Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Bunker dancin'

The fall season of high school sports is just underway and I am in mid season form.  Covering a golf match today I called upon the powers of the Bunker Dance to sway a golf ball into the sand trap for a photo.  The mysterious incantation and funky moves on the golf course haven't let me down yet.  I know it may seem unethical to use such a powerful and mysterious force on assignment but I really needed the photo.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Time after time

Our hike this weekend took us back to Mount Diablo for trip down the Trail Through the Time.

The weather was cool for August which is a good thing hiking the mountain in August.  We headed to Rock City through the south gate entrance where we would pick up the trailhead.  It would be a short  4 mile or so hike taking us down the Devil's Slide area and back.

The poison oak was in full force lining both sides of the trail.  There were several steep pulls as he head out through a dense tree canopy and then into grassland.  The clouds muted the colors making the red poison oak stand out in the dark areas of the trail.

For an August hike the weather was wonderful.  Cool breezes and the clouds hovering above us made for a hike feeling much more like fall than late summer.  It was another great hike on the mountain, not sure where the trail will take us for our next hike but I'm hoping for cool weather again!

He hate me

I have been trying to figure out if this fellow at the Animal Shelter was bored beyond belief in the middle of an innocent  yawn when I snapped his picture or was he a bloodthirsty hound frothing at the thought of tearing the windpipe from my throat with this fangs.

The newsroom decision was since it was a dog he must have hated me.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Boom box

The call on the scanner caught my attention right away.  A Tracy police officer was describing a pair of items he found in the trunk of a car during a search.  An explosive device with a fuse sticking out of it.  I grabbed my camera and headed for the door.

A man was caught trying to pass a counterfeit check at the Wells Fargo on south Tracy Boulevard in the Red Maple Village shopping center.  I arrived just as the crime scene tape started to go up.  A lot of crime scene tape.  The bank, surrounding businesses and vast majority of the parking lot were being sealed off as officers prepared for the worst, a blast from the car parked in front of the bank.

My shooting position wasn't the greatest but I found a decent spot to watch the car from behind the yellow line of tape.  Most cars were evacuated from the lot, I had to move my car once when I was still considered parked in the blast wave zone.  It became a matter of waiting for the county bomb squad to arrive and evaluate the contents in the trunk.

About an hour into the evacuation the bomb squad rolled up with their bomb removal cart, something looking more like a cement mixer than anything else.  The bomb squad suited up into their flak vests and helmets and headed for the car.

The bomb squad examined he car, x-rayed the contents of the trunk and decided to remove the two items and take them south of town to the police firing range where they could be safely detonated. The bombs turned out to be smoke bombs used to test for leaks in pipes.  Two guns including a loaded revolver and a ski mask were also found in the car as the crime scene unit began to investigate the contents of the car.

Nothing blew up which is a good thing but it was a long time standing in the parking lot waiting for some action to happen.  It has been awhile since we have had a bomb scare like this in town and another in the odd string of spot news events that have happened around town the past two weeks.