Tater Talks Crime and Punishment…Again

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Photo by Donald Tong on Pexels.com


I’ve written several times about the concept of prison and rehabilitation. I wrote about it in the context of Michael Vick, John Hinckley and others. I am a believe in the idea that we have to believe in rehabilitation. We have to be able to forgive people and give them as second chance in life. There are very few crimes I would consider unforgivable. The justice system is flawed and sometimes corrupt as is any system that is run by humans(so, all of them).  The number of people who have been wrongly convicted is way too high for me to ever support the death penalty again. Many people disagree with me.


Every time there is a news article about someone being released from prison there is an outcry from the public. How could we possibly let this person out of prison? They can’t possibly be rehabilitated! They should rot in prison! They should have been executed! Now, if this is the victim or the victim’s family, I completely understand this attitude. What I don’t understand is this attitude from people who know nothing about the case except what they read in the paper. They hear someone will be released from prison and, knowing nothing about the case, yell and scream and post comments about how terrible it is. It doesn’t matter how long they have been in prison. Many people believe that prison means you are locked away forever. That you have no hope of rehabilitation and will commit another crime the minute you are released. If you happen to have been wrongly accused? Well, bad luck for you, but you likely became dangerous by living with all of the other criminals so you should stay behind bars as well.


Some people are happy if someone never sees prison. Someone is shot by the police during an arrest and people applaud it. We don’t need a trial. If someone is being arrested they are obviously a bad person and don’t deserve to live. Why not do away with the justice system and just execute all law breakers on the spot? If we don’t care about the wrongly accused and don’t believe in rehabilitation why bother with trials and prison? Just give all the “good” people a gun and go back to the wild west. Just shoot those people walking down the street, knocking on doors because they look different than you and are likely casing the neighborhood for future crimes. Shoot the guy who talked to your kid so is obviously a predator. We don’t need a justice system if no one will ever change. Prison is more expensive than bullets, right?


What’s Good in Tater Town 4/21/19

Happy Easter everyone! It’s time to look back and find the good things in my week. It was just an ordinary week. Nothing particularly good or bad. That’s not a bad thing.

  1. Game of Thrones is back!
  2. The weather was nice enough again to take the dog for a walk every night after work.
  3. Red Robin had a week of deals for reward members so we had dinner out on Tuesday.
  4. Another meeting out of the branch on Wednesday and another nice day for driving.
  5. I switched nights with someone this week so I was home to watch Survivor and Amazing Race live.
  6. I got paid to watch Won’t You Be my Neighbor and Solo at work this week.
  7. The storms Friday were not too bad at our house and we were able to drive to campus without dealing with more than light rain.
  8. My daughter came home for the weekend and my son is coming home for lunch today.

I think that does it for the week.

My Week in Books, TV, and Movies 4/19/19

It was a big movie week for me and I still had time to watch TV shows and finish a book. I’m sure there is some cleaning around the house I should be doing instead, but all of that was more fun.

Movies – My big week in movies was mainly due to them being due back to the library. I take a lot of movies back unwatched, but I wanted to make sure I watched these, so we made time for them. Here’s the list:

Girl in the Spider’s Web – It was good, but I did doe through a lot of it. That was more a me thing than a movie thing. I do think it’s weird that they made the first movie and then recast and skipped to the 4th book in the series.

Vemon – I really liked this one. It was fun and Tom Hardy was good in the lead role I hope they make more.

Instant Family – This was a lot better than I was expecting. I think Mark Wahlberg should do more comedy and less dumb action moves. Rose Byrne is always really good. It made me miss working with teens.

Green Book – Very good movie. One of the few Oscar movies that my wife actually liked. Great acting from both Mortenson and Ali. Highly recommend.

TV – The big TV event was the premiere of the final season of Game of Thrones. I watched live so I didn’t have to worry about spoilers. It was fun to see so many characters together in the same place. I was disappointed it was only 55 minutes. It was also the premiere week for the new season of Amazing Race. It’s the one reality show my wife will watch with me. It’s also the one I think I could actually compete on and not embarrass myself too much. This season has former Race, Survivor and Big Brother contestants competing. The only downside of this is it brings Rupert back on my TV. I don’t know why people like him so much. He’s very annoying.

Books – I read two books this week. Both a little disappointing.

Rule of Law by John Lescroart – The latest in the Dismas Hardy series. I’ve always loved this series, but the last couple have not been great. It might be time for Lescroart to end the series or at least focus on some of the more interesting side characters instead of Hardy.

The Size of the Truth by Andrew Smith – I love Smith’s work. This one was not a bad book. It was his first book written for middle-grade readers and I was reminded that I generally don’t enjoy books written for that age group. I’m sure younger readers will love it. I think it would have been better if it would have been just the middle school story and did not have alternating chapters of when the main character fell down a well when he was four.

On Deck – I’m reading A Canticle for Leibowitz for my book club at work. I have the second Fantastic Beasts movie on DVD from the library alone with Kin and A Silent Voice. I should have the latest season of Shameless on DVD this week.


Mueller Report Release Day in Trump GIFS

Me when you say you have an opinion on the report


When you say you know what’s in the report without reading it.


When you say we can trust the AG’s opinion on the report.


When you claim you are going to read the entire report


What I know you will look like when “reading” the report.


How I know people will look when they see I posted this.


Thank you and


My Observation of the Internet After Notre Dame

I was at work Monday when Notre Dame was on fire. I texted my daughter to tell her and we texted back and forth a little about the fire and how sad she was about it. Her graduation gift this past summer was to go to London and Paris. She loves history and museums and was excited to see all of the history in the cities. Notre Dame, of course, was one of our stops. I was happy to be able to share the experience with her and her brother. I posted the picture I took of them to remember the happy times and to reflect on how glad I was that they got to see it before the fire. Many other people I know posted their picture from Notre Dame. It was their personal connection to the story, same as me posting my picture.

Of course, others didn’t see it that way It didn’t take long for the cesspool of Twitter to jump in to post about how posting a picture of yourself at Notre Dame was making the tragedy about you and what a terrible person that makes you. Or to post about how it was really just bragging about the fact that you went to Notre Dame. Or to post about how going to Notre Dame isn’t impressive because everyone’s been to Notre Dame. How dare people post their pictures of Notre Dame on the day Notre Dame was burning! I feel like this is just as much, if not more, yelling look at me! look at me! I’m better than everyone else because I respect Notre Dame too much to post a picture. Do I think some people posted a picture to get likes on social media? Yes. Enough so that it’s worth constant Twitter posts about it? No.

Now, we’ve reached the point on social media with constant posts shaming people who might be planning to donate money for Notre Dame restoration. Posts imploring people to donate to who they think is more worthy and that the Catholics have enough money. Valid? Probably. But aren’t people allowed to donate their money where they choose? Do you really need to go on Twitter to tell people how you think they should donate their money? Is this just another way to make sure people know you are better than them? Look at me! I give my money to more worthy causes than you. I’m so special.

Is this entire blog post me saying look at me, I’m better than all these people shaming people on the Internet? Probably. I just think we could all be better and not spend so much time judging others about how they process bad news. That includes people writing blog posts like this one. And now I end the post with the aforementioned picture so people can judge me.


In Which Tater Overestimates How Much People Want to Ask Him Things

Yesterday I posted on Facebook and here in the blog that I wanted to do an ask me anything post. I offered to answer personal questions, hypothetical, etc. I thought I would get enough questions for a blog post. After all, 10’s of people read this blog and a little over 100 of my Facebook friends pity like my page. That should get me plenty of questions, right? Ha. If you said right you are just as delusional as me. I got three questions. Three! I could post it again, but I doubt it would do any good. I guess maybe since I post every random thought that pops in my head maybe no one has a need to ask me questions. More likely, the world is just apathetic about me and my thoughts. So, I will answer the three questions I got.

  1. My Facebook friend Ed asks – “If you could travel anywhere, but you couldn’t return. Where would you go?” – I’m assuming my family can go with me? and that people can visit me? If not, that’s a depressing question and I will track you down and punch you. If so, a little easier. I’m assuming I have to pick a city and I can go anywhere in the city, but can’t leave the city. I would probably pick NYC. It’s got everything I could possibly ever want to do, green spaces if I want to feel like I’m not in the city and is close enough for people to visit me. Plus, I love the city and would move there tomorrow if I could. I considered Hawaii for the weather and I might go with that if people aren’t allowed to visit me.
  2. Nick asks -“Is a hot dog a sandwich?” – It is not. A sandwich has certain specifications and the hot dog does not meet those specifications. I feel a hot dog is its own entity that defies definition, but if I had to define it I would go with this article that states that a hot dog is a taco. Using the cube rule a hot dog is a taco because it has starch on the bottom and two opposing sides. So, no, a hot dog is not a sandwich.
  3. Heidi asks -“What’s both the best part, and the worst part of working in a library?” – I don’t want to take this one seriously because the last thing I need is someone from work reading this and being mad at me for what I say. Worst part? All the librarians. Not really, but I do think too many librarians take themselves way too seriously. I can’t participate in library groups online because of all of the drama and people taking things way too seriously. Get over yourselves. You aren’t special. Best thing? Sometimes there’s free cake. There’s always free books. Sometimes people actually appreciate you. Rarely, but sometimes.

That’s it. That’s all the questions and my answers.

I Miss All of My “Kids”

I watched Instant Family today before work. It stars Mark Wahlberg and Rose Byrne as a couple who foster three kids. It made me miss having my kids at home. Watching them try to learn to parent a teen also made me miss all of my other kids from throughout the years. Here is the story of the other kids.

When we moved to Maryland in the mid-90’s we joined Severn Baptist Church. It was a relatively small church, so it was one where eventually someone was going to ask you to serve in some way. There was no option of getting lost in the crowd. We were willing to serve, so that was OK with us. We did one year working with 4 year olds. Well, my wife worked with them, I spent every hour feeling trapped and wishing the hour was up. It was not for me. I was then asked if I would be interested in helping with the youth group. I wasn’t really sure if I would be any good at it, but I figured it had to be better than the 4 year olds, so I said yes. My wife did one lock-in with me(she was pregnant with our now almost 23 year old son at the time. We were very young) and decided the youth work was not for her. I was the exact opposite. I knew pretty quick I had found my place.

Over the next 14 years I worked with the church youth group in some way. I taught Wednesday night Bible Study. I chaperoned lock-ins. I taught middle school Sunday School. I chaperoned winter retreats. I went to camp with them for a week every summer. I did one week of chaperoning a mission trip where the kids did construction and I just tried to stay out of the way. I loved the work and I loved the kids. Some of the best times in my life were spent with them. Eventually, my first group of kids graduated and moved away. I kept working with the youth group for a while, but then it became apparent that we needed to make a change is where we worshiped. The youth group I worked with and loved was gone and I could see that my kids were not happy with where we were. It was time for Mr Alan to leave so that his kids could find their place. We eventually found a new church with a youth group my kids loved. I didn’t volunteer to work with the group at first. I wanted my kids to have their place without me around. I have now gone on a few weekend retreats with the youth group and driven for some other events. It is very different being involved as someone’s dad and not as the random 20 something who, while not cool, at least had the bonus of being closer to their age than their parents. Both of my kids are off to college now and I have no one in the youth group. This might be a good time to volunteer for a few more things as Mr Alan, not someone’s dad and see if I still have it in me to do it. Instant Family made me long for the days when I spent most of my off hours hanging out with teens.

I’m still connected with many of my “kids” on Facebook. Most of them are married with kids these days and I only see them online. I’m always happy to see them doing well. It makes me feel old to see them with their kids, but they are all good people and I’m proud to have been a small part of their lives.  I will leave you with a couple of collages of old pictures I scanned from time with them. Just ignore the fact that I messed up and scanned some of them upside down.


Ask Me Stuff/Where To Find Me

As I posted this morning on my Facebook page I am going to attempt to do an “ask me anything” post later this week if I get enough questions for a post. So, use the comments to ask me questions. Personal questions, hypotheticals, true/false – ask me and if it’s not too personal and embarrassing I will answer them in a post later this week. Of course, there is a good chance no one cares enough to ask any questions and I will have to resort to either making up my own questions to fill a post. So, ask away!

I will use the rest of the space today to let you know where else you can find me in case I don’t bore you enough here.



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What’s Good in Tater Town 4/14/19

It was a pretty good week that ended on a day at work when I normally wouldn’t be at work. Whenever I switch weekends or nights it always seems to go bad. This was no exception. Good thing there were good things before yesterday.

  1. Both of my kids were home for dinner Sunday night.
  2. I had another meeting out of the branch Tuesday. It was a nice day to be out for a drive and I used my 30 minutes of lunch to visit with friends at my old branch.
  3. We laughed a lot at work Wednesday night, probably because I’m hilarious.
  4. Another out of branch meeting and another nice day for a drive on Thursday.
  5. I visited my old branch again because they said they had food.
  6. I mowed for the first time of the season Friday and for the first time in a while, the grass wasn’t even a little damp. It’s nice not to have constant rain.
  7. This is probably why I was able to do the entire lawn without the battery dying on the mower.
  8. I got good work news on Friday afternoon.
  9. My son spent the night Friday night since we were on the way to where he needed to be early Saturday morning.
  10. He requested Grilled Cheese & Company for dinner. That’s always a good thing.

Let’s hope the weeks of an easy 10 good things continue.

This Bonus Tater Rant Comes With No Cream or Sugar

A lot of people in my Twitter feed have been complaining about coffee shops that do not allow cream and sugar. The general sentiment is that these coffee shops should give the customer what they want. They see snobbery run rampant. What I see is the out of control “the customer is always right” sentiment. They feel that this coffee shop is wrong for not allowing customers to have cream and sugar even if they have signs saying there is no cream and sugar allowed. I can see why you would be irritated as a customer if you went in not knowing this and they denied you your cream and sugar. I agree that there should be a warning so someone who won’t drink coffee without cream and sugar(heathens) aren’t surprised at the rule. I do not agree that the coffee shops should just give the customer what they want. There are plenty of places to get coffee just the way you want it. No one is keeping you from buying your coffee. They are just saying go somewhere else if you don’t want black coffee. There are restaurants that don’t serve meat. I wouldn’t go in one and demand they serve me a steak. A restaurant has the right to refuse to allow changes to the dishes they serve. They have the right to refuse to burn steak for people who like it that way. The customer has the right to go somewhere where they can get what they want. These coffee people might be snobs, but they shouldn’t just give people what they want because they want it.