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The Farsider

July 11, 2013


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.



POA Hall
Wednesday, July 17th
5:00 p.m.

Next Wednesday's (July) PBA meeting will feature its once-a-year barbecue extravaganza. Hors d'oeuvres and snacks will precede the lavish dinner comprised of huge New York steaks prepared on the grill by Lee Wilson, Jim Polmanteer and Joe Wicker. We can't promise that Lumpy will be preparing his famous Road-Kill Chili and his dynamite Ensalada Grande as shown in the photo above, but a pot of delicious chili and a huge bowl of salad will compliment the steaks. Also included will be a more than an ample supply of Garlic Bread guaranteed to keep your family and friends a minimum distance of six feet from your breath. And a special dessert from Cake Bosses Mike Fehr and Tommy Mazzone will follow the feast while Sgt. at Arms Bob Moir will see to it that a full array of spirits along with a variety of beer and wine will be available at the bar, including some single-malt Scotch for the discriminating aficionado.

PBA members are invited to bring their appetites and enjoy this annual event, but no guests. Remember, this is for members only. Any member who shows up with someone in tow who isn't a PBA member will be turned away.



There was no pension news this week, and we found nothing on the POA website regarding the item in last week's Farsider reported by NBC Bay Area Channel 11 about the POA losing the arbitration. This was likely due to an agreement between the City and the POA that nothing would be released publicly until 10 days after the decision. If that's the case, POA members can probably look forward to a Membership Alert within the next few days.



It is indeed a different city and a different police department. For many of you, this story from Tuesday's paper should make you especially grateful you are retired...

New SJPD Stop Policy

By Robert Salonga
Mercury News — July 9, 2013

SAN JOSE — By year’s end, San Jose police will have a groundbreaking policy to chronicle every time they stop and detain someone regardless of whether it yields an arrest, responding to long-standing concerns about possible racial profiling.

Advocates say the new procedure may finally answer the question of whether patrol officers are stopping people because of their ethnicity.

The San Jose Police Department announced a phased installation of the new regulation two years after they were first proposed by the Office of the Independent Police Auditor and six months after they were signed into effect by outgoing Chief Chris Moore, then quickly suspended by acting Chief Larry Esquivel for retooling. According to a memo to the City Council from Esquivel, the additional data gathering is expected to fully roll out by December.

“I’m really pleased this is happening. It’s one thing to talk about it and one thing to put it in writing,” said LaDoris Cordell, a retired judge who is the city’s police auditor. “There’s no police department in the United States that’s going to do what this is going to do.” Dubbed the “curb sitting” policy after community complaints to Cordell’s office alleged racial minorities were disproportionately made to sit on the curb during routine street stops, it will actually cover any instance where an officer performs a “stop-and-frisk” style stop and the subject is handcuffed or ordered to sit on a curb or in the back of a police car but is released afterward. “This data collection is the most systematic and well thought out that I’ve seen in the country,” said Robert Weisberg, law professor and co-director of the Stanford Criminal Justice Center.

Silicon Valley De-Bug, a media, social-advocacy and business collective based in San Jose that in the past has alleged police misconduct, said the policy has long been needed and lauded police for keeping its promise of reform. “This approach of recording interactions … is going to go a long way in building positive police and community relations,” said Raj Jayadev, the group’s coordinator. Beyond that, Cordell added, the new policy will finally provide data for the debate over alleged police profiling. “The data itself will send a message to the community as to what officers are doing and give a picture to officers,” Cordell said. “My hope is it will be a good picture. But if things need change, data will drive the change.”

Esquivel is not commenting publicly on the new rules, said Sgt. Jason Dwyer, a department spokesman.

Police are already required to document the circumstances of every traffic stop, but information on pedestrian stops has been recorded more haphazardly. Stopping a pedestrian is often seen as an informal and proactive way for an officer to keep the peace and learn a neighborhood. But if a person who had been detained on the street wanted to make a complaint about being stopped, there might not be any record of the incident.

Under the new policy, if someone is detained during a vehicle or pedestrian stop that doesn’t result in an arrest and report, officers will be required to record either on their mobile computers or dictate to a dispatcher, the following: the result of the stop, reason for the stop, the person’s race, whether a search was conducted and the number of people involved — information long required for any traffic stop. For the first time, officers will also note the type — ordered to sit on a curb, handcuffed, placed in police car — and the reason for a detention. Weisberg said the increased transparency can help shield officers as well.

“If it helps identify bad conduct,” he said, “it is also going to protect them from false allegations.” The police department, and Esquivel in particular, came under fire from community and political groups when just days after a retiring Moore implemented the new policy in January, Esquivel suspended it without any immediate explanation. He later said there had not been any training on how to carry out the new mandate, that police computer systems needed upgrading to ensure the data could be readily queried — essentially the heart of the policy — and that it applied to so many police actions off the street that it was seen as overly burdensome.

Sources close to the process have said that when Moore approved the policy, he knew the logistics still needed to be worked out, but he wanted his officers to get in the habit of taking down the information. It was quickly derided by the rank-and-file, already suffering from low morale stemming largely from a bitter pay and pension-reform fight with City Hall that spurred a years-long exodus of cops from the force.

Esquivel wrote that the memo as signed by his predecessor “created frustration for an already overworked workforce and was referred to as the ‘don’t get out of your car memo.’” The contentions by community groups about curb sitting echo a controversy from four years ago when an investigation by this newspaper revealed that San Jose police disproportionately arrested Latinos for public drunkenness when compared to other groups. In New York City, the police department is fighting a class-action lawsuit that alleged overzealous use of “stop-and-frisk” searches and revealed shoddy documentation of the practice.

Weisberg said the pending San Jose policy could help the city steer clear of similar headaches.

“Comparatively, it’s extremely exhaustive and analytically rigorous,” he said. “It’s not (about) stopping versus not stopping. It’s the way you stop somebody. Documenting the actual physical steps of the stop is important. That’s innovative. And the tangible benefit is you don’t get a mega lawsuit like you do in New York.”



Last Week's Poll Results

For the most recent Rasmussen Reports releases, click here:



July 5th


I'm not embarrassed to admit that I've been bitten by the nostalgia bug and tune into reruns of the Lawrence Welk Show on Saturdays on PBS. Most of the shows are from the '70s, and the music takes me back 40 years to what seems like a far gentler and more peaceful era. I keep my laptop next to me when I watch the show because I found a web site that has short biographies of all the performers on the show. When a singer or dancer is introduced, it's easy to pull up their name and learn about their past and what they are doing now. Sadly, several have passed away in recent years. While only a few of your readers may be interested, I wanted to pass this tip along. The address for the performers' biographies is

To keep my image and reputation intact, please sign me...

The Tipster

Not to worry, Tipster, your identity is safe with me. Acting on your tip, I Tivo'd the show last Saturday and had the opportunity to watch it on Tuesday. You're spot on. The show provided welcome relief to the news coverage of the IRS, Egypt, ObamaCare, the immigration issue, the Asiana crash, Zimmerman trial and all the other nitty-gritty stuff dominating the airwaves. I even fired up my iPad and pulled up the bios of many of the performers who were introduced. Very interesting indeed. Thanks for the tip.



Association of Retired San Jose Police Officers & Firefighters Annual August BBQ

Coyote Ranch
(just off of Monterey Hwy in the Coyote Valley)
Thursday, August 15, 2013
Time: 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Dinner will be served at 5:00 PM

$10 for Members
$15 for Spouse
$20 for Non-Members    

Make Checks Payable To
AORSJPO&FF and send to:
P.O. BOX 28041
SAN JOSE, CA 95159
(please write "BBQ" in the memo section of check)  

Menu: Chicken. Tri-Tip and Beverages
You can sign up online at our website (see link near top of page)

We will need a count of Retirees and Spouses
who will be attending the BBQ, by August 12, 2013.

Coyote Ranch Map


FROM 101 South: Take the Bernal Road Exit West - Right turn: turn right at the 2nd stop light - you will dead end into Monterey Road. Turn left: go 1 mile south to Metcalf Road - turn left: make immediate right turn (approx. 50 yds.): follow that road to Coyote Ranch.

FROM 85 South: Take Bernal Exit West - Right turn (DO NOT GET ON 101): turn right at the 1st stop light - you will dead end into Monterey Road. Turn left: go 1 mile south to Metcalf Road - turn left: make immediate right turn (approx. 50 yds.): follow that road to Coyote Ranch.

If something comes up and you are not able to make the dinner, please let us know by sending e-mail to



Cops and Food

Why, one might ask, do so many of the events of a cop's life revolve around food? The simple answer is that during the evening and nighttime hours, most of the businesses that are open are food related, thus Swingshift and Midnight cops have a greater tendency to be in contact with these establishments than others since they are more susceptible to robberies, thefts, assaults, shootings, stabbings and similar crimes. As these businesses were the most likely to be victimized, a good beat cop would stop in and make contact with the owner and his or her employees. It was common to offer advice on safety and provide the workers with crime prevention tips. This action benefited the beat cop as well because it made him aware of the business's operations, its open and closing hours, and helped the cop determine what is "normal" so he might later be able to instantly determine what is "not normal."

In the old days this practice was taught to the younger or newer cops by their older peers. Knowledge of the beat was considered nothing more than good old fashioned police work. Much of this philosophy was later outlined in the police text book authored by ex-SJPD cop George Payton: "Patrol Procedure" (1982) and later updated in 1996 to "Patrol Operations & Enforcement Tactics" was considered by many as the "bible" for students studying to become a cop. It still is.

Today the catch term for what was once considered "good old fashioned police work" is "Community Policing," the goal of which is to know your beat and the people on it. Develop contacts and friendships. Be there for them and they will be there for you. If the end result was a plate of spaghetti in the back room of a family liquor store (Mike's at 10th and Keyes), a turkey sandwich at a deli whose owner had been shot in a previous robbery (Sir Francis Deli at 33rd and Santa Clara), a courtesy trip to the bank with Jesse, a taco shop owner as a passenger with his day's receipts (Jalisco at 31st and Santa Clara), or checking in on the night sandwich makers at an overnight shop on Smith Ave., so be it. Stopping and saying "Hi" to Joe Scimeca at Scimeca Trucking during his overnight operation during fruit season at his yard on S. 10th St., and checking to ensure that everything was OK with Cecil, the night watchman at Mayfair Packing on S. 7th, was all part of the job.

Then there was Felix Leon, owner of Leon's Gardens, a nightclub on E. Santa Clara where a crowd of 400-500 would gather on Saturday nights. Felix and his crew always had the backs of cops who would stop in and make a bar check, whether it was on crowded nights or the less crowded weekday evenings. The same situation applied to DeRosas at 26th and Santa Clara, where owners Pete and Jerry had humongous crowds on weekends. They, too, were good friends to San Jose's beat cops, supporting and protecting them in hazardous times.

Sadly, the people mentioned above have passed on. While the camaraderie and friendships made during normal police operations back then had several advantages for both the SJPD and the city's business owners, the one constant was food.



When I received an e-mail a short time ago from a friend with the following story about the first 9/11 attack, I immediately assumed it was fictitious, that it couldn't be true. After all, who would believe that the two F-16s that scrambled from Andrews AFB with the job of searching for and downing UAL Flight 93 after the second tower was hit were unarmed; that the fighters had no missiles or live ammo on board. To bring down Flight 93, one or both pilots would have to become an American kamikaze.

It took only a minute through a Google search to determine that the story was true, and that one of the pilots was Lt. Heather "Lucky" Penney. And the story wasn't really new; it appeared in the 10-year 9/11 anniversary edition of the Washington Post, published back on Sept. 8, 2011. But because there were so many stories circulating around the 10-year anniversary of 9/11, it's easy to see why this one received little coverage.

We also found a YouTube C-SPAN interview with Lt. Penney that we posted under the story.

F-16 Pilot Was Ready to Give Her Life on Sept. 11

By Steve Hendrix — Columnist
Washington Post
— Sept. 8, 2011

Late in the morning of the Tuesday that changed everything, Lt. Heather “Lucky” Penney was on a runway at Andrews Air Force Base and ready to fly. She had her hand on the throttle of an F-16 and she had her orders: Bring down United Airlines Flight 93. The day’s fourth hijacked airliner seemed to be hurtling toward Washington. Penney, one of the first two combat pilots in the air that morning, was told to stop it.

The one thing she didn’t have as she roared into the crystalline sky was live ammunition. Or missiles. Or anything at all to throw at a hostile aircraft.

Except her own plane. So that was the plan.

Because the surprise attacks were unfolding, in that innocent age, faster than they could arm war planes, Penney and her commanding officer went up to fly their jets straight into a Boeing 757.

Then-Lt. Heather "Lucky" Penney
(Source: Google Images)

“We wouldn’t be shooting it down. We’d be ramming the aircraft,” Penney recalls of her charge that day. “I would essentially be a kamikaze pilot.”

For years, Penney, one of the first generation of female combat pilots in the country, gave no interviews about her experiences on Sept. 11 (which included, eventually, escorting Air Force One back into Washington’s suddenly highly restricted airspace).

But 10 years later, she is reflecting on one of the lesser-told tales of that endlessly examined morning: how the first counter punch the U.S. military prepared to throw at the attackers was effectively a suicide mission.

“We had to protect the airspace any way we could,” she said last week in her office at Lockheed Martin, where she is a director in the F-35 program.

Penney, now a major but still a petite blonde with a Colgate grin, is no longer a combat flier. She flew two tours in Iraq and she serves as a part-time National Guard pilot, mostly hauling VIPs around in a military Gulfstream. She takes the stick of her own vintage 1941 Taylorcraft tail-dragger whenever she can.

But none of her thousands of hours in the air quite compare with the urgent rush of launching on what was supposed to be a one-way flight to a midair collision.

First of her kind

She was a rookie in the autumn of 2001, the first female F-16 pilot they’d ever had at the 121st Fighter Squadron of the D.C. Air National Guard. She had grown up smelling jet fuel. Her father flew jets in Vietnam and still races them. Penney got her pilot’s license when she was a literature major at Purdue. She planned to be a teacher. But during a graduate program in American studies, Congress opened up combat aviation to women and Penney was nearly first in line.

“I signed up immediately,” she says. “I wanted to be a fighter pilot like my dad.”

On that Tuesday, they had just finished two weeks of air combat training in Nevada. They were sitting around a briefing table when someone looked in to say a plane had hit the World Trade Center in New York. When it happened once, they assumed it was some yahoo in a Cessna. When it happened again, they knew it was war.

But the surprise was complete. In the monumental confusion of those first hours, it was impossible to get clear orders. Nothing was ready. The jets were still equipped with dummy bullets from the training mission.

As remarkable as it seems now, there were no armed aircraft standing by and no system in place to scramble them over Washington. Before that morning, all eyes were looking outward, still scanning the old Cold War threat paths for planes and missiles coming over the polar ice cap.

“There was no perceived threat at the time, especially one coming from the homeland like that,” says Col. George Degnon, vice commander of the 113th Wing at Andrews. “It was a little bit of a helpless feeling, but we did everything humanly possible to get the aircraft armed and in the air. It was amazing to see people react.”

Things are different today, Degnon says. At least two “hot-cocked” planes are ready at all times, their pilots never more than yards from the cockpit.

A third plane hit the Pentagon, and almost at once came word that a fourth plane could be on the way, maybe more. The jets would be armed within an hour, but somebody had to fly now, weapons or no weapons.

“Lucky, you’re coming with me,” barked Col. Marc Sasseville.

They were gearing up in the pre-flight life-support area when Sasseville, struggling into his flight suit, met her eye.

“I’m going to go for the cockpit,” Sasseville said.

She replied without hesitating.

“I’ll take the tail.”

It was a plan. And a pact.

"Let’s go!"

Penney had never scrambled a jet before. Normally the pre-flight is a half-hour or so of methodical checks. She automatically started going down the list.

“Lucky, what are you doing? Get your butt up there and let’s go!” Sasseville shouted.

She climbed in, rushed to power up the engine, screamed for her ground crew to pull the chocks. The crew chief still had his headphones plugged into the fuselage as she nudged the throttle forward. He ran along pulling safety pins from the jet as it moved forward.

She muttered a fighter pilot’s prayer — “God, don’t let me [expletive] up” — and followed Sasseville into the sky.

They screamed over the smoldering Pentagon, heading northwest at more than 400 mph, flying low and scanning the clear horizon. Her commander had time to think about the best place to hit the enemy.

“We don’t train to bring down airliners,” said Sasseville, now stationed at the Pentagon. “If you just hit the engine, it could still glide and you could guide it to a target. My thought was the cockpit or the wing.”

He also thought about his ejection seat. Would there be an instant just before impact?

“I was hoping to do both at the same time,” he says. “It probably wasn’t going to work, but that’s what I was hoping.”

Penney worried about missing the target if she tried to bail out.

“If you eject and your jet soars through without impact .
..” she trails off, the thought of failing more dreadful than the thought of dying.

But she didn’t have to die. She didn’t have to knock down an airliner full of kids and salesmen and girlfriends. They did that themselves.

It would be hours before Penney and Sasseville learned that United 93 had already gone down in Pennsylvania, an insurrection by hostages willing to do just what the two Guard pilots had been willing to do: Anything. And everything.

“The real heroes are the passengers on Flight 93 who were willing to sacrifice themselves,” Penney says. “I was just an accidental witness to history.”

She and Sasseville flew the rest of the day, clearing the airspace, escorting the president, looking down onto a city that would soon be sending them to war.

She’s a single mom of two girls now. She still loves to fly. And she still thinks often of that extraordinary ride down the runway a decade ago.

“I genuinely believed that was going to be the last time I took off,” she says. “If we did it right, this would be it.”

~ ~ ~

The link under this photo of Lt. Penney will open a YouTube video of an interview with the fighter pilot that aired on C-SPAN. (5 Mins.)


~ ~ ~

As a postscript, here is a follow-up story about Penney's flight on 9/11 that the Washington Post ran a week after the one above...

F-16 Pilot was Ready to Down her Father’s Plane

By Steve Hendrix — Columnist
Washington Post — Sept. 14, 2011

Oh, and one other thing about that F-16 pilot we wrote about in this space last week. That commercial airliner she was supposed to bring down on Sept. 11, 2001? It turns out her father could well have been one of the pilots.

When we chronicled the little-told Sept. 11 history of Maj. Heather “Lucky” Penney, one of the first fighter pilots in the air over Washington that morning, we knew that she and Col. Marc Sasseville had been ordered airborne out of fear that a hijacked plane was heading to the capital. We knew that in the scramble, they had to launch without live ammunition or missiles. We knew they were prepared to ram that 757, at the likely cost of their own lives as well as those of everyone on board.

What we didn’t know until Penney’s mother e-mailed us, with a request to mail a copy of the story to her in Colorado, was this additional Penney-family fact about that day: “We were thankful that Heather was able to put her emotions aside and not even consider that her father might have been flying on United 93,” Stephanie Penney said as an aside in her e-mail.

How’s that?

“Yes, John [Penney] was a captain for United Airlines at that time,” she elaborated later by phone. “He flew 757s and had been flying trips into and out of the East Coast the month before. Heather would not have known for sure that her dad wasn’t the captain on United 93.”

 Heather and her father, UAL pilot John Penney

No, Heather Penney hadn’t mentioned that the extraordinary “kamikaze mission” she was ready to execute that day might well have been directed at a plane that carried the man who had once tucked her in, driven her to school and taught her to love fast airplanes.

“This sounds cold-hearted; I mean that was my daddy,” Penney said from Reno, where she and her father are flying for separate teams in the annual Reno Air Races. “But, frankly, there was no way for me to know, and it would not have changed what I needed to do at all.”

Of course, none of this was clear at the time. In the rush of events, then-Lt. Penney had not been able to contact her parents. She didn’t know whether her father was flying. She didn’t know the identity of the hijacked plane air traffic controllers thought was heading for Washington (and which had probably crashed in Pennsylvania even before she was in the air).

But when it was all sorted out, the cosmic near-miss aspect of those extraordinary possibilities was greeted with a business-as-usual shrug in the Penney household.

“We talked about the possibility that I could have been on the plane,” Col. John Penney said. “She knew I was flying that kind of rotation. But we never fell down and emotionally broke apart or anything like that. She’s a fighter pilot; I’m a fighter pilot.”

Penney, retired from both the military and the airlines, spoke from Reno, too. He’s a veteran racer, flying this week a highly modified Grumman Bearcat; his daughter is racing a Czech L-29 Delfin, a jet she takes around the pylons at 500 miles an hour, some 50 feet off the ground.

This photo provided by the National Championship Air Races shows
Heather Penney in front of her race jet "Ragu Grace" in Reno, Nev.

Stephanie Penney, wife and mother of these extreme aviators, said they did take comfort 10 years ago that at least one of the potential horrors of Sept. 11 didn’t happen.

“I did say to Heather, ‘We’re really glad that wasn’t your dad and that you didn’t have to think about that,’ ” she said. “She just said, ‘Mom, I couldn’t think about it. I had a job to do.’ That’s what we’re most proud of Heather for, that she was doing her job.”

It’s not that the day isn’t remembered around the Penney holiday table for its shattering pathos. Several friends from Evergreen, Colo., lost family members in the World Trade Center. Stephanie Penney recalled the call that morning from Heather’s twin sister, Jill, who was working in Asia at the time and desperate to reach her pilot sibling.

“I cannot even describe the sound of her voice; she needed to reach her sister right now,” Penney recalled. “But I couldn’t help her; Heather was in the air.”

And then there was the horror that did come true. Although John Penney wasn’t flying United 93 that day, one of his best work buddies was. Jason Dahl, the captain of that flight, was Penney’s cubicle mate back at United’s pilot training center. He and his wife had dined with the Dahls. They bragged about their kids to each other.

On Sept. 11, Penney’s daughter would have taken out Dahl’s plane if the passengers of Flight 93 hadn’t beaten her to it.

“Had we heard that Heather and Sasseville been successful, it would have been utterly devastating for my wife and I,” John Penney said. “With Jason on the plane, it would have been an additional level of grief. But there were thousands of families that learned about the loss of their loved ones that day. Everybody had a job to do.”



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

Did a lucky bargain hunter become a millionaire after finding an original
print of the Declaration of Independence in the frame of an old painting?

New Articles

• Did an ambush near Boston recently kill 72 National Guard troops?

• Did an open microphone catch President Obama muttering caustic comments about the 4th of July holiday?

• Dog owners in San Francisco are on alert after reports of poisoned meatballs being found around the city.

• Will hanging plastic bags filled with water repel flies?

• Did President Obama advise a group of college students not to celebrate the 4th of July?

• A babysitter quiets her charges by gassing them.

• Will Russian forces be providing security at large events in the U.S.?

• Did President Obama cancel July 4 celebrations at U.S. military bases to save money?

• A lucky bargain hunter became a millionaire after finding an original print of the Declaration of Independence in the frame of an old painting.

• About presidential visits with survivors of the Fort Hood shootings.

• Do the eleven points on the maple leaf of Canada's flag represent the number of Canadian provinces and territories?

• Did Paula Deen blame 'Jew executives' for her dismissal from the Food Network?

• A store made good on its offer to sell stereos for "299 bananas" when customers proffered the fruit as payment.

• Has Paula Deen been hired to host a cooking show for Fox News?

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

Worth a Second Look

• Video clip shows one woman hauling off and punching another woman in the face.

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.



Want to see what ordering a pizza will be like in 2015 after ObamaCare is fully implemented? You know you do, so click on the link below. (2 Mins.)


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Spoiler alert: Here's an interesting clip sent in by Lumpy (Lundberg) that will show you how movie sound effects are produced. (5 Mins.)


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Ever have the need to peel a head of garlic? This short clip sent in by Alice Murphy will show you how Martha Stewart does it in just a few seconds with no muss, no fuss. (1 Min.)


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Is this an attack by a lion, or something else? Watch this short clip received from Bruce Morton and find out. (39 Secs.)


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Speaking of cats, my sister-in-law — an animal lover of the first degree — sent me this video titled "Sad Cat Diary." Trust me when I say it's enough to make a grown man cry. (3 Mins.)


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This is a short but exceptional promotion for BBC One's various nature series productions featuring Sir David Attenborough. It's set to Louis Armstrong's signature song, "What a Wonderful World." If you have not seen any of the nature films he narrates, such as "The Blue Planet," "Planet Earth" and numerous other award-winning documentaries produced by BBC One, you are missing out on a lot. Take 120 seconds out of your busy life and have a look at this clip. (2 Mins.)


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In the years that have lapsed since Honda created the award winning chain reaction commercial called "The Cog" (shown below), the company has produced several others that are just as creative. Here's one of the company's latest called "Honda Hands." (2 Mins.)


This is the famous "Cog" chain-reaction ad from several years ago...


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This short clip is designed to determine whether or not those of you who own a Harley Davidson have a sense of humor. If there is no Farsider next week, it may be due to the fact that I'll be in a full body cast and unable to type. (2 Mins.)


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Our attention was drawn to the "Grasshopper" rocket by Tom Macris, SJPD's first police artist. Designed and built by a private company called Space X, it has the capability to launch, then reverse itself and land on the same pad. Here are short clips of three early test flights.

120 Foot Test (60 Secs.)


820 Foot Test (90 Secs.)


1,066 Foot Test (96 Secs.)


Wikipedia provides additional info on this new technology:

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To quote Bob Moir, "Seems that Ron Tannehill has some competition. Although he appeared in three consecutive birthday group photos taken at PBA meetings, he has a long way to go to match this teacher's record...

Teacher Wears Same Outfit in 40 Consecutive Yearbook Photos

Dallas Morning News

After a teaching career that spanned 40 years (1973-2012), Dale Irby, 63, has left behind a legacy of yearbook photos in which he is wearing the exact same outfit year after year. According to the Dallas Morning News it began as an accident:

“I was so embarrassed when I got the school pictures back that second year and realized I had worn the very same thing as the first year,” said Dale, now 63. But his wife, Cathy, dared him to do it a third year. Then Dale thought five would be funny. “After five pictures,” he said, 'it was like, ‘Why stop?’”

Dale was a physical education teacher at Titche Elementary in the Pleasant Grove area of Dallas. Aside from a great sense of humor, Irby was a well-respected teacher and even had the gymnasium named in his honor. Let’s give a hand to Dale and countless other amazing teachers around the world!


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Have you ever been exposed to the irritating banging of a pile driver sinking metal or concrete pilings into the ground? The noise is horrific. Construction workers in Thailand have not only put an end to the rhythmic irritation, but it's been said that passersby have sometimes been known to dance to the beat. (30 Secs.)


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One of our readers who shall remain nameless (not to worry, Joe, we'll withhold your last name) sent in a link to a Smoking Gun item he found on the Drudge Report. It's about the female below who was sentenced to 25 years in the slammer for concealing a five-shot revolver, also pictured below. It's where she concealed it that surprised the female jailer who found it...


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In the game of golf, you're suppose to play the ball as it lies, and that's exactly what Sergio Garcia did with this shot instead of declaring the lie unplayable and taking a penalty stroke. It's pure speculation by the announcer, but the odds are the Spaniard chose a "tree iron." (4 Mins.)


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For you bird lovers, here's a well done music video of a rescued baby hummingbird that grew up to become a house pet. (3 Mins.)


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In closing, American broadcast and cable TV networks need to get on the stick if they want their anti-drug public service announcements to have an impact, and they should look at our neighbors to the north. There is little doubt in our mind that the Canucks have it right. Stick with this Canadian PSA to the end and you will see what we mean. (2 Mins.)


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Pic of the Week

We couldn't be happier for former Sgt. Bruce Fair, who moved to
Kansas when he left SJPD. He wrote to say he's having a whale of a
time cruising around the "Land of Flat" on his new ATV. Have a look...




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