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 website 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 OFFICER RUSS ROYAL
Born Jan. 14, 1951
Appointed Nov. 1973
Retired Dec. 2001
Died Dec. 17, 2016
Laura Royal — Russ Royal’s daughter — posted the following information and photos on Facebook last Saturday, Dec. 17th.
“My father started a new journey shortly after sunrise this morning. He had been diagnosed with leukemia bone cancer four weeks ago and passed peacefully in his sleep at home with his family. I love and will miss you, Dad.”
I spoke with Russ' wife, Julie, yesterday (Wed.) morning. She said that her husband's wish was to be cremated and that she will be arranging for a Celebration of Life for Russ around the middle of January. We will make an announcement as soon as we are aware of the date and location.
Pension Overpayment Mess Widens
—300 retired S.J. cops, firefighters notified of incorrect disbursements—
By Ramona Giwargis <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Mercury News — Dec. 21, 2016
SAN JOSE — The city’s pension plan overpaid hundreds of retired San Jose cops and firefighters a total of nearly $1 million going back at least two decades — setting up a new battle over how the funds will be repaid.
A similar problem surfaced about a month ago when city officials acknowledged $500,000 in overpayments to a dozen nonpublic safety retirees. Now, 300 of San Jose’s 2,000 retired cops and firefighters have been notified that they were overpaid.
Under IRS guidelines, retirement trust funds are obligated to recover money paid in error. But that sets up the unpleasant prospect of the city demanding that retired officers and firefighters governed by one of the city’s two retirement systems repay amounts ranging from a few hundred to tens of thousands of dollars.
“My husband and I are lucky — we owe less than $1,000 back,” said Mary True, who spoke to the city’s police and fire retirement board meeting earlier this month after she and her husband received a letter notifying them of the problem. “But there are some people who owe over $30,000.”
The overpayments come less than two months after city voters approved a settlement between San Jose and its employee unions aimed at ending legal battles over an earlier measure to scale back pensions whose costs have risen sharply since 2000.
When an audit last month found 12 non-public safety employees were overpaid, the city-appointed board overseeing that pension fund voted unanimously to go after San Jose with a lawsuit seeking reimbursement of $882,007 — which included $500,000 in overpayments plus interest.
When the new issue emerged, a separate board that oversees the public safety pension fund discussed the issue with the retired cops and firefighters earlier this month. But Roberto Peña, the director of San Jose Retirement Services, said no decisions were made. The board will reconsider the matter at its meeting next month.
City and retirement officials disagree over who’s responsible for the mix-up — something that could ultimately factor into how the retirement funds are repaid.
The overpayments were first discovered by a city audit in 2009. But Peña says it took his office seven years to sift through a series of “complicated” records to figure out who got overpaid, by how much, and how to fix the problem. He said police and fire retirees were overpaid going as far back as 1998.
City spokesman David Vossbrink acknowledged that mistakes were made going back nearly 20 years and noted some retirees also were underpaid.
“It’s not a new problem but one we take seriously,” Vossbrink said. “There’s a joint responsibility here — it’s on the finance department to provide the correct numbers, the retirement office to do a common-sense calculation, and the retirees to review their paychecks to make sure it’s accurate.”
But Peña said the city gave his retirement office the wrong pay information — which is what was used to calculate the pensions.
“The payroll information we received from the city was not correct,” Peña said. “It’s a challenging situation, but the board is committed to a fair, reasonable and legal resolution to this matter.”
Peña said that the city didn’t properly report pay that’s counted toward pensions. The pensions are calculated as a percentage of an employee’s final salary multiplied by the years they worked for the city. But not all payments received, such as overtime or extra shifts, count toward pensions.
None of the retired cops and firefighters who flooded a recent public meeting at City Hall said they noticed the extra money on their checks.
“When I received my checks, I just accepted it. I had no way to figure out if it was right or wrong,” said Kathy Ragland. “I didn’t have access to payroll records.”
The affected retired police officers and firefighters began receiving letters last month notifying them of the error.
Retired fire Capt. Dick Santos, who’s a member of the Association of Retired San Jose Police Officers & Firefighters, said he was lucky — he owes only $346. But he sympathizes with other retirees who could potentially owe thousands more.
“It’s minor money in my case, but it’s a lot for some people,” he said. “I’ll pay mine back. I don’t want nothing that I didn’t earn.”
Other frustrated retirees, like Jeff Weber who served in the San Jose Fire Department for 27 years, say their trust in city administrators is diminished.
“You basically hung all these people out to dry,” Weber told the retirement board. “These people are taking the money and you’re not letting them know about this. I’m really not ready to give you guys my money. What guarantee do I have in 10 years you won’t show up at my door and say we were wrong again?”
We interrupt this newsletter to bring you a Moment in Sports featuring the Farsider Racers: Place your bets on who you think will be first over the finish line: Jim Spence, Ken Hawkes, Jim McMahon, Bob Brahm, or Dennis Dolezal. Clicking HERE will drop the green flag.
Tom McCready replied to this message authored by Bud Bye in last week’s Mail Call column…
Just thought of two more former members during the ‘60s who I think became department heads in the Midwest: Dennis Flynn in the Cheyenne, Wyoming area and David Schrader (SIC) near there. Does anybody else remember them? I know John Kracht visited Flynn so he can confirm Dennis was the sheriff in that county. If you already have them please disregard.
Bud (Bye) <email@example.com>
Dennis Flynn was elected Sheriff of Laramie County, Wyoming in 1975 and again in 1979 for four-year terms.
David Schrader was the Chief of Police in Evanston, Wyoming in 1975; next I heard he had relocated to somewhere in Idaho, unknown if it was another law enforcement job.
Tom (McCready) <firstname.lastname@example.org>
We’re going to take Bud and Tom at their word and add Dennis Flynn and David Schrader to the list of former SJPD cops who left and became the heads of other law enforcement agencies. The addition of Dennis and David brings the running total up to 47.
Dave Schrader was my first training officer in the very early 1970s out in old B-32. A big shout out to him if he is still around as I have only good things to say about him. Taught me a lot. Used to love horses and such. Left the PD in '71 for more peace, more breathing room, and the wide open spaces. Hope he's doing well.
Dave Scannell <email@example.com>
• • • • •
Okay Folks, and that includes all you 'wimps' out there on the Left Coast.
Got up this morning and the temp was -15 (-26C for those across the pond). Two good things about it is (1) almost no wind and (2) sun is shining. Last night was kind of brutal with the winds at about 15-20 mph. That was, of course, the night we had reservations for dinner at a nice restaurant as it was Jerry's birthday present from me. So we fired up the diesel truck and let it warm up for about 20 minutes. Got in truck and turned on heated seats and steering wheel. Now I have to admit those features are really a nice accessory. They came with the truck; never used them before last night. Then we drove 18 miles down gravel roads across the hills to the little town and the restaurant. Snow was blowing, but not so heavy that we couldn't make it through with our four-wheel drive and all that jazz. Had a great dinner and came home. Threw more wood in the wood burner and went to bed.
It is about 10:45 a.m. as I write this missive and the temp as climbed to -9. Today the weatherman said the temp will warm up to almost +5. Looks like a heat wave is upon us!
Enjoy your warmth.
Just another day in paradise, living the dream!
Bruce (Fair) in the Land of Flat (Kansas) <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Yup, we did it. Jerry got all decked out in Holiday finery, I found
some clean (er) underwear and we went to town. Merry Christmas!
• • • • •
The following is in response to this item from last week’s Mail Call column…
There is an obit for Craig E. Blackwell, DOB July 5, 1950 in this morning's paper. As I recall, this was the witness to Huerta's murder. I had the driver of the car that Dick had stopped who was the first suspect, but it was Blackwell who saw Emil Thompson kill Dick. Anybody recall this guy?
Ken (Hawkes) <email@example.com>
Hope all things are going great for you two over your way. Us? We're still fighting upstream to regain conditions of properties, finances, organizational obligations, ktl from having our backs turned on everything for a shade over one year in Greece. <www.nemeangames.org applies>
Just spotted your contribution in this morning's "Farsider" which was sad in the human sense, but brought back a flood of memories about Craig Blackwell…
"Yes." I remember Craig Blackwell (cleverly coded as "C.B.") extremely well from dozens of episodes around downtown San Jose during the ’70s. He had something of a "preferred customer" status as an informant on vice matters to Luis "Louie" Hernandez and myself, and probably to a little lesser extent a few of the other guys around in those days. (Ed "Gramps" Tennant comes to mind, for example, though his association with C.B. was a little more second handed via Ed's collateral assignment with Hernandez in the "out front" car for a year or so in '76-'77.)
Craig was a piece of work, indeed, and is part of a major collage of colorful memories of those 7-years I spent in the Vice Unit (early 1973 - end of 1979.) He could be counted on to make unexpected calls into Louie H. or (as a first alternate) me to report lots of in-progress vice violations around downtown, usually accompanied by an offer to "go in" to make the case for a negotiable sum of $ from our somewhat nominal informant fund of those days. Blackwell's voice and antics were classic as were his frequent proposals to make cases. Meanwhile, he was suspected of being an on-again/off-again petty burglar and petty thief, though only one case "stuck" back in that time, as far as I can personally remember.
Hernandez could bring me to (literal) tears of laughter with his humor. As my partner Stan Wilson once told me, Louie knew how to "work me.” I was always hyper-energized by his humor. Soooo, there was always the line Hernandez and I shared from one particular short series of Blackwell calls to us: “Uuuuhhhhhh Louie … this is Craig … I need some money for a bumper for my '58 Chevy ... I can give you " ____________ " (a known pimp).
Blackwell's stuttering and incredibly dragged out, sing-song warbling syllables were always the key to any valid mimicking. Hernandez had it down to a tee and endlessly entertained a couple of us who also dealt with Blackwell by perfectly re-running his lines.
Great memories your entry and the (sad) passing of Craig Blackwell brought to mind.
And yes, Blackwell was totally key in solving the murder of my old midnight relief from my swing B-3 shift ... (which tragedy I only heard about the next morning as I woke up from my typical swing-shift sleep hours at home.)
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year old hero of mine.
Kenn Christie <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The dialogue continues with this reply from Ken to Kenn…
Good to hear from you Kenn! Thought about you last Tuesday as I was cooking up a batch of Greek Patsas and wondering how it was going on your island. Greece is certainly back in the news. Sherry and I are doing very well and our 52nd anniversary is next week! Eight grandkids and 2 1/2 great grandkids...
Blackwell played the S.E. (Ed. Special Employee a/k/a paid snitch) thing to the hilt every time he got caught with his ample hand in the cookie jar.
Short story about the driver of the Cadillac Dick had stopped: After Doug Wright and I tried CPR on Dick, to no avail, we heard the driver of the Caddy had arrived in a panic at the S.O. to report the shooting. I was sent there to retrieve the driver, who was our first suspect, and take him to the Detective Bureau. We were all pretty shook up and there was a lot of confusion and emotion. When I arrived at the S.O. I was told in no uncertain terms that the suspect was not to be turned over to me. In command there was one Don Tamm who told me he knew that I would stop and execute the suspect before arriving at the Dick Bureau and he was not going to allow it. There was another S/O sergeant present and he looked worried, probably because I wasn't very respectful of Tamm's authority and some strong language ensued. Phone calls were exchanged at a much higher level and I eventually delivered the subject to the Bureau. No assassination was attempted or even contemplated.
Ken (Hawkes) <email@example.com>
SJPBA MEMBERSHIP ALERT
Members of the SJPBA (San Jose Police Benevolent Association) are entitled to the following in event of a death. (A death benefit)
• The use of the POA Hall for a religious service (Funeral, Celebration of Life or Memorial Service). This requires a POA Board Member to be present to oversee the facility. The fee for the facility manager will be covered by the PBA.
• The use of the PBA bar (hard liquor), the serving of beer, wine and soda as well as the servers (bar crew/donated time) will be included at no charge to the member's family. (Any event or combination of events is the choice of the family. Only beer, wine and soda is a choice some may suggest while others might request the full bar as well.)
• Any food service is the responsibility of the family. A complete menu is available in the POA office. Any stipend for the officiating for a religious ceremony (Funeral, Memorial Service, Celebration of Life) is the responsibility of the family, as well as any guest book and photo/memorabilia display and/or floral arrangements.
• Music in the form of a bagpipe, trumpet (taps) is also the family’s responsibility.
This benefit that is being extended to PBA Members and their families has never been previously published. Due to the advancing age of our members it was felt that it should be in written form to ensure that members are aware of this benefit.
Dave Wysuph, President
Steve Windisch, Jr., Vice President
Larry Lundberg, Secretary-Treasurer
Bob Moir, Sgt at Arms and Bar Manager
We again interrupt this newsletter to bring you a special announcement: “You better watch out,” by the Farsider Players: Janie Jensen, Chris Ewing, Margie Thompson, Cheryl Babineau and Veronica Damon. Clicking HERE will wind them up and get them started.
CAN TRUMP BRING AN END TO THE WAR ON COPS?
Laurie McNamara sent in a link to a Wall Street Journal article that should draw the attention of everyone who has worn a badge and/or still pins one to his uniform. The start of the article follows. We provided a link at the bottom for those who would like to continue…
Can End the War on Cops
—Stop treating police as racist and pushing lower hiring standards as a way to achieve ‘diversity.’—
Recruits last year at a New York Police Department graduation ceremony.
By Heather Mac Donald Staff Writer
Wall Street Journal — Dec. 16, 2016
Donald Trump’s promise to restore law and order to America’s cities was one of the most powerful themes of his presidential campaign. His capacity to deliver will depend on changing destructive presidential rhetoric about law enforcement and replacing the federal policies that flowed from that rhetoric.
The rising violence in many urban areas is driven by what candidate Trump called a “false narrative” about policing. This narrative holds that law enforcement is pervaded by racism, and that we are experiencing an epidemic of racially biased police shootings of black men.
Click HERE to read the rest of the article and/or the numerous readers’ comments that follow the story.
HEALTH AND SAFETY TIP
FIFTEEN MINUTES OF FAME CAN BE FLEETING
When I placed an order back in October for a new all-electric Chevrolet Bolt I had no idea that I would be among the first three owners in the nation to take delivery on Dec. 13th, the very day of the roll-out of Chevy's electric vehicle that can go 240 miles on a single charge, and do it quickly (0 to 60 in 6.5 secs.). The event took place at Fremont Chevrolet in front of three dozen members of the automotive press, numerous Chevrolet dealer representatives from all over California, and a dozen Chevrolet executives who had flown out from Detroit for the occasion. It was no coincidence that Fremont Chevrolet is within a stone’s throw of the Tesla plant where a competitive, low-cost Tesla (Model 3) should be available at by end of 2017 or early 2018. THIS link will tell you a little about the Bolt and the rollout. (The red Bolt behind me in the photo above is mine.)
THIS IS ANOTHER INTERRUPTION TO THE FARSIDER
The Farsider Players are wishing you a Hawaiian Merry Christmas, or they will be as soon as you click HERE: Let’s hear it for Tom Macris, Leroy Pyle, John Carr, Jr., John Carr, Sr., and Mike Thompson.
STORIES OF THE WEEK
Submitted by Bruce Fair
I'm not dead yet. Christmas is still important to me. If being in my Last Will and Testament is important to you, then you might consider being with me for my favorite holiday.
Dinner is at 2:00 p.m. Not 2:15. Not 2:05. Two. Arrive late and you get what's left over.
Last year, that moron Marshall fried a turkey in one of those contraptions and practically burned the deck off the house.
This year, the only peanut oil used to make the meal will be from the secret scoop of peanut butter I add to the carrot soup.
Jonathan, your last new wife was an idiot. You don't arrive at someone's house on Christmas needing to use the oven and the stove to prepare your contribution to the meal.
Honest to God, I thought you might have learned after two wives. Date them longer and save us all the agony of another divorce.
Also, the house rules are now slightly different this year.
1. I have decided that 47% of you don't know how to take care of nice things. Therefore, paper plates and red Solo cups might be bad for the environment, but I'll be gone soon anyway and that will be your problem to deal with. Besides, I won’t have to worry that you might break my good china when you offer to ‘do dishes’ and don’t understand that means ‘wash them in the sink, dry them and put them away,’ not ‘stick them in the dishwasher and leave them for a week.’
2. I don’t care if your favorite team is playing a critical game. The television stays off during the meal.
3. The "no cans for kids" rule still exists. We are using 2 liter bottles because your children still like to open a third can before finishing the first two. Parents can fill a child's cup when it is empty. There is one cup per kid and all of the cups have names on them. I’ll be paying close attention to refills.
4. Chloe, last year we were at Trudy's house and I looked the other way when your Jell-O salad showed up. This year, if Jell-O salad comes in my front door it will go right back out the back door with the garbage. Save yourself some time, honey. You've never been a good cook. You shouldn't bring something that wiggles more than you. Buy something from the bakery.
5. Grandmothers give grandchildren cookies and candy. That is a fact of life. Your children can eat healthy at your home. At my home, they can eat whatever they like as long as they finish it.
6. I cook with bacon and bacon grease. That's nothing new. Your being a vegetarian doesn't change the fact that stuffing without bacon is like egg salad without eggs. Even the green bean casserole has a little bacon grease in it. That's why it tastes so good. Not eating bacon is just not natural. And as far as being healthy, look at me. I've outlived almost everyone I know.
7. Salad at Christmas is a waste of space.
8. I do not like cell phones. Leave them in the car. If I find one in my house I have a hammer to deal with it.
9. I do not like video cameras. There will be 32 people here. I am sure you can capture lots of memories without the camera pointed at me.
10. Being a mother means you have to actually pay attention to the kids. I have nice things and I don't put them away just because company is coming over. Mary, watch your kids and I'll watch my things. If you don’t watch your kids, remember that I have a hammer.
11. Rhonda, a cat that requires a shot twice a day is a cat that has lived too many lives. I think staying home to care for the cat instead of coming to dinner is your way of letting me know that I have lived too many lives too. I can live with that. Can you?
12. Words mean things. I say what I mean. Let me repeat: “You don't need to bring anything” means you don't need to bring anything. And if I did tell you to bring something, bring it in the quantity I said. Really, this doesn't have to be difficult.
13. Dominos and cards are better than anything that requires a battery or an on/off switch. That was true when you were kids and it's true now that you have kids.
14. Showing up for Christmas guarantees presents at Birthdays.
Not showing up may or may not guarantee a card that may or may not be signed.
In memory of your Grandfather, the back fridge will be filled with beer.
Drink until it is gone. I prefer wine anyway. But one from each family needs to be the designated driver.
I realize that might be a difficult choice, so think about a cab because I don’t want any arguments on my front door step. Remember, I have a hammer, and I really mean all of the above.
• • • • •
I avoided a DUI
Submitted by Gary Leonard
I would like to share a personal experience with my friends about drinking and driving. This might save you the cost and embarrassment of being arrested for DUI. It saved me.
As you know, people have been known to have unexpected brushes with the authorities from time to time, often on the way home after a "social session" with family or friends.
Well, last week, it happened to me. I was out for the evening to a Christmas Party and had more than several margaritas coupled with a bottle of rather nice red wine. It was held at a great Mexican restaurant.
Although relaxed, I still had the common sense to know I was *slightly* over the limit. That's when I did something I've never done before — I took a taxi home!
Sure enough, on the way home there was a police roadblock, but since it was a taxi they waved us past and I arrived home safely without incident. These roadblocks can be anywhere and I realized how lucky I was to have chosen to take a taxi.
This was a real surprise to me, because I had never driven a Taxi before. I don't know where I got it, and now that it's in my garage I don't know what to do with it.
So, anyway, if you want to borrow it give me a call.
Merry Christmas and be safe out there!
I'M LOVING THIS TIME OF THE YEAR...
ONE MORE BRIEF BREAK BEFORE WE FORGE ON AND FINISH THE FARSIDER
Remember the Macarena? The Farsider Players sure do, and they love putting on their reindeer outfits and scaring the hell out of the local wildlife. Click HERE and give it up for David Byers, Bruce Morton, Rob Davis, Terry “Greek” Moudakas and Pete Graves.
THE BEST OF THE LATE NITE JOKES
Dec. 19 — 20
Dec. 19: Today, the Electoral College officially cast its votes for president, and Bill Clinton actually teared up after voting for Hillary, saying that he’s never cast a vote he’s been prouder of. Then he said, “Except for that wet T-shirt contest I judged in Cancun.”
President Barack Obama just held the final news conference of his presidency and at the end, Obama wished everyone a Mele Kalikimaka, which is the Hawaiian greeting for Merry Christmas. Mele Kalikimaka is also what Donald Trump tweeted when he was just trying to spell Merry Christmas.
Jacksonville Jaguars coach Gus Bradley was fired yesterday after the team lost nine games in a row. Or as the Cleveland Browns put it, “So he’s available?”
NBC is launching an all-Olympic channel next year. It will feature the Summer Games, the Winter Games, and two years of commercials in between.
The biggest dog in the world lives in the U.K. and on its hind legs stands at 7 feet, 6 inches tall. When asked if he likes being taken for a walk, his owner said, “I love it.”
Dec. 20: Yesterday, Donald Trump officially became the president-elect after 538 electors from the Electoral College cast their votes — and immediately after, Donald Trump claimed that 3 million of them voted illegally.
I want to say happy birthday to “Law & Order” creator Dick Wolf, who turned 70 today. And if you missed his party, don’t worry. It will repeat several times tonight and all day Sunday on the USA Network.
Facebook is testing a new group phone call feature that will let you talk on the phone with up to 50 friends at once. If you want to try it, you go to Facebook, you click on “Features,” and then select “Living Nightmare.”
Apple’s new operating system gets rid of the feature that tells you how much battery time you have left on your laptop. People will have no idea they’re about to lose power. Or as Democrats put it, “Been there.”
More millennials are looking to get rid of extra piercings and even remove their tattoos. Researchers say it’s due to a new phenomenon occurring among millennials called turning 30.
Dec. 19: It’s rumored that the iPhone 8 will have a curved screen made by Samsung. The screen wasn’t meant to be curved, that’s just the shape it melted into when it caught fire.
Health officials say there’s a new trend of women using marijuana during their pregnancy. Which explains why this year’s most popular baby name is Funyuns.
According to a new study that just came out, older men who frequently use a sauna are less likely to develop dementia. Which is too bad, because if you’re spending that much time looking at old naked guys, there’s probably a lot you’d want to forget.
Yesterday was Keith Richards’ birthday. He would have been 73.
So far Donald Trump’s cabinet picks have a net worth of over $14 billion. So hopefully, Trump’s plan to balance the budget involves calling a meeting and then just passing the hat around.
Dec. 20: Today, Queen Elizabeth stepped down as the patron of children’s charities. The queen said, “I just realized I really hate kids.”
Donald Trump is saying “Merry Christmas” instead of “Happy Holidays.” Donald Trump said he’s a fan of Jesus because “I like guys who inherit their dad’s business and then think they’re God.”
Opera star Andrea Bocelli has backed out of performing at Donald Trump’s inauguration after pressure from his fans. So congratulations to his replacement, Chumbawamba.
Donald Trump said that after the election, he didn’t call Bill Clinton, but instead, “Bill Clinton called me.” Bill Clinton said, “Actually, I was calling for Melania and he answered the phone.”
A study has confirmed that eating less increases your lifespan. The study goes on to advise the residents of Wisconsin to get their affairs in order.
Health officials say there’s a new trend of women using marijuana during their pregnancy. This has given rise to another new trend — babies choosing to just stay in the womb and chill.
Dec. 19: The Electoral College met today to cast their ballots for president and vice president. It’s the first college Donald Trump has gotten into without a letter from his father.
President Obama recently said that he and Donald Trump most likely have different definitions of political correctness. And just as likely, different spellings.
John McCain criticized President Obama yesterday and said he “has no strategy and no policy” on dealing with Russia’s recent hackings. Oh, he has a strategy all right — it’s called running out the clock.
The price of gold increased today after falling to its lowest level in almost a year. Which can only mean one thing — Trump is remodeling his bathroom.
Dec. 20: Well, there are only four days until Christmas. So, Hillary, just choose a tree already. You’ve been in the woods long enough. Choose a tree and come home, Hillary.
Netflix began streaming a biopic of President Obama this weekend called “Barry.” They’ll also air a documentary about Trump’s presidential win called “Barely.”
Donald Trump has now waited over four times longer than any other president-elect to hold a post-election press conference. He is basically treating the press like a Tinder date. They did every dirty thing he wanted and now he’s ignoring their texts.
Ford announced today that it will resume car production in Venezuela starting this April. Employees will celebrate with a Fiesta.
A novelty shop is selling a hipster nativity scene that features Joseph with his hair in a man bun. Which explains why Mary was so adamant about remaining a virgin.
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WEEKLY SNOPES URBAN LEGEND UPDATE
Click HERE for the most current update.
• • • • •
Last week’s closing item featured the USAF Band performing in front of visitors at the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum, but that performance took place three years ago. The same group of musicians repeated their performance three weeks ago in the same venue while performing their magic holiday season music as a surprise thank you to visiting veterans from the Armed Forces Retirement Home in Washington, D.C. Have a LOOK at all the smiling faces. (7:02)
• • • • •
This song has gone viral during the Christmas holidays for as long as I have had an Internet connection. Beyond the message, I suspect that its popularity is also based on the words to the song that appear on the right that give viewers the opportunity to SING along. Interested? (3:35)
• • • • •
Pete Guerin found this routine by Jeanne Robertson funny. Ditto, and we’re willing to bet you will find her funny, too. Jeanne calls this performance, “Don’t bungee jump naked.” LISTEN to her and you will understand why. (6:28)
• • • • •
If you appreciate British humor you should enjoy THIS contribution received from Alice Murphy. It features the London Philharmonic Orchestra with British comedian Mr. Bean in a unique performance featuring the music from “Chariots of Fire.” (4:35)
• • • • •
Is it a wolf? A coyote? A dog? Or a hybrid of any two or all three? Whatever it was, the Hope for Paws crew named it “Julia,” brought the homeless animal in and found it a forever home. Have a LOOK. (5:18)
• • • • •
We think it’s safe to assume that this “Save the Snowflakes” charity is worth sinking your teeth into in light of the fact that a half-dozen readers sent it in and said they are supporting the cause. Clicking HERE will explain why it is a worthwhile charity that has come of age as a result of the presidential election. (2:46)
• • • • •
A Kiss Cam is employed when the Chicago Bulls have a home game. The idea is that couples’ images are displayed on the big screen over the basketball court, and if you see your image you should kiss your partner. At least that’s the theory, but it doesn’t always work that way. Watch THIS clip to the end for a surprise. (1:46)
• • • • •
When it comes to appearing on a Jumbotron at a sporting event like a basketball game, no one does it better than Jeremy Fry. He may look like a nerd in his brown shirt and glasses, but you can bet that he instantly became a BMOC when he returned to school after THIS performance that drew millions of YouTube viewers. (2:01)
• • • • •
If you want to see some of the most unbelievable drag races of all time, click on THIS link sent in by Dirk Parsons. (6:58)
• • • • •
If there is anyone on the planet who is better at trials cycling than Scotland’s Danny MacAskill, he or she has done an excellent job at hiding their talent. Watch THIS recent video of Danny showing his skill on a trials bicycle and we are sure you will agree. (6:23)
• • • • •
No Christmas edition of the Farsider would be complete without the video magic of THE KING teaming up with Martina McBride in a rendition of “Blue Christmas.” (Martina was 11 years old in 1977 when Elvis died, which is why we call this video magic.)
• • • • •
My military alma mater (the U.S. Air Force) is at it again, and for the second time in as many weeks, they will be closing the Farsider again. The same Band that closed last week’s Farsider and opened this week’s with impromptu holiday concerts at the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum also entertained travelers at Union Station, and you can watch their performance courtesy of Gary Leonard. Band members are dressed in their retro WW II Army Air Corps uniforms and highlight the styled of music that was in vogue at the time, namely jazz. Trust us, this is a DON'T MISS. (8:53)
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Pic of the Week
THE FARSIDER SUBSCRIPTION ROSTER as of 12/22/16
Additions and changes since the last published update (alphabetical by last name):
Michael Evans — Added
Leo Ruth — Added
To receive the email address of anyone on the list -- or to receive the roster with all of the email addresses -- send your request to <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
Abram, Fred & Connie
Allen, Chaplain Bryan
Alvarez, Pat (Campbell)
Babineau, Dave & Cheryl
Bray, Mary Ellen
Bridgen, Betty Ruth
Brown Jr., Bill
Burroughs, (Bronson) Utta
Carr Jr., John
Carrillo, Jaci Cordes
Clark, Bill (the one who stayed)
Embry (Howsmon), Eva
Foulkes [Duchon], Louise
Gonzalez, D. (formerly D. Avila)
Guido, Jr., Jim
Guido, Sr. Jim
Hare, Caren (Carlisle)
Harnish, Mary (Craven)
Horton, Debbie (McIntyre)
Howsmon, (Jr.) Frank
Howsmon (Sr.), Frank
Hunter, Dick (via daughter Kim Mindling)
Inami, Steve & Francine
Johnson, Tom & Fran
Klein, Lou Anna
Leonard (Lintern), Lynda
Muldrow, Mark "Mo"
O'Carroll, Diane (Azzarello)
Perry (Cervantez), Martha
Rappe (Ryman), Bonnie
Reyes (Buell), Cindy
Richter, Darrell & Annette
Schenini (Alvarez), Joanne
Taves, Phil & Paula
Terry, Glenn & Maggie
Vallecilla, Ernie & Peggy
Van Dyck, Lois
Williams [Durham], Lanette
Windisch Jr., Steve