Surprising and Strange


In search of…Big Tepee

Big Tepee? Do you know the way, Jose’? Go around Escondido. Ask anyone about the Big Tepee. Since we can’t bet dollars against donuts anymore — some donuts cost much more than a dollar — let’s wager dollars against Chargers super bowl appearances that people asked that question will believe you should go to a big tepee of the medical kind. There’s an answer to…


Blast from the past at Cal State San Marcos

One eyewitness said the blast “looked like an asteroid attack out of Star Wars.” The witness was referring to rocks from a regular quarry blast above Cal State San Marcos (CSUSM) raining down on campus about 3:15 p.m. Monday, July 30, 2001, damaging cars and buildings, but causing no injuries. For Robert Stakes, who had just begun his tenure as dean of extended studies, the rocks…


Lake San Marcos: World’s oldest dead ringer

That gruff yet recognizable voice. The trademark cigar. Those corny jokes that may, or may not, be funny but with that rat-a-tat-tat Vaudevillian delivery that never seems to fail. It might be. It could be. It was…. Al Mager? Or was it George Burns? For those who thought George Burns was a permanent fixture in the Las Vegas of the sky, think again. Al Mager…


Another Florida recount, calling Valley Center

(Editor’s Note: Even as Broward County and Palm Beach County election officials grapple with a razor thin-tight election recount, shades of 2000 reflect on the registrar of voters walls. The road to Florida election recount chaos runs straight through Valley Center where the originally defective voting machines traced to the well-turned home of Dick and Loralee Stephens at 29751 Valley Center Rd. The Stephens were…


It’s National Fluffernutter Day. Hooray?

Every dog has its day, they say, and apparently so does every cause, effect and plain old thing. Welcome to Monday Oct. 8, 2018. It’s National Fluffernutter Day. Correct, National Fluffernutter Day is observed annually on Oct. 8, according to the National Day Calendar. This is a day set aside each year to make, and enjoy, the savory sandwich consisting of peanut butter and marshmallow fluff. Fluffernutter dates…


Dust up at The Emporium

My days at the department store weren’t the most memorable, but a friend I knew briefly stands out, and the job had its moments. Who knows who makes these personnel decisions. Some genius at store management had the brilliant idea of assigning me, at first, to women’s shoes. It didn’t take long to realize that women, at least the ones who shopped at our store,…


Grape Day Park mule rustling ends smartly

Little Girl, the mule, spent a weekend, and day, like no other in her 28 years, stolen from a Grape Day Park tree, searched for in an epic police and helicopter mule hunt, finally — spoiler alert — found and reunited with her owner. A 28-year-old Escondido man was arrested on suspicion of mule rustling. As crazy as that may sound, Little Girl kicked off…


Leaving Gadsden, Alabama, and Roy Moore

Bless his cotton-picking, pedophile, hypocritical 10 Commandments blackheart, good ole child-molesting Republican boy Roy Moore of Gadsden, Alabama is in the news and on the run. I, too, spent time at Gadsden, and have escaped to tell thee. It was another time and another place. Between jobs as a correspondent for the St. Petersburg Times and Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta reporter/columnist for the Sacramento Bee, I…


Disbarred RSF Casey Anthony attorney Macaluso gets jail for $13M cocaine scheme

Summary: The former attorney of accused-murderer Casey Anthony, who has since been disbarred, was convicted of drug smuggling. (Editor’s note: It is with great pleasure we present this tale of justice served in the case of Todd Macaluso, former Casey Anthony attorney and Rancho Santa Fe reprobate. As editor of various Rancho Santa Fe newspapers and websites, I had the “honor” of being threatened with…