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The Farsider

June 26, 2014

 

Bill Mattos, Editor and Publisher <bilmat@comcast.net>
Leroy Pyle, Webmaster <leroypyle@sjpba.net>

 

The Farsider is an independent publication that is not affiliated with the San Jose Police Benevolent
Assn. The SJPBA has allowed the Farsider to be included on its web site solely for the convenience
of the retired San Jose Police community. The content of this newsletter does not represent or reflect
the views of the San Jose Police Benevolent Association's Board of Directors or its membership.


 

PENSION NEWS



Measure B Appeals

June 19th

The City made it official: On Tuesday June 10th, it filed a formal appeal to the California Appellate Court. They will be asking the California Court of Appeal to overturn the lower court ruling that declared the central parts of Measure B unconstitutional. The Court of Appeal is very unlikely to reverse Judge Lucas, because she relied on existing Supreme Court precedent in her ruling. Chuck Reed wants to let the lawyers fight this out for 2 or 3 more years, all the way to the California Supreme Court, costing millions in legal fees. All while our Department atrophies.

The POA will be filing our appeal to protect your vested rights next week. A win for the City would be the last nail in the coffin of this Police Department.

Years of legal wrangling, further fracturing of labor relations, mounting court and attorney's fees, more officers heading for the door are all a preview of four or eight years of a Mayor Liccardo.

The following came from the Mercury News' report on the City's move:

"It's not clear when the appeals court will hear the case, though their decision will likely not come before the November election. Measure B is a key part of the mayor's race, with Supervisor Dave Cortese wanting to end the court war and find pension savings at the bargaining table, while Councilman Sam Liccardo would keep fighting to defend the measure in court. Pension reform is also a key topic in the three City Council races on the November ballot.

Mayor Chuck Reed, who has championed pension reform, has repeatedly said he wants the California Supreme Court to hear the case. That would enshrine a decision with statewide impact to guide other cities dealing with similar pension problems. A new mayor and four council members who take office at the start of 2015 would have to make that decision, however."  


Click
HERE to read the full story. (The link takes you to the same story we included in the June 12th Farsider.)


Below you will find a description of what we won and what the City wants the court to overturn.


 

THE TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS OF THE CITY AND SJPD

Here are a few letters to the editor from this past week that might be of interest. Note the dates and the author of the second one...

High-quality Early Education Essential

Letter to the Editor — Mercury News — June 22, 2014

Budget season in Sacramento is an interesting time and much of the analysis will focus on short-term winners and losers. The governor and Legislature should be commended for investing in the state’s long-term human capital needs. The budget Gov. Jerry Brown signed Friday includes a $264 million early learning budget package to improve existing programs, in addition to an important long-term commitment to high-quality 0-5 education for the children who need it most. Our state currently serves only half of eligible preschool-aged children in public programs, and just 6 percent of the state’s most vulnerable infants and toddlers receive high-quality care and support. The Silicon Valley Leadership Group and its nearly 400 member companies have long supported these types of investments. We know that playing catch-up is not a sustainable model. Research is clear on the positive effects of high-quality early education and intervention. Addressing the opportunity gap today is imperative to Silicon Valley and California’s future.

Dennis Cima
Senior Vice President Silicon Valley Leadership Group
 

~ ~ ~

 

S.J. Residents Were Cortese’s Top Concern

Letter to the Editor — Mercury News — June 24, 2014

Dave Cortese is an honorable mayoral candidate with no intention of spending the city into oblivion.

During my term as the SJPOA negotiator, we dealt with honorable and professional elected officials and city management. We periodically disagreed but the city’s residents were our primary concern.

Robert Wright (Letters, June 22) forgets that most of the people I represented were also San Jose residents, raising their families and paying their bills with wages earned as a San Jose police officer. We had no intention of “cutting off the hand that feeds us.”

City officials had unique responsibilities and strove to fulfill them. Negotiable items allowed SJPD to be competitive in their hiring of the best and brightest.

There is a sharp contrast today, whereas the majority of our elected leaders are voting to erode standards established since the birth of SJPD in 1849. San Jose’s image has been eroded and only the very desperate will apply.

Carm J. Grande
President and negotiator 1980-1990 (Retired)
San Jose Police Officers Association

~ ~ ~

 

Measure B Has Hurt Police Department

Letter to the Editor — Mercury News — June 24, 2014

The time has come to rethink Measure B. The passing of it by voters has had a devastating impact on the San Jose Police Department and the city. The passing of it left police officers feeling unloved, rejected, unappreciated and angry, which in turn lead to a massive exodus of experienced and dedicated police officers.

The impact on the city has been catastrophic. A sizable portion of the police force has departed for greener pastures and left the SJPD understaffed and terribly overworked. Even newly trained officers abandon the city upon completion of their training. The time has come to rethink the consequences of Measure B and rescind it overwhelming by the voters. This is not rocket science and is an easy solution to restore the safety of the city.

Frederick Casucci
San Jose

• • • • •


Reasons to be happy you are retired continue to grow. By our count, this is the 17th reason on the list…

Police Move to Mandatory OT

—Officers already collectively volunteer for over 2,000 overtime hours a month—

By Robert Salonga
<rsalonga@mercurynews.com>
Mercury News — June 20, 2014

SAN JOSE — The struggle to keep an adequate number of cops on the streets of San Jose amid a historically rapid outflow of officers has spurred the department to make the unprecedented move of requiring patrol officers to work mandatory overtime starting June 29.

Union officials say the requirement will create even more stress for patrol officers who already collectively volunteer to work more than 2,000 hours worth of overtime shifts each month to cover basic shifts.

Now if there are not enough volunteers to cover those shifts, the department will require officers to work overtime to fill in the gaps.

“It’s something we feel we have to do for the greater good and to keep the patrol force safe,” Assistant Chief Eddie Garcia said. “Our number one job is when someone calls 911, we get there as quickly as possible.”

The department has just over 1,000 officers, about 900 of them ready for full-duty. Of those, about 450 are assigned to patrol where the minimum patrol staffing target is 492 officers. The difference is made up through overtime shifts and officers reassigned from other divisions such as investigations.

Holding over officers to work overtime is not new, but it has historically only been employed for major events that require a large police presence such as downtown festivals, not to staff regular patrols.

There have not been enough volunteers to cover all the regular patrol shifts.

Under the overtime plan, Fridays and midnight shifts that have been typically undermanned will be bolstered by officers completing the preceding shift. So someone working a day shift would work two to three hours into the subsequent swing shift based on need. The new system will be reassessed at the end of August.

Garcia said lieutenants and commanders will have discretion in determining the extent of the need for mandatory overtime work, which will be assigned according to reverse seniority. Volunteers will be first sought, but this plan was designed because those numbers have not been sufficient due to availability or, as is the increasing experience with patrol officers, sheer exhaustion.

“You’re talking about longer shifts for guys who have already been up all night,” said Sgt. Jim Unland, president of the San Jose Police Officers’ Association. “We can’t do this anymore.”

Since 2008, nearly 400 officers — more than 25 percent of the total force — have left SJPD due to retirements or departures, often to neighboring agencies, amid a protracted political fight with city leaders over pay and pension reforms. Garcia did not specify what staffing level would trigger the mandatory overtime.

 

• • • • •


Two items from the Internal Affairs column of the Mercury News caught our attention this week. (For the uninformed, the first one involves former SJPOA President Bobby Lopez who wanted the Fraternal Order of Police to represent San Jose's rank and file instead of the POA.) The second item is about a recruiter who is back on patrol. Why the people who create the paper's I.A. column found it newsworthy has us scratching our head.

 

Mercury News — June 22, 2014

Union Executives Not United on Political Views

Both Bobby Lopez and Neil Struthers have worn the union label proudly. Retired San Jose police Sgt. Lopez now leads the local Fraternal Order of Police. And Struthers, who is married to Assembly Speaker Pro Tem Nora Campos, is the former head of the Santa Clara and San Benito Counties Building and Construction Trades Council. That doesn’t mean they see the world the same way.

Lopez and Struthers got into a confrontation recently at the Starbucks at Almaden Expressway and Curtner Avenue. In a bizarre turn, they wound up taking one another’s picture — and not for friendly purposes.

A word of background: The Fraternal Order of Police recently funneled roughly $100,000 into the successful campaign to unseat San Jose Councilman Xavier Campos, who happens to be Nora’s brother and Struthers’ brother-in-law. Struthers has not taken the action kindly.

When we heard about the set-to, we called Lopez, who gave us this account: He was in a comfortable chair at Starbucks with a companion about 5 p.m. when he noticed a man in line staring at him. The man pulled out a cellphone and took Lopez’s picture.

Lopez says he didn’t recognize Struthers — but in the spirit of the moment, he pulled out his smartphone and took a picture of the former construction trades chief. The two men then got reacquainted and had a candid exchange of views.

“He says, ‘Bobby Lopez?’ You’re a piece of (expletive) (expletive),’ ” Lopez recalled. “ ‘You screwed my brother. And I’m going to (expletive) get you.’ ” “I was amazed at the public display of anger,” said Lopez, who said he stood up as the two men engaged in a bit of chest-bumping. “It was astonishing that he was that much out of control.”

Struthers said he could not recall using the precise words Lopez described. But he acknowledged there had been a confrontation.

“We’ve been through four years of people talking (expletive), of people writing (expletive),” he told us. “After a while, it gets personal. I told him how I felt.”
 

~ ~ ~

 

Former Police Recruiter is Back on Patrol

Sgt. Brian Misener, the officer who for the past couple of years spearheaded the San Jose Police Department’s recruiting efforts, is back on the street after being reassigned to patrol, sources told this newspaper. The SJPD has had difficulty filling academies with new recruits and keeping them on the force. Just 29 of 60 potential slots were filled in April, a historically small class. The police union blames city leaders for imposing pay and pension cuts that make the department less attractive than others.

Capt. Dave Honda, Misener’s supervisor, said back in April that “it’s hard to be competitive when the next booth is saying we can pay more.” Or as the ever-colorful Sgt. Jim Unland, president of the San Jose Police Officers’ Association, put it: “They had him in Antarctica selling ice.”

But Mayor Chuck Reed felt the department was not recruiting effectively enough.

Misener was unavailable for comment about his reassignment, and department officials didn’t respond to a request to discuss it. When we wrote about Misener’s recruitment effort in April, he said: “If they didn’t think I was doing my job, I’d have a boot in my backside.”

Internal Affairs is an offbeat look at state and local politics. This week’s items were written by Scott Herhold, Mike Rosenberg, Josh Richman, Robert Salonga and Paul Rogers. Send tips to
<internalaffairs@mercurynews.com>
or call 408-920-5782.


 

POA UPDATES



June 20th

Mandatory overtime and sick time audits start at SJPD as City Hall prepares for a six week vacation without spending any overtime fixing the failed policies crippling this department. This is how the issue was covered by the Bay Area media…

ABC Channel 7 News:
Rift Between SJPD
Officers and San Jose City Leaders Widens



~ ~ ~

KPIX Channel 5 News:
San Jose Police Dept. to Require Officers to Work
Overtime to Cover Patrol Shifts




~ ~ ~

KTVU Channel 2 News:
SJ Takes Extreme Measures to Deal with
Officer Shortage




~ ~ ~

NBC Bay Area News:
Cop Shortage Prompts
Mandatory Overtime for SJ Police




~ ~ ~

KCBS Radio 740 AM:
Cops Forced to
Work Overtime While Council Takes a Vacation




~ ~ ~

Mercury News:
San Jose: SJPD to Require
Mandatory Overtime for Patrol Shifts, Raising Officer Fatigue Worries




~ ~ ~

The Daily Fetch:
SJ Po Po Get
Hosed Again

 

• • • • •

 

 

June 21st

A Membership Alert with the title "Pension Costs Change and Retiree Healthcare Costs Dispute" was sent to all POA members on June 21st. It was long and detailed, but it only applied to active personnel according to Retiree Assn. President Jim Spence. We have chosen not to include it.

 

MAIL CALL

 

June 19th

Bill,

The video regarding the original Air Force One was extremely interesting. I think the plane has been restored as I saw it at the Pima Air Museum in Tucson a couple of years ago. You could actually go inside the plane and check it out. It was amazing to see all the communications equipment which was cutting edge for the time.

Chris
(Galios) <cgg1515@aol.com>

Chris was referring to THIS video from last week's Farsider about the Lockheed Constellation named "Columbine II" that served as Air Force One when President Eisenhower was aboard.

 

• • • • •

 

June 20th

Bill,

I received the following email from Dennis McKenzie and am attaching the photo he is talking about.

Tom
(Mazzone) <rtm1319@sbcglobal.net>

Tom,

I was told that you have some great photos of Dave and Ken holding hands while walking from the train. Will you be sending them to the Farsider and Vanguard?

Dan Bullock came up with something like: "Two Brothers-in-Arms" (retired Chaplain Dave Bridgen and Retired Sgt. Ken Kocina) sharing a moment in retirement and life together. We all love and respect them both.

Dennis (McKenzie)
<denpatti@sbcglobal.net>



(Dave and Ken are both dealing with Parkinson's disease.)



 

NEW VANGUARD AVAILABLE ON-LINE

Hard copies are in the mail and should arrive in your mailbox soon if you are a POA member. To read the Vanguard on-line, click HERE.



 

LAST CALL TO SIGN UP FOR THE SONS OF SAN JOSE 5th ANNUAL GOLF TOURNEY

Sponsored by the
"San Jose Vietnam War" Memorial Foundation"



Monday, Aug. 4th
Coyote Creek
12 Noon Shotgun Start
Box Lunch and Dinner and Beer & Soda on Course
$150 Per Person

Contact Larry Reuter for more info.
H: 408.2275296
C: 408.529.2048
 

 

THE BEST OF THE LATE NITE JOKES
     
June 19th through June 24th

Queen Elizabeth is planning to visit the set of “Game of Thrones” next week. She said things are hard to keep track of because everyone keeps dying. And then Prince Charles said, “Not everyone."

Domino's has a new voice-activated iPhone app that will help customers order pizza. You just speak your order into the phone. Or as that's called now, "ordering a pizza."

A new study says Facebook users can be affected by the mood of their friends. For example, if your friend is depressed on Facebook, you'll be depressed. And if they're really happy on Facebook, you'll be even more depressed.

The American Medical Association says that cheerleading should be classified as a sport because of the skill and training that goes into it. Then LeBron's teammates said, “See? We ARE athletes.”

Happy birthday to Lionel Richie. He turns 65 today. He is getting up there. He's gone from "Dancing on the Ceiling" to "Rubbing in the Ointment." He's gone from "Dancing on the Ceiling" to "Falling in the Shower."

A big movie opened today. I'm very excited about it. "Jersey Boys." It's based on the Broadway play. It's about the hot musical group all the kids love — Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.

Their biggest hit was "Big Girls Don't Cry." It came out in 1962, the year I was born. That's why my nickname growing up was "Big girl."

To be honest, I don't know how well "Jersey Boys" is going to do. People in Los Angeles can't relate to a movie about Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. Because people here have no idea what a season is.

This movie is directed by Clint Eastwood. It's great to see Clint Eastwood back in the director's chair, instead of yelling at chairs.

Boxing champ Floyd Mayweather posted on his Instagram that a half-dressed woman is asking to be disrespected. This from a guy who wears only shorts to work.

Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino — remember him? He was arrested for getting in a fight with his brother at a tanning salon. This marks a disturbing trend in orange-on-orange violence which cannot continue.

Over the weekend Pope Francis implied that the Mafia should be excommunicated. In a related story, the Pope is missing. And nobody saw nothin'.

After a tie with Portugal in the World Cup, the U.S. soccer team now faces Germany on Thursday. And if the U.S. team beats Germany, they advance. If they lose, Americans go back to hating soccer again.

That’s the nice thing about the World Cup. We can be invested if we win. If we lose it's like: Oh, it's soccer, I don't care.

President Obama said he wants his daughters to work minimum wage jobs because it builds character. The president then announced he will be raising the minimum wage to $50 an hour.

At the World Cup, Uruguay's Luis Suarez bit a player from Italy's team. It's the third time he's done it. The last time he bit a Chinese player and then claimed he was hungry an hour later.

Yesterday Michelle Obama said she wants Americans to elect a woman president "as soon as possible." So even she has had enough of President Obama.

Yesterday Starbucks introduced their new decaf soda called Fizzio. It's an Italian word that means "tastes OK, costs too much."

You know where it's bad now? Iraq. It was bad and now it's getting worse. Today President Obama said he might have to send in Dennis Rodman.

Iraq is so bad that President Obama phoned Hillary Clinton and asked her if she could start early.

Tomorrow is the 39th anniversary of a movie that we all saw and enjoyed and still enjoy today — "Jaws." The director, of course, Stephen Spielberg — talk about a one-hit wonder!

Sunday night they're broadcasting the annual Daytime Emmy Awards. They have the Prime-Time Emmy awards. These are the Daytime Emmy Awards. Same like with the Nobel Prize. They have the Daytime Nobel Prizes.

Last week Pope Francis excommunicated all members of the Mafia. I believe his exact phrase was, "Eh, no dice."

After the Pope's announcement about the Mafia, the first thing I thought was: Well, good luck starting the Popemobile.

Kraft is recalling 260 cases of Velveeta cheese. Problems with the ignition switch.

I did some historical research today. Adolf Hitler, it turns out, was delinquent in his income taxes. He owed over $3 million in taxes. Boy, you think you know somebody.

And not only that, but Hitler was forced to sell his NBA team.

I am excited about the World Cup and the U.S. soccer team. But I will admit there are nuances to the game that are lost on me. For example, the United States has won one game, tied one game. They play Germany, and if they tie Germany 0-0, they advance to the finals. It's just that exciting, ladies and gentlemen.

They had a fundraising softball game at Yankee Stadium over the weekend, and do you know who played? New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. He had a great day at the plate. I'm talking about lunch.

The Critics Choice Awards are on tonight on the CW network. This year the CW network received zero nominations and yet they are showing the award ceremony. It's a bit awkward. It's like having the NBA championships at Kobe Bryant's house.

Happy birthday to my favorite government agency, the FCC. They are 80 years old today. And they behave like every other 80-year-old.

Happy bleeping birthday to the FCC!

Happy birthday also to Paula Abdul of "American Idol" fame. Paula Abdul and the FCC are very different, of course. One's a TV judge known for wacky decisions and sometimes not making any sense at all. And the other one is Paula Abdul.

It was not a great weekend for the American soccer fan. We're still recovering from a draw with Portugal, 2-2. It was a long game, four points total, and America didn't win. If that doesn't get people to start watching soccer, nothing will.

People are disappointed by the World Cup match. I haven't seen this much disappointment since they announced Ben Affleck was playing Batman. Since Justin Bieber avoided jail. Since Honey Boo Boo's family went to a vegan restaurant. Since Whole Foods in L.A. ran out of kale.

A tie in the World Cup puts the U.S. in a tough spot because the next game isn't until Thursday, so people in L.A. have to pretend to care about soccer for another 72 hours.

People in L.A. are saying, "I'm really worried about the game. And also that Whole Foods ran out of kale.”

At the World Cup a guy bit another guy. I didn't know soccer was a game where you could bite other men.

There are rules to the game of soccer. You can't go around behaving like Dracula — although that would be great, Dracula as a soccer player.

Italy was eliminated from the World Cup. Italians were running through the streets waving their hands around, screaming at each other. Then they heard about the World Cup.

The cast of "Game of Thrones" had a very special visitor — Queen Elizabeth. A lot of the Royals on "Game of Thrones" get offed. It leads me to believe this visit was arranged by Prince Charles.

You know how they say if you see only one movie this summer or read only one book this summer? That's what I'm going to do. I'm going to see one movie, read one book. Why push myself?

From the San Antonio Spurs, Tony Parker is here. Tony helped the Spurs win the NBA championship on Sunday and he's here tonight to brag about it.

Kim Kardashian is getting her own video game. If you're just sitting on your couch doing nothing all day, aren't you already playing the Kim Kardashian game?

Mattel introduced a new Barbie Doll called Entrepreneur Barbie. Barbie is ready to strike out on her own to achieve her career dreams. It's about time. She's like 80 years old. Entrepreneur is the job your cousin who sells weed claims to have at Thanksgiving dinner.

Did you watch the match between United States and Portugal? I don't know if I'm supposed to be happy or not. It ended in a tie. For a short time Americans cared about soccer.

As weird as it sounds, that tie might be the biggest win in U.S. soccer history. The U.S. will advance to the next round with a win or a tie against Germany, or if Ghana and Portugal tie on Thursday, or if the goal differential, which is the total of points, falls in our favor, or if any one of the other teams gets malaria.

The World Cup is very confusing. It could take up to a month after the final game to figure out who won.

During the World Cup today, Uruguay forward Luis Suarez bit an Italian player. Last year he got a 10-game suspension for biting a player. Now he bit an Italian. One or two bites is one thing. But when you bite three people, I think that's considered to be a spree, right?

The World Cup incident might even be classified as a vampire attack. And let's face it, Italian food is delicious.

LeBron James' agent said LeBron will become a free agent on July 1. Can a guy who makes more than $20 million technically be a free agent?

Wouldn't it be funny if he went back to Cleveland? That would be like getting back together with an ex and pretending nothing happened.

The Smithsonian unveiled a 3-D printed sculpture of President Obama that is detailed enough to see his pores and wrinkles. The sculpture is so realistic that Joe Biden won’t leave it alone.

A Canadian woman was arrested for having an open container of liquor while driving Toronto Mayor Rob Ford’s SUV. Although when Rob Ford’s in the car, anyone not smoking crack is legally considered a designated driver.

A Virginia woman on Tuesday graduated high school at the age of 111. She’s the first person to graduate high school and have her whole life behind her.


 

WEEKLY SNOPES URBAN LEGEND UPDATE AS OF JUNE 21, 2014

The facts behind the legends, information and
misinformation that has or may show up in your inbox





Is this a real photo of an infant child with two heads?

New Articles

• Clown statue that spooked a babysitter turns out to be a knife-wielding intruder hiding in the house.

• Warning cautions that accepting a friend request from a particular stranger will provide a hacker with access to your computer and online accounts.

• Letter from a disabled war veteran planning to end his life criticizes George Bush and Dick Cheney over the Iraq War.

• Has the state of Ohio replaced lethal injection with a head-ripping machine as a form of execution for death row inmates?

• Do gasoline purchasers who fail to press the 'Clear' button on gas pumps after refueling risk additional charges on their credit/debit cards?

• Did Stephanie Courtney, the actress who played Flo in commercials for Progressive Insurance, die in an automobile accident?

• Did Rep. Paul Ryan say: 'The poor are like stray cats. If we continue to feed them we will never get rid of them'?

• Is the Gateway Arch in St. Louis slated for demolition in early 2015?

• Has WalMart announced they will no longer be accepting EBT transactions as a form of payment?

• Is giving your dog ice or ice water on a hot day likely to cause it to die from bloating and spasms?

• Will ten U.S. states be ending the practice of requiring child support payments as of January 2015?

• Is the minimum legal drinking age in the U.S. being raised to twenty-five as of 2 August 2014?

• An Army recruit who tries to
commit suicide using a floor buffer fails and is charged for damage to the buffer.

• Has President Obama ordered the removal of the words
'In God We Trust' from all U.S. currency?


• Businessman participating in an impressive-sounding phone conversation is revealed to be using a fake phone.

• Scandal erupted in 1965 when children's TV host Soupy Sales asked his young viewers to send him 'little green pieces of paper' from their parents' wallets.

• Report that an inattentive janitor caused several deaths in a South African hospital when she unplugged patients' life support systems to plug in her floor polisher.

• Are actors from the Our Gang series the victims of a curse causing them to die unexpectedly young?

• Facebook account from actor Ryan Gosling supposedly describes the loss of his adoptive child to the biological father who reclaimed him.

• Photographs purportedly show an infant Egyptian girl with a second head.

• Don't forget to visit our Daily Snopes page for a collection of odd news stories from around the world!


Worth a Second Look

• Five little-known but
useful functions associated with cell phones.



Still Haunting the Inbox

• Check out our 25 Hottest Urban Legends list to keep abreast of what's circulating in the on-line world.


Fraud Afoot

• Visit our Top Scams page for a list of schemes commonly used by crooks to separate the unwary from their money.

 

THE LIGHTER SIDE & OTHER ODDS AND ENDS



Large or Full Screen preferred for YouTube videos

The Critter Corner

Meet Snowball, whose dance style is indistinguishable from the way Tom Macris used to dance when he was in high school. Tom even wore his favorite yellow cap that closely reassembled Snowball's crest, and his style was so unique that everyone on the dance floor applauded him when the song was over, prompting him to take several bows just like Snowball does at the end of this video. (4 Mins.) (This is a five-point zinger in our opinion.)

 

• • • • •


Few things in life are more pitiful than dogs that are afraid of cats, right? (3 Mins.)

 

• • • • •


Then again, that begs the question, why is it that most cats are afraid of water? Take the cat in this 26-second clip for example.

 

• • • • •


Have you noticed that nearly every country on every continent has its own talent program. Here's a recent clip of an amazing dancer from the popular southern hemisphere TV show "Antarctica's Got Talent." (42 Secs.)


That performance reminded us a little of this famous Gene Kelly dance routine from "Singin' in the Rain." (1 Min.)

 

• • • • •


This is an interesting clip of animals feeding other animals. It makes us wonder if we will we reach the point where young parents will be able to train or buy an animal to take on the role of a nanny and look after their kids in the future? Nothing would surprise us given how life has changed over the past 40-50 years. (4 Mins.)

 

• • • • •


Can you play volleyball as well as Petey? You'll have to complete 32 volleys to prove you can. Have a look. (1 Min.)

 

• • • • •


Be honest. How can you not fall in love with a face like this. (We're talking about the Platypus.) (1 Min.)

 

• • • • •


It's difficult to tell who is happier, this rescued dog named Duffy who can see for the first time in over a year due to diabetes medication and eye surgery, or his owners. (1 Min.)

 

• • • • •


For seven months, all a distraught family could say was "Doggone" after their family pet got spooked by the sound of fireworks on the 4th of July and took off. Several months went by, and just when the family was about to lose hope, the embedded microchip in "Dora" resulted in her return. The family immediately went from distraught to ecstatic and repeated, "Dogback" over and over. Here's the story of the happy reunion. (3 Mins.)




• • • • •


Ever wonder where all those ducks they serve in Chinese restaurants come from? A good guess would be the Nakhon Pathom Province of central Thailand. Watch this. (2 Mins.)

 

Shoo, critters, we have other things to cover…



Conan O'Brien had a little fun with Hillary Clinton by having his crew doctor Diane Sawyer's interview with the former Secretary of State about her health problems. (2 Mins.)

 

• • • • •


Don't let yourself believe this item sent in by PBA President Dave Wysuph is a social experiment. In reality, it's an ad by Beldent Gum, Argentina's version of Trident. (3 Mins.)

 

• • • • •


What better present could a father give his son than the gift of flight set to the theme from Superman? (50 Secs.)

 

• • • • •


Don't know how we managed to miss this flash mob clip from a couple of years ago when they were going viral on the Internet, but we did. This one took place in Cologne, Germany and was comprised of the West German Broadcasting Radio Orchestra. If you don't recognize the piece they are playing, you have probably spent the last several decades in a galaxy far, far away. (2 Mins.)

 

• • • • •


At our collective ages, it's probably safe to say that not many of us are fans of today's music videos. But this one we received from Tom Macris should be acknowledged simply for the amount of work that went into it. And besides, the tune is kind of catchy. If you stick around for four minutes to the end, you will see that the production involved far more than just the four performers who star in it. (4 Mins.)

 

• • • • •


Behold what is arguably the luckiest golf shot of all time. Look for the ball in the lower right of the screen and keep an eye on it. (37 Secs.)

 

• • • • •


Every time soccer takes center stage there are charges that players fake injuries. Nonsense, we say. Where's the proof? (3 Mins.)

 

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This is a link to a fascinating 10-part series of seldom seen (some quite graphic) photos of World War I. It arrived in our inbox from Chuck Blackmore, who suggests you view the readers' comments after the final image of each part of the series if you choose to look them over. For those of you who may be wondering, Charlie was too young to have served in this so-called "War To End All Wars." He was only 12 when the war broke out in 1914. (We're awarding ourselves 3 points for that zinger.)

American troops using a newly-developed acoustic locator, mounted on a wheeled platform. The large horns amplified distant sounds, monitored through headphones worn by a crew member, who could direct the platform to move and pinpoint distant enemy aircraft. Development of passive acoustic location accelerated during World War I, later surpassed by the development of radar in the 1940s. (National Archives)

 

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This amazing video we first ran in the Nov. 4, 2010 Farsider seems to be making the rounds again:

A lady by the name of Gladys Ingle was a member of a barnstorming troupe of flyers called the 13 Black Cats back in the 1930s. Gladys was a wing walker. In this amazing footage, Gladys catches a ride in a biplane with a spare tire and wheel strapped to her back and is taken aloft to another biplane that has lost one of its two main wheels. Even though biplanes back then could fly as slow as 40 mph, what she does next has to be seen to be believed. Have a look:

 

For more about Gladys and the Black Cats, click HERE.

 

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There was a news item the other day that said Harley Davidson is working on a silent electric motorcycle. Silent? Based on the Harley owners we know and have ridden with, no sound would make it a deal-killer. Nevertheless, electric motorcycles (and scooters) are here now, and this Dominos pizza delivery man in the Netherlands has come with a way to give them sound. Watch and listen. (1 Min.)

 

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Watching Formula 1, Indy Car and NASCAR pit stops on satellite may have given these young Saudis an idea on how to eliminate the stops entirely. And they may have hit on something if they can figure out how to add fuel and actually change tires instead of just taking them off and putting them on again. They would, of course, have to dump that horrible music as it alone could empty the seats at a packed Daytona race track in record time. The clip was received from Paul Salerno, check it out. (5 Mins.)

 

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Even if you were not a Michael Jackson fan — and we doubt that many of you were — you should recognize this tune by the Bottle Boys from Denmark that the King of Pop made famous. (2 Mins.)

 

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Ever wonder what a professional bicycle race looks and sounds like from inside the pack? One thing's for sure: It's scarier than it is from outside the pack. Check this out. (3 Mins.)

 

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Assuming you are the father or mother of a kid or two or three, do you remember what their reaction was when they first discovered they could raise their eyebrows? Was it something like this? (45 Secs.)

 

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If you think those waves over on the coast at Mavericks are big and spectacular, have a look at these Aussie monsters down under. (2 Mins.)

 

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And finally, this week's closer is something that should pique the interest of most of you. It's about two attractive couples engaging in a friendly game of strip poker. You can act offended if you want, but we know you will click on this link and view it. (30 Secs.)

 

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C'ya



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