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The Farsider

December 19, 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.



 

RETIRED CAPTAIN LYLE HUNT



Most recent I.D. card photo

Badge 1022
Born Nov. 18, 1929
Appointed Oct. 22, 1953
Retired March 9, 1985
Died Dec. 13, 2013

Lyle succumbed to cancer of the brain shortly after 9:00 a.m. this past Saturday, Dec. 14th. He died peacefully with family members at his side at his daughter's residence in San Jose. Lyle and his wife Bee, who passed away on April 13th of this year,  had been living in Penn Valley since shortly after his retirement, but he has recently been living with his daughter in San Jose so he could receive treatment at Good Sam.

Hank Schriefer, who spoke with Lyle's daughter last Sunday, said the family may plan a celebration of life for both Bee and Lyle sometime after the holidays, despite Lyle's wishes that there be no memorial service or funeral for him. We'll include an obituary in a future Farsider if Lyle's son and daughters choose to have one published.

Following is a letter from last June that Lyle sent to family members and close friends, which included Hank. We received permission from Lyle through Hank to include it in the June 6, 2013 Farsider…


Dear Family and Friends:

My last health report as posted indicated all was well, the tumor had been removed and that I was on my way to recovery. This was published prior to the pathology report being returned to my doctor. The report that came later revealed I have cancer of the brain, that the problem is terminal, and that the cancer is impossible to remove or be stopped.

The condition is called GBM. It's deadly and persistent regardless of whether the tumor is removed. Microscopic cancer cells will continuously prevail and never be eliminated. The survival rate average is around 15 months. Some have, of course, responded to a combination of chemo and radiation for longer periods of time with a quality of life to be savored.

It is my intent and sole purpose in life to seek out the treatment and hope for a successful result. A close friend researched the information I provided and came up with a very informative pamphlet that covers GBM, from discovery to treatment and potential results. It is attached to this e-mail should you be interested. (See footnote.)

This devastating news is not all negative. Sometimes we go through life without the opportunity to indicate how much we care about one another, or the joy and happiness that friendships bring. This opportunity has now been provided, and I am grateful it has come about.

So dear friends, please accept our most sincere appreciation to have each and every one of you who have entered and brought joy and happiness to our lives over these long and special years.

We love you all.

Lyle & Bee Hunt


Ed. — As noted above, Bee had passed away a couple of months before Lyle wrote this letter. This message from Harry Mullins was received on the same day we learned of Lyle's passing

 

• • • • •

 

Dec. 14th

Bill,

I included you in the fraternity notice on the death of retired Captain Lyle Hunt and have attached a few photos I have of him from the Fraternity archives. Feel free to use any of them if you wish.

Lyle was one of my heroes.  As an alumni of the SJSU Judo team, Lyle had practice privileges and often came in to work out with us guys. As a young member of the Judo team I have fond memories of being tossed around like a rag doll by Lyle. Once I picked myself up he always took time to explain the technique to me, and then toss me again; all in all it was great fun.

I never had the opportunity to work directly for him on the PD, but we interacted now and then on some issues. I always saw him as a real professional who gave his best to police works just as he did to Judo. He was a good man and a great role model.

May he rest in eternal peace with the good Lord smiling upon him.

Harry Mullins #1361
<hmullins08@yahoo.com>


 

WHO ARE THESE STRANGE LOOKING REINDEER?

—Watch them dance to the Christmas Macarena—

Leroy has worked his magic again, and your job, should you decide to accept it, is to determine the identities of these retirees dressed up like wusses in reindeer costumes in the video below. They are all well known and are regulars at the monthly PBA meetings. Because we are in a charitable mood, we'll provide you with the initials of their first and last names, but not in any particular order. Good luck.

BW, SW, RS, CR and FE

 



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YAHFLBu9b08&feature=em-upload_owner>

 

 

POA UPDATES

The race to become the next Mayor of San Jose has begun. Five current San Jose Council members (ALL Reed Supporters) have announced their intentions to lead San Jose once Chuck Reed is termed out next year. In addition, former San Jose Vice-Mayor and current Santa Clara County Supervisor Dave Cortese also want to lead our city.

The choice before us and the voters could not be any starker.

San Jose cannot afford the next 4 or 8 years with Constant, Liccardo, Nguyen, Herrera or Oliverio in charge. When it comes to protecting our neighborhoods from crime, all one has to do is look at this Mercury News article <http://tinyurl.com/k2xh6bs> to see that the failed policies of these politicians have decimated our ability to protect our neighborhoods from crime.  

The choice is clear. There is only one candidate running who can turn things around. Supervisor Dave Cortese.

Dave has the experience to manage the City budget in a responsible manner and improve public safety. Dave has an extensive business background and knows how to create jobs and meet a payroll. Before being elected in San Jose and becoming a County Supervisor, Dave was an elected Trustee for the East Side Union High School District.  

To put it succinctly, he is the only adult in the room and San Jose needs a new direction.

You shouldn't think that Dave will be a pushover when it comes to dealing with us or with City workers. As a County Supervisor, Dave supported seeking over $250 million in concessions from County workers. Those concessions were necessary to balance the County budget. It was the manner in which Dave and the County Board of Supervisors sought those concessions that sets Dave apart from the Council members running for Mayor.


Dave Cortese worked with County workers on creative solutions that protected services and reduced employee costs in a fair manner. He believes in the collective bargaining process and will work to bring our City together. This is the type of leadership San Jose needs.

The POA has endorsed Dave Cortese and will support him and his candidacy. The POA's strength is you, the membership, as well as your families and friends. Together, we have tens of thousands of people who want to see our City and the SJPD restored to greatness. Dave Cortese is the only one who can do it.

He needs our help. I am asking all of you to contribute to Dave's campaign. The first round of fundraising ends on December 31, 2013. This is an important gauge of a candidate's viability. Please go to the following website to contribute now or go the POA and fill out an envelope to enclose your check made out to "Cortese for Mayor 2014". To ensure your privacy, you may use the POA address when contributing: 1151 N. 4th St., San Jose, CA 95112.

https://donate.democracyengine.com/cortese/contribute

The contribution limit is $1,100 per person. Here is a copy of my check so that you know I'm not asking you to do something I haven't done.

I don't expect anyone to give that much. I know that money is tight for everyone, especially during the holiday season. Any amount you can give will help make Dave our next Mayor. You do not have to be a resident of San Jose to give. Please forward this to your family members and friends. Ask them to help Dave turn our City around.

San Jose can't afford 8 more years of this...

Thank you.

Jim Unland
<president@sjpoa.com>


 

THE TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS OF SAN JOSE AND THE SJPD

Once upon a time the SJPD could boast one of the lowest crime rates in the country, quite a feat when one considers that the Dept. accomplished the stats with one of the lowest cops-per-capita ratios of any major city in the U.S. Back then the "L" on the forehead could have stood for "Lowest," as in Lowest crime rate. In toady's jargon, it stands for "Loser" when applied to San Jose.

To say that the SJPD of today is vastly different from the one most of us remember is a gross understatement. While San Jose's crime rate may still be lower than San Francisco's and Oakland's, that's hardly anything to brag about. Have a look at this story from Tuesday's paper and the Mercury News' editorial that follows...

S.J. Crime Rate Exceeds That of State, Nation

—Arrests plummet, while emergency response times more than double—

By Mike Rosenberg
<mrosenberg@mercurynews.com>
Mercury News — Dec. 17, 2013

SAN JOSE — Just how bad has crime gotten in San Jose? Once known as America’s Safest Big City, the capital of Silicon Valley has a higher crime rate than both California and the United States, while the city’s police force is catching half as many criminals as it did just a few years ago.

That’s according to a new analysis by the city’s independent auditor, which also found the city was clearing a far lower percentage of crimes than the average U.S. city and had seen police response time for some emergency calls more than double in eight years.

The new data come as the six major candidates for mayor each jockey to make public safety their top priority heading into the wide-open June primary. And police Chief Larry Esquivel, sworn in last week, confronts a department with low morale as officers continue to flee for better-paying jobs elsewhere.

“What we’re seeing is the effect of 10 years of skyrocketing costs” for police officers, Mayor Chuck Reed said of the depleted force. “I believe it has an impact on the crime rate — I think we’re seeing that in the deterioration of services. We need more officers.”

Among the findings from auditor Sharon Winslow Erickson’s annual report:

• San Jose’s major crimes rate was 35 percent below the U.S. and California averages a decade ago. But last year, it climbed to 3,278 major crimes per 100,000 residents, 3 percent above the California average and 1 percent above the U.S. average, and higher than Los Angeles and San Diego.

• Police made about 17,000 arrests last year, down from roughly 36,000 in 2007.

• Response times for Priority Two emergency calls, such as attempted rapes and gang disturbances, have shot up from 8.2 minutes in 2005 to more than 20 minutes in 2013.

• While the average U.S. police department solves nearly half its major cases, San Jose’s clearance rate on major crimes has fallen to 30 percent.

San Jose’s crime rate is still far lower than those of San Francisco and Oakland. And an unusually large share of San Jose’s crimes are burglaries, vehicle thefts and other property crimes, while its violent crime rate is still lower than Los Angeles and San Diego.

Several mayoral candidates are vying to recapture San Jose’s oft-boasted “safest big city” award, bestowed by independent groups until 2006.

The politics are tricky, however, as voters want both crime and taxes to stay low.

To balance its budget, the city imposed a 10 percent pay cut for police officers, and voters approved city employee pension cutbacks last year. But San Jose has lost or laid off hundreds of officers, and its active duty force has dropped to about 920 officers. Erickson said the dwindling police force has likely contributed to the recent sharp drop in arrests. (Ya think?)

The City Council last week approved a 10 percent pay restoration for police officers, while the Police Officers Association union is fighting the pension changes in court.

“Every (mayoral) candidate will fall over themselves to tell voters how they will restore staffing in the Police Department,” said one mayoral candidate, Councilman Sam Liccardo. “The truth is that none of us will. It’s going to take a lot of time no matter who is in office — the question is, ‘What are we going to do in the meantime?’ ” Santa Clara County Supervisor Dave Cortese, the union-backed mayoral candidate, wants the city to spend more on its employees to beef up the police force and increase morale. Termed-out Reed’s five City Council allies running to replace him — Pete Constant, Rose Herrera, Liccardo, Madison Nguyen and Pierluigi Oliverio — have backed the more moderate approach officials have taken in recent years, saying controlling employee cost is vital to keeping services, including police, intact.

“We can talk all we want about rebuilding the Police Department, but the reality is, if we don’t have the financial resources to do so, we’re not going to do any meaningful reform,” said Nguyen, a strong backer of pension reform.

But while voters have preached fiscal restraint in the past, now they are increasingly aware of the police problems, too.

A new city-sponsored scientific survey of 219 San Jose residents, cited in the report, found that 27 percent of respondents had a member of their household who was a victim of crime in the past year, up from 12 percent each of the prior two years. Favorability ratings for the Police Department also fell from 61 percent two years ago to 51 percent now, while fewer people said they felt safe around town and in their own neighborhoods.

Among the candidates’ ideas: Constant wants to spend a bigger portion of the budget on police; Liccardo favors implementing predictive policing software; Nguyen is seeking to re-establish the burglary unit; and Herrera wants more administrative staffers to free up officers for field work.

“I don’t think San Jose can take for granted that it’s always going to be a safe city,” Herrera said. “It takes a lot of work.”
 

• • • • •


The editorial in today's paper addressed the issue of the auditor's report and the problem with having an understaffed police department...

Crime Report Will Fuel S.J. Campaigns

Mercury News Editorial — Dec. 19, 2013

San Jose auditor Sharon Erickson’s report on public safety this week was as neutral and objective as can be. But it’s going to be the most quoted document in the political arena — which is the polar opposite of objective — in the 2014 campaign to succeed Chuck Reed as mayor of what used to be the safest big city in America.

The report both quantified and clarified — Erickson’s forte — a spike in crime and a plunge in arrests over several years. It was an eye-opener because, while we knew crime was up generally, the once comparatively safe San Jose now has a worse record than the state or nation in numbers of crimes per capita and the percentages solved. It is still safer by far than San Francisco and Oakland, and it has far lower rates of major crimes than Los Angeles and San Diego. But burglaries, which are up everywhere, have really soared here. And this is a crime that, while nonviolent, makes people feel unsafe and vulnerable.

Reactions to the report go in two directions. One is to look back and ascribe blame, generally, to Reed’s wing of the City Council, which pursued pension reform to save tax dollars through a ballot measure that is now mired in the courts. The other is to look ahead to the solution: How to hire more cops to return to the levels of patrols, response times and investigations that once kept the city safer.

This is where it gets complicated.

There is not enough revenue today to support a police force of the size the city had five years ago without eliminating other services people say they want or changing long-standing policies or practices locked into labor contracts, such as the number of firefighters required per truck.

For 10 years San Jose has seen its cost per employee soar, largely because of pension costs, while the number of employees has plunged. Well before the Great Recession, the city was cutting services every year to balance budgets, getting to police layoffs only after many other departments were cut to the bone.

Now some are saying the city never should have asked police officers to take a 10 percent pay cut, like other city employees, or pressed for dramatic pension reform. But the only alternatives proposed at the time either pushed today’s debts onto future residents or otherwise used budgetary smoke and mirrors.

Just restoring the 10 percent pay cut to police officers, with a little extra, as agreed in the new union contract, will send the city into deficit once again after 2015 if there is no surge in revenue or cut in other costs. And that’s without restoring the pay cuts to other departments.

Citizen groups are proposing various reforms to free up more money for essentials such as police, libraries and public parks — all of which have public safety implications. For example, libraries offer a safe haven and learning environment for kids after school; when they’re closed, kids on the street are more prone to getting into trouble or becoming victims of crime. But few if any of the cost savings, like that firefighter manning rule, can be achieved quickly. The alternative for quick action is a temporary tax, but if that’s what residents want, they’re going to have to persuade a reluctant mayor and council majority to put it on the ballot and to campaign for it.

In January, the mayor and council begin work on the 2014-15 budget in earnest, surveying residents for priorities and inviting participation in meetings and workshops. Erickson’s report sets the stage for a lively debate, and candidates for mayor and council will be jumping in with their answers. But key decisions about priorities will be made this winter and spring, well before the June primary. If you care about public safety, taxes, or other aspects of city services or finances, this is the time to get engaged.

The San Jose auditor’s report showing increased crime in recent years will enliven the mayoral debate, but voters need to educate themselves on the budget to decide on remedies.
 

 

WEEKLY POLL
 


Last Week's Poll Results




For the most recent Rasmussen Reports releases, click here:
<http://www.rasmussenreports.com/older_content/home/top_stories/most_recent_articles>



 

MAIL CALL

Dec. 12th

Hey Bill,

Another great job on the Farsider! The flash mob in Russia, the Japanese dancer, and the Boeing 747 braking test were great. In the spirit of Christmas, could you include in next week's Farsider the Elvis "Blue Christmas" song with Martina McBride that you have included a number of times in the past?

Bill
(Leavy) <mwc127@earthlink.net>

To re-run the "Blue Christmas" song featuring The King and Martina was easy to find. All I had to do was copy and paste this Mail Call item from last year's Farsider. Take note of who it was from...

Dec. 7th, 2012

Hey Bill,

Can you dig up Elvis and the female country western singer singing Blue Christmas and run it again in the Farsider? Not a big deal if you can't, but I was amazed at how they did it.

Bill
(Leavy) <mwc127@earthlink.com>

Our NFL referee is referring to the following 3-year-old Farsider item of Elvis and Martina McBride teaming up together. Keep in mind that what you are seeing is an illusion as Martina was only 11 years old when Elvis died in 1977.
 

~ ~ ~
 

(From the Dec. 24, 2009 Lighter Side column)

Raise your hand if you were among those who thought last week's video of Elvis and Martina McBride teaming up to sing "Blue Christmas" was real. I'm referring to this...



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3KK6sMo8NBY>

As I said, what you were watching was an illusion. It's an example that in this era of electronic gadgetry you should never automatically assume that what you see on TV or on your computer is reality. This USA Today article makes that point...

Elvis, Martina McBride Team Up for 'Blue Christmas'

By Brian Mansfield, Special for USA Today

Martina McBride was just shy of 2 when Elvis Presley filmed his 1968 "comeback" TV special. This year, the country singer steps back in time 40 years to join the King of Rock 'n' Roll in a video for Blue Christmas.

The effect is similar to Celine Dion's American Idol duet with Presley on "If I Can Dream" in 2007, but producer George Flanigen says the process used for the illusion was entirely different.

"They took Elvis out of the '68 special and put him on the Idol stage," he says. "We were taking Martina to the '68 special."

The posthumous collaboration also appears on Elvis Presley Christmas Duets, a new album that pairs Presley with singers such as Carrie Underwood, Amy Grant and Olivia Newton-John.

In the original footage — the only existing video of Elvis performing a Christmas song — a leather-clad Presley appears with his band on a small stage at the center of a studio audience. In the video, McBride walks out of the audience and sits next to him.

"There's a spot between (guitarist) Scotty Moore and Elvis that's open, like somebody should have been sitting there," says Flanigen. "We're like, 'We could probably figure a way to put her with Elvis.'

"We scoured the footage and picked shots of Elvis throughout the whole special to be able to put them together. There are shots where he and Martina share the frame, where he looks over at her, where she looks back at him and sings and smiles."

McBride filmed her parts in front of a green screen. "It took four weeks" to piece together, Flanigen says.


 

• • • • •

 

Dec. 12th

Bill:
 
Talk about coincidence! Sherry and I just this morning returned from Pearl Harbor after doing a week of volunteer restoration work on the USS Missouri to find the story on the guns from the Arizona and the Missouri. We spent the night of Dec. 6th aboard the Mighty Mo and attended the ceremonies at the Arizona on the 7th. Talk about a powerful experience. Senator Max Cleland was the keynote speaker and there was not a dry eye in the house. When he was finished he received a long standing ovation.
 
The guns from the Arizona are actually 14 inch while the Missouri guns are 16 inch. All of the guns are still aboard the Missouri, so the gun shown in the video may have been a spare, or possibly a 'shot out' original. The 14-inchers were removed from the grounded Arizona and installed on the Iowa in 1943.
 
Restoration is hard work as anyone who has worked on anything that floats on salt water knows. The experience is available through Road Scholar, and we highly recommend the program!

By the way, they wouldn't let me mess with the 16-inch guns, but I did get to work on one of the 5 inch turrets!
 
Ken
(Hawkes) <hawkes@garlic.com>

There is a very good reason why Ken wasn't allowed to work on the 16-inch guns. An inside source told us that when Ken was vetted for acceptance as a volunteer, the people in charge of the project found this video that we highlighted in the Dec. 10, 2009 Farsider. Is it a surprise that he was kept away from the 16 inch guns? You be the judge….

Watch carefully and you can see smoke from the cannon ball's impact on the upper ridge of the mountain…

<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dKxauv3MJAc>

This is a clip of the cannon firing in slow-motion...



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZRIoU8zElN4>

 

• • • • •

 

Dec. 12th


Subject: Grand Ole Lady at Christmas

I had heard about this picture taken by Gerald Elkins. Today I received it and wanted to share it with you'll. Stay warm, slow down and enjoy the day.

Alberta (Anders) <zoeanders@olemac.net>

While the subject of the message may relate to the image above, it wouldn't be a stretch to refer to Alberta as one of the "Grand Ladies of the SJPD." It's always a delight to hear from folks like her, even if it is normally once a year. From all of us here on the left coast, Alberta, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Ditto to the rest of you who are scattered around the country.

 

• • • • •

 

Dec. 15th

Hi Bill:

Via our "Vintage San Jose Police Facebook Page," Roy Sanfilippo and I agree that the Officer standing along side the 1957 Police Car does not resemble George Payton -- short and stocky in photo vs tall and slender as we remember him. Of course George could have grown taller and thinner in his later years. As to the color of the '57 Chevy, Police patrol cars were a solid dark blue circa 1955-56 as I recall. The doors were painted white when the 'Vintage' Traffic Division was integrated into the Patrol Division. In the attached photo (probably taken in the early to mid 1960s), a tall and slender George Payton stands on the left with George Cannell and Don DeMers. Police Chief Ray Blackmore is seated at  his desk.

Ivan Comelli
<ivcomelli@ymail.com>

As John Carr Jr. of the SJPD Historical Society noted in last week's Mail Call column, two retirees identified the officer standing next to the '57 Chevy as George Peyton. Does the officer in the photo appear "short and stocky?" It's a subjective call. (Clear up this mystery for us, George. You receive the Farsider. Is it you?)
 

• • • • •

 

Dec. 16th

Bill,

I dare you to publish this video in the Farsider. It's about a woman on welfare who tries to justify the food stamps and money she receives, even though she and her husband can work.

(Name withheld by request)

I have no problem passing this along. Here's the setup. A 32-year-old welfare recipient called in to a talk show at an Austin (TX) radio station in which the discussion was about entitlements. To be honest, she makes a good argument why she doesn't feel guilty about living off the working class. But here's the problem: When 51 percent of the electorate feels the way she does — and we're pretty close to getting there — America can kiss its overly generous ass goodbye. Here's the clip…



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wRRwZDSmTVI>


 

BILL'S NFL SCHEDULE FOR THE REST OF 2013



Dallas at Washington — Monday, Dec. 22nd
Kansas City at San Diego — Sunday, Dec. 29th

 
 

THE HISTORY OF THE SJPD SHALL NOT BE FORGOTTEN



 

FAMILIAR WITH THE "SHOP WITH A COP" PROGRAM?

It's refreshing to see something positive about the SJPD in the paper for a change. Not only did the story mention retiree Darrel Cortez and include a photo of retired Sgt. Aubrey "Bird" Parrott who continues to volunteer as a Reserve, the article also identified SJPD's new Asst. Chief. That we've never even seen his name before is a sad testament about how old and out of touch we are. Then again, we hadn't heard about the "Shop With a Cop" event either until we saw this story...

‘Shop With a Cop’ Puts Smiles on Faces



Mercury News — Dec. 15, 2013

Whenever I have the opportunity to interact with law enforcement, it’s so much better when the cops are smiling. And there were smiles to spare Thursday morning when I stopped by the Target store on Coleman Avenue in San Jose to see this year’s “Shop With a Cop” event.

There were about 80 members of a dozen law enforcement agencies at the store, which had its parking lot filled with police cruisers and even an imposing, armored “bearcat” belonging to the city’s MERGE unit that brought Santa Claus. It was not the day to try your hand at breaking into cars.



Aubrey Parrott, a retired sergeant and reserve officer with the
San Jose Police Department, greets fellow officers participating
in "Shop With a Cop" as they bring purchases to the cash registers
at the Target store on Coleman Avenue in San Jose on Thursday.

Inside the store, the officers — from the San Jose Police Department, California Highway Patrol, the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Department, plus departments in Campbell, Redwood City, Milpitas and many other communities — were paired with 50 low-income students from San Jose’s Santee neighborhood to shop with a gift card, courtesy of Shop With a Cop and Target’s Heroes & Helpers program. There were athletes helping out, too, including players from the San Jose SaberCats and San Jose Earthquakes.

San Jose Police Chief Larry Esquivel , who was there with just-appointed Assistant Chief Edgardo Garcia , said a couple of officers were escorting one girl who kept picking out clothing and other practical items to give to her family. They didn’t need orders from the chief to get her directed to the toy aisles to pick out something fun for herself.

Darrell Cortez , a retired San Jose officer who serves as Shop With a Cop Silicon Valley’s executive director, said there’s never an issue getting law enforcement to participate, with many showing up on their day off or after a long night shift.

“This time of year, it’s very important because poverty never ends, and the ones who suffer the most are the children,” Cortez said. For many of these kids, he added, it’s their first interaction with a uniformed police officer. And a smiling one at that.


 

WEEKLY SNOPES URBAN LEGEND UPDATE AS OF DEC. 14,  2013

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

New Articles

• Misheard lyrics to Christmas songs are immortalized as 'mondegreens.'
<http://www.snopes.com/holidays/christmas/humor/mondegreens.asp>

• Were Dr. Seuss and Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. college classmates and fraternity brothers?
<http://www.snopes.com/language/literary/seuss.asp>

• Will reversing your PIN at an ATM summon help if you're being robbed?
<http://www.snopes.com/business/bank/pinalert.asp>

• German and British front-line soldiers sang carols, exchanged gifts, and played soccer during a World War I Christmas truce.
<http://www.snopes.com/holidays/christmas/truce.asp>

• Image shows Salvation Army bell ringers posing with a sign reading 'Gays Not Allowed.'
<http://www.snopes.com/photos/politics/salvationarmy.asp>

• Did rapper Kanye West proclaim: 'I am the next Nelson Mandela'?
<http://www.snopes.com/politics/satire/kanye.asp>

• Did the Obama administration 'snub' the funeral of former UK prime minister Margaret Thatcher but send a delegation to Hugo Chavez's funeral?
<http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/thatcherfuneral.asp>

• Has the White House decreed that its 2013 Christmas trees will be referred to as 'Holiday trees'?
<http://www.snopes.com/politics/christmas/ornaments.asp>

• Video shows holiday lights in Brighton that incorporate rude images and messages.
<http://www.snopes.com/holidays/christmas/photos/brighton.asp>

• A woman stuck to a toilet seat provides a physician with an opportunity for the perfect bon mot.
<http://www.snopes.com/embarrass/doctor/framed.asp>

• Does the National World War II memorial omit the words 'So help us God' from an FDR speech?
<http://www.snopes.com/politics/military/memorial.asp>

• Nelson Mandela's death prompts recirculation of a quote commonly misattributed to him about 'Our deepest fear.'
<http://www.snopes.com/quotes/deepestfear.asp>

• Don't forget to visit our Daily Snopes page for a collection of odd news stories from around the world!
<http://www.snopes.com/daily/>


Worth a Second Look

• Does the exclamation 'holy smoke' derive from the burning of the ballots used to elect a Pope?
<http://www.snopes.com/language/phrases/holysmoke.asp>


Still Haunting the Inbox

• Check out our 25 Hottest Urban Legends list to keep abreast of what's circulating in the on-line world.
<http://www.snopes.com/info/top25uls.asp>


Fraud Afoot

• Visit our Top Scams page for a list of schemes commonly used by crooks to separate the unwary from their money.
<http://www.snopes.com/fraud/topscams.asp>


 

THE LIGHTER SIDE & OTHER ODDS AND ENDS

Merry Christmas, and feel free to click on a reindeer. In fact, click on all of them in no particular order. If there is an issue with this seasonal greeting, it's that Santa and his critters don't know when to stop. So we suggest you make it stop and move on to the next item if you happen to glance at your watch and realize you've been watching this animation for six hours...



<http://rickysplace.com/xmas2013/deer-cheer.html>


• • • • •

 


Large or Full Screen preferred.


• • • • •


While there has been a lot of criticism about 3-D printers because they are capable of producing guns, there is another side of the story. Look what it's done for this handicapped kid. (3 Mins.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1w9nmmwlSQY>


• • • • •


Military aviation enthusiasts should enjoy this video that is beginning to catch fire on the Internet, so grab your barf bag, hop aboard and enjoy the experience of participating in a mock aerial battle. The make-believe melee took place at the Kadena Air Force Base on Okinawa. (10 Mins.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9NEcBaxvbQE>


• • • • •


You all know what a PAR Course is for people who like to stay in shape, right? Well here's one for bicycles and their riders. It includes some amazing footage that may have you asking "How did they do that?" There's little question that these guys are arguably the best in the world at what they do. (5 Mins.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TlaQ-jxoX4Q>


• • • • •


I never had the opportunity to bond with my dad like the father and son in this short video. I'm thinking it might have had something to do with the fact that my pop was a career Marine, but that's just a guess. I know for sure he never wore his hair like these guys. (38 Secs.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uYdr-BsGv_4>


• • • • •


Dirk Parsons calls this amazing animation. We call it a preview to "Frozen," a 3-D Disney movie that you will want to take your grandkids to see. Hint: It's playing now. (2 Mins.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-WdC4DaYIeQ>

Click on this link for a list of local (San Jose area) theaters and showtimes.
<http://tinyurl.com/mup5y4t>


• • • • •
 

It's time to bring back the Ross Sisters from the April 2, 2009 Farsider for an encore performance. What they do starting at the 1 minute mark is short of amazing. No, correct that, it IS amazing. The hotshots of today who think their break dancing is remarkable should take a lesson from these (then-) young ladies. The clip is from the 1944 film "Broadway Rhythm." (4 Mins.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=61cY1ILv60k>

Click here for more info:
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ross_Sisters>


• • • • •

 

Forget the fake signer at Nelson Mandela's televised funeral. Did anyone besides Leroy and I happen to catch this awkward moment?



If that wasn't bad enough, this is what took place a minute later...





• • • • •

 

Sometimes it does take a rocket scientist...

 Scientists at NASA built a gun specifically designed to launch standard 4 pound dead chickens at the windshields of airliners, military jets and the space shuttle, all traveling at maximum velocity. The idea was to simulate the frequent incidents of collisions with airborne fowl to test the strength of the windshields.

French engineers heard about the gun and were eager to test it on the windshields of their new high speed trains.  Arrangements were made, and a gun was sent to the French engineers.
 
When the gun was fired, the engineers stood shocked as the chicken hurled out of the barrel, crashed into the shatterproof shield, smashed it to smithereens, blasted through the control  console, snapped the engineer's backrest in two, and embedded itself in the back wall of the cabin like an arrow shot from a bow.
 
The horrified French engineers sent NASA the disastrous results of the experiment, along with the designs of the windshield and begged the U.S scientists for suggestions.
 
NASA responded with a one-line memo: "Defrost the chicken."
 

• • • • •


It's not enough that PBA President Dave Wysuph simply apologized for submitting these "Puns for the Erudite," he ought to be hog tied, dunked in honey and left in a bear-infested forest…

• King Ozymandias of Assyria was running low on cash after years of war with the Hittites. His last great possession was the Star of the Euphrates, the most valuable diamond in the ancient world. Desperate, he went to Croesus, the pawnbroker, to ask for a loan. Croesus said, "I'll give you 100,000 dinars for it." "But I paid a million dinars for it," the King protested. "Don't you know who I am? I am the king!" Croesus replied, "When you wish to pawn a Star, makes no difference who you are."

• Evidence has been found that William Tell and his family were avid bowlers. Unfortunately, all the Swiss league records were destroyed in a fire, which means we will never know for whom the Tells bowled.

• A man rushed into a busy doctor's surgery and shouted, "Doctor! I think I'm shrinking!" The doctor calmly responded, "Now, settle down. You’ll just have to be a little patient."

• Back in the 1800s the Tate's Watch Company of Massachusetts wanted to produce other products, and since they already made the cases for watches, they used them to produce compasses. The new compasses were so bad that people often ended up in Canada or Mexico rather than California. This, of course, is the origin of the expression : "He who has a Tate's is lost!"

• An Indian chief was feeling very sick, so he summoned the medicine man. After a brief examination, the medicine man took out a long, thin strip of elk rawhide and gave it to the chief, telling him to bite off, chew, and swallow one inch of the leather every day. After a month, the medicine man returned to see how the chief was feeling. The chief shrugged and said, "The thong is ended, but the malady lingers on.”

• A famous Viking explorer returned home from a voyage and found his name missing from the town register. His wife insisted on complaining to the local civic official, who apologized profusely saying, "I must have taken Leif off my census."

• There were three Indian squaws. One slept on a deerskin, one slept on an elk skin, and the third slept on a hippopotamus skin. All three became pregnant. The first two each had a baby boy. The one who slept on the hippopotamus skin had twin boys. This just goes to prove that.... the squaw of the hippopotamus is equal to the sons of the squaws of the other two
hides. (Some of you may need help with this one).

• A skeptical anthropologist was recording South American folk remedies with the assistance of a tribal elder who indicated that the leaves of a particular fern were a sure cure for any case of constipation. When the anthropologist expressed his doubts, the elder looked him in the eye and said, "Let me tell you, with fronds like these, you don't need enemas."

• King Kamehameha’s brother would have been the real heir to the Hawaiian kingdom. He wanted to live in something more pretentious than the grass huts that everyone else on the islands lived in, so consulted his royal advisers who told him that the kings in Europe had royal palaces and royal thrones. So the king had a two-story grass hut constructed, plus two thrones. There wasn’t room for two thrones on the first floor, so he had the second throne stored on the second floor. The weight of the throne was too much, and it crashed down and killed the king. People who live in grass houses shouldn’t stow thrones.

• Alexander the Great was known for his military exploits. Historians have wondered how he was able to coordinate his forces to attack at the proper time, without modern communications. Few know that he had invented the first wristwatches, used by his commanders to coordinate their attacks. Alexander would tie a piece of cloth around the wrist of each of his commanders. Each cloth was soaked in a mixture of berry juices that would change color at the appropriate times. These timepieces were known as Alexander’s rag time-bands.

~ ~ ~


Before the now-super sweet, hog-tied PBA president is placed in a van and transported to bear country, someone needs to capture Bruce Morton and inflict the same punishment on him for sending in this list he calls "Puns for those with a slightly higher IQ"…

• Those who  jump off a bridge in Paris are in Seine.

• A man's home  is his castle, in a manor of speaking.

• Dijon vu - the  same mustard as before.

• Practice safe eating - always use condiments.

• Shotgun wedding - A case of wife or death.

• A man needs a mistress just to break the monogamy.

• A hangover is the wrath of grapes.

• Dancing cheek-to-cheek is really a form of floor play.

• Does the name Pavlov ring a bell?
     
• Condoms should be used on every conceivable occasion.

• Reading  while sunbathing makes you well red.

• When two egotists meet, it's an I for an I.

• A bicycle can't stand on its own because it is two tired.

• What's the definition of a will? It's a dead give away.
     
• Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.

• In democracy your vote counts. In feudalism your count votes.

• She was engaged to a boyfriend with a wooden leg but broke it off.

• A chicken crossing the road is poultry in motion.

• If you don't pay your exorcist you get repossessed

• With her marriage she got a new name and a dress.
     
• The man who fell into an upholstery machine is fully recovered.
     
• You feel stuck with your debt if you can't budge it.
     
• Local Area Network in Australia is known as the LAN down under.
     
• Every calendar's days are numbered.
     
• A lot of money is tainted. Taint yours and taint mine.
     
• A boiled egg in the morning is hard to beat.
     
• He had a photographic memory that was never developed.
     
• A midget fortune-teller who escapes from prison is a small medium at large.
     
• Once you've seen one shopping center you've seen a mall.
     
• Bakers trade bread recipes on a knead-to-know basis.
     
• Santa's helpers are subordinate clauses.

• Acupuncture is a jab well done.


(Thank God this over!)

• • • • •


Hey golfers, Dewey Moore wants you to watch this video and see if you can recognize any of your golfing buddies. Or perhaps yourself. (6 Mins.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3PNsMXe170Q>


• • • • •


Modifying an SUV so that it can be controlled from the back with a dog at the wheel seems like a lot of trouble to go through just for a few laughs, but that's what happened here based on this clip sent in by Lumpy. (2 Mins.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fybch3DX8c8>


• • • • •
 

This new version of the Poodwaddle World Clock we received from Robillard will provide you with more stats than the mind can assimilate. It will give you up-to-date stats on the population, mortality, illness, environment, energy, food, economy and crime in addition to the time and date all over the world. Perhaps its scariest feature is that it also includes a Life Expectancy Test that will estimate how long you will live. To access this, click on the "Life" button on the top right if you dare.

We captured the image below at 9:08 p.m. last night (Wed.). Clicking on the link now will tell you how many people have been born since then.



<http://www.poodwaddle.com/Stats/>


• • • • •


Ever heard of Ant Hill Art? Neither have we. That's why we thought we would include this fascinating clip that thousands of fire ants sacrificed their stinging little lives for. (Don't even think about getting on our case, PETA.) (3 Mins.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IGJ2jMZ-gaI>


• • • • •


Speaking of tiny critters, this week's educational video sucks, literally. That's because it's one of those excellent TED presentations that teach viewers something about the world and its plants and animals most people didn't know before. This clip is titled "The Loathsome, Lethal Mosquito." If you watch it we guarantee you will learn something. And if your arms or legs start to itch, it's probably your imagination. (3 Mins.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IkmjCmvfeFI>


• • • • •


Have you ever thought of getting a platypus as a pet? Neither have I, but there's something I find appealing about an animal that is so ugly it's cute. Reminds me of a girl I dated in high school. That's not to say she had the face of a platypus, I meant…oh hell, never mind. (1 Min.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gm8qkJrxlnM>


• • • • •


What's all the hoopla about folks having trouble signing up for Obamacare? It doesn't look like a big deal to Jay Leno. (34 Secs.)



<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iVL1Olreik8>


• • • • •


Speaking of felines, what is it with cats and Christmas trees? You seldom see dogs acting like these furry spoiled brats. (3 Mins.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jckLWc1ilEI>


• • • • •


Before we leave the world of cats, can you imagine the horror of being attacked by a wild bobcat in your very own kitchen? So does the kid survive with his face intact? Click on the link below for the answer. (1 Min.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gg2HTHt02sA>


• • • • •


OK, we promise this will be the final item about felines this week. Unfortunately, it's not good news for you cat owners who expect your furry little feline to love you as much as you love it. (5 Mins.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AEepVLQjDt8>


• • • • •


So this teen-ager shows up at a radio station in Quebec, where French is the primary language. While he may very well speak English, there is no evidence in the clip that he can. So what's the big deal? Take a moment and listen to him impersonate The King singing "Blue Christmas." (2 Mins.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2VwWRpIinxs>


• • • • •


With over 21 million views, we didn't find it surprising that Don Hale ran across and sent in this clip of Carrie Underwood and Vince Gill singing "How Great Thou Art." (5 Mins.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pLLMzr3PFgk>


• • • • •


We ran this clip of Bob Hope with the Troops at Christmas in 2011 and again last year. To honor the late comedian who we feel was among the finest Americans to have ever lived, we thought it was worth including for the third year in a row. What's sad is that if you mentioned his name to a group of college students today, many of them would probably say, "Who?" (10 Mins.)



<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ppA4qYF7ARo>


• • • • •


Last but not least is this tribute to our active military personnel that we felt was an appropriate way to conclude this final Farsider before Santa comes down the chimney. (4 Mins.)

A Soldier's Silent Night



<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8D-OL-KQOt4>


• • • • •






Pic of the Week

A peek inside the HealthCare.gov website headquarters...

 
   

Scrolling Box

 
This is the message box, using the scroller component.
 

 

 

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