This is True
Randy Cassingham

Randy Cassingham’s Blog

Historical Details and Author’s Notes from This is True®
— Weird News Online Since the Internet’s Dark Ages.

  Florida: Really? Grief?

Tom in Nevada asks, “Given the amount of grief you give the well deserved Floridians, is there an disproportionate number of subscribers from Florida or maybe a disproportionately low number that might be turned off from the constant, once again well deserved, coverage of their exploits? Just curious.”

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  Never a Dull Moment

It’s Always Something Around Here! Last Tuesday night, we were awakened at 4:00 a.m. by screaming. Took us a little bit to wake up to figure out what was going on, but we realized it was a baby bear that was screaming. Not a good sign: they usually scream because they got separated from momma. Kit popped down to the garage to check the cats (they sleep there, since it’s a safer place than outside!), and “heard them moving around” so she came back to bed.

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  Shooters Grill

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.:

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  20 Years ...and Counting

This Week Marks a Huge Milestone for This is True: the end of its 20th year. It started as a bulletin board item outside my office at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The first one, dated 26 June 1994, was written to go into my business plan. I hadn’t actually gotten distribution set up. As I was working on that, though, I kept writing a new column each week and, when it went online in July 1994, it was an instant hit, quickly ramping up in circulation.

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  Sometimes You Lose One

I was taking Kit to a medical appointment in town (in the next county), and there was an ambulance call. Not for us, so we continued on. Then there was a second call. Also not for us, but that meant both ambulances are now out. We arrive at the appointment, and I go in with Kit — and my pager goes off. A third call, and it sounds really serious. I lock eyes with Kit. "If they don't have a third crew available, I'm the closest." And that's not good, because we are 20 minutes from the call, and that's with lights and siren. I don't hear anyone responding, so I told her I'd come back for her and dash out to my car. I get on the radio and ask Dispatch if anyone has responded to the call. "Negative." I make the decision to order up an ambulance from Montrose, in the next county, to take the call, and ask Dispatch to get them going. And I head toward the call, which is at one of our County buildings.

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  True Sticker Contest

Graphic Artist? If you've seen my attempts at artwork, you know I'm not. But it's past time for a This is True sticker, and I'm looking for a graphics whiz to design it. It doesn't have to be any particular shape. In fact, it can be any shape: it will be printed on the awesome 7-color indichrome process printer at StickerGiant here in Colorado. Their machinery can not only print an awesome range of stickers, but they can laser-cut the shape and size, too, without having to make a die, including having several sizes and shapes on one sheet. (I watched the machine in action when I toured their plant recently. It's sooooo cool!)

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  Shopped Sleeves

Sometimes a story needs the photos discussed to be complete. Let's start with the story, from True's 8 June 2014 issue:

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  The Mockingbird War

Years ago on Jumbo Joke, I related a story about fireworks at my house in Upland, Calif. I barely escaped trouble with the police. It was not the only story about fireworks at that house — and I’m pretty sure the police were called this time, too....

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  A Friend in Need

Not quite three weeks ago (Wednesday, April 9, the day before my birthday), Kit and I stopped by the local hospital to visit a friend. James, a fellow medic, and sometimes firefighter, was also from California, evidenced by his online handle, “FFEMT1A” (a California designation: Firefighter-Emergency Medical Technician-1A; I was a plain old EMT-1A myself at first, the A designating Ambulance duty certification, which added some elements beyond the non-transporting FF designation. He had both, and was extremely proud that he dedicated most of his life to helping others in need.)

And help people in need he did: his wife says that on their first date, they were going down a dark road when James suddenly pulled over and jumped out of the car. She had no idea what was going on until another car drove by, and she could see in its headlights that there was a car on the other side of the road with a flat tire. James had spotted it, and was changing the tire for the stranded elderly couple.

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  Rescue Me

My Latest EMS Story started in a most unusual way: with my wife, Kit, loudly asking, “Randy?! Are you OK?! I’m calling 9-1-1.”

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