I am so upset right now!

So, today was the USA vs. Italy World Cup Game. Huge game for the USA. HUUGE. Biggest of my lifetime. Really big.

I invited some friends over. I went to pick up some food to grill and waited for them to arrive.

My friends were late showing up due to horrendous LA traffic, but I had the game on TiVo.  When they arrived, my wife sat down with a guest while I was outside grilling. In that time, the TiVo switched to the live TV. My wife, clearly not paying attention, paused the game to stop the loud noises.

I walk into the room and stared aghast at the 80th minute of the game frozen on the screen. Screaming obscenities at the top of my lungs while fumbling for the remote didn’t stop my eyes from catching the score. 

And in a matter of seconds, all my plans and desires for a happy World Cup afternoon was lost forever.  My screams upset my wife, made my guests uncomfortable, and didn’t even make me feel better.

Lessons learned: If there is a sporting event you really, really, REALLY want to watch, ONLY watch it live.  And preferably, only watch it with people that like it as much as you.  That way when something good or bad happens, you have someone to share it with.

Update: Sorry, putting an exclamation in the title caused my blog software to blow chunks when someone tried to click on this article. It’s fixed now.

This Never Happens

My brother-in-law and his old friend from New York were running some errands in town when my brother-in-law saw a car just like his friend used to drive.

“Wayne, that looks like your old car.”

“Dude! That is my old license plate.  That IS my car!”

They tailed the person a few miles to some 7/11 gas station where they got out of the car to talk him.  Wayne ran over to the Asian man and found that he had, in fact, purchased it from the same dealer he had sold it to many years earlier.

The Asian man said, “I heard the guy that owned it moved to New York.”

“That was me!”

Wayne then turned and pointed to my brother-in-law, and said, “And THAT guy over there puked in your backseat!”


It’s even crazier when you realize that Wayne doesn’t live here anymore, he sold the car pretty far away from where it was spotted, and Los Angeles is home to well over 10,000,000 people.


I just realized that it is VERY possible that my son could be born on 6/6/6!  How cool is that?

Being a huge Iron Maiden fan half of my life, I have grown up with the song “The Number of the Beast”.  My son could have such a number as his birthday.


Every time he is asked his birthday, he can scream, “666!” and then throw his hand in the air with his pinky and index finger outstretched.


More fun with 666 at Wikipedia.

Jury Duty Thoughts

I am not about to complain about having to serve Jury Duty.  I am a citizen of this country, and that is a duty of citizenship.

And things are nicer now then when I first served.  Now it is “one day-one trial”.  I don’t know if that is a California guideline, but it means I only must show up one day, or through one trial.  So if I don’t get picked, I’m done.  Many years ago, I had to show up for an entire week to sit around and/or sit on a jury no matter what.

Another improvement is internet access.  I had to pay $12 and can’t use Remote Desktop or POP based email, but it is better than having my cord cut.

What blows my mind, however, is the waste in the system.  California has the largest amount of court trials and lawyers in the country.  I couldn’t tell if the judge that stood in front of us this morning to tell us these facts was proud, ashamed, or just tired of filing a work injury claim in Florida.  I was appalled.

My thoughts follow that (in a very, very, rough generality):

  • Everyone knows there are too many stupid lawsuits.
  • Everyone knows that in a lawsuit, the only people profiting is the lawyers.
  • Everyone knows there are too many lawyers.
  • Everyone has better things to do than be a juror.

To file a lawsuit, there is little risk, potentials of a big reward, and little to no penance for wasting peoples time.

Contrast that with going to the hospital.  Unless you have an IQ below 80, you don’t go to the hospital unless you are dying.  And people certainly don’t make up illnesses and walk into the emergency room unless they are seriously disturbed.  Why?  Because you would go BANKRUPT!  Unless you work for the State or County and have amazing insurance, a one night stay in a hospital could cost $5K with insurance.  Without…oh boy.

I am self employed and have my own insurance, and to have a baby in the next couple months is going to run me about $6,000 – $7,000 so I am thinking of getting a business lines of credit to better secure my business venture.

It would seem an easy solution. If you file a lawsuit and lose, you:

  1. Must pay for your lawyer and the defendants lawyer.  Not sure the average cost of a lawyer, but that would probably be around $400 an hour if each side only has one lawyer.
  2. You must pay for the hourly wage of the judge, the bailiff, and anyone else’s time you wasted.  Maybe another $100 an hour.
  3. If a jury must get involved, you must pay $20 an hour per juror.  That may cost about $400 an hour.
  4. Amendment:  The judge can decide to waive the fees if he feels the lawsuit was valid and there was no other option.  The judge can only apply the waiver to a certain amount of cases per year:  let’s say 10%.

There would be a similar penalty levied against defendants that should of settled out of court.

So, before you go about filing a lawsuit, you are looking to what amounts to going to the hospital.  I know I wouldn’t want to deal with paying about $900 an hour for anything fruitless.

And now that the Jury is getting a decent wage in relationship to minimum wage, some people would try to get on the jury rather than using the “self employed, racist, daddy is in the CIA, I am a terrorist, screaming baby” card to get out of it.

Not a bad rant for being this tired and grumpy .


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