Wednesday, October 27

Captain Chicago

Burlington has a certain blandness. For example, every young person seems to be either a frat boy from UVM or a hippy. So, I was glad to be walking the streets of Chicago this weekend checking out the cute indie kids and admiring their stripey clothes. The coolest kids always have the highest Stripes Per Unit Inch ("SPUI").

Chicagoan wearing outfit with low SPUI Posted by Hello

It was disorienting to arrive suddenly in such a big city, particularly as I was recovering from a head cold and we immediately began drinking steadily. Ray's idea of watching Battle Royale at 2.:30 in the morning didn't help with that either.

Friday, October 22


Today is the last day of my 20s. I'm flying to Chicago this evening for what is sure to be a classy and sophisticated celebration of my 30th bithday. I'm not happy about turning 30 but, then again, what's the alternative?

Wednesday, October 20

Chicago's Atlantic Coast

Last Friday I left work early to head to the airport for a flight to Chicago. The plane arrived in Burlington late and then a disembarking passenger inconsiderately had a medical emergency requiring us to wait for an ambulance. Finally, as we were just about to get on, US Air announced that the plane would be delayed for another hour due to weather. This meant that I would miss my connection to the windy city. US Air claimed that they couldn't find another connecting flight for me. So, after 2 fun hours of waiting around, I gave up on my weekend trip to visit Brad, Ray and Eric.

Frustrated at the prospect of spending another weekend in increasingly boring Burlington I decided to drive to New Hampshire. The forecast was for head high waves both Saturday and Sunday. It only took me a little over 3 hours on Saturday morning to reach the coast. I hadn't seen the ocean for over three months so I was happy even though the waves were smaller than predicted. Too impatient to wait for lunch, I paddled strait out at Hampton South Beach where 2 surfers were sharing a peak. One guy went straight in and so it was just two of us left sharing about half the beach. The other surfer was Terrence, a local dog trainer, and he happily gave me some local info on New Hampshire's other breaks. So much for New Hampshire's famous localism.

I was out of practice, surfing like a Vermonter and the water was damn cold (55F or 13C) for my 3/2 wetsuit. Skipping lunch turned out to be a mistake as I lost heat fast and had to come in after less than an hour and a half. Once I'd stopped shivering enough to drive, I drove all the way along NH's 16 miles of coast, finishing at Portsmouth for lunch (at 4.30). I then headed back South to Rye beach were I finally caught some decent waves without nosediving or otherwise making a fool of myself and staying in until the after the sun set.

I was glad to discover NH is really not that far away. I'll definitely be heading there this winter.

. . .

Still on the topic of surfing, my article "The Tragicomedy of the Surfers' Commons" has been accepted by the Deakin Law Review in Australia. It's currently under expedited review at a few other places so I don't know where it will end up. Roger Williams Law Review have said they'd like to publish it but they haven't committed yet. I hope I can get in published in the US so that it gets into the westlaw database.

. . .

Some news articles (I intend no implied endorsement nor comment on the accuracy of these articles):

Rutland Herald


Monday, October 11

George Bush Announces Oppostion to Dred Scott Decision

For those of you who missed the second presidential debate: George Bush offered the Dred Scott case as an example of a bad Supreme Court decision. Well I'm glad he cleared that one up for us. As the brilliant Fafblog put it:

George Bush promises to never nominate a justice who supported the Dred Scott decision or a Secretary of Defense who supported the German invasion of Poland. John Kerry responds by calling George Bush's containment of slavery "a catastrophic failure."

For the Australians, the Dred Scott decision was from 1856 and held that Congress couldn't ban slavery in the federal territories. I don't think many people were expecting Dred Scott to be an issue in this campaign. Anyway, to ensure that this is an equal opportunity non-partisan post, here's some more Fafblog brilliance:

In his closing statement John Kerry says he has a plan to kill the terrorists, kill the terrorists, kill the terrorists with a college tuition tax credit.

Check out Fafblog on outsourcing.

Wednesday, October 6

The Death of a Blog

Despite protests from me and others, my Sydney-based friend Tim has discontinued his blog. I probably miss it more than everyone else because for me it was a way to feel like I was in regular touch with him. Now I'll actually have to communicate with him directly. What a hassle. To give you an idea of what we're all missing here are a couple of highlights from Tim's blog "Un":

June 20, 2004 . . . We left and walked up the street talking about what we would do if Bono materialised in our kitchen. He would be quite disoriented, and therefore you would have the upper hand. He would be wanting to make long distance calls, you would have to be careful about that. Opinions ranged, but the general feeling was that our quiet respect for the man would win out over our desire to mess with his head in any serious way . . .

June 3, 2004 . . . depraveantipodes ludwig gracklenorthbound precision lameclamshell via theretovenison rash debbiesciatica nocturnal selectmenbelt reactionary beastiediacritic footwear carrolldishevel featherbedding mohrgeopolitic barnstorm cenozoicsomerset beebe spitefulprosperous bandgap hahnmudguard sensible epithelialwalpole bethesda ashevillecarrot cayuga . . .

March 21, 2004 [the Town Hall is a pub] . . . i hate the town hall I hate the town hall i hate the town hall. once again: i hate the town hall We were waiting outside with Fiona for Ben to come and pick her up and some idiot rastafarian who must have been denied entry growled at Vanessa, 'If you have no makeup on you are UGLY.' 'Is that a wig?' Vanessa replied, in one of the coolest comebacks I've ever heard. The man had no comprehension of subtlety and proceeded to take his stupid baggy cap off and shake his dreadlocks around to show us how real they were . . .

Meanwhile, Nicholas (who designed this blog for me) decided to go on strike from his blog because he felt that TOO MANY (!?) people were reading it. He was perturbed that so many people would read his blog and not leave comments. Nicholas has since conceded that he was being a little silly. Nicholas has a friend who recently made the bizarre and ill-judged decision to move to my home town, Perth. Of course, disaster and hilarity ensued. Read about it here.


I don't think I'll be breaching chambers confidentiality by telling you this little story.

We had jury selection yesterday. This meant that the courtroom was filled with potential jurors, each one attentive to the strange new world they have been forced to enter. I get to walk in ahead of the judge and solemnly intone "All Rise." Unfortunately, the moment after I have done this I realize that the court reporter and the deputy clerk are not in the room. I had not checked to see if the court was ready. Doh! As he came through the door, the judge dryly said to me "You might want to see where they are." So, in front of a room full of confused standing people I hurry across to the door to the deputy clerk's office and practically run into a very confused court reporter as she enters the room at the same moment.