Monday, November 28, 2005

Now I Remember

If these are the Seven Wonders of Gwinnett County, it's really easy to remember why I don't live there.

It's probably only one reason if you think about it, but the two main reasons are that the Bass Pro Shops is considered a wonder and the ratio of UGA:Tech fans approaches a limit of infinity minus one to one.

Friday, November 18, 2005

When You Look At It That Way...

It really isn't that bad here. At least we only get in trouble for teaching theories. Well, theories that aren't based on faith. Those are perfectly fine to teach.

Now read this.

I'm looking ahead and thinking that if we allow Intelligent Design in to the science classroom, we might eventually get our own lashings.

Monday, November 14, 2005

The Omnipresence of It

I have to admit that I'm a little bit of two things. First, I'm a little bit of a coffee junkie. But not just any coffee, I likes it real strong. Strong enough to bend spoons. Secondly, I'm also a little bit of a coffee snob. Folger's just doesn't cut it for me. I like my beans way over-roasted. I'm talking beans so dark that even Jesse Jackson himself is scared to see them walking behind him late at night. That's why I hit the local Starbucks. But I'm no dummy. I sure don't want to be no full-time caffiene junkie so I only go on Fridays. I also don't want to be broke. Don't let them fool you. As much as they try to pretend to be leftist propagandists they sure do know a little bit about profit motive, supply and demand, and equilibrium price.

But their newest trend in political correctness is just a bit too much for me. Want to know what I'm talking about? Lookie here. Did you catch it? There at the bottom right of the graphic? Probably not because I think it's intended to be subliminal. What is it? Yes. What? It. No seriously, what is it? Exactly.

"It only happens once a year"

What? Christmas, duhr! Are you a buffoon? Look at the other graphics. Last I checked, not a lot of religions other than Judaism have big holidays around the same time. How many times have you seen Muslims out putting up Eid al-Fitr lights? How about lights for the death of Zoroastrian prophet Zarathustra? That's right, none.

A big fart in your faces to the execs at Starbucks. Stop pretending you aren't pushing your $5 gingerbread lattes to your clientele that consists primarily of white, suburban, upper-middle class, Christian teenagers and Gen-Xers with nothing better to spend their money on than your concotions and a few tabs of X.

Friday, November 11, 2005


Scary. We were this close to fascism.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

I Want Some New Shoes!

To the guy whose yard I walked through and got dog poo on my shoe, your ass is toast! I was humiliated to have to scuff my shoes across the grass trying to remove the amazingly sticky butt goo from my traction-optimized soles of my water-resistant Columbia brand hybrid hiking/walking shoes. And there is still a little bit left in the hard to reach places. I'm so embarrassed to be the guy who makes everyone check their shoes in the grocery store check-out lane. So, in addition to the new shoes, you owe me $3 million dollars for mental trauma and lost wages. I can't go to work because I can't put on shoes for fear that I might touch dog poo.

A ridiculous scenario? Not if crap like this (no pun intended) is allowed to go through.

At what point is it a private company's responsibility to make sure your posterior does not become the butt of someone's practical joke? Besides, I could always glue my own ass to a terlit seat and probably would for $3 million dollars. Hell, I'd do it for $20 and a bottle of acetone.

What I'm really asking is do you really want to have to go home to use the crapper? I'm just saying that if I were the business owner and frivolous lawsuits like this one cost me a couple million bucks, I might reconsider even providing the facilities in the first place. "Oh, but they were out of seat covers!" Do you use them at home? Ever thought of making one out of toilet paper? How is The Home Depot responsible for some teenager punk putting a little adhesive on a seat as a pretty darned good practical joke? And if you think I would have taken your perma-seat situation seriously when I entered the restroom, you're probably only kidding yourself. Even if that was the problem, shouldn't you be suing that guy, not the store? I don't remember receiving job training that included what to do when a customer's ass gets glued to the toilet lid. Oh, so you were inconvenienced and em-bare-assed? Suck it up and chalk it up as the one interesting thing that happened to you in your entire life. Do you know how entertaining your story would make even the boringest of parties? Hell, you could turn bingo night into a fun evening.

Monday, November 07, 2005

We Have a New Leader!!

A new leader for what? A new leader for the list of the stupidest people I've ever met.

Late in the summer I received a summons for jury duty. Awesome! Problem was that it happened to be the same week I had already committed to attend a wedding. I wrote a letter asking for a postponement and it was granted. Well, it started today.

After arriving and checking-in, I was herded into a small room about 20'x20' with about 100 other potential jurors. The coffee was stale and the whole room reeked of assorted perfumes and colognes. Finally, we were addressed and we watched an exciting video about the judicial process. I can't believe people don't already know these things. I mean, have you never watched Law and Order? But it did introduce the entire court staff and judges so that was neat (snore).

So then we're instructed to wait around indefinitely. I wish I had been prepared for this part. Don't worry, I learn quickly. Apparently, everyone else got some secret directions to bring books, computers, etc. I didn't get that memo. Thanks a lot! But there was some free reading available if I wanted to choose between Redbook, Better Homes and Gardens, newspaper from last Thursday or free government agency brochures. I chose the latter. But hey, now I know that our fire, police, and water departments are the recipients of various unmemorable awards I had never heard of! And I also found out that old people smell weird! And never under any circumstances should you put seafood into a microwave in a small room with limited ventilation!

After about an hour of that excitement, they pulled us together. They read the names of about 15 people to head off into a courtroom. I wasn't one of them. Boo!! So we dispersed again. This time I went to sit in the hallway. No sooner did I sit down before we were herded once again for another call. This time, they did call my name! It was about the only one they didn't mutilate when pronouncing it.

After being lined up and being told to get rid of chewing gum, we were paraded in. I got the cool end seat on the front row. And boy was the chair comfy after sitting in the stiff, why-do-they-pretend-they-padded-these seats in the first room?!

Then the judge started explaining the process to us again. No biggy! Take an oath, answer some questions. Selection would take place after the series of questioning.

But first... they had heard that some witnesses were in the lobby area of the courtroom discussing the case. Asked us if we had seen or heard them. Only one person had seen the guy she was talking about but hadn't heard anything. Judge decides to move on, but defendant interjects that he doesn't believe us. Judge says we took an oath, we have no incentive to tell an untruth, moving on. He mutters something about the jury didn't look to be his peers...something something. All I could figure by this was that we weren't black and we had teeth.

So questioning starts. The prosecutor does her job. She's nice and polite and she asks us those hard questions in a way that makes it seem like she doesn't want to ask them, but must. You could tell this was a DUI case by the line of questioning. Anybody abstain from drinking? Well, the minister does. The other 14 of us know how to party! Ever convicted of DUI? Family members? etc, etc, etc. Then it's time for the defense to question. Well, forgot one important point...

First indicator of stupid: representing self. In retrospect, I find it likely that the gentleman has experience in law (perhaps 'with the law' would be a better term) but I seriously doubt an ounce of training in the area. Perhaps the courtroom decorum was the dead giveaway. Perhaps it was the fact the he didn't look like he knew what was supposed to happen next or what his role was. Who knows, but the judge had counsel on standby for some time but he was dismissed once jury questioning began. But that is no indicator of guilt, so let's proceed.

Now it's his turn to question. Okay, ready. First you have to ask a question. That's sort of the definition of questioning. Once started, his questions were of the variety that one might expect if you were questioning a witness, not a potential juror. But he has the right to know details of events that had been disclosed during the prosecutor's questioning. So let's proceed. But now you're just beginning a lecture. That's called an opening statement. Judge stops him, tells him as much, and we find that he never had any real questions to begin with. All that's left is for each of us to state name, occupation, spouse's occupation, number of children, what area of the county we live in, and how long we've been living in the county. We're dismissed for a few minutes with the instruction of not talking about the case with anyone, even other jurors. And due to the allegation that witnesses were located in the outside area, were instructed to move further away if necessary.

Well, it was necessary. You could pick out who they were speakign of by the fact that they had on the same weird "badges" as the defendant. Some placard on a lanyard with the scales of justice and some print too small to read from a distance. I sit and the guy takes a call on his cell phone. He starts talking loudly about how jury selection has started and something about 'not his peers' before I'm far away enough to not be able to comprehend what he's saying. I look back and the bailiff is esorting him and the defendant into a conference room off to the side. It appears that jury tampering was the motive, but it seems to be unsuccessful. We're called back in, so let's proceed.

Now it's time for striking jurors. Defense goes first. I vaguely remember learning that at some point. Okay, who do you want to strike? (crickets chirping) Judge tells him he has the right to participate in the process, asks if he wants to. Nothing. Not a yes, no, nothing. Dummy indicator #12 by this point (I forgot other details like the fact that he didn't want a record/transcript, then he did, and other small details). He refuses to say anything. Judge calls him and prosecutor to the bench. Asks him what's going on. Let's him know that refusing to participate will result in a contempt of court charge. He says okay. Then the judge adresses the jury.

Basically, we're dismissed from this case. Explains the judicial process to us in front of the guy. Explains that he was found competent, he just doesn't think that the laws apply to him. Explains that this is not the first time the case has tried to go to court. (the charges were from March) And basically that he was willingly refusing to participate (which was obvious). He keeps trying to interrupt but she keeps him quiet. Then she tells him that she knows that he was just trying to get another continuance so he could go free while delaying the inevitable again. Then she has him carted off in cuffs for contempt to be held until he was willing to let the trial proceed according to the Constitution. Because we're not on the case, she explains to us that she usually doesn't talk to the jury that way, it was just a strange situation and she didn't want us to be too confused about the process.

You dumb bastard. So now, a new leader on the stupidest people I've ever met list. He's lucky I haven't met Ted Kennedy.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

I'm Confused

The media and many politicians have been telling me that the economy in the US is bad. Yet, for the 12th consecutive quarter, the Fed has raised the interest rate. Hmmm... so who's lying to me, them or "Big" Willie B., my econ prof from college?