Fun Bankruptcy Case

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

MERRITT S. DEITZ, Jr., Bankruptcy Judge.

 

Is a bus a bus, or is it a car?

 

Reluctantly we conclude that it is a car.

 

Bankruptcy
petitioner, Theodore Roosevelt Johnson, Sr., has claimed as exempt his
1969 Dodge bus. The bus has a seating capacity of 60 passengers. Upon
it are occasionally transported members of Johnson’s church
congregation.

 

The trustee vehemently objects. He points to the state exemption statute, KRS 427.010,
which in pertinent part permits the exemption of “one motor vehicle and
its necessary accessories, including one spare tire, not exceeding
$2,500 in value…”

 

The trustee patiently explains that the legislature intended the term “motor vehicle” to be synonymous with “automobile”.

 

Enacted
in 1980, the statute excluded earlier statutory limits upon the uses to
which a motor vehicle might be put, so we must cast altogether aside
the trustee’s concern with the voluminous seating capacity of the
behemoth. The record is silent on the size of the petitioner’s family
and their transportation needs.

 

Is
a Moped a motor vehicle? What would the licensing arm of the state
Department of Transportation say to the contention that a bus is not a
motor vehicle? What would Gertrude Stein have to say about what a motor
vehicle is?

 

Such rhetorical questions having been considered, we are bold to say that a bus is a motor vehicle.

 

In
our dialectic, during this era of motorized evolution, we are inclined
to regard the “bus” and the “automobile” as species of the genus,
“motor vehicle”.

 

*15
This
Bankruptcy Court is answerable to an appellate forum of literal bent.
That is good, for it gives us guidance and certainty in ascribing to
the legislature the ability to express its intent in clear, simple,
precise English.

 

As this
trustee will recall, District Judge Thomas Ballantine, in reviewing a
decision of this court, recently held that a statutory 15-day
limitation upon the recording of chattel mortgages imposed a recording
limitation not of indeterminate length, as was contended, but a
limitation of 15 days.

 

Guided
by that clarity of perception, we find with conviction that a motor
vehicle is a motor vehicle, and not necessarily an automobile. We
expressly reserve, until it is properly presented, any consideration of
the reverse proposition that an automobile is neither a bus nor a motor
vehicle.

 

Abundantly confident
that this opinion will find its way alongside Marbury v. Madison and
McCulloch v. Maryland in the lasting library of legal logic, it is
hereby

 

ORDERED that Theodore
Roosevelt Johnson, Sr. is entitled to the claimed exemption, and the
trustee shall comport his activities accordingly in administration of
the estate.

Bkrtcy.Ky., 1981.
In re Johnson
14 B.R. 14

There was another case about whether a tractor-lawnmower could be classified as ‘household furniture”.  But the judge doesn’t have as much fun with it as the above judge did.  Check it out.  169 B.R. 732

Urine and the Sabbath

A couple of fun things going on in my life right now.  Wednesday I will be sworn in by the Chief Justice of the Oklahoma Supreme Court as a Licensed Legal Intern.  I am pretty pumped about that.  That same day I am picking up a vehicle to drive to the J. Reuben Clark National Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah.  We will be there Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.  Sunday morning we will leave to drive back here to Oklahoma City and be ready for classes on Monday.  Please keep us in your prayers for safe travels!  Now I just have to figure out how I am going to work out Valentines Day, without me here until late at night.

School continues along and I think this definitely has to be my most boring semester.  Administration, Agency, Corporation, and Constitutional Law are all very dry.  Some of the professors don’t help the situation a whole lot either.  Administration Law holds some interest for me, probably because I am most familiar with it of all the classes.  But hands down, my favorite class of law school is Debtor and Creditor Law, aka Consumer Bankruptcy.  While the material is interesting, the professor just makes it come alive.  He is there to help us become lawyers and it is manifest.  Other professors pontificate, alienate, and other motives which make it less than the best learning atmosphere.  Professor Vaughn comes speaking to us of personal experience and walks us through the adventure of consumer law.  Oh that all professors were just as good.  After one of the classes, I told him how much I appreciated his style.  He remarked that he initially thought about how smart he could look, and how he was going to make us all grovel at his knowledge.  He then realized that benefits nobody and the best approach is to make the material come alive and to make it interesting.  Boy am I glad he does.  We have some good laughs too.  Our Con Law professor enjoys himself too, but he does all the talking and it turns into a long class period.

Some exciting news on the home.  We had some friends who replaced some appliances.  We jumped at the opportunity to replace our dishwasher with a much newer version.  It is now in place and the old one is listed on Craig’s List, ready to go out to the highest bidder.

We have a squirrel living in the attic in which he marks his territory and we live with the intoxicating smell of a dehydrated squirrel.  I loaned a book in exchange for a squirrel trap, so here is for hoping (s)he falls for peanut butter crackers.  I cannot wait to get rid of him.  I patched the hole he made several weeks ago.  I am surprised he lived this long.  Unfortunately, we have a roof leak which probably replentished him with moisture.  At least he didn’t die between our new ceilings and the old lathe and plaster ones.  Come summer time we would be enduring something far worse than the once a week or so urine smell.  I would have to rip up some of those old ceilings to find him, and in cramped spaces, I can see me vomiting over the rotting corpse of a squirrel while we are both covered in insulation, dust, and plaster.

A couple of thoughts from the Old Testament reading before I stop tonight.  I hear from time to time that the only sacrifices to the Lord were blood sacrifices.  Those individuals need to read the Old Testament a little closer.  There are flour, bread, fruits, and all sorts of other things that were part of the law of sacrifices.  “Then ye shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest unto the priest; and he shall wave the sheaf before the Lord…the meat offering thereof shall be two tenth deals of fine flour mingled with oil, an offering made by fire unto the Lord for a sweet savour: and the drink offering thereof shall be of wine…two wave loaves” and more!  Leviticus 23:10, 13, 17.

The thing that has fascinated me about Leviticus has always been Chapter 25.  The implications of this chapter in the modern world have always made me think.  What if we did this now?  It relates particularly to the Sabbath.  Today we celebrate and honor the Sabbath Day.  Why don’t we celebrate the Sabbath Year?  Why don’t we hold Jubilee?  It would completely revolutionize our economic system and all the ways we look at our society.  I mean, if we keep the Sabbath Day now, it would revolutionize our country.

“Six years thou shalt sow thy field, and six years thou shalt prune thy vineyard, and gather in the fruit thereof; But in the seventh year shall be a sabbath of rest unto the land, a sabbath for the Lord: thou shalt neither sow thy field, nor prune thy vineyard.  That which groweth of its own accord of thy harvest thou shalt not reap, neither gather the grapes of thy vine undressed: for it is a year of rest unto the land.  And the sabbath of the land shall be meat for you; for thee, and for thy servant, and for thy maid, and for thy hired servant, and for thy stranger that sojourneth with thee, and for thy cattle, and for the beast that are in thy land, shall the increase thereof be meat.”  Leviticus 25:4-8.

What if we took the entire 7th year off and dedicated it unto the Lord?  Serve missions?  Focus only on our families?  Travel a little?  The possibilities are endless.  Does that mean the whole country would have to take the same year off?  I don’t know what the ancient practice was, nor do I know if we could all take it off at the same time.  A GDP of 0 for a year?  Geez could we complain?  Sunday is a day off, and the 7th entire year.  Much better deal than any of us get now.  Go to school for a year, is that upholding the Sabbath?

Ah, and then the Jubile!  “And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a jubile unto you: and ye shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family.”  Leviticus 25:10.

So the thought comes, how in the world shall I ever make it through that year?  How in the world can I afford to do what is being asked for me.  To save up, prepare, and to endure that 7th year.  Well, the Lord has an answer for us.  “Then I will command my blessings upon you in the sixth year, and it shall bring forth fruit for three years.”  Leviticus 25:21.  How is that for a blessing.  Not only will we have enough for that one year, but we will have enough for 3 years.  Talk about a great return.  Some of that would have to go to restarting that new year, but wow, there will still be plenty left over.

Anyhow, I won’t go on anymore, but there is an economic system in Leviticus 25!  What if we were to live it today?  How fundamentally different would we be.  Forgiving everyone’s debts every 7 years would be beautiful.  No more house payment.  No usury.  It even talks about the suburbs in Leviticus 25:34!

There are many great things in the Old Testament.  Unfortunately we are all too smart and intelligent to consider giving another chance to the Spirit of the old ways.  We are more knowledgeable today, things are different.  So far, I doubt that, especially when I see our pride in knowing things are certainly different for us now when we seem to keep falling to the same old sins.

Exercising in life

It is simply amazing how refreshing exercise is.  On Saturday I went to play squash with a law school buddy and it changed everything.  Sadly, it had been a week or two since any serious exercise beyond climbing the stairs to the 3rd floor of the law library.  The stress, the dismal outlook, the ache of inactivity, have all melted away!  I feel happier, more excited, and ready to get my beating for finals.  We need to get back into the routine of at least weekly squash!  I read a news line that the lymph system cannot properly work without movement and activity.  I knew this fact, but it dawned on me why exercise feels so good.  It is a great cleansing tool, not just through the pores and circulation, but also in removing waste from the system through that system as well.

On a funny note, last Saturday I came in the house to tell Amanda something I found I needed for Christmas.  (We struggle to find things I need, and I don’t like frivolous Christmas presents)  She came to where I was and I announced that I needed a new pair of gloves.  She got this sheepish look on her face.  I laughed that it was a good thing that she was already aware of it and a new pair was in the works for Christmas.  Then the story came out.  She hijacked my fleece winter gloves to send to her brother serving a mission.  She thought I did not wear them very often, so felt at liberty to give them away.  Apparently, she had mailed them out like the day before.  Here I am the next day announcing I wanted a new pair of gloves for Christmas and she thought she had been caught with her hand in the glove drawer.  Funny what a guilty conscience will reveal!  Looks like I will be getting a pair of work gloves and warm gloves for Christmas (I wore my knitted gloves rather than my fleece gloves last year, so they are quintessentially new).

Finals are upon us starting next Monday!  Constitutional Law is a multiple choice, so it should be fairly easy.  Good fortune has turned my way for finals.  Rumor is that Criminal Procedure will be multiple choice as well, but that is yet to be confirmed.  Could I be so lucky?  We have a take home final and in-class multiple choice for Legal Profession.  Law School is going soft!  Gone are the days of actually requiring we understand the information, just be able to pick out the right answer from a list!  While I welcome the change this semester, I am disappointed law school is going the easy route of education, which in fact lowers our standards of excellence.  The rest of society is doing it, why shouldn’t I expect the same from school?  Church is the only place that still requires proper learning, but I fear too many don’t take the learning seriously for the final bar exam!  There will not be any multiple choice there, after all, the essay will be written/woven into your life.

On that note, a young man was walking by on the street last night as I rolled the garbage bins out to the curb.  He was gregarious and I was happy to talk to him.  He offered to play me a song on his guitar.  Wow, talk about carnal, sensual, and devilish!  As I got to know him more, I realized he was an 18 year old who had nothing in his life but his own pleasure.  Drugs, sex, music, and nothing more.  He attempted to justify all of it to me, but I told him I flat out did not agree.  Amanda hearing the song became alarmed at the company I was keeping and whether I would be safe.  My impression was that I felt so sorry for the kid in that his chances of making anything of his life were next to nothing.  He could change his course, but his habits and ambitions seemed to be such that he would die young with little achieved.  His background with the LDS people led him to reveal all his sins and corruptness to me.  I wanted to hug him and take him in and help him become a better person.  On the other hand, I wanted to send him on his way because he is too far lost, destroyed.  Then there was that fear that lingered that this is the type of person, who like Gadianton, would rob me, his brother, to maintain his lifestyle of no responsibility.  From the old Faust motif, I think the person who scares me more is not the one who knowingly trades his soul and then cannot escape later.  It is the one who is born or raised in such a way that he never had his soul to give, but is enchained is such destructive habits and behaviours.  It made me all the more appreciative of my good parents, who taught me responsibility, diligence, work, and love.  Just that in of itself has given me a jump on life this boy never had.  Not that it is unable to be overcome, but the lack of responsibility, coupled with addictions to drugs and sex, makes for a near impossible challenge.  Then again, shame on me for consigning him to hopelessness, and fearing the loss of my possessions.  What is to be done?  I have not a clue.  I cannot save him.  I am not in my life to a point I can help him.  He did ask for a copy of the scriptures, which I gladly shared, and got his number for the missionaries.  I just don’t know what to do with this experience.  Like the mission, it is one of those you set aside and ponder about for years, wondering what more you could have done, what you should have done, or what should not have been done.  Who knew taking out the rubbish would yield such a result?

Days of Thanksgiving

Life seems to be a constant blur as the days fly by with such speed that it almost becomes alarming.  The variety of reading, the topics, and the constant barrage of information in law school is enlivening and thrilling.  On the other hand, the lack of change, and the sheer amount of information thrust upon us, and the endless days of a self-imposed imprisonment make the days not pass fast enough.  The diligence required of the situation is wearisome, and yet I beat myself up for not being diligent enough since I cannot seem to digest the material to the degree that I want.  Another week, and the full final preparation mode kicks in.  I am so numb from school now, I have to find something extra within me to endure to what will be an inevitable end of the semester.  Hopefully I can pull all above average grades again.

I have nothing really to offer with relation to school.  Income Tax requires so much time and effort that I can spend up to 3 or 4 hours on it a night.  The problem is that I then go to class and find myself still getting half the problems wrong.  It is hard to stay motivated when no matter hard I try, I seem to be incapable of making it all work out.  The final scares me in that I have no clue how I will work through the entire semester and the huge amount of material during the semester.  The only consolation I have is that with all I speak, they assure me it is the hardest class any of them ever took.  That does make me feel better, but makes me wonder why I thought I would take it the heaviest semester of law school!?  (insert swear words of choice!)

The rest of the classes are cake compared to tax.  Evidence is more memorization of rules and knowing the interpretation surrounding them.  The same is pretty much true for Legal Ethics.  I took the MPRE two weeks ago and have no clue how I did.  I prepped for two weeks and felt really good going in.  That test came from somewhere else though, so we will just have to wait and see.  I just have to get above an 85 for Idaho (Utah is the highest at 86, Oklahoma one of the lowest at 75).

Criminal Procedure is a class that heavily relies on case law and the nuances that come with it.  Sometimes I admit I wonder what the Supreme Court is thinking or what mind-numbing drugs they are on.  Sometimes I wonder if we ought not to abandon stare decisis and revert to the civil code.  Boy, it sure appears to be a whole lot easier than taking a course on 80 years of the Supreme Court trying to make a sentence of the Constitution mean something.

In addition to all that, I still serve as Ward Mission Leader.  How I dedicate another 10+ hours to that each week I don’t know.  J. Reuben Clark takes an hour or two, and then an hour for LDSSA/Institute.  President Gillespie of the Oklahoma City Temple pulled Amanda and I into his office a few weeks ago and invited us to become temple workers.  We have turned in all that paperwork and it looks like we start training to be temple workers right after Christmas.  We will start working two Saturday’s a month.  Where I will push my other Saturday activities, I am not entirely sure.  We will make it work.

Anyhow, I wish I had a day to sleep in beyond 7:00 AM.  But then again, I have always been selfish that way.  12 hours a day at school, Fridays at work, Saturdays in missionary work and trying to catch up on the yard and homework, Sunday’s full of church and missionaries, and the week starts all over again.  It is not so much that I feel like I am not spending my time in worthwhile pursuits, it is just hard to keep my mind about it and keep the purposes in mind.

We spent all day yesterday working in the Oklahoma City Temple for the Days of Thanksgiving.  We did an endowment, 2 hours of working in the baptistry, and 4 hours in sealings.  While tiring physically, it was a much needed boost spiritually.  I will look forward to working there on a more regular basis.

What will happen when this semester ends?  I really don’t know.  I think we are going to paint a kitchen and hang a new door in the bathroom.  We have to drive to Dallas to attend the temple there and buy our temple working clothes.  Then we start another semester.  I am definitely going to try and take a lighter load next semester.  Until then, endurance is the name of the game.

Classes and JRCLS

I am writing after working my way further and further into the bowels of my 3rd semester of law school.  Honestly, I think it is easier than the first year.  It is a great relief to not have to worry about a paper or impending writing coming upon me.  Oddly, I can get into a routine and not really have to worry about anything upsetting that routine until finals (oh and some silly little MPRE exam in November I have to pass to fully take the bar and get my legal intern license).

This semester’s roster includes Federal Income Tax, Evidence, Criminal Procedure, Constitutional Law, and Legal Profession (aka professional ethics).  The classes are enjoyable.  It is almost like the teachers are no longer out to intimidate us or make sure we have the salt not to drop out.  I hope it continues.  Hands down, my favorite class is still Constitutional Law.  My undergrad, Law & Constitutional Studies, is right down this alley.  The degree is basically a pseudo law degree with a large dose of constitutional law.  Not only do I enjoy the class, but I am familiar with everything we have covered already from Utah State University.  If it helps, my professor even reminds me in looks of my constitutional law professor at USU.

The next class to tie for first for what I most enjoy is strangely Federal Income Tax.  What an interesting class.  All of the law school classes up until now have been hypothetical realms of some future case I may deal with in whatever field of law I choose.  But Federal Income Tax is applicable to me as an individual and implicates the majority of Americans.  I did like the brief historical background too.  Did you know that the United States only had taxes from 1791 to 1802, then 1813 to 1818, and then our current taxation period started in 1861?  The taxes in all three periods were brought about because of war.  Too bad the money hungry government couldn’t go back to no taxes after they finished paying off the Civil War.  Oh, and the old taxable items were spirits, tobacco, and beer!  Income taxes didn’t come along until the 1890′s and contrary to popular belief, were Constitutional.  The Amendment just changed things so nobody had to worry about the proportionality among the states.  Since the first chapter it has been nothing but the nitty gritty of gross income and exclusions ever since.  It is nice to have a class with a little math and good solid answers.

Evidence and Criminal Procedure are pretty much up the same line of thinking.  The professor for Criminal Procedure is hilarious both for his jokes and his little man complex.  The evidence is an intense individual with a very dramatic moving teaching style.  I think he must make 100 laps across the front of the class room in each class and if you were to put weights in his hands, he would be one buff dude.

Lastly is professional ethics.  I wonder how necessary the class really is.  But it is very interesting in that we are confronted with the situations that many lawyers find themselves in, and we get to learn how the ethics rules apply.  Mostly though, we get to discuss what is right and wrong.  I assume the basic importance of the class is to help us recognize the situations and make decisions now on how we will react to them in the future.  There are some serious conflicts for lawyers between confidentiality and doing justice to the public.  Somehow I find myself really torn in so many situations on how I would react.  While most of the time, the rules enthrone confidentiality and working only for your client.  I don’t accept those underlying premises and find myself not even on the same page as most of the individuals in the classes.  To me, a lawyers job is to assist clients in receiving help in navigating justice.  In my understanding and heart, my duty is to justice (Plato and Socrates coming out here) and to society at large.  If a client was to confess a murder to me, I would accept his confidentiality and keep it, but I would feel a very heavy burden to anonymously notify somebody with a clue or tip to make sure justice is also met.  Even further, especially if somebody was serving time for a crime for somebody else.  The form of justice and my duty to society would seem to require I tell.  But, this enthroned idea of confidentiality requires a lawyer never to disclose (there are some exceptions, which are pretty rare and difficult to even see if you meet the criteria).

A slight roadbump did come this week.  I don’t know if I mentioned that I was voted in as Vice President of the J. Reuben Clark Law Society this past spring.  In a quick note, I sat too far back and totally was not reading the minds of the people running the meeting.  I thought somebody wanted to not be President so I made a motion to open the floor so he didn’t have to be.  Well, he was nominated and accepted.  Then I thought the secretary didn’t want to be, so I nominated someone else.  That person declined because she had read that the secretary wanted to stay in.  I misread everything.  But my motioning to open the floor for the President made someone else think I wanted to be President and they nominated me for Vice President.  I really wanted to focus only on my studies and had no interest in serving in any club beyond showing up for service or something.  Now I found myself nominated for Vice President.  I was going to decline but the quote from none other than J. Reuben Clark crossed my mind, “In the service of the Lord, it is not where you serve but how. In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, one takes the place to which one is duly called, which place one neither seeks nor declines.”  While that quote really doesn’t apply outside the church, the thought passed that I should neither seek nor decline.  I certainly didn’t seek it, and now I thought I shouldn’t decline it.

Well, just alike a Gerald Ford sort of situation, the President transferred from OCU to another school.  That left a vacancy with another acting pro temp.  I nominated the person acting pro temp as president and he declined!  Next thing I knew I was nominated and in a dastardly act, I was not given the opportunity to decline.  Not that it had really dawned on me what was happening yet.  The meeting moved on, I was nominated, none else were and a vote came up.  Here I am the new President of the J. Reuben Clark Law Society and I haven’t a clue what I am doing!  What is more, I work for the liaison for attorney division of JRCLS (J Reuben Clark Law Society).  I now sit as a President of an organization officially chartered and ran through BYU, which really rubs me wrong, and somehow I am no longer just following the lead of someone else, I am supposed to lead out!  Yikes.  So much for just paying attention to my studies and avoiding any responsibility in law school.  Add that to Vice President of LDSSA and Ward Mission Leader and my church service has expanded.  Of course, I could just sit back and let it die away, but because it is linked in some way to the church, I honestly feel like I have to really do something.  Any suggestions?  I could really use them.

Anyhow, I have some other interesting things to share, but it is late and this is already too long.  Many things to think about recently.

Construction again

Amanda has announced that we have started our next project on the house.  Even before the last one was completed.  As most already know, we had our home broken into the last day of April.  I finally replaced the double doors this past week and a half.  But before I could get the trim put up, Amanda let me know not to put it up because she was going to paint the room.  I am okay with that, just wanted to get the bathroom finished before we started another room.  She hasn’t let me know the color yet, but I started scraping the walls last night of the strange plaster leaf patters found throughout the room. We can start sanding the walls down tonight and hopefully have the patching and priming done on Friday.  Then Amanda and paint her little heart’s content on Saturday and Monday.  This room just happens to be a pain because we had to seal it from the rest of the kitchen, and the little utility closet, and now to cover the refrigerator (have you ever thought of what a strange name that is?  Frigid-cold.  Refrig?  Was it cold before?  rator makes some sense, it seems to denote a motor is involved.  Probably just some marketing name that stuck).

The replacement back patio french doors turned out to be an episode in and of itself.  When I went to Lowe’s, I told them what I wanted and made sure to emphasize I needed it in 60 inch, not the usual 72 inch.  We loaded the doors into the truck and drove home.  A good friend came over and we carried the doors around back (heavy thing!) and I had a 72 inch set of french doors.  Darn it!  We then had to reload them, take them back, go through the whole process of return, and then waiting for them to get the hyster to pull the doors we need off the second tier of shelving.  We made it back home with the much lighter doors.  However, the eave is pretty low on the back so I had to lose the molding off the outside top of the door.  It was a very, very tight fit, but we got the doors in.  It then took us the next 4 hours to get the doors level and to close right.  In the end, I had to have another friend come over that weekend and help level them out some more.  We finally came to the conclusion the door is warped.  I am hoping the door will warp back to where it needs because I most surely am not taking the entire door set back to Lowe’s for a new set to do the whole thing all over again!

I caulked the sides and just need to finish trimming the outside after we get the security people over to install the new sensor (which I broke on the old door).  If it is not one thing, it is another.

We have been getting some estimates on the tiling of the bathroom.  We have some as high as $700 and some as low as $350.  Those are both just for the labour.  I really don’t want to have to rent/buy a saw and go through the chores of the tiling business just to screw it up and start over.  I would like to watch someone do it and then I will venture in the future.  I guess I could always go do the DIY class somewhere, but school starts in a few weeks.  I don’t have time.  I don’t think the supplies will cost more than $300 for our little shower.  We will do it in the next month.

Then starts the dreaded school!  Just thinking about it makes my stomach sick.  The long, long hours of slaving over books doesn’t seem all that exciting.  I do find it very mentally stimulating and exciting learning the new things, but it wears on you after the first month.  Then it is just enduring because you realize nothing else in your life is being accomplished.  Like the at favorite book, wanting to watch a movie, or even just eating out once and a while.  Nope, you are a slave to the law library.  To such a degree that you have to wear your reading glasses by the end of the semester and you cannot seem to get the right words to come out of your mouth.  You are thinking the right word, but a different word emerges.  Hopefully not to anyone’s embarrassment.  I am taking more credits this coming semester than I ever have and I fear that after having the entire summer off.  Some people have kept the pace to some degree over the summer, but I have been completely involved in other pursuits in the evenings.  As long as everyone realizes that I am Mr. Anti-Social during school, and all will be fine.

Probably time to sign out.  I would offer some political advice, but I am so far removed from the political situation now that it was be the same as a sports enthusiast at the television.  One thing is for sure, if I personally spent like the government, I would have lost all credit and probably even thrown in jail.  Funny what government can get away with.  Hopefully all the states will finally stand up and take their position as opposition to the Federal Government.  I don’t care who the President is.  Our current man isn’t any better than the last with fiscal responsibility.  Both are cowards and weak at determining what really is the future of our nation.  It would be great if we could have a California situation with the national government.

Rambling June

Today we did a deposition for several hours.  Very interesting.  This is the second one I have attended and both were so different, yet so much alike.  Somehow getting to ask nearly any question you want that relates to an individual has a strange sort of appeal.  The one today included what would be some very embarrassing questions that I wouldn’t ask some of my closest friends, but we asked them because they really were pertinent to the litigation.  This case continues to proceed closer to trial and I am getting some pretty good in-the-trenches experience.  Who would have thought the summer would turn out this good.

I found another dead bird in my yard.  Somehow they seem to be dropping dead all over the place (literally!).  I wonder if they are eating the fertilizer that was put down or if there is something else going on.  Perhaps a non-transferable form of the Avian flu?  I don’t notice any tale-tell signs of the flu with these birds.  Who knows.  Sadly, all the dead birds are robins, bluejays, and cardinals.  Four dead birds in the past week and they look like the just fell to where they laid.  Not sure.  On a lighter note, Amanda told me the other day of a patient in her chair with her toddler.  A bird landed out the window and the little boy commented something like, “Look mom, a redjay!”  I had a good laugh from that one.  How do you answer that without turning off the inquisitive nature?

We fly out for Salt Lake City on Saturday.  Another lame pit-stop in Denver.  As much as I hate flying, I think the layovers are getting to be even more deplored.  We will be a week in Utah/Idaho for Amanda’s brother’s farewell (technically Mormon-speak should be, “opportunity to speak before leaving on a mission”) and open-house (again Mormon-speak, since open houses are no longer permitted, is family get-together to wish him well on a mission).  Then on Wednesday he enters the MTC for his whopping 21 days before flying off to the heat of summer Atlanta, Georgia.  I am glad they don’t let anyone go into the MTC anymore.  It really is a mini sacrament meeting that was pretty much a farce with the constrained, canned talks in the highly charged atmosphere.  I feel sorry for the poor MTC Mission President who had to give the same talk multiple times a day every week for his whole tenure.  Honestly, I am glad the church did away with the farewell, homecoming, and MTC bits.  But as Mormons float between culture and doctrine/practice we always seem to prefer the happy, feel-good side of culture.  Anyhow, nothing really against missionaries, missions, or family bonds and connections about to be stretched and strengthened for two years just the heed we seem to feel for a tradition and culture that has no foundation in truth or doctrine that somehow becomes more important than the everlasting.  Anyhow, in telling of what we are going to do I got into an expose on something else that has nothing to do with our trip.

Then we make our trip up to Idaho, probably for a day or so.  Dad’s birthday is on the 4th of July so we would like to go up for that.  However, since we fly out Sunday morning, we will spend that evening in Utah so we cannot spend the entire 4th in Idaho.  We will probably go up the day before, go out to dinner, and I would really like to hit the Rupert Parade on Saturday before heading south.  We will see.  Hopefully Amanda will be able to come up.  She seems to be pretty set on the 4th in Kaysville.

Amanda is in the throes of another murder party.  She made me a pair of chaps already since it has a western theme.  You will have to keep your eyes on the look out for the cowboy coming out long after the last time I rode a horse.