ENTER THE DRAGON: The Eye has received lots of calls about Highway 4 construction work, including some from readers lately who witnessed an unusual phenomenon.

The haphazard rubber tire marks and scrapes along the cement wall on Highway 4 just south of Sand Creek Road in Brentwood appear to form the shape of a smiling dragon.

The Eye winced a little bit upon hearing that but decided it was worth checking out.

Sure enough, and without much squinting, The Eye did make out what looks like a happy version of the imaginary creature.

The Eye does not recommend slowing down to unsafe driving speeds to check out the new "design."

Stoic stand-in: It was a job Larry Swindell wasn't expecting to take on. But there he was May 3, standing before about 150 people in the Soda Center ballroom at Saint Mary's College in Moraga and serving as emcee for the 2013 Moraga Citizen of the Year award dinner.

"I am the pinch-hitter," Swindell said in his quiet, unassuming way, "as the planned emcee could not serve due to circumstances beyond his control."

Dick Olsen, the previously scheduled emcee, had been named Citizen of the Year a few weeks earlier. Olsen had been the emcee at the 2012 gathering honoring Ellen Beans, but it would have been bad form for the winner to emcee his own party.

Swindell, a retired journalist and author of several books about Hollywood and its stars, maintained his low-key demeanor throughout the evening, even while drumming up support for people to join his beloved Kiwanis Club of Moraga Valley and advising guests about proper banquet etiquette. As dinner was giving way to the presentation part of the program, he said, "Now you may continue to eat, and you can continue to drink, but you will cease conversation."

SURVEY SAYS!: The Eye was riding on a Pittsburg/Bay Point train shortly after the San Francisco Giants lost to the Philadelphia Phillies. The train was very crowded, with disappointed, orange-and-black clad fans stuffed together.

On the Eye's car, a rear seat was miraculously available, which led numerous riders to head toward it, only to make an abrupt U-turn. It soon became clear that someone had thrown up all over the floor by the bench.

As riders tried to avoid eye contact and inhaling the stench, a BART employee made the rounds handing out customer-satisfaction surveys to riders.

The Eye anticipates those results might be somewhat skewed.

keeping cool: The other day, the Eye came upon an unattended Richmond police car with its engine running in the city parking lot next to the Point Richmond fire station.

On a hunch, the Eye crossed the street over to Starbucks, where another police car was parked along the curb, this one with the engine off. Just then, two Richmond police officers stepped out of the coffee shop, beverages in hand.

One officer explained why the engine of the police car across the street was running: "It keeps it cool inside."

The official high in Richmond that day was in the upper 60s. To be fair, there was no shade in the parking lot.

The Eye pointed out that the engine was burning gas paid for by taxpayers. The second officer then volunteered that the computer inside the car only works with the engine running.

The two officers chatted for a while. Eventually, the first officer went to the police car across the street and cut the engine -- hopefully not before saving the data on the computer.

"Our policy is that police vehicles should be turned off when the officers are on their breaks and away from their cars," Richmond police Chief Chris Magnus said in an email. "The exception is K-9 vehicles."

As for the Mobile Data Computers inside the cars, those "do not require the car to be running and can easily be brought 'back up into full service' when vehicle ignitions are turned back on after being off," Magnus added.

Staff writers Paul Burgarino, Sam Richards, Matthias Gafni and Tom Lochner contributed to this report.