A Short Lived Engagement

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This week and next week will be spent in the Jury Room at Pierce County Courthouse. It is my first experience as a Juror and though I didn’t know what to expect, I must say that I am enjoying it. However, I did not realize that part of my heart would be broken.

There is a whole lot of waiting and if you are assigned to a case, a ton of responsibility. Having sat here for a couple of days, I can say that there is much more to the judicial process than meets the eye. Pierce County hears over 170,000 cases per year. Wow! That is a lot of cases.

Everyone sits in a large room. On Monday, when we came in, there were over 220 people so they let 30 go home. Tuesday, most everyone was busy getting assigned to a particular court room to be interviewed, and then jury selection.

There are three steps of jury service which they claim to be easy to remember. They are right. You are either “single” (waiting to be assigned to a case), “engaged” (assigned to a court case), or “married” (seated on a jury panel to deliberate on an actual case.

So basically, you’ve got a room full of a whole lot of single people, waiting to get engaged, some hoping to get married, others hoping they don’t…each having no idea whether or not you will get engaged, who you are going to get engaged to, or whether or not you will get married.

As for myself. I got engaged on the first day, but got dumped on the second. Will I get engaged again? Probably. Will I get dumped again? Probably…but maybe not. I might go ahead and get married. But I’m not involved in the decision.

I must admit, I have been a bit surprised by the sense of rejection when I got dumped. They assure us to not take it personally…but how can you not. I have never broken off an engagement before, let alone had someone break it off with me…I’ve just never had my heart broken in that way.

Do You Hate Cats?

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Hate is a strong word and while I don’t necessarily “hate” cats I am certainly not what you would call a “cat lover”.

We have a cat named Harvey. Harvey is a female cat. She has a male name because when we got her we were told she was a male. Embarrassedly, we didn’t find out she was a she until we took her to the vet to have him neutered only to find out the term for female cats is “spayed”.

Harvey and I have what I would call a love hate relationship. He fairly regularly wakes me up at 4:30 in the morning because he wants to go outside. This morning he went outside woke me up at the regular time, crawled in through the upstairs window and at 4:45 in the morning, woke me up again. Thinking he wanted to go outside again, I took him downstairs only to find out that he woke me up because he was hungry.

I remember telling my grandmother one day, “The only thing cats are good for is tossing them in the air and watching them always land on their feet.” Her response stopped me in my tracks, “And you call yourself a Christian.”

I confessed to my wife and daughter the other day that I kicked Harvey, at 4:30 in the morning. It wasn’t a hard kick, like kicking him across the room or anything like that, but it was a kick none the less. I felt bad…kind of.

This morning my daughter shares a verse out of Proverbs with me. I love the Book of Proverbs because it is written by the wisest man to have every lived. Obviously my actions show that I am not wise at all.

Proverbs 12:10
A righteous man regards the life of his animal, But the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.

Now why did she have to go and do that? Now I have to be nice to Harvey.

I know that some of you may be thinking by this picture, “How can you possibly dislike such an adorable creature?” Let Harvey spend a couple of nights at your house and at around 4:30 in the morning, you will understand.

“Adios Mr. Santitas!”

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I first came upon eating Santitas corn chips because you could get a 16 oz (one pound) bag for less than $2.00. They were good chips and they were less expensive than most on the market, not to mention that their “whole to crushed chips” ratio was very strong (though I never actually counted them).

Unfortunately, as is often the case (especially now-a-days) the Frito Lay company, who makes Santitas, decided they weren’t making enough money. So they just reduced the number of chips and went to a 14 oz bag for the same price (the air they pump into the bag was still free). If I remember correctly, they also introduced a two pound bag which they called a “Family Size” bag for just under $4.00. I always felt victorious when I bought that bag, somehow beating the system, though I now know that I was falling right into their sinister marketing scheme.

In time, they still must not have been making enough money so they raised the 14 oz price to $2.00, with $”2.00″ conspicuously stamped on the bag so you knew you were getting the chips for less than their competitors.

Tragically, their greed got the best of them, and their latest marketing strategy is what you see in the photo above. Their strategy must have gone something like this: “Let’s throw a little Spanish at them ‘Bolsa and Grande’ (which mean ‘Bag and Large’), charge them more than we ever have, and throw them a bone by going back to giving them a 16 oz bag. They will never know the difference!”

But that is where they would be wrong, because this is one “chip eater” who is on to you Mr. Santitas, and if you think I won’t make a difference, just start watching your bottom line. If you think a little Español (Spanish) is going to throw me off, you’ve got another thing coming. I am on to your shifty marketing schemes. So here is a little Spanish back at ya…”Adios!”