Monthly Archives: August 2016

The Salem Witch Trial

Shop owner and local celebrity Lorelei may yet be responsible for the first genuine Salem Witch Trial. Read the article, please. It will not only save me time, but you won’t be able to say I manipulated facts just to make a point.

Now that you’ve read the article (Boy, I just love the honor system) let me take you back in time to when Charlie Sheen had such a huge meltdown, it will continue to generate memes, forum signatures, and Twitter feeds for decades to come. During the course of this breakdown, Sheen made some comments in a radio interview that the Wiccan community blew out of proportion.

At the center of the Wiccan community was Christian Day, another local celebrity and respected business owner in Salem and New Orleans. He decided he was going to have a séance to help Mr. Sheen get through his period of darkness, and I’m fine with that. Everyone says a prayer or lights a candle for someone in the media once in a while. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I don’t feel the need to tell our local Fox News station about it. At that point, especially when they posted copies of the website’s article in the windows of Hex and Omen, it stopped being about cleansing and healing and started being about publicity.

Lorelei is a close friend of Christian Day. Now if you’ve read the article (Honor system. Gotta love that honor system) you know that she apparently decided that she can order the Salem Police Department around. It’s funny, because I thought that was Chief Butler’s job, but apparently being a shop owner and being a big draw for tourists gives you some chutzpah. It would explain the behavior of other shop owners I could mention. The difference being that the police actually arrested her for causing a disturbance, after they asked her to knock it off, and she challenged them to do such.

Then, as she’s being “bodily” forced into the back of the car, she tells her friend and coworker, “Get this on video and send it to Fox News!” Oh, and she apparently had an asthma attack in the backseat of the car. I’m sure it had nothing to do with the shock of realizing that witches can only command people to do their bidding in the movies.

Instead of paying the $150 dollar fine for causing a disturbance, she has demanded that this be taken to trial.

I, for one, hope they rub her nose in it. (Which only be funny to you, if you read the article. Seriously, I posted the link, there’s no excuse at this point.)

A Judge Of Character

Judge Timothy Feeley comes up a lot in the Salem News. Lately, his claim to fame is stepping on the toes of his colleagues whenever they make a finding he doesn’t agree with. Usually, this is because he appears to have a soft spot for dangerous offenders, or more specifically, dangerous offenders who have “performed service” or “worn a badge”, or “have a penis”.

Consider the emergency services worker who was a first responder to the World Trade Center following 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, and other disaster sites. For all intents and purposes, he should be celebrated for the efforts. But does that service to others justify assaulting his wife while she was trying to call 911, then leading police across city lines on an 80 miles-an-hour chase that ended with him aiming a rifle at police in what the paper calls an attempted “suicide-by-cop”.

The judge from the area where he was arrested rightly considered him a dangerous offender, who should not be trusted on his own. Judge Feely decided that he really was just a misunderstood, unsung hero who needed a hug and maybe a nice bottle of beer and a fluffy pillow upon which to rest his head.

So why do I imply that Judge Feeley is a teensy bit sexist, if not looking at certain defendants through the lenses of his rose colored glasses? Because there is a woman who was recently involved in altercation with police. She bit off part of a female officer’s ear, and would very likely have taken more off the officer didn’t jab the suspect in the eye.

Please understand that I am no way, shape, or form downplaying the severity of that situation. I, like at least one letter to the editor, agreed that the issue was not this woman’s mental illness, but the fact that she tried to make a meal out of an officer’s ear. She was nineteen and tried to use a fake ID to purchase alcohol, which was in violation of a previous order not to do so. Rules obviously didn’t matter to her.

Judge Feeley decided that she was a danger to the public, who would not adhere to the terms he set, and maybe she should get a thorough paddling while she’s in lockup. There is no excuse for such a dangerous offender to be released onto my streets, unless HE has a record of service somewhere, sometime ago.

Again, not downplaying what happened to the officer, who if I’m not mistaken, was a rookie just two months into her job. But it could have been much worse. She survived the ordeal, minus part of her ear, and she’ll have her brothers and sisters in blue to pick her back up, as well as a grateful community.

Suppose it was the other way around. What if the joyriding first responder were replaced with Mike Tyson’s kid sister? If he had been the one to bite the female officer’s ear off? Would the good judge reverse the order then, just because the guy had done some good stuff in the past?

You, faithful reader, may of course read the Salem News articles in question and decide for yourselves if my level of snark is too high, or if I’ve used just the right amount.

The Game of Telephone

I clean the restrooms at a local charity. One of the office workers came into the ladies room to rinse out her bowl, and said I was fine to be in there since she was only cleaning her dishes (There’s a kitchen at the other end of the building, but I don’t fuss).

She’s very optimistic. Unfortunately, we live in such a charged media climate right now that I don’t want to risk the chain of communication that will start with, “He was cleaning the ladies when I came in to clean my bowl” and end with, “I was cleaning my bowels when he came into the ladies”.

I can’t imagine why I would be so paranoid that people I should be able to trust might lead to misunderstandings.

*Clears Throat*

Haven’t written anything in a while. Here’s something from the past.

Confessions of a Cart Jockey

I wish I could meet whoever it was that first turned throat clearing into a gesture for getting someone’s attention. Because at times like this, when the action is involuntary, I feel a backlog of throat punches coming for the event when I meet the guilty party.

Sometime’s it’s out of concern. Other times, I’m sure it’s about ego. Because inevitably, someone will hear me clearing my throat, which is entirely for the purposes of removing the anthropomorphic mucus that has taken residence in my lungs. Then they will respond with, “are you okay?”

The first thousand times, I have no problem answering politely. After about the billionth is when I’ll start getting snippy.

“Oh, I’m fine. But everyday I dream of living the high life of a Nyquil commercial actor and this is just me rehearsing.”

For those who are not responding out of concern, but out of the…

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No Need to Sweat ATM

Xavier University just invented the Pizza ATM. The world’s first, according to many prominent online periodicals, implying that there was some Cold War-esque race with the nations of the world to produce this technological wonder.

In addition to the afterglow of discovering a new and exciting novelty, some people have voiced the concern that this might be a threat to pizza industry, or more specifically the pizzerias of the world.

Relax, World. Vending machines that churned out coffee didn’t kill coffee shops. And it’s true that services like Netflix and Redbox contributed to the downfall of the video store, but consider what you’re comparing.

Pizza is a much loved food item and the business surrounding it isn’t going anywhere. This vending machine seems cool, but so far all I’ve seen are food-tricked photos that go in restaurant menus and cookbooks. What I haven’t seen is what goes on inside of the machine.

First you have a computer screen that allows you to choose what kind of pizza you want. Okay, does it let you customize your order? Are the ingredients kept separate and the final product tailored to the customer’s exact requirements? If so, are the mechanics behind such a device routinely maintained and sanitized to prevent cross contamination? Or, and this is more likely, is the machine full of pre-made pizzas that are simply frozen and then heated up? In either case, there’s a concern surrounding a machine that keeps food at the necessary temperature to keep it from going to waste as well as cooking it to the appropriate food safety standards. Anytime you’re putting a computer or a machine in charge of such a thing, there is a chance of a major screw up that could lead to health problems.

Okay, the machine is at the university and all of my concerns are being addressed by the students. But is that guarantee in place when this machine goes commercial, and you can find it at bus stops, airport terminals, and other ambiguously clean environments?

Going to a pizza place may be expensive, but there’s a reason why people are still doing it. Going out to do something is still in and we are in a time when handmade artisan products are being celebrated. If you go to a pizza place every single day, that might ruin your bank account, but if you’re like my family, pizza is a great treat. If the Star Trek replicator were a reality, you still couldn’t reproduce the smell of the pizzeria, the arcade games that let you kill time waiting for your order, the long term relationships formed with the owner and the staff. Entire generations go to these places to talk and share good times and form memories.

No ATM in the world could give you that experience. The Pizza ATM is cute and fun, but it’s not going to threaten your bottom line if you’re a pizzeria owner. More likely, if such a thing really is a threat to your business, then you should probably take a closer look at your business because there’s something you’ve overlooked.

Today, it’s the 1st

Yesterday, the 31st, was the sixth anniversary of when I moved to Salem.

I went through my Facebook posts for 2010 to find the official date.

So, here I am in Salem, Mass at last. The job hunt is slow in happening and I’ve had a rather rocky first week. But I’m in the shelter and after a full night’s sleep I have a little more energy with which to present myself to prospective employers.

Since a day or two doesn’t make much different, I’m making it the 1st today.