When is a zero not a zero?

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no-zeroWhen is a zero not a zero? Turns out, when it’s an ‘o’.

For almost 25 years, I’ve been a 9-1-1/law enforcement dispatcher. One task of many in dispatching is to check DMV, DOJ, and national databases for registration and stolen status on vehicles. These checks are usually done by the license plate number, but sometime we have to use the Vehicle Identification Number, also known as the VIN.

From day one of my training, way back in 1994, I was told there are two characters never used in VINs. The letter ‘o’, and the letter ‘i’. This is because they are generally indistinguishable from zeros and ones, especially on VIN plates located on vehicle dashboards or engines. Simple. Every time you see 0 or 1 in a VIN, they are numbers, not letters.

Until yesterday.

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Star Trekking with Tom Jones

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tomjonestrek

I got to see him in concert, once, in Visalia. Took my Mom. We both had a great time.

When is an emergency not an emergency?

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donald_trump_02152019_emergency

“Big hands”? You decide.

I know emergencies, and, let me tell you, this isn’t one of them!

Betcha’ thought I was going to talk to you about 9-1-1 calls, didn’t you?

Nope, this time it’s all about a grifter who managed to get himself elected President of the United States invoking emergency powers to bypass Congress and the Constitution.

Can you imagine the hue and cry if President Obama had declared a national emergency, bypassed Congress, and imposed single payer?  Our health care system actually is in crisis, but the GOP would have blown it’s collective gasket.

The Republicans and their base, however, are just fine with Hair Furor attempting an end run around the Constitution and the funding mechanisms of the United States government.

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July 4 – Civil War

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alexjones

I must have missed the memo. To where do I report for the July 4 Civil War that’s going to be started by us liberals? Is my BB gun weapon enough? It looks like a 9mm hand gun, but I don’t even have any BBs at the moment. I hope the stores haven’t sold out, I’m sure there must have been a run on them by now.

Alex Jones says we liberals are going to launch a civil war this Wednesday. Totally coincidentally, Jones sells lots of survivalist gear on his site, so after you watch his war warnings, you can go buy all the stuff you’ll need to survive this holocaust. Best choose the “overnight shipping” option, though.

I suppose my best contribution will be in the communications/radio tent. I can dispatch the hell out of this war, but I’ll need all the secret codes and unit designators so I know who I’m talking to and what I’m telling them. I’d hate to get something wrong, and have Bravo Unit attack a Starbucks, rather than the Walmart.

Image: Alex Jones Twitter

(I usually don’t cross post, but this one is too funny not to make fun of in as many places as possible.)

I’ve been recruited. By the Illuminati!

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illuminatiBoy, they come right out of the blue!

And via Facebook Messenger, no less.

Yeah, I’ve been recruited. By the Illuminati. Yes, THAT Illuminati!

Yesterday a person friended me on Facebook, then began immediately chatting with me on Messenger.  My recruiter’s comments are in italics, my remarks in bold. Here’s how the conversation went:

Greetings Mr Jim
Thanks for the friendship
How are you doing?
Hi. Taking it easy today. How are you?
Ok I’m pretty good today by the way can’t complain about
I’m from the DC
What about your self?
I’m in central California
Okay good MY pleasure meeting with you today
I like meeting with new friends around the world so how is your work going
Friday night, so it’ll be a bit busy, and probably short staffed again. So, pretty much normal.
Ok very well. My pleasure. But do you know about the illuminati organization?
Only what I’ve seen in the movies. 

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Rainbow Dragons at Pride Visalia?

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Baby Dragon

Draco, in an early pic, 2011

It never fails. I should never let them look over my shoulder when I’m on the computer.

I’ve written about them before, back when they were first born. (I can’t tell them they’re hatched, for some reason they don’t like that. I think it has something to do with an inferiority complex about competing with birds. I know, it’s weird.)

Since then, I’ve kept them out of my blogs, and off my Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram feeds. They’re already insufferably vain, and making them the center of attention would be unbearable. (oh, if you met them you’d think they’re charming, well behaved, and as entertaining as hell, but you don’t have to live with them!)

They’re seven years old now, and quite the handful. Over the years we’ve managed to not burn down the house or set the yard on fire. Mostly. There was that one time I had to convince the fire department that it was just the BBQ making all that smoke, while they hid on the roof, trying to look like I have a strange hobby of collecting gargoyles. Fortunately it was after dark, and they weren’t noticed. Crisis averted.

Their voices are still juvenile, though. I’m waiting for dragon puberty to hit, and for those sophisticated British accents to kick in. Still sounds like a lot of London boys sniffing helium going on around here, and sometimes it gets on one’s nerves. Good thing they’re still as cute as can be. (When they’re asleep.)

Today, I messed up, and I’m not sure how to contain the furor now unfolding in my dragon lair.

Did you see this?

rainbow_dragon

Boy, they did. I was on my laptop, scrolling through Facebook, when I landed on this. I hadn’t realized Draco was behind me, snooping. (I try to keep them away from the computer as much as I can. It’s really hard to clean smoke residue off the screen after they’ve been watching Dragonheart and Eragon on endless loop.) He let out a very un-dragonly squeal, demanding to know what that was. “Nothing” wasn’t going to cut it.

Draco called the others over, and they all huddled around the computer, squeaking and squawking about it, demanding to know what it was all about.

I told them some humans love dragons (I glared at them enough to make them wonder whether I was one of them or not) and had made some buttons and other gear for the upcoming Pride Visalia. They were quite pleased. And, of course, they want to go.

How do you tell a bunch of seven year old dragons they can’t go to the festival to see the other dragons? They’ve decided it’s not just buttons and pins, and that there are going to be other dragons there. Rainbow dragons.

I’m not sure how I’m going to contain this.

 

Melatonin induced dreams – the latest

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melatonin_dreamsOne of the side effects of taking Melatonin to help you sleep is “intense dreams”. I’m discovering that “intense” for me means “really weird”, and that I remember them once I awaken. Here’s last night’s strange tale.

It starts with me sitting in my truck, a ’92 Ford Ranger, in the parking area adjacent to, but not at, a set of gas pumps at a convenience store. The engine is running. I almost never do that, just sit somewhere (other than a drive-thru) with the engine running.

ranger_w_camper

Not really my truck.

For some reason, my truck has a camper shell. In reality, my truck does not. I’ve never even considered putting a shell on the truck. Anyway, sitting in the truck, engine running.

So far, not a really weird dream. But it starts veering into, if not weird, then at least strange. And I remember it, when I usually don’t, so there’s that.

Sitting in the gas station parking lot, engine running, when a woman of indeterminate age, possibly early 20’s, maybe early 30’s, comes roaring up to the gas pumps and screeches to a stop, in an older, mid-size heap of a car. She’s dressed like…  well, there’s no real polite way to say it…

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