And of course…
April 21st, 2011 · Uncategorized
April 12th, 2011 · Uncategorized
Tonight Karen and I attended birthing class. As a part of the class, the instructor asked each couple to share the expcrience they had when they found out about their pregnancy. Anywhere else in America, time is referenced by seasons, months and days on a calendar. Not so in Nebraska. “We found out the week of the Texas game,” said one couple. And everyone in the room immediately remembered the week of the Texas game.
This reminded me of an office meeting at the Attorney General’s office at the end of last summer. Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning was giving a bit of a pep talk to the office and said something to the effect of, “[The Attorney General's Office has] had a great summer and now that summer is over, we’ll have a great football season.”
Winter. Spring. Summer. Football.
I’m going to miss Nebraska.
March 8th, 2011 · Uncategorized
This next week my beloved Aggies will enter the NCAA men’s tournament. The Aggies are projected to have their best seed in years. This team is stacked with seniors who have dominated this season and have a dearth of experience.
I hope that America sees a lot of this in the next few weeks:
It’s been a full decade since the Aggies advanced out of the first round of the NCAA tournament. However, I believe, sincerely, that this team is capable of a deep run in the tournament.
But I also know Utah sports history. I was speaking with my friend Derek on the phone this last week. Derek isn’t from Utah, but he is familiar with Utah sports. “You know,” he said, “the problem with all those teams from Utah is that they’re always good, but they’re never great.”
That’s painfully true.
Utah is a place where the teams are consistently good, but never great. Where, year after year, our teams fall just shy of Championships and being the best.
The most obvious, and tragic example are the Malone-Stockton era Utah Jazz. The Jazz made every single playoffs from 1984 to 2003 when John Stockton retired and the era ended. Every. single. year. And not a single championship to show for it. When I was growing up, my faith in the Jazz to eventually win it all was nothing short of pure. I was certain that they would one day reach the promised land. It wasn’t until 1997 that they even made the NBA Finals, although, I don’t think any fan base was as elated by a Finals appearance as Jazz fans were that year. It was nothing short of magical.
As fun as those NBA Finals appearances were, they ended in heartbreak:
But it’s not just the Jazz either. The Aggies have won 23 games for twelve straight years! Only Gonzaga and Kansas can make that claim alongside my beloved Aggies. And yet, the Aggies have not advanced in the NCAA tournament since 2001 when they beat Ohio State. Each season builds with excitement through February and ends with what has begun to feel like inevitable defeat in March.
The Utes nearly won a National Championship in 1998. They played Kentucky, who had dispatched the Utes the two previous seasons in earlier rounds. Going into the half, the Utes were up by 10 but managed to blow the lead and lose 78-69.
I know what you Cougars are saying.
“We won a National Championship in football in 1984.”
Yes, you did. And while the Cougars did win a national championship, they also provoked this incredulous, and now infamous retort from Bryant Gumble, “How can you rank BYU No. 1? Who’d they play — Bo Diddley Tech?” The sting of history has even worse to the 1984 Cougars, now considered to be one of the most overrated championship teams in the history of sports. Even when a Utah sports team wins a championship it’s considered illegitimate!
And then there are those recent Ute football teams that did win BCS games. Just not the BCS Championship. Those Utah teams might have actually been great, and not just good, but they were never given the chance to show it.
And so, selection Sunday, I’ll tune in to the watch the bracket announced. And, I’ll have a sincere, pure faith that this year, this team will be different than all those other Utah teams from the past.
These Aggies will be great.
March 6th, 2011 · Uncategorized
This July I’m taking the bar exam. After graduation, I’ll have two months to review a wide swath of the law. The task is intimidating. So I’ve started my bar prep now.
I’ve found a great resource, a free resource to help in my preparation. Many law schools provide weekly bar prep classes during the final semester of the third year of law school. Several law schools have made these lectures available through bar prep podcasts available to the general public.
I have listened to several now and by far the best bar prep podcast comes from Arizona State University. You can subscribe to it on iTunes by clicking here. The faculty at ASU did a great job of putting these podcasts together. I am grateful that they made them available to the general public.
Now, I should note that these podcasts are not an adequate substitute for a bar review course. But they are helpful, especially if you are in your third year. I listen to them while driving to and from work and home and school. This utilizes time that would otherwise be lost. I have been able to review all of the ASU podcasts in a matter of weeks. They have been extremely helpful in refreshing concepts I have not thought about in depth since my 1L year. They have also been helpful in introducing me to Community Property law, which Nebraska does not teach.
If, by chance, you are a prospective law student stumbling upon this page I have two pieces of advice. First, don’t go to law school. But if remain so deluded by the Lake Wobegon effect that you insist on attending anyway, I would strongly suggest listening to these podcasts the summer before you begin your 1L year. 1L year is a ritualistic hazing, a game of sadistic hide-the-ball that makes some legal concepts cloudier and more complicated than they really are. If you entered your 1L year with even a slight grasp of basic black letter law, you will be far less lost than I was.
February 18th, 2011 · Uncategorized
February 18th, 2011 · Uncategorized
I took a Civil War history class from Yale during Christmas Break.
I actually just listened to a Civil War class via podcast. I had just finished my fifth semester of law school so I didn’t do any of the readings, though I could have if I wanted. I found the class through iTunes U. This free service posts the podcasts of classes in a wide range of subjects from the worlds elite Universities. If you’d like to browse which classes are available, just visit the iTunes store. Did I mention it was free?
Yale has listed all of it’s OpenCourseWare (that’s what these free materials are called), on this website. How fortunate we are to be living through the Information Revolution.
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September 7th, 2010 · Uncategorized
Something remarkable happened in the unremarkable story of Paris Hilton’s arrest for cocaine possession.
Vegas resorts responded to the arrest by enforcing social mores.
From the Boston Globe:
Wynn Resorts Ltd. spokeswoman Jennifer Dunne said Hilton is barred from Wynn Las Vegas and Encore.
Apparently, association with a socialite accused of felony cocaine possession is bad for business.
This is especially noteworthy because not long ago, Ms. Hilton was able to command up to $125,000 for merely showing up to a club in Vegas. Now, she is not even allowed to set foot in the Wynn.
It’s not that the management of Wynn resorts are driven by piety. Rather, they are most sensitive to their bottom line. They have come to the conclusion that cocaine possession is offensive to their clientele. And it’s not just Wynn resorts. It looks like other properties are likely to follow suit.
So here we have a resort in a city known for boundless hedonism and excess enforcing social mores. It is a case of the free market meting out punishment for violating a norm.
All of this was accomplished without grand standing “family values” politicians, brow beating media crusaders or criminal law.
If social mores are enforced through the market on the Las Vegas Strip of all places, where else might the free market work if given a chance to do so?
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September 2nd, 2010 · Uncategorized
The original by Bobby Hebb from 1966:
A YouTube cover:
Another YouTube cover:
Covered by James Brown:
Covered by Jamiroquai:
September 2nd, 2010 · Uncategorized
I am excited to be 30.
My first 30 were fantastic and the next 30 will be even better.
My first 30 years were full of great experiences, meaningful relationships and extraordinary opportunities. I could not ask for more than what I have been given.
I am now empowered with 30 years of wisdom gained through experience – both success and failure. I am excited to put this wisdom and experience to use in a broad range of activities to the benefit of my family.