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Friday, April 15, 2016

The Second Day

4th June 2014
Dear Cassi,
My second day on the witness stand was much like my first. I arrived an hour early and waited only to be told that the court was experiencing delays. I was set to take the stand at 10:30 in the morning then told I was excused until eleven fifteen. At eleven fifteen I was told they were letting us out for lunch and I would be off until one in the evening.
There was a shop on the same floor as my case, and I stopped in there to get lunch, a turkey sandwich and naked juice, only to keep my body going under the stress. It was a labor to get that sandwich down and the last inch found its way into the trash.
I took the stand and found long the time of my interrogations.  When the attorney for the defense was done with me the attorney for the prosecution came at me again, and then when I left of the stand they said I had to wait outside until the trial was over.
In the hallways the policeman, being one of two who responded that day and having to then appear as witness, thanked me for attending court. He said that most would file a report but few would come and back it up with an appearance.  He said that he was surprised at how long I took questioning and that most were only on the stand for a few minutes.
It was my prerogative to tell the man that this case was the people verses and so it was my duty to attend and give honest testimony. We talked over varying points making some effort to amuse ourselves while the trial when on without us. The policeman said that the defendant would likely never take the stand as she would incriminate herself.
When it was all over the DA came out and said we could go home. The Jury would give a verdict, and I would know I did my duty. I went home that night hoping this would never happen again.

Stay safe, little sister,

Richard Leland Neal

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Ramona the Brave by Beverly Cleary: Book Review

'Ramona the Brave' by Beverly Cleary is a book that I have heard of and so I figured reading it would be a good idea. It's popular and where as that doesn't necessarily mean good it does in this case.
'Ramona the Brave' is primarily a book about being young and dealing with every day life as a first grader. This book took be back to those days and I have to admit that it bothered me because of my terrible childhood. 

Had my childhood been better I would have loved this book, but I don't like feeling young again.

Who should read this book? Children and those who want to feel young.

Books Read 21 of 5,000

Pages: 176

Total Pages Read for 'The 5,000 Project': 4,533

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Day as a Witness

3rd June 2014
Dear Cassi,
I have spent my first day as a witness to my own injuries and what a day it has turned to be both trying and dragging. It started with a call to meet a District Attorney at her office to discuss evidence and as it became clear reports and photographs had not been rendered to the detective among these were the image of the cuts on my face and the wreckage of the office floor.
My work considered that a matter to be on duty time and so said on Monday I would have ‘tomorrow’ off. It was when I had made my coffee and settled into working for the night that Sherri, the per diem guard, arrived and asked what I was doing on shift. This surprised me and I learned that I had been given the night off. I work for two hours before taking the shift off and going home to find that sleep was impossible.
I left my home two hours before my appointment with the court taking in account of LA traffic and arrived in the right place an hour early. At a small table I found a sheriff’s deputy, or at very least a man meant to look as such, who said he had been told of my arrival and asked me to sit and wait for the woman in question.
My time sitting on that stone bench was spent reading interjected by the calls of paper law folk greeting on another. They looked and sounded to be so happy to see one another that this almost came to me to be a result of tension as if any moment one of these folks could burst into fire if wrongly handled. This may be a result of them being public defenders and so apposing each other in one case or another.

The District Attorney herself arrived almost right on time to the second. She was a tan woman of Asian descent with broad hips and a healthy build.  Had the situation not been so solemn or the air not so thick I would have been happy to make the acquaintance of so fine a woman.

We sat down with the police officer who made the initial report, talked over evidence, made ready for me to take the stand. I attended the court and was sworn in then we went over every photograph.  I was cross examined for 15 minutes before the court adjourned for the day and I was called to come back the next day at 10:30AM.

I hate doing this, little sister,

Richard Leland Neal

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

The Light Fantastic By Terry Pratchett: Book Review

'The Light Fantastic' By Terry Pratchett is the second book in the Disk World books picking up right were the last book left off with our two heroes falling off the world.
I feel that Pratchett grew in this book, and it has a more defined plot yet lacks the light hearted nature 'The Color of Magic'. Still, I loved this novel and have read it time and time again.

Who should read this book? Anyone who likes good books.

Books Read 20 of 5,000

Pages: 217

Total Pages Read for 'The 5,000 Project': 4,357

Monday, April 11, 2016

Goodbye Pork Chop

14th February 2014
Dear Cassi,
Today I came home to find one of my dogs had expired. This was Pork Chop the elderly Labrador. He had been more lethargic than usual and crawled himself into a corner last night where he sat taking in what was left of the world. I could tell that he was dying and I knew that he would be dead when I came home, but it was no less painful to see him crumpled on the floor, his sad eyes looking out at the world sightlessly.
I knew I had to get him out of the house before Pickle came home and so I called the vet and asked about disposal of the body. It was expensive, but I didn’t feel like shopping around.
Porky being so large a dog, and his death leaving his back end open, I wrapped him in an old frayed table cloth and dragged is hundred and ten pound mass to the front yard where I place him in a concrete mixing troth and then in my car.
Even having been dead only a few hours the body smelled, and so I drove down to the vet with the windows open. A train had stopped on the tracks across Sunset Avenue, and so I had to take a detour.
It took some time to get things settled at the vet, and I was asked what had happened. I talked and I cried, I cried as I told the story of the old dog and his death. I cried as I drove home.
What does one do on the day his dog dies? Did I do the right thing? I found old Porky following a neighbor home and I took him in and looked after him. I gave him the best life I could for the short time I had him.

Remember the good moments, little sister,

Richard Leland Neal

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Storming Heaven by Dale Brown: Book Review

'Storming Heaven' by Dale Brown is the story of a mercenary who gets wild hair up his butt and becomes a terrorist. 
Heaped in violence and gore, sprinkled with odd sex this novel is not for those under the age of 18. I felt it lagged in the first half and picked up in the second.

I have to admit that by the end I was rooting for the heroes and hoping the bad guy got it in the tail. This book wasn't great but it didn't suck and was worth reading.

Who should Read this book? Those who like sex and violence.

Books Read 19 of 5,000

Pages: 474

Total Pages Read for 'The 5,000 Project': 4,140