Thursday, May 31, 2007

Random Trivia

George Lucas thought that Star Wars would only make 16 million when it was first released.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Commercial Paper

AKA Consumer Transactions - my favorite.

From Barbri:

In General, An HDC can enforce an instrument subject only to real defenses (i.e., the HDC takes free of personal defenses and claims). Thus, whether an obligated party will be forced to pay depends on whether the holder is an HDC and the nature of the obligated party's defenses. If the holder is not an HDC, the obligated party may assert any of the ordinary contract defenses (e.g., failure of consideration). If the holder is an HDC, the obligated party is limited to so-called real defenses.

And don't you forget it.

He says what I have been constantly thinking

Jeffrey Goldberg from the New Yorker does, that is, with respect to the current administration. He does an excellent job of citing disaffected republicans and I think he does an excellent job of pointing out that this administration is painfully damaging to the Republican Party.

Wednesday is Haiku Day

I'm reading Contracts
For bar review. It's fun as
a fork in my eye.

As always, I look forward to your submissions.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Freaking Pistons

They're amazing when they focus, they suck when they don't.

Monday, May 28, 2007


I'm tired. I can't go to bed, because the Apple is still awake. He's a little concerned, because the moon went away. He has been standing at the door asking the moon to come back. Poor kid. He also said he wanted to go with the moon. He just had mom put on his cape (He's Super Apple now), and he's going to go away to be with the moon.

I love the boy. But I wish he'd sleep at bedtime.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Why Unions are Necessary

One of the Reasons is what happened at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in New York in 1911 (the link will take you to Professor Douglas Linder's website from UMKC - excellent collection of important/famous cases throughout history). I remember reading the words of Triangle Factory fire in history class in high school, but never really got what it was I was reading about - I knew it was bad - I didn't realize the purpose behind the story.

I believe in unions, but I believe unions need to be vocal only when necessary, and basically be a strong, silent enforcer outside that.

Bar reviewing

I did my last day of PMBR yesterday - I had to take last Saturday off due to graduation (I know, bad excuses are better than no excuses). Anyway, we did Con Law - my best subject, not just in law school, but on Bar Review. Would that I could be a Constitutional Law Attorney - but I don't think I'm going to find myself in a strong enough position to do that, unless I end up working for the government again - I'm not adverse to that idea, but I'm not sure how well the pay would go for something like that...

At any rate, I think my new plan is going to be:
Get the kids to daycare in the morning, go to Barbri, go home and do practice questions, pick up the kids and go to the Y (I'll work out while they're in the play area, then they will do swim lessons), then go home and cook dinner, then preview the next day's BarBri. Take Saturday light reviewing, and Sunday get together with my friend and review the previous week's work. I think that should be a good schedule, but we'll have to see.

I need to get some exercise - I'm too lethargic in the afternoons. I also need to quit drinking coca-cola, but that's going to have to wait until after the bar. I just wish the Y near our apartment had a racquetball court - that's what I most miss playing.

I'm so tired right now.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

I want a boat

I want a boat so I can go fishing. Get me a boat. You want to buy me a boat. I want a boat. I need and deserve a boat. Get me a boat. You want to get me a boat.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Happy Birthday

On this day in 1738, the Methodist Church was established. Potlucks and Committees have never been the same.

Good job, John Wesley.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Have you ever gone fishing on a bright and sunny day?

We did, last Sunday. As my graduation gift, my pa chartered a trip for myself, him, my father in law, and the Boy. The Boy, being 8, was perhaps the most excited, yet he handled himself extremely well. He also managed to sleep about half the trip - I think he was a little seasick, and the dramamine warns that it can cause severe drowsiness. Still, when he was awake, he managed to reel in 3 fish - none of them were "keepers," though we did hold on to two of them for bait fish.

We also had a few pictures of him, including one of him holding a 30 inch mackerel, which is about 2/3 his size.

Our charter was with Captain Dan, who we used through Working Man Charters, out of Freeport, Texas. I highly recommend this charter; Captain Dan was outstanding as a captain, Captain Bill was quite personable (we were unable to use his boat, it had a necessary repair on the day we were going out, but he called me personally to explain and apologize - there was no need for the apology, they were really outstanding all around), and Lynn, Bill's wife and booking manager, was terrific in giving us information and letting us know the plans.

This was my second charter, and it was light years better than the first. Captain Dan and the deckhand, Jim, were terrific with the Boy, patient, kind, friendly, and took time to talk to him, not at him. They were both terrific with bait, location, advice, and help. I had a terrific time, the grandfathers had a great time, and the Boy couldn't have had more fun, I don't think, on a boat for 9 hours.

We took home the limit on Red Snapper (good eats), and one mackerel, though we had a couple more mackerel bites, that we couldn't reel in, and several more snapper that we had to toss back, with a few other fish thrown into the mix.

If you find yourself in the greater Houston/Galveston/Freeport area and want something to do to take up your day, Working Man Charters is the place to go.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Tears of a Clown

The Boy's favorite song for several years was "Tears of a Clown," by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles. I can understand why - it's a catchy tune that is very well sung, vintage motown.

Tonight, we're watching the finale of American Idol (I know; it's my wife's fault). One of the guest singers was Smokey Robinson. I pointed him out to the Boy, who looks at the person who sang his favorite song, and says "He doesn't look like I thought he would. I expected him to look like a rock and roll singer."

He's still one of the singers whose songs I'll turn up to listen to.

Wednesday is Haiku Day

Things are settling down
From the hectic last weekend
Now, Barbri - and sleep.

As always, I look forward to your submissions.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The Cruelty of it All

I ordered a book with my last Lexis Points from Law school, about a week before I graduated. It was Scorched Earth, a novel by David L. Robbins, who wrote The War of the Rats (one of the best novels I've read). It arrived today, my second day of BarBri.

I won't be able to read Scorched Earth for another 2 months. It's going to sit on the bookshelf, taunting me. Mean old Book.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Pomp and Circumstance

I matriculated on Saturday. But I think with a quick shot and some good solder, I should be all right.

It was a nice graduation. My first. I have four degrees now, but I've just now attended a graduation. I kind of thought I'd be anxious at graduating, but I wasn't. I didn't really feel much relief, or anything else, but I was glad to be done. I did manage to lose my faux diploma.

The family came out to see the graduation; it was nice to see everyone again together. We then went to our celebratory graduation dinner at Logan's (because when you have kids, it's asking an awful lot of the three of them to maintain decorum at a fancier place for any amount of time), and we rather enjoy the place.

The next day, my dad, my father in law, my son and I went fishing out in the Gulf of Mexico. It was a great day - 10 fish to bring home, and another half dozen or so to throw back. My father in law declared that he would let my father and I cast first, since he was going to catch the first fish. So we cast, reeled back in the empty hooks, and he dropped his line - and pulled in a 16 inch Red Snapper.

The second drop brought me a 16.5 inch snapper, and so it continued until we hit our limit. They were biting all over yesterday for the first couple of hours, with the Boy bringing in a couple smaller Snappers (no keepers), and some bait fish. I can't wait to go out again, next year probably.

I'm not quite in a schooling way right now, so I won't be going in to BarBri today - I'll start tomorrow. Wish me luck!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Rewarding Behavior

When I was younger, I was a San Antonio Spurs fan. I thought David Robinson was one of the best role models in sports, and I thought the team always tried its best to do it the right way (forgetting that they took Rodman).

In the finals two years ago, the Spurs met my favorite NBA team, the Detroit Pistons. I remember this clearly, because my friend Red Hot Mamma, a Spurs fan, declared the Pistons "thuggish," and noted that her Spurs "have class." I actually felt that way for a long time, except for Manu Ginobli, who I think is a whiny flopper and has always been a whiny flopper.

This series with the Suns has pretty much destroyed that for me. Bruce Bowen, who I'd always admired for playing really good, tough defense, admitted to kicking Amare Stoudamire (if I remember the radio reports correctly), clearly kneed Steve Nash in the groin (I'll accept the gash in Nash's nose as incidental to the game, but the knee is over the line), and just has been really a bit of a thug in the series. Robert Horry, the person I always respected as cool under pressure (even with the crippling game 5 shot over Detroit in the aforementioned finals), lost all my respect with a painfully cheap battery of Nash with 18 seconds left in a lost game. There was absolutely no need for that whatsoever. Greg Poppovich had it in his authority to stop all this; he's the coach. His inaction led to the increase in violent behavior by his team, which culminated in Amare Stoudamire and Boris Diaw getting suspended for standing up and walking onto the court.

Understand this - it was wrong of Stoudamire and Diaw to do that. There's a rule, and they violated it. But, the punishment goes to the effect, not the cause, and that's where Commissioner Stern has really screwed up. He could have done something after game 1, but he didn't. He could have done something after the kick to Amare's leg, but he didn't. He could have suspended Bowen after kneeing Nash in the groin, but he didn't (well, he gave him a flagrant foul, that taught him). He waited until Horry hip checked the other team's franchise player (Nash) into the scorer's table in game four, then tried to throw an elbow at one of Nash's teammates before he did anything. He had the ability to nip this in the bud in many spots, yet he did nothing.

Then he has the audacity to blame the action he finally took, after four games of escalating violence by the Spurs against the Suns, on the Suns knowing the rules and breaking them. It's kind of like the little kid in school that would keep poking the big kid with the pencil. He would poke, and poke, and poke, and poke, and poke, and poke, and finally the big kid does something, and he gets in trouble, because he knew what he did was wrong and he did it anyway. That doesn't teach anybody anything, except that if you're the aggressor, you can keep needling away at the other team and end up egging them into getting themselves into trouble.

It was disingenuous of Stern to blame his actions on Stoudamire and Diaw. He needed to own up to what he didn't do for the first three games in response to thuggish behavior by a team that has lost all my respect. He was too slow in acting, and he did not act impartially - he could have suspended Duncan for leaving the bench, as well, because it was unclear at the time he left that there would be an altercation in the second period, but he chose not to - again, missing the opportunity to teach the lesson his actions imply he was trying to teach. And that hurts the league.

I'm now a Suns fan in the West, and have no respect for anyone on the Spurs except for Duncan. Parker released a french rap album, so I can't respect him anymore on general principle.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


I've got the blahs. I've been cleaning up bit by bit over the last three days, but nothing seems to be any better. The house actually seems dirtier after I've cleaned. I don't get it.

I'm exhausted. I have to get the kids to clean their rooms tonight so that they are clean when the inlaws get here tomorrow. I also have to finish cleaning all the bathrooms. I've got another 2 loads of garbage I need to take out, plus I have to clean the dining room table, coffee table, my bedroom (though I can just shut the door there), and vacuum upstairs. I have to piick up in the living room again, because, well, the kids don't keep it tidy.

I have day 4 of PMBR tomorrow, and I get to stay for the whole thing for the first time. While I look forward to it, I also have reason to believe it's going to be as boring as whale dung. It's tough to listen to one topic for six and a half hours, especially when nobody from your school is there with you (out of 200+ students, only 5 were from our school, and two of them haven't been there since Monday).

But I did manage to buy some new trousers at the Galleria, which was great, because I got to be condescended to by a saleslady. After I sought her out to give her the commission. I guess I get the last laugh, though, since I'll be an attorney, and she'll still be folding men's trousers at the mall...

Time to get the kids. Have a great evening!

Wednesday is Haiku Day

Wife gets home tonight
I'll be happy to see her
I have missed her so.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


I'm getting a lot out of the Multistate bar review. It kinda stinks that I have to miss the last 2.5 hours each day, but I'm getting a lot out of the time I'm putting in.

I'm also very glad I signed up for both the 3 day and 6 day reviews. I think in my particular case, it will be especially helpful.

The kids are doing well. Punkin got a bit of a shiner yesterday. They were spinning around on my recliner (which they know they're not supposed to do, lest they get hurt), and she flew off and somehow managed to land on her eye. She has a bit of a rug burn on the outside of her left eye. That girl. She knows how to injure herself in a way that looks far worse than it was. But, perhaps now she knows not to spin the chair around, and maybe, just maybe when I say "don't do that, you will get hurt," perhaps she'll believe me.

The other ones are doing well. The Boy is reading up for school; he has some goal to read 20 books before the end of the year. I wish him luck.

Back to the family. There's a rumblin's upstairs.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Things Only Dad Can Do

I was cooking dinner tonight for the kids, as I do often. We had dinner at home, because it's easier for me to keep tabs on them than when we go out.

While preparing dinner, I somehow managed to burn the Crunch Berries.

Don't ask.

A wonderful way to wake up

I woke up this morning at about 5:40 to two children fighting for ownership of a blankie. They fought briefly, I intervened, granting possession to the Apple. He then took the blankie and laid it over his sister, with whom he had been fighting. Such a grand gesture.

Then we got downstairs and started breakfast. Apple had cereal while Punkin and The Boy had yogurt. They had all just sat down to eat when Apple looked out at one of the cats, bent his arms up at the elbow, hands forward, and roared. He roared with gusto, exclaiming "I'm a dragon! Roar!" He had the biggest smile I had ever seen on a dragon.

Sometimes it's a blessing to have morning children.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Bar reviewing

One of the most stressful parts of studying law is not law school itself. The first semester has the fear of doing well enough to come back for the second, but after that, you know the school will do what it can to ensure it can take your money - I mean, provide you with a high-quality education.

But once you finish school, you have to take the bar exam. The bar is difficult. Some states have harder exams than others, but I think you would be hard pressed to find anyone who thought the bar was easy (perhaps easier than they thought, but not easy). I start bar review tomorrow, even though graduation is on Saturday. I will continue studying for the bar until I take the bar exam at the end of July.

This next week will be the most challenging of the weeks, though. I have to finish cleaning house for the relatives who are coming in; I've got two children in school, one of whom I must pick up from school and transport to daycare every day. I have PMBR from 9:30-3:30 (I'll have to leave early each day to pick up the child), and I have a reception on Friday to receive my Pro Bono Honors certificate. Additionally, Friday is the day my mom comes in to one airport, while my father comes in at the other two hours later at the other. My inlaws get here on Thursday; this is the deadline for having the house clean. Finally, the missus just went to the airport, en route to Pennsylvania for a conference for her job. This means I will be playing single dad through Wednesday.

Bar preparation is difficult, but I'm going to make it. After bneing a dad, the bar is just another thing.

The Magic Word

We had kolaches today to celebrate Mother's Day. While we were eating breakfast, the daughter, Punkin, asked mom for some milk. Mom, being the good mother she is, waited patiently for Punkin to say the magic word. Punkin asked again, and then again, and then mom told her she had to say something else.

Punkin looked at her, and said "Here's your ten dollars."

I had to look away, lest they spy me laughing at them.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

The Bell Tolled Once

I'm done with law school. I finished my last final; I've already turned in my last paper. In one week, I will be Steve, JD.

I rang the bell, along with about six other people this morning. At our school, it is tradition that when you finish your last final, you ring the scale liberty bell in the foyer. Superstition has it that when you ring the bell, the number of rings equates to the number of times you have to take the bar before you pass. As mentioned in the title, the bell tolled once.

I'm a little surprised at the sense of accomplishment that was attached to my sense of relief at being done. I think this is due more to the fact that I feel like I actually accomplished something this time, instead of benefitting from what I already had. I undertook an endeavor that was foreign to me, and while I didn't exactly excel, I did better than just survive. And for that, I'm proud of my accomplishment.

I may not be a lawyer yet, but that doesn't mean I can't reflect on the journey so far. I earned this.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Overture, Curtain Lights, This is it, We've Hit the Heights

In 14 hours, I will be sitting in a classroom with about 50 of my classmates, and like all of them I will be taking my National Security Law final.

This is my last final of law school. After this test, I will go downstairs, ring the bell which acknowledges my completion of 90 credit hours of law school academia, enjoy the moment, then go home and clean house for when the family arrives.

I'm very thankful for the opportunity to go to law school. I'm thankful for the chance to provide better for my family. I'm very thankful for the friends I've made, and the things I've done in law school.

Jamie, keep it up; you're almost there. RHM and P-Man - Congrats, I'll miss you both. For you other JDs out there, I'm glad to join you.

Now it's time to get back to studying, first for National Security, then for the bar. Wish me luck

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Monsters have always hid in the shadows of children's minds

That was the first line of a short story I wrote in Junior College, some 11 years ago.

The power is out in our apartment complex. The kids are asleep, so they don't get to enjoy the dark. This is probably for the better for us, since we don't have to deal with the scared Apple or Punkin.

I haven't shaved in a week. This is the longest I've ever gone without shaving since I started shaving regularly, about 15 years ago. I sort of feared trying to grow one, because whenever I grew a moustache, it would itch after the third day.

True to form, after the third day, my face started itching. It still itches a little, not much, from time to time. But it's coming in a little fuller than I first thought it would. Not a Gordon Lightfoot full, but there's some there.

One thing I noticed after letting the hair come in, was that I have grey hairs in my whiskers. This was exceedingly humorous to my wife, because at 32, I still have no greys on top of my head, yet, strangely, there they are in the beard. I don't care. I actually was the one to point them out to the wife. What I find interesting, though, is that I have the greys in the facial hair, but not on the head. That seems somehow contrary to common sense. Maybe it gives me a more distinguished look. Now I need a robe and a pipe, some slippers, and a Bassett Hound.

The power just came back on.

National Security

I really dig my national security law class. But it's got a lot in it, which you need to know, of course, for your final. This is my bell-ringing final, so I want to finish with a flourish, but I have a long way to go over the next two days.

Wish me luck.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007


One of the Ten Commandments in every version of the Ten Commandments is "Thou Shalt Not Bear False Witness."

I grew up understanding this to mean, roughly, "Thou Shalt Not Lie," which I'm sure many people grew up understanding this to mean.

Today, while studying for national security law, my friend and I took a break and had a discussion on what exactly this means. It seems that "Thou Shalt Not Lie" is a little too simplistic. If nothing else, the bible itself demonstrates that Lying is not something absolutely condemned by God.

If one reads the story of Rahab, a harlot in Jericho, you will find that she lied to the Gentiles to protect the jewish spies who took refuge in her home. She told the Gentiles who were searching for the jews that 1. two men came to her house, but she did not know if they were jewish. This may or may not be the truth, historically. The version I read is mum on the spies identifying themselves as Jews, though they did say that God would save her house. The second line, though, when she said that the men had left and went off in some direction, urging the mob by saying they were moving slowly, and the Gentiles could catch them. This was certainly a lie, as she had hid the two men in her roof.

As retribution for the harlot lying, God spared her house when the walls of Jericho came a'tumblin' down.

So the question I have, essentially, is, what does it mean to not bear false witness, if it doesn't mean "Don't lie?" Or, is this an ethically fuzzy subject, where, as so many people approach it, it's sometimes necessary or excuseable to lie? In the case of Rahab, she lied in the name of God - is that justifiable? Can you expand that to other deific theories, such as Allah?

I'd like to hear your input. I'm going to keep studying, and probably won't consider this again until Saturday afternoon, or so.

Wednesday is Haiku Day

I have not shaved in
Almost a week; first time I've
Had a beard. Itchy!

Halfway There

I took my first final last night. I think it went pretty well. I wrote a lot more than I thought I would (about 6000 words in 3 hours), but I was busy the whole time, and wasn't really frantic.

I finished the exam about 20 minutes before the end. So I got to spell check, look over my answers, etc., I was just about to save and exit (we use testing software, so I can do this on the computer and then upload the test later) when I looked at the end of the test and noticed that two of my problems didn't have answers. I had completely forgotten to answer them. This I discovered with 9 minutes left on the test.

I'd been wondering about coutnervailing duty/antidumping problems (I think I chose the wrong item), so I'm glad that I got to see that on there, but I wish I had had more time to write a better answer.

National Security Law is next - I'm a little nervous about this one.

Sunday, May 06, 2007


I have mentioned before that I like the show Monk. My son loves the show, though he's not really old enough to understand it, he just likes the theme song and the nervous guy with the suit on.

Every episode title for Monk starts with "Mr. Monk..." For example, Mr. Monk Goes to the Circus, Mr. Monk Takes His Medicine, etc.

So, that leads to the game - what would your Monk title be?

For example, Mr. Monk and the Creature From the Black Lagoon, or Mr. Monk gets a peptic ulcer

What ideas do you have? I'll put more up later.

Study study study study study study

The test is in 50 hours, 19 minutes. Still have work to do. But I'm moving on to dispute settlement. Go NAFTA!

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Paris Hilton is going to jail

But I don't care.

I also don't care about Britney Spears possibly lip-syncing. Nor do I care about who picked up what from standing in the same room as Lindsay Lohan, or what anyone on Survivor has done or will do.

At this point, I don't particularly love NAFTA, either, but I have to study that. It's not the most difficult of classes, but it has a lot of CYAs in it that you have to know.

I'm on the IP stuff now; it's as exciting as what I wrote earlier is.


Chapter 11 - Investment
Section A - Investment
Art. 1102 - National Treatment

1. Each Party shall accord to investors of another Party treatment no less favorable than it accords, in like circumstances, to its own investors with respect to the establishment, acquisition, expansion, management, conduct, operation, and sale or other disposition of investments.
2. Each Party shall accord to investments of investors of another PArty treatment no less favorable than that it accords, in like circumstances to investments of its own investors with respect to the establishment, acquisition, expansion, management, conduct, opration, and sale or other disposition of investments.
3. The treatment accorded by a Party under paragraphs 1 and 2 means, with respect to a state or privince, treatment no less favorable than the most favorable treatment accorded, in like circumstances, by that state or province to investors, and to investments of investors, of the Party of which it forms a part.
4. For greater certainty, no Party may: (a) impose on an investor of another Party a requirement that a minimum levgel of equity in an enterprise in the territory of the Party be held by its nationals, other than nominal qualifying shares for directors or incorporators of corporations; or (b) require an investor of another Party, by reason of its nationality, to sell or otherwise dispose of an investment in the territory of the Party.

There will be a test on this Tuesday.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

I'm done!

My transactional skills class was more work than I thought it would be at the beginning of it all. But, I'm certianly glad to have it done. I had it bound, so that it would look a little better, and then I forgot to put a cover sheet on it. That's me in a nutshell, I guess.

It's not like my name isn't all over the thing; it's just not on the front. Oh well. At least I'll be able to turn it in tomorrow and not worry anymore.

Oh, and I got a book from Amazon today - To Kill a Mockingbird.

In theory, I've already read this book in junior high. But, in reality, I didn't. I read parts of it, but I certainly don't remember any of it, ecxept a couple of the character names, and the fact that it's a sin to kill a mockingbird. I look forward to finishing finals so I can get to reading it.

That's about it for now for the Steve.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

International Enemy Number 1

President Bush announced that Al Qaeda is the biggest threat to stability in Iraq.

So we are there, now, to protect Iraq from Al Qaeda. Seriously, are we supposed to believe this because he says so? First off, too many other sources have discounted any connection to Al Qaeda before the invasion. Second, we have been told too many conflicting stories. Third, our "surge" was supposed to be in place to secure the country against sectarian violence. That would imply that sectarian violence was the biggest threat to stability in Iraq.

Why is the president pulling out Al Qaeda references the day after the "Mission Accomplished" anniversary? There's got to be some connection there.

I did not necessarily agree with the benchmarks. Perhaps it was "setting a date for defeat," but at this point, is that less acceptable than having an open-ended date for defeat? The president has yet to put any teeth into the push for a stable Iraq, and has even taken U.S. Soldiers off the training of the Iraqi soldiers and put them back on the line.

Here's the question I have: What, at this point, would constitute a scenario where we could withdraw from Iraq with our dignity no less damaged than it has been? And I mean more than"a stable Iraq," I mean explain how we achieve it, or can we?

Wednesday is Haiku Day

Two classes are done,
I'll finish third tomorrow,
Then two, then J.D.!!!

As usual, I look forward to your submissions.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Take a Deep Breath

Los Angeles is the most polluted city in America, again. This means Houston is not the most polluted city! Yay! Not only that, but Houston is not number 2 - that distinction belongs to Pittsburgh. Nor is Houston in the top ten, which includes such metropolitan powerhouses as Detroit, Indianapolis, Cleveland, Cincinnatti, St. Louis, Birmingham, Bakersfield, and Visalia.

I'd talk more, but I'm out of breath...