things i wrote in 2002


7/31: Work has been busy lately.  When I retire and write a book about my experience in at a Big-4 firm, I have to remember to put in a chapter about the subpoena I got from the SEC.  The interns will go home in another week, so I've been busy coming up with stuff for them to do.  And promotions are announced on Friday ... stay tuned ... I can't say anything yet!
7/30: Went to Great America last night for a little shin-dig for our interns.  Man, is that place over priced!  I spent a good 20 minutes standing at the bottom of the Drop Zone watching people come crashing to the earth.  They're nuts to do that!  I don't think I could ever go on a ride that I know someone died on.  PwC Consulting, temporarily known as "Monday:", has been sold to IBM for $3.7 billion.  I'm not in that division, so I'm not affected.
7/29: Drunk WTC clean-up crane operator topples 35 ton crane.  Ooops.  Fascinating article on what Bush did in the days following 9/11, from the Washington Post.  Gives a really interesting insight into our emergency defense plans.  Thanks to everyone who sent in some Napster substitutes for me to look at!  Hey - tomorrow's the first day of the bar exam - good luck everyone!  Remember, don't panic - remain calm, and it'll go well.  To "Sane Man": Apparently you didn't study quite well enough for the MPRE if you think I can't practice law. :)
7/28:  Amazing!  All 9 miners were rescued alive!  Last night we went to see Austin Powers at the new Camera theaters in the Pruneyard.  I used to go to the old UA theaters there, and every single time something would go wrong - film would break, sound wouldn't work, etc.  Tonight was no exception.  The audio was absolutely horrible for the entire movie, and no one did anything about it.  What a joke.  Qwest Communications is restating financials.  Yet another Andersen audit client.  What were those Andersen auditors doing, sleeping on the job?  Geez.  I finally caught up with the times and bought an external, USB CD-ROM writer.  It's a shame Napster is shut down - otherwise I could burn some music CD's.
7/27: The baseboard remodeling continues.  Finished the entryway, and part of the family room.  The rest will be easier (I think) because there's less corners and less funny angles in the rest of the house.  Went up to SF today to see the SF Mime Troupe perform their parody on the current situation in Afghanistan - Mr. Smith goes to Obskuristan.  Very good show.
7/26: Swam at the Stanford pool today - very nice facilities.  If you can get in (it's private), it's very nice.
7/25: Pope visits kids in Canada.  Kids call Pope "youthful."  Oh please.  When I was a kid, all three networks broke into regular programming and covered the rescue of Jessica and I watched it unfold.  I don't think this situation in Pennsylvania is going to end quite as well.  Remember the guy in Georgia who ran a crematory but disposed of over 350 bodies in his back yard?  He's claiming his prosecution is because of his race.  Yes, that's it.  Race.  Not the 350 bodies in his back yard.
7/24: Today was my good friend Derrick's last day at PricewaterhouseCoopers.  He taught me a lot.  Two years ago today was the first day of my bar exam.  It was ridiculously hellish.  Click here to live the experience.
7/23: Economic indicators are now showing that consumer confidence is down, as is the confidence in the President.  If the economy doesn't improve, Bush may have a very hard time getting reelected.  He keeps insisting the economy is "sound".  Really?  Free show up in SF this weekend:  Mr. Smith goes to Obskuristan.  This guy should get the death penalty.  So sorry, but being drunk isn't an excuse.  Useless TV channels.  Stock market was up nearly 500 points today!  Yea!  Cantor Fitzgerald'swebsite, a memorial to the huge number of people they lost on 9/11.  I donated blood today at my workplace blood drive through the Stanford Medical School Blood Center.
7/22: Lawyers buy evidence off of ebay.  Bill Simon, the ultimate dumbass, finally releases his tax returns to reporters.  For 2.5 hours.  No copying or CPA's allowed.  U.S. bans fish that is already in 7 states. Do ya think that ban is going to have any real impact?
7/21: Worldcom files for largest Chapter 11 bankruptcy ever.  Customer service still sucks.  Bush wants to rescind the Posse Comitatus Act (from West Wing a few months ago).  Top 100 executive salaries. Big Brother contestant due in court for DUI.
7/20:  Went to see Champion's on Ice tonight, starring Rudy Gallindo and Michelle Kwan.  Good show; Arena was half empty though.
7/19: Sopranos heading for the big screen?  Lucky Charms creator died. Ohio weatherman falls asleep on the air; begins snoring.  British doctor killed 215 people.  That's a lot of people to kill!  geez.
7/18: My team had their team building exercise at Campo de Bocce this afternoon.  I've played a few games of bocce ball in the past, but geez, do they have to use red and green balls?  Don't they know 5% of men are colorblind (myself included).  That game was almost impossible.
7/17: My little town of Campbell has three weekly newspapers:  The Campbell Times, The Campbell Reporter, and one other whose name I've forgotten.  They all report pretty much the same thing.  Bribs got booted from The Mole last night.  Now we're down to 4 contestants.  The race is getting tight.  Government launches Operation TIPS to tattle on your neighbors and coworkers.
7/16: Guess someone stuck a lit cigarette in a trash can in the PwC building over the weekend, and the trash can erupted into flames.  That made for a pretty funny "no smoking" memo that got distributed this morning.  San Jose finally making some progress on getting cable modems.  Why is it that Silicon Valley is the worst wired large city?  I can't get cable modem access where I live.  I also can't get DSL.  So I have to use wireless broadband.  And these days, it hasn't been working too well.  Stock market continues to go nuts today - down 200 points, then down not so much, then down a lot again... ugh.  Here's an article from way back when when Down 36,000 seemed conceivable.  New CA law protects right to display flag despite HOA rules.
7/15: Man, there goes the stock market  ... down to 8390 this morning.  It's going to hit zero at some point, right?  Marjorie Knoller gets 4 years in jail for the dog mauling.  She should stay away from large dogs when she gets out of jail ... it'd be ironic if she got bit.  Not that I'm suggesting anything, of course.
7/12: Southwest boots overweight family off plane.  Family ends up taking Greyhound.  They were returning from their mother's funeral.  Southwest apologizes and refunds fare, but apparently keeps policy.
7/11: Night two of BB3.  It's ok - I don't think any of the houseguests are really very interesting though.  It's really hot here in San Jose.  I spent the day in an air conditioned hotel, but gosh, once I got home, it was hot.
7/10: Big Brother 3 premiers tonight on CBS.  Sorry to see Darwin get booted from The Mole last night.  He was a nice guy.  Phil Matier used my quote in today's Chron:  "AIR WAVES: We heard from plenty -- and we do mean plenty -- of readers after we told you Monday about a local woman's claim that she and her fellow Southwest airline passengers were asked to "volunteer" for security screening before boarding a flight out of Burbank. And they were right to say we erred in reporting the flight was to San Francisco -- after all, SFO hasn't had domestic Southwest service for more than a year. The flight was to Oakland. But for any doubters about the tale, South Bay attorney Travis Wise told us he had a similar experience -- people being asked if they wanted to volunteer to be searched -- when he boarding a Southwest flight from San Jose a few weeks ago. Wise said it happened again on his return flight from Seattle. "This completely defeats the purpose of having that screening step," Wise said. "I think this is an example of good intentions gone awry.""
7/9: Got a call from Phil Matier (SF Chron reporter) this morning.  He's "probably" going to use a quote from me re: Southwest Airlines (see bottom of yesterday's entry) in tomorrow's Chron.
7/8: Black twins born to white couple.  IVF mixup.  Ooops.  Light Rail is slowly but surely expanding towards Campbell.  The twise.com Dumbass Award Of The Day goes to Hala Mohammed Sadeq El-Awadly, wife of LAX shooter Hesham Mohamed Hadayet, who is quoted in USA Today as saying, "My husband didn't do such a thing. This is nonsense."  She also said he was being blamed because he was Arab and Muslim.  Well, no, ma'am, in fact, your husband was shot dead while carrying two handguns and a hunting knife inside one of the nation's largest airports.  He killed two innocent people before he was shot.  Thank goodness someone did shoot him, because your husband was in the process of There's really no clearer case of guilt.  And that isn't nonsense.  The fact that he was Arab and Muslim didn't have anything to do with it, and your claim of racism is a slap in the face of people who are in fact wrongly accused of crimes because of racism.  Oh, golly, we have to have a second Dumbass Award Of The Day:  Inglewood police officer Jeremy Moore got caught on videotape beating a black teenager at a gas station and using the word "nigger" during the beating.  The teen didn't break any laws, but somehow ended up in handcuffs, getting punched and beaten by Officer Moore.  Moore appears to have a history of such racist actions.  It must really suck to be a stupid bigot like Officer Moore.  I would think it would be so hard to be that way, living in a diverse state like California.  My response to today's SF Chron Matier & Ross column:  Phil and Andrew: Thanks for the section on Southwest Airlines in Monday's Chron.  I flew SWA out of San Jose a few weeks ago, and they did a similar thing, asking for volunteers at the gate for the security screening.  Same procedure in Seattle on my return flight.  This completely defeats the purpose of having that screening step.  If I want to take down the plane, I just get a bunch of cohorts to volunteer to be screened and fill up the airline's quota, while I walk on the plane.  I think this is an example of good intentions gone awry. Travis Wise
7/7: Back home from spelunking near Murphys.  Saw Minority Report this weekend - pretty good movie.  Better than MIB II, I've heard.
7/3: Have a good Fourth of July everyone!  No new updates for a few days.  Sometime this weekend, the Primer will hit 70,000 hits.  That's just amazing.  It was two years ago about now that I put it up.  West Wing rerun tonight was an interview show with actual White House staffers, and Clinton and Carter.  Very interesting show.  You don't see TV like that very often these days.
7/2: Last night was Lawyer's In The Library night for me.  The other attorney didn't show up, so I was it.  Saw about 20 people or so.  A few overriding themes:  When you buy a car, there's no return period.  So think about it long and hard before you buy the car.  And if your car loan falls through, you're probably hosed unless you can whip up a new loan.  Someone owe you money?  Less than $5k?  Head over to your local small claim's court and sue them.  There... that covers most of the advice I gave last night.  Last week I ate at a delicious restaurant in Campbell, Chez Savon.  Cambodian food, very flavorful, reasonable prices, and great decoration.  2425 S. Bascom Ave (south of Campbell Ave), 408-371-7711.  San Francisco bans urinating in public.  It used to be legal?  The Aquari-ass.  No, I don't know what happens when you flush.  Parking in downtown SJ is getting more expensive:  Meters go to $1/hr soon, and several lots jacked up their prices on 7/1, including the $1 Caltrain lot.  So I've finally broken down and bought the $60 monthly parking permit under Hwy 87.
7/1: America West airline pilots arrested for DUI right before plane takes off.  My company's budget cutbacks have eliminated any new requisitions for ergonomic office equipment.  That'd be a good Dilbert strip.  Man struck by lightening at hospital; goes home to call paramedics.  Federal judge rules federal death penalty unconstitutional.
6/30: Aww, crap, lost the last few days worth of entries.  I'll try to recreate it.  I really need a better backup system.  I went to IKEA this morning and bought a bunch of stuff - that was fun.  I should go more than just once a year.  Got a really nifty WTC photo that I put upstairs in the guest room, and a bunch of lamps, candles, and a big rug for Lacie so she doesn't poop on the expensive carpet any more.  BBQ'ed some burgers on the new Cost Plus clay grill tonight... tasted much better than last year's Webber grill burgers.  Man struck by lightening at church BBQ - can't be a good sign.  Wrong Shui.  GG Bridge Toll goes up.
6/29: Went to SF with Kenny, Aus and Cindy for the DP ceremony - that was cool.  Should have done that earlier.
6/28: PwC rented out the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk for our annual company "fun in the sun" day.  So we invaded the beach and had unlimited ride passes, a huge BBQ, and all sorts of events like horseback riding, sailing, kiaking, etc.  Last year was more fun though.  Bush cedes power to Cheney for a few hours while he gets his butt examined.  That's so funny, but I'm trying to keep this website PG-13 rated.  I can't keep up with the corporate scandals.  Enron.  Andersen.  Martha Stewart.  Worldcom.  Xerox.  Who's next?
6/26:  Team lunch at the Fairmont's The Grill restaurant.  Delicious.  $500 can buy a lot of food for 10 people.  We won the money because we recruited more new employees than the other teams.  Not sure why we're hiring, since we just brought on 50+ new folks from Andersen, but hey, they don't ask my opinion.  Pledge of Allegiance declared unconstitutional.  Guy who won that lawsuit now suing claiming money violates constitution ("In God we trust").  Yea, I agree, although I'm sure the Supreme Court will overturn the decision.  Really folks, do your religion stuff in private ... let's not mix it with government.  Too many different religions, some of which don't believe in a god.  For the nuts out there who somehow think the government should be about God... you know what?  You're just wrong.  Crematory burns; bodies survive.
6/25: Worldcom.  Hehe.  Dumbasses.  Serve's 'em right.  Their customer service and billing systems were horrible.  Attorney bills 44 hours in a day.  Ooops.  SF cops have enough spare time to bust people for drinking coffee, but not to solve real crimes, so people have to catch their own criminals.
6/24: Went to Cost Plus and loaded up on all sorts of wonderful stuff, including a new clay grill for the back patio.
6/23: Back from Seattle.  Read the review under my Travel Reviews page.
6/21: Sea lion breaches security at SFO.  Who Wants to Be A Millionaire violates the ADA?
6/17: Why we are so enthralled with the dog mauling case, and the Hannibal connection.  No rights need to be read on a bus.  That doesn't mean you don't have any rights, it just means they don't have to be read.  And in other news, those wacky Jehovah's Witnesses can't be made to get a permit before they do door-to-door solicitation.  Just stay away from my door.  Speaking of the dog mauling case, Judge James Warren threw out the murder conviction.  Damn.  Congressman on plane can't wait for bathroom, pees in cup.  I have two disturbing stories about Starbucks, both of which are true:  First, look at this advertisement that Starbucks was running, and note the word "collapse" ... isn't that ridiculous?  Then, read this article about how Starbucks charged NYC EMT's $130 for some water on 9/11 immediately following the WTC attack.  Good corporate citizens?  I know, you'll still go buy your coffee from them, but come on ... that's just nuts.
6/16: Went up to Stanford for the commencement - my friend Cindy graduated today.  National Security Advisor Dr. Connalezza Rice was the commencement speaker.  Some protestors, but nothing big.  She gave a good, short, speech, not really discussing much about current events.  Chief Supreme Court Justice reminds us that we have less civil liberties during war.  Happy father's day, dad!  This has been around for a while, but I'll mention it anyhow: The Bill of No Rights.  U.S. Forrest Service Employee sets Colorado fire because of domestic dispute, gets arrested.6/15:Anderson guilty!  Went to a graduation dinner for my friend Cindy, who graduates from Stanford tomorrow.
6/14: I'm working on a "What's New" archive.  In the meantime, some funny high school names:  The Hoopeston CornjerkersFreeport PretzelsFisher Bunnies.  Oh, and the Cobden Appleknockers.  Funny newspaper police logs.
6/13: Hi to Dave, my friend who just moved to SF, who wanted desperately to be mentioned on my website!  HI DAVE!  Should the Constitution apply to U.S. citizens who get caught doing bad things in America?  I think so.  But this guy who was carting around a nuclear bomb is being held in jail, indefinitely, without access to a lawyer, and without any due process rights.  I'm sorry, but that's not the way the system was designed to work, even for people carrying around nuclear bombs.
6/12: Before work I went over to the SJ main jail to visit my CYA parole mentee.  That was quite an experience.  The jail looks like a relatively normal building from the outside, but on the inside it's like something out of a prison movie ... I guess that makes sense.  Anyhow, it was an experience.
6/11: The Amicus Brief I have been working on for a few months has been filed with the U.S. Tax Court.  The Mole II is on tonight.  Colorado is on fire (the state).  Today's Bar Exam question comes from a SCU grad:  Q: Did you take time off during your studies?  I'm burning out already!  A: Yes, there were certainly days that I just "wrote off" and said screw it. I reallocated the Paced Program's assignments to other days, to clear out that day's work. I always took one week off each week. But I don't remember taking 2 days off a week very often ... it was usually just one. Hope that helps!
6/10: PwC Consulting now named "Monday".  And it cost us $110 million to come up with that name.  No, I'm not joking.  Just think of the 6 other names that were rejected:  Tuesday, Wednesday, etc.  Geez.
6/9: Back from a great trip to L.A.  Stayed with my friend Clifton in Beverly Hills; spent some time at a Malibu beach house next to where Steven Spielberg and Dustin Huffman have their beach houses, and had a great dinner at Chart House with the Chung family before hanging out in Santa Monica and the pier.  Then saw my friend Joe off to Beijing, where he'll be studying and playing for the next 2 months.  Bye, Joe!
6/7: Off to L.A. for a few days.  My friend Scott Bakalor redesigned his website.  The sentencing of our favorite local dumbasses Marjorie Knoller and Robert Noel has been put off for 10 days - a week from Monday.
6/6: The Primer has been endorsed by the Santa Clara County Bar Association as "A Must-Read Resource for Preparing for the California Bar Exam."  Only one person in Norway has password to on-line cultural documents; he dies; hackers enlisted to crack into system.  Spitball kid gets let off early.
6/5: Had dinner with Dr. Tony last night - learned all sorts of fascinating things about medicine that I never knew.  I couldn't really tell him any fascinating things about tax law, because I don't think there are any.  I'll keep looking though.  OK, this has been getting a lot of press, so I'll mention it here:  Supreme Court allows retrial for dufus who let his lawyer sleep through his trial.  I'm not related to the victim in the underlying case.  Those of you lawyers who read this page - if you do civil cases, or specifically medical malpractice, please contact me - I have some questions.  Oh, same for criminal law (no, not for myself!).  What does the Queen carry in her purse?  Patrick got booted from The Mole last night - good riddence!  He turned into a nut quickly.
6/4: 55 Andersen employees start work at San Jose PwC today. Chaos erupts.  Continuing on yesterday's cow theme, the CHP gunned down 6 loitering cowsyesterday.  One less terrorist threat in this crazy world.  I had no idea that my ADR paper was so popular until I removed it ... I'll put it back up tomorrow - in the meantime, here's the Google cache of it.
6/3: Napster declared bankruptcy today.  Raise your hand if you're surprised.  Oh!  No hands up.  Ok.  So we're finding out how we basically knew about the 9/11 terrorists being in the country before 9/11, but because our intelligence community was sitting on its asses, we weren't able to do anything about it.  Wasn't George Bush (Sr.) the director of the CIA around the time Osama Bin Laden was setting up his camp?  Did I mention yesterday that Bachelorettes in Alaska and The Hamptons was really bad TV last night?  If you didn't catch Hamptons, it's on again tonight.  Watch it, just so you can tell your kids how bad reality TV finally got.  Tomorrow is our big day at work that the former Andersen people start working in our office ... I was tempted to write into Scott Adams and give him material for Dilbert (oh, do we need computers for these people?!) but then I realized he wouldn't believe the craziness. Woman wants to go to San Jose.  Ends up in Costa Rica.  Ooops.  Kenya just learned of 9/11 attack; gives U.S. 14 cows (most prized possession).  In related news, the E.U. is now taxing cow flatulence.  Got this very nice e-mail today ... I get a lot like this ... I'm really happy that I'm able to help so many people pass the bar exam:
I am certain that I would not have passed the February 2002 bar exam without your assistance. I carefully reviewed your site in preparation for the exam. It offered encouragement, especially when I wanted to give up. I am sure that I am not alone in sending you my thanks. I know that you have helped many people before me and will continue to help many people in the future through your site. Thanks again for assisting me in passing the bar on my first try.
6/2: I went biking on the Los Gatos trail, and noticed that the Forbes Mill Museum, at the base of the Lexington Reservoir trail, was open. Went in and looked around - they have some old maps of the valley that are interesting to look at - I found where my house is, but I couldn't read who used to own that land in 1910.  Caught part ofBachelorettes in Alaska and The Hamptons on TV tonight.  What horrible shows.
6/1: Clergy Abuse Tracker.  Overheard in SF from a homeless person:  "It's good to have a little bit of alcohol in your system all the time - it helps the body absorb oxygen."  Uh huh.  The SF public library in the Civic Center is just amazing - talk about a great library.  Why does SF need so many city government buildings?  It's certainly not to take care of the homeless problem.
5/31: Ok, due to popular demand, a hybrid weblog will continue in this space.  No archives though, until I can figure out some better system than what I had before. Army buys $1,800 pillow.  20% of brides "mortified" by best man's toast.  Chron ran an article this morning on the front page about how SFO airport security refused to let this 'war hero' take a medical device on the plane with him that he needed for an injury he sustained fighting in Afghanistan - lack of common sense cited as problem;Fox News also runs story.  Some companies require employees to stay in touchduring vacation. This "Stripper Mom" just doesn't have a clue - poses nude for Playboy.  Poor English translations are always fun.
5/28: Controversy about the new PwC Consulting unit's place of businessThe Mole 2returns tonight on ABC, rerunning the first two episodes from last season, back to back.
5/27: Happy Memorial Day.  This morning I rode 14 miles round-trip to the end of the paved Los Gatos trail and back ... not much excitement there.  I did figure out how to turn on the "auto" function on my bike's speedometer - that was cool - it starts and stops the timer and the "average speed" function when I start and stop riding.  Looks like the Pope fell asleep at some performance.  Guess he's been up too late worrying about molestations.  Updated the restaurant review listing today.  That was exciting.
5/26: My friend Julie To found out she passed the bar exam on Friday!  Way to go Julie!!
5/25: Last night I went to the Stanford Senior Formal Dance (at the invitation of Cindy, who graduates next month).  It was held at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.  I did not know until last night that the Aquarium rents itself out at night to the tune of $25-$30k per night to host dances, meetings, etc.  With all the loud music they had there, I'm surprised the fish aren't affected.  But they seemed happy.  In other news, I found out that you can in fact get four people in the back seat of a Lexus.
5/24: Gunderson was one of the first law firms to boost lawyers' salaries into the $130k range.  They just did another round of layoffs this week. The company Andersen used to shred documents also shreds documents for the FBI.  I'm not sure why that's of any consequence. Work can literally bore you to death.  I think that may happen to me.
5/23: My good friend Tony Quang became "Tony Quang M.D." last weekend.  Yea, Dr. Tony!  Didja see West Wing last night?  It was the season finale.  I knew someone was going to get shot (my guess had been C.J.), and of course we knew that Arab defense minister was going to get knocked off.  The stuff about the Posse Comitatus Act. I didn't get the part about why the proposed replacement for Mrs. Landingham was fired because she hired Charlie??  If you got that, e-mail me.  Quote of the day:  "In a post-Sept. 11 world, this pre-Sept. 11 information is chilling."  Second quote of the day:  "I told everyone that something bad would happen to America in 2001. I even said the letter 'A' would be involved. But did they listen?"  Both from The Onion.  Headline:  "POPE FORGIVES MOLESTED CHILDREN".  Hehe.  Turns out the White House was the target of Flight 93.  Can you imagine the chaos if the plane had made its target?  Krispy Kreme profitsexceed expectations.  In related news, Americans are fatter than ever.
5/22: Chandra Levy has been found.  Dead.  In a park.  That she regularly jogged through.  I'll go out on a limb and guess that Gary Condit probably didn't have anything to do with her death, given where she was found.  If that's the case, Gary really got hosed.  We all (myself included) blamed him for her disappearance last year.  His political career was ruined over it.  And in the end, he probably didn't have anything to do with her death.  Ooops.  The presentation I gave last night at SCU about the bar exam went very well.  28 people showed up, and it was mainly myself, a bar exam grader, and the Barrister's people talking about the exam. Most of the students said it was a very beneficial presentation.  I made three main points:  (1) Follow BarBri's Paced Program; (2) How to prepare study materials; and (3) How to deal with the stress of preparation and the exam.  The grader's main points involved the vital importance of using headers and sub-headers - I wish I had heard what he said before I took my exam - would have made it easier.  I also got some very good feedback about the Primer site and some additional information I need to put up there.
5/21: Brobeck ousts former chairman Tower Snow.
5/20: So yesterday's news carried the report that Dick Cheney said something like "There will be another terrorist attack on the U.S.".   Well, that was totally predictable.  The administration got beat up in the press for not disclosing the reports they received pre-9/11 about possible terrorist attacks, so now they've issued a blanket warning covering all possible calamities.  As dumb as George Bush is, he shouldn't be blamed for not responding differently to the intelligence reports he received pre-9/11.  Can you imagine how many "potential threats" the CIA and FBI receive every day?  How can they possibly guard against every one of those threats.  They can't.  And blaming them causes them to issue these asinine statements like what was issued yesterday.  They should issue more similar statements to cover all their bases, so that the media can't criticize them later on.
5/19: Busy night on TV:  Survivor finale; X-Files series finale; and Cosby Show reunion.  We watched Survivor - I wasn't real happy with the options between Ve and Naleha - the Bible thumping was annoying - but in the end I'm very happy Ve won for a lot of reasons.  And Rosie did a good job on the 1 hour reunion.  Asinine website of the day:  The U.S. Navy's official Hispanic website.  My friend Joe Chung is setting up a Sigma Chi Sigma fraternity at his school, Johns Hopkins University.  Today was the Bay to Breakers run up in SF... my friends Andrea and Susan ran the race.
5/17: 8 year old Antioch boy drives himself to school; gets ticket. The street I live on is the 11th most dangerous in Campbell in terms of speed. There will be less of the racially controversial Jar Jar in the new Star Wars. This was my department that worked on this: Network Associates restates earnings.  Oooops. Kathy voted for Sean last night on Survivor, and because she was the swing vote, out Sean went.  Very interesting tactical moves ... I didn't think Kathy was smart enough to think that far ahead.  Finished watching Catfish in Black Bean Sauce.  It's a funny but important movie about a Vietnamese brother and sister who were raised by an African-American family, who meet their birth mother.
5/16: The East Palo Alto Community Law Project has to close it's doors after 18 years of service due to a lack of funding.  The Project has been the nearly exclusive provider of free legal services for poor people in East Palo Alto.  I guess those huge, rich law firms in Palo Alto couldn't afford to chip in a measly $500k to keep the project open (less than half of a partner's salary). Amazing Race 2 finale last night... I am SO GLAD Tara and Will didn't win the million - they were both such jerks.  The Amazing Race 1 "Rob and Brennan" clones, Chris and Alex, won the million bucks, just like Rob and Brennan.  Does this set a dangerous precedent that only two strong men can win the race?  I don't know.  The finale was very good. West Wing was also great - although not quite as action packed as last year at this time.  I think the season finale will involve assassinating that guy who is coming over from the middle east, and something involving C.J. and her secret service protection (assassination attempt?).
5/15: West Wing is on tonight - only 2 more episodes.  And the Amazing Race 2 finale!!! Bar exam results from the February bar come out very soon.  For those of you who are waiting, I refer you to my experience of getting the results ... which seems like just yesterday.
5/14: Vigilante justice, Catholic style.  Don't the Catholics believe in the "Eye for an eye" crap?
5/13: Happy birthday, Phil! Someday when I'm retired I'll write one of those "For Dummies" books called "Creative Billing for Attorneys".
5/12: Happy Mother's Day, mom!  We went to eat at Stoddard's in Campbell for dinner. The Mole II is making a comeback later this month, after getting put on hiatus last year.
5/11: This morning I noticed the Campbell police herding up the day-laborers who had taken over the Home Depot parking lot on Hamilton Avenue.  Last I saw, they were being herded west on Hamilton Avenue towards the Rotten Robbies gas station.  "The families of 11 immigrants who died illegally crossing into Arizona from Mexico have filed a $41 million claim against two federal agencies, saying the government's refusal to put water out in the desert contributed to the migrants' deaths."  Once again, America gets taken advantage of ... please, come to this country, violate our laws from the moment you step foot on our soil, and when you realize you're too stupid to figure out how to stay alive, sue us for your own stupidity.  Dumbasses.  How else may we help you break our laws? 
5/10: This is interesting:  How to create your own tribute to 9/11 with a $20 bill.  Dan Quayle was making some comments that he admires Ozzie Osbourne for his family values, and ranks them higher than Murphy Brown.  Good god, do you realize that this man was just one step away from the presidency?  What a dumbass!  My old school, Santa Clara University, tried really hard to reject a grant from Lockheed-Martin, as a protest against war.  The school ended up taking the money, but is forming a policy for dealing with "objectionable" grants in the future.  Only rich schools get to reject grants... everyone else takes every dime they can.  Maybe Lockheed-Martin should protest Santa Clara's policy and just give money to public schools who won't create a big fuss.
5/9: The Primer counter hit 60,000 hits this evening, in almost 2 years of being on-line.  That is just amazing.  Doh!  Danny and Oswald were eliminated on last night's Amazing Race 2.  They gave it a good shot, but weren't quite as competitive as the other three teams.  Next week is the 2-hour season finale.  Last night's West Wing was great ... the story line with C.J. being the target of death threats and having to have Secret Service protection is good.  I can't wait to find out what the season-finale cliff hanger will be.  Headline:  Mailbox Bomber planting bombs in smiley-face pattern.  Geez.  Oh, and Senator Clinton has a domestic violence problem.
5/8: The dumbass of the month award goes to Shannon Moss of Portland, Oregon, who was "rescued by divers when she was unable to escape from a submerged car while filming a news segment on how to get out of dangerous situations."  Santa Clara County has a new website for their parks, including a site just for trails.  Eric Yoon has created a website, Barexamstudyaids.com, that is somewhat similar in purpose to the California Bar Exam Primer.  He has very well written advice, and has made his outlines available (for a small charge).  I saw part of the Ozzie Ozborne show last night on MTV.  Since I like reality TV shows I thought I had better check it out.  I'm not quite sure what the attraction is to this show (not that I understood Temptation Island either...).  From what I saw, it was mainly Ozzie's escapades trying to catch a cat in his house, and then him eating dinner (served by the ubiquitous household help), talking about how normal he is.  The kids seemed pretty messed up, and the mom was doing her best to appear normal.  I can't believe they're getting paid $20M for next season for that stuff.  And who were all those other people milling about?  Servants?  Production crew?  I don't know.  Amazing Race 2 is on tonight.  At the end of tonight's show, there will only be the final three teams left.  Danny and Oswald are currently in 4th place, so they stand a fair chance of getting booted, but then again, anything can change during a show.  I do hope they make the final three.  West Wing is also on tonight.
5/7: If there was any doubt that the Republicans are in power, here you go.  Info on the Vasonna Light Rail Extension, which will go through downtown Campbell.
5/5: Happy Cinco de Mayo. 
5/4: Just got around to watching Amazing Race from last week... I was so bummed Danny and Oswald were last, but then it wasn't an elimination round!  Yea!  That got me thinking... what if Survivor did non-elimination rounds?  Still go to tribal counsel, vote someone off, but then that person returns to camp with the team... that would stir things up a bit!  Went to see Spider Man last night.  Opening night wasn't too bad ... parking at the Century on Winchester was horrible ... but the lines weren't terribly bad.  I guess enough theatres are showing the movie that the people are more spread out. The movie itself was very good - I enjoyed it a lot.  San Jose passes legislation requiring residential landscaping.
5/3: 70 year old man robs bank at gunpoint.  Claims there was a misunderstanding, and that he is actually the victim.  Not the first time.  I've promised myself every time I go to an opening night movie not to do that again.  But tonight I'm doing it again:  Spider Man.  I used fandango.com to get the tickets - that was pretty handy.  Six guardsmen removed from bridge patrol after it was discovered they didn't know how to shoot their guns.  National emergency declared after pigs trample garden. Ten commandments ordered removed from courthouse.  OK ... let's make this really clear.  Religion.  Government.  Two different things.  It's a really really really bad idea to mix them.  Heck, even the Catholic Church has stopped obeying the ten commandments.  The federal judge said the nation's founders' "made a conscious decision" to separate religion and government, which "has served us well."  "Experience tells us that there is perhaps nothing more divisive than the interjection of religion into our government. The controversy engendered by this commission action is proof of this," the judge wrote.  Amen.
5/2: My company has announced that it is IPOing its consulting division for $1 billion.  The new company will temporarily be named PwCC Ltd.  (I don't work for the consulting division, so I'm not affected).  Today is the National Day of Prayer.  Marking the occasion, Bush called the nation "a country of faith."  No great surprise that the White House ceremony did not include any remarks by people of any religious faith outside of Christianity.  We should call it the "National Day of Christian Prayer," since Christian groups are the only ones who wanted a national day of prayer.  The other religions seem content with not getting the government to interfere with their praying activities.  Or maybe we should call it "National Day ofReligious Child Molestation", since the Catholic Church doesn't recognize the problem with letting rapists and child molesters serve as priests.  Or the "National Day of America Screwing Up Other Countries," since we're cluelessly interfering (big surprise) with people and cultures we don't understand in the middle-east.  Speaking of which, here's the best solution I've read so far to the middle-east problem: Godrefloods middle-east; solves problem.  The more news that comes out about good old Cardinal Law, the more I think we need to form an alliance to vote Him off our little island.  He's not really serving a useful purpose any more.  Doesn't "Cardinal Law" sound like a great title for a TV show?
5/1: Arthur Andersen lawyer Nancy Temple may very well have single-handedly collapsed a financial empire with one e-mail, dated October 12, 2001, reproduced below in its entirety:  "Mike, it might be useful to consider reminding the engagement team of our documentation and retention policy.  It will be helpful to make sure that we have complied with the policy.  Let me know if you have any questions."  Referring the engagement team to the "documentation and retention policy" (i.e. when to shred a document) was probably not the brightest idea in the midst of Enron's corporate meltdown.  Nancy is now under federal criminal investigation for obstruction of justice.  One partner in the Portland, OR office had the brains to not follow Nancy's bad advice, and refused to shred documents.  The newspapers report that Andersen employees have gone from "loyal employees" protesting the criminal investigations, to employees who are looking out solely for themselves.  Happy May! Booooo:  Animal Right's Activists Slam 'Happy Cows' Ads.  Yes, we know the cows really aren't that happy.  That's why it's not false advertising.  Survivor 5 will take place in Thailand. Deep Throat to be named.
4/30: TV Guide compiled a list of the 50 greatest TV shows of all time.  Seinfeld is number one, followed by I Love Lucy.  Soprano's is number five.  Roseanne beat outWest Wing?  I don't think so.
4/29: The Chandra Levy case is now one year old.  The police don't have a clue who did it.  Gosh, I wonder. I read this Tupperware spam excerpt on our bulletin board at work:  "The above "parties" entitle you to FREE TUPPERWARE based on the amount of retail TUPPERWARE sold and the number of parties booked. Let me put it in another way, at my party in January I received over $250 in FREE TUPPERWARE based on the sales and 4 parties booked!"  What the heck would you do with $250 in free Tupperware?  That's got to be like 100 little tupperware containers.  I have had a hard enough time trying to figure out what to do with my box of extra-large Zip-Lock freezer bags that I've had for a year.
4/28: Fredericksburg, Virginia newspaper publishes photos of woman killing herself by jumping off bridge, after passing motorists yell at her to jump.  Saudi Prince Abdullah requested that no female air traffic controllers direct his plane as he flew over the United States for his visit with Bush in Texas.  Tomorrow is the 10th anniversary of the L.A. riots which left 54 people dead, more than 1,100 buildings destroyed or damaged, some $1 billion in property damage.  Last night I watched Pearl Harbor on DVD.  Yea, it's an awful movie.
4/26: Did you catch The Bachelor last night?  Talk about your horribly bad television.  His parents were the only sane people on the show.  At least he didn't propose marriage ... I would have just cried at the inhumanity of it all.  My prediction is that The Bachelor and his blonde hussy won't ever see each other again.
4/25: Everything gets all f@#$ed up when you invoke the the name of god:  The Pope has issued a statement that priests who molest children are likely "criminals".  Really?!  Well, at least the Pope is now on board with what we here in America have thought for decades.  Talk about a day late and a dollar short.  The Pope decided that the Catholic Church will only defrock "serial predator" priests.  So if you're a priest and you're going to molest someone, it's ok as long as you only molest one.  Great.  Would any other profession stand for this?  Can you imagine such a rule for elementary school teachers?  "Oh, it's ok ... Mrs. Johnson only molested one girl."  Forget it!  One strike and you're out.  Police officers?  Librarians?  Social workers?  Counselors?  Would a "one free bite" rule be acceptable for any of those professions, especially given a previous track record of rampant molestations?  Of course not.  Then why would we accept a "one free bite" rule for priests?  If anything, priests are in a much higher position of power over children because they are invoking the name of God in what they do.  No other profession that interacts with children has that kind of power.  No, I'm sorry your Holy Pontiff, but the "one free bite" rule is not acceptable to us in America.  Let's send that message by adopting a zero-tolerance policy ... force the churches to turn over the names of the people they know have molested children, and send those "priests" to jail, along with anyone who helped cover up those crimes.  And for the misguided priests who think this is somehow related to homosexuals in the church, get a clue:  Just like rape, molestation is not a sexual thing, it's a power thing.  There are priests molesting both girls and boys, apparently in equal numbers.  Keep whatever dumb-ass policies and beliefs you want, and be as hypocritical as you want, but our society needs to send a clear message that if you touch the kids, you're going to jail.  Don't try to deflect blame and responsibility to others.  Headline:  "Church stolen as couple prepares for wedding."  That's a bummer.
4/24: One more observation on the Israel/Palistine thing.  Whenever the U.S. gets involved in redrawing boundaries, bad things result.  Korea is still fighting itself some fifty or so years later.  Vietnam is still not a happy place to be.  All those Latin American countries where the CIA set up puppet governments are still in the economic toilet.  The USSR (which arguably we destroyed) is in economic chaos.  We wrote the Japanese Constitution and set up the post-war government there, and their economy is a disaster.  We screwed around in the middle east 50 years ago setting up Israel, and that has been nothing but a disaster.  Why on earth would we think that we can fix it now?  We're really bad at this.  We should stop.  Look at it this way:  If Indiana got really upset with Ohio and started sending troops across the border, how would we react if Nigeria started sending in troops and redrew the boundaries between Indiana and Ohio?  Do you really think we'd stand for some random country sending in troops to settle a boundary dispute?  Yankees go home.  Hoo rah.
4/23: "We got hosed, Davey.  We got hosed."  Pat "the hypocrite" Robertson doesn't see a conflict between his condemnation of gambling and the fact that he owns racehorses.  The California Supreme Court ruled that local governments may ban gun shows from public property.  Think that violates the Second Amendment?  It doesn't ... the Second Amendment does not apply to states, so states can pass any laws they want restricting firearms.  It's got to take some extra special incompetence to run two trains together headfirst.
4/22: eBay has pulled the A&F shirts, because they violated their policy against racist products. I accidentally saw The Bachelor tonight.  *shudder*  Didn't we learn our lesson from Who Wants To Marry A Millionaire?  Shockingly bad television.  Women everywhere should be protesting this garbage. Today the news reported that Israel is most likely committing war crimes against the Palistinians.  It is clear that Israel, being an armed sovereign state, has the power to defend itself if needed, and if they need support, there are people in the U.S. who are pro-Israeli who can help support the state.  All of that leads me to a revised view of our involvement there:  1) The U.S. should do what we should have done in Vietnam - pull out, and stop military support of either side; 2) Encourage Israel to defend itself against attack, but discourage them from taking over land that was not originally granted to them; 3) Get a non-partisan think-tank together of the country's smartest religious, cultural and political leaders, and try to come up with an intelligent way for the Arabs, Palistinians and Jews to coexist in a limited geography, and propose this as a solution to all three.  If the three reject it, then fine, let themselves blow themselves to smitherines.  But we have no business forcefully (directly or indirectly) redrawing national boundaries. On the heals of his success with the Abercrombie & Fitch protest, my friend Phil, aka Minsoolove, has spun-off Angry Asian Man onto its own domain.  Former molester-priest now frat house advisor.  Cool:  President Bush executes a "J-Turn" at Secret Service training.
4/19: I'm off to San Luis Obispo for the weekend.  All the news channels last night covered the A&F protest in SF ... that was cool, and it's really neat to know the guy who started it all ... Phil, aka Minsoolove, even if he is the unwilling catalyst.  John got booted off Survivor last night.  No surprise - he was the loudest, and most powerful.  I didn't really enjoy the immunity challenge - too many coconuts, not enough substance.  The reward challenge was just one big Snickers commercial, but the kite flying was cool.  I would have been one of those people running along the beach with my kite dragging behind me!  Al DeGuzman, the DeAnza College Terrorist,wrote to the woman who turned him into the cops.  That's weird.  How exactly is it that DeGuzman had hundreds of weapons and bombs in his bedroom and no one in his family thought that was strange?  Robert Blake was arrested yesterday for the murder of his wife.  Is anyone surprised?  I mean, his alibi was that he had to go back to the restaurant to get the handgun he accidentally left there.  Who takes a handgun to a restaurant, and accidentally leaves it there?  There's a guilty verdict waiting to happen.  Top-ten list of funny headlines.
4/18: The A&F thing has just exploded.  Yahoo, Reuters, KTVU, San Jose Merc, SF Chron, ... stuff I probably haven't heard of.  I even had to call in the ACLU for some advice about the protest tonight in SF ... they helped out a lot. Yee haa!  The story made it on the front page of the San Francisco Chronicle!  Good job, Austin! Whit passes along George Costanza's Rules to Working (condensed):  Never walk without a document in your hands.  Use computers to look busy.  Have a messy desk.  Very true, Whit.
4/17: Now a protest has been organized at A&F in SF, Thursday at 5pm.  Holy cow.  You know the shirts I mentioned below?  A&F started selling them last Friday.  The shirts really pissed off my friend Austin, so he called up the San Francisco Chronicleand their business retail reporter is now doing a story about the shirts for the Business section.  The story will hopefully run in tomorrow's Chron.  I talked to the reporter on the phone and gave her my comments, so we'll see if I get quoted.  Don't you at least pay attention to the news when you travel?  You'd have to be a dumbass to travel anywhere near Bethlehem right now.  Nothing like a good, old-fashioned protest against fundamentalist Christians.  Ha!  Phil found some additionalAbercromie shirts.  Downtown parking rates to rise. Why do we accept a a major clothing retailer promoting such blatant racism?  Would it be acceptable if the shirts were about black people?  Give their customer service number a call and let them know that our society has progressed beyond this point.
4/16: Pilot's Wife was on last night - made for TV movie on CBS.  I read the book a few years ago - excellent book.  Skipped the movie, because it was up against Six Feet Under.  Boulder Colorado is voting to ban the outdoor use of indoor couches.  Rednecks are protesting.  The White House is revising history by scrubbing transcripts containing Presidential bloopers.  Shame on them.  The White House should not be covering up the fact that our President is a functional illiterate.  Yesterday the Supreme Court granted cert in the case of Victor's Little Secret v. Victoria's Secret Catalogue, Inc.  A family-owned adult bookstore in Kentucky (Victor's Little Secret) is being sued by Victoria's Secret for violating its trademark.  So why did the Supreme Court take the case?  To determine the issue of whether Victoria's Secret has to prove actual damages.  Victor's Little Secret contends they choose the name not to copy off of Victoria's Secret, but because the store is owned by Victor, and he didn't want his boss to find out about his "little secret."  No kidding.  Walked to work at 7:15 this morning next to some guy practicing his flute.  That's just a bit too early in the morning for flute practicing on a public street.  My voice is slowly recovering.  Very slowly.  The Supreme Court struck down the virtual child pornography law (CPPA) that was the topic of last week's First Monday TV show.  The law was too broad - it encompassed art from Shakespeare (Romeo and Juliet) to Academy Award winning shows (Traffic and American Beauty), as well as graduate level medical books.  The portion of the law banning alteration of pictures (grafting the head of a teenager onto an adult body) was not challenged.
4/15: Former Justice Byron White died today.  He was appointed to the Supreme Court by JFK, after serving in JFK's administration for 2 years.  Kennedy thought White was a liberal, but White was one of the more conservative members of the Supreme Court, writing the dissent in Roe and and the majority in Hardwick.  Today is tax filing day ... you can extend the filing of the return, but not the payment.  Today is my first day on "rotation" in the TMPS group.  What does that mean?  Apparently nothing ... I'm still doing the same stuff I was doing before.
4/14:  Santa Clara County may soon require law firms with county contracts to do pro bono work.  Not only should Cardinal Bernard Law resign from the Catholic Church, but he should really resign from society also.  We don't have any use for him.  Goodbye.  The latest events with Marjorie Knoller  - replacing her attorney, and her old attorney's comments to the press - are not nearly as surprising as the news has made it seem.  A criminal defendant would be crazy to use the same trial attorney for the appeal.  In fact, most trial attorneys will refuse to handle the appeal, because appeals are a very specialized practice of law.  So it's really quite routine for a criminal defendant like Marjorie to replace her trial attorney before she files the appeal.  Nedra Ruiz's comments to the press, "Perhaps my mistakes contributed to a false understanding of the evidence," is not as much an admission that she screwed up as setting the stage for an ineffective assistance of counsel appeal.  But such arguments are very hard to make, and they are rarely successful.  As Jim Hammer said, "The defense has to prove that if a different attorney had done this case, Marjorie Knoller would have been found not guilty, and that's weighed against the enormity of the evidence."  There's no way.
4/13: Got an e-mail from Dr. Mary Campbell Gallagher, author of Scoring High on Bar Exam Essays.  That book really helped me with the bar exam, and I plug it quite a bit on the PrimerI believe that you are performing a great service by explaining to other bar candidates how you prepared for that exam.  Thanks, Mary!  I'm still waiting for an e-mail from Scott Turow ...
4/12: Survivor 5 will be shot this summer on a small island off of Thailand.  That will be the third Survivor to take place on a tropical island.  Last fall, I was sitting at my desk at work, and the phone rang.  I answered it.  It was a lawyer named Walter, calling from a large mid-western city.  He had seen the Bar Exam Primer page, and wanted my assistance.  He had failed the California bar exam numerous times, and was about to take it one last time.  I hate these calls, because it's almost impossible for me to stop my work and help people over the phone.  But this was an older gentleman, and a rather prominent attorney, so I spent some time talking with him on the phone, and followed-up with some e-mails.  I didn't hear from him again after that, and I assumed he failed the exam again.  But then I got an e-mail from him last week:  Thanks to your website and coaching I passed the July 2001 California Bar
Exam. Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!  You're welcome, Walter.  It's my pleasure.  Last night's Survivor was a lesson for future contestants:  The squeaky wheel gets booted.  Rob was such a loud-mouth, blabbering about all his alliances and strategies.  Thank goodness they booted him and not Kelly.  Not that Kelly is all that great - she should probably be next to go.  But Rob was just plain old annoying.
4/11: The house is amazingly quiet with these double-pane windows installed ... it's hard to imagine how noisy it used to be, because now even when the garbage truck comes by it's totally quiet. 
4/10: The news is full of reports of more and more priests being convicted, reported, or accused of being criminals.  Yesterday, one priest committed assault and battery against a reporter covering his criminal molestation trial.  The hypocrisy just amazes me ... here we have a group of people (the Catholic Church, and other religions) purporting to tell the rest of us what is moral and immoral, how to lead a "good" life, and what bad people we are for not doing as they say, and yet they've got a bunch of pedophiles on the loose.  Clean up your own act first.  Neighbor from hell ... this is hilarious.
4/8:  What do Andersen and the Catholic Church have in common?  The lesson that it's not good to hide evidence.  The window replacement finally begins tomorrow ... double pained, aluminum (per condo association requirements), with sound suppression.  Yee-ha!  Andersen finally announces the layoffs ... 25%... mainly from audit.  Glad I didn't accept their job offer.  Dan Gilmore (SJ Merc)'s weblog.  He wrote a good article about stock options today.  Weblogs.com  Phil reports that the Peppermill in Cupertino closed down.  That's sad.  As Phil noted, "I will definitely miss those velour red seats, the weird lighting and mirrors, fake plants, and of course, the (un)attractively dressed waitresses."  The Peppermill and downtown San Jose's Original Joe's are the two most likely venues for mafia deals going down.  Last night's Six Feet Under was a bit of a let-down, but the aunt character was really good.  Before SFU, I watched Sopranos - the most recent one I've seen so far - it was good.
4/7:  Haha - this guy got what he deserved.  What the news report doesn't tell is that when he jumped out of the van, the van was on a bridge, and he fell off the bridge and died.  I don't see how there can be any long-lasting peaceful solution to the current (and ongoing) middle-east problem so long as three of the world's largest religions are disputing ownership of one relatively small piece of land, which is equally holy to all three religions.  But I'm sure that won't stop our government (and President Bush) from doing everything possible to screw up the situation even worse.  The squeegee that saved 6 people on 9/11 enters the Smithsonian. Last night I watched The Dish, a really funny Australian movie about the moon landing.  Good movie.
4/6: “I thought I wanted a career, turns out I just wanted paychecks" Even the President can't figure out if Taiwan is an independent country or not. Armadillo Willy'sjust couldn't quite figure out how to get the cheese on my cheeseburger.  It was just too difficult. Now Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony himself is under investigationfor child molestation.  Our pal Roger, of course, was the guy who refused to turn over the names to the police of the three priests who were being investigated internally for molestation.  Bad decision, Roger.  Interestingly, that decision lead to aFirst Amendment question (lower in the news report). I just don't get it ... these priests, and the church as a whole and religions in general, spends millions of dollars and a ton of effort telling other people how it is bad to sin, how we're all going to hell, and how immoral our society is.  And yet these same people are doing things far worse than what they are condemning others for.  It's not just the Catholic church.  "Let him who is without sin cast the first stone."  John 8:7.  In other words, stop this holier-than-thou bullshit that things going on in society are immoral until you clean up your own act.
4/5: An article about the E.T. re-release flop. There was a big fire on Hamilton Ave @ 3rd Street in Campbell (next to McWhorters) on Thursday morning.  It's now being investigated as an arson.  That's scary. Don't forget to get your free Jamba Juice smoothie. For many years, my law school, Santa Clara University, was a 3rd tierschool.  Not embarrassingly bad, but not exactly prestigious.  This year it got bumped up to 2nd tier!  That is cool, because now I can say I went to a 2nd tier law school.  That puts it ahead of Pepperdine, Southwestern, USF, McGeorge, and poor Golden Gate down in tier 4 (all of which were my back-up law schools).
4/4: Looks like Andersen is splitting off its tax practice from its audit practice, and selling tax to Deloitte.  They are expected to announce a 25% layoff next week.  All that will remain with Andersen is audit.  It is unimaginable to separate audit from tax ... it's the end of Andersen.  Holy cow.  Deloitte and Touche just acquired a "significant" number of Andersen's U.S. partners and staff.  That formally signals the beginning of the end.  Last night's Amazing Race saw the demise of Pastors Cyndi and Russell.  Jesus didn't do as good of a job of guiding them to their destination as they had expressed.  Did you catch Blake's statement at the car-burning shrine?  "God, help these kind people, they know not what they are doing, they are idol worshipers."  Oh my.  And I think some of those cars accidentally got tossed into some guy's trash incinerator. It's now safe for first cousins to marry and have children. Except in parts of the rural south, where your first cousin is also your aunt. Here's the best solution I've heard so far to the Catholic priest pedophile problem. OK - I'll get off my religion soapbox.  But it's been in the news a lot lately. Last night's West Wing was very good ... written by Dee-Dee Meyers in fact.  The last scene with the President calling the aid's elementary school teacher was great.  Reminds me of when the President called the Butter-Ball hotline.  And the cracks about the $300 tax "rebate" ... that was classic West Wing.
4/3: The head of our national H.R. department is trying to make our company a "great place to work" to get us on the Fortune list of "100 Best Companies to Work for in America."  That e-mail came out less than a week after H.R. sent out an e-mail telling us that they are eliminating the tuition reimbursement benefit for employees who already have graduate degrees.  You're not doing much to get my vote. It's just a dumb idea to mix religion (whose?) with the government.  Erecting a seven-foot stone monument containing the Ten Commandments on the state capital is a dumb-ass idea, Governor.  I'm glad the Supreme Court agreed.  Rachel Cate is absolutely right. Then again, we shouldn't have high expectations from a state whose motto is "Sounds good to me."
4/2:  Tonight I get to play judge for the Santa Clara University School of Law 2002 Honors Moot Court.  It's a civil rights / ADA claim.  I did this last year, and had a lot of fun helping the competitors. ... The Moot Court competition was great.  I got to play Justice Wise, on the Supreme Court.  Tonight was a preliminary round for the competition, and I was one of three judges in my courtroom over at the SJ Superior Court.  We heard two arguments, with 4 lawyers per argument.  The contestants (all 2L's at SCU) were really quite good - I wish I had their abilities.
4/1: Happy April Fools!
3/31: Well, it's come time to change web servers again.  I was with Hostsave.comuntil December 2001, when I switched to hijinksdesign.com.  Now I am in need of Frontpage extensions again, and tried to go back to Hostsave, but they haven't responded to my requests for reactivation.  So I found another hosting company called Omnis (use referral number 4y7l8gd), which is actually cheaper than Hostsave, and has basically the exact same features (arguably better features, since they have webmail support).  So tonight I put in the DNS change request with NetSol, so this week the twise.com web and e-mail servers will be all screwed up until the DNS propagates through the internet.  The end goal is to (1) better manage e-mail while minimizing reliance on Yahoo, and (2) make it easier for me to do weblog updates.  Here's updated pictures of the back patio.  Since the last photos a few weeks ago, I added some more plans... that's about it.  You can't see it from the photos, but I also painted the step right outside the sliding glass door.  I painted it off white, which is very white, but I think it looks ok.  I wanted to paint the rest of the concrete (over by the dart board) a wet-darky color, but the guy at Home Depot talked me into this sealant stuff ... it really didn't do what I wanted it to do, but it'll be ok.  Aus, Cindy and Cindy's sister Annie came down for lunch ... we all took Lacie outside to the back patio - she really liked the sun, and standing in the fountain.  I took her out later in the afternoon and she sat with me while I read some court cases for this week's honor's mock trial, which I'm a judge for.  Lacie even made a few new noises to the other birds in the back yard.
3/30: Went to see the 20th anniversary release of E.T. tonight.  There were so few people in the theatre - I was amazed.  I figured more people would go see it.  The first time I saw it, in 1982, I was so scared my mom had to carry me out of the theatre.  This time it wasn't as scary.  This afternoon I played soccer with Derrick and his friends, and another coworker and her family - that was a lot of fun.  Our team lost, which brought back all sorts of memories from 8th grade.  Hopefully we'll do that again soon.  Wow, the Queen Mother died today.  She was old.  Last night we ate at Buca Restaurant on Winchester (not to be confused with Buca De Beppo).  It was really good.  Mom liked the atmosphere.  Home Depot recommended that if I want to get the "wet look" for the back and front concrete, rather than using concrete paint I should use sealer, which is advertised to give the wet look.  So I primed the concrete this morning, and I'll put on the sealer on the back concrete this afternoon to see how it looks.
3/29: I finished painting the concrete on the back step today, and tomorrow I'll start on the larger slab on the patio and the front porch.  This is the coolest billboard ever(on 101 southbound in San Mateo).  Update on the Fightin' Whites.  Last night'sSurvivor was totally rigged.  And I'm not just saying that because my pick to win, Gabriel, was booted.  The reward challenge was rigged so that Maraamu would win.  They producers hid the 14th piece of Rotu's totem pole in a hard-to-find location, so that Rotu would loose the reward challenge, and Maraamu would raid Rotu's camp.  That would give Maraamu the supplies they needed to build a superior distress signal for the immunity challenge.  Thus ending Rotu's winning streak.  Last night I washed down the concrete portion of the patio that is right in front of the sliding glass door, and this morning I applied the concrete primer.  Tomorrow morning I'll put on the concrete paint ... and see how that looks.  My neighbor stained their concrete front porch last summer, and it looks really nice.  Back to the story of Pedro Calderon, the guy who was evading police while driving a stolen BMW, who was shot last week while trying to injure a police officer in Palo Alto. At his funeral this week, one of Pedro's friends, Sharlene Moreno, was quoted in the Mercury News as saying, "They shouldn't have just shot to kill."  Sharlene, the police don't shoot to kill. They shoot to disable.  Aiming a gun is far from an exact science, even for those with extensive weapon training. And when you're protruding from a vehicle that is moving, and your body is about to be pinned up against another car (as was the case of Officer Perryman), aiming the gun at the right body part of the attacker is pretty damn hard to do. Frankly, I think we should be admiring Officer Perryman's ability to stop Pedro from injuring or killing innocent people on Stanford Avenue or law enforcement officers, as he was apparently attempting to do.  Sharlene, the answer to your question does not lie in criticizing the police for their less than idealistic abilities to aim a gun under high stress situations. It lies in getting people like your friend Pedro to stop doing dumb-ass things like stealing a car and evading the police, then then attacking the police in a manner that requires the use deadly force. Place the responsibility on the person whose actions caused the consequences, not on those who are forced to respond as best they can.  I don't normally defend the police, but in this case, I just don't see how the police could have responded any differently. And I resent the family and friends of this criminal who are trying to shift the responsibility for Pedro's actions from Pedro to the police.
3/28: San Jose cop arrested for felony elder fraud after he robs person he is sent to help.   U.S. to seek death penalty against Moussaoui.  Do you think he cares?  If he hadn't been detained by the INS, he'd be dead already ... we're just helping him accomplish his goal.  If we really wanted to punish him, we'd stick him in a very small cell for the rest of his life.  Doh!  My picks to win Amazing Race 2Shola and Doyin, were eliminated last night after getting stuck in the sand and getting lost.  I'm so upset.  Survivor will have a fifth season, at a yet to be determined location.  This is so bad.
3/27: Have you noticed less traffic in the Bay Area?  I caught a little bit of The Courtlast night on ABC.  What a horrid show.  Casting Sally Fields to play a Supreme Court Justice was the first mistake ... she was completely unbelievable.  It's impossible to imagine a Supreme Court justice being as dumb as her character is.  Of course, the reason they have to portray these people dumbed-down  is so that they can explain basic legal concepts ad nausea to the TV viewing public.  This show won't be on very long.  First Monday (which airs on Friday) is better.  I think we should just let Israel and Palistine blow each other up, and not get involved.  There's just not going to be an easy solution to a religious war.  And the U.S. really isn't so good at resolving these types of conflicts anyhow.  Other than to recognize the hypocrisy inherent in the enormous number of killings and huge amount of hatred that take place in the name of organized religion.  My dumb-ass award of the day goes to David W. Wilson, who was charged last week with misdeameanor drunken driving and hit and run.  David is the head of the California Highway Patrol's Protective Services Division (similar to the Secret Service).  We should expect more from our CHP chiefs.
3/26: Today I met with a Special Investigator for the United States Air Force.  He is a former Secret Service agent, who is now retired and works part-time doing background checks for classified government positions.  I've never met someone like that before - it was pretty cool.  I could say why I had to meet with him, but then I'd have to kill you.    How to file a complaint with the FCC.  There's a guy talking about his colonoscopy outside my cube.  Great.  The Weather Channel has this really cooltoolbar application that tells you the weather.
3/25: Here's a funny story about chili cook-off's - good reading for Texans.  The family of Pedro Calderon is protesting his death.  He's the guy who was shot by the police in Palo Alto last week on Stanford Ave.  They are "demanding justice."  Pedro, a convicted criminal, was shot while he was trying to kill a uniformed police officer.  At the time, he was trying to evade the police, and driving a stolen BMW.  He used the stolen BMW to pin the police officer against her patrol car.  She shot him in self defense.  Pedro's mother said, "I don't feel the cop felt threatened."  Really?!  I think any reasonable human being would feel threatened when someone is gunning a car at them and pinning them against another vehicle. Pedro's father is quoted as saying "I just want to know why he died."  Here's the answer:  Your son died because he's a dumb ass.  He used a stolen car to run over a uniformed police officer.  The police officer did what anyone would have done - she fought back in self defense.  Other protesters said that they felt the shooting was a racist act, and would not have happened if Pedro had been white.  Really?!  I think anyone, regardless of race, who intentionally tries to run over a police officer is likely to get shot by that police officer in self defense.  The fact that our friend Pedro was not white does not automatically convert the incident into a racist act.  And calling it a "racist act" diminishes incidents that truly are racist.  Pedro, when you steal a car, evade the police, threaten a peaceful neighborhood and an elementary school with your actions, and try to kill a police officer, you got what you deserved.  If anyone should be protesting, we should be protesting dumb-asses like Pedro who threaten our safety.  Derrick has created apicture of the day page for funny pictures ... today's is especially good.  I'm now using server side includes to update the weblog ... please let me know if you see any problems.
3/24: Watched the Academy Awards from my friend Peter's house tonight.  Halle Berry is only the second African-American to win the best actor/ess category - her speech was very good.  She thanked her lawyer.  Denzel (number three) did a good job too.  The OSH How-To Fair was interesting ... got three free buckets and a few plants.  And a portable bird stand from the bird show, for Lacie.  Today the San Mateo County Expo Center has two good events:  The OSH How-To Fair, and a bird show.  So we're going up for both events.  Academy Awards on tonight!  Audited by ... yup ... PricewaterhouseCoopers
3/23: Tonight Austin and I went over to Campbell's new Stoddards for dinner.  Service was much better this time than last time.  Food was good too.  Updatedprivacy policy.  The Catholic church is now facing racketeering charges for covering up the sexual abuse.  This whole molestation problem is so funny because it just goes to show how hypocritical these organized religions are.  Lacie had a very good day today - she took a bath in the sink this morning (very stressful for all involved, including her).  She spent the rest of the day on her gymnasium.  Happy birthday, mom!  Last night we went to see A Beautiful Mind.  It was a really good movie - it should win best picture on Sunday.
3/22: I've occasionally been asked about my experiences at Santa Clara University School of Law.  Here they are.  Some of this responds to specific questions, and some of it is just general advice.  I went to Santa Clara in the full time program from 1997 through 2000.  The professors and courses have changed quite a bit since I was at Santa Clara, so I won't be commenting much about specific professors or courses.  But I will say that I have a very deep respect for professors Neustadter, Wright (both Eric and Nancy), Armstrong, Russell, Carbone, Uelman, Goda.  I think they are good professors, and good people.  The three years I spent in law school at Santa Clara were some of the best years of my life.  The learning experience, both learning how to "think like a lawyer" and the substantive material itself, was a wonderful experience.  The people could not have been better classmates, friends, and colleagues.  The professors really do care about the students, and will do anything they can to help the students out.  The administration is not the best - many think Dean Player is ineffective, and I tend to agree.  But the Law Career Services department, law records office, and student services departments are all very well run, and the people in those departments are wonderful people.  I used Lexis and Westlaw for research so I didn't spend much time in the library, but I never heard of any instances of books being stolen or any sort of unprofessionalism on the part of the students.  Similarly, I always had positive experiences in sharing notes and collaborating with students, and catching each other up when we had to miss class.  In terms of the professors, I think pre-law students have a fear that the instructors will be very scary and make life hell.  In general, the professors want to make your life in law school a positive experience, and will go out of their way to help you.  Many of my professors became close personal friends of mine.  The fear comes up in class, when you get called on.  Everyone has that fear of not being prepared, of not knowing the right answer, etc.  Some professors are heavy users of the socratic method, others just lecture and don't ask questions.  For the professors who are intimidating in that they do use the socratic method, you can identify who those professors are early on, and learn to be prepared for that class.  Also, the fear of the "wrong answer" goes away quickly ... they aren't looking for the right answer - they're looking for your reasoning and analysis.  Your classmates won't look down on you for not having the right answer, as long as you have a well thought out answer.  But if you are not prepared for class, you will feel like a fool.  Be prepared.  Do your reading, and brief the cases (this gets much easier as time goes on).  In terms of returning students and part-time (full time working) students, they are a minority to be sure - the majority of the law students are straight out of undergrad.  Since I was not a returning/part-time student, I can't address exactly what goes on for these students, but I took a lot of evening classes with the part-timers, and they seemed to be doing just fine.  If I was in this category and considering law school, I would definitely ask the law school to put me in touch with a current student or alumni from this category.  In terms of preparation for law school, my poli sci major (and knowledge of how to brief cases) gave me an advantage for about a week, and then everyone is evened out.  No one really has a true advantage coming into law school, and there is nothing that I recommend pre-law students to do prepare for law school, other than becoming as familiar as you can with the processes and what to expect.  Take a nice vacation.  Read a few fun books.  Do something relaxing.  That's what I recommend.  If you overprepare before it even starts, you risk burn-out.  In terms of comparing SCU to other schools, I didn't go or even consider any other school so I really can't make that comparison very well.  But SCU is not Stanford.  It is not Boalt.  There will be a difference in education levels.  But that's not really a surprise.  In terms of other schools at the same level (McGeorge, Golden Gate, USF, etc.), I think Santa Clara is much better than those schools.  But that's just my biased opinion.  First Year  The first semester is traumatic for everyone.  You're learning a new way of thinking, and entering what you perceive to be a very difficult and stressful process.  It's a hard few months.  There are a number of books that have been written which address the adjustment law students must make, and I recommend that all pre-law students get and read at least one of these books, to help prepare for the impact of the first semester.  As far as SCU goes, all first year students are assigned to a section, and you will spend the entire year in that section.  Everyone in that section takes essentially the same classes, so you get to know your section-mates very well.  Some of my section-mates have become life-long friends.  We all helped each other out during finals, and in studying for the bar.  How you relate to your section-mates will have a large impact on your success in law school and afterwards.  Switching sections is not allowed.  Part time students are also put in sections, but there are generally only one or two part-time sections.  After the first year, the section classification disappears.  I did not work during my first semester, but after the first semester I found that I had enough spare time that I could work about 10 hours a week, and I did for the remainder of law school.  Having said that, I did not do mock trial or law review - if I had, I doubt I would have been able to work.  There is some pressure in your first year to find a law-related job that first summer, but that is almost impossible.  Unless you have connections, it's unlikely to happen for all but the best students.  Rather than even try to find a "real" job, I headed to Hong Kong for the SCU study-abroad program.  Like most 1L's, I doubted my ability to stay in law school, and feared getting booted out.  SCU boots very few students out.  A number of students (i.e. 3-5 from each section) don't return by 2L, but many of those are people who voluntarily drop out - either for financial, personal, family reasons, or for grades.  One or two from each section are asked not to come back.  They are by far the exception, and my personal belief is that you have to really be misguided to get that bad of grades at SCU.  The law school certainly does everything it can (and professors too) to try to keep those people, and give them the support they need.   Second Year  In the second year I focused on what electives to take.  Rather than specialize in IP or another field, I choose to get a general, broad legal education, because I was not certain what field of law I would be practicing in after law school.  I'm very glad I did a broad-based education, because now I know a little bit about everything, which is enough for me to be able to do issue spotting and referrals.  That's very useful in helping family members and friends with legal problems, and for doing pro bono legal work.  My GPA wasn't stellar after 1L, so I choose electives in my 2L and 3L that I knew I would enjoy, and therefore I studied more and my GPA improved tremendously.  During my 2L summer, I was not able to find a job with a law firm, so I clerked with Bay Area Legal Aid, and had a wonderful and very educational experience there.  Yes, clerking for a law firm in the 2L summer is an important way to get your foot in the door for post-law school employment.  But if that option is not open to you, make the most of it, and do something interesting and educational.  Third Year  The third year is the home-run, and time to focus on finding a job after law school.  It is also the time to finish taking any bar-prep courses that you need, and any last electives.  I also went through the OCI (On Campus Interview) process at the beginning of 3L.  Generally OCI's are only for the top 25% of the class, but I was fortunate enough to be in my 3L when the economy was booming, so I was able to get a number of interviews.  PricewaterhouseCoopers interviewed me and offered me a job, and that's how I got my first post-law school job.  Once the economy cooled off, OCI's weren't quite as successful or lucrative of a means of finding jobs.  But be prepared to go through OCI's right after 2L and 3L starts - work on your resume during the summer, so that you have it ready to go.
3/21: If you watch the video of the verdicts, you will learn that as most people suspected, it was Count #1 (second degree murder) that wasn't decided until today.  During the reading of the verdicts, Nedra The Amazing Wonder Attorney seemed to take about five pages of notes... what was she writing?  The appeal?  Sheesh.  Now at least Marjorie and Robert will get to spend some time with their adopted son.  In a letter from Robert to his adopted Aryan Brotherhood son, he wrote "Neighbors be damned.  If they don't like living in the building with her, they can move."  Well, Rob, look who's moving now.  Dog Mauling Case Verdicts!  Marjorie Knoller:  Owning a mischievous animal (1-3 yrs): GUILTY!  Involuntary manslaughter (2-4 yrs): GUILTY!  Second Degree Murder (15 yrs-life): GUILTY!  Robert Noel:  Owning a mischievous animal (1-3 yrs): GUILTY!  Involuntary manslaughter (2-4 yrs): GUILTY!  Those of you who have been reading my weblog for a while know that I think Marjorie and Robert should be found guilty on all charges.  The defendants weren't very sympathetic, and their attorneys didn't help.  Survivor was interesting last night - the teams got mixed up, so that brought out some new personalities.  Maraamu still sucks - no surprise.  Amazing Race was predictable - Gutsy Granny's got booted.  How did they end up as the only team going up to NYC to get to Africa?  Oh well.  They gave it a really good shot, and they should be VERY proud.  I spent most of the day at one of my client's offices.  They aren't really a tech company, which is rare these days in this area.  They make a product that a large number of people have a use for (it goes in your mouth).  I learned how they make the product, and distribute it around the world - very interesting stuff.  Happy first day of Spring!  Yea!  Here's aplant zone hardiness map.  Go plant something.  And Amazing Race and Survivor are on tonight!  What a great way to celebrate spring.  On Amazing Race, the previews say that the Gutsy Granny's oversleep their departure time, which is really sad.  I think they'll be booted tonight.  OTOH, they've made it past 2 eliminations already, which is probably further than they thought they would make it.  They should be proud.  This Nedra Ruiz woman (Knoller's attorney) is a NUT!  If I were her, I would be embarassed.  I wonder where Knoller dug this woman up?  She went to Hastings, and works up in SF.  From the Mercury:  Nedra Ruiz just doesn't get it. She may be the first lawyer in history to try a case involving a fatal dog mauling by behaving like a rabid animal. Several times during her defense, she howled and almost foamed at the mouth. She got down on all fours in front of the jury. She had to be muzzled by the judge.  And she made no sense.  Ha!  What a good article.
3/19: I went to law school with John Thompson, who started his own law practice.  Speaking of faces ... draw your own here.  Strange faces in the WTC smoke?  Oh look, there is a professional services firm with less clue about morale than PricewaterhouseCoopers:  Baker & McKenzie has eliminated vacation and sick time.  The jury is expected to get the dog mauling case sometime today.  I wonder how long it will take them to reach a verdict?  I think it would take me about 30 minutes.
3/18: My next PDA and cell phone will be a Handspring Treo.  Text-based pong.  I got my car back, after a two-and-a-half week absence.  The total repair bill came to a whopping $6,300, plus $700 for the rental car, or $7,000 total. Insurance paid all of that except for the $500 deductible, which I paid. They said if there had been just a little bit more damage, they probably would have totaled the car.  "Instead of 'guilty by reason of insanity,' the jury should declare Andrea Yates 'guilty by reason of drowning five children in a bathtub'." -- The Onion  My friend Derrick put up a picture of the World Trade Center lightdisplay.
3/16: Banana Leaf was good last night, but not the best.  Joe, Kenny and I went toStacks this morning for brunch, and that was delicious.  Kazoo Sushi tonight.  OK, here are the long awaited patio pictures.  The long-term strategy is to get the ivy to grow around the edges of the patio, and a combination of ivy and other vine-type plants going up the walls in a somewhat controlled fashion.  I haven't yet planted anything in the hanging baskets or some of the pots on the ground.  Here's a list of the plants I have put in so far:  Irish moss (ground cover), Hedera helix needlepoint & english (Ivy), Baby tears (ground cover), Ice plant (potted), Gazania - trailing (potted), Improved meyer lemon tree, Pink bower vine (potted).  I extended the drip irrigation system from the back yard, through the furnace closet, through the garage, and to the front of the house where I have a new plant (replacing one that died this winter from lack of water).  It's about 50 feet of hose, but the water pressure seems to support it.  I think the whole system is now up to twenty or so drip points.
3/15: The official newspaper of the Boston Archdiocese is recommending an end to the Catholic Church's celibacy policy, in an effort to curb the molestation problem that priests seem to suffer from.  In related news, 224 counts of molestation weredropped against Patrick O'Shea because the statute of limitations had run.  Maybe these priests and the Catholic Church needs to stop being hypocritical and learn to behave according to what they are preaching?  I get my car back on Monday.  It took two and a half weeks to repair it from the accident.  Andrea Yates will spend the next 40 years of her life in prison.  That sounds good.  I doubt even if they had sentenced her to death that she would have actually been executed - the appeals on her mental state would have taken too long, and may have overturned the sentence anyhow.  Next up, Knoller and Noel.  Tonight we're taking our friend Joe from Seattle out to my favorite restaurant, Banana Leaf, at Ranch 99 in Milpitas.  Yummmmy.  Today is the corporate tax filing deadline, which makes it a very busy day for those of us in the tax business.  I'm so glad I didn't take the job Andersen offered me.
3/14: I've ventured in to the area of growing my own food, with the purchase of alemon tree and some herbs for the back patio.  I think I'm going to wait to plant the tree until after the windows get replaced (hopefully next week), so that it doesn't get damaged by the construction.  Andersen just got charged with obstruction of justice.  Holy cow.  Terror widows.  Last night's Survivor was ho-hum.  No surprise that Maraamu lost another reward and immunity challenge - that team has no cohesiveness and strength.  Rotu is such a strong team, that after the merger they'll vote off any remaining Maraamus.  My prediction for Gabriel to win stands.  I'll put up the official Amazing Race 2 review below.  Amazing Race was really good last night.  The Gutsy Grandma's have no chance of winning, they're just clinging on to 2nd to last place.  But boy are they clinging!  I think they'll be the next to get booted.  My picks to win, Shola and Doyin, are still in first place, and despite some injuries, still going strong.  I'm going to make another prediction:  By next Monday, Andersen will file for bankruptcy to protect its partners from liability.  So far they have denied that they are planning to do this, but based upon the Justice Dept's actions and the failed merger attempts with E&Y and D&T, that's my prediction.
3/13: Philip Hwang, who used to be my boss at Bay Area Legal Aid, is one of the attorneys, along with the ACLU, who is suing the U.S. government on behalf of the luggage screeners who are being fired because of their immigration status.  Phil's a really neat person.  I learned a lot from Phil.  Amazing Race is on again tonight, followed by Survivor!  The INS accidentally issued visa approval letters this week to two of the (dead) 9/11 hijackers.  What a bunch of dumb asses.  I took Lacie to the vet this morning, and he removed the cast, x-rayed her foot, and determined the bone had 100% heeled.  It did regrow at a bit of an angle, but when she remolts her bones in about 6 months, the bone will regrow straight.  Her muscle in the formerly injured leg is a bit atrophied (normal), so we are limiting her range of movement for a few days by putting her in the carrier cage.  She should be back to normal in one week.
3/12: A Texas jury agreed that Andrea Yates is guilty of killing her children.  All the other links to the Wise and Brumbaugh genealogy file seem to be broken, so here'sthe link.  Amazing Race was as good as I expected last night.  The last 15 minutes were tense as the seniors and the mom/daughter team were racing for the last position.  I expected the seniors to loose, but they won!  I felt so bad for the mom ... she seemed crushed, but her daughter handled it so well, much better than last season's Emily.  So far I'm rooting for Shola and Doyin.
3/11: After nine years of being a registered Libertarian, I've switched my voter registration (online!) to independent.  The libertarians just weren't doing it for me any more.  Can you figure out what's wrong with this picture?  Takes about 30 seconds to figure out out... The new season of Amazing Race starts tonight at 10pm.  None of the contestants really capture my attention, but we'll see tonight when it starts.  Work is so boring today.  None of the projects I'm working on are even slightly interesting.  Looks like the Big-5 will soon be the Big-4.  Ok, obviously I've done some moving-around of stuff.  Etc. is being beefed up, and the travel reviews page and reality TV reviews page are getting integrated into Etc.  Here's the preface off of the old reality TV shows page:
3/10: To quote Jules, "Holy Shit."  The 9/11 show was really amazing.  No doubt that footage ranks up there with the footage of the Kennedy assassination and the Challenger explosion as the most powerful footage of a live event ever shown on T.V.  The story was written and edited really well.  The story was told through the eyes of the two French cameramen who were on scene on 9/11.  They were documenting the life of Tony, a rookie fireman.  The first 30 minutes was background, presented chronologically, starting in the summer of 2001, and the story of Tony.  The rest of the show was minute by minute, footage of what was going on within the WTC, and poor Tony who was left back at the firehouse.  Looking at the firemen (they were all men) in the WTC lobby, I don't think they had a clue what to do.  The walk up the stairs would have taken 80+ minutes to get to the scene.  Impossible.  The look on their faces is that of impossibility.  And during all of that, there is intermittent crashing sounds.  Very loud crashing.  Those are bodies, landing on the floor.  The most memorable quote, which I think we all wondered 6 months ago, was "How bad must it be up there that the better option is to jump."  It was really an amazing show.  Gretchen wrote in to tell me about No Boundaries, a reality TV show on WB with roughly the same premise as Amazing Race.  Her nephew Mattis one of the contestants!   Wow - I kinda sorta know someone famous!  I'll be sure and check out the show.   Tomorrow is the 6-month anniversary of 9/11.  Tonight is the special 9/11 show on ... NBC I think.  It's footage that was taken inside the WTC during the collapse.  The SF Chron said the footage contains audible sounds of people hitting the ground after jumping out of windows.  Some of my friends are watching it, some aren't.  I definitely plan to. This weekend on CNN they replayed some of the footage of the planes hitting the towers, that really hasn't been on TV at all since a week or two after the attack.  My personal theory is that the airlines pressured the networks to stop showing the footage for fear the replays would completely wipe out all airplane travel.  Woke up this morning in Tahoe to a small blizzard outside my window.  It obscured Lake Tahoe, which was only 20 feet away from our cabin.  After breakfast we left the cabin in a 5-car caravan headed home.  After two hours of "driving", we had gone two miles.  Traffic was that bad.  Finally it cleared up, and we made better time, getting home in about 7 hours.  Despite the snow, we lucked out and chains were not required.
3/9: The Enron bankruptcy makes me wonder what it is that Enron did in the first place.  The company has gone belly-up, and yet my electricity and natural gas both work just fine.  We aren't hearing about any crises in the power-delivery business.  No problems getting the lights to work.  Not even a hint that we are facing the type of power shortage that we faced a year ago.  So what exactly is it that Enron did that was so vital to the power grid?  Maybe the employees and investors who sunk their millions of dollars into Enron stock should have questioned that before they lost all their dough.  Then maybe they wouldn't have put all their eggs in that basket.  We made it up to Tahoe just fine, and went skiing today - that was fun, although not quite as much fun as my December ski trip to Utah because the skis I used today weren't as good as the ones I used in Utah, and the place was much more crowded.   So the 9/11 victims families are going to get nearly $2 million in government grants.  On top of the charitable donations.  That's good - you can't begrudge them that, and the families will need the money to make up for the loss of the income.  But what happens the next time 3,000 people die in an attack?  What if it's 10,000?  100,000?  Where will the money come from?  Already the Oklahoma City bombing victims are asking for their fair share, as well they should.  Where will all this money (billions and billions) come from?
3/8: I'm going skiing this weekend with a group of friends, so no more comments until Monday.  Bye!  OK, let's review:  When you are going to a job interview, find out what style the office wears (business formal / business casual / casual) and match your wardrobe accordingly.  I'm doing intern recruiting today.  (that means "free fancy lunch" for Travis)  Last night's Survivor was good!  Typical second-episode food challenge, but with a twist - no more spin the wheel, which was getting boring.  That fish they had to eat was absolutely disgusting.  I had to look away.  I felt bad that Mom got booted, but she was really being a pain in the ass with all her yammering.  I was serious yesterday when I said that this woman should be excused from the human race.  The story made national news last night and today.  She was DUI and on extacy, when she did a hit-n-run, and left the guy to bleed to death in her windshield in her garage.  She came out and apologized to him several times while he died, over a two day period.  No, I'm sorry, put her through a trial, and when she's found guilty, just hang her right there.  She's no longer needed in our society.
3/7: Can't wait until the HP-Compaq proxy vote is done so the newspaper doesn't have these big full-page ads in it any more.  Here's a place you can vent your frustration about the vote.  This woman should be excused from the human race.  We no longer have a need for her existence.  Goodbye!
3/6: My friend and coworker Derrick now has his website up and running.  Way to go D!  Gave blood today.  The cookies weren't that great.  Last night we moved all of Lacie's perches and food bowls back up to the normal height.  She had some difficulty getting used to the change, but she seems to be doing just fine now.  Her mobility is really quite good.  Yea!  Gary Condit didn't get reelected!  It would have been so embarrassing for him to have been arrested for the murder of Chandra Levy while he's sitting on the floor of Congress.  Who were the nuts who voted for Condit?  What were they thinking?  Every day I review the news stories which list my company in them, and it's amazing how many news releases these days are about companies replacing Andersen with PwC.  I guess that's good for us.  Andersen is very small in San Jose, so I doubt my office will see much effect of that.I'm giving blood today at my company's blood drive.  Mainly for the free cookies afterwords.  I'm removing the Palm OS Notepad files from the website, because they were very rarely if ever viewed.  If you want copies of any of these, let me know and I'll be happy to e-mail them to you:  Blue Book Citations, Hearsay Rule & Exceptions, U.S. Constitution, California Franchise Tax Board EFT Tax Type Codes, Corporate Tax Codes - Frequently Used Sections Summary, Corporate Tax Codes - Reorganization Summary, Depreciation (MACRS), IRS Filing Addresses, Stock Option Guide, Tax Code (U.S.C. 26) Table of Contents, Westlaw Tax Databases, Postal Abbreviations, Restaurant Tip Calculator.
3/5: Lacie is doing really well.  Last night she was signing along with Mix 106.5, and using her leg as if it wasn't broken.  The only thing that inhibits her is the cast.  She is also very clearly flexing her claw as much as she can given the limitations the cast has, so her nerve in her leg is clearly doing better.  In another week or so we'll take her back to the vet and possibly have the cast removed for good.  My friend Leefinally got his website back up and running.  Yea, Lee!  Don't forget to vote today!
3/4: I came home from work early today because I was feeling really bad.  I'll make some chicken soup before I go to bed.  I'm not sure why people do that, but we'll see if it works.  Tonight I had to go to Lawyer's In The Library though, since they don't have substitute lawyers.  There were so many people there - this was the first time we've had to turn people away.  Usual range of problems - employment, contracts, housing, etc.  The forecast for rain this week has changed to "cloudy" - yea.  Tax break for the owners of the famous 9/11 flag?
3/3: I'm getting a cold.  Today was such a nice day, I spent most of it working on the back patio.  I finished installing the drip watering system.  The system now provides irrigation for around 20 groups of plants.  I also removed three sections of bricks from the patio, and the underlying sand, filled the holes with dirt, and planted plants in them.  One of the holes is pretty big, so I'm going to put some sort of small tree or shrub in there.  I promise, photos coming soon.
3/2: Tonight Paul and I ate at the new Stoddard's in Campbell.  It was uneventful.  The food took forever to come out - they served one of our dishes to someone else, so we had to wait for them to re-cook one dish.  I think it was Paul's, because mine seemed kind of stale.  The service wasn't very good either.  I'll chalk it up to being a new restaurant and still working out the kinks.  The place was pretty full though - they're getting a lot of customers.  My response to Minsoolove's 3/2/02 comment about Jay Leno's clearly racist joke that speed skater Kim Dong-sung "was so mad he went home and kicked the dog, and then ate him:"    You're right, Leno never would have made that joke about blacks or Africa.  But the reason he would not have made the joke about blacks is not so much about respect (I have my doubts that Leno respects blacks any more than he respects Asians), but because blacks have a forty year history of mobilizing against that type of racism, and they are very good at fighting back against it a variety of avenues from grass-roots efforts to the mainstream media.  If Leno had made that comment about blacks, Jesse Jackson and dozens of other black leaders would have been on television the next day fighting back (as well they should).  Asians have yet to mobilize in that way.  There are no leaders in the Asian community to mobilize the people and run a well-coordinated grass-roots and media response.  And I see a lot of apathy in the Asian community that would prevent that from being terribly successful.  Until that happens, Leno's type of comments will continue.  Why have we not seen leaders come forward in the Asian community, as we did in the black community 40 years ago?  Maybe because the racism is too subtle these days.  Blacks had it really hard.  They were oppressed in ways minorities of all types today cannot remember.  That immense economic and physical oppression gave them something to rally behind, and they did.  The closest thing Asians have had to that is Wen Ho Lee.  And that's peanuts.  That's true about all of the minority groups (racial and otherwise) today.  The apathy is high, because there isn't a high enough degree of oppression to cause people to feel the need to react in the strong ways that we saw forty years ago. I had a very productive day with the back patio area.  I went to Home Depot and bought two planter boxes, and put some ivy plants in them.  I also got a second large glazed pot and put some ivy in that.  I screwed trellises into the fence above the planter boxes for the ivy to grow up the wall.  I know ivy isn't good for wood, but it's really the only thing I can do with that space to make it look a little more lively.  At Target I found a nice concrete birdfeeder for $60 that I placed on top of the drain.  Water can still drain off the patio into the drain, but at least it doesn't look nearly as ugly as it used to.  The next project will be to get a replacement climbing plant for the one that I'm about to declare dead in one of the pots, and two tall plants for the two empty pots.  Once spring arrives, I'll put flowers in the five hanging moss baskets that I got at Home Depot last weekend.  I'll post a picture on here soon of what it looks like.  Oh, and this evening, for about $25, I installed the majority of my new 15-station drip watering system.  I'll finish tomorrow.  The way it works is really quite slick. In other good news, the wireless LAN we put in a few months ago is working so well, I am able to surf the web and put this entry onto my website from the back patio, where I am right now.  That's nifty.  This season's Survivor is so much better than the previous season ... probably the previous two seasons.  The people have more character, and the location is amazing!!  I finished watching the premier tonight.  Did you know (most) people have seven holes in their head?  The things you learn from that show...
3/1: The dual-pane window replacement will begin in about two weeks ... that means the utility bills will be lower, and more importantly, the noise will be reduced.  We choose to have all 11 windows replaced, plus the sliding-glass door, with dual-pane insulated windows with noise-reduction technology (god only knows what that is).  There were a few different installation methods, which ranged in price from $6,000 up to $15,000.  We went with the $6,000 "collapse and remove" method.  That involves breaking the glass out of the window, collapsing the aluminum frame inwards, and removing it.  The replacement window gets inserted into the hole, and ... well ... I'm not sure what happens after that.  It is now apparent that I do have an injury from the car accident. My left forearm is getting worse and worse. Yesterday I only noticed it once, but today whenever I clench my fist, or use my index or middle finger to type, my tendon in my arm hurts. That is the arm I was driving with, and had to use to fight with the steering wheel when I was trying to control the car. I called a friend of mine who is a doctor, and he said I probably strained my tendon. The pain isn't bad, it's just uncomfortable. The best Halloween costume ever.  Survivor got off to a good start last night.  I was watching it while doing something else, so I taped it, and I'm going to rewatch it tonight.  The location looks wonderful, and the people seem to have more character than Survivor III.  Last night I started planting some ivy and ground cover in the back patio.  My goal is to make the back patio look better than it did last year (that won't be hard).  I think I will continue with the ivy and ground cover this weekend, as well as remove some tree limbs that are dangling over the fence.  (I also replaced the two back yard light fixtures this week, which used to be these ugly white globe things, and now are spiffy Home Depot fixtures with energy-efficient fluorescent bulbs).
2/28: Lacie Update:  Kenny took her to the vet this morning, and the vet changed her bandage to a tighter one (so she'll walk funny for a few days until she gets used to it).  He didn't take an x-ray.  We'll take her back in 2 weeks, and then he'll x-ray her and possibly remove the bandage for good.  She hasn't been drinking her calcium supplement, so we have to now force feed it to her.  Car update:  I took it in for the estimate this morning, and they went ahead and kept it.  Around $3k of known damage, possibly more hidden.  It'll take them 2 weeks to fix it, and in the meantime I'll be driving a white, 4-door Ford thing.  The convictions of the police officers in the Louima torture case were overturned.  That's a shame.  Apparently some of the convictions were overturned because of one of the lawyers had a conflict of interest. Survivor IV starts tonight!  Woo hoo!
2/27: There's an election next Tuesday.  Here's a good voter's guide to help you decide who to vote for.  If you're like me and you always vote absentee, you can now request a "permanent absentee ballot application" by checking a box on the absentee ballot.  That saves you the trouble of sending in the application every single election.  "What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?" Adobe Acrobat Reader for the Palm OSToday did not get off to a good start.  I was on Hwy 17 northbound, when two motorcyclists cut across my lane from the lane on my left, through my lane, to the lane on the right.  They were going fast, and changing lanes without a turnsignal.  I had to swerve into the right lane to avoid them, but swerved too hard and lost control.  My car spun 180 degrees, and slammed against the guardrail on the left side of the freeway.  My door was pinned against the guardrail, so a passer-by stopped and called 911, and helped me get out of my car.  I inspected the car, and it looked drivable, so I pulled it up just a few feet and away from the guardrail.  A few minutes later, the CHP arrived, stopped traffic on Hwy 17 so I could turn around, and then we both pulled over.  There was no need to take a report since I was the only person involved (thank goodness there were no cars to my right, otherwise I would have taken them out).  I called my car insurance (GEICO), and they are handling the claim.  I have rental car reimbursement, thankfully.  Tomorrow morning I'll take the car to the fix-it place for them to get their estimate.  The damage is mainly in the rear driver's side, but it looks like about $3,000 or so (based on my prior accidents).  I know my rates will go up, but the damage is pretty bad, so I have to use insurance.  It was sheer luck that there weren't any other cars around me when that happened, otherwise I definitely would have hit other people as I spun through the right-hand lane.  The car is drivable though, and I wasn't injured... the collision against the guardrail was at a relatively speed because I had been braking during the spinning.  Kenny told me that as he listened to 106.5 this morning, he heard them give a traffic report for a "solo spin out on Hwy 17 north" ... that was me!  I made it on the radio.  I was supposed to take Lacie to the vet for her new x-ray and cast change, but that's been delayed to tomorrow morning.
2/26: Pet ID microchips have been adapted for humans.  Underage drinking accounts for 25% of all alcohol sales.  Is it any wonder the alcohol companies want to encourage teenage drinking?
2/24: I cleaned up the back patio today.  That was exciting.  Maybe next weekend I'll go to Home Depot and start buying plants to put back there.
2/23: The vet gave Lacie a clean bill of health yesterday - the leg looks like it should be at this point, and all her blood tests came back fine (except for high cholesterol).  Next Wednesday we'll take her back for her splint to be changed.  Yesterday's trip to Fresno was something of a fiasco.  Getting there was fine, and the recruiting event at CSU Fresno was fine, but getting home was an unmitigated disaster.  Hwy 99 is the north/south freeway that connects Fresno with the rest of the world.  Leaving Fresno, I arbitrarily choose southbound Hwy 99 because for some reason that seemed logical.  120 miles later, when I pulled over to get more gas, we realized something was amiss when we saw signs that said "Fresno - 120 miles".  It took about 10 minutes to figure out that we were south of Fresno, when we wanted to be north.  So 120 miles later (at about 2 a.m.) we pass through Fresno yet again, and then we're on our way in the right direction.  I finally get home at 4 a.m.  Oh, and somewhere in the middle of nowhere between Fresno and San Jose I got pulled over for speeding, but the guy was on DUI patrol so he let us go without a ticket.  From the little that I saw of Fresno, it seems to have one main street - Shaw Ave - with more restaurants per block than any other city I've ever seen.  We choose the Black Angus, near the hotel and CSU Fresno.
2/22: I'm off to Fresno for recruiting.  Thanks to everyone over ontalkinbroadway.com who voted me as being cute.  The fosse.com domain was accidentally redirecting to my site, so lots of people saw my page, and wondered who the heck I am.  One person said:  You know it's a slow day at work when ... you find yourself incredibly entertained by Travis' page for Lacie, his pet parrot.  You also know it's a slow day at work when you have enough time to create a web page for your pet parrot Lacie.  They also said I must be the world's first 12 year old lawyer.  Hmmm.  Want to hear something funny about Enron?  Call this number:  1-510-809-4466.  It's a voice mail system that is really funny.  Condoleezza Rice, our National Security Advisor, was on Chevron's Board of Directors for many years, and Chevron named a 150,000 ton double-hulled oil tanker after her, the S.S. Condoleezza Rice.  Lacie returns to the vet late today for a brief check-up.  We'll know her status tomorrow.  She has been a very active bird, eating very well, pooping just fine, and generally being a very happy bird.  All signs point to her recovering just fine.  I think "protesting" should be a new Winter Olympic sport.  I don't know anything about short-track speed skating other than what I saw in the past 7 days, but my bet is that if the rolls were reversed between Ohno and Kim (i.e. Ohno had blocked Kim from crossing the finish line first), that Ohno would NOT have been disqualified as Kim was.  Ohno was the crowd favorite, and I don't think the judges can dismiss that in their judging.  And then last night!  I felt so bad for Kwan, with all the hype around her and all the money hanging on her getting a gold, but she just could not compete with Hughes... she was wonderful.  I think this shows the danger of putting so much financial pressure on a figure skater like Kwan.  But Hughes genuinely deserved to win.  The Russians should stop protesting and just go home. 
2/21: Study Finds Utah Leads Nation in Antidepressant Use  Andrea Yates husband has created a website, yateskids.org, dedicated to the children his wife killed.  West Virginia is considering a mandatory seat-belt law.  With an exception for fat people.  Any doubt remaining that this is a backwards state?
2/20: Here's an article on how lawyers play a role in keeping the Olympics running smoothly, and how lawyers are lining up to go after billions of dollars from soon-to-be-former-big-5-firm Andersen.  From the "40 Unwritten Rules to Live By": It is more important to have good health insurance than good health.  Most people are operating on a very condensed version of the 10 Commandments: The part about murder.
2/19: The Peruvian government denied Lori Berenson a pardon.  She has been convicted and sentenced to 20 years in a Peru prison for being a terrorist.  Americans are of course outraged that this young woman would be considered a terrorist.  I don't see much of a difference between her situation and that of John Walker Lindh.  Both were involved with terrorist groups.  Both were accused (at least initially) of treason.  Both were (are being) tried by military courts.  Neither denounced the terrorist group they were affiliated with.  Both were in the foreign country under suspicious circumstances.  What about Lori Berenson makes her not a terrorist, but makes John Walker Lindh a terrorist?  Opening statements began today in the Diane Whipple murder case.  Whipple died after a five-minute attack, as she was crawling into her apartment, covered in blood, her clothes ripped off her body, and her throat ripped out of her neck.  Knoller was hiding in her apartment, and never called 911.  The maximum possible 15 year sentence for Knoller and 4 year sentence for Noel isn't nearly long or painful enough.  Here's the Yahoo! News Full Coverage area for the Diane Whipple murder case.  It's sad that they had to have a hearing to decide if Whipple's partner Sharon Smith could be present in court for the trial.  And here's the dogbitelaw.com site that has become so popular and provides a lot of great information, including this background paragraph:  On January 26, 2001, shortly after 4:00 PM, San Francisco police and paramedics responded to calls from a Pacific Heights apartment building, and found a naked woman lying in blood, barely alive, her body bitten everywhere, bloody handprints covering the walls, and blood extending 4 feet up the walls and 30 feet up the hallway. Bits of clothing littered the floor, and a blood-soaked green nylon leash for a dog was lying nearby. The victim was Diane Whipple. She died that night at 8:55 p.m. at San Francisco General Hospital.  California law provides for strict liability for dog bites.  In other words, no "one free bite" here.  In other, but unrelated, animal news:  Lacie likes sleeping and perching on the highest perch in her cage, which last night was Cocoman.  So I moved up another perch about an inch higher than Cocoman, and she slept on that.  She seems to be doing just fine - her cast lets her use her left leg for some support and climbing, but we need to keep that to a minimum.  My company has announced its intention to become listed on Fortune's 100 Best Companies to Work For list.  Of the Big-5 firms, Deloitte and Touche and Ernst & Young are the only two on the list.  Sorry to say, but my prediction is that PwC will not be on that list in the near future.
2/18: We brought Lacie home from the vet today.  The vet and their staff said she is doing really well - eating and pooping a lot, and acting like a healthy bird.  She runs all over her cage (even though we have all the perches set very low), and chirps a lot.  She is able to put some weight on her left leg, but the bandage (same color as her feathers!) prevents her from being able to bend the leg or grip with her claw.  The vet said her medical diagnosis is a fracture-L metatarsus.  For the past week, she was given Neo-Calglucon Syrup to give her extra calcium for rebuilding her bone.  The vet gave us an ounce of the stuff to give to her at home - 1 part medicine, 3 parts water.  She doesn't drink much water though, so we'll see how much of it she actually ingests.  We'll take her back to the vet on Friday for a check-up, and then she'll have a bandage change next week.  She's spending a lot of time standing on her Cocoman, which is the highest point in the cage.  I added her swing to the cage, but she hasn't figured out how to use it yet.  Can you believe this Georgia crematory thing?  They're saying there could be hundreds of bodies in there, from as much as a decade ago.  How hard can it be to get your crematorium fixed?  Good god.
2/12: Olympics Update:  I'm leaving for the Olympics first thing tomorrow morning.  I'll be there until Sunday.  I should be able to post updates while I'm there.  For those who are wondering, I'm seeing:  Figure skating, luge, biathlon, Olympics medal ceremony with Smash Mouth.  Here's a good article on PwC's role in the Oscars.  I'm happy that Moulin Rouge got nominated for Best Picture... it was a great movie, albeit with a rocky start.  Kenny visited Lacie this morning:  Lacie looked good. She was busy stuffing her face as usual. The leg has this big wrapped-up bandage. The accommodations were good. It looked like a kennel. I think there were 9 of them, all full of dogs and cats. There was another room that had empty kennels except for a lovebird that looked like she was in a fishtank. Her pad looked warmer. The doctor said Mika took dibs to take care of Lacie. There wasn't anything mentioned about taking her home, so I assume Lacie will continue to stay at the vet. Mika said Lacie cleans out the bowl. She said she likes their brand, Harrison's. That's good because we have a bag of that too. The doctor said she likes standing on her bowl.  That will probably be the end of the Lacie updates until we return from the Olympics next Sunday.  The plan is to pick Lacie up from the vet next Monday (2/18) and bring her home to convalesce.
2/11: 11:55am:  The vet (Dr. Littlehale) called.  They have put a splint and bandage on Lacie's leg, and she is doing well.  The purpose of the splint/bandage is to stabilize and reduce the swelling.  The Dr. who caused the injury (Dr. Lawrence) is not sure how the injury occurred, but said the band removal was a little more difficult than normal.  One option is surgery and inserting a pin, but the vet recommended against that, and Kenny and I agree with that recommendation.  On Wednesday or Thursday they will take off the bandage, check her progress, and put on another tighter splint/bandage once the swelling has gone down.  The bone will probably regrow a little crooked, but within 6-12 months the bone will "remodel" itself (according to the vet) and be normal again.  His technician, Mika, has an affinity for pionuses and will be taking Lacie home with her while we're at the Olympics.  We are going to meet with Mika tomorrow morning and give her the food and some toys.  I asked what the chances are Lacie will return to being a normal bird, and he said it's 90%, "really good."  Potential complications are circulation problems and nerve damage, but he said based on his exam and touching/pinching her, she does have some feeling, and the nerves will regrow.  And as you all know, I'm a lawyer, so I was concerned about making sure he's comping this for us, and he explicitly said he is.  Dr. Littlehale really does sound like a nice guy, and I'm happy with what he's said and the way he has responded.  9:45am:  Bad news from the vet.  Here is the update I posted on the Pionus newsgroup:  After Lacie's condition did not change over the weekend, I took her in to the vet  this morning and the x-ray clearly shows her leg is broken, right where the band was. The vet is bandaging the leg to reduce the swelling, and then they will decide if that will be sufficient to let the bone heal, or if she needs to be anesthetized and a pin inserted. They are going to board her there for a few days to do this work, and monitor her condition. Needless to say, if I had known that a broken bone was a possible result of having a band removed, I never would have considered it.  And Kenny's update:  The current update  is that Lacie's leg IS broken at the point where her band was. It is without a doubt the band removal caused this. We did return to the same vet (Santa Clara Valley Pet Hospital), but Lacie is being seen by the most experienced avian doctor in their staff. Some of you asked why we agreed to removing the band. We are inexperienced and made a hasty decision. When you hear advice from a "doctor," you believe she knows what she is saying. In hindsight, she may have been trying to sell her microchip device.  The vet offered boarding for Lacie for the next week while we'll be away in Salt Lake City. I'm going back tomorrow and demand inspecting the facilities. What "dangers" should I look for in their boarding? Speaking of inexperience, I've followed this group for a few months before purchasing my pi. However since you guys live all over the country and world, it was harder to get information about local resources (e.g. quality vets). So is there anybody out there lurking who lives in the Santa Clara valley, especially Campbell?  More updates to follow.
2/10: Lacie isn't doing too well... her foot is still injured.  We're going back to the vet tomorrow morning first thing.  I had breakfast this morning (at Stacks, of course) with Dave, who has the distinction of being my only friend who rides a Harley.
2/9: Lacie's webpage now has more of a photo gallary, and a new News section.  I'm packing for the Olympics!  Just a few more days.  Look at this screen capture from ABCNEWS.com ... news report of an American Airlines plane going down ... next to an advertisement for American Airlines.  Lacie had her first trip to the vet today, and so far she has a clean bill of health.  The blood tests will come back next week.  They removed her ID band from her leg, and that was very traumatic, so she is currently hopping around on one foot.  The vet said she'll get better in the next 24 hours.  The vet bill was $300!  Thank goodness we only have to do that once a year.  [Later that day]  Lacie's foot is not getting better.  She's holding it kind of crooked, and can't put any weight on it.  I'm not impressed with our vet.  She should have warned us of the dangers.  We are hoping it isn't broken... she's a pretty much active parrot other than the foot.  If it's not better by tomorrow, we have to call the vet and have them fix her.  I did my taxes today - that was fun, since I don't owe anything.  There's a new restaurant in town:  Stoddard's is opening up tonight in downtown Campbell.  It's the largest business establishment in downtown.  Hopefully people will go to it and they'll stick around.  I'm sure when light rail gets put through, lots of people will go.
2/8: Lacie's new friend Austin came over and taught Lacie how to stand on a human's hand.  There are more U.S. troops in Salt Lake City for the Olympics than there are in Afghanistan. The Primer counter hit 50,000 sometime yesterday.  That's 50,000 visitors in 18 months.  We'll see how many the next 18 months bring.
2/7: Some spam service is using the twise.com domain to send out their spam, so the bouncing messages are going to my inbox.  Great.  Last night I read West Wing (closed-caption while I was on a conference call with a client in India - doesn't that sound neat?) anyhow ... one of the storylines in the show was a reporter from a big-name newspaper who got kidnapped by a foreign government ... just like what's going on with the WSJ reporter.  They did a good job of tying the show in to current events.  The ending was really interesting - "how much money?" (does the U.S. government have to give to get him released).  I wonder if we really do fork over ransom.  Someday after I'm no longer working for PricewaterhouseCoopers I think I'll write a book called "The Art of Billing."  Or maybe "Charging Time for Dummies."  I'm hoping to leave work today around 6pm.  Lacie is doing well.  She has mastered the ability to climb around her cage, and seems to enjoy spending time on top of the cage with the gymnasium we've built up there.  Sometimes she falls off the roof, and tries to fly to the ground, but she can't fly, so she kind of does a controlled fall.  Saturday we take her to the vet for a bird physical and blood test. Cellular phone bashing movie clips.
2/6: The power of consumer vocalism:  On Feb. 4, Phil Yu posted an article about the Mandarin Juicer, a product used to squeeze juice out of an orange sold by Chiassothat was shaped in a horribly offensive way like a Chinese person.   Two days later, my friend Austin of Monolid Magazine reports that this morning, he talked with Chiasso's president, and they had received 11 e-mails in the last 24 hours and decided to pull the product from their website and store shelves.  Unfortunately there is another retailer selling the same product: Unicahome.
2/5: Unicom won!  Well, sort of.  The judge granted the motion for summary judgment based on his opinion that the court lacked personal jurisdiction over the defendant.  Therefore, the victory is temporary at best.
2/4: The work on the closets is done (at least for now).  To recap:  We gutted three of our closets, cleaned up and painted the walls and ceilings, and installed modular closet shelving from Storables.  The whole process takes about two days per closet.  Kenny did his first, then the downstairs entryway closet, and then we did my closet, and finished it yesterday.  They look good, and they're very functional.  If we decide to do another closet, it will be the office closet, where we could use some more shelf space.  Today has certainly been an ... entertaining ... day at work.  We got a "happy Monday" e-mail from the head partner telling us we are now expected to charge 55 hours a week (normal is 35).  Then an e-mail from the same partner inviting us to buy his daughter's girl scout cookies.  Then this afternoon, when word of low morale must have hit the top, an e-mail telling us they're having a "fun Friday" this Friday at Dave & Busters.  No explanation of how we're supposed to make up the hours we loose by attending this "fun" event.  This is the company that wanted to be in the top 100 places to work in America.  Headline:  Enron Execs flying to bankruptcy hearings in private jet
2/3: Introducing the newest member of our family, Lacie!  Visit her webpage so she doesn't get lonely.  Last night we celebrated Austin's birthday at Bangkok Cuisine in Palo Alto.  It's a good restaurant.  Afterwards, we went to Night Market hosted by the Stanford AASA group.  The Wusoo (sp?) performance was very interesting and entertaining.  The Super Bowl is today - let's see if I get home from work in time to watch the half-time show.  Tonight Soprano's is on, then Sex in the City, then Project Green Light.  I talked about PGL last week - it's a quasi-reality show about the making of a low-budget film that was shown at Sundance.  PGL is interesting to watch only because the personalities are so disfunctional.  I am going to go ahead and add PGL to my reality tv page.  Tonight is the last episode of Sex in the City for the season, so I think we'll cancel HBO until City returns, or Sopranos starts its new season.
2/2: Brobeck Boots 54 Associates, 85 Staff.  The legal profession has really been hard hit, but after passing out all those $135,000 a year salaries plus "guaranteed" bonuses, it's not really that big of a surprise.  The Primer is at 49,300 hits, which means it will hit 50,000 hits sometime this next week.  I had predicted it would hit 50k at the end of February, so it's a bit ahead of schedule.  By the July exam I'm predicting 60,000, based on last year's statistics.
2/1: Today at work Junior Achievement is bringing in a bunch of high school kids for us to talk to about the accounting profession and working for a Big-5 firm.  I had a really hard time understanding why high school kids would be interested in a boring job like accounting.  But once I met them, I found out they go to Oak Grove, where they have an accounting track, and these kids really want to go into accounting, finance, business, etc.  They were really interested in PwC.  I think the "glamor" of a big firm's office building and conference rooms got to them also.  It was a nice experience - I had a good time talking with them.  It's sad that they all will be going to JC's, and not four year schools, but I guess they either can't get into 4 year schools, or can't afford it.  The closet de/constrution continues.  Kenny did his closet first, and then the entryway closet, and now he's doing my closet.  It involves gutting out the interior, spacking and putting on a fresh coat of paint, and then installing a customized modular closet system that we got at Storables.  Costs about $175 or so per closet, and it's well worth it.
1/31: Janet Reno's gubernatorial campaign just ... collapsed.  PwC has announced that we are spinning off our consulting arm in an IPO.
1/29: 15 year old high schooler represents self against school district drug charge and wins in WA Supreme Court.
1/28: Mandatory sentencing "guidelines" are a bad idea, just like zero tolerance.  Our IT department has advised us that we have over 143 gigabytes of MP3 files on our shared drives which are going to be expunged.  Wow - 143 GB ... that is a lot of space.  Kenneth Lay's wife says her family is broke.  The poor woman!  Where can I send my donation check?  One inch of snow fell on the Santa Clara Valley mountain tops last night.  In related news, today was a horrible traffic day because of all the drivers who aren't used to driving on dry freeways with snow on the mountains.  The first of the lawsuits to hit Andersen has been filed.
1/27: Well, this will be an interesting week.  In the group I work in, the Integrated Tax Group, about 50%-60% of the associates are being temporarily "rotated" to another department to move the labor to where the work is.  I'm one of the associates remaining (that's a good thing).  So theoretically, I'll be absorbing a lot of the work that the rotators were doing.  I've also been told that the partners are expecting us to charge 50 hours a week.  That's so funny.  Project Green Light on HBO is pretty interesting.  I don't have enough comments to make it into a reality show entry, but it's interesting.  If you've never seen it, and you have HBO, it's worth a look.  And it's on right after Sex In The City.  There's a lot of talk in the news about whether the prisoners in Camp X-Ray are being treated fairly and decently.  Who cares?  At least they have Froot Loops.  The government is maintaining that the prisoners are not POW's, which would give them certain rights under the Geneva Convention.  Let's see - they were captured during a war ... that would make them ... POW's!  KRON's programming is so sad now that they've lost their NBC affiliation.  I might have to add KRON next to Andersen in my list of companies that I don't think will be around at the end of the year.  Denny's is running a commercial bragging about how much money they are giving to civil rights groups, including the Martin Luther King Foundation.  What they aren't mentioning is that they were forced to do so by a racial discrimination lawsuit settlement.
1/26: It's been a year since Dianne Whipple was killed by the dogs owned by Marjorie Knoller and Robert Noel.  Marjorie and Robert are both still active dues-paying licensed attorneys.  I guess that brings a new meaning to the term "jailhouse lawyer."  Watched First Monday that I taped on Friday.  The show lacks something ... it's just not as intriguing as it should be.  But one neat thing they have is when they have guest appearances by famous people - Johnnie Cochran was one such appearance on this week's episode.  That's a twist.  The wife of a Supreme Court Justice should be a bit more understanding about conflicts of interest.  Updated therestaurant reviews page.  Current count is 111 restaurants.  Saw 18 Mighty Mountain Warriors last night with Cindy, Austin and Kenny.  Good show - second time I've seen them.  They performed "The Last Bling Bling."  It's basically a SNL skit type performance, by all Asian-American actors.  We ate at Gordon's in SF - goodrestaurant.  Today (Saturday) my work is requiring me to sit through 8 hours of research training, along with all the other tax associates.  Never mind that I went tolaw school for three years, which is just one big fat research training.  What a great way to support employee morale.  They're supposed to supply breakfast, but so far, it's no where to be seen ... the caterer got lost.  From Fark:  Stevie Wonder in palimony suit. His defense: 'I've never seens this woman before your honor'.  Ha! Companies line up to hire Arthur Andersen.  I've posted this one outside my cube.
1/25: Funny site:  Fark.com  "Travis has captured the feeling of what is essentially a lawyer's rite of passage, and he does it marvelously."  -- Rick Umali  Bar exam time has come again, with the exam about a month away.  So it's that time of the year when I start getting a lot of e-mails about the Bar Exam Primer.  This time around they are falling into two categories:  (1) "Thank you very much, I relied a lot on your materials to study." and (2) "I have a great business idea I'd like you to join me on."  Let me address both of these.  First, I caution people several times in the Primer not to use my materials to study from.  I explain in the Primer why I caution people about this - but the bottom line is that if you use my materials as your knowledge source, you are doing yourself a tremendous disservice.  About item 2, business opportunities, I have no interest in commercializing what I've done.  Many peopletake advantage / rip people off / profit from students taking the bar exam, and it's generally a very sleazy industry.  I have no interest in doing that.  But thank you for sending me e-mails saying that you've read the Primer and it helped you.  I'm sorry that I don't have time to reply to all of them.  Sometime next week the Primer will have its 50,000th visitor.  Holy crap - the Enron Vice Chairman just killed himself.  Clinton must have been involved.  When is First Monday on again?  I didn't see it in TV Guide this week.  They really should put it on Monday nights, or change the name.  [Oh, ok, it's on tonight - Friday].  I caught a glimpse of Temptation Island(II?) last night.  I see that show hasn't improved any.  Does anyone care about this whole John Walker Lindh thing?  The news is sure talking a lot about it, but I don't think the public cares.  What exactly did he do wrong, other than being strange?  There hasn't been any reports that this guy was actually doing anything against America, other than sitting around in a dessert.  The Hockey Dad got 6-10 years in prison.  Good.  So Enron got run into the ground.  Lots of people lost lots of money because they were too stupid to diversify their investments.  Instead of passing laws restricting ownership of your own company's stock in your 401(k), maybe people should just realize it isn't a bright idea to sink all of your money in ANY one stock.  As for shredding documents, that was a pretty dumb move by Andersen and Enron, but that isn't what caused the company to go bankrupt. 
1/24: I did my first Freedom of Information Act request today.  Restaurant inspection reports.  Apple Computer, Inc. v. Commissioner, 98 T.C. 232 (1992) was a landmark case in the world of stock options.  In that case, the Tax Court held that the income generated upon exercise was deductible wages to the corporation, and qualifies for the R&D tax credit.  It's a case I studied in law school, and which is cited frequently in the stock option arena.  Eric Ryan, then Director of Taxation for Apple Computer was counsel for Apple.  Eric is a partner in my office, and is a very nice guy.
1/23: Read about the Unicom.com domain name fight..  "OSLO (Reuters) - An American woman had no need to fasten her seatbelt on a flight from Scandinavia to the United States after a high-pressure vacuum flush sealed her to the toilet seat of the transatlantic airliner.  The woman filed a complaint with Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS) after her ordeal on a Boeing 767 flight last year. She got sucked in after pushing the flush button while seated, activating a system to clean the toilet by vacuum, the airline said Monday.  "She could not get up by herself and had to sit on the toilet until the flight had landed so that ground technicians could help her get loose,'' a SAS spokeswoman told Reuters. ``She was stuck there for quite a long time.''"
1/22: Sample form:  California Advance Health Care Directive.  This is the new way to create a power of attorney for health care.  Here's a nicely formatted PDF version.
1/21: Ooops.  Accident, or racist?  It was supposed to be "James Earl Jones."  Now scientists are reporting that the Antarctic ice sheet is thickening, not thinning.  I always thought that global warming stuff was just a bunch of crap used to get more funding for scientists.
1/20: Wil Wheaton from Star Trek has his own web site:  WIL WHEATON DOT NET
1/19: Moulan Rouge is a really good movie.  After nearly four years, I finally updated the photo on the main page.
1/18: I watched the Olympic Torch pass in front of my building today.  That was very exciting.  A whole entourage of vehicles accompany the torch. 
1/17: I watched First Monday last night (a Tuesday).  This show won't last through the end of the season.  Too much like First Years.  I thought the show was interesting from a legal perspective, but also silly from that same perspective.  The law clerks would explain very basic legal concepts to each other, and to the justices, which they would clearly already know.  Obviously this is for the audience's benefit, but geez, it makes it look silly.  It's like a doctor explaining what a syringe is on E.R.  I also found the show to be preachy - the whole juvenile death penalty thing.  Obviously that was how they got Barry Scheck to agree to appear.  I did think the reenacted "events" that they flashed back to were a nice touch.  But no, this won't last the season.  Too bad.  West Wing was good as usual, but I'm sorry they gave up on the cancer cure storyline so fast.  My prediction is that the Big-5 will become the Big-4 by the end of the year.  Andersen is about to get hit with massive lawsuits, some of which its insurance won't cover because of the intentional acts of its partners.  We'll see if the partnership survives.  Or if they have any clients left at the end of the day.  How stupid do you have to be to start shredding documents after the SEC sends a document request?
1/16: 18 Mighty Mountain Warriors, the world's most psychotic asian american comedy group.
1/12: I've always thought that people who brush their teeth in the shower are a bit odd.  So are people who have huge self-portraits in their bedroom.  I watched the three-hour tape of the Survivor finale.  Eh.  We'll see if Survivor VI is any better - it starts in late February.  I don't have high expectations.  There are two new shows on TV that I'm looking forward to:  That 80's Show, and First Monday, a TV-show about the Supreme Court, which airs on Tuesdays (despite the title) on CBS.
1/11: Thomas Juanta, the "Hockey Dad", was convicted of involuntary manslaughter today.  He faces up to 20 years in prison for killing Michael Costin in an argument at their children's hockey game.  I hope Juanta gets the full 20 years (i.e. out in 10).  Juanta looks to be twice the size of Costin - it wasn't even remotely a fair fight, even though Costin's father has forgiven Juanta.  Here's a quote from the CNN news release:  A medical examiner called by the prosecution described "a lot of trauma" on Costin's body, saying that he suffered deep hemorrhages on the left side of his neck and a torn artery in the brain, a form of stroke.  Dr. Stanton Kessler said Costin's "brain was shaken so badly" that small blood vessels ruptured, resulting in extensive bleeding in the brain and spinal column.  Restaurant updates:  Fuel closed down a few weeks ago, and today the downtown Togo's shut its doors.  Today I ate a really good lunch at Pasta Pomodoro today.  My friend Joe cut his arm in December.  Those pictures are disgusting!
1/8: Dave Thomas died today.  One of the first stocks I owned was Wendy's.  Are you supposed to eat cream corn with a spoon, fork, or spork?
1/7: Here's some free legal advice:  If you've been accused of a crime, and you're poor, our legal system provides you with an criminal defense attorney (the public defender).  Public defenders are good attorneys.  But don't think that you're going to get the same quality of defense that O.J. got.  You aren't.  People with money can afford to hire good attorneys, who have the time and resources to prepare a good defense.  Public defenders usually have large case loads, and the government does not have the resources to spend tens of thousands of dollars for each defendant to have expert witnesses and investigators.  If you have the money, spend it.  If you don't have the money, try to get it.
1/5: Last week two of my coworkers were layed off from PwC: A manager in the state group, and an associate in my group.  We've been told that Monday will be the big layoff day, nationwide.  No one knows what to expect.  I am very happy to say that today I completed my editing and revising of the Primer.  This was the largest edit since that site went live in July 2000.  I've updated all of the dates, updated all of the fees, and cleaned up a lot of the text.  I'm averaging around 110 visits a day to that site.  Tonight I'm going to see Beauty and the Beast on the Tech Museum'sIMAX.
1/4: Phil Yu has done a low-bandwidth redesign of minsoolove.com.  I admire the simplistic design.  His observations are especially good:  "People who work sitting down get paid more than people who work standing up"; and "Everyone is entitled to be stupid, but some abuse the privilege."  It was mid-October of 1993 that I first saw the web.  There were no graphics back then - just the Library of Congress.  I remember the day I first surfed the web, because it was the night Polly Klass' body was found.  'Course, if I had been smart, I would have reserved as many domain names as I could, because none of them were taken back then.  Oh well... hindsight. 
1/3: I deal with both the IRS and Revenue Canada quite a bit on the phone.  The IRS astounds me with their incompetence, lack of technical knowledge, and long hold times.  If you call the IRS twice and ask the same question, you will almost always get two different answers.  Their people are rude and abrupt on the phone.  In contrast, Revenue Canada is a pleasure to deal with.  I look forward to calling them because their people are so wonderful.  They are knowledgeable, they have short hold times, they are friendly, and consistently give the same (correct) answer.  Their tax system also treats domestic partners the same as married people, and they include this information in the tax advice they give, unsolicited.
1/2: I upgraded my Palm to OS version 4.1 today.  The software was around $40, and I don't think it was worth it.  The most notable improvements are a Memo Pad that lets you scribble, and some improvements to security. 
1/1: Happy New Year!

January 7, 2002
Here's some free legal advice:  If you've been accused of a crime, and you're poor, our legal system provides you with an criminal defense attorney (the public defender).  Public defenders are good attorneys.  But don't think that you're going to get the same quality of defense that O.J. got.  You aren't.  People with money can afford to hire good attorneys, who have the time and resources to prepare a good defense.  Public defenders usually have large case loads, and the government does not have the resources to spend tens of thousands of dollars for each defendant to have expert witnesses and investigators.  If you have the money, spend it.  If you don't have the money, try to get it.
January 6, 2002
Eric Goldman's Helpful Hints to Knowing Your (law-related) Porn Terms
January 5, 2002
Last week two of my coworkers were layed off from PwC: A manager in the state group, and an associate in my group.  We've been told that Monday will be the big layoff day, nationwide.  No one knows what to expect.
I am very happy to say that today I completed my editing and revising of thePrimer.  This was the largest edit since that site went live in July 2000.  I've updated all of the dates, updated all of the fees, and cleaned up a lot of the text.  I'm averaging around 110 visits a day to that site.
Tonight I'm going to see Beauty and the Beast on the Tech Museum's IMAX.
Cleaning out some more links: Kirsch, SteveToday's Mortgage Rates Mortgage Personal Banking HSBC Bank USAARRLWeb Volunteer Counsel Program.
My "Job Interview Tips" page is getting decommissioned:
As part of my job, I get to interview a number of the people who my company is recruiting.  I have noticed some patterns of things some recruits do, and I've compiled a list of do's and don't's for people who are going through interviews.  These are my own personal observations and tips, and in no way reflect upon my employer's hiring practices.
  • My number one tip:  Use some common sense when answering the interviewer's questions.  For example, if the interviewer asks you if you think you would like living in the geographic area of the prospective job, the correct answer is always, "yes."  Under no circumstances is the correct answer to that question "no," even if you cannot imagine yourself living in that city.  I cannot tell you how many times I have been astounded at the answers that I have been given to some basic questions, because the recruit did not use some common sense and think about what the appropriate answer to my question would be.  I'm not suggesting that you make up substantive answers to substantive questions.  I'm merely suggesting that some common sense will take you a long way. 
  • My number two tip:  Try to relax.  When I interview someone, I just want to talk with them.  I'm not looking for a magic answer, or the "right answer" (apart from common sense answers).  In an interview, I just want to have a conversation about the job they are applying for.  When people get overly nervous, or when they are focusing on trying to analyze my question to determine what the "right" answer is, they loose their ability to have a conversation, because they are thinking too hard about what they "should" say, or what they think I want to hear.  And then they don't get a good review, because from my perspective, they are unable to have a simple conversation.  The ability to communicate well is probably the number one skill employers are looking for.  If you appear to lack that ability, finding a job will be difficult.
  • My number three tip:  Do not speak negatively about anything.  Always put a positive spin on the topic being discussed.  Example:  "Yes, my plane was delayed for 5 hours, but it gave me the chance to catch up on some reading, which is one of my hobbies."
  • My number four tip:  Dress the part.  Find out what the employees wear, and wear similar clothes.  My office is "business casual," and recruits who come in wearing a suit are overdressed.  Ask your recruiting coordinator or H.R. contact what the appropriate attire is, and dress accordingly.  Don't be afraid to as your H.R. contact questions like this.  That is what they are there for, so use them as a resource.
  • Do not use any foul language during any part of the interview.  It is never appropriate.
  • Do not ever talk about drug use during an interview.
  • Do not ever talk about the stupid things you did in high school or in your college fraternity.
  • At a dinner interview, do not order alcohol unless your host does.  Even if your host does, it is better not to order alcohol at all.
  • Follow-up with a thank you letter, or at least an e-mail.  The decision whether to hire you or not will have most likely already been made by the time the letters are received, but they are a very classy touch.
  • Always have at least one question to ask at the end of the interview, even if you ask all the interviewers the same question.  A good question to ask is, "What is your typical day like?"  Not only will this fill up a lot of time, but the interviewer will probably like bragging about how exciting his typical day is, and it will give you some insight into what working there will be like.
  • Make sure you have spelled the name of the company correctly on your cover letter.  I once saw a letter addressed to "Price Waterhouse Coopers & Lybrand."  It should have been "PricewaterhouseCoopers".  Anyone could have figured that out from the company's website.
  • Don't be afraid to use your H.R. contact.  Most large companies have an H.R. person whose sole job is to deal with entry-level or experienced-level recruiting.  They get paid to work with you - so use them to help you prepare for the interview.  What type of clothing is appropriate; who will I be interviewing with; what are those people's job titles; how soon will a decision be made; can you tell me about the benefits; etc.  The more interest you show in working at the company, the better your chances.
  • Many companies make use of behavioral interview questions.  These are questions like, "Tell me about a time you worked well with a difficult team?" or "Tell me about a time you were given a difficult project to accomplish, and how did you approach it?"  The theory is that these questions are good predictors of candidates' future actions.  You should think about these questions, and what your answers to them would be, so that when they are asked, you have a prepared answer.  You can find a list of these questions in any one of many books about interview skills.
  • When people are nervous, and especially in interviews, they tend to hear a question, and they are so eager to respond and say the right thing, they jump right in with an answer.  I would encourage you to listen to the question, take a breath while you think about a response, and then respond. When you talk, keep the answers relatively short. A few sentences to answer and explain, and then turn it back to the interviewer.  You don't want to ramble.
  • If the company hosts a "meet and greet" with an open bar, don't drink more than one alcoholic drink.
And a few things are getting taken off of my C.V.:
Law Office of Robert H. Christensen, San Jose, California
     Law Clerk, 1996 - 1998
  • Drafted pleadings, marital settlement agreements, statements and declarations for family law sole practitioner.
  • Researched finance tracing, case and statutory California family law issues.
  • Assisted attorney and staff with file maintenance, clerical work, accounts receivable, and client correspondence.
Del Mar High School, Campbell, California
     High School Diploma, 1990 - 1994
  • Advanced placement courses included government, politics, economics and English.
  • Studied abroad in Mexico.  
  • Activities:
    • California Scholarship Federation
    • Chief Editor of Yearbook and Newspaper
    • Crisis Peer Counselor
    • Junior State of America Chapter Co-Founder
    • Student Government Representative
    • Symposium on California Politics and Government
January 4, 2002
Phil Yu has done a low-bandwidth redesign of minsoolove.com.  I admire the simplistic design.  His observations are especially good:  "People who work sitting down get paid more than people who work standing up"; and "Everyone is entitled to be stupid, but some abuse the privilege."
It was mid-October of 1993 that I first saw the web.  There were no graphics back then - just the Library of Congress.  I remember the day I first surfed the web, because it was the night Polly Klass' body was found.  'Course, if I had been smart, I would have reserved as many domain names as I could, because none of them were taken back then.  Oh well... hindsight.
My first posting on Usenet appears to have been on January 24, 1994.  Here is a posting I made in February of 1994, before the FCC had their website up:
From: twise@shell.portal.com (twise@shell.portal.com)
Subject: Re: FCC.GOV on-line
Newsgroups: rec.radio.amateur.misc
Date: 1994-02-13 00:13:04 PST
What will FCC.GOV give us access to?

Travis A. Wise           Del Mar High School    email: twise@shell.portal.com
1421 Grace Avenue        Home: 408/267-9562     AX.25: KB8FOU@N6LDL.CA.USA.NA
San Jose, CA 95125       Fax:  408/267-6981     FTP: portal.com /pub/twise
Now we know.
Here's another entertaining message, from the alt.food.dennys group.  I wonder how Chris did on his research?
From: twise@shell.portal.com (twise@shell.portal.com)
Subject: Re: What's the longest time spent at Denny's?
Newsgroups: alt.food.dennys
Date: 1994-02-22 14:58:45 PST
I recently spent 3-4 hours there...with a very nice waitress who put
up with 6 annoying teenagers.

Travis


Christopher Thorpe (cthorpe@husc8.harvard.edu) wrote:
:   Hello out there... 
:   I'm working on a project indirectly involving Denny's and people's
: experiences there, and I'm very interested to hear about the longest time
: people have spent at Denny's before being evicted or bored to death.  I
: would appreciate any help people could give me; also, any experiences
: about being kicked out of Denny's would be welcome. 
:   If you do not wish to post to this group, I would gladly accept 
: replies via email; if you wish to remain anonymous you may send email to:
:   an65270@anon.penet.fi
: and your mail will be anonymized but I will retain the text. 
:   Thanks in advance,  
:   Chris
--
Travis A. Wise           Del Mar High School    email: twise@shell.portal.com
1421 Grace Avenue        Home: 408/267-9562     AX.25: KB8FOU@N6LDL.CA.USA.NA
San Jose, CA 95125       Fax:  408/267-6981     FTP: portal.com /pub/twise
And here's a fascinating article I apparently wrote on December 13, 1989 (back when I did a lot of ham radio stuff), which amazingly made its way onto the internet via Usenet.  God only knows what the heck it was that I was talking about in this article ... the technology is so old I don't remember.  This was written about four years before the internet was available to the public.
WHEN TO USE A BEACON
by Travis A. Wise, KB8FOU
INTRODUCTION
I have noticed a lot of "informative" packets lately telling hams how to do this and when to do that. I guess this is just another one of those packets, but I hope that some of you will read it carefully and understand what information I am trying to convey to you.
WHAT IS A BEACON?
Beacons are sent in UI (Unnumbered Information) frames. The purpose of the beacon function is to announce that your station is on the air. Sending beacons on congested frequencies is poor operating practice, not to mention the fact that it can annoy stations monitoring and help clog the frequency.
WHAT ABOUT DIGIPEATERS?
Sometimes, there is an unmanned station that is on the same frequency all the time (usually on the same frequency as a popular PBBS). Often times these stations are owned by the local city radio club. These stations probably have beacons announcing the fact that they are available to be digipeated through. ANY station can be used as a digipeater, and most of the time, where there is a popular PBBS, there is a ham or two that monitors the frequency full time, and can be used as a digipeater. Oh, one other thing, if you have to use a digipeater to get into a PBBS, you might want to look for another PBBS to use. For those of you who are the control operators for these unmanned digipeaters, please stop the beacon and leave a message on the PBBS periodically letting the hams know that you are available to be digipeated through. If a beacon has to be used, DO NOT set the "unproto" feature to "CQ". Set it to either "beacon" or "id", but definitely not "CQ". Setting the unproto to "beacon" or "id" can have it's advantages. Many newer TNCs have a feature which will not monitor packets addressed to "beacon" or "id". This can be useful for stations who know about the digipeaters and do not need to be bothered by their beacons.
73 and Merry Christmas, Travis KB8FOU @ N6IIU
January 3, 2002
I deal with both the IRS and Revenue Canada quite a bit on the phone.  The IRS astounds me with their incompetence, lack of technical knowledge, and long hold times.  If you call the IRS twice and ask the same question, you will almost always get two different answers.  Their people are rude and abrupt on the phone.  In contrast, Revenue Canada is a pleasure to deal with.  I look forward to calling them because their people are so wonderful.  They are knowledgeable, they have short hold times, they are friendly, and consistently give the same (correct) answer.  Their tax system also treats domestic partners the same as married people, and they include this information in the tax advice they give, unsolicited.
January 2, 2002
I upgraded my Palm to OS version 4.1 today.  The software was around $40, and I don't think it was worth it.  The most notable improvements are a Memo Pad that lets you scribble, and some improvements to security.
I'm decomissioning my bookmarks/favorites list that I added to from when I started surfing the web in 1994 until the end of 2001.  I stopped adding to this list in 2001 because I found that the search engines were much more useful than a big long list of favorites, and I only used a few sites regularly.  Going forward, I will add new "favorites" to my this page rather than the bookmarks page.  Here's the old link off the main page:
  • Bookmarks: A few thousand websites I've found useful.
Misc bookmarks:
Mountain Biking:
Sleep Disorders:

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