Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Got my second ISD rejection letter today.

I am being optimistic about it, and noting that to reject my app they at least had to know it existed. So that's better than nothing.

Knock and Rob

RPD has said it before: answer your door if someone knocks, because their next move may be to kick in your back door.

It's happened 2x in the east half of Richardson in the last week. Homeowner was home but didn't answer the door. The knock and rob burglars then attempted to make entry through the back of the residence but were scared off when they saw/heard the occupant.

You do NOT want these people in your house. Answer the door. At the very least you get a good look at them.

RPD has these suggestions getting good actionable descriptions:

If you see a car or people in the neighborhood that you haven't seen before, take an extra couple of minutes to see what they are doing, where they are going.

Did they park at a neighbors house and have you ever seen the car or people at that neighbors before?
Did one or two people go to the door and leave someone in the vehicle?
Did anyone walk around to the back and the car leave at that same time?
Did they return to the car, drive down the block and park again, not doing anything?
Are they going door to door? Yes, it maybe solicitors, but keep an eye on them, make a mental note of the description of them and the car if there is one, call if it doesn't seem right.
Did they drive away after going to the front door and then turn down an alley?

If you notice this type of behavior, it could be considered suspicious, make a mental note or write down descriptions of people and cars. Call us and report it, if it seems unusual to you, this type of activity in the daytime in a neighborhood needs attention. [emphasis added by bloggermouse]

Monday, June 29, 2009

$20 gimme shirts

A "gimme cap" is a cap with advertising that is given away to a customer. I will borrow that term and refer to a tshirt with advertising as a gimme shirt.

Here's my rant: if you're going to sell a gimme shirt, do it at cost. The customer is doing you a favor by directly advertising your business. They will also engage in discussions with folks that see the shirt and are either like-minded or curious. Heck, you should probably be giving the shirts to your loyal customers.

Under no circumstances should you sell an uninspired, garden-variety gimme shirt for $20. Seriously. This is an admission that You Just Don't Get It.

RV1, plate scanning

I have confirmation that RV1, RV2, RV3 mean "Richardson Volunteer 1", etc.

Trivial, perhaps, but it was eating at me.

The RV traffic on the COR comm system is interesting. Some of it is businesslike and professional, and some of it sounds like your confused grandmother talking on the phone to the grocer. Seems to me that the RVs might benefit from feedback on the propriety of their radio comms. Just sayin'.

uhhh, WTH is this?

Anyone have a clue what this doodad is? I will assume it's a wind-powered turbine for generating electricity. And you thought those ham radio operators with all the antennas were odd...
Note there are cables running from the base into the bottom of the hatchback area.

Spotted in the parking lot near Twisted Root.

ISDs and the culture of poor folk

This originally started as a comment on Ed's blog, but I thought it would veer way offtopic and detract from his original posting. I'll put here instead.

"poor people with forethought *gasp*"

I should probably show my cards a little bit here so that my approach is more obvious.

My characterization of the culture of poor folk is not an outside-in condemnation. I have done my share of living in trailer parks and surviving on dirt farms in East Texas. We ate squirrel, rabbit, and frog many nights. As a boy I just thought Dad and I were having fun out there with the frog gig and the .22, but years later realized it probably wasn't a matter of choice.

I can be a little rough on the culture of poor folk because I have seen/lived that experience. I know firsthand how the entrenched culture of the poor can make it hard to make any headway against the constant, oppressive weight of poverty and ignorance.

I would gladly beat up on the culture of rich folks a bit if I had firsthand experience with their dysfunction. But I don't. So I won't."

It's a grinding, depressing existence to be poor. It's a death march. The people who could get the most value out of basic coping skills are the very people who lack them. So, yes, I am a little tough on my poor brothers and sisters. I hope my intent is pure, that I am taking a Tough Love stance rather than beating them up.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

HOAs are fun!

In case you needed any more coaxing to RUN, not walk, away from any neighborhood with a dictatorial HOA....

Monday, June 15, 2009

Storm damage

I forgot to post a couple of pics I had taken on the smellphone.

This one is in my neighborhood. About a 3" diameter branch came down. There were a couple like this but this one was the cleanest example.

Here is the biggest damage I saw; it's on Greenville a couple of blocks north of Centennial/springvalley.

Handbill poster: David the Plumber

Here is the legman for David the Plumber distributing his flyers.

The best thing about this is that he left the flyer within a couple inches of the No Solicitors sign on my door. Bold.

Congratulations, David, you're the first contestant to get called in to the RPD for soliciting w/out a permit and leaving handbills when the residence is posted No Solicitors.

1032: solicitor hangs handbills, continues eastbound
1100: I get home, see the handbill, check the video
1105: reported this to COR non-emergency, who passed me to dispatch. Dispatch ask if he had a permit displayed (no), took the description.
1107: heard it dispatched over the scanner
1115: assigned patrolman called off to attend a wreck on Central
1123: reassigned to another patrolman.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Some kind of Job Fair on 6/10

"Richardson Job Fair

DATE: Wednesday, June 10
TIME: 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
LOCATION: Richardson Civic Center
411 W. Arapaho Road
Richardson, TX 75080
COST: No cost for job seekers to attend!

Additional parking will be available at the First United Methodist Church (503 N. Central Expwy.) and shuttles will be available from 9-3 to take attendees to and from the Civic Center.

Sponsored by:{ workforce solutions, richland}

RPD mobile plate scanner[s]

It appears, based on my monitoring of the RPD comms, that COR has at least one plate-scanning car and probably three. The scanning folks go by the callsigns RV1, RV2 and RV3 when they are working.

They drive around and call in the address/plate when the plate recognition gets a hit from the database. I don't know if they are matching against stolen cars, warrants, or what.

I suspect the Volunteers In Police Service (VIP) crew, largely or solely older folks who want to stay involved. A pdf on the COR site suggests that all VIPs are also graduates of the Citizens Police Academy and that the car[s] have light bars with amber lights.

Monday, June 8, 2009

nice drivin', buddy

Not only did he successfully wedge his trailer on a corner, but for bonus points he arranged it so that he cab of his truck was stuck right on the train tracks. Fail.

This was on Davis (?) between GP and Arlington.


Saw my first Maybach on the road, going W on LBJ just past the Galleria. I guess that is the most expensive production car I have ever seen in real life.

It was kinda ugly. If I had $300k budget for cars , I think there would be a Porsche Cayman and an older Ferarri (308 or something) in my stable instead.

Friday, June 5, 2009

douche hat trick

  1. 40-ssomething weasel
  2. with a terrible perm-looking reddish 'fro
  3. driving his beemer
  4. m3
  5. convertible
  6. while touchscreening his iPhone
  7. beemer has a douchey personalized plate I won't repeat, and (wait for it...)
  8. a Mensa license plate frame

All the d-bag planets were in alignment. I believe this is a sign of the pending Apocalypse.

Thursday, June 4, 2009


Edged the lawn over the past couple of days, spending a little time each morning controlling the st augustine before it got too warm.

I have tried two methods:

  1. weedeater - physically less demanding, but difficult to keep good control of the edge. The line autofeeds on this one, which makes me a bit crazy. Loud, so unsuitable for early AM and late PM.
  2. a manual edger - excellent edge control and quiet to use, other than the cursing and panting. Physically demanding. The most intense arm workout that I've had in a year or so.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Wifi in rest stops? Seriously?

Did you know that Texas has free wifi in all rest stops that have information centers? I dig it.

To be fair, not every dumpy concrete rest stop is included, it's got to be one with the brochures and all. But I'm not complaining.

Monday, June 1, 2009

deconstructing Pizza Villa

First off, if you haven't eaten at Pizza Villa I encourage you to give them a try. Closed Sun and Mon. Order ahead (for dine-in or take-out) if you don't want to wait 25mins. Small hole-in-the-wall, BYOB.

Because I am a dork, I found myself staring that the list of pie sizes wondering which is the better deal. Prices here are given for the cheese (ie, no topping) pizza.

S 8" @ $4.20, 200 sq/in pizza = 2.10 cents per sq/in of pizza.
M 10" @ $6.30, 314 sq/in pizza = 2.00 cents per sq/in of pizza.
L 14" @ $10.75, 615 sq/in pizza = 1.74 cents per sq/in of pizza.
G 16" @ $14.30, 804 sq/in pizza = 1.77 cents per sq/in of pizza.

Our winner here is the 14" pizza at 1.74 cents per square inch of pie, and the 14" is about perfect for two people. Dear Wife and I have been getting individual medium 10" pies but tried out the large 14" this time. Notice that the L is just slightly smaller than 2x the M. But after we split it we still had 1 slice left over for person. Sounds perfect to me, keeps PV from having to buy an extra box and we save ~$2.