Thursday, December 27, 2012

Boxing Day shoppers call 911 to get out of traffic

News flash for shoppers: Being stuck in Boxing Day traffic is not an emergency.

That’s the message Burnaby RCMP had to give out Wednesday afternoon after an onslaught of 911 calls from frustrated motorists stuck in traffic on streets and parking lots, particularly at Metrotown.  Staff Sgt. Robert Marks said the calls — too many to count — started coming in around noon and continued into the evening.

“Obviously, people on Boxing Day are out returning things and doing their shopping. It’s the traffic and people not being able to exit parking lots at the mall that’s causing this. So it’s kind of an unusual call to get as far as 911 calls are concerned.”

The deluge of calls prompted Burnaby RCMP Staff Sgt. Steve Crawford to send out a Twitter plea around 2 p.m. on the @BurnabyRCMP account urging people to stop dialling the emergency number for traffic problems.


Fontello Bass: 1940 - 2012

Judge orders parents from Hell to stop stalking their daughter

Aubrey Ireland had so much going for her. A senior in the prestigious College-Conservatory of Music, she had supportive parents who wanted her to excel in her music and acting career, so much so that they paid her tuition to University of Cincinnati even though she was offered full scholarships to other schools.

That relationship, though, devolved to the point where the 21-year-old senior sought and won, in an unusual court case, a stalking order against her parents.

Despite her good grades and success in musical shows, David and Julie Ireland often drove 600 miles from Leawood, Kan., to visit their daughter unannounced. They accused her of using illegal drugs, promiscuity and suffering from mental woes. She insisted none of that was true and asked them to stop, but their accusations escalated. They informed her department head she had mental issues that could force them to go to court to have her treated.

The parents knew about what they saw as their daughter’s problems because, they admit, they installed monitoring software on her laptop and cellphone, allowing them to see her every keystroke and phone number dialed or received.

The parents became such an issue that the school hired security guards to keep them out of their daughter’s performances. When the parents stopped paying her tuition because she’d cut off all contact with them, the school gave her a full scholarship for her final year.

The college senior decided to seek a civil stalking order to keep her parents away from her after they went to UC and told her college administrators they could seek to have her taken in for mental evaluations.


Stop a bad guy with a gun week

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Maple Leaf prospect Joe Colborne may be a bust

I attended today's Marlie matinee game at the ACC today.  The Marlie win was in front of a sold out crowd and puts then second overall in the league.  It was a good opportunity to catch up on Maple Leaf prospects.

Nazem Kadri after a slow start is at a point a game pace.  Matt Frattin has recovered very nicely from knee surgery.  Jake Gardner was out of the lineup with a neck injury but has been dominating AHL opponents this season. But Joe Colborne has been terrible.

Today he scored just his second goal and tenth point of the season in 26 games. Last season he had a great start with 19 points in his first 11 games and the AHL player of the month award for October, he was called up to the Leafs for a 10-game stretch in which he netted five points and looked relatively comfortable in his first sustained NHL action.  Then he disappeared.  He posted no goals and only four points in his final 24 regular season games.  This is Scott Gomez territory.

Last season he had a number of injuries that hurt his production.  I haven't heard that injuries have slowed him down this season which must be creating significant concern in the Maple Leaf organization.

Perhaps it's too early to be writing him off but it's not too early to sound the alarm.  This guy is AWOL and no one has a clue when he plans to get back.

Wrong man held, drugged at hospital

A man was given anti-psychotic drugs after he was mistaken for an escaped Graylands Mental Hspitial patient, having been picked up by police and detained at the hospital.

The shocking incident occurred earlier this month and authorities did not realize they had made the blunder until after they gave the innocent man a cocktail of powerful drugs. The man fell ill after being given the drugs and needed hospital treatment. An investigation into the incident is now underway.

The series of events started after a patient at the hospital left without permission in mid December. Police were called to help locate the patient and several days later, a man with the same description of the escapee was brought back to Graylands by police where he was wrongly identified by hospital staff as the runaway patient. The man was subsequently given a batch of antipsychotic drugs but it caused an adverse reaction and he was treated overnight in hospital.

The “real” missing patient eventually returned to Graylands. Health authorities and WA Police have both launched their own investigations into the incident. WA Mental Health Minister Helen Morton has reportedly apologised for the blunder and labelled the incident a “dreadful mistake.”


Stop a bad guy with a fun week

Hump day hottie

Kelly Brock

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Gun laws in Israel

The Newtown shooting has once again opened up debate in the U.S. about gun control. Naturally it will lead to nothing or at best some cosmetic change that will be used by both sides of the debate to win some points - if you're actually keeping score. 

I am the first to acknowledge that keeping guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill is quite the challenge while still allowing responsible citizens to own and carry firearms. Though I can't really contemplate a scenario where ordinary citizens need access to assault rifles.

On Sunday, the NRA’s chief executive, Wayne LaPierre, invoked his perception of the Israeli school security system to back his proposal.  Interestingly enough Israel is country with very restrictive gun laws. 
 You would think with the threat of attack in Israel that gun laws would be pretty lax. Wouldn't just about everyone be allowed to carry a firearm to protect themselves? Surprisingly no.

This is my understanding of gun laws in Israel from talking to Israelis and the Internet. The laws are extremely restrictive, but have some elements of common sense. All weapons are listed, registered and individually licensed. The Ministry of Interior is responsible for the licensing of weapons and Gun Shops. Also keep in mind that all citizens serve in the army and then become reservists until the age of 45. Depending on their rank in the Reserve they may have a M16A1 military issue rifle which is “signed out” from the military, for civil defense.

To get a license for a gun in Israel you have to show that you need a gun. This means that you have to be:
a) A member of the armed forces - only career soldiers above a certain minimum rank (officer/warrant officer)
b) Have a job which might put your life at risk, or requires you to protect others. (diamond courier, security personnel)
c) Work in a job which requires travel in the West Bank.

For the above three rules, you also have to prove that you are sane and do not have a criminal record.

There is another possibility, that is you live in the West Bank, in which case you can get a weapon and do not have to prove that you are sane and do not have a criminal record (you would have to be insane to live in the West Bank).

For an Arab citizen of Israel to get a license is difficult but not impossible.
The civil courts in Israel are tough making virtually any use of a weapon more of a liability to you than a danger to anyone else. For example, you could be jailed for threatening an intruder to your home with your pistol.
You cannot legally use a weapon to prevent a bank robbery (even if the robbers are armed).
You can be held responsible if your weapon is stolen from your property.

Ammunition is limited, except ammunition purchased in a firing range to be used at the range. You can simply go to the range, buy 3 boxes of ammunition, practice with two, and no one is the wiser.

You do not need a license to practice with a weapon inside a legal firing range.
Weapons do not need to be concealed or otherwise. The normal way to carry a pistol is in a holster in the belt. In summer you can see it, in winter it is concealed by your coat. The preference is for unconcealed weapons, to serve as a deterrent.

Every 5 years a gun owner is to pass a physical and mental health check, criminal background check, qualify at the range, and pay a renewal fee for my carry permit.

Who carries weapons in Israel?
Servicemen and women, on duty and off, in uniform or not. Reservists, Cops, Ambulance Drivers, Firemen, Teachers, Security Guards, Businessmen, and anyone else that has a valid carry permit. Jews, Arabs, and Christians (and everyone else) all carry weapons.

Rifles are generally issued by the Israeli Defense Force and carried by Servicemen and Reservists, although if you live in an area deemed by the Government to be a high risk (that’s almost every small town in Israel today) you can be issued a rifle for civil defense.

Lindsay Lohan does NOT do bar mitzvahs

Bar Mitzvah boys, settle down– Lindsay Lohan will not be coming to your  Jewish coming-of-age celebration, no matter how good at Torah reading yiu are.

Recently, a North Carolina booking company called 123 Talent sent out a mass email, telling clients the “Mean Girls” star would be available for bookings at small private parties, like weddings and bar mitzvahs.

Lindsay’s team of reps claim she never signed with the booking company, according to TMZ, and the actress is fuming people think her career has hit such rock bottom, she’d have to appear at a bar mitzvah (is that such a bad thing?)

Meanwhile, the CEO of 123 Talent insists they were in the works of signing with Lindsay, but her team  ”decided to go in another direction” last minute.

Whatever, Lindsay. If you ever decide to change your mind, just letting you know that bar mitzvah receptions have open bars and lots of horny boys (oday they are only 13). 

Best of craigslist

Moral Turpitude


I was running late to make the train on my first day at my new job as a chemical engineer, so I decided to drive my car to the train station. As I pulled up to the train station, I saw the train I needed depart anyway, so I figured I'd just have to park the car and wait for the next one, which would be arriving shortly. The only parking I saw was a big parking lot with signs that said DECAL ONLY. I figured I had a village decal on my car, so I was included among the elite group of people that could park in this esteemed lot. I parked the car and went to work. During my day at work, I was worried that there was some other type of esoteric decal I should possess to park there. All I could do was hope for the best. When I got back, there was no parking ticket on my car and I was elated. I'd had a long, grueling day at work, and got back to no ticket. Additionally, I had my car there so I could easily DRIVE home, which was a great treat after being on my feet all day. I drove home feeling as though the lack of a parking ticket was the highlight of my day.
After that fateful first day of work, I began to get into the swing of things and had made a habit out of walking to the train station. It was nice to know that I could always drive though, if I needed to. Nearly two weeks after the first day, I received a mysterious piece of mail. I opened it and it was a parking ticket from that first day. Somehow it had gotten detached from my windshield and blown away. It was turned in and mailed to me. The ticket was crumpled and bleached as though it had sat outside and weathered the elements until it was delivered to me. The ticket that I received was the original one written, not a new one. This would not have been a problem, except the last day to remit payment had passed, and my $30 fine had jumped to a $100 fine. Despite feeling like this was extreme bullshit, I figured I would just pay it. I didn't have the time or the inclination to argue it in person, and I was working a good job now.

As I wrote the check for $100, I was still a little annoyed because 1. I thought I'd gotten away with it and 2. I had to pay more when it wasn't my fault. On the memo line of my check, I decided to have the last laugh. I wrote "ATTN: OFFICER FAGGOT". I dropped the check off at the police station ticket mailbox and figured that this would be the end of it.

Two days later, I got another mysterious piece of mail. I opened it up, and it was a court summons. There was a line on the form that said "CHARGE". Written on this line was the phrase "Moral Turpitude." After consulting a dictionary, I realized that this was not even a real thing in our zeitgeist. I did have a court date for several weeks later, though. I decided I would rather get this nonsense taken care of as soon as I could. I called on Wednesday to see if I could reschedule the court date. The lady on the phone was nice and said I could reschedule to Thursday evening. That sounded terrible, but I said okay.

The next day I went to court. I wore my glasses to look smart. It was not a real court, though. It looked like one but it was very small. In the room, it was just me and the judge. The judge told me about the charge against me for writing that word on the check and asked why I did it. I told him the story of thinking that I didn't have a ticket and then getting one, and the date having already been passed. I told him it was a great example of an ex post facto law. He agreed with me that this was unfair, but told me I didn't handle it in the right way and that was not what 'ex post facto' law meant. I told him that I know it wasn't mature, but that I was pretty sure that the first amendment still applied and I shouldn't be dragged to court for this. He told me he didn't write the summons and agreed with me. Then he asked me if I'd ever been in any trouble with the law before. I told him I didn't think so. He asked what that meant. I told him that there was a possibility that I have been arrested before, but I didn't think so because no charges were ever filed against me. He asked me what happened. I told him about my involvement with the Occupy protest and how they brought me to jail for civil disobedience but then let me go. He told me that he should have guessed, based on my glasses and manner of dress (like a hipster). He asked why they let me go. I told him that I was diabetic and made a big stink out of it. He told me he was diabetic too, and I was correct in guessing that it was Type II unlike my Type I diabetes. The judge asked if I had some sort of problem with law enforcement officers. I told him I did. He asked why. I said that it bothered me when cops wrote stupid parking tickets and set up speed traps and dealt with other seemingly innocuous things. I told him that when these things happen, I assume all criminals are locked up and everything is taken care of and the world is safe. He told me that he didn't agree with me, but that I was entitled to my opinion. Finally he noticed that it was starting to get late. I agreed with him and called him Judge Harry Stone, which was not his name, but I thought it made for a funny joke, given that it was night time. The judge asked if I had anything else to say, and I thought for a second and said "You can get anything you want in Alice's Restaurant". He looked confused for a second and then a wave of recognition came over his face. He said "Okay good. You're crazy. I mean, I wasn't trying to draft you or anything so it's not really...relevant here. But that was pretty funny, missy!" Finally, he ended up changing the parking ticket fine back to $30 which was a big improvement and vacated my charge of 'moral turpitude' on the grounds that it was 'stupid' (I imagine that's why).

I went outside into the hallway of the court building and was texting my friend that my legal woes were over. While I was standing there, Judge Harry Stone came out. He told me that I seemed like nothing but trouble, but had provided one of the more entertaining night court experiences he'd had in awhile. Then he asked me how old I was. I asked him why. He said because he thought it was weird that I referenced both Night Court and Arlo Guthrie during my 'deposition' but appeared to be only 20. I told him that I was 23 but I was really into pop culture. He laughed and said "Whatever" and wished me a good night. I told him to also have a good night, and that I hoped I would never see him again. He laughed and said "I wouldn't count on that." I have managed to stay out of trouble in the three days since that happened, including St. Patrick's Day, so I am feeling confident about my future of being a law abiding citizen.

And that is my story of my night in court.

Sign of the day

Stop a bad guy with a gun week

Season's Greetings

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Worker formally reprimanded for excessive farting

A US federal employee was formally reprimanded this month for excessive workplace flatulence, a sanction that was delivered to him in a five-page letter that actually included a log of representative dates and times when he was recorded “releasing the awful and unpleasant odour” in his Baltimore office. In a letter sent on Decenber 1oth accusing him of “conduct unbecoming a federal officer,” the Social Security Administration employee was informed that his “uncontrollable flatulence” had created an “intolerable” and “hostile” environment for coworkers, several of whom have lodged complaints with supervisors. The worker, a 38-year-old Maryland resident, reportedly submitted evidence that he suffered from “some medical conditions” that, at times, caused him to be unable to work full days. But a SSA manager noted in the reprimand letter that, “nothing that you have submitted has indicated that you would have uncontrollable flatulence. It is my belief that you can control this condition.”

According to the letter of reprimand which is the least severe administrative sanction that can be levied against a federal worker the man was first spoken to about his flatulence during a May 18 “performance discussion” with his supervisor. He was informed that fellow employees had complained about his flatulence, and that it was “the reason none of them were willing to assist you with your work.” Two months later, on July 17, a second SSA manager spoke with the man “in regards of your releasing of bodily gas in the module during work hours.”   On August 14, a third administrator - a SSA “Deputy Division Director” - spoke with the worker about his “continuous releasing of your bodily gas and the terrible smell that comes with the gas.”

I'm sorry but this is totally understandable.  If I had a co-worker who couldn't control his farting I would demand he be fired.  I've told my wife that if she couldn't control it that would be grounds for divorce.  I need a stink-free environment.


Stop a bad guy with a gun week

Bikini Sunday

Lindsay Lohan