28 April 2008

Thank You *UPDATED* *UPDATED x2*

Several kind people have asked how they could donate to help offset our expenses. The outpouring of support has been amazing to me. I signed up for an Amazon Honor Pay Box which can be accessed below. At some point, I'll figure out how to embed it into the main page or the sidebar, but until then I'll sticky this post to the top.

Thank you all again. It's kind of overwhelming still, but in a good way this time.

*UPDATE* Funny, but once I got it to show up in the post, it started showing up in the sidebar and at the bottom of the page.  I'll still be taking some time off from blogging to concentrate on getting these legal matters settled, but my stress is greatly lowered already thanks to some pretty wonderful friends.

*UPDATEx2* I just had to add this update as well.  And I took out the Amazon button from the post since it's working on the page now.

It looks like anyone who donates has up to 30 days (Note: That was according to the confirmation email that people can send.  Some research reveals that it's 7 days from Amazon and up to 30 days to contest it with a credit-card company which, since it's on the "honor system", would be automatic.  However, anyone who changes their mind can contact me and we'll work out how to return a charge with as little hassle as possible.) to change their mind, no questions asked (by Amazon or me).  This is great because I would rather someone cancel than regret a donation.  If anyone selects the option to reveal their information, it sends me an email with payor information.  I'm not going to mention individuals here, but I will be sending emails with additional thanks after giving a blanket thank-you now.  Also, the minimum is $1.00 and the maximum is set by Amazon at $50.00 per transaction and can't be raised (I was asked that... really.  Can you believe the generosity of some people?  Incredible.).  The more I learn about the Amazon system, the more I like it.

The donations are very much appreciated as the extra attorney fees, filing fees, travel costs, and a HUGE tax hit from having to amend the tax returns for the past couple of years because of this, have really driven us into our reserves much earlier than anything we could have otherwise expected.  We hope to be able to re-amend (is that a word?) the income taxes once all the paperwork is filed and complete, maybe recovering some of that extra tax money we ended up paying (that we shouldn't have had to pay in the first place because we did everything they told us we were supposed to do and how can... :breathe: ok, I'm better now. ).

Anyway, thanks to everyone again for their support, prayers, and donations.  All three are appreciated in whatever amount offered.  Bless you all.

Posted by: Stashiu3 at 14:23:13 | Comments (13) | Add Comment
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25 April 2008

Trouble With The Law

I've met literally dozens of fine attorneys while in the military and only one that I didn't have respect for.  I've never been arrested, accused of a crime (besides three speeding tickets in almost 30 years, the last one over 12 years ago), or sued for anything.

Patterico, and the lawyers who co-blog and comment at his site, is/are a great example of how I feel about most attorneys.  Excellent minds, strong character, and respect for the opinions of others are business as usual there.

I'm currently at my wits end though.  (Note:  I've deleted this part and re-written it four five six times so far before publishing... that's how difficult this is to talk about.)  We're trying to work through an attorney to fix mistakes our first attorney made when we adopted our two daughters.  This new attorney is ate up from the floor up as well, but we've already paid them over 6,000 dollars and can't afford the time or money to search for another one.  This is on top of the thousands of dollars we paid the first attorney.

These last two day-trips out of town were to try and finalize these legal issues.  It took a toll on my health and today was the last straw.  They sent me an email about 15 minutes before the end of the workday saying they needed a copy of my birth certificate before they could go any further.  My birth certificate.  Which, by the way, we gave them a copy of at our very first effing meeting.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I know most lawyers are good people trying to do a good job.  I'm just so disheartened right now that it's difficult to blog or even comment elsewhere.  I'm sick with worry that we might lose our daughters and my health is spiraling down because of it. 

I'm taking a break for a while, maybe a long while, maybe forever.  I want to thank everyone who has come by to visit and hope you've found it worthwhile.  I appreciate all the support too, you know who you are.

Be well.

Posted by: Stashiu3 at 22:00:55 | Comments (30) | Add Comment
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08 April 2008

Sorry For The Light Blogging

Such fun today (/sarc).  The oldest son took our three younger children and two friends to Six Flags and had a great time.  Coming back out to the car (my wife's), they found it had been broken into and some stuff stolen.  Nobody was hurt as the thieves had already left with some electronics, cash, and my oldest daughter's credit card which she had left in there under the seat.  They called me to ask what they should do first and I had them go to the security office to file a report and said I would take care of the credit card.  By the time I had reported it, the thieves had already gotten gas and tried to get cash from three different ATM's.

I'm thankful they're all ok and back home safe now.  The next thing I'd like to see is the newspaper story about how some thieves accidentally drove into a lake and slowly drowned. Does that fit the crime?  Nope.  Do I care?  Nope.  I'd be just as happy to see them get caught and sentenced to an appropriate amount of time in jail.  It's an emotional toss-up right now though because I'm still pretty angry.  Not at the kids... at the thieves who stole more than some stuff, cash, and a credit card.  They stole what should have been a pretty good memory of a pretty good day from my family.

Feh.

Posted by: Stashiu3 at 23:44:22 | Comments (5) | Add Comment
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Telemarketing Troubles (And My Fix)

I had been getting a lot of telephone calls from telemarketers for Medicare supplemental insurance, mortgage insurance, magazine subscriptions, and other things.  They frequently started off by saying that this "is not a sales call" and they just want to "verify some information".  They'll have some bit of real information like, "Do you still live at...?", then follow up with questions about how much insurance I have or somesuch, trying to get me to give up information that they don't really have before going into the full pitch.

I am on the Do-Not-Call list and have made sure my listing was updated.  Apparently it's not working so well anymore, at least not for me.  I've tried many things in the past that ended up being more aggravating than satisfying... prank responses, hanging up, breaking in and saying "Please remove my name from your list", trying to explain that continuing to call someone on the Do-Not-Call list might get them in trouble, all to no avail.  Now, I don't feel like taking anyone to court very often, much less over something like this.  Maybe going through all the hassle of reporting offenders, documenting calls and times, and whatever other nonsense is "recommended" is worth it to some people.  I'm not one of them.

more...

Posted by: Stashiu3 at 15:15:46 | Comments (6) | Add Comment
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07 April 2008

Harper is BANNED!!

The Plague Fairy is officially banned until such time as she earns her bannage at Teh Squeaky Wheel, which is richly deserved (she's worked hard for it).  This banlessness state cannot be tolerated by right-thinking folks anywhere.  The Plague Fairy  (aka Harper, aka The Gentle Lady) means so much, to so many people, that failing to ban her when she specifically requests it is indefensible (aka "poo-poo reasoning").

I'm sure Harper will leave a comment here confirming her pleasure at finally being banned somewhere.  Please congratulate her and offer your support for further bannings.

*NOTE*  This ban does not pertain to her IP address, screen name, any sock puppets she may employ, or prevent her commenting here or elsewhere.  In other words, the nicest possible ban you will ever see, anywhere.

Posted by: Stashiu3 at 13:15:36 | Comments (4) | Add Comment
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05 April 2008

Blog Maintenance / Open Thread

I've made a lot of aesthetic changes and am going to be cleaning up some of the posts, especially the earlier ones.  I won't change any of the content, just put some content in the longer entries below a fold, clean up the categories... stuff like that.

Consider this an open thread for feedback on the style changes, suggestions for more, pointing out things needing cleanup that I might have missed, or whatever you'd  like to comment on.  Thanks to everyone who has been coming, welcome to anyone here for the first time (feel free to look around some), and everyone who takes the time to leave a comment.  That's the best.


Posted by: Stashiu3 at 13:33:41 | Comments (11) | Add Comment
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IOC Doubles-Down On Olympic Choice

The International Olympic Committee just announced that it still considers China a "wise choice" for the upcoming Olympic Games.

Rogge said the opportunity to bring the Games to the world's most populous nation meant the IOC had made the right choice.

"IOC considers that it made a wise choice in awarding the games to Beijing and we have no regrets," Rogge told a news conference in response to a question about China's human rights record.

"We have the tremendous added value of bringing sports and the Olympics to one fifth of mankind."

This of course means that China should get to host the Olympics every time until some other country surpasses China in population.  Here are two more examples of extreme denial in the same article... this:

"We are definitely not happy with protests but we respect them as long as they are not violent," he said.

Firing into crowds of protesters and killing 8 of them isn't violent?  That's just the most recent example of the Chinese government's brand of "non-violence".  And then there is this about the smog and pollution surrounding the Games:

more...

Posted by: Stashiu3 at 12:22:15 | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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02 April 2008

How Dare He Judge Them?

Try to inject a little advice in the courtroom while respecting a suspect's delicate sensibilities and what do you get?

"I didn't want to appear to be condescending, talking them down," Arrington told Atlanta radio station WSB. The judge, who has been on the bench for six years, noted that he grew up on inner-city streets in Atlanta. Arrington says he urged people in the courtroom to take a hard look at their lives.

He says his message was "Get your life together, get in school, you can be a better you if you work hard." Arrington says his message was essentially the same that comedian Bill Cosby has made.

You get to apologize.  Notice that the judge is black also, not that it should really matter.  Next time, he should just apologize for making them take time out of their busy criminal schedule to come see him.

Posted by: Stashiu3 at 13:12:47 | No Comments | Add Comment
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