Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Sting'm Jackets

I don't usually comment on the goings-on of my alma mater, but this I had to share: HPU's women's basketball team is currently ranked #1 in the nation in the USA Today/ESPN/WBCA D-3 poll. According to the HPU press release (linked to your right), this is the first time since joining the NCAA that any HPU team has ranked #1 in the nation.

So I'm thinking to myself: you sure know how to pick schools that do well in women's sports. Growing up, girls in my classes always started school late because they were playing in the softball world series. A few years ago, Baylor's women's basketball team won the national championship. And now the Lady Jackets are #1 in the nation.

Now you know the rest of the story.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Say It Ain't So

Haiku for an Old Friend
Oh the Brazos Belle
Sinking in the (financial) mud
We had great times on you

Three-and-a-half years ago, my wife and I had our reception aboard the Brazos Belle. It was one of the funnest times of my life. We had dancing, cakes, friends, family, music. But the rains came down this past summer, flooding the Brazos River and the lower deck of the Brazos Belle. The Brazos Belle cancelled all its pending engagements, preventing hundreds of people from having the beautiful reception that we had. Nobody knows who owns it these days. The operator claims to have turned it over to his alleged lessor, who in turn is characterizing the transaction as a purchase rather than a lease. All I know is that it's sad.

I know a little about customer service and the food industry, and I love boats. If I had money, I'd buy the boat from whoever owns it, put it out on the River (the new dam is supposed to make that a workable proposition), and try to make that thing work. It really is a shame that it may end up floating down the River Styx instead of the Rio Brazos de los Dios. But the business of business is business (i.e., profit), and with the costs of repairing all that flood damage, making the Brazos Belle seaworthy probably is not very cost-effective.

As the French say: hélas.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Smart Cookie

One of life's great satisfactions is vindication in your belief that you (or someone you love) rock.

Today, Ms. Avacado got her score on one part of the CPA exam. It was a 98. Yeah, that's right--I married up.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Me to a T

What kind of lawyer are you?
Your Result: Slick Defense Attorney

You have a perfectly coiffed hairdo, $1000 shoes, and a smile that reminds people of a cat toying with a mouse. Juries hang on your every word, and the media loves you. Pro: Highly paid, famous, nice office. Con: You really don't know how that blood got there? Come on.

Transactions Nerd
Tax Junkie
Ambulance Chaser
What kind of lawyer are you?
Make Your Own Quiz

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Cry me a (Charles) River

When I was nine, my older brother was a big Wade Boggs fan. My brother's influence combined with Roger Clemens's as-yet-untainted dominance plus the Curse of the Bambino made me a bit of a Boston Red Sox fan. When they won the World Series in 2004, I was thrilled. I still like the Red Sox, but now I'm tired of Boston still pretending it's hard to love sports in Boston. Just like Boston dominated the American Revolution, the abolitionist movement, and legal scholarship, it is now dominating sports.

Does anybody remember the last time that a major professional Boston sports team lost a game? The Red Sox finished the 2007 postseason with seven wins in a row. They haven't lost since October 16. The Patriots haven't lost a real game since January 21, although they did lose a preseason game on August 17. The Boston Celtics haven't lost a real game since April 18, and they haven't lost a game at all since October 23 (preseason). Granted, the Boston Bruins' last loss was November 8, but they're the exception that proves the rule. Even in soccer, the New England Revolution haven't lost a game since October 13.

What's happening? By my count, Boston's last meaningful loss (excluding the Bruins) was October 16, exactly 30 days ago today. I'm not sure if that's a record, but it's pretty crazy. I think maybe Bostonians will forget how to lose.

So don't tell me it's hard to be a sports fan in Boston right now.

Go Spurs go!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Stultifying English

My mother-in-law asked me recently about how a job offer lined up with what I want to do. I told her, "I want to try cases, and this will give me that opportunity." Typically, I would have said "I want to litigate," but I coincidentally used the $5 word instead of the $250 word. Most of the time, I use the $250 word, stultifying [Q.E.D.] my writing. Then, today, I got this:

cash advance


The goal of all communication is to convey a message. Using the $250 word rarely conveys exactly the message you are trying to convey. If I had told her I wanted to litigate, it would have conveyed the message that I'm a law student reminding her that I'm a law student--and she's not--and that we speak different languages. Instead, plain English conveys the message I really wanted to convey: yes, this job lines up with what I want to do. Most of the time, $250 English probably conveys the message, but with a lot of elitist overtones. The elitism drowns out your intended message, and your attempt at communication fails. Maybe that's what Plain English is about: ensuring that your message gets heard.

This is what I love about blogging: I can practice my writing skills, and you, my faithful readers, can tell your children that you read our generation's Scott Turow when he was just a law student writing a blog.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

End of an Era II

Back in June, my car of seven years blew a head gasket. Today, I finally sold it.

It kinda makes me wistful. I put 70,000 miles on that car. In high school, I tested the governor and learned what it was like to drive 107 mph. In college, I drove it back and forth to Brownwood about 96 times. When I first got it, I didn't like it much. During its tenure as my car, I was constantly trying to get rid of it. But now that it's gone, I'm kinda sad. I guess that's how it goes.

My new car . . . . . . already has 120,000 miles on it. I hope it lasts another 70,000.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Quarterly Narcissism

I'm always interested in what other people are studying. I think it says a lot about a person (even beyond their interests). So I wonder what this tells you about me--

  • Business Organizations II -- The sequel to the thrilling Bizzorg I. Actually, I really enjoyed Bizzorg I, which culminated fittingly enough with perhaps the funnest exam since Torts I. I left feeling like a boxer who leaves the ring after the 12th round not entirely sure how the judges will score but glad he wasn't knocked out. Unfortunately, that also means you didn't knock out your opponent.
  • Federal Courts -- Taught by an eminent blogger, I thought this would be a helpful class, especially the more I get to know myself and what I want to do. Unlike most of my blogging comrades, I am growing more and more interested in business-type litigation: tax, bankruptcy, corporate issues. The fed courts do tax and bankruptcy (though I don't think we cover them specifically in this class), so it should help in the long run.
  • Corporate Tax -- I don't think I even have to explain myself on this one. Why wouldn't you take Corporate Tax? What? You think corporate law is the most boring possible use of time and tax somehow exceeds that? Well, I think you're wrong.*
  • Constitutional Law -- Because it's required. And because the prof has been teaching it since before the major leagues got divisions, before the Super Bowl, almost before major professional sports came to Texas. If that's not amazing, nothing is.
  • Immigration Law -- ¡Somos todos Americanos!

Who's with me?

*Maybe after finals I'll blog about why business law is the best out there.