Sunday, May 29, 2005

Travel Blogging III

Yesterday after I signed off we went over to Audobon Park and walked around the live oaks and fountains and watched Kele play. For dinner, we headed to Jacque-Imo's. Yes, that's a table in the bed of the pickup in front of the restaurant. The inside is really cool, too. Not a big tourist place, more locals. I had blackened redfish, country greens, red beans and rice, and cornbread. Apparently Danette and Mark have had houseguests who are afraid of New Orleans cuisine. I'll try about anything once. This stuff was very good.

After dinner, we went down the riverwalk and saw the boats, more statutes, the cathedral at sunset, and some street performers, including a balloon artist. By the way, the trees have the oddest fruit here. The French Quarter is awesome, of course, with tons of cool cafes. I've probably gained a pound or two despite all the walking.

Then it was time to say goodbye to Mark and Kele - Kele was NOT happy to see mommy and "Miss Kris" go have fun without her. The line at Pat O'Briens was horrendous, so I went straight to the daquiri stands on Bourbon Street. Total for the evening: one daquiri, one "hand grenade", three shots, and a couple of beers. I acquired beads thrown from a balcony (no, I didn't flash anything, thanks), went up onto the balcony where I got this cool shot of the street at night and assisted a guy named Travis who was having trouble getting the girls below to notice him. I whistle loudly.

This morning, we hit the Praline Connection for the gospel brunch. That was a blast.

More later!

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Travel Blogging II

Got to New Orleans Friday evening and met Danette and Mark at the Greek Festival. Kele played archeologist, then helped me shop. I taught her a new phrase: charge it! I'm a bad influence, I am.

This morning, we hit the flea market and farmer's market. There's all kinds of exotic stuff, though I don't think I'm up for the boas.

Tonight: Bourbon Street.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Travel Blogging I

We didn't get to Iowa City until almost 6:00. Somewhere along the line I seem to have lost custody of all my coolers - you can't seriously road trip without one! - and I needed new sunglasses and batteries for the camera, etc. etc. etc. And of course, Dad had to go over the route. I'm afraid I was looking at my watch the whole time. Why is it no matter how psyched you are to get out of Dodge, the hardest part of a trip is leaving?

The leg to St. Louis went smoothly - they've taken out that toll bridge and finished a lot of the Avenue of the Saints. Actually, they've finished a lot more than they'll let you drive on, and it was hard piddling along at 55 or so on a two-lane that could just as easily have been a four-lane divided if they just cleaned up a few orange cones . . .

Saw a shooting star just outside St. Louis. I'll take it as an omen, thanks. Made it to Cape Girardeau by 1:00 and checked into a hotel with wireless and a pool (my preferred mode of exercise when traveling - you don't need to pack bulky gym shoes). Cool! Of course, I did skip dinner. I hope the breakfast is good. Maybe I should liberate a Guiness from the bottom of the cooler? So I didn't really do photos much, this part of the country I've been to before, so it's not really the fun part yet. Tomorrow should be more interesting - the route involves taking u-turns so as not to drive into a canal. Oookay.

UPDATE 5:14 am: Loud banging. Door of next room. Got pop from vending machine - oh, good. That's loud, too. Taking defensive action by turning on fan. Dammit, it only goes on low.

UPDATE 5:30 am: Karie calls, presuming I'd be sleeping and she'd leave a message on the phone (I usually don't keep the ringer way up when I sleep). Fill her in on why I'm up this early. She gives me a few helpful hints from her prior journeys down here. Once she drove all the way back from New Orleans on a doughnut after getting a flat. In the snow, if I remember right.

UPDATE 7:00 AM: This appears to be the popular "lets load the car and check out" time. Everyone lets the door slam. I hope I did that when I got in, just to have gotten a little preemptived revenge. I check the bathroom to see if there's a fan in there, too. I need more white noise. Put pillow over head.

UPDATE 9:00 AM: Rise and shine, it's the maid ready to clean your room. Who needs wake-up calls?

UPDATE 9:40: I drag my *ss out of bed and grab an English muffin and some OJ. From the remnants, it looks like they had homemade waffles and eggs at one point, but these machines are already being broken down for the day. The pool's full of munchkins, so exercise is out. Don't they need to be in school?

I'd like to get out of here by 10:30. Wheeeeee.

Thursday, May 26, 2005


I have been musing about this case:
A northeast Iowa dairy farmer convicted in a federal water pollution case committed suicide, the man's brother said. Carl Simon, 50, of Farley, was found dead Wednesday morning, the day he was to report to prison, said his brother, Leo Simon, also of Farley. Carl Simon was found at 6 a.m. inside a vehicle in his garage with the engine running, Leo Simon said. The Dubuque County medical examiner's office confirmed the death but said the cause of death was pending the outcome of an autopsy by the state medical examiner. Carl Simon was convicted in U.S. District Court in December of four counts of knowingly discharging pollutants into a waterway. He was sentenced in April to 30 months in prison.

Okay, pollution is bad. This was a farm manure spill into a creek. Icky, gross, and potentially hazardous to our health. It's going to cost lots to clean up. He should not only be punished, but also have to foot the bill for the sanitation process.

But prison? Really? Even if he's a repeat polluter, couldn't we choose instead to fine him high enough he'd have to get out of farming, or forfeit the farm or something? Was he such a threat to society that he had to be locked away with murderers and terrorists and rapists and drug dealers in a federal penitentiary? Given our prison population is growing exponentially, I wonder if we need to start talking priorities here. Violent offenders, those who hurt kids, those who steal or burglarize or rape or generally pose a threat to society: I'm all in favor of locking them up for long periods of time, in many cases much longer than they generally get (2 days on a broken bone in a domestic assault still irks me). But I'm wondering if there aren't better solutions to deal with non-violent, non-threatening offenders, like forfeiture of the farm in this case, or really high fines that will have the added bonus of replenishing some of our depleted government budgets. If you make the non-prison punishments high enough they will have a deterrent effect. Just a thought. Particularly when I recall that non-domestic assault with a dangerous weapon only merits at most a two-year sentence, no matter how many times you've done it.

Travel Blogging

Once I finish these last couple of files, I'm gone, baby. I've got the dogsitter lined up (thanks, Jon) and I'm going to see one of my best friends - and college roommate - down in New Orleans. I'll try to post my adventures. I'm even taking a digital camera. I've never been there, so I'm totally psyched. Woo-hoo!

UPDATE 1:41 PM -
I'm sooo out of here.

7 1/2 Inches

No, not that. This.

I got the heads up from a guy named Jay Wagner.

Yep, I'm very punny today.

The Only Winning Move is Not to Play

Jennifer had this post up:
One thing I have always refused to do, is to compete with other women for the attentions of men. I always figured if he was worth fighting for, I wouldn't have to fight for him. . . . I've never understood the competitiveness and cattiness that seems to overcome some women when a guy walks within 20 feet of you. Maybe my refusal to compete is why I'm still single at age 30, but if you want him and he wants you, you can have him and I won't lose any sleep over it. I have faith that some day there'll be the guy who only wants me. Perhaps that little theory will seem misguided when I'm 40 and still single, but in the meantime I'm sleeping just fine.

Amen, sister. My tactic on this is always to walk to the other side of the room. If the guy wants you, he'll wander over. If not, screw it. What are you going to do, force someone to like you? On a correlating point, I've never gotten the whole jealousy thing. It's unfathomable to me. If I figure out a guy doesn't want me, he's history. End of story. If he does want me, I've got nothing to worry about. That theory holds whether you've been cheated on or not. I'll trust you until I can't and then I walk. Why does it have to be any more complex than that?

Finally, in thinking on the different applications of this, it occurs to me that in the times that the shoe's on been on the other foot - one or more guys are simultaneously demanding my attention and getting competetive about it - I generally also get uncomfortable and will also walk away from both of them. It doesn't actually serve as a test, because which would you choose? The guy who follows you may want you more, but the guy who doesn't might have more class. Or not. It depends. It's more a stalling measure to give myself some space when feeling too crowded.

Define "Moderate"?

Your Political Profile

Overall: 50% Conservative, 50% Liberal
Social Issues: 50% Conservative, 50% Liberal
Personal Responsibility: 50% Conservative, 50% Liberal
Fiscal Issues: 75% Conservative, 25% Liberal
Ethics: 25% Conservative, 75% Liberal
Defense and Crime: 50% Conservative, 50% Liberal

Got it from Iowa Geek, who acquired it from others.

Time Waster

Fisherpriceman found a cool geography game - a virtual map of the states, unlabeled. My only complaint: do not expect me to put a state into the middle of the map without any of it's border states in place. I mean, could you eyeball the distance between Iowa and Lake Michigan and try to get it into the exact right spot without Illinois, Nebraska, Minnesota, Missouri, etc? I kept being slightly off.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Class of 1995

I had not realized Professor Yin graduated from law school in 1995. So did I. University of Iowa College of Law class of 1995. Ten years. Wow.

Has it really been that long? Yikes. I am eternally impressed with people who choose to become law professors, though. I still feel as though I'm learning this stuff.

Court of Appeals - Fresh Law

Fresh opinions are up. Some of the things that caught my eye:

Crouse v. Iowa Orthopedic Center and Davidson v. Hurst reiterate the position of the court that when it comes to the whole statute of limitations thing and time for service deadlines, they're serious. Really, really serious. I'm not sure what claimant counsel was thinking on these.

State v. Thomas clarifies further the prosecutorial misconduct rules on closing:
. . . [i]n response to defense counsel’s closing argument, the prosecutor said, “Quite honestly what counsel is telling you is a bill of goods and it is not credible.” We agree that use of the phrase “bill of goods” conveys the idea that opposing counsel was engaged in deception and that this was misconduct. . . . Additionally, it was clearly misconduct for the prosecutor to assert that opposing counsel was “not credible.” . . . the misconduct was one isolated statement during closing arguments. The State’s case against defendant was strong. Defendant was found trespassing. Crack cocaine was found on defendant’s person. Marijuana, a gun, and a knife were found in close proximity to the location where defendant was found hiding. We conclude the misconduct was not prejudicial and defendant’s due process rights were not violated. Having determined there was no prejudice caused by the misconduct, we also conclude that defendant was not prejudiced by trial counsel’s failure to object to the misconduct.

On a side note, in reading between the lines, the trial must have been quite contentious. Listen to this other point brought up for consideration:
The first incident involved the prosecutor’s use of the personal pronoun “I” in her closing argument. . . After reviewing the transcript of the closing argument we determine the prosecutor in this case did not create evidence, interject personal beliefs, vouch for defendant’s guilt, or vouch for a witness’s credibility. We agree with the State that the prosecutor’s use of personal pronouns were simply instances of the prosecutor clarifying her statements, organizing her thoughts, using common expressions, employing rhetorical crutches, or responding to personal attacks leveled by defense counsel. Furthermore, we conclude that the prosecutor correctly recited the evidence in the record, did not express a basis of knowledge gained outside of the trial, and did not prejudice the defendant with any inappropriate uses of personal pronouns. Defendant’s claim that an objection should have been made is without merit and counsel cannot be ineffective for failing to pursue a meritless issue.

I wonder what was with the whole "responding to personal attacks leveled by defense counsel" thing? This sounds way more interesting than most of the trials that have been televised.

Union Insurance Company v. Morlock:
After a home insured by Union Insurance Company caught fire while a painter was using a blowtorch to remove old paint, Union paid the homeowners’ claim and brought this action against the painter’s estate and business. After an adverse judgment of $478,177.63, the defendants appeal, arguing neither the facts nor the law supports the damage award. We affirm.

Question to defendants - weren't you guys paying attention back when the Old Capitol Dome burned down?

State v. Whipple is a typical shotgun ineffective assistance appeal:
The police department contacted the car’s registered owner and determined that Whipple’s girlfriend, Stacey Schara, with whom he resided, was the principal driver of the car. At about 1:20 a.m. investigating officers went to Schara’s residence and spoke with Whipple and Schara about the accident. Whipple gave officers conflicting versions of his activities on the night before. He initially told officers that he left Schara’s car at a school, but later said that he left it at a restaurant. Whipple also told officers that he arrived at Schara’s house at 9:30 p.m., but subsequently changed the time of arrival to 1:30 a.m. Whipple admitted to officers that he had a few beers that night. Officer Jeffrey Buckles noted and later testified Whipple had an odor of alcoholic beverages on his breath and his eyes were watery. Officer Gina Johnson of the Davenport Police Department noted and later testified Whipple smelled of alcohol, his eyes were watery and bloodshot, his speech was slightly slurred, and he appeared unsteady on his feet. After he was taken into custody and transported to the police station, Whipple screamed obscenities, was belligerent, and refused to take a breath test. Officers subsequently determined Whipple’s driver’s license was suspended effective 12:01 a.m. on November 14, 2003.

Whipple . . . testified that he was driving Schara’s car and that the accident occurred at around 11:00 p.m. on November 13, 2003. He also testified that he walked from the scene of the accident to Schara’s house and that he consumed three alcoholic drinks before police officers arrived to question him.

The jury didn't buy it. The Court of Appeals didn't either, finding the evidence sufficient to convince the jury beyond a reasonable doubt that Whipple was guilty of both OWI and driving while suspended.

Another 'Net Quiz

You scored as Cultural Creative. Cultural Creatives are probably the newest group to enter this realm. You are a modern thinker who tends to shy away from organized religion but still feels as if there is something greater than ourselves. You are very spiritual, even if you are not religious. Life has a meaning outside of the rational.

Cultural Creative
















What is Your World View? (corrected...again)
created with

No Wonder

Our legislature sometimes seems somewhat lacking in common sense. As State 29 points out in this post suggesting I join that crowd, the salary's only $25,000. That means they're either way smarter than I am in that they've figured out how to pay the bills on that kind of paycheck, or . . .

Never mind, I've been reading too many slander suits lately. I specifically state that I make no representations as to the intelligence of any of our politicians, much less the group as a whole. I'm just suggesting you get what you pay for.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

I Can't Believe I Missed This

Laurie Reyes was killed in Marshalltown last week by Pedro Perez. I knew Laurie from prosecuting Jorge Reyes-Sanchez for Aggravated Domestic Assault against her in 1997, and Child Endangerment for an incident involving her in 1999. In looking up her alleged killer, Pedro Perez, on Iowa Courts online, I find this:

Case: 02641 AGCR057998 (MARSHALL)
Count 01 Charge
Offense Date: 04/02/2003
GUILTY Adj.Date: 02/14/2005

It's a little convoluted, but it looks like he pled to an amended charge and got 30 days and a fine.

Rest in peace, Laurie. I'm sorry things never got better.

Potential New Candidates

for the Darwin Awards.

In Correlation

With Tusk and Talon's series highlighting the Whackjob Site of the Week, I note this news story. Somebody get these people a blog.

Monday, May 23, 2005


Did you see this post on Talk Left?
A blogger writes a post about letting his sister's boyfriend into the house, and within hours, the siblings are dead. Police zeroed in on the boyfriend after finding the blog post, decimating the guy's alibi. [Via the Drudge Retort.]

The blog post:
Thursday, May 12, 2005
Today I missed my Japanese class again, since I have gotten a bad throat. I only went to the class once this week, so I am probably so far behind now. I will catch up in the summer tho so no worries hehe. Anyway today has been weird, at 3 some guy ringed the bell. I went down and recognized it was my sister's former boyfriend. He told me he wants to get his fishing poles back. I told him to wait downstair while I get them for him. While I was searching them, he is already in the house. He is still here right now, smoking, walking all around the house with his shoes on which btw I just washed the floor 2 days ago! Hopefully he will leave soon, oh yeah working on the jap report as we speak!

Wow. I'm speechless.

A discussion on admissibility of the posting is going on in the Volokh Conspiracy comments.

Monday Quiz

Your Taste in Music:

90's Alternative: High Influence
90's Pop: High Influence
80's Alternative: Medium Influence
80's Pop: Medium Influence
80's R&B: Medium Influence
R&B: Medium Influence
90's R&B: Low Influence
Adult Alternative: Low Influence
Alternative Rock: Low Influence
Country: Low Influence
Old School Hip Hop: Low Influence
Punk: Low Influence

Friday, May 20, 2005

A Woman's Place? Wherever She Wants to Be

The Des Moines Register has this article - Kemmet: Want real glamor? Trying being smart, opinionated. My comments:

"Any girl can be glamorous," Hedy Lamarr said. "All you have to do is stand still and look stupid."

At some point in the past 10 years, the women's movement changed. It became a series of feel-good choices for women rather than a fight for equality. We wanted to be high-powered lawyers, CEOs and doctors in three-piece suits. Then the suit became more important than the career. We weren't reading about successful women in the newspapers; we were flipping through the latest fashion magazine seeing how we could transform our business attire into a sexy evening dress.

We????? Excuse me? First of all, as someone who claims to be a feminist, way to stereotype women. Oh, but maybe you thought this is only pertinent to those fashion-magazine-reading manicured types. Those airheads in the chiffon skirts and strappy heels.

Though you should probably understand that I've already read both Glamour and Cosmo for next month, I'm currently sporting a french manicure and I happen to be wearing a sweater and floral skirt and strappy spike heels, as it's a Friday casual day.

Oh yeah, and I'm a lawyer.
Feminism became an ugly word, and if there was one thing we were trying to avoid, it was "ugly."

Actually, I'm more trying to avoid fugly. But whatever.
For the past 40 years, the number of women entering higher education, the workplace and politics has been steadily climbing. As the women's movement progressed, women flooded once predominantly male fields. They engineered new technology, traveled into space and authored influential legislation. They fought against inequity, broke through glass ceilings and did what women for centuries hoped they would one day do.

They also gave pompous speeches in overblown rhetoric.

Okay, that was snarky of me. But when you get the urge to tack on "and leap tall buildings with a single bound" to a paragraph, you might want to consider whether you're going just a touch over the top.

Regardless, I'll grant women are far more prevalant in positions of power, and that's an awesome thing.
As they succeeded, the always-lurking critics raged. They argued the inferiority of women's intellect, fumed about the dangers women were causing their families and proclaimed women were being unfaithful to God. What did the women of the era do? They ignored their critics. They went to work, quite literally, and proved them wrong. They fought to create a world where their daughters could do anything and be anyone without sexist barriers and additional obstacles. They broke stereotypes and passed legislation moving women closer to equality.

Always-lurking? Sounds like a personal problem.

Seriously, who talks like that? Do they twirl moustaches, too?

Regardless, again, I'll grant that there have always been people who feel women shouldn't work, vote, or otherwise assert themselves. I haven't found them "lurking" lately, but whatever.
Then my generation did something terrible. We started listening to those critics our mothers have always known to ignore. We started believing we couldn't learn math and physics as well as men. We felt guilty for living full, successful lives with careers. We let our faith be twisted and took the blame for the "destruction of family values." Then, it all stopped. The numbers stopped climbing. The glass ceilings were replaced. Women started leaving what they had fought so hard to get.

Back the truck up, sister. What's with the "we" again?

Last I looked, there are still inroads being made on the idea of a glass ceiling. For example, check out this report on statistical increases between 1983 and 2002:
Other traditionally male-dominated occupations seeing increases in female workers included:

Police detectives and supervisors -- 360 percent increase
Millwrights -- 315 percent increase
Civil Engineers -- 196 percent increase
Automobile mechanics -- 177 percent increase
Firefighting occupations -- 174 percent increase
Airplane pilots and navigators -- 167 percent increase

Or how about this study on women-owned businesses:
The Center for Women’s Business Research estimates that as of 2004, nearly half (48%) of all privately-held businesses in the U.S. are owned 50% or more by women, for a total of 10.6 million enterprises. This includes 6.7 million majority (51% or more) women-owned firms, and another 4.0 million equally (50-50) women- and men-owned firms.

Growth in women-owned businesses has outpaced that of other firms. Since 1997, the Center estimates that women-owned firms have grown at nearly twice the rate of all firms (17% vs. 9%). Growth in employment by women-owned firms has been even more dramatic—24% compared to 12% for all firms.

The impact of women-owned businesses as employers is clear—and dramatic. The number of women-owned firms with employees has expanded by an estimated 28% during the past seven years—three times the rate of growth among all employer firms.

Now, the pay gap still exists, I'll grant that. But women are hardly falling in droves to the old stereotype of kinder, kuche, kirche.
Since 1999, women have made up less than 23 percent of the Iowa Legislature and have not climbed from that mark. The number of women in engineering plateaued, reaching a man-to-woman ratio of only 4 to 1. In the last 10 years the number of stay-at-home moms increased by 15 percent. Somewhere in our beauty magazines, these numbers floated past us, and we became angry.

Fuming, we pointed our manicured fingers: Critics had misrepresented statistics, created false gender roles and downright lied.

And they had. No doubt about it. But we did something worse. We stood there and took it. They did not ban us from running for Congress; we chose not to. They did not reject our engineering applications; we didn't send them in. They did not fire us when we had children; we left. They called us opinionated and coldly ambitious, and instead of saying, "We are entitled to our opinions and you better believe we have goals," we went to the day spa to escape the stress. We became so obsessed that we might be "socially ugly," we completely forgot that we have the right to live full and meaningful lives.

Okay, here I'm going to really annoy some of the more radical feminists here. Snide remarks about manicures aside, this argument is simply not supportable. Broken down, it states the following:

1) Women have plateaued in the Iowa legislature and engineering.
2) Stay-at-home female parents have increased by 15%.
3) Women who left work to be a stay at home mother somehow "forgot that we have the right to live full and meaningful lives" and have somehow failed the women's movement.

Did you get that last part? That's not a statistic, it's not even an extrapolation from a statistic, it's a value statement. Women who become engineers or legislators are valued, those who choose to stay at home with children are not.

But given that kids need to be taken care of, some adult has to hold that job, whether it's paid or unpaid. So why on earth do you find it some measure of failure on the part of our society if a female parent chooses to take on that job instead of hiring it out? I presume you've no problem with male parents choosing to do so, but if the female does it she's capitulating to male oppression, selling out the sisterhood? Excuse me?

When did we shift from arguing that women's work in the home should hold equal value and weight, to portraying women who stay home as slaves to the patriarchy?
The pinnacle of the women's movement is not the choice of staying at home or working. We have an obligation to acquire the knowledge we can and a duty to contribute to the betterment of mankind. We must remember beauty is in the eye of the beholder. If we do not want our daughters to stand still and look stupid, we must show them by example that the most glamorous women in the word are those who are intelligent, independent, opinionated and ambitious.

On this I agree: we each have the moral obligation, to ourselves if not to others, to become the best person we can be. We should hold ourselves accountable for being intelligent, independent, ambitious and opinionated. Does that mean I have to be an engineer to do it? Would I be less intelligent if I weren't at my desk eight hours a day? Or if I'd chosen to write or do theater for a living instead of the law, would that make me less opinionated? (Why is it I can almost hear the laughter at the idea of my not being opinionated, ever, under any circumstances?) Does promoting equality in the workplace require degenerating the choice of caring for children as a career, albeit an unpaid one?

In our journey to equality, let's not trample on the stay-at-home moms. Women who want to be legislators or engineers should just do it. Don't let anyone talk you out of it, tell you you're not good enough or smart enough. But why not say the same to women who want to raise their kids? Don't let anyone talk you out of it, saying that because you choose this path you're not good enough or smart enough. It's your life. Choose wisely.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Thursday Quiz II

The Keys to Your Heart

You are attracted to those who are unbridled, untrammeled, and free.
In love, you feel the most alive when things are straight-forward, and you're told that you're loved.
You'd like to your lover to think you are stylish and alluring.
You would be forced to break up with someone who was emotional, moody, and difficult to please.
Your ideal relationship is open. Both of you can talk about everything... no secrets.
Your risk of cheating is zero. You care about society and morality. You would never break a commitment.
You think of marriage as something that will confine you. You are afraid of marriage.
In this moment, you think of love as commitment. Love only works when both people are totally devoted.

NOTE: I agree with most of this except the "afraid of marriage" stuff. Surprisingly, despite what I've been through, I'm not in the least scared of it. With the right person, that is. I'd need to know someone very, very well before I take that step again, but under those circumstances, I wouldn't hesitate. It's both harder and a lot easier than people say it is.

I Love This

I've toyed for years with the idea of replacing some of the inspirational posters at work with Demotivators and then starting a pool on how long it takes anyone to notice.

The Rest of the Story

The dirty little secret behind how Minnesota became the Land of 1000 Lakes.


Chad from Tusk and Talon has some nice things to say about several Iowa bloggers. Of course, that site is always rather awesome too.


Jeffrey Utech is a new daddy.


You are Miss Piggy!! You are spoiled rotten and
will stop at nothing to get your frog,er, man.
You are used to be pampered and will settle for
nothing less. You Go Girl!

Which Muppet are You?
brought to you by Quizilla
Thanks to Kris from Anywhere but Here.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

House for Sale

Stefanie's (formerly from Bob) got her house up for sale in Des Moines. It's awesomely cute, with a sunroom and everything. I'd buy it, if I were looking in that area. I've updated the link because she's fixed the flyer, so I'm reposting this.

Pierre Pierce

Has allegedly been caught making nearly 250 more phone calls in violation of the no-contact order. If true, then at seven days each, by my count the Iowa jails should own his *ss for about the next five years on contempt charges alone, if the sentences ran consecutively. I analyzed the issue earlier here.

Now You Know The Rest of the Story

The real scoop on the Wendy's chili finger.

Blogger Romance

Greenman's love poems to Theresa? One every day for her birthday week.

Okay, he didn't write them, but he's posting them and he's got awesome taste in poetry.

(Note: he's changed his sub-tag to "More Like SAP flinging monkey this week." True, but that's why you scored so well on the Romance Quiz she wrote back on Valentine's. For the curious, my answers to the quiz are here.)

By the Way

This is too fugly: Britney in a tablecloth at a video store.

From Last Friday

Iowa Supreme Court decisions.

Microsoft's fighting class certification on an Iowa suit. The suit alleges Microsoft overcharged the direct purchasers, and those purchasers in turn passed on the overcharges to the ultimate buyers. Microsoft is arguing, among other things, that plaintiffs must prove up the exact damages of each proposed member of the class:
On a motion for class certification in an antitrust action, the pivotal elements are impact and damages to the class members. Under well-established law, plaintiffs must demonstrate at the time class certification is sought that they have devised a viable method that can show, through common proof, that each class member suffered impact and the amount of damages each sustained.

The Court disagrees.

In a malpractice suit against the Wolfe Clinic for allegedly botching a LASIK procedure, the Court upheld the dismissal of the case for being filed beyond the statute of limitations. You've only got two years to file a suit once you know, or through the use of reasonable diligence should have known, of the injury for which damages are sought. If you don't make it, and you don't fall into one of the limited exceptions, you're out. Do not pass go. In this case, the plaintiff was trying get Iowa to accept the "continuous treatment doctrine" that is recognized in some other states. The basics:
if the treatment by the doctor is a continuing course and the patient’s disease or condition is of such a nature as to impose on the doctor a duty of continuing treatment and care, the statute does not commence running until treatment by the [doctor] for the particular disease or condition involved has terminated, unless during the course of treatment the patient learns or should reasonably have learned of the harm, in which case the statute runs from the time of knowledge, actual or constructive.

The Court declined to adopt the doctrine, at least on this case, because the evidence showed that the plaintiff knew that the LASIK probably caused his eye problems over two years before the filing, and "If there is actual proof that the patient knows or reasonably should know of the injury or harm before termination of medical treatment, the statute of limitations is not tolled."

In an inmate suit, the Court analyzed the provisions in the Iowa Code requiring the courts to tack on the jail's room and board charges as part of restitution. Specifically, the inmates challenged Iowa Code section 356.7(3), which states in part that "Upon receipt of a claim for room and board reimbursement, the court shall approve the claim in favor of the sheriff or the county for the amount owed by the prisoner as identified in the claim and any fees or charges associated with the filing or processing of the claim with the court." (emphasis mine). They alleged that this provision required the court to essentially act as a rubber-stamp to any claim presented by the Sheriff, usurping the court's right to determine the reasonableness of the charges, a serious intrusion by another branch of government into the area of responsibility constitutionally vested in the court. The Court agreed that if the provision did prohibit the courts from assessing reasonableness of the fees, it would be constitutionally problematic. So it interpreted the section as a "grant of authority to the court to resolve the merits of the claim—not a mandate that it simply sign the order as a ministerial function." Given the prisoners had already had a hearing on the reasonableness issue, despite their complaints that by the language on its face the statute would preclude one, the problem was solved.

Finally, State v. Meadows indicates that if a trucker applies for a special permit to carry an overweight load, and is approved for a particular route to avoid a weight-restricted bridge, DO NOT vary the route. The defendant got caught off the approved route and the court found that utterly voided his permit, exposing him to charges for the full amount of weight violations. It cites an earlier case in which the court held that in a case where a trucker who got a special overweight permit but then hauled a heavier load than allowed by the permit, he rendered his permit void and was subject to an overweight violation, not only to the extent that his load exceeded that which was authorized by the permit, but for the full extent that his load exceeded the generally applicable statutory limits. In other words, don't screw with the IDOT or they will screw you. (Okay, I had to find a way to work that in. It seems to be a theme day).

Is That All?

When I first saw news snippets about the University of Iowa offering a "pornography course" they made it sound like a how-to filmmaking class. Not so much. It's a critique of how porn and porn themes have made the transition from the adult bookstore into mainstream media advertising, both the pros and the cons. If I know the UI it's going to have quite a dose of feminist theory injected as well. If you think about it, it's not a bad idea to analyze how sex, subliminal messages in ads, the "mainstreaming" of Playboy, and the pervasiveness of feminine objectification can affect our collective consciousness.

State 29 blogs on it here, he's got the full course description.

Sexcapades and the Law

The Smoking Gun has the petition that was filed against Washingtonienne Jessica Cutler by one of the staff members she blogged about being, um, intimate with. Apparently he didn't want the rest of us to know he likes spanking (both giving and receiving).

Meanwhile, there's this opinion by the Massachusetts Court of Appeals regarding negligent sex. (NOTE: it has NOTHING to do with Cutler. It's just a similar topic). They established a standard of care:
While it is inappropriate and unworkable to hold consenting adults to a standard of reasonable care in the conduct of private consensual sexual behavior, we conclude that it is appropriate that they be held to a standard that requires them not to engage in wanton or reckless conduct toward each other during such consensual sexual conduct.

They further found she didn't breach the standard:
While the record in this case may have permitted a fact finder to conclude that the defendant's conduct exposed the plaintiff to some risk of harm, the record does not depict conduct that can be fairly categorized as wanton or reckless. Here, the undisputed facts demonstrate that the defendant did not think about possible injury to the plaintiff when she changed her position. There is no evidence in this record to suggest that the defendant's conduct created a "high degree of likelihood that substantial harm [would] result to [the plaintiff]," which is required to prove wanton or reckless conduct.

So, of course, enquiring minds want to know just what the heck they were doing:
The plaintiff and the defendant were in a long-term committed relationship. Early in the morning of September 24, 1994, they were engaged in consensual sexual intercourse. The plaintiff was lying on his back while the defendant was on top of him. The defendant's body was secured in this position by the interlocking of her legs and the plaintiff's legs. At some point, the defendant unilaterally decided to unlock her legs and place her feet on either side of the plaintiff's abdomen for the purpose of increasing her stimulation. When the defendant changed her position, she did not think about the possibility of injury to the plaintiff. Shortly after taking this new position, the defendant landed awkwardly on the plaintiff, thereby causing him to suffer a penile fracture.

Although this was generally a position the couple had used before without incident, the defendant did vary slightly the position previously used, without prior specific discussion and without the explicit prior consent of the plaintiff. It is this variation that the plaintiff claims caused his injury. While the couple had practiced what the defendant described as "light bondage" during their intimate relations, there was no evidence of "light bondage" on this occasion. The plaintiff's injuries were serious and required emergency surgery. He has endured a painful and lengthy recovery. He has suffered from sexual dysfunction that neither medication nor counseling have been able to treat effectively.

So now you know.

Obligatory commentary: Even if the Court found simple negligence rather than recklessness the standard of proof, there'd be room to argue the contact sports exception and related assumption of the risk doctrine. The defense would argue that it is known that one can sprain, strain or otherwise hurt things when engaged in sexual intercourse, that the risk of fractured penis was assumed in agreeing to have sex. The plaintiff could counter by arguing the degree of injury here is not encompassed in the realm of ordinary sexual injuries. But regardless of whether the defense would prevail on these points, it would open the door to minute analysis of sexual acts to determine what is normal versus negligent, and the court just doesn't want to go there. Could you imagine having a waiver in order to enter the bedroom? Idle side question: would one waiver at the beginning of the relationship work, or would you need to update the waiver periodically or when new sexual practices are adopted?

Yep, it's best they didn't go there.

UPDATE: It's come to my attention that the link to the opinion might not work on this last one. If so, go to the Massachusett's Court of Appeals website and click on the slip opinions link. It's the John Doe v. Mary Moe case.

UPDATE UPDATE: Okay, I had to know. Here's a medical article defining penile fracture.
Penile fracture is the traumatic rupture of the corpus cavernosum. Traumatic rupture of the penis is relatively uncommon and is considered a urologic emergency.

Sudden blunt trauma or abrupt lateral bending of the penis in an erect state can break the markedly thinned and stiff tunica albuginea, resulting in a fractured penis. One or both corpora may be involved, and concomitant injury to the penile urethra may occur. Urethral trauma is more common when both corpora cavernosa are injured.

The article also discusses how it occurs:
Etiology: In the Western Hemisphere, the injury most commonly occurs during sexual intercourse when the penis slips out of the vagina and strikes the perineum or the pubic symphysis. Other potential causes include industrial accidents, masturbation, gunshot wounds, or any other mechanical trauma that causes forcible breaking of an erect penis.

In Middle Eastern countries, the injury more commonly occurs secondary to penile manipulation to achieve detumescence. Additional rare etiologies include turning over in bed, a direct blow, forced bending, or hastily removing or applying clothing when the penis is erect.

BY THE WAY: Check out Dweeze's commentary.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Lawyers as Bad Customers

On Waiter Rant. As far as the writing the date off as a business expense: it's not just fraudulent, it's really, really tacky. As far as the idea of lawyers being overly argumentative: I'm not completely convinced. I think the couple described were being arrogant *ssholes, but I'm not so sure they wouldn't have been no matter what profession they'd chosen. I've noticed a high correlation between people who know my occupation and people who perceive me as overly argumentative. I think it's a tendency to notice things that fit in with your stereotype of a person, I don't really argue any more or less often than before my legal training.

You Just Don't Listen

Don't scientists ever watch the Terminator or Battlestar Galactica? Geez.

Big Legal News

You can now order wines direct from the winery, no matter what state you live in. In-depth analysis of the legal issues can be found on SCOTUSBlog, the Volokh Conspiracy, and lots of other blawgs. I'm not enough of a commerce clause geek to add much to these extensive articles.

On the other hand, I can address the concerns expressed in the Reuters article on the case that the decision will lead to rampant underage drinking. While not admitting to any sort of practical experience in that area, I'd just offer the following observations:

1) As far as high school drinkers go, I don't think this is much of an option. I wasn't even Very few are good enough to be able to smuggle in a UPS shipment of a case of wine without my their parents noticing. Those that are would also be intelligent enough to be able to purchase regardless of an interstate shipping law. I'm not so sure that wine sales surpass such high school staples as, say, MD 20/20, cheap beer, or for the more daring, Everclear or Jager shots.

2) Regarding college students, when the occasion calls for more than just the simple kegger, Ernest and Julio can be bought at the Wal-mart without shipping costs. They're going there anyway to pick up cases of Ramen noodles and Mac & Cheese. Given tuition costs, I don't think even college students with more refined palates will be stocking up their in-dorm wine cellars any time soon.

Not that I'd know anything about it.

If You're Graduating This Year

and haven't yet had the ceremony, why settle for the same boring cap toss? Instead, do this. Instructions are here. But remember, don't flip the switch until you get onstage.

Friday, May 13, 2005


Drinking Age

State 29 reiterates the (IMHO) common-sense view that an adult should be able to drink. Non-adults should not. But then, neither should they declare bankruptcy, fight in the military, and so forth.

Yes, you can show statistically that many people in the 19-to-21 age bracket make stupid choices with alcohol. You can correlate that with the idea that drunk drivers cause car crashes, and then extrapolate from that correlation the idea that because this age group has trouble with alcohol, and because drunk drivers cause car crashes, you should simply prohibit all people of that age bracket from drinking in order to make the roads safer.

Of course, you can also show statistically the simpler correlation that retirees make sucky drivers. Should we simply yank licenses when you hit 65, regardless of your personal ability to handle driving? It would save lives, you know.

In Honor of the Date

Everything you want to know about the paraskevidekatriaphobia and its historical underpinnings.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Fisking Pat Buchanan


It took 40 years, but today Pat Buchanan hit bottom on the slippery slope from Young Turk conservative columnist to Nazi Apologist troglodyte.

In That Case, We'd Let You Off With a Warning?

Iowa City Police arrested a man for allegedly raping an eight-year-old girl in a church bathroom. His defense?

Phillips told police he had done this, but thought the girl was 10 and that the sex was consensual.

Ooooh, I bet his lawyer loves him.

UPDATE: Dweeze read this one more carefully than I did - the guy is 19, and was about 11 at the time of the offense. Okay, so now the "she was 10 and consented" stuff makes sense.


I want one of these.

To the Dakotas: It's spring. Did you get the memo?

Text messages to interpret your dog's barking. Clue to dogowner: if your dog is locked in the kennel and barking incessantly, it's frustrated. If you have food in your hand, it's either saying "Food! Yay! Food!" or "Okay, idiot. Drop the doggie treat right now, or I'm going to bite you in the crotch. No, I do not want to sit. Are you serious? Okay, fine. This is soo freaking humiliating."

But I can think of an entertaining use for this technology: simultaneous text translation of pickup-bar speak. "I'll call you." becomes "Come on, close the car door. It's two am. You're drunk and won't remember my name tomorrow." "Nice earrings." becomes "But does that hooker know you stole her clothes?" Oh, and could you imagine if you made one of these into a bedside radio, and . . . . Nah, way too cruel.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Nipple Update.

Why not?

I was taking a break from trying to pound out some fiction last night, and decided to further investigate the whole nipplegate thing.

First, I did a search for an unpadded push-up bra.
(Hey, I'm not going to sacrifice the curves.)

But other than European shopping sites

(What is my bra size in pounds anyway? :-) )

and auction sites

(Yeah, like I'm gonna buy a used bra? Eeeewwww.),

all I get are a few dead-end links claiming there's one for sale at Victoria's Secret. Okay, in 2003 there was. Not since, that I can see.

I also find links for nippits,

(Special band-aids for nipples. What a treat. Not.)

pasty daisies, and for the more adventurous, diva dots. I get the feeling the latter are more for showing off than protection. Hate to tell 'em, but the ultimate in the "show off" category has to be this product from New Zealand: possum fur nipple warmers. I'm so not kidding.

So for now, I find my quest at a stand-still.

A whole debate on the issue at Quarter Life Crisis.

That's It

I'm not going to Thailand.

For more oddness, go here.

More on Jetseta

They expect the ruling on whether the videotape of her St. Luke's interview can be used at trial next week. This is for the James Bentley trial for sexually abusing Jetseta Gage, not Roger Bentley's trial for killing her.

I blogged/ranted on the whole 6th amendment confrontation clause vs. unavailable victims back in February, when it became apparent that the Crawford fallout would have a major impact on domestic assault cases in which the victim refused to testify, whether it was out of fear or a reconciliation attempt. This case makes the practical problems even more apparent. If you can get the prior statement completely knocked out by eliminating the victim, doesn't that put a whole lot of kids in pretty grave danger?

Fresh Law

Today's Iowa Court of Appeals opinions are up.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Blogger Bash Update

From the comments I've received so far, we can eliminate the first week in June, the last two weeks of July, and the first week in August. I'd add to that the 11th of June. We probably also need to cut out the 4th of July, given we're all likely to have some sort of family time obligation. That leaves the following weekends:

June 18th-19th
June 25-26th
July 9-10th
July 16-17th

Any conflicts with any of those dates? I haven't heard out of everybody yet.

Finally, I've volunteered to research the bars in Iowa City for a venue, I'm thinking one with an outdoor area available. Food and drink are a must. Wireless would be a big plus. Is there anyplace anyone absolutely hates and would never, ever set foot in again?

Again, I'd appreciate it if you would post the information on your own blogs. Not everybody reads this one, you know.

It's the Economy, Stupid

I never took either macro or micro, but this is an interesting economics question:

...all forms of consequentialism have a great deal of difficulty interpreting sexual behavior. To put things short, there is an inexplicable shortage of sex. Given that studies show that women and men enjoy it more than most other activities (on average, not on the margin I'll grant), and given its intrinsically low cost, it appears that even a crude approximation of a utility maximizing person would probably spend much more time having sex than most do. Do you know of any economic discussion of this?

Theories are posted here, here and here. I've no clue. I don't even know if my marginal utility has a gap.

Would you tell me, if it did? Or just peep a little?


by incompetence. I don't know if I'd have felt worse for him if he lived or died. From Sugar, Mr. Poon.


Activity at Brent's site.

Economics Lessons

On Side Notes.

Tuesday Roundup

'Cause I've still got four new suits to wade through, and two overdue research projects. Dammit.

Think geekiness isn't fun? This a really cool job. It's like Ask Dr. Science in a computer lab.

An Australian PC magazine tries imposing fees for accessing and leaving comments. I don't think that's going to fly. Face it, the news online is free or we go elsewhere. If forums try to charge for comments, somebody's just going to start a discussion blog.

Blawg Review #5 is up.

So are some cases from last Friday in the Iowa Supreme Court. Of special interest to my field: American Family v. Corrigan, which upholds language on the policy exclusion for “bodily injury . . . arising out of . . . violation of any criminal law for which any insured is convicted” even as against innocent co-insureds - even with regard to failure to supervise claims. The rationale: All three theories of liability asserted require as an element proof of the guilty co-insured's conduct in inflicting the injuries, and as these acts must be established to prove that the innocent co-insured's negligence was a proximate cause of the plaintiff's injuries, none of the claims of negligence alleged are independent of the wrongful conduct so as to be subject to the sole-proximate-cause requirement.

For non-legal types: There's usually no insurance coverage for intentional acts and crimes and such, because they're not unforeseeable accidents. Otherwise, you could buy a policy to cover you before deciding to, say, torch your neighbor's house, and get off without any monetary consequences. The issue in this case is whether the lawyers for the plaintiffs can get around that by saying one of the other people on the policy, a wife, parent or so on, should be liable for failing to stop the person from committing the crime, and allow the plaintiffs at the policy that way. Some states do, others don't. In this case, under these particular exclusions as written (there are a gagillion different clauses out there, so don't assume yours is the same) we don't allow it. So when the Corrigans sued the babysitter that had abused their kid and his father for failing to supervise him or warn them about him, there's no coverage for the case. They can sue the kid and his dad, but they can't make his insurance policy pay for it. Any money has to come from the kid and his dad themselves. The reason is that anything they allege against dad is inextricably tied in with the actions of the kid. The policy said it excluded "bodily injury or property damages arising out of . . . violation of any criminal law for which any insured is convicted.” The kid is "any insured" and there's no case against dad that's completely independent (therefore not "arising out of") of the act that's excluded.

I know, TMI. Wake up and read the rest now.

Okay, I'm not generally fond of Rehka, but ya gotta love a beagle.

Star porn: " is reporting on the first optical afterglow ever detected from a short-duration (milliseconds) Gamma-Ray Burst. The GRB signals the birth of a black hole resulting from a merger between two neutron stars. Theory had predicted the whole thing, which was all spotted this morning by NASA's Swift satellite and ground-based observatories, thanks to an automated email system that notifies astronomers worldwide."

Of course, the very first commenter stole my obvious joke: "The Gamma ray burst was determined to emitted from a very large cigarette lighter igniting a very, very large cigarette. SETI recorded the first successfully detected extraterrestrial broadcast of a message, which they believe was "Was it good for you, too?" Bachelor and bachelorette scientists around the world are extremely puzzeled and have few clues as to what it all means."

Eat fat to lose fat, huh? Sounds like my kind of diet.

Did any of you sci-fi people catch this bogus allegation of a correlation between Star Trek and pedophilia? I'm not even fond of the corrected version - that it's just sci-fi in general.

That's like saying there's a correlation between reading romance novels and wearing high-heeled shoes. The big audience for romance novels is women. Most people who wear high-heeled shoes are also women. So one somehow causes the other? You should stay out of shoe stores if you don't want to promote the sappy romance novel industry? WTF?

The rest of the article, by the way, is quite disturbing and deserves to be considered apart from the annoying sci-fi claim.

They're trying to trace a little girl: "She is perhaps 12 now, her hair still light blond, but she doesn't smile anymore. Over the last three years, she has appeared in 200 explicit photos that have become highly coveted collectibles for pedophiles trolling the Internet. They have watched her grow up online — the hair getting longer, the look in her eyes growing more distant."

They've got a place - most of the photos are in Disney World. Cleverly, they got that by erasing the girl from the pictures and posting the room interiors on a kind of wanted poster.

But the leads have stopped.

They want to release her face in a sort of wanted poster in an attempt to find and rescue her. But besides the usual privacy issues, releasing the sanitized photo could put the child in incredible danger from her abuser.


If you do the prayer thing, you might add a special one for this anonymous little girl.

Monday, May 09, 2005


to Doug and Jodi for hosting one awesome barbecue last Saturday.

Lord Help Us

Starting the Week Off Right

You Are 50% Normal (Somewhat Normal)
While some of your behavior is quite normal... Other things you do are downright strange You've got a little of your freak going on But you mostly keep your weirdness to yourself

Friday, May 06, 2005


I was nominated to organize the summer All-Iowa Blogger Bash at our last get-together in Des Moines.

I'm thinking Iowa City for location, unless anyone has any big objections.

Please post dates you're not available in the comments, and we'll see if we can't get this thing off the ground.

And, Iowa bloggers, you could post any info on your own sites so that those who don't regularly wander into my little corner of the 'net could get the invite as well? I'm determined to have a blowout and I want to force copious amounts of food and alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages of choice on as many innocent Iowa bloggers and readers as possible.

(This means you, too. You know what I'm talking about. You can wear a bag on your head if you want to preserve anonymity. Just make sure it's got a big enough hole you can drink a beer through it. Oh, and eyeholes. I'm just sayin.')

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Who's With Me?

I was reading the Trib today and ran across this article (reg. required, sorry), explaining all the hoopla about the "Ipex" I'd noticed in the Victoria Secret store this weekend:
"Two years in development."

"The result of an international collaboration of designers, scientists and engineers."

With "a government patent pending."

It's "revolutionary." And, it will make you feel "very safe."

Sounds like the description of a global nuclear shield, doesn't it?

In fact, all that hype is for… a brassiere--Victoria's Secret's new and massively advertised IPEX.

It's been hard to miss the sexy Body by Victoria IPEX bra ads in magazines like People and InStyle. Ditto prime-time TV ads with amped and ample supermodel Gisele Bundchen slinging her hair and gyrating in a black IPEX."

Okay, but that still didn't tell me what the heck was supposed to be so great about it. And what do you mean "safe"? Does it come with a rape whistle?

At the end of the article, I found it:
What is it about this IPEX model that makes it worth almost seven times the $6.84 I paid for that Fruit of the Loom at Wal-Mart? It's hard to tell from Gisele, who talks about "coverage where you need it, not where you don't," and says things like, "I think girls understand what I'm saying because, you know, they're girls!"

Well, you know, I'm a girl and I had to ask a Victoria's Secret spokeswoman, Sara Tervo, to explain. "It's a shaved pad. A contoured pad virtually unlined around the outside and lined in the middle, or apex of the bust," she says.

Apex of the bust? Finally, I just blurted it out: "Are you talking about nipples?" Righty-o. The IPEX bra is designed to combat what Tervo describes as "nipple show through." "One of the biggest complaints of our clients is they wanted an unlined bra-without padding-but they didn't want their nipples to show through."

Alllrighty then. Now I get it. It's not to make us safe. It's to make the world safe from nipplage.

But someone has to ask: what's so horrible about nipples? I'm not referring to the tight-shirt nipplage reminiscent of a wet t-shirt contest, but normal, subtle headlights under regular-fitting clothing. At what point did we decide this was code red material, a fashion crisis of global proportions?

(Extraneous side note: Did anyone consult the guys when drafting the new rules? I mean, I don't exactly go around staring at women's chests. I'd probably never notice normal nipplage. Shouldn't we have at least asked those most concerned?)

Throughout high school and most of college, I alternated between non-padded bras and actually going braless. A smallish b-cup, I can get away with that kind of thing. But about the nipples . . . okay, I'm nipple-challenged. It doesn't even need to be cold, that's just how it goes. But because I never wore slut gear, it really didn't matter. No big deal.

Flash forward to about three years ago. I'd volunteered to help out a local church by doing some onstage time. That Sunday, I was dressed in a loose sweater and long skirt - very conservative. I wore a lightly-padded underwire bra. Mint-green, I believe, to match the sweater.

I arrive at the church and after an hour or so, the woman in charge pulls me aside. She tells me that I need to put band-aids on my nipples, so that not a hint of nipplage could possibly show through.

Yep. Band-aids.

She had some with her.

I am ashamed to say that under the pressure of the moment, I caved. Do you know how those things hurt to rip off? I've never done stage work for that church again. But . . .

Why is it my bras are now all padded? I mean, the 1/4 inch of extra silk certainly isn't going to bump me a cup size. Have I sucuumbed to an artificially-induced fashion emergency designed to benefit the foundation garment industry?

Not so fast, fashionistas. I shave my legs, underarms, and bikini line daily. Even in winter. I like that. I cleanse my pores, manicure my nails, and even tweeze my eyebrows, though I'll be damned if I let you get hot wax anywhere near my eyes. But if I won't get implants to satisfy your stylish statutes, why the hell should I let you band-aid my boobs in silk and steel wire?

I think it's time I get a pretty new bra. Pink, perhaps. With no padding.

Viva la revolution.

It's All About the Nipple?

Bra-blogging by Side Notes.

Shhh . . .

Please don't nark me out. They'll take away my blog license.

Your Geek Profile:

Academic Geekiness: High
Internet Geekiness: Low
Movie Geekiness: Low
Fashion Geekiness: None
Gamer Geekiness: None
Geekiness in Love: None
General Geekiness: None
Music Geekiness: None
SciFi Geekiness: None

This quiz brought to you by the letter X and Purple Fish Guts.

Things I've Learned On the 'Net this Week

In case I'd forgotten, courtroom rule #1: know when to SHUT UP.

Kids are a source of endless amusement.

We can't cure the cold, but we can make it play PacMan.

Photoshopping the dead can be fun.

There's another new way to screen dates. Ten years ago you couldn't even look up a date's criminal history online.

People in Wyoming have no sense of humor. Or appreciation of fine sculpture.

Googling can be fun. And colorful.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Hey now . . . .

In answering a gagillion emails flying back and forth about theater-related issues, I got an error message on one of my sent emails. In reading it, why do I get the feeling my email server just broke up with me?

Hi. This is the qmail-send program at I'm afraid I wasn't able to deliver your message. This is a permanent error; I've given up. Sorry it didn't work out.
( )
555.555.555.5555 does not like recipient.

Don't I at least get dinner first?

Blogging is forecasted at light to nonexistant; I've got six new suits at work and what spare time I've had has been devoted to this theater issue.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Speaking of Theater

City Circle's got a season full of musicals coming up. Of course, there's not much for me to do as I'm not a singer or dancer, but hey. Should be fun to watch.

Just Wishing

Mother's day is going to be rather tough. I've been trying to figure out plans for the weekend, I'm getting tired of the same old stuff. Wouldn't this be cool? Or this? Or this?

UPDATE: I've gotten an email - Madonna's got a birthday bash Friday at the Dublin. Cool. Given that I've no spare funds and few people crazy enough to do half this stuff with me, it's probably for the best.

Can I Just Say


And Another Thing . . .

I'm still waiting to find out how Pierre Pierce has escaped jail time for his admitted 80 violations of a no-contact order in a 17 hour period, when any one of those violations carries a mandatory minimum seven day jail sentence. In my earlier post, I provide the law, the links, and a general commentary with examples about how DV cases are still not taken very seriously. I've just seen a good example of what I'm talking about:
S.C. House leaders on Wednesday vowed to pass a bill strengthening the state’s criminal domestic violence laws by the end of the session.

The pledge came a day after WIS-TV reported that a House panel had killed one bill increasing penalties for domestic violence — while passing another making cockfighting a felony.

It also followed what critics called insulting comments about domestic violence victims made during the committee’s discussion of the legislation.

. . . .

According to a tape of the meeting obtained by The State newspaper, Altman asked why the bill’s title — “Protect Our Women in Every Relationship (POWER)” — just mentioned protecting women. Harrison suggested making the bill the “Protecting Our People in Every Relationship” Act, or “POPER.”

A voice on the tape can be heard pronouncing it “Pop her.” Another voice then says, “Pop her again,” followed by laughter.

I'll never forget the number of "If I gave her two black eyes, I already told her twice" jokes I had to endure as the DV prosecutor. And I'm not talking about the "okay, I shouldn't laugh, but this is really funny" stuff that you share with close friends because everyone knows nothing's meant by it and it's not a reflection of real world views. These were deliberate goads by virtual strangers designed to provoke a reaction. Like going up to a random black person on the street and telling a racist joke about lynching to see if you could get a shocked expression, or better yet, a politically correct tirade you could mock.

I'd had no idea that it was such a nasty little topic still. I'd grown up in politically correct Iowa City where you didn't make fun of such things, much less truly believe them. Wow.

By the way, I still think political correctness goes way too far. It also has a disparate impact, in that nobody even thinks to call women on it when they wear t-shirts that say "throw rocks at boys." That's just as bad, in my book.

But even with that said, I can't let this stuff slide. The attitude of the whole article on Pierce didn't appear to treat the problem seriously.

A Side Question

I understand that the 13 year old girl in a Florida group home who got pregnant and disclosed this to her caseworker, and the state insisted she carry her child to term because the Department of Children and Families was technically her guardian and by statute was prohibited from consenting to "sterilization, abortion or termination of life support." The girl went to court to be allowed to have an abortion. The NY Times has the story here. (randommentality/password)

Okay, regardless of how you feel about abortion in general, last I looked, it's physically dangerous for kids of twelve and thirteen to be giving birth, because they're just too d*mn young and their bodies aren't equipped to handle it. Thinking back, I weighed about 85-95 pounds at that age. Not to mention the mental trauma - the kid wouldn't be allowed to keep the baby, it would be placed in foster care the minute it got out of the hospital. So under what philosophy would this not fit under a "health of the mother" exception?

I'm seriously asking.


Copy-and-Paste Reveals Classified U.S. Documents

Did I Mention

Dreamwell's new Old Capitol Center site is a very, very cool idea? And if you didn't catch Book of Liz the first time around, you HAVE to see this. It's too, too freaking hilarious.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Hedda Photos

I finally got the disc this weekend, and was able to upload some of them to the About Me page. Will supplement when time permits.

Nooooooo . . .

I am:
"Congratulations, you're a swing voter. When they say 'Soccer Mom', they mean you. Every Democratic ad on the TV set was made just for your viewing enjoyment. Don't you feel special?"

Are You A Republican?

I don't mind the half-republican thing so much, I know I'm middle of the road. What makes me scream:

Soccer mom?????????


I have no kids.

I don't do minivans.

Don't even think about putting high-waisted jeans, tupperware, or the PTA within a five mile radius of me.

I did like soccer in junior high, but only 'cause I had fun terrorizing the boys by kicking them in the shins as hard as I could, stealing the ball and scoring while they were hobbled by the pain. I was seen as the quiet bookworm type, and it was a nice way to remind them not to pigeonhole me. Until shin guards came along. Damn them.



Got it from Jennifer.


So does this mean I should actually be wearing a Budweiser t-shirt on dates?

A study at the University of Missouri found that even a reference to alcohol triggered the brain into finding women far more attractive than normal.

"This research shows that even if men aren't drinking but are merely exposed to alcoholrelated cues, those who expect that alcohol will make them want sex will rate women as more attractive," said Professor Ronald Friedman, who led the research. "In other words, we propose to have found a case of automatic 'beer goggling'."

(Yeah, yeah. I know. A wet t-shirt never hurts. But it gets cold after a while.)

Something Odd

Is going on in the Pierre Pierce case. According to the Daily Iowan:
Former Hawkeye basketball star Pierre Pierce narrowly escaped spending four months in jail on April 29 after he violated a no-contact order more than 80 times in an 17-hour period. Instead, Pierce was ordered to wear an electronic monitoring device and to abide by a curfew until his Aug. 16 trial. The 21-year-old, who had previously been restricted from consuming alcohol, must now stay out of bars as well.

How'd he violate the order? Well, it wasn't as simple as picking up a phone and dialing:
On March 25, Pierce was standing behind a woman he did not know in "a very famous bar in Iowa City" when she realized her phone was missing. Between 2:46 a.m. and 7:18 p.m., "81 phone calls originating from the stolen/missing phone were placed to the victim's cell phone," according to court records.

Now, by my count on Iowa Courts Online, he's been charged with some rather serious things:

Case: 05251 FECR028426 (DALLAS)

Count 01

Charge: 713.3-3
Description: BURGLARY 1ST DEGREE - 1983 (FELB)
Offense Date: 01/27/2005

Count 02

Charge: 713.3-3
Description: BURGLARY 1ST DEGREE - 1983 (FELB)
Offense Date: 01/27/2005

Count 03

Charge: 709.11(B)
Description: ASSLT. TO SEX ABUSE/INJURY - 1983 (FELD)
Offense Date: 01/27/2005
Count 04

Charge: 716.6(1)
Offense Date: 01/27/2005

Count 05

Charge: 708.2A(2)(C)
Offense Date: 01/27/2005

Count 06

Charge: 708.2A(2)(B)
Offense Date: 01/27/2005

Count 07

Charge: 710.7
Description: FALSE IMPRISONMENT - 1978 (SRMS)
Offense Date: 02/17/2005

The evidence against Pierce on these counts consists of records from the victim's phone and emails, physical evidence such as the trashed apartment and stolen laptop, but most importantly, testimony from the victim/survivor herself. The perpetrators of such crimes generally know that victims are essential to the case, as they can choose to downplay what happened and try to pass it off as harmless, to play it up and hit the jury's hot buttons, or to simply tell the truth and let the justice system do what it will.

Because these types of cases generally happen in the home and without witnesses - most perpetrators aren't stupid enough to pop the victim/survivor in public - there is a phenomenal amount of pressure on the survivor as the sole witness: "Come on, it's not like you're dead or have any broken bones or anything. It was a stupid mistake, do you really want to ruin their life? It's never going to happen again, you know that. Besides, there was alcohol involved, no one was thinking straight. And it's not like you didn't do some pretty nasty things yourself to set this all off. . . . "

It's worse if kids are involved, particularly if the perpetrator was the breadwinner. Note how the excuses go: minimizing, denying, deflecting the blame for the behavior onto alcohol, circumstances, the victim, when no one but a perpetrator chose to commit the crime. Not a "mistake." A crime.

The victim "made you" do it? I see, so they must have picked up your arm, held it to their own throat and squeezed to the point of passing out? They held a gun to your head and said "punch me repeatedly or I'll shoot?" Hmmm. . . I don't think I buy that.

Every excuse in the book is used to make the charge seem stupid, pointless, or just a darn bad idea. Breaking up? You shouldn't testify because it was just a bad, volatile relationship, the chemistry between you was explosive. It'll never happen again, why don't you just move on with your life?

Staying together? Well, they love you now. They've really learned the lesson this time. See? They're going to get counseling, stop drinking, send you flowers. It's never going to happen again. Why not just let us move on with our lives? Do you really want to spend the next year being tied to the court system, paying hundreds of dollars for batterer's classes? With the money we save on fines, I'll take you on a nice cruise, babe.

What's worse is that this attitude is amplified and repeated by society at large. What did the lawyer say about Pierce's admittedly stealing a cell phone and making 80 phone calls to the survivor/witness in order to "fix" the situation?
"When Pierce finally arrived, Parrish admonished him for violating the no-contact order.

"Why the hell would you engage in this?" Parrish said he asked Pierce, calling the act "juvenile" and "stupid." But Parrish asked Hulse not to restrict Pierce, a "fine young man," from finishing his junior year of college.

"I think he should be given an opportunity ... to take his finals," Parrish said."

Yeah, sure, you might think, but that guy's his lawyer. He's paid to make Pierce look good. It's typical for the lawyer to downplay the criminal nature of the charges by making his client out as "juvenile" and "stupid," read: harmless. Nothing to see here, folks. This couldn't be a batterer. He's just stupid.

But of course, the Judge, the courts, the rest of society takes domestic violence issues very, very seriously. Right?

Uh-huh. Okay, so explain to me this: according to Iowa law, a violation of a no-contact order results in a mandatory minumum seven day sentence:
236.14 Initial appearance required - contact to be prohibited - extension of no-contact order.

Violation of this no-contact order, including modified no-contact orders, is punishable by summary contempt proceedings. A hearing in a contempt proceeding brought pursuant to this section shall be held not less than five and not more than fifteen days after the issuance of a rule to show cause, as set by the court. If held in contempt for violation of a no-contact order or a modified no-contact order, the person shall be confined in the county jail for a minimum of seven days. A jail sentence imposed pursuant to this paragraph shall be served on consecutive days. No portion of the mandatory minimum term of confinement imposed by this section shall be deferred or suspended. A deferred judgment, deferred sentence, or suspended sentence shall not be entered for violation of a no-contact order or a modified no-contact order, and the court shall not impose a fine in lieu of the minimum sentence, although a fine may be imposed in addition to the minimum sentence.

This is mandatory. It is not negotiable. If you're a prosecutor with a crap case and want to try for a plea deal, the best you can do is try to fudge an amendment into the statute on a civil no-contact order violation, which arguably doesn't require the seven days. It's not really accurate, some judges won't let you do it, but it can sometimes be done if you've got a very shaky case.

Here, you've got an admitted violation, from what I understand. Not contested, admitted. 80 times. In one day. On a stolen phone. No evidentiary problems, even if he did try to contest it. A clear violation of the law. The underlying case isn't some misdemeanor slap with a slight reddening as the injury. It's a freaking class B felony. But somehow, the court, the prosecutor, and apparently the press have decided it's no big deal. What do they give him? An ankle bracelet, a freaking curfew, and an order to refrain from going into bars. As if it was the bar's fault. Yep. Didya ground him from TV, too?


Why weren't witness-tampering charges filed? Why was he not found in contempt and sentenced to at least one seven-day stretch? I know it was a bond review hearing, but I don't see any contempt hearing being set on these, and the paper implies it's done.

I don't know whether it was a plea deal or the judge's idea, but it smacks of political posturing at its worst.

Of course, this is also fitting:

Why do I get the feeling he'll fit in rather well in his chosen career?

NOTE: I'm aware I've grammatically murdered this post by using "they" as a singular pronoun. But it was simply too cumbersome to use he/she or his/her that often, and I want to avoid gender stereotyping pronouns in discussing the issue. Besides, I think we should just canonize the whole use of "they" as singular and be done with it. Easier, and we can all just move on.