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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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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I wonder if they’re trying to tell me something…

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error   404 Not Found

That’s what happens when I click on the bookmark that takes me to the log-in page to my community blog, Alternating Currents, hosted on the Visalia Times Delta‘s site.  I’ve been posting there since at least 2010, but Gannett’s latest redesign of their papers pages seems to have broken something on the ‘back end’.

A couple of emails to the Visalia Times Delta’s staff has resulted in responses that a repair ticket would be started, and another that the status would be checked, but late November of last year was the last time I could post anything.

I’m hoping it’s just a case of too much work for too few IT people, and that it will eventually be fixed. Crossing fingers, and such.

I really enjoy having the platform to express myself. Occasionally, things get interesting, like the time I posted about chickens and pygmy goats. That generated a bit of a tempest, to put it mildly. You should have seen the Facebook comments! Even had people trying to get the Times Delta to ban me from their site.

But if someone has decided they don’t *really* want community bloggers, or they just don’t want *this* one, I’ve always got this page to fall back on. Maybe I should just start posting things here, instead.

Decisions, decisions.

The Best Christmas, Ever

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Time for my annual Christmas story.

Best Christmas Ever – 1971
I wrote this back in 2007, for my personal blog on MySpace.
******
We were telling Christmas stories at work the other day, and I told my “best Christmas ever” story.  After I told it, I thought it might make a good blog, so here it is.

The location: Visalia California, the house on Divisadero Street, just down the block from the junior high I attended (now called a “Middle School” for reasons known only to the bureaucracy of schools).

The year:  1971   8th grade  Jim is 14 and knows Santa’s secret identity.
Top item on the Christmas wish list:  A 10-speed bike.

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God’s minions spread The Word: I can give up lesbianism!

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goodgodbook

So these packages arrived in today’s mail. One is addressed to me, by name, and the other to “the guy with the truck”, referring, I assume, to my cousin who lives with me and drives a truck.

The return address is a mailbox/shipping/copy store, so I have no clue who sent me these missives. I also don’t know why they know my name, but not my cousin’s. Mysteries I’ll probably never solve.

Someone spent some money to spread “God’s word”, and took some effort to get them mailed. But they’re not brave enough to step up and be known. I wonder if they get full heaven points for that, or if they only get half-points?

I haven’t read the book yet, but here’s what the Internet has to say about it:

I used to be a lesbian.”
 
In Gay Girl, Good God, author Jackie Hill Perry shares her own story, offering practical tools that helped her in the process of finding wholeness. Jackie grew up fatherless and experienced gender confusion. She embraced masculinity and homosexuality with every fiber of her being. She knew that Christians had a lot to say about all of the above. But was she supposed to change herself? How was she supposed to stop loving women, when homosexuality felt more natural to her than heterosexuality ever could?

So I guess I should read the book, and work on giving up my lesbian ways.

I wonder if it has dawned on whoever sent me this that if I give up women, I’ll be…

a homosexual man.

Maybe I better get to reading this book, quick!

I went “Over The Edge”!

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0drp-1dv1-14rb1-xa

Today was the day…  I rappelled from the eighth floor of the Visalia Marriott Hotel, in a fundraising drive for The Source LGBT+ Center. Joining dozens of other participants, we raised over $90,500 (and counting), for Tulare and Kings Counties only LGBT center.

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