Thursday, August 30, 2007

Doggone It!

Yes, it continues. And I thought things might improve. But lo and behold, front page of the GDT:

"Dog Officer Seeks Volunteer Caretakers"


Just snips as it was a long article.

...the dog was not injured contrary to a police report...
...a good Samaritan took it home until the owners eventually were reunited with their pet...

And what about penalties?

...Trafton does not pick up strays or untagged dogs because the town does not have a kennel. By law Trafton would be obligated to care for a dog for 10 days at her own expense...

And then she says -

Trafton proposed that she call on volunteers willing to catch and care for stray dogs...she would provide the volunteer with a crate and food...

Seems to me that would qualify as "at her own expense" which she just had issue with.

...if Trafton brings the dog to the volunteer, she and the town would become liable...

Why are we paying for a dog officer if they can't pick up an untagged, unleashed dog????Are they liable if they pick up a dog that is tagged? If not, why not?

And then -

"State law forbids towns from turning animals over to businesses or research facilities, but does not mention private citizens."- GDT reporter, Jonathan L'Ecuyer

"No municipality shall give, sell, or turn over any animal which may come into custody to any business or institution licensed or registered as a research facility or animal dealer with the U.S. Department of Agriculture," one Massachusetts law states.

Hmmm, seems the reporter didn't understand the explicit wording in the MA law. I don't recall it saying a pet supply store or even a laudromat, which are certainly businesses but not research facilities or animal dealers.

Trafton then says...even if state law did forbid the town from turning an animal over to a good Samaritan, it would not apply because the dog would never be in her possession...

So now she admits that she CAN legally catch strays and then turn them over to whoever for care. There is NO law forbidding it!

If this is not enough to make you wonder what on earth these people are thinking try this statement. Again, from the same article in the GDT. "Trafton said selectmen have gone so far as to look into how much a kennel would cost. However, Trafton admits the nearly $100,000.00 cost is a hard sell...."

My 700 sq ft addition cost 3/4 that amount! I want to live in the kennel! Please. please, please!

And, "Around four years ago, there was a caged-in area behind the police station enclosing a dog house where strays and untagged canines could be held...The fence was knocked down by a Public Works plow truck during it's first winter and never repaired."

We evidently didn't worry about the liability four years ago. Why didn't we fix the fence? Of course now we can't as we didn't vote for the budget override.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Is It Just Me?


Does anyone else see a lot wrong with this from the Gloucester Times..........?

Rockport Police/Fire

  • A resident called police Monday morning to report that a black Labrador with a purple collar was loose in Happy Tails Pet Supply. Police notified dog officer Mindy Trafton. Trafton went to the shop and recommended that the dog be released from the store because it did not have identification tags. The dog was later hit by a car and injured. Trafton was notified by police of what happened. Trafton says the town has no place to legally hold stray dogs and if she had picked up the dog she would have been obligated by law to keep it at least 10 days.
I have come up with a minimum of eight problems with this incident.
How about you?

What is wrong with this system? I was going to write, "what is wrong with this town?", but that may be a bit too inclusive of folks that have nothing to do with the situation.

So, my eight....
  1. Trafton's recommendation just doesn't make sense. Where is enforcement of our licensing and leash (haha) laws?
  2. Trafton's statement "no place to legally hold strays...". What law is this? How can we enforce any animal regulations without a legal holding area? Why don't we have one?
  3. Trafton's comment that she would be "obligated by law to keep it at least 10 days". Well, isn't she the dog officer? Isn't that part of her job?
  4. If the dog is not held in hopes of the owner appearing, how can any non-license fines be charged? To whom?
  5. If the dog was hit by a car, as stated, who is to be held responsible for damage to the car if the dog's owner is not sought out. If the dog were placed "in custody" an owner might come forth to claim their animal.
  6. What about the trauma to the driver of the car having hit the dog?
  7. If the dog was injured, as stated, was it taken to a vet? Who's paying?
  8. Why are we paying for a dog officer (whose part time pay is more than my annual full time salary, and also has municipal employee benefits) who is legally unable or for some other reasons isn't performing the function of the position?
This situation could have been far worse. Consider the "what if's". What if the driver had swerved to miss the dog and had instead hit another car. Or worse had hit a pedestrian?

Monday, August 27, 2007

Missing Person

Blogging presents some interesting dilemmas. About a week ago a sort of nifty thing happened. I'll explain.

Last Fall, as I remember, I posted about the Weather Channel's show Storm Story being about the loss of the Gloucester pilot boat Can-Do during the Blizzard of '78. Then I wrote a post about how Capt. Quirk and the Can-Do had aided in towing our boat the Minoan off of Front Beach where it had washed ashore during a nor'easter. And that last we knew, the Minoan was being used as a live-aboard in Boston Harbor.

Well, just last week I received a comment on the Storm Stories post from David. Here is the text of that comment so you don't have to go back and find it.

I was the live aboard in boston harbor. I just finally sold the boat last year. I loved the minoan and have many pictures and stories to offer you. Thanks for sharing the great pics. She is a tough old boat- Dave

I replied that I would be interested in sharing some stories and to post his blog address (the link showed his profile as being private). He hasn't.

Therein is my dilemma. I have tried to be very cautious about limiting contact with me, by strangers, to the comment area of this blog. Some of you do know my business and/or personal email address(es), and it is possible with the info on my blog to do a bit of creative Googling and find my business address. That's ok by me. Fortunately, it would be a rather extensive, imaginative, and time consuming search, to INTENTIONALLY find my blog specifically, by searching for me. Yeah, I know that sounds confusing...just trust me. It's designed with the idea of keeping my former (yay for former) stalker away from here.

Well, my point is this. Some time in the next couple of days I'll be creating a new email address that's sole purpose will be for "public" display on this blog. Those of you who know my "real" address(es) PLEASE still use one of those. The new address will be for strangers and will be disposable as need may be. Just an experiment, I guess.

So David, if you're still reading, there will eventually be contact info.

Friday, August 24, 2007

This and That and More

Here's a wonderful picture from the top of Mount Washington. This kitty's name is Inga. I bought this postcard over 15 years ago so quite possibly Inga is no longer around. And just to round out the images from Mount Washington, I just had to post this gorgeous photo that is on one of the websites.
All the hunting around the websites got me to think of recommending a book. The title is, Ten Years on the Rock Pile by Lee Vincent. The cover description reads as follows: A collection of stories, some hilarious some tragic, about life at the summit of Mount Washington. And then Mary's comment about the "Old Man of the Mountain" got me to pull out an old book that I bought a few years ago at a church fair. It's called The Great Stone Face and Other Tales of the White Mountains, by Nathaniel Hawthorne. I've decided to read it.

Once I'm through with the "Lanesville" stories, I may have to write some adventures in the north stories.

It has taken a few days to recover from time off! I've been battling an on and off sinus headache for several days. Or maybe it has been a summer cold that I'm refusing to admit to! Anyway, I've been working throughout and have gotten a lot accomplished on the player piano that I'm working on for the folks in Marblehead, and I've started rebuilding the pump portion of the Smith American reed organ for Dr. W. Both are due to be completed sometime in October.

After a hard day of working, Mom and I decided to head to Ellen's Harborside for dinner. Being a Friday night and the last weekend before school starting for AY07-08, I wasn't hopeful of finding a decent parking space. Wow, was I surprised when the first spot on the resident side of T-Wharf, directly across from Ellen's, was available. I waited, with my directional clicking away, as some tourists walked across the street (wharf) in front of me. As soon as they were out of the way, I tried to pull in to the parking space. I could only get halfway in. Some rather dull-minded lady was standing in the middle of the space eating her ice cream and gazing out over the inner harbor. Surely she would hear a truck pulling in behind her. Nope. The windows were down on my truck so I politely yelled out to her.

"Excuse me!"


Mom tried.



I gave up and tooted the horn. The dull-minded lady turned casually and stared blankly at us. Then she ever-so-slowly sauntered to the edge of the parking space.

I wonder if I should have just pushed her in. She probably wouldn't have noticed.

I think today was the start of the end of summer as I like it. Humidity was up just a bit and temps were in the low 80's. Tomorrow is due to be low 90's and very humid. Maybe a shower on Sunday but still warm. Next week temps are supposed to be lower. They call lower temps comfortable. I call it autumn coming too quickly.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

North Country

At last! Amanda had two days off in a row so we actually had chance to get away. The three girls headed for Intervale, New Hampshire. It's just north of North Conway. We have a Rockport friend who has a vacation house in Intervale that we have been able to use whenever we wanted. Problem is, it was just sold. This trip was our last free lodging in NH.

I drove the almost three hours to get to the house. Here's the place. From the front...and.....from the back. Nearly an acre of land. The house is getting to need a lot of work though.

So, what do three girls do on a short vacation? Why, shop, shop, shop, of course. There's an outlet shopping area called "Settler's Green". After we got our stuff in to the house, my Mom drove in to town for shopping. I got a couple three-quarter length sleeved tops, a gray sweater, and a cute, hooded denim jacket at the Eddie Bauer outlet. My Mom got some winter tops and decided to think about a jacket that she tried on. Amanda got a gray denim jacket and a shirt at the Gap outlet store. We shopped around in a few others but didn't find anything that we *had* to have.

After shopping we headed for Scarecrow's Tavern to get burgers for dinner. We decided that although it was ok, it wasn't a place we would eat at again. We got back to the house and a friend that lives in North Conway came over for a visit. By the time we got through chatting and catching up on news, it was time for bed. K went home and we turned in for the night.

The next morning we all got up early to go out for breakfast. While my mother was finishing up getting ready, Amanda and I went out to take the pictures of the house. Then, with Mom driving, we headed further north to Glen. Here's the view of Mount Washington from the road directly behind the house (as we headed north). The top of Mt. Washington is only clear 40% of the time. We had two clear days. We ate breakfast at Glen Junction. This is a nifty little restaurant that has a model train running around the top of the dining room. Amanda bought a T-shirt that has the restaurant logo embroidered on it.

Shop, shop, shop!

We drove back to the house to load up our luggage and bags of goodies, and to make a pit stop! Our morning would be

Our first stop was the Crafter's Barn which is three large floors of handcrafted items. This was Amanda's choice for shopping as she likes to look at all the jewelry. She didn't buy anything, though. Next stop was the Christmas Loft. Mom's choice. Yikes, the place was HUGE. All I could think of while wandering around, room after room crammed with Christmas ornamentations was, what if someone yelled "fire"? I found a New York State ornament with the Statue of Liberty so I just *had* to buy it. Amanda bought a very pretty glass peacock ornament. Then we went to the Liz Claiborne outlet. No purchases there. Back to Eddie Bauer we went since Mom had decided to buy the jacket she saw the day before. By the time we were done it was after 12:00 so we stopped to grab a quick lunch at Friendly's.

Guess what I found?

Yep, another Statue of Liberty. $1.00 donation to some charity jar got me a "rubber ducky" Statue of Liberty. So what if the torch is in the wrong wing.........

Time for me to start the 3 hour drive back south. Of course the drive was interrupted with several stops at antique shops. More shopping, no buys.

You may wonder why we didn't do any sightseeing. There is certainly piles of it to do in the area. The reason is that we have visited the White Mountains quite frequently over the past half century. We've done most everything many times over. My favorite is traveling to the top of Mt. Washington. Years ago my Dad used to drive us up. We've taken the "coach" up the auto road as well. I've ridden the cog railway to the top twice. sightseeing this trip. Do check out the links for Mt. Washington.

The webcam from Conway.
More info.
Be sure to check out the webcam links atop the mountain at the site hyperlinked above in the post.
Yep, it's a favorite place for me!
Maybe next time we'll play tourist.

Thursday, August 16, 2007


There has been interesting debate in Rockport over "our" new performance venue. The old "Haskin's block" has been purchased by the Rockport Chamber Music Festival. The original plans of a combination of restoration and renovation have been scrapped. Now we find out that the old building will be demolished and a replacement structure erected in it's place. I wonder what happened to this building being in the historic district. I'll not debate the fact the the new building will have a considerably larger footprint and will also rise to new heights in the back, from one story to three, blocking the eastward water view for many residents.

My big problems with the new music hall are twofold. Number one is...

Where on earth do they plan to park the cars? We haven't enough space for residents and tourists as things are and the only current option (primarily for tourists who can't find a spot to park in town) is to park at the transfer station lot (read - the dump) and pay one dollar to ride the bus, disguised as a quaint trolley. So, tell me, are we to expect that the paying patrons of the Rockport Chamber Music Festival events, in their best evening attire, will be parking at the dump?

Number two problem for me is...

The aesthetics of the building. Yes, the new building will, in many ways, mimic the original Haskin's building. However, the architects have dressed up the French Second Empire style for the new structure rather than seeing the wisdom of the original builders in dressing it down for a small New England town. Here's a photo of the old Haskin's block built c. 1862.

And here's the architect's rendering for the new building. To me, this new design is just too gussied up for our town. A bit too painted and speaks more of "Nawlins" than Rockport. Wiping some of the extra makeup off would leave a gorgeous facade, still retaining that French Second Empire feel, and befit the Rockport Chamber Music Festival AND Rockport.

On a related topic. I found an interesting letter to the editor in today's GDT. The writer's intention was to draw attention to the lack of affordable venues for local artist's performances. I'm not copying the entire letter here. A lovely surprise I found nestled in the middle I have copied in total! (Words in parenthesis are mine)

Concert venue concern

To the editor:
I gave a concert on Friday, July 13, at the Rockport Community House.......

In the Rockport Community House, the piano was not tuned, and the owner called a technician to fix two keys that were stuck and would not play. This made it impossible to play that piano the way it was supposed to sound. She (the owner) did get them fixed but was unable to afford any other tuning or repairing expenses on the piano. The technician voluntarily repaired it, pro bono! Thank God she (the technician) was able to do that!.........

Bonnie Barish

Guess who that technician was?

Are you still wondering?


And while the text was a little confusing, and my name was not specifically mentioned, I *am* the only SHE piano technician listed in our phone book.

YAY, YAY, YAY, I love whatever good, free publicity/advertising that I get.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Short Takes from Lanesville 2

Since I've been side-tracked with artsy posts and commentary about sculpture this should be a good time for this Lanesville story. Having left the area in 1984, I may not have heard the news. Although, I would think that if it made the newspaper that some of my old friends and neighbors would have sent me a copy.

Once we had the house livable, we decided to spend a bit of time rebuilding the garage. Wisteria had eaten the majority of the original structure and though it was still standing it had no roof and three of the four walls were worthless. (If you look at the first picture, below, you can get an idea of the extent to which the wisteria had taken over. Doc is standing just to the right of the back corner of the old garage! This was taken AFTER we had pulled the vines off the garage.) Doc wanted a "studio" to work on his sculpture, so we salvaged one wall and the doors so that we could rebuild on the same spot and call it a renovation rather than new construction. These pictures show the before and the almost after. We did add on to the side with the windows about a year later.

So Doc got his workspace and he created some really nifty pieces here...wish I still had a few of them!

At one point, the DeCordova Museum had an exhibit featuring the faculty from the Massachusetts College of Art for which Doc designed an installation piece. It was a graveyard. He sculpted over a dozen headstones from hydrocal. Each headstone was identical in white "marble" with the entwined hands symbol. The only difference one to the next was the "numbering". Each stone had a different two-digit number. As I recall they were consecutive numbers. The piece spent a month at the DeCordova and then the pastor from our church in Lanesville asked if we could "install" the graveyard on the front lawn of the church for Easter week. THAT made the front page of the Gloucester Times!

That was the last time the graveyard appeared in public. I think. And that brings me to our move to Florida during the early summer of 1984.

What does one do with that many headstones weighing, oh...maybe 75 pounds each, when you want to move 1500 miles? Well, if you're on a budget you don't pay to move them.

(enormous grin)

You bury them in the back yard.

And wonder what will happen, years later, if.........

Someone inadvertently digs them up.

What a Pile

Just an update on the sculpture seen at the Rockport Art Association. It is by Charles Fields and is titled Abstract "A" for Art. It is made from Fiberglas (tm). This dropped any points I had given it thinking (from a distance) that it was actually sculpted from a piece of stone. Polyester and "glas" is a simple medium to work in. Yes, I know about this...I've done it...I was married to a sculpture professor (and sculptor). He taught 3D design and his specialty...PLASTICS AND MODERN MATERIALS. Anyway, my disbelief reached new heights when I read the price.......................

$5000.00 Yep. And it gets better. The RAA bestowed the Richard Recchia Memorial Award for excellence in sculpture to Mr. Fields for this piece. I have no idea who Richard Recchia was, but all I can say is, "I'm sorry."

Maybe I've lost touch with reality.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Dead Center of Town

This afternoon, after taking Amanda to work, I decided to put some time and effort in to finding that photo that dickiebo has assigned. I went cop hunting. Not just any cop. This one had to be "sans cruiser". A difficult task. Just think about how often the opportunity would present itself to you. Next time that you are out and about try to spot a cop on foot. Then imagine trying to get a photograph of him/her.

Anyway, I was needing a long walk.

I thought that perhaps there would be one of Rockport's officers at the annual acoustic music festival. Nope, not a one. At least not while I was there. I talked with Linda for a while. She volunteers with the Chamber of Commerce. I've never been fond of this festival. Not really my type of music and just doesn't seem to have much umph. Oh well, moving onward.

I walked up Mill Lane and stopped to admire the view to the east over an old cemetery. The dead center of town. It was a beautiful day to be out walking. I decided to head down Main Street and continued to fight the crowds of tourists out on to Bearskin Neck. I stopped to "play tourist" and take a picture from Bearskin Neck looking over towards T-Wharf, and the Sandy Bay Yacht Club. If you look past the yacht club you can see a large, dark brown house on the shoreline. It has a bright blue canvas on the second story deck. You'll have to enlarge the photo to see this. This is where the second webcam is located. The one that is aimed back towards the club.

So then I headed over to T-Wharf and stopped at Ellen's for an iced tea before walking up Broadway and on to Upper Main Street. That's when I saw it. Flashing blue photo op! Yay! I didn't get very close before I realized that the cop was heading back to get in the cruiser. I quickly got my camera ready, zoomed the lens as close as it would go, and took a quick shot, hoping the passing cars would not interfere. It's a lousy photograph, but it's a cop out of cruiser. Maybe I'll get a better shot sometime in the future.

PS....He waved as he drove by. (grin)

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Tonsa Turds

I just thought that this would be an appropriate post to follow the last one!

My mom and I were taking a scenic tour through the streets of Rockport the other evening. Just to annoy the tourists, and to try to get a pic of a local cop "out of cruiser" for dickiebo, I drove down to the end of Bearskin Neck and back. Always fun to inch up behind unsuspecting tourists who haven't a clue that cars are allowed, could've wiped out dozens (snicker). Anyway, we survived the trip out the "Neck" and headed up Main Street. For some reason, I looked over at the Art Association as we passed by, and lo and behold....Look Ma, giant turds! It's got to be an homage to all the freely roaming dogs of Rockport.

Here's another view...somewhat less turd-like. Yet I would like to make a couple comments. My camera was held straight to the world. The front lawn of the Art Association is sloped. Wouldn't you think that a professional would display this piece better. I really think that the whole thing should have been leveled in some manner or displayed directly on the grass (more snickers). Actually, I think the whole piece should at least be hidden indoors. Fantastic turd-like color, though!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Wag and Woof

I'll preface this by saying that I really do like cats AND dogs. This letter was on the opinion page of today's Gloucester Daily Times.
If you can't read the print on the blog page, hover and click to enlarge....

In the four years that I walked delivering newspapers in the TOWN of Rockport, I was bitten at twice by dogs that were in a neighboring yard to their own, jumped on and followed numerous times down one street by a pair of mean cocker spaniels, and had to stop delivering the paper to a customer because his neighbor's dog would come after me if I tried to pass by on the right of way. Yay, when that neighbor finally moved and boo when the new owners had a dog that was even worse. If I got near the end of the right of way it would come after me.

Pet ownership comes with responsibilities. Seems a whole lot of folks don't think it should. Yes, I know many wonderful pet owners who DO take good care of their animals and don't shirk the inherent duties.

However...the rules are too vague and not enforced until matters are far out of hand. Sorry, Mindy, maybe the pay isn't great or the workload is too heavy, but as dog officer, well, more needs to be done. Maybe we need some stiff fines for blatant offenders. I can readily supply some names.

While we're at about a poop scooping law? With so many dogs in Rockport, just walking the sidewalks can be a challenging obstacle course. Speaks poorly for our quaint town and smells bad too.

Not only should the lease law be uniform, it should be enforced. Dog owner's personal freedom should not be detrimental to mine.

Monday, August 06, 2007


First off I'm taking a moment to welcome a fantastic month...August. I love summer and August in Massachusetts is about as close to April in Florida as it gets. Hot and humid most days, but every once in a while there's a moderate day of low 80's with RH around 40%, just to give you a break.

Secondly, I've been "reading around" some other blogs and have realized that my blog has been suffering from lack of hmmmm, umph. Not that I have frequent spectacular events in my life that I feel compelled to relate, but in retrospect, I used to write more about nifty stuff around town, quirky things, and stuff that I was doing other than work, work, work.

Mary, I still haven't finished with a couple tales from Lanesville and I plan on writing them soon. I've got a real life, first time ghostly experience that I'll tell as well.

My next entry will probably cover some of the stuff I've been doing the last week or so. Most of it has been phone calls and paperwork to get my Mom's affairs, such as pension benefits, insurance, health coverage, all set for her. I have taken off a few days from work to take the gang out on minor adventures. You'll be hearing about those.

I've added a new link to the sidebar for C. B. Fisk Organs. It was in the GDT that they had premiered a website. I took a look at it and thought it was super. Have a peek. Tell them I sent you!

Tonight I'm going to try to finish reading Joplin's Ghost. At this point I can say that I am glad I only spent $5 on it and not the original price of $25. It started a bit slow in the first couple of chapters. The historic fictionalization of Joplin's life is quite good, written with enough research to make you almost believe that it could be non-fiction. The haunting of the main character, Phoenix, gets more and more absurd the more I read. I hope it has a surprise ending. An easy read, entertaining...that's it. Once finished I shall be on to reading Slipknot, the first fiction written by Linda Greenlaw. Linda has written several non-fiction books that have been superb. As written on the book jacket..."Before becoming a writer, she was the captain of a swordboat, a career that earned her a prominent role in Sebastian Junger's runaway bestseller The Perfect Storm and a portrayal in the subsequent film. Greenlaw now lives on Isle au Haut, Maine, where she captains a lobster boat."

Off to storyland...

Friday, August 03, 2007

The RO

July 12th I was in Gloucester District Court to extend (or not) the restraining order against my ex for one more year. My appearance time was 10 a.m., but truly that means little as to the actual time that my name would be called. One never knows exactly how busy the court schedule will be. Everyone with civil cases or with a restraining order appearance is scheduled for 10 a.m. Criminal arraignments begin at 9 a.m. Add to that having to go through a security check and you have to allot some extra leeway time. Add to that...there is no parking lot. On street, metered parking only with a 2 hour limit. Just what I'd need, a parking violation while in the courthouse!

I pulled in to the angle parking space, just a half block away from the courthouse. It was 9:20 a.m. I threw a nickel in the meter and sat in the truck. The meter maid strolled by while I was sitting. At 9:30 I hid my cell phone under the seat (they're not allowed in the court building), rolled up the windows, got out, locked the doors, and fed the meter 4 quarters. I was good for 2 hours.

Security check is just as you enter the building, downstairs in front of the police station. The courtrooms are upstairs. New procedure...purse on conveyor belt to be x-rayed and wait. Purse is searched and passes inspection. Only then am I allowed to walk through the metal detector...which goes off.

I always set it off. I think it's my bracelets but they are too annoying to take on and off. So I stand there like a fool, spread eagle, and get wanded. Finally I pass security inspection and I'm allowed to climb the stairs to the courtroom area. The lobby is packed with people and in my mind I can see my parking meter rushing through it's two hours. Just as I found a seat in a far corner, the doors open and everyone is allowed in to the courtroom. Time for the criminal arraignments. I decided that since it was air conditioned in the courtroom, and not in the lobby, I'd go in and listen. It took a while for the judge to get in but I was thrilled to see that it was my favorite, Judge Mori.

I am always amazed to see how irreverent folks are who are appearing in court. I was there by choice, the criminal arraignments, well, those folk mostly HAD to be there. And you'd think that they would want to make a favorable impression, at least seem intelligent and look presentable. Why oh why, would ANYONE appear in court in jeans? tank top? mini skirt? flip-flops? shorts? It's a good thing I'm not a judge. I'd jail them all for ignorance.

So, normal procedure has been that after the criminal arraignments there is a 10 minute recess, then the civil cases. Well, this time the criminal stuff took a long time. It was 10:15 when court adjourned for recess. I didn't think that I would have time to go feed the meter more coins, so taking a chance I decided to stay cool and comfy in the air conditioned courtroom. Then a new routine. Nobody can sit in the courtroom during recess. Oh bleck. Out to the stuffy lobby to wait...15 mintues

Finally, a half hour late, we are called in to the courtroom. This time I'm not called first. I had been the last few times. Few times, you wonder? Originally, two years ago, it took three appearances to get the restraining order. The original request, ten days later to find that the court had not yet received the "return of service", and 10 days after that when the "return of service" had been...returned. I didn't like the judge for the second appearance. He was angry with me that the "return" was not there. Hey! It's not my fault that this went through the mail to the UK, was served by the Met police (very promptly) and then mailed back taking more than 10 days. Oh well, Judge Mori apologized for how his colleague had spoken to me. Yay, Judge Mori! Then last year I had to appear to get the yearly extension.

Unbelievably, the dozen or so cases called before mine were no-shows and I am called, sworn in, and Judge Mori motions that I approach the bench. He asks if I wish the restraining order to be extended for another year. I asked if I may ask a few questions before giving my answer.

"Since there are several outstanding warrants in effect against my ex, would he be arrested if I saw him here in the states and called the police?"

"Yes." "Also, if he tried to enter the states through any major airport, or at the Canadian or Mexican border, he would be stopped and arrested."

To which I responded, "In a perfect world."

(smile) "Well, yes."

"Judge Mori, you have the history of this case in front of you. The last that my ex has attempted contact was October of 2006, when he phoned from a spoofed phone number, trying to reach me. At some point I feel that I need to take the chance and allow the restraining order to expire rather than anticipating an appearance in this courtroom every year. At this point I feel comfortable leaving the decision to you."

He smiled and said, "Let's see what happens. If there are further problems you can come back to court. I hope you have a great summer."


Remember Grandma from my last post?

Then I read about dickiebo and his wife doing some ancestry research and...

Here's where my Grandma J (formerly Miller) lived on Troy Street, in Blackburn, England. The top photo was taken on our trip in 1966. Grandma's house was the second door up from the corner shop. The bottom photo is Grandma J as a child in front of the house taken approximately early 1900.