Sunday, October 30, 2005

Under the Weather - For Halloween!!

I seem to have gotten a sniffle. Surprising the amount it can slow you down. I didn't even have the energy to dress up for a costume party last night! Halloween is one of my favorite holidays too, but I just couldn't muster the mustard.

I had a very funny personal experience at work this week (nothing like last week thankfully). I was sitting around doing work with a few DA's and a coworker when one of the DA's said I was "too quiet and too serious." Wow. I've been called a lot of things, but quiet has NEVER been something to describe me. She obviously doesn't know me very well. Growing up I was constantly scolded for being too loud; at the last wedding I was at Greg indtroduced me as "the funniest kid I have met." (I'm particularly proud of that one) But somehow at work I am too quiet and too serious. Actually, I have to admit, at work I have a different personality. It isn't a Jekkel and Hyde, but I have learned when to use my 'outside voice' and when to use the 'work persona.' I am pretty serious at work, mostly because I have a work ethic. I am usually the first person in the office in the morning, one of the last to leave, always in a suit... this is probably a shock to people who don't know Work Jay. Anyway, my coworker in the room quickly corrected her and said I was an OK guy... I gues quiet and serious are not OK? Anyway, it made me laugh later on. That night at a work party I felt I had to wear my earrings to disuade anyone from thinking I am all work and no play. :)

Other goings on so far this week:

Rode at waterworks twice. Two good workouts, but on Wed. I forgot to eat anything all day. That lead to a few moments of nausia during a break, but no boot and rally was necessary. Finished out two loops with no real problems. That camelbak is so very handy.

I sent a package to Mr. Vit-One over in Australia. It is fun to track it's progress around the world. I sent it Thursday afternoon, it got to Memphis Thursday night, then Honolulu on Friday morning, in Australia by Saturday night! It is currently held up in customs or something, it is a "regulatory agency clearance delay" whatever that means. Hopefully is doesn't mean, "The package he gave you to send to him is full of weed and your name is on it, so you are going to jail for trafficking." I am willing to bet that's not the problem.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Frustration in Court

I had an interesting experience recently in court. It had to do with another lawyer in town who called me a few weeks ago. He called me at my office and the conversation went like this:

Him: "Hi Jason, this is [private lawyer name] I've been retained to represent one of your clients."
Me: "Oh, that's cool, taking one off my hands? Which one?"
Him: "I'm now representing [client name], his family just talked to me this morning."
Me: "OK, well I am still waiting on some paperwork, but you are welcome to everything in my file for this Friday's hearing."
Him: "Great, thanks for the info, I will see you on Friday."

Friday came and he was not present in court. I announced to the court that this particular lawyer had called me and told me that he was retained. The clients case was resent for a hearing the next Friday. Sadly, this happens often with private attorneys who take their fee and then show up when it is convenient for them. Their client sits in jail despite the fact that just showing face in court could have gotten someone out of jail. The following Friday came around and this lawyer was once again absent. I told the judge that I would call him up and ask if he was going to make an appearance. Here's the gist of our second conversation:

Him: "Oh hi Jason, I never filed an entry on that case.... I was never retained on that case."
Me: "Really, because you told me that you were representing him, and I announced that to the court last week. You're expected here by the judge."
Him: "Oh yeah, I talked to so many people that I assumed you would figure out that I wasn't coming to represent him."
Me: "You never called me to tell me that. You really could have screwed this client."
Him: "Yeah, I feel bad about that...."
Me: "You should have at least called me. I could have prepared something for today's hearing."

Luckily, the outcome for the client was not bad at all. I got the guy out of jail by talking to the DA, and everything was OK. But it was severely dissappointing to have that conversation. If I was not familar with the case, if there was another DA, or if there was a witness in court who wanted to do a preliminary hearing on the case, this particular client would have been FUCKED IN THE ASS by this guy. Being in jail sucks, it really does. I know because I am there and everyone tells me how much is sucks. I had a client who got stabbed. One of my coworkers had a client committ suicide. There is a TB outbreak spreading right now.... and this lawyer did not care one bit about this client. He did not bother to pick up the phone and make a 30 second phone call. He's very lucky that this client had me to fall back on, and that I was able to get him out of jail. Otherwise, that would be a serious Bar complaint.

Another odd thing happened this week. I was introduced to a young woman in the courthouse who learned that I was a public defender. She asked, "so are you really one of those public defenders who screws his clients, or are you an ok lawyer." What the fuck does that mean? I don't know where people get these ideas about what we do. Is there some TV show where the court appointed lawyers suck ass? Where does this reputation come from? I've met a lot of private lawyers and a lot of public defenders. There are a lot of GREAT private lawyers, but there more private lawyers who push pleas on defendants; more private lawyers who miss court dates; and more private lawyers who just plain fail at representing their clients.


Court was ok today. No ass-hole attorneys to report.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Working against the MAN

Work this week was an interesting departure from the norm. My counterpart on the prosecution's side was very reasonable . . . a refreshing change from the self-righteous crap I usually get from the other side. I was able to work with one particular DA who actually listened to my arguments and worked with me to come to a few reasonable outcomes. We were not exactly giving away the keys to the jail, but we did work out for several people to wait for trial out of jail rather than on the inside. The more serious crimes ended up with cash bonds, as expected, but I didn't waste his time asking to let every-damn-person out. Sadly, he is moving up to the trial division with the DA's office and we will not have him to work with much longer. It was good to have someone who actually sat down at the table.

Saturday was for errands. Our car is in the shop, so we borrowed Mr. Vit-One's truck. It is a piece of work. It has some 219,000 miles on it, creaks when it turns, and has a minor list to the right side. . . but I love it. I am trying to get him to give it to me when he replaces it. It needs a new windshield and maybe a new engine, but it would work for me just fine.

Later today we're GAYBC'ing it up out at Conyers. Should be fun, I'm taking AY's old bike again. This will be my second trip on it. The first one was interesting: It only has one gear in front and the clipless pedals are very loose. If you look at them sideways you come unclipped. I may need to figure out how to tighten them up a bit. It has been great learning on a different style bike, the frame is bigger, so I am learning how to compensate on the tight turns. I've only hit a few trees so far.

Saw 'A History of Violence' last night. The new theaters at Atlantic Station opened up; cool place. Viggo was good, so was Maria Bello. I like both of them a lot. The movie itself was pretty good, but not exactly what I expected. There were a few gratuitous scenes (the sex went on a touch too long a few times), but overall I enjoyed it. So many cool movies are coming out this fall. Wallace and Gromit, Harry Potter, Narnia... man, I have a lot of tickets to buy.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

I bit it on the downhill .... Again

My latest meeting with Mr. Downhill did not go well. I was biking down a not-overly-steep section of trail tonight and found myself suddenly launched through the air with the greatest of ease. Sadly, the landing was not so easy. It was hard and fast and my bike almost landed on top of me. Luckily my feet were still strapped in and I had the presense of mind to lift them backwards as I was landing on my face and chest. This sent the bike just off to the right of my head, saving my having to buy a new helmet. I suppose it saved my egg-shell skull too, but I like to think of all the money I saved in keeping my helmet in one piece.

The problem with the bike is that it was free. Yes, not cheap, not a Wal-Mart special, Free. This guy gave it to me because he thought I would use it more than him. He was right about that. I have been going out with the GAYBC at least once a week for the past few months. We have been having a lot of fun and getting faster every time. The bike has been getting worse though for a myriad of reasons. The gears and brakes are ok, the chain stays on for the most part, the pedals are baskets which bounce my feet out, and the seat post keeps slipping down. The problem though, is my front shock. As I was cruising along the railroad tracks tonight I hit a large root which bounced me out of the pedal baskets. It also happened to bottom out the shock. This was not so good. It bottomed out and stayed rather compressed from then on. Now, whenever I am on the bike it is sitting at its lowest position. Not great for a "shock" to not be able to absorb any "shock." So, when I got to the down hill and hit a root, there was nowhere for the energy to go except to launch me head over handlebars into the ground. As I said, I was lucky. The landing was onto pine needles, not onto rocks. To my surprise the whole city did not in fact hear my grunting landing. Nobody heard it, they had to settle for seeing my sadly dirty self come walking the bike back to our start point. It is with a strange mix of shame and pride that I reported the fact that I took flight that day.

Other events today: Jail Court!! Yay!! I picked up some new clients. That was fun. Some domestic violence here, some cocaine there, a well-rounded group. There was even a former client of mine in the courtroom... she just can't stay out of trouble. Luckily the state was not going forward with her charges. She sticks out in my mind because her name is the same as my wife's, and she goes by Jules.

I also had lunch with my new team today. That was cool. They are new to me, I think they will be good to work with. They both seem to have their heads on straight and court (and lunch) was pretty easy to get through.

Mr Vit-one called last night from Australia. That crazy kid. I can't believe he is there. I can't believe he is going to Australian Nationals with a club team!! That's crazy talk, but true. He is my idol. Wouldn't you want to pick up leave for Australia and New Zealand for two months?? I do, and I might just do that if someone asked me to join them... hint hint hint.

Enough silly talk. Time for bed.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

The in law invasion: Day Two

Today we went to Stone Mountain for the Highland games and festival. It was pretty amusing. There was a highland dance competition where girls dance in their kilts and ballet shoes; the caber toss where men try to toss a telephone pole type log end-over-end; an exhibition on sheep-hearding dogs (my personal favorite); and bagpipes galore!! All in all, not a bad day.... we even went to my favorite Mexican place for dinner.

Now it is off to watch 'Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" for a taste of Georgia living. Oh how I love Savannah (even the fictional, hollywood version.)

Saturday, October 15, 2005

The In-Laws are in town: Hide the children and circle the wagons!!

Good news first: The batch of beer that we brewed on Thursday night is bubbling away. Definite signs of alcohol being created right in my own kitchen. That's always a good feeling. This one is a "Kolsch" from Germany. Rhymes with Grolsch? Why yes it does. It's bubbling along with the Winter Warmer we brewed earlier in the week. Also sitting on the counter: The pumpkin ale which is so exciting for MT. He gets so darn jumpy just thinking about it.

This morning was spent digging up our perfectly good lawn. It seems mom-in-law brought five hundred assorted plants, shrubs and trees for us to "store" in our lawn. They are moving from DC to NC and figured that their shrubs could winter here in Atlanta.... I guess you can't buy shrubs in NC?? Who knows. All I know is that we have a brand new shrub bed beside the house and a few new pine trees in the back yard. I wonder which ones we'll have to dig up? What madness!!

The rest of the day was spend in typical in-law fashion. Sitting around the house pretending to watch college football, reading the paper, talking about cholesterol levels, growing moss etc. Good times. The small consolation is that we may actually leave the house tomorrow for the highland festival in Stone Mountain. It's always fun to watch sweaty men toss large telephone poles while grunting. It's been so long since I saw a caber.

Needless to say, no biking this weekend. This is more of an anarobic workout. Hand to mouth, ass to couch, hand to mouth. It's like the John Belushi workout, start your day with little chocolate donuts!

Tonight: A trip to the Opera to see La Traviata. It should be great fun, the seats are in the 9th row!! I'm looking forward to this one, I like Verdi.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

GAYBC in the evening...

Rode tonight at waterworks. MT had new cleats to go with his new pedals. He can now clip-in which leads to much hilarity for all but him. He bit it on several occasions ... sorry dude. At one point he fell into a bush and smushed it like a cupcake under a big girl... sorry bush. The problem with clip-ins: When you start out, you are not used to having to turn your foot to exit, so you try to pull and over you go. I have yet to enjoy this experience, but I hear it is fun

AY fell today too. He tried to hit the rocks along the river which NV couldn't get over. His bike went over him and ended up in the water. He was as OK as can be after your bike hits you in the head/back and falls into a stream. He's the expert of the group, so it was strange to hear it described... "who fell into the water?"

AB fell too. Over the handle-bars and down. It was at the bottom of a hill. He broke off a toe clip as he flew over the bars. He was fine, the bike can be repaired, actually, new pedals are in order for him too.

I was beat after two laps. For some reason I couldn't go for three... must be my diet of bacon fat and cheesey poofs.

I think I have decided on a Gary Fisher hoo-koo-e-koo... I'll let you know.