Friday, February 26, 2010

The Celebration Continues.......

Denny and Emma were invited to a CNY celebration with some friends in Davis County, and all of the kids were lined up (as near as possible) on a big couch for a photo op. Em loves that lens! They sure had a good time.

The following Saturday the three of us ventured out on the Trax to a city sponsored CNY event at the downtown library. Since it is located right off of a station, we decided to go rail. There is always the potential of a good blog story when you mingle with fellow Trax trekkers.

To get to the library, we had to make one quick train change by Gallivan Plaza, so we took advantage and slipped into a place Denny and I frequented when we lived downtown a few years ago. It is called Lamb's Grill and has been around for over 100 years. Good old fashioned service and food, and it feels homey just to walk inside. Emma was hungry and actually ate some food prior to entering "toddler mode."
It's nice to go out once in a while to a nice place as Em gets a little older. She seemed to enjoy herself. But once the camera came out, she had to take a few shots of her own. The most notable
is the one above, when she slipped under the table for a self portrait. The waitress came over and mentioned she noticed some flashes coming from underneath the linen-covered table. At least she was quiet, and wasn't running all over the place. All in all, it was a great experience.
We caught the next train for the library and picked our way through the diverse gathering of humanity that hangs out at a public library. Is it me, or has public access to the internet in libraries drawn creepier dudes out of the shallow end of the gene pool?

Anywho, they had some fun things for kids to do, like make paper dragons, and Chinese character drawing as shown above. I believe he is writing "Bullwinkle is a dope," but I could be wrong. We hung out for a while until the party died down.
Here is Em waiting for the train back, showing off her handy work.

It was a fun afternoon. Whenever Emma gets on a train, somebody always offers her something. This day it was Milk Duds. I thought the only time anybody bought Milk Duds was Halloween. Crazy. OK then.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Leap into the Year of the Tiger

Tell me...are you sensitive, given to deep thinking, capable of great love? Bold and adventurous? Bestowed with initiative and charm? Perhaps you're extremely short-tempered or come into conflict with older people or those in authority (like Woody Allen in Annie Hall when he tears up his traffic ticket in front of a policeman and says, "I have a terrific problem with authority.") If so...according to the obscure website from which I gleaned this may have been born in the YEAR OF THE TIGER! Were you born in 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, or 2010? (If you say 2010, I'll be impressed.) Am I starting to sound like a placemat at a Chinese diner? If you were born in one of those auspicious years, indeed you ARE a TIGER!

It's Chinese New Year today. Xin Nian Yu Kuai! Last year was the year of the Ox. Next year's the Rabbit. Emma's a rooster, I'm a boar, and Joe's a sheep. Apparently some animals get along better than others. Happily, boars and sheeps mesh well. According to another obscure website, boars and sheep have "a good comprehension of each other. Will relate very well in marriage or partnership. A compatible match." A better match than, for example, the boar and the snake, which yield "deep animosities and lasting conflicts." Whew. Safely matched.

We dined tonight at the home of our dear old friends Kris and Michelle. I'd been pining lately to see's been some time. I was also lamenting (a couple days ago) that I had nothing especially festive planned for the New Year. Then Kris invited us over for CHINESE NEW YEAR and two laments were solved! It was so much fun. K&M have a Chinese student living with them and he and another Chinese friend made delicious native dishes for us, including tender potsticker dumplings that were oh so very scrumptious. Below is a picture of ShiZhang (also known as "Poem," which is what Shi means in Mandarin) and LiQin (also known as Lizzie). Poem is getting his master's in parks, recreation and tourism at the U, and Lizzy is working on her doctorate in biomedical informatics. They were so fun to talk to and took an interest in Emma.

Emma wore her finery to church today to celebrate New Year's/Valentine's.

And last Sunday Emma celebrated her 4th Super Bowl rib fest at Uncle Matt and Aunt Erin's. Here's the new rundown of rib-eating photos, from 2007 to 2010. Last week's fest was the first year Emma hasn't been in a booster even though her 2010 head is at the 2009 level against the chair, that's a sans-booster level. If you follow...

Hope your new year is tigerrific!

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Juror Number 18 You are Dismissed

Blind Justice Lady

I had the civil duty/opportunity to be on jury duty this week. You talk about your interesting experience. There were fifty of us that made up the jury pool (yes, it was the shallow end of the pool). We all showed up early on a Monday morning ready to face the new week, and all of the challenges ahead!

The first thing we did was wait. For about 1/2 hour. We were then shown a VHS tape on the joy of being a juror. I'm not saying the film was old, but the building they filmed it in was torn down in the late 80's. The only thing that would have been better would have been if they had interviewed Judge Ritter (perhaps a little too inside).

After the film, we were given a break. Then we came back to some snacks. Water, Peach Mango juice, and some of those Quaker Oats chewy granola bars. See the basket being passed around below:
Sorry about the fuzzy image, but I sensed that I would have polluted the whole pool if anybody got a whiff that they were going to be blogged about, complete with pictures.

Turns out that I was juror 18, and that after all of the preliminary legal culling, one of 25 contestants. The need was for four jurors, so I felt my odds were pretty good to get out by noon. The case before us was about some old scruffy looking guy in a new shirt who had been pulled over for DUI, but apparently wasn't behind the wheel when the cops approached. Must have been some shenanigans going on between the time they lit him up and had the window rolled down. Although he looked to be no stranger to a bottle, we were advised that looks have no bearing on the case.

All twenty five of us were questioned on our views of driving impaired, if we ourselves had ever been pulled over for DUI (some had), or had any relatives affected by a drunk driver (many had). There were many questions about each juror's relationships with law enforcement personnel and various officers of the court. I think that after mentioning a son who is a policeman, a father and sister who are attorneys, and my wife's uncle who is a judge on the 10th Circuit Court in Denver, that I may have overplayed my hand.

Some time during the four hour process, in between the questions, two nice ladies showed up with little brown envelopes with $18.50 in cash for each of us. Number 17 and I discussed the possibility of taking our reward and buying the defendant a drink and talking about the case.

Based on all of the questions asked and the respective responses, four jurors were chosen, none of which were numbers 17, 18, or number 19 who spent the whole morning drinking Mt Dew and eating Planters treats. I heartily recommend the experience to anybody, if for no other reason than to compare yourselves to a random eclectic gathering of concerned citizens. OK then.