Thursday, November 05, 2009

Updates and Other Things

Thanks to everyone for visiting and sending us good wishes. Josh got probation, which is what we were hoping for. It cost me over $1000 bucks, though. The fine was $150, but by the time you tacked on this fee and that fee and some other fee it was completely out of hand. The legal system's money grubbing knows no bounds.

Speaking of legal system money grubbing, I also got a red-light camera ticket. I was nearly hit by another car, sped up to avoid that crash, hit the stoplights under yellow, but they turned red while I was in the intersection. And now they say I owe the police $110 dollars. I wonder how these people sleep at night. I'm disgusted.

We're still in preregistration here and I gave one test yesterday and will give another on Friday. I have a deadline on a textbook review, two letters of recommendation to do, and have had three IRB proposals slapped on my desk in the last three days, including one request for a retroactive review, which is not possible. I'm still not going to get around to doing much blogging.

In the meantime, though, I finished reading The Ruins by Scott Smith. I give it a 3 out of 5 stars. I enjoyed it pretty well, although there was way too much telling and not enough showing in the book. I gave a full review at Goodreads. I also watched the opening episode of the new V and was not impressed. I thought the orginal was quite a bit better.

Also, if you haven't voted in Writtenwyrd's Halloween Cthulhu contest then please consider doing so. There are 21 flash fiction entries for people to select their favorite from. The posting and voting take place HERE.


ivan said...

Oh, thank God.
Lucky for Josh.
Took a lot out of you.
Sounds to me like Josh should go back to Kentucky or wherever. Okie from Muskogee, syndrome, though you're in Louisiana. Basically, hippie-looking guys don't cut it in the Deep South.
St. Tammany sounds like Tammany, which was an old New York political lodge. Not a good one.
Those County(Parish) Mounties!
Don't know if you write for the local papers, but I found once I was established as a local writer, talking mostly on unrelated matters, the County Mounties pretty well left me alone.
But I notice in the St. Tammany News, letters to the Editor are almost non-existent. That used to be a power base for me here in Ontario. Make so much noise, be so eccentric that no one would touch you. But I kept my hair short. Samson, I suppose.
I couldn't be a target.
Take care. Lie low.Keep the faith. I have found that things happen in threes. Heh. I used to drink more during those troubled periods, stay around home, drive less....So the third event woud just have me passing out on my own couch.

Jeez, I gotta stop drinking. Garrulous son- of- a- gun.

Lie low.

Randy Johnson said...

I'm happy for Josh. And sad about the money grabbing aspects of the legal system. I've had a couple of runins along those lines myself. You want to say something, but you have to just bite your lip.

I agree about V. I've heard they've already replaced the show runner with a new one and there will only be four episodes. if the ratings are good, it will return later.

Travis Cody said...

Good news for Josh.

I wonder if I'll get a camera red light ticket. There's a particularly wonky series of intersections down Broad St in Seattle. It's a series of three signals that are usually synced up at 7am when I go through them.

But a couple of days ago, I think the second one was red and I just went right through it. It was just a habit thing and I still don't really remember if the light was red or green. But the car in the lane next to me stopped, so it must have been red.

That intersection has a camera so I'm sure a ticket is on the way.

Charles Gramlich said...

Ivan, I have written a few letters to the editor in my day and enjoyed getting some things off my chest. I'm definitely considering doing it in this case as well.

Randy Johnson, I know, you are really constrained for fear of retaliation, and that isn't what the legal system should be about either.

Travis, I'm sure it probably will come. They don't miss a trick when they need their "fix."

laughingwolf said...

good outcome for josh, not so much for your wallet!

Laurie Powers said...

That's a relief about Josh, Charles. It never ends with the kids, huh? Not that I would know.

Oh, and everybody: be grateful that you don't live in California and do something that my best friend did a few months ago: cross over the double yellow line to get out of the car pool lane. Her fine: $450.

sage said...

Good news about your boy... as for your ticket, challenge it and rave against the machine!

LoveRundle said...

I've been so busy that when I saw this post, I felt really behind on some major events. I'm so glad this worked out the way it did. You would be amazed with the cameras out here. There are speed cameras on the freeway that takes your pictures and the cameras are every couple miles so if you got lucky and missed one, you have a good chance of getting caught in the next sixteen that are equally spaced. It's amazing how wild they are with their cameras.

I can't imagine being as busy as you are. I'll keep Lana and you in my warmest thoughts!

David Cranmer said...

I'm glad to hear Josh came through it ok!

Charles Gramlich said...

laughingwolf, yeah, money gets tight at times.

Laurie Powers, the immoral corruption of the legal system is spread far and wide in the US. And they just keep getting away with it.

sage, I will probably challenge it, because I feel like I should make myself known about it.

Christina, it really is a serious invasion of privacy if you ask me. Who knows how that information will end up being used.

David Cranmer, me too. That is quite a relief.

Scott said...


Sorry to hear of your legal seems most of our systems are fucked up, not just health care.

Sounds like you've been busy...hope you get an opportunity to kick back soon...and maybe have a cold one. :)

Steve Malley said...

Your red light ticket reminded me of the 'New Orleans yellow' as we used to call it: Everybody hesitating the first three or four seconds on a green light to give those running the red time to get out of the way!

Perhaps they've gotten a bit overzealous trying to curb this behaviour. Understandable, given that fines collected go straight to the Parish cops, allowing them to fund things like law-enforcement seminars at Aspen ski lodges and Caribbean resorts...

Just saying, is all.

j said...

I am so glad that it was probation for Josh. I know you had to heave a sigh of relief. The money part stinks though.

But the news was good.

Miladysa said...

Pleased to hear that you got the result you were hoping for!

The law is an ass the world over. The sad thing is young kids get into a bit of trouble and if they haven't got the support they need, even sometimes if they have, the system sucks them in and before they know it they're mince meat.

Take care.

Anonymous said...

Charles, the system is unreal with all the fines. The money doesn't usually fit the crime. We don't have those type of tickets yet, but I would fight that one if I were you. Good Luck.

Cloudia said...

Glad Josh is OK.

Aloha, Friend!

Comfort Spiral

Lisa said...

Three IRB proposals! I won't be able to do anything, let alone blog, if I hear from the IRB.

X. Dell said...

Don't envy the IRB responsibilities. And I definitely don't envy the legal ringer you and your family have gone through recently.

The embryo of the American police state, indeed.

Erik Donald France said...

Hey man, again, good luck with all and sundry. Those bills and fines and tickets blow.

SQT said...

Our city government page lists the regulations concerning red light cameras in the city I live in (in California) and here you are only supposed to be ticketed if you enter the intersection after the light turns red. I'm not sure that entering on the yellow-- even if it turns red before you're through-- constitutes running a red light.

You might also look into any complaints on how the camera calibration. They shut down a few cameras here because they were out of sync.

Every little bit helps when you're fighting a ticket. These people have taken quite enough of your money.

Barrie said...

Hopefully, you've gotten all your bad times out of the way! All the stuff with the law sounds ridiculous.

the walking man said...

It is ONLY about the money Charles. Not truth, not justice, not fairness only the money. Criminal Justice is simply another way we have become a profit stream for them determined to work at controlling those of us who need no control to know the difference between right and wrong.

Charles Gramlich said...

Scott, Unfortunately, i tlooks like it'll be mid-December before I really have a break. Gonna be a long month and a half ahead.

Steve Malley, there has been a problem with folks running red lights, and if the cameras had 360 degree views so they could really see what was going on I'd be less upset. But they cameras do in fact lie about the circumstances. And don't get me started furthe on the money grubbing.

jennifer, yes, it's still a great relief. Much better than the alternative.

Miladysa, that's a major problem. People get caught up in the wheels and get ground down when one "human" intervention could do so much to alleviate the problems. but no one within the system remains human.

jodi, my only concern about fighting it is the absolutely corrpution here. Who knows how badly one would get burned trying to defend your rights.

Cloudia, thankee.

Ocean Girl, lol. IRB is not quite the same as the IRS. IRB is internal review board. I'm chair of the committee at Xavier that approves all research involving human participants, even if it's just survey stuff.

X. Dell, I tell you the rights of the citizens are being eroded at every turn. I'm feeling pretty scared of the future. Then last night on John STewart he interviewed a guy who wants to export the American police system overseas. I hope the people have the sense to fight it off.

Erik Donald France, I need to win the lottery just to get back to first base.

SQT, I noticed the day before I got my ticket they were working on the cameras so I don't know what they were doing. The light was definitely not red when I entered the intersection, but it's a four lane highway, which extends the time one is under the light.

Barrie, I'm hoping so. I've got enough work to do through the end of the year without added stress.

Mark, you are exactly right. I began to see it about 10 years ago and it has gotten steadily worse. It's just simply immoral for people to use the legal system as a profit making system. And yet, that is what it has become.

Lana Gramlich said...

In many states the cameras are being challenged & removed. Studies show that they don't really affect safety in any way (for better or worse.) Sorry about the troubles, baby.

Middle Ditch said...

Phew! Sorry to read all that. Poor wallet.

I have been trying for ages to get a comment in but blogger just wouldn't let me. Why? I don't know. But I'm here now and loved reading the last couple of posts.

Show, don't tell. I read the same on Rick's blog and I agree totally.

And lucky Josh!!

Sidney said...

Sorry to hear about all of the travails with legal system. I'm glad things at least worked out with probation.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Wow. First person I've heard to get a camera ticket.
I liked Smith's first book-about the guys who found money.

Charles Gramlich said...

Lana Gramlich, I wish it would happen here. It's clearly motivated by money and not by civilian safety concerns.

Middle Ditch, yes, my wallet is reeling, like a boxer in the 15th round about to go down.

Sidney, yeah, that has been quite a load off my mind.

pattinase (abbott), I was talking to a friend of mine at Xavier who has gotten 3! I heard Smith's first book was really good.

cs harris said...

Thank goodness, Charles. Josh was lucky.

And as much as it drives me nuts the way New Orleans drivers run red lights, there are times when it is the safer option. The cameras just can't catch that.

Rick said...

I'm so glad for you and your family. The legal system could use a bit of an overhaul.

JR's Thumbprints said...

With our sluggish economy you can bet that the police, along with our court systems, are looking for creative ways to raise cash. Glad to hear that Josh survived the ordeal.

G. B. Miller said...

Glad to hear that things worked out in your favor (except for the lightening of your wallet, which is unfortunately the cost of proving yourself right).

Anndi said...

What good news for Josh (and his dad - we never stop worrying about them, do we?)

When faced with what seems like an unending list of things to do, I guess tackling one at a time is the best way.

I didn't watch the new V... I so loved the original, I didn't want it tampered with.

Charles Gramlich said...

Candy, the cameras can't make a judgement about the whole situation. Maybe if they could look 360 degrees. but the worst thing is that the police don't care about the justice or injustice, just about making the money.

Rick, if I'd known what I know now I might have become a laywer.

JR, yep, and we've become their targets.

G, seems like everything is an added expense these days.

Anndi, yes, I doubt I'll watch any more of the new V. They were running the old one last week and I watched some of that again. Satisfied my urge.

Anonymous said...

Good to hear it was not worse than expected for your son.

Too bad about the ticket. I agree with all that has been said about the legal systems profiteering. In UK it is car clampers who are making a mint out of legally parked cars. Fight the ticket - and good luck :)

Charles Gramlich said...

Cinammon, I consider those kinds of folks to be the dregs of society. They are like scavangers, like hyenas circling the body of civilization.

BernardL said...

My Mom always told me bad things come in threes, so keep your head down for a while longer, my friend.

Greg said...

congrats on the probation! amazing how it still costs so much.

i purposefully didn't watch "V." didn't think it could be as good as the original and the comic book (plus too much other stuff going on). but at least they're trying, i guess...?

bandit said...

Noticed your paragraph on red-light cameras and wanted to say that in neighboring Minneapolis, those type of cameras/ arrests were recently thrown out in civil court-that's all.

Charles Gramlich said...

BernardL, I will. There are a couple of things looming on the horizon unfortunately.

Greg Schwartz, I'm liking the show Flash Forward quite a bit more than V.

bandit, I hope that happens here. I just really feel like it's immoral. Thanks for visiting.

Danette Haworth said...

They get you every time.

My sister was in an accident and the police asked her to follow them back to the station. When they made a left into the parking lot, she did, too. Then they gave her another ticket for making that left--it was illegal.

Charles Gramlich said...

Danette, I believe it absolutely. The corruption is out of hand.