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 wonder if they’re trying to tell me something…

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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.

I’ve decided. I’m jumping off that building.

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vis_Marriott

Yep. From a top floor balcony. Right over the edge.

No, I’m not depressed, or suicidal.

I’ll be joining up to 91 other “jumpers” as we rappel down the (other) side of one of the tallest buildings in Visalia. And it’s all for a good cause.

We’ll be participating in “Visalia Over the Edge“, a fundraising campaign for The Source LGBT+ Center. The Source is Tulare and Kings Counties LGBT+ community and resource center, currently operating out of a small office space in downtown Visalia. (208 W. Main, Suite B, Visalia. Downstairs in the Montgomery Square.) We’ve outgrown our center, and need to raise money for expansion to a larger facility. This event will kick off our fund-raising efforts to acquire a building large enough to serve our communities.

I had to think about this for a while before committing to taking part, as I’m a bit unsettled by heights. (oddly, not while in a helicopter or plane. Mostly when looking down the side of a tall building. That glass observation thing, the Sky Deck, on the Sears Tower? You’d never get me to step into that.) I’ve decided I’m going to do it, regardless. I’ll convince myself by saying it’s a “bucket list” experience, and off we’ll go. Over the side. Nine floors. That’s not all that high, right?

I’ve set a goal of $2,500 to be raised, essentially by begging. 😉  The minimum to “jump” is $1,000 but I wanted to go a bit bigger. So…

This is me begging you for some money! Yep, hat in hand, asking “buddy, can you spare a dime? Or $20? Or $100?” Here’s the link to my fund-raising page, please go there and give The Source LGBT+ Center some money. I’ll be ever so grateful.

On November 10th, 2018, come join us at the Marriott, and watch as they toss this dispatcher Over the Edge!

Just don’t call 9-1-1, even if I’m screaming, please.

Audio comments, City Council meeting May 21 2018 – Speaker lambastes city, LGBT group

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“THAT’S CHILD PORNOGRAPHY!”

Well, no, it’s not. Not even close. Gabriel Jacquez spoke at the public comments section of the May 21, 2018 Visalia City Council meeting, and took the city to task for allowing our event, Pride Visalia, to take place. During his comments, he drew a really strange connection between drag queens dancing and child porn. Listen to the recording above to see if you can follow his…  “logic”. I can’t.

Immediately following his remarks are mine, given a few minutes after his. I had planned on simply giving a short presentation to the Council about Pride Visalia, and then invite them to attend.

That got thrown out the window after I heard his remarks. I tried to address Mr. Jacquez’s remarks as best I could, without turning my three minutes into a complete mish-mash.

I’m glad it worked out the way it did, it would have been unfortunate had I gone first, and then Mr. Jacquez following. In that scenario, I would not have been able to respond.

Sorry for the poor quality of the image. That’s me, at the podium, in the upper right hand corner of the image. It’s a screen capture of a phone video, which was recording a video feed that was playing on yet another phone. A copy of a copy of a copy of a copy.

Sorry that the audio quality is not the best, either. It’s also a copy of a copy, especially that last few seconds.

You can hear the (almost) complete audio at the article by the Visalia Times Delta, here. My comments are attached to the video at the top of the article, Mr. Jacquez’s in the video further down the page. At some point in the future, the City of Visalia should have an audio recording of the meeting, with the full comments. (only a few seconds have been cut, however. Mostly us introducing ourselves, and possibly a bit at the end of Mr. Jacquez’s remarks.)

All in all, a most upsetting Council meeting for me.

Banned in Boston? No, but Twitter is close, right?

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My heart is all a-flutter! I just discovered that I’ve been banned from my Congressman’s Twitter feed! Apparently someone took notice to some of the comments I’ve made, and questions I’ve asked (but never had answered), and decided the most effective response was to block me from his Twitter.

Here’s my latest Tweet at Congressman Nunes:

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I’m assuming this is what precipitated my banishment, but it could be that some other questions and comments I’ve made have left a…  shall we say, poor impression?… on the Congressman. Or someone on his staff, more likely.

At any rate, I’m tickled.

My first paid publication

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In the Visalia Times Delta’s weekend edition, July 16/17 2016, I have my first paid-for published article.  I’ve had several other items appear in the print edition of the paper, but they’ve all been either letter to the editor submisisons, commentary editorials, or blog posts that were published.  This is the first time I’ve been paid to have something appear in the paper, and it was at their suggestion.

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My first senior haircut

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Jim_01262016

I was sitting in the barber shop a few minutes ago, and I noticed a sign on the wall.  It has a listing of prices, including the “senior” rate.  The price indicated was the same as the old “regular” price (at some point in the recent past prices went up a buck), but there was no indication as to what constituted “senior”.  I found out that, at least to the 20-something kid cutting my hair, I qualified.  I’m not sure how I feel about that.

This is the second time I’ve been given the “senior” discount without asking.  Several years ago, a teenage girl at the theater gave me the lower price without my saying anything about it beforehand.  I suppose I had better get used to such things.

I wonder if I should start practicing having ‘senior moments’? I can start by forgetting names, since I’m terrible at remembering them anyway, and always have been.  That way I can write it off to a pre-existing condition.  That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

 

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