Category Archives: A piece missing

Halloween

Halloween—You are not forgotten, Timothy

A Piece Missing

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Happy Halloween

Comic Con International 2012 in San Diego California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Halloween HouseHalloween is one of those days that is both fun and dangerous at the same time. People of all ages get to dress up as just about anything they want. It’s the fact that faces are hidden that can be dangerous because there are bad people out at all times of the year. Halloween, though, allows them to better hide who they are so they can do bad things, either to animals (keep your black cat safe tonight), people, or property.

On Halloween 1974, I was a sophomore at Texas A&M University, about 100 miles northwest of Houston. On that Halloween night, the fun of Halloween died for many Houstonians, Texans, and Americans. In years to come, children no longer had free reign to dress up in costumes and traipse through their neighborhoods gathering as much candy as they could.

Halloween pumpkinsOctober 31, 1974, brought out the most despicable type of person in Ronald Clark O’Bryan, an optician from Deer Park, a Houston suburb. O’Bryan had taken his two children, Timothy and Elizabeth, to a friend’s house for trick-or-treating. O’Bryan slipped several Pixy Stix candies laced with potassium cyanide into the bags of his two children, as well as several other children.

O’Bryan had clipped off one end of the giant plastic Pixy Stix candy straws, sprinkled the cyanide into them, and stapled them shut. Just before bedtime, still at the friend’s house in Pasadena, O’Bryan offered young Timothy one last piece of candy, the tainted one. Within a few hours, his son was dead.

HalloweenBy the time of his trial, O’Bryan was known as The Candyman. He was tried and convicted of murdering his child for insurance money, having taken out life insurance policies for $10,000 on each child in January 1974, and then additional policies of $20,000 on each child a few weeks before Halloween. O’Bryan was executed by lethal injection in 1984.

The only good thing to this tragic story is that parents are more aware of their children’s safety, not only on Halloween but throughout the year. Treasures gathered on Halloween are usually carefully examined before children, or anyone else, are allowed to enjoy them.

HalloweenCandy tampering apparently peaked in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Usually such tampering involved putting sharp objects (razor blades, pins, needles) in candy and fruit, often candied apples. According to some poisoned candy researchers (what a profession!!), some sharp objects were accidentally inserted into the candy or fruit. Huh? I’m not buying it. How do you accidentally put a sharp object in candy or fruit? Nope. Not buying it.

Candy tampering appears to have died down somewhat in recent years, but it only takes one incident to cause harm. Don’t let that one incident be your child. Accompany your children on their trick-or-treating and note which candy came from which house.

Added with edit: A news story just breaking is about a child who found a rusty razor blade in a package of M&M’s. Police initially say it’s probably a quality control issue because the package appears not to have been tampered with. Doesn’t matter whether or not it’s quality control. It happens! This one probably from a disgruntled or deranged Mars employee! Here’s the report: Razor in Halloween candy.

In remembrance of Timothy. You are not forgotten.

Halloween

Keep your black cat safe!

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend James Frimmer,
Realtor Century 21 Award, BRE #01458572

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!Real Estate Solutions

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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A Piece Missing

They can’t put anything on the Internet that isn’t true

A Piece Missing

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

My wise old grandmother taught me to add some laughter to my life each day.

Sometimes it’s impossible to quit laughing.

Here are some funnies that have been collecting dust on one of my bookshelves:

  1. Keeping secrets
    Antonio, age 99, filed for divorce in December 2012 from his wife, Rosa, age 96. They had been married for 77 years. Apparently, Antonio became upset when he found letters from Rosa’s affair. The letters and affair were from fifty years ago.
  2. Is it the water?
    Desmond Hatchett of Knoxville, Tennessee, said to be a serial impregnator, has fathered at least 24 children by at least 11 women. However, he is not Tennessee’s most prolific serial impregnator. Terry Turnage of Memphis has 23 children by 13 women, and Richard Colbert, also from Memphis, has 25 children with 18 women.
  3. Our representatives are better than your representatives
    The approval rating of the United States Congress is low, very low. Some polls find their rating to be less than head lice. However, in India’s Parliament, comprising 552 members, 162 are facing criminal charges, including sexual assault.
  4. Bartering is not making a comeback
    Jason Bacon of Eureka, California, was arrested for offering to trade $8,000 of his home-grown marijuana for a used motorcycle. Said Bacon about using marijuana in this way: “I know you can’t sell it, but I thought it was okay to trade it.”
  5. Don’t get mom involved
    Jesse Mathews was arrested and charged with capital murder for killing a Tennessee police officer. Mommy Mathews wrote the judge, saying that Jesse is a “….good man. You do one little thing that pisses people off, and they want to hold it against you forever.”
  6. They can’t put anything on the Internet that isn’t true
    Ralph Shortey, a state senator from Oklahoma, introduced a bill in January to ban the use of human fetuses in processed food. He said he had been reading up on the practice on the Internet. Maybe he was streaming “Soylent Green.”
  7. Government in action
    Wyoming, preparing for possible secession from the United States, in February considered a bill to establish a state army, navy, marine corps, and air force. A proposed amendment added consideration for purchasing an aircraft carrier. Wyoming is landlocked by does have within its borders the 136-square-mile Yellowstone Lake. Although the amendment was defeated, it should be noted that 27 representatives for it.
  8. More government in action
    Doug Rochow of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, routinely shovels the snow on two paths in a park near his home since the city gives it a low priority. He believes that since so many people use the paths, clearing it would help prevent people from slipping, falling, hurting themselves, and suing the city. The city had a different view when they ordered him to cease clearing the paths:  If Rochow cleared the paths, more people would be encouraged to use them, increasing the city’s exposure to lawsuits.
  9. Economics lesson
    GoAir of New Delhi announced in June that it would hire only females for the cabin crew, stating that they weigh less than men and the lower weight would result in an annual fuel savings of $4 million.
  10. It’s still a man’s world
    Teri James from right here in San Diego filed a lawsuit against San Diego Christian College for firing her. Seems she was pregnant and unmarried, a violation of employee rules. She believes the firing was illegal gender discrimination because her job was offered to her fiancé who had been openly cohabiting with her and is the baby’s father.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved byThis post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend
James Frimmer, Realtor
Century 21 Award, BRE #01458572

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!Real Estate Solutions

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Car stuck on railroad tracks

Do not drive on tracks!

A Piece Missing

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

When I was young and living with my wise old grandmother in Kingsville, Texas, we would gather around the dining room table for dinner, eat, and then watch the local 6:00 news.

Like clockwork.

Occasionally there was a story about someone who did something really stupid, really dumb.

My wise old grandmother would shake her head while tapping on her temple a few times and say, “A piece missing.”

Yesterday evening I got to see a piece missing in person!

To wit:

Car stuck on railroad tracks

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Car stuck on railroad tracks

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Car stuck on railroad tracks

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Jim and I were stuck behind that white SUV at the far end in the last picture. We had been stuck for about five minutes, the third car back, when the first car did some quality manuevering and made it through a small cut in the median and did a U turn. When we moved up from third to second, I saw what was happening across the street at the trolley station. By that time other cars were driving through the cut to make a U turn, and we did the same.

We went through a couple of neighborhoods to get around the accident and to the train station. There we parked, walked over to the accident, and watched the action for thirty minutes until the car was towed away.

There was only one way this guy could get his car where he did: He originally was in the parking lot where Jim and I parked. From there, he went up the handicapped accessibility ramp, through the station (right side of first picture), over the railroad tracks, and then down the railroad tracks.

Three police officers gave him a field sobriety test but I couldn’t stay around to see what the ultimate outcome of that was. They did not immediately cuff him and drag him away, though, so maybe he wasn’t under the influence of anything.

Police officers conducting a field sobriety test

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The Western Division headquarters of the San Diego Police Department is just across the street, so there were plenty of police on hand. It was kind of funny watching all the police officers taking pictures with their smart phones. I must admit, though, that it is a picture for the ages.

Since this IS California, I suspect that the next state budget item will be for millions of signs to be placed at the intersections of tracks and streets: DO NOT DRIVE ON TRACKS.

Of course, I got some flash videos, too. Here is the best:

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend
James Frimmer, Realtor
Century 21 Award, DRE #01458572

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!Real Estate Solutions

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Zoey the Cool Cat

Zoey the Cool Cat to inherit millions!

A Piece Missing

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Zoey the Cool CatI’m pretty sure most of my readers know that I have a cat. Her name is Zoey the Cool Cat. I’m pretty sure that most of my readers also know that I really do like my cat. I don’t love her because I reserve love for people, not animals or inanimate objects. But I do really, really, really, really like her.

Zoey the Cool CatHowever, if something happens to me, I don’t have her in my will. Maybe I should? After all, others have put their pets in their wills:

  • Trouble, Leona Helmsley’s dog, inherited $12 million in 2007.
  • Tommasino, a stray cat in Italy, inherited $15 million in December 2011 from real estate mogul Maria Assunta.
  • Kalu, an Australian chimpanzee, inherited $60 million in 2010.
  • Gunter, a German shepherd, inherited $140 million in 2000.

Zoey the Cool CatI realize people are allowed to do with their money as they please, but I also wonder if there’s a piece missing in people who leave money like that to one pet rather than, say, founding a pet sanctuary for unwanted animals, or creating an endowment for a women and children’s abuse shelter…. or endowing a soup kitchen to feed the hungry…. or endowing a homeless shelter…. things that might actually improve the world and the lives of those in it.

Maybe if I had millions of dollars like, say, Mitt Romney, I might leave a few to Zoey the Cool Cat! Would the pet inheritance tax be more than what Romney pays in taxes each year? [Ooops. This last paragraph is sneaking into the realm of politics..............lol]

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend
James Frimmer, Realtor
Century 21 Award, DRE #01458572

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!Real Estate Solutions

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

A Piece Missing

I made a college once

A Piece Missing

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I have always taken pride in my command of the English language, but I quit being a Grammarian a couple of decades ago, even before Twitter. However, I still find humor in some of the stuff I find, such as this notice on a community bulletin board (edited slightly for privacy and embarrassment):

Drummer available

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

That was a clean copy underneath a corrected copy:

Drummer available

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

It gets funnier. Someone came along and put up a pink sheet offering grammar and spelling lessons for James:

Gramma and spelling lessons

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Look at the bottom of the pink sheet, though, where another person has added a comment:

This is what happens

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I made a college once…………..

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend
James Frimmer, Realtor
Century 21 Award, DRE #01458572

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!Real Estate Solutions

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Bald eagle at the San Diego Zoo's Safari Park

Ya just can’t make this stuff up

A Piece Missing

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I have been wanting to start this new series for several months. Finally………

I learned the saying “a piece missing” from my wise old grandmother, as in “He’s got a piece missing.” This series touches on those stories — unverified by me, simply hearsay — that make me think aloud, “He’s got a piece missing.”

Bald eagle at the San Diego Zoo's Safari ParkFirst, the case of the $65 million bald eagle, dead and stuffed:

Preface: We all know that the Internal Revenue Service of the United States is always correct.

Facts:
1 — Robert Rauschenberg is an American painter and artist who died in 2008.
2 — Rauschenberg’s work titled Canyon includes a stuffed bald eagle.
3 — Two federal laws make it illegal to buy or sell bald eagles, dead or alive.
4 — Ileana Sonnabend was an art dealer who died recently, leaving an estate with, uh, art in it, including the stuffed bald eagle by Rauschenberg.

Hearsay: The IRS levied taxes on the estate of Sonnabend as if the bald eagle were worth $65 million. Sonnabend’s estate is fighting the taxes based on auction house appraisals stating that the stuffed bald eagle is worth exactly nothing. Zip, zero, zilch…. nothing, because the two federal laws prohibit its sale. The IRS, however, says that since there is a black market for stuffed bald eagles, there might be a billionaire recluse in China willing to buy the stuffed bald eagle.

My wise old grandmother’s opinion: Someone at the IRS has got a piece missing.

Great blue heron scouring the docks for leftover fishNext, the case of the early bird getting the worm:

Facts: In the United States, it is illegal to drink alcohol if one is under the age of 21.

Hearsay: A Mr. Bittar who resides in Eugene, Oregon, turned 21 this past March 15. Since he was proud of his newly conferred and legal privilege of drinking alcohol, he had his first drink at midnight. Just 1½ hours later, he was in jail charged with DUI, reckless driving, and criminal mischief, and his car had been impounded. To top it off, he crashed his car into an alcohol rehabilitation center…. I think that might be the DUI and reckless driving charges….

My wise old grandmother’s opinion: He’s got a piece missing.

Ya just can’t make this stuff up.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I recommend
James Frimmer, Realtor
Century 21 Award, DRE #01458572

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray (that’s me!)Real Estate Solutions

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos