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Showing posts from January, 2007
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So, fish on! We are getting better. Caught three rainbows this time. I have entered the Trustworthy Hardware ice fishing derby. Each weekend for the next month I intend to ice fish. We are doing some research and have discovered that there is a 312 acre lake a few miles away that is stocked with over 60,000 fish each year! There is another lake in north Kenai that is stocked with Arctic char. It is the only lake on the Kenai peninsula with arctic char. Fishing on stocked lakes is cheating a little I know but I live around a lot of people. Maybe in the future I can go to "wild" Alaska. But for now I will take some damn good fish. And have a lot of fun!
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So, things are just getting prettier and prettier. We go for walks regularly now after work and it is just getting nicer and nicer. Only 31 degrees today. Barely need a coat. Thank God it is Friday. No big plans but it will be nice to do some ice fishing, drink some beer and relax. This week has been a stressful one over money. I learned last night that my credit score dumped about 75 points just for moving to Alaska. I had to borrow money to get here, bought this house and helped Gabe buy his truck. All of it was necessary and appropriate but it will take a while to build it back up. I made a $1500 payment towards a credit card today and it felt great. Now just $30,500 left! Ouch. Oh well, at least I am here in Alaska. Even though I am frustrated at times over money, the State bureacuracy etc I like my life better here than in California. I can smell spring and summer coming even though it is only January. 2-3 months left of winter and then the most glorious summer ever awaits. I hop…
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So, I wish I had more to write about. Nothing much is new with me. It has been suggested that I might get promoted at work and get a smaller case load. We'll see. One of the things I have learned about government work is things move slowly. For example, the State has still not corrected the problem of calling my moving expense reimbursement "taxable income". So we'll see. The days are getting lighter and lighter and spring is coming. We went for a walk after work and it was very pretty outside. It is now light until 5:30 or so. We are continuing to look at houses but I am still dedicated to living here as long as possible (although we are both eager as hell to get out of here). The downside is that as long as we are here, it will be impossible to have visitors. Visitors would be nice but quite frankly I will want to fish this summer anyways. Garden. Hike. Tour some of the State with the family. Go bear watching. I need to scout for a good hunting area as my magical d…
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So, some of the last comments have left me steaming. It was suggested that maybe I was trying to write in secrecy. Like I would not realize that in a town with, maybe, 20 criminal lawyers, I would not be read. I have been told that the DA herself reads my blog on a regular basis. Anything I say in this town is repated back to me in maybe 30 minutes. So I am not trying to operate in secrecy. There are two main points here that I need to make in response. First, the general rule is that everything I write is protected speech under the First Amendment. For all of the perceived flaws in that office, I seriously doubt that the Kenai DA does not understand that fact. She may not like it, but that is the point of the First Amendment. And I am not sure she does not like it. I mean, one way to look at it is that my main criticism is that she is too hard on criminals. I seriously doubt the average person finds that a flaw. I find it an issue because I am a criminal defense lawyer. The person wh…
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So, today was a bad, bad day (only this pic cheered me up, hence I posted it). One of the attorneys who has been in our office 20 plus years has decided to leave. It is for a mixture of personal and professional reasons, which I won't go into. But it is bad news. She is irreplaceable and it almost certainly means substanially more work for the rest of us. She had many of the serious felonies and everyone is very, very worried. To be honest I'm not sure how much more work I can do. In other news, a DA who sometimes reads my blog complained about the fact that I bitch so much about the DA here in Kenai. He said my reporting was not accurate because I did not tell my readers that when I said the DA had won only 2 out of 7 cases. I did not tell the world that some of those were hung juries. So, to set the record straight, some of those were hung juries. I stand by my earlier position: the DA still did not convince the jury as to guilt. I'm not sure how that qualifies as a &quo…
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So, I went down in flames. Guilty all counts. Nonetheless, the client is (relatively) pleased. He knows I tried hard and all the tactical decisions were made with his consent and approval. I learned a lot from doing it and am now eager to try again. The down side to trials is going back to the filing, returning calls etc of many, many clients who want to know where you have been. The funny thing about this job is that a few minutes after losing that trial, I saved a client from some a potential charge with some quick thinking. One of the stupid things I learned about practicing in Kenai is that the judges will NOT allow you to tell the jury that the trial is on felony charges. They say that is "arguing punishment". Nonsense. I am going to fight that "rule". Arguing that Mr. X is going to spend X months in jail is arguing punishment. Telling the jury the case is a felony, and nothing more, is not the same. Talking about jail, Kadee is NOT enjoying her "baby jai…
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So, come to Alaska to fish! 2 hours in -9 F degrees and we caught this one. My first time ice fishing without my brother so I had a learning curve. Will be going back for sure. The 8 year old kid (in red) showed up on a snowmachine and proceeded to tell us what we were doing wrong. It was good information and he was right. Next time we will catch more. Back to work tomorrow. Sigh. P.S. No fish were harmed in the making of this blog.
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So, my trial continues. It has gone alright actually. Jury selection is almost identical to California, and I have always thought voir dire was one of my best skills. Closings are on Tuesday and I can't wait. I might lose this trial but I am going down swinging. The weather continues to "improve" (i.e. about 28-35 degrees during the day) and we are trying to get out and do more. I don't want my Alaska legacy to be watching TV. So, tonight I bought a toboggan and pulled Kadee and J around the block. Kadee loved it and laughed the whole time, except when I accidentally kicked back some snow in her face. She recovered nicely and we continued.
The lower pic is her cheeks when we got home. My snowmachine causes me no end of frustration and I am torn about whether to just junk it or fix it. Even if I wanted to fix it I have no trailer and no way to get it to the shop. I am at a loss. The clutch does not engage now. Are there any experts on 1984 Yahama SS440 snowmobiles out …
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So, I am on the eve of my first Alaska jury trial, State v. Redmon. In fact it is the first trial I have done in a long, long time. I had my trial zeal knocked out of me when I lost the case of People v. Zink, a case I wrote about last spring. For me not to do a trial for almost a year is very strange. In 2004 I had more trial days than any other public defender in an office of 25 lawyers. In 2005 I was first or second. In 2006 I collapsed like a cheap suit. Now I am about to get back in the saddle again. I am nervous for several reasons. First, it is a winnable trial. Very winnable. But I am torn on strategy. Do I put on a defense OR do I dismiss the State's case by refusing to acknowledge it and just talk to the jury in closing about why the State's case is BS? Tough call. I hate winnable trials. I hate representing the innocent even more. Knowing that your tactical decisions and your skills (or lack thereof) could mean the difference between jail and freedom for an innocent…
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So, it is cold. Damn cold. Not Fairbanks cold (see pic at left) where it is -38 F right now, but still cold. It is -22F or -30 C outside right now. And getting colder. This cold weather will only last a few days and we might not see it again this year. It is still a million times better than California. I went outside to start the cars up for a while. It was cold granted but not miserable for the 10 minutes I was outside. And you know what? When I came back in it was heaven. Even better? I have a pitcher outside getting frosty for the Porter I am about to drink. Remember, you can escape the cold but not the heat. We all had better get used to it as 2007 is supposed to be the hottest year ever. I just came back from Homer and all the moose are coming to the road. I guess it is because of the cold because I have never seen 30+ moose on that 2 hour trip before. I forgot my camera today. I am pissed because I was going to take a picture of the courthouse in Homer. When I walked out to do …
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So, partial victory! I got my snowmobile running! It only took about $100 (and a month) but I did it. But now the clutch won't engage and it won't move. Here is another piece of advice: don't buy old pieces of crap. God I hate not having any money. Instead of actual snowmobiling I have spent half the winter working on this one. Now I don't know what to do. Here is another piece of advice: get a 4 stroke. This one makes so much smoke it is unpleasant, not to mention environmentally damaging. Damn I hate how most of the stuff in my life is old, worn out crap. Yet my debt load prevents me from getting stuff that actually works. Oh well. I'll get something newer next year. As for this one, I will get it fixed I guess. See? A "cheap" snowmachine turns into something huge so I might as well as bought a new one and had zero aggravation. I just don't know what is wrong (although it is possible it is just frozen but without a trailer OR a shop I can't fix …
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So, I complained when the State tooketh away. Now I should recognize when the State giveth. The State recognized today that taking my money was a "mistake" and Quinlan himself, the head of the Alaska Public Defender Agency, is correcting it. Sweet. It doesn't entirely make up for my aggravation but it is best that he can do.
I need the money. I learned today that it was not the clutch at all on the Suburban. The passenger side motor mount broke in two and took the clutch linkage with it when it fell. It's a really safe vehicle. I have decided to have it crushed ASAP for two reasons. First, it is old and unsafe. Second, I watched Al Gore's movie, "An Inconvenient Truth", last night. Wow. Just wow. I was never a fan of Al Gore. But after last night I see him as a decent man. Genuine. I always knew it, but it is clear to me now that driving around a vehicle that gets 10 MPG and belches smoke cannot be justified. So crushing it will be gift to f…
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So, Happy New Year. What a different place for me to be in than January 1, 2006. Then, I knew my life would change when I became a dad. Then, I hoped to move to Alaska. Well both of those things happened. Now, I have nothing huge on the horizon. No big dreams or hopes that will alter my life in a big way. This year, I'm going to settle in and try to get ahead financially. I want a bigger house. I want toys. Summer is coming and I want to fish like a madman. So for 2007 that is my goal. Get some debt paid off and enjoy Alaska! I hope that many of you will come and visit this coming summer, as many of you never came to see us in California. I am stockpiling booze, beer and meat in anticipation. Talking about meat, the moose Gyros were awesome, except for the bread. Generally I am impressed with the price and quality of groceries in Soldotna. Many things are cheaper than California and I don't know how. But the Pita bread was a week old or something and detracted from the meat an…