Take a knee?

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Hair Furor, (for those of you reading this in the far future, President Trump) has managed to fire up the distraction machine once again. Between these Tweets, and his “fire the son of a bitch” comments at a campaign rally (only months into his term, and he’s already campaigning for a second), he’s trying desperately to distract from the political chaos surrounding him and his administration. War looms with North Korea and Iran, the Mueller investigation of the Russian attacks is about to explode, and the White House has had to install a revolving door in the West Wing to handle the number of people being hired and fired there.  What does orange man focus on? NFL players dropping to a knee during the national anthem.

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9-1-1 envy

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The City of Visalia opened it’s new communications center to the public today, and now I have a serious case of dispatch center envy.

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Their new center is spacious, well laid out, modern, and will be a joy for their staff to work in… especially since the current center is a small room in the basement of the police station downtown.

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This center will serve the needs of Visalia for the next fifty years or more.

Tulare County really needs to get on the ball and upgrade it’s 9-1-1 dispatch center, which is also in a small room in a basement. (It’s supposed to be moved upstairs to a somewhat larger room (with windows!) soon, but “soon” in government speak is always vague.) Plans to move it to the new Cigna building at Akers and Tulare are on “hold”, probably forever (my pessimism is creeping in here), and I doubt it will ever be there. The county should follow the City of Visalia’s lead, and build a dedicated 9-1-1 communications center. (especially since the county missed the boat and… ‘declined’… to join with Visalia and consolidate the centers into one building.)

Congratulations, Visalia. You’ve got a well laid out, modern, functional emergency communications center that will serve the city for a long time. I’m green with envy.

I wonder if it’s a time to consider a change in my work venue?

You Can’t Get There From Here

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Twice this weekend I’ve been confronted with addresses which don’t exist. In one case, I was going to pick someone up, and in the other, I was asked why 9-1-1 could not find the scene of an accident. In both cases, the wrong address was given.  Neither of these incidents involved my employment as a 9-1-1 dispatcher, I was “off-duty”, but both required my skills as a dispatcher to figure out and solve.

Scenario one:

I was going to Fresno to pick up a person to take to lunch. The address I was given popped up in my phone’s mapping app with no problem, so I drove right to the spot indicated. Trouble was, no house in the area had the actual number I was looking for. I called the person, and he indicated that, yes, it was the correct address. He stepped out and looked for me, but I saw no one, and he didn’t see me. As we discussed the problem, he mentioned he was in a neighborhood that I knew was nowhere close to where I was, but was clear across town. I headed that way. Once I got into the area in question, I was still unable to find the correct address. We talked some more, and I tried to get cross streets. Once I figured out where he was, I realized he had given me the correct numbers, but the wrong street! He was giving me the cross street, not the street on which the house was actually located. To top it off, the house in question was across the street from someone I knew! It took an hour extra to find him (Fresno is a rather large city, and traffic is a pain), and all because he didn’t know the correct address to the house in which he was staying. I eventually found him, and we had a nice lunch at Irene’s in the Tower District and then a visit to the Fresno Chaffee Zoo. An enjoyable day, after the wandering around Fresno for an hour.

Scenario two:

This incident was due to difficulties had when someone called 9-1-1 and gave an incorrect location for a traffic accident. The wrong street name was given, and the 9-1-1 dispatcher could not get it to “geo-base” in the dispatch computer. As far as the computer was concerned, there was no such place. The CHP dispatcher, being in Fresno and not familiar with a rural location outside of Visalia, could not figure out where the accident was located. When asked for a cross street, the caller said there was none. (Their is always a cross street, it just might be a long distance away.)  Roads in cities often continue out into county areas, and as such the designations usually change to a county name. Sometimes they don’t, and this might create greater confusion. This particular incident involves a street originating in Visalia, and extending out almost to Farmersville.

Mineral King Avenue is now a frontage road to Highway 198 as it passes through Visalia. It is on the north side of the freeway, and Noble avenue is the frontage road on the south side. As we continue east out of the city, the Mineral King becomes Avenue 296. Sometimes. It shows up on many on-line maps as Mineral King all the way to it’s terminus east of county Road 168. The end of the road is where this accident occurred, as a vehicle crashed onto property at the end of the frontage road.

Many people, and some on-line maps, call this frontage road “Mineral King Avenue”, even though it’s correct designation east of the Visalia city limits is Avenue 296. The frontage road on the south side of the freeway experiences the same issue. It is Noble Avenue in the city of Visalia, but changes to Avenue 295, like Mineral King changes to Avenue 296, at the city limits. Except there are places as you approach Farmersville where the name changes back to Noble, and new numbering is used, as the locations are in that city. These changes cause no end of confusion, as was the case in this call to 9-1-1.  Once the correct address was determined, emergency units could respond.

The lesson to be learned here? As I’ve often said, *YOU* have to know where you are. That means you have to know the correct address, not just what you assume it to be. Every place has an address, and it’s up to you to know what that is, or at least to know the closest cross streets.

It’s an imperfect world out there, and you just have to adapt to that imperfection. Unless you do, you’re likely to have someone tell you that where you’re at doesn’t exist.

Killing Transphobia With His Song

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A powerful story about the struggles and successes of a FTM transgender singer.

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jaimie evolHe’s just a little country and kind of a little different; meet Jaimie Wilson who’s strumming his way to success

Guest Post by Brody Levesque

For twenty-one year old Jaimie Wilson, nothing beats the feeling of rambling along in his custom Jeep Wrangler 4X4, headed for a gig to perform his beloved country music in his adopted home state of Florida. Shirtless, tanned, fit, and blonde haired, he looks like most every other young man his age who is entering adulthood trying to figure out where his path will take him.

As the Jeep rolls down the freeway, his guitar and overnight bag perched in the back seat, windows rolled down, he sings along to the radio or a CD, the oversize off-road tires humming as the miles fly by for accompaniment.

But, it wasn’t always like this, and for Jaimie, life was actually pretty difficult. He grew up the…

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‘Let them eat cake… it’s compassionate’

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We can’t buy enough bullets if we feed the kids and the grands.

Alternating Currents Archival Site

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“I think it’s probably one of the most compassionate things we can do.”

With that sentence, White House budget director Mick Mulvaney has made clear to everyone the depths of heartlessness permeating the Trump administration.

The Trump administration’s proposed budget slashes funding for Meals on Wheels and school lunches for poor children. They’re “just not showing any results”, Mulvaney says. (They do for seniors) (and for kids)

The rage rippling out across the United States over this proposal can easily be measured by the flurry of posts (like this one) popping up all over the internet, and by the indignant comments on Facebook when articles on the subject are shared. The Twitter scorn is relentless. There are not many people going along with the administration’s idea that taking food away from elderly shut-ins, or making poor children go hungry at school, is a good idea.

Back in…

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WOMANIFESTO

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You need to read this.

Libba Bray

Congratulations.

You have woken the witch that lives deep inside me.

You have removed the slumber chains from the giant of old.

You have handed me a box of matches and no chaperone

And a world made of lies and polyester.

Congratulations.

You have barked up the wrong bitch.

Proclaim it:

I have shucked off the good, southern lady’s cloak,

Of the homecoming court, the cheerleader,

The preacher’s daughter, hands gentled in her lap.

They tied it at my neck with a bow, a Gordian girl-knot,

When I was young and bossy and sure-footed

“For protection,” they said.

Whose protection? I wondered.

Enough.

I have sent that shit out to the dry cleaners

I will not pick it up

They can sell it for a profit from a rack on the street.

From now on,

I’m exposing the raw pink edges of my true skin to the sun.

Some things…

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Facebook deletes pic of Melania Trump

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So this picture violates Facebook’s standards of decency. Imagine that.

I tried to post it as a response to a post that had several uncomplimentary pictures of First Lady Michelle Obama, which said the poster could not wait to get her out of the White House.  My post was “to be replaced by this?”

It only took a few minutes for FaceBook to delete it, and chastise me for posting pornography.

Well. Ok. I think FaceBook made my point for me.

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