We served & we protected!
The Farsider Our Chaplain Historical Society



The Farsider

February 20, 2014


Bill Mattos, Editor and Publisher <bilmat@comcast.net>
Leroy Pyle, Webmaster <leroypyle@sjpba.net>


The Farsider is an independent publication that is not affiliated with the San Jose Police Benevolent
Assn. The SJPBA has allowed the Farsider to be included on its web site solely for the convenience
of the retired San Jose Police community. The content of this newsletter does not represent or reflect
the views of the San Jose Police Benevolent Association's Board of Directors or its membership.



We were planning to include the following obituary on Don Beams, but the lead-in received from Tom Brewer provides more context as to who Don was, his relationship to the City and to some of the relatives he left behind...

Feb. 18th

Hi Bill,

I thought I would pass this on to you for the Farsider. I think you knew Don as he was the Fleet Manager for the City as well as Bob Beams' brother. Don frequently worked with Bobby Burroughs to ensure that the City complied with to the specs required for our police fleet. You probably knew Don's father, too. He ran the Police Garage in the '60s and '70s.

Don was a wonderful person and friend. I had the pleasure of meeting him through Bob and we became friends almost immediately. Don, Bob and I would take the families camping at the Santa Cruz KOA every Thanksgiving and we would have great times and memories I will never forget. There were many San Jose officers at the funeral today who worked with Don or had become friends with him over the course of their careers. They included Ken Hawkes, Dick Fairhurst, Bob Lobach, Bill Silva, Bruce Raye and Rich Bailey, just to name a few.

Don always had a smile on his face and a joke to tell, even during his last few days.

As usual, Bill, do your magic and make sense out of my scribbles as it is hard for me to put my thoughts together right now.

Again, no amount of thanks could ever be given to you and Leroy for what you do for us with the Farsider.

I think there might be a lot of retired San Jose coppers who knew and worked with Don who might be unaware of his passing.

(Tom Brewer) <tbop23@aol.com>

No "magic" was needed, Tom. Your message was perfect as is. Our most sincere condolences are extended to Don's brother Bob and the rest of the Beams' family.

This is the obit that appeared in the paper…

Donald Beams

March 5, 1946 - Feb. 7, 2014
Resident of Gilroy

On Friday February 7, 2014 Donald Wilmith Beams II lost his hard fought battle with cancer. Don, proud owner of Don Beams’ Automotive, named Gilroy’s #1 Auto Repair Shop in the Dispatch 2012 reader’s poll, was 67 years old.

Born in Rhode Island on March 5, 1946, Don was older brother to Robert Beams, and oldest child to his parents Donald Beams and Lucile Beams (deceased). From an early age, Don possessed a love for all things mechanical and was given his first job repairing lawn mowers shortly after turning 8 years old. After moving cross country from Rhode Island to Los Gatos, California, Don was eventually drafted into the United States Navy where he served for 4 years working on submarines. After release from the Navy, Don began working for the city of San Jose where he was a loyal employee-retiring after 28 years of managing the 10th largest fleet in the US. In his free time, Don enjoyed being a member of the Team Eagle pit crew, working in his automotive shop, and cooking a BBQ masterpiece with his family.

Don is survived by his best friend and loving wife of 37 years, Mary. Don also leaves behind two beautiful, loving children, Sarah and Matt. Otherwise known as “Popo,” Don also leaves behind his two gorgeous granddaughters, Jasmine and Kaylie Antrim.

(A celebration of Don’s life was held on Tuesday, February 18, 2014.)



This article from yesterday's paper poses the question: Will it have an impact on San Jose? Listen carefully and you might be able to hear Mayor Reed grinding his teeth…

State Will Increase Pension Contributions

By Fenit Nirappil — Associated Press
Mercury News — Feb. 19, 2014

SACRAMENTO — California’s government will increase the amount it contributes to state employees’ pensions starting this summer, and cities and other government agencies will follow suit in two years, to help cover the cost of benefits for retirees who are living longer.

The board of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System approved new assumptions for the pension system Tuesday that effectively increase contribution rates. Projections show workers are expected to live an average of as much as two years longer, driving up the cost of paying benefits to people until they die. Contributing more to CalPERS’ $282.5 billion pension fund means local governments will have less money to pay for services such as police, roads and parks. But delaying payments to the pension system would cost more in the long run. The rates cities, counties and school districts pay for their employees won’t change until 2016 and the increase will be phased in over five years, with the added contributions over a 20-year period covering the extra cost of workers’ longer lives. But the board voted 7-4 to approve a request from Gov. Jerry Brown to accelerate the state’s payments starting this summer, with the increase phased in over three years. Brown said waiting would have cost the state $3.7 billion on top of its $45 billion in long-term unfunded pension liabilities.

Starting July 1, the state estimates its annual pension payment will rise by $440 million, including $260 million from the general fund. Once the increase is completely phased in, the state’s annual payment is expected to be $5 billion, an increase of $1.2 billion.

“The board today took important and responsible action to strengthen California’s pension system,” Brown said in a written statement.

But some CalPERS board members and union representatives said the move to treat the state differently was unnecessary, given that it could voluntarily pay more for pensions, as it has in recent years.

“I don’t see a reason to mandate an acceleration, and quite frankly, if the state really has extra money, the fund across the river is actually in far worse shape,” said J.J. Jelencic, one of four board members who voted against the governor’s request, referring to the state’s $80 billion unfunded liability for teachers’ pensions.

Most county and city governments surveyed agreed with CalPERS’ approach to phase in the increase over five years and spread the total cost over 20. But the new rate increases are on top of additional rate increases coming next year.



Feb. 15th

We know Sam Liccardo is not truthful, and we now know he's cheating to become San Jose's next Mayor.  
Do something about it by following the directions below. San Jose Police Officers need to let everyone know the truth about Sam Liccardo.

Click the Facebook link below, then click "Share" as shown in the image below to spread this information far and wide…




Will this plan become reality. Based on the past voting history of San Jose residents, it's doubtful in our opinion. The story is from last Saturday's paper...

Plan to Spend 40% on Cops

—Councilman wants to beef up police, but mayor says it endangers other services—

By Mike Rosenberg
San Jose Mercury News — Feb. 15, 2014

SAN JOSE — With arrests plummeting, cops fleeing and crime rising, San Jose voters may soon have the chance to beef up the Police Department, though it could come at the expense of other public services.

San Jose City Councilman and mayoral candidate Pierluigi Oliverio on Friday proposed a June ballot measure that would require the city to spend at least 40 percent of its general-fund tax dollars on the Police Department each year. Currently, city leaders choose to spend about 30 percent of the city’s $1 billion budget on cops — already as big as the next three largest city departments combined.

“It’s a good chunk of the budget, but it’s the most important part,” the Willow Glen councilman said. “If it’s the biggest priority, then we need to fund it.”

The change should allow police to restore staffing to peak levels from last decade. But it would mean cuts to other general city services unless the city gets an influx of new cash from a proposed half-cent sales tax increase that could hit the ballot this November.

Mayor Chuck Reed is against the idea, saying he wants to get more cops on the street but not at the expense of other city services.

“If this proposal goes into effect, it appears that we’d have to cut significant funding from firefighting, emergency response, gang prevention and intervention, libraries, community centers and road repairs next year just to meet (the) proposed Police Department guarantee,” Reed said. “It’s bad policy to guarantee funding for one specific service, even if it is our most critical city service, without regard to the city’s fiscal situation or other pressing needs.”

The proposal also serves as Oliverio’s attempt to strengthen his public safety credentials amid the crowded race to replace the termed-out mayor, starting with a primary election in June. As polls continue to show the city’s crime rate and depleted police force as the biggest concern among voters, Oliverio is campaigning against four other local officials who have also been jockeying for position as tough-on-crime candidates:

•  Santa Clara County Supervisor Dave Cortese, the lone City Hall outsider among the major contenders in the race, is backed by police officers and other city unions and is pushing a shake-up that includes better compensation for cops to attract more candidates.

•  Vice Mayor Madison Nguyen has made her campaign’s top priority a goal to return San Jose to its place last decade as the safest big city in the country.

•  Councilwoman Rose Herrera has pushed hard to try to ban medical marijuana dispensaries in the city, saying they are providing drugs to kids and damaging neighborhoods, though a majority of council members favor regulations instead.

•  Councilman Sam Liccardo made headlines last month with a proposal that would allow cops to access footage from volunteer residents’ private security cameras after they give police permission.

Police Sgt. Jim Unland, the president of the police officers union, chalked up Oliverio’s plan as a “mayoral political stunt” and said the real issue was making pay and benefits attractive for officers.

“We’ve got the money to hire more cops right now — we can’t hire or retain them,” Unland said.

While Oliverio acknowledges his proposal will be viewed in the context of the campaign, he notes that he first came up with the idea two years ago. He believes it has a better chance of coming to fruition now because the sales tax ballot initiative is gaining steam, although the council is still discussing whether to place the tax plan before voters as polling has been mixed.

Although it’s rare, voters have fixed minimum spending on priorities before. In 1988, California voters approved Proposition 98, which requires the state to spend at least 40 percent of its general- fund budget on schools.

In 2012, San Jose Library supporters proposed a measure that would have guaranteed minimum library spending in the city, but the initiative flamed out. In 1995, cops in Sunnyvale and San Jose proposed ballot measures that would have guaranteed minimum police spending tied to a ratio of cops-per-resident, but they never reached the ballot.

A City Council subcommittee will discuss Oliverio’s plan Wednesday. A majority of the full council must vote by March 4 for the initiative to qualify for the June 3 ballot, and the measure would require a simply majority to pass.


• • • • •

As an addendum to the article above, the Mercury News nixes the idea of a set amount of the budget for any City department, including Police and Fire, and this editorial explains why...

40 Percent Is No Solution for S.J. Safety

Editorial — Mercury News — Feb. 19, 2014

Two years ago, a group of San Jose civic leaders proposed a ballot measure to guarantee libraries a modest percentage of city revenue. Important as libraries are — and their importance is only growing in a digital age — the set-aside was a terrible idea. Fortunately, it was stopped short of the ballot.

Now mayoral candidate and Councilman Pierluigi Oliverio has proposed guaranteeing 40 percent of the city’s general fund to the Police Department; it gets about 30 percent in the current budget, but that amount is not guaranteed. Like the library proposal, it’s a terrible idea, and the City Council rules committee should deep-six it Wednesday.

In 2012, we said this of the library proposal: “A set-aside like this would push San Jose in the direction of the California Legislature — no model for this or any other local government. It invites advocates of other services to try to carve out their own piece of the revenue pie, leaving less discretion for elected leaders to deal with changing times and needs.

Can a public safety initiative be far behind?”

We often disagree with Sgt. Jim Unland, president of the city police union, but he nailed this one: The 40 percent solution is a “mayoral political stunt.”

A percentage guarantee is a cheap trick that has the appearance of action without actually doing anything. For example, Proposition 98 passed in 1988 guarantees California public schools 40 percent of state spending. Are schools better today?

Measures like these limit the options for elected officials doing the best they can in lean years. That’s especially important at the local level, where a mayor and council are most aware of changing needs and priorities.

Public safety is paramount in any community, and it’s clear San Jose needs to rebuild and expand its Police Department. That might take 40 percent of the budget or even more in some years.

But public safety isn’t just a function of the number of police officers.

Crime prevention is crucial, so in addition to more officers, the city needs services like libraries. They offer positive after-school alternatives for kids who might be prey to thugs or tempted by gang life.

Code enforcement and street repairs are safety issues too. And how about turning streetlights back on? The Police Department itself advises homeowners that outdoor lighting deters crime.

A bigger police budget won’t turn on streetlights, fill pothole abysses or give kids alternatives to getting into trouble.

There are rare examples of spending set-asides that make sense. Santa Clara County’s longtime Park Charter Fund is one. It’s a small portion of county revenue that protects an irreplaceable physical resource.

Ideas like Oliverio’s are fine fodder for political debates, but let’s not start cluttering the ballot with them. Committing 40 percent of San Jose’s budget to one department would be ridiculous.



Last Week's Poll Results

For the most recent Rasmussen Reports releases, click here:



Feb. 14th

Hey, Bill,

Your readers may be interested in a newly released non-fiction account of one man’s experience during the battles of Leyte Gulf, Iwo Jima and Okinawa. "Harold’s Voyage" was written by one of my neighbors, Mike Kincaid, about another neighbor, Harold Kiel. Based on the diary written by Harold during the battles, the book also chronicles the life of one of the Kamikaze pilots who nearly took Harold’s life. Mike is retired from the Alaska Department of Public Safety and Harold, now 90, spends his days crafting remarkable woodworks of art. They are both great guys and I feel honored to call them my friends.

Bob Gummow

A recently released trailer about the book can be found below…



Ed. — "Harold's Voyage" is available on Amazon, both in paperback <http://tinyurl.com/mkgmnne> and in the Kindle version <http://tinyurl.com/kod4nz6>.

• • • • •

On Feb. 11th, Joe Suske sent in an email that read…

Yo Bill,

A few months back, Dan Bullock and some others made an effort to make it possible for out-of-area guys to qualify and obtain a new I.D. card without having to travel to San Jose. I am curious to know if there any retirees who have been successful and, if so, how they accomplished it?



I replied by sending Joe the following link to the June 27, 2013 Farsider that outlined the process. (It's the first item in the newsletter.)

A few days ago I received a second inquiry from Joe...

Feb. 14th

Thanks Bill.

I am now aware of the procedure thanks to your publication, however, my question to the out-of-area retirees is how many of them have tried this procedure and been successful? I have made contact with some Ranges here in Redding but none will provide the necessary certification.

Thanks again,


Any retiree who can help or offer a suggestion is encouraged to drop Joe a line. I don't have the answer to his problem.



Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino
711 Lucky Ln, Coarsegold, CA 93614
(866) 794-6946
(The same location as last year)

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

No host cocktails and buffet dinner that evening

We need a hard count of who is coming by March 1, 2014 so we can reserve a block of rooms at a discounted price, and in order to get a discounted price we need at least 50 people to attend.

Please RSVP to Tom Mazzone at 408-592-2240 or at
<rtm1319@sbcglobal.net>, Ron Rosso at 408-930-0754 or <ronrosso@sbcglobal.net> or Jack Baxter at 707-513-7023 or <DrJoaquin@aol.com>

When making your reservations state that you are with the "Cops Rendezvous," and if you have any problems ask to speak to Kerry.

We are looking forward to seeing all of you who attended last year and those of you who could not make it. Let’s get together and have a good time!

Our Host —  Gary Keith — in all of his wisdom coupled with his lack of computer and phone skills, has deputized those above to do all of the work, just like in past years.



• There is no charge to attend the gala on Saturday, March 1st, from 6 to 10 p.m.

• Food and beverages will be provided.  

• There will be a silent auction and generous donations/tips will be highly appreciated.

• Parking will be available across the street from the Hendy Guest House at Murphy Park.

• There will be a DJ

• All proceeds raised will benefit SJ PAL's mission, programs and services that benefit over 12,000 at-risk, economically disadvantaged youth every year.

Thank you for your time and support. We look forward to an extremely successful event to benefit SJ PAL.





If retired A/C Dan Katz was still sitting in the No. 2 office, one could say he would be justified showing this article to the troops and reminding them that things could be worse. Fortunately for him, he pulled the plug before the bottom began to fall out in terms of wages, bennies and resignations.

With Pay Frozen, Maine State Troopers Tell Lawmakers They
Rely on Road Kill to Feed Families; Can’t Afford Heating Oil

By Scott Thistle, Sun Journal

AUGUSTA, Maine — A pair of Maine State Police troopers were among dozens of state workers who told the Legislature’s budget-writing Appropriations Committee on Monday that the decision to freeze state merit and longevity pay in 2013 is taking a toll on their family finances.

The two were testifying in support of a bill, LD 1639, that aims to restore about $6 million, over the current two-year budget cycle, to the state’s general and transportation funds for the purpose of merit and longevity pay increases.

Neither trooper was on duty during his testimony.

One of the troopers said he has even resorted to collecting road kill to help feed his family of six, while another said that just last week his children awoke to a cold house twice because they were unable to afford enough oil for their furnace.

“During the winter seasons, we often have to buy heating oil a few gallons at a time, because we rarely can afford the minimal delivery amount,” Trooper Elgin Physic, of Lewiston, told the committee. “Due to the merit stoppage, this year, I had to sell my wife’s engagement ring, military souvenirs from the war and other personal items just to make ends.”

Physic said state employees most hurt by the wage freeze are those just starting their careers and those who, like him, took state jobs just before merit and longevity wage freezes were implemented.

“We have young families to support, but are making significantly less than our peers,” Physic wrote in testimony presented to the committee Monday.

Both troopers said their financial situations were a result of merit and longevity pay-increases that were put on hold in the previous budget cycle as a means to solve the state’s revenue shortfall.

Physic and Trooper Jon Brown, both military veterans, said they joined the state police out of a sense of duty to Maine and the public but, soon after joining, their pay was frozen.

A review of the state’s open records website, Maine Open Checkbook, showed Physic was paid $42,712 in pre-tax wages in 2012. Brown was paid just more than $37,000 in pre-tax wages in 2012. State employee compensation amounts for 2013 have not yet been loaded into the state’s public database.

Brown said his family depends on the state’s Medicaid program, MaineCare, for health insurance and that they have also been enrolled in the state’s food stamp program. Brown said he is also a hunter and uses the game he shoots to help feed his family, including six children.

“I am a hunter because the meat I hunt is necessary to feed my family,” Brown said. “I do not hesitate to collect a deer carcass from the roadway; this is necessary to provide for my family.”

Brown said he had also re-enlisted in the military after being out for 15 years, explaining that he did so “not because I want to again divide my time or deploy to a hostile area of the world, it is necessary to provide support to my family.”

Both Physic and Brown said they felt the agreement they made with the state was in good faith, based on a schedule of regular pay raises and affordable health benefits.

“When I was recruited, I was not promised that the budget would be balanced on my back,” Brown said.

State Sen. Emily Cain, D-Orono, a committee member, said the testimony from state workers was, “simply heart wrenching.”

Cain said the testimony Monday highlighted the depth of the impact of the raise freezes across state government.

“Every single one of these individuals goes to work every day and does their very best and have not had any type of pay increase or even acknowledgement of how long they’ve been doing their job for five years,” Cain said. “When you hear from state workers who are working at least 40 hours a week and these are the same people who are qualifying for public assistance, that is simply not OK — it’s wrong.”

There was no testimony in opposition to the measure Monday and the committee will likely consider the bill during a work session in the days ahead, although a date has not been set.



The Olympics are winding down in Sochi, and the Russian Olympic Committee says one of the giant Olympic rings that malfunctioned during the opening ceremony will be working for the closing ceremony. So it looks like Russia will be ready for the start of the Winter Olympics by the END of the Winter Olympics.

Some critics are saying the U.S. and Canadian women's hockey teams are so good that it's unfair to the other teams. That sounds like something my Mom said after some of my Little League games.

Charlie Sheen announced that he’s getting married for the fourth time. Charlie said, "I just know this is the woman I'm going to be with for the rest of my February."

An organization called Clowns of America International is saying that the U.S. is actually facing a shortage of clowns. Then they opened the door to one car and said, "Never mind. Here they are."

In South Carolina, a woman spent a night in jail for failing to return a VHS copy of the Jennifer Lopez movie "Monster-in-Law" — yet the people who made the movie are still allowed to walk free.

It's been reported in the news that President Obama asked HBO for copies of the upcoming season of "Game of Thrones." You know things are bad in this country when even the White House can't afford HBO.

The World Clown Association has announced that the number of clowns worldwide has dropped dramatically. The drop in clowns is mostly due to one fatal car accident.

Charlie Sheen is engaged to an adult film star. Not only is he going to marry her, but she'll be working the bachelor party.

Here in New York City we have so much snow that they're running out of salt. So right this minute, sanitation workers are out on the street scraping pretzels.

Justin Bieber, from now on, wants to be known as Bizzle. In fact, earlier today he underwent a three-hour operation to have his Bieber removed.

Making his first visit to our show tonight is Bill O'Reilly. Bill is here to promote his book "Killing Jesus." I'm going to have to tell him someone else sold a book on that subject and it sold quite well.

Are you watching the Olympics? Whenever I'm watching one of these weird events, I ask myself if this wasn't in the Olympics, would I still be watching it? And the answer is always no.

The one-man luge makes sense because it's just a guy on a sled and whoever goes the fastest wins. But what doesn't make sense is the two-man luge. There's only room for one man on the luge. The other guy has to lay on top of him. It's a bunk bed but without the second bed.

What's the point to two men for a luge event? Why not three or four? Why not stack them up? Imagine 15 guys piled up.



The facts behind the legends, information and
misinformation that has or may show up in your inbox

New Articles

• Penpals for more than a year, a woman and a returning war veteran decide to meet — will he pass her test?

• Did President Obama ignore the death of Shirley Temple Black but order flags flown at half-staff to mark Whitney Houston's passing?

• Did NBA star Blake Griffin smack around Justin Bieber at a Hollywood Starbucks outlet?

• Has Congress 'officially initiated President Obama's impeachment'?

• Photograph shows an unusual half toilet in the Olympic city of Sochi, Russia.

• Photographs show ice formations in Lake Huron created by waves of water freezing in midair.

• Have scientists really found a crystal pyramid in the Bermuda Triangle?

• Does the 'Talking Angela' app unsafely prompt children to provide personal information about themselves?

• Did crime rates really plummet during the Beatles' first appearance on the 'Ed Sullivan Show'?

• Was the technician responsible for the lighting failure during the Olympic opening ceremonies at Sochi found dead the next day?

• Are the Facebook 'Look Back' profile mini-movies the work of a hacker?

• Did washing instruction tags on Tom Bihn bags carry a hidden message in French disparaging the U.S. President?

• Has fake, chemical-laden plastic snow been falling on the U.S.?

• Video clip shows an airplane making a safe landing after losing a wing.

• Was a man or young boy electrocuted when he answered his cell phone while it was recharging?

• Is the FBI is investigating the possible rigging of the 2014 Super Bowl?

• Are Johnson and Johnson rectal thermometers "personally tested"?

• Photograph shows a cat burned by the spillage of a cinnamon reed diffuser.

• Don't forget to visit our Daily Snopes page for a collection of odd news stories from around the world!

Worth a Second Look

• Do clocks and watches pictured in advertisements display a time of 10:10 in commemoration of the time of Abraham Lincoln's death?

Still Haunting the Inbox

• Check out our 25 Hottest Urban Legends list to keep abreast of what's circulating in the on-line world.

Fraud Afoot

• Visit our Top Scams page for a list of schemes commonly used by crooks to separate the unwary from their money.



Large or Full Screen recommended

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The Critters' Corner

Our files are bulging with items that have come in over the past several months, and it's time we dump some so we can make room for future items. Rather than scatter them about, we divided them into critter clips and non-critter clips. If you want to skip over these mostly furry citizens of the animal kingdom, scroll on down and look for the red-lettered notice that you are leaving and returning to the normal Lighter Side column.

• • • • •

Have you ever seen cows jump for joy? Seriously. These bovines that are so old they can no longer provide milk or earn their keep, act like school children being released for recess. This is one of those clips with a happy ending. (3 Mins.)


• • • • •

We're not through with cattle yet. Our Critters' Corner file also included this clip showing how infatuated a herd of cows are with a Boxer puppy, and vice versa. (1 Min.)


• • • • •

One more clip about a bovine and we'll choose another species to exploit. This one is about a motorcyclist on what looks to be a BMW rescuing a calf trapped in a canal. The footage was captured from his helmet cam, and we're guessing it took place in Mexico or another Spanish-speaking country. Not to sound cynical, but had it been in the U.S., the biker would probably have been on a Harley and looking forward to a dinner of veal cutlets. (3 Mins.)


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I have some relatives who have a couple of parrots as pets, and while they may make excellent companions, it wouldn't surprise me to walk in the room and find this cat with a satisfied look on its face and parrot feathers protruding from its mouth. This is one gutsy parrot. (2 Mins.)


• • • • •

We're not sure if the relationship between this donkey and a dog is based on infatuation or true love. You be the judge. (4 Mins.)


• • • • •

Now let's head off to the jungle and watch a man reunite with a Gorilla he raised as his son. Will the Great Ape remember him after ten years? (4 Mins.)


• • • • •

And then there's the tale about the kitten that was born in a tree and is now the cat that never left. (1 Min.)


• • • • •

For the record, there is only a little bit of truth to the rumor that Leroy and I suffered from the same learning disability as this canine genius when we were young. (1 Min.)


• • • • •

I never considered having a Penguin for a pet before, but after watching this 35-second clip, perhaps it's something to consider. Looks like the lovable little bird takes well to humans. Then again, perhaps he or she thinks the zookeeper's white boots are his Mom or Dad. (1 Min.)


• • • • •

If we were to bet you a fiver that a goldfish could drive itself around the room would you take the wager? Watch this and think it over before you commit to the wager. (1 Min.)


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If you own a dog and you love it so much that you consider it a member of the family, you should splurge and buy him or her a trampoline. Why? Watch this. (1 Min.)


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Don't you cat owners wish you could train yours to answer the phone, especially if it's a robo call or telemarketer on the other end? (1 Min.)


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What could be cuter than a couple of red baby Pandas playing in the snow? Actually, lots of things. We just don't have access to them right now, so you'll have to settle for this short clip. (2 Mins.)


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A little known fact about horses is that they are familiar with what Andy Warhol said about everyone wanting their 15 minutes of fame. This clip makes the point. (1 Min.)


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Want to know why you can't outrun the fastest land animal in the world? This clip from the Smithsonian Channel explains why in a clear and simple way. (3 Mins.)


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Is this dog showing off its talent to match the same pitch as a flute real or a fake? You'll have to judge for yourself. (7 Mins.)


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Simple question: Does this cat love its bearded dragon friend? That's a rhetorical question, of course, because anyone can see from the photo below that "Puffet" and "Puff" are the best of friends. (30 Secs.)


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I never gave any thought about having a few Prairie Dogs as house pets, primarily because I didn't want to have to go out and buy one of those remote control Roomba vacuum cleaners for them to play on. (5 Mins.)


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Does your pet feel strongly enough about you that it is not afraid of you laying a little kiss on its cheek? Sadly, the pets in this compilation video all seem to be telling their owners that they will give them a smooch only after the owner gargles with some strong mouthwash. (3 Mins.)


• • • • •

This clip about Suryia the Orangutan and Roscoe the Hound is a must-see. It sets an example of how the world should behave. (4 Mins.)  


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Bored? Want to have some fun? 

Get yourself three piglets and some paint. On their backs paint the numbers 1, 2 and 4. Then sneak them into a Walmart store using a shopping cart and release them when no one is looking. The fun comes when store security goes nuts trying to find number 3.

You are now leaving the Critters' Corner and
entering the regular Lighter Side column...

Has Ol' Blue Eyes been reincarnated in the form of a 10-year-old blind boy named Alex Pirvu? You might be under that impression when you hear this youngster sing "My Way" on Romania's "Next Talent" TV show. He evens brings tears to the eyes of one of the judges. (5 Mins.)


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Have you been watching NBC's coverage of the Olympics? If you have, you probably missed this short live streaming segment that the network chose to black out. (26 Secs.)


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It was just a matter of time before this scene from "Downfall" was modified to reflect Der Fuhrer's outrage over Obama's promise that you could keep your health plan and your doctor under Obamacare. But can you blame him? I too would freak out if I had to settle for a prostate exam by "Fat Fingers Feingold." The clip was received from Lumpy. (4 Mins.)


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Mark Dice continues on his quest to show that our country has its fair share of morons. The question he asks in this first clip as he poses as a man-on-the-street interviewer is, "Why do we celebrate the 4th of July? (6 Mins.)


In this clip the question is, "What is the capital of the United States?" (3 Mins.)


The question here is, "Did you hear we nuked China last week?" (4 Mins.)


In this clip he asked passers-by to sign a petition to repeal the Bill of Rights (4 Mins.)


And in this clip we ran on Dec. 5th of last year he asked people to sign a petition that would place Karl Marx on the 2016 presidential ballot, saying that the late communist had been endorsed by President Obama. (Marx died in 1883.) (4 Mins.)


A search for Mark Dice on YouTube will link you to tons of other on-the-street interviews and other videos he produced, and you can even subscribe to his YouTube channel with a click of your mouse.

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According to Dave Wysuph, a man named Bob received the following text from his neighbor:

"I am so sorry Bob. I've been riddled with guilt and I have to confess. I have been tapping your wife day and night when you're not around. I'm not getting it at home, but that's no excuse. I can no longer live with the guilt and I hope you will accept my sincerest apology along with my promise that it won't happen again."

Feeling anguished and betrayed, Bob went into his bedroom, grabbed his gun and without a word, shot his wife and killed her.

A few moments later, a second text came in: "Damn this autocorrect. I meant "wifi," not "wife."

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Next time someone asks you what retirees do, show them this video we received from Bob Kosovilka and tell them you have discovered how to make music on the cheap. (1 Min.)


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I have no idea how this is done. The guy starts out with 63 square tiles, removes one at a time and still has 63. Then he replaces the removed tiles and continues to come up with 63. I find this irritating. Not because I can't figure it out, but because he sometimes gives me the finger when he slowly counts the tiles to show that there are nine rows of seven tiles. (4 Mins.)


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Miami residents Jacob, age 92, and Rebecca, age 89, are all excited about their decision to get  married. As they went on a stroll to discuss the wedding they passed a drug store, and Jacob suggested they go in.

He addressed the man behind the counter:

"Are you the owner?"

The pharmacist answered, "Yes."

Jacob: "We're about to get married. Do you sell heart medication?"

Pharmacist: "Of course we do."

Jacob: "How about medicine for circulation?"

Pharmacist: "All kinds."

Jacob: "Medicine for rheumatism?"

Pharmacist: "Definitely."

Jacob: "How about suppositories?"

Pharmacist: "You bet!"

Jacob: "Medicine for memory problems, arthritis and Alzheimer's?"

Pharmacist: "Yes, a large variety. The works."

Jacob: "What about vitamins, sleeping pills, Geritol, antidotes for Parkinson's disease?"

Pharmacist: "Absolutely."

Jacob: "Everything for heartburn and indigestion?"

Pharmacist: "We sure  do."

Jacob: "You sell wheelchairs and walkers and canes?"

Pharmacist: "All speeds and sizes."

Jacob: "Adult diapers?"

Pharmacist: "Sure."

Jacob: "Excellent, we'd like  to use your store as our Bridal Registry."

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Mike Thompson says his sister sent him this clip of a young lady who is using the Internet to get her message across to cops. While it's likely you will move onto something else before she is finished, we thought you might as well be introduced to "Josie the Outlaw." (8 Mins.)


So what's up with this female pinhead? In this clip she explains what it means to be an outlaw. It's probable that the happiest day of her life was when she discovered she can become a YouTube star for free. All she needed was a video camera, a tripod and a computer. If you search for "Josie the Outlaw" on YouTube you will find numerous clips where she pontificates on various subjects. (9 Mins.)


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(If you have watched late night TV lately you will realize that this story about a guy who lost his appendage in an accident is not out of line...)

A man wakes up in the hospital bandaged from head to foot. The doctor comes in and says, "Ah, I see you've regained consciousness. Now you probably won't remember, but you were in a huge pile-up on the freeway. You're going to be okay and you will walk again, however, your penis was severed in the accident and we couldn't find it."

The man groans, but the doctor goes on, "You have $9000 in insurance compensation coming and we now have the technology to build you a new penis. They work great but they don't come cheap. They are roughly $1000 an inch." The man perks up.

"So," the doctor says, "You must decide how many inches you want. But I understand that you have been married for over thirty years, so this is something you should discuss with your wife. If you had a five incher before and get a nine incher now, she might be a bit put out. And if you had a nine incher before and you decide to only invest in a five incher now, she might be disappointed. It's important that she plays a role in helping you make a decision."

The man agrees to talk it over with his wife.

The next day the doctor asks, "So, have you spoken with your wife?"

"Yes I have," says the man.

"And has she helped you make a decision?"

"Yes" says the man.

"What is your decision?" asks the doctor

"We're getting granite counter tops."

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Some will argue that no one has ever surpassed the dancing talent of people like Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Gene Kelly, Donald O'Connor and an endless number of other entertainers from yesteryear. But there is a legion of dance aficionados who say that none of the celebrated dancers of that time could even tie the shoe laces of the Nicholas Brothers of the late '30s and early '40s. Have a look at the duo as they join Cab Calloway in this clip from the 1943 movie "Stormy Weather." (5 Mins.)


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It should be well known by now that we are partial to flash mobs, especially those that feature music from the classical and Broadway genres. Here's a 2-year-old flash mob that took place on the Copenhagen Metro that somehow escaped us in the past. It's an ad for the Copenhagen Philharmonic, and while it doesn't last long, it created lots of smiles. (2 Mins.)


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(Language Warning) This clip received from Jim Silvers is another one of those outtakes from the old Carol Burnett Show that never made it to air. Here's the setup: Mr. Tudball (Tim Conway) is looking for a secretary, but his wife (Vicki Lawrence) doesn't like any candidates until Wanda Wiggins (Carol Burnett) shows up. This is the raw recording of the sketch, filled with bloopers and wild lines from the cast. (6 Mins.)


A look into the Farsider Archives revealed this clip from a few years ago that was centered around Tim Conway's infamous Elephant Story. (5 Mins.)


How gutsy was Carol? Have a look at this outtake where she wears an upper body mask and flashes Tim. Until the advent of the Internet, only the live studio audience got to see it. (1 Min.)


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Like many of you, I've been watching the Winter Games, but I just can't get into the sport of Curling. It's so docile and boring, and the lack of any sound on the ice puts me to sleep. Here's a 35-second clip that shows what I'm talking about.


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Do you remember when you first experienced rain falling from the sky? Have a look at this little cutie as she experiences rain for the very first time in her life. (2 Mins.)


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Ever see a full-sized cruise ship get cut in half, then have a section added to stretch the vessel an additional 99 feet? We suspect that many of you will in a moment or two, especially since this time-lapse video only takes a few minutes. (3 Mins.)


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It's bad enough that this little 6-year-old pee wee golfer put me and my swing to shame, but adding the Star Wars music implying that she's a Jedi Master makes me want to toss my bag and clubs in the pond. (2 Mins.)


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Here's a fun project you can do with your grandkid(s). Watch this short video, then give it a try. (2 Mins.)


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A dozen readers apparently felt obliged to let me know they equaled or bested my score of getting 10 out of 13 questions correct in last week's Pew Research Center's "News I.Q." quiz. I didn't, however, receive an email from anyone who claimed to have aced it. Want to go again? Try this one and see if you can tie or beat my score. There are only ten questions, and remember, you get one shot only. Do-overs won't count.


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"I love Jesus but I drink a little."

I don't watch the daytime Ellen DeGeneres show, but I'll have to admit that this segment where she fielded a phone call from 88-year-old Gladys of Austin, TX was a kick. You gotta love the elderly who seem to become more honest and direct the older they (we?) get. (7 Mins.)


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TED Talks, which is considered one of the top websites for what it calls "ideas worth spreading," presented this video about Yves Rossy who is known as The Jetman. If you would like to spend a few minutes with a guy who straps on a pair of wings with two rockets on each side and goes flying, the link below is your invitation. Have a nice flight. (15 Mins.)


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This guy is good. If you can spare 14 seconds, watch as he drifts his truck straight into the garage.


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If you are bored watching those armchair pilots fly their little radio-controlled airplanes, perhaps this RC meet will pique your interest. It took place an an RAF air base in Cosford, England, and some of these monsters have to be seen to be believed. (15 Mins.)


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Speaking of flying, most aviators will agree that almost anything can fly if it is provided with enough power or propulsion. This flying lawn mower proves the point. (3 Mins.)


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We double-dog dare any of you to send us a video of yourself lip-syncing your favorite song like this 89-year-old lady. What impresses us as much as her happy-go-lucky attitude is that it appears she still has all her original teeth. (3 Mins.)


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We have all enjoyed fireworks shows over the years, right? But have you ever attended one in which a 48-inch shell was launched like this one in Japan? (40 Secs.)


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Could you walk this path from beginning to end and still have dry and/or unsoiled pants by the time you finish? We don't think you can, especially if you were wearing a pair of headphones and listening to the accompanying music. (6 Mins.)


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This sort of ties in with the clip above. If you have ever wondered why women carry handbags, this short 48-second clip will show you why…


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We suggest you pay close attention to this clip. It could save you or a loved one  some heartache down the road. (2 Mins.)


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Are we alone? Spend a little over 3 minutes and listen to what this narrator has to say while you watch this video that shows what the Hubble Space Telescope captured when it was pointed to what astronomers thought was an empty spot in space. (4 Mins.)


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Our closer this week comes from Phil Norton. It's a short 6-minute film that everyone should watch and pay close attention to. In fact, an argument can easily be made that the world would be far better off if it could be translated into all languages and seen by everyone on the planet.


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Pics of the Week 

It was Sunday morning. The priest had already preached to the
adults in the congregation and was now presenting a children's
sermon. Knowing that it can be dangerous to ask children questions
in front of the congregation, he went ahead and asked if any of them
knew what the Resurrection was? One little boy raised his hand…

It took the congregation several minutes to settle down so the
service could continue after the little boy rendered his answer...



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