Monday, August 30

Pin arrow with shoulder

This came to me via the Dudleys and it's excellent. If you follow the link to the source you'll find that the satire is scarcely any more foolish than the original:

"Duck and Cover" for the 21st Century

You may have noticed (but you probably didn't) that I've linked to the Bubb's new page. I should note that a link does not mean complete endorsement. Bubb is much more of a neo-liberal (or an economic rationalist as we'd say in Australia) than I am, although I do share his hostility toward most of the US's agricultural subsidies and that seems to be the main bee in his bonnet these days.

We've had nothing but torrential rain and returning UVM undergraduates for the last few days. Burlington has become an obstacle course of deep puddles, u-haul trailers and kids in baseball caps stocking up on beer . . .

Monday, August 23

Alphabetical order

The most interesting thing about my life right now, without question, is my job. And guess what? I can't tell you anything about it. Really, I can't. Weird huh?

I can tell you about the rest of my life, however. Hmm, let's see . . . . I go riding by the lake sometimes. I go swimming in the lake sometimes. Then I go home and watch the Olympics. What else? I put my CD's in alphabetical order the other day. I really recommend doing that, so much less time is spent looking for that Calexico CD you haven't listened to in ages.

Yesterday was a fantastically cool and clear summer day and I climbed Camel's Hump:

Caution: Causes sore leg muscles. Posted by Hello

I still barely know anyone at all in Vermont and it's starting to get a little old. I have gone out a couple of times with fellow law clerks and interns but outside of work the only people I know are my friend Sam's folks.

I can't talk about work but I can link to some news articles (without endorsement or any comment on their accuracy, of course) . These should give you a flavor of the kind of cases the court deals with:

Campaign finance article

Prescription drugs from Canada article

Sentencing article

Monday, August 16

Am I in some kind of trouble officer?

I always feared that I'd have my mugshot taken by U.S. Marshals one day. It didn't turn out to be too bad though, they let me off with a warning.Posted by Hello

Ok, a mugshot for new law clerks and summer interns has become something of a tradition in my court. It is a souvenir of our introduction to the Marshal's facilities upstairs. When I think of U.S. Marshal's the first thing I think about is "The Fugitive" starring Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee Jones. Apparently, that is also the first thing real Marshals think as well because they have a big poster from the movie in their office.

I'm starting to get used to putting on a suit every morning. The only problem is that a Belle and Sebastian song starts playing in my head as I adjust my tie. If you can guess the song you'll realize why that's a little creepy.

Tuesday, August 10

All rise

I don’t have internet access at home yet so posts may be infrequent for a while. I’ve arrived and settled in Vermont. It has been a dramatic change in more ways than I have time to go into. There is a big disconnect between my surroundings and my job. Every morning I put on a suit (a new thing for me) and I feel like a space alien as I walk to work. Sometimes I even walk past a bunch of hippies in a morning drum circle. I imagine them muttering to each other as I walk into the Federal Building: "There goes the MAN, man."

A couple of months ago I came up here looking for apartments with my Mum. We were people watching over a coffee right in the middle of downtown during a workday. We tried to count the number of people we saw wearing ties but we only counted three or four people out of the hundreds that must have walked by. Now I am in that tiny minority of tie wearing Vermonters.

My new job as a federal law clerk does not combine well with blogging. I've already had a couple of experiences I'd like to post about but doing so would be a serious breach of confidentiality. Even though I can't blog about it, I think my new job provides my life with an excellent narrative ark: "Son of public servants grows up to be a public servant!" I think all the novel writers who read this blog [about 1/3 of this blog’s small audience is currently writing a novel] should drop their current projects and get straight to work on this great story.

I have to wear a suit every day because I often need to be in court. The best thing about court so far is when I get to tell everyone to stand up and sit down. I find it hilarious. I try to put on a very serious sounding voice and not burst out laughing. Even better is when I get to "cry the court". It goes something like this:

ALL RISE! Hear ye, hear ye, the United States District Court for and within the District of Vermont is now open and ready for the transaction of business, the Honorable William K. Sessions III presiding.