Tuesday, January 31, 2012

NO, NO, NO!

No, no, and HECK no!  I don't know that I've ever blogged about fashion before, but, ...really?!?!?

Drop Crotch Jeans

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Quote for the Week

Americans are far more remarkable than we give ourselves credit for. We've been so busy damning ourselves for years. We've done it all, and yet we don't take credit for it.

Ray Bradbury

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Edjukashun

Takes place at SHCOOL.

Sad thing is that this was out there for weeks, and no one at the school thought it was bad enough to get someone to fix it.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Quote for the Week

Take our politicians: they're a bunch of yo-yos. The presidency is now a cross between a popularity contest and a high school debate, with an encyclopedia of cliches the first prize. 

~Saul Bellow

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Theater

In just about every place I go as an attorney, I have to navigate through some type of security.  Depending on the place, the officers can be local, state, or federal employees, or, they may even be contracted employees of a private security firm.

Sometimes, it's the same people I have seen before, some have been seeing me for over a decade. They get to know me, and understand why I am there. They do their job well and I do mine.

Other times, the teams rotate, and there's no telling who will be there at the security post.  I dread seeing new officers. It's not personal, but I know that it's going to take a while.

Recently, that has been the story in one of the buildings I frequent. The new crew routinely backs the line up for 15-20 minutes, taking forever to screen everyone.  There are four security officers stationed at one metal detector.  One runs the xray machine, one has the magnetic wand, and the other two yell at us.

Keep your hands visible, don't take anything out of your pockets (except our hands, I presume).  Stand here, don't stand there, move up, back off,  don't talk, speak up, don't use your cell phone...

And yet, I'm amused at the misguided hypervigilance I see. More often than not, they are either talking to each other, looking at whoever is getting yelled at, or otherwise preoccupied with looking like they're on post. It's very easy, after some brief observation, to spot the weaknesses.  It's all theater. It's well intentioned, perhaps, but still theater.  We're fooled into thinking that being loud, armed, and large in number is enough to serve as a deterrent.

True vigilance is not necessarily loud or even always visible.  True vigilance begins in the mind.  As long as the officers are content with griping about their supervisors, puffing out their chests, and yelling stock phrases, no true "securing" will be done.  The pictures will look good, the list will be checked, and checks will be written.  But it's all an act, serving only to give the illusion of security.

We haven't actually made anything any safer.  What we have done, by rule or statute, is placed our well-being in the hands of those who at times care more about their authority than their duty.  In the end, if I depend on them to keep me secure, I am in trouble.

So, what to do?  Well, I have to follow orders if I'm going to get in. Fine. But if the officers are more about style than substance, then I just can't respect the work they are doing.

They can play their games. I'll watch.

Vigilance begins in the mind

Mine.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

(Mis)Overheard on the Scanner

Dispatcher (rattling off a long list of fire engines, medical engines, ambulances, the fire marshall and the battalion chief):  Please respond to [ADDRESS].  Homeowner states he was working on his water heater and he found a bomb.

So the jets are scrambled, everybody jumps on their trucks and head for the call.  The units are in the process of checking in when:

Engine 4:  Dispatch, this is Engine 4 on scene, you can clear all units.  Homeowner is reporting finding a BONE, not a bomb.

Well, they sound alike...

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Quote for the Week

Pay no attention to what the critics say. A statue has never been erected in honor of a critic.

-Jean Sibelius

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Yes!



Well, not yet.  But, ultrasound is normal, and it's going to be a boy!





Dillon Responds

The doorbell rings.

I get up and head toward the door, trying to act normally.  I'm fighting the urge to run to the door, like a kid anticipating Christmas morning.  I've practically had my face up to the window since I got home from work.  I received an email shipping update telling me my package was on its way.

Some time ago, I had purchased a used Dillon Square Deal B for less than $50.  It was only the press itself, and was missing all of its components.  I had every intention of buying the parts to get it all working again, but other projects took precedence and the press was relegated to a shelf in the garage.

After I mentioned it in a previous post, Ed Skinner suggested I send it back to Dillon and have them take a look at it.  Per my email conversation with a Dillon representative, for a fee of $68, they would look it over and tell me what I needed to get it running again.  A little skeptical, I was hesitant to do it.  However, after encouragement from Carteach0, I shipped it off for a little over $10 and asked that they call me to arrange for the payment of the $68.

I didn't hear anything for a couple of weeks.  Then I got the shipment confirmation email.

The result was not what I expected.

This is what they sent me.


So far so good, since it's definitely a different box than what I sent them.  I wrestle the staples out and open the box.


This is even better!  All this stuff is new!  I remove the new toys and pull off the foam.  And there she is.  

With all kinds of new attachments!  As if that wasn't good enough, there was an invoice in the box as well.  Bottom line:

No charge, warranty repair.

So, for about $60, I got a Dillon Square Deal B.

I'm happy!  Thanks to Dillon for the work and thanks to Ed and Carteach0 for the direction and encouragement!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Wow

These are my people.

Please go read the whole thing.

Dress Professionally

And, fresh on the heels of yesterday's post, we see this:  "Crack jacket" is not proper courtroom attire.  At least his clothing matches his alleged profession. 


My Clients continue to amaze me with their courtroom attire.  I posted about one of my stories here, but I can't top the crack jacket.


H/T to my sister.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Quote for the Week

Friend, you cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom.  And what one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government can’t give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody. And when half of the people get the idea they don’t have to work because the other half’s going to take care of them, and when the other half get the idea it does no good to work because somebody’s going to get what I work for. That, dear friend, is about the end of any nation.

Adrian Rogers

Friday, January 6, 2012

Pro Se

In just about every area of law, there are people that chose to represent themselves instead of hiring an attorney.  I normally don't have a problem with that.  If it works, that's something to be proud of.  If it doesn't, well... it can be bad.  Very bad.

The best advice I can give is to get an attorney if at all possible.  However, if you ever decide to represent yourself in your own legal matter, here are some tips.

1. Know your stuff better than the other side.  I just don't mean know your facts.  You must know the law as it relates to your facts.  It doesn't matter if you think the facts are on your side.  If the other side proves they have the law on their side, facts won't matter.

2.  Lose the emotion.  No one cares.  No, really.  Falling apart or giving in to your emotions will only make you lose credibility.  Not fair, I know, but still true.

3.  Be organized.  Present your case in an organized manner.  Have an outline of what you want to present, sticking to the key points in your case.  If you start chasing rabbits, the judge may decline to follow you.  If you're lucky, the opposing party may just hope you keep talking and trip yourself up.  By the time you bring your presentation back on track, the judge may have already decided.  Worse still, the judge may interrupt, assuming you have nothing else to say.

4.  Be respectful.  For the judge, it's not personal.  Don't make it that way.  Don't be overly familiar with the judge, joking like you're best friends.  On the other hand, don't attack the judge because you think he or she is "in with the man."  You don't win by belittling the other side or the judge.

5.  Know when to shut up.  I have won more close cases by keeping my mouth shut than I have with some dramatic surprise.  Come to think of it, I haven't won any case with a sudden dramatic TV lawyer moment.  Don't interrupt the judge or the opposing party.  Present your case, present your argument, and know enough about the process to know when to stop.

6.  Be focused.  Stick to your situation.  If you're arguing a speeding ticket, it's no defense to claim that everyone else was also speeding.  The judge won't care and you are just admitting that you were speeding, which is the accusation anyway.

7.  Dress professionally.  Yes, I know.  You don't judge a book by its cover.  Whatever.  Dress like a professional so you will be treated as one.  If you come in dressed as a hoodlum, you will be treated as such.


Sunday, January 1, 2012

Quote for the Week

New Year's Day - Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual.

Mark Twain