Monday, May 30, 2016

Memorial Day 2016

Memorial Day began back in the 1860s as a day to honor the dead and heal the wounds of America’s bloodiest conflict - the Civil War.  Originally called Decoration Day, it was a day set aside to mourn those who died in war, by decorating their graves.

Ceremonies honoring war dead continued throughout the years, encompassing each new war.
In 1968, Congress changed the name from Decoration Day and declared Memorial Day a federal holiday, held on the last Monday in May.

Here are some ideas for commemorating Memorial Day:

1.  Attend a parade.
2.  Place flowers and flags on graves of veterans.
3.  Fly a flag at your house - half staff until noon, then to the top.
4.  Participate in National Moment of Remembrance at 3pm.
5.  Participate with Operation Gratitude or Any Soldier or Books for Soldiers
6.  Visit a veteran's hospital.
7.  Thank those serving when you see them in your community.
8.  And yes, enjoy the day with your family and friends, remembering those who gave their lives so you could live yours freely and without fear.

 Click here and read.  You won't regret it.


Friday, May 27, 2016

MURDER IS BINDING by Lorna Barrett [Book recommendation]

Book obtained from: Library New Books shelf, Audio book

Description: Tricia Miles, a city slicker, moves to a small town and opens a book store selling mystery books.  The town is a tourist stop for book lovers, with a LOT of specialty bookstores.  This is the first book in a series.

Plot:  Tricia has landlord troubles, sister troubles, and love life troubles.  One day Tricia finds Doris, her business neighbor and the resident curmudgeon, dead in her cook book store.  The Sheriff believes Tricia killed Doris and that she's the town jinx.  Tricia has to clear her good name.

Characterization: Some of the minor characters were a little flat, but the major characters [Tricia, her sister, and her employees] were reasonably well developed and had their own personalities.

Setting: Stoneham, New Hampshire. This is the first book I've ever read from that area of the country.  The descriptions were good, I was able to picture every scene without it being over-described.

Other:  The who-done-it kept me guessing, and guessing wrong, until the end.  Very well done.

Overall: A good, light mystery.  The audio book is read by Cassandra Campbell, who read it well with different voices for the different characters altho some did sound very similar.

Grade: B+

Monday, May 23, 2016

Score one for the average citizen!

In this instance, the average citizen was also, coincidentally I'm sure, a lawyer from Indiana.  He was unlucky enough to receive a parking ticket.  Haven't we all been there?
The ticket gave him seven days to pay the $20 fine.  He mailed the check on day six.

The city, not appreciating the fact someone actually paid a parking ticket in the first place, received the payment AFTER day seven, so in its infinite wisdom power, charged Joe Average Citizen a $150 late fee, deciding that payment is made when it's received, not when it's mailed.

Here's what the Court of Appeal of Indiana said:

“As an issue of first impression, we hold that payment is made on a parking ticket when the payor deposits the payment in the mail,” Judge Baker wrote. “The issue is too important to allow the city to determine for itself when it believes a payment was made: Any delay on the city’s end could result in a 12,400 percent increase in the fine assessed for a parking violation.”

Score one for the average citizen in Indiana!

Friday, May 20, 2016

TRICKY TWENTY-TWO by Janet Evanovich [Book recommendation]

Book obtained from: Library New Books shelf, Audio book

Description: Stephanie Plum, the protagonist, is an inept but very lucky bounty-hunter. She also moonlights for her friend Ranger, a security expert and also bounty-hunter. In this 22nd book in the series, she's searching for a fraternity member who was arrested for beating up the dean of students at Kiltman College, and missed his court date.

Plot: Stephanie is searching for a fraternity brother, who is apparently “the supreme exalted zookeeper” [leader] of an Animal House type fraternity. A secondary story line intersects, with a terrorism angle.  The plot is somewhat improbable, but it does hang together.  One of the things I really like about Janet Evanovich is she can weave together several seemingly-unrelated plots which all come together at the end.

Characterization: The characters are reasonably well developed and had their own personalities.  Stephanie is still inept, extremely lucky, and very funny.  She really hasn't changed over 22 books, which is disappointing to many readers but I still find her funny.  The two main male characters, Morelli and Ranger, don't have much role in this book.  Lula and Stephanie's mother have larger roles, which is a nice change.

Setting: Trenton, New Jersey. The descriptions were good, I was able to picture every scene without it being over-described.

Other: There are several “facts” in this book which are inconsistent with “facts” from previous books [like the description of Ranger's headquarters], which makes me wonder if Evanovich either didn't write this book, or is having memory issues.  They don't detract from the story if you haven't read others in the series, but for fans like me who have read all the books, it did throw me out of the story, which was disappointing.  Some of the scenes are almost identical to scenes from previous books, just a few changes but definitely recognizable.  For example, this is at least the second book which begins with a lady threatening to jump from a high location.

Overall: A good, light mystery. Funny.  The audio book is read by Lorelei King and she's awesome, a unique and appropriate voice for each character. 
This book is significantly shorter than the other books in this series.
Grade: B-

Monday, May 16, 2016

Why Subway no longer offers $5 footlong sandwiches

The advertisements now say the Subway Footlong Sandwich is $6.

The company says its operating costs have increased, which is no doubt true, for more reasons than at first you might suspect.

Subway now needs to measure its sandwich bread.

USA Today - Subway agrees to measure sandwich bread to settle lawsuit

Several lawsuits, which began in New Jersey and were consolidated, alleged that Subway's "Footlong Sandwich" was usually only 11 inches long. Therefore, Subway was guilty of false advertising and/or cheating its customers.  Nevermind that the bread dough was standardized, so if the loaf was shorter than 12 inches long, it would be wider and/or thicker than normal.  The weight of the bread was consistent.

Depending on which news report you read, the ten named Plaintiffs received either $500 or $1000 each, for their "loss" of sandwich length and inconvenience.  Everyone else who ate at Subway during the time period in question gets, drumroll, A GUARANTEE THAT IN THE FUTURE THEIR SANDWICH WILL ACTUALLY BE A FOOT LONG.

And those hard-working lawyers who fought diligently for their clients, ensuring they actually received a FOOT LONG SANDWICH at Subway when that's what they ordered, received $525,000.

I'm not sure how many lawyers had to split that bounty, but I'm sure not one of them.

I practice in the wrong area of law...........

Monday, May 9, 2016

A to Z Challenge 2016 Reflections

Today is the day we report on our A to Z experience.
Last year, I signed up approximately 3 days before the challenge started, and I wrote my posts as they came due [this was nightmare-ish].  This year I signed up in January and wrote my posts in advance.  They were finished in March.  This made my experience MUCH easier, altho I still didn't have as much time as I wanted for visiting the other A to Z bloggers.

Here's a list of the blogs I enjoyed the most for this challenge:

KD James wrote a 40,000 word story, and it's awesome

John Frain wrote amazing 6-sentence stories

Colin Smith wrote 100-word flash stories based on Paul McCartney songs

Julie Weathers wrote information on the Civil War and included excerpts of her novel-in-progress

Kate Larkindale with New Zealand Films

K.Ridwyn with Lessons from God's Metaphors, complete with needlework

EM Goldsmith with Musings and Short Stories

Life in Dogs wrote on the A to Z of Dog Rescue

Insecure Writer's Support Group wrote on Writing Resources

Stats from my own blog:

Letters with more than 50 views:
B, E, F, G, N

Countries with the most views:
USA, Russia, Australia

2015  Legal Definitions
2016  Military Definitions
2017  ??  [If you have a suggestion, please post it in the comments]

Thank you all for visiting, and congratulations to all my fellow A to Z Challenge bloggers!

Monday, May 2, 2016

A pause to rest

The AtoZ Challenge for the month of April is over!  I hope you enjoyed reading my military definitions.

Congrats to all of my AtoZ co-laborers.  We made it!

My AtoZ Reflections will be posted on Monday May 9.

This blog will resume its regularly scheduled programming on May 16.

Thanks for your patience.