Warning: This blog is under the influence of the Holy Spirit. (That's actually a blessing of course. I'm just trying to be fair to the skeptics.)

Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Joy of the Post-Modern Celebration

The day before game 7 of the 2014 World Series, I heard channel 2’s Dave Clark speaking about the upcoming civic activities following the Giants’ win (I have to give him credit for being an optimist.)  Among the many things he spoke about, one thing stood out for me – that the San Francisco Police would be out with extra patrols to prevent behavior like the “celebratory fires” seen after past wins. 

Celebratory Fires?

A couple years ago I seem to remember some of these celebratory fires being lit on muni buses and cars, completely destroying them.   Of course, I’m not even talking about the looting, vandalism and violent assaults on people perpetrated by these so called celebrants.
Now, I have to admit, I have in fact participated in a few celebratory fires myself.  I am compelled to confess my sins clearly in this regard.  Camping trips and Christmas parties come to mind first.  But, we did not call them celebratory fires.  They were just -small fires stoked for ambiance so we could share in our joy and friendship in the company and warmth of this ancient companion.

With the advent season just around the corner, I shudder to think of the explosive potential of a celebratory fire, of the post-modern type, at our next Christmas party. Would we exchange blows instead of gifts? Would grandma stab my friend because the color of his shirt different than hers?  Would our raucous behavior spill out onto the street where we broke the windows out my neighbor’s house and looted the 7-11 while we screamed with primal passion, “GO SANTA”? 

But, I digress.

I seem to remember my criminal law classes pretty well.  Nevertheless, I thought maybe something had changed in the law concerning arson, rioting, vandalism, theft, and the number of crimes in the title on Crimes Against Persons.  Given the nature of celebratory behavior in the post modern era, I thought our just, open and inclusive law makers may have done a little tweaking to the law.  So, I went back and looked them up.

Arson is still defined as, “when he or she willfully and maliciously sets fire to or burns or causes to be burned or who aids, counsels, or procures the burning of, any structure, forest land, or property. (Maliciously and property are further defined as used in this section.)

Riot is still defined as, “Any use of force or violence, disturbing the public peace,
or any threat to use force or violence, if accompanied by immediate power of execution, by two or more persons acting together, and without authority of law, is a riot.”

As far as stealing and destroying property, beating, stabbing, shooting people…well I don’t think I need to quote the law there.  But, I think some of our political leaders should read these laws. 

So here is our post game wrap up on the Giants celebration.  Fans gathered peacefully in the streets lighting bonfires (now they are calling them bonfires,) uncorking Champaign, dancing in mosh pits and hugging strangers. 

The fans also engaged in:

Two celebratory shootings leaving two people rushed to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. (Hey, no harm no foul.)

One celebratory stabbing. That person is in critical condition.

When the party pooper popo tried to move in to give the firefighters the chance to put out the celebratory fires (excuse me, bonfires,) they received party favors consisting of celebratory rocks, bottles, and celebratory fireworks. Several officers received minor celebratory injuries.

As the evening wore on, police maintained a cool presence as fans stoked bonfires “as marijuana smoke wafted over Civic Center Plaza and jubilant fans set off fireworks and popped open cans of Pabst Blue Ribbon someone sold out of a cooler.”

The celebratory nature of the fans of professional sports is just one of several reasons, I no longer participate in the idiocracy of being a sports fan.  

Monday, September 9, 2013

The Great 2013 Mt. Diablo Fire and the Non-Evacuation Evacuation

It was just before 2 PM on Sunday.  I just set a rock in place for a little landscaping I was doing when I turned and saw the smoke. I looked bad. Undoubtedly, a fire had begun somewhere north of my home in the vicinity of Marsh Creek Rd. and Morgan Territory Rd., which was about 1.5 miles away.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Messages From After Earth

To Be Or Not To Be? (That is REALLY the question)
This morning on the way to work, I heard 97.3 KLLC radio personality Hooman Khalili talking about the new movie, After Earth. I recently saw a promo of the movie and being a Sci-Fi/Action movie sort of guy, it really looked interesting. Of course, being a Will Smith fan only made the movie more appealing to see.
For those who may not be familiar with the movie, it’s set 1000 years from when mankind was forced to abandon Earth after a series of unknown cataclysms. The population is moved to a nearby extrasolar world know as Nova Prime. The movie centers around a crash landing back on Earth.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Decisions, Decisions

All creatures, big and small, make decisions. Albeit, not by the intellect; that’s a human characteristic. Interestingly, that unique human capacity can also cause us to fail in even making a decision, let alone make a bad one. The lion will eat its young if starving. We can too. But faced with a similar dilemma most would choose to serve the young first. It’s in our truer human nature to do the latter.  
Often, we are faced with indecision about the many things in our lives. From large to small, from the critical to the trivial. We look at our needs and the needs of others (hopefully) as we seek that “correct” decision, that fulcrum we need to move ourselves along in a positive direction toward our future.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Troll Takes On B.A.R.T.

We just came out of the Caldecott when traffic sputtered to a standstill. As we crept along, I am dialing 511 to find out what this is all about. Me and my boss, who I car pool into the city with, feel if we know what the problem is, we're more in control. The idea of not knowing why there is a delay is unbearable, unacceptable.  
As we passed the on ramp near Telegraph Ave. one man was trying to back up his Mini Cooper against the flow of cars behind him. Then, he was out of his Mini and waving his arms in a “GO BACK” gesture, yelling at drivers behind him.  The drivers behind him are yelling at him to get back in his car and MOVE IT! He seemed terrified of getting back on the freeway.
I wondered for a moment what he knew about this delay that we did not. Was there a spill of radioactive material just ahead?  An alien invasion?
Well, we found out soon enough. It was no alien. But some troll did manage to get on top of a BART train and was having the time of his life in a police standoff.
I managed to get one crude image from my IPhone before we moved on.
Links below for the rest of the story.

UPDATE 5-17-13
Looks like this guy was mentally ill. See link below.


Friday, May 3, 2013

Planting and Picking My Brain

Seems these days I have neglected the blog-o-sphere and other stories - projects. If only there was more time. Writing is something I’m having trouble with lately. I have neglected the tools of writing, the keyboard, the books, the notes…and the imagination.
I have neglected the word. It has wasted within me from lack of care and watering. The word lay rotting amid the waste of my mind, not growing in meaning, but buried and atomizing. Selecting the right ones for sentences is pointless…they are falling apart.
My brain – petrified.
I do manage a little reading before bed. Right now I’m into the Gunslinger chronicles of Stephen King and the poetry of D.H. Lawrence. Weird eh?

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Getting Realistic About Pessimism

The other day I ran across this quote by Mark Twain that tickled my comfort bone:

“At fifty a man can be an ass without being an optimist but not an optimist without being as ass.”

This got me thinking about my naturally optimistic core where I walk out some very pessimistic considerations in action and deed.   
Is the light at the end of the tunnel an oncoming train? I often think it is. That is, until I’m confident I can see daylight and not hear the distinctive hum of a diesel electric motor or hear the high pitch of steel wheels grinding on track. I need proof in the darkness of uncertainty.

Monday, March 4, 2013

The Last Pope

“If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers,
Where's the peck of pickled peppers that Peter Piper picked?”

When I wrote about the Mayan apocalypse back in December, I didn’t think it would be so soon that we would be fretting over another. I figured it would be at least summer time.  By then, I thought, it would be warmer, there would be a drought (like every year,) and the global warming doomsday scenarios would parch us with their prognostications.

But, there’s still time for that.

Yet another end of days scenario is beginning to play out. Even though barely three months have passed since the Mayan wheel fell off, we are again, roiling, biting and chewing our lips eager to see if it comes true.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Internet Anonymity: Who Is The Real Foe Lurking Out There?

I personally don’t care for people who make internet posts anonymously or hide behind an avatar. At the very least, it undermines their credibility. Whatever you say or believe, you should be able to stand up for it - As You Are; yelling it from the shadows is cowardly, wormy, spineless.
Many folks who use this tactic are internet trolls whose primary reason for being anonymous is to maliciously disrupt conversations using personal attacks or to take the conversation off topic. It’s more than annoying; it’s destructive, cowardly, childish and often cruel.
This despicable behavior, in my opinion, is the product of a society where perpetual adolescence is held in high esteem.
Nevertheless, it’s repugnant to make it illegal.

Friday, February 8, 2013

SF Examiner "Coit" Title Needs Examination

Am I the only one who finds this headline crass? Probably. And, that is a problem.

The story has nothing to do with the well know and highly flawed birth control method. It’s a story about a delay in getting a food vendor licensed at the well known San Francisco landmark, Coit Tower.

But, I get it. Oh yes, the Coit Tower has a phallic shape. But, so does the handle of my toilet plunger.  

Without putting much thinking into it, I can think of several other titles that would not be as shameful and just as cutesy. How about:

“Coit Cuisine Crashes”
“Coit Tower Starving?”
“Coit Chowless”
“Chowless Coit,”
“Chow Cut at Coit”

The title, while eye catching, is unnecessary.

Cheap headlines like this only seem to cheapen the story, our minds, and our bodies. Garbage in, garbage out. Perhaps the Examiner is impregnated with the seductive embrace of convention whereby we all go around coarsening our culture at every turn.  

We don’t’ have to be infected by the same coarseness.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Columbia 7 Remembered

10 years ago today, the space shuttle Columbia STS-107 broke apart on re-entry. All 7 astronauts were killed.
In memory of 7 very brave souls, the Columbia 7. God Bless:

Rick D. Husband – Mission Commander
William C. McCool – Pilot
Kalpana Chawla - Mission Specialist
Laurel B. Clark - Mission Specialist
Ilan Ramon - Payload Specialist
Michael P. Anderson - Payload Commander
David M. Brown - Mission Specialist

"The same creator who names the stars also knows the names of the seven souls we mourn today. The crew of the shuttle Columbia did not return safely to Earth; yet we can pray that all are safely home."

 President George W. Bush Feb. 1, 2003

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Sandy Hook Parent Says Guns Are Not The Problem

Mark Mattioli, father of six year old James who was killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School surprises a few at a hearing on gun violence.

Getting Ourselves Off The Hook Q&A

In this piece, I will attempt to address questions, concerns, and statements made by individuals who voiced objection to the Sandy Hook essays and/or other remarks I have made regarding 2nd amendment rights and the debate over the ban on “so called” assault weapons.
I have elected not to mention names out of respect for their privacy, even though I do not hide my identity.
I some instances I was forced to extract a question from comment(s), a somewhat subjective process. However, I tried to use the exact language used by the poster whenever possible.  As more questions come in, I will add them to this post.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Remove Lansdowne From Office

This neo-Marxist Police Chief is no surprise.  He should be removed from office for violating his oath.
I know his type well. Schooled in the late 60’s, made his way up the ranks kowtowing to liberal agenda for his own self serving interests. He’s no cops cop I can tell you that.

He claims that all weapons will be removed from individual ownership in one generation.


Flight of the Challenger: The Challenger 7 Remembered

This is one of those, “Do you remember what you were doing when this happened” moments. I was off this day. I got up, took a shower, and was putting my shoes on at the end of the bed when I turned on the TV. I had errands to run this day. Glued to the TV all day, I never accomplished any of them.

Do you remember what you were doing when you first learned?