Double Jack Dilemma

I had been home a few minutes when my wife told me she had problems with the new set of headphones she’d planned to use the evening before to watch some television shows via the Internet. I didn’t understand what she was talking about.

“Here, I’ll show you,” she said as we walked to the room where we keep our computer.

Once there she lifted a chord and stated, “I don’t know how to plug this kind of jack into the computer.”

I looked at it and immediately started laughing.

“What’s so funny?” she asked slightly peeved.

“That’s the plug to my cellphone — not the headphones,” I answered.

As I replied to her question, I picked up the headphones and dangled the jack in front of her. She turned slightly red and then started laughing at the situation.

As we left the room, she looked at me and in a very serious tone and commanded, “You’d better not write about this!”

Well, guess what, hun?


Silver Tailings: Slothfulness in Nevada

Did the now-extinct giant ground sloth live alongside native Paiute and Shoshone tribes?

In 1930, archaeologist M. R. Harrington started working in Gypsum Cave, in the Frenchman Mountain Range. He found evidence of mankind along side deposits of petrified feces.

Then he found the skull and bones from a giant ground sloth. Below these, he discovered spear points and evidence of cooking fires.

Harrington noted the bones had been split, showing stone knife cut marks. It left no doubt in his mind that humans had co-existed with prehistoric animals.

Meanwhile many Native legends hint at a giant, slow-moving animal seen wandering through the Sierra Nevada mountain range.

Historic Comstock Home Burns

Its been a difficult day for people living on the Comstock as a historic building from 1876 is gutted by flames. The Seven Gables House at 98 Howard Street in Virginia City, was one of the oldest homes in Northern Nevada.

It took crews from Storey, Carson City and Lyon counties as well as the Reno and Sierra Fire to keep the flames from spreading to other nearby structures. Unfortunately the roof collapsed, leaving  jus’ the walls standing, as the fire gutted the old building’s interior.

No one was directly injured by the blaze, but one fire fighter had to be taken to the hospital after he suffered an apparent heart attack. He’s currently listed in satisfactory condition and is expected to make a full recovery.

The house had been being used as a rental while the owner is in China on a teaching assignment. Also the home’s current residents weren’t there at the time the blaze broke out.

Neighbors braved the smoke and flames to enter the home to pull two dogs out. One dog was non-responsive but first responders were able to get it breathing again and it was taken to a veterinarian for observation.

The blaze’s cause remains under investigation.

A Lesson on Corporate Punishment Lost

Once again — the few screw it up for the many and in the true form of corporate punishment the many get screwed by a few. Common sense be damned!

An Internet posting of a fist fight between students from Reno and Galena High has led Reno High’s student leader’s to cancel the schools’ Winterfest Week.  The festival’s a week-long celebration that ends in a prom-like dance.

Washoe County School District Police say one person from Reno High, two from Galena High and a former student were in the fight. Furthermore it occurred off school property and there were no reported victims.

The student leadership was allowed to cancel the  event as a way of meting out discipline for the one student’s bad behavior — which isn’t really discipline but rather punishment for the remainder not involved.  Somehow the real lesson that could have been taught — which is what discipline is and is not — was never mentioned.

Now every student at Reno High’s on notice that if their school mate messes up — expect to be held responsible.  While  it keeps the student body in line, it also creates a lack of personal responsibility and a sense of fear in the form of the “Big Brother Effect.”

Smaller organizations use the system of corporate discipline to correct behavior of individuals by leveraging peer-pressure against the offender. It works well in the squad-bay — but loses its effectiveness when administered to a crowd of a few hundred.

So, why not discipline the individual seen fighting in the now-viral Internet video?

Because it’s easier for an assembled body to hand down sentence on a faceless crowd than to look in look at the  accused, sift through evidence and draw a conclusion before pronouncing sentence. It’s a shame that such a real-life teachable incident has been wasted.

Silver Tailings: A Big Fishes Tale

Asked once if I were to write a history of the Silver State, where would I begin? My answer:  Berlin, Nevada.

That’s because long before it was a mining camp – and I mean LONG BEFORE – it was home to a prehistoric creature we know as the Ichthyosaur. In fact the area was acquired by the State of Nevada in 1970 and turned into a state park featuring 40 fossilized remains of the ancient sea monster.

The Ichthyosaur was a giant marine reptile that resembled a dolphin. Ichthyosaurs averaged six and a half to 13 feet in length and could weigh anywhere between 360 pounds to jus’ over a ton.

At Berlin-Ichthyosaur State Park in Nye County, a 55-foot skeleton remains embedded in the rock and is protected from the elements in a large barn.  In 1977, the Ichthyosaur became the State Fossil State of Nevada, which is some 90 million years after it became extinct.

As for the mining camp of Berlin — in 1911 it also suffered extinction.

Nevada Marine Returns Home

A private jet carrying U.S. Marine Cpl. Jon-Luke Bateman’s flag-draped casket landed at Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas.  A half-dozen family members, a flight of airmen, the base color guard and seven white-gloved Marines met the plane on the tarmac for his final journey home.

The 2007 Pahrump High School graduate died January 15th while trying to rescue another Marine involved in an electric generator mishap in Helmand province.  Lance Cpl. Kenneth E. Cochran of Wilder, Idaho, was also killed in that accident.

The incident remains under investigation.

Nevada Woman Arrested for Voter Fraud

The FBI arrested a woman in Henderson on charges that she tried to vote twice. Roxanne Rubin, whose a registered Republican according to the Clark County Registrar of Voters office, is accused of trying to vote a second time on the same day.

Miller said poll workers questioned Rubin when they found her name in a database showing she had already cast a ballot, but she denied having voted and insisted she be allowed to vote. The election workers did not allow Rubin to vote and reported the incident to the Clark County registrar, who notified the secretary of state.

An investigation was launched by the Nevada’s multi-jurisdictional Elections Integrity Task Force (EITF). She was later arrested and charged with one felony count of voting more than once in the same election.

“There are two important points worth noting in this case,” Miller said. “First is that, as we’ve said and demonstrated in the past, we take all elections complaints very seriously and investigate them thoroughly. Second, this demonstrates the integrity of the system. Someone thought that by going to two different locations they’d be able to cast two ballots. The system immediately caught that, the task force responded and an arrest was made.”

The EITF is investigating at least one other incident of someone trying to vote twice.

This begs two yet unanswered questions: If she did try to vote again, how many other attempts has she made? And finally, if she didn’t actually vote as she claims, who voted in her place?