Friday, March 29, 2013

Electric Car for our Police Force

Our town joined the 21st and a 1/10 century as our police force added to their patrol squad: an electric car. A proud day for us all.


I'm not saying that our law enforcement is just a short level up from the Keystone Cops. But I overheard the training session. Our boys-in-blue had a lot of questions upon learning they had to keep the vehicle charged.

"What crimes do you charge an electric car with? Watt crimes?"

"If we park near a dumpster and the car gets full of flies, can we call in a swat team? Please?"

"Is the car considered green because it hasn't committed any offenses yet? Or, do we have to paint it first?"

"During the charging phase, do you read the car its rights or its warranty? Is it "the right to remain silent" or "the right to remain muffled"?"

"While we try not to get personal, we do run a pretty straight prison here. Shouldn't this AC/DC thingy matter?"

"Pretty Please?! We promise it would be just a small swat team."

"We were told we can "socket it to it". So we don't have to worry about being accused of police brutality then?"

"Do we cram the finger print box with a tread print? If we do that again, can we refer to the vehicle as a retread?"

"Can we pimp-out the car? We considered hanging fuzzy handcuffs from the rear-view mirror. But that might send the wrong message about the police force. Wha'da mean it's too late? Anyway, we're thinking about installing fuzzy dice - the ones that flash when you plug them into the car's cigarette lighter, sorry, power socket. In the event of a crime, should the accessory be charged as an accessory?"

"Are you sure we couldn't call in the swat team? Shocking. No, me, not that precious criminal car."

Ah yes, technological progress in action. Almost.


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Unnoticed, in the quiet background of world, I have saved lives.

Each year, a school bus runs over a child who was hidden in the bus's blind spots. Is it possible to prevent these unnecessary deaths and the resulting, burdensome lawsuits upon schools?

To do just that, I helped design a radar system to alert the bus driver about children in the bus's blind zones. That was six years ago. Since then, only a handful of school districts across the country bought and installed this life-saving technology. Even with the blessed benefits of this $1000 piece of hardware, it never quite caught on.

Maybe these tragedies were too infrequent: Given the millions of children riding school buses each year, only 20 to 30 families suffer through this horrific loss of their child. As a result, maybe the school district found it cheaper to pay the insurance claims than to install life-saving electronics.

Still, I have hope. Last week, our system made news in Iowa. All because of one grieving father who - after the death of his son - wanted no one to experience that heart-rendering pain for a beloved child who will never return home from school again.

His story is in the previous link. Here's the news video:

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Miley Cyrus ... Twerks?

So Yahoo has an article about that upstanding role-model of teens and tweens: Miley Cyrus.

This might surprise you but the story didn't cover her Nobel-prize winning work in quantum physics. Probably because the web page would be blank. Yahoo! OMG may play fast-and-loose with their news facts, but even they have their limits.

No, the thrust of the piece (the story, not Ms. Cyrus) was about Miley and her viral twerking video.

In case you're wondering, twerking is a fad dance that started about 7 years ago. It involves shaking your rump violently enough to put out fires in its vicinity. The name comes from combining "twist" with "jerking".

And now that the fad has reached the younger crowd, we have tweens twerking. What is this twisted tworld coming two?

Certainly isn't helping my speech. Or Miley's reputation as a brilliant scientist with earth-shaking discoveries.

Whatever she's doing, booty shaking isn't earth shaking - especially her's.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

How I know Spring Is Here


The heavy rains yesterday drove many a squiggling worms up from inside the earth to the soggy ground. This was followed by chirping and spring's anticipated winged creature: the mosquito.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Ah, Spring time and Love

Ah, the wonders of spring time and l'amour. L'amour, l'amour, l'amour, l'amour, l'amour, l'amour.

You can never have too many l'amours. After all, as they always say: l'amour, la merrier.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Now that the election results for pope are in:

A friend asked about the colored smoke used during the election of the pope. Here is a quick reference for you:
> Black smoke means the cardinals have not reached a decision.
> White smoke means the cardinals have chosen a pope.
> Red smoke means the cardinals have resumed voting after tossing one of their obnoxious members into the fire.

Anyway, now that the Papal elections over and the smoke has cleared, one billion Catholics are breathing easier. Or at least easier than a pope with one lung.

What's eating you, Mr. Cannibal Cop?

The jury sentenced Gilberto Valle - the cannibal cop - to life in prison. His co-workers weren't surprised. They suspected something when the favorite part of Gilberto's job was grilling suspects.

Friday, March 08, 2013

Total Tuna Recall

Bad news: Bumble Bee is recalling thousands of cans of contaminated tuna.

Good news: The tuna is not contaminated with sea horse meat.

Allow me to flash these jokes at you

The hostage situation ended when a group of the captives exploded into song and dance. Instead of using the usual crowd-control grenade to end the siege, police relied on a flash-bang mob.


In a separate incident today, police arrested most members of a flash mob performance. Spectators had complained about the lack of clothes under the raincoats worn by the dancers of this popular craze – proving once again the disapproval of flasher mob mania.

You might be able to forgive these attention-seeking performers, provided they don't turn the other cheek.

Saturday, March 02, 2013

How to fish for writing

"Writing is like fishing: You have to go to the river every morning, or you won't catch anything. You can't predict what sort of fish you'll catch, but if you're not there you'll get nothing. Keith Richards said that he couldn't claim credit for writing his songs, only for being awake when they came in."
Eric Idle – "The Greedy Bastard Diary" (2005)

When I go to bed, I promise myself that I will get up a few minutes earlier the next day and write.

Then, morning comes earlier than it should. A few swats of snooze button later and I realize I only have a few minutes to get ready and get to work. So I promise myself that I will take time during lunch and write.

Then, lunchtime arrives while I'm in the midst of some crisis that absolutely, positively must get done or the world will end. I promise myself that when I get home that night, I will take a few minutes and write.

That evening, I arrive home to a house full of hungry inhabitants (including myself who had missed the day's meals). I turn into super chef, feed the hungry horde, become dishwasher extraordinaire, followed by chief financial officer, and finally defender of my homely realm as I tackle snail mail, emails, and voice messages. After all of that, it's time for bed. I promise myself that I will get up a few minutes earlier the next day and write.

The cycle has gone on for several months now. A few times I've succeeded in pounding away at the keyboard. Then I realize it's easier to use my fingers and type. Sometimes, those efforts created words. A couple of times those words came together and made sense.

For the most part, I would have had more success if I had tried to go fishing. In fact, people seem more accepting if you say you're taking a day off to dangle some string in flowing water. But tell them you're going to spend a day writing. They give you an odd look and ask why you're wasting your precious time like that. Bosses suddenly have projects you need to work on. Spouses suddenly have an impending sense of doom about the honey-do list that isn't getting done. Pets suddenly have toenails that need clipped, bladders that must be walked, and poop-boxes that have to be emptied.

The worse part is all of those excuses for not writing that pop up. If excuses were a cross between a fish and a mosquito, every one would get a bite.

And I'd have something for you to read...