Monday, June 06, 2016

Update

Hello! Hope everyone is having a good time sliding into summer!  We had a nice weekend.  Fairly low key, but it was good.  We finally got some sunshine on Sunday, and it was awesome.


On Friday we didn't do much.  I ended up working sort of late, and my mom took care of Raylan during the day because he seemed to have a bit of a cold or something.
Thanks, Grandma!
Amy made some really good Mexican style stuffed peppers for dinner!  Yum!
On Saturday we took Raylan to a class at The Little Gym first thing in the morning.  He was sort of freaked out and a little shy at first, but eventually he warmed up to the whole experience and had a good time.  He was in a class with just two other little boys and their parents.  He did a little tumbling, walked on a balance beam, played with balls, and just sort of got used to some of the other gym equipment (i.e., bars, rings, etc.).  He seemed to have fun, and Amy and I both enjoyed ourselves.
After the gym we hit a neighborhood yard sale and got some Raylan stuff (tiny table!).
Amy and I both worked out and Raylan napped.
I got a haircut and ran some errands.



"Naw, I don't need to ask for directions!  I only missed one turn. 
Let me just hook a little U-turn here..."


We learned on Saturday that Muhammad Ali had passed away on Friday night.  I own a copy of When We Were Kings, a documentary about the 1974 "rumble in the jungle",  world championship bout between Foreman and Ali.  It's a great film (won an Oscar), and it does a good job of portraying the larger-than-life figure of Muhammad Ali.  While I know that the man was controversial, I've always been impressed by the fact that, to me, it seemed like Muhammad Ali was determined to use his influence in ways that would make positive changes in the world.  You can quibble about whether he was correct about details or specific points of view, but, on the whole, Ali took a stand for improvements in the life of African Americans (and all Americans and people around the world), was an outspoken advocate for peace, and a staunch humanitarian.  He stood by his principles even when they put his career at risk.
Now that we live in an era when so many celebrities seem to measure their influence through the size of their mansions and yachts, it's good to be reminded of a figure who measured his success by way of the amount of positive change that he could bring about in the world.
At any rate, When We Were Kings is a really good documentary.  Even if you're not a boxing fan, it's a fascinating story.  Highly recommend.

On Sunday morning we went out for breakfast at Kerbey Lane.  Although I fed him when he got up (waffle, yogurt, fruit), Raylan happily scarfed down a second breakfast of eggs, biscuit, potatoes, and milk.  There were lots of dogs and babies on the patio, so Raylan was entertained.

"When, oh when, will my second breakfast arrive?!?!"

As we were leaving Kerbey, a guy walked up to me and introduced himself.  His name was Dan, and he had been a friend of a friend some 15 years back.  Anyway, I only vaguely remembered him, but at some point, back when I was a defense attorney, I had helped out his sister with some sort of minor misdemeanor case.  We had gotten her into a program where she did some counseling and/or classes, and eventually her case got dismissed.  So he came up to me just to say that his sister was now doing well, and had sort of gotten her life back on track and gone to college after that incident.
It was nice to be thanked, of course, and I told him that it's always good to hear that sometimes the system works.
As we were leaving afterward, I couldn't help by think about the fact that I'm now a prosecutor, but I was a defense attorney at the time.  Did I help people more as a defense attorney than I do now?
I hope I'm not rationalizing in order to justify my current existence, but I don't think so.
Defense attorneys have one-on-one, direct interaction with clients, so they get the personal gratitude and the warm, fuzzy moments, but, honestly, the job of a defense attorney is simply to beat the case.  Defense attorneys aren't tasked with making sure that the defendant actually learns anything or changing their life as a result of their experience in the justice system.  The job of a prosecutor is a little more complicated, and a lot more thankless.
If a defense attorney can beat a drug possession case in a way that allows their client to go free without dealing having their client deal with their addiction or chemical dependence issue or whatever, a defense attorney is obligated to seek that result, if that is what their client wants.  The attorney might be afraid for their client's wellbeing, but, ethically, their job is to advocate for the "best result" for their client, which typically means the result that their client to achieve (and criminal defendants are notoriously short-term thinkers).
In Dan's sister's case, it was actually the willingness of the prosecutor to allow her to take a track that allowed her to get her case dismissed, but while still insisting that she remain in  a program that required some level of culpability that probably brought about real change (if Dan was correct, and the case had proven to be an actual turning point for his sister).
Anyway, the gratitude just made me think.  I do miss those moments of client interaction sometimes.  It's harder to see the impact that you have on people when you're a prosecutor, and few defendants are going to heap thanks upon the person who made them do counseling and/or think about changing their life.  But if I didn't think it was important, I wouldn't be doing it.

Anyway, after breakfast I went to the grocery store.
In the afternoon we tried to go to Garrison Park Pool, but it was closed.  We ended up at a splash pad over in Bouldin.  It was nice!!  Raylan seemed to really enjoy it.  That boy loves him some water. 
There was a nearby playground, as well.


Moms, swapping notes.  Kids being kids.



Afterward we headed home.  Once we were dried off, Uncle Ryan stopped by for a few minutes and we read some books.  It was good to see him.  He's heading off to Ireland for a conference next week.


After dinner we watched Game of Thrones.
And that was it!  Nice weekend!
Hope everyone has a good week!

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