Nothing but Surprises

I have to say that Defending Jacob by William Landay is suspenseful, and surprising. This is not your typical murder mystery because it involves a teen ager as the victim, and who knows maybe a teen ager as the killer. I never learned who the real killer was, nor his motive, nor how he did it, but that is why I call it a suspense story.

There are so many characters in the story that I found myself trying to figure who the killer was. I partly guessed right. I admit that almost every character in the story is intimately involved. The author did not place characters in the story just to fill space.

One theory of defense postulated is the “murder gene.” If you have this gene you may be pre-disposed to violence. It is not a proven science yet, but it is far enough along to write about it.

The first eighty percent of the story is plot build up, and character development; the thrills take place in the last twenty percent. I hesitated beginning this book because so many murder mysteries are so alike; this one is not. It is so far from the ordinary, that I stayed up past my bed time to keep on reading.

This story clearly points out how clueless parents can be of a teen’s activities. The parents of this fourteen year old could not imagine that their son was into dark porn websites, but he was. He also wrote a story that mimicked the murder and all the characters involved, then posted it on a social media website for the world to see. That little act did not help his cause one bit. Much of the story depicts the family falling apart over the kid’s arrest, indictment, and trial. The father lost his job, his mother quit her teaching job, the school suspended the accused, all their friends shunned them. They were in total solitary confinement. At first, the parents did not believe their son is guilty, but as the trial opens, and they hear testimony pointing at him they begin to have doubts. By the time the trial ends, the family is held together by flimsy threads.

I have to give this story five stars. ⊕⊕⊕⊕⊕

Where Is Eden?

Dear Diary:

Aug. 12: Moved to our new home in Illinois. It is so beautiful here. The scenery is wonderful. Can hardly wait to see it with snow covering the landscape. I love it here!

Oct. 14: Illinois is the most beautiful place on Earth! The leaves have turned all colors with shades of red and orange. Went for a ride in the country and saw some deer. They are so graceful. Certainly they are the most wonderful animals on Earth. This must be Paradise. I love it here!

Nov. 11: Deer season will start soon. I can’t imagine anyone wanting to kill such a gorgeous creature. Hope it will snow soon. I love it here.

Dec. 2: It snowed last night! Woke up to find everything blanketed with white. It looks like a postcard. We went outside and cleaned the snow off the steps and shoveled the driveway. We had a snow ball fight (I won), and when the snowplow came by, we had to shovel the driveway again. What a beautiful place. I love Illinois.

Dec. 12: More snow last night. I love it. The snowplow did his trick to the driveway again. I love it here.

Dec. 19: More snow last night. I couldn’t get out of the driveway to get to work. I am exhausted from shoveling. Damn snow plow.

Dec. 22: More of that white shit fell last night. I’ve got blisters on my hands from shoveling. I think the snowplow hides around the curve and waits until I am done shoveling the driveway. Asshole!

Dec. 26: Merry stinking Christmas. More damn snow! If I ever get my hands on that son of a bitch who drives that snowplow, I swear I’ll kill the bastard. Don’t know why they don’t use more salt on the roads to melt the damn ice.

Dec. 28: More white shit last night. Been inside for 3 days except for the shoveling out the driveway after every time the snow plow goes through. Can’t go anywhere, car’s stuck in a mountain of white shit. The weatherman says to expect another 10″ of the shit again tonight. Do you know how many shovels full of snow are in 10″??

Dec. 29: The stinking weatherman was wrong. We got 12″ of the white shit this time. At this rate it won’t melt before next summer. The snowplow got stuck up the road and that bastard came to the door and asked to borrow my shovel. After I told him I had already broken six shovels while shoveling all the damn snow he pushed into the driveway, I broke the last one over his damn head.

Jan. 4: Finally got out of the house today. Went to the store to get food and on the way back a damned deer ran in front of the car and I hit it. Did about $3000 damage to the car. Those damn beasts should be killed. Wish the hunters had killed them all last November.

May 3: Took the car to the garage in town. Would you believe the thing is rusting our from that damned salt they put all over the road??!

May 10: Moved to Arizona. I can’t imagine why anyone in his right mind would ever live in the state of Illinois.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

MOVING TO ARIZONA

May 30th — Now this is a state that knows how to live!! Beautiful sunny days and warm balmy evenings. Mountains and deserts blended together. What a place! Watched the sunset from a park lying on a blanket. It was beautiful. I’ve finally found my home. I love it here!

June 14th — Really heating up. Got to 100 today. Not a problem. Live in an air-conditioned home, drive an air-conditioned car. What a pleasure to see the sun every day like this. I’m turning into a real sun worshipper.

June 30th — Had the backyard landscaped with western plants today. Lots of cactus and rocks. What a breeze to maintain. No more mowing for me. Another scorcher today, but I love it here!

July 10th — The temperature hasn’t been below 100 all week. How do people get used to this kind of heat? At least it’s a dry heat. Getting used to it is taking longer than I expected.

July 15th — Fell asleep by the pool. (Got 3rd degree burns over 60% of my body.) Missed two days of work, what a dumb thing to do. I learrned my lesson though: got to respect the ol’ sun in a climate like this.

July 25th — Dry f***ing heat, my ass. Hot is hot!! The home air-conditioner is on the fritz and AC repairman charged $200 just to drive by and tell me he needed to order parts.

July 30th — Been sleeping outside by the pool for three nights now. $1,100 in damn house payments and we can’t even go inside. Why did I ever come here?

Aug 4th — 115 degrees. Finally got the air conditioner fixed today. It cost $500 and gets the temperature down to about 90. Stupid repairman pissed in my pool. I hate this f***ing state.

Aug 8th — If another wise ass cracks, “Hot enough for ya today?”, I’m going to tear his f***ing throat out. Damn heat. By the time I get to work the radiator is boiling over, my clothes are soaking wet.

Aug 10th — The weather report might as well be a damn recording: Hot and Sunny. It’s been too hot to f*** for two damn months and the weatherman says it might really warm up next week. Doesn’t it ever rain in this barren damn desert?? Water rationing has been in effect all summer, so $1,700 worth of cactus just dried up and blew into the pool. Even a cactus can’t live in this heat.

Aug 14th — Welcome to Hell!!! Temperature got to 123 today. Forgot to crack the window and blew the f***ing windshield out of the Lincoln. The installer came to fix it and said, “Hot enough for ya today?” My wife had to spend the $1,100 house payment to bail me out of jail.

Aug 30th — Worst day of the damn summer. I’m not leaving the house. The monsoon rains finally came and all they did is to make it muggier than hell. The Lincoln is now floating somewher

PSA-180208B-Just Wonderin’

ponder

Things to ponder during the coming year

(1) Isn’t it weird that in America, our flag and our culture offend so many people,

but our benefits don’t?

(2) How can the federal government ask U.S. citizens to pay back student loans

when illegal aliens are receiving a free education?

(3) Only in America are legal citizens labeled “racists” and “Nazis,” but illegal

aliens are called “Dreamers.”

(4) Liberals say, “If confiscating all guns saves just one life, it’s worth it.” Well,

then, if deporting all illegals saves just one life, wouldn’t that be worth it?

(5) I can’t quite figure out how you can proudly wave the flag of another country,

but consider it punishment to be sent back there.

(6) The Constitution: It doesn’t need to be rewritten, it needs to be reread.

(7) William F. Buckley said: “Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other

points of view, and are then shocked and offended when they discover there are

other points of view.”

(8) Joseph Sobran said: “‘Need’ now means wanting someone else’s money.

‘Greed’ means wanting to keep your own. ‘Compassion’ is when a politician arranges

the transfer.”

(9) Florida has had 119 hurricanes since 1850, but some people still insist the

last one was due to climate change.

 

“If it’s not broken, we’ll fix it until it is.” U.S. Government motto

PSA-180208-Philosophy 100

636105814511184087-1898939860_friends-image-4

A newlywed young man was sitting on the porch on a hot, humid day, sipping iced tea with his father.
As he talked about adult life, marriage, responsibilities, and obligations, the father thoughtfully stirred the ice cubes in his glass and cast a clear, sober look on his son.
“Never forget your friends,” he advised, “they will become more important as
you get older.”
“Regardless of how much you love your family and the children you happen to have, you will always need friends. Remember to go out with them occasionally, do activities with them, call them.”
“What strange advice!” Thought the young man. “I just entered the married world, I am an adult and surely my wife and the family that we  will start will
be everything I need to make sense of my life.”
Yet he obeyed his father. He kept in touch with his friends and annually
increased their number. Over the years, he became aware that his father
knew what he was talking about. Inasmuch as time and nature carry out their designs and mysteries on a  man, friends were the bulwarks of his life.
After 75 years of life, here is what he learned:
   Time passes.
    Life goes on.
    Distance separates.
    Children grow up and become independent; it breaks the parents’ hearts,
but the children become separated from the parents.
   Jobs come and go.
   Illusions, desires, attraction, sex … weaken.
   People do not do what they should do.
   The heart breaks.
  The parents die.
   Colleagues forget the favors.
  The races are over.
But true friends are always there, no matter how many miles away they are or
for how long. A friend is never more distant than the reach of a need,
intervening in your favor, waiting for you with open arms or blessing your life.
When we started this adventure called LIFE, we did not know of the incredible joys or sorrows that were ahead. We did not know how much we would need
from each other. Love your parents, take care of your children, and keep a
group of good friends too.

 

I Feel Better Now

A few days ago I watched the State of the Union Message by President Donald Trump. Unlike the previous eight SU’s that I watched I wasn’t nauseated this time, except for one thing. I never realized there was a huge handicapped seating section in the Senate chamber. All the Democrats who wore themselves out jumping, clapping and cheering for Mr. Smooth over the past eight years seemed to have suddenly become paralyzed. Even I had some positive thoughts about some of Smoothy’s ideas, but when he spoke about being able to keep my doctor, or give me a trillion dollars for some shovel ready jobs my positivism disappeared  (later Obama admitted that there were no Shovel Ready jobs). Right now all the paralyzed democrats are railing against infra-structure projects because they don’t see where the money is going to come from. I say to them, “dig deep into your coffers and pull out the trillion that Smoothy talked you out of for the shovel ready infra-structure. Oh, he squandered it? Then why would you be so worried about where it will come from now?

President Trump’s speech was a model of positive thinking. He really never mentioned anything negative, but did keep repeating over and over that in this new economic climate if you can’t make it, you are not trying. I don’t remember exactly but it might have been at the point when Trump said that we are a nation that respects our flag, when Luis Gutierrez Democrat Congressman from Chicago jumped out of his seat and ran out of the room to keep from shitting his pants. You see, Luis and his people will have to work again. Oh, you say his people are our people? Not according to Luis his people are special and deserve the best treatment at the cost to the rest of us, and he has dedicated his life to protect them. He doesn’t care if his people don’t assimilate into American Society. All he wants is his cut from which he will throw his people a bone now and then.

I particularly liked the way Trump worked all types of citizens into his speech to make some serious points. Like the kid who didn’t like that there were no flags on Veteran graves on flag day so he started a movement to buy flags and to place them on the graves. I say, that at age 13 or 14 he did a great job. Or how about the cop with four or five kids of his own who adopted the baby of a seriously heroin addicted mother so she could die knowing her child would be taken care of. Now that takes a positive thinker and someone with courage. Or the big guy who lost his job and took advantage of jobs training to become a welder. (He is the only one I ever heard of that ever came out of government job training class and got a job). In each case Trump made a positive point using the personal stories of his guests.

The sad part about all of this is the democrats kept sitting on their fat asses throughout. The camera caught Nancy Pelosi, with a face that could stop a clock, repeatedly swishing her tongue over her teeth to clear the bits of the great meal she inhaled before the speech.

Over-all I thought the President’s speech was a tad bit too long, but I sat through it gladly knowing that all the democrats fumed throughout.

Each time I heard Trump speak of unity and coöperation and doing what is best for the country, all I could think of is that eliminating democrats just as we are eliminating ISIS is what is best for the country. In my lifetime, I knew of politicians both democrat and republican who could do exactly what we long for today. They could argue their points against each other, yet still reach a united compromise that was good for the country. Two names in Particular were the Senators from Illinois, Paul Douglas a democrat, and Everett Dirksen a republican.

Those were the days. . .

Senator Everett Dirksen, R-Illinois

Senator Paul Douglas, D-Illinois

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