Thursday, April 19, 2007

Trial and Tribulations

How the heck are you? Tired of viewing severed heads? Why do you keep coming back here then? You know who you are...

First off, a hearty thanks to Beth for nominating me for the Thinking Blogger award. Even if she called me a crazy uncle... ;)

I'd love to participate, but everyone's already been nominated that I usually visit. Well... except Sunny and JG. While there's no doubt that JG makes me think, the only thing she makes me think is, "When the hell's she going to put up another post?" So everyone go over there and leave her more nasty comments. SHE CAN'T IGNORE US FOREVER!!! :P

Now Sunny, well... we all know about Sunny. ;)

I've told you all that real life has been kicking me something fierce, and here's why. My family's been involved in a lawsuit with the neighbor since 2002. The short of it is that we hired an attorney and had a trial on the matter in 2004. After the trial, our attorney got into a car wreck and dang near died. Ended his career. So dad hired another attorney. This new guy finished the post trial briefs and the District Court ruled in our favor.

The other side appealed the Judge's ruling to the Supreme Court, so we went up to the Supreme Court and they heard the case. If you've never been in front of a State Supreme Court, it's an interesting adventure. The Court listened to all the arguments, and ruled for our opponent that the original Judge made a couple errors, and handed the case back down to the original Judge.

After the first trial, and before the Supreme Court Hearing, I was introduced to a fellow and was advised to take one of his courses. I'll tell you more about him in another post, but we went ahead and paid him for his course, and I took it. The course was "Basic Courtroom Strategy and Procedure, for the Pro Se Litigant." For those of you not familiar with these terms, that means how to do the court thing for yourself.

In this class, he teaches you what to do to be a competent pro se litigant. Of course if you're a competent pro se litigant, that means you'd be a competent attorney if you just passed the bar. Unfortunately, once you see what it means to be competent, you can spot those that are incompetent, and the two guys we'd hired, dropped the ball on several attempts.

After the remand, and the associated bill from Attorney #2, Dad dropped him from the case. I made a motion to join the case, and it was granted, so I became a co-Plaintiff.

Preparation for the new trial has pretty well kept me swamped, what with my regular occupation and all. Dern pesky two headed calves...

Anyway, the trial was today, and it started at 9:00am. That meant that we had to get fully prepared for the trial last night, get up early this morning and feed the vacas, and then head to town.

Did I mention that it snowed all day yesterday? I didn't? Oh. It snowed all day yesterday.

Did I mention that the wind blew about 40mph all night? I didn't? Oh... it blew all night last night.

Did I mention that they canceled school today and that the roads were horribly icy? I didn't? Nahhh... I won't mention that.

Anyway... I finished typing up my questions last night at about midnight, couldn't sleep most of the night despite being exhausted, got up at 6 and fed the cows, then loaded up on coffee and made the 30 mile trek to the courthouse this morning.

The upside of all of this is that I was on the stand today from about 9:30 until 3:00, and we finished up right at 5:00. The sad part of all that is that I asked myself questions until 2! It's been a long day, and I'm beat.

Unfortunately, I've still got my closing arguments to submit in 30 days, and then they'll respond, and I'll reply to that, then the judge will still have to rule, so the case isn't over by a long shot, but 90% of the work is done and that's a helluva load off my mind.

Now I've just got the other 196 cases that I'm involved in against the US Gov to scratch off my to-do list and I'll be scott free again. Man I long for the days when I had nothing but taking care of cattle to worry about...

Don't you all wish you were in the cattle business too?

Saturday, April 14, 2007

How Bizarre, How Bizarre...

Ok... I promised you pictures of the two headed calf, so here you go. I just have to tell you folks, the dog got to it last night, so the heads aren't quite pristine. They're missing their lower jaws and one of the ears has been chewed on a bit, but other than that, hold on to your lunch.

The two severed heads.

Another view of the heads, only this time you can see the skin tying them together.

Here's the torso, viewed from below. You can see the 4 standard legs, and a couple extras.

A view of the torso from the backside. Now you can see the two extra legs. One of them comes from the back of his front shoulder and runs along his spine. The other comes out of his hip and runs down his butt.

A close up of the rear leg. Notice how two feet spring out of the ankle.

The same picture only a little further back.

Finally, a picture of the calf from the butt. I don't know if you can tell from this pic, but it also has 2 tails.

All in all, an extremely bizarre occurance.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Something Worth Blogging About...

No... I'm not going to blog about how Blogger FORCED me to switch to a Google account, nor how they FORCED me to upgrade to the new version of Blogger, despite my desires not to. Maybe later...

No... today I actually have something to blog about.

But before I get started on that... John, JG, and Mr. S. will be happy to hear that during the blogger upgrade, I found their comments that needed to be moderated, that I originally thought were lost. So I moderated them, and they'll appear in my first post. I haven't read them yet, and they'll probably appear vague and out of context now, but what the hey...

Oh right, the story.

The day started off with me waking up, but instead of drinking 2 cups of coffee while listening to an internet radio program like I usually do, I had to go straight to work. We sold some calves today, so I had to put the 'ol nose to the grindstone.

As soon as we were done eating breakfast, we headed out to the barn to start the day. Now the people buying the calves were scheduled to be here at around 10:30, so that put us under a bit of a time crunch, so wouldn't you know it... We get out to the barn and there's a heifer just starting to calve. Par for the course.

So we locked her up alone and started in with the day. We gathered and sorted, and shipped, and weighed, and sorted, and weighed, and shipped, and then fed and ate our lunch.

All this time (right at 5 hours) she hadn't made any progress. Being the old expert I am I could tell that she was going to need help. Crap.

Occasionally I have to do some legal work, and today was one of those days. That means that OF COURSE she was going to need help delivering the calf. On the days you have nothing to do, well... there are no emergencies, in fact, there's nothing to do out of the ordinary.

Well, you gotta do what you've gotta do. So Dad and I got a loop on her neck and pointed in the right direction, but things in her nether regions just didn't look right. She should'a been further along than this. That is... unless the calf was backwards. Grrrrrrrrr...

So I hand dad her tail and go spelunking with my right hand. Once I got in there wrist deep or so, I could feel the feet. Hmmmm... these are front feet. That means the calf isn't backwards, but man... these legs are small and not quite fully formed. Crap. A premie.

Well... shucks, I get the OB chains out and string 'em up on each leg and start to pull. The heifer's dialated up just fine, and there's plenty of room for the little bugger to come out, but it won't. If this is a premie, then that means it's small to begin with, why isn't it coming out? Is it's head turned back the wrong way?

So I go spelunking again. This time, I'm up to my forearm, and there's still plenty of room. And there's his little head. Right there. I can feel his little nose, his mouth and teeth, yup... no doubt. It's a head.

So I pry down with the calf puller a little bit harder and his front leg makes a nice crunching sound as the OB chain crushes it just above the ankle. Crap! What is WRONG WITH THIS THING!

So I'm aghast, and Dad, whose been around longer than I have, is perplexed too. Is it twins?

Back into the breach I go, this time almost to the elbow and there it is. Another foot. Another head. Well crap. It must be twins, and they're both coming out at once. So I try to push junior back in, but he's not having it. Won't budge. I can't pull without crushing the legs and that's that. "Well," says I, "It's either got 2 heads and five legs or it's twins and I can't get 'em out." Time to head to the vet, cause it looks like a C-section is on the menu.

But I've got other things to do, so Mom and Dad loaded her up and hauled her in.

I'm typing away here, doing my thing, and mom calls. Well... indeed it had 2 heads. Vet hadn't seen one in about 20 years, I've never seen it, just heard stories. So the vet cut off the two heads and tried to pull the rest of the corpse out. Not coming. A C-section it is.

They get the calf out and it's got about 7 legs too. Now I haven't seen it yet, but Dad did haul it home. So I'll get my chance tomorrow, and I'll be taking pictures too, just for all of you.

I'll bet you just can't wait can you. ;)

Sunday, April 08, 2007

A Few Odds and Ends...

I really don't feel like making another post, but hey... I can't keep you all waiting for your fix of blogging gold much longer, so...


I watch a bit of TV and of course that means I see several commercials. Today's particular subject is the NutriSystem for men commercial with all the ex football players in it.

Now Marino lost 20 lbs, someone else lost 50, then 100, then 20, then...

ok... so each time they post the weight loss in HUGE numbers, in fine print below the number is the phrase "results not typical". Erm... lemme get this straight. 100 lbs lost isn't typical. I can see that. 50? Allright. But 20? Not typical? My gadfry! If I can't lose at least 20 lbs, I ain't signin' up for nobody's weight loss program. C'mon, people. How many overweight people do you know that say to themselves... you know, if I can just slip off 5 or 6 lbs, I'll be set.

But then again... if I lost 20 lbs, I'd be mere skin and bones instead of the Adonis like creature I am now...


This weekend is another free HBO weekend. So far... I'm not signin' up for this one either.


The weather around these parts sucks. It's been between 65 and 70 for the last week or so, and all the trees are budding and flowers are starting to bloom. Man... where is that 20 degree weather when you need it... (sorry Beth) ;)


One of these days I'll be back to abnormal. But until then... think nice thoughts and think of a way to communicate the word "chocolate babies" to your partner.