July 29, 2004

Another Asshat

*sigh* You can't pick up the paper without reading about another winner of the "Asshat" award. I read this online at the Modesto Bee's, (Modesto is a town in Central California), site:

Link to the article

Men charged for taping explosive to bunny

The Associated Press
Last Updated: July 29, 2004, 03:31:00 PM PDT

CASTRO VALLEY, Calif. (AP) - It seemed like luck had run out for Lucky the rabbit. Strapped to a powerful explosive with a lit fuse, she was tossed into a lake. But Lucky lived up to her name. The explosive didn't blow up, and the rabbit was pulled out of the water.

Now Lucky's college-bound owner and his friend face misdemeanor charges of animal cruelty after photos of the July 13 incident surfaced on the Internet.

Nick Sigmon, 18, and Paul Collins, 20, are accused of taping an illegal M-1000 - a large firecracker equivalent to a quarter stick of dynamite - to the rabbit and throwing her into Lake Don Castro.

Sigmon said he fished Lucky out of the water to save her from drowning, but that didn't impress Alameda County prosecutors, who charged the two Castro Valley lifeguards on Wednesday. Two other men who were present during the incident may also face charges.

"I think that a lot of people are judging us without knowing us at all," Sigmon told the San Francisco Chronicle. But asked why he fitted Lucky with the explosive, he said, "Um, that's a real tough question to answer."

Lucky is recovering at a foster owner's home, where she's snacking hay pellets and doing well, Williams said.

Posted by Valkyre at 06:56 PM | Comments (0)

July 25, 2004

Sugar Shock

When I first started working at the kennel, they told me to watch out for something called "sugar shock". It's something that seems to occasionally hit the very tiny Maltese puppies. If it's caught in time, it's actually real easy to remedy. You give them these drops called "Nutridrops". Or, if you don't have any of those around, you can substitute corn syrup. Basically, a big boost of sugar. So, a couple of days ago, I am working in the puppy nursery. I look in one of the enclosures and notice that there is a one month old Maltese pup kind of twisting around in one place. It looked like he was trying to get up, but was unable to do so. He had fallen out of his puppy bed. I thought that maybe, even though he hadn't fallen far, he may have had some sort of brain injury. I picked him up and noticed immediately that his head is wrenched back and his eyes were glazed un unfocused. The wrenched back head is almost always a sure sign of sugar shock. I took him down to the house and gave him some drops. They work almost immediately. About 2 minutes later, he is up and about. Still staggering somewhat. But, he is completely aware of his surroundings. Another few minutes and he is fine. It was quite a scare there for a second. If I had not been there when I was, he would most likely have died.

Posted by Valkyre at 01:07 PM | Comments (2)

July 23, 2004

Maybe it is a Small World After All

Amanda has been attending summer school at the same high school I graduated from in 1981. She was absent today, and she wanted me to drop off some items for her second period class before I went to work. So, I bring the stuff to the Main Office to have it delivered to her class. Turns out that the woman there is the only one in the office during the summer. She doesn't have any student "gofers" to deliver things around the school. "Can I take it there myself?" I asked. "I graduated from her in 1981, I know my way around." I wasn't too sure if she would go for this. I do know that during the regular school year, they really clamp down and don't let anyone wander around the campus. But, I guess the rules are more relaxed during the summer. She let me take it there myself. So, I go straight to the classroom I needed to go to, to drop the items off. Unfortunately, the classroom is locked up tight. I peek through the tiny window. The lights are out. The place is empty. I considered leaving the stuff hanging on the doorknob, but I don't know when the teacher will be back, and I was afraid that someone else might come down the hall and steal it. So, I walk back to the Main Office, to give my "Visitors" pass back. As I was walking towards the door to the Main Office, I noticed that the woman there had now been joined by a guy. A guy who was staring at me hard. I was beginning to worry. Had the office lady violated some security protocol by letting me take the stuff there myself? Was this guy going to chew us out? I walked in, put the Visitor badge on the counter and turn to leave. The guy who had been staring at me started talking to me. "Didn't you used to go here?" I looked at him. He looked too young to have gone to school the same time I did. "Back in 1981...." I said. "What's your name?" He asked. I told him my maiden name and then his face lit up. "That's it! I remember now! It's me, Kenny White!" And then I remember him. I am terrible at names. I can remember people most of the time, but I forget their names. And, half the time, I am trying to figure out where I know them from. Work? Growing up? School? I have known Kenny since elementary school. We went through all 6 years there, 3 years at the same junior high and then three years in high school. He was there, at that particular time, to fix the copy machine. It turns out that he works for a company that contracts with the school district to repair all the copy machines. It was really wierd how circumstances worked out. The office lady kept going on and on about how it was really a small world after all. I have to admit, he looked great. Younger than his 41 years. He kept telling me that I looked exactly the same, that I hadn't changed either. We chit-chatted for a bit. Getting caught up since we last saw each other. (23 years ago!!!!) Unfortunately, I had to get to work, and he had to get to work repairing the school copy machine. We both agreed though, that the school has gone through quite a few changes since we last we there.

Posted by Valkyre at 09:33 PM | Comments (0)

July 20, 2004

Mozilla Firefox

After reading this article and others about the recently discovered vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer, I decided to give Mozillas, Firefox browser a try. I downloaded it a couple of days ago. So far, I haven't had any problems. It turns out, that our youngest daughter, Teresa, has been using it for months. She highly recommended it. She is going to try their mail program next called Thunderbird. If it doesn't give her any problems, I may have to try it myself.

Posted by Valkyre at 07:53 PM | Comments (2)

July 16, 2004

Fool Us Once, Shame On You! Fool Us Twice?

While I was gone on vacation, it turned out that someone had stolen one of the Maltese puppies. They did this by writing a check on a closed account for $1000.00. So, the owners are out $1000.00, one Maltese pup and the fees for the bad check. They have been in the business for about 20 years, and were very open about accepting checks. As long as the person had I.D., they would take it. They never had any problems until this. Anyway, all the information was turned over the local Sheriff's Department's Fraud Division. It turned out that the woman who wrote the check had used a phony Driver's License as identification. Another breeder called them and told them that a very similar woman had taken him for about $3200.00. Same M.O. Wrote a check, provided her license, etc. This time, though, she was with a man and a child. She told him that the puppies were going to be for the little boy. It was the same name as the woman who ripped off the owners here. And then, he went on to say that about a week after he was ripped off, another woman pulled up in a U-Haul, left the engine running and tried to buy one of his dogs with a check. He told her that he was going to call the bank to see if it would clear, before he could let her take the dog. "Oh! No need to do that," she said. "I will go to the nearest branch and withdraw the cash." She drove off and he never saw her again. He didn't live in the same city, though, and he said that his local law enforcement didn't seem too interested in pursuing his case. They took a report and everything, but that was about it. The person who dealt with the thief, where I work, was the owner's oldest daughter. The owners had already gone home for the day, so they never got to see the woman. All we had was a description.

So, yesterday, I am down in the garage, doing some work. One of the owners comes in with a puppy to bathe. It was a Maltese male pup. Someone was coming out to look at it. This is where things start to get really weird.... I turned to her and asked her what was going on with their case. Was there any chance of their puppy being recovered? She didn't sound too hopeful. There was suddenly a commotion at the front gate. The people were here. Carrie, who works there too, went to let them in. Only a young woman came in, her male companion and a little boy stayed in the car. Suddenly, I got a very bad vibe from this woman. There was something wrong with her whole demeanor. I have been there over a year and I can tell you, that when people are here to purchase, or to look at the puppies, they are usually very excited. If they see anyone, they will smile, or say, "Hi!" This woman, was very stern faced. The way she was dressed threw me off too. She was wearing a skin tight dress, sleeveless dress with somewhat large straps. It barely covered her tush and her boobs were almost hanging out. And, she had told the owner that she ran a preschool out of her home and was buying the dog for her preschool. I've never seen a preschool teacher dress like that. Another thing I noticed that she seemed really thin. Not, exercise thin though. It would come to me later. It was druggy thin. If you've seen people who are into drugs, you know what I mean. This whole thing just seemed really, really weird. But, I could not believe that someone who had just taken these people for $1000.00, would have the audacity to come back and try to take them again? I smiled at the woman, and she did not reciprocate. I shrugged and started to walk away. The owner brought the dog out to show her. She wanted it immediately, just like that. Unlike other people who will spend up to 45 minutes asking questions, etc. The owner told her that she was quoted the wrong price over the phone. He was not going for $600.00, but $700.00. Again, this did not bother the woman. Strange, huh? Wouldn't you think that someone would be pissed? They are quoted a cheaper price over the phone, only to get there and find out it's $100.00 more? I didn't hear the whole conversation, but the owner told the woman that she would prefer to be paid in cash. This caught the woman off guard. She started to stammer, sputter and then she said she thought she could pay by check. This is odd... When she made the appointment to see the dog, payment methods were never discussed. Why did she think it was okay to pay by check? The owner told her that if she were to write a check, she was going to call the bank to see if it would clear. The woman walked to the fence to talk to the guy in the car. The guy, in the car, that was still running and sitting in the street, not next to the gate. Carrie kept telling him that he could park next to the gate, but he wouldn't. I started to talk back to the kennel. But, this whole thing seemed just too weird. Then, I had an idea! I would get the license plate of the car!!! My car was parked out front. I was trying to think of a reason I could use to go to my car. Then, I could act like I was retrieving something from my car and I could glance at their plate. What could I use. Ah yes!!! My bottled water! It was hotter than hell yesterday, and I left my bottled water in the car. It was actually no big deal. They let me use the cups in the house. I can get water anytime I want. But, these people didn't know that. But, it was too late. The owner came walking back with the puppy. She was all excited. "They tried to rip us off again! It's the same woman! She used the same name!" I could not fucking believe it! What nerve! Coming back to the same people that she had ripped off previously? Not only that, she has a felony warrant out on her! It may be a phony I.D., but if she is ever caught by the police for anything else, I'm sure they'll run all her aliases through the computer.

Here's how it went down while I was gone. The owner had a bad vibe too. She kept hemming and hawing and taking her time. She too felt that things were right. She would not, however, leave this woman alone with the puppy. She started to do up a receipt for the dog. She asked the woman her name. And, she gave the same fucking name! The exact same fucking name and address. The owner lost it, "I'm not taking a check from you! You're the same one who ripped me off nearly a month ago!" The woman pulled out her wallet, flipped it to her bogus Driver's License and yelled, "Here's my I.D., you can check it!!!!" The owner screamed out to Carrie to call the police and the woman ran towards the gate, "I'm not going to jail for no one!!!" She jumped into the car and the driver took off like a bat out of hell. We could not believe it! What would this woman have done if the daughter happened to be there and recognized her? How could she have that much nerve? Is she so drugged out that she had forgotten she had been here before? And then she uses the same M.O., the same name, address, everything?

I was kicking myself for not going down and getting the license plate number sooner. And, the owner, realized she blew it. She thought that maybe she could have stalled these people and maybe called the police and tell them that this woman was back and trying to pass a bad check yet again. She did call the police later, and they told her that if it happens again, don't mess around, call 911 and tell them that there is someone here who is trying to pass a bad check and they will dispatch immediately. It is a felony. After this, they may not have the nerve to come back. But who knows? If they do, we will be ready for them. Maybe they will get nabbed. I don't care if we ever see these losers again. And, this time, they got their dog back.

Posted by Valkyre at 08:26 PM | Comments (0)

July 15, 2004

Spiderman 2

We all went to see this last Sunday. It was great! I liked it better than the first one. And, I really liked the first one. Alfred Molina played the villian in this one and I felt his character was more "fleshed" out than Willem Dafoe's, Green Goblin, in the first episode. But, that may be because the first movies in a series are usually weighted down with the introduction of characters, etc. I am really starting to like the whole series and can't wait for Spiderman 3.

Posted by Valkyre at 09:03 PM | Comments (0)

July 09, 2004

Jambalaya

I just love this stuff. Mike went out with his work crew for a "safety lunch". They went out to a restaurant called the Elephant Bar and Grill. Mike ordered their jambalaya. He could only eat about %50, and brought the rest home for me. We first tried Jambalaya at Disneyland, believe it or not, several years back. It was dinnertime, and we were looking for a nice restaurant where we could sit down and have dinner. There was one in the French Quarter, in New Orleans Square, called the French Market. You got your food "cafeteria" style. You grab a tray and pick up whatever desserts, appetizers, sides, etc. you wanted. Mike and I looked at the menu, I can't remember what the other entrees were on the menu, but we both saw one that kind of stood out. Jambalaya. They had the ingredients listed. It sounded good. We decided to gamble and give it a try. We both loved it. Everytime we go to Disneyland, when it's dinnertime, we got to the Franch Market and have their Jambalaya. And, the first time we went to the Elephant Bar and Grill, we both had their Jambalaya. I can't get enough of this stuff. The spicier, the better as far as I'm concerned.

Posted by Valkyre at 08:42 PM | Comments (1)

July 04, 2004

A Nice Fourth

Okay, so I went a little crazy this year. I bought more fireworks than usual. A slightly bigger assortment and some extras. I hit the fireworks stand right after I got paid, had some extra money due to the raise, so I decided it would be a multi-celebration. About 9:00pm. we went out and lit them off. It was great. Several of the neighbors had their own little shows going. The people at the end of the block had a huge assortment of illegal stuff. (Fireworks here have to be the Safe and Sane kind, they cannot go airborne and they can't explode.) Anyway, the neighbor at the end of the block was launching skyrockets that were damn near commercial grade. All in all, though, it was a nice 4th of July.

Posted by Valkyre at 11:02 PM | Comments (2)

July 02, 2004

Who Are You Going to Marry?

I know that there are a million of these quizzes out there, but I liked this one. Even though I'm already married, I was curious:


You are going to marry Brad Pitt. He is always
friendly to anybody he ever meets and he is
very talented as an actor. He is also very
sincere and friendly. He will respect you until
the day he dies. Congrats!!


Which male celebrity are you going to marry? (14 choices now!!)
brought to you by Quizilla

Posted by Valkyre at 05:53 PM | Comments (1)