Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Tickets, Anyone?

A new post by fellow blogger Ace told of his recent traffic ticket and the Notice to Appear that he received. I was reminded of a somewhat humorous situation that I dealt with many years ago. I hate to mention how many years ago it actually was because I will just depress myself at the holiday season as I remember that I am getting old!

I did post the story as part of a multi-themed post almost five years ago. This is what I wrote back then.

The Traffic Ticket and the Concert
I worked all day on Friday and then headed off to see Heart and Joan Jett and the Blackhearts in concert. Just a few blocks away from my house, I got pulled over by a deputy sheriff who thought that a car zipping by at 20 miles over the speed limit should not get away unscathed.

I can't even remember how long it has been since I got a conviction on a ticket. Even the last ticket I received was over ten years ago. I got it late one night coming off an interstate highway in a desolate area. I unfortunately did not come to a complete stop at a stop sign -- something done by many that time of night. Unfortunately, the county police used that intersection as a money making project for the county. Even while getting the ticket, I was advised by the deputy sheriff to ask for court supervision, which would add additional revenue to the county.

I went to the courthouse on the designated day ... along with probably over 100 more suckers. The process was fast -- plead guilty, ask for supervision, pay a little extra money, go home. Sweet way to gouge us chumps who got caught in the late-night trap. My moment in open court was a tad funny.

Court officer: Mr. lightning, are you currently on court supervision?

Me: No. However, in the state of Indiana, I believe I am currently on some sort of driver's diversion program.

Court officer: We don't care about Indiana. Are you pleading guilty and asking for court supervision?

Me: Yes.

Judge: Approved. Pay the clerk. Next case ...

Mrs. lightning and I got to the concert in plenty of time despite the unanticipated delay. My wife was extremely tired from a long week at work and fought to stay awake at the concert.

The concert itself: meh. Both groups sounded really good, but it ended up seeming like some rather boring 1980's flashback to me.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! And for all my friends outside the United States - have a great day!

Wednesday, November 06, 2019

Hotel Tony Bigcharles: You Can Check Out Any Time You Like, But You Can Never Leave

The other day I happened to look at a post I wrote in December 2014 -- almost five years ago. At that particular time, I had become frustrated being the assumed head (or Grand Exalted Poobah, as I liked to call myself) of the Tony Bigcharles Inner Circle, a small group of friends that Tony had to complain to, share ideas with, etc.
My post was titled "On Leaving Walden" and quoted Thoreau:

I left the woods for as good a reason as I went there. Perhaps it seemed to me that I had several more lives to live, and could not spare any more time for that one. It is remarkable how easily and insensibly we fall into a particular route, and make a beaten track for ourselves. I had not lived there a week before my feet wore a path from my door to the pond-side; and though it is five or six years since I trod it, it is still quite distinct. It is true, I fear, that others may have fallen into it, and so helped to keep it open. The surface of the earth is soft and impressible by the feet of men; and so with the paths which the mind travels. How worn and dusty, then, must be the highways of the world, how deep the ruts of tradition and conformity! I did not wish to take a cabin passage, but rather to go before the mast and on the deck of the world, for there I could best see the moonlight amid the mountains. I do not wish to go below now.

I had just returned for a trip to Las Vegas and had, actually, one of my all-time favorite trips. I spent time playing poker and hanging out with two of my poker buddies -- Rob and Nick. I won a lot at poker that particular trip (except at, of all places, Bally's!), and had fun doing some other things like participating in the old WPBT (World Poker Bloggers Tournament) and playing Cards Against Humanity with Rob, Nick, Alysia Chang, Rob's old poker friend "Prudence," and via computer for part of the game, Poker Grump. I had hung out with TBC for a bit, but he was being a dick this particular visit and my frustrations with him were at an all-time high. After I got back home, I thought it was time to give up the leadership of the TBC Inner Circle.

I first met TBC in February 2012.  As I recall, I somehow assumed Inner Circle leadership after it was abandoned by poker friend grrouchie. Very Josie had been kind of the interim leader for a time, but she felt like she needed to back away and reclaim some of her life. That was also my intention as 2014 came to an end.

It is funny how time flies. In the almost five years after I decided to back away from the day-to-day life of TBC, I find that I am still connected to him. We don't communicate as frequently as we used to, but I believe and I hope that he still considers me one of the friends that he can depend upon. I sometimes hear from him when he is stressing out or has some big decision to make, or is scared that someone is going to kill him and steal the sockroll. He knows that I am honest with him, and hey -- friends sometimes get upset with each other but still stay friends.

One of the big benefits from being part of the TBC story is the many, many TBC followers whom I've met over the years. I can truly say that almost all of them have been good people who, at one time or another, attempted to help out Tony. Sometimes they get a little frustrated at the progress, which I have sometimes compared to drilling through rock with water - one drip at a time. But their good intentions were there.

This coming February will mark eight years since I first met TBC and became involved in the circus. I must say that the ongoing TBC story provided some light to me on some of the dark, crappy days of my life. Like a lonnnnng book that takes seemingly forever to read, there is always another chapter to try to sneak in before you call it a day. The sockroll lives on!

Thanks for reading!