Archive for the ‘Money’ Category

My Traffic Tickets – My Defense

Sunday July 9, 2006 3 comments

This is something that I’ve been meaning to write about for a while, but I just haven’t gotten to it. Other things had been going on and this took a place on the back burner. But now it’s time.

Back in January, I was pulled over in Baldwinsville on my way home from work. The officer claimed that I was going 41 MPH in a 30 MPH zone. For those of you familiar with the area, I was heading toward I-690, southbound through the village, on Route 48. There’s a Chevy dealership on the right, just past the village limits, where the speed zone changes to 35. The officer was parked just before that Chevy dealership, not much more than 100 feet from the change in speed zones.

Now, to top off the speeding charge, my car was uninspected. So the cop issued me a ticket for a 41in a 30, and an uninspected vehicle. Needless to say, I was pretty pissed because of how deceptive the officer was by almost “tricking me into speeding.” It just seemed pretty unethical to me that a cop would use a speed trap so close to a change in speed zones.

I felt that it was my duty as a free citizen to dispute this travesty of justice. I don’t feel that I should be targeted as a criminal, as will be made clear in my letter, Exhibit A:

Dear Sir:

I am writing to you concerning 2 (two) tickets I received on the night of January 6, 2006. I was ticketed for traveling 41 MPH in a 30 MPH zone, and as a result of being pulled over, was issued another ticket for an uninspected vehicle. I wish to dispute the speeding ticket.

I have included a map of the exact location where I was, along with Officer Z., on the night of the incident. I was heading south on Route 48, passing through the Village toward I-690. Officer Z. was parked, as the map shows, just before the Chevy dealership. My claim is that I was unfairly ticketed because Officer Z. was not more than 150 feet from the next speed zone, which is 35 MPH.

I understand that this situation does not fit the legal definition of “Entrapment,” but I feel that these are, at a minimum, mitigating circumstances. Our legal system is, I believe, designed to rehabilitate offenders, to promote adherence to the law and to uphold certain standards of American life – to protect and serve the people. A traffic ticket is supposed to teach someone a lesson. I’ve had 2 (two) tickets in the past (3 years ago) for speeding, and from those I’ve learned a valuable lesson. But what this ticket has taught me is that while I’m on the road, I’m automatically considered a criminal and will be targeted and ticketed by any means possible. Even if it has to be on a technicality.

This ticket has already caused much inconvenience to my life. I had ordered a copy of my driving record abstract from the DMV website, and it never showed up in the mail. So, I had to go and spend another $10 to get another copy. My wife had to take time off work to be home with our kids so I could attend my first court hearing.

In closing, I understand that even in the 35 MPH zone, I would have been speeding by 6MPH. But it’s a much smaller offense than what Officer Z. is accusing me of. I am writing to ask that you please reduce this ticket.

I also have included a receipt showing that I had my car inspected a few days after my tickets.

Thank you,

David Garrett

Now, as a side note, on the ticket the cop is required to list the model of radar device used in the incident. In the fine print of the ticket, he wrote that I was traveling at 40mph and accelerated to 41mph. I did some research on the model he used, the “Kustom.” In order to work properly, the device must be mounted, not to be moved any more that 12”.

For the officer to be able to know that I accelerated from 40 MPH to 41 MPH, he must have been holding the radar in his hands – rendering an inaccurate reading. But I didn’t bring up that in my letter. I was planning on including my findings, but I felt that maybe it would render the letter very much accusatory, and not respectful of the court.

In any case, to conclude this entry, my tickets were reduced. The uninspected vehicle ticket was dismissed and the 41 MPH in a 30 MPH was reduced to a “Failure to Obey a Traffic Control Device.” Not sure what my fine will be, but it will be significantly less than what it would have been if I just gave in and didn’t retaliate at this ridiculous charge.

I’ll keep you all updated.

Read a book.

Categories: All, Life, Money

Nothing Much… Just EBay

Tuesday October 12, 2004 Leave a comment

Nothing big to write about right now. Just posted a ton of stuff on Ebay last night. A lot of girls clothes. Mostly Joanna’s old stuff, also some cool regular nintendo games. Check em out.

I’ll be writing a little later. Bye

Categories: All, Money

No Money & A Lot of Reading

Tuesday September 21, 2004 Leave a comment

It’s been a while since I’ve written here. Not much is really going on. I’m basically the stay-at-home Dad for a while. It’s alright for now, but I need to find a job soon. It can be very boring and monotonous sitting around the house all the time – with no money.

I’ve gotten a lot of reading done while I’ve been here. I’ve been working more on my German – reading and translating a few books that I have. It’s going pretty well considering I don’t have a teacher.

It’s weird. There’s not really much to talk about lately. Joanna’s doing fine. We’ve only got about 8 weeks left until Torri comes. Our doctor appointments are every 2 weeks for now, and then they’ll be every week. Her room is all ready for her when she arrives.

It’s still weird thinking of me as being a Dad; being able to call her my daughter. I just hope I’ll be good enough. It’s a lot of pressure. I don’t want to be a bad father. I don’t think I will be, but it still is in the back of my mind. A human life is dependent on me now.

I’ll probably write a little more later. See ya.

Categories: All, Education, Family, Life, Money

The Move to Syracuse & How To Read A Book

Saturday August 28, 2004 Leave a comment

It’s now official. I live in Syracuse. It’s kinda weird living in the city. All the One Way streets downtown, everything so close by… even an Adult World right around the corner! Hahahaha… I practically don’t even need to own a car. There is a bus route to anywhere.

We live in a pretty decent neighborhood too. Nice neighbors. The first day I moved in, there were a couple guys that live upstairs that noticed me bringing my guitar equipment inside. They asked me what type of music I was into, and wanted to play sometime.

It feels weird moving away from home for the first time. My only problem now is finding a job. I kinda just left my job at Tribune. Joanna really needs me here, and on top of the fact that we’re having a baby, she got hurt at work and had to have 6 stitches in her hand. So, I basically told them at work that I couldn’t go back. I packed my stuff over a period of 2 days and was moved in by Tuesday.

Needless to say, money is tight right now. I have my resume in a few places. I’m really hoping I get into the Post Standard, the newspaper here. I applied for the Advertising Administrative Assistant job. From what I hear, it pays pretty well. Probably about $35,000. I meet or exceed all of the qualifications. I know how to use Microsoft Office. They want someone who can type 40 words per minutes. Ha, I can type 80. Just really hoping I get it.

As far as the latest update with books that I’m reading, I found a great book. Should have found it a long time ago. It’s called “How to Read a Book: The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading.” I’ve learned a lot so far about some of my bad habits with reading. It’s very in-depth about methods of reading. I never realized there was so much to it. One of the analogies that was drawn was that reading isn’t like sitting there absorbing information. Reading is like a game of baseball. The writer is the pitcher and the reader is like the catcher. To complete the process, both people have to do their jobs. The reader isn’t just a fan on the stands watching everything happen. Just as the catcher has to be ready for a curve-ball, so does the reader have to be ready for slants on factual information, opinions disguised as facts, etc. I’m learning a great deal from this book.

I’m still not completely unpacked yet, so I’ll be updating more as I have time.

Categories: All, Books, Life, Money, Music, Work

Employment, "The Market" & Music

Friday July 23, 2004 Leave a comment

So here we are again. Reading this thing that I write. Yes, I’m reading it too. I must, in order to write it. Ok, so enough for the unique intro…

I’m sure some of you may be getting tired of my Governmental ranting, so I’ll give it a rest – for now. I shall not be silenced. lol

Not much going on really. I find myself falling back into the topic of employment. I usually do when I don’t have things to talk about. Don’t we all? What else do we talk about when there is nothing? Work. The all-consuming void of debt/slavery in an attempt to survive with material possessions intact. I just bought a bunch of stock in Adelphia Communications, hoping to make a profit from a company in bad times (isn’t that ironic). With shares costing only 45 cents, I felt it would be my duty to buy up a whole bunch. So, basically what this means is, when the stock rises even 1 cent, it registers a considerable gain on my part. I suppose it’s a great idea to buy stock in a company that’s going through Chapter 11 Bankruptcy.

The thing that intrigues me the most about the “market” is the fact that it’s the basis of what this country is seeming to be about. If you have money to invest, you have no need of work. The hierarchy of our country is strictly laid out. There are the workers; the ones who work the hardest, yet, they receive the least for their efforts. The management; those who’ve been through what the workers are living through. Then, there is the executive; managed somehow to get the support of all those beneath him, or maneuvered himself into this position through relationships. Then, of course, at the top is the investor; high on his horse he is greeted by the execs in suits, introduced to management and always kept in clear view of the worker. “You better work hard this year, Mac. Mr. Investor is planning on giving us millions to improve, only if he thinks we’ll be profitable. So, you better bust your ass for this company and not see a dime more for it. Just take your wage and live paycheck to paycheck. You’re lucky you even have a job.”

Meanwhile, in the boardroom, the execs pander to Mr. Investor; crowding at his feet. He is such a philanthropist.

Anyway, my point is, working hard gets you nowhere. The richest people on this planet don’t even have jobs. The most influential. As long as people are kept under the idea that working hard is part of the American Dream, they’ll keep missing out on it. When do you think the last time Bill Gates engaged in anything even close to being considered manual labor? Or… haha… Warren Buffett?

Then, the question arises: How does one get into such a position? Well, it takes a little money to start with, and a little willingness to take a risk. There’s a reason certain stocks are considered “safe,” while others are “risky.” You don’t make money on safe stocks. 25 years ago, before Microsoft was what it is today, and you were to ask an “intelligent” investor what he’d put his money in, no doubt he would say GE, or Wal-Mart, or one of these well-known companies. Yet, for the man who risked a small amount of money and put it on Microsoft, well… he is a rich man now. And not an ounce of that money came from “working hard.” You could never make that much money by working. Yet, it’s constantly fed to us, “he worked hard to get where he is today.”

Oh well. Who am I to think this way? I’m working for a living. Doesn’t make me feel any better. I could bust my rear working and still not make as much as these guys do, just on interest.

I guess it’s just in me to complain. I guess I just don’t like living paycheck to paycheck, and the obvious ones to take it out on are they guys that are billionaires with no jobs.

Ok, a different topic. I’m learning Crash by Dave Matthews on the piano. If nothing else, I will be making my own rendition of it. Due to the obvious physical difference between the piano and the guitar, rhythms and style will be different. To play the same rhythm on the piano as it is played on the guitar makes the song sound choppy and rough; sustain only adding to the confusion. That being so, it will be hard to maintain the original feel of the song. But I feel that it’s a worthy project. It’s a really great song by a talented man.

Also, keeping with the classical aspect, I’ve been studying a Rachmaninoff Prelude, No. 10 in B minor, Opus 32. According to Rachmaninoff himself, it symbolizes a “return.” Possibly a return to the melancholy. The first bars of the song are those of an old, contemplative man returning to his old haunts. A return to something bittersweet. I can envision a cold fall evening, the leaves blowing across the ground beneath his feet as he wraps his dark overcoat around himself. Whatever it is that is drawing him back is far more than significant. It’s his destiny. And I suppose that’s why his “return” had been marked by such a moving song.

I find it hard to conceive of a passion for music such as Rachmaninoff had. Never have I heard such emotion and intensity by a single musician. It wasn’t uncommon for him to break strings on his piano. His music is so engaging, forcing the listener to feel what he is feeling. It grips you, almost placing you in a different point in time. Possibly “returning” the listener to a place they’ve been longing to be. Maybe for Rachmaninoff, his return was to a place that this particular piece brought him.

On that note, I believe I’ll “return” to my life and maybe do some reading. In case you’re wondering what it is that I’m reading, just take a look above.

Categories: All, Life, Money, Music, Philosophy, Rant, Work

From Denial to Despair in 3 Seconds

Wednesday April 7, 2004 Leave a comment

Have you ever just had one of those nights? You know the kind. Or maybe you don’t. I tell ya, I feel like I’ve got PMS or something tonight.

Work was ok. I come home, hang out for a little bit, and then around 7:00pm or so, I decide to take a nap. Oh yeah, Joe called and wanted to go play pool. So I finally roll out of my nap around 9:00pm. I look at my phone and it says that Joanna called like maybe 2 minutes ago. So I call, thinking she’ll be awake. The phone rings and rings, but no answer. She’s sleeping. You’d think this would be no big deal. Of course not for me. For me, it’s like the end of the world. I think I went through all 5 stages of depression in about 3 seconds… straight from denial to dispair. I actually almost cried a couple times.

What the hell is my problem? Then Joe shows up to go play pool and I give him an attitude because of it. Man, I don’t know what I was thinking. I really wanted to go play pool too. But I just said, “I’m tired.” I don’t know. I guess I wasn’t in the mood right then, all depressed or whatever. Of course now I’m fine.

Have you ever felt like you just aren’t good enough? I know I’m probably just thinking too much, but someone I’m training with at work has an interview for a position after she finishes. The starting pay is $19.25 an hour. Why haven’t I heard anything about offers for anything? I was thinking to myself that I want to try harder, study the manual and maybe after this week’s review, they’ll see a drastic improvement in my weak areas. Of course I was told that I have the potential to be an outstanding editor, and maybe that’s true. But the results so far, especially after this, don’t tell me that’s what they really think. At the same time, I’ve realized that a lot of the things I’m getting wrong are things that I’m just plain thinking too hard about – making it too complicated. I think I’ll do a lot better this week.

I don’t know. I just feel sad tonight. I’m not even really sure why. I know missing her call bothered me, but I really don’t think I’d get this bent out of shape over just that. I really have no idea. Maybe it’s because I’ve been sick? I don’t know. I just wish it would go away. I haven’t felt like this in a long time. It’s like I want to cry, but I don’t know why. So I’d feel stupid for doing it. I’ve done that before. I remember being young and for absolutely no reason I’d just get really sad and start crying. I’d have to go in my room because if someone asked me what was wrong I wouldn’t be able to tell them – because I didn’t know.

Maybe I don’t express myself enough. Maybe I’m too quiet. Maybe I don’t spend enough time telling Joanna how I feel about her. I suppose there are a lot of things that I should do differently. How I live, my attitude about things, and a lot of other things I can’t think of right now.

I think, in general, I’m happy with my life. But I let little things get to me. I have a lot of things to be happy for, but I let one or two things that I don’t like distract me from that.

I guess one thing that frustrates me is that I write this stuff and no one ends up reading it. Yeah, it’s personal stuff, but I really don’t care. I don’t really have anything to hide. And usually when people are open about what’s going on in their life, people want to know about it. But no one ever comments on here. I don’t know. Whatever.

I guess it’s time for bed anyway. Goodnight.

Categories: All, Life, Money, Work

New Job At Tribune (Reflection)

Saturday March 27, 2004 Leave a comment

I’ve got a new job now. It sucks, but in a strange way. It’s incredibly easy, and I make $9.25 an hour to be trained. But, can I ask you – have you ever tried to sit in one place for 8 hours straight? I’ve come to the point several times where my legs were actually in pain from not moving. Staring at a computer screen for 8 hours straight, punching in television schedules isn’t as great as I thought it would be. It is incredibly boring.

I guess they try to make their employees feel cool by requiring them to have a security card to enter the building, and different corridors in the building. I guess I do feel kind of cool, but not all that cool. I’ve been working there since Wednesday, and each day I come so close to falling asleep sitting up. It’s the exact feeling you get when you feel like you’re falling asleep at the wheel. You’re doing something so monotonous that you almost forget you’re doing it, and your head kind of bobs down and the movement itself is what wakes you up.

I’m sure (I hope) you guys have read my previous posts, and you know what time I usually go to bed at night. To make a long story short, I have to be at work by 7 am every weekday. It sucks really badly.

I guess part of the boringness and frustration comes from knowing that what I’m doing bares no significance in the real world. When’s the last time you looked at a television schedule? When’s the last time I gave a crap about what’s on television?

My new job has also provided me with a new revelation. It’s shown me just how unnatural work really is. You must sit at this cubicle and type things in for 8 hours a day, in order to fill these quotas, provide meaningless information to masses of consumers, and finally, waste time I could be spending on something that benefits me in some tangible way.

And I guess the thing that bugs me the most is how the “higher-ups” make the job out to be this great opportunity, and that they’ve “searched long and hard for an employee like you.” Bullshit. They just can’t find someone who’s willing to do this crap that’s unnatural for a human being to perform.

It may sound “lazy,” but my “dream job” is to do absolutely nothing. Why must we be enslaved to someone else our entire lives in order to survive? Why would I be consided lazy? Do you desire to work? Or do you just want to sound “responsible” to impress the people who are standing around you when you speak? No sane human being wants to work. But, oh well. I guess I’ll just pretend like everyone else who says they “love what they do” (liars), and do stuff other people don’t want to do – for money. Because that’s all work is… being bribed to do what someone else is “too good” to do. And if you don’t, basically, you die.

On a positive note, I’ll have money very soon now. I’m a slave to “the man,” and in return, I obtain money.

Other than that, folks, nothing is really going on. Just work. Be sure to comment!!!!!

Categories: All, Money, Philosophy, Television, Work