William The Coroner’s Forensic Files

Wednesday, 18, February, 2009

A Small Lunchtime Conversation (A Play in One Act)

Filed under: Forensics — williamthecoroner @ 21:40

The scene.  Dr. Z is eating with Prosecutors N, O, and P.  All initials have been changed, for reasons that will become obvious.

Prosecutor N “What was the problem with that GSI case?  [Prosecutor C] said she was a “bad victim”.  What was wrong?

Prosecutor P “C was referring to the fact that the victim had a Brazilian.  That’s what makes her a bad victim.”

Coroner Z “That’s it?  That’s why Prosecutor C doesn’t want to try the case?  I don’t see why that’s relevant.”

Prosecutor O buttering a roll “I don’t think you want to show that to a jury.”

Prosecutor P “I know, but that’s what Prosecutor C said.  It doesn’t make sense, but Prosecutor C is dead set against the victim.”

Coroner Z, waving a fork, “By extrapolation, that tells me a whole lot more about Prosecutor C’s body hair than I really wanted to know.”

Prosecutor P “I’m EATING Doc, OK?”


This is new?

Filed under: Politics,Social Commentary — williamthecoroner @ 17:19

I read this article in the New York Times today.  The Old Grey Lady may have “All the News that’s Fit to Print” but this isn’t news.  I knew people who had this problem when I graduated from college in 1990.

Heavens, I was a full-time county employee and I was unable to obtain health insurance through my job for eighteen months.  I’m no stranger to the “Pray you don’t get sick health plan.”  I grant you, my case was highly unusual, and complicated by other full time county employees that were not doing their jobs.

In my case, we were not to be put on the county health plan for four months.  The responsible individual didn’t do the work, and I had to wait until the next open enrollment period to get health insurance.  I’m not sure how this person got away with it.  I do know that when another employee with three children lost her child care there was a department-wide benefits fair, and the people from the main county offices came to correct all the deficiencies.  But this was not unique.  One year another long-term (61 year veteran of county service, not that I’m still angry or nothing) refused to give me my W-2 at tax time.  I had to call the IRS for help.

(If you’ve never tried it, it is almost impossible to fill out a 1040 without a W-2 from your employer.)

Friday, 13, February, 2009

Mild-Mannered Coroner by Day

Filed under: Blogania — williamthecoroner @ 21:54


I’m not really sure what super-powers Spectacled Royalty has, though.  Aside from high myopia, I’ve already got that, and it’s no superpower, let me tell you.

Sappy Cat Blogging

Filed under: Cat Blogging — williamthecoroner @ 07:36

Happy Murphymurphy-eyes

Thursday, 12, February, 2009

Charles Darwin

Filed under: Natural History — williamthecoroner @ 23:43

12th Feb, 1809.charlesdarwin1

One of these days, we won’t have to argue about this anymore.


Filed under: Blogroll — williamthecoroner @ 22:30

For Janet, and Breda, and Brigid, among othersbacon-chart-1
From Aiming to Misbehave.

Tuesday, 10, February, 2009

Holy Offensive Stereotypes, Batman!

Filed under: People who need pianos dropped on them — williamthecoroner @ 16:22

So there I was, sitting quietly, watching PBS–waiting for Sesame Street to come on. Shaddup. I like it. Particularly Monsterpiece Theater with Alistair Cookie. Anyway, PBS had this show about introductory economic principles. Transactions, supply and demand, how savings accounts work, yadda, yadda, yadda.

So, to talk about how savings works, and how invested money is loaned out and goes into the economy, they had a “Financial Genius” puppet. Who was a felt portrayal of a middle-aged, balding, white guy. In a black suit. With a Brooklyn/Yiddish accent! He sounded like he was channeling Fanny Brice as a male! I nearly fell out of my chair in disbelief.

At least he wasn’t wearing anything on his head. But what were the creators/producers thinking? I was torn between the desire to laugh hysterically and being deeply, deeply offended.

Anyway, here’s the Monsterpiece Theater version of 39 Stairs. Made by guy named Alfred.

Monday, 9, February, 2009

Wish I’d Said That

Filed under: Social Commentary — williamthecoroner @ 12:56

Two good points from Dr. Janet Stemwedel:  She’s discussing the use of honorifics in conversation (Dr, Mr, etc.)  I believe personally it is best to start formal and then titrate it downwards.

First off, I think respect for persons ought to be absolutely central to our interactions with each other, every day and in every way. I’m with Kant on that one. People have the potential to do wonderful things — even of they haven’t delivered on that promise yet — and they have the potential to feel really bad if treated poorly by others. There’s never a good reason to go out of your way to treat someone poorly, and the extra effort it may take to treat the other people you encounter as actual human beings rather than just obstacles in your path is almost always worth it. (Sometimes the value comes in what kind of person it makes you to treat others well, but that’s still value-added.)


Let’s remember, … that respect for persons includes respect for oneself.

Sunday, 8, February, 2009

Five Rounds of Self-Defense.

Filed under: Life, the universe, & everything.,Social Commentary — williamthecoroner @ 21:31

1. Be aware of yourself and your surroundings. Don’t be concentrating on work, your love life or school. When you’re on the street you need to be alert. Walk with head up. Walk strong.

2. If you feel afraid DO SOMETHING. Fear warns you.

3. When it is obvious that you are going to be attacked, take action at the first sign of threat.

4. If there is not time to flee, fight until you know you are safe.

5. If you carry a weapon, know how to use it. Practice with it. Have it in easy reach.

These words are not mine, but they ring true and make sense. Go Read.  And worry, there are folks who don’t want you to be able to defend yourself.  Don’t let panic overcome you, but submission to a bad guy doesn’t keep you safe, as you can see HERE and HERE. Some people get off on fear, and they are perfectly willing to kill you for a Tootsie Roll, and then take it out of your dead mouth and finish it.  Others are worse, they’re politicians.

And it is always the worst devils that have the most beautiful faces, and the prettiest voices.

Projectile Hissy-Fit

Filed under: Medicine — williamthecoroner @ 10:12

Sometimes it is necessary. I have a recurring problem with my pharmacy. About four times a year, they short me on my prescriptions. And it is never the older, generic ones. No. It is always the priciest, newest one. When I run out, the insurance company refuses to authorize the refill, because it is “too early.”

Now, of course you do have to be careful with some drugs. They have a street value, people can use them to get high, or enhance athletic (or some other) performance. This isn’t one of those drugs. This one is for blood pressure, with no recreational use whatsoever.

So I called for a refill, and was told I could get six pills to “tide me over”. I went, picked it up, took it home, and there was ONE in it.

On trip two, I bring both bottles, and the pharmacy techs are quite resistant to changing anything-“Are you sure you have the right bottle?” Yes. “Sometimes people get confused with dosing, are you sure you’re taking it right?” Once a day, yes. “We gave you six pills yesterday…” You gave me one pill yesterday. “Oh, no the computer says it was six pills.” Here is the bottle with one pill in it, and the numeral 1 on the label. “You’ll have to talk to the pharmacist.”

I know the pills are disbursed by machine, and they’re counted by weight. Either the machine is off, or the staff are not using it properly. Personally, after doing this little fandango four times a year, I’m about ready to phone the County Auditor or the Board of Pharmacy–perhaps even the State Attorney General. Between the co-pay and the insurance reimbursement, that store is making good money from my business, and they are making crazy money if they manage to not give me a third of what I have paid for. Again, always the most expensive ones, and there is always a shortfall. I do not want to turn into a crank seeing conspiracies everywhere, but I’m getting suspicious.

The sad bit is, I am hostage to via insurance between this chain, and a mail-order chain run by the insurance company.  Though the insurance company would allow me to get three months at a time via mail order, they will not authorize anything like that walk in.  So, why don’t I do that?  Because the mail-order place sent me drugs that I was not prescribed.  Sometimes the stuff took three months to arrive, and then when I opened it, it turned out to be drugs I was not prescribed.  When I tried to return them, I could not, because “It’s been too long to process a return, and the pharmacist will be happy to tell you that the drugs are still good.”  I felt like I was in a Python skit.  Yes, the drugs were still good.  The pity of it was they were for conditions that I didn’t have.  I felt like a bunch of Vikings would appear and start singing the SPAM song.  In comparison, these folks are brilliant.

I would also like to go to the damn drugstore ONCE, get what I need and leave. But the solution is obvious. I’m going to get one of those little pill trays that pharmacists used to use on eBay, and count them myself before I leave the counter. OK–that means I will have gone over to the crank side, but how much do you want to bet I will still catch shortfalls.

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