Sep 192019
  • On the off-chance someone reading this could be persuaded and massive, unpleasant disruption to his/her life consequently avoided:  “storming” any U.S. government facility is a really, really bad idea.
  • The actuarial tables have finally caught my musical childhood in earnest, and sadly, the assault is only beginning. Ric Ocasek is dead at 75. Thank you for a lot of great music, man. RIP.
  • I’ve made plans to go to Dave and Buster’s for the first time the second week of January. Everyone will be broke from Christmas, and hanging onto New Year’s resolutions. With a little luck, it will be bitterly cold. All of these things thin crowds.
  • Alabama’s defensive front was roundly unimpressive against South Carolina. I have a feeling we’re going to need a lot of points this year.
  • The net is up in arms about someone looking into remaking The Princess Bride. I think this is an enjoyable movie, but I have never considered it an iconic cornerstone of comedic cinema (as so many obviously do). A new one wouldn’t move my needle.
  • The final race of the 2019 IndyCar Series is Sunday, at Laguna Seca in Monterey. Josef Newgarden has a 41-point lead in the championship standings, but there are double points on Sunday, so Alexander Rossi, Simon Pagenaud, and Scott Dixon are all still in the hunt. It’s been a fantastic season!
  • There was a welcome whisper of fall early this morning. We still have 90s forecast in a few days, but it looks as if they will be short-lived.
 Posted by at 1:53 pm
Sep 182019

I’m rather overdue in calling attention to this. My apologies.

My ridiculously attractive and incredibly cool friend Alex Hendrix has a new show on Know Huntsville called Alex Tries, during which she’ll try some of the best things Huntsville has to offer while just generally being her fabulous self. The first episode is on coffee in downtown Huntsville, and gives you a great idea just how hard she’s going to rock this.

She’s since done another episode on wine, which does a great job showing off her versatility as it’s still fun, but more contemplative talk show than manic road adventure. (Perhaps that’s appropriate given the respective substances sampled.)

Follow her with me, won’t you? This will be a lot of fun.

 Posted by at 9:21 am
Sep 162019

I went to Walmart this morning. I needed a significant quality of Mobil 1, and I hadn’t made time for a trip to Costco last week like I should have.

After I checked out with a human cashier, I was stopped at the door behind another man whose receipt was being checked against every item in his cart. I started to go around him, and the employee checking said “wait, I need to check yours too.”

I am fairly certain this is a new development since I last darkened Walmart’s door. I stopped for a moment.

When it became clear to me that this process had a chance of realistically adding five more minutes to the errand, I said “ma’am, I have to go. I’m sorry. Take care.” Walked out with my cart, loaded my items, put my cart up, and left. No one tried to stop me again, inside or outside the store.

So I got to wondering whether they could even do that. I mean, it’s post-transaction. I own the items.

Now online legal advice is a sketchy thing, because any schmuck can go put whatever out there, and there it is for consumption. (Irony needle pegged?) So this isn’t legal advice. This is for entertainment purposes only. Best I can tell from poking around here and there for a few minutes, it is perfectly legal for them to ask you, and it is also perfectly legal for you to refuse. A merchant may not detain you without probable cause that you’ve committed a crime (like shoplifting).

However, could a store claim that your refusal is, itself, probable cause? Maybe. (That story cites California state law, so it may be different elsewhere.) I’m not sure how that would have gone this morning. Mind, I wasn’t making any sort of principled stand when I refused. It was just as I stated. I’d already been in the store considerably longer than I intended, and I needed to get on with my day.

However, if I am ever in Walmart again, and I am stopped, and I am asked to wait for a non-trivial amount of time, and I decided I am not going to and leave, and they try to detain me, then my plan will probably be to ask for a police officer with a search warrant.

I would fully expect such a request to end the encounter.

(An afterword: Note that receipt-checking at Costco, Sam’s Club, and anywhere else with a membership model is probably something you have to tolerate. They can’t legally compel you to submit to it, but they can make it a condition of your membership.)

 Posted by at 7:52 am
Sep 122019
  • It Chapter Two is out. Apparently I didn’t let Aaron watch the first one, and his interest in catching up is minimal, so probably Nathan and I will go see the sequel on our own.
  • I respect the express lane. If I have more than 10 items, I don’t get in it. But Publix cashiers are in the habit of waving me to it anyway, which sets me up to be unpacking more than 10 items ahead of someone who gets in it after I do. So then, for all that person knows, I’m just a scofflaw. But it just seems too much to actually turn around and say “she waved me over here.”
  • Someone made a joke about White Claw this week, and I didn’t know what it was. Apparently it’s some girly beer or something, like today’s Zima.
  • Is Florida-Kentucky the best game of the weekend? Maybe Kansas State-Mississippi State? What a lackluster slate of games top to bottom.
  • Fellow North Alabama Human Trafficking Task Force member Deborah Powell and I will be presenting at the Madison Library at 6 pm on Tuesday, October 22, and at the main branch at 6:30 pm on Tuesday, October 29. All are welcome. Watch for further announcements.
  • Looks like 90s for another week, and then a gradual descent into seasonal temperatures. I can’t wait. I’m over 50 days of August.
  • I got an opportunity for greater understanding with an old friend today. It was a blessing, and a good lesson for me. I was operating without a key piece of information.
 Posted by at 7:10 pm
Sep 112019

Dear God,

Even though the events of 9-11 took place long ago, most of us can still recall them like it was yesterday. Some, more than others, are still feeling the effects, and the pain.

On this day, we remember all those who lost their lives and their loved ones to this terrible tragedy.

We lift up their families and their friends, and ask for strength, peace, and comfort.

We also remember and honor those heroes who stepped in to help, to save, to serve.

And we will never forget those who gave their lives for the noble cause of rescuing others. We are forever grateful, and pray blessing and comfort over their families.

We pray for the spirit of unity to revisit our nation – the unity we felt in the midst of our struggles and our confusion.

We pray that our citizens would look to God for wisdom and guidance, just as many did during that time of uncertainty.

But most of all, we pray for the swift return of our Savior, who will one day put an end to all tragedies, and to all tears.

We love You. And we pray all these things in the powerful name of Jesus Christ, our Lord.


Prayer is from a video at

 Posted by at 8:13 am
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