So Long Roger Mayer, And Thanks For Saving All The Memories

I just read about the death of one of those largely unfamiliar people who should probably be a household name. His name is Roger Mayer and without him, TV, movies, the internet and I’d even suggest our understanding of history to an extent would be a lot different than it is and not in a good way.

He turned to the movie studios, and was hired as a lawyer at Columbia Pictures. After several years there, gaining experience, he was hired at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Mayer (not related to MGM founder Louis B. Mayer) was given a tour of the film vaults — concrete bunkers with security guards, but the contents inside were baking at up to 130 degrees in the California sun. It was 1961, and film studios didn’t see much value in old movies; video cassettes, DVDs, and home video streaming were not even on the studios’ radars. But Mayer saw value in them: he asked for permission to air-condition the vaults to preserve the films there, and to create a film preservation laboratory. The vaults were upgraded, and Mayer was made president of MGM Laboratories. “Gradually,” Mayer said in 2005, “the concept prevailed that it was almost as important to preserve what had been made as it was to produce something new.” The lab not only saved features, but also newsreels and shorts.

He went on to help found the National Film Preservation Foundation and also worked with the Library of Congress’s National film preservation board.

If not for his work and that of others like him some of whom he surely inspired, imagine all the things we wouldn’t have now. Historical footage, a never ending supply of old movies and television shows, entire TV networks who’s business models are built on a never ending supply of old movies and television shows, those ridiculous educational film reels from times long ago that we all like to make fun of…I’m sure I could go on for days. the world is a better place for the existence of people like Roger Mayer, the ones who make sure we can take these sorts of things for granted but still learn more when we want to.

Once You Go Black You Never Go Back…Until Your Clever Disguise Washes Off

You almost have to give Jose Espinoza here some creativity points.

Sensing that the police were on to the stolen car he had parked near his home and likely either knew who he was or were close to finding out, Espinoza did what most people would do. He ran. And though you can argue the wisdom of doing so, he ran to the safest place he could think of, that very same home. But since even he was wise enough to realize that simply staying inside and hoping for the best probably wasn’t going to cut it, he decided that a disguise was in order. And boy oh boy, what a disguise it was.

Photo of Jose Espinoza.
Obviously, anyone with even the slightest grasp on current events knows that historically, America’s police forces and its black communities have enjoyed a peaceful, harmonious relationship that sees most African Americans drawing little attention whatsoever from the authorities on an average day. Armed with this knowledge, Espinoza decided to undergo a transformation. Translation: He spray painted his face black in the hopes that if paid a visit, he’d get the old sorry, wrong house and the kind officers would be on their way.

You might think that these clearly well thought out precautions would be enough to ensure that he was in the clear, but that’s why he’s Jose Espinoza and you’re not.

Just to make sure that he had all of his bases covered, he took a final step. He hid. Where? Out in his yard, up against a white wall. You know, so he wouldn’t stand out.

He stood out, of course.

He’s since been charged with unlawful taking or driving of a vehicle and receiving stolen property.

Mark Pollock Goes To The Pay Window. Hopefully He Doesn’t Fall Out Of It

I really really really really really wish that somebody could describe for me the exact window that Mark Pollock fell out of, because I still can’t work out in my brain how a fully grown adult (even a blind one such as himself) manages that under normal circumstances without being wasted as hell times 14. I’d also be interested in a survey of United Kingdom judges and their theories on how fully grown blind adults operate, because one of them has just decided that dumping yourself out a window is worth a couple million dollars worth of home insurance money which is completely absurd unless there’s something huge I’m missing here.

Mr Justice Davis ruled that the open window created an obvious risk for a blind person, particularly on the second storey of a house with nothing to prevent a fall to the ground below.
He ruled: “I am satisfied that the Cahills failed to discharge the common law duty of care they owed as occupiers.
“The open window was a real risk to Mr Pollock. They created that risk.”
Mr Pollock’s lawyers confirmed outside court that he had limited his claim to a maximum of £2 million, the limit of the Cahills’ household insurance.
Given the extent of his loss of earnings and future care needs, that was only a fraction of the total value of his claim.

What a guy.

Still wanna know how he fell out a window, though. Maybe Mr Justice Davis can sort it out for me, since the risk still isn’t obvious enough to at least one blind person.

This Bar Rocks

And now, your don’t even bother trying to figure this one out story of the day. Thank you, Florida.

Cops in Tallahassee, Florida say that on Wednesday, Jared Simpson, 24, visited the 4th Quarter Bar & Grill and rung up a $10 tab. When it came time to pay up, Simpson allegedly tried to get the bartender to accept a rock as payment.
When the woman decided that a stone wasn’t legal tender, Simpson responded by throwing a ripped-up dollar bill at her and saying he “would pay [her] in other ways,” according to the probable cause affidavit.

One witness said Simpson told people he was “shot up in the war,” but would not reveal the military branch he served in because “if I tell you I have to kill you,” according to Tallahassee.com.
Simpson left the bar and came back a short time later with a credit card that didn’t work, so the employee told him to pay up or leave.
Simpson left again, but came back again, this time in a gray suit and carrying a briefcase that he set down.
After warning that “anyone who goes near this will die,” Simpson allegedly ran out of the bar and across the street.

The running out of the bar part is interesting, since depending on the account you read he originally came into the bar hobbling on crutches, but did not run out with them.

The bar was evacuated and police and the bomb squad were called.

When police caught up with Simpson, he told them that the briefcase contained “maybe a bomb or a baby,” sang a song about being some sort of “rainbow man” and then did what I suppose is the crazy man’s version of lawyering up, informing the officers that “I am my own master, I answer to myself, no police have the right to ask questions.” He also may or may not have done a few handstands while he was at it, which again depends on the story you read.

He was charged with making false bomb threats, petty theft and disorderly conduct. He was not, to my legitimate shock, charged with being under the influence of something. His bond was set at $30500,and he was also ordered to undergo a psychiatric assessment before being allowed to bail out. Good call, that.

Wishing Wells, Astronauts And Golfers

Just a few quick ones I found in the email.

*A husband goes up to a wishing well, throws in a penny … ploop!  … nothing happens.

Then his wife takes out a penny. She walks up, trips ass over head, falls into the wishing well and drowns.

I’ll be damned,” he says. “It works!”

*Q: How do you get a baby astronaut to sleep?

A: Rocket.

*Two guys are trying to get in a quick eighteen holes, but there are two terrible lady golfers in front of them hitting the ball everywhere but where it’s supposed to go.

The first guy says, “Why don’t you go over and ask them if we can play through?”

The second guy gets about halfway there, but then turns around and runs back.

“What’s wrong,” the first guy asks.

“One of them’s my wife and the other one’s my mistress,” he replies.

The first guy says, “Yeah, that could be a problem. I’ll go over.”

He gets about halfway there before he too turns around and runs back.

The second guy says, “What’s wrong?”

The first guy says, “Small world.”

Blind Dude Who Survived The South Pole Somehow Nearly Killed By A Bathroom Search Window Plunge

Carin sent this along complete with the same question I have.

Unless it was one of those great big picture windows with no screen and you could just walk right out into the sky, how the hell does this happen? We ask this question as blind people ourselves, just in case he or his friends get angry at us. that happens sometimes.

A blind man is suing his close friends after he fell out of a window at their home while trying to find the bathroom.
Mark Pollock, 39, from Dublin, has been left in a wheelchair after suffering a ‘catastrophic spinal injury’ as a result of the 25ft fall onto a patio.

Mr Pollock, who is the first blind man to ever reach the south pole and is a Commonwealth Games silver medallist, is now taking legal action against Enda and Madeline Cahill for leaving the window open on the second floor of their home in Henley-on-Thames.

He claims they were negligent in leaving the window open, given that they had a blind man staying at the house.

I know a lot of blind people. Hell, I am a blind people, like I said. I’ve stayed at many an unfamiliar house in my day, and not once have I ever thought to myself or had a conversation with anyone else about my fears of falling out the damn window when all I want is a leak. Unless this is a case of what I wondered about up top or some sort of freak accident, how the fuck did this clown ever make it to the South Pole and back in one piece?

Welcome To KW, Uber

Unless something suddenly changes in the next few minutes, at 2 this afternoon Kitchener, Waterloo, Guelph, Hamilton and London will officially have Uber.

Predictably because this seems to happen everywhere it goes, its arrival has local taxi people and some politicians all upset. I get that part of the issue is safety and that is important, but let’s not kid ourselves here. Part of the problem is that the cab companies are worried they won’t be able to compete on price because of all the regulations and the government types are wondering how they’re going to get themselves a piece of the action.

On the subject of safety, If you’re being honest, you can’t tell me that taxis are always safe places. Have you seen the way some of those people drive? By and large I’ve had no problems, but more than once I’ve wondered if maybe I shouldn’t have put off getting my affairs in order.

Another reason I’ve had few problems is because I’m a man. Those cameras they’re putting in cabs now, they aren’t there simply to protect the drivers. If they were, why has it been mandated that every driver in the region has to take a training course that teaches them, essentially, that raping women is not a recommended on the job activity? All the licensing standards in the world haven’t stopped the repeated incidents around here from happening, so how is Uber that much worse?

As for another issue that’s near and dear to my heart and especially Carin’s seeing as she’s got a guide dog, how many stories have you heard about cab drivers refusing to pick up people and their service dogs? Perhaps we’ll come to find out that Uber is orders of magnitude worse, but for now I’m willing to take my chances and see if the savings are worth it.

Some Pretty Great News For One Of My Bad News Acquaintances

Well how about that. For once some good news coverage for a person I know. And even better, it’s somebody who once showed up in the shitty column.

Before she was sentenced, Samantha Scott turned to a high-ranking Woodstock police officer, soon to become a London deputy chief, Daryl Longworth.
She had a few choice words for him and another Woodstock officer.
“If you guys hadn’t kept busting me and putting my butt in jail, I never would have had this opportunity . . . Thank you both, and I mean that.”
Noticing Sgt. Heidi Becks wasn’t there, Scott joked the officer was probably busy finding new recruits for drug treatment court.
With a combination of humour, honesty and warmth, Scott became a rarity in London and the rest of Canada Tuesday — a woman graduating from the special court for addicted criminals.
In fact, she’s the first London graduate from the five-year-old court where people can avoid jail time by taking control of their lives through a lot of counselling and hard work.

You can read the whole thing here. Well done, Sam!

Kitchener Is Getting A New Downtown Farmers Market

Even though some of them aren’t on a bus route, are goddamn impossible to navigate independently when you’re blind or both, we’re pretty lucky around here as far as farmers markets go. And now it appears we’re getting one more. I hope the selection there is good, because the location sounds awfully convenient. I’m looking forward to checking it out.

If you live or work in downtown Kitchener and have a hankering for some fresh produce, a new pop-up farmers market may be just what you need. 
Legacy Greens is set to open on August 10 near the intersection of King and Queen streets in Kitchener. It will offer a selection of local, seasonal produce Monday through Friday.

The market store is the brain child of farmer Jordan Dolson, who already attends the Kitchener Market with her produce every Saturday.

The produce at the store will be sourced from Dolson’s own farm, as well as from the food terminal, the Elmira Produce Auction and other local farmers, she said. 
“We’re going to focus on local, so I want to really establish a lot of relationships in Waterloo Region and seasonal Ontario produce and then into the winter I want to look at citrus, other produce that is seasonal that we can bring in from other places as well,” Dolson said.

She says she plans to keep the store open until Christmas, and depending on how well it does there could be a more permanent location in the future.

Childhood Diseases

The inbox is gold today. Here’s another one I used to love telling when I was a kid. Thanks for actually encouraging this side of me, mom and dad.

A young couple arrived at the hotel where they were spending the first night of their honeymoon. They opened the champagne and began undressing, as couples do.

When the groom took off his socks, his new wife noticed something strange.

“What’s wrong with your feet!?” she asked.

“I had tolio as a child,” he answered.

“You mean polio?”

“No, tolio. The disease only affected my toes.”

The bride was satisfied with this explanation and they continued undressing. But when the groom took off his pants, she once again had questions.

“What’s wrong with your knees!?” she asked!. “They’re all lumpy and deformed!”

“As a child, I also had kneasles,” he explained.

“You mean measles?”

“No, kneasles. It was a strange illness that only affected my knees.”

The new bride had to be satisfied with this answer.

As the undressing continued, her husband at last removed his underwear. She looked him up and down and said worriedly..

“Don’t tell me you had smallcox too!””