Again: An Open Thread.

For the Horde! (Don’t forget: I’m super busy with work – if you get stuck in moderation, I’ll fish you out as soon as ever I can!)

Standard FYI clause: My rule of thumb is that I wait for 2 hours after Ta-Nehisi would usually open a thread (roughly noon, EST), and if none is forthcoming, I put one up here.

97 Comments

  1. Ashamed Hordite

     /  February 22, 2012

    Reckless driving in Virginia. I’ve managed to get charged with it twice in a week.

    I was speeding on a clear day and got caught.

    Then I slid off the road in the snow a week later. Car ruined, but no one hurt, thank God.

    Now I am back in my home state and I’ve got a dozen letters from Virginia lawyers telling me that this is a serious matter and they want to help. Just from the first case, any letters from the second won’t be here yet.

    Don’t like to pick a lawyer just based on his letter, but not sure how else to go. Or if I should just mail in the guilty pleas and take whatever lumps they hand out.

    Any experiences or non-legal advice?

    Also considering getting a knife and shooting myself.

    Too cowardly to use my regular handle here.

    • I’m not a lawyer, but since you were in fact guilty, it would probably save you a lot of time and trouble to plead guilty. HOWEVER:

      1) First, find out what the consequences will be. Points on your license? License revoked? How much of a fine?

      2) If any of the above (like the possibility of getting your license revoked) is not something you want to have happen, then a lawyer might be able to help you get the penalties reduced.

      3) Slow down!

    • as a VA resident who’s gotten reckless twice in two months before (the cops, they pull you over in bunches) I can promise you all the lawyer letters a re horse hooey. Pay the damn fines (and I promise you, that’s going to be $200+ a pop), behave yourself on the roads, and move on with your life.

    • MightBeLying

       /  February 22, 2012

      I would NOT plead guilty without a lawyer’s advice. Given what you were actually doing, it seems that VA is pretty free with the “reckless driving” tickets. Is this your home state? If not there could be weird between-state consequences. (BACK STORY: I got a ticket for speeding in NJ. Usually what they do for a first offense is, you turn up at court, they turn it into a ticket for reckless driving, you have no points and a lower fine. End of story. EXCEPT. I am licensed in PA. In PA reckless driving means something different – and warrants an automatic 6 month license suspension. A friend’s dad is a lawyer and had come to court with me as a favor, THANK GOD, and was able to discuss it with the judge.)

      Given that it’s 2 tickets, the offenses sound negligible (I am assuming you were not actively trying to crash your car in the snow), and you’re likely to be hit with disproportionate consequences if you simply plead guilty – I’d get a lawyer. For whatever reason the system is designed to reward people who contest tickets rather than those who simply give in, and it seems that lawyers really smooth out this process.

      • Virginia is indeed very free with “reckless driving.” The speed limits on most of our big interstates are now up to 70 mph (I’m in favor — they’re empty enough, wide enough, and straight enough) but 80 mph and up is “reckless.” Get caught going ten over and you’re hosed.

        (Says the girl who’s had one ticket ever, for $200 when she made $5.10 an hour, and has learned to stay -exactly- 7 mph over ever since…)

      • No, see, the lawyer’s letter are crap. They check the rolls off reckless people and bombard you with letters. I’ve had this before. The lawyers are just trying to scare you into making them some money. You’ll pay any of them as much as you’d pay for the fine.

        • MightBeLying

           /  February 22, 2012

          I’m not saying go with the scare-tactic soliciting lawyers, but especially since she is out of state having a lawyer is a smart idea. It is not the fine that’s the problem – it’s the possible consequences of the “reckless driving” ticket when transferred back to the state in which the driver is licensed (see my story above).

      • LizR

         /  February 22, 2012

        Wait, so you’re saying that reckless driving is a serious offense in PA, like almost drunk driving serious (what they definitely told us in driver’s ed), but it’s less serious than a speeding ticket in New Jersey, and if you get charged with reckless driving NJ and NJ tells PA about it, you need a lawyer in PA to not get in trouble for PA levels of reckless driving? That’s incredible. It seems like judges should know that without lawyers telling them every time. I could see if it were like, California or something, but that has to happen all the time to Pennsylvania drivers visiting New Jersey.

        • SWNC

           /  February 23, 2012

          That’s very similar to what happened to me–the difference between the NC and VA penalties meant that I would lose my license for 30 days in NC if I got convicted of reckless driving in VA. I wound up getting a VA lawyer to get me sent to traffic school instead.

    • Do not hire any lawyer who solicits you directly.

      Ask around. I guarantee you, people you know have had lawyers for traffic issues. Doesn’t mean you’ll find a good one, but the ones writing you are definitely bad news.

      • Exactly. This. The “scare you” letters are BS. I speak as someone who has been on the receiving end of them. Pay them no mind.

      • Ashamed Hordite

         /  February 22, 2012

        I don’t know anyone in Va, though. I am from out of state.

        • selenesmom

           /  February 22, 2012

          At the risk of offending everyone, or most everyone —
          In my experience, the best way to find lawyers is to talk to lawyers. Most lawyers love to hook up their lawyer friends with connections, and also to demonstrate how connected they are. If you live in New Mexico and the only lawyer you know is an immigration lawyer in New Mexico, start by asking this lawyer how you might find a good traffic violations lawyer in Virginia. They will hardly ever say, “I have no frickin’ clue, don’t you know I am an immigrations lawyer in New Mexico?” More likely, they will put you in touch with some lawyer who knows something about traffic violations, or Virginia, or something similar, and you will be off and running down the trail.

          • The lawyers I know all have decided you are #1 of their favorite non-clients.

            Yes, you broke the code. They LOVE being able to provide contacts/names to show their connectedness.

    • I am not a lawyer, but I will say this: the best advice you can get about affairs legal is to talk to a lawyer. I do not know the consequences of a guilty plea or for two reckless driving tickets, so before you try to do anything, find a lawyer who specializes in traffic tickets and speak to him or her.

      As far as I know, you have certain rights you need to protect. Pleading guilty, IIRC, pretty much wipes them all out.

    • taylor16

       /  February 22, 2012

      Don’t know anything about Virginia so I can’t speak to the specifics, although I will say that I’d be suspicious of any attorney letters that came to you unsolicited.

      But I will say, as a fellow speed demon who’s had more speeding tickets than I can even count … if you do plead guilty and get points on your license, investigate whether Virginia has a safe driver program you can enroll in that will take some points off your license.

      Indiana has one. You take it online and it’s insanely easy. And it erases four points from your license. The $40 the exam costs is far cheaper than the increase in insurance rates I would’ve paid if those points had stayed on my record.

    • SWNC

       /  February 22, 2012

      My sympathies, friend. I got a speeding ticket in VA a couple of summers ago. I wound up having to go to 8 hours of driving school, and they dismissed the charges. It was not the funnest Saturday of my life, but it wasn’t the worst thing ever. I would definitely check into the possibility of doing that if you can.

  2. So Dominique Strauss-Kahn and I were at one of those parties where nobody wears any clothes . . . and he said, “This is great! Now all the women look like prostitutes!”

    • Laugh? Cry? Really hard to tell.

      • Maybe people will take his American accuser seriously now.

        • helensprogeny

           /  February 22, 2012

          This.

          • Who?

            I promise you that was so many news cycles ago, they’ve all forgotten her name.

            • helensprogeny

               /  February 22, 2012

              I still think it would be some kind of vindication for her if he was convicted of some kind of prostitution-related crime *in France*. Where he couldn’t claim persecution by the vicious, perp-walking, diplomat-shaming, unsophisticated Americans.

              • I believe she’s still trying to pursue a case against him – and her lawyers would definitely be able to use this.

        • dave in texas

           /  February 22, 2012

          I’m not holding my breath. Dammit.

  3. ugh. i hate meeting with students to tell them that the fifteen page paper they need to turn in on monday is a disaster. especially on days where i’m not feeling in my normal, teachery, encouraging, nurturing mood.

    i’m convinced that at least seventy-five percent of my job is about seeing what a student needs at a particular moment. i may have picked the wrong approach today.

    • MightBeLying

       /  February 22, 2012

      I AM WITH YOU. My students turn in midterm portfolios for my writing seminar tomorrow that are graded by committee. I had individual conferences with each of them yesterday and was just dreading a few of them. This work is always hard, but when you’re personally drained? Not only can I not do it well, I find myself not caring (given, my version of “not caring” appears to involve caring more than most people) – and then feeling awful for not doing right by them.

      • I am sorry to hear this. Unfortunately, I don’t think there’s a workable solution. Every year students will need to be taught how to write. They may get better over time, but you usually get new students every year.

        I’ve been critiquing things recently, and there are days I just can’t get the energy to be myself; I descend into rote grammar-checking.

  4. So my break before reviewing a few London shows is coming to an end. So until I start annoying you with moddles wearing clothes again, feel free to check out the Game of Thrones posters, the Downton Abbey trading cards and a rant about The Voice, among other things.
    http://anibundel.wordpress.com/

  5. caoil

     /  February 22, 2012

    Just your fuzzy, cuddly reminder to send along a track or two for JHarper if you haven’t yet done so. I think the folder is now at 50+ tracks, which is great.

    I will be collecting through the weekend, so if you don’t get to it until then, not to worry. Email me the files to tindomiel [at] gmail [dot] com, with your title/artist/Hordean rank–uh, I mean name/and the blurb about why you want him to listen to it. I’ll do another reminder on G+ & Twitter & FB in the next couple of days, too.

  6. Well, Virginia amended that hellish abortion to law to make the ultrasound optional instead of mandatory. Umm, yay? Still need the rest of the law to go bye-bye.

    Methinks Gov McDonnell had a cow in front of the legislature. “I’m trying to become Vice-President, people! Stop being right-wing nutjobs! Until after the election!”

  7. dmf

     /  February 22, 2012

    two hours after a filling and these shots are going strong any insights on when I might be able to feel the left side of my mouth again?

    • Bookwoman

       /  February 22, 2012

      In my experience, 4-6 hours until you’re completely back to normal.

      • dmf

         /  February 22, 2012

        thanks it’s been a while since I went thru this and I’m hoping to swallow some fluids sooner than later which is tricky when I feel like I have half a tongue.

        • Bookwoman

           /  February 22, 2012

          I assume you’ve seen this?

          • Bookwoman

             /  February 22, 2012

            The link works, but how do you embed the actual video? I tried the embed code from YouTube but it clearly didn’t work.

            • I happen to be here for 2 seconds – I’ll ride to your aid and fix it! You just needed to put in a clean link, rather than the one with brackets.

              /for the Horde!

          • dmf

             /  February 22, 2012

            that’s a good one, the procedure was pretty painless (tho that smell of burning tooth is cringeworthy) but now I feel like I got socked, I am a modern wuss no doubt, I’m sure Andy has some grim civilwar dentistry horror stories to tell.

            • Yeah, that guy’s pretty old.

            • When I had to go to the oral surgeon to get a couple of wisdom teeth extracted, part of the release form warned me that there might be damage to the nerves that convey sensory input from my lower lip. Guess where it took the longest for the Novocain to wear off?

  8. helensprogeny

     /  February 22, 2012

    So the one solitary client I had scheduled late this afternoon has not yet cancelled, as I urgently requested of the gods this morning. No. Instead, a single client has now become two clients I don’t want to work on today.

    Aren’t you glad you’re not receiving a massage from ME today? Seriously, be glad. I will do my very professional best, to be sure. But it will not be the massage I give when I am not bone weary.

    Grateful as I am for my many jobs, I would be even more grateful for two full days off in a row. I want to be at home today, sitting on my couch, playing with the Horde.

    • dmf

       /  February 22, 2012

      do they teach much about your own posture/self-care in massage school (if you went to one) I know when I used to cook on a line it was hell on the bod and I always wonder about how massage therapists hold up.

      • helensprogeny

         /  February 22, 2012

        Oh, absolutely. Plus I receive massage and other body work really regularly. It’s the only way I’ve managed to keep doing it this long. You burn out pretty quickly if you don’t learn very early on how to take care of yourself. And body mechanics was a huge part of massage school (at least the one I went to).

        Mostly right now I’m struggling with 1) lack of sleep; 2) hormonal sh*t – a cause of the lack of sleep; 3) too many clients in too short a space of time. It’s the busy season here right now and I’ve been running for a few weeks without two days in a row of down time, so I’m beginning to really feel it. If I can just get through the rest of February and then March, I should be able to quit one of my jobs and coast for a bit.

  9. David L

     /  February 22, 2012

    Today’s random thoughts:

    1. Man, have I lost strength in my bad leg. The physical therapist started me doing the Ministry of Silly Walks thing to get me to balance on my bad leg for a second or two at a time, and I could barely do it.

    2. It’s in the mid-eighties today. Although I say that the winters around here are why I put up with the summers, it’s a little too warm for February.

    3. I saw the most “That writer had to know the double meaning, right?” headline ever this morning: “Santorum blasts Obama at Cumming event”

    • Santorum going to Cumming, Georgia suggests that he’s probably doing this shit on purpose.

      • As my BFF said….ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww

        • A man who makes the Conservatives United Moneybomb knows what he is doing. He’s a weird, repressed little man in a sweater vest but that doesn’t mean he’s not capable of using his name for political gain.

      • taylor16

         /  February 22, 2012

        I thought this about the mud-blasting ad.

        No way does a guy with that kind of google problem create that ad unless he’s doing it on purpose.

        I have no idea *why* he’d do it on purpose, but there you go.

    • helensprogeny

       /  February 22, 2012

      Love the headline. I left this one on the Horde FB page last night:
      Babeu asks AZ Attorney General for Independent Probe.

    • k___

       /  February 23, 2012

      IDK if you’ll see this, but you have my sympathies re: the weak leg thing. I dealt with similar things two years ago in PT, and I’m pretty sure the therapist thought I was showing up high, because I could not stop laughing at how useless my leg was.

      • David L

         /  February 23, 2012

        I was mostly just stunned by how unstable I felt when I lifted the other leg up, considering that I don’t notice any instability when I’m walking normally.

        (FWIW, I subscribe by e-mail to the open threads here and at TNC’s place due to the lack of/buggy real-time updates, so then GMail takes up the slack for letting me see posts as they’re made.)

  10. carlos the dwarf

     /  February 22, 2012

    I’ve been having pain in my wrist this week. Anytime I have to press down with my thumb and twist, I get a shooting pain from the back of my hand down into my forearm. Even when I’m not doing anything, my forearm feels tight, like something’s pinching down on the muscles. It makes certain tasks very painful, most notably driving. I’m not sure if it’s tendinitis or if it’s just a physical manifestation of stress and anxiety, but it’s very frustrating.

    • dmf

       /  February 22, 2012

      ya know see a dr before starting exercises but:

      • Yeah. I’ve found that I reach a level of difficulty at the climbing gym where I have to start doing specific exercises to keep my tendons strong or my hands just ache all the time. Glad that there’s an easy fix, but still annoying.

        • dmf

           /  February 22, 2012

          climbing is brutal on connective tissue and why many of us retired but also many tired/stressed drivers lean in on their wheels instead of holding themselves up with their ‘cores’

          • So far I’ve been really lucky over the last fifteen years of climbing. I got good habits of stretching and warming up, so my tendons have been pretty O.K. Cycling has been much more dangerous on that front because it’s so easy to end up with repetitive stress issues in my knees.

            • cofax

               /  February 22, 2012

              I didn’t know we had another climber in the Horde!

              ::high-five::

              Err, high step? Back-step? Mutual layback?

              Anyway, indoors or outdoors? Trad/sport/big wall? Where’s your fantasy month-long climbing trip?

              And, most importantly, what shoes do you wear?

              • I’m a gym rat. Have been for pretty much my entire climbing career.

                Right now I have a couple of pairs of 5.10 Galileos. They’re darn close to the Mocasyms with velcro that I always wanted.

              • David L

                 /  February 23, 2012

                I’m kind of envious. I’ve always thought that climbing looked like something I would love to do if only I was a little bit lighter and/or stronger, but there were four things I’ve been told to avoid at the risk of re-tearing the tendon in my knee, and climbing was one of them (along with distance running, soccer, and contact sports; I don’t care about the first two, but I had been considering getting in touch with the local gay rugby team just before this all went down.)

  11. So, I’m going to just admit this thing – I gave up on Downton Abbey this season. I watched, like, 5 episodes of season 2 and realized I was bored so I just did something else like played a video game or masturbated a lot or something. I don’t really know how it ended and, you know, eh.

    • Bookwoman

       /  February 22, 2012

      Lord Grantham ran off with O’Brien.
      Matthew realized he was gay, and is having a secret affair with Thomas.
      The Dowager Countess is taking dancing lessons and is learning The Black Bottom.
      Lady Cora has taken all the girls to America, where they are starting new lives as etiquette experts for social-climbing Americans.
      There was some other stuff that happened, but those are the main things.

      • Yeah, I suspected all of those things. Although I would have pegged the Dowager Countess as more of a Cake Walk lady.

    • Obviously you should have been reading my recaps in order to keep up.

      Also, you should read the last recap because it has the best Dowager put down of the entire second season embedded in it. Because I couldn’t do the scene justice with words.

    • It is kind of silly. I haven’t watched any of the war eps yet but somehow I’m not looking forward to it. WWI is “my” war but I do feel it’s been done plenty of times and doesn’t really need to be made into a source of melodrama.

  12. Oh and now that it’s gone live? Sugarland should fire their attorney:
    http://anibundel.wordpress.com/2012/02/22/sugarland-should-fire-their-attorney/

  13. BJonthegrid

     /  February 22, 2012

    Thanks Emily. Even when I’m late to the party, I love reading you guys –

  14. The job continues apace. I’ve had my supervisor sit with me for awhile to explain what I need to do and what to avoid (I’ve been hewing too closely to script when delivering pitches, and haven’t been developing more referrals). Hopefully I’ve been doing well despite my flaws.

    Meanwhile, I have no idea where my fellow Jedi went to on Namaadi Corridor (SWTOR). I’ve been feeling a bit lonely on the game grid…

  15. wearyvoter

     /  February 22, 2012

    Night two of training at second job. Went better than first night. I have to remind myself that I need to walk that zen line between thinking and over thinking.

  16. Here’s what the falls look like after a heavy rain. Minor lowland flooding.

    That waterfall is 268 feet tall. You can’t see the bottom two-thirds because it’s hidden by the spray shooting up from the base.

    http://livingsnoqualmie.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/IMG_28051.mov