Rough couple of weeks, could have been worse


It’s been a couple interesting weeks for me.

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I spent last week down in the Outer Banks, relaxing in 80-degree weather and basically recharging my mental and physical batteries for the coming dog days of summer. It was a week of going to sleep early, waking up early and falling back asleep on the couch for power naps in the early afternoon. In short, it was absolutely sublime.

The week before had a bit of a different feel. I had to make the trip to New York for a burial ceremony for my grandparents, who passed away a few weeks apart from each other. The good part of the trip was I got to see family members I hadn’t seen in a long time. The bad part of the trip was watching my mother have to bury her parents.

It was gut-wrenching, and I was awash with nostalgia while taking a walk around their old neighborhood and seeing so many places I used to play as a child, as well as just staring at that old house that still contained so many memories. There were thoughts of summer days playing with my cousins outside and watching baseball games with my grandfather in the living room, as well as very clear memories of Christmas dinners in the dining room and conversations with my grandmother at the kitchen table.

It was an emotionally-challenging trip, as one would expect from a funeral service for both grandparents. All things considered, however, it went about as well as one could expect.

That wasn’t the case with a funeral in Connecticut, according to a story from nbcconnecticut.com.

A 38-year-old man, Josue Rivera, reportedly gave a Bridgeport funeral director a thumb drive containing a memorial slideshow of the person who had passed away. However, according to the U.S. Marshal Violent Crime Fugitive Task Force, the drive contained images of child pornography.

After the funeral home contacted the authorities, Rivera’s home computer was seized and police reportedly recovered 153 files of child pornography, depicting 35 children. He was charged with first-degree possession of child pornography.

Not the most politically-correct statement I’ve ever made, but perhaps the wrong person was being buried.

Of course, while all crime must be controlled by authorities in order for our civilization to properly function, there are certain degrees of crime, and not all reach the sick depravity of our last story.

For instance, a story out of Ohio focused on a somewhat dramatic chain of events that found a man standing in the middle of train tracks while a train barreled toward him — finally stopped by the conductor pulling the emergency brake and halting five feet from the man, according to a story posted by WLWT.com.

The man in the tracks, one Terry Sanford, did not fall to his knees in prayer after his near-death experience, according to the story. No, Mr. Sanford apparently dropped his pants and mooned the train. He was arrested, and apparently that wasn’t his first rodeo. Police said he had been arrested more than three dozen times previous to this incident.

I have a confession to make. When I first saw the headline, “Police: Man forces train to stop, moons it,” I was convinced this was Bob Bertram’s work when he took his recent cross-country train trip. My next confession: I haven’t been able to sleep ever since I had that initial mental image.

The next headline I came across was a story reported by KBJR-TV in Minnesota. It read, “No balls harmed this time, but ball-slasher arrested anyway.” Yup, they had me right away.

This one focused on a man who has been convicted a few times of breaking into exercise facilities and cutting up exercise balls. That was a relief to read. I mean, I was just certain that ...

But I digress.