The begging bytes

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deleteBoy, do I get emails! I’ve managed to end up on just about every candidate’s begging list, and it seems to be getting worse every day.

Now, I don’t mind the emails, they’re easy enough to delete. I find the ones from Devin Nunes and Donald Trump endlessly entertaining. I have noticed a theme, though, from all sides, that I find annoying.

They’re all “falling short of their fundraising goal this week (or month)”, and need my immediate donation to reach it. It’s important, they’ll say, that they show how strong the support for their campaign is (I’m assuming they mean for the big, high-dollar donors, the ones they never mention by name).

They’ll go on about how important it is that they reach their goal, so they don’t fall behind in their battle to save the country.

Here’s an idea, folks. Set more realistic goals, if you’re never reaching them. I know you want to give the impression of being the underdog, that you’re the come-from-behind-anti-establishment-only-hope-for-all-mankind who will win in the end… but geez!

Let me give you some free advice.

Don’t run with this “we’re behind” theme in your ads. You’re claiming you’re a loser. Start setting lower goals, and then blow past them! Tell your supporters you’re gaining support across the country. Let them join the bandwagon of a winner! Everybody loves the underdog who comes from behind to win at the last moment, but you can’t *all* be the underdog.

Other email annoyances from the political mob:

Kamala, I *really* don’t need three or four emails *every* single day!

Devin, this “it’s me against the deep state” crap is getting old. Nobody but a few hard-core Republicans really believes it. Also, hold some real town halls in your district. The only places you show your face these days is “pay-for-play” fundraisers, usually in some distant district! Locking the doors to your offices is a clear sign of what you think about your constituents.

Donald, you and Donny Jr. can quite lying to me in every other email.  I am 99.99999999% sure neither of you has noticed my name is not on your contributor’s list. If you have, how about sending me a short video of you in the Oval saying “why hasn’t Jim Reeves donated yet?” You have my email address.

So I scan the emails, and hit “delete”. The bits and bytes are recycled, to live again in some other form. Probably another email begging for money.

 

 

25 years, 3 weeks, 12 hours. 9-1-1 and done.

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a

August 2, 2019. After 25 years, 3 weeks, and 12 hours, I’m officially retired. Here’s a look back at some of what I saw.

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That’s a wrap!

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25 years, 3 weeks, 12 hours.

That’s how long I was a 9-1-1 dispatcher with the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office.

Friday was my last day.  Here’s my signoff on the radio.

Here’s the text:

Calling all cars, calling all cars, and units and stations
copy BOL

(break)

Visalia one continuing,

After 25 years, 3 weeks, and 12 hours, “Radio, Jim” is officially 10-42 at 1800 hours.
It’s been my pleasure and honor to be one of the voices on the other end of this radio and the phone for that time.

Being able to support you, and serve the citizens of Tulare County as part of the team here in dispatch, has been at times nerve wracking, infuriating, suspenseful, frequently amusing, but always rewarding. I can’t imagine having done anything else as a career. (well, astronaut, maybe, but NASA never seemed interested)

My time here has seen three sheriffs, six dispatch supervisors, and various shift supervisors. Sometimes I wonder how many deputies and officer’s voices have come across my headset? There’s been a bunch, and sometimes it seemed like they were all trying to talk at once!

Being a dispatcher means being part of a team, and I want to compliment all of the dispatchers I’ve worked with over the years. The comeraderie and support for each other is what makes this place operate so well. I feel fortunate to have been a part of that.

So now I hang up my headset for the last time, and head off into retirement. Thank you for putting up with me, and for allowing me to be part of this family and team. Stay safe, be nice to the dispatchers, and know that from time to time I’ll be listening.

Visalia 1, Dispatcher Reeves, clear at (time)

Now, time to relax, reflect, take some bike rides and country drives, and cogitate on what comes next.

I’m not asking this time…

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Hair Furor is spending millions to hold a July 4th celebration that is a military junta’s wet dream. Tanks, jets, and who knows what else, in addition to the traditional fireworks, are planned.

A fly in the ointment, though.

Weather for Washington, D.C. is forecast to be rather nasty.

I know I played a rather significant part in delaying heavy rains that threatened to spoil PrideVisalia 2019, but I’ve decided I’m not going to intervene in this instance.

One, I don’t want to risk my standing with the weather gods by returning to that request too often. The gods, while sometimes generous in unexpected ways, can become quickly annoyed by the presumptuousness of humans that assume too much. I may need to hold my good standing in reserve for the next PrideVisalia, or November’s Over The Edge. We can’t have nasty weather for those events!

Two, I think it highly appropriate for Trump to have the gods rain on his parade.

So, no… I’m not going to ask.

You’re welcome.

Stonewall

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stonewall50

Here is some information about the Stonewall Inn, and the riots that broke out there 50 years ago today.

Stonewall is the best remembered response to police raids and violence against the LGBT community, but it was not the first. Many other places saw patrons of LGBT-friendly establishments, both bars and other venues (even a donut shop in L.A.!), fight back against police harassment. We remember Stonewall because it inspired Pride Parades and festivals that have become traditional around the world in June.

 

Image: The Center on Colfax, Denver

The GOP’s Bestest, Brightest, most stable genius

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mars-moon

See the celestial object on the left? That’s Mars. See the one on the right? That’s the Moon. They are not part of each other. The President of the United States in 2019 does not know this.

Trump_Moon_Mars_06072019

The Republican Party in the 21st century has given us George Bush and Donald Trump. While I always thought Bush was not the brightest bulb in his family’s chandelier, I always assumed he had a basic knowledge of how things were. With Trump, one wonders if he ever learned anything over his lifetime other than how to get rich cheating contractors, the government, and banks.

trump-dunce-cartoon

Donald J. Trump. The best the GOP has to offer. Putin approved, protected by McConnell.

Hey, Donnie? Going to Mars *IS* rocket science, so lets leave it up to the rocket scientists to figure out the best way to get there. It’s clear they’ve decided the Moon is an important waypoint in that journey, so we go there first.

Oh, and in case you missed it, the Moon is 238,000 miles away, and Mars is 34 million (at it’s closest approach). The Moon is not part of Mars. And it’s not made of green cheese. Just thought you’d like to know.

Straight Pride Parade? Really? I get a visit.

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straightpride

Last month, if you’ll remember, I wrote about setting up a conference call with the gods, pleading for good weather at PrideVisalia 2019. Despite weather forecasts predicting rain, it was sunny and warm that day. The gods were disposed to grant my request, and held the downpour until the next day. Man, did it rain then! My eternal thanks to all of them for cooperating.

I had thought that would be the end of that, at least until next year, but this morning I learned an important lesson.

Once you become known as a contact point for a group, you’re stuck with it, for better or worse.

This morning, just before dawn, in that in-between time when stories have the spirits at their most active, I got dragged up from a pleasant dream to find I was not alone in my bedroom.

In fact, there was quite the crowd. They were standing around the bed, and they did not look pleased. Normally, this kind of thing would elicit a panicked response on my part, but for some reason I felt fairly calm. I must have been thinking “this is a new dream. Dang, that other one was more fun”, because I just kind of sat there, wondering why these folks were in my bedroom.

One of them, a woman, spoke up. “Jimmie, what in the hell is this thing about a straight pride parade in Boston?” I squinted at her in the dim morning light, trying to figure out who she was. “We were happy to hold the rain off for PrideVisalia, good job on that, by the way, I popped down and visited incognito, had a wonderful time, the Mom Hugs were a fantastic idea. Now we’re hearing that Boston is holding a straight pride? What the hell??” she said.

As the sleep was fading from my brain, I recognized the voice from the conference call.

“Tempestas, so nice to meet you in person,” I said. I thought I heard a thunderclap and rumble off in the distance. I remember thinking, “there’s no storms predicted for Visalia today…”

Another one of them spoke up, “Hey, answer the question! What’s up with this straight pride nonsense?!” I recognized that voice, too. “Ishkur, boy, that graphic artist got you spot on!”

The thunder got a bit louder, and I realized it was not coming from outside.

“uh, guys…  don’t sweat it,” I said. “A group of lonely straight guys, who apparently can’t get laid, have decided they need a pride parade to prove they’re just as cool as the gays. They’ll probably have a few dozen people show up, they’ll have some really lousy music, someone will give a speech that will be roundly ridiculed on social media, and it will be a lot of smoke and noise, and nothing else.”

Tempestas was still glaring at me, and said “I’m thinking of sending a hurricane to Boston that day. They haven’t had one since 1991, and I think they’re due for another, if they let this nonsense go on!”  The rest of the crowd murmured in agreement, and I knew I had to do something, quick. (that god time thing, again. For them, August 31, the planned day of the “parade” might as well be right now)

I asked them not to ruin Boston’s day just for a few nutcases, even if they are jerks.

“Is that Fryer back there?” I asked. “My thanks to you and Odin, and all the others, for granting my request for PrideVisalia. We really had a wonderful time.” The figure standing back in the growing light just nodded, and waved his hand at Tempestas and Ishkur, who had apparently been appointed to speak for the group. I turned my attention back to them.

“Really, please. It’s no big deal. They’ve been laughed at since the news broke that they were applying for a parade permit. Boston, as you all know, is about as progressive a place as there is in the United States, and they really can’t say no to this application, no matter how idiotic it may be. Let them have their straight pride parade, (there’s that rumble again, it’s getting louder… where is it coming from?) and we can forevermore hold it up to those who scream ‘why is there no straight pride!?!?’, and say there you go, you got one. After all, we’ve always told them if they felt they needed a parade, to organize one, and it looks like they finally took our advice.”

Tempestas was still glaring, and Ishkur had little lightning bolts flickering between his fingers as I spoke, and I remember a stray thought that I hoped those sparks wouldn’t damage my phone, sitting on the night stand next to where he was standing. Several others still grouped around the foot of my bed were looking a bit more calm, though, so I was hoping things were looking up. I really didn’t want to feel responsible if Boston got clobbered by a storm that day. Was that Indra standing next to my dresser?

Ishkur snapped his fingers, and the room was briefly brighter than I ever remember anything being, and he pointed at Tempestas. “Pay attention!” he thundered.

“Really,” I said, “don’t worry about it. This will be a one-time thing, and it won’t be all that much at that. Everyone will see this for what it is, another cheap slap at the LGBT community by incels that really feel powerless in their own lives. They’ll make a bit of noise, snarl traffic, and generate more hostility towards their ‘movement’. The difference between their little ‘parade’ and Boston’s Pride parade couldn’t be more stark, and they’ll do more damage to their cause than a hurricane would do to the region. Please, just let it go.”

By this time, the room had cleared out, it was just me, Tempestas and Ishkur remaining. From that I presumed that the other gods were willing to go along with ignoring straight pride, and all I had to do was seal the deal with those two.

“So, are we good?” I asked. “Boston is a really nice place, I hope to visit it one day, and these morons are just background noise. Let it pass, and let them fade into the obscurity they deserve.” I was crossing my fingers behind my back.

Ishkur looked at Tempestas, who appeared to be deep in thought.

“OK,” she said. “I can’t guarantee that there won’t be rain, or even a hurricane on that day, these things generally run on autopilot with very little input or notice by me. What I won’t do is deliberately “rain on their parade”, so to speak.” A small grin appeared, she clearly thought her pun was clever. I was not inclined to disagree, or give any sign of my internal groan.

“Thank you,” I said, as I bowed slightly, still sitting in bed. “You are a most gracious and kind goddess.” I was going to say more, but I got the distinct impression she wouldn’t have appreciated further groveling, and I thought I heard a rumble from Ishkur that implied I should stop while I was ahead. A wink from him as he faded from sight encouraged that idea.

Tempestas winked too, and was gone. I sat there for a bit, and thought to myself “that’s the last time I have chocolate chip mint ice cream right before bed.”  My next thought was as I was waking up several hours later, “what a wild dream. That’ll make a great blog post! What’s that rumbling noise?…”

 

 

 

 

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