Seen a UFO lately? It may just be a toy!

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by Linda Kaidan

Eighteen years ago I saw a UFO as I was waiting at a traffic light. It was rotating on a fixed vertical access perpendicular to the surface at least 50 Ft in the air and was shaped like a top.  It swooped with dancelike motion conveying a human-style joy.

Apparently, you can buy an inexpensive toy like this in many different shapes and colors including popular characters like batman.

Many technologies appear unannounced every day. Recently I discovered (the new to me) synthetic film dubbing technology that allows films in foreign languages to subtly adjust the visual appearance of an actor’s mouth so that it looks more natural. While not perfect, it does speed up film production and significantly lowers the cost.

When you see something new it’s awesome. Be curious and don’t immediately jump to the conclusion that it’s extraterrestrial in origin.

Sparks Fly! Chunky Monkey Could’ve Died

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Stephen Ames Berry

Herkimer's mischievous Chunky Monkey at work.
Herkimer’s mischievous Chunky Monkey at work.

Here’s the latest attack on our little driveway light. This unwitting suicide attack occurred on 4/4. Watch and listen as masked kamikaze Chunky Monkey stands on our wet grass and chops away at the light cord with a pair of metal scissors. The result was what you’d expect. Chunky Monkey ran away whimpering in pain down the driveway of 335 Pleasant Avenue and didn’t appear again. I checked the footage of that house for the next 12 hours.

Is the fool alive? Don’t know. Several cars came out from behind that house over the next eight hours. He could have been in one of them, being taken to the hospital for cardiac arrhythmia, or up in the hills to have his body dumped. Electrical shock doesn’t always kill you immediately–it can occur hours or days after the event.  (Quoting my wife Linda, who was an apprentice electrician in Florida and has horror stories.)

We think some sadistic gang creeps put Chunky up to this–gave him or her a few bucks and some crack, not caring if Chunky suffered or died, maybe even hoping he or she would, and we’d find another body in our driveway. Previous corpses have been those of squirrels. A few calls to local hospitals would find if someone short and stocky was recently admitted for electrical burns or shock.

That gentle little $50.00  LED light has excited a lot of passion in the Herkimer community:

Our neighboring drug and child traffickers are especially incensed. Some even called the police, demanding that their right to darkness be protected. Others tampered with the light and were arrested, or harassed us over it, and were arrested.  It made a fine lure for petty criminals. And it seems to have sparked the installation of a number of similar lights along Pleasant and Eureka Avenues, more cameras, and better bulbs in our street lights. 

Repositioned Light Coming Soon

The light still works. It just needs a new cord. We’re not replacing it on the pole: we don’t want to be responsible, no matter how indirectly, for someone’s death. But, out of concern for the safety of ourselves and our neighbors, such as neighboring Kim Vargas and her family, we’ll install it or a brighter light high on the house, also pointed left toward King Street. Some of the folks who hate light are usually high by early evening–maybe they’ll be high enough to reach the light. 

About The Cameras

This is the first time anyone’s seen or heard our newest POE camera, dubbed Street Sweeper,  in action. As you can see, Street Sweeper has a huge field of vision. Chunky’s panicked retreat was captured by our faithful old 1080p Amcrest system and the two clips combined.

On Street Sweeper, an unhackable Reolink of the sort we have covering thug Carrie Ann Bass’s antics to our rear, you can hear Chunky approaching from the direction of Herkimer’s Historic Crack House at 318 Pleasant Avenue, a Jay Smith property. It picks up the sound of distant traffic and Chunky’s pathetic whimpering as he runs away. (It’s also recorded many hurtful things our neighbors have said about us and others. )

If you’re interested, the whole system– camera, ethernet cable, and POE switch, was about $100 and ties in nicely with a router. It can be easily controlled from your cellphone and permits real-time viewing. Great for checking out those odd night noises. The clips are MP4 and can be played on any media player and shared over a variety of media.  And of course, the Herkimer Police are always delighted to receive crime clips.