Friday, September 30, 2011

Rainbows! Puppies! Marriage!

Hey cats & kittens, it's time to rename the dusty ol' blog.  Can't really cling to the past because the future's coming like a freight train.  I'm getting married in two weeks pretty darn soon (remember:  if you're looking to thieve my junk, the wedding is in June 2014--you might want to write that down) and some light cleaning is in order.

I won't pretend for even a moment that Amanda's influence on my life is gone.  It will never be gone.  I spent 14.5 years with her and we produced one amazing little guy, but daggone am I excited about the next phase of my life.

K is beautiful, intelligent, funny, dorky, nerdy, and perfect.  Alastair adores her almost as much as I (and has frequently told me that he'll marry her too, once he grows up).

People have been asking me if I'm nervous.  I'm not.  I'd be a fool to be blithely walking into any commitment without fully vetting my fiancee, and we're incredibly compatible.  The minister performing the ceremony says he's never (in over 20 years) seen a couple so compatible--at least from our standardized couples' test scores.  She may choose to believe it has nothing to do with us both being Year-of-the-Rabbit Virgos, but I know what's what.

Nor am I sad to end my bachelorhood.  Dating is horrible.  Everyone has games and walls and baggage, or worse.  K brings none of that.  Since the majority of our relationship has been from a 140 mile distance, we've had to be extremely open and honest.  And she's astonished me every step of the way.

I love you, K, and I'm so ready to be your husband.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

I, Criminal Again!

Remember this?  Way back when...?  Well I went and got all criminalistic again.  Back in July, I was coming back to work from lunch when I apparently decided I absolutely needed some trifle from Target.  Taking an exit I'd not used in many moons, I found myself pulling up to what looked like a yield, stopping (or maybe not, who knows any more--it was July forgodsake), and pulling out to the flashing of blue lights.  Yay me! I'd been stopped for running a stop sign!

I of course told the cop I was certain I'd stopped, and he told me he was certain I hadn't, but that it wasn't his job to argue with me.  I got a citation and a court-date of last Friday.

It rattled me for a number of reasons.  One was that I was absolutely certain I'd seen a yield sign.  Two was that I felt like I remembered there being a stop sign where I thought I'd stopped.  Three was that I try not to do things to fall afoul of the law.

So later that day I went back to the scene of my murderous spree of gang violence traffic citation and took lots of pretty pictures.  I then talked to another cop on the scene who remembered the intersection the way I had before I'd been caught.  He was just as surprised as I'd been that the only visible stop sign in the intersection had been replaced by--not one, but 8 smaller yield signs for a new pedestrian crosswalk.  Of course, for as much as he agreed that the new traffic pattern was confusing and probably not proper, he refused to be a part of my court case and told me that my beef was with Officer Mason, who'd written the ticket.  Great, thanks.

So I took the pics I'd snapped of the intersection, compared them to Google's street-view pics, and determined my memory had been impeccable. Yay memory!  Then I looked at some satellite pics and realized that, based on where the old stop sign had been, there could not have been any way for Officer Mason to see me stop where I believe I had, which technically was still the only safe place to stop in the whole intersection.

Armed with my evidence, I prepared myself for the impending date with the Richmond Court system.  And then they took away the only remaining stop sign and changed the whole intersection to a yield.  I took pics of that, too, and added them to my arsenal of defense materials.  I printed my spotless driving record, I wore a suit, and I drank all the coffee.  I was ready.

When I got there, people began mistaking me for an attorney. Apparently most people don't take traffic court seriously.  When the time came for my case to be heard, I approached the bench with my packet of glossy 8x10's in hand.  I greeted the judge with a smile (which was returned--she was in a good mood!), and the DA spoke up.  I'll paraphrase...

Your honor, the intersection in question has since been changed from a stop sign to a yield sign, which is what I'm guessing Mr. Amos has pictures of there...  In the interest of fairness, we're asking for null process in the charges against him and the 5 other people in here for same offense.

I had no idea what that meant, but it sounded good.  Then the judge smiled at me and said, "Have a nice day, Mr. Amos."  I even turned to Officer Mason and the DA and told them to have a nice day on my way out.  I was honestly a little disappointed I'd not even gotten to open my bag of pics.

But it occurred to me later:  he'd busted a minimum of 6 people in there at the same intersection for running the same invisible stop sign.  And that was just the people who'd shown up!  How many just sent in a check?  And then I looked up 'null process'.  It's not the same as 'case dismissed' at all.  It just means that the DA isn't interested in pursuing the charges at this time.  Granted it'll likely never come up again, but if I get pinched for speeding tomorrow, this null process ticket could be used against me.

But in the end, I still walked away from court with only a Kinko's fee for printing 6 8x10's, and that ain't bad.
BTW--for those who don't know, I'm getting married soon.  I'd go into further details, but I'm told thieves would just love to hear about our honeymoon plans, so you'll all just have to wait for details until after the wedding (which for you criminals out there is expected to take place some time in June 2014).