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January 30, 2005


Like my classmate, Justin the 2L blahs are hitting me pretty hard right now. I don't find any of my classes to be very interesting. Even in Mass Communications where the professor says outrageous things in order to demonstrate the First Amendment I'm not feelin' it. Thankfully, my reading is very light this semester so I'm not getting behind.

I signed up for the moot court competition just to kick myself in the ass a little. We'll see how that goes.

Posted by Half-Cocked at 11:18 PM

January 28, 2005

Best News I've heard in a long time

"Chicago Cubs outfielder Sammy Sosa will be traded to the Baltimore Orioles for infielder Jerry Hairston and at least two minor-leaguers, pending physicals and approval from commissioner Bud Selig and the players' association. An Orioles source told ESPN's Tim Kurkjian that the only way the trade will not happen is if someone fails a physical."


I think Magglio Ordoñez is available and I think he's expressed interest in going to the Cubs.

Thanks to Soup for being the good news breaker.

Posted by Half-Cocked at 11:46 PM | Comments (2)

There are conspiracy theories...

And then there's this. According to Steve Lightfoot, John Lennon was assassinated by Stephen King under orders from Nixon and Reagan.

Sorry, dude, but the photos of Mark David Chapman and Stephen King don't look anything alike. Well, except for the fact that both guys have dark hair and wear glasses.

And anyway, Lennon was shot by Chapman under orders from the 10th reincarnation of Adam Weishaupt. Duh.


Posted by Half-Cocked at 03:05 PM | Comments (1)

It Begins

The end of the line is in sight. Now that the opening crawl for Episode III: Revenge of the Sith has been made public the debate over how exquisitely craptacular the movie will be can begin.

This doesn't give me much hope for any redemption of the series.

In   a   stunning   move,   the 
fiendish droid  leader, General
Grievous, has  swept  into  the
Republic capital  and kidnapped
Chancellor Palpatine, leader of
the Galactic Senate.

It goes on to talk about the Separatist Droid Army among other things equally dumb.

General Grievous? Seriously?

Posted by Half-Cocked at 02:56 PM

What is a Reasonable Expectation of Privacy in the 21st Century?

I haven't been keeping up with the Supreme Court's decisions lately so I almost missed Illinois v. Caballes, the latest development in 4th Amendment canine sniff jurisprudence (thanks to ambimb for the heads up).

In Caballes the court ruled that police use of drug sniffing dogs in a traffic stop is not a search. Predictably, theres'a great deal of commentary about this ruling. Grits for Breakfast has a revision of the 4th Amendment and links to dozens of other bloggers' reactions to the ruling.

Orin Kerr has some analysis of the ruling and its possible implications based on Justice Stevens' attempt to distinguish this decision from Kyllo, the case in which the court found it was an illegal search for the cops to use thermal imaging equipment to detect what some might call "grow lights" in someone's house.

This conclusion is entirely consistent with our recent decision that the use of a thermal-imaging device to detect the growth of marijuana in a home constituted an unlawful search. Kyllo v. United States, 533 U. S. 27 (2001). Critical to that decision was the fact that the device was capable of detecting lawful activity— in that case, intimate details in a home, such as “at what hour each night the lady of the house takes her daily sauna and bath.”

Thus, the focus is moving from the actions of law enforcement to what they are looking for. As Orin Kerr puts it:

The Fourth Amendment traditionally has focused on how the surveillance occurred, rather than the nature of the information obtained. Under the traditional approach, the government could not invade your property without a warrant no matter what information it wished to obtain. Under the rationale followed by the Court today, the government may be free to invade your property so long as they only obtain "non private" information.

The problem is, what can be considered private information in this day and age? If you ask the average person you meet on the street, he would probably reply that private information is what you have in your home, bank account information, credit card information, medical records, etc. However, if you ask someone more in tune with advances information technology, you'll get a completely different answer.

This recent Slashdot story about the dispute between a dead soldier's parents and Yahoo! over whether the parents have a right to his email account was full of posts stating that a person shouldn't consider a Yahoo!Mail account to be private. This isn't the conventional wisdom right now, but how long before email falls outside the "reasonable expectation of privacy?" There's a long-overdue push to computerize medical records. Once that's done, can a person really consider personal information about their health to be private? You hand someone your credit card all the time. Can you truly consider your credit card number to be private?

How long before Kyllo is overturned? Granted, there is a lessened expectation of privacy in a car than there is in a home, but the 4th Amendment has been creeping slowly towards irrelevance for years. The thermal imaging equipment used in Kyllo was considered invasive technology. I would argue that a drug dog is as well.

Putting on my Scalia robe, I note that Merriam-Webster says technology is "the practical application of knowledge especially in a particular area." What is the drug-sniffing dog if not the practical application of the knowledge that dogs can be trained to detect certain substances through their olfactory sense?

My Crim Pro professor pointed out when discussing Jacobsen that a person doesn't have a privacy interest in odors that emanate from their suitcases. There was in incident in Vancouver a few years ago where the smell of marijuana being grown in a house was so strong people could smell it on the street. If people could detect that, certainly a drug-sniffing dog could detect other things going on in houses that a person couldn't detect.

Maybe it is about time for the government to announce that we are all under 24-hour surveillance, doing away with any reasonable expectation of privacy at all. Maybe it doesn't need to.

Posted by Half-Cocked at 12:24 AM

January 26, 2005

Taking suggestions

I think I'm pretty much done with the overhaul although I may do some minor tweaking here and there.

One question:

What should I do with the upper right hand box? Pictures of kittens? Fightin' words? Cocktail recipes? Maybe just the word "FREEDOM" with realistic-looking animated blood dripping from it? A random mix of all of the above?

Posted by Half-Cocked at 10:18 PM | Comments (10)

January 25, 2005


it looks like the basic structsh is working. More to do but not tonight.

Posted by Half-Cocked at 12:22 AM | Comments (5)

January 24, 2005

Construction in progress

hopefully this won't take long

Posted by Half-Cocked at 11:59 PM

January 23, 2005

Prequels: Is the knowing worth the disappointment?

Last night I finished the last book of the Legends of Dune series, The Battle of Corrin. As a setup for Dune itself, it was satisfying enough, but like other prequels, The two trilogies written by Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson were a little limp.

Some disappointment was to be expected. Frank Herbert was a much better writer than either of his prequelists and Dune was a unique blend of sci-fi, ecology and religion that couldn't be duplicated. Even the original Dune series started to get tedious and overwrought. I've never read beyond God Emperor of Dune and there are two books after that. Rumor has it that Brian and Kevin found Frank's notes for a 7th book so it'll get even worse.

The nerd side of me was ecstatic with the Legends trilogy because it gave the why and how of Dune. The Butlerian Jihad was explained and goes on through all three books. I learned the origin of the mentats, the spacing guild, the Fremen, the Bene Gesserit, the Atreides/Harkonnen feud, the Suk doctors, the swordmasters and why humans destroyed all the computers. All my geeky wonderment was satisfied.

That's the problem with prequels, though. They're more concerned with setting up the original film or book than with standing as stories with deep characters, good writing and plots that aren't just used to move forward in time. For all the background on Anakin Skywalker you've ever wanted, you also get a crappy movie.

I had a hard time coming up with a good prequel until I found this CBC story about prequels which pointed out that Henry IV was staged after the two Henry VI plays.

Batman Begins comes out this summer and while I like the director (Christopher Nolan) and the Batman (Christian Bale, and after I sat through The Machinist, Christian owes me one), I'm not optimistic. Granted, the origins of Batman won't be quite as hamstrung by future events since it's not a story designed to lead into anything specific unlike the other looming prequel this summer. I'll probably see It during the opening weekend if only to see the first three episodes finally end.

Prequels are probably here to stay as a way for Hollywood to keep from coming up with truly original stories, and people will always be clamoring for them if the original story suggests that something interesting happened before. The only alternative is fan-fiction, which isn't an alternative at all. Ever meet one of those guys who claims to have written his own Star Wars prequels?

Posted by Half-Cocked at 11:52 PM | Comments (3)

I screwed up

When it came time to sign up for classes last December I sought to find the easiest, least stressful group of classes I could.

I signed up for Mass Communications Law because the professor rules and I get to write a paper instead of taking an exam. I signed up for Corporations because the spring section is easier. I signed up for Civil Rights Litigation because it's a subject I'm very interested in.

Finally, I signed up for Pre Trial Litigation because that's what I've been doing at work for about ten months now. The class is about depositions, interrogatories, motions, etc. I figured I'd have a pretty good understanding of the subject and it would therefore be easy.

Problem is, there's a lot of busy partner work involved. I don't mind the partner part, because at this point, you can usually count on the person you're working with unlike undergrad where I always wound up doing 90% of the work. I knew we'd have to play pretend lawyer in this class but I didn't count on spending half my Sunday working on a litigation plan. And I didn't count on there being busy work assignments every week.

I shoulda taken Con Law II.

Posted by Half-Cocked at 05:39 PM | Comments (3)

January 21, 2005

"Obviously the baby was born by Caesarean section"

What? a simple apesiotomy wouldn't work?

"A woman in northeastern Brazil has given birth to what one doctor called a "giant baby," a boy weighing 16.7 pounds."

via The Hot Librarian.

Posted by Half-Cocked at 08:26 PM | Comments (2)

Now I understand why I'm sitting in front of my computer on a Friday night *

I am nerdier than 97% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out!

My wife scored a 7 which means she despises nerds. Cue the Paula Abdul music.

Via Beanie and teachersarah.

* I can't believe I even took the time for this quiz with all the Romans I have to kill in Rome: Total War tonight.

Posted by Half-Cocked at 08:01 PM | Comments (3)

Finally some Fearless Football picks

I ended up 23-15-1 against the spread picking college football this year on this weblog. Not too shabby and it would have been better if I'd gotten around to posting my bowl picks. Oh, well. I guess I'll put my career as a football handicapper on hold for another year, but only after I pick the winners, against the spread, of the two NFL playoff games this Sunday.

New England -3 at Pittsburgh - No other coach in the league can hold Bill Belichick's clipboard. Sure, the Steelers crushed the Patriots earlier this year, but it was right after some tough injuries hit the Patriots. Cory Dillon is back now and the loss of Ty Law has been dealt with. The Patriots are going to make Ben Roethlisberger try and win the game and even if the Steelers go to the four wide-out set I've been hearing about, it's still going to be up to Ben to get the ball to the receivers. Meanwhile, the Patriots will eat clock on offense putting even more pressure on Ben.

Atlanta +5 at Philadelphia - The common wisdom (CW) seems to be that the foot of snow Philadelphia is supposed to get this weekend will hurt Atlanta because they're a dome team. The CW is ignoring a couple of important facts. Atlanta, in Michael Vick's first year as a starter, won a playoff game at Green Bay in the middle of a snow storm. Also, Atlanta is built better for playing in a game like this.

First, there's Philadelphia's offense. Without T.O. the Iggles are where they were last year offensively, when they lost to the Panthers in the NFC championship game. Given the presence of lots of snow and cold, the Philly receivers will most likely disappear. The running game won't fare much better. Brian Westbrook isn't the kind of guy who can carry the ball 30 times and make an impact. Plus, the Atlanta defense is head and shoulders above what Philly faced last week against Minnesota.

Another part of the CW says that Vick won't be able to run like he does in the Georgia Dome due to the slippery conditions. That might be true but Vick has an advantage. He knows where he's going. The Eagles defense doesn't. Vick won a hell of a lot of games in Blacksburg, VA, which isn't exactly Laguna Beach and he ran all over the Packers in that game three years ago. Also, if the game comes down to who can drive the ball down the field four yards at a time, the Falcons have the advantage with T.J. Duckett in the backfield.

My Super Bowl prediction, therefore, is New England vs. Atlanta, with no Mickey Rooney asses.

Posted by Half-Cocked at 06:38 PM

January 20, 2005

Gayest Sponge Ever!!


Mr. Squarepants is considering a switch to buttless leather chaps now that the secret is out

Now that Spongebob has been exposed as gay propaganda, my secret fantasies of a Spongebob/Tinky Winky pile might come to fruition. If only Master Shake could be the Lucky Pierre.

Posted by Half-Cocked at 08:56 PM | Comments (4)

January 19, 2005

New Weight Loss Fad

The more I hear about the successful eating (no word on successful digesting) of the 6 lb. burger by the 100 lb. girl, Kate Stelnick, the more shocked, amazed and appalled I am.

Sure, it's one thing to devour 6% of your body-weight in ground beef in less than three hours, but what you don't hear in the advertised weight of the burger is that you have to eat about 5 lbs. of fixins and bun in addition to the colon-clogging clump.

That's 2 tomatoes, 2 onions, a head of lettuce, 1.5 lbs. of American cheese, a cup each of mayo, ketchup, mustard, relish and banana peppers, and the top and bottom buns which each look about the size of a loaf of french bread.

Between work and school today Jim Rome was talking about this on the radio and my thoughts of hitting a drive-thru for lunch almost instantly departed as I went from feeling hungry to feeling an incredible nauseous weight in my stomach.

New weight-loss plan: Listen to and/or read about cute little Kate Stolick gobbling greasy grey ground beef.

Posted by Half-Cocked at 12:55 PM | Comments (3)

January 17, 2005

Let me try

Late income tax collections have now been farmed out to scummy collection agencies according to the Moscow Times. And how dumb is it that we have to go to an English language Russian newspaper to find out?

Thus it was no surprise when Bush trotted out another weapon from the oppressor's hoard last month: tax-farming, the practice of turning over government revenue collection to private profiteers. Yes, that scourge of honest yeomen from time immemorial will soon be stalking the streets of 21st-century America, shaking down the populace for personal gain.

Bush has largely excused the rich and powerful from the onerous burden of lightening their wads a tiny bit for the public weal -- with a resulting plunge in Treasury receipts. Yet he still needs mucho boodle to pay for his wars, and for the corporate welfare he doles out by the barge-load to his friends and family. Not to mention the billions in public funds he's passing to his favorite religious sects -- including the sex-crazed, anti-American cultist Sun Myung Moon, whose front groups have been set loose in the nation's schools to teach "sexual abstinence," Salon.com reports.

How about letting private citizens audit the tax returns of corporations?

Posted by Half-Cocked at 05:33 PM


I listened to this speech today and I'm convinced MLK knew his days were numbered. He was assassinated the next day.

"Well, I don't know what will happen now. We've got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn't matter with me now. Because I've been to the mountaintop. And I don't mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I'm not concerned about that now. I just want to do God's will. And He's allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I've looked over. And I've seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land. And I'm happy, tonight. I'm not worried about anything. I'm not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord."

Posted by Half-Cocked at 04:35 PM | Comments (1)

Ready for more?

Seymour Hersh, who has seen shit that would turn you white, writes in the New Yorker,

The Administration has been conducting secret reconnaissance missions inside Iran at least since last summer. Much of the focus is on the accumulation of intelligence and targeting information on Iranian nuclear, chemical, and missile sites, both declared and suspected. The goal is to identify and isolate three dozen, and perhaps more, such targets that could be destroyed by precision strikes and short-term commando raids. "The civilians in the Pentagon want to go into Iran and destroy as much of the military infrastructure as possible," the government consultant with close ties to the Pentagon told me.

Precision strikes on nuclear targets are fine if Iran is defenseless. But they're not. A couple of decades of sharing a border with Iraq, and now with U.S.-controlled Iraq, has them as ready as they're going to be. Tell me, what do the 100,000 battered U.S. troops in Iraq do when 1,000,000 Shiites come streaming across the border. And from where are the troops to replace and reinforce those soldiers to come? Don't say the "D" word.

The short-term outlook of the Bush Administration (four more years is all we need to secure our legacy) is even more pronounced in this operation than it was in Iraq.

The official added that the government of Pervez Musharraf, the Pakistani President, has won a high price for its coöperation—American assurance that Pakistan will not have to hand over A. Q. Khan, known as the father of Pakistan’s nuclear bomb, to the I.A.E.A. or to any other international authorities for questioning. For two decades, Khan has been linked to a vast consortium of nuclear-black-market activities. Last year, Musharraf professed to be shocked when Khan, in the face of overwhelming evidence, “confessed” to his activities. A few days later, Musharraf pardoned him, and so far he has refused to allow the I.A.E.A. or American intelligence to interview him. Khan is now said to be living under house arrest in a villa in Islamabad. "It’s a deal—a trade-off," the former high-level intelligence official explained. "‘Tell us what you know about Iran and we will let your A. Q. Khan guys go.’ It’s the neoconservatives’ version of short-term gain at long-term cost. They want to prove that Bush is the anti-terrorism guy who can handle Iran and the nuclear threat, against the long-term goal of eliminating the black market for nuclear proliferation."

The agreement comes at a time when Musharraf, according to a former high-level Pakistani diplomat, has authorized the expansion of Pakistan’s nuclear-weapons arsenal. "Pakistan still needs parts and supplies, and needs to buy them in the clandestine market," the former diplomat said. "The U.S. has done nothing to stop it."

I guess Governor Bush thinks the American people will swallow this since,

"We had an accountability moment, and that's called the 2004 elections," Mr. Bush said in an interview with The Washington Post for Sunday's editions. "The American people listened to different assessments made about what was taking place in Iraq, and they looked at the two candidates, and chose me."

Uh, no. To the extent that the decision to invade Iraq was even discussed during the election (it wasn't, the discussion was how to deal with the shithole you have our soldiers in) more than 50% of Americans didn't think it was the right thing to do given what we know after wading through all the lies and bullshit. What was discussed during the election were the lies of men who never served with John Kerry and the veracity of memos that didn't change the bare facts that you went AWOL during Vietnam.

But what else are we going to do when there are so many freedom haters in the world? "I know it’s hard, but it’s hard for a reason," Bush said. "And the reason it’s hard is because there are a handful of folks who fear freedom." It looks to me like the rebels in Iraq are enjoying their freedom quite well.

Posted by Half-Cocked at 03:14 PM

Why does Clarence Thomas hate America?

It's always been evident that Clarence Thomas isn't a big fan of stare decisis in Constitutional law. Now it appears that Justice Thomas isn't so keen on the Constitution itself.

Parker said Thomas told him a judge should be evaluated by whether he faithfully upholds his oath to God, not to the people, to the state or to the Constitution.

A quick review of Article VI,§ 3 of the Constitution reveals:

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.

Is Justice Thomas suggesting that federal judges not be evaluated by how they discharge their Constitutional duties? Or was Judge Parker just misquoted?

Posted by Half-Cocked at 02:39 AM

January 16, 2005

Watch out for the Nebraska Indie Rawk

I still find it hard to believe this dude(id: ambimb pass: freepass, for people without NYT accounts or Firefox w/the bugmenot plug-in) played a rock show in my basement 8 years ago.

Posted by Half-Cocked at 03:13 AM | Comments (1)

January 15, 2005


It's balmy here right now. Only 0° F. The guy on the radio said it'll get down to -12° tonight. I had a couple of posts in mind but even with the space heater, my office is damn cold.

Posted by Half-Cocked at 01:25 AM | Comments (1)

January 14, 2005

Jackson defense objects to leaked grand jury documents

"In a prepared statement approved by the judge in the case, defense lawyer Thomas Mesereau, Jr. objected to testimony of Jackson's now 15-year-old accuser, which was leaked with 1,900 pages of grand jury documents to ABC News."

Yeah, I'd hope so.

From the paper of record for Lompoc, the Lompoc Record.

Posted by Half-Cocked at 04:30 PM


Alton Brown is my favorite Food Network personality by far. He's sensible, scientific, funny and a damn good cook. Plus, he knows the cast-iron skillet is the best way to prepare a rib-eye steak. However, I won't be able to watch him the same way after stumbling across this. Yes, that's right. It's erotic fan-fiction featuring Alton Brown. Don't read it if you like to eat food.

Posted by Half-Cocked at 01:23 AM | Comments (8)

January 13, 2005


I just got done reading Erie v. Pap's A & M for Mass Communications tomorrow and was reminded of something in my city's own public nudity statute.

Not only does LMC 9.16.230 cover nudity as we normally think about it but also "the showing of covered male genitals in a discernibly turgid state."

Turgid sure is a fun word.

Posted by Half-Cocked at 11:14 PM

January 12, 2005

I finally feel like an upperclassman

Today was my first day of Corporations, or rather, Business Associations since we cover partnerships, etc., too. There are only 22 people in the class. Some of the low turnout can be attributed to the fact that this class is considered the remedial class. It's only 3 credits while the section last fall was 4. The section last fall was taught by a real Corporations guy. This one is taught by the guy who teaches Clarence Darrow, Professional Responsibility and a 1L legal history course. Personally, I prefer the history and ethics guy to the alternative.

The real reason I'm excited about this class is, because of its size, it's in the one small remodeled classroom in the school. One of the smaller seminar rooms has also been remodeled. The rest of the small classrooms still look like the little shrines in the monument to Nebraska's concrete industry they were intended to be.

The new classroom is wicked comfortable. The tables are the proper height for typing. There are pop-up outlets every two seats so nobody has to bring a power strip to class. The colors are cool blue and grey with soft lighting rather than the light yellow concrete blocks reflecting the billion lumens emanating from the interrogation lamps in the ceilings of the old classrooms.

Posted by Half-Cocked at 11:54 PM

January 11, 2005

In defense of kickers, In favor of their ultimate demise

Between the bathroom radio and the car radio on the way to and from school today I heard numerous nitwits atwitter over the statements Indianpolis kicker, Mike Vanderjagt, made about the New England Patriots. Lots of "he's just a kicker, what does he know", "he should just shut up and kick", and "he doesn't even break a sweat during a game."

What horrible things did Vanderjagt say about the Patriots? I finally found out a little while ago, and really, they are quite shocking. Things that wouldn't even issue from NDC's blue keyboard. Things like "I think they're [the Patriots] ripe for the picking" and "I think they're not as good as the beginning of the year and not as good as last year."

Truer, blander fighting words have never been spoken. The issue among ESPN heads and the portly ex-pros they interview is that kickers shouldn't be saying anything. I've heard plenty of ex-players say that kickers aren't real players and that they need to learn their place.

Sadly, the way the game is played nowadays, a good kicker is the difference between an average season and a good one, or the difference between a Super Bowl champion and the second-place goat. How many times do you see a game turn on a field goal, missed extra point or a short kickoff or out-of-bounds kickoff resulting in good field position for the opposition?

Real players might not respect or even like their kickers, but they'd be screwed without them, or wish they had a better one, like Mike Vanderjagt.

I have a plan, though. A plan to put those uppity kickers in their place, the unemployment line. The place kick is the vestigial tail on football's big plodding tradition-bound ass. How dumb is it that a game based on overpowering your opponent and moving a ball across a vertical plane is so often decided by some loud-mouthed jerk being able to kick a bowl between two pipes. American football is so far removed from its cousins across the pond that continuing with place kicking is just plain silly.

Here is my 3-point plan for taking the foot (mostly) out of football.

  1. No more PAT kicks. Everyone goes for two. It would make the game more exciting and put the weight of the win or loss on the shoulders of the big important QB and the opposing defense.
  2. No more kickoffs from a tee. Once we get rid of the place-kicker, we won't want to do traditional kickoffs either. Instead, do a free kick from the fifty yard line after a touchdown. Half the guys on the team probably punted in high school. One of them can do the job.
  3. No more punting specialists. Since we're doing a free kick, the guy doing that should be able to handle the punting duties. Teams will not be allowed to carry a punter on their roster. The player doing the punting must be someone from the two-deep depth chart.

I expect quick adoption of this plan. The Indianapolis Colts can thank me later.

Posted by Half-Cocked at 11:49 PM | Comments (4)

Happy Birthday, E. Spatch!

Energy Spatula, who turns 30 on Tuesday (today for me) is now officially a grown up. Sorry about that.

Posted by Half-Cocked at 12:19 AM | Comments (4)

January 10, 2005


Lacking anything interesting to write, I'll tend to some housekeeping, instead. Many of the local blogs that were on the right were dedicated solely to the Conneally - Fortenberry house election and have all been deleted. I added the Nebraska Democrats blog since they link to me although I haven't said anything overtly political for a couple of months. Still suffering from denial and burnout, I guess.

Finally, Ex Mea Sententia has left law school after one semester to pursue things he really wants to do. I'm glad for him it only took one semester to realize he didn't want to be a lawyer. I know plenty of people who don't realize that until after they've passed the Bar. Good luck in your future endeavors.

Posted by Half-Cocked at 11:29 PM

"That Kaiser had stolen our word 'twenty'"

On the way to school this morning I saw a personalized license plate that said DIGGITY. I wonder if someone already had TWENTY?

Posted by Half-Cocked at 08:00 AM

January 08, 2005


Grades have finally been posted. I have to say I was pretty happy. I received my two highest grades of law school so far in Con Law and Unfair Competition. It's probably not a coincidence that those are the two areas of the law I was most interested in before starting school. The Evidence grade reflects the absolute whoreishness of the exam. Crim Pro was about as expected and I was pleasantly surprised with Admin Law. They aren't going to be able to kick me out of school yet.

Posted by Half-Cocked at 06:03 PM | Comments (5)

January 07, 2005

Dear Man,

E. Spatch has sent out a Jane magazine-style "Dear Man" to "her favorite male bloggers" and judging by the traffic coming from over there, I'd better follow through on my promise to respond.

She poses the question "How can a girl know if a boy likes her?" but then asks for me to explain one aspect of male behavior in depth. It'd be easier is she assigned me a behavior (sloth, gluttonly, greed, lust, lust, lust or lust). the Asian Sensation has asked for clarification but I, boldly, steadfastly and resolutely, will try and answer both questions by combining them.

I do want to warn Ms. Spatula first. Slow down a little. I know you're not looking to marry your cabana boy but one more divorce and you're going to wind up living in a van down by the river. Do explore the joys of sapphic love with one or two of the numerous blawg-lesbians. Just stay away from women who go to Harvard, BC, BU, Northeastern, UMass, etc.

Now, back to the boy question. Granted, I haven't courted in nearly 10 years, and the standard mating rituals have changed a lot since then. I snagged the missus by hanging out with her after work a lot and introducing her to the White Russian. I'm not sure the present day single man is familiar with such subtle techniques, however.

In observing boys courting girls in the law school setting, a setting that is not so different from bars, coffeehouses, bookstores, bathhouses and S & M clubs, there are a few things that stick out.

Proximity. A guy that likes you looks for excuses to be near you. Are you always running into him at the Diet Coke machine but he only drinks Vanilla Pepsi. Does he always walk by you as you study in the library? Does he just happen to be getting coffee at the same time as you? Is he renting the apartment next door to you? Are you missing undergarments?

Eye contact. Guys like to look at the ladies they like. Do you catch him looking at you from across the classroom? When he's around you does he wear aviator sunglasses? When you grab a book from the shelf, is he peeking through from the other side? Do you keep finding little cameras in your shower and bedroom?

Common interests. Men will sometimes discover they like the same things you like. Does he love to make fun of Britney Spears' married life? Is his bookshelf full of texts on Admiralty law? When you say "I'll get the beer" does he say "I'll get the hose and funnel?" Does he have a crush on James Spader and like to post pics of hot men on his weblog?

A few things to watch out for -

Let me know if you have any questions.

Female readers? Julee, Katie, Sara, Sarah, Beanie, Shelley? Any tips for E. Spatch?

Posted by Half-Cocked at 04:23 PM | Comments (12)

January 05, 2005

Just a note

For any of my regular readers who don't cruise the blawg circuit, I have a guest post over at Notes from the (Legal) Underground today.

Posted by Half-Cocked at 08:24 PM


Links to donate to South Asia earthquake/tsunami relief efforts are on the right. A friend of mine who has spent more time in the affected areas than she has in the U.S. in the last few years says Doctors without Borders is the group with the lowest overhead and the most people in country at the time of the event. If you don't like them, give to another group, but please try to donate something.

Posted by Half-Cocked at 02:25 AM | Comments (2)

January 04, 2005

Payment for our mild winter comes due

It was bound to happen sooner or later. Before today we hadn't gotten but maybe an inch of snow this winter. On Christmas day it was nearly 60 degrees and the low temperature barely got below freezing the week between Christmas and New Year's Day.

Yesterday the freezing rain and sleet started. Now the snow is falling at a pretty steady clip. I'm glad it's still break because I'd be going nuts wondering if the chancellor was going to cancel school for tomorrow. The university rarely shuts down due to weather but if it's bad enough, and a layer of ice under a foot of icy, wet snow would probably qualify, it would.

Sarah was in that position last night. The new superintendant of Lincoln Public Schools had gone on record when she took the job as saying that she thought we had too many snow days, although Lincoln has fewer than any other school in the state. By this morning most of the schools in southeast Nebraska had shut down but Lincoln was still full speed ahead.

She doesn't have to worry about tomorrow, though. Lincoln schools are closed. Usually the determination doesn't happen until 5 am the day of but I imagine the superintendant's office got enough angry phone calls today to encourage the early decision.

I'm wondering if the firm is going to be closed tomorrow. It's small enough that they tend to close for weather-related situations more often than one would expect. I need to work but if they think it's too dangerous for me to drive to the office, I won't argue. I'm still trying to figure out how to win playing Numidia in Rome: Total War and I could use a full day to dedicate to that problem.

P.S. How good is USC? Wow. The way OU looked on their first drive I would have never expected a total blowout the other way.

Posted by Half-Cocked at 10:23 PM | Comments (2)

Giddy with anticipation

Well, not really. The first of my textbooks for the upcoming semester arrived in the mail today, the Bainbridge et al. Business Associations. It's a little skinnier than I expected. Is that an indication of a lack of case law governing corporations, and by extension, does that mean corporations are above the law?

I was also a tad disappointed there wasn't a wine-tasting guide enclosed, although most of Bainbridge's recommendations are a bit out of my price range since I can't count on the discount at the old job anymore (it is a little disturbing how many people are still at the liquor store I worked at 4 years ago.)

Upon checking Bainbridge on Wine I think he missed a gem in the law student oriented under $15 category for New Year's Eve bubbly, Mountain Dome, a nice Brut from Washington for $10-13. Plus, there are gnomes on the label which is good because gnomes make the best illusionists due to their high dexterity.

The rest of the books will arrive over the next few days. Prof Civ Lit, formerly Prof Evid, emailed the first reading assignment yesterday. I might have to drive to the law school to get one of the texts this week, although I'd like to I wait until the first day of school to get it. Considering he called on me 4 days in a row in Evidence, I should probably go get it beforehand. I have been told he pulls back from his Civ Pro/Evidence demeanor a bit in the more specialized classes, though, so maybe I'll be alright waiting until Monday to buy the book.

Posted by Half-Cocked at 09:39 PM | Comments (3)

January 02, 2005

Finally, I'm on the winning side

Head of Femur chokes through their New Year's Eve set

I edited most of the cigarette haze out of this pic I took on New Year's Eve through the magic of brightness and contrast. Trust me, it' there, but it won't be anymore. Effective at 12:01 am, Jan. 1, 2005, smoking is no longer allowed in any businesses in the city of Lincoln.

Originally the city council wanted to pass a less restrictive law but someone on the council, just to be a prick, suggested a total ban and was shocked when it passed. Smokers and associated businesses succeeded in getting a repeal initiative on the November ballot, but Lincoln voters approved the total smoking ban by a 40% margin so it doesn't sound like it's going to change anytime soon. It's nice to be on the winning side of direct democracy for once.

There are already lawsuits and shenanigans underway. The Foxy Lady, a downtown establishment with a somewhat misleading name since none of the Ladies are particularly foxy, is putting up a 10 foot wall around their beer garden so they can have outdoor dancing when weather permits. There's also a small loophole in the statute defining an "enclosed structure" which would allow the bar to almost completely close up the outdoor area when it's not so nice out and still allow smoking. I didn't realize one needed to smoke to enjoy that particular entertainment, but to each his own, I guess. I sense a change in the Lincoln City Code coming.

There's also a bar on the state fair grounds, just north of downtown, which has been advertising like mad that smokers are welcome since their bar sits on state propery, not city property. The state fair people said they're going to keep an eye on the situation since the bar operates on state property at their pleasure.

It will also be interesting to see how many people need to smoke while drinking so bad they'll drive to one of the keno parlors in the little bedroom communities surrounding Lincoln. Will there be an increase in DUI's?

Posted by Half-Cocked at 12:46 AM | Comments (6)

New Year's Eve/Morning in Review

I think I might be getting too old for this stuff.


It wasn't too long into the evening when we realized it was our 10th New Year's Eve together. Except for a couple of crappy parties, they've all been pretty good. This one was more good than bad. There were some problems with the restaurant that I won't go into because I think they can get their problems fixed, although I won't be going back for a few months.

The Head of Femur show was fantastic, as usual. They played a few new songs off their second album due out in April and added a killer "Baba O'Reilly" cover to their set which spanned the midnight hour.

After the show, about 1:30 a.m., we headed over to a party at a classmate's house which didn't turn out to be too much fun. My little sister and I left for the after-show party and when we arrived, I realized I, like Danny Glover, was getting too old for this shit. Or maybe it was because I hadn't had anything to drink except for some wine with dinner and a gulp of cheap sparkling wine around midnight.

Eventually everyone else showed up at the after-show party and by then I was ready to go home. On the drive back I picked up some OJ and we all sat around drinking mimosas and watched Eurotrip until 5:30 or so.

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