Monthly Archives: March 2023

Monday, March 20, 2023 – Twelve Angry Men or I Had Jury Duty

Monday, March 20, 2023 – Twelve Angry Men or I Had Jury Duty

I was summoned for jury duty today. I know. I can age out of the responsibility, but I do not want to do so. It is one’s civic duty to be a part of the judicial process.

First of all, I have nothing better to do. Second of all, I get to wear something besides sweats, shorts or blue jeans and t-shirts. I must actually wear shoes and not tennis shoes or slides.

One is required to dress in dignified and appropriate attire. From the notice – “This includes, NO SHORTS, HATS OR REVEALING CLOTHING.” I have a court ensemble. It is the same as my funeral ensemble. I wear my RBG socks with black leather loafers, black pants with sharp leg creases and a must have, non-negotiable button down shirt. This tends to confuse the lawyers – it is difficult to determine if I would lean toward the state or toward the defense.

Third of all I enjoy going through voir dire. I enjoy being questioned by the attorneys. First question: Ms. Duffey? Response: Yes. It is Dr. Duffey.” This usually works to get me out and they really do not want to ask any questions, but they have to ask their question anyway.

Fourth of all, I doubt I shall be chosen. As noted, as soon as I put on the doctor hat, the attorneys lose interest. However, should another questions be asked, these two are usually the ones:

Dr. Duffey? What do you do?

Response: I am retired.

What did you retire from?

Response: The state of Texas.

And at this point I am usually done. Defense attorneys seldom like jurors whose retirement is the same as their opponent.

Dressing conservatively; using an academic title, and retiring from the state is usually all I need to be released from becoming a jury. I am way too educated and experienced to be a part of an accused “jury of their peers.”

Unless of course, the jury summons is for the Grand Jury. In that case what they attorney’s are looking for are people wearing blacked creased pants, with a button-down shirt, a post baccalaureate degrees and experience in a bureaucracy.

I showed up at the appointed hour, filled out my payment form, donating my $6.00 to some court charity, and from 8:15 am until 9:45, the prospective jurors sat in the hallway on very hard benches. At this time, we streamed into the courtroom, only to be relieved of duty as plea bargains were reached for all defendants.  So much for civic duty.

Friday, March 17, 2023 – Happy St. Gertrude’s Day and Happy St. Patrick’s Day

Friday, March 17, 2023 – Happy St. Gertrude’s Day and Happy St. Patrick’s Day

Dia dhaoibh a chaired – That phrase is Gaelic and translates to Hello Friends. There are about fifteen more Irish phrases that mean Hello Friends.

Today is for everyone who pretends they are Irish, thinks they are Irish (See and of course those who are actually Irish on this day.

 Most people celebrate by wearing green to celebrate St. Patrick. It is said to keep away the leprechauns and fairies who come out on this day. Did you know that the British once forbid the “wearing of the green,” and even hanged people if caught wearing the color in support of the Irish?  Now it symbolizes freedom. So St. Paddy’s day is a day of celebration of freedom and love.

March 17 is also the celebration of St. Gertrude. Often forgotten (like most women in history), Gertrude is the patron saint of cats. So when you tip your pint of Guinness today and eat your corn beef (Catholic Church said it is OK – such a progressive institution,) remember to toast to St. Gertrude. And most love all, love the furry creature who brings you joy and love.

Now I’m off for a traditional Irish meal – a potato and a six pack of Guinness. Éirinn go Brách, – Ireland Forever.

Monday, March 13, 2023 – The Time Change or How Do I Love Thee

Monday, March 13, 2023 – The Time Change or How Do I Love Thee

The Time Change

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

I love thee like a root canal with no anesthesia,

Or a flat tire on a Houston freeway during 5:00 PM rush hour, with no spare.

I love thee like a week-long blizzard in Texas in February with a failing energy grid,

Or a 24 hour stomach virus and running out of toilet paper.

I love thee to the depths and breaths of a Texas summer with no air conditioning.

I love thee like iambic pentameter and the onomatopoeia of screeching cats in heat next door.

Or miles and miles of road construction with stand still stops for no apparent reason.

How do I love the time change? Let me count more ways.

I love thee like a stopped up toilet on a Sunday morning of a holiday week end,

Or the morning sounds of waking up to gagging as my cat deposits a hairball in my bed near my head.

I love thee like a Category 5 Texas Gulf Coast hurricane,

Or unexpected hail storm in May when your car is in the parking lot,

I love thee like this is not only the last line of the sonnet, but the last time we change the time.

PS – I know it is Sunday. Just spring forward like we did yesterday.

Friday, March 10, 2023 – The Invasion of the Mob and Congregation or Home on the Deranged

Friday, March 10, 2023 – The Invasion of the Mob and Congregation or Home on the Deranged

Tie me kangaroo down, Sport,

Tie me kangaroo down,

Cause if the alligator don’t eat it,

It will jump the fence,

So tie me kangaroo down.

A group of kangaroos is a called a mob. A group of people who keep kangaroos are called crazy. Really? Who, and how, does one keep a kangaroo? Better question, why? From Texas Monthly Magazine…

“A neighborhood in the North Texas town of Prosper had an unusual visitor earlier this month: a male kangaroo named Jax escaped from a nearby backyard, where he had been raised as a pet. Jax’s owner had to coax him back home with a bottle of milk. Less than a week later, another pet kangaroo named Nigel escaped his backyard home in Granbury and went on the lam for two days before hopping home. These are just the latest in a slew of kangaroo escapes across the state over the last few years, including in Mercedes, San Marcos, and Lumberton.

All of which, honestly, raises the question: You can keep a kangaroo as a pet in Texas? And how many are there, anyway?

The answer is yes and, it turns out, quite a few. Texas is one of thirteen states that allow people to own kangaroos as an exotic pet, and the species is particularly popular here, in part due to the similarities between Texas’s environment and their hot, arid Australian home.” That means when it is hotter than the hinges of Hell in Texas, the kangaroos enjoy the weather. Just because can keep a Roo, doesn’t mean you should! I suppose a group of kangaroo escapes is called a slew. And why are you surprised when one jumps the fence and goes down to the gym to box and workout?

Speaking of back yard exotic pets.

Texas Woman Raised an Alligator Pet. Texas Parks and Wildlife officials discovered a massive alligator outside a woman’s backyard Saturday. The officials said she had raised the gator from an egg she stole from the Animal World and Snake Farm Zoo in New Braunfels.

7-Foot Alligator Raised as Pet by a Texas Woman for Over 20 Years

A group of alligators is called a congregation. An individual who keeps alligators is called deranged – as in Home, Home on the Deranged, where the alligators and kangaroos live.

So kangaroos in the back yard are ok, but alligators in the back yard are not, especially large ones. I did not see a name for alligator, so let’s just call it Captain Crunch. If you read the article, it costs about $150 per month to feed an alligator, including whole chickens weekly. So Alligator Mama had the old dinosaur for 20 years. Do the math!

Here is what I’m Thinking. Is this an effort to meet like-minded people? Would you like to come jump around in my back yard with my pet kangaroo? Can the Roo be trained to bring beverages on the patio? Or perhaps, you would like to see the alligator I raised from the egg that I stole? Don’t get too close.

So should you see a galloping kangaroo hopping around, you can bring it home and put it your backyard. After that, you are on your own.

Should you see a galloping alligator, RUN! Do I really need to tell you this?

So see you later alligator, after while crocodile. Don’t forget to tie your kangaroo down, Sport.

Monday, March 6, 2023 – What’s the News Across the Nation?

Monday, March 6, 2023 –  What’s the News Across the Nation?

Sing along ‘What’s the News Across the Nation? We have got the information; Laugh-In Looks at the news?”

Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In was so ahead of its time. Sock It to Me, Baby?

In today’s news. March 6. On this day in history the Alamo fell to Santa Anna’s forces. Remember? It would only get worse for the Texians (that was how it was spelled back then) as the Mexican Army went to Goliad, killed everybody. Whoever had wheels and/or feet hauled ass in what Texans refer to as The Run Away Scrape. It was a group of refugees fleeing the Mexican Army, headed to the Sabine River. If Santa Anna had not taken so many naps, we might be speaking Spanish.

Yesterday in history, March 5, 1963 marked the anniversary of one of the greatest voices of all time – Virginia Patterson Hensley better known as Patsy Cline. So very young.

Enough about history, let’s turn to today’s happenings. Fasten your seat belts; it’s going to be a bumpy ride. I am referring to the TE of A, Texas Education Agency planning to take over the Houston (BY-GOD!) Independent School District. I am confident that I could go to law school and still regroup the financial investment with the potential lawsuits stemming from this.

Why does TEA take over a school district? It usually involves numbers. Financial numbers are being altered. Test scores numbers are being altered. Reports involving numbers are being altered, board meetings are being altered and then lying about all of the above. Houston newspapers and links’ read “HISD Braces for TEA Take-Over” and “Parents Protest Potential TEA Takeover.” This sounds as though the district is preparing for battle.

Here is why Texas Education Agency officials have recommended that a state-appointed governing team replace Houston ISD’s locally elected school board after a six-month investigation found several instances of alleged misconduct by some trustees, including violations of the Texas Open Meetings Act, inappropriate influencing of vendor contracts and making false statements to investigators.

Here’s What I’m Thinking. I am thinking that I am so glad that Joan and Richard and I no longer work for the TEA. Facing the Texas Legislature ain’t nothing compared to a bunch of pissed off, angry and uniformed parents with signs.  

Stay tuned.

My apologies for such a late posting. I am practicing for the dreaded time change next week when I have no idea what time it is.

March 3, 2023 – Snarky Friday Returns Too!

March 3, 2023 – Snarky Friday Returns Too!

Just when you thought it was safe to get on the Internet that Al Gore invented, Snarky Friday returns to Here’s What I’m Thinking.

It is the third day of March. This day is necessary before we can March Fourth.

The NCAA women’s conference basketball tournaments are being held this weekend. The men’s conference tournaments are next week. Or as I like to refer to them  – A Parade of Tattoos and Funky Hair Dos.

The Women’s NCAA Division I Final Four Tournament is in Dallas and the men’s NCAA Division I Final Four is in Houston. Snarky Marky says –“ It is high doubtful that there will be a women’s NCAA team in Dallas this year from the state of Texas. Vic? Wasn’t this supposed to be your Year of the Horns? “I know, as usual overrated and under-performing. I wonder if TU has thought of that as a bumper sticker? Overrated and Under-performing – We’re Texas!

Since I am snarking on the burnt orange, I see where the Longhorn Network does not transfer to the SEC. It seems it is because the LHN has bad programming while the SECN has good programming. I have not heard if the SECN will allow the 2006 Rose Bowl Game to be played ad nauseum or not. I really hope this is a wise move for BEVO and the rest of TEAMS!. Did you not look at the other sports? I am certain there will be much to snark about this topic in the future. And even though Texas loses the Longhorn Network, it gained Stephen F. Austin State University in its System. That is a big PURPLE SNARK!

The last snarky goes to me. I did not intentionally do it. Heck, I did not even think of it. Thank you to Cecil G. for pointing it out. I laughed all day.

When talking about the musical Chicago in last Monday’s post, I mentioned that Catherine Zeta-Jones, Renee Zellweger, and Queen Latifa were nominated for Academy Awards. I failed to mention that John C. Reilly, who played Amos Hart, was also nominated as Best Actor in a Supporting Role. His song in Chicago? Mr. Cellophane. I just looked through him, walked right by him and never knew he was there.