Thursday, January 20, 2005


Well, it's been an interesting week. After struggling with the mountains of unfinished work at the office I started to see daylight. And... we had the 10th birthday of the JAC yesterday and that was fun. For those of you who care, I work at a drop station for the Department of Juvenile Justice... a "one stop shop" if you will, where the cops can just drop off arrested juveniles and have some reasonable expectation of the young reprobates getting needed services... as well as getting prosecuted appropriately. The main idea is to protect the public, but those kids are some taxpayer's pride and joy. The "other kids" that cause all the trouble are invariably the children of people who can't believe their precious babies could do such terrible things. The place was a very, very radical idea ten years ago when a collection of heavy hitting politicians gave the idea a try. A success story in local government. Gee... an idea in government that actually worked.

Anyhow, the same collection of politicians gathered for the 10th birthday so that they could pound each other on the back and talk about the good old days. Linda Chapin was there, Lawson Lamar, Schembri sent his right hand man, the sheriff sent his. We mere soldiers in the army of the fight to reduce juvenile crime (we process 35,000 criminal complaints a year... everything from shoplifting to multiple murders) were there to clap at all the approved places... and frankly, to admire the decade of hard work that went into the place.

We all got a nice catered lunch out of the deal. I had some kind of egg concoction. Quiche with broccoli, I think. It was OK. When the big wigs came around to my office after the speeches I had a kid in with me and I made the kid (we call them clients... he he) tell the good legislator what she had gotten out of the experience. She said that I was tough but fair and was the only cracker she had ever met that didn't want to f**k her. I thought it was funny. My secretary looked like she had swallowed a grenade. My immediate boss tried to apologize but the guy, a state Senator, just laughed it off and said that the child obviously was from Tallahassee... where the rest of his cabal of politicians are usually housed. I thought that was funny too.

I had a good time.

Later I was on the boat fishing for my dinner when a pair of nutrias swam past me. What's interesting about that is that I was just reading about the things on the faithful internet. The things are big rodents, getting up to 20 or 30 pounds, and have wreaked havoc with shorelines on the Gulf coast but are new arrivals in Florida. At least in the interior like in the St. Johns River.

I've got mixed feelings about the things. The are herbivorous. They aren't likely to bite any tourists. But they make dens in the shorelike like beavers and lots of folks hate them. I first saw them in South America twenty five yers ago when I was down there playing Indiana Jones without any reason. Just moving around avoiding real work. A sailor's life. Anyhow, the common people of Brasil and Argentina and everywhere live off the things. They're sort of like guinea pigs in the Peruvian mountain villages. Nothing fancy, but a great thing in a hungry world. Lunch.

There I was fishing for dinner off the back of my boat when two perfectly good 15 pound rats swam by. Hey! Break out the soy sauce. I think I smell something cooking.