Friday, March 18, 2005

REMINDER...WE'VE MOVED TO THIS BLOG HERE. Please change your bookmarks accordingly.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

DUE TO MY INTENSE frustration with blogger, I have moved this blog to Typepad. For fresh rants, animal sex (great now I'll get 1000 google hits for that), bad cops, and more go to:

And don't forget to change your bookmarks.
HOW NOT TO HELP YOUR CAUSE: Tip: When waiting outside the courtroom while your estranged wife is seeking an Order of Protection, do NOT punch and beat her. Apparently, Thomas Kapfer didn't get the memo and was arrested yesterday at the Lake County, Illinois, courthouse when he began beating his wife (breaking her nose) at the courthouse where she had asked for an OOP.

Tip #2: In the days after the Lefkow murders and the Atlanta courthouse shoointings, do NOT threaten to kill the attorney representing you in your divorce. Again, Tommy boy didn't seem to get the memo on that either.

That may explain why he got a $2 million bail. (link)
I'LL PASS: I just can't put my finger on it (pun intended) but something doesn't sit well with this news story from South Carolina. Piggly Wiggly is testing out the "Pay by Touch" system of paying for groceries. The service lets shoppers use scanned fingerprints tied to a bank account to pay for groceries.

I don't know if I'm ready to cross that line, yet. I know data collection companies already have large amounts of information about me in their database and to the extent it's used to target me I don't mind. I'd rather have junk mail and solitications that matter to me than just wasteful marketing. In fact, I'd have to say I get less junk mail overall than before.

But it seems like too big a difference in degree for them to have actual physical information, be it a fingerprint, eye scan or DNA.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

EXCUSE OF THE DAY: I don't know too many celebrities that are as sad-sacked as Billy Joel. It all started out so promising. Semi-OK pop music celebrity...married to a hot Christie Brinkley....

And then depression (reference to Stripes)...

Rehab followed car crash followed rehab followed car crash followed crappy Broadway rip-off musical (yeah, it was original when it was Abba and Mama was passe when it was Billy Joel and Movin' Out) followed by appearance on The Apprentice and now this...
(BBC) Singer Billy Joel has checked into a rehabilitation centre for alcohol abuse, his spokesperson has confirmed.

The US star's treatment follows a 10-day stay in a substance abuse and psychiatric hospital in 2002.
So what caused this relapse?
"a recent bout of severe gastro-intestinal distress".
Hmm, so something between bad gas and stomach flu he decided to start abusing drugs again. I'm saying that because I don't recall him being hospitalized for a more serious "GI disorder" like cancer or something like that.

I think I'll use that in court tomorrow: Your honor, my client only had the heroin because he had the runs.
NKE UPDATE: It's official. NKE broke his arm. They are putting it in a splint like thing for a week until the swelling goes down and then he'll have a hard cast. He's being exceptionally brave and stoic.

Oh yeah, the chicks are gonna dig him.
UPDATE: Today I had the sentencing hearing for my client convicted of attempted murder following February's bench trial. His sentence range was 6-30 years in prison, no chance for probation. He'll do 85% of the time.

The State asked for 30 years arguing that he was basically lucky the victim didn't die. That I agree with. No doubt the shooter was lucky when he shoots point blank at a guy sitting in a car hitting him twice in the chest but missing the heart and major arteries. But it's not my job to agree with the State so...

I told the judge that my guy was 29, hadn't been in any trouble in 10 years but was laying low and taking care of his 8 year old and the baby's momma. He was working out of his home cutting hair. I side stepped the State's argument but noting that since we still don't think he was proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt I wasn't going to talk about what someone else did at the crime scene.

The client was asked if he wanted to say anything, but wisely he did not. This Judge actually likes to hear from the defendant that he is sorry, ask for forgiveness, etc. But, since my client's best issue on appeal is "reasonable doubt" (that is: arguing that the evidence doesn't support the conviction) it's tough for him to say he's sorry for shooting the guy then turn around and maintain he didn't shoot the guy. My sidestep of the issue signaled the judge that my client wouldn't be making such a statement.

I asked for the low end of the range. No way the guy was getting in the 6-10 range. The Class X range of 6-30 covers Armed Robbery, Attempted Murder and Possession of a Controlled Substance within 1000' of a school. It's the last guy who'll get 6, not a guy who rapes or tries to kill someone.

The guy immediately before my client was before the bench on a Motion to Reconsider his sentence. He got 140 for murder and robbery with some enhancements for using a gun. first I was going to be happy with 17-20 years, then I started panicking. Then when I heard the State (a very nice guy who I get along with well) ask for 30 I practically crapped myself. Oh great, I said, the State knows the Judge better and my guy is thinking he'll get less than 10...I told he'd get around 15..and now he's going to get 30.

But, in the end the Judge gave him 12 years. The old First Chair in the courtroom complimented me on the way out and seemed a bit surprised.

Client wanted less but didn't seem to unhappy. I'm still a bit impressed. 12 years for putting two rounds into a guy's check...point blank. 12 years. Not bad.
IT'S ALWAYS SOMETHING: Finally, a week without any colds, fevers or respiratory viruses. So of course I get a phone call from my son's teacher: "NKE fell off the monkey first he was just crying, but he's still crying and his arm is getting a bit swollen...can you come get him."

Fortunately, the wife happened to be in court about half a mile from the school..which itself is about two miles from the children's hospital.

Poor kid. Amazing though it took one day shy of five years for him to get hurt. Pretty tough kid.
(Sun-Times) The teen boy who says Michael Jackson molested him left the witness stand Tuesday after telling jurors that he denied the abuse to a school administrator because he was tired of other kids making fun of him.
Sure, I get it...the kids are making fun of you so you deny the charge....then you change your mind and so it can blow up real big on every TV newscast, tabloid show, newspaper, radio and probably up to Mars. Smart, real smart.

Let me guess, the school administrator didn't have millions of dollars for you to sue.
(Sun-Times) Lefkow killer used GPS to find her home: Bart Ross used a global positioning device to seek directions to the homes of federal Judge Joan Lefkow as well as a doctor and a Cook County judge, sources said Tuesday.

Ross, 57, shot to death Lefkow's husband, Michael Lefkow, 64, and her mother, Donna Humphrey, 89, in their North Side basement Feb. 28. Police recovered a GPS mapping system from Ross' van after he shot himself in the head last Wednesday.

The device contained the address of the Lefkows' home in the 5200 block of North Lakewood, the addresses of a Cook County judge living in Glencoe and a doctor living in Northbrook, sources said.
The Sun-Times seem to think it is important that nutjob used GPS to find her address. While it may be interesting (not really), I don't see how it is any different that using MapQuest or an old fashioned map. He didn't "track" her with a GPS transmitter hidden in her car. He simply used it to get directions to a place he already knew existed.

Watch, some politician will propose "Michael's Law" of "Joan's Law" in honor of the victims to ban GPS or some such nonsense. Meanwhile, they'll miss the larger issue of Judicial safety and how to address issues of mental health in a free society.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

YOU GOTTA LOVE NEIGHBORS: My new toy came today and I finally got a chance to open it. The boys are upstairs watching Spiderman 2 (again..sad to say they watch it everyday) so I came to the dining room to set up my new laptop. First order of business, download Firefox. But, the wife is on the upstairs computer so I can't get the authentication numbers for our wi-fi network. No problem. The couple down the block (about 6 houses on the other side of the street) don't bother to use WEP on their network. So, I just finished downloading Firefox and am now blogging about it all on their connection. Maybe I should just cancel my DSL altogether.

Hmm, I wonder if they use Quicken.....
MAYBE IT'S IN THE PHRASING: I was standing in line today at the Arbitration Center waiting to sign in as an arbitrator when I overheard the woman in front of me have this conversation with a woman signing people in...

ARB: You did something different to your hair. I like it.
WMN: No, normally I straighten it, but today I didn't.
ARB: I think it looks SO much better this way.
WMN: (nods).

What the ARB said "I think it looks SO much better this way." What WMN and I heard "Boy, the way you normally look is shit..thank god you did something different."

I'm sure ARB meant well, but it really came off jerky. Why not just say "I like it." or "It looks nice like this." Not the "it looks SOOOOO much better."

Second conversation: I'm waiting in an arbitration room for the arbitration to start. I was actually the head arbitrator (panel of three) and one other arbitrator was there. After introductions he asked if I worked at KFE (the E in the firm is the same name). I said no, that was my father. The guy then says "He is still alive?" "Uh, yeah..and doing quite well thanks. Still working, still teaching law school."

Maybe it was just the phrasing, but why don't people just think for a half second before they say something.
NOT THAT HE reads this blog, but since I'm not going to sit down a write him a card, happy birthday Tom P.

Monday, March 14, 2005

MISSING THE POINT: I saw this headline on Drudge and followed the link:
Man held after daylight axe murder
14 March 2005

A man is being questioned over a brutal daylight axe murder which stunned residents in an upmarket area of north London.
Why does it seem to matter to these people that it was a daylight axe murder? Isn't a nighttime axe murder pretty damn gruesome too? It's like...oh, he wore white after labor day, how gauche. Oh, he used an axe to cleve his victim's head during the day...everyone knows an axe is strickly an after six murder weapon.
PLUG OF THE NIGHT: Heard on not one, but two, podcasts...Jonathan Coulton. I've heard two of his songs and liked both. One is a paean to Ikea, called, ironically enough, Ikea. The other is about the Mandelbrot Set got it...Mandelbrot Set. I mean, seriously, how can you not love a song who's lyrics contain "you're a bad ass fucking fractal."

Aside: Everytime I swear on this blog I cringe because I know Bob's dad reads this. Sorry Mr. O, but it is part of the lyrics.
UNCLE: Tales from the bathroom: This conversation occurred after NKE admitted to peeing in the tub and was caught spitting water out like a fountain. "NKE, don't you realize that since you peed in the tub that your are putting pee in your mouth." "But, I'm spitting it out." With one kid I would've emptied the tub and refilled it for his bath. With two kids I would've immediately soaped the kids and got him out of the tub. With three, I just blog about it and let him soak in his own pee. I guess it's worse that his brother just joined him in the tub.

And speaking of his brother. Before bath I set him on the toilet (which sounds off because it's been a "potty" so long I don't remember calling it anything else). The two year old wound up pooping and was so thrilled with it that he refused to get off the toilet for 25 minutes. Whatever, I have work to do so I sat in the bathroom with the old laptop going while one swam in his own pee and the other sat on the crapper hoping for the elusive double shit.

Then I resumed drinking.
MY DAD AND I WENT TO THE AUTO SHOW YESTERDAY. About every four years I like to go to the Minneapolis Convention Center and see all the new models.

All but a small handful of production vehicles were unlocked. Anyone could sit in them and see the view from the inside. Years ago that all the Mercedes, BMW, Porsche and some Audi models were locked. I guess the manufacturers felt these models were too nice for the unwashed masses to sit in. Along came Lexus and changed that. I distinctly remember how surprised I was when Lexus first appeared at the Auto Show. The recently introduced top of the line Lexus LS400 was unlocked. People spent more time looking at the Lexus display because it was a new luxury brand and you could actually sit in the vehicles. Who needs German snobs. Generally speaking, today only the prototypes and future models aren't unlocked.

There must have been a sign posted at the entrance instructing teenagers and early 20-somethings to be speaking on a cell-phone at all times. Most of them complied with the intent of that rule but not the spirit. The cell phones were turned on and held near pierced ears but no one can really say these kids were talking. Uh huh, yeah, uh huh, yeah, I'm looking at a Mustang right now. Umm, uh, 'sup, whatcha doing? Oh, uh, mmmm, cool, okay, like, I'm sure, kay, gotta go now, I told Cindy I'd call her when I got to the show. Um, yeah, later. Beep, beep, beep - beep, beep, beep, beep. Uh, Cindy, yeah, um, 'sup. Mm at the show. Whatcha doing? Oh, um, yeah, um, the 'Stang's pretty cool. What? Um, yeah, it's yellow.

To steal a quote about a different generation: Never in the field of modern electronics has so much cellular air time been used by so many to say so little.

One other observation: Anyone who brings small children to a hot, crowded convention center where there is nothing to amuse the kids should not have had kids in the first place.

Sunday, March 13, 2005



Father: Ross
Son #1: NKE (turns 5 next week)
Son #2: JME (2 years old)
Daughter#1: RLE

ACT I: kitchen Thursday night

Ross: JME, please go tell your brother dinner is ready.

(JME exits kitchen by walking two feet into the living room. NKE off-stage, in his dressing room upstairs)

JME: (screaming) NKE!!, NKE!!!

Ross: JME, don't yell through the house. Go upstairs and tell him.

ACT II: kitchen Sunday night

Ross: NKE, go tell your brother we're going to play Play-Doh for a bit before dinner.

NKE: (not even leaving the kitchen) JME!! JME!! PLAY-DOH.

Ross: (sighs, stands still for a minute, resistance breaks down...yes, he'll have a martini tonight)
ANN ALTHOUSE had a post today about a proposal to build a massive new building close to the State capitol building in Madison, Wisconsin.

The Capitol building is the a landmark in Madison. It can be seen for miles around. This new building would violate the law (hmm, must need a zoning variation) that buildings within one mile of the Capitol be less than 187.2 feet tall. This new building would be 27 stories, 570 feet tall with 1.4 million sq. ft of commercial space. It would include "two hotels, 600,000 square feet of office space, 400,000 square feet of retail space, condos, a grocery, health club, perhaps a water park and 3,200 parking spaces."

This is a tough one for me. I am not much of a fan of government regulation. I like to let the market place decide as much as possible. As such, I'm not a fan of zoning laws. Of course I don't want a pesticide company to move next door or a developer to build at 10 story apartment building next door, but I think it is up to the community as private citizens to protect that without government regulation. If the Sierra Club wants to protect wetlands they should use their fundraising to buy them, not limit what other people can and cannot do with their land. There is some environmental organization that does this and if I could remember which one I'd donate. But I digress...

This colossal new building has the potential to ruin downtown Madison as it once was and is today. State street runs the length between the Capitol building at one end and about 7-8 blocks to the Bascom Hill (UW-Madison) at the other. Along the way State street if filled with odd shops, restaurants, coffee houses, bars, boutiques and other interesting shops. Building a mega mall just on the other side of the Capitol will kill it. The coffee shops might stay but a lot else will probably be put out of business much like Wal-Mart coming to town.

By intruding on the skyline and view of the Capitol it will entirely change the ascetic of Madison..for the worse.

So even though I'm not a fan of government regulation, as long as they have it I hope they stick with it and don't give this a waiver.

On the flip side, the construction of this building will employ hundreds of people..the sales taxes will benefit the town...the number of new retail jobs created will be a plus as will the income taxes on those jobs.
MARCH MADNESS: Today is selection day for the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament. For the past four years I have won my office pool. That isn't all that great an accomplishment when you consider my office consists of three people and two of them don't enter the pool.

So I have decided to widen the pool by setting up a private group tournament on Yahoo and opening it up to all ThreeSheets readers. This way I can now say I won at work and online eventhough I will still probably be the only entrant.

The group page is here. To sign up here, you need the group name [ThreeSheets] and the password [drunks].

Saturday, March 12, 2005

(Hindustantimes) A man ended up in a southern Philippines hospital on Monday after severing and then eating his own penis, hospital officials said.
Fortunately the man was immediately taken to mental hospital where he will be treated by such psychological wizards as this man...
Asked about the patient's mental state, one staff member said: "If you cut your sex organ and then eat it, then something is wrong with you."
Really, ya think so? Good thing you are "on staff" 'cause I'd have missed that one.
( An alleged crack addict with nervous bowels was charged yesterday in a string of burglaries, in several cases leaving feces in the homes he robbed, according to police.

William "Billy" Woodard, 39, of Bradford Court in Bordentown Township, was arraigned before Hamilton Municipal Court Judge Roger Haley on four counts of burglary, two counts of theft and one for resisting arrest. He was incarcerated in the county jail after the judge set bail at $185,000.

Mercer County Prosecutor Joseph Bocchini said Woodard, suspected in more than 50 burglaries in the Trenton area since November of last year, will be charged with "approximately 35 burglaries" in Hamilton, Lawrence Township, Lawrence and Bordentown in the days ahead.

The prosecutor said Woodard defecated in four victims’ homes, including those of two policemen, but said the suspect didn’t target cops.

"He defecated in at least four residences," Bocchini said. "We’re certain it’s probably more from nerves than anything else, because when he was taken into custody, he also defecated, and that was in his pants."
No, no I'm pretty sure I'm laughing *at* you, not *with* you.

"Looking good, Winthrope....Feeling good, Todd."
I KNOW IT'S A BIT EARLY, but finally there may be a major party candidate I'd like to vote for. If Condi Rice keeps giving interviews like the one discussed in this Althouse post I'll be a happy man.
MINNESOTAN WANTS DRINKING AGE RAISED. A state legislator believes the North Star State should change the legal drinking age to 21 year, eight hours. This would make Minnesota the state with the highest drinking age.

We're number 1!

The Star Tribune reports:
It's called Power Hour, a popular -- if potentially lethal -- rite of passage for young adults: Drink as much as humanly possible in the hours immediately after you turn 21.

If a state legislator gets his way, that window of drunken opportunity will slam shut, because men and women turning 21 in Minnesota won't legally do so until 8 a.m. on their coming-of-legal-age birthday.

"I've been concerned for a long time about binge drinking, and the Power Hour is the worst example of binge drinking," said Rep. Morrie Lanning, R-Moorhead.
I had never heard of Power Hour. Lanning doesn't think his proposed bill will solve any problems.
"This bill's not going to end binge drinking or celebrations on 21st birthdays," [Lanning] said. "But if it takes away one little temptation to overdo things, it could keep just one person from going through what we experienced."
He's referring to two recent incidents where one young college student died and another nearly died after binge drinking.

The only thing I see happening if the law passes is that students will blow off class in the morning, find the nearest bar that caters to night-shift workers and get really, really drunk starting at 8:00 AM.

If that happens, perhaps Lanning would consider upping the age to noon the next day. Or make it 21 years and one day, or 22 years or...

Friday, March 11, 2005

BIG 10 TOURNAMENT: The Mrs. and I went to the United Center tonight to watch session #3 of the Big 10 Men's Basketball Tournament. Our daughter's godmother got some free tickets and invited us. Good seats, too.

First game was Iowa v. Michigan State. Exciting game; Iowa upset MSU.
Second game was Ohio State (wife's alma mater) v Wisconsin (my alma mater). Wisconsin won.

Here are some quick impressions:


MSU Cheerleaders: Flat. Even the Mrs. noticed it. I'm not talking about their performance, which was also, however, flat.

Iowa Cheerleaders: They came in three varieties. Full figured, plus size and Thornton's Big and Fat Store mannequins.

Wisconsin Cheerleaders: Sad to say, they have every kind of ugly. It was like on special or something.

OSU Cheerleaders: Now THAT's what I'm talking about. Attractive ladies and nice routines.

By the way, just so you all don't think I'm a sexist was my wife who pointed all this out. I agreed, mind you, but she brought it up.


Average number of black players on the floor at any one time: 80%
Total number of black spectators: 3 out of 21,000. And they were all Wisconsin jersey'd bet is they were family.

COMMON SENSE: During one time of each game they played video of fans singing their colleges fight song. Before the game they announced you could go to section 103 and video yourself singing the song and they played snippets during a second half time-out.

They play the OSU cheerleaders singing the song...part of the crowd cheers.
Some family singing the praises of Illinois...part of the crowd cheers.
Drunk frat boys wailing On Wisconsin...large part of the crowd cheers.
Family starts singing Hail to the Victors (Michigan)...ENTIRE CROWD BOOS. I've never felt more a part of humanity and hope for the future of mankind when I saw the whole crowd come together in dislike of Michigan.
WATCHED LOCAL TV NEWS TONIGHT. The courthouse shooting in Atlanta got a lot of coverage. Atlanta is under lockdown. Courthouse buildings and nearby buildings are locked down. The Atlanta Journal Constitution office was under lockdown for a while.

Locally, whenever a someone stubs a toe in a school two things happen: grief counselors are called and the school is locked down. There's no deeper concern the assistant vice-principal for students whose names end in consonants can show than to reassure a TV camera that the school is "operating under lockdown conditions." I think it goes on resumes... Helped raise graduation rates, oversaw seven lockdowns...

It used to be, "Prisoner escapes, students/office workers kept inside school during recess/lunch." Now it's: LOCKDOWN! Stay tuned to channel 9 for continuing coverage.
THE REVOLUTION WILL NOT BE TELEVISED but it may be podcasted: I've spent this week exploring podcasts and I have to say I'm very impressed. For those of you who haven't heard of them, here is a definition from iPodder:
"Think how a desktop aggregator works. You subscribe to a set of feeds, and then can easily view the new audio files from all of the feeds together, or each feed separately. Podcasting works the same way, with one exception. Instead of reading the new content on a computer screen, you listen to the new content on any capable mp3 player on the computer or hardware player such as the iPod. Think of your player with podcasting as having a set of subscriptions that are checked regularly for updates. "
I'm not sure that is a good explanation. Podcasts seem more like homemade radio shows without the endless commercials, traffic and news breaks and promos. They come in as many flavors as you can think of. Music, Talk, Religion, it, someone is podcasting it. Here is just one directory.

I downloaded iPodder as my aggregator. I subscribed ('s all RSS feeds) to five different podcasts. Hit the "get new" and iPodder downloaded the shows to my laptop. I then put them on my MP3 player. I set up iPodder to check daily and viola, there are the new shows.

Podcasts are a lot like blogs. The Instapundit of podcasts is the Daily Source Code which is basically an audio blog by Adam Curry (formerly of MTV VeeJay fame). He is also the brains behind iPodder and seems to be the godfather of Podcasting. I also listen to Coverville which is about a 30 minute radio show playing, you guessed it, cover songs. No commercials, no traffic, no news...just the show. I signed up for IndieMusic Alernative/Modern Rock feed. That one isn't a show but individual songs. The podcast dj introduces the band, a little info about them and then plays the song. This is followed by a link to their website and where to get more info. Area 51 is a humor podcast. I've only listened to was funny...felt like listening to an old time radio show. Keener 13 is for 60's motown. (this one had a bit more promos).

I'll tool around and explore more podcasts just like I do blogs. I put them on my MP3 and listen in the car while I drive from court house to court house. When I'm done with them, hit delete. In the meantime, no commercials, no traffic, no news...I can pause it to take a phone call...I can restart it, repeat a song. Like TiVo but portable.

Some more future thinking big media podcast their show. You can get Air America and some NPR shows on podcasts. Like blogs, they run the gamut from slickly produced or, as noted immediately above, actual media to some kid thinking he's all DJ JAzzy Jeff sitting in his closet making a mix tape.

This may not be as fast to hit as weblogs, but I think this could be just as big. All it'll take is one big name to podcast.

Think about it, Howard Stern hates the FCC and is jumping to satellite radio because he'll get big money. But, he's just moving from one big company to another. He is still dependent on someone else (some company) distributing his work. Not with a podcast. He could do his own show and put it out there. With the proliferation of iPods, other MP3 players, windows media player, real player, etc he could have a very wide distribution. If he sells adds on his show he could keep all the revenue rather than the station. There are a million reasons Howard Stern wouldn't do that now, but if this can catch on I do think it'll revolutionize radio and entertainment.

Through IndieMusic Alt Rock podcast I heard at least 4 bands I had never heard on the radio...and never would. Podcasting gives an advantage to bands who know can podcast their own shows or submit songs to other podcasts. Their reach is far greater than it ever was before podcasting. Couple that with websites delivering info about the band and the record label's power ebbs.

Podcasting won't kill radio or music labels anymore than blogs kill the New York Times or MP3 players killed off the CD. But it'll be interesting to watch how this develops.
CLOSE THAT BARN DOOR: Congress is holding hearings into steroid use in baseball and has subpoenaed a number of current and former players to testify. Some like Curt Schilling and Frank Thomas are not steroid users and both have expressed a willingness to testify. MLB lawyers have tried various manuevers to avoid Congressional hearings but to crib an old saying, the last place you want to be is between a politician and a TV camera.

I haven't bothered posting about steroid use in baseball because I think it's all sort of a game. Who didn't know that players were juiced? Sure baseball has watered down pitching through expansion but no way all those monster home runs were caused by Wheaties. MLB knew it, the players knew it, the fans knew it but no one cared. It's like the police chief in Casablanca being shocked by the gambling in Rick's.

Congress couldn't care less. They talk about the intergrity of the game; the kids who will start using steroids because McGwire used them...they'll read their prepared statements...they'll ask leading questions and not listen to the answers....

Players will lay off the juice for a few years....chemists will develop other 'roids that aren't detected....and that'll be it.

Yahoo news had this little gem today:
[Jose] Canseco asked Thursday for immunity if he's to testify fully before a congressional committee, but a spokesman for the lawmaker who will chair the proceeding offered no promises.
I'm a lawyer and I certainly understand asking for immunity when you will be testifying under oath but didn't he just write a tell-all book about steroids in baseball...didn't I just see him on a two-part 60 Minutes interview talking about how much 'roid he used and who else he saw or helped use 'roids? Reminds me of Darva Conger going on TV show after TV showing crying how she just wants to be left alone (which really didn't happen until after she posed in Playboy and no one cared about her anymore).

And last, how on earth can you have meaningful Congressional hearings into 'roid use and NOT call Barry Bonds? My guess....he's the target of a Grand Jury investigation and Congress knows it. Otherwise, there is no explanation.
[Congressman Henry] Waxman said Bonds, who wouldn't comment Thursday, wasn't among the players asked to appear because "the feeling was that if he were invited, all the attention would go to Barry Bonds and would distract from the overall mission of the hearing."
The overall mission is to investigate steroid use in baseball. The main evidence pointing to steroid use IS Barry Bonds. He's gotta be a target.
GOOD FEELING: Nothing feels quite like asking the perspective client (or their family) how they heard about our firm and finding out a judge referred you. In older days that might've been a sign they wanted a little something for it, but nowadays (at least as it relates to my firm) it's a sign they think we are good attorneys.

Not saying that just happened, but...
NOW I JUST MIGHT CALL: I checked my laptop order on Dell's website this morning and was pleasantly surprised to see that it had finished "pre-production" and was nearing the end of the "production" line. According to Dell there are four stages of production: Kitting, Building, Testing and Boxing. My laptop is currently in "boxing."

So why is it still in "boxing." How long could it possibly take to put a laptop into a box, print out the label and leave it in the corner for UPS? They still estimate it'll ship 3-16 and arrive 3-18. I could probably help Dell out here. I'm not all that business savvy, but maybe you could cut down the time it takes to put the laptop in the box from 5 days to, say, an hour.

I want my toy.
(Chicago Tribune) Hundreds of Metra commuters from the northwest suburbs were stuck aboard five stopped trains for up to an hour this morning when one of the trains struck a vehicle at a grade crossing on Chicago's Northwest Side, authorities said.
How could this happen? Trains are on rails; they follow a path. How of earth could a train, jump off the rails and strike a car.....
Preliminary police reports indicated a motorist allegedly drove around lowered crossing gates and was struck, Schnolis said.
Oh so that's what those lowered gates, red flashing lights and bells mean? I thought they were just decorations.
The driver's condition was unknown.
Boy I hope he/she is dead.

With so many sad, tragic and even normal ways to's just pathetic that some people go out of their way to die like idiots.
(Sun-Times) A man cooking in his kitchen was shot after one of his cats knocked his 9mm handgun onto the floor, discharging the weapon, Michigan State Police said.

Joseph Stanton, 29, of Bates Township in Iron County was shot in his lower torso around 6 p.m. Tuesday, the state police post in Iron River reported. He was transported to Iron County Community Hospital.
a) Why did he have a gun on the kitchen counter? Why wasn't it safely stored?

b) Why was it cocked? I don't see how a 9mm can drop and go off unless the hammer was back already.

c) Why couldn't the round go through his head so we'd have one less idiot in the world?

This has nothing to do with gun control and everything to do with idiot control.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

QUICK PLUG: The wife and I stumbled across Cheap Seats last weekend while hiding in the basement. My parents were babysitting while we went to dinner. We came back just as they were putting the boys to bed so we hid out in the basement hoping they'd be asleep by the time we were found out. No such luck. But, we did get some good laughs watching Cheap Seats.

Cheap Seats is basically Mystery Science Theater 3000 but with bad sports shows. Jason and Randy Sklar (last seen in Battlebots and most recently guesting on Law and Order) sit on a couch and rip on ESPN2 type shows...spelling bees, Steve Garvey celebrity fishing contests, Bobby Bonilla bowling tournament.

I haven't laughed so much since MST3K went off the air. Check out Cheap Seats on ESPN 2.
IN THE PEOPLE'S PARADISE OF CUBA, Fidel Castro is bestowing another pleasure on his people.
(Sun Sentinel) HAVANA · Pressure cookers and rice steamers, essential tools of the Cuban kitchen, are the new weapons in Fidel Castro's latest battle to reassert control over the nation's economy.

During a 5-1/2-hour speech broadcast on state TV, Castro said 100,000 pressure cookers would be made available each month, an announcement that underscored the communist country's continued retreat toward greater political and economic centralism.
Free universal healthcare for all citizens, a half-day long speech and now pressure cookers. Can it get any better? As they say on TV, "Wait, there's more!"
Although imported cookers are sold in stores for about $25 -- more than the average Cuban earns in a month -- homemade ones cost about $5.50.
Eighty percent off the retail price! Soon, those homemade rafts will be drifting south instead of north.

What! There's even more? Stop the madness!
And the government's cookers can be paid for in monthly installments.
See how good the workers' paradise is? How many capitalist-pig stores in America would set up a monthly payment plan for a $5 appliance?
A JOURNALIST REPEATS A FAULTY QUOTE and his newspaper issues a correction the next day. Not too shabby.
(Sydney Morning Herald) In his column yesterday, Alan Ramsey quoted from a speech made by American journalist Bill Moyers, which alleged that James Watt, a former American secretary of the interior, told the US Congress: "After the last tree is felled, Christ will come back." Moyers has conceded that Watt never made that comment.
Compare this to the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Ten days after the Moyers' piece ran the Strib had this half-assed correction:
In quoting James Watt, Bill Moyers cited an article in Grist magazine. On Feb. 4, Grist published the following correction:

"In fact, Watt did not make such a statement to Congress. The quotation is attributed to Watt in the book 'Setting the Captives Free' by Austin Miles, but Miles does not write that it was made before Congress. Grist regrets this reporting error and is aggressively looking into the accuracy of this quotation."

The Star Tribune also regrets the error, and will report any further developments in the Grist inquiry.
Further developments? Maybe the Strip has OJ Simpson is hot on the case, determined to find some lost record of Watt making that statement. Inconceivable that Watt didn't really say it. He had to have said it, right?

The "fake, but accurate" style of journalism isn't reserved solely for retired CBS News anchor Dan Rather.
BUT IN THE END....When I came home for exercising today there was a phone message on the answering machine from my sister-in-law (Slaw). Slaw was calling to tell my wife that slaw had chopped off her hair and is now sporting a new short cut. Slaw wondered if my wife had gotten around to her plan of dying her hair red yet. I listened to the message and just shook my head.

Between them they have four degrees from Ohio State University (two B.As, one Masters of Ed, and one law degree) I don't know about Slaw, but my wife was a Women's Studies major. Both of them travelled to Washington to participate in a pro-murder rally (I think they'd prefer if I said they went to a pro-choice rally). Both are professional working women....and yet in the end it all comes down to hair-dos. And both at the same time.

It's amazing they don't actually greet each other by knocking knuckles and saying "Wonder Twin powers...activate."

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

CRIMPROF BLOG has this post today:
British scientists are studying methods of dating sperm found in the course of criminal investigations to corroborate or refute victim claims, as well as to defeat the tactic some rapists employ of smearing sperm beloning to someone else in the course of a rape. [Jack Chin]
My question, wouldn't it be better to just try to determine how old the sperm is rather than dating it. I mean, you're going to spend money on dinner...maybe a movie..and then what, nothing. And why would you want to date sperm found in the course of criminal investigations, anyway? That's low rent sperm. You can do better. Try find sperm to date at museums or law school libaries...churches or through your parents' friends. That sperm will be of a higher class. The kind of sperm that leads a real relationship, not just dating, but marriage.

But more importantly, what rapist brings someone else's sperm with them to rape someone? And how do they get it? "Hey Joe, can I borrow some of your sperm for awhile?" or "You know what buddy, help me out here, give me some of your sperm. I got a job interview tomorrow."

I don't know about you, but rarely, if ever, have I stumbled across someone else's sperm and I know for a fact I have never asked someone for their sperm. I don't know anyone who's response wouldn't be "what, what the fuck did you want my sperm...what the fuck is, get out of here man." Not "gee, sure, but you have to get it yourself."
(Some Florida Station) The adoptive parents of a 17-year-old boy who weighed 49 pounds when found in a home where he was forced to wear a diaper and sleep in a locked, cage-like bed have been charged with child neglect, authorities said.
I mean it's not like it "was" a cage. It was just "cage-like."

It's like the Kosher-style deli, run by a Catholic family, where Bob and I worked in Madison, WI. It was no where near Kosher. I'm pretty sure they had no idea what Kosher was. It was, as it's called in the legal world, "mere puffing" (a nice way of saying bogus advertising). "Cage-like" just isn't the same as a "cage." I bet it was actually a very nice living space. Probably Feng Shui'd and everything. The water bowl placed opposite the "cage-like" door...the food bowl at just the right angle from the shit bucket.

And puh-leeze, "forced" to wear a diaper. I bet that's what all the kids are wearing these days; you can't keep up with the fashion, it changes so quickly. Low slung pants, bell bottoms, diapers. What's the big deal.

And give me a break, all we hear about is the obesity problem in America and here are some parents that made sure their son stayed away from carbs and all other foods that cause weight gain.

So I say, rather than charge these parents with a crime, we should salute them; say "well done concerned parents, thank you for being there for your child, thank you for adopting this orphan and taking him into your family"....and then beat them to death with baseball bats and bury them in shallow graves in an Indiana cornfield (see the Spilatro brothers...made famous in Casino by Joe Pesci). Actually, upon proof-reading (which believe it or not, I do every now and again) I think it'd be better to just beat them to an inch of dead. Wait for them to heal and THEN beat them to death.

(yeah, I'm having a martini...the kids got to me earlier tonight...'course now I'm gonna go up and give them a hug...but first I think I'll freshen the drink)
PISSED AT DELL: Today at about 12:45 p.m. I ordered my new laptop over the internet from Dell. It still isn't here yet. I want my new toy and I want it now. How dare they make me wait 2 business days for free shipping. I kid. Obviously if I had to have it today I would've flown to Texas and picked it up myself.

Seriously, major drawback to ordering on line. The wait. But, I've had Dell desktops (home and work) and laptops for the last 2 desktops and 1 laptop. I like them, never had a problem with them, and found the internet ordering quick and simple. Still, I WANT IT NOW.

The order confirmation said the estimated ship date is 3-16, but every time I've ordered from Dell it's been early. So, I'll keep looking out the window tonight in hopes its on the last UPS run of the day.

Should've gone the Partner #2 route and bought the Blackberry. He's probably reading this on the darn thing now. Curse him.
FROM THE SUCKS TO BE PARTNER #3 DEPARTMENT: Today was Tech Day here at JKE LLC. Partner #1 purchased a brand new high speed low drag laptop to replace the 5 year old 6GB hard drive one he's been using. Partner #2 bought a Blackberry 7100t with the T-Mobile phone and internet service. Partner #3 got a car charger for their old phone.

Now, guess which one is Diana.
IS IT ME or is there an uptick in the number of couples making out at stoplights. Three different time this week I've been stuck behind a couple mashing for the 45 seconds the light is red. I guess I'm just getting old but can't you wait until you get home or something. I'll spot the high schoolers mashing in the park by our house after school (so long as it's the park and not the playground where my kids play). They don't have anywhere to go. Plus, they look really silly. It's less kissing and more sucking the air out of each other's lungs with a reverse CPR move. They are just stuck together at the lips, not even moving, just 100% lip lock. I'm not the greatest kisser (or probably even a good one) but I'm better than this Eskimo passing warm food to their papoose kiss. But I digress.

Kudos...fairly proud of myself for not referring to it as "canoodling" D'OH!
QUESTION: I have a question for any readers who are pigs police officers. Today I passed a State Trooper who had six antennas on the roof of his marked squad car and one on the trunk. I got the radio...I'll spot you some sort of SCMODS (State, County, Municipal Offender Data System...referencing The Blues Brothers) or whatever the wi-fi type computer system is really called...but what are the other five for?
(Cnn) U.S. gasoline prices will hit a new record high this spring, reaching a national monthly average of $2.15 a gallon, the government said on Tuesday.
I can't be too snarky because gas is already $2.17 at my local pump. Chicago has, I think, the second highest gas tax in the nation and so we are always above the average.

But I find it a bit odd that media outlets are breathlessly reporting $2.15/gln gas when last year they were panicking gas would hit $3.00/gln.

Maybe they should just go back to reporting the Great Flu Epidemic of 2004-5 and the corresponding Flu Vaccine Shortage Holocaust.
ONE OF THE POINTS of having a day planner is you are supposed to look at it daily. Had I checked it daily I would've noticed my to-do list for last Monday (7th) included wishing Bob and his wife, Sheila, a happy anniversary.

So, happy anniversary (belated)
COMING TO A CITY NEAR YOU: The City of Chicago has now formed a task force to study the best way to offer Wi-Fi. And just like Texas, a state rep is sponsoring a law to ban municipalities from operating broadband of wi-fi businesses. In a semi-twist thought, the state rep has no problem with a municipality contracting with a third party to offer wi-fi. If a city is going to offer wi-fi, I'm all in favor of contracting it out. I really don't need to deal with the Department of City Wi-Fi Services and the 400 patronage jobs going to internet know-nothings who has an uncle that is politically connected. (Unless of course, I was hired as legal counsel at a nice salary, benefits and great work hours because my wife is politically connected)

As I've mentioned before, I don't think cities should offer wi-fi, a service that can be purchased on the open market, but I'm really not going to protest too hard. I pay $26.00/mtn for my DSL at home and $49/mtn at work. If the city offered wi-fi at a competitive price I'd take it.