Quote of the Day - When you feel neglected, think of the female salmon, who lays 3,000,000 eggs but no one remembers her on Mother's Day.
Where Have All The Wild Salmon Gone?
Some people have stopped eating farm-raised salmon in part because the fish may be fed with colorant-added food, deemed by certain groups to cause cancer, among other problems. Now, there may be another reason, according to a recent study.
Sea lice naturally attach to adult salmon but generally don't harm them are starting to attack juvenile wild salmon that don't react so well to the lice. The effects are supposedly driving the wild salmon into extinction.No worries for this Iowa boy, however. I like corn-fed steak and pork, as well as all salad fixin's.
Yo Ho, Yo Ho, A Pirate's Life For Me
When you learn to cuss like a sailor, it helps to be a sailor. Despite the two prior Pirates of the Caribbean movies and the third now out on DVD, there's little about cussing that you can learn from the movie except some very well-written - ahh - curses. Take, for example, Captain Jack Sparrow's prelude to taking Will Turner into custody: "Send this pestilent, traitorous, cow-hearted, yeasty codpiece to the brig."
Ouch. No doubt what's intended there.
So when we get a news story about 33 year-old Dawn Herb cussing out her toilet, something just gets lost in the translation. The AP reporter compares the Scranton, Pennsylvania woman's blue-streak over her frustration with an overflowing toilet with the vocabulary of a longshoreman. But having been a sailor myself, it just doesn't quite measure up.
Even before we had longshoreman, we had pirates and their language. In fact, "I'd like to meet that filthy, mangy, worthless bilge rat Hector Barbossa to recover my beautiful ship, The Black Pearl," in another tribute to an antagonist in an earlier version of the story. Did I get all those "an's" right?
Apparently as our present-day, wanna-be pirate heroine got upset over her predicament with her toilet, a policeman's daughter walked by her window and heard the cussing. She reported it to her then off-duty Dad, who promptly called in reinforcements to issue her a citation under Pennsylvania's statute preventing "disorderly conduct for using obscene language or gestures in a way that causes "public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm," according to reporter Michael Rubinkam.
The ACLU has stepped in to defend her right to free speech and cuss a blue streak, and whether she'll be convicted now rests in the hands of a judge who's considering the arguments of counsel and words of the woman. Not surprisingly, her lawyer advised her not to talk to the media. No telling what she would have said to the journeyman reporter.
Oh yes. One more thing. Did I mention Pennsylvania's landlocked?
Where did she learn this stuff?
Not from this pirate.
Hot Off The Digital Press
Newspapers are taking it in the shorts. Labor costs and dwindling readership are two main culprits affecting the bottom line. Readership is shifting to cell phones and computers, away from paper. I've sold my newspaper stock long ago.
Not even the book is sacred anymore. Amazon.com is selling the Kindle, a take-it-with-you book.
Maybe the newspapers ought to release an electronic version for their reporting, and eliminate the paper.
Oh right, they already do that.
Maybe they ought to start blogging instead of producing a paper product.
Oh right, they already do that.
Maybe they ought to catch up with the times. No, not THE Times, but the electronic times.
Advertisers on the Internet stay around a lot longer than my newspaper does.
Oh right. I don't get a newspaper delivered anymore.
But I do have several computers.
Update Friday, December 14, 2007. The Chicago Sun-Times reports it will issue layoff pink slips in 2008 to cut its budget by $50 million.
Another Class Action; Another Useless Feature?
For years I've been bellyaching for an all-in-one phone device that gets and sends email and text messages, surfs the web, runs like a small computer, handles maps, allows me to dictate, take notes, keeps my calendar and contacts all in one place, works no matter what country I'm in and surprisingly enough, in my house (something my current Verizon cell phone doesn't do), allows me to read books, listen to books-on-tape, plays my music and movies and, oh yes, make calls with a speakerphone.
I'm not asking for too much, am I?
So far, even the iPhone doesn't handle all those requirements well, although it comes close. I'm just too clumsy with my fingers (can hardly type), and it doesn't boot into Windows. It's already difficult enough learning all the programs we have at the firm. Not to mention learning an entirely different operating system, which by way of the long-cut short-cut roundabout the barn brings me to two points.
First, if you're running Windows and are thinking about switching to Vista, I have just one question and one piece of advice. Why learn another operating system? And don't.
XP works just fine, and as proof, just about everything else in our firm and at my home works well with it. After all, it took us just five years to get all the bugs worked out, all the programs synchronizing with each other, and we still have some glitches. So why switch to something that has more glitches? Like I said, don't.
Second, while my list of requirements for a cellular phone is shorter than many, the GPS feature on my phone is a treat. It works fairly well with Microsoft Pocket Streets and hopefully soon with the SigAlert system, which shows traffic jams. Even Google can't match the SigAlert system, which is still in the process of being perfected.
Google's traffic feature doesn't work on cell phones. Which is great if you're driving your car around your home or office desktop or can take your computer and monitor with you on the road. I still haven't hooked up my Tablet in my car, but I'm getting close. The SigAlert traffic system is accessible on a cell phone, but unfortunately it doesn't have a zoom feature. Yet.
They tell me they're working on it. As it stands now, however, it's a real problem. While the SigAlert map is easy enough to see on a desktop monitor, imagine taking that same map and shrinking it down to fit on a cell phone screen. At that very small size, every time I look at it I don't want to go anywhere because everything in LA looks jammed.
Recently, I read that a Blackberry owner in San Diego filed a class action against Verizon because the company allegedly advertised Blackberry phones with GPS, then surreptitiously turned the GPS feature off and would reactivate it only if you purchased Verizon's fee-based GPS service.
While you may be surprised, why anyone would want GPS on their cell phone, we may not quite be there yet, unless you're lost and want the rescuers to find you somewhere on Mount Baldy. The traffic feature on the maps really doesn't work that well, and there's not really too much else you can do with it. Soon we'll get there, but not quite yet.
Now if I could only find where I put my cell phone.
No Separation Of Church And State For Ministries Taking Tax Advantages
Some ministries and churches are far from not-for-profit, or so it would seem just watching television or in my case, driving past the monstrous church complex on the 405 freeway, just across from an equally monstrous (but retail) South Coast Plaza, otherwise known as the Trinity Broadcasting Network in Costa Mesa. Just to give you an idea when I say "monstrous," the TBN nighttime Christmas display requires its own separate nuclear power plant, and it has to refuel with new uranium once a week.
Regular readers may remember that my father was a minister. He started out in the Middleboro Congregational Church, which is part of the combination United Church of Christ denomination (somewhere between Presbyterian and Methodist). After several other stints in churches in Pennsylvania and Virginia, he retired on Cape Cod to a small, one-room house. To say that I grew up poor would be an understatement. My dad would have never been accused of tax evasion because I'm not even sure he ever made enough money to pay taxes. OK, that's an exaggeration, but not by much.
On the other hand, the US Senate Finance Committee is starting to look into opulent lifestyles enjoyed by many ministers in well-to-do megachurches. Senator Grassley of Iowa, the ranking Republican on that committee, has been handing out subpoenas for financial records of those ministers who live quite nicely, thank you very much, but whose churches enjoy non-profit tax status.
It must be nice to make another 50% tax-free. I'm definitely in the wrong business. But wait, it gets better.
Would you be surprised to learn that out of six subpoenas, only two ministers have responded with financial records?
Would you be even more surprised to learn that the IRS does not require churches to make their finances public? That's according to Eric Gorski, the AP's religion writer.
Maybe it's time to take a look at that law, and perhaps time to dig deeper into megachurches who lavishly fund their ministers with private jets and among other things yachts, limos and McMansions. But hang on just a minute. If I remember my Bible correctly, then it was Jesus who rode a donkey and threw the money-changers out of the temple.
But that was 2,000 years ago, and it's unfair to make a present-day comparison.
Oh, that's right, I forgot. The megachurch ministers make that comparison every Sunday during their sermons. How foolish of me.
No Butts About It - This Man Learned His Lesson
Bridgeport, Ohio is so small the mayor serves as the judge. So when Tommy Leshare was hauled before the judge, Tommy had likely voted in the election that put Mayor John Callarick on the bench, so to speak. For a town of only 2,200 people, mostly everyone knows each other. Heck in some places, that's the size of a graduation class.
Tommy and his girlfriend were cleaning their car and house, but unfortunately for Tommy, he dumped the ashtrays on the street in front of their house.
The local constabulary wasn't pleased with the litter, and set an appointment for Tommy to have a visit with John. Mayor-now-Judge John found Tommy guilty and offered him several choices: (1) jail time; (2) community service; (3) a stiff $1,000 fine; or, (4) two, eight-hour shifts as a walking billboard with a hot pink sandwich board that read: "Cigarette Butts Are Litter."
Tommy chose the sign. He still plans to smoke, according to the AP news article in the last link, but no more butts on the street.
What Do You Want To Say To Lexis-Nexis? MIPTC Meets With The New Vice President and Managing Director of LexisNexis
Our law firm recently switched legal research providers to Westlaw from Lexis-Nexis for a variety of reasons, and high on the list were both price and ease of use. Now, the new Lexis VP and our local rep want to go to lunch next Tuesday to discuss why we switched and get an update about lawyers' reactions to Lexis' products. We use a number of Lexis products: Martindale Hubbell, Lawyers.com, Time Matters, CiteCheck, CourtLink and are considering CaseMap.
The email requesting the meeting said in part that Lexis would like "to get your input to help attorneys in small practices and shape LexisNexis for the future."
I'm not sure whether the lunch came as a result of our switch or whether they're actually interested. In any event, if there's something you want to reach the top ranks of LexisNexis, comment away below, and I'll be sure to pass it along.
After lunch, I'll follow up with the company's response.
Lawyer 2 Lawyer Internet Radio Discusses Faith
From Presidential hopefuls trying to "out-faith" each other on the campaign trail to law schools spreading their faith in the classroom, faith is all around us. Please join me and my fellow Law.com blogger and co-host Robert Ambrogi, as we call on experts Dean Jeffrey A. Brauch, from the Regent University School of Law and Rob Boston, assistant director of communications, for Americans United for Separation of Church and State, to tackle this hot topic.
On this week's Lawyer 2 Lawyer, we discuss faith and the law, how some are using faith to educate law students, separation of church and state and how faith is coming to the forefront of the race for the Presidency and affecting present day policy issues. Closing the show, we speak to Monica Bay about her new role as host of the new Legal Talk Network podcast, Law Technology Now.