Monday, February 27, 2006

A valuable life assessment tool?

Or is it the ultimate way to make yourself feel inadequate no matter how much you've actually accomplished today because there's no physical way you'll ever be able to live up to those standards?

You make the call.

FYI: I scored twenty. Yep, twenty out of a hundred. Some of that might be attributable to the move, but still. I personally believe the only way to fulfill all of those things all of the time is to morph into a Martha-Stewart-like animatron complete with your own personal supply of amphetemines (maximum functionality on less than two hours sleep!)

Now for the moving update:

I do have a place to live, and I've physically put all my stuff into it, thanks to the above-and-beyond heroics of Nelle and KMacis and Bob.

Monday Quiz

You Are A Lily

You are a nurturer and all around natural therapist.
People see you as their rock. And they are able to depend on you.
You are a soothing influence. You can make people feel better with a few words.
Your caring has more of an impact than even you realize.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Update Update

So the first place I looked at fell through last week. The story: I was looking for a flexible lease that allowed a pet, 'cause I've got custody of my beagle. This particular place had been referred by a very helpful blogreader, but I also had seen their ad in the paper:

Best Price - Nicest Condos Near Coral Ridge Mall. 2 bdrm large bath, Deck, fpl., W/D, non- Smoking, garage. Flex Leases, some pet friendly.

(Side note: I removed the phone # because I'm going to rant a little here.)

So I called up the office manager and asked for pricing on the pet-friendly flexible lease. "What kind of commitment?" I was asked. I indicated a month to month, which didn't go over well. I told I'd have to sign through summer - July 31. Otherwise it's just not worth it for her because it would be too hard to coordinate an August rental without any certainty about whether I'd stay or not.

(Side note: this doesn't sound all that much like a "flex lease" to me, particularly considering that's the same deal everyone else in town is doing. Everybody wants their leases to renew on the traditional August 1 Iowa City moving day. But, hey, that's what negotiating is about.)

So I throw some ideas out. We discuss a three-month lease, but she doesn't like that. I'm told moving in and out is just too hard on the apartment, and if I decided to re-sign it would screw up the whole August 1 thing.

I finally suggest we go with a straight month-to-month, but with a requirement that I indicate by May whether or not I intend to stay through the next year, so she can start showing the apartment for an August rental date. In other words, she gives on the flexibility, allowing me to move out early if necessary, and I agree if I stay to May I've got to sign up or move on, allowing her to organize her August. She seems to think that's okay, so I submit the application, and am called the next morning and told that everything checks out and the lease is being drawn up.

As we talk further, I suddenly realize that the lease in question isn't a month to month at all, but a regular lease through July 31st, like she was pushing in the first place. I'm a little torqued, but decide not to make a deal about it, since let's face it, I'll probably be there most of that time anyway, and she may have misunderstood me. So I reply: "Well, that's not what I thought we'd said, but if at this point, we can go with that." I swear to God I wasn't pissy. I wasn't even remotely snippy. But apparently, I ticked her off, 'cause from there, the excuses began.

First, she says if I don't intend to re-sign a year lease at the end of the summer, it would be "too difficult" to coordinate the whole August thing. She's got lots of people that want to rent there, you know, and she needs to know way ahead of time.

(Which is presumably why she has apartments sitting empty in February . . . and no, I did NOT say that. I wasn't trying my best to salvage the situation.)

I respond that I can't consider committing to re-signing the year at this time, pointing out that to do so would basically be locking me into a year-and-a-half lease, which is a little long. I reiterate, in case she misunderstood, that I am willing to do the six-month thing, and let her know by May if I'm staying or not.

(Side note: "flex lease." So what does this term mean? That the paper it's written on bends?)

Then I'm told that the rent "should" be "at least" $150 more than we had agreed upon anyway because the July 31st is a "short term" lease. (WTF?!?!?!).

The best part: I'm not even given the chance to agree to the sudden price increase (I would've agreed, I'm that desperate). As I open my mouth to speak, she says she's going to have to check with the owner anyway, because she doesn't "think they have any more room."

Okay, I must admit, she finally gets me to crack a little with that last one. There's a bit of an edge to my voice as I ask what's changed in the past five minutes - it's the exact same agreement she just called me up to offer, and the apartment is sitting empty. She hangs up on me.


After that fiasco, I had a tentative agreement with my brother to move in with him and his girlfriend, as their roommate had moved out. But the more we discussed it, it didn't seem like that was the best of ideas for lots of reasons. So we nixed that this weekend.

(Side note: Yep, I was trying to negotiate house deals while in Chicago for Aunt Millie's funeral. Can we say it in unison? "I'm that desperate.")

So that brings us to yesterday. I take the afternoon off to look around.

Place #1: I asked the agent specifically if it was a nice, non-student-type place. I was assured it was. I got there and was told that the poop-brown carpet would be repaired or replaced when it got burned during the last kegger party. It went downhill from there.

Place #2: Is apparently out by West Branch somewhere. (And you think I'm late for work now?)

Place #3: Is advertised as February and March rent free, available now, ) A newer condo, with a deck, fitness center, washer and dryer, pets negotiable. (emphasis mine). A bit further on the East side than I wanted, but otherwise it's perfect. I even got a little excited about it. But when I show up to look, I discover that their idea of "available now" basically equates to "available as soon as we get a place and pack up to move." (Sigh). They did suggest I could sign the lease now, and then move my stuff into their garage until they were ready to move. I declined.

Anybody have a nice two-bedroom condo or apartment that they want to rent to a lawyer who hasn't been late on a mortgage payment in over ten years, can put three month's deposit down, and has an eleven year old beagle that sleeps twenty-three hours out of the day? A place that doesn't scream "keg stand," but instead purrs "let's have a nice glass of pinot grigio in front of the fireplace?" It's got to be a short-term thing, because I'm determined to make the move to Chicago soon.

Anyway, I'll keep you updated.

Thursday Quiz

You scored as Existentialism. Your life is guided by the concept of Existentialism: You choose the meaning and purpose of your life.

"Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does."

"It is up to you to give [life] a meaning."

--Jean-Paul Sartre

"It is man's natural sickness to believe that he possesses the Truth."

--Blaise Pascal

More info at Arocoun's Wikipedia User Page...





Justice (Fairness)






Divine Command


Strong Egoism






What philosophy do you follow? (v1.03)
created with

Tuesday, February 21, 2006


Yep, I know it's been a week. Sorry, but things are too, too hectic. Here's the scoop: had another relative die last week and had to go to the visitation/funeral in Chicago. Finally, I've been packing away and trying to line up a place to live, considering I have to move out this weekend. I've about figured out where, I'll finalize that today or tomorrow and hire the truck. For those of you in the area: expect a frantic email soon begging for help. I'm serious - my dad can't lift anything anymore, and I may be down to only one brother in terms of assistance. I'm going to target Saturday to get as much as possible moved, and it's really lifting the sofa and a bed that will take the most effort - appliances stay, so the fridge and stove and stuff don't need to be moved. Okay, the hutch will also be a big item, but it breaks in half. Anyway, I will provide whatever bribery you want, name the price. . . (Okay, I'd better qualify that. Last I looked there were still some limits. Let's stick with pizza and beer type things, okay?)

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Valentiney Links

The Things We Do For Love. Awwwww.


In eavesdropping on street conversations, I've identified contrasting attitudes.

Most females appear to like something simple:

preferably with some nice flowers.

Of course, most men's viewpoints appear to approximate this:

and they do have a point.

My personal opinion is that it's like Christmas. Worth celebrating even if you do have to put up with the commercialism. And I like coral-colored roses and dark chocolate, for the record.


Of course, if you're just in it for the sex there's this.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Monday Quiz

Your Five Variable Love Profile
Propensity for Monogamy:
Your propensity for monogamy is high. You find it easy to be devoted and loyal to one person. And in return, you expect the same from who you love. Any sign of straying, and you'll end things.

Experience Level:
Your experience level is high. You've loved, lost, and loved again. You have had a wide range of love experiences. And when the real thing comes along, you know it!

Your dominance is low. This doesn't mean you're a doormat, just balanced. You know a relationship is not about getting your way. And you love to give your sweetie a lot of freedom.

Your cynicism is medium. You'd like to believe in true and everlasting love...But you've definitely been burned enough to know better. You're still an optimist, but you also are a realist.

Your independence is low. This doesn't mean you're dependent in relationships.. It does mean that you don't have any problem sharing your life. In your opinion, the best part of being in love is being together.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Confessions of a Book Addict

I sit on the floor of the living room, packing tape in hand, with the Exorcism of Emily Rose playing off TIVO in the background. The two bookcases in front of me were filled long ago, with double rows forming on the bottom shelves as odd novels migrate from the rest of the house, displaced from coffee and end tables by the latest best sellers. I reach onto the bottom shelf and pluck up a handful of hardbacks. Edward Rutherford, Alice Walker, Tracy Chevalier, Robert Massie, Nicci French. Keep. Definitely keep. Anita Shreve, Caleb Carr, Dorothy Sayers, Michael Crichton. Also keep. I work my way into the classics: Bronte, Dumas, Hugo, Tolstoy, Austen, Eliot, Kipling, Stoker, Shelley, Stowe. Must keep. I mean, seriously, these are classics. If I toss them now, I'll just buy them again later, and how efficient would that be?

I manage to find some to donate. The old Reader's Digest condensed stuff from my grandmother is first in the pitch box, soon followed by some old law school textbooks, Pilgrim's Progress (does anybody actually like that novel?), and a bunch of religious texts and lawyer-joke books given to me by various relatives stuck for a Christmas present. Eventually, I start culling the "real" books. Alicia Valdez' Playing with Boys was nowhere near as good as The Dirty Girl's Social Club. Buh-bye. I never could get into Four Spirits. See ya. Crichton is generally good, but The Lost World frankly sucked. I'll keep Timeline, though God knows why. As interesting as The Shipping News or Song of Solomon were, I know I probably won't reread them. Some books, like movies, you open again and again. Others you read once and that's enough. Like people, some plots just click. I've given up trying to explain why. I used to think that I "should" like certain pieces: dark, deep novels with a certain complexity in the imagery. English major stuff. Now, I know I can't force it. I like what I like, and am unfortunately equally likely to reread an old Agatha Christie mystery, Ludlum thriller, or Piers Anthony pulp sci-fi as I am Pride and Prejudice, Things Fall Apart, or Memoirs of a Geisha.

Then come the hard choices. I'd picked up some books I'd loved as a kid. Okay, to be honest, on the top shelf of one of my closets I have about all the children's books I ever owned stashed away, from the Nancy Drew mysteries to the pre-teen "why can't I have a horse?" books. I'd only added to the mess by picking up some of the Great Brain books and a Trixie Belden mystery at a recent garage sale. Instead of boxing them, I pick them up and take them back to the bedroom. I stand there for a moment, staring up at the pile of children's literature gathering dust on the shelf. I know shouldn't keep these. They aren't meant to be paperweights or dust collectors, they're living, breathing stories. I should sell them, pass them on. On the other hand, their stories belong as much to me as to the characters: The Sherlock Holmes collection I was reading in the maple tree in the backyard in fifth grade while we were cleaning out the old wooden two-room doghouse in the backyard to make a "fort" only big enough for three kids to fit in. The "real" Hundred and One Dalmations by Dodie Smith in which Perdita is not Missus Pongo and never was and who are you calling a liar? The Hardy Boy mystery read by an eviscerated night-light at two am on a school night after I'd pushed a pair of old jeans under the door so my parents couldn't see the light was on, which scared the crap out of me when I'd snuck downstairs for a Susie-Q because I thought that the broken clock on the living room wall had suddenly started to tick and maybe that meant there was an intruder in the house or a ghost or something and nobody is awake but me.

I call my best friend, who has a daughter going on two. She'll take the kid's books for me. I'll pack those tomorrow. I'm writing my name in them, just in case.

Besides the two donation boxes and the box I'm giving to a friend, I fill three bank boxes and two computer printer boxes before I finish for the night.

Only one shelf more to go.

Then I can start on the other living room. . . .

By the way, did I mention blogging will be light in the near future?

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Wednesday Quiz

I may have blogged this one before . . .

You are the Golden Rule!

You presume that the legislature would not want to apply the statute to achieve an unreasonable or absurd result inconsistent with its purpose. It's not what's on the surface that matters for you, and you try to do what's best in any given situation. You're a bit unpredictable, but you don't mind.

[Which Canon of Statutory Construction are You?]
brought to you by [Quizilla]

FISA Hearings

I was in a mediation yesterday and have the requisite catch-up to play today, so I doubt if I'll get read the transcripts and give my two cents' worth anytime soon. Meanwhile, Professor Yin has an analysis up on one of the more interesting statutory interpretation issues. And Solove on Concurring Opinions has this:
GONZALES: It's an early warning system designed for the 21st century. It is the modern equivalent to a scout team, sent ahead to do reconnaissance, or a series of radar outposts designed to detect enemy movements. And as with all wartime operations, speed, agility and secrecy are essential to its success.

TRANSLATION: Remember the robot probe in The Empire Strikes Back? It’s like that.

GONZALES: While the president approved this program to respond to the new threats against us, he also imposed several important safeguards to protect the privacy and the civil liberties of all Americans. . . . As the president has said, if you're talking with Al Qaida, we want to know what you're saying.

TRANSLATION: If you’ve got nothing to hide, then there should be no problem with us listening to you. If you’ve got something to hide, then . . . well . . . we should listen to you.
GONZALES: Presidents throughout our history has authorized the warrantless surveillance of the enemy during wartime, and they have done so in ways far more sweeping than the narrowly targeted terrorist surveillance program authorized by President Bush.

TRANSLATION: They did it too! It ain’t fair to single us out. Yes, they did it before the FISA was passed, but still!

GONZALES: While FISA is appropriate for general foreign intelligence collection, the president made the determination that FISA is not always sufficient for providing the sort of nimble early-warning system we need against Al Qaida. . . . Just as we can't demand that our soldiers bring lawyers onto the battlefield, let alone get the permission of the attorney general or a court before taking action, we can't afford to impose layers of lawyers on top of career intelligence officers who are striving valiantly to provide a first line of defense by tracking secretive Al Qaida operatives in real time.

TRANSLATION: A simple syllogism. FISA requires judicial oversight. Judicial oversight requires courts. Courts require lawyers. And everybody hates lawyers, right?
Read the rest.


The coloring book for lawyers via the Legal Underground. Some entries:

THIS IS THE SENIOR PARTNER. He hates me. He calls me bad names, but he gives me lots of raises.

THIS IS A CLIENT. He smells bad. He has money to spend. I like him.

THIS IS MY FIRM'S LUNCHROOM. Sometimes I walk through it and smile at the staff. "Hello, staff," my smile says, "I am one of you." I never eat there.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Monday Quiz II

You Are 53% Addicted to Love

Might as well face it, you're addicted to love. You've been a fool for love many times - but are you the wiser for it? Your needs should come first, both in and out of relationships. Because you're the only one who can look out for yourself!

(Obligatory blog comment: I know, I know. Shut up, Nelle. )

Monday Quiz

You Are Miss Piggy
A total princess and diva, you're totally in charge - even if people don't know it. You want to be loved, adored, and worshiped. And you won't settle for anything less. You're going to be a total star, and you won't let any of the "little people" get in your way. Just remember, piggy, never eat more than you can lift!

Friday, February 03, 2006

Barriers to World Peace

Why, exactly, are we not hearing more about this?

Legal Geek Stuff

There's a really fascinating crim law debate going on at the Volokh Conspiracy about this opinion. The facts:
In November 1987, Joni Goldyn opened checking and savings accounts with the Nevada Federal Credit Union (NFCU). Generous to a fault, NFCU also showered Goldyn with a $1,000 loan, a $500 line of credit attached to her checking account, a credit card and a “check guarantee card.” By January 1988, Goldyn had depleted the funds in her accounts, used up most of her $500 line of credit, and accumulated various bank fees, resulting in a net negative balance. But Goldyn continued writing checks, and merchants continued accepting them, presumably relying on her check guarantee card. More importantly, NFCU continued covering her checks, as the check guarantee card obligated it to do. As NFCU’s collection officer testified at trial: “If a member uses a check guarantee card with the check, the bank is liable, and we do have to honor those checks.” Goldyn was convicted by a jury of five counts of Drawing and Passing Checks with Insufficient Funds on Deposit, in violation of Nev. Rev. Stat. 205.130. Because she had previously been convicted of three felonies and one gross misdemeanor—all fraud related—she was sentenced as a habitual criminal to five life sentences. After twelve years in prison, she was released and placed on lifetime parole. 1 On federal habeas, Goldyn presents a simple argument: If the bank was obligated to cover them, then she can’t have written bad checks.
The issue: Kozinski ruled that the absence of evidence warranted federal habeas relief, because: 1) The check guarantee card was, as a line of credit, an implicit loan arrangement. Although the bank tried to cancel it, the letter was returned without a receipt and the account was never closed. 2) Because of this, she couldn't draw on an account with insufficient funds - any check she wrote without funds in the account was just taking out another loan for the amount of the check. 3) The statute only applied when "the person has insufficient money, property or credit" in the account, and as there was never insufficient money, she couldn't have violated the statute. However, Orin Kerr points out that there's a bit more to the story:
In the case of Garnick v. First Judicial Dist. Court, 81 Nev. 531, 407 P.2d 163 (1965), the Nevada Supreme Court casually read the statute and concluded stated that it had the following elements:

The elements of the crime of issuing a check against insufficient funds are (1) intent to defraud, (2) the making or passing of a check for the payment of money, and (3) without sufficient funds in the drawee institution to cover said check in full upon its presentation.

It's not clear how the Garnick court reached the conclusion that these were the elements of the statute. The Garnick opinion simply states these as the elements without analysis. Further, if you read the statute closely, the Garnick court's interpretation is different from what the statute actually says. That difference is really critical here: the text of the statute says that it applies when a person "has insufficient money, property or credit," and the Garnick court replaced "money, property or credit" with the somewhat narrower word "funds." The Nevada state prosecutors presumably read Garnick and treated the the Nevada Supreme Court's reading of the statute as binding.

Under Garnick, Goldyn seems to have satisfied the statute. In fact, the Nevada Supreme Court applied the Garnick standard to affirm Goldyn's conviction. Kozinski acknowledges that Goldyn was guilty under this standard (without citing Garnick), but concludes that this interpretation of Nevada state law is just wrong:
The state court correctly identified that Goldyn "did not have sufficient funds in her account to cover the checks." But standing alone, this is not a crime; the statute is only violated if she wrote the checks without sufficient funds "or credit." Nev. Rev. Stat. 205.130(1). Thus, Goldyn’s undisputed lack of funds is of no consequence if she had sufficient credit to cover the checks.
So was Kozinski fudging?
The debate is a bit brain-bleed inducing if you haven't studied law, but it's worth the read, particularly if you're interested in the split of power between federal and state courts.

Fresh Law

New cases are up for the Iowa Court of Appeals and the Iowa Supreme Court. Some things that caught my eye:

STATE V. HEILIGER appeals a conviction of OWI second, alleging improper denial of a motion to suppress evidence from the traffic stop, due to an insufficient basis for the stop. The facts:
At approximately 8:30 p.m. on May 20, 2004, Sioux County Deputy Sheriff Jason Bergsma was traveling south in his patrol car on Highway 60 in rural Sioux County when he observed a vehicle stop at an intersection and then proceed across Highway 60 from a county blacktop onto a gravel road . . . at a speed of ten to fifteen miles per hour. Bergsma believed the vehicle’s rate of speed was slower than most people drive at that location, but he observed no traffic violations and did not follow the vehicle.

Deputy Bergsma continued driving on Highway 60 for a few minutes and then turned off the highway. After making several turns, Deputy Bergsma came over a hill and stopped at an intersection. From that location, he observed the same vehicle parked in a farm driveway approximately one-half mile north . . . The deputy watched the vehicle for approximately thirty seconds. No one got out of the car while he was watching it, and he could not see what the driver was doing inside the vehicle. The deputy then drove his patrol car toward the parked vehicle. As he did so, the vehicle backed out of the driveway and traveled in Bergsma’s direction. Deputy Bergsma turned his patrol car around and followed the vehicle. He also ran the vehicle’s license plates and determined that the vehicle was registered to Lisa Heiliger, who resided in a nearby town. The deputy assumed that Heiliger was driving the car and found it “kind of unusual” that she was parked in the driveway of a farm field.

Bergsma followed Heiliger’s vehicle for two and one-half miles on the gravel road. During this time, the vehicle was traveling in a straight line at a reasonable speed. Deputy Bergsma decided to stop the vehicle because he believed it was being driven too close to the ditch. He activated his emergency lights, and the vehicle pulled over. After the stop, Heiliger failed field sobriety tests and was arrested for OWI.
The State argued that the stop was proper under the community caretaking function, which allows law enforcement officers to stop a vehicle without having witnessed a traffic violation or any other criminal activity if the stop is in the interest of public safety. The standard for that basis is “whether the facts available to the officer at the time of the stop would lead a reasonable person to believe that the action taken by the officer was appropriate.” The State argued that it met the test because the officer was concerned about the proximity of the defendant's car to the ditch, as she'd driven for two and one-half miles within one to two feet of the same line of travel near the edge of the road next to the ditch. They also argued that it was "kind of unusual" she'd been parked in the driveway of a farm field. The Court of Appeals did not find this persuasive:
"The record reveals Heiliger’s speed did not fluctuate before she was stopped. Deputy Bergsma testified that her speed of thirty miles per hour was appropriate for the gravel road on which she was driving. Heiliger drove for two and one-half miles in a straight line of travel. She did not weave within her lane or cross the centerline. Her vehicle never touched the vegetation on the edge of the road during the time that the deputy followed her. A video of the actual moment of the stop shows Heiliger driving in an appropriate manner in the right lane of the gravel road before pulling over to the edge of the road in response to Deputy Bergsma’s emergency lights. The record reveals no activity at the time Heiliger was parked in the farm driveway that indicated Heiliger was engaged in criminal activity or needed any kind of assistance.

We conclude the evidence we have just described does not support a finding that Deputy Bergsma had reasonable suspicion to stop Heiliger’s vehicle. We also conclude that the record reveals no community caretaking justification for stopping her vehicle. Accordingly, we reverse the district court’s denial of Heiliger’s motion to suppress and remand for further proceedings consistent with this opinion."
Obligatory blog commentary: The car was 2 feet from the ditch. Okay, so? Last I checked, that was a valid part of the road to drive on, and there are a bunch of people who drive on that part of the lane. Actually, those people scare me less than the ones who hug the centerline. And parking in a farm field driveway is not all that unusual in the country, I see people do it all the time when they're looking to turn around, make a cell call, or if they own the field and they're doing a visual check of the fences. It was 8:30 in May, not 2:00 am., and the sun hadn't even set yet. I can't figure out what caught his attention here.

STATE V. GREENE discusses whether "shards are made of sheet steel, approximately three-quarters of an inch wide at their base and three inches long, tapered to a razor- sharp point" are a dangerous weapon under the Iowa Code that could trigger the D-felony enhancement prong of the stalking statute, thus taking the crime out of the misdemeanor category. The facts:
Greene and Kathy Miller lived together for a period of time in Greene’s home. When the relationship soured and Kathy moved out, Greene threatened to “do something” if Miller refused to reconcile. Kathy’s house and car were spray painted with graffiti, and personal effects she had left at Greene’s house began to appear, damaged, at various places around town. A support post for Kathy’s hammock was cut off, apparently with a chainsaw. Greene sent harassing letters to Kathy and to members of her family and friends. A rock was thrown through a window at her home, and a dead skunk was thrown into her home. Greene obtained a restraining order against Kathy, claiming, falsely, that she had harassed him. Metal signs were posted around the community bearing derogatory comments about Kathy. A search of Greene’s home revealed a chainsaw, mail addressed to Kathy, apparently stolen from her mailbox, and other items.

Most significant among the evidence presented at the trial were steel shards that had been impaled in Kathy’s car tires and those of her parents’ tires as well. The shards are made of sheet steel, approximately three-quarters of an inch wide at their base and three inches long, tapered to a razor- sharp point. The shards are welded to steel bases to keep them upright. These shards had been propped up against the tires to flatten them as the cars were moved. As would be expected, the tires went flat almost immediately. The components of the shards were consistent with sheet steel available at Greene’s place of employment.
The stalking statute is found in Iowa Code Section 708.11:
2. A person commits stalking when all of the following occur:
a. The person purposefully engages in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear bodily injury to, or the death of, that specific person or a member of the specific person's immediate family.

b. The person has knowledge or should have knowledge that the specific person will be placed in reasonable fear of bodily injury to, or the death of, that specific person or a member of the specific person's immediate family by the course of conduct.

c. The person's course of conduct induces fear in the specific person of bodily injury to, or the death of, the specific person or a member of the specific person's immediate family.
Basic stalking is an aggravated misdemeanor for a first offense, a D felony for a second offense, and a C felony for a third offense. However, there's a provision in the code for an enhancement to a D felony even on a first offense:
3. b. A person who commits stalking in violation of this section commits a class "D" felony if any of the following apply:
(1) The person commits stalking while subject to restrictions contained in a criminal or civil protective order or injunction, or any other court order which prohibits contact between the person and the victim, or while subject to restrictions contained in a criminal or civil protective order or injunction or other court order which prohibits contact between the person and another person against whom the person has committed a public offense.

(2) The person commits stalking while in possession of a dangerous weapon, as defined in section 702.7.

(3) The person commits stalking by directing a course of conduct at a specific person who is under eighteen years of age.
The definition of a dangerous weapon under 702.7 states:
A "dangerous weapon" is any instrument or device designed primarily for use in inflicting death or injury upon a human being or animal, and which is capable of inflicting death upon a human being when used in the manner for which it was designed. Additionally, any instrument or device of any sort whatsoever which is actually used in such a manner as to indicate that the defendant intends to inflict death or serious injury upon the other, and which, when so used, is capable of inflicting death upon a human being, is a dangerous weapon. Dangerous weapons include, but are not limited to, any offensive weapon, pistol, revolver, or other firearm, dagger, razor, stiletto, switchblade knife, or knife having a blade exceeding five inches in length.

The fighting issue in this case were whether the steel shards constituted a dangerous weapon as used. The State argued they were designed primarily for use in inflicting death or injury because they were designed to ruin a car tire, and the intent to ruin a tire may imply an intent to kill or injure a person because the car might go out of control when the tires deflated. The Court found that too speculative:
"We believe this correlation is too speculative; under that reasoning, a lug wrench used to loosen car wheels could be considered a dangerous weapon because a wheel might fall off the car and cause it to crash. . . . If the shards were held in the defendant’s hand in a personal confrontation with a victim, there would be little doubt that they were dangerous weapons, as they would have been used in a manner indicating an intent to kill or injure. That is not the case here, however. While the record would support a finding of intent to damage property, it could not, as a matter of law, support a finding that the shards were designed to, or actually used with an intent to, inflict death or injury. Attributing such intent to the defendant under these facts would necessarily be based on conjecture.
The Court overturned the felony stalking conviction, affirmed the convictions for criminal mischief, and remanded for entry of a judgment of conviction on misdemeanor stalking and for resentencing on all convictions.

There were a bunch of other cases, so be sure to follow the links if you want all the latest.

Friday Fashion Quizzes

Just for Slides

You Are a Lace Bra!

Dreamy, romantic, and ultra-feminine
You're a womanly woman who makes guys feel like men
Your perfect guy is strong, determined, and handsome
With a softer side that only you can draw out

You Are Skinny Heel Boots

You always look great - from your styled hair to your sleek boots.


Found on the 'net:

Anina is a top fashion model in Paris. She's also a blogger and very into tech. Huh. A model with brains. A nice shattering of the stereotype, no? Apparently her employer disagrees:
if you have been wondering why i have not been posting a lot since coming back from germany, it's because my agency gave me an ultimatum: either quit doing the technology stuff, or leave the agency. they say that fashion and technology do not go together.

they say,that i can not do both things and that i must choose to either be a model, or do the tech stuff. they say i will not find an agency in paris who will accept for me to do the both. and so i have been thinking deeply about what i am to be doing.

modeling makes me money, tech does not. i love tech, why should i have to give it up.

WTF? "Omigod, Ashley, you so totally can NOT join the computer club. That is, like, so for geeks. If you are even SEEN talking to them, the whole school will know, and you'll get kicked off the cheerleading squad for sure." I can understand the whole "no blogging on company time" and "no blogging about work" thing. But "fashion and technology do not go together"??? Says who?

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Okay Geeks, Help Me Out

There are a few legal search sites that aren't so user-friendly for me - they list the results in a nice, neat table with links but the links are javascript and not HTML so the "open in new window" right-click option returns a bad page.

(I understand the concept behind not forcing your users into a new window to conserve memory, but I actually want the results in a new window. That way, I can leave the windows open on the ones I want, but close the ones I don't. Then, at the end of checking all the sites, I can maximize the windows I wanted, and proceed from there. Kind of an assembly line approach, it's more efficient.)

So here's my question: is there any way modify my machine to force it to recognize a java link as an "open in new window" command - to force the java to open a new window instead of having the result replace the original page with the list? I've tried the standard non-java hacks like looking in the "view source" code for the actual html links (I could then open a new browser window and just copy/paste into the address bar), but to no avail. (The text doesn't list HTML, just the java code.)

Caveat: obviously I don't know Java, so any hints need to be a sort of step-by-step approach. Please either comment or email me. Pretty please. I'll owe you a beer.

Many, many thanks!!!

Wednesday, February 01, 2006


I got tagged by Simplicity, so here it goes:

Four Things

Four jobs I've had:
  1. Assistant caterer backstage at the US Cellular Center (back then known as the 5 Seasons Center).

  2. Ear piercer/jewelry sales clerk at the mall.

  3. Ticket girl at the movie theater.

  4. Test scorer for NCS.

Four movies I can watch over and over:
  1. Princess Bride

  2. Monty Python's Holy Grail

  3. Lord of the Rings (okay, so I cheat, it's a trilogy)

  4. Love, Actually

Four places I've lived:
  1. Carol Stream

  2. Waukon

  3. Coralville

  4. Iowa City

Four TV shows I love:
  1. Battlestar Galactica

  2. ??

  3. ??

  4. ??
(There's seriously nothing else current that I watch. Everything else is reruns: Sex and the City, Friends, Seinfeld, Will and Grace (okay, that's still on but the new ones kinda suck), etc. I watched the Dead Zone for a while in it's first season, but it got formulaic and old pretty fast. So now what?)

Four highly-touted TV shows I detest:
  1. American Idol

  2. Survivor

  3. Oprah. (How do you spell "annoying?")

  4. Anything beginning with "Pimp my"

Four books I'd recommend to anyone, anytime:
  1. Shoeless Joe

  2. The Lord of the Rings trilogy

  3. The Alienist (Unless they're a kid. It's a little intense.)

  4. Harry Potter books

Four places I've vacationed:
  1. 1. Antigua and other Caribbean islands (Jamaica, Grand Cayman, etc.)

  2. Isla Mujeres, Mexico

  3. Various Colorado locations

  4. Berlin

Four of my favorite dishes:
  1. Sushi

  2. Vegetable nachos

  3. Marinated flank steak (I've got this awesome recipe . . . )

  4. Pizza

Four sites I visit daily:
  1. Bloglines (that's where I read everybody's blogs and read the news)

  2. My gmail and yahoo mail accounts

  3. The company's homepage (required)

  4. Statcounter (Yep, I check 'em).

Four places I would rather be right now:
  1. Chicago.

  2. On vacation.

  3. Shopping.

  4. Onstage.

Four bloggers I am tagging:
  1. Dweeze

  2. Matt

  3. Homercles

  4. Kris

Photos are Up

It took me all my blogging time allowance for today, but by request, the Odd Couple photos are up on the back page.