Serving Jury Time in Tucson: Drama & Duty

Jury-duty2

What is it like to serve on a jury in Pima County’s Superior Court? Having just done my duty for the first time, it was the high drama part that surprised me.

My jury experience started with a summons to appear for duty on September 25, but with no time of day given. For that information, I was instructed to login to a Pima Jury Duty Website after 3:30 P.M. the day before my report date.

I reported for duty at the courthouse at 8:30 A.M. and was greeted by a sea of very diverse people. We were all assigned to one of four groups, 45 people per group, and squeezed into a large first-floor room awaiting instructions. Orientation consisted of a well done, 15-minute patriotic video about jury service in Arizona.
[Read more...]

The God Virus

GodVirus2

I have never been able to figure out why Mama—a sixty-five-year convert to Jehovah’s Witnesses—can so accurately point out the flaws of other religions and yet be so blind to her own. That is until I read The God Virus by Darrel W. Ray, Ed.D.

In this well-written, easy-to-understand book, I learned for the first time why people are unable to see to the failings of their own religion.
[Read more...]

Hell on Two Wheels

Race Across America - RAAM [Photo John Evans (UK, 2007)]

When my son Keith recommended Amy Snyder’s book, Hell on Two Wheels, I was apprehensive. We share the same interests in books, but he is an avid cyclist and I know little about the sport. However, it turns out that the book is a very compelling eye-opening read, a darn-good story with no bike racing knowledge required. It is a thrilling tale about the most incredible sporting event you’ve never heard of — a 3,000-mile bike “Race Across America” (RAAM). It’s the ultimate in ultradistance cycling where mere survival may be the greatest victory.

To give this story some perspective, RAAM cyclists average 22 hours of racing each day during this mind-boggling gut-wrenching race. The leaders get by on 90 minutes or less of sleep per day. They are forbidden from taking shelter from the wind behind fellow racers or support vehicles. They ride alone. The race has been completed in just over eight days, but most of the racers are happy to do it in ten.  Do the math.

[Read more...]

AYN RAND and the World She Made

ayn-rand-book

Whether you love her, hate her or don’t know who she is, Ayn Rand’s life story is a page-turner in Anne Heller’s 2009 book, AYN RAND and the World She Made. The New York Times reported, “A thoughtful, flesh-and-blood portrait of an extremely complicated and self-contradictory woman . . . plumbing the quirkier depths of Rand’s prodigious imagination.”

Before I read this gripping biography, I knew very little about Ayn Rand personally. I knew she was a great writer and I’ve always admired her ability to shoehorn ideas into the thoughts and speeches of the characters she created in Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead. Those two books have also stirred the passions and engaged the minds of millions of readers for over fifty years.
[Read more...]