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Bateman's Blog



Seeing red after a two-bit crime against nature, neighbors

Seeing red after a two-bit crime against nature, neighbors

The evidence is in: a crimson 36C bra, Lily of France perfume, a few Kessler whiskey bottles (empty), a lone Earth Spirit sandal, an LA museum’s anthropology magazine, a “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” DVD, an Old Homestead carving knife, and a

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Requiem for a Pilot

Requiem for a Pilot

Here Rests a Good Car Jan. 17, 2005-March 20, 2013 Age:  187,470 miles We’ve never been much on naming cars, so I guess 2HKYF18565H535397 will have to do. That’s the VIN number for our late, well-traveled 2005 Honda Pilot, probably

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Slow? No problem! Join the crowd at April 20th Old Mill Run

Slow? No problem! Join the crowd at April 20th Old Mill Run

Running was my religion 30 years ago, and I went to church a lot. Once I put in 150 days without missing a run. At my obsession’s peak, I’d log 70 miles a week, pounding pavement in rain, wind and

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League lament: Guess who’s coming to eat us for dinner

League lament: Guess who’s coming to eat us for dinner

From reactions up in these thar hills, you’d think the USC Trojans were moving down to Division III, intent on terrorizing the Cal Tech Beavers, Whittier Poets and Pomona Sagehens. But instead it’s Sonora High that’s moving – to the

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Recital promises more fun than you can shake a catheter at

We’re throwing a party this weekend, and most of our guests will be “of a certain age.” That would be my age, 67, and maybe a decade on either side. This means a couple of things: First, the party will

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What’s in a name? Eternal internet infamy

Who were they? And should we care? We’re talking about the seniors caught by the cops having sex in the back seat of a Ford Taurus parked at a Sonora barbecue joint last month. And doing it in broad daylight,

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How our $1,000 chicken laid a golden egg

How our $1,000 chicken laid a golden egg

“A thousand bucks? To fix a chicken??” My outrage echoed through the Twain Harte Veterinary Hospital lobby. A gaggle of waiting cat and dog owners looked up, suddenly alarmed that their own bills might also be unexpectedly high and perhaps

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Tuolumne County’s Road to Nowhere: Hang ‘Em High Way?

Tuolumne County’s Road to Nowhere: Hang ‘Em High Way?

“It doesn’t exactly roll off your tongue.” So said one critic when the Tuolumne County staff in November suggested naming a short road leading to the new Law and Justice Center site “Justice Center Drive.” County supervisors delayed their decision

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Will sexy seniors stroke fires of economic rebirth?

Will sexy seniors stroke fires of economic rebirth?

This year it came early.   Tuolumne County enjoyed its annual 15 minutes of fame on Feb. 12, when a woman, 72, and a man, 62, were caught by the cops naked and having sex in the back seat of

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Missing Cash found, and it’s a tail-wagger of a happy ending

Missing Cash found, and it’s a tail-wagger of a happy ending

Coincidence? Fate? A miracle? Or some harmonic convergence of all three? Whatever it was, Sunday’s reunion of owner Renee Clopton and Cash, the beloved Australian shepherd who ran away from her Columbia area home on Jan. 4, defies logic, probability

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In Love with a Flying Lady

In Love with a Flying Lady

  “You’re not really thinking about buying that thing?” My wife gave me a look. “Are you?” “No, no,” I said, waving her off. “It’s just for a story.” Yet the image kept going through my head: Me, a semi-retired

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Super Bowl analysis for channel surfers

Super Bowl analysis for channel surfers

My long-awaited post-Super Bowl analysis:  It sucked. It always sucks when your team loses. It sucks worse when your team snatches defeat from the jaws of victory, as the 49ers did in the waning seconds of the 5 ½ -hour spectacle.

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Awaiting Pigskin Armageddon, Remote Control in Hand

Awaiting Pigskin Armageddon, Remote Control in Hand

We used to call it the family room, but our kids are gone. And if you walk into that room today, there’s only one thing you could name it after.  ­ You might call it the TV Room. Or maybe,

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Can You Help Renee Bring Home Her Missing Cash?

Can You Help Renee Bring Home Her Missing Cash?

Cash tends to bring out the worst in us – greed, deceit, dishonest and all manner of underhanded dealings. But Cash has brought out the best in Renee Clopton, a 34-year-old Sonora-area woman who cuts hair at the Envy Salon

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Three Little Words that Translate Into ‘You’re Screwed’

Three Little Words that Translate Into ‘You’re Screwed’

“Some assembly required.” The words get my blood running cold. Add that an Allen wrench, a screwdriver, and a pair of pliers are necessary to transform dozens of parts into a useful appliance or piece of furniture, and I’m tempted

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Fire Can’t Dampen Couple’s Ardor for Ringing in the New Year

Fire Can’t Dampen Couple’s Ardor for Ringing in the New Year

So what if the church burned down the night before your wedding?  Would you find the nearest bar and go through with it anyway? Had Westminster Abbey gone up in flames on the eve of William and Kate’s much-ballyhooed multi-million-pound-royal

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Digging Deep for 2012’s Bottom 10 List

Digging Deep for 2012’s Bottom 10 List

Had enough of those year-end Top 10 lists – Top 10 news stories of 2012, Top 10 sports highlights, Top 10 people who died in 2012, Top 10 new thing that causes cancer, Top 10 Top 10 lists and more? Good, because it’s time to plumb the depths.

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Warm Holiday Greetings Not in the Cards for ‘Current Resident’

Warm Holiday Greetings Not in the Cards for ‘Current Resident’

Here’s how desperate Christmas in our household has become: Cards from a state senator and a propane company are enshrined on our wall of Yuletide good cheer. That wall years ago would have been covered with cards from friends, neighbors,

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Partisan Potholes Cause a Sinking Sensation

Partisan Potholes Cause a Sinking Sensation

As a rookie reporter back in the 1970s, I knew our five county supervisors pretty well. I knew their wives, their kids and what they did for a living before getting into politics. I knew the cars they drove, the

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Setting Sail in a Virtual Ocean

Once you’re done reading, check your fingers: If there’s not a trace of ink on them, what you’ve read isn’t really journalism. Until shoved to the brink of the Digital Divide, that’s what I’ve always thought about my chosen profession. 

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