Sunday, January 28, 2007
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
Monday, January 22, 2007
Friday, January 19, 2007
His lecture for my California bar prep still remains in my mind and whenever I need to refresh a witness' memory in court, I start thinking about lunch and a big bowl of fettucine alfredo. I want to call the wtiness, "Spano." I want to hear Mrs. Garibaldi testify that her son swore, "I'm gonna shoot that faccia di culo, Tony!"
When I discovered he was also the lecturer for my Tennessee bar prep, I called my boss and asked her if she remembered him, even though it had been 15+ years - and she did!
All hail, Professor Rossi!
Katherine, my 4th grader at St. Joseph School, has been tagged with Mission Santa Ines for her mission project. Woo-hoo, this means this weekend the Digikid and I will head up to Solvang to take pictures, collect information, and start building plans (man, I LOVE a field trip . . .)
For those of you who do not live in California, a rite of passage for every 4th grader is their mission project. They may be churches, but the missions are recognized as a valuable part of California history. Children are either assigned or choose a mission and must build a smaller scale version of it, accompanied by the book report on its history.
When my now 21-year-old stepson was in the 4th grade, he did Mission San Buenaventura. Struggling to fill half a page of blank space left in his report, Gabe was delighted to learn that Saint Bonaventura is a saint to be invoked for gastrointestinal disorders - in short, patron saint of the "squitters" (why do 9 year old boys think that is hysterical?) - and put that in his report.
Santa Ines, however, is a little more fancy than San Buenaventure. I am thinking of suggesting thin styrofoam to my daughter, to cut out the graceful curves of its bell arches. Does anyone have a suggestion for "mini mission building"?
Monday, January 15, 2007
The images have turned up on hundreds of Web sites and in countless chat rooms and e-mails – from Australia to Italy. The photos often are accompanied by debates about the merits of the images, with many viewers even vilifying the dead teen.
Some people have anonymously sent cruel, taunting e-mails to Nikki's relatives – including one to her father that read, "From Dead Girl Walking: Woo Hoo Daddy, I'm Alive."
Question - is it right for the media to show the dead in death? I remember a time when people would be outraged if a dead American were shown, but not a dead foreigner. Now, it seems society has become too inured. It is frightening to think that someone might see these photos of Nikki Catsouras and feel nothing.
Huh - the media might argue that publication of such pictures is necessary because "the people have a right to know," yet call The Passion of the Christ "overly" or "unnecessarily" violent. Do you think that movie might have appealed to the voyeuristic side of people? Probably not, since people to whom I have spoken who have actually watched a movie like Faces of Death get their thrill from the "real thing."
I was glad to hear that the last copy of the video showing the death of Steve Irwin was destroyed. I wish these photos of Nikki Catsouras could be, too.
Sunday, January 14, 2007
Unfortunately, the video makes the church appear dark, so I am going to assume that this was done at our Christmas Eve Vigil Mass (to the right, you can just make out our manger, and if it were any lighter, I would be seen in front of the manger just to the left, since I was one of the lectors at that Mass, which was tri-lingual).
Thanks to Fr. John - our own "cyberpriest" who captured the video stream for posting (may I add, he's also a darn fine pastor, too).
BTW, the cable company got a little of the editing incorrect - the URL for the church is www.stjosephsa.org, and Fr. Michael spells his name as such, not "Micheal" (and yes, he's also a darn fine parochial vicar, too).
Sunday, January 07, 2007
2:00 a.m. And very loud praying by one group. I waited until a "lull" and asked them to turn down the volume. To their credit, they did, but it was still distracting. Mind you, I am happy to see the devotion of my fellow parishioners . . . just wish that devotion would be a little more sotto voce.
Next month - maybe 4:00 a.m. would work? Better yet, I purchased some real headphones for my iPod that block out ambient noise and allow me to hear just the music. I think a soundtrack might help, perhaps some light classical music or Gregorian chant. Does anybody have a suggestion?
Saturday, January 06, 2007
Before proceeding further, the Court notes that this case involves two extremely likable lawyers, who have together delivered some of the most amateurish pleadings ever to cross the hallowed causeway into Galveston, an effort which leads the Court to surmise but one plausible explanation. Both attorneys have obviously entered into a secret pact -- complete with hats, handshakes and cryptic words -- to draft their pleadings entirely in crayon on the back sides of gravy-stained paper place mats, in the hope that the Court would be so charmed by their child-like efforts that their utter dearth of legal authorities in their briefing would go unnoticed. Whatever actually occurred, the Court is now faced with the daunting task of deciphering their submissions. With Big Chief tablet readied, thick black pencil in hand, and a devil-may-care laugh in the face of death, life on the razor's edge sense of exhilaration, the Court begins.
Defendant begins the descent into Alice's Wonderland by submitting a Motion that relies upon only one legal authority. The Motion cites a Fifth Circuit case which stands for the whopping proposition that a federal court sitting in Texas applies the Texas statutes of limitations to certain state and federal law claims. That is all well and good -- the Court is quite fond of the Erie doctrine; indeed there is talk of little else around both the Canal and this Court's water cooler. Defendant, however, does not even cite to Erie, but to a mere successor case, and further fails to even begin to analyze why the Court should approach the shores of Erie.
Finally, Defendant does not even provide a cite to its desired Texas limitation statute. A more bumbling approach is difficult to conceive -- but wait folks. There's more!
Plaintiff's citation, however, points to a nonexistent Volume "1886" of the Federal Reporter Third Edition and neglects to provide a pinpoint citation for what, after being located, turned out to be a forty-page decision. Ultimately, to the Court's dismay after reviewing the opinion, it stands simply for the bombshell proposition that torts committed on navigable waters (in this case an alleged defamation committed by the controversial G. Gordon Liddy aboard a cruise ship at sea) require the application of general maritime rather than state tort law. See Wells v. Liddy, 186 F.3d 505, 524 (4th Cir. 1999) (What the ..)?!
The Court cannot even begin to comprehend why this case was selected for reference. It is almost as if Plaintiff's counsel chose the opinion by trowing long range darts at the Federal Reporter (remarkably enough hitting a nonexistent volume!).
Plaintiff seems to rely on the fact that he has pled Rule 9(h) and stated an admiralty claim versus the vessel and his employer to demonstrate that maritime law applies to Phillips. This bootstrapping argument does not work; Plaintiff must properly invoke admiralty law versus each Defendant discretely. Despite the continued shortcomings of Plaintiff's supplemental submission, the Court commends Plaintiff for his vastly improved choice of crayon -- Brick Red is much easier on the eyes than Goldenrod, and stands out much better amidst the mustard splotched about Plaintiff's briefing. But at the end of the day, even if you put a calico dress on it and call it Florence, a pig is still a pig.Now, alas, the Court must return to grownup land . . .
At this juncture, Plaintiff retains, albeit seemingly to his befuddlement and/or consternation, a maritime law cause of action versus his alleged Jones Act employer, Defendant Unity Marine Corporation, Inc. However, it is well known around these parts that Unity Marine's lawyer is equally likable and has been writing crisply in ink since the second grade. Some old-timers even spin yarns of an ability to type. The Court cannot speak to the veracity of such loose talk, but out of caution, the Court suggests that Plaintiff's lovable counsel had best upgrade to a nice shiny No. 2 pencil or at least sharpen what's left of the stubs of his crayons for what remains of this heart-stopping, spine-tingling action.In either case, the Court cautions Plaintiff's counsel not to run with a sharpened writing utensil in hand--he could put his eye out.
Friday, January 05, 2007
Why did the chicken cross the road?
DR. PHIL: The problem we have here is that this chicken won't realize that he must first deal with the problem on "THIS" side of the road before it goes after the problem on the "OTHER SIDE" of the road. What we need to do is help him realize how stupid he's acting by not taking on his "CURRENT" problems before adding "NEW" problems.
OPRAH: Well I understand that the chicken is having problems, which is why he wants to cross this road so bad. So instead of having the chicken learn from his mistakes and take falls, which is a part of life, I'm going to give this chicken a car so that he can just drive across the road and not live his life like the rest of the chickens.
GEORGE W. BUSH: We don't really care why the chicken crossed the road. We just want to know if the chicken is on our side of the road, or not. The chicken is either against us, or for us. There is no middle ground here.
DONALD RUMSFELD: Now to the left of the screen, you can clearly see the satellite image of the chicken crossing the road.
ANDERSON COOPER/CNN: We have reason to believe there is a chicken, but we have not yet been allowed to have access to the other side of the road.
JOHN KERRY: Although I voted to let the chicken cross the road, I am now against it! It was the wrong road to cross, and I was misled about the chicken's intentions. I am for it now, and will remain against it.
JUDGE JUDY: That chicken crossed the road be cause he's GUILTY! You can see it in his eyes and the way he walks.
PAT BUCHANAN: To steal the job of a decent, hardworking American.
MARTHA STEWART: No one called me to warn me which way that chicken was going. I had a standing order at the Farmer's Market to sell my eggs when the price dropped to a certain level.
DR SEUSS: Did the chicken cross the road? Did he cross it with a toad? Yes, the chicken crossed the road, but why it crossed I've not been told.
ERNEST HEMINGWAY: To die in the rain. Alone.
JERRY FALWELL: Because the chicken was gay! Can't you people see the plain truth in front of your face? The chicken was going to the "other side". That's why they call it the "other side" of the road. Yes, my friends, that chicken is gay. And if you eat that chicken, you will become gay too. I say we boycott all chickens until we sort out this abomination that the liberal media whitewashes with seemingly harmless phrases like "the other side." That chicken should not be free to cross the road. It's as plain and simple as that!
GRANDPA: In my day we didn't ask why the chicken crossed the road. Somebody told us the chicken crossed the road, and that was good enough.
BARBARA WALTERS: Isn't that interesting? In a few moments, we will be listening to the chicken tell, for the first time, the heart warming story of how it experienced a serious case of molting, and went on to accomplish its life long dream of crossing the road.
JOHN LENNON: Imagine all the chickens in the world crossing roads together - in peace.
ARISTOTLE: It is the nature of chickens to cross the road.
BILL GATES: I have just released eChicken2006, which will not only cross roads, but will lay eggs, file your important documents, and balance your check book. Internet explorer is an integral part of eChicken. The Platform is much more stable and will never crap out ...#@&&^( C \.....then have to reboot.
ALBERT EINSTEIN: Did the chicken really cross the road, or did the road move beneath the chicken?
BILL CLINTON: I did not cross the road with THAT chicken. What is your definition of chicken?
AL GORE: I invented the chicken!
COLONEL SANDERS: Did I miss one?
Did it ever occur to anyone that MAYBE that's where the rooster was.