California county legalizes crime

Scary stuff coming out of California. The District Attorney of Contra Costa County (located just east of San Francisco) has announced that his office will stop prosecuting many misdemeanor crimes including assault, theft, and burglary. He will also stop prosecuting drug felonies involving “small” amounts of certain narcotics.

One shop owner who has had problems with theft summed it up correctly, “”If [criminals] know they’re not going to be prosecuted, there’s going to be a lot more shoplifting.”

Now I think this announcement is the DA’s attempt at playing hardball with the county supervisors for cutting his budget. I bet it will be effective. The public outrage at the DA for effectively legalizing a number of crimes will likely push the county supervisors to give him what he wants – an increased budget.

Even if the county supervisors reconsider, expect a jump in crime there. Good luck shop owners and home owners in California’s Contra Costa County. Your DA just declared open season on your property and safety.

(Hat tip: The Anchoress)

Just checkin

So Honeybun and Bailey got home Sunday night after visiting my in-laws for a couple of weeks. I was helping unpack and took some things downstairs to put away. Of course Bailey followed me. While I was putting things away, she climbed onto the desk chair in front of the computer. The computer was off, but she was pushing buttons on the keyboard like she was using it.

A minute or so into it, Bailey announced, “Just checkin.”

I asked, “What are you checking?”

In that little 2-year old, matter-of-fact voice she said, “just checkin email.” Cracked me up.

Sign of the times. Email was not known when I was her age. I wonder if that means Honeybun and I check it too often.

Anyway, I’m glad they are back. Strange how those little moments make life worth living. Like Merlin Mann said the other day, “Weird part about being a parent isn’t that I’m living all the clich├ęs I ever hated; I’m just startled by how much I’m enjoying them.”

Master’s week

No, I’m not referring to Angel Cabrera’s win last Sunday at the Masters tournament at Augusta. I’m talking about me. On Tuesday of this week, I finished (and passed) my comprehensive exams. That means I have officially completed all the requirements for my Master of Science in Technical Communication.

Wow, it seems like only 4 1/2 years ago that I started this thing. I must say, working full time and having a family on top of going to school is…um…challenging.

Now on to the next challenge, trying to change careers to use it. I’m also looking forward to being able to do some of the things I didn’t have time for when I was going to school. I wonder if it is too late to jump on that LOLcat bandwagon?

An adoption story

My friend (and former boss) David and his family were featured on a local news station in a story about adoption. Here is the video. You’ll have to watch a 15 second ad to see it, but it’s worth the time.

Last November, my family and I had the honor of attending the final adoption hearing for their son Luke where the legal proceedings were completed.

David and I are polar opposites in political views. We used to entertain coworkers by our intense debates. It speaks to his integrity that I, as his subordinate, never had to be concerned with retaliation for my differing views. Even professionally, I could tell him where I disagreed with him. One of the marks of a good manager is knowing that disagreement alone is not a threat to authority. David understands that.

David and I got along well because neither of us took disagreement with our opinion personally. We also have something even more important in than politics in common, our love of family and understanding of priorities. Family comes first. Work is a means to that end.

When I worked for him, David put in his 40 hours a week but rarely more than that. Don’t get me wrong, that was not because he was averse work. I think he may have called in sick two days in the 5 years I worked for him. After work, he would spend his non-work time with or doing things for his family. There were a number of times that he would finish his work day, then go do more hours of volunteer work to raise money for his son’s hockey league.

One thing the news story doesn’t show is the difficulty in bringing an adopted child into the home. I know that David and Shannon’s road was not all rainbows and sunshine while expanding their family. In spite of some difficult times, I think they would say the rewards are worth the effort.

My own desire for another child (or children?) has grown, especially in the last few months. I am beginning to accept that Bailey is likely to be our only one – biologically anyway. Honeybun and I have talked briefly about adoption. Anyway, we understand it to be an possibility. David and Shannon’s example encourages me to think more seriously about it. I would like Bailey to be a bit older and I want to get my post-graduate career in place first, but it is something I want to pursue.

David and Shannon are doing God’s work. I pray He blesses them for it. I think He has.

Alice Nelson, Rest in peace

Alice was born on July 10, 1946 to John and Violet Ward. She died this morning, April 9, 2009. She is survived by her husband, Tom Nelson, and two brothers, James Ward and John Ward. She was proceeded in death by her parents, a brother Thomas Ward, and her sister Carolyn Whitaker.

Alice was my aunt. She was the kind of person that just made you feel better when you were around her. The world is a dimmer place with her not being it.

The truth will set you free

It’s been years since I worked in a restaurant and I no longer feel obligated to secrecy. So here is the truth.

Today’s chicken casserole is yesterday’s leftover fried chicken. And you do not want to see what gets filtered out of the fryer.

Next week: how a magician cuts a woman in half…