Thursday, October 29, 2009

I just say no to tsunamis.

Having experienced earthquakes, fires, hurricanes and tornadoes, I have to go with tsunamis on this question. The problem with tsunamis is there's really no way to protect yourself... In an earthquake, get under a table or doorway. For a fire, evacuate. For hurricanes and tornadoes, go to your basement or interior room. WTH can you do when a tsunami's on the way?

Friday, October 23, 2009

My Everest

After miserably failing at my first mountain biking attempt at Sope Creek over 2 years ago, I thought I'd return to the scene of the crime yesterday and see if things had changed. Thankfully, they had.

First things first. Sope Creek really isn't for mountain biking. Sure, you can ride there (plenty of people were riding yesterday), but it's not a true mountain bike park like Blankets Creek or Big Creek. They have, fundamentally, one trail that runs from parking lot to parking lot. The other side trails are all closed at this point, mainly for damage sustained in recent Atlanta floods. Moreover, the trail itself isn't necessarily designed strictly for mountain biking, but more for cross-country running and hiking. (Feel free to disagree, but a steep uphill grade with 4x4 timbers spanning the entire width of the trail doesn't really feel like a mountain biker's paradise.)

Neither here nor there. As for yesterday, I came, I saw, I rode. The stuff that scared the shit of me last time felt easy this time around, after 2 years of mountain biking 2-3 times a week. The uphills were fun, the downhills were great, and my only spill was really just to trying to navigate some rocks I should have just blasted through.

My Everest is (for the most part) conquered. I'll certainly come back, but I don't think I'll become a regular.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

We, the jury…

I fulfilled my civic duty and wrapped up a 9-day stint as a Fulton County juror last Thursday.  I think I have several blog posts in mind related to my time as a fair and impartial juror, but for now I’ll summarize.


- I landed on a medical malpractice civic trial involving a 7-week old boy who ended up with permanent brain damage due to Group B Streptococcus.  The plaintiffs were seeking around $25M in actual damages (lost wages and medical bills) and upwards of $100M in damages for pain and suffering.

- The first day was, obviously, jury selection.  Days 2 through 7 were the trial itself, followed by days 7 through 9 of deliberation.  On the 9th day we returned a unanimous verdict for the defendant (the ER doctor the plaintiffs were suing).

- I went in with an open mind, knowing it was going to be hard to (a) find for the defendant and crush the hopes of this family or (b) find for the plaintiffs and ruin a doctor’s career.  I listened to all of the witnesses and took 40 pages of notes throughout the course of the trial.  The evidence, testimony and other statements presented at trial included photos of the boy (now 2), videos of him and even a poem about the joys of little boys.  Not a fun 2 weeks.

Overall, I’m glad to have had the chance to serve on a jury and gain some insight into our justice process.  Am I looking forward to serving on a jury again in the near future?  Hell no.  Do I wish it could have been shorter?  Of course!  But both sides of this lawsuit demanded as much time as necessary to determine a verdict.

More to come…