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November 25, 2004

The Russians call it "Water of Life"

This evening during a rousing game of Trivial Pursuit (Genus III), Sarah's dad went to get himself a glass of water and arrived back at the table with about 8 ounces of clear liquid in his glass. Then he took a sip.

I haven't had a chance to polish off my entire cache of 5-times-filtered cheap vodka despite my best intentions, and I hadn't informed anyone that the filter pitcher in the fridge was full of vodka since it was pretty obvious that water was obtainable through the door spout. Force of habit caused Sarah's dad to get himself a big 'ol glass of vodka instead.

Posted by Half-Cocked at 10:24 PM | Comments (4)

November 24, 2004

Happy Thanksgiving Everybody

I sure am glad I'm not traveling. I just talked to a friend who left here early Wednesday afternoon for Chapel Hill via Chicago and Raleigh/Durham. He was still sitting at O'Hare.

The fresh 19 lb. turkey is soaking in the brine. The two stuffings and the sweet potatoes are cooked and just need to be warmed up tomorrow and the cranberry sauce is done. Hopefully we'll have enough wine for tomorrow.

Posted by Half-Cocked at 11:25 PM | Comments (5)

November 23, 2004

Like charcoal filtering from heaven

So, yesterday I went ahead and tried the cheap vodka filtering method I found thanks to fellow boozehound, E. Spatch. The story has also found its way onto Slashdot which means there's a legion of geeks out there rigging their water filter pitchers up to computers so they can minutely control the rate and flow of their filter as well as measure the impurities in the vodka (running on Linux, of course).

Since we got the new fridge what has water magically flowing from the door, our old filter pitcher has been in the basement. There's no better use for an unused water filter than filtering vodka, I must say. It seems to work pretty well. I filtered a 1.75 L jug of Popov 5 times and what remained was a flavorless, inoffensive booze. I haven't done the hangover stress-testing yet, but the opportunity may present itself over the weekend.

What you don't get is the little flavor characteristics you get from top-shelf vodka - the subtle sweetness of Ketel One, the slight oiliness of Stolichnaya, the earthiness of potato vodkas like Monopolowa or the pure spring water of Grey Goose.

There are dangers. Remember, it's vodka in there, not water. You're used to pouring a tall, cool glass of water from that pitcher. While a tall, cool glass of vodka might sound like fun, it's not advised. Pour into a shot glass first.

Posted by Half-Cocked at 04:57 PM | Comments (7)

80 Arguments Against Direct Democracy

The local newspaper apparently ran a feature in September inviting readers to submit laws they want to see passed. The aim was to pick one idea, find a state senator to sponsor it and follow it through the legislative process. A neat idea, really. It would help people learn more about the state legislative process and make people feel like they are involved in state government.

And then yesterday they printed 80 of the proposed laws (which weren't made available on-line, whether out of fear of ridicule or just laziness since their website is the worst of any paper that purports to serve half a million people).

See some of the proposals below the fold.

Here are some of the proposals printed yesterday. They range from the sensible to the Talibanic. (And no, I don't pay for this paper. UNL students get free copies of the Lincoln Journal-Star, Omaha World-Herald, New York Times, and USA Today.)

The Sensible

Prohibit lottery from requiring cashiers [at local businesses] tp push tickets. [it's quite annoying when you're accosted to buy scratch tickets everytime you buy gas or beer.]

Stiffen drunk driving penalties.

Allow independent voters to pick a partisan ballot in primary elections.

Any doctor put on probation by the state should be required to notify all patients in writing of the probation and why it was rendered. [not with the doctors' lobby in this state.]

Prohibit political parties from promoting candidates for non-partisan offices. [better to give up the ruse that our legislature is non-partisan, but it's in the right direction.]

The Talibanic

Every gang member over 20 who commits a felony should be treated like a terrorist and lose citizenship.

There should be a dress code for women, prohibiting showing cleavage. [more than a few classmates of mine would need to update their wardrobes, which is unfair...to me.]

Require people on welfare [who smoke] with children who have breathing problems to have counseling or be charged with child endangerment. [Are the children of non-welfare-receiving smokers any less endangered by secondhand smoke?].

Prohibit grandchildren from living more than one state away from grandparents. [Granny's pissed that you don't bring the little brat to visit her enough. And how exactly would this be enforced if the grandchildren lived in Utah?]

The Petty, Vindictive and Dumb

Prohibit Cable TV from adding new stations that people don't want.

Charge state income tax on retired railroad workers' income. [I really hate my neighbor, the retired railroad worker.]

Allow open alcohol containers in vehicles so that people won't throw out containers and trash the countryside. [???]

Create a panel of judges to review minor cases to determine if they are frivolous, paid for by the suing attorney. If case is determined to be frivolous, then the suing attorney is required to pay damages to the defendant as determined by the panel. [I have yet to meet a plaintiff's attorney who will file a "frivolous" lawsuit. They don't make any money that way. The frivolity I've seen has been corporations suing other corporations.]

Children should be given custody of the home. For visitation, the custodial parent leaves the home and the noncustodial parent comes into the home.
The paper published (and e-published) their top 10 today and for the most part they are sensible although raising the driving age to 18 would never fly in a state where a good number of kids drive 15 miles to school everyday. The taxing retired RR workers' benefits made it on there too. There must be an issue there I'm not aware of.

Posted by Half-Cocked at 03:53 PM | Comments (4)

November 19, 2004

Pick 'em

Last week: 1-3. Common wisdom was for shit. Record on the year: 22-15-1. I'll still take it.

Posted by Half-Cocked at 10:16 PM | Comments (3)

November 17, 2004

NO! Not Naked backs!

I guess I shouldn't be surprised at how big the hoo-ha over the intro to Monday Night Football has gotten, but I still am. For anyone not in the know, the intro involved Nicolette Sheridan, a peripheral character on ABC's Desperate Housewives, some terrific TV in my opinion, seducing Terrell Owens of the Philadelphia Eagles before a game. She dropped her towel and the viewing public saw...gasp...her naked back.

A few things about the show first. Edie, Sheridan's character in the show, is a skank and hasn't even appeared on the show for the last couple of episodes. It would have been way sexier if Gabrielle had been the one in the locker room. However, if you watch the show, you know that Terrell is way too old for Gabrielle.

And now the 21st Century Puritans are up in arms over a little bit of non-frontal nudity on TV. "What will I tell my children?" is the familiar refrain. I don't know about you all, but by the time I was five years old I understood that grownups who liked each other might want to see each other naked. By the time I was ten, I was thankful that Aaron, the kid down the street, had stolen a couple of his grandpa's Hustlers for our enjoyment. And shit, you see cartoon characters in towels seducing other cartoon characters on teevee. I think Bugs Bunny wore drag in order to seduce Elmer Fudd back in the 1950's. And don't forget daytime teevee which is dirtier than anything on primetime.

The NFL is especially hypocritical in this respect. Check out the cheerleaders of NFL teams that appear on TEEvee every Sunday and Monday. I use more floss in a week than those women wear. And then there's the unending commercials for boner pills. "Hey, daddy, what's erectile dysfunction?" Oh, and the official beer of the NFL, Coor Light and their skanky twins. "Umm, Dad, why do people like those twins?" The answer to both those questions would have to involve the phrase "because it's for men, honey," which gets to a bigger issue in our culture than the NFL can handle. Ads portraying men doped up on Cialis with their 36-hour boners are fine, but women getting off on something on TV is not. And this leads to the abortion issue which I won't even touch here.

I've always thought Tony Dungy, head coach of the Indianapolis Colts, was a twit on par with former Nebraska coach Ron Brown and now I know it's true. "To me that's the first thing I thought of as an African-American. I think it's stereotypical in looking at the players, and on the heels of the Kobe Bryant incident I think it's very insensitive. I don't think that they would have had Bill Parcells or Andy Reid or one of the owners involved in that," he added, a reference to the coaches in the game."

He went on to say that he hoped his team never played on Monday night again and how he didn't know how to explain it to his 12-year old son.

A couple of things, Tone. If you still think your almost teenage son needs an explanation, then you've either had him locked in a closet for the past twelve years or, more likely, as an NFL coach you've been working 100 hour weeks for the past 10+ years and can barely remember your son's name, you can thank one of his friends for filling him in on the birds y bees stuff.

And then there's the racial issue Tony raised. Is he offended because Nicolette wasn't hot enough for Terrell? I doubt it, so what does that leave? Remember when Cleavon Little said "Where're all the white women at?" in Blazing Saddles? Is Tony feeding all the racist fantasies of redneck Texans who drag black men behind their pickups? Don't portray interracial lovin' on the TeeVee because people don't like that? That's sorta what it seems like to me.

Seriously, get a grip. I was a kid once and I'm doing OK. I remember when my mom told me about the birds y bees. She was riding her exercise bike and she called me in to talk to her. I was eight years old and I was pissed because there was a movie on the Teevee about giant ants killing people that I was missing because I had to hear about daddy putting his hoohoo in mommy's chacha. In any case, I got the talk and if you saw the Simpsons last week you know what happened next.

Posted by Half-Cocked at 08:20 PM | Comments (2)

Nos postulo magis Latin Nomen?

Ex Mea Sententia just kindly left a comment in the post below and it reminded of something that I've been worried about for quite a while now. Is the Blawgosphere running out of Latin phrases for blawg names?

Here are the Latin-named blawgs from my blawgroll (there are many more, I'm just too lazy to update the 'roll) and their approximate translations:

Ex Mea Sententia = Of My Opinion [Sentiment, Thought]

Crescat Sententia = To Grow [Increase, Expand] Thought [Opinion, Sentiment]

De Novo = New; A Second Time

Inter Alia = Among Other Things

Soupie's BBQ and Daycare = Tits and Ass

Quasi in R.E.M. = As If Upon the Thing (the legal meaning is too long to type) or Almost Sleeping or Like a seminal alt-rock band from Athens, GA.

Slithery D = The Cock Master

Of course there are many more and I believe Evan has proposed new Latin-named blawgs on occasion. Paging through my little legal dictionary suggests that legal latin will remain a fertile ground for law-related weblogs for years to come. Might I suggest one for the next would-be blawger who is only be held back by the lack of a name: Injuria Absque Damno (Insult without Damage).

Posted by Half-Cocked at 01:48 PM | Comments (2)

November 16, 2004


Thanksgiving is coming next week and I can't wait. Yes, I get a five day weekend but it's my favorite holiday because it's all about massive piles of food and at least among my people, many bottles of wine.

Sarah and I are hosting a decent sized gathering this year. Her parents, my parents, my grandmother, her little sister and brother-in-law and my sister, including us, makes 10.

We're making the turkey, stuffing/dressing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes and cranberry sauce.

For the turkey, I'll do like I always do with whole birds, soak it in a brine for 12 hours and then roast it. I might grill it though. It just depends on how fired up I am. The stuffing, which isn't actually crammed into the bird's butt, but baked in a casserole pan, will consist of two varieties. One made with a combination of wheat and white bread, will have apple sausage in it. The other, made with cornbread, will contain dried cranberries and golden raisins. The mashed potatoes will be mostly butter and cream cheese. I've always wanted to try the method of baking the potatoes after boiling for maximum dryness so they'll absorb the maximum amount of fat. Maybe this time. The sweet potatoes will be baked with butter and brown sugar. The cranberry sauce will be made with whole cranberries cooked down with sugar and orange zest added.

My mom is in charge of cheesy side dishes, scalloped corn and this cheesy cauliflower dish she makes. Sarahs' mom is making pies and her sister is doing appeteazers. Sarah seems to have forgotten about the green bean casserole, thank god. I hope she doesn't read this before Thanksgiving and remember it.

Posted by Half-Cocked at 11:22 PM | Comments (5)

General Hoo-ha

Posting has been light lately for a couple of reasons. I have been ruthlessly enforcing a bed by midnight rule for the last week and on Sunday I also promulgated a 3-hours of study before bed rule without a notice-and-comment period. That rule took effect immediately and the only person with standing, me, has not filed a challenge in district court. Ripeness would be a problem anyway since there is a myriad of adminstrative remedies available to me. I could file a request to allow temporary leave to drink for a night, or a request to allow for an extra hour of sleep at night, or a whole lot of other crap that would really annoy an ALJ.

And I've also been reading way too much Administrative law.

Posted by Half-Cocked at 11:08 PM

Spring 2L Schedule, Final Version

Pre-Trial Litigation Lecture 8:00-8:50
Civil Rights Litigation 3:00-4:15
Pre-Trial Litigation Skills 4:30-6:30

Civil Rights Litigation 3:00-4:15

Corporations 1:00-1:50

Mass Communications 10:30-11:45
Corporations 1:00- 1:50

Mass Communications 10:30-11:45
Corporations 1:00- 1:50

This is my stop-and-take-a-breath semester. I'll probably do moot court and possibly client counseling so I'll have plenty of other crap to take up my time. 12 hours, 4 classes, 2 exams, 1 paper (for Mass Communications and I already have the topic). I'll have to take a summer class this year, probably Legal Profession during the 1st 5 week session, but I can handle that.

Posted by Half-Cocked at 11:00 PM | Comments (3)

November 12, 2004

24 days until my first exam and the beginning of hell week

I've got four exams between Monday December 6 and Saturday December 11 and then I have a nice 4 day lay off until Evidence on December 15. My laptop is at the Best Buy service center in Denver suffering from a bad connection between the AC adapter input and the battery. The dork at Best Buy told me I'd have it back by November 19. He'd better be right or so help me and my poor cramped left hand (from writing).

Handicapping my exams

Level of confidence right now (Scale = 1 - 10 (10 being best(doy).) Chance of doing well compared to the curve (1 to 5 +'s)

Constitutional Law (Monday Dec. 6, 9 a.m.) - 7+++ - I'm pretty confident in this class but the material is pretty easy so there must be a good number of my classmates who feel the same.

Criminal Procedure (Wed. Dec. 8, 9 a.m.) - 4++++ - I haven't studied this much outside of class and it's bitch material but easily absorbed.

Unfair Competition (Thurs. Dec. 9, 9 a.m.) - 9+++++ - Trademark and copyright stuff is right in my comfort zone. I try hard to not be a gunner in this class but it's tough when no one else will volunteer.

Administrative Law (Sat. Dec. 11, 9 a.m.) - 5++ - This is going to be tough. I should have had Con Law down before taking this, but the school doesn't limit registration to 3L's only. The material is beginning to coalesce for me, but I hope it's not too late. Good thing the library has the Nutshell book for this, written by the author of the casebook.

Evidence (Wed. Dec. 15, 9 a.m.) - 5++++ - While I haven't done much outside of class, I have nearly 4 full days to prepare.

Posted by Half-Cocked at 10:51 PM

I almost forgot

And I did forget last week. The weekly college football picks so many depend on to pay rent, fund their IRAs and send money to their parents back home in Albania took a week off. I hope no one is outdoors because of it. After going 3-0-1 (Nice push, Georgia. You couldn't cover 7 against a poor Florida team with a lame duck coach?) two weeks ago, we now stand at 21-12-1, a true mandate from the football gambling oddsmakers.

This week:

I'll probably be saying a few things about college hoops soon, but if you've got the bug, March Madness is only 4 1/2 months away and Yoni Cohen at THE college basketball blog has been posting great stuff multiple times each day.

Posted by Half-Cocked at 10:19 PM

November 09, 2004

My Schedule, Spring 2005

Pre-Trial Litigation - 8-8:50
Civil Rights Litigation - 3-4:15

Civil Rights Litigation - 3-4:15
Pre-Trial Litigation - 4:30-6:30

Craporations - 1-1:50
Provider/Patient Law - 2:10-3:00

Mass Communications - 10:30-11:45
Craporations - 1-1:50
Provider/Patient Law - 2:10-3:00

Mass Communications - 10:30-11:45
Craporations - 1-1:50
Style & Composition - 2:10-3:00

13 Credit Hours of Easy (the 3 credit hour Corps. class is the easy-with-a-capital-E section, there's a 4 credit hour section in the Fall for people who care), only one day where I need to wake up before 9:30 (including two sleep til noon days if I so choose) and only two exams.

Posted by Half-Cocked at 11:36 PM

November 05, 2004

You'll Shoot Your Eye Out!

I was doing a little research today on jury verdicts in cases involving putting someone's eye out and came across this gem:

In the Superior Court of Los Angeles County in the matter of Timothy A. King, a minor v. Billy Clark, plaintiff was awarded $286,282 by default judgment.

FACTS: On July 12, 2003, plaintiff Timothy King, 12 and a student, went to his friends apartment. At the apartment, the friend's father, ex-Marine Billy Clark, the defendant, decided to play 'Marines' with the boys. He turned the lights out and gave them rifles that fired metal pellets. During the game, Clark shot King several times. One of the shots hit him in the eye. King sued Clark for negligence and intentional tort.

Posted by Half-Cocked at 09:11 PM | Comments (1)

November 04, 2004

To Nanowri or not?

So a couple of months ago I was fairly enthusiastic about NaNoWriMo, but now that it's time to nationally novel write, I can't bring myself to write anything. I had tons of neato ideas coursing through my head, but now...eh, I don't know. None of my characters or plots I had knocking around inside my head sound interesting enough to write, or fun enough to write for that matter. If I write anything right now I'm afraid it would wind up being a pseudo-Kafkaesque journey of one man through the informal adjudication process of the Social Security Administration.

I might give it a try later but if I don't get anything going tonight, it's not going to happen.

Posted by Half-Cocked at 08:26 PM | Comments (1)

November 03, 2004

What Can I Say?

I feel a profound sadness about the direction in which my country is going. After looking at what happened in states like Ohio, where it's increasingly clear that a combination of neo-Jim Crow activity and homophobia were what swung the election, I don't know how I feel about half of my fellow citizens. Is that what fuels you? Hate? Fear? Fear of being Spain? I could almost understand if people voted for Bush because they were afraid of terrorists. There's certainly been enough fearmongering on that side to make people believe that George W. Bush is a steadfast warrior against terrorism, although I still haven't had a Bush voter answer my question on this subject.

But fear of not just men marrying men but of a homosexual having the civil benefits of that institution? I can't process why this is such a big issue for so many people. The threat of gay marriage? Is that what's causing the divorce rate in the Bible Belt to be twice as high as in the liberal Northeast and West?

I don't know what else to say but that I'm sad for my country and feel a fundamental change in myself and how I view the world and this country.

Posted by Half-Cocked at 04:15 PM | Comments (2)

Congrats to OK for electing a confirmed eugenicist

Amazing that a guy who sterilizes poor women without their consent, says that black people should favor privatizing social security because they are genetically predisposed to die earlier, and gets the endorsement of the KKK can get elected to the United States Senate. That's Oklahoma for ya.

Posted by Half-Cocked at 02:17 AM

Congrats to KY for re-electing a man clearly suffering from dementia

Jim Bunning has been cuckoo for months. Is it his lost World Series chance? Or is he just way too old and way too crazy. I'd tell you but there are strangers about.

Posted by Half-Cocked at 02:14 AM

Congrats to the poorest counties in the nation for voting for Bush again

I knew you had it in you to vote against your best interest again. And you wonder why you're in the Bottom 10 every four years. Suckers.

Posted by Half-Cocked at 01:00 AM | Comments (1)

November 02, 2004

Players! The Weekend Comes Early!

If you're itchin' for action NOW, hit the offshore books and grab some Kerry Steam. At my favorite German sports book Intertops Kerry is sitting at 1.5:1, Bush at 2.6:1. Kerry is easy money, and if you're a Republican with a lot of faith, almost 3 to 1 is a can't miss. Don't forget the 15% election day bonus. It's free money, Players!

Posted by Half-Cocked at 04:05 PM

I just walked a hundred blocks and boy are my feet tired

I skipped class today with the blessing of my professors and showed up at the Connealy campaign HQ at 9 this morning. They gave me a map, some addresses and some precint cards and I hit the bricks, er, concrete. It was kind of odd that I wound up with the precint directly across the street from the Law College. When I walked along Holdrege Street I could see the school. It was cold walking the precinct, but it was more fun than Administrative Law.

I now feel confident that all good Democrats between Holdrege and Vine, from 38th to 48th, now know to go vote. Of course, all the retirees in the neighborhood had already voted. It was really nice to have people thank me when I knocked on their doors, even if they'd already voted.

Posted by Half-Cocked at 03:09 PM

November 01, 2004


I almost forgot to post the missus and I in our Halloween costumes. This was from Saturday night after we'd spent all day hung over so we weren't having a whole lotta fun. Friday night was the law school free beer Halloween party and we had our share of the free stuff. It looks like some other people did, too. (Alas, he edited it. It was even better before when it was titled "I am a cockmaster.")


Posted by Half-Cocked at 10:42 PM

Final Election Predictions


Best Case Scenario

Kerry (326) - The Blue states plus IA, CO, NM, MI, FL, OH, AR, PA, MN, WI. Kerry is surging in the midwest and FL and I think Badnarik will hurt Bush in NM and CO.

Bush (212).

Worst Case Scenario

Kerry (282) - Loses OH, CO, NM and AR from above plus HI swings to Bush.
Bush (256).

What I think will happen

Kerry (320) - Same as the first scenario save for AR.
Bush (218).

I have some thoughts on the Senate and House but the numbers are too big. Kerry wins so his replacement is picked in a special election early next year. The Dems pick up seats in AK, IL, OK (Coburn just wrapped up the KKK endorsement), CO and maybe KY. They lose SC and GA.

The Dems will also have a net pickup in the House but will still be slightly the minority party there.

Posted by Half-Cocked at 09:09 PM | Comments (1)

...And all the 'backers in the Top 10, please allow me to bump thee

Is that the Humpty Dance Ray Lewis does when he twitches and flops around before games?

Let's ask Humpty Hump:

First I limp to the side like my leg was broken
Shakin' and twitchin' kinda like I was smokin'
Crazy wack funky
People say ya look like M.C. Hammer on crack, Humpty
That's all right 'cause my body's in motion
It's supposed to look like a fit or a convulsion
Anyone can play this game
This is my dance, y'all, Humpty Hump's my name
No two people will do it the same
Ya got it down when ya appear to be in pain


Posted by Half-Cocked at 07:01 AM