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“You’re Under Arrest for Foul Play”

While watching the local morning “news” program today—from Portland, Oregon—there was a story about a guy who was found dead at the Portland Zoo. Very sad. As the story unfolded, the news reporter in the field said that the police did not suspect “foul play”.
For the record, I’ve never heard the words “foul play” come from the lips of a law enforcement spokes-being. News-people, however, seem to be in love with it.
On a related note, I wonder if all TV news reporters are now women. Or is that just in Portland?
In the interest of clarity, I don't live in Portland, and despise the town. But what passes for local programming here in Castle Rock emanates from either Portland or Seattle. It’s a coin toss for content, but I usually go with Portland TV.

No, I don't really know why.

Drones

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Time was, I worked as a police officer for the city of Santa Rosa, California. I’ve been retired for a long time now and no longer live in or anywhere near Santa Rosa (or California, for that matter), but I still pay attention to what the good guys are doing down there.
For an extended time I was a swing shift patrolman, and I liked the work, the action, and the equipment. I always thought I was pretty good at it too--It was more than a job to me.
I told you that so I could tell you this:
I saw a video of a domestic violence/kidnapping in Santa Rosa where the police department deployed, among other fancy gadgets (I’m sure), a drone. A fargin’ drone. With that piece of equipment, they located the bad guy hiding in a tree and took him into custody. That’s what I call a good job by all concerned.
A goddamn drone. My God.
In 1977 (or maybe 1978) I was working as a patrolman in Santa Rosa on a weekend night—5th street at that time was a one-way affair (and, for all I know, it still …

Metered Service

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Metered service is always a bad deal for the end user. It’s always a bad deal for consumers to have a meter and get charged based on use. When I lived in Bakersfield, California, we had the option of a flat rate for water. Which I opted for. It meant that if I needed to flush the crapper, I didn’t have to worry about my water bill while I was straining.
Plus, of course, metered service always annoys the end user.
AOL learned the hard way that metered service has a limited life span, and customers will flee as soon as a viable alternative is available. AT&T’s long distance service was the same. Cell phone service was recently prohibitively expensive, but is now ubiquitous and cheap.  When customers feel squeezed by a monopoly, it creates hard feelings.
And here’s the current incarnation of this repetitive little drama:
Television viewers are leaving traditional (cable) service in favor of streaming services. HULU, Sling, Netflix, Amazon Prime--I’m in that group using stream…

The Radio Broadcast

I really do wish that the Giants broadcast team would disassociate their collective selves from David Fleming. I’m certain that I want him gone because I’m from a different generation, and view baseball radio announcers as something other than whining, nit-picking, depressing, overly-critical, children who don’t appear to have a decent grip of the game.
Or maybe it’s because he peppers his diatribes with the word “literally”.
Irritating. Literally irritating.
I’m also certain that the radio broadcast managers are happy with him. I don’t know why that is, but I’m sure that they are.
I catch the games on Sirius Radio, so I’m stuck with him unless I re-subscribe to MLB.TV, which won’t likely happen. The problem with MLB.TV is their insistence in abandoning fans like me in favor of younger fans. Problem being that the younger fans aren’t really baseball fans. They’re highlight fans. Home Runs. Spectacular Catches. Facebook TV. YouTube broadcasts.
Baseball is to profession…

The Ravine

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Right next to our driveway is what I call “The Ravine”--It’s a small gorge filled to the brim with what the state calls invasive species—Japanese Knotweed (a sort of bamboo) and wild blackberries (a sort of cobbler-on-the-hoof). Parts of The Ravine are owned by the property owners here, and parts of it are city property…..I think. None of it is actually my problem.
The Ravine also hosts a wide variety of critters, birds, and dead or dying trees. I figure the trees to fall at the worst possible time and hit cars, houses, power lines, or some other necessary thing during a snowstorm this winter.
The critters are legion. Squirrels, raccoons, possums, and rabbits by the tubful. Birds, you ask? Jays, doves, pigeons, the occasional trespassing crow, and small birds of a wide variety. Yes, I feed them. If I don’t, they go after the blueberries.
I hook up Lil (the Terrier) on our little hill where the vegetables and berries are located to keep the critters at bay. She does a fine jo…

Protect Your Kids

I’ve been reading, like most of the rest of us, about the repetitive tragedies of children being injured at MLB parks by foul balls. And the eternal subsequent hand-wringing about how to properly protect everyone from possible injury.
Oh, My.
1-Protect your children. Not just at ballparks. 2-Teach those kids to pay attention when they are in a possibly dangerous place. Not JUST MLB parks. 3-If you can’t manage that, sit in the bleachers where it’s safer, or….. 4-Watch the game on TV.
This isn’t a baseball problem, it's a lack of parental supervision.
Here’s another solution:
Quit having games at the existing ballparks. MLB has plenty of cash, so they could buy up a shit-load of South Dakota property (or Nebraska—you get the idea, I’m sure), build a dozen or so ball fields where all MLB games would be played, then video-streamed to the big screen TVs that already exist at the ball parks.
Easy-Peasy. You could have picnics on what was once the infield. Kids are safe. Parents…

The New Neighbors

At the end of our very tiny street in our very tiny town, there’s a house that sat vacant and for sale for a couple of years. It was recently purchased by a young(ish) couple—Lotsa tattoos, plenty-o-cars and trucks...Both smokers. None of that is any of my business. I introduced myself when they moved in, but they don’t seem interested, which is probably a good thing, but you never know. They have, on occasion, a small boy who seems friendless. He’s significantly overweight, maybe 6 or 7 years old.
Their lot ends at the corner where the mail-box cluster for our tiny street is located. Since we moved in, the mail-box corner was nicely shaded by a cluster of plum trees. The added advantage to the shade was the presence of plums. Tasty little plums. Made for a fine plum buckle on occasion.
My suspicion is that the plum trees somehow offended the new neighbors, because those trees have been decimated. Interestingly, after they were cut down, they were simply left where they fel…