I ate my wafer...


Quit school, smuggle illicit cars for a living...

I'm watching the Big Leboski and drinking beer, hence, I'm in entertaining ideas for a low stress second career after law. Does anyone want to help me smuggle rusted out beater cars to Syria, Africaor Cuba ...or failing that, the Florida Keys. Or perhaps, I could build and or smuggle v-8 engines into Indonesia.

I better not watch Apocalypse Now for a while because then I'll want to find a primitive civilization to mold in my image via technology. Sort of the Connecticut Yankee fantasy.

As a foot note, one of the reasons I like The Big Leboski is the sequences when "the dude" is knocked out...I personally greatly enjoy vivid dreams.

The Library Lights

I've noticed that Blogger ate about half of my "Cockfights and law school" post...it is probably just as well, I wrote it immediately after the Contracts negotiation session, and it was not very objective. Having said that, the only worthwhile part that was lost was as follows:

The scary part is, for as much as Professor X screwed us over, and set us up to fight without reason, I actually got into it. I put on my best suit, got a haircut, and actually obsessed over the fact that my dress shirt sleeves were about 1/4" short. I dressed for it in the same manner that I used to prepare to go raise hell...The suit replaced the Real-Tree or Tigerstripe camouflage, the tie selection replaced the gloves or face covering. It was in many ways an odd experience, but to make it more so, I got into the arguments. Although I certainly knew that it was all a game, I honestly don't think I would have handled it mush differently if there had actually been a real $25 Million on the line. I'll admit it, I saw uncertainty and fear in one of the opposite team on a couple of points, so I drove the argument back to that topic and tortured him over it. I forgot we were on tape for a certain professor's evening entertainment. In some ways, the whole damn legal system has me.

From my room window, I can see the law school, rather the law library windows and their lights at night. Even though it is several hundred yards away, I can even see the stacks of books. Occasionally, late at night, I just sit and look at it, thinking about the role of the legal profession. I'll admit it, I never really thought about it before I arrived here.

The American legal system is unique, we use an adversarial system, we don't punish the loosers by awarding (typically) attorney's fees. We expect lawyers to be both sworn, ethical, agents of the court, and fiery advocates for their clients (lie by omission and misdirection all the time, but don't bend facts). We expect good, competent, and motivated lawyers to defend rapists and murderers. With the exception of Louisiana, we base our law on English Common law, not the code system (hammurabi , Romans, catholic church...). We don't require, in general, people to aid others in emergencies...A situation that the roman law/code based countries find barbaric. More than all of the other things, we have a system where we admit that specific cases make bad legal precedent, and a certain percentage of people will simply get screwed to make the rest of the system work. A couple of days of watching the news, 5 minutes on Lexis /Westlaw, or looking at the back of the phone book illustrates all of the injustice and suffering the system causes.

No law student really has time to think about all of that. Personally, I believe in the system as a whole, but at a distance; I don't think I could defend some criminals well without eroding my own soul. I don't want to defend doctors that drive by horrific car accidents from civil suits. I hate to see the little guy get screwed in a contract case, but I don't want to base contract law on protecting against some random anomaly either. But, I want other lawyers, even better ones than I to defend the distasteful criminals. I don't want the erosion of rights that seems to accompany code based law that would force doctors to assist at accidents. I think the RIAA is evil, but I vigorously want to make a career out of defending patents.

Sometimes I wonder if the reason that lawyers, especially the brightest young ones, are paid a lot of money and worked 75 hours a week is to keep them from thinking too much. For that matter, there is a certain irony in the fact that to look out my window, at the law library, I have to look past several cans of beer chilling on the sill.

(To steal an idea from another MSU student, Now Playing in WinAmp: Bob Dylan's The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down, Queen's Under Pressure, Semisonic's This Will be my Year, and Closing Time, Requim for a Dream Theme, and Bruce Springsteen's Born to Run)


And in the silence, the jester speaks.

Professor "Contracts": So, to illustrate the implied warranty... I bought a new 1995 Sonoma, among other problems it went through 2 transmissions and 3 clutches in 115,000 miles....what was the problem here?

Bob: "Driving a stick is too complicated for stupid people?"

The Onion matching game

Reading the onion this week, I was suprised at how often I thought of various bloggers. So, lets see if other people match up the stories the same...I'll come up with some kind of prize for the first person that has the "right" answers. I have resisted the temptation to dig into the onion archive and find articles to match for everyone, so with only 4 choices, it should be very easy to do.

1. Bush to Cut Deficit
2. Massachusetts Supreme Court
3. Going out is too much hassle
4.Greece Gearing up

A. Shades
B. Ockhamist
C. Blandus
D. Musings of the Wanderer


Four wheels bad, two tracks good

Several summers ago, while spending most of my days deep in the gruntwork of programming LabView Vi's, I read a great deal of Military History in my free time. Anyway, I happened to read several books about Armored Calvary in Vietnam. Anyway, as a resault, I was interested to stumble on the current criticism of the US Army's wheeled armor (Up Armored Humvees and LAV's) in Iraq. Besides those who claim that there is a vast conspiracy involved, there seems to be a strong consensus that the military has been fed a high priced and vulnerable replacement for the Vietnam era M-113. It really sucks to think that a substantial fraction of the soldiers killed and wonded in Iraq might have been saved by spending LESS money.

Cockfights and law school. *revised*

Every culture, if you look hard enough fights living animals for sport. I know, I know, it is illegal in MOST states. So, if you can't go watch live cockfights, and Boxing is too gentle for your sick tastes, you can always become a law professor and fight law students for grades.

Here's how it works:

A. Go to Law School, do well, practice for a couple of years, then find a job a law professor. Preferably as a Contracts professor.

B. Before your students get their first semester grades, have them seperate themselves up into small groups. Explain to them that other than the 3 hour final (which, remember, they don't have any idea how they performed in the first semester), this “negotiation exercise” will be the only other grad component.

C. Pick


Road Trip Karma

Drove down to Columbus, Ohio for the weekend...had a good time celebrating Christopher's birthday.

-Exactly a year ago, I attempted to make the same trip, and had my car break down on I-75 near Findlay. It was 30 degrees with rain and wind that night, and I spent nearly four hours working on it in the ditch. It was, without a doubt, one of the most utterly miserable four hours I've been through, mostly because I did give up and have it towed. Granted, on the upside, I slept in an amusing motel (charged by the hour, offered women...among other things). Also, I did redeem some of my pride the next morning by fixing my own car when the service station mechanic was too hungover to work. (Bad Ignition module=30 minute fix in daylight). Anyway, in the four hours that I fought with it, out in the cold, wet, windy hell, at least four different people stopped to see if they could help.

-So, anyway, only about 3 miles into the trip this year, I drove by a high school kid with a broken down Pontiac...I thought about it for a minute, then decided that I really would feel better, even though I was running late, if I turned around and helped him. With the weather rapidly turning to crap, and heavy traffic, it wasn't much fun, but it only took 15 minutes to trace down his electrical problem and get him back on his way. So, with my road trip karma restored, I proceeded down to Columbus without incident.

-The corner liqour store near Chrisopher's house has to be the only place I've been where people seriously watch Al Jazeera .

-I really need to be productive now, but I may post about the weekend's other amusing bits, such as my keg stand injury at the hands of gay men, and the crackheads that stole Christopher's car.


Writer's Block

It is 3:47 AM and I'm 9 pages into my 10-11 page trial brief which is due in 29 hours.

Nine pages, of which only about 75% is actually decent. There comes a point that despite 40 ounces of Pepsi One, two sleeves of Saltines, several cigarettes, and grade pressure, it is almost impossible to write that last little bit. So, I'm wasting away a couple of minute posting here, hoping to find the motivation to put down another couple of sentences before I give up and sleep. I might as well: I just knocked over my waterfilled beer can ash tray, which isn't exactly a sign of mental acuity.

At least the weekend should be fun, a road trip to Columbus to celebrate with an old friend.

itunes charity?


Last words about the IM osama game ("buddylinks" "ChannelUp" )

Based on my server logs, I'm getting a good bit of traffic that is looking for a solution to that damn IM game thing. Here is the simple and best answer to it: Adaware has added it to their latest reference file. So, simply download and install the free version of adaware, update it to the newest reference file and scan away. Actually, AdAware is a very nice product, and even if you don't think that you you have the AOL IM problem, you might as well run it anyway. There are other removal options, namely doing it manually as I originally suggested, or downloading a specific tool, but it really is to every Windows user's advantage to have AdAware!

If you're having trouble loading my blog lately, it always seems to lead correctly if one refreshes enough times. Having said that, I'm still eagerly looking for a solution.

Quinefan45 (or is it Quinefan 46? The Logocentrist?) has wisely chosen to avoid Blogger and return to DiaryLand. Welcome back.


Suggestions wanted for "The Wafer" Version 2.0

I am slowly becoming convinced that I should migrate away from blogger, and any suggestions as to which way to go would be appreciated. Currently, I am considering WordPress, TypePad, and MT. Of the blogs I read, MT is the most common, but seem to share a few little hangups in the comment feature loading slowly and occasionally incompletely.

This maybe a problem unique to me, but when I'm reading blogs I like to highlight terms and copy & paste into google for more information. (I often use the google deskbar for this). It maybe intentional, but certain weblogs that I read are very annoying when it comes to highlighting: you can highlight a single word by double clicking on it, but any attempt to "click and drag" resaults in all sort of wierd behavior. This is a feature that I do NOT want on my "I ate my wafer" version 2.0.

As far as layout, I'm interested in doing something invloving transparency, and a vareity of underlying images that I could change depending on the topic of the post.

Anyway, I'm looking for suggestions.


There is great cathartic value in a $3 can of spray paint

That @#$%@#$% IM "Game" Round II UPDATED!

Ok, it seems the "fun" little IM adware problem that I discussed this afternoon is spreading...it figures, my friends are always early adopters of security flaws.

This is my latest and best set of removal hints:

These instructions based on the best of my knowledge, from repeatedly infecting and cleaning my FrankenDell computer running Windows 98 SE and XP Pro. There is no universal solution to this kind of problem, and you could manage to screw something up. If you feel intimidated, ask a friend to help, or IM me (bob327ss).

A. If you are reasonably competent with computers, and willing to deal with editing the registry, you can simply follow Norton's removal instructions removal tutorial here. I highly reccomend the Norton site.

B. If you read the Norton instructions, and aren't comfortable with that kind of thing, you can download HiJack This and use it to kill the offending regisrty keys. But otherwise follow the Norton instructions.

C. If you are totally lost at this point, your best bet it to try the "add/remove programs" option in the control panel, and uninstall the following:

? BuddyLinks
? PSDT Messaging Integration
? PSD Tools ChannelUp v1.0 (remove only)

The problem with option C is that the jerks that made this @#$% program also made it very prone to only partially uninstalling, and simply reinstalling itsself over and over again. Also, on some computers, the programs won't even be listed in the "Add/Remove Programs" list. If you go with option "C", I highly reccomend manually deleteing the files and folder that the program installs:

That is, delete the entire:

C:\Program Files\buddylinks.net


D:\Program Files\Common Files\PSD Tools

folders. If you can't find these folders, then the uninstall program may have actually worked for you.

If you receive an an error message that you cannot delete the files, you can either reboot in safe mode and kill the files from there, or you can kill the offending process by using "ctrl" +"atl"+"del" then selecting the "task manager"-"processes" -then select the ChannelUp process, then click on end process. Either way, you should be able to delete the files at that point.

Good luck.


That Damn Osama Game...

If you get an AOL IM that references http://www.wgutv.com, DO NOT GO THERE, DO NOT INSTALL ANYTHING FROM THERE!

OK, this seems to be spreading around the people on my IM Buddy list. DO NOT LET http://www.wgutv.com install anything on your computer...I'll admit it, I was fooled by the damn thing, a good friend "sent" it to me, so I played with it, then promptly ran Spybot and Adaware (my standard reaction to such things). The annoying part is that once you catch it, it sends messages to everyone on your buddy list, purporting to be you, inviting others to join in the fun. Anyway, as of yesterday, spybot and adaware didn't pick up on it, and I figured all was cool, until I started to think about it, and check my ZoneAlarm logs, only to see the #@$%@#$% program trying to establish outbound connections. So, if you've played this little game, uninstall it! It is listed as "PSDT Messaging Integration" and "PSD Tools ChannelUp v.1.0", remove them both!

Since I'm on the whole topic of adware, spyware and virus prevention:

ALL Windows users should:

A. Run Windows Update about once a week, or enable it to run automatically.

B. Run and install the free version of ZoneAlarm. (yes there are other firewall programs out there, but half of them don't really work, like BlackIce. I highly reccomend using the SheildsUP website to test your firewall as well.

C. Download at least one of either Adaware or Spybot Search and Destroy...you can run both in combination. I try to run them both after everytime I see anything suspicious...like the game above, and I also use them maybe once every 2 weeks or so as a preventative measure. Of the two, Spybot is probably the best.

D. Aquire a good anti-virus program. I don't personally find it necessary to have one installed at all times, so I tend to only download the trial version of Eset's NOD32 when I suspect that I have a problem. I personally like NOD32 better than Norton, McCaffey, etc, because it uses less resources and has worked well for me in the past. NOD32 is updated slightly slower than the others.

Finally, if you have questions, feel free to ask me, I like talking about this sort of thing!

Finally, my apologies to those whe received "adware" messages from me, I tried to remember to kill my internet connection while I purposefully reinfected my computer and experimented with it, but I slipped up a couple of times.


My row is on call in Property this afternoon...and the material includes jus prima nox ! That should be interesting.

Things that scare me: Public Speaking and Promotional Treasure Chests

I finally got called on in Civ. Pro. yesterday. Of the assigned material, I had read all but the last small case (about 5% of the pages assigned), and hadn't bothered to skim it in class because we were moving quite slowly. So, with about 10 minutes left in class, my number came up. As soon as I heard "Mr. Golding", I flipped to the case, and skimmed it quickly, then slowly started to answer questions. Per usual I was utterly terrified, and sort of mumbled quietly the first answer, but I got myself together to answer the rest of the questions pretty well. Thankfully, this particular professor likes to ask longwinded questions to his Socratic Method victims, which gave me enough time to figure out the answers. Very oddly, my classmates didn't appear to realize that I hadn't read it, so they either were feeling kind, or I faked it pretty well. I will say this for it, getting called on unprepared first thing in the morning makes the rest of the day much more pleasant that normal. Perhaps a very mild version of this.

In other matters, I hate promotional keys. The kind where an organization mails thousands of keys out, and the one(s) that open a treasure chest or start a car wins. Anyway, lately, I've been refusing to participate in such contests for ethical concerns. The most recent example involved a "treasure chest" with $5,000, and a very cheap padlock. My thought process on the whole situation is as follows: even with whatever unmodified key I am mailed, I have a much better chance of manipulating it in a cheap lock than normal. To take it further, it seems like a slippery slope where if manipulating the key is OK, then filing the key into a better shape would be ok, as it is the same key. Then filing the key into a "999" key, and bumping the lock open would be OK....it seems to lead straight down hill to just using a padlock shim and opening the lock and then to doing my laundry for free, etc. So, I've decided that I'm just avoiding such promotions entirely. Even if I am ramdomly mailed the correct key, I would wonder if I had manipulated it to gain an unfair advantage.


I look like a hippy!

I started out the weekend with two goals:

A. See Silliman before he leaves Hillsdale.

B. Get a haircut.

Despite a decent effort on my part I totally failed on both fronts.

But, I did do some interesting things:

I discovered that the Hillsdale Autozone sells German made(US made Castrol Syntec is overpriced, and not actually Synthetic) Castrol Syntec 0W30 "GC" which is a highly advanced motor oil totally unavailble in Lansing. (I bought 6 quarts that will probably wind up in my mom's car).

I saw my parents in the other lane in Pioneer, OH, and followed them up to Hillsdale to the Gun and Knife Show. I barely made it around to see all of the tables because of the large number of friends that I ran into, but it was worth seeing. Hillariously, I introduced Dick Stack to my Dad which was rather similar to intoducing puppies to each other. They sort of circled each other finding common grounds, namely that we happen to have a stash of South Bend Lathe parts, and Mr. Stack has a 9" South Bend Lathe. Not that we've ever had a South Bend...but we have a stash of parts and my dad knows a great deal about rebuilding them. Anyway, they talked to each other while I ran around the last couple of tables. After I finally drove back down to Montpelier, I was too tired to drive up to Hillsdale Saturday night.

I did make it to Christ Church this morning (early actually). Service was pretty decent, and thankfully, the Q&A period after the sermon was breif and therefore didn't irritate Danielle's Catholic upbringing too much:-) Although I missed the meal afterwards, I did sneak one of Mrs. Stack's very tasty cookies in the parking lot. (I skipped the meal at church, and also opted out of Salmon at the Miller's in order to get a haircut before going back to Lansing) Anyway, the haircut place was packed, so I have missed 3 opportunities to get a haircut in the last week, and I look like a hippy.

I switched just switched my laptop to Fedora Core 1.0 from Mandrake. Being that I couldn't find a "Freedom Linux" version of Mandrake, and that Mandrake's support for my Pentium M processor sucked, and I'm too pressed for time to compile enough stuff to make Mandrake work, it seemed like a good idea. I am still running Mandrake on my Desktop, mainly because it works and I'm lazy.


Well, I did think the books were heavy.


Okoye is dead, long live Shades of Blue and Shades of Light.

Although it isn't really the point of gauche's recent post on food, the small bit on levan starters (sourdough) bread is interesting. I don't have an extensive background in bread making, but I do know a fair amount about beerbrewing. When making bread, the yeast (be it in levan, or commercial yeast) is only alive and functional for a matter of a couple of hours at most. Due to this, bread baking yeast is sold as a dried powder, which contains a good bit of random wild yeasts and bacteria, because it has a fairly short amount of time to impart flavors. In beerbrewing, the yeast is active for much longer, probably averaging about two weeks, approximately 300 times as long. Also, the yeast a vat of wort (baby beer) metabolize a much greater proportion of the final product than bread yeast.

Anyway, due to all of these factors, beer yeasts have rapidly moved past the crude technology of dried yeasts to a variety of liquid yeasts. Also, brewers spend a good bit of time matching trace minerals in their water to the style or type of beer. With the many strains of yeast available in combination with careful water analysis it is easy for brewers to create styles and regional types of beer that could not be duplicated with more traditional methods ( it is possible to brew a lambic, or rather a pseudolambic anywhere, without depending on leaving your wort outside in the right corner of Belgium!). I suspect that there are regional differences in bread that could be attributed to the wild yeasts and water chemistry available. Or to put it differently, careful analysis of any given leval starter, and the water used should allow another baker to create the exact same bread by blending liquid yeasts and adjusting water chemistry, without worrying about whatever random wild yeast are floating around.

I suspect that bread making has an art component that probably resists moving beyond the traditional levan method, and employing liquid yeasts and water management. It sounds much better on a sign to say that one's bakery uses a “traditional levan method” than to say that one uses “a variety of liquid yeast from test tubes” Frankly , the wine industry has a bit of the same tendency towards the art side of the fence as well.

It is amazing what you can find online if you're bored enough....

I almost got caught reading On the Use and Abuse of History for Life in Contracts this morning. Like about 50% of my classmates, I had found the lecture on consideration boring enough to use my laptop for non-academic purposes. I was merely reading away when a nearby person's cellphone rang, which caused the professor to sprint up the rows (if your phone rings in class, you have to let him answer and talk to the caller, besides loosing points). Anyway, it was amusing to see the franctic "Alt-Tab" switches in the rows below me, and I started to wonder what punishment I would get for my extracurricular reading if he had caught me. It certainly would be a different form of humilation than the handful of caught Solitare and IM cases.