Saturday, June 30, 2007

Price Wars and Judicial Activism, Conservative Style

I've been reluctant to really jump on the Court-bashing bandwagon, because I think a lot of the time, people are more prone to calling a decision bad based on what they want the law to be, not because they disagree with the rationale behind the law.

However, I think that when you have two recently appointed members to the Supreme Court who, during confirmation hearings insisted they respected stare decisis (precedent), and they make up 40% of the majority decision in a case that overturns a 96 year old precedent, then there is evidence of a problem.

The case decided was Leegin Creative Leather Products v. PSKS Inc. In the decision, the Court overruled the "Dr. Miles Rule," which held that minimum price standards established by manufacturers were per se violations of the Sherman Antitrust Act. The decision was written by Justice Kennedy, who determined that the per se rule was of "slight relevance," and that "Vertical price restraints are to be judged according to a rule of reason."

What this decision essentially does is place the burden on the consumer (i.e. you) to show collusion on the part of the manufacturers (i.e. business). It allows the manufacturers to set the minimum price for a product, and to sell the product at that price, until that price is proven in a court of law to be unreasonable. The burden of proving that it's unreasonable is on the person buying the product, who, probably doesn't have the means to try a case on the price of a shirt, or vase. This thought process is voiced by the lead dissenter, Justice Breyer, who said "The only safe predictions to make about today's decision are that it will likely raise the price of goods at retail and that it will create considerable legal turbulence." Who's going to pay for that legal turbulence? Not the manufacturers, who will pass the price on to you.

Of course, there are those who say that this decision is all well and good. For example, Quentin Riegel, the National Association of Manufacturers vice president for litigation said "[T]his ruling does not legalize resale price maintenance. ... Resale price maintenance will be illegal, and subject to triple damages and attorneys' fees, if the manufacturer can provide no reasonable, pro-competitive justification for it." (emphsasis mine) That is not a tough standard to meet, and it's shameful that the Court would make such an activist decision in the absence of Congressional action on the matter. This is exactly what Justice Scalia complains about time and again, that if the people are unhappy with a decision, they need to seek remedy through the legislature, yet, when the people clearly are not unhappy with a decision, and legislature has had ample time to reverse through legislation what the Court did in interpreting prior legislation, what does he do? He throws the decision out the door, whimsically, hypocritically. It weakens his arguments in past Court decisions, where he's dissented on the point that the People have a legislative remedy, and it hurts his credibility in my eyes, just a little bit. (I single Scalia out because he's opined on this precise issue time and again over the past 20 years, yet apparently determined that he needn't practice what he preaches when he has the majority vote.)

I will still look at each decision independently, and won't skewer the Court as a whole, but this one was bad, in my opinion.


I've been fortunate enough to have three children, all of whom have loved the musical Cats at some point in their young lives (usually between 2 and 4).

Right now the Apple is going through his Cats phase. He loves dancing to the introduction, as well as for the Rum Tum Tugger. His favorite cat is Mr. Mistoflees, and he gets animated and excited EVERY TIME McCavity shows up (Daddy! Macabidy! Macabidy dere! Oh no!). Then when McCavity leaves after the big fight, ("Daddy, where Macabidy go? Macabidy not dere!")

I find I prefer Mungojerry and Rumpleteaser myself, though I do enjoy Gus's story. There's just something about the poor old guy remembering what it was like when he was in his prime. Perhaps its the sense of inevitability to it; I don't know.

Anyway, we're watching Cats again. To be honest, I'm surprised the tape isn't dead yet, as much as it's been played over the past six years. Maybe I can assist it's demise one night while the kids are asleep...

Friday, June 29, 2007

The Darndest Things

The kids had splash day at daycare today, while I had Bankruptcy in BarBri. Would that I could have swapped.

When the kids got home this evening, I asked the Apple (little boy) a few questions about his day:
"Did you have splash day today?"
"Did you get wet?"
"Did you have fun?"
"Do you like playing in the water?"
"Do you love daddy?"

But I'm pretty sure he does.

Taking a Break From All Your Worries Sure Would Help a Lot

I need to get to the Y. But my Gym clothes are in the dryer.

I'm so tired - I need to rest, but I really can't nap - not enough time.

I shouldn't be blogging, but I need to work myself back up to studying, which I'll do once I get to the Y.

I should be reviewing Bankruptcy, though, or at least previewing Agency and Partnership.

Does anyone want my kids for three weeks in July? I promise I'll try to remember to take them back.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

"Nixonian Stonewalling"

I like that term. It's the term used by Senator Pat Leahy in reference to the President and the Vice President, who are refusing to produce documents ordered by subpoena under the claim of executive privilege.

The President and vice president claim that they are entitled to use executive privilege to keep secret the documents and conversations that they produced with regard to the US Attorneys who lost their jobs, as well as Dick Cheney's office with regard to warrantless wiretapping.

When in trouble, what does the executive branch do? He sends out his press voice, with instructions to throw stones and call names: "It's pretty clear that again members of Congress are engaged in an attempt ... to try to do what they can to make life more difficult for the White House. It also explains why this is the least popular Congress in decades, because you do have what appears to be a strategy of destruction rather than cooperation."

I suppose, from the executive's perspective, that is what you have. You have a Congress, a coequal branch of government exercising its Oversight powers to attempt to ensure that what the president and his staff have done was not illegal or unconstitutional. The president has asked Congress to trust him and give him unfettered discretion to do what he needs to do. He also seems to believe that United States v. Nixon, 418 U.S. 683 (1974), where the Court specifically rejected the idea that the Executive alone should determine the scope of executive privilege, means that he gets to determine the scope of executive privilege. Since Congress is not doing what the president wants, they are, by definition, not cooperating. Conversely, the Executive Branch, by not doing what Congress wants vis a vis the subpoenas, is not cooperating. But we're not supposed to see that - just like we're not supposed to see that this is the most unpopular president in decades, and the reason this Congress is as unpopular as it is is because it has not done enough in the public eye to rein in the President and hold the executive branch accountable (which is what it's trying to do here).

I don't like President Bush. I believe he is acting with disregard for the laws of this country, and I believe that he, and those he appoints should be held accountable for that disregard.

Trains of thought

I tend to jump around a lot in my conversations. I will have a discussion on one topic, then switch to another topic in the natural progression of the conversation, then I will suddenly bring up the prior topic as though we had never left that subject. It takes my friends some time to get used to that.

Another thing I do is think about something while I'm talking, and use that as a random jump from one point to another, which makes perfect sense to me, but none to the person with whom I'm conversing. For example, We could be discussing lunch, and perhaps we had chinese food with shrimp. I would then (in rapid succession) think about how I once had shrimp at Bennigan's and thought that the batter was bland. Then I would think about how there is a Bennigan's in Seoul, and how we never went there, but we did go to OB Station, which had all you could eat Mongolian BBQ, and that there wasn't an all you can eat at Osan, or in Songtan (the city next to Osan AB), and that we often would just hang out at the Skivvy-9 lounge on base, and then I would remember that we almost always played Euchre while at the lounge, which would remind me that just about everyone in Michigan plays Euchre, and then I would think about how it would be nice to go back to Michigan to visit again sometime, and how the last time I went, my pa and I went fishing with my uncle Bill up at the folks' cabin on Mud Lake, where I caught three Pike, though none of them were keepers. I would then say to my friend "Pike have some sharp teeth," to which my friend would reply "uh, random." But as you can see - it's not random; it makes perfect sense.

Recently, I've taken to explaining my train of thought for my friends. They seem to enjoy the destination more after they've travelled the path.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Just a Reminder

CSI Miami is the worst show on television.

Every now and then I try to watch an episode, in the hopes that maybe someone who knows how to write a script, or understand the substantial unlikelihood of so much of the evidence they uncover, might have gotten hired.

Then I watch it for a few minutes and realize how wrong I am.

David Caruso cannot act.
The rest of the characters pose and grin and we are supposed to believe that they are superintelligent, smooth characters.

This past episode, I happened to tune in while Caruso and one of the brain-dead grinners were interviewing a baseball player who was hispanic. The show decided to subtitle the guy's dialog for us. This is a nice idea - if the guy was speaking spanish, or perhaps a really freaking thick brogue that nobody could understand unless they were from the same Scottish highland village. But this guy was speaking English, with a slight hispanic accent. Putting subtitles here is not cool - it's insulting to the viewer.

Maybe one of these days I'll catch on and stop watching this insult to brain cells altogether. Perhaps I'll be even luckier, and the idiots who tune in for the glitz and glamor of Forensics specialists driving in Hummers to crime scenes where the lead actor can dramatically pull off his glasses and make some corny one-liner to the vacuous character mugging for the camera next to him will realize that there's absolutely no substance to this show, and that there's maybe 20 minutes of story packed into an hour with completely unnecessary and repetitive special effects footage to flesh it out, and quit watching the show - and I'll be saved.

But I won't hold my breath. There are too many stupid people in the world who live for crap like this.

The thing I dislike most about basketball

Kobe Bryant.

But I actually have a few reasons. First is the whole Colorado Hotel thing, but I won't mention that anymore.

The second issue I have comes from his narcissistic approach to life. He had a very good thing in Los Angeles for several years - he was a three time NBA champion with a first ballot hall of famer center and a first ballot hall of fame coach. Yet he couldn't handle sharing the spotlight, and believed that he could do just as well without them. So he sits back and lets them go.

Three years later, and Kobe has had two first round playoff exits, and he bitches that his team hasn't built a winner around [his enormous talent (my words)]. So he demands a trade, then undemands, then demands, then, well, you get the idea. Because he wants to go to a city where they want to win.

Except, he was in a city where they wanted to win. He had a teammate that could help him win. He had three championships and four finals appearances. But he didn't want that. He wanted to be the guy. So now that his little experiment where he got what he wanted didn't work, he's going to use his influence as a high profile player to hold his team hostage while he demands they do what he wants, with the implication that if they don't do what he wants and instead hold him to his contract, he's not going to work as best he can (remember Tracey McGrady admitting to taking games off?). So the owners have a choice - give the prima donna pissy crybaby what he wants (again) and bow to his pressure, or keep him and lose because you have the one of the best players and he's not going to play like he is, and thus lose fan support - which will be lost if he leaves anyway.

It apparently doesn't matter to Kobe that he's not a good teammate. It's apparently ok, in his eyes, for him to tear apart his teammates. It's apparently ok for him to complain openly about his team and the ownership's direction. And all this is supposed to make him more attractive to other teams, who can't afford him because of his freaking humongous salary, which means that they can't build a complimentary package around him that would put him where he wants, but that's irrelevant to him now; what matters is that his current ownership (his boss) isn't doing what he (the obligee) wants, so he has to make them look like the bad guys and convince everyone else that he'd be fine if the situation weren't so crappy in LA.

Kobe Bryant needs to shut up and color, grow up, and be the leader he asked to be.

Wednesday is Haiku Day

So glad for the gym
It lets me burn off some stress
Without killing kids

As always, I look forward to your submissions!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

An idea

One of the problems I see in law is the number of people who graduate from law school, pass the bar, and then hang out a shingle, while really not knowing much about the actual practice of law. I'm sure I'm not the first person to have such concerns, but I have this blog, so I can write about it here from my perspective.

I do not want to go into sole practitionership, at least, not now. I want to get a job with a law firm - a job where I can learn what it's like to actually lawyer - to have to meet deadlines, to write, to brief, to argue, what motions need to be filed when, which clients to accept and which to reject, etc. Then, after I've gotten some experience doing that, I would like to maybe look into starting my own firm - take my knowledge, and go into business myself.

Part of me thinks that there is a way around this issue - the country is hurting for public defenders - attorneys for the indigent. These people often end up with poor representation, or no representation because the public defenders are painfully overworked. My solution? Pass a law in the state requiring that after passing the bar, baby lawyers are required to work in the public defender's office (or some other type of agency) where they will learn how to be a lawyer while getting paid - practical work doing what they've been training to do.

I don't see this as any different, really, than a residency requirement for doctors. Yes, the pay would stink, and yes, the hours would be bad, but it would alleviate a lot of the congestion for public defenders and the like, and provide invaluable experience from attorneys (there'd have to be some sort of supervision) on how to ply the trade - before moving on to private practice or big firms.

There are sure to be hundreds of reasons why this can't work, but I wonder - what do you think?

Monday, June 25, 2007


The Korean term for June 25 is Yugiyoh, which literally translates to 6 - 2 - 5. This date has a particular significance in Korea, as it is the day that North Korean soldiers with the support and blessing of Stalin and Mao crossed the 38th parallel and invaded South Korea in 1950. Between 1950 and 1953, approximately 900,000 Chinese, 520,000 North Korean, 400,000 UN and South Korean, and 155,000 U.S. soldiers were either killed or wounded. Though a cease-fire has been declared, there still has been no treaty signed, and the two countries are still technically at war.

For those of you who view Yugiyoh as a kid's card game, remember for a moment that for millions of people, it means much, much more.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

I'm not reassured

I took the simulated MBE today. I got more than half right. I don't like that I missed as many as I did.

Time to get some rest; more studying tomorrow.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

I lost my cell phone today

In other news, the little boy wanted some milk after I got home from bar review, but I wasn't sure how long the milk in his cup had been out. I asked The Boy, and he told me "I think it's been there for about 11 days." I mentioned that I had just washed that cup this morning, and he says, "Oh, in that case probably about an hour."

Friday, June 22, 2007

Eating Crow

I have long complained against the voucher program on grounds that I thought it would result in the students most in need of help falling further behind those deemed "touchable" enough to allow into private schools. It turns out, I was wrong.

According to the Department of Education (via this Washington Post article), the students in DC who received the vouchers to receive private education in general scored no better than the students they left behind in public school. Of course, this is not an absolute. The students who went to private school from well performing public schools, and those who already scored high on tests did perform better.

I view this as evidence that the voucher program does not help the students who most need help. I also think that this shows that the money could better be spent elsewhere, such as providing services to students in public schools that need such assistance as counseling (funding cut due to diversion to No Child Left Behind), remedial education programs, as well as fine arts programs whose funding has been slashed.

There are those who look at it differently, though. One such person is Education Secretary Margaret Spellings, who argues that it's too soon to judge noted in the above article, "The report's findings are in step with rigorous studies of other voucher programs which have not typically found impacts on student achievement in the first year." In other words, DC is not an anomaly. She continues to gauge the effectiveness of the program: "We know that parents are pleased with the program in providing effective education alternatives." What she didn't say was that many of the parents who were pleased were the ones who wanted their children to receive a parochial education on the government's dime, and that almost none of the pleased parents were the ones whose children were left behind in public school, which they have been told is inferior to the private schools that a select few students get to go to and perform the same.

How few students? The program allows funding to provide vouchers for 1800 students. While I don't know the student population of Washington DC, I can say that my son's elementary school contained about 650 students last year, and the two schools my mother now must split time between due to budget cuts for counseling average about 550 students each. The Washington DC population is about 557,000, and I'd be willing to bet that there are a few more than 1800 school age children there.

How can a program enacted to support No Child Left Behind not provide enough support for all children, thus requiring children to be left behind?

Crime and Punishment

The Boy got in trouble tonight. He got in trouble for a couple reasons. First, he took too many tomatoes on his taco. While this seems like a silly thing to get in trouble for (it is), this is the umpteenth time he's taken so many tomatoes the other four people in the family did not have enough.

Then, after getting a talking to (I did not raise my voice), it was time to say our prayers. He slouched down in his chair threw his legs over his arms, and started mumbling. When we reminded him that he was talking to the Lord, and not his parents, he got even more upset, turned around in his chair and refused to move. This got him sent to his room. I would hesitate quite a while before using the adjective "sanctimonious" to describe us, but we have our habits.

Fast forward about 15 minutes, and The Boy comes downstairs and sits in his chair. He pretends nothing has happened, and starts asking for condiments for his dinner. We then spoke for a couple minutes regarding how he had been sent to bed without dinner, and apparently, he presumed he'd been there long enough, as his demeanor suggested he was entitled to dinner by right (not that I blame him, past behavior on our part has suggested this, despite the "this is the last time" he got last time). This of course got him another talking to, which ultimately resulted in his being sent to his room without dinner (again).

I feel bad. I also think that had he not acted so entitled on his return to the dinner table, perhaps he would have ended up eating, so maybe it was for the best. I don't like punishing - it's not as much fun for me as it was for my parents, who I think danced with glee when they got to punish me. Maybe I'm just doing it wrong...

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Intentional Torts

To make a claim for Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, the following elements must be met:

The tortfeasor must have acted intentionally or recklessly
The act must have been extreme and outrageous
The act must have caused emotional distress
and that distress must be severe.

In order to prove causation, there generally must be some physical manifestation of the distress. An example could be the development of a tic. Another example, could be nausea.

Nausea is what occurred to a woman at the Austin, Minnesota police department who opened a box containing a man's traffic ticket and dog feces. The man pled guilty to misdemeanor misconduct, while the woman became ill, missed two days of work with nausea and a headache, and was hospitalized for two days.

Since the man pleaded guilty, under the Federal Rules, his plea would be admissible in any subsequent civil suit. Specific intent in this case would not be necessary, as it's an IIED claim. I don't know if she'd be able to sue in person, since she was acting in her capacity with the police department when she suffered any injury, but if she were, all this hypothetically should be accurate. If not, I'm really in trouble next month for the bar.

Random Trivia

The United States maintained (and still maintains) forces in Germany, Italy, Korea, Japan, and other nations for the purpose of allowing the president to invoke his plenary defensive/rescue power in the event those nations were attacked - it was an end around to circumvent the need for congressional action in the event of future wars.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Just Say No

President Bush vetoed an Embryonic Stem Cell bill that would have allowed for federal funding for stem cell research. This is yet another example of President Bush working with the Democratically controlled Congress, and listening to the majority of the people.

In vetoing the bill, President Bush said "If this legislation became law, it would compel American taxpayers ... to support the deliberate destruction of human embryos. I made it clear to Congress and the American people that I will not allow our nation to cross this moral line."

I'd be more impressed with the president's convictions, except while he has "made it clear" that he won't allow the destruction of embryos that will never become people, he has no compunction about killing actual people (never granted clemency to individuals on death row in Texas, not to mention the hundreds of thousand of dead Iraqis and 3000+ dead American servicemembers), and taking the lives away from people he considers evil, simply for looking like a terrorist.

I think vetoing this bill was irresponsible of a president who has shown a complete inability to listen to anyone except those who will tell him what he wants to hear and who does not understand that the government is his on loan. If the people spoke out loudly in opposition to research that has the potential to save millions of lives and Congress passed the bill anyway, then I could understand his stance. In this particular instance, though, he's voting his sense of morality on 300 million people. I don't like this use of a presidential veto, but I think it's unsurprising that this president doesn't know how to use a veto.

Wednesday is Haiku Day

Fifty Two Percent
On Evidence - not good enough
Stress taking over.

As always, I look forward to your contributions

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Don't Read This

The Houston Civic Council on Decency has set its sights on the Houston Symphony. They seek to shut it down. When asked why the dislike for the symphony, the Council's spokesperson said "We are concerned about the effects on the community's well-being from all the sax and violins."


I'm a native Michigander. I was born in Michigan, and lived there for several years. I still have family in Michigan, and, though it's been 7 years since my last visit, I still fondly remember the state.

When I was a child, we'd go and visit in June. This coincided with fish fly season. The fish flies would come in, cover everything, and die. When they died, they smelled like fish (hence the name). The fish flies are harmless, but there sure are a bunch of them. They're more of a nuisance than anything else, but fortunately they only stuck around a few days.

At least, they used to. Now, reports are saying that Fruit Flies are staying longer, from three to six weeks. And they're thicker, too. One anecdote in the Free Press Article I've linked above mentions a dockworker who slipped on a giant pile of fish flies and fell into the Clinton River (while not the River Rouge, still not the best body of water to fall into).

Sometimes I really miss Michigan.

Monday, June 18, 2007

It's fun to stay at the...

We joined the Y at the beginning of the month. I needed an outlet for my stress, and the kids can use the time away from home (and the swimming lessons).

I've actually been pretty good at getting a somewhat regular schedule down for going to the gym to exercise. I do 3o minutes of cardio on the elliptical machine, and have even bumped up the resistance a notch, so I'm getting better. Additionally, I try to do crunches each time I go in - I need the ab work, to be certain. And I have been working on upper body weights, arms and chest, as well as calves (I can max out the calf machine, so it makes me feel good).

I notice I feel better now than I did a couple weeks ago - not as lethargic, not (quite) as crochety. I've not lost any weight yet, from what I can tell on the Y's broken scale, but that's OK, if I'm getting in better physical shape - the weight will follow. As it is, I'll keep up with the exercise.

We also bought a couple tennis rackets this weekend. I've not played tennis in about 10 years, though I still know how to hold a racket and hit a ball. I like racquetball better, but tennis is a little more accessible, especially since the Y doesn't have a racquetball court where we live. Now I just have to find someone to play tennis with. The daughter is cute, watching her swing her little racket, but she's not able to serve and volley yet, and she gets intimidated returning serve. Five years old, and such a wimp. ;-)

All right, my break is done - back to studying. Woo. Hoo.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day, Pa.

And Happy Father's Day to all the fathers out there.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Bad Jokes

Two Boll weevils grew up in Alabama. The first one went to Hollywood and became a big star. The other one stayed behind, and never really amounted to much. He became known as the Lesser of Two Weevils.

The receptionist walks in to the psychiatrist's office - "Doctor, there's a man out here who claims he's invisible." The psychiatrist said, "Tell him I can't see him now."

Some people say that sheep and goats are nothing alike. The truth is, they have mutton in common.

Two eskimos are fishing in their boat. They get cold, and to heat up decide to build a little fire. They light the fire, which ignites the rest of the canoe, and the eskimoes sink. Thus proving, you can't have your kayak and heat it, too.

In order to raise some funds for their monastery, two monks decided to open a flower shop in the nearby village. The friars were so kind and the flowers so nice that quickly they developed a large clientele and started taking customers from the other flower shops. The owners of these shops begged, pleaded, and threatened the monks to close shop and leave, but the monks stayed. Finally, the other owners hired a local thug named Hugh McTaggart, who went to the monk's shop, tore it up, beat up the monks, and ran them out of town. The moral of the story is "Hugh, and only Hugh, can prevent florist friars."

Leaving all the other children behind

The state's Constitution says, "no public money or property shall be appropriated for or applied to any religious worship, exercise, or instruction," and elsewhere bars the use of public funds "in aid of ... any private or sectarian school."

The program allows government-issued vouchers, paid for out of government tax dollars paid from the state's treasury, to be used at parochial schools for education.

The judge hearing the case decided that the program was not a violation of the Constitution. Of course. The logic behind the decision was that the funds were for the benefit of the parents, not the schools, and that the parents had the choice as to whether or not to use the funds.

Of course this is nonsense. The fact is, government funds are being used to fund private education for a few students, while stripping those same funds from the masses of students who don't qualify for the vouchers. The judge and the defendants take the position that the vouchers do not qualify as government funds because they are provided to the parents, but in actuality, the parent is little more than a holding company for the check between the school and the state. The parent has the choice of what private school to enroll his or her child in (perhaps), but the funds are not to be used to pay for parochial education, per the constitution.

Consider this - these vouchers are for education - in other words, there is no other way for the parents to use the funds except to pay for private school. They have no property right in the money, they have a property right in the education. If they choose not to spend the voucher on private school, they may not use the funds for anything else. There is no real way to view this other than a government check for private education, and in the majority of cases, that equates to a religious education. It strikes me funny that the judge somehow managed to convince herself that this in no way violated the First Amendment or the Arizona Constitution.

I'm not opposed to parochial education, and I'm not opposed to a voucher program, per se. I think everyone should have the right to attend private school if they want, at their own expense. However, I am opposed to a program where the state gives money to some individuals at the expense of the majority of individuals so that those students don't have to pay for a religious education (and resulting in fewer funds to help the majority of students left behind). I think any program that results in a masked government funding program for religious education is violative of the First Amendment, and in this case, the state's constitution, and that this needs to not happen.

Friday, June 15, 2007

So Much Fun

I have had a busy day. I started by getting up and renewing the registration on my Escort - I had to renew it, so that I could keep from having it towed from the apartment complex, based on their threat of an express breach of our contract (and the potential for trespass to chattel or possibly conversion). Interesting sidenote - in Texas, you are required to get new license plates on your car every seven years.
Then I had to get from the courthouse to the Arabia Shrine Temple so that I could make it to Bar Review - this turned into "what's the longest amount of time one person can take to drive 15 miles?" I had to avoid the freeway, thanks to a nice sized backup on the Katy (this is the freeway that made headlines because it's being expanded to 24 lanes), and had to resort to side roads to get down to the temple. Surprisingly, I made it in 45 minutes, which is not bad, considering.
Then we had the MPT review at Bar review - talk about a scintillating 3 hours!
Then it was a 35 minute drive up to the general vicinity of the Title office - so I could get a replacement title for my Ford Escort, so that I can sell it to some junkyard. Well, after getting in the general vicinity of the title place, I had to drive around it (seriously, I drove more than all the way around it, because the entry I could have taken was not labeled, and it took me an extra 10 minutes, and a stop at the license office, which I didn't need to visit today) to get to the parking area. Then, I got to wait in line for half an hour to be told that I couldn't get a title, because my title is in Maryland, and I hadn't released the title to Texas when I registered here, which was odd, because I did have a Texas title at one point in time... I decided not to argue, I was tired and winded from having to run to my car and back to get the new license plate numbers I'd received this morning. So I have to call Maryland and ask them nicely to send me a replacement title, to a new address, which is about 6 addresses removed from where I lived when I got the first title.
Then I got home, had lunch, got a message from my wife who had a shorter day at work today than normal. She was on her way home, and we decided we should go get presents for the Apple, whose birthday is coming up. So she got here, we got in the car and drove out to the store, where every person in the store was determined to stop their cart right in front of us, block the entire aisle, and keep us from getting by while they either (1) looked at stuff directly across from where they stopped, or (2) had a leisurely conversation about such important topics as what new lotion they used, how aunt Mae is doing on her new diet, or if they had a pulse...
We finally finished, and even managed to get some cat litter (I still think that we can solve the "cat peeing and pooping on everything" problem by not feeding it, but I keep getting trumped). Then we proceeded home for an hour of quiet time before we had to pick up the kids from daycare. My wife fell asleep, and I watched Cyberchase - don't tell me married parents don't know how to have fun.
Then we picked up the kids. The Boy apparently decided that he was going to see Nancy Drew this evening - I'm not sure how he figured that out, but whatever. We told him we'd think about it after dinner, Chicken and Dumplings, which he decided was worth the torture of eating for the opportunity to go see a movie. Turned out the movie started too late for myself of the wife to take him to see, so I think he'll get to go tomorrow after bar review.
This led to the most insane hour of any human being's evening - the hour before bedtime for three children. For some reason, all three of them have decided that they 1 - cannot play any games that are quiet, 2 - cannot read any books, 3 - cannot do anything below 120 decibels, 4 - cannot listen to their parents until they are being yelled at with the requisite vein-popping, or 5 - keep from injuring the others, or being injured themselves. You might be surprised at the new, numerous, and ingenious ways these three children find to injure themselves. It's quite a feat, and I think Guinness might have to make a visit here shortly...
Anyway, now I'm studying for class tomorrow - I'm exhausted, and probably should be asleep, but the kids are still awake and I'm pretty sure they're just waiting for me to fall asleep so that they can start their experiments.

Thursday, June 14, 2007


Well, I finally received my final two grades today. I needed 16 quality points (your grade times the number of credit hours the class is worth) to reach my goal; I earned 15. What this means, basically, is that I did not increase my GPA to the next grade increment - I finished .007 points away. Really, this means nothing, as I'm the same lawyer now as I would be .007 points higher. Still, it would have been nice to have been able to have the extra points.

Anyway, I passed all my classes, I finished with a B+ average for the semester, my best semester of law school, and have completed all my requirements for my Doctor of Jurisprudence. What I've noticed is that I'm far more capable at what I'm doing than I believe I am, and I am too quick to think that others are better at what we're doing than I am. I'm more confident now than I was three years ago, but I still have room to grow, and have to remember what I can do.

Random Trivia

Ben Hur's first name was Judah.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Wednesday is Haiku Day

Me? Narcoleptic?
Au Contraire, but wait, so tired
Could I be Narc- zzzzzzzzzz......

As always, I look forward to your contributions

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Perhaps this is why I always finish last...

I went to my friend Bookworm's Room, where I found a quiz that tells me that I am most like. I'm not quite sure what to say about that.

Your Score: Jimmy Stewart

You scored 14% Tough, 14% Roguish, 61% Friendly, and 14% Charming!

You are the fun and friendly boy next door, the classic nice guy who
still manages to get the girl most of the time. You're every nice
girl's dreamboat, open and kind, nutty and charming, even a little
mischievous at times, but always a real stand up guy. You're dependable
and forthright, and women are drawn to your reliability, even as
they're dazzled by your sense of adventure and fun. You try to be tough
when you need to be, and will gladly stand up for any damsel in
distress, but you'd rather catch a girl with a little bit of flair.
Your leading ladies include Jean Arthur and Donna Reed, those sweet
girl-next-door types.

Find out what kind of classic dame you'd make by taking the
Classic Dames Test.

Link: The Classic Leading Man Test written by gidgetgoes on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the The Dating Persona Test

Monday, June 11, 2007

Of the People, For the People...

Senate Republicans blocked a no-confidence vote headed by Senate Democrats today. The vote would have had no actual authority, however, it would have served to further pave the road towards impeachment of the Attorney General.

While I understand why the Democrats tried to push this forward, I think it was a waste of time from the start. That said, it did provide yet another instance of President Bush displaying how he feels about the concepts of coequal branches of one government. Commenting on the blocked vote, the President said, "[t]hey can have their votes of no confidence, but it's not going to make the determination about who serves in my government."

I beg you pardon, Mr. Bush, but it's not *your* government. You are a president, not a dictator, emperor, king, shah, deity, or other incarnation of a totalitarian government. You have shown for the past six years that you believe that your way is the only way, and that the terms compromise and diplomacy don't ring in your ears. But this is not your government. This is our government, and we dislike your pouting demeanor when people don't acquiesce to your demands. We don't like that you expect supplication from those for whom you work. And we find it deplorable that you still seem to believe that three co-equal branches means your word rules and everyone else should fall in line behind you.

Mr. President, start acting like a president, like a representative, and quit acting like a pissy, snotty, spoiled brat.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Studdy Buddies

I'm going to go to school today, where I will review with a couple of my classmates the stuff we covered in class last week. This is something I think is going to be necessary for me to pass the bar.

This puts a bit of a burden on the wife, though, as she will be forced to watch the kids while I'm gone. I think I owe her.

Oh, and I got my graduation gifts on Friday. The spouse got me a money clip, which should serve me better than stuffing random dollar bills in my pockets, and she got me cufflinks (I've never owned cufflinks before). Both gifts were sterling silver, and monogrammed, though the initials were GWB, and not my initials. I'm not sure who she was thinking of when she ordered them, but she must really have a thing for him...

(Note: I'm kidding about the wrong initials)

The Times, They Are A-Changin'

My children are currently watching the Berenstain Bears, on PBS, based on the books by Stan and Jan Berenstain. I remember reading a book called "The Spooky Old Tree," when I was the Boy's age. It was a book written by Stan and Jan Berenstein - a Berenstein Bears book.

I don't know when the change came, and I'm not sure (though I have a suspicion as to) why they changed. I think it's unfortunate that whoever made the decision to change the name felt obligated to.

Saturday, June 09, 2007


Several years ago now, Madonna reimagined Don McLean's "American Pie," in one of the worst remakes of all time. When it came out, my friend and I decided that there were some rock classics that just should never be remade by anyone. Some examples we thought of were "Sweet Home Alabama (which is open season for all karaoke bars, but no single releases)," "Hotel California," "Don't Fear the Reaper," "Tears of a Clown," "Good Vibrations," and "Sounds of Silence."

Your assignment is to come up with other songs that should never be remade, or should never have been remade. Feel free to list as many as you can think of.

Friday, June 08, 2007

The Fun Never Stops

I'm taking a break from studying for the bar tomorrow afternoon. We're taking the family and meeting up with Nuje and his family down at Kemah. It seems he's got a friend in a band that's playing at a family restaurant, and we're going to go down there for the kids to play, and then have a nice, two family dinner.

We're looking forward to it...

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Random Trivia

In ancient Egypt, people had 6 souls. Three in their head and their in their body.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Shamefully, I forgot

I've been rather busy with the Bar Exam. I didn't even realize until now that it is D-Day.

I've taken a moment to reflect on the task they faced, the courage they showed, and the sacrifices they made so that others could be free. Perhaps we all should.

Thank you.

I hate Stupid People (haiku wednesday)

When you're turning right
like the car ahead of you,
Don't cut him off, jerk.

As always, I look forward to your Contributions

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

The Next Day

I was complaining yesterday about how I had finally received my first grade. It was a good grade; not my best, but not far from it. Today, though, I got my second grade - from the class I felt least comfortable in - so imagine my surprise that it turned out to be my first A in law school. I'm rather happy about this. I just need 2 Bs and a B+ now and I will have achieved my first goal for the semester. If I can manage 2 A minuses and a B, then I will have accomplished my secondary goal. It's a little late for me to alter what I've done, but here's hoping I did enough. Cross your fingers for me!

Monday, June 04, 2007


I finished my last final 25 days ago. I finished my first project on April 24. I graduated on May 19, and I have been in bar review for the last 3+ weeks.

And today I got my first grade for the spring semester.

And I'm disappointed with what I got - I should have done better.

That said, it was not a bad grade.

But I shouldn't have to wait nearly a month to start getting grades (or over a month, depending on how you look at it). This is what frustrates me.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

It's Not Easy, Being Green

Your results:
You are Green Lantern

Green Lantern
The Flash
Iron Man
Wonder Woman
Hot-headed. You have strong
will power and a good imagination.

Click here to take the "Which Superhero am I?" quiz...


From Yahoo!: "Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Sunday cautioned Turkey against sending troops into Northern Iraq."

You see, Turkey claims that terrorists are entering Turkey from Iraq, and they want to invade the country to attack the source. They can't do that. We weren't invaded by Iraq, we had no Iraqi forces attacking us, and were under no imminent threat of attack from Iraq, so we invaded them and brought them freedom - the freedom to launch terrorist attacks against Turkey from Northern Iraq, as it were.

Heaven forbid we accept any help in combating terrorism - the war against which we ostensibly were fighting when we went into Iraq, stopping our search for the leader of Al Qaeda, who was responsible for 9-11. Heaven forbid we allow another nation to defend itself. We empathize with Turkey, but tell them not to defend themselves when attacked.

I thought terrorism was being defeated by the surge? I thought that the president urged other nations to take a stand against terror (the "entity" we are fighting). I think it's ironic, this situation and our position, and I think it's another example of the issues this administration has with anything that isn't done exactly "his way."