ohm's law Feed

Flower thieves

Deerly departed

And I thought I had it bad with the theft of my bonsai.  DC has a serial botanical extractor at large that roams neighborhoods stealing flowering branches off trees and shrubs.  And then he sells them on street corners or to flower shops.  Basically destroying years of work for home gardeners while also tresspassing on private property.  


4 minutes until Wapner...dun da, dun da.

Jury duty.  Everyone probably looks at it differently.  Most probably hate it.  I was dreading the waiting part.  Last time I was called up for it, I was in D.C.  Only thing I remembered was the long waits with no information.  After about 5 hours my group was dismissed without even being selected.

Virginia's jury selection turned out to be much more organized and informative.  After arriving, we all received juror lanyards, with our cards and even parking passes.  Once everyone arrived, they updated us on what was going to happen and then showed a video on how we were selected.

I was called in with about 20 other people for the first (and only) case that the morning.  We were asked specific questions, related to the case, by each of the lawyers. This process is called the voir dire.  

After a short meeting with their clients, the juror list was announced.  My name was on the list of jurors.  oh yay..  It turned out to be a civil case, so only seven juror are used.  If it was a criminal case, then they'd have selected 12 jurors.

Without going into details, the case was in regards to a monetary disagreement between both parties in a traffic accident case.  I didn't know this, but Virginia is one of a handful of states where the jury decides the dollar amount, and not the judge. 

Needless to say, all the jurors were even more somber when thinking about what our decision should be.

Fortunately, both lawyers wrapped up their arguments by the end of the day.  After that we were left to decide the amount if any to grant the plantiff.  I think we were fair and just in our determination.  I know both parties probably wanted a different amount.  But remember, “When you go into court, you are putting your fate into the hands of twelve people who weren't smart enough to get out of jury duty”.

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Election Day

A day welcomed by all if only for the fact we'll get a break from political commercials.

I exercised my right to vote early and I was glad I did.  The parking lots of my neighborhood voting center were already full by 7am.  

Prior to entering the building I was given a flyer by a Democratic helper who asked if I rode my motorcycle in. (I was wearing my scooter jacket/pants/boots)  Upon answering yes, he followed up with "It's very cold for that".  Seconds later, the Republican helper offered me another flyer and followed it up with a simple, "I like your jacket".

So in doing my own poll, I've decided Democrats are more concerned about weather conditions for riding.  While Republicans are focused on safety and appearance while riding.  

After voting, I did an exit poll but the only one around was a recycling box on the ground full of sample voting ballots.  It did not have a comment.

Seriously though, I was glad I voted this morning.  Although I'd have waited as long as I needed to, I wanted to keep ahead of the rush hour traffic. 

So get out and vote the rest of you.  And may the best candidate win.


World Sauntering Day

Today is World Sauntering* Day.

There are not many hard rules and practices to follow on and some of them are up for debate but below are some cited rules:

  • Wear comfortable clothing.
  • Don't rush.
  • Should be done with a medium-sized dog with one floppy ear and a neckerchief, where available.

*Sauntering is a verb to describe a style of walking; it is not a sashay, prance, trot or lollygag. Simply put, it is to walk slowly preferably with a joyful disposition.

Why Facebook can never be gangsta

 When I did something wrong as a youngster, the last thing I thought about doing was taking a picture of the act and making it public.  How hard is that to figure out?  Picture=proof.

So when I read a news article like this, I'm still baffled why an offender thinks a photo taunt to a victim is worth their inevitable arrest.  How fitting is the term Facebook now.  The words "face" and "book" should be enough to warn potential violators.

The theft happened in Arlington, Virginia.  Area police say typical burglary cases are normally left unsolved.  I can understand that, if there's no trail of clues or witnesses it hard to find the culprit. So I wasn't surprised in learning how many cases go unsolved.  I've come to the conclusion that it up to you to protect your household and limit the risk.  Don't keep large sums of cash in your house, have an alarm system, get a dog, lock the doors/windows, and don't advertise when you're not home.  Limit who you're letting in your home. Thieves often know the layout before hand because they've been to the house before.

What surprised me the most was the  father's observation about his son losing some documents including one he had never backed up for years.  Never backed up?  How difficult is it to setup a back-up these days?  You can buy a nice hard drive with some backup software that will automatically run a backup as often as you need. Companies make these programs so user-friendly that it's impossible to come up with a reason not to have it.  

My three simple rules I tell friends and coworkers-

  1. Backup everything
  2. Uses strong passwords and don't write them down
  3. Never send email/post something you wouldn't want on the front page of newspaper