Wed. May 23, 2018 – I call shenanigans

By on May 23rd, 2018 in Random Stuff

74F and clear, sunny blue skies. Gonna be another hot one here in the swamp.

Coverage of the Santa Fe murders has dropped off, and some things don’t add up. I’m starting to suspect some official shenanigans. Eyewitnesses say half hour between the shots fired and the surrender. The police say their guy ‘engaged’ the murderer immediately (and got shot) and that they ‘contained’ him in the art classroom area. Then they say he dropped to his knees and surrendered immediately upon being confronted. Eyewitness accounts had him taunting the students in the closet, with time for reloads, and time for people to find out there was a problem and try to call their kids. 20 people got shot.

Keeping in mind that initial reports are almost always wrong, this still doesn’t add up.

Then there’s the ‘none of the bombs had explosives in them’ / ‘yes they did’ back and forth.

But I’m assured by our district superintendent that

“Since the Parkland shooting in February, we have revisited our safety and security protocols, updated our safety plans and continued to conduct drills at our schools. Our central office staff has reviewed and updated our response plan in the event of an emergency. SBISD Police continue working with federal and other local law enforcement agencies to improve and enhance our security efforts. ”

“we take very seriously our responsibility for the safety and security of your children.”

So, which of the district response plans saved lives in Santa Fe? Which of them prevented the murders? Which of them mitigated the damage? I think I might have to attend our next school board meeting.


59 Comments and discussion on "Wed. May 23, 2018 – I call shenanigans"

  1. Nick Flandrey says:

    No media bias in this report….

    “The police department at Katy Independent School District has launched an investigation into racial and violent threats made against several African American students.

    The campus has about 1,770 students in which only about 7.4 percent are African American and 45.6 percent are white, according to Texas Education Agency data.”

    Or in other words, ‘the campus is majority non-white, with hispanics dominating.’ but of course, the paper calls out the white students for racist threats…..


  2. Harold says:

    69f, humid and clear in Memphis.
    I have refrained from commenting (much) on the Santa Fe shooting as it was still early days and a lot of what we first hear is wrong. BUT … like Nick says, there are now discrepancies between eyewitness and official reports. Even given that eyewitnesses often get things badly wrong. One thing that really stuck out for me since day 1 was that both firearms used by the shooter are low capacity and relatively slow to reload. This means, to me, that there must have been times when the kid was effectively disarmed with empty guns while trying to reload. Did no one note this and take action? I know in my high school days, the back parking lot guys, (greasers and football types) would attack not cower and hide. We had some very agressive seniors back then (in both good & bad ways). This was in 1970 in Marin county CA. We still had kids with rifles in gun racks in their pickups back then.

  3. Nick Flandrey says:

    Yeah, and these contradictions bother me too.

    “Galveston County Sheriff Henry Trochesset said on Monday that police were able to ‘engage’ the shooter four minutes after they were called.

    He said the shooter was contained until his arrest, with minimal gunfire from law enforcement officers, to the art classroom where his bloody rampage was focused. ”

    There is also occasional mention of a SECOND school cop being involved, which is new.

    and dam it, just this morning there was an article about how cops were combing the whole school, and how it would take a long time to investigate the ‘sprawling’ crime scene. I can’t find the article again. Does that sound like he was ‘contained’?


  4. Harold says:

    RE: ‘sprawling’ crime scene

    This may be a reference to the reports we heard the first day of explosives being placed “in and around” the school. Now I never heard of any explosive devices being detonated either by the shooter or by a bomb squad as is the standard practice. That is odd. AND in a report I heard over the weekend, the officer noted that “explosives and CO2 had been found in the suspects vehicle”. CO2 ?? WTF? I used to build IEDs as a kid and sold homemade fireworks in middle school but never used CO2 as an explosive …. Too many oddities here.

  5. dkreck says:

    Where have you been? CO2 is a deadly gas. Besides it can be bought in cartridges to power air guns.

  6. JLP says:

    CO2 as dry ice can be used to make some simple explosives.

  7. Harold says:

    Back in my High School chemistry days we treated CO2 as an inert gas. If Bob were here he would set me straight.

  8. JimL says:

    56º and mostly cloudy here. Rode to work in the rain. Hope to drive home today & bus tomorrow to allow me to pick up my bike. (And save $5 on gas.)

    I don’t know that much about chemistry, but I should note that CO2, in sufficient concentration, will kill. I seem to recall an article about a mass killing (animals) in Yellowstone (????) wherein CO2 was released into a shallow depression and the animals therein suffocated. How much CO2? If it’s just cartridges, I don’t see much. If it’s industrial-sized containers, it’s something else entirely.

  9. Clayton W. says:

    I’m reading about SpaceX’s plans to recover and reuse their 2nd stage.

    Jerry P. would be excited. I miss him.

  10. dkreck says:

    Dihydrogen Monoxide will kill you too.

  11. CowboySlim says:

    I don’t know that much about chemistry, but I should note that CO2, in sufficient concentration, will kill.

    OTOH, I do know that much about chemistry.

    Now, why am I alive after drinking some Dr. Pepper yesterday? Label claims that it contains carbonated water:
    Carbonated water (bubbly water, fizzy water) is water into which carbon dioxide gas under pressure has been dissolved, either by technology or by a natural …
    ‎Carbonated water · ‎Mineral water · ‎Soda syphon · ‎Effervescence

    Somebody better alert some government bureaus: FDA, CDC, NTSB, FAA, DOA, ……

    Not to worry about me, I only drink Dr, Pepper at 10, 2, & 4.

  12. JimL says:

    Crap. I splashed some dihydrogen monoxide on my face this morning. I’m gonna diiiieeeeee! Someday.

  13. JimL says:

    Boss-man: I want a backup for that critical system that’s 10 years old.
    IT Drone: I’ve done all the research (20 hours or so). The hardware is $2000 and the software is $2000
    BM: What!?! No. I don’t believe that.
    ITD: Here’s the documentation.
    BM: No, we’re not going to do it.

    6 months pass
    BM: Did you get that software loaded on a laptop?
    Me: What software?
    BM: The software for that critical system. Put the software on a laptop, along with the programming files, and if the critical system goes down, we can put a laptop in its place. It’ll work like a charm.
    Me: I’ll set up the work order. I’ll assign it to ITD because he’s done it before.
    ITD: Software is still $2000.
    BM: Just clone the drive.
    Me: Can’t. Licensing.
    BM: Just clone the drive. We’ll only use it in an emergency.

    The old version of the software won’t run on Win7 & above (kernel differences). So it will have to be a VM.

    Who did I piss off that this is happening?

  14. Ray Thompson says:

    but I should note that CO2, in sufficient concentration, will kill

    Recent event at a theater in Pigeon Forge TN, Smokey Mountain Opry, where CO2 was used for special effects to generate clouds. Son of my preachers brother was on duty and opened the valve to release the gas. Somehow the valve got left open and the effects room filled with the gas.

    When they found Josh Ellis he was unconscious and the staff that found him were quickly overcome. Rescuers were able to save the staff but Josh already had too much brain damage and never regained consciousness and was removed from life support and passed away.

    So yes, CO2 can be very deadly when it displaces oxygen as can any inert gas. Always use with adequate ventilation.

    Friend of my son killed himself using helium. Rigged a breathing mask that was fed from a helium tank. Put a delayed message on FB stating that when the message was read he would be dead. He was. Apparently you just pass out and eventually succumb to the gas by the deprivation of oxygen.

    I splashed some dihydrogen monoxide on my face this morning

    Don’t cover the rest of your body for at least a week to allow time to recover from your accidental exposure.

    Subbing today, last day of the school year. Some of the teachers had to go mandatory training. Some tests have to be given but mostly just babysitting. Seniors are gone having already graduated. Boring day.

  15. dkreck says:

    All jesting aside people were killed. The aftermath is just a lot of cya. Authorities always want the danger to sound worse to help them with excuses and make them look important and needed. Hyperbole and well, just plain bovine manure. Most of them are not even capable of doing more than figuring out what their pension will be, and they have other leeches to help with that.

  16. JLP says:

    Dry ice isn’t an incendiary explosive. Put it in warmish water and it generates CO2 gas very quickly. In a sealed container, like a soda bottle, it will explode with a surprising amount of force. Not really a shrapnel device (although there is some) but it does produce a shockwave. Think of a flash bang grenade without the flash.

  17. brad says:

    @JimL: Do be sure to document these conversations. Play dumb if needed: send an email asking “is this what you meant”, so that you get a written confirmation. Depending on the subject, and the slyness of your boss, he may try to confirm verbally. Depending on the issue, you may need to _insist_ on written confirmation. I would certainly do this in the case of that licensing issue you mentioned: “look, boss, this is a serious liability issue, you’re going to have to put that in writing for me”.

    Keep said documentation around as an insurance policy. When your company nailed and management tries to blame you, you can pull out the documentation in self-defense. May never be necessary, but better safe than sorry.

  18. Nick Flandrey says:

    Man, I read thru a bunch of articles this am, and every one calls for “common sense” gun control. EVERY ONE. No, no coordinated messaging here….

    Where are the calls for common sense explosives control? He didn’t get that from his dad’s closet.

    Which of the current 50,000 gun control laws aren’t common sense and why would one more matter?

    Where are the calls for criminalizing murder? Oh right, there are laws against that. (and speaking of laws, every time they mention the charges, there’s always that EXTRA one for the LEO. LEO lives matter more in the eyes of the law….) Oh and every time they name the cop and detail his injury. No naming the student or teacher victims and their injuries EVERY TIME.

    Some people are going to have to rethink their career choices. I’ll bet that most of those 20yr officers who retired from city PD and then got ANOTHER job on the people’s dime, thought of School Resource Officer as a nice sinecure, and not as the first defense against murderous shooters. There seem to be a lot of them that are way out of shape, and getting pretty old for an active position.


  19. Nick Flandrey says:

    First mention I’ve seen of the cops at Santa Fe being armed, is the statement that ‘we won’t know if any of the dead or injured were hit by crossfire from the officers’ until the autopsies are complete.

    In fact, they’ve been pretty cagey about how they phrase ANY reference to the officers involved actually SHOOTING, to the point I wonder if they were armed at all.


  20. Greg Norton says:

    Jerry P. would be excited. I miss him.

    Dr. Pournelle and Elon Musk had a running friendly debate about two vs. one stage to orbit for the cost of fuel and maintenance. I’m sure Jerry would be delighted with SpaceX’s success but still advocate for an X project to demonstrate SSTO, a true “space ship”.

    Most people here know the directive: Build three … one to crash, one to really fly, and one to hang in the Smithsonian.

    The ongoing SLS folly really makes me miss Dr. Pournelle. I can imagine his response to the recent news, “What? Another launch tower? Well, soooprise! NASA is the full employment act for space geeks …”

    SLS will fly … once. Then we’ll have to figure out what to do with the towers and three high bays of tooling out at the VAB. More full employment … in Brevard County, FL at least.

    I believe that Mike Pence has revived the National Space Council which gave us DC-X in the 80s. As Dr. Pournelle also pointed out, it isn’t a “dark age” until we forget that we could once do such things.

  21. Nick Flandrey says:

    In other news, this is a bit worrying, especially the parts they DON”T say.

    Two of the patients got out on Monday but were found dead a day later
    Another left Saturday, but was found alive and is now under observation
    Aid group says the hospital in the Congo city of Mbandaka is ‘not a prison’
    World Health Organization warns the fight to stop Democratic Republic of Congo’s outbreak has reached a critical point

    This would be the hospital in the big city, where they are terrified it will spread and overrun the city.

    NOT said is that they had at least 3 cases of ebola, IN QUARANTINE and 2 of those were ONE DAY FROM DEATH. How many more cases do they have that they lost track of those three patients?


  22. Nick Flandrey says:

    Not a nice day after all, rain pouring down and lots of thunder….

    and a storm forming in the Gulf, set to ruin the holiday weekend….


  23. Greg Norton says:

    Not a nice day after all, rain pouring down and lots of thunder….

    and a storm forming in the Gulf, set to ruin the holiday weekend….

    Gulf temps are a bit low yet for a serious problem. Lots of rain potential, however, especially in FL.

    Kinda concerning to see that forecast track this early. Looks like a late September spaghetti model.

    We have tickets to FL for the week of July 4th. Sanibel! $5/pint Haagen Dazs at Jerry’s!

  24. Harold says:

    RE: “common sense” gun control.
    To the Progressives, common sense says that ONLY the government should have guns because we can always trust them to do whats right. They have this childlike belief that government is benevolent and kind and always has your best intrest in mind. Strange because of the unlimited examples to the contrary we see througout history. But I guess we don’t teach history any more.

  25. Nick Flandrey says:

    And they don’t remember last year or the year before that when they were marching in the streets because government and the police had TOO MUCH power….

    Never occurs to them to wonder what the ‘hood would really look like if the state had all the guns and the cops were willing to use them.

    We might get to see that with MS-13, as the only way to get rid of them at this point is systematic violent expulsion.


  26. CowboySlim says:

    For prepping, I have CO2 cartridges stored. I can use them to pressure the fuel tanks (traditional liquid Coleman fuel) in my Coleman lantern and stove.

    I see them as life extenders as opposed to life enders.

    Please do not pass on my knowledge regarding proper usage of CO2 to Algore!

  27. Miles_Teg says:

    Nick wrote:

    “I grew up with Jewel Company stores (killed by their unions.)”

    Can you give more detail? I did a bit of Googling and found nothing.

  28. Nick Flandrey says:

    Most police chiefs are appointed political hacks, and a surprising number of them are lefty gun grabbers.

    I got a bit hot about him and his statement too. I’m glad it’s not getting a free pass like it did initially.

    Some of the coverage is ‘oh those NRA meenies…”’


  29. Nick Flandrey says:

    Contrast that with this guy, and the growing awareness of the importance of ordinary people. Sorry it’s long, and the formatting issues, it is in the middle of 5 articles rolled into one pdf

    5 concepts for building a resilient community before an act of mass violence
    By Michael Lugo, Lieutenant, Fort Worth (TX) Fire Department, IPSA Rescue Task Force Committee
    Imagine you have an important test to take, one that has final, forever reaching consequences. Would
    you want to know the answers before the test was even given? Indeed, anyone serious about such a
    scenario would.
    Law enforcement, fire and EMS and allied emergency responders have specific training, backgrounds
    and mission sets that make them suitable to prepare the public and build resilient communities. Public
    safety is not just about actions at the time of, or in response to, a disaster. The level of preparedness of
    the targeted population will have a direct effect on the impact of the disaster. At best, a well-prepared,
    aware and empowered community is capable of (and has before) prevented mass violence and other
    human-caused disasters.
    Communities do not have to prepare in a vacuum or from scratch. Most public safety agencies provide
    community outreach to help prepare for community-wide threats and hazards, including fire safety,
    commercial inspections, drowning prevention, bike safety, stranger danger and drunk driving
    prevention. When it comes to preparation for incidents of mass violence, here are five concepts that will
    yield more prepared, capable and resilient communities.
    Concept 1. Suspicious Activity Reporting: This is a force multiplier. Establishing a centralized, functional,
    investigative and easily accessible conduit to report suspicious activity is imperative to preventing mass
    violence. Having an untold number of potential human intelligence agents, with eyes and ears all over
    the community, capable of reporting suspicious circumstances and environments helps prevent the
    unthinkable from occurring. While that may sound conspiratory, there is no doubt that the best time to
    stop an act of mass violence is before it even happens – during preparatory and planning phases. While
    schools, hospitals, public transportation and areas of assembly commonly come to mind, don’t forget to
    include public safety personnel in this training. The broader See Something, Say Something concept and
    the specific iWatch program are examples of asking our communities to contribute to the larger public
    safety mission.
    Concept 2. Bomb-Making Materials Awareness Program (BMAP): Learn about the BMAP program. This
    program intends to put knowledgeable ambassadors in contact with identified commercial businesses to
    educate these providers of commerce about the precursors and materials related to homemade
    explosives, as well as potential behaviors of bomb makers that may gather their materials from publicly
    available sources. The BMAP program should be implemented by a collaboration of neighborhood law
    enforcement officers, fire inspectors and related public safety personnel with regular access to areas of
    public commerce.
    Concept 3. Civilian Active Threat Training: There may be no greater return on an investment than a
    class to prepare civilians about the immediate actions they need to take if they find themselves in a
    situation of mass violence. Civilian training for mass violence is not just for schools. Places of commerce
    and assembly are traditional targets, making the entire community a target population and necessary
    audience. Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events (CRASE) using Avoid, Deny, Defend, or Run Hide
    Fight, are two examples of programs already created to educate the public in this area. While law
    enforcement agencies train continuously to quickly end an act of mass violence, and fire and EMS© Copyright 2018. International Public Safety Association, a 501(c)3 non-profit.
    resources join that preparation to quickly access and treat victims, there are still those ominous and
    deadly minutes before any public safety resources arrive. The actions the target population takes in
    those moments can be the difference between life and death.
    Concept 4. Medical Training: Injuries from mass violence incidents undoubtedly run the spectrum from
    minor to the most severe and unrevivable. When injuries occur that are survivable if rapid and proper
    aid is administered, it is easy to see how a populace trained and maybe even equipped for basic trauma
    care can make the difference in the survivability of that particular segment of victims. Not only would
    mass violence victims benefit from this preparedness, but trauma and medical victims from other
    disasters and emergencies will as well. Some communities have even taken the proactive step of
    requiring a Stop the Bleed Kit, along with an Automatic External Defibrillator, in certain occupancies.
    Examples of community medical training include Stop the Bleed and Hands Only CPR.
    Concept 5. Proactive Collaboration: The aforementioned programs have stand-alone benefits, but
    pulling them together, advertising or promoting them and creating opportunities for the public to
    receive the necessary tools and training will make an incredible impact in disaster preparedness. Several
    public and private partnerships have joined forces to sponsor half-day and one-day workshops,
    providing a venue to showcase and teach these programs. Meetings with community groups, schools
    and businesses have provided opportunities to discuss these programs, educate and schedule focused
    program deliveries. These are not fire-and-forget platforms to prepare the public. To be effective, this
    training and awareness needs continual tending, direction and reinforcement. Identified points-ofcontact for these programs as well as ensuring all members of a department or agency is aware of these
    programs and POCs are important to the longevity and impact of these services.
    Public safety is not just about actions at the time of, or in response to, a disaster. The level of
    preparedness of the targeted population will have a direct effect on the impact of the disaster. At best, a
    well-prepared, aware and empowered community is capable of (and has before) prevented mass
    violence and other human-caused disasters. While tragedies happen daily, jurisdictions are experiencing
    a lull before a storm we are unable to schedule on our terms. Making sure our communities are
    prepared, resilient and ready to partner together to deal with mass violence is a smart investment of
    public safety resources. Empowered communities become prepared, and prepared communities
    become resilient.
    About the Author
    Michael Lugo is a Lieutenant and 22-year veteran of the Fort Worth (TX) Fire Department, currently
    serving in the department’s Homeland Security/Intelligence section and Bomb Squad. A combat veteran
    and 14-year law enforcement officer, Michael also coordinates the department’s Active Threat program
    and is a member of the IPSA’s Rescue Task Force Committee.

  30. Nick Flandrey says:

    And this guy, published in the same pdf

    Acts of Mass Violence: Preparing immediate responders (the public) with education and training
    By Mark Warren, Vice President, Strategos International and IPSA Member
    The term first responder has been used for decades to describe the heroic women and men in uniform
    that make up our law enforcement, EMS and fire services. Due to several significant and recent acts of
    mass violence, there is now a new, different way of thinking about the term first responder. What we
    have learned from these tragedies is that the group of people who have a significant impact on
    survivability are the individuals on scene – the immediate responders. What immediate responders do,
    or don’t do, will make a difference. Any individual who is on-scene during a violent event is effectively
    considered as an immediate responder.
    Unlike the professional first responder who has ample training, equipment and knowledge to respond to
    crisis, the probability of immediate responders having similar training, resources and knowledge readily
    available to aid in a response is low. The likelihood that immediate responders have received training
    and education about how to respond may be greatly limited. There are several response options that
    immediate responders can take. Each option impacts the outcomes of the individual and the victims.
    Mental preparedness and readiness
    Acts of mass violence occur everywhere. To adopt a when/then mindset, immediate responders need to
    accept that acts of mass violence happen wherever you work, live or visit. They are not geographic
    specific. They are not venue specific. By accepting this reality, immediate responders are better
    prepared to see, understand and proactively look for potential warning signs of concerning behavior.
    When an act of mass violence happens, then I will do these things.
    Unlike if/then (if this happens, then this will be a possible response), the when/then philosophy is about
    mental preparedness and readiness to respond. It eliminates the theoretical. Skilled first responders
    inherently use this method when before and during a response to any call for service. Further, paying
    attention, being knowledgeable and ready to respond prevents normalcy bias. Normalcy bias delays
    proper response when seconds count. Immediate responders need to adopt the when/then philosophy
    and accept the situation for what it is and respond.
    Medical treatment/casualty care training
    Immediate responders need to know how to do casualty care. This is a life-skill. Practicing casualty care
    training every few months will keep the skills current. Once an act of violence stops, or when the
    individual is removed from harm’s way, he or she needs to be able to transition and stop the bleeding.
    At a minimum, immediate responders need to be prepared to:
    1. Make improvised tourniquets and how to apply them under duress;
    2. Self-apply an improvised tourniquet on his/her person;
    3. Apply an improvised tourniquet on the injured;
    4. Stop a sucking chest wound with an occlusive dressing; and
    5. Properly pack a wound to save a life.
    These critical life-saving skills bridge across the spectrum of crisis. Providing aid as soon as possible is
    one of the greatest steps to saving lives, understand that life could be yours, a family member, friend,
    coworker or a stranger. Immediate responders can save lives with this knowledge.© Copyright 2018. International Public Safety Association, a 501(c)3 non-profit.
    Immediate responders are better prepared once they mentally accept the threat and have a plan for
    proper response. Don’t wait for someone to provide instructions during crisis. The body cannot go
    where the brain has never been. Learning the knowledge and developing the skills to treat serious
    trauma will help save lives, including your own.
    About the Author
    Mr. Warren is the Vice President and Director of Training for Strategos International and began his 27-
    year law enforcement career in the U.S. Army Military Police Corps. He has experience as an undercover
    operative, a tactical team member, and an instructor. He has been involved in the planning,
    implementation, and execution of hundreds of high-risk arrests, and spent five years with a large multiagency task force working as an undercover operative and team leader. Mr. Warren was the
    Firearms/Use-of-Force Program Manager for his department prior to retiring. Mr. Warren is currently a
    Retired Sergeant for a local agency and was the 2000 Missouri P.O.S.T. Part-time Instructor of the Year.

  31. Nick Flandrey says:

    “I grew up with Jewel Company stores (killed by their unions.)””

    My mistake, in my mind it was A&P Jewel. A&P is no more but Jewel is still good to go.


    Lots of mergers, lots of value destroyed and work undone.

  32. lynn says:

    I cannot remember the name of the Jewelry and Electronics store on Bellaire Blvd that we used to go to all the time to buy electronics. It was weird. They had only one item of each product on the shelves. You paid for it and then went to the side of the building where a couple of union guys brought it out for you. Some days it took forever to get your stuff since they were on lunch break, smoke break, etc.

  33. Greg Norton says:

    I cannot remember the name of the Jewelry and Electronics store on Bellaire Blvd that we used to go to all the time to buy electronics. It was weird. They had only one item of each product on the shelves. You paid for it and then went to the side of the building where a couple of union guys brought it out for you. Some days it took forever to get your stuff since they were on lunch break, smoke break, etc.

    Service Merchandise?

    Going further back: Lechmere. Wilsons. Standard Sales. Leeds. Masters.

    Service Merchandise was the last one standing after absorbing Wilsons, but I remember quite a few retailers with that business model in the late 70s, early 80s. Employee theft was brutal on most of those chains, and Service Merchandise didn’t survive much beyond the end of their unofficial non-compete with Walmart that expired around 1990.

  34. lynn says:

    Service Merchandise?

    Could have been. Also could have been United Jewelers.

  35. Nick Flandrey says:


    “The supermarket operator has 41,000 employees, 95 percent of whom are covered by union agreements, according to the bankruptcy petition.

    Labor costs mean it has less flexibility to invest in other parts of the store,”

    ” Union agreements, including pensions and health care obligations also put the company at a competitive disadvantage and “are unsustainable at existing levels”.”

  36. paul says:

    There was a Wilson’s on Airport next to Highland Mall. In Austin, TX. I liked the place although the whole novelty of waiting 15 minutes (after paying) for some stoned looking idjit to get your purchase out of the warehouse to the pick-up area was annoying.

    Prices were decent. I scored the completer set for my dishes for half of what Penny’s wanted. So… I bought two sets.

    Then it became Service Merchandise and damn, the help became almost rude. But by then I didn’t need much of anything they sold.

  37. Greg Norton says:

    Could have been. Also could have been United Jewelers.

    There were tons of players with that business model once. Wilson’s and Service Merchandise bought up the smaller players before Service Merchandise bought Wilson’s.

    I worked for Service Merchandise in the late 80s. Most of the management in the local stores came out of the Zayre’s meltdown.

  38. Greg Norton says:

    Then it became Service Merchandise and damn, the help became almost rude. But by then I didn’t need much of anything they sold.

    In markets where both stores existed before the merger, afterwards, Wilson’s stores became dumping grounds for bad Service Merchandise salaried management who were on action plans prior to termination.

  39. Nick Flandrey says:

    Dang. the replacement motor for my shop fan arrived damaged. No packing to speak of. One layer of bubble wrap for a 15 pound motor. Rolling around loose in the box. Shaft and bearings messed up, scraping sound when rotated.

    I reordered from another supplier and my $35 changed to $90. Still a cheap replacement to get the fan running but a real disappointment.

    First amazon return…


  40. mediumwave says:

    The Diplomad Remembers His Father


    ‘He thought America was the best country on earth, thanks to “the rednecks. They defeated the Nazis, nobody else did.” He detested Europe, “pretentious anti-semitic idiots.” He also thought that America was headed for serious trouble as it got further and further away from its Anglo roots. He refused to call the left “liberals,” and decades ago took up calling them “Communists,” to the chagrin of the very PC Malibu and West LA crowd. He saw the 1965 immigration law as the biggest disaster in our history, and loathed America’s secularized Jews, “They don’t appreciate what we have here.” He, himself, of course, was an immigrant with no Anglo roots, had a love of Chinese culture and history, and rarely went to temple. He was a strong supporter of Israel, gave lots of money to the country and even to Rabbi Meir Kahane, but openly stated he could never live there, “A nation of New Yorkers!” He hated New York, and loved Los Angeles and Miami. He also, by the way, hated universities, saying no great idea ever came out of a university–but, nevertheless, insisted that all of us go to university. “Get that stupid piece of paper, but don’t pay attention to those stupid professors,” was his advice re “higher” education.’

  41. lynn says:

    I just changed my search engine in FireFox from DuckDuckGo back to Google. I searched for a VIN using DuckDuckGo and it was not found. I then searched that VIN using Google and a multitude of places were found. Including the actual selling dealer.

  42. lynn says:

    I reordered from another supplier and my $35 changed to $90. Still a cheap replacement to get the fan running but a real disappointment.

    Dude, get a real fan !

    Our Costco in Sugar Land has several of these over the cashiers. Makes one feel like Dorothy when checking out.

  43. Nick Flandrey says:

    Huh, that’s exactly the kind of thing that I’ve found google is no longer good for. I used to use altavista for those very technical searches, and have had good luck with duckduckgo.


  44. Nick Flandrey says:

    The wheel turns….

    “Pekgoz explained, saying he won the appeal by pointing out that – unlike during the 1970s when Title IX was put into law – women are no longer underrepresented in higher education. ”


  45. Greg Norton says:

    Dude, get a real fan !

    I had a Hunter Original cast iron monstrosity in my home office in FL. I wish we had taken it with us when we left. To buy one new today is $400+.

  46. CowboySlim says:

    OH-oh, WRT to anti-male discrimination at USC, my grandson will be starting there this summer. He ignored my advice to study ethnic improprieties and will be majoring in Civil Engineering.

  47. Greg Norton says:

    Its official.

    However, I don’t see Valdez as a sacrificial lamb as much as being a carefully considered component in an experiment the Progs are running with the two big statewide races, Governor and Senator. Some heavy data mining firms are probably involved, gathering statistics for the future.

    Still, for now, 30 point margin of victory for Abbott. Minimum.

  48. lynn says:

    Still, for now, 30 point margin of victory for Abbott. Minimum.

    I predict ten points. At most. Maybe five points.

    Just about everyone except you and Nick that has moved into Texas in the last 20 years is a prog. And there were a lot of progs here to start with.

  49. Nick Flandrey says:

    We did have an openly lesbian mayor…


  50. Greg Norton says:

    We did have an openly lesbian mayor…

    Back in the 80s, the Houston mayor was a dead ringer for Dustin Hoffman’s drag persona in “Tootsie”.

  51. Greg Norton says:

    I predict ten points. At most. Maybe five points.

    Just about everyone except you and Nick that has moved into Texas in the last 20 years is a prog. And there were a lot of progs here to start with.

    Abbott beat Wendy Davis by 22 points, but I’ll concede the woman was flat-out despicable.

    My theory is that the Progs want to lose big in the race for Governor and compare the results to the Senate race where the candidate will be better funded and a more serious challenge to a less popular incumbent.

  52. Greg Norton says:

    Ruh roh. Attempted child abduction just around the corner. Lots of crazy things have been going on since the county built a new road into our neighborhood from what used to be ranch land to the west. Riff raff have easier access to the nearby streets from 183 and Parmer, the major north-south routes off to the west.

    At a minimum, traffic is way up as the former ranchland was turned into the kind of high density neighborhood Indians favor, and our neighborhood is the most direct route to I-35, Dell, and HP Enterprise.

  53. brad says:

    It’s funny how different search engines have different blind spots. I was searching for information on British company – there’s a public registry where all companies’ filings are available. Google hasn’t indexed it at all, but Duckduckgo has. Who knows, maybe a problem with robots.txt – I didn’t check.

    I default to Duckduckgo, but switch to Google when I hit one of those blind spots.

  54. Nick Flandrey says:

    @greg. I have refrained from linking all the articles about child rape, kidnapping, and murder that have been coming out of India. If it is indeed something cultural, how nice that we’ve invited a critical mass of them here.

    I believe I’ve mentioned we have 3 indian AM radio stations and at least 2 FM here on the west side of Houston….


  55. Greg Norton says:

    @greg. I have refrained from linking all the articles about child rape, kidnapping, and murder that have been coming out of India. If it is indeed something cultural, how nice that we’ve invited a critical mass of them here.

    I don’t think that the abduction attempt had anything to do directly with the new development, but the housing money brought in from overseas created a demand for a new road through our neighborhood which was probably 5-10 years away otherwise. Americans don’t buy $500,000 homes built 5-6 to an acre in Austin … yet.

    When you build third world housing in your community, no matter how fancy, third world problems eventually follow.

    I worked for a manager at Death Star Telephone whose wife was into International Sai. A portrait of the “Baba Lama” (as we called him) hung in the office until arrest warrants went out in multiple EU countries.

  56. JimL says:

    When you build third world housing in your community, no matter how fancy, third world problems eventually follow.

    Which is why I oppose cheap, subsidized housing anywhere, but especially where I live. If some bleeding heart wants to build section 8 housing, the lot next to theirs is the perfect place for it. When they start doing that, I’ll believe they really do care.

  57. Nick Flandrey says:

    A map of crime in my community shows very clearly the problem is mainly in the large, run down, low rent apartment complexes that surround our neighborhood.


  58. Nick Flandrey says:

    Speaking of which, this is GRID UP, does anyone think it will be better grid down?

    “A Texas mother was fatally shot in the back of the head while defending her three-year-old son from two armed robbers, police say.

    Yesenia Gutierrez, 31, was killed in her Forth Worth apartment around midday on Friday after two teenage boys kicked down the door and demanded her iPhone.

    The boys, aged 13 and 14, have since been arrested and are now facing one count of capital murder each.”


    edit- they saw a game console. and got an iphone they later thru away. So murder one, armed robbery, breaking and entering, FOR NOTHING. Under rule of law, grid up.

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