There are certain things in life that leave me completely astounded. I don’t mean merely surprised, or even shocked, but absolutely frozen in disbelief as I contemplate what it was I just came across.
A lot of the times, it is my eye’s reaction to aesthetic beauty that momentarily stops my heart and leaves me staring. A sunset over the bay, various panoramic views in the hills of Ireland or four Aces staring me in the eye while Ryan Saxton dumps his chips in my direction have all left me in a momentary state of “blown-away.” On the flip side, I have also been astounded by the sight of a horrible car accident or the sheer lack of humanity and abundance of brutality I witnessed throughout Kuwait during the first Gulf War.
But it doesn’t necessarily have to be visual stimuli to leave me astounded. I have been captivated by heroism and athletic prowess, and touched to the very core of my soul by the kindness of others.
And, of course, there’s outright stupidity.
• East Pennsboro Police Chief Dennis McMaster reportedly saw a car speeding through the police station parking lot before the driver pulled in between two marked cruisers, turned off his headlights, reclined his seat and shut his eyes for a little nap, according to an Associated Press (AP) story. When McMaster approached the vehicle, he reportedly saw an empty vodka bottle on the floor and found a pipe with traces of marijuana in it, according to the story.
The man was charged with driving under the influence and possessing drug paraphernalia. I’m still searching through Pennsylvania law to find an ignorance ordinance, but I’m having no luck to this point.
• We love “green” around this office. Reporter Monica Fleming set us on an environmentally-aware course when she convinced us that running a “Going Green” section once a month was a good idea, and the entire staff has really rallied around the concept. And we’re seeing this awareness around the nation.
A woman in Austin, Texas, was reportedly taking this awareness to a new level when she recycled cash from a bank into a reusable grocery bag to rob the joint, according to an AP story. Police said that after viewing surveillance photos of the bank robbery, they had to assume she stuffed the money in the “green” bag.
Now, to be fair, she obviously isn’t too stupid since she’s gotten away with the robbery to this point, but you still have to be a little astounded.
She has enough personal responsibility to make environmentally-aware decisions, but still robs a bank. Maybe she’s going to recycle the bills into writing paper for small poor children in Ethiopia.
Or maybe she’s just going to buy a Coach bag.
• Oh, these thieves in Alabama keep getting more and more clever. An AP story reported this week that an ambitious group of hooligans acquired a stolen backhoe, a pickup truck and a flatbed trailer to rip an ATM from its concret base and make off with the device so they could crack it open in private.
And they got off to a nice start.
They managed to pull the machine from the concrete base, load it on to the trailer and head up the road. All seemed right in the world for the merry crew until the ATM fell off the back of the trailer along the side of the road.
Since the crew had left the backhoe at the bank, and thus had no way of loading the ATM back onto the trailer, they left the machine and the trailer along the road and left in the pickup truck.
“Let’s do one last check before we do this. Backhoe?”
“Rope to secure the ATM to the flatbed?”
• The Border Patrol reported that a man was arrested off the coast of San Diego County for allegedly trying to smuggle 24 pounds of marijuana from Mexico into California — on his surfboard.
According to a story that originated in the Los Angeles Times, federal agents ordered the man to come ashore, and he quickly dumped a blue duffel bag into the water. Agents then arrested the man in the ocean.
A little while later, agents said the blue bag washed ashore, containing five packages of marijuana, with a value of about $74,400.
I guess everybody surfing along the border with a duffel bag is now a suspect, huh?