I’m about to do something I really, really don’t care for…

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Mow the lawn.

At least afterwards I get to go to Fresno for dinner and a movie!

56 episodes of Star Trek. All at once!

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This is cool!

OK, Scotty, NOW you can beam me up!

A palm tree + a sloped driveway + manual transmission + a brand new Toyota + a 12 year old boy = prescription for disaster

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1969. Man was about to walk on the Moon.  Vietnam was in full gear.  Richard Nixon was President.  Before the terms “I am not a crook”, and “Watergate” entered the language.

I was a skinny, awkward, shy 6th grader.  I had one friend in the new school I was attending now that we had moved to Woodlake, and I wasn’t really making many more.  (that one friend is still someone I count in a very small number of “best friends”)

Dad had recently started working for a newcomer in the automobile market, Toyota, at the new Toyota of Visalia dealership on Main Street in Visalia.  Back in those days, salesmen could take one of the new cars home with them, and my Dad, although he loved driving things like Land Cruisers, brought home a brand new 1969 Toyota Corona.  It was very much like this one:

I promptly crashed it into a palm tree.


A Volvo, a 12 year old, and appendicitis

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Last Sunday, as I was walking into the Express to attend the weekly Sunday Funday BBQ, this neat old car was in the parking lot.  Boy, did it bring back some memories!

Well, it didn’t bring back actual memories as much as it brought back the dreams of a 12 year old boy.  Dreams shattered by my father’s near fatal bout with appendicitis.


And so it ends…

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And so it ends…  another vacation in the history file.

Very little accomplished, few places visited, and no dents in the credit card.

All in all, a quiet, inexpensive “staycation”.

Next up, vacation!  In June. Three more weeks, with San Francisco, Los Angeles, and maybe more in store.

Stay tuned.

I hope I remember how to do a “calling all cars…  calling all cars” broadcast!


National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week April 8-14, 2012

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By Chief Thomas Wagoner
Loveland (Colo.) Police Department

Someone once asked me if I thought that answering telephones for a living was a profession. I said, “I thought it was a calling.”

And so is dispatching. I have found in my law enforcement career that dispatchers are the unsung heroes of public safety. They miss the excitement of riding in a speeding car with lights flashing and sirens wailing. They can only hear of the bright orange flames leaping from a burning building. They do not get to see the joy on the face of worried parents as they see their child begin breathing on its own, after it has been given CPR.

Dispatchers sit in darkened rooms looking at computer screens and talking to voices from faces they never see. It’s like reading a lot of books, but only half of each one.

Dispatchers connect the anxious conversations of terrified victims, angry informants, suicidal citizens and grouchy officers. They are the calming influence of all of them-the quiet, competent voices in the night that provide the pillars for the bridges of sanity and safety. They are expected to gather information from highly agitated people who can’t remember where they live, what their name is, or what they just saw. And then, they are to calmly provide all that information to the officers, firefighters, or paramedics without error the first time and every time.


End of vacation

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Well, technically, the vacation ended yesterday.  With my regular days off, I go back to work Monday.  Hope I remember how to tell them where to go!

The weirdness of Google, et al

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Google, Yahoo, Bing, Alta Vista…  and literally dozens of others of which most of us have never heard.  Search engines to find anything and everything on the web.  How they operate is a mystery, and one that we seldom think much about, if at all.  For those of us who obsess over the “stats” on our blogs, however, those algorithms can mean fame, or ignoble invisibility.

On this blog, I’ve noticed a steadily increasing number of hits, and I’ve patted myself on the back on my increasing readership.  Then I noticed something that pretty much deflated my burgeoning ego.


BOLO (AKA “Calling all cars, calling all cars”)

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A little taste of Visalia

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A little taste of historic Visalia.  Taylor Brother’s Hot Dog stand, at Center and Encina in downtown Visalia.  For years located across the street to the west, the stand was moved and expanded (yes, expanded!) on this lot some years ago.  You can get hot dogs here.  Chili on them if you like.  Soft drinks and chips. That’s about the extent of the menu, and always has been.  Like I told someone today, it’s not gourmet, and you can certainly find better quality ‘dogs elsewhere, but this it Taylor’s, and it’s a Visalia institution and tradition, so we cut it a lot of slack.  I can take up to two at a time, and find that a visit every year or two is sufficient for my needs.  Others make it a family occasion, and the lines at times stretch well into the parking lot.  Give them a try.  Don’t worry about telling them JimmieJoe sent you, they won’t know who I am!  😉


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