Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Is that warm toasty feeling coming from the rum in my egg nog, or the nuclear warhead stockpile 20 miles from my house!!!

I was feeling all warm and cozy last night. I was in an old college sweatshirt, slippers on my feet, a little bit of the Yule tide ‘nog in my belly, and the warm feeling that comes from having only 1 test left before Christmas break, and I was feeling pretty good about things. But then, I read this article. I have known about the submarine base located not far from Seattle, but I've never really thought of the implication of it being so close to Seattle. Imagine, nearly a 1/4 of our nuclear arsenal is located stone's throw from downtown and one of the largest population center in the west. I am normally a pretty rational person, and I know that the base is extremely safe. The subs are well guarded and the chance of an accident is remote, but still...it does give me pause. Anyway, back to studying.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Don't Let the Door Hit You on the Way Out and other tidbits from the law school library!!!

Well, I'm halfway through my first set of finals for this, my first semester in law school. I've come to the conclusion that law school final are not designed to test how much you've learned, or how smart you are, but how is your mental endurance.

On the surface, it would seem the most difficult thing about law school would be the fact that you get 1 test, 1 test only to earn your grade for the semester. That means you have just one or two questions to prove what you've learned over the course of class. But that's not really the tough part, the tough part is trying to stay focused and engaged day after day in the library; reviewing stuff you've haven't looked at for months, trying to predict what they'll ask you, and not remember exactly how the professor explained something so you can try to duplicate it in an essay.

Anyway, at the moment I'm highly distract able. It doesn't take much to divert me from my studies and the drama over the question of if Dennis Erickson will stay and U Idaho, or will he take the ASU job, etc...it is enough to keep my searching the internet for blogs and stories rather than studying the intricacies of adverse possession (a legal concept that should have gone the way of the dodo a long time ago, but that's another post). So, if I don't get an A on my next two finals, I'm holding the big D personally responsible, not that he would care mind you, but just because it would make me feel better.

Here are a couple photo shop tributes from a fellow Vandal! I-D-A-H-O, Idaho, Idaho, GO-GO-GO!!! (at least we still have BSU gettin their arses handed to them by Okalahoma to look forward to!!)

Friday, December 01, 2006

Law School 101

My first semester of class is officially over and only the final exams stand between me and a couple weeks off. Hoo-fucking-ray!!

Anyway, I now feel qualified to make a couple of observations that will hopefully be of value to any blurking potential law students out there on what to prepare for as you enter law school.

1) Law professors are technology retards. Really, I swear most of these profs. wouldn’t know how to put together a power point presentation if their life depended upon it. One day, we had a guest speaker who was an innovative leader in the area of medical malpractice lawsuits. What was her brilliant innovation that was shocking the legal world? PowerPoint. Yes, I said it, PowerPoint, and yes it is the end of 2006. She figured that if you put images into a PowerPoint slide show and let a jury see that it would be much more effective than just bloviating to the jury all day. Brilliant. Too bad the business world figured stuff like this out 10 yrs ago.

If you came from an undergrad program like business where you were accustomed to seeing slideshows, graphs, diagrams, etc…get over it, there is nothing to see in law school except the back of your fellow student heads and your teacher pacing in front of the class room as they cast about questions hoping that some hapless student will furnish them the answer they are hoping for. Law school is merely reading, writing, speaking, and listening; if you are lucky your property book might have picture in it, but don’t get your hopes up.

2) Last summer, I ran into a 2L (second year law student) at SU and asked him how he liked law school. His response: “It great, the professors are good and the staff is really looking out for you. It would be fantastic if it weren’t for all the other students.” I looked at him with a puzzled expression, so he expounded, “The other students, they suck.” I asked him to explain, but he just shrugged and said, ‘You’ll see.”

Shortly before the fall term started, a friend came up to Seattle to visit. She had recently graduated from Pepperdine’s law school so I wanted her opinion of school as well. Her response, “It’s okay, except for the fact that it’s like reliving high school.”

Get the idea, if you liked high school you’ll probably like law school, if not, it might be a long three years. Unlike other graduate programs, law school classes are big. There might be 100-300 1Ls starting out each year. Compare that to a graduate program in engineering or biology where the first year class might be 25-50 students, maybe 75 if it’s a large program at a big school, but that’s a stretch. So, who do you think is a tighter group, the 20 people starting an advanced degree in Electrical Engineering or the 250 people fighting to be in the top 10% of their law class? Anyway, put that many people together and let them fight amongst themselves for supremacy and see what happens, it is the basic ingredients for high school redux.

There are probably more stuff that I could post here, but I need to get back to studying. As I said, I still have exams between me and a few weeks of freedom.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Opportunity Missed.

I was on my way to the library to study this Sunday, when I learned that I needed to take a detour as the Seattle Marathon was bifurcated my normal route. I was bummed.

It wasn't the needed detour that had soured my mood, but the fact that I wasn't in the race. Despite being super cold (by Seattle standards, I know I've become a weather wuss since leaving Idaho) and wet, I still wanted to be among the thousands soggily plodding along for those 26 miles.

I had made it a goal to complete a marathon before I turned 30. I had even told people early on in the year that I was training in the hopes that my oral statement would give some sort of internal pressure on me to run a marathon, and thereby, I would not appear to be fool. But, alas, despite the pressures I put on myself, I wasn't ready this year.

I have excuses. We bought a house and all the work it needed cut into my training time. I started law school and the new academic rigors didn't lend themselves to freeing up the time to train. And, my wife hates the idea. She doesn't want me to leave her for hours to pound pavement by myself, she doesn't want me to become addicted and divert our vacations so that they coincide with various marathons around the country. Regardless, those are just excuses and they shouldn't have gotten in my way (well, despite the wife’s disapproval, for those of you who are married, you know how difficult it is to do something your significant other is really against, right?).

To top it off, I'm the only one in my family who hasn't done a marathon. My Dad ran them when he was younger. One of my brothers has, despite an aversion to any athletic endeavor as a teen, has turned into an Ironman (this year's Ironman in Cd'A will be his fourth) and runs ultra marathons for kicks. My other brother and sister have caught the bug as well, and have each done at least one marathon so far. So, besides my mom, I'm the only one who hasn't done one and I feel the typical pressure that the baby of the family feels, I have to do one to!!!

So, I'm making the promise again. This year I will run a marathon. This is a goal I want to keep.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Odds and Ends

I'm currently on the 3rd floor of the law library sitting at a study carrel and doing an outline of my Torts class. From my location, I can see the flag flying atop Swedish Hospital on First Hill. The flag is looking slightly ragged; the ends are starting pull apart as the alternating stripes of red and white are coming undone. They really should take her down and give the flag a proper burial; it's shameful to let her get to that point. If anyone is reading this who works at Swedish, please let those in charge know. (Or, it could all be an optical illusion based upon the mere force of the wind, I don't know for sure)

Also, they are starting to decorate for Christmas on campus. The grounds crew, in thier rain gear, is out hanging lights on the trees and there is a large Christmas tree lying outside the law school entrance. It's nice. I don't remember the U of Idaho decorating; we decorated on Greek row, but I don't remember the school itself doing anything. Then again, it probably couldn't given that it was a gov't entity. I imagine here, at SU, a Catholic school, that Christmas is a big deal. Anyway, it's nice to see.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Rhyme & Reason

Despite being a happily married fellow, I am guilty of occasionally letting my mind wander down the dusty paths in my memory to the places where I keep old girlfriends. Therefore, my interest we peaked when I found reference to a girl I had once dated on a myspace page that referenced her recent marriage. After some myspace stalking and internet searching, I was able to ascertain who she married, where she lives/works, and a photo of her new husband. Beyond the fact that it is more than a little scary that I could gather so much info about someone so quickly, it has given birthed a few random thoughts about what might have been.

If I had stayed with this girl, if we had been meant for one another (whatever that means), what would have happened? Where would we have lived? Would I have ever made it to law school, would I have made it here faster? Would I have ever relocated to Seattle? How would her life be different, how would mine be changed? Questions, Questions. One could drive themselves nuts looking backwards and second guessing.

The experience has reaffirmed something, though, when I look at where this girl is living and what she is doing: I'm happy and satisfied with the choices I’ve made regarding my wife and would not trade our lives together for anything. I would not be happy where this old girlfriend is, and I doubt she would be happy where I am, I guess this is why the relationship never worked out in the first place.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Finally, Sun!!!

The sun is out today and the sky is clear!! It won't last, the weather reports indicate we have an endless string of clouds and rain that will follow today. If you don't like clouds and rain, Seattle is not for you! But, on days like this, Seattle is well worth the price of soggy socks. All this rains greens up everything, even though we are approaching late November, the grass lawns are still vibrant shade of green and against a dark green backdrop of evegreens. When the sun is out, the we do shine like the emerald jewel the city uses as a moniker.

Along the theme of light chasing away the shadows, the lead story in the Seattletimes.com this morning is about a prositituion ring on Craigslist. No shit. The police are a little slow on the uptake with this one, didn't they see the bust that some bloggers did on some hapless, Seattle horn-dogs a couple months ago? It's a little to sad to think about the families of these men caught up in this, it's the men's fault, no doubt, for trolling the internet pervert current, but still you have to feel for the families.

Anyway, back to my studies. Only two and a half weeks until finals start!!!

Sunday, November 12, 2006


come and gone. I am a child of the 90's, the decade where I came of age. The 90's were a good time to bee a teen. The nation was just coming out of the cold war and 9-11 couldn't even be imagined. The future held only promise; not the fear of terrorism or the threat of global meltdown we face now. Furthermore, the music was so good then as we had; Peal Jam, NWA, Nirvana, Dr. Dre, STP, Sound garden, and the Dave Matthews Band who were still relevant, etc… The kids today have The Fray, geez. I wouldn't want to be 19 now, not in 2006, but if only I could go back in time. Anyway...

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Mick McGavick, Democrats, and Fox News

Just a few observations on last night elections...

Mike McGavick gave a superb concession speech; it was an example that he is a good guy and could have been a good senator. However, he had no real chance of winning as he lost the Senate race the minute he opened his mouth in E. Washington to bad mouth Seattle. You can't win a state election by alienating the largest city in the State, especially when E. Washington just doesn't have the population to back up it's republican bravado. Mike is a good guy, he had some good ideas, and now he has something to think about for next time.

I don't know what to think of the democratic control of the US House (and possibly Senate). I think the election night results are just another sign that Americans, at our core, hate absolute power in a single party. We were willing to give George this power for a while because we were scared and still had faith that he could do something with it, but he turned out to be a terrible despot who hasn't taken any apparent positive strides forward despite the power he had been given. Now, the people have taken that power back.

I'm a little ashamed of my home state, between passing the gay marriage ban and electing a man who correlates Abortions with cancer and was call an idiot by the head of his own party to the house, my state appears to be a mindless drone following the red flag where it takes them. I might not wear any of my Idaho sweatshirts for a few days. Utah and Idaho have proved decisively that they are the "reddest" state in the nation.

Hopefully now, Cantwell can get Washington’s State sales tax exemption back now that republicans who hijacked the issue in order to get their minimum wage cut passed (which they didn’t so they lost and the citizens of 13 other state has increases in taxes thank to R’s) are out of power. I’m hoping Maria Cantwell picks up the banner again and get this done. Other than that, I’m not getting too excited about much happening, maybe the D can get some education reform passed and do something to heal the nation after 12 years of divisive R control, but I doubt it. I’ve become rather pessimistic about politics and hope deep down I’m wrong and it won’t be more of the same.

I watched the returns on Fox News, which was hilarious. Some of the commentors actually seemed like they were on the verge of tears, fair and balanced my ass! The look on Sean Hannity's face all night was priceless.

Anyway, despite being national blog posting month my posts might trickle down to nothing soon. Finals are approaching fast (beginning of next month) so my thought will soon be narrowed to Torts, Contracts, Property Law, Civil Procedure, and that will probably leave blogging as past time best left for late December.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Wisdom for the day.

Today, in my Civil Procedure class, we had a surprise. Our teacher introduced us to Lt. Cmdr Charles Swift, famous now for his defense and win in front of the Sumpreme Court in Hamdan v. Rumsfel. It was facinating to get an inside look at such an important and influential case and into the tactics that won. He also shared a few stories of his experience as a law student at Seattle U and a few stories about our professor who was his Civil Procedure professor as well. Overall, pretty cool experience and quite the surprise.

Upon a question from one of my classmates about how he balanced defending a terroist with the knowledge of how dire the threat of terroism is, he used this quote from Thomas Paine to explain himself:
"He that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty, he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself.

I have struggled morally with how would one defend person's they knew were guilty, such as the defense of Duncan back in Cd'a or how the ACLU can stand up for organization like NAMBLA. I think this quote helps.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Why one should never go to school in Spokane.

This guy's post actually makes fun of both Gonzaga Law School and Idaho's bar at the same time...it's pretty funny. A bit scary for those of us in law school, but funny nonetheless.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Lifestyles of the not so rich and famous...

I actually have a relative featured in a Forbes article, how about that? This article features an interview with my brother-in-law and his startup, Pluggd.com.

I haven't given any mention of pluggd.com in this blog so far, namely becuase I haven't really checked it out. (I know, I know, I'm a bad relative) Anyway, the low down is that it's a search engine and tool for listening to Podcasts (like Odeo). They also have a new visual search tool for audio podcasts, which will be cool once it unveils, and my impression is that the site is put together alright. I haven't used the site yet, per se, as I tend to download podcasts onto my Ipod and take them with me rather than stream them off the net, but if you do the later you might want to check them out. (Besides, if you help this company get off the ground you help me avoid having my sister-in-law live in my basement*!)

*Disclaimer: actually the company is doing okay, they've already gotten some offers for purchase which they've declined, and they have some more investments coming in the door soon...

Saturday, October 28, 2006


It's beautiful fall day outside today and I'm trapped inside the library drafting a property complaint. To amplify matters, I have a cold. The subject of my complaint is supposed to be based upon Nuisance law, but what is really a nuisance is the gallon size blob of mucous occupying the sinus cavity right behind my eye balls that slowly drips down my throat, drip, drip, drip.

To top it off I have an oral argument Monday morning on the Family Purpose doctrine and I haven’t read any of my cases because I just can’t bring my diseased eyelids to open long enough to read…

Enough complaining…time to drag my sick arse back to work!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Youth, where have you gone?

I think I'm fairly recovered from this weekend. The late nights, a beer or two in excess, the excitement of the Idaho v. BSU game, and 10 hours of driving to and from Moscow left me exhausted and feeling a little old.

When we were in Moscow, my friends and I spent time at the old fraternity house telling stories and bullshiting about our college days. Those memories seem like only yesterday and it didn't seem possible that we've had enough time to built families and careers between then and now. Yet, we have. Even the seniors in the fraternity house seeme so young to me, I guess this my first incline of the fact that I am truly an adult.

On the flip side of aging though is an excitement. For the first time I spend time with some older alumni at various college events. You know the type with silver gray hair, who talk in confident voices, talk about their multi million dollar homes, and write checks to the school have have more zero's in them then my donations do. I'm looking forward to becoming one of them; aged, seasoned, and happy.

In conclusion, the late 20's and early 30's is a good time in my life. I'm old enough to no longer consider myself a kid and still have a long life ahead of me to look forward to. Yes, it's a great time in deed.

PS. I didn't take any pic of the Idaho Campus this time around, although I should have, it was gorgeous and dressed in fall colors. Despite BSU prowess on the field, they don't have our campus (the BSU campus is basically an office complex down by the river - it isn't the traditonal, ivy covered retreat like ours). So, I've pulled some pic from the internet to give my readers an idea if you've never been to Moscow before.

The Rec Center built after I graduated, I paid for it but never got to use it.

A snowy admin building, brings back a lot of memories of trudging up the hill to class through the snow.

The Memorial Gym in the background with the Swim Center in the fore.

The Library Clock Tower.

Get me off this sinking ship!!!

The Seattle schools superindent has called it quits. Not to say that I blame him, what a thankless, difficult job. The school district has over 40,000 students, which alone would make the task of managing the district difficult, but futhermore; enrollment is declining drastically, the budget will be 20M in the red next year, there is a huge gap between the rich schools (mostly white) and the poor schools (mostly black/latino), and the parents and teaches won't compromise anything. If this was in the job posting would anyone take the job? With such important work at risk, the education of our city's future, the need for a qualified leader is paramount. I'm about 3-4 year out from having a kid, and so 8-9 years away from needing the use of public school myself, so I'm hoping that the next candidate can work a miracle over the next decade.

Friday, October 20, 2006

I'm rule 8(a)

Which Federal Rule of Civil Procedure Are You?

YOU ARE RULE 8(a)!You are Rule 8, the most laid back of all the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. While your forefather in the Federal Rules may have been a stickler for details and particularity, you have clearly rebelled by being pleasant and easy-going. Rule 8 only requires that a plaintiff provide a short and plain statement of a claim on which a court can grant relief. While there is much to be lauded in your approach, your good nature sometimes gets you in trouble, and you often have to rely on your good friend, Rule 56, to bail you out.
Take this quiz!

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I-D-A-H-O, Idaho, Idaho, GO, GO ,GO!!!

It's almost the weekend!! This afternoon I'm headed back to Moscow for a weekend of friends, football, food, and maybe a beer or two ;)!!! Should be a great time and perhaps I'll have a couple pics to post as well of game and the beautiful Idaho campus. It'll be even better if we give the Boise State Junior College a run for their money. Anyway, hope everyone has as good a weekend as I will.

Why I love USA...

My love for our country isn't the sort of jingoistic drivel that you hear on most country music station, ie. love our country because it our country and other circular logic crap. No, I realize that there is a lot lacking in this great nation of ours.

For starters, our politicians must be the lowest form of human being on the planet. Most are unethical, sleazy, and rather ineffectual (see public parasites) and creating any sort of positive change (see rising deficits, lack of peace, crumbling infrastructure, etc..) Furthermore, for all our boasting, we are not number 1 in several important areas. Our vaunted education system is falling down around us and our students are falling behind the rest of the world in math, sciences, and, I would guess, even the classic humanities. We don't have the healthiest nation anymore; our medicinal complex is no longer the envy of the rest of the world. Furthermore, healthcare is becoming terribly expensive in the country, so much so that many don't ever (I mean ever) see a doctor. We are no longer respected in the world. I have many friends who pretend to be Canadian while traveling abroad. I had a girl from Ireland ask me if I was ashamed to admit that I was an American when we were in a sauna in Sydney. Finally, we aren't even feared anymore. North Korea flaunts their disregard of our might because deep down they know that we are spread too thin with war in Iraq (in both troop count and moral support for violence). I realize that in order to be the best nation on earth again we need to see that we aren't doing a lot of thing very well right now, and that other nations seem to have figured it out some things better than we have. We shouldn't be too proud to learn from others.

That said, I still love this nation because deep down in its core is an essential freedom that other nations simply lack. I was listening to the radio to a discussion about the Christian Armenian holocaust at the turn of the last century. What was left of the Ottoman Empire, or Turkey as we now know it, killed thousands of Armenian and Kurds. Some historians have labeled it the first holocaust in a century of holocausts. Anyway, this 100+ year old event is still causing tension in Europe and the new EU.

Recently, a Turkish author has been prosecuted in Turkey for discussing the holocaust in his book. It appears that it is against the law for someone to mention it in Turkey under some law that defends Turkey’s reputation from its own citizens. In response, France has passed a law making it illegal to deny the Armenian holocaust.

I love America because we would never do this. I could not imagine USA ever passing a law that would punish someone for writing about a horrible, shameful event in our past. Can you imagine the USA sending someone who wrote about Wounded Knee or the Trail of Tears going to prison because we as a nation were ashamed of our treatment of the native Americans and didn't want it discussed. Furthermore, could you ever imagine us doing as France did and making it illegal to deny a holocaust? Sure, we shun people who deny the Jewish holocaust and we get angry at those who are currently denying Dafur, but we would never make it illegal. Furthermore, we couldn't pass these laws even if we wanted to, they would be blatantly unconstitutional.

Our freedom of speech and freedom of expression are the bedrock of this nation. It is this freedom that separates of from all others, it is our commitment to the principal that will preserve America forever. There have been attacks and movements against the first amendment within our own boarders. Ever so often (normally when the Republicans are in trouble at the polls, so I’m surprised it hasn’t come up yet) some politicians bring up the concept of illegalizing Flag burning. I put these people as cohorts with the French and Turks, people who don't really understand what means to be an American is and what our freedom entails. But these people are few and far between. I don't think a flag burning amendment would pass because our love of free speech runs to deep in this nation and would prevent people from voting for it despite their respect for the symbol itself (love of freedom > love of symbols).

And that is why I love America. (Or just one of the reasons...more to be posted later)

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


Just saw the preview for the new James Bond movie. The movie itself looks pretty good but something about the new guy just doesn't sit right with me. Perhaps it was because Pierce Brosnan was such a tight fit into the skin of 007 that's it's difficult to move on...but it casn't be any worse the Roger Moore following Sean Connery? Can it?

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

All is not well in the heartland.

My sister was in Seattle this weekend, up from Pocatello, Idaho, where she lives. I was surprised when I asked her what was going on in Idaho to learn of a recent gruesome murder in the city deep in the heart of Idaho's potato growing region. It appears that a teenage girl was brutally killed in her cousin's home, and the buzz in the city is that the killers, two other teens, filmed it. My sister has heard that the teens told the girl that they wanted to film a horror movie and she played along, thinking it would be a fun diversion, instead it was a horrible snuff film they wound up shooting instead.

Furthermore, according to a classmate of mine in law school who is from Pocatello, there might have been evidence that these two teens were just warming up. The rumor is that they were planning to bring guns to the Pocatello High homecoming came and let loose a volley of ammo onto the unsuspecting crowd. The homecoming game this year was played against cross town rival Highland, and was played in the Idaho State University’s football stadium. This deep seeded high school rivalry had sold out the football field (something that ISU games never do) and the thought of the horror they could have unleashed sends a shiver down most local’s spine. There is also some speculation that another gruesome unsolved murder might be attributed to one of the killers.

I was surprised that I didn't learn of this earlier, this is normally the type of event that gets plastered across the national news. The town might be trying to avoid the media spotlight as is not the type of place that would welcome this attention. Furthermore, it happened in the same period as the school shootings in Colorado and in the Amish country back east, so in may just have been buried. But some news magazines have been poking around and we might hear more details soon.

Nevertheless of the exposure, it's still tragic. I lived in Pocatello for some time and did all my elementary education in that small town; it's difficult for me to imagine that type of horror happening on a sun bleached fall afternoon there.

Furthermore, one question I keep asking myself while thinking about the new child on child killings is why is it happening in the heartland. Think about all these incidents. They happen in Colorado, rural Idaho, rural Washington, in rural Pennsylvania, etc... What is going on in our nation's interior that is driving these kids to do this? Perhaps it’s just perception that this in only going on in the heartland, perhaps it’s a universal phenomenon, but it does beg the question.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

I've been absent this week, sorry...

I haven’t' been posting much, and for that, I apologize to my one or two regular readers. It's been a busy week due to a large assignment in school, trying to get my kitchen ready to have the countertops installed, and preparing for my sister and brother who will be visiting me this weekend. Thus, there hasn’t been time for posting.

I'm excited for the weekend, not just for the rest, but also to see my family. My sister is coming up from Pocatello, Idaho and my brother is driving over from Sandpoint, Idaho. Both of them have yet to see our new home in Seattle, and despite not having the remodel completed, I'm excited to show off what I've done thus far. I'll be posting some pics of the remodel, before and after, when I can get a chance to get back to the laptop where I store my photos.

Beyond showing off my home, I don't know exactly what to do with them when they are here. I've looked in the paper and there doesn't seem to be much going on in Seattle this weekend and being a poor law student, I don't have a lot of money to take them out on the town. So dear reader(s), I turn to you for help, if you were in the Seattle region, what would you like to do this fall weekend?

(P.S. - my postings might be a little lack next week as well as there is another assignment in school due and I'm headed back for Moscow for the Idaho v. BSU game on Saturday. On the upside, there will probably be some photos for those of you who are more visually inclined...)

Thanks for reading.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Rachel Ray Must Be Banished To Where She Came From..

I've been giving a lot of thought to cooking lately. As the primary chef in the family, my wife will put a frozen pizza in the oven but that's about it, I haven't had to cook since we gutted our kitchen a couple months ago. But, as the project completion date grows near with our granite counter being installed next week, my thoughts have returned to cooking and to wondering if I still remember how.

I am a fan of the food network and have been watching in more than usual in anticipation of the return of my cooking duties. I will turn it on during the day as background noise as I do other stuff around the house. On personality that I've always liked is Rachel Ray , but only in the small doses that the food network parcels her out in. On the Food Network she gets a half an hour here talking about traveling on $40/day, a half an hour there for her to cook a 30 minute meal, and in these small, focused morsels she was easy to swallow. Her cooking, if not gourmet, is practical and most of the time results in something vaguely edible if not gastronomically superb, and for that I’ve always given her somewhat positive credence. That said, who in their right mind thought to give her an hour long syndicated talk show?

I tried to watch it the other day and it was excruciating. She can't, and I emphasize can't, hold a conversation that long, it is just not that entertaining to watch her move from segment to segment and still be engaged in what she's doing. Her strength is, apparently, in short quips about various shortcuts you can take in technique or how much she likes marshmellow fluff or a tip on a good restaurant. These short packets of bubbly perky knowledge are enough to fill a half hour show, these strengths, however, do not transfer to her being entertaining enough for a whole hour that isn't focused narrowly on food.

I wish they would give an hour long show, however, to Alton Brown. I'd watch him talk about the behavior of negative ions in a spaghetti sauce for an entire day.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Inner Tiger

I keep my consciousness in a cage.
I feed it tasks, goals and objectives.
Endlessly it feeds.
If I were to stop feeding it, would it become aware that is caged?
Would it turn in on itself, devouring, ravishing away at notions of myself, stripping away all that is me until nothing is left aside from the bloody remnants of me in it teeth.
Is this insanity?
Or, if it knew that is was caged, would it break free?
Would it throw itself against the bars, bending them with the force of it’s will until they snap?
My consciousness finally free, would it run away to places unseen and devour things not yet tasted?
I keep my consciousness in a cage and endlessly it feeds.

God, I can't believe I'm actually writing poety now. Seriously, will my procrastination stoop to no low, what else will I do to avoid briefing cases for property law?!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

It's a Beautiful World

My brother sent these fantastic pics he took on a recent backpacking trip to Canada and then to Glacier. Enjoy and dream about the great outdoors...

A mountain waterfall.

Them thar book are evil, evil I say...

On a lighter note, it's refreshing to know that the world it chuck full of crazies out there who apparently exist only to bring a chuckle from our collective bellies. Case in point, this broad in Georgia. It appears that another loon is trying to get Harry Potter banned from the library because it teaches children to embrace wickism and demons, oh my!! Surprisingly, in a follow up poll that MSNBC is doing about the story where nearly 20,000 people have voted, 10% actually believe that Harry Potter is evil. There are at least 200 people who actually think that Harry Potter is the work of Satan!! Next time you are in a coffee shop, look around; odds are that if 10 people are in the shop with you, that 1 of them is a complete loon.

I'm not a big Harry Potter fan, I don't actually believe that it's the best series ever written (as my niece and sister in law proclaim). However, I do believe it's one of the best instances of marketing in the publishing world to date. The series is highly derivative of the fantasy books that have been aimed at lonely teenage boys for decades (and, yes, I will admit to being one those boys), JK Rowling just had the genius to change the demographic. It's not the content that's new, the creatures and plot lines aren't novel, it's the fact that she decided to tell it to kids versus gawky D&D nerds that was the original feat. I also think the series success, is do, in large part to adults who love the fact that they can read a 700 page novel in three days, it makes them feel all smart and shit (I don't have the heart to tell them it's written for third graders).

Nevertheless, the series is fun, it’s a good diversion, and if it gets kids interested in reading than I’m all for it.

Lesson for today: Be careful of zealots of all sorts, especially those blonde haired, Georgia soccer moms, who don’t know any better.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006


My current mood is somewhat dark. Outside the skies have turned cloudy, a thick layer of clouds that I know from experience will not burn away in the afternoon. God, I miss summer already.

To top it off, the world seems even more dark than normal as well. On the news there is yet another pedophile scandal in congress, there was yet another school shooting by a crazy man who went into a place where children should be safe and shot them. There seems an overabundance of horror out there, a lot more directed at the innocent that the world should have to bear. If I wear a man prone to flagrant exaggeration, I would say that we are near the point of society crumbling apart.

But I'm not that man. Things are bad. Things are turning dark. But, there will be light again, summer will return and for every evil in the world perpetuated by men, I believe that there are an infinite number of good works done to counterbalance it. Every religion acknowledges that life is pain, that being human is enduring sorrow and misfortune. What amplifies it is that most of us have tasted joy and can not bear this misery with the taste of pleasure still on our lips. But, I will grin and swallow this latest dark pill and be content, for tomorrow may bring more pain but it might bring joy as well.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

I'm not afraid...

I'm not afraid, sorry GW, I'm just not. Despite this latest barrage of fear bombs that the oval office has been throwing at us, the American people, to justify the use of torture and to ramp up the president’s poll numbers; I am not afraid. At least, not for the United States anyway; true, I'm afraid of terrorists and their ability to kill and maim my fellow citizens, but I don't believe that our fundamental believe in freedom and equality can be destroyed by them. The only people who can destroy America are Americans.

Had we a better leader, a president that was more concerned with his oath to uphold and defend the constitution than his mistaken understanding of what Jesus wants, than an attack in every major American city could not shake our foundation. But, we don't have that leader do we? We have GW. I think GW and his cronies are the biggest ally that the terrorists have in defeating America, not just an ally in killing its people, but killing its soul.

Our founders were very fond of our constitution. So much so, that they wrote into the document an oath to protect it that the president would have to take (a pledge that has been adopted by congress and our armed forces btw). They didn't include this pledge haphazadly because it sounded good. No, they knew that the constitution would be hard to follow for our leaders in the years to come. The constitution isn't a document of the simple; it isn't an expression of everyday norms. Instead, it is a document that is hard to live by, a document of freedom in the face of fear, a document of discipline in the face of anarchy. They knew that there would be times when America would find it hard to live up to, they knew that various trials and tribulation would come around that would test our mettle, but they wanted it to stick. Too bad we didn't elect someone with more mental fortitude and an ability to sacrifice himself and his poll number in order to uphold his oath.

Anyway, e’nuff said, nothing I can do tonight about such things....

Thursday, September 28, 2006

We Want You....

And now for some random thoughts on politics...

Like any college, there a myriad of clubs at Seattle U that I could join. Most of them are linked to some sort of interest or aspect that people share. This might include common interest law such as the intellectual property club, reproductive rights club, the ACLU (of course), or the Constitution Society. Or, these might include groups based upon who you are, such as; the Women's law caucus, a club for homosexual lawyers, a club for Latino or Asian lawyers, etc... In amongst this spectrum of different organization are the two political standards, the Democrats and the Republicans clubs.

I was talking to my wife about all these clubs and the various self sorting the student were making and she jokingly asked if I was going to join the Democrats. I laughed at the inside joke, as she is an ardent republican and laughs at me every time that I vote Democrat, but then I told her no, I was not going to be join the Democrats.

There is a lot of pressure to choose though. Whether I’m in school or out, there is a lot of pressure from people I know in both parties to "take a stand" or rather, "if you're not with us, you're against us", and other rhetorical pressure tactics. But, I don't want to choose sides, and it's not just because I think that both sides have become so beholden to special interest money that the distinction has become meaningless, although that's probably the case. I don't want to choose because I believe that both parties are as often wrong and they are right, and that both political philosophies are essential in our American government.

On the one hand, society needs conservatism. Society is, no doubt, changing all the time. As population grows, as people migrate, as people learn new things, as societies are introduced to new ideas, their viewpoints change and each new generation has a slightly different take on things than their parent's. This is a natural process and I might argue that it is an essential element to societal health. That said, within any organization, be it a student club, a corporation, or a nation; unchecked and rapid growth can be devastating. Growth can weight too heavily on the organization’s ability to manage itself. Change can ruin a society perception of itself so much that it looses it's identify and goals. Conservatism is a natural check on this problem. Conservatism, at it's best, tries to control growth and change, to retard the fire of change so that it doesn't consume all of society with it.

This is the reason why I think conservatism has enjoyed such resurgence. Technology has allowed new economies to bloom outside of large cities and manufacturing center, as a result, an enormous amount of internal immigration from the cities into what were once small towns has brought enormous amounts of growth and new ideas into the heartland. In response to this, conservatism has bloomed across America's interior as those populations try to cling to their why of life and their ideals and control change.

Liberalism is on the opposite end of the spectrum. Where as conservatism tries to control growth and social change, liberalism tries to manage, integrate and foster growth and change.

[The interesting caveat here is the approach to economics. Each party seems reversed to what their position on societal change is, the conservatives are welcoming to economic growth and change where as the liberals want to control and discourage it, it's an interesting phenomenon which I'm sure must have been written about somewhere.]

The political modes, if left unchecked would lead to disaster. On the one had you could see an oppressive, conservative regime controlling every social action or you could have a liberal regime that would allow the foundation of American society to be worn away by any waves of change sweeping across our shores.

Therefore, I think both modes of thought should be welcomed and embraced. I do believe that in the long run liberalism will be the dominant political camp just because it's more practical to accept and manage social change and growth than to try to control it (I need to do some fact checking but I think the 20 century was a good example of this as democrats were the dominant party of the century (FDR, Truman, Kennedy, Johnson, Clinton).

That’s why I can’t join a single party club. I don’t think every party has the exclusive domain on what is right and what is wrong and both types of thought are needed to manage this society into the future.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Hey, Hey, What's Going On...

The world is pretty cruel, case in point, this story about T.O. Sure, he is an ass on (and apparently off) the field and we can all resent the millions he earns, however, no one with the type of depression required to try and commit suicide should have to suffer it in public, and then have some law student in Seattle point it out in his blog.

Anyway, things are pretty busy.
• Law school is plodding along, I've written my first legal memo and all I can say it that the art (and I do mean art) of citations is laborious, I'm sure I'll be thanking god for paralegals in the future.
• The house is coming along, the bathroom is finished except for a few little paint touch ups and some caulking (believe me, it’s amazing how many hours of laughter the word caulk gives me). The kitchen has been emptied and the floors are being sanded and polished as I type. After they dry, we’ll install cabinets and the appliances, and we will be fully functional again. Needless to say, it’s been a long two months without a kitchen or upstairs bath. I’ll post pictures for any of you readers who are interested (are there any?)
• I’ve been distracted by other forms electronic media lately. I’ve finally joined the myspace and facebook crowd, which probably means that these websites will shut down soon because if I’ve joined them they can’t be cool anymore. These sites are pretty omnipresent on college campuses, I might link to my myspace page, but it means that I’ll be giving my blog reader(s) more insight into who I am, is this a good idea??

That’s about it. Have a nice day, it's a gorgeous late summer day in Seattle btw. I’ll try to post something more substantive later…

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Is the failure to pay for education the result of inability to budget our priorities?

There was an article in the Seattle Time Sunday insert about the lack of "whiz" kids in the Puget Sound. The premise of the article is that Seattle, despite being America's most educated city, has a dearth of home grown engineers, computer scientists, and other math related professionals. Most of our professionals are imports from the east coast or India, China, etc... The article cites a figure from Microsoft that less than 8% of it's Redmond based workforce was educated in Washington State (it's probably less than that now, I wouldn't be surprised if it was more like 5% now) as an example of this issue. I also have an anecdotal story to support their conclusion.

My brother in law is one of these computer science whiz kids. He was raised in Florida and went to school at Cornell where he received a computer engineering degree. He then went to receive post graduate education in Texas, after which he came and worked for Microsoft where he was a successful Program/Product manager (he developed the technology that allows XP to launch most digital devices you plug into it). He left Microsoft and went to Amazon where he developed the Turk program and now he's started his own web 2.0 company (speaking of which, I really should give it a plug here sometime now that it's out of beta). But he isn’t a NW native, he’s an import.

The article goes on to suggest that Seattle could become the next Detroit or Cleveland if it can’t find a way to start creating the types of labor needed for our local high tech industries.

It is a scary thought that this is a knowledge economy and what the most valuable type of knowledge these days (as ever) is math and science. I don’t think that there is a decrease in interest in math and science; it’s just that demand is up and other nations and regions are filling that demand better than we are in the NW.

It shouldn’t be too hard to market to kids that they need to study math. The benefits are very apparent. In my own life, I’ve benefited greatly from an interest in math. Although I was not a math or computer science major, I had a healthy appreciation of both topics and am skilled enough in math that I can understand most computer application pretty quickly. As I entered the corporate world I found it populated by people with weak math skills and therefore (there must be some link between understanding math and computers) they shied away from understanding the applications we worked with every day. On the other hand, I found myself excelling at these common computer applications at work and therefore my less skilled colleagues became dependent on my expertise. This dependence led to them to go above and beyond the average efforts to retain me. I watched my salary grow faster than my peers (I’ve always been able to see what everyone at any company I’ve worked for gets paid) and my raises be among the largest of anyone in the companies (including exec). This situation would not have occurred if I wasn’t the most technically savvy person in the department, I’m confident of that.

Although it’s easy to demonstrate the benefits of being math/tech savvy, many say it doesn’t matter if we do increase interest among students. The UW claims that they can’t even satisfy the current demand as they have fewer seats in the computer science programs than applicants. They also claim that they are funded less than their peer institutions.

I’m sure that my Alma Matter, Idaho, is in no better situation. I’m sure it’s per student state funding is even less than Washington’s. So, is the root cause more money?

I would answer this with a cautious yes. However, I don’t think we need to raise anymore taxes to support education. In Seattle there are requests for more and more tax payer dollars all the time. There is request to raise a couple billion in taxes for street repair; a request for tens of billions to rebuild some important infrastructure, the k-12 education system in Seattle has a 20 Million dollar shortfall; the government apparently never had enough money to perform it’s function despite the billion and billions it collect from Washington citizens every year.

So how do you balance a clear need, education funding that is essential to our economic and civic futures with the government’s inability to pay for the current expenses with it’s established tax levels? Where is the money going and where should it go?

There should be a reevaluation in the northwest to reset government priority. Is there some legal mandating that we pay for education first, essential services (fire, medical), and then the rest of the services provided is where we quibble about budgets??? Can this work at the federal level as well?

Monday, September 18, 2006

Happy Constitution Day

(from the Library of Congress:)

WE, the PEOPLE of the UNITED STATES, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Sect. 1. ALL legislative powers, herein grated, shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.

Sect. 2. The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second year by all the people of the several States, and the Electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for Electors of the most numerous branch of the State Legislature.

No person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained to the age of twenty-five years, and been seven years a citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an inhabitant of that State in which he shall be chosen.

Representatives and direct taxes shall be appointed among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to the respective numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole number of free persons, including those bound to service for a term of years, and excluding Indians not taxes, three fifths of all other persons. The actual enumeration shall be made within three years after the first meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent term of ten years, in such manner as they shall by law direct. The number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty thousand, but each State shall have at least one Representative; and until such enumeration shall be made, the State of New-Hampshire shall be entitled to choose three, Massachusetts eight, Rhode-Island and Providence Plantation one, Connecticut five, New-York six, New-Jersey four, Pennsylvania eight, Delaware one, Maryland six, Virginia ten, North-Carolina five, South-Carolina five, and Georgia three.

When vacancies happen in the Representation from any State, the Executive authority thereof shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies.

The House of Representatives shall choose their Speaker and other officers, and shall have the sole power of impeachment.

Sect. 3. The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, chosen by the Legislature thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote.

Immediately after they shall be assembled in consequence of the first election, they shall be divided as equally as may be into three classes. The seats of the Senators of the first class shall be vacated at the expiration of the second year, of the second class at the expiration of the fourth year, and of the third class at the expiration of the sixth year; so that one third may be chosen every second year; and if vacancies happen, by resignation or otherwise, during the recess of the Legislature of any State, the Executive thereof may make temporary appointments until the next meeting of the Legislature, which shall then fill such vacancies.

No person shall be a Senator who shall not have attained to the age of thirty years, and been nine years a citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an inhabitant of that State for which he shall be chosen.

The Vice-President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no vote, unless they be equally divided.
The Senate shall choose their other officers, and also a President pro tempore, in a the absence of the Vice-President, or when he shall exercise the office of President of the United States.

The Senate shall have the sole power to try all impeachments. When sitting for that purpose, they shall by on oath or affirmation. When the President of the United State is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside; and no person shall be convicted without the concurence of two thirds of the members present.

Judgement, in cases of impeachment, shall not extend further than to removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honour, trust or profit, under the United States; but the party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to indictment, trial, judgement and punishment, according to law.

Sect. 4. The times, places and manner, of holding elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time, by law, make or alter such regulations, except as to the place of choosing Senators.

The Congress shall assemble at least once in every year, and such meeting shall be on the first Monday in December, unless they shall by law appoint a different day.

Sect. 5. Each House shall be the judge of the elections, returns and qualification, of its own members, and a majority of each shall constitute a quorum to do business; but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and may be authorized to compel the attendance of absent members, in such manner, and under such penalties, as each House may provide.

Each House may determine the rules of its proceedings, punish its members for disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of two thirds, expel a member.

Each House shall keep a journal of its proceedings, and from time to time publish the same, excepting such parts as may in their judgment require secresy; and the yeas and nays of the members of either House on any question shall, at the desire of one fifth of those present, be entered on the journal.

Neither House, during the session of Congress, shall, without the consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other place than that in which the two Houses shall be sitting.

Sect. 6. The Senators and Representatives shall receive a compensation for their services, to be ascertained by law, and paid out of the treasury of the United States. They shall in all cases, except treason, felony and breach of peace, be privileged from arrest during their attendance at the session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any speech or debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other place.

No Senator or Representative shall, during the time for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil office under the authority of the United States, which shall have been created, or the emoluments whereof shall have been encreased, during such time; and no person holding any officer under the United States shall be a member of either House, during his continuance in office.

Sect. 7. All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with amendments, as on other bills.

Every bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senates shall, before it become a law, be presented to the President of the United States; if he approve; he shall sign it; but if not, he shall return it, with his objections, to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the objections at large on their journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If after such reconsideration two thirds of that House shall agree to pass the bill, it shall be sent, together with the objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two thirds of that House, it shall become a law. But in all such cases the votes of both Houses shall be determined by yeas and nays, and the names of the persons voting for and against the bill shall be entered on the journal of each House respectively. If any bill shall not be returned by the President within ten days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the same shall be a law in like manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress by their adjournment prevent its return, in which case it shall not be a law.

Every order, resolution or vote, to which the concurrence of the Senate and House of Representatives may be necessary (except on a question of adjournment) shall be presented to the President of the United States; and before the same shall take effect, shall be approved by him, or being disapproved by him, shall be re-passed by two thirds of the Senate and House of Representatives, according to the rules and limitations prescribed in the case of a bill.

Sect. 8. The Congress shall have power To lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defence and general welfare of the United States; but all duties; imposts and excises, shall be uniform throughout the United States;

To borrow money on the credit of the United States;

To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian tribes;

To establish an uniform rule of naturalization, and uniform laws on the subject of bankruptcies, throughout the United States;

To coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin, and fix the standard of weights and measures;

To provide for the punishment of counterfeiting the securities and current coin of the United States;

To establish post-offices and post-roads;

To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries;

To constitute tribunals inferior to the Supreme Court;

To define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas and offences against the law of nations;

To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water;

To raise and support armies, but no appropriation of money to that use shall be for a longer term than two years;

To provide and maintain a navy;

To make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces;

To provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the Union, suppress insurrections, and repel invasions;

To provide for organizing, arming and disciplining the militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively the appointment of the officers, and the authority of training the militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

To exercise exclusive legislation, in all cases whatsoever, over such district (not exceeding ten miles square) as may, by cession of particular States, and the acceptance of Congress, become the seat of the government of the United States, and to exercise like authority over all places purchased by the consent of the Legislature of the State in which the same shall be, for the erection of forts, magazines, arsenals, dock-yards, and other needful buildings;--and,

To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the government of the United States,or in any department or officer thereof.

Sect. 9. The migration or importation of such persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight; but a tax or duty may be imposed on such importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each person.

The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it.

No bill of attainder, or ex post facto law, shall be passed.

No capitation or other direct tax shall be laid, unless in proportion to the sensus or enumeration herein before directed to be taken.

No tax or duty shall be laid on articles exported from any State. No preference shall be given by any regulation of commerce or revenue to the ports of one State over those of another: Nor shall vessels bound to or from one State, be obliged to enter, clear, or pay duties, in another.

No money shall be drawn from the treasury, but in consequence of appropriations made by law; and a regular statement and account of the receipts and expenditures of all public money shall be published from time to time.

No title of nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no person holding any office of profit or trust under them shall, without the consent of the Congress, accept of any present, emolument, office or title, or any kind whatever from any King, Prince, or foreign State.

Sect. 10. No State shall enter into any treaty, alliance or confederation; grant letters of marque and reprisal; coin money; emit bills of credit; make any thing but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts; pass any bill of attainder, ex post facto law, or law impairing the obligation of contracts, or grant any title of nobility.

No State shall, without the consent of Congress, lay any imposts or duties on imports or exports, except what may be absolutely necessary for executing its inspection laws; and the new produce of all duties and imposts, laid by any State, on imports or exports, shall be for the use of the treasury of the United States; and all such laws shall be subject to the revision and controul of the Congress. No State shall, without the consent of Congress, lay any duty of tonnage, keep troops or ships of war in time of peace, enter into any agreement or compact with another State, or with a foreign power, or engage in war, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent danger as will not admit of delay.

Sec. 1. The executive power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. He shall hold his office during the term of four years, and, together with the Vice-President, chosen for the same term, be elected as follows.

Each State shall appoint, in such manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a number of Electors, equal to the whole number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress; but no Senator or Representative, or person holding an office of trust or profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.

The Electors shall meet in their respective States, and vote by ballot for two persons, of whom one at least shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves. And they shall make a list of all the persons voted for, and of the number of votes for each; which list they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the seat of the government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate. The President of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates, and the votes shall then be counted. The person having the greatest number of votes shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed; and if there be more than one who have such majority, and have an equal number of votes, then the House of Representatives shall immediately choose by ballot one of them for President; and if no person have a majority, then from the five highest on the list the said House shall in like manner choose a President. But in choosing the President the votes shall be taken by States, the representation from each State having one vote; a quorum for this purpose shall consist of a member or members from two thirds of the States, and a majority of all the States shall be necessary to a choice. In every case, after the choice of the President, the person having the greatest number of votes of the Electors, shall be the Vice-President. But if there should remain two or more who have equal votes, the Senate shall choose from them by ballot the Vice-President.

The Congress may determine the time of choosing the Electors, and the day on which they shall give their votes; which day shall be the same throughout the United States.

No person, except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United States at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that office, who shall not have attained to the age of thirty-five years, and been fourteen years a resident within the United States.

In case of the removal of the President from office, or of his death, resignation, or inability to discharge the powers and duties of the said office, the same shall devolve on the Vice-President; and the Congress may by law provide for the case of removal, death, resignation, or inability, both of the President and Vice-President, declaring what officer shall then act as President, and such officer shall act accordingly, until the disability be removed, or a President shall be elected.

The President shall, at stated times, receive for his services a compensation, which shall neither be increased nor diminished during the period for which he shall have been elected, and he shall not receive within that period any other emolument from the United States, or any of them.

Before he enter on the execution of his office, he shall take the following oath or affirmation:


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"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States; and will, to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend, the Constitution of the United States."

Sect. 2. The President shall be Commander in Chief of the army and navy of the United States, and of the militia of the several states, when called into the actual service of the United States; he may require the opinion, in writing, of the principal officer in each of the executive departments, upon any subject relating to the duties of their respective offices, and he shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons for offences against the United States, except in cases of impeachment.

He shall have power, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, to make treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers, and Consuls, Judges of the Supreme Court, and all other offices of the United States, whose appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by law. But the Congress may by law vest the appointment of such inferior officers as they think proper in the President alone, in the courts of law, or in the heads of departments.

The President shall have power to fill up all vacancies that may happen during the recess of the Senate, by granting commissions, which shall expire at the end of their next session.

Sect. 3. He shall from time to time give to the Congress information of the state of the Union, and recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; he may, on extraordinary occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them, and in case of disagreement between them, with respect to the time of adjournment, he may adjourn them to such time as he shall think proper; he shall receive Ambassadors and other public Ministers; he shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed, and shall commission all the officers of the United States.

Sect. 4. The President, Vice-President, and all civil officers of the United States, shall be removed from office, on impeachment for and conviction of treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.

Sect. 1. The judicial power of the United States shall be vested in one Supreme Court, and in such Inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish. The Judges, both of the supreme and Inferior Courts, shall hold their offices during good behaviour; and shall, at stated times, receive for their services a compensation, which shall not be diminished during their continuance in office.

Sect. 2. The judicial power shall extend to all cases in law and equity, arising under this Constitution, the laws of the United States, and treaties made, or which shall be made, under their authority; to all cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers, and Consuls; to all cases of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction; to controversies to which the United States shall be a party; to controversies between two or more States, between a State and citizen of another State, between citizens of different States, between citizens of the same State claiming lands under grants of different States, and between a State, or the citizens thereof, and foreign States, citizens or subjects.

In all cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and consuls, and those in which a State shall be party, the Supreme Court shall have original jurisdiction. In all the other cases before mentioned, the Supreme Court shall have appellate jurisdiction, both as to law and fact, with such exceptions and under such regulations as the Congress shall make.

The trial of all crimes, except in cases of impeachment, shall be by jury; and such trial shall be held in the State where the said crimes shall have been committed; but when not committed within any State, the trial shall be at such place or places as the Congress may by law have directed.

Sect. 3. Treason, against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason, unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on consession in open court.

The Congress shall have power to declare the punishment of treason, but no attainder of treason shall work corruption of blood, or forfeiture, except during the life of the person attainted.

Sect. 1. Full faith and credit shall be given in each State to the public acts, records and judicial proceedings, of every other State. And the Congress may by general laws prescribe the manner in which such acts, records and proceedings, shall be proved, and the effect thereof.

Sect. 2. The citizens of each State shall be entitled to all privileges and immunities of citizens in the several states.

A person, charged in any State with treason, felony, or other crime, who shall flee from justice, and be found in another State, shall, on demand of the executive authority of the State form which he fled, be delivered up, to be removed to the State having jurisdiction of the crime.

No person, held to service or labour in one State, under the laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in consequence of any law or regulation therein, be discharged from such service or labour; but shall be delivered up, on claim of the party to whom such service or labour may be due.

Sect. 3. New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new State shall be formed to erected within the jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by the junction of two or more States, or parts of States, without the consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned, as well as of the Congress.

The Congress shall have power to dispose of an make all needful rules and regulations, respecting the territory or other property belonging to the United States; and nothing in this Constitution shall be so construed, as to prejudice any claims of the United States, or of any particular State.

Sect. 4. The United States shall guarantee, to every State in this Union, a republican form of government, and shall protect each of them against invasion; and, on application of the Legislature, or of the Executive, (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic violence.

The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this Constitution; or, on the application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention, for proposing amendments; which, in either case, shall be valid, to all intents and purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislature of three fourths of the several States, or by conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the Congress: Provided, that no amendment which may be made prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any manner affect the first and fourth clauses, in the ninth section of the first article; and that no State, without its consent, shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate.

All debts contracted, and engagements entered into, before the adoption of this Constitution, shall be as valid against the United States under this Constitution, as under the Confederation.

This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof, and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the Judges in every State, shall be bound thereby; any thing in the constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding.

The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by oath or affirmation to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office, or public trust, under the United States.

The ratification of the Conventions of Nine States shall be sufficient for the establishment of this constitution, between the States so ratifying the same.

Done in Convention, by the unanimous consent of the States present, the seventeenth day of September, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty-seven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the twelfth. In witness whereof, we have hereunto subscribed our names.

GEORGE WASHINGTON, President, (and Deputy from Virginia.
New-Hampshire. John Langdon, Nicholas Gilman.
Massachusetts. Nathaniel Gorham, Rufus King.
Connecticut. William Samuel Johnson, Roger Sherman.
New-York. Alexander Hamilton.
New-Jersey. William Livingston, David Brearley, William Paterson, Jonathan Dayton.
Pennsylvania. Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Mifflin, Robert Morris, George Clymer, Thomas Fitzsimons, Jared Ingersoll, James Wilson, Gouverneur Morris.
Delaware. George Read, Gunning Bedford, jun. John Dickenson, Richard Bassett, Jacob Broom.
Maryland. James M'Henry, Daniel of St. Tho. Jenifer, Daniel Carrol.
Virginia. John Blair, James Madison, jun.
North-Carolina. William Blount, Richard Dobbs Spaight, Hugh Williamson.
South-Carolina. John Rutledge, Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, Charles Pinckney, Pierce Butler.
Georgia. William Few, Abraham Baldwin.

Attest,..........WILLIAM JACKSON, Secretary.

IN CONVENTION, Monday, September 17th, 1787.


The States of New-Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Mr. Hamilton from New-York, New-Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North-Carolina, South-Carolina, and Georgia.

THAT the preceding Constitution be laid before the United States in Congress assembled, and that it is the opinion of this Convention, that it should afterwards be submitted to a Convention of Delegates, chosen in each State by the People thereof, under the recommendation of its Legislature, for their assent and ratification; and that each Convention assenting to and ratifying the same, should give notice thereof to the United States in Congress assembled.

Resolved, That it is the opinion of this Convention, That as soon as the Conventions of Nine States shall have ratified this Constitution, the United States in Congress assembled should fix a day on which Electors should be appointed by the States which shall have ratified the same, and a day on which the Electors should assemble to vote for the President, and the time and place for commencing proceedings under this Constitution: That after such publication the Electors should be appointed, and the Senators and Representatives elected: That the Electors should meet on the day fixed for the election of the President, and should transmit their votes, certified, signed, sealed and directed, as the Constitution requires, to the Secretary of the United States in congress assembled: That the Senators and Representatives should convene at the time and place assigned: That the Senators should appoint a President of the Senate, for the sole purpose of receiving, opening and counting the votes for President; and that, after he shall be chose, the Congress, together with the President, should without delay proceed to execute this Constitution.

By the unanimous order of the Convention,
..........WILLIAM JACKSON, Sec'ry.

In Convention, Sept 17, 1787.


WE have now the honour to submit to the consideration of the United States in Congress in Congress assembled, that Constitution which has appeared to us the most adviseable.

The friends of our country have long seen and desired, that the power of making war, peace and treaties, that of levying money and regulating commerce, and the correspondent executive and judicial authorities, should be fully and effectually vested in the general government of the Union; but the impropriety of delegating such extensive trust to one body of men is evident.--Hence results the necessity of a different organization.

It is obviously impracticable, in the federal government of these States, to secure all rights of independent sovereignty to each, and yet provide for the interest and safety of all. Individuals entering into society must give up a share of liberty to preserve the rest. The magnitude of the sacrifice must depend as well on situation and circumstance, as on the object to be obtained. It is at all times difficult to draw with precision the line between those rights which must be surrendered, and those which may be reserved, and on the present occasion this difficulty was increased by a difference among the several states as to their situation, extent, habits and particular interests.

In all our deliberations on this subject, we kept steadily in our view that which appears to us the greatest interest of every true American, the consolidation of our Union, in which are involved our prosperity, felicity, safety, perhaps our national existence. This important consideration, seriously and deeply impressed on our minds, led each State in the Convention to be less rigid on points of inferior magnitude, than might have been otherwise expected; and thus the constitution, which we now present, is the result of a spirit of amity, and of that mutual deference and concession which the peculiarity of our political situation rendered indispensible.

That it will meet the full and entire approbation of every State is not perhaps to be expected, but each will doubtless consider, that had her interests been alone consulted, the consequences might have been particularly disagreeable or injurious to others; that it is liable to as few exceptions as could reasonably have been expected, we hope and believe; that it may promote the lasting welfare of that country so dear to us all, and secure her freedom and happiness, is our most ardent wish.

With great respect, we have the honour to be, Sir, your Excellency's most obedient and humble Servants,

By unanimous Order of the Convention.

His Excellency the President of Congress.

UNITED STATES in Congress Assembled.
Friday, September 28, 1787.

Present, New-Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New-York, New-Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia, North-Carolina, South-Carolina and Georgia, and from Maryland Mr. Ross. Congress having received the report of the Convention lately assembled in Philadelphia,

Resolved, unanimously, That the said report, with the resolutions and letter accompanying the same, be transmitted to the several Legislatures, in order to be submitted to a Convention of Delegates, chosen in each State by the People thereof, in conformity to the resolves of the Convention made and provided in that case.

State of Rhode-Island and Providence Plantations.

In GENERAL ASSEMBLY, October Session, 1787.

IT is Voted and Resolved, That the Report of the Convention, lately held at Philadelphia, proposing a new Constitution for the United States of America, be printed as soon as may be: That the following Number of Copies be sent to the several Town-Clerks in the State, to be distributed among the Inhabitants, that the Freemen may have an Opportunity of forming their Sentiments of the said proposed Constitution,to wit: For Newport 10, Portsmouth 25, Middletown 15, New-Shoreham 15, Jamestown 16, Tiverton 40, Little-Compton 36, Providence 10, Smithfield 75, Scituate 55, Foster 55, Glocester 60, Cumberland 40, Cranston 50, Johnston 30, North-Providence 20, Westerly 31, North-Kingstown 50, South-Kingstown 100, Charlestown 25, Richmond 25, Exeter 31, Hopkinton 30, Bristol 20, Warren 10, Barrington 10, Warwick 56, East-Greenwich 25, West-Greenwich 22, and Coventry 30.

A true Copy:
Witness, HENRY WARD, Sec'ry.


Sunday, September 17, 2006

What's going on....

Well, it is about 20 minutes until 9 on a Sunday night and I’ve been at the law library for about two hours with nothing to show for it except a couple hours wasted surfing the net. Before I head home, I thought I might make a post for those few faithful readers out there….

Well, law school is pretty much what I expected. Read, brief cases, and then, maybe if you can get a word in edge wise in a 90 person class, talk about them in class. Repeat. The work load is still pretty light or it might just be me. Some of my peers, especially those who haven’t worked before (straight from undergrad) have started to complain regarding the reading load, but so far I haven’t noticed. This isn’t half as much work as a real job and, at least, the subject matter is interesting.

Tomorrow the undergrads start class. It should changed the vibe on campus and probably create lines at the Starbuck across the street from the law school. I already feel old; I can’t imagine how I’ll feel with these teenagers about? The freshmen class was born in 1988, 1988!!

I took a walk on campus today before coming to the library. One thing about a private school versus a public school, we have better gardeners. Judging from my jogging path around UW, I’m not even sure that UW can even afford grounds staff anymore. The vegetation on their campus is all dry and dying. It doesn’t look like they even bother planting flowers anymore. SU, however, has oodles and oodles of plants and flowers on campus. It’s all very pretty. I’m looking forward to the foliage change. Some of the trees have started to turn with the recent cool down we’ve had, the fringes of the leaves have started to lighten as if they are being lit from inside. On my walk, I also noticed that the building across from the chapel (I think it’s the business school?) has what appears to be a huge, Chihuly chandelier. It might not be a Chihuly, though, as it isn’t listed on his website. However, his website only gives the locations of public installations and since SU is a private university I imagine it wouldn’t be listed. I might go over one day and have a closer look.

The bathroom remodel is almost done. However, as noted in my previous post, the electrician did not actually install the plugs and switches. While most of the plugs and switches aren’t a problem to install, the bathroom switches and plug present a puzzle and I can’t figure out how he wired it. I think I’m might have to call back the electrician and have him come do it. It hopefully won’t be more than an hour or two of work. The kitchen is on deck next. We have finally gotten the wood floor guy to agree on a date to come refinish the floors, so we have about a week and a half to get the old tile off of them. My dad gave me a tip he saw on the tv of freezing the tile with dry ice, and then it will break off, glue and all, from the floor beneath. I’m assuming it can’t be that easy, but I’ll give it a try.

In other new, I hope to have more discipline about reading up on current events. Lately, I’ve been so disconnected from what’s happening outside the walls of my own home and that of the law school. I hope to blog some more on current events, but I’m just not informed enough about anything going on right now (I guess I could turn this into a law blog, but I doubt people want to read my thoughts on adverse possession or the tort of battery).

Anyway, thanks for reading.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


Blogging, when paired with the google search engine, can bring to bear some odd results. For example, this blog was, for a few days, in the top five returns for a search involving "cheerleading", "football", and "lockers". Quite a few people followed the link to my page from this search. I can picture some sixteen year old girl's dissapointment when, after scouring the internet for locker decorating ideas, only found my random thoughts discussing if cheerleading is good or bad for young girls. (Yes, I choose to believe that a cheerleader was actually looking for locker decorating ideas rather than the more likely scenario of a horny, balding, middle-aged man looking for porn involving cheerleaders, football players and lockers...I call this choice selective naivetiy).

Anyway, in light of this search phenomenon, I thought I would populate this blog with some useful information that someone might actually be looking for on the net, service reviews of contractors. (It is difficult finding contractors and there is seldom any information on line, however, there are two review sites that I know of: Judy Book and Angie's List. I would suggest checking out these sites as well as this post, if you are actually in the market for contractors).

The Reviews:

CV Electric

Job: Our 1920's home had several electrical problems, namely most of the house was on an archiac fuse box (over fused bytheway) that had been supplemented overtime with more fuses and circuit breakers. We hired CV electric to replace the old fuse boxes and circuit breakers with a modern electrical panel. We also had them prepare our house for a service upgrade (120 V to 200V) and add some plugs/switches in the kitchen and bath.

How we found them: CV electric was a referral from our Realator. She had used them on her home and told us that the company was really good with older homes. We had found another electrician via Judy's Book, but we decided to go with CV electric because we liked the owner (Chris Valentino). The two price quotes we got were very similar but Chris was very personable and actually returned phone calls! (returning phone calls is a rarity in the contractor business, if you find someone who does, it's a big plus). [Chris does most of his work for a general contractor (Jackson Remodeling) who were are looking at for a sismic retrofit. Jackson Remodeling, however, doesn't seem to thrilled with the project and we probably won't go with them. Why give your money to someone who doesn't want it?]

Performance Review: Overall, we were very pleased with the work Chris did. They showed up on time and worked steadily throught the day. The work appears meticulous (they've even labled the actual wires, not just the panel) and it was done for less than we had expected to pay. We will most likely be calling him back when we expand the kitchen and build a second floor on the home. The only oddity (and there is always something) is that they didn't install the switches or the plugs. Chris said he would come back and do that after we've finished all the sheetrocking, painting, etc...but that's seem like a hassle to have to call him back and schedule two week in advance. It's not a big deal as installing switches and plugs is something I can do, it just seemed strange that it wasn't done. For all I know, however, this might just be industy practice.

O'Brien Plumbing

Job: Our house consisted of old iron and glavanized pipes that needed to be replaced. We hired a plumber to install copper pipes from our main water valve into the house. He repiped for the kitchen and the upstairs bath.

How we found them: My wife had looked up several plumber's names in the phonebook and online then gave them to me to call. I went online to research the first name on the list (I can't remember what that company was called). When I went to that company's website, they had an article from the Seattle PI reviewing local plumbers and rated them as the number 2 plumber in the region. The article, gave the number 1 rating to O'Brien plumbing. Anyway, I left a message for the company my wife had found and also called O'Brien plumbing. The first company never called me back, but O'Brien did.

Performance Review: We were pretty pleased with the job. The plubming looks good and he made some good recommendations, such as; replacing some iron drains we were just going to leave in. (It was a good suggestion, after he pulled out the drain pipe he found that it was nearly rotten and could have broke, flooding our basement.) The only oddity with him was that he only worked half days and thus the project took five days, he would work from 9 or 10 until noon or so. We would have preferred that he worked nearly a full day and thus cut the number of day he was working on the project. But, he got the job done, and we always had water after he left, so it wasn't the big of an inconvience to have him there that long. Again, we spent less then we had expected and we will most likely use him again in the future.

That's it, all the other work we've done ourselves. We have ordered windows from an establishment called ProCraft. So far, they've been great partners in the selling but they have yet to be install the window, so we'll let you know. We also have experience with some of the speciality tile stores, I might review them if I get a request.