Friday, March 31, 2017

Tech Overload

I went to take our mail into Del's office the other day to put on his desk.
This is what I found.
Yes, he IS in the process of transferring files and info from one computer to another, and two of the others he IS getting rid of - But this 'in-between' stage must have him overwhelmed.
No wonder he doesn't sleep well at night.

"Are Del's Eyes Green?"

I have to add this, just because I found it sooo funny.
A friend of mine added this to my facebook recently and expressed how lucky she felt to have such a wonderful Bishop.
The non member husband of another one of my friends added this,
"Are Del's Eyes Green?  I hadn't noticed".
Depiction is pretty accurate.
Oh...and yes.  Del's eyes just happen to be green.

Down One Chicken, Up a Turkey

Yes, we still have chickens, even though we have been down to nine from the original 20, for the past 6 months.  Well, thought we had maybe lost a chicken the other day to a neighborhood dog, but he wasn't sure until the next morning, when he sent me this picture with the following snip - 'Yup, we're down one chicken.  But we're up a turkey!!'
He found this turkey running through the backyard just at the time he was counting how many chickens we had left.
Coincidental?  I think not.
And not a very fair trade either...

Guilty - 25 years to Life

I was called to jury duty.

Chosen to be one of the 12 on a jury for a drunk driving case.

It was harder than I thought it would be.  It wasn't 'black and white' like I thought it should be.  And it was a man's life in my hands.  The burden was heavier than I imagined.  And it was some of the longest and most emotional 5 days I have experienced.
He was a 41 yr old black man.  Proven drunk by the three standards of intoxication we were taught - mentally impaired, physically impaired and blood alcohol level was two times over the limit. And they wanted us to find the fact that his intoxication was the cause of the accident - if not for his state of intoxication, the accident wouldn't have happened.  But then when the defense brings up 8 other serious accidents in the same dangerous intersection, none of which had alcohol involved, what was the cause of THEIR accidents??? They were called, mistakes, misjudgements, carelessness.  Well, what's to say that that wasn't the reason for my defendant too - why did it have to be because of the alcohol?  Along with one other juror, I was a dissenting vote for hours.  I couldn't say for 100% that it was because he was drunk - especially when the injured victim was also partially at fault because of speeding.  But because he was one drunk, HE was the one charged.  She was injured.
I finally consented - never really feeling content with the decision.
We returned to the courtroom and gave the verdict - then we were presented with additional information about the defendant that we were to consider in the 'punishment' phase.  he had been to prison twice before.  First, for attempted murder - at age 17, pointed a gun at a gang that was harrassing him, and shot a kid in the foot.  He served 8 years in prison.  When out on parole, he was found in possession of a fire arm and cocaine - and was sent to prison again, this time for 6 years.
Texas law says - first offense, sentence is 2-10 years.  Second offense is 10-20 years.  Third offense?  Twenty five - 99 years or life.  That was basically us sentencing him to life - he's 41 already and in terrible health.  Giving him 25 years is still basically a life sentence for him.  We spent 4 hours debating the sentence.  So intense listening to those who never wanted him out of prison again to those who felt 25 years for drunk driving was excessive, but taken out of our hands because of the 25 yr mandate. We finally agreed to the 25 years.
When the judge read the sentence outloud, the defendant dropped his head and his mother cried in the courtroom.  I left the moment the judge dismissed us from the courtroom.
His life had been hard from the beginning.  No father in the picture.  Step father had abused him and his mother and brother.  He lived in a very poor area of town and struggled his whole life.  Stupid choices changed his life forever - and when out of prison, he couldn't find a job or get a break because of his history.  He was getting better healthcare and food being in prison than OUT of prison - but IN prison nonetheless.
And that is, most likely, where he will die.
Because that's what I decided.

The Trip of a Lifetime - Leg 2 - LONDON ENGLAND

We left Paris Sunday afternoon and arrived in London at Heathrow Airport around 6:00 p.m.  This was customs and the passport checkline.  Hundreds of people...but things went fairly quickly.

We had to take the Heathrow Express, that would take us to London very quickly.

And this is the famous 'Underground' system.  The train takes you all over the country.

We arrived at our Five Star Hotel that Del's company was keeping us in.  We unpacked and then went to dinner down in the restaurant of the hotel.  There were WAY too many utencils for this country girl.  I ended up with two forks, one knife and a spoon that I never touched.

During our 8 day stay, Del had this yummy raspberry dessert 5 times.  Needless to say, he loved it.

Big Ben.  I cried again.  Couldn't believe I was actually looking at it.  It was slightly rainy, but we knew most of our days would be like that.

In front Of Westminster Abbey, where William and Kate were married.

The famous double decker buses - and I LOVED the advertisement on the side of the bus, even though it was for  show that is is mockery of the church.

One of the carriages you ride on what is famously called 'The Eye'.

The view of Big Ben and Parliament as seen from 'The Eye'.  One of my favorite pictures I took.

The Eye, right after we had gotten off.

A 'local', that I found interesting while riding the train.  He caught me watching him.

The view from one end of the train to three cars down.

Guard at the front of the Prime Ministers home.

Where the Prime Minister lives.

Guards at the gate.

Super Bliss!!!

Buckingham Palace

My selfie in front of Grand mum's house.  According to the flag on top, she is home.

Statue of Queen Victoria in front of the Palace.

Wellington Arch

The Duke

Dinner at a local 'pub'.

I finally had the best 'fish and chips' ever.

In the Underground.  I found performers like this all over - and they are good.

Her Majesty's Theater, where Phantom of the Opera was showing.

A performer at Trafalgar Square

A typical English 'chap'.

Found myself a local Brit, willing to have a photo with me.

Yup - Del's golden find in London.

It doesn't look like a tower at all.  But this is the Tower of London.

Loved these officials.

Our tour guide.  Humorous and very interesting.

The building where the prisoners were held before they were beheaded.  Three of King Henry the 8th's wives were beheaded here.  

A guard in front of the building where the crown jewels are held.

No pictures allowed inside, but they were spectacular - fascinating - gorgeous.  And so regal.

We went into see the royal armory  - included weapons of war, both ancient and modern.  

We loved every inch of it.

A nice restaurant where we ate the last night in London. These domes are for those who want to eat outside, even when it's raining.

We found Ice Cream.

Prince Albert's pub.

And our final tourist sight was St Paul's Cathedral, where Prince Charles and Lady Diana were married.  We were able to listen to the young boys London choir and hear a sermon.  Very fascinating.  I loved it.

Our last night, I took this picture.  For the first two days in London, I thought this was London Bridge - only to find out a few days later, that it's actually called 'Tower Bridge.  The London Bridge is really not spectacular at all.

I saw this at the London Heathrow Airport as we were walking to our gate.  I felt it wrapped up the emotion I was feeling as we walked to board our plane taking us from a dream I never felt I would have come true.