Monday, February 07, 2005

Around the Net

The Press-Citizen has this poignant little editorial about, well, life and stuff.


Theresa's posted the answers to her cosmo-style romance quiz for guys. I'll be reviewing and commenting on them when I've got more time.


The word geek in me loves that Jeff Utech has found an online entymology dictionary.


Fitz-Hume at Begging the Question explains the sporadic postiness over that way. But last week he had a post up on Texas Chili. All this time I've thought I hated chili because it has beans in it. I love very hot spicy food, whether it's Thai, Mexican, Indian, or just stupid hot wings, but for some reason I can't stand the taste or texture of beans. Turns out, not so much. Maybe I'll have to try his recipe.


Last week, Glorious Nonsense emailed me:

This isn't the most well-written article ever, but bizarre none the less. Maybe you can shed some light on the judgement.

PS--See you at poker!

Followed the link she'd sent:

Two teenage girls decided one summer's evening to skip a dance where there might be cursing and drinking to stay home and bake cookies for their neighbors.

Big mistake.

They were sued, successfully, for an unauthorized cookie drop on one porch.

The July 31 deliveries consisted of half a dozen chocolate-chip and sugar cookies accompanied by big hearts cut out of red or pink construction paper with the message: "Have a great night."

The notes were signed, "Love, The T and L Club," code for Taylor Ostergaard, then 17, and Lindsey Jo Zellitti, 18. . .

But Young, home with her own 18-year-old daughter and her elderly mother, said she saw shadowy figures who banged and banged at her door. When she called out, "Who's there?" no one answered. The figures ran off.

She thought perhaps they were burglars or some neighbors she had tangled with in the past, she said.

"We just wanted to surprise them," Taylor said.

Young left her home that night to stay at her sister's, but her symptoms, including shaking and an upset stomach, wouldn't subside. The next morning she went to Mercy Medical Center. . . .

The girls wrote letters of apology to Young. Taylor's letter, written a few days after the episode, said in part: "I didn't realize this would cause trouble for you. ... I just wanted you to know that someone cared about you and your family."

The families had offered to pay Young's medical bills if she would agree to indemnify the families against future claims.

Young wouldn't sign the agreement. She said the families' apologies rang false and weren't delivered in person. The matter went to court.

Nope. Can't explain it, really. I mean, I can understand where the judge could find that the kid's knocking on the door and running away caused her anxiety, which caused her medical damages. It's tenouous, but still argueable. But what duty did they breach? Not to knock on a door after dark? Not to leave once you've knocked on it? And were these particular damages actually a foreseeable consequence of that breach? Unfortunately, the article doesn't give enough info to analyze the legal aspects.

In an update, it appears what goes around does come around. I guess the community has decided against the plaintiff on that whole "reasonable person" standard, and is telling her so in no uncertain terms. Saw a link to this article on Dave Barry's blog:

DURANGO, Colo. (AP) - Two teenage girls who got in trouble for surprising their neighbors with homemade cookies will not have to pay nearly $1,000 in medical bills for a woman who says she was so startled that she had to go to the hospital.

Radio station KOA-AM of Denver raised more than $1,900 from listeners Friday to pay the girls' $930.78 fine. The rest of the money will go to a charity dedicated to victims of the Columbine High School massacre. . . .

"The victory wasn't sweet," Young said. "I'm not gloating about it. I just hope the girls learned a lesson."

Meanwhile, Richard Ostergaard, father of Taylor, got a restraining order against Young's husband, Herb, in county court, claiming he continues to make harassing telephone calls to the Ostergaard residence.

Wanita Young said, "This has turned into quite a fiasco. It's something that never should have happened and it's just devastating. My phone hasn't stopped ringing. My life has been threatened and I'll probably have to move out of town."

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