Caption Contest: What’s the Scarecrow Thinking?

This is how our family scarecrow was found this morning. Is he gardening? Praying? Looking for a lost earring? Add your caption to the comments and you could get a shout out on The Silver Whining/P.S. Jackie Facebook page!

Old Navy Grammar Fail: AGAIN!

According to a post on yahoo.com/event/fallfashion/grammar-fail-on-old-navys-college-t-shirts-uh-oh-2531551/" target="_blank">Yahoo, retail giant Old Navy should be heading back to school this fall after making a grammatical mistake on a recently released line of college-themed tees (notice the missing apostrophe in the word “lets.”)

But what Yahoo… and all of the other media outlets jumping on the grammar band wagon don’t know, is that this is not the first time Old Navy has failed first grade English class. In fact, the last time this happened, it was an extra apostrophe in the word “get’s.”

Check out the shirt I bought for my son over two years ago.

Being the grammar freak that I am, I’ve had a hard time even allowing my son to wear it (and certainly not to school). But maybe one day, my purchase will actually pay me back when Old Navy hires me on as a T-shirt editor? Call me!

Top 10 Facts I Learned in Traffic Court

April 14th, 2011: Being the procrastinator that I am, I was driving with Jeff to have our taxes prepared. Being the multi-tasker that I am, I was also on the phone trying to get one of the kids in to see the doctor. When my phone began to cut in and out, I took it off speaker and placed it to my ear. Within seconds, blue lights were flashing behind me. Hands-free is the law here in CA and I was BUSTED.

As the officer so thoughtfully wrote me a ticket, I asked him the cost of the fine. “You’ll get something in the mail.” That was the last time I thought about it.

A few weeks ago, I got something in the mail. But it wasn’t information about my golden ticket, it was a letter informing me that because I missed my court date, I now owed over $800.

WHAT??

Yes, it seems these days, they don’t bother sending drivers the cost of the ticket with a pretty self-addressed envelope via mail but, instead, expect you to show up on the date written on the ticket itself.

Considering I haven’t received a ticket since my 4-hour stint in the clink several years ago (did I never mention that?), I believed that a court appearance was only if you wanted to contest the ticket.

WRONG.

Now, if you don’t want to appear in court and just feel like paying the ticket without a hassle, it’s up to you to hunt down the amount of the ticket (via Web or showing up at the clerk’s office) and get it paid. Otherwise, you’ll have the pleasure of being threatened with arrest warrants and enormous fees, unless you appear at a later determined date.

Today was that date.

I booked a sitter for the kids, made myself look respectable and was sure to arrive early. I then waited in the beautiful line pictured, along with hundreds of others. After finally making my way inside, I was advised to head to the clerk’s office. 45 minutes later, the clerk tells me that I actually needed to be in courtroom 1 (as she quickly realizes that information was left off the paperwork and scribbles it on there). Of course, now that I’m 45 minutes later, the judge thinks, after missing the last court date, now I’m late for this one — awesome.

I wait for over an hour for my name to be called and then spend another 90 minutes in line to talk to the clerk after my case was heard. It was not a favorable outcome for me today. In addition to the $160 ticket, I’m also required to pay a boatload of fees – totally a whopping $541 (the kind judge dropped it 300 bucks).

That was one expensive lesson to me to follow the rules – no matter what. But I did uncover 10 other priceless facts during my four hour stay at the local “superior” court. Take a look…

Top 10 Facts I Learned in Traffic Court

  • Based on the five cases I saw, tickets for red light cams are automatically thrown out (at least by the judge sitting on the bench today). If you get one, fight it. You will win.
  • Sasha (name changed to protect privacy), a friend of the woman standing behind me, went to a horrible tattoo artist and now doesn’t know what to do with her disastrous work of art.
  • It’s faster to delete all of the contacts in my iPhone and start fresh than delete all the duplicates that have been created. (I had to keep myself busy.)
  • According to my new friends in line, it’s quite lucrative to sell marijuana plants in the parking lot of the Hollywood bowl – as long as u don’t get caught, of course.
  • The court process seems to be much faster for criminals than bad drivers. They’re courtroom is smaller, their clerk line is shorter… In hindsight, my day would have been half as long had I thought to start a high speed chase when being pulled over.
  • Driving without a valid license costs less than missing a court date. Seriously.
  • While I was impressed with how reasonable the judge was to repeat offenders, speeders, and those who missed their previous date due to incarceration, it was discouraging to notice that showering and being respectful to the judge could actually hurt your case. I got it much, much worse than those who grunted at the judge and barely looked up. Did my “good morning, your honor” and “yes, sir” rub him the wrong way?
  • While you wait in the hallway, it’s acceptable to use the built-in benches as a resting place. But never, ever, ever move a chair over to sit on. Deputy Dog was naaaaasty to the woman near me who pulled that one.
  • Lawyers in traffic court are creepy. Like really creepy.
  • You hear a lot of new words that will come in handy later during a game of Words with Friends.

Have you had a funny, frustrating or interesting courthouse story? Leave a comment. Misery loves company!

When Typos Go Terribly Wrong

While looking for some info for a post about public restroom safety, I found some tips on my local sheriff department’s Website, meant to help parents talk to kids about stranger danger.

I’m sure massage offers several benefits, even to children, but I don’t suggest you have them request one from a stranger. Instead, have your kids take a message.

P.S. My local law enforcement truly rocks and should never, ever pull me over, just because I had fun at their expense. Just sayin’.