A light, airy, effervescent, blog of grave consequence. (NOT!) Dedicated to those of us who must respond to negative stimuli by Chernobyling (entombing in concrete) our innermost thoughts.

Location: Slaughter, Louisiana, United States

A semi-gruntled corporate reliability engineer trying to make ends meet while keeping my wife happy, and myself out of the asylum.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Hoping for no more terrorist attacks

On the heels of yet another attempted attack inside the US borders, I wonder what idiotic rules the TSA is going to come up with to try to keep us safe?

I've got a couple suggestions that I guarantee will work (or at least help).

(1)No one holding a passport from the Middle East or from a country that is majority Moslem is allowed into the US.

(2) No one listed on a terror watch list is allowed into the US.

(3) Concealed carry permit holders are allowed to carry on airplanes.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Stereotypes. Not necessarily incorrect.

The following happened yesterday about 15 miles from here.

Gunman Kills Two People Inside Louisiana Office

The suspect lives about a mile from us.

I was in the local Dollar General picking up a few more cans of chicken stock for the dressing and overheard an interesting conversation between the cashier and an exiting customer, both of whom are black and obviously live in the area.

At first I didn't know who they were talking about, as I had figured that the gunman in the above story was white for some reason.

I figured it out about halfway through the portion of the conversation that I overheard.

What was a kicker for me was the following comment from the customer, "He always looked like a gangsta, but he was the sweetest guy you ever knew."

Wonder if I would have been a racist for calling a gangsta a gangsta prior to the shooting?

Vlog up and tunning

I may move this blog over there at some point, but, in any case, there it is.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

What recovery?

The economy is still sucking.

How do I know?

I just saw an ad on TV for 2010 Daytona 500 tickets. $55.

If the Daytona 500 isn't sold out within 60 days of the race, the blue collar economy has a long way to go.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

New Word for the Day

This probably exists somewhere else, but I just thought of it for the first time:

Paradigmentia - The art of delusion practiced when doing something the "way it's always been done" produced unsatisfactory results.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Do these come in threes?

First Tiger,

Now this:

Cincinnati Bengals Player Suffers Serious Injuries in Domestic Dispute

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Cincinnati Bengals receiver Chris Henry suffered serious injuries after falling out of the back of a pickup truck during a domestic dispute with his fiancee, police said Wednesday.

Henry was found in the road in south Charlotte "apparently suffering life-threatening injuries," according to Charlotte-Mecklenburg police. Henry was transported to Carolinas Medical Center, the local trauma unit, but spokesman Scott White said he was not listed in hospital records and had no other information.

Police said a dispute began at a home just before noon and Henry jumped into the bed of the pickup truck as his unidentified fiancee was driving away from the residence.

"The domestic situation continued between the operator and Mr. Henry," the police said in a statement. "At some point while she was driving, Mr. Henry came out of the back of the vehicle."

Henry was found on a residential street about a half mile away from the home when police were called to the scene after a medic report that a man was down.

What's next, Magic Johnson comes down with AIDS or something? Sheesh.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


I'm debating starting to Vlog here. That's video blog if you were unaware. Given my 100 mile per day trip to work and the disastrously comical driving abilities typically on display down here, the stories might just write themselves.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Remembered Addendum

Sitting around this evening watching Investigative Discovery in HD on the tube. Checking the Guide and saw a program on Charles Manson on the History Channel when it hit me:

After my name had been called and I had plead Not Guilty, they carried on into the T's. One of the traffic law violators who was supposed to be there was none other than Sharon Tate.

She has a Bench Warrant out for her now. She really ought to be pretty easy to locate. I doubt she's moved in forty or so years....

Friday, December 11, 2009

More Shtuff I shouldn't Know

The saga of my day in the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Court.

I received an moving violation for my error in traffic last September. The ticket was for violation of Louisiana Statute 32:79.1 - A vehicle shall be driven as nearly as practicable entirely within a single lane and shall not be moved from such lane until the driver has first ascertained that such movement can be made with safety.

I called to find out what the fine would be and was told $132.50. I had intended to just take my lumps, pay it and pray that my insurance wouldn't drop me. (My overall driving record has taken a few hits recently.) The lady on the phone asked if it was related to an accident. I said, "Yes." She said, "You can't mail it in. You have to go to court."


So, I checked the ticket and found that my court date was December 9, 2009. In the meantime between being told I needed to go to court and the actual court date, I decided to do a little digging into the actual court process. I've always heard that if the issuing officer does not show up, that the ticket would be dismissed. I had never understood how the police were scheduled to attend court. I was able to find out from the State Police website that each officer is scheduled for several court dates per year in advance. These are the dates that they put on the tickets they issue. (In Louisiana they must use the closest court date that is more than 28 days from the date of the ticket issuance.)

I also decided that the best possible tack I could take was plead for mercy based on the minuscule amount of damage I did to the "victim" in the accident. I used the word victim only because that is how the not-at-fault party in an accident is described in court. If it were up to me, the "victim" would be called "the guy I bumped". I gathered all of the medical bills I had received to that point showing the total medical charges to be in the neighborhood of $15,000. I printed off the vehicle insurance claim information from Progressive's website (A very good website, I might add) showing that Progressive had paid me $3,000 for the damage to the BMW and paid the "victim" a whopping $265.28 for the scuff mark my saddle bag made on the bumper of his '02 Chevy pickup.

I had not intended to pick up a copy of the actual accident report as my insurance agent handled the entire transaction with the "victim" personally. Since I now had to go to court for this, I realized it might be nice to have a copy of all of the evidence that they could potentially use against me. (Circles, arrows, and paragraphs included.) I rooted around on the internet and made a few calls to the Baton Rouge Traffic Records Office to determine that I had to stop by the State Police Headquarters with a money order for $7.50 in order to pick up a copy of the accident report. I did this and it took a total of about a minute to get the report and I was on my way. The report doesn't really say much as the officer did not witness the accident, but my and the "victim's" stories basically matched with the exception of me not seeing the truck prior to bumping it.

So I now had all the information I thought I needed. The day arrived and I left work at about 0730 as it is about a 35 minute drive to downtown from my jobsite. The traffic was actually decent and I parked in the closest garage at about 0800. The ticket said to be in the courtroom no later than 0900, so I had plenty of time. I gathered my stuff and started walking to the courthouse. I immediately saw a sign that said, "Cell phones are not allowed in the courthouse." I turned around, returned to my car and left my phone in the center console. This time I made it all the way to the metal detector when I realized I we still carrying my Leatherman Multi-tool. No blades allowed in the courthouse, so back to the car I went. This time I left everything except my portfolio in the trunk. I made it through the metal detector on the next trip and stopped by the information desk to find out where I should be. The lady looked at my ticket and said, "Across the street at City Hall."


Somewhat dispirited, I proceeded out of the Courthouse for the third time in fifteen minutes and stumbled across the street to the City Hall. No metal detectors here. I stopped by the information desk in this building and asked the gentleman seated there to please tell me where to go. He looked at the ticket and said, "Tenth Floor, Room 1087". Great. Finally in the right place.

Into the elevator and up, up and away I went. Room 1087 is the Traffic Court. There were about 30 or so people sitting in the waiting area/cafeteria waiting. It was now about 0820. By 0825 they unlocked the courtroom doors and the assembled mass proceeded in. At 0830 a deputy came out with the docket. Twenty-seven legal sized pages plus two add-on appendices. We were instructed to check the docket to ensure that our case was to be tried today. If we were unable to find our name, we were to proceed to Room 1022.

It was at this point that I realized that the average person receiving a traffic citation in the Baton Rouge area is a functional illiterate. It was taking eons for these people to find their names. I figured it was because the docket might be ordered by officer's name or ticket number or something. Then I finally, at about 0855, received a copy to peruse. It was in alphabetical order by last name. I kid you not, people actually commented on how fast I found my name in the list.

At 0900 a couple Assistant District Attorneys wandered in with a clerk. The clerk was carrying a pile of folders that had to be two feet thick. The ADA told us that they would run the docket and we could plead either Guilty, No Contest, or Not Guilty. He also stated that the Not Guilties would have to wait until the judge had completed whatever trial load he had for the day and they had no idea how long that would take. (By the way, we were informed that a No Contest Plea is effectively the same as a Guilty plea except that in an accident case, the "victim" cannot use it against you in a civil suit. But in order to plead No Contest, you had to have proof that your insurance had already paid the "victim's" damages with you in court.)

By now, the room was Standing Room Only and people were still straggling in. I figured I didn't want to sit there for the entire blasted day and had basically decided to plead No Contest and pay the fine. At about 0930, the ADAs and the clerk started reading the docket. Here is where it became interesting. The first two pages of the docket went about like this:

ADA - *called a name starting with A*

Courtroom - *silence*

ADA - "Bench Warrant"

ADA - *called a name starting with A*

Courtroom - *silence*

ADA - "Bench Warrant"

ADA - *called a name starting with A*

Courtroom - *silence*

ADA - "Bench Warrant"

ADA - *called a name starting with A*

Courtroom - *silence*

ADA - "Bench Warrant"


They went through about 15 names before they hit the first person who was actually there. That person pled Guilty and was instructed to get in a line where they would either pay the fine or be given an extension if they didn't have the funds right at the moment. It turned out that the illiterate were mostly there to plead guilty and get an extension to pay. A few people actually plead guilty and paid right then. I guess their friends couldn't get the ticket fixed in time and they actually had to show up rather than paying through the mail.

In any case, by the time they rolled into the "Rs" about 60% of the docket had had bench warrants issued, 35% had pled Guilty and gotten in line and only about 8-10 people had actually plead Not Guilty, so I figured I'd take my chances with the judge and pled Not Guilty.

By about 1000 people were still straggling in and the clerk would just ask for their name, and their plea, scratch out the bench warrant and let them get in line. That kinda bugged me as I hate lateness that is not punished. But whatever, it's their court, I suppose. If it were mine I'd have a deputy arresting the tardy idiots immediately on the bench warrant that was just issued.

By 1030 the ADAs started calling the not Guilty into conference outside of the courtroom. The first lady called in's name started with "C". She was back in about 10 minutes. After a while the called and name that started with "D" but no one spoke up. Then, for some reason, they called me. I followed the ADA into a hallway outside the rear of the courtroom where I was asked if I had proof that my insurance had paid the "victim's" damages. I show the ADA my documentation. It was at this point I realized that the "D" name that had been called was my "victim". The ADA looked at my paperwork and said, "Well, since the "victim" isn't here and the officer just called in to say he's working a homicide in Ascension Parish and won't be able to make it today, I'm dismissing the charge." "You're free to go. just go out the door at the end of this hall, but don't stop in the hall as there are Grand Juries in Progress." I said, " Thank you, sir." Shook his hand and beat a hasty exit.

So there you have it. The system is set up to make you want to plead guilty just to get it over with. Several Not Guilties, changed their pleas to Guilty because it was obvious that they had somewhere they had to be. Interestingly, if they were stopped by the officer that got me, they would have beaten the rap if they could have waited.

I think that if i get another ticket, I will probably go plead Not guilty again just to see what happens. That's my right, and I might as well make them work for their money.

Friday, December 04, 2009


48 degrees and raining. Prediction of maybe a dusting of wet snow later tonight. You'd think there was a cat 4 just off the coast. I don't think there's any bread, milk or hot dogs left anywhere.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

NOW it cools off....

Right when I have to change a rear main seal in a 2001 Jeep. Perfect. Nothing I like better than laying on concrete when it's 45 degrees out. Hopefully the local Autozone has received the blasted seal. Strange that not a single store of any brand around here stocks the rear main seal for a Jeep Inline 6. As often as they go out, you'd think that would be a fairly common part. Oil pan gasket - No problem. Rear Main Seal - two day wait.