Monday, November 07, 2005


Well, since we have not yet determined how much a chopped off finger in custard is worth. I figured we might debate how much having your genitals glued to your abdomen would be worth. $46,000 worth it?

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Friday, October 14, 2005

Run Forrestina Run!!

If only she was here she never woulda been caught.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Monday, October 03, 2005

Good Week

Well it was a good week for me last week:

1) I won my first trial as a lawyer (I tried juvenile criminal cases last summer as an intern and won, but those don't count). It was a small claims case and the pro se plaintiff inmate appeared by phone - but hey, a win is a win.

2) I became an uncle. To a niece named Elliot. Now I get to enjoy giving this new child an E.T. phone home complex for the rest of her life (one E.T. plush doll is already in the mail).

3) I won enough money in an online poker tournament last night that I can pay off the rest of my law school loans. Only downside is that I am still on a sort of high and have accomplished little to nothing at work today.

Friday, September 30, 2005

I'm an uncle!

My sister just popped yesterday. I have a niece named Elliot. Ellliiiooottt - looking for an E.T. doll right now to send as a b-day gift.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

So this is where those fingers come from

I think I'm going to ask this guy to send me his finger so I can put it in some custard and then sue somebody with nice big deep pockets.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Thursday, August 25, 2005

I'm an old fart

My freshman year at UCSB I basically just decided that the sun was much more important then school. So I basically just stopped going to class. I did, however, start playing a lot of basketball. Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at noon there was a group of these guys from one of the local engineering firms who came to the outdoor courts on campus to play some ball for an hour. Since I was no longer going to class, I too was often out shooting hoops and soaking up the rays, and eventually I became the one college kid who was allowed to play in their game. As an 18 year old, I of course called this thrice weekly game my "Old Fart" game since I was playing with a bunch of guys who were in their 30's, 40's and even 50's.

Well as of yesterday, I am now officially an old fart. That's right the big 3 0. Last year I was still in school, having fun, farting around. Now I'm a working man, who still farts around a lot, but damn I just feel OLD.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Bitch Dog

Of course you never get the real story from the news. So let me tell you how this really went.

Crabby lady has nothing better to do than repeatedly call cable company to bitch them out. After her umpteenth call, the 19 year old receptionists get sick of transferring her to the person who has been picked to deal with her that day, so they come up with the novel idea of adressing her bill to "Bitch Dog." Unfortunately "Bitch Dog" knows how to read and notices her bill, so surprise, surprise she complains again and the geniuses who came up with the idea are fired.

Now comes the fun part: It is up to you my two dear readers to come up with a story as to why Jeffrey's bill was addressed to Jeffrey "Scrotum Bag" Barnes.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Oompa Loompa

Oompa Loompa Doompadee Doo
I've got a perfect puzzle for you
Oompa Loompa Doompadee Die
I've found a "little person" in a lie.

Of course we all know this guy couldn't have been a true Oompa Loompa because:
Oompa Loompa Doompadee Dah
If you're not greedy you will go far
You will in happiness too
Like the Oompa Loompa Doompadee D0
Doompadee Do

Wednesday, August 10, 2005


What a dumbass! He's not a 4 year old wondering if it really will hurt if he sticks his finger in the fan, the kid is 18. I'm not sure why this struck me as so funny, but it did.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Wasn't Middle School/Junior High Great?

I do have to say, I am eternally grateful that the days of titty twisters, wedgies, and wet willies are over. But I thought it as only in First Year Law School hypotheticals that someone would actually be charged for committing these acts. Guess I was wrong.

So for any soon to be first year law student at UW who wants to know what Substantive Crim Law will be like, read this article and then decide:

What charges can you bring? As a great LEO ambassador I'll help you out for this first one - I'm saying Simple Battery, 2nd Degree Sexual Assault, and Fourth Degree Sexual Assault as a lesser included offense.

What charges would you bring if you were the DA?

What would your decision be if you were the jury?

Wouldn't it be great if we got paid to do that instead of what we actually end up doing?

Monday, August 08, 2005

I'm Back

I have come to realize I am a much better blog reader than I am a blog writer. So... it is very possible that this thing may go into total hibernation in the near future (we'll see, maybe I'll get into it again).

Last week I was in Chicago for a trial ad conference. I never did Moot Court or Mock Trial in law school so this was as close as I was going to get. They gave us a fake case and made us prepare it. Direct and cross examination of witnesses, openings, and closings, blah blah blah. No pressure, no real trial, no grade at the end - and yet ALL of the other assistant attorneys general (there were like 50 of us from almost every state) took this thing super serious. Preparing for hours the night before, etc.

Well they can put the slacker in with the super aggros but they can't take the slack out of this slacker. I just wanted to go see a ballgame, take in the sights (we were right in the Loop), etc. We were at this thing 8 hours a day and they wanted me to do homework?? Get real. The funniest part was that I just winged it everytime - and did fine. In fact I kept getting compliments for going "without notes." And any time I screwed up I got to fall back on the "well, I'm really trying to learn to wean myself from using notes in front of a jury" excuse.

Anyhoo, I'm back - we'll see if I have anything interesting to write about.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

A good news day

No, I don't really have any good news in my life, but there is some very good/weird news today.

1)The barfing student - what an incredibly useful talent to have. And what lawyer couldn't create reasonable doubt that he meant to do this?

2) The bad writer - I have a goal which is clearly in my reach for next year (and if I don't win, can I submit a prisoner's brief?)

3) The lying juror - The only jury I've been on, I also tried my hardest to get on. I had a union job at a grocery store at the time and would get paid by my job to go to jury duty so I really wanted on. I didn't lie however, instead I just said nothing which seemed to work well. After a one day trial, we deliberated for over 3 days on a couple of misdemeanor counts. Take a wild guess who the foreman was?

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Tag - I'm it

I guess I'm supposed to list my Top Ten turn ons and turn offs. But I suck at these things.

Turn Ons
1) my wife
2) sense of humor
3) sports
4) poker
5) sense of adventure
6) vacation
7) ability to put up with me
8) TV (reality shows)
9) Stupid tricks (gleeking, squeeking ears, etc.)
10) fairness

Turn offs
1) huge egos
2) absolutely no ego (not into the fishing for compliments thing)
3) mean drunks
4) holier than thou attitudes
5) the telephone
6) losing
7) stress
8) having to list things when you have no idea what to list
9) seafood
10) smegma

Monday, July 25, 2005

Fun Little head Games Take 2

Just for kicks - the answer is you should always switch. You have a 2/3 chance of winning when you switch and a 1/3 chance if you keep your original choice. How is that possible when there are only two doors left though??


If it's not kangaroos, it's missing digits in food.
here's another chooped off finger making it into food. Too bad it's in CA - if it were here, I'd get to defend the state, and then my surveys into how much is eating a chopped off figner worth would actually come into play.

Friday, July 22, 2005

The opposite of Greg Louganis - Ouch!!

Yikes, instead of whacking the back of her head into the board like Louganis did, she decided to go face to face with the board. Ouch!

Fun little head games

I've decided I should give my 2 readers my own LSAT. So here's the logic question:

You make it into the final part of Let's Make a Deal and chardrian (the new host) has you pick one of three doors. Behind one door is a stack of cash so big that all of your law school loans would be taken care of. Behind the other two doors are... well, I could describe humorous items but instead I'll leave it to your imagination as to what crappy prizes are behind these two doors (just know that you don't want them).

Now chardrian knows where the prize is, and to liven thinks up for the crowd and that zany tv audience, after the contestant picks a door he will always show him one of the two remaining doors that has one of the crap prizes. Chardrian will then always give the contestant a chance to stick with his/her original choice or change it.

To have the best shot of winning the cash what should the contestant do?

A) Stick with his/her original choice.
B) It doesn't matter - it's 50/50.
C) Change and pick the other door.
D) Put chardian in a sleeper hold and demand that he tell you where the damn money is - the opportunity to not have to spend the next ten years paying off your damn loans is just too much for you to risk doing anything else.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Sometimes you just gota wonder...

I've never really understood protests that make absolutely no sense. This guy is protesting wasted water by wasting water. Sort of like pro-lifers who feel that the best way of showing that abortion is murder is by murdering doctors who perform abortions. Dumbass.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Interview from the Rican

Ok I'm being interviewed by the Rican.

Here are the rules:
1) If you want in - leave a comment saying interview me.
2) I then get to continue the madness by asking you 5 questions.
3) You continue this circle of life by posting your answers on your blog with this same (or similar) info.

Here are Rican's questions and my answers:
1) What's it like being the tallest, honkiest Mexican at the DOJ?
Since I hardly ever get out of my office it's sort of a non-issue. The DOJ is very very wonder bread so being the albino latino that I am it makes me fit in purty easy, but also makes me realize how although our lawschool might have been diverse, our state bar is not. One of the inmates who I'm up against wrote me back saying he liked my name though. And the three whopping times I've actually gotten to go to court the judge has stated the appearances for the inmate plaintiff then looks down and reads my name and says the State is represented by Assistant Attorney General... (and makes me fill in my last name, but I like to pause for a bit to see if they'll actually give it a go).
2) If I could go back would I finish a semester early like I did or finish with everyone else?
Ehh - probably the same. This job opened up for me (it is a pretty good starting gig even if it is white bread); one semester less of loans; and although I got gypped on the partying and gifts thing, personally I'm also not big into the whole graduation whoopla and didn't really mind not having to rent a silly gown and spend half a day listening to people's names be read while you wait to pick up an empty folder. But I also understand people who think graduation is a really big event close to a wedding or birth (e.g. when my wife graduates med school it will be a very very big deal for her).
3) How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?
Because the second "could" implies that a woodchuck can't actually chuck wood, the question is unanswerable. See U.S. Forest Service vs. Woodchucks Inc., 503 U.S. 1223 (1992).
4) Where in the world would you go if all expenses were paid?
Tough one - I can actually afford to go back to Guatemala it's just a matter of getting the time to do so, so that's off. When I was in undergrad I went to South Africa for a year and the wife and I went to an all-inclusive resort on an island off the East coast of Africa called Mauritius - I wouldn't mind doing that again (and maybe visiting the Seychelles and Madagascar as well). Also up there would be a nice vacation through the Mediterranean (never been).
5) What food can't I live without?
Are margaritas a food? Otherwise I'm an eat to live rather than live to eat kinda guy. But a nice steak dinner at Tornado is always nice every once in a while.

I only hope this works...

It looks like Madison is finally trying to make it known that pedestrians really do have the right of way.

I grew up in Madison so I was taught that you always need to be careful of cars blah blah blah. Then I went to school and lived in California for a good long while, where if a pedestrian steps into the street (especially in a crosswalk), cars just stop. Then I come back here for lawschool, and almost get killed everytime I try to cross University Ave (even with the damn green man telling me to go baby go). The funniest part is that when I actually do drive (which is very rarely) I end up almost getting rear-ended by cars because I actually do wait for pedestrians to cross.

Madison's a funky-ass town when it comes to pedestrians/cars/bikes - but if more cars actually gave pedestrians the right of way I'd be a happy camper.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005


So - for those three readers out there, you probably noticed that I haven't been posting for a while. Well I took a nice little vacation to Cali to see the fam and just relax.

The crappy part about having a real job though, is that when I got back I didn't get to just start from scratch like I was used to at school. Noooooooo - instead I managed to pick up three cases while I was gone and spent the first day back just trying to go through all my e-mails and messages and catch up to try and be as far behind as I was when I actually left.

Friday, June 17, 2005

What's up with runaway kangaroos?

First there was Roo. Now there is Kanga. LLamas I've seen and heard of, but how many people own kangaroos as pets? How the hell are they escaping? MT - maybe Mr. Snuff could be tied in to this story somehow.

Poor kangas - they're wandering much further today than they should. And now they can't find their way back to three acre wood. So help them if you can because they've got to get back to the house at pooh corner by 1... to count all the bees in the hive, chase all the clouds in the sky.

Well, if you know this song at least it's not a horrible one for me to get stuck in your head.

Friday, June 10, 2005

The Streets of Laredo

Freakin Rican has given me the impetus to write a post. I've been lagging due to my first brief being due to the WI Supreme Court on Monday. Anyways, When I was a kid, I had a nutty music teacher who loved John Denver and Johnny Cash, and she made us sing this wacky old song called "Streets of Laredo" which I guess Johnny Cash sang at one point too. As any 4th or 5th grader would, we all would get all amped and snicker whenever she had us sing this one cuz we would get to say both the word "breast" and "gay" - a 4th graders dream come true. Anyways Freakin's post made me remember this song - although not an honest to god cowboy, it looks like the song has come to life once again. Pobrecito - got shot in the breast and he knew he must die.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Another headscratching Sitemeter foray

I haven't posted anything since last Friday. And yesterday I got 40 visits (a way over the top all-time high for me - shoot I don't think I even know 40 people). What's up with that? Not that I mind it of course - no videos, no giraffes, no ricancitos, and still I'm famous.

Friday, May 27, 2005

"Here comes the story of the hurricane"

Why didn't anyone let me know they named a hurricane after me? But fizzled out? Of course I'm not going to unleash my total fury, as that would involve residual damage to Guatemala. Give me some credit - you don't think I would really go after Guatemala do you?

Thursday, May 26, 2005


Another reason why spitting and rinsing is so important at the dentist's office.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

On Wisconsin!

Gotta love Wisconsin. What makes this story great is not the wacko lady with a million cats - every state has those cat ladies. But only Wisconsin's wacky cat lady keeps 65 dead cats.

Monday, May 23, 2005

I can't imagine what she is referring to...

"I saw old parlors converted to bedrooms, ancient radiators and something that looked like a hookah on the kitchen table." A hookah huh? I wonder what that could have been? And with such a strange device isn't it odd that "most of the seven roommates were still asleep at noon?"

The quotes can be found in this WSJ article.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Queen of Camelot Take 2

So I woke up way way too early this morning to go to Green Bay today for my motion to dismiss hearing against the Queen of Camelot. Motion granted. The judge basically talked for five minutes explaining why the motion should be dismissed and I just had to say "that is correct your honor" ... "that is also correct your honor." So her action was dismissed and we have been awarded costs. But, now I have to go back next month because we are having a hearing for costs. Scary thought - if I'll eat a finger for a box of cookies, how much is my work on this case worth?

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

I Suck at Titles

Well I didn't graduate, so I can't post on how blitzed I got this weekend (in fact even when I did graduate I didn't get blitzed since no one else graduated with me). Instead we went to Door County to go camping. Ahh, camping - yeah except it was Door County which doesn't get warm until July. Luckily we stayed at a B&B the first night, except the guy we were with snored like I have never heard before. I yelled at him twice and ended up just waking everyone else in the room up, but he kept right on shnaaarrrkkkking. Next day we risked it - most of the day was ok, but it did rain a bit, we did forget our ThermaRests and it was butt-ass cold that night. All in all a good weekend.

Even better was practicing my drive up to Greenbay - the Queen of Camelot awaits me this Friday.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Pooping and the Law... In this case the Law didn't win.

Gotta love Wisconsin. Even those of you who might have mistakenly happened upon this blog and have never read a court opinion, this decision is one for you to read. Shoot, it's only 16 paragraphs long and it talks about pooping and how in our society pooping "is a private matter, not often done in the presence of others."

Long story short - don't give ex-lax to a drug swallower unless you have a doc testify that doing so is in the best interests of the swallower.

Gross sidebar. How do you think the cops decided who had to fish through the poop and extract the baggie? It might only take a box of cookies for me to taste someone's chopped off finger, but for whatever reason it would take a hell of a lot more to get me to fish through someone's crap.

Monday, May 09, 2005

The Incredibly Non-exciting Life of a Newly Minted Lawyer

I have been recently criticized for failing to update my blog. Well that's cuz there's been nothing interesting going on lately. Write a brief, file a motion, same old same old. Even my cursory glances of the news of the weird have not been blog worthy. I was thinking of adding some excitement to this building and my life by streaking every floor, but figured I should wait until I pass my probationary period for that (and oh what a post that will be). I am hoping things will pick up this week so that my faithful two readers do not abandon me.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Site Meter

Gotta say, the best part about having a blog is the Site Meter. I spend a good part of my blogging time just checking out who has been visiting me. Usually I have like 3 visitors a day (well actually I can say it is 10-15 but it doesn't really count since I am one of the visitors around 12 times a day). But lately I have been Mr. Popular (shoot 4 people have viewed my blog just as I've been typing this). The very bestest part is that the referring URLs are all these blogs from people and places I've never heard that make absolutely no mention of me (to all those referring blogs that are in Spanish you can call me Sr. Popular). So how the hell am I actually getting reffered by them?? (To be honest I don't really care, as long as the numbers keep coming to inflate my tremendous ego).

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Mmmmm Mmmmm Mmmmm Finger in Custard

A finger in custard has got to be way better than a finger in chili. Since it was seemingly kept frozen, I would if they could have tried to reattach it?

And since chopping off your finger is going at a rate of a million, I wonder how much tasting someone's chopped off finger goes for?

Monday, May 02, 2005


Is this what Wisconsin will [would] have in store if cat shooting actually became legal?

Isn't great that Audrey Seiler (if the name doesn't ring a bell she was our lovely badger who faked her own abduction and curled up in the marsh for a couple of days over by the Coliseum) now has company?

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Arrested American Idol

First the arrested apprentice, now the arrested idol. What is reality television coming to? And what will Althouse think?

Queen of Camelot

So yesterday I was given a new case. It involves driving to Green Bay to argue a motion to dismiss. Knowing I actually like courtroom time, the case was quickly dumped on to me. When I was reading the file yesterday, all I could do was laugh. For the first time, my opponent is not a prisoner, but she is pro se - and she is a nutball. She has decided it is unfair that everyone else involved in her lawsuit has a title, so she has declared herself to be the "Queen of Camelot" and even signed her brief that way. As I said, yesterday I found it quite humorous to read through her ramblings. Today, however, I just found it sad. It seems clear this woman is honestly a nutball. But a semi-smart nutball. She has taken university courses; her ramblings, while somewhat schizophrenic are coherent. She keeps attempting to bring a lawsuit stemming from an incident that occurred over 14 years ago and keeps getting dismissed. At this point our office is asking for sanctions against her. The sad part is I think this woman truly believes she has been wronged and is doing what she feels is best to try and remedy the situation. Although I agree our office should not have to waste any more time on her continuously trying to re-litigate a case that has already been dismissed numerous times, I also think what this woman really needs is a mental health professional. The real question is - how do you get her to stop wasting everyone's time? At the very least, the hearing should be entertaining.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Mmmmm Mmmmmm Mmmmm finger in chili

First there was nutri-loaf, now there is the Wendy's finger in the chili. I remember in Torts my first year of law school, the professor asked a question more or less on the lines of how much would it be worth for you to have something horrible happen to your body. I think the case had something to do with a lady having throat surgery that went horribly wrong and her having to have a piece of her intestines used as her esophagus which made her have to manually squeeze the food down her new intestinal throat and caused other discomfort as well as embarassment. But the same could definitely be said for how much would it take to have your finger chopepd off. I also remember the class being somewhat awed/dismayed at how lof of a figure I would do this for, but I guess that's another story. Anyways finger lady has now been arrested, but the even more interesting story remains unsolved - whose finger was this and how much was it worth to chop it off?

p.s. just for kicks I think the comments section should be used to state your figures for both an intestinal throat and a chopped off finger.

Back from Lansing/Graduatin'

Ok I went to Lansing, felt grown up and very very young (the next closest person in age to me was in her late 30's) all at once and now I'm back. The conference was about as exciting as I imagine most conferences are. I don't wear a watch, but after what I am presuming was 20 minutes into each little schpiel I still found myself staring at my wrist and hoping the schpiel would be over soon so I could get the next round of free food. The one highlight of the trip was taking advantage of a beautiful Tuesday evening (temp. around 80) and watching the Class A Lansing Lugnuts battle the Western Michigan Whitecaps. Minor league baseball really is fun to watch, and with no t.v. the games are quick.
On another note, I have been noticing that all of my other 3L compatriots are about to graduate. This has made me think about whether or not graduating early was such a wise decision. The benefits: didn't have to pay an extra semester of tuition, the only job I really applied for fell into my lap, my wife and I will have health insurance for the first time in three years starting in July, and I am actually earning an income. The detriments: I missed out on another semester of being a student (which to me meant loads and loads of free time), I didn't go to graduation since it was so small and was so close to Christmas which means I didn't send out graduation notices and got gypped out of graduation gifts (definitely some lingering resentment there), and I actually have to work. All in all, I am glad I finished school early... but I wouldn't mind it if my family belatedly lavished with me gifts and praise for doing so.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Off to Lansing

Today I get to feel real grown up as I am off to my first conference. I get to go to Lansing, Michigan to learn what our office (The AG's office for those new here - although since I only have 3 readers I guess this is just wishful thinking) can do to prepare for public health emergencies. I hope we have thrilling role-playing exercises where I get to save the whole office building single-handedly. I'll give you the sccop when I return on Thursday. Until then, you are somehow going to have to survive for two whole days without a post.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Mmmm Mmmmm Mmmm Nutri-loaf

I have been my assigned my first case where a prsioner has complained about "nutri-loaf." According to Vegetarians in Paradise, "'Nutriloaf' is a baked bean and flour combination with shredded carrots, spinach, raisins, potato, rice, (non-vegan) shredded cheese, and bread that is used as a punishment food." Hard to think meatloaf gets such a bad rap when nutri-loaf is out there. The funniest link I found however is this ditty about a vegan who refused his nutri-loaf and went on a hunger strike for healthier food. The stuff sounds exactly like what quite a few of my stereotypical hippie/granola Peace Corps compratiots would make and try to convince me was so tasty. Thanks, but no thnaks. Once you've had a steak at the Tornado Room, nutri-loaf just doesn't hold its luster for me.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

The Arrested Apprentice

For all those Apprentice fans out there (I never really liked this one - Survivor, Amazing Race, Real World/Road Rules, I'm all over - but Donald does not really do it for me) check out volcano Chris Shelton here. Mug shots always make me chuckle.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Wascally Wabbits

The Ocean writes about how she would like "jackasses or a herd of elephants" to chase the rabbits out of her yard. Looks to me like the more profitable option is to catch one and then threaten to eat it unless you are paid $50,000. The U.S. cracks me up sometimes. The fact that this guy is creating an uproar over threatening to eat his pet rabbit is just silly. The fact that people have actually paid him close to $25,000 already (and with the coverage he is getting I am sure he will meet his mark) is just ludicrous.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Wacky Wisconsin Animals

First there was Roo hopping along a Wisconsin highway, now his friend (I can't believe s/he doesn't have a name, so I suggest either flame (llama = flame in Spanish) or Lindsey) the llama was also out carousing. Gotta love Wisconsin.

(p.s. (I am thinking I am becoming a professional (i.e. no longer amateur) parenthetical writer (it really is sort of fun) (you should try it))).

Thursday, April 07, 2005

More Manure

Uh oh Ocean that wacky Madison manure is back. I particularly like the mention of an "odor index." Sounds delightful, doesn't it?

Perpetual Bliss

I have often thought how great it would be to be a professional student. This guy is actually doing it. Even with the huge loan debt and the slacker tax which he now has to pay, I gotta say I am somewhat envious. Undergrad really was a blissful time (because I didn't bother about working to pay my way through law school like I did for undergrad, law school was in many respects even more blissful). You got to act like (and were usually treated like) an adult but with no real responsibilities. Getting gloriously trashed on a Tuesday night just to get gloriously trashed on a Tuesday night was A-ok. If it was nice out, and it generally was in Santa Barbara, it was almost never a big deal to just not go to class because I had few, if any (have to admit I don't really remember if I took any classes where attendance was required - maybe all those Tuesday nights affected my memory a little bit), classes which took attendance. And to top it off, you still got at least 1/4 of the year off (as a reward for all that really hard work I guess). So, can you really blame this guy for trying to hold on to this lifestyle for as long as he possibly can? Don't ever give up Johnny. Slack, Johnny, slack - it gives me a dream to hold on to.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Elevator man

I don't know why this struck me as being so funny, but it did. 3 days stranded in an elevator I can actually understand. But come on - the authorities were looking for this guy, his pleas for help (although in Mandarin) were heard, maintenance guys came to check out the elevator, and he still stayed in the damn elevator for 3 days!!?? Maybe it's just me, but I would hope that someone would be able to put 2 and 2 together to figure out that hmmm, some guy keeps calling from an elevator in a language I don't understand, that elevator hasn't moved from floor 3 (and 1/2) for a very long time, and the cops were looking for some delivery guy equates to some guy is probably stuck in the elevator. Oh well, at least he got to catch up on his sleep.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005


Yesterday I got to go to Racine to argue a motion to dismiss. Although the hearing wasn't until 9 and the Mapquest said it took only 2 hours to get there, I left around 6 just to make sure. Thank god I did. The Mapquest directions had me going from Madison to Milwaukee and then down to Racine. Of course, at 6 am I am not at my best (I am definitely a night person, not a morning one), so instead of taking the I-94(towards Milwaukee), I got on the I-90 (towards Chicago). Whoops. Didn't even realize my mistake until I was almost in Janesville. Luckily, I had a map and was able to zigzag my way to Racine without having to backtrack and with no real horrendous delay. In fact I liked the last portion of the route so much that I ended up taking it on the way back. It was a beautiful day for a drive and driving through farmland and the occassional small town was much nicer than taking the interstate the whole way. Now I know some people hate driving, and if i had to commute everyday I would too, but to be honest there's something about driving on a two-lane highway through Wisconsin on a beautiful day that I find to be really enjoyable. I sort of like the barns and silos, the cows and horses, and the small towns that you drive through about every 15 minutes. I don't think it was much slower either. I took the 20 from Racine to I think Whitewater and then from there I took the 12 which takes you through Fort Atkinson, which I think is a much more direct route. And the best part of it was I got paid to be out of the office, I got to be in court (although it was only a 3 minute argument - I basically just said you can't sue the state without its consent and the judge siad you are right), and then I got paid for a beautiful 2 hour drive home. If the AG's office needed a full-time easy motion arguer around the state, I think I would be a very happy camper.

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Jailhouse lawyers

There are times when I get sick of reading and writing and start thinking that maybe it would not be such a bad idea to commit some small federal crime and get myself a nice little Martha Stewart sentence so I can go meditate for a couple of months. Today is one of those days. I don't want to research or write anymore about what an inmate needs to do to successfully argue that he is being denied his right to access the courts. He's gonna lose - can't I just write that instead? I know "sorry, you are wrong" is not exactly the response that either the inmate ot the judge is looking for, but it sure would make some cases easier. Yikes - starting to get bitter and I haven't even been here for 3 months.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

A little time to write

Yikes - looked at my site meter today and realized I have more than 2 readers. Ususally I look and I have about 10 visitors but then I realize that I was a visitor 8 times. But yesterday I actually had a whopping 7 visitors and there was nothing to see. So, for those random people who might drop by this site, today I will write at least a little blurb. To be honest I didn't find anything real interesting in the news to chat about today (although I did find the Supreme Court ruling on the Alabama highschool girls basketball coach Title IX case at least somewhat interesting). So instead I will give a quick update on my life as a newly minted lawyer. My caseload is forever growing, but I am starting to get to work on some cool cases. I have been given tasks to do on a case involving the guy who killed Dahmer, and it looks like I am going to be handling some stuff on a case involving an inmate who is being given female hormones (the press has taken off on this one a bit) and has ... well let's just say he has developed along nicely. Next week I get to go back to court to argue a motion to dismiss in a small claims case. And the following week I get to go to my first conference out of state (from what I can tell these are things that no one else wants to go to, but I am looking forward to getting out of the office). Yes I get to go to that farway land called Michigan. The conference is about what AG Offices should do to help states with emergency preparedness plans. We shall see what it's all about. And on a personal note, I just found out that I am going to be a tio (uncle) - what's even cooler is that my 11 year old and 4 year old half siblings are also going to become an aunt and uncle respectively. I still find it funny that it is possible to have an uncle who is younger than you (didn't we have some weird case in T & E about relating to weird hillbilly familial ties?).

Thursday, March 24, 2005

I'm back and I'm busy

Ok for those two readers out there. Ohio was a blast, except for hearing that one of the volunteers who was with us in Guatemala, and then became a Peace Corps Training Director in Kazakhstan has just died (very triste). We ate and drank like royalty, and our dog got to play with their dog (another Guatemalan chucho) who supposedly was not "good" with other dogs. Well Monty (their dog) must've known that Chula (our dog) was his compadre because they were playing non-stop. Anyways, I'm back, and yes I'm busy. I sorta thought someone, like myself, with no "real" experience wasn't going to be given very many responsibilities at my office until I became "experienced." I was wrong. They might not be "important" responsibilities, but yikes I've already filled up two drawers worth of files. Instead of the "why don't you help so and so by researching X" which I was expecting, instead it has been more like "here's another case that I am assigning to you." So it's back to brief writing for me.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Spring Break??

Today is the last day of classes, before Spring Break begins. Hooray for my wife. Wahhh for me. Having a job is nice, but I sure wouldn't mind a week off. I am taking Monday off however, and we are going somewhere this weekend. Not as luxurious as Florida or California, but out of staet at least. Yes, me, my wife and our chucha are going to the lovely state of Ohio. A mini Peace Corps reunion is in store for us with 3 of our closest Peace Corps friends. I am super excited for a nice weekend filled with reminiscing, boozing, and catching up. Maybe we'll even go search for a neighbor's pig to castrate just to remind us of the "good ole days."

Wednesday, March 16, 2005


The University of Central Florida (the alma mater of Freakin Rican, I believe) has released the graduation rates for the teams in the NCAA basketball tournament (UCF is one of the schools dancing this year and has a so-so graduation rate of 43%). A couple of big schools (LSU and Minnesota) have not graduated one basketball player since 1997-98. Not one!! Notwithstanding the occassional player who leaves school early to enter the draft, I just don't see how this can be considered acceptable by any coach, president, or university. Some of the schools really surprised me. Duke and Texas Tech both have coaches (Coach K and Knight respectively) who are known to say how important it is to have their "kids" become men under their tutelage. That they want their kids to prosper after school and realize how important an education is in realizing this. And yet they have graduation rates of only 58% and 33% respectively. Wisconsin's 73% graduation rate is high on this list. But to me, 73% still isn't cutting it. Now I understand that the UW's basketball team graduation rate is actually higher than the overall school's graduation rate (which hovers around 65%), but if I were the coach of a college team, my overriding concern would be to make sure that all the kids who I had chosen to represent the school through their athletic endeavor graduated. Coaches have the ability to get their players tutors, to make them go to "study hall", etc. I realize wins and losses are important, but what the hell is a 21 year old kid who has no shot of playing professionally going to do when his 4 years of eligibility are up?

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Mistakes and my first google referral

Ok - I jsut read my last post and realize I am not a real good speller of the word "the" - it often comes out teh for me. Same thing with "just" - my fingers prefer jsut (see teh first sentence above). But I am too much of a lazy ass to actually edit teh (ok, yes you are right, I am now jsut having fun) posts so deal with it.

On another note - I checked my site meter and saw that my normal two visitors have been checking my blog (woo hoo at least I have two), but even cooler was the fact that someone came to my site after a google search. Bet you can't guess what they were looking for? That's right, my favorite standby, barnyard manure. To make it even cooler, it looks like it was a Vietnamese search for barnyard manure. See it here. I now declare myself semi-famous.


I went, I saw, I conquered. Last Thursday, my supervisor came in and said how'd you like to argue a case in Manitowoc on Monday? The lawyer who had been assigned teh case got teh flu so it fell into my lap. As I have previously said, I miss court action, so I said sure. The case involved a very over-involved father of a 20 year-old who is on probation. Daddy thinks junior should be given more breaks and has been harassing the kids probation agent and her supervisor over the last year with repeated phone calls where he yells, swears, and threatens to take them down for not doing their jobs right. In December he became more threatening and said he was going to come to their office and they should be ready to call 911 and that if he saw them in public he would at least get a disorderly conduct for how he would act. They got themselves a harassment injunction issued by a court commissioner. Daddy decided to have that decision reviewed, so they asked for representation. And that's where I came in. Dum dum dum, spleenless wonder to the rescue. It didn't seem like a real difficult case - I just had to prove he was harassing and/or threatening the agents. But I put a decent amount of time into preparing the case. And since I'm a rookie, my boss assigned a seasoned attorney to go with me and make sure I didn' t fall on my face. Well I nailed it - injunction granted. But before you start thinking what a natural orator I must be, I have to confess... the reason I won is simply because Daddy decided not to show up. Oh well - a win is a win right? And I did get to take a tour of a sub at the Wisconsin Maritime Museum - gotta love Manitowoc.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Here kitty kitty

No poker tonight = bad thing. Get to go to Manitowoc and actually argue in front of a real judge on Monday = good thing. Silly Madisonions = funny thing. Sometimes, our local papers are actually pretty cute. This story in the Cap Times, to me, fits the bill. Maybe it is just me, but I can easily see a stereotypical, pacifist Madisonion making a death threat against someone who says kitty kitty is not so angelic after all. I love Madison, but it is a funny town in a lot of respects. I grew up here, went away for college, and came back for law school. I remember telling my wife (who had never been to Wisconsin before our move) how "diverse" and "liberal" Madison was. And then we arrived and the (semi) adult me realized that a lot of this "madtown's" reputation is a bunch of bunk. Diverse?? Coming from California and then the Peace Corps - not so much - gotta face it, Madison is purty pearly. Liberal?? Yes and no - my perception is that a lot of Madisonions are liberal in a "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" way. Don't worry, I'm not totally off of the Madison bandwagon - after all, any capital city that has establishments serving fried cheese curds can't be too bad.

Monday, March 07, 2005

The Tale of the Spleenless Wonder

Ok it has been a productive morning. One appellate brief finished, and a reply brief that isn't even due until next week is also crossed off the list. So I figure I have time on my lunch hour today to write the tale of the spleenless wonder. Once upon a time...

I was a Peace Corps volunteer in the Western Highlands of Guatemala. Our mode of transportation consisted of walking, hitchhiking, riding on decommissioned BlueBird school buses (yes the big yellow school buses made for elementary school students) which were re-painted into "cool colors" and often had a row of seats added in (see here), or riding bikes. On this fateful day, my wife and I decided to ride our bikes. Now, to be fair, these bikes were actually pretty nice. U.S. government issued, perfectly ridable, mountain bikes. But we did live in the highlands, so this wasn't normal bikeriding - it was riding down a huge hill, followed by maybe 300 yards of semi-flat biking, and then biking up a huge hill. And all of this was done on dirt (read mud in the rainy season and 6 inches of dust in the dry season) roads. Moreover, my bike, had been used very frequently by a previous volunteer at our site (including one trip from our site at 10,000 feet all the way down to the coast), so the brake pads were ... well I could clamp both of them down the whole way and the bike would only slow down a bit.

It was a really nice January afternoon (dry season = 6 inches of dust on roads) so there was no rain yet, and we made it to our meeting "sin novedad" (with no problems). In fact, I thought I was getting pretty good at the Flintstones style of braking by dragging my feet on the ground towards the bottom of each hill. It was on the way back that the adventure began.

I had just made it down one large hill using the Flintstones braking method when we made it to the top of the next hill. I actually stopped, looked down, saw a steep hill with a hairpin turn at the bottom and asked my wife if she thought I could make it. Foolish, foolish me. What I wanted her to do was go first, so I could see how fast she got going. But being the man that I am, I clearly did not communicate this well enough, so she responded by simply saying "I dunno." So I proceeded down this hill, with my brakes clamped down the whole way, gaining more and more speed and when I made it to the bottom where the hairpin turn began I began to try to make the turn but skidded a bit and realized that I would wipe out if I tried to fully complete the 180 degree turn. So I remember realizing in that milisecond that I had 2 choices: 1) wipe out, or 2) just go straight and run into those bushes in front of me. I chose option number 2.

Unfortunately "those bushes" was actually one decrepit shrub, followed by a ravine (but there were bushes on the other side of the ravine). Needless to say the shrub did not break my fall as well as I had hoped the bushes would. And dum dum dum, the flying gringo was born. Over the handle bars I went and fell about 20 feet down into a creek (I was actually very lucky it was only 20 feet, if I had flown off of the previous cliff we had just passed it would have been more like a 200 foot drop). My wife who was behind me, says that when she saw my feet disappear over the edge, she thought she would find me dead. Hurt yes, dead no. I don't remember the fall but I do remember landing - basically on my back. After shaking off the daze, I realized I was getting soaked and managed to scoot myself up onto a rock. At that point my wife appeared and when she saw I was actually sitting up, her fear turned to relief but she still was obviously in some sort of shock as well because the first thing she did was retrieve my bike which had landed about half way down the side of the ravine and dragged it back up to the road. Screw the hubby - get the bike!!

Next on the scene were two motorcycle delivery guys from Guatemala's equivalent of UPS. They managed to help me back up to the road and went off to our town to get the ambulance. By the time I made it to the road I was definitely cold, wet, and probably starting to go into shock. Of course this being Guatemala, meant that it probably took the guys about a half-hour to get to our town, and then when they did get there they had to track down someone from our town's Red Cross (probably another half-hour at least), and then of course that person had to find the keys to the ambulance, which was actually just a mini-van with the back seats taken out, (maybe an hour?) and track down someone else to accompnay him since this involved the gringo and he didn't want to do this by himself. So between 3 and 4 hours after I had attempted flight, the ambulance arrived.

In the meantime any person who lived nearby had by this time heard that a gringo had just flown off a cliff and had to come out to see the action. A cute, wizened up old lady was chanting over and over in a sing song fashion "el gringo va a morir" (the gringo is going to die) - she was doing this more as a prayer than a haha the honkey is going to die, but nevertheless they weren't really the words that either me or my wife wanted to hear. And of course I was offered coffee - but for the first time I felt it was not totally impolite to say no to the coffee, my wife on teh other hand still had to drink a cup. My clothes had somehow been removed from me (good thing), a blanket was placed over me (another good thing), but the blanket was generally used as a blanket that was put between a horse and his saddle so it smelled like manure (bad thing) and Guatemalan custom is to totally cover a person who is hurt or sick with blankets which meant that they were trying to put this stinky blanket over my head (another bad thing). The woman who brought the coffee also brought a pair of her husband's pants to put on me as well, but for some reason my wife and I were the only one's who thought it useless to try and put a pair of pants made for a guy who was at most 5'4" was gonna be useless on a guy who is 6'4".

Anyways, the ambulance finally did show up. And a half-hour to 45 minutes later we arrived at our town's medical clinic. My wife then called the Peace Corps nurse, who said we had to get to the hospital in Xela, a 3 hour trip away. So off we went again and eventually we did make it to the hospital in Xela. Of course, the CAT scan machine was only operable between 9 am and 3 pm so we had to wait until the following morning to finally figure out what was really wrong with me. I thought I had done something to my shoulder, my hip, and that something was wrong internally. I was pretty accurate - I had broken (but just a hairline fracture) my pelvis and lacerated my spleen. When the Peace Corps nurse found out my spleen was a mess, she decided I needed to get to the hospital in Guatemala City (where she was located) so that a US board certified surgeon could cut me open. So we had another little adventure trying to get to the mini-airport in Xela where a private plane was awaiting to fly me to the capital (pretty cool huh?). And only 2 days after I had originally attempted to be Supergringo by flying over the cliff, my spleen was finally removed. And that, my friends, is the tale of the spleenless wonder.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Maybe It's Because Spring Is In The Air/When I Was In The Peace Corps

It truly is a beautiful day here in Madison. The first crocuses are blooming, birds are chirping, I just cleaned the gutters. Good day. Maybe it is because spring is in the air that I am reminiscing about Guatemala - "the land of eternal spring." Or maybe it is because when I was walking my dog back from the law school (my wife likes to study there better than she does at her med school - yes we are going to be the Huxtables in reverse), we encountered a loose dog who had knocked down every trash can in our alley and was clearly enjoying himself as he was consuming his own buffet brunch. The funniest part to me was that our dog, a true Guatemalan chucha (street dog), who we brought back from our Peace Corps stint with us, has forgotten her roots. Instead of joining in the dumpster dive, our chucha decided to protect our alley by barking at the trash connoisseur. He merely looked up from the remnants of pizza he was enjoying, gave us two sniffs and dejectedly sauntered off. I would have tried to take him to his home, but my chucha was having none of that.

Anyways, for whatever reason Guatemala is on my brain today, and I miss it. Five years ago (jeez has it really been that long?), I joined my wife on our adventure to Guatemala. Peace Corps was something she had always wanted to do, and since the UW law school deferred my admission, I had no problems delaying "true adulthood" a couple of more years by going along for the ride. I ended up loving it. Now when Peace Corps comes up, people will ask how did you like it? My answer is always: "it was great." But that really doesn't do it justice. What follows is my meager attempt to explain (just some of the reasons) why it was great.

When I was in the Peace Corps...
1) I got to delay "true adulthood" for 2 more years. My wife had always wanted to do the Peace Corps and when the UW law school deferred my admission, I had no problem for what I thought would be "just going along for the ride."
2) I got to meet my wife's family. She was born in Guatemala and many of her Dad's siblings still live there, giving us a familial safety net in the capital whenever we needed it.
3) I got to learn Spanish (although not perfectly). Both my wife and I grew up in households where both of parents spoke fluent Spanish but did not teach it to us - so learning Spanish was a big deal for both of us.
4) I lost my spleen. Huh? How is that great? Well, I survived, and the story will forever be a good one to tell. I'll probably save it for another post, but it involved me flying off a cliff on my bike and a little old lady yelling/praying "el gringo va a morir" (the gringo, me, is going to die).
5) I only got to e-mail maybe once or twice a month, but every single e-mail had new and exciting stories to tell. 3 years post Peace Corps and my fellow volunteers write to each other about once or twice a year, all of us basically saying life is fine - but no longer are there stories of crazy rides on decommissioned BlueBird school buses that are used as daily transport (no at 6'4" I did not fit into the seats very well), new foods eaten, frustrations over learning a new language or trying to find "meaningful" work, families who have adopted you as one of their own, or even details of illnesses or what your poop looks like which for whatever reason becomes such a normal and interesting topic when you are in the Peace Corps but not so riveting when back in the States.
6) I made $2,000 a year and felt (and as a married couple we really were) rich.
7) I got a dog. Her name is chula (means cute). And I get to fool people in to believing she is a "Guatemalan Highland Terrier" - perhaps it is not a registered breed with the American Kennel Club yet, but I think she would win a dog show.
8) Time had no meaning.
9) I climbed the highest point in Central America and swam in a lake surrounded by volcanoes.
10) I walked everyday for hours a day and was not considered to be crazy. I will now walk from my house (close to Camp Randall) to say the square (maybe a couple of miles) and people will think I am wacko.
11) My dog was a celebrity - she was allowed on the buses with us (gringoes do have some privileges), and people there did not believe that a chucha could be trained so would always be amazed when she would sit, lie down and shake (especially since we trained her in Spanish).
12) I helped build a greenhouse.
13) I brought a truckload of pregnant goats from the coast to one of our neighboring communities in the highlands and felt like I was the king of the world.
14) We had a plancha, a wood burning stove, that was connected to the water pipes so that on special days when we actually had time to be at home and fire that sucker up we would have hot showers.
15) I learned how to bake using a propane stove (three burners connected to a propane tank) and a tinfoil dutch oven.
16) I killed, plucked, cooked, and ate a chicken.
17) I hitchhiked without fear. I could wave down and ride in the back of pick-up trucks with 15 other people (and our dog) for 1 quetzal (maybe 15 cents).
18) We used our kitchen cabinets as a fridge. Meat left in the cabinet for a day meant fresh meat. Now if I leave chicken out of the fridge for an hour I start to squirm about salmonella.
19) I learned how to castrate pigs (and rams), inject vitamins into any animal you could think of, trim hooves, cut horns, plant a corn field with just a hoe, graft trees, wash my clothes in a cement sink, and bargain for everything.
And 20) We didn't own a tv. I am a couch potato, so you would think this would be on my list of why Peace Corps sucked, but we didn't need a tv - we read books, played scrabble or cards, listened to music, spent two hours making meals, or we just talked. The time I spent with my wife is probably the thing I miss the most - for some couples the fact that we were together almost every hour of the day would have destroyed them. But we thrived. Sure we had some spats, but god I miss that time together. So if you have made it this far in my ramblings, those are some of the reasons why I miss Guatemala. And on that note, I am off to do some shopping, so maybe I can make some dinner for my constantly studying wife and I'll turn off my beloved tv and maybe for 15 minutes tonight we can talk and remember why we both say "Peace Corps was great."

Interesting Race Test

Gotta thank my mom for telling me about this site from Harvard. Basically Harvard has been doing research using black faces and white faces and "good" words and "bad" words to see if people have preferences for whites versus blacks. The majority of the whites who take the test end up with an "automatic preference" for European Americans relative to African Americans. You can take it here. They also have tests regarding gender and age.

Friday, March 04, 2005

The News I Like to Read

In case you haven't already noticed, I am generally not a big blabber about "current events." Not that I am not interested, I just feel that enough is probably being said by others already. So no Michael Jackson, Martha Stewart, Iraq war, or Aids in Africa here (well Michael and Martha are wacky enough that they might make a future appearance - you never know). Instead I bring you news that is really important. Like this. Who wouldn't want to know about this cruising cat? Maybe the owner can train it to ride on top of even faster cars - I might watch NASCAR if there were cats on top of the cars. For a feel good story from our own humble town read this. He is right too, his story would make a perfect movie (although I see it more on the lines of a made for tv/after-school special movie rather than the big screen). But hey, no one is going to make a movie about me.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

The legend of the cane...

The University of Wisconsin Law School has a tradition where the third year class gets to saunter across the football field before the Homecoming game wearing silly bowler hats and carrying canes. We then got to toss our cane over the goalpost and if we caught it the legend has it that you are supposed to win your first case. Well I caught my cane but the winning part ... not so much in my case. But, to be honest I am not very heartborken. I was assigned a case in which a prisoner had has petition to change his name granted. The DOC found out about it when they got the judge's order telling them to change all of their records, and surprise surprise they then decided that they didn't want this guy to change his name after all. So I had the task of attempting to argue to the judge why the DOC should now be able to intervene after he had already granted the name-change petition and then reverse his decision. I gave it a go - but I was not too surprised nor upset when he basically said you snooze, you lose. The prisoner followed the rules by publishing his request for three straight weeks and the DOC had the opportunity to intervene at that point and did not. Oh well, at least I got to get out of the office for basically the whole day and it was a beautiful day for a drive.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Local Barnyard Manure

Funny how barnyard manure is mentioned just once and then it suddenly starts popping up all over the place huh? Last week the Ocean said she would write about barnyard manure if she came across any that was amusing. Well I found what I thought was an amusing story about manure last week (see Barnyard Manure post below). And now, although more on the lines of sad than amusing, we have our own local barnyard manure story. Too bad the Ocean didn't mention being willing to write about new Assistant Attorneys General winning the lottery. Oh well, at least I am not a trout in that stream - what a way to go. Death by manuratization. Pobre truchas.

Monday, February 28, 2005


You would think such an interesting story would get some coverage in Madison's press, but alas I had to resort to googling to find info about this cute critter. Seems this kangaroo was found wandering aimlessly in Dodgeville. As a kid I remember going to Governor Dodge state park - what a trip it would have been to see this kangaroo on the way! Anyways after safely and "easily" capturing Roo, he was taken to Henry Vilas Zoo. And now after 30 days of investigation and no real owner coming to the plate, the zoo has dibs on Roo. I still have a couple of questions though: 1) why is it I had to find my sources for this story from not only out of the area, but out of the state?; and 2) are there still two wandering kangaroos out there somewhere? - both a CT woman and a guy from Appleton claim to be missing kangaroos but their claims have been "ruled out." (See the link at investigation above). I am hoping they have some sort of naming contest at the zoo for their newest addition.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Long day

Sorry (then again it may be a good thing for those two readers out there) but it was a long, tedious day going through an inmate's proposed findings of fact who is alleging over 90 different issues. So no real post today. Instead I am off to play poker.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Barnyard manure

The Ocean wrote that she would be willing to write about amusing barnyard manure. Ask and you shall receive. And not just good old fashioned manure, this is a 2,000 ton pile of manure that has been burning for four months.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Mmmm Bacon

Bacon is good. A researcher is planning on using pigs to test whether tasers can actually kill right here at the UW. On a serious note though, what kind of data can this researcher realy expect to garner from just ten little piggies? Pobre chanchos.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Sounds like the making of a John Irving book to me

Combine story 1 about an elephant goring a zookeeper to death with story 2 about an Alaskan Bobbit (no not Hobbit, Bobitt as in yes cross those legs boys) and you have the makings of a John Irving book don't ya think?

I wonder what you would need to do to get suspended?

Of course the first thing I do when I get my copy of Wisconsin Lawyer is to flip to the Lawyer Discipline section. You can read it here. The winner this month has to be John Birdsall. Esquire Birdsall is the president of the WI Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and a past chairman of the Criminal Law Section of the State Bar of WI. You can read all about him and his practice here. So what did this noble lawyer do? Well he had a client who was accused of attempted murder after pointing a gun at the head of his girlfriend and pulling the trigger but the gun did not fire (presumably the gun was unloaded). To get rid of this nasty case, he decided to meet with the (now ex) girlfriend and secretly videotape the meeting in which he encouraged her to recant her statement. But to make matters even worse he decided to make sure that the accused would show up after the meeting had taken place and then continue to interview (pressure anyone??) her with him there even though he knew that his client had an explicit no-contact provision in the order granting him bail. Amazingly (it really is hard to believe isn't it?) his tactics worked, and she recanted. So what kind of punishment does one of Wisconsin's leaders in criminal defense law get for these actions?? Jail time?; his license revoked?, his license suspended? Naaahhhh. He got the super-harsh "public reprimand" instead. So what was the end result of this fine display of lawyering? Well his client was acquitted of 1st degree attempted homicide but was found guilty of violating the no-contact provision and sentenced to 5 years in prison. And Birdsall pled guilty to contempt of a court order - the equivalent of a traffic ticket and paid the fine - oh yeah and now he has been "publicly reprimanded." You can read the court's decision here. At least I am feeling a little better that my license won't be revoked for a minor screw-up.

Friday, February 18, 2005

An Old Yeller Syndrome?

Why is it people (including myself) have their heartstrings tugged at more when they hear of an animal who is facing harm than they do when they fear of people in danger?

Looks more like shuffleboard on ice than chess on ice to me

Ok ok - I know curling is "hot" in Madison. We have had a few well known Olympians from Madison - the speedskating Heidens and volleyballer Jeff Nygaard come to my mind - but I am sure we have also had quite a few Olympic curlers who no one has ever heard of. But no matter how "intellectual" or "demanding" curling truly is - it still looks like shuffleboard on ice to me. Not that shuffleboard on ice is a bad thing - I just wouldn't consider it a highly demanding sport. To me there are some "sports" that as long as you are willing to put a decent amount of hours into, you would have to become pretty good. They are more of "games" to me than they are "sports." Bowling, poker, darts, and yes shuffleboard on ice would fall into this category as well. This does not mean that I don't think people should play, or even that there probably are honest to god "experts" in each (I am afterall both a bowler and a diehard Hold'em player), but "chess on ice?" Come on. The thought of getting an olympic medal for pushing a big stone down a slab of ice and getting to use those brooms is quite appealing though. Definitely something to put on my "Things I should at least try once list."

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Hey new lawyer, have you gotten out of the office lately?

So I was reading my favorite law professor's blog who was momentarily lamenting on missing when she actually had to practice rather than just teach law (and then realizing how happy she is to not have to practice). Well I might be actually practicing law, but I haven't had to leave the office once in my month here. Last summer I interned for the Dane County D.A.'s office in the juvenile division. Once the lawyers there realized I wasn't a total idiot they started giving me lots of stuff to do. I got to argue in front of a court commissioner everyday, and I was fortunate enough to actually try 5 cases (most law students are lucky to try one case). And I have to say, I miss the daily action of actually being in a courtroom. Writing briefs is interesting - but I also am feeling like I just go into a hole for 8 hours a day. The fact that all of my cases have been pretty frivolous does not make it any more fun (but maybe a little funny at least). So far all of my cases involve prisoners who are suing this great badger state because their civil liberites have allegedly been violated in one way or another. The best case so far has been a guy who got written up for making a mess after using the drinking fountain to clean himself after he farted while praying (as a Muslim he claims he must remain clean in order to pray). His complaint was the most reasonable one I've had so far... but the way in which he complained was incorrect so he will lose. Anyways, teaching may not involve the actual practice of law - but at least you have contact with other people on a daily basis. At this point I really miss that.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Hotel Rwanda

I am in a bowling league where the first thing that comes to mind when you enter the building is "I am in Wisconsin." Every other Friday night I get to see a throng of white/pink faces eating fried cheese curds, drinking beer, and talking about the Packers. Everyone has their own shoes, ball, and wristguard. Which makes our team composed of two Colombians, myself (the tallest and whitest Mexican/Costa Rican/Nigerian you have ever scene) and one true Wisconsite, well it makes our team interesting to say the least. As an homage to his homeland our captain named our team "los cafeteros" which of course, in true Wisconsin style, means the other teams think we are all cafeteria workers. We rent the beautiful multi-colored shoes from the alley and choose a ball from their assortment as well (I really like the green one). Although none of us is going to make the PBA, our motley crew has an enjoyable time and with the incredible handicap that we have (mis)earned we actually do all right - you might think we would never lose with 200 free points given to us every game but we manage to do so. Anyways... last Friday was the first time we had to bowl against ourselves (15 teams in the league mean one team has no one to play against each week), and I think we might have actually lost. Oh well - back to the title of this post. After bowling on Friday we went to see Hotel Rwanda. Definitely not an uplifiting film, but one of those films along the lines of Schindler's List which you really should go see. Don Cheadle was amazing, and the movie, although not visually gory, did not make it hard to imagine the genocide that was happening. Great movie - but one where you need to set aside like 15 minutes afterwards to jsut let your thoughts settle again.

Friday, February 11, 2005

time to go home

Ok it's Friday and at 4 o'clock that means that it is almost quitting time. I started work here at the DOJ about a month ago and was very, very excited to have a job right after I graduated from law school in December. I am still excited (and somewhat nervous) - everything I am doing is new to me - but I also have to say that I already miss the life of a student. True, money coming in is nicer than money always going out, but I think I was only having to do about 5 hours of school work a week my last year of law school and was playing poker the rest of the time. So going to an office and working 40+ hours a week is actually a little harder than I thought it would be. All I can think now is thank god I didn't go after a "big firm" job. If 40 hours is tough, I just can't imagine working 80 hours a week. Ok that's it for now. I need to mentally prepare for bowling tonight.

first blog

Ok ok - since I am now a blog junkie, I figured it was time to start writing my own. I know it is supposed to be a daily occurrence... we shall see.