31 March 2008

Monday Musings...
Well, like I'm always fond of saying: "If it's not ONE damn thing...it's ANOTHER!"
More technology woes...
Yesterday, our older "dog" computer system (the 10 year old PC clone running on a wing and a prayer all this time) decides it was going to reboot ITSELF...and while rebooting, it was going to also inform me that the HIMEM.SYS file was "missing"!
Now even after being OUT of a corporate computer room for the past 2 decades, I can tell you that THIS...is NOT a good thing.
Curiously, I don't recall ANYONE screwing with the system to the point that would cause the HIMEM.SYS to go "bye-bye" (although, technically, it IS "Spring Break", so maybe I should look around "Cabo"...LOL).
Perhaps the system got tired with my "particular" method of rebooting (using my FOOT against the cabinet). Yeah, that might have "something" to do with this. Still, it worked damn well in the past.
So now, I'm using the *new* system, which is almost AS SLOW (or is that as fast?) as the older system, but DOES have a SEMPRON 2 processing chip...(ooooooo.....wow, a faster chip) that operates a bit quicker than the older system on our hardline (that's right...no DSL or FIOs or HSI for us, no sir...the speed of light STILL remains CONSTANT...I channeled Einstein's ghost yesterday afternoon to confirm this).
Now my significant other (Mrs Bob) is taking the system to STONE COMPUTER for (much needed) REPAIR.
Notice I said REPAIR and NOT "replacement". See, I have this "thing" about ditching something that needs fixing, as opposed to blowing another huge wad of cash for ANOTHER system that will f$ck itself into oblivion in 5 years or less. If my car needs a water pump, the mechanic SURE AS HELL will NOT tell me "you just need a NEW CAR, Bob". Even HE knows that dog won't hunt with ME.
It's statements like that which cause be to give away knuckle sandwiches or some well-placed verbal abuse (with ALL the trimmings). I told my wife I would NOT go to the computer store with her, as I did NOT want to cause "a scene" (and I just KNOW I will at this point). I have provided DETAILED instructions as to "how to proceed", and I want one thing clear:
Sure it's only a 3 Gb drive, but I want ALL the data INTACT and the old Win98 O/S operational. And I don't think I'm asking for much. Just reinstall the HIMEM.SYS (the dog needs a new CD/ROM drive as well), scrub the drive for "bugs", and reboot the system...problem SOLVED, right?
OR...If the drive cannot be "fixed", just TRANSFER all the data onto a NEW DRIVE with the same O/S (win 98), and that should be JUST as easy, right?
I don't want another totally NEW "XP clusterf$ck" taking up space in my house.I already have one H/P Pavilion with Win2000 (barely 6 years old) that keeps wanting to reboot, and I was told it would cost MORE to fix it than to replace it. SO we replaced it. I think it CAN be fixed, and for less than $400, but...
"OK, fool me once, shame on YOU...fool me TWICE (with THIS system)...shame on ME!"
This should be as simple as getting one's hair cut...we shall see. And it would proceed much more expeditiously if I am NOT in their face calling them out on this. My wife will have to stand firm to get the old unit REPAIRED...replace what needs replacing, and get the software straightened out, slap it together and call it DONE. It's not going to be fast...or pretty, but I DO want it functional.
Sure seems easy in concept.
We'll see how the "rubber meets the road" on this one.
In the meantime, rest assured that I will not be halted one moment in my quest to bring all of you that which you need to know (and maybe some head nodding in agreement, and perhaps a smile or two) along the way.
Speaking of technology (and the manner in which it totally SUCKS), the "new" system isn't capable of using WORD PERFECT 6.0 (from the older system).
Wow, didn't know that.
I did D/L a reader that I can play "cut n paste" with over to an RTF format (as opposed to the much more user friendly DOC format). Another "brick in the wall?"
Yeah, things have a tendency around here to get much better (exponentially) by the MINUTE. And that's not the "good" kind of better...it's the SARCASTIC kind.
Yet after all is said and done...I'll probably STILL be as pissed off as I have been the past 24 hours.
And I believe I have good reason to be that way. It's called BUILD THINGS TO LAST, for God's sake. And don't make us think that computers we see on TV are anything like what many of us have in our homes. 'casue they sure ain't. Not ALL of us can afford whatever the marketing jerkoffs "tell" us we NEED to have before they "modify" (read screw up) the current technology, precipitating a change that will cost us even MORE money. We used to call that "planned obsolescence", but I'm sure they have a much more "happier" and "PC" term these days.

Ironic...a PC term for PCs.
Am I hopeful that things will work out as I intend?
Not a snowball's chance in Hades.
We'll be "stuck" having to get another system (with the mega-crappy XP operating system), and all the data will be somehow unrecoverable, which will have me pissed off for the better part of the rest of the decade.
Or I could be wrong for once...because if there's ONE thing I've learned in THIS city, it's that ANYTHING IS truly POSSIBLE. "Murphy" MUST have grown up here and practiced LAW.
At least the house didn't burn the hell down (this week).
Makes me wonder what the hell I must have done in a PAST LIFE, that crap like this would keep bugging me in THIS life. That is, if I believed in reincarnation. The way I feel NOW, it'll take a few more lifetimes to straighten all this stuff back out.
God...and it's ONLY Monday....!

28 March 2008

Weekend Roundup...
We're going to hit on one specific topic, and one that I'm sure will evoke some emotion.

We're talking about VICTIMOLOGY (101).
Anyone that has ever read ANYTHING by Larry Elder, or heard him speak, already KNOWS where I'm going with this, but if you've missed the ship on this one, allow me to explain.
Victimology is a mindset where a person feels that the world basically owes them a living. This is based totally on their feelings of (unfounded) oppression, and is most commonly found in minority groups, especially those of the inner city.
They are the ones with their hands constantly out, their crocodile tears on the MSM airwaves, saying how they've been "put down" over the years, when all it REALLY is, is their sheer and utter lack of self-motivation. Because they are UNMOTIVATED, everyone else has to take them under their wing, feel sorry for their plight, lift them up, and wind up taking care of multi-generational and dysfunctional welfare "families" (for lack of a more descriptive term) in the process.
Everyone ELSE is to blame for their lot in life. It's NEVER about holding THEM accountable. And I have a real problem with that.

Take this city's recent homicide (#3 for those keeping score in the pool at work).
Contrell Brown, a "typical" young black male (18), described by his family (where IS the father?) as a loyal and respectful young man who showered his family with gifts.
Where did he WORK at that he could AFFORD all these gifts?
That's never mentioned.
“He was a good kid,” said Brown's aunt, Shawnte Brown, 30. “He was real close to his family and he was crazy about kids.”
Why was an ACTIVE WARRANT out for his arrest? (failure to appear in court)
Why did he run from police last Friday on Buell St.? (he KNEW he was wanted )
Why did he have a " lengthy juvenile record", as cited in the article if he was SUCH a "good kid"? Good kids stay OUT of trouble, right?
Was Contrell a VICTIM?
Depends on what your VALUE system is.
Was he a homicide VICTIM?
Most definitely. He is now a statistic.
And that's part of the REALITY of his legacy.
Perhaps, simply because he EMBRACED the wrong "lifestyle". Six years of Gang activity in Contrell's life was mentioned by family members, althought the FWPD is not saying one way or the other at this point. I alluded to a possible gang connection in my post on this homicide two days ago. Gee, maybe *I* know something others don't?
No...I just have something called "situational awareness".

But the REAL tragedy in this scenario was not perpetrated by or his lifestyle. It wasn't even perpetrated by the shooter that took his life. Contrell was a VICTIM way before he was shot, because he was convinced that he was a victim a long time ago. And he had a lot of help.
The saddest part to all of this is the skewed perception that Contrell's cousin, Tim Brown has on the whole thing.
To quote the News-Sentinel article (my comments in bold):
((Tim Brown partially blamed the death on a society he believes marginalizes black people economically and socially and a media fixated on celebrities.“When somebody gets killed from the 'hood, they air it for about five seconds,” Tim Brown said. “They'd rather talk about Paris Hilton having a corn on her foot. They'd rather talk about that than reality.”
(People want to be entertained these days instead of being informed. It's more profitable)
Tim Brown said he believes racism and economic disparities between blacks and whites contribute to the violence that killed his cousin.
(Blame it on whitey...your people have NOTHING to do with it, right?)
A study commissioned by the Pew Charitable Trusts found a typical black family's income in 2004 was 58 percent of a typical white family's. In 1974, median black incomes were 63 percent of whites, according to the study.
(And we won't even get into the BLACK-ON-WHITE crime stats)
As he stood on the front lawn of a block with several boarded up and foreclosed houses, a frustrated Tim Brown spoke of his cousin being caught up in a culture that fosters a mind-set among black youths that money is everything, life is cheap and gangs are a source of solidarity.
(you don't like what your culture is fostering...CHANGE IT! You can OPEN YOUR MOUTH quick enough for dissing everyone else, try saying SOMETHING to CHANGE the status quo IN YOUR CULTURE)
“We are a product of our environment. We came up from nothing. We don't have nothing,” he said. “If we had more opportunities to get jobs and stuff like that, do something better with ourselves, we wouldn't be out here robbing nobody.”))
(Everyone has the same OPPORTUNITY...some grab for that brass ring and succeed, while others keep on plugging away, but at least they TRY, while still others do little if nothing, as exemplified by your "command" of the ENGLISH language, Mr. Brown. You're not a product of MY environment, but you ARE correct in your admission that you are most certainly a product of YOUR OWN)
Typical victimology...that's it. Blame EVERYTHING and EVERYONE but YOURSELF and YOUR community or culture. Look in the damn mirror if you want to see who to REALLY blame. You let YOURSELVES down...DAILY.
And nothing anyone can say (including many BLACK men and women of SUBSTANCE who have TRIED to tell you as much) will change this mindset of VICTIMOLOGY you're all wallowing in.
The way I see it, you have very FEW choices. You can:
1) Decide that enough is TRULY enough, and DARE to be one of the few that makes a REAL change for the better for your family AND your community.
2) Seek out those that you can LEARN from, and who can HELP you to become a lot more than you're obviously willing to settle for.
3) Sit back down on your lazy ass, watch some B-Ball with da boyz, and let the world revolve (mistakenly) around you. Just don't expect to have a LONG life in the process.
Now since the FIRST TWO are too much like work, I'm betting you're going for # 3. I see it EVERY day in MY neighborhood; The same mindset, with different faces attached to it, that's all. And it's repeated in every major city across America.

But hey, if you want to shoot each other, join gangs, sell and use drugs, terrorize people, rob the elderly and innocent, steal cars, rape, loot, burglarize, and otherwise be a PAIN in the ass (to society), don't bitch a fit when someone comes along with a "salve" to get RID of the PAIN. I sure as hell don't want you OR your friends on MY street. I've got plenty as it is.

You bring all of this totally upon yourselves...and only YOU can break this destructive cycle of death (and despair), because it's SURE not resembling anything close to life...is it?.
And if Larry Elder were here, he would say the same thing:
Man up and get it in gear.
Like I said the other day:
The only thing worse than doing the WRONG THING...is doing NOTHING.
Now...for my next feat of prestidigitation... ...a second cup of coffee!
Good luck to you parents (it's Spring Break)!

DO have a SAFE weekend.

27 March 2008

It Takes A Village To Make An Idiot...
"...Make no attempt to adjust your monitor. WE are controlling transmission. We can change the focus to a soft blur, or sharpen it to crystal clarity..."
That opening monologue from the old OUTER LIMITS show says a lot in 30 seconds.
It does indeed take a village to make an idiot.
But here is Fort Wayne, in many cases, it takes a lot less. It only takes...a neighborhood.
I've spoken on the subject of people who, for no apparent reason, will just do AS THEY PLEASE, regarding the opposite of what the rest of us would call "normal behavior" (behavior that basically follows the city ordinances, laws, and has a level of civility, ethics and personal responsibility attached to it). And it's not very hard to do...this type of behavior.
Much of how most of us act IS predicated upon the fact that our PARENTS (as well as mentors) had a certain amount of like traits that they passed on to us at no charge (along with the "board of education" applied to the "seat of knowledge"). And their method of "enforcement" in some instances was firm, not open to negotiation, and just (you're grounded, or no TV for YOU, mister), yet fair. I mean if we didn't do what it was we weren't SUPPOSED to be doing in the first place, we wouldn't have released the "Rains of Ranchapur" upon us, would we?
But we're a much kindler, gentler society these days.
And we're paying the piper for THAT tune to no small end.
Oh, and feel free to insert the word IDIOCY for the term "bad behavior".
We can forgive (read excuse) bad behavior, chalking it up to the old "poverty card", right?
Sorry, that crap just won't wash for me. Some of the MOST strict families were those with a lot less folding money that the rest.They had to watch every red cent, and having a child (or an adult for that matter) out of control, costing the family much needed money in the judicial process was simply NOT an option.
Perhaps we can blame this bad behavior on the old "race card".
Sorry to disappoint you again, but (at least) when I was growing up, the minority families were a LOT stricter with their kids (and themselves) for the same reason mentioned in the last paragraph. They wanted to prove something to themselves as well as everyone else; That they were JUST AS GOOD AND DESERVING (by their own actions and beliefs) as everyone else. And that worked pretty damn well...for a while.
I'm sure we can blame the bad behavior on the media.
Wrong again, although I will grant you that television and radio (as well as movies and music) have gotten a LOT more "free" with their content. What was considered bad is now OK, and what was taboo is considered "acceptable". The words "hell" and "damn" used to never be used in the media, but now, if we watch TV and DO NOT hear it at least once every 15 minutes, it's probably because we're watching Sesame Street on PBS!
But verbage was only the "foot in the door" that was opened wide to allow the rest of the problems into our homes. The increasing violence that is trickling ever downward (in age), is one example. The chronic "bad choices" being made by people, the increased drug use, and the (seemingly) inherent propensity to do whatever the hell one wants to because that is what "freedom" is all about are other examples, and perhaps the best ones. Funny, but I don't recall any founding document to have an "exception for irresponsiblity" listed in our "freedoms".
Perhaps it's a mix of all the above, as defined by our "enlightened age of awareness" (as the tree-huggers would say)?
I'm not about to thump any Bibles here (God knows it's needed), but we, as a nation have to start doing something. We've (collectively) produced at least TWO generations replete with idiots, and if the societal numbers hold true, it will take at least 3-4 generations to reverse this. One need look no further than the educational system to see this in play.
Does the phrase "dumbing down the test" have any meaning?
And this is as good a place as any to start changing things back around.
For example: There are those out there that want to stop using the word "failing", and replace it with some other stupid-ass, politically-correct euphamism.
When you fail...you fail...AND (hopefully) learn. You learn NOT to fail...again. At least that's what you SHOULD be "learning".
Hey, we can belabor this until the cows come home, and we'd be no closer to a real solution (short of going back to the way things USED to be...when they WORKED).
Look around your neighborhood...see all the idiots (well, come down HERE at least...we've got them in abundance, and the admission price is right...FREE), and then tell me that our society has a marvelously rosy future...
...Without breaking into riotous laughter.
Betcha can't do it.
If you want this type of flotsam we have on our streets in charge of our future (and your childrens' future), then maybe you need to take a look at who's staring back in your mirror.
The only thing worse than doing the WRONG thing, is doing NOTHING.
"...We now return you to your regularly scheduled cup of coffee."

26 March 2008

A Postcard From the Pumps...
Fuel pumps, that is.
I went out yesterday morning to tank up (the needle was tickling the 1/4 tank mark), so I drive out to Waynedale to the BP there by "Pawster" Park (right next to Foster Park). The Sparky-Mart there is a nice place, as there is usally ALWAYS a police car (or two) parked in the lot. So you know there is no one with a thumping bass stereo in the vicinity.
Yesterday was no different.
As I was pulling in, sure enough, a police car was leaving.
Ahhh....security. I LOVE that.
Let me preface this by saying that 2 weeks ago, the missus and I tanked up HER car on S. Anthony, and at $3.45 a gallon, I couldn't bring myself to believe that THAT was any type of "bargain".
Still, we shelled out the dinero, and drove off into the morning air.
Yesterday was another matter.
I fully expected the prices to be close to what we paid 2 weeks ago, if not even higher.
They were NOT.
In fact, they were quite a bit LOWER than I had anticipated. The price was $3.18 for (87 octane) regular, and $3.28 for (89 octane) "plus". So, I got me some PLUS (it's still cheaper than that $3.45 of 2 weeks ago).
The total came to $33.75, and even THAT I can live with (the old Firebird must still be getting close to that "magical" 25 MPG). Not too shabby for a 25 (as of July 2008) year old V-6, eh? Must be that owner who maintains it, I suppose...lol.
(Segue Alert)
That got me to thinking (uh-oh...here it comes).
Now we hear talk of yet ANOTHER ethanol plant in central Indiana (what's that make now...about 30?) and my question is WHY SO DAMN MANY for what I would consider a "stop-gap" measure? I mean it's not as though we're going to switch TOTALLY over to ethanol...are we? I sure hope to hell not. It's far from the best way to go, especially with all the strides forward being made with ELECTRIC-powered vehicles. And no one is saying ANYTHING about HYDROGEN tech (yet). Then there's the engineers from India and their AIR-powered (and magnificently ugly) vehicles, and the Purdue University professor and his (revolutionary) WATER-powered engine. There's also LPG, and LNG powered technologies.
It boggles the mind to think of ALL the (other) possibilities.
But about this ethanol...
I've spoken here at length about the vicissitudes of using ethanol, not the least of which is the corrosive nature of this fuel. And there's the lack of BTUs (75% that of regular gasoline) which in turn produces less "power under foot", as it were. Yet everyone is on the "Ethanol Bandwagon".
I suppose it has never occured to anyone that using ALL that CORN is taking a bite (pun intended) out of needed FOOD CROPS? Less corn to EAT will mean HIGHER CORN PRICES (start setting up those dominos, people). Even if we switch to another food crop, such as WHEAT, the price of THAT goes UP (not to mention farmers are supplanting wheat crops WITH CORN crops for ethanol use).
I'm finding it difficult to see the "win-win" here, aren't you?
How far we've come from that lowly single-bit oil well back in 1850s Titusville, PA.
One thing we in American NEED to do is stop making all these "luxury-driven, high-horsepowered" vehicles. Whatever destination we are driving to will STILL be there if we drive at 55 MPH, as opposed to 65 MPH (and it's been documented numerous times, that most ANY vehicle achieves the best fuel economy between 45-50 MPH). I have never met a destination YET that MOVED during my motorized sojourn to it. And neither have you.
Be honest now, do we really need ALL the creature comforts that artificially drive up the prices for vehicles that are now made more cheaply than the old Ford Pintos and Chevy Vegas of decades past?
Case in point:
I used to think that $25K for a Corvette was high....just LOOK at the cost NOW, for basically the same, fiberglass car (with an engine so powerful, that STILL passes everything BUT a gas station). Even the cost of BASE models of most all vehicles are SO much higher than in years past, and why is that? Don't we have ALL these "robotic" assemblers taking the place of warm bodies in the plants that we USED to have to pay ever-increasing hourly wages to? I suppose those robots ALSO have union representation now? That would explain a LOT.
(Don't think that someone hasn't thought about that already).
All I DO know is that SOMEONE is getting rich over all this, and it sure as hell ain't "us".
Hey, ethanol has it's place (as a basis for good whiskey or bourbon), but to move our reliance solely upon the shoulders of the farmers, agro-engineers, and CEOs of companies that are already reaping whirlwind profits from something we've yet to embrace totally spells trouble from the start. Maybe we're getting used to trouble.
Heaven help us when we start to actually LIKE it.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
And in another gas station-related story:
The CLARK station along Wayne Trace Road was the scene of the city's THIRD homicide. Contrell Brown, 18 (who had an open warrant for resisting law enforcement), was shot in the lot of the station Monday night. He died yesterday of his wounds. People said they heard TEN shots. I suppose that if you can't shoot STRAIGHT, shooting a LOT is just as good (especially on the SOUTH SIDE of town), eh?
Could have been retribution...or mistaken identity...or gang initiation, or payback for a bad drug deal. But I'd bet even money he wasn't killed because he didn't bring in his homework, or return that library book, or that he cut choir practice.
Hey, but didn't city officials say that CRIME IS GOING DOWN?
Oh, it's going DOWN (as in happening) all right. Make no mistake.
As an aside, all THREE homicides this year have occured IN Fort Wayne.
No suspects are in custody, and the investigation is still ongoing.
Another reason why I drive out to WAYNEDALE to get MY fuel..lack of gunfire!
Welcome to HUMPDAY...it's ALL downhill from here (or uphill if you're a sadist).

25 March 2008

Now THIS Is More Like It...
I had to forego my one-a-day post, and give all of you a "two-fer", as this was just too damn good to pass up.
Today, at around 1240 hrs, the SUMMIT MARKET was targeted by a person bent on theft. It didn't bode well for the perp.
You probably won't see THIS story on TV.
And we have an "average citizen" to thank for the initiative taken to thwart the perp's flight and allow the FWPD to make a good bust. The perp attempted to escape on foot (dumbass). The owner of Summit Market had a few more "horses" to work with, and tracked him back to our street. It all unfolded around 1250 hrs. down the block.
Here are two pictures taken of the incident, as it occured.
It was the OWNER of the market (in his own gray van) that chased down the perp, alerting FWPD officers to the location of him (sometimes, technology IS a good thing). And it was nice to see three police cars (and un unmarked car) converge on our block, taking "Mister "Lightfingers" into custody. After a somewhat brief "discussion", Lightfingers (wearing the white shirt and gray ballcap) was patted down, cuffed, stuffed and taken up to Creighton HQ. There was a bit of a miscommunication between Cpt. Corey (S.E. Div) and Detective Philips on the radio as to the transport dispostion of the one in custody. The detective didn't make her wishes apparent, and all Cpt. Corey wanted to know is WHERE she needed the perp brought to. Apparently, Lightfingers is going to be interrogated further.
Funny thing...the perp sure looks like one of the "dealers" in the area that has ALL those people stopping by the "crib" (next block up), and he rarely drives (his woman or homeys do that for him). This is one of the "neighbors" that I mentioned in other posts...the kind that moves into an area, sets up "shop", and is harder to get OUT of the area than fleas in a hound's ear. Be nice if this is INDEED that guy (mr. popular). It would sure be a shame if they had to MOVE OUT of the area (yeah, about a much a shame as relieving the pain of a boil on your ass). And he can take ALL his cronies with him, with my deepest "sympathies"...LOL!
This is the kind of thing that DOES make a case for COMMUNITY-ORIENTED POLICING, and I have to give a hearty "WELL-DONE" to the FWPD for making this happen with such alacrity (let's hope the prosecutor's office doesn't drop the ball on this one), yet despite incidents like this (where a concerned "Normal Joe" gets involved), they are still too far and few between to make a major difference in our area. You need an ENTIRE community (or at least a major portion of the people in that area) to make ANY significant difference. And that is where the C.O.P. program is destined to fail. You first need a COMMUNITY...a community that TRULY CARES, and is willing to do WHAT IS REQUIRED to take back their neighborhood.
Sadly, we don't have one. We don't have enough Summit Market owners, or Phil Marxes, or even people like me for that matter to turn our areas around.
Perhaps something like THIS can be the impetus this area needs, though.
Who knows? We might even start another "trend".
(Cleaning up a neighborhood...how NOVEL in concept and execution)
Imagine THAT.
I sure can.
It's Not the Ups & Downs - It's the Jerks!
A while back, I mentioned that tale about the elevator operator and the take he had on life (he wasn't just speaking about the job).
And today's title sums it up nicely.
It also applies to other things in life...many things.
Take crime for example (please, and take it FAR away).
Sunday's paper had some startling information regarding robberies (to those living in the NICE parts of our fair city), but to me, it was STILL worth reading in spite of the fact that I already KNOW what's going down and what is supposed to be happening to halt this aspect of crime.
I say "supposed", because I'm not seeing much in the way of change for the better. If I DID, I'm sure the article would have taken a slant of about 180 degrees in the OTHER direction.
Now remember kids...as everyone has been telling us:
(got it? Good.)
Robberies of residences however, are GOING UP. And we can add that to car thefts, burglaries, strong-arms, and several other crimes that for some reason don't seem to "fit" into the statistical realm that the local MSM has quoted city officials as telling us.
So what the hell IS it, folks?
I can speak from my neighborhood alone, that several houses have been hit already (over the past several years). There are some curious aspects to these specific robberies that I have found.
1) The robbers (in the last two instances) were after COPPER in these houses, and they made a nice haul both times. Forceable entry was very evident, and it was done at night.
2) Both houses the scrappers hit were owned by WHITE people. Black houses that remain vacant in the area (in some cases for MONTHS) are never bothered with for some strange reason.
3) Entry to both houses was made on a side of the house perpendicular to the street the house faced, and NOT by the alley behind it.
4) Both houses were in the process of sale at time of robbery.
5) We have quite a few "certain" people (read "junkmen") with nothing to do all day around here but cruise the streets, looking at the houses as they drive up and down the blocks and alleys.
With those facts known, it's only logical to conclude that the people "cruising" are searching for "trends" in the neighborhood (as the article mentioned). With few people actually WORKING around here, there are just too many others with nothing to do but watch YOUR house, and anyone else's to see WHEN you head off to work, WHEN you come home, and WHEN you might go to the grocery or do other errands.
Some would think this sounds a bit paranoid.
I think it makes damn good sense.
If I were a thief, I'd sure be on the lookout for the "right time" to hit a place I'd been casing for a few weeks. At least that's the way any professional (or semi-pro) would do it. Now there is the off-chance that a door might be left open (a HUGE mistake in OUR area if you're white and/or a homeowner), but that would only be that crime of "opportunity". Neighbors that used to live here told me of break-ins that occured while they were at work.
Hell, it happened to US when we lived over at Willow Creek Crossing apartments (those big red caboose commericals of propagandized falsehood). Someone knew when we BOTH were at work, and hit our place around 10AM, and we both got calls at work to come home. Police were on scene, a detective dusted for and FOUND prints, took statements, and so on.We did have human feces smeared on the carpet and everything was torn asunder (so they had some quality TIME in the place). Another neighbor was hit as well on the first floor. We lost about $500+ of personal items. We moved VERY soon after that. After TEN years, I STILL would not recommend that complex to anyone and still be able to sleep at night. An online friend recently moved there, and HE was burglarized as well. Some things never change.
But as all the good, working (and yes, white) neighbors moved away in THIS neighborhood (some after getting burglarized and saying enough was enough), they were (and still are) always replaced by semi-working (until they pay a few months rent and quit or get fired and go on welfare) or non-working people of dubious character. I have only seen ONE exception to this "rule", and even THEY moved after a while (after getting broken into). So these thieves WILL rob blacks when given the right "setting".
There are two Hispanic families that (so far) haven't been hit, but they've only been here a year or so...give it time. Several houses were hit more than once, some are not hit at all. Our house was "robbed" when our garage door was left open for an hour (while I was at HOME). I lost a damn good Craftsman tool box (40 lbs, full of tools, of course) and a microwave oven.
Damn good thing they didn't try to snatch my car that was in there. Can't even air out your garage it seems. Like I always say: You CANNOT let your guard down one minute with these people! I'll give them one thing; they're fast and quiet. Didn't hear a sound until I went out and saw the missing stuff. Hope the bastard got a hernia lugging the toolbox and died of festered gonads (yeah, Im nasty that way).
This time, the FWPD didn't even bother to come to the house...they took all the info over the phone. How marvelously IMPERSONAL. Nothing has come of EITHER robbery (to date), and most likely never will. That's speaks volumes to ME.
That brings me back to Sunday's article.
The FWPD has created a new "team" to deal specifically with this surge in robberies (good thing crime is going DOWN, isn't it?) to residences, as business robberies ARE actually going down (so we're told, but don't say anything to those FOUR FAST FOOD BUSINESSES that were recently hit). This team is going to look at TRENDS (gee, sounds like something I've been doing for years...for FREE as well), as opposed to individual cases. I do know that the scrap metal recycling places around the city are ALREADY being monitored...have been for over 6 months now. Some places are being watched more carefully than others ( suspicious practices?) as well as the "repeat customers".
WIll this make a difference? Well, according to the FWPD, the team has already arrested 8 people. Could be a case of too little, too late.
We'll have to wait and see.
But remember, CRIME IS GOING DOWN - spread the word.
And be sure to tell the victims that.
I'm sure THEY could use the "good news".

24 March 2008

Monday Musings...
Another year...another license plate. (What? Again?) Yepper, as of 2008, we are all getting a "standard" new issue plate, unless you've opted for one of OVER 75 different "specialty" plates. And every year, the list seems to get longer.

I don't know about you, but I was JUST getting used to that sickly green fields of the heartland plate - kind of sets the "mood" for the state of affairs here.
I really liked the older white plate with the embossed letters and numerals with the gold state seal, but the plate before it (that garish red, black, and yellow plate) just didn't do anything fo me AT ALL. I can say with conviction that in the ELEVEN years I've been here , I've gone through THREE "incarnations" of plates...that's more than in over 20 years of driving in PA. At least here, all they USED to do was swap the colors (gold and dark blue). Those were ALSO the days when ALL tags had RAISED lettering on a plate of really nice, thick METAL, as opposed to this cheap-assed "decal on tin" fiasco we call a license plate. I guess PRISON LABOR isn't what it USED to be. (probably too busy in the penal system with all those "self-esteem of the inmates" issues to bother with some good, honest WORK!) You have to be a lot more careful with the plates now, or you'll accidently BEND them in half! I wouldn't be surprised if THEY are made in CHINA (maybe I should check for lead paint on those decals), would you?
But here we are..nice, new plates, with COUNTY stickers, and YEAR OF ISSUE stickers. Makes me want to consider getting into making sticker ALBUMS like my wife used to do AS A YOUNG GIRL! If there is ONE major problem I have with all of this, it's not the cost of the plates (it IS a tad high at $40+ bucks), or even the new logo...it's the fact that all the cars on my "hit lists" have to be REDONE...for the THIRD time. And we're talking way over 500 vehicles!
Someone's got a really perverse form of what they think "job security" is as far as I'm concerned. It's going to take MONTHS to get all those (new) plate numbers again. At least those with specialty plates won't be a issue; They have those plates as long as they pay for them. And most of THOSE are easy to read, especially when you know how the plate is laid out (how many digits, alpha/numeric order, and so on).
Here's a bit of irony about these plates. I saw one boomcar with an ENVIRONMENTAL plate (light blue with some bird on it) on the car.
I was like WTF???
Are you kidding me?
Another idiot had a "Kids First" plate (kinda cute plate), and was thumping down the street SO damn loud, I couldnt hear the Guns of Navarrone being shot off on TCM! Seems that driver was thinking more like "HIMSELF FIRST", instead of ANY KIDS. The "up" side to all this, is that the lettering is once more LEGIBLE! I used to hear the officers talking about how DIFFICULT it was to read the letters on the first issue green plates (after they made the letters smaller). Luckily, we still have the first issue LARGE letter plates.
Then there was the GOD plates and those teeny-weeny letters on the left of the numbers.
At distance, the D looked like an O, as well as a Q...or was that a G?
It was like taking an eye exam...every damn day!
"Please read the lowest line you can see clearly".
"Yeah, right!"
"Lemme get my 20x telescope that I look at the craters on the MOON with out, will 'ya? Get 'ya that plate number in about 2 minutes, if he doesn't see me following him all that time".
I've heard so many calls that the FWPD made on cars that they had to revise the plate number given to dispatch. An FWPD officer I rode with a few years back, told me the exact same thing. They were just too damn hard to read. So these new plates are a godsend to the FWPD and the ACSD. For ME, it's just another nightmare trying to get all those NEW numbers for the SAME OLD morons, that the city CAN'T SEEM to be able to catch (after all these YEARS) with those blown out headlights and tailights, improper license illumination, car stereos that violate city ordinances, dragging mufflers, NO mufflers, broken windshields, windows with duct tape and plastic bags, illegal neon, and so on.
One nice thing I like about these new tags...the dark blue w/ white lettering INDIANA plates look SO MUCH like the old "Municipal Government" (MG plates) plates we had on all the POLICE cars and vans in Philly...talk about "coming home"...LMAO!

Can't wait until they change them again - in 2012...can you?

21 March 2008

A Blessed Good Friday...
Today is one the most high holy days in the Judeo-Christian calendar (the other is this Sunday, which is Easter), but all of you out there already KNEW that much.
And to those that observe this holiday weekend, you are ALL the salt of the earth (that's still a good thing). Even we "lowly Protestants" had a rule in OUR house; we didn't eat MEAT on this day AT ALL (thank you McD's Fillet O Fish sandwiches for coming to my rescue)! And between the hours of Noon and 3PM, Mom didn't allow any unnecessary NOISE in our house, either...AND no cussing!
That was a real big thing with her.
What you probably did NOT know is that in our part of the city, although there is a veritable cornucopia of CHURCHES of every denomination and religion, I will wager that with very few exceptions, those churches will most likely be less than full.
How do I know this?
I'm glad you asked.
You see, we have this (chronic) "problem" down here (among SO many others)...and it's a PEOPLE problem. We have people (and believe me, I cringe when I call them that, because they barely fit the parameters) down here that don't believe in church...or God...or basically anything other than annoying everyone else every single day. And THAT they DO perform with a gusto unrivaled anywhere else in this city. Talk about an "alternate energy" source!
Case in point:
Take THIS moron, (out into some street and shoot him) for example.
It's an 80s era Camaro Z28, with T-tops, and twin wide black stripes down the hood and rear deck and has factory color-matched mag wheels, driven by a black male.
See anything WRONG with this car (other than it has had more than it's share of Bondo and primer applied)? The windows are tinted WAY TOO DARK, and that presents a problem with police officers, as they cannot see into the vehicle should they ever need to approach it for any reason (and there are many). It's ILLEGAL, period.
And since this isn't a VIDEO, you'll just have to take my word that his bass-riddden kickerbox in the hatch area is TOO DAMN LOUD. He can be geard BLOCKS away, trust me. Yessir, a typical "Po-Boy Ghettosled" if ever there was one. All he needs are some huge DUBS to roll along on, and he's "phat" to go.
Quaintly enough, "we" have a history, this idiot and I.
He came booming down the street REAL slow one day (not yesterday as the photo shows,, but late last year) when I was outside raking leaves, and if looks could kill, he'd already be dead. He stopped and then backed up to where I was. I went into "defense" mode immediately (damn that traning), as my gun was under my jacket on my hip, and at the flip of a snap (and heartbeat) would be "in hand". He rolled the window down, and proceeded to mouth off and "diss" me for shining my LASER into his car (which I do to ANYONE that is a nuisance...it's NOT against ANY law...I've CHECKED - and had an article written by Frank Gray about another such incident involving me and a laser pointer). He also gave me a sob story about having his car "shot up" (Gee, wonder why? Could it have been over NOISE? Or Drugs? ), but I wasn't really buying into the ":poor me" rap. I've talked to his kind before, and you've got to be a pretty damn good liar to fool me.
He wasn't convincing enough.
I told him straight up, he was just too damn loud, and that he shook my house every time he passed. He said "I thought you were cool, but you seemed BIASED". He was wanting to say "racist"...you could tell, but I knew what he "meant", none the less. I told him I can be very cool when you get to KNOW me, but I draw the line when people DISRESPECT ME or MY PROPERTY for NO reason. I have just as much right to live here and NOT tolerate other peoples' disrespect, and even MORE so, because we OWN this house (for the past 10+ years - a novelty in it's own right). Our hands aren't out to ANYONE for ANY reason. He seemed to understand (I knew otherwise), but I gave him ONE "freebie" (benefit of the doubt) in that regard.
Everybody gets ONE.
He SAID he wouldn't play the music loud when he came by the house. Fair enough. I told him I was good with that and appreciated it. He then left. And for a month, all was cool...and quiet with him.
But then something WEIRD happened...he must have FORGOT what he said (drugs will do that to people), because he started coming around again, thumping his ass off. So I got back on the LASER and I shine it IN HIS FACE EVERY DAMN TIME he comes along. And if he EVER stops again to confront me, he might want to RETHINK his initial decision in that matter. I've tried talking to him once...and that didn't go far. Now it's time for Plan B.
I would hate to shoot him, and I'm sure he'd hate to die, but $hit happens. I do have a few other things in MY "arsenal of annoyance" to let him be privvy to first.
I've just taken so much from all these idiots for so damn long, that I'm deciding what's "best" for me and my wife...NOT anyone else.
I've practically PLEADED with the FWPD Quadrant Captain to do SOMETHING about this guy over the YEARS (that's right...YEARS), and yet he keeps coming back around like the proverbial BAD PENNY. This jerk LIVES to drive by OUR house (when there ARE other streets he could take). Be nice if he HAD A DAMN JOB, instead of leeching off of some welfare baby-maker in another block. Just a case of NOTHING being done to stop ONE person (AGAIN), let alone all the other boomers, and litterbugs, vandals, rapsist, arsonists...well, you get the idea.
Yeah, it's a damn (sorry, God...and MOM) shame it can't REALLY be a GOOD FRIDAY (or any other good day of any good week). But that's the way survival goes down here. You put your head down, and plow forward, and NEVER let them take what is yours, because if you so much as give them an INCH...they WILL take an ACRE!
The GOOD news is, it can't get TOO much worse.
The BAD news is it won't be getting any better anytime soon.
So, in spite of the issues down here, I can at least wish all of you a very blessed Good Friday, and a very Happy Easter (and remember, even Jesus got cheesed off at least once...ah yes, the temple money-changers and the scourge of rope).
But if you want to light a Novena for us & say a prayer...I have absolutely no problem with that.
Everybody gets ONE, right?

20 March 2008

Seeing IS Believing...
Ok, it must another THURSDAY then, right?
Correct you are.
Now since it's the VERNAL EQUINOX (huh?) I thought what could be better than to show you fine people what portents of Springtime really MEANS on the SOUTH side of our fair city.
And remember, with better weather, come worsening conditions down here for us dwindling number of "normals".

**Yessir, Spring is in the air (but the neighborhood smells more like feet)...and what could be nicer than to take the young'un for a stroll down the MIDDLE OF THE DAMN STREET? Oh gee, looks like a perfectly GOOD sidewalk within spitting distance (another nasty attribute of the local aboriginies), but alas, moving the baby stroller up ON that sidewalk would be too much like WORK.
"And all those cars travelling up and down the street at breakneck speed can go around my southside ass, 'cause I ain't movin' up on the curb".
Good for you, girl!
Make a statement! (that you're a good reason for late term abortion?)
Ah yes, 'tis Spring.

**What have we here? Can it be ANOTHER sign of impending warmer weather? Why I believe it IS. Looks like Jamarckus decided to score some crack right in the MIDDLE OF THE DAMN STREET (must be a cultural thing with streets).
And it's the third time this month.
He must have a drug problem.
Luckily, the police are nowhere to be found to interrupt his "transaction".
And that's GOOD for Jamarckus. Maybe if he turned that 130+Db car stereo DOWN a few notches, he could hear the dealer better?
Well, I guess those cars will just have to find an alternate route until Jamarckus gets his "rocks" off.
**Well, what do 'ya know.....looks like someone had a little party the other day (and most of the damn night, too). And just look at ALL that trash! And not one trace of RECYCLING in all that mess.
They don't even have enough 96 gallon BINS to hold all that stuff, either.
Shame on them!
I'll bet someone at Serv-All will wind up with a double hernia loading all that crap into the trash truck, hmm?
But maybe all the CROWS and other critters we have in the area can tear right into that trash, spread it out, and make some of those woefully heavy, overfilled bags a bit lighter.
Perhaps some of it will blow onto MY property, making THEIR job easier (for them, and annoying for me)? Don't you just LOVE the way the "circle of life" operates with such efficiency?
**Lastly, what could THIS be?
Is it the Beasty Boys? Nah, just some cute little gang bangers (in training) looking for an elderly person to assault. Nice to know that with all the STUFF young people have to keep them occupied AND amused, nothing "quite" says "fun" (around here) MORE than a nice strong-arm robbery. Bet that FWCS would love to know WHY they're not in school too, instead of heading to the local shopping center for some innocent shop-lifting.
Ah yes...Springtime on the south side of Fort Wayne.
Nothing can beat it.
And apparently not much is getting done to STOP it either.
No wonder my flowers take forever to come up through the ground. Even THEY don't like it down here. Kinda makes one wish for winter all over again. At least the locals tend to not be AS ACTIVE then.. But you know, having such people (like those pictured) in one particular area of a city this size is actually GOOD (for them...not US). The city KNOWS where they all are (pretty much, until they come to YOUR neighborhood to rob YOU), and can keep them "corraled" as it were.
And it's good to toss a bone to them once in a while (such as Renaissance Pointe) to keep them from burning this part of town to the ground (shades of Cleveland and L.A.). And hey, think of all that money from the STATE and the FEDS for ALL those "programs" designed to turn people like this into PRODUCTIVE citizens...
ROFLMAO....sorry...I can't help but laugh over that one.
Got to dash, now. Off to menards for some ground cover to hide my Punji Stick garden border (it's not evil...it's called Castle Doctrine). Just wish the city would allow me to DIG A DAMN MOAT around the property, and put an ONAGER out front of the house...LOL.

Enjoy the day...colder weather is coming back (what..again?)

19 March 2008

Humpday Happenings...
Another "soft" day for us, as they say across the pond in the UK, and it's going to get colder once again, so be ready to put away the umbrella and turn up your collar. Spring IS coming...swear to God!
Don't blame the groundhog, blame the media and their floodlights...LOL!
So saddle up the old roan, and get ready for all the news you'll really need.
-Bill Clinton Comes to Town...
And MY wife, as well as her blue dress are still safe! As for Bill's comment about "peace & prosperity", I guess he forgot about NAFTA (but he really didn't care in the first place - he'd be out of office when the $hit hit the fan), and I guess he forgot about the FIRST bombing of the WTC towers. Getting old sucks, Bill...get used to it (and keep better notes)...I have (and do).
-A Writing Legend Passes ...
Award-winning authour Arthur C. Clarke has died in Sri Lanka at the age of 90. Best known for his series of "Odyssey" books, he was also known for proposing the use of satellites for communications when serving in the wartime RAF. Mr. Clarke won the Nebula award is 1972, 1974, and 1979. He won the Hugo award in 1974 and 1980, and in 1986 became the Grand Master of he Science Fiction Writers of America. Clarke had also written volumes on non-fiction space travel, the Great Barrier Reef, and the Indian Ocean, and earned him an honorary fellow of the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics. He wrote the best-selling 3001: A Final Odyssey when he was 79, and went on to write other best sellers such as Childhood's End, Rendevous With Rama, Songs of Distant Earth, and Imperial Earth.
D.C. Gun Ban Goes Before Supreme Court...
Once again the Second Amendment is under scrutiny as arguments for and against the ban were heard in the nation's Capitol. After 32 years of having the ban in place, over 8,400 people have been killed with handguns in D.C., so in this person's opinion, the ban doesn't seem to be having that much of an impact (if any). Criminals will always find ways to get handguns. The best the regular populace can do in the meantime is to be allowed their individual right as set down in our Constitution.
-I-95 Pillar Gets Emergency Fix ...
A support column along Interstate 95 just north of the center city area in Philadelphia began to crumble, and it has workers erecting a temporary repair in order to facilitate the over 190,000 vehicles that travel that part of the highway this week. The concrete split vertically, baring the rebar inside, and Penndot is moving quickly so as to avoid further damage to road or people, as well as maintain as normal a flow of traffic as is allowable at this time.
I've driven that stretch of highway more times than I want to remember. it used to be a nice ride and a great way to get from anywhere south to anywhere north in a hurry, but it DID come with a price. I recall the number of people who were abruptly displaced when I-95 was constructed, and the number of historical homes that were torn down to make way for this monster. And now, those responsible for all that mess way back in the 60s are reaping what they have sown. This might be the tip of that much larger iceberg. Let's hope nobody gets killed in the interim.
-Another Rapper gets Off...
Busta Rhymes was basically given a wrist slap for his assault case yesterday. He was ordered to 10 days of community service, and 3 years probation (with harsh restrictions during that time). Amazing how many black "artists" or "athletes" manage to avoid the penalties that you or I would most certainly face in similar situations. Maybe the judge was worried about his "self-esteem"?
Feds Lower Interest Rates -
(Oh well, someone's got to foster inflation, eh?)
Obama Speech Confronts Racial Divisions -
(It really IS all about race.)

And speaking of race...
The Dollar General on Goshen Ave (you're in the wronnnnnng place?) was robbed by a lone gunman Monday. The perp is described as being 5'7", 50 years iold, BLACK w/graying hair, a cold sore on his lip, missing some teeth, wearing a black knit hat, blue hooded sweatshirt, blue jeans with holes, and armed with a silver handgun.
The Arby's on East State Blvd was also robbed Monday by TWO men wearing masks. One perps is described as being in his 20s, 5'9", 140 lbs, BLACK, wearing a dark heavy coat w/fur on the hood and black pantyhose over his face. (what? no pants or shoes?) The other perp was describes as being in his 30s, 6' tall, about 190 lbs, BLACK, wearing a camo coat w/ fur on the hood, black pantyhose over his face,and armed with a small gray handgun. Hmm...seeing a pattern here. Maybe the FWPD should check out some of my neighbors". Ya think?
Fifth Anniversary of War in Iraq -
OK, so the mission isn't quite accomplished yet, and in these past 5 years, we have lost more than 3,000 soldiers over there with another 20,000 wounded, but take a moment to consider this:

At Normandy - (one day): 6,603 killed -(est)
At Iwo Jima - (28 days): 6,800 killed
At Antietam - (1 day): 23,000 casualties
At Tarawa - (3 days): 3000 deaths
At Gettysburg - (3 days): Over 52,000 killed or wounded
In the Revolutionary War - battle deaths: 4,435
In the War of 1812 - battle deaths: 4.505
In the Mexican War - battle deaths: 4,152
In the Civil War - battle deaths:140,414
In World War I - battle deaths: 53,402
In World War II - battle deaths: 291,557
In the Korean War - battle deaths: 33,741
In Vietnam - battle deaths: 47,424
Although there will be families that lose loved ones, due to sacrifices made by our troops, we're still not doing bad, and even doing a large amount of GOOD (that rarely goes reported), considering we have the BEST fighting forces on the whole planet, and that this is a military with NO conscription. These brave men and women CHOOSE to be placed in harm's way so that WE here in the good old USA don't have to worry about a foreign faction bent on terrorism breaching our shores.

And there you have it...all that's newsworthy...at the right price (free).
Stay safe, stay dry, and stay alert.