Author: Darren Smith

More Photos Along a Green Dot Road

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

A few days ago brought me another business trip comprising six hours of driving to facilitate one hour of actual work. It did nevertheless provide an opportunity to visit another green dot road within country I haven’t seen in nearly thirty-seven years.

For me it brought a few quick memories of places, memories that were occasional and fleeting as I drove past. It made for a convincing argument that we must as individuals return to what we found as hobbies during our teen years as something that can remind us of whom we were then–that was, in fact, the person from whom we evolved.

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Most Hapless Felon Ever

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

Every year in reading of the human experience, individuals continue to reinforce the notion that while intelligence has its limits, stupidity knows no bounds. But today’s case-study  imports an existential question into the latter element: Stupidity can be so self-actualized, that it succeeds in preventing procreation, thus constraining the bounds of inheritable haplessness.

It all began simply enough–a felon reportedly stuffed a pistol into the front pocket of his pants and shot himself in the testicles. And yes, the story does get worse for him.

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Navy Completes Investigation of “Sky Penis” Artists

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

With the litany of political investigations abound in Washington, DC, another of lesser consequence–and admittedly equal in relevance–involved errant U.S. Navy Aviators who drew a ginormous sky-borne phallus using contrails.

Surely, most everyone in Okanogan County probably found a good laugh, but someone just had to complain to a Spokane news medium and the controversy unfolded.

I am greatly relieved that our national security was assured as a result of this investigation.  Yet, unfortunately, the additional laughs garnered probably did not live up to the budget spent on their revelation.

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A Few Photos Along a Green Dot Road

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

I was out of town on business and decided to go for a quick drive in the countryside. One of the many benefits to be had with an off-road capable vehicle is the ability to find in nature that which others are unwilling to go out of the way to seize.

In our state, many wilderness roads are closed to vehicular travel. Those having a green dot aspect on delineators signify an open road.  It is not to say that these roads are easy to navigate but they do add some interesting challenge at times to hone one’s driving ability.

Here are a few photos taken along the way. Click each to enlarge

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Taqueria Juquilita: A Little Gem Among Mexican Restaurants

A taste every mother could like

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

If you happen to be travelling on Interstate Five in the Centralia or Chehalis area, about half-an-hour from Olympia, Washington, I sincerely recommend two family-owned restaurants that pride themselves in authentic, and remarkable Mexican Cuisine: Taqueria Juquilita in Chehalis and Tagueria Juquilita 2 in Centralia.

I had again the small pleasure of dining there tonight and I felt compelled to at least give a shout-out. Both restaurants are family owned and the Centralia location was handed down to the daughter of the family matriarch who owns Chehalis. Both restaurants are easy to miss as they have an appreciable humbleness to their store front. Centralia has only twenty-six seats among seven tables. The food stems in the style of that offered in Mexico City and Oaxaca, where the family heralds. I can say without reservation that among other delights, the mole sauce is the best I have eaten and the flavors of each meal are complex and deserving of praise. Both restaurants are worth the drive.

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Iraqi Police Forces Confront Crime Wave of Short & Ripped Jeans

The horror

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

It would seem that either Police Forces within the disputed territory of Kirkuk in Northern Iraq have otherwise vanquished all traditional urban crimes and have far too much time on their hands or a return to authoritarianism found a new attraction with withering memories of Saddam and Islamist attacks via ISIS.

Kurdish news reports police forces are arresting any miscreant and fashion terrorista openly wearing ripped or short length jeans. According to a police source, “the decision was sent to all the police stations to arrest anyone who wears short jeans and jeans with fashionable slits or rips in them.”

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Irish Referendum To Change Requirement of Couples To Prove Separation From 4 Years to 2 in Divorce Cases

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

I must admit that I am at a bit of a loss on this one. Presently, the Constitution of Ireland requires that couples prove to a family court they have remained separated for four of the preceding five years as part of a petition to dissolve a marriage. Now, a widely heralded amendment is headed to the polls to reduce the separation period to two of the past three.  Forgive me for thinking aloud but, what state interest is there in requiring any time frame?

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Nearing The 40th Anniversary of the Filming of “The Blues Brothers”, Suspect Drives Through Mall

Screen capture of Jordan Damian video

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

When a driver reportedly amped up on methamphetamine and heroin drives his Beemer through a mall on the eve of the fortieth anniversary of the filming of the Blues Brothers, you have to wonder if it was a serendipitous synchronicity, a mission from God short on planning, or just a typical workday in East Wenatchee, WA.

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WA Appeals Court Allows Necessity Defense For Alleged Vandal In Shutting Down Pipeline As Environmental Protest

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

I have been critical of the notion that a defendant may not always be permitted the opportunity to present evidence in their defense, especially the affirmative defenses of necessity and self-defense.  Yet in a case recently before the Washington State Court of Appeals, Division One, The Court held that in a particular case, a defendant charged in shutting down an oil pipeline to draw attention to environmental hazards posed by such industry–he is entitled to argue before the court his actions were necessary to protect the environment and common good of the people. 

While this case received nearly no attention in the recent media, the effects of this ruling can be both of benefit to the defendant and the environmental protection cause, but could also open some doors to those seeking to excuse criminal behavior using specious necessity claims.

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Washington’s Bump-Fire Stock Buyback Program: Is $150 Worth The Risk?

Image Courtesy “WASR” via Creative Commons License

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

Last year Washington State government’s knee-jerk reaction to a mass shooting resulted in a legislated ban of “Bump-Fire” modifications to semi-automatic firearms. A few legislators submitted an amendment to the impending legislation allowing for a buy back program where residents of the state could receive a voucher for up to $150.00 per stock if they surrendered the stocks either directly to the State Patrol or received a receipt issued for one by a local law enforcement agency.

While some, including myself, had objections to the government’s taking of property without just compensation, which was in some fashion allayed by a price offered that was reasonable considering the market cost for such rifle stocks, the implementation of the buy-back program was not well thought out–which is usually the case with quickly crafted laws.

While some residents having these stocks might find the offer from the state attractive, I do not believe the amount offered is sufficient to offset potential risks associated with turning in these stocks and expecting payment. The buy-back program is also widely open to profiteering and manipulation.

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Beach To The Rescue

By Daren Smith, Weekend Contributor

© 2019 Darren Smith

There are times in operating any business when one needs to walk away else levy a deafening rebuke against a vendor.  After one just likely cost me a grand in lost income due to their incompetence and making promises they could not keep, I found myself at a bit of a crossroads.  I could either drive East read him the riot act or I could drive West and take in some photos and save my heart the aggravation.

Here is the result: (click to enlarge)

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