Saturday, December 27, 2014

The Littlest Christmas Tree: A Study Of Celery

While cleaning out the fridge, I saw a few young leaves growing from the butt of a cluster of celery that I had neglected to finish. I put it in water and it continued to grow. Today I planted it in the raised bed, close to the house so that it may be sheltered from the worst of winter. I will learn whether we can grow celery here.
And meanwhile, it has been  my Christmas Tree!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas and a Visit to the VA Hospital

New Computer at CLC
Donated by DAV 23
This morning my cats awoke me at their usual time, asking about breakfast. It's a nice way to start any holiday, if only because it assures my welcome at breakfast.
After a leisurely coffee and working a puzzle in the paper, I loaded a carton of books into the car and set out for the VA Hospital. It just felt like an appropriate thing to do, to restock books on a holiday and perhaps greet shut-ins.
Parking was plentiful, but the South Entrance didn't let me get far. A sign said for security reasons to go use the entrance near the ER. This was enough of a walk that I was glad I had brought only one box.
I had intended to go to the PCC on the 2nd floor, since I'd noticed a small play table for children there, and had children's books to drop off. However, the elevator didn't go there - most likely that was shut down for the holiday as well - so I simply stocked the adult books at the cart near the CLC, and was thanked by a visitor.
I then went to the CLC and was happy to see that one of the computers was installed. They used sturdy metal computer desks and secured the unit with a cable. I tinkered with it - of course it was Windows 8, which I find clumsy - but I was able to get to the DAV website and easily. I took a picture to show the DAV chapter that their donation was in use.
Home again, I gardened a bit, mostly moving some of the Red Hot Poker plants that were too close too the sidewalk. The way they reproduced, I'm about ready to offer extras to friends and neighbors (and indeed, yesterday I stuck one inside the fence at Don's house - a harmless prank that may beautiful the area - we'll see.)
I saw the new neighbors were moving into Brian's house, but otherwise didn't see many people in person. This was a quiet holiday, which is not a bad thing, and I am happy to have gotten some things done.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The War On Christmas Started In 1942 With Happy Holidays!

Did you know that the War On Christmas trace its roots to 1942?
Hollywood launched the musical "Holiday Inn" setting Christmas as just another day on the calendar with the Bing Crosby repeatedly saying, not "Merry Christmas", but "Happy Holidays!"
Look at the lyrics and revel in their depravity:

"Happy holidays, happy holidays
While the merry bells keep ringing
May your every wish come true
Happy holiday, happy holiday
May the calendar keep bringing
Happy holidays to you."
There is no mention of Christ, no mention of God or salvation; indeed, the use of the plural shows that Christmas is being lumped together with whatever other holidays the "calendar keeps bringing"!
but wait! the music changes to an ominously sporty jingle ...
"If you're burdened down with trouble
If your nerves are wearin' thin
Park your load down the road
And come to Holiday Inn
 If the traffic noise affects you
Like a squeaky violin
Kick your cares down the stairs
Come to Holiday Inn."
This is just a motel ad! The reason for the season is just to go for a drive and spend some money. Well, at least that is in the proper capitalist spirit, but what comes next?
"If you can't find somebody
Who will set your heart a-whirl
Get in your car and motor to
The home of boy meets girl
 If you're laid-up with a breakdown
Throw away your vitamins
Don't get worse, grab your nurse
And come to Holiday Inn."
OMG! Christmas is for hooking up!?!?!

This would be completely scandalous, except the lyrics explicitly promote heteronormative sexuality. The good news in all this is that the War On Christmas may have started with debauchery, but at least it was straight debauchery!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Monday: Not A Car Accident

Today I was driving in downtown Bellevue when I saw an odd thing: at the intersection of 4th and 104th, two cars were stopped and the drivers were standing outside them talking. At first I thought it was just a fender bender, with the drivers exchanging insurance information, but they seemed quite angry and almost ready to hit each other. They were in the inner lane of the road, blocking the use of that lane; I could have gone around them but I stopped and observed. It looked like a fight was about to break out so I called 911 - at the very least, there had been an accident. I read the license plate of the nearer car and a brief description - I could tell it was an Audi from the four circles design. The car in front was a green taxi; its driver was black and the Audi driver was white.
I saw the two men still shouting but I don't have a positive memory of either one of them taking a punch - they might have shoved each other but I didn't see it. I tried to get a photo but didn't want to mess up the 911 call either.
Then the driver of the car in the back got in his car and drove off, north. The other driver was quite angry and pulled over to talk with some construction workers in yellow vests, on the north west corner of the intersection. I pulled in front of him, still on 911, and suggested to the operator that I get the remaining driver on the phone. I gave my phone to that driver and he started talking.
Soon a motorcycle cop came up, asked if anyone was injured, and when we said no, asked us to pull into the parking lot across the street. He held up traffic while we did so.
He started questioning the driver as I waited, and it was a minute or two before I realized that he thought I was the other driver in the altercation; when he realized I was just a witness, he was about to let me go when the subject came up of the driver's cellphone, which he said the other guy had taken. I had seen the other driver holding a cell phone up and away from the other guy, and just assumed he was video'ing the whole thing, but now the taxi driver was saying it was stolen. The cope said I should wait and he'd get a statement.
Eventually another policeman drove up; the motorcycle cop was on traffic duty, not crime investigation, so he drove off. It was interesting to listen to the cop ask questions; the driver was quite angry and did not know how to give his story in a calm and straightforward way. I don't know whether he was making things up about the other guy throwing him down, or whether he was misunderstanding the questions - either way, it seemed a complicated process. My story was much simpler, since I hadn't seen any actual punching (although it might have happened) and I didn't have any photos; fortunately I gave the license number over the phone so I didn't have to remember.
In retrospect, I could have drive by and done nothing, but the situation didn't look right, and I'm glad I stopped. It was not a car accident, as I had feared, but something in its way even stranger.

On Demand Web #MCLE - 4freeCLE - December 21, 2014

4freeCLE: Free Continuing Legal Education!
December 21, 2014

 Rewinn's Guide to Free CLE for Your State 

How Prominent Is Your Law Office
In Google Maps?

When prospective clients search for a lawyer with your specialty in a particular city or part of a city, Google shows a pack of local map results. Do you want your office to be in those local map results?

Finish Your CLE Before Year End!
On Demand Web Recordings
It's late in the year, and if you need a few more credits, recordings might solve the problem. In most cases, you simply register on the website and start playing recordings from a broad selection of topics.
Please be mindful of the restrictions of your state, especially whether there is an expiration date on the creditworthiness of a recording.
  • Client Dynamics Driving Change in the Legal Profession. By LexisNexis. Credit: AK, AL, AZ, CA, CEU, CO, FL, GA, GU, HI, IL, IN, ME, MO, MS, MT, NC, ND, NJ, NV, NY, OK, PA, RI, TN, UT, VI, VT, WI, WV.
  • Lexvid Free CLE Offer. If your state allows on demand recordings to satisfy CLE requirements, you can almost certainly earn as many as are allowed by registering with Lexvid.
  • Free CLE Offer. Get 1 credit of On-Demand CLE free just for registering with
  • Free CLE Offer. Get 1 credit of On-Demand CLE free just for registering with
  • Recordings intended for only a single state are listed under that state (e.g. Texas, Washington, below).
Webcasts - 2015
CLE State-by-State

  • See: "Recordings" (above).

ArkansasArkansa free CLE
  • See: "Recordings" (above).

Free CLE Arizona
Arizona does not accredit MCLE; its CLE FAQ says you bear responsibility for evaluating these programs.
  • See "Recordings" and "Webcasts" (above).

CaliforniaFree CLE California
See also: "Recordings" (above).

Free CLE - ColoradoColorado
  • See: "Recordings" (above)..

Connecticut has no mandatory CLE requirement. However, you be interested in any program in this newsletter.

  • See: "Recordings" (above).

FloridaFree CLE Florida
See Also: "Recordings" (above).

  • See: "Recordings" (above).

  • See: "Recordings" (above)..

  • See: "Recordings" (above).

IllinoisFree CLE Illinois
See Also: "Recordings" (above).

  • See: "Recordings" (above)..

  • See: "Recordings" (above).

  • See: "Recordings" (above).

  • See: "Recordings" (above).

  • See: "Recordings" (above).

  • See: "Recordings" (above).

Michigan, Maryland + Massachusetts
Michigan, Maryland & Massachusetts have no mandatory CLE requirement; however, you may be interested in any program listed in this publication.

See Also: "Recordings" (above).

  • See: "Recordings" (above).

  • See: "Recordings" (above).

The State Bar of Montana states that Montana honors the approval given by other CLE jurisdictions. Please see the "Recordings" and "Webcasts" (above).

  • See: "Recordings" (above).

  • See: "Recordings" (above).

New Hampshire
  • See: "Recordings" (above).

New Jersey
  • See: "Recordings" (above).

New Mexico
  • See: "Recordings" (above).

Free CLE - New York
New York
See: "Recordings" (above).

North Carolina
  • See: "Recordings" (above)..

North Dakota
  • See: "Recordings" (above).

See also: "Recordings" (above).

  • See: "Recordings" (above)..

  • See: "Recordings" (above).

  • See: "Recordings" (above).

Rhode Island 
  • See: "Recordings" (above).

South Carolina
  • See: "Recordings" (above).

South Dakota 
South Dakota has no mandatory CLE requirement. 
  • See: "Recordings" (above)..

TexasFree CLE - Texas

  • See: "Recordings" (above)..

  • See: "Recordings" (above).

  • See: "Recordings" (above)..

Virgin Islands
  • See: "Recordings" (above).

Washington State 
  • Managing Client Trust Accounts1.5 AV Ethics Credits; available through December 2014. By WSBA.
  • See: "Recordings" (above).                                             
West Virginia
  • See: "Recordings" (above).

  • See: "Recordings" (above).

  • See: "Recordings" (above).

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