Saturday, September 12, 2020

Minor weirdness

One guy convicted of stealing $300K, gets 1-3 years. Another guy convicted of stealing $250K, gets 8-24. Both were convicted of several felonies.

Here is a little more backstory on the guy who got the longer sentence. One suspicion: he got the book thrown at him for rejecting a plea deal and insisting on a trial. (The plea deal was, comparatively speaking, nothing -- five years of probation and community service.)

At any rate, thanks to our state controller and associates for nailing a couple more fraudsters.

Wednesday, August 05, 2020

Remember "Gilligan's Island?"

From yesterday's Nextdraft newsletter (link):

3 men rescued from Pacific island after writing SOS in sand. (Wait, that actually worked!!?)

I have many memories of that show, and one of the most vivid (why, I have no idea) was a time when they somehow knew an orbiting spacecraft was going to be flying overhead, so they made a huge SOS sign out of logs and set them on fire.  Only, Gilligan tripped over the last letter, so the people flying above thought it said SOL and ignored it.

(Just now realized the irony of what the message morphed into, but I don't think that back then anyone used SOL to mean "Shit Outta Luck.")


[Update 2020-08-05 13:35] I never thought to check, but thanks to a DMer on Twitter, here are more deets.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

No Goings On

Most times, when I read The New Yorker, I skip, or at best, skim, the opening section, Goings On About Town. I feel mildly guilty about this, as though I'm a boor who waves off all of the culture available to me, just a short train ride away, not to mention a spoiled brat who ignores the work that went into reporting on it all.

Sometimes, I take comfort in the existence of this section, thinking that if I have had the foresight to bring an issue of The New Yorker with me to a place where I'm going to have to wait, and I have read all of the articles in it, and my waiting time is still not up, then I'll always have Goings On About Town to fall back on.

Yesterday, around 1pm, I called my regular place to ask if I could bring my car in for a while-I-wait oil change. Ralph, the owner, said, "Uh, I'm actually not there. I forwarded the phone to my cell. I sent my guys home and closed up at noon. I only sold sixty-eight gallons of gas all morning."

Turned out he was fine with my coming by this morning, so I did, and even though I had to be there at the ungodly hour of 9am, I had had just enough coffee to remember to bring the latest (Mar. 23, 2020), as yet unread, issue of The New Yorker. Got to the station, handed over my car key, settled in to wait. Opened the mag ...

screenshot saying 'As a result of the coronavirus crisis and the closing of New York City venues, Goings On About Town will not appear this week.'

Okay, not to worry. How long could an oil change take, when I was the only customer in the place? The Talk Of The Town was good. Thoroughly enjoyed the first of the long articles, by Jill LePore, on the census, But Who's Counting?, and the second, by James Somers, on the study of avalanches, Cold War. Had just started the third, Emily Nussbaum on Fiona Apple, Skin In The Game, when Ralph came into the waiting area. Oil change was all done. HOWever. I did need an air filter. And a new belt. And a brake job. I asked if they could do it now. He said, sure, and that it would take about two hours.

As is usual with this fine place, he offered to give me a ride home and then come pick me up when the job was done. A small part of me felt like social distancing ought to apply (why be in an enclosed car with someone else, if you don't have to be), and a large part of me did not want to take him up on his usual generosity: since there was a skeleton crew in place, just Ralph and one mechanic, I thought it might stress him out to have to be away, even for ten minutes. So, I said, "No, thanks. Appreciate it. But I don't mind waiting." I went outside for a cigarette to go with the complimentary cup of coffee and contemplated time spent reading so far, approximate number of pages left, odds that I was going to like any of the rest of the articles, having totally scored on two already, thought about the missing Goings On About Town, and tried to remember if I had seen anything else to read in the waiting area. Aside from signs on the wall and hanging bags of snacks, I could not think of anything. Not even a tube of toothpaste [1]. I suppose anxiety would be putting it a bit strongly.

In the end, all the work was done before I got to the end of the magazine, and it only cost me $700 for an oil change! #winning

P.S. Weird thing when I got home and checked the snail mail. When I opened my box, I saw a new issue of The New Yorker. Dateline? Mar. 16, 2020. Well, it is the Styles Issue. I suppose it's appropriate that it's fashionably late.

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