Tuesday, August 25, 2009

More of Nothing - including too close to home school bombing

Let's see, how will I bore you now? I have no news on my medical issues – couldn't get in to see the doctor for the more invasive tests until after Labor Day – so I'm guessing that's supposed to indicate a "no big deal" kind of thing…still, do we ever feel it's no big deal when it's happening to us?

I had a lovely birthday, thanks for all the well wishes. Actual day of I went to my favorite bar after work and had a boatload of work friends show up. The weather was decent (didn't rain, although it threatened later in the evening) and I decided to celebrate my birthday with margaritas. Yum.

I've been working for my current company for 9 years, but it's a pretty big company, so I don't know everybody. Anyway, someone said to me, "So-and-so came to your party." Now, I had zero clue who So-and-so was, but turns out he's kind of high up. Whatever, besides he wasn't there for my party, he was there with his own department. One of my friends is fairly high up (it's all relative at my company as the hierarchy is a bit insane) and knew this man. He talked to him and then brought him over to say Hi. So-and-So asked what the occasion was and I said it was my birthday, and these were my friends. He asked what department, and I said, "Well, that group's from this program, these here are from this department, blah blah blah." He then asked, "Well, what department are you?" So, I told him, but I could tell he was a little thrown by the diverse group. It's normal to go out with your own department, but to make friends in other departments?? That's weird. That's what I get for working with a bunch of engineers. ;-)

Every morning (or most), I go to www.freep.com to check on Detroit news and then I go to www.sfgate.com, mostly for the Day in Pictures, but also to see what's going on in the Bay area. This morning, I got quite a shock. Did anybody outside the Bay area hear about a bombing at a local high school? I know I didn't.

The reason it was such a shock is that it was at the high school near my aunt's house which means that I was pretty sure it was my cousin's school. I jumped on Facebook (See? It is useful.) to check my cousin's status. Sure enough, it was her school. I damn near had a heart attack. Nobody was injured and my cousin didn't even know about the bombing until she was evacuated because she was on the other side of the school, but still. This 17-year-old apparent drop-out had made ten pipe bombs (he detonated two, before being rushed by two teachers into another teacher and the three tackled him to the ground), a sword and a chain saw. Supposedly, the plan was that as students came running out of classrooms to escape the bombs that he would attack them with the sword and the chain saw. Thanks to quick acting teachers and the principal, he was swiftly subdued and we have a happy ending.

Does anybody want to come to Detroit and go to the Zoo with me? I want to go, but won't go alone – it's too boring not to have somebody with whom to share the zoo and the animals' antics. Complete strangers think you're a weirdo if you talk to them and I need someone to whom I can say, "Oh, look how cute the rhinos are."


At Tuesday, 25 August, 2009, Blogger Rick said...

Glad to hear that tragedy was averted at the CA high school, and a bit mystified that it got no play nationally.

I'm tempted by a zoo trip, but just can't swing it right now. Why don't you come out here and go to the Bronx Zoo with me? They have an awesome gorilla exhibit, with a very impressive silverback named Zuri (has Detroit gotten anybody to replace Sunshine?).

At Wednesday, 26 August, 2009, Blogger Dr Jenn said...

Doc and I plan to take the girls one day to the zoo by his parents home up north. I think zoo's are neat. I would like to take them over to the Nashville Zoo too but getting our hours straight is going to be the challenge there.

I am surprised that the school didn't get a more public notice. I reckon no one was hurt and no one died so the media did not attack and sensationalize it like Columbine. I did not look to see where it was but if it was in the Cypress area, please let me know so I call call and check on sis and her kids! I am sure if it was near them, sis would have been on the tele laminating on the topic. Nerves and all.

Oh I knew you had not updated so I came online to post to quite watching TV and post something... geeze was I wrong!

At Wednesday, 26 August, 2009, Blogger Kathleen said...

Rick - No national airplay because nobody died. That's my guess. No Sunshine replacement...maybe they're waiting to see if one of the three brothers (who tested Sunshine's status and got a broken back for the trouble) will step forward. I miss Sunshine.

Dr. Jenn - Surprise! ;-) It was Hillsdale San Mateo.

At Wednesday, 26 August, 2009, Blogger LL said...

Foxnews reported it. Even showed the kid being handcuffed and taken away.

Oh well... I hope it at least it didn't kill your birthday buzz. ;)

At Thursday, 27 August, 2009, Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

Does the Detroit Zoo have a train? The Oakland one does, and that's my primary incentive to go to the Oakland Zoo.

Don't get me wrong, I like animals. But I love trains you can ride on. Choo choo!

Yikes about the drop out. Scary stuff. Must have been a real winner to have been tackled by someone while carrying a sword and chain saw. I know if I had a sword, nobody's tackling me. Not saying I'm a tough guy, just saying it's kind of easy with a sword against an unarmed opponent. You simply keep the sword in front of you. You can be a complete nimrod and accomplish that much. I guess this guy wasn't the sharpest knife in the drawer.

Anyways, I'm just glad nobody got hurt. It's bad enough you have to waste 7 hours a day in HS, would suck even more if after those 7 hours, you get blown up.

I hope you made a good impression on that higher up. Speaking of engineers, did I ever tell you any of my engineer jokes? If not, here's a clean one:

You hear about the engineer with "people skills?"

He looks at your feet when he talks.

Ha ha!

Speaking of SF, I just watched Milk. Dang fine movie. I ought to write a review on it.

At Thursday, 27 August, 2009, Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

I meant not in front of you, but between you and the other guy. That's what I meant to say. Most importantly though, glad no one was hurt.

At Friday, 28 August, 2009, Blogger Kathleen said...

LL - I'm disappointed that you watch Fox News.

ZS - Actually, he got tackled from behind, I believe. Actually, now having worked with engineers for 9 years, I've found that there are actually engineers with people skills... ;-)

At Friday, 28 August, 2009, Anonymous Suzy said...

The teachers at the school were really heroic. It could have been so much worse. What a crazy world we live in now, when your kids aren't even safe at school.

I hope you're OK - will be sending you positive thoughts. And I love the way you were able to "diversify" across department lines!

At Friday, 28 August, 2009, Blogger LL said...

You're disappointed that I'm fair and balanced? How could that disappoint anyone? :ewink:

At Sunday, 30 August, 2009, Blogger fermicat said...

I love zoos. But Detroit is a long commute. :-(

At Tuesday, 01 September, 2009, Blogger Jorge said...

Sorry I'm so behind on my blog reading. I would have gone with you. I was mostly on my own last week.

Never heard about the school bombing. But I did hear on WWJ a while back that the worst school bombing in US history was actually in a little town in West Michigan (or possibly near Lansing) in the early part of the 20th century.

A farmer who worked part time at the school packed an elementary school with dynamite, killed his wife and blew up the school. When he saw tir principle of the school moments after the bombing he called the guy over to his car and then blew himself up along with the principle (and at least one kid who crawled out of the rubble).

It's sad, but it's not as new as we sometimes think.

At Tuesday, 01 September, 2009, Blogger Kathleen said...

Jorge - I've always heard that Michigan had the dubious honor of being home to the largest school massacre, but didn't know the details. Lovely.

At Friday, 04 September, 2009, Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

Yeah, like I said, the guy's a moron. You keep the sword between you and the enemy and don't let someone get behind you.

The thing is, swords are only good in movies. Give me a spear any day of the week over a sword (lesson learned from realistic war games where we got plenty of splinters).

But enough about that. Glad the guy was a moron and nobody got hurt. The good thing about sociopaths are they're usually stupid.

As for 9 years with engineers, sure. You'll meet a lot of engineers in 9 years. But you have to admit you do know a lot of engineers who make that engineer stereotype stick.

The very first software company I worked for, our main architect literally couldn't speak in front of people. There always had to be a liaison between other people and him. He only trusted a handful of people, and everyone else made him nervous and he'd start sweating. He was a damn good engineer though, and very "well-spoken" when it was via email.

I've had other engineers I worked with who had serious baggage from what happened to them in high school. Like the last place I worked, we had one guy who simply couldn't get over HS, even though he was almost my age. I don't see why some folks just can't let it go. (no, this isn't our mutual friend).


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