Archive for the 'This deserves its own category' Category


March 14th, 2008

Today, as usual, I picked Matt up from the UCD Med Center about 6:00, and we headed home. While driving down H, Matt did a double-take, snorted, and then said, “Hunh.”

“What?” I asked.

“Turkeys,” Matt said.

Turkeys? On H? At 6:00? On the lawn in front of the Catholic school? Next to the hospital?

“Turkeys,” Matt insisted. “I thought they were geese at first, but they’re not. They’re definitely turkeys. Three of them.”

Turkeys? Three of them? On H? At 6:00? On the lawn in front of the Catholic school? Next to the hospital?

Upon arriving home, we stop just long enough to grab the camera and walk back down the street. We reach the alleged turkey-sighting location. There are no turkeys.

“I don’t see any turkeys,” I say to Matt.

“They were just here!” he insists.

It’s cold. The wind is blowing. There are no turkeys. I complain about Matt leading me on a wild turkey chase. And then. . .

turkey on wall

. . . a turkey hops over the school’s retaining wall.

“See? Turkey!” Matt exclaims, gleefully.

In total, three turkeys hop the wall, one at a time.   The turkeys are moving steadily eastward, walking along the grass next to the sidewalk, pecking occasionally. A car turning into the hospital driveway has to wait for the them to pass.   We watch the turkeys, taking pictures.

Catholic school + turkey

hospital receives a turkey

When we, on the north side of the street, and the turkeys, on the south side, reach 40th, Matt and I part ways with the turkeys. We head home. The turkeys keep heading east. (If they keep going, they’ll reach the river. Which is where I assume they came from.)

Yeah. Turkeys. Three of them. On H. At 6:00. On the lawn in front of the Catholic school. Next to the hospital.


Special bonus turkey map!

Happy birthday, Kevin!

February 28th, 2008

Just in case I forget to e-mail him.


April 16th, 2007

Another first for me!

Okay, so this is somewhat misleading. I wasn’t in a brawl. Not exactly. Rather, I participated in a long, drawn-out attempt to disrupt a brawl. Between two girls. Who probably had four to six inches and fifty pounds on me. Each. In my fifth period class.

At its high point, the participants in attempted brawl disruption included:

  • Myself
  • The math teacher across the hall
  • A campus monitor
  • 7th grade VP
  • 8th grade VP
  • School principal
  • School resource officer (a.k.a. campus cop)

(There may have been others; it’s all kind of a blur.) My contribution was to get squished and hold the arm of one girl for what felt like an eternity. It was really fun. (I’m fine.) I’m also proud to say that I didn’t panic. Even when I was holding on like grim death, I manged to request assistance by telling a student, “I need you to get me some help, please.” To which he gave me a I-already-thought-of-that-you-moron-
look and informed me that the math teacher was on his way.

My favorite commentary on this incident came later, when another teacher dropped by to commiserate. “Some people have all the fun,” she said. “Just think, all you needed was a mud pit and you could have had mud wrestling.” Indeed.

Police standoff, addendum the fourth

December 3rd, 2006

Here’s a map. Purple indicates the usual route from my house (green start bubble) to UCDMC (red stop bubble). Red indicates the portions of the street closed by the police. (The Barbie house lies at the intersection of the two red lines.) Green indicates the route I actually took to pick Matt up and avoid the police blockade.


Police standoff!

December 1st, 2006

I just got home from navigating a police standoff. Want more details?

I was driving home on 39th, as usual, when, just before Folsom, I encountered a police blockade. Like everyone else, I turned left off of 39th onto M, which was our only option. Like a few people, I tried turning right on 38th to see if I could just go around. Nope – another police blockade. So I (along with those aformentioned few people) turned around and got back on M.

I’d tell you the rest in more detail, but I can’t even remember what streets I ended up on. Suffice it to say that I wound my way through East Sac, along with hordes of other detourees, for fifteen to twenty minutes before finding my way to J, where I could get back on 39th and go back home.

In the middle of this, I called Matt, because it’s not every day that one’s neighborhood gets swarmed by the police. He checked the internet and discovered that the blockade was due to a standoff between police and a parolee they suspect is armed. The dude (son-in-law of the owners) barricaded himself into the house and won’t come out. The house in question is on the corner of 39th and Folsom. (Ahh, now I understand the detour.) Matt and I are speculating that the house in question is the one that we, along with Kevin, refer to it as the Barbie house, as it is painted a very bright Pepto-Bismol shade of pink. (Hideous is a charitable description.)

I choose to be amused that on my way home from my teaching job in an undesirable neighborhood, I was waylaid for twenty minutes by an armed police standoff in the middle of my highly desirable neighborhood.

Addendum: Crap. I just realized that I have to negotiate that again to pick Matt up at the med center in. . . twenty minutes. Maybe I should leave now. . .

Addendum the second, 6:30 pm: Mission accomplished. Police blockade successfully circumnavigated. Matt and Kim successfully returned home. (We’re later than usual because Matt’s bus was late, not really because of the detour.)

Addendum the third, 6:53 pm: A SWAT team took the guy into custody. You can find the current story here. (You can even download the video clip!) And yes, it was the Barbie house.

Questions kids have

November 30th, 2006

Right after lunch, my 5th period kids file up to my room and get in line. One of my kids, whom, I might add, I’ve never had a meaningful conversation with prior to this, says she has some questions. Okay, shoot, I say. What follows are her questions, and, to the best of my memory, my answers.

Q: When dogs have babies, does size matter? Because we have a Doberman and a Chihuahua, and my mom wants them to have puppies.
A: Well, that’s a good question. I’m not sure. Basically, all dogs can mate. But there might be problems with the mechanics because of the size difference. What I mean is, if you can get the penis into the vagina, they should be able to mate. But the size difference might make that complicated.
Notes: I can’t believe I used the word “mechanics” and then had to explain it. But I figure I’m the science teacher and I’d better be matter-of-fact about this.

Q: But would she, I mean the Chihuahua, be able to have the puppies?
A: Well, I really don’t know. The babies would be a mix; they’d get some characteristics from the mom and some from the dad. So that means they’d probably be bigger than a Chihuahua would normally be. That might make it difficult for her to carry the puppies. The best person to ask about that would probably be a veterinarian.
Notes: I can’t belive we’re continuing to have this conversation. Also, in retrospect, I can’t believe I was so floored by this that I didn’t work in anything about pet overpopulation.

Q: And I have one more question. What’s a atomic bomb?

Okay, so we’ll skip my answer on that one and move straight on to the exposition. You have got to be kidding me! Right after lunch, a child proceeded to ask me, out of nowhere, about Doberman-on-Chihuahua sex, a follow-up question about Doberman-on-Chihuahua sex, and to explain an atomic bomb. Or to summarize slightly less graphically, questions on genetics, genetics, and nuclear chemistry. This randomness essentially sums up the mindset of middle school kids.

We walk dogs!

November 24th, 2006

Matt and I are in Fresno for Thanksgiving, and yesterday we ate lunch at Auntie Marge’s house. We went over early, bearing a turkey (courtesey of Auntie Ellen) and my father (for his carving abilities). Approximately thirty seconds after we stepped into the house, Auntie Marge asked, “Do you want to see really cute dogs?” while digging through her desk for something. We say sure, and she straightens up with a garage door opener. “Do you want to walk them, too?” she then asks. “You have to push one of them in a buggy.” We’re already out the door, so of course we agree.

The dogs are very cute, and very friendly, and despite my fears when we saw the extend-o leash, the dog that walks doesn’t pull too egregiously. We set out on our walk at 11:15. And promptly got lost.

Eventually, we emerge on Fruit, which is the next major street east (or west, I don’t really know) of where my aunt lives. Realizing that we’re hoplessly lost, we stop and ask random people in their front yard for directions. Based on those directions, we arrive back at Auntie Marge’s. . . at 12:15. My dad has sent my mom out in the car to look for us (unsuccessfully). She must have just gotten back, because there’s a greeting party waiting for us. Everyone was most amused by our travails. Whatever, we’re back now.
Gawk at us below.


Kevin bought a car!

October 22nd, 2006

. . . that he can’t drive. (Yet.)


It’s 2006 Subaru Impreza WRX TR (Matt thinks). Unfortunately for Kevin, it’s also a stick shift. Kevin knows how to drive stick. . . in theory. So for right now, the car lives in my driveway and Kevin will probably come over frequently to practice.

Missing something?

August 23rd, 2006

A photo essay

I’m sitting with Philip on the sofa when he suddenly perks up and looks at the door. It’s about noon, so I assume he’s heard the mail carrier. To head off a storm of frantic barking, I go outside to intercept the mail. (This keeps the carrier off our porch, which keeps Philip happy.) In the mail, I find this:


It’s a letter from my parents. Why, I wonder, are my parents writing to me a mere two days before I’m expected in Fresno for the reception? So I open it.


There’s a document (more on this later) appended with a Post-It. The Post-It says:


From what I can see, somewhere in the long, long trek between Sacramento and Fresno, the postal service managed to lose approximately half of my parent’s copy of the Needlenose News. Of course, because it was folded, the loss ends up being about a fourth off the top and a fourth off the bottom. Since fully two stories are still readable in their entirety, I’m not sure what my parents are so incensed about. Judge for yourself below:


Conveniently, just below this there’s a post about the new online Needlenose News archives. This allows you to see what the cover is supposed to look like. Also, for scale, remember: What my parents received fit into a standard legal-sized envelope for mailing (back) to me.