Sunday, 1 November 2015

By on November 1st, 2015 in news

08:47 – There was a shooting overnight at Winston-Salem State University, which is only 10 miles or so from us. One dead, one wounded, and the shooter is still at large, but there aren’t many other details available yet. It sounds like an individual crime rather than a mass shooting, but I’m sure we’ll soon know more.

The lead article in the morning paper says that Forsyth County is far behind on restaurant health inspections. Last year, the health department did less than 50% of required inspections, and the last year they did even 75% of the required inspections was 2008/2009. Neighboring and urban counties in North Carolina typically did 75% to 100% of the required inspections every year during that period. Apparently, the Forsyth County health department can’t do its job, but at least they do make excuses. No word of anyone being fired over this.

I wonder if these inspections are even needed. Given the poor performance of our county health department over the last several years, one might expect to see restaurant patrons dropping like flies, but as far as I know the incidence of food-borne illnesses is no higher here than anywhere else. It is, after all, in the interests of any food service company to avoid poisoning its customers. Any that does isn’t likely to remain in business for long, not to mention being sued.

I remember one incident that happened maybe 30 years ago. A restaurant near where we used to live, Cagney’s IIRC, poisoned quite a few of its customers, and was quickly driven out of business. And ISTR that they had recently passed a health department inspection. So what’s the point of health department inspections? The free market seems to do a better job of keeping restaurants in line than the health department does.

52 Comments and discussion on "Sunday, 1 November 2015"

  1. pcb_duffer says:

    In Florida, such inspections are the purview of the state Department of Business & Professional Regulation, Division of Hotels and Restaurants. Around here they seem to do their job on schedule, they used to get to my sister’s restaurants once per quarter and we have a huge number of restaurants here. You are correct in that restaurants have a strong incentive not to violate the rules. One of the bigger worries is receiving foodstuffs which are pre-contaminated, especially things like lettuce and tomatoes which aren’t cooked. The other things that the inspectors really harp on are (A) time & temperature violations and (B) rodent / insect activity.

  2. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Back in the 1983-1985, one of the guys in my MBA study group was in charge of the food service operation at Wake Forest University. The stories he told about inspections were enlightening. He was paranoid about the inspections, because if his operation got anything less than an A he was out of a job. And the stuff that always cost him points was ridiculous; bureaucratic junk rather than stuff that was really safety-related.

  3. nick says:

    People will always cheat, always cut corners, especially in a business with a high failure rate and a low margin like food service.

    The problem really occurs when the employees don’t care. Often the owner isn’t present, and while the cat’s away…..

    The threat of inspection helps a little to keep the employees aware, and cleaner.

    I like places that have posted grades.

    That all said, when I was traveling I used to get poisoned, on average, about 5 times per year, eating 500-700 meals a year in restaurants. It didn’t matter the “quality” of the place, I’ve been poisoned at my favorite local sushi joint, and at a Marriott in Chicago. Most of the time, it was related to poor worker hygiene. The rest of the time was probably general cleanliness.

    As a side note, I’ve read that most people don’t recognize food poisoning. An article said that almost everyone with a “24 hour bug” was actually food poisoned.


  4. nick says:


    That is true of almost all business inspections. It’s easy to measure paperwork compliance, very hard to tell if the employees are washing their hands after using the toilet. Or using the wrong rag to wipe cutting surfaces. Or even wiping surfaces…..


    I’ve worked in kitchens. Even the best look like a disaster after dinner service. The worst look like that when you arrive to prep in the morning.

  5. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    I remember Chuck saying that even the newest, most pristine home kitchen would get an F.

  6. nick says:

    It would fail right away for not having a 3 compartment sink, no test strips for the water, probably not separate chopping boards, floor covering probably not approved, tile counters would certainly fail, everything must be up high enough to mop under, corners where floor meets wall must be rounded, and on and on.

    So yep, no way to get a home kitchen passed, just on design details. Note that a lot of those details are to HELP prevent FBI by making cleaning easier or more effective. Despite that, I’d bet that anyone keeping a true kosher home kitchen is cleaner than any restaurant.

    There is a show on tv called ?Kitchen Disasters? that has an annoying british restaurant consultant who goes undercover before agreeing to help ‘fix’ failing restaurants. The stuff he sees will make you sick just watching. I had to stop after a couple episodes.

    I still struggle with my wife’s habits in the kitchen after 10+ years. There are lots of really good commercial practices that work well in a home kitchen, and should be ingrained into daily practice. I cringe when I see stuff that should NEVER be done anywhere, including at home.


  7. Miles_Teg says:

    This happened recently in Canberra…

    Some of my favourite health food shops were very near this place, I looked at it several times but never went in. Now they’re out of business. They got contaminated eggs from somewhere in Victoria.

    Nevertheless, the owners were charged.

  8. Miles_Teg says:

    The power went off here for about an hour at around 10.20 Sunday night. Apparently, much of Adelaide was effected. Fortunately, I had half a dozen torches (hi Ray) within reach. Very annoying that the radio and Internet news services had no information.

  9. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Some readers are going to want details on those torches.

  10. SteveF says:

    I worked in restaurants in high school and college, washing dishes, mopping, and similar grunt-work. What I saw going on is a major reason that I prefer to eat food I prepare myself. I’ve been assured by several acquaintances — chief chefs in medium-sized restarants, former restaurant managers, catering directors — that picking food up off the floor, rinsing it off, and putting it on a plate is unusual and that I must have just worked for a bunch of bad places. That may be so, but that sort of thing happened at every place I worked.

    It’s probably similar to assurances I used to receive that most police forces are honest, with at most a couple of bad apples. And it’s just coincidence that every place I lived from early childhood until a few years ago had conspicuously bad police departments: Over half of the police force in the town where I grew up resigned one day in lieu of criminal charges for running a prostitution and porn ring, dealing drugs, extortion, etc. The city where I bought my first house was paying out millions per year in settlements for police brutality and other abuses, and that’s on top of millions per year in legal expenses and salaries for cops who were suspended or just kept off the street. And so on. But until pervasive surveillance under the control of “civilians” made widespread police abuses difficult to cover up, I continued to be told that most cops are good and honest and hard-working and are the only thing between me and the mob.

  11. SteveF says:

    Last year, the health department did less than 50% of required inspections

    Perhaps someone should suggest cutting the department’s budget by 50%. Or by 100%.

    Some readers are going to want details on those torches.

    1 meter long, dried oak, topped with scraps of cloth dipped in pine pitch, right Miles_Teg? Oh, wait, do they have oak in Australia? Probably only poison oak. Every damned thing in Australia is poisonous, venomous, or otherwise toxic.

  12. nick says:

    People who excuse bad cop behavior with the “only a few bad apples” never complete the aphorism:

    A few bad apples spoil the whole bunch.


    VITAL to remember the second half.

    And to remember that Serpico was a true story.

  13. nick says:

    your sleepy little burg hit the international news with the story

    ‘Course, true to form, Daily Mail calls it a “school shooting” when it’s a ‘shooting at or near a school’ involving a non-student, and probably drug or alcohol related. Or maybe they were shooting dice like the last “school shooting.”

    also, no race identified, so blacks having fun on a Saturday night?


  14. nick says:

    Ah, there we go,

    Picture of the suspect.

    Not white.


    University is located on MLK Drive, never a good sign, is a historically black college, and 75% black.

    So statistically, not surprising that the suspect is black, but also not surprising for a ton of other reasons as well.

    added, and in the bald faced lie department

    “Winston-Salem State University is ranked #1047 in ethnic diversity nationwide, with a student body composition that is similar to the national average.” Similar my hairy white ass, blacks are 13% of the national population.

  15. nick says:

    And a quick look at crime on campus:

    in OCT

    3 weapons violations, including one discharge
    8 assaults
    12 thefts

    and a mixed bag of others, incl harassment, fraud, disorderly conduct, etc.

    American School Search gives them a safety D- only school lower in the vicinity is Wake Forest. Wake Forest scores lower because of 2 times higher forcible sex offences, and 3 times higher theft.

    added: so NOT a school shooting, but a further expression of the surrounding milieu. Underclass scum.

  16. OFD says:

    Gee whiz, I come back from Latin Mass on All Saints Day and see a whole bunch of cynical stuff here, probably a buncha haters clinging bitterly to their guns and religion…oh wait…well, guns, anyway….unless scientism is a religion, too…?

    Can’t trust the health inspectors, police departments, newspapers, internet sources of information on the diversity percentages, etc., wow.

    We need to gin up flash mobs all over the country, armed with TORCHES and pitchforks and start marching on these bastards…string ’em up! Use the new technologies, internet, cell phones, yeah!

    Very windy again today with sporadic rain squalls. Loading up the cah with pile of stuff for the dump run tomorrow; figuring out the plastic sheeting configs on the back porch and kitchen windows; hauling in firewood; and then settling in for a buncha NFL games into the evening, while I also study up on radio stuff during the frequent commercials and time-outs.

  17. nick says:

    Hey Alan, link points to an empty page, titled NYT Advertizing


  18. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    WSSU’s most famous student was Louis Eugene Wolcott, who attended it for three years back when it was known as Winston-Salem Teachers College. That was before he was known as Louis Farrakhan.

  19. OFD says:

    “And a quick look at crime on campus…”

    I’d be very wary of any crime reporting stats from ANYWHERE, let alone a campus police or security department.

    In ancient times I took over that gig from a constantly drunk sergeant who’d made a mess of it, of course, for years, and I started collecting and reporting the stats accurately; suddenly our jurisdiction ended up on the Boston news stations, radio, and local newspapers and a big fuss blew up in the department. Naturally I was taken off that detail and we stopped reporting our stats to the State Police and Feebies after that.

    One violent crime can skew the percentages and we have no idea who is actually doing that gig in any department or organization and how dedicated they are to it. Quick example: if some drunken nut blows away his whole family up here in Vermont and four or five peeps are now dead, that counts as four or five homicides, and suddenly Vermont’s homicides are up like 400%. Yikes!

    Back down in Worcester long ago we had a serial rapist running around for a while; naturally the rape/sexual assault figure went up drastically that year, and then “mysteriously” fell the following year.

    Also, once the stats actually get to the Feebies and Staties, who knows what peeps are working on them in those organizations and how accurate the final numbers are? Is it as accurate as our national debt figures?

  20. nick says:

    For anyone who is still not convinced,

    Contrast this small university in Indiana 75% white, approx same size, with WSSU 75% black.

    Scroll down to the table of crimes.

  21. nick says:

    @OFD, I hear you, and there is a large national investigation into reporting on campus.

    They have traditionally under-reported.

    That’s also why I don’t trust any percentages, and press people for the actual numbers when they are trying to convince me to spend my money.

    To be fair, there is also no way to know if it is the surrounding community attacking the college, or students attacking each other, just from the lists.


    Still, pretty clear I won’t be sending my daughters to Wake Forest or WSSU.


  22. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    I’ll never forget an incident from about 1973, back when I was at Grove City College. There had been a serial rapist attacking women at nearby colleges, while dressed in a pink tutu. So, a report comes in from one of the women’s dorms (which they called “girls’ dorms”) from a girl who’d just seen a guy fitting that description going into one of the bathrooms. Apparently, the only college staff member available to respond was an assistant dean, who apparently had the attention span of a golden retriever. He ran out of admin building, heading for the dorm in question. As he was running to rescue the women, what should he spot but a couple guys carrying cases of BEER into one of the men’s dorms. So of course, he immediately gave chase to the guys. (Beer was, after all, not allowed on campus.) A bunch of the women students ganged up on the guy in the pink tutu and he fled. He was never caught, or if so I never heard about it. This guy had forcibly raped half a dozen women on nearby campuses, but our administration obviously had other priorities. Too bad none of the male students were aware of what was going on. We’d have chased the bastard down, and there wouldn’t have been much left of him for the cops to haul off.

  23. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Incidentally, I wouldn’t be surprised if only a small fraction of actual, violent crimes on most college campuses were reported, but there is one class of “crime” that’s certainly over-reported, and that’s sex crimes that aren’t actually crimes by any reasonable definition.

  24. OFD says:

    “They have traditionally under-reported.”

    Of course, and sometimes drastically so. Another trick they have is when there is a “parents weekend” and hordes of moms and dads are swarming all over the place, they’ll have campus cops/security every five feet and paying a bunch of O.T. for that day. Once the weekend or day is over, they’re back to a skeleton crew on the two night shifts and all the senior officers and brass swanning around during the day.

    Good point also about those campuses in the middle of town and city neighborhoods, and those also who have university properties such as dorms, extending into those ‘hoods. A lot of overlapping crime events result, so which are the town’s and which can be put on the college?

    Another quick example; the colleges and universities down in Woostah, MA are all smack in the middle of city ‘hoods, and those particular ‘hoods are not the nicest, not by a long shot. So campus police are also often sworn officers of the city and state and will interact with and support and be supported by those officers during patrols and various calls in their areas. That serial rapist down there I mentioned earlier was targeting the off-campus dorms, a bunch of them your standard-issue Woostah and Boston triple-deckers and ordinarily also fire traps.

  25. nick says:

    And speaking of bad apples

    Betrayed by the cops: Hundreds of officers accused of sexual misconduct including one who forced a woman to give him oral sex during a routine stop have lost their badges


    ‘It’s happening probably in every law enforcement agency across the country,’ said Chief Bernadette DiPino of the Sarasota Police Department in Florida, who helped study the problem for the International Association of Chiefs of Police.

    Read more:

  26. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Speaking of Grove City College’s priorities, my best friend related a story of an even that occurred our freshman year. His girlfriend (and later wife) was moving into her dorm the first day, with her dad helping carry stuff in. She was in a first-floor room, and her dad was stunned when he saw that her dorm window had welded steel bars blocking it. He immediately went over to the admin building and pointed out vocally that that was a violation of every fire code known to man, and demanded that the bars be removed forthwith. The admin weenie argued that the college considered it its job to preserve the virginity of the “girls”. Her dad returned to his car, got a hacksaw out of his toolbox, and cut the bars off himself. The college later welded them back on, but Terri had already been moved to a second-floor room.

  27. OFD says:

    “The college later welded them back on…”

    So…the college had decreed that a woman’s virginity was more important than her life, at least insofar as the potential window entrance. Did they also have staff follow each woman around 7×24, provide escorts on campus for women students, and actively advocate the death penalty for genuine rapists and pedophiles? (Oh, as for the “escort” service many colleges provide, at first just for women, but later for ANY student or staff member, usually at night, those were often simply used for rides and errands via the campus police cruisers, esp. during inclement weather.)

    Kind of reminds me of various sweatshop factories in the old days, when back doors were barred and locked to prevent employees (drone-serfs) from sneaking out for smokes, etc., and then there were several horrible fires and that practice allegedly stopped.

    The other extreme being, of course, in moslem shit-holes, where a womens’ school or dorm can be in flames and the “authorities” won’t let the firemen near it. Better to let a few dozen or hundred women and girls die horrible deaths. But these are places were if a woman or girl is raped, SHE’s the one beaten and murdered. The religion of peace.

  28. MrAtoz says:

    You gotta love this invasion of a German hamlet. My question is what the frack are they going to do packed in an abandonded office building? Make bombs, rape the population, sponge off the gummint? How are they going to be employed?

    Sumte, a small town at the western fringe of the former East Germany, was informed earlier this month by its municipal government that it had been assigned to accept over a thousand of the asylum seekers that have poured into Germany over the course of 2015. The number was so high that mayor Christian Fabel first thought it was a joke, but after a storm of local protest, the figure was lowered to 750, not out of sympathy but because it was believed a thousand would overwhelm the town’s sewage system.

  29. Jim B says:

    I went to a major urban university in the Midwest in the 1960s. There were three dorm buildings, and one bordered on the not-too-good neighborhood. (I commuted, and did not live near there.) Anyway, there was a rash of holdups on students, usually three hoods confronting a student and demanding a wallet or watch. The threat was a beating or knifing, not a small matter. The campus police, as well-meaning as they were, did not promise any relief, because the hoods were not students, and not even on campus.

    Sooo… a vigilante committee was formed, and any call for help was met with armed response. In this case, the arms were literally arms and legs, with fists and feet attached. Within a few days, there was an incident, and three hoods were sent to the hospital, two in serious condition. The word got out, and the authorities looked the other way. There were no more incidents for a very long time. I don’t advocate this sort of thing, but will admit it can be very successful. Violence is the only thing some people understand.

    I also grew up around organized crime, and while I can’t acvocate it either, I will admit that other forms of crime seem pretty low. Paul Harvey once told a story about a burglar who unknowingly ripped off a crime family home. He put an ad in the local paper offering to return everything, on condition of anonymity. I don’t know the outcome. Again, some people only understand the threat of violence.

  30. H. Combs says:

    My son was an officer in a couple of very small town police departments. While he didn’t see any real criminal behavior by his few fellow officers, he did see favoritism for the Lone female officer. She could pick her shifts, refuse to go on nuisance calls, and fail test after test without reprimand. As you may guess she was the favourite of the chief who was often called out on late night calls to “assist” her. That all stopped when his wife found evidence and a good lawyer. My son said the female office once showed up for pistol qualification complaining that her gun was “broken” because she couldn’t put .45 ACP rounds in her Smith & Wesson .40 SW magazine. More of a Barny Fife moment.

  31. OFD says:

    “…but after a storm of local protest, the figure was lowered to 750, not out of sympathy but because it was believed a thousand would overwhelm the town’s sewage system.”

    Could it happen here? The Feds, in collusion with the State of Vermont, decree that Saint Albans Town will take in a thousand hadji scum, and they’ll stay in former migrant farm worker housing, barns, garages, and newly transported FEMA trailers until “decent and adequate housing can be built for them.” Meanwhile, three hots and a cot provided by National Guard troops, and local womyn required to dress conservatively and not expose any flesh (which is de rigeur here during the cold months anyway, when they may as well be wearing burkhas). Any expressions of dissent, opposition, protest, etc., will be prohibited as “hate speech” and prosecuted accordingly. Sharia law to be in effect at those properties while they are inhabited by adherents of the religion of peace, all thanks and praise to thee, Barack Hussein, Exalted Prophet, and to our future handmaiden of the Prophet, Field Marshal von Rodham and her most beautiful and brilliant consort, Huma.

    “Again, some people only understand the threat of violence.”

    There it is. And some people in the world are simply evil. Dispose of accordingly.

    “She could pick her shifts, refuse to go on nuisance calls, and fail test after test without reprimand.”

    From my days of yore back when we still had revolvers and billy clubs: the late Jeff Cooper referred to female officers as “copchicks,” and that was my experience then, too. With one or two exceptions who were brave enough and had their spirits willing but flesh weak. Taken on, with affirmative-action minorities, back then, regardless of their crummy test scores and mental density, and then pencil-whipped through the academies and put out on the street with us big ol’ boyz. My favorite was a cute little blonde who boffed or blew countless officers and agents outside the department at preferably higher echelons of law enforcement and who ended up being a coordinator at the Commonwealth’s bureau of criminal justice training, and after that, an agent with the Feds, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosions. Last I knew, she’d retired early and gone out on disability. Another new copchick was out on foot patrol with one of the other guys and confronted several local muffs on the street. While the male officer was getting their IDs and other info, he told her to call it in on the radio. At that point she tugged on his sleeve and asked, in front of the skells, “Where are we?”

    Barney Fife’s girlfriend or daughter, I guess.

  32. Miles_Teg says:

    “She was in a first-floor room, and her dad was stunned when he saw that her dorm window had welded steel bars blocking it.”

    I take it first-floor in the US is at ground level?

    Unfortunately bars on windows that are easily accessable from the ground are becomming more and more common here.

  33. Miles_Teg says:

    “Speaking of Grove City College’s priorities…”

    I looked it up in Wikipedia. I have to say I wonder why you went to such a conservative, Christian college.

  34. nick says:

    Just a comment apropos of nothing, I’m cleaning my office. Nice down day, raining, wife vigorously cleaning various other rooms.

    Looking at some old CDs. Kodak gold, from ’99, no problems reading files.

    Memorex plain CDRs, no problem, similar vintage.

    In fact no problems reading any cd or cdr over 12 years old.

    I’ll admit, I haven’t tried reading any of the 3 in floppies…maybe I should for laughs.


  35. Miles_Teg says:

    Ah, this is why the power went off…

    South Australia used to generate its own electricity, but we’ve shut down a lot of our generators for various reasons, including that coal, which we have in abundance, is evil…

    So now we get it from interstate, and are at their mercy.

  36. nick says:

    Well, pulled 2 3 1/2 inch discs from the trash, linux SUSE boot disk from 2002 reads fine.

    No name diskette from 2000 also reads fine.

    Who knew?


  37. Alan says:

    Hey Alan, link points to an empty page, titled NYT Advertizing

    Stripped down – try this:

  38. nick says:

    Figured it out, adblocker stops the ad from displaying, leaving blank page, but there is a ‘skip this ad’ in the corner.

    That article is so typical NYT in voice…

    and disgusting- warm fridge, yuck.


  39. pcb_duffer says:

    [snip] The college had decreed that a woman’s virginity was more important than her life, at least insofar as the potential window entrance. … The other extreme being, of course, in moslem shit-holes, where a womens’ school or dorm can be in flames and the “authorities” won’t let the firemen near it [snip]

    It sounds to me like those Saudi assholes got their ideas from American assholes.

    For what it’s worth, during my time at the * Institute of Technology, the campus police were very good and very serious. They were fully staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days per week, and realized that the campus was an island in the middle of a big scary city. Alas, there were a lot more violent crimes just off the edges of campus, on campus crimes committed by outsiders seemed to be largely fairly limited.

  40. OFD says:

    “…pulled 2 3 1/2 inch discs from the trash, linux SUSE boot disk from 2002 reads fine.”

    I had some old Winblows NT floppies somewhere but may have dumped them; I’m pretty sure they’d still be good. And some early RH floppies, also MIA.

  41. nick says:

    I kept my win2k and win98 boot disks, I could try one of those…

    Or one of my LS120s or a jazz drive, or zip. I’ve even got some weird magnetoresistive drive that was only in production for a year kicking around somewhere, can’t remember the name, but it had a platter in a cartridge…I’ve got some single density 3 1/2s in a proprietary lighting control board format from the late 80’s early 90’s. Somewhere I still have a couple of 5 1/4s, but I doubt I have a drive for them.

    Heck, I’ve got some recording wire, NIB, sitting on my bookcase shelf. Definitely no machine for that! I kind of like having some of that obscure and dead tech nearby.

    Ask my wife, and I’ve got entirely too much of it sitting around!


  42. Alan says:

    I have some cassette tapes for my Commodore 64 around here somewhere…

  43. brad says:

    I was reading a bit of political news, and came across a transcript of an interview that Jeb Bush gave, yesterday I guess it was. A couple of quotes:

    “I got to be governor of a state and accomplish big things”

    “I know that I got to get better at doing the debate”

    Granted, the rest was better, but…really? Did this guy graduate from high school? Funny, the comment that pointed me to this was by an English guy asking, apparently in all seriousness “Is Jeb Bush retarded”?

  44. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    ” I’ve even got some weird magnetoresistive drive that was only in production for a year kicking around somewhere, can’t remember the name, but it had a platter in a cartridge”

    Castlewood Orb?

  45. nick says:

    Winner winner chicken dinner! Orb! Worked well, had high capacity, was portable.

    I forget what killed it, probably hard drives got cheaper…


  46. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Yeah, that was probably it. I have two or three drives in SCSI and ATA/IDE and several cartridges, all pretty much unused. I’ll probably donate them to Goodwill when we clean out my closet.

  47. Miles_Teg says:

    ‘I have some cassette tapes for my Commodore 64 around here somewhere…”

    I have a small Deadstart deck of punched cards for a CDC Cyber (may peace and blessings be upon it) mainframe around here somewhere…

  48. Miles_Teg says:

    “Castlewood Orb?”

    Zip (100/250MB?) or Jaz (1/2GB)?

  49. nick says:

    @Miles, all of the above!


  50. Miles_Teg says:

    I had 40 or so 100 MB Zips. Used ’em a bit around 2000 then lost track of them. Found them again in 2013 as I was moving house, and chucked them without even trying to read them.

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