A tale of attempted murder – at work!

Or, “The Hammerslayer strikes again.”

No-one official wants to talk about this story, though it’s absolutely true, and it took quite a bit to uncover the details.  It seems there was a murderer working at my job for a short time and she almost killed again.

I’m going to share the events here, but not the names and such.  I’ll give enough clues so that an enterprising person could dig them up but I don’t want to reveal much in case there’s an ongoing investigation.  If someone, such as the press wants to talk to me, they can feel free to send me an email in private.

When I was little, I thought detectives were cool and always wanted a real, live mystery to solve. I never did though, so I was mostly left polishing my proverbial magnifying lens.  After thirty years or so, I finally got a real one.  I’m friends with the security officer who watches the parking lots at work.  One evening, she told me “hey, I heard the Hammer slayer got out of jail and killed her husband!” or something very close to that. She let me know she didn’t have all the details yet, but the cops had definitely been there, on a recent Saturday, and somebody had been hurt.  She didn’t know much more, but she wanted to look into it.

Wow! I thought.  A killer working at my very own place of employment? Who got out of jail only to strike again? It was too good.

I started digging. I questioned my coworkers, the other security officer who had been on duty that day, checked news sites, checked police records. I found precious little. I managed to gather a bit though. From the security officer who saw it, I found that there was a car accident that happened near my job, on September 3 of this year. Police, fire, and ambulance were there, and it happened around 3:30 in the afternoon.

Later investigation showed no damage to the street, curb, or bridge it happened on, indicating that the collision had to be between two objects on the road, not a car and something on the side of the road.

I also learned that the Hammer slayer was a real person in Tucson – who had been convicted and sentenced to 16 years in prison, about 17 years ago. She had killed the pregnant female friend of her husband out of suspicion that he had been cheating with her. She had, of course, used nothing but a hammer.

Tonight, I heard the full story, from a supervisor who works in my department – and who also knows people who saw the incident, and has close ties to others involved.

It turned out that the Hammer slayer had indeed been released from prison. She’d somehow been hired here, despite her record.  She was luckily in another department. Ironically enough, she had been working customer service for a major home improvement store! She’d also remarried, to a man half her age who at one point worked where I do, as well.  Eventually he quit or was fired, and was caught trying to get into the building a week or so before the incident.  I spoke to the guy who tried to block him from coming in, then got him thrown out.

Finally the whole story came together.  On September third, just a few weeks ago, this Hammer slayer person allegedly crashed into her husband’s car right near work. Evidently she thought he’d been cheating on her. There were multiple witnesses. She was arrested on the spot and her husband escaped with a broken leg. Currently, this woman is now in jail and awaiting trial. Human Resources and management are still trying to figure out how she was hired in the first place. They suspect she used false information when applying.

As a final twist on this strange tale, it turns out that the Hammer slayer, during the time she was at my workplace, was on the team of a supervisor who had had actually bought the house the murder happened in!

I notice with interest that no news agency has picked up this story and I still can’t find anything in public police records.  This tale is too odd not to be told, and so I share it with you.  Somewhere inside, a small detective is rather satisfied with herself.


(Note: though I’m confident that the information I’ve uncovered is true, I must report it as hearsay, because I don’t have physical evidence and because the police haven’t yet publicized the reports.)

Same foods – different food values

How you prepare a food can have a huge effect on how nutritious it is. Did you know, for example, that the lycopene in a tomato is more easily available to your body if the tomato is cooked?

Not only are there some foods that need to be cooked to be safe, there are others that need to be cooked to be nutritious! There are others that should not be cooked or they will lose

their food value. Some foods lose all nutrients in processing, and some keep most of them.

Frozen vegetables, for example, are generally nutritious because they are frozen fresh from the field and haven’t had a chance for vitamins to degrade. The same is true for meat and fish. If they sit out a long time, nutrients can degrade. A mealy apple has less vitamin C than a fresh one.

Here are more examples. Tomatoes are quite nutritious from the can for example. Also, garbanzo beans! They retain almost all of their vitamins. Many fruits and vegetables aren’t so lucky, and a Google search is more than worthwhile.

Let’s return to our mealy apple. Brown spots on any fruit or a vegetable is a sign of vitamin C loss. With some foods, such as garlic, long boiling just makes nutrients disappear. That’s why it’s a good idea to add those items to stews last.

Steaming is a great way to prepare food. Quick but intense heat is good, too, and proper stir frying helps food keep both the nutrients and the flavor. Fresh food combined with steaming and grilling is usually a great way to go. Also, with vegetables and fruits, the fresher the better. That brings us back to freezing. Frozen vegetables may have added salt, so reading labels is important, but they are usually a good buy.

How I fell in love with onions

This dish is so simple, yet so tasty, that I thought I’d share it. I first had it when I started really studying Russian culture and cuisine. My partner has been there and she let me know how to make it. You might really like this, so try it just once.

You will need:

A loaf of black rye bread. A skinny cocktail loaf is fine. Bonus if it’s home made.

An onion.bread-1480741_640

Can use a white, yellow or red,

or a Walla Walla Sweet

if you don’t like heat.

Butter or equivalent.

Dill weed,  salt.


First, peel and chop your onion. About half inch cubes is best but this doesn’t have to be exact.

Take the chopped onion and put it in a bowl with a little salt and dill weed. Shake it around and let it meld in the fridge a bit. Kosher salt is good for this.

Then, slice the black bread – about normal thickness – and butter it.

Heap on your onion.

Eat! This little appetizer can make a substantial part of a meal and it’s not bad for you. The flavors meld nicely and the onion isn’t as hot as it would be otherwise.  The butter adds richness to the bread and the dill adds complexity and tempering to the onion.

The true cost of cable

When I asked my friends how much cable costs, I was shocked!. One told me she pays $275 a month for TV and internet, and she’s thinking of cutting out the movie channels so she can save $30 or $40 per month. That’s it? That would still leave her about a $235 bill!

It seems to me that cable is not much more than a vacuum cleaner attached to your wallet.

How many DVDs can a person buy with $200 a month? I deduct $75 because that’s the price for cable internet, in my area at least. That’s all I pay, and I get all the entertainment I can handle.

An Amazon Prime subscription only costs $100 a year. You get unlimited 2 day free shipping plus a huge selection of movies and TV shows.

A Netflix membership doesn’t cost much more.

The library is free, and so is Youtube.

Now, let’s consider the time expense of cable. I used to be completely addicted to it, and watched TV all the time. My grades suffered, I didn’t work on my homework, I learned less. Ultimately, I wasn’t qualified to get as good a job because of this behavior.

I don’t blame cable for this. I did it to myself. I ask this question now: would it have been a good idea for me to pay for the privilege of having poorer earning power?

Yet, isn’t that what we do? We pay a company a lot of money (often thousands a year) for content we can buy for far less elsewhere! Learning is free. Entertainment is free. Even so, the addiction of passive entertainment can be really hard to shake. We don’t think logically when it comes to TV. We think emotionally.

If you are thinking of kicking the cable habit, consider how much more time you’d have if you didn’t watch as much TV. Consider the benefits to your eyesight. Also, tor your waistline. Think about how much you could get done if you freed up three or four hours every day. You could start a side business, read great books, exercise, spend more time with your kids.

Are you too tired at the end of the day to do anything else? Think about that, too. Is that really true, or could it change? Watching TV always made me feel more tired and lethargic, while doing things always made me feel better right away. This blog is about making your life more awesome. It’s hard to be awesome just watching TV all day. It saps your creativity and your energy.

There’s one final benefit to getting rid of cable. You will be exposed to less slick advertising and therefore you won’t feel like you need as much. This can lead to you spending less and being less of a slave to consumer culture.

With all the benefits of getting rid of cable, why keep it? The reason I keep hearing is that somebody else in the house wants it, so it can’t be gotten rid of. I’d say that some persuasiveness is in order here, if you do want to unplug the cable and plug into more money every month.

I’m not telling you to get rid of cable. I’m just asking you if the cost is worth it.

An ad-free Mindflight will bring us together

via Daily Prompt: Together

Every week I try to think of a way to make Mindflight better.  I’ve removed boring posts, improved the art on this blog, tightened up my prose, tried to figure out entries that would help and entertain.

Now we’ve gone ad free.  Though I might still make discreet suggestions about some really good product that people might love, that’s never going to be more than a simple link, easy to ignore.  I will have no popup ads, no WordPress ads.

No ads means no chance for adware or malware to be transmitted to your computer.   No ads means no sad pleas to shut down Adblockers.

By banishing ads from this blog, I want to serve my readers more fully and create just a little more ad free online space without auto playing sounds, videos, popups or distractions.

This content is going to stay free for anyone to read.  I’m really happy to be able to do it.  I think that we, as creators, can really do something awesome – together.  Therefore, comments and suggestions are always welcome.

I hope you’ll enjoy going ad free as much as I do!

The power of routine

A friend of mine recently lost his leg to a really bad case of sepsis. Previously, he smoked two packs a day, and had for forty years. Since he couldn’t smoke in the hospital anyway, and he thought he’d recover faster if he didn’t start again, he decided to quit. Cold turkey. He said it was easy.

No patches, no Chantix, no gum. No help at all other than one thing.

I was amazed! Then he told me how he did it.

You don’t have to suffer a major injury like

he did –

– but you can still change any habit you want to.We all have things we’d like to stop doing. We all have things we’d like to improve. It might be something like smoking or eating sugar, or it might be stopping negative thinking. It can be so hard to quit!

Luckily, my friend’s secret works. This one trick makes a bad habit much, much easier to stop.

Change your routine.

That’s it.

The reason why my friend was able to quit smoking, was because routine changed entirely as he coped with life with one leg. By the time he got back to work and started dealing with a more normal routine, the habit was already beaten.

Your mind often operates with preset “programs” that it runs during the day. Your daily routines happen almost without thought on your part, and that’s the secret. For example, a person might get up, brush their teeth, hit the shower, have a cup of coffee with a cigarette, head out the door, drive to work, have another smoke outside before going in, then go to their work station. If the routine contains a bad habit, then the bad habit is going to “run” along with the rest of the routine.

How to change your routine if your life is already set

It can seem impossible to change your routine. You’ve lived the same way for a long time, and what’s to change about it anyway? You have more control than you think. There’s always something to change. Here are some ideas. They are simply suggestions, meant to spur your own creativity.



Eat different foods or eat them in a different way. Change the color of the dishes you use. Wash up right away if that isn’t your normal habit. This tells your brain your circumstances have changed.

Morning Chores

If you usually make your bed, brush your teeth, and watch TV while eating breakfast, try brushing your teeth, making your bed, and eating breakfast while reading the paper or a book, for example.

Take a walk

Leave your shoes in an obvious place you can’t miss, so you don’t forget. If possible, do this before your shower – that way you don’t have to shower twice.

Make your bed

If you already make your bed, use a different colored top blanket.

Change your music

Listen to different music while you commute. Or listen to a book on CD.

Change your route

If there’s another way to get to work, try it. Or try another method for a while. I snacked in the car less when I started carpooling.

Rearrange your furniture

Changing the environment you live in, and changing your travel patterns within your home can also signal your brain that things are different.

Watch your triggers

If there’s something you always do near the time you do your unwanted habit, see if you can change that. If you eat a candy bar every day, for example, change your route so you don’t see the vending machine. Leave healthy snacks for yourself. If you always have a smoke with coffee, try tea for a while. Changing the flavor of the coffee might be enough. If you have problems with always being grumpy when you come home, for example, try a couple minutes of deep breathing and meditation.

The more you interrupt the usual pattern, at the same time that you are changing your habit, the better off you will be.