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The Farsider

December 12, 2013


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.



Two news items: Larry Esquivel is now SJPD's permanent chief, and the POA wins back the 10 percent pay cut it agreed to a few years ago plus some pocket change. All seems right in the world, right? Well, sort of. This story made the front page of yesterday's paper…

City Aims to Shore Up Police

—Council hires new chief and OKs labor contract with 10.66 percent raise—

By Mike Rosenberg
Mercury News — Dec. 11, 2013

SAN JOSE — Hoping to shore up its shrinking police force, the City Council on Tuesday officially named a widely respected veteran insider as the city’s new chief and handed out raises worth nearly 11 percent to its police officers.

The council votes represent the final actions to two key moves designed to help bolster a San Jose Police Department that is down to about 910 active cops patrolling a city of almost 1 million people.

First, the council unanimously approved a contract with acting Chief Larry Esquivel to take on the job permanently. City Manager Deb Figone had recommended Esquivel for the job in late October but the San Jose native had not confirmed until now that he would take the post.

Larry Esquivel, now SJPD's permanent chief

Esquivel, who started with the department as a reserve officer in 1985, rose up the ranks before being named acting chief in January when former top cop Chris Moore retired. Esquivel, who made $170,109 as deputy chief last year, will make a new salary of $203,000, about equal to his predecessor’s pay.

After being sworn in at Tuesday’s council meeting, Esquivel said he hoped to “invest” in officers to attract cops and make them happy to work for the department, where morale has been low. He vowed to make the city safer as homicide rates continue to climb in what was once called America’s safest big city.

“Despite the serious challenges caused by limited resources and reduced staffing levels, we have great people doing outstanding work every day for San Jose,” Esquivel said in a statement. “I will continue to work in collaboration with our entire team and community to make this department and our community better.”

Second, council members voted unanimously to ratify a new union contract with the San Jose Police Officers’ Association that calls for officers to receive raises totaling 10.66 percent through the end of 2015. The contract, which 79 percent of union members approved last week, also includes a one-time bonus of 2 percent of officers’ pay.

“This is more than symbolic,” Councilwoman Rose Herrera said. “This is real money.”

The city expects to use reserve funds to pay for the extra $24.3 million in costs through 2015.

The cops and all other city employees took a 10 percent pay cut during the Great Recession to help avert further layoffs. Last year, the average officer made $111,185 in gross pay, including overtime, which was about middle of the pack in the Bay Area. But the city’s cost for benefits such as health care and pensions are among the highest in the region.

With police officers’ cost for pensions potentially rising under voter-approved changes championed by Mayor Chuck Reed, and their pay staying flat in recent years, about two or three cops per week have left in recent months.

The contract ends a year-long, acrimonious labor negotiation. But the police officers' union says the city still needs to do more to stop more cops from exiting, including addressing concerns about stricter voter-approved disability retirement rules that have led some recruits to seek private insurance. City officials have said the union has misled officers about the disability changes, which have yet to be implemented.

Council members said they will work on figuring out how to afford restoring the full 10 percent pay cut taken by other city employees, who have already been given 2 percent raises.



 Nada thing this week that we could find.



Click below for a free printable ornament!




Don't think that because San Jose isn't mentioned in the headline of this editorial from Tuesday's paper that it doesn't have wide ranging ramifications that could impact us and active employees down the line...

Detroit Ruling Has Message for California

Editorial — Mercury News — Dec. 10, 2013

A federal judge’s ruling last week that Detroit employees and retirees could lose pension benefits in bankruptcy court is a warning to California labor unions.

Confidence that public pensions are secure, even if a city goes bankrupt, has encouraged unions to resist any attempt to change promised future benefits. But Detroit’s is the second federal ruling that pension benefits, even those already earned, are similar to other debts in bankruptcy filings and can be altered by the court.

Nobody wants to reduce payments to retirees living on fixed incomes. So government agencies need the legal tools to ratchet back future pension promises to public employees to a sustainable level.

San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed is proposing an initiative to amend the California Constitution to allow changes in future pension accruals through collective bargaining, like all other forms of compensation.

This may bring the debate front and center next year. Today unions aren’t legally allowed to agree to lower pension accrual rates for current employees even if a majority of members wants to.

Labor leaders won’t join their nemesis Reed in proposing a solution, but it’s in their interest to find one as well.

Pension benefits fall into two categories: accruals workers might earn with future labor, and benefits already earned by current and retired employees through past work.

In California and Michigan, both types of benefits are considered protected by state constitutions.

But Judge Steven Rhodes ruled that the U.S. Constitution’s bankruptcy clause trumps those protections.

The California Little Hoover Commission, a bipartisan watchdog group, has concluded that pensions will strangle funding for public services unless future accrual rates for current workers can be reduced.

In Detroit, Rhodes warned that benefits already earned are vulnerable in bankruptcy court. Attorneys disagree whether his reasoning would apply here. But the judge in Stockton’s bankruptcy also said he could trim retirement benefits, although neither he nor Rhodes has done it so far.

Private employers can adjust pension obligations that become unaffordable.

Government agencies shouldn’t have to wait until they’re insolvent to do it.

If elected officials realize that benefits they or their predecessors have promised can’t be sustained — like the 90 percent pensions promised to public safety workers here during the dot-com bubble — they should be able to reduce the rate at which new benefits are earned.

Taking away pension benefits already earned by employees, many of whom make a fraction of that 90 percent outrage, is a terrible prospect. Adjusting future accrual rates in municipalities headed for trouble is the best insurance against it. For state and local governments to climb out of their deep holes of pension debt, they must first stop digging.



Last Week's Poll Results

For the most recent Rasmussen Reports release, click here:



Dec. 5th


Not sure if you have seen or run this item before, but as a military guy you will appreciate the rest of TAPS that we never heard. Of course we were so tired in Basic Training that we were asleep before the shortened version, unless we had Fire Watch in the old wooden barracks.

Best to you,

(Bullock) <dnabullock@sbcglobal.net>

Included with Dan's message was the following:

~ ~ ~

A few years ago, a friend visited the Netherlands American Cemetery and Memorial in the village of Margraten, about six miles from Maastricht. There lie buried 8,301 American soldiers killed in the battles to liberate Holland in the fall and winter of 1944-5. Sgt. Bill Dukeman, 101st Airborne Division, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, Second Battalion, Company C (of "Band of Brothers fame) is buried there. He was killed in the battle of "The Crossroads" in northern Holland.

The Dutch hold an annual memorial concert every September at the above named cemetery to remember and honor the Americans who died to free them in Operation Market Garden and subsequent efforts to eject the German army from Holland. Sgt. Dukeman, like many other fallen GIs, was "adopted" by a Dutch family. Dukeman's family in the States was contacted and hosted in Holland, and his grave site decorated each year by his Dutch "family." They keep his portrait in their home, displayed in a place of honor. Fathers pass this obligation down to their sons in Holland.

This version of the original "taps" music is played by a 13-year-old Dutch girl named Melissa Venema. The conductor of the orchestra is Andre Rieu, who is from Holland.

Many of you may never have heard taps played in its entirety. The original version of Taps was called "Last Post" and was written by Daniel Butterfield in 1801. It was rather lengthy and formal — as you will hear in this clip — so in 1862 it was shortened to 24 notes and re-named Taps.

Melissa Venema is playing it on a trumpet whereby the original was played on a bugle.

~ ~ ~

We first ran this clip of the then-13-year-old Melissa Venema in the April 9, 2009 Farsider. Since then it has received over 9 million views, which more than makes it worthy of a rerun. (5 Mins.)


• • • • •

Dec. 5th


I know this has been around before, but at this time of year and with the shape the country is in, it sure doesn't hurt to hear it again.

Merry Christmas, and thanks for all the two of you do to keep the Farsider going!

(Kelsey) <bnjkelsey@sbcglobal.net>

Click on the link below, watch until the Lord Jesus seems to fade away, and pray for our nation…


• It's comforting to know that neither the ACLU or a progressive judge can prevent us from allowing our readers to express how they feel in terms of their faith. As far as we're concerned, both can go to hell.


• • • • •


Dec. 6th

Hi Bill,

Thank you again for your help in identifying the officer in that photo standing next to the 57' Chevy. Two people I.D.'d him as George Payton.

I had an officer email me about the police car colors. When did we go to the "SJPD blue" as we know it today? I have a few theories but wanted to know if there was something more specific that was decided.

Thanks again for your help. It's always appreciated!

(Carr) Jr. <jbc3335@aol.com>

I suspect that a few of our "age challenged" readers can help answer John Jr.'s question. Please send him an email if you can help. He's the driving force behind the SJPD Historical Society.



Click on the link below to download it to your desktop…


If that link doesn't work for you, click on this one, then on the newsletter link on these right side of the page…






The Meyer of San Jose added another posting to his or her blog on Dec. 6th under the
title of "More Math with the Meyer" where the topic is the current contract ratification.
Click on the link below to read it, but be aware that it may take a moment or two to load.




—A comment on today's society

Hundreds Killed and Injured in Brutal Pro-Something Anti-Something Clash

By Someone
Onion News Network — Nov. 25, 2013

—Pro-somethings clash with Anti-somethings somewhere in the world—

SOMEWHERE—Sources confirmed yesterday that a series of riots, bombings and urban firefights has left hundreds dead and many more wounded in the latest flare-up in the long-standing conflict between the pro-something group and the anti-something group.

The latest round of bloodletting, which comes after weeks of public demonstrations and counter-demonstrations, was reportedly sparked by renewed vows from pro-something leaders to get the thing they want, a thing that anti-something leaders have long insisted their opponents cannot rightfully claim.

“We must and will respond when provoked,” said a spokesman for the pro-somethings in a statement released to the media. “We cannot sit idly by while our supporters are killed by an enemy determined to do what we oppose.”

According to sources, what began earlier in the day as crowds of pro-something and anti-something protesters chanting pro-something and anti-something slogans quickly devolved into rocks being thrown from both sides. Witnesses confirmed that the Anti-Something Militia and Pro-Something Guard soon joined in with live ammunition, fanning the flames as they each carried out larger-scale operations well into the night.

In response, members of the diplomatic community have condemned the latest escalation of violence, calling for the anti-somethings and the pro-somethings to lay down their weapons and resume talks.

“These acts of aggression are unacceptable,” said a U.N. official in a statement carefully worded so as not to suggest any strong allegiance either in support of or in opposition to the pro-something faction. “Therefore, we ask that both sides cease their assaults and initiate an open dialogue. Only then can there be any hope for a solution.”

This week’s fighting reportedly marks the first incident since the groups signed last year’s widely publicized accords, which stated that while neither side may do the thing they want, they are prohibited from stopping the other group from doing the thing that they want—an agreement leaders from both sides hailed as a significant step toward peace.

However, citing the attacks as a possible retaliation for last year’s pro-something incursion—which was itself retribution for the anti-something offensive from the year before—experts say that the recent bloodshed is merely the newest chapter of an intractable conflict that has spanned several centuries.

“It’s important to recognize that these people have been raised their entire lives to demonize each other,” said a renowned scholar who recently returned from a trip to the region. “The two sides in this conflict have been fighting over [a thing that one group wants and the other group does not want] for generations. It’s simply part of their identity.”

Academics noted that to truly understand the Anti-Pro conflict, one must consider the conflict’s historical background, including the social issues, governmental structures, geopolitical alliances, education, access to health care, sanitation, economics, role of women, flow of illegal arms, ethnicity, and religion.

Additionally, sources said, it is important to note the internal strife being faced by other players in the region, who are currently working to maintain their own tenuous peace between their pro-something and anti-something groups.

“Unfortunately, despite pressure from [anti-somethings and pro-somethings living abroad], a full-scale intervention from the international community remains unlikely,” said an expert who is well acquainted with the agendas of both those who want a thing to happen and those who don’t want a thing to happen. “Given the great complexity of the situation, we may be looking at a long and violent stalemate.”



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

Did this Python eat a man in Indonesia who was drunk and
lying beside a liquor store in Attapady, Kerala, India?

New Articles

• A potpourri of claims about HealthCare.gov maintains that the site was developed on a no-bid contract at a cost overrun of $634 million by a Canadian company that donated $47 million to the Obama campaign and employs Michelle Obama's classmate as a top executive.

• An embarrassing holiday story outlines the pitfalls of sending cash as a gift.

• Does the opening line of the Christmas carol 'God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen' mean 'God make you mighty, gentlemen'?

• Was a man convicted of manslaughter for accidentally killing his wife with a 'Dutch oven'?

• Did President Bush pose with a plastic turkey while visiting U.S. troops in Iraq on Thanksgiving in 2003?

• Does NORAD annually track Santa's progress because a wrong phone number was once published in a newspaper ad?

• Have Christmas lights been banned in Cardwell, Australia, due to complaints from Muslim residents?

• Did NASA announce that the Curiosity Rover found a message from God on Mars?

• Photograph purportedly shows a python that ate a drunken man in India.

• Did Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick break both his legs in an automobile accident?

• Did the term 'Black Friday' originate with the practice of selling off slaves on the day after Thanksgiving?

• Did a woman kill three shoppers at a Chicago WalMart in order to snare that store's last Xbox for herself?

• Were 42 million people killed over Thanksgiving weekend in violent incidents stemming from shoppers competing for 'Black Friday' bargains?

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

Worth a Second Look

• Was the nationality of Kato, the Green Hornet's valet, abruptly changed after the attack on Pearl Harbor?

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.



 Large or Full Screen preferred for YouTube videos...


• • • • •

Let's start with something that, at first glance, set off alarm bells. After we watched this newscast received from Paul Salerno, we thought horror of horrors, how will this virus impact the SJPD if it spreads across the country from the Big Apple all the way to Silicon Valley? Could it affect us retirees as well as the younger active cops? Then we realized it had to be a phony story, for if it had been real it would have begun in San Francisco and San Jose would already be infected. Whew, what a relief. (3 Mins.)


• • • • •

This is a recently posted video about the State of Arizona's new WWII Tribute to the Fallen that features two 16-inch guns, one from the USS Arizona that was sunk at Pearl Harbor at the beginning of the war, the other from the USS Missouri from which the "instrument of peace" was signed at the end of the war. The memorial, which officially opened a few days ago on Dec. 7th, was constructed with private money, corporate donations, volunteers and no public funds. (5 Mins.)



• • • • •

With all the publicity generated by the bands of the Marines, Navy and Army, it warms the cockles* of my heart to see my military alma mater surprising the guests at the Air & Space Museum at the Smithsonian in Washington D.C. with its own version of a flash mob. Thanks to Bert Kelsey for sending this in. Go flyboys and flygirls. (6 Mins.)



• • • • •

Speaking of flash mobs, I thought I'd include for the second time my all time favorite performance that took place in Russia. It's the largest, most elaborate and, in my view, the most entertaining flash mob I've seen yet, and I am a huge fan of the fad. If you missed it the first time it was in the Farsider almost two years ago, watch what happens after this guy sets down his boom box. You may not tap your feet, but I can guarantee you will recognize the music. (6 Mins.)


• • • • •

While we're still in Russia, we seldom include clips that are only 17 seconds long, but this short video that shows an ingenious way to load logs on a truck was too good to pass up. (17 Secs.)


• • • • •

It's time once again to remind all of you how nice it is to reside in the Bay Area and other snow-free parts of the U.S. during the winter season, even though it's not technically winter yet. Besides, the accompanying musical sound track wouldn't fit if the video simply showed traffic zipping up and down Almaden Expressway. (3 Mins.)


• • • • •

Here's a clip received from Leroy about a deer who thinks it's safe if it wears a bright orange safety vest. (What kind of a hunter would shoot such an easy target?) And if you watch it to the 2:30 mark, you will see that it relates to people a little more than it should. (4 Mins.)


• • • • •

I've been to Alaska on four occasions in the past and have always been told to stay clear of the Moose because it is a dangerous animal. Apparently this one didn't get the message. (1 Min.)


• • • • •

ONN reported this week a new strategy by the Republicans to block President Obama's agenda that they feel is detrimental to the country by speaking and moving very slowly. Here's how it was covered by the Onion News Network. (2 Mins.)


• • • • •

Staying well ahead Fox News, CNN and MSNBC when it comes to gathering news, an ONN investigation revealed the identity of the person who is single-handedly responsible for the high employment rate. His name is Jim Richmond, and this is why he was targeted by the nation's top economists. (1 Min.)


• • • • •

This clip seems to be going viral for the second time. As I noted in the Nov. 8, 2012 Farsider, I absolutely despised kids like this in high school while I was trying to master the Twist and the Mashed Potatoes. He's 17 and she's 15. Hope they break their legs. (3 Mins.)


• • • • •

When it comes to happy feet, you should spend a couple of minutes and watch this guy perform. His name is Kenichi Ebina, and he gives an entirely new meaning to the term "modern dance." (5 Mins.)


• • • • •

Based on the submissions from some readers, this clip of Rita Hayworth dancing to "Stayin' Alive" appears to be going viral again. (This is its third appearance in the Farsider over the past six years.) Not only is it fun and refreshing to watch, it begs the question: Why can't Hollywood produce more women like her and far, far less of those like Miley Cyrus, Lady Gaga, Kim Kardashian, et al. Raise your hand if you see this as proof that this aspect of the entertainment business in the country has gone to hell. (5 Mins.)


• • • • •


The Stimulus Package:

It's a slow day in the small town of Pumphandle and the streets are deserted. Times are tough, everybody is in debt, and everybody is living on credit.

A tourist visiting the area drives through town, stops at the motel, and lays a $100 bill on the desk saying he wants to inspect the rooms upstairs to pick one for the night.

As soon as he walks upstairs, the motel owner grabs the bill and runs next door to pay his debt to the butcher.

(Stay with this and pay attention.)

The butcher takes the $100 and runs down the street to retire his debt to the pig farmer.

The pig farmer takes the $100 and heads off to pay his bill to his supplier, the Co-op.

The guy at the Co-op takes the $100 and runs to pay his debt to the local prostitute, who has also been facing hard times and has had to offer her "services" on credit.

The hooker rushes to the hotel and pays off her room bill with the hotel Owner.

The hotel proprietor then places the $100 back on the counter so the traveler will not suspect anything.

At that moment the traveler comes down the stairs, states that the rooms are not satisfactory, picks up the $100 bill and leaves.

No one produced anything. No one earned anything. However, everyone in town now thinks they are out of debt and there is an atmosphere of optimism and glee.

That, folks, is how a "stimulus package" works.

• • • • •

Here is an interesting video received from Larry Reuter that shows the results of a rejected takeoff test (RTO) of a new Boeing 747-8 Freighter. What the company has done is equip one of its a new 747 jumbos with worn out brakes, filled it with fuel so that it weighs close to a million pounds, taxi it up close to take-off speed, then slam on the brakes. Have a look. (3 Mins.)


• • • • •

My thanks to Dirk Parsons for bringing this to my attention. It's the ultimate in radio control airplanes, and I can hardly wait to get down to my local hobby shop and bag me one of these puppies. (4 Mins.)


• • • • •

What you are about to see if you choose to click on the link below are real cars. Real model cars, that is. It would be fair to say they represent the epitome of model-making and craftsmanship.


• • • • •

Woodworkers take note: This guy has access to power tools but chose not to use them when he made this rocking chair. Not only is his unusual and amazing talent on display, he's also very creative when it comes to producing videos. Have a look as it is certainly worth watching even if you don't know the difference between a punch and an awl. (5 Mins.)


• • • • •

The Denver Post blog is known for procuring numerous historical photos and making them available on the Web. For WWII history buffs, this series of photos that was once censored is a treasure trove that shows what the war in the Pacific was like. There are a total of 110 large-scale photos, some of which are very graphic. If you choose to click on the link below and view the pics, give the site a few moments to load.

No. 31: March 22, 1943: Technical Sgt. R.W. Greenwood, a Marine, sits in the cockpit of a Grumman Wildcat fighter plane based at Henderson Field, Guadalcanal. It is credited with shooting down 19 Japanese aircraft, as illustrated by the number of Japanese flags on his plane. Several different pilots have flown the ship during successful missions, but Sgt. Greenwood has remained the plane's captain. (AP Photo)



• • • • •

From former S/O Dep. Earl Eubanks (who I worked with in '68 and '69) comes another series of large scale WWII photos. These pics were shot by Life magazine photographers, and while they don't focus specifically on the war in the Pacific, they are just as interesting. Also give this site a few moments to load if you choose to view the photos.

US Marines unload equipment and supplies onto the sands of Iwo Jima from large Coast Guard & Navy landing craft shortly after troops gained a foothold on the strategically important island. February 19, 1945



• • • • •

Is this our future? Really? Are we all destined to spend future holiday periods with lonely old folks watching performances like this one taking place in the card room of a retirement home? Harry Mullins says "Bring it on." I say, "Where's a rope and the nearest tree?" Bah humbug on getting old. (3 Mins.)


• • • • •

Ever try to whittle something with your Boy Scout knife when you were a kid? I did, but quit after I nearly sliced my thumb off after a five minute attempt that resulted in nothing more than some wood chips and some blood on my brand new PF Flyers. There is, however, a wood carver in China who has mastered the art. After 8,760 hours of work, he created from a 40-foot long tree the world's largest tree carving. It started out looking like this…

and eventually wound up looking like this…

To appreciate the detail of the carving you need to look at the full-size photos on this UK Mail Online website…


• • • • •

Speaking of trees, is the helicopter pilot in this video received from Bert Kelsey getting paid by the hour, or by the number of Christmas trees he is harvesting? If it's the latter, he's making a ton of dough. (2 Mins.)


• • • • •

One of the reasons Tom Macris and I are such good friends (beyond the fact that we conspired together for several years on various SJPD projects before we retired and have played lots of golf together over the years) is because he thinks outside the box. What makes us compatible is that I have the patience to sit quietly and listen to him babble on about everything from crop circles to UFOs. But I'll have to give the retired police artist his due as he sometimes comes up with something that genuinely piques my interest, like this video about a 13-mile-long crop circle in the desert. (4 Mins.)


• • • • •

As Tennessee Ernie Ford might once have said, "bless Grace Braeger's little pea-pickin' heart — and the '57 Chevy she rode in on." At the risk of sounding sexist, we would wager that Grace was a real hottie when she bought the car new some 53 years ago. (5 Mins.)


• • • • •

Is 3-year-old Titus a rising basketball star? Bookies say he had better be "rising" if he wants to seek a future in pro basketball because the little twerp is only 40 inches tall right now. Have a look at this clip sent in by Dirk Parsons and you just might be amazed. (4 Mins.)


Here's Titus showing off several more trick shots when he and his Pop appeared on the Jimmy Kimmel Show. (4 Mins.)


• • • • •

Speaking of sports, here are some quotes you are unlikely to have heard until now...

"Last year we couldn't win at home and we were losing on the road. My failure as a coach was that I couldn't think of anyplace else to play. —Harry Neale, professional hockey coach

"Blind people come to the ballpark just to listen to him pitch." —Reggie Jackson, commenting on Tom Seaver

"I'm working as hard as I can to get my life and my cash to run out at the same time. If I can just die after lunch on Tuesday, everything will be perfect." —Doug Sanders, professional golfer

"All the fat guys watch me and say to their wives, 'See, there's a fat guy doing okay. Bring me another beer.'" —Mickey Lolich, Detroit Tigers pitcher

"When it's third and ten, you can have the milk drinkers; I'll take the whiskey drinkers every time." —Max McGee, Green Bay Packers receiver

"I found out that it's not good to talk about my troubles. Eighty percent of the people who hear them don't care, and the other twenty percent are glad I'm having them." —Tommy LaSorda ,LA Dodgers manager

"My knees look like they lost a knife fight with a midget." —E.J. Holub, Kansas City Chiefs linebacker regarding his 12 knee operations

"My theory is that if you buy an ice-cream cone and make it hit your mouth, you can learn to play tennis. If you stick it on your forehead, your chances aren't as good." —Vic Braden, tennis instructor

"When they operated, I told them to add in a Koufax fastball. They did, but unfortunately it was Mrs. Koufax's." —Tommy John, N.Y. Yankees, recalling his 1974 arm surgery

"I don't know. I only played there for nine years." —Walt Garrison, Dallas Cowboys fullback when asked if Tom Landry ever smiles

"We were tipping off our plays. Whenever we broke from the huddle, three backs were laughing and one was pale as a ghost." —John Breen, Houston Oilers

"The film looks suspiciously like the game itself." —Bum Phillips, New Orleans Saints after viewing a lopsided loss to the Atlanta Falcons

"When I'm on the road, my greatest ambition is to get a standing boo." —Al Hrabosky, major league relief pitcher

"I have discovered in 20 years of moving around the ball park, that the knowledge of the game is usually in inverse proportion to the price of the seats." —Bill Veeck, Chicago White Sox owner

"Because if it didn't work out, I didn't want to blow the whole day." —Paul Horning, Green Bay Packers running back on why his marriage ceremony was before noon.

"I have a lifetime contract. That means I can't be fired during the third quarter if we're ahead and moving the ball." —Lou Holtz ,Arkansas football coach

"I won't know until my barber tells me on Monday." —Knute Rockne, when asked why Notre Dame had lost a game

"I tell him 'Attaway to hit, George.' " —Jim Frey, K.C. Royals manager when asked what advice he gives George Brett on hitting

"I learned a long time ago that 'minor surgery' is when they do the operation on someone else, not you." —Bill Walton, Portland Trail Blazers

"Our biggest concern this season will be diaper rash." —George MacIntyre, Vanderbilt football coach surveying the team roster that included 26 freshmen and 25 sophomores.

"The only difference between me and General Custer is that I have to watch the films on Sunday." —Rick Venturi, Northwestern football coach


• • • • •

This week's nostalgic "blast of the past" can be experienced by clicking on the link below, and if you see a pic you like, you can enlarge it with a simple click of your mouse.


• • • • •

Pop quiz: Which animal has the power inside the home, the family cat or the family dog? According to this clip, the obvious answer is…(3 Mins.)


• • • • •

I find it interesting to watch vintage film footage like this, especially when it's over 110 years old and reflects what a segment of life was like during the Victorian era both here in the U.S. and over on the Continent. It doesn't take too much of an imagination to place yourself in the film and feel like you are experiencing what it was like back then. Biggest downside? No air conditioning or deodorant. (6 Mins.)


• • • • •

Here's an interesting music video from Alice Murphy of the classic Christmas song "Angels We Have Heard on High." What makes it unique is the way the four guys produce the music. Have a look and listen. (4 Mins.)


• • • • •

We can't confirm that this newscast is on the up and up, but since it's about Uncle Joe Biden, one never knows. (1 Min.)


• • • • •

Have you ever seen a painting so realistic that it looked like a photograph? This finger painting of Morgan Freemon we received from a handful of readers reportedly took 285,000 finger strokes and more than 200 hours to produce. The canvas was said to be an iPad with the app "Procreate." I had my doubts whether this was true until I visited the artist's website below and looked at other examples of his work. Very impressive. (4 Mins.)


The artist was Kyle Lambert. Click on this link to visit his website…


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Here is a classic case of why you should be careful what you wish for…

Leroy, our illustrious webmaster, posted this photo on his Facebook page last Friday along with the caption, "I'm ready. Bring it on, Santa."

On Saturday morning, 24-hours later, he added the photo below and added this, "Maybe my comment was misinterpreted."

Such is life above the town of Murphys in the Sierra for my partner in crime who created and maintains the SJPBA website.

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This animated Santa story was sent in by Charles Blackmore, who inspired Walter Matthau's role in "Grumpy Old Men." What we found shocking was that Chuck actually said something nice about the video. True. The retired sergeant actually said — ready for this? —  "Cute." Be still our hearts! (6 Mins.)


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Do you have the courage to listen to Sam Harris discuss the concept of death and why "now" is always now? Whether you will find the video of value no one but you will know. We can say, however, that it might make you think about your life. (6 Mins.)


Sam Harris


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Saving the best for last brings us to this Christmas P.R. promotion by WestJet Airlines that has to be seen to be believed. If seeing other happy people makes you happy, this should make your day. If it doesn't, well, that's a shame. (5 Mins.)


There is also a WestJet blooper reel. Want to see it?



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Pic of the Week

You can bet that when Hef dies, no man will say "He's in a better place."


Scrolling Box

This is the message box, using the scroller component.



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