Sunday, December 31, 2006

Quiet Friday at the Blount County Justice Center

After my trip to the Knoxville City-County Building, I visited the Blount County Justice Center at about lunchtime. As you might expect, it was fairly quiet at that hour on the Friday before the New Year weekend, but I made the rounds to pass out my new Maryville business card. Since I figured that most folks would be trying to end the day early, I decided to head back to Mom's after making the rounds at the Justice Center.


Papa John's pizza sure hit the spot. Sarah ate a bite and said, "Delicious!" She's acquiring quite the vocabulary.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Stomach Bug

Sarah, Mom and I have all been suffering from a stomach bug today. Poor Sarah woke up crying that her tummy hurt. I'm hoping some pizza will help.

Tea Party

Sherry took Sarah to the Target here in Knoxville while I was busy yesterday morning, and Sarah scored some major post-Christmas loot, which included a new tea set. She's always liked to pour liquid, and the tea set is just the right size for her to do so without creating too much of a mess.

La and Stew gave Ta a Cinderella fort that she has set up in her room here at Mom's. She's got the tea set and her stuffed animals arranged in it and had captured Mom in their for a tea party for a while. I think Mom prevailed on her to go into Mom's room to watch Pooh with her.

The Difference Between Shi'ite and Sunni Muslims

I know very little about Islam, despite my religious studies courses in college, but I did a Google search to see what I could find about the difference between Shi'ite and Sunni Muslims after Mom inquired about it this morning. The two sects arose in a conflict about leadership of the religion and theocracy created by the prophet Mohammad in the Seventh Century in Medina in what is now Saudi Arabia. The religion is what we now call Islam.

After Mohammad died, the sect of the religion that became the Sunnis believed that the new leader(s) should be people who were the best for the job, i.e., the most like Mohammad. The Shi'ites believed that only Mohammed's kinfolk, or someone otherwise appointed by Allah (God), should be leaders, or Imams. There were four leaders of early Islam, called Caliphs. Sunnis believe that all four of these were legitimate rulers. Shi'ites believe that only the fourth Caliph, Ali, was legitimate. The difference causes Shi'ites and Sunnis to look to different sources of leadership to the present time, with Shi'ites preferring intensely religious leaders like Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran, and Sunnis being more willing to accept secular leaders of their governments. Also, the narratives of the first four Caliphs about the life of Mohammad have provided Sunnis with certain traditions that the Shi'ites do not follow.

As I said earlier, I don't know a lot about Islam, having never read the Koran, so I recognize that this is a pretty simplistic explanation of something about which many books have no doubt been written. I know more about it than I did this morning, though.

Visit to Knoxville City-County Building

I have a case in Nashville that was transferred to Knox County some months ago. Opposing counsel, a friend of mine from Russian class at the University of Tennessee, voluntarily dismissed the case in Knoxville and refiled it in Davidson County again. By the good fortune of Lawyer Steve, it was assigned to the very same Judge who sent it to Knox County to begin with.

Anyway, in order to demonstrate what happened in the earlier case that got transferred, then consolidated with another case and then dismissed, I had to pull records yesterday from the Knox County Chancery Court file, as well as from the Knox County Probate Court file. I was very pleased that the senior clerks in both offices remembered me. I also got to speak to Howard Hogan, the Knox County Clerk and Master, who is a very nice man. He represented a landlord in a case that Brent Nolan and I were on the other side of when we were student attorneys in the UT Legal Clinic and was very gentlemanly toward two wet-behind-the-ears wannabe lawyers.

Saddam is Dead

I checked the news first thing when I woke up this morning, and Saddam Hussein has been hanged. Al Jazeera reported this:

"It was very quick. He died right away," an official Iraqi witnesses told the Reuters news agency.

"We heard his neck snap," said Sami al-Askari, a political ally of al-Maliki.

Now if they can just find and string up Osama Bin Laden.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Saddam to be Executed by Saturday

They are apparently wasting no time in putting Saddam to death. He's to be swinging before sundown tomorrow.

Swingin' Saddam

Another news item that I heard about up in the mountains is that Saddam's appeals have concluded and that he has been sentenced to hang sometime within the next thirty days, perhaps immediately. He has issued a statement basically calling for an end of violence in Iraq. I doubt that's going to happen, but it certainly shows that they got his attention.

Bratz Doll Uses the "F-Word"

There's a report in the Maryville Daily Times this morning that a father there, and a couple of other families in other parts of the country, have discovered that a Bratz karaoke doll uses the "F-Word." I don't care for the Bratz dolls to begin with, because I don't want Sarah aspiring to the "bling, bling" hip hop image that they cater to and represent, and I've steered family away from buying them as gifts.

I doubt that the folks that make the doll would do this intentionally, though in this age of all publicity is good, it wouldn't surprise me. When I was in high school there was an arcade and pool hall in Downtown West in West Knoxville called Brunswick Billiards. It was walking distance from Bearden High School, and a favorite hang-out. They got a pinball machine that had a flaw in its sound card that made it say, "F--- you!" It always said it after you lost your ball, so it was appropriate. Naturally, it was one of the most popular machines in the joint.

Red Caboose Park

Here are some photos of us clowning around at the playground at Red Caboose Park in Bellevue.

Death of President Ford

Since Sherry and Sarah and I have been up in Pigeon Forge and away from a computer, I have not posted on the death of President Gerald R. Ford. I've been quite interested in the coverage, since Ford is one of the first Presidents I actually remember. I also remember President Nixon and the Watergate scandal, but I do not remember President Johnson's administration. It has been especially interesting to see Vice President Cheney and former Defense Secretary Rumsfeld as young men.