Richard Day's picture




    Hell, my dad died on Mars. Hahahah

    I was a conciliation court judge in my mid twenties.

    A mentor of mine sent me down to sign up.

    The gig was once a month and I received 70 bucks for my time.

    Now you have to remember that in those days an 800 square foot home cost $250/month and being an incompetent that was a lot of money.

    So other attorneys on the list found other means of making real money throughout the month and so ‘they’ knew they could call me to fill in and so in those days, I could work three or four times a month as Judge Judy.

    The real epiphany in all of this was that the small cases contained really tough issues.

    So I actually wore a robe and had to make decisions that would never be appealed.

    To file in conciliation court in those days cost $25?

    To file in District Court in those days it might have cost $125?

    There certainly were silly suits.

    But I recall many claims that involved serious legal and moral issues.

    I learned early on that a judge should not rule from the bench.

    And in those days most folks were not carrying guns. Hahahaha

    One case I recall involved a lady suing her boyfriend for the cost of an abortion.

    The amount at issue was $700?

    He was a Catholic (like me, at least like me sort of) and he was vehemently against abortion.

    I get to escape the obvious question, because I cannot recall my decision.

    I really do not remember it, even though the amount at issue was so small.

    My gut tells me that I decided the entire claim involved a medical issue, applying to both parties and so I awarded the plaintiff her claim.

    But the real issue here has little to do with this history.

    I was approached one day as I exited the courthouse by a married couple. (we shall call them Mr. & Mrs. Johnson)

    It was April 14th and they asked me to fill out their taxes.

    Now Mrs. Johnson was a good, hard working woman at some wage better than minimum and a singer in her church.

    Mr. Johnson was mentally disabled. Retarded would be the ‘old age’ moniker.

    Well, for thirty bucks (I think this is what HRBlock asked in fees at the time) I spent an hour filling out their federal and State forms.

    Standard deduction was the strategy of course. They had no kids and no real deductions of any consequence.

    Well, for the next three or four years, I took care of their tax forms.

    I even waited until they received their refunds to receive my fee. And I was doing better toward the end but I never changed my fee.

    Somewhere in all of this time, Mr. Johnson was arrested for DUI and I took care of it. He had gotten as drunk as a skunk and run into a lamp post. Hahahahah

    He had no record and I simply got the charges dropped to careless driving, he lost his license for a month and spent no time in jail.

    I recall that I did not charge the church lady more than three hundred bucks.

    I liked her and I received promises from Mr. Johnson that he would amend his ways.

    A couple years later, Mrs. Johnson asked me pursue a claim for SSD on behalf of her husband.

    Mr. Johnson ended up with a compiled IQ of 61.

    We won.

    I did not even demand attorney fees thru the SS. I do recall Mr. Johnson showing up with my full fee (25%) in a paper bag full of money shortly after he received his award.

    You have to understand, Mr. Johnson was a nice man.

    A couple years later, Mrs. Johnson showed up in my office with a black-eye and a bruise on her cheek.


    I immediately went down to the courthouse with Mrs. Johnson and procured a temporary order and filed criminal charges against Mr. Johnson.


    I never charged her a dime.

    I swear to God.

    At the arraignment I met with Mr. Johnson and his attorney (some twentyish attorney from legal aid) and I read the riot act to Mr. Johnson.


    And of course I went on and on, further violating every ethical axiom in the attorney codes.

    This young attorney never winced.

    He never attacked me.

    We reached some agreement.

    And I remember that young man.

    This is not happily ever after.

    There were orders issued and such from the court.

    I never charged Mrs. Johnson a dime.

    I was doing okay in those days.

    But I never heard from Mrs. or Mr. Johnson ever again.

    I think, I think I might have called her a few months later and confirmed that ‘all was okay’.

    But I never was called upon to ever help these two folks again.

    And that bothers me to this day again.

    I broke some rules and then I broke some rules by not following up.

    I loved Mrs. Johnson.

    I probably failed her.

    But as to old ethic rules, I could give one goddamn.

    The only reason I write this essay is that I dreamt it last week.

    It bothered me.

    It sometimes is not clear.

    It is not always clear what is right and what is wrong.

    We must do our best, I guess.

    What the hell time is it anyway?









    This is really good - in some ways, I think it's one of your best. Thank you for sharing this piece of yourself, Dick. It's golden.

    Like I wrote, I had forgotten about these people and yet they came to me in a dream.

    If life were easy, anyone could do it!

    Thank you for taking the time...

    I love this.

    I think this is going to sound sentimental or it is going to sound like I wish for something...

    It means a lot when you take the time to read my stuff.

    Thank you.

    Beautiful, Mr. Day.

    Thank you Oxy.

    I guess only nice people read my stuff. hahaha

    I agree with the other assessments.  It took my breath away.   Thanks for opening up that small window into your life.   Reading it brought me great joy and sadness.

    Mr. Smith, you are the most poetic guy who takes the time to read my stuff.

    I recall a post I did on THE PACKAGE.

    Makes my day, as they say.

    At the risk of sounding like the setup for a standard lawyer joke, there are lawyer ethics and then there are human ethics. You might have been violating lawyer ethics, but you were upholding human ethics. Of that, I have no doubt.

    I skip over Atheist?

    We all need moral guidance.

    There are rules or protocols and there are reasons for those rules and protocols.

    I am still worried that people will think my entire blog is just self serving.

    Well not really, I am far too old to worry about that crap.

    I do know this.

    There are millions upon millions of folks attempting to do the 'right thing'.

    And we must look to 'human ethics'.

    Thank you.

    You have pretty damn good good judgment on right and wrong. Better than most.

    And if that DUI guy had next run over people instead of lamp posts, I am sure you would have heard of it, so between that and his other offense, they probably did OK after you took care of them, which is why they never came back.

    Sometimes you can change people's lives for the better, and it lasts, even though many times you never find out about it. Think of the people you know who changed your life, people whom you never were able to thank for their efforts, or their ethics.

    I just wish to add that I think they are both dead by now, certainly he is.

    Mr. Johnson was a couple decades older than I and Mrs. Johnson was a little older.

    That is one reason I wrote about this dream reminding me of these olden days.

    I re-read this post a number of times today and the post could be construed as an attempt (like our friend Billo) to make me look good.

    But then again I aint runnin for anything and I do not have my own cable tv show. hahahah

    That is the trouble with getting old, our regrets have a way of creeping up on us.  They just sneak in all kinds of ways.  Mrs. Johnson probably stayed away because of shame.  You know shame and embarrassment is a very strong feeling and we naturally avoid facing it. She put it all behind her and moved on. 

    You did good by them when they needed you and that is all that mattered.

    Enjoyed a peek into your life.   

    "You did good by them when they needed you...."

    Momoe, this is so selfish of me but I hereby render unto you the Dayly Line of the Day Award for this here Dagblog Site, given to all of you from all of me.

    The best we can ever do is to do good by them when they needed us.

    By the way, how are those magnificent grand kids?

    OT Kids.

    The oldest one is shadow teaching in a Portland, Oregon High School while he is on spring break. i pick him up at the airport Sat. The 3 youngest ones are taking tests in the morning as part of common core.  It is in writing and math.  They will do fine on it.  The 11yr old genius hand writing sucks so no one in the testing company will be able to read it. He always gets a low grade on writing when it is graded out side of the school system.  He types his homework. He types 50 words a minute and just came in 2nd in a speech contest that only took him 20 minutes to write. Plus an hour of practice to get the timing down.  I had fun teaching oratory. I made him watch Cuomo's speech so he would know grandma wasn't full of crap. LOL.

    A lot of people don't like common core because of the math and testing.  We have had FCAT testing that was like the common core test for the last 20 years so testing is not new to us. Math is different because it slows down the process to teach critical thinking and application.  These kids don't have to be fast at calculations because of computers.  They are taught visually how the numbers interact and not just memorizing. The answer maybe wrong but isn't counted wrong because the reasoning was correct in breaking down the problem.  All my grand children are visual learners.  I expect the republicans to make this a campaign issue against common core. Heaven forbid if these kids can figure out things using reasoning. 




    I am getting so old that I forget what I am doing sometimes. hahahahaha

    Do a blog on this subject.

    Unlike me you are talented enough to keep names out of this.

    Here I am on some automated typewriter and yet I have feelings for your 'kids'.

    You tell us all of your travails and yet the 'kids' are all surviving; hell the kids are all doing fine!

    Great post.

    One thing that improves the human species is by ndividuals asking could I have done better by that person, or could I have done more? The hope is to do better the next time and the time after that. Whenever we think that we have been perfect, we are lost.

    Thanks again for sharing.

    Thank you, my PC lost its train of thought. hahahah

    We do the best we can.

    Sometimes I worry that my son attempts to do what is right.

    Sometimes that sentiment can get one into deep trouble.


    I have played this lilt many times before over the years.

    But you reminded me once again.


     I would want you for my lawyer any day, Richard.  Win or lose, a good man is hard to find.

    Loved this.

    Oh hell, you are always there to support me.

    Thank you.


    A Day on Mars?


    We have known each other for a long time.  The thought of sending you on a one way trip to Mars immediately re-kindled my flagging hope for the future.  As I have become a curmudgeonly old man the small fire that is my optimism often needs to be re-ignited and such thoughts as this stir once again a flickering flame from my ashes.

    We live in amazing times where things that were once the stuff of fantasy and dreams are now possible due to advances in science and technology.  The ancients had their Icarus.  Are you our modern son of Day (Daedelus in the ancient spelling)?

    Then again the myth of Icarus is a cautionary tale about hubris.  Icarus flew too close to the sun.  His technology failed him and he fell into the sea.  One must in the end live within the boundaries of Nature, a lesson especially needed in these times.  

    There is a more modern tale that speaks another admonition.  Consider this.  We are both older gentlemen and it is in the Nature of things that we discard more and more bits of ourselves about the environment.  Our eyes randomly drip more moisture than when we were young.  We cough and sneeze with unpleasant regularity.  Our dryer skin flakes and flutters to the ground.  Now the human body is home to myriad forms of flora and fauna.  (Have you seen the images of mites (Demotex) the live in our eye lashes?).  We are as well home to many non-living particles such as viruses.  So imagine yourself wandering the surface of Mars, dropping living and half-living detritus onto the unforgiving terrain - unforgiving except for the fact that none of the inhabitants of those bits will face any natural enemies.  This was the warning inside the plot for the novel and movie Jurrasic Park – the pertinent line of dialogue – “Life finds a way.” Rather than being a single visitor to the red planet, you may create an entire menagerie of critters – invasive flora and fauna of many types.  One might even speculate that our planet which was once as inhospitable a place as current day Mars may have experienced a visit of a single blogger from some distant planet, an older gentleman, and thus Earth came alive.

    Lastly probably all of us these days are given to dreams of escaping the current condition of life.  We dream of a world more consonant with our personal sensibilities and, yes, ethics.  But again caution is warranted.  The poet Milton wrote about this in his “Paradise Lost”. When asked why he rebelled against God himself,  Lucifer is made to respond “It is better to rule in Hell than serve in Heaven.” As I said it is a miracle of technology that you might travel to Mars.  But it is a more impressive miracle of Nature that a man of your good character exists at all, especially in these times.  I have a different dream for you.  I dream of the candidacy of Elizabeth Warren and Richard Day for President and Vice-President of the United States.

    (As for the body of your post entitled “Ethics”, you long ago revealed in your writings a most humane and empathetic being.  I am not the least surprised to find wisdom in your latest piece.)

    I have not been taken aback like this for a long long time.

    Q will show up around xmas and I am astounded.

    But this essay really, really got to me.

    Good to see you Larry, but that is not the half of it.

    Just as an aside, there was actually, in the olden days, a St. Lucifer. hahahaha

    The bringer of light as it were.

    Prometheus as it were.

    I am and  never could be a Biden.. hahahahah

    Just as an aside, can you imagine getting elected to the US Senate and find out that you have lost your wife and most probably all your children and then two kids survive and then you find a wonderful new wife and she bears you a new daughter?

    My life seems so meaningless and yet, my daughter calls me today at noon and I am so astounded.

    Some folks remember me.

    I have gone on and on as is my wont.

    You make me feel really good in the middle of the night.

    And I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

    Damn it is good to hear from you again. I hope you are well.

    I hope this does not sound petty, but I recall this ancient lilt.

    A great comment, Larry.  I agree with Richard:  You should be posting these things.  I look forward to more of your writing.  Good to see you here.

    Nice to hear from you Larry.  You have been missed.  Please don't stay away so long the next time. 

    Oh this is 15 months late.

    I miss Larry.

    I just recall this song

    Consider this.....



    It is the middle of the night, too much cough syrup.

    Larry H. showed up for the first time in years.

    And he writes an essay that is something to see as a comment of course.

    He would never just take that comment and turn it into a blog. hahahah

    The essay is amazing.

    Personally, I have been captivated by this guy for years.

    That he ever took the time to read me is beyond belief.

    Please read this.

    Okay, I am done.

    I too would agree with Larry

    “you long ago revealed in your writings a most humane and empathetic being.”

    With so many paths and roads to consider when pondering upon your selected subjects.

    I appreciate that your words/rants are sprinkled with seasoning, to add flavor to the “Food for thought”

    It’s not just BLAH

    A couple of Larry’s thoughts, really caught my attention   

    "Then again the myth of Icarus is a cautionary tale about hubris.  Icarus flew too close to the sun.  His technology failed him and he fell into the sea.  One must in the end live within the boundaries of Nature, a lesson especially needed in these times. 

    “We cough and sneeze with unpleasant regularity”

    I have gone on and on as is my wont.  Okay, I am done.

    Yeah, out of the blue and he just sends me thoughts that have my mind reeling.

    I do not get to be compared to Daedalus very often. ha 

    Resistance, I just reread this mess.

    You are so very nice to me.

    And yet, you are so horrid to my thinking at times.

    We must debate I guess.

    But you are a nice man, at least sometimes.


    Like I am the final judge of these things?

    You did apologize to Mac when I asked.

    But you are more than that.

    When I read comments on other blogs, you piss a lot of people off. hahahahahah

    Thank you.

    I think about this.

    Maybe I have little to think about.


    Again, thank you and I do not think I thank you enough when I think about it.

    Of course, I love illiteration. hahahahah

    And he writes an essay that is something to see as a comment of course.

    I am glad to see he didn't wait to make it a Blog and then lose the moment, the feelings expressed or we might have missed the thoughts that came to his mind  

    BTW  I too wish Q and Larry would come around more often and  I would welcome whatever they wanted to contribute.

    Wow D... but what came to me at the end was you don't have to Mars for not being perfect....  not that you were saying that.  Guess I am thinking from the perspective of a kid whose dad is fighting cancer and a ton of other things.  He is a sci fi freak though so I suppose if that was they way he wanted to go, I would have to support it:)

    Oh, Damn. I missed this.

    I hope your father gets through all of this.

    I hope the pain is not too much to bear.

    But thank you for your comment.

    I do miss you!

    When I had good teeth, I loved Mars Bars.

    Taking a one way ticket to this strange land....

    That is all I got.

    Haven't heard from you for awhile, but my numbers have been up lately and I assume you catch my drivel from time to time.


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