* ... LUCCA: A Marine veteran buddy of mine alerted me to the story of Lucca, a 12-year-old German Shepherd who was awarded the animal version of the British Victoria Cross for service in Iraq and Afghanistan. Lucca served with the U.S. Marine Corps and successfully completed more than 400 missions over six years before she lost a leg in the explosion of a roadside bomb. "On
* ... ELECTIONS: You know it's election season when the political signs start popping up around town. So far I have spotted signs for two mayoral candidates - Kyle Carter and Nannette Gonzalez - as well as a few for Supervisor David Couch and judgeship candidate David Wolf. In another month the city will be blanketed with this evidence of visual democracy.
* ... SPOTTED ON TWITTER: "When I die, I want my grave to offer free Wifi so that people visit more often."
* ... SNAKES: There is no surer sign that summer is coming than spotting rattlesnakes on the local roads and bike paths. I have spotted two near Hart Park in the past week, sunning themselves on the blacktop.
* ... KENNY BARNES OPEN: Free this weekend? If want to witness some of the best skeet shooting in the west head out to the Kern County Gun Club to take in the Ken Barnes Open Skeet Championship. Named after our own Ken Barnes, it will run Friday through Sunday and feature All American and former world champions. My favorite: The Sunday "shutoffs" that determine class champions.
* ... MARGE: We've had some fun recalling former KERO TV weathercaster Marge Stiles, and how she used to write "backwards" on the weather board. Not so fast says reader Terry Gaiser, who told me this: "With regards to Marge Stiles writing backwards... she really didn't. That is what it looked like, but the picture that the camera was taking was reversed through the magic of electronics and TV.
* ... MORE MARGE: And lastly, agreeing with Terry Gaiser was Diana G. Conner: "Actually she was not writing backwards. The camera only gave the appearance of her writing backwards. She actually was writing forward from behind the clear weather board. If she stood in front of the weather clear weather board and wrote the temperatures we would of seen the numbers backwards. But standing behind it allowed us viewers to see the numbers correctly but made her look as if she was writing in reverse. Maybe someone out there could explain it better than I just did. But it was all the 'trick' of the TV camera!"