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.