Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual. Yesterday, everybody smoked his last cigar, took his last drink, and swore his last oath. Today, we are a pious and exemplary community. Thirty days from now, we shall have cast our reformation to the winds and gone to cutting our ancient short comings considerably shorter than ever. We shall also reflect pleasantly upon how we did the same old thing last year about this time. However, go in, community. New Year's is a harmless annual institution, of no particular use to anybody save as a scapegoat for promiscuous drunks, and friendly calls, and humbug resolutions, and we wish you to enjoy it with a looseness suited to the greatness of the occasion. ~Mark Twain
Ain't it curious how the same people who get so bent out of shape about police shootings, are so very excited about the prospect of the federal government killing American citizens in Oregon? Yeah, I'm shocked, too. Anyway, here's everything you ever wanted to know about the shenanigans going on in Oregon, but were afraid to ask, plus a complete list of the Best Selling Firearms of 2015 -- and MUCH to my surprise, Kel-Tec takes the number one slot with their PMR-30! I know, fucking shocking, right? Second place is the Taurus PT-111 Millenium G2, which I've been preaching for a while now. You can use GunEngine to find these hot sellers and more.
The right to trial by jury is a fundamental right guaranteed to all Americans by the Constitution. Florida Constitution Article I, Section 22, states that any person, who is accused of committing a crime, has the right to a jury trial.
So yeah, I got picked for the jury. Which means I can't comment on the trial until after its conclusion.
Not much has changed in the Lee County Justice center, from the last time I served on a jury back in September of 2009. In fact, aside from having to take my fucking shoes off when going through security, nothing has changed really. Same jury waiting area, same interlocking metal chairs, hell even the same funny old guy running the thing; Harold the Jury Coordinator. So get there around 7:45, fifteen minutes early for my 8am report time. And of course we all sit there until 8:30 picking our noses, before Harold starts to call us to check in -- 100 jurors at a time, from numbers 1 all the way through 355. As juror number 72, I get called up in the first batch and when I return to where I was sitting, I find some Fat White Asshole sitting in my seat. So I sit in someone else's seat. Then the Fat White Asshole gets called up in the next batch (101-200) giving me the opportunity to reoccupy my old seat like the Gaza Strip. A few minutes later, Fat White Asshole returns to my/our/his seat, and finds me sitting in it. He begins to raise his hand and open his mouth as if he's going to say something, when I look him right in the eye, lean to one side, and let a slow pleasurable look come over my face before leaning back over to sit up straight. I didn't really fart, mind you, but this was enough to suggest to the Fat White Asshole that he has permanently lost this particular chair. He took another seat four rows over and occasionally cast a glance over his shoulder from time to time.
So Unpronounceablename steps up to the podium and introduces herself as one of the co-prosecutors for the state of Florida; unfortunately the mic cut out as she started speaking, otherwise I may have heard her pronounce her name. It's now that I get my first real good look at her and I have to admit, kinda cute. If I recall correctly, her name ended in something Slovakey Eastern Europeaney sounding... -ova -anya -ovic ...maybe? Anyway, she walks with a noticeable limp and you can see a look of discomfort as she tries to make her way back and forth to the podium. She explains to the jury the case before us today is a felony one with two counts: burglary of a conveyance (a vehicle) and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, specifically a vehicle. She goes on to say we are all going to be asked the same series of questions: name, occupation, how long we've lived in Lee County, if we're married and if we are what our spouse does for a living, if we've ever served on a jury before and if so were we the foreman and were we able to reach a verdict, if we have any LEOs in our immediate family, if we've ever been a victim of a crime and finally, if we've ever been convicted of a crime.
So my fellow jurors and I watch in horror as the rest of the herd, now free of the threat of conscripted public service, turn quite jovial as they file out of the classroom. A few handshakes are exchanged, a playful punch to the shoulder, the texting of phone numbers. And after the last of the now free potential jurors files out, the deputy guarding the door shuts it behind them, its large oak frame slamming shut with a boom which is quickly smothered by the courtrooms acoustics. El Hefe asks us to sit down, and I decide now is a good opportunity to really check out the courtroom.
Once we're all seated, El Jefe gives permission for everyone else to be seated, and calls the court into session. He begins by explaining to us how the opening argument process works -- prosecution goes first, defense second -- but cautions us that none of what we hear from either attorney should be considered evidence; the absolute only instance in which verbal testimony is to be accepted as evidence is that elicited from the witness chair. Everything else we hear today from the prosecutors and the defense attorney is not to be considered evidence and should not be used to help render our verdict.
Following her dissertation on "two buns and a well cooked piece of meat," Unpronounceablename does her best to hobble her way back to her chair at the prosecutor's table, swinging her bad leg under first and then collapsing in a skirted heap. El Jefe asks Peter Griffin if he is prepared for his opening statement, and rising up out of his chair while holding about 492,572 unsorted pieces of paper in his hands, Peter Griffin confirms that he is. As he makes his way towards the podium to address the jury, two or three sheets of paper fall from the stack he is bear hugging to his chest, and begin a slow back-and-forth flutter as they descend to the courtroom carpet. Peter Griffin stops, and bending over to pick them up, drops two more in their place. I can't help but think if the Absent Minded Professor had gotten his law degree, this is probably how it might look. After foiling his paperwork's multiple escape attempts, Peter Griffin approaches the podium and lays out the story about how this case is all just one big misunderstanding and his client was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Once Peter Griffin is safely back in his seat, there's about fifteen or twenty seconds where El Jefe is just sitting on his bench, his attention focused upon what I believe was a laptop? Checking some legal standing, or perhaps Facebook, too? He then taps his mic to make sure it was on, and leans forward to speak, "Prosecution, you may call your first witness." "Thank you, Your Honor." replies Unpronounceablename, "The State of Florida calls Average Father to the stand." Upon hearing these words, the Deputy in the back manning the rear entranceway pushes the door open and steps out into the small atrium that divides the courtroom from the hallway behind it. He returns a few seconds later, still holding the door open and a middle aged white guy with a dark beard steps through it and proceeds towards the front of the courtroom.
For the prosecution's next witness, Dr Taub took the helm, "The State calls Average Son to the stand." In the rear of the courtroom, the deputy repeated his dance with the door, once again returning with someone we hadn't see before. This was a young kid, in his mid to late teens, who was quite visibly uncomfortable in a courtroom setting. He is nervously chewing on a wad of chewing gum, and has to move it to one side of his mouth in order to blurt out an "I do" after the court reporter swears him in. Dr Taub gets through his first few of a series of prepared questions -- state your name, where were you on this day and time, what did you see -- before abruptly setting his notes down, "Average Son, why don't you do me a favor and spit out that chewing gum." At this, the bailiff sitting next to the witness stand stands up and points to a box of Kleenex, "Just spit it in there, son." Average Son apologizes to Dr Taub, spits a huge ass wad of pink into a tissue and reaches out to hand it to the bailiff. The bailiff, not too hip on the idea of a single sheet of government tissue paper between him and a wad of chewed gum, asks Average Son to wrap it in not once but two -- TWO -- more times, before taking the package off his hands and depositing it into a trash barrel at the rear of the courtroom.
The 2001 film Chop Cuey is a homage to Bruce Weber's favorite things: film, photography and classic movies. With portraits of a lesbian jazz singer and a 16 year old wrestler. In this autobiographical film, Bruce Weber looks back on his career as both photographer and filmmaker. A photographer never knows where their work will take them; this photographer has ended up in the most incredible places - from the catwalks of the world's fashion capitals to the remotest parts of the Arabian Desert. Chop Suey uses still photographs and live action footage to chart this transformation from a pretty young boy into a homoerotic icon.
The Three Stooges Collection is a series of DVD collections of theatrical short subjects produced by Columbia Pictures starring American slapstick comedy team The Three Stooges. Each volume is a two-disc set, and covers a three-year interval, with the exception of Volume Eight, which is a three-disc set and covers the last five years at Columbia. The series was first made available by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment on October 30, 2007 and released Volume One: 1934-1936 and marked the first time the comedy team's shorts were released on DVD in chronological order. In addition, every film was remastered in high definition, another first for the comedy team's body of celluloid works.
Okay, back to the jury duty story. Now I have to admit I wasn't entirely sure what to expect when they called Arresting Officer forward. The last time I had jury duty, it was a woman who was about 50lbs overweight who didn't look like she could chase anything more than a ham and cheese bagel. So when Unpronounceablename announces to the courtroom, "The State of Florida calls Arresting Officer," I couldn't help myself from creeping forward on my seat and craning my neck to get a good look at the officer entering the courtroom. Was he some soft doughboy like before? Was he some six and a half foot monster? White? Black? Or perhaps a woman? A six and a half foot monster of a woman?
We were under strict orders from El Jefe not to discuss anything about the case until after closing arguments had been presented and we had officially begun deliberations. So now we are seven people, well eight if you count the bailiff, all trapped on an elevator and the one thing we're not allowed to talk about is the one thing we all have in common. How's that for a social experiment? Skinny Tanned Bald Dude brings up something about football and banters back and forth with Fat Accountant Dude for a minute, but the conversation quickly fizzles out. I ask anyone else if they find themselves wincing every time Unpronounceablename has to get up out of her seat and hobble across the courtroom in visible pain. I get a "mm'hmm" and a nod, but that's it. Fine, fuck you guys." The elevator doors open with a crisp ding of a hidden bell, and we ironically enough we find ourselves just outside of the initial room that some 355 of us herded into just the morning before. It's a quick turn to The Oasis, but I don't stop to read the sandwich board to see what today's specials are. They already broke my fucking heart yesterday by teasing me with tacos, so I'm not about to open myself up to that pain again.
ONE THING I FORGOT FROM OFFICER FRODO'S TESTIMONY: on the bodycamera footage we see Chris Penn offer the same, "I thought this was my boss's truck," explanation for his looking inside the toolbox in John Goodman's truck. When Officer Frodo asks him what kind of truck his boss drives, Chris Penn replies with, "We went to work in a box truck today."
Snap peas are a cultivar group of edible-podded peas that differ from snow peas in that their pods are round as opposed to flat. The name mangetout (French for "eat all") can apply both to snap peas and snow peas. Commonly thought to be from China, snow peas originated in the Mediterranean, and were grown widely in England and Europe in the nineteenth century. The Chinese adopted these peas into their own cuisine from the English, and they have been known as Chinese snow peas ever since. Often served in salads or eaten whole. They may also be stir-fried or steamed. Before being eaten, mature snap pea pods may need to be "stringed," which means the membranous string running along the top of the pod from base to tip is removed. Over-cooking the pods will make them come apart.
As we marched through the doorway, past the two separate bathrooms and the dirty microwave and the college sized mini-fridge, and into the cold ass room with the water cooler, there was a distinctive feeling of relief in the air. I mean we could finally talk about this fucking case! The long table in the middle of the room had seating for twelve, but three of the seats had been pushed up against the outside wall, one seat was at the end of the table, leaving four seats per long side. I chose a seat in the middle of the table with my back facing the windows which were on the left side of the room. To my left was Skinny Tanned Bald Dude, then me, and to my right Retired Engineer Dude, Black Dude With A Beard sitting at the end of the table, and continuing around the far side of the table from right to left, Fat Accountant Dude, and finally A Little Overweight But Still Cute Divorced Chick. I know, I know, what happened to Skinny Metrosexual Dude, right? Turns out he was the alternate juror and would only participate in deliberations if one of the original six became unavailable for some reason (sick, recused, whatever). Since all six of the original jurors were able to fulfill their obligations to the court, Skinny Metrosexual Dude was cut loose as soon as the closing arguments were completed.