28 June 2015

Training: The Finale

Well, I am now officially trained on how to do juries. I'll never lose another case and I now have extra case law to quote to judges as they roll their eyes at me. Overall, it was fun and I got to go duckpin bowling, play disc golf, and watch minor league baseball in my spare time. And, honestly, I did learn some things which could prove useful. However, it just wasn't the stress out experience for me that it seemed to be for some of the younger prosecutors.

Overall things I learned this week: (1) The Great Wolf Lodge is a great vacation spot for parents with kids age 6-12 (there were about a gazillion kids). As a business conference center? Cum si cum sa. Wifi was bad in my room and I could not stream video without constant pauses or shut downs (this is a cardinal sin as it kept me from watching minor league baseball). There was no business center that I could find and they gave our group two joined residential rooms for its evening social get togethers instead of one of the empty conference rooms 50 feet down the hall. They're clearly trying to fill up empty rooms (this place is massive) with business conferences, but they need to do a little better job.

(2) Cell coverage in Williamsburg is worse than cell coverage in the Appalachian Mountains. There were times I felt like I was back in the stone ages. I know that they want to keep the city looking like people just got off the boats from Europe (and therefore have no towers), but if they are going to be that obtuse about putting up something tall they need to put in many more low level repeaters.

(3) There are many fun things to do in about a 60-90 minute drive zone. And I don't mean the usual tourist trap stuff.  Williamsburg has a really nice disc golf course. There's duckpin bowling in Portsmouth. I repeat, there's duckpin bowling in Portsmouth. Go now. Go right now. I so wish this was not 8 hours away from where I live. There's AAA baseball in Norfolk. This would not be a bad place to live.

(4) I'd forgotten what it was like to drive around cities. Thankfully, I drove around Williamsburg for a couple days to get somewhat up to speed before I went down and tried out the rats nest of roads down in the Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk, etc. area. I swear, my phone's navigation function almost had a nervous breakdown (merge on to 246 East then in 12 feet cross 6 lanes of traffic and exit onto the 546 ramp and take an immediate right onto Boatsright Avenue). I lost count of the number of times I missed the turn and the dang phone kept squawking at me "make a U turn, make a U turn, MAKE A BLEEPING U TURN."

Anyway, it was fun. Now I go back to the real world and start getting stressed out again.

25 June 2015

Training Day 5

Okay, so there was no post for training day 4 because I was involved in learning some very important facts.

I learned that there is a very nice bowling alley in Williamsburg, AMF Bowling, where I bowled two decent games and one game which shall not be mentioned.

I also learned that Portsmouth has a duckpin bowling alley, Victory Lanes. For those of you who don't know, Duckpin has shorter, squatter pins and uses a ball which is maybe 40% the size of the ball you are used to and has no finger holes. It's a good deal more difficult and therefore you get three throws at the pins each frame. It's also scored differently, but I'll let those of you interested look it up. I played three games, didn't break 100 on any of them, and really enjoyed it.  I wish this version of bowling hadn't died out everywhere except in Northeastern states (and two alleys in Virginia which ain't anywhere near where I live).

Thirdly, I learned there is some sort of weird time dilation effect between Williamsburg and Portsmouth. When I started the drive the gps navigator told me it would be an hour. 10 minutes later it recalculated and told me the drive would be an hour from where I was. 10 minutes after that the gps recalculated and told me it would take an hour from where I was. By the time I got to Victory Lanes it had taken about 95 minutes to do a 60 minute drive (and the drive back took less than an hour so the time dilation effect does not work both ways). Still, it was worth it. Now all I have to do is find some place that has candlestick bowling.

And now  I go off to learn how to do cross examinations.

23 June 2015

Training Day 3

Back at it today. Lessons learned so far: (1) There's a really nice disc golf course in Williamsburg, & (2) you cannot get to the same place the same way twice in a row in this town.  I swear that Williamsburg pays Google to send people on tours of the historic parts of the town when they use Google Navigator. I'm sure there is a direct and easy way to get here, but I haven't found it yet.

Last night I spent two hours at the New Quarter Park (after I found the park) playing disc golf. It's a very well thought out and laid out course and provided me with a lot of time to think about and plan what I am going to do in class today (this last part is in case someone out there from the training ever reads this blawg). The guy running the park was an extremely helpful, and somewhat frantic, Hippy-Asian guy with a goatee. He was sitting in the office with the closed sign up until I walked up to pay the $3 fee and then he walked me out to first tee. It was a fun experience.

Oh well, time to go learn how to do an opening statement.

22 June 2015

Training Day 2

Okay, so they put us up at the Great Wolf Lodge which looks like an awesome family vacation spot.  It has water slides and mini-bowling and role playing games et cetera. And the rooms are downright amazing. Any of you with kids age 6-10 should probably take out the second mortgage I'm sure it would cost you to book a week and bring the family here for vacation.

The training is being held at William & Mary Law School. It's a nice place although it's a bit of a maze for the uninitiated (me). They have terrible seats in the lecture rooms and moot courtroom which are attached to the table and swivel in place. The only way I can sit comfortably on one is to turn the chair all the way to the side; otherwise, it crushes my fat tummy up against the table. I know this is not an issue for you skinny folks, but I think I'm going to file some sort of ADA claim for fat people everywhere.

Lots of young attorneys here. Lots of young attorneys. I feel like an old man all of the sudden (maybe because I'm well on the way no matter how much I heap denial after denial on the fact). Oh well, so starteth day 2 . . .

21 June 2015

Off to Training

Not been posting much on here lately for several reasons. Mainly because I have been filling my spare time with a concerted effort (1) to increase my physical conditioning from appallingly dismal to just generally not so great (I want the elixir of youth now, DangIt!) and my quest to attend to as many minor league (above Rookie League) baseball games as I can this Summer (I have gotten to all the teams in Kentucky already and plan to get all the ones in Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Michigan by September 5).

Consequently, I've not opined about several issues. And for those of you who think that this finally is going to be my return to the fray - sorry, I'm headed off to training in Williamsburg, Virginia. I'm here waiting for the first day to start as I type. On the way here I watched the Potomac Nationals (saw an inside the park home run) play on Friday and the Richmond Squirrels on Saturday. Assuming the Norfolk Tide don't get rained out, I'll complete the Virginia teams this week and on next Saturday and Sunday I plan to watch the Carolina Mudcats and Winston-Salem Dash.

Anyway, this week's training is about how to do the various parts of a jury trial. I look forward to seeing some new angles and techniques. And then I return to the Appalachian Mountains to do what Conan defined as best in life . . .