PARADE MATH: Journalists aren't renowned for their mathematic abilities. But we just had to check the math on the attendance estimate of 30,000 for the Parade of Lights - not because we doubt the event's popularity, but because it appears physically impossible to fit that many people along the route.
The parade route is 1 mile long, which makes for 2 miles of curbs. To accommodate 30,000 people, there would have to be an average of nearly three (2.84) people per foot throughout the entire route to meet the 30,000 mark.
Now that's a crowd.
NO PARADE TO RAIN ON: At the same time the famous "Parade of Lights" was making its way through downtown Lodi on that rainy, windy Thursday, Delta College in Stockton was running its sprinklers.
WHO KNEW?: Sacramento psychic Linda Schooler, who examines the minds of people and four-footed creatures, e-mailed the News-Sentinel a few weeks ago to find out when an article on the Pug-O-Ween would appear in the paper. The question came two days after the article was published.
One would think a psychic would already know the answer!
MUNCH ON THIS: Here in the newsroom we already thought the "Grapevine" was famous, but perhaps it'd be more accurate to say infamous.
Mayor John Beckman remarked during a City Council meeting recently that one could tell winter was on its way by simply noticing when Councilman Larry Hansen had stopped sporting shorts for the informal Tuesday meetings but switched to wearing long pants.
(Beckman also said spring was heraled by Hansen's Hawaiian shirts.)
The mayor suggested to a nearby reporter it would be a good item for "that tidbits column" in the News-Sentinel.
City Attorney Stephen Schwabauer then recalled - not too-fondly and with a certain degree of chagrin - that he was featured prominently in this column's debut for being one of the first to go for seconds at the buffet during a city function.
(Gosh, was that really a year ago at the 2004 State of the City address? How time flies! Thanks for bringing back the memories, Schwabauer.)
HEARD RECENTLY: Some things never cease to amaze … a pre-teen boy in a local breakfast establishment was very upset when the game he had paid to play, failed to pay him off: The claw holding his stuffed animal got stuck in one position. Upset, he left - to get another handful of quarters to try again, with hopes of claiming his original prize.
But when he came back, a 50-something-year-old man had beaten him to the punch. Even after he was told by another patron and the restaurant manager that the boy was back, the grown man held the Sponge Bob Square Pants hostage, refusing to give it up.
Apparently some bullies never grow up.
DRUNKEN PEOPLE: We don't know if that man was drunk, but there was no doubt that many of the revelers downtown were drunk the night before Thanksgiving.
In fact, one man was drunk enough that he mistook a police van waiting to take people to jail for a shuttle. He staggered to the vehicle, opened the door - and was given a short ride.
CRIMINALS IN COURT: Speaking of people being arrested, a woman recently appeared in Lodi court to ask Judge Bob McNatt if she could just serve time in jail rather than do community service she'd put off since April. He agreed, by giving her two days in jail and then doubling the time because she'd failed to meet the community service deadline.
"You could make a real career out of this," he told her.
JUDICIAL ADVICE: And Stockton Judge Bernard Garber also had a few words for a man he sentenced to seven years in prison for drugs, then stayed the sentence so long as he completes a two-year treatment program in San Francisco. Garber released the man from jail and gave him 24 hours to get to the city, telling him that if all else failed, he could walk the 93 miles.
"After all, the mountains are in the first part, so after that it's all downhill," Garber said as part of a running commentary that brought smiles to most in the courtroom - including the defendant.
ERRORS ABOUND: Why is there an apostrophe in "R.V.'s" on the Flag City Flying J directional sign? Do those recreational vehicles possess the arrow that follows?
Items in Grapevine, which runs every other week on Mondays, are written by various reporters on the staff. If you have an item to contribute, e-mail Newsroom Assistant Pam Bauserman at email@example.com or call her at 369-7035.
- News-Sentinel staff