Chavis Carter, Suicide? I Think Not!

First, I recommend that you read this story from the New York Times: The Curious Case of Chavis Carter.

Chavis Carter was with two other people in a car when police were called to check into their suspicious behavior. Chavis was questioned, given a quick search and placed into the backseat of a police car without handcuffs while the other two were questioned. During the initial search, police recovered what they estimated to be about $10.00 worth of pot on him and nothing else. After finding that Chavis had outstanding warrants, he was removed from the police car, searched again, handcuffed behind his back and returned to the backseat of the police car. In the second search nothing more was recovered. After the scene was cleared and the arresting officer returned to his vehicle, he noticed that something wasn’t right with Chavis. According to those on the scene, a left handed Chavis, shot himself in the right temple with a gun that had been reported stolen a month earlier, while handcuffed behind his back and locked inside a police car.

I can’t think of any scenario where this might even be remotely possible. Even if it were possible, we are expected to believe that the officer found marijuana on him during the first search and didn’t find a gun. The second search also did not recover the gun. Something is terribly wrong with this whole thing.

I don’t live very far from where this happened and our local news did a followup on this story last night. They reported that the gun powder residue was not tested because it was so obvious that this was a suicide, there was no crime committed and therefore, no crime scene to investigate. Excuse me! I would call this a mysterious death at the very least and I would think, it would be deemed a crime scene until the medical examiner ruled it differently.

I will be interested to see if this case is swept under the rug. I think the average person would be surprised how often things like this happen and are never dealt with. There are so many impossibilities and unanswered questions here.


Fun With Spam

Who doesn’t get a ton of spam in their inbox? I don’t know of anyone! Every morning I grab a cup of coffee and sit down in my office to go through the email that has flooded my inbox overnight and it’s always the same story…247 incoming and not one REAL email from someone I know or someone who has legitimate business with me. It gets old. It gets real old, but since I’m trying to be more positive these days, I thought I should take these lemons and try to make some lemonade.

I started with the email from George. George says he can teach me “another language” in 10 days! Yes, that’s right, 10 days! So after digging a little bit, I figured out how to email George directly. Turns out, George isn’t George at all! I know, shocker! George signed “his” first reply to me as “Juliana.” So, I expressed my interest to Juliana in learning another language. She replied to confirm that English was in fact my language of choice. I responded that it is not my language of choice, it’s just what my parents taught me as a child and that I already know English so there’s no point in wasting 10 days beating a dead horse. Portuguese is actually my language of choice but I don’t know how to speak it and I thought maybe she could help me out with that. She proceeded to explain to me that she doesn’t know Portuguese but she does know Spanish and if that were to be my language of choice, she would be glad to teach me for a fee. So, I explained that just as she had mistaken my language of choice for English, others could mistake it for Spanish if I learn Spanish and then where would I be? I would still be without my language of choice which is Portuguese! She then, agreed to teach me Portuguese. I was very confused by this! How can she teach me Portuguese if she doesn’t know Portuguese? I was then expected to believe that if I paid my fee 10 days in advance, she would use that money to compensate her own tutor and learn Portuguese in 10 days. Then in turn she would teach it to me. Awesome!! I asked who her tutor would be, so I could just cut out the “middle man” and pay them to teach me, so as not to waste any more of her time. She never replied…darn it! (Come back, Juliana….come back!!)

I sifted through a few more emails that lead me to websites (and probably a few viruses that I’ll have to deal with later) and finally found another from which I could gain actual human contact. I was greeted by someone named John. John didn’t spell very well and it was extremely hard to decipher the code to gain knowledge concerning his elite group through which “Senior People Meet.” John directed me to a website but I told him I was having some problems with my computer and could only email right now. (I’m such a liar!) I just wanted to get some general information from him so I could check out the website later. John assured me that this was a respectable group of “older” adults looking for companionship. I asked the age of the oldest available man and I asked him to provide me with some information on his background…just so I could get a general idea of his interests and such. He told me about Dan, who was 88 years old and had been a “shopkeeper” before his retirement. I asked if he actually owned the “shop” or if he just kept it for someone else and if it could have possibly been a federal shop of some sort, or a jewelry shop….. It turned out to be a very small town grocery “shop.” So I asked John, who else he had for me, adding the older the better! I was then told about Thomas, 86, who had dealt junk auto parts in his younger years. I asked if he still had grease under his fingernails, ’cause that could be a real downer. John then asked my age so I explained that I’m 40 and though I’m not quite a “senior” yet, I’m very mature for my age. I’ve been through a lot in my life and I’m ready to find the oldest, richest man I can find to support me into my golden years. I never heard from John again….

The last one was short and sweet. I was offered a FREE power-chair! Who wouldn’t want one of those? So I did as the email suggested, and asked how “I can get my free power-chair.” The reply I received was a form to apply for one. It was full of blanks for very sensitive private information such as social security number, address, how many people live in the home, are you able to drive, where are you able to go and how often? So I immediately looked for the “contact us” link, and sent another email claiming that I couldn’t figure out how to fill in those blanks with the computer but I do know how to email if someone could help me. I also asked if they intended to steal my identity and rob me while I was out driving to the same places at the same time each week. Needless to say, I didn’t receive a reply on that one. They must be really busy.

It was a fun morning! Spam is your friend, people! Spam is your friend!


Why Can’t I Be Just A Voter?

A long stretch of my voting adulthood was spent without being registered to vote. Just after my 18th birthday, I registered for the first time and was so proud that I was among citizens who could make a difference. I proudly went to the polls and cast my vote responsibly…knowing who all the candidates were and what they stood for. I took responsibility for my civic duty and felt very good about it…and then something happened. I can’t remember exactly what it was but I know it was something. I stopped voting.

Eventually I moved to another state and refused to register. Just under 20 years passed without a single vote from me. I gave no excuses. I just didn’t vote. Over time, I forgot why I stopped.

This year I registered again. I found a candidate that I believed in and decided to go full throttle in his direction. I got one vote in for him and he dropped out of the race. So, here I am, all registered and ready to vote in the presidential election and looking for a candidate to back. I’ve started reading up on what’s left of the candidates…what they’ve done, what they’ve promised…and I’ve discovered something. I’m expected to pick a box to crawl into and a tag to stamp on my forehead.

The “women’s vote”, the “black vote”, the “Hispanic vote”, Democrat, Republican, upper class, middle class, lower class…….What the hell is going on here?

First of all, I thought my vote was supposed to be secret! I have to choose to be either Democrat or Republican when I’m given a ballot but I’m neither. If I choose Democrat, everyone knows I’ll vote for Obama. Just give me a ballot with everybody on it and let me decide in the booth! I don’t care how long the ballot is or how long it takes me to sift through the names. Just give me the ability to vote for whoever I want!

Am I so shallow that I am automatically going to vote like every other working white female? Is there no room for me to care about the plight of a Hispanic male? I’m not gay or lesbian but their right to marry is important to me and could influence my vote. Am I grouped by that as well? If so, I’m on the opposite side of that issue from most of the people who surround my little plot inside the good ol’ Bible belt. How do they account for rogue voters like me? Am I just a “wild card?” There’s another label!

I guess the thing that gets to me most is the electoral votes. I understand the original reasoning behind this but get with the times people. There is so much corruption in this whole process that there is absolutely no way in hell that all those votes go where they are meant to go. Most of the popular votes don’t go where they should!

So, as I sit with my signature on my little voter registration card, I have a tough decision to make. Do I tear it up and refuse to talk about it or do I waste my time at the polls? I just want to be a voter! Just a plain old voter!


Old People Don’t Suck!

When I was younger, I use to wonder why “old people” were so rude and selfish. I just bounced around with my happy-go-lucky attitude and snarled back at them with a smirk when they’d get rude over something that I deemed silly. I can remember passing it off as jealousy of my youth. In my mind, old people sucked! As I thought all these things, and voiced a little of it too, I never considered their side of it. I never considered the reasons that they did the things they did or acted the way they acted.

Well, I’m not exactly “old” yet but I’m getting there. I’ll be 41 this year and that puts me about 20 years ahead of my original “Old Folks are Rude” discovery. I’m sure my opinion of this will evolve even more but as of now, I am beginning to understand. I kind of understand now that I was being selfish and rude. It was me that sucked! It was my heavy gas pedal foot and my energy level. It was me being inconsiderate of other people wanting to be safe on the road rather than just getting where they were going in the quickest possible manner. It was me being in too big of a hurry to wait for someone to read a label on something in the grocery store and brushing past them like they had no right to be there. It was me, that bounced attitude off these people and they were just reflecting it back. It was me all along!

And now that I’m getting older, I understand that sometimes “old timers” have just had enough! We (I say that loosely..) just don’t give a shit! Why should we? I’m gonna stand there and read that label because, dang it, carbs matter these days! I’m going to drive near the speed limit (for now anyway) because not only do I have someone in the car with me most of the time, but I understand that I also hold the lives of other drivers in my hands. I’m going to walk as slow as I need too because by cracky, my feet and legs hurt bad enough when I get out of bed in the morning and I’m not going to make it worse! Why should I hurt myself for these heathen whipper snappers?!??!

So be warned, children! (…and by children, I men anyone under 30-ish these days) I’m rude, selfish and inconsiderate and I don’t apologize for it!*

 

*This is what I want to say so badly it hurts, but the truth is, I’m a doormat. I suck! I want so badly to be rude, selfish and inconsiderate but I always fall short. I really, really want to not give a shit! …but I do. I just can’t help it. So feel free to crash into me with your cart in the grocery store and cut me off in traffic. I’ll smile and wave at you…then go home and cry in the shower…


Life After Death

Life After DeathI have followed this story since the day those three little boys were found in West Memphis. It was a sad, sad day. Such a horrible crime and the person(s) guilty of committing it, still out there with the ability to do it again.

All these years later the situation has not changed. The person(s) who did this, still out there, somewhere, simply because someone, anyone, had to be held accountable…guilty or not. Instead of destroying only the lives of the three young victims and their families, that community chose three more young boys to destroy along with their families. Their only crime was that they chose to be “different.” The community plucked these boys off the street and branded them as murders because of the way they dressed, their interests and, I believe, their economic status. It was like  the witch hunts of the Salem days. They figuratively threw these boys in the water and when they sank to the bottom, proving they weren’t witches, they were left there to die.

Today, these three young boys are men, who have enjoyed a year outside prison after being released, but not exonerated. They were forced to enter a plea that in essence kept the state of Arkansas and other individuals involved, safe from prosecution for their false imprisonment. I can imagine that being a tough pill for these men to swallow after years of building frustration.

The so called “leader” of this pack, and the only of the three to be sentenced to death row, Damien Echols has written a book about his experience and their continued fight to find the real murder(s) and clear the names of these young men who were wrongly accused and imprisoned. His book, Life After Death”, is set for release on September 18, 2012. Even if you have no intention of reading this book, I urge you to buy it. Show your support to these young men and give to the cause of bringing the correct people/person to justice for the three little boys who lost their lives, the families of the little boys, the wrongly accused and their families as well. My copy is on reserve!


Bad Mother? What Do You Think?

First, a little background. This is a typical day in my life:

I wake up around 6:00 a.m. and spend about a half hour in the bathroom getting ready for my day. I then pack my gym bag, my purse and my 2 year old son’s backpack. I feed the dogs and then make breakfast for my son. (Scrambled eggs, toast, fresh fruit…not just cold cereal or some vitamin “pouch”) I wake him up, help him get dressed, and give him his breakfast to eat on his own. While he’s eating, I’m usually cleaning this or that and sometimes I help him a little or just talk to him. Then we comb his hair, brush his teeth and head out to preschool. I work 8 hours each day, 5 days each week. My lunch hour is spent at the gym.

When I pick my son up from preschool after working all day, I spend time with him… in his room doing puzzles, reading books, playing in the yard…. while his Dad makes dinner. I spend an hour every night doing a bedtime routine with him and just before he falls asleep, I tuck him into bed. When he is down for the night, I’m up very late doing laundry, cleaning dinner dishes and preparing fresh fruits and vegetables for him to have the next day at preschool. Then a shower, a little internet time and off to bed usually somewhere between midnight and 1:00 a.m.

I’ve been informed that I am a bad mother because:

  1. It is my opinion that giving my son a “vitamin pouch” (filled with preservatives) to suck on in the backseat of my car instead of feeding him real meals with fresh fruits and vegetables, is NOT okay.
  2. I help him get dressed.
  3. I don’t let him run wild in the grocery store.
  4. I spend quality time with him in the rocking chair before bed.
  5. I put my son before myself, and don’t take enough time for myself to just be an adult.
  6. I don’t sleep enough and I’m likely to have an accident while driving my son to preschool.
  7. I don’t mind staying up a little later at night or get up a little earlier in the morning to make sure my son has what he needs to be healthy.

If that’s a bad mother, I’m guilty as charged. I don’t care what these people do with their own children and I didn’t attack the things they do. I just voiced an opinion about their precious “vitamin pouch” and they unleashed the wrath of hell on me. My opinion was no longer than a two sentences and they managed to touch on all 7 of the points above in their paragraphs and paragraphs of stretching to drag a complete stranger down.

I guess an opinion is okay as long as it fits in with the opinions of the majority of readers. What was I thinking?


How I May Have Won The Cell Phone War…….well, for now anyway…

(Note: I won’t be using any company names here because I don’t want to just out and out bad mouth anyone or hand out free advertising for that matter. ItMy Awesome Cell Phone shouldn’t be too hard for anyone to figure out who I’m talking about from the photo.)

For the last few years, I’ve been stuck in a cell phone plan that could easily be the very worst out there right now. I was paying over $100 each month for 450 minutes, unlimited text, picture and video messaging…that’s all! No internet, no email, no bells or whistles. Just the bare basics on a four year old analog phone. It seemed like the more I cut the plan to lower the bill, the more “fees” were added. If making a change didn’t cost money, it would add a couple of years to my contract. I’d had enough!!

So, I started investigating other carriers, plans and phones. I was sticking to the big name carriers because I live in a rural area and there really aren’t many options. I quickly found that all three of the big carriers that are dominant in my area, essentially cost the same. I was frustrated and ready to give up when I heard about those prepaid phones from the big box stores. I had decided that with my tiny package of minutes and texting on that old analog phone, I really wouldn’t be cutting myself short on services as long as the signal was strong enough. I thought I may be able to save at least a little money each month.

So, I started reading anything I could find concerning signal strength particularly in my area. One article lead to another and one subject lead to another and I was amazed to find that I could get a prepaid android smartphone, complete with unlimited minutes and texting as well as internet, email and more apps than I could ever figure out while more than cutting my bill in half!! (It turned out to be about $75.00 less each month) With NO contract and the signal strength is exactly the same as with my big carrier!!

I spent the next two months looking at phones. It wasn’t hard to settle on which phone I needed. By this time, I was furious with this big name cell company who had raped my pocket book for so long and I was determined to find a phone that used their towers for a lot less money. I wanted to stick it to ’em!

After I had researched the phone and read all the reviews, both good and bad, I decided the next step would be to call my current cell company and find out how much it would cost to buy my way out of my contract. It turns out, I had 13 months left on the contract and  after one more month, the “buy out” cost would drop significantly. From there, I formed a plan!

I would buy the new phone and set it up with a new phone number and just try it for a month. If I didn’t like it, I’d send it back and keep my old phone while doing more research on my next move. The new phone used the same towers so the signal should be the same but the new cell company said that this particular phone would not work in my area. They wouldn’t even ship it to my home address because they said it wouldn’t work. So, I had it shipped to my office in the next town and tried it anyway.

I spent the next month, driving around to all the areas that I normally travel through. I’d watch the signal bars on both phones to see what the difference was. I made calls from these areas on both phones, sent text messages and used the internet on the new phone all over town. The signal was identical! Not once did I look at the signal strength and see any difference between the two phones. It even worked at my house where the new carrier said it wouldn’t!

Woo Hoo!!! I rock!!

After a month, I transferred my phone number to the new phone, closed the old account and began trying to figure out the wonderful world of apps and clouds and streaming music using wi-fi instead of 3G. (Because we live in the sticks and don’t have 4G here) I’m 4 months into my new setup and I am still THRILLED with my phone and just as happy with the bill. I’m even happier that I’m essentially getting a signal off that big cell company at a fraction of the price!

I wonder how long they will let that go on….

 

UPDATE: I’m 6 months into the new phone and new plan and still Thrilled!!! Woo Hoo!!!  If you want to know more, send me a message and I’ll spill the company names to you privately!

 

 


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