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Monday, November 22, 2004

the Baylor Challenge

The following was pulled from a blog written by a law student at Baylor, posted at

For the non-law students, WestLaw is just one online research database law students get to freely abuse for 3 years . . . only so they can then abuse us for the rest of our careers.

They offer us cheap "rewards" to get us hooked and then, when we are on our own, we will panhandle law firm librarians like cheap drug-store junkies begging for a fix: "C'mon, man . . . just one search. Please. Its been so long and I have a memo due tomorrow. I just need a couple primary sources, man. I'll do anything. Please. Man. For . . . just . . . one . . . search."

The Baylor Challenge:

"I did some calculations, in a [jurisprudence-induced mania], trying to figure out how I could bring down WestLaw solely by abusing their rewards program. While I know its impossible to shut 'em down, I honestly think they've assumed that no one will ever accumulate enough points to get the "big ticket" items they advertise. Now, by "Big Ticket" you might think the 27" flat screen (not panel) T.V was the most expensive item. NO SIR. You see, they tried to dupe us with the descriptive language of "Flat Screen" coupled with the requirement of 25,528 points. Its not LCD, Its not plasma. The T.V. only costs $349.00 and is basically a 27" hunk of shit. I did cost estimates of every item on the list (really trying to avoid Property and Contracts II) and on a point per dollar comparison the Bose VCS 30 speakers also come in at 349.00 retail....BUT, only cost 15,000 points. The Bissell steam cleaner was a close second.

The point of all this......if people would just log in once a day, click on 3 links to generate a pseudo search, the system would allocate the 20 points for the daily usage. Then, when you sign off...if you elect to answer the trivia question (asuming you get it correct) you get another 5 points. So, at a minimum 25 points per day. 15,000/25 is 600 days. When you calculate in the hundereds of points you can get from the little tutorials and extra training, that number will realistically be about 400 days(little over a year). If 250 people did this and ordered the speakers, our school alone could hit West Law for $87,250.00.PER YEAR. If I get Tech, SMU, South Texas School of Law, and Saint Mary's on board we're looking at $436,250.00 they'll have to pay out per year. And finally, if I could successfully implement this I could cost WestLaw about $1.3 million over my law school career and furnish about 3,750 starving law students with name brand, kick ass sound systems for free. It's nice to have goals you know..."

Friday, November 19, 2004

What have I been doing all this time?

I know I still have four more years before my clock turns 30 . . .

but my foresight seems to be a bit near-sighted lately.

I just don't feel like I should be so close to my "mid-life". I've been thinking about it and I'm positive this is a result of my having been a student for 21 years now. Perhaps that is why people remain perpetual students-- they just don't want to get old?

And yet, at the same time, I spend a great deal of time looking at the people around me and thinking: "darned kids!"

Hmm. No comment.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

The Return of Atari.

Modern technology rocks.

My wife gave me an early birthday present, partially because the dogs had started to unwrap it for me . . . and partially because I guessed what it was.

Have you seen the new-old Atari games? They take everything and shove it all into the old joystick controller! Then they throw in 10 games and, VOILA, you have Atari.

Space Invaders.




All in one joystick. modern technology is very cool.

I just wish they'd put that game with the tanks where you drive through the maze and shoot at each other. What was that called??

Oh, and one more thing. Atari is a lot more difficult than I remember. Sure we think we're sophisticated now with our 3-D effects and shoot-em-up adventures.

Yeah. You pick up an Atari joystick and keep the paddle moving back-&-forth in order to keep the ball smashing into the bricks without losing it. Not as easy as it looks, is it?

Nope. Playstation made us go soft.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

"L.A. Law" lied to me.

Darn you, Jimmy Smits. Being a lawyer isn't like t.v. Huh-uh. Nope.

I watched you in your fancy suits, with your clever plot lines . . . and at such a young age you warped my mind.

I gave up my dreams of one day having a major crime sydicate named after me . . . because of you. I will now never know the exhiliration of rubbing elbows with crooks and con-men; of extorting the small-businessman for my protection; of always attempting to influence local government; of flouting the law; of leaving a room with two suited goons on one side of a table and a poor sap on the other, listening to his whimpers . . .

I will never experience these things. (Unless, of course, I make partner some day.)

But for now, Jimmy Smits, I have to spend my days locked away in the mind-numbingly quiet solitude of a law library.

Leafing through page, after page, after page . . . of the Southwestern Reporter. Only to follow that up with the thrill of Shepardizing whatever gem I could find.

And when I finally emerge from the confines of my little hell-- I will emerge pasty, shrunken, hairless like some less-than-sypathetic Gollum in a Brooks Bros suit, cradling my tirelessly prepared brief in my arms, peering at those around me who would try to steal those oh-so original arguments from me and infringe upon my genius, softly petting my briefcase and repeating: "Me loves the precious."

Then I get to hand it over to the senior attorney. And HE gets to be like Jimmy Smits. And I go home in my $40,000 automobile to my $200,000 house and pop in volume 1 of the Sopranos, Season Four, dreaming someday I might get to represent Tony Soprano in an actual courtroom.

'Course, first he'd have to get caught. And that'll never happen.

And I'd have to learn where the courthouse is located. That would be even less likely.

But I'd still love being a lawyer . . . notwithstanding anything contained herein to the contrary, of course.

Saturday, November 13, 2004


It is cold and rainy. Ah, the seasons have changed.

So has my attitude. Back in August I remember being amazed and intimidated by the thought of attending law school.

Something has changed.

I will have to figure out what, I suppose.

In the meantime, check out a link to this blog:

Friday, November 12, 2004


I just found my blog listed on BlogShares, self-described as a "fantasy blog shares market." I am listed as #2 on the "Top 100 Incoming Links."

I absolutely have no clue what that means.

But it is still pretty cool, nonetheless.

Now I'm feeling all this pressure. Perhaps I ought to write more and spend less time reading my case books. Perhaps I ought to search for my lost sense of humor and spend less time attempting to understand the difference between a "necessary" party as opposed to an "indespensable" party when talking about joinder.

Then again: Can I make any money off of this thing?

Probably not.

Ah well, I will retire to my beat-up recliner for the weekend and study... (ugh) concepts on legal research.

Now that is just WRONG.

Okay. How about this for sick:

A woman in her late 20s seduces her young daughter's playmate.

She then dumps her grown boyfriend, becomes "intimate" with the boy and claims she has fallen in love with him.

But, when caught, she claims the boy seduced her!


Ah, I guess I forgot how deep and meaningful those sandbox conversations can be sometimes. But then don't we all?

Well, perhaps, with the exception of this Sicko.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Anxiety Time

I'm becoming worried. Very worried.

But . . . not about the finals.

I am worried because I'm NOT YET worried about the finals.

These are the first law school finals I will have taken, they are the only grades which will matter.I have never been graded on a curve before and now I am competing against roughly 60 other individuals for the few elusive "A"s to be had.

I am competing against 260 other individuals so that I can score high enough to keep my full scholarship.

Instead of burying my head in my books this past weekend, I attended a review session Saturday morning then I spent 1 1/2 hours in the Texas Roadhouse parking lot hoping for a table, went to a movie, took my wife shopping and spent time with her and relaxed a little. Now I feel all good to go.

But what is wrong with me???

I should have been nervously making outlines, reviewing flash cards, reading horn books.

I should not be able to tell you that I thought "Surviving Christmas" was actually a funny movie.

Or that a person can actually survive 1.5 hours sitting in a car waiting for the opportunity to throw peanuts on floor of a restaurant.

(And not once did I think about the liability ramifications of such an act, or if I was indemnified by the Texas Roadhouse for my actions. Do I have a duty to the other eaters? To the wait staff? I didn't care.)

I should not be able to tell you from experience that the worst possible time for Wal-Mart to have its employees stocking and clogging the aisles of the grocery section is on a VERY BUSY FREAKIN' SUNDAY AFTERNOON!!!!!!!!

I should not be able to tell you these things. But I can.


Because I am not worried about the finals.

And I am worried about that.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

What is Right?

I am writing in response to a comment made about yesterday’s entry. This person said the election had nothing to do with morality. He based his argument on the fact the election was decided on the “vast majority of undecideds declaring they were incapable of switching boats midstream.” He then said these undecideds constituted only 3% of the Bush vote.

That means another 48%, perhaps, voted for another reason?

I have to say to him:

If you don't believe this election had anything to do with morality, then direct that comment to the major media networks. I have listened to them since Tuesday evening talking of the "Evangelical Christian" vote and "Morality" being the suprising #1 issue.

If you don't believe this election had anything to do with morality, then direct that comment to the nitwits placing comments all over the internet bashing Christians, bashing the South, bashing conservatives.

The pendulum has swung in the opposite direction. Conservatives have been schooled to a fair degree over the last few decades about tolerance.

(Of course, there are still those who are behind the curve but the rest should not be held to account for the sins of a few.

The other day a classmate attempted to seriously open a discussion with me on the line: "You are conservative, so you don't believe in helping people, right?"

Because I hold certain beliefs, that makes me a heartless bastard? Of course I believe in helping people. Over the last decade, I may have changed ideologies but I have never lost claim to idealism.)

Now, however, tolerance may be a lesson needed by others.

Republicans do not own the Christian God. True. But it is the Democratic party that has given a home to those who oppose everything Christian. While elsewhere the Bible has been officially labeled "hate speech," we voted out of protest because we hope this nation will never do the same . . . and we know there are those who would try.

It is time we recognize that our interests in protecting the rights of the minority do not trump the need to recognize those of the majority. The minority should not be allowed to direct this nation’s future through judicial fiat.

In recognizing this, we will allow the people of a small town in Texas to decide how they will express their faith. The one, unharmed in person and property, will not be allowed to decide what forms this peaceful expression of the ninety-nine may take.

In recognizing this, I promise that I will stay out of your bedroom. I simply ask that you stay out of my living room, out of the discussion at my kitchen table, and allow me to raise my children as I see fit.

In recognizing this, we can agree that the public schools should not be a place for teaching Christianity. Neither, however, are they suitable for teaching that Christianity is wrong.

One must remember that secular humanism is as much a set of beliefs as is Christianity. Remove one paradigm and another must take its place.

Tolerance does not include my relinquishing my rights, beliefs, and heritage to indulge your's or those of anyone else.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

A New Morning

Bush won.

Not only did he win, he won with with a popular vote of 51% and with a winning margin of 3.5 million votes.

He won with 286 electoral votes.

He won. Fair and Square.

As a nation, we desperately needed this. Not since 1988 has the victor won a majority popular vote. And we needed a popular vote and electoral vote that mirrored each other.

We needed to have reason to believe our system works. And it does.

For those who still doubt this: Don't blame the nation. Dont' question the rest of us. Enough stones have been thrown over the past 4 years. Don't throw any more.

Stop and look at yourself.

In fact, not only did Bush win, Daschle lost. Louisiana chose a Republican senator for the first time. . . ever. And he won 51% of the vote running against 6 others. 11 states overwhelmingly supported "traditional marriage." Alaska defeated legalizing marijuana.

All in all, the Republicans had a very, very good night.

So, for those of you who will spend the next 4 years bitter: learn from history. Please.

Ours is a nation of moderation. I believe you may have forgotten this.

You pushed. Too hard. Too much. Too fast.

If you want to win again, you will have to stop bullying the rest of America.

I, for one, am tired of feeling guilty for being an American, for wanting a strong America, and for believing in God.

Today, in this nation, I know at least 51% of America feels the same way.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

A White Election Day

O, the weather outside is frightful
I hope the news will be delightful
O, we've only one place to go
To the polls, to the polls, to the polls

When we finally say goodnight
How I hate going out in the storm
But if it turns out to be our night
When I leave, we'll know we have won

Well the fire is slowly dying
And, my dear, we're still good-bying
But we musn't forget to go
To the polls, to the polls, to the polls

It is Election Day. And for a political hack like myself, it feels like Christmas. I can't concentrate on anything but the latest news. Throw in that i'm a law student and all of the legal challenges going on in the courts this morning. Wow!!

O, not to mention the snow!!! It seriously could not be more like Christmas than, perhaps, Christmas. All we'd need is, uhm, a football game this afternoon and a turkey.

Ah, well... I've got to try and get something done. Perhaps I should have just stayed home.


Monday, November 01, 2004

Election Prediction

If Kerry is elected tomorrow, it will put us at a significant disadvantage in the War on Terror. This is not, however, because of Kerry or his policies.

We will know that if Kerry wins, it will not be a result of Bin Laden's video-taped threats. However, the terrorists and would-be terrorists won't necessarily know that.

The University Daily today headlined the story that Bin Laden is seeking to recruit the more secular Muslim. If he can portray a Kerry victory as a sign of his power and influence, then he could gain those converts.

Our only option, in the wake of a Kerry victory, is to get tougher. Bush, re-elected, need only maintain the current U.S. policy. Kerry, however, would have much to prove to the 48-50% that didn't vote for him. . . and everyone else.

Kerry, as President, would HAVE TO come out swinging. Kerry's only option would be to show the Terrorists and the World that his victory IS NOT a victory for Bin Laden. Kerry would actually need to be tougher on this issue than Bush. Unfortunately, his record to this point does not lead one to safely conclude he would be.

It could happen though. Richard Nixon persecuted suspected American Communists with all the fervor of a fat kid on Halloween; then he normalized relations with Communist China.

Clinton helped pass and signed into law sweeping welfare reform.

Bush lobbied for and enacted the largest government entitlement (for prescription drugs) in decades.

So, perhaps . . . maybe . . . I will pray . . .

Kerry will actually be the leader on this issue he has yet to be thus far. Because there is a good chance we will wake up Wednesday looking to a new Presidency in 80 days.

And, as for Bin Laden: Texas will go red and it will be on the top of his hit list.
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