This morning, I logged into Facebook (I know, I know.) With the pre-election anger mounting in this country, I was curious as to where my friends and family are aligning themselves on one of the hottest topics of the summer – race and the police. Obviously, this is not a scientific work by any stretch of the imagination, but it seems people are falling into three categories: a) the obeyers b) civil rights advocates (not to be confused with sjws – I don’t/won’t have any of those as friends) and c) the checked out.
Personally, I find myself falling somewhere between b) and c). I can’t blame those who have checked out. I understand the appeal of not wanting to pay any attention to what is happening around us. Sometimes, it’s just easier on our brains and bodies to post pics of your kids/pets/food/vacation. Plus, I suspect many of us intentionally avoid discussing hot topic items on FB so as to avoid any conflict with people we otherwise care for and respect.
On the other hand, I also have strong sympathies for those who are recognizing injustice in our country, and are willing to say something about it. And this is where this post really starts to get difficult to write. I now feel a need to qualify anything I say going forward with the usual disclaimers – I have a number of friends and family members who are police officers. I love them all very much….however….I can’t be their automatic cheerleader. You won’t see me wearing a blue ribbon or putting up a blue light on my house. I can’t be in the obey category. I’ve seen too much injustice to know I can’t default to “the police are always right, obey them”.
Police officers are not military, but more and more they act as if they are. A standing army is unconstitutional, and should not be tolerated. Although, the way our police departments act these days are not really their fault. They are only following orders – the laws the politicians set down for all of us. Ultimately, what I would like to see is our police forces collectively standing up to those that put them in the uncomfortable and dangerous situations – the politicians. They are the ones who have the power. They are the ones who have created a system whereby the police feel like they need to act like militarized soldiers in a war zone. The politicians are the ones who have criminalized non-violent offenses. The politicians are the ones who have established the sentencing laws that see the incarceration of our minorities at a significantly higher rates than white people. The politicians are the ones who have created an us-versus-them mentality, all the while raking in the cash and being above the fray, and sometimes even prosecution (Hillary, I’m looking in your direction).
It should not be this way. The police should put down their arms and attitudes, and join the protesters. Join them and say they will not enforce unjust laws. They will no longer participate in a system where they are locking up their brothers and sisters for non-violent offenses and destroying their lives with criminal records. I’m open to other ideas, but this seems the best way to mend the fences between the citizenry and the police, and at the same time creating an alliance against politicians. They are the ones we all need to focus on. The politicians are dividing us – so let’s not obey them, and if you’re police, don’t do their dirty work for them.
There’s two cents from a chicken shit white person who will never actually protest anything. No matter where you stand on this issue, remember – we all have to live together in the end. Your choice in what kind of house it will be.
June started out as a pretty crappy (literally) month, but with each passing day has gotten better.
At the start of the month, we finally started to get bids for the new roof our house needs. As we were doing that, we learned we were also having a sewer drainage problem. We (ok, Mike) tried to initially fix it by the usual drain rodding, but that didn’t pan out. We feared it could have been a line collapse due to our house’s lines being so old and made of terra cotta. So the calls to professional plumbers began and we started to round up opinions on what was actually wrong and estimates to repair it. That process was awful and we learned that our repair was going to be anywhere from $1500 to $6000. Add that to the upcoming roof replacement, and we’re looking a lot of costs.
The plumber who provided the cheapest estimate wasn’t going to be able to come out for three weeks. With the impending Independence Day holiday and house guests set to arrive, we couldn’t wait three weeks. So Mike started digging. He dug for two days in upper 90° weather. On the third day, he found the problem. Fortunately, the line had not collapsed. It was, however, so packed with roots and other particulate, there was very little that was able to pass through. Lots of gagging, heavy rubber gloves, and hundred of flies swarming later, Mike removed over six feet of packed-in nastiness. He repaired the pipe (replaced with modern PVC) and we are free flowing again. I can’t begin to express how grateful I am to have him around. Mike is incredibly resourceful, and furthermore tenacious. Thanks, Mike.
Feeling like we scored one on the karma gods, we opted to have a little fun with the money we would have otherwise spent on the plumbing and invested in some used kayaks. We are now the proud owners of a Tsunami 120 and 125 Kayak. Mine is bright yellow, and given the shape of a kayak, it will appear that I am padding a banana. Going to have to get you some pics of that. I can’t wait to get out and try it out. Time to explore my beautiful home geography by water.
When we were in the Okefenokee Swamp earlier this month, we snapped a pic of the very rare, wild growing Cheetos. Still early in their growth. I think they have a big Cheetos harvest in September or October. So hard not to eat them!
My number has been selected, yetagain, and I have been invited to join the Justice Squadron at the Municipal Halls of Vengeance. My critical question for you – should I wear my brand new t-shirt celebrating the 20 year anniversary of the law firm for which I’m employed or should I wear my ‘The Constitution: I read it for the Articles’ t-shirt? Either will probably serve me well.
Georgia’s primary is tomorrow, wonkishly known as Super Tuesday. We’re an open primary state, meaning I don’t have to declare myself a member of any party to go in and vote. The issue I’ve avoided until now, is that I really don’t care much for any of the presidential primary candidates. I therefore, have no idea for whom to to vote. I don’t even know if I should vote R or D. I plan on heading to the polls tomorrow, but mostly because I want to vote for Sheriff. I’m obviously not compelled to even vote for any primary candidate, but I want to, if only to keep things interesting (and I can later say, ‘don’t blame me, I voted for Kodos’). So, I appeal to you – if you had my option, who would you vote for? And if you’re up for it – why?
We’re past the frost season (finally!). Yesterday, we planted our first vegetable garden of 2016. This is our early planting, which includes two types of lettuce mixes, spinach and cilantro. Hope your weather is nice enough that you can get started on your garden too.
Queen Bee Sugaree has gone on to be with her Jerry. She was a tough old girl, and for awhile there, I thought she’d live to see twenty. The last of our Illinois cats. My heart breaks. We’re going to miss you, sweet girl.
Not unlike much of the rest of the civilized world, I was saddened, although not necessarily shocked, to learn of the terrorist attacks in Paris over the weekend. One of my ways of reacting to situations like these is to seek out live webcams in the local area. I prefer raw, unfiltered information when possible and webcams certainly offer that.
I didn’t find much in the way of action-on-the-scene in Paris. I did, however, find one of the most mysterious and odd cams I’ve ever seen (and I’ve seen hundreds). Essentially, it appears to be located in an underground HVAC/utility system or something industrially similar, and focuses on a poster. The poster is what is the befuddling part. If any of your are familiar with this type of chart, please let me know. I can’t make heads or tails of it. I’ve done the usual, tangential searches (by IP, location, contents of the poster, etc) and still haven’t gotten very far.
Here is the link to it if you want to check it out yourself: Mystery Cam, Orange, France. Of course, clicking that may all put us on some NSA watch list. You’ve been warned. If you do click on it, please let me know what you think it is.
Vive la France!
Update: A little further sleuthing shows me that part of the poster contains an ISO 12233 Test Chart. This doesn’t explain what the other contents of the poster are – what is that building? and is that an eye chart? Then there are still the biggest questions – why is this chart located in this undetermined utility area? and why is there an live webcam on it running 24/7?
Well over a year ago, I promised I would share with you my ‘first’ ghost story involving my nearly 100 year old home (see: Ghost or Gravity). As we’re drawing near one of my favorite holidays, Halloween, I thought I’d finally share this.
I can’t specifically recall when this happened, but my guess is sometime between 2006-2010. It was a nice day and we had the windows open. I was in the laundry room, which is in the far back, downstairs corner of the house. My beloved Jerry Garcia was in that room as well, chilling on a shelf we made so he could look out the window. Mike was upstairs in our home office, which is on the exact opposite side of where Jerry and I were.
I was loading up the washer when I heard a man’s voice, very deep, very gravelly, rasp, “Jerry!” in a quite angry tone. I looked up to see why Mike was messing with our cat like that (this was not something that he’d ever do in jest), and saw Jerry rise up with the hairs sticking up all over his back. Jerry’s eyes were wide and he was clearly upset that he just got yelled at. “Mike?” No response. I calmed Jerry down a bit, and then proceeded to go upstairs. There, I found Mike, who was completely oblivious to everything that had just gone down in the laundry room. After a few go-rounds, I was convinced it wasn’t him messing with us.
To this day, I have never been able to figure out what it is I heard. I probably would have chalked it up to something innocuous had Jerry not reacted the way he did. I’ll never know what it was I heard that day, but as Jerry was my witness, I know we both heard something. Speculate on that as you will.
I celebrated my Jack Benny birthday* by taking a long weekend and enjoying the free time. I managed to maximize this enjoyment by avoiding the news and staying off Facebook. Many of you were kinds enough to send me birthday greetings and well-wishes, primarily through Facebook, so my apologies for the late thank yous. Thank you all for thinking of me. I did get notices of your messages and they mean a lot. I know none of you can blame me or think any less of me for avoiding news & FB. They are such time sucks, and free time is so precious.
The last four days were a bit of a mini stay-cation. I got a chance to renew my library card, ride my bike, play both my ukulele (a story for another time) and my bass, finish Halloween decorating, watch the Hawks (lose. Thanks, guys), and of course eat birthday dinner. Kept dinner simple this year – a ribeye from our local butcher, baked potato, mushrooms, and asparagus, with oatmeal raisin cookies for dessert. Overall, a much needed break.
Thanks again for all the well wishes, and especially to Mike for making the last four days so stress free.
*Kudos to Aunt Sue and anyone else who got this reference.
Banner raising tonight as the 2015 NHL season officially opens! Finally, right? Let’s all sing along to our anthem:
PS – if you subscribe to the NHL package via Directv, please be sure to check your account. They almost screwed us and didn’t auto-renew, which resulted in a hellish multi-hour call with them by Mike, Ugh DirecTV… just… ugh…. In fact, it may be the reason we finally cut the cord and go online.
Civil law isn’t usually ripe with the fun stories you get if you work in criminal defense. Today is a bit of an exception. I have been working on documents that will be filed in federal court that contains the phrase ‘zombie hunts’. I think my life may be complete. I can die happy now….and then come back again and eat your brains.
This lunch hour was supposed to be spent either shopping for a bridal shower gift or for working on a writing contest entry, but no. Instead, it’s rant time. You have been warned.
The topic of this rant is about those who anecdotally diminish my/others’ experiences. This is something that occurs all the time, but it’s been rather prevalent as of late (in my personal, anecdotal, experience, of course).
Let me give you some real examples (going further into the irony/more anecdotes territory):
1) Me and a friend are in an elevator. I was grumpy and my friend asked why. I told her I was very cold because the a/c had been on too low all day and it made me miserable. Out of the blue, two old ladies in the elevator decide they need to get involved in our conversation and lecture us on how we should be grateful for the cold air because once we get to be their age and experience menopause we are going to need the a/c at a near freezing level. You know what? STFU old ladies. I was cold. I am not menopausal and your useless anecdote is just that – useless. Not only that, it pissed me off. Why are you trying to diminish my feelings? What good does that do? I WAS cold. You old ladies being menopausal and having a different preference for climate control does not mean that my experience being cold was any less.
2) A college-bound person I know (trying to preserve his/her anonymity here,so “CBP”) was at an event and needed to leave. CBP’s leaving was contingent on another person at the event giving him/her a ride. The ride-provider was slacking and not really wanting to leave the event, so CBP was getting more and more stressed to the point where he/she had to step away from the event because the stress was about to turn into a panic attack.
A few of the older people at the event became aware of CBP’s actions and instead of trying to help the situation or merely stay out of it, they had to voice their anecdotal opinions of, “CBP is stressed? Please. CBP doesn’t KNOW stress. Try living MY life. THAT’S stressful.” So again, STFU older people. CBP’s stress was real. Just because you, as an older, and in theory wiser, person, have the tools to deal with the kind of stress CBP was learning to deal with, doesn’t mean CBP’s experience was NOT stressful. How about a little empathy instead? How about sharing some of those great tools you have learned to teach CBP on how to handle his/her stress? How about just not being a jerk?
3) This one is far more general. This example is one I’m sure we’ve all heard with much frequency, especially if you happen to watch/listen to any right-leaning talk shows. “You can’t have an opinion on the military (and now more recently, the police) unless you have served yourself.” This one is pretty easily defeated with ye olde, “Well, I’ve never murdered either, but I have an opinion on murderers.”
I don’t really have any goal to this post. It’s a rant for rant’s sake. I guess I am mostly trying to bring to light something that is very annoying, and quite, frankly, rude.
TL; DR: Don’t diminish other people’s experiences because their anecdotes don’t match up to yours.
After much consideration, we took the plunge and adopted a kitten on Friday. Our newest addition comes to us by way of the incredibly caring folks at Castaway Cats. Please welcome our new boy!
He came with the name Gabriel, but we’ll be giving him a new moniker once we get to know his personality a bit. He is incredibly social, very nimble and agile, and of course, kitten-spastic. He is already getting along with our two older boy cats, and the Queen-B of the House Sugaree has mostly been oblivious. The youngster has kept to the upstairs and Sug rules downstairs, so no issues. Plenty of room for everyone. All in all, he is fitting in very well and far quicker than I had anticipated.
Thanks to Stephanie and her family for keeping this little guy alive and healthy until he could become a part of our family. We are very grateful, and are looking forward to making many memories together.