Wednesday, July 28, 2004

LIVING THE AMERICAN DREAM.  This is from the Texas Bar Journal, July 2004.
"My background is that I come from an immigrant family and am the first lawyer in my family.  I graduated from the University of California at Hastings Law School with honors and worked at a large Silicon Valley law firm focusing on corporate and securities law.  I then went to New York University for a masters of law in taxation and came to work at Cox & Smith in San Antonio to practice corporate tax law."  This is from Sanjeev Ayyar, the high scorer on the February 2004 bar exam in Texas.  My grandmother used to tell me, work hard and get a good education.  That has been the "mantra" of upwardly mobile poor Americans for decades.
The formula still works.  Congratulations Sanjeev.  Welcome to Texas.

Monday, July 26, 2004

I'M BAAAACK!  After a week in the Rockies, I am back in Cowtown.  I went to some trouble to program the blog and the Blackberry Wireless so that I could blog on the road.  I discovered, however, that no area had service after I left the Metroplex except Pueblo, Colorado.  What a disappointment that was. 

Worse, however, it was for the Little Woman.  She had to listen to my opinions on everything, as I had no other outlet.  It must have been bad; she left to go out of town this morning. 

The poor dog thinks she hates him.  He really only loves her.  When we return to the house, he runs right by me and jumps on her.  After being in the kennel for a week, I'm sure he thought, Oh boy, quality time with Mom, hey, wait, where are you going?  You're not leaving me with him, are you?  But, that's ok, 'cause that is what I was thinking, too.

Sunday, July 25, 2004


Observation 1 from the Road. Leaving home does not make people smarter.
Sent from my BlackBerry Wireless Handheld

Saturday, July 24, 2004


Sorry. No Blackberry service in the Rockies. Only Pueblo had service. So, only fifteen minutes of service each way.
Sent from my BlackBerry Wireless Handheld

Sunday, July 18, 2004

MORE ON MARTHA.  You know, if Martha Stewart would report to prison this week, she could be out by Christmas.  I'm thinking a new television show or video.  They could start with film of her leaving her home and driving off to jail.  They could play "I'll Be Home For Christmas". I first thought of Three Dog Night's "Liar", but that might not sell.
Then, they could pick it up when she gets out.  Friends could pick her up in a van decorated for Christmas.  Before she goes, she could make some flavored drink that needed to age exactly 5 months.  They could bring it with them and drink it on the way home.  She could hold it up to the camera and say "Rasberry Gin.  Aged exactly five months.  It's a good thing." 
She could go in the van wearing her khaki jail outfit, but step out at home in red taffeta for the season.  Then she could go in the house, lovingly decorated by friends and staff from the magazine, and have a big Christmas party.
They could invite lots of famous people who have been to jail.  James Brown, who is a regular, could come and sing and dance.  Glen Campbell could sing the old George Jones song "I'm Home Drunk Again".
Marc Rich could come back from Switzerland, since Denise paid all that money to the Clintons and got the pardon done.  Nelson Mandella might even come and sip some wine and eat some canapes and talk about the oppression of white women in Connecticut. 
All of this would be on film and shown as a Christmas special.  At the end, she could wrap a package of goodies and send it to the prosecution team with a nice note. Then she could look at the cameral and tell how her life had been enriched, and so on.  I like it!  We could call it the "Martha Stewart, Fresh From The Slammer" special.


I am trying to post to email.
Sent from my BlackBerry Wireless Handheld

IT'S NOT MY FAULT.  Meryl Streep: "Something like 35 percent of the population who can vote, doesn't," she says. "Now, if you told those people what clothes they had to put on, they'd be mad. If you told them what kind of car they had to drive—or what they had to eat for dinner—they wouldn't stand for it. But somebody is deciding what they eat..."  It's true.  They called me during dinner and said get a second helping, but don't tell Meryl.  I said too late, she already knows.  But I got seconds anyway.  But only because they told me to.  That explains why I've gained wait.  THEY are telling me what to eat.
I feel better now.  Thanks Meryl.  And remember, just because you're paranoid, doesn't mean they aren't after you.


We are leaving for vacation tomorrow. The Little Woman has just now started to pack. I am trying to set up the blog for wireless email. We will see if I can do it. I apologize if there are misspellings this week, but the keyboard is small.
Sent from my BlackBerry Wireless Handheld

Friday, July 16, 2004

BUT I DON'T LOOK GOOD IN STRIPES. Martha Stewart received a sentence for jail time and her stock went UP in price!  Does that mean the market thinks the company will do better without her?  It probably means people are happy she is not going away for the full 16 months of her sentence.  I wonder if she will work in the kitchen?
I hope she likes younger women.  The median age at Danbury is less than half her own.  Over half of the inmates are in for drug offenses.  Martha might not fit in. 
She will undoubtedly be the target of a lot of teasing and gratuitous commentary.  I have a feeling Martha is pretty tough, however. Even in homemaking, one does not usually become a huge success without being tough.
I would not want to trade 5 months of my life for prison at any age, but certainly not at 62.  However, she could put the time to good use.  For one thing, you know there is a book in there somewhere.  With her celebrity, a court case, and a little jail time, she could write one of two books on this and be guaranteed best sellers.
I know, let's have a contest.  Name Martha's Book!  Enter as often as you like. Here are my first entries: (1) From Securities Fraud To Minimum Security; (2) Jail: It's Not A Good Thing.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

WHEN A MAN LOVES A WOMAN. Thanks to my senator, John Cornyn, for supporting the marriage amendment.  Thanks, also, for replying to my letter to you. 
Senator Cornyn wrote "Under the laws, traditions, and customs of all fifty states, marriage has historically been defined as the union of a man and a woman."  He also said "I now believe Congress must approve a constitutional amendment defining marriage and allow the American people to democratically decide on its ratification - not have traditional marriage laws invalidated by judicial fiat."
I agree.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

FREUDIAN SLIP. Tom Wolfe: "Very little of what [Sigmund] Freud had to say has survived the scientific scrutiny of the past half-century. In hindsight, we can see that he was a brilliant philosopher of the old school who happened to live in an age in which only science was accepted as gospel truth. So by night he led his philosophical speculations in through the back door of his clinic, and in the morning he marched them out the front door as scientific findings." ("McLuhan's New World," The Wilson Quarterly, Spring 2004)

(Please read the above with background music: Queen singing "Another One Bites The Dust")

MONDAY, MONDAY. Monday was a day full of meetings, the large organization at work. The first meeting, grandly billed the “corporate cabinet” by the CEO, lasted from 8:00 until 11:30. Unfortunately, it consisted mostly of budget discussions. I say “unfortunately”, because corporate counsel has little to do with the budget. Imagine this, me trying to sit still and not make wise cracks for three and one half hours.

At one point, it got extremely boring. The CEO and the CFO were arguing about some little entry in the financial statement, and what the components were, and did they "drill down" far enough to understand the numbers, and so on. Several side conversations were going on, but I did not want to get drawn into them because it makes the CEO mad.

So, I decided to try Astral Projection.

The first time I did it, I misunderstood and thought they said "Asta" Projection. So, I projected myself into the image of the little terrier in the movie, The Thin Man, with William Powell and Myrna Loy playing the beloved Nick and Nora Charles. It is one of my favorite movies, so it is easy to do. The Little Woman said I like the movie because Nick Charles is a smart aleck.

So, I became this little terrier, following around Myra Loy, a not altogether repulsive occupation. I was just getting to the part where Nick and Nora are reading the papers together about their exploits. Nick said "I was shot twice in the Tribune." Nora said "I read you were shot five times in the tabloids."

"It's not true," said Nick. "He didn't come anywhere near my tabloids."

About that time, someone asked me what I was doing. I explained. They explained that it is not Asta Projection, it is Astral Projection.

Imagine my embarrassment. I wanted to cover my eyes with my paws.

AP is about leaving your physical body and traveling about in your astral body. As with most mystic experiences, you start by relaxing. This is my favorite part. I’m not sure why, but mysticism is evidently at odds with tension and stress, as all mystic techniques I have read about require relaxation.

In fact, one of the teachers of astral projection says that the physical body sleeps while you are gone in your astral body.

This is good news and bad news.

It is bad news, because it means that your physical body is not covering for you while you are out cavorting in your astral body. For example, while you are out there looking at the rings of Saturn, your physical body could be listening attentively to the budget presentation and appearing to be mesmerized by the power point presentation.

Of course, wives would catch on if you did it at home. Can’t you hear it? Are you listening to me, or are you off projecting again? You better get your astral body back here this instant.

The good news is, the physical body cannot do dorky things while you are traveling and get you in trouble. For example, you come back from an astral journey to visit your third grade teacher, who has left the earth plane, and hit her back for rapping your knuckles for talking in class. Then you find out your physical body takes up streaking in the police station.

The bad news is, not everyone appreciates your astral body sleeping in meetings.

FOR MY PREACHER FRIENDS. "Biblical preaching demands sensitivity to the modern world. Although God spoke to the ancient world in its own
languages and cultures, he intends his Word to be for

This means that the expositor is more than an
exegete. The exegete explains the original meaning of the
text; the expositor goes further and applies it to the
contemporary world.

We have then to struggle to understand the rapidly changing world in which God has called us to live; to grasp its movements of thought which have shaped it; to listen to its many discordant voices, its questions, its protests and its cries of pain; and to feel a measure of its disorientation and despair. For all this is part of our Christian sensitivity." This is from The Contemporary Christian by John Stott, Leicester and Downers Grove: IVP, 1992, p. 213.

Monday, July 12, 2004

A BEAUTIFUL FEAT. The Baby preached a sermon in a church in Philadelphia Sunday. She is following in the admirable footsteps of the College Daughter in that regard.

Romans 10:14-15 says "How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!"'(NIV)

Thanks, girls, for taking those beautiful feet to places where you can preach the gospel.

Thursday, July 08, 2004

SILVER AND GOLD HAVE I NONE. The Catholic Diocese of Portland is filing for bankruptcy! Is it because they gave all their money to the poor? No. Is it because the local Catholics quit giving? No.

It is because of sexual abuse claims.

The archbiship said "This is not an effort to avoid responsibility." But it is an effort to avoid litigation. There are two cases pending and about to go to trial. Filing the bankruptcy petition prevents the cases from proceeding to trial, particularly the one scheduled for the next few days.

The priests in Portland must have been on a veritable child abuse orgy. The diocese has already settled more than 100 claims! It has sixty more pending! That is 160 child sexual abuse claims against one diocese. When did they have time to work?

Other hot spots for priests who cannot keep it in their robes are Santa Fe, New Mexico and,the mother of all sexual abuse dioceses, Boston. Tucson is also considering bankruptcy.

450 lawsuits were filed against the archdiocese in Boston for child sexual abuse. They had to sell 46 acres of land and a four story mansion. Portland's diocese paid out $21 million over the last four years. How would you like to know you were putting money in the offering plate for that?

So far, seven of the suits have gone to trial all over the country, and the church lost them all. The verdicts range from about one million to almost 120 million.

There are those folks who believe pedophilia should be legal. These verdicts might tell them America is not quite ready for that.

BOARD TO DEATH. I just finished the world's longest board meeting. We have been at it since early this morning. We fed the board members lunch and dinner. Late in the afternoon, one of the board members said he thought the members did not get enough information from the staff and needed more meetings. Universal groans erupted and no further action was taken on that item. Fortunately, the session set for tomorrow was canceled.

Chalk up another 12 hour day for me. It sure cuts down on your free time. Actually, I'm in hour 13. The Little Woman is working, the Baby is on a trip, the College Girl is at college, and the Oldest is in Utah performing.

So, what's a tired fellow to do with himself? I think Starbucks is in order. I wonder what the largest one is that you can get. Maybe I should rent a movie. Also, I have several books that have come my way via Father's Day and other celebrations. Plus, I need to catch up on the news so I can blog more. OK, things are looking up.

See ya at Starbucks.

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

SOME JUST DON'T KNOW WHEN TO QUIT. Kenny Rogers is 65. He just had twins. He'll have to live to 83 just to see them graduate from high school.

Here is one that will get you. Sean Connery is 72. I can't believe it. I told the Little Woman "I wish I could look that good at 72." She said "I wish you could look that good now!"

Remember Scotty on the original Star Trek? He is in his 80s.

You get this shock factor when you watch TV Land. You see all these re-runs with these actors from the 60s and 70s. They never change. Then you see Captain Kirk making commercials and he is old and fat, and it shocks your system! What happened to you, man? I just saw you and you looked great.

You know, there hasn't been a Star Trek movie in a long time. Maybe they could make one where all the old captains are in the Federation of Planets Nursing Home.

Kirk, Picard, Janeway, Cisco, and the new guy from the prequal show (he used to be in the show where he jumped from time to time with the little guy with the PDA that could almost but not quite tell you where they were). Anyway, all these old captains could sit in rocking chairs and tell stories of when they were captains, then they would take them all to their rooms and put them to bed and they would all wear special Star Trek diapers with the emblem on them.

And at night, Kirk would sneak out of his room and try to visit O'Hura down the hall, and when the nurse catches him, he would pull out his Palm Pilot and start yelling "Scotty, one to beam up!". And the nurse would say "Yeah, yeah Space Man, back to bed with ya. If you get up again, I'm giving you to the Klingon nurse."

So Kirk would go back to bed clutching his Star Trek action figures and dream that he was not facing the real Final Frontier.

In response to my quote of Hillary Clinton (we're going to take some things away from you for the common good), Michelle posted the following comment. It is too good to go unnoticed.

Government wellfare programs: $5 billion per year
Special interest groups: $3 billion per year.
Saying what you really mean: priceless

THOUGHT #2. We don't need Kerry's divorce records. Yes, I know the other side did a number on Mr. Ryan. We know he is divorced and that is enough. I would want to know if he beat his wife or was a drug addict, but I know that divorce records have lots of allegations made in anger. One part of America wants the records to see if they can find dirt on him. The other part wants them to revel in salacious details, if there are any. We should pass on both. There is much to write about in the election. Character is one thing. But, remember, his ex is on record saying she would vote for him.

Side note: remember how I wrote that Alec Baldwin was obviously stupid because he let Michelle Piefer get away. Well, ditto for Mr. Ryan, who let Jeri get away. She was the best looking Borg ever.
THOUGHT #1. John Kerry believes life begins at conception. Wow. First of all, I am glad to hear he does not believe that a baby is just a collection of cells and goo until it is born. Second, it shows he does believe in accordance with his professed religion, Catholicism. Third, it means he believes murder is ok in the abortion contect. He may not have thought this thing out. I doubt he conscously believes in murder. But, if you believe the baby is a human being from its beginning, killing it is wrong unless there is a compelling justification. It will be interesting to see how Catholics react to this. It will also be interesting to see if Kerry thinks it through further and acts accordingly. I expect political expediency will prevent this, as no pro life candidate could carry the Democrats. He needs a better reason than "I can't legislate morality", though, as government does it every day. All in all, this statement made me like him better. It also made me respect him more, as he will take some heat from the radical abortion proponents in his party.
PLAYING CATCH UP. Between traveling and not being able to access Blogger, I have been remiss in sharing my soul with the cyber world. I did get on a computer in College Station. The hotel had a computing room with two ancient machines there. By the time I got in for the night, they had been turned off. I turned one on, but found it "pass worded". I guessed "manager" and typed it in and it worked. However, the machine was so old and slow that I could not get Blogger to load.

Several times over the last few days I have not been able to get Blogger to load, and several times the Blogspot page was "unavailable". Oh well, beggers can't be choosers.

I did complete over 1,000 miles of driving, and had the aches and pains to prove it. The roads in Oklahoma are pretty rough compared to those in Texas, and it takes its toll. (That is a little Oklahoma joke for the rest of you. Almost every major highway in Oklahoma is a toll road.)

It seems the world went on without me. Here are some thoughts in no particular order.

Saturday, July 03, 2004

TRAVEL NEWS. I am on the road! I actually took two days off, which scared everyone at work. The Little Woman and I went to help the College Daughter move into a house with some friends. We rented a Tahoe and took a recliner from my mother's house. The College Daugher has painted her room and her friends have helped furnish the house. They look very domestic and decorated. If this were college guys, it would be bean bag chairs and dirty underwear for the decor.

We then drove 8 hours up to the home of the Oldest Daughter. She is gone for the summer singing in musicals, but my favorite son in law put us up for the night. Yes, we managed to find a Starbucks, although it took me until 10 o'clock to do it.

Today, we are taking the son in law to breakfast, then heading 2 hours east into Arkansas to pick up the Baby from drum major camp at the University of Arkansas. We will see the awards ceremony, then drive 8 hours back home.

So you couldn't exactly call this a vacation. But, at least the car has windows. The office does not. I do kind of miss the psych patients being brought into the hospital by my office, screaming.