Tweakers, Methheads and Thieves…Oh My!

How desperate is a person for a fix when they will steal copper from an active water line and waste thousands of gallons of water for just a few dollars. Last week, several fittings were stolen from the building where I work leaving it without water until noon. What a crazy world this is.

Copper thieves close down DMV

December 18, 2007 – 1:50PM

VICTORVILLE — A stolen 2-foot piece of copper pipe worth about $5 brought the Victorville DMV to a screeching halt Tuesday morning.

DMV spokesman Mike Marando said that a security guard making routine rounds discovered the theft at about 7:30 A.M. He suspects that sometime during the night a saw was used to cut off the pipe that is the main water line into the DMV.

“Without any water the DMV had to close for health and safety issues”, Marando said.

People that came to DMV were told they would have to go to Barstow or come back later after the pipe had been replaced. A contractor was called to install a new pipe and the DMV was opened by 2:30 in the afternoon.

The owner of a local recycling company estimated the value of the stolen pipe at four to five dollars based on Tuesday’s price of copper.

The pipe is above ground about 30 yards from the DMV building near the street. The two foot long two inch diameter copper pipe was cut off on one end where it connects to the city water supply side and the other end connecting to the DMV side.

Dirt Head Fred rides again

When we moved to California, we spent 3 months living in a one bedroom converted refrigerator box car in Barstow. During that time, we didn’t have much to do in the way of entertainment. I bought a remote control ATV with a rider we nicknamed “Dirt Head Fred” because when you crashed, he went head first into the dirt. Right before we moved, the steering went out and you could only drive it forward and backward. This weekend, after cleaning out Jesse’s closet, I took Fred apart to find out why the steering was broke. A few hours later after disassembling and reassembling, Dirt Head Fred rose from the dead. One of the screws that controlled the steering had come loose from all the abuse we put Fred through. Now he is back and functional and spared from the trash.

Barstow in Sports Illustrated?

I ran across this link on a Barstow High Alumni group. It’s a very good article about the town I grew up in and in particular the cross-country team that just won the state championship. I remember when I was in high school, we had some great runners and now the team is getting national recognition.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2007/highschool/12/06/barstow.xc/index.html

I’ll huff and puff and blow your house down.

Last night was one of the windiest nights I can recall in some time. The house was literally rumbling because of the wind. Before going to bed, I had to go out and tie the Christmas lights to a pole on the porch as they had been half blown off of the roof. As we were trying to go to sleep, a loud crash indicated the BBQ had also fallen victim. Prior to leaving for work, I had to put the grill back together, gather the chairs that had blown off the porch and figure out where the recycle can had disappeared to. It’s still quite windy out, but not nearly as hard as last night. I thought we might wake up in OZ as the winds reminded me of our days in Oklahoma huddling in the hallway under a tornado warning.

Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath. Ephesians 4:26

This is a very ironic story about a guy’s last act on earth.

Road rage ends in driver dead

December 5, 2007 – 9:48AM

VICTORVILLE — A case of road rage ended with the death of a Hesperia man around 1 a.m. Wednesday on Interstate 15 near Stoddard Wells Road.

The California Highway Patrol received two calls shortly before 1 a.m. that a minivan traveling north on I-15 south was recklessly cutting off other vehicles.

Witnesses observed the minivan tail a Toyota Corolla while going about 80 mph. The driver of the Corolla moved to the right and stopped on the right shoulder, and later told officials that he thought the driver of the van was a police officer.

The minivan driver, Kyle Gavin Barry, 24, stopped in the slow lane alongside the Corolla, got out of the van and approached the driver, claiming to be an FBI agent.

When the driver of the Corolla asked to see Barry’s identification, Barry punched the driver in the nose, breaking his glasses.

The driver of the Corolla drove away and called police. Officials believe that as Barry got back in his van and was struck from behind by a tractor-trailer going about 55 mph.
Barry was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics.

The truck driver Peter Aguirre Jr., 46, of Victorville was unable to avoid the accident because Barry had stopped, blocking the lane, said CHP Officer Melanie Weaver.

Aguirre was not injured.

Barry and the Corolla driver did not know each other, Weaver said.

Authorities are still investigating Barry’s erratic driving before the collision and the assault, and they are not releasing the name of the Corolla driver, Weaver said.

There are no charges filed against Aguirre at this time.

From VV Daily Press

Rain, that liquid stuff from the sky, fell on Apple Valley

That’s not a typo. After what seems like an eternity, rain fell steadily Friday on the Mojave Desert. Driving home during the rain that afternoon was like boating in some places. One stretch of road was submerged from side to side for several miles. Of course, people forgot that water is slippery and I saw several crashed cars on my journey. I also saw a Jeep Wrangler buried to the fender in mud on one side while the other side remained solidly on the pavement. Moral of the story: Don’t cut corners after a heavy rain. My road had its usual puddles/lakes across it. So much so that I called Renee this morning to tell her that going through them with the van is not recommended. My truck on the other hand. Whooohooo!!!Mud bogging is fun!!

Trona Pinnacles

Yesterday, I was able to attend the Desert Managers Group meeting in Ridgecrest with my supervisor. I was tasked with taking photos of the meeting and its presenters. In the afternoon, we took a field trip to the Trona area. It was neat to see the Trona Pinnacles and be able to take some photos there. The trip ended at the Wild Horse and Burro Corrals where the BLM adopts out horses and burros recovered from public lands. It was great to get out of the office and see some very interesting stuff on the field trip.

I can see clearly now….

The smoke is almost completely gone from the valley and I was able to see a beautiful sunrise on my drive to work this morning. I worked outside over the weekend and though smoky still, it was much better than previous days. We even managed a little rain on Saturday which was a tremendous help to the air and especially the guys on the front line fighting the fires.

It’s Raining Again!

That strange liquid that falls from the sky came down upon us today for the first time in a long while. Last year was the driest year on record so maybe this early rain means we won’t have a repeat. Now all we have to do is watch out for dry strikes, the main cause of desert fires. Our evaporative cooler doesn’t work when the humidity is up, but the cloud cover should keep the temps down a little.

Another one down, Another one down, another one bites the dust!

I have always enjoyed going to Big Box stores, but their spread has had an undeniable effect on small town businesses. When WalMart comes to town, many mom & pop stores end up closing their doors. This week it was announced that one such store in my home town of Barstow has met its demise. Growing up in a small town meant that store’s weren’t known by what they sold, but by the proprieters. We didn’t go to the bike shop, we went to Jay’s. We didn’t go to the Hardware store, we went to H & E. Well, Home Depot came to town and now H & E is closing their doors after 55 years. I remember many a trip with my dad to get something for a home repair project and shouting, “We are going to H & E” as we closed the door and headed for the truck.

Read the article on its closing from the local newspaper.