Saturday, August 20, 2016

It Was a Fair Day

Family at Fil-Am picnic.
My sister came over from Ann Arbor to spend a day at the county fair. Although I had planned to be at the fair earlier this week, a gout attack in my knee kept me from going. It has been raining this week which has impacted the fair. With more rain in the forecast starting around noon, we decided to go early. When we got there, it was muddy and the place was free from the crowds as it was just opening.

I go to the fair for food. This year's selection included some good, if small, tacos from El Amigo Pepe, and elephant year, and a mozzarella dog. A huge disappointment was a pork stick which was dry and did not taste good. It was given to Charlie, our mom's dog.

Kris had agreed to go to a Fil-Am picnic with mom and dad. I was volunteered to come along as well. The food was okay. As usual, I was a fan of the pancit. Oddly enough, there was no lumpia. I was introduced to some nice people but I'm afraid that I won't commit their names or faces to memory. Being surrounded by strangers was awkward for me so I used a lull in the rain as an opportunity to go Pokemon hunting. After that, Kris and I decided to head back to the fair once more.

Later on, at my suggestion, we decided to go to the movie, Sausage Party. The showing that we wanted was sold out so we headed to a Vietnamese restaurant for some pho. I've never had real pho before and here was an opportunity to go try it. Kris was up for it. That stuff is delicious, let me tell you. I would definitely go there again.

Sausage Party as about as nasty and as funny as I expected from Seth Rogen. I would feel compelled to smack the shit out of any parent that brought their kid to such a movie.

h/t Sony Pictures Entertainment

It was a great day.

Monday, August 08, 2016

Incarceration

See Also: Freedom

For two weeks in June I sat on a jury listening at a murder trial. I, along with eleven other jurors found the defendant guilty of murder. Ever since then, the consequence of my vote has occupied my thoughts. Although I do not decide the convicted's sentence, what I did now allows it to come forth.  For second degree murder, the sentence was a minimum of 37 years and a maximum of 60.

Sunday, August 07, 2016

Sick of Being Jerked Around

I am not successful at landing dates. Finding another guy that is mutually interested is an almost impossible task and so far, every single one that I have has been a dud in one way or another. After almost two years, I had high hopes for this one that I was supposed to have met tonight. After talking to him online for about a month, he comes off as intelligent and capable of having more than a simple conversation. However, this is the third time I have tried to meet up with him and it looks like he has flaked out yet again.

This kind of rejection and treatment is really doing a number on my self-esteem. I look around at my friends and wonder how they made it look so easy. They found great people with which to pair up. Here I am, sitting on the couch waiting for a guy that isn't going to show up. It's like a scene from one of those angsty TV dramas like Felicity. I should have some sad indie song playing while I wallow in self pity.  *Turns on Pandora*

Friday, August 05, 2016

The Olympics-Brought to You by ______

The Opening Ceremony in Rio is currently playing on NBC. I am in bed not watching it. I had been earlier but the amount of commercials is ridiculous. I'm sure someone out there has the ratio of coverage to commercials. Just when you get settled into watching the ceremony, NBC puts in another set of commercials to watch. After a while, I said fuck it, I'll watch it some other time. I don't think I am missing much anyways. What I did see wasn't that impressive. I was FaceTiming with Dad at one point and he told me that it was because Rio is broke. They can't afford to be awesome. I am afraid that Beijing has set a bar that has yet to be met.

Monday, July 04, 2016

Freedom

There is a man sitting in the county jail right who has lost his freedom and I have ensured that he will not regain it for many years. As this country celebrates its freedom, my mind dwells on his loss and it has tainted my mood. 

I was ordered to report to the courthouse up in St. Joe for jury duty a couple weeks ago. The selection was for a murder trial. I had thought that the odds were small that I would make it on the jury but make it I did. Will not go into the specifics of the case but there are a few things that I would like to note.

After going through the trial, I found that the prosecutor had done her job and I was was convinced of most of the charges that were laid on him. I was in sync with most of the jurors for most of the charges except for two. While I was ready to pronounce the defendant guilty on those two charges, the rest of them were not. I could understand where they were coming from and there conclusion was valid given the evidence. What I realized is that I have a higher expectation of people and the actions they take and their responsibility to face the consequences of those actions.

There really are two sides to a story. After the trial was concluded, I came home and started looking up all the media I could find about the story. What I read coming from both camps saddened me. Having to weigh testimony and evidence highlighted the nuances of a series of unfortunate events. My perspective on what happened seems to be totally different than those in the two camps. I can’t even say that there are points that I can agree with any of them.


The man sitting in the jail tonight was guilty of the crime he committed but he wasn’t completely at fault. Misperception, escalation, and overzealousness is deadly combo but in the end, a bad decision ended, in different ways, two mens’ lives.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Brexit - A Decision to Live With?

Brits went to the polls yesterday to vote on a referendum on whether to leave or remain in the European Union. Then polls had just closed when I was getting ready for bed and only a few locations had reported their results. With the vote expected to be close, I went to bed as I figured that the result would be known by the time I woke up.

It came to 51.9% to 48.1% in favor of leaving.

Much like what happened in the Scottish Independence referendum, I had expected people who were dissatisfied with the system to do a last minute realization and vote to stay. Again the lessons are that all votes count and never underestimate the electorate.

Now that Leave has won, PM Cameron will be leaving. Perhaps the government will fall as well? Also, the UK will have to trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty to start the exit process which will probably take a couple of years. This is going to give the Brits some time think about what they have done and until Article 50 is triggered, they still have time to walk back from the cliff.

Most of the powers in Westminster and London will want to stay in the EU but now the will of the people has spoken. They can either live with this decision or find a way to get what they want. Parliament is supreme and they could refuse to accept the result. Not very democratic, though, is it? 
Personally, I think they should dissolve parliament and call for new elections, campaigning on whether to elect a government to affirm the exit or to not or perhaps on a second referendum.

Considering that the pound had taken a plunge in value, markets are being volatile, Scotland is talking about another independence referendum, and uncertainty about their own government, I wonder if the Brits are waking up with a hangover.