Tuesday, December 16, 2008
The puppies are loving it. Betsy still is trying to eat all of the snow. I'm not sure why, but apparently, it's more fun than just drinking water. She eats chunks of ice, too. Oh, and Adagio gets to come live with us after the holidays! Her family is moving, and they can't take him with them. I was going to hold off before getting Betsy another puppy to play with, but I can't let them put Adagio in a shelter. They're such good buds, they'd miss each other a lot if they were separated. Adagio's been staying over the past week in an effort to get them used to living with each other.
It seems to be going fairly well. Betsy's still getting used to the idea that Adagio is now allowed in the house. There haven't been actual fights, but Betsy's making a concerted effort to keep me to herself. If I pay attention to Adagio, especially in the house, she will try to start a game with him to get him outside. She then sneaks back in, while he's outside. This is getting less, though. Adagio doesn't seem to mind this at all. He does whatever Betsy wants him to. He's so easy-going, he'll let Betsy chew on his ears all day, so long as he gets his head patted on occasion! That's a retriever for you! So far, my solution is to call Adagio over to me and give him pats, and if Betsy interferes, both dogs go behind the gate in the kitchen. They come in when both are calm and Betsy's allowed Adagio back through the dog door. If Betsy does not interfere, both dogs get pats. If they are both lying quietly in the same room with me, I periodically give individual pats.
Adagio has also been getting some remedial training. He's surprisingly good in the house, for as much time as he's spent outside. He is house trained, and does not get on furniture, nor does he steal things off counters or tables. His main problem is that he just gets so excited about everything, especially human contact! He knows "sit," so he'll sit at you until you pet him. By this, I mean he sits so close to you that if you're not careful, your knees will buckle. He pushes with his head, and prances all four feet (a strange sight, while he's sitting!). If this fails to get your attention, he jumps up, and actually pushes at you with his forefeet. In an approximately 60-65 pound dog, this is not good. (Yes, he outweighs Betsy by a fair amount, but they're about the same height. Betsy weighs under 50 lbs.) So Adagio and I have been working on the jumping up, and it is getting better. Ignoring him is the easiest way: when calm, he gets pats. When excited, he does not! He's not stupid, he's figuring it out. Anything for attention!
Monday, November 17, 2008
Here's a better view of the green ones, so you can see the pattern, hopefully.
Now, I'm all excited about my winter project: a fisherman's sweater. Cozy and cabley. I got a really light caramel color brown for it. (I only paid around $25 for the yarn!) And, it's the kind of pattern that lets you figure out measurements and shaping and stuff for yourself! I'm thrilled.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Monday, November 03, 2008
My answer is probably quite unique: I'd go back to school! Not to "better myself," necessarily, but to learn stuff. I'd get a masters in history, and maybe a doctorate. American history, probably focusing on either the civil war or the decades between 1917, when we entered World War I and the end of 1941, when we entered World War II. And I'd probably want to teach some classes. Probably high-school or college.
Why in the world do I want to study history? I'm not entirely sure. All I know is that I find it interesting. I don't think memorizing a bunch of dates and places is interesting -- so many people seem to teach history badly. History is not about that. History also isn't about minutia, either: it's not this corps of that army occupied that hill, and this other army sent these guys in this formation to take it with these types of guns, and there were this many thousand casualties. That's not history either. History is about humanity. The decisions people make while they are suffering. Have you noticed that those dates people memorize are always about when horrible things were happening? When you learn your dates in ninth-grade history, it's always about "December 6, 1941 was the bombing of Pearl Harbor" or "October whatever-it-was in 1929 was Black Tuesday the stock-market crashed and began the Depression." The events one learns about are usually incredibly difficult times that shaped those times that came afterward.
What I find interesting about history is how people of those times responded to the crises in which they found themselves: from the small to the great. Some despaired, others made momentous decisions that changed the course of events for better or worse, and yet others simply survived -- living on from day to day as best they could. I think that's why I find the American Civil War intriguing. Those four years -- April 1861 until April 1865 were crucial in shaping our country: probably more crucial than any other event in this country's history, with the exception of the drafting and signing of the Constitution. This country, itself, was tested more than it has ever been before or since. People don't think about it now, but had things turned out differently, we would not have a Federal Government, it would likely be more of an advisory board that coordinates the supreme governments of the States. People would not now have bumper stickers on their cars about "Proud to be an American." It would be "Proud to be a Virginian" or a Rhode Islander, or a Wyoming-ite? Each state would have decided for itself whether to go to Europe during World War I, rather than the U.S. Congress. There would be no federal taxes, nor federal programs.
But unlike the Constitution, the Civil War directly affected the lives of every single person alive in this country. From the end of slavery to food shortages to the massive percentage of men in this country who were away from their families for four years and returned ever-changed, if at all. Everyone felt the impact of war. And one of the most exciting things to a historian, if I may be so bold, is that so many people wrote about it. They wrote diaries and letters. Those that couldn't write often had others write letters to family members for them. Soldiers would dictate to their more literate fellows heartfelt letters to wives, sweethearts, sisters and mothers about being cold or homesick. Sometimes there were just scrawled, poignant notes of missing home and loved ones, but lots of these letters went on for pages and pages. They wrote about why they fought: the Cause, as termed by men on both sides. And there was a Cause -- a higher purpose for those on both sides. The Cause was ironically the same for those on either side. Both sides believed God had pre-ordained their victory. Both sides believed they were fighting for their country, and their freedom. People on each side believed that should they lose the war, the ideals for which their fathers' fathers fought King George would be destroyed, forever.
And so, should I win the lottery, I'd want to learn more: dig deeper, read more. And then I'd want to teach: that is what history's about. It's not about "In fourteen-hundred and ninety-two Columbus sailed the ocean blue." Oh, and about 1917 through 1941 -- I'd want to learn a lot more about that. I know next to nothing about that era. And that was the time the United States grew up. The Civil War made the U.S. a real nation, as opposed to a collection of small nations. The time between WWI and WWII was when we came into our own as a world power: economically and militarily. That is the time during which we went from a new nation, admired but yet to be tested on the world stage, to a nation to which all other nations look.
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
Electing anyone, whether known in politics or not, is a risk. While you may know what they did previously, you will never know what they will do in that round room when the proverbial phone rings at 3 a.m. until it actually happens. I don't care how close you are to what is going on in the Oval Office, until it's your decision, it's just not the same. I think the thing is, the President must have the inherent ability to listen to advice from the Joint Chiefs, the House and Senate, his Cabinet, and anyone else he sees fit; he must then process the monumental amount of information at his disposal, and make the right decision, whether it polls well or not. He must do so with the welfare of the American People always at the forefront of his decision, and he must do so with as full as possible an understanding of the global consequences of any course of action.
Another thing the President must do, that seems to be often overlooked these days, is that he must be the standard-bearer for the United States of America. He must give the People confidence in this country, and the core values upon which it was founded: the unalienable Rights to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness for all. He must also be able to convey this to American citizens and to the world. The President must have a certain...gravitas.
These are unquantifiable things. The citizens of this country have made good decisions in this regard, and bad ones. I have a soft spot for Woodrow Wilson. He was a great visionary. However, he lacked the second requirement: the ability to convey to others what in the world he was talking about. No one could get behind him or his plans, because no one could understand what his goal was, or why. Other presidents have had the opposite problem: they were all about charisma, and people were completely behind them, but they never ended up actually leading anywhere.
My favorite president in American history? Well, I like Taft, but more on a empathetic level, than as a great president. He was never cut out for that job. But yet, he "busted" more trusts than the "Trust-Buster" (Teddy Roosevelt). He wanted to be a Supreme Court Justice, never president. (His wife and mother ganged up on him to make him run. Twice!) He was a jurist. He liked figuring out fine points of the law, and making case-by-case decisions. He didn't like the publicity, pressure, or the grey areas of leading a country. He didn't like that his decisions affected so many people. He finally got to be a Supreme Court Justice! Under Coolidge, I think.
The greatest president in American history? Easy. Lincoln. Why? He was a rags-to-riches story. The epitome of the American Dream. And he was perfect for that job, in that time. In another time, I don't know. But he made many monumental, and often unpopular decisions. Those decisions both kept the country in one piece, and righted an unconscionable wrong that had pervaded through centuries. By the way, how much experience did he have upon assuming the presidency? I think a term in Congress? I leave you with that.
Monday, September 29, 2008
K has left a new comment on your post "Public Pretender": If the Public
Pretender is loyal to the same zionist/neocolonial typeregimes as the judge and even your defense lawyer
then how the f*** isthat justice?Justice is that if about twenty
percent of Americans say F*** THE POWERand would consider having long hair or do have
long hair... then abouttwenty percent of this nations municipalities
and counties should startbeing handled by such folk who wouldn't waste
public funds on some uglyrobe and will tell it like it F***IN' is... when
we say that we wouldrather see our sons smokin' joints then
signing their life andconsciences away to the occult orders that have
been running most ofthis nations criminal justice system.
So what, exactly, is a "Zionist neocolonial typeregime"? I mean I recognize "Zionist" and "neocolonial," but have any of you heard of a "typeregime"? I mean I'm not Jewish, and I certainly don't want to colonize anything. Is he saying that all that is needed to achieve justice, is to say, "F*** the power" in court (I'm sure that will help my clients a lot) and have long hair? I've got long hair, and, thus far, it seems to have had little impact. And who (or what) are "occult orders"?
Anyway, in spite of his vehemence, I think I'll stick with my own efforts to achieve justice. While it may be less exciting than pumping one's fist in the air and raving against the Establishment, at least I can see the justice I am able to get for my clients, from time to time. And I can avoid going to jail! (an extra bonus!) Well, to each his own!
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Further strangeness occurred when the cold I came down with mutated into pneumonia. I was out of the office for a week and a half, and was becoming quite annoyed with remaining in the house so long by the end. I've never taken more than one sick-day in a row before, and this was a really odd experience for me. Betsy tried her best to help, but was quite unsure how. Her first instinct was to try to engage me in a fun game, involving running around and such. Obviously, that wasn't happening! She then tried to cheer me up by licking my chin and my ears. A slight improvement, but still... I did get quite a bit of knitting done, and I read a lot.
Oh, and the prairie dogs are back! Well, one of them anyway. A couple years ago, the prairie dog town had to re-locate to the other side of the field (out of view) due to workmen with large machinery digging near their town. But this spring, one came back to reside in the old holes. I was initially concerned, as it struck me as unusual for a prairie dog to live by himself. They're so social with their town and barks and romping around together. But I looked it up and apparently, it is usual for a prairie dog to set up house a short distance from the main group when he's a year or two old after mating season, but before the new pups arrive. It prevents over-crowding in the town, and in-breeding. According to my reading, he'll still make social calls back to the main group. And maybe in the spring, he'll entice a mate from the town to join him and start his own group. Currently, he's concentrating on getting fat, so he can hibernate comfortably through the winter. (He's doing very well at that.)
Saturday, August 02, 2008
Thursday, July 10, 2008
"Where now the horse and the rider? Where is the horn that was blowing.... They have passed like rain on the mountain, like a wind in the meadow; The days have gone down in the West behind the hills into shadow." (The Two Towers: J.R.R. Tolkien) I hope this is not the fate of the true American dream as well...
Saturday, June 28, 2008
There's a hole in the (bucket?) fence! Dear 'Liza, dear liza! Eureka! I've found it! Ok, so it took a lot more looking than I thought to locate the culprit (hole). Naturally, said hole is behind a bush, and not easily noticed. Betsy apparently squeezed through the bush, dug only a little bit, and pushed out the chain link. Solution: One big (for Betsy) rock outside fence, one big rock inside fence, voila! Maybe things can get back to normal! (more or less)
Ok, so vacations' over, Company has left, and Betsy and I are once again settling into our regular routine, with a couple additional hassles. Betsy escaped again, so I had to make another trip to the pound to bail her out. And, I've been doing battle with my swamp cooler every weekend. (You know, the thing the plumbers were supposed to fix...)
For those of you unfamiliar with Out West, most private homes are cooled with evaporative (swamp) coolers. These are box-type devices that perch on the roof of your house, a pump pumps water to the top of the box, where it trickles over pads, and then a fan blows air from outside, through the wet pads and into your house. Thus, cooling your house (in theory). Well, the plumbers did replace the pump, the float, and some tubing (that takes water to the cooler), and fixed the fan. However, they failed to affix the float tightly enough, so it did not, in fact, float. Rather it filled with water and sank. (The purpose of the float is that when the bottom of the cooler has enough water in it, the float reaches a certain height. This float is attached to a shut-off valve for the water. If the float does not float, the water does not turn off, and thus spills all over my roof.) So after solving that problem last weekend, I then had to determine why the cooler was not cooling as well as it had previously, but was cooling a little. Answer, the pads were not becoming saturated with water because they were in the wrong place. (I had gotten a size too small, and they were at the bottom, rather than the top and so were not catching all the water that was meant to be running over them.) Strangely, the plumbers did not apparently notice this. So, I fixed the pads. Then this weekend, I noticed the thing was not cooling at all. I go to investigate and discover that the hose that's supposed to be taking the water from the pump to the top of the cooler had fallen off its fixture. Don't ask me how this happened. I just hope this won't be a regular occurrence. I'm getting kind of tired of climbing onto my roof all the time!
In addition, Betsy somehow escaped this week, and I had to go bail her out again. I have scrutinized the fence for the past 2 days, and still have no idea how this could have happened. (Adagio's family and I have plugged up all the holes under the fence because they're trying to landscape their back yard.) There are no new holes under the fences, and the shortest fence is about 4 feet. And she doesn't even jump the baby gate in my house, and that's only about 3 feet. The only thing I can think of is that someone must have let her out and then closed the gate behind. There were kids playing near the gate at that point. The last couple times she escaped were because she went next door and the neighbors had left their gate open.
In other news, I am patiently (or not so patiently) awaiting my socks-of-the-every-other-month-club yarn. My throw has not been progressing, due to my swamp cooler problem, and I had to start my lacy scarf over. It's going much faster this time around, though.
Well, that's about the news. Work is, well, work.
Sunday, June 08, 2008
Thursday, June 05, 2008
So I am currently at leisure (somewhat) to wait for the silly plumbers to get back here with their plumbing parts. Apparently the part they were trying to put into the swamp cooler needed additional parts to attach it to the thing, which they had not had the foresight to bring with them in the first place. I must say I'm on my way to losing patience with these guys. They were supposed to come yesterday at 3. However, I got a call at 5 that they were "running a little late," and could they come tomorrow at 8:30? A little late? I got a call this morning at 9, saying (surprise) that they were again running late, but were on their way. At 9:30, they finally showed up, putzed around for an hour, and then came to this discovery about the parts they did not have. They've now been gone over an hour! I'm in a fairly generous mood, as a result of my vacation, but come on, guys! I can't indefinitely with this waiting around for them to get themselves together! Wait a minute...oh good, they're back. Hopefully they have everything they need, this time.
Vacation clearly worked. I'm not even mad at them! I really think I should be. But I seem to be in some strange pollyanna mood, whereby nothing can upset me too much. Such a pleasant change from pre-vacation, when everything drove me crazy. I just hope this mood lasts a while! It's kind of fun.
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
I did notice that my last post was my 100th post! Happy anniversary to my blog!
At work, I'm working on a motion about collateral estoppel. This one requires serious research, as I haven't thought about the concept since taking the bar exam in 2001. How many criminal lawyers even encounter this, do you suppose? But it does make a nice change from the traditional unlawful search and seizure motions. Maybe it'll get granted just for being so original? I doubt it, though.
I came home directly after court today because of a horrendous and inexplicable back-ache. It's the kind where it hurts to move as well as to stand, sit, or lie still. My co-worker brought me some OTC meds, but they have not made a dent. If it's this bad tomorrow, I will swallow my aversion to doctors and make them give me the real stuff.
Betsy's enjoying the spring time immensely. Walks are fun when there are flowers to sniff and other people and dogs and kids on bikes to investigate!! She and Adagio also collaborated to re-form the tunnel under the fence. It is now at least 18 inches deep, as the neighbors keep trying to stop this behavior by putting things like logs under the fence. The ingenious dogs solved the log problem by Betsy pulling the logs out of the hole and bringing them into the house through the doggie door. She seems to take great joy in dragging enormous things around with her. She took my kitchen rug out through the doggie door so that she could place it in the hole she dug for it. She did not bury it, per se, as she did not cover it with dirt. She just thought it needed to be in a hole. Don't ask me how she got it through the doggie door.
Well, I'm going to stop now, as my back is now protesting the sitting posture. I will try the recliner chair.
Saturday, April 12, 2008
Saturday, March 29, 2008
She definitely has Aussie characteristics. I've even seen her doing the "Aussie stare" and creeping up on her toys at a crouch. She guards her "pack" against outsiders as well. She's usually very quiet, but she has two barks she does. One is a warning growl-bark to "intruders" (usually either her own reflection or Adagio coming in the dog-door while we are together in the other room). The other is a kind of barking howl. It's an alert to me that something is occurring. Usually, it's someone at the door or the neighborhood dogs are barking for some reason.
She's also much more into cuddling than Bo ever was. She follows me around the house and loves to curl up on the couch with me. And once the required face-licking is concluded, she'll usually fall asleep there. She really is the sweetest little dog. She definitely needs a buddy, though. She'll be more comfortable with a slightly bigger "pack" (or flock?) to look after. She'd also like to have someone to cuddle and play with when I'm busy but she wants to stay inside with me instead of going outside to find Adagio. But I do wonder if I'm going to be able to find a beastie as perfect as Betsy?
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Now, warning bells should go off. If 60% of the participants cannot "make it" in this program, there is either something wrong with the screening process to admit them into the program, or something wrong with the program itself. There are a couple reasons I see for what is going on. First, the most successful of those in the program (the 2 who both showed up and didn't end up in drug treatment) have traumatic brain injury, as opposed to an illness related to brain chemistry such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, which can be treated with medication. The only reason the two of them could not make it in regular probation is that they have memory and cognitive problems and just cannot process how to show up once a month at probation. These people do not need their medications monitored, etc. Further more, we (the committee) had decided at the beginning that a mental health court would not be of assistance to people with such a disability. They probably could make it through the program fine, but the program would not help them.
The people the program is intended to help are those other three people, two of whom are bipolar and one is schizophrenic. They get into trouble because they either self-medicate (usually with meth), or steal (for the thrill when they're manic, because they believe the things to be theirs, or because they can't hold a job due to their disability), or both. So, the program intended to help the mentally ill get back on track with their meds and housing and SSI is turning out to be simply drug court with extra conditions. The irony is that the service provider is the same as for drug court. My question: Why not just put them in drug court, since that's what's happening anyway? The personnel involved are exactly the same, it's just the participants that are different. This way, the federal grant we just got can be used for a diversionary type of program, which is much more acutely needed anyway.
Here's what I think a mental health court should look like: When a criminal defendant is transferred to district court "on competency," they might be referred to mental health court, especially if they are only facing charges for resisting an officer or battery on an officer. (Many of my competency clients have the police called on them because they are acting strange or creeping people out, the cops show up and they freak out.) If it is decided that such a defendant would be fine if properly treated, they would start the program. Their criminal case would be dismissed without prejudice. They would get a caseworker (which we do have available) to help them apply for SSI and set up housing. They would see a doctor to give prescriptions and monitor the meds and check in with someone to be sure they're on their meds. They would only have to give drug tests after they're meds are fully adjusted and have been allowed to take effect (say a couple or 3 months). Only then would they be punished for using meth or other drugs. The program would last 6 months to a year, and if they completed, their criminal case would remain dismissed. If not, it would be refiled, and we would deal with the competency issue at that point. The incentive to the client would be that they wouldn't have to sit in jail for 3 to 9 months waiting for evaluations or risk a 9 month trip to the state hospital to be treated to competence. (i.e. forcefully medicated) (Note: SSI is discontinued if a person is incarcerated for more than 30 days. Thus, if they had SSI before their arrest, they no longer have it when they're finally released.) The incentive for everyone else would be that we would save the county money by not having them in jail, we would save the state money by not sending them to the hospital, and (with any luck) we would help them break the cycle of committing new crimes as soon as they get released from jail on the old ones. If a defendant is found incompetent, the cases are ultimately dismissed anyway, except for the most heinous.
I mean, it makes no sense for my little competency guys to keep getting arrested, their cases (mostly misdemeanors, property crimes, or tangling with police or jail guards) dismissed once they're found incompetent, released from jail, then arrested again for the same or similar charges with no treatment in the interim. The best example I have of this is my guy that steals cars. He's clearly schizophrenic: he has auditory hallucinations (apparently quite a benevolent person, as my guy laughs a lot when listening to the voice). His cases (he stole 2 cars the same day) got dismissed when he was found incompetent and not dangerous (mandated by statute). Six hours after his release from jail, he stole another car, led the cops on a chase, and returned the car to the police parking lot. He also was arrested for the charge of "pedestrians in roadway," because he was apparently caught when whe was walking down the middle of the road, talking to his invisible friend after dumping the car. He has not been on meds since 2004, when he was committed to the state hospital. Now, there are two solutions to this: Either we can get the cops to quit arresting him no matter how many cars he steals, or we can give him an incentive to take his meds, and adjust them if they make him too listless (his problem with taking them is he doesn't like being sleepy all the time.)
Here's my main point (finally). We don't need "drug court plus" (as I've taken to calling it). We need some way to help my guy with the car problem to stay on his meds so he will quit stealing cars!
End of sermon.
Thursday, March 13, 2008
For example, one of them told me today that his mother is a blackmailer. I'm quite sure he's got no clue what the word means, but I finally figured out what he meant by it. He thinks his mother is preventing him from "being a man" by paying his bills and taking care of his trailer. He just doesn't want to be taken care of in this fashion, because he is a grown-up. His schizophrenia apparently only started manifesting a year or two ago, and he has not figured out that he is just not like everyone else. He wants to work and to drive and to pay his own bills, thank you very much! The problem arises when he comes into contact with law enforcement and ends up in jail because he's scared of them, calls them terrorists, and fights with them. It's hard to hold down a job when you're in jail that often!
Meanwhile, I have been having last-minute plea hearings, trials where the client doesn't show up, trials that get continued at the last minute, and actual trials. My trials actually haven't been that crazy. No interpreters going on strike, or ADAs going completely crazy during closings, or anything. My one last Wednesday was fairly straight forward: possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute. (Here, that carries up to 9 years, plus any habitual offender time.) It looked like it would be a decent case, at first. My guy was the driver and only occupant in a car, registered to someone else, and in a fanny pack on the floor was 27 grams of meth, scales, empty baggies, syringes, etc. In addition, there was a purse with a glass pipe. No identifying documents were found in either. (My guy and the registered owner of the car were both male, and thus unlikely to be caught dead with a purse!) My guy had an empty plastic baggie in his pocket, that was not tested for the presence of controlled substances. (He was arrested for misdemeanor DWI, and pulled over for expired tags.) The problem was that the baggie in his pocket had a "brand" on it: a symbol usually used to distinguish a particular dealer. Empty baggies in the bag with the 27 grams of meth had the same symbol. Surprise! I kept the jury out for a couple hours debating it, though! And we have a couple appeal-able issues.
My trial this past Tuesday was just confusing. It was an embezzlement case, where my client was alleged to have stolen $1000 dollars from the deposit at her job in a convenience store. I have never heard of a place that handles cash with such shoddy cash control policies! (And I have worked at several.) No one double-counts the money! Ever! Not the registers, and not the daily deposits. Once the "drawers" (registers) have over a certain amount, they are totaled, balanced, and the money is put in a cash bag, and dropped into a safe. Every morning, the prior day's cash bags are re-counted, totaled, and entered into a computer manually by a manager (in this case, my client). Later in the morning, the same person who did the computer entries re-counts the money, prepares a deposit slip for the bank, and takes it to the bank. The sum total of the State's case against my client was that the computer entry for a particular day's total exceeded the same day's deposit slip total by $1000, and my client was the one to do the deposit that day. The other manager testified that there had "never" been a disparity between the computer print-out and the deposit slip before. And that my client had worked there a year. Now, if I were going to embezzle money, I certainly wouldn't start with $1000! And I would certainly not do it in such an obvious way, when I was the one creating the disparity between the amount of money deposited and what the computer print-out says that I should deposit, when I controlled what the computer said! It makes no sense! The jury came back after an hour with a whole list of questions: Was there a camera on the drop box (no), who had access to the key for the drop box (everyone) what are the cash control procedures, etc. Twenty minutes later, they came back guilty, but with three or four jurors looking seriously disgruntled. I have never seen jurors look so angry coming back with a verdict before! A couple, especially, looked extremely irate. Anyway, very strange. And for once, likely to get overturned on "sufficiency of evidence," since there was nothing more than a manually entered computer total to show the extra $1000 ever existed!
Anyway, this is quite long enough, and I have trial again tomorrow: possession of meth again. My guy's girlfriend says it was hers. Great if they believe her. Horrible if they don't, since my guy's looking at the possibility of 8 years of mandatory habitual offender time if they convict. Well, the show must go on!
Thursday, February 28, 2008
In other news, court has been very strange lately: We have more than one judge who do not care for the Rules of Criminal Procedure and have decided to make up their own, always to the detriment of our clients. One has decided that she may dismiss defense appeals that are trial de novo, due to failure to preserve issues in the lower court. The lower court is not a court of record, and thus you can't preserve issues anyway. Another has decided that she is able to revoke the probation of people who are not actually on probation anymore, but have been discharged. A third has decided that she does not like the various time limits outlined in the Code, and sets her own, frequently without telling anyone until her new time limits have expired. I have also been dealing with ADAs who seem to enjoy lecturing me about how to do my job, and how unethical it is for me to try to get my clients out of jail. I don't think all these people realize that what they are doing is only motivating me to fight harder in court: a motivation that has been ebbing of late.
I also have a whole pack of competency clients. These cases for some reason seem to come in waves. I love my competency clients. They are (mostly) really sweet and lost. And more than one of them seem to have a crush on me. Normally, something I'm not wild about, but in them, it's quite poignant. After all, how many people have they ever had try to help them in their lives? And it just makes me angry that some police officers seem to just follow them around waiting for them to get afraid and violent. I have one poor guy who was charged with filing a false report. Honestly! The guy is so delusional, they had to have been able to figure something was not right when they took the report. He called me all upset and afraid today because the judge made him "stand in the oaths and give up his rights and his lefts!" Even the not so sweet ones I don't mind. I find I have the patience to listen to their convoluted stories and reassure them and call their mamas and girlfriends. A strange thing of late. Even the guy who wants to kill me because I "raised his incompetence" I have patience with. After all, it's not his fault. No one wants to be thought of as either crazy or stupid. (Though I'm careful to not to say the words "incompetent" or "evaluation" in his presence. I was quite angry when the ADA brought it up when there was no need.)
And, I can look forward to six trials set for next week, with no idea at this point which may be going and which not.
So, things seem to be returning to normal. As normal as they ever get around here, anyway.
Friday, February 22, 2008
Sunday, February 17, 2008
Adagio, the next door dog, has returned! Apparently she was recuperating from being spayed, as there is a shaved patch on her tummy. But no stitches, and she looks fine, so she and Betsy celebrated by having a boistrous play.
So, Betsy is still growing like the proverbial weed. We went to the vet's last week for her pre-spay blood work, and she now weighs a whopping 40.7 lbs. It actually made me kind of nostalgic. The first time I took her to the vets, she was 8 weeks old, weighed just over 13 pounds, and was so frightened that all she would do was sit straight up on my knee and watch the people and animals come and go. I could pick her up with one hand easily. This time, she's 7 months old, over 40 pounds, and wanted to play with everyone who came by, whether they had 2 legs or four (including a pretty calico cat). This wasn't at all to the liking of the minute boxer puppy, who was plainly terrified of the entire situation, even without the rambunctious Betsy play-bowing and yapping, and doing everything in her power to make the boxer forget her fear and have a fun romp. This seems to be Betsy's solution to every problem. When I had the flu, she decided that what I really needed was a fun play time. So, she licked my face, nibbled on my ears, and pawed at me. I reacted similarly to the boxer puppy, and tried to get across that play was not needed at that point.
Betsy's also maturing. She doesn't jump on strangers anymore (mostly) and she's figured out what she is allowed to play with and what she's not. (Of course, she sometimes takes things that are not hers in attempts to start a game with me, or simply to see how far she can get away with something.) She has also started exhibiting some guard-dog characteristics. However, at this point, she seems mainly interested in guarding against reflections in the glass door and dogs on t.v. It's really quite funny to hear her with her growling and warning-bark and her nose pressed against the glass door to the entertainment center waiting for the "other" dog to make a move. She also guarded me against someone that had been in the house for a couple hours, but she had apparently forgotten he was there. It was hilarious. She greeted him at the door like a long-lost pack member, and then 2 hours later didn't know who he was.
She's also finished her six week obedience class (the grown-up one), and I think I'll put her into the next one, too. That's the one where at the end of it she gets to take her test to get the first AKC obedience degree. (I forget what it's called). She loves class so much, and she's got a special play buddy, Kaily who's going to take the next class too. Kaily's at least as much a mutt as Betsy is. She looks like a coyote. They're such good buds that Kaily's mom and I traded phone numbers so we can set up play dates for them. Kaily loves playing even more than Betsy, and doesn't have much of an opportunity. She's driving her mom quite crazy and is becoming fairly destructive, apparently. And now that Betsy's next door buddy has disappeared, she needs to expend some energy as well!
Monday, February 04, 2008
I compensated this morning by joining a "sock-of-the-month" club. Well, actually the sock of the every-other-month club, since I know I can't knit a pair every month! We'll see how it goes. (You can cancel any time.)
I believe I have now given up on trying to guess Betsy's ancestry. I even watched the Eukenuba National Championship dog show to try to figure it out. (And also because I like to watch dog shows.) She's still got mosly the coloring of a Rottweiler (her head's turning black again, like it started out), but she's much fluffier than either a Rott or German Shepherd. Her outer hair's coarse like a Rott, but a little curly, and she's got a double coat. So, she's pretty much her very own breed. I did figure out one thing from the dog show: The next door dog, Adagio, is almost certainly a Flat-Coated Retriever. Betsy's much more of a cold-weather dog than I would have thought. Her latest thing is flopping down in the snow, and then eating all the snow in reach, and then picking a new spot to lie down.
Sunday, February 03, 2008
Thursday, January 24, 2008
Monday, January 07, 2008
Tuesday, January 01, 2008