we even bothered to keep track. We had brought a set of clubs, they were Lenny’s or his father’s I suppose, and we hacked our way around the course.
It was a fun afternoon, but I would not touch another golf club until the mid-80′s, when the boss invited the “managerial” staff to a round out at the course east of Mooney’s Grove. (the name escapes me, and it is no longer open) That round was such a spectacular mess, with a long hole (on the back nine? South side of the course. If you’re a local golfer, you probably know it.) teaching me that I have no business on a golf course, ever. I haven’t tried the game since.
I understand golf was invented in Scotland. I think they did it just to torture the rest of the world.
October 30, 2013
archer, dreams, goshen, ivanhoe, Quest, questing, visalia
That’s as good a title for this dream as any, I suppose, although all I was doing was trying to get to someplace just past the horizon. Why I needed to be there, I don’t know, but I was determined.
I seldom remember my dreams when I wake, and when I do it’s usually just an emotional memory, lacking details. I do recall that recently they have been either scary or upsetting, but what they consisted of I have no idea. This morning’s was different.
I don’t know if this dream was influenced by the book I recently read, Legacy, A Father’s Tale, or by my enjoyment of the television series Arrow, but I was apparently an archer. I was carrying a bow, a bit more modern than the one in the image above, and I was dressed in a manner that combined elements of modern clothing and this archer’s garb. I don’t remember having a quiver of bows on my back, however.
The journey takes place today, or very nearly so, and I’m trying to get from wherever I am, presumably Visalia, first to a point on the other side of Ivanhoe. But things are different.
October 20, 2013
Saturday afternoon, after getting a picture taken at a photo shoot for The Self Evident Truth Project, I decided to wander down Main Street and see the sights. As I exited the Garden Street Plaza and started heading west on Main Street, I noticed there was an arts street festival in progress, and I thought I might stroll over and take a look. As I headed along the sidewalk, I was approached by a man who wanted to tell me about the book he wrote.
Usually, that’s a sign to me to continue walking, and respond only with a polite “no thanks”. No telling what “his book” would be about… maybe a government conspiracy to use contrails to spray something on unsuspecting Americans, or maybe how the Masons are secretly in control of Visalia. You just never know with someone approaching you on the street. This time, however, I stopped and listened. He had his two kids with him, so I figured it was probably OK to see what he had to say. And I could see the dragon and the boy holding a sword on the cover, so I was a bit intrigued.
What could it hurt, right? Maybe it was time to expand my horizons.
October 4, 2013
9-1-1, geek, Personal
911 dispatch, dispatch, tulare, tulare county sheriff, visalia
10-4-2013 Tulare County Sheriff’s Dispatch, Channel 1, south end of Tulare County.
September 28, 2013
Gay, News, Personal, Pictures
dispatcher of the year, Ham radio, hate in a small town, kc6yru, trophy wall
On Saturday, September 21, 2013, the local newspaper, The Visalia Times Delta, published in the print edition an article I wrote on September 18 and posted to my blog “Alternating Currents” (where I post as one of three community bloggers on their website. You can read “Hate in a small town” here). Partially visible is another Times Delta article from 1996 that mentions me and other HAM radio operators as we were preparing for Field Day. The two identical looking plaques are the 2012 and 2013 proclamations issued by the City of Visalia, proclaiming June LGBT Pride Month in the city. These proclamations were signed by the Mayor Shuklian and the four other City Council members. (Take that, Porterville!) Also on the wall is my certificate from the Visalia Police Department’s Citizen’s Police Academy, issued in May 1999. Down in the corner is my Starfleet Academy diploma, certifying my status as an officer in good standing in the Federation Starfleet. Not visible are documents and diplomas that are work related, including POST training certificates, Dispatcher of the Year (2005), my HAM radio license, and other work related items.
September 21, 2013
alternating currents, brian ward, cam hamilton, greg shelton, pete mccracken, porterville, porterville removes mayor, virginia gurrola, Visalia Times Delta
Here’s the link to the Visalia Times Delta’s site where my blog “Alternating Currents” is posted. I was not notified that they were planning to publish my blog in the print edition, but I’m tickled they did! One minor correction to the printed edition, in the intro, they say I was at the Porterville City Council meeting that ousted Mayor Gurrola and Vice-Mayor McCracken from their ceremonial posts. I didn’t make that meeting, but I was there for the three involving the LGBT Pride Month proclamation, and it’s rescission.
September 7, 2013
commentary, Humor, Personal
audi, dodge, drive thru, Ford, late night stories, munchy run
“Hey! Guy in front of me!”
Yeah, that’s probably not something I want to respond to at 2:30 in the morning in the drive-thru lane. I’m figuring the guy yelling it is somewhere on the high side of a blow into a breathalyzer, and it’s better I just pretend I don’t hear him.
“Hey! You! In front of me! Don’t act like you can’t hear me!”
Oh, joy, this is not looking like a good time to be stuck between the car in front of me, and the one behind me with the guy who’s probably feeling no pain.
I’m really not sure what to expect, as I was in my pickup, not my car. My car has a couple of LGBT related stickers on it, but the truck does not, so I knew i most likely wasn’t about to be gay-bashed, but I really was wondering… maybe it was the Obama magnet on the bed-mounted tool box? Maybe it was someone who recognized me from a blog posting? Why is this guy yelling at me in the drive thru?
I really didn’t expect what happened next.
September 3, 2013
fluorescent bulbs, incandescent bulbs, lighting effects, mystery of the ages, security camera, video camera
This is a picture of an interesting mystery.
Well, it’s interesting to me, and it’s my blog, so I’m going to babble a bit about it. (This is the “your mileage may vary” part of the ‘Wit, Wisdom, and Whimsy’ subtitle.)
The scene is my driveway, the view from a cheap security camera. The mystery presented itself tonight, when the light bulb in the fixture overlooking the vehicles burned out.
The dead bulb (so much for the 15 year life expectancy!) was one of the newer, power-saving fluorescent contraptions that screw into a regular light socket. It “burns” about 20 watts of electricity, and is supposed to produce an amount of light the equivalent of a 100 watt incandescent bulb. Here’s where the mystery presents itself.
The image with the fluorescent bulb was dimmer than with the incandescent bulb I replaced it with.
A frosted incandescent bulb of only 60 watts.
The second part of the mystery is even more odd. If you walk outside and take a look yourself, the driveway is noticeably darker with the 60 watt bulb than with the brighter power-saver.
Except to the camera.
I’m getting a brighter image with a 60 watt incandescent bulb than with a fluorescent with the “equivalent” lumens of a 100 watt bulb.
So now I’m wondering… why does the camera see with less acuity under the brighter fluorescent light, and better under the dimmer incandescent? A mystery for the ages.
(If you know the answer, just keep it to yourself. That would ruin the whole “mystery for the ages” thing, and throw off the “Wisdom” part of this blog. Thanks.)
August 17, 2013
fiction, geek, Humor, Personal
Dr. Who, madman in a blue box, tardis
The strangest thing happened earlier today. He tells me we weren’t gone long at all. It seems like it was, to me, though. Did you miss me?