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,

I haven't given any mention of 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....