Sunday, November 30, 2008
Kaboom at dawn
In my neighborhood I often hear disturbances -- morning, noon and night. Even when I'm sleeping, a part of me is vigilant. But even when I hear something, I don't necessarily rush out the door. Especially if I'm in bed.
Last night, close to dawn, I heard a voice, or maybe more than one, on the street, maybe some other noises -- I was half-asleep. Then a man yelled loudly, "Hey!!" If he had yelled again, I would have gotten up, but there was no more yelling, so I thought maybe I can go back to sleep. Then a car horn started sounding continuously -- a small Japanese car, judging from the "beeeeeeep." It lasted about a minute, and I thought, shit, somebody's just picking up a co-worker -- first he yelled and now he's honking. But after a minute or so, the car's horn shattered into two different notes and then died out. Then: BLAM!
I got up, walked to the front windows in the living room and looked out. A few doors up, a car was engulfed in flames, a ball of fire about 15 feet in diameter. Standing naked in the cold living room, I dialed 911, but by the time I was talking to them, I heard sirens already.
No way was I getting back to sleep after that, and it was almost 6:00 a.m. anyway. So while the firemen put out the fire, I took a shower and got dressed. By the time I got down to the street about a half hour later, the fire truck was pulling away and there was just a cop car, with a cop walking around the scene and making notes. The destroyed car was a small convertible with stuff piled in the back seat -- clothing and books that had partially burned up. Black burned mess, including several partially burned books, were all over the street and sidewalk, sitting in puddles of water.
By the time I left the house to go to church 45 minutes later, even the car had been towed away.
Labels: disturbances, police, San Francisco
Friday, October 17, 2008
It's Bad Behavior Friday™! -- getting around pretty well edition
A Kentucky high school student who wrote a story about a high school overrun by zombies was arrested for making a "terroristic threat" involving a school. Worst of all: his grandparents turned him in after reading the story in his journal.
In order to convince a court he had followed its order to return his illegally-imported pet monkey to Mexico, a man staged a picture showing the monkey with a Mexican newspaper and red and green decorations in the background. The judge was not swayed. ¡Ai carumba, dude! Maybe you should have included a Tecate Light.
Speaking of advertising: In the L.A. subway, you can't even stare out the window without seeing an ad. An electronic system shows commercials on the insides on train windows (right). Click the link for a larger version of the photo as well as a video showing a man startled by an ad. And (courtesy Jackson West) Kerouac's "On the Road" is now being used to sell cars in a European commercial. The ad shows an actor not only performing a dramatic reading of a famous passage from the book but shows the cover of the book itself, in case viewers were having trouble connecting Jack Kerouac with the cars being sold -- BMWs. (I just realized that entry from West's blog is ancient. Oh well, the commercial is still outrageous.)
"Mad Men" actress Christina Hendricks, who plays the formidable office manager Joan, says any suggestions her breasts are not real are "absolutely mean." Somewhat deflating this comment, elsewhere in the interview she says that when "Mad Men" won an Emmy, "I remember feeling high, like after an operation or something."
In New York, a 58-year-old real estate broker said to "have anger-management issues" hit his business partner with an ice bucket during a meeting. The victim was 11 years younger, but had recently had surgery on the parts of his body, the right shoulder and hand, that his assailant chose to whack him with the bucket.
Disproving what coaches always tell you -- "Come on, the ball won't kill you!" -- an 11-year-old Oregon boy was killed by a football to the chest as he blocked a punt during a game at recess.
technorati: Bad Behavior, football, Mad Men
Labels: Bad Behavior, over-reactions, police, schools
Friday, September 26, 2008
It's Bad Behavior Friday™! -- Dog Day Afternoon edition
In Fountain, Colo., an 18-year-old man tried to hire two men to kill his mother so he could cash in her bank accounts in order to finance his girlfriend's breast augmentation. The plot went forward but the incompetents hired by the youth failed even to seriously injure the woman, who alerted neighbors by setting off the car alarm using her car key thingy. This was sufficient to stun the sole attacker -- the other idiot was standing outside -- long enough for the woman to flee next door.
Today's fake: A man who stole a Dodgers baseball uniform to impersonate a player was arrested Wednesday when he walked onto the field at Dodger Stadium. A security guard "recognized him from an earlier incident," which suggests a pathetic untold story. The man is 47.
Speaking of pathetic, this headline says it all: Bass fishing catching on as high school sport. I'll bet that really attracts the chicks.
Two San Francisco vagrants are regular attendees at the many conventions and conferences in the city, scamming conference swag, free meals, and, of course, "donations." They say they've been a team for 17 years, entertaining out-of-towners with comic pleas for alms.
A police detective in the New York suburb of New Rochelle, whose wife is a famous local TV anchor, admitted he used his badge to force a teenaged girl to have sex with him -- and that it wasn't the first time. Amazingly, the thug was allowed to plead guilty to a misdemeanor and got no jail time.
The Seattle Times has a feature on Ben Huh, the master of I Can Has Cheezburger, but he didn't invent the site. He merely bought it from a Hawaii couple, Eric Nakagawa and Kari Unebasami, "who started it as a hobby and were overwhelmed by the response." I hope they got a ton of money. The Korean-born Huh also owns Fail Blog, the article says.
Nebraska has a law that permits parents to permanently abandon a child at a hospital with no legal consequences. This week a widowed, out-of-work man dropped off his entire family, nine children between the ages of 1 and 17.
Staton said his wife died last year, shortly after delivering their youngest child. He said he quit his job because of his family responsibilities but couldn't pay rent or utilities or take care of his children. "I was with her for 17 years, and then she was gone," he said of his late wife. "What was I going to do? We raised them together. I didn't think I could do it alone. I fell apart. I couldn't take care of them." This paragraph is also significent:
A 2007 interview with Staton's oldest daughter in Omaha North High School's student newspaper said she shouldered some of the parenting duties. Despite helping to feed her siblings, check their homework and put them to bed, the teen graduated a year early. And got the hell out, I hope, though it doesn't say that.
Labels: Bad Behavior, Colorado Springs, crime, Dodgers, fakes, police
Thursday, May 01, 2008
Shots in the dark
It happened again last night -- a series of shots a block or two away, coming from the direction of the public housing project. It's close enough to hear but not close enough to be able to call the cops and tell them exactly where it happened. We hear the shots, and then sometimes a car getting away fast. I go outside and down to the corner to make sure it didn't happen right close by; last night, there was no sign of anything, so I went inside. Then, after a few minutes, sirens. The next day, a story like this in the paper: S.F. Man Shot to Death Sitting In Car In the Mission. Feh.
Labels: Bad Behavior, disturbances, police, zeitgeist
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