Wednesday, June 15th, 2005


In case you hadn’t heard, the Ohio state government decided it would be a good idea to invest $50,000,000
– that’s fifty million dollars – in rare coins.  I’m not making
that up.  I wish I could make that up.  And then, perhaps
unsurprisingly, a bunch of the coins turned up missing
But now, a bunch of the stuff that was tagged as evidence in the home
of one of the employees of the guy responsible for the disposition of
the coins in question has, uh, turned up missing:

COLUMBUS — The suburban Denver home of a former
employee of Tom Noe was burglarized over the weekend, with thieves
making off with artwork, guns, jewelry, cars, and $300,000 in wine —
possibly purchased with money from the state of Ohio.


Michael
Storeim, a suspect in a Colorado criminal probe into Ohio’s missing
coins, reported Monday night the valuables had been taken from his
Evergreen, Colo., home while he was vacationing with his wife.


Investigators
from the Jefferson County, Colo., Sheriff’s Office on June 3 took
custody of 3,500 bottles of wine valued at $500,000, and seized
hundreds of rare coins, 265 Cuban cigars, computers, and documents from
Mr. Storeim’s home and office as part of a criminal investigation.





Sheriff’s investigators are looking into the disappearance of 121
missing rare coins worth about $400,000 from the Colorado office of Mr.
Noe’s $50 million Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation rare-coin fund.
Mr. Storeim ran the office until he left late last year.


Mr. Noe’s attorneys have also told Ohio officials that up to $12 million is missing from the state’s coin funds.

Ohio
fraud investigators have seized assets of Mr. Noe’s coin funds in
Colorado, Delaware, Florida, and at his headquarters in Monclova
Township.


Chris Nelson, an investigator with the Colorado
sheriff’s office, said several officers and lab technicians spent the
entire night at Mr. Storeim’s home after the burglary was reported.


“There
were immediately some red flags when you have a house of a suspect in a
high profile case getting burglarized,” he said. “We are very
aggressively pursuing this in light of the other ongoing
investigations.”


On Monday night, Mr. Storeim and his wife told
police they were returning from a two-day vacation when they first
noticed that two of their cars — a Toyota Sequoia and Lexus G300 were
missing.


Then, they noted items missing throughout their home,
including weapons, 10 boxes of 12-gauge ammunition, four tubs of
rock-climbing gear, several lithographs and paintings, stereos, and
jewelry. Additionally, guitars — one autographed by B.B. King and
another by Stevie Ray Vaughan — were reported stolen, police said.


I can just hear him now:  “Yes, officer, I realize the tragedy of all this evidence being gone, and I assure you my insurance agent is taking it terribly.” 

It also really takes the wind out of that whole “they’ll take my gun
when…” thing.  “They’ll take my gun when I’m out of town for a couple of days” just doesn’t carry the oomph of its predecessor as a gun-rights slogan. 

Of course, he says it’s all the media’s fault.  No, really:

The Storeims told police that they believed the
reported break-in was a result of media reports, which made public the
fact that Mr. Storeim is a coin dealer and that there was a valuable
wine collection in the home.


The mind merely gapes before it.
(more…)

I keep seeing indicators in the media that Batman Begins is
actually a good movie.  There is no way you can understand the
trepidation this causes me.  I love Batman.  I have loved
Batman for many years.  I used to watch the old ’60s show in
reruns as a kid.  As a freshman in college I watched the
painted-on-black, ’50s-esque WB cartoon.  I loved the Michael
Keaton movies.  I really, really dig on some Batman. 
There’ve been about eighty Robins, and I don’t really give a shit about
them.  It’s all about Batman.  And then here’s this
movie, and it’s got Christian Bale who’s hot and can act, and it’s got
Michael Caine, and it’s got all kinds of good people in it.  I
really want it to be good.  A part of me needs it to be good, in
the way I expect there are people in the world who needed Episode I to be good and whose whole lives fell
apart when they saw Episode I and were left with nothing but gnawing, empty space where their liver used to be.

And it’s getting mostly good reviews (82% on Rotten Tomatoes) and MSNBC.com likes it (their reviewer refers to Schumacher as having “contaminated” the Batman franchise with Batman & Robin, so we’re on the same page from the first sentence).  I have to see it, I know this.  I am required by law.  If it involved vampires and Batman, I’d have to pre-order the DVD from Amazon before it had hit the big screen.  I’d have to install a BitTorrent client and set an Automator script just to search for the movie online two days ahead of time.  Seriously, that sort of combo might actually break me as a person.

Fortunately, that hasn’t happened.  Yet.

So here I am.  I’m all knotted up over my desire for the movie to
be good but my automatic assumption that it will in fact be
manufactured from the slaughtered, rendered and manufactured scraps of
my fondest childhood dreams.

I think I just need to relax. (more…)

Saw this today:  Things He And His Girlfriend Have Fought About.  It’s hilarious. 

It’s also really, really long. (more…)