Several thing in this conversation have begged me to speak!
First off, went to a junior show where the judge gave VERY GOOD, COMPLETE reasons on every calf. (Class size around 10). He also talked to the kids (You got your hands full with that one!......Nice halter.....etc small talk) Really made the kids relax. Well, of course that was great....until the PARENTS got impatient and started to complain the show was taking too long. So when word got to the judge, he smiled and placed the next class and said "This is the way I see them today. Thank you." Put the mic down and drank a pop. The PARENTS were OUTRAGED. "What the heck??....Why did he place that heifer first?.....That red heifer should've been buried...." and on and on. After a few minutes, the judge got on the mic and said "Now that you have stated your opinion for free, may I earn my money and tell you why I placed them that way?" The PARENTS fell into a hush and let the judge explain. I personally felt like standing and applauding!!
Another funny incident: After a small (but competetive and good pay-off) show, the judge again worked with the kids, and had made several commments about the parents instructing the kids, making the kids upset, etc. While placing the final drive of heifers, he went to the mic and said, "Working with these kids have been a joy, and they should be complimented on their projects. No body is a loser here today. Not one. I think the parents need to realize this is a show, a learning experience. A time to have fun and work hard." And after a pause....he added, "The sad thing is about the youth programs today is the fact that there are too many 40 year old 4-Her's. I appreciate your cooperation today. And will now pick my champion heifer." With that he picked his champion. The parents were a bit mad, bit whiny, and a lot ashamed. After the judge picked his champion, and explained why....he got a standing ovation! Me included!
I hold the judges where they need to be, RIGHT WHERE I HOLD MY STANDARDS. I expect them to be fair, honest, and complete. I don't care if I agree as long as I can follow what he is looking for. Personal life is irrelevant, as long as it doesn't spill into the judging ring.
BUT, knabe, I respect your opinion on OWI, I just can't agree or let it go. Having lost a college roommate, good friend, AND a cousin (and those are just the ones I KNEW WELL, not the ones I just know) from drunk driving, I have NO tolerence for OWI. I used to think as some, that OWI is a harmless crime, and that .08 is just plain silly. But have your phone ring at 1 am to tell you there was an accident (hate that word- it IS NOT an accident, it was a CHOICE) and that your sidekick in chemistry lab is dead all because of someone's lack of self control, changes your opinion FAST. Or how about getting a call at 5 am, telling you your cousin is dead and your uncle wasn't in "too good of emotional shape" and you are 600 miles away. Hows that for helpless reality? And lets not forget the phone call I recieved at 4 pm from my college roommates sister. It was after the funeral and she hadn't realized I had not been notified. (2 years after college- lived 60 miles away-we still kept in touch). That drunk had hit my friend head on, killed her instantly and he walked away. His comment: "at least she didn't have a family or kids." Wow....he got probation, yet I would be in jail had I done what I wanted to (and he wouldn't have any more kids either!!) So, with that being said, I beg you not to tolerate OWI. How hard is it to get a driver, call a cab, or God forbid, just not drink if you have to drive?????? I actually enjoy being the DD (designated driver-- I feel great in the morning, can remember everything that happened, AND know that I just may have saved a life last night!!!) Try it, you just might like it!!!!
Sorry about the soap box...but I just could not leave this unsaid.