Florida Judiciary Crisis

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Okay, enough of AI. Next week I'm going to be putting together links and information about the financial woes of the Florida Judiciary...

During the past week came the announcement that throughout the entire state court employees will have to go on unpaid furloughs for extended periods of time.

Just think. An employee is expected to take anywhere from 22 days on up without any type of pay, including vacation pay. Oh yeah, the mortgage, water, and electrical companies are going to be soooo understanding that these folks don't have $ to pay their bills. How many are going to be forced to find another job if they can? With a hiring freeze, those positions won't be filled any time soon.

But what is really, really fascinating me is the lack of disclosure and/or silence as to all the classes of employees who will be forced to take unpaid leave of absence.

So far the 'classes' I've seen/heard mentioned/discussed in my neck of the woods --Palm Beach County-- have been primarily court reporters, interpreters, case managers, and judicial assistants. Absent on the radar are personnel like the general magistrates and their staff.

Huh. Since judges are constitutional officers, they're going to continue to receive their salaries. What they'll have to tough out is taking their own phone calls, typing, and setting their calendars. [Better push up the sleeves of your black robes!] We'll soon learn if they can figure out the computer programs and what buttons to push on a phone.

But, depending on the division, those hearing loads have been alleviated for years by the general magistrates. Those magistrates have booked calendars for months on end. Who's going to handle those hearings while the magistrates are out? The judges? I doubt it even if they wanted to.

The Florida court system is about to grind to a gigantic slowdown. If people thought justice was slow before, just wait. I don't think the public realizes how intrinsic the court personnel are to the running of the system. I suspect things are going to fall through the cracks, which is probably why all the levels of personnel being put on leave have not been completely listed in the initial announcements. Or...

Maybe the higher-up's in the judiciary administration don't know the extent of their own personnel. That's a rather frightening thought. But if true, they're about to learn in the same fashion as the public: the hard way.


AI-the results

No surprises other than Alaina; I thought for sure Cady would be the one going. But Cady may have been saved because she's been able to stand out more as a personality in the interviews/videos. The others simply couldn't define themselves in the limited amount of time they had or the song selection.

I hope Kristy is smart enough to do country next week. There's a strong voting population behind any country singer.

However, after I watched the montage of all the performances tonight, it's David Archuleta all the way for me. :) Carol


Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Yes, the temperatures here in Florida are in a freefall. For the past week we've been in almost record highs of the mid-80's, including yesterday. By tomorrow morning we may in be only in the high-30's...a fifty degree drop.

And brrrr as to the women's performances on AI tonight. Certainly nothing as riveting as David A's last night. I do adore Brooke and her personality and thought she did great tonight. I was relieved that Kristy made a strong comeback; Simon was dead on about her defining herself with country. Every idol finalist who has gone on to country radio market overall has done well, much better than those in the other genres. However, there was no breakout, defining performance tonight. Carly needs to up her game. I still think she's the female front-runner, but now is the time to start shining.

It will be interesting to see who goes tomorrow night, but I'm going to be drinking hot chocolate, wrapped in a sweater while I watch. :) Carol

AI-The Guys, David Archuleta's the one!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Eww. My memory of the 70's clearly didn't square with the guys' selections tonight. In fact, I had my car radio tuned to the 70's XM radio station over the weekend and rocked out.

No such luck tonight. Even Michael was a bit of a let down. A number of the guys definitely opened up a weak spot for the ladies to take advantage of if they seize the moment tomorrow night. Chikeze [thank goodness he went with his teacher's pronounciation of his name!] did break out this week. If nothing else, I love how he takes on Simon.

Still, my number one for the whole competition is now zeroed in on David Archuleta. He was indeed brilliant tonight. He has consistently has the whole package: voice, performance skills, the ability to put his own stamp on a song and winning personality. If I was a teenager, I know my heart would be going pitty pat over him. And he's humble and grateful to boot!!!!

But brother. Now that I'm getting to know the performers, what is with all these 'Davids' and 'Jasons' this year? It would have been nice to have a little name variety to make the water cooler discussions easier. :) Carol

The Oscars

Monday, February 25, 2008

I heard tonight that the Oscars were a ratings dud...one of the lowest rated awards show ever. I've been watching the program since I was in college, missing it only when I was attending the University of Leeds, England. My all time favorite hosts are Bob Hope and Billy Crystal; I would watch the program just to listen to their jokes.

I have to admit, though, most years I've never seen the movies up for Best. My entertainment tastes are far removed from Hollywood's. I don't do dramas at all; every day life is drama enough for me, thank you very much. I'm a creature of action/adventure/thrillers or romantic comedies or fantasies. I demand happy endings and Hollywood loves bad endings.

But I'm wondering if others are becoming disenchanted. None of my friends, including those who do prefer dramas, saw any of the finalists other than Atonement. Most entries were too violent for them.

As for the program itself, the set was gorgeous and the opening was clever. However, the program ran wa-a-a-y long and overall not very entertaining. And the stars of today overall don't have the glamor or mystique of the stars of old.

At least no one can blame the bust on the writers. :) Carol

AI Results

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Based on the performances this week, I can't say I'm surprised by the results. I am grateful for the new format for the show with more focus on the finalists. I also liked the fact that AI cut the group performances during Hollywood week; I always hated watching the bickering.

But it's taken me this long to realize who Kristy looks like. It's been driving me nuts, and tonight the camera caught one shot and I thought, "of course." Dating myself here, but she reminds me of a young Linda Evans in the Big Valley, one of my fav TV shows of all time. All those gorgeous males and Barbara Stanwick.

:) Carol


Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Well...it appears right now the gals and guys are even steven. 3-4 standouts and the rest mediocre in their inital appearances. Last night I thought David, Michael & Jason were the best with Robbie in at the 4th spot. I think Simon has it right about Robbie. He's not the rocker he believes himself to be as proven by the biker chix's performance tonight. In a song-to-song performance Amanda would blow Robbie off the stage.

For the ladies, Carly, Brooke, Syesha, and Ramiele are the ones I have my eye on. But although I don't like hard rock, I do admire Amanda as she seems to be the genuine article.

The seventh season is going to be interesting. :) Carol


Tuesday, February 19, 2008

At the office today the girl talk around the water cooler centered on the announcement of the stars slated for Dancing With the Stars VI...and in particular on Dolphins' player Jason Taylor. We all wished that Max is going to leave behind his leather vest for Jason to wear. For those non-football ladies out there, are you in for a treat!!!

He's hubba, hubba, hubba...

hubba. :) Carol

Phyllis Whitney, 1903-2008

Thursday, February 14, 2008

One of my most precious memories is the moment my mother introduced me to gothic/suspense novels. I was hooked by age 12. Victoria Holt, Mary Stewart, Jane Aiken Hodges, Helen MacInnes, Dorothy Eden.

And of course, the incomparable Phyllis Whitney. The Window on the Square, Seven Tears for Apollo, Thunder Heights, Spindrift, Listen for the Whisperer. Every time a new Whitney book came out, my mother was quick to order it through her book club. Even though Mom passed away in 2000, I have kept her entire Whitney collection. I could never part with my memories of all our talks about the stories. We would race through reading as we could never said anything until the other had read the book so as not to spoil the ending.

So I'm deeply saddened to hear of Ms. Whitney's death this past week. She was 104; her last book was published in 1997! Amazing. And a huge loss to the writing community.

Her books gave birth to my yen to tell stories and helped to formulate my voice...my love of suspense.

Phyllis, thank you for all those years of 'can't put the book down until I finish it' moments. My Mom's going to love listening to your stories in heaven. Carol


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

I have remote-tendonitis. I've been switching between AI and the Westminster Dog show all night long. I'm soooo happy that AI eliminated the group performances this year. I did not enjoy watching all the bickering. The playing instruments feature appears to have been a bust. A few could play and sing well at the same time, but it probably won't be a repeat for next year.

Because I was switching back and forth, I didn't get to focus on all the names, but these were the ones that I'm focused on:

16-yr-old Brian; Syesha; Michael Jones; Carly; Asia'h; Drew; and Josiah. There is also a woman with long, blonde wavy hair who I really enjoyed but didn't catch her name.

Our local contestant made it to the final round but didn't make the cut to the final 50. But she did great! Did us proud. :) Carol

Hollywood Week, here we come!!!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Much as I enjoy the bad performances on AI, I have to admit the audience-portion of the show went on about one week too long for me. I'm more than ready for Hollywood week. Although in the past, I've picked the winner during the audition rounds, this year I had the sense that not all the really good performances were being shown...that we're going to have some sleepers sprung on us next week. Again, seemingly there were more good women singers then men, which is why I think there's a 'sleeper' out there.

Can't wait for next week! :) Carol

A Tale of Two Young Women

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Both blonde, both pretty. But one admitted stealing cookie money from a nine-year Girl Scout while the second is through to Hollywood on American Idol.

Although Simon rolled his eyes over the Wellington beauty pagent winner who tried out in Atlanta, she has been focused and dedicated to achieving her goals. On tonight's episode, she got one of the gold tickets to Hollywood.

Today the so-confessed thief spent her 18th birthday being arrested and booked. In an interview that aired last week, she actually laughed over how easy it had been to steal the money. Unbelievable. Somehow, after hearing her laugh, I don't think she stands a chance of redemption, but here's hoping she gets some help.

But as to the bright note of the day, all the best to our local girl in the Hollywood try-outs. Make us proud! :) Carol

Congrats to the NY Giants!!!!!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

While everybody was talking about the Patriots' being undefeated [which in all honest, being a Dolphin fan, I did not want to see happen], I had my eye on a different record: that of two brothers quarterbacking teams to a Super Bowl win...back to back. While we may see another undefeated team, I doubt if we'll ever see such an accomplishment by a brother act again. In college, I watched Archie Manning beat my Vanderbilt commodores, and now I have watched his sons carry on the torch.

Two thumbs up to the Manning brothers! :) Carol