Saturday, December 8, 2012

Topix.com 'Unabridged'

I'm going to start blogging about local 'events' I find on Topix.com, that, once you 'delve' into them a little, expand enough of the 'topic' that shows something more interesting.  I'll skip the dumbest Topix topics like "whose the biggest whore in town" (yes, it's there, all the time--complete with misspellings, and lack of punctuation.

Hopefully, by now WE'VE ALL HEARD the saying about 'opinions', what they're 'like', and that author's erudite conclusion with regards to both, by comparison.

My first topic will be the one that inspired the subject of this series of blogs.

The Topix.com heading read:

Only one spelling error? Grammatically cogent? Plus, the entire sentence NOT ALL CAPS?

Turns out, it was a good, juicy story where somebody locally went to see their 'pain doc' on appointment, and arrived on time only to see a note posted on this doctor's door saying 'the doctor is OUT', only permanently, or at least indefinitely, and no real explanation.  As in, there wasn't even time to notify current patients.

As with everything 'Topixable', people were throwing around statements, and someone loosely thew in one about a 'psycho ex-boyfriend' trying to 'ruin her'. Well, that was interesting, because psycho-ex's just don't have any real bearing on anything REAL, much less anything that would end a practicing local physician's career.

Unless there was a nasty relationship-ending fight involved, and things got messy and nasty.

They did.

We were all holding our collective breaths about the Answer to this one, until someone posted the link to the actual court document depicting pretty plainly the whole mess, and how the whole thing was thrown out of court, not due to anything 'he' said, or did, but because of what she tried to do, and actually did use, to destroy his life.  The court decided that, 'crazy-or-no', his life trumped her career, and she cheated all the way to ruin him, too.

I read the document with the business acumen of a businessman investing a quarter of his entire holdings in a startup venture, and I totally agreed (yes, right on Topix!) with another commenter, about what actually happened, and it had nothing to do with defending the 'good doc's name, like the link-submitter had intended (most definitely because he hadn't read any of it).  Instead, it not only 'cleared' the 'boyfriend' of things she'd been saying about him (by the way, these are adults we're talking about here--the usual).

The court doc was not only coherent, but actually well-written enough that anyone could follow it, in it's entirety.  Sweet!  That includes me!  A real, actual, 'not-about-ME' court document to munch on before breakfast!

Gawmpch!  In five minutes, I'd digested about 90% of it, and drew my conclusions based on what the judge had to say about it.

I totally agreed with that judge, one 'other commenter' on Topix, and left this on that article, for my trouble:

I totally agree; had something similar happen to me years ago, where my soon-to-be-ex was sleeping with everybody I knew at the time, then hastily concocted some scheme to DVO and EPO me into court to force a divorce; at the same time she was actively engaged in contacting her old doctor while she was 5 mos. pregnant with what was likely our child, in order to get back on HER head-meds, which almost certainly WOULD, and actually did, cause her pregnancy to terminate.
This 'bitch-doctor' (get it? instead of 'witch') was as bad on several levels: first, the court did decide to cancel out her falsely-ordered DVO, which she had gotten by LYING:
she lied about him hitting her, because she completely withdrew this statement later, along with an eye-witness, and also admitted to coaxing him into 'spending the night' with her (make-up sex gone bad) the very same night she alleged he 'hit her'.
One of her 4 allegations involved him 'throwing a candy bar' at her, which she tried to make into...well, a civil court case, anyway.  I mean--was it a 'mounds', or 'almond joy'--the difference could kill you.  Even GW knew how to dodge a well-aimed pair of shoes, apparently.
He had to fight her all the way legally, and did pretty well for himself, I might say, because it's pretty plain he was her 'butt-munch' while she slept around on him (trip to Florida--it's in that link)...and once he complained, he was 'done', in many different ways...she tried very hard to use the means at her disposal as a physician to RUIN HIS LIFE. For one thing, she used her doctor's 'KASPAR' account online to provide his entire medicinal history to the local court, in an attempt to slander the poor guy. (So much for HIPAA). "Selah".
I don't know either party, but I've been there, so God help him.
Apparently, God 'did' help him, because the poor sap won...his freedom maybe...but, we see again, not exactly free from Topix.com users.
Just glad you gave the link--sorry to you that it totally proved to anyone at a reading level past that '5th grade plateau' we have around here, that this guy barely escaped with his freedom, and she really, really did try and ruin him--since his brother lived next door to her, he couldn't even stay there while she used everything--and likely, this being BG, everyONE--she could to destroy his life.  I'm sure now she's trying to get him to commit suicide--it's a common thing around BG anymore.
People around here have very few workable ethics--I've dealt personally with several aspects of this 'case', a few over the past year alone.
BG is a great example of a mid-sized city with the small-town  characteristics that make it like treading through quicksand every time someone craps on you here...you just make it worse the harder you fight; I'll add though, this--at least dying in quicksand (I assume somewhere remote) you don't have a gaggle of TMZ-inspired locals gathered around you wishing they could also set you afire.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


IT HAPPENED AGAIN


Well, it happened again--2nd time in 14 mos., I had to call the septic tank cleaning specialist to come over, clean the tank, and try to get some advice on how to keep it from backing up annually.

Rick (Rick's Septic Tank Cleaning) finally got his head around the problem (it was apparently a rare, weird, doozy) enough to pinpoint the problem at the rear drain pipe--specifically, its diameter and height.  It is only 2" in diameter (even I could see this, standing above it), while the front 'line' (coming from the house to the front of this tank) is 4".

The rear line takes 'liquid' (more like diarrhea) refuse down to the 'wet field' (to dry), but needs to be a little lower than the 'front line' (and so, the overall level of the 'stuff'), to keep leaving room for more coming in the front.

That's as basic as I can make this situation--Rick even voiced his opinion that he suspects the tank was installed backwards, a mistake I guess anyone could make, unless they were using qualified pro's to install one of the most important systems in their entire house.

A septic tank can literally 'make-or-break' your house's value; it either works, or doesn't.  If it doesn't, you're going to get sick, and there's a big possibility that your house will begin having black mold problems, too, when backups aren't dried ASAP (and 'backups' are never small amts, or anything close to hygienic--they're filthy).

I might have been financially prepared for this, if it hadn't happened so soon.  Rick even mentioned the first time that it would need the standard cleaning every three years or so, along with his other advice (he's been pretty helpful throughout my ordeal here).

But--14 months--I wasn't ready, and my girlfriend helped me by paying the entire amount.

I owe her big--this time around, it was worse--I couldn't even use the toilet, or any spigot, up or downstairs, without stuff coming up the drain of the downstairs tub, and from around the base of that toilet, too.  I went through 10-15 towels trying to dry it up...and when you do this, there's no way to wash the towels, so you either have to find a place to wash the nasty stuff, or lose it.


Here's the 2nd receipt:
Rick has written the problems on the bill, so I don't keep getting blamed for the pre-existing problem with this septic system.

LAST TIME, although threatened with eviction, I kept back the repair fee from my monthly rent, and sweated it out while I waited to be evicted.

This time, I emailed the same corporate owners, saying:

Susan,
Wanna make it clear I am paying the full amt for my December rent, but have had to get the septic tank cleaned once more.
The repairman made it clear this system was not installed correctly, leaving the 'rear line' too small (and high) to clear off liquid waste down into the nearby 'wet field'.
Again, this is just a note: there won't be any surprises from me next month--I plan on paying my full $450 monthly rent then.
Thanks,
Mike Denney
1671 Morgantown Road
So, once again, I'm left holding somebody else's shit-bag.  The guy who 'shepherded' me into renting this place acted like he's doing me such a big favor, then backed out of every opportunity to be honest and tell the current owners that I was right when this, and multiple other, issues came up.

Over my 2-year stay here, I have been personally responsible for repairing:

  • the HVAC system (both fan motors--I paid $270 for both fans, installed them myself)
  • the A/C system (it's leaking--twice filled at a cost to me personally of over $300)
  • this septic system (the first time, I withheld $250 from my rent payment...this time...?)
  • much, much more (too many for even a frikking BLOG!)
One last note: the guy who told me about the place fast-talked me into renting here; he was full of assurances that I'd 'like it', about how the 'current owners' were 'nice people', and he was sure 'they'd help me out anytime I needed help'.

Bullshit.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

When an Infield Fly Rule Ruins a Baseball Game

It was the middle of the 8th inning...the St. Louis Cardinal team had played well enough to have a well-deserved 3-run lead against the haplessly-error-ridden Atlanta Braves.  Yet, the Braves were at bat, they had men on 1st and 2nd, and only one out.

Braves batter Andrelton Simmons hit a fly ball into left field, but hung there long enough to give three men time to converge on it--Cardinals left-fielder Matt Holiday, their shortstop Pete Kozma (who'd just made an error throwing to first), and the man who turned out to be more important to both Cardinals players, and every player, team, and rule, as it turned out--left-field umpire Sam Holbrook.


Kozma had made an exceptional effort look fluid and easy by running more than mid-way into deep left field quickly, reaching the ball's target area with 2 or 3 seconds to spare, so it was apparent that Matt Holiday was preparing to let the SS redeem himself from his earlier error (a bad throw to first) by letting him take the ball.


Then--literally at the last second, with the fly ball just 30 feet over Kozma's head--ump Holbrook decided to call the fly ball an out by invoking the infield fly ball rule.


video


I saw the play live, and it was not just 'protestable'...it was detestable--a poorly-made, mistaken, blown, call, from the split second the ump's hand haplessly went up to make it.


Sadly, it ruined the outcome of this game, the historic first MLB wildcard game, forever.


It was monumentally bad, and I'm very sure the actual umpire's poor call--so wildly inappropriately MADE and TIMED--was the full cause for the SS letting the ball drop in the first place, leading Kozma--who obviously knew he'd never expect any ump to be hollering out the infield fly rule--to mistake umpire Holbrook's voice for his own teammate Holiday's, calling him off to make the catch himself, as it was well within his range and the common territory of any major league left fielder.



My measly, brief experience as a LITTLE LEAGUE scorer/announcer (alongside all I learned about baseball rules from my dad, who himself was a local ump in my hometown) was more than enough to help me realize immediately (within 2 minutes of seeing Braves Manager Fredi Gonzalez nearly get thrown out of the game over this 'travesty') that I needed to 'tweet' something vital, which happily 'went down' in real-life, within 5 mins of my tweet--that this game needed to go on 'under official protest', for two reasons:


  1. to make sure the wrong call by the ump went on the record as one that should indeed cause this game to be replayed from this vital moment onward, and
  2. to help keep order on the field and not lose the rest of the game to 'fan outrage'.
What price disco? Around 98¢ (and one forfeited playoff game)
The call was so bad that I quickly became sick of the TV announcers RIGHTLY shaming the fans for the scene that followed--the worst scene in the MLB since the famous 'Disco Demolition Night' at Comiskey in Chicago in '79.

Tonight's fans were MUCH more orderly than that--they were [rightly] really...erm, peeved, you might say, and merely kept waiting 'til the ground crew cleaned the whole play area up, to begin throwing more bottles, cans (and I think I even saw some kittens and newborn babies, too)...it was a scene, and only the official protest even ALLOWED Braves fans the courtesy to carry on the delusion they hadn't been absolutely robbed...because they were.

No, nobody threw their babies and pets...just almost everything else they had on 'em.

I couldn't believe it when I heard who would be 'the deciders' on the protest (Joe Garagiola, Jr, and Joe Torre, both of whom have direct ties with the St. Louis Cardinal organization, and so both of whom are totally improper choices to make this important decision.  I mean, it wasn't like this game wasn't scheduled.

The debacle paralyzed game play for nearly 30 minutes while field crew members had to keep returning to the field (especially the left field, for some reason) to clean off more debris thrown by angry fans.

The Braves had definitely been threatening to score, and if the play had been left alone, ironically, the Braves might have failed to score a single run anyway.  But it really killed the hopes of them winning; it was on their faces, especially Chipper Jones, for whom this was to be his last game.


Honestly, I was 'torn' between wanting to judge the fans for their impudent and somewhat immature trashing of their own field, and realizing how they must be feeling, seeing how this all went down, dashing their hopes during their biggest rally of this game.


Sure, those who threw stuff exhibited poor conduct, poor sportsmanship, and likely even broke some litter ordinances in Atlanta, but still--this was such a poor call, and even the protest decision poorly handled, as well.


I only 'dissertate' here because I know that rule SO WELL, and it does NOT just involve whether the ball could be intentionally DROPPED, but also whether the player who intentionally let it drop could also in 'real time' turn this into a double play, cheating a single out into a 'manufactured DP'--hence, the rule in the first place.

In this case, that would have been veritably and nearly undeniably impossible--TWO Aroldis Chapmans couldn't have hurled the ball around the field fast enough for that to have happened.  


If the ball had been caught, with the rule unapplied, any conscientious, responsible, rational, 'team-player'-runners would have been left standing at their bases, as it was an easy judgment call by either runner due to the height of the ball, and the overwhelming likelihood that the ball would be caught (99% of the time, in any sensible outcome, by the advancing left fielder, who'd use his forward momentum to hurl the ball infield for any further potential plays).

The breathless disbelief of the TV announcers when the ball went uncaught is enough to tell you this (along with the scary vacuous noise of 40,000+ Braves home fans gasping right along for the same reason).


In fact, in the first minute after the call was made, TBS TV announcer Ron Darling was clearly 
heard to say "You cannot call that an infield fly.  It's too deep.  He wasn't camped".  He went on, saying "You know, this is what happens occasionally when you add extra umpires down the right-field and left-field lines.  You have extra umpires, and sometimes you have extra calls".

Ron Darling is no stranger to fielding the ball himself.  His wikipedia page says this:
[Darling] was considered one of the better fielding pitchers of the time, and won a Gold Glove Award in 1989. Darling had one of the best pickoff moves among right-handers. An above-average athlete, he was sometimes used as a pinch runner. In 1989, he hit home runs in two consecutive starts.
What makes this call most ridiculous is that the fly ball would have been caught by somebody without the umpire's intervention in the first place.

The 'infield fly rule' is worded specifically so that these things cannot happen (cannot be automatically interfered with by the umpire himself, as well).  Here it is:
The rule applies only when there are fewer than two outs, and there is a force play at third base (i.e., when there are runners at first and second base, or the bases are loaded).[1] In these situations, if a fair fly ball is in play, and in the umpire's judgment it is catchable by an infielder with ordinary effort, the umpire shall call "infield fly" (or more often, "infield fly, batter's out"); the batter will be out[2]regardless of whether the ball is actually caught in flight. Umpires typically raise the right arm straight up, index finger pointing up, to signal the rule is in effect.
The best lesson as to why this call was so bad, would be if--in ANY game in the future, ANY infielder who possessed extraordinary speed and a particularly high level of poise--decided to run down ANY well-hit fly ball in the deepest part of the outfield, while the outfielder there also took part in the 'lesson' and stood motionless, except to avoid the infielder's attempt to catch the ball.

In any such scenario, the infielder could potentially cause a similar 'missed call' if any umpire seeing him make the play decided he made the play look easy.  Over...and over...and over, into the millions.

So soon after the NFL ref issues, this was just so poorly handled (Torre's denial of the official protest was so immediate and flatly dismissive that it reeks of cronyism and team-based bias on his part) that it will now leave an indelible mark on the otherwise wonderfully-implemented wildcard idea.

The saddest part is that the call actually disrupted an actual play that would have almost certainly been made by the Cards SS had he not genuinely mistaken the ump's voice for his very own left-fielder, because he'd been looking straight up, the ump was yelling over the crowd, and the SS then stepped back to let his LF take the ball, and in one painful moment only then realized the ump had been the voice he heard.

So it was one of those things--'wrong on so many levels': the call was 'moot', the call WAS wrong, it was MADE wrong, and then, after all, inexorably made no sense for any reason, other than it was made by an inexperienced 'additional' umpire, DIRECTLY affected the outcome of a 'first-time' type of event, caused such an uproar, and will go on the books with a huge question mark directed at the POTENTIAL for bias in the final decision to deny the protest, which, if not THE most appropriate protest in MLB history, then certainly one of the biggest and important ones.

Baseball needs more work on officiating, 'camera'-involved protests, questioning some major components of the 'judgement call', while still keeping the pace of the game on a reasonable clip.


So many 'non-fans' already hate the pace of this game, and so many 'true fans' gave up on the innocence of the sport after the 1994 strike; and the controversial influence of steroids hasn't helped any (and likely won't).


I wonder how long the game will be able to teach any kind of lessons on any level, to anyone watching it, besides the nonsensical exposition of low-grade flim-flam we saw tonight.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

It's MORE than 'about time', here--I was held there for more than TWO WEEKS nearly TWO DECADES ago with NO FORMAL CHARGES FILED (believe me--I ASKED)...then, with no former history, they found they could hold me inevitably until I SIGNED MYSELF IN FOR PSYCHIATRIC evaluation, which turned into a decade-long nightmare for me. FOR BEING A FIRST-TIME NON-VIOLENT RUNAWAY.
They had an 'in-house' wacko psychiatrist who kept them in state and federal funds for years doing things like extorting people like me out of their entire lives.

Guess it was easy to get lost in their little system when they were doing so many more horrible things. Bowling Green now 'hosts' several 'graduates' from that system, BTW, in our local police force, AND WKU's 'squad', and they are very strange in the way they go about enforcing their own codes on 'people they just don't like'.

I have blogged about this, and am hoping for more attention to my own story, as time allows for more truly objective, honest, investigative reporting and analysis to come to BG.

So--for ruining my young life (I was 18, barely able to know anything that signing their self-admission forms would DESTROY ME, and THEY KNEW, AND CONTINUE TO KNOW, THAT)--I hope they are investigated by MANY and MUCH higher authorities who are not only COMPETENT and OBJECTIVE, but also UNTAINTED by local politics and bureaucracies that keep entire systems like this full of hapless, helpless, innocent victims like myself, and even eventually tried and found guilty of some of the severely corrupt things they did.

Laws protecting people against this type of corruption ALWAYS come to late, much less the implementation of such laws, complete with objective citizens' groups that aren't tainted by any other 'system' (like, in mine and many local cases, the 'psychiatric'). Kentucky has plenty enough problems to be going about destroying young lives with or without discrimination, especially the way it's been (being) doled out, going way beyond color, creed, ethnicity, gender, and age, but actually just 'whether elected officials LIKE you', or your 'attitude'.
Glad I saw this, glad I got this 'off my chest', and sorry I felt obligated for myself to do it in this venue. It's so patently unAmerican, it makes me physically ill.

I will be keeping my little 'rant' and blogging it, posting it on my Facebook page as well, in case it gets 'blocked' from being posted here.

Somebody has to start telling the truth about 'goings on' in this region.
Judge Rules Report on Barren County Jail Must be Released

The paper reported Judge Phil Patton ruled Thursday, the county has 30 days to appeal the decision, but must release the report
GLASGOW, Ky. (AP) -- A judge in Barren County has ordered the county to release an investigative report on the local jail to The Glasgow Daily Times, but information may be edited out as allowed by law.
The county hired private investigator Michael J. Ober, and paid him $3,500 with tax dollars, to investigate allegations of sexual and criminal misconduct at the jail. Ober later told the fiscal court he preferred to give it to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Ober's documents include jail policy manuals, a document titled "Barren Questions," 18 audio recorded interviews, 14 typed interview notes and a document titled "Barren County Jail Investigation."

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

WKU Auction Blockade


For a tiny, one-man, struggling PC Repair operation, auctions are a necessity and a privilege, not a 'perk'...so it's pretty hard to have to give up going to a LOCAL auction full of perfect stuff to bring my costs down, all due to one local 'apprentice' auctioneer being chosen by WKU, who seems to have singled me out as some kind of troublemaker.

I buy from local auctions, online and live, so I can keep parts available to drive down costs to my customers.  Sadly, it's only secondarily that my doing this keeps illegal PCBs out of local landfills, but in that, I'm keenly aware that 'scavenging' parts (which I test) also keeps those parts from just being wasted.  In my view, we need less waste, and more concerned, conscientious people doing what I'm doing...who knows--maybe our government will start learning from us someday, and start wasting less themselves?

A local man named Ron Slavic used to be in charge of WKU's Supply & Services department.  Ron was good at what he did--he was both fair and honest, yet kept WKU itself from wasting it's own resources, by selling off their used furniture and equipment.  His skills as an asset manager were uncompromising and particularly intelligent, and I'm sure he's missed, both personally and financially, by his dept., and Western Kentucky University.

Ron died about two years ago, and he was one of those people who, if you knew him professionally (as I'd like to call our 'relationship' between buyer/seller), was hard to appreciate until too late.

Especially now.  After his passing, WKU hired a bunch of inexperienced students to be in charge.  They were basically supervised by a young woman who I believe was actually allowing many of their items to go out the door, as favors to her friends, possibly distant relatives.  I say this, not only because I can, but because I kept getting calls to various 'new customers' around town, who were in possession of older Dell computers that still had the red WKU inventory control stickers on them.

As a frequent bidder/buyer over the years, I had always been keenly aware of just how careful --even obsessive--WKU was about removing those stickers, for obvious reasons (as in, inventory controls).

Also, when I'd go there to pick up my items, I kept noticing how short-handed they seemed at pickup-time.  They never removed their inventory control stickers until I showed up to pick up my won items, even though they were all grouped by winning bidder.  They hired a man who I knew personally from having worked for the local newspaper at the same time, doing driving routes.  This guy had actually stolen the papers stacked and labelled for me several times, in order to 'get his' routes done quicker, and had lied when confronted about it.  He'd probably been fired there, so I wondered who had trusted him at WKU, to work around their retired inventory every day (perhaps the newspaper had done him a 'favor' for his service there, considering his dishonesty 'tolerable' to them, and didn't know or care where he worked after they let him go).

Within a year after 'Ron's Era', I began noticing some other major flaws begin creeping into the WKU Supply & Services department (hereafter referred to as WKU S&S) system of handling online sales.

Their eBay auction listings were suddenly completely devoid of vital item info--everything from the sizes of items like televisions, to other important information, from simple things like model #'s of items, even to their functionality and condition.  Although later, they would actually make some progress by including a very nice information system regarding their automotive sales (complete with VIN #s and free repair info about each auto), obvious gaps just seemed to dominate each of their listings.  One of the largest was to notice that WKU kept all service records from potential buyers, even to the winners of each car or van vehicle sold.

The obvious, ridiculous neglect of providing service records for their retired vehicles showed that WKU had just begun using the VIN# system (maybe even provided for by eBay for a miniscule fee?) as an excuse to avoid having to look up any info they could have been providing their winning bidders.

To me, this reeked of a situation where lost manpower (even one guy) had begun costing them some potential value in their own recovery efforts.

My perspective on this was from a 'buyers' standpoint, so I said nothing at all.  To me, the privilege of continuing buying computer hardware, furniture, and other used equipment from them was wonderful, and since I was not in the resale market for vehicles, their apparent lassitude did not concern me as much as my own skill, honesty, business ethics, and the overall quality of the items that I sold and repaired.  I will never forget my place as a small, one-man proprietorship, and their in-house dealings were acceptable to most, if not all, of their eBay buyers, anyway, to the point that they still had (not now) a 100% perfect Feedback record on eBay.

View WKU's current eBay seller profile by clicking here.

Part of the info WKU had recently begun collecting from their eBay buyers for their own online auction site was our email addresses, of course, so I was happy to be invited to their 1st actual 'live, onsite' auction, to be held last year at their S&S building, across from WKU's baseball field.

Hundreds of people showed up, as it was generally understood that this auction was a kind of 'close-out' to clean up their 2nd floor inventory holding facility for some other use.  The auction was handled by local auctioneer Ron Kirby, Jr., along with his staff, including his 'apprentice auctioneer', Kim Bouchey (sometimes spelled 'Boucher' locally).

I went, won some LCDs flatscreens, and some computer-related furniture (desks), televisions, and other stuff (over $300 worth, a big deal to me).  Although I'm a hard-bargainer, I'm always nice at these auctions, and if I see an opportunity to avoid being greedy and rude, I'll always give place...I even chat between sales with other local techs, as it never hurts to 'know your competition'!  How they take my polite attitude has no bearing on me myself--as I have a friendly, conversive, most-often polite manner.  In fact, this plays out most frequently in my favor eventually anyway, because you can easily tell peoples' characters and personalities by their responsiveness, attitudes, even their ability to carry on a conversation about anything!

One bidder at that auction was not any greedier than anybody else, but his attitude quickly showed itself in his dogged pursuits of all the LCD flatscreens he could afford, and just his facial expressions of outward disgust toward any other bidders who 'took his auctions'.  I didn't need ANY of the LCDs I was bidding on, so, of the 100+ (more like 200+ quite possibly), I pressed and won just four.  I don't recall his 'take', but it was plenty, for his own one-man operation in his local small town of Scottsville.

True to form, this little dude was as openly rude and hateful toward me after my 'win' as he could manage and still concentrate on the remainder of the other items in the auction.  Toward the end, he even tried to take all three book-cases full of computer keyboards, after winning the first (very cheap bunch).

I'd asked the auctioneer whether he was going to sell them separately, though, before he began that section, because a)I spied the other bidder eyeing them all intently, even mentioning to another bidder that he'd be 'taking them all', b)I recognized prior to the entire auction start, that the 2nd and 3rd bins should go as separate lots, without the option to buy them at the same price as the 1st, because they were an entirely different type of multimedia keyboards (some even having rare volume control knobs), and were worth as much as 2X more apiece, and c)I did go there with the intent to buy keyboards for my own clients, but not ALL the keyboards they had (the difference being dozens).

My request did appeal to the auctioneer, he did auction them off separately, and I did manage to win my fair share over the other bidder, who by this time was getting pretty nasty, even making some comments at me to try and provoke me (it happens--you lose twice if you give in to these, I've learned, though, so I just quit interacting with the guy completely, and he 'locked off').

My only problems during that auction were initially that one of the auctioneer's assistants tried to charge me (understandably) for a bunch of 'junker items' that he'd personally [begged, for lack of better word] me to buy as an entire lot for $2.50, since not a single person of the hundreds gathered around these items (old dot-matrix-printer housings) would even bid a single dollar for one of them, and it was holding up the entire auction to stand around them.  When I'd gone downstairs to pay for all items, they'd charged me individually for them, and then auction clerks stonewalled me in an attempt to pay 'their price' until I literally chased down the actual auctioneer to 'right their wrong' (he remembered he'd done this personally, but wasn't particularly nice about having to fix their mess).

After he had to clean up another mess about a teenaged-kid who thought he was buying ONE LCD flatscreen (at $75, everybody else then understood his high bid), they were off to their 2nd site, to sell of some other desks and furniture, which I wasn't interested in (too big for me to store).  So, I went over there to pay for some other stuff I'd won at the 1st site and was delivering to my house.


WATCH YOUR STUFF (REGARDLESS WHAT ELSE HAPPENS)!

At this point, a sideline--a warning to all who win items at auctions--BRING A FRIEND.  If you plan on winning a single item, paying for it immediately, and taking it home, you don't have to worry about thieves, of course.  However, if you see even one more thing and get held up in payment processes, weather, or other distractions, you could easily lose your money.

Anyone planning on stealing other people's items will be experienced enough to be somewhat organized--primarily in seeing that you've paid for your items, and if you look away, even for a 'second', you could easily, quickly go home with 'magic beans' and a significantly lighter wallet.

I'd lost some old chairs I won at the local police auction a year before.  There was terrible weather (pretty bad thunderstorm), people were running around trying to put tarps over their stuff, and the uniformed police being paid to attend the event weren't doing anyone any favors (unless they knew them) by even watching anyone's stuff, even to the end, when most had left due to the weather.

The saddest part (on them all) was that a)their own city clerks being paid to take payments were rude beyond belief, wasting everyone's time by chatting with their boyfriends (on phone and in person), taking multiple smoke breaks per hour, and basically acting as if you could just leave if you didn't like it--all while lines were full of people desperate to get out of there without losing the items they'd won, which were in one of many buildings used at the event--always completely out-of-sight, most times, hundreds of feet away.

The chairs (and some other stuff) that I'd lost at that auction were of negligible value, but the worst part was that people literally shopped them right off the bed of my truck while it was parked at the edge of the city maintenance garage door, completely covered with my tarp, many of my items secured by nylon rope, and in full view of two cops who'd just denied me my simple request to 'keep an eye' on my stuff, for a mere 5 minutes (which it was)...and they'd not moved a muscle from their spot when I returned from payoff off my last items won that day.  Their response was hilariously negligent, and I quote within a word "see, that's really not in our job description today, because we're here as cops for security today".

To their detriment (and I'm sure mine, as well) they looked more like they were planning on going out with each other on a date (and yes, they were males)--in their attitudes, their locked-in conversation with each other, and especially their open-disdain for myself (and about two other people who asked them the same question--one even asked if they could move an inch or two so he could see a table better).  Just openly, bitterly, ridiculous.

I never knew if they were aware, but one of their own had even had his own auction item stolen less than an hour before--and of course, only after he paid (it was a bike for his kid, he'd paid $140 for it, and the look on his face was pretty harried when he was discussing 'what to do about this' with the auction manager that day).

So, I guess the lesson may be the ever-popular 'what goes around, comes around'...especially when you're a bunch of local cops grousing over not getting double pay for a volunteer auction 'security presence'.

'PEOPLE STEAL MY STUFF', I GET RUN UP THE FLAGPOLE FOR IT?

During the last WKU live auction, I'd paid, dropped off the bigger items (partly out of consideration to WKU--I was trying to avoid leaving all 'my junk items' there for them to have to work around), and went back the next day to pick up all the 'tech-hardware' I'd won (my LCD flatscreens, some old TVs, and the keyboards).  I also had to pick up some furniture, since WKU S&S had closed up about 10 minutes prior to their posted end-of-day, making things unnecessarily more difficult on me.

I entered the building, and immediately asked by the young woman who'd taken over Ron Slavic's bottom floor desk responsibilities to come into her office, and give her my receipts.  By the end of that day, I'd really regret trusting her, and most of the other office 'help' there that day.  'She' was going to be 'in charge' of doling out my things to me, and went on to immediately assuring me that this was their standard practice (even though I was pretty suspicious about handing over my only payment receipts to her).

By the end of the day, the following had happened:

  • 'Somebody' (I rightly suspected the 'other bidder') had stolen my LCD flatscreens
  • 2 WKU Student workers initially said they were 'eye-witnesses', and suspected him themselves
  • The office worker downstairs 'lost' those very receipts (the only copies)...after 'failing to note I'd brought them in, was there to pick up the items on-time, they were missing, and then proceeded to ignore the two student workers who kept trying to tell her they'd witnessed somebody leaving with my items
  • She even began attempting to 'control' the situation herself, quickly telling both student workers not to 'back up my story', even though they'd shared it as their own witness as well.
  • She lied to her boss several times in two hours in an attempt to make me out as a liar, because once she'd lost my receipts, there was no record of my payment--to 'cover her ass'
  • Instead of handling this problem in any kind of timely manner (especially not with any kind of attention to it), she began giving all her attention to every other buyer who came in that day--for over an hour.  She even took several calls for pickup scheduling, telling them all to just 'come on in whenever'...
  • She even began directing any staff she came into contact with, to handle 'all other pickups', instead of my [small and unimportant--'bitchy'] one...even monopolizing that elevator herself more than three trips up while all this obfuscation was going on (each trip taking more than 5 minutes, with her personally standing in it to hold it upstairs), while I still had more than 10 items weighing more than 100 lbs. to take down before they closed that day (a Friday), while initiating even more conflict by promising me that I'd be defaulting on any items not picked up that day, 'as listed in the auction' from the start.
  • Within the first hour, both the student eye-witnesses, very reassuring at first, had openly recanted their stories--one even asking me (another quote): "what do you do with all this stuff, anyway" (as if to say I was pretty much an addled, idle-minded crazy going about lying about 'winning stuff').  NOTE: At this point, it began to bug me that WKU staff were actually trying to pry something out of me that I'd paid for, with the intent to even sell it themselves--especially if they pushed me far enough to cause me to 'break', get arrested, and give up my items by default, as per 'auction rules'!
  • I asked for the young woman's supervisor, and luckily for me, he actually came down from his office.  By this time, I was addled, as it had been more than 30 minutes, with no progress made on my complaint, and things were actually going the other way (the wagons were circling amongst a bunch of WKU supply workers?--flatly identifiable as such, and I was surprised at how quickly, how pervasively, and who had eventually 'come over' to the 'other side', in such short time).
  • Only after I was able to 'interrupt' the young woman's 'version' of my own story (and had to more than 3 times, almost shouting her down), was I able to get my problem to be understood by her supervisor...who then politely stood there listening to his workers begin denying all sorts of things, almost to cover all their jobs at once.
  • Realizing I couldn't get the thief's bidder info (name, location, phone #, place of business), myself, and then couldn't do anything with that info, I waited more than an hour for Western employees, even to the supervisor, to make some kind of decision about what they would offer to do to repay me.  They began using the absence of my receipts (taken by their worker), esp. the missing ones, to deny any culpability or responsibility.  It's like I ceased to exist to them, and they had all started to jokingly stand around waiting for me to explode...
  • I went over the place twice, until I actually found my own receipts, the ones they'd lost, lying on the floor in the main garage.  They had made no attempt to help me in any way--just stood around in a group watching me as if waiting to react and restrain me if and when I exploded into violence.  That having failed, I thought the proper direction was to call the cops, call the auctioneer (again, myself, since--still--WKU staff were all standing around gawking at me, failing to offer to do anything to resolve the situation they'd caused by letting someone remove my items)--and ask the auctioneer if their group would speak to the WKU police about the bidder, to give me some recourse in recovering my items.  The total for items stolen was just under $100, so I'd been trying all along to hasten things to avoid dragging such a minor amount (to them) out all day long.
  • I called the police, and the very same WKU cop who was present when I'd paid the day before barely said a word, very nearly appearing to hold his breath while I reminded him of my payment time the day before, intentionally failing to so much as acknowledge he'd ever seen me (this happens in this town every day...when people want to snub somebody--they're deadly at it, especially when it's very important to that person's reputation).  His attitude was at best slack, or overly-relaxed, especially when it came to listening, taking my story in, and attempting to resolve the situation.  It's as if he was told before arriving to just stand there and stare at me--and do nothing more.
  • When I called the auctioneer, things really broke down.  I dialed the only number anyone there had for them, from the auction ad (bill) itself, and Kim Bouchey answered.  After listening to me for just under 5 seconds, she began yelling at me, her tone steadily increasing as she shouted violently at me over the phone.  She had not listened, or just was bull-headed, ignorant, and violent-tempered enough to 'light into me' in a full-on, defiant, ill-mannered rage, screaming contemptuously.  I got earful after earful--everything from "How dare you call me about this" and "I had nothing to do with this", to "I don't know why you're bothering me with this after the auction--we don't have anything to do with this".  Then she proceeded to begin belittling me personally, shouting nonsense about my personal character, how many years she had worked as an auctioneer (20+, and she's still only listed as an apprentice, so maybe she's been kicking her own feet out from under her with reactionary stuff like this)...even when I told her that the WKU police were standing right next to me, and began literally begging her (as in, "I'm begging you to talk with them and help them with the info about the guy the WKU staff saw walking out with my stuff"), she grew more and more angry. After a couple of minutes of this rage-fueled tyrant, I realized she's made her money, and she couldn't care less...so only then, did I hang up, turn to the police, and sadly begin to say I would have to 'take the loss', and that I was sorry to have bothered the police, esp. since I was getting no help from this auctioneer.
  • Only then did the WKU S&S super come up and quietly offer to 'make things right'--It had gone on for much too long--over an hour--I had missed the opportunity to take my larger items away, so was risking defaulting on and having to leave them, losing more money.  I had been forced to deal with this petty, insulting garbage for so long that they were getting ready to close for the day (much earlier than any government offices around town--something like 2pm).
  • We went upstairs, they went into the 'cage' where there they store leftover items, and got four Dell LCD flatscreens close enough to the specs of the ones I'd one (I'd have to take one of these back because it wasn't tested, and wasn't working, whereas all the ones in the auction were), and I told them 'thanks', that I wished it hadn't progressed to the point, but I still had some complaints regarding how the whole issue was handled, that I'd like to make sure did not happen again (to anyone or me).  The super listened, politely told me I had 'special permission' to leave my bigger items there until after the weekend, so I wouldn't lose them after all, and I left.
  • I was done with it, and went home, seriously questioning whether I wanted to go there again for anything else--truly, I felt this had gotten way out of hand, the only resolution being a lot of mistrust and a feeling like I'd been gifted the LCDs I took home as some kind of pacifier, if not an outright payoff.
  • Kim Bouchey, however, was not done with me.  I checked my voicemails later that day, and got another earful of this--Kim Bouchey's actual Voicemail.  She had toned herself down a bit, but she made sure her general message was there: that being, I had better not accuse her of stealing anything ever again, I'd better watch it, that I'm quite stupid for throwing loose accusations around 
video




BACK TO THE REASON I WON'T BE BIDDING AT WKU AUCTIONS ANYMORE

It's pretty simple--Kim Bouchey ('Boucher'--aka the 'Blonde Bulldog' in my book).

I won what I won, and my usual routine of 'getting out of bidders' ways', actually being 'nice' to the 'potential competition', taking my losses, and wishing I could afford more of what I needed, went fine.

She'd noticed me from the time I entered the 4th floor (I'm very observant, only needed a split-second to see her heard turn toward me and 'lock on' before she went back to doing whatever it was she was doing)...in fact, I had dreaded she was going to have even more 

I left WKU's auction disgusted at the way she handled herself...again.

She fooled me again--this time, by answering my question--TWICE--about whether I was bidding on he 'pretty deliberately' fooled me into buying ONE unnecessary gadget for myself when I thought I was bidding on FOUR (one tenured professor I used to work for at the College Heights Herald overheard her, made comments regarding how illiterate she was, yet never has formed a backbone to help me out on this--typical to what I'm used to experiencing from 'the Hill').

MORE UPDATES ON THIS COMING SOON!

Here are those 'updates' (actually, in effect when I wrote this blog, but now collected, in MP3-as-Video evidence).  Primarily, the call made by local WKU 'police officer' Anthony R. Honeycutt, who--although standing next to this crazy woman at the latest auction (after which I was banned), and 'witnessing' her non-stop, false, verbal assault on me over a $25 item she split up into fours AFTER I WON IT, bore false witness, based on his familiarity with her, and a WKU employee named (believe it) Sarah Ferguson.

Honeycutt phoned me while I was literally in the Medical Center waiting area prepping to go in for carpal tunnel surgery, and informed me I'd been banned--for LIFE--from all future upcoming WKU auctions, based on what 'Ms. Ferguson' said about me to him after the last one.  As I just said, he'd been standing closest to me than either of the women, while these events were actually happening, so his witness should have been better, and if he was honest, he should have tried to work things out.  Instead, he was more interested in standing idly by while Bouchey presented me with enough angry, personally-assaulting, and false language to make anybody 'go off' on her, which I didn't.  I left on my own accord, even calmly announcing it, while dozens of bystanders eye-witnessed the whole thing go down, and did nothing.  Many of those people even knew what was happening was wrong, yet did nothing--one still doesn't (I'll get to him later--he's a WKU Journalism professor, now retiring).

It really was pretty relentless--she never gave me a chance to speak, nor listened, even though I was saying I already had mp3 evidence of what was she denying she did--she kept denying she'd made the call I posted in the above 'video' link (with her photo, since it was just an incoming VM she'd left for me before).

Anyway, Honeycutt called me to let me know I'd been banned, cut-and-dried, no interest on his part in hearing my side, much less the 'evidence' I had of what Bouchey had done before--just didn't care.  He played it off as him 'just doing his job', and kept interrupting me to remind me it was not Bouchey that had lied, but Sarah Ferguson who was doing the banning, even though Bouchey had caused the disruption (like I said, stopping the entire auction to confront me on something she'd messed up, one of the smaller items on the auction--not worth her trouble).

I told Honeycutt on his first call that Bouchey had caused me some real problems during the last auction before this one, and that her denials and angry verbal assaults were false during this one, and I would like to email him the mp3 above.  He did not want to give me any of his personal contact info.

At this point, I realized these people all knew each other, and that this was just another clubby attempt by some wrong individuals to lie on someone else to make themselves all happier, and more comfortable.  Bouchey could get by with her slop-auction routine in ANY future venue knowing she'd thrown her weight around, hoping she could get me to shut up in any OTHER future auctions she screwed up.  Ferguson could keep her new position at WKU intact by also laying down the law, and I was the perfect stooge.  Anthony Honeycutt was the one they both needed to make these things happen, and he knowingly complied, having eye-witnessed the 'confrontation' (I'd never even looked at Bouchey before she'd charged me from behind, and he was already there when she did).

So, having said this, I believe Honeycutt was in cahoots with the women, and they all went home happy.

But don't forget, this is MY hometown--I grew up here, and have lived here for 43 years.  I'm not ignorant, and I will use any resources I can to clean up any mud thrown at my character by people so petty they would do this to me--somebody who has has endured lies before, but maybe didn't know how right he was, and didn't have the determination, resilience, experience, and knowledge to help himself out.

Now, I do.

After Honeycutt shit on me, passing it off as his 'job' or 'duty', he hung up, already expecting me to lay down for him.  But I called him back immediately, promising I'd be calling him later as well, to discuss what was going on, since I WAS BEING PREPPED FOR SURGERY!

So, I did that, too.

The following 'video' (again, my conversation with him), contains my last call to him, in which I offered to meet him 'at any time, anyplace', under calm circumstances, to play the mp3 of Bouchey, which was all her fault anyway, as she'd been the only one who raised her voice at the later auction that caused my 'permanent ban'.  Again, I had to convert this to mp3, since it was only audio, and he'd been lying to cover up what they were doing to me, and I knew he'd never commit to meeting me once in public, much less agree that any such meeting be recorded.  This is a younger officer who is building his career, and he would never sacrifice it for anyone like myself, even if I was right, all alone in my defense, and so, basically, helpless, in the face of such 'skullduggery', 'shenanigans', and--again--outright complicit lying, which was a concerted effort to ruin my computer business in my hometown here.

video

I was made to wait over 3 mins. just to speak to 'officer' Hunnycunt, so any listeners need to push forward 'til around the 3 min mark in the above audio recording to hear him speak his lies.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telephone_recording_laws#One-party_notification_states

MY NEXT UPDATE WILL INCLUDE MORE INFO ABOUT THE FOLLOWING ASSHOLE WHO IS PAID TO HELP, BUT INSTEAD CHOSE TO COLLUDE WITH BOUCHEY, DEFENDING HER REP WITHOUT LOOKING INTO MY COMPLAINT IN OVER A MONTH'S TIME.

I called the Ky State Auctioneer Licensing board to help me out, and what I got was a bunch of B.S.
Basically (I will be telling about this part in great detail ASAP), I discovered what a ruse this group is, IF you count on them to do any real, 'in-house' investigatory work regarding their 'members'.

Instead of even listening to any part of my account, they put their best efforts into mindlessly and needlessly looking up Bouchey's record, which, according to their guy Larry Mahaney, was spotless--I was not only the problem, but somehow had lied to them.

Interesting--I gave up hope...and am publishing this blog now, in hopes that someday something more will pan out in my favor.  Meanwhile, these jerks will either ignore it (never admitting fault, I realize that, much less making things right toward me) or simply behave more disgracefully (I'd expect primitive legalities, which I'm prepared to answer with expanding the media awareness of this story online, to other outlets of a more 'regional', then 'national', area of coverage).

LINKS USED TO COMPOSE THIS BLOG:
bouchey's auction profile: http://www.auctionzip.com/KY-Auctioneers/89905.html
wku journalism professor bob adams: http://www.wku.edu/news/releases07/july/hoda.html

Friday, June 8, 2012

ABC Blogger Makes Assinine Racist Comments

I'm writing this blog just so I can actually 'respond' to a cute little racist idiot who posted an ABC blog the other day indicating the somehow Aroldis Chapman was responsible for the break-in in his own hotel room while he was gone (and much, MUCH worse).
Since my response was obviously 'too upsetting' to this idiot's sensibilities, I'm responding here, but first, a link to the idiot's blog:
http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/mlb-big-league-stew/aroldis-chapman-pittsburgh-hotel-room-robbed-woman-found-185506493.html
Here's the entire content of this loser's page, copied directly here, so you can read his slanderous comments about something he knew nothing about:

Aroldis Chapman’s Pittsburgh hotel room robbed, woman found bound and crying

(Getty)On the field, Cincinnati Reds left-hander Aroldis Chapman has been nearly perfect. He has yet to allow an earned run in 26 innings pitched, and his other stats are just as dominant. He's on top of his game. Off the field, however, trouble has been following him closely.
With the Reds in Pittsburgh to play the Pirates, a robber ransacked Chapman's hotel room late Tuesday night and tied up a 26-year-old woman inside, leaving her crying for help, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported. Two guests heard the woman's screams.
The guests, who were staying in a room on the same floor, went into the hallway to see what was going on saw the woman inside an open room with her hands bound by cloth napkins, police spokeswoman Diane Richard wrote in a news release.
She did not identify the woman, but said she was from Silver Spring, Md., and was "the hotel guest of a male who attended the Pirates baseball game and who was not present at the time of the incident. During this incident the male guest had various items taken and was later interviewed by detectives," the news release said.
The woman, who was taken to UPMC Mercy, told police she answered a knock at the door to find a man claiming to be from the hotel's maintenance department, there to fix a toilet.
Police do not think it was an actual hotel employee who robbed the room and the woman and terrorized her. And Chapman thankfully was not present, as his team was at PNC Park playing in a game delayed by rain. But the crime is at least a disturbing coincidence considering Chapman's recent arrest for speeding on a suspended license, along with a multimillion dollar lawsuit filed against Chapman that accuses him of being an informant for the Cuban government.
What kind of international man of mystery is this Aroldis Chapman?

For all we know, the lawsuit is groundless, or propaganda, or both. It's being brought by a man in prison. In Cuba. And Chapman, 24, is an easy target. But is he helping to make himself one?
Speeding isn't that bad. The suspended license is worse. And now this woman found tied up in his hotel room. What is Chapman's relationship to her, or the robber, if any? Does the robber have anything to do the the lawsuit business, or Cuba? Among the items stolen were jewelry, clothing, a computer, credit cards and ID cards. ID cards. Huh.
If they aren't already, the Reds ought to consider getting a chaperone for Chapman. Just for now, just in case he's in any danger — either caused by someone else, or himself.
Big BLS H/N: CBS Sports Eye on Baseball

That was retarded.  Socially, culturally, intellectually, morally, retarded.

Now, let me crack my knuckles...here's what I have to say about THIS:

"ID Cards. Huh."...you mean, as in hotel room door entry ID cards...yeah I agree, he ought to be mirandized before he gets into any more trouble...

What a moron.
I'm glad you some media idiot invented the term jumping the shark.
and what a good ol' boy hidden racist agenda we have here.  Please assure me that you are not one of the thousands of fans whipping out his cell phone everytime chapman pitches over 100 m p h...then at least I'd see something else at work here, instead of narcissistic envy bordering on libel and slander.
next you'll be saying that the communists genetically engineered him to infiltrate the United States, but added to that a youth of guerilla warfare training in cuba to hone him into the perfect baseball player, in order to affect the perfect cover for his espionage.  Might as well go ahead and call in Disney too...I'm sure they'd be interested in purchasing the rights, even if only to turn it into an overproduced farce--exactly like this tripe you've written here.
it's got to make you wonder the continuing appeal to even come to America, especially free speech, when god knows no self-respecting human being--and I am absolutely, positively sure no any self-respecting 'commie'--would implicate another with such little factual knowledge about the incident.
you are such a ridiculous poser, and you do not even care.  I'll say it: "shame on you".

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Upon Ray Bradbury's Death

Ray Bradbury died yesterday.  I never met him, but as a teen, I'd heard of him.

'Fahrenheit 451' was justifiably a choice for required reading in my junior high school, so I'd read it as an assignment.  It was great, but I liked true Sci-Fi (complete with Robots, Dinosaurs, and Spaceships) over any other genre, so when I saw a little paperback book of collected Bradbury short stories with the title 'Dino Tales' at a local used book store, I bought it for around 10 cents.

It included what instantly became my favorite short story, entitled 'A Sound of Thunder'.  Although I read the entire book, I liked this story so well that I often muse to myself that it should have been the title of the whole book. It was excellent.

I still place 'A Sound of Thunder' atop my list of favorite science fiction short-stories--above those written by Heinlen, Asimov, and other greats--the best of the hundreds of Sci-Fi short stories I have enjoyed through the years, by dozens of different authors.

The original short story was as awesome, inventive, exciting, and chillingly-rendered message as I ever saw created for the Sci-Fi genre.

Soberingly and ominously detailed, with expert foreshadowing, complete with an original 'twist' ending rivaling any of the construed, predictable ones we have since, it describes a business far into the future which can provide any man rich enough with the actual experience of hunting a real, live dinosaur, complete with 'the kill', and bragging photos.

The story was influential as one of the 'best' versions of a common fantasy among anyone who ever imagined what a real dinosaur even looked like, while involving also the more hidden, dangerous, and perhaps selfish fantasies surrounding what one would do if they ever actually had to 'see one'.

In other words--once the self-indulgent fantasy was carefully laid aside--what we'd do if we were actually in the awesome presence of say, one 'terrible lizard' (and I'm not talking about Larry King, Sally Jessie Rafael, or your politician of preference).

What we'd do, aside from "RUN!", that is; and moreover, what would happen as a result, even laying out some speculation about the future of what we did in such a situation, especially a repeatable, even dare-say 'commercially-available' one, as depicted in the story.

Nobody can argue that it was simple, eloquent, and beautiful--the clearest part being it's openly, 'eco-friendly' warning, long before such language was entered into the American lexicon as it is today.

Originally printed in Collier's magazine in 1952, 'A Sound of Thunder' was has been admired for half a century for it's hard-hitting and darkly elegant ecological message, nearly 60 years before the movie version was released, and more than 50 years before the theme of ecologically and environmentally sensitive sci-fi flicks (like Avatar) were conceived.

Ironically it was so far ahead of its time that a movie of it couldn't be made for decades. It would have looked dumb (but unfortunately not as dumb as it looked when it finally did come out in 2005).

'Are these some kind of DARPA thing?'
(final scene from 'The Mission' episode, Amazing Stories)
We owed Bradbury so much more, and I'm hoping for a remake.  Even a Spielberg short story, like his 'Amazing Stories' series would make so much more sense, if given the proper treatment.

The premise of this story is a deceptively appealing one: at some point in the future, anyone (with the surreal bankroll) can go on a real safari-type hunting expedition, into the past, to play out their very own 'Big Game' fantasies in the time-honored tradition of Teddy Roosevelt, Allan Quatermain, and all the old 'Great White' hunters--except in this trip, you'll be hunting actual, real, living dinosaurs, via time-travel, only recently mastered, and involving tons of other potentially legal, personal, and ecological stakes.

For example, you can't bring anything back--no trophies--except for pics. No blood swaths for DNA verification, even.  Whether or not an oversight at the time it was written, DNA testing and actual sample verification was a highly speculative field of study for another years, until the present day.

Other examples of 'No-Go's':
  • The dino's ear-shattering road reminds you of your mother-in-law...it's 'Not Okay' to carve the full record of her previous married names into the T-Rex's open, bleeding jawline after the kill...and not just because 'it wouldn't be sporting', or 'his dentist would be more harried than usual', either.
  • Say you get a 'quirky hankering' to sneak a small 'time-capsule' back into the Mesozoic era, which  might contain selected favorites from your WWII-era 'Walking Liberty' antique silver half-dollar collection, a keychain with your high school logo and mascot on it, or perhaps even a locket with a cameo of 'your sweetie' inside it; this notion is a big 'red flag', and will get you ousted from the hunt during the initial pre-launch inspection (which all policy makers hope is remembered);
  • This one may be a 'reach'...but lessay, somebody has a 'sci-fi' buff for a buddy, who dares you to take along a rare but, say, poisonous, and quickly-reproducing spider, or worse, an egg-casing of such...or worst of all, a type of hardy bedbug that would settle nicely enough to impress even Loki, the Norse god of mischief...you're out, your buddy's out, and we'll research and work to ban anyone on your Facebook 'friends' list six-times removed, into the millions.  We'll do it...don't press us.
  • and don't even think about carving your favorite Fantasy Football team's logo into anything...we know what that looks like--we've noted your "I 'heart' Yankees' Genuine Team Logo Cap", and that's all we have to say on the subject.
All for good reason.

See, the company ('Time Safari, Inc.') has 'found the proper time' that a huge, dangerous T-Rex will be tromping madly about a protective swamp area, gone there, and being such 'Pros' at time travel, they are counting on being able to cut costs and kill that particular Rex over and over.  You kill him, take some Polaroids, then leap back into the future and brag, and the whole process starts again with another customer.  You can't really mess around with the staging of your safari--in this 'window' of time--especially mussing up the scene, because--no matter how 'staged', 'stuffy', or downright 'fake' it may seem--well, generally speaking, messing around with the past can cause changes to the future, and those can't be controlled, are often irreversible, and also, if not calamities themselves, at least hard to adjust to once you get back.

In fact, it is 'presented' to the client, that "really, it's 'best' if you don't actually even pick your nose or breathe the wrong way' while 'on safari'".  You certainly can't leave anything behind, either--and "No, carving your name into the tree just off the trail is not 'ok', either, no matter what you read in the reviews online'".  Things--even little, otherwise totally, inconceivably tiny things--be they nouns OR verbs--can have astronomically huge [read catastrophic] effects on the future as we know it now.

So...'again'--it's like 'TS, Inc.' is saying "it's better that our 'clients' aren't left to their imaginations, and things proceed on a nominally-acceptable schedule, even if that seems a little preconceived, choreographed...we can't warn you enough, our concerns are so huge, you can't even conceive of the smallest of them...and oh--this is supposed to be your vacation'.

Time to consider that hefty ominous foreshadowing I mentioned above.

In fact, 'Time Safari, Inc.' has not only 'done the math', but also taken into account some more difficult aspects of such a visit, such as laying an actual suspended pathway right in the known path of the Rex, in an area he hasn't been in awhile (so as not to spook the big fella), and always sends along supposedly well-trained, crack shots in the inevitability that nervous clients wet their pants and 'oopsie' that ever-important initial salvo, and so become potentially--er, 'chummy' with ol' T.R., (who apparently isn't being reimbursed for that sickening worst-case of animal deja-vu in history).

But, just like any human beings, these chaperones aren't exactly perfect themselves (or maybe they aren't being paid enough to be).  So, we learn in this story, things can, did, and so, will forever 'go awry' (did you get that little piece of writing there)?

It happens.

But like 'Time Safari, Inc.' always says..."NEXT!"

Even though 'clients' are outfitted with what amounts to an elephant-gun on steroids (read the following excerpt from the original story)...
"Can these guns get a dinosaur cold?" Eckels felt his mouth saying.
"If you hit them right," said Travis on the helmet radio. "Some dinosaurs have two brains, one in the head, another far down the spinal column. We stay away from those. That's stretching luck. Put your first two shots into the eyes, if you can, blind them, and go back into the brain."
The Machine howled. Time was a film run backward. Suns fled and ten million moons fled after them. "Think," said Eckels. "Every hunter that ever lived would envy us today. This makes Africa seem like Illinois."
...we're eventually, darkly, reminded, that this short piece of Sci-Fi relates to us the 'worst-case'...unfortunately for all involved (and--'SPOILER ALERT'--inclusively, all those not even remotely involved).

Working our way back through some good historic examples, it's like...
  • Captain 'Sully' Sullenberger had said "Jersey!? Jeez, I hate Jersey...but...oh, alright...here goes nu'in...everybody grab those ankles!"; OR,
  • Al Gore had won the recount; OR,
  • Hitler's mom had opted for an abortion; OR,
  • the light bulb hadn't been invented; or better yet, it was, but used a Uranium filament because 'it glows longer, for some reason'; OR,
  • America had been 'discovered' by actual, real, space aliens (as in, little green ones); OR,
  • Jesus had been abandoned by Joseph for 'personal' reasons; OR,
  • the inventor of the wheel had been more interested in 'hair products'; OR,
  • [God--however you name him] had been too busy playing video games to 'create the universe' (aww, mom!);
The original story (read it at this link) was incredibly brief--in compendium format, around five printed pages--yet truly fascinating, richly-complex, and (at the risk of sounding cliched) masterfully conceived and written. To me, it represents Bradbury's magnum opus, one of the finest stories in all of science fiction.

Again, all this, in less than 10 pages, an easier read than even this blog, by far.

As the original story plays out, one wonders what the inevitable stakes will be, and how they will take place, and you get the feeling that they may even be irreversible. Certain scenes portray 'certain' societal conditions before the fateful trip, and after.  That's all I'll say (if you can't read this one, it's remedial English 'til you can--and it would be worth it for this story alone).

In 'A Sound of Thunder', Bradbury actually created one of the earliest Sci-Fi versions of a concept of modern scientific thought now known as the 'Butterfly Effect'.

The 'Butterfly Effect' is one of the most widely recognized and shared concepts among several major schools of modern ideas, not just in science fiction, but in modern thought among metaphysics scholars, historians, physics scholars, even theologians and chaos theorists.  The concept is not only still very alive today, but actually one of the more commonly-referenced ideas among all these schools of thought, among their largest lexicon of shared concepts and general ideas.

The idea, or ideas, behind the 'Butterfly Effect' can't be said to be Bradbury's sole invention: actually, the 1st widely-distributed literary version was H.G. Wells' classic 'The Time Machine'.  But let me say it here: Bradbury was to the 'Butterfly Effect' as Edison was to the light bulb as we know it today--he basically packaged this extraordinary concept in one of it's earliest literary forms ever printed, and did so in a way as to make it much more readily available to the consumer of the day. He streamlined this idea for mass consumption as it were, making sure to hold true to the important parts of the idea.  The Butterfly Effect, as packaged and presented in his story 'A Sound of Thunder', was as important to the perpetuation of this self-perpetuating, inventive concept as the UL Listing is to any light bulb we use today (that, plus the mass production of it, of course).

Wow. That's some good story-writing, and one of the best examples of one of the best Science Fiction minds that has existed so far.

By comparison, ask about Stephen King's literary legacy, and you get something akin to 'record use of unnecessary profanity', 'modern cultural references', 'over-visitation of vulgarly taboo and obscene literary devices', finishing up lastly with 'straight-to-DVD over-commercialization of the horror-genre so profane that it alone can cause nightmares'.

In fact, pick any other Sci-Fi writer, and it's just as hard to see any of them with the overall effect that Bradbury's immense volume of thought-producing stories had on ideas so entrenched in our modern day schema that we may never even know their full extent.  The influence of Bradbury's writing is that far-reaching--across the genres--it's biblically, epicly, monumentally, fundamentally, incomprehensibly, axiomatically, absolutely, irrefutably, true.

Now, that really does take skill and creativity.  He was really a genius who happened to love the art of telling great stories. One of the best. But his greatest gift was his rare, unique ability to simply tell a story--even a very difficult-to-relate one--with a simple, beautiful elegance and wit, depicting the finer aspects of each character within, without losing any part of the entire message secreted inside each of his rare gems.

His marvelous stories could easily be deemed parables--none of them were written for a reaction, but instead, each it's own rare artifact, as if Bradbury wrote each one as a message in a bottle to himself.

He excelled at revealing small, previously-hidden portions of himself in each of his stories, and each part of him was one in a long string of hidden gemstones. With this literary legacy, he seemed to have given himself over to the absolute integrity of his stories, writings, and ideas, all as carefully crafted as the most intricate and valued Faberge Egg, yet each given to his readers with the calm reference of a remotely-perched monk-scribe, as if he was determined that he leave nothing undone or imperfect in each; as if to avoid re-writing them in some post-apocalyptic, self-imposed solitude, in some other dimension where he'd be granted all the time in the world, and inclination, and the spark.

"Don't Listen to that last guy--I'm the one who'll be back"
'A Sound of Thunder' was the sole inspiration for a mammoth collection of nearly all the 'Butterfly Effect'-themed Sci-Fi stories after it; today, it continues to inspire and influence every form of media, including comic books, movie scripts (see here, here, and here, for starters), and many video games.

It brought the somewhat difficult phenomena (especially as it is verbalized by scientists) into such vernacular use that it made possible many more depictions of the self-same effect, including the series starring Ashton Kutcher.

A whole plethora of alternate universe concepts created by the Sci-Fi genre is also grounded on the concept that changing something in the past can adversely affect the future.

To many who consider that just 'responsibility', 'sensible', and 'common sense', well...of course, it was.

The thing is, these intrinsic values seemed to be missing from the Sci-Fi genre until Bradbury.

Many time-travel, and morality, concepts created by different Sci-Fi authors over the years, were based entirely on Bradbury's storytelling.  In fact, it would be harder to find a Sci-Fi author who didn't owe something to Bradbury, than not.  Nearly impossible, and that's no fiction.

Even the latest Star Trek movie in that long and storied franchise built heavily on it, with Spock actually meeting himself several times, and, at the end of the movie, having this playful verbal joust with himself.

"Live long and...Hey, if you're my 'future self', can you
give me the spread on the next 20 SuperBowls?"
While some theologians, logicians, and scientific theorists stretch its limits, making their versions of its 'simplest concepts' truly morose and evasive, not Bradbury's version.  Any child can understand cause-and-effect once their parents explain it to them.

Bradbury lent this kind of understanding to all his stories--but most memorably, to me, this one.

Unfortunately, his wonderful story was absolutely obliterated in its movie rendering.

Is it a disaster movie? Or a movie disaster?
With scenes like this, you can guess.
Instead of adhering to any remnant of this story faithfully, the producers obviously sought to pad out the thing into an unrecognizable monstrosity that completely left behind the deftly-engineered, poignant little short story that had been the idea behind it.  Sadly, Bradbury had either sold the rights to his little masterpiece--or just lost them entirely--only to see them destroy his work with reckless abandon, interested only in the bottom line, a hastily-made screw-up of a movie that lost everything in screen translation.

Worse, the movie bombed, and not due to competition, either.

The eloquent little story simply hadn't been penned with a near-two-hour, grinding, monotonous, farce in mind, and it was obvious to anyone who watched it.  It was one of the worst screen adaptations of any Sci-Fi story in existence, and I hate to say it while reminiscing, but to all who read the original story, the movie was a real shit-sandwich.

"Let us operate under the pretense
that we are not killing this movie."
Producers took the original, 5-page, mini-classic,  Sci-Fi/morality tale Bradbury had lovingly written, and turned it into one of Hollywood's most garishly-obscene profiteering gambits ever, replete with more unnecessary, scene-stealing CGI than anything joked about by anyone poking fun at any of Spielberg or Lucas' projects.

The movie felt as though it had been hacked together like some bizarro-version of the original, with scenes spliced together by some IBM mainframe with a name running at unprecedented megaflops to push it into production before word could get out how bad it was.

Worst of all, you get the feeling that maybe even the computer splicing this monstrosity together should have known how awful this thing would stink.

With this worst-kind of Hollywood greed ruining it far worse than any of the monsters depicted in the movie itself, the movie had the genuine look and feel of an actual turd in a punch-bowl (although I can't claim to know the look and feel of either).

'A Sound of Thunder' was released as a sparklingly tedious, 1 hour 50 min. long, rife with hackneyed movie devices and characters, and strayed so far from the original story as to lose the entire message in a murky, tiresome, epic, CGI fail...one of the best examples of a poor adaptation ever in Sci-Fi movie history.

The movie was poorly cast with a motley combination of unknowns, over-actors, and forgettables (and that includes the one 'major player'--Ben Kingsley--whose portrayal of the greedy Time Safari CEO was so awful that his lines could have been randomly selected from a box full of cut-up Mad Libs books and been an improvement).

Even with the blatant obscuring of the original intended message, the movie still covers the idea behind 'The Butterfly Effect' crudely.  In fact, the over explanation of this easily-grasped idea is actually over-explained to the point it's offensive to the viewer--overkill taken to the power of '11', as in 'Spinal Tap'.
"This amp goes to eleven..you know, to compensate
for the lack of cowbell"

Long after we forget the movie version, however, we'll still have the original story with us as a masterful example of the American science fiction short-story at its best.  The message certainly wasn't lost in the original, nor did Bradbury's style overburden his intent to the point it made the story unreadable or forgettable.  It was perfect.  And, as writers go--so was he.

Which raises yet another eternal question: 'What would we have been like without him?  How much less would humanity be, as a mass of intelligent, sensitive, and caring people, without Bradbury's technical brilliance, his expertise in his forte, and his affection for the very art he produced so well?  What would we be doing, how would we be affected, as we go forward into our collective future, without his thoughtful, inspired, mind, and his prodigious, provocative, and wondrously imaginative body of peerless work?

Let's hope his contribution won't be lost in time.  We should hope we never lose anything we glean from his inspired, haunting scenarios, that primed our minds for a better future, especially knowing ourselves, and the potential worst-case scenarios.

Let's hope we can progress without losing ourselves, our humanity, and what makes us better...
Lest we ourselves never hear the impending Sound of Thunder.