Saturday, December 30, 2006

Wind Beneath My Wings

I hate to fly. Not just a little bit. I mean, I absolutely hate flying. Not as much as I hate boats, but I really don't like to be off solid ground. John Madden had a point with the bus thing. Yesterday was one of those days which encapsulates everything I hate about air travel.

We'll pick up the story in Philly. I don't really want to get into why I was in the Philly airport, but I would like to point out that flying from Baltimore to Philly is one of the all-time colossal wastes of time. At most, its a 30 minute flight. They never even turned off the light saying it was okay to use electronic devices. You don't even finish the ascent before its time to descend. But there I was, flying to Philadelphia against my will and better judgment.*

There was a "weather event" in Dallas yesterday. Or, as I like to call them, tornadoes. I didn't know that as I loaded onto the plane at 2:00 EST. Anyway, we sat on the plane for a half an hour before the captain told everybody that there were storms in Dallas, no one was landing, so we'd take off in an hour. So just sit tight, kids. We'll be in the air in an hour. So we sat on a plane for an hour, and true to his word, we took off at about 3:30 EST.

At 7:00 CST, we landed in Shreveport.

There's not a whole lot of flightplans I disapprove of more than "Philly to Shreveport," so I was a little miffed. I'd also been sitting in this plane for six hours now, and I was kind of getting sick of it. I don't like being trapped in a small metal tube any longer than I have to be. Apparently, the storms hadn't stopped and traffic was being rerouted to other airports. OK, fine. But I was flying US Air, and US Air does not fly to Shreveport. So the good people at the Shreveport airport wouldn't let us deplane. So I was stuck on the airplane until we got clearance and of course, fuel.

At this point, I should point out that I was sitting next to a deaf-mute. Ordinarily, this is the greatest person in the world to sit next to you because I don't have to talk to them, but breaking the bad news to her over a series of scribbled notes was not my idea of a good time.

"Where are we?"
"Tornadoes in Dallas."
"When do we get to Dallas?"
"After we get fuel"
"When is that?"

The correct answer turned out to be 9:30 CST. Of course, they forgot the paperwork. And by this point, the storm had moved past Dallas and settled into -- you guessed it -- Shreveport. I called my buddy Bruce for a weather update:

"You know how rain is usually green on the map?"
"It's red"
"That's not good."
"You ain't taking off."
"Sure we are, the airline wouldn't lie."
"Well, put your arms above your head."
"Because its gonna be a better ride than anything in DisneyWorld."

We took off. To call that "turbulence" is like calling a torando "breezy".

I was sitting over the wing, so I looked out my window and realized it was so cloudy I couldn't see the wingtip. I half expected to see the gremlin from the Twilight Zone. Every so often the sky would light up with a flash of lightning which would helpfully illuminate the entire cabin. I took that opportunity to look around the cabin to make sure we weren't all dead.

It was at about this point the lady behind me asked if I was using my air sickness bag. I had never actually seen a barf bag used on a flight, and really, I think I could have gone my whole life without that experience.

We landed in Dallas a little after midnight. At that point, I had been sitting in the same metal tube for 11 hours. That little bag of pretzels also wasn't doing the best of job of nipping that hunger in the bud.

And then I left the airport and got to drive home to Waco. So, how was your vacation?

*Note from Management -- I think we've established beyond any reasonable doubt at this point that my "better judgment" is rather less than the average person's. Let's just move on.


Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Schadenfreude and Britney Spears

By request, I will write about the Pride of Southern Louisiana, Britney Spears.

Unable to say something funny on my own, I will point you to Pug Bus, and the truly brilliant fake news story, Britney Spears’ donation of panties rejected by Christie’s.

"I was quite stunned by Ms. Spear's gesture," reported Christie's consignment specialist, Adrienne Hines, who heads the Los Angeles division of the auction house. "While we were ever so grateful to receive Princess Di's formal gowns, we were taken aback with Ms. Spears' request that we auction off her undergarments."

Which would explain why Britney’s had such a real problem finding underwear recently. In non-fake news, Spears did nab the coveted Worst Dressed Award from Us Weekly. I’m not sure how the lack of clothes constitutes worst dressed, but there you go. We're all very proud of her for trying to stay in the news.

She also was caught throwing up in the bathroom of hip club Les Deux (like I would know what was hip). Even better, she spent the evening requesting her own songs from the DJ. Someone has to, right? How’s the inevitable slide into irrelevance treating ya, babe?

Ford Dies. Steve Makes Fun of Dead Presidents (Not Ford)

Gerald Ford died yesterday. I always like Ford, mainly because I was born during the Ford presidency and there's not a whole lot of us who can say that. But have you ever heard anyone say anything bad about Gerald Ford? He may not have been the greatest president, but he was one of the greatest people to be president. Hell, the biggest satire of his presidency was him falling down the stairs of Air Force One.

I'll leave it to his friend, fellow President Jimmy Carter to eulogize him:

Rosalynn and I join the nation in mourning the loss of President Gerald Ford. President Ford is one of the most admirable public servants and human beings I have ever known. A man of highest integrity, his life-long dedication to helping others touched the lives of countless people. An outstanding statesman, he wisely chose the path of healing during a deeply divisive time in our nation's history. He frequently rose above politics by emphasizing the need for bipartisanship and seeking common ground on issues critical to our nation. I will always cherish the personal friendship we shared. Rosalynn and I extend our heartfelt sympathy to Betty and the entire Ford family during this time of grief.

I also am sort of fascinated by the Accidental Presidents who never would win a presidential election. Just a quick run through history because I think it's kind of fun:

John Tyler became president when William Henry Harrison (the Tippecanoe of "Tippecanoe and Tyler too" fame) became perhaps the first person to ever die from being a pompous windbag. Seriously, he got pneumonia for talking too long during his inauguration. Tyler annexed Texas, no small feat. Just ask any Texan, they'll be happy to tell you.

Millard Fillmore became president when Zachary Taylor died from heat exhaustion laying the cornerstone for the Washington Monument. Which is a pretty monument, so thanks, Zach. Fillmore didn't too much and now he has a comic strip written by a drunk named after him.

Andrew Johnson succeeded Lincoln after his assassination. The Republicans promptly impeached him. He accomplished almost nothing and died a pretty angry and bitter man.

Chet Arthur became president after a disgruntled office seeker shot James Garfield. In order to not meet the same fate, Arthur invented the Civil Service, dismantling the patronage system.

And of course, Gerald Ford. Nixon resigned because of a second rate burglary and that whole subverting the Constitution thing. Ford would take the first step in healing the nation by pardoning Nixon, a move which may have cost him re-election. I've always respected that decision, and he won a Profile in Courage Award for it.

Rest In Peace, President Ford.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas!

Here's hoping your sugarplums were dancing in your head, your Lords were a-leaping, and you wassailed until you couldn't wassail anymore.

Merry Christmas!

The real question for me now is this: what the hell am I going to do with all of this coal?

Friday, December 22, 2006

The Last Gutpak

Vitek's is closing. Actually, today is the very last day it will be open, so we took this occasion to have one last Gutpak. I could wax nostalgic about Vitek's, but I've only been here for a year and don't have too many memories. but the food was good and it was my favorite BBQ place in Waco.

Now, I'm a pork barbeque guy. I feel that Memphis BBQ is far superior to Texas BBQ, but I was willing to make an exception for Vitek's. However, with their closing, I must categorically state that Memphis BBQ is superior. Nothing better than some smoked pork with some dry rub.

Still, I'll miss the Gutpak.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

You Cannot Stop Me, You Can Only Hope To Contain Me

Woo hoo!

Check your inbox, BLS. The powers-that-be have added the B+ and the C+ to the grading scale starting next winter. They have also change the value of grades as follows:

A = 4.0
A- = 3.67
B+ = 3.33
B = 3.00
B- = 2.67
C+ = 2.33
C = 2.00
D = 1.00
F = 0

Now, we can pretend they made this change due to the concerns of the student body or maybe the result of an investigative committee report. But that would be wishful thinking. We all know the real reason is that the B+ has long been a personal campaign here at Poseur HQ. This is just the administration being unable to resist the persuasive powers of a Guy With A Blog. Bow down before the power of the internets, baby!

You can all thank me tommorrow via gifts and large cash payments. You are all very welcome. I rule.

Do They Know It's Christmas?

It's 58 degrees according to my car, and since my car has never lied to me, I'm taking its word on it. So, it's 58 degrees, and I'm wearing a jacket. Because I'm cold. I am so screwed when I go back to the east coast for the holdiays.

Two days until Christmas break! And you know what everyone on my list is getting? That's right, Baylor Law schwag! (Actually, not entirely true, but it does fill in the gaps on the old Christmas list). In response, my family is undoubtedly getting me coal. I look forward to the awkward smiles as people pretend to like their gift. Hey, that's payback for the fruitcake.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Cartoon Hero Dies

Joe Barbera, the second half of Hanna-Barbera, died yesterday. His first cartoons, Tom and Jerry, won Academy Awards. And the last project he worked on was the Powerpuff Girls. That’s a pretty amazing run, particularly when you consider in between he either wrote or produced such cartoons as Huckleberry Hound, Yogi Bear, Scooby Doo, Captain Caveman, the Smufs (and their bastard cousins the Snorks), and a goodly portion of adult swim (Space Ghost).

It’s an impressive career. But most importantly, Hanna-Barbara made perhaps the second weirdest children show in TV history, the Banana Splits (number one is clearly HR Pufnstuf). The late 1960s and early 1970s was a glorious time for children’s programming, as networks decided to let obviously drug-addled crazy people simply animate their acid trips.* I think it was perhaps the world’s most effective antidrug campaigns. I’m never doing drugs on the off chance I end up getting attacked by the Banana Splits. Though the theme song was super catchy.

Who thought this was a good idea? What TV exec thought, “hey, the drug culture is really hip right now. Let’s expose it to six-year-olds!” I mean, the drug references in Scooby Doo were downright subtle in comparison. It’s really a shame these things aren’t on DVD. Or maybe it is a good thing.

But I’ll remember Jon Barbara by seeking out old Laff-A-Lympic episodes. I got my money on Grape Ape.

* Incidentally, this lead to one of my favorite comedy sketches of all time: “Drugachusettes” by Mr. Show with Bob and David. It really can’t be described, but it’s a brilliant parody of this era of truly insane TV shows. Especially when one of the characters has an overdose.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Pop Culture Law School Dorks

OK, our team application is in for the new season of the World Series of Pop Culture. We go down for a tryout in Austin this February if we get the call. Our team is appropriately law dorky, JARED, due to both my love of Subway sandwiches and my familiarity with the concept of a Just And Right Equitable Division.

It's time to start studying the gossip pages to bone up on my celebrity couples.

Mascots Gone Wild!

Adrian McPherson is suing the Tennessee Titans because he was run over by their mascot. Now, I am happy someone else recognizes that mascots are evil, but I think McPherson’s going a little too far in his complaint. He’s trying to collect $15 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitives. Once again, this is for getting hit by a golf cart driven by a mascot. A golf cart.

McPherson suffered injuries severe enough to force the Saints to put him on the injured reserve (apparently, one cannot be placed on the IR for “having a case of the sucks”). McPherson makes about $350,000 a year for playing quarterback and, according to his complaint, “play in other significant capacities” which we can assume means holding the clipboard and planning the after parties. A player in the NFL still gets paid when he is on the IR, so I’m not sure how he’s claiming lost income, but let’s say the injury is costing him next year’s salary in reduced earning capacity (really, are you going to hire a quarterback unable to dodge a golf cart?)

We’re left with a claimed $14,650,000 in medical bills and mental anguish. While I find mascots to be creepy, I don’t think I’m getting a check anytime in the near future. I’m also going to go out on a limb and say that McPherson does not have several million dollars in medical bills. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’m on the mascot’s side in this one. Maybe its because I think former Florida State football players should be assaulted by guys in raccoon costumes.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Miss USA Is Just Like Us... Only Prettier and Drunker

Miss USA looks like she's going to be stripped of her tiara for inappropriate behavior. She's already tested positive for cocaine, and she's been spotted in NYC bars boozing it up with her comrade-in-arms, Miss Teen USA. Neither are of legal drinking age (and there is no legal cocaine snorting age).

I'm always a big fan of people who get lectures on morality from Donald Trump. It's irony on a base level, but still pretty funny when you stop to think about it. Donald Trump, Defender of Morality. Also, Miss USA is going to lose her spokeswoman status for Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Hey, at least she didn't drive.

And if you don't think I didn't bring this up just to show pictures of Miss USA, you obviously don't know me very well.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Worst. Surprise. Party. Ever.

Hey, kids. Quick tip.

When you are trying to throw a surpirse birthday party for someone, you probably shouldn't park all of the cars out in front of the house. Particularly when every other car has a Baylor Law sticker on it. And there's also this neat invention called a cell phone. The person responsible for bringing the surprisee to the party could have probably called ahead so when they arrived we weren't all in the backyard, making an obscene amount of noise.

The only surprise was how bad law students are at the simple execution of a surprise party. We tried. But the party was a lot of fun. And there was cake. And we all know how I feel about cake.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Election Party In the Dean's Office!

I’m not sure if its official, but Chris’ campaign for Commencement Speaker looks to have been a rousing success. Hell, it would have been a success had he lost just because it was pretty damn funny (while the sign on the bear was great, Osler’s negative campaigning was simply inspired). Now Chris has his Robert Redford moment similar to the end of The Candidate: “well, now what?”*

But, if his filing is any indication, Chris will make a terrific speaker who will make the festivities, well, festive. Even when he’s having his rare serious moment, he was interesting. I think the students will have made a wise choice of Chris wins, and maybe choosing a Guy With A Blog is a good idea for future graduations. We just have to wait for there to be another funny, smart, and interesting Baylor blogger to come along. Good luck with that. For right now, you suckers are stuck with me, Swanburg, a girl who rips off The Family Circus, and about a million 1Ls**. I don’t foresee anyone being dumb enough to give any of us a microphone. I certainly wouldn’t unless karaoke was involved.

Congrats to Chris. And a great job by the administration to go along with the joke while at the same time insuring that graduation maintains its dignity. That’s a fairly difficult balancing act. People grouse about the powers that be quite a bit, but they were pretty cool about this one. See, we don’t take ourselves too seriously.

*Does anyone know what I’m talking about? I sometimes go too obscure on references thinking people will actually know what I’m talking about. I know you know Robert Redford. Have you seen The Candidate? It’s a great movie. Go rent it, you won’t be sorry. Really. Even if I have given away the ending. Oh, and Rosebud is a sled and the chick in The Crying Game is a dude.

**And we all get upstaged by a professor. Seriously, we suck. Osler stole my joke this week, told everyone he was stealing my joke, and was still funnier than me. I can accept the profs are smarter and more talented than me, but also funnier? It’s not right.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Pfc. Claus Is Wrapping the Presents

The Marines came by to pick up the Toys for Tots donations today. We packed the vehicle full in some sort of bizarro martial variation of Santa's sleigh. We were kind of curious why they were wearing flak jackets to pick up donations? Has the Grinch stepped up his campaign against Christmas to include amushes on toy caravans? Or have scientists accidently created the real life Santa Bot, who reigns violence every holiday season on Futurama?

Or maybe they just wore the vests to ward off the amorous advances of the female law students who are, frankly, pretty sick and tired of the lame girly-men who wander around these halls. Swanburg excepted, of course.

I like the Santa Bot theory better.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Immunity Toys

Immunity Day is tonight! Throw on a horrible Christmas sweater, come on out, and let’s go bowling! And then don’t get called on tomorrow! A pretty good deal all the way around.

And while I am reluctant to use this space as a place to hype up SBA events (not for ethical reasons or anything, but because 1) its not funny and 2) I want cash payment for advertising), this has been a really successful Toys for Tots donation drive. Thanks to every single person who bought immunity or brought in a toy (or toys). I had a blast working the table to see the toys people brought in, and you guys really came through with some cool toys for the kids. The SBA office has so many toys in it, we could hardly get the door closed. You guys rule.

Especially to whoever brought in the bike. I mean, that is even cooler than the Lego helicopter, which was the early front-runner for best gift.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Burning Email

From today's email:

"I just wanted to let everyone know that at Noon today the alarm system will be going off and the doors will lock."

Isn't it nice to know that the alarm will go off and then the doors will lock? So in case of fire, we will be alerted to the fact we are locked inside the building and are going to burn to death. I would prefer a system in which the alarm goes off and there is a way out of the building. I'd rather not be a burn victim. Though we know I'd be able to get a lot of damages in a successful suit against the school. Though they might get mad at me and not let me graduate in retaliation. So perhaps the lawsuit is a bad idea. Particularly the burning part.

Monday, December 11, 2006

I'm Not a Mushroom, I'm a Fungi

I was in Houston this weekend to visit an old friend who has just earned his PhD in molecular bology. He coded the genetic sequence of some bacteria or virus. I get confused. I know its not a fungus. His department does not deal in fungi. Anyway, I don't understand it. And there's a 200 page book he wrote about this thing I don't understand and now I have to call him "doctor".

Scientists can really drink. They can also have some mind-numbingly boring coversations. Did you know there are several different ways to code DNA? Neither did I, but I as trapped in a converstaion anout it (the people next to me were talking about the herpes virus). I now know what its like for a non-law student to hang out with law students.

It sucks. Until the beer gets flowing, then its ok. Then I'm an expert on fungi.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Fourscore and Seven Years Ago...

Chris Farfenblogger has thrown his hat into the ring and is running for Commencement Speaker '07. I wasn't aware this was an elected position, but for too long students have been subjected to interesting people of wisdom and accomplishment. What we really want is a guy with a blog. Accomplishments are optional. And dude, he was in a band!

Really, who has had more of an impact on the graduating class than the author of the world famous* SoTheBearSays? No one. He's taught us to open our hearts, and isn't that more important than the law?**

VOTE CHRIS! Even if you can't actually vote. Maybe you should just send some sternly worded missives to the administration. Show off those persuasive skills you've learned over the past three years. If you can get Chris to be Commencement Speaker, there really might be nothing you can't accomplish.

*Not actually world famous.

**According to the hiring partners of law firms, no.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Guns Don't Kill People, Comedy Does

Let me explain comedy to people. I wouldn’t think I would need to do this, but sometimes we need a refresher. Borat’s anti-semitism is funny not because he’s anti-semitic, but because Sasha Cohen is an Orthodox Jew and he’s using the fake anti-Semitism of his fictional character to expose the very real anti-Semitism of those around him. He’s using comedy to make social commentary.

This is not “only Jews can make fun of the Jews,” this is simply understanding why the joke is funny in the first place. Because it puts society up to the funhouse mirror. So, when you do a Borat parody at a Baptist school, its not funny. Why? Because it’s just racist.

Racist? Not funny. See the difference between parodying racists and actually being a racist? It’s the difference between Dave Chappelle’s Ku Klux Klan bit and Michael “Kramer” Richards actually acting like a member of the Ku Klux Klan.

And don’t give us the lame, “I expressly disavow anything offensive.” That’s a cop out. To quote They Might Be Giants, “you can’t shake the devil’s hand and say you’re only kidding.” The whole thing was offensive.

Comedy is dangerous. I’m not good with guns, so I do my best not to shoot one or else I might hurt someone unintentionally. Perhaps you should take the same precautions with comedy. If you’re just not very good at it, you're going to hurt people unintentionally.

*Ed Note – I am not going to reproduce the email. If you’ve seen it, you know what I’m talking about. If you haven’t, you don’t. It was an attempt at humor, and it failed. Giving it a wider release would be wrong, but so would letting it go without comment.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Christmas Season!

Miracle On 34th Street is on AMC right now. Outside of It's A Wonderful Life, it is my very favorite Christmas movie and it always puts me in a good mood. Especially when Natalie Wood sends Kris Kringle that letter saying she believes in him.

OK, it doesn't always put me in a good mood. that's because Ted Turner colorized the movie, which is a total and complete abomination. They were playing the color version earlier today and I couldn't even bring myself to watch a scene. But the good ol black and white version is on right now. Really, if you don't like this movie, your soul is a barren place. Or you root for the Yankees.


I suck at beer pong. Though I think the Ringels should go pro.

For details on the beer pong smackdown, go to Swanburg's. And yes, that is a picture of me touching Chicago's nipple. No, I was no drunk. Yes, I am happy that no audio was included.

I had a good time, but my representation of my quarter was shameful. Next time, we're going to the heavy hitters to represent Fall 2005 starters.

And you have to admit, Swanburg did a great job seeding the tournament. Good job by the committee. Maybe we should put him in charge of the BCS.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Why I Don't Have A Girlfriend

The Hall of Fame ballots were released this week. I’m a huge baseball dork, so this is like Christmas for me. Excuse the extreme dorkiness as I breakdown the ballot. As always when I do something like this, I provide something fun for the rest of you:

Spear tossing! I can’t crack 500. Give it a try.

First time guys are marked with an asterisk.

*Harold Baines

First time on the ballot, its also the first time a career DH is on the ballot. Consider this the test case for the Edgar Martinez candidacy. In 1987 at the age of 28, Baines became primarily a DH due to some bad knees and some fairly bad fielding numbers, though not horrific. He played until age 42, logging 1644 games at DH, 1061 as an OF. He was a six time All-Star, and over his career posted a 120 OPS+ (20% better than league average, adjusted for park effects). He hit 289 on his career with 384 HRs. Nice numbers, but he fell short of the magic 3000 hits, “only” getting 2866. That gives people a good excuse to keep him out.

There’s a bias against DH’s, whether its deserved or not. The thing is, with his numbers, Baines wouldn’t get in as a right fielder. He has nice numbers, but not terrific. He was top ten in the MVP only once. He never won the World Series. He never led the league in a major offensive category. If someone is going to break the DH barrier, it won’t be Baines, which is a shame, as he was always one of my favorite players and known as a really nice guy.

Bert Blyleven

Seriously. It’s bordering on criminal. 287 wins (26th all-time). 3701 strikeouts (5th all-time). 60 shutouts (9th all-time). He won two World Series, with a career WS line of 2.35 and a 2-1 record in three starts. Oh, and he is generally considered to have the greatest curveball in the history of baseball. I don’t understand any rational argument for keeping him out other than he played for a lot of teams because he liked getting paid. He’s being kept out because he didn’t hit this arbitrary number of 300 wins and that’s just stupid. He was a great pitcher.

Dave Concepcion
Alan Trammell

Before Ripken, their numbers were just fine, even stellar for a shortstop in Trammell’s case. Then Ripken changed our expectations on what a shortstop should do at the plate and its killing Trammell. Concepcion was a nice player, but he’s only still on the ballot due to some heavy lobbying from his Big Red Machine teammates. He’s not Joe Morgan. Trammell was a four-time Gold Glover and three-time Silver Slugger, a tough trick when you’re competing against the second coming of Honus Wagner. Trammell put up good hitting numbers at a position not known for hitters. Until now. Trammell is being kept out due to our changed expectations of his position. In fact, his closest hitting comps are second basemen, which means there wasn’t a shortstop that really compared except maybe Barry Larkin. But Trammell compares favorably to the shortstops already enshrined like Pee Wee Reese, Lou Boudreau, Luis Aparacio, and he blows the doors of Phil Rizzuto. He’s borderline, but I’d vote for him, if only because he was part of perhaps the best double play combo since Tinkers and Evers.

Steve Garvey
Don Mattingly

Nice players. Good numbers. Nothing that blows your doors off. Both get continued support because of their outsized personalities (Mattingly was 0% bullshit, Garvey was about 100% bullshit, so it evened out). First basemen have to get in based on hitting, and there numbers just pale in comparison to the first basemen already enshrined.

*Tony Gwynn
*Cal Ripken Jr.

Failing to vote for either of these two guys should get your voting privileges revoked. OK, I can see a case against Gwynn, who couldn’t run, field, or hit for power. But God, was he the almost perfect contact hitter.

Ripken is either the greatest or second greatest shortstop of all-time, depending on how you rank Honus Wagner. The Streak. Two MVPs. Rookie of the Year. 3184 hits. 431 HRs. 19-time All-Star. Still the record holder for Greatest Defensive Season ever, in which he made three errors and had a record .996 fielding percentage for a shortstop. Actually, his defense wasn’t appreciated until late in his career, as Ozzie Guillen won the Gold Glove that year. A guy so goody-goody, his endorsement deal was for milk. Heroes always let you down, except Cal. I was a lucky kid to have him as a hero.

Albert Belle
Andre Dawson
Dale Murphy
Dave Parker
Jim Rice

Let’s play “guess that statline” as we put these guys head to head. All won an MVP award, though Murphy won two.

#1 298/352/502 382 HR 1451 RBI 2452 H 58 SB below average defense
#2 295.369/564 381 HR 1239 RBI 1726 H 9 SB below average defense
#3 279/323/482 438 HR 1591 RBI 2774 H 314 SB above average defense
#4 290/339/471 339 HR 1493 RBI 2712 H 154 SB average defense
#5 265/346/469 398 HR 1266 RBI 2111 H 161 SB very good defense

OK, who jumps out? No one, really. Player #2 has awesome rate stats, but has terrible counting stats because of a career cut short by injury. If you vote solely on peak, he’s the obvious guy. Player #3 has the best counting stats, but his rate stats are a little behind the others. Though he was the only one who was huge base stealing threat. Player #1 is a slightly better version of Player #4 minus the speed and a slightly shorter career. I honestly think Player #5 looks like the most rounded despite the low batting average and low RBIs (due to playing on some lousy teams).

Take your pick, I’d be content if none of these guys made it, nor would I be outraged if all of them found their way into the Hall. It’s just five very borderline candidates. My picks would be Players #3 and #5. The key:

Player #1 = Jim Rice
Player #2 = Albert Belle (who should get a deduction for being Albert Belle)
Player #3 = Andre Dawson
Player #4 = Dave Parker
Player #5 = Dale Murphy

Rich "Goose" Gossage
Lee Smith
Orel Hershiser
Tommy John
Jack Morris
*Bret Saberhagen

I hate relievers and think they are the most coddled professional athlete on the planet. The way most people feel about DH’s is how I feel about closers. I’d keep them all out. Except Goose Gossage. For two reasons: 1) The Hall needs more guys named Goose (bonus point to anyone who knows who the enshrined Goose’s last name) and 2) He pitched before the era of the one-inning bases-empty save. His 310 saves actually meant something.

The other pitchers are an assortment of flawed but interesting pitchers. Hersheiser has the consecutive scoreless innings streak, but really he was great for six years and then his career hit a wall. Tommy John has borderline numbers and the surgery named after him, but its not like he actually invented the surgery so he can’t get in on Contributions to the Game. Saberhagen was on his way to a Hall of Fame career before injuries absolutely wrecked his career. Hell, at age 30, he seemed like a shoo-in. Little did anyone know, he’d pitch only 488 more innings (which is about two full seasons). And they weren’t a good 488 innings.

If my life were on the line and I could have any one pitcher at his prime to pitch that one game, Morris would be my #2 choice behind Bob Gibson. He was The Big Game pitcher of my lifetime. Unfortunately, during all those other games he was merely good. His terrible 1992 postseason drags down the numbers (when he was clearly done as an effective pitcher), but check out the numbers in 1984 and 1991:

1984: 3 GS, 3-0, 25 IP, 1.80 ERA, 17 K, 4 BB, 18 H
1991: 5 GS, 4-0, 36.1 IP, 2.23 ERA, 22 K, 10 BB, 35 H

And that includes perhaps the greatest postseason game ever pitched, the 10-inning 1-0 victory in Game 7 of the 1991 Series. Morris was a total badass in the postseason.

*Ken Caminiti,
*Jose Canseco,
*Mark McGwire,

Caminiti and Canseco wouldn’t get in even without the steroid problems. Which leaves us with McGwire, who would be clearly in if there was no taint of steroids. I haven’t clarified my thinking on this, but here’s my gut reaction: he should be in. Here’s why

1) People knew back in 1998. And that was the time to call him out on it. To bash him now seems rather hypocritical. He had andro in his locker, in view of the media.
2) Steroids are immoral, but their use wasn’t against the rules of baseball like they are now. Baseball dragged its feet on the issue and this is what they get.
3) Willie Mays has admitted to using speed. And we’re pretty sure half of the Hall of Fame inducted after 1950 has as well. We’ve got coke addicts and drunks in the Hall. Singling McGwire out seems grossly unfair.
4) It’s never been proven. OK, he probably did it, but we don’t know. And there’s a LOT of guys who probably did steroids in the 1990s. If Alex Sanchez got busted, it means anyone could be doing it, because he was a speedy, no-power slap hitter.
5) The Hall of Fame is full of rotten people. Ted Williams was a jerk. Ty Cobb was a racist. Rogers Hornsby was arguably the worst person to ever play a professional sport. Steroids is different because it affects the game itself, but I don’t buy the morality argument.

*Dante Bichette,
*Bobby Bonilla,
*Scott Brosius,
*Jay Buhner,
*Eric Davis,
*Tony Fernandez,
*Wally Joyner,
*Paul O'Neill,
*Devon White,
*Bobby Witt.

I always love the list of first time guys who won’t garner enough votes to stay on the ballot. One or two of these guys might reach that 5% mark, but Jay Buhner’s fame is probably more tied to a Seinfeld episode. And there is a special place in hell for Tony F’n Fernandez was that home run he hit off Benitez in the 1997 ALCS. Not that I’m bitter. Oh, and Bobby Witt is one of my all-time favorite players. To say he had control problems is like saying OJ has publicity problems. He somehow got a World Series ring by sticking around long enough to end up in the D-Backs pen in 2001. I like big fat guys who play pro sports.

The Final Vote if I had a ballot:

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Going Through My Inbox

Like most people, I delete spam in my inbox without bothering to open it. But every so often, curiosity gets the better of me. And the subject line "Savee your hard working money noginbb" was just too hard to resist.

Now, I will post the entire text of the email:

Greetings happy Home-owwner

Your borrowing capacity doesn't Matter To Us!

If you own property and need spending cash
ANY way you like, or would like to lower your mortgage payments
beyond 30% and better, then then you've found the right place.
September's best rates as follows!

$500.000 at a lowest 3.53%
$461,000 for lowest as 3.15%
$160,000 for a lowest 3.87%
$299,000 at a lowest 3.36%
Take 1 minute to visit our user-friendly web-site for a personalized quotation

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I mean, that last paragraph is brilliant. I don't have any idea what to make of it, and trust me, this is the sort of thing I spend hours trying to figure out. I'm open to suggestions.

Also, that rate structure is going to keep me up nights, as it seems to make no rational sense.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Olympic Consulting Boondoggle

There is no greater lie in politics greater than a candidate who promises "reform". The second greatest lie is when a politician promises that a sports arena is going to make money for a community. Even as a sports fan, I find publicly financed stadiums to be a boondoggle and an embarrassment*.

With that in mind, Reuters is reporting that the original 2.4 billion pound price tag for the 2012 London Olympics has already been adjusted upwards to 3.3 billion pounds. OK, that's not news. A sports arena overbudget? Particular an Olympic venue? Shocking! But the story includes this gem:

The new estimate for the Olympic Park includes a 400 million pound fee that will be paid to consultants responsible for making sure costs come in on budget, Jowell told a parliamentary committee

Let's recap.

The London Olympics are 900 million pounds overbudget. 400 million pounds of that is a consulting fee to make sure the project comes in under budget. I think I see a potential savings of almost half of their cost overlays.

In related news, consultants have now moved into first place on the list of the World's Most Hated Professions. Lawyers, insurance adjusters, mortgage loan officers, and IRS auditors salute you.

*Ed Note- I admit it. That was just an excuse to use the word "boondoggle." Boondoggle. Boondoggle. Boondoggle. Say it out loud. It's really fun. No, I'm not drinking. Why do you ask?

Bad Post

Katie wants me to write a post today so she doesn’t have to pay attention in her next class. So the crappiness of this entry is entirely her fault. I don’t like to feel rushed, and as you can tell, I’m not even good at it. While we’re clearing up some general housekeeping here at Poseur HQ, the Reverend wants credit for coming up with Steve McQueen Disease. He didn’t know Steve McQueen had died of mesothelioma (and Katie doesn’t even know who Steve McQueen was, she should rent the original Thomas Crowne Affair), but he may have been the first one to actually come up with the idea of renaming mesothelioma. I wasn’t taking notes, so I’ll just assume its his joke. But it’s my campaign. Send donations.

Yesterday was the second week of flag football. The first week went off without a hitch and Jordan and I were feeling pretty good about ourselves. This week, er, didn’t. Sorry about the lights. Or the lack thereof. We’re feeling less good about ourselves this week. We’ll keep trying to do better. I could blame Waco Parks and Rec, but that’s a cop out. So thanks for bearing with us.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Steve McQueen Disease

Steve McQueen is one of the coolest human beings to ever walk the face of the earth*. It’s why we have movies like the Tao of Steve. Or why I watch Bullitt every year or so (come on, that car chase scene through San Francisco is only topped by the Blues Brothers car chase scene).

Also, mesothelioma is really hard to spell (its not even in Word’s spellchecker, but "Steve McQueen" is -- I'm not kidding, go ahead and try). And really hard to say (mesothelioma, not Steve McQueen). I’m tired of always typing it in my notes whenever we get an asbestos case.

What do these things have to do with one another?

Steve McQueen died of mesothelioma in 1980. I think you see where I’m going with this. I move that we start referring to mesothelioma as Steve McQueen Disease. If someone is going to die of a truly horrible disease, the least they can do is know that it also killed, in the words of the Drive-by Truckers, “the coolest doggone motherscratcher on the silver screen.” If Lou Gehrig gets a disease, so should Steve McQueen.

*Ed. Note - Actual coolest human being? Cary Grant.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Altman, Failure, and the F-Word

Osler's recent post on Prairie Home Companion reminded me I wanted to say something about Robert Altman's death.

Actually, Altman came up during the weekend as my buddy Bruce, as his habit, tried to stump me with bizarre trivia questions. His question was "What was the first major Hollywood studio movie to use the word 'fuck' in the dialogue?"* Which led to a ten-minute discussion on what constitutes a major Hollywood studio movie, but I eventually pulled out the correct answer... MASH.

Altman's not my favorite director, though I do like a lot of his movies. But there are two things I love about Altman. ONE - even his failures are interesting. Yeah, The Player is great, and while I'm not a fan of Nashville, its a classic. But I'm drawn to his misses like Popeye and his TV series, Gun. Both are absolutely fascinating and taught me that I'd rather watch for someone reach for greatness and fail than reach for mediocrity and acheive it.

TWO - He started late in life to become one of the great directors of his generation. By the time he finally got his hands on a Hollywood movie, he made MASH. He was already 45 years old and had been laboring in obscurity on a series of tv shows you've never heard of (and a few episodes of Bonanza). He's lumped in with Scorcese and Coppola when he was actually from a different generation. But, with his late start, he still had a career which takes a backseat to no one.

As someone who started law school a little bit older than the rest of the class, I find great inspiration in Robert Altman. I hope my failures are just as interesting.

*Ed Note- no one ever said we were couth.

Friday, November 24, 2006

One Of Those Touchy-Feely Posts

I wasn't planning on coming home for Thanksgiving. My family just lives too far away for it to be worth the trip, so I was going to stay in Texas with some friends and enjoy Thanksgiving as a guest in someone else's home. But then my Oil and Gas class got cancelled and my Wednesday night was free. And the cost of plane tickets dropped as the airlines tried to unload their inventory.

So I ended up on a plane on Thanksgiving morning to DC. I arrived in time for dinner, and my brother took me to their home for his and his fiancee's first time hosting Thanksgiving. My mom didn't know I was coming, and I wanted to surprise her. My brother and I talked on the car ride back from the airport:

"Couldn't you have told her you were coming?"
"Yes. But I wanted her to be surprised."
"She would have been surprised if you had called her."
"But then I wouldn't see her be surprised. I'd lose the benefit of the bargain."
"Nevermind. Law school ruining the way I talk again."

I walked in the door, and it didn't register with my mom at first. But when it did, she cried and hugged me like she hadn't seen me in years. I hugged her back, and maybe I got something in my eye. I'm not saying.

I think she was surprised. The trip was definitely worth it.

Count your blessings this season, for they are many. Now, if you'll excuse me, I think I'm going to go downstairs and eat pie for breakfast.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Baylor Basketball

Look, I know Baylor isn’t used to winning. And it’s not a habit they need to develop any time in the near future. And I also know it’s hard to get excited for Texas Southern. But when Rogers throws down a monster slam, it wouldn’t kill y’all to stand up and cheer.

I don’t think I’ve ever been to a sporting event in which you felt like you couldn’t lustily cheer for the home team. Just a bizarre atmosphere for a game. Though I do give credit to the students in the Bear Pit. They are trying.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Movie Review

I went to see Babel last night, a movie which has generated some Oscar buzz (it won the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury at Cannes, which ain't the Palme d'Or but sounds much cooler). I'm surprised it came to Waco, so I was looking forward to it. And quite frankly, I wish it would have stayed away. It was like watching a parody of an art film*.

Two and half hour run time because the director doesn't believe in getting to the point? Check.

Meandering storyline in which nothing actually happens? Check.

"Artistic" camera angles like pointing the camera directly at the sun? Check.

A big name actor (Brad Pitt in this case) trying hard to not look beautiful? Check.

Subtitles? Check.

A completely irrelevent subplot shoehorned into the movie for no particular reason other than to show a young woman's breasts? Check.

Characters you could care less about? Check.

Every person in a position of authority is protrayed as a bully at best, completely evil at worst? Check.

The obligatory drug use scene? Check and check.

A completely humorless movie, it tries to make a statement about the interconnectedness of the human experience, but it ends up just being a series of even more ridiculous plots which are supposed to make us think about fate. Instead, it made me feel the screenwriter had absolutely no respect for the audience, and just wanted to say how much smarter he was than us.

In short, I thought it sucked.

*Ed Note - And to be fair, I like a good pretentious movie every now and then. Eraserhead is one of my favorite films. I've seen almost everything Fellini has made. My favorite director is Darren Aronofsky. I've got my pretentious art house film bona fides.

Friday, November 17, 2006

The Economist and The Football Coach

Milton Friedman died yesterday. Bo Schembechler died today. Which one of these deaths do you think gets above the fold coverage?

Friedman is a giant of acadamia, and is probably the most important economist since Keynes. Schembechler coached a lot of winning football teams. Not to get on a high horse, but it does say something about our culture that the coach's death is the bigger news story. But what ya gonna do?

But here's a good Friedman story from one of the many obits today:

Gen. William Westmoreland, testifying before President Nixon's Commission on an All-Volunteer [Military] Force, denounced the idea of phasing out the draft and putting only volunteers in uniform, saying that he did not want to command "an army of mercenaries." Friedman, a member of the 15-person commission, interrupted him. "General," Friedman asked, "would you rather command an army of slaves?" Westmoreland got angry: "I don't like to hear our patriotic draftees referred to as slaves." And Friedman got rolling: "I don't like to hear our patriotic volunteers referred to as mercenaries." And he did not stop: " If they are mercenaries, then I, sir, am a mercenary professor, and you, sir, are a mercenary general. We are served by mercenary physicians, we use a mercenary lawyer, and we get our meat from a mercenary butcher."

Pretty brilliant guy. I don't agree with all of his theories, but I'm not nearly smart enough to contest any of them.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Burrito Sandwich

The Massachusettes courts deal with the important issues of our times

Locke said the New Webster Third International Dictionary's definition of sandwich -- "two thin pieces of bread, usually buttered, with a thin layer (as of meat, cheese, or savoury mixture) spread between them" -- indicated there was no reason to keep White City from renting to Qdoba.

"Under this definition and as dictated by common sense, this court finds that the term 'sandwich' is not commonly understood to include burritos, tacos, and quesadillas, which are typically made with a single tortilla and stuffed with a choice filling of meat, rice, and beans," the judge said in an eight-page ruling.

I'm not sure why it takes eight pages to say that burritos aren't sandwiches, but I'm glad we finally have some legal authoirty for this position. And I'd like to protest the New Webster Third International Dictionary definition. Are the pieces of bread in a sandwich usually buttered? I never butter my sandwich, and don't know anyone who does. I cry foul.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Hokie Bird vs. Bevo

CollegeFootballNews recently ranked the top 25 mascots in college sports. It’s a fun list, though I am irritated that Mike the Tiger only is #21. You’d think having a live bengal tiger outside the opposing team’s dressing room would be higher on the list. Seriously. A live tiger. That beats the hell out of a bulldog. Though I’m ok with Ralphie the Buffalo being #1. Especially since Sherp told me running with the buffalo is a varsity sport. And that kind of thing makes me happy.

However, let’s pick on Texas fans, which I know is hazardous around these parts. Bevo is #3 on the list, and let’s quote the write up on him:

In 1915, a Texas student raised $100 to by what turned out to be an uncontrollable steer that basically did whatever it wanted to. A group of Aggie fans, as a prank, put a 13-0 brand on the animal, the score of A&M's 1915 win over the Longhorns. The Texas handler quickly turned the one and the three into a B, and the fashioned an EVO to come up with the name. The first BEVO, too wild to tame, was eventually eaten.

The first Bevo was eaten. I can’t stress this enough. That’s not a mascot, that’s dinner. How great can a mascot be if he’s just a few months away from roasting on a spit? What other mascot on the list can be served with a nice chianti? Just the Hokie bird (which is a turkey). My brother went to Virginia Tech and I still ask him to pass the Hokie during Thanksgiving. But what makes the Hokie a good mascot is its inherent ridiculousness. It’s a step up from the Stanford Tree or the UC-Santa Cruz Banana Slug. UT fans will insist Bevo is not a ridiculous mascot.

Well, it is. It’s a cow. A cow that is one step away from being eaten by the students if he ever steps out of line.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Fall Down Drunk

I am proud to have starred in the new PC video, "guy failing the field sobriety test." I think wearing one shoe was the perfect touch to convey absolutely plastered. I'm a method actor, and I researched heavily for the role. I'd like to thank my director and fellow cast. Though the only thing I was drunk on were the delicious cookies from the Women's Legal Society. Yeah, yeah. A bake sale by WLS is supposed to be ironic. But those were good cookies.

Actually, I'm now looking forward to PC* when there is an off-chance I'd have to prosecute myself based on this video. Easiest. Cross Ex. Ever.

* Ed Note: No. I'm not.

Monday, November 13, 2006

A Case of the Mondays

I have no classes on Monday. I'm not saying this to rub it in*, but just to say I have absolutely no idea what to do with myself for a whole day off. Apparently, I don't have any hobbies and I'm not all that interesting. Trust me. I hang out with me all the friggin time, and I bore myself to tears. I can do the assignments for Tuesday, but that pretty much just filled up my morning.

I did attend my first wedding shower this weekend. I can sum up exactly how much I like Stephanie and Levi: I went to their shower instead of watching LSU football. And didn't spend the evening in front of the TV like all of the Texas fans. Anyone who knows me knows exactly how big of a sacrifice missing an LSU game is for me. Though I did tape it and watched it when I got home, despite knowing the final outcome.

But it's the thought that counts.

*Note From Management: That is a lie. I am saying it to rub it in.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Why I Am Not A Carpenter

There is now a shed somewhere in Waco which has been built entirely by law students. I wouldn't vouch for its structural integrity.

Habitat for Humanity was a good time. We had a good turnout and no one suffered any major injuries, which is always a concern when I am in the vicinity of a circular saw. And then they gave us a lot of food. Their definition of "there might not be enough" is rather loose.

Thursday, November 09, 2006


I really forgot what a dynamic prof the WJC is. His class is as close to stand up comedy a law school class will ever get, even with some of the same rhythms of delivery. And I really appreciate that he talks in footnotes, as anyone who reads this blog knows I am a big fan of.*

*Ed. Note: Though this could be an endnote. It depends on your perspective. If you view each entry as an individual work, than this is an endnote. If you view the blog as a single work and each entry as contribution to the whole, than this is a footnote. I will maintain these are footnotes. If this were an endnote, I would keep all of the notes on a seperate webpage.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Election Day After

For the first time in my life, I have voted for a candidate who actually won an election. My vote has long been the kiss of death, usually due to my penchant to vote against incumbents. But my personal favorite losing vote is when I voted for a teacher running for the Board of Education. not only did she not win, she was fired from her job for being critical of the Board of Ed. I really considered stopping voting all together with that one.

But I dutifully filled out my absentee ballot this year, and shock of all shocks, the candidates I voted for actually won. I actually felt good about my vote in the US Senate, as both candidates in Maryland were good and decent men who would have represented the state well. Usually, I choose between the lesser of two evils, this time I felt like I was choosing between the greater of two goods. Which was an odd feeling.

Also, one of my classmates from high school won his election for County Executive, which is pretty cool (yes, I voted for him too; when you're on a roll, you're on a roll). I don't think I'm moving back to Maryland, so this is probably the last time I will vote in an election in the Free State. And after ten years of trying, I finally got to back a winning horse.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Get Off Your Lazy Butt And Vote

Do your civic duty today. Or hope your absentee ballot didn't get lost in the mail by a corrupt poll worker.

And be sure to either honk at or give an obscene gesture to the people on the overpass over I-35 holding the "HONK FOR IMPEACHMENT" banner.

Poseur HQ officially endorses no candidate for any office on the grounds that they will all suck. But a good rule of thumb is that if you're not sure who to vote for, vote against the incumbent. Throw the bums out. And please don't vote a straight party ticket. We need gridlock or else Congress will actually pass laws. And we can see how that usually turns out.

The Aftermath

Actual conversation on the phone this morning:

Me: Hello?
Anonymous: Um... did you take me home last night?
Me: No.
Anonymous: Do you know who did?
Me: No.
Anonymous: I woke up this morning at home and I don't know how I got here. And you're one of the few people who know where I live.
Me: Yes, but you could have given the person who gave you a ride directions.
Anonymous: (silence)
Me: Do you know where your car is right now?

I like it that my friends are apparently black-out drunks. This is why Glenfidditch should be served at every party. I, of course, stuck to water. Delicious water served in a tumbler. With ice. Because I would never drink Scotch on a school night. I'm far too responsible for that.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Back to School Shopping

I bought a new school bag today. Mainly because the old one has a gigantic hole in the side big enough for books to fall out of. Not that has happened or anything when it was raining.

It's a Swiss Army bag, so I'm a little disappointed it didn't come with a compartment for my toothpick or have a little magnifying glass which folds out. In fact, it's nowhere near as cool as a Swiss Army knife. And I'm trying to imagine why the Swiss Army needs computer bags.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Our Long Wacoan Nightmare Is Over

Finals are behind us. Drinks have been imbibed. Lies have been told. I've been to Hastings to make my ritual Spend Too Much Money On CD's Pilgrimage*. Now, some quick thank yous:

- To Matt for the musical accompaniment to my dramatic reading of the facts on the T&E practice exams.

- To Joanna and Jerry for constantly bickering like an old married couple to make me feel nostalgic.

- To Martin. Because I always end up on his couch somehow.

- To Josh and Justin for letting me beat them at ping pong. Repeatedly. Or at least I'm hoping they let me win. Otherwise, they just suck.

- To Swanburg for keeping up the funny during finals week as I dropped the ball and bitched about google.

- To Haley for driving my drunk ass around Waco.

- To Ann for stealing my coat. It's not like I was wearing a short sleeve short or anything. Nor was it very cold outside last night**.

- To the Reverend for literally walking out of any conversation that turned to finals.

- To Leigh for the hard drive full of music. I now have something to waste a few hours. Or days. OK, months.

- To my roommate for not killing me because he had a Friday exam and I didn't. Sorry about that.

- To everyone who asked me to make them a mix CD the past two weeks. It gave me something to do other than study. I'm particularly proud of the "Punk Drunk Love" comp I made for Sherp. So she better like it. Though I did have to cut the Dickies version of "Nights In White Satin".

- To everyone who made it through another quarter of law boot camp. Good job, guys. Go sleep this one off and be ready to start again on Monday.

* Not that you care, but here is the list of CD's I just blew my loan money on:

The Black Keys - Magic Potion
The Decemberists - Crane Wife
Ani DiFranco - Reprieve
Ben Folds - Supersunnyspeedgraphic, the LP
The Hold Steady - Boys and Girls of America
Ben Kweller - S/T
The Lemonheads - S/T
The Long Winters - Putting the Days to Bed
Man Man - Six Demon Bag
The Paper Chase - Now You Are On Of Us (maybe Bates will play this for the 1Q's)
TV On the Radio - Return to Cookie Mountain

** Ed. Note: That was passive aggressive sarcasm. Just in case you couldn't pick up on that with the Finals Brain. Or you aren't in Texas right now and think it is still warm at 2 AM here. It's not.

Ode to Being Done With Finals

No exams today!
Went out to Cricket's last night --
Sleep until Monday

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Performance Anxiety

Every so often, I feel the pressure to post something on here, even if I have absolutely nothing to say. This is one of those times.

I've been studying T&E pretty much nonstop for two and a half days. My brain is mush. Swanburg's been pretty funny lately, go pay him a visit. I should be in a better mood in about 14 hours. At which I point I will take my customary spot at the end of the Ninfa's bar.

I'm going to bed. Either I know this or I don't. Preferably option #1.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Googling Your Copyright

Memo to whoever is in charge of google: shut the fuck up.

To quote:

A trademark is a word, name, symbol or device that identifies a particular company's products or services. Google is a trademark identifying Google Inc. and our search technology and services. While we're pleased that so many people think of us when they think of searching the web, let's face it, we do have a brand to protect, so we'd like to make clear that you should please only use "Google" when you’re actually referring to Google Inc. and our services.

Here are some hopefully helpful examples.

Usage: 'Google' as noun referring to, well, us.
Example: "I just love Google, they're soooo cute and cuddly and adorable and awesome!"
Our lawyers say: Good. Very, very good. There's no question here that you're referring to Google Inc. as a company. Use it widely, and hey, tell a friend.

Usage: 'Google' as verb referring to searching for information on, um, Google.
Example: "I googled him on the well-known website and he seems pretty interesting."
Our lawyers say: Well, we're happy at least that it's clear you mean searching on As our friends at Merriam-Webster note, to "Google" means "to use the Google search engine to find information about (as a person) on the World Wide Web."

Usage: 'Google' as verb referring to searching for information via any conduit other than Google.
Example: "I googled him on Yahoo and he seems pretty interesting."
Our lawyers say: Bad. Very, very bad. You can only "Google" on the Google search engine. If you absolutely must use one of our competitors, please feel free to "search" on Yahoo or any other search engine.

Hey, thanks, Google!

You want to know why people hate lawyers? This is why. If anyone you ever knew used this syntax: "I googled him on the well-known website and he seems pretty interesting," I think you'd be morally justified in punching him in the neck.

Hey, protect your copyright. But when you act like a bunch of arrogant pricks, giving the rest of the internet a style guide on how to use what is essentially an accepted slang term, it's just begging me to use yahoo instead. Also, if you're going to be a gigantic ass about your copyright, perhaps you shouldn't steal Yahoo's "Do You Yahoo?" slogan. Because you kind of lose the moral high ground.

Besides, the common usage of Band-Aid and Coke haven't exactly damaged those businesses. It's reasons like this I'm never going into intellectual property. The moment someone asked me to sue somebody for their use of the word google is pretty much the same day I start looking for a new job.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Baylor football virgin

Went to my first Baylor game yesterday. Some random observations:

- The inflatable mascot is creepy.* He walks around like Frankenstein, but his big smiling head just bops up and down with the breeze. It's like being trapped in an absurdist zombie movie.

- There were a lot of Aggie fans. I mean, a lot. And they are all bizarrely cultish. Though, I have to admit, their band is pretty cool.

- I was told afterwards I should have gone to the George's tent. Is that like the regular George's in that it is bar in which I can't purchase liquor and it closes freakishy early?

- Baylor has a pretty good passing offense. The coach was obsessed with establishing the run, even in the fourth quarter when it was apparent to everyone that Baylor isn't exactly a power run team. Because, apparently, it's still 1965.

- Floyd Casey is not built to hold 50,000 fans. I think I accidentally killed someone in the melee at the half in my quest to get a Chick-Fil-A sandwich.

- I am the proud owner of a Growl Towel. I have no idea what to do with it. I am open to suggestions.

- Baylor fans are pretty quiet. Even during a really close game. Get loud, people. It's a football game.

All in all, a good time. I'll probably go back. But I'm not going with an Aggie fan.

*Ed. Note -- Actually, I think all mascots are creepy. There is a horror movie waiting to happen here, with these silent, smiling, fuzzy creatures going on a mad killing spree. It keeps me up night.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

The Eck

It's my last chance to talk about baseball, and since its either that or talking about Finals... I'm going with baseball. I promise there will be no statutory construction.

Last night, the Cardinals became the seventh team in seven years to win the World Series, thereby proving everyone who bitches about baseball's competitive balance is full of crap. This is not only the longest active streak in any sport of consecutive years without a team winning two titles, it would be the longest such streak of any sport. Except baseball itself. Because from 1978-1987, baseball went 10 years with 10 different champs before the Dodgers manged to break the streak (titles in 1981 and 1988). It wouldn't be until 1992-93 until we'd have an actual repeat champ. We're living in baseball's Golden Age of Competitive Balance. No American team sport has ever had more parity than baseball right now.

But that's not wanted to mention. I wanted to congratulate David Eckstein on winning the Series MVP. He's probably my favorite player in any sport who doesn't play for a team I root for. The guy was a walk-on at Florida, is a mere 5'7", and has managed to make himself not only into a professional athlete, but an incredibly successful one. And he has a pretty hot wife.

So well done, David Eckstein. A player so cool he once was named to the Jewish All-American team despite not being Jewish. It's David Eckstein's world, we just get a part.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Finals Haiku


First there is Biz Org.
Consumer Protection next,
End with T&E

Back to work. Or playing ping pong. One of the two.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

The Most Wonderful Time of the Quarter

Has anyone else noticed my frequency of posting goes up the closer we get to finals? How have I not flunked out yet? Because this can’t be a good behavior.

Finals loom menacing on the horizon, of course. I wish I had something witty or even insightful to say about that, but we all know that isn’t going to happen. So you’re on your own for the next week and a half. For all of you 1Q’s reading this, the only advice I have is to stock up on convenience foods. Finals week is also known as The Week During Which Steve Lives On Spaghetti-O’s.

So, go forth Baylor Law students! Live off of coffee and cigarettes! Fail to shave! Don’t wear makeup! Eat foods which have a half-life longer than plutonium! Feel guilty about watching bad TV! Move a cot into the Jaworski Office! It’s time for finals! It’s party time in Waco!

Someone hit me with something heavy.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


Hey, thanks to everyone who voted for me. To those of you who didn't, reprisals with be swift and ruthless.

Especially Quisp. Our internal polling showed he was surging late, thank goodness Boo Berry, my campaign manager, was able to get those drug accusations to stick. Hey, it didn't have to be true, we just needed Quisp to deny it.

For those of you that don't click my links, that actually is Boo Berry's myspace page. Is anyone else disturbed that fictional characters are on myspace*? It's bad enough Dane Cook is making it his personal mission to add every person on earth as his friend, but I'm drawing the line at creatures who do not actually exist.

* And that Boo Berry has 2581 friends. And is apparently a Pisces and, most disturbingly, a swinger.

The Nexus of Nerdom (Baseball and Law)

Because I’m training to be a lawyer and I’m also a hopeless baseball fan, it’s time to merge those two passions and play Applying Statutory Construction to the baseball rulebook. Yes, I’ve always been this big of a dork. It’s just that law school allowed me to be a dork with laser-like precision.

If you’ve been watching the World Series, or even the SportsCenter highlights, you are aware that Kenny Rogers had a foreign substance on his hand in Game Two which looked suspiciously like pine tar. The umpires said it was dirt, made him wash his hands, and that was that. Endless bitching has since ensued because that’s what baseball writers do.

But let’s look at the rulebook, because well, we can. And, as mentioned, I’m a dork. The rule in dispute is:

The pitcher shall not --
(a) (4) apply a foreign substance of any kind to the ball;
(5) deface the ball in any manner; or
(6) deliver a ball defaced in a manner prescribed by Rule 8.02(a)(2) through (5) or what is called the “shine” ball, “spit” ball, “mud” ball or “emery” ball. The pitcher is allowed to rub the ball between his bare hands.

The umpires disingenuously claimed after the game that dirt is not a foreign substance as it is part of the field. And that would cover a violation of Rule 8.02(a)(4). Let’s just assume that is true, because I don’t think the issue will be decided on the definition of “foreign substance”. Unfortunately for their contention, there are also parts 5 and 6. Rule 8.02(a)(5) makes it “illegal” for a pitcher to deface the ball IN ANY MANNER. So it is irrelevant if Rogers used pine tar or dirt to deface a ball. Even more damning is part (a)(6) which specifically references a “mud ball” which is exactly what you think it is.

Also, note the “or” in the rule. These violations are clearly disjunctive. It is a separate violation to apply a foreign substance, deface the ball in any manner, and then throwing the defaced ball.

Rogers’ only credible defense is that he was using the substance to better grip the ball, and did not “apply” any substance to the ball or “deface” it. He simply applied a substance to his hand for better grip of the ball, and the substance was never applied to the ball. I don’t much believe this argument, if you put pine tar on your hand, some of it is going to get on the ball, which would meet the requirements of the rule.* There is nothing here about intent. (Actually, there is, more on that after we get through the penalty)

So, Kenny Rogers is a dirty, filthy cheater. Even if it’s just dirt (and we accept the definition of foreign substance which excludes dirt), which I don’t think anyone honestly believes. What to do? Well, the Rule 8.02 helpfully includes a PENALTY section.

PENALTY: For violation of any part of Rules 8.02(a)(2) through (6):
(a) The pitcher shall be ejected immediately from the game and shall be suspended automatically for 10 games.

Not looking good for Mr. Rogers. However, included in the rules are official comments, just like in the UCC. And there’s an interesting tidbit in there. That’s right, we are coming back to the intent issue.

Rules 8.02(a)(2) through 8.02(a)(6) Comment: If a pitcher violates either Rule 8.02(a)(2) or Rule 8.02(a)(3) and, in the judgment of the umpire, the pitcher did not intend, by his act, to alter the characteristics of a pitched ball, then the umpire may, in his discretion, warn the pitcher in lieu of applying the penalty set forth for violations of Rules 8.02(a)(2) through 8.02(a)(6). If the pitcher persists in violating either of those Rules, however, the umpire should then apply the penalty.

So, if the umps give Rogers the benefit of the doubt, and decide to believe that Rogers accidentally covered his palm in pine tar (or dirt), they can give him a warning in lieu of the penalty. So the penalty is not necessarily automatic, it is left to the discretion of the umpire. Which I believe is what happened. Rogers was given the warning and did not persist in violating the rules.

But that also misapplies the rules. This mens rea exception only exists for a violation of Rules 8.02(a)(2) and (3). Rogers did not violate those rules. He violated Rules 8.02(a)(5) and (6). And he violated Rule 8.02(a)(4) if you don’t believe the shiny substance on his palm was dirt. There is no exception for umpire discretion for Rogers’ violation.

The rules clearly and unambiguously called for Rogers ejection from the game and a 10 game suspension. Can’t anyone read a simple statute anymore? Isn’t Tony LaRussa a lawyer?** Shouldn’t he be on top of these things?

Who knew that baseball was no different than LAPP? By the way, a balk is described in Rule 8.05. It is perhaps the most impenetrable use of language ever put to paper since Ulysses. It actually has a subpart (m).

*Actually, he has another defense, but its not addressed anywhere in the rules. What is the burden of proof? We have photographs that Rogers had a substance on his hand, but no one has produced a doctored ball. Having the substance on his hand is certainly circumstantial evidence that some of the substance was transferred to the ball. But it is not prima facie evidence he violated Rule 8.02. And the intent argument cuts both ways. Rogers may have intended to put something on the ball, but that doesn’t matter. What matters is whether he actually did put something on the ball.

How hard is it to produce a baseball? LaRussa should have demanded the umpires inspect the ball. His failure to do so may constitute a defense for Rogers. Just lazy enforcement of the rules here. I’m not sure what the standard of proof required for a “conviction” is, but Rogers has a pretty good argument that there is insufficient evidence. If I’m representing him, this is the tact I take. Though it’s a terrible argument in the Court of Public Opinion.

Though I do like making it Tony LaRussa’s fault, since I believe he has ruined baseball with his excessive use of middle relievers. Seriously. The Lefty One-Out Only Guy (LOOGY) is a scourge on the baseball landscape. It’s taking playing the percentages to an absurd degree.

**Editor’s Note: Yes, he is.

*** NOTE FROM MANAGEMENT: I think this is compelling evidence that Major League Baseball needs to hire me.


Monday, October 23, 2006

Happy Birthday, iPod! And Bro! And Hungary!

All hail the iPod!

Pretty much everyone knows of my deep love of my iPod, which I affectionately refer to as “the greatest gift I have ever, or would ever, receive.” Much like the Red Rider BB Gun with a compass in the stock and this thingee which tells time.

The iPod turned five years old today. I do think it has changed the way we listen to music, as it pretty much encourages my extraordinary ADHD tendencies. Like I’ll hear “The Man Who Sold the World” by Nirvana, which will send me back to the original Bowie, which will then remind me Bowie produced Iggy Pop’s first album which will then send me to Wayne Kramer, Iggy’s guitarist, who released some albums on Epitaph after getting out of jail, and doesn’t Bad Religion own Epitaph? Five hours later, I’m somehow listening to every Elliot Smith song ever recorded.

I can spend hours digging through those 60 gigs of musical goodness.

Also, turning much more than five today is the official brother of Poseur.  Birthdays all around!  Bring me cake!  While we're at it, here's some other birthdays today:

Adlai Stevenson
Gummo Marx
Chi Chi Rodriguez
Johnny Carson
Dwight Yoakam
Sam Raimi
"Weird" Al Yankovic
Doug Flutie
Keith Van Horn
The country of Hungary

Cake for everybody!

World Series #1A

Justin did a great job with his top ten World Series of his lifetime, and while I’m willing to forgive the oversight of the seven-game 1987 Series in which the Twins became, arguably, the worst team to ever win the title, I’m just ticked he left off perhaps the greatest Series ever played: the 1985 I-70 Series between the Royals and the Cardinals.

It’s not his fault. He was one year old when the game was played, and he’s probably spotty on the details. But it’s telling he knows a lot about the 1986 Series, which he also likely has absolutely no memory of. But since the New York media won’t ever shut up, and the Boston media is even worse, we’re up to our eyeballs in recriminations over 1986, yet no one aside from a few Missourians have ever threatened to kill Jack Clark.

So, let’s set this one up. In 1985, the Royals were actually good. Hard to believe, I know. Here, click
if you don’t believe me. From 1976-1985, the Royals won seven division titles and finished second the three other years. But they hadn’t won the title yet.

The Cardinals were pretty darn good themselves, and would win more pennants in the 1980s than any other team (three). And the top of their order was one of the most feared in baseball: Vince Coleman and his 110 stolen bases led off, NL batting champion Willie McGee (.353) batted second, and Jack Clark was the power hitter at #3. And some Ozzie Smith guy played shortstop.

Actually, both teams had to fight like hell to get to the Series. The Royals overcame a 3-1 deficit against the Blue Jays, and the Cardinals beat the Dodgers in 6. Dodgers closer Tom Niedenfuer lost the last two games: Game 5 when Ozzie Smith hit a game-winning homer, and a Game 6 rally in the ninth was set up by an Ozzie Smith triple. Tom Niedenfuer goes to bed at night and curses the Wizard of Oz.

Anyway, the Royals lost the first two games of the Series, both at home. And after four games, they found themselves in a rather familiar 3-1 hole. No team in baseball history had ever come back from a 3-1 deficit after losing the first two games at home. Well, until the Royals. The big win was Game 5, getting the Series back to Kansas City for the last two games. And then came perhaps the greatest Game 6 ever played. Right up there with 1975 and 1986. More ink should be spilled over this game.

Charlie Liebrandt (yes, the same one, Braves fans) of the Royals and Danny Cox of the Cardinals would not allow a single run in the first seven innings of play. With runners on 1st and 2nd and two outs in the 8th, Whitey Herzog went to his bench and called on Brian Harper to hit for the pitcher. Harper had exactly 52 AB’s on the season, but he’d come through with a single which plated a run.

Then came the ninth inning. The managers went into matchup overdrive. Howser sent up Darryl Motley to pinch hit, so Herzog went to his pen and called for Todd Worrell. Howser responded and sent up Jorge Orta instead, who would ground out to Clark. Except Don Denkinger, in what ESPN has called the worst call in sports history, called Orta safe. He wasn’t. Then Worrell got Steve Balboni, a pretty good power hitter to pop out. Except Jack Clark lost the ball in the lights and didn’t make the play. Given a second chance, Balboni hit a single. Instead of nobody on and two outs, the Royals had two runners on and nobody out.

The Royals promptly failed to advance the runners on a bunt. Catcher Darrell Porter returned the favor by allowing a passed ball, advancing the runners. Worrell would then intentionally walk McRae to get to pitcher Dan Quisenberry (who it should be pointed out, had a terrific moustache and had a funky delivery I spent a year trying to copy without any success). Dane Iorg came in as a pinch hitter, and speaking of unlikely heroes, came through with a single which scored two runs. Pinch runner Onix Concepcion just barely beat Porter’s tag (Van Slyke’s throw was in time), and the Royals had inexplicably won 2-1.

Game Seven was a formality, but Cardinals pitcher Joaquin Andujar and Whitey Herzog were ejected for arguing balls and strikes. The home plate umpire? Don Denkinger.

Oh, and the Series gave rise to the internet theory, the Curse of Balboni. Steve Balboni hit 36 home runs in 1985, and until 2001, no team with a player who hit 36 home runs won the World Series. The 1985 Royals were a special team.

This post also demonstrates why I didn’t do this project. I’m far too long-winded. Also, disturbingly enough, I did need to check retrosheet to get a few of the names, but I was able to reconstruct the entire inning from memory. Besides, how do you forget a name like Onix Concepcion?

Saturday, October 21, 2006

SBA Elections

Hey, I'm running for SBA Executive Treasurer. Go vote for me on Monday. I promise, if elected, I will not embezzle SBA funds.

Vote for the Hollenbeck-Baker-Fogelman ticket. Especially Hollenbeck and Fogelman. They actually have lots of SBA experience and would continue to do a great job if granted even more power. I'm just latching on to their train.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Game Seven

What a great game. If I'm gonna spend my evening not studying for finals, I want it to be worth my while. And that was everything I wanted in baseball game. Great pitching, a big home run, a tense final out with the bases loaded, and some great defense.

It was the kind of game that reminds me why I'm a baseball fan. Especially when the New York team loses. I also loved that we got to see some great pitching from some truly unexpected sources. I mean, really unexpected. Rob Neyer claimed today that, statistically speaking, Oliver Perez is the worst Game Seven starter ever. He'd throw a four-hitter over six innings. And I love any game won by the heroics of a Molina.

And this is an unintentionally funny photo which I'll let pass without further comment:

And now.... a haiku for Friday:

Game Seven drama.
Rather watch baseball than read,
He struck out looking!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

What Aretha Franklin Taught Me About Law School

The fallout from Prof. Osler’s recent post seems to be subsiding, and I’ve already added my two cents over on his site. But, hey, I’ve go my own space, and I can throw in a buck fifty here. So here’s my last few additions to the cacophony.

First, Baylor Law is hard. I like that it’s hard. I don’t think the school should apologize for it, and in fact we take pride in it. Good. When you get a good grade here, you feel like you’ve accomplished something. And I don’t want that feeling to ever go away. Nothing is handed to us here, we have to earn it. That makes our experience all the more valuable. I think any criticism of Baylor and its administration should keep this overall point in mind. We came here because it was hard.

I also believe that administration does listen to its students. Last year, they had meetings with groups of students from each class to get their opinions on Baylor. Hell, Osler was the guy who guided our discussion. Not only was it a good program to reach out to the students to give us a voice, it gave us a perspective on the choices administration has to make. There isn’t an unlimited amount of money, and the school has to make tough decisions sometimes. In order to raise our school’s rankings, they’d have to do things which would negatively impact our education (cue Alanis Morrisette), like spending more time writing academic papers and less time teaching us.

I’ve said what I’m gonna say regarding grades. I would like to see a B+ added to the grade scale, and a different valuation for an A- or B-. But I’m not staying up nights about it. And I do agree if we’re going to have lower GPA’s as the last vanguard against grade inflation, the school needs to do a better job of educating employers. I’m not sure why that has to fall entirely on the CSO.

The biggest thing is respect. Everyone's complaints comes down to this. The administration needs to respect the hard work the students put in every single day. And the students need to respect the administration’s hard work as well. You can’t bitch about being disrespected and in the next breath blindly bash the CSO, the Dean’s office, or some anonymous professor. Respect is a two way street. And I’ve never encountered a professor at Baylor who did not want their students to succeed. Our professors may break us down, but they do build us back up. If you’re busy carrying a grudge from the time Trail made you look stupid in your first quarter, you’re missing out on an important part of your education.

I do think little things mean a lot. Osler’s blog allows us to see professors as people. So does the WJC’s facebook page. Those things do build bridges between faculty and students, even though it doesn’t seem like it. But if you have a problem with something the administration does, go into their office and voice your concerns. The Dean’s on the second floor. Faculty on the third. They’ll listen. Anonymous bitching gets you nowhere, and it’s just toxic. Be constructive. And have respect for each other.

Just my opinion. And I know this is odd coming from me if you know me well, but we all need to stay positive. Negativity fosters distrust. We all have the same goal, to make Baylor Law the best law school on the planet. We’re all on the same team here.

So let's go out there an run up the score on some poor directional school.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

It's 12:00 And Best Buy Still Sucks

My personal war with Best Buy has come to a dramatic conclusion. I am now the proud owner of a brand spanking new computer. It’s only taken me about three months to wear the corporate beast down. The only weapon in my arsenal: being annoying.

So aside from the fact I am literally on my fourth computer this quarter (loaner, my old computer, loaner, this new one), I’m feeling pretty good. My notes are almost impenetrable given the timeline, and that I also have notes on three separate notepads when I was between computers. As if figuring out BizOrg wasn’t tough enough.

But when one is victorious, one does not quibble about the details.

*Note from management: thanks to Ladybird for pointing out I was only allowing registered bloggers to post. That was rather elitist of us here at Poseur HQ. Comments are now available for everyone. Go to it.

We deeply regret the error. Those responsible are being forced to attend every Baylor sporting event.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Punk's Birthplace Goes Belly Up

CBGB’s closed last week. I went to a few shows in the famous NYC club when I was still in high school, following DC Straight Edge bands up I-95 to a gig in which we were hardly welcome. The straight edge philosophy meant no drinking, and we were underage anyway. And CBGB’s might have been a live venue, but it was also a bar. They weren’t exactly enthused to see a bunch of teenagers overwhelm their place and not spend any money.

But it goes to show CBGB’s hasn’t been relevant in a long friggin’ time. When the most famous thing about your place is that the bathrooms are disgusting, perhaps it’s not that big a tragedy you’re going the way of the dodo. Seriously, who was the last band to break out of CBGB’s? Punk is 30 years old, people. And NYC has long since lagged behind DC and LA in churning out the vanguard of the rock underground.

The sheer dearth of an NYC punk scene was on full display when the final shows were overpriced gigs for Patti Smith and Blondie. At least those bands started there, even if it was in 1976. The rest of the week was a three-night reunion engagement for the seminal punk band, Bad Brains. Bad Brains is a DC band who would later relocate to LA (hence the album Banned in DC). They have as much to do with CBGB’s as I do.

Which shows how far the venerable club has fallen. It’s a shame CBGB’s is closing, but let’s be honest. This is a mercy killing.

What I've Learned

I haven’t written much on working at the DA’s office. In fact, I’ve written exactly nothing about it. It’s mainly because I’ve never gotten around to it, and a lot of the really juicy stuff I can’t talk about. Really. They made me sign a paper which said they could throw me in jail if I did. Actually, I’ve signed several of those papers. And I don’t think I’d do well in jail.

But as we approach the end of the quarter and my internship, here is a quick list of the things I’ve learned in my brief time there:

1. There is no honor among thieves. Thieves will rat each other out on a moment’s notice. It’s why they are criminals.
2. Prof. CrimPro is right. It is always drugs.
3. There are certain gas stations in town I would never, ever, ever get gas at.
4. I now know the street value of a gram of crack cocaine. So in case this law school thing doesn’t work, I could work in the drug trade.
5. Sufficiency of evidence challenges suck. It requires some poor schmuck (like an intern) to go through the record and cite every piece of evidence which supports the fact finding. And for some bizarre reason, every record is seven volumes long. I can’t figure that out.
6. You’d be amazed what will fit in a Toyota Corolla
7. It takes about four weeks to become absolutely cynical. I started out viewing each Child Protective Services case as a horrible event which would keep my up at nights. Now, I read files for their comedic value. I’m going to hell.
8. You think law school coffee is bad? Work at the DA’s.
9. It actually is possible to get arrested for loitering.
10. Bureaucracy sucks. It’s frustrating to bang your head against the wall of a government system, and even more frustrating when each person you talk with is nice, hard-working, and genuinely sympathetic. But it doesn’t change the rules. And the runaround is ten times more frustrating when there isn’t a person to blame.

Monday, October 16, 2006

New digs!

Like the new site? I just moved in. Still unpacking some boxes and I can't figure out where to put the coffee table, but I like the look of the place. I'm going to play around and figure out what each of the switches are for.

Baseball and BizOrg

Today was a rather eventful day in BizOrg for me. It’s the sort of class in which you can reasonably expect to be called on once, maybe twice the entire quarter. Not counting having to rap in front of the class last week, I’ve now been called on three times. I had read and think I sounded pretty competent, but I'm getting called on a lot in that class, relatively speaking. I’m not complaining*, but it’s someone else’s turn to take a case or two.

More importantly, we covered a case on the 1919 New York (Baseball) Giants (and not the one I got called on for). One of the directors of the corporation was John McGraw, who our prof described as one of the president and primary shareholder’s “friends”. Which is sort of like referring to a case on the Green Bay Packers and saying “some Lombardi guy”.

OK, I know I’m a huge baseball dork. But John F’n McGraw! The Little Napoleon! He’s only one of the greatest managers who ever lived. The only guy to win more games was Casey Stengel, and that’s just because he continued to manage after he was legally dead. From 1903 to 1932, McGraw had two losing seasons. Two. He also won 10 pennants and 3 World Series.

John McGraw was so awesome that when he got in trouble with the owner, he tanked the season, drove down attendance and thereby the purchase price of the team, and got one of his rich buddies to buy the team for him to run. All so he wouldn’t have to serve that suspension for attacking an umpire (and you thought Lou Pinella was intense). And our case today was McGraw and his buddy muscling out Tammany Hall. Yes, THAT Tammany Hall.

And John McGraw was nobody’s friend. He is one of the all-time biggest jerks to ever play baseball, though you could make a pretty outstanding team of nothing but gigantic jerks (I’m leaving off pitchers, who are just known as weird, not jerks):

C Thurman Munson (really not many mean catchers, though Carlton Fisk was sort of a pill, but I really liked him)
1B Dick Allen
2B Rogers Hornsby
3B John McGraw
SS Alvin Dark (Wow, most famous shortstops were also famous nice guys. Thank God we have one unrepentant racist in the bunch)
RF Pete Rose
CF Ty Cobb
LF Ted Williams (War hero? Yes. But also a famous jerk on the level of Albert Belle)

*Editor’s note: this is law school speak for “I’m complaining”