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December 31, 2004

Happy New Year

For the first time in a couple years we're not having a New Year's Eve party. It's nice in some ways - I don't have to worry about the 7 a.m. stragglers, for one, but it's also comforting to be in your own home on New Year's Eve and not out on the streets or with a bunch of people you don't know.

We're going out to dinner with 13 friends and then down to Duffy's for the New Year's Eve Head of Femur show. It appears they haven't updated their web page in months, but they do have a new record coming out on Spin Art this spring.

If you're going out, have fun and be safe.

Posted by Half-Cocked at 05:57 PM

Note the Disaster Relief Links at the top of the sidebar

Sarah got an email yesterday from her cousin who's over in India beginning work on her Master's in Public Health. The city she's in was just missed by the tsunami and her email expressed the reality of the situation more clearly than all the TV and internet stories I've seen combined.

There was a lot of helplessness in the email, too. She's there to learn how to deal effectively with exactly this type of situation but as a very new foreign student, there's not a lot she can do, even if she was allowed to do it.

Please send some money to one of the organizations I've listed or any others that you feel can help. I'm hearing more and more that Doctors Without Borders is the way to go because they have the lowest administrative costs.

Posted by Half-Cocked at 03:48 AM

Maybe you'd prefer Peanut Butter, the Dressed Up Dog, instead.

What's the big deal with Anonymous Lawyer? Clearly, many blawgers think it's the best thing since Dippin' Dots, the Ice Cream of the Future (nothing is, by the way). Others, including Soupie, Larry and E. Spatulee have expressed their displeasure with all the accolades being showered on Jeremy Blachman after his unmasking as the Anonymous Lawyer.

Personally, before this week I probably only read AL two or three times since it burst into bloghood last March. It wasn't interesting to me. Neither was And What Thanks Do We Get which appears to have withered away. Interestingly, one of the last comments posted on AWT made oblique reference to Jeremy in a way that relates to this post as will become apparent later.[1]

Anyway, every so often I'd notice Evan trying to start a movement to get the AL a book deal or spending a lot of time deconstructing AL.[2] I never really bothered reading any of it until now because I just wasn't interested in AL. I got it, sure. Big Law hiring partner is a jerk who knows he's a jerk but he'll keep on being a jerk because he can be a jerk. I just didn't care and therefore didn't read AL. I don't want to work for Big Law and don't care what a fictional hiring partner thinks.

The problem with AL was that he confessed to his fictionality too soon and thus the punchline to the joke went on for way too long until people started to forget it was a joke. The satire was always clear, though. Whether it was good satire or not seems to be a point of contention. It appears to me that the Big Law and former Big Law blawgers, along with people who know Jeremy a lot better than I do, all loved Jeremy's treatment of Big Law while others weren't so hot on it.

If I put on my Justice Scalia robe and get out my dictionary (m-w.com) I discover that satire is "a literary work holding up human vices and follies to ridicule or scorn" which seems to fit AL to a tee if you understand where he's coming from. The problem is, there's a sense out there among many law students and the public at large that partners at Big Law are exactly as presented in AL.

That's why I think for AL to really work it needed to be more over the top. The recent post about making the fat paralegal dress up as a piñata on Cinco de Mayo is a good example of what I'm talking about. There was a little bit of a human side that sometimes snuck into the AL's posts from time to time which also detracted from the satire.

Another issue arose today concerning the satirical quality of AL. David Giacalone got his haiku in a twist and accused unnamed readers of thinking that the author of AL condoned the actions of the fictional AL referring to them as "otherwise intelligent," and shaking his head sadly at the thought that young lawyers and law students need emoticons to help them understand what it all means.

E. Spatch didn't appear to be too happy with that remark and told him so, basically saying she didn't care, she just didn't find it funny. David misinterpreted her objections. You can read all about it.

I think it's pretty clear to anyone and everyone that AL was satire intended to denigrate the Big Law hiring partner, not condone his conduct. No emoticons necessary.

Finally, Evan took issue with what he perceived as personal attacks on Jeremy. There were some, for sure. Soup, soupra, wasn't too kind to Jeremy's writing and it came across as a personal attack on Jeremy. He also took a pretty good swipe at Crescat in the process (maybe Soup should revive Assprat Pretentia). I don't have any problem with Crescat although it does tend to get a little deep over there every once in awhile.

I've never been a huge fan of Jeremy's writing, although he was enjoyable to read when I first started reading blawgs way back when. Like with AL, I probably hadn't read Jeremy's Weblog more than a couple of times in the past year until this week. There was a point where I'd read one too many song parodies (There was a political blog I quit reading for the same reason about a year ago. The only song parodies I like are "Amish Paradise" and the one about Star Wars set to the tune of "American Pie") or seen one too many lists of things to do with Harvard where I just quick checking it.

Like Energy Spatula said,

I really liked Jeremy's Weblog, especially when he was a 1L and I think I could more relate to what he was saying. As he progressed in school and it became more about song parodies and stuff like that, I still read it, just not as often because it wasn't about anything I could relate to, and while I think he has written some things that are funny and articulate, the topics just didn't draw me in like they had before."

There was also the lack of paragraph breaks, which I did find maddening, although he seems to have gotten better about that. Sometimes it was like trying to read The Autumn of the Patriarch, and while that might be OK for Gabriel Garcia-Marquez after he'd established himself as a genius, it doesn't work for a blog.

I recognize that Jeremy is a very good writer and I wish him luck in his writing career. I also recognize that Thomas Mann is a very good writer. That doesn't mean I have to like Death in Venice or The Magic Mountain. It's just too bad that Jeremy had to go through three years of law school and spend an inordinate amount of time on AL in order to get that opportunity.

I do enjoy the nasty back and forth of blawgers during the holiday break. What else do we have to do?


[1]"I applaud you for "telling it like it is" and not writing fatuous song parodies, lists or other junk."

[2] The deconstruction post is quite good and gives an inadvertent clue to the identity of AL by noting that AL had an annoying way of writing big paragraphs without breaks.

Posted by Half-Cocked at 12:02 AM | Comments (6)

December 30, 2004

New Year's Eve Eve Party

I'm about to leave for a party so I won't be able to get my probably pointless AL/JB post done until later. Hopefully when I return after I've had a few I'll finish it and say more things I'll probably regret.

Posted by Half-Cocked at 06:26 PM

December 29, 2004

Top 30 Albums of 2004 as selected by me - Part One: 30-21

I don't have the patience to do all 30 at once so here's 30-21.

30. Deerhoof - Milkman - Weird stuff, but more focused than past releases, from the cute Sonic Youth influenced group from San Francisco. Hooded milkmen luring children is the theme.

29. Mission of Burma - OnoffOn - MoB returns after 16 years to release a record that sounds surprisingly like they've been stuck in 1988 for those 16 years. Comfortably familiar yet blisteringly intense and neurotic.

28. The Trouble with Sweeney - Fishtown Briefcase - A perfect little EP for the past summer full of great little pop/alt-country tunes that tell great stories (and a cover of Wings' "Listen to what the man said.") A fishtown briefcase is a loose-case of cans of beer, btw.

27. Pavement - Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain - remixed and remastered with 30+ extra songs - This album originally came out ten years ago and it's even better now, especially with all the extra stuff.

26. De La Soul - The Grind Date - Hip hop legends back and better than ever. One of many good rap albums that came out in 2004.

25. M83 - Dead Cities, Red Seas and Lost Ghosts - 21st century Electronica meets My Bloody Valentine and makes beautiful music.

24. Sonic Youth - Sonic Nurse - Every couple of years I look up and one of my all-time favorite bands has released a new album. They've been around for over twenty years now and while nothing will touch their late 80's output (Daydream Nation, Sister, Evol), their new stuff is still better than 99% of what's out there.

23. Dave Douglas Quintet - Strange Liberation - Former John Zorn and Anthony Braxton sideman's 7th album retreats a little from the electronic experimentation of Freak In for a very Miles-ish record. Bill Frisell joins the band for this one which makes it extra good.

22. Franz Ferdinand - Franz Ferdinand - This record is better than I give it credit for but overexposure dulls the edginess after awhile.

21. Rilo Kiley - More Adventurous - A bit twee in places for me, but "It's a Hit" and "Portions for Foxes" among other great songs, make up for it. Jenny Lewis's voice is enough to do it for me (and I didn't even like Troop Beverly Hills).

Posted by Half-Cocked at 10:57 PM | Comments (5)

Christmas Cash?

Admit it, you were just going to spend your extra Christmas loot on books or booze anyway.

People I trust to know about these sorts of things suggested the following organizations, among many other reputable ones, for tsunami/earthquake relief contributions.

Doctors Without Borders

International Red Cross Red Crescent

Oxfam International

Give a little.

Posted by Half-Cocked at 10:32 PM

December 28, 2004

Top Albums of 2004

One of my favorite parts about the end of the calendar year is finding out what other people thought was good. I'm not going to touch film or books since there are only a couple of good movies released each year and I don't have the time or money (my public library fine is large and unpaid) to read a bunch of newly released books right now. Music is easier since I subscribe to Roadrunner Rhapsody.

First, some other lists:

This post has gotten a bit long so I'm going to save my Top 30 for a post tomorrow. My picks will be limited to what I've heard, meaning as a poor law school student I couldn't afford to hear everything there was to offer this year. Most labels get their stuff on Rhapsody but Merge doesn't which means I haven't heard The Arcade Fire and thus can't include all the critical faves in my list (and it also means I can't hear my favorite Superchunk albums when I want to).

Posted by Half-Cocked at 11:12 PM | Comments (1)

December 26, 2004

RIP, Reggie White

Reggie White, dead at 43

If you don't care about football or don't have a husband who has the radio in the bathroom tuned to sports talk radio, you probably have no idea who Reggie White was. A pro football player. A defensive end. Had the most sacks of any player in NFL history.

He was certainly a great football player and had a personality that matched his size. He's also being eulogized as an even greater person off the field. A number of football people believe that. Of course, it's expected to say nice things about a public figure when he dies, so I don't necessarily hold anything against these people, but...

I don't agree with them. John Aravosis at America Blog has compiled a selection of Reggie's greatest hits for your perusal. Some of them, especially the excerpts from the speech Reggie gave to the Wisconsin legislature have been fodder for Jim Rome and other talk radio personalities for years. The more vitriolic homophobic comments weren't ever given as much air time since they weren't funny.

Reggie White was a football player and a minister and was supposed to be a role model for the boys and young men who looked up to him as a great football player. He used that position to spread hate and fear. That's sad.

Posted by Half-Cocked at 11:26 PM | Comments (1)

Posner's Postings

Don't forget, Judge Posner is guest-blogging at Professor Leiter's blog this week. Should be interesting.

Posted by Half-Cocked at 11:16 PM

Reversible Error?

Lincoln's first big murder trial in a long time came to an end last week with the jury finding Lucky Iromuanya guilty of second-degree murder in the shooting death of Jenna Cooper last summer. Immediately after the trial, almost every lawyer I talked to said something along these lines:"It's too bad they're going to have to do it all over again."

Why? The prosecutor's decision to put Ms. Cooper's mother on the stand on the first day of the trial to give completely irrelevant character testimony. Testimony the judge allowed over the objection of defense counsel.

The issue in itself was simple although the determination would be more difficult.

Did Lucky Iromuanya intend to kill a popular Nebraska soccer player and injure another at a college party in April?

"It's not a whodunit, is it?" his attorney, Korey Reiman, told potential jurors. He said Iromuanya's intent will be a key issue.

The facts are pretty sad; essentially an argument over who stole some shot glasses at a party.

Cooper was excited about the party she was throwing, calling a former teammate repeatedly to ask when she was showing up.

Cooper had anchored an NU defense that helped the Huskers make their eighth straight NCAA tournament in 2003. For hours, some of the team hung out. Eventually the party grew to include men who practice with them, tutors and friends of friends.

Iromuanya was invited by a woman he'd been dating. At the party, he knew only the woman and a friend who came along.

Iromuanya and the friend were leaving just before 2 a.m. when someone at the party learned that some shot glasses had been taken.

Some people went around trying to find the glasses and the thief. That's when Jenkins confronted Iromuanya.

Attorneys for both sides said the men scuffled and separated. Cooper went to Iromuanya, who was angry that he'd been hassled and touched. She told him: "I'm touching you. It's fine."

The real culprit of the shot-glass theft was found. Jenkins approached Iromuanya again, the attorneys said.

Jenkins' intent, prosecutor Jeff Mathers said, was to apologize. But Iromuanya was mad and fired his gun.

But attorney Korey Reiman's version differed. He said in his opening statement that Jenkins got inches from Iromuanya's face. Iromuanya was scared and fired his gun to scare others away, Reiman said.

The pertinent statutes are § 28-304 which says "A person commits murder in the second degree if he causes the death of a person intentionally, but without premeditation," and § 28-305 - " A person commits manslaughter if he kills another without malice, either upon a sudden quarrel, or causes the death of another unintentionally while in the commission of an unlawful act."

From my place on the sidelines, judging from the facts, it would appear to be manslaughter considering:

In order to support a conviction of second degree murder, the
defendant must intend to kill; the prosecution must prove, beyond a
reasonable doubt, that the defendant caused the victim's death
intentionally. State v. Franklin, 241 Neb. 579, 489 N.W.2d 552 (1992).

The essential elements of second degree murder are that the
murder must be done purposely and maliciously. State v. Dean,
237 Neb. 65, 464 N.W.2d 782 (1991).

I admit a bit of rooting interest in the defense in this case since I went to high school with the lead defense counsel but still intent to kill would be a big roadblock to me in reaching a murder two verdict in this case. From the facts, the bullet grazed the scalp of the person Lucky was quarrelling with so it would appear to me that he was not aiming the weapon at that person and did not intend to kill him. The bullet then hit Jenna Cooper and Iromuanya clearly did not intend to kill Cooper.

Of course, the intent issue has nothing to do with Ellen Cooper's testimony. Will the Nebraska Court of Appeals decide that it was harmless error, that the jury would have reached the same verdict even without the prejudicial testimony? Or will they give Judge Colborn a scolding and tell him to do it again?

Personally, I think there was a bigger, racial issue at the root of the verdict. Jenna Cooper was a cute, white, All-American soccer player. Lucky Iromuanya is a young black man with corn rows who was known to carry a gun. Right after the incident, a local neo-nazi group began flyering Lincoln neigborhoods with racist literature. The flyers were widely covered in the Journal-Star and the topic was addressed in the editorial pages several times. The ugly issue was there, all right. No one will ever know if that affected the jury.

Posted by Half-Cocked at 10:14 PM | Comments (5)

December 24, 2004

The Christmas Sweater

sweatah.jpg
My Christmas Sweater


This is my Christmas sweater. Does it look very threadbare to you? I got it for Christmas in 1984 when I was in 7th grade. It's never seemed ill-fitting. When I was 12 it didn't seem too large and now it still fits fine. It might be the most perfect sweater ever.

My mom hates it, though. When I was still wearing it in undergrad she was willing to let it go but by 1994 she began to criticize the Christmas sweater. Now it has become a Christmas tradition, along with forcing her to watch at least two cycles of A Christmas Story, for me to wear the sweater in a taunting manner. Last year she pretended like she didn't notice I was wearing it. Oh, she noticed all right.

We're about to leave for the parents' place to eat too much food and open a few gifts. The Christmas sweater is fitting nicely and as it turns 20 years old I can only hope that it will provide another 20 years of Christmas warmth and Christmas joy.

Merry Christmas everyone. Have fun and be safe.

Posted by Half-Cocked at 04:46 PM | Comments (1)

December 22, 2004

He's got a bad haircut but...

There's been a lot said about Social Security privatization lately from the blogs to Governor Bush who admitted he has no idea what he's talking about:

And so, I just want to try to condition you. I'm not doing a very good job, because the other day in the Oval, when the press pool came in, I was asked about this the a series of questions a question on Social Security with these different aspects to it. And I said, I'm not going to negotiate with myself. And I will negotiate at the appropriate time with the law writers. And so, thank you for trying.

However, Mark Cuban, internet billionaire, professional twit and owner of the Dallas Mavericks has some very important things to say about this issue.

But before I quote Cuban, remember, SS was designed not as a savings account for retirement, that's what 401(k)'s, pensions (nevermind the corporate looting of employee pension funds) and IRA's are for. SS was designed as a safety net to keep people from slipping into absolute poverty once they lose their means of financial support, not as a slush fund for the government to steal (remember Al Gore's "Lock Box?") from when it digs itself into a deficit as has been going on for the last four years. Now the government says there's a crisis in SS, although there really isn't but there may be a fiscal crisis hiding if SS is undone.

Anway, Cuban's take on this deal is that it's a sucker's game.

Along comes the Presidents proposal which kind of flips the logic. Now the admission is no longer that we as individuals can no longer save money, its that we as a country can no longer save money. Our politicians who might have been able to save money in better times, didnt. As a result, as a country it appears that we will be unable to meet our future obligations for Social Security.

Rather than shaving off all the pork we feed our politicians, and beyond in order to create funding to meet our obligation, the President has decided to relinquish part of the obligation back to us, in hopes that each of us make more than the government could, and pay for more of our own, and our childrens future. To put it another way, keep some of your social security contributions and play the financial markets lottery.

The one quote that stands out from the Bush Administration in all this is Scottie McClellan telling reporters that people have to be convinced there's a crisis. Thanks for the sincere convincing Scottie.

Posted by Half-Cocked at 12:12 AM

December 21, 2004

Save dem tails

There's a PSA the Nebraska Game & Parks Commission has been running for the last couple of months that I find quite amusing, and like many radio ads, it's indelibly etched into my brainium. Basically, it's an ad for a fishing lure company that buys squirrel tails for use in making lures.

The folksy old fella in the spot says: "Obviously there are a lot of hunters out there that like to make up a tasty stew and just throw the tails out. We don't want them to do that."

You can get a good bounty for each tail or, if you trade them for fishing gear, you can double the value of each tail. I now think of my front yard with the two giant maple trees in it as an untapped gold mine.

I don't ever remember anyone making squirrel stew when I was growing up. My hometown has 80 people in it and most of my friends growing up were farm kids and everyone hunted. Never, ever, ever did we eat bushy-tailed tree rat stew.

Maybe I'm missing something, but if red rodent stew is so popular surely I should be able to stop into any of the small-town taverns and diners that dot the landscape and order up a big bowl. Except I've never seen it offered. Pig balls, yes. Squirrel stew sans tail, no.

Posted by Half-Cocked at 01:07 AM | Comments (11)

December 20, 2004

Outrage!

Dear Leader today said "Happy Holidays" at the beginning of his hilarious press conference. Does this mean he hates Christmas, or is Happy Holidays maybe just a fairly traditional greeting for this time of year?

Why was it hilarious? Check this out, although the audio is really necessary for full appreciation.

QUESTION: A month ago, in Chile, you asked Vladimir Putin (news - web sites) to explain why he has taken actions widely seen as a move away from democracy. What do you think Mr. Putin's intentions are? And do you think that Russia's behavior has chilled relations with the United States?

BUSH: As you know, Vladimir Putin and I have got a good personal relationship, starting with our meeting in Slovenia. I intend to keep it that way.

It's important for Russia and the United States to have the kind of relationship where if we disagree with decisions we can do so in a friendly and positive way.

When Vladimir made the decision, for example, on the whether to elect governors or appoint governors, I issued a statement that said in a free society, in a society based upon Western values, we believe in the proper balance of power.

I think he took that on and absorbed that in the spirit in which it was offered, the spirit of two people who have grown to appreciate each other and respect each other.

I'll continue to work with him in a new term.

And obviously we have some disagreements. He probably has disagreements over some of the decisions I've made. Clearly one such decision was in Iraq.

But this is a vital and important relationship, and it's a relationship where, you know it's complicated. It's complex rather than complicated.[???] It's complex because we have joint efforts when it comes to sharing intelligence to fight terrorism.

We've got work to do to secure nuclear materials. I look forward to working with the Russians to continue to expand cooperation.

I think one of the things we need to do is to give the Russians equal access to our sites -- our nuclear storage sites -- to see what works and what doesn't work, to build confidence between our two governments.

Obviously there's a lot of trade that's taking place trade that's taking place between Russia and the West and the United States. And that trade relationship is an important relationship.

I told Vladimir that we would work in a new term to see if Russia could be admitted to the WTO. I think that would be a positive step for relations between our two countries.

And I'll continue to express my belief that, you know, balanced government, the sharing of power amongst government, will lead to stability in Russia.

And the relationship's an important relationship, and I would call the relationship a good relationship.

I stipulate we have a relationship with Russia.

Posted by Half-Cocked at 10:58 PM | Comments (2)

December 17, 2004

Blog Design Time

Now that the semester's over and the sleep deprivation and hangovers are gone, it's finally time for me to dig into the CSS and change from the default MT template. I'm not sure what direction to take it but don't be surprised if shit is broken every now and then over the next few weeks.

Browser share over the last couple of months has been tilting more and more toward Firefox/Mozilla/Netscape 6.0+ to the point where Gecko (the rendering engine inside Mozilla) now makes up over 50% of visits. Therefore any CSS will be optimized for Firefox and if IE's broken rendering engine can't display something right, that's too bad, unless it's easily hackable.

Of course, I may get distracted by Rome: Total War and not do anything else until school starts on Jan. 10.

Posted by Half-Cocked at 03:32 PM

December 16, 2004

"If TV has taught me anything, it's that miracles always happen to poor kids at Christmas."

holimastree.jpg
Last year's Half-Cocked Christmas Tree

There's a lot of hoo-ha right now from the Teevee about how people are saying "Holiday" instead of "Christmas" and how it somehow excludes the poor ol' Christians, although if you think about it objectively, "Holiday" includes everyone. The worst is the outrage over people, like Michael Bloomberg, referring to a "Holiday Tree." I don't know which is dumber, the words themselves, or the outrage over the words.

First, in this day and age, it's a Christmas Tree whether you like it or not, and Bloomberg calling the Rockefeller Center tree a Holiday Tree doesn't change the fact that it's official name is the 72nd Annual Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree. But to suggest that saying "holiday" instead of "Christmas" is somehow changing the meaning of Christmas is laughable.

Now for a little selective Bible quotation --

Hear ye the word which the LORD speaketh unto you, O house of Israel:

Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.

For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe.

They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not.

Jeremiah, 10:1-4, King James Version

Now one could argue this is the LORD speaking to the Israelites and doesn't have anything to do with Christianity. Someone decided to fix this problem. The New King James Version changes "heathen" to "Gentile," thus making Christmas trees Christian in the sense that "Gentile" in modern usage means "Christian." Just ignore the fact that there were no Christians during the time period Jeremiah represents. Also, go ahead and ignore the problem of interpreting Old Testament scripture to represent Christian values. Leviticus, anyone?

Christmas traditions are far more pagan than anyone wants to admit. The tree is definitely pagan and so is the date, established to coincide with existing pagan celebrations around the winter solstice. One of my classmates used to teach elementary children in a Lutheran school and she said they weren't allowed to do any Santa stuff. I asked why she was allowed to decorate a Christmas tree in class since it was pagan while Santa Claus was just a corporate creation to induce consumerism. The answer eluded both of us, but its pretty apparent if you think about it.

If you really want Christmas to be about Christ, get rid of your tree, your Santa Claus, your binge drinking at holiday Christmas parties, your rampant consumerism and exchange a little frankincense and myrrh with your family, go to Mass, pray, sing "Silent Night" and reflect on the birth of the baby Jesus. Or, if you like all the fun and partying, you could chill out and stop acting like you're Daniel in the lions' den.

Posted by Half-Cocked at 04:28 PM | Comments (3)

December 15, 2004

Compelling evidence that evidence sucks

As Justin points out our evidence exam today was ridiculous. I'd go so far as to say it was the most difficult exam I've taken. Rumours (hearsay?) of people seen crying after the exam have reached me. I wasn't crying, nor did I witness anyone crying, but I could see why someone might.

Posted by Half-Cocked at 10:53 PM

Done

I'm done for the semester. more on that later. For now, check out what was blocking the driveway when I got home from my last exam. A bad omen for sure, but at least it wasn't a train.

wreck.jpg

Posted by Half-Cocked at 01:28 PM | Comments (2)

December 13, 2004

"A Cat Wedding, Tonight at 10"

Those were the words from Channel 8's, Dick Janda, in his little "news" update halfway through Desperate Housewives last night. I missed it so thank Gawd the the local rag covered it on the front page of the print edition today.

Love was in the air when Armand and Cassie met. The two were getting holiday pictures taken at Petsmart, 5200 N. 27th St. Just by looking at how they interacted, loved ones knew the cats were meant to be married.
...
On Sunday, both owners carried their cats down the aisle at the Petsmart where the felines first met. Genevieve Randall, a flutist, played "The Pink Panther" for the ceremony's processional.
...
Armand wore a black velvet and satin vest with a top hat. Cassie wore a white gown with gold California poppy attached to it. California pet-clothing designer Mary Catron designed the wedding garb for the bride and groom.
...
The cats exchanged collars as wedding bands: Cassie received a pink one with her name spelled in crystals; Armand got one adorned with gold-colored Egyptian beads.

Armand's and Cassie's owners are the kind of people who will end up with a carpet of fur in their basement in a few years.

Posted by Half-Cocked at 01:12 PM | Comments (2)

December 12, 2004

Fun with Death Metal

I logged into Roadrunner Rhapsody to start looking for music what will best help me study for Evidence over the next three days and was overjoyed to discover that a significant portion of the Metal Blade back-catalog has been added.

Bands like Cannibal Corpse, Cradle of Filth, Goatwhore and Vomitory are definitely not making my Evidence Soundtrack to be sure. When I worked at a music store about a decade ago a fun pastime was reading the song titles of Metal Blade bands. I've now discovered that refreshing my memory of these songs is also a fun way not to study Evidence.

Here's a sampler:

Cannibal Corpse
"Puncture Wound Massacre"
"Orgasm Through Torture" "Hacksaw Decaptitation"
"Meat Hook Sodomy"
and who could ever forget this classic:
"Entrails Ripped from a Virgin's C*nt"
Vomitory
"The Corpsegrinder Experience"
"Gore Apocalypse"
"Autopsy Extravaganze"
"Chainsaw Surgery"
Six Feet Under
"Feasting on the Blood of the Insane"
"Mass Murder Rampage"
"Impulse to Disembowel"
"Cadaver Mutilator"
Cradle of Filth
These guys lean toward the gothy side of death metal so they're song titles, while not as graphic, are even funnier.
"Cruelty Brought Three Orchids"
"Lustmord and Wargasm II (The Relicking of Cadeverous Wounds)"
"Dark Phaerytales"
"A Gothic Romance (Red Roses for the Devil's Whore)"
"Painting Flowers White Never Suited my Palette"
"Creatures That Kissed in Cold Mirrors"

Anyway, if I don't post again, it's because I've killed and disemboweled several people and then myself.

Posted by Half-Cocked at 04:43 PM | Comments (1)

December 11, 2004

I'm highly disturbed by my inability to imbibe mass quantities of beer in this situation

That situation, of course, is the completion of my Administrative Law exam and the beginning of three days off before my last exam of the Fall/Winter, Evidence. Since arriving home at 12:30 pm, I've had a grand total of one, one beer (Ah, hah, hah, hah).

Must be the anti-climax of it all. The Admin Law exam, while horribly fact-intensive wasn't that tough. It helps that the third question was identical, save for a couple of inconsequential facts, to the third question on one of the prof's older exams.

Posted by Half-Cocked at 07:24 PM

December 10, 2004

Study Soundtrack, Admistrative Law

Cold, Black Silence.

Posted by Half-Cocked at 01:57 PM

December 09, 2004

Study Soundtrack, Unfair Competish Edish

Shatner - The Transformed Man
Mission of Burma - Signals, Calls and Marches
Negativeland - DisPepsi - music relevant to the course. Finally!
Mars Volta - De-Loused in the Comatorium
Sally Timms - Cowboy Sally's Twilight Laments for Lost Buckaroos

Posted by Half-Cocked at 01:00 PM | Comments (3)

The Ladybug Picnic that wouldn't end

Did anyone else notice the large numbers of Asian ladybugs this year? They're lighter colored than the typical ladybug and they like to come inside. There's a little hole in the wall of my office so the precious internet can come inside and the not so precious ladybugs have found their way in as well. It gets kind of cold in my office this time of year so the ladybugs that are still alive are clustered in a big pile clinging to the SW corner of the room where the wall meets the ceiling. When it gets a little bit warmer, a few wander away from the pile and cruise the walls. If one gets within reach, I flick it across the room. They usually start flying and land somewhere out of reach. If I was five years old I'd smash the whole pile of 'em and smear the orange innards all over the wall, but that's sorta gross now that I'm 32.

I've heard they were originally imported to control aphid infestations, but what is going to get rid of the ladybugs? Don't tell me. Pigeons [tree rats, gutterbirds] will kill the ladybugs and then we'll need to import Bolivian tree lizards to take care of the pigeons and Chinese needle snakes to kill the lizards, and then that "fabulous type of gorilla that thrives on snake meat" to kill the snakes. Hopefully by the time the gorillas get too numerous it'll be cold enough for the beasts to freeze to death like they're supposed to.

[UPDATE] - One just landed on my monitor as I was typing something about what needs to be shown to prove a likelihood of damage under the Lanham Act. There's not an orange smear on my monitor, but there almost was.

Posted by Half-Cocked at 12:19 AM | Comments (6)

December 08, 2004

The Secret to Crim Pro

If your crim pro final is multiple choice and after eliminating two or three answers you have two that you can't decide between, it's a good bet the answer that gives more deference to police action is the best answer (according to the law, that is).

Posted by Half-Cocked at 11:13 PM

December 07, 2004

Study Soundtrack, Crim Pro Edition

The Drive-by Truckers - The Dirty South
Kasey Chambers - The Captain
Son Volt - Trace
Fugees - The Score
Silver Apples - Silver Apples/Contact
Matthew Shipp - Pastoral Composure
Anti Pop Consortium - Anti Pop Consortium vs. Matthew Shipp

Posted by Half-Cocked at 06:29 PM | Comments (3)

December 06, 2004

* * * * A quick reminder

To all the people everywhere talking about the Barry Bonds steroid/Balco scandal:

It's aste-RISK, not aste-RICK.

Thank you

Posted by Half-Cocked at 12:49 PM | Comments (3)

December 04, 2004

The Study Soundtrack, Con Law Edish

The Gene Harris Quartet - Black & Blue
Karin Allyson - Ballads: Remembering John Coltrane
Echo & the Bunnymen - Ocean Rain
UCS vs. UCLA
Auburn vs. Tennessee

Posted by Half-Cocked at 01:53 PM | Comments (2)

Quick! Take out a 3rd mortgage...

In today's SEC championship game Auburn is a 15 point favorite over Tennessee! 15 points! Sure Tennessee got spanked by Auburn earlier this season but a couple of factors are working here. One, Auburn knows that winning the game won't help at all if OU and USC both win today. That will hurt morale. Plus, beating a good team badly twice in one season is a tall order. Take the Vols and the 15 and send me a Christmas Card with a $20 bill in it as thanks.

Posted by Half-Cocked at 01:36 PM | Comments (2)

December 01, 2004

A Brief Interruption in Blog Silence

Ever since Thanksgiving I've been exhausted. Both families in our house for the holiday. Sarah and I actually collapsed in the middle of the living room floor once the last relative walked out the front door last Thursday evening. Then a visit to friends in Omaha on Friday and the usual madness involved surrounding the Omahans. I have two bumps on the top of my head I can't really explain. Friends from Chicago staying over on Saturday and then back to the grind on Sunday. I don't think I read an assignment for the last week of classes and now classes are done.

Between this coming Monday and the following Saturday, I have four exams. Blog posts for the next week and a half will mostly involve me bitching about studying or about me trying not to drink too much, if there are any blog posts at all.

I still don't have my laptop. Some asshole from the Best Buy service center called last week to tell me I spilled something on it so it wouldn't be covered by the warranty. Fixing it would cost, $1100, he said. $1100 is the full replacement cost. I asked him what was actually wrong with it. He told me the motherboard needed replaced. Why not just replace that then, rather than the whole unit? Policy. I told the fucker to send it back and I'd replace the motherboard myself since I can order one for $160.

The upshot of the missing laptop is that I have to bluebook my exams. Luckily, I've been taking so many notes by hand over the last month or so that my hand no longer cramps up after five minutes of writing. I just have to make sure to write reasonably legibly, a tall order, in order for professors to read my exams.

Posted by Half-Cocked at 10:35 PM | Comments (3)