3.25.2009

I made the local paper.
Finally got something good in the mail yesterday; a $60 check from the Airborne class action suit. Woo hoo fake cold medicine!

3.23.2009

We had a pair of mock trials for our Trial Ad course; one jury trial and one judge trial; we also served as witnesses for two other trials. It was a pretty good experience; it was interesting to see some of the differences between bench and jury trials. The jury for our trial was made up of h.s. students; they were out of deliberations in about 5 minutes. On the bright side, a couple of them repeated my case theme when explaining why they found in our favor. It made for a pretty long weekend, but it was a positive experience overall. Now we just have to fill out hundreds of pages of self-analysis paperwork. Whee!

I missed a kayaking trip this weekend to do the trials, which worked out well, since the boys went up to Michigan's UP and were turned back by ice shelves at every turn.

Obama is coming to speak at our graduation. It's sparked a fair bit of controversy, with a lot of people (or at least a very vocal minority) feeling that ND shouldn't invite speakers that are pro-abortion. Seems like a terrible way to approach graduation speakers; to think that they should only bring those that fall lockstep into the Catholic dogma. It's intellectually lazy, at the very best.

3.20.2009

Well, I'm 25 now. The birthday party was fun; the ND SBA basically took over a small bar in town, with drink specials for all. Then last night A. and I went to the Carriage House, a really nice restaurant near South Bend, where I had the best steak I've ever had, along with a very good glass of wine.

I got a new tent; an REI half dome, with the dividend income. Still working on selling the old one.

I've been getting out on the bike quite a bit more often; some nice rides now that it's pretty outside.

2 mock trials this weekend, should be busy.

3.16.2009

I might be on the news in a couple of days; the local news affiliate came to our legal aid clinic to talk to us about the mortgage foreclosure mess.

Got my REI dividend. FREE GEAR WOO! Picking up a new pair of boots and a tent.

Phoenix with the family was good. Got to see a Titan II missile (see below) which was fun. Knocked some golf balls around (I can hit the crap out of the ball, but I always slice). Got some sunshine, got some work done, and generally relaxed.

Went straight from O'Hare to the car, and then off to Virginia and Tennessee for some kayaking (see boating blog).

Now it's back to the grind; not much school left on the whole. Still trying to sell the house, which is tough. It feels like spring has sprung around here tough, with makes things a little easier (except for going to class, which is made somewhat tougher).
This past week my dad and I saw a nuclear missile silo, one of the Titan II sites in southern Arizona. It was quite the tour; the guide talked about how they kept the silo staffed, walked us through a mock launch, and showed us the silo. Some photos:



The first stage rocket engine. The missiles were mostly just big fuel pods.


The launch control booth. The tour guide, in blue, walked us through what a launch would look like from the control room.

Two mannequins staged in the silo, cleaning up after a fuel spill. The body of the missile is behind them.

The business end of the missile. The black bit is where the nuclear warhead would be. The glass at the top was added to the silo, largely for satellite ID, so the Russians and others can tell that the missile is inoperable.

The blast doors. That big metal pin to the upper right of the guide was one of 4 that held the 3 ton door shut.

Another shot in the control room. See that big spring behind the fan? The entire room was hung on those big springs. Lights and everything else were the same way, in order to insulate the whole place against shock waves in case Russian nukes were landing nearby.

3.10.2009

I was down in Indianapolis this past weekend for the state high school mock trial competition. I’ve been coaching a team since November or so, and they made state this year. We headed down in the short bus on Friday afternoon; we talked about religion and I taught a few of them how to play hot dice. We had been put up at a hotel that was far too ritzy for us; The Columbia Club. Lots of wood paneling; we valet parked the short bus.

I had brought my Xbox and Rock Band, but the TV in the room was a hotel special, and the RCA ports had been nerfed. Eventually, two of the other coaches and I went on a road trip and tracked down an RF modulator, which tricked the TV into thinking that the information from the xbox was getting piped in through the regular cable connection. We were on.

Saturday was pretty exhausting; 3 trials, all of them pretty close. I had to go judge one trial, and got to preside, which was fun (especially with a mohawk). After dinner, it was back to the hotel room for more rock band; this time most of the team joined us. It was the first time I had played rock band with a full cadre of backup singers.

Sunday was quite a bit more relaxed; just one trial in the morning, followed by lunch and awards. The team ended up placing 7th, even though we were 4 points away from being in the finals (out of about 700). I was really proud of them; they had done well, and had duked out close trials all around.

Now it’s off to Phoenix to hang out with the family.

3.04.2009

One of the ubiquitous features of law school is the lunch school meeting; some group provides pizza and brings in a speaker. Today I saw in on a presentation by a job-hunting guru. She didn't have a lot of real ground-breaking stuff to say, but it was good to hear the more basic points repeated. She made one good point that I hadn't thought of; that everyone in your social network should know what you want to do. So, for the record, I want to work for the Denver DA's or AG's office, or do civil rights litigation in Denver. I've got a year-long clerkship lined up (actually just talked to the judge to make sure the job's secure), but then it's back to the races to pin down something permanent. If you have a line on something, let me know.

3.01.2009

It's weird to think that I've been a member of a bowling league for going on three years now.

Looking at an interesting place in Denver, seen here. Annie and I played around a little with a 3D modeling program to try and figure out how big the place is, this is what we came up with: The tricky bit is that the owner wants to rent it a month or so earlier than I could move in; I'm trying to decide if it's worth the extra cash or not. Then again, it does have a rooftop patio...

Had a pretty low-key weekend; lots of Rock Band playing. Saw a so-so concert on campus on Friday; the Young Dubliners (who weren't young, nor were most of them Irish). Spring Break is in a week, and after that it's going to start feeling like we're headed for the home stretch. Less than 80 days left. Spring break should be all right; a trip down to Phoenix to visit the family, bracketed by the state mock trial tournament on one and and (hopefully) a kayaking trip on the other.

I have to go get an Indiana driver's license, which I'll hold for about three months. Annoying.