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Geoff Trowbridge
28 December 2009 @ 09:49 pm
We've survived Christmas! The kids are all enjoying their piles of loot, and I personally am enjoying the books and the fine new suede leather jacket I received from Heidi. But two of my Christmas gifts arrived simply by acts of fate: I have reached the championship game in my fantasy football league, and my Notre Dame Fighting Irish have finally got themselves a football coach with a stellar head-coaching résumé.

Still, it's a bittersweet time to be an ND fan. The bowl season isn't nearly as enjoyable without a final matchup to anticipate, two of the program's top players are defecting to the NFL, and most of all, the end of the Weis era represents so much tragically unrealized potential.

Click here for my irrationally perfervid opinions on the program's direction.Collapse )

Everybody have a fun and safe New Year's Eve, and best wishes for the upcoming year!
 
 
Current Mood: optimisticoptimistic
 
 
 
Geoff Trowbridge
08 December 2009 @ 09:40 am
It's that time of year when the ground gets lightly dusted with the first snowfall of the year, the winter coats are retrieved from the spot in the back of the closet where they had migrated during the summer months, the festive lights of the holiday season begin to decorate the houses in the neighborhood... and most importantly, the focus in the sports world switches from football to basketball.

Trevor's season with the Elkhart Club Football Eagles ended on a positive note, as they defeated Discovery Middle School 22-0, then took a road trip to Colon, Michigan for a neutral site game against the South Washtenaw Stallions, which our Eagles dominated, 38-0. For the season, the Eagles posted an 8-1 record in the games where Trevor suited up. (They were less successful in the games against freshman JV teams, in which our 7th graders did not participate.) Unfortunately, Trevor didn't get as many opportunities with the football down the stretch, in part because the team had more success using a spread formation without any tight ends, but he'll almost certainly have to carry a major workload next season.

Now Trevor has made the transition to basketball, playing at his own middle school for the Trinity Crusaders where he is a starting guard and occasionally rotates to power forward or center. In his first game against the Montessori Academy Mustangs, Trevor scored seven points, including a couple of unassisted layups following two of his four steals, en route to a 32-18 victory. The second game against the Granger Christian School Knights was a much sloppier affair, with countless fouls and turnovers, but they still prevailed 23-11. Trevor led the team with five points, all from the free throw line. Tonight they will square off against the Mishawaka Christian Wildcats, and hopefully Trevor will feel well enough to play. We've all been rather sick lately with flu-like symptoms, though we did manage to make a trip down to Cincy over the weekend to visit mom for a belated Thanksgiving.

Kayla, of course, has also returned to practice with the cheerleading squad at Feeser, though their season won't begin until after the Christmas break. Meanwhile, Hannah is still enjoying the Daisy Scouts and will spend her first night away from the family with her troop when they camp out at the Curious Kids Museum in St. Joseph, Michigan.

Other transitions in the sports world are worth noting; in particular, the recent upheaval in the Notre Dame football program. I have many strong feelings and opinions on the matter, but I'll address them in a forthcoming post, as I need a bit more time to collect my thoughts.
 
 
Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative
 
 
 
Geoff Trowbridge
07 October 2009 @ 09:05 am
From FDR's final State of the Union address, 1/11/1944:

"It is our duty now to begin to lay the plans and determine the strategy for the winning of a lasting peace and the establishment of an American standard of living higher than ever before known. We cannot be content, no matter how high that general standard of living may be, if some fraction of our people—whether it be one-third or one-fifth or one-tenth—is ill-fed, ill-clothed, ill-housed, and insecure.

"This Republic had its beginning, and grew to its present strength, under the protection of certain inalienable political rights—among them the right of free speech, free press, free worship, trial by jury, freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures. They were our rights to life and liberty.

"As our nation has grown in size and stature, however—as our industrial economy expanded—these political rights proved inadequate to assure us equality in the pursuit of happiness.

"We have come to a clear realization of the fact that true individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. 'Necessitous men are not free men.' People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.

"In our day these economic truths have become accepted as self-evident. We have accepted, so to speak, a second Bill of Rights under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be established for all—regardless of station, race, or creed.

"Among these are:
  • The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation;

  • The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;

  • The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living;

  • The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad;

  • The right of every family to a decent home;

  • The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;

  • The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment;

  • The right to a good education.

"All of these rights spell security. And after this war is won we must be prepared to move forward, in the implementation of these rights, to new goals of human happiness and well-being.

"America’s own rightful place in the world depends in large part upon how fully these and similar rights have been carried into practice for our citizens."


Sixty-five years later, I still have hope.
 
 
Current Mood: hopefulhopeful
 
 
 
Geoff Trowbridge
25 September 2009 @ 06:38 pm
Lots of updates here. Click if you dare.Collapse )
 
 
Current Mood: impressedimpressed
 
 
 
Geoff Trowbridge
28 August 2009 @ 10:30 am
*sigh!* Yes, yes... I know it's been over a month since I last sauntered over here to make a simple LiveJournal entry. What can I say? I'm a Facebook junkie now. If you want to experience my life as a steady stream of consciousness (though in a format not nearly as pointless and banal as Twitter), then you should be over there. Still, Facebook's "Notes" are a poor substitute for a full-fledged blog (and my LiveJournal posts automagically get posted over there via RSS anyway), so I won't be closing down my journal here... at least not yet. If that changes, I'll give everyone plenty of advance warning. (By "everyone," I mean the half-dozen people that actually read this thing.)

So what has happened over the past month?

On August 12th, Heidi and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary. Lord, that's a weird thing to wrap your head around. 20 years seems like an eternity (it's over half my lifetime, for pete's sake), and yet in many ways it seems like this all happened in the blink of an eye. We didn't have much in the way of resources to celebrate, so the prior weekend we went down to Cincinnati to visit my mom and brought along a tent we'd borrowed from friends. While the kids stayed inside, we pitched the tent in the back yard and had a lovely evening under the stars with a few bottles of wine. Unfortunately, we woke to sweltering heat at 8 a.m. the next morning and quickly went inside to cool off. But as far as cheap dates go, that was a fun one. Upon returning home, we did have a nice dinner at Carrabbas to cap the anniversary celebration, but then we had to prepare for the onslaught of back-to-school activities.

Finally, after weeks of orientations, meet-n-greets and sports camps, classes began on the 18th. Hannah settled right in... though of course, she's had three years of quality preschool education to prepare. She's already reading at a much more advanced rate than most (if not all) of her classmates. And her teacher is very nurturing, so this should be a very comfortable transition for her. We also celebrated her sixth birthday last week with a bowling party at Signature Lanes.

Meanwhile, Trevor has begun middle school, and we have enrolled him back at Trinity Lutheran (mostly because the notion of his attending West Side Middle School was too frightening). Luckily he has many friends there, and the ones he left behind at Feeser Elementary will rejoin him in two years at Memorial High School. Trinity has a good educational program... with the exception of the biology curriculum, but I'll save that rant for another day. Suffice to say we'll have some interesting dinner table discussions.

Anyway, Trinity does have sports but they don't have a full-fledged tackle football program (just a flag football club offered as an elective). So Trevor signed up with the Elkhart Club Football squad, which is intended especially for 7th to 9th graders who attend private schools without a football program or who are homeschooled--and they take this VERY seriously. Trevor has been beat to a pulp doing drills and scrimmages for weeks, but all that effort is starting to pay off. On Monday he traveled to my old stomping ground at Concord to take on the 7th grade team, and he started the game at the TE/SE position. On the first few plays he made some great blocks to seal off the perimeter... but then unfortunately he made an egregious false-start penalty, and the coach opted to bench him for the remainder of the half. Trevor was quite angry with himself, but channeled it into a redemptive second-half performance. He made two catches--one across the middle in traffic for four yards, and then another catch in the end zone for a PAT! They ended up winning 25-0. His next game is Monday against South Bend Clay.

Meanwhile, Kayla's years of attending cheerleading camps have finally paid off. Just today we received word that she is now a cheerleader at Feeser! Woo-hoo!!! She was pretty nervous throughout the whole tryout process, but ultimately her knowledge, athleticism and overwhelming cuteness won the day. *grin!* Now we have even MORE after-school events to attend... but it's worth it.

As for myself, aside from providing taxi service for all these budding young student athletes, I've been spending my time preparing for our eighteenth annual fantasy football draft! Many of you might remember that I was the runner-up in our 16-team league last year. We get to retain four of our players from the previous season, so I've got a very nice core unit of backs and receivers, but I still need a franchise QB, and it doesn't look like there will be much to choose from... particularly since I pick next-to-last. *grrrr...* But we shall see what happens this Sunday. Wish me luck!!!
 
 
Current Mood: contentcontent
 
 
 
Geoff Trowbridge
As the refreshingly mild summer continues along, we find ourselves in a rare moment of downtime before the run-up to the onset of the new school year. Next week Trevor will endure three days of "boot camp" with the Elkhart Club Football program, where he has already established himself as a budding young wide receiver (and has been given jersey number 85 -- "Ocho-Cinco!"); Kayla will go to her annual cheerleading camp at Elkhart Memorial High School (in preparation for 5th grade tryouts this fall), and Hannah will have her own cheer camp plus vacation bible school on the horizon.

Of course, when we last left our heroes about two weeks ago, we were about to embark upon the four-game opening rounds of the Little League All-Stars tournament... but we shall not speak of this. Suffice to say that the 11-12 year-old team was young (which is to say, too much 11 and not enough 12) and never really gelled in time to play competitively. Next year, despite the loss of Scottie (who hit several home runs that week), we should be a better, more experienced team.

Anyway, after enduring the final humiliation in Middlebury on Thursday, we rose at an ungodly hour Friday morning, packed suitcases and kids into the minivan and departed for Maryland, making very good time and arriving at the Shore Leave convention just after 3:30 p.m. After showering and resting for a bit, we took the kids around to sample the vendors' wares (which is probably their favorite part of the con). Later, as the opening festivities got underway, I took in the hilarious "celebrity roast" of writer Keith R.A. Decandido while the rest of the clan tried out the hotel pool and hot tub. Then after Pocket Books announced their upcoming schedule for the next 18 months, I participated in the "Meet the Pros" book-signing for the second straight year.

The number of autograph seekers seemed markedly down this year, especially for me, since my novel is now almost a year old. Rest assured that I am working to rectify the situation, and I did spend a little time at the con rubbing elbows with the current editorial management to get a sense of what they might be looking for in the near future. Time will tell if it yields any results.

On Saturday, I was invited to participate in a "Smackdown!" panel discussion of the new Star Trek movie... which was fun, albeit a bit difficult to get a word in on a panel with Peter David (*grin!*) I did manage to convey my general appreciation for the film and for what the filmmakers tried to accomplish (with much success), while also pointing out that the film unfortunately carries on the time-honored tradition of creating villains with incomprehensible (or poorly explained) motivations. After escaping the throng of fans wanting to continue the discussion past the allotted time, I joined the family for another romp in the pool.

Later that evening we all attended the annual masquerade, though everyone but Kayla eventually got bored and retired back to our room. Once Kayla and I returned, Heidi and I put the kids to bed and went to "Vic's Place" for a little late night karaoke, where we all were briefly joined and entertained by Robert Picardo (the "Doctor" from Star Trek: Voyager). It was a late night, but we nonetheless got up early for the big yummy breakfast buffet; then another panel with fellow Myriad Universes authors Bill Leisner, Scott Pearson and Steve Mollmann; and finally we packed up and made the long trip home. The following week was still "vacation," but we spent it at home, relaxing and getting things done around the house.

On the final Friday of vacation, we took the kids to the opening day of the Elkhart County 4-H Fair, where the kids took advantage of the "wristbands" to ride everything in sight, including a nifty new water ride. Hannah was finally old enough to ride some of the bigger rides, although mom had to go all "Griswald" on a carney who wasn't going to let Hannah ride the ferris wheel without an adult. (Her response: "Put her on with an adult!" When the guy acted as if he didn't know what one looked like, several adults in the immediate area volunteered their services by raising their hands.) And I did buy a few tickets for myself to ride the "Freak Out" with Kayla, who remains the one child willing to seek out the maximum thrills.

And finally, on Saturday we attended a party with many old friends from high school that we hadn't seen in many years, hosted by friends with whom we spent time getting reacquainted at the city fireworks display on the weekend of the 4th. I hope to see them all again at a karaoke outing in less than two weeks, as such friendships continue to reveal their value over time, and should be continually nurtured and cherished.
 
 
Current Mood: mellowmellow
 
 
 
Geoff Trowbridge
06 July 2009 @ 03:48 pm
First off, I cannot begin a sports-related post without congratulating Roger Federer on breaking Sampras's record for the most major tennis titles in a career. But damn... my boy Andy Roddick sure made him work for it. Roddick gave us one of the greatest Wimbledon finals ever, losing in the 5th set, 16-14 (!!!); and if he doesn't win the damn thing one of these years, it will be a crime against all humanity.

Anyway...

This is going to be the week from Hell. It's time for Little League All-Stars, and so Trevor has a game Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday... and then Friday we will be leaving for the Shore Leave convention near Baltimore in the wee hours of the morning.

It's been over a week since the regular season ended, and Trevor's Dodgers went out on a very positive note. The penultimate game was a week ago last Thursday, and Trevor got his third start on the mound this season... and ended up with his third win of the season! (Woo-hoo!!!) He was helped out by the unbelievable hitting of our shortstop, Scottie, who had nine RBIs on the day, including a grand slam homer in the second inning that put things out of reach very early-on. (He would have had 11 RBIs if he hadn't missed clearing the top of the fence by about a foot later in the fourth inning.) The team cruised to a 14-4 victory.

Then on Saturday we played our final game of the year at Edwardsburg, and even though Scottie missed the game due to a family vacation, the rest of the team was pumped and ready to play. The coach allowed all the 12 year-olds in their final game to bat at the top of the order, and kids who had struggled all year suddenly began hitting like madmen. We had the same crappy umpire who blew the call in our tournament game, and the guy remained true to form, failing to call obstruction while one of our runners literally had to climb over the catcher to reach home plate. But it didn't matter. By the end of the game, Trevor and most of the other 11 year-olds were watching from the bench as we capped things off, winning 16-4.

So the team finishes up with a winning record (7-6, including one forfeit). Trevor finishes the regular season with a batting average of exactly .500 -- second-best on the team (behind Scottie). His pitching ERA was an impressive 2.0 -- again, second-best (behind Scottie). All the final stats are uploaded here.

Now the "real" tournament begins. The first four games are in a round-robin format, so we'll at least be playing through Thursday. The first two are at home against Warsaw and Concord, then we're on the road against Goshen and Middlebury. If we finish in the top four out of the eleven teams in our district, we'll move on to the semifinals on Sunday (which Trevor, unfortunately, will miss due to our trip out East). Given the hectic schedule of the next few days, updates may be erratic, so check the Elkhart paper for the results.
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Current Mood: optimisticoptimistic
 
 
 
Geoff Trowbridge
03 July 2009 @ 11:50 am
As of yesterday, I have a new primary care physician. And I feel good about it. Not only does he seem competent and have a friendly manner about him, but I will no longer have to deal with the drama that my old doctor's staff seems to thrive upon.

For almost twenty years I had been a patient at Concord Family Medicine, mostly under the care of Dr. Sam Borrelli, but occasionally being seen by the other practitioners there as well. I really liked them all. But in recent years, things began to happen that made me question what was going on "behind the scenes," as it were.

The first sign of trouble was an incident with Heidi's sister, Cindy, about a year ago. She had also been a long-time patient of Borrelli (in fact, she may have originally recommended him to us). Not having insurance, she went to a free clinic for a routine GYN exam and decided to become a regular patient there strictly for that purpose. So the clinic, naturally, contacted her primary care physician to obtain copies of the relevant information from her medical records.

A few months later, Cindy contacted Concord Family Medicine to schedule an appointment with Borrelli... and she was completely shell-shocked when they told her that she was "no longer a patient there." When she pried for further details, the office manager informed her that they had transferred all of her records to another doctor, so "obviously" she had found another primary care physician, or else she was "doctor-hopping." Her attempts to explain that she ONLY sought GYN treatment fell upon deaf ears. They basically accused her of lying, refused to let her talk to the doctor or anyone else, and made it very clear that her years of being a loyal patient meant nothing. She was persona-non-grata, though she'd done nothing wrong.

You'd think it was a simple misunderstanding and would be easily resolved. The next time I met with Borrelli, I explained what had happened, and he agreed that Cindy should still be his patient. I stood there while he told a member of his staff to make sure that Cindy was reinstated as a patient, and I left feeling confident that the matter was resolved. But then Cindy called the office a week or so later, only to learn that nothing had changed. Apparently Borrelli's staff routinely ignores his instructions... OR... the office manager holds the power, either delegated or reserved, to overrule him.

To this day, I'm not sure which is true. But one thing is certain: The office manager at Concord Family Medicine has a God complex, and is on a personal crusade to weed out of her patient pool all of the people whom she personally feels are undeserving of treatment.

Over the past two years, I have covered myself and our kids under my employer's insurance, while Heidi has covered herself under hers. Heidi's coverage is cheap, but isn't very good (i.e., high deductible, then just 80/20 or worse, etc.). Over time, the added expenses began to build up a small balance on Heidi's account. Not a lot, mind you--less than a few hundred dollars--but initially we were unsure as to exactly how much we were responsible for, and then it took us a month or so to work the payments into our budget. But at no time were we unwilling to pay or to cooperate on a schedule.

Suddenly, one day we received a letter. The letter declared, without justification, that the account was delinquent; and without any suggestion of compromise announced that Heidi had been dropped as a patient. Well, I should clarify... They didn't mention Heidi by name. But logically, it was her balance (though no fault of her own), so she would be the patient who was dropped. Right? We were upset about this. It was stupid. But the fact was, we had planned to pay off the balance by the end of the month (which, incidentally, we did). So perhaps Heidi would be able to mend fences with them once everything was squared away.

About a month later, I attempted to refill one of my cholesterol meds only to discover that the refills had expired. Granted, it was foolish of me not to have kept on top of the situation. As I've explained before on this journal, I suffer from severe hypertriglyceridemia--a condition that can have very serious medical consequences without regular treatment. In fact, the one time in 2006 when I went off my meds, I ended up in the hospital with acute pancreatitis and had to be fed intravenously for two weeks. So naturally, it was vitally important to get a new scrip as quickly as possible.

The drugstore contacted the doctor's office but couldn't obtain authorization for the refill, so I contacted the office directly. At first they seemed willing to give me a month of meds provided that I came in for updated lab work, but the receptionist was unable to find my medical file, so she had to call me back. When she did, I was horrified to discover that my file was closed. They had dropped me as a patient even though my own account was in perfect standing. When I found my voice, I asked them if they would be kind enough to authorize a month of medication while I looked for a new doctor. After the receptionist discussed the matter with the aforementioned office manager from Hell, she called me back to inform me that she had refused. Just like that. My health be damned; my longtime loyalty notwithstanding... They were done with me, and if I ended up hospitalized as a result, well, that was my own f**king problem.

So many emotions were swirling though my mind... betrayal, anger, fear for my health, and confusion regarding how to proceed. I took the rest of the day off work and began to drive around town, quite literally looking for any doctor that would take me on as a new patient. I eventually found myself at the Elkhart Clinic--a huge facility with a large staff, and thankfully they had a doctor of internal medicine, Dr. Pavan Ahuja, who was willing to see me the following day. He was young but seemed very thorough and helpful, and wrote me new scrips without hassle, even throwing in some free coupons.

Now that it's all overwith, I'm sure this is all for the best. I have no desire to return to a facility where the staff displays a callous and completely unprofessional disregard for my well-being. I still respect Dr. Borrelli as a physician and I am thankful for the fine treatment he gave me through the years, but if he cannot control the unethical behavior of his own staff, I cannot recommend that anyone else take such a gamble with their healthcare.
 
 
Current Mood: cynicalcynical
 
 
 
Geoff Trowbridge
25 June 2009 @ 12:15 pm
Man, it's hot out... but then, so is Trevor's Little League team.

It's been awhile, so I guess it's time for an update. And it's good news, too... After the abysmal start to the year, the team now has a 5-6 record and a chance to end up with a winning season!

After the heartbreaking loss in the mid-season tournament, our manager tried to reschedule some of our missed games but the weather refused to cooperate. So we had an extended layoff before finally getting back onto the field against the Edwardsburg Snowmobile Club on the 18th. As could be expected, the rust was very much in evidence. Eventually Trevor was called up to the mound for clean-up duty in the 5th inning, and only gave up one hit and no runs, but by then the damage had already been done. We lost 12-7.

On Saturday the 20th, Trevor got the start on the mound for only the second time this year, this time against Cleveland's Between the Buns Reds. Initially, our guys still appeared to be mired in the same funk we'd seen in the previous game. The first inning on defense was a comedy of errors, and three runs ended up scoring, though only one was earned--the others resulting entirely from passed balls and overthrown bases.

But then things began to turn around. Trevor settled in and pitched brilliantly in the 2nd and 3rd innings, and our fielders started making plays when needed. And best of all, we started hitting like madmen. Scottie (our most talented player by far) had three hits on the day, including a three-run homer over the left-field fence. Even the kids who normally struggle were making contact and getting on base. The other team's pitching struggles helped us, to be sure. All totaled, we got 11 hits and 10 walks that day... plus one base awarded to us on a pitch that hit one of our batters.

Oh, and that batter was Trevor. He got walked in his first two plate appearances, and then in the bottom of the third he turned his back on an inside pitch, and ended up taking it in the back of his neck. Luckily the helmet absorbed some of the blow, but he still collapsed to the ground, momentarily stunned. He was okay, but sat out the rest of the game as a precaution. The rest of the team stepped up, and the reliever (Brett) quickly dispatched three straight batters in the fourth, and we got the 15-4 win.

At this point, we had four wins on the season including the forfeited game at Edwardsburg, and in two of the three games actually played the winning pitcher was Trevor. We discovered the following day that Trevor had been selected for the 11-12 All-Stars team! Woo-hoo!!!

Last night the temperature at game time was 92 degrees when we took the field against the Best Formed Plastics A's--the team generally accepted as the most talented at Cleveland. The first time we played them, it was a heartbreaking 3-4 loss. But this time, despite the heat, our kids seemed ready to go out there and prove themselves.

Much like the first time we played the A's, the game was a defensive struggle due to some outstanding pitching on both sides. Scottie started for us and was lights-out, with 13 strikeouts and only one earned run. We continued to hit well, with eight hits on the day, but we ended up stranding a lot of runners on base. But Trevor was the early hero, hitting doubles in each of his first two at-bats, and each time driving in an RBI. In the bottom of the sixth, the game was tied at 2, and we had the last at-bat. Riley gave us a lead-off double--his first extra-base hit of the year. For our next batter, we made a late substitution, but he struck out... although a passed ball advanced Riley to third. That brought us back to the top of the order, although the batter, Trey, was 0-3 on the day. He quickly fouled off a couple of balls and found himself in the hole. Despite only having one out, I started to have doubts that we could pull this off. They were unfounded. Trey ripped a grounder through the gap in the infield, and we had defeated the A's, 3-2. Yah, boi!!!

We now have another game at home tonight (weather permitting), and the final game of the season at Edwardsburg on Saturday. Go Dodgers!!!
 
 
Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished
 
 
 
Geoff Trowbridge
Yesterday in South Bend, a 67 year-old man was attempting to park his car at a Family Dollar store when he accidentally stomped on the accelerator instead of the brake and crashed through the front of the building, hitting a woman and her two young daughters. No one was killed, but the mother is in critical condition and her five year-old daughter is in stable condition.

No charges will be filed as a result of this incident. Why? Because driving while aged, addled and basically a dangerous menace to society is not a crime. Every day the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles renews licenses for elderly people who cannot see, have horrendous reaction times, and with each passing day get more and more confused by the simple mechanics of operating a car. And the result is that people get maimed or killed.

Don't misunderstand; I'm not painting all elderly drivers with the same brush. Some 80 year-olds out there are undoubtedly better drivers than the average 20 year-old. But in the state of Indiana, no effort is made to determine who should be given a license and who shouldn't, and as a result, these tragic accidents are almost a daily occurrence around here. And certain drivers in Indiana have taken advantage of our lackadaisical attitude toward dangerous and impaired driving to the point of craven indifference.

One month ago in South Bend, 56 year-old Leroy Hoover was driving through a residential area when he struck two girls, ages 6 and 4. The four year-old was killed; the six year-old remains in critical condition with slim chance for survival and zero chance of a normal life. The driver then attempted to leave the scene of the accident until a neighbor with a handgun intercepted him, at which point Mr. Hoover allegedly defended his actions by claiming that the girls had "jumped out in front of him."

But guess what? The prosecutor, Michael Dvorak (574-235-9544) isn't pressing any charges. Apparently, it's just A-OK in St. Joseph County to run over two little girls and then drive away, provided they had "jumped out in front" of you. Or maybe we have a double-standard when it comes to vehicular homicide. You see, if Leroy Hoover would have blown a BAC of .08 he would have been hauled off to jail immediately. If they had found a half-gram of pot in his ashtray, they would have called out the Feds and raided his home. But if he gets behind the wheel of a vehicle knowing fully well that he cannot see due to advanced glaucoma and often suffers seizures, and then tries to flee after killing a little girl, THAT'S PERFECTLY OKAY! I'm sorry, but have we lost our f**king minds here? Have we no sense of right and wrong, or what constitutes culpability for one's actions in our society?

Oh, but wait... it gets better. It turns out that Mr. Hoover has a long and storied history of endangering innocent people. A TV news reporter discovered that he has been cited for:
  • leaving the scene of an accident in 1986, and not having insurance,
  • hitting a 13-year-old boy in his own yard in 1996 when Hoover lost control of his van,
  • driving over a curb and hitting a telephone pole in 1999, once again without insurance,
  • allegedly backing into a gas pump at a Speedway station in 2005, then leaving the scene.

And yet this guy remains a free man with full driving privileges. I wonder who he will kill next. Maybe it will be a member of MY family.

Before you respond, please think twice if you're going to feed me some garbage about "respect for the elderly" and "preserving their dignity" or some such rot. If an elderly person has no concern for the safety of others, then they have no dignity and they certainly don't have my respect. If you can't drive, then stay the hell off the road. I would rather have a highway full of drivers with a .08 BAC than one hoary old coot with a deathwish just looking for his next victim.
 
 
Current Mood: angryangry