The iLoo is Flushed
Did a story in This is True ridiculing an announced new product from Microsoft result in its cancellation? Let’s look at the evidence, starting with the story that appeared in True’s 11 May 2003 issue:
I have a photo of the guy in the wheelchair, still stuck in the truck's grille, from the story in this week's issue. But first, the story:
Duct Tape Robber
In last week's issue there was the story of an alleged robber who wrapped his head in duct tape as a disguise. But I forgot that I had photos of this brain surgeon to show you! But first, the story, from the 9 September issue:
The Big Picture
Sometimes newspaper editors do their work mechanically, not paying any attention whatever to what they're printing -- even on the front page. And we have the photos to prove it. From True's 23 December 2007 issue:
Kumari Fulbright Mugshot
(Trust me: Scroll down slowly! Read the story first, then scroll down to see the first picture, and then go down to see the second one. Really -- it's worth it.)
Another Empty Suit
Another fun story that's made even more fun by seeing the photos involved:
Lolita Midsleeper Combi
I thought many readers would like to see the photos that go with a story from the 10 February 2008 issue, and maybe you will have examples of other "inappropriate" products, especially for children. First, the story:
First the story from True's 17 February 2008 issue, then some examples of the genre.
A Lingering Image
Another one of those stories that just begs for a photo. From True's 9 March 2008 issue:
Beauty and the Beast
Two stories this week have photos: the sexy mayor of Arlington, Ore., and the idiot robber using a bottle of cologne as a weapon.
First, the moron.
Two Teen Tales
Two stories this week have photos to go with them. First, the dangerous desperado and the dual damsels:
Men and Balloons
What is it with men who want to fly under balloons? I don't mean hot air balloons, I mean toy balloons. This one's a priest -- he just wanted to get closer to God, I guess. From True's 27 April 2008 edition:
School Bus Plunge (On Purpose)
I spent most of the day Sunday working at the scene of a school bus that plunged (buses always "plunge"!) over the side of a steep embankment on Ouray County's famous "Million Dollar Highway" below Red Mountain Pass.
One Strange Fetish
I just had to post this guy's mug shot after a subscriber wrote to say he thought it was odd that the woman so quickly thought the man was suspicious. First, here's the story:
Udderly Ridiculous Photo
Sometimes the photo that goes with a story is funnier than the story. Sometimes the story is pretty good all by itself. This one, from the 19 October 2008 issue, is a toss-up: I'm not sure which part is funnier. First, the story:
Zero Tolerance Trick, No Treat
Zero Tolerance is insidious. An abdication of common sense and professional ethics, in schools it seeks to apply one punishment -- suspension, usually leading to expulsion -- to any level of "crime".
Mug Shot = 1,000 Words
One of the stories in this week's column is notable for two reasons. One of them is the guy's mug shot.
Honorary Unsubscribe Choices
Two weeks ago I ran out of time to research and write the Honorary Unsubscribe -- and then forgot to note that in the issue. The H.U. runs the following Monday in the Premium edition, and I had time to research it over the weekend, so there was an H.U. entry that week -- free edition readers just didn't see it. But it's in the archive, if you like to keep track of such things. To catch up see Hans Beck.
Out My Window: a Golden Eagle
I just love my job. Even though I "have to" work Sundays, I really have a gorgeous view out my window, and I sometimes see the most amazing things.
It was a good day to stay inside today. Just because it's well into Spring doesn't mean it doesn't want to snow in Colorado! It came down all day today, sometimes in "whiteout" conditions, piling up about 18" (46 cm) at my house. It stopped about two hours before tonight's newsletter went out, so I just posted an amazing photo of what happens here when it snows:
There were several cranky responses to a story in last week's issue. Let's start with the story, from the edition dated 5 July 2009:
Dude! I Got Trashed Last Night!
Another story that isn't really complete without the photos mentioned. Even before I posted them, a couple of readers thought I was too hard on the guy. Let's start with the story, from True's 19 July 2009 issue.
A few comments about this week's lead story. If the location sounds somehow familiar, it's because that's where I live. Ouray County is pretty big (550 square miles), but is otherwise pretty small (around 4,100 people). And since I'm a volunteer with both our EMS agency and (occasionally) the local sheriff's office, I was quite aware of this event while it was happening. (I'm happy to say it wasn't in my response area, so I didn't have to go.)
Bambi Get Your Gun
Another story that begs to be illustrated by the photo mentioned. From True's 13 September 2009 issue:
A Clever Disguise...?
Once again, a picture is worth a thousand words. But I'm not sure that in this case, two pictures are worth two thousand words!
A Picture Worth 1,000 Anytime Minutes
...or, The Birth and Death of a Spinoff Web Site
Sure: a picture is "worth 1,000 words." Sometimes it's worth 1,000 minutes on your cell phone plan, as in this case. The story, from True's 27 December 2009 issue:
Patrick Timoney's "Gun"
The "zero tolerance" stories just don't stop, despite court decisions and legislators demanding "common sense." A 2" hunk of plastic isn't a gun, unless you're a hysterical grade school principal who demands that 9-year-olds in your care sign confessions when they bring a toy to school.
People often try to tell me California is the weirdest state in the union. No way, I always reply: Florida is. I find more weird stories there than from any other state, even though California (with about 37 million residents) has twice the population as Florida (with about 18.5 million). One of their newspapers even has a recurring feature called "FloriDuh" -- they know the weirdness that permeates the state.
It's Independence Day weekend in the U.S., and I thought I'd share a couple of photos I took yesterday in the "real" Rural America.
Sometimes there's a story that I "have" to publish, even though I know it just won't make it past the spam filters.
"Stupid" is Written All Over His Face
I just have to tell you the story of David Winkelman. The event that first brought him to my attention occurred in the year 2000, but it was when he sued over what he did that got him featured in This is True — in the 23 June 2002 issue. Here's the story:
Animals Love Him, Too (Nom Nom Nom)
Last week, quite a few readers wanted to report an "error." Here's the story, from the 10 October (10/10/10!) issue:
A Picture's Worth a Thousand Laughs
With a title like that, I certainly couldn't run the story without providing the photo! As usual, the story first, from True's 14 November 2010 issue:
Illuminated (Security Camera Video)
Another story that's immeasurably enhanced by its security camera video. From True's 12 December 2010 issue. First, the story:
Let's See If You Can Picture This
There are times that a photo doesn't just add to a story, it makes the story. This is this week's most-suggested True story: from the 24 April 2011 release:
Another classic story that is so nicely served by the photograph referenced in the story. From True's 15 May 2011 issue.
Remembrance and Reconciliation
There were a couple of stories I found earlier in the month, but decided to hold until the Memorial Day issue. And they get to be in the blog, since one of them has illustrations you need to see for the complete effect.
The Old Ball and Chain
Another story that needs the photo to be complete. From True's 31 July 2011 issue:
No Parking -- Lithuanian Style
I've had a couple of complaints about a story in the 7 August 2011 issue. Let's start with the story:
OK, I admit it: I knew the tagline on a story this week would make a lot of readers squirm. I have the story -- and the guy's mug shot -- plus some reader comments. The story is from True's 14 August 2011 issue:
Another story where you just have to see the accompanying photo -- an instant classic!
(Warning: It looks a bit intense, but it's fake: the woman is not only not dead, she's not at all injured.)
It's another story that absolutely demands the accompanying illustration — in this case, a mug shot. But trust me: read the story first! It's from True's 20 November 2011 issue:
Sydney Spies' Yearbook Photo
You don't really need the photo that the girl submitted to the yearbook to "get" the story in this week's issue (8 January 12), but she did release it to the media, so I'll bring it to you — along with some additional details.
First, the story:
There were two wonderful stories in this week's issue that really go nicely together. And one has a photo that has to be seen to be believed. Let's start with the stories, from True's 15 January 2012 issue:
Don't Have a Cow, Man
Readers wanted to see the photos that go with this story, about the prisoner-altered State Police car-door decal in Vermont. It ran in True's 12 February 2012 issue:
Two Tiny Scandals
Two stories this week will, I think, generate some comments from readers. One has a zero tolerance theme, and the other is a minor political scandal. They're both from True's 19 February 2012 issue.
"I Was Not In an Accident"
Another story that really needs the photo to drive it home (or to work). A reader sent me the story, and I said "Eh, kind of humdrum" — until I saw what the driver said, which made the story worth telling. And then I saw the photo, and knew it was truly True fodder. Read the story first, from True's 13 May 2012 issue, before scrolling down to the photo:
A Cautionary Tale
I made a little graphic which I posted on Facebook earlier this week, and it seems to have hit a chord with the crowd there:
Curiosity: the Mars Science Laboratory
My writing time this week was interrupted, even I only started in the late evening, because I had my satellite TV tuned in to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where they were monitoring the landing of the latest rover on Mars, Curiosity (the best-named science craft ever); the mission itself is called the Mars Science Laboratory — accurate, if not as inspiring.
Someone Has to Live Here
Last week my wife and I went driving to see the fall colors. I thought you'd like to see what the trees look like in the Colorado mountains at about the time the first snow dusts the top of the San Juan mountains.
What Nightmares Are Made Of
The first and last stories from this week's issue (7 October 12) are posted here: the first because you've got to shudder at the thought of the poor kid trying to escape a kidnap attempt ...when you see the guy's mug shot. And the last because I want to talk about how the tagline came about -- and give you a place to politely discuss the story, if you wish.
There Are Still Adventures
It's 2012. There are no more adventures. Been there, done that, seen it, ho hum, right?
There are still adventures to be had in this world, and several of them happened this past week.
Keep Your Head Up
On Sunday I saw my wife had posted something on Facebook that really struck me. It was a "Share" of another friend's "meme" graphic, and here it is:
One of the things I like about being on the rural side of Colorado is the frequent wildlife sightings. Bunnies and jackrabbits are common. On our property, we've also seen coyotes, deer, elk, a badger(!), a bear (alas, only my wife saw that one), prairie dogs, eagles (both Golden and Bald), vultures, foxes, and while we didn't see the animal, we've found mountain lion tracks here.
"They're Landing On My Car!"
Well, that's the way it felt, anyway! For a brief moment.
Last fall I talked about helping a helicopter to land — in the middle of the highway in the middle of the night. Just got back from doing it again, except this time it was the middle of the day ...and I had my camera ready.
There was a magazine I read back in the 80s that I enjoyed: The Journal of Irreproducible Results, or JIR. A lot of the nerdy folks at NASA liked it (and there are a lot of nerdy folks at NASA!): it is, according to its tagline, "The Science Humor Magazine".
Band of Brothers
A story in this week’s True absolutely demands that I include the video mentioned in the story, so it’s being published here (with the video) rather than in the newsletter. From True’s 29 September 2013 issue:
"At Some Point Doesn't Common Sense Prevail?"
Another story that really needs the photo to be complete. First, the story, from True's 15 December 2013 issue:
Sometimes a story needs the photos discussed to be complete. Let's start with the story, from True's 8 June 2014 issue:
A reader seemed a bit dubious about the lead story last week (6 July 2014, Issue 1047). So let’s start with the story, and then the comment by John in the U.K.:
Stick It to Evil
Now this is a weird story! First the story, from True's 30 November 2014 issue, and then the photo that goes with it.
Two related stories that finish out this week’s issue may be a bit controversial, so I thought I would post them here to allow discussion among readers. They’re from the 7 December 2014 issue:
Knowing Is Half the Battle
True contributor Mike Straw, who as you might remember is a fairly recently retired career U.S. Air Force officer, had more to say about one of the stories he wrote this week. We’ll start first with the story, from the 7 August 2016 issue:
The story just isn’t enough: you want to see the photo Ashley Glawe (“glah-WE”) posted on Facebook from the emergency room. But first the story, from True’s 5 February 2017 issue:
This Can't Go In the Newsletter
I Wanted to Cover a Story, but I knew there was no way I could put it in the newsletter: it would cause the issue to be trapped by about 90 percent of readers’ spam filters.